Revisiting Marija Gimbutas

Being sick last week had the silver lining of getting to spend a fair bit of time with both Marija Gimbutas’s The Living Goddess and The Language of the Goddess. There is enough accumulated opinion around her work that I might not have otherwise done that had not sickness whittled my world down to a spare space around the couch, where her books, fresh from the library, sat within easy reach. That’s more than a little ridiculous, when you think about the scholarship I would otherwise tolerate from within the greater magical community.

Of course, that’s part of it, isn’t it? The magical community has garnered for itself a sense of academic credibility (at least in its own mind) in part by accepting certain fashionable academic opinions as givens, including the ones that basically suggest Gimbutas is full of it. The spirit of seriousness lures us with the promise of acceptance if only, as Michael Serres observed, we exclude this third man from our dialogue. Or, well, pace Serres, not a third man, but a woman.

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Yeatsian Arconology, Footnote on the Mansions of the Moon

I’m putting this in a separate post because it relates to a side issue. It’s arcane in a scholarly fashion, but it does bear directly on how I am reading the Yeatsian material. I distinguish the spirits’s appeal to a lunar model from the Yeatses’ overdetermination of that appeal. If it doesn’t matter to you, you can ignore this post without any concern whatsoever.

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