[NB] Geomancy, Souls, Texts

I’ve been thinking about what exactly a geomantic chart tells you about a spirit or spiritual issue a bit lately. I use geomancy a good bit in my spiritual practice as a means of identifying and understanding with what I am working, so the question is fairly important. I want to talk about this a little bit. That means wandering a bit into some talk about spiritual typologies, so please keep in mind some of my caveats about that sort of thing.

Some of my posts about things like the relationship of texts and experience are informed by this geomantic work. More than once, I have had to prune back my ideas about a spirit or a working because the conceptual tools I brought to the work from my geomantic study cast a speculative shadow that I mistook for the spirit or work. I have also retooled my geomantic understanding so that it seems better calibrated to the sort of work I’m undertaking.

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False Masks and Spiritual Advice: Yeatsian Edition

From the Yeatsian perspective, one of the advantages of embodiment is that it provides a unique sort of opportunity for two spiritual dimensions of creation to operate on each other. This appeals to me in part because it provides another angle from which we can illumine the Yoruba aphorism about the world being a marketplace, and it also provides another point of access into grasping the specificity of an individual’s of spiritual work.

When the human being is born two souls are intertwined with each other. One operates the daemonic-objective realm, the animates the human-subjective realm. The two realms are joined in much the same way the two souls are joined such that a firm distinction cannot be firmly established even though a rough and ready division can be made.

This is all a little refresher, because one of the dangers in the spiritual work described by the Yeatsian spirits is that we misunderstand the nature of the daemon to which we are joined and that we seek instead to work with another daemon entirely. This danger is so basic to the work of a life that when W. B. Yeats attempts to articulate the spirit material systematically, he assigns a category of misunderstanding to every stage associated with a life, calling it the ‘False Mask.’

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Communitas

Emphasizing the individual dimension of the sort of spiritual work to which the Yeatsian material opens onto a discussion of how to talk about what a community of individuals might look like. The sense of individuality operates in dialogue with the individuality of other people, helping to clear away the demands we unfairly place upon them to follow our spiritual progression, but also allowing us to appreciate both ourselves and others as exemplars. At its best, this sort of support is often (not always) support to go our own way.

As a spiritual undertaking, the members of the community are not just living and breathing fellows, but the less visible and subtle spirits that circulate through it. They, too, ought to be treated with in the same fashion.

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What is that thing that I do?

Before I get too much further, I probably ought to talk a little about myself and my magico-spiritual work in specific. I’ve been doing that all along, but I have been avoiding about talking directly about my practice, circling around it at a theological and theurgical remove. Some of that is a natural predisposition toward privacy, some of it has to do with how difficult I find translating the work into clear language. A goodly portion of my theological distance has been an effort to lay some of the groundwork for that translation. Hopefully I can put that to some use here…

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Individuals Really Matter

All this focus on the world, on its singular and peculiar character, has a corollary: individuals, too, are important. Not only are we peculiar things in the world (i.e., important like all those things) but the ‘coiling’ that defines our being plays a special role in the production of what is sacred and holy. That is magical and marvelous all on its own. We are capable of facilitating the sacralization of the world. Other spirits are capable of this, too, no doubt, but our particular connection to the materiality of the world, the weightiness of the world, gives us special access.

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