[NB] Some Thoughts on Faeries

This post has been kicking around my drafts folder for a little bit. It doesn’t seem mediocre enough to trash, so I’ll share for the heck of it; it kind of fits with the lunar kick that I have been on for a few.

Lately I have had faeries on the brain. I have been curious after the sluagh, looking a little into their mythology. R. J. Stewart has found his way back into the house thanks to my partner. In a Stewart-ian vein, I also stumbled across this interesting piece by his friend, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki (she gives Stewart a well-deserved shout out within it). What follows is very notebooky.

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Following the Moon, After Yeats

An animation of the moon passing through its phases
The Moving Lock

I keep coming back to the work the Yeatses did establishing the centrality of the lunar cycle to their spiritualist work, so while I chew through the Merleau-Ponty post promised last post, I’m going to talk out loud about the lunar system some. My impression after more than a little study is that the lunar system is vital but only partially realized. I’m going to be a little critical here, but mostly in order to liberate the more vital aspects of it.

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[NB] Systematic Occultism

This may be something akin to neoplatonic heresy, but I am starting to wonder if the systematic properties that we often ascribe to the eternal realm only manifest in its interaction with the temporal realm. There are a few things motivating this:

(1) The way the Yeatses’ spirits described the lunar progression of an idea from a potent idea to a well-articulated conceptual actuality.

(2) Pantheons, with their organic levels of organization and hierarchy, tend to be latecomers to more disparate spiritual encounters.

(3) Some geomantic work lately in which it has become clear that the chart is ideally suited for mapping spirits of a certain size, and that spirits may be either too small or too large to be comfortably detailed by a chart. This puts me in mind of the Enochian work for a number of reasons, but approached geomantically this smaller and larger distinction lacks the well-defined structure of Enochian.

(4) Frisvold’s account of Obeah and the way it makes me rethink Zora Neale Hurston’s accounts of hoodoo initiations.

Which is a way of saying that material and temporal existence provides spiritual and eternal existence with an opportunity to develop.

That opens the door for a reconsideration of what occurs at the eternal level, perhaps not a higher kind of order but a greater degree of intensity. The order we imagine the eternal to have may be just that, imaginary, the result of our experience in the temporal world with the operations of the eternal. There may be a deeper sympathy between higher unity and lower disorder than we might imagine.

There is a question, too, as to how much systematic order is too much, whether there might be a tipping point at which the effort to describe an order becomes a vehicle for excluding the eternal. System as the limit at which point the eternal is excluded from the temporal order in favor of the temporal structures that the encounter with the eternal inspired or motivated.

System as the mark of the world.

Hmm.

Noodling over Divination

Tim Powers writes a lot of fiction about magical topics but is himself a conservatively religious sort of guy. I quite respect that sort of attitude–cautious awareness of the wider spiritual world joined to a serious respect for the very humane spiritual traditions that have traditionally been kind to people qua people. Anyway, I quite like the way he portrays Tarot in his book Last Call (which seems to mirror his own personal distrust of Tarot): when you spread out the cards, the spirit world has a chance to look at you. It is something of a one-way mirror, so that while you see in the reading yourself and your situation, the spirits see you. Like a one-way mirror, you can’t always tell if there is someone on the other side, but there might be.

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The Limits of Mediumship & Divination

I have mentioned this before, but one of the things I appreciate about George Yeats is her understanding of the medium’s role in mediumship. She makes clear that the quality of the medium shapes the quality of the message. The medium has to work at being a good medium and that includes developing their intellectual faculties so that spirits have easier access to concepts for communicating.

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