Escape to New York

I went up to New York this weekend to enjoy A Day of Conjure and Cunning Craft. It’s part of a concerted effort to de-hermit a little (I’m not great at it; when it comes to socializing, I’m cultivating dumb but dogged). Since I was already up there, I did a little out and about the city. There is a fair amount I want to talk about with that, but for this post I’ll just talk a little about the conference itself.

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Toward a History of Geomancy

[Edited gently for clarity January 2017]
There are two major contenders for the source of the geomancy’s dispersion in the last couple of millenia: West Africa or the Middle East. It is quite possible that neither are the final origin, that a still older cultural substratum pre-exists both. What we can say about that older substratum, if it exists, will nonetheless require us to pass through its more recent points of transmission.

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Garden of Forking Paths

Phil Hine’s latest enfolding post comes at an opportune time for me, meeting my thinking around the insights structuralism has into myth. Specifically, this:

In India, there are dozens of different chakra schemas, which for me, indicates that they are (to an extent) metaphoric arrangements for structuring and directing bodily experience – sensations and feelings. As these schemas have been transferred to the west however, due to a variety of historical processes, they have become reified – so that one particular schema – the seven-chakra schema – has become dominant, and is widely thought to have (and thereby experienced as having) a seperate ontological status and to operate in a quasi-medical fashion.

The reificiation of myth follows the same pattern as the reification of ritual praxis described here. This process of selecting a model and giving it ontological status seems to be more acute in the last century of Western occult thinking, but it seems to have some old roots.

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