Reading both the Sefer Yetzirah and Orlov’s Divine Scapegoats has put me back on the track of reading through the edges of Jewish mysticism proper. Obviously, I ain’t never going to be a Jewish mystic, but it’s pretty clear I’m sharing some of the same intellectual real estate. Ha, back in the day, I remember being somewhat startled when a fellow grad student accused me of being a closet Jewish mystic over my reading of Walter Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History.”
A blog post really won’t cover this, but I hope to lay out a rough set of orientations, a framework for exploration that might help orient us in the great wide world of spirit work. I don’t think deconstruction and witchcraft are such odd bedfellows, though I suspect few would agree with me. Still, consider the degree to which the sort of structuralism popularized by Claude Levi-Strauss began as an exploration of cognitive foundations of a cosmology. Those cosmologies have a deep tie to myth and rite. Derrida’s deconstruction, responding to this, is also, therefore, responding to a way of approaching myth and rite.
(Oh, and yes, I am using deconstruction to refer mostly to the Derrida-inspired variety, with its decidedly philosophical rather than literary or linguistic bent. Folks like Guyatri Spivak and Rudolph Gasche, yes. Folks like Paul De Man, not so much; though there is surely some overlap. I’m a sucker for the 1960s Derrida, so essays like “Force and Signification” and Of Grammatology loom large–those who know, will see why as I get going.)
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.
Okay, so let me preface this with the fact that I wasn’t going to write this. Then, as I was writing the first draft of this, I wasn’t going to post this. I’m hardly the expert here. Then, well, fuck, people, sometimes you just need to post, because it seems like I may have more to say than some.
There is an important caveat: I use ‘you’ frequently in this post. That ‘you’ isn’t meant to refer to every potential reader. It’s a hybrid phrasing, because I am caught between referring to people in the conversation I’m referencing and to myself. This ‘you’ can be substituted with an ‘I’ in many cases, because much of this comes out of distinguishing my personal practice from various cultic ones. I guess I could say ‘we,’ but that invokes too much intimacy. So, the uncomfortable ‘you’ it is.
Okay, so apparently talking about sacrifice is a bit of a thing in one of the super-tiny microworlds to which I pay some attention. I have taken a look around following some of the links in that original post and some of the websites of the conversants I didn’t recognize in the thread that follows. The overall content of the original post? Eh, it’s alright. The degree of casual racism and classism that structures some of it…well, ignorant folks be ignorant. Folks have tried to educate them about that and they have only retrenched in their ignorance, so I won’t wast anyone’s time with that here. All I can say, is if you can’t spot it, you should spend some time examining your vision.