[NB] Evidentiary Ghosts

So, now for something entirely different.

Stacey and I have been talking about ghosts a bit lately, particularly the parasitic sort, and I realize that there is probably something to be said about ghosts that I haven’t said before. The family of pretenders that often first appear to us as we set out on a magical path (which we hopefully learn to distinguish from the higher powers with which our destiny entwines) do provide a useful service; they educate us about ourselves and our spiritual make-up.

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[NB] Virtual World

[This is the first of the pages being fed back into the blog. It’s a bit heady, but it has some bearing on the matter of correspondences which I will be talking about in the near future.]

I picked up the idea of the virtual from Gilles Deleuze and it is a concept that has much utility as we set out to discuss what it means to talk about the spiritual world. On this page, I am going to provide a brief introduction to the concept and its applications to occult philosophy. To get at this Deleuzian approach to the virtual I will need to do four things:

  1. distinguish this use of the term from another popular use of the term.
  2. define this term.
  3. detail the relationship between the two uses of the term which partially justifies the same word being applied to both.
  4. highlight how all of this can inform occult thinking.

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Magic and Psychological Type

I have been thinking about C. G. Jung’s typological work again, in part because I have been thinking about the opening of a personal magical practice, about what constitutes the healthy openign for a person. Reflection on such beginnings provide insight into the present situation they made possible, and they also provide possible insight for those who are at the beginning, so it seems like good blogging material.

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[Practice] Welcoming the Signs

This is a little bit of an experiment, trying to talk about some spiritual work in a straightforward fashion without too much interpretation projected onto it. If I like it how it turns out, if it sits well with me, I might try to make it a more regular feature of what I do here.

I couldn’t tell you precisely when I started doing this, but sometime over the last year (maybe two? maybe three?) I started using my body as a screen onto which I could project geomantic figures in prayer. As I would pray, I would just extend out my right hand (fingers freshly dipped in cool, perfumed water) and let it trace out a figure spontaneously, then let the figure rise up and into me. The way in which that happened varied, because I let the figure settle into the body on its own, with minimal willful direction.

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[NB] Spirit Grammar

I’ve started to work through the second of the three seals. Pacing has been a key element of this process. I had an idea of how the remaining seals should go ever since I finished drafting a version of the first, but the idea and the reality have differed in some essential ways. Had I tried to jump into the second seal before letting the dust settle from the first, I would have carried too much intellectual expectation in and botched it. As it is, I am just now starting to receive the dreams and intuitions that allow me to set to work on the second.

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Knowing Spirits

When I talk about getting to know a spirit, I am usually talking about a lengthy ritual process through which the spirit becomes manifest, divination performed upon it, and a personal connection established. The personal connection part of the process is absolutely essential but difficult to describe. Even after a lengthy ritual manifestation and divination, the nature of the spirit is often opaque. It is only after weeks and months of living with it that the spirit’s place in my broader spiritual court becomes manifest.

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Getting Axial: Magic, Spirits, Responsibility

This is one of those posts that started forming a few days ago and crystallized in response to this post of Andrew’s and this one of Chris Knowles. It’s the post about what it means if we take seriously the ideas that (1) we are constituted by a network of souls, only one of which is properly ‘our’ own, and (2) that what we do in undertaking magical work is open ourselves to a series of engagements with these other souls.

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Other Souls inside this Skin

One of the things that I like about Dina Katz’s work on the Sumerian netherworld is that she chips away at the notion that the Sumerians had a rich notion of multiple souls. Reading the material we have on their afterlife closely, we seem to see quite a bit of variance about what exactly the afterlife consisted in and, even, if there was an afterlife to speak of. That kind of minimalist reading is so useful when you’re trying to have a dialogue, however broken and one-sided, with people of another era.

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Not Quite Poverty, but…

I’m old enough to have come of age intellectually when Hardt and Negri were making a splash with their Empire. Sitting close to the heart of that book was a call for new virtue rooted in poverty. I remember more than a few folks I knew at the time feeling like this was some sort of romantic claptrap and, having been poor, I was inclined to agree with them.

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