Development, Tree Branches, and Justness

Let me tell you about the trees in my backyard. And then, I’ll tell you something about how to think of life, and why all these horticultural and biological metaphors I use matter.

I’ve written a lot — like a lot a lot — in the past year about a few things. Tarot is one. But another is the "ecosystem model" of magic and spirituality. I’m not sure yet if I’ve really said what I think the point is. I’ve talked about why using a gardening metaphor can helpfully complicate Hermeticism. I’ve written on how a strictly linear model of the universe ignores the world we actually live in. And so on, so forth.

But it’s worth asking, right? If I’m not insisting that this model is somehow more fundamentally correct than others, what’s the point? And I’m not insisting on that.

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The Hermetic Garden Plot: Hermeticism and Ecosystem Companionability

I wasn’t planning on writing what’s effectively a third post inspired by my reading of Seven Spheres, but here we are. In this post, I want to develop the idea of “companion planting” further. But here we go anyway! Celebrating the formal beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, let’s imagine the world as a Hermetic Garden Plot!

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Seven Spheres and the Great Chain of Being

I recently finished reading the book Seven Spheres, by Rufus Opus, and it gave me Thoughts about ceremonial magic that I wanted to thrash out here. The thought, or idea, generally speaking, is that it feels like there’s something missing in the typical approach to magic in the western “ceremonial” tradition. Specifically, I think that the cultural ubiquity of the Great Chain of Being, coming as it does from Renaissance thinking, has caused people to omit other useful models, and that it can be powerfully supplemented by the addition of ecosystem thinking, a pairing I’m calling “companion planting” for now.

Fair warning: this is part one of two.

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