The World is a Forest, Not a High Rise

This essay is on ontology, and anyone who’s spent five minutes talking with me knows that I don’t really care for that much. I find it, at best, irrelevant, and at worst actively pernicious, backing people into corners that they must then act from. Trying to figure out where something comes from, if it’s a constant, is much less useful than figuring out how to interact with it and how we tend to think of it.

However, this post is, as I said, just that. It’s not that I don’t have ideas about the spiritual ontology of the world, I just don’t prioritize them so much. This is more common than you might think: anthropologists have recorded some indigenous groups saying that they do technically have a creator god somewhere, but they’re not usually prayed to — to the point that many won’t know the god’s name. Now, please, keep in mind that’s some studies of some groups, not a blanket statement about all indigneous peoples. I’m just pointing it out to demonstrate that while I may be a crazy person, I’m not that crazy.

Basically, the problem for me with many contemporary religious, magical, and Hermetic conceptions of the source of all things, the capital g God. The Big Boss, is that, well, it’s a god, a Big Boss. This isn’t exactly rare. In fact, it’s fairly common. So when I say to you that I don’t find it satisfying, I’m not exactly criticizing anyone who does. This essay probably won’t change anybody’s mind. But all magicians should practice thinking with multiple world views when they get the chance, right?

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Genre Theory for Magicians: Genre and Magic

Theory for Magicians: Genre and Magical Practices 2

So last time, I discussed the general theory of genre from a literary perspective, with some additions from video game theory. The idea here, in the follow-up, is to explore how we can use genre theory to think about magical traditions.

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Theory for Magicians: Genre and Magical Practices

I was doing what you do: listening to a podcast episode to see if I should add the whole thing to my feed. The podcast was What Magic is This and the specific episode was with Nicholas Chapel and focused on The Kybalion. Now, I have no real horse in the race of whether The Kybalion is hermetic or not, but every expert in the field agrees it is not. But the conversation about that topic got me to think of something. Here’s how it went:  Chapel said that, while he certainly knows it’s not Hermetic, and can absolutely tell you why, it’s still a difficult task to do, because the field of Hermeticism is so big and wide open now. Historically, there have been a lot of innovations and changes in Hermeticism, and so it is perfectly reasonable to call Agrippa, the Golden Dawn, and the Corpus Hermeticum “Hermetic” even though in some ways none of them look anything like the others. The thing this made me think of is that magicians need to learn something about genre. So here we are, with an entry in my Literature for Magicians series sub-classed as Theory for Magicians: genre theory and the horizons of expectations.

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Awen and Hermeticism

In this post I would like to lay out and juxtapose some terms from hermeticism and from contemporary Druidry. You can think of this as one big case study example of how companion planting can work. So there are two terms I want to lay out, and I apologize in advance, because they’re the most complex topics in the two traditions I’m writing about here. They are Awen and Nous.

The previous posts are here: one, two, and three, and four.

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Para-Hermeticism: Goofy Name, Common Experience

I’ve been wrestling with an idea for a while that’s turned into a tough nut to crack. Yes, that’s a mixed metaphor. Mix your metaphors. Spurred on by my series of posts reacting to Rufus Opus’s book Seven Spheres, I’ve found I had to come up with some kind of bodge sooner rather than later.

The previous posts are here: one, two, and three. The idea here is not to continue to talk about Opus’s system, or even companion planting per se. This idea is related to the latter though. What I want to do is to first discuss the apparent omnipresence of hermeticism, introducing a term I cobbled together as a joke to begin with, “para-hermetic.” In the following post (yes, there’s another one) I will sort of demonstrate companion planting in action by juxtaposing ideas from hermeticism and Druidry.

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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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