Think Out as Well as Up: Ecosystems in Hermeticism

This is a continuation of last week’s essay on Seven Spheres and the Great Chain of Being. I do advise you to read that one first, and this simply picks up where it left off.

Before I go headfirst into my proposed model of magical activity, I want to be clear that all the stuff I am arguing in favor of can be found in Hermeticism. I am in no way arguing that Hermeticism itself is somehow lacking, in this pair of posts. Instead, I am arguing against the way that contemporary religious modeling and magical practice emphasizes one thing more than another. The GCB is not in itself bad, and Hermeticism is not inherently reliant on the GCB either.

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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.

Continue reading “Seven Spheres and the Great Chain of Being”