“Necromancy Manual in the Cambridge Library” was the first video of ESOTERICA’s randomly recommended to me on YouTube. ESOTERICA, hosted by Dr. Justin Sledge, has been a joy in my life while writing and learning about occult texts, so I’m grateful for the recommendation and happy to share it with fellow occultists. As the channel description says, you’ll see “content relating to topics such as alchemy, magic, mysticism, hermetic philosophy, theosophy, the occult and more using the best academic scholarship currently available.” Dr. Sledge’s overview of the variety of topics mentioned is insightful and I love his little jokes too (He doesn’t seem to be a fan of the publisher Brill). Sledge’s critical and humanistic approach to these occult topics is so refreshing and helps make “occult academia” more than just an aesthetic. He also leaves a list of recommended readings in the description of each video.
Mark Stavish is well known as the Director of Studies for the Institute for Hermetic Studies and over 35 years of Traditional Western Esotericism making him a leading authority in Hermeticism today. You can read more about his academic and publishing history here, but I’m sure his reputation proceeds him for those who have already delved into the Hermetic Qabalah teachings. Some of his books, including The Path of Alchemy were published in the early 2000s, but he’s published many articles and is running a current blog here. As for the why, I think it’s pretty clear Stavish is dedicated to the occult sciences. After reading his interviews, he seems pretty down to earth as someone who acknowledges and is respectful of the different paths one can take to pursue magic, yet stands his ground as to why Hermeticism is essential to his life path.
My Take on The Path of Alchemy
I truly appreciate the informative tone of this book. I don’t know if you’ve experienced the dissatisfying ceremonial or hermetic magicians who are arrogant or publish books that are more fluff than education, but I’m sure over it. I take avid notes while reading The Path of Alchemy, constantly looking forward to dive deeper in this practice. Although most of my own magical practice has been folk/pagan based, I respect the scientific and philosophical background of alchemy Stavish has presented so well.
There isn’t any pretentious bias from what I’ve read so far. It’s not purely instructional either. If you respect the study of astrology and the study of the Qabalah teachings in Hermeticism (which is different than the Jewish Kabbalah or Jewish Mysticism), you’ll grasp the teachings from Stavish quickly. Astrologically, a lot I have read so far just clicked. Hopefully when I finish, I can do a full book review, but for now, I really like it.
If you’ve read this text already and have more you recommend, comment below. Let’s chat.
The seven hermetic principles are very important to study in the field of metaphysics, so I’m assigning myself to do a more thorough study of them.
I tried to write about Hermeticism before and it was…just messy haha. So I’m going to follow through with this for my own sake because I’ve been hoping to incorporate these principles in my novel series somehow.
Additionally, I have another literature article in the works. The reference material is going to be The Secret History by Donna Tartt. More on that soon…
The Ritman Library is a masterpiece holding over 25,000 occult texts in its library and now most of those texts are open to the public. Thanks to The Hermetically Open Project initiated by Esther Ritman, founder Joost R. Ritman, and underwritten by Dan Brown, the author of Angles and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, and other titles, we have some awesome reading to do.
My recent article about Faith and Hermeticism has received some good feedback from those knowledgeable of hermeticism. Basically, the article is confusing, poorly worded, and misinformed. I agree. Sometimes you work hard on something and it turns out to not hit the mark. I understand why it didn’t. I wasn’t specific enough and failed at narrowing my topic down to faith specifically. Additionally, I think roping hermeticism into it was a mistake too. I am learning about the hermetic teachings and I thought there was a connection there, but clearly something is off according to audiences that do know hermeticism fairly well. I’ll definitely revise the article, but I’m so incredibly grateful for the feedback. Not only was I reminded of my past mistakes, but now know what to look for in future esoteric research.
On the plus side, I’m glad my organization of my content was decent enough for my audience to get that I’m addressing that faith is more than it seemed, which led them to question if faith is even a quality of hermeticism. All in all (lol) revision is needed. Thank you to all who read.
Many thanks from the occult/hermeticism discord sever that gave feedback. You didn’t hold back, and I’m very grateful for that.
I’m pretty sure that, while studying Hermeticism (The Kybalion specifically), I read the question “Why does the Universe do what it does?” and after a long and extremely complicated explanation, the conclusive answer was: “Because it can. Speculation is futile.” After all the build up, I laughed pretty hard. Just think of all the people you know who you’ve asked “Why do you do this?” and they answer “Because I can.” lmao!