“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.
IAO is a Gnostic mantra I came across while studying alchemy today. Mark Stavish proposed it as a chant that can be used to charge water. I want to share 333Kephirhet666’s post on the mantra since it’s succinct.
So I’m working on another/essay about the history of divination, its structure, and how it became stigmatized. I’ve been wanting to research this for a while because I have been scrutinized by the stigma by those who value science and those who value their religious practice. The motive to research isn’t necessarily to “prove” anything, but to understand how we comprehend something as having power and influence over our lives versus embracing what power we have over our own lives and the lives of others because it’s considered either “blasphemy” to embrace the power of god or just delusional; and yet, humanity’s use of symbolism to process the explainable and unexplainable things in life has been constant for so long.
When I started hunting for resources for my work, I was a bit underwhelmed. It was interesting to review how diviners were once revered advisors to rulers in the past. To this day, we still have people we call mystics, prophets, or readers who are depended on to interpret “the will of god” or the energy of the times. As someone who’s a mystic, I’m already aware of this and also aware of the more popular types of divination, and why divination is bastardized by those who value the scientific method and the domineering religious beliefs in specific areas of the world. All the research I found covered what I already knew so I’m hoping to actually breakdown the standard techniques of divination, the significance of symbolism, and how symbols/omens from divination practices may have made some symbols universal (one example being how we look at the four natural elements metaphorically).
It’s going to take some time, but I thoroughly enjoy it. A while ago, I was also researching past life regression and reincarnation. I still hope to write about that, but understanding of the language of symbolism is required because past life regression is often tapped in to through meditative or divinatory means. One step at a time.
Like many occult enthusiasts, I picked up The Kybalion and was pulled in instantly (I know… Bear with me). I quickly picked up on its intriguing, paradoxical tone; the All is in all, but not the all, the Divine Paradox, the masculine and feminine within the Principle of Gender, and so on. I genuinely felt it had solid insights and also thought it was a great introduction to Hermeticism, but later I ran into several Hermeticists who absolutely despised this work and very bluntly corrected me on what true Hermeticism was. After hearing conflicting opinions about The Kybalion, I wanted to express my own opinion as objectively as possible.
My starting point was a deconstructive literary analysis of the work. I didn’t expect to be going around in circles for so long, but I did and it’s almost embarrassing to admit how long it took to realize The Kybalion is a merry-go-round of ambiguity lacking foundation in critical rhetoric. I don’t say this out of bitterness, but in humility. Something every up and coming scholar has to accept, whether you’re studying general academia or the occult arts and sciences, is that flimsy sources disguised as being dependable can simultaneously seduce and dupe you. That being said, my experience with the roundabout that is The Kybalion inspired me to provide thoughtful starting points on researching the occult arts and sciences to prevent others from making my mistake and instead make their own.