Down to Bidness

Esoteric Musings

Thoughts From A Strange Mind

Down to Bidness
I have just gotten three tattoos to commemorate my dedication to the study of Western Esotericism.

You can check them out here!

Holy crap, it's been a while.
Down to Bidness
I'm currently working on my second paper, and much of what I have learned about Western Esotericism is precisely what I expected, and at the same time not at all what I expected.

I'll be posting about this at length shortly, but I will leave off on the note that I'm extraordinarily happy with my choice to pursue this field.

Birthday Presents!
Ultra Happy!
My birthday and how awesome it was!Collapse )

What Is Esotericism?
Agreeable Mood
Interesting, my perceptions on the definition of "esotericism" as scholars understand it were misguided.

Esotericism is not really "the occult." Esoteric currents consist of traditions and modes of thought containing "rhetoric of a hidden truth, which can be unveiled in a specific way and established contrary to other interpretations of the universe and history" (as quoted from Kocku von Stuckrad's Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge).

Antoine Faivre is a little bit more precise, if not as flexible. Faivre provides a rubric through which a scholar can judge whether a tradition is esoteric or not. Faivre's paradigm consists of 6 elements.

1) Correspondences. This is essentially the principle that all esotericism contains links between all the levels of reality. Basically everything is a mirror of something else, as von Stuckrad puts it. Famously quoted is the adage, "As above, so below."

2) Living Nature. The world is alive and there is power in Nature. An example is homeopaths using stones, plants, etc. to bring health to the body.

3) Imagination and Mediations. Symbols, unlike most established religions, are integral in expressing and deciphering key concepts to unveiling the hidden truth. I think a decent example would be the seals of the various demons in Solomon's Lesser Key that are utilized in goetic rituals (if I'm not mistaken).

4) The Experience of Transmutation. This term is admittedly borrowed from alchemical terminology. A portion of Nature or the experimenter undergoes an experience that is more than simply a change, but transcendance to another plane via the understanding of the hidden truth.

Two lesser elements follow:

5) The Praxis of Concordance. Basically, the esoteric tradition in question integrates other concepts from other philosophies/beliefs in order to attain a sense of supremacy. The Catholic Church performed something similar (though not quite) in altering pagan holidays to fit the precepts of their organization.

6) Transmission. A master teaches the pupil and the pupil's understanding is expressed in a ritual of initiation. Even college fraternities/sororities practice this.

Pretty cool stuff.

Been a while!
Down to Bidness

What a bunch of fucking morons.

God forbid you fucking post your opinion on something, lest you unleash close-minded snark and rage.

Apparently WFRP 3e is a hot button these days. Simply mentioning that is feels to much like a board game from what I've seen resulted in more condescending negativity than I could handle.

Is this the kind of behavior that really colors the bulk of gamers out there? I have no idea.

Anyways, to other matters!

My texts are starting to arrive for my classes. Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, The Rosicrucians, The Way of Hermes, and Modern Esoteric Spirituality have already landed on my doorstep along with my Student ID.

I'm up for a raise and a title at my job, which doesn't hurt at all, and my b-day is fast approaching, which is no big deal... but the presents. Oh, yes, the presents.

This year I've asked for nothing but money. I'm going to use it to go on what will likely be my last RPG spree for two years as I embark on my studies. Colin Chapman's Atomic Highway and Crafty Games' Fantasy Craft are the core rules I'm eyeing, and supplements for Brutal Games' Corporation, Magnum Opus Press' Dragon Warriors, and Wicked World's Noctum are also on the list.

Thanks to [info]greyorm for checking up on me, it's been too long and I've missed checking up you all. I've been alternately too busy and lazy as hell to properly post here.

I noticed that I missed a few birthdays, so happy b-day to cappadocius , and impeccablesimon. I'm sorry I couldn't say that in a more timely fashion!

I'll try to post more regularly from now on!

Writer's Block: Home Remedies
Down to Bidness
When you get sick or have a cold, what's your favorite remedy to make you feel better?
Complete and utter frustration paired with a total lack of patience.

The Purpose of This Journal Is Justified
Ultra Happy!
I have been accepted to the University of Exeter to study for a Master of Arts in the field of Western Esotericism.

Classes begin in October.


Eddie Izzard Answers My Question
Holy shit. My wife and I just got done watching some Eddie Izzard DVDs and, for the hell of it, I ran a search on the question I asked him (which was actually "On a scale of 1-10, how awesome do you think you are?"... semantics).

Well, someone posted the answer he gave me on the internet. Check it out:

Lame New Years
So Tired...
I'm too sick to go bowling with my wife, friends, and family. Also, I work tomorrow.

This blows.

Christmas Loot!
So Tired...
The List is ready!!!

1. Two Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) RPG books and the Game Master Screen from my wife and friends. A game set in the 30's where you fight Nazis that are searching for Atlantean artifacts within the hollow earth. Oh, there are dinosaurs too. And lizard-men. And pirates.

2. The Thousand Thrones, a campaign for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay from Nicole. A big, fuckoff adventure with medieval conspiracies, a boy claiming to be a reborn god, political maneuvering, and vampires. Sweet. Now my collection of Warhammer Fantasy books is complete!

3. Dragon Warriors and the Dragon Warriors Bestiary from my non-sister-in-law. A classic 1986 fantasy roleplaying game reprinted for posterity and the forces of awesome. This is for the nostalgia part of my brain.

4. A Cigar Humidor. My dad's awesome. Now I don't have to smoke cigars the very minute I buy them.

5. Shit-ton of candy from everyone. Even people on the street. Jesus Christ. I've been eating crap for WEEKS.

6. Skull adorned t-shirt, thick leather gloves, and two scarfs from Mom #2.

7. A Carbon Monoxide Detector. Gee thanks, Mom. She made up for it later by giving me a kabillion boxes of "premium" hot chocolate.

8. Hellboy II from my brother. It came with a BPRD belt buckle. Note to self: get belt to wear belt buckle to work.

9. Hellsing Ultimate volumes II and IV from Nicole. More nazi occultism, this time with vampires! w00t!

10. A book of zombie haiku from our friend who is now a neighbor/beer buddy. How cool is that?!

11. A pooping reindeer keychain, also from neighbeer buddy. Poop is funny, but I'm still not putting it on my key ring.

And that is the List. w00t!


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