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Defense of syncretism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: (Gnome d' Plume)
Subject: Re: Defense of syncretism
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 02:29:14 GMT

On Tue, 18 Jan 2000 01:35:01 GMT, catherine yronwode

> wrote:
>> writes:
>> > syncretism on so vast a scale as attempted
>> > by Crowley (remember, he also tried to map the Chinese I Ching 
>> > against the same Lurianic Tree of Life model!!!) is a spiritual 
>> > analogue to the British colonialism of his time.
>> I have a bit of a problem with this characterization, although I am
>> sympathetic to some of the points you raise. The politics of 
>> "appropriation" are extremely complex and subtle, so I don't think one 
>> can really condemn syncretism in and of itself because there are 
>> ethically indefensible instances of it. In fact, I think one could 
>> make a case for Hinduism and Judaism (especially Hinduism) being 
>> themselves syncretic religions, as few belief systems fail to evolve 
>> over the centuries by incorporating fragments and structures from 
>> other belief systems.
>[several good examples snipped0

>(****rest snipped for brevity -- see previous post - G d' P)

****This is a great thread and the sort of thing we've really needed
on alt.magick.  In line with this theme I'd like to point out that
magicians all over the world are the most "syncretic" of all
practitioners (priests seem to be the least). Examples of this:
the first proto-Gnostic document *The Aramaic-Demotic Pypyrus*
from Elephantine Egypt circa 450 b.c.e. -- this crazy thing mixes
Egyptian and Canaanite Gods & Goddesses in the same ritual, and is
written in Aramaic cipher in demotic alphabet, and in archaic style
for its period! (Like using thees & thous today.) And how about the
Gnostics themselves? They borrowed from everybody. The Alexandrian
Serapis was symbolic, clouged-up magical God. Let's look at the
Sabians of Harran (see Planetary Invocations from Picatrix). These
boys and girls used everything from everywhere in the same prayer! On
top of that they opted for two "Holy Books" (gotta have 'um said the
Emir, or it's Jihad time!), so what did they pick? The Pymander of
Hermes and The Book of Enoch!
       And we (the O.T.A.) owe something to Voudoun. . .
       Magick, magicians and multi-cultural synchronicity. You gotta
love it! ****

Gnome d' Plume

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