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To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Translationhelp
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 22:35:06 GMT

[X] wrote:
> On Tue, 23 Oct 2001  19:21:00 +0000, Spartacus
>  wrote:
> >Hi
> >
> >Crowley writes:
> >
> >Even in regard to the excrements of the body they were equally 
> careful; in trimming the hair and nails, they ceremonially destroyed 
> the severed portion"
> >
> >"in trimming", is it the same meaning as in "as for trimming"?
> "When they trimmed..." is better. In ancient cultures the trimming 
> of hair and nails followed by ceremonial destruction was regarded as 
> a mimesis of human sacrifice, there are many references to this in
> ancient Chinese literature.

This belief occurs in folk magic of many cultures. For instnace, in the
USA among country people, both white and black, it is considered a bad
thing to throw one's hair-combings or hair trimmings out the door
because wild birds may pick them up for use in building a nest. Folks
say, "If a bird builds a nest of your hair, you'll get a headache," or
"If the birds use your hair for a nest, you'll go mad." 

When i was young, a man with Down's Syndrome (a type of mental
retardation) lived in our town. He was friendly and acted like a child.
One day while i was walking by him and he was yelling rather
incoherently at the cars driving by, another townsperson said, "Well, he
sure let the birds build a nest out of *his* hair, didn't he?" 

> >He use "in" again in this sentence:
> >
> >"We may eat meat, provided that in doing so we affirm that we 
> eat in order to strengthen us for the special purpose of 
> our proposed invocation"
> >
> >"in doing so", is it synonymous to "by doing so"?
> Not quite. Better: "We may eat meat, so long as when we do so...."
> Actually, Crowley's English is not that great when looked at close 
> up.

Or "provided that when doing so..."

In other words, both of these uses of "in" really mean "when." They are
simply idiomatic phrases. 

"In doing so" is even sometimes inverted to a more formal and legalistic
phrase -- "in so doing" -- which still means "when doing so."  

Lars, i admire your serious purpose in trying to understand Crowley's
idiomatic English. I know that it will help you not only in magic, but
also in understanding conversational English better! 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

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