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Magical Systems, Cultural Symbols

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Magical Systems, Cultural Symbols (was Pagan Kabbalah)
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 07:27:56 GMT

50011210 VI! om

>>> What value, do you consider, is there in adopting the correspondences
>>> and symbolism of foreign cultures and long-since-past eras?

it entirely depends upon one's position with respect to and composition
in comparison to the culture in question. emphases in one might conflict
with or fit snugly with insufficiencies or extravagances in the other.
a culture's product might merely feed into one's delusions and imbalance 
one, for example, depending upon the particular mage. whereas if one is 
insightful, I think whatever culture's system of meanings and imagery 
one might select, or whatever combination one may create for oneself,
will be beneficial. 

Gnome d Plume:
>> is better to anchor yourself in a system that draws from ancient 
>> archetypes and symbols that have been perfected by your culture

what gives you the impression that they have been 'perfected'? how can
you determine whether they've been perfected or abandoned, given the
lack of attention to them by many except certain mystics or mages?

>> through the ages than to merely swallow your own psychic saliva, with 
>> all the personal errors, omissions and distortions that might entail.

why couldn't societies generate errors, institute omissions and distortions
in the same way? it is my impression that this does in fact happen. I'd
recommend instead of choosing between these two options either saving time
and taking a guide to your studies (through the mechanism of some academy
or student-teacher relation) and seeing how well they might steer you toward
what you'll find valuable, or become an occultist and philosopher as WELL
as a mage (and/or mystic), surveying what is available from all available
perspectives in order to secure a proper orientation to your own studies
thereafter and during the survey (this has been my choice as a solitary,
meeting those with whom I've worked, magically, on the level as equals
whatever roles we may take within the magical ritual drama).

Rick :
> ...Why is a symbol set based on cultural elements that I've never been 
> exposed to in my life more useful, or as you seem to imply here, 
> somehow safer to use, than my own discovery and recognition of what 
> correlates with what, based exclusively on practical and direct 
> experience?

Poke's contention isn't new. it is fairly conventional to traditional
religious, who usually follow up their advice with attestations about how
their sect has the most advanced, authoritative, effective, etc., system
you'll ever find. "don't rely on your fallibility" they say. "instead,
seek the best technology available." I don't know if this is Poke's
intent, but it comes off sounding zealous at times, however valuable the
advice may be.

> How do you suppose the people who originated the symbol set you use
> today discovered it? 

the sincere rebuttal to your implication (that they originated the symbol
set through experimentation with their own material) is that in many
cases such revelations occurred to those who were already engaged in
some kind of TRADITIONAL practice. they had a 'breakthrough', initiated
some insight into the mysteries, a new relation with the divine, etc.,
and the New Order came into being through them (as 'Magus', would be the
Rosicrucian assessment, if I am not mistaken).

typically the religio-magical Hero 'perfects' that of which he was part,
thus simultaneously affirming and building on that which came before;
combines facets of that to which she has been exposed in order to
develop something entirely new in reflection of hir experience and/or
insight; or overthrows the previous order in favour of hir preferences.
Poke is supporting the former, though I feel that latter two are also
valid trajectory for one's mystical 'career'.

with the rise of Satanism (in its milder predecessors of Christianity,
Hermeticism, and Neopaganism), individualism has assumed its most deserved 
place as the mage becomes the Informer of divine truth. prophets don't 
only come from the People of the Book, they make themselves within a 
religion of their choice (or so goes the story). this is what some mean 
when they issue forth that most heretical of arrogant statements: GOD IS MAN.

blessed beast!

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