Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Furnace and Fugue has dropped, at long last!

 I'm super excited about this dope new digital edition of Atalanta Fugiens, which loyal readers of this blog will remember was a major haunt from the beginning and the theme of a grad school class in alchemical imagery that I taught at Starr King in Berkeley way back in 2005. I got to talk about Atalanta Fugiens with Joscelyn Godwin over beers at my first academic conference with the Association for the Study of Esotericism, and met lead scholar on the Furnace and Fugue Tara Nummedal at my first alchemy conference with the Chemical Heritage Foundation a year later in Philadelphia, where I got to handle a 17th century copy of the emblem book. So you can imagine my excitement to see this major interdisciplinary project, which brought together historians of science specializing in alchemy with musicologists and manuscript experts in order to pioneer new methods for digitally curating an edition, finally drop.


Tarot Method for Teachers, or How to Do Things with Signals.

 As a method of divination the Tarot combines a mechanical combinatorial (and architectural) "art of memory" technology with a set of esoteric symbols. Each card is considered a signal from the Book of Thoth and Kabbalah. This technology and knowledge base can be a resource for reflecting on a teacher's theory and practice when "the rubber hits the road." Positions in the layout and the meanings of cards become a structure for analyzing the emergent situation as teaching encounters student needs.

The Wand represents the Will in classical Tarot which intersects with many of the teacher's concerns not only about the engagement and discipline of students but also the teacher's leadership skills and voice of authority. The teacher has a natural motivation to earn student trust.

The Cup indicates an esoteric seeker's emotional capacity to undergo the rigors of initiation. A teacher must get a barometer reading of their mood and how it affects their practice. This can also symbolize the teacher's interest in deepening the understanding of their students.

The Sword stands for the capacity of the intellect to make discernments, its cutting power said to be able to destroy ideas or preconceived patterns of thinking. The teacher must use this Sword to adapt their lesson plan in the face of the emergent situation in the classroom.

The Disk (or Pentacle) in classical Tarot represents the Book of the magician's aspiration in which are written ritual formulas and talismans. The teacher relies on experience as the basis of their knowledge and must inscribe this Disk with their lesson plans and basic values.

When the Court Cards show up in a reading it could indicate the presence of a person, or an aspect of ones personality. They have elemental attributions so the Queen of Wands represents the watery part of fire, which could indicate a personality both zesty and emotional. So when a Court Card comes up in a reading the teacher might consider whose personalities are on their mind and which could be matched to the situation unfolding in the layout. The elemental attributions give much to consider in terms of "dignity" relationships with nearby cards.

The Trumps, on the other hand, when found in a traditional Tarot reading can indicate forces beyond the control of the querent, or deeply rooted archetypal dimensions of the personality. To a teacher they might represent disciplinary "big questions," institutional forces, parental impacts. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Call for Submissions: Rituals and Rites Exhibition

Last chance to apply to Rituals and Rites exhibition!
Don't miss the chance to explore new perspectives on how supernatural powers, part of the mythologies and folklore, of multiple cultures and cosmogonies, can be used today as a tool to examine “human nature” cross-cultural contexts as well as investigating the societal, evolutionary and psychological significance of ritual and rites process and form with regard to understanding what constitutes ‘human nature’ today.
Deadline to apply: 25th November
For any inquiries please email: chiara@artcoreuk.com
Rituals and Rites exhibition launch
13th December 6-8pm at Artcore
Artcore warmly invite you to Ritual and Rites exhibition launch.
Rituals and Rites aims to explore new perspectives on how supernatural powers, part of the mythologies and folklore, of multiple cultures and cosmogonies, can be used today as a tool to examine “human nature” cross-cultural contexts as well as investigating the societal, evolutionary and psychological significance of ritual and rites process and form with regard to understanding what constitutes ‘human nature’ today.
The exhibition features works by artists who are examining the key categories of magico-religious belief and practice used by anthropologists (including myth, ritual, witchcraft and shamanism), as well as surveying theories regarding the continued importance of ritual and rites in a contemporary, globalised world with regard to topics such identity, shamanism, new magic and folklore.
Rituals and Rites encourages originality and challenges the norms with regard to the way we approach this topic as well as engaging critically with the way that we think about contemporary rituals and cultural difference, and to reflect on the kinds of cultural biases that we all employ when thinking about social, cultural or ethnic groups different to our own.

Come to join us to see innovative and critically informed works exhibiting for the first time in Artcore gallery.
Thursday 13th November, 6-8pm
Book now at https://bit.ly/2FCzMl8.
For more information about the venue, please go to http://www.artcoreuk.com/ 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

CFP: Alchemy in Sound and Nature

In a Strange Garden-Alchemy in Sound and Nature
National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 15/16th March 2019
Call for Papers, pieces and performers: Deadline 20th December 2018
In a Strange Garden comprises a one-day symposium, exhibition of rare alchemical texts and an experimental electronic music concert (Friday March 15th) and concert (Saturday March 16th) for artists and researchers of any or no affiliation, early career and practice-based researchers, sound artists, musicians and composers.
This is the second symposium of alchemy in sound art organised by Listen to the Voice of Fire and is looking for alchemically infused sound art investigations of Nature. You may take a very wide latitude of how you interpret this.   Theoretical, practical, historical and exploratory approaches rooted in, inspired by textual specificity are welcome as are more general overall approaches inspired and motivated by alchemy (or more accurately, hermeticism).
In a Strange Garden seeks to generate approaches, musical ideas and discussion around these themes with view to developing an audio/text later in the year.
Themes of interest include and are not restricted to:
  • Historic and contemporary approaches to Sonic Mysticism
  • Sound, alchemy and psychogeography
  • Sound art and compositional responses to The Emerald Tablet
  • Alchemy and soundscape ecologies.
  • Alchemy in text/emblem/nature, sonification, algorithm and interactivity
Talks should be up to 20 minutes duration
Performances or fixed media (presented in person) can be up to 20 minutes duration
Proposals for experimental electronic performance are sought for concert  held on the evening of Friday 15th March at National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
Indicative approaches: Cybernetics, Sound art, noise, soundscape, field recordings, data bending, psyche/drone, electroacoustic, no input mixing board, electronics including novel/hybrid/hacked instruments and /or new musical interfaces
Technical Details
Laptop/usb PowerPoint is available should you need it, please ensure you have the right connectors, PowerPoint is not obligatory.
Performers will have access to a small mixer and 2 channel active speakers and should ensure they bring all leads and peripherals.
Submission Details
Proposals for papers and presentations should be made by emailing 1 pdf document of your proposal, name, email contact, affiliation if appropriate and ensure you include active links to your music pages, duration of your performance/piece. Please indicate if you wish to present during the day and or the concert on Friday 15th March.
Concert performance pieces of 15-20 minutes duration are welcome (please specify).

Email submission to: dir [at] aber.ac.uk
Please use the email subject: SOUND
Deadline for submission is 20th December 2018
All confirmed performers/presentations must be made in person. This is a non-affiliated project, and not in receipt of any public funding.  LVOF is not in a position to pay artists’ fees or make contributions to travel expenses.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Call for Papers: Apparitions and Revolutions

The Department of Historical Studies at the University of Turin is issuing a call for
papers for a conference on “Apparitions and revolutions: The public use of
hierophanies in political and social transformations from late antiquity to contemporary
times” to be held in Turin on 7-9 November 2018. The intent is to ascertain, in a very
broad geographical (Europe and elsewhere) and chronological context (Late Antiquity
– the 20th century), if and how revolutions have been accompanied by hierophanic
phenomena (Mariophanies, christophanies, hagiophanies...). In this case revolution is
understood as any political, social, economic, cultural or religious transformation that
has profound and lasting consequences on the historical context in which it took place.
Naturally, we do not intend to make a catalog of apparitions (individual or collective)
associated with moments of rupture in the established order; rather, the idea is to draw
on significant case studies to grasp the forms, times and dynamics characterizing the
public use of hierophanies occurring in different geographic and political spaces. With
this in mind, the conference welcomes contributions ranging from political and
religious history to cultural studies and the history of ways of thinking. Proposals
displaying particularly broad analytical approaches (in terms of both chronology and
geography) will be given priority.
Proposals must be between 1,000 and 2,000 characters, to be presented in Italian,
French, English or Spanish, and accompanied by the applicant’s CV; they will be
assessed by the Scientific Committee. The texts of the articles for presentation at the
conference must be submitted for publication by 31 January 2019, without exception.
Expenses associated with participation in the conference are to be covered by the
applicants; upon request, the conference organizers reserve the right to possibly cover
accommodation costs for specifically junior researchers during their stay in Turin.
The deadline for proposal submissions (please send to paolo.cozzo@unito.it
with the subject “Apparitions and revolutions”) is 31 December 2017.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Call for Papers on Tarot and Divination, Literature

Tarot and Other Methods of Divination
All Proposals & Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Database.
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules


The “Tarot and Other Methods of Divination” area is open to proposals for papers on a diverse range of divination methods: astrology, I Ching, runes, tarot, etc. Approaches may include the biographical, historical, and theoretical, as well as the analysis of professional practice and of representations in literature (poetry, prose, drama), visual art (painting, sculpture, tarot cards, comics, graphic novels), film, television, games, etc.

In addition, I am looking for participants in the following 2018 sessions:

Divination Themes in Literature.
Note: Authors of papers that specifically address divination themes in mythopoeic literature are invited to submit their work to Mythlore.

“Spirit Communication: Facets and Fictions” Session participants are invited to share their research on tools and representations of tools in the arts (visual, literature, film, comics, etc.) that are used to facilitate communication with the spirit world for magical purposes, for contact with or information about the deceased, or other purposes. Such tools may be modern or historical and may include, but are not limited to, crystal balls, Ouija boards, pendulums, planchettes, mechanical devices, etc. Research focused on the materiality of three-dimensional tools and their functional and ritual operations in relation to the spirit realm is particularly welcome. Session proposal and chair: Cynthia Hogan, PhD, Ithaca College.

All conference participants should be prepared to present their work as scholarly research and/or for the benefit of an interested audience of academics.

Abstracts and proposals due no later than Oct. 1, 2017

Submissions should be made online at http://ncp.pcaaca.org.  You can find detailed instructions for doing so here and should include your CV, short biography (100-150 words), and abstract (100-250 words).

For general information about the conference, see this website. I have also posted a frequently-asked-questions page on my website with additional recommendations pertinent to the area. Please feel free to contact me if you have other questions or would like to discuss your presentation.

Emily E. Auger, PhD
Independent Scholar
Website: http://emilyeauger.weebly.com/index.html
Email: augeremily@gmail.com

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nice introduction to William Blake's debt to Swedenborg


“The coincidence is not a trivial one. Of all modern men the engraver’s apprentice was to grow up the likest to Emanuel Swedenborg; already by constitutional temperament and endowment was so: in faculty for theosophic dreaming, for the seeing of visions while broad awake, and in matter of fact hold of spiritual things.  To savant and to artist alike, while yet on earth, the Heavens were opened.” (Life of William Blake, Alexander Gilchrist, p. 15)