Sunday, July 20, 2014
The Recent Struggle
A few years ago I dumped Qabalah for a couple of reasons.
The first reason was that I was going down a more grimoiric style of practice, and most of the grimoires are not qabalistic in nature.
The second reason is purely political, which I don't think this is a proper place to write about.
As I moved forward in a more neoplatonic style and approach to magic, I began to really understand the writing of Agrippa's with much more clarity. The reason being is that many concepts that are hinted at in the grimoires and expounded upon in Agrippa's Occult Philosphy are not found in the qabalah. For Instance, the World Soul, and the Great Chain of Being are key neoplatonic concepts which are the bedrock of most grimoiric works.While Agrippa does mention the qabalah with certain aspects of angelology and numerations, it is certainly not a cabalistic text. And so I felt quite vindicated in my approach of dumping qabalah for neoplatonism.
Now fast forward a few years..
As I was steadily working my grimoiric work and studying neoplatonism via Iamblichus, Proclus and Agrippa I found myself realizing that the origins of Qabalah are neoplatonic. The Letter number associations had to come first from the Greeks. The Greeks were the ones known for number mysticism. The Greeks were also the first to come-up with emanations through the Neoplatonic schools; and as the Greeks once occupied what is now Israel, it is safe to assume that a lot of the concepts were absorbed by the local population. And by the medieval/renaissance era, the glyph was created.
So now the struggle…
Now that I can see some similarities between the two paradigms(Qabalah and Neoplatonism), I find myself in a struggle between the two. One one side, I find myself missing the lodge-style mysticism of the victorian period which is built around the qabalah such as the Golden Dawn. On the other hand, I find the ladder of spheres within neoplatonism a slightly better model when working with spirits.
Whats a magician to do??