Archives for The Web of Wyrd

Neuschwanstein: A Wagnerian Fairy Tale Castle

I recently came across a cool Tripadvisor article (via Twitter) titled 10 real places that look like they belong in fairy tales. Of the ten places listed, the only one I’ve actually been to is Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, built by Ludwig !! of Bavaria (a.k.a. “Crazy Ludwig”) in the late nineteenth century. Situated in a stunning Alpine setting, I can’t see pictures of Neuschwanstein without thinking instantly of the over-the-top music of Wagner, some of it inspired by Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzifal (Ludwig was a fan and patron). Heinrich von Kleist’s play about the Teutonic Knights, Das Kätchen von Heilbronn, which
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Dan Brown gift will help digitize a major library of Hermetica

Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of Dan Brown’s particular spin on the Holy Grail, but I’m delighted and grateful to learn that he’s putting a nice chunk of his bestseller earnings to the public benefit by donating some €300K to Amsterdam’s Ritman Library for the purpose of digitizing their core collection of pre-19th century Hermetica. The digitized works, some of which Brown himself perused while researching his books, will be made available online for public study as part of the library’s so-called Hermetically Open Project Here’s a video on the project:  
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Tomberg on Myth and Archetype as Analogy in Time

p. 13 – 16 Meditations on the Tarot Early in his great work, Meditations on the Tarot, Valentin Tomberg proposes that the interconnectedness and interelatedness of all things is fundamental to any form of Knowledge. Without it, we could not move from the Known to the Unknown. The first “method” of acquiring Knowledge, in Tomberg’s view, is that of Analogy. As the Emerald Table of Hermes Trismegistus so famously puts it, That which is above is like to that which is below and that which is below is like to that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of (the)
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An excellent introduction and overview of the subject of Mystery Cults

Mystery Cults of the Ancient World by Hugh Bowden Princeton University Press, 2010 ISBN 978-0-691-14638-6 available from Amazon Hugh Bowden is senior lecturer in ancient history at King’s College, London. His beautifully illustrated book, Mystery Cults of the Ancient World, is an excellent and accessible overview and introduction to the mystery cults in the ancient world that required rituals of initiation. Among the cults covered in the book are the Eleusinian mysteries focused on Demeter and Kore (Persephone), the cult of Dionysus, the originally Egyptian cult of Isis which spread throughout the Mediterranean, and finally the cult of Mithras, a
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Mystery School (of Hard Knocks)

Bullwinkle Eenie-weenie, Chili-beanie, the Spirits are about to speak! Rocky But are they friendly spirits? I’m no clairvoyant or mystic, but I’ve been on the spiritual path for decades. What my experience has taught me, in the Mystery School of Hard Knocks, is Caveat Emptor. That’s because the spiritual world, like our world of the everyday, is laced with shady characters. And I’m not just talking about quack spiritualists and money-grubbing gurus. No, I mean many of the spirits themselves. So many Seekers imagine that anything Out There with powers beyond their own must be Advanced and Benevolent. But my own experience
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Kabbalah and Excalibur

  Origin of the Sword in the Stone trope? Many commentators have observed that the Arthurian and Grail legends, in all their permutations and incarnations, can be read on many levels: historical, literary, social, psychological, mythological, and so on. As this section of the blog might indicate, I have a particular interest in the intersection of notions of “Magic” and “Mystery” with the Matter of Britain. In this context, I was recently reading From Darkness to the Light: A Personal Journey Through Kabbalah of the vein of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah, when I came across the following paragraphs by
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Walls and Ramps on the Way to Chartres

Commentator David Brooks recently gave a speech to a gathering of Christian philanthropists. A significant portion of the thoughtful talk was about the longing of non-religious people for the transcendent, about Christian interaction with others in the Public Square, and how the attitudes and actions of Christians can help or hinder that quest for the transcendent. My favorite passage: Everyone’s on a walk to Chartres. On a walk toward something transcendent, even if they don’t know what it is. Are you building ramps on the way to Chartres or are you building walls? It’s a wonderful speech. But if seemed to me,
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