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December 15th, 2004


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10:15 am - Divination = Sex?
When we talk about Divination, we tend to look at it from a modern world-view. Neo-Pagans have their own theories regarding the way divination was used in the ancient world, but we forget that the development of magical thought has coloured our view of what divination was to the ancients.

Divination is something connected directly to the idea of stepping outside the boudaries of the normal social order. In particular in Greece this is the case, where diviners are associated with the outskirts of society, not with its mainstream.

In fact, divination could, potentially, be tied directly to sex. Plato tells us that Eros is the intermediary between the gods and men, and that divination belongs entirely to him.

Curiously, Plato also includes "the art of the priests concerning sacrifice and initiations, just like the incantations, prophecy in general, and magic goeteia."

I think that, really, we need to re-visit the connection of divination and sex, and seriously think about how the two events are similar, if in state of mind or in myth.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
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(12 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:tlachtga
Date:December 15th, 2004 07:35 am (UTC)
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I have to admit that this is where I become a reductionist. I don't believe in sex magic. It's just a biological process for creating offspring. It's fun, but so's eating and drinking, and all three are better with another person involved, simply because we're social creatures.
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From:anivair
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:04 am (UTC)
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ahh, but sex puts yoou into a frame of mine that is hard to achieve outside sex. it creates and clarity of mind that we try (and often fail) to simulate in ritual.
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From:tlachtga
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:06 am (UTC)
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Maybe I'm doing it wrong. My mind isn't very clear during sex--hell, sometimes I have trouble concentraiting on what's going on. But then, that can be said about most of my life. ADD runs in my family, though I never thought I suffered from it. My mind just tends to wander a lot.
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC)
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Well, I'm not suggesting one must have sex to divine the future, I'm just thinking that we might be overlooking something that the ancient world considered integral to divination. . .
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From:anivair
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:46 am (UTC)
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re-read the druids by Morgan Lwellyn. she draws attention to sex magic in a fairly interesting way.
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From:singingwren
Date:December 16th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC)
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Amazing book. Good point.
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From:tlachtga
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:58 am (UTC)
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I'm just thinking that we might be overlooking something that the ancient world considered integral to divination

Certainly it's possible, but I guess I don't see it. Wouldn't we have some sort of texts which might tell us?

I mean, we could go on something about oracles and snakes, and be Freudian, but I'm not sure.

Let's put it this way--when you find something, I'll be eager to read it. I just don't know what that thing will be.
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From:nontacitare
Date:December 15th, 2004 08:08 pm (UTC)
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but we forget that the development of magical thought has coloured our view of what divination was to the ancients.

Divination is something connected directly to the idea of stepping outside the boudaries of the normal social order. In particular in Greece this is the case, where diviners are associated with the outskirts of society, not with its mainstream.


I'm not sure I see modern diviners as within mainstream 21st century society.
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure I see modern diviners as within mainstream 21st century society.

I'd suggest that they're not exactly outside of it, either.

When's the last time you saw a fortune teller living in the slummiest part of town, or peddling on the street. . . I've actually never seen one on the street, and around this campus, that's saying a lot.

Psychics like the "pet psychic" or John Edwards have major TV shows. There's an astrology section in every major paper that I've ever read. There are psychics to the stars and to various presidents.

They have a commercial niche. Yeah, they may be charlatans, but there were a lot of those in the ancient world, too.

Then again, to counter my own argument, the goes and the diviners of the ancient world also catered to the upper class. . . That's where the money is.
[User Picture]
From:nontacitare
Date:December 16th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC)
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When's the last time you saw a fortune teller living in the slummiest part of town, or peddling on the street. . .

Drive through the near East side of Columbus: You'll see several seedy looking homes with signs advertising Tarot, Angel guidance, etc. I've also seen such homes in poorer areas of Northeast Ohio, and none in the suburbs, either of Canton or Columbus. I'll grant you that the last time I saw fortune tellers peddling on the street was in Mexico City.

As a professor, I've raised eyebrows among several of my collegues when they caught me reading (not casting, following, or even claiming belief in) the horoscopes in Cleveland Scene. The fact that I actually practice divination (in private, not for pay, and never for students) is something I need to keep secret in my profession.

I still don't see it as mainstream.
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From:ardgruntler
Date:December 15th, 2004 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Um . . . You know what I'm going to say, I think . . . why isn't this posted on the SEERS list?????
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 16th, 2004 05:33 am (UTC)
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Ha. Well, half the reason is because it was pretty much a half-formed thought, and I suggest above that we need to "re-visit" this connection, but I have no idea how to do so :) Maybe I'll re-phrase it and post :)

Be a nice change in direction from dreams, anyway :)

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