Posts Tagged Iamblichus

What’s going on?

17 February 2016

This is like a Week in Review, except, well, it’s been more than a week, hasn’t it?

Hopefully, you’ve all bought Living Theurgy and enjoyed the heck out of it. Since then, a number of things have happened.

First, the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, which I started in 2001 or so, ceased publication last year. All good things, etc. The site and its complete archives are still online at http://www.jwmt.org

I’ve been busy writing, too. I contributed a paper to The Gnostic issues 5 and 6. The paper in issue 5 is on Neoplatonism, which is, I’m sure, shocking to you all. The second is on alchemy as a kind of theurgy. It is sort of a refutation of Agrippa’s views on alchemy. Here are the links:

The Gnostic #5

The Gnostic #6

I’ve also contributed a chapter on what, for the moment, can only be referred to as the Super Secret Project of Doom. More on that when I’m allowed. Related to this, I will likely be contributing a chapter to a book on the Greek Magical Papyri. That’s a bit in the future, though, so there isn’t a lot to say about it at the moment.

I’m working on books, too. The first, which I’ve mentioned before, is a Theurgist’s Book of Hours. I’m actually pretty much done with this. However, I’d like an illuminated version of it, so I’ve been very slowly working on that. I’ll have some more free time after the summer, so that should kick into higher gear, then. The second is High Magic in the Age of Steam. This is an introduction to important forms of Victorian esotericism and alternative spirituality for steampunks. I’m about 95% done with the academic bits and and am working on a chapter on persona building. After that comes interviews and photography. It should be done before the middle of the year. After these, and maybe some serious arting, I’ve a book on Neoplatonic Neopythagorean in mind. Think of it as a prequel to Living Theurgy.

I think that’s about it for now. Be seeing you.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, a.k.a. Oh My God An Update!

16 March 2013


Crap! I mean, yeah! I’ve been tagged! My good friend, Shanah, all around awesome individual and writer, tagged me into The Next Best Thing Blog Hop.

My next bit thing may be a bit different, as I am currently writing non-fiction rather than my usual contemporary fantasy.

1. What is the working title of your next book?
When I write fiction, this is usually the first thing I try to come up with, as it sets a mood for the book. Then I end up changing it at the end to something that doesn’t suck. For the current WIP the title came by way of a book by Msgr. Jordan Stratford and his Living Gnosticism. Thus far, my book is title Living Theurgy: A Course in Iamblichus’ Philosophy, Theology, and Theurgy. The subtitle is subject to change at my whim. As is the main title, for that matter.

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
I’m not certain there is a simple answer to this. I became interested in Neoplatonism some four or five years ago, focusing largely on the founder of “later” Neoplatonism, Iamblichus of Chalcis. What remains of which writings, which were copious, is largely fragmentary. Because of this it seems that no one has tried to systematize his teachings. There is a large gap here, and I’m trying to fill it as suitably as possible.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Beyond a generic “non-fiction,” several. Philosophy, esotericism, theurgy, religion, theology. Any and all of those are appropriate. If there was a “thinks too much” genre, I’d put it there.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This would either make for the most boring movie ever, or the most awesome. I have no idea who I’d cast as Iamblichus. Probably someone Syrian and in his mid-to-late-thirties.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Again, a tough one, as there isn’t a plot, being non-narrative fiction and all that. Something like The current subtitle probably works well, though.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Probably neither. While I am not planning to self-publish Living Theurgy there is also typically not a lot of call for an agent in esoteric publishing.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About two and a half years. Mind you, about six months in we had our second child, as I’m the stay-at-home-while-also-working-out-of-the-house dad, that meant a lot less time writing and a lot more time changing diapers. As the book is both non-fiction and scholarly, there was a great deal of research through primary and secondary texts, too.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There is really nothing quite like this, specifically looking at Iamblichus. Probably the closest in the genre is Brian Hines’ Return to the One: Plotinus’ Guide to God-Realization, A Modern Exposition on an Ancient Classic, the Enneads. On re-reading that title, I’m pretty sure I need to make mine longer. Now, as a book not only on later Neoplatonism, but of Neoplatonism, I might optimistically compare it to Iamblichus’ De Mysteriis or Proclus’ Platonic Theology, but I would also likely be overly generous to myself in doing so.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Mostly it was the lack of such a book. These were things I wanted to know, and, frankly, its easier for me to keep it all sorted by writing it down, with several hundred citations and a eight page bibliography. If anyone else finds it useful, so much the better.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, in theory, this is the first of three books on the subject I plan to write. The second is a Neoplatonic Book of Hours, based loosely on the 15th century neo-pagan liturgical calendar reform of Gemistus Plethon but ranging beyond pagan Neoplatonism, much as does Living Theurgy. The third book is somewhat more theoretical. Living Theurgy is cap-stoned with a rite to invoke the personal daimon, sort of a guardian angel. This is one of the most important rites a theurgist undertakes. Beyond, this, however, is a ritual of assimilation to the Demiurge, variously Helios, Zeus, Christ, or a slew of other gods depending on the religious background of the practitioner. I am considering writing something on this to finish off the series, as it were.

Alright, now for my vict . . . nominee: Eric Satchwill. To simply plagiarize his web site:

Eric Andrew Satchwill is a writer living in his home town of Calgary, Alberta. Trans and unabashedly queer, he loves nothing more than to share his experiences, and learn about the experiences of others. He works predominantly in the realm of fantasy, but isn’t too choosy when a good story strikes. Eric took three years at the Alberta College of Art and Design and the visual arts will always have some place in his practice.

He has performed in the Miscellaneous Youth Network’s Fake Mustache drag king troupe for a number of years, as well as Demonika’s Metal A-Gore-Gore and Demonika’s Symphony Of Horrors 3. Exhibitions that he has shown in include The Artist Collective Event #2 at The Artlife Gallery,The Crysalis Project hosted by the Miscellaneous Youth Network at Art Central, and History of Wearable Art exhibition in Gallery 371 at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

Week in . . . Aw, let’s just catch up, shall we?

10 April 2012

Well, that didn’t last very long, did it? In my defense, this last week might have been the first in several without a sick child in the house. If you’ve never had small children, their colds are likely demonically inspired. However, as sleep is for the weak, we shall carry on.

The Chaos, my oldest daughter, was off from school last week, which means I got almost nothing accomplished. My Librarian will be out of town tomorrow and the day after, which means pretty much the same thing, though I might get a few paragraphs scrawled in Living Theurgy during the two hours the Chaos is at “half-day” pK4. I do not know in what world two and a half hours is half a day, but there it is.

I am on what may be the last chapter of the first main section of Living Theurgy, the Human Soul. I say may be because I’m not sure of the placement of one chapter yet. The chapter in question is on the curriculum of Iamblichus’ school of Neoplatonism, and possibly a general sort of curriculum for Neoplatonism, and whether it should go in the introductory section, along with the introduction and history chapters, or if it should go in the philosophy section. Either way, it is the next chapter to be written.

In various other parts of my life, I currently have four books sitting on my desk (well, okay, on my bookshelves) for review. Two of them will be reviewed for then ext issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition and two are through LibraryThing. I promise to find time to read these. Honest. Also, we are now in the last week for submitting an abstract for the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition Conference. If you, or anyone you know, has any interest in presenting at this conference, please get your abstracts in no later than April 15th.

Tomorrow is the fifth class of the seven week course I’m teaching at Viterbo University. It is a small class, which is something I’m not quite used to, but it has been a good one with a good group of students. I am finding that I rather enjoy teaching an ethics class, though I am not certain how much my students enjoy me presenting far more questions than answers. Or that I keep saying it’s not really about what is quantitatively right and wrong but what leads the enquirer to a better life. However, as I typically teach religious studies rather than philosophy, this is more or less par for the course for me. That being said, in three weeks I’ll have over a dozen 8-10 page research papers and just as many 6-9 page final exams to read. As I’m the one making the assignments, I suppose I shouldn’t complain about that.

Oh, I also got to go gaming with friends with only one child. Which was cool. More gaming in a few weekends, this time with no children (thanks, Mom!) and with my Librarian, as a sort of early anniversary gift to ourselves. It’s the little things, you know?

So, how have you been?