2 May 2012
The National Museum of the American Indian has an exhibit at the moment called “land of the horse,” about how horses became part of native culture (the Pueblo Revolt
in the late 1500s in 1680 had a lot to do with it), and how native culture adapted to the horse.
Among the objects on display is a moving charm. Its purpose is to conjure a safe journey, free from predators and enemy raids along the way, and ensure a good campsite with good water and protected from the wind at the other end. These were lashed to the travois poles while transporting the tipi in its “packed” state.
Gordon has repeatedly noted that magic needs to take its place as part of the dominant narrative of human history, and here’s further proof.
This is a people who didn’t encounter horses until the early 1500s, and didn’t win their own horses until the late 1600s, and yet they’ve evolved an appropriate magical tool within two hundred years.
Roughly the same distance of time separates Dr. John Dee from The Golden Dawn — plenty of time for an odd system like Enochian to evolve into a lodge tradition, just as this kind of handicrafts begins as decorative play and becomes an spiritual tool for commanding universal forces.
Or, as a seminary professor of mine once said, “all religious activity is functional in origin but ontological upon reflection.”
2 May 2012
One of the best things about Washington DC is the Café in the National Museum of the American Indian. Here’s my rather hastily assembled lunch today from all over the Americas: guacamole, two tacos, beets prepared Pequot style, and tapioca pudding with raspberries. A bit bizarre, but delicious.
2 May 2012
chi, energy, practice, taiji
So, let’s say you’re on a field trip with thirty students and chaperones. The meeting room is locked and you don’t want to go downstairs to do your chi workout.
Don’t make a big deal of it to others. This is what you do. I did Taiji today in the space between the desk and the bed this morning, while my colleagues slept.
It doesn’t have to be a production. Don’t let it assume that level of importance in your mind. Just get up, do your shorter routine and then do your longer one. My working space today was barely bigger than a closet or a desk chair.
There doesn’t have to be any attachment to how it looks, or what it looks like, or where it’s done. Don’t let it hang over your head. Do it, no matter what it looks like: it counts.