Last Day of the Mysteries / Preview of a New History

Boedromion 23:

The final events at Eleusis included the rite of the Plemochoai, top-shaped vases, which were tipped over, one toward the east, the other toward the west, just about at sunset, to pour a libation down into the earth, perhaps into a chasm (See Athenaios 11.496.)  It was probably also on this last day, and perhaps as part of the same ritual, that “looking up to the sky they cried `Rain!’ and looking down at the earth they cried `Grow!’” (Given by Proklos on Plato’s Timaeus, p. 293; also mentioned by Hippolytus 5.2. ) Aeschylus, fragment 25, in which Aphrodite declares that she is the cause of the amorous rain that impregnates the earth to bring forth Demeter’s gifts, also shows that here again Aphrodite is tied to the Eleusinian rites.  Hesychius gives “Konx hompax” as the final words of the initiation; despite much scholarly ingenuity at restoration, these appear to be corrupted into indecipherable nonsense.

A Tapestry of Witches

I’ve been collecting the ephemera of Craft history–minutes of meetings, short-lived periodicals, announcements of groups’ existences, etc., that is, the raw materials that reliable history depends upon–for about 40 years. At one point I published a roster of this data as a book-on-disc. That definitely put knots in the knickers of a whole lot of people with no sense of humor.

After Carl Weschcke published my Crafting the Art of Magic, Vol. I, back in the early 1990s, I was supposed to do a Vol. II covering the history of the Craft in America–but it was simply too early to be able to do that. Twenty years later, I can now see how to write a history covering up to the mid-1990s.  I’ve been working on that for quite a while. It has often seemed like an overwhelming task. Recently I realized I could make it more manageable by breaking it into three volumes: the first covering everything up to the late 1970s; one from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s; and a third bringing stories to the mid-1990s, more or less.

I came up with the title for reasons I mentioned in an earlier blog. An adequate description of the Craft movement has to be three-dimensional: Diachronic for the evolution through time; synchronic for the geographic interconnections; and with an overlay for the networking among the “Elders” who have kept it all going. Much of what I have is or was available elsewhere, but I don’t think many other people have saved it. I also have unique materials that some major figures–John Hansen, Jim Baker, Joe Wilson–specifically sent to me to be used for this sort of project.

I am finding that the discipline of blogging is helping with this history. A daily goal of about 1500 words to post would make steady progress. At 1500 words a day, the entire history would take about 4 months to be posted in its entirety. It will be interesting to see what kind of readership it might attract. Perhaps enough to encourage a publisher (like Llewellyn) to take it on. I’m glad I’ve been able to make three of my books available through Amazon, but marketing and promotion are not even short suits for me.

So watch this space. More will be revealed.

 

  • Dave Burwasser

    After Carl Weschcke published my Crafting the Art of Magic, Vol. I, back in the early 1990s, I was supposed to do a Vol. II covering the history of the Craft in America–but it was simply too early to be able to do that.
    You did do a kind of follow-up on Vol I concerning your research into what appeared to be Gardner’s BOS, as part of HCBW on discs. Is that ever going to see print again?

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