8th Biannual Conference of the Nordic Irish Studies Network (NISN)
Camelia Elias (Deltager)
Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangering af en begivenhed › Deltagelse i workshop, seminar og kursus
Walking between Worlds: Yeats, Tarot, and the Golden Dawn
W.B. Yeats’s essay, "Magic" (1901) begins with the following statement, "I believe in the practice and philosophy of what we have agreed to call magic, and what I must call the evocation of spirits, though I do not know what they are, in the power of creating magic illusions, in the visions of truth in the depths of the minds when the eyes are closed." In this paper I investigate claims to authority that allow one to step into ‘other’ worlds. Authority informs all oracular sayings and forms of divination. Authority is in fact their very premise and condition for existence. But claiming authority for one’s prophecies, if one is a priest or a poet, is not the same as having power over the way in which they come to pass. This has to be negotiated and mediated by discernment or another form of wisdom. If discernment fails, then authority fails. Here I want to look at the relation between a well-formulated intent to tap into the universal wisdom of other worlds and the implementation into our physical reality of what is given in the ‘other’ reality, or the world of higher authority that exceeds our cognitive grasp and cultural achievements. In the case of the hermetic order of the Golden Dawn, of which Yeats was a member, one can identify a paradox that contributed to its dismantling, namely a forgetfulness about the fact that all magical acts must be anchored in a constraint before they set the magician free.