Roy Willis and Patrick Curry document one particular act of resistance as the practice of divinatory astrology. This paper will first articulate a definition of disenchantment. The promise of re-enchantment, with particular emphasis to astrology as a means of resistance and pathway towards re-enchantment, will then be the focus. Some criticisms and conclusions will follow. Taylor identifies three central themes to this sense estrangement felt by the masses.
The first is individualism. Individualism is one of the great triumphs of modernity, but comes at a cost. The prevailing sense of freedom that is so celebrated today was a result of consciously liberating society from traditional conceptions of ethics and morality.
For Taylor, it was traditional models of viewing the world that placed one within a larger cosmic sequence. Human beings had a designated position within the spheres of life forms. As realms of angels and other spiritual beings were created with their purpose and specific roles designated by a Higher Power, so too did human beings have their place and their existence filled with meaning, relevant to their position within a great hierarchy.
About Astrology, Science and Culture
It was not only human existence that mattered in this paradigm, but all life forms had their place within a larger heavenly mystery. From this perspective, as Taylor further asserts, each animal was representative of a larger place within an even larger cosmology. The objects and things that comprised our earthly spheres pointed towards and spoke of celestial spheres to the people of the pre-modern era, and held significance for their place in a larger plan. Religious ceremony and sacrament of the time were not superficial, but rather, took this connection and organization of all visible and celestial life as evident.
Books by Patrick Curry (Author of Introducing Machiavelli)
Taylor argues that it was through the questioning and discrediting of this very paradigm, where the world is infused with meaning and life, that led to many of the contemporary freedoms which we now celebrate. It has been this process of questioning which led to destroy confidence in an enchanted world, where all objects are alive. The result is that the world and its things have lost its particular magic. The success of the modern era can be defined as the process of removing magic from the world, and to therefore make any sense of order or meaning to our place within it non-existent.
This is a new place humanity finds itself in, with specific consequences. As the world has lost any sense of cosmic meaning, so too have people lost an important characteristic of drive and perseverance.
Without a higher reason to our existence, there is no longer an opportunity to live with daring or boldness. The shadow side of the exaltation of the individual is that the self is now centre. This is a malaise of a loss of meaning. The second factor, which Taylor states signifies the current malaise felt by people in the modern era, is the over valuation of rationality. Pleasure becomes the ultimate goal that individuals begin to aspire toward.
Taylor acknowledges that this change of perception has aspects to it that are liberating. For example, we are now able to utilize more resources towards our own economic gain and self-sufficiency. The result can be extreme self-centeredness, where it is only the self that matters.
Our emphasis on rationality is also evident for Taylor in the way in which technological advancement is given such high esteem within modernity. Focuses on creating objects that encourage efficiency and output have had a constricting effect. Our human environs have lost quality and character. Since technology is to be invested in and holds the mystique that personal interaction and sacred communions once did, it is technology that will be invested in and revered.
Human interactions have lost their depth. The third concern with modernity, as articulated by Taylor, brings the first two together in the form of the political implications in a world of individualism and instrumental reason.
Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England
Our cultural and societal institutions encourage and support individualism and reason, to the point that these institutions are regenerated and reinforced by the disenchantment of the world, which characterizes modernity. Taylor points to the infrastructure of some major cities, which are designed so that each person will be required to travel by car, while allowing the erosion of public transit. Government is conceptualized as big and overpowering, and the individual is conceived of as very small and insignificant in contrast.
This is the malaise of a loss of freedom. These are the three fold symptoms of the malady of disenchantment, as outlined by Taylor. Alkis Kontos uses the ideas of Weber to discuss disenchantment. The enchanted world can be defined as one filled with meaning and integration. People are in a constant dialogue when living in a symbiotic relationship to their natural environment.
This constant conversation provides a stabilizing force with which one found orderliness and calm. The enchanted world was one that dominated the mind of those who lived within the polytheistic context, most notably before the enlightenment. The divine permeated nature, and so it was not just that a relationship was established with the environment, but that the divine spoke through and was represented within it.
The cosmos and natural world was alive. The well-being of both the external environment and the internal mental state were interdependent. From this stance, it was impossible for one to ever feel alone, isolated, or alienated.
With the presentation of the enlightenment era we find the foundations of disenchantment. Kontos asserts that it is rationality that is the underlying drive of disenchantment. Rationalization seeks to empty the world of any sense of magic, mystery, and thereby any meaning. It is rationalization that deduces our human experience so that emotion and soul, which is a central characteristic of humanity, is either irrelevant or absent.
In the extreme case, the human soul is non-existent, only an aspect of our psychology or physiology that is to be explained by theory and conjecture. With rationality, humans are left devoid and anaesthetized. Kontos further articulates two major factors contributing to our disenchanted world; religion and science. Religion, with its movement towards a single God, a single ideal, and a single answer to all human questions, has created a dogma in which the individual is disadvantaged.
The disenchanted world has replaced spirituality with institutionalized and politicized religion. Within disenchanted religion, there is only monotheism, and monotheism is the answer to everything. By removing questions, so too removed is the process of self-inquiry. Humans are robbed of the gifts of personal growth and self-respect that are the fruits of the process of contemplation.
When there is only one answer, and that one answer is seen only within a singular monotheistic vision of existence. There is no room for irrationality, as everything is attributed to a singular source. Human suffering is a real, lived experience. Kontos argues that it is suffering that defines what it is to be human.
Suffering is emotion; it is felt, and therefore not rational. Suffering is either denied, wrong, or made wicked. The second factor that Kontos articulates as contributing to the disenchantment of the world is science. But science is necessarily impermanent, dependant on the sophistication of its measuring devices to reveal what is being investigated.
While they acknowledge some of the benefits that science has provided our modern era, under Scientism, science becomes a dutiful secular service; it is scientific logic that becomes the fundamental ceremonial practice. What is not acknowledged within the tenants of Scientism is that what is being sought in sacrament is salvation.
Through the aspiration for greater technologies that will reveal more of the environment comes the systemic reinforcement of the disenchantment of the world. A universal human practice, it has received surprisingly little academic attention. This interdisciplinary collection by leading scholars in the field is dedicated to fascinating new insights into divination and oracles arising from recent work in anthropology, religious studies, history and classical studies.
Central importance is given to the practical and theoretical perspectives of diviners as well as scholars of divination; several contributors are both. This book explores philosophical issues such as the nature of divinatory intelligence, the relationship between divinatory and metaphorical truth, the primacy of ontology over epistemology, the importance of reflexivity in scholarly studies of divination, and astrology as the principal Western form of divination.
The ethnographic and historical examples range from contemporary Nigeria, urban Cuba, Mayan Guatemala and the shamanic cultures of the circumpolar Arctic to classical Greece and ancient Judea. Contents : Introduction Patrick Curry ; Theorizing divinatory acts: the integrative discourse of dream oracles Barbara Tedlock ; 'Twinning' and 'perfect knowledge' in African systems of divination Philip M.
Peek ; Memoir as method or 'What the devil was I up to anyway? Stuart R. Harrop ; Embodiment, alterity and agency in divination: negotiating antinomies in divination Patrick Curry ; Chicane: double-thinking and divination among the witch-doctors Geoffrey Cornelius ; Darwin's fortune, Jonah's shipmates, and the persistence of chance Evan Heimlich ; Arrows, aiming and divination: astrology as a stochastic art Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum ; Life between lives therapy: a mystery ritual for modern times?
Angela Voss ; Talking and walking with spirits: fresh perspectives on a medieval necromantic system Paul Devereux ; Clarifying divinatory dialogue: a proposal for a distinction between practitioner divination and essential divination Anthony Thorley, Chantal Allison, Petra Stapp and John Wadsworth ; Afterword: of ises and oughts: an endnote on divinatory obligation Martin Holbraad. This collection arose out of a conference at the University of Kent in It covers a lot of its sort of ground.
You can see my Introduction, which describes the papers and puts them in context, in the " Papers " section of this website. And this one comes out of Sophia conferences in Unlike nearly all other such books, its starting-point is that all value ultimately inheres not just in human beings but in the Earth itself and all its creatures.
www.hiphopenation.com/mu-plugins/wi/free-dating-australia-site.php A revised edition is due in Another academic work. Strongly influenced by Max Weber and his intellectual heirs. It is an exploration and unashamed defence of Middle-earth, and of Tolkien. Just what it says on the tin. He is a much misunderstood and unfairly maligned thinker, so I hope this introduction might dispel some of that reputation and in particular, put The Prince into the context it needs.
This one is more accessible. They make a colourful cast! An account of English astrology in its heyday immediately prior to and during the English Civil War and subsequent decline from the Restoration through to the end of the eighteenth century. Its emphasis is cultural, social and political. This is an academic book. An interesting and if I may say so pioneering collection of papers on the history of astrology from a conference I organised at the Warburg Institute in