By Gary Lachman
The occult was once a vital effect at the Renaissance, and it obsessed the preferred thinkers of the day. yet with the Age of cause, occultism was once sidelined; basically charlatans came upon any use for it. Occult rules didn't disappear, even if, yet quite went underground. It built right into a fruitful resource of idea for plenty of vital artists. Works of brilliance, occasionally even of genius, have been produced lower than its effect. In a dismal Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist stream. a number of the writers and thinkers featured during this hidden historical past of western suggestion and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. okay. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.
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Extra resources for A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult
Tale and Harena), Thus: 0 0 0 0 0 0 + + + + 0 0 0 0 0 0 = = = = 0 0 0 0 (iv) Likewise the tenth figure (Asorotany) is formed by the addition of figures III and IV (Fahatelo and Vohitra). (v) The eleventh figure (Nia) from figures V and VI (Zatovo and Marina). (vi) The twelfth figure (Fahasivy) from figures VII and VIII (Vehivavy and Fahavalo). (vii) The thirteenth figure (Mpanontany) from figures IX and X (Lalana and Asorotany) . (viii) The fourteenth figure (Masina) from figures XI and XII (Nfa and Fahasivy).
As sixteen nuts form a large handful (and as they are heavily polished through use) some usually remain in the diviner's left hand. If one or two nuts remain in the left hand then corresponding marks are drawn on a divining tray: if two nuts remain, a single mark, but if one nut remains, a double mark. This apparently arbitrary reversal is justified in Dahomey in terms of the deceitfulness of the god Legba in conveying the oracle to the diviner (see p. 56). If no nuts, or more than two nuts, are left in the left hand the operation is repeated until the desired binary number of nuts is left.
Half a seed shell falling with the concave surface facing upward is equivalent to a single line on the tray, while a fall in the 'closed' position with the convex outer surface up, is the equivalent of a double mark. Divination with the chain of seeds,though regarded as inferior, is more rapid, but otherwise the two systems are identical. They employ the same set of figures with the same names and rank order, and the same verses. Bascom explains: 5 the divining chain is said to 'talk more' than the palm nuts, but it is regarded as an inferior instrument, ·less reliable than palm nuts for deciding important questions.