Newly Translated Grimoires

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obnoxion
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby obnoxion » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:35 am

Nefastos wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:19 am
Heith wrote: ↑Apologies for going slightly offtopic


I think we all already became guilty of that here, and the discussion can be branched into different topics if needed. I'm pretty sure Obnoxion doesn't mind, since it's a good thing that the discussion may live on its own.
The best things often happen off topic!
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby Smaragd » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:02 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:49 pm
Smaragd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:16 pm
...formed an attitude of reading spells of lower magic as superior phantasmic poetry...
This is my exact attitude! And, as I nowdays write poetry constantly, old spells and riddles are among my main inspirations. At times I've thought of exploring goetia through poetry.
I'm sure I've mostly adopted the attitude from you, although I remember a moment where such inspiration came from one of the P. Häkkinen radio transmissions.

Anyway, would you say my fears of academic or new English translations of grimoires are unnecessary when you read them like that? Afterall, now that I checked many of the older translations are not made until the 19th century.
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby obnoxion » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:37 pm

Smaragd wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:02 pm
obnoxion wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:49 pm
Smaragd wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:16 pm
...formed an attitude of reading spells of lower magic as superior phantasmic poetry...
This is my exact attitude! And, as I nowdays write poetry constantly, old spells and riddles are among my main inspirations. At times I've thought of exploring goetia through poetry.
I'm sure I've mostly adopted the attitude from you, although I remember a moment where such inspiration came from one of the P. Häkkinen radio transmissions.

Anyway, would you say my fears of academic or new English translations of grimoires are unnecessary when you read them like that? Afterall, now that I checked many of the older translations are not made until the 19th century.
19th Century language is, I feel, a world apart for us, the generations after the World Wars. It is beautiful and reading it takes effort. But there is a poetic quality to grimoires in general, which translations cannot spoil. For me, the language has more to do with with the hieroglyphic units (the descriptions of apparitions and the strange ingredients), but also the superb intimacy of magical texts.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby Heith » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:56 pm

Thank you Nefastos for taking the time to answer my question. I will ponder about this further!
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby Nefastos » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:20 pm

I hope I did at least talk about the subject that you were asking about, Heith.

About the new translations and how the time of the translation has its influence on the experience, I tend to think that even the original grimoires, if one would get his hands on such tantras written in one's mother tongue, would demand both the leap of creative imagination, and reason to balance it. The chasm is always present in any communication (this is my cynicism), and thus the intelligent and effort of bridging by-heart is always needed (this is my optimistic basis of hermeneutics). Language is never perfect, all messages are unique and lonely from the beginning, in the planes where anything is formal and personal at all. This attitude or fundamental experience perhaps also explains something about my anti-traditional (theosophically universalistic) idealism.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby obnoxion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:11 am

Nefastos wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:20 pm

About the new translations and how the time of the translation has its influence on the experience, I tend to think that even the original grimoires, if one would get his hands on such tantras written in one's mother tongue, would demand both the leap of creative imagination, and reason to balance it. The chasm is always present in any communication (this is my cynicism), and thus the intelligent and effort of bridging by-heart is always needed (this is my optimistic basis of hermeneutics). Language is never perfect, all messages are unique and lonely from the beginning, in the planes where anything is formal and personal at all. This attitude or fundamental experience perhaps also explains something about my anti-traditional (theosophically universalistic) idealism.
The need to go deeper than just the surface when reading grimoires is true from the most mundaine sense (as in, for example, Picatrix recommending poisonous mixtures of ingredients), but I claim also in the sense that this pertains to the tantras. But this latter sense is more lost in the grimoires. Tantras are much, much more black magical if readen literally tha grimoirs, but as there is a genuine understanding of the LHP in the East, literal readings are always contested. Grimoires, on the other hand, are taken exclusevily literally, while spiritual readings are lacking.

Fra Nefastos, you found hauntingly beautiful words for to describe the imperfection of language. This is exactly why I am so excited about poetry, and so sceptical of system that strive on close definitions of words.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby Cerastes » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:11 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:37 pm
19th Century language is, I feel, a world apart for us, the generations after the World Wars. It is beautiful and reading it takes effort. But there is a poetic quality to grimoires in general, which translations cannot spoil. For me, the language has more to do with with the hieroglyphic units (the descriptions of apparitions and the strange ingredients), but also the superb intimacy of magical texts.
Yes, this is why I’m enthusiastic about books from this specific era.
It was the time when Absolutism and monarchies ended and people started to let their thoughts float in all kinds of directions, which brought up some brilliant minds.
Lately this came to my mind when I was talking to a friend who restores 19th century houses. The language was literally form-giving in many ways and it matches the way things were made. The variety of material and methods was much higher, just like the variety of words the authors used. The clauses were much longer, more complex and less about making things easy for the reader. To read such a book is and remains exhausting since it is different from the marketing-optimized language of today, which is an economically optimized, mass suitable equivalent to the prefabricated house.

I think every text is to a certain point a manifestation of an eternal, spiritual world but still it is filtered through the writer’s bias, which differ in time and place. Reading them is a little like reconstructing a piece of mindset from, the specific time which completes the puzzle of entirety of the said book. In this point, books are no different than paintings, that carry a personal history of the painter as well as a historical context and of course the final interpretation is up to the one who is looking at the painting (or reading the book).
Without this, a painting is just a combination of colors and a book is just letters on a piece of paper.

So if the reader and the writer come from a different era, the bandwidth of thinking is much higher and wonderful emanations can evolve from this. Everything that does not match my way of thinking opens a new door.
So for the Grimoires (I mention them so it’s not completely offtopic 8-) ) this means that I prefer the ones written in another period of time.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby obnoxion » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:55 pm

Cerastes wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:11 pm
I’m enthusiastic about books from this specific era... [the] 19th century.
I share your enthusiasm. You might be interested in this book I'm reading, that really delves into English Poetry of the 19th Centry. It is "Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics" by Valentine Cunningham: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/boo ... 1444340440
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby Cerastes » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:48 pm

obnoxion wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:55 pm
I share your enthusiasm. You might be interested in this book I'm reading, that really delves into English Poetry of the 19th Centry. It is "Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics" by Valentine Cunningham: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/boo ... 1444340440
Thank you, this looks interesting indeed and I would love to read your opinion when you finished it.
“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”
(Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters)
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Re: Newly Translated Grimoires

Postby obnoxion » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:02 am

Cerastes wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:48 pm
obnoxion wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:55 pm
I share your enthusiasm. You might be interested in this book I'm reading, that really delves into English Poetry of the 19th Centry. It is "Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics" by Valentine Cunningham: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/boo ... 1444340440
Thank you, this looks interesting indeed and I would love to read your opinion when you finished it.
I'd be happy to! One thing has been the debunking of the misconception that Victorian wordiness means a sort of emptiness of meaning, or that much of the words are mainly decorations meant to fill the formal requirements of the poem. Actually, as we can read from their correspondences, Victorian poets often agonized for months over the appropriateness of single words in their poems. And for people who've been thought in schools that Victorian poetry is second-rate, can now read that poetry as first-rate where every word counts. And that can be a changing experience.

For me, the reading of Tantric texts and their commentaries really changed the way I read grimoires. And if one thinks how these grimoires seem to be relevant century aftet century, one realizes that these must be classics - these must be for all times. But they are no easy reading, they take time, dedication and independent thought. And these are very intimate texts, by which I mean that you need to spent time with them alone.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.

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