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Kabbalah Mystica [was: two Tents of Meeting]

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  • Khem Caigan
    ... You might also find Medieval Alchemists and Cannabis to be of interest: http://www.alchemylab.com/cannabis_stone4.htm And here s the citation from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2003
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      Dan Washburn writes:
      > Thanks for all your excellent citations re Kaneh Bosem,
      > cannabis, and the anointing oil. I appreciate the
      > scholarship involved.

      You might also find "Medieval Alchemists and Cannabis" to be of


      And here's the citation from the Talmud regarding the Incense
      Offering made during morning prayers:

      Kereitot 6a, Yerushalmi Yoma 4:5

      "The Rabbis taught:

      How is the incense mixture formulated:

      368 maneh were in it.

      365 corresponding to the days of the solar year - a maneh for each day,
      half in the morning and half in the afternoon; and three extra maneh,
      from which the Kohen Gadol would bring both his handfuls into the Holy
      of Holies on Yom Kippur.

      He would return them to the mortar on the day before Yom Kippur, and
      grind them very thoroughly so that it would be exceptionally fine.
      Eleven kinds of spices were in it as follows:

      Stacte, Onycha, Galbanum, Frankincense - each weighing 70 maneh;
      Myrrh, Cassia, Spikenard, Saffron - each weighing 16 maneh;
      Costus - 12 maneh;
      Aromatic Bark - 3 maneh;
      Kaneh Bosem - 9 maneh.

      Additionally, there is:

      Carshina lye, 9 kab;
      Cyprus wine, 3 se'ah and 3 kab
      ( if he has no Cyprus wine, he uses old white wine);
      Sodom salt, a quarter kab;
      and a minute amount of 'Maaleh Ashan', a smoke-raising herb.

      Rabbi Nassan the Babylonian says: Also a minute amount of Jordan

      If he placed fruit honey into it, he invalidated it. But if he left
      out any of the spices, he is liable to the death penalty.

      Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says: The stacte is simply the sap that
      drips from the balsam trees.

      Why is Carshina lye used? To bleach the onycha, to make it pleasing.

      Why is Cyprus wine used? So that the onycha could be soaked in it, to
      make it pungent.

      Even though urine is more suitable for that [because of the ammonia],
      nevertheless they do not bring urine into the Temple out of respect.

      It is taught, Rabbi Nassan says: As one would grind the incense
      another would say: "Grind thoroughly, thoroughly grind", because the
      sound is beneficial for the spices. If one mixed it in half-quantities,
      it was fit for use, but as to a third or a quarter - we have not heard
      the law.

      Rabbi Yehudah said: This is the general rule - In its proper
      proportion, it is fit for use in half the full amount; but if he left
      out any one of the spices, he is liable to the death penalty.

      It is taught, Bar Kappara says: Once every sixty or seventy years, the
      accumulated leftovers reached half the yearly quantity. Bar Kappara
      taught further: Had one put a kortov of fruit honey into it, no person
      could have resisted its scent. Why did they not mix fruit honey into
      it? Because the Torah says: "For any leaven or any fruit honey, you are
      not to burn from them a fire-offering to the Lord." (Leviticus 2:11)

      See also:




      Getting back to your question:

      > It's been a million years since I read the Sacred Magic of
      > Abramelin the Mage, but it had a big impact on me at the
      > time. Can you tell me how the formula for the anointing oil
      > relates to the structure of the book?

      Abraham ben Simeon's "Kabbalah Mystica" [aka "The Mystical Kabbalah <or
      'Sacred Magic'> of Abrahamelim the Mage", along with Honorius of Thebes'
      "Sworn Book" and Solomon's "Ars Almadel", simultaneously espouses both
      magical and theurgical aims.

      Unlike the 'Beatific Vision Quest' described in the "Sworn Book" [which
      is rather like the 'Deification' exercises of the Eastern Orthodox
      Church, coupled with prayer cycles resembling something like those found
      in a 'Book of Hours'], the "Kabbalah Mystica" takes the entire chapter
      from Exodus that describes the Tent and its Apparatus as the basis for
      its theurgical prescription, leading up to the Conversation with one's
      Tutelary Spirit/Daimon/Genius/Holy Guardian Angel/Beloved.

      Here are some links to these texts, which reside on Joe & Candy
      Peterson's "Esoteric Archives" site:

      The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage

      Liber Juratus, or the Sworne Booke of Honorius

      Lesser Key of Solomon: Book 4: Ars Almadel

      And here are the links for images from the "Juratus", which are related
      to the 'aemeth' seal from the Kelley & Dee "Enochian" workings:



      I place the "Kabbalah Mystica" with the exercises found in the writings
      of ( for instance ) Isaac Luria's student Chaim Vital [Safed is not very
      far from Ramallah, by-the-way], and those found in the writings of
      Averroes, Abulafia, Halevi, & Maimonides [ briefly ] - which treat of
      the union with the Active Intellect, the World Spirit of the Tenth
      Sphere; and which is considered by them to be the source of Prophecy and
      of Miracles.

      Here's an example of what I'm talking about, from al-Farabi:


      “Pre-eternal creation... is made by the intermediary of the ten
      intellects emanating from one another; the first nine each produce,
      besides the intellect which is immediately subordinated, one of the
      celestial spheres, to which it gives its form while at the same time
      constituting the soul of the sphere. The tenth, the active intellect,
      governs the souls in this world, divided and constricted by material

      And here's another from Giordano Bruno:


      "But the active intellect by incessant labor (for it is foreign to
      human nature and the human condition which is wearied, beaten, incited,
      solicited, distracted, and as though torn by the inferior potencies)
      always sees its object immobile, fixed and constant, and always in
      plenitude, and in the same splendor of beauty. Therefore the object
      always ravishes him insofar as he fails to offer himself to it, and
      always restores him insofar as he succeeds in offering himself to it. It
      always enflames his passion as much as it is resplendent in his thought;
      it is always as cruel to him by withdrawing itself as he similarly
      withdraws himself, and always so beautiful in communicating itself to
      the degree that he offers himself to it. It always martyrs him separated
      from him by space; and it always delights him because he is conjoined to
      it in his affection."

      See "Our Tutelary Spirit", Chapter Four of Plotinus' Third Ennead,
      which can be read in conjunction with Apuleius' "The Daemon of

      There's also a nice bit in Philo of Alexandria's "The Giants", entitled
      'Angels, Souls, and Daemons'.

      There are several quotes of interest in Corbin's "The Man of Light in
      Iranian Sufism", 1971, which touch on 'the philosopher's Angel', and
      which are taken from the "Ghayat al-Hakim" or "Aim of the Wise", aka

      The "Picatrix" is a compilation of Sabian material put together in the
      11th C.E.V., and was, according to Scholem, widely circulated in a
      Hebrew translation that can still be found (in part) in MS. Munchen 214.
      Helmut Ritter referred to it as an "Arabic manual of Hellenistic magic"
      in his edition of the text. Here are a few extracts of note:

      " 'The first thing you have to do in relation to yourself,
      is to meditate attentively on the spiritual entity
      (ruhaniyata-ka, "your Angel") which rules you and which is
      associated with your Star - namely your Perfect Nature -
      which the sage Hermes mentions in his book, saying:

      'When the microcosm which is man becomes perfect in nature, his
      soul is then the homologue of the Sun stationed in heaven, whose
      rays shed light on all horizons.'

      Similarly, Perfect Nature rises in the soul; its rays strike and
      penetrate the faculties of the subtle organs of wisdom; they
      attract these faculties, cause them to rise in the soul, just as
      the rays of the Sun attract the energies of the terrestrial world
      and cause them to rise in the atmosphere."

      And another:

      "Wise Socrates declared that Perfect Nature is called the Sun of
      the philosopher, the original Root of his being and at the same
      time the Branch springing from him. Hermes was asked: 'How does one
      achieve knowledge of wisdom? How can one bring it down to this
      world below?' 'Through Perfect Nature,' he answered. 'What is the
      root of wisdom?' 'Perfect Nature.' 'What is the key to wisdom?'
      'Perfect Nature.' 'What then is perfect Nature?' he was asked. 'It
      is the heavenly entity, the philosopher's Angel, conjoined with his
      Star, which rules him and opens the doors of wisdom for him,
      teaches him what is difficult, reveals to him what is right, in
      sleeping as in waking.' "

      In his "Hokhmah ha-Nefesh", Rabbi Eleazar of Worms writes:

      "Every Angel who is an Archon of the zodiacal sign (sar mazzal)
      of a person when it is sent below has the image of the person who
      is under it.... And this is the meaning of 'And God created man in
      His image, in the image of God He created him' (Gen. 1:27). Why is
      [it written] twice, 'in His image' and 'in the image'? One image
      refers to the image of man and the other to the image of the Angel
      of the zodiacal sign that is in the image of the man."

      The identification of one's Guardian Angel with one's 'dominant
      planet' <or 'Star'> is mentioned by a number of writers.

      In the Second Chapter (entitled "On the Harmony of the World. On the
      Nature of Man according to the Stars. How to Attract Something from Some
      One Particular Star.") of Book Three of his "Three Books on Life", 1998,
      Marsilio Ficino returns to the idea of astrologically examining the
      Nature of one's Angel, and in the final paragraph of that Chapter has
      this to say:

      "The specific rule for an individual would be to investigate
      which Star promised what good to the individual at his nativity, to
      beg grace from that Star rather than from another, and to await
      from any given Star not just any gift and what belongs to other
      Stars, but a gift proper to that one."

      Writing in Chapter 3 of his "De Harmonia Mundi Totius" (see D.P.
      Walker's "Spiritual and Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella", 1975,
      Francesco Giorgi is largely in agreement with Ficino on the importance
      of determining which planet dominates one's life, but feels that it's
      unnecessary to draw up one's horoscope to accomplish this, since one's
      own 'innate tendencies' will indicate this to anyone willing to observe
      & assess their own behavior.

      Giorgi goes on to say that we should, "having removed all hindrances,
      submit ourselves to our Guiding Spirit, which, if we do not resist, will
      show us the way to which the Heavens, our Genius and the Supreme Ruler
      lead us...", since the Angels lead people "in that direction to which
      their Star inclines them."

      Gershom Scholem refers to the 'Perfect Nature' described in the
      "Picatrix" in Chapter 6 of his "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead:
      Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah", 1991, which is entitled "Tselem: The
      Concept of the Astral Body". In this Chapter, which discusses the
      concept of the 'tselem' (the 'unique, individual spiritual shape of each
      human being', or 'astral body') and its relationship to prophecy in
      various Kabbalistic texts, he provides the following quote from the

      "When I wished to find knowledge of the secrets of creation, I
      came upon a dark vault within the depths of the earth, filled with
      blowing winds.... Then there appeared to me in my sleep a shape of
      most wondrous beauty [giving me instructions how to conduct myself
      in order to attain the highest things]. I then said to him: 'Who
      are you?' And he answered: 'I am your perfected nature.' "

      The quote given above follows another, taken from the "Shushan

      "The deeply learned Rabbi Nathan, of blessed memory, said to me:
      Know that the complete secret of prophecy to a prophet consists in
      that he suddenly sees the form of his self standing before him, and
      he forgets his own self and ignores it...and that form speaks with
      him and tells him the future. And concerning this our sages said.
      'Great is the power of the prophets, who make the form [appearing
      to them] to resemble its Former.'

      And the learned sage Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra, of blessed memory,
      said: 'The one who hears [at the time of prophecy] is a human
      being, and the one who speaks is a human being.'

      And another learned man wrote the following: 'It occurred to me,
      by the power of combination [of letters of the holy names of God]
      and by solitary meditation, that I encountered that light which
      accompanied me, as I have discussed in the book 'Sha'arei Tsedek'.
      But to see my own form standing before me - this I was not granted
      and this I cannot bring about.'

      Yet another learned man writes the following: 'And I, the young
      one, know and acknowledge with full certainty that I am not a
      prophet nor the son of a prophet, and I have not the holy spirit
      and I do not make use of the heavenly voice <Bath Kol>; these
      things have not been vouchsafed to me, and I have not taken off my
      garment or washed my feet.

      Nevertheless, I call on heaven and earth to witness - as the
      heavens are my witness and my Guarantor is on high! - that one day
      I was sitting and writing down a Kabbalistic secret, when suddenly
      I saw the form of my self standing before me, and my own self
      disappeared from me, and I was forced and compelled to cease
      writing.' "

      What Scholem finds remarkable in these texts is that what these folks
      experienced "was not a Divine apparition or an Angel, but their own pure
      form." They are confronted by their own "essential nature, a kind of
      personal Angel intrinsically belonging to man, which here becomes
      visible to him."

      Further on, he quotes Rabbi Isaac ha-Cohen of Soria in support of
      this, and below is a slightly different & longer translation of that
      quote, from Moshe Idel's "The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia",

      "All the camps of the Shekinah have there neither image nor
      corporeal form, but spiritual emanation, and likewise on the other
      Angelic levels. However, the tenth level, which is closest to human
      beings, called isim (etsem), [i.e., persons] is visible to the
      prophets. All agree that they possess the form of a body, similar
      to [that of] a human being, and very awesome. And the prophet sees
      all sorts of his powers becoming weaker and changing from form to
      form, until his powers cast off all forms and are embodied into the
      power of the form revealed to him, and then his strength is
      exchanged with that of the Angel who speaks with him. And that form
      gives him strength to receive prophecy, and it is engraved in his
      heart as a picture, and when the messenger has performed his
      mission the prophet casts off that form and returns to his original
      form, and his limbs and strength come back as they were before and
      are strengthened, and he prophesies in human form."

      The prophet strips himself of himself, in order to be clothed with
      his Angelic self. As Philo of Alexandria puts it, in his 'Heres': "For
      this is the time for the creature to encounter the Creator, when it has
      recognized its own nothingness [oudenia]."

      In his 'Ozar Chaim', Rabbi Isaac of Acre speaks of this state reached
      by the prophet

      "after he has stripped off every corporeal thing, because of
      the great immersion of his soul in the Divine spiritual world:
      this 'container' [hekala - form of the body] will see his own
      form, literally, standing before him and speaking to him, as a
      man speaks to his friend; and his own form will be forgotten,
      as if his body does not exist in the world.... And this spirit
      shall at times come to all the prophets, according to the
      Divine Will. But the master of all the prophets, Moses our Teacher,
      peace be upon him, always received a holy spirit which did not
      leave him for even one hour, only when his soul was still sunk in
      corporeal things, to hear the words of the Israelites that he might
      guide them and instruct them, either in temporary or permanent
      instructions, for which reason he had to say, 'Stay and I shall
      hear what God commands' (Num. 9:8); he stood and separated from
      them and cast his soul off from those sensory things with which he
      was involved on their behalf, and there rested upon him the spirit
      and spoke with him."

      This is how Rabbi Ezra of Gerona describes the procedure, in the
      'Perush ha-Aggadot':

      "The ancient Hassidim elevated their thought to its source. They
      would recite the mitzvoth and the devarim, and through this
      recitation and the attachment [devekut] of their thought [to the
      Divine], the devarim were blessed and increased, receiving an
      influx of emanation from the annihilation of thought. This can be
      compared to one who opens a pool of water, which then spreads in
      all directions."

      Rabbi Azriel of Gerona writes of this in his 'Chapter on the
      kavanah' (this from Gershom Scholem's "Origins of the Kabbalah", 1987:

      And he who elevates himself in such a manner, from word to word,
      through the power of his intention, until he arrives at Ain-Sof,
      must direct his kavanah [intention] in a manner corresponding to
      his perfection, so that the higher Will is clothed in his will, and
      not only so that his will is clothed in the higher Will.... Then,
      when the higher Will and the lower will, in their indistinctness
      and in their devekut [cleaving together] to the [Divine] Unity,
      become one, the flux pours forth according to the measure of its
      perfection.... And if it approaches it in this manner, the higher
      Will approaches it and grants to its power firmness and to its will
      the impulse to perfect and execute everything, even if it be
      according to the will of its soul, in which the higher Will has no
      part.... For as far as the will clings to an object that
      corresponds to the higher Will, the impulse [of the Divine Will] is
      clothed in it and is attracted, following its own [human] will,
      toward every object for which it exerts itself with the power of
      its kavanah. And it draws down the flux, which crowns the secret of
      things, and essences through the path of Chokmah and with the
      spirit of Binah and with the firmness of Daath.... it draws the
      flux from power to power and from cause to cause, until its actions
      are concluded in the sense of its will.... And this is the path
      among the paths of prophecy, upon which he who makes himself
      familiar with it will be capable of rising to the rank of

      And the prophet views this Angelic self before him, as if in a
      mirror. This is how Rabbi Moses Isserles describes it:

      "For the coarse matter that is in man stands opposite the prophet
      or one who contemplates, behind the clear light that is in the
      soul, which is like a mirror for him, and he sees in it, in an
      inner vision, his own form."

      Rabbi Judah ibn Malka states his accordance with this view in his
      'Commentary to Sefer Yetzirah':

      "The author said: 'I have seen with my own eyes a man who saw a
      power in the form of an Angel while he was awake, and he spoke with
      him and told him future things.' The sage said: 'Know that he sees
      nothing other than himself, for he sees front and back, as one who
      sees himself in a mirror, who sees nothing other than himself, and
      it appears as if it were something separate from your body, like
      you. In the same manner, he sees that power which guards his body
      and guides his soul, and then his soul sings and rejoices,
      distinguishes and sees.' And three powers overcome him: the first
      power is that which is intermediary between spirit and soul, and
      the power of memory and the power of imagination, and one power is
      that which imagines. And these three powers are compared to a
      mirror, as by virtue of the mixing the spirit is purified, and by
      the purification of the spirit the third power is purified. But
      when the spirit apprehends the flux which pours out upon the soul,
      it will leave power to the power of speech, according to the flow
      which comes upon the soul, thus it shall influence the power of
      speech, and that itself is the Angel which speaks to him and tells
      him future things."


      > I'm also interested in the history of magic squares. Do you
      > have any ideas on the historical sources for all those
      > interesting word square charms at the end of The Sacred
      > Magic?

      Although the French manuscript that Mathers and Ambelain worked from is
      deficient with regard to the more complete German manuscript, in both
      cases the words are transliterated in accordance with the Sephardic
      pronunciation of Hebrew.

      In his "Jewish Alchemists", Raphael Patai reasons that, if the author
      of the "Kabbalah Mystica" had written in German, we would expect to find
      instead the Ashkenazic pronunciation common to Central and Eastern
      Europe from the thirteenth century on.

      This, and the fact that the Spanish plural 's' is employed throughout,
      suggests that the individual responsible for translating the Hebrew
      original into German was a Sephardic Jew - not uncommon in the Germanies
      after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

      Which is one of the reasons I'm looking closely at the Sephardic
      communities in Spain & Palestine.

      The magic squares are given in full in the German "Buch Abramelin: das
      ist Die Egyptischen Grossen Offenbarungen oder des Abraham von Worms
      Buch Der Wahren Praktik in der Uralten Gottlichen Magie", published in
      2001 by Georg Dehn.

      The squares are a mix of the sort found in the "Sepher Maphteah
      Shlomo", which is considered to be a later production than the "Kabbalah
      Mystica", although Patai discusses the evidence arguing for "Abramelin"
      being a sixteenth century production deploying earlier material and
      bound up with an engaging narrative package.

      As for magic squares in general, here's a ramble through some sites
      that may be of interest:

      A Short History of Pattern Poetry
      by Dick Higgins; from his book
      Pattern Poetry: Guide to an Unknown Literature,
      State University of New York Press, 1987

      Short biography of Dick Higgins

      A Short History of Pattern Poetry

      Higgins' Archives

      Higgins and his friend Charles Doria [ also of the Fluxus Group ]
      translated Giordano Bruno's "On the Composition of Images, Signs and
      Ideas" into English back in '91.

      Giordano Bruno (1548-1600)

      Art of Memory - Selected Bibliography

      Collection of strange Magic Squares

      The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars

      The SATOR Magic Square

      See also Moeller's "Mithraic Origin and Meanings of the Rotas-Sator
      Square", 1973.

      The Mithraic "PATERNOSTER"/"SATOR" square is included in Higgins
      "Pattern Poetry"; folks who've been through Santillana & Dechend's
      "Hamlet's Mill" might want to refer to the 'Mithras Liturgy' in Marvin
      Meyer's "The Ancient Mysteries" re: the 'seven lords of the north pole'
      and 'the lord of the pivot':


      The roots of combinatorics

      Mark Swaney mentioned Jabir's contribution to kabbalistic alchemy,
      his "Book of the Balances", back in his post 1419:

      The URL below links to a page of his on the subject:

      Mark Swaney on the History of Magic Squares

      Cat Yronwode's message 1416 is also relevant, as it is concerned with
      African divinatory systems forming the basis of much of the later
      systems for generating magical qameot [or kameas]:


      The URLs below link to some pages about Clifford Algebras in relation
      to the I Ching and the Ifa divinatory systems:

      What ARE Clifford Algebras and Spinors?

      2^8-ions = 256-ions = Voudons and 2^N-ions

      Re: Clifford's geometric algebra

      ZeroDivisor Tensor Algebras

      Diamond Theory

      Stephen Wolfram's website

      website for "A New Kind of Science"

      Reflections on Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science"
      by Ray Kurzweil

      The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything


      Digital Philosophy

      D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, 1860--1948

      D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson Archives

      The Ars Magna of Ramon Lull

      Raymond Lull (c. 1235 - c. 1316)

      Ramon Llull (Raymond Lull or Lully) resources on the Web

      G E N E R A T I V E A R T 1 9 9 8

      I see Wolfram & Fredkin as Neo-Pythagorean types, like D'Arcy Wentworth
      Thompson and Vasilii Vasilevich Nalimov. They see the fields of physics
      as transmitting information as well as impressing external forces -
      which means that matter is already an information processor. Masonic
      Qubits, anyone? This is just the sort of thing that Lull and Al-Kindi
      were on about in their "Treatise on Astronomy" and "On the Stellar
      Rays", respectively.

      Lull's "Book of the Seven Planets"

      With regard to literature, pattern poetry takes advantage of the
      identity between letters and elements [stoicheia]. Words are spun into
      threads, and texts become textiles. Alchemical kabbalists address the
      information processing aspects of matter, by composing their own
      ideational substances and iterating them through the computational

      By the way, Syed Nomanul Haq examines Jabir's 'Science of Balance' at
      length in his book "Names, Natures and Things", 1994.

      And here's a page pointing up a similar use that Lazzarelli made of the
      Sepher Yetzirah:


      Tractatus Astrologico Magicus; Aldaraia sive Soyga vocor
      The Book of Soyga

      SOYGA is a pretty good example of the application of cellular automata
      to text generation in general, and magic squares in particular.

      Harry Smith brought the Workshop for Potential Literature [aka
      'OuLiPo'] to my attention while we were assembling "Mahagonny" [which I
      mentioned in passing to a room full of puzzled film students after the
      screening in NYC last year]; I've always enjoyed the work of folks like
      Perec, Webern, Lull, and Kelly.

      Here are a few links to some pages about Georges Perec and about his
      book, "Life: A User's Manual":






      I think that the etymological relationship of 'tantra' with weaving and
      textiles is pretty well known these days:


      Here are a few more related links:

      Computational Fabrics

      Common Threads: Women, Mathematics, and Work

      Geometry of Fabrics Bibliography

      Charles Babbage incorporated the pattern generation technologies of
      Joseph Marie Jacquard's Loom in his Analytical Engine, for purposes of
      pattern manipulation and pattern recognition.

      A Schematic Historical Survey

      19th Century Contributions and their Impact on Elements of Modern

      Ada Byron Lovelace

      And the pattern grammars embedded in the sequences of instructions that
      Ada Lovelace composed for the Engine lead back to Panini's Sanskrit




      The term 'yantra' can be applied to apparatus as well as diagrams [see,
      for instance, Dash's use of the term throughout his "Alchemy and
      Metallic Medicines in Ayurveda", 1986.]; it can refer equally to the
      design and arrangement of laboratory vessels and furnaces, nuclear
      thermoelectric generators, clocks - any diagrammatic or descriptive



      And let's not forget Chladni and his "sounds made visible":

      Chladni Figures

      Chladni patterns in vibrated plates

      Standing Wave Patterns

      Acoustic Figures and the Romantic Soul of Reason

      Mechanical Oscillations and Wave Simulations


      Russell Towle's 4D Star Polytope Animations

      Alicia Boole Stott

      Uniform Polytopes in Four Dimensions

      The old texts I've read that describe mining ore, digging a hole,
      placing stones, working clay, casting a crucible, luting it, setting it
      among precise arrangements of stones and coals, &tc. are metrical
      instructions about geometrical constructions, and put me in mind of the
      incantations in the 'Kalevala' for building a boat, and of the
      relationship of 'poesis' with construction, generation, and creativity
      in general:






      recommended readings

      Raphael Patai-"The Jewish Alchemists: a history and source book", 1994.

      Henry Corbin-"Temple and Contemplation", 1986.

      Ernst Kühnel and Louisa Bellinger-"Cairene Rugs and Others Technically
      Related (15th - 17th Century)", 1957.

      Esin Atil-"Renaissance of Islam: Art of the Mamluks", 1981.

      Donald King and David Sylvester-"The Eastern Carpet in the Western World
      from the 15th to the 17th Century", 1983.

      Gershom Scholem-"Origins of the Kabbalah", 1987.

      Moshe Idel-"The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia", 1988.

      Hashem Atallah and William Kiesel-"Picatrix: The Goal of the Wise",

      Labelle Prussin-"Hatumere: Islamic Design in West Africa", 1986.

      Aryeh Kaplan-"Meditation and Kabbalah", 1982.

      Therese Charmasson-"Recherches sur une Technique Divinatoire: Geomancie
      de l'Occident Medieval", 1980.

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      Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam,

      ~ Khem Caigan

      "The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."

      ~ Muriel Rukeyser
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