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A Note on Occult Scholarship

occult scholarship


Far too often in the field of Occult Scholarship and Studies the basic standards of citation and academic work have been discarded, ignored, or rejected.  Low standards do not help our work, either the Great Work or the material work of occult scholarship and publishing like:

  • writing
  • storing info
  • locating info
  • sharing info
  • perhaps even making a buck

I am not seeking to turn all discussions of the occult or occulture into an academic discourse or make what should be an energetic, exciting, and mysterious subject into a dry and dusty field of footnoted prose.

…Although le us hope we spend time among dusty tomes buried under piles of other dusty and cobwebbed tomes, for let’s be honest, that type of fun is one of the reasons one gets into either academia or occultia…

No, I simply mean making some sort of attempt to give proper attribution, or credit, for the work of others. This applies to both written and visual work–and I admit I have been lax getting permission or crediting visual work in the past.  I will attempt to remedy that on AFeastForTahuti.com. 

I plan to use MLA (or some approximation of it), but at the very least I will give the creator a shoutout and link if possible (white hat links are always welcome here of course!)

The use of a method of citation and accreditation not only help Occult Scholarship gain respect, but it helps us as practitioners, writers, and artists as well.

Scholarly apparatus helps people store and find information, and has been known to lead to jobs, patronage, and things of that sort.

There are enough crazies, cranks, crank heads, crack-pots, crackheads and their ilk in this field…taking a few seconds to give a creator credit for their work helps balance them out in the long run, and I truly believe helps creative and occult scholarship creators in the long run, too.

By the way, Occult Scholarship has officially entered academics and can be studied, at the undergraduate and graduate level as Occult Studies, or as a subfield in another discipline. I notice, for example, that occult topics are very hot in Literary and Rhetorical Studies at the moment.

Of course, this happens 20 years after I earned my Ph.D. in American Literature and Culture, (see my about page) but I have been able to get in on a bit of the fun, publishing a chapter

  • “Magick, a Disease of Language’: Self-Analysis, The Body of Light and the Other Jouissance in Aleister Crowley‘s Ritual Writings and Practices” which provided a Lacanian reading of Aleister Crowley, Integrative Mysticism Ed. Scott Hendrix and Christopher May, Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013.

I used the chapter as a part of my tenure application if you’re interested in that sort of thing, and wondering if Occult Scholarship can help one in one’s academic career. If published correctly,  yes.