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The Gnostics were right, to know yourself is to know the divine.

What Is Your Arcana? in Arcana


Let’s discuss science. It’s full of arcana. Some of which are not based on physics, but instead on their philosophical standard of empiricism. Occam’s razor is an arcana, and it states, “Do not assume the presence of more than is absolutely necessary to explain the apparent.” Pardon the paraphrasing, but this principle is very firmly arcana.

Another arcana of science is the necessity of reproducibility. If something happens, but it can’t be reproduced using their arcane, they don’t deny necessarily that it’s real, but it falls outside of their tradition of understanding and its field of application. As for myself, I prefer a broader field of practice and experimentation.

One of my personal arcana is applicability. I don’t hold any stock in the concept of real as it’s commonly understood. Instead, I consider a practice based on its applicability or usefulness. “Is it useful?” is one of my primary guidelines. Anyone want to share one of their arcana?

Mine is, “Even if it is useful, it should be beautiful for the eye.” Art has its own arcana, yes. A profound arcana is “Beauty is truth, and truth beauty.” Where people fail to understand that particular arcana is that beauty doesn’t mean you like it. It doesn’t have to mean that.

There is a traveling plastic display of the human anatomy. People find it very creepy, but it is beautiful. It fits all the laws of symmetry. That in itself is an arcana, symmetry. It shows up all over the place, but what we can learn from symmetry is an arcana. This is the failing of science, actually. Even they themselves admit they limited their arcana for too long, though they still disagree strongly in what is worthy for them to pursue now.

Symmetry, elegance, syntax, all arcana. Yes, exactly.

I’m thinking we can change who we are by seeking out and adopting a new arcana? That’s the basis of all magick, of every tradition. The Kahuna accepts a taboo because it guides the energy of their lives into a specific pattern, like civic peace. It may seem irrational to outsiders, but what of the principles of trade in western society? Or the value of monetary systems at all? Convoluted and shallow arcana when it comes to western worship of money. Economy is a wide spread and virulent arcana, and has lead to many of our current social and ecological ills.

So yes, in your spiritual/magickal practice consider breaking your tradition down into its elements, its arcana. Then like an artist considering the elements of their art, free yourself to personalize your relationship to it. Your work will have much more power/beauty/efficacy.

Anyone have any specific arcana they would like to discuss?

Astrology? Excellent. You might find this interesting. While science still denies that there is any connection between the planets and biology (which I see as a half truth in both camps), they have confirmed that people born during different seasons have different temperaments. But the arcana of astrology is very deep and very old. Man has always been aware of both the sky and the passage of the seasons, and I would argue that any supposed causal relationship, or lack there of, does not matter when it comes to astrological practice. The cycles are still real and the world is still keeping to its rhythms.

Is it useful? Oh yes, indeed it is, but people do misuse it. They consider that because they were born under a specific sign, that all other energies are secondary. Being born under a sign is like being born in a specific weather condition, like were you born on a rainy day. You may like it, you may hate it, but you still have your connection to it and your biorhythm will still be high on that day and in that season.

I figure, like you say, if I go into one thing, I’ll learn more about my personality. Yes, and self knowledge is hugely useful. I wouldn’t wait for science to figure it out. Mystics are usually well ahead of the game with their intuitive observation. Like just recently, they have confirmed that you can tell about someone’s personality based on their primary sleeping posture. Anyone care to share in what position they sleep?

Curled on my side. You are a sensitive altruist.

On my belly with my head slightly tilted. A doer and fun loving type, and a listener.

I tend to sleep in a straight posture and on my back, which means I am self-controlled and defensive.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive


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