The following is an excerpt from The Book of Maps, the companion guidebook to the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, a hand-illustrated black and white tarot deck crafted with practitioners of the mystic arts in mind. The pen and ink drawings were inspired by woodcut prints from the late Renaissance. Symbology called upon is based predominantly on medieval European alchemy, astrology (the Sacred Seven), Hermeticism, Zoroastrianism, Abrahamic angelology, Kabbalah, Catholicism/Christianity, Sufism, and Egyptian mythology.
For more information about the deck, go to:
Excerpt from The Book of Maps
Cultural Integration and the Prisca Theologia
I commented on cultural appropriation in my second book, The Tao of Craft. So this chapter is not about my thoughts on cultural appropriation, of which I have many. This chapter is on cultural integration and its necessity when it comes to the doctrine of prisca theologia.
Medieval philosophers and mystics on the quest to memorialize a single, universal theology searched beyond the borderlines of their own traditions. While their doctrines were based largely in Christian and Jewish mysticism, metastasized by the integration of Platonic philosophy and Sufism, the quest for that universal theology led these thinkers to consider Hinduism, Buddhism, and even a return to unearth the deeper heritage of their own pagan roots.
Cultural integration is conceptual alchemy that blends what had been separate artistic, intuitive paths of wisdom into one unified system of evolved thought. Integration of diverse doctrines is necessary for the advancement of metaphysics and science. That which closes itself off from integration will not evolve, and if you don’t evolve, then you can’t transcend.
The advanced civilizations of history were products of cultural integration. At the age of twenty, a Macedonian king—and a student of Aristotle—succeeded his father to the throne and with his newfound reign, expanded his father’s empire across Africa and Asia. Alexander the Great launched the Hellenistic Period (323 BC to 31 BC), when Greek culture, religion, mythos, and esotericism spread throughout Europe and later to the New World out West, changing the ideologies of the societies that Greek thought integrated into. Consequentially, the Hellenistic culture was indelibly changed by the people that Alexander’s army conquered. Alexander himself personally adopted many of the customary practices of the Egyptians and Persians. Thus, Egyptian and Persian culture wove their way into the global fabric in ways that now cannot be untangled.