In an attempt to get back into the flow of commenting on Hasler’s PhD thesis/portfolio (see parts 1, 2 and 3), I thought I might make a little typological excursion prior to looking at Hasler’s survey of astrological music.
I recently discovered the work of Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam) via a post on Egil Asprem’s Heterodoxology blog (highly recommended). Asprem points towards Pasi’s essay Coming Forth by Night, which suggests a fourfold typology for ‘esoteric art’, which I have summarised below under four headings:
Representation: “[T]he representation of esoteric symbols or images associated with esotericism.”
Production: “[T]he production of artistic objects […] that can be interpreted as talismans or fetishes, or in manipulating matter that can be associated with occult sciences, such as alchemy and magic.”
Initiation: “[A]rtistic work becomes a means to induce extraordinary experiences, which can be interpreted as having spiritual/mystical/initiatory/shamanic/magical qualities.”
Mediation: “[W]hen an artistic work is the result of direct inspiration/communication from spiritual entities, or of a visionary/mystical experience.”