The Ouroboros is a powerful symbol in mythology and alchemy. It signifies the duality of everything: destruction, creation, birth, death, and basically the eternal cycle of the universe and humanity. And I think it’s going to play a big role in my NaNoWriMo novel.
This led me to Thomas Browne, a very interesting individual who contributed a great deal to the world but is not someone I’ve ever heard of. He contributed to scientific discourse but believed in angels and witchcraft. He may have been influential in the execution of two women as witches. He also coined so many words that we use today, like “coexistence”, “computer”, “electricity”, “exhaustion”, “indigenous”, and so many others. I had no idea.
Then I read about Michael Ranft, a pastor, writer, historian, and vampire expert! Cool!
After that, I checked out Eternalism, which is the philosophy that all time, past, present and future, exist simultaneously just like all locations on a map, rather than past and present existing and future not existing until it becomes part of the present. Sounds confusing, but it makes sense (after reading it a couple of times).
Then I went to alchemy, an ancient practice that combined science, philosophy, and mysticism. The general goal was to transmute metal into gold and create eternal life. Hermeticism says that transmutation of metals was a metaphor for personal spiritual transformation. It’s interesting that Jung had such a fascination with it. He found tons of parallels to mythological and psychological archetypes.
In fact, Hermeticism sounds like something I really need to spend some time researching. It’s an ancient religion, philosophy, and spiritual tradition that was extremely influential. Among many other things, it incorporates astrology, alchemy, theurgy, and reincarnation. It also incorporated the maxim…
“As Above, So Below” which can be interpreted as what happens on earth reflects what happens in the astral plane. It’s a powerful sentiment that stretches into quantum mechanics, astrology, witchcraft, and even Christianity. There’s a found footage movie with that title (it was okay), but its ancient roots are deep in human consciousness.