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Initiatory Materials : An Ethnography of Contemporary Alchemy in Sweden

Cejvan, Olivia LU (2018) In Correspondences 6(1). p.25-45
Abstract
This article is an ethnographic study of spagyric alchemical practice, sometimes referred to by my informants as “the wet path,” which is centred on the making of elixirs. This article begins with an ethnographic vignette of how alchemy was taught in a group setting and then describes how the author became an alchemist’s apprentice during the course of an evening. Analytical perspectives on this ethnographic material lead to a discussion of the benefits of an ethnographic approach to esotericism. Finally, methodological issues pertaining to the qualitative study of contemporary esotericism are discussed. The article’s main argument is that the ethnography of contemporary esotericism can discern the practical aspects of esotericism that... (More)
This article is an ethnographic study of spagyric alchemical practice, sometimes referred to by my informants as “the wet path,” which is centred on the making of elixirs. This article begins with an ethnographic vignette of how alchemy was taught in a group setting and then describes how the author became an alchemist’s apprentice during the course of an evening. Analytical perspectives on this ethnographic material lead to a discussion of the benefits of an ethnographic approach to esotericism. Finally, methodological issues pertaining to the qualitative study of contemporary esotericism are discussed. The article’s main argument is that the ethnography of contemporary esotericism can discern the practical aspects of esotericism that cannot be discovered or studied through textual studies alone, which is why ethnography can be a fruitful complement to the dominant historical focus on esotericism. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
esoterism, alkemi, ockultism, Contemporary esotericism, cultic milieu, alchemy, esoteric practice
in
Correspondences
volume
6
issue
1
pages
25 - 45
ISSN
2053-7158
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
Special Issue: Ethnographies of the Esoteric
id
c8c07bbb-1510-4ab4-9619-606836d4c3fd
alternative location
http://correspondencesjournal.com/17402-1/
date added to LUP
2018-11-06 09:56:19
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:43:01
@article{c8c07bbb-1510-4ab4-9619-606836d4c3fd,
  abstract     = {This article is an ethnographic study of spagyric alchemical practice, sometimes referred to by my informants as “the wet path,” which is centred on the making of elixirs. This article begins with an ethnographic vignette of how alchemy was taught in a group setting and then describes how the author became an alchemist’s apprentice during the course of an evening. Analytical perspectives on this ethnographic material lead to a discussion of the benefits of an ethnographic approach to esotericism. Finally, methodological issues pertaining to the qualitative study of contemporary esotericism are discussed. The article’s main argument is that the ethnography of contemporary esotericism can discern the practical aspects of esotericism that cannot be discovered or studied through textual studies alone, which is why ethnography can be a fruitful complement to the dominant historical focus on esotericism.  },
  author       = {Cejvan, Olivia},
  issn         = {2053-7158},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {25--45},
  series       = {Correspondences },
  title        = {Initiatory Materials : An Ethnography of Contemporary Alchemy in Sweden},
  url          = {http://correspondencesjournal.com/17402-1/},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2018},
}