Having just returned from holiday travels, I am now back at work on Interlinear Magic. I’m releasing another preview chapter for free, and I’ll cover in detail below what remains to be written.
The free chapter is Rite-31: The Oracle of Kronos, which is timely for the Saturnalia season if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s a divination ritual that combines Greek and Egyptian features in a very interesting way, and I’ve included the full chapter for your perusal, with introduction, English and Greek-English translations, and explanatory notes (6 full pages, 2500+ words).
I’m trying something new, releasing this chapter through my Patreon, which is now free to join (and follow). Once the book is finished, I will be re-launching my Patreon site as the primary point of distribution for my new research, translations, and other content. One of my motivations here is to release material as I produce it, rather than waiting for entire books or other long-term research projects to be released. In other words, this will involve a major effort on my part to “digest” my research publicly, while still preparing books, courses, and other content in the background.
For example, I just completed a 12,000-word academic article on “protology” (mythological/philosophical accounts of first principles) in Iamblichus and the PGM. This article will be published in an edited volume sometime in 2024, but in the meantime, some of the research findings will be released on Patreon. Many of these posts will be free, while more involved content (course videos, live Zoom calls, etc.) will eventually be made available to Patrons at higher tiers. But before the book is complete, nothing here will be behind a paywall; anything posted as free content will remain free, and I will continue to add to the free content as a regular feature of the site.
Please follow me there by clicking “join” and simply skipping the payment screen: https://www.patreon.com/theurgy
And the free chapter (Oracle of Kronos) is here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/interlinear-free-95071028
Regarding progress toward completion of the book, there are still a few major tasks to be completed. Most significantly, there is the animal-symbol commentary that runs through several chapters (4, 7, and 8). This is a fairly complex endeavor, involving research into both Egyptian and Greek sources. On just the Greek side, relevant ancient authors include Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Aelian, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Horapollo. But the end result should be a robust commentary on each of the animal symbols in the book (with the exception of Rite-12, which is already complete at 8000+ words without animal commentary).
Next is the related introductory essay on “symbolic systems,” which is built upon the chapters mentioned above (4, 7, 8, and 12). To my knowledge, no one has previously discussed the relationship of these systems to ancient theurgic practice, which only became apparent to me after performing the research for this book. I expect this to be an important first statement of this aspect of theurgy, within my long-term historical project of reconstructing the theurgic practice of Iamblichus and his followers. But because this aspect of theurgy has so much potential, I will continue to explore these systems on Patreon and in my future published work.
Third, the General Introduction remains to be revised and edited. Beyond this, there are only a few remaining loose ends that need some attention.
I do not yet have a release date for the book, but the first half of 2024 seems very likely. Thank you once again for your support and patience.
Brian P. Alt, PhD