The “Hedge Mystic”

In a recent post I characterized myself as a “garden-variety mystic” in that I don’t identify as a “psychic” (much less an all-seeing one) or a “sensitive” in my professional pursuits (nor as an “empath” either, but that’s a subject for a different post), I just “read the cards.” Today I hit upon the even more precise moniker of “hedge mystic.” It echoes the ideas of “hedge witch” and “hedge knight” in that I operate on the fringes of mainstream wisdom and practice (if such can be imputed to divination as a discipline) and pretty much march to my own drum, although my work does coexist peacefully with what is considered more customary (that is, I’m not a fire-breathing agitator, more a creative re-thinker and re-formulator). I live within the broad parameters of the Seven Hermetic Principles explained in The Kybalion but don’t revere them as one might orthodox religious tenets. Mysticism comes naturally to the esoteric philosopher and diviner since it embraces abstract concepts of spirit, expressed in the second case through the medium of divination, for which there is often little objective evidence of veracity other than personal and largely anecdotal experience (once again, exactly like religion).

I found two definitions of “mysticism,” the first of which I mostly agree with (although I don’t see myself as “surrendering” to my orphic perceptions); the other one looks more like the typical “debunker’s” snide commentary. (We could say that where divination has its James Randi, religion has its Richard Dawkins.)

  • belief that the spiritual apprehension of knowledge inaccessible to the intellect may be attained through contemplation and self-surrender
  • belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies

I have no illusions about this stuff. It may be charming and illuminating, but it can also be problematic as a source of absolute truth, especially if one responds blindly by acting  as if it is. On the other hand, I’m not convinced it has to be such if it proves useful to the recipient, who can, with a modicum of discernment (and keeping in mind “Pascal’s wager”), choose just how much to accept as a matter of prudent foreknowledge and how much to ignore. This utilitarian viewpoint is what allows me to endorse Hamlet’s proposition: “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in (our) philosophy.”

I have no problem characterizing my observations as showing possible (or, at best, probable) trends or tendencies in future circumstances even when my querent is seeking airtight forecasting precision, since mystical awareness is typically more impressionistic than clinical in nature. This outlook coincides perfectly with the role of storyteller that I assume when doing readings, as well as with the understanding that what we do as diviners is more an art than a science. The “mystic arts” are just that, conveying visionary and often atmospheric fragments of  inspired insight that can be transmuted into actionable advice with a little imagination and ingenuity on the part of both the reader and the querent.

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