January 2, 2017

Nietzschemanteion in the New Year

Some friends of mine have created the Nietzschemanteion, a bibliomantic oracle based on the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. I was given a hardcopy of it, an attractive little booklet.

For those unfamiliar with bibliomancy, there are (at least) two kinds. One is to take a text, usually sacred, let it fall open at a random place and plonk your finger down without looking. The section to land on it your answer.

But the Starry Bull tradition likes a different kind, that's actually a hybrid with astragalomancy. You build a collection of quotes from a text or body of work, assign each a set of three numbers running 1-6 (or whatever your favorite dice run), and then roll a set of three dice to get your answer. You typically choose 3-5 quotes in this way.

I've never read any Nietzsche before. Too busy, and honestly I'm not big on philosophy. Or even poetry. But the fragments in this oracle are fascinating and... educational... about his work. Many of them are from his letters, I think, personal ones in which he talks much of Dionysos, because the god is often mentioned. (Late in his life, affected by mental illness, Nietzsche became quite obsessed with Dionysos, even signing his letters with the name.)

It was designed as an oracle for communication with Dionysos and his Dead, but has developed a personality of its own. Rather a sassy one, at that. I did some readings for people on one of my online communities on New Year's Eve and Day, and it's been fun and interesting. The more I work with it, the more I like it. So here's a reading for the next year of this blog:

5-5-4 Excess revealed itself as truth.
5-6-1 concealed things after which the name Dionysos was added as one more question mark.
2-6-5 of a crisis like no other before on earth
4-6-5 What am I saying?
1-5-6 something never before experienced struggles for utterance

The first three build to a complete sentence, the fourth asks a rhetorical question, and the fifth answers it and sums up. "Excess revealed itself as truth and concealed things after which the name Dionysos was added as one more question mark of a crisis like no other before on earth. What am I saying? Something never before experienced struggles for utterance." A time of great trouble is coming. Dionysos makes it a question, not an answer, which means there is a chance to turn it around. Bacchism (because excess can be a kind of Bacchism) will reveal things. New experiences will be difficult to put into words, but as this is a blog, that's the goal.

It goes well with a reading Sannion gave me for the new year.

2-4-4: I had money and I had none
3-1-1: The dark one, Enterprise
5-5-4: Night is drawing near.
3-4-3: Blood is the rose of mysterious union.
2-5-1: To glory in self like a new monster

I won't give his interpretation, except to say that balance, as ever, will be key.