5th Dimension Librarian: New Sources of Knowledge in Scholarly Occult Practice

Fitzpatrick, Joanne (2022) 5th Dimension Librarian: New Sources of Knowledge in Scholarly Occult Practice. In: Hexing the Patriarchy, 2022-05-26.

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Politically charged information and magical practices are part of everyday life as an academic librarian and High Priestess. Using an information behaviour model published in a recent research article (https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.22512), as well as structural plans for a new coven of occult practitioners, that will have begun meetings at the date of the symposium, this paper will detail how politics appear within modern magical praxis. The growing body of scholarly content that maps western esotericism is reaching a critical mass, and there is a need for librarian support in self directed learning in modern traditions based on witchcraft and the occult. Important to consider here, in order to encourage practitioner engagement with this material, is non-rational forms of knowing and how they intersect with information seeking behaviour, and how practitioners seek to do what they do best: to re-enchant everything before them, including scholarly research. We cannot escape the political landscapes present in this type of work, and key here are the unique methods of establishing authority in magical communities, among other issues detailed in the information behaviour model developed. Neither magic or libraries are neutral, and the coven framework in part allows for social justice magic, and practitioners of it, to progress, as well as looking at other alternative purposes for magical training beyond just preserving traditions or manifesting personal gains. Speaking from a viewpoint of politics in magic (rather than magic in politics), this paper will specify a project comprising of four work currents, roughly, equality, openness, monetisation and fiction/satire, and can speak to how they present themselves within witchcraft communities in detail. Ambitious plans for the coven aim to find a way to be guided by divinity and gnosis in order to inform developments and interventions in those areas.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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Hexing the Patriarchy
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05 May 2023 11:30
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 05:51