The Serpent’s Wisdom will be my ongoing attempt to distill over a decade’s worth of study and investigation into, and meditation upon, the legacy of Gnosticism as it has existed from antiquity to the present day. I hope you will find it inspiring, or at least informative.
“Gnosticism” sounds like a narrow topic, and the term may bring to mind scholars reading dusty scrolls full of arcane scribblings and philosophical dead-ends. What we find, however, is a surprisingly relevant and living current which has cast a wide influence over the Western tradition. When I refer to the “Gnostic current,” I refer to a strain of influence, a trajectory of ideas or practices, a persistent Weltanschauung, of which we can find traces in numerous traditions and undertakings. Most of my attention will be given to “classical” Gnosticism — the collection of teachings offered by a number of heterodox Jewish, Jewish-Christian, and Christian sects starting in 100 BCE and extending to 350 CE. But do not be surprised if I touch on topics as wide-ranging as Kabbalah, alchemy, Catharism, the writings of Meister Eckhart or William Blake, Theosophy, or Jungian psychology.
This is the third incarnation of the Serpent’s Wisdom project. It existed initially as my LiveJournal, which I began writing in 2002 and have kept to the present day (though it is mostly dormant these days). The second undertaking under the name of the Serpent’s Wisdom was a podcast which I developed and published at this domain in the summer and fall of 2011. I had some time on my hands as I had recently moved, had not yet returned to full-time work, and was taking a hiatus from school. In the spring of 2012 I returned to school to finish my master’s degree and had to set aside the podcasting project for lack of time or energy. But it is time to resume working on this project. I will post entries here at least twice a week; I’m aiming for Sundays and Thursdays.