Wizard’s Resources

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I was listing (eh hem, bragging) to someone today of my numerous resources. And I had forgotten this little gem sitting on one of my bookshelves.

It is a beautifully illustrated book covering many mystical and visceral creatures of meadows, forest sand dark corners. It is divided into two sections: part one is elves and part two is goblins and other little creatures.

Many a creature one will meet in these pages, some familiar, some obscure. Most of us have heard of Puck, the Drac, sylphs or the will-o’-the-wisps. But there be others not so known, the Asrai, Patupaiarehe

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You get dwarves, goblins, elves, sprites, creatures of the ponds and lakes and the rivers, of the meadows and the garden, the sea and the coast, of the mountains, heaths and hills, and of the shadows and many others besides. And they are from all over the globe and from every culture.

Funny thing to observe. It is observed that religion is ubiquitous to man in all times and all places. And so are these class of creatures. A modernist would shrug off such an observation as man is an idiot in all times and all places. And while I do not discredit wholly that assertion, I do not agree that religion and faerie are the result of idiocy.

I am quite willing to go on record and claim the exact opposite. I am even prepared to go on record and say both are to the glory of man.

But this wasn’t to be about a single book. I wish there was an equivalent book on monsters.

I had laid out (the bragging I had referenced at the beginning) to this person my general reference material: Sisson’s Synonyms (that’s a new acquisition though) complete OED, Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern Usage, and some picture dictionaries that I find indispensable.

But I then dove into my digital reference material which is mainly religious (Catholic really) in nature. It is pretty impressive. And I am leaving out my complete collection of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers collections, my complete Summa Theologica and other related things.

Why am I writing about it though? Because it was shortly, pretty damn shortly too, after acquiring all this that I went into school and haven’t had much occasion to even glance at it until now.

  • Vatican II documents
  • Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year
  • The Roman Missal, The Roman Martyrology
  • The Book of Saints, The Book of the Popes
  • Catholic Pocket Dictionary and Cyclopedia, Collins Thesaurus of the Bible
  • Dictionary of Latin Forms
  • Dictionary of the Vulgate New Testament
  • Great Quotations
  • An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin
  • Manual of the Councils of the Holy Catholic Church

I left out I don’t know how many pictorial/maps to the ancient biblical world books. Aramaic, Greek and other such dictionaries and bibles. Several books on the Council of Trent, Vat I, etc, etc.

All that and more, plus I still have in my possession the entire Durant history series.

I am going to be playing for a long time now!

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5 responses to “Wizard’s Resources

  • taichiwawa

    Humans have always felt that there is an enchanted component to the universe (chanted = both in the meanings of magic and song). Therefore, there must be an enchanter or enchanters, a singer or singers of the song. We acknowledge and imitate this enchantment in art and religion. Is this just our imagination? Well, so are the human intuitions regarding mathematics and they translate into useful applications in the physical world. It’s no wonder Pythagoras conflated mathematics and religion. But just as an equation is not “Mathematics,” representations of the “Enchantment” are not the thing itself.

    Here we seem to be getting into the age-old problem of the relation between an individual entity and a universal form. A field which, however much plowed, remains intact; hence, philosophical. But, theologically, Christianity solves the problem (whether actually or metaphorically is another matter) as Jesus represents a link between the two realms.

    Personally, I can hear the music of existence, experience the enchantment, appreciate the representations, and that’s enough for me.

    • bensira587

      [Ug, sorry, I still can’t leave replies that are short!]

      Interesting points. I won’t quibble about the merits or demerits of Christianity. I am still a thinker on the subject, not a believer. I do confess that the deeper I probe into it, the more I like. Especially when I am reading Chesterton, Lafferty’s Catholic madness, or church fathers like St. Basil and the like. Especially when I am reading of saints and the Church (although you can cringe sometimes as well). But I cannot recite the Apostle’s Creed and claim belief (well, not beyond the first article anyway).

      But what I can’t abide is no music, no enchantment. And there is about us a growing population who have that as their religion. I used to be a member of that population. I can’t think of a more seriously devoted group of people to that proposition than the followers of Rand.

      I have actually known people that will not read something with faerie in it, or a half man/ half machine dark lord in a black helmet wielding a laser sword, or magic, or a unicorn. And because, they have stated, these things are not real – by which they mean “these things are not true.”

      That is tragic. I have always held the belief that some of these things are even more real than the ones walking around that you can poke in the belly with your finger. I would even make the case that it is the “unreal ones” that make the “real ones” just like the tales of Homer forged the Greek character.

      Then again, the Pope (Cardinal?) of the new ersatz (thank you Sisson! couldn’t remember the spelling, found you under ‘substitute’) religion, Neil deGrasse Tyson, has stated that yes, we all could be living in the matrix, or a simulation within a simulation within a within a within a…

      So much for the rational, scientific mind – or, looking at this from the left-side – is it the case that no one (or almost no one) can escape the need to hear some form of enchantment? I used to mock the mystery of the Trinity. Well, no more, it has been surpassed. The matrix theory(?) would take more faith than I could ever muster.

  • taichiwawa

    Einstein’s birthday was last Tuesday. I was reading an article about him this morning and came across this quote:

    “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” — Albert Einstein

    I would add that the essence of all being is mysterious.

    • bensira587

      Some people scoff at the question of why there is something rather than nothing. That there be anything at all is THE mystery, because it makes a lot more sense for there to have been nothing and for there to have remained nothing. Being itself is mysterious.

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