(I've been seeing a lot of academic papers coming out that would be interesting to our community here. JSK posted this one today. - S+A)
Ad cœlum, ad inferos. Lunar theology in the Chaldean Oracles and the Greek Magical Papyri
by ANDREEA-MARIA LEMNARU (Paris-Sorbonne IV University)
According to the neoplatonists, during the procession of the One to the many, the soul has fallen from its primeval and perfect state of being, until reaching matter, where it enters the realm of genesis through a mortal body. Its only possibility to escape the transmigration cycle is to remember its divine origin, and to rehearse for the moment when it will leave the body through mystical techniques. Theurgy, advocated by the Chaldean Oracles, the late-antique so-called Bible of the neoplatonists theorized by the Syrian Iamblichus during the IIIrd century, leads to the soul's reunification with the gods. The theurgists achieved the ascension (ἀναγωγή) and conversion (ἐπιστροφή) of their soul towards the gods and ultimately, its final return to the One, indirect source of both the νοῦς and the Cosmic Soul (ψυχὴ κόσμου). In that sense, both the Intellect and the Cosmic Soul may be considered as degradations of the One, identified with Non-Being in neoplatonism. Since Iamblichus, unlike Plotinus, believed in the soul's complete descent into matter, theurgy, beyond discursive thought (διάνοια), was necessary to its final reunification (ἔνωσις) with its source. Since Hecate seems to incarnate the Cosmic Soul in the Chaldean Oracles, she is their main deity, and hence, also that of the theurgists. This study wishes to illuminate a possible influence of near-eastern theologies, more specifically Babylonian, on the Moon in the Greek Magical Papyri and the Chaldean Oracles. To what extent may the chtonian goddess of the Greek Magical Papyri help us understand the celestial figure of the Χαλδαϊκα λογία, and how does she become a celestial deity ? Ereshkigal, the Babylonian deity Hecate is so often associated with in the PGM, may give us a hint.