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A liminal space between worlds discussing all things 〰️magic, 〰️metaphysics, and the 〰️occult in the contexts of the Muslim diaspora.

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whY THE NAME barzakh?

Referring to Google for the word “Barzakh” will present you with the exoteric references and (strange) imagery of the grave, of souls in purgatory, and a number of conceptual “scholarly” musings of the immediate ordeals after death. While we have no problem with associations of the dead, it is important to clear up any misconceptions and make it clear about our collective’s namesake. Our reference and choice of this term refers to the metaphysical concept of the barzakh, as mentioned in the Quran, Surat al-Rahman (Chapter 55:19-20), and further explicated in depth throughout the works of the great 12 c. Andalusian Sheikh Ibn Arabi قدس اللهُ سرّ. 

Surah Rahman, Verse 19. He hath loosed the two seas. They meet.

Surah Rahman, Verse 20. Between them is a barrier, that neither of them mix.

In the works of Sheikh Al-Akbar Ibn Arabi (QAS), the concept of the barzakh plays a central role in his cosmological explications of the Imaginal Realm. The barzakh is the limit, the veil of separation, the liminal in-between space between the Imaginal and the physical terrestrial realms. The barzakh is “an expression for what separates two things without ever becoming either of them, such as the line separating a shadow from the sunlight”1. A fence could be another example, which when installed, consequently creates two separate spaces, whereas previously they were mingled as one. The fence is a third factor, not belonging to either side, only serving the purpose of setting the limits of separation. In regards to the exoteric definition of the term, sure the grave could be seen as a threshold space between the physical and netherworld, but it is so much more than that.

As far as the Collective goes, this name was inspired by a chain of inspirational events and is fitting for a number of reasons. First, there is the obvious correlation with the subject matter at hand— as theurgists, we regularly straddle and travel between both Worlds, at times even finding comfort in this threshold liminal space. Second, fitting the Age upon us, the symbol of the barzakh is actually the sign of Aquarius ♒, which literally depicts two bodies of water separated by a third space. Third, we honor and reclaim the meeting spaces on the liminal fringes of society which the metaphysicians and those labeled ‘other’ both within and without our tradition, since time immemorial, have gathered. There are further correlations related to the East and West being two seas that meet, but don’t mix as well as the technological implications of the internet as a modern liminal place of projection and gathering.

1 Morris, James Winston. 1995. Divine “Imagination” and the Intermediate World: Ibn Arabi on the ‘Barzakh’ Postdata, vol. 2. epoca: 15, pp 106, Verano. Boston College University Libraries.