This fall, The Galloway Chronicles is proud to present The Modest Occultist, a new semi-weekly column by Roberta Mumford-Kenning.
Once Dr. Sherwood Kenning's most promising graduate student, Mrs. Mumford-Kenning has distinguished herself in the occult field quite independently of her illustrious ex-husband. She is perhaps best known for My House in Sumeria, an autobiographical account of her time in "Babylon, between the wars," focusing largely on an affair with a swarthy man believed by many to be Zecharia Sitchin. While well-received in Germany, Mrs. Mumford-Kenning's recent work on the effects of Kabbalah water on the Persian phoenix has yet to find American publication.
Written from her recently purchased bungalow in Providence, Rhode Island, Mrs. Mumford-Kenning's new column will focus exclusively on matters of morality, taste, dignity, and propriety -- her four most cherished ideals that she believes are too often overlooked in modern occultism.
Questions for our newest columnist may be left in the comments section.
Dear Mrs. Mumford-Kenning,
I have recently taken up practical alchemy but, as with most of my previous hobbies, my boyfriend refuses to even pretend to be interested. Even the (I know, slight) possibility of unfathomable riches doesn't turn his head from professional wrestling and Attack of the Show.
Recently when he loaded the dishwasher, he put my alembic in backwards. The inside of it is now encrusted with Spaghetti-Os sauce (his kid's) that I'm having the worst time getting out. Suffice it to say that Kitchen-Aid does not make a tool that can get inside the neck of this thing and no alchemical practice (that I know of) will loosen it either.
I'm having a hard time believing that this was not passive-aggressive behavior on his part and symbolic of so much else that is wrong with our relationship. I hate to think that I've wasted the last eight years of my life, but I can't get it out of my mind that the last time I left, he didn't even notice until my credit card bills came in the mail.
Alchemy is a filthy habit, never to be practiced in any decent home. One need only observe the suggestive shape of the alchemical retort to know the bestial origins of this unholy activity.
No doubt, spiritual fulfillment (or piles of gold) is a worthy goal. Under my direction, my ex-husband once tried draping his alchemical equipment in fabric, as more curvaceous furniture legs were once wisely and modestly shrouded in Victorian times. But this resulted only in a horrific burning smell and the destruction of several yards of my family's tartan wool.
Lesson learned: Something rotten at the core is rotten through and through. The venereal imagery at the heart of so much alchemical lore only pollutes the mind. The yoni and lingam are best kept well apart, and dusted regularly lest they attract unwholesome influences.
As to the dishwasher event being "symbolic of so much else that is wrong with [your] relationship," I suggest that you mentally refrain from plunging into anything "symbolic." As we all know, symbolism by its very definition has many hidden layers of meaning and I for one don't care to know what they are.
I will add that dishes are best washed by hand. Some duties should never be trusted to machinery.