Where Have All the Masters Gone?

Folk singer Pete Seeger once wrote a poignant song titled “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” that lamented the transitory flowering and fading of youth and also, obliquely, the folly of war. In contemplating the unfortunate demise of the stimulating forum that was Aeclectic Tarot in 2017, I often wonder where the council of highly knowledgeable and deeply committed esoteric thinkers went. I existed in a solitary philosophical vacuum for so long with my own occult studies and practice that in 2011 I was thrilled to find others more thoroughly versed than I am in those arcane matters to bounce ideas off and, more importantly, to critique my assumptions. Over the six years of my involvement, both as participant and moderator, I refined while also reaffirming many of my long-held opinions on both the tarot and Hermetic principles in general, while also discovering Lenormand. I occasionally see members of that enlightened minority pop up on other online venues but for the most part they seem to have vanished into thin air.

The current rallying cry for those interested in finding kindred spirits with wisdom to share seems to be “YouTube.” It must be said that I’m not a fan, since so many of the offerings are embarrassingly cringe-worthy from a professional presentation standpoint; they resemble ego-stroking “video sound bites” more than platforms for interactive discourse. But then, I have little patience for “talking heads” of any stripe, beginning with the network news anchors that push propaganda more than unbiased information. I’m primarily a “written word” guy anyway, and only resort to YouTube when I have something to repair. Give me a good blog or book and I’m perfectly content, but my “inner curmudgeon” sometimes grumbles “Is this the best we can do?”

The ideal outlet for this kind of engagement is the in-person gathering (seminars, conventions, etc) where it’s possible to mingle with peers and quiz the presenters, but that has been hit by a double-barrelled disincentive in recent years: Covid and social-media inertia, not to mention that attendance is becoming prohibitively expensive for the average enthusiast. I had high hopes for local “Meetup” groups but nothing much has happened over the last three years; risk of infection aside, it seems that likely attendees have been unable or unwilling to bestir themselves enough to get out of the house when conversation of sorts is only a keystroke away. It looks like virtual reality (where we can style ourselves as anyone we want to be) trumps the “real deal” every time.

Anyway, here for your enjoyment are Pete Seeger’s lyrics:

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone for husbands everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?
Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?
Where have all the husbands gone?
Gone for soldiers everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s