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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Word of the Day: Numen

Numen, pl. numina, ("an influence perceptible by mind but not by senses,"[citation needed]) is aLatin term for a potential,[clarification needed] guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought. The many names forItalic gods may obscure this sense of a numinous presence in all the seemingly mundane actions of the natural world.[1]
The word was also used in the imperial cult of ancient Rome, to refer to the guardian-spirit,[citation needed] 'godhead' or divine power of a living emperor—in other words, a means of worshiping a living emperor without literally calling him a god.
The word numen is also used by sociologists to refer to the idea of magical power residing in an object, particularly when writing about ideas in the western tradition. When used in this sense, numen is nearly synonymous with mana. However, some authors reserve use of manafor ideas about magic from Polynesia and southeast Asia.

Thanks, Wikipedia.

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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