In typical Andrea fashion, I suggested (impulsively) that one of the blog posts in the blog a day ‘til Xmas challenge should be about the word numinous. The idea came to me via my twitter newsfeed. Someone had posted the word numinous and its definition and I thought “Yeah that word sounds cool we should write about that”. I retweeted to Chris and he agreed. Chris suggested we write about this on the 15th day and that is how we got to here.
So I went back to the original tweet to remind myself what the hell I was supposed to be writing about today. According to what was tweeted this is the definition of the word.
numinous (adj.) describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted-the powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.
The more I thought about this definition the more I thought something was off. Fearful yet fascinated? Awed yet attracted? Really? There was too much alliteration in the definition that it could not possibly be the actual definition. And of course the reference for said definition was: English Origin Latin | Other-wordly.tumbler.com
Yeah, so basically this definition is someone’s interpretation of the word. So for comparisons sake I thought maybe I would check out a dictionary and see what it had to say. So I surfed my way over to Oxford as I heard they knew a little something about the definitions of things.
Oxford defines numinous as:
having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity: the strange, numinous beauty of this ancient landmark.
And then I thought I best get a second opinion as who knows what the fuck you are reading these days. So I surfed over to Merriam-Webster because I heard they make dictionaries too.
Merriam-Webster defines numinous as follows:
filled with a sense of the presence of divinity: holy;
appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense: spiritual.
So basically, from what I can tell from the two dictionary definitions and other-wordly’s take, is the latter seems to be defining her/his own sense or presence of divinity. For example, if one was to have a divine experience they would feel fearful yet fascinated, awed but attracted.
Having never had this experience I can’t really say whether or not it is accurate. However, I have heard many people describe their experiences with me as such. So actually come to think of it, I have had this experience! Every day when I look in the mirror! So yes, I’ve changed my mind, other-wordly’s take on numinous appears to be absolutely accurate.
Bonus Point Round Complete :)