This week, we welcome Dr Ian Evans, architectural historian, author and conservationist. Dr Evans’ 2010 thesis, ‘Touching Magic’, was the first ever academic examination of the historic use of witches marks, bottles and other apotropaic magic in Australia.
It's an absolutely fantastic chat. There are photos from Dr Evans' research available at runesoup.com, along with his entire thesis, some additional reporting on the topic and a video on the Tasmanian Magic Project.
This week we speak to writer and metaphysician, Benebell Wen. Benebell is the author of Holistic Tarot and The Tao of Craft.
It's a great chat, covering the history of Taoism and Taoist magic, differences in western and eastern sigil construction, Chinese diaspora lifeways, families hauntings and -inevitably- a little tarot too.
This week we welcome back Jesse Hathaway Diaz to talk Curanderismo, magical realism, Orisha traditions, and Aztec calendars and astrology.
This week we speak to writer, practitioner (and most recently translator of Le Livre des Esperitz for jake Stratton-Kent’s Pandemonium), Mallorie Vaudoise.
We talk the origin of the saints, the Italian American diaspora experience, the Black Madonna, necromancy, sacred dances and a whole lot more.
(For the book list, please visit runesoup.com)
This week we welcome back to the show none other than Jake Stratton-Kent to talk about his latest book, Pandemonium: A Discordant Concordance of Diverse Spirit Catalogues.
We also talk implicit and explicit ritual structure, the origins of spirit catalogues, how to think usefully about hierarchy and a whole lot more.
A splendid chat.
This week we speak to cultural anthropologist, researcher and practitioner, Ben Joffe. Ben’s particular areas of expertise include the anthropology of magic, the Tibet diaspora, ritual and esotericism.
A splendid discussion.
This week, all the way from the land of smiles, we welcome Peter Jenks. Jenx is the author of the recently published The Thai Occult and so we shall, inevitably, be speaking about the fascinating subject of Thai animism and magic.
An absolutely fantastic conversation.
This week we welcome back author, lecturer, rights advocate and renegade Anthroposophist, Conner Habib.
For our first show of 2017, we talk about how you can make it your year, the best mindset for challenging times and the personal power you have available.
Good times. Very good times indeed.
I'm excited to announce that -beginning in 2017- Rune Soup will offer a Premium Membership option.
Listen along -or watch the driving video on YouTube- and find out more about the membership and why it exists.
What a Rune Soup Premium Membership will do for you:
1. Make you better at practical enchantment (and thus possibly life)
2. Make you more knowledgeable
3. Empowers you to contribute
* Subsequent payments are month-to-month
This week we have our regular six-monthly chat with the one and only Austin Coppock about the astrological trends to note in the coming year.
We also talk cycle models, finding the right attitude, long range trends, eclipses and what could be in store for Trump.
This week we speak to podcaster and gnosis nerd, Miguel Conner, of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio.
Topics covered include Simon Magus, heresy, developments in Gnostic research, competing Christianities and sacred window areas.
An absolute pleasure as always.
This week we speak to author John Higgs about the singular oddness that was the twentieth century -the century that gave us space travel, nuclear weapons, the internet, existentialism, quantum theory, chaos mathematics, some fairly impressive genocide events and the greatest material lift in quality of life for the most people ever.
Along the way we talk about Timothy Leary and the counterculture, meeting Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Moore's Fossil Angels and the shortcomings of transhumanism.
Very good times.
That means the podcast has been running -without interruption- for a whole year. If you've never done it before, you may be unaware of why I am quietly quite proud of this achievement.
If you have done it before -but not in a year where you secretly moved across the world and lived first in a house with no furniture, then an AirBnB, then lived without a fixed address for two months- well... look into it. It's not that bad. (Ha! Definitely do not do this. Fishing around in several suitcases for a microphone to setup on a bedside dresser in your brother's apartment while keeping Peter Levenda waiting. Yeesh.)
To celebrate, the obvious guest choice is guest number one, Peter Grey -this time dramatically improved with the addition of Alkistis to the discussion. And given that the show is about milestones, it seems the best thing to talk about is the year that was, as well as where magic is going in 2017.
Thank you all so much for listening. Roll on, Year 2!
This week we welcome back the one and only Peter Levenda to talk all things Lovecraft.
I've been looking forward to this one!
This week we have a very timely discussion with writer, teacher and activist, Lasara Firefox Allen about identity, justice, culture and self-limitation.
Also biodomes, growing up weird in California and feminist spirituality. Good times. Good discussion.
This week we speak to hoodoo and shamanic practitioner, speaker, teacher and activist, Khi Armand.
Naturally, we discuss the evolution of hoodoo, the impact of place and context on spirit work, the culture that is America, the role that shamanism and the spirits can play in uncovering your life's purpose and a whole lot more.
A splendid chat!
This week we speak to Julio Cesar Ody. Julio is a native of Brazil and has many years experience with spirit work. He is also a writer and a blogger and, conveniently for me, happens to also live on the east coast of Australia. No time zones for once!
We talk spiritism, grimoires, childhood séances, magical Brazil, and the general state of the magical Internet. Good chat. Good times.
This week we chat to novelist and Fortean researcher, Michael M. Hughes, about one of my absolute favourite subjects -the tarot. We also chat about a few other favourite topics, too -including UFO encounters and quality weird fiction.
It's a splendid, splendid chat.
This week's guest has been gracious enough to share some suggestions and pointers for the listeners, which you can find below:
The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards
by Alejandro Jodorowsky
One of the best books about Tarot ever written. Deep, philosophical, yet incredibly practical teachings from a true visionary. Jodo’s “rebuilt” deck that he produced with Phillipe Camoin includes details that are iffy (the Papesse’s “egg” being a prime example), but those are minor points in an otherwise essential text. Jodo’s numerology system is brilliant and the one I use for working with the minor arcana. Favorite quote: “To comprehend the Arcana, we have to enter inside them stripped of words. Better, we should allow ourselves to be possessed by them.”
Meditations on the Tarot
by Anonymous (Valentin Tomberg)
A profoundly spiritual work that uses the Tarot as introduction to esoteric Christian Hermeticism filtered via an unorthodox Roman Catholic lens. Definitely not for everyone, but if the description piques your interest, pick it up—its insights are revelatory. There is an intriguing photo that shows this book on Pope John Paul II’s desk.
The Inner Guide Meditation: A Spiritual Technology for the 21st Century
by Edwin C. Steinbrecher
A carefully constructed program to contact and work with one’s inner guide (HGA, daemon, genius) via the tarot archetypes, Jungian active imagination, and astrology. Israel Regardie called this book “One of the most significant contributions to occult history in modern times” and he was not exaggerating. This is true tarot magic, and, if you follow the program, the results may astound you.
Tarot—The Open Reading
by Yoav-Ben Dov
Another must-have if you decide to explore the Tarot de Marseille, it is especially useful for free-form spreads and readings “outside the box” with any deck. Ben Dov’s “open reading” style, an elaboration of methods he learned while studying with Jodorowsky, is very similar to the process I teach.
The Magical World of the Tarot: Fourfold Mirror of the Universe
by Gareth Knight
All of Knight’s books on the tarot are worth reading, but this is my favorite. It teaches you to approach the cards as spiritual beings through meditations and visualizations. If your interests lie in the magical use of Tarot and using the cards as a spiritual practice, grab everything Gareth Knight writes.
Tarot Magic: The Treasure House of Images (Second Edition)
by Gareth Knight
Another superb book by Knight. It complements The Magical World of Tarot and elaborate on his Fourfold Structure of the major arcana that is well worth studying in depth. The book also includes pathworkings as well as a number of rituals.
This is a high quality reproduction of the traditional Tarot de Marseille published by Nicholas Conver in 1760, with the expressions on the faces of the characters somewhat softened. The creator and artist is Yoav Ben-Dov, who wrote an excellent book on reading the TdM, Tarot – The Open Reading. Ben-Dov has also released the images of the cards under a Creative Commons license for personal use. It’s a great first TdM.
TdMs from Tarot of Marseilles Heritage
Yves Reynaud and Wilfried Houdin are master card designers who produce stunning facsimiles of historical decks that contain all the ink smudges, color mismatches, and paper imperfections of the originals. The decks include TdMs by Pierre Madenie (1709), François Chosson (1736), François Heri (1718), and Claude Burdel (1751). You can’t go wrong with any of them, and it feels like you are holding a historic relic in your hands. They come in a solid, telescoping box with a reproduction of the original packing sheet and are printed on very sturdy stock.
Tarot de Marseille de Jean Noblet
The oldest known Marseille tarot (c. 1650), restored and reproduced by Jean-Claude Flornoy, and one of my favorites. It is weirdly phallocentric, with the Fool’s fully exposed genitalia about to be shredded by the dog/cat/lynx and the Magician’s forefinger transformed into a penis. The cards are sturdy but smaller than average and easy to shuffle. This deck has a unique, iconoclastic charm and remains a favorite among many TdM loyalists.
Ancient Italian Tarot (also known as Soprafino)
A traditional Marseille design embellished in the 19th century with luxurious, richly detailed art. Hands-down one of the most beautiful tarots ever, with my favorite Star card of any deck. It has a warm, inviting feel and is one of my go-to decks for professional readings as well as personal use. Il Meneghello has a typically well-produced Soprafino that is essentially the same as the Lo Scarabeo version but on heavier stock and fancier packaging.
Not a traditional tarot, as it has 97 cards, with 41 major arcana cards instead of the usual 22. This facsimile deck from 19th century Florence has special relevance for magicians as it contains cards for each of the four elements and signs of the zodiac, which I find much more useful than the shoehorned Golden Dawn and Thelemic astrological correspondences. The gorgeous, limited printing of 1500 is available from Il Meneghello, and comes in a handcrafted box with a wax seal.
A fifty-card deck from the middle of the 15th century, based upon a series of engraved prints by an unknown Italian artist. This deck is essentially a treatise on late Medieval/early Renaissance society and spirituality, and is decidedly Neoplatonic, with the nine muses and Apollo, seven traditional planets, fixed stars, the Primum Mobile, and Prima Causa. Another non-traditional deck, like the Minchiate, that can be put to specific magical purposes, especially for those working with Hermetic and Neoplatonic systems. The Lo Scarabeo edition is embossed with silver foil and looks truly magical in candlelight.
The Alchemical Tarot: Renewed 4th Edition
One of the only modern decks I use with my clients. Robert M. Place is a tarot scholar and artist, and this deck is based in the alchemical tradition, with art drawn from historical manuscripts and integrated into the traditional tarot (with some similarities, especially among the minors, with the Rider-Waite-Smith, making it an easy transition deck for RWS aficionados). Place’s artistic style is appropriately ancient, and this deck feels and performs like an object out of time. This is a deck you can read with right of the box, and if you’re drawn to alchemy, it’s a must-have.
The Sola-Busca is the oldest complete tarot, and the first to use scenic art on the pip (minor) cards. The imagery is grotesque and oddly modern, at times resembling the work of the surrealists and H. R. Giger. It is a symbolically elusive deck and I have yet to crack its mysteries, but with the upcoming book by Scarlet Imprint, there is sure to be renewed interest in its enigmatic (and allegedly alchemical) imagery. The only available deck I am aware of is the lovely (but pricey) limited edition version printed by Wolfgang Mayer in 1998 and distributed by Giordano Berti.
This week the one and only Gary Lachman returns to the show to talk about Colin Wilson, existentialism, phenomenology and the twentieth century counter-culture.
A fantastic chat. Enjoy!
For Uncle Al's birthday week, we speak to Cath Thompson about her recently released The Magickal Language of the Book of the Law: An English Qaballa Primer.
EQ is an alphanumeric system derived from Liber Al that allows for the examination of any other text or concept within the context of a Book of the Law worldview.
We also talk art, magical misadventures and school séances. Good times.
This week we speak to the one and only Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold about his latest book, Ifá: Forest of Mystery.
We also discuss troll mountains, Quimbanda, fallen angels, spirits of the left hand and loads more.
This week we speak to the editors of Rubedo Press's latest publication, Cypriana: Old World, about all things Cyprian and Justina. Specifically that is Dr Al Cummins, Jesse Hathaway Diaz and Dr Jenn Zahrt.
We discuss St Cyprian's hagiography, the differences between his Northern expression and his Iberian one, Cyprianic grimoire magic, his cross-cultural and gender implications and a boatload more (including actual boats).
A splendid, splendid chat.
This week we speak to one of my very favourite UFO researchers, Dr Ardy Sixkiller-Clarke.
Ardy has been collating contemporary UFO encounters within an indigenous American context for many years, as well as experiencing a few of her own along the way.
These adventures are written up in three books (so far!) that you will find linked up in the show notes.
This week we speak to Senior Reseach Fellow of the Ngai Tahu Researcher Centre at Canterbury University, Dr John Reid. Dr Reid is a specialist in economic and social development within an indigenous context with a particular emphasis on New Zealand and Polynesian experiences.
Topics covered include the origins of animism as a term, why it is still useful today, how a river can be your ancestor, what animism looks like today and what it might look like tomorrow.
Dr Reid's recommendations for further study:
This week we are joined by fellow podcaster Scott Gosnell to talk about one of my very favourite topics; Giordano Bruno!
We also discuss fantasy novels, Bruno the character, Bruno the spy, Dame Francis Yates and the Art of Memory, Bruno’s cosmic schema and the construction of Brunoesque Memory Palaces.