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.
This week we speak to Dr Penny Sartori about her research into Near Death Experiences: their prevalence, their implications for modern medicine, the impact they have in the lives of NDErs -and loads more to boot.
This week we speak to the one and only Jake Stratton-Kent. Author, researcher, grimoire specialist, raconteur... a man of many hats. (He also has some nice hats.)
Topics of discussion include the state of the world, the benefits of an apocalypse, itinerant magic, the origins of Goetia and the personalities of the grimoirists.
Jake's Encyclopaedia Goetica is comprised of
This week we speak to the dynamic duo behind Hadean Press, one of the leading lights of this occult publishing renaissance.
We discuss haunted dolls, ultraterrestrials, boiling pins to curse your neighbours. Jason Miller’s parties, doing battle in the french countryside, getting vigorously Cyprianed and a whole lot more.
I have been looking forward to today's episode for a long time. As you know, José's work has featured in two of my own books and his The Book of St Cyprian: The Sorcerer's Treasure really kicked my own practice up a notch when it came out.
We talk mythology, the difference between magic and mysticism, St Cyprian, folk Catholicism, cultural identity… and were-donkeys.
Very good times.
Get José's first book here.
This week we talk to author and musician, Joshua Cutchin, about the role of food in spirit and UFO phenomena.
We also talk Jazz, the South, alien pancakes, faery food taboos, plant spirits, offerings protocols and research advice.
This week we talk to author, translator and Lucumi priest, Eric Purdue about astrology, synchronicity, accuracy in divination, hurricanes destroying your library and all things Agrippa.
For show notes, you can go and bother Eric on Facebook here!
This week we get to talk about a few of my favourite things: hermeticism, Egypt... even New Zealand. Guiding us through these waters is author, editor and scholar, Dr Aaron Cheak.
Among the most-requested guests, if not the most requested, is none other than Peter Levenda.
Peter has written some pretty astounding books over the years and I relished the opportunity to chat to him about how they came about.
We also talk UFOs, Nazis, ceremonial magic, the importance of Place and much more.
Enjoy. I know you will.
Go and bother him on various media socials!
This week we speak to author and magical teacher, Josephine McCarthy. Our chat covers visionary magic, growing up weird, timing and ritual and a whole host of reflections from the teaching life.
The one and only Austin Coppock returns to Rune Soup to talk us through the second half of this largely-unlovely 2016.
Not to be missed.
In this week's episode we talk to Langston Kahn about the lack of initiation in western cultures, differences and similarities in shamanism across time, emotional clearing, the important of journeying and the implication of the return of the spirits.