Occult


Alternet reviews Mitch Horowitz’s Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation:

If witch-burning Puritans are the original jocks of American history, then the mystics surrounding Johannes Kelpius are the first goths. While the rest of the British colonies were still dutifully worshipping their angry Christian god, Kelpius and his followers—who fled Austria to settle in Philadelphia during the late seventeenth-century—busied themselves with astrology, alchemy, Kabbalah, and other “dark arts” with tangled roots in the Italian Renaissance, the Rosicrucian Enlightenment, and various (often fabricated) antiquities. We meet Kelpius early in Mitch Horowitz’s Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation, an uneven but always interesting account of 400 years of New World Strange. Among the several misconceptions Horowitz seeks to dispel, the most foundational is the idea that Colonial America provided shelter only for persecuted Christian sects. Almost from the beginning, North America was also home to a fair number of those who, like Kelpius, had more arcane spiritual interests.

Horowitz never claims that these beliefs were as formative an influence as Christianity in the making of America, but after finishing his book, one can’t help but wonder if maybe Ouija boards don’t belong next to King James in every motel room…



Forward has an article on a centuries-old document which provides evidence concerning a little-known phenomenon — Jewish exorcisms: The ghostly document details the prayers that were performed on Qamar bat Rahmah to…



Jacques Vallee writes on BoingBoing: In our age of rational science the occult has never been more in demand: Angels and demons are popular, the Da Vinci code and lost symbols fascinate…


After a pretty lengthy break from the world of podcasting, Ken Eakins (Sitting Now) and Raymond Wiley (disinformation) return with a real 90 minute treat!

This weeks guest, Mitch Horowitz, is the author of the excellent new book Occult America: How Mysticism Shaped our Nation. Mitch has held a lifelong interest in the Occult and Supernatural, and after pursuing the subject for as long, naturally, became the editor of one of the largest publishers of Occult and Supernatural works Tarcher/Penguin.

In this weeks episodes we discuss: Freemasons, Mesmirism, Theosophy, Astrology and the dark side of American occultism…


“Not pagan Samhain celebrations or the like,” to quote Chiropteran, “but bright-orange, screaming-pumpkin, Trick-or-Treating Halloween.” It’s all about doing magic with the wild, pop mystery explosion that Halloween has become. The Universal…


Read this entire book at the sacred-texts.com site… “Written by a Pennsylvania Dutch healer in the 1820s, this book is a rambling collection of rural home remedies and folk invocations. Pow-wow is…


Pennsylvania hex sign painting is a type of traditional folk art that is alternately viewed as a decorative tradition and as talisman fashioning. The symbols and designs on the signs may represent…


This is it! EsoZone is upon us. The weekly PDX0 meetup is tonight at Watershed, and then EsoZone kicks off tomorrow night, starting a weekend of mutated conversation and participatory detensing, art, and rituals.

If you want to support us, it’s not too late to donate or buy a t-shirt. Or, show up and spend money with our sponsors!

And don’t forget, after EsoZone on Saturday the one and Ivan Stang will perform along with a variety of other SubGenius at the Cyclone of Slack.

Can’t make it to Esozone? Astral Project!