The SHWEP Blog

The SHWEP podcast is basically chronological, but there’s only so much chronology that anyone can take. This blog is for all manner of other things which crop up in the life of the scholar of western esotericism, but don’t fit into our chronological framework:  interviews which fall outside the narrative of the podcast, reflections on the academic field of the study of western esotericism, accounts of of past or upcoming events, other notifications, and perhaps even the odd blog post.

Aron Reppmann Introduces Origen of Alexandria

Professor Aron Reppmann introduces the life, thought, and esotericism of Origen of Alexandria, one of the greatest church-fathers, Platonist theologian par excellence, and revolutionary scriptural exegete.

Claire Hall on Firmicus Maternus

Firmicus Maternus, a fairly prominent fourth-century intellectual from Sicily, wrote two works which survive: one is our earliest-surviving manual of astrological practice in Latin, and it shows a full-blooded belief in astral determinism, and the second is a rabid Christian polemic against traditional religious practices. Discuss.

Amy Hale on the Magical Life and Art of Ithell Colquhoun

We speak with Amy Hale, anthropologist, folklorist, and writer of weird and wonderful pieces, on the life, art, and legacy of Ithell Colquhoun, one of the 20th century's most important (if widely overlooked) esoteric artists.

I Was Interviewed by Freemasons!

Some freemasons from Pennsylvania got in touch and asked to interview me. It was interesting and fun.

Allegra Baggio-Corradi on Niccolò Leonico Tomeo

Allegra Baggio-Corradi of the Warburg Institute guides us through the life and thought of a leading figure of the forgotten esoteric Renaissance, the Paduan Niccolo Toméo.

Randall Hall on the Theurgic Saxophone

We talk to saxophonist Randall Hall, whose work fuses the very, very modern and the authentically ancient in a quest for a ‘ritual-symbolic’, theurgic musical practice.

Julian Strube on the Debate Over Dropping the ‘Western’ in ‘Western Esotericism’

Things never stand still for very long in a young field like Western Esotericism Studies. In this interview we discuss the lively current debate over whether the term ‘western’ should be dropped altogether with a proponent of the ‘get rid of it’ position.

Thoughts on ESSWE 7

We reflect on the amazing seventh ESSWE conference, held 2-4 July 2019 in Amsterdam. Western esotericism is coming home!

Blood and Rockets: The Making of an Occult Music Video

The first in our Living Esoteric Culture series, looking at the ways in which the esoteric exists in culture, makes culture, sometimes enters into the popular or mainstream, and what happens along the way.