Oddcast Episodes Themed "Interview"

Peter Adamson on the Arabic Proclus

We discuss the translation, adaptation, and evolution of Proclus' Elements of Theology into and through the Arabic and Latin thought-worlds with Peter Adamson. Come for the monotheist Proclus who is Aristotle, stay for the digression on Plethon.

Karin Valis on Magic and Artificial Intelligence

In our second A House with Many Rooms interview, we discuss the intersections between AI and magic with machine learning engineer Karin Valis. Come for the divination, ensouled statues, golems, homonculi, and alphanumeric cosmology, stay for the techno-magical intervention at the end.

Noah Gardiner on the Pseudo-Bunian Shams al-maʿārif al-kubrā and the Corpus Bunianum

We discuss arguably the greatest magical book of the Islamicate tradition, the Shams al-maʿārif al-kubrā or Great Sun of Knowledge. Turns out it isn't by al-Būnī as everyone thought, though there is some Būnī in there; but it has so much to tell us about Islamicate culture, Sufism, and the ‘project of forgetting’ of esoteric Islām among both Muslims and scholars.

Noah Gardiner on Aḥmad al-Būnī and Islamicate Lettrism

We introduce Aḥmad al-Būnī, master sūfī and alphanumeric speculator, but most famous in the Islamicate world as an authority on magic. We sift the wheat from the chaff and get to the bottom of who al-Būnī was, what he really wrote, and what kind of reception he has had, both within and outside of Islam.

On est enchanté encore avec Jason Josephson Storm

We continue our conversation with J.Ā.J. Storm, talking science, magic, religion, and the interrelations between the three of them, the question of assessing advancement in a given context (technological, epistemological, or whatever), and whether modern applied science is really natural magic with a new label (spoiler alert: it is).

Magic, Technology, Art, and Enlightenment: Gillian McIver on Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourgh

We discuss Philippe-Jacques (or ‘Philip James’) de Loutherbourgh, accomplished eighteenth-century painter, polyglot socialite, alchemist, Occultist, healer, and inventor of the cinema.

Ferdinando Buscema on Magic, Illusion, and the Question of a Reality

We speak about illusion, magic, and reality with magical experience designer Ferdinando Buscema. He can make stuff disappear, find your card anywhere in the deck, and read your mind. He is, in short, a magician. But he is also, like Apuleius, Iamblichus, Ficino, and Crowley before him, a philosopher of magic.

Tzvi Langermann on the Sefer Yetsira: Cosmology, Science, and Kabbala

We discuss the extraordinary reception-history of the extraordinary text known as Sefer Yetsirah, the ‘Book of Formation‘. The Sefer Yetsirah would eventually become a foundational text for the Kabbalist movements of the high middle ages, but it was (and is) much more than that. Professor Langermann lays out the evolutions in reading this text from Sa‘adia Gaon to Aryeh Kaplan.

Juan Acevedo on Alphanumeric Cosmology

One of the most fundamental and intriguing questions in the philosophy of language is that of the relation between signs and the realities they signify. But what if the signs are letters and numbers simultaneously? And what if these are in fact the constitutive elements of reality itself? Juan Acevedo is our guide in an overview of the history and dynamics of alphanumeric cosmology in the western tradition.

Gyrus on the Rise and Fall of the Polar Cosmos, Part II

We continue our interview with Gyrus, starting from Copernicus' demolition of the polar cosmos and exploring the aftermath of this radical decentering of the cosmic structure of the west.

Peter Grey on Magic(k) in Theory and Practice

Further discussion with Peter Grey, looking at aspects of the Crowley/Parsons/Hubbard story from magickal and scholarly perspectives.

Bink Hallum Circles the Square

We continue our conversation with Dr Hallum, exploring some fascinating manuscript detective work revealing some unsolved mysteries of transmission, the Jewish and East Roman medieval magic-square traditions, early-modern translations and adaptations of the material, and much more.

Bink Hallum on ‘Magic Squares’

We discuss those ‘magic squares’ that we find in esoteric texts from Indonesia to London, curious grids of numbers often used as astral-magical talismans with integrated alphanumeric mysteries. Bink Hallum has done the research, and lays out the story of the magic square from China to Agrippa.

Michael Noble Ascends to the Perfect Nature

We continue our interview with Michael Noble, exploring magical, exegetical, soteriological, prophetological, and other aspects of Rāzī's thought. Things get seriously esoteric, and you know that we do not say things like that lightly.

Philosophising the Occult: Michael Noble on The Hidden Secret of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī

Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī was a Persian universal scholar and theologian, particularly well-known for his tafsīr or work of Qur'ānic interpretation, a mainstay of Sunni Islam to this day. Less well-known is his work of addressative, astral, talismanic ritual, The Hidden Secret. Michael Noble has published a study of this work in the context of Rāzī's thought and of the larger intellectual currents in which he swam. Come for the enduring legacy of staunch, but philosophically-rich, Sunni theology, stay for the orgies and severed heads.

Salon and On: More Péladan with Sasha Chaitow

We continue our discussion of the Sâr Merodac, speaking of his influence, his sympathy for the Devil, his place in esoteric thought, and more.

Sasha Chaitow on Joséphin Péladan

We discuss the life and work of Joséphin Péladan (1858-1918), art-critic, Occultist, playwright, and generally creative freak. Dr Sasha Chaitow is our guide to the fascinating life of nineteenth-century Paris' most prominent avant-garde Rosicrucian trend-setter. Welcome to the salon rosicrucien.

Into the Chapel Perilous with Erik Davis

In this continuing conversation with Dr Davis we explore conspiracy (as a state of mind, religious practice, and self-fulfilling quasi-reality), the current state of ‘the archons’ (and why q-anon may be a helpful model for thinking through late-antique ‘Gnosticism’), and Philip K. Dick's work in light of the cultural moment underway in America and beyond.

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. Come for the pagan-Christian metaphysics, stay for the oracular pelican.

Emily Selove on the Magical Book of al-Sakkākī

Emily Selove shares her current work on the fascinating Sirāj al-Dīn al-Sakkākī, well-known Arabic grammarian and little-known sorcerer. We discuss Sakkākī's extraordinary grimoire, the quest for the universal Perfect Man, a theory of language which might unite grammar and magic, and the identity of the mysterious ‘Peacock the Greek’.

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