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Oddcast episode

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.

Oddcast episode

Marina Alexandrova Introduces Madame Blavatsky

We discuss the life and adventures of Yelena Petrovna Blavatskaya, co-founder of the Theosophical Society and one of the most (in)famous and influential spiritual thinkers of the modern age, whose life and thought changed the course of western esotericism (and western history) forever.

Podcast episode

Episode 173: Hypatia of Alexandria: The Life and Death of a Philosopher and her City

In Part I of a two-part-series centred around the great Hypatia of Alexandria, we introduce the life, and the notorious death, of the Late Platonist philosopher Hypatia, one of late antiquity's most evocative enigmas. Plus, a Christian mob didn't destroy the Great Library at Alexandria, but that doesn't mean there weren't some scabrous goings-on.

Podcast episode

Episode 97: 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.

Podcast episode

Episode 123: Jason BeDuhn on Mani and Manichæism

We discuss one of the most anomalous, vexing, and fascinating religious movements in history, the first to span east and west, the elusive but crucial Manichæism, and its prophet, the great Apostle of Light, Mani. The eternal struggle between light and darkness is on, and minds will be blown.

Podcast episode

Members only: Storytime: Reading Eunapius, Part III: The Diviners’ Purge and the End of the Theurgic Revolution

We explore the tragic dénouement of Julian's reign and the rôle played therein by Maximus of Ephesus. Along the way we see a transfer of power to the Valentinianic dynasty, a ferocious political purge of suspected magicians and diviners, and learn of Maximus' final fate. We also get two descriptions of ancient, private divination-practices in action, but only one of them is something to try at home!

Oddcast episode

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.

Oddcast episode

Bojana Radovanović on the Bogomils, Gnostics, Cathars, and Others

We let the tape roll and discuss some more fascinating byways of dualist Christianity in the middle ages. Come for the Cathar connections, stay for the addressative magic and visionary ascent practices.

Podcast episode

Episode 41: Fate and Foreknowledge: Toward Hellenistic Astrology

The synthesis of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek sciences of the stars gave rise to the art of astrology in Hellenistic Egypt. Astrology went on to become a defining aspect of western culture, and the master-discipline of western esotericism. We look at how it happened.

Podcast episode

Members only: Ivan Miroshnikov on the Gospel of Thomas, Part I

In the first part of a two-part episode we explore the textual, theological, and other intricacies of interpreting the ‘fifth gospel’ with Ivan Miroshnkov, Coptologue, historian, and man of parts. Featuring a cameo appearance by ABBA.

Podcast episode

Members only: Storytime: Reading Zosimus of Panopolis On the Letter Omega

We delve into On the Letter Omega, one of Zosimus of Panopolis' most cryptic and extraordinary texts (which is saying something). It turns out that to understand the technical implements of alchemy you need to understand the fall of the primordial human being into the materialised Thoth-Adam.

Podcast episode

Episode 45: Stoic Physics and Esoteric Metaphysics

The Stoics had a naturalistic physical theory which, strangely, had a huge influence both on esoteric spirituality and on occult sciences. In this, our final episode on Stoicism, we discuss three key terms from Stoic physics and their surprising afterlives in western esotericism.

Podcast episode

Episode 180: Augustine of Hippo: Saint of the Exoteric

We discuss Augustine the anti-esotericist, who denies that Christianity has any esoteric dimensions. He employs the esoteric to do so. Can you trust a guy who does that?

Podcast episode

Episode 60: The Esoteric and the State in Ancient Rome, Part 1: Late Republican Esotericism

In the first of a two-episode series exploring the relationship between state power and esoteric ideas in the late Roman Republic and early empire, we look at what it meant to be esoteric at Rome, and investigate some upper-class Roman esotericists.

Podcast episode

Episode 179: The Manichæan Catholic: Augustine of Hippo

We turn to one of the most difficult, fascinating, and ultimately consequential thinkers of late antiquity, Augustine of Hippo. In this episode we discuss his relationship with Manichæism and Platonist philosophy, and a few of his important philosophical conclusions.

Podcast episode

Episode 142: Run the Numbers: The Theology of Arithmetic

We explore the Theolegoumena arithmeticæ, the ‘Theology of Arithmetic’, our most complete extant arithmological treatise from antiquity. It tells us a lot about Neopythagorean theory of number in the Greek ‘alphanumeric age’, it may be by Iamblichus, and it informs us that the Dyad is ‘Daring’.

Podcast episode

Episode 182: Ↄ. Martiana on Martianus Capella and the Marriage of Philology and Mercury

We discuss Martianus Capella and his extraordinary and vexing philological ascent-account, the Marriage of Philology and Mercury. Ↄ. Martiana guides us through a geocentric kosmos where liberal arts are planetary spheres, gods are physical elements, the planets are daimones, but absolutely nothing is as it seems.

Podcast episode

Members only: Ↄ. Martiana Rises to the Occasion

We let the tape roll, and engage Ↄ. Martiana in further reflections on Capella, along with guest-appearances from some other (even crazier) late-antique Latin writers. Also, we deconstruct the whole idea of late antiquity.

Oddcast episode

Alireza Doostdar on ‘Metaphysical Religion’ in Contemporary Iran

We speak with Alireza Doostdar on his field-research exploring alternative forms of spirituality in Iran. Come for the new-age exorcisms, stay for the the true spiritual significance of The Exorcist.

Podcast episode

Episode 75: The Chaldæan Oracles

We introduce one of the most extraordinary and influential texts of antiquity for the history of western esotericism: the Chaldæan Oracles. We discuss questions of authorship (Julian the Theurge, the Gods, or the Soul of Plato?) and the mythic metaphysics found in the text.

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