Podcast Episodes Themed "Magic"

Episode 8: Esoteric Orientalism Part I: Ancient Barbarian Sages

In part one of a two-part discussion of the roots of 'esoteric orientalism', we look at what we mean by 'orientalism' and introduce some of our favorite barbarian sages, including Zoroaster, Hermes Trismegistus, and ... Moses.

Beyond Curse Tablets with Sarah Veale

In this special episode we continue the conversations we started earlier, digging into the relations between magic, religion, and philosophy in the Græco-Roman world.

Episode 7: Curses! Sarah Veale on the Cult of Magna Mater and Ancient Curse-Tablets

Roman law prescribed the death-penalty for making curses (defixiones), but there was a widespread, and seemingly open, practice of dedicating curse-tablets in some Roman temples. How do we explain this apparent contradiction? We ask the experts.

Daniel Ogden on Three Ancient Mages

Professor Ogden gets personal, discussing three wonder-working mages of antiquity whose legacy has reverberated down the ages: Apollonius of Tyana, Jesus of Nazareth, and Alexander of Abonuteichos. Come for the itinerant holy men, stay for the talking snake-god.

Episode 6: Magicians, Ghosts, Amulets, and Spells: Daniel Ogden on Græco-Roman Magic

Before there was the high magic of the western esoteric tradition, there was good old western magic. Daniel Ogden, a specialist in all things magical in antiquity, leads us through the labyrinth of magical practice in the Græco-Roman world.

Episode 5: Methodologies for the Study of Magic

So what is magic, anyway? If you think the way magic works is mysterious and occult, try defining what the word ‘magic’ means! This episode discusses some methodological problems with the term ‘magic’, and what we can (and can't) do about them.

Wouter Hanegraaff on Western Esotericism

Professor Wouter Hanegraaff expands on the history of Renaissance Hermetism and gives an insider account of the history of the modern academic study of western esotericism.

Episode 1: A Secret History of Secret History, Part I

A lightning summary of key major elements of western esotericism from late antiquity up to the middle ages, featuring a foray into the esoteric art of imaginal cocktail-mixing.