Spell collector, independent scholar, writer, and teacher, Judika Illes has an encyclopedic knowledge of the sacred, as well as helpful mystics, saints, and sages from a large variety of religious traditions. In the first half of Friday’s show, she discussed the subject of witchcraft including its history, mythology, and folklore, as well as magic spells, rituals, potions, recipes, and traditions. Some of the traditions appear to be changing, as she has begun to see more men at witchcraft gatherings and told George that "you don’t have to be a woman to be a witch, you just have to be a human being." She even pointed out that the word "witch" is derived from a word that means "to bend reality." There is no need to be a witch to cast spells though, as Illes claimed that they are simply an extension of your will as well as a way to focus your desires and direct yourself towards your goals. She believes that spells utilize a natural energy that emanates from all natural things on the planet.
Illes was careful to point out that spells can have unintended consequences, such as in the old horror story of the "Monkey’s Paw." She also warned that anyone who wanted to cast spells to think their motivations through carefully, since conflicting ideas could become like "driving with the parking brake on" as one part of the mind may want something to occur, while another, possibly subconscious part might not be so sure or may possess hidden motivations. Wishes and spells she said, are not like scientific formulas, because "sometimes they work better than we anticipate, and sometimes differently." Almost anything can be used as a prop, or way to increase effectiveness, such as candles, salt, or playing cards, but can also be as simple and direct as emojis on a smart phone. Responding to listener questions about specific spells for money or love, Iles suggested baths with honey or green plants such as basil or bay leaves added to the water.
During call-ins, "Keith" called in to share a story of his 29-year survival with HIV. He also lost his sight in the intervening years, but expressed an infectious positivity and even used his professional broadcast voice to wish George a happy birthday and recite a unique Coast to Coast introduction. Many also expressed their shock and sadness over the death of activist, humanitarian, and perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer in history, Muhammad Ali, who passed away on Friday at age 74.
Ziggy called in from Toronto to tell a very strange and eerie story about his wife who went to a hypnotherapist for help to stop smoking. The therapist told him that his wife was possessed by the spirit of her deceased father. He recorded much of the session on his phone. When they returned home, Ziggy said that his phone had apparently recorded the voice of his father-in-law even though his wife spoke in her own voice at the therapist’s office. George asked for a copy of the recording.