In the first half, PEN Award-winning author, and publisher Mitch Horowitz shared what he's found that really works within magic, and the occult, as well explored the ideas of interesting authors in the field. Early motivational pioneer Napoleon Hill studied the traits of successful people, he recounted, and discovered what they had in common was focusing on a singular passionate aim, which would unlock energies within them. Most occult ideas connect to one principle, Horowitz continued: "Thoughts are causative; our thoughts contribute in a concrete way to what we actually experience in our outer day-to-day lives."
While the occult is a belief in an unseen dimension, in which "forces can be felt on us and through us," magic relates to the idea of taking your will and mental imagery and translating them into concrete circumstances, he explained. Horowitz cited a mysterious 1908 book called The Kybalion as being particularly interesting-- it presents ancient Egyptian magic and philosophies, which correspond to some of the ideas of "new thought." When exploring the occult, it's important to have a strong ethical teaching at your back, he added, "whether it's the Gospels, the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, or the Talmud."
A veteran rootworker and traditional conjure woman who has been helping people for over 35 years through her ancestral art of old style Conjure, Starr Casas, is one of the masters of this southern American style of folk magic, also known as Hoodoo. In the latter half, she discussed her knowledge and rituals of this potent form of magic, which can be used to achieve love, success, prosperity, and spiritual cleansing. One of her rituals, "Reading the Bones," comes from an African tradition-- she works with possum bones that she throws onto a deerskin cloth, and the position of the bones reveal a story to her about the person for whom she's giving a reading.
Casas expressed caution about visiting graveyards, suggesting that people act respectfully in such places, as lost souls or demons can attach themselves. "I feel my ancestors every day, when I stand at my ancestor altar," she remarked, and "I know that spirits are real." She outlined a cleaning ritual to remove a curse or bad energy, that uses salt, bay leaves, and ammonia in a mop water recipe, as well as a "sweetening" ritual in which someone wants to draw someone closer to them. For this, she incorporates sugar or syrup in a glass bowl, along with a magnet and a photograph of the desired person.
Couldn't catch this episode of the show? Sign up for Coast Insider to listen at your leisure and never miss another program again!