Bottled Spirits: Imps, Devils, Ghosts

Bottled Spirits: Imps, Devils, Ghosts

Western tales of bottled spirits, imps, devils, and even ghosts are largely borrowed from the Islamic and Jewish legends of jinn captured by King Solomon.  In this episode, we explore how this is expressed in folk tales, demonological treatises, and literary borrowings. We begin with a nod to the Assyrian god Pazuzu (and a clip from Exorcist …

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The Jinn

The Jinn

They Arabic mythology of the jinn is, not surprisingly, quite different than what you might glean from Western pop culture. Films such as 1940’s The Thief of Baghdad and 1958 Ray Harryhausen classic, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, which we hear sampled in our opening might have you believe these creatures function as nothing more than wish-granting …

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Patreon Updates and Additions

Patreon Updates and Additions

We’re freshening up the rewards offered via our Patreon page.  Beginning in July, we’re adding additional streaming podcast content for certain levels — a short extra episode — as well as some alternatives to the physical goods mailed to our top-level supporters, including this candle, which is  available for the $18 monthly level an alternative …

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Toad Magic

Toad Magic

Toads have long been associated with magic, as witches’ familiars and as a source both of poison as folk healing. We begin with a poison allegedly brewed from a toad by the “wise wife of Keith,” Agnes Sampson, one of the accused in Scotland’s North Berwick witch trials in 1591-2. The poison was to have …

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Slavic Mermaids: Water Ghosts and Goblins

Slavic Mermaids: Water Ghosts and Goblins

Quite distinct from their Western equivalent, Slavic mermaids might better be described as water ghosts, as they are almost always the spirits of departed females, while their male equivalent takes the form of a water goblin or water sprite.  The Russian word for mermaid is rusalka (rusalki pl.) and male creature is a vodyanoy.  Similar …

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Shirts Available: Order by May 22

Shirts Available: Order by May 22

In celebration of our 2nd anniversary, we’ve produced this shirt featuring our old “mascot,” that is, an image of the relics 14th-century Austrian, St. Notburga.  All shirts are on black, naturally. Preorder ends MAY 22.  We may or may not do another run, so please order now if you’d like one. ALL SHIRTS WILL SHIP BETWEEN …

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Holy Puppets, Medieval Robots, and More

Holy Puppets, Medieval Robots, and More

This episode looks at puppets given life through magical or mechanical means, holy puppets of the Catholic Church, medieval robots, an early automata of gothic literature, some related films, and an Alpine sex puppet that only puts up with so much. We begin at the end of Carolo Collodi’s  original Pinocchio story, or at least …

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A Journal of the Plague Year

A Journal of the Plague Year

The Great Plague of London of 1665 to 1666 is vividly portrayed in Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, which we’ll be examining closely in this episode.  As the text is quite entertaining (much more so than his better known Robison Crusoe) we’ll be hearing more extensive quotes from the material than usual, delivered …

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