Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ep 28: The Dark Crystal (1982)

Listen to "Ep. 28: The Dark Crystal" on Spreaker.
Hello Friends! Welcome back to episode 28 of The Wytch Files! Today we are extremely pleased to bring you a review of Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal movie which was released in 1982. Jim Henson wanted to produce a film that was a lot darker than the show he was most known for at the time which was The Muppet Show. He wanted to create a film that was akin to the old Grimm's fairy tales with their twisted and sometimes scary storylines. Henson kept a sort of daily production diary for the film and his other creative projects in his Red Book.  You can also read the film's script if writing is your jam.

In the episode, we discuss how Jen's journey in the story follows Joseph Campbell's hero's journey. Kayla Spagna's blog post "The Dark Crystal" and Campbell's Heroic Journey goes into detail about Jen's hero journey.  You can also read about all 17 stages of Joseph Campbell's monomyth here.

The Dark Crystal has its share of esoteric symbolism and philosophy within its story and production design.  Matt Auryn has a great post on his Patheos blog "For Puck's Sake" which discusses possible occult influences on the film and it is a delicious read.  The website "JaysAnalysis" also has an interesting post that goes into the esoteric analysis of the film.  Jim Henson was hugely influenced by psychic and author Jane Robert's book "Seth Speaks" which was entirely written from material she channeled from a discarnate being called Seth beginning in 1963. You can read more about it at The Seth Material in a Nutshell post at the Diary of a Mystic blog.

One of the most amazing sights in the film is the first look at Aughra's observatory with its fabulous giant orrery rotating above and around the characters.  You too can build your own orrery with a little help from The Art and Craftsmanship of Zeamon, check out "Building an Orrery" where he takes you through it step by step.  We also mentioned the practice of sun-gazing used for healing and to increase vitality.

Dreamfasting is a psychic bond that occurs between our two Gelfling protagonists Jen and Kira when they touch hands which allows them to share memories.  Science has actually achieved the ability to form brain to brain mind connections between human beings and you can read about it here and here.

The Mystics used sound through vocalization of vowels to create a resonance to aid them with their spiritual and magical workings. These vocalizations or mantras are powerful transformative sounds and this article explains more about mantras and how to use them.  The Science of Mantras explains how mantras can be used for healing and environmental transformation.

Speaking of sound and energy waves, a recent study revealed that The Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy and its chambers incorporate sound technology.

 We can not talk about The Dark Crystal without speaking a little about crystals.  Judy Hall is a recognized authority on crystals and has written multiple books on the subject, be sure to check out her website for a wealth of information on crystals.  We mention calcite in the episode and The Hood Witch has a informative blog post on calcite and also provides a meditation using the stone.

Lastly, the Dark Crystal cosmology was greatly expanded after the release of the film through books and comic books.  Here is a brief listing of some of those books and comics:

Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, The Complete Collection

Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, vol. 1vol. 2 and vol. 3

Jim Henson's Beneath the Dark Crystal, vol. 1 and vol. 2

Jim Henson's Shadows of the Dark Crystal by J. M. Lee (book 1)

Jim Henson's Song of the Dark Crystal by J. M. Lee (book 2)

Jim Henson's Tides of the Dark Crystal by J. M. Lee (book 3)

Jim Henson's Flames of the Dark Crystal by J. M. Lee (book 4)

The music featured in this episode includes:

Fossils by Kyle Preston
Shimmer by Krackatoa
Under an Ending Sun by Krackatoa
Mad Flutes of Strange Incensed Lands by Javier Frisco
Edge of the Wastelands by Tri-Tachyon
Bewitched Hell by Damiano Baldoni
Courtship Melody by Sidhartha

Elio Contro Atlante by Damiano Baldoni
Bodhidharma at Shaolin by The Gateless Gate
Harph Heaven by Lobo Loco
Bodhi Ambient by Daniel Birch
Tannhauser Gate by Tri-Tachyon
Le Dernier by Blear Moon
Lemon Lime by Breyvn

Theme music X-Files Theme Parody by Mallon Khan
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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ep. 27: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix/TV)

Listen to "TWF Episode 27: The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, Season 1" on Spreaker.


Image result for chilling adventures of sabrina
Welcome to episode 27 of the show!  This time around we are excited to bring you a review of the Netflix original series the "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa based on his comic of the same name.  The name of the show has been affectionately shortened to the acronym "CAOS".  Our review will cover the initial first 10 episodes of season one released in October 2018 and the holiday special episode released in December 2018.  The second half of season one will drop on Netflix on April 5th!  The show stars Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez, Ross Lynch, Richard Coyle, Jaz Sinclair, Lachlan Watson, Tati Gabrielle and Gavin Leatherwood.

The show has some wonderful writers with good representation of women and LGBTQ writers among the staff.  Some of the writers also identify as pagan which isn't always the case among these types of shows.  One of the writers, Joshua Conkel identifies as a witch and is a practitioner of Kentucky Appalachian granny magic.  He has recently made the rounds on some pagan podcasts including The Witch Wave and Modern Witch to promote the show.  He was also interviewed by iHorror and you can read the article here.  Joshua wrote the necromancy episode on the show along with writer M.J. Kaufman.

The show has a wonderful 70's witchcraft feel and aesthetic and you can read further about "The Seventies Witch" at the New World Witchery blog.  Please be sure to also check out the rest the blog and podcast at New World Witchery which is chockfull of information regarding American folk tales and witchcraft.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ep. 26: Requiem series (2018)

The dark half of the year is upon us, at least for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere and we wanted to usher it in with a review episode that embodied the mystery, magic and Gothic deliciousness of the season.  We chose the 2018 BBC series Requiem which is currently streaming on Netflix because it had an abundance of these elements as well as some truly wonderful depictions of spirits both local and otherworldly.  The series takes place in beautiful Wales, a land steeped in bewitching Celtic culture and lore which in our opinion is the perfect setting for this story.

For this special Samhain episode, I am joined by my former co-host Sabrina Khan for a fun exploration of some of the major paranormal themes and magical elements of Requiem!  We hope you tune in and enjoy the episode as much as we had fun creating it for you.  We also announce the winner of the free email tarot reading so stay tuned for that at the end of the episode!  As always, we have a few extras for you in these show notes.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ep. 25: The Fortune Teller, part 2

Listen to "Ep. 25: The Fortune Teller, Part 2" on Spreaker.


Hello and welcome back!  Today, I bring you part 2 of The Fortune Teller review and my continued journey through tarot history!

As promised, I have a few further recommendations for tarot history sources:

"The Esoteric Tarot: Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabalah" by Ronald Decker

"A History of Occult Tarot 1870-1970" by Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett.

"A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot" by Ronald Decker, Thierry DePaulis and Michael Dummett.

"A History of Games Played with the Tarot Pack" by Michael Dummett and John McCleod.

"The Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore" by Cynthia Giles.

"Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage" by Paul Huson.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ep. 24: The Fortune Teller, Part 1

Image result for the fortune teller womack

Hello all and welcome to episode 24 of The Wytch Files!  This month I have a review of the novel The Fortune Teller written by Gwendolyn Womack.  The novel focuses on an ancient tarot deck and the ancient family of female seers who use the deck for prophecy.  I thought it would be interesting and fun to include a brief history of the tarot along with the review because I'm a nerd for all things divination.  The episode as a whole is very long so I have split it up into two parts for easier listening.  This is part 1 of the episode and part 2 should be up in a few short weeks (maybe sooner) as episode 25.

In the episode, I mention three Visconti group tarot decks and beautiful reproductions of these decks can be purchased today.  U.S. Games Systems, Inc. has beautiful reproductions of the Visconti-Sforza tarot and the Cary-Yale Visconti deck which you can purchase directly from them, at a local occult/card shop or on Amazon.  If you are on a budget and would like to get a cheaper but still beautiful version of the Visconti-Sforza or if you just need a study deck, I recommend The Golden Tarot by Mary Packard which also comes with a book that provides a bit of historical background.

Cards from Visconti-Sforza tarot deck
Maestro Osvaldo Menegazzi, the artistic powerhouse behind the tarot shop Il Meneghello in Milan, Italy, has created gorgeous, hand-made, quality reproductions of both the Visconti-Sforza and the Cary-Yale Visconti (a/k/a Visconti Di Modrone).  These are beautiful, quality limited editions with small print runs which are more expensive.  If you are in the U.S.A., you can purchase the decks (provided they are not sold out) from CollecTarot & Books which sells unique and vintage tarot cards.  They are located in Colorado so it is a great way for U.S. customers who want to purchase Il Meneghello decks to save on shipping.  If you are located in Europe, a great site to purchase Il Meneghello decks is at Tarot BG.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ep. 23: End of Winter Favorites

Hello there my lovelies, it's been a while since the last episode of The Wytch Files but the show is back!  This time around I've decided to change it up a bit and do a favorites show to celebrate the end of winter and hopefully, finally, marshal in some spring-like weather.  You can listen to the episode on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeart Radio or you can listen directly by clicking the episode player at the top of this post.  I hope you find at least one new cool piece of media to check out!

Once you listen to the episode, be sure to return here and watch the video playlist for the episode and check out where you can find some of these wonderful artists and artistic projects.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Ep. 22: The Wailing (2016)

Hello to all you lovely souls and welcome back to The Wytch Files.  In episode 22, I take an in-depth look at the South Korean movie "Goksung" or "The Wailing" in English directed by Hong-jin Na.  The movie was released on May 12, 2016 and stars Do-wan Kwak, Jung-min Hwang, Jun Kunimura, Chun Woo-hee and Hwan-hee Kim.

The director Hong-jin Na was interviewed for "The Playlist" about the movie in 2016.  He was also interviewed at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and by Screenanarchy when the movie was released so please check the interviews out.

Korean shamanism figures heavily in this film so I spend a lot of time in the episode discussing it.  I wanted to provide you with a few articles for further reading if you are interested.  The training process of the Mudang or Korean shaman is discussed in this article by Jongsung Yang.  This article by Keith Howard discusses the use of paper for creation of ritual symbols for a type of Korean gut (ritual).  A Chaesu gut, a ritual to increase prosperity and good fortune is described in this article by John A. Grim.  In this dissertation by Jinseok Seo, the role of shamanism in Korean society is discussed. Lastly, here is another article by Nami Lee and Eun Young Kim about the Sitkimgut ritual, a ritual for transforming death and sickness into rebirth and integration.