Is nature spiritual? Listen to AEWCH 212 on How To Live: Beyond Nature Worship with legendary spiritual teacher, David Spangler!

31 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

The best way to support this show, my writing, my events & courses, is to give an annual or monthly pledge to Patreon.com/connerhabib.

When you use patreon, you’re not only supporting me, but accessing an economic model that isn’t about paying people for their labor, and instead showing care and appreciation of who they are.

Friends,
Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, magick and entheogens, the wellness industry, and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age. The second (AEWCH 209) featured Lisa Romero on How To Live: Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery. The third (AEWCH 210) featured Pilar Lesko on How To Live: Beyond Money Magic. And on the fourth (AEWCH 211), we went beyond wellness with Fariha Róisín.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes arent a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what theyve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

Everywhere we turn, there are conversations of ecology and disaster, the environment and its needs, the planet’s and humanity’s shared future. If they are not purely materialistic conversations (and the majority are), they often offer only a shallow sense of the spiritual. People talk about “nature” as having its spiritual work removed from relationship with us, as if no more exploration into its actual spiritual orientation is needed. Or we have (some, not all, of course!) neo-pagan views that don’t go much further than translocating the names of old gods and onto the natural world. Or we have neo-primitivism and object oriented ontology which in which humans are supposed to somehow be de-centered, even though humans are the ones coming up with these concepts and pretending to the magically decenter themselves.

So how can we approach nature from a spiritual perspective? And how can we work with the being and being-ness in nature in a real way? For example, should we engage with the trees? The formative forces of the trees? The postmodern assemblage of “tree” or “becoming-tree?” The “dryads” in the trees? The tree gods? The “nature spirits”? We don’t have the taxonomy or the navigational aptitude to even know what we’re encountering, so how can we hope to know how to help?

So I invited David Spangler onto the show. David’s huge and generous body of work includes being the person who coined the term “New Age;” being a prime developer of the Findhorn Community in Scotland; popularizing the concept of manifestation as long ago as the 1970s; founding the Lorian Association, which helps people encounter the lessons developed by David and others on the path of Incarnational Spirituality, authoring many books (including the one we touch on the most here, Techno-elementals); and more.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT OTHER EPISODE SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO
I went into the exploration of fairies (particularly fairies in Ireland), and why we don’t take them seriously enough, with anthropologist Dennis Gaffin on AEWCH 187.

WHAT BOOK SHOULD YOU READ?
Although David does some of the best work expressing the many different kinds of elemental beings, for a one of the greatest expressions of how the elemental beings intermingle, no one to my mind does it in plainer, easier-to-udnerstand language than Cypriot healer Daskalos. I recorded an episode of the show – AEWCH 67 – with one of Daskalos’s students, Daniel Joseph. His book, Swimming with the Whale: The Miracles, Wonders & Healings of Daskalos & The Researchers of Truth is very helpful in this area.

MORE ON DAVID
Many of David’s books (and related books) are available from Lorian Press, which David developed in conjunction with the Lorian movement. You can also find self-study modules on David’s site here. David’s lectures on manifestation, written decades ago, are so far advanced that they move us beyond most people’s current writings on the topic. You can find them in this book The Laws of Manifestation. And one of my very favorite books by David, which is not so easy to find these days, is Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture.

A photo I took earlier this month at the stone circle in Drombeg, Co. Cork

Wellness isn’t good for you. Here’s how to move beyond it on AEWCH 211 with Fariha Róisín!

24 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

The best way to support this show, my writing, my events & courses, is to give an annual or monthly pledge to  Patreon.com/connerhabib.

When you use patreon, you’re not only supporting me, but accessing an economic model that isn’t about paying people for their labor, and instead showing care and appreciation of who they are.

Two other ways to support the show and my other efforts:

  • Buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if you’ve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts (and subscribe if you haven’t already!).

Friends,
Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH!
To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, magick and entheogens, paganism,  and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age. The second (AEWCH 209) featured Lisa Romero on How To Live: Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery. And the third (AEWCH 210) featured Pilar Lesko on How To Live: Beyond Money Magic.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes aren’t a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what they’ve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

We’re constantly tracking ourselves: with Fit Bits, exercise journals, food journals, mediation apps and more.

But what if wellness went deeper than tracking and instead into witnessing the wounds of materialism and the constant reopening of those wounds by colonialism, capitalism, racism, homophobia, and more?

To discuss this, I invited Fariha Róisín, artist and author of the excellent critical memoir, Who Is Wellness For?: An Examination of Wellness Culture and Who It Leaves Behindonto the show.

Together we examine the hidden woundings that are so frightening to us that we seem to only be left with narrow paths for healing: wounds in the erotic, the spiritual, sacred anatomy, healing, speaking, and more. 

In the same way we fear to touch a cut on our body or look into emotional to heal it, we encounter the deepest wounds as sites of pain. So we end up pushing the knowledge of these wounds to the far edges of our consciousness until they’re that their damage is only revealed a moment that is too late, as surprise diagnosis.

This is an adventure in wellness and how to heal wellness itself. I’m so excited to share it with you.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT OTHER EPISODE SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO
I talked a lot about mental health with author and psychotherapist Charlotte Fox Weber on AEWCH 196. It’s worth a listen because, well, everyone needs some form of therapy! (And if you want to pair it with a therapeutic look at restorative justice, you can listen to AEWCH 162 on violent offenders with Dr. Gwen Adshead!)

WHAT BOOK SHOULD YOU READ?
A good introduction to other models of anatomy and health is Cyndi Dale’s The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy which is richly illustrated and written in clear language.

(Also, if you’re interested in my essay on heath and wellness, here’s
“When You’re Sick You’ll Wait for the Answer, But None Will Come”)

MORE ON FARIHA
Subscribe to Fariha’s excellent newsletter, How To Cure A Ghost (which shares its name with her debut poetry collection). And here’s Fariha’s website which is a good hub for her earlier work. Also, you can engage with a different layering of her consciousness by reading her novel Like A Bird(which is also available on audio). And here’s a short profile on her novel in the New York Times.

Until next time, friends,
Seek wholeness.
CH

HOW TO LIVE: BEYOND MONEY MAGIC – Moving Past Abundance & Manifestation with Pilar Lesko on AEWCH 210!

17 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

The best way to support this show, my writing, my events & courses, is to give an annual or monthly pledge to Patreon.com/connerhabib.

When you use patreon, you’re not only supporting me, but accessing an economic model that isn’t about paying people for their labor, and instead showing care and appreciation of who they are.

Two other ways to support the show and my other efforts:

  • Buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if youve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts (and subscribe if you haven’t already!).

Friends,
Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, wellness and self development, entheogens, paganism,  and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age. The second (AEWCH 209) featured Lisa Romero on How To Live: Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes arent a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what theyve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

The problem with money magic – abundance training, vision boards, manifesting, not to mention all sorts of team-building corporate exercises and so on – is… that it works!

But what’s the cost of just focusing on and trying to make money? After all, if we’re all connected to the economy, is it good for others to be extracting what we need from that sphere by just magicking what we need from it? And is it good for the magick-er?

And why does it seem like some of these money making rituals have diminishing returns for some people? Is it just that they’re not manifesting hard enough? Is The Secret too public now to be effective?

And what about all the above in the times of so-called “recession”?

To talk about all of this, and to create new pathways forward, I invited my favorite journeyer into the realms of money and business, PILAR LESKO back on the show. Pilar’s first appearance was on AEWCH 154, and it was one of the best times I’ve had talking with someone: Pilar is funny, lighthearted, and also completely devoted to real spiritual growth and relationship. Like last time, this is a fairly mind-blowing episode. Mind-blowing for me, and I hope it will also help blow out the restrictions of the money magic world.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT OTHER EPISODE SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO
I love the deep economy episode I did with occult economic historian John Bloom and Marxist economic historian Conor McCabe on AEWCH 110.

WHAT BOOK SHOULD YOU READ?
The book that got me on my money magic journey, and which still has merit, even though it’s good to start moving in new directions, is the excellently titled You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Instead of considering it as merely “how to get what I want,” consider it instead as training for who you are.

MORE ON PILAR
Pilar’s hub is her website. Sign up for her excellent (at times hilarious and strange) newsletter. And to truly level up your life, you can consider working with her. She’s incredible.

Until next time, friends! C

Conner on the esoteric christian podcast The Light In Everything talking about the spiritual truths of horror.

16 Jan

Friends,

I’m so honored to be on one of my favorite podcasts, The Light In Every Thing, talking about horror with AEWCH 181 guest, Rev. Patrick Kennedy!

The Light In Every Thing is a podcast of the Christian Community; which is the non-dogmatic christian tradition developed in consultation with Rudolf Steiner, with over 100,000 members worldwide and churches on six continents.

I discussed this topic at length on AEWCH 201, a solo episode. But here, Patrick and I go deep into how, exactly, horror relates to Christ and the spirit. It was such an enlivening conversation for me.

Listen, enjoy, share,
X
C

***

Here’s the description of the episode:

What begins to unfold and unfurl when we explore the presence and meaning of horror in art, in life and in the story of Christmas and Epiphany? We hope you will join us for this nearly two hour conversation between Patrick and Conner Habib. Its a wide-ranging conversation that takes us down many paths, including the call to christen Paganism and the wild nature spirits in our time, all while Conner and Patrick begin to uncover the meaning of the horrific elements woven into the mystery of Christmas and Christianity.

Many of our listeners will already know Conner from when Patrick was interviewed on his podcast, Against Everyone with Conner Habib. Conner is truly a rare voice in our time, connecting with people in the arts, sciences, philosophy, politics, music, literature, and spirituality and sharing these deeper conversations built on honest thinking and compassionate listening. Conner has schooled himself in entering what is often uncomfortable, uncommon territory and finds true treasure there.

One of those ‘territories’ is horror.  A long time fan of horror fiction and film, Conner is also a published author, with his first full-length novel, Hawk Mountain, releasing in July of 2022.  You can hear his own uninterrupted reflections on the value and power of art that includes the element of horror in this episode from his podcast.

In our conversation, we turn our attention to the Christmas mystery and look to understand the presence of horror – of true darkness – at the birth of Christ.

The festival of Christmas in its full form is not a one day event. It begins on the Holy Night of the 24th and lasts over twelve days, culminating in the festival of Epiphany on January 6th. Spiritually, there is a profound path taken from the shepherds, angels and peace of Luke’s gospel on Christmas Day to the Kings, the star and Herod’s massacre of children to protect his power and crown as described in Matthew’s gospel.  From the paradisiacal innocence of Christmas we are led into the depths of moral darkness, danger and threat to the child, the true king, who is born.  All of these “icons” of Christ’s nature foreshadow what we will all turn our attention to during Holy Week and Easter. The Christian story is told, without doubt, with profound elements of horror.

But why? And why does the genre of horror itself seem to be growing in popularity in mass culture?  What is it that is revealed in the art of horror that has a role to play in our human becoming?  What is it in the reality of true evil in our time that has to do with the new appearance of Christ?

A great and hearty thank you to Conner Habib for his willingness to explore these questions with us.

New Year’s and Epiphany blessing to you all!

EVENT! OCCULT PHILOSOPHIES: An immersive workshop on Rudolf Steiner & the Western esoteric tradition. Live in Dublin or streaming/recorded! JANUARY 28!

12 Jan

TAKE ME TO THE TICKETS! 

FRIENDS!
I’ll be giving a lecture and workshop (complete with spiritual exercises) on Rudolf Steiner and the Western esoteric tradition here in Dublin on Saturday January 28, at the amazing spiritual spot – The Space Between!

It’s a 3 hour long workshop with some snacks and coffee in the break, along with lots of Q&A and community discussion.

The event is moderated by AEWCH guest and frequent collaborator Una Mullally.

Description of the event below.

Unfortunately because this is a collaboration with The Space Between, I can’t offer patreon patrons discounts, but your presence will of course be acknowledged and appreciated. And I’ll try to think of SOMETHING special to pass along to you, so if you DO sign up, let me know.

You can attend in person, by watching the event streaming, or by watching a recording afterwards! 

Below is the description. 

***

“Love is the only passion which must not be discarded in the pursuit of truth.”   Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925)

If you haven’t heard Rudolf Steiner’s name you might know about his many efforts – including Steiner schools (AKA Waldorf schools), biodynamic agriculture, Weleda, Camp Hill communities, Community Shared Agriculture (CSAs) – and more.

Or maybe you’ve heard that his occult explorations were the inspiration for Marvel comics’ Dr. Strange; that he influenced Rachel Carson’s writing of Silent Spring; that he inspired artists as diverse as Cy Twombly, Wssily Kandinsky, Saul Bellow, Andrei Tarkovsky, and the literary group the Inklings, which includes J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis.

But getting into Steiner and his esoteric work – called anthroposophy – can be daunting, to say the least. With thousands of lectures and dozens of books filled with esoteric terms and gestures that would make a philosopher blush, it’s difficult to find a way into his vast body of work.

Join author and podcaster Conner Habib in this plain-language daytime workshop on Rudolf Steiner and the Western esoteric tradition. Together we’ll enter multiple doorways into Steiner’s work, engage in anthroposophical thought exercises, and create pathways for further exploration.  It’ll be fun and deep, complex and weird, respectful and irreverent all at once.

Conner Habib is the author of the international hit novel Hawk Mountain, and the host of the podcast Against Everyone with Conner Habib, a podcast which covers topics as diverse as occultism, punk rock, and radical politics.

Una Mullally is an Irish Times journalist, author, and activist.

This workshop goes from 11am to 2.30pm with a tea, coffee and snack break in the middle.

Hosted by The Space Between, whose mission is to lean into the edge of the emergent, and navigate the unknown with a lightness and depth. 

Tickets:In studio: €35 early bird / €45 late bird 

Online: €15 early bird / €20 late bird 

Early bird pricing until 20th.

Lisa Romero on going Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery. Episode two in my How To Live Beyond series.

10 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

The best way to support this show, my writing, my events & courses, is to give an annual or monthly pledge to Patreon.com/connerhabib.

When you use patreon, you’re not only supporting me, but accessing an economic model that isn’t about paying people for their labor, and instead showing care and appreciation of who they are.

Two other ways to support the show and my other efforts:

  • Buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if youve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts (and subscribe if you haven’t already!).

AND:

If you’d like to sign up for Lisa’s upcoming online course – On January 14 – on all the topics we discuss on this show – “Navigating Realms of Consciousness; Practices and Insights from Western Esotericism – go to her site and use the AEWCH option for a discount. You can sign up after the date for the recording (or if you can’t attend on the day itself).

Friends,

Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, wellness and self development, entheogens, paganism,  and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes arent a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what theyve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

It seems like everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded by messages about why psychedelics are good for you, and how we can magic ourselves into a better planet or against capitalism etc etc.

It could be Graham Hancock advising ayahuasca use to see reality, or Michael Pollan detailing hallucigenic health benefits. And there’s #WItchesOfInstagram + leftist spiritual podcasts and books on using magic to survive and combat capitalism. Techies are microdosing to support their lives and by extension gentrification and class war, feminists are reclaiming witchcraft, Marxists are spellcasting, gay men are turning to Aleister Crowley for inspiration.

And to make matters worse, people who condemn using magic and mushrooms are even worse than all that. Religious fundamentalists, tankie materialist leftists, conservative fascists, edgelords saying magic is “woke,” new age “seekers” none of whom seem to have bearings in spiritual truth.

What is going on here, and does any of it lead to real and liberating spiritual inspiration, or are we just getting driven deeper and deeper into materialistic culture, politics, and economy?

To talk about all of this and how to get beyond it, I asked spiritual teacher and writer Lisa Romero onto the show. This is the deepest I’ve ever gone on the topic, and I think it throughly illustrates the dangers of sorcery and psychedelics, and how to think about them without becoming a foot-stomping fascist or a tech-hippie psychonaut enthusiast.

What’s useful? What’s outdated? What spiritual techniques need to be allowed to die (and be reborn)?

Lisa’s latest appearance on the show was on AEWCH 200 where she and I talked with Duncan Trussell where the three of us investigated this topic. This is a natural continuation, but we go much, much deeper, using the idea that accessing and commanding the beings in the realm of magic and psychedelics – the astral realm – is the adolescence of humanity.

And we also go into what we can do and how to approach the astral realm… and go beyond it.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT OTHER EPISODE SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO
One of my favorite episodes on elemental beings, which we talk about at length on this episode, is AEWCH 188 with artist and spiritual teacher, Marko Pogačnik. Marko and Lisa have a lot in common, and I hope to get them in conversation with each other sometime. For now, listening to the two episodes can bring them into conversation within and with you.

WHAT BOOK SHOULD YOU READ?
Conor McPherson’s play The Weir, is one of the finest expressions of encounters with the astral realm and the Otherworld (and how not to deal with them). Of course it’s best to see it, but unless you’re lucky enough to have a production going on nearby, reading it is the next best thing. It’s in this collection of his plays.

MORE ON LISA
Here’s Lisa’s website: The Inner Work Path . All of her books are worthwhile; but the one closest to this conversations is A Bridge to Spirit: Understanding Conscious Self-Development and Consciousness-Altering Substances. And here’s Lisa’s recent appearance on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Perhaps related to this episode in a sideways manner – Lisa’s book Spirit-led Community: Healing the Impact of Technology.

Until next time, friends: Live well!
CH

Mitch Horowitz on going Beyond The New Age. The first ep of my AEWCH series on how to live in 2023, How To Live Beyond.

3 Jan

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

Give via patreonPatreon.com/connerhabib this is the best way to support the show. You can also:

  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts.
  • And if you want to explore my other main creative output – writing fiction – you can buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if you’ve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!

Friends,

Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, wellness and self development, entheogens, paganism, and more.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk – if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes aren’t a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what they’ve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

To start, I thought I’d take up the flurry of resolutions that accompany the new year – including their connection to new age thought and the new age movement – with new age scholar and practitioner, Mitch Horowitz (last on the show in conversation with Dean Spade on AEWCH 200). We discuss how positive thinking is not enough (and when it is!), and how we can re-conceptualize the new age movement’s principles now that they’ve become all but fully accepted as true in a materialist world.

This is a wide-ranging conversation that interrogates many aspects of the new age movement/new age thought without losing sight of some of its very real offerings.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT OTHER EPISODES SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO?
The idea for this series of episodes comes from last year’s “How To Live” series (which I’ll link to in the future) and two recent episodes with Weird Studies cohosts Phil Ford and JF Martel – AEWCH 202 & AEWCH 203 – on the problem with magic,

WHAT BOOK SHOULD YOU READ?
Five lectures on the New Year and spiritual principles by Rudolf Steiner can be found in Cosmic New Year. Sure, it’s throwing you in the deep end, a bit, but it’s 2023, let’s just jump in.

MORE ON MITCH
Mitch has a very active patreon which offers a lot to his patrons. You can find it here.
Here’s Mitch’s website.
One of my favorite books by Mitch, Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation.
You can preorder Mitch’s forthcoming book, Modern Occultism: History, Theory, and Practice.
And here’s Mitch’s article, “Is Magick Necessary?” which we discuss on the show.

GRATITUDE AT THE END OF 2023: MICHAEL LIPSON RETURNS TO THE SHOW ON AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 207

20 Dec

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

Give via patreonPatreon.com/connerhabib this is the best way to support the show. You can also:

  • Tell people about the show and, if it feels okay, to support it on patreon (especially if you already know your pals are fans of the show but don’t support it).
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Share on social media (you know the deal with this one)
  • And if you want to explore my other main creative output – writing fiction – you can buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if you’ve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!

Friends!
Was it a difficult year for you? Even if lockdown regulations went away (and it seems almost inconceivable that they were in place just earlier this year, doesn’t it), even if the dread of the US President’s every move seems to have dissipated… was it a hard year? Did anxiety seem to alight on everything? Did you feel in touch with a sort of uncertainty that woke you or didn’t let you sleep?

Anxiety is a call to attentiveness that leads us to command. Another way to express that attentiveness is gratitude. The world is seeking to be seen for what it is, and the only way to do that is to look with love.

To talk about this, I invited therapist and teacher Michael Lipson back on the show. Michael last appeared on the show on AEWCH 139; a listener favorite. His new book of gratitude, Be: An Alphabet of Astonishment is a profound meditation on being.

ON THIS EPISODE
meeting strangers • on being afraid of spiritual reality • jouissance • keeping individuality while meeting the other • longing for connection • what happens when out desires conflict with our ethics • needs vs wants • the spiritual being with a TV for a head • magic and the Moon • why every life matters even though we reincarnate • the three loaves of bread as an occult secret • Simone Weil and affliction •

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
I mentioned Denis Johnson’s small masterpiece of a novel, Train Dreams. If you’d like to see what living without attachment was like before our culture enhanced and amplified attachments, this is the book. And I think everyone who loves beautiful writing should read it.

WHAT OTHER EPISODE SHOULD I LISTEN TO?
Michael talks about the pursuit of the intensity of the real, a subject I talk abotu in depth with literary critic Stephen Kern on AEWCH 42. It’s a great episode and one of the lesser-known ones.

MORE ON MICHAEL
Michael’s first book, Stairway of Surprise is a beautiful and plain-language ascent through Rudolf Steiner’s basic exercises. It’s a great way to encounter these exercises however much or little you feel comfortable with spiritual realities. You can also sign up for Michael’s group meditation sessions and read his blog via his website. (And you can read his other book about those sessions, Group Meditation.)

This is the last episode of the year friends, so sit with it and I’ll meet you all again in 2023!
With love,
CH

AA and D&D, art and reality, conspiracy and curation: Listen to me, esoteric scholar Peter Bebergal + countercultural pastor Barry Taylor talk about the uses of fantasy!

6 Dec

LISTEN HERE VIA SOUNDCLOUD OR ON Apple PodcastsSpotifyBreaker Anchor Patreon

SUPPORT AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB

Give via patreonPatreon.com/connerhabib – this is the best way to support the show. You can also:

  • Tell people about the show and, if it feels okay, to support it on patreon (especially if you already know your pals are fans of the show but don’t support it).
  • Give the show a 5 star rating and positive review on Apple Podcasts.
  • Share on social media (you know the deal with this one)
  • And if you want to explore my other main creative output – writing fiction – you can buy my debut novel, Hawk Mountain (and if you’ve bought it and loved it, give it a great review on Amazon and/or Goodreads!). All my creative projects end up supporting each other!

Friends,

The world accumulates new fantasies about itself, and as it does, it changes. We develop these fantasies, we curate them, alter them, cling to them, and mark what counts as “reality” by them. Reality is an aggregate of fantasies.

So…what fantasies serve us? How? And who are the best curators?

Well, I’d say two I know are my guests on this episode.

First, occult scholar Peter Bebergal, editor of Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons and Dragons and author of Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural (which we talked about extensively the last time Peter was on the show – back on AEWCH 112 ).

Second, countercultural pastor and artist, Barry Taylor, who is also the author of Sex, God, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: Catastrophes, Epiphanies, and Sacred Anarchies. I met Barry through my friend and frequent AEWCH guest, Peter Rollins. Ive been wanting to have Barry on for a long time, and finally, needing to have discussion of art and fantasy and reality and religion, knew that this was the exact right moment.

We go all over the place in this one. From Dungeons & Dragons to Alcoholics Anonymous, from the problems with Graham Hancock to our acid trips. This is a great episode friends.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
I can’t say I’ve read Susanna Clarke’s epic British magic fantasy, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but I trust Peter’s curatorial sense. Since he recommends it, I may go read it now. Let me know if you read it too! If you want a book I’ve read on some of the themes here, read Grant Morrison’s excellent nonfiction book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us about Being Human.

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
AEWCH 47 features the psychoanalytic philosopher we talk about quite a bit throughout the show, Todd McGowan!

MORE ON PETER and BARRY
Peter is also the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. And here’s another interview with Peter, on RPGs and Appendix N.

Support Barry’s work via his Patreon! Here’s Barry’s website (you can also get his book from there if it’s sold out on bookshop.org), and a short profile of him in the Guardian. And do follow Barry’s Instagram – @UKBloke – for the great collages he makes and posts almost every day.

Until next time, enjoy your quest!
CH

White magic after Ragnarok. Are Thoresen returns to AEWCH!

29 Nov

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Friends,

You might have noticed that lately I’ve been wary of magic, but of course, spiritual development and practice are essential in the new territory we find ourselves in. So what paths of development? What practices?

I’ve asked writer, occultist, veterinarian, and acupuncturist Are Thorsen back on the show to discuss all of this.

Are was last on the show back on AEWCH 116 for what was the most directly occult and spiritual episode of the show. We shared some of the intense spiritual experiences we’ve had, and it was a vulnerable but very helpful episode for me (and one of the most popular show for listeners).

This episode has just as much spiritual adventure: Do gnomes actually wear hats? Why do some people spiritually develop through sudden revelation and others through practice? What evil beings begin to proliferate in 2019? What do the stories of the Elves and the Shoemaker and the Little Mermaid tell us about spiritual realities?

Are’s two most recent books in English are Travels on the Northern Path of Initiation: Vidar and Baldur, the Three Elemental Realms and the Inner and Outer Etheric Worlds and Encounters with Vidar: Communications from the Outer Etheric Realm: From Clairvoyance to Clairaudience , two books that draw on Norse mythology and find where it meets with the Christian mysteries of today.

SHOW NOTES

WHAT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ?
May as well go to some (sort of) source material – The Poetic Edda translated by Carolyne Larrington in this lovely-looking edition. You can also read

WHAT OTHER AEWCH EPISODE YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO?
To get a little perspective on some of these spiritual beings and what we’re talking about when we talk about the archangel Michael, listen to AEWCH 126, which is where I explore Michael from many different directions.

MORE ON ARE
Here’s another interview with Are, in which he goes into the foundational ideas a bit more. And Are’s spiritual autobiography is in the book Transforming Demons: The True Story of How a Seeker Resolves His Karma: From Ancient Atlantis to the Present-Day. And of course, you can always listen to us in our first conversation.

Until next time, friends,
CH