The Arts of the Cunning Folk

Two weeks ago we talked about the way that Bakongo spirituality made its way to the American colonies along with enslaved Africans from the Congo basin.  Once here, it adapted to the conditions of slavery and the radically different environment of temperate and subtropical North America to become the earliest form of hoodoo—one of the…

In the Footsteps of High John

Two weeks ago, while winding up the story of the colonial Rhode Island astrologer Joseph Stafford, I noted that the kind of occultism practiced by Stafford and Johannes Kelpius—the learned occult traditions of the Renaissance, which were experiencing their last golden autumn in Europe during the years when the American colonies were being founded—was by…

An Astrological Interlude: Aries Ingress 2019

Today is the northern hemisphere’s spring equinox, when the Sun crosses the celestial equator to bring summer to the end of the planet with polar bears and winter to the end with penguins. Nature worshipers of various kinds will be celebrating the equinox today, Druids among them, but this is also a day that matters…

America and Russia: Tamanous and Sobornost

In the first two essays in this sequence, I sketched out the framework of Oswald Spengler’s vision of the process by which great cultures rise, work through their possibilities, and fossilize once those possibilities have been pushed as far as they can go. That vision of history pretty reliably generates a profound unease among people…