Tag Archives: magic

202 – Strange Angel: Fact Versus Fiction About Jack Parsons

If you don’t have the CBS streaming service (which you should get for at least the free trial week to binge watch Star Trek: Discovery anyway!) then you might have missed a new show that deals with someone who seems to have been written out of the history of the United States space program and even much paranormal folklore. But there’s not much you need to fictionalize about Jack Parsons’ incredible life in order for the new show Strange Angel to be a completely fascinating  story.

strange angel
Jack Raynor as Jack Parsons

Based on the 2006 book, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle, it’s a dramatization of the renegade rocket scientist in 1930s California. A firm believer in the possibilities of rocketry at a time when most mainstream scientists believed that it was solely in the realm of science fiction, Parsons conducted amateur rocket experiments himself when the Great Depression caused him to have to leave college. He would go on to become one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Today, JPL is part of NASA but it was formed over a decade before when the United States government finally understood the effectiveness of rockets after the Nazis bombarded the British with their V-2s during the Second World War.

The real Jack Parsons

But while Parsons contributions to the development of solid rocket fuel might have been a major scientific accomplishment, he’s also known for something a little more sinister. Indeed, Jack Parsons practiced Aleister Crowley-style sex magick in a  quest to create a Moonchild (named after Crowley’s 1917 book) that would be the human vessel for the Whore of Babylon, who would bring in destruction and rebirth to the world and bring about a new age of love and enlightenment. Yeah, he was pen pals with the Great Beast himself and lead the Los Angeles OTO temple as he practiced Thelemic magic.

Sounds like it might be a good premise for a TV show, eh?

In this episode Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts and Scott Markus from What’sYourGhostStory.com join Wendy and I as we discuss Strange Angel and the real Jack Parsons. You’ll learn:

  • What the Strange Angel TV show gets right and wrong so far
  • What is Aleister Crowley’s Thelema?
  • What is a sigil and  how does it relate to magic?
  • How is ceremonial magic like rocket science?
  • What Iron Maiden song is related to Jack and Aleister
  • What does L. Ron Hubbard, sci-fi author and founder of Scientology, have to do with this?
  • Possible reasons that Jack may have been cursed later in life (paranormal and not so paranormal)
  • What are these weird places in Pasadena like nowadays?
  • Where to go for more information and further reading on Jack

One of the most interesting stories about Jack Parsons is how he, his second wife Marjorie Cameron, and L. Ron Hubbard used to perform a nightly magical ritual called the “Babalon Working” which was a series of ceremonies dedicated to manifesting Babalon’s presence so they could all get it on and impregnate Marjorie with the Moonchild. Jack even wrote a sequel to Aleister Crowley’s Book Of The Law which he said was dictated to him by Babalon herself.

Now there was a theory that Jack and Marjorie believed all that manifestation of Babalon led to bad luck for them in the end and I can believe it! While we were working on this week’s song, I lost my phone, my nice microphone stopped working, and while I was working on integrating quotes directly from Jack’s book that are spoken by Babalon, my Evernote wasn’t saving the notes and the lyrics weren’t recording. It’s probably all just a coincidence and of course, I’m trained to see patterns in these things (particularly after we spent a weekend talking ghost stories, spirit possessions, and more at the Haunted America 2018 conference in Alton, Illinois all weekend) but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a hint. We turned this one into just an instrumental with a guitar lead that will make you think of sex and rockets in the desert. We called it “Babalon Working”…

158 – Fool Us: Magic and Mystery with David Parr

Magician David Parr’s recent appearance on Penn & Teller: Fool Us ended up with David performing a neat card trick with Alyson Hanigan (Willow from Buffy!) that not only amazed the crowd, but managed to fool both of the title stars! The show is based around the famous magic duo trying to figure out tricks by other magicians and if they can’t figure your trick out, you get to perform with them at their Las Vegas show! On the August 7th episode, David Parr was the only one who managed that feat!

You can watch the segment in its entirety on David Parr’s YouTube Channel

In addition to just being an incredible performer, though, David brings a cast knowledge of magical and mystical history to his show. He has a special Spiritualist-type magic performance in addition to his stage show (which you can see in Chicago at The Magic Cabaret) where he delves into the history of the seance as well as the spectacle.

David Parr
David Parr looking like he wants to trick you!

In this episode, Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts joins Wendy and I as we talk to David Parr about his favorite tricks, the whole experience of being on the Penn & Teller: Fool Us program, the problem with modern skepticism, non-staged and unexpected paranormal experiences during magic shows, and of course, miniature guillotines that kids used to get as presents (WHAT?!)

David Parr and the Miniature Guillotine
David Parr and his Miniature Guillotine

Well, one of the things that we discussed in the podcast with David Parr was that humans really love mysteries! That feeling of wonder and “not knowing” helps keep life interesting and fun, and magic is definitely part of that. We all love being fooled a little bit, whether it’s willfully getting engaged in the suspension of disbelief during a movie or watching a lady being sawed in half onstage, or even in our relationships. There’s what’s real and what we want to believe, and often, it’s just more fun to say to the person we love, “Lie to Me”.

Tell me I’m the biggest,
tell me I’m the best.
Tell me how hard I feel
and I’m better than the rest.

Let me know how good my kisses taste,
You’ve never felt this way before
Tell me how every other boy,
left you wanting more.

I can smell the bull$&^% on your breath.

Lie. To. Me.
Lie. To. Me.
Tell me I’m your big daddy,
Everything you’ve ever dreamed.
Lie. To. Me.
Lie. To. Me.
I’m the only one you need,
The only man who can compete.

I love it when you fool me baby
I love it when you fib
I love it when you make me feel
I’m just the best that there is

I’d rather live a fantasy
then suffer through the truth
And your sweet little fictions
Are all I need for proof

I can smell the bull$&^% on your breath.

Lie. To. Me.
Lie. To. Me.
Tell me I’m your big daddy,
Everything you’ve ever dreamed.
Lie. To. Me.
Lie. To. Me.
I’m the only one you need,
The only man who can compete.

130 – Mrs. Magic: Reweaving Reality with Maureen St. Germain

Maureen St. Germain is the author of books like Be A Genie, Reweaving the Fabric of Your Reality, and Waking Up in 5D and calls herself a “Practical Mystic”. And with a title like that and a nickname like “Mrs. Magic”, Maureen is all about finding and embracing the spiritual aspects in your own life. While the language and symbolism might be cosmic, the results are down to Earth. Mrs. Magic helps people access their fantastic sides while helping them achieve their goals, manifest love and happiness, and just get a little peace of mind every once in awhile.

maureen st germain mrs magic
Maureen meditating, it looks like she’s in a pyramid or something!

One of Maureen St. Germain’s quickest tips for helping to find magic in your own life quickly is not to eliminate negativity, which is difficult and almost always leads to more negative thoughts when you can’t just “get rid of” those offending thoughts in the first place (that’s the path that leads to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, trust me on that one.) But every time you have a negative thought, add two positive thoughts to it. 

For example, since we live in Wisconsin and it’s currently winter time, when you look outside, the first think you think is usually, “Man, this is snowy and cold and disgusting.” But why not add, “Yeah, but snowball fights are fun!” and “Winter keeps property values affordable here so that my quality of life is great!” Does that sound kind of silly? Why yes, yes it does.

But it helps reinforce positivity without making you feel guilty for thinking negative thoughts. We’re always going to have reactions to things no matter what, our brains are just gonna use the pathways that are the easiest and we’re hardwired for negativity. Ever wonder why your pets are so scared all the time? Because it helps keep them alive in the wilderness! But we’re not in the jungle anymore and oftentimes, our fear holds us back.

maureen st germain jump and the net will appear
No pressure!

One phrase we mention in the interview with Maureen St. Germain is “jump and the net will appear”and this might not be magic in the sense that we think of magic usually (like burning candles and eyes of newt or something) but more like how you reframe and align your thinking. And that’s about gaining access to your Higher Self.  Your Higher Self is your spiritual self that has access to the Akashic Records.

Akashic What Now? We talked a little about the Akashic Records in our interview with Garnet Schulhauser and his spirit guide Albert, but according to mid-Twentieth Century mystic Edgar Cayce, it’s the “Book of Life”, the universal supercomputer that has access to all the knowledge of the Universe across all Space and Time. If life was like Doctor Who (and you’re trying to tell me it’s not?!)the Time Lords had an archive of their history, knowledge, and of the memory of all of their species called The Matrix. The Akashic Records are kinda like that.

maureen st germain doctor who the matrix
The Doctor getting ready for a trip into the Time Lords’ Akashic Records, The Matrix

Okay, that’s getting into some heavy New  Age-y type stuff, but it’s not really different from learning how to trust your intuition, which has a demonstrable scientific basis. And learning how to “trust your gut” (or whatever you like to call it, your Higher Self, your spirit guide, your intuition, etc…) and how to listen to your body and your instinct is part of any kind of personal development, so the New Age style is just one of the ways that people are inspired to follow that path and it’s an essential part of everyone’s spiritual journey.

You can jump into Maureen’s class about the Higher Self right here and you can find her different variety of books, courses, and guided meditations on the Maureen St. Germain website. She’s got plenty of free meditations on YouTube so you can try it out, see what you think, and if you’re into it, learn more directly from Maureen.

Hey and here’s something sweet, the last book Maureen contributed to, The Realities of Creation: Moving Beyond the Limitations of Our Beliefs, features an intro from actress Dee Wallace who is one of our favorite  Scream Queens from The Hills Have Eyes to Rob Zombie’s Halloween re-imagining. She does spiritual healing now, what?! Yeah, I’d totally get a session too, but I think I’d probably just use my time to hear stories from the set of The Howling!

For the song this week, we decided to go with something a little obscure. There’s a psychological experiment that they run on animals called “The Mirror Test”, where they anesthetize the animal, put a mark on their face, and then show them their face in the mirror. Do the animals recognize themselves or do they think they’re seeing another creature of the same species? It’s a test of sentience, which is the capacity to feel, it’s a sense of self, of consciousness.
In the interview, we talk a lot about that feeling of needing to point your brain in the right direction. That’s what this song is about, because the character needs to act out his dreams in order to feel alive, in order to feel like he’s worthy of sentience. He wants to take action now so that he recognize and be proud of the life he’s lived, so he can pass “The Mirror Test”.
I’m gonna jump from Twenty Thousand Feet
Finally read all of War and Peace
Ride a wave right down to the beach,
and get pulled over racing a Trans Am.
I’ll keep my chin up like a champion,
Get my teeth knocked out in the Octagon
Try to paddle down the Amazon,
Then maybe I will finally understand
the meaning of I think therefore I am
I wanna go out as a man with no regret,
but I’m scared to death I must confess,
That in the end I won’t recognize myself
Alive with half a consciousness
That in the end I’ll fail The Mirror Test.
I’m gonna make love like I’m Bad Company,
Go out drinking like Charles Bukowski,
Karate kick like Bruce Lee
and then go bungee jump right off the Hoover Dam.
I’m gonna take on Everest,
Hold on 8 seconds like in the Wild West
I’ll even leave my home without American Express
And maybe I can finally be free
of all the fears that were just  paralyzing me
I wanna go out as a man with no regret,
but I’m scared to death I must confess,
That in the end I won’t recognize myself
I didn’t settle just for less,
Alive with half a consciousness
Well I ain’t gonna second guess
So in the end I don’t fail The Mirror Test.