26 April. Special Walpurgisnacht Satanic Witch Episode

Walpurgisnacht L A.S.

Your host Jessie sits down with Magistra Peggy Nadramia, The High Priestess of the Church of Satan, Witch Zaftig of Unorthodoxy with Witch Zaftig [myself], and Erin Cassavaugh from Down to the Crossroads for an intimate and informative conversation about The Satanic Witch. They discuss the relevancy of The Satanic Witch today, fashion, decorating, even forward men. Tune in and learn just what it means to be a Satanic Witch from four of the wickedest on the block.

26 April. Special Walpurgisnacht Satanic Witch Episode on the 9sense Podcast.

Episode 9: Medieval Jewish Magic

Episode 9 of Unorthodoxy with Witch Zaftig discusses medieval Jewish magic: how it was perceived by the enveloping Christian culture; how Jewish magicians saw themselves; the discursive transfer of internal and external ideas; and the fun stuff like divination and necromancy.

The primary source for this segment comes from the seminal work by Joshua Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition (full text at the link), in his chapter on Necromancy:

[A] method which seems to have been acceptable, for it invoked the dead by means of angelic names: “Stand before the grave and recite the names of the angels of the fifth camp of the first firmament, and hold in your hand a mixture of oil and honey in a new glass bowl, and say,’I conjure you, spirit of the grave, Neḥinah, who rests in the grave upon the bones of the dead, that you accept this offering from my hand and do my bidding.’” (1939: 224)

Jewish Magic

As always, you can listen to the stand-alone segment here, or the entire 9sense Podcast in which I co-host.

Further recommended reading:

  • Bohak, Gideon. Ancient Jewish Magic: A History.
  • Bonfil, R. “The Devil and the Jews in the Christian Consciousness of the Middle Ages,” in S. Almog, ed., Anti-Semitism through the Ages
  • Chajes, J. H. “Jewish Magic and Divination,” in P. F. Grendler, ed., Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
  • Cohn-Sherbok, Dan. Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism: An Introductory Anthology.
  • Davis, G. W. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism.
  • Goldish, Matt, ed. Spirit Possession in Judaism: Cases and Contexts from the Middle Ages to the Present
  • Gordon, Cyrus H. “Leviathan: A Symbol of Evil.”

Original air-date April 19, 2015.

Episode 8: What is Western Esotericism?

Episode 8 of Unorthodoxy with Witch Zaftig discusses the scholarly category of “Western Esotericism”: how scholars frame their discourse; what is or is not “esoteric”; what’s so western about “western” esotericism, and why is the distinction important?

The two main sources consulted are:

Western Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Wouter J. Hangraaff;

And Western Esotericism: A Brief History of Secret Knowledge by Kocku von Stuckrad.

As always, you can listen to the stand-alone segment here, or the entire 9sense Podcast in which I co-host.

Originally aired on March 15, 2015.

Episode 7: Is Atheism a Religion?

Episode 7 of Unorthodoxy with Witch Zaftig asks: Is Atheism a Religion?

First, we discuss how atheism is defined, then examine how various groups and individuals with competing interests have amplified that definition.

One example provided is by Sam Harris, of the so-called “new atheist” movement, who advocates for a particular kind of atheistic “spirituality” in his book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion.

To refute this obfuscation of the words “atheism” and “spirituality” is scholar of religion David Webster in his book, Dispirited: How Contemporary Spirituality Makes Us Stupid, Selfish, and Unhappy. Webster argues that “spirituality” is a superficial and meaningless concept that modern society has adapted as a response to institutionalised religion, reflective of our current anti-religious sentiment in the western world. Webster claims that this all-too-broad and new-age concept is actually toxic, and no better or worse than fundamentalist religion.


Finally, we bring up the growing atheist churches that promote values and ethics, examples of which are here and here. These movements are responding to the common accusation that atheistic persons live without ecstasy or ethics by religious groups. One side denounces religious people as stupid and having imaginary friends; the other claims atheists are blind automatons without wonder or morals.

Listen to the stand-alone segment here, or the entire show with me as co-host.

Original air-date February 15, 2015.

Episode 6: Defining Religion

First, my apologies for not updating the blog. I solemnly swear to be consistent with posting after each segment. So help me Satan.

Episode 6 of Unorthodoxy with Witch Zaftig aired on January 18, 2015. You can listen to the stand-alone segment itself by clicking here, or listen to the entire 9sense Podcast, with me as co-host.

In honour of Religious Freedom Day, the segment discusses defining religion, ranging from how academics frame their discourse, the legal parameters of defining religion and how this legality influences civil protection of religious freedom, and how different religions either accept or challenge these perceived definitions. It’s a fascinating discussion you don’t want to miss!

Original air-date January 18, 2015.