Welcome to Episode Two of Season Ten with the Thoth-Hermes podcast. Today, Rudolf dialogues with Marco Visconti, author of “The Aleister Crowley Manual: Thelemic Magic for Modern Times” (2023), published through Watkins Press.

An Italian freemason living in London, Marco openly enumerates roadblocks and supports he has encountered in his personal magical development. Up into his mid-thirties, Marco pursued several initiatory paths alongside an international musical career. Retiring from musical performance, Marco committed to depth involvement with the Ordo Templi Orientis. He also worked on staff at London’s renowned Treadwell’s Bookshop. Following the OTO’s scandals and schisms of the late 2010s, Marco describes leaving the Order on conscience. He publicly articulated a depth essay on his experience of the OTO’s dysfunction. (CLICK ANYWHERE IN THIS PARAGRAPH TO SEE MARCO’S BLOG ENTRY ABOUT THIS)

During the COVID pandemic, a door opened for the founding of Marco’s present initiatory school. Rudolf and Marco examine the tensions of ethics and accountability within hierarchical initiatory organizations. Together, they highlight the responsibility of truly vetting lodge candidates. Marco directly names his experience of encountering unbalanced and destabilizing seekers in magical schools. He also references contemporary challenges around anonymity or confidentiality of membership.

The theme of finding the balanced middle way permeates this conversation. While examining selectivity within groups, Marco and Rudolf delve into the question of elitism. Both speakers acknowledge magical potential as an inherent human birthright, across all class, culture, race, gender, and other mundane identities. Simultaneously, they briefly share the posit that pursuing formal initiation is not appropriate for everyone in a given lifetime.

While describing Marco’s new book, they note the paradox of Crowley’s levelling articulation of Magic for All, yet his relatively scholarly writing style. While more accessible than any writing prior to his publications, the Oxbridge style and use of mainline theological terms carry potential obstacles. The discussion then turns to frank assessment of copyright debates in historical magical writings; Rudolf names parallels across many creative and performing arts content. Marco then shares briefly on his manuscript in process.

Music played in this episode

It was my guest in this episode, who used to be a full-time musician at some point in his life, who chose the music . So enjoy Marco’s choice!

1) DRIFT by 3Teeth

3TEETH is a group from LA, which started in 2013 and today are one of the most famous industrial metal acts. The singer and mastermind, Alexis Mincolla, is a very close friend of Marco’s. They bonded over their interest for esotericism, and in fact a lot of the themes and imagery of 3TEETH is steeped in occultism.

(Track starts at [8:23])


XP8 was Marco’s main musical project between 2001 and 2014, when he put it on hiatus. They still release the occasional single/EP, but stopped touring a decade ago when he realised that music scene (electrogoth, industrial/ebm) was on a dying spiral compared to the spotlights of the previous decade.

They always produced music for “goth raves”, but “The Night Of Pan” is different, mellower than their normal output. Marco wanted to try and convey in music the idea of approaching the Abyss, which is also why you find the famous Oppenheimer sample in it.

(Track starts at [59:41])

3) SAPPHIRE by Alcest

Marco always loved Alcest’s unique blend of black metal and shoegaze – they effectively found the “blackgaze” genre. A super popular band, hailing from France.

“Sapphire” is a remix by synthwave act Perturbator, and one interesting tidbit is that the singer of Alcest often sings in a strange language he claims to have received from “the fae”.

(Track starts at [1:46:18])

Intro and Outro Music
especially written and recorded for the Thoth-Hermes Podcast by Chris Roberts

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