Welcome to Episode Four, Season Ten of the Thoth-Hermes podcast. Today, Rudolf meets with Charlotte Cowell, translator of The Solar Way (Silver Age Russian Occult Rosicrucian Schools) and author of multiple other titles. Charlotte is the founder, owner and editor of Shin Publications.

Charlotte is a delightful guest, simultaneously a fierce, warm and self-effacing intellectual presence in the conversation. A graduate of Oxford University (MA in Ancient and Modern History), Charlotte has pursued the Mysteries for several decades after receiving solo and spontaneous esoteric Christian rebirth in college. Charlotte cites The Meditations on the Tarot (Anonymous) as a cornerstone text for her during her initiatory unfolding. She is also refreshingly frank, in moments, around reconciling the dual paths of Christian… Esotericism. An example being, reading “Meditations” as distinct from using the Cards directly. Listeners on a similar trajectory may well relate to these personal processes.

Charlotte brings us into the stark and resilient journeys of Valentin Tomberg, Vladimir Shmakov, Nina Roudnikova and G.O. Mebes (the last, Swedish). These thinkers faced true and visceral danger from Russian political turmoil, in the face of this making many strategic decisions to preserve their body of work for future seekers. Alongside this important history, Charlotte and Rudolph explore the significance of “Shin”. The conversation re-examines “neutralization of the binary” (a term from last week’s interview) and the interplay with triangular transcendental synthesis.

Charlotte emphasizes her respect for the pragmatic effort made by the persecuted initiates, analogizing her work to laying a memorial wreath in their honor. Charlotte writes in one of her publications that her intention is “…a tribute to the Masters, from time immemorial until the present day, who’ve served to inspire and shine light on the otherwise solitary path of the seeker; a gift for those who find themselves peering across the abyss for such lights, or stand looking back at the ocean from the refuge of safe shores, searching the distant horizon for memories of the crossing…” from whatever personal vantage point, may this conversation inspire listeners.

ABOVE: The cover of those four highly interesting books we speak about in the episode. Click anywhere on them to be brought to Shin Publications website to learn more and order them

BELOW: The original painting that inspired the cover of the Shmakov book. It is by artist ArtTheurg, who also created the wonderful illustrations in The Holy Book of Thoth.

Music played in this episode

The Gnossiennes are several piano compositions by the French composer Erik Satie in the late 19th century. The works are for the most part in free time (lacking time signatures or bar divisions) and highly experimental with form, rhythm and chordal structure. The form as well as the term was invented by Satie. Satie himself was for some time part of Joseph Paladan’s Rosicrucian group in Paris, for which he also wrote ritual music.

The pieces are performed by Reinbert de Leeuw


(Track starts at [9:22])


(Track starts at [57:10])


(Track starts at [1:37:44])

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

Receive new episodes automatically