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My guest this week is the author of several books on magic, Qabalah and witchcraft and his blog has been on my personal reading list for quite some time now. He had stopped blogging some time ago, and when I noticed he had restarted publishing new entries I decided to reach out. Frater Barrabbas Tiresius got back to me and explained that the break was only due to work and travelling a lot and he would soon publish a new book, ‘Talismanic Magic for Witches’, coming out in February 2023, so we set up this interview for this episode of the podcast.
Frater Barrabbas was born in 1955 and grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. From a pretty early age on he realised he was sort of different and didn’t really fit in. Defining himself as a ‘seeker’ he managed to get kicked out of Sunday school for asking too many questions instead of ‘simply having faith’. Growing up in a Protestant family with a father who was a member of the military force there was quite a lot of discipline required and being different was not really seen as a positive trait so Frater Barrabbas created himself his own world where he could retreat to.
Discovering witchcraft in his teens by reading Gerald Gardner’s books (which he actually found boring) it was Paul Huson’s ‘Mastering Witchcraft’ and Lady Sheba’s ‘Book of Shadows’ that made a difference and prompted him to be initiated into the Alexandrian tradition by Christopher Synn in his early twenties. This was also the catalyst for getting into touch with the Golden Dawn and its practices and community of that time. Frater Barrabbas originally wanted to become an actor, however he wasn’t very good at memorising scripts, and assuming different personas, so went on to get a university degree in English. All along the way, magic and witchcraft were his chosen paths.
This episode of the show will highlight quite a few topics that are close to Frater Barrabbas’ heart such as his special relationship with Catholicism which might surprise some of our listeners. However, he will explain in great detail the concept of the Catholic mass as a powerful system of energising magic, the role of the priest and that of transubstantiation and also the connection to ancient concepts of sacrifice.
Further topics we will be discussing are the role and relevance of magical/occult groups in general and their egregores, how they influence the individual’s abilities and workings, democracy vs. autocracy within healthy and less healthy orders, the difference between ceremonial and ritual magic, initiation and self-initiation and the ‘otherness’ that creeps up one’s spine as the reason for practicing the occult arts.
Frater Barrabbas will also have some good advice for anyone just starting out on the path not really knowing where to begin and how being an openhearted sceptic helps in navigating the flood of information available on- and offline.
The three books of the “Witches” series by Frater Barrabbas. The third, “Talismanic Magic for Witches”, is due in February 2023. But there are also other books by Frater Barrabbas to discover …
Music played in this episode
Somehow the fact that Frater Barrabbas mentioned briefly “The Age of Aquarius” in our talk, that triggered in me the need to look for “Aquarian music”
1) AQUARIUS – Xan Griffin
On Xan Griffin’s website you not only find all of his great music, including the twelve-track album “Zodiac”, but if you produce music yourself, he teaches classes how to use your computer even better for this.
(Track starts at [8:47])
2) THE AGE OF AQUARIUS – Villagers of Ioannina City
Villagers of Ioannina City (VIC) is a folk rock band from Ioannina, Greece, formed in 2007. They play post, stoner and psychedelic rock with a large dose of Greek folk music from the region of Epirus. The regional musical tradition is characterized by polyphony, specific rhythms and tunes, and the use of clarinet, kaval, and bagpipe. The band fuses this unique folk music with modern psychedelic forms, creating a sound where the dominant solo instrument is the clarinet. They had played in the biggest rock festivals and in numerous sold-out shows in the biggest music scenes in Greece.
(Track starts at [59:57])
3) THE AGE OF AQUARIUS – FaušDur
This is a great Cover version of the original song from Hair (Let the Sunshine in!!) with 5th Dimension, sung live by the Slovenian group FaušDur (website in Slovenian only)