Today it is a huge pleasure to have someone back on air who already featured an earlier episode in 2019. Chris Guidice is a well-known scholar – but by no means an ‘armchair magician’ – having earned an MA in Western Esoteric Tradition at the University of Exeter and a PhD at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Chris has Italian and English ancestry and grew up in Italy until age 18 when he decided to study classics at the University of Oxford developing a special interest in Greek literature. After finishing his studies, however instead of pursuing a purely academic carreer, he embarked on a 10-year-journey working for MTV in Italy as a video editor and a scriptwriter. As a practitioner he spent 20 years with the OTO and the A.:A.:
During a visit in London in 2009/2010 Chris stumbled across a small ad for an MA in Western Esoteric Tradition at the University of Exeter where soon no one else than renowned historian and professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke became his teacher. Chris’ succeeded and followed up with his PhD at the University of Gothenburg where ultimately it was his graduation thesis that would turn into the soon to be published book that is the focus of this week’s episode, ‘Occult Imperium: Arturo Reghini, Roman Traditionalism, and the Anti-Modern Reaction in Fascist Italy’ (Oxford University Press).
In our conversation, we’ll explore the life of main protagonist, Arturo Reghini, who was born in Florence in 1878 and was not only a genius mathematician but also a pagan in a Pythagorean tradition. In this context we’ll try to shed some light on the practices of the Pythagoreans in South Italy back then and how their ideas ran parallel with certain political aspirations of the time culminating into the prospect of (re)-establishing a ‘Sacred Imperium of Italy’ in the tradition of ‘True Roman’ Imperial concepts.
Of course, the question of the relationship between Italian occultism and Italian Fascism can’t be neglected and so we will have a honest and open discussion about the role and rise of Mussolini, how the occult imperialist ideas came into pretty handy serving a purpose for a limited amount of time and how the relationship finally played out especially for Reghini himself.
We’ll close our episode with a glimpse at Chris’ upcoming projects which include publishing rare occult classics of the fin de siècle period such as Florence Farr’s plays and a special project right in time for the Magickal Women Conference in October 2022.
Italian baroque music will accompany us this week!
You know I like classical music. And from what I often hear from you listeners, there are quite a few who like especially classical music from the baroque time, 16th and especially 17th century. Well, this is for you then! Music from Italy, the country our subject is about in the interview today, from the 17th century!
Alessandro Scarlatti’s (1660-1725) music forms an important link between the early Baroque Italian vocal styles of the 17th century, with their centers in Florence, Venice and Rome, and the classical school of the 18th century. Scarlatti’s style, however, is more than a transitional element in Western music; like most of his Naples colleagues he shows an almost modern understanding of the psychology of modulation and also frequently makes use of the ever-changing phrase lengths so typical of the Napoli school.
His son, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style. Like his father , he composed in a variety of musical forms, although today he is known mainly for his 555 keyboard sonatas. He spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.
Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713) was another famous Italian violinist and composer of the Baroque era. His music was key in the development of the modern genres of sonata and concerto, in establishing the preeminence of the violin, and as the first coalescing of modern tonality and functional harmony.