In today’s episode I have the great pleasure to talk to UK based author of two books and more to follow soon, teacher, martial artist and specialist on Daoist witchcraft, alchemy and magic, Jason Read.

Jason’s path started like probably a lot of ours out there with visiting a local bookstore. Getting his hands on Dion Fortunes ‘Psychic Self Defence’ was just the first step in embarking on a journey of long and serious studies of Western Esotericism where he became familiar with the Golden Dawn’s system as well as with Aleister Crowley’s writings and a lot more important cornerstones in Western Esoteric Tradition.

However, after some time Jason felt that he had to go back to some of the more original sources of Western Esotericism such as the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and after embracing a Neoplatonic path he finally found himself to be attracted by references to Chinese magic made in Kenneth Grant’s works.

Fascinated by the Chinese traditions Jason decided to live and work in Asia for some time and learned Mandarin fluently. Soon he felt the need to look into forbidden occult Chinese practices in depth but something seemed to be missing to him personally so he relocated to Malaysia where he not only met his future wife but also came across his teacher and entered a 12 years long apprenticeship in the Maoshan tradition, a specific branch of Daoist practice.

Find those book to buy HERE

In this episode of the show we talk about all those common things that Daoism and Western magic share, point out one often enough overlooked key to magical systems in general and discuss the Western idea of Daoism as an invention. 

Jason sheds some light on the various branches of Daoism and explains the differences between the Northern and the Southern branch in great detail as well as a lot of parallels to Western magical ideas.

We’ll go into detail about certain shamanistic practices as the base of an original Chinese magical system and Jason will explain the practice of Qi Gong versus Neigong and the aim of the latter which is quite in harmony with a lot of Western alchemical and spiritual practices. We also touch on the importance of the landscape surrounding the magician and the inclusion of ancestors for his workings.

Of course, Jason’s two books ‘Thunder Magic’ and ‘Fox Magic’ that have already been published with Mandrake will be an important topic and he will open up on his motivation using a certain terminology in his writings. Both books are highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about Chinese magical concepts in a profound yet quick and accessible way and the next book in his series will be ‘Practical Chinese Magic’ which should be out soon, also published by Mandrake. In this most recent book Jason aims for covering the fundamentals that a skilled Western magician can take out and apply to his practice.

Music played in this episode

Exist Trace (イグジストトレイス, Iguzisuto Toreisu, stylized as exist†trace) is a Japanese visual kei rock band, consisting entirely of female members. The members originate from Tokyo, and initially formed in June 2003. The founding members are Jyou, Naoto, and Mally, who met Miko and Omi after placing an advertisement for guitarists.

To date, Exist Trace has released four albums, eight EPs, and nine singles.In addition, the band has appeared on eleven compilation albums and three omnibus DVDs, plus their self-released 2012 concert DVD Just Like a Virgin.

Exist Trace made their U.S. debut at Sakura-Con 2011 in Seattle, Washington. On June 15, 2011, they made their major label debut on Tokuma Japan Communications with the EP True. Their song “I Feel You” was featured in Nadeshiko Japan’s official 2012 guidebook DVD. Their highest charting release was Virgin, which reached number 84 on the Oricon album chart.

(Excerpt from Wikipedia)


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

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