In this week’s episode, please welcome my very first guest from my home country Austria, storyteller, animist, occultist and teacher Bernhard Reicher.
Bernhard was born in 1976 and grew up in Upper Styria. As both his parents were working his grandmother was very present in Bernhard’s life telling the most wondrous stories and fairy tales to him and his brother on a daily basis. His grandfather was the illegitimate son of an herbalist (and most likely also cunning woman) whose personal grimoire was burned by the local priest after her death without the family’s consent. Having been born in the 1920s he played an important role in Bernhard’s childhood as well.
Being a weird kid Bernhard used to tell, write and enact stories from a very early age on and interacted with other realities as a kind of normality. His grandfather used to walk through the woods with him telling him stories about magical beings living in nature as they went looking for gnomes and soon provided him with books on magic and the occult.
12-years-old Bernhard came into contact with esoteric/spiritual circles as people inclined to these topics were frequent guests in his parents’ house. He enjoyed being taken seriously by them and soon was reading Sufi literature and works by Meister Eckhart and exploring altered states of consciousness by meditational practice which ultimately led to mystical experiences requiring to be put into words as a necessity.
As of today, Bernhard teaches many different online courses in his magical school, ‘Magieschule’, in Graz, and his mission is to break down the dynamics of magic to an easily understandable core essence without being attached to any specific tradition in order to ensure that any student is capable working with magic in a pragmatic way and adapting it to their own style.
In this episode we first talk about so-called ‘weird fiction’, try to find some kind of definition for it and how it is connected to the notion of being touched by something numinous that stands on its own and how this notion shares a close proximity to ritual work and crossing thresholds while interacting with other worlds.
We explore the role of stories and storytelling in magic as well as the idea what power stories do accumulate within their invisible substance, also those that have not been told yet but still linger around us, and how this power can and does actually change people, societies and shape realities.
In the second part of this episode Bernhard kindly shares one of his own stories with us and opens up about his future plans for his school involving upcoming courses with Pan and his magical storytelling ways.
Here is the link to Bernhard’s personal website.
And here the link to his “Magieschule” (in German, school of magic)
Music played in this episode
You listeners are really terrific!
Again, we have music from one of you. And the coincidence was complete when a fervent listener of this podcast contacted me from VIENNA! And then in our exchange he just mentioned he was singing in a rock band. You bet that I jumped on the occasion and asked him and his band to give me their music for the show. And here it is.
In fact, it is two bands: the first is called IRON HEEL, but it has stopped existing, and the members have created a new one called ORGREAVE. Both combos will perform here in this episode.
Here is ORGREAVE’S press release:
(Track starts at [7:06])