Podcast 8 – Magical Media Mania!


Laine & Cory discuss their favorite witchy books, music, movies, and television.


Download:  New World Witchery – Episode 8

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic, by Catherine Yronwode
Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judika Illes
The Red Church, by Chris Bilardi
Witches, by Erica Jong
Call of the Horned Piper, by Nigel Jackson
Earth Power; Earth, Air, Fire, & Water; Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
IT, by Stephen King
The Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Ozark Magic & Folklore, by Vance Randolph
Grimm’s Fairy Tales, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Fairy & Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, by W.B. Yeats
Silver Bullet, by Hubert J. Davis
American Gods,, by Neil Gaiman

Mer de Noms, by A Perfect Circle
The Alchemy Index, by Thrice
“The Christians and the Pagans” by Dar Williams
“San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie
“All You Need is Love” by the Beatles
Mythcreants, by Tricky Pixie (special thanks to the band for letting us feature their music!)
One Cello X 16, by Zoe Keating
The Dance, by Fleetwood Mac
“Night on Bald Mountain,” by Modest Mussorgsky
The Hazards of Love, by the Decemberists

The X-Files
True Blood
Pushing Daisies
Jim Henson’s Storyteller
Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Practical Magic
Snow White
The Craft
Skeleton Key
Pan’s Labyrinth
Labyrinth/Dark Crystal
Sleepy Hollow
Kiki’s Delivery Service/My Neighbor Totoro/Princess Mononoke/Spirited Away/Howl’s Moving Castle, by Hayao Miyazaki

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.
Special thanks to Tricky Pixie for letting us feature “Tam Lin” and “The Mushroom Song”!

No Promos today, but special Podkin Love Shout-outs to Fire-Lyte at Inciting a Riot and Velma Nightshade at Witches’ Brewhaha.

33 thoughts on “Podcast 8 – Magical Media Mania!”

  1. Love the show. I am listening to the latest show now and would like to suggest the Dies the Fire series by S.M. Stirling. It features a group of Georgian witches and other groups surviving a change in the laws of nature. Again I love the show and cant wait for the next episode. Also I understand about being Pagan in the south as I am from South Georgia.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll have to check that out.

      Also, thank you for the compliments. We love to hear that there are those out there enjoying the show. 🙂


  2. Great show guys! I was happy to see a lot of my favorites on your lists 🙂 And I have to admit I’m a Buffy nut as well, and have Buffy-verse well memorized. 🙂 I recommend watching the spin-off series of Angel too if you haven’t seen it already. It has some of the same cheese factor as Buffy does sometimes but it’s still fun too.

  3. Loved this episode! We share many tastes. I was glad to learn of Zoe Keating — her music is great! I’m going to download some songs. Yay! New tunes!

    My pals and I love Labyrinth as well. In re: David Bowie’s package, we sing “Pants Magic Pants” instead of “Dance”. Silly, but fun!

    1. Fantastic! I’m so glad to have encouraged some Zoe love! I really do just put her album on anytime I’m needing some witchy “mood music.” I forgot to mention that I also like to put on old blues, especially Bessie Smith, when I’m prepping some hoodoo work, but maybe I’ll mention that in another podcast.

      Thanks for reading/listening!


  4. Yea, Buffy rules! My wife was a huge fan when it was on, so I got her all the dvd sets. Since I missed so many episodes, and pretty much lost track of the story, I have been going through each season of the dvd’s. I have to admit, I love it. Joss Weldon, besides being a great (and very tongue and cheek) writer, surrounded himself with others that had the same vision, and sense of humor as himself. Sometimes there is still too much “evil” context on Willow’s Wicca practice, but with her loosing control of it (the evil Willow episodes are in the next season 6) was the point that was trying to be made. And she was trying to use her powers for the good of all.
    Eitherway, they touch on so much stuff, it’s unreal. Oh, and Supernatural, great kick ass show too. I have noticed the Hoodoo also, and am always looking at the symbols, etc that are all over the show. I could have done without the “Sam Haine” Halloween and the Xmas evil “pagan gods” episodes a few years ago, but took it all as fun.
    As for music, liked alot of what you listed. I am a metal head at heart, and listen to quite a bit of Euro style power metal, and that stuff is loaded with imagery, magic and all kinds of goodies. Most is cheesey, but still interesting none the less. Some of the best are Kamelot (from FL) Rhapsody of Fire, Epica and Avantasia.
    One non-metal band I like that includes ex-hard rocker Ritchie Blackmore, is Balckmore’s Night. Although this music is pegged as renaissance music, it is chocked full of lots of witchey stuff, such as Locked inside the Crystal Ball, The Circle, and Shadow of the Moon (one of my all time favorite tunes, ever). Ritchies’ playing and Candice Nights’ voice…amazing :>)

    Wow, write a book, should have sent this vis email.
    As always, love the show and blog!

    1. Lol, thanks Chet! I don’t mind long comments! They make for good reading and interesting discussion (plus they prove to me that the people reading aren’t just spam-bots trying to post links to online shoe retailers and untoward pictures of their ex-girlfriends).

      I rather like Blackmore’s Night as well, or at least the few songs I’ve heard from them. Thanks for reminding me about them!

      Be well,


  5. I’ve been having a lot of trouble listening to this episode; when I finally downloaded it straight from this page, it must have only partly downloaded because it cut off around an hour and ten minutes into it. But what I’ve listened to so far was a lot of fun!

    Watership Down was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid; I must have read it a dozen times by the time I left high school. And I’ll be sending along a bunny picture for you guys; I have an angora who is quite the character. 🙂

    Laine, your description of the magical elements in The Secret Garden was fabulous, and brought back so many memories. I haven’t read that book in ages, but it’s obvious that it really shaped my thinking as a child.

    And Cory, thanks for playing that clip of Zoe Keating – I love cello, too, and will have to go find some of her music!

    I always love your show, and hopefully I’ll be able to re-download this episode and finish listening tomorrow. 🙂 Good old Mercury retrograde, I suppose…


    1. Hmmm, is anyone else out there having the same problem as Oraia? I know this was a long episode, so I’m thinking that might have done something to the feed, but I just want to check and see if anyone else is having trouble downloading?


  6. Heya,

    I downloaded the episode fine this afternoon. There were internet and network hiccups today, at least at my work; maybe it was a temporary glitch?

    I loved this episode! Some of the titles mentioned I haven’t heard of previously, and some had me totally agreeing. It would be too much to comment on all of them, so I’m just going to hit the highlights for me.

    Laine, I totally love The Secret Garden, too. I remember being a child, after the final page, thinking that the book was totally magic. And I totally have crushes on the Winchester boys of Supernatural. I like how the show researched whatever bit of folklore or practice and put a new spin on it.

    I haven’t read Watership Down, but now I want to read it. I have to add that my boyfriend thinks that bunnies are evil and cannot be trusted. He wonders why bunnies need such good eyesight anyway, too. =D

    Speaking of, Buffy was one of the best show ever. Did you know that there’s a “Season Eight” in comic book form? Yes, I’m such a nerd.

    Pushing Daisies is marvelous. Have you heard of a very short-run show called Wonderfalls? It’s made by some of the same people. The actor who plays Ned the Pie-maker is the brother of the main character in Wonderfalls. This show is about a girl who suddenly start to hear inanimate objects with animal faces speak to her. The animals usually just say one phrase over and over; and this ends up with the girl helping someone in need. Wacky wonderfulness!

    American Gods is a must read. Neil Gaiman produces amazing work. I have yet to come across something he wrote that I didn’t like.

    I pretty much like all the movies you listed. I still need to borrow the Skeleton Key though.

    Practical Magic is an old favourite. The first time I watched it, it was with someone who has seen it already. So I felt free to comment; and I would say stuff to the TV like “You have to finish the spell! Just push the pin!” I liked the movie better than the book, oddly enough.

    And that’s a great list of Anime, Cory.


    1. Hi Holly!

      I’ve not seen Wonderfalls but I have heard of it, and now I’ll need to track it down, as it sounds quite magical. I was a huge fan of Pushing Daisies, so I’m sure I’ll like Wonderfalls as well.

      I’m glad you liked the rest of the list. Even though I have an unhealthy phobia of scary-looking rabbits, I have to admit that Watership Down is a very good book and has lots of mythological components that make it worth reading. And I agree completely about Gaiman’s work 🙂 I’ve still never been disappointed by him (confused, maybe, but never disappointed).

      Thanks again for all your comments!


      1. Oh, I definitely second the recommendation for Wonderfalls. Fantastic show!

  7. Greetings Cory and Laine!

    Actually I did have some trouble downloading the podcast. It didn’t want to take and took me a couple of tries to get it to download. After that, the show restarted itself twice on me without going back to the beginning. Its like it was added into the show. The first restart was about 6 minutes in, and the second was about 35 minutes in. It wasn’t a big deal or anything, but I figured I’d let you know. It’s probably an issue on my end anyway.

    Beyond that, fantastic show! American Gods (and anything else by Neil Gaiman) is some of the best reading out there. One of my personal favorite Gaiman books is actually a collaboration he and Terry Prachett did called “Good Omens.” I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys British humor and tales about angels, demons, Antichrists, Armageddon, prophecy as laid out by nutty old witches and the like.

    http://www.amazon.com/Good-Omens-Accurate-Prophecies-Nutter/dp/0060853972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272131783&sr=8-1 Here’s a link.

    “The Anansi Boys” is also a good read whether you are into African folk tales or not. “The Graveyard Book,” which is actually a younger audience type of book he wrote, is also quite good.

    I also loved the Trick Pixies performance of “Tam Lin.” I now must find more of their work, as well as Zoe Keating. I think part of being pagan is the love of the cello. Just a pattern I’ve noticed :D.

    Oh, and Decemberists are bad ass. There, I feel better now :).

    1. Hi Odom,

      Thanks for letting me know about the technical glitches. I’m wondering if there’s something up with our feed, and I’ll have to look into it more to figure it out. Hmmm….

      Thanks as well for the compliments on the show 🙂 I love Good Omens as well, though I must shamefully admit it’s the only Terry Pratchett I’ve read thusfar. I developed a love of Gaiman though, through that book.

      I agree about the idea that cellos have something inherently witchy about them, lol. And I’m thrilled that someone liked the Decemberists! That album is really eerily magical.

      Thanks so much for your comments!

      All the best,


      1. Heh its all good, that’s the only Terry Prachett I’ve ever read as well. Good Omens was my “gateway drug” Gaiman book as well. American Gods is just pure gold, no questions in my humble opinion.

        I’ve been a Decemberists fan for a few years now, and enjoy all their albums, though “The Crane Wife” is my favorite. “The Hazards of Love” is very good as well, and I am a particular fan of “the Rake’s Song.” When I first listened to that track my jaw dropped and I had to replay it a few times to make sure I had heard correctly. :O

  8. Hey there,

    I love the NWW podcast to death, but I’m also having techie issues downloading every episode so far. I don’t want to download a 55MB-or-so episode, if I only get 17MB, then when I’m listening and it stops suddenly I have to go “nooooooo!!”

    Just wanted to let you guys know, so we can all get the entire episodes in future. Can’t wait to hear this one!


    1. Hi Emily! Thanks for letting us know about this problem. From what I’m gathering, this has something to do with Feedburner (which is how we distribute this podcast), but I’m still trying to figure out just what the problem is. Can I ask what you’re using to listen to/download the podcast, and what kind of connection it is (wifi, ethernet, etc.)?

      Thank you so much!


      1. Hi Cory! I’m using a Wi-Fi connection, and I’ve tried downloading various episodes via the website (here), Google Reader, and iTunes. Sometimes I get more of an ep than other times, but never the whole.

        Thanks so much for checking this out!


      2. Hi Emily!

        I’ve tried adjusting something with Feedburner to improve compatibility, so you can try again and see if it works better now. You may also want to try an ethernet connection and see if it works that way, in which case the Wifi you’re using might be timing out in the middle of a download. I’ll keep working on it on my end, too!


      3. Update: I haven’t been able to get the podcasts, but my internet is admittedly very slow, so I will try on another connection sometime. Thanks for your help Cory!


  9. Hi!

    Okay, I have had no problems downloading, but I’m getting the feed through itunes.

    Loved the lists! though I haven’t read American Gods. lol

    I find it fascinating how much magic has crept into our perception of ‘normal’ fantasy books, actually more with the Urban Fantasy phenomenon. About twenty years ago, Nora Roberts published a series of three (shortish) romance novels that featured a witch family. This was quite something at the time (they actually still get reprinted) and I had a couple of non-pagans know about witches from them. There was witchery in fantasy, but extremely little within romance or within modern-day set fantasy. AGain, there was some but not a lot.

    Now, now there is so much that there are actually two categories, one for paranormal romance (modern day magical type stuff) and urban fantasy (whose focus is a little less romance driven) and yes the lines are exceedingly blurred between the two.

    It’s as if our communal mindset is crying out for magic in our every day world and its becoming so much more present in our art and media.

    I would also love to comment on the knee-jerk apologetic reaction we have for certain things, but lunch is over and must run.

    Keep up the great work!

  10. LOVED LOVED LOVED the show. It was so much fun! And I can’t wait to read, watch & listen to some of your favorites!

  11. Hey, Cory,

    To finish my almost thought, the knee-jerk reaction that I was referring to was for the apologizing for having read and *particularly* having liked, and it doesn’t seem to matter what reason we have for liking it, certain books/authors.

    It’s one thing to acknowledge the faults of a book or reference material that we like, and another to say, even in jest, that everything else we say about anything will be tossed out as worthless just because we still like one of the ‘bad’ books. You’ve actually said that a couple of times on different episodes, an off-hand kind of comment that because you like Cunningham (or something else) that people aren’t going to listen anymore. Sure, you were joking, but what a thing it suggests, don’t you think?

    It makes me wonder why we have the automatic habit of apologizing if the books we first read or refer people to or even use ourselves are from a certain list. Okay, sure, we know that Silver Ravenwolf went off into special territory, but her first book, while not fantastic, wasn’t that bad for a 101. Cunningham, particularly his reference books, are pretty good. I frequently refer people to his Solitary Practitioner given that it teaches personal energy work and, well, no one can screw themselves over by reading it (you know, versus sending them off to read the Lesser Key of Soloman or some such thing).

    Sure, there are books out there that we all know are less than stellar. And if the apologizing was coming from a place of personal shame, but only in the sense of “i can’t believe i read that”, I’d understand it. You know, there are shows like that, like I watch Survivor. It isn’t great television, I don’t try and persuade other people that it’s worth watching, but I find it enjoyable for my own peculiar reasons. But that’s not the type of apologizing I’m noticing. It seems to be more of an “i actually like this but think other people will look down on me for it”.

    Is that really where we are? Do we automatically flame people because they happen to like something that we don’t agree with? Is it even the majority of people who don’t like the item or is it the loud ones that are setting the list of approved/not approved reading?

    In some ways this is hard for me to currently evaluate precisely because I had neither the time nor energy to watch the flame wars on our bcpagans email group. but I get the impression that it hasn’t changed particularly much. We do tend to the paganer-than-thou and what we’ve read and what our scholarly background is seems to be a large part of that.

    Actually, I think the scholarly resurgence has aggravated the situation, because it’s not only which books you read, we now have an almost ‘approved’ list and we also have ‘approved’ information. Some of this should be the natural fall-out of learning more of our history. For example, the 9 million that didn’t die during the witch trials. We now know that isn’t true, but when I first got involved, that was our truth, that belief was considered correct because the scholarly activity that re-researched the information hadn’t happened yet and so we didn’t know that the original source information had been improperly tallied. But that isn’t the problem, I would expect that to happen. The problem is how we teach people that the information has changed. We don’t seem to do it in a ‘hey, did you know?’ type way. It’s more of a ‘dear goddess,how could you be so idiotic as to still hold that OLD belief?!?’ Instead of accepting that there has been a shift and flow to our history, we seem to reject it.

    We even reject Llewellyn books whole handedly, well, some people do. That there are some publishers that are ‘good’ and some that publish ‘crap’. Is that actually true? Sure, some are definitively more scholarly. Llewellyn is more ‘popish’. Does that make the information in it crap? The people that buy them idiots?

    On the flip side, I would be concerned if I heard someone recommending books that I consider crap to someone completely new. But is flaming the person and the book the right way to deal with it? I don’t think so.

    Is this a result of a constant need to have to prove ourselves, to the muggles in particular and to each other as our own history changes, that we’ve reached a state of conform or else?

    Fire Lyte from Inciting a Riot started his Project Pagan Enough (http://www.incitingariot.com/p/project-pagan-enough.html) essentially I think for dealing with the results of this. I’m intrigued by trying to understand how we got here and how and why we are doing this to each other.

    Or maybe it’s just an old, knee-jerk reaction, that no longer has a rightful place in our reactions?

    Wouldn’t that be nice?

    1. Geez Saturn, get your own blog, will ya? 😉 Kidding, of course!

      Yes, I’m absolutely guilty of being an apologist when it comes to presenting texts which I know don’t have a very positive reception among my respected magical peers. I hadn’t considered it so much as a knee-jerk thing as charmingly self-deprecating thing, but that may be my own Stay-Puf Marshmallow Man of an ego getting in the way, lol.

      I definitely get what you’re saying about us not needing to apologize for taking the textual roads we have to get where we are today and about learning the difference between level-headed criticism of a work’s subject as opposed to addled fuming over the author or publisher’s reputation. I’d prefer each work were taken on its own merit, too, though that doesn’t seem to be the way it works in occult publishing for some reason–publisher and author carry equal or greater weight to the content of a particular tome. What’s interesting to me is that it’s a similar conundrum to the one you can see in Christian publishing. Rick and Kay Warren have a demographic that will nearly always buy their work, the same way Beth Moore seems to, or LaHaye/Jenkins do for that matter. In the same way, magical publishing seems to have its Ravenwolfs and Cunninghams, Artissons and Pennicks, Penczaks and Dugans, etc. (not that all of these should be grouped together, nor am I drawing parallels between these authors and the Christian ones I just mentioned…just trying to make a broader point). I wonder if generally speaking, spiritual writing tends to lead to this sort of “cult of personality” factioning when it comes to who-reads-who?

      But in the end, I think what you’re really getting at is that we have a lot of folks who are jumping on a bandwagon about criticizing texts which they’ve never read. You’re right that Ravenwolf is definitely not the worst place a newbie could start, and that if someone recommends a text that I personally think is bad or even dangerous, I’m free to put my perspective forth, but there’s no need to do so by flaming on about it. We’re definitely all so used to having to defend ourselves and our positions (and I don’t say that to imply I think every Pagan is oppressed…I think we defend these things to ourselves as much as anyone, because we want rationality and so much of magic is beyond direct rational explanation that we spend a lot of mental energy trying to make pieces fit where they just don’t). But it would certainly be nice to see more people taking up a broader range of texts without fear of being labeled “wrong,” “dumb,” or “shallow” for their interests.

      Thanks for the thought-provoking comment/mini-blog! 🙂


      1. lol, okay, I actually just started a blog, going to try this typing rather than speaking thing: http://abysmalwitch.wordpress.com but it’s things like your show that inspire me to rant, shouldn’t that go on the site that instigated the wonderful thought flow? LOL

        I really like how you put your reply, though you lost me on the christian authors, just because i don’t know them but I will cheerfully agree that you are undboutedly correct :D.

        I like the thought of the rationality as comfort in the midst of the intangible of magic.

        I also wonder if as we rediscover our scholarly roots (arguably the pagans that started the modern magical/wiccan/pagan faiths tended to be well educated university such types), and encourage the scholarly approach to our history rather than the ‘ancient pagan oral tradition’, etc. that we’re moving towards a viewpoint of it matters more who & what you’ve read rather than what you’ve done? Nah, that’s probably a stretch. Besides, I have to keep this short! LOL

      2. Lol, yay! I’m glad to see you’re not going to make us wait from podcast to podcast to know what fantastic and fabulous thoughts you’re thinking, now! 🙂

        I definitely think there’s a vein of scholarship which goes hand-in-hand with Pagan practice, but I also think there are probably many Pagans who are just as turned off by scholarship and would prefer that their faith and actions be guided by what they “know” to be true, whether it’s verifiable or not. I also think that there’s space enough for both approaches, and rather enjoy a healthy dose of folklore and mythology alongside my research in my own practice. Lol, I’m not a role model in any way however, so that may be just a bit of madness on my part.

        But being a bit of a Mad Hatter yourself, I’m sure you understand 😉

        All the best!

  12. I have to agree with Saturn — there’s no need to apologize for reading most books! Sometimes you just wanna read something trashy and fun. Sometimes you read a poorly written book and can steer others away from wasting their time on it.

    I freely admit to having a fair number of Llewellyn publications in my personal witchy library. Sure that publishing house puts out its share of “stinkers” but they’re not all bad! For example, I love all of Ann Moura’s stuff and many of the Cunningham titles (the latest “lost” B.O.S. notwithstanding).

    As someone who is solitary because it’s easier than dealing with the lifestyle and fashion expectations of many of the pagans in my area, I completely understand the whole “holier than thou” or “pagan-er than thou” mindset, as that attitude has been directed at me more than once. I just let it slide like water off a duck’s back.

    I figure if someone’s not as knowledgeable or experienced as someone else, it doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It just means you might have an opportunity to (gently!) teach them something. If I want to wear jeans and a t-shirt instead of robes and circlet on my head, then who cares? I’m quite sure the Goddess doesn’t. 🙂 If someone mispronounces Samhain, do we really need to jump down their throat? No.

    When I meet someone, what matters to me is not how big their pentacle necklace is or how many (and what kind of ) books are on their shelf, but are they being themselves? A person who is honest about who they are is just so attractive — I want to be friends with a person like that! As I get older I notice many of the fakes and the flakes have dropped off my social radar. And that’s fine with me.

    I also know that the opportunity for pleasure doesn’t always present itself, so why not enjoy what you really enjoy? Read that novel, watch that movie, or indulge in that hobby. Not everyone may like it, but who cares?! Life is short!

    My 42 cents.

    1. Lol, feel free to wear jeans, t-shirt, robes AND a circlet when reading this blog. It will hopefully make the experience more interesting.

      Honestly, with the “paganer-than-thou” folks, I generally find that when people start on that bent, I can change the subject to something much lighter pretty quickly. If they really want to foist their opinion on me, they’re going to, and then I just smile politely, nod, and turn my attention to someone else. Sometimes encountering those people is like encountering a crap book–it teaches me what to avoid in the future. (“Hmmm…it seems the man with the runic face paint pronouncing every word loudly in Olde Norse over there does NOT, in fact, need a drink refill, and so I shall turn my attention to the nice, quiet group discussing Hithcock films over on the couch now”). Not that I draw from personal experience or anything.

      All the best!


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