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#32: Pop Culture & the Esoteric

Next Issue "Whenever I see these ads for shamanic weekends, I'm suspicious. Because shamanic ecstasy is terrifying."
- Rachel Pollack, from The Gods of the Funny Books: An Interview with Rachel Pollack and Neil Gaiman
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Summer 1994
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by Richard Smoley

Letters to the Editor

News & Notes
Reports on Evil: The Cosmic Shadow Symposium, Feb.1994, NYC; Festivals in Ruigoord, Amsterdam, Holland; synesthesia & author Richard Cytowic, MD; First Annual Sufism Symposium, March 1994, San Rafael, California.

Introduction: Pop and Circumstance
by Jay Kinney
Does pop culture foster or retard spiritual growth?

The Gods of the Funny Books: An Interview with Rachel Pollack and Neil Gaiman
by Erik Davis
How the pantheons of old are making their way onto the comic book stands.

Why the Enneagram?: An Interview with Helen Palmer
by Richard Smoley
The best-known teacher of this popular system talks frankly about its benefits and pitfalls.

Science Fiction and the Mythic Future
by Tim Maroney
How science fiction depicts eternity under the guise of things to come.

Romances of a New Reality
by Waverly Fitzgerald
Today's romance fiction takes the occult seriously. Very seriously indeed.

Diary of a Net Fiend
by Tim Maroney
Is it possible to have a meaningful conversation on the Internet?

Audio Magicians
by Peter Stenshoel and Jay Kinney
A portrait of esotericism in sound, from Firesign Theatre to World Entertainment War.

Music, Magic, & Media Mischief: The GNOSIS Interview with Genesis P-Orridge
by Jay Kinney
The founder of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV discusses his trek from performance artist to pop magician, with the occasional side trip to the Far East.

Stranded in Flatland: A Critique of Education in Modern America
by David Fideler
Have universities forsaken the Muses for MBAs?

The Light of the Sacred Fire
Hannah M.G. Shapero.
Despite centuries of oppression and the loss of many of its scriptures, Zoroastrianism continues to shine.

Book Reviews
  • Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala by Michael F. Steltenkamp
  • Islands of the Dawn: The Story of Alternative Spirituality in New Zealand by Robert S. Elwood
  • Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit by Tom Cowan
  • The Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern Mythology and Religion by Jan Knappert
  • The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry by James Stevens Curl
  • Gods and Planets: the Archetypes of Astrology by Arthur Zajoc
  • Consciousness and Quantum Behavior by Barbara Dewey
  • The Sandman: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman, et. al.
  • The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background by Msgr. Klaus Gamber
  • The Age of Missing Information by Bill McKibben

About our cover:
Art by Stevee Postman. More information can be found at The artist can be reached at (415) 905-9393 or

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