Michael Bertiaux, artist, and the author of the acclaimed Voudon Gnostic Workbook and the recent Ontological Graffiti, is our guest in podcast episode 172. This interview was created in collaboration with our friends at Black Lotus Kult.
“Michael Bertiaux, author of the famed Voudon Gnostic Workbook and Hierophant of the Voudon Gnostic Current is a rare visionary in modern occult studies. Raised in a liberal theosophical household, he was drawn to the esoteric and spiritual approach to
religion and Being from early on. After studying philosophy in New Orleans and having been ordained as a Deacon in the Anglican Church, Bertiaux was sent to Haiti in 1963 where he taught philosophy and was in charge of the local Anglican museum. It was on “the magic island” that Bertiaux met his spiritus rector, Dr. Jean-Maine, who initiated him into the secrets of the Voudon Gnosis. His close collaboration with Jean-Maine, first in Haiti and then later in Chicago lasted until the Voudon master’s death in the early 1980s… Bertiaux stands unique in the spiritual world. His system of occultism and gnosis is unlike any other. Instead of reworking the occult past and clinging to classical theories, he works mainly on gnostic-radionic lines and esoteric creativity. Deeply rooted and based in the magical world and traditions of Esoteric Voudon … Bertiaux has managed to introduce a great number of other spiritual currents into his system… To unite areas so seemingly apart as German Idealism and theosophy, to Shinto and Bon-Po, Bertiaux has spun a metaphysical web connecting and bringing them into occult harmony through the threads … of Esoteric Voudon… To aid in this … metamorphosis Bertiaux also stresses the creative aspects of magic and gnosis. In addition to being a writer and philosopher, he has produced many “evocative” works of art, including paintings that have been used as magical instruments and gateways to the spirit world. He has not only greatly influenced contemporary occult circles and individuals such as Kenneth Grant of the Typhonian OTO, the Chaos magick scene, and Gnostic circles, but also musicians and artists…”
“A long-awaited new edition of the seminal text on the spiritual system that is a convergence of Gnosticism and Haitian voodoo, The Voudon Gnostic Workbook is a singular sacred work that is comprehensive in scope–from “how to be a lucky Hoodoo” to how magick and voodoo intersect energetically, to esoteric time travel. Complete with charts and graphs and instructive interdimensional physics, The Voudon Gnostic Workbook is an “object of desire” among students of the occult.
“[T]he book itself is somewhat of an “unholy grail.” There are listservers devoted to it and much discussion of the mysteries held within its pages. While The Voudon Gnostic Workbook has remained a controversial book considered important for masters of metaphysics, it recently came into popular culture and renewed popularity when Grant Morrison revealed it had been the inspiration for his cult comics The Invisibles, using the cribbed time travel from Bertiaux’ s masterwork… Launched out of a correspondence course and series of classes for students and followers of Voudon Gnosticism and the OTO, this seminal text is at once one of the most mysterious and magnificent of all esoteric books.”
“Everywhere in the Gnostic Continuum, ‘mind’ is active. The Hyde Park Lodge was able to tap into extra-dimensional, transcendental mind-forms, and develop methods to understand and make use of inner-plane communications. Ontological Graffiti details the work which allowed this ability, and serves as a magical record of a group of seekers discovering Gnostic and Vudu pathways and making use of the tremendous energy and knowledge gained from traveling them.” – Michael Bertiaux
I’m proud to bring you this interview that was created in collaboration with our friends at Black Lotus Kult, who did all the heavy lifting.They’ve also created a new video series exploring a variety of interesting topics with Bertiaux, so be sure to check out the links in the show notes. Like Bertiaux’s books, you’ll find this interview with him to be surprising, insightful, erudite, and very magical. How could it not be? He’s one of the most original, creative, and artistic occultists of the modern age. Enjoy!
In the Occult of Personality Membership Section, you’ll find the second half of the interview with Michael Bertiaux featuring some very interesting insights from a living legend. Don’t miss that excellent, exclusive recording. Just go to http://occultofpersonality.net/membership and sign up if you haven’t already. It’s the best way to support the podcast while receiving access to a tremendous amount of additional exclusive content.
Thanks for listening and until next time…
intro music by Paul Avgerinos
outro music – “Papadambalah” by Axial