Episode 003: The Pixie and the Dead Waite

 

In 1910, a London publishing company debuted what would become the most popular tarot deck of all time: the Rider Waite. But it wasn't Rider or Waite who designed the deck. The Rider Waite was illustrated by a woman, whose name never made it onto the packaging—or into history.

This is the story of two artists who designed popular tarot decks: one filled with art nouveau symbolism and the cats of famed stage actresses, the other packed with New Wave musicians like David Bowie and Debbie Harry. This is the story of two women—born 101 years apart.

 Amanda Stilwell holds a canvas patch of "The Sun," one of the tarot cards designed by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909.

Amanda Stilwell holds a canvas patch of "The Sun," one of the tarot cards designed by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909.

 Pamela Colman Smith at age 34. This image was taken by an unknown photographer in circa 1912, two years after her tarot deck was published.

Pamela Colman Smith at age 34. This image was taken by an unknown photographer in circa 1912, two years after her tarot deck was published.

CREDITS

Thank you to Amanda Stilwell of LastCraft for talking with me. You can find LastCraft online and on Instagram. A big thank you to Cher Vincent for making this episode happen! Logo by Vichcraft Design Studio. Music by Mesmerists

 

Episode 002: Hurricane Marie

 

For years, New Orleans voodoo has been plagued: by charlatans, by tourists, by Katrina, by disintegrating ties to Haiti, the birthplace of voodoo.  So Mambo Marie moved to town–and she opened a botanica.

 Carmel & Sons Botanica in Spring 2017. Photo by Ashlin Wang.

Carmel & Sons Botanica in Spring 2017. Photo by Ashlin Wang.

CREDITS

Thank you to Mambo Marie Carmel, Houngan Robi, and Mijah Souge for sharing their stories. Their shop, Carmel & Sons, is at 1532 Dumaine St, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Additional reporting and photo by Ashlin Wang.

 

Episode 001: Weird Sisters

 

A brief history of witchcraft old and new, told through the stories of women across five centuries: a Scottish maid servant, a slave in a small Massachusetts town, and a Hungarian immigrant who settled in California.

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episode transcript

Episode 001 Weird Sisters Transcript – PDF

FUrther Reading

Drawing Down the Moon, Margot Adler (2006)

A New History of Witchcraft, Jeffrey B. Russell (2007)

The Peguin Book of Witches, Katherine Howe (2014)

CREDITS

Music by Sergey Cheremisinov and hausfrau. Additional audio by the Pacifica Foundation Caedmon Records. Photo by Mary Roll.