In his final symphony, Prometheus: Poem of Fire, Scriabin used tool he built himself, called the “tastiera per luce” to project colors in sync with the music. He used tables of correspondence from Theosophy that associated different colors and tones with different planes of reality, such as spirituality and reason. Scriabin’s obsession with associating colors with particular tones lead to suggestions that he had synesthesia. But after Prometheus, he abandoned Theosophy’s tables of correspondence and created his own, leading scholars B. M. Galeyev and I. L. Vanechkina to conclude that Scriabin did not actually have the condition. Yet a drive to synthesize aspects of the occult with sound, light and other senses into a single art form remained.
Surrounded by sage smoke and honking geese at the base of Mount Si, we spread our arms out like crosses as Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble, a witch dressed in an elegant white dress, blesses us. “Let the sage do the work,” she says. Her good friend Kat Terran, a shaman, opens up the basket of corn muffins and rose tea prepared for tonight as an offering to the spirits—Mother Moon and Father Sky, the god and goddess, whatever you want to call it. In the world of magic, tradition is important, but ultimately, you create your own paradigm. Do what thou wilt.
Thanks to these pioneers of pagan soundscapes and occult rock evangelism, nearly 50 years later the “sonic iconography of the fantastic and satanic” still resonates; wicked women rock-n-rollers traversing the left-hand path continue the tradition of seeking, questioning, and thrilling audiences with their bewitching aural spells and diabolical anthems.
A moment late in the episode—when Darrin commands Samantha to stop using witchcraft, even though that’s central to who she is—is surprisingly powerful stuff, even if the chuckling laugh track and overbearing score work as hard as they can to keep things light and pleasant. And as the episode digs deeper into that idea, the show’s true power becomes evident: This is a show, no matter how goofy, about the growing power of women in both the home and society at large in the 1960s. It’s a show about how men weren’t sure how to deal with that, and about how couples where the husband and wife truly loved each other could find solutions to even the most difficult of conflicts by showing each other courtesy and respect.
The Cold-Weather Theory of Witchcraft
By CHRISTOPHER SHEA, New York Times DEC. 12, 2004
If she floats she’s a witch; if she sinks she’s innocent — but now drowned, alas. The witch trials that swept through Europe from the 1300’s into the 1700’s baffle the rational modern mind. Why Europeans suddenly concluded that many of their neighbors were casting curses and smiting their crops remains a historical mystery…