Radio Free Golgotha

Radio Free Golgotha is a semi-regular podcast of the occult and esoteric ramblings of Al Cummins & Jesse Hathaway Diaz, and their guests.

Upcoming Talks, Conferences and Classes

July 2018

July 6th-8th: Viridis Genii Symposium   |   Speaker: Jesse Hathaway Diaz
Location: Center for Sustainable Forestry, Pack Forest, Eatonville, Washington

This is an amazing annual conference focusing on Plant Magic, Mysticism, and Medicine in Damascus, Oregon by Rosarium Blends' Catamara Rosarium and House of Orpheus' Marcus McCoy. This is Jesse's fourth year at the conference as a presenter, giving both a lecture and an optional workshop:

Iroko gbà mi o: Iroko, the World Tree Deified

Oba Iggi! Àtatú ni ti Iroko! King of Trees, the Iroko can never be knocked down.
My father Iroko said that I will prosper in this life, good luck is mine.
Iroko will speak in my favor. Iroko will let my words come true.
My father Iroko- bring me peace at home, bring me peace on the road, let my enemies never charge against me.
-Praise Poem to Irokó

While the concept of a World Tree is common in many cosmologies, the Afro-Diasporic traditions of the New World have complex extant rituals and devotion revolving around the Tree, embodied within Cuban Lucumí, Haitian Vodou, and Brazilian Candomble including offerings, songs, myths, dance and possession by this spirit.

It is a spirit so unifying that all spirits can gather under it, and the tree itself is not just ‘home’ to a great spirit of time, space, protection and petition- it is the spirit itself. The tree is so imbued with ashé (grace/power) that every growing member of its species is the deity itself. This deity, called by many names, but here examined as Iroko, Loko, and Kitembo, is the product of African reverence and its mapping upon the sacred landscape of the Americas. In the absence of the original West African Teak, the World Tree becomes the Silk Cotton, the Ceiba, the Mapou; it becomes the Banyan, the Strangler Fig, the Figueira. Here the deity spreads new roots deep into the melding soils of our Land, strong and needed as he ever was.

This lecture will provide a rooted examination of Iroko and his unique manifestations in the persona, rituals, songs, myths, and dances of Lucumí and Candomble Orisha traditions, with references to its expressions in Haitian Vodou, Candomble Angola, and Quimbanda.

Workshop: Oba Iggi: The King of Trees
This workshop will continue the focus on the songs, dances, offerings, and prayers to Iroko on a more practical level. Because Iroko. the orisha of time, space, protection and petition is embodied in certain trees, he can be approached by anyone that knows how and treats him with respect. Providing basic food offerings prepared communally and teaching songs of honor and respect to the King of Trees, this workshop will provide further information on this orisha and its service.


July 10th, 17th, 24th, & 31st (Tuesdays): Geomancy Foundation Course  |  Speaker: Dr. Alexander Cummins
Location: Online Webinar Series through Wolf & Goat

Geomancy is made up of just sixteen Figures: The Gain, The Loss, The Joy, The Sorrow, The Greater Fortune, The Lesser Fortune, The Red, The White, The Dragon's Tail, The Dragon's Head, The Way, The Crowd, The Boy, The Girl, The Crossroads, and The Cell. From this simple vocabulary comes a complex and highly nuanced system of contextualized divination- one that many modern magicians know about, but many might like to know further.

At its height in the Renaissance, geomancy was one of the most popular and well-regarded forms of divination. It was the preferred oracle of monarchs and sages. Occult philosophers swore by it as one of the most accurate and insightful oracles available. While geomancy’s earliest origins lie in Arabic traditions, it swiftly became popular across Europe in the late medieval period, and bears many similarities to West African geomantic traditions of divination, and has spread all over the globe in various forms.

One of the foundations of Western Magic, the art and craft of geomancy has often been overlooked- and here Dr. Alexander Cummins will break down the values and virtues of this system to students of all abilities and experience. It offers tips, tools and techniques for learning and improving skills in divination, and is a vital expression of the Western magical concepts of the Four Elements, Seven Planets, and Twelve Houses of Heaven.

Geomancy examines the roles of the planets in our daily lives, and while it utilizes the language and expression of astrology, is not dependent on astronomical measure. Our questions are answered in this familiar language of the stars, showing how these titanic forces are playing out in our lives. It is not a replacement for astrology (rather, its "Sister" oracle), although many of the terms will be familiar to an astrologer. No previous knowledge of astrology or sorcery is needed to take this course, on the other hand, the Good Doctor's explorations and presentation of the art should refresh and enliven those already familiar with these crafts and even geomancy itself.

Geomancy is a versatile oracle, and can be be consulted using simple pocket tools such as dice, coins, or sticks; or by scribbling on paper; as well as in formal rituals of marking in sand, dirts and dusts. In addition to methodology, the figures, and interpretation, this course lays the foundation for future seminars expanding upon these fundamentals.

This webinar will be taught in English.

The same information will be covered in each 'section', and the price is for a complete unit (either the two Saturdays, or the four Mondays). The information will build upon the previous session, so commitment to all the dates of a given section is important.

Cost: $100 for  the 4 two hour Tuesday sessions.


July 18th: Cat Magics - The Feline in Religion, Witchcraft, Ritual, and Sorcery  |  Speaker: Dr Alexander Cummins
Location: Catland, Brooklyn. 

The cat is one of the most prominent and iconic of witch's familiars. An emissary of several pagan goddesses, ethereally aloof, effortlessly diabolic - they have long been considered to be potent magical agents in the worlds of both matter and spirit. 

In this illustrated talk, professional diviner and consultant sorcerer Dr Alexander Cummins will take us through some of the many ways cats have played a role in human spirituality and magic. From records of Bast and cat-headed sun gods in the religion and sorcery of the ancient world, to their appearances, uses and meanings in medieval grimoires of both high ceremonial ritual and everyday folk magic. And from the Black Cat of African-American Conjure for works of gambling and fortune - that is, feline sorceries of luck and the stealing of the luck of others - to the Cat Sidhe of Irish legend, and the King of Cats in European folklore. And of course the appearances and actions of witches' familiars in trial records, and how they were worked with in order to - amongst other things - bring curses upon enemies...

Cost: $16, tickets purchasable here.


July 28th & August 11th (Saturday Section) or July 18th, 25th, August 1st, & August 8th (Monday Section): Intro. to Brazilian Quimbanda Seminar |  Speaker: Jesse Hathaway Diaz
Location: Online Webinar Series through Wolf & Goat

Devils and Whores, Murderers and Thieves, Clerics and Sorcerers. These are the 'Good People' of Quimbanda, the spirits of earth and fire that stir lust and desire, grant luck and vengeance, and protect those who serve them. Statues and iron tridents covered in palm oil and blood, the air thick with tobacco and the smell of cachaça and gunpowder in the air- what *is* Quimbanda? 

Quimbanda is a spiritual system born in and because of Brazil itself: a child of West African magic and world-view mixed with Indigenous plant and spirit lore and some glossings of European witchcraft and sorcery. Originally a possession cult focusing on spirit contact and pragmatic workings, it has become a complex system incorporated into Umbanda and some lineages of Candomble, as well as surviving as its own practice. It has gained increasing popularity in the past few years due to material now available in English, but initiates are few and far between here in the States. 

Drawing from his knowledge and experience as a Tata Quimbanda, Tata Apokan will explore the worldview and spirits of Quimbanda, going into the various Exus and Pomba Giras that find their home here at the crossroads of Fire. We will discuss its history and influences, and the nature and qualities of the Seven Kingdoms and how to approach them. We will discuss the importance of possession and divination, and showcase a few workings of traditional Quimbanda- everything from love and binding spells to protective and aggressive magics. Finally we will look at the day to day of the terreiro (temple) and as well as the tools, technologies, and initiatic rituals of this rich magical system.

This webinar will be taught in English.

The same information will be covered in each 'section', and the price is for a complete unit (either the two Saturdays, or the four Mondays). The information will build upon the previous session, so commitment to all the dates of a given section is important.

Cost: $121 for either the 2 three hour Saturday sessions, or the 4 one-and-a-half hour Monday sessions