Dr. Jane Kent practices Wicca and High Magic in concert with traditional Western psychotherapy.
photo by: Kali Bardi
On this episode of Skeptiko, I’m joined by Dr. Jane Kent to talk about her new book, The Goddess and the Shaman: The Art & Science of Magical Healing
Alex Tsakiris: …when I talk to people who are deep into magic, Wicca or any of those things… and I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Buddhist, I’m not a religious person, but if a Christian comes to me and says, “Hey, you know what? It’s all about love and it’s all about selfless service.” I get that.
Dr. Jane Kent: Nothing wrong with that.
Alex Tsakiris: Right. But here’s the thing, I may think that their knowledge of history is pretty lame and I’d probably push them on the historicity of Jesus. And I may think they’re kind of closed-minded about how their sacred text have been twisted by institutions for control and manipulation, but what they’re saying speaks to my heart. Versus, if I speak to someone and they practice magic, and the first thing they tell me is about Aleister Crowley and “do what thou wilt” — I don’t get it. Love, selfless service speaks to my heart. “Do what thou wilt”, I can’t get there. It comes back and it starts sounding a lot like power, control…
Dr. Jane Kent: Self-indulgence. I do talk about that in the book, about Crowley’s approach to things. I go into quite a lot of detail about that. But yeah, love is at the basis of spiritual reality, so I think people who focus on that, good on them. That’s fine. But Huhn says that the whole Jesus story, the whole basis of Christianity is actually taken from the Egyptian text and that in Egypt and Greece, that the mystery plays and the mystery tradition were all about understanding that coming into the physical world is coming into really like death. What we think about death as death is not how those people saw it. The physical world is death and the spiritual world is life.
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Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Dr. Jane Kent to
Skeptiko. Jane is a therapist with a postgraduate degree in counseling and psychotherapy and a doctorate in social ecology from the University of West Sydney in Australia. And she has a new book out titled The Goddess and the Shaman which really shatters that nice sounding academically sanitized bio that I just read for you because as you’ll hear, her book documents her own “dynamic tension”, to use her words, with the Western paradigms of health and healing and her unexpected encounters with extended consciousness realms, high magic, Wicca, and shamanism and, in particular, how she’s managed to meld all that into what she calls the “fragility of therapy.” It’s quite a journey and quite an interesting, interesting book.
Jane, welcome to Skeptiko. Thanks so much for joining me.