The following interview is a very important contribution, not only for ROC Metaphysical but also for our community to connect with an amazing International individual, who has a huge impact in a lot of the things we read, we study, we teach and talk about from the occult and Western Esoterism. I am sure each of you have probably seen or read his books in our local stores or online. I feel blessed that I am his student and I am sure that if you study Kabbalah, Tarot and Magick you must be excited to read about the one and only Marcus Katz!
Question 1: A lot of people involved in the Tarot knows your name or have seen your name in different books. In your own words and without referring to any written biography, tell us a little bit of who Marcus Katz is.
BY OUR WORK WE ARE CHANGED.
It sounds like a fictional idyll, but I actually grew up in a small rural village in Derbyshire, England, and spent most of my younger years sitting by a stream in our orchard garden, composing pretentious pagan poetry. I was introduced to Witchcraft over forty years ago, when I was 14, through an article in my younger brother’s music magazine, coupled with my reading of lurid tales in the News of the World tabloid about saucy goings-on in free-love “covens”. I learnt there was an occult shop in Derby, and spent my early teenage years hanging out there, using my allowance to buy books, starting with Crowley and Dion Fortune, the Golden Dawn, and Tarot decks. My dad got me the volumes of Kaplan’s Encyclopaedia of Tarot as a Christmas present for three years in a row as they were published.
The owner of the occult shop also wisely directed me to Yoga, self-discovery work and advised me to always refer to the original sources. I corresponded (pre-internet) with all the authors I could reach, including Kenneth Grant, Pete Carroll (when Chaos Magic first developed), Soror Nema (of Ma’at Magick) and various Witches, Wizards and Wierdos across the world. I also became involved in Greenpeace, CND, ‘Pagans Against Nukes (PAN)’ and the local writers circle! I reached out to teachers and followers of many paths, such as Ogdoadic Magic, Flux Magic, Thelema, etc. and was lucky to meet and learn from many travellers on the wild and wonderful Way.
The owner of the occult shop also introduced me to a local coven, who required me to wait until I reached the age of 18 before they would initiate me.
Having made my own tarot deck of 22 Major Arcana copied from a book, I conducted readings from the age of 13-14, and started a daily journal of meditation, ritual and divination practice until the time I was initiated into the coven, which had hived off directly from Patricia Crowther, High Priestess to Gerald Gardner.
I then practised Witchcraft every day, every night, every Esbat, Sabbat and every moment, with a German High Priestess, over a period of ten years, whilst developing my interest in Western Esotericism, Ritual, Tarot and Kabbalah. I wrote for various ‘zines of the time, including the infamous Lamp of Thoth and Chaos International, where I believe I had published the first esoteric computer program! I’m also fairly sure we ran the first internet-connected magical ritual in the world, so it was a very experimental time.
Having a good teacher in more advanced initiatory work for the next decade, I then went on to study Western Esotericism in the new M.A. at the University of Exeter, specialising in the teaching methods and curriculum of magical orders. I developed this into a PhD thesis but sadly after a further four years of research and writing, I found myself unable to complete it for financial and practical reasons. It was unfortunately a timely decision, as the program was closed down the next year due to the untimely death of its founder, the great mentor, Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. That work later found its way into the first volume of the ten-volume MAGISTER series, of which I am now writing the next volume with co-author Charlotte Louise.
I have now written over fifty books on Tarot, Lenormand, Western Esotericism, Kabbalah and Initiation, with co-author and researcher, Tali Goodwin, and have many books further planned or close to completion.
In 2004, I conducted the sacred magic of Abramelin the Mage, which was the turning-point in my spiritual life, and virtually everything else has flowed from that singular moment. I describe this demanding six-month ritual to contact the Holy Guardian Angel in my published journal, After the Angel (2013). I have also described the entire magical Operation in the forthcoming Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Ceremonial Magic (February 2020).
I generally write every day from 10am-11pm, sometimes longer if the work demands it. I am currently in completing the third book in my Secrets of the Thoth Tarot trilogy; NLP Magick, a new book on the use of NLP from my private practice with clients; and developing new Kindle books.
We are also in the process of completing and editing a large (currently 140,000 words) book co-created by daily practice over two years with the Order of Everlasting Day, a magical order dedicated to the Western Esoteric Initiatory System. This will be the first book, other than the Magister, to reveal the work of our Order and will be announced during 2020.
Question 2: I have seen that you have a series of 12 books, 'Tarot Life', that are available in Amazon and to read in Kindle. What is this series about? What is the biggest difference in content between Tarot Life and other books you have written, for example 'Practical Tarot Techniques' among other titles for Llewellyn?
Tarot Life is the concept of co-author Tali Goodwin, who developed the original idea of “Gated Spreads” which was introduced in my first book, Tarosophy. We wanted to provide a self-guided initiatory sequence for readers to experience by using tarot cards as a mystical, spiritual, esoteric or practical framework. We also wanted to add a narrative to make the journey feel like a cinematic framework, with linked series, cliff-hangers and even plot twists to the work. This was perfectly fitted to a Kindle series.
We have further developed this concept in our master-work, ARKARTIA, which is a one-year online experience of tarot that remains an entire mystery until the seeker embarks on the quest through the website. The site teases the content through only ten lines of text, hiding a vast piece of work for the participant to discover, which took ten years to develop and three years to write.
Question 3: Do you feel that within the audience that is into the Esoteric Arts and the Occult is happening a change between reading a physical book and changing to e-reader or do you think that due to the nature of what we practice, people still love the smell of the fresh new book in their hands?
Whilst we are in the early days of e-reading, I think for now there is still a draw to physical copies of books as artifacts in themselves. The reaction we received to Abiding in the Sanctuary, which is printed on very high sheen paper, was testament to the power of print. This features the discovery and full publication of A. E. Waite’s second tarot deck, which lay secret for a century. One reader described the book as carrying the gas-lit glow of the Victorian British museum from where the images within had been discovered. However, with Kindle and other e-books there is potential for re-presenting material in a convenient and hyper-linked format, which I believe is still in its infancy.
As we progress with Augmented Reality and cross-media delivery, the immersive nature of books and story-telling will further develop into presently uncharted realms. I have also long held that tarot cards themselves will become more “intelligent” devices; with cards becoming animated, coupled with augmented reality, other narrative platforms, social media, etc.
One proposal we discussed many years ago was to enable tarot cards to have ‘interpretations’ overlaid upon through augmented reality, which would be crowd-sourced, with a live and ongoing database of potential interpretations being collected and shared for each card. This would be accessible to anyone reading a deck. Future variations of such a system would enable an ‘expert system’ to suggest the most likely interpretation of a card based on analysis of hundreds of thousands of real readings.
Question 4: From all that you execute and practice, do you have one thing you like the most? To be more specific; What do you prefer? Magick or Tarot?
My core work is experiencing and teaching the Western Esoteric Initiatory System (WEIS®) as a viable spiritual path in contemporary life. As such, I decided to teach tarot first, as it provides a language system for later mystical experience. In our magical order, we spend a lot of time on the notion and experience of correspondence; the true heart of the western system, in my opinion.
So, tarot is my favoured example of correspondence, but beyond that is the Tree of Life as an initiatory map and the whole mystical path to spiritual enlightenment. It is why we chose the tagline “restoring the spiritual dignity of tarot,” graced to us by Naomi Ozaniec, as it alludes to the purpose of tarot as I teach it - the re-distinguishing of one’s own spirit.
At the same time, I teach “tarot to engage life, not escape it”, as I would not want tarot to become a mere escapist tool for avoiding profound change. We are to use the cards to escape our cell, not wallpaper it.
Question 5: Are there any possibilities that we can count on you to have a TarotCon in Rochester, NY in the future or to be our guest if we do one?
The significant changes in global sentiment over the preceding years has made it challenging to run overseas events, and their financial cost and responsibility on us was always massive. We turned to more on-line work whilst we waited for politics to perhaps return to a more open world scenario. It was a natural trend to our work also, particularly during the fulfilment of the Arkartia project.
However, the real connections and friends made at an event can become lifetime relationships and lead to a lot of creative partnerships and projects by all attendees. So, in future, we certainly look to support and attend worldwide events, particularly where we can license the TarotCon trademark to those who share our vision.
Question 6: To close this interview I would love to know what message can you send to all the community that follows you?
This year, as we reel from the dramatic changes of the world and prepare for many more to come, I would only say, to myself and anyone else, “be kind”.
Take time and use your attention wisely as it is your only true currency; it is the one presently sought by those who have things to sell to you. Furthermore, I believe that in the future, authenticity will become the most valued of commodities, because it can neither be manufactured, stolen or replicated.
So, be kind and pay attention to whatsoever you consider to be authentic.
THE WORKER IS HIDDEN IN THE WORKSHOP.
The Gate to Arkartia only opens four times a year and the next opening is on March 20th 2020 at www.arkartia.com.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this interview and that each of you have feel the joy to be able to get a little closer to Marcus Katz even in the distance. I felt the energy!
Your Witchy Dancer!
About Leticia: Leticia is Certified Master Tarot and Crystal Healer. She has a very unique Crystals Tarot that she casts which include stones, crystals and fossils and holds a certificate as Crystal Caster Practitioner. She has been doing Dreams Interpretation since she was seven. Leticia is also a Wicca Priestess from the Solitaire Tradition and comes from a long generation of Witchcraft and Mediums on both sides of her family, especially from the Ferrer side from Barcelona, Spain. She has studied at Magicka School from the United Kingdom and has taken several courses in spell casting and Tarot with Marcus Katz. Leticia is a member of the International Tarot Association and is currently studying Metaphysical Studies and a PhD in Holistic Life Counseling. She is also a Clair-Sentience, Clair-Audience and Clairvoyant. Leticia has a BA in Criminal Justice and Graduate Studies in Education of the Performing Arts with a Major in Dance. She is a former Dance Instructor, Choreographer and Producer.
As the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot tells us about the circle of life and the changes are sometimes drastic, Leticia decided to get out of the closet and not be afraid of showing her beliefs as well as share her psychic gifts and divination abilities with others.
Leticia's website: www.dancingcrownspsychic.com