Radical Spirits: How the Occult Shaped Progressive Politics

Atlas Obscura is excited to present a lively and intellectually vibrant presentation, with PEN Award-winning historian and occult scholar Mitch Horowitz (“Solid gold”—David Lynch), who will explore the little known historical ties between alternative spirituality and radical politics!


During this 90-minute presentation, Mitch reveals the extraordinary connections between Spiritualism, seances, and the development of the suffragist movement, including in the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; the unexpectedly progressive roots of mind-power metaphysics in the work of socialist Wallace D. Wattles, black nationalist Marcus Garvey, and punk pioneers Bad Brains; the woman dubbed “Mrs. Satan” who became America’s first female presidential candidate; the radical background of Freemasonry in the U.S.; and the unexpected ties between occultist Madame H.P. Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and much more. This special evening casts a new light on the shared history of esoteric spirituality and movements for human dignity and liberation. Mitch always introduces fresh material making each episode of Radical Spirits unique and welcoming to both newcomers and returnees—with lots of time for Q+A!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

7:00 PM – 8:30 p.m. ET

The Art Of War 6.9-01.png

The Art of War: A Practical Approach
Join PEN Award-winning historian and popular voice of
metaphysical ideas Mitch Horowitz (“solid gold”—David
Lynch) for a historical and practical exploration of one of the
world’s most widely read works of philosophy, the Chinese martial text The Art of War.


Mitch probes the background of this ancient text and its authorship, how it has been used in Eastern and Western history, and—most importantly—what The Art of War conveys to seekers today.

Read by soldiers, managers, artists, entrepreneurs, and spiritual seekers, The Art of War is, as Mitch explores, a fount of serviceable and compelling insights into human nature and the
inevitable frictions of life. Mitch considers the book’s core (and sometimes overlooked) wisdom on living with decisiveness, ethics, and nobility; and, when victory is required, how to attain it in a manner that upholds principles of honor.


Mitch’s presentation will also leave ample time for q-and-a and exchange.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

8-10 p.m. ET

Join Mitch in Kansas City Oct 25-29, 2021

Join Mitch in Kansas City October 25-29 at the historic (and beautiful) Unity Village for a live week of seeking and practical ideas at the annual retreat of the Affiliated New Thought Network. He'll be speaking and delivering workshops along with presenters including Paul Selig. Register here.