The Magus Arcane Academy

You might be aware that Magus is more than a place to get your Chamomile (or other herbal medicines). You might even know that we have the largest selection of occult books in the Midwest. Magus is so much more than just a book and herb shop. Magus Healing Center is where we offer a number of services, including Massage, Herbal Consults, Cupping, Reiki, and Flower Essence therapy. We also offer a wide range of classes presented every night of the week, through The Magus Arcane Academy.

Magus’s Arcane Academy is a space where those of us who work at Magus Books and Herbs or in the healing center, are able to teach on any number of esoteric and occult topics. Each teacher has 10 or more years of experience working in their field. Many of us have studied these topics at the university level and I’m more than proud have them on the staff. As the Manager of the Academy, I’d love to tell you a little bit about the different classes we offer.

Liz Johnson teaches all of the herb classes. With over 25 years of experience working in herbal medicine, hosts classes like Herbs for Stress, and Minerals for the Bath, and Herbal Home Remedy Chest and Fun with Fungi. If you even have the slightest interest in herbal medicine  or want to know more about the herbs you see every day (and those you might have seen on our wall) I couldn’t recommend any of Liz’s classes enough.

We also offer a number of classes on more esoteric topics. Adam  teaches classes on western concepts of demons and other such spirits in his Introduction to Demonology and Summing Basics classes. With his Masters in Western Esotericism he is well versed in the historical concepts of what demons are going back thousands of years. Kyle Ford, with her degree in Anthropology, offers classes on Alchemy and Esotericism in Art History. If you’re a history buff or interested in the strange, curious, or darker sides of western mystery traditions, check these classes out and learn for our most esteemed occultists.

Our readers Carol Watson and Cameron Williams teach their respective classes once a month. Carol has a series of classes on the basics of tarot as well as Using Tarot In Ritual. These classes are always full and so I suggest signing up for them as soon as possible to ensure a seat in this month’s class. Cameron  is just now teaching with us at the Academy and has already received high praise from his students . I had a group of young ladies saying how much they enjoyed the Introduction to Chiromancy a.k.a. Palmistry class when they came in for my class Introduction Astrology: Houses, Signs, and Planets.

I can’t express how excited I am at seeing the Academy grow as it has over the past year. Every day there is something new and exciting happening in our little classroom. Even with studying various occult and magical topics for over fifteen years, I’m supposed just how little I know when I sit in on one of my colleges classes.

If you’re looking for something new to do on a weekday night, or want something different to do with your friends or family, I couldn’t suggest a more entertaining , and enlightening, activity than taking any one of the classes Magus Arcane Academy offers. I very much look forward to seeing you in class.

-Markus K. Ironwood, Magus Arcane Academy Manager

Welcome… To Night Vale

Somewhere in the dry western deserts of America there is a town where every conspiracy theory (and then some) is true. Hooded figures roam the streets; agents from a vague yet menacing government agency sneak around; the secret police record everything said with ill-concealed microphones; and the city council growls and chants their press statements in unison, often on the way to yet another vacation. This is Night Vale, the surreal, absurd, and wonderfully strange fictional town narrated by local community radio host Cecil Palmer (Cecil Baldwin) in Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor’s podcast Welcome to Nightvale.


The podcast is one of my favorites, the first I started listening to regularly. It is silly, funny and at times, heart-wrenching. The writing is spot on, the music is odd but great, and Baldwin’s sonorous voice is rich enough to sink into. I’m not quite caught up with the series yet (and don’t you dare tell me any spoilers!), mostly because I want to sustain the pleasure of listening to it for as long as I can.


Which is why it made me really happy to see that Fink and Cranor had written a Night Vale book. The eponymously named volume does correspond with a particular point in the podcast, but can be read quite easily without once listening at all. It is a beautifully written piece in the usual Night Vale style that follows a few side characters who occasionally get mentioned in the podcast but not enough that you know them beyond their jobs (pawn shop owner and head of the PTA).


The Welcome to Night Vale book, along with Mostly Void, Partially Stars, which collects the first season of episodes in writing and illustration, are great for the established Night Vale fan or the interested but podcast wary reader alike. And I, fangirl that I am, can’t recommend them enough.

-Katta Hules, Magus Minion

Synchronistic Rune, Algiz or Eolh

Sharing what I would consider magical synchronicity is not something I would normally do, but I felt compelled to in this instance as it offers a learning experience for those who may be interested in runic work.  It also provides an example regarding the phenomena of synchronicities when working with any kind of magickal path. I have been interested in and working with the runes and norse magic (more particularly the path of Seid, which to sum up briefly is the shamanic part of Scandinavian indigenous practices) for quite some time now.  I have found in my study and work with the runes that it is best for me to allow the runes to show up in my life as they may, and try not to strictly rely on EXACTLY what the references in runic  books say.  Not that this information is something to disregard, I find that its incredibly useful to look within yourself and use YOU OWN intuition when determining what exactly is calling out to you.  Often I find as a ceremonial magickian, we tend to forget that within us exists a natural magician, one who should be close with the Earth and her mysteries.  I see too many who rely on how to do things “by the book” and for some this may be beneficial, but for me it is very constricting for one who likes to stay on the primal side of witchcraft.

Recently I took a much-needed vacation up to the boundary waters in Minnesota with my spouse, and I found this particular rune greeting me a few times.  There were instances when I was outside and saw the rune within just a few branches laid out in front of me, largely displaying itself within a silhouette of a dead tree reaching up towards the sky at dusk, and within the wood pattern on the bunk bed that was in our cabin.  Now, runes are very “naturally occurring” because this is the way in which they were discovered by Odhin, so I can see where it would be arguable that they are just natural lines appearing in nature.  But this makes them all the more relevant!  

Algiz represents coming to know the “higher consciousness” or being closer with the divine, and it is also indicative of a new positive influence coming in to your life.  It is also a very strong protection rune.  Personally, the rune represents a key for bridging the gap between my two areas of magickal craft that I work with; Seid (Norse shamanism) and a very distinct area of ceremonial magick.  The two lines to the left and right are these specific paradigms and the center line being my own path which brings these two together.

-Kyle Ford, Magus Manager