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Few would argue with the assertion that we are in the throes of a political crisis in American society; and, no doubt, many would acknowledge that the Trump presidency is more symptom than cause – that something with deep roots has taken hold of the American collective unconscious. How can this spell be broken? Is there a roll for progressive spirituality in healing our polity? What variant of mytho-poetic literature can truly speak to our times? Kate and Medaya talk with Amanda Garcia Yates, aka The Oracle of Los Angeles, author of Initiated: Memoir of a Witch about her spiritual practice, its deep historical roots, organic ties to nature, and the myriad ways it is misunderstood. What unfolds is a vibrant, inspiring exchange animated by literary theory, ecological awareness, and a tangible sense that ancient feminist wisdom can yet illuminate our dark zeitgeist. If you’re looking for the perfect podcast for the winter solstice season, this is it.

Also, Molly Lambert, who wrote the introduction to I Used To Be Charming: The Rest of Eve Babitz, returns to recommend Dorothy B Hughes’ 1963 noir classic The Expendable Man, re-released by New York Review of Books Classics.

This is the fifth episode in our series on LA and Southern California writers, artists and filmmakers. This episode of the LARB Radio Hour is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.