Lonnie Scott is an author, podcaster, teacher, paranormal investigator, Chaos Heathen born and raised in the land of the Mad Gasser, and the host of the paranormal & occult podcast Weird Web Radio. Lonnie has explored many aspects of the occult, with an emphasis on tarot, runes, meditation, hypnosis, trance, paganism and Heathenry for over two decades. Influences include Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery course, ADF, The Troth, Tarot Professionals Association, Rune-Net, The Elhaz Fellowship, and various local networks. You can find Lonnie’s essay on Ancestral Healing in Elhaz Ablaze: A Compendium of Chaos Heathenry.
He is an award winning tarot professional awarded Tarosophist of the Year 2014. He’s also a professional hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, meditation teacher, and NLP practitioner. Lonnie is also a martial artist perfecting tapping out before passing out, and fists, sticks and knives. He hopes one day to appear in a Star Wars film, and also sing the stretch at Wrigley Field.
First of all, I absolutely adore Weird Web Radio and it’s become one of the few occult podcasts that I regularly listen to. What inspired you to create the podcast?
Thank you! Comments like that help keep the fire burning! People may not realize how much work goes into making each episode possible. If a show is about 90 minutes long then I’ve probably put in close to 8 hours of research, interviewing, editing and production. It’s a labor of love so again I want to thank you for that wonderful comment and support!
There was a snowball of several elements that came together for me to start the show. I love podcasts. I listen to many shows on different topics. One of my long time favorites is Tim Ferriss. He asks questions to get into the minds of his guests so he can figure out what really makes them tick. I would listen to paranormal and occult shows hoping for some of those kinds of questions and come away disappointed. The disappointment wasn’t their fault. Those shows do a great job doing their own styles. I just wanted something different. Nobody was bringing the Paranormal and Occult together in a way I wanted to hear it. I just didn’t know how to make it happen on my own.
Paige Zaferiou – my very first guest – had a brief show along with Amelia Quint named The Modern Mystic. Those two were having the kind of conversation I was looking for in other shows. It wasn’t just a feel good conversation about success. They included conversation about what didn’t work, how they managed failure, favorite magical inspired playlists, spirits of place, ancestors, and more. It was fun and still had bite. Those two got me thinking about how I would do my own show.
I found myself reading Kevin Smith’s book Tough Shit: Life Advice From A Lazy Fat Slob Who Did Good. Kevin is one of my personal heroes. The book is funny and emotional all at the same time. He spends a good portion near the end talking about how he got into podcasts and basically urging his readers to start one too. I was ready and willing, but I didn’t know exactly how I would start.
Enter Lothar Tuppan.
He was my mentor when I was in the Rune Gild, and he also creates his own online radio shows. We started talking about podcasts and ways to make it happen. He pointed me to helpful resources, answered all my annoying audacity questions, and created my show intro. I had plenty of inspiration at this point. Now I also had the technical knowledge to make it happen. Weird Web Radio launched much smoother and sooner thanks to Lothar.
How did you get involved with occultism and magick?
I’m just lucky, I guess. My parents didn’t raise me to be anything. I was never forced into a church, never baptised, and left alone at the library. There was always an urge to explore the mysterious. Stonehenge, Aliens, Witchcraft, Bigfoot, and any other high strangeness was fair game. I wanted more than answers. I wanted the experience!
I met a couple new friends when I was 15. They were both checking out Golden Dawn material, Druidry, Satanism, The Necronomicon, Buddhism,Tarot and Wicca. I found it all fascinating, but nothing was quite right for me. I consumed everything I could find on the occult until I found something I wanted to try.
Curses were the convincer. One in particular. I was dealing with some stress and anger from being afraid of physical and mental attacks. I won’t name names or go into many details. Let it be sufficient to know I tried magic for the first time in a raw emotional state to fight back against that fear, and it worked. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I’m going to turn the tables on you a bit and ask you, what is one thing that you know without a benefit of a doubt to be true about magick?
It’s not complicated.
You can make magic as complicated as you want or need. Dress up in all the cool costumes, decorate until your basement is an ancient temple reborn, wear the right jewelry under the right planetary influence on the right stars alignments, and more. Do you. I’m just saying it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Give me a stick and some dirt. That’s more than enough to work sigils, bindrunes, communicate with spirits, and make magic happen. In fact, trance allows you to leave all those tools behind if you prefer to work from the inner worlds.
Now, does that mean I never use material or physical tools? Absolutely not. My mileage varies with my purpose. I make physical offerings to my helpful spirits. I use candles, stones, tarot, runes, incense, oils, fire, water, and other goodies to achieve my magical state. I’m only using what I need to achieve a magical mindset for my work. Nothing more. Nothing less.
If someone comes to you and says that they’re experiencing a haunting, how would you discern if it’s legitimate? What type of things do you look for or things you look to rule it out as something else?
This can be a very long answer so I’ll stick to the quick points. My working principle is simple. A ghost is a symptom. It’s not a problem.
Collect information. What actually happened? Who was present? What time? How old is everyone in the house? What’s the history of the place? Any psychics or magical practitioners? Do they have antiques?
I would also do a walk through of the location. I want to feel the energy of the place. I use divination to speak to my own helpful spirits to see what they see. I may use trance to feel out the more subtle levels of a place. On a more mundane level, I look at the condition of the home. Is it cluttered? Is it clean? Does it have clear pathways through rooms from door to door. What kind of shapes are present in the construction of the building? Is it on a hill? Near water?
This process is designed to determine if it’s a human spirit, fairies, landspirits, animal spirits, haunted objects, the house itself, or even the occupants inadvertently creating their own servitors to haunt them. Sometimes it’s just an old creaky house.
Another turning of the tables on you – if a friend came to you and said they were having a problem with a haunting and you ruled every other possibility out and concluded it was a haunting, how would you assist them?
First, I make offerings of water to the land. I want those spirits happy and helpful during my own work. Next, I’ll make an offering of oil or coins in the doorway to the guardian of thresholds. That’s when I will begin the work inside the house.
My mission is to make allies out of whatever spirit or spirits are haunting the place. Use cream as an offering to your house spirit. Leave it out by your stove or your fireplace. Make it known that you want X to stop happening, and in return you will make this offering on a designated schedule to maintain the agreement. Use divination to communicate with the spirits present, and find out what they want and why they’re hanging around.
Cleanse the home both spiritually and physically. I energetically mark all entrances with the elhaz rune for protection and a mjolnir blessing for added strength. You may wish to use pentacles, crosses, and other holy symbols of protection. Clear away clutter. Sweep from one corner of the home until you send all that dirt and spiritual debris out of a door at the other side of the house.
Make it clear that you make the rules inside your home. Set the boundaries you wish to maintain. Rinse and repeat. Wards need updated regularly. Offerings need made consistently.
One last important point. Maintain good communication, love and laughter in your home. Fill the place with life and good vibes. The energy you create in an environment will determine what kind of spiritual forces are willing to hang around. Make joyful living a priority.
As a paranormal investigator and occultist, how has your occultism influenced or changed the ways in which you investigate?
As an animist and polytheist, I can’t imagine a square inch of space that isn’t inhabited by some kind of spirit. Do you have a digital recorder? Just turn it on anywhere and start asking questions. You might get a surprise response. We are spiritual beings existing in a spiritual ecosystem of unimaginable possibilities. So when I investigate, I’m not looking for evidence or trying to treat hauntings as problems. I’m looking for a deeper connection to the mysteries.
My favorite tools of investigation come from the occult. I like to use a pendulum, tarot, runes, essential oils, candles, consecrated water, and various offerings. The only modern tool I’ve still found I enjoy is the digital recorder. It’s fun to find audio responses on playback when you couldn’t hear them live in the investigation.
I also study the big hotspots of activity. What is happening at subtle levels in the old abandoned prisons, asylums, hospitals, and other places that attract so much paranormal attention? I wonder how those places could be transformed and healed at certain times, and consider how a sorcerer could tap into the power of those places at other times.
Finally, I do wayfinding for spirits. Ghosts are not a problem. They are a symptom. A spirit may be yearning for connection to the living. They might have unfinished business. They could be lost, wandering with intention, or even a discarded servitor of some lazy magician’s creation. They all have a spark of the Universe. They can all have purpose. It just takes a willing and able sorcerer to help those spirits find their way. Paranormal investigation allows me to find where those spirits are active. The occult gives me the proper tools to help them.
What is a haunting experience that will always stay with you?
A small group of friends and I liked hunting down old forgotten cemeteries in the woods around Central Illinois. I think I was 17 at the time. I was already well read in various occult and pagan practices. I was getting started on my runic and Heathen journey along with Chaos Magic as well. We heard of a place that was around 30 miles away from home that was hidden in the woods near a newer cemetery, so we drove off on a hot summer night to check it out. I can’t tell you what each person in the group ever hoped to find on these trips. I can only speak for myself. I wanted the experience. I wanted to be witness to a real paranormal event. I thought old lost graveyards would be a good place to find those experiences.
I remember this particular spot because I had an experience. I started feeling a little nausea as we trekked through the trees and high grass. Dizziness soon followed. One friend was snapping pictures with his camera while another was trying to get a reading on his emf meter. The old stones appeared about 50 yards before we reached the rusted broken gate. I kept hearing a woman crying, and the urge to puke grew stronger. It was bad enough I had to stop walking for a few minutes, and that’s when I noticed a sensation in my stomach like I was being pulled forward. It was the source of all the nausea. I decided to listen and kept moving towards the cemetery.
It was clear nobody had cared for the place in several decades. That didn’t stop the pulling force from growing stronger as we moved past the gate. None of my friends were having the same experience. They were fine. I let the force guide me to the back of the small graveyard. That’s where I found a grave that had been vandalized. The stone was knocked over, and burn marks from cigarette butts being put out on it were visible. There was more litter around that grave than any other spot. I was overwhelmed with the need to set the stone upright and pour my drink over it to remove some of the ash burns. The urge to move and the nausea stopped at that grave once it was cleared of clutter and treated with respect.
I don’t know exactly what happened in those woods. I suspect the spirit of the deceased was upset about the condition of her grave, and I just happened to be sensitive enough to notice her plea for help since I was spending my free time meditating, learning trance, and working magic. Maybe it was the guardian of the graveyard reaching out for help. I really can’t give a solid answer, but I can say that place and experience have stuck with me all these years later as a great memory and influence on my work.
You’re an accomplished and awarded tarot reader but also deeply involved in heathenry. Do you prefer reading with tarot over casting runes? Do you use them together or separately for different situations?
Yes, I am. Thank you for your kind words. I was awarded Tarosophist of the Year in 2014 by the Tarosophy Tarot Professionals Association. I’m also currently on the High Rede of The Troth, Illinois Steward of The Troth, and co-author of Elhaz Ablaze: A Compendium of Chaos Heathenry.
I’m a Chaos Heathen. That basically means I’m a Chaos Magician / Strategic Sorcerer that finds a spiritual harbor in Heathenry. The concepts of wyrd, orlog, reciprocity, and hospitality call to me. The Tree and The Well along with their attendant Norns all speak to my soul. Soul lore concepts like hamingja and fylgja resonate. Yet, just like a ship in a harbor, I’m not built to just sit still and never go beyond the horizon. That’s why I happily explore other systems of divination and magic.
I use both tarot and runes for divination. My preferred method is usually tarot because I love the artwork in each deck, and tarot offers a wider array of possibilities with all the potential combinations of the 78 cards.
That doesn’t mean runes are a simple method of divination. I use the Elder Futhark for both divination and magic. This futhark of runes may only have 24 runes as potential answers in various combinations, but they also embody the lore of ancient Germanic cultures. The Elder Futhark is pretty much reconstructed through the lens of other rune sets such as the Younger Futhark which was used during The Viking Age.
Each rune asks more questions. Consider the rune Fehu. It can mean cattle, wealth, and fee. What did cattle and wealth mean to the ancient Heathens? How would that be related to payment? The Old English Rune Poem for Fehu talks about wealth being a comfort that should be shared, and the Icelandic Poem says it’s the strife of kinsmen and the path of the serpent. You must ask yourself what they mean by these statements and kennings. Where do you find wealth, cattle, serpents, sharing wealth, and strife among kin in the surviving lore? How does all of that history inform your interpretation in the present when Fehu appears in your reading?
The runes reveal mystery in layer after layer. These forces reveal themselves in divination, and they can be harnessed through magic by carving, drawing, painting, chanting, and visualization.
I can work with tarot and runes at the same time. I may be using runes for magical reasons and using tarot to get a clear forecast on strategy. I might discover a spiritual dilemma in a tarot reading and cast runes for clarification or vice versa. I want to be flexible and open to any combination that will gain my desired results.
How has your podcast influenced your own private practice, whether magickal or paranormal investigation?
My show is now in the third season. I’ve talked to people who have blown my mind with their work only to discover how human they are in conversation. That’s my favorite part about my show. I’ve been in the occult and paranormal communities, forums, and researching for about 25 years now. Those names on the book spines in Barnes & Noble seemed distant when I was starting out. They could’ve flown from the sky and I wouldn’t have been surprised. Now I’m asking them about mistakes they made along the way, and the answers I get are real and human.
My relationship to death is changing. I can’t put it quite into words, but it makes me braver. I knew Aidan Wachter’s son had passed tragically at a young age. I decided to ask him during the interview something about how that loss changed his view on death, magic, etc. I didn’t know if he would answer or tell me to fuck off. The next several minutes were a look inside a good man’s heart and mind as he navigated unimaginable pain and loss with his sorcery. Aidan didn’t know it at the time, in fact I’ve never said it anywhere until now, that his story healed a long bleeding psychic wound inside me from finding my best friend dead in 2010.
There are still others I find once in a while that hurt, but the biggest one was closed when Aidan shared his own grief. I also spoke to Kim Huggens about death and loss. Kim and I are good friends. I half jokingly call her my moral compass. Basically, if Kim wouldn’t do it then neither should you. I knew Kim was navigating grief from losing her father. She agreed to talk about it. That opened up a huge window into the vile practices in the funeral industry. It made me start having conversations about my final wishes with people I love. Aidan and Kim are two people I would never hesitate to come to their call in an hour of need.
I don’t know that my magical work is much changed from all the interviews. My curiosity is much more active than ever before. The show has taught me how to listen more than anything else. My love for you and everyone that has been on the show is enormous. I have learned a great deal about the personal practices of some awesome people. Overall, I have to say that I’m just a better human being for having these conversations. That’s enough for me.
Any projects from you we can look forward to?
The show will keep going! I have some ideas for different kinds of episodes beyond the one on one interview format, but that’s going to take many more Patreon members to help make those dreams come true.
My biggest project in 2019 is launching my new Hypnosis Certification courses, and other fun Hypnosis related projects. Many may not realize I’ve been a Professional Hypnotist for 10 years, and I’m also a Certified Hypnosis Instructor. Hypnosis is a skill suited to people in the occult. Guiding people into helpful trance states so they can make rapid changes to their lives. What isn’t awesome about that?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity on your excellent blog, Mat! Everyone, stay weird out there!
Patreon Exclusive Bonus
Since he mentioned Fehu as an example, Lonnie Scott has provided a special tarot spread and his method of working with the tarot through runic insight. This is based on a personal system he has spent over three years of trance-work developing. This method involves a bit of Galdr magick as well to bring about maximum potential in divination. This is available for Patreon supporters with the tier “In The Know Jackalope” and higher.
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