God Rock Radio #260- Women Saints of The High Middle Ages -Part 2

In the conclusion to GRR’s 4 part mini series on the lives and legends of Saintly Medieval Ladies , Jack “The agnostic” Garcia chronicles the sacred stories of four more remarkable women from the Middle Ages, this time from the 14th century AD. First up, its the saga of St. Notburga a tale that resembles a fable more than historian fact. A Polish peasant girl who works in the labyrinth like kitchens of Count Henry of Rattenberg , Notburga notices that there are lots of leftover food from the feasting and overindulgence of the nobles. So she secretly brings the leftover morsels to a side door in the castle and gives the food to the poor each and every night. That is until the Count’s wicked wife Ottila – finds out and then all Hell breaks loose. Next up. its St. Agnes of Montepulciano – a child prodigy who enters a convent at the age of nine and by the age of fifteen is the Mother Superior of the nunnery. Agnes would become one of the great evangelical preachers of her time and run various convents with successful combination of spirituality and economic savvy. Then its , St. Juliana Falconieri – who was born into a powerful and mega-wealthy Florentine family , but as she grew up would care little for pomp, partying and politics and instead starts her own religious community- a nunnery dedicated to prayer , charity and the glory of God.  And last but not least its – St. Bridget of Sweden – whose prescient dreams and intense visions would make her famous in Europe and even The Holy Land. Each revelation or cosmic message takes a physical toll on her body and as the visions become more frequent the Saint grows weaker and weaker.

God Rock Radio #259 – Women Saints of The High Middle Ages – Part # 1

With the Latin Church now functioning as an evangelical , administrative and mega-wealthy growth industry , a great intensification of Christianity in life and consciousness takes hold of Europe and the effervescence of Medieval spirituality stands out in art, literature and architecture. But…not every soul is content with the status quo and this spiritual disillusionment gives rise to the age of heretics. As entire communities separate themselves and form their own religious enclaves. As opposing dogmas and theologies fight a deadly battle for supremacy amid this sometimes glorious, sometimes dangerous and sometimes smelly and uncomfortable Medieval era , it is the sacred stories of the saints , those that have a special place in Heaven, that can intercede for us on Earth and those who powerful names are invoked in prayer that retained a constant grip on the Medieval mind and spiritual imagination. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues to chronicle the lives and legends of little known but remarkable ans saintly Medieval women – this time from the 13th century AD – The High Middle Ages -saints include – St. Christina The Astonishing / St. Rose of Viterbo & St. Margaret of Cortona.

God Rock Radio #258 – Women Saints of The Dark Ages – Part # 2

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues to chronicle the lives and legends of remarkable ladies that had a positive impact on Medieval culture, but have sadly been ignored or forgotten by most scholars and historians . First up, its the tale of St. Bertilla – (8th Century A.D.) – a Frankish princess who was a problem child and rebellious teenager until she has an intense spiritual experience , a piercing vision of Mary Magdalene , that changes her life forever. Then its St. Adelaide (10th Century A.D.) – a sacred story whose narrative is overflowing with political intrigue, murderous rivals, kidnappings, bloody warfare and swashbuckling shenanigans. Up next its St. Cunegund (11th Century A.D.) – a wise and saintly woman with a legendary temper who slaps a misbehaving Mother Superior so hard on the face, it leaves  impressions on the nun’s kisser until the day she died. And last but not least – its St. Margaret of Scotland ( 11th Century A.D.) – who made it her goal in life to bring peace and stability to the squabbling Scots via education and religious instruction , igniting a cultural flowering in the war ravaged kingdom. 

God Rock Radio #257 -Women Saints of The Dark Ages -Part # 1

With the collapse of the Western half of the Roman Empire (476 AD) and the rule of Germanic and Scandinavian tribal chieftans, The Dark Ages officially open for business. It is an era of perpetual warfare , an age of blood ans iron , but it is also the time of the Christian conversion and settlement of Europe. When spiritually forceful woman wit land, property and inheiritance rights were the benefactors of Churches , Monastries, Nunneries and often engaged in both secular and religious assembles. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia chronicles the lives and legends of some of these remarkable but obscure Women Saints of The Dark Ages, who stimulated by the forces of word, image, ritual and ceremony welcomed the opportunity to dedicate their lives to charity and to God. The mystic fire burned brightly in these spiritual dynamos and part 1 includes – St. Anastasia , St. Euphrasia, St. Scholastica, St. Osith, St. Begalbee, St. Irmina and St. Adela. 

God Rock Radio #256 -Myths and Legends of Robert Johnson – Part 2

In the second installment, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia continues to chronicle the life, legend and legacy of Robert Johnson, Bluesman extraordinaire. When Johnson returns to Robinsville , Mississippi – he blows the minds of his mentors (Son House & Willie Brown) who are convinced that Johnson has struck a Faustian bargain and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for supernatural ability. Plagued with restlessness and wanderlust – Johnson and his Blues Brothers (like Johnny Shines) ride the freight trains, thumb rides on the back of pick up trucks and walk their way through the rural deep South. In Texas, Johnson gets the opportunity to make his monumental recordings on portable equipment , inside a San Antonio hotel room and Dallas warehouse.  Then heads up North to St. Louis , Detroit, Chicago and New York. One Blues paradise after another , where he gets a chance to meet other great musicians , some of which Johnson has idolized since childhood. Despite enjoying urban culture , Johnson for some unknown and perplexing reason decides to return to the rural, segregated deep South.  A fateful decision that sets his final days and the mystery of his tragic death into motion. 

God Rock Radio #255 – Myths and Legends of Robert Johnson – Part 1

In the companion to GRR’s now classic program on the Faustian legend and the ongoing series of shows on the Blues, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the life, legend and legacy of Robert Johnson. A musician who has an extensive Mythology surrounding him.  His most persistent themes were Religious and spiritual despair and he painted his musical imagery with scenes of constant traveling, degradation, and unbridled sexuality. The bluesman as Byronic poet whose life and art are inseparable, and whose art , mind and soul blaze with a divine and / or demonic intensity. In part 1 , Jack chronicles Johnson’s early life , born into utter poverty in the deep rural South – young Robert has a harsh and unhappy childhood. The only thing that soothes his troubled soul is the Blues, so he saves up his nickles , dimes and pennies and learns harmonica and guitar from listening to 78 RPM recordings. By the time he is sixteen, Johnson is playing in juke joints late night houses of Blues worship – overflowing with colorful characters , music, booze , drugs , sex , violence and sometimes murder. In part 1 – Jack also examines the many variations of the Crossroads Myth. A Mississippi Delta version of the ancient Faustian legend. someone who gains supernatural knowledge and ability by selling their soul to the Devil. a darkly romantic vision also claimed by other first generation Country Bluesmen. 

God Rock Radio #254-4th of July Special -Lady Deborah Moody – America’s first feminist & The forgotten Queen of Coney Island

In the fourth installment of GRR’s Brooklyn Quartet – Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia tells the little known tale of Lady Moody , a much neglected personality from the 17th Century , who played an unsung role in the beginnings of Brooklyn and the historical drama that is America. Born into a rebellious upper crust English family – who championed Civil Liberties and Religious Freedom. Lady Deborah, upon the death of her stuffy and much older husband (a Baron , no less) runs into trouble with the Infamous Star Chamber Court and escaping exile and execution decides to sail across the Atlantic. Upon arrival she joins the Church of Salem, Mass – and is soon arrested and thrown into the slammer on charges of  Blasphemy and Heresy. Excommunicated , publicly flogged and pilloried – Lady M and her small group of disciples decide to take a gamble on the more tolerant Dutch, and the settlement of New Amsterdam. seeking their own New Eden, Lady M and her acolytes are given the opportunity to start their own Township . They decide on the gently flowing Hills of Gravesend, Brooklyn (what are now the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay). 

God Rock Radio #253 – Greenwood Cemetery/Memorial Day Special

In another entry in GRR’s series of programs on the City of New York , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia takes an imaginary walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery. A historical landmark that is filled with trees , flowers, birds , sacred silence , amazing stone carvings , landscaping and architecture. With the arrival of the industrial revolution New York expands at a rapid rate, the population explodes , diseases run amok and the bodies start to pile up – turning Manhattan into a charnel house. Untouched by New Yorks real estate boom, the green hills of Brooklyn provide the answer and with the arrival of Fort Hamilton in 1831 and lots of government contracts, Brooklyn’s scattered farms and villages consolidate into a city of its own. A city with lots of sprawling space for the new and radical concept of a public , garden type Rural Cemetery. Jack chronicles the real story behind the construction and evolution of The Queen of American cemeteries.  A place that is not only the abode of the dead but a cultural institution for the living. A type of open air 19th Century musuem where people can walabout, contemplate and meditate. 

God Rock Radio #252 – The Book of Thoth -Part 2

At a time when educators and librarians are being harrassed, books are being banned from the shelves if not burned to a crisp in bonfires and literature itself seems to be under attack . Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia plays storyteller and recites the ancient cosmic legend from land of the Nile, The Book of Thoth. In the sacred story , Setna a son of Ramses The Great is a gifted scribe, healer and magician . One fateful day while rummaging through some old and dusty scrolls he comes upon the tale of another son of a great Pharoah who lived hundreds of years earlier and was also a scribe, healer and magician – the greatest Egypt had ever known. For this long dead magus had gained posession of the sacred Book of Thoth and learned all its spells, hymns and incantations. He became one with the sun, moon and stars and got to see the faces of the Gods. Now Setna is on an obsessive and dangerous quest to locate the sacred Book of Thoth , learn all its divine wisdom and become one with the universe and the Lord of Heaven and Earth. But first he must overcome cosmic and deadly obstacles like Kas or spiritual dopplegangers and a beautiful but malevolent priestess / sorceress who not only desires his body but also craves his immortal soul. 

God Rock Radio #251 – The Book of Thoth and The Emerald Tablet Part 1

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the ancient and persistent legend of the cosmic warrior , healer and magician whose sacred writings The Book of Thoth and The Emerald Tablet, speak of a universal truth and may offer us a pathway for the expansion of spiritual consciousness and the regeneration of humanity. First up, ts Thoth – the Man God from the land of the Nile and the Lord of writing , healing and magic. He played a major role in Egyptian Astral Spirituality and religious texts , spells and incantations. Then its – The Mischevious Hermes – the Greco/Roman messenger of the Gods and also a great healer and clever Magus of wisdom and spiritual illumination. with so many parallels and similarities between the two Gods – they soon become fused into one Deity and the legend of the Cosmic writer becomes humanized in the sacred story of Hermes Trismigustus – the philosopher / king who is credited with being the founder of Hermetic Philosophy.