Rituals - E11 • The Occult Interests of Sylvia Plath

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Like Sylvia, Plath, lived by that old adage write what, you know, sadly Sylvia Plath was diagnosed with depression and her work reflected, that at times.

But it’s also something people connected with in her work.


Yeah, I think universally, we could all relate to that at some point and writing.


It’s a little, relatable little vulnerable.

Yeah, if you read all of Sylvia’s work, you’ll also find her talking about the occult witchcraft.

It is something I didn’t know about her before this episode.

Well, now that is something I can definitely relate to in writing.

That’s 100% a niche that I am here for depression.



I’m in, let’s do it.

You got it.

All, you got the whole package, so she wrote about Ouija boards and astrology, but it’s not often talked about when people mention her name, and today’s episode does have mentions of suicide.

So I do want to put that out there.

This may be triggering to some listeners.

So, please, please listen with caution.


Hi everyone, and welcome to rituals a Spotify original from par cast.

I’m Christine Schieffer.


And I’m M Schultz and every week, we’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.


We are going over a topic that I didn’t even kind of expect to be part of this whole genre and that Sylvia.


Plath, I actually don’t know anything.

I feel like I’m in a category of people who are kind of embarrassed about how little we know about Sylvia, Plath.

I know that she is like is involved in, like, either like really brutal writing, or had a really brutal life, but I don’t know anything about her at all.


Well, I will teach you.

Come with me.

Hold my hand, Professor Christine.


Thank you.

Let’s crack into it.


I know you said, you don’t know that much about Sylvia, Plath.

Do you know much about?

I mean, I think I know the answer because you always say you hate reading except if it’s Bunnicula, but I feel like okay, we didn’t have to like really announce everything.

It said, I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of that you like Bunnicula.


It’s a great literary work but today vegetables tomorrow.

The world.


Thank you.

So, message, we all could learn from but I wonder do, you know anything about poetry dearie?

I mean, it’s shorter, you know, is it something you ever?

That’s a good.

Guess you would think because it’s often shorter.


I would I do think I would have a better chance at reading it.

It’s not that I want to be an anti reader.

I just really have a lot of focus issues and I if it’s not like keeping my attention and a really drastic way, then I just I lose interest so quickly.



I just he needs to be overstimulating and kind of shocking to keep my attention for longer than five seconds.

Hi-yah, Bunnicula shocking.

So the only piece of work that has ever really captured your attention different, incredible.


I was like, it was a page-turner.

I was like, what is he going to do next?

Well, unlike Mr. I was raised in a very well.

I don’t know.

We were probably raised in pretty similar ways, but I was raised by.

I mean, you’ve met my father.

Mmm, he’s very hmm.

How to say in a nice way.


He had character a character.

Thank you viewers.

Colorful pants has a very thick German accent calls the hair.

Salon, the hair saloon.

Anyway, he’s obsessed with poetry to the point that he has written like several.

Like he has just like books filled with his own poetry, like he writes a lot of poetry.


Well, now that I could actually pick up and read, I think certainly shocking.

I think and be.

Yeah, I think I can’t read that.

So maybe that’ll be the one thing that you’d X2 finally read talk about shocking.

Yeah, you could.

But I think the only things I could probably figure out how to sit down and swallow would be your father’s, weird German poetry and like any diary that I’m not supposed to read.


Those are the only two categories.

I think at this point honestly, considering my Diaries.

This is another thing I was gonna mention my Diaries from high school are filled with my own quote unquote poetry.

And I think that is really embarrassing and would probably combine the two.


That you just mentioned and maybe be interesting to you.

I’m not sure it would be sewing.


I was so close to being able to know that about you, but one time I was at Christine’s and I found her entire Tupperware of like high school Diaries and I was like, I am going to make a really moral choice right now to not for once for once any other day.


I probably would have completely betrayed your trust building.

I got to know every single thing that happened in high school, but now that I know there was poetry in there.

Oh my God.

What a waste of a chance.

Honestly, you probably saved yourself because I remember my favorite poem.

I wrote about entropy when I learned what that was in physics class, but God, it’s just sorry, I science poem.


Good night.


It’s somewhere on the internet because I was like, I’m gonna put this in a poetry for him.

Like this is very embarrassing stuff that everyone is learning about me.


My dad is obsessed with poetry.

I was raised on like Leonard Cohen and like dark stuff like that.

And so then I thought I was kind of a poet in the making I Surprise surprise, but I didn’t know much about Sylvia Plath.


I knew she wrote The Bell jar, but I did not know anything about her poetry.

So, this was, I feel like I learned quite a bit.

I feel like any time.

I’ve heard someone mention that they’re going to read Sylvia Plath or like it’s like in conversation.

I feel like people always make some sort of comment of like, oh, it’s really dark writing or really a dark life.


That’s a woman.

Yeah, it’s heavy stuff.

And I think she’s often a definitely.

I know she’s often associated with her suicide attempts and Her suicide, I think that kind of tends to seep into a lot of her writing and so it’s known as pretty heavy this morning.


I was going through some of her poetry and actually did recognize one of them.

I didn’t realize I knew it.

But it’s called your why do you apostrophe re which is about pregnancy and her unborn daughter.

And then that she has another one called morning song about motherhood and I read these.

And I was watching my baby and I got like really it.


I don’t know something about Poetry Man.

It hit me.

Hit me in the heart and the head and the soul.

It’s tough to read.

I had kind of a heavy morning.

Oh, yeah, but so I don’t know beyond that.

I feel like I’m kind of the basic girl when it comes to poetry.


I’m like, I like Dylan Thomas Do Not Go.

Gentle into that.

Good night.

Do you know that poem?

No, but I think last time we mentioned that I love a good Shel Silverstein draft and a half.

I love to I had that listed here to I love Shel Silverstein.

I think he’s a genius and I think that’s also up there with Bunnicula as a great work of art.


Art understood Where the Sidewalk Ends anyway, so this is all I’m saying, is that I didn’t know much about Sylvia, Plath.

All I knew about her personal life was her depression that she suffered with.

I had no idea that she was interested in the occult, and actually wrote about it quite a bit.


So that was fun.

Not even a little bit that I know that know, that makes it so much more intriguing to me now, to hear about her life.


It kind of puts a whole spooky spin on it.

It does make sense that I guess people don’t necessarily know that because, you know, it was a fifties and sixties.

Estes is probably probably wasn’t the most widely accepted hobby to have, you know, Ouija boards.


I feel like it’s still not the most widely accepted hobby to have.

I think once like the 1930s or 1940s ended like, you really had to kind of sweeping that stuff to yourself.

Yeah, it kind of became like what do you call it in?

The fifties?

Like post WWII, like happy family, nuclear family, Americana Americana.


Everything’s very happy and upbeat and I I think probably Ouija boards were not part of that.

So fair enough.

I’m gonna tell you a little bit about Sylvia.


If you’re not familiar with her, she’s a boston-born writer / poet, who’s known for her confessional style of writing.


She was a published author before she even went to college.

Talk about a prodigy.

She ended up at Smith college in 1950 and as we’ve kind of alluded to she was a troubled artist, so she struggled with depression insomnia, other mental illnesses for much of her life.


And this unfortunately led to multiple suicide attempts and stays in mental health facilities for treatment.

So, she really did have kind of a hard time battling her demons if you will.

So Sylvia, graduated from Smith college in 1955 and she got a fellowship that took her to Cambridge University in England.


And this is where she met her future husband, Ted Hughes.


Ted was another brilliant writer, the two of them.

Got married in 1956.

They had a lot in common.

Sylveon tedward, Both into the occult.

So that’s a big, a big interest crossover because I can’t say that about me and blais.



Well, I was going to say, I think it’s as to writers.

I like the idea of them getting married and like, imagine the immense pressure of having to write your vows when you’re both successful writers, you know, I hope they eloped because they were kind of like, quirky writers.

You know, we’re also like if you’re getting married.


Like, I wonder what their vows looked like, spiritually.

Instead of the usual, I don’t know.

I feel like most are like a The ones that are like in a church, I wonder if you’re into the occult.

Like are you having the Mainstay 1950s type of wedding?

I’m good point too.



I wonder if my father had ever written his own vows how just dark and miserable that would have been his.

They would have been depressing.

I mean, I how would have loved to hear it.

And by the way, you mentioned something very on the nose, which you can certainly relate to.


I mean, you just said it before I could.

But I always thought of my future of ending up with someone.

One who would compliment like my occult interest and then I ended up with Allison who like couldn’t be less interested in this at all.

And you feel the same way with blaze.


I’m sure of like, I really thought I was going to have a Sylvia Ted situation on my hands, where we would just be like a weirdly into the occult power couple.

It’s so true and I thought that same way and I guess maybe that’s what you and I have in one another.

You know, what, we don’t have in our partners.


I think that’s why you and I vibed.

So And a way that our partners could never because like if I were to bring home a ghost to you, you would give me the enthusiastic response.

I’m hoping for Allison would be like I’m going to bed not.

Again would not a kid, not here.


Not now that again.



And so this is pretty much exactly what they were like this power couple, this occult power couple.

So Sylvia actually wrote a letter before they got married and this is what I said when Ted and I began living together, we become a team better.


Other than mr.

And mrs.

Yates, he being a competent astrologist reading horoscopes and me being a Tarot pack reader when we have enough money.

A crystal gazer.


So, even even got a crystal ball up in the mix, how we have a crystal ball.

You and me.



What’s her name?

Her name is Crystal.

She’s big Crystal.

We love her.

She’s a big girl.

We love her.

We love her.

She is the reason why we always have a maximum weight capacity at the airport though, because we bring her on tour with us.

That’s right.

And she gets The heavy tag on the luggage she does.


She’s solid Crystal.

I’m like damn.


She’s a, it’s a heavy piece.

I think we haven’t done Crystal gazing.

I have not tried that, maybe we should try that next.

We’ll try that in a offshoot Hotel on poor.

So it’s not anywhere near our homes.

Good point, Crystal has seen some stuff on tour.


So I wonder, I mean and buy stuff.

I mean, she watches us eat pizza.

Like there’s really nothing to watch to be clear.

But I just watched a lot of things that make her want to roll away and like have a Flus the the suitcase because she’s taken off.

Anyway, some of Sylvia’s.


Most popular Works included her first collection of poetry, which was called The Colossus and that was published in 1960.

And then in 1963 her novel, The Bell jar was published The Bell jar was actually her only novel, it was based on her life and it deals with a young woman’s mental breakdown.


So, talk about being vulnerable and kind of, you know, writing what, you know, I got to be honest, in today’s world.

She would have thrived.

This is certainly, I think the generation where like mental health is.

So it’s so appreciated when people are open and vulnerable feel like she was just from a different time.


Where if she were writing about that stuff today.

I don’t know.

Maybe she would have been more open about it or was she really open about it?

And all she was really open about it.

Most of her work was based on.

Yeah, her mental health struggles and it’s hard to say.


I mean, I feel like in our circles, you know, it’s very easy to be open about that kind of thing.


But I feel like we’re also in a very Niche, sir.

Kuil maybe.

But I would also argue that in 2022 compared to the 50s.

I think everyone’s at least slightly more open today.

Oh, yeah, I would love.

Yeah, I would think so.

And obviously, there’s no way to know if that would have impacted her life differently.


Yeah, but yes, it I like to think at least write that we’re in a better place supposedly growing constantly growing.

I think sometimes one step forward, two steps back, but we’re trying good way to put a, some scholars believe Sylvia also used.


As a way to organize the Bell jar, which is super interesting.

This is where I’m officially locked in, because should I be using tarot to organize?

My notes, my room, like if Sylvia telling me that’s a potential, I should have been doing it and all aspects this whole time being it was a very successful novel like you just wonder and so creative.


Yes, so creative and so such like a unique way to know, such a unique way to use tarot that I had never thought about out some scholars.

Believe that she did do that.

We’re going to actually touch on that more later.

But Sylvia’s mental health struggles ended up being the cause of her death.


When she was only the young age of 30, which is very tragic.

She died by suicide on February 11th, 1963 and they were separated at the time she and Ted but they were still technically married.

And so he inherited her literary estate.


Okay, and after her death more of her work was released including the collected poems, which won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize.

And she was actually the first poet to posthumously win a Pulitzer Prize which is you know, pretty cool.

Obviously tragic cool and a very sad way.




Considering the circumstances, but obviously she was an extremely talented and troubled author coming up.

I’m going to walk us even deeper into the complicated marriage of two.


Brilliant writers and how the occult influence their work and life.

Yes, very very excited to hear about this.


Let’s talk a little bit about Sylvia’s relationship with Ted Hughes AKA The Occult power couple.

Is that what you said earlier?

That is what I would like them to be known as okay, if they were here to give their okay on that, but it sounds.

I mean, I’m not saying it in a bad way.

It’s and saying a cool way.


So Play there a okay with it up there.

I mean, they’re a literary power couple.

Might as well be in a cult 12, as mentioned earlier Sylvia met.

Ted Hughes at Cambridge University.

They were married in 1956 a little bit about Ted.

He was a British poetry Legend, who was actually appointed Poet Laureate in 1984 and he held that post until his death.


After the two got married.

They moved to Massachusetts and Sylvia began teaching at her.

Alma mater.

Smith college teaching.

Unfortunately took away time for her to A right.

And by the end of 1959, they had decided to move back to London.

So Ted and Sylvia had children, but their marriage was far from perfect, even though they were the literary / occult power couple maybe not so powerful.


Yeah, it unfortunately, things went South in 1962, Ted began having an affair and the two of them separated that September of 1962, dang, okay, but before their marriage unraveled Sylvia and Ted shared a love of the Walt and they often used it to inspire their own work.


So cool.

So cool.

And so interesting.

And again, something I wish I had learned about when I learned about Sylvia, Plath, but I had no idea.

If feel like if we had been taught that so, many more people would have immediately ran to read her work.

I agree.

I think at least in our Circle, at least, right?


At least the two of us would have been interested.

Maybe our respective Partners.

Clearly are not the examples were discussing, but that’s okay.

So if you read Sylvia, Plath, You’ll find lots of references to Taro.

We just crystal balls and astrology, but interestingly it was Ted who introduced Sylvia to the occult and she described it as magnificent fun more fun than a movie.


Which hey, can confirm confirm 100%?

I’m not a big movie person anyway, but I love a good Ouija board session say I’m right there.

I’m right there with you Sylvia.

Ted gifted Sylvia with a Tarot deck which she used for it.


Edge’s to go alongside her poems.

So she kind of used it to inspire her and hole cards and use the imagery to inspire her.

Poetry, which is so interesting.

That’s so fun.

Yeah, and as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, it’s believed Sylvia use.

Tarot to help organize her novel The Bell jar in 1959.


When Sylvia had writer’s block, Ted got her to do some meditation exercises that were based on handbooks of kabbalistic and hermetic magic.

Hmm, the 1956.

Poem Crystal gazer shows Sylvia and tell Ted exploring the world of the occult and the poem is based on their visit to a crystal gazer near Ted’s Home in the Yorkshire.


Can someone please write a poem about Christina?

And I are exploring the world of vehicles.

You let us know when that’s done.

And it can also be called the crystal gazer could be a knockoff starring our crystal ball, Crystal the crystal gazer yet 2.0.

We can ask Bernie my dad to write it.


He might write it for you.

Okay, it’ll be depressing but we could try.

It’s kind of what I want.

Kind of.

See ya, Sylveon Ted were actually also known to use a Ouija board together.

So they even did.

We Deport sessions much to your Chagrin you and I are sometimes known to use a Ouija board together.


I don’t even want to talk about Christine.

Okay, we have very conflicting opinions on the use of a Ouija board and sometimes Christina’s dragged me into that conversation.

So, uh-huh.

Christine has won more times than she’s lost.


Let’s put it that way.


I mean, you’re not wrong.

You’re actually 100% right?


This sounds familiar to the two of them used a homemade Ouija board to contact pan, their otherworldly, Muse and they used a tipped over Brandy glass as a planchette.



Well, yeah, that does sound familiar, wonder why?

So, that’s all I’m going to leave it at that.

So I’m gonna leave it at sounds.

Oddly specific.

Ted one said about pan.

Quote, usually, his Communications were gloomy and McCobb, though.

Not without wit.


I feel like I get Pam.

Yeah, I feel like Will be and Ted, definitely got pan because it seems like they were already kind of writing or at least he’ll be.

It was writing heavy dark stuff.

And so to connect with a guide, who or a muse who also was talking about heavy dark stuff makes sense.


I feel like the three of them were vibing pretty well.

I think the second they met each other.

It felt kind of kismet and I’m okay with that.


Yeah, if it’s Sylvia wrote about pan in her poem, weijia where death is at the core of this occult.

Alt practice.


She focus a lot on death and you know, it makes sense as she led a, you know, troubled life.


She had a lot of mental health issues.

She had a few suicide attempts and so it kind of makes sense that even with the occult.

She focused on death being like the core of what she was exploring and do with with weejun.

So on, so there’s also a poem that Sylvia wrote called dialogue over a Ouija board and this came from her experiences with the board between 1957 and 1958.



She also wrote about telling her mother about pan, because he was giving them tips.

Get this on how to bet on football.


See, I knew pan was a homie.

Hey, I have yet to hear one bad thing about Pam.

That’s all I’m gonna say.

So Sylvia said, they talked to pan with the Ouija board and they told him they wanted to win big on football bets.


So they had more time to write and have kids and pan was like, I got you.

Here we go, pants.

Said I’m going to help you co-parent immediately.

I’m getting in on, you’re going to be a better parent.

I’m gonna hook you up at the cash flow.

We’re all gonna have a good time.

The Bengals are going to win the Super Bowl finally, and I don’t think they had said that, I don’t think Taylor said that, I’m just reading between the lines and a deeper significance of the week, experience is apparent.


When she tells her mother, the following.

I am at last writing my first poem for about six months, a more, ambitious topic.

A short verse dialogue, which is supposed to sound just like Action, it frees me from my writers cramp and is at last a good subject, a dialogue, over a Ouija board, which is both dramatic and philosophical and that was from letters home to 94 and 324.


Oh, can you imagine being her mom and receiving this letter?

Well, I’m just chatting with pan.

We could just ask our mom’s what it’s like to tell you.

Still with us.

My mom somewhere was like, yeah, I know exactly what that’s like.

Thank you for reminding me.

Yeah, right.

My mom’s like you literally run.


Different shows about ghosts.

So where do you think I stand according to poet and friend Al Alvarez.

When Ted left Sylvia for another woman Sylvia took his manuscripts, mix them with clipped, fingernails, and dandruff from his desk and then burned them in a witches ritual bonfire.


So, there’s a Tick-Tock sound that’s going around right now where you just kind of put this music over something crazy.

You’ve done in our relationship and the music is crazy.

Oh, yeah.

That’s what’s happening in my head immediately.

It’s that sound really does fit this aesthetic.


I fully fully agree.

And I the rabbit hole watching videos with that sound last weekend, and there’s a wild stuff in there and I think Sylvia would have taken the cake with our clip fingernails and dandruff and setting it on fire.


She would have been on the lake fishing by the way.

I don’t mean to keep interrupting you but interesting that she chose, it feels poetic in a way that she chose to do some version of a witch.


His ritual as they were both so into the occult that it feels like.

It was almost more powerful.

Oh, yeah, and this wasn’t just like for fun.

Like she really did do this as a ritual and as the fire started to burn out.

This gives me Goose Kim.

A piece of paper came out of the flames and landed on Sylvia’s foot.


And on the piece of paper, was the name of the woman.

Ted had left her for that was pan.

One last time being a homie.

That was a pan being like, I’m not gonna say I did this, but I’m going to say here’s the name.

Do what you want with it?

Well, I think she knew the name, but it was just like a very symbolic.


I thought it was like, for telling, like, giving her an answer.

Oh, maybe it was, you know, maybe it was, but I’m pretty sure essentially, it was just kind of a powerful affirmation Manning for her.

Yeah, after her death.

Ted basically, had they were still married even though they were separated.


And so, Ted had full access to her literary collection, and he actually released Sylvia’s poem collection called aerial, but The order of poems was not how Sylvia meant for them to be released, which just kind of feels like a kick when you’re down.

You know what I mean?


Well, the first kick was him now, having your whole literary estate after he cheated on you.

And then the second one is him now trying to publish her stuff and doing it wrong and doing it all wrong.

And so fortunately, for her memory, The Collection later got reordered and released how Sylvia wanted them to be and said to correspond closely to tarot, which is a really cool kind of Like thing.


And I’m glad that that happened to kind of right the wrongs that have been done.

I’m okay.


I know.


That was very messy and sad, but I’m also now completely fixated on the fact that the way that she wanted it written out with so that it would correspond with tarot.


That’s so freaking.


And so smart, and I feel like any time I’ve ever heard, the creative writing.

This is creative, right?

This is indeed and I’m going to give you more details actually because the 22, poems of the collection, symbolize the cards of the major Arcana, the next ten are lined with the numbers of the minor Arcana.


And those are followed by for representing the court cards, which are page night, king queen, and then the final four poems seem to reference the Pentacles cups swords and Wands that make up the suits of the tarot.

So, like, really, I think I have officially found something.


I would like to read now.


Wow, I don’t warn you, it’s heavy stuff.

I read a few.

Of them this morning with my morning coffee and I felt pretty darn dark.

So I just want to give that heads up before you go diving on it fair enough, but I think I am could easily get myself into the headspace and the right sweet spot to uh, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into.


So maybe I shouldn’t say anything yet.

But I do like I said earlier, if it is somewhat shocking, that works best for my attention.

Anyway, so I have found my Niche.

It’s at least very beautiful.

I do think she’s a literary.

A genius.

So I recommend it if you’re in the right headspace.



Next, I’ve got some thoughts on why Sylvia plath’s personal interest in the occult seemed like a long-held secret.

Mmm, and we’re going to divulge Secrets.

If we can our favorite activity.


So, why would Sylvia plath’s interest in the occult?

Be a secret while Ted Hughes interest in the occult had been much more of a discussion Point than Sylvia’s over the years.

It’s something that is more openly known about him than it is about Sylvia.



He would even do astrological charts for money, when he was with Sylvia.

Oh, author Julia Gordon bramer, who spent decades studying Sylvia’s work through the lens of mysticism thinks that Sylvia, hit her personal interest on purpose.

And, you know, it was probably part of the Times witchcraft was a crime in England for quite a while there was and can still be a stigma around a cult activities.


As I’m sure we’ve all seen Sylvia also dealt with her mental health issues and those took over a lot of her life and she possibly didn’t want her interest in the occult to kind of be conflated or correlated with her mental health issues and perhaps didn’t want people thinking that the two were related or somehow, you know.


Had to do with one another fair enough.

I also wonder if there was a reason why if witchcraft was frowned upon by her husband was able to go around and do Ash logical.

Charts for people, maybe that wasn’t Associated directly with witchcraft or I mean my guess is.


It would be part of being a man.

I think so, too.

I feel like we think witchcraft, you typically think of women and then if you thinking mental health issues, that could be something you might not want to share.

Together about yourself and since she was already writing.


So openly about all of her, you know, troubles.


She didn’t want to add to it as her reputation.

I don’t know.

Yeah, fair enough.

And meanwhile, she was writing in her Works about these things.

But being, you know, poetry being literature, it probably wasn’t obvious to people that this pan.


She was referencing is somebody that she actually considered a real entity.

She was speaking with sure, not just symbolic, not Just you know, a character in one of her works, but actually somebody she was speaking to who.

Yeah, and I feel like if that got out maybe it would add to kind of people looking at her funny.


Where’s my ways?

And in the 50s like a woman only needed.

Like one reason I get sent away for the rest of her life.

So she was already really flirting with that line by even being open about her depression and her mental health issues.


It was not, it was not easy back then.

Yeah, I imagine.

And she also had two children and so No her.


She didn’t want to hurt her reputation as a parent.

She didn’t perhaps want to hurt her reputation academically as well.

Yeah, who wanted to be taken seriously as an academic.

And so, there are a number of reasons.

I mean, these are all, you know conjecture, but there are a number of reasons why she might not have openly discussed her daily.


We just sessions that kind of thing.

Yeah, makes total sense.

So the Tarot deck that I mentioned earlier that Ted had gifted her in 2021.

Sylvia, Plath, personal tarot card deck actually went Up for auction.

Oh, and the deck was sold for over two hundred and six thousand dollars, huh?


I feel like it would have been more interesting.

Do you think it would have been less?

I was very surprised.

I feel like that’s a massive amount of money.

I guess if you are in that right Niche, like in the like someone who like us, who’s really interested in that but also happens to have two hundred thousand dollars laying around.


I feel like literary circles are often a very she place there.

That’s a really fair.

And if you’re going to one of these auctions, sure.


They expected the deck to only go for somewhere between six and nine thousand.

So I think when I read that, I kind of had the thought of like, wow, this got driven up like people were way more interested in this and they expected.


Oh, wow.

I feel like the 69,000 ranges like, so insulting.

Yeah, and their wedding rings.

I believe went for in the 30s, 30,000 36,000 something close to that.

So the Tarot deck was clearly the hot ticket item.


I feel like that gives you a little insight into To like I feel like more people than we realize our into the spooky stuff for our.


Yeah, like it was more important than we realized.

It was going to be it’s a good point.

If you’re in that Circle and your thinking will this deck potentially help inspired her writing and now you have access to it and can look at it.

And you know, I mean, it’s just a really cool piece of history and fun fact, if you kind of divide that out that ends up being two thousand six hundred fifty two dollars per card, so that’s fun.



I thought so that’s I am shocked that the person who bought it was not Zak Bagans, wasn’t it could be, maybe you could have.

I know.

He was part of sheshe literary circles, but I just think of like all the anytime something spooky goes up for sale.


I feel like Zak Bagans is the one just for a bit of the call.



I assume he has a manager.


This is the host of Ghost Adventures, if this yeah ends up, getting into anyone’s ears, who doesn’t know that.

But yeah, he has a haunted Museum and collects, all sorts of spooky.


Key paraphernalia, he bought like every single prop from the first Ghostbusters movie.

I beat he have like Michael Jackson’s chair or something.

Like he’s got some really dark stuff sorts of stuff, John Wayne Gacy.

I mean, it spans the gamut but yes, it honestly would not surprise me.


If this were something he bid on.

I kind of hope not to diss as Museum.

I kind of hope it went to someone who’s more maybe personally connected to it, but sure.

Who knows?

I mean, It’s not my place to say I guess.


So this deck is believed to be the deck.


Ted gave her for her birthday in October of nineteen fifty-six and Sylvia had actually written to her mother about the deck.

When she received it saying, we celebrated my birthday yesterday.

Ted gave me a lovely tarot pack of cards and a deer rhyme with it.

So after the obligations of this term are over your daughter, shall start her way on the road to becoming a cirrus.


And we’ll also learn how to do horoscopes a very difficult art, which means Reviving my Elementary.

Math, if Reviving my elementary math meant that I could do horoscopes.

Imagine what Reviving my advanced math would get me.

Oh imagine that that house that’s a pre calc which to me is Advanced.


I don’t know.

What is it?

That’s what I was even thinking that farcical like geometry.

We could tell all sorts of horoscopes and Futures if we figured out how to do long division again.


So em, what do you think?

What do you feel?


How are you feeling?

I actually think I am perfectly hyper fixated enough to truly consider reading herself.

That’s what I think.

I’m so happy.

It really is beautiful.

And it’s powerful.

It’s heavy.

It’s beautiful.

Some of its not so heavy, but I feel like I also kind of got a new insight and it revived my interest in poetry.


I’m not going to go digging out my old poetry because yikes.

But wait, what?

Why not?

I would love to see what your father would think the poet himself.

Elf, I’d love to know what he thinks is.

Sylvia Plath.

Very good.

I honestly very good question because it is right down his alley.

He really likes the dark heavy kind of morbid type of writing and so I have a feeling this might fly.


Maybe if I read it him and I will finally have something to talk about.

Next time.

I’m at your house be like, oh, so Sylvia Plath, what you think of this one bada-bing bada-boom and you’re never going to be allowed to leave because he will talk for the rest of time.

So I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into.



And I wish you well on your quest.

Thank you.

Thank you.

But yeah, I’m really, I’m really excited to kind of learn more about this and read more for work and actually kind of get into it.

I’m not sure if I’m going to read the Bell jar yet, because I’ve always hesitated to because it’s, it’s, you know, pretty pretty dark, especially, considering, you know, how she ended her own life, but maybe someday I’ll get up the hood, spada to read it myself, as someone.


One who was blissfully ignorant to what the Bell jar even is, I can go in blind, iterative for you and let you know how it goes.

Wow, am offering to read a classic novel for me.

I never thought I’d see the day if it’s something so dark that you’re afraid to read it.

I have intrigued all of a sudden so sure.


I finally found the hook for em.

I just have to say that every time it’s like being the first to walk into like a spooky house till I give you the a okay, the like you’re all good.

That’s you always I’m always pushing you ahead of me.

So yeah.

Makes a lot of sense, you know, sometimes I feel like we talked about the occult is like dark and spooky stuff.


But it almost seems like the occult in her case was kind of a lighter part of her life, because it was her connection with Ted.

It was her Muse, you know, pan.

I was this a, her buddies there her buddy.


I don’t know, she had the whole kind of she received her Tarot deck, and that was a really bright point for her with her, you know, rhyming poem from Ted.

Dad, that was really special.

So I don’t know.

I kind of think that seems to be an almost lighter part of her life.

It’s hard to say, it makes sense to me, especially of her writing as kind of what kept her going and was her passion.


And if she was, if her writing was being inspired by the stuff, I imagine it was a happy memory for her and something that she truly was interested in versus it being part of her darkness, which I feel like she was maybe afraid that people were going to conflate the two but Maybe for her.


It was a complete separation of the two which is maybe why she never brought it up because she was like I can be open and vulnerable about this but this part of my life is so separate that I don’t want anyone messing with it or coming up with rumors interesting.

Well, because I wonder too but she wrote about all that in her work she wrote about we just she wrote about pan, but I guess she just people assumed it was just, I would love to know the time the time frames because like what was going on in her life, where she felt safe to talk about that stuff then, but then not at all.


Other times or I mean, I also don’t know because I’ve never read any of her works, but I don’t know if they’re interwoven within each other or if they were books completely separate from each other, or I would like to know what her the psychology that that was.

Yeah, that’s a really interesting point because I mean, even in the poem I read of hers, your which is about pregnancy.


It was lighter than a lot of her other work, but it was also it also made me feel really sad.

Didn’t like tear up a bit and I don’t know if that’s just knowing her life story or I don’t know.

I think there’s always some tinge of sadness and distance in her writing.


I’m not sure.

But yeah, I wonder, I wonder, I have a lot of questions and unfortunately to my 10th grade, English teachers, Mighty disappointment.

I don’t really remember what she said about poetry.

So I’m no expert will have to do a whole poetry, Revival course I suppose.



I’m sure, I’m sure that.

Be a hit when people hear this episode.

Thanks so much for listening.


We’ll be back next week with another great episode information.

On today’s episode came from biography poets dot-org, the National Library of Medicine literary.

Ladies guide, The Poetry Foundation occultism, as source and symptom in Sylvia plath’s dialogue, over a Ouija board.


By Timothy matter ER the guardian open culture and lit Hub, remember to follow rich?

Was on Spotify to get a brand new episode every week, and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify, and if you liked this show, follow at Park ass on Facebook and Instagram.


And at Park as Network on Twitter, you can find me at the M Schultz and you can find me at Eckstein cheaper.

Thanks again for listening and see you next week.

Rituals is executive produced by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from par cast.

It was created by Max color, sound design by Kristen Acevedo with associate.


Sound design by Jamie Ryan.

Fact-checking by Cheyenne Lopez research by Chelsea would it’s produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.

We are your host, Christine Schieffer, and M Schultz.