about

Johnny Rapture (a.k.a. ‘cartweel’) is a student of theology and religious history. Currently, he is pursuing a degree in Islamic history from the University of Chicago.

He loves folk music, Greek food, and sci-fi television, and his life dreams include becoming an art teacher, living in Asia, and bringing down the patriarchy. He is a Feminist Anarcho-Mystic, a fledgling poet and ritual leader, a Dionysian reveler, a Southerner, an urban nomad, and a lover of all things anachronistic. What he wants now more than anything is to start a genderfuck jug band.

This blog, The Great Tininess, is intended by Johnny as an outlet for poetical, theological, polemical, and mystical literary excursions. In particular, he plans to discuss topics concerning new religions in the United States, contemporary paganism (whatever that means), and the possibilities of polytheist anarchist feminist theologies.

Johnny can be reached at cartweel@gmail.com

Writing

“My Grandmother’s Hands: Defixiones and the Poetic Process” in Datura: An Anthology of Esoteric Poesis, edited by Ruby Sara. Published by Scarlet Imprint.

Liturgies and rituals with Ruby Sara available in hand-bound collector editions, published by Blue Orchard Press (cover designs by Stephen Pettinga). Contact rubyandrapture@gmail.com if interested in ordering copies of Blue Orchard Press books.

Workshops

The following are various workshops presented by Johnny Rapture at pagan events throughout Chicagoland. If you are interested in inviting Johnny to an event to present one of these workshop (or on another topic!) please email him at cartweel at gmail.com.

Greek Religion and History

The Power of Words: A look into the uses of language–specifically “words of power”, incantations, and magical inscriptions–in Europeean magical practices from Hellenism to the 20th century occult revival. Includes discussion of voces mysticae, curse tablets, “demon bowls”, and magical words like IAO and abracadabra. [Presented at Iowa City’s Lammasfest 2009]

In The Way That Was Customary: Greek Domestic and Personal Religion: An introduction to the history and theory underlying Greek household and personal religion, this workshop introduces the tools and beliefs of the early (Bronze Age) Greeks and explains Greek approaches to magic, prayer, and religious life. [Presented at the St. Louis Pagan Picnic 2010 (under the title “Hestia, Hermes, Hecate!”) and Iowa City’s Lammasfest 2010]

The Origin of Greek Witchcraft: A historical account of the growth in Greece of the traditions that came to be called “witchcraft.” This workshop addresses literary sources relating to the religious (“magical”) practices of women in Ancient Greece and posits that present definitions of “magic” as opposed to “religion” need to be reformulated. [Presented Chicago Pagan Pride 2010]

General History

Kabbalah: A Historical Introduction: Are you interested in studying Kabbalah, but feel overwhelmed by the confusion of names, languages, and arcane images? This presentation explains the history of Kabbalah (Jewish Mysticism) while plainly introducing several basic principles of Kabbalistic theory, thus preparing participants to further their own investigations into Kabbalah and the Western Mystery (Hermetic Magic) tradition. With discussion. [Presented at the Milwaukee Pagan Unity Council Ostara Festival March 28, 2010]

Theory

The Tale of Two Theisms: Polytheism vs. Monotheism: A guided discussion regarding a recent trend toward defining “paganism” as synonymous with polytheism, as opposed to non-pagan traditions, which are seen as synonymous with monotheism. This discussion is meant to foster dialogue among many different types of pagans, who are both monotheist and polytheist! [Presented at Milwaukee Pagan Unity Council Pagan Pride Day 2010]

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