Hello friends and listeners,
This is the very first “official” newsletter and quite a lengthy one, but please read it till the end anyway.
I have given a lot of thought lately to the question how I could, on one hand, make Thoth-Hermes podcast even more interesting, and at the same time simplify and speed up the production process, in order to allow for more regular and more frequent episodes.
It is not finding the ideas or doing the interviews that is the most time-consuming, but rather editing and mixing together different types of topics.
Also, a few days ago I posted a survey to find out about your, the audience’s preferences, what you really care about and where you would like to see Thoth-Hermes go. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to reply. The results show me clearly that your main interest lies of course with the interviews, but especially also reviews find your approval – and music, of course!
I have therefore made a few decisions on how I am going to modify the way episodes are going to appear in the future. In this newsletter I would like to share that news with you and also give you some preview on things to come during the next months.
Regular Thoth-Hermes episodes are going to be “interview-only”
This is the core of the podcast and also the part why most of you come here and are listening. And I really want to interview more interesting guests and put those interviews out in a regular schedule – the backlist is long, and you have added quite a few interesting suggestions in the survey!
Therefore, from now on, starting with the next episode (see below), the episodes will contain just the intro, the extensive (one hour or sometimes a little more) and in-depth interview you are used too and how you like them. In most episodes, but maybe not each time, I will also add some music, because you really seem to like that. Some of the interviews I will do just myself, others together with my new co-host, Lena. And who knows, maybe now and then I will invite a “guest host” to be at my side.
Here are the next interview episodes – already recorded and waiting to be launched:
Season 3 – Episode 1 – SUSAN B. MARTINEZ
Talking to Lena and me about her new book “Field Guide for the Spiritual World”, but also a lot about Spiritualism in general and her thoughts and philosophy.
Season 3 – Episode 2 – JAIME PAUL LAMB
This is after quite some time a “masonic episode” again, but of course also here for all non-masons! Brother Jaime and I talk about occult perspectives of Freemasonry and his book “Myth, Magick and Masonry”.
Season 3 – Episode 3 – LON MILO DUQUETTE
Who needs to get introduced to the longest living member of the O.T.O.? It was superb to talk to Lon about his life, his music and his ideas, A great moment!
A new episode format, Thoth-Hermes Ex Libris, will be launched
Many of you seem to like the reviews and news sections. In order to give you more of that, while still simplifying the production process on my end, this new additional “Ex Libris” format is being created.
Therefore, starting in the very near future, in addition to the “regular” episodes, I will produce those book and review episodes, which will each last 50 mins. Each time I am going to present and review four books, CDs, websites or also conferences etc.
Three items will be presented in ten-minute talks (more in-depth and thorough than what I was able to do in the main episodes), the fourth will take 20 minutes and usually contain an interview with the author of a book – a bit like the interviews in the regular shows, but much more concise and concentrated.
I will not be the only contributor here, you don’t only want my opinion, do you? So, some friends will join me, some only once, others in a regular manner.
I am sure you are going to like this!
YouTube versions without video
I have tested the launch of YouTube videos with a still image on the last four episodes of Season 2. This has been quite well received so I have decided to keep producing them. If your favorite listening channel is YouTube, you can subscribe there and be sure you will not miss any episode.
A note about advertising
So far Thoth-Hermes has stayed completely free of advertising. This might have to change a bit. But I promise that there will be only very few and also selected advertisers, who are real supporters of the show and whose products are also of real interest to many of you. Thank you for your understanding, but you know, one has to cover overheads, especially with all this new content…
Other developments for the future – near or a bit further away!
(in the order of what today I estimate to be their order of realization)
I have been working on this for quite some time now, and slowly things are getting there. This is maybe a minor feature for most of you who are accessing the podcast via one of their usual podcast providers and not through the website, but it is a kind of “business card” for the podcast, so one after the other pages will be replaced by new designs and looks. And I hope this will make you curious and let you have a look one day.
This suggestion of mine has had a great echo in the survey. And there was also the request for “basic topics” that many of you support. I am therefore planning to start regular episodes where instead of the interview I will discuss a particular topic, let’s just as examples say, “The Golden Dawn” or “How can a young person approach occultism today?” in a discussion with three or four specialists of the matter. I am really looking forward to that.
YouTube versions with video
Yes, you will also be able to see me and our guests (if you wish, of course; the audio version will also always be available)! Timing for this does not depend on me alone. The developer of the recording software I use is announcing a version with video support for later in the fall. Once they are ready, I will be! My guess is November…
The day will come, probably late in the year, that I will introduce parts of the content for members only. No worries, many if not most of the content will stay freely accessible, this is what the Internet and in general also occultism should be about. But I already talked about production costs above, and the new features will also have a price tag for me on them.
I cannot tell you more about membership yet, still thinking, but when the time comes, I will let you know. And I hope that you will find it interesting enough to follow me also there.
How can you help?
So, this is an ambitious development plan, but I need that to always improve and stay alert and aware. But of course there is always something you, the audience, can do to help and support:
Be a regular
Many of you – I can see that from the download and streaming statistics – are devoted followers and I am very grateful for that. And it would be good if there will be always more of them.
Those of you who read this letter until here, are probably regulars already anyway. But there is one other important point:
Spread the word
Let you friends and colleagues know about Thoth-Hermes. Share my postings, like them and why not sending a link to an episode that one of your friends might like to her or him. This way you help the Thoth-Hermes community to grow and me to improve.
Some of you do, but I would really like much more of it. I WANT AND NEED MORE FEEDBACK. This is what helps me finding out about your taste and though, and it is also important if you let me know if one day you are disappointed. I don’t hope that happens too often, though, but I need to know – criticism and of course, all good things you like!
This is really something you could help me with. If you know somebody who could be willing to, or if you are yourself, to help with editing the recordings, writing short bits for the website etc. PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org. This will really help to get more stuff out quicker.
Oh yes, once again the money thing – sorry. You know, there is that Patreon button on my website, and to be honest, so far one (!) person has used it. I have never really talked about this and will not start to be pushy about it, but just be aware that this is really helpful, even 1 $ per episode or 3$ per month, or whatever you can afford. Thanks a lot for thinking about it.
What will be left out?
Change of intro/outro music
With this further development, there is also one or two things that I will abandon. One has become necessary because of the YouTube launch: I need to abandon the beautiful intro and outro music by Wendy Rule. Wendy has of course given me consent to use her music when I started Thoth-Hermes more than two years ago, but how should I tell YouTube (if one of you can help me answer that question, I’d appreciate, because this issue will come back at other times when I play music in the show)?
So I would like to say thank you once again to the lovely Wendy Rule for having helped me with that.
There is of course also always something to be gained when you have to leave your habits. And I would like to thank Chris Roberts, one of the faithful listeners and friends of Thoth-Hermes, occultist, musician and composer, who has written a completely new intro and outro music for us! You will hear it for the first time very soon, for the first episode of Season 3!
Unfortunately, I need to abandon the Art page on the website. Honestly, it was a lot of work and it was never really accepted by the audience. The number of accesses to those pages were always very low and the relation between the effort and the result would not work out. Thanks to all contributors and to those of you who visited the page, but I need to be pragmatic on this one.
Wow, that became a really long newsletter – I hope you are still with me… But I wanted to tell you all and hope that you will be looking forward to one or the other things I announced here.
Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or criticism!
Thanks for reading, take care, stay tuned, hear you soon!
Rudolf aka Gnothi