Esoteric America

This is a brief rundown of the main esoteric features of the USA.

See also Esoteric Boston and Esoteric Chicago.


The American Order and a Cryptic Tribe of mixed European, Amerind, and African blood, living in the Cape Hatteras area. (Pronounced "ro-AN-o-ac.")

The Dare Lodge

The front organization for Roanoac, headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in Washington, presenting itself as a non-standard Masonic lodge.

The Grandmother Spider Society

The North American Amerind Order, a coalition of the surviving Orders of the Amerind nations.

The Tech Barons

The American Cabal, secret robber-barons with weird technology, seeking world domination for a capitalist, libertarian, materialist ideology. They are behind a lot of UFO sightings.

They are the latest in a line of American Cabals. Their predecessor CEDAR was behind the Philadelphia Experiment; the one before that, the Golden Barons, helped Edison crush Tesla the better to monopolize Tesla's technology; they choked public transit to boost oil sales.

The Department of the Ulterior

The federal government's secret guard on the esoteric front.

The Knights of Palmito Hill

An esoteric successor to the Knights of the Golden Circle, they are die-hard Confederates of the American Civil War, white supremacists aiming to use weird bio-tech to re-create a slave-based caste society. Their ideal territory would include the old Confederacy, Mexico, and the islands of the Carribean.

They are named after the last battle of the American Civil War, fought in Texas after the surrender at Appomattox, and a southern victory.

They are headed by the Resolute Knight, whose badge of office is to sit in the Siege Resolute, a chair in their headquarters in Texas. The Seige was made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute, as was the Resolute Desk in the White House, but the wood was smuggled into the Reconstruction South by the founding members of the Knighthood. The Seige Resolute stands at the Alabama Table, made from flotsam from the CSS Alabama.

The Knights are a sort of backup Cabal for the American Tyranny, though they would require some adjustments before they could be a perfect fit; for one thing, they'd need to want the whole 48 contiguous states, at least, in their territory.


An esoteric group of Christian reconstructionists, headed by a "prophet" and a cadre of "spirit-gifted" disciples, who seek to turn the US into an Old-Testament-style theocracy, or their idea of it, with a narrow ... well, everything, really. Hyper-Calvinist Christianity the only allowed religion, stoning to death for a wide variety of sins, strict social hierarchy, and so on.

The name is the name of Jerusalem's acropolis, where the first settlements were made. Their powers come straight from Hell, though they take them as proof of their divine mission; they are ripe to be a backup Cabal, but force the Tyranny to decide between their blind faith and the blind un-faith of the Tech Barons or the Palmito Knights.

Ophel and the Palmito Knights do not get along. Ophel is tyrannical and dogmatic, but they aren't racist, and insist on not being racist. They also are Unionist and strongly disapprove of reproductive technology (the Knights' "weird bio-tech"). Also, the Knights very much enjoy carousing, of which Ophel also disapproves. It's a great pity, from Hell's point of view.


Lycanthropic Amerind witches, the North Amerind Cabal and a permanent headache for the Grandmother Spider Society.

The Western Throne

The California-based esoteric court of whoever possesses / is possessed by a minor, late-surviving ka of Dionysios. The first American holder of the ka was John Chapman ("Johnny Appleseed"). The most recent holders have been the gangster Bugsy Siegel, the gambler-occultist Georges Leon, and currently Leon's son, Scott Crane, who lives in California's Napa Valley as a winegrower. Before Crane's accession, the court was in Las Vegas.

Crane bears a minor ka of Dionyios. Crane's wife, Diana, bears a ka of Selene or some even older goddess, inherited from her mother. The benefits of this are that both are in perfect health and look far younger than their years – they are probably ageless – both have perceptions of prana activity that amount to excellent Hedge Wizardry, and the ka'u provide a great deal of background information on esoteric affairs.

It may also be that keeping these ka'u happy (by keeping them incarnated according to their own ancient standards of propriety) is the esoteric foundation of America's prosperity. Certainly some of the previous holders have believed that.

These divine ka'u would undoubtedly let the Cranes become hugely powerful magicians, if they wanted to, but they don't want to, unless the health of their children and the fertility of their vineyards have some basis in deliberate magic. However, plenty of other occultists would love to acquire one or another of the ka'u, to power their careers, so Scott and Diana have to be on the lookout for assassins. But the ka'u won't let themselves be taken except with ceremonial propriety: the assassins must come observing numerous restrictions about diet and behavior, ceremonial cleanness, and propitious times. These things have to be done properly, after all.

Marie's Horses

A New-Orleans-based network of effective voodoo covens, devoted to Marie Laveau, the "voodoo queen." All Horses have some degree of Hedge Wizardry and Luck-Casting, including the offensive form, Witchcraft. Many of them also make effective potions and charms.

The price of this is serivce to something they firmly believe to be the ghost of Marie Laveau. It might be. They regularly sing songs and sacrifice whiskey and other alcohol, their own blood, and animals (usually chickens), sending a regular flow of prana. They are visited often by incubi and succubi, which take prana in dreams. And they are often "ridden."

Being ridden takes two forms. In the lighter form, they receive mental directions to go do a specific errand. In the more serious form, "Marie" takes possession of them and runs the errand herself. Both run risks, but they have "Marie's blessing" (their luck-casting) to help them, and the frequently ridden find their magic improving. The frequently possessed spontaneously start to develop skills, e.g. street-fighting, marksmanship, lockpicking, French, or Spanish. Often, they work in groups of two or three, one possessed, the others merely guided.

The errands are usually to deliver a message (which may mean nothing to the Horse), or to take something from one place to another, which often involves theft. The stolen objects can be books and papers (often occult but certainly not always), valuables, things that are clearly charms or potions, drugs, or money. Sometimes, the cargo is a person, willing or not. Once in a while, the errand is murder. Sometimes, there is someone to receive the goods at the end of the errand; other times, the goods are abandonned somewhere, presumably to be picked up.

Clearly, "Marie" is using her Horses to do jobs for others as well as herself. The Horses say that, as a new loa, Marie must do favors for the other, senior loas.

Voodoo, Hoodoo, and Pow-Wow

Voodoo (black), hoodoo (anybody), and pow-wow (Germanic white) practitioners are found all over the country, especially in poor areas. Some actually work. A lot of American hedge-wizards belong to one or another of these traditions.

Spiritualists and Channelers

Spiritualism was actually invented in the US. Some practitioners sometimes actually contact ... something.

Ceremonial Magicians

These are found all over the world, of course. Some actually work. The biggest concentrations are in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, but see Esoteric Boston and Esoteric Chicago for examples.


Ghost-drinkers are found everywhere in the world, but there's a very big community of them in Los Angeles.


The oldest in America are found in Rhode Island.


Civil War ghosts and ghost battles are a notable phenomenon.

North American Non-Humans

Animal Tribes

These folk are the animal equivalents of nephilim (angel hybrids) or lilites (djinn hybrids). Notable among them are Coyote, Raven, Wolverine, and Buffalo.


These are the last remnant on Earth of the Thoronin, the Great Eagles of Middle Earth.


A windigo is a human-eating monster that looks like an emaciated human, with bones sticking through the skin here and there. It is stronger than a human and dreadfully tough. Windigoes are a North American race of orcs.


Ghouls are slouching, gray-skinned, dog-faced or baboon-faced humanoids, living underground for preference and eating carrion, including human carrion, for preferenced. They are an orcish race introduced from the Old World. Despite their distressing diet, they are not necessarily evil; they are generally willing to wait for things to die, after all, rather than hastening the process.


These are a North American race of dwarves, short, strong, and bearded. They usually live in burrows by river-banks.


These are a North American race of hobbit-elf hybrids, forest-dwelling, three or four feet high, elusive, and unaging.


These are a North American race of elves, living in colonies hidden underground, in mountains, or by their glamour.

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Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2010