Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

The success of Tamra Lucid’s Making the Ordinary Extraordinary has been a joy to behold. In  retrospect, having seen the first draft I could tell immediately that this story had to be told and Tamra was the person who had to tell it.  The subtitle refers to “Occult LA in the 1980s,” which describes a period of my life when I briefly crossed paths with Manly P. Hall as we were both presenters at the Secret Doctrine Centenary in Pasadena.  He opened the Saturday afternoon session, October 29, 1988 at two pm and I followed at three with one intervening speaker. Many Theosophists were fans of his Secret Teachings of All Ages, and his wife Marie’s obsession with Bruton Parish Church made her notorious in Tidewater Virginia.  Because Hall was an occultist contemporary of Edgar Cayce and Elbert Benjamine, his name was also familiar in the Association for Research and Enlightenment and The Church of Light.

“I could not put it down” is a compliment I can rarely pay to books I read for historical information and insight.  Fiction can have that effect, but so can memoirs when the author’s voice is compelling.  Tamra covers the emotional rollercoaster of the Philosophical Research Society’s turmoil, from comedy at the beginning to tragedy at the end.  Only an eyewitness account can convey such a situation from the inside. The talent that most impresses me is to write a first person memoir that carries a story from start to middle to finish never losing sight of the narrative arc.

The Magic of the Orphic Hymns is a new translation by Tamra Lucid and Ronnie Pontiac that is now listed as “in stock” by Inner Traditions International. pre-ordered it and await my copy next week:

The Magic of the Orphic Hymns (

Here is an informative review of Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: