A Speculative Writers Search for Ideas and Characters : The Occult World of Philippa Schuyler


The Occult World of Philippa Schuyler

by James Goodridge


The circumstance was the visit of my son and his girl friend visiting for the holidays Christmas 2016 a brutal year in the world of music that made me do what I did . "Hey pop can I play with this ?"( I've change

her name to Ruth for this story) asks , smiling at my OUIJA board sitting all by its lonesome self on a shelf

among cds,dvds, vhs tapes(don't judge me I keep them because among the tapes I have left to view is a classic home recorded Plan 9 From Outer Space I taped off of the old WOR channel 9 ) and books. I myself have never used the board having brought the glow in the dark, hours of fun item at a thrift shop for a dollar , but after hearing way too many stories on late night radio advising against it use , being that it could be a portal for unnamed evil unknowns, in other words you think your talkin to Grand ma , but in fact its the Demon Box of Ebril your chatting with . I give in to her innocent pleading , but I warn her sounding like Peter Cushing in an old Hammer film what she may be in for trying to contact her Aunt, but Ruth being a millenial doesn't pay me no mind . A lone red candle helps us see the OUIJA board in the livingroom darkness, my son Monte I can see does what to do this but hes a trooper. We get a message from her Aunt more like a warning that who or whatever is NOT her Aunt , the planchette moves back and forth. Then I can't help it " Philippa are you here?" yell out.

Afican American classical pianst , right wing journalist,feminist in her later years along with parleying with Stokley Carmichael and devout Catholic, Philippa Schuyler was a woman of paradoxical life flows. A child prodigy with an IQ said to be 185 , the biracial daughter of George Schuyler a figure in the Harlem renaissance movement and Josephine Codgell Schuyler a member of a prominent rich Texas family, Philippa would be compared to Mozart early in her career( for a haunting rendition of Ravel's "Alborada del gracioso " it can be found on Youtube) as a composer. I first came across Ms. Schuyler"s life story while doing research on lesser known black historical figures to be included in a series of occult detective stories. I was fascinated by the contradictions in her life. A role model to the black community yet , at one point she tried to pass herself off as white using the name Monterro in the classical music world which had its biases. " Compositions in Black and White" by Kathryn Talalay(Oxford Press 1995) is a well written biograghy of Schuyler's life and the racial dynamic and conflict during the piansts life, I credit her book with helping my research. But it seems whether intended or not Schuylers occult leanings where left out. By chance while online looking for a book on dream divination , I came across a title : Kingdom of Dreams by Josephine and Philippa Duke Schuyler , (1966 Award books) and then reprinted in 1968 a year after her death and around the time of her mothers suicide.I ordered it. While this book is not mentioned in Talalay's book (another mystery is the middle maiden name Duke) she does let on that Schuyler's interested started in 1952 while on tour in Curacao, after being targeted in a kidnapping attempt she met a mysterious Herr van Kleed who introduced her to the reading of TAROT cards and a crystal ball reading , which among other visions predicted a plane crash . Kingdom of Dreams seems to me having read her style of writting in snipets was written by Philippa in the majority. A book that speaks to us in symbolic terms about dreams (as a child she would sleep for ten plus hours dreaming) and their meanings and self help, it stretches into a defense of alchemy and its heroes the immortal St. Germain, Paracelsus and Robert Fludd. Schuyler also felt a connection between Kasl Jungs theories and the alchemists work within the natural world was the key to life along with dream divination and numerology.

The unseen realm of demons vampires,leprechuans,gnomes,pidwidgeons,mermans/maids ,trolls

sucucbi, incubi etc.. included. And while she admits it is a fake Schuyler has a defensive interest in the Wheel of Pythagoras representing : God, microcosm/man and macrocosm/world. Schuyler believed that science was not infallible and that there was a "theory of analogy or the magic association of ideas" led by the signs of the zodiac. Phillippa Schuyler drowned off the coast of Vietnam in the Da nang sector when a U.S. army

helicopter she was riding in with Catholic orphans she was taking to a safer haven crashed into the

ocean in 1967. After a funeral in St. Patrick Cathedral she was cremated. My temples feel as if someone is pressing books or some thing hard on both sides, the planchtte moves under Ruth, my son Monte and I hands across the board giving Phillippa's or I hope Philippa's answer :

N V 3 . N V 3 ?

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Comment by James G Goodridge on November 28, 2017 at 9:52am

An original blog from Horroraddicts.net earlier this year

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