About two years ago I started listening to podcasts as I was getting a bit bored with the music on my playlist. My trips to college would take 15 – 30 minutes each way so listening to the same kind of music got tiresome. Trawling through Spotify I noticed a button to podcasts and was shocked by the vast amount and variety. I have been listening to podcasts ever since. I mainly listen to podcasts during my commute to work and back, it’s the best way to relax after a long day at work.
Most of the podcasts I listen to are based on books or story-telling while I try to vary what I listen to I always come back to the same couple of podcasts. Which I am about to introduce to you now…
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is my favourite podcast at the moment. The premise of the podcast is using the novels from the Harry Potter series as if they were sacred and holy texts and see if we can learn something from each chapter, characters or important events. Each chapter is seen through a specific theme to help better the discussion between the two hosts e.g. Book 1, Chapter 7 they view the chapter “The Sorting Hat” through the theme of vulnerability and they discuss that theme alongside the chapter.
You don’t have to be a religious person to enjoy this podcast, I love listening to the two co-hosts, Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile, discuss and analyse each chapter in depth and seeing how the content can relate to my life or something I have been through. For many listeners the advice that Vanessa and Casper give have helped them through very tough times.
So far they have just started reading the 5th book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and I love hearing them discuss more serious topics now that the series is getting more and more darker.
HPST has a specific structure that they follow each episode.
- The Story – The first part of the episode focuses on one of the two co-hosts telling a story of something they experienced in their life that follows the theme of that week’s episode. e.g. A time they felt vulnerable.
- The Discussion – This part of the episode they discuss important moments where they saw the theme occur in the chapter.
- The Sacred Practice – This part focuses on using religious practice and applying it to the text. e.g. Sacred Imagination, where one host reads part of the chapter and other must close their eyes and place themselves in the scene. After placing themselves within a scene they then discuss what they feel called to do. If they were in a scene where Neville is ridiculed by the trio they then call themselves to reach out to friends they may have been harsh or neglectful to etc.
- The Voicemail – Some listeners send over voicemails about their thoughts and feelings from previous episodes, they may ask the hosts a question or just say where they saw a theme pop up in the chapter or how their podcast has helped them during times of struggle.
- The Blessing – Finally at the end of the podcast they give a blessing to one of the characters in the book. Maybe it’s for their bravery or their intelligence or just for them being present in the chapter. Vanessa also decides to only bless women in the books, to raise up female characters in the series.
Notable episodes include:
- Book 1 Chapter 7: Vulnerability – The Sorting Hat
- Book 1 Chapter 10: Friendship – Halloween
- Book 1 Chapter 16: Destiny – Through the Trapdoor
- Book 2 Chapter 3: Curiosity – The Burrow
- Book 2 Chapter 6: Attraction – Gilderoy Lockhart
- Book 2 Chapter 16: Grace – The Chamber of Secrets
- Book 3 Chapter 5: Foresight – The Dementors
- Book 3 Chapter 7: Humor – The Boggart in the Wardrobe
- Book 3 Chapter 19: Mercy – The Servant of Lord Voldemort
- Book 4 Chapter 6: Acceptance – The Portkey
- Book 4 Chapter 23: Guilt – The Yule Ball
- Book 4 Chapter 26: Loyalty – The Second Task
- Book 4 Chapter 34: Grief – Priori Incantatem
Potterless is a podcast by Mike Shubert, he has never read the Harry Potter series and decides to read it for the first time as an adult. He discusses important parts of each chapter with massive Harry Potter fans and its fun to listen to him guess plot points, character alignment and the ending of the series based on what little knowledge he has.
He talks about his hatred for the game Quidditch and my favourite part of his podcast is him delving deep into the plot holes that litter through the novels. I am currently listening to him read the 4th book, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. His episodes focus on him grouping a couple of chapters together so I don’t have a particular favourite episode but I did enjoy him talk about the final five chapters of the Prisoner of Azkaban as his reactions were really funny.
Fantastic Geeks and Where To Find Them
The newest podcast on the list. Fantastic Geeks and Where To Find Them is a podcasts by YouTubers, Tessa Netting and Anna Brisbin, also known as Brizzy Voices. They focus a lot on Harry Potter but also talk about topics such as Marvel and Star Wars. They awnser your questions about their thoughts on specific topics, they debate controversial moments in Harry Potter and have a section where they sort characters not from the Harry Potter series in Hogwarts Houses. It’s a very positive podcast which is a lot of fun to listen to when you want to forget about the stressful things in life.
I have really enjoyed their first three episodes where they discuss, Harry Potter, the first Fantastic Beasts movie and Black Panther. They have just celebrated their first season, which is 40 episodes long so there are a lot of episodes to binge-listen too.
Myths and Legends
Moving away from Harry Potter. I have been listening to this podcast for the past two years. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin, Jason Weiser tells the story of a variety of myths and legends from around the world. He talks about Greek myths, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Vikings, African and Native American Myths. A whole variety!
I personally love when he is telling the story as he adds in little side comments and his opinions on certain matters and it gives you abit of an insight into who Jason is as most of the time he is just the story-teller you listen to on the way to work. The variety is also very good so you consume more culture and learn new things.
Some of my favourite episodes include:
- Episode 4: Mulan
- Episode 20: Prayers (Korean Folklore)
- Episode 21: The Snow Queen
- Episode 26: Wisdom (Japanese Fairytales)
- Episode 42: Cinderella (Original Chinese Version)
- Episode 55: A Grimm Fairytale
- Episode 61: One Ring – King Solomon
- Episode 72: Kelpie
- Episode 77: Mrs Piggy (Romanian Folklore)
- Episode 81: Trolls
- Episode 84: The Rule of Three
- Episode 98: Runner in the Night (Native American History)
- Episode 107: Golem (Jewish Tale)
The first podcast I have ever listened to Aaron Mahnke’s Lore has cultivated in not just a podcasts but a TV show on Amazon and a trilogy of books called, “The World of Lore”.
The podcast focuses on supernatural and paranormal stories/tales from mainly the Victorian era and the first “settlers” of America and the American revolution but he also focuses on other eras but mainly from the 1930’s downwards.
Working with composer Chad Lawson, Mahnke manages to create a spooky and tense atmosphere. His narration draws you in as he paints a terrifying picture for you, of the horrible acts of mankind and after every episode, I question “Do ghosts really exist?” He posts every two weeks and I am fully up to date with his episodes and I can’t wait to listen to the next one.
I love every single episode of this podcasts but he titles each episode as stories and doesn’t detail much in the description about what he is going to talk about so trying to find my favourite episodes was hard.
- Episode 8: The Castle
- Episode 10: Steam and Gas
- Episode 34: All the Lovely Ladies
- Episode 42: In the Bag
- Episode 43: Supply and Demand
- Episode 60: If Walls Could Talk
- Episode 78: Exposure
- Episode 93: A Place To Lay Your Head
- Episode 102: Devil in the Detials
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