Episode 25: The Life & Death of Manly Palmer Hall with Tamra Lucid

Tamra Lucid is a force of nature: a veritable renaissance woman of the 21st Century. She has been a prolific artist for decades, sharing her light with the world through music, underground art, filmmaking and writing. It is obvious that Tamra was born to be a bright light in the dark. But she got her start on this path by having a great mentor in her youth: the legendary esoteric scholar, Manly P. Hall.

What must it have been like to be mentored by Manly P. Hall? Lucky for us, Tamra has finally published her memoirs called: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: My Seven Years in Occult Los Angeles with Manly Palmer Hall.

Tamra’s story is extraordinary. In the haze of her nihilistic youth back in the early 1980’s, she serendipitously met the elderly Manly P. Hall. And with an age difference of over 60 years, he became like a surrogate grandfather offering her the love, guidance and sanctuary she needed.

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary exquisitely captures the last moments in history before the internet swallowed reality. Sitting at this precipice between eras stands the great historical figure of Manly P. Hall, still studying and lecturing at his library as he had for many decades. 

Back in the 1920’s and 30’s, Manly P. Hall rose to become the rockstar celebrity of the esoteric world. His legend has lived on, meaning there’s been nearly a century of praise and accolades for his accomplishments as a scholar. Conversely, there are many rumors and conspiracies that abound. Sadly, such extreme praise and suspicion tends to overshadow the human.

I’ve been deeply enamored with the legend of Manly P. Hall for many years. Until I read Tamra’s book, he always seemed far away, like the light of a distant star. However, Tamra’s tender account of their deep friendship brought his spirit to life for me. The “Mr. Hall” described in this book is so personable, so funny and so tragic that you’ll truly fall in love with him. 

Even if you’ve never heard of Manly P. Hall, I still recommend that you read this book because it will be a magnificent introduction to appreciating his historical significance. And it is a really pleasurable read: sensual prose guided by a romantic spirit to stir your soul with a montage of vivid memories. 

You fall in love with all the characters as you span time together. And by the end, you’ll feel like you were there to witness all the bliss and the horror of the 1980’s L.A. occult scene.

Suffice it to say, the whole story is tragi-comic, just like real life. 

In this episode, I speak with Tamra about her life, her art, and the experience of writing this book during the pandemic. And we deepen the exploration of Manly P. Hall’s amazing life and tragic death by looking at his natal chart together. By examining his placements, including his three planets in Pisces, we find more context for the traits he expressed publicly and those that he kept hidden.

Not only that, but we dive into the transits that occurred during the last days of his life, speculating about whether the suspicious circumstances of his death were in fact murder.

You can order Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: My Seven Years in Occult Los Angeles with Manly Palmer Hall from Inner Traditions.