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Hey Brother and Sister Zep-heads - I'd like to take the opportunity to let you know about my new book, Here's To My Sweet Satan: How the Occult Haunted Music, Movies, and Pop Culture 1966-1980, just released in print and e-book from Quill Driver Books. Here's To My Sweet Satan is an entertaining and informative social history of the occult boom of the 1960s and 70s, covering everything and everyone from The Exorcist and The Omen to the Bermuda Triangle, Anton LaVey, Charles Manson and Count Chocula. And yes, it contains plenty of analysis of the (real or imagined) occult influences on t
The band famously insisted that there be no writing on the cover at all, no band name or album title. This invites us to read the lyrics as symbols, or rather as interpretations of various symbols. My theory is that “Stairway to Heaven” is a Tarot reading, a draw of the 13 cards that comprise one version of the Celtic Cross. Plant and Page may have laid the cards on the table as they were working out the words…who knows? As in actual Tarot readings, the story of the cards doesn’t cohere exactly, and lends itself to multiple interpretations. “Stairway” as Tarot card reading would go like this: