Episode 51 – Frustrated Vampire Patriarchy

Photo by Shokoofeh Poorreza on Unsplash


It’s Sunday and we have some bright, fresh new content for you. It’s time to pour yourself your weekend beverage of choice, putter in the garden or pull out some knitting, gather the Pod Pets, and dive in to Chapters 3-4 of Book of Life. Be prepared to buckle up, though, because it’s time to talk about Worst Baldwin and Sweetest Gallowglass and the ever-unfolding tragedy of Philippe. We hope you enjoy it!

Download the episode here.

If you have questions, comments, concerns, ideas, thoughts, etc., you can find us all over the Internet! You can e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com, you can join our Facebook group, you can support us on Patreon, and you can follow us on Twitter as @chamomilenclove. Thanks for always being in our corner. We’re so lucky to have you.

See you soon,

Cait and Jen

Podcast, Schedule

Episode 50 – Pocket Dragon

Photo by Lucas Marconnet on Unsplash

Hello, Clovers!

It’s been a while, but we’re back to our chapter-by-chapter discussion of the All Souls Trilogy — and we’re (suddenly, miraculously, unbelievably) ready to discuss Chapters 1-2 of Book of Life! If you’d like to join in the fun, please check out our Reading and Release Schedule and grab your copy of Book of Life — we’ll be here for a while. In the meantime…

Download the episode here.

If you like what we do, consider following us on Twitter as @chamomilenclove, joining our Facebook group (The Chamomile & Clove Clovers), or supporting us on Patreon! We’re so excited to have you along for the ride!

Happy Sunday,

Cait and Jen


Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 24 March – 4 April – Chapters 28 and 29

It’s springtime in Prague, y’all — time for golems and hunts, puppies and weird gifts from your royal admirers. What, that’s only Diana? My bad.


“Tell us again about the unicorn’s horn. It is supposed to have miraculous curative powers.”

Writing for The Pharmaceutical Journal, William Jackson reports that the myth of the unicorn may have arisen from Alexander the Great, who adorned his war horse with golden horns for battle.


Other stories suggest that the myth of the unicorn arose from early reports of the rhinoceros, although, as Jackson reports, belief in the unicorn lasted well into the Renaissance. The belief in the medicinal properties of the unicorn horn likely began in the fifth century and persisted into Emperor Rudolf’s day — the unicorn horn allegedly neutralized poison, a tantalizing property for royals fearful of assassination attempts. 

The most common medicinal use of the “unicorn horn” was either as a cup that removed poisons and toxins or as a powder to be mixed with other ingredients (pearl! Ivory! Whale bone! Here, royals! Have a drink full of rocky things!) to purify the body.

Because “unicorn horn” was so precious, there were lots of counterfeit items–the blog Early Modern Medicine reports that, in order to test the authenticity of a suspect horn, one should pass a spider over it. If the spider survived, you’d been had. If the spider exploded, you had the real thing. Good to know.

It’s an automaton, Jack,” Matthew said, picking the thing up. When he did, the stag’s head sprang open, revealing the hollow chamber within. “This one is meant to run down the emperor’s dinner table. When it stops, the person closest must drink from the stag’s neck.

In the Real-Time Reading Companion, Deb notes that the automaton Rudolf sends Diana is based on this one, which you can see on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

While the automaton on display at the Met was made around 1620, it’s likely that Rudolf II would have had something similar in his collection — his Kunstkammer, or Cabinet of Wonders, contained many fantastical and ingenious items. In fact, the Kunst Historiches Museum in Vienna boasts an automaton of Diana astride a centaur once owned by Rudolf II.

Rudolf’s collection survived the Thirty Years’ War by virtue of the fact that part of it was moved to Vienna, where it’s still on display.

“There goes Sigismund,” Gallowglass said, bending close to my ear. The noise from the bells was deafening, and I could barely hear him. When I looked at him in confusion, he pointed up, to a golden grille on the adjacent steeple. “Sigismund. The big bell. That’s how you know you’re in Prague.”

The Sigismund Bell hangs at the top of St. Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague. The church took over 600 years to complete—the last section was only finished in the 20th century. The construction of the Gothic cathedral ceased as a consequence of the Hussite Wars and the project was not completed until the millennial anniversary of Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia, in the 1930s. The popular history tells us that when the bell Sigismund was finished, no one knew how to lift the massive bell into the tower. Naturally, the princess devised a solution—by making a pulley of her own hair to lift the bell into place. Ouch. You can hear Sigismund’s peals in the video below. You can learn more about the architecture of St. Vitus (and the work of one Matthew of Arras, French architect (hmmm)) here.

Kelley nodded. “He came when Dee was still in Prague, asking questions about the book and nosing about in my business. Rudolf let him enjoy one of the witches from the Old Town—a seventeen-year-old girl and very pretty, with rosy hair and blue eyes just like your wife. No one has seen her since. But there was a very fine fire that Walpurgis Night. Gerbert was given the honor of lighting it.” Kelley shifted his eyes to me.
“I wonder if we will have a fire again this year?”

Walpurgis Night is a Northern European festival celebrating St. Walpurga that takes place on 30 April-1 May. While the festival has its roots in pagan rituals welcoming the spring and summer, St. Walpurga is remembered for denouncing sorcery and witchcraft. Traditionally, people believed that Walpurgis Night was the last night of the year that a witch could cast powerful spells before the autumn. In sixteenth century Ireland, people slaughtered hares on 30 April believing that they were cow-stealing witches in disguise. In Germany, people believed that witches roamed abroad on Walpurgis Night to participate in a great gathering on top of the Blocksberg mountains. Though I tried, I couldn’t find anything on whether people actually engaged in witch-hunting — but they definitely lit bonfires to ward off sorcery and spells.

After days of careful negotiation, Matthew was able to arrange a visit to Rabbi Judah Loew. To make room for it, Gallowglass had to cancel my upcoming appointments at court, citing illness.

Rabbi Judah Loew, “The Maharal,” was the spiritual leader of the Jewish community in Prague in the late sixteenth century. The Maharal was a great intellectual—in addition to establishing his reputation as a formidable Talmudic scholar in his early life, he was a friend of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and had an expansive knowledge of mathematics and science. His knowledge endeared him to Emperor Rudolf II, who consulted him frequently (in the dead of night)

The name Maharal is a Hebrew acronym for Moreinu ha-Rav Loew, or “Our Teacher Rabbi Loew.” Legend has it that the Maharal used his knowledge of the Kabbala to animate the golem of Prague, a creature raised to protect the Jewish community from harm. According to this article from the New York Times, the symbolism of the golem re-emerges every so often—especially in times of trouble and uncertainty. To this day, people honor the legacy of Rabbi Loew by leaving stones on his grave in the Jewish cemetery of Old Town Prague.

We’ll pick up again with Matthew and Diana as they hunt with Emperor Rudolf on 8 April. In the meantime, be sure to catch A Discovery of Witches TV on BBC America and AMC TV when it premieres at 9pm on Sunday, 7 April! You can also vote in the last couple rounds of A Discovery of Witches TV March Madness between now and Sunday — check out our Twitter profile (@chamomilenclove) or our Facebook page to participate.

If you like what we do, consider leaving us a review on iTunes! We can’t wait to begin our book discussions of Book of Life with you on 14 April 2019!


Cait and Jen

adowtv, Podcast

ADOWTV Season 1 Wrap with the Pop Culture Theologians – Episode 49 – Witches’ Kiki

Hello, friends!

It’s been a minute; we’ve finished our episode-by-episode analysis of A Discovery of Witches TV and we’re in a brief book episode hiatus to get ready for our chapter discussions of Book of Life (!). I can’t believe we’ve come so far; we’re so incredibly inspired by this fandom and pleased to be a part of the continuing magic that is the All Souls Trilogy.

In today’s episode, we’re joined by some fabulous newcomers to the All Souls fandom — Marci and John of the Pop Culture Theologians! We hope that you’ll find them as smart and funny as we do and that you’ll follow them in their continuing adventures on their podcast. In this episode, we talk about some very serious things (Diana’s POV, the tragedy of Juliette) and some not-so-serious things (Grey’s Anatomy! Made for TV Disney movies! The Marci-Mentions-Harry-Potter Drinking Game!). We hope you enjoy the show!

Download the episode here.

So far, the Pop Culture Theologians have covered The Purge and A Discovery of Witches. Next season, they’re covering Game of Thrones. You can find them on Twitter as @PopTheologians and on any pod-fetching service you like.

Want to stay on top of our news and updates? Follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook. You can participate in our ongoing A Discovery of Witches TV March Madness polls in either place — it’s been a blast so far! If you’d like to support us further, please consider becoming a Patron. Between now and our next episode, check out our Reading and Release Schedule and our Episode List.


Cait and Jen

adowtv, Schedule, TV Show News

A Discovery of Witches TV March Madness – 19 March-8 April

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Darling Clovers:

I am going to give you a peek into how things sometimes happen at C&C headquarters.

Imagine that you’re Jen, minding your own business on the West Coast (C&C West). It’s getting late on the East Coast (C&C East), so you’re settling down for the night. Then, your phone makes its chirpy text message noise.




You pick up your phone, even though you know it’s not a good sign.


JEN: …


JEN: …

CAIT: What do you think?

JEN: …



As you may have guessed, my lovelies, this is one of those occasions. I’ve been scheming for ways to celebrate the premiere of ADOWTV on network television… and then I remembered that the sports ball tournament starts tomorrow. And that one can make A BRACKET. Well, IT IS DONE.

I present to you the inaugural ADOWTV March Madness. Here’s how it will work:

(1) Every day between now and Monday, 8 April 2019, I’ll post a poll on our Facebook page and our Twitter account.

(2) Vote for your favorite of the two scenes listed for that day. The scene with the least votes will be eliminated from the bracket.

(3) You can join in at any time and you don’t have to be a listener to play. Come join the fun and let’s see what shakes out!

(4) We’ll have the final vote and ranking on 8 April 2019, the day after the network TV premiere.

I know you want to see the bracket, so here it is in all of its glory:

You can download your own copy below, but I’ll post updated copies as we go. The first poll will be up in a matter of hours!

Some quick caveats: (1) I know some characters are underrepresented in this bracket, but anything over 24 scenes became LUDICROUS; (2) if your favorite scene isn’t represented, let me know! I’ll make a separate poll for the scenes I overlooked; (3) I’ll count both Twitter and Facebook votes; and (4) this is supposed to be FUN. Invite your friends! Talk to other fans! Enjoy it — I know I will.

In the meantime, join me in thanking Jen for loving me despite my bright ideas.

May your favorite scene win!