About: Tony Gilbert

Tony Gilbert
Tony Gilbert is a freelance writer.

The Magical Origins of the Kaleidoscope, Part 2

Follow the history of the kaleidoscope through the Renaissance and Enlightenment with a cast of historical figures such as Isaac Newton and Giambattista della Porta.

The Magical Origins of the Kaleidoscope, Part 1

The origin story of the kaleidoscope meanders around magic, an eccentric mage who was persecuted by the Inquisition, and secret societies of scholars. A famed inventor, David Brewster, and an alchemist and tinkerer, Giambattista della Porta, each played a role in this tale. And in the history of the kaleidoscope, a curious time is revealed, when science and magic seemingly overlapped.

The Power of One

This essay is a meditation stemming from visits to three shops in San Francisco, all of which provide items and services that can be utilized in spiritual systems, especially in alternative and non-mainstream beliefs. The three stores include a botánica (Tres Niñas Blancas in the Mission), an importer (The African Outlet in the Bayview), and… Read more »

Ernesto Sanchez: Eye of the Beholder

Exploring West Marin County, California, one might observe the imprint of a particular artist without ever knowing the name “Ernesto Sanchez.” The seaside village of Bolinas is home to his outdoor piece “Emergence of Spirit” (sometimes called “The Lady of Bolinas” shrine), a nonspecific goddess not representative of any particular belief system, yet still fondly… Read more »