Psychedelics?

Perhaps it is just me but there seems to be more and more mention of the idea of using drugs to open consciousness in some of the media I follow these days. It seems that I can not go a day without someone on one site or the other going on about psychedelics of varying sorts and how depriving people of the right to use them is actually limiting the potential for human growth. Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, the venerable head of Servants of the Light and a fine occult author, once commented that she did not give a damn what Timothy Leary or Carlos Castaneda had to say, drugs had no place in magic. I am paraphrasing slightly but I would extend that sentiment to include the thought that such drug taking may, in fact, be outright dangerous.

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I wrote about the use of drugs for opening consciousness back in 2013 and, looking back at that post, all of my points are still quite valid. In this post, however, I want to look at the very real esoteric risks entailed in the use of psychedelics.

I have repeatedly, in these pages, cited the old occult adage that one should never summon what one can not banish. I have also, as a corollary of sorts, proposed that one should never open a door which one can not close. The use of hallucinogens violates both these rules and places the individual in the position of not only throwing open a Way into the Otherworld but of passively accepting what comes through that Way.

While my esoteric background is extensive and something I have referred to throughout these pages, I also freely admit that I am not writing from that knowledge alone. I was a wild child as a young man and I have, in fact, ingested some of these substances (sticking to the natural ones, since I was loathe to take things that came out of a lab, even then). I am not proud of this fact but I want the reader to understand that I have experience and I have had the opportunity to examine that experience with the eyes of a seasoned magician.

Essentially, what happens when one takes these drugs is the equivalent to the experience that I described when talking about the Ouija Board. There is a transitional time period where everything seems normal, then, as the chemical takes effect, a doorway is opened into the Otherworld. With the Ouija Board, much then depends on the users. Sometimes, the people using the boards do not have sufficient psychic “bandwidth” to put out any sort of call on the Planes. I have heard of people having ‘dud trips’ with substances but most of the time, between the user’s desire for an experience and the chemical amplifying this desire, the result is somewhat similar to opening a door and shining a beacon through it.

That beacon, of course, attracts the beings of the Otherworld. Make no mistake, folks, even the experiences of people who report seeing geometric forms are spirit experiences and many people using these substances report further experiences of interacting with beings of varying sorts. There is also a good deal made of the feeling of expansiveness and the almost mystical sense of inter-relatedness.

Okay, kids, here is where I get into the scary part. As I said, I have analyzed my experiences through occult eyes and I have discussed this with my own, carefully evoked and tested, spiritual allies. There is the remote possibility that the user of these substances may open their portal at just the right time and summon in something truly benign or even beneficial. I can not discount that eventuality but, according to my sources, the chances of this happening are somewhat akin to winning the lottery while being struck by lightning.

In most circumstances, the user has either opened a portal and disturbed beings that did not wish to be disturbed, summoned beings that are all too happy to provide an experience in exchange for an energetic snack or called in beings that will very expertly manipulate the user’s psyche to pull up thoughts, images and memories from the subconscious or some combination of the above. The results of these interactions can be very intense and may, indeed, by life changing since they alter the user’s perception of the world but such experiences come with a price.

First, let’s say that the user has disturbed that which did not wish to be disturbed. This one is pretty easy; this is the quintessential ‘bad trip’ – a nightmare of images and feelings that the user is locked into until the drug wears off enough to close the portal. I am sure that we have all heard stories of people dying or being injured as the result of accidents incurred while fleeing a bad trip. The danger here is self-evident and the risk of this happening ought to be enough to put most people off this idea.

The less evident danger is with the beings that provide experiences or manipulate the psyche or both. These critters are predators/parasites and you are a meal. Nothing more. They have the ability, since you have invited them in, to flood you with the brain chemicals, such as endorphins, that accompany ‘flow’ experiences and make you certain that you are experiencing a mystical opening. They also have the ability (remember the whole concept of glamour) to appear in any number of guises (remember they can read you like a book since you have no defenses) and to provide information or ‘guidance’ that would not normally be in the user’s consciousness. There may even be physical manifestations as the result of one of these trips. All of these “come ons” are designed for one thing – to get you to open to the being so that it can easily and freely access your energy system. The user has become a snack and the beings have left behind damage to the energetic field that takes days and sometimes longer to heal leaving the user of these substances open to other energetic parasites.

Even if I have my numbers skewed and this experience does not happen as often as I have been told, the fundamental questions remains: would you rather explore your consciousness on your terms or have those terms dictated for you by forces chemical and Other?


When Magicians Fail

Anyone who spends time on Facebook and has links into the occult community knows of the recent arrest, on drug and gun charges, of a certain proponent of the Left Hand Path, known as E A Koetting. What I want to focus on, in this article, is the reaction to the arrest throughout the occult community.

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Those who read my blog will know that I dislike the whole idea of “Paths”. I hate labels and I think the whole Left Hand v. Right Hand path dichotomy is horse hockey since the skilled mage understands and works with energies and non-corporeal beings who range across the spectrum of behaviors. I, and others who think like me, tend to see spirits and energies in the Voudoun manner – they are cold or hot. This helps dispel the whole gasping at evil silliness that one sees so often in modern paranormal TV.

But, I digress. Mr. Koeting is known for his marketing techniques. Specifically, he uses the image of the ‘evil’ black magician and an entirely over the top website name – Become a Living God – to draw people in and get them interested in what he has to say. In other words, he has found a hook that works for him and seems to provide him with some measure of success (at least in his definition). I have looked at some of his material on Facebook and, though he seems to couch everything in terms of summoning demons to work with you, I can say that his thoughts on, say, evocation are actually pretty well considered and obviously the result of some work. I am not saying that I am going to join his fan club but I am also not going to join the legion of haters who are constantly trying to tear this young man down.

When it was announced that Mr. Koetting had been arrested, I hoped that the occult community would respond in a mature and measured way. Honestly, other than some short news reports, there is very little information available on this incident. It was, however, my impression that, in the United States, there is a concept of law called innocent until proven guilty. One would never know this looking at responses from the magical community. I was quite frankly appalled.

Not only did magical blogs crow about the “downfall” of this “Living God” but the comments were nothing short of nausea producing. The majority response seemed to be something along the line of “see, we told you he was a fraud and his getting arrested proves it and proves that he is an evil person and that he belongs in jail and I hope the (expletive deleted) rots”.

Setting aside the legal fallacy that an arrest proves anything, I could not believe what I was reading. These people, all of them supposedly practitioners of the arts that I hold dear, seemed to be out for this man’s blood and I was reminded, uncomfortably, of the crucifixion scene in the Gospels, with the crowd shouting “crucify him!” I had to wonder why the feelings being expressed were so virulent? After all, these were people who were supposed to be magical practitioners, people who, one presumes, have had some contact with the Other and whose lives have been changed by that contact. I would even bet that, if asked, some of these self-same detractors would claim Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Other magical practitioners have spoken out about the excoriation that Koetting has received in occult circles and they have gone so far as to wish him well. I would like to go a step further though and make a note to all those who pounced on Koetting like hyenas after a fresh carcass. Any person who claims even a passing interest in the Arts knows, or should know, that thoughts and words have a power of their own, especially thoughts and words backed by emotional energy. In effect, all the people who have been running Koetting down and crowing over his “downfall” have been ill wishing the poor man. Plainly put, they have been cursing him. Given that most of these people did not even know Koetting, except through his work, I have to ask them a single question: why in the world are you cursing someone you do not even know?

In my view, this whole incident is an epic and shameful failure on the part of the magical community. Rather than taking this incident, looking at it and saying “there, but for the grace of the gods, go I”, many members of the community have engaged in self-righteous and, indeed, hypocritical castigation of a fellow practitioner. I do not agree with Koetting’s methods or approach and I think his marketing is over the top but I also think the poor man has enough trouble right now without a whole crowd of people ill wishing him for no other reason but that they disagree with him and feel that, somehow, this arrest has vindicated their position.

There are far worse things in the world than magicians who summon “demons” to effect change in their lives and the lives of others. Petty, malicious speech, for example.


The Next Big (Bird) Thing

It really irritates me when I know that I have written something in the past and, because of all the blog posts I have written, I am unable to find that post. Not even sure what word to search for . . .

Ah well, such is life, I suppose. In any event, I recall that, at some point during the life of this blog, I heard a podcast where someone mentioned that it seemed as though paranormal episodes and sightings were down, as though the Otherside were taking a little break. Whoever I was listening to conjectured that whatever is responsible for paranormal activity in the broadest sense (everything from UFO’s to ghosts and monsters) was getting bored with us and that, maybe, activity was just petering out. My comment at the time was something along the line of there being no folkloric support for the Otherside walking away from humans and that I suspected that those powers were simply cooking up something new to “mess with us”.

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Well, it seems that, rather than cooking up something new, the Otherworld has simply rotated its stock and suddenly, we are seeing an influx of sightings of what some call Thunderbirds and, better yet, living pterosaurs. Linda Godfrey, best known for her Dogman/Manwolf research, has commented on social media that she is getting more big bird sightings than anything else since the publication of her recent book, American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings in North America and I’ve noticed a distinct uptick in winged creature sightings on Lon Strickler’s Phantoms and Monsters. Mr. Strickler has also been tracking sightings of a something that distinctly resembles a glowing, flying manta ray. He is not even sure whether he should call it a UFO or a cryptic. It seems that monster hunters are going to have to join the UFO community in keeping an eye on the sky.

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Now, it is my usual custom on this blog to present a phenomenon and then try to offer a magical explanation for that phenomenon. There are some phenomena though that make this extremely difficult since said phenomena are manifesting in different ways and require multiple explanations. A good example of this is the cattle mutilation phenomenon. In my review of a recent book on those incidents, I stated flatly that no one magical explanation seemed to fit the facts in these cases and that the obvious imposition of human agencies into the events made interpretation fraught with peril. I see much the same thing with the recent wave of flying creatures and I return to my theory that certain agencies in the Otherworld are seeking to “mess with us”. By presenting us with multi-layered phenomena, these agencies are preventing human beings from coming up with any sort of universal field theory of the paranormal.

I will say this about some of the broad categories of winged creatures though:

1) Thunderbirds – I will define these as abnormally large birds (many times described as the size of a small airplane) that often seem to resemble raptors or very large crows or ravens. These creatures seem to be something that the Native people of this country recognize (much as they recognize Sasquatch) so, were I a field investigator, I would turn to the Native peoples for their thoughts on these giant birds. I will also note that everything that exists in our world or has existed still exists in the Other but the translation from one world to the next can result in interesting variations in size. Thus the stories of little people, just like ourselves only much tinier, and, perhaps, the sightings of giant birds in our world.

2) Pterosaurs – we have a fossil record of this creature but it is supposed to have been extinct for millions of years, in this world. Again, everything that exists in this world or has existed still exists in the Otherworld, including dinosaurs, saber toothed cats and even mammoths. Time has no meaning for the Otherside so, again, it is quite possible that specific window areas are intersecting with places in the Otherworld where these critters exist and, viola’, modern day pterosaur sightings. The TV show Primeval, with its anomalies, is, I suspect, not that far off the mark.

3) Winged humanoids – I rather suspect that these beings may be spirits who have manifested on this plane. Remember that it is quite possible for a being, if it can develop sufficient energy and skill, to manifest from the astral, through the etheric, where it takes on a form of sorts, and into our world. Given the general creepiness associated with most flying humanoid sightings, I would place these creatures in the strong and intelligent parasite realm and suspect that they are feeding off the emotional responses they engender.

I do not claim that any of these remarks are definitive. A thunderbird could be a manifesting spirit and a flying humanoid could be a failed evolutionary experiment from an alternate human time line. Any of these beings could be artificially created entities constructed by magicians on this plane or in the Otherworld.

I wonder, too, if some of the Powers That Be are not simply putting these things in our path to keep us from getting too complacent in our little scientific, materialist world view.


Discernment

I have spent a lot of time, in the past few posts, talking about the idea that not only do spirits lie at times but that they also can effect human perception such that the human believes that one thing is happening when, in fact, something completely different is going on. My discussion, up to this point, has been around the idea that spirit communication is something that should not be done willy nilly but that the would be spirit communicator should be well trained in basic magical practices, especially banishing and work designed to align the magician with his or her Hidden One, before attempting evocation – the calling forward of a specific and well-researched spirit for a specific purpose.

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With the best case scenario above, the magician has done the research on the spirit in question so that he or she can test that spirit and ensure that the being presenting itself is indeed the one the magic worker is looking for. No mage worth his or her salt will take any spirit at its word; their discernment process involves testing the spirit for responses in line with what is known about the spirit, their own native psychic impressions of the being they are dealing with and the input of the magician’s Hidden One (however you like to call that) and well-established spiritual allies. Evocation is not a process to be undertaken until the magician has at least managed to establish some contact with that Hidden One, has gained at least one good spiritual ally and has managed to settle their mind through meditation.

The above is the best case scenario. What we have with paranormal witnesses of all sorts, is the worst case scenario, an individual with little to no training encountering ‘something’ and having a perception of that ‘something’ which may be in real time or may be a wholly cast glamour. I am going to work with this idea from the assumption that the reader is the witness and walk you through the steps I might take to discern what it is I am actually seeing (or not seeing, as the case may be).

First of all, know that some things you will not be able to test. If you are walking in the woods, and you have a chance encounter with a Sasquatch, chances are good that the Big Fellow is not going to hang around long enough for you to do much more than point and exclaim and, even if it did, such encounters usually happen at a distance and are not typically interactive. The same thing can be said of most of the “monsters crossing the road” phenomenon that we see in paranormal reports. The witness sees what he or she sees and then it is gone. The creature might have been ‘real’ – in the sense that the witness saw an actual manifestation of something – or it could have been a glamour. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell.

Let’s say, though, that you find yourself in the midst of a full blown incident of some sort. Let’s use as an example one of the classics of paranormal literature, the black eyed kid. There are a number of theories about what these beings are ranging from children playing a hoax to alien hybrids and straight through to vampires. Their pattern is pretty similar, no matter what they are, the BEK (or BEK’s) approaches a person in a car and asks for a ride or knocks on the door of someone’s home and asks to come in.

You are home, alone, of an evening and a knock sounds on the door. You open the door and see a child, usually dressed in a hoodie, nondescript pants and shoes, standing on the doorstep. The child asks to come in to use the phone but something strikes you as “not right” and you hesitate.

Ding . . . spiritual discernment lesson number 1 – always listen to that inner voice. Whether it is the subconscious analyzing the situation and determining that there is danger or your Hidden One yelling at you to look out, if something seems ‘not right’ about a situation, I can assure you this is true. At some point in this scenario, you will realize that this creature has completely black eyes, including the irises. Take a psychological step back from the situation and use all your senses to determine what has cued up your defense systems.

I do mean all your senses, too. Look carefully at what is before you, listen to its voice and any other sounds it makes, scent the air around you and determine if it has a smell. Obviously, you are not going to taste it and I do not recommend touching such a being. Take a deep breath and try to center yourself. If you have a psychic bent, call upon whatever you hold sacred to allow you to see clearly what is before you and why you feel threatened. I recommend, too, invoking (calling into yourself) the Sacred since this provides protection as well as letting spirits know that they have been discovered. Facing off a BEK or other entity can be really scary, let that adrenaline wash through you but don’t let it rule you. Use the fear reaction to clear and sharpen your senses so that you can focus them. Used those focused senses to ‘look over’ whatever it is that is before you.

It is well known in faery and spirit lore that looking straight at a being does not yield the best results. Instead, regard the critter in your peripheral vision and chances are, with your focused senses and the protection of your invocation, you will get an idea of its true form. If this really is not a child playing a trick on you, it will become quite evident at this juncture. Everyone is different so I can not claim that you will get a crystal clear view of being but your perception will be clearer than it would have been if you had not taken steps to clear your sight and you should have a good notion of whether there is really something standing before you or if it is a projection coming from another source.


Perception

When the pools of perception are clear, everything appears ‘as is.” ~Zen Proverb

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We would all like to think that the waters of our perception are clear and that what we see and sense each day is actually what is there. We want to believe that what we sense is reality. The fact is, though, that our perceptions can be ruffled and, indeed, completely discombobulated by factors ranging from the introduction of chemicals into our bodies to the time of day when an observation takes place.

I’ve mentioned before the common practice of introducing a “crime” (like having someone run in and pretend to steal the instructor’s briefcase) into psychology or criminal justice classes and then having the students describe the “assailant”. In most cases, the descriptions of the “perpetrator” vary wildly. If presumably sober college students have trouble making a good observation under good lighting conditions in light stress conditions, imagine the difficulty a person making a paranormal observation might have in circumstances that are less than ideal and, indeed, may even be fear provoking.

Now, unlike the skepdebunkers, I do not use this idea to completely dismiss all eyewitness observations of paranormal phenomenon. On the contrary, I am quite willing to believe that most witnesses honestly saw something. While there will always be a certain percentage of hoaxers, attention seekers and mentally disturbed people in the field, I feel that most of the folks who have the fortitude to come forward are acting on their perception that they witnessed an extraordinary event.

The problem that we have, though, is that the event that the person witnessed might be something completely different from what actually occurred. In one of my previous blogs, I spoke extensively about the possibility that some of the alien abductions that create so much interest in the UFO community are actually the result of governmental experiments in mind control technologies. What we have to consider as well is the idea of what magicians call glamour.

Now, obviously, I am not talking about the fashion industry. In magic, a glamour is a magical working that alters people’s perception of the magician. As an example, let us say that a magic worker was going to be forced by circumstances to walk through a very questionable part of town. The magician might work an invisibility spell (no, the worker does not disappear from view but, instead, people tend to be looking elsewhere when he or she is in the area) or that individual might wrap themselves in a glamour that projects confidence and the ability to take care of ones self in a bad situation. I call this the “I am a badass” spell. Since street thugs tend to be ambush predators who look for weak prey, this type of glamour along with some native caution will generally dissuade all but the most desperate muggers.

So, a human being with sufficient training can change the perception of those around him or her. Now consider, for a moment, the legends of any of the local faery folk, many species of whom have a foothold in this world and the Other. One of the things that you quickly learn about these races is that they are quite able to change the perception of the humans around them. The gold they placed in a person’s hand becomes leaves and dirt once the human is out of faery influence or something else breaks the spell (sunrise, for example). The ugly hag turns into a beautiful maiden (or vice versa). The beautiful, fire-lit, comfortable cottage becomes a fog ridden damp clearing when the glamour dissipates. Openings into the Otherworld are hidden by magic and only become visible when the faery desire it or when one has been able to obtain certain oils or spells that make one immune to faery glamour.

The faery are just one of the races that inhabit the Otherworld and, like most denizens of the Other, there are some faery that favor humans, some who ignore us and others that simply despise us. I think that the folklore supports the idea that there are quite a number of beings living in the Other who not only can but do influence human perception and this idea opens out a whole new area of interest. What if what the witness reports is what he or she perceived but is not actually the case?

There are a whole slew of really wild cases that one could apply this thought to but I do not want to point fingers or seem to be speaking ill of any witness. It is not my place to tell people what they did or did not see. I think that this theory is one to consider, though, the next time you read a report and your credulity is stretched to the breaking point. Rather than thinking that the person or persons making the report are either liars, delusional or paranoid beyond belief, consider the compassionate alternative. These folks may have encountered something from the Otherside that has them believing all manner of incredible things because, in their perception, these things are real.

This native issue with our perception is just one more reason for developing some reliance on intuition and psychic ability. These ‘additional’ modes of perception are useful in seeing through the glamour of Otherworldly beings. Nothing is 100% but, in our dealings with the Otherside, the more tools we have, the better off we are.


Quareia Update

Taking a quick break from digging out of the move to note that Quareia, Apprentice Module 4 is now up and running. Some of you may remember that I posted a link to the Quareia fund raiser some time back and have been pretty vocal in my support of this project. I strongly encourage any of my readers who look at all the magical thinking on this blog and wonder what the heck I am talking about to stop by the Quareia site. Some of you may discover an opening into a world you never imagined while others will simply get a good idea what the training of a magician looks like from the perspective of someone who has been involved in the magical arts for many years.

Once again, I commend Josephine McCarthy and her supporting ‘crew’ for the fine work they are doing making magical training available to a new generation.


Safe and Sound

Just a quick note to my readers . . . I have safely made the transition to the Atlanta area. I have been living in Columbus, GA – home of the pine tree – for these past few months and was amazed to discover that Atlanta has far more deciduous trees! Fall is in full color here . . . this is a quick pic off the balcony of my new place.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am now up to my armpits in things to do related to the move so I will be taking this week off of official blogging. In addition to my mundane chores, I have a couple of magical items that need tending to.

See you next week – I am already lining out a couple of posts for the coming weeks.


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