Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy Holidays

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I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Happy Holiday and let you know that I am going to take a much needed break for the next couple of week. I am looking forward to coming into the New Year refreshed and continuing the third year of Monsters and Magic. If there is a topic that you would like to see explored in the blog in the coming year, please feel free to comment and I will do my best to make it happen.

No matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of the year, the forces of consumerism are busy trying to convince you that happiness can only be found by mass consumption. This cult of the consumer is the Great Lie of our age and, if you find yourself slipping into that Great Lie, I encourage you to do the practice of thanksgiving. Stop what you are doing, take some deep breaths, relax your body and begin to count off everything in your life that is a blessing.

You will discover quickly that thee things which you follow you most are not things at all. Take some time, amidst all the holiday hustle and bustle, to truly appreciate those blessings and, if they happen to have a person attached, to tell that person what a joy they are in your life.

Rather than mouthing platitudes about peace on earth and good will toward men, I urge you to take some time to meditate and truly spread that peace to those around you. Remember that even the smallest action can sometimes have profound effects.

Season’s Greetings, Dear Readers, I wish you peace and joy and all good things.

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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.