Well, I am sure that I am going to draw the disdain of many a magician with this post, but honestly, I do not care.
I would like to air my thoughts about meditation…
First, I would like to say that it is a worthwhile practice and done with diligence, it can produce astounding results for the magician and non-magician alike, which is to say, everyone. Secondly, I would like to admit something.
I hate meditating.
I find it to be a chore more often than not and even when I enjoy it, I still do not usually do more than two weeks of meditation 5-10 minutes a day at a time.
Now, pretty much every magician I have talked to (not all, but most) will say that meditation is THE most important aspect of magic…
I am going to call bullshit on this…
NOW, before you start throwing rotten vegetables in my general direction, please let me finish!
The expansion of consciousness is most certainly a necessary accomplishment of the aspiring magician and I would not declare yourself as a magi in public until you have achieved significant consciousness expansion.
That being said. I will say this.
For those that have the guts for it, self initiation through several heroic doses of entheogenic and/or psychedelic compounds done in a ritual process of your own creation (over a reasonable period of time) can and (for some) will provide the same return on investment as say, 4 hours of meditation every day for a year(s).
I am quite certain many magicians know this, but stray away form talking about it for push-back from not only the muggle community, but the magical as well.
Again, I do not care…
Peter J. Carol is one of but of a few people who have linked virtually all systems and traditions of magic back to shamanism, a practice which relies heavily on the ritual use of entheogens.
While Thad McKraken has talked boldly and at length about the strange disconnect between modern magicians and the discussing of such matters openly in public forums, this is something that seems to be largely (and strangely) ignored by the magic and pagan communities as a whole.
The evidence supports the idea that magic and entheogens are closely linked together, so much so, that I would say, it is unlikely there would be non-entheogenic based systems of magic today, if it were not first for those witch doctors of old, reaching into the spirit realm via these compounds in the first place.
Now I am not saying that magic requires the use of psychedelics (not today anyway). But I am suggesting, that chances are, if people had never eaten these plant teachers thousands of years ago for the first time ever, magic would be a very different thing today, if it would even exist at all.
While we can of course practice magic today without using something as tame as herbal tea, there is no doubt that entheogen’s relationship with humans certainly produced a fairly large amount of knowledge regarding the spirit realm of which we would not have otherwise.
From flying ointments to Grateful Dead concerts, there is a long and cherished tradition of psychedelically infused states of altered consciousness that have resulted in changes in magic paradigms from antiquity to today.
I myself, have not had any illegal psychedelic substances for many years, BUT there was a period of time in my youth, where I most certainly did…
While I have never done the Abramelin operation and while I truly respect those who have, I can honestly say, that experiences with certain compounds mentioned above can accomplish the same ends in a time frame of say, 24-48 hours (in some examples).
This is not only because of the well documented instances of time dilatation associated with these experiences which can make the seeker feel years of time pass during a day or two of journeying, but also because, for those who dive into the deep end looking for the spirit realm, chances are, they will find it.
Often times, much to the horror of the seeker.
Personally, I do not trust an entheogen user who has never had a bad trip…
In my opinion, chances are, this person has never truly traversed the deep end of the pool as psychedelic exploration goes.
As such, the understanding of the true danger and respect which one should have when dealing with something like say, the goetia, is often times found missing from those who have not experienced the da(e)monic via psychedelic means.
The altered state of consciousness rests at the central point of all magical operations and while an hour of meditation or even a strong cup of espresso may do the job for some, I have to say, I simply think (based on my own experiences) those who have bought the ticket and taken the ride, simply understand certain things about the nature of reality that those who have not, do not.
Again, this is not to say that you can not achieve the same results without using these substances. But it does mean the process will take you much, much longer.
To cheat the Buddha is to buy the ticket and take the ride.
This action does not mean you will be able to become a great magician or bypass meditation. Indeed, it may lead you to talking to yourself in the corner of mental hospital.
This is one reason why I must echo the words of Hunter S. Thompson (and I paraphrase): I would NEVER suggest that any one do something as foolish as ingest a psychedelic or entheogenic compound… But I would also NEVER take back any of the experiences I have had where I chose to do just that.
One of the reasons I was able to eventually approach working with goetic spirits, is do to the fact that I have received a fair beating from one in the past (Asmodeus) and during the same experience, was able to garner the help of an archangel (Raphael) through prayer (which was more along the lines of speaking in tongues than asking YHVH for help).
The experience I mentioned and linked above, was hands down, the worst, most unbearably bad experience of my life, second only to the murder of my grandfather.
This is the kind of test you receive when you are truly being initiated into spiritual authority. Initiation is not supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be scary, terrifying even. IF you make it through, you are absolutely supposed to come out on the other end, a changed person. A stronger person. A wiser person.
Yes, months of working through the Abramelin operation will put you though the necessary turmoil to test your strengths or lake thereof. Then again, if you only have a three day weekend but think you have what it takes, psilocybin or perhaps a legal alternative such as morning glory seeds can and will produce a profound, life-changing and for some, a terrifyingly intense alternative.
To drive home this point home, I wish to invoke the one and only Gordon White of Rune Soup:
I am going to be honest, there are many things that do not make sense to me about modern magical authors because quite frankly, their ideas and technique do not add up to what I have experienced in the spirit realm and FYI, unless your schizophrenic, you are not spending most of your time in the spirit realm. It is place most of us visit for a very small portion of our lives (if at all) and for those who do visit, that small portion of time is (more than) enough to produce a lifetime of feedback.
Psychedelics allow (some) of us an on/off button to visit this realm however, never hitting the “off” button, will likely result in a world of mental illness. Just because you buy the ticket and take the ride does not mean you should do it every three days for the next ten years… And if you get a good run your first go, I can sympathize why you might consider that not such a bad idea.
The first time I realized witchcraft and magic was real was during this trip…
At the time, I was still a devout Protestant Christian. Sitting there in the woods at a picnic table, I watched the fractal patterns ebb and flow, I listened to the words of the wind blow and I came to realize, I had stepped into the realm of the witch. I instantly understood the beauty and terror of this “place” and the implications of both it’s dark and light areas…
It would be 16 years worth of reading books on world religion and the occult before I (literally) pissed out the last burning embers of my bible in the backyard fire pit and subsequently, lighting the first candle dedicated in offering to a god other than YHVH.
Initiation works, but even the most intense take time, particularly if you are raised in a system of madness such as protestant (primarily baptist) Christianity.
The plant teachers however, are cunning and honest, albeit at times, scary as fuck…
These experiences are not for everyone, but for those who feel they have the necessary skills and/or abilities to cope with the mind bending and at times soul crushing realities of becoming invincible in this way, I can promise, you have a very interesting future ahead.
In closing I will quote Alan Watts: “once you get the message, hang up the phone”. I say this because otherwise, you just might get stuck in “stranger things”.