Below you will find an interview with deep thinker, gentleman and magician Bill Nemo Trumpler. I first connected with Bill via Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery Course. After friending him on Facebook, I found that I very much enjoyed all of his posts and perspectives. He is at once kind, considerate and well spoken. His intelligence and commentary on day to day life, world events and magic is what lead me to asking him for an interview.
You can connect with Bill on twitter.
Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?
A: Thus far it has been discovering that I am a complete bozo most of the time. This has saved me a tremendous amount of time and embarrassment, as being aware that you are a bozo ahead of time gives you pause before doing something really, really stupid.
Q: Who are your personal hero’s, those who most inspired you on your own journey?
A: Robert Anton Wilson tops that list, without a doubt. I owe him a great debt. One, for introducing me to Maybe Logic and general semantics, which has helped me avoid the “true believer” insanity, plus helped me notice what a bozo I am. Two, he introduced me to the idea of forgiveness as a spiritual practice, and really, that has made life a hell of a lot easier to process. It can be tricky navigating occult experiences and many is the person who went in with the best of intentions only to fall into a level of certitude that, frankly, I think is impossible to achieve. Universe is non-simultaneously apprehended and you will always be updating your maps of the world as you apprehend new things.
Other inspirations to whom I am grateful include Idries Shah, Korzybski, Joseph Campbell, Carl Sagan, Bucky Fuller, Alobar Greywalker, Crowley, Jack Parsons, Jacques Valle, Maggie Ingalls, and a host of sci-fi writers who got me thinking outside the box when it comes to my maps of reality.
Q: What is your favorite work of fiction?
A: That’s hard to pin down. When I think of books that derailed me and got me to reconsider my worldviews, well, that was not a single work. The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, Through the Gates of the Silver key, Doctor Strange…those spring immediately to mind. There are others. I’d include Hellblazer and The Invisibles but I was already a pretty weird adult by the time I found those. I’ve always been a fan of sword & sorcery, sci-fi, occult comics, etc.
Artistically, my favorite book is without a doubt James Joyce’s Ulysses. The last part of Molly’s soliloquy makes me feel like I am stoned on some good hash and in the midst of tantric bliss. It gives me chills whenever I read it. There you have a book that builds to a final “YES! I will. Yes” – and that yes is a yes to life. All of it. Not just the parts you like. You’ve got to be able to say yes to it all, or you are going to miss out on the grand adventure.
Q: What importance, if any, do you place on full visual manifestation of a spirit during evocation?
A: It’s not that important – unless you are one of those skeptical types who really needs to get knocked on your ass by something you can’t write off as just your imagination. There’s nothing like a full on encounter with a “praeter human intelligence,” as Kenneth Grant liked to call them, to dismantle your doubts about “otherness.”
Q: What was your first “oh fuck, this shit is real” moment in your personal magical practice?
A: Two things. First was a conjuration of a spirit that went spectacularly south and resulted in some of the most “no way I can ignore this” poltergeist phenomena I have experienced since. I’m talking stuff flying off shelves, apparitions, doors rattling and opening on their own…the works. Second, a remote viewing experiment that was so startlingly accurate that I was tempted to nominate the viewer for the James Randi challenge. I still get goosebumps just thinking about how good she was at it.
Q: What is one piece of magical tech you could not live without?
A: Meditation. A weak mind, cloudy mind, no matter what the cool kids say, is not as good at magic as a strong, clear one. You really need to know the difference between your own inner babble and the voice of “other,” or you are highly likely to delude yourself. You can get by without it, but you’ll be better off with it.
Q: At what age did you start practicing magic and why?
A: Technically, I tried magic for the first time when I was around eleven. My grandfather bought me a book of folklore about werewolves because he knew I was into monster movies and horror comics. He correctly deduced that I would find it interesting. In the last chapter, it described a ritual to conjure the Devil and ask for the power to change into a wolf. Well, I tried it, and of course it didn’t work, much to my disappointment, but once you have called the Devil up once, is there really any turning back? I certainly lost my fear of trying, lol!
Q: What is your advice to the young aspiring magician just getting started today?
A: * Don’t be afraid of getting your fingers burnt, as Jake Stratton-Kent likes to say. Jump in and do the work with a hearty “YES!” to the adventure.
* Pay attention to what’s come before you, but don’t worship it. Learn the protocols of a system and work them for some time before going off the reservation (you need to understand the mechanics of a system before you can judge it properly).
* Don’t ignore modern research in parapsychology, neuroscience, etc., and for Crom’s sake, get yourself on a program for programming and metaprogramming the human bio-computer. I highly recommend Raja Yoga, Tantra, General Semantics, and related endeavors.
* Finally, beware of making gods out the occult rock stars out there. They are fallible. Never believe entirely in their BS. For that matter, never believe entirely in your own BS. Experiment. Find your own way into the Forest. It will get scary sometimes, but no one can make the journey for you.
Q: What are your current magical endeavors?
A: Right now I am experimenting with the tech of Tibetan Tantra applied in a western context. It’s not tantra, to be clear, but it does borrow from it in many ways. Thus far, it has been a highly fruitful endeavor and I’ve been getting some smashing results from it!
Q: How do you respond to Christian evangelists knocking on your door at dinner time?
A: I’m always polite about it. I explain that it’s not a good time, and I tell them as nicely as I can that I am not interested in what they are selling. If they are particularly polite in return, I may invite them in for dinner and have a lively theological debate with them. In my youth, I was a bit nastier about it, but these days, I have no time to waste on needless hostility, and I am more inclined to ignore trifles.
Q: What effect and focus do you think magic should have upon politics and world events?
A: Evolution of consciousness, maximum liberty for all, and heading out to the stars. I know there are a lot of luddites in magic. I am not one of them. I don’t mean to criticize them as they are entitled to their beliefs, but I think it’s foolish to keep all of our eggs in one basket. Generally, I think magic aimed at these three goals is a great idea. This is why I am sympathetic to futique magical systems like the Maatians. There’s a reason there is a rocket scientist/sorcerer in my hero list, after all.