Archive for the ‘Occult Sciences’ Category


Evolver Retreats present:

September 6, 2009

The Supernatural

Exploring Other Dimensions
For this four-day journey, Reality Sandwich invites you to join some of today’s top theorists and practitioners in the emergent field of inter-dimensional exploration.

Our second RS Retreat features Graham Hancock, world-renowned author of Supernatural and Fingerprints of the Gods, Daniel Pinchbeck, bestselling author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Evolver co-founder, and Lisa Renee a “quantum therapist” and psychic channel.

Join us October 7-11, as we explore transformational terrain such as dimensional shifts, veiled realms accessed through altered states of consciousness, the unraveling of ancient myths and sacred sites, and intergalactic communication.

The Retreat Will Include:

  • Talks
  • Workshops
  • Petroglyph and pictograph explorations
  • Slot canyon adventures
  • Energetic Self-Mastery
  • “Galactivations”
  • Interactive sacred geometry
  • Yoga
  • Music
  • Meditation
  • And more…
Come connect and collaborate with the Reality Sandwich crew in an intimate four-day gathering on ancient Anasazi land. Experience the community and engage in the conversation as we explore the mysteries and potentialities of other dimensions. Retreat starts Wednesday evening and runs until noon on Sunday.

Click here for a complete schedule

Tickets are limited so grab them early. All tickets include lodging and healthy meals.

With Special Guests:
Graham Hancock

Graham Hancock is the author of the international bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heavens Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures and TV appearances, including the three-hour series Quest For The Lost Civilisation, have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions.

Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. He is the editorial director of Reality Sandwich and

Lisa Renee

Lisa Renee is an intuitive, spiritual mentor, writer, quantum therapist and etheric surgeon. Several years ago, she experienced a “Starseed Awakening” enabling her to perceive multidimensional realities and communication with the evolutionary forces of light. Since then, she has become a spiritual guide and multidimensional energetic healer for the “planet’s ascension cycle.”


The Art of Magic

July 28, 2009

A Transformative Event, Part 2

July 23, 2009

Part II, The Aftermath

One the earliest and most unnerving changes I experienced was a massive increase in empathy for other people.  It was extremely uncomfortable, because it seemed as if I had lost the interpersonal barriers between me and other people.  All the tension, frustration, joy, and exhaustion of other people were now mine too, and I couldn’t shield it out.  Group dynamics affected me directly, and people grew more and more uncomfortable for me to be around.  I had to stop listening to news radio, because I could no longer separate myself from the anxiety of the times.

Every Sunday, I go to Open Studio at the local Art Center.  There, I draw models and work on my art skills.  I almost had to quit, and came very close to doing so, because I suddenly started drawing in the style of whatever artist I sat next to, and this without actually looking at the artist’s work.  When people with mental illness sat near me, as happened all too often, my work would become abstract, troubled, and “off.”  I usually had to excuse myself and leave early.

This empathy-run-amok also made me aware of energy present in different environments, and different flows of energy in the land, buildings, and the like.  Sometimes places would make me light-headed, sometimes I would avoid locations for this reason alone.  Too much energy in the air, such as an entity might generate, or an oncoming thunderstorm, would make me feel as if I thrown my brain in the rinse cycle.

I’m part Scottish, and part Irish, with a pinch of German thrown in, so the Second Sight is nothing new to me, really.  Still, I had to get a handle on what was happening to me, so I took up meditation with real determination.  I discovered that I was actually pretty good at it, and that I could reinforce my personal shields and regulate my own energy to a degree.  Nowadays I don’t practice meditation as often as I should, but at the time it really helped me wall myself off from unwanted psychic bleed-over and intrusion.

The strange psychic effects of my transformative experience didn’t end at empathy.  On two separate occasions I experienced unwanted out-of-body experiences.  The first time, for example, my wife and I were in a Super Target in Noblesville, Indiana, and I tried to look over a shelf of goods and see beyond.  In a moment of disorientation, my vantage point rose several feet above my head, and I could easily see what lied beyond that shelf and well beyond.  This scared me, to be honest.

I’ve never been someone who can see auras, and I didn’t get that ability, per se’, but something similar did happen.  I started to see people in an alternate, sort of symbolic way.  One friend appeared to me as a cloud of unruly bees, wildly buzzing all over, the cloud of bees supporting his clothes as he threatened to disperse.  Another person I know with deep-seated psychological problems I saw as sort of a layer-cake human, but with all the layers un-aligned, and some big parts missing.  Another person I perceived as an ‘alien’ or non-human of some sort, someone who walks among us disguised as a person.  I’m not claiming that this person is not physically human, yet I’ve also come to trust my perceptions in most of these matters.

In the early days of this transformation, I experienced several instances of random telepathy while at restaurants or in crowds.  These often came through as voices, sounding like the people they originated from, but heard only by me.  I never bothered anyone to confirm what I heard, and I was happy when this effect faded away.  Maybe my strengthened psychic shields filtered these out.

During this time, my freelance art career took a sharp swing upwards, and I made more money and did more projects in that time than I have ever done during a comparable period.  I also developed a spontaneous interest in the paranormal.  I had always been interested in magic, but I had not believed in UFOs, and I had little patience for what I considered New Age thought.  Yet, within a few weeks’ time, I was listening to the Paracast, the Paranormal Café, and about six other paranormal based blogcasts.  My reading came to consist solely of paranormal subjects, and I attacked my knowledge deficit with passion, moving up the steep side of the paranormal knowledge bell curve rapidly.

Now, almost a year after this transformational event, my life has returned to more or less normal.  I’m fine with that.



A Transformative Event, Part I

July 21, 2009

Part I, Strange Bedfellows

On August 9th through 12th of 2006, I attended Wizard World Chicago, a large comic and pop culture convention held every year at the Donald E Stephen’s Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on the edge of the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  It was Friday evening, following the second day of the show, and first full day of the show, and I was in my 6th floor room at the Embassy Suites across the street.  I slept deeply, because these shows can wear your out.

I’m a large, middle-aged man with severe sleep apnea, so I sleep alone and wear a breathing apparatus attached by a hose to a Respironics CPAP machine.  This was nothing new, and I had been assisted by this machine for two-and-a-half years at this point.  Even with the room’s air conditioner turned to max, it was still uncomfortably warm for me, and I slept with only a sheet over me.

At approximately 2:00 a.m., after having been asleep for at least four hours, I awoke to witness three beings standing by the edge of my bed.  My first impression was that these people (?) were literally downloading information into me.

For whatever reason, I was neither alarmed nor puzzled.  I don’t know if I suffered from sleep paralysis or not, because I made no attempt to move, but likewise didn’t feel constrained in any way.  I can’t say if it was because I didn’t want to upset the process, or what, but I was calm and at peace with what was happening.

The beings were somewhat indistinct.  They were, I believe, physical, or perhaps very realized on an astral level.  They were all three identical, in form-fitting white garments that lacked seams or folds.  Either they were nearly human sized, or they floated high enough off the floor to appear human height.  I could not see their hands from my vantage, which were at their sides.  The oddest thing about them was that their heads far outsized their bodies, or, more likely, the radiance/aura they emitted did, and the light of their heads hid their actual features away.  It was as if they had large light bulbs for heads.

For an indeterminate amount of time, I observed these three.  I knew there was an exchange or downloading of information going on, but what it was I didn’t know.  Unconcerned, I drifted back to sleep.  It sounds outlandish to go to sleep when confronted with something so blatantly paranormal, but part of the experience was a feeling of safety and calmness.

The next morning, I awoke with a crystal clear memory of what had transpired, and the memory became set as something of a signpost in my mind.  I didn’t tell anyone about it for weeks, and I didn’t want to.  To be honest with myself, I almost felt lucky to have been treated to this.

If you came to the conclusion that perhaps I had had a particularly vivid lucid dream, I wouldn’t blame you.  Nor could I categorically deny it.  I’ve had many lucid dreams over the years, as have most people, but this felt completely different.  Perhaps you might say that what I encountered was founded not in our four-dimensional consensual reality, but in some subjective reality of my own.  Again, maybe.  There were no physical trace effects in the room or on my body that I could see, and absolutely no evidence that anyone or any entity had made an outside entry through the rooms sealed windows.  Consequently, despite these people’s feeling of mass and physical presence, I can only think that they were astral, or materialized there, or some such.

Am I particularly reliable witness?  As far as I’m concerned, yes: I’m educated, traveled, and reasonably well respected.  But, as a cartoonist and writer, I make a meager living off my imagination, so I doubt that makes me unimpeachable.

At first I felt that this was some sort of astral initiation rite, that perhaps the so-called Secret Chiefs of 19th century occultism had singled me out for some sort of elevation.  (That idea was courtesy of Bob Freeman, who I consulted early on in the process.)  Later, I became concerned that these people were aliens, and perhaps I had been abducted.  I’m glad to say that I don’t believe the latter is the case.  There was nothing ‘alien’ or unduly ominous about these three, and I don’t believe I was taken from my room or marked, tagged, etc., in any way.

In any case, despite the singular nature of this encounter for me, I suppose it could have been written off as some sort of bizarre dream state if nothing else happened.  Things did happen, though, and this event led into a particular odd period of my life laced with high strangeness.  I’ll cover that in another post to this thread.  I’ll also post a drawing I made of this event.

In the six months that followed what I now refer to as a Transformative Event, a great deal of change and synchronicity entered my life.  While I wouldn’t call most of this High Strangeness, it was still all quite strange for me.

As soon as I got home from Chicago, I began to fill a journal book with ideas.  Information was cascading in at me from every direction, and I made a point of trying to get my thoughts down.  I had always been interested in cosmology, but now I was being assaulted by rather complete and coherent ideas about consciousness, reality, space and time, psychic ability, and magic.  As I filled page after page of my notebook, I kept suddenly coming across interesting idea synchronicities, where I discovered that lead thinkers in their fields were coming up concepts similar to what I had written down.

I’ll cover these ideas in the next installment.  I also will make it clear that I am not trying to put myself on a level with the great thinkers of our time when they arrived at similar conclusions.  I won’t even claim that that I haven’t come across some of these ideas in singular forms in my past readings, conveniently storing them away in my subconscious.  I will say, however, that all these ideas had reached a critical mass, assumed a coherent and workable form, and piled into my mental queue waiting to be written out.  Where these ideas part of the “download” I had experienced in that hotel room?  I believe so.


The Windows of Perception

July 17, 2009

The Windows Of Perception

One of the key skills in the world of the paranormal is learning to see things for what they are, not what they appear to be.  I used to think that this was an inborn ability, and one more common to the Celtic peoples of the world (those descended from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann, Brittany, etc.)  I’m not so sure about that anymore.  I’ve encountered people from many different ethnic backgrounds who have had the windows of their perception opened.

First, a little more about myself, and my relevance to this subject.  I’ve always been able to see the invisible, glimpses of the world behind the world.  I would not say my skill in this is anything more than moderate, but I have no real way to gauge that.  In recent years, I’ve taken to drawing people I know, but not as they physically appear, but as they resolve into symbols and extreme imagery.  I’m a comic artist, and that means I can draw anything, so taking these perceptions and putting them down of paper is not a challenge for me.  Soon, when I get the gumption to scan these arcane portraits, I’ll show them off here.

These visions of the other world usually come unbidden and are fleeting.  Sometimes, when you are in the right frame of reference, you can take longer, harder looks behind the veil.  It has long been my contention that we can easily access the paranormal, that it’s all around us all the time, and that even many of the things that seem mundane are magic forces in action for those who can recognize them for what they are.

I believe it’s worthwhile to say a few words about achieving the right frame of mind.  I’ve practiced meditation since I was a teenager, and I’ve discovered in my 40’s that I can often reach a profound state of   “no mind.”  That is the one of the primary points of meditation, to clear the clutter and competing voices of the mind and find inner silence.  Then, when everything is quiet, and there are no distractions, you can produce powerful feats of will, projecting your thoughts out across the aether and the universe.  (I’ll cover this in much greater detail in the future.)

I am not trying to sound New Agey when I make these claims.  Unfortunately, many of the primary sources have already influenced the New Age movement, and thus it shares much of the same language.  It is also useful for you to remember that achieving a state of no mind, or Zen, is essentially the same as prayer, or religious ceremonies, or magic, or whirling dervishes spinning themselves into alternate states of consciousness, etc. etc.  Henceforth, I shall refer to all such states as Alternate States of Consciousness, or ASC’s.

In my teens and twenties, I had a powerfully effective technique for self-hypnosis.  As the years wore on, traditional self-hypnosis became less and less effective for me.  Now, it works not at all.  I don’t know why this is the case, but it is.  I also have no access to hallucinogens, legal or illegal, so that’s off the table too.  This doesn’t mean that I have no access to ASC’s, though.  Indeed, there is always meditation, but perhaps my most powerful access point is music.

Songs are powerful gateway drugs, really.  When I abandon my mind to the music, I am suddenly energized, ideas start flying at me from all directions, and I receive powerful inspirations.  Not every song or artist will do this for me, you understand.  It’s got to be music I really love, and music that I’m very familiar with.  I’ve even gone so far as to have music change my perception of my surrounding, making everything seem hyper real and paper thin at the same time, making my every thought and observation seem rich and resonant.  It is an exhilarating state, and I’ve done most of my best artwork in this frame of mind.

There may be other such trigger mechanisms, one’s I’ve never considered.  I’m sure it’s different for every person.  The actual nature of the ASC is the same across the board, and it’s one of our most powerful tools in contacting the “other.”  So, while I have no intention of putting on hot clothes and spinning in the sun until I see visions and am granted wisdom, I’ll certainly be happy to put my favorite CDs on and rock out to the cosmos.



A story that begs to be retold

July 13, 2009

Being a History of the “Simon” Necronomicon

The Doom that Came to Chelsea

by Alan Cabal

My ex-wife died back in March, after a long and heroic bout with cancer. She walked out on me in 1997, but we remained on good enough terms that I hosted her first and only visit to Vegas in October of 2001. Las Vegas was a refuge from the maudlin hysteria of the time. She was dazzled by it. I got to spend a week with her last year, just before I drove to California. I didn’t think I’d be coming back, and we both knew that this would probably be our last time together.

She had just enough strength to walk down the driveway to the mailbox, so we spent the week just hanging out, smoking pot and watching television, going over old times. The pot counteracted the nausea from the chemo and kept her appetite up. I brought her a stuffed toy camel from the Hard Rock Cafe in Bahrain and a keffiya from Beirut, and offered pep talks about spontaneous remissions and her old Lotto habit.

“The odds on Lotto are pretty bad,” I said, “but you played it twice a week. Your chances of beating this are much better.”

I managed to hold back the tears until I got back to my apartment in Manhattan. I had a tricky moment in the airport bar, but then again, I always do in those places.

I first laid eyes on Bonnie at a bar called the Bells of Hell on 13th St. just west of 6th Ave. where the Cafe Loup now resides. The Bells of Hell was a hardcore Irish joint with a bar in the front and a good-sized performance space in the back. The location and name made the place a natural watering hole for the customer base of Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe, up in Chelsea at 35 W. 19th St. The Magickal Childe was ground zero for the occult explosion in New York City in the 1970s.

Herman Slater and his lover Ed Buczynski had a little occult emporium on Henry St. in Brooklyn, just off Atlantic Ave., back in the early 1970s. They mainly sold herbs, candles and oils, but they also carried a modest selection of books. The Warlock Shop was just a hole in the wall, but despite its humble appearance, it was a true cash cow. In 1976, the duo pulled up stakes and moved the operation to Chelsea.

At the Magickal Childe, there was enough space to dramatically increase the merchandise offered, and since Herman had the cash and the connections, the new store became, in effect, the one-stop-shop for any and all conjuring needs. In addition to herbs, oils, candles, books, robes, swords and other accoutrements of the Art, one could find human skulls, dried bats, mummified cat’s paws and a wide variety of unusual jewelry, a large portion of which was created by Bonnie, my ex-wife-to-be. A room in the back of the store served as a temple and classroom for the various strains of wicca that began to gravitate to the place.

That temple also served as the launching pad for the explosive growth of Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) in the city in the late 70s and early 80s.

Herman had vigorously encouraged and supported the creation of the Schlangekraft Necronomicon, edited by “Simon.” No doubt he’d grown weary of explaining to customers that H.P. Lovecraft’s fabled forbidden tome was a fiction, a plot device for great horror stories and nothing more. He was savvy enough to sell leftover chicken bones as human finger bones to wannabe necromancers, so he surely knew that the market for a “genuine” Necronomicon could be huge–with the right packaging. In 1977, the book made its debut in the window of Herman’s little shop of horrors in Chelsea. It generated a scene of its own, a scene bursting with mad, unfocused creativity and slapstick mayhem.

Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea had just published their Illuminatus trilogy, and interest in secret societies and occult lore was sweeping through counterculture circuits. Grady McMurtry was attempting to jumpstart the long-dormant OTO in California and had just succeeded in having Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot deck published. Punks and proto-goth/industrial types searched out obscure Satanic treatises and rare tracts from the seemingly defunct Process Church of the Final Judgement. Unrepentant hippies and uber-feminists found common ground in the gentle, woodsy eco-cult of the wicca, available in enough variant “traditions” to suit any palate with an appetite for sweets.

None of the wiccan “traditions” were any older than the electric light bulb, and the OTO had its origins in a very dubious Masonic lineage of no greater antiquity than aniline dyes, but that didn’t stop any of us from having a good time. The Necronomicon was not merely the icing on the cake: It was the hideous formless mass that squatted gibbering and piping where the bride and groom should be.

This was the 1970s, and the whole scene was awash in drugs and crazy sex. Herman had an appetite for rough trade and kept a steady stream of dope-crazed street hustlers flowing down from the Haymarket Saloon up on 8th Ave. above Port Authority. He’d keep them around until they ripped him off, then give them the boot and move on to the next one. He liked them big and stupid, a total contrast with Eddie’s graceful and intelligent demeanor.

The differing wicca groups were squabbling over the supposed validity of lineage, and there were no fewer than four established OTO groups internationally, each claiming exclusive dominion over the brand and trademarks. As a lifelong student of what Crowley termed “magick” (the “k” inserted to distinguish the practice from prestidigitation), I have never been a big fan of what I call the “booga-booga” school of magick. I tend to see the practice more as a form of radical self-help and advanced covert sales technique than any kind of actual traffic with disembodied critters and goblins. That said, between the copious amounts of hallucinogens ingested and the spells and counterspells hurled around, there were times when the vibes around the store congealed and quivered like a great Waldorf Salad.

Into this bubbling swamp of spiritual fecundity stepped Peter Levenda, aka “Simon.” Charming, soft-spoken and aloof, well-versed in all aspects of occult theory and practice, he eased his way to the center of the scene. The Necronomicon was a team effort. Herman provided the sponsorship, while the design and layout were the work of Jim Wasserman of the OTO, a raving cokehead from Jersey named Larry Barnes whose daddy had the production facilities and a fellow who called himself Khem Set Rising (who also designed the sigils). The text itself was Levenda’s creation, a synthesis of Sumerian and later Babylonian myths and texts peppered with names of entities from H.P. Lovecraft’s notorious and enormously popular Cthulhu stories. Levenda seems to have drawn heavily on the works of Samuel Noah Kramer for the Sumerian, and almost certainly spent a great deal of time at the University of Pennsylvania library researching the thing. Structurally, the text was modeled on the wiccan Book of Shadows and the Goetia, a grimoire of doubtful authenticity itself dating from the late Middle Ages.

“Simon” was also Levenda’s creation. He cultivated an elusive, secretive persona, giving him a fantastic and blatantly implausible line of bullshit to cover the book’s origins. He had no telephone. He always wore business suits, in stark contrast to the flamboyant Renaissance fair, proto-goth costuming that dominated the scene. He never got high in public.

In short, he knew the signifiers and emblems of authority, and played them to the hilt. He hinted broadly of dealings with intelligence agencies and secret societies operating at global levels of social influence. He began teaching classes in the back room, and showed a genuine knack for clarifying and elucidating such baroque encrypted arcana as John Dee’s Enochian magick system in such a way as to make it understandable even to a novice. He also lacked the guts to let a woman know when he was through with her, or so Bonnie said. She was positioned to know at the time, despite her failing marriage to Chris Claremont, the comic book author who put the X-Men on the map. Chris was her third husband. I was her fourth, and last.

As Simon, Levenda threw parties with various forms of live entertainment and staged rituals presented by the various groups that swarmed around the shop. He had no political enemies on the scene, owing to his adamantine and resolute refusal to affiliate with any one group. There has always been a very heavy crossover factor between the Renaissance fair/Society for Creative Anachronisms crowd, the science-fiction fan circuit and the occult/wicca scenes. Simon had friends throughout all of these arenas, and they all showed up to support this effort at unity.

The house band for these affairs was Turner and Kirwan of Wexford, whose sound was primarily influenced by Irish traditional folk music, Pink Floyd and the esoteric “Canterbury School” of so-called “progressive” rock inspired by the band the Soft Machine, which school included Mike Oldfield; Hatfield and the North; McDonald; Giles, Giles and Fripp. Connor Freff Cochran (known then simply as “Freff”) was nearly always in attendance, juggling and entertaining, ornamental and always a hit with the women.

Copernicus–second only perhaps to G.G. Allin on the obnoxious meter–had his performance debut at one of these events, and occasionally even Norman Mailer would pop in, with his assistant Judith McNally in tow. Judith and Simon were rumored to be an item, and it was also rumored that she had done the bulk of the work on Mailer’s big hit, The Executioner’s Song. She’s listed in the acknowledgements of the Necronomicon.

Certain theories have it that even a bogus (or, to be kind, synthetic) grimoire will work if it is internally consistent, but that means following the rules to the letter. Simon’s Necronomicon contains a manual of self-initiation in the form of a series of “gates” that are to be “walked.” Following the instructions given in the book, walking these gates should take just shy of a year. One certain Martin Mensch–an adepti who had received the book in manuscript form for examination, as had Bonnie due to her status as a Gardnerian wiccan high priestess of some repute–decided to accelerate the process, and ran the gates in a matter of weeks. Shortly after completing the final gate, he stepped out of a cab at 10th St. and 1st Ave. and got capped in the head in one of those random acts of mindless violence that were coming into vogue at that time.

Simon decided to start a group of his own, one that would span the different traditions and merge the gentle current of the wicca with the rigorous scholarship of the Golden Dawn/OTO trend under the umbrella of the Necronomicon. Heavily inspired by the Illuminatus books and Timothy Leary’s exopsychology theory of the eight-circuit brain, he launched Stargroup-1 at these parties.

As the 80s dawned and the Reagan era began, the Berkeley-based Caliphate OTO swelled to become the dominant force among the Crowley crowd, and the internal politics of that group morphed into a drug-soaked, sex-crazed caricature of I, Claudius. The wicca continued their ongoing disputes regarding the validity or lack thereof of the various “traditions,” and Stargroup-1 issued the New York Tarot, a genuinely cute endeavor to replace the traditional tarot card images with photographs of New York City and certain members of the group. People were having mad sex of every conceivable variety in every imaginable combination. Turner and Kirwan of Wexford streamlined their sound and turned into a new-wave effort called the Major Thinkers.

Simon was finding Larry Barnes increasingly difficult to tolerate, an understandable position given the man’s outrageous level of cocaine consumption. Simon refused to attend a book signing, so Wasserman recruited me to impersonate him and forge his signature on a run of hardcover reprints. Barnes kept laying out rails of blow until I simply had to refuse any more; I thought I was going to have a stroke. His skin had that bluish tinge one usually associates with corpses; he couldn’t shut up and made no sense at all. He was completely obsessed with numerology, a classic symptom of incipient paranoia. Shortly thereafter, Larry snitched out his suppliers and entered the Federal Witness Protection Program, never to be seen again. In 1980, Avon released the paperback version of the Necronomicon, which remains in print and has been selling very steadily ever since.

For me, the scene peaked at a reception thrown by a prominent tax attorney from DC at the Plaza Hotel honoring Grady McMurtry, filmmaker Kenneth Anger and Simon. There was a screening of Anger’s film, Lucifer Rising, a splendid buffet, rivers of free booze and a full range of sense-deranging substances. It was the last time that particular crowd got together on friendly terms.

Not all of us took Simon’s hints of dabblings in intelligence work all that seriously, but apparently the Feds did. An agent infiltrated the OTO with the apparent intent of getting close to Simon, who was doing a great deal of consulting for the local lodge and seemed to be flirting with affiliation. As the noose tightened, Simon became more and more critical of the OTO, finally denouncing it as “fascist” and vanishing, some said to Singapore. Other reports placed him in Hong Kong or Shanghai. The truth is, no one knew.

Bonnie and I headed out to San Francisco, where we were married by a Justice of the Peace on October 6, 1983. Grady McMurtry led the Caliphate OTO through a series of court battles aimed at establishing it as the one true OTO and died of congestive heart failure on the day the judge granted his victory. Stargroup-1 quietly disintegrated, and the wicca made peace with one another as fundamentalist Christians took control of the White House. The Major Thinkers broke up. Pierce Turner went solo, and Larry Kirwan formed Black 47.

Herman Slater sailed his little pirate ship through it all, indomitable and ornery, the very fairy godmother of the entire scene. Every now and then the issue of unpaid sales taxes would pop up and he’d threaten to sell the shop, but he never did. The books, such as they were, consisted mainly of scraps of paper stuffed into shopping bags. There was no earthly way anyone but Herman could make any sense of it. The cranky old fucker fired me no fewer than three times in the course of my tenure there, but Bonnie’s jewelry sold, and he eventually bought the line from her. She never had much business sense, not that I consider that a flaw. She was an artist, first and foremost, and a damned fine one at that.

In 1989, Ed Buczynski died of complications from AIDS. On July 9, 1992, Herman followed him into the Western Lands. He left the shop to a handful of employees who had managed to avoid pissing him off. Unfortunately, he also left an incredible tax debt. The shop limped along for a few years, deteriorating gradually and finally closing its doors for good in 1999. The space remains vacant as of this writing.

During the last ten years of her life, my wife embraced Tibetan Buddhism, specifically the variant known as Dzogchen. In our last conversation, she mentioned that my picture was sitting next to the Dalai Lama in her makeshift shrine in the hospice where she was spending her final days.

“I am honored by the gesture,” I told her, “but I’m not so sure I belong there. It might give His Holiness weird dreams.”

She left me her Necronomicon, number 141 of the first edition of 666 hardcover copies, inscribed by Simon: “To Greymalkin, As per the missing page of the Nec… ‘Blessed Is, Blessed Was, Blessed Will Be…’”

She was a wonderful woman. It was a very colorful scene, a very colorful time. We were all naive and completely insane, but we had a good time together. It was, in a word, magick.

The New York Press
Volume 16, Issue 23


The Others…

July 10, 2009

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the almost innumerable beings that populate the world behind the world, and how hard they are to categorize.  We usually call them demons, gods, archetypes, shadow people, aliens, sylphs, elementals, and so forth.  There are qualities all these beings have in common.  I’m not suggesting that all these beings are really one type of being, but we can tell a bit about them as a group.  I refer to this class of beings as the “others.”

Some of these characteristics I’ve drawn from modern paranormal history, and others from my study of folklore.  The patterns are surprisingly consistent between the two.

The others generally communicate through telepathy, in any language needed.  More often than not the others will lie to you, feeding you misinformation.  Why they do this is unknown: perhaps they are natural tricksters, or maybe they feed off their victim’s fear.  The others are most likely shape changers, and they can assume any forms that best speak to the humans they are communicating with.  In other words, if you expect to see an elf, you’ll see an elf, or gray alien, or shadow person, or whatever the viewer expected.  (In all likelihood, these being are creatures of pure will, and thus project the appearance they desire. It is unknown if they have established forms or appearance when not dealing with humans.)

The others can become “real” or tangible as desired, or they can affect objects and people from their “unreal” state.  In older stories about elfs, the others were known to blind people who could see them, suggesting that the others value their privacy.  Indeed, the others live and work and interact all around us, generally paying us no attention.  They can see us even when we can’t see them.  Certain psychedelic drugs open the appropriate senses to see these beings, and some people seem to be born with this ability.

While not always evil, the others show little concern with the rights or dignity or lives of the humans they affect.  We are little more than livestock to them.  The others have also, down through time, from elves to aliens, shown a marked interest in human sex and reproductive abilities.  Theories why this is so exist, but in the end we simply don’t know.  Tales of hybrid children and mysteriously pregnancies that suddenly aren’t there anymore are common elements of the modern other’s fascination with reproduction.

lamYou might wonder why I’ve included aliens so prominently in this discussion.  This is easy: Aliens aren’t from outer space, and even if they once were they have been among us for at least 11,000 years and most likely from the beginning.  The first gray alien encountered was Aleister Crowley’s Lam.  This is a fascinating tale, and once the gate was opened it most likely was never closed again.  It is for this reason that grays are the type of alien most often seen in North America, the same continent where Crowley summoned Lam.

I make no claim that ghosts are others.  Most ghosts are us, post-mortal humans.  They seem to have some telekinetic ability, and probably some telepathic ability as well, but they are sourced from the “real,” objective world, not the world of the others.  The others were never mortal humans.

Are cryptids others?  Excellent question.  At this point I’m of the opinion that these are physical beings from nearby dimensions or parallel realities.  It is very likely that realities or universes overlap and bleed into each other on a regular basis.  Cryptids are simply the native fauna of other worlds that temporarily co-exist with our own world.  For example, there is no way that a large primate could inhabit North America and remain hidden.  There aren’t the food resources left for such beings, and no one has ever found a body or bones.  Big Foot isn’t from around here, folks.  The same goes for the big cats in Britain, or any number of lake monsters around the world.

I should also address artificial beings, man-made ethereal creatures such as Tulpas, which have also been referred to as Phantasmata or Aquastors.  These beings, if not destroyed at the end of their prescribed use, tend to grow more powerful, independent, and rebellious as time goes on.  I would not be surprised to learn that they eventually adopt all the others’ standard traits.  Many people have suspected that the old gods of mythology were created and empowered by the belief of their worshipers.  It’s not so difficult now to see the mechanics by which this is possible.

Can we interact with the others?  Easily.  The problem is getting rid of them once you’ve opened the door.  Medieval wizards went to great lengths to harness the others (typically demons, angels, and elementals) to their wills, making them temporary slaves.  I would suggest that this almost never worked to the wizard’s long-term benefit, and probably eventually ended in madness and ruin.

What is the other’s home world or dimension like?  Much of it seems to be a more or less analogous copy of our world, just one in a slight dimensional offset from ours.  Some of it seems very alien indeed.  Grant Morrison, a noted chaos magician and writer, described the other’s world as sort of a harsh, cacophonous, painfully bright place with an industrial appearance, a terrible place of machines within machines within machines.

I’ve given you a lot to think about here, and much of it you may disagree with.  That’s fine.  I’m all about being open minded and willing to entertain all sorts of contradictory ideas.  You comments are welcome.