Varieties of Magical Experience








Exploring Magical Realms


Accessing & Experiencing Other Realities



Magic, Anthropology, & the Senses



Indigenous Magic








Gnosis & Mediaeval Magics


Gnosis, Qabbalah, & Visionary Ascent



Mediaeval Magic & Sorcery



"Dark" & "Light" Magics


Left-Hand Path & Right-Hand Path



Magic & Sexuality



Modern Trance & Meditative Magic



The Earth & the Internet


Sacred-Earth Mysteries





Cap. 1.



Accessing & Experiencing Other Realities


p. 4 Ou-topia

[quoted from Zaleski 1987, p. 134] "the colors of Utopia, the perfect originals of which earthly hues are only a copy ... the other world is ornamented with the colors of precious metals and jewels mined from the empyrean."

Zaleski 1987 = C. Zaleski : Otherworld Journeys. Oxford Univ Pr.

p. 5 know thyself! [gnothi se-auton!]

[Gospel according to Thomas -- quoted from Pagels 1979, p. 137] "The Kingdom [of God] in inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known".

Pagels 1979 = E. Pagels : The Gnostic Gospels. London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

p. 6 among Yolmo S`erpa folk in Nepal

[quoted from Deslarjais 1992, p. 5] "my "guru" ... would begin to feel the presence of the divine, his body oscillating in fits and tremors, and my body ... would similarly "shake." Tracked by the driving, insistent beat of the shaman's drum, my body would fill with energy. Music resonated within me, building to a crescendo ... . Waves of tremors coursed through my limbs. Sparks flew, colors expanded ... ."

Deslarjais 1992 = Robert Deslarjais : Body and Emotion. Philadelphia : Univ of PA Pr.

p. 9 bodily shakings

"The Shakers (and early Quakers) were often beset by uncontrollable bodily shaking and trance states, achieved in ... church services. These experiences were regarded as mystical ... .

Shaking, trembling, ... are characteristic of the preliminary stages of possession and trance in Haitian Vodou ceremonies prior to the spirit's entry into the dancer's body".

p. 9 hearing ghostly divine voices; being brushed by wings of angels

[quoted from "TD"] "the drums, ... the prayers. And among these sounds your ears catch the voices of the spirits, ghostlike, whispering to you from unseen lips. You feel the wings of birds brushing your face; feel the touch of a feather".

"TD" = "Trance Dance".

p. 10 "altered states of consciousness" (ASC) [i.e., contacts with other universes]

"As people move into altered states, they may experience ...

sensations of corporeal shrinkage or expansion, ...

{described in, e.g., Alice in Wonderland; and occasionally experienced with psychedelic drugs}

a feeling of ... rising up.

{"rising in the planes" as experienced in the Golden Dawn of late-19th-century England}

At other times, they may feel as if they are being drawn into a vortex,

{typical technique in Siberian (and in Mexican Indian) shamanry for entry into an Otherworld during dreaming}

perhaps a tunnel ... .

{typical of "near-death experiences"}

The physical body may begin to "vibrate,"

{immediately praeceding "projection of the astral body"}

sounds may be heard, and a bright light or lights may be seen.

{typically accompanying yoga-style meditation (such as in Radhasoami)}

S[`]ri Ramakrishna, a Hindu who performed priestly duties in a temple ... in India in the nineteenth century, wrote that he "heard clattering sounds in his joints" and

felt that he had no power to move his body."

{akin to so-called "sleep paralysis"}

p. 11 magical technique

"The magician learns ... to evoke ... for magical purposes. Another technique is to imagine

a particular god-form (for example Isis) surrounding

{as though it were one's perispirit}

and coinciding with one's own physical body.

While breathing rhythmically,

the name of the god is frequently vibrated for some time.

{by quavring one's voice : this is a favorite mode of enunciation in preachers, and is method much-employed in the Golden Dawn}

As concentration becomes

more intense and profound,

{more emotional and devotional}

the {visualized deity-}form is said {actually, is imagined and felt} to become vitalized by

streams of dynamic energy and power, and the mind is invaded by light,

{The energy-power and illumination are inserted by the deity in gratitude for the fervent devotion being displayed in quavring of the divine name.}

intense feelings, and inspiration."

p. 12 S.ufi cosmology

"there are five hierarchical planes of being, called "Presences" ... . ... Each lower Presence is the image and correspondence ... of the next higher. In this way everything that exists in the physical world ... is a reflection of what exists in the world of Spirits."

p. 13 uplifting & opening the soul by means of music

"Sullivan's edited book, Enchanting Powers, ... upon the enchanting power of religious music and its ability not only to attune itself to other realities but to provoke other realities into resonating in tune with it. In medieval Java, for example, ... Tantric practices were ... focused ... to certain kinds of music ... believed to be a vehicle of transportation to the mystic union with deity, or for the descent of a personal deity. Drumming, chanting, magical words, sound vibrations, and emotional songs that "uplift the soul" can act as a means to transcendence. Having one's ears "opened" to the significance of sound is highly significant to the Song-hay ... ." (Stoller & Olkes 1987)

Lawrence Eugene Sullivan : Enchanting Powers : Music in the World's Religions. Cambridge (MA) : Harvard Univ Pr, 1997.

Stoller & Olkes 1987 = Paul Stoller & C. Olkes : In Sorcery's Shadow. Univ of Chicago Pr.

pp. 14-15 drumming on drums

p. 14

"The sounds and vibrations of both voices and drums reverberate in bodies and in acoustical spaces occupied by performers and listeners, serving to link mere mortals with the spirits. In a ceremonial performance known as kamlanie, the Siberian shaman's drum symbolized an animal that aided the shaman in his journeys to other realms. ... The drum also gathered together the shaman's spirit helpers. [Miller 1999]

p. 15

Drumming is an intrinsic part of trance in Vodou ceremonies. ... When the "servitor" {mortal servant of deities} (dancer) becomes the "vessel" for the lwa (spirits {deities}), it is said that the lwa is "mounting" or "riding" the possessed person ... . ... There are drum patterns that correspond to certain lwa, and drumming variations assist and faciliate specific lwa to enter into the servitor's body during the ritual. ...

In Papua New Guinea, the Kaluli people ... believe {propound} that ... a drum, has a visible realm (an "outside"), and a reflection realm (an "inside"); one is the deeper reality of the other. The intention of ceremonial drumming is for listeners to reflect on {sense some aspect of} that deeper reality ... . The drum ..., ... when it has begun to "pulsate strongly," drummers feel the pulsing sensation ... ." (Feld 1991)

Miller 1999 = T. R. Miller : "Mannequins and Spirits ... of Siberian Shamans". ANTHROPOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 10.4:71-2.

Feld 1991 = S. Feld : "The Kaluli Drum". In :- D. Howes (ed.) : The Varieties of Sensory Experience. Toronto Univ Pr, 1991. pp. 83-90.

p. 15 clattering of wooden rods beaten together

"The Pitjantjatjara, in central Australia, use a continuous stick-beating accompaniment known as tulultjinganyi, which is aid to follow the heartbeat. The Pitjantjatjara say that while the breath controls the length of the phrase, the speed of singing and of beating is governed by listening to the heart.

{[CAC, p. 245]"Rara {more accurately, /Rada/ < /Arada/, from Dahomey} processional music in southern Haiti ... indicate dominantly an orchestra of stick-on-stick percussion providing the driving rhythm to propell the crowd's forward movement, while the blowing of vaccines ... complemented with melodic ostinato phrases."}

In the performance of songs that name (and therefore contain the power of) important geographical and sacred sites, the singing is accompanied by the large, strong beating of sticks (timpil pulka)." (Ellis 1984, p. 167)

CAC = Maureen Warner-Lewis : Central Africa in the Caribbean. Univ of the West Indies Pr, Kingston (Jamaica), 2003.

Ellis 1984 = C. Ellis : "Time Consciousness of Aboriginal Performers". In :- J. Kassler & J. Stubington (edd.) : Problems and Solutions. Sydney : Hale & Iremonger.

p. 16 paradoxically transported to Otherworld by sound of didjeridu

"The effect of didjeridu playing ... is like [that of] Tibetan chanting. It simultaneously "charges" and "discharges" and produces a paradoxical state of "excited relaxation"." (Turner 1997, p. 34)

"The didjeridu ... helps to transport the spirit of the dead person over to the "other side" during mortuary ceremonies. [Turner 1997, pp. 62-9] ...

One night, after ... performance of didjeridu ..., Turner had the experience of floating above the landscape and soaring over green, patchwork fields" (Turner 1997, pp. 38-9).

Turner 1997 = David Howe Turner : Afterlife Before Genesis. NY : Peter Land.

p. 17 voice-quavring of divine names so as to enhance one's psychic abilities

""vibrate" names of "power" (say, god names) when one is relaxed and breathing slowly and deeply. This can cause visual and audible {auditory} images {supernatural ones, observed by peering into the divine world} to arise, which can be used for purposes of communication between the conscious {of one's own mortal self} and the superconscious levels {pertaining to divine planes-of-existence} of the person {personality of the Godhead}and lead {one's self} to enhanced {by the Godhead} psychic abilities {for one's self by divine grace}. The ideal magical chant is strongly rhythmical and appeals to the subconscious {which is ensconced in subplanes of the transcendental planes}." (Butler 1970, pp. 60-78)

Butler 1970 = W. E. Butler : The Magician : His Training and Work. Wellingborough : Aquarian Pr.

p. 18 Mazatec Otherworld is entred by means of ingesting Salvia divinorum

"Mazatec and Colombian shamans consider the world accessed through entheogens to be

considerably more real than the ordinary physical world --

{more powerful and efficacious, by far, than the mere material universe}

that the everyday world is a pale echo of the otherworld. ...

{The events in material universe are controlled by the immaterial divine Otherworld.}

The herb Salvia divinorum (used sacramentally by the Mazatec people in Oaxaca ...) takes the ... imbiber to what they call "Salvia Space." ... One Western experimenter's first experience of ... Salvia divinorum gave him ... the "hem of a black green and purple velvet gown," ... he saw that the wearer of the gown was

[Tramacchi 2006, p. "93" (read "97")] "a pale, stern woman with large dark eyes" ..., who seemed to be chastising him for wasting her time."

{"What most shocked me was that she was singing a country and western song about the displeasure that goddesses feel when they are invoked at whim by reckless experimenters." (Ibid., p. 97)}

Tramacchi 2006 = Des Tramacchi : "Entheogens, Elves and Other Entities". In :- Lynne Hume & Kathleen McPhillips (edd.) : Popular Spiritualities : the Politics of Contemporary Enchantment. Aldershot (UK) : Ashgate. pp. 91-104.

p. 18 DMT hyperspace

"Some experience the spirit world through DMT, n,n-dimethyl-tryptamine, a chemical that allows access, through the "K{etamine} hole," into "DMT hyperspace."

Beings that are commonly encountered are [Tramacchi 2006, p. 91] mantis-beings,

{Apparently, deities of the Khoi-San (Bushfolk of the Kalahari), who worship preying- (praying-)mantis deities, for evidently Khoi-San likewise encountre (and/or their forebears have encountred) the same category of deity as is encountred by ingesters of DMT/Ketamine.}

and a presiding intelligence called "Lord DiMiTri", or a presence called "Lady K.""

{These names allude to the psychedelics DiMethylTryptamine and Ketamine, respectively, and are employed as their own by divinities summoned by those drugs; for such divinities evidently are well-aware of humans' nomenclature for the drug which summoned them.}

p. 19 relationships with praeternatural intelligences

"Andy Letcher ... suggests [2007, p. 89] that consciousness-altering substances ... allow the partaker ... to forge relationships with actual discarnate entities or intelligences."

"David Pinchbeck writes [2002, p. 293] how ... he became convinced that "trees are watchers, plants are sentient beings, patiently aware of their place in the ultimate scheme of things.""

trees are watchers, plants are sentient beings, patiently aware of their place in the ultimate scheme of things.""

{This is more true of the spirits (especially the plant-species spirit) governing the plants than of the plants themselves. (D.K. became thus convinced by the plant-spirits, not by the plants themselves).}

Letcher 2007 = Andy Letcher : "Discourse and Power in the Study of Psychedelic Consciousness". ANTHROPOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 18.2:74-97.

Pinchbeck 2002 = David Pinchbeck : Breaking Open the Head : a Psychedelic Journey ... . NY : Broadway Bks.

p. 19 other benefits of psychedelics

"This accords with Aldous Huxley's thoughts ... that psychedelics strip away the mind's filtering mechanisms, which subsequently permits one to perceive that which is not normally perceived,

in the manner of "tuning in" to some signal from outside the person."

{This explanation would apparently regard the whole experience as a sort of 3-dimensional (holography) illusion of virtual reality, which is transmitted into the mind from distant world by a signal similar to the radio-wave signal transmitted and received in ordinary material-world electronic television. It would be a simpler explanation merely to suppose that one hath undertaken travel in one of one's subtle-bodies into another plane-of-existence, which is the process functioning in astral-projection and in dreaming. [written July 30 2014]}

"Rick Strassman ... hypothesizes that

DMT ... facilitates the soul's movement in and out of the body,

{The DMT might facilitate such movements by subtlely affecting the vibrational qualities in the environment of a subtle-body. Vibrational linkages in the chemical bondings within the DMT molecule might be sufficiently analogous to vibrational qualities within a subtle-body, to accomplish this. [written July 30 2014]}

and is an integral part of the birth and death experience, meditation,

{Psychedelic drugs within the material-plane brain, however, could hardly account for death experiences (when electrical brain-activity is ceased, and thus the material brain's chemistry is rendred ineffective), and certainly not for astral-projection experiences (which are conducted outside the material body). The subtle-body's (subtle-brain's) own immaterial chemistry and electricity may well have the corresponding effect, however. [written July 30 2014]}

and even sexual transcendence." (Strassman 2001)

{Sexual transcendence is of the nature of intermarrying into a family of divinities, which can be done by practitioners of shamanry, in their dreamings : [infra p. 47] "shamans acquire their shamanic powers by marrying ... spirits in the underworld."}

Strassman 2001 = Rick Strassman : DMT : the Spirit Molecule. Rochester (VT) : Park St Pr.


Lynne Hume & Nevill Drury : The Varieties of Magical Experience : Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic. Praeger (an imprint of ABC-CLIO), Santa Barbara (CA), 2013.