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ISBN-13: 978-1534652699
ISBN-10: 1534652698
2016 Jeffery Pritchett and Andrew B. Colvin
PUBLISHED BY: New Saucerian Press Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Serge Kahili King The Power of Huna

Kenaz Filan New Orleans Voodoo

Ellias Lonsdale The Christ Letters

Mike Williams - The Shamans Spirit

Elizabeth and Neil Carman The Cosmic Cradle

Shepherd Hoodwin The Teachings of Michael

Evelyn Rysdyk Walk Like a Shaman

Rak Razam Ayahuasca Awakenings

Robert Waggoner Lucid Dreaming Tips and Techniques

Denise Alvarado The Call of the Voodoo Doll

Sable Aradia The Witchs Path

Dr. Mia Kalef The Secret Life of Babies

Donald Tyson Serpents of Wisdom

Ramona Fradon The Gnostic Faustus

Mark Ireland Messages From the Afterlife

Raven Kaldera Norse Shamanism

Sandra Corcoran Shamanic Awakening

Allan L. Botkin Induced After-Death Communication

Robert Tindall The Shamanic Odyssey

Mira Kelly Beyond Past Lives

Richard Grossinger The Dark Pool of Light and Consciousness

Howard G. Charing The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo

Ross Heaven The Shamanic Spirit of Salvia

Belfazaar Ashantison Vampire Shelter

Timothy Wyllie Revolt of the Rebel Angels

Raven Kaldera & Kenaz Filan Talking to Spirits

Terence McKenna Shamanic Exploration of Consciousness

This is another opus in the vein of Praise for the Hairy Man: The Secret
Life of Bigfoot, Probes Happen: The Secret Life of Aliens, and The Secret
Life of Spirits: Meetings With Remarkable Ghost Busters, Hunters, and
Whisperers. Here, my co-host, Andy Colvin, and I have gathered and
compiled many interviews with shamans from all walks of life. They have
come from all over the earth to share their wisdom concerning the native
life being in tune with Mother Nature. Each one of them has a unique story
to tell.
I first came across shamans during my bout with cancer in my youth. During
chemo, I had a dream of a medicine man. He was doing a ritual over me,
where he actually spit water on me, to heal me. I then came across shamanic
material from Serge Kahili King and many others, and it helped me learn to
feel more positive. It helped me bring more healing energies into my life,
and expanded my consciousness.
I remember my father saying that he had seen the ghost of a Native
American chief. I didnt know what I thought about that until I myself saw a
bunch of Native ghosts, standing together in full attire. My own shamanic
death, coupled with my fathers real death (from heart attack), propelled me
into a further understanding of life.
To this day, I continue to look to learn from different teachers regarding
shamanism. Sometimes you have to seek high and low to find these
materials. That is why I am glad that those of you interested in this subject
have found this book from Andy Colvin and myself. Hopefully the sages
herein will help you find wisdom, energy, and consciousness, to help with
lifes many dead-ends and transformations.
I lean towards shamanism and the occult when it comes to my spiritual
beliefs, though I do think there is a Christ consciousness. I have seen light
beings at important moments in my life. Shamans often say that we are these
light beings, coming back from the future. They are us without our bodies.

Ive seen them with my own eyes many times, as have the shamans.
There is a web of life that embraces all things on Earth. Right now, our
planet is being drained and hurt by greedy humans, who deny climate
change. Shamanism is a path of healing and aligning with the earth, to bring
about positive change.
Andy and I hope these stories are beneficial to you, and give you the
inspiration to seek out even more knowledge regarding shamanism. We also
hope you enjoy this book and are entertained by it. We dedicate it to our
mothers, Martha and Betty, as well as to Mother Earth, for all they have
been through giving birth to us.
-Jeffery Pritchett, 2016

1. Serge Kahili King, Ph.D. has authored the worlds largest selection of
books on Huna and Hawaiian shamanism, including Urban Shaman,
Instant Healing, Endless Energy, and Huna: Ancient Secrets For
Modern Living. This was the third time we interviewed Serge. The first
time, we were struck by lightning, several times, during the show! We
could see the lightning come in the window and follow the power cords to
the electrical devices in the room. Serge said it was a sign of power, no
pun intended. How did you become a Huna medicine man, Serge?
I was brought up in the Hawaiian Huna tradition of kalakupua. When I
was 14, my father formally inducted me into the path of a kupua (we dont
call it a medicine man). Later, I was adopted by Joseph Kahili, a kupua
from Kauai. I was trained first by his daughter and then by his son. I also
spent seven years apprenticed to a Hausa shaman in West Africa.
2. A Lakota Indian once told us that we were caught up by the seat of our
pants by spirit. We have both overcome serious illnesses through the
seeming actions of UFOs and mysterious entities. These shamanic
deaths reintroduce us to the spirit world and to the creator. What are
your thoughts on shamanistic deaths that awaken people?
I have had a number of such experiences in which death seemed inevitable,
yet I was whole at the end of them. To me, they were like steppingstones
into greater awareness; each time they happened, the realizations went
3. How does one shapeshift? Is it an actual physical transformation (like
from man to wolf), or more of a ritualistic act, where you take on the
spirit energy of a totem animal?

The answer is not as simple as the question implies. The art of shapeshifting
involves a range of experiences that include physical transformation,
behavioral transformation, mental, emotional, and physical camouflage,
energy field changes, astral shaping, method acting, etc.
4. What do you mean when you say there is no hierarchy in the spirit
Instead of a feudal-type hierarchy, shamans typically perceive the spirit
world as more like fields within fields, like a planet within a solar system,
within a galaxy, within a universe, etc. There are relationships and
influences back and forth, not a top-to-bottom control system.
5. Does improper breathing by Americans cause a lot of health problems?
Most people, including Hawaiians, breathe too shallowly, and that
definitely affects the body and the mind. The so-called Ha breath is just a
yogic variation. The reference by some Hawaiians to whites as shallow
breathers comes from a misinterpretation of the word haole, which
originally meant any foreigner, but now refers only to whites. Some think it
comes from the phrase ha ole, which could mean lifeless or
breathless, but haole is not related to that.
6. Was Huna the original worldwide religion or belief system at one time,
and was it suppressed? Did the Masons try to ape its format?
As for the first part, no one knows. My family tradition says it was brought
as a philosophy to Earth by people from the Pleiades, but my Hawaiian
uncle said it was just a story and not important. All the Huna principles can
be found in the writings of various religions, but thats simply because they
are observations of how life works. The Masons created something based
on Middle Eastern occult traditions. No one actually tried to suppress Huna
and it never really disappeared, but active teachers withdrew when fewer
people were interested.
7. Does Huna have legends that involve Sasquatch beings, little people,
or other cryptids? Are the gods and goddesses human, or human-animal

Huna is a philosophy, not a religion, and therefore has no legends or

folklore itself. However, Huna principles can be found in legend and
folklore. Hawaiian legends contain stories of giants and little people. Some
legendary characters have the power to transform into animals, and some
have both animal and human characteristics at the same time.
8. What does Huna say about evil? Does it exist, and is it strong enough
to take hold of shamans and holy men?
Huna itself says nothing directly about evil and its consequences, but it does
say that the world is what you think it is, and energy flows where attention
goes. Huna is derived from Hawaiian culture, and in that culture, the word
for evil is ino, which means to do harm. Evil is therefore considered
to be a form of behavior that has consequences for both the perpetrator as
well as the victim.
Shamanism is a form of healing, so the concept of an evil shaman makes
no sense. Most likely this comes from confusing a shaman, whose purpose is
to heal, with a sorcerer, whose purpose is to gain and use power. And of
course, it is not impossible for a shaman to commit individual evil acts.
Shamanism is a vocation, not a state of being. If you think the way a shaman
thinks and do what a shaman does, you can be called a shaman. In a
particular culture, there might be an initiation to recognize your status in the
community, but it is your demonstrated ability that makes you a shaman, not
the initiation.
And, since shaman is only a borrowed word to describe someone who
engages in certain kinds of activities and views the world in a certain way,
the precise definition of a shaman can vary from culture to culture and place
to place.
9. Various tribal shamans speak of this world eventually being purified
by fire and being reborn, and that this has happened before. Does
Huna address this doom and gloom?
No. Huna is about living in the present. The past is a memory, and the future
is imaginary.
10. A lot of people are turning to the shamanistic wisdom traditions

these days, in some cases to speak with spirits and departed loved ones.
What can people do to get on the path of Huna or shamanism?
Study and practice Huna or shamanism.
The Huna way embraces anything you want to think about anything. It simply
says that you will experience the effects of your thinking. It also says that
there are no limits. So, to paraphrase Voltaire, it is no stranger to think of
having multiple lives than it is to think of having only one life. As for me, I
think that I am currently having multiple simultaneous lives, and that when I
die in this one, I will just make a different one my primary focus.
From the Shamans perspective, regardless of which life we are living, we
have to keep on healing and harmonizing minute by minute, hour by hour,
day by day. And that starts with us purifying our own minds. In order to
change something about yourself with conscious intent, you have to want the
pleasure of something you dont have more than the pleasure of something
you do have.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, you have to want the pleasure of
having a lighter body more than the pleasure of eating more than you can
burn. If you want a lot of friends, you have to want the pleasure of
friendship more than the pleasure of criticizing and complaining.
If you want to stop smoking, there has to be something about being a nonsmoker that you want more than the pleasure of smoking. The concept is
simple. Its the application thats difficult for most people.


1. When you were a kid, did you dream youd grow up to be a witch
I cant say I ever dreamed of becoming a Voodoo doctor. My primary
interests were in ceremonial magic. I grew up in the dim past, when it was
nearly impossible to find books by Aleister Crowley, and most Wiccan
covens were underground. My studies were largely self-guided, with
whatever scraps of information I could get pre-Internet. There were very
few occult stores before Amazon came along.
Then, in 1994, I encountered a spirit who called himself Legba, and who
told me I was going to learn Voodoo. At the time, there was very little
public Haitian Vodou going on outside the Haitian community, so I figured
this wasnt going to happen. And so I went on my merry way until 1999,
when Legba showed up again, and told me it was time for me to travel to
I told him that this would be challenging, as I had a job and a live-in
girlfriend. He apparently took care of that for me, for both the job and
girlfriend disappeared within a three-day period. And so I went to Haiti,
and began working seriously with the Lwa, or spirits.
2. New Orleans Voodoo is like Catholicism on hot peppers. How did the
saints and angels find their way into Voodoo?
Christianity has been an influence on African spirituality since before the
days of slavery. The Petwo nation in Vodou is named after the first
Christian king of the Kongo, Dom Pedro. And during the slave era, it was a
lot safer to be caught praying to a statue of the Virgin or a saint than to a
fetish or obviously African idol.

Basically, Vodouisants recognize power when they see it. And theres no
question that Christianity has power. One billion Christians cant be wrong.
Theres power in the saints, power in the Virgin, power in the Holy Names.
It would be foolish to turn away from that power. You dont have to buy into
every orthodox brand of one-true-way Christianity, where someone is
peddling the idea that you should pray only to Jesus. Many of the saints are
equally happy to help out someone in need.
While Catholicism is a huge part of Haitian and New Orleans Voodoo,
Hoodoo Protestant psalm magic is generally more prevalent than prayers
to the saints.
3. Tell us about the Devil and evil in Voodoo. You protect against both, do
you not?
Thats actually a very perceptive observation. I frequently tell people that
Vodou is much more about defense than offense. Vodouisants generally
spend a lot more time avoiding or removing curses than they do casting
them. If you have your spirits looking out for you, making sure you stay out
of trouble, you will avoid most situations where youd need to do more
offensive magic.
As far as the devil goes, there are some pretty hot and fierce Lwa. They
may not be devils, but theyll beat the devil out of you if you get on their
bad side. If you ever make a promise to any Lwa, you had best make sure
you keep it. While you may forget about it, they wont. If you show them
respect, they will treat you right.
Part of the reason Vodou has a bad reputation is because people dont take it
seriously. They dont take the spirits, the culture, and the rules seriously.
And when they manage to offend a spirit and get swatted, they dont say,
Oh, maybe I should have been more careful. They say, Oh, Vodou is
evil. No, its not evil. Its just that the Lwa have a low tolerance for
4. We like the prayers in your book, The New Orleans Voodoo
Handbook. How did they originate?
A lot of the prayers used in New Orleans Voodoo are actually Catholic
prayers. The Novena (nine-day prayer to the Virgin Mary or a saint) is done

frequently in times of need, and has a long and successful track record.
Praying the Rosary to ask for healing or for help with difficulties is also
common. And calling on a saint to intercede on your behalf is a huge part of
both Roman Catholicism and New Orleans Voodoo.
You can find Catholic prayers, information about saints, etc. on various
Catholic websites. And you dont have to be Catholic to ask for help from
St. Michael the Archangel, St. Expedite, or most of the other saints. Theyre
happy to put in a good word with the higher powers on your behalf.
5. Who is La Grand Zombi, the Great Serpent? Why is the serpent so
revered in Voodoo?
Li Gran Zombi is another name for Nsambi, the Kongo
creator/messenger god, who is frequently envisioned as a snake. Serpents
are revered because they can travel between realms; they climb trees and
burrow into the earth. And because they shed their skin, theres a belief that
they represent, or actually hold the secret to, eternal youth.
In Haitian Vodou, Li Gran Zombi is honored as the Simbi family of Lwa.
They are also messengers and powerful magicians, although they are known
to be shy and secretive like most snakes.
6. Is there a big difference between Haitian Voodoo and New Orleans
There are less similarities between Haitian Vodou and New Orleans
Voodoo than is commonly believed. One of the great origin myths of New
Orleans Voodoo is that it started with refugees who came to New Orleans
from Saint-Domingue after the Haitian revolution. In reality, New Orleans
Voodoo most strongly resembles Hoodoo, the folk magic of southern
African-Americans, but with a Catholic veneer.
New Orleans has long been an island of Catholicism in the Bible Belt of
America, thanks to the French presence and attendant Domingans. SaintDomingue refugees brought the tripartite race division
(white/colored/black), which was quite different than the one drop
version of race espoused in most of America.
The revival of New Orleans Voodoo from the 1970s onward has seen a huge

Haitian influence. Sallie Ann Glassman and a few other New Orleans
Voodoo personages got their initiations in Haiti, and have incorporated a lot
of Haitian Vodou into their practice.
7. Can you really stick a pin in a Voodoo doll and make someone go
There are all sorts of Voodoo dolls, or poppets. You can make them with
wax, or sew one out of cloth. You can buy a doll or other statue and name it
after your target. The important thing is that you produce a link between the
poppet and the target. You can do that by putting some effects a lock of
their hair, a cigarette butt with their saliva, nail clippings, their signature,
etc. in or around the doll. You can also baptize the doll in their name.
Ideally you should do both, as the stronger the connection, the better the
The concept of sympathetic magic appears in many cultures. Basically,
anything you do to that doll can, indeed, happen to your target. You can use
it to make someone fall in love, for instance, or you can use it for healing the
target. Its potent magic if you do it right.
8. Youve studied with some legendary Voodoo priests. What was that
I began working with the lwa in 1994, after my introduction to Legba. In
March of 2003, I was initiated as Houngan Si Pwen in Socit La Belle
Venus #2 in Brooklyn, New York by Mambo Edeline Saint-Amand and
Houngan Hugue Pierre.
As for what happened during that initiation, if I told you Id have to kill you.
Seriously, the djevo (initiatory chamber in Haitian Vodou) is a holy place
and the details of initiation are oathbound secrets. Thats sometimes
controversial with people who believe information wants to be free. But
theres a great deal of power in secrecy. It helps to cement a community
together, insuring that information and techniques dont fall into the wrong
Sure, it can be abused, but so can just about anything. And frankly, Ive
found that most of the people who scream the loudest about how information
must be shared really are saying: I should be able to take anything I want,

even though I have nothing to offer in return.

9. Do you have any favorite Voodoo bands?
Bonnie Devlin has a fantastic CD of Haitian Vodou rhythms, called Action
and Grace. I also like Angels in the Mirror, a compilation of Vodou songs.
As far as New Orleans Voodoo music goes, Im partial to Dr. John, the
original Night Tripper. His Gris Gris album is a particular favorite of mine.
And though he wasnt born in New Orleans, Willy DeVille did some
fantastic work in the city with some of the best local musicians. Some of his
releases are Victory Mixture, Big Easy Fantasy, and the classic Loup
Garou. Great stuff!
10. What is Hoodoo, and what are your future plans?
Hoodoo, also known as conjuring or working the root, is a traditional
African-American folk spirituality that developed from a number of West
African spiritual traditions and beliefs, and was carried to the U.S. as the
result of the transatlantic slave trade. It is a blend of practices from the
people of the Kongo, Benin/Togo, Nigeria, and others.
Enslaved Africans of the Southeast, known as the Gullah, as well as those in
Louisiana, enjoyed enough isolation and relative freedom that they were
able to openly practice, but in the Mississippi Delta, they had to be more
secretive. Hoodoo spread throughout the country as African Americans left
the Delta during the Great Migration. Hoodoo can be used to heal or harm.
Right now, Im taking a break from Voodoo, after finishing books like The
Haitian Vodou Handbook, Vodou Love Magic, Vodou Money Magic,
Drawing Down the Spirits, and The Power of the Poppy. I am on a history
kick instead. Im working on books on the history of melancholia, the history
of abortion, and the history of stimulants. When I come back to the occult
later, Id love to do books on Vodu Dominicano, Espiritismo, and some of
the Brazilian traditions.


1. What was your prime inspiration for writing The Christ Letters: An
Evolutionary Guide Home?
I wanted to lead those who read this material into finding their own Christ
within them, and spreading that spirit wherever they go. When we catch this
wave of who the Christ really is, and what He can do inside and through us,
it is an immense breakthrough in evolution. It is such a key part of our times.
For me, it is a no-brainer: get this message out there, share it with people,
live it, and embody it.
2. Did you channel this material?
Yes, and we are actually a team. The one who sends the messages, Theanna,
is on the other side. I receive the messages. It is not at all like channeling.
I am not in a trance. I dont go away. For me, I am in a loving exchange, of
a deep and profound kind, with Theanna. Its a message of love transmitted
between two souls on opposite sides of the veil.
She and I lived together, in the physical, for ten years before she died. She
was my best friend, and so when she brings these messages, I am
responsive, aware, and in tune. I have learned a process of how to bring the
information through. It is allows me to be free not bound by some kind of
trance state.
3. Why do you think a lot of people on the Christian path seem so mixed
up, angry, and filled with conflict? Why do they fall for someone like
Donald Trump?
They know they cannot live up to the Christ that they believe in; compared
to him, they are nothing. They feel they have to somehow make it up to

Christ, either because he was strung up for them, or because terrible sins
have been done in his name, for them. In a sense, they are beating
themselves up, and they project this negativity out in their weak moments.
This goes against personal awakening or evolution.
4. How do we merge shamanism and true Christianity?
When you invoke a shamanic direction for yourself, an earthy, deep,
awareness of life arises, which is closer to the real living Christ than any
other current cosmic path. You become a vehicle for evolution and the
celebration of life. Its not renunciation. Its not against. Its not beyond. Its
all the way into and through.
5. How do we joyfully live our lives in a hunkered down, crisis
management society?
The Christ path does involve suffering, just as life on Earth involves
suffering. But the difference from the way it has been in the Age of the
Fishes to the way we will approach suffering in the Age of Aquaria (which
is just beginning now, for the next two thousand-plus years), is that we are
becoming able right now, in evolution, to imagine, feel, and connect with
our core self through suffering. And that is what the Christ is pointing us
toward. He is pointing us toward the Christ within us, which is our true,
essential self stripped of conditioning and programming.
What I want to say is the crisis that we are going through in our times is
immense and overwhelming to everybodythis end of the world beginning
of a new world crisisis something we cannot get through on our own. We
need the grace of Christ with us, and we need to approach that very
carefully, because we do not want to fall back on old religious paradigms.
We want to meet Christ in a fresh, free, open way.
6. What are your thoughts on the Apocalypse?
Following the track of what Rudolf Steiner revealed one hundred years ago,
what has happened is that we have literalized Christ. We think that if he
returns, it will be into the physical in his own form a literal second
coming; or its some huge apocalyptic event where the world is emptied out.
Neither is the case. Neither is necessarily true or real.

What is happening is that Christ has returned into the ethers, into the clouds,
into the whole of the planet, and is here to sustain, renew, heal, and
transform us. So there is a second coming thats been in the works since the
1930s, but that second coming is holistic, unitive, and all embracing. Its not
some further overwhelming religious event to polarize, judge, condemn, and
hyper-dramatize where were at and whats wrong with us. Thats not it at
all. This is not a rapture. This is a new creation.
7. What do you mean by the Heavenly City?
Its not simple. Its not an easy teaching to understand. I will say that it is a
realm vaster than we are accustomed to here in the physical. It exists as a
cosmic reality. It is a place many of us are learning to inhabit in our dreams
and in our inner life. It is a place that will tremendously influence our life
on Earth, and will gradually teach us to turn this life around and bring the
Heavenly City right into this world. It will bring the New Heaven into the
New Earth, and merge the two.
8. Are there different dimensions of truth?
It used to be that the ancient mysteries were only for the elite, where a very
few souls would study, research, and undergo initiations. They would
essentially evolve beyond where everybody else was going perhaps a
necessary stage in human development. It now is that each one of us is
called to our own inward truth, which can, at first, seem like an incredibly
complex, chaotic, overwhelming situation.
But it turns out to be very finely calibrated, to where each ones truth is also
at one with the truth of the whole. So the truth we are seeking now is a very
internal, experiential, subjective truth that has a connecting link with total
truth and total reality, in such a way that we are on course when we are fully
with ourselves.
9. Do you believe Christ arose from the dead?
Yes, Christ was resurrected after death. There are two myths to disperse to
get it right. One is that this was a one-time-only event, which defies all our
laws, goes outside of every pattern we can ever think of, and basically
indebts us to Christ forever for having had the ability to do this incredible
thing. Thats one of the two myths.

The other myth is that we are somehow not able to do this in a new, fresh
way in evolution. The mindset is that we have to go back two thousand
years to find how he did it, and imitate that. That is not what Christ asks us
to do.
He asks us to overcome death now, because death is the great impenetrable
barrier that stops everything cold. But overcoming death has to come again
in this experiential, internal soul path that is for each one distinctive. It cant
be laid out as some cookie-cutter pattern that everybody should follow.
10. What else would you like to share with our readers?
In response to this last question, I opened my book, at random, and came to
this statement:
When the mental program is rigid and preset across the face of the
planet, there is nothing more to say about it. It is time to go deeper
and find a way through that is not official and not controllable.
Lifes graces wont wait for tight minds to catch the wave.
I will put it this way. We are in the blossoming of the hearts knowing. The
minds version of truth is losing its currency and legitimacy across the
planet. We need to switch to the hearts knowing. Christ is the golden bright
sharer of the graces of the heart. In following him, we follow ourselves, and
in following ourselves, we follow the whole. Its all here together. Lets be
with it as one.


1. What was your prime motivation for creating The Shamans Spirit:
Discovering the Wisdom of Nature, Power Animals, Scared Places, and
The Shamans Spirit began as a discussion between Watkins (my
publishers) and me, as we both wanted to produce a book that introduced
shamanism to a Western audience. Shamanism has been a part of my life for
decades, both academically as my doctorate specialized in prehistoric
European shamanism and also practically, as I have used my research to
create my own shamanic practice. At its heart, the book attempts to share
what I think makes shamanism so important and worthwhile to follow.
I had already written a work looking at the history (and prehistory) of
shamanism so, for this book, I wanted to look at existing or historically
recent shamanic practices and draw my inspiration from this incredibly rich
resource. This meant researching shamanism around the world, something
that was made slightly less daunting by the fact that I had already worked
with shamans in Siberia and Lapland, the heartlands from where shamanism
first sprouted. But I went a lot wider for the book, researching shamanism
on all six inhabited continents, and I am hopeful that even the most expert
practitioner will find things that are new to them.
Rather than encouraging people to copy these exotic practices, the book
distills indigenous custom to make it possible for a Western practitioner to
follow. This is important since it is only by listening to the voices of our
own spirit guides that we will truly develop our shamanism. We can turn to
others for inspiration, but to truly practice shamanism, our source must be
from within and from the spirits that we contact directly.


2. A Native American told Jeffery that the wolf is his totem animal. But
he has a thing with bats and owls as well. Can we have more than one
totem animal, and how do we go about discovering them?
In the book, I write about both totem and power animals, since many people
confuse the two. For many shamanic communities, a totem animal is a
symbol of their group or clan. The Bugu tribe of Kyrgyzstan in central Asia,
for example, believe that they descend from two young people raised and
nurtured by a female deer they call myzd ene: the horned mother.
Bugu means deer in the Kyrgyz language. The deer is a symbol of their
tribe and, in a sense, the spiritual representation of their community.
Zulu people from Africa have strict taboos about how a totem animal is
treated; in essence, the people and the animal are bound in a reciprocal
relationship of respect. I suggest in the book that people may have a
personal totem, a family totem, or even a totem animal that represents their
chosen job or profession.
Even at a national level, many countries have an animal totem to represent
them. Of course, many shamans work with totem animals by meeting their
spirit form in the otherworld, and this is also true for power animals.
Power animals are far more personal, and are usually dedicated to a single
individual; these are the spirit animals that walk by your side throughout
life. Your totem animal may also be your power animal, but totem animals
are usually more visual and representative; power animals are spirit guides.
There may indeed be more than one totem animal to represent the different
aspects of your life just as there may be more than one power animal that
walks by your side.
3. Are many of us awakened by tragedy?
Shamanism is very much a practice situated in the world, so it does not shy
away from suffering. In fact, shamanism is centered by a theme of death and
rebirth, as the shaman must leave this world to journey to the otherworld of
the spirits. This is particularly evident upon initiation. I write about
dismemberment in my book, where a shaman undergoes symbolic death and
annihilation at the hands of the spirits, in order to be reborn a more perfect
individual. Tragic times do propel us towards awakening.


But it is through generating compassion that shamanism particularly draws

upon suffering. By experiencing the darkness of the human condition
ourselves, we come to understand suffering. It happens to us all and, in a
way, it is through suffering that we are truly joined as people. Shamanism is
not about feeling sympathy for suffering, or even empathizing with the
person going through a traumatic time; it is understanding that we are all
connected. When one suffers, so do we all.
Shamanism allows us to draw upon our personal experience of pain.
Leaving our individuality behind, we journey into the otherworld to find a
cure for our patients. A shaman once said to me that shamanism allows her
to open her wounds and draw forth the power that resides there. We can all
do this. We know what it is like to be in a place of anguish and, most
importantly, we know the way out.
Suffering is power, since it provides us with the basis for compassion the
understanding that to heal ourselves, we need to heal the world, starting
with the individual who stands before us asking for aid. Shamans walk in
the dark margins, catching those who fall. This is why, in many traditions,
shamans are referred to as wounded healers.
4. What are some ways to commune with our spirit guides and ancestors?
This is the most fundamental aspect of shamanism, as it is only through
journeying to, and interacting with, our spirit guides that we can draw forth
the power we need to fulfill our destiny.
Spirit guides come in many guises, but most common are animals, which we
tend to call power animals, to emphasize their otherworldly origin and the
gifts that they bring us.
My book provides exercises showing how to journey to the otherworld and
how to find a power animal. It is the starting point for any shamanic
practice, and it is an incredible thought that each of us has at least one
power animal waiting for us to make contact.
For many, finding their power animal can be a reconnection with a creature
they might have already sensed is with them, in the same way that a totem
animal is sometimes very evident. It sounds like you have a very strong
connection with wolf. However, when we first go to find our power animal,
we must keep an open mind. Just be open and accept that whatever animal

comes is exactly right at the time.

You are right that many shamans work with their ancestors; this is a large
part of my personal practice. You can journey to meet them through keeping
images or small fetishes. It may be a feather we find, a small statue we buy
on vacation, a photograph of a loved one, a tattoo we impulsively got, or
even a sound file on our computer.
Many practitioners like to dedicate an altar to their spirit guides, filling it
with items that are symbolic of the relationship. The altar can also become a
focus for daily practice, perhaps by lighting a candle or leaving a small
offering for our guides in thanks for their assistance throughout the day.
Gratitude is an extremely healthy emotion, and having a place we can go to
express our gratitude is very important. We can also use our time at the altar
to ask for help from our power animal, or for our ancestors blessing on our
day. Connecting with our spirit guides does not necessarily always mean
journeying to the otherworld to meet them. Sometimes, it is as simple as
dancing or singing.
5. What are some ways we can use our dreams to better ourselves?
Many people worry that if they are not having vivid and important dreams
all the time, they are doing something wrong. Oftentimes, it is simply
because we cant remember what we dreamt, or else the dreams seemed
random and inconsequential. The sort of helpful dreams where we can gain
insight into problems and issues can be quite rare, and only tend to arise
when we most need them.
There are, however, many techniques we can use to increase their
frequency, so that they become another tool we can call upon when we need
some extra help rather than merely waiting for them to turn up.
The key as with most shamanic work is intention. If we set an intention
before we go to sleep that we will remember our dreams, then, over time,
our subconscious will take notice of that intention and start to work. Since
even the most vivid dream can rapidly disappear in daylight, we should
write down all that we can remember immediately upon waking.
After a few weeks, we will probably find that our dreams have become
more significant, and we can then start to interpret their meaning. Rather

than relying on other peoples lists of what dreams mean, I encourage

anyone to reflect on what the meaning is for them. Dreams are personal, and
so are their meanings. Over time, our dreams begin to guide us and provide
unexpected answers to our issues. To sleep upon a problem will, quite
literally, become extremely useful.
Lucid dreaming where we become aware of the dream and are able to
control what happens takes more work but, once again, we should start
with setting an intention before we fall asleep. Later, I try to find out more
about the dream, and explore those aspects that were not immediately
apparent. Dreams are tremendously important if we use them correctly, and
there are shamanic communities who even believe that dreams are the true
reality that all we see in this world is an illusion.
6. How can Westerners seek out teachers of shamanism?
We have a dilemma in the Western world. Our historical past may have held
a rich shamanic tradition, but this is now largely lost to us; only scant
remnants remain. Even in places such as Lapland and Siberia the
heartlands of traditional shamanism the coming of Christianity and
Communism destroyed much shamanic tradition. People in those regions
today have to piece together a broken lineage to reclaim their past.
This has resulted in many Western practitioners learning and even training in
other traditions, such as those of South America or from the indigenous
spirituality of Native Americans. This is a good way to learn, and having a
personal guide and teacher is a real luxury. But for others, this is
impossible, because of where they live or because they lack the
considerable funds necessary to travel to remote places where the
indigenous shamans are located. Books and weekend workshops provide
the only realistic entry into the tradition for many.
While it is easy to be dismissive of this approach, I think that is a mistake.
The shamans I learned from in Siberia constantly told me that they could
teach me very little compared to what I could learn from interacting with my
own spirit guides and guardians. One older shaman told me that when she
was first called to shamanism, there was literally no one who could teach
her, since the communism had made shamanism a dangerous activity. She
had to listen and learn solely from the spirits.


Practitioners really just need openness and willingness to follow the spirits,
and to listen to what they teach. My book offers basic tools and a
springboard. Even in traditional communities, this is how many indigenous
shamans learn their craft. We sometimes get a little hung up on teaching and
qualifications in the West, and forget that shamanism is defined by a
personal relationship with the spirits. It is something you cant really teach.
There is one final point that should be addressed here. Shamans in
traditional communities often resist the call of the spirits, since the choice to
practice is often not really theirs to make. The spirits choose them, so they
often find it a dangerous, lonely, and marginalized position to hold.
Conversely, in the West, we often choose to learn shamanism without
necessarily waiting for the spirits call. We find it empowering and uplifting
rather than dark and dangerous. This disparity has led some to denigrate or
mock Western shamanism as inauthentic, but I think this is a mistake. In the
West, the focus is simply different. We are forging our own path and, so far,
the spirits are supporting us. At base, if shamanism works, it is worth doing;
if it doesnt work, then we should do something else. But for most who try,
it works.
7. Tell us about shapeshifting, which is a big part of shamanism.
Shapeshifting is an important technique of shamanism, but it is often
misunderstood. In essence, shapeshifting involves taking on the form and
characteristics of something else. This is usually an animal, but it can be an
ancestor, or even a force such as the wind. The shift happens in a shamanic
state, and yet can be brought over into this world, so that practitioners can
dance, run, or carry out any other activity in another form.
In my book, I draw upon the Huichol tradition of wolf shamanism, where
shamans train for many years to gain the power to turn into a wolf. The
descriptions the shamans provide makes it sound like they really do become
animals, and this may challenge our rational minds, as it seems an
impossible feat.
And yet, buried in the anthropological reports, I found a clue that seems to
explain what is going on. A particular wolf-shaman comments that, whilst in
the form of a wolf, he looks down at his body and still sees the shape of a
man. But in all other characteristics, even to the core of his very being, he is

Shapeshifting, therefore, does not change our physical appearance but,

inside, we feel very different. Our senses might be heightened. We may feel
the urge to move and run like our animal, or we may gain a new perspective
on an issue before us.
That said, there are plenty of folkloric tales about people shifting into
animals completely, such as the werewolves of Eastern Europe. Is this a
remnant of ancient shamanism, where practitioners took on the disguise of a
formidable hunter to find food? Or did local villagers really see an animal
before them, rather than the human underneath the mind seeing the vision
rather than reality? Who knows, but our mythology would be poorer without
these tales.
8. Where did you find the artwork in your book?
I was very fortunate in having Susannah Stone as my picture researcher. She
was able to source some incredible photographs and indigenous artwork,
which beautifully complemented the text. She found images from little
known shamanic groups; we are confident that readers will not have seen
many of these images before. The aim of everyone associated with the book
was for the art to become a journey in its own right, with readers losing
themselves in each image as they travel deeper into the realm of the shaman.
9. Do you have any meditations to recommend?
To journey to the otherworld, a shaman enters a trance. The effects of trance
have now been documented by neuroscientists, particularly the almost
universal shamanic experience of traveling down a tunnel and stepping out
into an otherworld. Even the appearance of spirits can be explained by the
effects of the brain while in trance.
Of course, scientists call the visions hallucinations, whereas to a shaman,
the experience is real. It is hard to imagine the two explanations will ever
be reconciled, but the universality of trance experience shows why anyone
can practice shamanism, and experience the same effects as indigenous
shamans throughout history. Our brains are all wired the same way.
To enter into trance, shamans use many techniques, such as repetitive
drumming. Again, science shows that drumming slows our brainwaves from
the beta to alpha state, and possibly even to a theta state, pushing us ever

deeper into trance and allowing us to journey to the realm of the shaman.
In my practice, I use drumming almost daily, as it is a safe, convenient, and
effective method for journeying to the otherworld. Anyone can do it. You
need nothing but a good recording of drums, such as I offer on my website,
to get started.
10. Any departing words?
In addition to teaching shamanism, I am a tutor/mentor within the Order of
Bards, Ovates, and Druids. My next book will look at ancient Druid
spirituality, as it existed around the time of the Roman invasion. Very little
is recorded about the Druids, and so I am using my archaeological
background to piece together the tradition from the remains people left
Many of their practices were very closely related to shamanism, so perhaps
this isnt that much of a departure for me, but I want to take readers back in
time and show them how the ancient Druids really lived. I think it will be
quite eye-opening. There is so much we can learn from these ancient
keepers of traditional lore. Who knows where that might lead?


1. What inspired your book, Cosmic Cradle: Spiritual Dimensions of
Life Before Birth?
We have always been interested in what lies beyond our five senses and the
three ordinary states of consciousness, i.e., waking, sleeping, and dreaming.
An opportunity arose for us to do research on higher consciousness in 1989
with self-actualized women regarding their spiritual journey into
motherhood. This was a story with lots of taboo, waiting to be told.
I was struck by the mothers reports of pre-birth visitations and
communications with their unborn babies. This is where souls seeking to be
born prepare their chosen parents via dreams, visions, and telepathic
visitations. Pre-birth communications can occur years before conception, at
conception, and can continue once the soul enters the fetus.
I further discovered another fascinating range of pre-birth experiences:
memories of life before birth. This includes memories of being a pure soul,
memories of a heavenly world, memories of choosing parents, memories of
conception, memories of being in the womb, and memories of being born.
Finally I was intrigued to discover that the pre-birth experience is a notion
traceable in the West to classical philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome.
This concept of pre-birth existence and a pre-birth lesson plan is upheld by
religions, philosophies, and societies worldwide. Cosmic Cradle inspires a
strong interfaith message, because it lays out a vision bridging major
religions and spiritual wisdom from diverse cultural perspectives.
For instance, in Cosmic Cradle, we devote an entire chapter to the pre-birth
communications of the indigenous peoples of Australia. We also feature a
chapter on the pre-birth memories of the indigenous peoples of North

America. The ideas contained in the book are unifying rather than divisive.
We are all one family.
Cosmic Cradle transports us beyond the materialistic idea that heredity and
social environment explain human life. Our lifes drama is planned long
before birth. Pre-birth experiences can teach humanity about new
dimensions of human awareness. They stretch the boundaries of what people
consider real, and change the way we approach conception, pregnancy,
childbirth, life, and death.
2. What sorts of pre-birth memory can we experience?
Pre-birth memories reveal things that took place prior to taking our first
breath. In our research, we singled out cases of children and adults who
naturally remember their souls journey into the human form. We did not
include any cases obtained via hypnosis, regression, or psychic readings.
We looked at people who slipped through the cracks of forgetfulness, and
were born with this higher awareness.
As an example, one experiencer, named Summer, recalled a nonphysical
state of love, joy, and awareness: My individuality was barely audible. All
my senses became unified. Everything was one, but I had a subtle feeling of
identity, ego, or individuality. I felt the presence of God, of being in Gods
In this pre-conception phase, people recall choosing their life plan. Teresa
recalled meeting the Divine Planner, who helped her choose her life on
Earth. Teresa made choices on the type of family, qualities of a husband,
difficulties, injuries, and other facets of her life. Rennie, a retired military
officer, previewed three sets of parents. The guide told him what his life
would be like with each set of parents, and let Rennie decide which parents
he would like.
Pre-birth memories also include womb-time memories from people such as
Lorenzo: During her pregnancy with me, Mom was not totally happy. So
whenever I sensed negativity, I felt no disharmony with the disharmony. I
learned that I could check out. I came and went as pleased. I played
anywhere I wanted.
We include memories of C-Section deliveries, forceps deliveries, breech,
umbilical cords wrapped around the neck, reluctance to leave the

peacefulness of the womb to be born, and even near-death experiences.

3. Why do we forget where we came once we are born into this life?
People forget over 99% of their previous life once they come into a new
body, so it is not surprising that they forget pre-birth memory. Physical
embodiment and social conditioning dull awareness, causing us to believe
that sensory perception is the only reality.
Human birth is analogous to watching a movie and becoming identified with
one of the characters. We become immersed in our own Hollywood drama,
the earthly illusion. Pre-birth amnesia is acknowledged by ancient and
modern peoples. In Cosmic Cradle, we share these theories from Buddhism,
Pythagoras, ancient Indian medical treatises, Judaism, Gnosticism, and
4. Are some of us forced to reincarnate on Earth?
Yes. Lifes lessons may seem difficult and even cruel when we are going
through them, but later, we may find comfort that we had those experiences
to learn from.
5. Do we choose everything we go through, even if it is painful?
Yes, some people we interviewed specifically chose their challenges. The
prelude to life in the womb is filled with mystery. Each actor arrives on the
stage of life with the most appropriate script. Some philosophers propose
that this is a free-will universe, and each soul actor previews their coming
life and chooses the family that best reflects its need.
A second perspective related to reincarnation emphasizes that the souls
ability to influence pre-birth choices varies with spiritual maturity. Every
actor selects a script in the light of balancing out accumulated past actions
from previous lives.
A third theory proposes that a cosmic designer, working behind the scenes,
writes the script for the grand play of life, orchestrating the grand entrance
of roughly 130 million children born on Earth each year.


6. Would you share a story with us from the book?

In Cosmic Cradle, we share over 100 pre-birth stories from contemporary
people we interviewed, as well as pre-birth reports from 108 cultures.
Floyd, for example, has extensive pre-birth memories of traveling to the
Void, being initiated by a being of white light, past-life memories as a
Tibetan lama, and memories of death in that past life.
The day Floyd entered his mothers womb, he flew towards Earth and saw a
space capsule. He looked in the window, and a guy at the control panel
looked back at him. Floyd is convinced that he saw John Glenn, who orbited
Earth for five hours on February 20, 1962. This was seven months before
Floyds birth. The flight log records Glenns excitement upon seeing a mass
of tiny, luminescent particles. They looked like a shower of brilliantly lit
stars swirling around the capsule, traveling 18,000 miles per hour.
7. What is our soul?
We are light beings, created by light. We come from light, and will return to
the light. Human experience is just a passing one.
8. Would you go into your perspective of death with us?
The cosmos is vast, with many layers and dimensions. Earth is a middle
frequency. Each souls journey is unique. We are growing and learning
through our experiences on the Earth plane. At the time of death, we will
return to whatever plane we resonate with. To some degree, this is based
upon our belief system. If we believe in Jesus, we will meet Jesus. If we
believe in Buddha, we will encounter Buddhas realm. If we believe in hell,
we will end up in hell.
Eventually, after numerous lifetimes, we will realize that we are eternal
beings and experience that we are omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
Then we will return to the ultimate source from which we originally came.
We will live in a body of light, and will manifest a physical body on the
Earth plane if we so desire.
9. Could you share another story from your book?
Beverly is a modern mystic, clairaudient, clairvoyant, and spiritual healer,

who shares her journey through several past lives on Earth, and how and
why she planned each life. Before her current life as an Appalachian
woman, she said:
I had it easy. I was a blue blood in many lives. I had attractive,
charismatic bodies, and was arrogant. So I got after it with gusto; I
selected an illiterate woman born during the Civil War. I was born
into abject poverty. We lived in a shanty cabin with a dirt floor.
My husband left me with a bunch of children. I was frightened. I
had no resources for food and clothing. Sickness was everywhere.
Some of my children starved to death in the cold winters. I died at
I did not need to do that life for God; I needed to do it for me. Boy,
did I come out with appreciation. I learned the preciousness of the
vitality that I had previously been given. I only needed to do that
once. I got the point.
Besides sharing her past lives and the interlife planning between those
lives, Beverly shares a detailed memory of being created as an initial spark
from God. Beverly represents the far end of the pre-birth memory scale,
which extends to the beginning of her souls evolutionary journey from the
10. What are you up to next?
We are creating a CD version of the Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra
means conscious sleep, and is a profound, effortless experience of relaxing
the body and expanding consciousness. We are continuing our research on
conception, pregnancy, and birth, including how to bring a more enlightened
child into the world.


1. In your book, Journey of Your Soul: A Channel Explores the Michael
Teachings, you channel a collective being named Michael. Who is he?
Michael is a causal plane teacher. The causal plane is an intellectual
dimension directly above the astral plane. It is an emotional dimension.
Michael was first channeled under that name, in 1973, by Sarah Chambers
in Oakland, California. Her work was the basis for the bestselling
Messages From Michael by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.
Michael teaches that we are eternal beings journeying from the Tao, and
back again, in an adventure of exploration and creativity. Each step along
the way, we make choices that shape our experience. After committing to a
series of lifetimes on a planet, we choose one of seven roles or soul types.
These are like a career or style: server, priest, artisan, sage, warrior, king,
and scholar. We also form soul-level relationships by teaming up with
essence twins and task companions, and finding our position within
larger units, entities and cadres.
2. How does this channeling take place?
Today, most Michael channels work through conscious or unconscious
speaking, writing, or typing. When I do a live session with a client or group,
I slowly bring Michaels energy into my body, and then it does healing work
with the listeners.
3. Would you go into some of the other books about Michael throughout
the years?
The first two Michael books, by Yarbro, have been especially influential on

the Michael community. The Michael Handbook by Jos Stevens and Simon
Warwick-Smith has also been important. I have a complete list of Michael
books on my website. Each offers valuable information and insights.
My Journey of Your Soul is unique in that it analyzes channeling itself, and
explores subjects such as discrepancies among channels, as well as
interesting things I have observed and learned in my practice. The Michael
Teachings are a complex system, not unlike astrology, with their own
terminology. It is the only body of knowledge I know of that has been built
by several different channels, many working independently; it is an
interesting experiment.
4. Do a lot of channelers have UFO experiences?
I personally dont know any channelers who have had UFO experiences. But
channeling itself is paranormal. Most channels are highly psychic, and have
had a lot of interesting spiritual or paranormal experiences.
5. What do we know about the realms where these channeled entities
In Michaels case, they have had a series of Earth lifetimes, just as we are
having now. Most are happy to tell us about their realm, which is essentially
a parallel dimension.
6. How do we heal a world filled with sickness, terror, and evil?
Michael teaches that we progress through a series of soul ages, both as
individuals and as civilizations. In our time, humanitys average soul age is
transitioning from late young to early mature. That, along with many other
changes occurring, will have a large impact on our experience.
Consciousness is actually rising. Its just that today, we have much more
information about what people are doing around the world. That brings
things out into the open where they have a better opportunity to heal.
However, people can choose to hang onto their ignorance for as long as they
7. How does the Tao fit into the scenario of the Michael Teachings?

Michael uses that term to mean the source of the universes seven planes of
creation. We are each a spark of the Tao at our core. Michael usually
doesnt use the word God, because of all that implies for many.
8. What are some things we can do to lift our vibration?
Every experience is an opportunity to grow. The goal is to learn how to love
unconditionally. Explore what you have learned from your experiences, and
what you might do more skillfully in the future. We are constantly making
choices. Doing our best to make them in alignment with love, truth, and
beauty raises our vibration.
Everyone experiences the scathing of the physical plane various losses
that are built into life. These setbacks can teach us greater compassion, and
help us let go of our attachments to externals, so that we remain peaceful
and connected to the whole, no matter whats happening around us.
9. What else would you like to share from the book?
Although we are each unique, we are the same. We have all learned many
things; we all have much to learn; and we are all perfect as we are. Starting
here, with love, respect, and openness, we can begin to know the everchanging yet changeless uniqueness of who we are.
10. What does the future hold for mankind?
We do not know for certain what the future will bring. This makes the game
of life much more interesting and challenging. If everything could be
predicted ahead of time, we would all be automatons; and if we are
expressions of the Tao, then the Tao would likewise be an automaton.
Fortunately, this is not the case. When you think that you have everything
figured out, you may start to drift on your preconceived notions, rather than
staying in the present moment, with all the skill and attention you can muster.


1. Why write Spirit Walking: A Course in Shamanic Power?
When I first began studying with respected tribal shamans, I realized that
they had a certain something that allowed them to be a lot more effective
than most Western-trained practitioners. Not only did these people sizzle
with spiritual power, they seem a lot more grounded and content. Their
profound joyfulness about life was contagious. This was even true of those
who had experienced great hardship.
I soon realized that the difference was about connection. It wasnt just being
able to journey and meet with spirits that made a shaman powerful. It wasnt
that they exclusively journeyed to the Upper World or the Lower World or
the Middle World. These people were in deep relationship with the spirits,
with the land, with other living beings, and with themselves.
The shamans role in society is to act as a facilitator between the human
realm and that of the other spirits inhabiting the environment. Through
interaction with these spirits, shamans understand the intrinsic
interdependencies that sustain life.
Shamans borrow power to facilitate harmony within the environment,
within the community, and within the bodies of ill persons. They may work
with the spirits of animals and with natural landscape features. In all cases,
shamans develop a relationship with elemental spirits that is respectful,
reciprocal, and often longstanding.
Western people tend to be less connected to the spirits, perhaps because we
are so cerebral. While shamanic journeying produces a sense of
connectedness, for many people it still remains a mostly mental experience.
Shamanic experiences can be enhanced by engaging with spirits in ordinary

reality, through ritual offerings. Be willing to step into a relationship with

the trees, animals, birds, and other beings that reside around your home. In
bridging the two realities, one parallels, magnifies, and strengthens spiritual
experiences and bonds supporting life. Shamanic spirituality is part of
everyday awareness.
The phrase reverent participatory relationship describes the intentional,
caring, and honorific way shamans approach the world. It is a full-hearted,
whole body way of being in connection.
2. How did you originally get introduced to the shamanic path?
I read Michael Harners book, The Way of the Shaman, because the
paperback had a cover painting by one of my favorite art school instructors,
Leo Dillon. The ideas in the book fascinated me, as I loved tribal art,
masks, and ritual. I then tried journeying and had some limited success,
but for some reason, I let it fall by the wayside.
A few years later, I hit the wall with a horrible, life-halting depression.
While I was doing all the Western-prescribed methods to get well, I was
still feeling disconnected screened off from the light and joy around me. I
discovered that Michael was teaching his Way of the Shaman workshop in
Manhattan. After my first journey, during which I met my power animal,
feelings of possibility and energy began to flood my being. It was as if some
switch inside of me had been turned on again.
That experience set my feet on the path. I took other classes with the
Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and subsequently studied with tribal
shamans, including Grandfather Misha Duvan (the last male shaman of the
Ulchi of Siberia), Fredy Puma Quispe Singona (of the Peruvian Andes), Ai
Churek (whom we hosted at our home), and Bhola Banstola from Nepal.
Through Bhola, I have met with several extraordinary Himalayan shamans.
3. Would you share some wisdom about plant allies with us?
I have worked with plant allies such as datura and peyote. While these
entheogens are marvelous at opening the vision, I find that the journeys that I
do with drumming especially when I dance and sing beforehand are
more detailed and useful. It is important to engage the entire being when we
want to enter into the spirit world. We have to get out of our heads and into

our full selves.

Any repetitive stimulus can produce an alteration of consciousness. The
flickering of firelight, repetitive dance, chanting, drumming, and rattling
shift us into alpha and theta waves. The shamanic state of consciousness is
an excited visionary state. In essence, the shaman is in both realities when
they journey. The body is excited by the repetitive stimulus and the mind
both opens and quiets down to allow the wisdom of the spirits to be felt,
seen, and heard.
4. Tell us about the meditation exercises in your book.
We need support to learn a new way of being, and these exercises and
meditations are designed to do just that. They assist the reader in developing
a new awareness of themselves and their relationship with the surrounding
world. I find that working to align the inner and outer creates the foundation
necessary to be an effective spirit walker. One of the attractions of
shamanism is that it lacks the conflict chronicled in religion.
5. Can shamanism bring healing to spoiled Americans?
Tribal shamans have to negotiate between the natural, spiritual, and human
worlds on behalf of their people. Working with other sentient beings, the
shaman is constantly working to support harmony and health. Shamanism
promotes interconnection and relationship with others.
Connection with the natural world can provide a context for those terrible
things we experience in our lives. The natural world shows us that life is
about cycles. While we may experience a death or a closed door, there is
always a form of rebirth and renewal that will follow.
In addition, shamans experience several versions of reality that exist
parallel to this one, in which we simultaneously exist. That means that we
have several possible futures. We get to choose the futures we want to
experience, and we do the choosing through living how we want our future
to be.
The spirits remind us that there is more to us than our physical bodies.
There is a numinous aspect; everything is eternal. Paradoxically, through
shamanism, we also learn how sweet the sensory world is. As it heightens

our senses, life becomes even more precious. We learn to savor the beauty
around us very deeply, since we know there will come a time when we, and
those that we love, will no longer be in a body.
6. What can you share with us about energy and DNA?
Our DNA is capable of reordering photons. According to physicist Mark
Comings, in his 2005 lecture The New Physics of Space, Time and Light,
light waves are the fundamental fabric of the cosmos. Light vibrations are
responsible for producing matter. In essence, all that is physical may be
thought of as crystallized light.
Our emotions have a profound effect upon the physical structure of DNA, so
our feelings affect the fabric of physical reality. When we experience
feelings of love, compassion, gratitude, and appreciation, our DNA
conforms to its perfect shape, which allows it to function optimally. When
we are anxious, or experiencing anger, judgment, impatience, or blame, our
DNA crumples tightly onto itself. When in that state, the DNA cannot do its
work of regulating cellular function.
Not only do our bodies suffer; all DNA, in a scientifically proven radius of
over half a mile, is affected as well. Our feelings are contagious, and the
energy that is produced by them affects both physical reality and the nonlocal, subatomic world, which operates beyond ordinary time and space.
That means changes in our DNA affect our bodies and the world around us
immediately, without any time-lag.
What scientists call non-local is what a tribal shaman would call spirit.
Just as we have a local self who is reading this right now, the other part of
us is connected to everything, everywhere, throughout all time. And our
feelings affect every bit of it. If we want to generate harmony in the world
around us, we need to begin by learning how to create harmony inside of
7. What are some tools we can use to help us with that?
Amazonian shamans tell us that we need to dream a new dream for our
world. In other words, we have learned ways of thinking and feeling about
ourselves and our environment, but those ways no longer serve us. Now is
the time to learn a new way.

Reprogramming our faulty mental software isnt really that difficult; it just
takes repetition and practice. The materials in my book and on my website
are meant to help readers with that process. When we choose to enter into
relationship with the spirits, we shift our perceptions of what is real or
possible, and so can more easily manifest creative solutions to current
According to anthropologists such as Michael Winkelman and Mike
Williams, altered consciousness experiences have contributed to our
evolution. Expanding our minds helped to open up new pathways of human
thought and ability. This kind of shamanic evolution is made possible
because all human beings are capable of multidimensional experience.
Using our imagination as a springboard, we have the potential to reach
solutions that lie beyond our perceptual limitations.
In his book, The Holographic Universe, Michael Talbot argues that we
agree on what is real or not real. We have believed our senses and have
created a consensus reality, which has been formulated and ratified at the
level of the collective unconscious where all minds are infinitely
interconnected. As we expand our consciousness and what we learn in
altered states, we expand what is possible in the collective mind.
8. Would you go into the spirit side of shamanism?
Shamanism has its roots in animism, which is the belief that everything is
alive, and therefore available for relationship. It is the spiritual tradition of
our most ancient, hunter-gatherer ancestors who understood that they
depended on the environment for survival.
Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, it is clear we need to drastically
shift our ways of being in the world. Simply put, to survive, we need to
remember that we are a part of the world, and start participating in harmony
with it. This begins by developing a relationship with a power animal and
human-form teacher in the Upper World realm of spirit. These
compassionate spirits can guide us back to a more healthy and sustainable
way of knowing the world, and help our imaginations find creative solutions
to Earths woes.
9. What are some of the ways we can travel to other worlds?

Altering consciousness is an inherently human ability. A 1973 study found

that altered states of consciousness are virtually universal in their
distribution across human societies. In a sample of 488 societies, it was
found that fully 90% exhibit institutionalized, culturally patterned forms of
altered states of consciousness. The study also concluded that the capacity
to experience an altered state of consciousness seems to be a part of the
psychobiological heritage of our species.
During the days of our early ancestors, every individual was required to
participate in the survival of the community. People of all ages, and of both
sexes, gathered plants, bird eggs, fish, berries, made cordage, created
shelters, and gathered firewood to sustain the tribal group. Of course, as is
the case today, there would have been individuals within the group who
were better at certain tasks.
Some people would have been more skilled at stalking game, kindling a
fire, weaving fishing nets, or other tasks, and so would have become
specialists in their communities. This specialization would have been
efficacious, as those with better skills could accomplish essential tasks
more rapidly. Even as we made our cultural transition from hunting and
gathering into subsistence agricultural and pastoral lifestyles, skill
specialization would have been beneficial for survival success.
While entering trance state is a common human ability, as with any other
human skill, some individuals became more adept at achieving it. People
who were more predisposed to enter trance states would have become
shamans. In that role, they would have been responsible for survival needs
not readily visible in ordinary reality.
If, for instance, we depended upon the seasonal migration of animals for
sustenance, we would need to know how to intercept the herd or flock.
Having tried to visit the caribou migration myself a few years back, I know
that while they migrate in a general north/south direction, they can shift their
arrival, at a particular latitude, by a hundred miles to the east or west. If
humans, on foot, had any chance of intercepting that herd, they needed to
know where and when the animals would arrive.
Without the benefit of radar, they depended upon the shamans journeys to
find food. While we may not need to locate a migrating herd today, there are
many aspects of our lives that are not perceivable with our senses. We need
to be able to see beyond our limitations to find new solutions.

10. Anything else you would like to share with us?

Id like people to remember that plants and animals are our family, too. Our
mitochondria, which allow our cells to create energy from food, were once
separate bacteria in the primordial sea. These bacteria stepped into
symbiotic relationship with other single-celled organisms, and the first
complex cell was born. We are children of our planet, as are all other
creatures. We need to fall back in love with the earth, and reacquaint
ourselves with our larger family.


1. What inspired you to go on your journey to learn about the Ayahuasca
trade, and to chronicle it in your book, Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic
Everyones journey is different, and my calling to the medicine of ayahuasca
was also a unique path. I never realized I was writing a book until it was
too late. I went to Peru, in 2006, on a magazine assignment to track down the
mythic archetype of the shaman, and how that was changing as a generation
of western seekers went in search of entheogens, and the spiritual world
they open up.
After drinking ayahuasca with about a dozen shamans, I realized that the
story was bigger than the article I had set out to write. The mysteries
ayahuasca revealed were far deeper than I had ever imagined. The story
wrote me into itself, and it became my own shamanic odyssey.
2. What can you tell us about your background with shamanism?
I have always been attracted to things outside the norm. Raised on sci-fi,
pop culture, comic books and the like, I realized that all these mythic
archetypes pointed towards universal roles that need to be fulfilled in the
human psyche. Modern western culture has inherited a barren psychic and
spiritual landscape, populated by debris left behind by centuries of
conquest. We are disconnected from the feminine, magic, and nature.
Western orthodoxy killed off witches, plant herbalists, and its relationship
with the wonder of the world. Whole races connected to Earth and the web
of life were exterminated by successive waves of invaders to the New
World. By the 20th century, this vacuum was filled by archetypes of

wizards and shamans cultural artifacts of a lost natural world.

I always had an awareness of shamanism, but only in a mythic way. It
wasnt until I became a gonzo journalist that I really focused on the
contemporary practices of shamanism and the burgeoning business of
ayahuasca. My introduction to all of this was the 2006 Amazonian Shaman
Conference in Iquitos, Peru.
3. What does ayahuasca mean to you?
Ayahuasca is a great teacher for people here and now. William Burroughs
explored the Amazon and wrote about ayahuasca back in the 1950s, but we
werent ready for it as a culture then. I believe that over many generations,
we are being led, as a species, back to the garden, to the simple awareness
that Earth itself is a sentient, intelligent organism.
Ayahuasca is a purgative, but it is often lifting denser emotional and
vibrational memories and pains from our system, as well as physically
assisting in our own healing. Like all living things, it has a spirit, and that
spirit communicates and assists in energetic healing. As Terence McKenna
once said, Nature is alive and is talking to us. This is not a metaphor.
Ayahuasca is a tool to pull back the curtain and reveal the great mystery.
4. Do you think it will ever become acceptable in modern society?
Ayahuasca is a plant medicine with an unbroken cultural heritage throughout
South America and the Amazonia region. It was declared a national
treasure by Peru in 2008, second only to Machu Picchu. It comes out of
those same jungles devastated by logging and mining. Legislating against
any plant, whether marijuana or ayahuasca, is absurd. Nature is not illegal.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has reinforced, many
times, that the ayahuasca brew (a simple tea made from an admixture of
plants) is not illegal throughout the world unless specifically legislated
against by a nation state (such as France has done). Chemical extraction of
DMT is illegal, but not DMT in its native form.
Although there has been the occasional arrest over ayahuasca in the U.S.,
almost all reputable practitioners have seen their charges dropped. The War
on Drugs is a war on the basic freedom of consciousness itself. It controls

citizens in a way that invalidates the U.S. constitution, the freedom of

liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Ayahuasca will never be a recreational drug. The purging, fasting, and
intensity of the experience cannot be commodified for quick recreational
use. There is no danger of it being used for anything but healing and spiritual
One does not have to go the jungles to experience it anymore. The western
evolution of the ayahuasca ceremony is now often different from the
indigenous ritual. This is both natural and inevitable, but certain universal
safeguards must still be maintained, no matter where and with whom a
ceremony is conducted.
5. Is there a dark side to the Ayahuasca trade?
The curanderos will tell you that ayahuasca like all things is both light
and dark. Very often, part of the ayahuasca journey involves facing your
shadow, and your demons, both figuratively and literally. Ayahuasca is
biochemically non-addictive, however, and cannot be abused like
recreational drugs. It tastes horrible and makes you vomit, and it cannot kill
you, unless you are allowed to wander off into the jungle, by yourself, and
happen to fall off a cliff or get eaten by a jaguar. This should never happen
in a proper ceremony.
But tens of thousands of pilgrims are traveling to the Amazon to experience
ayahuasca, and this has upset the social apple cart, with locals scrabbling to
fulfill the demand from rich gringos. Many lodges have been built to cater
to this supply and demand. Some of them are of dubious quality and
integrity. It is basically a gold rush. While many truly want to help, others
just want to cash in on the craze, and thus abuse the touristos.
This is not the fault of ayahuasca itself, any more than we could blame gold
for the behavior of the forty-niners. True seekers must wade through the
periphery to find the center, wherever that center is. Do your homework and
research thoroughly. Women should be especially aware that cultural values
are different in South America, and the machismo culture saturates through,
even to some shamans.
Ultimately, ayahuasca is seeding across the planet, and I believe a new
global generation of plant medicine people are being groomed. Ayahuasca is

using the momentum of capitalism to invade the host body, and do the
necessary healing on all our psyches. This generation needs to sort out its
money-power-spirituality problem. As more people look into aya, the
excesses and bad apples will eventually be eliminated or marginalized.
6. What else would you like to share with us from your book?
Hope. The world is larger than we have been led to believe, and we have to
find our place in the cosmic ecology. Sailors of old would unfurl their sails
and catch the wind to travel, and that same principle is at work in the
manifestation of consciousness. If you catch the wind of spirit, it can guide
and support you, and carry you along to places youve only dreamed about.
By working with spirit, we can anchor a truly sustainable paradigm from the
inside out. The world can be as we dream it, as the shamans say.
7. Your book seems to be a snapshot of the ongoing global shamanic
While writing the book, I seem to have developed this razor-sharp eye, and
I have become better at encapsulating things in words. Many times, I felt as
if I werent even writing at all, but channeling what I felt and was
experiencing. The words were like rain falling on the page. All I had to do
was feel deeply, and the right words the exact words would cluster
themselves around the emotion, like sculpting meaning into form.
8. What can you share with us about your sojourns with Dennis
Dennis is one of the great old guard entheogenic explorers and scientists.
He dedicated his life to unraveling the Gaian mysteries. As recounted in his
recent book, The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss, Dennis was
intertwined with his brother, Terence, on the early expedition to the Amazon
in search of DMT-containing virolas. While Terence went on to proselyte
about psychedelics and plant entheogens, to great success, Dennis was the
one who grounded it in science.
Dennis was the one who crossbonded with the psilocybin in the legendary
Experiment at La Chorrerra, in the Amazon in 1971. Dennis was the one
chosen to have the shamanic initiation. And, thankfully, Dennis has been

spreading his wisdom as an elder to the scientific and entheogenic tribe for
many years. We first met in Iquitos in 2006, and drank in an ayahuasca
ceremony there.
Hes visited Australia for conferences and the like, and Ive met him at
various lodges in the Amazon, and interviewed him a number of times. In
one seminal interview, we chatted about the future role of the aya tourist
lodges as entheogenic monasteries training a next generation of
Not only is he a solid, dependable elder figure for our global tribe, hes
also a sweet and humble pilgrim, who has listened to the call of spirit and
done everything he can to communicate that message. Dennis has a heart of
gold. Hes been to the core of the mystery, and whether he will admit it or
not, he understands what is really going on.
9. What kind of experiences do people have under the influence of
This quote from the book gives you a slice of the lyrical beauty the medicine
can evoke:
I feel like ayahuasca is getting to know me from the inside out, but
Im trying to control her; Im static and blocking her ability to
come through. Its only when all the others seem to have fallen
asleep, in the wee hours of the night, that I can bring myself to
creep out into the jungle to purge.
As I look up from my vomit, I can see water particles hanging in
the air like a swarm of liquid bees tiny glowing beads of jungle
dew. Glistening among the beads are amoebas illuminated by the
light from my headlamp. I cant for the life of me figure out what
they are: they hang there preternaturally in the light, and as I reach
out my hand and wave it in the air, the beads curl and swirl in an
equal and opposite reaction to my motion.
Then it hits me: this is the breath of the Mother, visible and
exhaling all around. The ayahuasca is hitting me now, changing my
perceptions, deepening my emotional connection to the web of life.
Its like theres an invisible thread, and if you pull on it, the whole
picture will unravel, revealing the true pattern underneath. I feel I

am intimately connected to everything around me, to that great

atomic sea where we are all one. Safe in the great green womb, I
am remembering what this connection means, and what we really
10. What are you up to next?
I recently finished the worlds most complete anthology on the history,
science, and evolution of DMT, called The Ayahuasca Sessions:
Conversations with Amazonian Curanderos and Western Shamans. I just
try to remember that everything happens for a reason. We are all connected
in an interdependent web that sustains and nurtures us. Things are rapidly
changing. But trust the process, for the best is yet to come.


1. What led you to create your book, Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple:
Tips and Techniques for Insight, Creativity, and Personal Growth?
Anyone who has had a few lucid dreams knows they can be magical,
extraordinary, and profound. Many people consider lucid dreams a peak
experience in their life.
2. How do you research something so intangible?
After the release of my first book (for experienced lucid dreamers), Lucid
Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, I began to give workshops on lucid
dreaming and editing articles for Lucid Dreaming magazine. As the years
went by, I began to want to share the latest scientific research, tips, and
techniques to help beginners become lucidly aware, stay lucid, and explore
this special state with confidence. The more people become involved, the
more we can learn about this unique phenomenon.
3. What exactly is lucid dreaming?
In the late 1970s, sleep and dream researchers in the U.K. and U.S. explored
the idea of becoming consciously aware of dreaming while in the dream
state. To provide evidence for lucid dreaming, they had lucid dreamers
come into the sleep lab, and told them that when they became lucid, they
should signal their awareness by moving their eyes left to right eight times.
This predetermined eye movement would be recorded on the rapid eye
movement (REM) polygraph readout, and signal that the sleeping person
was consciously aware of dreaming while in the dream. Incredibly, lucid
dreamers were able to do this, and the scientific evidence verified the

paradox of being consciously aware and able to make decisions while in a

lucid dream.
The simple definition of lucid dreaming is realizing that you are dreaming,
while in the dream state.
Think of lucid dreaming as a special kind of virtual reality, similar to a
video game. In this virtual reality of dreaming, you may notice something
impossible and realize this must be a dream. At that point, you are lucid
dreaming, and can begin to direct and influence the lucid dream, especially
if you know how to do so.
Now heres the amazing thing. In a video game, like Halo or Minecraft, you
know this virtual reality of characters, environments, and surprises exists
because of software programmers. But when consciously aware and
exploring in a dream, who creates the figures and environments? Who
decides what will be on the other side of the wall, after you lucidly fly
through it?
As you go deeper into lucid dreaming, you eventually realize that you are
relating to your own inner programmer, who creates scenes and surprises
with stunning alacrity. You do not control the lucid dream, as much as relate
to your larger awareness.
The depth of lucid dreaming can be amazing, once you learn how to stay
lucid, and not immediately pop out of the lucid dream because you get too
excited. Our book is full of valuable tips and techniques to help new lucid
dreamers learn the rules and principles of lucid dreaming, so they can have
longer, deeper, and more incredible lucid dreams.
In our new book, we share that you are not really controlling the lucid
dream, as much as you are manipulating your mind, which then influences
the lucid dream accordingly. Like a gamer, if you really understand the rules
and the principles of the game, you can take lucid dreaming much deeper.
Its cool to play a video game well, but to explore your own subconscious
mind through the virtual reality of lucid dreaming is simply awesome.
4. How can you consciously decide what actions to take in these dreams?
When you realize this is a dream, you have reached a new level some
researchers call meta-awareness, or an awareness of being aware. Aware in

the lucid dream, you can then consciously decide what you want to do.
Often, you will find yourself deliberating in the lucid dream, Do I want to
ask that dream figure a question, or do I want to open this door and see
whats inside? Making conscious, deliberate choices is a hallmark of the
lucid dream.
Most beginning lucid dreamers want to go flying, since the freedom and joy
of flying feels incredible. But sometimes beginners have trouble with flying,
and fall to the ground. In our book, we point out that if they stop and fully
realize that gravity does not exist in a lucid dream, then suddenly this new
realization will make it easy to fly or do loops around the dreamscape. This
simple tip shows how a lucid dreamer can manipulate their mind and
thereby completely change their experience.
The takeaway is that everyone wants to do amazing things in their lucid
dream, but you still need to know how to do it. The answer lies not in
manipulating the dream objects or setting, but in learning how to manipulate
your mind. Once you learn and practice this, you will advance quickly as a
lucid dreamer.
5. Would you get more into interacting with dream figures?
Imagine this scenario from an actual lucid dream: You are consciously
aware in a lucid dream, and you ask a female dream figure, Do you know I
am dreaming you? She responds, How do you know I am not dreaming
As a lucid dreamer, this may stun you for a moment, and then you might
reply, Well look, I can fly, and begin to levitate. And then she might state,
Well look at me, I can fly, too, and take off.
In this simple example, a lucid dreamer learns that dream figures vary in
their awareness, responsiveness, and conversational ability. While some
dream figures may reply with gibberish or ignore you, others will make you
reconsider your assumptions about them.
6. What can we do to more actively use kung fu on the bad guys in our
One way to become lucidly aware in a dream is to make a recurring dream

event that bothers you (like being chased by an alien, monster, or serial
killer) into a dream sign that helps you become lucidly aware. You could
make this suggestion before going to sleep: Tonight in my dreams, when I
find myself being chased by the monster, I will realize this only happens in
dreams, and become lucidly aware.
7. So, through the power of self-suggestion, you can change a bothersome
recurring dream event into the thing that prompts your lucidity?
Yes. And while you could become lucid and use physical kung fu against
your assailant, you might want to do what we suggest in our book: ask them
an open-ended question, like, What do you represent? or Why are you
chasing me? You might be surprised (and illuminated) by the response.
8. You basically use spiritual or psychological kung fu, by sending love
and compassion to the assailants in your dream.
Yes, and when you do this, you will likely see them transform and become
peaceful or non-threatening. Lucid dreaming can show us the true power of
To pursue the path of lucid dreaming, we need to keep a dream journal by
our bed. When we wake up in the middle of the night, our first thought has to
be, What was I just dreaming? As you begin to recall your dreams, you
are ready to pursue lucid dreaming.
9. Can we use lucid dreaming to access our inner creativity?
Absolutely. In a lucid dream, you are able to influence the dream
environment, setting, figures and even yourself. You can work out a problem
on a new invention.
10. It sounds a lot like self-hypnosis.
It is. You can use lucid dreaming to get over a phobia, like the fear of
heights or the fear of public speaking, or to suggest improvements in athletic
performance or overall health. Lucid dreaming can be a gateway to a new
realm of deep insight, self-growth, and personal transformation.


1. Tell us about your new book, The Voodoo Doll Spellbook: A
Compendium Of Ancient and Contemporary Spells and Rituals.
I wanted to do a follow up to my first book, Voodoo Dolls in Magick and
Ritual, which would focus on how people use magick and fetishism to deal
with lifes conditions. I also wanted to explore the use of doll magick
across cultures and throughout time.
There is a popular notion that voodoo dolls come from Europe, and while
there is a strong element of poppet magic in European folk magic traditions,
there is a strong element of image magic and fetishism in many cultures
around the world. The Voodoo doll, as we know it in New Orleans Voodoo,
has a strong link to the fetishism of Africa, particularly of the boccio found
along the western coast.
There are records of slaves being observed with crude wooden fetishes
carved in human shapes. We suspect these were used as protection and
maybe defense.
2. Could you go into the history of the voodoo doll?
Doll magic is found in many cultures historically. The ancient Greeks are
known for their curse tablets, which were often paired with dolls. Many
times these dolls were bound with their hands behind their backs. Studies of
the curse tablet inscriptions reveal a focus on eliminating business
competitors. They were also commonly used in love spells.
3. Business and love often intermingle in unhealthy ways.


In ancient Egypt, dolls were used as dream oracles. In Native cultures, dolls
were frequently used as fertility objects. Interestingly, they are also found to
be used in a similar fashion as hoodoo, where they were buried in the path
of a person who was considered an enemy, with the intent to destroy that
4. The history of the Hopi Kachina doll is a bit obscure. Although they
depict Hopi gods, their style was based on the paho, a simple baby toy.
Over time, the dolls became more complex, like our western action
figures, and are now popular and expensive.
In Africa, wooden fetishes are used as fertility objects and in initiation
rituals. There are also the boccio, which are the wooden sculptural figures
with nails, rope, fabric, and feathers attached to them. I believe the use of
pins in modern day voodoo dolls comes from the boccio. Nails or pins are
stuck into the fetish as a means of activating its power.
5. How did Christianity and Catholicism become intertwined in voodoo?
The presence of Christian and Catholic elements in New Orleans Voudou
was the result of colonization and the enforcement of the Black Codes.
Europeans have attempted to tame the savage (African and Native
American) for centuries, through conversion to Christianity, forced and
The implementation of the Louisiana Black Code (Code Noir) put social
and legal structures in place that mandated the practice of Catholicism
above any other religion, causing the expulsion of the Jews from the
Louisiana colonies, and the imposition of harsh penalties for any slave
free or otherwise to worship anything other than a Christian God.
Catholicism is unique from other Western religions in that its saints and
angels act as intermediaries between God and human beings. Catholics pray
to saints, asking them to carry prayers to God, in the belief that they have
more influence than we do with God. Many people believe Catholics pray
to the saints themselves, but this is not the case, even though it may look that
way from outside.
The religious hierarchy inherent in Catholicism closely parallels the
pantheon of spirits in Voudou. In Voudou, there is a category of spirit called

loas, who act as intermediaries between God and humans, just like the
saints. It didnt take long for slaves to see the commonalities between some
of the saints and their own African deities, and so they used Catholic saints
as stand-ins, as it were, for African gods.
For example, St. Peter holds the keys to the gates of heaven, so he became
associated with, and the stand-in for, Papa Legba, who holds the keys to the
spirit world. This process of association is called syncretism. Over time,
the saints became part of Voudou. Instead of pushing them to the wayside,
they have been embraced as part of the Voudou pantheon of spirits.
6. How did you get into voodoo originally?
I was born in New Orleans, and have always had a connection with this
ancestral knowledge. I was born with a knowing of many things on a
supernatural level. I had an aunt who recognized this. She gave me my first
formal lesson in communicating with the spirits when I was very young,
around five or six.
She washed my head with an herbal wash, and taught me how to access the
world of spirit with a single candle flame. She said all the spirits could be
contacted this way, and so that was how I stayed connected to the spirits.
But it didnt stop there. The spirits were always making themselves known
to me in dreams and visions. I was often battling frightening demons and
spirits, even as a young child. There was comfort in knowing I had spirit
helpers, who helped me fight those battles, as well as many others
throughout my lifetime.
7. We have some right-wing spook enemies, who are vicious liars. They
make up things just to tarnish your name and decrease your media
footprint. Most of them are either Catholic or Christian, and are not
above trying to put spells on you.
Every field seems to have a hate realm, which works at the subconscious
level. This hate is meant to demoralize and marginalize those who want to
democratize the process.
8. Can we use voodoo to make these enemies cease their cruel attacks?

I find there are two effective ways of dealing with enemies: Shut the Hell
Up spells and binding spells. Binding spells are done to literally stop the
individual from doing any further harm.
9. Could you give us an example of a decent binding spell?
Sure. Heres a classic binding spell that is easy to do and quite effective.
Its called Tie an Enemy Up.
First, you get a purple candle. Then you take a photo of your enemy, or a
piece of parchment paper with their name written on it (preferably in
Dragons Blood ink), and attach that to a Voodoo doll. Anoint the dolls feet
with Hot Foot Oil to drive your enemy away. Take a rope, and tie it around
the doll, and stick it in a dark corner facing the wall. Light the purple
candle, and say Psalm 94.
Of course there are many other ways of dealing with enemies. Some are
much darker, such as torture spells, destruction spells, and even death spells
(to be used only as a last resort).
10. What are you up to next?
Crossroads University has received a facelift and is on a new platform, and
I invite everyone to check it out. We offer courses on various aspects of
Southern Conjure and Rootwork, including one called Doll Baby Conjure,
where I teach students how to make and use several different types of dolls,
such as the Swamp Witch and the New Orleans Voodoo Rope Doll.


1. What drew you to write The Witchs Eight Paths of Power: A Complete
Course in Magick and Witchcraft?
I was considering the nature of magick; what it was, why it worked, and
how one could train to be better at the skills that made it work. I was
designing workshops around this subject. Then I happened to be reading
through a text version of Gerald Gardners Book of Shadows (for those who
might not know, he is arguably the founder of modern witchcraft,) and I
considered what he called the Eightfold Way.
His theory was that there were essentially eight methods of working magick.
I considered how these would apply, and spent several years experimenting,
studying, and teaching these theories and exercises. The result is a practical,
step-by-step workbook that takes you from beginning to advanced witchcraft
practice. I wrote the book I wanted to read.
2. How did you begin on the path of witchcraft?
You have asked a simple question with a complex answer. I was about ten
years old. I started having dreams that came true. I wanted to know what that
was all about, and what I should do with it. Parapsychology studies couldnt
tell me that. But then I found a book in my school library, Practical
Candleburning Rituals by Raymond Buckland, and I thought, Wow, you
mean magic is real, and we can actually learn how to do it?
At about the same time, I discovered Greek mythology. Id always been very
mystically minded, and the idea that there were goddesses as well as gods
was irresistible. My given name is Diane, so I immediately felt a connection
to the goddess Diana. One night, I stood under the full moon and decided
that I was going to pray to Diana instead of the other divinities. I believe she

took me up on it!
I started doing dancing ceremonies, around trees, in honor of Diana and
Venus, to change the weather and so forth. Christian ladies in the
neighborhood claimed that these were evil witchcraft, so I kept them to
myself until later in my teens, when I discovered that my silent faith had a
name. The rest is history.
3. Could you share your perception of intent with us?
As a shaman, when you focus your intent to manifest your will in the world,
you arent just bringing your conscious surface desires to bear. You are also
drawing upon your unconscious beliefs and assumptions, and the desires of
your Higher Self. If you dont really want what you think you want, or if you
dont really believe that what you want is possible, then it wont work out
for you. You may have hidden fears or motivations that could misdirect your
To successfully manifest your will, you must also shift your consciousness,
because the mind is made up of more than left-brain logic and
communication, and different acts of manifestation and healing what a
witch would call magick take place on different levels of consciousness.
Aleister Crowley said, Magick is the art and science of causing change
according to will. Dion Fortune said, Magic is the art of changing
consciousness according to will. Both are true.
4. What are your thoughts on intoxicants and the role they play in
magickal practice?
I define intoxicants as any external substances that change consciousness.
This includes incense, essential oils, and herbs, as well as some of the
things that probably immediately come to mind, such as alcohol and drugs.
We know that essential oils change mood and cause healing effects. We
know that drinking caffeinated beverages perk up our mood, and we know
that drinking chamomile tea relaxes and calms us.
A recent article in The New York Times discussed a study proving that
humble frankincense, the most common and widespread incense ingredient,
has noticeable and measurable effects on our consciousness. So we use
them for a reason.


Witches work with a lot of these sorts of things. We use incense and
smudging in our rituals, and we heal with aromatherapy and herbs. We often
drink a cup of wine as part of our Cakes and Ale ceremony, which is
something like the Eucharist. Some of us will also make use of stronger
intoxicants, such as cannabis and hallucinogens, for specific magickal goals
and journeyworking, just as many shamanic traditions throughout history
have done. Im one who has, and I detail this a bit in my book, though laden
with cautionary notes about the risks, which are often considerable.
5. Would you go into blood and breath with us?
Control of blood flow and breathing is a core principle to many mystical
traditions, such as yoga, Reiki, Tai Chi, and so on. The control of the flow
of these basic elements moves energy through the body in specific ways,
which can then be utilized and directed towards your intent. For instance, a
Tantric practitioner seeks to awaken Kundalini and thus join with the
A Reiki practitioner seeks to awaken the healing energies that naturally exist
in the body and spirit. There are external methods of controlling these
things, such as drumming to a heartbeat and moving the body into different
positions (like yogic asanas or binding practices), and there are internal
methods of controlling them (such as breath exercises). Most modern
mystical systems are familiar with the concepts of chakras and the flow of
chi, so this is the primary paradigm I use to describe the process and how it
6. What exactly do you mean by the scourge?
The scourge is a tool used in some traditions of witchcraft, though not all.
Its more like a soft flogger made of cloth or leather, kind of like the ones
you find in sex shops. It is used to ritually strike the body to produce
changes in consciousness. As a magickal tool, it is symbolic of the pains
and trials of life.
I cover the ritual use of the scourge as a tool, but I also consider the
magickal lessons in the pains of life. I deal with such things as the five
stages of grief, doing work with the shadow-self, the Heros underworld
journey, confronting fear, and healing trauma.


7. What else from the book would you like to share with our readers?
Based on your readership, who are probably familiar with mysticism but not
witchcraft, I can offer my introduction to Chapter Three:
The use of language, sound, and ritual is the most familiar form of
witchs magick; its what people usually think of when they hear
the word witchcraft. Rites, chants, spells, runes, and charms
speak directly to your conscious mind to formulate intent, while
symbols, archetypes, correspondences, and mythology speak to
your unconscious mind.
My intention is to teach you about the theory rather than specifics.
Hopefully, you will never need to consult a magickal recipe book
ever again, and will instead have the practical tools at your
disposal to make the best kinds of spells, rituals, chants, charms,
and runes the ones you write for yourself.
These methods use a language of symbols to speak to the
subconscious mind, and through that communicate a specific
desire. Learning the witchs language of symbolism is like learning
the language of manifestation. Using it makes it easier to
communicate to the universe what you want. The study and
practice of this symbolic language is called the art or the craft
for a reason.
8. What is next in your future?
Im working on a book on my tradition of Wicca, Star Sapphire, and one on
Pagan sex.
9. Dont you have a blog?
Yes, I write a column for the Pagan Channel called Between the Shadows.
10. Arent you interested in writing fantasy fiction as well?
Yes, Ive been writing a fantasy novel series for a few years. Im always
plugging steadily away at that. Im also a musician, and am working on a
new album. I teach an online course in Star Sapphire Wicca and the Witchs

Eight Paths, and I practice Tarot and Reiki, along with teacup or tea leaf


1. What was the inspiration for The Secret Life of Babies: How Our
Prebirth and Birth Experiences Shape Our World?
There is a solid eighty years of scientific research showing that babies
remember their earliest experiences, but this has never made it into the
medical or scientific mainstream. When a call went out to those of us with
experience in clinical neuroscience, asking, What can we do to spread the
word? I knew I wanted to do something. It was only a few months later that
I started writing The Secret Life of Babies.
2. What early experiences are we talking about?
Ive recently enjoyed reading Michael Newtons book, Journey of Souls,
which talks at length about life between lives. The work of Prebirth and
Birth Healing includes a sensitivity or tracking of what a persons soul or
consciousness was aware of just before being conceived whether they
wanted or didnt want to come here, knew or didnt know what general
climate they were being conceived into, etc.
The variety of experiences my patients have remembered really disproves
the theory that every baby chooses its parents or everyone wants to be
incarnated. Ive seen a lot of cases where once people regress and feel into
their own truth on the matter, they discover they were reluctant. This
reluctance actually frees them, because theyve been struggling with
questions about being human and being here.
Many become reluctant soon into the incarnational journey, because of
painful family circumstances. War, starvation, and poverty can imprint an
embryo or fetus as readily as a parents substance abuse, narcissism, or
ambivalence toward having children.

3. How can forceps and Cesareans imprint relationships and cause

Every birth follows an arc, guided by nature. Included in that arc are the
babys decision of when it is time to be born, and the co-created journey
between mother and baby, as the baby drops, emerges, finds the breast, and
swallows her colostrum.
We all somehow know how to do this, but certain stages can be missed.
Sometimes lifesaving measures are required, to assist mothers and babies to
reach the end of the arc. We are blessed to have those measures. More often
than wed like though, those measures are used in the absence of lifethreatening circumstances. They are used to expedite impasses that could
better be dealt with by applying wisdom and inquiry.
When the arc of birth is interrupted, as is routinely done 80-90% of the time,
its as if you are saying to the baby that it is not quite fit for this world. With
forceps, babies are commonly left with crushing head pain and a belief that
Im stuck and someone has to get me out. With Cesareans, babies may go
on living with a myriad of imprints, including a lingering fogginess, as
well as a lack of trust that they can complete tasks.
Mothers who have encountered multiple interruptions during birth are more
prone to postnatal depression, the feeling that something is between them
and their babies, and in the case of Cesareans, the sense that they still feel
Babies learn quickly about the world when in the womb and being born.
They will repeat what theyve learned, because they think its normal. We
need to keep in mind that what they learn at the beginning largely informs
how they later cooperate or not, love or not, lead, teach, earn, decide, and
ultimately care for the planet and themselves.
4. Preconception, conception, gestation, birth, and afterbirth therefore
shape society.
Yes, a population born with unacknowledged pain is deeply disadvantaged
when it comes to building loving, cooperative, sustainable systems.
5. Could you share your six protocols for detecting individual imprints?

Nature has made it so all living things know how to heal. The six steps in
the Intuitive Recovery Project are a sample of how to access our inborn
healing capacities. First, we must connect, or center, ourselves in the bigger
story the one that knows we are carried by a bigger force in the world.
The second is to detect and articulate an area of your life that seems to be
faltering. From there, we show you how to simultaneously feel and dialogue
with what may have imprinted you when you were a baby. Most people who
have some familiarity with therapy know what it is that bothers them. Some
even know what happened where they first absorbed their particular
wound. Very few know how to confront the wound and come out the other
side, though. Thats what we offer in The Secret Life of Babies. Although
this short process is extremely effective on its own, the Intuitive Recovery
Project is also a much larger program of study done over several years.
6. How do we counter the harmful effects that cause babies to disconnect?
No matter how severely weve been affected by negative circumstances, we
are all endowed with the capacity and innate drive to heal, or re-experience
our wholeness. Our online birth recovery program takes mothers through the
same healing process they would go through if they came into my office in
The upside of technologically affected birth is that even if mothers and
babies were interrupted, they both know how to complete birth the way
nature designed it for them. The program guides mothers in how to do that,
and then teaches her how to do that with her baby.
7. Is it never too late to heal?
Ive never met a person who was exempt from challenges in life. Ive also
never met a person without some urge to confront the heartache of whats
challenged them in their life. Its made me faithful that there is something
natural about lifes imperfections that they are designed to bring us into
more intimacy with ourselves.
8. Truly beautiful people often have an imperfection that makes them
uniquely lovable.


When we confront the imperfections our lived grievances and can

actually surrender our grief about them, big things happen. We live life more
fully. We can love more. Our bodies undergo physiological change, and the
people around us suddenly have more permission to do the same. Healing
seems to be built into life, and you cant have healing without hurt. People
in their eighties and nineties have changed their lives. Although the capacity
to heal enhances with practice, it can awaken at any age. Its never too late.
9. What else would you like to share with us from your book?
This book isnt only about babies; its about you and me, and the adults we
become. Its about how we inherit ancestral habits, and the dynamics of how
that works. Its about the several thousand years of history that have led us
to dominate nature, and by consequence, birth, and how we each can begin
to undo bad habits.
10. Could you share some more information about the Intuitive Recovery
The Intuitive Recovery Project is a program of study that delves deeply into
how we have created and perpetuated societies that rarely trust nature.
Nature, in this case, is not only the greenery, oceans, and animals, but also
the arc of natural processes in our bodies and relationships.
On one level, it is a recovery of the senses, which leads to greater relational
skills between ourselves and all living beings. It is also a recovery of
learning, as we explore the cultural trends throughout history that unless
made conscious, compel us in unsustainable directions. It is for those who
not only wish to see themselves thrive, but also wish to take their rightful
place in the overall ecosystem.


1. What is your Serpent of Wisdom: And Other Essays on Western
Occultism about?
The book is a collection of essays that deal with some of the most basic
aspects of magic and the occult things such as the definition of magic, the
way in which magical energy works, what spirits are, how they
communicate with us, why familiar spirits choose to interact so intimately
with humanity, the nature of time, the difference between black magic and
white magic, the importance of the magic circle, and similar fundamentals.
2. Why is such a book needed today?
There are countless books about the practice of magic, but none of them try
to get at the root of how magic actually works, or what it is.
3. How does magic work?
Magic alters probability. It makes unlikely events occur. Magic in action is
indistinguishable from luck. Its not a science because it transcends the
natural laws that define the sciences. It has always been a form of creative
expression a type of art.
4. What is the most essential component of magic?
One of the most essential components is the magic circle. In all types of
magic worked around the world and during all historical periods, the magic
circle is described. It takes on a bewildering variety of different forms, but
its underlying purpose is always the same to define and to divide the ritual

space from the rest of the universe.

It functions both as a vessel and as a barrier a vessel to hold magical
potency in so that it can be concentrated, and a barrier to keep chaotic
forces out. The essay titled The Magic Circle deals with the nature of the
magic circle and how to cast it correctly.
5. What is the most important essay in the book?
In my opinion, the most important essay is the one titled Sensory
Metaphors. It deals with the way human beings perceive spiritual beings.
All of the confusion about what spirits are, and what they are made of,
arises from our lack of understanding about the way we interact with them.
We seem to perceive spirits with our senses, but we do not. They appear to
be physical beings, but they are never physical. Only when we grasp how
we perceive spirits, through the mechanism of the mind that I call sensory
metaphors, can we begin to understand their true nature.
6. What is the most controversial essay?
That would be my essay The Enochian Apocalypse Working, which
speculates about the true purpose of the system of Enochian magic
conceived by mathematician John Dee and alchemist Edward Kelley near
the end of the 16th century. My contention is that Enochian magic was
designed to open the gates of the four watchtowers at the corners of our
reality, and admit the chaotic spirits intended to initiate the Apocalypse.
7. What was your overall goal in publishing these essays?
I didnt want to present yet another system of magic, or to rehash existing
material in the usual way. I wanted to reveal the very essence of magic
itself. The information I provide is universal, and may be applied to any
system of magic. The essay Guerrilla Divination illustrates my purpose.
In this essay, I created an entirely new form of divination by the fall of lots,
in order to show the basic principles that underlie all forms of divination by
lots. By applying these principles, anyone can create their own original,
personal system of divination.


8. Are any of the essays about traditional magic?

The essay Order of the Tarot Trumps gives the history of the esoteric
ordering of the picture cards of the Tarot, which is one of the pillars of
modern Western magic. Beginning with the French occultists at the close of
the 18th century, it traces the entire history of the sequencing of the trumps of
the Tarot down to Aleister Crowley. But more important is the new and
original arrangement of the trumps that I provide here, which I regard as the
final word on the esoteric sequence of the Tarot trumps.
9. Why should those studying modern magic read your book?
There are two ways to approach magic: the wrong way and the right way.
The wrong way involves imitating, by rote, the rituals and practices of other
magicians, and existing systems. I regret to say that this is the usual
approach to the study of magic. The right way is to grasp the underlying
principles of magic, which allow the student to construct his own magical
system with complete confidence in its effectiveness. The essays in this
book present the basic principles through which all magic works.
10. Is there anything youd like to say in closing?
Spiritual beings are too often treated by magicians as slaves, or at best
servants; but these beings are intelligent, and capable of noble thoughts and
loving emotions. They deserve to be treated with respect. Indeed, to treat
them any other way is a form of abuse. Obviously there are malicious spirits
who should be avoided by magicians, but most spirits are not malicious and
should be afforded basic rights as thinking, feeling, independent beings. I
hope the magicians of the 21st century will begin to regard spirits as equals,
who possess their own inherent dignity and merit our respect.


1. Werent you inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006?
Yes, but I got my start, decades before, by attending the Art Students League
in New York City. After studying fine art for three years, I was basically
unemployable, so I became a cartoonist. I illustrated the Aquaman comic for
about eight years, co-created a character called Metamorpho, drew House
of Secrets mysteries, and worked on various features, including Plastic
Man, Freedom Fighters, Fantastic Four, and Superfriends. In 1980, I left
the world of comic books to draw the syndicated comic strip, Brenda Starr.
I had always wanted to go to college, so in 1977, I enrolled at NYU, where
I studied psychology and ancient religion. It was there that I became
acquainted with The Faust Book, and began the effort to decipher it. I also
studied astrology and practiced alternative forms of medicine, such as
hypnotherapy and energy healing. In 1995, I left Brenda to her own devices,
and intended to retire from comics altogether.
But, instead, I have since designed covers for Marvel Comics, drawn
various features for Boingo and Nickelodeon (such as Sponge Bob comics),
and illustrated a graphic novel, The Adventures of Unemployed Man. I
continue to draw and go to comic conventions, which I love, and in 2005, I
finally finished writing The Gnostic Faustus: The Secret Teachings Behind
The Classic Text.
While a number of comic book writers and artists have used the vivid
imagery of the medium to express their Gnostic or Tantric experiences, it
never occurred to me to put the two together or express one by means of the
other. Instead, from 1977 on, I unwittingly followed parallel tracks, drawing
simple superheroes on the one hand, and writing about the Gnostics on the

I suppose it makes sense that some of us are drawn to these subjects,

considering the Gnostic, Tantric, and alchemical imagery of comics.
Certainly Superman, who comes down to Earth to fight evil, is a pop
version of Primal Man, the Gnostic hero-savior who descends to battle the
forces of darkness. And what could be more Tantric or alchemical than all
those superheroes who change their sizes and shapes, and fly through walls?
2. What was your prime motivation in creating The Gnostic Faustus?
At NYU, I was introduced to the original version of the Faust legend a
simple 16th century German folktale called The Faust Book. I had heard
dark references to Faustian bargains all my life, had read Goethes Faust
and other adaptations of the story, and had even illustrated one myself. It had
the unreal quality of a dream, with mysterious symbols and numbers, and
odd, unrelated events. And it seemed to be masking a hidden message.
When I came to a chapter where Faustus drags a lowly butler out of a wine
cellar and deposits him at the top of a tall pine tree, my suspicions were
confirmed. I recognized that as a metaphor for enlightenment, similar to an
early alchemical woodcut I had seen in Titus Burckhardts Alchemy. It
depicts souls being pulled up, by their hair, from the temporal plane through
the 24 spheres of awareness, to Jesus enthroned at the top. That led me to
investigate more seriously the strange world of alchemy and to determine
that The Faust Book plot, if nothing else, was a metaphor for the alchemical
And then, by a stroke of fate, the collection of Gnostic manuscripts that had
been found in a cave at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, came out in English
translation. When I discovered it in a bookstore and glanced through the
writings, I began to detect a recurring narrative in the various creation
myths, one that recalled The Faust Book plot. The theme of temptation,
transgression, fall, and redemption seemed to be common to them all, save
for the anomaly of Faustus horrible end.
I was familiar with the notion of the Divine feminine as a force that uplifts,
but in those books, I discovered the goddess as a wisdom figure, whose
fatal curiosity leads her as it leads Faustus to exile, degradation, and
despair. By their words and actions, Faustus and Mephistopheles parody or
directly enact all aspects of the themes underlying The Faust Book plot.
Two of the themes are introduced when Faustus conjures up the devil. He

plays the role of the doubting disciple in the underlying myth, who is visited
by the Holy Spirit and receives a revelation about the cosmic creation. The
Holy Spirit appears to the disciple in a field of light that contains three
forms, representing the godhead. In The Faust Book, the devil, or
Mephistopheles, steps out of a ball of light containing three forms as well.
In this scene, Mephistopheles also represents a guru that a Tantric disciple
has been seeking.
His association with the ball of light, which in the myth reflects the mystery
of the godhead, refers to the Tantric notion that the guru is inseparable from
his sacred teaching. These transformational themes fit together by virtue of
their similar structures, and take place on the cosmic, divine, and human
Perhaps the most surprising thing I discovered, as I went along, is that the
wording of The Faust Book was borrowed from some of the myths. The
story is a paragraph-by-paragraph parody, metaphor, or simile of wording
taken from selected features of the different texts. They were pieced together
to form the composite creation myth on which the surface plot is
constructed. Ultimately, The Faust Book is a multilayered account of a
spiritual initiation far deeper and more complex than its humble exterior
would suggest.
3. What secret teachings are contained in the Faust story?
The most interesting thing about The Faust Book is how long the story has
remained an enigma. While the story of the doomed German scholar has
grown in influence over the centuries, inspiring artists and spawning a great
modern myth, its secret message of transformation and redemption remains
largely invisible. It is the perennial call of the early church, a healing stream
that has flowed beneath western civilization since it was driven
underground by the Roman establishment in the early Christian centuries.
From time to time, its message of renewal has resurfaced, but only in
disguise in folk and fairy tale, myth, and Arthurian romance.
It involves a belief, expressed in the composite Gnostic myth encoded in
The Faust Book, that there is a god of love and light beyond the ignorant one
that created this world. The universe is seen as a conscious, polarized
energy field issuing from that source, and we reflect that polarity in our
divided natures. Our task, then, is to reconcile our inner conflicts and

experience the light that flows from unity, or the God within.
That message is hidden in The Faust Book. While the disciple pursues the
task of transformation in the underlying account, Faustus embarks on a
profligate life, and only by a symbol is the opposite story revealed. The
devil allots him 24 before he must die and surrender his soul. For
alchemists, the number 24 denotes the successful completion of a cycle. Its
mention suggests that Faustus is committing himself to complete the effort of
selftranscendence, not to die a gruesome death. By symbols and reverse
metaphors such as these, The Faust Book conveys its heretical message.
There are two specific practices designed to achieve the goal of
enlightenment that are associated with the Gnostics. They are alchemy and
Tantra, the yoga of sex, and both are encoded in The Faust Book. To the
church, seeking salvation without priestly intervention was heretical, and all
such practices were the work of the devil.
While The Faust Book made the devil unpleasant enough to appease the
church and help it suppress dissent, the outrageous staging of Marlowes Dr.
Faust some 20 years later, made him and his shrieking demons utterly
terrifying. In such an atmosphere, the message of love and healing remained
out of sight.
Over the centuries, Faustus longing for a direct experience of God has
remained invisible transformed into a longing for women, power, or gold.
4. Why did Faustus go for making a deal with the devil?
In Gnostic myth, Adam, the first man, was created by Sophias error, the
god who rules the material world. Adams body lay lifeless until Sophia
came down and breathed a portion of her spirit into it. His nature was
divided as a result, and so are we, his descendants. In Gnostic speculation,
this division reflects the positive and negative polarities in the universe, and
is reflected in myth as a cosmic war between Darkness and Light or, as
some Gnostic schools assert, between ignorance and knowledge of God.
Some Gnostic sects believed that there were three races of men: Pneumatics
who were wholly spiritual; Psychics who were a mixture of spirit and
matter, and were capable of being saved; and Hylics, who were wholly
material and beyond salvation. The Faust Book concerns itself with the
mixed or divided soul, and that is the role that Faustus plays. While he is

said to be seeking the devils forbidden knowledge, he is actually

responding to the pull of his spiritual nature, which longs for a direct
experience of God.
Some early Gnostics employed specific techniques to achieve that end.
Among them was Tantric yoga, whose methods were designed to unite male
and female polarities by awakening the Kundalini serpent power that lies
coiled at the base of the spine. It is a raging, elemental force that, if not
controlled, can stimulate lascivious behavior, an inflated ego, and other
negative traits. Faustus enacts all of these things as he plays the role of a
Tantric disciple, while Mephistopheles parodies the actions of a guru.
Tantra involves intense breathing techniques and development of an iron
discipline, for the students passion, when aroused, must be directed.
Contemplation of the female form is a central feature of that process.
Tantrists identified their Kundalini energy as feminine, and worshipped it as
a goddess; its movements brought the bliss that they imagined in their
dreams and meditations.
Hermetic alchemists shared the Tantrists worldview, and their goal of
reconciling opposites in their metals fit the Tantric model in theory and
practice. Chinese and Indian alchemists are known to have worked with
Tantra, and it is strongly suspected not least by the evidence of The Faust
Book that secretive western alchemists did the same.
Stages of the alchemical process correspond to stages of a Tantric initiation
as, for example, in the oscillation of the alchemists metal between
dissolution and fixation. It mirrors the rhythm of Kundalini energy as it rises
and falls along the Tantrists invisible spine. The purpose of both is to
reconcile opposites and promote a higher awareness.
The fire that catalyzes the alchemists metal and promotes its change is
equivalent to the transforming passion aroused in the Tantric disciple as he
contemplates the female form.
At the time The Faust Book was written, it was widely believed that
alchemical processes underlay the workings of the universe and determined
the path of transformation. That belief is encoded in The Faust Book, where
alchemy is featured throughout, not only in relation to Tantra, but also as a
foundation for events in the creation myth.


5. Does it contain messages from texts like Pistis Sophia and Hymn of
the Pearl?
The composite creation myth that underlies The Faust Book is made up of a
number of Gnostic, Hermetic, and Christian texts. The most important are
Hymn of the Pearl, Pistis Sophia, and The Apochryphon of John. The first
is an allegory of a search for Gnosis, and epitomizes the myth of the alien
pilgrim savior, who is redeemed by recalling his divinity. Faustus story is a
metaphor of essential features of the hymn.
Following is a brief comparison to demonstrate how The Faust Book
borrowed from it.
The savior leaves his wealthy home in the light world to find the lost pearl
(inner wisdom), and Faustus leaves the home of his wealthy parents to
pursue forbidden knowledge. The savior puts on filthy garments (the
body) and Faustus pledges himself to the devil.
They both fall into bad company and indulge in worldly pleasures. The
savior forgets his heavenly origin and Faustus abandons God. A letter from
his parents reminds the savior of his mission and his origin, while Faustus
gets a mysterious call from above, and is taken on a journey through the
heavens. The savior seizes the pearl from the dragon that guards it, while
Faustus goes to Rome and steals silver from the Pope.
The savior puts on his robe of light, while Faustus sleeps with the numinous
Helen. They have a miraculous offspring. The savior is greeted by his
father, yet Faustus dies. Here again, redemption in the underlying message is
disguised. In fact, the miraculous child that results from Faustus and Helens
union is a version of alchemys Philosophical Child, who represents the
union of opposites or the final stage of enlightenment.
The Pistis Sophia concerns itself with matters of salvation, and supplies the
soteriological underpinning of the myth. Jesus answers questions from the
disciples about the nature and workings of the light world, about their
purpose here on Earth, where they come from and where they are going, and
whether the damned can be saved. Their questions are reflected in The
Faust Book in the several discourses Faustus has with the devil.
The book syncretizes various strains of Gnostic thought, including elements
of astrology, magic, Christianity, inspired visions of the cosmic creation, the

belief that Christ was a spiritual being and did not really die on the cross,
and bizarre features from the Manichaean creation myth. It features an
account of Sophias fall and redemption, leaving out her role as creator of
the material world. Her hymns of hope, as recounted in Pistis Sophia, run
throughout the myth and offer consolation for Faustus tragic plight.
The Apochryphon of John tells the other side of Sophias story. A creation
revelation that encompasses the body of Gnostic myth, it was a central work
of their scripture. The Faust Book author borrowed heavily from it to flesh
out details of his myth. The Apochryphon account follows Sophia into the
abyss, where she gives birth to the ignorant Yaltabaoth, who creates the
material world with its harsh conditions and retributive laws. These are the
laws that ensnare Faustus and punish him for loving what ought not to be
There are several other texts that contribute to the underlying myth.
Wherever they appear in the narrative, they amplify its meaning and shed
further light on Faustus actions.
6. What are some examples of the Divine feminine encoded in the book?
The goddess Sophia was called the World Soul, because her journey from
ignorance to wisdom was thought to be the model for human transformation.
Faustus story is a metaphor for hers. Her sin was hubris; she longed to see
the unknowable God directly, and in approaching his light, she broke the
foremost rule of the light world.
She was banished into outer darkness, and as she fell deep into the abyss,
her light grew dim, then cooled and hardened into matter. In a parody of
Sophias longing and transgression, Faustus tries to satisfy his own
forbidden desire by approaching the devil, who corrupts him and hardens
his heart.
As Sophia falls deeper into the darkness, she experiences doubt, fear, grief,
and repentance. These are precisely the emotions Faustus speaks of when,
realizing what he has become, he feels abandoned by God. Unlike Sophia,
however, he is unable to repent.
In her exile, Sophia assumes a material body that obscures her spiritual
light. Succumbing to its desires, she begins to live wantonly and forgets her
heavenly origin. Faustus lives wantonly, too. He acquires the devils

powers, and no longer revering Gods words, indulges in wine, women,

and all manner of vices.
Sophia is represented in The Faust Book by the bewitching Helen, a
phantom figure conjured up by Faustus, which arouses passion in his
students. She appears in a setting that suggests a Tantric initiation, for just as
Faustus offers Helens tempting figure to his students, the Tantric guru
encourages his pupils to visualize and even dream about beautiful women,
to imagine touching them and eventually having intercourse with them
while all the time practicing detachment.
This enables them to control and reverse their sexual drive, forcing the
sacred Kundalini energy located at the base of the spine upward to the
cranial vault, where it is said to unify polarized consciousness and produce
immeasurable bliss. This technique is parodied ingeniously in The Faust
Book by symbols, numbers, and metaphorical images.
As an object of desire, Sophia stands in the tradition of Isis, whose temple
priestesses performed sexual sacraments that were designed to unite male
and female polarities and turn them into gods. This was also a symbolic
restoration of the divided godhead that was scattered when Sophia
committed her transgression. These priestesses were called temple whores
and Sophia was referred to as a whore in her fallen state.
At length, the fallen goddess repents and waits patiently to be saved,
sustained by faith and hope. As she languishes in the darkness, she sings 13
hymns of hope and praise to Jesus, hymns that are referred to in The Faust
Book by the appearance of the word hope 13 times in an otherwise
gloomy discourse on hell that the devil gives to Faustus.
For the Gnostics, hell was the world we live in, a product of undisciplined
emotion and a mind that is ignorant of God. Pulled by the bodys desires, it
was said to produce nightmares, terrors, delusions, and all the ills that beset
mankind. Repentance, faith, and hope were the only way to escape from this
world of oblivion.
7. Did Faust ride a UFO to the heavens and stars, to have his divine
When Faustus travels to the stars, he goes on a circular journey that mimics
the actions of vapors in the alchemists vessel. They rise from the metals

corrupted body, circulate, and return to penetrate it, causing a transforming

chemical reaction. In the course of his journey, Faustus watches as the cloud
sphere, as solid and thick as a masonry wall and as clear as crystal,
cracks violently as if it were about to break the world open.
Here he is referring to certain properties of the alchemists vessel, and to its
tendency to burst open under the intense heat required at this stage of the
process. Faustus refers to this heat by pointing out that he left on his trip in
the heat of July.
Faustus journey, which was preceded by another one down to hell, was a
classic baptismal sequence. As he plunges down to hell and back again, he
follows the path of renewal that Sophia and the other saviors take: Down
through the path of evolution and upward through the gate of the Lord.
Gnostics believed that incarnation was a descent into darkness and they
equated it with drunkenness and degradation, as Sophias descent
In Faustus third circular journey, he travels to Rome and steals the
aforementioned silver from the Pope that signifies enlightenment. He has
transcended the bounds of ordinary reality, and will soon display
extraordinary powers.
Faustus circular journey down to hell traces the path of the Kundalini,
whose polarized energy rushes down to the first chakra, or lowest of the
energy centers, then unites and goes upward, through the invisible spine, to
bring bliss and unified consciousness. There is a profusion of alchemical
and Hermetic symbolism in this chapter, as well as dramatic imagery
indicating the terrors and physiological effects that accompany movement of
the Kundalini.
8. What else about Mephistopheles can you share with us?
Mephistopheles is the most misunderstood and maligned figure in all of
literature. Rather than being an evil fiend whose temptations seduce poor
Faustus and bring him down, he is actually a force for change. His elusive
and manipulative ways mimic the actions of mercury in the alchemists
vessel, which corrode and dissolve the imperfect metal and prepare it to be
Sulfur is Mercurys antagonist. It is fixed and rigid, and coagulates the

corroded metal. The two bite and tear at each other in the vessel, in the
same way Faustus and Mephistopheles struggle with each other, the one
trying to exert his will and the other trying to break it down.
The Tantric guru works in the same way. His shifting methods are designed
to overcome his pupils ego defenses, and prepare him to receive a new
awareness. Mephistopheles sudden changes of behavior toward Faustus are
determined by the gurus actions as he assesses the progress or needs of his
pupil. At one moment he encourages him, and in the next, he frightens him or
deflates his ego. He may refuse to answer questions, or he may be a patient
teacher, but all the while he is guiding the initiate to a higher understanding.
The name Mephistopheles represents a special power in the Tantric
process, as well as in the Gnostic myth. It is a mysterious vibration, which
is said to be one of the Fathers many names. This Word has a transforming
power that the texts say separates the light from the light, and causes a
mingling of the primary powers outside of the godhead.
In other words, by means of this vibration, the godhead radiates a power
that mingles with another to form a Logos whose divine attributes reflect the
godhead. In The Faust Book, a parody of this divine event occurs when
Mephistopheles speaks his name.
Faustus cuts himself off from God and becomes a liege of the
abominable devil. The gurus mantra has a similar effect. When he
whispers it into his pupils ear, its vibration produces superconscious
feeling states, and constitutes a transfer of power that bestows the attributes
of a deity onto the receiver.
Mephistopheles stands at the heart of hermetic thinking, which holds that we
are all one, and all capable of transformation; but like the alchemists
mercury or the Tantrists guru, his methods are not always pretty. He has an
unpleasant tendency to force unwanted change, and to humble stubborn will.
9. Is there more to the story than the damnation of Faustus eternal soul?
Without a doubt, the greatest misdirection of The Faust Book is Faustus
death, a punishment designed to satisfy church authorities. We are told that
he turned away from God, lusted after wine and women, corrupted his
students, refused to repent, and was doomed. Yet in part three, we find him
selflessly walking for miles to answer calls for help, to mend marriages, or

heal and comfort the sick.

In this role, he represents Jesus Patibilis, a Manichean savior whose death
provides a joyful outcome in the underlying text. This Jesus was a healer, a
physician who walked on every road. He was also the life force of plants
that were beaten, plucked, and torn to pieces every day to nourish the
animals. Yet every day, he was born anew from a dunghill. In the end,
Faustus was torn to pieces, too, and his bloody remains were found
twitching on a heap of dung. While Faustus death was final, Jesus death
in the myth promised new birth and eternal renewal.
10. Any new projects in your future?
Yes, I recently finished my childrens book, The Dinosaur That Got Tired
of Being Extinct. Its on Amazon, along with The Gnostic Faustus. At this
moment, I am busy doing commissioned drawings, and have no other
immediate plans, other than to enjoy the artistic process itself.


1. What inspired you to write Messages From the Afterlife: A Bereaved
Fathers Journey in the World of Spirit Visitations, Psychic Mediums, and
After my first book, Soul Shift, was released, it became apparent that there
was a need for information pertaining to evidence supporting the possibility
of an afterlife. Bereaved parents indicated that the book was a life
preserver, and some even told me that they had shelved suicidal thoughts
after reading it.
Messages From the Afterlife continues with the same personal narrative,
including experiences evidencing the afterlife, but that is where the
similarities end. Messages is a more multifaceted book, endeavoring to
educate readers about afterlife evidence, especially mediumship. One
professional reviewer, Jane Katra, Ph.D., used the term scholarly book
when describing Messages, so it seems my efforts were not lost on her. My
goal was to convey complex information to the layperson in a clear,
credible manner.
2. Could you go into what life was like after your sons passing, and how
it propelled you in the direction of finding answers?
As the son of a prominent psychic medium, Dr. Richard Ireland, I was
probably better prepared for this than most people, yet the shock of losing a
child is overwhelming for any parent. No matter what a person believes or
feels they know, the pain of physical separation is overwhelming. So I
desired my own connection with Brandon after his passing, not so much for
proof, but for the comfort brought by communing with my child.
I was not a disbeliever; Id seen far too much evidence growing up for that.

I just wasnt particularly interested in the field or following in my fathers

footsteps when I was young. But I always remembered his psychic capacity
and ability to deliver messages from spirit with startling specificity and
accuracy. This helped me after Brandon passed. It also drove me to more
deeply investigate a field that was important to my father, so I started
carrying his work forward and embarking on my own.
3. What sorts of knowledge and evidence have you gained from psychic
First, it is important that a person desiring a reading or sitting consult only
credible mediums. There are frauds who want to take peoples money, not to
mention some well-intentioned individuals who are deluded in thinking that
they have mediumship abilities.
When you find a credible, gifted medium, youll want to enter the reading
sharing as little about your situation as possible. A good medium doesnt
need to know anything about you or your deceased loved one, and its
actually detrimental to the process if you share too much. Not only does it
hinder the medium from being completely objective, it will also make you
more skeptical about what youre told.
With those forewarnings in mind, a session with a good medium can be
immensely healing for a bereaved person. You can expect to receive
messages that youll recognize as coming from your loved one, because of
the specific information relayed, including tidbits that no one else would be
able to know or research.
As an example, medium Laurie Campbell read for me in a single blind test,
taped for a Discovery Channel feature called One Step Beyond. In this
session, Laurie was given no information about me or my deceased son. She
could not see me or speak to me.
Despite these controls, Laurie accurately revealed that my son had immense
difficulty in breathing at the time of his death (he died from a severe asthma
attack), that he had thrown up (a fact confirmed by Brandons best friend
who was with my son at the time of his death), and that a tree and plaque
had been dedicated to my son (his high school planted a tree behind a
sculpture with a plaque dedicated to Brandon).
Additionally, she shared that the sitter (me) was writing a book about the

deceased person a reference to my book Soul Shift, published three years

4. Tell us about your interactions with consciousness survival research
First, those involved in this type of research are very dedicated, and are
really sticking their necks out to do this work. Because the existing
materialistic paradigm in academia is accepted dogmatically and is not to
be questioned like a set of religious beliefs brave researchers delving
into the exploration of unusual phenomena are typically underfunded and
often put their careers at risk to do this kind of work.
The single blind test I noted above was conducted at the University of
Arizonas Human Energy Systems Lab, which is no longer in operation. Dr.
Julie Beischel, who I know and who worked at the lab, continued this
research independently at the Windbridge Institute.
She has published several papers in science journals, and one of her
conclusions is that qualified mediums are able to report accurate, specific
information about deceased people tied to a living sitter without any
advance knowledge about either party and sans all sensory feedback.
In 2007, I was privileged to serve as a sitter in a multiple-blind mediumship
experiment conducted by Dr. Emily Kelly of the University of Virginias
Division of Perceptual Studies. Dr. Kelly is presently pursuing an article in
a science journal, and revealed that she was enthusiastic about the results
from this experiment, describing them as embarrassingly good.
More recently, I conducted an experiment of my own with assistance from
Tricia Robertson of the Scottish Society of Psychical Research and Dr. Don
Watson, a neuroscientist. My new book includes a detailed account of this
experiment, which involved a secret message left behind by my deceased
sister. The contents of this message were unknown to any living person, and
remained sealed in an envelope until responses had been received from a
group of qualified mediums who sought to decode the contents.
5. Why do you think there is life after death?
From an objective perspective, there is a lot of evidence from mediumship

studies, near-death experience accounts, after-death communications, and

reincarnation research that when viewed as a whole, provide a very
compelling mosaic. But ultimately there is nothing as convincing as personal
experience. Ive had so many evidential occurrences that I can say I am
satisfied. I am confident that we are more than a physical body, and that
some aspect of us (perhaps the core of who we are) continues on after
physical death.
The most compelling pieces of personal evidence were my son Brandons
visitation to my wife, where she felt his presence and saw his shape, as a
shadow figure, out of her peripheral vision. The very next day, we received
a phone call from a musician friend, who had borrowed Brandons bass
guitar for a song he was recording.
Without any knowledge of my wifes experience, the friend, James Linton,
described having the exact same experience, including feeling a presence
and seeing a shadow figure through his peripheral vision. James then asked
out loud, Okay, Brandon what do you want? After verbalizing this, James
felt pushed to reshape the song hed been working on, and subsequently
offered it to us as a gift from our son.
Medium Tina Powers delivered communication to me in my sons exact tone
and intonation, as if she had become a direct channel. While in this zone,
she spoke to a very specific issue that she could not have known about. It
was like chatting directly with my son.
6. Why do you think we come here if the afterlife is so heavenly?
Why shouldnt the process of evolution be just as applicable to the spiritual
realm as the physical realm? I see physical life as an opportunity for the
soul to be refined and honed through the process of living in a world like
As I wrote in Soul Shift, It occurs to me that life in the physical realm is
bound by finite limits, whereas life in the spiritual realm is more likely
infinite. In a world of limited resources, your true nature is tested and
forged. You get to discover and become who you are. If there is a finite
supply of food, water, money, and other valued commodities, your true
character is revealed in how you relate to others, who may have more or
less than you. This is obvious but profound.

7. Anything youd like to share from the book?

In Chapter One, I share an example of compelling evidence indicating that
mediumship truly is facilitated by communication with deceased persons.
This case involved a friend in California, named Linda, whose brother had
just died in a motorcycle accident. Id learned about this situation a short
time prior to meeting with a medium friend, Debra Martin, who I was
visiting to discuss a book project.
Upon arriving at Debras home, I told her it seemed ironic that I should be
visiting her at this time, because a friend had just lost her brother. (I did not
elaborate on the cause of death or anything else my friend had shared.)
Debra responded by telling me it was no coincidence that I had come at this
time, because she needed to help my friend. A short time later, Debra sat
down to relay what was coming through and asked me, Did this involve a
On the heels of that, Debra delivered a great deal of specific information,
including a couple things I knew to be correct from my conversation with
Linda, plus many other items I knew nothing about. I spoke to Linda later on,
and found that all of the pieces of information I relayed were accurate and
relevant. Debra couldnt have culled this information from me
telepathically, as I knew nothing about these other items. Later that evening,
Debra called Linda and gave her more information all of which was
accurate, according to Linda.
Lindas subsequent response to this experience really touches on the main
reason why Im doing this work and writing about these kinds of
I spoke with Debra and she was right on the mark on everything!
There were so many things she told me, things that no one would
know. I had been feeling so sad and grieving so much that I started
to question if I even believed in the afterlife; then you sent me
Debra. It is like a huge weight was lifted from me, because I know
my brother is here with me. I feel so much comfort and peace.
8. Would you share some thoughts on synchronicity with us?
Renowned psychologist Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity, defined as
temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events, or more simply,

meaningful coincidence.
As I stated in Messages, An implication of synchronicity is that the
universe operates in a harmonious manner, and that life has meaning. Such a
model stands in stark contrast to the view of those who assert that
everything happens by chance, and any notions of purpose are whimsy.
Ive seen some radical examples of synchronicity, with odds so long that it
is laughable to try and pass them off as cases of mere coincidence.
The most extreme example Ive seen involved a woman named Denise, from
New Mexico, who had lost a son. A short time after we came into contact,
Denise attended a national conference for a bereaved parents organization.
While at the conference, Denise met another mom, Kristen, whod lost a
After meeting Kristen, Denise wrote me and noted that Kristen was deeply
distraught and attended the conference only in hopes of gaining ideas on
how to move on with life, devoid of any hope of ever seeing her daughter
again. I then offered to send Kristen a copy of my first book, and Denise
furnished her address.
I sent the book a short time later and included a note to Kristen. Having
realized that Kristen lived in the same Florida city as another bereaved
mom I knew, Kim, I suggested that it might be good if they were to meet one
another. Kristen wrote me a few days later via email, thanking me for the
But in that note, she also shared that she already knew Kim, but that their
relationship was strained. Kims older son had apparently been traveling in
the car that collided with the car in which Kristens daughter had been
riding. This was the fatal accident that took the life of Kristens daughter.
9. Thats pretty crazy.
Flabbergasted by the long odds of this situation, I replied from the gut,
telling Kristen that I wasnt sure how or why we came together this way, but
that I suspected it had something to do with healing. While there had been
tension between the two women, six months later they were working
together, helping other bereaved parents in local support group meetings. A
great deal of healing had indeed taken place.

10. What are you up to next?

My next project will likely include more of my dads writings, and also talk
about what it was like for me to grow up with a psychic father. Ive also
been journaling about my own developmental experiences, and will share
some of those stories, too. In the meantime, Im booked to speak in many
venues across the United States, and on various radio shows.


1. What does it mean to be a Northern Tradition Shaman?
We work with lots of spirits. Some of them are gods; some of them are
elemental spirits, animal spirits, plant spirits, etc. And, of course, some are
humans who have passed on. A shamans job is making alliances and being
in right relationship with as many spirits as is practical, and then getting
their help to help other humans.
Above all else, its a lifelong service job, not a fun pastime. In my tradition
the ancient shamanic tradition of northern Europe I mostly work with the
Norse/Germanic gods, spirits familiar to northern Europe, and the dead.
However, sometimes I get hailed by deities and spirits not from there,
because the world is a smaller place these days, and I dont live on my
ancestors lands.
2. What can you tell us about the goddess Hela and other Norse Gods you
work with?
It is said that the Nordic religious tradition is pretty bloody and brutal,
similar to other circumpolar religious traditions; the harsh climate may have
a lot to do with that. But its also very beautiful, and very straightforward.
Hela is the Goddess of Death, and she is often shown as half beautiful
woman and half rotting corpse, to show that Death is both kindly and
The are many Norse/Germanic gods; we find another one almost every
month. I work with gods from all three pantheons in my tradition the Aesir
(sky and civilization gods), the Vanir (earthy agriculture gods), and the
Rokkr (gods of elemental forces). I love them all, and I am devoted to them.
In return, they do a lot to keep me afloat, and they teach me how to help

3. Any insights on the Trickster?
The Trickster archetype is here to teach us difficult, complicated truths
facts that wed rather ignore. The Trickster points out the Emperors lack of
clothing, the cracks in our faades, the silliness behind our assumptions, and
the irrationalities behind our sacred cows. The Trickster teaches through
laughter, because laughter opens us up to dealing with uncomfortable truths;
its the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. We dont like
the Trickster when we are the butt of the joke, but we need them.
4. How would you sum up the books you have written thus far?
Ive written 33 books so far. Two of them are astrology books Pagan
Astrology and Moon Phase Astrology. Another book, Drawing Down The
Spirits, was co-authored with Kenaz Filan on the phenomenon of deitypossession in the Pagan demographic. Kenaz is a Voudoun houngan and Im
a shaman, and weve both experienced spirits directly. Another book that I
co-authored with Kenaz is called Talking to the Spirits. It is about personal
spiritual gnosis when the gods talk to you and how to know when its
real, and when its just your own mental sockpuppets causing trouble.
Neolithic Shamanism was co-authored with my fellow Northern Tradition
shaman, Galina Krasskova, and is basically the 101 book of exercises for
our shamanic tradition. This was our gift to shamanic seekers looking for a
European-based tradition.
5. If you live in the hinterlands of the U.S., how does one find like-minded
Everywhere you go there are people interested in this. You just have to find
them. Id suggest asking whichever gods and spirits that you work with, or
admire, to bring you community. Make them offerings, formally ask, and then
repay them with more offerings if it comes around. Thats the way to be in
right relationship, and if its meant to be, then theyll help out. But be alert
for omens that you should be doing something different.
6. What advice can you give for those assailed by right-wing Republican

Christians for their lifestyle choices and/or interest in shamanism, gay

rights, or race and gender equality?
Do not be ashamed. Do not be stampeded by your fears. Remember that no
matter what anyone says about you, it will blow over who remembers
now what was a big deal on the Internet a decade ago? Be true to yourself
and live your life without worrying about what anyone else thinks. No one
has ever been grateful, in their old age, for having been meek and fearful
for hiding who they were and what they wanted.
Also, keep in mind that no matter what your desires and preferences may be,
there are other people out there who are in the same boat. You are not alone.
7. What can you share with us about Cauldron Farm?
Were a little homestead in central/western Massachusetts, with a bunch of
queer folk, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, rabbits, dogs, and cats. The house
was built around 1820, and we cook on a big cast-iron Victorian cookstove
named Esmeralda, which uses wood for fuel. Our backyard is often rented
by Pagan groups for their rituals, including the First Kingdom Church of
Asphodel and Iron Wood Kindred.
We have trees and fields and gardens and fen, a labyrinth with standing
stones, and a very powerful land-spirit. Its peaceful here. People who
come to visit just want to lay down and sleep. Aside from the occasional
visitor, though, its all pretty ordinary taking care of the critters, doing the
laundry, trying to make things go on a shoestring.
8. What advice can you offer those of us with anxiety, who cant make it to
your farm?
For most things, youd have to come to me so that I could read for you, and
ask the spirits about your specific issues. I might check to see if its an
astrological problem (which is actually good, because it will soon pass) or
a problem with your luck, or just the same impersonal or structural
problems that plague everyone in our capitalist system in which case its
much harder.
However, many people have found a tincture of basil, taken as a few drops
every day, morning and night, to be useful for getting their brain straight
again. Also, lemon balm and linden tea are very good for mild anxiety; a

tincture of both, mixed together, has a slightly stronger effect.

9. What are some of your favorite herbs?
To start, Id recommend my book, The Northern Shamanic Herbal, and
after that, any book by Matthew Wood or Susun Weed. Most of all, though,
Id recommend meeting the plants in person growing them in pots, visiting
gardens where they grow (if you cant have a garden yourself), or finding
them in wild areas. Learn what they look like, taste like, and feel like, and
then try one or two as remedies. Its all right to take your time with it; maybe
learn one every month or so.
10. Tell us about your Giants Tarot deck and any new books you are
The Giants Tarot is a deck illustrated with characters from Norse
mythology specifically the Giants and Giant-gods, meaning the older gods
that were overthrown and demoted to giants by the Indo-European
Every card is illustrated by a different artist in a different style, yet
somehow they all managed to maintain the storybook look, even with such
different mediums as photomontage, watercolor, comic art, oil painting, and
digital coloring. Im very proud of it, and I loved coordinating it. Every time
a new card came in, we were excited. I did about a dozen of them myself,
and my wife did a few as well.
Recently, I finished the sixth book in my Northern Shamanism series, The
Northern Shamanic Healer, and am working on a book about Northern
Tradition rituals. My other recent offerings are Dealing With Deities:
Practical Polytheistic Theology, Sacred Power, Holy Surrender: Living a
Spiritual Power Dynamic, Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power
Dynamic, and Real Service.
My Pagan works are slowly being translated into other languages,
especially Russian, which is exciting. I never thought Id be read across the
world, but it is happening, and Im finding new friends in very unlikely


1. What does it mean to have a shamanic awakening?
A shamanic awakening is a shift in personal awareness to experience life in
a more whole, authentic, or centered way. Awakening can occur in many
modalities, helping us face our inner victim, our inner bully, our inner
shadow, and embrace our inner knowing, inner healer, and greater light of
being. Shamanic work moves you past your own limitations.
Any man or woman seeking a more engaged or empowered life has the
potential to move beyond their wounds, their status quo, and their reactions.
It is a personal choice for change. I do not feel you need to work with a
shaman, healer, priest, therapist, or guru to take those steps, but they can
become worthy guides to help reflect back to you what you hold within.
The shadow self, or those aspects that we continue to bury, deny, or use to
manipulate others, are ours alone to name and change. We think that no one
can see them, as we pretend they dont exist, but in actuality they are easy to
see. Without the desire to change our life situation, we cannot make that
wounded aspect our ally, and as such continue the loop of anger, denial,
shame, and sadness.
I think we are each a unique expression of divinity here on the earth plane,
and though we all have made some bad choices, or had some horrible things
happen for us, the best of humanity shares a common goal, and that is to
recognize that each time we raise our own consciousness, we help raise the
consciousness of humanity.
2. Could you go into your new book, Shamanic Awakening: My Journey
Between The Dark and the Daylight?

I have experienced many deep losses in my life, such as divorce, illness,

loss of home, etc. While those circumstances are not unique, how we face
such challenges is. Everything is energy, and everything moves in cycles.
There will always be birth, life, death, and rebirth. I stopped hating such
experiences, and instead reframed them. These things were not necessarily
happening to me, but for me. Somewhere along the line, I had asked for
these encounters, to grow my soul. I forgave myself for how I chose to learn
those things, and others for being the teachers of that pain.
The hardest path we all must learn to walk is the one that moves from our
head to our heart. The heart keeps us connected to life, and to each other,
and as such, every relationship we have is moderated through our heart. Our
hearts, and our trust in that which is beyond our present understanding, can
be easily wounded when things dont go the way we had hoped for, or
planned for; but the lessons assist us in digging deeper into our own
Humanity is frail, but life is a beautiful opportunity to grow the self. The
only thing that separates us from our self, and from each other, is our fear of
standing in the light of all we are. When I really learned that, I could accept
equally the dark and the daylight.
3. Who are the Wisdom Keepers?
I have had the honor of working with wisdom keepers and elders for the
past 30 years throughout North, Central, and South America. What brought
me to many of them was the death of my first daughter. I did not go looking,
but I will be forever grateful for the gift. I started out as a special needs
educator, and then moved into being a body-oriented psychotherapist, using
a wide variety of modalities, both current and esoteric.
Along the way, I gave much of that up to become a shamanic counselor,
because of the lessons I was learning and the potential I could see for
helping others. I want to be clear that I do not consider myself a shaman.
Shamans come from the Tunsic/Tungus region of Siberia, although today it
has become part of the popular lexicon.
The title of shaman, healer, or medicine person is a title given by the people
in recognition for the work you do within the community. That said, I see
myself as a shamanic counselor. I use the tools I was taught to help others

come into the magic and mystery within themselves.

At their core, most of my mentors offered teachings that reflected similar
concepts, and although they may sound simple, their teachings were not
simplistic. For each culture, Nature herself is an intrinsic part of expanding
our awareness of the living energies that surround us, and our need to be
grateful for, and caretake, the earth for all she has offered us. The blind,
arrogant manipulation of the ecosystem, by corporations worldwide, is
causing changes and disruptions that will eventually be impossible to
The second thing they universally mention is the need to link with our
ancestors our personal family constellations as they carry the vibration
from which weve come to this Earth plane. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is
less about embracing and more about being compassionate with yourself for
the contract you chose this time around. Understanding that choice is another
way to forgive and be more conscientious about planting new karmic seeds
moving forward.
There is something far greater than our puny fragile human selves. Life is a
great gift of growing that we have been given. We all have the potential for
infinite possibilities because we are part of that greater whole. Until we
understand that we are all one, we will accuse, betray, kill, and wreak
havoc on each other, not understanding that we are ultimately doing that to
ourselves. We need discernment and positive action.
4. What can we do to get going in a more positive direction?
One of my teachers once said to me, Stop whining. Life can be hard, but
we make it harder when we dont instigate the changes that would create
more happiness.
She told me that everyday, when I wake up, I should ask myself, Am I
happy with where I find myself? If the answer is yes, then be grateful and
reach out to someone who might need your help, even if it is only to give a
smile. If the answer is no, look deeper and take responsibility for being
happier. Dont wait for someone else to change it; thats giving both your
power and choice to another.
She encouraged me to just start where you find yourself. Sometimes this is
neither easy nor convenient, but what is the alternative if you wish to

experience more lightness of being?

It is true that many people are coming and going from our planet at this time,
and things feel more crushing because we are moving through an incredible
paradigm shift that doesnt take place but every so many thousands of years.
With over seven billion people on Earth, it is obvious that many souls
signed up to experience this momentous time.
With that many people comes greed, abuse, selfishness, manipulation, and
many others who are in the throes of ill health due to all the disruptions we
are causing in our fragile environment. The old encrusted systems are dying
because they no longer serve or support the highest good. Now is not the
time to pull a blanket over our heads.
No matter what our gender or sexual inclinations, we all need to balance
our Divine Feminine (our Eros, intuition, creativity, and passionate
purpose) with our Divine Masculine (our logos, right will, focus, and
discipline). Seek communication and honest understanding between those
two parts of your self.
5. What would you like to share with us regarding multidimensional
The multidimensional realms that exist beyond, within, and outside of time,
space, and breath are as vast as one can imagine. Those realms cannot
always be perceived by our senses, but our senses can act as barometers of
information. Traveling in those realms is more inner work than outer work.
You can access the refined energy of the higher realms once you have
negotiated the denser energies you hold in, or against, yourself.
That cleansing is a constant life lesson for one doing this work, for it will
help move you past your ego, which limits growth. The greatest gift the
shamanic experience can offer is that as you travel those inner and outer
cords that keep us attached to the web of life, there is potential for you to
realize that all realms are open to anyone.
Since I started working in the shamanic realms close to thirty years ago,
there has been a growing body of evidence that our thoughts and emotions
influence our physiological state. Physicists, biologists, organic chemists,
neuroscientists, and those in the newer fields of epigenetics are actually
supporting the beliefs and experiences of shamanic practitioners.

6. What else would you like to share with us from the book?
I was asked a question recently that I think is pertinent: Do you think that in
contemporary society, we can be led to believe we need to obtain a certain
item (or items) before we can carry out any work, and that the monetary
value of the tool somehow affects the value of the work?
There is a vast industry that has cropped up around the New Age,
shamanistic, crystal healing, angelic awareness, alternative healing
paradigms. Owning the biggest Lemurian crystal, carrying a Peruvian
misha/mesa, an expensive set of mala beads, or receiving an eagle feather,
does not mean anything if you dont understand how to create the energy and
work with the energies each is meant to manifest.
You need a foundation that goes well beyond a weekend workshop.
Knowing how to work with these tools, or having no tools at all to do
healing or ceremonial work, and getting results, is the point. As the late
Chippewa teacher Sun Bear said many years ago in a workshop I attended:
If you cant stand stark naked in the middle of a desert without your rattle
or feather or drum and do your work, you are not the power of the work,
merely the owner of a beautiful feather.
Even going to power places all over the earth does not mean you will
become any more enlightened than someone who doesnt have an
opportunity to go. Wherever your feet are on the Mother Earth is sacred, and
the power comes from taking care of the land around us, and being grateful
for all that she gives us.
Yes, you can become quickened at sacred sites because the energies of
thousands of people, for thousands of years, attending to them for similar
purposes has imbued those structures with certain frequencies, but only if
you are ready to absorb that energy, and not necessarily because you are
sitting in front of a pyramid.
We do not live in a vacuum, nor do we live like ancient Egyptians, Incas, or
Maya. It is true we have lost something in our fast-paced industrialized
world, and these ancient traditions have the capacity to give us back a bit of
our own light. To be more aligned with our true nature enriches our lives.
The teachings help us navigate our current world, but the implements do not
hand us the keys to the kingdom.


7. What can you tell us about the Star People?

This is a huge topic. The simple answer is that almost every culture has
their remembrances of the Star People, and how they impacted many root
races on Earth and still do. Tribal myths and ceremonial practices are full
of those connections. A 2010 Gallup Poll revealed that over a 100 million
people worldwide have seen or encountered something from another
Even the Vatican has its documentation, from very early times. That said, in
these digital times, forgeries can be made, and there are any number of
debunkers, government spooks, and corporate agents hiding the facts.
Our reality is not solely defined by what we can perceive through our
normal senses. For example, human eyes can only perceive the visible light
spectrum; only certain animals can see beyond that to the infrared and
ultraviolet frequencies.
The same holds true for anomalous experiences. Some people can perceive
the frequencies and wavelengths at which fairies, orbs, ghosts, and even
UFOs vibrate. Not being able to perceive these entities and objects is more
about conforming to the consensus opinion of what is real, and/or what
those in high places of power wish to feed us, than to what reality actually
8. Why do you think we come to this realm on Earth?
We are not forced, in my opinion, to come to Earth. I think it is a choice we
each individually make, to further release the karmic seeds we have planted
in other lifetimes, or out of love, to fulfill an agreement or contract with
another soul. I dont think we incarnate here, though. I think we have lived
many vibrational experiences on other planetary systems, in other
dimensions, as other beings.
One of my teachers, Maya Perez, told me that we are all here at this time to
learn how to hold and manifest the higher vibrations of our potential, and
that we cannot walk away from the problems that have been created. To this
end, she said, In every incarnation, each of us has the capacity to learn to
be more humble and to walk in the awareness of the light we actually are.
We are here now so that every thought, form, and action our souls have
experienced, since the beginning of time, can be healed. From birth until

death (and beyond), we are all in this together.

9. What is a sunbath?
A sunbath is an energetic communication in which one intends to bring down
the suns energy, and then to send that energy back up to the sun, as an act of
reciprocity, or ayni. This energetic exchange is good for our organs and
aligns us with whatever is beyond the corporeal. Its radiance encodes our
human form, as our cells are made up of mainly light and water, and helps
quicken us. The sun should be worshiped not as a god, but as a fount of
living energies connecting us to the cosmos.
10. What are you up to next?
Right now I have a full practice with my clients and with workshops. I
would respectfully ask though that your listeners not send me their dreams
and experiences to discuss or decode, as that is their work. I am convinced
that if they look within, they will find the answers, and theyll be better than


1. What is the therapy known as Induced After-Death Communication?
Induced After-Death Communication (IADC) is a therapy for grief and
trauma that was derived from a psychophysiological therapy called EyeMovement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Both procedures use
a form of bilateral stimulation (the back and forth movement of the eyes) to
put the brain into a higher processing mode. When the brain is in such a
mode, psychotherapy moves much faster and more efficiently.
I worked for twenty years as a psychologist treating combat veterans with
PTSD at a Veterans Administration hospital. In 1995, while experimenting
with variations of EMDR, I accidentally discovered that one variation
reliably resulted in PTSD veterans having an experience that they believed
involved actual spiritual communication with deceased persons they were
At first, I didnt know what to make out of what my patients were telling me.
I only later found out that these sorts of communications are not at all rare,
and that they occur spontaneously in about 30% of the population. The only
thing that was clear to me from the start was that these after-death
communications (ADCs) were extremely healing. In fact, my patients
routinely left sessions more healed than what was considered as possible in
the fields of grief and trauma work.
Since then, I further refined my procedure, wrote a few journal articles and
a book, and opened the Center for Grief and Traumatic Loss in Libertyville,
Illinois. I now devote my professional work to IADC therapy and training.
IADC is now a worldwide treatment and there are about 400 IADC trained
therapists in over a dozen different countries.


2. Could you go into the case of Sam, the Vietnam veteran?

I discovered IADC the day I was working with Sam. When Sam was in
Vietnam, he developed a father-daughter relationship with a ten-year-old
orphaned Vietnamese girl named Le. Sam wanted to adopt Le and bring her
back to the states with him. Sams wife had already approved.
One day, however, orders came down that all of the Vietnamese children
living at Sams base camp were to be shipped off to a Catholic orphanage in
a distant village. Sam cried when he and other soldiers put the children onto
a flatbed truck to be taken away. Sam again promised Le he would find her
and bring her back with him.
Suddenly shots rang out and bullets were zipping over their heads. Sam and
the other soldiers pulled the children off the truck as fast as they could.
Once the threat was eliminated, they began putting the children back on the
truck. Sam, however, found Le lying face down with blood on her back. Le
was dead.
I first worked with Sam using eye movements to relieve his profound
sadness. At one point, he literally fell out of his chair sobbing. After some
time, his sadness came way down. I gave him another set of eye-movements
and he closed his eyes. Then something very unusual happened.
A big smile came over his face, and he sat there for a few minutes grinning.
When he opened his eyes, he told me that Le had come to him in a flowing
white dress, surrounded by a beautiful white light. Le thanked Sam for
taking such good care of her. Sam said, I love you Le, and she responded,
I love you, too, Sam. Le then reached out and gave Sam a big hug. Sam
told me, I could actually feel her arms around me.
Sam was joyous. I was concerned because I thought the intense stress
associated with his grief might have caused him to lose touch with reality
and hallucinate. I was wrong. Sam did much better from that day forward.
His life improved in a number of ways.
3. What is your perspective on the afterlife?
As a psychologist whose main focus is on healing, I generally stay out of
debates about whether after-death communications, near-death experiences,
deathbed visions, and so on are real or not. It is also not my job, as I see

it, to push my beliefs on others. I let my patients decide for themselves what
is real and what isnt. When I am asked what I think about this issue, my
response is usually, Go ask people who have had these experiences what
they think. They are the only ones with a truly informed opinion.
In fact, IADC works equally well with believers, atheists, and agnostics.
Nearly all are convinced, regardless of their prior beliefs, that their
experience was authentic. There is obviously something very convincing
about these experiences.
There have been many attempts by researchers to explain away these
experiences, by relating some part of the experience to some part of the
brain. My response to this is, yes, when I go look at the tree in my backyard,
the visual part of my brain fires. But, just because a part of my brain is
involved when looking at the tree does not mean that the tree is not
objectively real.
All in all, I have to admit that the afterlife hypothesis does a much better
job of accounting for all the varieties and details of these experiences.
4. Would you share another interesting case for our readers?
I recently worked with a woman, Jane, whose ten-year-old son died of a
very serious medical condition. This son, John, had to endure many years of
very complicated surgeries. Everyone liked John because in spite of his
ongoing medical difficulties, he was always upbeat and loving. John died in
the hospital following his last surgery. Jane watched as doctors tried to
revive him. According to Jane, there was blood everywhere, but she
managed to kiss her son goodbye.
In our first and second sessions, Janes sadness was profound. About
halfway through the second session, she saw in her minds eye that Johns
spirit had followed her out into the hallway. After another set of eye
movements, she saw John standing and smiling in front of her, and he said,
Look Mom, Im still here! Jane was sure it was her sons spirit.
Jane asked John if he was mad at her for putting him through all of those
surgeries. John said, I could never be mad at you, Mom. You need to stop
being mad at yourself. You saved me enough. I just couldnt sustain it
anymore. I am happier now, and you need to know that. John then started
dancing around and acting silly, to show his mother how happy he really

was now. Jane smiled and laughed when these images came to her, and
reported feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort following our
5. Have you heard anything good about pets in the afterlife?
For some people, their primary grief issue is the loss of a beloved pet. We
have therefore done a good number of IADC cases involving pets. It works
the same as it does with humans. IADC therapy is successful in inducing
ADCs in about 75% of all cases, whether the deceased is human or a pet.
Sometimes it just doesnt work. But, even in these cases, the bilateral
stimulation brings the sadness, and attendant anger, guilt, and irrational
cognitions down close to zero.
6. Why do you think we come here to the Earth, only to die?
Great question. But, I am sorry to say that I do not have a great answer. The
only thing I can tell you, for sure, is that according to IADC experiences, the
afterlife really is great. But that comes with a warning about suicide. I
discuss that in my book.
On a fundamental view of the ultimate nature of reality, there seems to be
different camps. One is that consciousness is the only reality, and spirits
have chosen to inhabit certain bodies on Earth. In this view, the purpose of
the lives we chose is to learn and grow as spirits. This view is more in line
with the teachings and beliefs of Eastern religions, and is generally
consistent with reincarnation and past-life experiences.
In another camp are materialistic adherents of science, who believe that
consciousness is completely tied to a functioning brain. In this view, when
the brain dies, consciousness dies. There is no purpose for life built into
this view, other than perhaps the altruistic idea that one can make life better
for others before going into complete oblivion. This point of view, of
course, does nothing to help us explain NDEs, ADCs, or deathbed visions.
I offer another possibility, which is a variation of what are called
emergence theories. In this view, life, consciousness, and the afterlife can
be explained as emergent properties of the universe meaning, the purpose
of the universe is the creation of life, consciousness, and the afterlife. This
view is not tied to any particular religion, and takes on a more naturalistic
or evolutionary point of view.

These various fundamentally different points of view draw upon evidence

from neuroscience, quantum theory, and cosmology. While people have
different beliefs on this matter, I do not think we have enough evidence to
come to a final conclusion.
While I think that NDEs, ADCs, IADCs, and deathbed visions argue that a
completely materialistic view of the brain is unlikely, I prefer a more
naturalistic point of view, as opposed to any ideas that include some sort of
ongoing supernatural intervention.
Something in the big bang made this happen. While Stephen Hawking
recently argued that quantum laws allowed the big bang to happen by pure
chance, this view begs the question, Where did those laws of physics come
7. Are IADC experiences seen as controversial?
Many people who do not believe that IADC experiences are real assume
that the experience must be either a result of suggestion from the therapist,
or wishful thinking on the part of the client.
It is very clear to all IADC therapists that any attempts on the part of the
therapist to use suggestion to induce an ADC simply prevent an ADC from
happening. Spontaneous ADCs are naturally occurring experiences that
nearly all people describe as coming out of the blue, or as completely
The same is true for induced ADCs. The appropriate mindset during IADC
therapy is to be open to anything that might happen. Even when one
experiences an IADC in therapy, and another set of eye movements are
given to further develop the experience, clients are instructed to not attempt
to go back to the previous experience, and to remain wide open to anything
that might happen.
There have been many cases that argue against the idea that IADC
experiences are a product of wishful thinking. First, in nearly all cases,
clients are rather surprised by the content of their IADC experience. It is not
what they were expecting, or even what they were wanting. Second,
sometimes clients do not agree with the message they were given from the


One client, for example, who separated from his wife because of marital
stress associated with the death of their son, was told by his deceased
mother, in an IADC, to forgive his wife and to reconnect with her. My client,
however, completely disagreed.
Third, sometimes clients do not understand the message from the deceased.
One of my V.A. patients asked his deceased father for advice. His father told
him, Use your tools. My patient then told me that his fathers advice did
not make any sense to him, because his tools, which were sitting in the back
of his garage, were outdated. We then did another induction and his father
told him, Not those tools, the tools you are learning in therapy.
8. Tell us more about the healing aspects of IADC.
First of all, IADC therapy only takes two 90-minute sessions. So, people
are not in IADC therapy for a while. The reason IADC can accomplish so
much, in such a short period of time, has to do with two factors. First, the
bilateral stimulation puts the brain into a much higher processing mode, and
therapy moves much faster. Second, in IADC unlike standard EMDR the
therapist directly addresses the core emotional issue of all grief, namely
When the sadness is successfully processed with bilateral stimulation, then
associated anger, guilt, shame, irrational cognitions, and so on simply
vanish. We use anger, guilt, and other what ifs to protect ourselves from
our deepest pain. We also get drunk, use drugs, become workaholics, and so
on to avoid our pain.
Once the deep sadness is successfully processed with bilateral stimulation,
all of these other issues simply fade away. It is amazing what we are willing
to put ourselves through to avoid the pain of that deep, profound, and
unimaginable sadness.
Once the sadness is fully processed, people most often feel an
overwhelming sense of relief and peace. When in this state, further bilateral
stimulation naturally leads to an ADC experience in about 75% of all cases.
What I am saying is viewed as some sort of blasphemy by many grief
therapists. According to them, there will never be a one size fits all
therapy, because grief is a very individual matter. For these therapists,
sometimes writing poetry is the best thing one can do, or taking walks.

What they dont understand is that we are all hard-wired for sadness, and if
a therapist does not recognize that, then he or she is colluding in helping the
client avoid the real work that needs to be done. And of course, since all
relationships are different, all sadness is very individual. But it is still
9. How long have people been studying IADC?
Interest in IADC exploded in 2005 after the publication of my book,
Induced After-Death Communication: A New Therapy for Healing Grief
and Trauma. Much has happened since then. My publisher has recently
updated my book, and retitled it Induced After-Death Communication: A
Miraculous Therapy for Grief and Loss.
10. What are you up to next?
Our focus now is to get IADC mainstreamed as a recognized therapy. While
hundreds of trained IADC therapists are well aware of the profound healing
associated with IADC, we need the hard science to back it up. The first
peer-reviewed paper appeared in the Spring 2000 edition of The Journal of
Near Death Studies. Two more studies were published in the Summer 2013
edition of the same journal.
These three studies provide strong evidence that IADC is a very effective
treatment. The gold standard in science is the control group designed study.
While none of the above papers were based on control-group designs, there
are now a few such studies that are underway.
The University of Virginia is currently researching what is going on inside
the brain during IADC therapy and IADC experiences. So far, the data have
not been fully analyzed, but these results will likely constitute a major
breakthrough in our field.
In the meantime, more and more therapists are being trained, and more
people are experiencing the benefits of IADC therapy.
IADC has grown very rapidly in Germany over the last few years, and there
is now an Allan Botkin Institute in Saarbrucken, Germany. The growth of
IADC in Italy is not far behind. IADC is also beginning to take hold in both
France and the U.K. As of today, there are six members of the International

IADC Board. The reason for all of the interest in IADC is due to the fact
that IADC simply works. Those familiar with IADC are convinced. Now
our job is to find ways to let other people know about it.


1. Why write The Shamanic Odyssey: Homer, Tolkien, and the Visionary
The Shamanic Odyssey can be traced back to a conversation I had with the
Ashaninkan curandero, Juan Flores. It happened when we were engaged in
a very traditional diet deep in the Amazon rainforest. My wife, Susana
Bustos, Ph.D. and I were living in isolation, drinking shamanic plants and
subsisting primarily on roasted green bananas.
Flores had tramped back to visit us, and sitting together by the stream there,
the conversation turned to the mythic and according to him, quite real
beings that inhabit the Amazonian waterways.
As Flores described the behavior of these sirenas, I was suddenly struck by
the deep parallels between their seductive behavior and that of the Sirens
described by Homer. Flores had never heard of The Odyssey, yet when I
described the story of Odysseus ordeal in the orbit of their rapturous song,
Flores nodded his head and said grimly, Thats them, alright.
I had already been observing a number of intriguing parallels between the
ancient mythology of the Greeks and Celts and the contemporary cosmology
of peoples in the rainforest, but this conversation stuck with me.
After our yearlong immersion in the vegetalista tradition, I had a chance to
spend some time teaching The Odyssey in Oakland. It was then I began to
recognize that the text is shot through with indigenous and shamanic cultural
elements: shapeshifting, visionary journeys, plants with resident divinities,
masters and mistresses of animals, the symbiosis between
plant/spirit/shaman, animal becoming, sacred topography, and so on.
The case became particularly intriguing when Susana and I began analyzing

the descriptions of the therapeutic effects of Bardic song in The Odyssey, in

light of her research into the healing powers of Amazonian healing songs, or
The Odyssey led me into an unfolding meditation on the indigenous mind at
the root of the Western tradition. The more I followed up on details of the
epic poem, the more terrain was revealed.
Most notably, this occurred around the mythology of the clash of the Cyclops
and Odysseus, which I see as a remnant of a very ancient oral tradition
transposed into Homers comparatively modern narrative. As a teaching
story, like the Genesis account of the Garden of Eden, it appears to me to
capture modern humanitys break with indigenous consciousness.
Just as I was contemplating the ramifications of such mythology existing in
The Odyssey at all, I encountered the peyote shaman, Bob Boyll, the second
major cultural informant for our book, and heard his account of the two
roads of humanity, which he had been taught by the Hopi prophet, David
Again, like the uncanny parallels between the Amazonian and ancient Greek
sirens, Monongues description of the two roads of humanity struck me as
too similar to the cultural tensions illustrated in the clash between the protomodern Odysseus and the indigenous Cyclops to be accidental.
In fact, during the writing of this book, I often felt like one of the
amanuensis folks who assiduously transcribed the oral tradition during
medieval times. In that sense, its genesis lies in converging lineages of
plant-based shamanism, Amazonian song, ancient texts, ethnography,
anthropologists like Reichel-Dolmatoff, and the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.
2. Did Tolkien use shamanistic ideas in his writings?
Tolkien has been a great inspiration to me ever since I was a boy. The
cosmology of The Lord of the Rings made more sense to me than anything
else in the barren Reagan-era culture I grew up in. Tolkiens express
purpose was to re-inject the vitality of the pre-Christian oral tradition back
into the enervated Western imagination. He termed his endeavor
mythopoetic, and some of his earliest writings are clear evocations of the
primal mind of our ancestors.


When it came time for me to defend shamanic states of consciousness as

valid ways of truthseeking, I found myself involved in a deep reading of
Tolkiens Smith of Wootton Major. This novella is almost entirely
neglected, and yet Tolkien set aside work on his treasured Silmarillion to
compose it. I believe the story is about the nature of the creative/shamanic
consciousness as Tolkien experienced it, and is his attempt to pass on this
fay star to future generations.
I think Tolkien has been cast in the mold of a brilliant academic with a
marvelous, far-ranging imagination, yet a man of essentially Cartesian
rationality. I disagree. I think theres more to Tolkiens creative experience
than is recognized. I think Peter Jacksons film versions of Tolkiens works
are gross distortions of Tolkiens mythopoeic vision.
Of course, Tolkien dreaded the day the Americans would get a hold of his
work, but had accepted, in advance, our inevitable and general
incomprehension of his work. Ive been turning the issue of the film
adaptations of Tolkien over in my mind for some time. I noted in Jacksons
films a perverse tendency to degrade mature masculine wisdom. Elrond,
Gandalf, Faramir, Treebeard, Theoden, even Denethor all of those mature
figures who knew to what cosmic order they belonged and who served
heroically are treated as panicky, wavering, and even cowardly in the film
Meanwhile, the perky wisdom of Hobbits, with their New Age blather, take
front stage. As a boy, growing up in the general masculine corruption of the
1980s, Tolkiens work was medicine. Here were examples of men with
integrity, whose masculine strength and wisdom nurtured and supported life
on Earth. Little of that archetypal power transferred to the films.
Can you rewrite Shakespeare? No. Tolkien should, in my mind, remain
similarly inviolate. But, of course, weve already crossed that line. The
question now is: Will the memory of the films die away, leaving Tolkiens
vision preserved and uncorrupted into future generations? Or have the
Americans committed commodicide (death by transformation into a
commodity) upon it?
Its worth quoting Walter Benjamin here, considering the issue of film in his
classic essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction:
Their most powerful agent is the film. Its social significance,

particularly in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its

destructive, cathartic aspect; that is, the liquidation of the
traditional value of the cultural heritage. This phenomenon is most
palpable in the great historical films. It extends to ever-new
In 1927, Abel Gance exclaimed enthusiastically: Shakespeare,
Rembrandt, Beethoven will make films. All legends, all
mythologies, and all myths, all founders of religion, and the very
religions await their exposed resurrection, and the heroes crowd
each other at the gate. Presumably without intending it, he issued
an invitation to a far-reaching liquidation.
Certainly, Tolkiens work is now threatened with liquidation, unless we
start reading the stories to our children before they go to bed.
3. What does Homers Odyssey teach us?
I was a bit astonished as I researched and wrote The Shamanic Odyssey. I
could only encounter a mere handful of commentaries on Homers poem that
referenced shamanic practices among indigenous peoples (the works of Carl
Ruck and German philologist Walter Burkert being notable exceptions).
Given the intensity of the shamanic negotiations (i.e., work with
psychoactive plants, shapeshifting, and visionary journeys) within the poem,
I simply couldnt believe that no one had bothered to connect those dots. I
think this is a reflection of how truly impenetrable the ivory tower of
academia can be to multidisciplinary approaches.
In fact, early on, I was warned by the classicists I was consulting that my
work would not be well received among academics. Why? I inquired. Is
there something wrong with my method? No, I was assured. My method
was sound. Were just a very conservative lot, I was told.
I gave up writing for a solely academic audience at that point. My goal
became to invite the Muse to sing The Odyssey anew for this generation and
time. I believe that we must re-familiarize ourselves with our indigenous
roots, the life-ways of our own European ancestors, to address our current
existential and ecological crises.
4. What is Snake Medicine?

In poison there is physic, as Shakespeare said. The Shamanic Odyssey

gives a detailed description of healing, through traditional shamanic
medicine, of a severe degenerative disease (Chronic Inflammatory
Demyelinating Polyneuropathy) brought on by snakebite a healing that
Western technological medicine was incapable of achieving. The snake
medicine healing process has to do with coming to accept disease as a
healing path. One must connect with the wild, uncultivated bite of the
earth in order to proceed.
5. Could you tell us about the Hopi prophecy stone?
The petroglyph carved upon that massive stone is quite old. I believe it
marks a stage of particular vitality in the Hopi prophetic vision. From what
year it dates, and what hand carved it, is not known. It is certain, however,
that the Hopi disguise their traditions from outsiders, and there is no one
orthodox, standard version of their prophetic tradition.
6. Tell us about Poseidons Curse.
When I first sat down to explore the striking parallels between the
mythology of the ancient Greeks and the cosmology of contemporary
Amazonian peoples, I thought I was writing a short article. Sixty pages later,
I knew I had a hydra on my hands, and I wasnt able to lop off heads fast
In order to explain how it was possible for the Sirens in Homers epic and
the sirenas of the Amazonian waterways to be so uncannily similar, I
realized I needed to explore the consciousness underlying these experiences
among traditional peoples.
It turned out that there is a primal experience of permeability, or
transparency to the elements, animals, spirits, stars, etc., which has allowed
human beings to experience the sentience of the cosmos, and to derive
valuable information from that communion. I eventually realized that this
primal mind, sometimes derided as animism, underlies not only
Homers work, but is also markedly present in the works of other authors
central to the Western European literary canon, such as Shakespeare and
Yet more profoundly, based on readings of certain currents of indigenous

prophecy and the oral tradition in The Odyssey, I argue that we are under a
kind of curse, one akin to the biblical account of the expulsion of Adam and
Eve from the Garden. Our break with the primal mind of our indigenous
ancestors was violent a profound rupture in our communion with a vital,
sentient cosmos.
7. Could you share your perspective on Coyote?
I love Coyote. It was deeply satisfying to find the winding narrative of The
Shamanic Odyssey coming to a close with a Coyote story by Barry Lopez, a
nature writer for whose vision I have great respect. I kept thinking, Surely
theres something more formal by way of conclusion to add? But there just
I see Coyote as that shaggy, earthy, humorous, unabashedly vital, and
divinely idiotic aspect of each of us. Hes the one who helps keep us free of
too many societal impositions of duty, propriety, being good, etc., and
reminds us that first and foremost, were humans. Human, of course,
shares the same etymological roots as humor and humus. We are Earthbeings.
Like many animal spirits, Coyote is potentially a healing agent in the
shamanic realm, in the sense that Richard Grossinger once suggested:
The patient of a shaman no doubt also has an inner child, but that
child is experienced as a raven or a wild bear and thus liberated to
transmute, finally, into something larger than the neurosis. The socalled neurosis may have been no more than the unborn shaman
within, careening toward its voice.
No real growth can happen as long as the victim state requires
either comfort or revenge. In fact, the more deeply wounded the
victim, the more powerful must be his or her potential to overcome
the wound.
8. Who is the plant goddess, Circe?
I see Circe as a confluence of two quite ancient figures: The Potnia Theron,
or Mistress of Animals, and the Divine Feminine as encountered within the
orbit of certain potent plant medicines, especially opium. Certainly, there is

marked evidence for the use of both opium and more powerful narcotic
plants in the Solanaceae family, which also gives us that long list of fabled
ingredients of witchs lore: mandrake, henbane, belladonna, datura. The
transformation of Odysseuss men into swine is a classic example of the
consciousness-altering affects of such narcotic plants.
For myself, as a long-time participant in the vegetalista shamanic tradition
of the Amazon, Circe is evidently both a pharmakeus (a female shaman
deeply intimate with the power of plants and surrounded by spirit and
animal familiars), as well as what the great ethnobotanist Richard Evans
Schultes once termed a resident plant divinity.
Its the sacred apprehension of plants that is really necessary to unravel the
Circe episode. This is where we also encounter the powerful apotropaic
plant moly, which Hermes appears in the vicinity of to inform Odysseus
about. The whole triad of plant/spirit/shaman is most distinctly imprinted
upon this episode.
9. Could you explain to us what consciousness is?
I often use a metaphor to describe it: Consciousness is the particular
channel youre tuned into at the moment. Weve ended up in a narrow
corridor of perception, one that privileges Cartesian consciousness as
normal the standard by which the worldviews of other cultures are
measured. Yet, in fact, viewed ethnographically, the modern style of
perception is rather peculiar. Who in their right mind would believe in a
dead, mechanical universe, and of themselves as the sole arbiters of
meaning of their existence?
I went through a painful shift of paradigm during my first year of
apprenticeship in the shamanic traditions of the rainforest. As an educated
Westerner, I had been open to Jungs ideas of archetypes and had
experienced meditative states during my training as a Zen Buddhist, but my
default setting was essentially Cartesian: I think, therefore I am. I was the
center of the show, the only real consciousness in charge.
It was therefore with a mixed sense of wonder and profound existential
disorientation that I began to discover my little consciousness was only one
wavelength in a vast transmission of sentience that permeated everything.
Ugh. I wanted to crawl under a rock. Somehow, with the support of those

around me, I weathered it. I think its the process of adaptation, of crossing
frontiers into other states of consciousness, which is far more interesting
than the question of how to define it.
10. What are you up to next?
My own background as a Zen Buddhist, a tradition I trained in for around
two decades, has dovetailed with my current involvement in shamanic
practices. This is a description of an unfolding project, Pilgrimage to the
Land of the Dragon, which I am working on:
While in recent decades, awareness of the plight of endangered
species has grown in the media and among world organizations, an
equivalent loss of human cultures and languages the inheritance
of traditional peoples from Siberia to the Amazon rainforest has
gone largely undocumented and unnoticed.
Like the ozone layer above, this delicate ethnosphere of ancient
spiritual, medicinal, linguistic, and artistic traditions spanning the
globe has suffered deep rifts in its fabric. So profound has been the
impact of modern social forces upon native peoples, the number of
entire populations that have disintegrated and vanished in recent
centuries is now beyond reckoning. Many peoples now roam
solely in their ancestral dreamtime, without even a trace of their
existence left recorded among us.
It is therefore unique and splendid that two ancient traditions
should encounter one another in the profoundest expression of their
spiritual and medicinal ways. These two traditions, the Tantric
Buddhist of the Himalayas and the plant-spirit based shamanism of
the Amazon rainforest, hope to converge at the Sangey Teng
Nyingmapa Gompa monastery, located at 12,000 feet outside of
Trashintze, the easternmost village in Bhutan.
This pilgrimage to the 800-year-old monastery, which presently
supports 40 lamas/yogis, is under the auspices of its spiritual head,
Tsewong Sitar Rinpoche, whose family lineage has served the
Bhutanese people for generations as doctors and spiritual and
political leaders. Tsewong Sitar Rinpoche, assisted by his
disciple, Pema Tenzin Lama, now at the urging of the Bhutanese

king teaches in the U.S.

Having drunk the medicine of the rainforest, ayahuasca, and being
convinced (in his light-hearted way) that the vision-provoking
brew is the content of the gourd held by the Medicine Buddha,
Tsewong Sitar Rinpoche has invited Taita Juan Agreda Chindoy, an
accomplished traditional doctor and shaman of the Kametsa tribal
group, to accompany him on a pilgrimage to his remote monastery,
to share the ayahuasca brew with the lamas at the monastery.
This pilgrimage signifies more than a reuniting of continents, of
peoples separated by migrations that took place thousands of years
ago. At stake may be the ancestral memories that can help guide
humanity back to the path of happiness and renewed indigenous
knowledge of the earth.


1. How did you come to write about the afterlife?
It has been such a wonderful journey for me. When I was a girl in Bulgaria,
I came across a copy of a book on past-life regression by Dr. Brian Weiss,
and it was something totally new to me. I started reading about it, and was
intrigued that it is possible for people to have emotional and physical
healings by simply connecting with another life. And I even tried it on my
When I grew up, I came to study and practice law in the U.S., and was doing
well until I was stricken with a painful jaw condition. I was blessed with
the resources to seek out the best care, and they were recommending serious
surgery, which scared me terribly.
Not knowing where to turn, I sought out a hypnotherapist and, after two
sessions, I was able to see myself in a past life. This vision triggered an
understanding in me about what was causing my ailment in this life and,
amazingly, it disappeared literally overnight.
2. Andy studied hypnotherapy, and he saw several examples with his
own eyes where students with serious medical problems were
spontaneously healed when their practice hypnosis sessions went all
the way back to before the time they were born to a past life. In one
case, a woman with chronic neck pain was cured when it was discovered
she had been hanged in a past life. A rope burn, which everyone could
see, appeared on her neck during the session.
Yes, when you have such experiences, you feel it is almost your duty to
explore this amazing practice and share it with others. The book, Beyond
Past Lives: What Parallel Realities Can Teach Us About Relationships,

Healing, and Transformation, came much later, after working with many
wonderful people and learning from them. My passion for this work has
prompted me to dedicate myself to sharing the transformative power of
experiencing past lives with others.
3. It seems obvious that this motivated you to write Beyond Past Lives.
Yes, I have dedicated my life to teaching and sharing past-life regression
because of how deeply it affected my own life. For the last several years, I
have been simply amazed at the stories and experiences of my clients.
People have tapped into their higher consciousness, visited past-life cycles
their soul journeyed through, and contacted spirit guides who provided
answers and direction exactly when they needed it.
4. Were you able to revisit some of these miraculous cases in your book?
Yes, and the parts of the book where I recollect some of those episodes
were written to share these amazing stories, so that others may be inspired
by them. My own observations, layered throughout the book, are also
included to provide perspective, dispel some misunderstandings about past
life regression, and to motivate the reader to use this powerful tool.
5. Were there specific lessons you learned while writing this book?
Yes, several. First, I realized what a tremendous blessing it is to have the
opportunity to pursue my passion and serve the world through it. In my life, I
have gone from practicing law to teaching and guiding others through the
regression experience. That transition has been dramatic, but also so, so
rewarding. I learned that I had to trust in what my higher self and Spirit held
in store for me. Writing the book helped me solidify that belief.
6. Do we have the ability, as humans, to see into our future lives?
Yes, although I learned that the idea of past and future lives should not
be thought of in the traditional linear model. In the book, I go more in depth
on this point, but one of the revelations I received from my clients was that
our lives overlap and run together in a very nonlinear way, similar to what
physicists call quantum mechanics.

To sum it up, we are living parallel lives concurrently, even those that
appear to happen in what we call the past or the future. Reality is much
more plastic than we realize, and time is an illusion.
7. What is the most revealing thing you learned about past-life
I discovered you can educate a person on the techniques and methods of
focusing consciousness, and you can lead someone through the stages of
relaxation, regardless of how personal their journey might be.
Writing the book confirmed many things for me. In writing my observations
on the various stories in the book, I was constantly reminded that I learn
something new from each person, and that each persons journey is
completely unique and utterly valuable.
8. What advice do you have for people who might be interested in
past-life regression?
I am so happy for anyone who wants to have a regression experience. My
first regression happened when I was very young, and I was motivated by
simple curiosity. It was not until years later that I tried it again.
As an adult, I was motivated by my need to heal a physical condition. In the
book, I tell the story about how connecting with a past life literally changed
my current one. My health improved dramatically, and my understanding of
what I was meant to do with my life became crystal clear.
9. What do you say to people who are freaked out by the idea of past
Regression is a gentle, easy, and safe process that offers tremendous
potential for transformation. What I hope people will gain from doing a
regression, beyond some amazing insight into their souls, is a chance to gain
greater perspective and healing, by consulting with their higher selves, and
with spirit guides who can lead them to understanding the true source of
what might be bothering them, both physically and emotionally.
This kind of expanded understanding leads to relief. This is what happened
in my life, and it was so dramatic an enlightenment for me that I knew it was

something others must experience, too.

10. What is next for you?
I am continuing to practice as a regression therapist, and to promote Beyond
Past Lives and my previous book, Healing Through Past-Life Regression
and Beyond. Dr. Wayne Dyer, who wrote the introduction for Beyond Past
Lives, has mentioned some of my cases in his book, Wishes Fulfilled, and
Brian L. Weiss, M.D. has mentioned some of them in his book, Miracles
All of the above books have been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, so it has
been exciting to see so much positive attention being brought to this oncemaligned area of therapy.


1. Your Dark Pool of Light trilogy is making peoples heads explode.
Tell us what is behind volume one, The Neuroscience, Evolution, and
Ontology of Consciousness.
Scientists give the impression that they either know what consciousness is,
or have some kind of bead on it. I wanted to put that premise to the test. I
took a range of basic scientific paradigms regarding consciousness, from the
fields of neuroscience, biology, physics, and anthropology, as well as the
philosophy arising from them, and weighed whether there was anything like
a scientific definition of consciousness; and there isnt.
Scientists do real well with consciousness after it is encompassed in matter,
but they dont know how to get it there not even close. Part of the first
volume is an inventory of the amazing gyrations scientists go through to try
to shoehorn consciousness into substance. I conclude the volume with the
ethical and epistemological implications of the scientific lie about
2. Were you able to define consciousness in your second Dark Pool of
Light volume, Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic Ranges?
You dont really think that I could tell you what consciousness is, do you? In
volume three, The Crisis and Future of Consciousness, I do give four
overlapping definitions:

The material model of consciousness, tethered by pragmatic

philosophy and neuroscience to sensory-motor functions and
the brain.


Consciousness as an autonomous source of knowledge and

discrete phenomenological state, which establishes everyday
reality (i.e., the thing we know as us or that knows us as us
the tether of beingness itself).


Consciousness as the Buddhist ground luminosity at the

base of the universe itself a force senior to matter.


Consciousness as activated psychic energy and karmic

continuity within the Western hermetic aura.

In the three volumes, I expand each of these exponentially.

3. What do you mean by the crisis of consciousness?
There are many crises of consciousness, including the ecological and sociopolitical crisis of a conscious (e.g., purposeful) humanity, unable to keep
from destroying the substrate of its own existence.
But I consider the basic crisis of consciousness to be the existential terror
and ecstasy of existing in a mystery. The mystery viewing itself is the crisis.
When I discuss the future of consciousness, I mean to interrogate what future
consciousness might have in a universe in which scientists claim it doesnt
exist as a real thing, and in which it is obliterated, individually, at each
persons death, and collectively at the death of the universe.
If consciousness is real, it must have a future and meaning independent of
these deaths.
4. What did you learn in your field studies with noted psychic teacher
John Friedlander?
The main thing I learned from John is that you can do anything you choose to
do psychically, as long as you try to create rather than control reality. In
order to do it, you simply have to begin with where you actually are, and
what energy is presently passing through you.
5. Did you know you were going to write a trilogy when you started?


Definitely not. It just got too big to handle as one book. So I took it and
divided it up, and then spent four months straight fleshing them each out,
before editing and rewriting each section again, individually. The division
from one volume into three was a yearlong process after I had already
written one long continuous book. Psychically, I destroyed the single book
and then let it reform as three.
6. What life experiences led you to writing this trilogy?
It was a cumulative process. In a sense, I have been writing this book my
whole life, envisioning it since I began writing in 1960, at age sixteen. The
central event that kicked it off was my decision to track neuroscience and
psychic meditation, originating at opposite ends of the spectrum, to a focal
point where they meet. I didnt want to intellectually analyze the polarity or
discrepancy between the two. I wanted to run them into their eventual
As for a shamanic awakening, I would say that it came from successive
exercises and experiences at both the Berkeley Psychic Institute and with
John Friedlander, in which I experienced the fact that my intuited epiphany
was an actual epiphany, and that the most hopeful and daring metaphors I
held for the cosmos were arising in me not as wishful thinking, but only
because they were real.
Yet I had to get to that through actual psychic exercises as objectified
thoughtforms rather than notions or ideas. I had to experience what an
interdimensional gateway felt like, rather than imagining what I thought it
was, conceptually. You have to, say, meditate for many hours, rather than
spend hours imagining what it is like to meditate.
7. Do you feel we are at an unusual point in history?
Honestly, I dont know. I cant distinguish the acceleration of my own
consciousness from that of the collective and the planet. I do experience
something global and cosmic happening, but I think it is different from just
about all the terms in which it has been proposed, because it is arising from
within. Our inner landscape is more unconscious, if you will.
8. What happens to us in the afterlife?

I like Johns perspective: it wont be what you think, but you wont be
disappointed; youll feel as though you got a fair shake. I also believe that
the same question exists in life: what are we now? Insofar as we can probe
that, we can probe what we will become. As for a more explicit answer in
terms of traditional wisdom and these three books, I propose in Volume
Three that we enter the Cosmic Eternity System.
Of course, we are already in the Cosmic Eternity System, but we get a new
range of choices in that system, and these generally involve multiple
simultaneous realities and transpersonal awarenesses and occur outside of
time. I would argue that if consciousness exists, it cant be obliterated; thus
we borrow from consciousness in order to become (to get an identity), and
we return what we borrow as egos to the greater conscious field when we
die, so thats what happens to us. The real question then is not
consciousness but identity.
9. Is there anything in particular you would like to share from your
It is too late for anything important to go wrong because everything possible
has already gone wrong, and it was always meant to be a cliffhanger in
order to hold our interest and attention. We are being driven into our own
nature, whatever that is, so we can take comfort in the fact that the universe
cant make us into anything we are not and, in the most fundamental sense,
cant give us any mission we cant carry out.
We simply have to reclaim our identities from the commoditized
superstructure, the materialized machine that is trying to steal our birthright
from us and replace it with some pretty shoddy gifts. Although I have no
truck with radical Islam, it does get it; that is, about the idolatrythe
spiritual idolatryof the West.
10. What do you mean by the embryo is the universe writing itself on its
own body?
You know, I continue to say that I want to take a break from writing and put
the precise energy I use into more direct spiritual practice. Maybe I will do
that now. I do want to rewrite one of my memoir books, Out of Babylon, and
started that task last year, and I am writing some prefaces for older books of
mine to go into e-book format. But mostly I want to do other practices than

writing because, after all, writing is just one practice.

I developed the phrase The embryo is the universe writing itself on its own
body in Embryogenesis. What I mean is that embryogenesis literally takes
thermodynamic and gravitational forces that do not speak in literal terms
and it runs them through a seemingly counter-entropic process whereby their
energetic field inverts, twains, forms holographs, divides, turns inside-out
multiple times, and then turns thermodynamics and gravity and shear forces
into membranes, acts, meanings, and writings.
But the universes writing, an esoteric one, is the embryo itself. The embryo
is the only magical object that the universe creates nakedly. Of course, all
objects created by the universe are magical in their way, and atoms and
electrons and stars go into the making of every embryo.
Still it is the resolution of those embryogenically into natures awareness of
its own existence. I take the position that embryogenesis involves something
more than the presently identified laws of thermodynamics, gravity, quantum
entanglement, etc.


1. How did you come to create the book, The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo
My colleague and co-author, Peter Cloudsley, and I had known Pablo for
many years, and it was always a special thrill to visit him at his home in
Pucallpa, and look in wonder at his beautiful work. We did some ad-hoc
interviews with him, which were published, and we made notes about his
paintings, but the actual inspiration to work with Pablo on a major project,
such as this book, came out of the blue.
It came suddenly during an Ayahuasca ceremony at Mishana in the Peruvian
Amazon. My visions that night were of the vivid creations, motifs, and
forms of Pablos paintings. The ceremony culminated in what I can only
describe as a lightning flash, and a powerful message from the ayahuasca to
work with Pablo on a book of his new paintings.
The following day, I discussed the idea with Peter. He and I had worked
together, since the 1990s, organizing ayahuasca and plant diet retreats in the
Amazon, and we decided to visit Pablo, in Pucallpa, in February 2007, to
discuss the idea with him. When we told him about the idea, Pablos face
immediately lit up with enthusiasm, and there and then, we agreed to
collaborate on this book.
All in all, this was a complex project. We formed a detailed plan, the first
step of which was to catalogue and have all of Pablos available paintings
and sketches professionally photographed and digitally scanned. Pablo gave
us hundreds of pages of his notes and journals, which he had kept in his


We had many meetings with Pablo to discuss and explore the multifaceted
qualities of his paintings. Each session generated new questions, which
necessitated further trips to Pucallpa before we were in a position to
complete the narratives that accompany the paintings themselves.
2. Tell us about some of the big names who contributed to this book on
Pablos vision.
We were really delighted and honored by the contributions of Graham
Hancock, Jeremy Narby, Robert Venosa, Dennis McKenna, Stephan Beyer,
and Jan Kounen to the book. Each of them had a different perspective about
the importance and influence of Pablos work, as well as some personal
anecdotes. When we approached them to write a contribution, they were all
happy to do it, despite their busy work schedules.
Dennis McKennas contribution covered his early encounters in the 1980s
with Pablo, which ultimately led to Pablos book, Ayahuasca Visions The
Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman, in collaboration with
Eduardo Luna. That book had an enormous impact when it was published in
Pablos stunning visual portrayal of the magical domain of ayahuasca
generated a huge interest in the hitherto little known mythological, spiritual,
and shamanic world of the Amazon. It opened this mysterious world to the
West, and it had an incredible influence both from an art and
anthropological perspective.
Talking about Pablos art depicting the amazingly rich mythology of the
Amazonian peoples reminds me that some years back, I was on a bus, in
Iquitos, with a group of young missionaries wearing their uniform white
shirts and ties. I started to talk to them about what they were doing and so
on, and one of them replied, We are here to teach the local people beliefs,
as they dont have any. It was an arrogant and ignorant statement bordering
on the ludicrous; clearly they were not acquainted with Pablos work.
The interest generated by this book also paved the way for the founding of
Pablos school for art, Usko Ayar, which created a distinct style that we
know as Neo-Amazonian Art, reaching a global audience through
international exhibitions. Both Graham Hancock and Jeremy Narby included
paintings by Pablo in their respective books Supernatural and The Cosmic

Serpent. Both of these books introduced novel concepts. Pablos work was
a tremendous inspiration to them both.
3. Was Pablo a shaman?
Pablo had a vast knowledge of mystical traditions, and was so incredibly
talented that he could paint freehand an exact replica of a banknote. That
particular skill actually led him into certain problems with the authorities,
and many such stories are included in the book.
Pablo defined knowledge in two categories, firstly gnosis (knowledge), and
epignosis (above knowledge). He would illustrate this by saying, You can
read all the research papers and literature about ayahuasca, understand its
chemical composition and so on, this is gnosis; but only when you drink
ayahuasca is there the possibility of realization of this knowledge, or
epignosis. Love for him was an example of epignosis.
One of the most gratifying aspects of working with Pablo on the book was
that many of his narratives contained explicit spiritual teaching. He was a
practicing shaman of a senior grade until the mid-1970s, when he retired
due to sorcery from angry brujos, who had begun attacking him for healing
the people they were harming!
I know sorcery is a difficult notion for Westerners to comprehend, but it is
real and effective, and is a part of the fabric of life in the Amazon. In his
paintings and accompanying narratives, Pablo shines light on these
4. How much impact did ayahuasca have on Pablos art?
Pablo was drinking ayahuasca for many years, and had perfect recall of his
visions, which he painted in meticulous detail. His work is characterized by
accurate (and identifiable) depictions of plants and animals, along with
spirit beings, sub-aquatic and subterranean realms, celestial palaces,
extraterrestrial vessels, angels, and shamans engaged in healing their
patients. Paintings such as Barco Fantasma are a perfect representation of
the magical reality present in the Amazonian world.
A powerful ecological theme is present throughout his work. He said that
nature provided all the medicines we need, and that the destruction of the

rainforest would be totally detrimental to humanity. The ecological theme

focuses on the interrelationship of animals, plants, and humans in a finely
tuned vibrational balance. Pablo described Higgs-Boson particles before
they were discovered, calling them espirtones.
Through his art, Pablo described a vast cosmic plan, with universes nested
within universes, and an incalculable number of smaller worlds like the
earth. For Pablo, the Supreme Being or God is a term for the totality of the
dynamic energy that has always existed, and always will; it is eternal. Pablo
was able to access this cosmic vision through drinking Ayahuasca, and this
was what he ultimately embodied through his art.
5. Please tell us about ayahuasca and its history.
Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the
leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The combination (by
brewing for hours) of these two plants produces a potent medicine that has
the potential to heal our deepest emotional wounds. We can fully relive our
painful life experiences and release or purge (a gentler term than vomiting)
them from our body and psyche, and in a sense be purified.
Ayahuasca is an encounter with a greater consciousness, which can open a
gateway to other realities that co-exist with our physical reality, where one
can experience the unity, totality, and sublime nature of creation.
It is a formidable and awe-inspiring experience, though I need to add the
caveat that due to its potency, it is not suitable for everybody. It is important
to follow the rules before usage, such as avoiding certain foods, sexual
activity, and libidinous thoughts, and to drink in a ceremony with a capable
and trusted shaman.
Historically, there is evidence that ayahuasca has been a central part of the
spiritual and cultural life of the Amazonian peoples for many hundreds of
years. In fact, the oldest known object related to ayahuasca is a ceremonial
cup hewn from stone, which was found in the Ecuadorian Amazon, dated
500 B.C. to 50 A.D. It is in the collection of the Ethnological Museum of the
Central University in Quito. This indicates that ayahuasca potions were
known and used at least 2,000 years ago.
The origins of this brew are only in legend, but you still have to consider
how the indigenous peoples discovered it by combining just two distinct

plants (amongst the many thousands of plants in the rainforest). It is a

mystery how they knew this. The vine acts as an inhibitor, preventing the
body enzymes from neutralizing the alkaloids present in the chacruna leaves.
This chemistry is identical to the MAOI effect discovered by Western
science in the 1950s.
6. Do the Amazonian people have a core belief system?
As I mentioned earlier, there is a rich textural mythological fabric, in the
same way that we in the West have. Our fairy tales are a faint echo of this,
with stories of enchanting perfumes, magical flowers, animals that talk, and
so on. If you look under the hood of many of our fairy tales, there is a body
of knowledge about powerful plants that can transport you to another
dimension, even if the form has been attenuated and domesticated for
popular consumption.
The difference is that in the Amazon, these legends have not been
domesticated. I know shamans who swear that they have encountered
magical creatures such as the chullachaqui (the enigmatic hairy jungle
dwarf) or the pucabufeo (Amazonian pink dolphin) taking human form.
These magical creatures are depicted by Pablo in the book. One of the most
fascinating anecdotes described by Pablo is his encounter with the
yacuruna, when he was just a boy of seven years old. (The yacuruna are
primordial beings that inhabit sub-aquatic realms).
Pablo talks about the awesome exploits of his grandfather and great-uncle,
both powerful paleros specialized and powerful shamans who primarily
work with the resins, roots, and barks of hardwood trees. One of Pablos
paintings, Auca Yachai, conveys a diverse knowledge of plants, their
medicinal properties, and value as a food resource.
He offers a huge volume of information, ranging from the use of tamshi, or
plant fiber, to clean teeth and prevent decay, plants that heal wounds, and
customs surrounding death and burial rites. In fact, when I was working on
the narrative of this painting, there was so much material that I realized I
could write a book just about this one painting.
7. Pablo was a curandero from the age of 10. What is a curandero?


Curandero means healer, which is the main role of a shaman.

Nomenclature is complex in these respects; the term shaman, or chaman
in Peru, is a recent Western import into the Amazon in the past thirty years.
In the Amazonian tradition, there are many specializations and categories,
each with its own name. The traditional generic term would be vegetalista,
which denotes they have received their power from the plant kingdom.
There are many sub-specializations of the vegetalista, for example:

Palero a curandero who works with the bark, roots, and

resins of trees.


Perfumero a specialist in the perfumes of plants and



Ayahuasquero a specialist in ayahuasca.


Chontero a curandero who works with chonta (magical


There are many more categories of curanderos and shamans. In the book, we
have documented Pablos life story in detail. It is clear that Pablo always
had a close connection to spirit, and experienced life as magical.
Conventional religions never had meaning for him. He could access the soul
of the world directly, through nature, where he came to understand that there
was a divine creative consciousness that permeated and held the world in
Many of his paintings illustrate this theme. Pablo drank ayahuasca for the
first time when he was ten with his grandfather. His first vision was of
mermaids, in the water under a renaco tree. He painted this vision
repeatedly, well into his later years.
8. How many of Pablos illustrations are in the book?
We have 48 color plates of Pablos work that richly illustrate the
mythological, mystical, and spiritual world of the Amazon. Pablo explains
in his introduction that he felt much freer to express himself, and to be open
about his experiences. Before, he was concerned about being misinterpreted
and labeled heretical by the Catholic Church.


Its important to mention that Pablos paintings are imbued with power and
are far more than two-dimensional images. They are also intended for
meditation and contemplation. Whilst he painted, he would chant his icaros
to amplify the energy. He claimed that if you concentrate and meditate on the
paintings, you would receive this or that type of spiritual energy.
9. What was it like being director of Eagles Wing Centre for
Contemporary Shamanism?
Thats kind of an old chapter in my life. I worked closely with Leo
Rutherford, who established Eagles Wing in the 1980s in the U.K. He saw
that the revival of interest in ancient and indigenous cultures reflected the
movement, started in the 1960s, towards self-development, awakening
spiritual awareness, and more communal ways of living.
The work of Eagles Wing is to introduce that knowledge and awareness as
a way to heal ourselves, and by extension, the world. To quote the Dalai
Lama: World Peace begins with inner peace. For the past few years, Ive
been nomadic, but have recently settled in the beautiful city of Brasov, set in
the Carpathian Mountains in the Transylvanian region of Romania. I
continue to work holding shamanic workshops, individual healing sessions,
and gatherings here.
10. Could you tell us about Pablos passing and his legacy?
We were very aware and concerned about Pablos declining health. In 2008,
he twice suffered acute dengue fever that seriously debilitated him, and in
2009, he became visibly frail. I sensed that he might not make it through to
the publication of the book. I also think that he knew that, too, for he said to
me in March 2009: I fear that I will go before I paint all that I have seen,
but this is no problem. I will finish painting them the next time I come back.
We knew that this book would be his testament as a visionary, sage, and
artist. Pablo died in November 2009. I attended the wake and funeral in
Pucallpa. It was a sad time, but also at the wake, many people came together
to speak about their memories of him, how he had influenced them, and how
he had graced their lives. It was a true celebration of his life and work.
His legacy lives with his art, his visions, the Usko Ayar School, and the
many young people that he has helped over the years. The school is not only

about art, but also includes spiritual and ecological teachings. It was very
important to Pablo to share his wisdom and knowledge with young people,
to help them perceive the world through different eyes.
Pablos work has been on exhibition worldwide. The last major exhibition
was at the ACA Gallery in New York in 2011. You can also order highquality reproductions of Pablos paintings through our website. Pablo was a
Master in the true meaning of the word. Just being with Pablo was an
enlightening experience, and I feel ever so privileged to have known him.


1. What inspired you to write Shamanic Quest for the Spirit of Salvia:
The Divinatory, Visionary, and Healing Powers of the Sage of the Seers?
As I say in the book, there were a few reasons for writing it, but one of the
main ones was that Salvia is developing an unfortunate reputation as a
dangerous recreational drug, and there is a misguided and ill-informed
moral outcry by the media to have it banned.
The plant is an important shamanic medicine, and I was sad to see it
belittled like this, and its healing potential denied, as a result of media
panics and bandwagon politics. I wanted to redress the balance, to show the
potential of Salvia Divinorum to heal.
There are one or two books on Salvia, but none of them look at shamanic
work with the plant or its uses in healing, and most of them stem from the
personal accounts of solo explorers. As J.D. Arthur, the author of one of
these books, remarked: My attempts to chronicle my own experiences
presuppose a subjective interpretation. I have no idea if the experiences of
others might parallel my own, or be of a radically different nature.
Daniel Siebert, an early pioneer of Salvia, added, Although it does seem to
have a lot of potential, the use of Salvia as a therapeutic tool has barely
been studied at all. It is time for a book based on more than single-person
reports, so that wider and more objective conclusions can be drawn about
the applications of Salvia for healing. Thats what Ive done with this book,
and what Salvia has to teach us turns out to be very surprising.
2. Give us a basic primer on Salvia.
Salvia is a visionary plant that is widely regarded as the worlds most

powerful natural hallucinogen. In its extract form, according to some

researchers, Salvia is 20 times stronger than DMT, and 200 times stronger
than LSD.
The Mazatec shamans of Oaxaca, Mexico, where Salvia grows, use the
plant for divination, visionary, and healing purposes, and know it by many
names, all of which are associated with the Virgin Mary, who is regarded by
them as the representation of its spirit. Among them are ska Maria pastora
(the leaf or herb of Mary the shepherdess), hojas de Maria (the leaves
of Mary), hojas de la pastora (the leaves of the shepherdess), hierba
Maria (Marys herb), and simply, la Maria.
In its traditional shamanic usage, the fresh leaves are rolled and chewed as
a quid, or made into a tea and drunk. When taken in this way, the effects are
usually (but not always) mild. When the active ingredient, salvinorin A, is
extracted and smoked, however (the more frequent way of working with
Salvia these days), it becomes highly sometimes shockingly potent, and
its journeys often very strange.
3. How does one use it to go on vision quests?
For divination purposes, it is best to diet the plant a process explained in
the book which entails restrictions on certain foods and activities, so that
the spirit of the plant can be absorbed by the shaman and then teach him, as
an ally, the skills of future-seeing.
It is possible to gain similar abilities by smoking the extract, but the
experience is much more bizarre and dramatic, and requires you to learn the
language of the plant so you can understand what its teaching you. Dieting
the leaves brings a sense of prescience, an awareness of things to come,
whereas the extract helps you see your life patterns and the choices you
unconsciously make; and where these will lead if you dont make changes.
4. Arent there multiple levels on which the plant works?
Yes, for healing, there are four levels of possibility with every plant:
1. The plant as a medicine.
Used in the same way that any herbalist might, Salvia can treat

stomach problems, rheumatism and depression, among other

conditions. Drugs derived from the plant also show promise in
cures for Alzheimers, AIDS, leukemia, and diabetes. Used in this
way, Salvia addresses the nuts and bolts of the body the
material aspects modern medicine concerns itself with.
Modern medical treatments, however, are based on rather
primitive ideas of direct causality and cure i.e., that A leads to
B, or that giving a patient medicine X will clear up the disease in,
say, 96.4% of cases. Shamanism, however, also gives attention to
the attitude, motivation, and psychology of the patient, and to the
spirit of the plant medicine.
2. The plant as a spirit ally.
Beyond their purely medicinal uses, plants can also teach us about
ourselves, reality, existence, and the wider patterns of our lives.
To some extent, this comes down to what shamans call intent, will,
or focus: entering into a committed partnership with the plant, with
the express intent that it will reveal certain information to us, or
pass on certain powers, and that, for our part, we will pay close
attention to the signs that it sends us, and the changes it makes to
our bodies, in order to receive its messages and gain mastery of
the new abilities it gives us. The shamanic diet is likely to be part
of this arrangement.
3. As a guide to the spirits of other plants.
Once it is a part of the shaman, the plant ally begins to teach the
shaman about itself, about other plants, and about how to heal
(Mazatecs believe, for example, that Salvia will carry the
apprentice to the tree of knowledge in Heaven, where all healing
plants grow, and where saints and angels will instruct him in their
uses). All plants are part of the same kingdom, and know
something about the specific powers of other plants.
Salvia as an ally, then, is more than just a healer in its own right; it
becomes for the shaman a guide to the spirit world, in general, and
an ambassador that will act on his behalf, and introduce him to
other plants. In this way, the shaman becomes knowledgeable

about a range of plants and their healing uses, and has a guide in
Salvia that he can call upon to lead him to those he needs to heal
any patient, even if he is unfamiliar with the patients illness or the
plants needed to help him.

The plant as gateway to the Void, where we learn the deepest

secrets of all.
In my book, this is represented by the consistent themes that
emerge through journeying with Salvia. Perhaps the greatest of
these is that there is nothing to the universe except what we make
it. In this sense, we are God, but there is something else some
other force or entity that is beyond us and which, perhaps, will
always remain unknown.


Would you share some experiences from people who have taken
the plant?

Yes. These are a few accounts of participants that demonstrate how Salvia
may provide us with insight into ourselves, and help us to heal some of our
John was a private healing client who dieted Salvia with me in Spain. When
he first smoked the extract as part of a diet to help with problems related to
social anxiety, he felt an immediate impact. Some sort of brain surgery was
performed on me, was how he later described it. He became aware of the
karmic circle of thoughts, and how they get trapped in his head:
There was something chaotic in my head that needed to be worked
on. It was painful being awake on the operating table, but that
passed. I realized that billions of thoughts are floating around us
all the time, and we can cherry-pick them. When we choose one to
latch onto, we take ownership of it, and it becomes us. With
Salvia, objectiveness is easier. If one thought doesnt serve us, just
pick another.
He became aware, that is, of how thoughts actually create reality for
example, that he would become anxious before entering a social situation
and, as a result of that, think and act clumsily when he got there, thus
creating a real anxiety. To deal with this, he would drink to soothe his
nerves, but this usually led to more problems as he got drunk, and therefore

to further anxiety.
Eventually, something that did not originally exist (since there was nothing
to be anxious about before he left the house for his social engagement, as it
hadnt yet even happened) became something real, purely through the power
of his imagination. This is what he meant by his karmic circle of thoughts.
He was trapped in a loop of unhelpful thinking and action.
What he realized through Salvia, however, is that there are billions of
thoughts floating around us, and we can choose whichever we want. We
create our universe, moment by moment, through our choices.
Once he understood this, it was easy for John to dismiss his anxiety
altogether by breaking his usual circle of thoughts. In fact, on the last night
of his diet, a film crew arrived from England to interview me and record
our ceremony, and John led some of it. For a young man with a history of
anxiety, to be leading a ceremony, on camera, was a big step forward.
Anton joined me to heal a long-standing problem with depression and
feelings of inferiority, sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts. He looked
terrified as soon as he smoked Salvia. It seemed clear that the plant was
taking a very direct, even confrontational approach to his healing.
In response, Anton became confrontational, too. He stood up, using his
hands to scrape some invisible substance from his arms and legs. (He
explained later that he was trying to remove a new order of reality that he
saw engulfing his body.) He then began speaking to me in a demanding way.
(There was certainly nothing inferior about him now.) I stood up, too, and
held eye contact, but did not interfere with his process.
Reality was immediately cut in half he said later. I was cut in half, too,
and a new atomic universe took hold of my right side. I was afraid and
began to try to tear it off me. Ross was not Ross, it was just a name he
called himself. I couldnt even say he was human. I began speaking, asking,
Who opened the interdimensional gateways? Then I became the guardian
of those gateways and was trying to stop Ross, saying, No, you cant enter.
This is playing with fire. It scared me to realize how small this reality is,
and how thin it is like a crust around something that contains all we
It seemed to me, in fact, that Salvia was showing Anton his beliefs about

himself: the limitations he had allowed to engulf him in his life, like a crust
beneath which there was something bigger and much more powerful.
He agreed. There was something more, and it was fathomless. The
nothingness I saw was full. I felt better when I went outside to look at the
stars. I was in awe of the sky. The beauty I saw was indescribable. Flowers
blossomed from my heart, and I felt Salvia as an ally inside me. She gave
me a new sacred name. Today, I feel I love everyone. My intention was to
be fulfilled, and I am.
6. What was the longterm outcome?
The outcome of his journey was that Anton felt a greater connection to
everyone, and on their level, not as inferior to them. He was able to see the
beauty of the world, and of himself as part of it, and to feel love and
fulfillment. These feelings were in many ways new to Anton, and perhaps
only the first steps on his path to recovery (or, more accurately,
rediscovery); but they were also real and immediate, and they gave him
something powerful and positive from which to build.
The second she smoked, Alex staggered across the room to another mat, but
she couldnt lie still when she reached it. She was extremely agitated,
screaming, and begging us to get me out of here.
It was a living nightmare, she said the next day.
I became wallpaper in my family home, but not on a wall on the
floor. I was stuck with my family. My Salvia experience was like a
conspiracy they had organized against me. My parents are dead
now, but I have one sister I dont speak to. They always disliked
me and thought I was mad because of my spiritual beliefs, and it
felt like this experience was something theyd arranged, so I would
finally see that they were right and I was mad.
I tried to pull the wallpaper off me, but it was stuck, and as I
pulled at it, it began to tear my whole body apart. I saw that Debs,
my assistant, had become the same wallpaper, and began to claw at
her, trying to get it off her, too. I was shouting, Get me out of
here! I felt betrayed by my family. They thought I was mad, and
wanted me to see what madness was like.


Before she smoked, Alexs question to Salvia was a simple and practical
one: Should she leave Greece, where she was currently living, and move to
the U.K.? She hated Greece, and felt she was suffering from being there, but
didnt feel comfortable in leaving her friends.
After her Salvia experience, she realized, however, just how much she was
limiting herself, and how illusory her thinking was: Part of me wants to
stay, because of the sense of security it offers, but I know now that it is a
false security. I have no family there who would ever take care of me.
In reality, her parents were dead and her sister wont speak to her, but in her
fantasy, she had a loving family. She had been prepared to stay where she
was, and to damage herself in the process, simply to live an illusion.
This case, as good as any, illustrates the difference between orthodox
medicine and shamanic healing. A Western doctor might simply have
prescribed Alex antidepressants to deal with her current issues, or some
other drug to quell her anxiety (indeed, they had done so in the past), but this
would not have addressed the real problem or revealed its cause. Salvia did
so in minutes, and still gave Alex the choice as to what she wished to do
about it, but now from an aware and responsible viewpoint.
As an addendum however, even though Alexs entire mantra during her
Salvia journey had been Get me out of here a pretty obvious answer to
her question you might think she is still in Greece. Once again: we are
given information and choices even direct and obvious answers but
what we choose to do with them is up to us.
Common sense would suggest that human beings use whatever freewill they
have to act in their own best interests, but the fact is that they quite often
dont. They behave self-destructively instead, or in ways that harm others,
and then justify or excuse their actions by reference to principles or life
stories and patterns. It seems to be a drive we have, as flawed human
beings, towards drama and death.
This is also what Salvia teaches: the madness of human beings and of what
we take to be real life. Which in turn raises questions about just how free
we really are.
Marlas intention was to become more balanced and achieve her potential.
The Salvia seemed to have less impact on her, and she felt that she was able

to observe my own reaction to the whole process. Later, she commented

I was very concerned that I hadnt smoked it right, because I had
no great visions or psychedelic effects, but then I realized that I
was speaking, except my words werent words. And I had the
sensation that I was in two places at once, and that I wanted to be
in both places simultaneously. Something was happening. My body
was filled with pins and needles, and reality became metallic,
matrix-like, as if it had been programmed on a computer.
I understood that I wanted to be in two places at once, because I
had lost so much of my life to depression and wanted to make up
for it. I wanted to share my experience immediately with others,
and I realize now that this was because my parents had never
listened to me. They always wanted me to do things in the right
way, and because of this, I wanted to check with others to be sure
Id had the correct Salvia experience. I have never been certain
that Im good enough. I have always needed confirmation and
Again, it seems obvious now that Marlas desire for balance had to do with
her childhood experience of her parents, symbolized in her journey by her
need to be in two places at once; that is, to please her mother and father at
the same time who, it transpired, often had opposing views and rarely took
her into account. During her Salvia journey, her overriding concern had
been to know that shed had the correct experience (even though there is
no correct experience) i.e., whether she had done the right thing or
been good enough.
Unlike her fellow participants, Marla received no wild visions hardly any
visions at all, in fact, except of a reality that was cold and metallic (no
doubt symbolic of her family home, as if it had been programmed on a
computer. But nor did she need any visions, because the experience of her
journey was the message. From it, she learned more about the roots of her
depression, and gained insight into why she wanted to be in two places at
once. To understand this and then let it go was the first step for her in
achieving the potential it was her intention to find.
7. What else would you like to share with us from your book?

Simply this: that everything you think you know is wrong. We live an
illusion if we live at all. The current theory of quantum physics and
Salvia is a very quantum plant is that we do not even exist in the way
we believe we do, but are in fact simulations in a computer program, or
computer game, perhaps being run by a posthuman society several hundreds
of years into one of our possible futures.
The first thing most people ask when given Salvia is Who am I? All the
scripts, the games, the beliefs weve bought into turn out to be illusions. We
are nothing and everything, no one and everyone, energy in flow and the rest
is simply invention. With Salvia, it is best to leave all your expectations
(even of existing) at the door before you enter the ceremony, because what
you are about to discover will put a dent in them all.
If by enlightenment, we mean having our eyes opened to the cold, hard
truths of the universe and of ourselves, there is no better ally than Salvia. It
can be an intense and frightening experience, because it is so radical and
real. There is nothing fluffy about it, and it does not concern itself (on the
surface at least, and in its immediate effects) with love and light, or any
other new age concept or platitude. It is reality laid bare in all its horror and
Even if we are familiar with other entheogens (or perhaps, especially if we
are), we will most likely be unprepared for the impact of Salvia, because
the questions it raises are deeper, more significant and more immediate than
other entheogens show us.
Perhaps our age demands such swift and to-the-point directness, since we
seem intent on creating problems for ourselves arising from the ape
consciousness of those who lead us, and we are running out of options. We
need answers fast and, Salvia gives us these answers starkly, directly and
unavoidably to shock us out of our trance.
On top of this directness, Salvia has a language of its own, which can be
hard to understand. Maybe we need to evolve a little more to read it. It is a
language of dreams, a fusion of mathematics and poetry. It does, however,
make the alien landscapes you often find yourself in during a Salvia journey
doubly strange and more difficult to navigate, because the signposts are not
in a familiar tongue.
None of this, however, is any reason not to work with Salvia quite the

opposite, in fact. Just because you dont know the Spanish culture or
language doesnt mean you should never visit Spain. By going there, you
have a better chance of learning about the country than by staying safely at
home where you never have to try. All pioneers and explorers have, after
all, and by definition, gone to unfamiliar lands. If they hadnt, we would still
be living on a flat Earth.
Pushing back boundaries and finding new frontiers is how our race evolves
which, in one way, it could be argued, makes it our duty to explore and
expand our consciousness so that evolution takes place at all. If we are not
prepared to do that, then we are just tourists here freeloaders willing to let
others do the work. We cannot complain about the world we get if we never
put our own energy into shaping it.
8. What would you like to share with us about plant allies?
One idea I began to formulate during my writing of this book is what I call
my timeline theory of the plant-guided evolution of human consciousness,
along with some insights into what these different plants have been teaching
us and where they are leading us. In shamanic terms, all entheogenic plants
have a personality and purpose.
Teacher plants have always been leading us, and there are practical
outcomes as their spirits fuse subtly with ours. What, then, are we to make
of Salvia, probably the most important and challenging plant of our age?
What is its purpose? What does it teach, and where is it leading us?
It took 60 years for ayahuasca to become the first plant of shamanic choice
in the Western world and 30 years for San Pedro to become known. Salvia,
meanwhile, first came to our attention in the 1990s, through the work of
Daniel Siebert, who was the first to extract salvinorin from it.
The salvinorin experience is complex and deep, quickly and intensely
shredding the veil that human beings have drawn over the nature of true
reality, and plunging the smoker into a strange and alien landscape where
the answers he finds, while so incredible and shocking that he may almost
wish they had remained hidden, have the ring of authentic and absolute truth.
Among these lessons are:


That the world is not real.

That we are not real.

That we are creators, but also created and at the whim of alien

That there is no cause and effect (A does not lead to B).

That time and space do not exist.

That there are other dimensions around us, which we are also a
part of, and which influence our lives in unseen ways.

The truth that Salvia gives us in the words of the author Theodore Roszak
is that we live as film, on a film. What is real lives behind, waiting to
push through, swallow us up, and reclaim us. It may not be nice.
Its purpose, quite literally, may be to prepare us for travel to other
dimensions, to other times, or to wake us up to the fact that human life is
over that we are not real, and that we exist now as a simulation, as
somebody elses dream.
9. Do these plants like Salvia and Ayahuasca pretty much pop us into the
Some people believe that Salvia takes us to the Land of the Dead. I am not
one of them. I think its a plant that takes us to other dimensions, one of
which may be the Land of the Dead; but the experience is bigger than that.
I go along with the views of quantum physicists: that human beings are
already dead, and we exist now as simulations only. In other words, our
everyday life is spent in the Land of the Dead, and Salvia just shows us the
truth of that.
If what youre suggesting is that plants like Salvia show us a cozy New Age
afterlife, Id say a very definite no. The Salvia universe is a cold, brutal
truth; theres not much welcoming about it. But if you want the facts of life
(and death), there is no more direct teacher than Salvia.
10. What are you up to next?

Ive just finished writing a new book on ayahuasca. Funnily enough, Ive
written about a half-dozen books on teacher plants like Salvia and San
Pedro, but hardly anything on ayahuasca which is strange, since it was my
first teacher (Ive been drinking it since the 1990s), and its such an obvious
plant to write about, since the Western world seems hungry for information
on it.
Apart from that, I will continue to hold workshops and ceremonies in
Europe and America, and take trips to Peru to work with the shamans there.


1. What was your prime motivation in creating the book, Beneath the
Sheltering Oak?
I have always been a healer/protector by nature. When it came to shielding
techniques and protection spells, I seem to excel at them. I have always
tried to teach people how to protect themselves metaphysically, because I
felt this was something everyone needed. So, it became a dream of mine to
put things down in a book.
2. Could you give us some background on being an elder in the Vampire
In my opinion, being an elder in the Vampire community is nothing more than
being a servant of the community. We break ourselves up into extended
families and work towards making each member feel as if theyve finally
found a place to belong.
3. How have you incorporated Native American spirituality into this
system of magic?
If you want the honest truth, Native American spirituality incorporates into
everything I do. It is part-and-parcel of what makes me who I am. Unlike
many belief systems, it becomes a living, breathing part of the searcher,
showing them just how easily and how much they connect to the world
around them.
4. Can you attract lovers with Vampire magic?


I would honestly recommend that you focus on the qualities of the

relationship you desire. Write them down, in longhand. Do not type them,
because the written word carries the emotional content of our desires. Get a
red or pink candle. Each time you light the red or pink candle, recite Psalm
Love work is tricky at best. It borders on what we call Control Magicks.
Control Magicks are what we call any magick that strips a person of their
free will to decide, for themselves, what will and will not work for them in
their lives.
5. Tell us about Voodoo and whether or not it connects to Vampirism.
Voodoo provides added security for those on the Vampire path. The New
Orleans style of Voodoo, which I practice, is a combination of the African
and Haitian traditions. It is a rich and powerful heritage. Those who
practice it travel in small circles, keeping it safe by teaching it only to their
sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandsons and granddaughters.
I was very blessed to find someone who was willing to teach me such a
guarded, yet wholly beautiful spirituality. Whenever you write about such a
system, you will face resistance. The problem is that, even though you may
see the beauty of the belief system, there are those who will always
consider it a taboo subject. These people generally tend to be the first to
scream foul when you say anything positive about Voodoo or Vampirism.
6. Do you ever get flak from those who were born into it, who think you
are an outsider?
If you are honestly trying to follow the precepts and perform good works,
the old guard will eventually accept you. It just takes time.
But there is another group that is completely blind to what is going on.
These are the people who always scream cultural appropriation, without
even considering that their own beliefs are a cultural appropriation of
several different belief systems that came before, each tied to each other
through historical necessity. There is no real way that a practitioner can
actually write about a topic like this without upsetting someone.
7. Could you go into the concept of wards with us?

The way I was taught is that there is a difference between shields and
wards. Shields are something that move with the caster because they
are solely around this person. Wards are stationary and tend to be protective
of a whole area... unless they are placed on a specific item, such as a ring,
necklace or bracelet... Then they can become mobile. Wards are pretty easy
to create and maintain and they can be artistically done as part of your home
8. Tell us about your Vampire community, the New Orleans Vampire
Association. Do you drink blood to achieve immortality?
No, not at all. There are no immortal beings with supernatural abilities
lurking in the shadows to pounce on unsuspecting victims. In order to define
a vampire, you must first define the word vampirism. Vampirism,
according to the New Orleans Vampire Association and the House of Mystic
Echoes, my own personal House within the community, define vampirism
Vampirism is a physiological condition wherein the afflicted
persons body does not produce enough of the essential energies to
maintain a proper balance of physical, mental, and emotional
wellbeing, and must, therefore, turn to outside sources to attain
these energies.
These sources range from blood, to psychic energy, to empathic
energy, to elemental energy, to ambient energy, to eclectic mixes of
any of the above, or other, sources.
Vampires know that all life reacts to the energies of every living thing on the
planet. However, for the Vampire, there is a need that cant seem to be met
by doing very basic things, such as eating properly, exercising, and making
regular visits to your doctor. There is no clear explanation as to why some
of us cant make up for this lack of energy. Many of us have gone to the
doctor to find out what is actually wrong with us, but commercial medicine
doesnt seem to have many answers.
Vampires break down into a few categories based on their feed types. I am a
sanguine vampire. This means that there is something contained within the
blood that I need to maintain my precarious balance. I am also one of those
who has tried to go the medical route, to see just why I cant maintain

energy doing the normal things in life.

I was prescribed Vitamin B shots, neonatal vitamins, and other supplements
to help offset my lack of energy, but they didnt do a thing, other than make
my hair and nails grow fabulously.
9. Could you share a mantra with us from your book?
Shadows of light, light to shade,
No one can see me, no sight be made.
No sight, sound, no hint of me,
Nothing of me, so mote it be.
Up, down, hither, and yon,
To all around I do appear gone.
10. Any parting words of wisdom?
My next book1, Voodoo Through My Eyes, is a book on New Orleans
Voodoo, with some Haitian aspects thrown in. These are things that have
been taught to me, over the years, from my own perspective and
understanding. It is my hope that, when I am done, people will have a better
understanding of these beautiful offshoots of traditional African spirituality.


1. What sort of information is contained in your book, Revolt of the
Rebel Angels: The Future of the Multiverse?
Having spent the last 30 years immersed in the study of nonhuman
intelligences primarily dolphins, angels, and extraterrestrials I must
have been preparing for a long and extremely intimate relationship with
Georgia, my name for the discarnate rebel angel with whom Im writing this
new series of books. The first volume of my Rebel Angel trilogy,
Confessions of a Rebel Angel, came out in 2012, and was published by
Bear & Company, which also published Revolt of the Rebel Angels and
Rebel Angels in Exile.
Id never intended to try to publish Georgias Confessions. I thought it was
far too personal, because Georgias writing is so honest and revealing.
Completing the first book, however, Georgia made it clear that she felt it
would have a wider value if it did get out there. So I was both surprised and
affirmed when a big publisher took an interest in the series.
I think of them as very much Georgias books, although its truly a
collaboration rather than merely a channeling. We work together as though
she was sitting beside me or looking over my shoulder. She shares concepts,
anecdotes, what she has observed and experienced during her half-millionyears on the planet.
We agreed when we started that Georgia would also tell my biography, but
from her point of view what she had observed and heard that I didnt
know about, and what had happened around me or behind my back. It was
sometimes more than I had bargained for, but the arrangement had to stand.
If Georgias observations were going to be helpful to the reader, they had to
be honest and openly expressed.

I should say that I dont write my books to try to convince anyone of the
ultimate truth of my words. Mainly, I write for my own inner
understanding, focusing on what I dont know rather than what I do. These
are not areas for which there is any external evidence, so its more about
developing an efficient working intuition, putting out the information, and
paying attention to the level of resonance the information creates.
The basic thesis that Georgia exposes concerns the incarnation of an
increasingly large number of rebel angels, most of whom are unaware of
their angelic heritage, and who feel very different from normal human
beings. This is about personal redemption on the part of the rebel angels
an opportunity to make amends by living as a mortal, for better or worse,
under the very conditions the rebellion encouraged.
Much of this same basic information is contained in The Urantia Book,
although from the side of authority, not of the rebels. Georgia says she is
writing her Confessions for the benefit of those angels who supported the
Lucifer Rebellion, and who have now entered human incarnation to
experience the best and worst of it.
My motivation for writing these books with Georgia is threefold: 1) Im
fascinated by the information contained in Georgias perceptive insights; 2)
I relish the challenge of maintaining a longterm creative relationship with a
discarnate, nonhuman entity of high intelligence; and 3) writing with
Georgia is proving to be the richest source of relevant and valuable
information Ive yet come across.
Plus, of course, I just love this work. Im having the time of my life, and Im
thrilled to be finding an audience with the books.
2. How does The Urantia Book fit into all of this?
I first bumped into The Urantia Book in the late 1970s, and quickly realized
it was an authentic 2000-page document, which was transmitted from angels
between 1905 and the late 1930s, and published in 1955. Ive read a lot of
cosmologies, and in spite of its bias against the rebel angels, it is the one
that resonates most closely with my own experiences and intuition. Its a
challenging read that acts as an intelligence accelerator. It is a massive
information download.
Georgia tells her story through the lens of the planetary history as described

in The Urantia Book, either because that is what she experienced, or

because that model is the metaphor most closely aligned to what she wants
to explore and reveal. Regardless of the metaphor used, Georgias primary
interest seems to be in helping humanity avoid the erroneous decisions taken
in the past, which ended up producing the situation we find ourselves in
Given that we live in an inhabited Multiverse, with millions upon millions
of planets inhabited by sentient beings, its hard to imagine that we, alone,
know the best way to administer or navigate the cosmos. There wouldnt be
an inhabited Multiverse if the inhabitants of all the other worlds were as
belligerent, arrogant, and uppity as us.
Something else must be going on; and it was just this question that got me
curious enough to plunge into what has become a lifetime exploration of
what is going on behind the scenes behind the veiled scrim of material
3. Has God forgiven the rebel angels and promised to bring them back
into the fold?
To say that the rebel angels have been forgiven is something of an
oversimplification. As far as I understand it, its not so much that God has
forgiven the rebel angels (personally, I dont think God had much of a hand
in it), but more that the rebel angels have been given the chance to forgive
themselves. Georgia intimates in her books that the rebel angels are being
given the opportunity to incarnate as mortals on one of the 37 planets
affected by the rebellion.
These are not evil beings; they are mainly administrative angels, who
were swept up into the call for more individual freedom and independence,
both for angels and for the mortal inhabitants in this system of planets.
Angels and humans are quite different species, existing in different
frequency domains.
As far as I know, the experiment of angels incarnating as mortals is
generally believed impossible, like squeezing a rainbow into a Coke
bottle, as one angel contact stated some years ago. This is no trivial affair;
its truly an extraordinary experiment and a deeply spiritual matter, the
results of which will not become clear for a long while.

Almost all of the rebel angels currently living as human beings are
completely unaware of their angelic heritage. Most would likely dismiss it
out of hand, because their task is to live the life of a human being. Yet all of
them feel that they are fundamentally different from normal men and
women, including their own family members.
One of Georgias reasons for including a biographic narrative of my own
life story was to illustrate some of the challenges Ive had to deal with
during my 73 swings around the sun, to create moments of sympathetic
resonance, so that those readers who are, themselves, rebel angel
reincarnates might have an awakening jolt of deep intuition. We awaken
incrementally to our true natures and identities.
4. Who exactly is the angel known as Georgia?
Georgia says she is a relatively junior angel of the Order of Seraphim, who
was assigned to this planet as part of the first off-planet intervention
500,000 years ago. As part of Prince Caligastias large team of angelic
helpers, her function was primarily observational, reporting back to the
Princes staff in Dalamatia, the city theyd constructed on the southern coast
of the Persian Gulf, now long disintegrated and underwater.
At the time of the Lucifer Rebellion some 200,000 years ago, Georgia had
already been witnessing the beginning of the serious problems and conflicts
arising among the Princes staff. When the time came to choose whether to
stay faithful to the old guard, or to follow Lucifer and their prince, 60 of the
100 primary members of his staff elected to follow the rebel path.
Georgia is unusual in that she was one of the relatively few rebel angels
who remained on the planet, after the rebellion, to serve as a Watcher. With
the exception of occasional short visits to other nearby inhabited planets,
she has served continuously on this world until the present day.
Getting to know Georgia, as I have over the years, has allowed me some
invaluable insights into the nature of the angelic intelligence its limitations
and its strong points. Although angels in general are not sexual beings, both
Georgia and I agree that our relationship is closer to that of lovers. In many
ways, it is even more intimate than that, as I feel her active within my inner
world. Perhaps its only within this level of psychic and spiritual intimacy
that a project such as ours could successfully take place.

5. Where is Lucifer now?

To the best of my knowledge, Lucifer has been removed from the scene, and
what we are experiencing right now is an unwinding and exposure of all the
corruption and rottenness baked into pretty much every field of human
activity. This is why it appears so horrible whenever we switch on the
Nothing leads me to think Lucifer is currently playing any active part in this
worlds affairs. He already fulfilled his function long ago, unsavory as it
may have been. Right now, the overall world situation is more of a cleanup
This planet, one of the 37 to fall to rebel control, gradually devolved, until
its now known as the third worst of the inhabitable planets in this local
universe. Yet, not only does it provide fertile soil for the practice of mercy
and forgiveness, but it also has great value as an arena for toughening up
errant souls.
6. Could you tell us more about the celestial quarantine?
According to The Urantia Book, at the time of the Lucifer Rebellion, the
Multiverse authorities placed this solar system under a general planetary
quarantine. The effect of this was to minimize extraterrestrial visitations, to
prevent the rebellion from spreading beyond it.
This also had the effect of making the angels withdraw somewhat from our
conscious awareness. We were on our own in a seemingly empty corner
of the galaxy. While the quarantine appears to have been designed to contain
the rebellion, it also has allowed the rebel-led planets to develop their own
social and political systems.
The central demand of Lucifer and the rebel faction was for greater freedom
of choice, both for themselves and for the mortal beings on the planets they
served. They wanted to accelerate the otherwise natural (and painfully
slow) process of growth and development of the mortal races.
The Multiverse agents vilified the rebels as deluded reprobates at best, and
as self-serving, power-mad, manipulative monsters at worst. In a sense, the
revolt of the angels was somewhat similar to a rebellious child trying to
break away from kind but old-fashioned parents. As any parent knows,

allowing a child too much freedom can lead to terrible mistakes and errors
of judgment; allow too little and you either create a drone or force a
A dualistic reality is a continual dance of opposing elements, each
containing the seed of its opposite. The balance will be constantly shifting
as the system responds to both internal and external pressures. With sentient
beings, seeking this balance becomes a little more complicated. Here, the
resolution to these opposing forces rests not in constant conflict, but in
heartfelt synthesis.
7. Who is Prince Caligastia, and what was his role in all of this?
The Urantia Book tells us that all inhabited worlds possess two planetary
princes, who are basically overseeing angelic activity, and are responsible
for the general progress of their planets evolution, shepherding their mortal
wards through the many stages necessary to reach a high state of
Prince Caligastia, like all planetary princes, is imperceptible to our mortal
senses. And similar to all angels, he isnt capable of entering human
consciousness if not specifically requested. Still, his influence among the
angels is profound, and at times, even dangerous. Most of the problems this
world has faced in the last 200,000 years can be placed at Prince
Caligastias feet. He, far more than Lucifer or Satan, can be called the
8. Have you had any paranormal experiences yourself?
I have been having paranormal experiences, of one sort or another, most of
my life. Unfortunately, it is a realm in which there is usually no obvious
evidence or objective proof. However, one finds that the experiences
develop ones intuition, and this is of great value to the angels, as they can
then make a more reliable connection with us when needed.
Being an architect by profession, I have a fairly down-to-Earth aspect to my
personality, which balances out my commitment to the more far out, subtle
regions. Heres how I approach this issue: if and when I experience a
paranormal event, I check it for any obvious explanations. If it feels real, I
throw myself wholeheartedly into that experience. If it is unreal or a

delusion, it will soon drop away, or otherwise reveal itself as false.

Again, I write primarily for my own understanding, and not to convince a
reader that I have it all correct. For me, its entirely to do with resonance
intuitive insights that allow us to feel the truth of a claim from another
source. Im not interested in converting anyone. I dont need the egogratification, although I do feel happy when my thesis strikes a familiar
chord in a readers heart.
When readers start waking up to their true natures, my books and insights
merely illustrate the steppingstones one person is taking on his own journey.
And as I am not trying to prove anything, or convince anyone, this allows me
more freedom to be wrong. Its by letting myself be wrong that I can learn.
9. Could you go into your life with The Process Church?
I regard The Process Church as a mystery school for the accelerated
spiritual awareness of some mighty intransigent souls, who needed the
peculiar experiences and harsh conditions of complete immersion in a
spiritual community. I wrote about this fully in my book, Love, Sex, Fear,
Death: The Inside Story of The Process Church of the Final Judgment,
which was published in 2009 by Feral House.
Among the gifts I received in my thirteen years of commitment to The
Process were as follows: a working familiarity with such unacceptable
names as Lucifer and Satan; the understanding that Jesus admonition to love
our enemies was a real and practical guide to a good life; the knowledge
that we are all responsible for everything we say and do, as well as
whatever happens to us; the perception that for every intention in a dualistic
setup, there will always be elements present of a counter-intention; the
realization that the negative imprints from previous incarnations can affect
the psyche of your present life.
The Process started in London, England, in the early 1960s, and went
through several iterations before it imploded between 1977 and 1978.
Perhaps a dozen of the original members now run Best Friends, a large
animal sanctuary in Utah, but they no longer consider themselves a religious
I left the community in 1977, very grateful to be out and free. Id given away
my power so completely to Mary Ann, the prime mover of The Process, that

in taking my power back, I was able to appreciate how unknowingly we can

give away our power. It can happen whenever we surrender the integrity of
our decision-making faculty to another person or ideology.
One of the great values of such an intense, closed community is the
challenge to somehow develop a sufficiently strong intention to break the
bonds and leave the group with a renewed sense of self.
The revolt that caused the final dissolution of The Process Church was
largely of my instigation the result of Mary Ann and her cronies rejection
of my call for greater freedom to make our own choices. I was amused when
later I discovered I was unknowingly emulating Lucifers squabble with the
Multiverse authorities, as I was subsequently castigated and reviled in
somewhat the same manner when I decided to leave The Process. But its
not that uncommon an experience in a world where the domination of others
rates at such a high value.
10. What are you up to next?
Right now I am continuing to collaborate with Georgia on her further
confessions. I am learning so much from it. We will soon have completed
ten volumes. While I wrote the these books with the intention of serving my
fellow human beings, I think of my work with Georgia is my service to my
fellow changelings all those incarnate rebel angels who are likely
reading these words.


1. What brought you two together to create the book Talking to the
Spirits: Personal Gnosis in Pagan Religion?
Mostly it was seeing that Neo-Pagan religion has now got to the point in its
development that were thinking about issues of theology, and whats real
and whats not difficult and tricky issues that in past times, usually meant
that members of a faith were going to start slaughtering each other.
Fortunately, that sort of thing is much more difficult and less accepted today.
But there is still a good bit of arguing, and people honestly asking, How do
I know when something is real or in my head? When does a group decide to
take one persons word for something and change its policies? This book
tries to help out with those sorts of questions.
At the present time, the Neo-Pagan community has two ways of handling
personal gnosis. One is a bland acceptance of every statement, no matter
how stupid or fraudulent, in the name of tolerance. A second is a dogmatic
anti-mysticism that rejects personal communications with God or deities
We wanted to provide a third position that allows people to freely talk
about gnosis and its effect on a faith community. How do we build a
framework within which unique mystical experiences can be addressed?
2. Thats an important issue, because if you look at Christianity or
Catholicism today, you see that neither one of them really allows for new
experiences to be added to the canon. It all happened hundreds of years
ago, and that is that. Its like they really dont believe in miracles or
gnosis anymore, or even understand what gnosis means.

Gnosis means something that you just know, without external proof.
Personal gnosis is that message you get from somewhere else that
something is or is not, or should or should not be, a certain way.
The question is: how do we (people in faith groups) know how much of that
information is authentic cosmic download, and how much is our own
subconscious wishful thinking, delusion, or even hallucination?
Obviously, that answer differs between people who believe in the literal
existence of gods and spirits, and people who dont not to mention
pantheists who believe that its all one lump of divine stuff wearing
different masks, and polytheists who believe in specific separate entities
with their own agendas.
Personal gnosis is a direct experience of completely new information. It can
range from a strong intuition to a direct vision, but theres always a sense of
an Other, a feeling that it comes from outside (or from so far in the
unconscious that it seems to be from outside).
This experience appears across times, cultures, and economic strata. It has
been explained in many different and frequently contradictory ways, but
there appears to be near-universal agreement that it is important, whatever
its source of origin. Pagan religion is an umbrella that covers the various
forms of nature spirituality influenced, to a greater or lesser degree, by
Gerald Gardner.
3. How do you research and develop your material together?
We outline it chapter by chapter, covering all the areas we want to touch on.
Then we each pick a chapter that calls to us, write it and run it by the other
person, who makes changes or edits.
4. How do we tune our senses to hear the voices of the spirits?
You can start by eliminating chemicals from your food and air. Chemical
absorption puts static into our signal clarity. Second, learn to ground and
center, using some form of meditation or regular exercise, and make a
regular discipline of that. Thats kind of the take two aspirin and call me in
the morning answer that I can reasonably give over the Internet, rather than
to someone physically in my office.

Remove from your life anything that keeps you from the gods. Make a list of
habits that waste your time and resources, on relationships that suck up
energy and provide only frustration, and on distractions big and small. Then
cut them off without excuses and without apologies. Its not easy, but nothing
worthwhile ever is.
5. How do we avoid conflict with those whose gnosis differs from our
own? Many of us have known Christians whose rigid beliefs forced them
to write us off completely as human beings, until we agreed with them and
were saved.
First its important to separate the issue of religious conflicts from the issue
of personality conflicts. Would one person in this situation be unreasonable
no matter what religion they were promoting? Probably best to sidestep
them, and put the blame where it really goes, which is not on religion.
If everyone is reasonable and really wants to understand what everyone else
believes and, more to the point, why they believe it then ask questions
like, What would it mean for you if what I said was true? Heres what it
would mean for me if what you said was true. Will you go in the opposite
direction with me, so I can understand more about why this is repulsive to
People have to be willing to agree to disagree, and not let that ruin a
relationship. I mean, nobody agrees on everything. If you cant agree to
disagree, then you may be involved in a toxic relationship problem rather
than a personal gnosis issue. There are lots of healthy, happy interfaith
relationships out there. The one thing they all have in common is mutual
respect, which may be something that they learned in their family of origin,
at school, or place of employment.
6. Is there anything else from the book that you would like to make our
readers aware of?
That personal gnosis is real beyond your wildest imaginings. Its also
perfectly fine to have a life-path where its important that you dont believe
its real, or believe but cant hear or connect very well, because peoples
life paths are all different, and some people are meant to concentrate on the
physical world.


We coexist in this world alongside other living beings with their own
agendas. We talked about this a bit in Power of the Poppy, which went into
the ways in which P. somniferum (the painkilling poppy) has intertwined its
fate with humanity, for better and for worse. Instead of the faux spiritual
model where God gives us stuff because we are Christian or whatnot, Id
like people instead to envision the universe as a functioning ecosystem
one where we might not be the apex predators.
7. Could you go into fasting and breathing with us?
The breath is the pump that you use to move energy around the body. In our
tradition of shamanism, the word for life-energy is also the word for breath.
Knowing that, you can use your inhales and exhales as a tool, to do many
things with your internal energy.
Fasting is more difficult people think that it means ingesting nothing but
water, but actually there are a lot of people who shouldnt be doing that. If
you are diabetic, hypoglycemic, or are prone to stomach ulcers, dont do a
water fast. If you are taking any medication that you cant afford to quit,
dont do it, because youll stop processing it and it wont help you anymore.
If you cant afford to eat clean whole foods for weeks leading up to and
coming off, dont do it, because youll spend the whole time sick from
detoxing. Instead, try fasting from chemically laden foods, or try a diet of
raw fruit, vegetables, and some kind of raw animal protein. There are plenty
of purifying diets out there that can work as a fast, rather than just not
eating. Fasting should always be done with the health of the body in mind,
not as a way to say screw you to your flesh.
8. How does the searcher avoid ending up like Marshall Applewhite and
Heavens Gate?
Dont assume that every voice you hear in your head comes from the Divine,
or that everyone who claims to speak for the Divine is telling the truth. And
understand that if you get it wrong, there can be serious, even fatal
consequences. There are good reasons why people are leery of gnosis: just
think of all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of one god or


9. Do your prayers differ from a Christians prayers, and do you have

plant allies?
Certainly they differ in who they are addressed to, but frankly, prayer is
prayer. You do it the way that it works best. Its said that there are only five
prayers: thank you, please, I love you, Im sorry, and the universe
is wonderful with you in it! Who youre talking to only matters to the extent
that some entities like you to pray to them in a specific manner, and thats a
matter of respect.
For plant spirits: First you have to get to know the spirit, which means
working physically with that plant grow it, sit next to it, ingest a little if
its safe. Talk to it. See if anything happens. If you establish a relationship
with the spirit of that type of plant, you can do a lot with it. If they wont talk
to you, that plant is not for you.
As for blessing seeds for crops, that is simple. Ask the spirit of the land
youre growing them on to bless them, or ask an Earth deity. Honestly, the
major influence on our personal prayer practices has always been Roman
Catholicism. We were raised in that organization, which has spent some two
thousand years perfecting various mystical techniques. Why not take
advantage of that? If you were, say, raised Christian, but later studied
Buddhism or something more cerebral, there is nothing wrong with
occasionally going back to Christian prayers, since prayers often are meant
to work on the emotional level.
10. We like the fact that you stress taking personal responsibility in your
I think we all need to handle this with courtesy and tolerance. We have
thousands of years of bloody examples of people who couldnt get past their
own strong emotions to be reasonable about theological differences.
We Neo-Pagans have a chance to learn from those mistakes, and figure out a
way to get it right to find a way that neither attacks nor silences people,
and isnt afraid to look deeply at anything for fear of creating arguments. If
we cant do it, then it cant be done; but Im not ready to admit that yet.


Special thanks to our old friend at High Times Magazine, Larry
Sloman, longtime promoter of Fortean writers (like John A.
Keel), for supplying us with this 1992 interview with the late
Terence McKenna. As many of you know, McKenna and his
brother, Dennis, were largely responsible for making shamanism
a household word, and for devising theories to explain the
importance of hallucinogens in the history and development of
human civilization.
1. Tell us how you became interested in shamanism and the exploration of
I discovered shamanism through an interest in Tibetan folk religion. Mon
and Bon, the pre-Buddhist folk religions of Tibet, were based on
shamanism. I then studied shamanism as a general phenomenon. It all started
out as an art historical interest in the pre-Buddhist iconography of thankas
and mandalas multileveled symbols that speak to the supplicant differently
at different times of their life.
This was in 1967, when I was just a sophomore in college. The interest in
altered states of consciousness came simply from my being into the New
York literary scene early. Even though I lived in a small town in Colorado, I
subscribed to The Village Voice, and there I encountered propaganda about
LSD, mescaline, and all of the experiments that the beatniks were involved
Then I read The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, and it just
rolled from there. That was what really put me over. I respected Huxley as a
novelist, and I was slowly reading everything hed ever written, and when I

got to The Doors of Perception, I said to myself, Theres something going

on here.
2. Recently, you addressed close to 2,000 people at the Ford Theatre in
Los Angeles. To what do you attribute your increasing popularity, and
what role do you see yourself playing in the social sphere?
Without being cynical, the main thing I attribute to my increasing popularity
is better public relations. As far as what role Ill play, I dont know. I
assume that anyone who has anything constructive to say about our
relationship to chemical substances natural or synthetic is going to have
a social role to play, because this drug issue is just going to loom larger and
larger on the social agenda until we come to some resolution.
By resolution, I dont mean suppression or just saying no. I anticipate a new
open-mindedness born of desperation on the part of the Establishment.
Drugs are part of the human experience, and sooner or later, we have got to
create a more sophisticated way of dealing with them.
The term New Age trivializes the significance of the next phase in human
evolution, and is essentially humanistic psychology with the addition of neoshamanism, channeling, crystal gazing, and herbal healing. This archaic
revival is a global phenomenon that assumes that we are recovering the
social forms of the late Neolithic, and reaches far back in the 20th century to
Freud, surrealism, and abstract expressionism.
3. You subscribe to the notion that psilocybin mushrooms are a species of
high intelligence that they arrived on this planet as spores, which
migrated through outer space, and are attempting to establish a symbiotic
relationship with human beings. How do you see this notion fitting into
the context of Francis Cricks theory of directed panspermia, the
hypothesis that all life on this planet and its directed evolution has been
seeded, or perhaps fertilized, by spores designed by a higher
As I understand the Crick theory of panspermia, its a theory of how life
spread through the universe. What I was suggesting is that intelligence may
have come here in this spore-bearing lifeform. This is a more radical
version of the panspermia theory of Crick and Ponampurama. In fact, I think

that theory will probably be vindicated. I think in a hundred years, people

may think it quite silly that we once thought spores could not be blown from
one star system to another by cosmic radiation pressure.
As far as the role of the psilocybin mushroom, or its relationship to us and
to intelligence, this is something that we need to consider. It really isnt
important that I claim that its an extraterrestrial, what we need is a body of
people claiming this, or a body of people denying it, because what were
talking about is the experience of the mushroom.
Few people are in a position to judge its extraterrestrial potential,
because few people in the orthodox sciences have ever experienced the full
spectrum of psychedelic effects that are unleashed. One cannot find out
whether or not theres an extraterrestrial intelligence inside the mushroom,
unless one is willing to take the mushroom.
Whether the mushrooms came from outer space or not, the presence of
psychedelic substances in the diet of early human beings created a number
of changes in our evolutionary situation. When a person takes small amounts
of psilocybin, visual acuity improves. They can actually see slightly better,
and this means that animals allowing psilocybin into their food chain would
have increased hunting success, which means increased food supply, which
means increased reproductive success, which is the name of the game in
It is the organism that manages to propagate itself numerically that is
successful. The presence of psilocybin in the diet of early pack-hunting
primates caused the individuals that were ingesting the psilocybin to have
increased visual acuity. At slightly higher doses of psilocybin, there is
sexual arousal, erection, and everything that goes under the term arousal of
the central nervous system. Again, a factor that would increase reproductive
success is reinforced.
At just slightly above the you can feel it dose, it acts as a stimulant.
Sexual arousal means paying attention, it means jumpiness, it indicates a
certain energy level in the organism. And then, of course, at still higher
doses, psilocybin triggers this activity in the language-forming capacity of
the brain that manifests as song and vision.
It is as though it is an enzyme that stimulates eyesight, sexual interest, and
imagination. And the three of these going together produce language-using

primates. Psilocybin may have synergized the emergence of higher forms of

psychic organization out of primitive protohumans. It can be seen as a kind
of evolutionary enzyme, or evolutionary catalyst.
4. In a recent article, you said that in certain states of consciousness,
youre able to create a kind of visual resonance and manipulate a
topological manifold using sound vibrations. Can you tell us more
about this technique?
Yes, it has to do with shamanism that is based on the use of DMT in plants.
DMT is a pseudo-neurotransmitter. When ingested and allowed to come to
rest in the synapses of the brain, DMT allows one to see sound, so that one
can use the voice to produce pictorial and visual compositions.
This, to my mind, indicates that were on the cusp of some kind of
evolutionary transition in the language-forming area, we are going to go
from a language that is heard, to a language that is seen, through a shift in
interior processing.
The language will still be made of sound, but it will be processed as the
carrier of the visual impression. This is actually being done by shamans in
the Amazon. The songs they sing sound as they do in order to look a certain
way. They are not musical compositions as were used to thinking of them.
They are pictorial art created by audio signals.
5. Youre recognized by many as one of the great explorers of the 20th
century. Youve trekked through the Amazonian jungles and soared
through the uncharted regions of the brain. Perhaps our ultimate voyages
lie in the future, when humanity has mastered space technology and time
travel. What possibilities for travel in these two areas do you foresee, and
how do you think these new technologies will affect the future evolution of
the human species?
I suppose most people believe space travel is right around the corner. I
certainly hope so. I think we should all learn Russian in anticipation of it,
because apparently the U.S. government is incapable of sustaining a space
The time travel question is more interesting. Possibly the world is
experiencing a compression of technological novelty that is going to lead to

developments that are very much like what we would imagine time travel to
be. We may be closing in on the ability to transmit information forward into
the future, and to create an informational domain of communication between
various points in time.
How this will be done is difficult to imagine, but things like fractal
mathematics, superconductivity, and nanotechnology offer novel approaches
to the realization of these old dreams. We shouldnt assume time travel is
impossible simply because it hasnt been done. There is plenty of latitude in
the laws of quantum physics to allow for moving information through time in
various ways. Apparently you can move information through time, as long as
you dont move it through time faster than light.
One of the things that interests me about dreams is that I have dreams in
which I smoke DMT, and it works! To me thats extremely interesting,
because it seems to imply that one does not have to smoke DMT to have the
experience. You only have to convince your brain that you have done this,
and it then delivers this staggering altered state.
Taking control of the dream state would certainly be an advantageous thing,
and carry us a great distance toward the kind of cultural transformation that
we all desire. Psychedelics, near-death experiences, lucid dreaming,
meditational reveries are all pieces of a puzzle, of how to create a new
cultural dimension that we can all live in a little more sanely.
6. Rupert Sheldrake has recently refined the theory of the morphogenetic
field a nonmaterial, organizing, collective-memory field that affects all
biological systems. This field can be envisioned as a hyperspatial
information reservoir that brims and spills over into a much larger region
of influence when critical mass is reached a point referred to as
morphic resonance. Do you think this morphic resonance could be
regarded as a possible explanation for the phenomena of spirits and other
metaphysical entities, and can the method of evoking beings from the
spirit world be simply a case of cracking the morphic code?
That sounds right. If what youre trying to get at is do I think morphogenetic
fields are a good thing, or do they exist, yes, I think some kind of theory like
that is clearly becoming necessary. The next great step to be taken in the
intellectual conquest of nature, if you will, is a theory about how out of the
class of possible things, some things actually happen.

I think drugs should come from the natural world, and be use-tested by
shamanically oriented cultures; then they have a very deep morphogenetic
field, because theyve been used for thousands and thousands of years in
magical contexts. A drug produced in the laboratory, and suddenly
distributed worldwide, simply amplifies the global noise present in the
historical crisis.
And then theres the very practical consideration that one cannot predict the
longterm effects of a drug produced in a laboratory. Something like peyote,
or morning glories, or mushrooms have been used for vast stretches of time
without detrimental social consequences. We know that.
As far as the technological question is concerned brain interfaces and so
on I wish them luck. Im willing to test anything that somebody will send
me, but Im skeptical. I think its somehow like the speech-operated
typewriter. It will recede ahead of us. The problems will be found to have
been far more complex than first supposed.
7. If designer psychedelics dont have any morphogenetic field, could they
possibly be more open to new types of expression?
Possibly, although I dont know how you grab the morphogenetic field of a
new designer drug. For instance, Ill speak of one of my own experiences,
which was with ketamine. My impression of ketamine was that its like a
brand new skyscraper; all the walls and floors are new and white, all the
drinking fountains work, the elevators run smoothly, the fluorescent lights
recede endlessly in all directions down the hallways.
Its just that theres nobody there. Theres no noisy machinery, hurrying
secretaries, or ringing telephones; its just this immense empty structure
waiting. Well, I cant move into a 60-story office building. I have only
enough stuff to fill a few small rooms, so it gives me a slightly spooked-out
feeling to enter into these empty morphogenetic fields.
If you take mushrooms, you know, youre climbing aboard a starship manned
by every shaman who ever did it, and that is quite a crew. Theyve really
pulled some stunts over the millennia, and its all there. The tapes of their
efforts can be played and replayed again, by tapping into the many natural
tape players scattered about the landscape. Designer drugs should be dealt
with very cautiously.

8. Its interesting that John Lilly had very different experiences with
ketamine. Do you think that theres any relationship between the selftransforming machine elves that youve encountered, on your shamanic
voyages, and the solid-state entities that John Lilly has contacted in his
interdimensional travels?
I dont think there is much congruence. The solid-state entities that he
contacted seem to make him quite upset. The elf-machine entities that I
encounter are the embodiment of merriment and humor, but I have had a
thought about this recently, which I will tell you.
One of the science fiction fantasies that haunts the collective unconscious is
expressed in the phrase a world run by machines. In the 1950s, this was
first articulated in the notion, perhaps the future will be a terrible place
where the world is run by machines.
Well now, lets think about machines for a moment. They are extremely
impartial, very predictable, not subject to moral suasion, value neutral, and
very long-lived in their functioning. Now lets think about what machines
are made of, in the light of Sheldrakes morphogenetic field theory.
Machines are made of metal, glass, gold, silicon, plastic; they are made of
what the earth is made of.
Now wouldnt it be strange if biology were a way for the earth to
alchemically transform itself into a self-reflecting thing. In which case then,
what were headed for inevitably what we are in fact creating is a
world run by machines.
And once these machines are in place, they can be expected to manage our
economies, languages, social aspirations, and so forth, in such a way that
we stop killing each other, stop starving each other, stop destroying land,
and so on. Actually, the fear of being ruled by machines may be the male
egos fear of relinquishing control of the planet to the maternal matrix of
9. The recent development of fractal images seems to imply that visions
and hallucinations can be broken down into a precise mathematical code.
With this in mind, do you think the abilities of the human imagination can
be replicated via supercomputer?
Yes. Saying that the components of hallucinations can be broken down and

duplicated by mathematical code isnt taking anything away from them.

Reality can be taken apart and reduplicated with this same mathematical
code; thats what makes the fractal ideal so powerful. One can type in a
half-page of code, and on the screen get high-resolution imagery of river
systems, mountain ranges, deserts, ferns, and coral reefs.
This seems to imply that we are finally discovering really powerful
mathematical rules that stand behind visual appearances. And yes, I think
computer graphics and simulated environments are very promising. When
the world is run by machines, well be at the movies.
10. In this symbiosis between humans and psychoactive plants, who is
taking the leadership role: us or them?
Symbiosis is not parasitism; symbiosis is a situation of mutual benefit to
both parties, so we have to presume that the plants are getting as much out of
this as we are. What were getting is information from another spiritual
level their point of view, or what theyre giving us. What were giving
them is care, feeding, propagation, and survival.
In return for their interdimensional understanding, we make the way easier
for them in the physical world, and this seems a reasonable trade-off.
Obviously, they have some difficulty in the physical world; plants dont
move around much. They rely on the Tao.
You must not be bound by the habits of history if you want to learn from your
experience. It was Ludwig von Bertalanffy, the inventor of general systems
theory, who made the famous statement: People are not machines, but in all
situations where they are given the opportunity, they will act like machines.
So you have to keep disturbing them, because they always settle down into a
Historical patterns are largely cyclical, but not entirely. There is, ultimately,
a highest level of the pattern, which does not repeat; that part is responsible
for any advance into true novelty.
The positive futurists tend to fall into two groups. Some visualize the future
as becoming progressively brighter every day, and that global illumination
will occur as a result of this progression; others envision a period of
devolution a dark age through which human consciousness must pass
before more advanced stages are reached.

I think there will be a mild Dark Age. I dont think it will be anything like
the Dark Ages that lasted a thousand years. It will be a time of economic
retraction, religious fundamentalism, retreat into closed communities by
certain segments of the society, feudal warfare among minor states, etc. But
it will eventually give way to the actual global future that were all yearning
Within a 15-year period, starting at the end of the Mayan calendar (in 2012),
these things will be drawn together with progressively greater
sophistication, much in the way that modern science and philosophy grew
during the Renaissance. A historic alchemical distillation will be
experienced a doorway to the life of the imagination.
There are no equations, and no predictive machinery. We are speaking of
experimental approaches. Rupert Sheldrake and I are working in a
frontier branch of ordinary mathematics, called dynamic modeling. I
have named us Compressionists, or Psychedelic Compressionists.
Compressionism holds that the world is growing more and more complex,
compressed, and knitted together. Therefore, it is becoming more
holographically complete at every point.


Table des Matires

Title Page
Copyright Page
CHAPTER 1 Serge Kahili King The Power of Huna
CHAPTER 2 Kenaz Filan New Orleans Voodoo
CHAPTER 3 Ellias Lonsdale The Christ Letters
CHAPTER 4 Mike Williams - The Shamans Spirit
CHAPTER 5 Elizabeth and Neil Carman The Cosmic
CHAPTER 6 Shepherd Hoodwin The Teachings of
CHAPTER 7 Evelyn Rysdyk Walk Like a Shaman
CHAPTER 8 Rak Razam Ayahuasca Awakenings
CHAPTER 9 Robert Waggoner Lucid Dreaming Tips
and Techniques
CHAPTER 10 Denise Alvarado The Call of the Voodoo
CHAPTER 11 Sable Aradia The Witchs Path
CHAPTER 12 Dr. Mia Kalef The Secret Life of Babies
CHAPTER 13 Donald Tyson Serpents of Wisdom
CHAPTER 14 Ramona Fradon The Gnostic Faustus
CHAPTER 15 Mark Ireland Messages From the
CHAPTER 16 Raven Kaldera Norse Shamanism
CHAPTER 17 Sandra Corcoran Shamanic Awakening
CHAPTER 18 Allan L. Botkin Induced After-Death


CHAPTER 19 Robert Tindall The Shamanic Odyssey 109
CHAPTER 20 Mira Kelly Beyond Past Lives
CHAPTER 21 Richard Grossinger The Dark Pool of
Light and Consciousness
CHAPTER 22 Howard G. Charing The Ayahuasca
Visions of Pablo Amaringo
CHAPTER 23 Ross Heaven The Shamanic Spirit of
CHAPTER 24 Belfazaar Ashantison Vampire Shelter 147
CHAPTER 25 Timothy Wyllie Revolt of the Rebel
CHAPTER 26 Raven Kaldera & Kenaz Filan Talking to
CHAPTER 27 Terence McKenna Shamanic
Exploration of Consciousness