"LVX Artillery" Iona Miller Interview by Zora Von Burden
Z - I'm curious as to who or what had first introduced you to the esoteric or occult practices?
<>My first exposure to metaphysics was in the 60's. We used to get high and go see mystics and psychics for the fun of it. I remember buying my first tarot deck in La Jolla, Ca. I lived in Ojai, California, a Theosophical center and home of Krotona, their center with its huge library of metaphysics. They had classes for everything, just like you find everywhere now, but then it was rare to non-existent. The whole town was like living in a cult, so even the public library was full of wonderful philosophy books - things veryrare in those days.
It was around that time the Krishnamurti Foundation was established for the "Un-guru." I was lucky enough to see his Oak Grove talks, and had many ‘wise old woman’ mentors who directed my studies and goals, shortcutting my process of shopping the ‘spiritual supermarket’.
Through Theosophy, and the excellent library there, I learned about various mystic arts, including astrology from a former Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church. I learned more than she thought she was teaching since she loved her daily Port. She would get drunk and rave about being “possessed by Koothomi” and ask me to slap her in the face. So, before the vogue for channelling, I learned “don’t go THERE”! But she was a terrific astrologer, named Marion…with many cats.
Of all of the occult arts, magick seemed to be the most intriguing because it had the most depth. Qabala seemed a hobby one could neither exhaust nor conquer. My study ranged far and deep, and of course Crowley was a big part of that. My first real magick book was Regardie’s TREE OF LIFE. I really got into it. Realizing this was not exactly the "norm," I began investigating psychology, also, to keep a reality check on myself. By the early 70's, I was an avid Jungian. I began writing to crystallize my thoughts
on the interface between mysticism and depth psychology. This eventually became THE HOLISTIC QABALA, whose outline came through in one of those blissfully flowing experiences where it all comes together. A continuing interest of mine is the relationship of psyche and matter…that interface where nothing becomes something, or psyche “matters”.
What was your first inclination in regards to which were the true hermetic doctrines?
<>I followed what had appeal for me, what spoke to my heart and resonated. I was always not so much into grimoires and that kind of Magick as the ultimately necessary self transformation type of practice. I viewed it as the tradition of the Intelligentsia of each era. Now practice of the mystic arts has gotten mixed up with conspiracy theories. It all looks like a bunch of control-fantasies to me. Fact is, no one group is "in charge" but several factions interact in complex patterns. through the dynamics of chaos.
Still, the core of ritual, altering consciousness by constructing atmospheres of various spheres and pathworking seemed to be a comprehensive and very elegant system, based in enough ersatz “tradition” to satisfy me of its symbolic, if not historical, authenticity. It is a self-initiatory artform, a mental and spiritual practice, a Way.. But it’s true I plowed through a graveyard of crappy occult literature, too, in the interest of leaving no philosopher’s stone unturned. I got a pretty comprehensive picture of the whole landscape of spiritual alternatives and their relative levels of penetration and illumination.
How had you studied and applied these?
I don't know: I was made for qabalah and it was made for me. I ate, lived and breathed Magick for decades until it became sort of a 24/7 headspace resembling a flow experience rather than any kind of effort or even intentionality. I did the full Abremelin Retreat. It was always my priority, a core mode of personal self-expression. Everything either takes you closer to THAT connection to your own essence or further away. Eventually, you just inhabit sacred spacetime time, even if one foot remains in the mundane. Everything takes on a depth dimension spinning and unraveling deep meanings.
If Will really came into it, it was more like just focusing on what I sought to accomplish. Now it’s more like “being there,” than any kind of striving for ultimates. I've become more like a Strange Attractor. Ultimately magick undergirds one’s worldview, or not. nature either validates your worldview or not. It’s not really something you choose - it chooses you. Was it Castenada who said find a path with heart?
Again I had some great mentors to learn from on the way, including the Grand Dames of the Agape Lodge of North Hollywood, Phyllis Seckler and Helen Parsons Smith. I was born and raised in spitting distance of their notorious Pasadena workings. But I selected not to go the OTO route, with “Our Father, Aleister Crowley”, because I wanted to write prolifically LIKE Crowley, not memorize his entire catalog of works or “worship” him like another Theosophical “ass-ended master”. I am not saying I have matched Crowley in any way, but I admired his impressive body of work.
Remember, when looking at my inspirations or mentors, I am always under the early influence of the independence-promoting Krishnaji, even though that SOUNDS paradoxical. I was, however, pleased years later to see him hooked up with David Bohm’s holographic work. They were philosophical buddies since their views echoed and reinforced one another's positions at a higher high scientific and spiritual level.
What was your experience with the kabbalah to so passionately address it as you do in your belief system? I had heard the Kabbalah (for which the tarot cards were guides) was formulated back during the existence of Lemuria.
Well, Lemuria and other lost continents got a lot of press in Theosophy, but I never really cared much about that. Mostly, I think it's made up by people who believe what they confabulate. Current archaeology does show some plausible explanation for sunken habitat around the end of the last Ice Ages, however. You often see confabulation doing hypnotherapy. It starts with a grain of truth, then the imagination fills in the blanks. What’s done is done - like past lives. IF they existed, we are the culmination of that and I’m forward and future oriented - visionary. So, time for me is telescoped - the past infuses the present, the future shakes hands with the present.
Why did I love kabbalah? It nourished me. It gave me a sense of a great web of life. It WORKED for me in a way I found tangible, and comprehensible, and like my immersion in Jungian psychology allowed me to articulate and express myself in a more meaningful and deeper way. It was heartful, rational, and aesthetically appealing. Ultimately, lots of ritual work is fundamentally celebratory - being alive and grooving with Nature, and our own nature. ...And, the drugs and sex weren't bad, either. Then!
Again, I’m less into the history of it all, and kabbalah's so-called “authentic” roots, than in its symbolic authenticity. It is a way to mobilize and deploy the unconscious. It is a comprehensive symbol system, which can be played symphonically to alter states of consciousness systematically.The Tree of Life conveniently depicts all ways of Being (spheres) and Becoming (paths) in the minimum number of graphic elements - colors and simple reiterative geometry. My inner artist appreciates that elegance and depth in simplicity. The Tree is sort of the E=MC2 of metaphysics. It appeals to me aesthetically. I LIVE in that place, from that place - an ongoing multidimensional perspective. It is a comprehsive point of view. One is frequently in the Observer Self.
<>What I used to tell my psychotherapy clients is true of kabbalah, also: the method works if you do. It isn’t called the GREAT WORK for nothing, not the Great Dabble, or the Great Party, or the Great Persona, or whatever. It is about the serious business of examining, knowing, and changing yourself at the core level.
Do you believe this race of humans existed? That its history dates back farther than Sumeria?
It’s pure conjecture, although civilization appears to have fallen out of the sky. But who knows. Sitchin has confounded the whole issue, and then there is the whole new genre of so-called “Forbidden Archaeology”. Again, that is sterile conjecture for me, though clearly humans were doing some remarkable things before the dawn of written history. What’s next? Either way, we are the spearhead of civilization, such as it is.
It's the Supervolcanoes you've got to watch out for! 70,000 years ago, Tuva squeezed the human race down to a few thousand survivors as the DNA record shows. Civilizations have been deeply affected by catastrophes. Some current research indicates the Sumerian Flood was caused by an asteroid in the Indian Ocean. Many myths have a factual if fancified basis.
What is your opinion of Blavatsky's teachings?
<>Nice surrepetitious compilation of the wisdom of the East with her name on it. Strongly reflective of some 200 books she had in her library. Too bad she got caught faking poltergeists in her séance shenanigans. But she opened the west to eastern thought - both Hindu and Buddhist, and was a political influence, too. Theosophy is such a mish-mash. She was one strong lady, way ahead of her time.
This is why I laugh when I hear the term “New Age”. It’s all warmed over Theosophy, often with a big dose of idiosyncratic symbolism, if not idiot-syncratic. I believe in keeping the basis of tradition and contemporizing from there, not leaving all proven systems of philosophical thought behind. After all, the territory is well charted in several symbolic languages and systems. But people tend to be eclectic now, or to try on this and that trend and compound their own philosophy.
However, in my youth I preferred the writings and style of Lucis Trust, though I may have fantasized about one day being an Annie Besant, haha. I remember standing in Krotona looking up at that big imposing portrait and thinking, “Yeah!” Ah, youth. Now I have no aspirations to such a thing. Alice Bailey impressed me with her notion of "false glamour" (she secretly meant the Blavatsy/Besant cabal) and that has stuck with me through this whole era of new age hucksterism. But, today to be heard you have to engage in a degree of shameless self-promotion.
How do you feel about the Golden Dawn and its offshoot branches like the OTO of Crowley's creation?
I think they are great, and I support their work, and am also pro-BOTA which I think has the best qabalistic writing from Ann Davies. Phyllis Seckler told me in blunt terms that OTO is strictly a fraternal organization which she didn’t feel had any occult current, though she claimed one for her A.A., and College of Thelema.
Again, it comes down to certain kinds of human needs for different types of personality and what they resonate with. Some want to lead, and some want to follow. Structure for a developmental process is perhaps good, but it may be the sign of an overactive ego too, paraodoxically. A bit heroic and therefore, “yanged out.” Some people just want to build their persona around being magickal or Goth or whatever. We were Goth before it existed - with Beltane Books in Seattle. I will say also, I have never seen two magicians agree philosophically on anything, and rarely on practicalities. Because of this I always laugh in Grade B horror flicks at how organized and coordinated the “black magicians” always are, haha. They’ve got their shit together.<>
What do you think happened that would have caused the failure of Madame Blavatsky and Katherine Tingley's Utopian Retreat?
I don’t know. Blah-vatsky brought herself down with her chicanery - fraud. Still, the work stands on its own and has risen above that legacy. Tough to keep a good Buddha down.
Utopian ideas and ideals have obvious limitations and some pernicious roots in Fabian socialism. An argument can be made they are part of social engineering programs to control society that came out of England, out of Tavistock. Mostly,utopianism is a fantasized reaction to oppression. Fact is, we don’t live in an IDEAL world. The 60s communal living experiments are a good example. Most of these didn’t “work” in the long run either. There are a million ways to go wrong, not even counting that people have a change of heart or want a different lifestyle. I think lifestyle is the root of most relationship trouble, even when there is strong love. If two people can barely get along, how are you going to maintain a core group indefinitely?
What is your interpretation of an adept?
Io-Few will likely agree with what I say, but there are varying degrees of facility at conjuring up one’s reality to be the way you want it. But that presumes Will has anything to do with it, though this same faculty is called “intentionality” in paraphysics and now in THE SECRET. We can think of it as the logical impossibility of synthetic synchronicity, tweeking the potential field. The trick is knowing exactly what needs to be done so the universe cooperates. It has to be absolutely necessary.
I consider one who is (minor) adept roughly equivalent to Maslow’s self-actualizing individual who enjoys some degree of self fulfillment but still serves some inner Muse, or drive, or mission ~ a dynamic deeper than the personality or persona.
In touch with, aware of, and constantly choosing to embody their higher Self, which I would equate with a Tiphareth consciousness (at least Tiphareth of the astral). In postmodern Jungian terms, moving beyond archetypal roles and metanarratives and constricting belief systems toward true individuation. In magickal terms, it would also imply someone who has so incorporated experiences of the atmospheres of each sphere within that that awareness automatically persists as a gestalt. In physics terms, I guess you might call it a transformed field body. Theosophy calls it the causal body or mental body, contrasted with the astral or emotional body.
In short someone who lives from their heart with passion and compassion, but firmly grounded in the body ~ no dichotomy of spiritual and physical worlds. This might not be a continuous state of mind, but it would be a stabilized grace, rather than emergent one.
Spirit and soul conjoined, in the sense of Eros and Psyche ~ an erotic and passionate embrace with Being, erotically imaginative. A conscious active indissoluble bond with Source which feeds nourishes. The melodious harmony of the flow state, where all things conspire toward the inevitable.
When the inevitable becomes what you want, what you want becomes inevitable.
How do you yourself see the godhead?
Io-…a disappearing act.
What's New with My Subject?
How do you feel about the Golden Dawn and its offshoot branches like the OTO of Crowley's creation?
I think they are great, and I support their work, and am also pro-BOTA which I think has the best qabalistic writing from Ann Davies. Phyllis Seckler told me in blunt terms that OTO is strictly a fraternal organization which she didn’t feel had an occult current, though she claimed one for her A.A., and College of Thelema. On the other hand, I saw her reschedule a Solstice rite for a weekend, then break the magickal circle to answer the door.
Again, it comes down to certain kinds of human needs for different types of personality and what they resonate with. Some want to lead, and some want to follow, and some remain independent. Structure for a developmental process is perhaps good, but it may be the sign of an overactive ego too, paraodoxically. A bit heroic and therefore, “yanged out.” Some people just want to build their persona around being magickal or Goth or whatever. We were Goth before it existed - with Beltane Books in Seattle.
I will say also, I have never seen two magicians agree philosophically on anything, and rarely on practicalities. Because of this I always laugh in Grade B horror flicks at how organized and coordinated the “black magicians” always are, haha. They’ve got their shit together.
You had stated learning from two grand Dames of the Agape Lodge, Helen Parsons and Phyllis Seckler. Can you elaborate on what you learned from them? Could you tell me what they were both like personally?
As important women figures in the organization I think it's imperative to mention them too.
Phyllis was certainly the most serious about her work, and tried to move the teaching forward systematically. Whether her efforts survive the power wars remains to be seen. Helen had moved away from any semblance of magical lifestyle. I specifically did NOT join OTO because Phyllis said to me, "No one in the OTO has gotten their Angel, except maybe me." That didn't leave much for me
there, as getting your angel is the basic point. The whole problem for me was a rerun of what I loathed in Theosophy - the chicanery and in-fighting, the thievery, the clicqish squabbling.
They were, however, dedicated preservationists in their own ways of the Crowley legacy. They taught me indirectly to keep the focus on the transformational process, not a bunch of fraternal in fighting and administration. They did not understand my contemporizations of magical philosophy, much like elder scientists are loath to embrace a new paradigm.
When you said that after your early experiences with the OTO, you had chosen something else.."I went another Way..". What did you mean by that?
Io: I was initiated in Sant Mat, one of the Radha Soami faiths (now called Science of the Soul)…a meditation school, whose consciousness map described exactly the same phenomenology as kabbalah, including the Abyss and Daath and 3 veils of negative manifestation. It just had a more competent credible teacher than I could find in Magick. At least it was a better role model, for me.
Also, have you felt your 'angel'? It's a temperamental and conditional gift, so if you do not want to discuss it I understand.
I cannot talk about my Sant Mat experiences as we are enjoined not to do that. But my angel is my daemon, my genius and is always with me. That is why I am so prolific. What else would you call it? Again, that is why I didn’t join OTO. If only one person even got their angel there (according to Phyllis) why bother?
I've always wanted to ask you what you feel the spirit consists of After death?
Returned to the ‘ground state’ of the vacuum potential, cosmic zero - to Nuit. Frankly, I think when you’re dead, you’re dead - fade to black.
Have you had any discussions with otherworldly figures?
Not that I took literally.
You are called a quantum metaphysicist. Can you explain what this means?
Haha, well, I don’t think I’ve applied this abstruse term to myself, but I’ll give it a go. Originally physics was a discipline of discerning the nature of physical reality, objective reality. Quantum mechanics shows that at its fundamental levels, reality is in a state of continual flux that cannot be pinned down. The vacuum potential, or zero-point energy fluctuates in and out of the observable domain. Many theories have been advanced to describe this “mattering” of something from nothing.
Meta-physics means simply beyond physics, beyond the objective, beyond the concrete observables. There is no consensus in physics now about the primal nature of reality, that is why there are so many competing models from string or M-theory to the old Copenhagen notion of quantum mechanics that required the subjective observation of the experimenter. All of this is now wrapped up with the nature of consciousness, our consciousness and the nature of the cosmos. This means physics itself has reverted to a natural philosophy, rather than what was called “hard science”, because at this time the hypotheses are essentially untestable and the notion of ‘objectivity’ itself has been questioned.
So, if I were to “own” the title of quantum metaphysicist (I would prefer quantum metaphysician ), it would mean that the domain of my investigations on the nature of reality and my reality focuses on that interface where psyche “matters”, where the imaginal and the concrete merge and give birth to the whole panoply of creation, where our beliefs and thoughts create our reality. The closest we can examine this process at this time is the domain of subspace, the flux of virtual particles in and out of our universe. Chaos theory would contend that any perturbation, intentional or not, at this level of virtuality could create dramatic alterations in the timeline of individual and the cosmos - or multiverses, as the case may be.
In terms of the resonant nature of humans and cosmos, there are 4 positions or quadrants, but so far all the models are pure subjective conjecture:
1. Monist; 2. Dualist; 3. Physicalist; 4. Metaphysicalist.
1. All is Mind (upper right)
2. All is Matter (upper left)
3. Matter and Mind are separable and interactive (lower right)
4. Matter and Mind are 2 distinct and unified aspects of everything (lower left)
Will you explain to those who may not know, what chaos magic is and how it relates on scientific levels as well as philosophical and the physical, and what it should manifest? When did you begin to really investigate its correlation to quantum physics?
“What it should manifest”, what it has manifested is a new paradigm which permeates most fields of science, from medicine to astronomy. Why not apply that to the art and science of magick as well?
I was exploring this relationship before anything known as [dis]organized chaos magic came on the scene, as far as I know.
Many artists anticipated the importance of nonlinear creativity, including James Joyce, Burroughs with his cut up technique, Pollack who’s paintings actually display mathematical chaos, etc. The importance is that artists anticipate both science and social shift, long before it can be articulated. Chaos is iconoclastic; it breaks up the old order and makes way for the new at the creative edge. This edgework is the essence of chaos magic, IMHO - spiritual brinksmanship.
I don’t know a thing about what is formally called ‘chaos magic’, except a tendency by practitioners to reject metanarratives, or to THINK they are rejecting them. I suppose it is influenced by A.O. Spare and Kenneth Grant’s dark philosophies. I prefer ‘living color.’ Chaos theory describes the constraints of self-organizing systems and they exist within us as what Jung called our complexes. Magick pits us against our limitations and desires.
What we are discussing is the nature of one’s worldview. You can import an idea to base it on, but one’s experiential base will ultimately color the belief system which lies deeper than the dance of thoughts and feelings and faddish attachments. For example, the motivations for building a persona as a ‘chaos magician’ might come from childhood trauma(s).
Ideas can grow roots in our psyches. You see it in fundamentalists, and the same can be said for the reprogramming of most spiritual paths. Is there a “God”, is there a “self”, what is the nature of and value of pain, and what of an afterlife? Or, the ennui of the existential cry, “Is this all there is?”
The discipline of Complexity has shown us that slight changes can lead to big effects, both in terms of catastrophe and quantum leaps. So, chaos magic to me means simply that one acknowledges throughout the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels that chaos has a deterministic though undisclosed agenda that conditions our orbits as humans. We all dance to the tune of various cyclic and strange attractors. The magic part comes in building a conscious relation with those forces, acknowledging their supremacy and influence, and flowing with that process, rather than bucking the current egotistically, or egoistically.
I began my philosophical investigation of this, in ‘chaos’ vernacular, before Asklepia presented at the inaugural meeting of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences - SCTPLS http://www.societyforchaostheory.org/ - roughly in the late 80’s. Of course, I was influenced much earlier by Prigogine’s classic and Bohm’s work in the early 80s. Even then, a holographic concept of reality was not unfamiliar to me, as my ex-husband was the first in print on the subject years before, as published by Dr. Stanley Krippner.
Our dreamhealing techniques, later termed Consciousness Restructuring Process (CRP) were not a result of chaos theory, but provided a systematic language and analog model for the transformational processes we observed in experiential work. It allowed us to describe the phenomenology. What Jung termed archetypes became seen as attractors which could capture the libido or psychic energy of a person, enhancing or derailing their personality goals. It was especially good for describing sensory archetypes that lie deeper in the psyche than the mythological layers.
The ancient language for this process was couched in alchemical terms. I summed up much of that in my Autonomedia article, “Chaos As the Universal Solvent,” which appeared in PSYCHEDELICS RE-IMAGINED, edited by Tom Lyttle. Leary and I spoke about this at length around 1993-4. He can certainly be counted among the “agents of Chaos”. Probably, one of the main points of chaos theory is the deterministic yet unpredictable naure of nonlinear dynamics. Humans are subject to that, as is the cosmos: “As above; so below.”
In regards to sex magic or tantric sex, what would be the best way for a beginner to approach this practice? How would a couple know when it was a truly complete act?
Approach it with love. When you can fully imagine your lover as God/Goddess, their transcendent embodiment of the essence of male/femalness, you’re there. It is “knowing” in the “Biblical” sense of direct, undeniable experience. It is ravishment, beyond rapture; complete transport to the sacred world which is beyond time, beyond decay. It conveys a sense of the eternal, the fated.
But again, my ideas are likely not in harmony with the traditional teaching which suggests sex with sacred strangers, emotional distancing or detachment, and motionless sex while raising the kundalini and transmuting that libido to higher expressions.
Ultimately, it’s all about love ~ in or out of bed. You must approach the world as your lover, with naked awareness. That does NOT mean to be socially naïve.
A lot of experimentation in this direcion is going on under the name of polyamory. This term was coined by my sister moon, Morning Glory Zell, a pioneer of the neo-pagan movment, high priestess of the Church of All Worlds, patterned after the nests in Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land.” What I notice is that for some people, this is a model to be creatively licentious. Whereas, the Zell’s are in a mutually-supportive group marriage of five where everyone’s “real needs” are met, physically and emotionally.
True polyamory means what it says, actively loving more than one “prime mate”, rather than having casual, recreational or sporting sex with whoever strikes your fancy. It implies an increased capacity for intimacy which takes the burden off a primary relationship to be one’s “be all and end all.” Many couples become too insular in traditional relationship. We are exploring new ways of connecting, of being 2gether. But, to each his/her own…
If you believe in the struggle of a dichotomy in matter and spirit, how exactly do you see this type of abraxas inter-relation coexisting in a harmonious way? In what manner of opposites?
You have rightly named the root of these dualities in the Zoroastrian religion which highlighted the battle of good and evil in matter. Later, this spread through syncretism into all Mediterranean philophical thought. This notion of a war of opposites undergirds gender bias and colors all emotional life as black or white thinking…this OR that, with no in-betweeness.
We are crucified on the cross of the opposites, which actually just symbolizes the Four Elements of creation - the Cartesian coordinates of corporeal life. It’s hard to think of that manifestation as a “Fall” into materiality, into time-boundedness from unbound consciousness. But perhaps the ‘original sin’ is just that once we are here we must partake in the act of consumption at the expense of other beings, just by breathing, walking, eating.
We are consumers. In a basic way, we all “use” one another, for strokes, for survival, for pleasure. We must choose to either consume consciously or we may be toxic consumers. In America it is difficult to realize how much of the world’s “pie” of resources we consume…way out of proportion to the rest of the planetary inhabitants. So, one solution is to consciously live “small”, ameliorating our impact on the environment. I like to buy nearly everything used - there is so much discarded everyday which is still serviceable. Who cares if it was pre-owned?
Jung named the Transcendent Function as the dynamic of transcending opposites in a wholly new third thing. Modern Jungians, such as Marion Woodman and James Hillman speak extensively on ways of “holding the tension of the opposites, “discrete but conjoined.” Try holding two totally opposites points of view simultaneously without cognitive dissonance. You can train yourself to see opposites working in tandem, as reins of control, much as shown in the Tarot card, The Chariot (Merkabah). Crowley suggested annihilating thoughts with their opposite.
On the Tree of Life it means opening the Middle Way by harmonizing the dynamics of Left- and Right-handed Paths…the way of the magician or the way of bhakti or devotion. Personally, I no longer see a dichotomy between spirit and matter, and such was one alchemical goal - that of the Unus Mundus - or One World where soul and spirit are conjoined. When the position of the body is brought into the equation, you get the Philosopher’s Stone, a union of body, soul and spirit. The lead of the psychosexual self is transmuted or transubstantiated into the gold of a life lived from the Self, or higher self. In modern terms,it is much like Maslow’s self-actualization.
Which do you feel is more important in doing magickal work, meditation, conjuring, ritual, ingestion of various natural substances or simply understanding and applying the philosophy in a devotional relation?
Well, do you want to go to church, or have mystical experiences?
Meditation is absolutely most fundamental, but works best with an object of love. This is the search for The Beloved, this is the Grail Quest. Ritual is mostly social and celebratory - it gives structure to daily life. Conjuring clearly is low on the priority list; you can get more results quicker by simple work. The value of magickal work is only as strong as the goal you are pursuing - short and long term. The possibility you are fooling yourself exists, too, haha. Being devoted to the Great Work however you conceive it is essential.
I don’t think taking ‘allies’ alone confers any spiritual direction or growth. Even among the so-called psychedelic intelligentsia, many are not interested in “seeing God”. Whether it enhances your path is a very personal choice on which your inner guide will comment from time to time. I just remember the first time I took acid, my thought was, “This is great; now how do you do it without drugs?”
For many, the drug experiences are unintegratable, one cannot maintain the realizations of the high. So they don’t stabilize, but destabilize the personality, which is your tool or vehicle for navigating reality. I have known many notables, in magick, medicine, and transpersonal psychology who liked to journey at least once a year as a sort of “refresher”. I think my artwork shows I’ve had enough, haha. I asked Tim Leary how to “turn it off”, and he was no help!
I wanted to address with you sex magick as a route to higher consciousness, to find god rather than for ones on personal monitary gains or advancement only in the physical world.
The point of that would be to go until all the senses were thoroughly filled up and exhausted.
When a male is trying to invoke the muse, what are the conditions he should place upon the woman or expect from her during this encounter?
I could only imagine this as a unique contract between two people. Most practitioners I've known were coupled up at the time. HE may not know WHAT he expects...of himself or you. OR, he may have some rather pretentious notions.
Depends on WHO he is. The real question is what do YOU expect from him. What part of him do you expect him to carry?
What will he be exemplifying in your mind? Can you fuse as alchemical opposites? Can you hold the multisensory vision of him as a divine archetypal force? Will you simply fully surrender to the sensuality, to the moment and letting the mind go blissfully blank? Do you want to be psychosexually overcome and taken, perhaps beyond your boundaries? Can you surrender completely and TRUST THE PROCESS? DO YOU TRUST YOUR PARTNER. THEN ~ isn't the whole thing really about LOVE?
Do you feel there is any aesthetic value that should be expected?
I don't think there is ever any rule. Perhaps sometimes you feel very dramatic, others earthy,...it's nice to have an atmospheric spot, certainly conducive music and perhaps the right incense for the operation... if you are even doing the same one..
What should a woman present herself as to personally identify and invoke the goddess or muse as well?
Authenticity - bringing one's whole self to encounter. If you are sensual, be sensual ~ whatevery your style is, express yourself freely.
Let intuition guide you to elicit just what is evocative for him from the psyche of the man. "She" will let you know. Ever notice how you can be different with different people?
How does one truly know they've been successful in this ritual?
Did you feel some cosmic merger? some divine infusion? transcendence? My preference is ravishment - beyond rapture.
You cannot fail unless you are dead. Success is relative; what would thrill you one week is perhaps boring the next. Examine the nature of your desire and why are you using magick to achieve it. Is that necessary or is it a confusion of the planes, like invoking the undines to save a drowning child?
Examine your implicit belief that you might find god through sex. Why do you even think that, let alone act on it? Annihilate it with its opposite -- that will open the Abyss of the void by uniting the opposites. Always question your underlying assumptions. Often they are false premises to begin with. There are always ordeals.
I've also wanted to ask, with all the chemical processes that are induced during ceremonies whether it be neurological from sexual relations or introduced by ingested substance, how does a person know what they're experiencing is truly contact with celestial beings or higher planes or just hallucinated and their own wishes projected?
Garbage in, garbage out?
Here's the secret: it's all you!
It isn't "real" or "unreal", but imaginal ~a psychological truth...but it can rototill up some complexes too in the process -- astral larva. "Magical thinking" is all projective. That doesn't mean it isn't meaningful.
I have a friend who said she talked to a Rabbi in Israel during her time there for an archeological dig about 'practicing' the Kabbala. The actual process and ritual ascending up the tree to the 'godhead'. He told her most Rabbis do not attempt this practice until they are over 90 or near death as the actual exposure to any concept of the real godhead is so incomprehensible it can cause madness. Have you heard of this?
Oh yes, there is a lot of dramatic rabbinic commentary on it. It's like in the movie PI when the nasty rabbi tells the antihero he isn't pure enough to get the revelation. And he retorts, "YEAH! But God gave it to ME." ,,,then he drilled a hole in his skull. Or, maybe it just takes us kabbalah newbies longer. Not many are in danger of touching godhead.
Jung also recommended not doing analysis until after 40. Its about maturity and personality integration and being established in the family years, etc. After 40 men get more sensitive like women, and women get more ambitious and outgoing. Symptoms of anima/us integration. After childrearing there may be more time for self-reflection. But some people are forced onto the path early - I was among them.
When you mentioned you had no choice in the matter growing up regarding where life would lead you spiritually, what did you mean? Was this a general statement?
I meant it in the sense of a non-refusable vocational call…I guess you could say a shamanic call in Joseph Campbell’s terms.