Here in the South, summer is in full swing. It is punishingly hot, the air hits you like a sauna even at night. Each and every afternoon is visited by a temporary but impressive thunderstorm that rolls in from the mainland and out towards the Gulf. The unforgiving weather keeps me feeling languid and sluggish, but the free time I have now in between semesters means I can pursue more of my occult interests, usually indoors. Except when it comes to my lessons with the Golden Teacher, the flesh of God, Teonanacatl, psilocybin cubensis.
Each year around this time I produce my annual crop of mushrooms. I love giving them out to friends and strangers alike–in fact, it’s one of the things I’m known for here. Many a good trip has been had here thanks to my “community service”. I consider it a true vocation to promote the proper use of mushrooms for spiritual, psychic and emotional development.
At our annual trip, our party leaves the urban sprawl to retreat in a vast preserve, a land set apart with pine forests, marshes, river swamps and dark open skies. Last year my boyfriend had his first trip, while I served in a shamanic capacity as guide. It was a deeply spiritual experience, but also resulted in such an opening of our hearts for each other, we talked for hours with such honesty and truth. It was one of the most important nights of my life.
Despite its ease of use, each trip becomes more difficult for me as I try to penetrate more the mystery, and learn difficult, sometimes painful lessons from the Spirit of the Mushroom. Often the lesson is not something I wanted to hear but I know would be to my benefit. I admit I sometimes still struggle with the Spirit and I know there are some lessons I have been postponing, and that soon the Mushroom will not allow me to postpone any further. Each trip is a lesson in dying, a face to face confrontation with Life and Death–my life, my death, the world’s, the Universe’s. While there are many plant teachers in my life, the Mushroom reigns supreme.
Apart from the crazy theories and visions worthy of science fiction that it has shown me, it always leaves me with a greater sense of wholeness, wisdom and lasting peace. For that reason, and realizing my need to push deeper each time, this year I will finally be taking the “Heroic Dose” so often mentioned by Terence McKenna. Let us see what vistas the mind can truly fathom!
“There is a tradeoff for border crossing and trespassing. Both pain and pleasure are required to harrow and heal the souls art: if fear were to deter, rather than to invigorate and illuminate shadow, there would be no path beyond the trees…
It is often required to leave behind one’s mundane world, persona, assumptions, comforts, habits and securities in order to comprehend with all the senses required. May the teachings that come from nature’s adversarial and opposing forces serve to illuminate the layers of black earth and sky, where roots and stars are in union, that place where the Devil and the Witch meet.” – Plants of the Devil, Corinne Boyer
This 18th century grimoire on black magic is attributed to St. Cyprian, the north African Berber bishop of late antiquity who was definitely no magician (or the Grecian mage who was stolen by Christianity?). The text is presented in macaronic Latin, Hebrew and trans. fluvii hijacked from Agrippa (XVI CE). It is also said to belong to the famed Black School of Wittenburg, but who has said that remains unclear. Taking a brief look at the drawings and texts, and given the unknown origin and author, my best guess is that his book is a total fraud—a showpiece for some eccentric collector to flash at parties to create an allure. The text does contain pretty straightforward content, but none of it is really original. If this is a genuine grimoire, it is useless! There are no contemporary references to the document at all, which gives me pause. There is a promising book about this grimoire and Cyprian’s magic I might try to pick up.
An interesting and poetic take on the relationship between humans and plants that can harm as well as heal. More interesting however is the way in which folklore has associated many of these plants with the powers of evil—not only poisons but helpful plants have been maligned because of traditional uses by the cunning folk. The author, Corinne Boyer, invites you to explore your own relationship with these plants, learning from them not only through praxis but also meditative contemplation of their lives and spirits.
Today I saw an example of clerical abuse against an innocent crying child that has been going around the news. I am SO angry! There is now a new section of this site dedicated solely to outing these evil BASTARDS for their many crimes. I will attempt to identify them by name whenever possible, but if you see someone who’s name you know, please tell me! Doxing the evildoer is highly encouraged. The new page can be permanently found here.
Miraculously, there is at least one thing that Christians and Satanists have agreed on: DO NOT HARM LITTLE CHILDREN. Anyone who does is worthy of the shame of the world, and the worst punishments offered by the fury of HELL.
Astrophotography is a difficult, expensive but challenging hobby of mine. Here is just a sample illustration of my planetary imaging abilities over the past two years. With Mars coming close to opposition, and so many planets visible these nights, I’m hoping to log some hours of quality imaging data soon.
I want to adopt Irving Finkel as my new grandpa. No wait. I want to become this bearded wizard fellow when I’m old. It is really remarkable how much information can be deducted from such scant archaeological data such as in the examples below.