I once very briefly chatted with the author of The Faceless God, Tomas Vincente (Dr. Kyle Fraser) through social media. After having told him of my experience, and how fucking terrifying it was, he told me that those who were chosen as shamans required much courage.
Humanity once walked hand-in-hand with Nature. We communed with the Spiritus Mundi. With the Star People. With the Ancestors. The Serpent Teachers. Ten thousand names and forms. Spirit spoke, and we had ears to hear.
Genesis calls the Serpent more crafty, more subtle than any of the other beasts of the field. It is my experience that religion has a strong disdain for wisdom and always expresses it using words with a negative connotation. But the Serpent was telling the truth. Mr. Thou-Shalt-Not says it, plain as day - Adam and Eve were about to become as gods. Jehova, who would have us standing around in a garden ass-naked, unconscious, not knowing if it's good or bad to shit in our hand and eat it - this mother fucker had to take action quick. No more talking with the hairless apes. Dump their self-aware covered asses and lock the door after them. It's an overly-simplistic myth, not unlike the myths of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give to men so that they may have light. The symbol set is found over and over. The gods are gods because they partake of a forbidden knowledge which is gifted to the Earth by Nature. They had "become" more than human. More than animal. Nature had provided the means of evolution into eternal divine beings. The Serpent is Christ.
A bronze serpent. Bronze is the marriage of Tin and Copper. Of Jupiter and Venus. Of Kingship and the Animus Mundi. The green emerald of Lucifer has fallen through Venus to Mother Earth, and as Frater Ashen Chassan revealed in his work Gateways Through Light and Shadow, He fell because of his love for "she who could not breathe out". The mystery is well beyond time and place and the multitudinous myths and personages. Mythology is a starting place, a place to begin to understand. Here is only the beginning of understanding. The shaman must go much further into experiencing the myths, living them, bringing back experiential knowledge. Re-shaping and re-telling the Gnosis to awaken those within the shaman's time and place who are yet unconscious, unknowing, asleep in the garden.
The Rigveda describes mass intoxication and initiation by way of Soma. Imagine a return to this time and place where Nature is exalted and is communed with, not by a class of shamans, but by everyone. We all walked hand-in-hand with that mystery that created the gods. Terence McKenna believed that the mushroom spoke. He believed that entheogens were responsible for our rise from hunter-gatherers to who we are today. Shamans tell us that Aya of Ayahuasca, Mescalito of Mescaline - the spirits of these entheogens speak, and not only do they speak, they show, they teach. They initiate us into their world, which is so far beyond the limitations of the material world, that the uninitiated have marginalized the truth to almost the point of no return. We are seriously fucked if we continue down this path of being consumers in a world of products.
If you believe McKenna, we did not leave the Eden, Eden simply died and was forgotten. As climate change took place, there was no longer a habitat to sustain psilocybin mushrooms. The flow of Soma decreased over time, and as a result a special class was created - the shaman. Here the Mysteries were fostered in secret... and eventually forgotten. Religious institutions arose and usurped our birth right to commune with the Universe. All that fell outside of institutionalized spirituality was condemned. And so, this is why today, in the United States of America, the following "drugs" are classed as Schedule 1 Narcotics with no accepted medical use:
If you wish to reclaim your birthright, you must turn your back on culture and its laws. Jehova is back, and he and his people are determined to keep you exactly where you are at in life, and in consciousness. Listen to me very carefully. To evolve into more than you are, you must go to the very places that you are told will result in madness, death, damnation. You must conjure that Old Serpent the Devil and give ear to what he has to say. What he told me was that the world is filled with lies.
My reaction was to reject this, to run back to the safety of culture, with its canned-ham answers, a mono-culture of millions of brains preserved in the embalming fluids of blind belief, comforted in the stew of conformity. I ran, but even while doing so, I had known from birth that what Goat said was true. I could never fully swallow any of the lies of the world. Could not accept our traditions because they were our traditions. Could not accept our self-proclaimed authorities. There was, and had always been, something deep within me, calling to deep. I was the Outsider archetype. I knew better. For Goat's sake, I'm a triple Capricorn. I can't run, this is my destiny.
If we come down to our own times, some very important events happened that were the catalysts in the forbidden knowledge re-emerging into culture, presenting itself once again readily available to the masses. The Soma presses have mysteriously come to life once again.
The first event in our recent history that can be observed to have been crucial in bringing us to where we are today took place July 13th, 1527. The Sun was in Cancer and the Moon was in Aquarius. 10 years prior Martin Luther had nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenburg Castle church. Luther's revolutionary ideas were spreading across the land like wildfire. The result was the severe diminishing of the strangle-hold the Catholic church held over the land. It had come to the public's attention that they didn't know shit after all. In 5 years Rabelais would pen his first book, in which he writes of the Abbey of Thélème, built by the giant Gargantua. It "differs remarkably from the monastic norm, as the abbey has a swimming pool, maid service, and no clocks in sight".
Humanism, Art, Science, Magic, Intellectualism and Self-Awareness were rising once again. The Garden of Eden had come to life and was in full bloom. This was the Renaissance, and a man that was the very embodiment of Merlin the Wizard had just been born. His name was John Dee, and he would become known as The Queen's Conjurer. He was destined to change the course of not only the British Empire, but the world and human consciousness. Astrologers, Alchemists and Mystics were rampant across the land. Nature was anointing her shamans.
The Materialist view would eventually dominate culture, and indeed does so to this very day. It has had only one real competitor in the West - Christianity. However, on October 12, 1875, as the Sun was in Libra and the Moon in Pisces, another Merlin was incarnated into the world. This time too, he would be a reflection of the material world he was born into - a reflection of the cynicism and pessimism that had been birthed from philosophical naturalism and nihilism as well as the pendulum swing of fundamentalist Christianity. His name was Edward Alexander Crowley, and he would go on to found The Abbey of Thelema and Scientific Illuminism.
Aleister Crowley's work would inspire generation after generation of authors, artists, intellectuals and occultists - the cultural initiators. Crowley was the catalyst for the psychedelic revolution, and his place on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is well deserved. It is in the Age of Information, long after Crowley's death, that his work is now taking hold in culture. The freedom of data has once again weakened institutions of authority, most noticeably those of Scientism and Christianity. Crowley's vision of cherry picking from the world's religions and approaching ceremonial magic and mysticism with a reasoned and scientific mind has come to fruition. But it is so abstracted, in the midst of so much data, it can easily be overlooked by the Seeker, who has at their fingertips nearly all of human knowledge. Where is the doorway? Where to begin?
November 16, 1946, Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Virgo. Merlin is reborn unto us. His name this time is Terence McKenna. His work will be the catalyst for cultural revolution, and in his own words the Archaic Revival. He will draw parallels between Magic, Mysticism and the Psychedelic. He, along with such men as Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson and Alan Watts, would once again change the direction of the world, challenging the authorities that seemingly exist only to suppress this secret-knowing of Nature with the weight of all the power that they hold. The secret is that this knowledge cannot be taught. It must be experienced. McKenna says that he once took an oath to openly tell all secrets that came his way. Let me take a crack at this:
If you call yourself a magician, or a shaman, if you go out to desolate places, and call upon spirits, you will find that the spirits will answer you. If you take a heroic dose of psilocybin, the mushroom will speak if you invoke it. I cannot speak to DMT from experience, so I will not... yet. These things will likely scare the holy fuck out of you, but these experiences, this weirdness, must be assimilated and realized as "how it was meant to be". McKenna spoke of the incredible synchronicities and unbelievable weirdness that begin to take place under the influence of psychedelics. I can tell you that I have experienced this exact phenomenon not through psychedelics, but through ceremonial magic. Charm the Water is a record of those experiences.
You will need a blueprint to understand your experiences. We have so long forgotten the secret knowledge, we can no longer interpret what the Spirits of Nature are telling us. This is where a vast understanding of occult knowledge is needed. Getting that knowledge is dangerous because you can mistake the knowledge itself for something of importance. Knowledge itself is dead-letter, and does not contain the transformational power of experience. The marriage of the two could change the world over night. McKenna certainly did his part in partaking of both knowledge and experience and he did change the world. What set him and men like Robert Anton Wilson apart was this, as well as their rare habit of not taking themselves too seriously. There was no dogma in them. They simply told it as they knew it, had experienced, and then laughed and shrugged their shoulders at how utterly astonishing and weird the world is.
I promise you this. Seek and ye will find. When you do, have the courage to listen to what you find, to continue to invoke it, and to evolve from what it teaches you.