Happy New Year to all our readers! I hope you’ve all had wonderful Yule festivities and have had some time to rest, relax, reflect and refresh yourselves.
As well as enjoying some time to hang out with family and friends during December, I was invited by Frater Isla for an informal chat which you can find on his podcast Right Where You Are Sitting Now. One of the things we spoke about was all those ‘hardcore’ esoteric practices; things that magicians do to face our demons, stir the cauldron of the unconscious, and shake us out of our day-to-day trance.
As I explain in the interview while I often write about the more dramatic approaches I use, these techniques are far from the whole story of my own magical work. In fact the majority of my practice consists of yoga and mediation.
I’ve done yoga for the last thirty or so years, through periods of more or less frequent practice. At the moment I’m a student of Adriene following her 30 days of yoga program. I went online to find a nice 30 minute yoga workout (since it’s helpful to have new input to keep one’s practice fresh) and happened instead upon this month long course which has been a delightful spur to my practice. (Check out the large number of excellent instructional videos by Adriene which include films on getting to grips with particular asanas, as well as yoga for particular bodymind intentions.)
Meditation for me takes many forms. Sometimes it’s about sitting still and doing classic mindfulness practice (often at the end of a yoga session). At other times it’s about finding a focus, an anchor for attention (this could be music, mantra, an activity such as walking, carrying water or chopping wood), and encouraging my attention to rest in that activity. As other internal narratives arise (typically for me this means thinking about the future) I gently guide my awareness back to the focus of attention I have chosen. This approach allows me to segue meditation into a variety of settings beyond that of sitting on a zafu.
Both meditation and bodywork provide the steady drip-drip-drip of core practice. They are also the psychic lube that makes some of the more outré activities, such as entheogenic mummification ceremony, ritual piercing and situationist magic, more approachable.
So looking ahead to 2017: Next month I’m teaching at Treadwell’s Books in London delivering an evening lecture on Psychedelic Magic as well as a day long workshop on Baphomet. I’m also working on another pop-up exhibition by the Psychedelic Museum (we’ve got some exciting news about the museum coming soon, which I’ll post on the Psychedelic Museum site and reblog here).
I’ve also completed another two books that will be published this spring, one is another collection of essays and one my magnum opus about psychedelic ceremony.
Meanwhile 2017 will see the fourth manifestation of Breaking Convention, the most awesome psychedelics conference on planet earth. For details stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook page.
Nikki Wyrd and I are planning some further retreats and workshops this year, please check out our new page Deep Magic if you want to learn more.
So as the sun inches higher in the northern sky I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a fabulous journey through 2017.
And now back to the yoga and meditation…