In this episode the band, Andrew McGregor, Aidan wachter, and Fabeku Fatunmise, bring is guest musician and occultist Jason Miller. The converstation covers magick, ego, meditation, and much humour.
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ANDREW: Hey there, folks. We’re back this week with another episode of The Hermit’s Lamp podcast, and today is recording Stacking Skulls. As you may recall, this is our fictional occult rock band, which started last year or so, and, you know, continues to be a regular segment on the podcast, so we have back Aidan Wachter, and Fabeku, and joining us in the guest spot this week is Jason Miller. So, for folks who are just starting this fine journey with us, who are you, Aidan? What are you — Who are you?
AIDAN: I don’t know. I can’t tell. Today. I’m a talismanic jeweler. I’ve been doing the magic thing for 30-something years now. And technically now I can say I’m a bestselling author, which is ridiculous, but awesome.
AIDAN: And that’s it! I make jewelry, I write some, I live on a micro ranch with a bunch of birds and some dogs and some goats.
ANDREW: And rabbits.
AIDAN: And a lot of rabbits. [sigh] They’re our doom plan. If doom happens, we know what we’re eating for the first few months till they’re gone. [laughing]
ANDREW: How about you, Fabeku?
FABEKU: Yeah. I do business stuff. I’ve done magic for 30 years. Artist, writer, shoe aficionado, live with a terribly spoiled Internet famous cat who will probably make some kind of an appearance at some point in our conversation. Yeah. That’s about it. I don’t live on a micro ranch. So.
ANDREW: How about you, Jason?
JASON: Oh, author, teacher, sorcerer, been doing this since I was 15 and I’m 45 now, so, you know, a long time.
ANDREW: Yeah. So you know, listening to this, it makes me realize, we’re all getting old!
ANDREW: I remember a time when I used to be like super inspired by like “Oh my god, they’ve been doing this for like this many years…” and now I’m sort of getting on the other end of that spectrum, you know, I mean I’ve been reading cards for 35 years now, something like that. And doing magic for about the same. And you know, now I’m on that end of the thing, I’m like man, I’m starting to sound old, I’m starting to talk about, you know, stuff that doesn’t exist anymore. I’m like, man…
AIDAN: We were talking about this, Fabeku and I. [static 00:02:59]
ANDREW: Yep. Well, it happens, right? Hopefully, if you keep working at it, it gets better and better. Which has definitely been my experience. Right?
FABEKU: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
ANDREW: So, I mean, we recorded three months-ish ago, last time. What’s new? What’s going on? In your lives? What’s changed since we talked before? If anything stands out?
AIDAN: For me, the main thing is I spent, just spent a week with my grandkids and their mom, and that was awesome. That was something I have been looking forward to since they were born. They just turned five months old. And they’re awesome.
AIDAN: Mama’s killer. And it was a super good time. So.
ANDREW: That’s awesome. Mmmhmm. And your book came out and is doing super well.
AIDAN: It has. I forgot that that actually is within that same window. Yeah, the book’s doing great, and really pleased with that. And by the first of August I’ll actually be set to start sending those out to shops wholesale. I’ve got enough space and figuring out how we’re doing that. We kind of wanted to see how the … how that played out overall. But that’ll be again going starting in August, so.
ANDREW: Amazing. I can’t wait. People keep coming and asking for them and I keep having to tell them to go to Amazon, so. I’ll be happy to … to service that need, so. Yeah.
AIDAN: Yeah. So, I’ll have the specs up on that on the website shortly, but anybody that’s interested that has a shop can just drop me a line as well and I’ll add them to the list.
ANDREW: Nice. So I guess I’m curious. How has this publishing this book changed your sense of self? Or your identity? Or has it?
AIDAN: It’s been really good, because I think, due to spending a lot of time early on in kind of magical circles that I didn’t really grok …
AIDAN: I … In the last few years of kind of being public again, I’ve kind of realized that yeah, some of what I do does make sense to people, you know?
AIDAN: It is useful to people. But the general responses that I’ve got from the book have been so killer that I’m like, “Oh, excellent.” So there ARE a lot of people who are doing or at least open to the type of work that I do, which to me is really good, cause you just don’t know, in general, if you’re kind of as reclusive as I tend to be. And so that’s been really good. I mean it hasn’t changed what I do or anything, but I’m feeling more kind of excited about what that I choose to think is going on in the magical world [chuckling] whether I’m right or not.
AIDAN: There’s at least a reasonable sized number of people who are at least kind of on the same page or interested in that.
AIDAN: It’s cool.
ANDREW: How bout, how are …
FABEKU: I think you came out at just the right time, man.
AIDAN: Yeah, for sure.
ANDREW: Yeah, I mean and if you’re listening and you haven’t read Aidan’s book, you know, I’ve read a ton of books over the years and everybody who’s on here has, and it’s a book that I wish I had read first.
ANDREW: It’s definitely, you know, I started with Magic in Theory and Practice, that was my introduction to magic, and the only book that I owned on it for a number of years, and I think about how obtuse and unapproachable that book is from a practical point of view and from a like, you know, what do you actually do in the room when you’re standing there with all these things? It’s just not set up for that very well, and yeah, the amount of time I wasted sorting through and figuring out stuff and being like, “Ohh, I get it, you have to do this with your arm, okay, now I understand,” you know, or whatever … Yeah.
AIDAN: Thank you.
FABEKU: I think for the longest time there was this divide of [clears throat] a free approach represented by chaos magic but that rejected sort of spirit and offerings and such, and then traditionalists who were working with spirits and … but rejected sort of a freer more streamlined approach and in recent years those things have come together and Aidan is sort of right, Six Ways is like a perfect manual, for, look, you don’t have to reject spirits to have this freedom and streamlining of chaos. It’s …
FABEKU: You know, they can work, meld together perfectly.
ANDREW: Yeah. Well, I think that, I think it’s something that we all share to a large degree, this sort of connection to spirit and sort of working with spirits, and I think that, at least in my experience, if you’re listening to the spirits that you’re working with, you’re going to end up in some more free-flowing kind of space in some way or other, right? You know that communication that can come back from them, you know, is super, can be super open-ended, you know? And even in, you know, like in my Orisha tradition and stuff which is sort of theoretically super structured, I mean it is very structured, but it’s still the Orishas dictating that structure, dictating what comes through, right? You’re like, what offering will you accept to help me with this thing? What offering do I need to make to make this connection stronger? You know, and then you just proceed to, you know, in that case, in a formalized process, but in other ways, you just proceed down a list of, would you like something like this, would you like that, you know? And I think that that’s so contrary to sort of my notions from the ceremonial stuff that I started in, which were, I better do all this calculus ahead of time and be sure that, you know, all the names add up to the right numbers, and all the colors are there, and all the … you know, angles are right and all these sort of things, otherwise I’m going to open a vortex into the abyss, and the universe is going to collapse, or you know, whatever, right?
FABEKU: Been there, yeah.
AIDAN: And I think too, I mean, I think one of the cool things with working with spirits is, that I don’t hear a lot about is, it gives you an option to kind of go, is … Am I even looking at this in any way in the right way?
AIDAN: And have some feedback from that, right? We can do that just through divination if we believe that the divination doesn’t involve spirits, I guess, but [laughing] kind of more specifically doing it with the people that you’re working with, whether that’s divination or trance and going, okay, what am I just wasting my time on here? What’s not going to happen this year?
AIDAN: Or where should I focus this year? Or where did I kind of fall off the track, where did I fall off the rails, and that’s a huge benefit to me.
FABEKU: Well, you know, I think the other piece, kind of following this thread, is, you know, to me, it’s interesting when you’re able to get the spirit’s perspective on something. You know, how does this spirit see the thing that I’m looking at? How does this plant spirit see it? How does this animal spirit? How does this stone spirit see it, right? It’s like, for me, that’s one of the, like you said, the valuable things, right? Because you know I think that we get so fixed into this human vantage point, which, you know, is necessary and fine, but, you know, there’s times when all kinds of amazing shit happens, when we can step out of that and swing around and look at it through a different set of eyes, whether that’s through the spirits or through trance work, or, you know, whatever it is, I think it … That for me is one of the most valuable things, it’s like … And specifically for me, it’s been a helpful question to go to the spirits and ask, all right, what’s my blind spot, like what am I completely not seeing, what am I fucking up, what am I mistranslating, you know, how am I failing to see this in a way that would be more helpful or more coherent or, you know, whatever it is?
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. Yeah. Never underestimate the human capacity to rationalize stuff and avoid looking at the things, right? for sure.
ANDREW: So, how often are people checking in? In this way? How often, how often do you check in on this kind of thing, like ask for that kind of feedback?
FABEKU: For me, it’s an almost daily thing, in smaller ways, you know, it’s … whether that’s through divination or through, you know, starting the day with sitting with the spirits and listening and asking, you know, and then probably, you know, sort of larger more structured-ish ways, but you know, I think for me, the more I’ve plugged into this idea of different vantage points, the more I’ve realized the value of it and the necessity of it, so it feels … It feels off to me not to check in frequently at this point. you know, it’s … and not in a weird tell me what to do way, it’s not that thing at all … It feels like, sometimes it feels like driving with my eyes closed, and it’s like, yeah, I don’t need to do that, let me just check in with …
FABEKU: The spirits or whatever it is, to make sure I’m not headed toward the fucking ditch, or over a cliff or you know whatever … So for me it’s a pretty constant thing.
JASON: Yeah, it, for me, it’s, you know, it’s similar to how we check in with other people. I mean, if I have something short that I need to hear from one of you guys, I might text you, and you’ll text me back, and it takes just a minute, and there are experiences like that, with the spirits through dreams, through signals, through a brief appearance or a divination throughout the week, and then there’s formal like, you know, let’s set some time aside to chat by Zoom or have coffee or something, and those are sort of akin to the “It’s Saturday, I’m going to sit down and do my thing for Cyprian and see what he has to say.” So you know? It’s that mix of formal and informal two-way communication, because sometimes it’s them being like, hey, dumbass! [laughing]
ANDREW: Right. Definitely. Sometimes it’s like that tap on the shoulder. Sometimes it’s a smack on the back of the head, right.
AIDAN: [laughing] Totally.
ANDREW: You know. Yeah. And I feel like it would be . … It would make me feel cool to say that I, you know, never got to the smack in the head level, but, you know, it totally happens, right? Like it … It’s one of those things that I think that there’s this notion that we’ll go down these kinds of roads and we’ll get clear and focused and you know we’ll discover our true will or whatever, and we’ll just be like, now I’m a laser and I’m on focus and on target and everything just continues, but it’s not really like that, it’s such a wandering meandery thing and life keeps sort of pulling at it, for me anyway, for me all the time, whether it’s like, stuff with my kids, stuff with the house, stuff with the business, stuff with this, and it’s like, oh yeah, wait wait, I’m getting unfocused again, thanks for the tap on the head, now I have to go back to it, you know.
FABEKU: you know it reminds me, there’s a proverb that … from Ifa, that says we lose the way to find the way, and that to me has been one of the most useful things that I’ve learned, because, for me anyway, there never has been that point of okay, I’ve anchored into the thing, and I’m set, and I’m good, and everything just flows fine from here. It’s just, I don’t, I don’t have that experience of things. So, you know, I look at this kind of losing of the way, whether it’s a little mini thing or a great big detour in the middle of who knows where, is, just, to me that’s the process, as annoying as it is, and I find it super fucking annoying, I have no enlightened perspective on that at all, I find it incredibly annoying.
FABEKU: But annoying and common, so …
AIDAN: Well, I think too, it’s like Dan John, who’s a strength coach, he says, “Everything works, until it doesn’t.” [laughing] Right? If we would like to have this sense where we could kind of find that track that is perfect all the time, but in reality, whether, no matter what it is, you get your three weeks, month, three months, year, and then you come off the rails, cause things just need to change, you’re totally different, the situation is totally different. And you have to adapt to that.
JASON: Honestly, it’s a good measure for people, especially at the beginning, where they’re still sort of differentiating, am I projecting, or am I perceiving something? If the spirit you’re talking to is always agreeing with you and always affirming you, and … that’s you in your fantasy. [laughing]
FABEKU: Yes, yes, yes.
AIDAN: Yeah. That’s something we’ve talked about a lot here, is that’s the main sign, right, if they don’t periodically go, dude, do this instead …
AIDAN: And you’re like, “what, I don’t want to do … ” And it’s like, “yeah, do it instead,” [laughing] then I think we’re probably doing pretty well here … [laughing]
ANDREW: Exactly. They come through like, go ahead, knock yourself out, I’ll be waiting here when you’re tired and you want to like [cross-laughing 00:17:17]
ANDREW: Yeah. Well, this kind of leads into a question that somebody asked, you know, what do people think about destiny in relationship to this, right? Like We’re talking about our attempt to stay focused or stay online and the values and trials of meandering off track a bit. Where’s destiny in this mix? What do people think here?
That’s what we think!
FABEKU: Well, here’s [inaudible/static 00:17:55] just making it up. [static 00:17:56 through 00:18:03] is I think there’s this fixed elements, and then there’s elements that are in flux, right? you know I don’t have a sense that everything is somehow laid out, and again, who the fuck knows? And I think that there are probably some elements that are set. What those are, no idea, I’m sure they’re probably different for everybody, I think most of the other pieces are kind of in play, and there’s some flux to those. you know how do we figure those out, I don’t know, the way I figure it out is kind of a mix of divination, but probably even more than that, it’s, you know pushing against it magically: does this budge? What does it do? How does it respond when …? When I point magic at it? Does it flex, does it push back, does it change, does it, you know, tell me to go fuck myself? What does it do when magic gets pointed in that direction? but yeah, so for me, it feels like a mix, so I think, at least in my experience, it feels like there’s more that’s in flux than not in flux. you know I kind of struggle with the idea that it’s all kind of mapped and laid out and we just all kind of somehow run our way through it, that doesn’t seem consistent with my experience at all.
ANDREW: Mmm. Yeah. I tend to think of it like traveling through outer space, right? So there’s tons of space, right? There’s tons of free will. There’s tons of like, we can move in many directions. But I also think that when we’re plotting our course and stuff, we encounter gravity, right? from stars, from planets, from whatever, some of those we might want to go directly to for some reason, some of those we might just find ourselves near as we’re going by. And you know as we proceed through our lives, the choices we’ve made, the history of ourselves, you know, they kind of lock us into these different kind of patterns, right, and, but, you know, I think that where this metaphor falls down is some of those things are destined, right? We’re inevitably gonna get close to something, and maybe that’s put there in our orbit for whatever reasons, right? And, you know, it’s kind of that situation that you push, you pull, you’re caught in, it’s like an episode of Star Trek, right? You’re caught in the gravity well, what do you do, right? how do you get out of it? Or do you get out of it? Can you get out of it? you know, and I think that different people’s lives have different quantities of these kinds of things, you know, and I also think that the more one pursues magic and spiritual stuff, the more … If you’re doing it well, the freer one becomes and the more … you know, thrust you have to sort of move in different directions until you don’t, right? And I think that that’s always the thing, right? It’s … I don’t think that we ever become truly free of it entirely. But it definitely doesn’t run the show either all the time.
FABEKU: Yeah. Absolutely.
JASON: I rarely think in terms of destiny. And I think I probably divine less than a lot of people too. I’m [clears throat] I was watching an old episode of House recently, and if you’ve ever seen it, he never tests for anything, he’s just like you know we think it might be this, let’s give the treatment, and if they get better, we’ll know that’s what they have, and if not, we still have to keep going. And I remember sitting there and thinking like, you know, that’s a little bit like how I deal with magic … [laughing]
JASON: you know, well, let’s throw this at it and see if that works, and you know, I guess it’s not that I don’t ever feel destiny or sense destiny, I try to ignore it. And I just feel like if I … The best decisions are made without that in mind. For me.
AIDAN: Yeah. I’m kind of with Jason on that. I think that there’s something, whether you want to call it destiny or fate or whatever that’s present, but it’s kind of like, you know I take everything back to the physical just on a constant, it’s kind of like our genetics, and not in some kind of, you know, racialist kind of way, but like, I’m 5’10” and I’m not gonna be a great NBA player no matter what. [laughing] And so there’s things that are like that. I think that go on in magical practice, and that’s one of the kind of processes that I think we all go through is that we figure out what works for us and what doesn’t. And you kind of have to learn to not bang your head too much against the things that just consistently don’t work. And so on that level, I think that’s real, I think that there’s some stuff each of us are better at. But as far as like … And I also get your kind of gravity concept, cause there’s definitely things that I get pulled to really hard. But I think that that’s like my allies assisting, like, you should totally go check this out …
AIDAN: More than I think it’s anything like fate or destiny.
ANDREW: All right. Wizards 4, destiny zero.
ANDREW: So, another question that we got asked here was, you know, as often comes up, you know, especially when Aidan’s gonna be on the show, about trance work and meditation and stuff, right? But I know that Jason’s also a master meditator, you know?
ANDREW: I hear wonderful things about his course and so on, so. But, you know, I guess, you know, the question’s sort of like, someone was asking to share what really sort of comes from that, like what’s an example of how that really changed something for you or for all of us, you know, so but let’s frame it more generally. What do you get from that practice? How does it serve you? And why might people want to … want to dig into that more, you know? Let’s start with the master meditator.
JASON: well, so, you know, are we talking meditation or trance? Cause they’re ….
ANDREW: Well, they put them together, so.
JASON: So for me they’re really radically different things.
AIDAN: I …
FABEKU: Yeah, for sure.
JASON: In trancework, if, you know, if what I see is important, I’ll follow it, and, you know, take it on that journey. In meditation I’m learning to rest in the natural state of my awareness. So, if, you know, the virgin Mary walks up to me, picks up her skirt, and says, “follow me,” I’m supposed to go, “sorry, I’m meditating, you know, I’ll save five minutes after the meditation [laughs] but you know I’m focused on this thing right now.” And so that’s the … if a Buddha appears on the road, kill it. And what I get out of it is a grip on what my own mind feels like. It’s first of all, it … when things arise, that are momentary wants, you know, I really want a burger with a lobster on top, but what I should have is a salad [laughing], meditation helps say, okay, you know, release that thought, focus on, you know, what the will is all about. But it’s also when I sense things from spirits and they’re not audible, like I can hear them with my physical ear, I can … you get an idea of what your own mind feels like, and what input is, as opposed to fantasy. So, you know, there’s just tons of benefits for meditation. All of which can sort of be reached through other things. But then it’s a matter of, do you want 100 different things to get these 100 benefits, or do you want to do just the one thing? That is unfortunately antimagical for a lot of people. It’s the hardest thing to get students to do. They, you know, they really don’t like it. [laughing]
AIDAN: Yeah, that’s … I … for me, yeah, they’re totally different things, and kind of similarly, meditation for me is kind of just how I get to ground zero. Like, what’s going on with me? Where is the continuous chatter going right now? And can I kind of back away from that and turn the volume down on that so that I can … yeah, kind of have my own mind for a while, and decide what I really need to do, rather than … especially now with the Internet [laughs] and 8 million terrible movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime and whatever we all have. We’re like in the eon of distraction and so meditation is like a beautiful way of just going, okay, I’m going to take 20 minutes or 10 minutes or an hour or whatever, and I’m going to sit down and not be distracted to the best of my ability which is totally variable depending on the day. And I think it’s just … It’s like immeasurably helpful for me is what I would say. But yeah, it’s difficult for magicians because we want to do stuff, we want to make change, and so the benefit I would say is that meditation for the magician will help you see what is really, what you really want to change, rather than being kind of caught in distraction, and delusion not in the massive way but in the … not in the kind of universal way, but just in the small deletions. I really like the … burger with the lobster sounds great! [laughing]
ANDREW: I’m just wondering if that’s a path to one of the things I could get from meditation, that’s really what …
AIDAN: I think it’s a brilliant idea, personally [laughter] [crosstalking/laughter 00:29:28] … I’m kind of with the concept!
JASON: It’s literally on the menu at a place around the corner from here, hamburger topped with lobster meat, at a nice remoulade, it’s wonderful …
AIDAN: Oh, man!
JASON: Casey’s Caboose. But, you know, and you get to this realization that there’s nothing that we know that’s not coming through our own minds. So I remember sitting there with somebody, some guy, I don’t know who he was, he was wearing this weird robe in Bodanat, and he was sitting out, just on the walkway around the great stupa, and he was making a big show of being like really important with his robes and this mala that was like 108 baseball like sized things, and he’s sitting there, and all of a sudden he started to get angry at everybody walking by, but, you know, this is also the center of town, people walk by. And at one point he just — like I’m sitting like 100 feet away from him eating lunch at an outdoor cafe and he like gets up and he’s like “People can’t see that I’m meditating!” And I’m like, well, I don’t know what your robes are for, but you suck at this! Because … [laughing] You know, ultimately, if we realize how distracted we are with our own just push and pull of every little thing that we … that’s been laid on our minds our whole lives, and if you believe in past lives, then all of that too, like the momentary distraction is just another one of those things. Like the external like the guy walking by is so much less insidious then what do I want for dinner? Or I’m so good at this meditation thing! I’m the best. I’m so clear! [laughter]
ANDREW: For sure.
FABEKU: You know, for me I think that … I agree, that meditation and trance are really different things. For me, meditation has been the thing that I go to to reduce the noise that amps the signal. Right? And I think that, you know, whether that’s before magical work, facing the day, dealing with hardship, having a difficult conversation, whatever it is, it’s the place that I can go that I can turn the volume down on the noise so that the signal is clearer and more easily accessible. And then trance for me is a thing that I would say changes the types of signals that I can access. Right? So it’s like it expands the frequency band that I have access to.
And, you know, I think the other useful thing for me with trance, and I think maybe some people do this with meditation but that’s not my relationship to it … There’s this transcendent quality to it, and I don’t … what I mean by that is … again, this kind of goes back to when we get sort of too boxed into our own shit, whether that’s a struggle we’re facing or our own perspective or whatever it is, when we move into a trance It’s like we have the ability to kind of stretch out and shake all that shit off, and in that there’s this, there’s this sort of expanded capacity, expanded coherence, expanded velocity, all of these things happen. So for me sometimes there’s a focus trance work of going to a particular place, working with a particular spirit, or doing a particular type of working, and sometimes there’s just this accessing a trance state for that transcendent ability of being able to kind of stretch out and shake all the bullshit out so I can get back to doing whatever it is that I need to do in a way that is clearer and more coherent and more effective.
AIDAN: Totally. Yeah, and for me, the trance thing is like my main kind of spirit contact space. I’m not … I’ve never been one that gets super clear messaging when I’m awake. I get enough to work with. But if I actually kind of want in depth communication, that all happens to me … that all happens for me in trance, and I do a lot of what I kind of think of as body work, though it’s not necessarily physical body work there. That’s kind of where I do most of my healing work for myself. And yeah, for me it’s just the most open space that I can go into in terms of like experiential contact with the spirits. Where I can kind of go into the zone or where I know that I meet those things. And the communication is much clearer and much more two way and it allows them to show me things that I normally, I’m just not that visual when I’m awake. And clear — you know, eyes open, daytime shit. And then, that’s where now I get most of my ritual instruction. That’s where that stuff comes from, is the allies that I have, they’re so few of them that are kind of continuously … Not like every day, but you know every once in a while, and that might be every year or two, somebody will go, “You should try this, for a while,” and those have all been really huge, huge things for me. They’re much more useful than the ones that I come up with when I’m sitting there with a pen and paper going “I want this, I’m gonna do it this way.” So.
FABEKU: Well, and in that way, I think that the trance space, for me, is one of the most effective working spaces. Right? So going back to one of the ideas in chaos magic that, you know, trance or gnosis is required for magic. I don’t know that that’s entirely true, but for me it’s largely true. In terms of the way that I function and the way that I work, and it’s not that I can’t do magic outside of that space, I do, but there is a difference in the experience, and oftentimes a difference in the results that I have when I do magic in that trance space as opposed to when I don’t. So you know I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a required component for everybody, but for me, it’s a really profoundly necessary ingredient.
ANDREW: yeah, I think I might be a bit … Huh. Either my conception of it or my language around it makes it seem like I’m an odd person out in this conversation, or I just have kind of a different approach, you know. I don’t really meditate any more. I always feel like I should, like I get this like, you know, right up there with I should eat salad, and I should do whatever, but I find that I spend so much time floating and connected to spirit side, I mean I spend 15 hours a week doing readings and stuff for people, plus whatever other time I’m doing with that, so I’m so continuously connected to that space, and continuously flexing that muscle of, is this me, is this my thought, is this the divination, is this the spirit message, you know so like I’m kind of always working that stuff, in a way that … I feel like, maybe this is a bad metaphor, but I feel like a personal trainer in that regard, you know? I spend so much time at the gym moving stuff around that I’m not so sure what is left that I need just for myself in that regard?
And then most of what I need for myself in that regard comes through making art and sort of being connected, which is probably where my trancelike stuff happens, you know sitting down with whatever I’m working on, and just sort of channeling stuff through and working in that capacity or going to the places in nature where you know the spirits that I work with more so like to be present and sort of paying attention for signs and omens and communications there? But I feel like that trance space where spirit’s accessible to me or messages are accessible to me, sort of almost always continuously just at the edge of my awareness? And so I feel like I can fall into it so easily now that setting aside big chunks of time or sort of regular pieces of practice for it, just haven’t seemed super necessary. And when I’ve sort of buckled down with that should, like I should do this, I’m gonna do this, and you know I do it for a period of time and I don’t really notice a particularly big difference, and to some extent I feel like I spend a lot of time showing up and nothing happens, cause they’ll be like, “dude, I already talked to you earlier today. I don’t know why you’re here?”
ANDREW: you know? I don’t have that hamburger you want now, that’s not gonna happen, right? So.
FABEKU: Well, but to me, I think that’s one of … To me, [static 00:38:54] trance stuff, is that like you said, it becomes accessible, it’s right at the edge. So, you know, 20 years ago, it felt like kind of the production to get into that space. Now we … I close my eyes and take a couple of breaths, and you’re there. And so in that way, I think that’s another really concrete benefit that’s come from doing that work for so long, it doesn’t feel like a different state to me, it feels a little like leaning to the left, as opposed to, you know, however it is I’m normally sitting. It’s a slight but significant shift at this point.
JASON: Doing inner heat practice, the Timo practice, has really helped [clears throat] move my … make that trance state much closer and deeper so that I can do what Aidan is talking about, like you know receive those messages down to the details of this is the practice, this is how it should go, and then you know you take it for a spin and then the next time it’s like “no, you didn’t do that quite right,” and then, what’s amazing is some of the stuff that I teach professionally is rooted in those kinds of messages, and then when I go to teach it, the spirits are like, well, it was fine for you to be this loose about it, but if you’re gonna, you know, we should firm this up, so I’ll be like [heavy sigh], there’s more I have to add here that I didn’t expect [laughing].
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. For sure.
ANDREW: Yeah. And I think that, you know, as you say Fabeku, right, you get to this place where it is so close all the time, right? If you’re doing that practice, right? you know I mean, I spent a year doing pranayama every day for like an hour, and then doing just sitting meditation for a chunk of time as well, like, you know, all those things, right? But they, this is the downside to being old, they’re so far back that I don’t entirely remember them as a lived practice as such, you know?
ANDREW: That’s just like, 20 odd years ago. I don’t remember exactly what that’s like. I have some documentation and some memories, but it’s not … I know, it’s like learning to swim, right? Once you know how to swim, you no longer really think about it anymore, so.
AIDAN: And I think that ties into the stuff that Jason teaches in Strategic Sorcery and Sorcerer’s Secret, I think? And that I have my versions of in Six Ways, on the kind of energy work, the orbital work and stuff like that, is that yeah, there’s a period when you kind of really have to focus on that stuff, until you’ve kind of got a solid sense of it, and then it’s available, unless you kind of just get too distant from it, and then you’ve got to drop back in, and then you know kind of do the refresher. It’s a little bit like, my take on running now that I’m not a runner, it’s like, I don’t have to run every day, I have to run a little bit to kind of keep all that metabolism still working properly, and if I take too much time out, like I did from being injured, then I actually have to take, you know, maybe eight or 12 weeks to kind of work back up to where I can actually run a couple of miles once a week without it being a big thing, but then I don’t have to focus on it as much. And I think that that’s just kind of the process of everything, that you’ve got to kind of put in the ground work, and then once that foundation is built, it allows you some flexibility. It’s not like you have to sit and meditate for the same amount of time forever every day or you’re fucked. But you start to notice like, oh, my brain is kind of churning nonsense, I probably need to sit a little more.
FABEKU: Well, you know, the way I look at it is, is like a chef, right? In the beginning when they’re in training, they have to practice their knife skills, and that means cutting up fuck loads of carrots, day after day after day after day, to get them just right. And then after a period of time when they have that skill, they don’t have to think about it, right? you know they just, They have access to the expertise that’s come from that and, of course, you don’t have to sit and chop piles of carrots forever and ever and ever, but there is that muscle building period, I think, until you get that skill, that muscle memory of it, where you can clear the static, you can move into trance, you can enliven the sigil, whatever it is, you can do the thing, because you’ve built up the practice, and that, you know, that takes time.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. For sure.
AIDAN: Yeah, and for me, that works for everything, so like, now I’m sure that there are people, just cause I’m talking to people about it, some folks that aren’t public practitioners, so I’m willing to talk to them a little bit in the background about some of the Six Ways practices. Like yeah, that, whether it’s the reclaiming rite, or the Stars of the Sixth Way, or the scraping, this is like a long process for them, cause it’s super new to them, cause they’re having to think through all of it, and sit with it, and that whole thing is like, maybe five minutes a day for me.
AIDAN: It’s totally effective within that. But it is, it’s like I’ve practiced that thing so much or those things, that I can kind of wander in and go, okay, what needs to happen today, do it, and be back with what else is going on really quickly.
JASON: You get that body memory, and it, you know, it just comes naturally.
ANDREW: Mmmhmm. For sure. So, another question we got asked, was what do you see as sort of magicians’ roles in the world, you know? Is this a thing that’s changing, do you think of yourselves, you know … we’re all public figures to one extent or another, right? Do you see an … do you see the way in which being a magician and being out in the world is changing? Is it the same as it’s always been? Is it even a relevant question for you? What do you think?
JASON: It’s starting to get more … more acceptance. I think. [laughing] It’s certainly, you know, it’s … Well, yeah. It’s starting to get more acceptance. As for what the role is, in the world, you know, I don’t expect, you know, a government funded department to open up any time soon, but you know, there are people at higher levels than I think some people would think that seek intercession of magicians and wizards and such and you guys all know this. But you know the amazing thing is, there is some ad that came across my Facebook this morning that’s like, this psychic who works for Courtney Cox and this person and that person, and I was kind of like, you know, every person that’s even, you know, nowhere near that level of notoriety, but even just like slightly, it’s kind of like, keep this under your hat, like this is not something that should or can get out. But like so, it’s more acceptable and, but, and everybody does magic, whether they call it that or not.
AIDAN: Yeah, I totally think it’s just kind of a normal human function. That got lost. As far as like it being clear, cause like I think that it’s hard for me to imagine that … In the time of zero distraction, cause if you were distracted you died, which is like most of our history, that people weren’t just massively tuned in to all this shit. And from everything that we can know, from what we tend to think of as primitive cultures or aboriginal cultures, that’s true. And so yeah, it’s a weird thing in the kind of materialist West, but, it’s totally normal to me. So I’m not sure that there’s any function that’s really different than what there always has been, which is yeah, just kind of attempting to make the changes that you need or people need, and kind of keeping spirit channels open so that we can have something that’s a little bit more, to me, more real, than the incredibly synthetic world we’ve generated.
FABEKU: Yeah, I agree, I don’t know that the role is any different at all at this point. I think that One of the things that, and I think this might be why, one of the reasons why, there’s been kind of an upswing in the interest in magic is, I think magic gives people a sense of hope, you know, and not in some, you know, kind of fake bullshit rah rah kind of sense, but when you understand that magic gives you the ability to kind of interface directly with sort of the wiring under the board, sort of the things behind the curtain, in work with things that are in flux, and work with things that look and are chaotic and difficult, and you know, somehow kind of slide things in the direction that you’d like them to go, I think it gives people a sense of hope. It gives people a sense of, there are other options than what I had considered. And I think that that’s important on an individual level, on a communal level, on a global level, you know, and I think that that matters, and I don’t think that’s anything new, I think magic has always done that, I think that’s probably one of the things that has drawn people to magic forever. But I know in my own conversations with people about it, that’s one of the things that people are consistently talking about, is I have a renewed sense of hope that I didn’t have before because I get that there are things I can do that make things different than they are now.
ANDREW: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean I think that, as life continues to become more complicated, you know, more challenging in some ways, right? you know I mean it’s been a distressing, you know, year or two for a lot of people. I mean it’s been a distressing, like, whole lifetime for other people, for sure too, right? But I think that as we run into more challenge, you know, I think that accessing spiritual tools and magic and divination fill that function really well, right? And it’s a thing that some people would have turned to family practice, some people would have turned to somebody in their community, some people would have gone to the church for, you know, to kind of make those sort of different kinds of connections and to help make sense of stuff, and I think that certainly, as a diviner, I often feel that I’m in the role of priest, right? They wouldn’t necessarily choose it that way. But, you know, if you think about it, you know people come for divination and they come for hope, they come to confess, they come to make sense of things, they come to reorient themselves once they’re you know turned around, and you know magic is just really an extension of that or some of those things directly depending on what we’re talking about, so, yeah, I think it’s really necessary. And I think that it’s really, you know, as Jason says, it’s, you know, not like some bs tagline on someone’s promo, but like, you know lots of people are doing it, and lots of people that you would never imagine are doing this stuff, and I think that, you know, it being a personal and direct practice, or direct engagement, versus sort of like a public show of things is important, you know, as part of that, because I think that we don’t want to be the monk with the baseball mala, you know?
ANDREW: Sitting in our robes going, why aren’t you giving me more money? Why aren’t more famous people coming to me? you know?
AIDAN: Get off the lawn! [laughing]
ANDREW: Get off the lawn! [laughing]
JASON: And you know, there’s a certain extent to which I think, the, I don’t know, the growing multiculturalism, the awareness of sort of non-Protestant culture in North America is acknowledging aspects of magic that are already present in the living traditions of so many other people, from Catholic countries and folk traditions around it, to magic within Buddhism, which is just right out there for you to see, in Tibet and Thailand and India and everywhere, and you know, Afro-Caribbean traditions and so on, and so as people get, for lack of a better word, less white about it, magic gets to be seen as to how it integrates into people’s everyday lives without it having to be this very very special thing that I put the robes on and I’m doing in secret and you know, that may make it less special for some people who kind of live and breathe on that, but I think it’s a good thing overall.
ANDREW: Well, I also think that the, I mean, maybe not if you’re posting on Instagram …
JASON: No, no.
ANDREW: But, magic will … keep itself secret if it needs to be, right?
JASON: Oh, absolutely.
ANDREW: you know I mean I, as a, you know, as an Olocha I have quite a lot of stuff in my house that is the Orishas, you know, either their consecrated vessels, with the mysteries inside, and all the accoutrements that have come from them and so on … There’s a lot of stuff that’s around my house, and you know, I’ve had people who’ve come and watched the kids for like years, and then one day, they’re just like, “Wha – wait, what is THAT?” you know? “What do you mean, it’s been there the whole time, you don’t know who Elegua is?” They’re like, “I know who he is, I just, why is he in your house?” I’m like, “How have you not seen it for like two years?” Right? You know. I mean these things will conceal themselves if they need to as well, so like, that fine balance, I think.
ANDREW: So, I’ve got this question, that I think is a really great question. What do you wish people would stop asking?
ANDREW: What’s the question that you’re just like, aw, really? Come on. Jason —
AIDAN: I don’t think I have one. The only thing that I do … crazy [static 00:55:12] We’ll wait till the static ends. I do get crazy talisman requests that are like, I want a talisman to make me bulletproof, and it’s shit like that that you’re just like, yeah, you know, there’s a lot of people who have tried that, but I’ve never heard of it working! [laughing] But, so, other than outright absurdity, I don’t really have any.
JASON: Yeah, I get the absurdity sometimes, and they don’t really bother me, because I just open them, and I look at it and I go, okay, close. The regular, you know, even though I don’t do this work, I’ve never done this work, but the sort of regular reconciliation at any price …
[chickens in background]
JASON: Kind of request. That’s something that, you know, I just, I wish that would go away. [laughing]
[chickens in background]
ANDREW: Right? I think that’s a question where “He’s now living with my sister, and has 16 kids with him, and I’ve been separated from this person for 20 years, but I will give you all this money if you can make this person come back and be with me”? That question?
JASON: Yeah! you know? It’s just sort of like, I don’t want that! No, absolutely not. you know, in some of my courses, that go on for months, I’d have to say the question, it’s not even a question, it’s a … the people that are …
[chickens in the background]
JASON: The people that are geared to sort of …
[chickens in the background]
JASON: Hypervisualization. They can … They close their eyes and they can see all kinds of stuff. And I’m like this to an extent myself. But it’s a matter of like, let’s take that and go deeper. Like, let’s put that aside for a little while. So, you know, I’ll spend the first couple months kind of telling people, ignore these kinds of visions. Or evaluate them, like is this important? Did it tell you something you didn’t already know? Or is it just a thumb’s up? If it’s a thumb’s up, take the thumb’s up and keep doing what you’re doing. If it’s something actionable, evaluate it like you would advice from a person. But in general, don’t chase after it, like, use the practice …
[chickens in the background]
JASON: To get deeper informa — and then you can start getting stuff that’s like, wow this matters. And, because that also, people that aren’t like that, who maybe when they get a vision, a message, it will be like really important because they’re not prone to that kind of thing, they sort of feel like, well I must be doing something wrong, because so and so has, you know, phantasmagoric trips every time they utter a prayer and I’m not. Whereas I’m kind of like well actually, no, there’s nothing wrong with you. And you know maybe that person who gets phantasmagoric trips when they put something out in terms of spell work are not going to get the results you have, because they’re great at receiving and not so great at sending or, or when you really receive something, it’s going to be like, huh, yeah, that’s got meaning and teeth and is something I can dig into.
ANDREW: Yeah. I hit this point in my own practice, especially like working with clients and doing readings and stuff, where, I realized that I had a choice where I could just know what the answer was, or I could have like a big visual thing about it, and I was like
[rooster crowing in background]
ANDREW: It’s so much easier just to know what it is than to like, proceed down into this like vision of it all and stuff like that, and so I sort of started prioritizing a different way and you know submitting my requests like to the other side like so, if you need to show me, please do, but if you can just tell me, that’d be awesome. And then we can go to the next thing, you know?
JASON: [bursts out laughing]
ANDREW: It worked pretty well, you know? So.
JASON: But isn’t that … [static] I’m going to wait till the static clears. I think that’s one of the great gifts … [static] Nope. One of the great gifts of that kind of trance work that you guys were talking about before, it’s like, you know, I don’t need to break reality every time.
JASON: I don’t need to sit there and like, no, get in the crystal. No, not in my head, in the crystal. No, not over there, in the crystal. No … [laughing] you know I don’t want to hear about it in a dream, in the crystal.
JASON: So, it’s, it’s, if you can build a relationship, if you can, you know, develop the capacity to kind of meet the spirit halfway, rather than, I got made fun of once on social magic reactions for calling it fracking, you’re basically spiritually fracking reality, like I’m gonna pull the top off this [laughing] just to get to what I want.
JASON: But you know. I stand by it. [laughing]
AIDAN: Yeah. I think that there’s a lot to, as you said, just kind of accepting the easy way in, and realizing that a lot of the flash is not necessarily actually helpful, like it can be cool, but it doesn’t necessarily actually do what you want, and so in relationship to the stuff that you, whether it’s … I’m not sick of it, but I never have anything to say, because I’ve got enough people that are aware of what I do. I get kind of the occasional email that’s like, “This happened on Thursday,” and you get some incredibly abstract Book of the Law kind of thing. What do you think? It’s like, [laughing] I have no idea. I don’t think anything! I have no concept of your experience, your context, anything else, and it’s not my transmission, they’re talking to you for some reason, and perhaps that makes sense to you, but it’s … I can try and explain the shit that happens to me, and it’s … in most cases, I don’t think it would make sense to other people, frequently. But again, if you can kind of go, can we be pretty straight about it, I don’t need it to be fancy looking, I don’t need it to be … Can you show me, you know, I do a lot of things with some of my main kind of allies, it’s like [sigh] kind of the inner dialogue is like, put this in my body, let me feel what you want me to feel, don’t tell me about it, cause I’m pretty stupid, but if you can kind of cause me to have that sensation then I can use that, and so that’s more what goes on for me now.
FABEKU: I think for me in terms of questions, there’s two types really, the first is, you know, do I have to believe in magic for it to work? And I understand why people ask that question, but for me, I’m not an evangelist. I don’t really give a fuck WHAT you believe. I don’t give a fuck IF you believe, and I’m not, I don’t think, my approach to this is, you believe it when you believe it, and the only way you believe it is by doing it, so to me the question is, I think the better question is, how do I get started, how do I do this, and not, does it require belief, because I think you can kind of just fuck yourself in a circle going around with that kind of nonsense. My thing is, I don’t know, try it and see. you know? There are a million ways to get started that are not terribly complicated, and see what happens? And, you know, if you believe it as you go, great, and if not, fine, but I think that … I find the question problematic because I think that it creates, it just creates this weird circular motion for people. you know?
And I think the other problematic questions are any question that gives up someone’s own sense of sovereignty, right? Whether it’s asking me, should I do this? Or kind of deferring that sovereignty to the spirits or the allies or whatever. Those questions are always problematic to me. It’s like, I think the same kind of common sense rules should apply to magic as they apply to, you know, any other facet of life and any other interaction you have, and I don’t think that we should somehow give up our sense of sovereignty and our sense of agency, by asking what we should do, I think that, that to me feels like a sideways kind of a thing, so those are always questions that I don’t like to answer and I really strongly discourage people from asking, because, I think, again, it’s just rooted in a perspective that for me feels really problematic.
ANDREW: Yeah, don’t ask the spirits for permission for something you want to do.
ANDREW: Right? you know? I mean ask them for advice in general, but like, yeah …
FABEKU: Yeah. And I think even asking, you know, should I do this working, I don’t know, I can’t answer that, you know, you know what you need, you know what you want, you know what’s important for you, you know what you’re willing to sacrifice in the process, I have no way of answering that question for you, and I shouldn’t be the one answering it in the first place.
ANDREW: Hmm. yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s an interesting question, you know, I think that there are, there are definitely times when I ask spirits, especially the Orishas, should I do this, should I do that, but it’s more along the lines of like should I, when I moved from the old shop to the new shop, I’m like, should I sign the lease on this place? Should I do this thing? Like, they’re more like, and they’re not guarantees, but they’re like, is there good possibilities here, or is there like, is there a pitfall, you know, that’s really what I mean by these shoulds, right? Is this is a space where something can happen, or is there something that you see that I don’t see that’s gonna make a big hot mess of it, right? But yeah, I think that that quickly and usually turns into something much more problematic, right?
ANDREW: And I find that I, I definitely, I get my share of the bulletproof questions, or the reconciliation stuff, that I’m like, that I’m often like, I’m not that interested in it, and, you know, it doesn’t bother me, per se, I’m just like, no thank you, it’s not what I do, I guess that the question that I’ve been getting lately, and I think that I need to set some time to put something out there to sort of counter this, is, you know, since the announcement of the Orisha tarot has happened, I’ve been getting more emails from people, basically asking me if I will initiate them and make them a priest, and I’m just like, it doesn’t even begin to work that way, and you know there’s sort of a presumption of, it depends on where they’re coming from, but there’s often a sort of presumption of entitlement or desire that they’re gonna start a road that will take them there, and I’m like, I don’t even know you, like number one, it’s a permanent lifelong commitment you’re asking of me, and number two, you don’t even know if this is your path, you feel drawn to it, but that doesn’t mean that that’s true or helpful or real or valid at this time or ever, maybe, you know, so I think that I need to … talking about this conversation tells me that I need to put something together and put it out there so I can just sort of point people to things and say, go read this, this will give you a better idea of how this works.
JASON: But Andrew, I read a book about it last week and I’m really really into it!
ANDREW: Yeah? Only one book, not all the books?
ANDREW: I’m so disappointed in you, come on, and all the websites, right?
AIDAN: especially the websites, they’re, you know, they’re the critical source.
ANDREW: The critical source at every juncture, right?
AIDAN: That’s it!
ANDREW: [laughing] All right, well, we have been on this call for a long time. I want to thank you all. you know Let’s do a quick round of just sort of say where the best place for people to come and find out about you and what you’re up to is, and then we’ll wrap it up for the day. Aidan? Where should people come connect with you?
AIDAN: AidanWachter.com, AidanWachter on Instagram, Aidan Wachter on Facebook [laughing] All of that. And then Six Ways currently is available strictly through online bookstores, but pretty much all of the big ones. And as I said earlier, we’ll try it. We’ll be getting those out to stores that are interested in probably the next five weeks.
JASON: StrategicSorcery.net. And from there you can find Facebook and all the other places that I might be hanging out.
ANDREW: Definitely. And if you’re looking to learn from a meditation master, you should go check that out, because they do fantastic things; you too could get a fancy robe!
FABEKU: If you enroll now, get a free baseball mala included with the price.
JASON: yeah, I don’t know who that guy’s tailor was, but it was awesome. [laughing]
ANDREW: Very nice. Fabeku?
ANDREW: And I am either Andrew MacGregor or the Hermit’s Lamp, basically everywhere. So. Thanks, gents! Thanks for jumping in and being our fourth today, Jason. It’s been a pleasure.
JASON: Thank you for having me.
AIDAN: Yeah, super great to have you here.
JASON: I feel honored to be able to play the imaginary instrument in the imaginary band.
ANDREW: [laughing] May it always be thus.
You can book time with Andrew through his site here.