EP105 Raid on Monkey Island with Stacking Skulls

The gang get back together in their secret underground bunker to talk about what is new in their journeys. Andrew, Aidan, and Fabeku talk about the future of witchcraft, magic, grimoires, and how to best powder a scorpion. In a rarer moment they talk about their businesses and how they find their way forward through changing desires and capacities around working. 

They also recorded a bonus for the Patreon only about how to connect with plants and build a magical relationship with them.  You can get it here by becoming a supporter. 

Or download it directly here

Aidan can be found here

Fabeku hangs here

As always Andrew is here

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Andrew: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I am hanging out today with Stacking Skulls, which would be my buddies, Fabeku and Aidan. We have taken submarine to our secret underground bunker. We have concocted all sorts of beverages to prop us up for this from weird poisons from some lizards and reptiles and obscure sea fish. And we have found the long lost grimmer of the monkey safe nests, which we have properly venerated before we’re going to start here.

Aidan: I [inaudible 00:00:42].

Andrew: Welcome to the podcast. This is a fairly regular thing that we’ve been doing for a while with different guests as well as one last founding member, John. And today we’re getting together for the first time in quite a while, just the three of us to catch up and talk about stuff that’s going on. So I’m going to skip the introductions.

Andrew: If people don’t know who we are, well, go back and listen to one of the other episodes. But what’s going on? What’s new? What’s happening? What’s changed? We recorded last, I would say it was just after the fire, so I think that was early, middle of summer, somewhere around there. It was the last time we talked, which is about six months ago. So this is recording.

Aidan: Well, other than rating Monkey Island for the [inaudible 00:01:38], it’s all been smoking scorpions, but it’s just been … it’s good. It’s been crazy times. End of the year is always crazy.

Fabeku: Awesome.

Aidan: I’m married to an accountant who’s also somewhat clairvoyant. So there’s this combination of stuff that begins before the end of the year that is … we are kind of shifting a full year ahead or two years out. So we run on a two-year plan at this point. And so it’s just working that stuff out and deciding what the focuses are going to be for that time period as best as we can, knowing that things change.

Aidan: But what are the targets? What are the time frames? Can we plan that enough that we can plan in some downtime? And then for me, it’s kind of backing away from the jewelry work for a while to focus on teaching and writing. So that’s the big one for me.

Andrew: How’s the preparation for teaching going? I mean, I’ve seen some on social media, but what’s that like for you?

Aidan: It’s been pretty crazy because I decided that I really wanted audio. Video was too cumbersome to try and share, I thought, and I wanted people to be able to listen to it in different places where they didn’t necessarily have rock-solid internet. And so it was a weird process.

Aidan: So I started recording before I was ready, which was good, so that broke me in a little bit, but it’s a different way of transmitting. And so it’s been very interesting figuring that out. But I like what’s coming along and the allies like what’s coming along. And they got, as usual with projects, way, way, way more involved than I somehow expect, so there’s a lot of that shaping influence in there that is how do I work in.

Aidan: “Okay. Since you’re only going to give me a quarter of the curriculum, how do I make it? Either give it all to me or stay out,” is what I would like to say in some ways. But it is good, but it is okay, so if that’s taken over these two sections of the class, what else are we going to run in a limited timeframe. But it’s fun. It’s been very fun.

Andrew: It’s awesome. Yeah. I really did teaching a lot. I think … I mean, I know Fabeku does too, right?

Aidan: Yeah, for sure.

Andrew: Yeah. How about you? What’s going on with you, Fabeku?

Fabeku: Let’s see. Yes. End of year, I pretended that I was taking December off and then had the busiest December I’ve had in any year. So not so much of a break, but it was mostly busy with good stuff, which was good.

Fabeku: Yeah. I mean, kind of similar to Aidan, looking at the next couple of years and figuring out what it looks like and what I want to do more of and what I want to do less of and definitely continuing to shift more and more to the teaching, the writing, the arts, a lot of art. That’s my question at this point.

Fabeku: How do I do more arts is the big $64,000 question. And this might be the year that I actually do a website for the arts, maybe. I’ve resisted that for years for all kinds of reasons, but yeah. So that might be a thing. But-

Andrew: Given you haven’t updated your website since 1842, I’m not sure-

Fabeku: Right. Exactly.

Andrew: … I’m not sure I believe you at that point.

Fabeku: Yeah, that’s the running joke. I’ve got the out-of-date website on the planet. Yeah, that’s the truth. Yeah. So just tons of art stuff, which has been good. I carved out some more time in the schedule this year to finish the book projects that I stalled at the end of the year between busy-ness and health stuff and I needed to get a new laptop and some other shifts.

Fabeku: But yeah, so I’m excited about that and just looking forward to, like said, more teaching, more art.

Aidan: How are you doing Andrew? What do you got going on? I know that you’ve got the shop open in your space, so how’s that going?

Andrew: So much is going on right now. So much is going on. I actually took 10 days off over the holidays, which is the first holiday that I’ve had in forever where I didn’t go anywhere or really do anything. I checked a few emails, but that was about it. And I took a bath every day, took a nap every day, really just tried to sink into that.

Andrew: I read a bunch and stuff like that. And I went from feeling exhausted from having reopened the store and rubbed my life through the fall to just feeling tired. So I feel like that’s a major way, right?

Fabeku: For sure.

Andrew: The store is going good. It’s reopened in a different neighborhood and I’m still wrangling with that. A lot of the same clients of course, but lots of different people. One of the things that’s been sort of challenging me about it lately is trying to account for theft as part of the process. Right?

Andrew: And it’s just like it’s almost every retailer tells me and knows it’s just a part of the deal. But in the old location, the combination of the size of the store and its location really minimized that stuff, whereas now, it’s definitely a thing that I’m paying a lot of attention to. And I feel a bit like it’s kind of a metaphor.

Andrew: I mean, it’s obviously a literal problem, but I’m viewing it a bit metaphorically for how I’m doing that longer-term planning that both of you guys are talking about. Right? I don’t want to be tired. I don’t want to get back to being exhausted. I don’t want to feel like I’m endlessly running around from thing to thing and I can’t get ahead of the Arkin and so on.

Andrew: And so really, looking at what’s making sense in terms of my energy and my attention, I absolutely love having the studio. I have this private studio space, which is beautiful. It’s like 300-square feet. It’s got a lovely set facing window and high ceilings and it’s a five-minute walk from my house.

Andrew: So basically, I have no excuse to not come and paints and draw and come see clients here and so on. It’s just really welcoming and lovely. And just looking at where are those things that are stealing my energy, that are stealing my attention? Where are those things where I’m not enthused to show a [inaudible 00:08:46] them and where are those things or what’s getting in the way of the things that I’m saying I’m going to be doing, like painting every day or whatever.

Andrew: What’s actually interfering with that and what can I do to adjust that? Where do I make that space emotionally more than any other way? Because practically, the time is there, but emotionally, it’s not always there to continue to work on my next book, to wrap up this bacon wizard breakfast Oracle that I’m working on, all those things, right? They all have a drag on them from the tensions in the system.

Andrew: And I was talking before we got on the line here about how I rolled back my coffee consumption from ridiculous levels of caffeine and sugar to a manageable level. And I don’t want to go back into that space where it’s overdrive and you’re always pushing, pushing, pushing. It’s not the kind of space I want to be living in, so I’m just being really mindful of what I’m doing with my time and where I’m putting my energy and what are the actual returns.

Andrew: I mean, certainly financial but also emotionally and I don’t know their levels because sometimes there’s those things that seem like a great idea, but the returns are not what you thought you would get from them in the end. Right? And they ended up being, well, to be honest, a fucking hassle. It’s like, “Man, why did I do this? How do I learn not to do stuff like this again?”

Fabeku: I’ve thought so much about this in the last couple of years. I mean, in part, because the physical stuff has changed my bandwidth in a lot of ways. But I mean, I would say up until about a year, a year and a half ago with the business stuff, I was at a point where I was constantly booked nine to 12 months out. The calendar was not just full, it was kind of overcapacity in a lot of ways.

Fabeku: And it’s interesting because I think to a lot of people, that looked like success. I mean, every spot filled, booked forever and ever and ever, lots of money. And it was fine until it wasn’t. And then when I started to deal with some of this body stuff and would have to shift stuff around in the schedule, I’m like, “This is fucking impossible.” I’ve got a 12-month calendar.

Fabeku: How the fuck do I move these people around without causing some ridiculous cascade that goes for three months and then all of a sudden, this thing that I really worked hard to accomplish and make happen, it’s like, “No, I hate this. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Fabeku: And really taking a lot of steps in the last couple of years to just … I think for me, it was about redefining, like you said, what’s important, what the returns are, what makes sense, what success looks like. And just deciding that, “Yeah, I don’t want a calendar that’s booked 12 months out. I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to be scheduled every single slot of the day as sometimes I’d like to sleep in or I’d like to spend the morning painting or whatever it is.”

Fabeku: And that’s been a big thing and I think in some ways, like I said, I’ve had to do it because of some of the physical stuff, but … And in some ways, it’s been one of the best things because it really required me to take a way more conscious look at, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? And does this actually make sense? Is this the shit you want to do?”

Fabeku: And all of a sudden, I looked down and it’s like, “Oh no, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this and I want to do way less of this and way more of these three or four things.” And I think that’s been so much of what the last, especially a year and a half, for me has been. It’s just been remixing all of it and redistributing the weight to what I’m doing and why I’m doing this. It’s been a big deal.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. I made a change when I opened the studio, coming back from the fire that I only open a month ahead of time, like a week before the end of the month usually because I realized that otherwise, you end up with these commitments further afield than you can wrangle, right? Or that aren’t easy to wrangle.

Andrew: And I think that one of the values to me, and I think for you too, is this ostensible freedom with being an independent person. But it’s very easy to lose any actual access to that freedom of schedule, right?

Aidan: Yes. Yes.

Andrew: To be like, “Oh, can I do whatever?” It’s like, “Oh, well. No, I can’t. I have a day full of clients and I can’t easily move that.” And instead, just setting up those things so that there’s a limit and … Yeah, it’s great being booked ahead for sure, but I don’t want to be booked six weeks ahead.

Andrew: I want to be two weeks ahead and then be deciding what my next month looks like depending on opportunities and other things that are going on and all that kind of stuff.

Fabeku: Yeah. For me, it drove the point home when a friend of mine who lives in Florida, she wanted to come in for a visit and she said, “Well, when are you free?” And I looked at the calendar and I’m like, “10 months from now.” What the fuck is this? It doesn’t make any sense. And you’re right. It’s that kind of thing.

Fabeku: And all of a sudden, I felt like … and it’s not that, I’m not saying it’s the same thing, but I felt like the person that’s working for somebody else that had already used their vacation time and then wasn’t going to be free until next year. It’s like, “This doesn’t make sense. This isn’t the life that I want to live at this point.”

Fabeku: And for years, it was fine. I loved it and enjoyed it and it was … I thrived in that environment. But I think that’s for me, why I continue to look at this coherence as a process thing as opposed to some destination. It just stopped being coherent and I’m glad that all of us have the freedom to reshuffle the deck as we need to.

Aidan: Yeah. I think, I mean, it sounds like we’re all very much in the same place because that’s what I got hit with the jewelry, is I went from the people who buy it at whatever rate they buy it and then I build according to what they bought and then custom work in there. And I dropped that and went to like, “I’ll just offer collections and see how that goes.”

Aidan: And what I found was those were fine ways to actually generate enough money for us to get by. The time that it takes for me to do what I like in that or what I want to do in that process is so immense that even when I wasn’t booked forward, even when I was building the collections, it’s still like, “No. I need all day, way too many days out of a month to dedicate to this,” which is on one level, fine, because I love the work.

Aidan: But because there’s so much … and this is probably true for all three of us … there’s so much emotional and magical energy tied into what we’re doing that the exhaustion level was just not reasonable.

Fabeku: Yeah.

Aidan: And again, realizing at some point, you go, “Okay, what am I actually interested in?” And for me, it’s … both me and my allies are fully invested in this transmission to those people that maybe we can help. And it seemed like for a long time, that the talismanic work was the best way to do that.

Aidan: And again, I love the whole process of it, but in the last, I guess like six months, that really shifted to like, “No, I really want to be producing books so that that is a wide range thing that can I go.

Aidan: And then I want to teach classes where I can really engage with people because there’s no time to do that with the jewelry work that I was doing in a way that I would like to kind of go, “Okay, this is what’s … this is how some of the stuff that I want to share works. And then let’s engage about it so that we can get somebody rolling,” in a way that I felt like I couldn’t before. Yeah.

Fabeku: And I think that exhaustion piece, that’s always the sign. And I think … But I mean, how long does it take us or anybody to catch that? Most of the time, the solution is more coffee, more sugar, more shit food, more donuts, whatever it is for however long we can until … For me anyway, I reached the point that it’s like, “Yeah, more caffeine isn’t going to fix this.”

Fabeku: The problem is not a caffeine deficiency. Whatever expenditure is happening, it’s no longer coherent. And so it’s taking more than it’s giving. And yeah, I mean, I think that for me is always the sign, whether it’s in a relationship or a business thing or whatever that, “Yeah, something has changed and so you need to change your response to it.”

Andrew: For sure. Yeah. Well, I think that when you start showing up differently to places, it’s like that’s the problem, right? And that’s the problem with me in the fall where I was just really run down from relationship stuff. A couple of long-term relationships ended for me in the fall.

Andrew: And from reopening the store, which was no small amount of work and trying to wrangle that, but also in a completely new way that I would show up and things would just be making me crusty and I’d be like, “Oh man, what’s up with that?” And I think that’s another sign, right? When small things are … if they were singular, a small thing just irritates you so much.

Andrew: You’re just like, “Ah.” It’s like, “Oh, that’s also a good sign,” where it’s like, “Man, I just got to step back from this somehow. I got to change this dynamic,” because showing up with that energy is not good magically for anything, right?

Aidan: Yeah. For sure.

Andrew: That is one of those situations where you can’t start to influence what’s going on with your vibes. Right?

Aidan: Yeah.

Andrew: And that’s not ideal at all. Right? That’s just not helpful, so.

Fabeku: Well. And I think too when that exhaustion kicks in at such a deep level, how do you funnel the energy that you need into the magic? How do you fuel it? There’s no fucking fuel there at some point. It’s like you can sit in the car with no gas and jam the pedal down, but good luck. And there’s just … and I think that’s the thing.

Fabeku: Yeah. And for me, that was another reason that I wanted to shift things because it’s like if I can’t fuel the art and the magic, which really to me, are the most important out of any of the things on the list, then what am I doing? If I don’t have fuel for that shit, then something has gone really seriously sideways for me.

Andrew: Yeah.

Aidan: Yeah. And it’s interesting too because we would like to believe that there’s infinite capacity and there just isn’t. And so at the point that I was working on the book, which is … it’s mostly done. It needs a bunch of revision, but … and I realized I couldn’t get the space to even do the revision, doing the jewelry the way that I was. And there’s another three books waiting behind that one that are in process to some degree, though they’re at their beginning stages.

Aidan: Then it became really clear, like what’s more important here? It’s like, “Yes, I can make another thousand pieces of jewelry,” which I know is helpful to people and it’s helpful again, financially to me. And I love the process, but this other thing is more important. So what’s an appropriate feeder to that work?

Aidan: And it’s like, “Well, then I’d rather more directly involved with the people that are using the material to figure out what’s translating and what’s not translating so that I can get a clearer transmission.” So the jewelry and the books was no longer working, but the classes and the books seem like they will. So it’s okay. I have to let go of that piece for the most part.

Aidan: And it’s not saying it won’t come back someday, but there’s enough on the table that it doesn’t work with that, that I had to make that shift.

Andrew: Yeah. There’s time when we’ve been talking about teaching some here, but we’ll jump in with one of the questions that somebody posted on somewhere, Facebook, maybe. When you’re teaching, what do you learn from that process? What have you learned about yourself from that process?

Andrew: How does teaching or does teaching change the way you think about things or talk about things? What’s that role for you around that stuff?

Aidan: I mean, for me, I haven’t done direct teaching since the 90s except whatever goes on, on a small scale, but kind of focused work. So it’s interesting. So the prep work for that really gets me clarifying how I think and how I feel about stuff because my problem is a lack of … I could do so much that it’s like, “Okay, but what’s a useful collection?

Aidan: What’s a useful tool of collection?” I don’t want to just go and hit up the hardware store and throw every tool available into the box.

Andrew: Step one, buy a hardware store.

Aidan: So yeah, it’s definitely … which is kind of unfortunately not a bad metaphor for how some folks approach all this stuff, right? Buy every tool in the hardware store and learn how to use it. It’s like, “No, what we need is we need to get you the little lunchbox size, little kit that has a few things that you can do some stuff with.” But that also has to have depth.

Aidan: And so I’m kind of the anti-complexity guy, so it’s how do you get a coherent little package to use that term that somebody could either use as part of a larger thing or on its own. And so it really does. For me, it’s been super clarifying is what I would say.

Fabeku: Yeah. And I agree with that. So for me, I saw that a lot when I did last year. I think I did … it was like three weeks on hyper centrals, four weeks maybe. And it was interesting because I mean, that’s the thing I’ve done forever and I could talk about it for six months and I didn’t want to because I don’t think it was necessary. It’s like you said.

Fabeku: It’s like, “Here’s the lunchbox size kit on hyper sigils that also talks about things that a lot of people don’t talk about and gives you plenty of room to take those as far as you want for decades into the future without also simultaneously overwhelming you into thinking of, ‘Fuck, this is such a big thing. I’m never going to be able to use this or it’s going to take me forever to get this.”

Fabeku: And I mean, so I think that’s one of my main considerations. It’s like what’s the minimum information you need to use this immediately and effectively? And that’s what I’ll teach. And some things, maybe we circle back some things, maybe we stretch out, like the divination thing I did last year and six months and that was a lot.

Fabeku: We’ve dug into a ton, but I think that … and the other thing I’m always thinking about is like how do I teach things in a way that anybody with any magical ecology can make use of this? Right? I don’t care if you’re a Buddhist, if you’re a Christian, if you’re an atheist, if you’re a Satanist, whatever, it doesn’t matter. I want you to be able to take this and plug it into your magical ecology and use it.

Fabeku: It’s not … because if you have to adopt mine in order to use it, then for me, I think I failed as a teacher. Right? I mean, outside of teaching traditional practices or whatever. But you that’s a big thing. So for me, it’s always a question of, what’s actually essential to the practice and what’s my own shit that I built around either preferences or magical aesthetics or whatever, that doesn’t really matter to anybody other than me?

Fabeku: And have I stripped enough of that away so that anybody can take this thing and run with it? That’s always a big consideration for me.

Aidan: Yeah, totally. That makes sense. There’s a practice that I’m teaching in the class that I have coming up that I actually went out to the Salvation Army and bought all new pieces to put together because I could see people getting fixated on the aesthetic that I personally use, which is really not relevant to the practice.

Aidan: So it’s like, “Okay, let’s go see what I can pick up for five or 10 bucks that can assemble this structure so that it’s not as linked to what’s going on in my alter.” Because that’s just my artistic sense and my aesthetic and what me and my spirits have come together on as a language that works. Right? And that’s totally not necessary, but it’s what people tend to get hooked on.

Andrew: Well, that’s the Instagram era, right? You know what I mean? So it circles back to the originating the thing about the name of this group. Right?

Aidan: Absolutely.

Andrew: How do ensure you stack the skull?

Aidan: Stack the skulls.

Andrew: The higher they are, the [inaudible 00:26:36] you are. tack. Right? There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but the aesthetics over there are not super relevant.

Aidan: Yeah. Not on a wider level. It’s that thing that I talked about in six ways, right? That there’s … I think that people, and I used to definitely have this, get super focused on this specific stuff, but the specific stuff is always super context and aesthetics fits in there. And what really is more relevant is what’s the general thing that is not necessarily universally applicable but more universally applicable.

Aidan: And in the age where we’ve got pictures of everything, it definitely can get really hung up. You got to have this thing that looks just like that.

Andrew: Well, and just, because it looks good doesn’t mean that it’s alive. Right?

Aidan: For sure.

Andrew: Because there’s the other piece.

Fabeku: Yes.

Andrew: Yes. I mean, I think that there are lots of things that I run across and not that I have to feel anything from everything, but I’m like, “Oh, it doesn’t … I don’t feel any feedback from this at all.” And maybe the other thing that’s there just doesn’t want anything to do with me.

Andrew: It’s possible, but maybe it’s just … there’s a failure to make that connection. Right? Just something [crosstalk 00:28:00] because the work itself that would support that connection is not strong, but the emphasis on all those other things is.

Fabeku: Yeah. I think that’s the thing. To me, the metric is, does this thing … can you feel it in your bones? Can you feel it in your animal body? If so, then who gives a fuck what it looks like? It doesn’t matter if it would make a great Instagram photo. That to me, that’s the wrong metric for shit like that. I mean, listen, I love the Instagram photos but in terms of magic, who cares? It’s irrelevant.

Aidan: Totally. Exactly. And it’s also funny because people get hung up I think. And again, I know that I did this when I started out, but you get hung up on things that are, again, specific. So my current shop is filled with halved pieces of fruit with two lights burning on it. I could make up this whole story about why this is the way to do this. And it’s like, “This is just what’s going on this week. I don’t really know why.

Aidan: It’s the thing that felt totally right.” I cut something in half and went, “Oh, man. That really needs candles on I,” and I could feel it and it works. And it’s also the same thing. Yeah, I mean, there’s so much weird shit in here right now because I think of who’s hanging out for the class if it is really aesthetically wrong from that or even my normal thing.

Aidan: I’ve got all of this beautiful stuff and the monster energies and the red bulls and shit. It’s like, “What the fuck?” Old candy canes that I stole from the gym after Christmas. But there’s people who like those. I’m not going to buy them if I can have them.

Fabeku: I think people even do the same thing. When I was teaching the sigils course, it’s one of the main reasons that I didn’t take any pictures of the sigils that I drew because then suddenly people think, “Oh, well. That’s what a sigil should look like you.” No, this is what they currently look like. Over the last 30 years, they looked a million different ways.

Aidan: [crosstalk 00:30:03] shit.

Fabeku: I mean, the first time, they looked exactly like the Pete Carroll sigils in his book. I think that’s the thing and I get it and I think that people … I think it’s so easy to fall into that subconscious even. It’s not so much, “Let me copy Fabeku’s sigil,” it’s, “Let me copy Aidan’s alter.” It’s, “Oh, well.

Fabeku: This is somebody who knows what they’re doing, and so this is what it should look like so let me try to make it look like that.” And then, great. So then your brain says, “Okay, good job. You drew a sigil that looks like a sigil,” and then it doesn’t do shit because like you said, Andrew, it’s not alive. It’s a thing that looks like a thing, but it’s not the thing.

Andrew: Or you end up in a cycle. One of the things that I’ve learned from teaching or been really clear about going into teaching, and I’ve learned how to make that happen is, I started in a school of thought that says, “Only the only the hammer from the top of Mt. Everest hardware store was acceptable.” Right? And by the way, only on the third full moon of the year and-

Aidan: On Monkey Island.

Andrew: Right, exactly. Not the usual Everest, the secret Everest. It’s inside the hollow woods-

Aidan: The secret Everest inside Monkey Island.

Andrew: … which is inside the hollow woods. So you got to get in the hollow woods, you got to find the doppelganger, Himalaya Mountains and then you got to find the hardware store and you’d better bring their currency because they don’t accept dollars. Whereas every town’s got a hardware store. Right?

Andrew: And what you find there is great. It’s totally acceptable and if you want or need something else, there’s a point at which that becomes aesthetic in personal taste, which is great. And if it helps you get in the mood, that’s fantastic. And if it helps you feel aligned or if a spirit you have … there are times where somebody taps on my shoulder and says, “Hey, I want that.”

Andrew: I bought … Marcus McCoy makes these copper harvesting knives. Right? And as soon as I saw one of those, one of my guides was just like, “That is exactly the knife that I want you to take when we go do stuff.” I’m like, “Perfect.” And then I’m like, “But not with that thing on it,” because there’s like a triple spiral or whatever on it. So I was like, “All right, rushed markers right away.” I’m like, “Hey, can I get one of these?”

Andrew: “Of course.” But that’s specific, right? And that’s specific to that relationship. That is not universal. Right? And you may find that you do want or need something like that, but you may never need it or it may not fit your aesthetic. And that’s awesome too. It’s completely acceptable. Right?

Aidan: Totally.

Fabeku: For me, I love … and maybe this is part of the art stuff or not, maybe it’s just a personality thing, but I love shit like that and I love the collection like that. And I love the fancy silver pens for the sigils. And so there’s … I don’t make any apology for that, but one of the best things I did maybe 10 years ago was essentially put all of that stuff away and say, “Okay.

Fabeku: I’m doing sigils on white paper with a blue ballpoint pen,” which I hate and never use. Or, “I’m doing candle magic with a bag of dollar candles from the dollar store,” or whatever. And part of that was to see, does this actually matter? I mean, it matters to me, but does this actually matter in any wider sense? And it doesn’t. It really doesn’t. That’s the thing. What do you mean for sigil magic?

Fabeku: You need something to write within a piece of paper. That’s all you need. That’s it. If you want to get the fancy black paper and the pen, cool. Do it. But I think it’s a trap when we get stuck into thinking, “I have to have this. I have to have this.” Because that to me, it just doesn’t seem true.

Andrew: Yeah. I feel like that’s where one of those pieces around, “You definitely don’t have to have it.” And I also look to pursue my joy around it.

Fabeku: Yeah, absolutely.

Aidan: Absolutely on that.

Fabeku: Yes.

Andrew: I found these new pens at the art supply store. They’re called preppy pens and they come in different sizes, but they’re refillable with a cartridge and they’re … I think I paid like $7 for it and I’ve bought a lot of other much more expensive fountain pens and whatever. And these ones, the feel of them, the flow of them, they come in different colors.

Andrew: The outsides are color-coded and they’re just such a delight. And so every time I stop by the art store now, I buy another one because there’s somewhere in my life where one of those doesn’t live regularly. And I was just like, “Why am I drawing with this crappy pen when I can be drawing with this other nice one that I like?” And there’s a pleasure in that.

Andrew: But again, that’s so personal, right? That’s not … it adds something to the magic if I’m doing magic, but it’s also an active source of joy for me, which I think is also a super valid reason for things, especially if we don’t say that that actually matters in the end on any real big scale.

Fabeku: Well, it’s like for me. So as an example, I just made this batch of lunar talismans a couple of months ago and I mean, I went all out. I had fossil dugong ribs. I had literally a lunar media writer, all kinds of shit in there. I spent forever finding the stuff. And it’s not that I had to. I mean, again, like you said, it adds something. I mean, there’s clearly something added to these pieces because of what’s in them.

Fabeku: But part of it is I look at it as a piece of art. It’s like I’m putting the best stuff I can and there’s enormous joy for me in grinding up a lunar media writer, fossil cave bear toe or whatever. But the reality is, could I have gotten a stone from the ocean and made a lunar talisman?

Fabeku: Sure. Of course. But I think it is that weird thing. I don’t think it’s good to say it doesn’t matter because it does matter, but it’s not essential. And to me, there’s the-

Aidan: Right.

Fabeku: And I think the problem is in that people look at it and say, “Well, I can’t make a lunar talisman unless I have a lunar media writer.” And that’s bullshit. That’s complete bullshit. I love it. I love putting those pieces together in a way that’s artful and beautiful and whatever, but you don’t have to do that.

Aidan: Right. Yeah. I think that’s a big thing. Part of it comes out of I think … There’s a whole kind of literature that says that this has to be done this way. Right? And we see this and not just magic, but it’s extremely prevalent in magic. And that’s very weird to me as somebody who came from these chaos, magic background. Even though I feel like I’ve, in many ways, moved away from that into something else, that’s my own thing.

Aidan: That’s not consciously unrelated to it, but I was born there. Was that process of, “Well, what does this do? What does this piece of work do? What are the elements that actually matter here?” And then realizing that, “Yeah, there’s stuff that really triggers something in me that is optimization and stuff.” Like, “Yeah. There’s particular … if I got the hit that I needed to ride the bike up into South Mountain to collect dirt from there for something, I’m going to go do that,” because that’s legit.

Aidan: But it may not need to be dirt from there to do that work. That doesn’t mean you got to come out here and go up to South Mountain, which is how a lot of stuff’s written. And I think that it really has messed up a lot of folks because they do believe that if I can’t have a beeswax candle to do this piece of work, then I can’t do this piece of work.

Fabeku: I think that for me, I think that’s probably the best saying that I got out of the chaos magic stuff. You know what I mean? When you’re doing magic with silly putty and bones from chicken wings, you can’t really get too precious about, “Yeah, this is essential for magic.” It’s like, “Listen, really?” I mean, it’s just … For me, that really was the best thing.

Fabeku: Because I think before that, I think I was fairly precious about it or I thought it had to be this or had to be that. And there was some things I just didn’t have the money together. I didn’t have the resources for whatever it was. And I thought, “Well, I just can’t do that.” And then suddenly, chaos magic was like, “Well, actually, there’s other ways you can do shit.” And for me, that was a huge thing. A huge thing.

Aidan: Absolutely. And I remember, I’ve had a lot from the talismanic stuff. I would get people … and it’s lovely that somebody recognizes that the work that you do is potent. I would get folks from places in the world that what I charged for a piece of jewelry is like a year’s worth, going like, “I really want to do this. How do I …” and I would be like, “Don’t.”

Aidan: You’re targeting a specific tree that is not necessary. It’s just not necessary. And again, it’s like, “Sure, if you’ve got the ability. I do this thing too. There’s things that I have in here that I paid crazy money for because they really speak to me and I was in a position to do it.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Aidan: And sometimes, it was a stretch and sometimes that stretch was part of it, right? It’s not like that’s not a thing either. But again, it doesn’t … One of the things that we know, again, like teaching the protection stuff for the class is it’s all kitchen herbs. There’s no … it’s partially for that. It’s like, “I don’t know where you are.

Aidan: I’ve got people from different parts of the world. I’m not going to … I might suggest that you get some Aubrey Camino if you can because it works, but it’s really cool.”

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s always fascinating, right, that kind of stuff. And I think that also becomes this matter of like, “What do you have? What can you connect with?” Right? And it’s different depending on which practices, right? Like in the Aricia stuff, the specific plants are super specific, right?

Andrew: There’s no negotiating that beyond a certain point. There’s a little wiggle room, but there’s not a ton of wiggle room. Right. It’s just like-

Aidan: Totally.

Andrew: … “Okay, we’re going to do this. Therefore, we need these things. And if you don’t have them, I’m not exactly sure what we do,” right? But outside of specific traditions, there’s always those things. And it also becomes this question of, what do you have a dynamic of living connection with? Right? I just got back in after struggling to find a source for them for a while, Rose of Jericho, which is one of my all-time favorites, right?

Andrew: And I had a Rose of Jericho at the store that I’d had almost the entire time that the store had been open, I think. And then it was very dynamic and a living connection and it had all sorts of things that I had given it over time and worked with it in a lot of ways and it just wasn’t available and because getting stuff in Canada is complicated sometimes. And so when I finally found them, I’m like, “Great.”

Andrew: So now, not only is that are they available in the store, which is lovely, but even more so for me, I can now reconnect with that plant and start to have that process again through the direct connection.” But it’s like that also comes out of years of interaction and perhaps some natural affinity in some way or another. Right? But does everybody else need to not do financial magic if they don’t find a Rose of Jericho? Of course not. Right?

Aidan: Right.

Andrew: Like you said there, there’s a billion other bits and pieces. Are they really cool? Well, they are really cool. But also-

Aidan: Totally.

Fabeku: Well, it’s like … I’ve worked with Alice Wood for … I don’t know, 15, 16 years. It’s one of the plants I work with a ton and I’ve worked with it in all kinds of ways to the point that I’ve got this like grimoire of aloes wood magic. And my question is, “Well, if I give that grimoire to you, is it going to work?” Probably not. At least probably not in the same way because either you don’t have a relationship with the plant or you don’t have the same kind of relationship with the plant.

Fabeku: And to me, not better or worse, but it’s just different. And to me, I assume that what the plant … and I think this is my baseline assumption for a lot of this shit is that what the plant has given me is about the dynamic that I have with that plant. Not that I’m channeling some universal grimoire of aloeswood magic that anybody. That doesn’t make sense to me.

Fabeku: I don’t think that’s a real thing. And I again, I think … and that’s why I haven’t talked to … Some people have asked about it because I mentioned it in passing and I haven’t talked a lot about it because I have no idea if it’s going to work the same for anybody. And I use what is expensive and not always easy to get and whatever.

Fabeku: And I think it gives people the wrong impression that in order to do this, I need this plant or I need this. And I don’t think that’s true. My thing is find the relationship that you have that lets you do a similar thing that probably doesn’t have shit to do with aloes would. Maybe it’s Abra Camino, maybe it’s Rose of Jericho, whatever it is.

Fabeku: And I wish more people would talk about their practices that way instead of, “Here’s the universal gospel of aloes world.” It’s like fuck off with that. That’s not real.

Andrew: It’s like how people talk about their issues, right? They come into the store sometimes and they’re like, “I need Oshun candle because I need to attract some love of my life.” And I’m like, “Maybe.” But when we’re … for initiated practitioners, and I think that for people who practice in a traditional way, the reality is although Orishas have a certain affinity to certain kinds of things, the reality is that if you’re in good with shon go, you can fix your money, fix your home, you can fix your whatever.

Andrew: Right? The reality is this, at a certain point, it’s like having a good friend whose skill is not helping you hang drywall, but they’re going to come and help you heck drywall because they love you. And they’re like, “Sure, dude. I’ll do that. That’s fine. We can do that.”

Andrew: These energies can work with us in a broad sense of a way, especially and probably only if we’ve taken that time to build a deep and lasting connection with them and probably that rest on some affinity that is hard to trace and makes it not necessarily universal. Right? For me, one of the local plants is Murdoch, right. And it’s like, what do I need? Anything?

Andrew: I’m just like, “All right. Hey, Berta, you got a thing for this?” Like, “Yeah, just trim this little bit off the edge of the leaf and do blah, blah, blah with it and it’s going to fix this [inaudible 00:45:40] great.” I’m like, “Oh, you know what? I could dig up the whole root,” whatever. And it’s like, “But on the outside of the room, not the inside of the room.”

Andrew: It becomes a myriad of applications, which again, aren’t necessarily universal or maybe they are, it’s hard to say, but they don’t seem universal. But they come out of that direct relational experience of it.

Fabeku: I wish that was a point that was talked about more in the occult circles, right? Because every day, you see posts, “What’s the best term for love? What’s the best term for magic? What’s the best spirit for money?”It’s like, “Fuck.” I mean, I get it, but to me, that’s the wrong question. Anytime people ask that, my question back is, “Who do you have a relationship with?”

Fabeku: That’s the answer to that. Not some random spirit or plant or stone or whatever that knows fuck all about you and what you’re doing. Go to the spirits of the people you have relationships with. And I think … I don’t know how this happened, but this falling into this trap of treating spirits, any kind of spirit as this one-hit wonder, right? This is a lover, this is a … it’s just like, “Really? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Fabeku: And I just wonder how different people’s magic would look both in terms of the practice and the results if this relationship piece were more front and center. If it wasn’t this weird, utilitarian, one-note, “This spirit does this,” like, “[inaudible 00:47:10] is for love.” It’s like, “Come on. That doesn’t seem real.” But it seems like such a pervasive perspective on things.

Fabeku: And listen, I mean, I fell into the same shit for once. I’m not being critical of anything that I haven’t been guilty of myself, but it just seems to be such a big point. It just isn’t discussed enough.

Aidan: Yeah. I’ve been thinking about this in a particular context. I made a joke to Charlene Coop saying that there’s a way that people treat the name spirits like Tinder. We’re just going to look up and find somebody local that’s interested in getting down. Right? But usually, they’re not doing that to just get down.

Aidan: They’re doing that because they want something deeper. Right? On the spirit side. I don’t know what goes on the Tinder side, but I understand that’s a misapplication of Tinder. And I think it’s interesting-

Andrew: Every app. I think Tinder is a misapplication.

Aidan: Again, I’m out of those games largely. And one of the things that came up is then I had this … one of my trans things that happened a few days after that. I was thinking about that comment and I got this great vision and I was like, okay, so imagine that there’s like … in North America, let’s just say. In North America where the three of us are, but there’s 100,000 potential partners for us, right, that would suit us, each of us.

Aidan: But what ends up happening is that we’ve got the names and the photo of like 150 of them and so everybody wants to figure out which of those 150 would be a good partner. And to me, the thing is so much more than this wide-open of going, “No, I want to connect to the currents around me and the allies around me and then I want to work with them.

Aidan: I want to develop those relationships through the things that I’ve learned work for me to do that.” And then why would I go outside of that to try and get something done? Maybe if I had to, if that was what I was guided to, but I’m certainly not going to go hunt for that. I’m much more likely to come in here and go, “Hey, Rutan candles.”

Fabeku: Oh, that was the one that-

Aidan: I’ll buy you more energy drinks for this.

Andrew: Those are a lot of magical place course I taught. Right? Which is … and I’m going to be reteaching in the spring. It’s that energy of like, “All right, either where do those entities that you’re connected to show up in your environment or what your environment shows up for you. And how do you start to build that?” Right? And it’s just such a different approach. Right?

Andrew: One of the things that I had to remind people taking that class, “Look, identify the plant. Great. Please make sure it’s not secretly poisoned. Don’t pick Poison Ivy by mistake and fall in love with it and take a bath in it, and then write angry emails. But also don’t research it,” right? It’s not about researching it. At some point … and just enough to make sure that you’re safe and that you’re not like, “Oh, yeah.

Andrew: These berries look delicious.” And then all of a sudden … but allow that to expand. Working to allow that expansion to happen, that’s the actual work of becoming a better magician, right?

Aidan: Yes.

Andrew: It’s not necessarily just about knowledge and knowledge is lovely. And corroboration feels great when you’re like, “Oh, I really felt that this plant was good for this.” And then you Google it and 10 people say it’s good for that. You’re like, “Oh, it’s great. I’m making a genuine connection.” It feels great. Right?

Andrew: And we may need some of that some of the time, but also just being open and being connected in that mysterious way. I think that’s also really crucial to this process.

Fabeku: I totally agree. It’s like when people ask me, “How do I get to know this plant? Or how do I get to know the stone?” That’s the first thing I say, “Don’t Google it. Don’t look up what you know witchipedia says this.” It’s unnecessary. Right? To me, if you want to get to know a stone, if you want to research something, research it’s geology, research its mineralogy, but then sit with it.

Fabeku: Hang out with it just like you would a human being. Right? If I want to get to know Andrew, I’m not going to Google Andrew and read a bunch of ShowMe. I’m just going to … we’re going to hang out. I’m going to ask you what you like. I’m going to pay attention to the music you listen to. I’m going to see what you eat. I’m going to ask you questions. I’m going to see how I feel when I’m around you. That’s how you get to know shit.

Aidan: Yes.

Andrew: And I that is the key to Tinder’s app. [crosstalk 00:52:08]? People are like, “How do you have success on this thing?” I’m like, “That,” right? If you meet somebody and you’re actually interested in them other than just for something super transitory, actually do those things too. Right? Because people are like, “Oh, I don’t know what to do.” I’m like, “Find it with that person. Be curious.” Right? I don’t care if [inaudible 00:52:28].

Fabeku: No. I mean, at the end of the day, I agree. I think one of the best muscles to build as a magician is relationship building skills. That’s it. You don’t have to buy a million books. You don’t have to take a million courses. You don’t have to Google a bunch of shit. Just build a relationship with stones or plants or spirits the same way you would have people. It’s the same shit. It’s the same shit.

Aidan: And it’s crazy because it’s so common. All of this stuff is really common everywhere. And I saw this recently and I didn’t respond to it, though I probably should have. Somebody asked like, “So how do you get in? Where can I learn about connecting to desert spirits?”

Aidan: It’s like, “The only way that I really know is you get into that environment, whether this is … if you live near one, you can do that, but you can do this as kind of trancey stuff or daydreamy stuff of somehow connect to that space and to see what develops. See who you find. See who rises up and see what happens.” It’s funny though, because I think … everybody knows I’m a total gym rat, but I see this all the time in the conversations about that.

Aidan: Somebody will see somebody dead-lifting a world record and go, “Their form is wrong.” And you go, “That guy is the strongest in that move in the world ever. How is his form wrong? It worked.” That was the goal. It’s the goal. It has nothing to do with the thing you’re talking about. His goal was to pick up 1,008 pounds and stand up with it. So by definition, he did it right. And I think that’s good learning magic too all the time.

Fabeku: I think to me, the same idea … at least for me, the same idea applies in figuring out what to work with magically as it does hanging out with people. When I’m around people, I pay attention to how my animal body feels. Is there a pull? Is there … am I drawn to that person in whatever way? As a friend, it doesn’t matter whatever it is. It’s the same when I’m sitting with plants. I feel a ping toward this plant.

Fabeku: I don’t know this plant, but there’s a pull. So I want to know this plant more, this stone or this place or this river. And that to me is guided so much of my practice, and again, it’s the same with people. If I spot somebody and there’s a pull, then I’m curious about them. And I want to know more about them, whether it’s a friend or a partner, whatever, it doesn’t matter.

Fabeku: And me, that’s a decidedly different thing than Googling which plants work money magic. Too me, it feels like we’re coming at opposite angles. I mean, clearly, both can work, but for me, that pull is everything. And if I don’t feel it, I don’t give a fuck who told me this plant is great for money magic. If there was not that pull there, I’m not into it. I’ll keep looking until I feel it.

Andrew: It brings me to something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and this might be the perfect place to bring it up. We’ve all been in magic for a long time. Right? So I sound like an old person because I’m an old person. Stuff comes and goes and people are like, “All of it, this, all of it, that.”

Andrew: And I’ve been watching a big surge of witchcraft in which the energy going on around the store, in culture, in my social medias and stuff like that. And whenever I see a big sort of movement into something, I’m always like, “That’s really interesting. What is going on? What’s motivating that? How is that serving people?”

Andrew: I’m genuinely curious about that, right? And supportive of it. But I also wonder, because I understand how these things work, what’s going to happen next, right?

Aidan: Right.

Andrew: Because this idea that … and maybe I’m wrong, right? Maybe I’m just old and curmudgeonly, in which case, delete this episode, please. Let’s never speak of it again. But often, what happens is there’s this big sway into a thing and then a bunch of people find a deep and lasting affinity with it.

Andrew: And I’m really curious where those people are going to be in 10 or 15 years and what I’m going to get to learn from their journey through this stuff as they have a depth of practice under their belts in the same way that I learn now from those people who’ve already been doing these things for a stretch of time and have that.

Andrew: But I’m also curious about where those people who were looking for something and either they found it and moved on or they were looking for something else and it wasn’t here and then they moved on. We were talking about some … Aidan said something earlier about, they’re actually looking for something deeper. Right?

Andrew: And one of the things that I’ve been really noticing, which I find fascinating, is that I see a lot of people who’ve been all in on the witchy fronts over the last year or a couple of years starting to … their posts and maybe their magic … I don’t know what they’re doing privately, but certainly, their public stuff. It’s starting to take on a much more explicitly therapeutic approach.

Andrew: There’s a lot more people talking about trauma, dealing with trauma. There’s a lot more people leaning … not abandoning the magic side of it, but leaning into stuff where the relationship that they’re trying to sort it the most is ultimately that relationship with themselves. Right? And I mean, I think that’s always smart. I think that it’s a great thing to get into around doing magic in general.

Andrew: Certainly, it was a good chunk of my practice at one point to do therapy as a way of freeing myself in order to heal myself or to … I mean, not just be a better magician, but certainly, be better at magic and better in my relationships and all those things. But I’m curious if you’ve seen that or if you’ve seen other things, what do you think around that stuff? I know I just said a million things, but responses, please.

Aidan: I mean, I see that. I think that we are … For whatever reason, I mean, we’ve got this crazy thanks to social media and the news cycle and everything else. We have this much clearer view if you’re able to step back from it. There’s really multiple ways of being in this world that are not really congruent. Right? When I was growing up, there was a lot of messaging that in the end, everybody wants the same thing.

Aidan: Right? And that’s not what I see now. No. We want very different things and we are not supportive of the other. And I think that this is that. I think it is the evolution of that trauma. And so I think that there’s a lot of that out there and there’s maybe just more … maybe it’s gotten to the point where it’s so overt that poor people are willing to do that work because I definitely get fed tons and tons of that work for my allies, both for me and then to share with people.

Aidan: It’s an interesting thing as to the … Again, I think that the media cycling is really interesting around magic. I just think it’s fascinating because there are those who totally freak out every time. And I always remember there’s a line from Quadrophenia by the who, a very old record of the slide where he says, “It’s sadly ecstatic that your heroes are news.”

Aidan: And I see that constantly around the witchcraft stuff in the last couple of years. People are like, “Yay, we got it on TV.” And, “Oh, my God. It’s so bad.” It’s like, yeah, but don’t trip. It’s just this is what goes on.

Andrew: Well, it was like … what was it? Last week or the week before that bullshit article, I think it was in the independence that some journalists wrote like, “Oh, I tried magic for a week and it doesn’t work.” And everybody was so upset about it. And I get it. I mean, it was a bullshit article, but I mean, to me, it was just kind of like, “Who cares?” I mean, I get it. It was a shitty thing to publish, but does this do anything to magic?

Andrew: Does this do anything to people who actually give a fuck about it that are seriously interested in it? I mean, it was … I mean, she was wearing some witch’s Halloween costume in the photo. What did you think the piece was going to be? It was bullshit from the beginning. And magic has been around way before this and it’s going to exist way after this.

Andrew: And I don’t know if it’s just a function of, like you said, getting older or just having limited bandwidth, but I didn’t really get the upset about it. I mean, which doesn’t just say people shouldn’t be upset, but for me, it was just like, “Okay, next.” I mean, it was nonsense. Who cares?

Andrew: Like Rumi says, right? The real work is done by somebody outside digging in the dirt, right? There’s all these other bits and pieces and trappings and maybe they’re important. Maybe they’re a part of your journey. Maybe media representation for who you are is important for any number of reasons, but also, it’s like that piece, a piece I shared this week from … I think we all shared it … from Jason Miller. Right?

Andrew: Where it’s like, “Just do the work. It doesn’t matter if you feel like it or don’t feel like it. If you’re committed to a relationship with the spirit or doing magic or …” I remember this when I used to do a LIBOR rash, right? The four times a day solar adoration that Crowley and his various descendants propose. Right? Speaking of finding the hammer at the top of the Himalayan Mountains.

Andrew: It’s like trying to do something four times a day at the four quarters of the day, every day. Definitely, it’s overly complicated. I’m not sure that it’s actually necessary per day. It can be, but it’s … yeah. But so many times, it just never felt like it. Right? And not to say that I did it 100% because I didn’t. I really literally, over two years, maybe I did two months, 100% of that at the peak of it because it’s really difficult.

Andrew: But the successes that I had, and that’s sort of 75% or 80%, which is more like the average of what I was accomplishing came because I was like, “I don’t feel like it but I going to do it, so let’s do it.” And even at one point, I remember talking to a friend of mine about it and he was like, “Well, some traditions, you yell at your gods to try and call them down.”

Andrew: So maybe just … whatever. I just remember reciting it one day and just every second word was, “Fuck this, fuck that, fuck you. Fucking sick of being here and this whole thing,” and I broke through something and it got better. But, yeah. It’s complicated the relationship to these things.

Fabeku: Yeah. And I think that to me is what’s interesting about … and going back to … we were talking about with representation and news cycles and all of that. The conversation in the last handful of years about the whole witches of Instagram stuff and I have very mixed feelings about it and at the end of the day, who gives a fuck what my feelings are about it? But all of the conversations about how this has turned magic into some joke. It’s like, “No, it hasn’t. This hasn’t done shit to magic.”

Andrew: Magic is always a good joke.

Aidan: Magic is the joke that gets you killed.

Andrew: That’s the actual history of it, right?

Aidan: Yeah. So the fact that it’s on TV and they aren’t burning those people.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I think-

Aidan: That’s positive references for sure.

Fabeku: My thing is it’s like this has been around forever. And if the witches of Instagram thing, if 5% of the people that fall into that end up being solid practitioners, I think that’s fucking rad. And I don’t really give a shit about the other 95%. It doesn’t feel like my problem to care about. I think magic will filter those people out over time. And I guess … I don’t know. I mean, again, I get it.

Fabeku: Because I do think … I mean, like we talked about in the beginning, I think it’s problematic. It gives people the sense that magic has to be this photogenic, heavily filtered, photograph of whatever. And that’s nonsense. But I don’t know. I guess I just feel like magic is bigger than that and I don’t really sweat shit like that. And even if I find it personally annoying, which I do, but-

Andrew: I feel like it’s … sometimes I think it’s helpful to have the same conversation in different context. Right? So when I was 16, I tried to be in Goth for a week, seven days. That was as long as I lasted. And I realized … I tried to do it because I hung out with all these Goths, right? I was like, “Oh, well. This is fun and I could dye a hair black and put it up like Robert Smith and whatever.”

Andrew: It’s pretty amusing. Maybe I’ll show some pictures sometime. But what I realized was, “No, no, no, no. I should actually have a Mohawk and I’m way more punk rock than I’m Goth.” And it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with that week of trying a day or two, right? I tried it for a week and I learned something very important, “Hey, this isn’t for me. I’m just going to keep rolling.”

Andrew: And I think that, like all of us, right? I started … people today might call it grimoire focus, but certainly like traditional ceremonial magic and Crowley and all that stuff. And I moved into other things and moved into other things and that’s fantastic, right? Because that’s the way it goes. That is if you happen to find a thing that you’re in lifelong practice, lovely.

Andrew: If you don’t find what you’re looking for or hopefully, maybe more to the point, it grows and evolves as you’ve grown and evolved as a person, well, then just keep evolving. It doesn’t matter. There’s no shame in any of that.

Fabeku: Yeah.

Aidan: Yeah. I think too, it’s interesting because I have to remember how differently wired people are, right? Because this is one of the things that has always blown my mind around the magical world and this is primarily around the wick end of things is where I’ve seen it. And this is not to bash on that at all. It’s just not my thing.

Aidan: I have always been incredibly confused at the, “Let’s get whatever our angle is represented accurately according to some specific definition so that it’s acceptable to people.” And you go, “This doesn’t work anywhere.” Yeah. Right? This hasn’t worked for … Yes. You could end up at the big table of religions. It doesn’t even work in there.” Look at America now and how acceptable Muslim religion is right now.

Aidan: Right? So why is this a target? I’ve never got it. Because to me, it’s so individual. It’s like what is your … and it goes back to that thing. What is your relationship to this process, to these powers, to these entities or to these deities? If you do deity work, that’s what’s irrelevant. Everything else is out of your control anyway. You might … yeah. Go ahead.

Andrew: Says the man who lives in a small house with a bunch of animals at the edge of America. Right?

Fabeku: That’s true.

Andrew: I mean, I think I wonder where you’re more community and socially minded and less … I don’t know if hermetic, Kermit-like is the right word, but a range of practice if that would change how you felt about it.

Aidan: It’s interesting because I spent a lot of time living in cities and probably the most overt I’ve ever been in was living in San Francisco. But this was also a different time and it is one of the downsides of the social media thing that I definitely see is in the 80s and the earliest 90s really before pictures happened on the internet, freaky concept for some people that are not as old as we are, it was not a thing.

Aidan: I hung out with people who were hermetic magicians who were Elamites, who were various Orisha angle’s Santeria practitioners, Wiccans, what we would now consider traditional witchcraft, which basically meant that they really liked Paul Husan rather than Gardiner or whatever. And there was no real need to overly categorize that it was way more … No, you practice something that means something to you.

Aidan: We should have coffee. I would like to see more of that than what we see. But even in that context, it’s like, “Man, the ceremonial people have always despised my approaches.” And that just became funny. It’s like, “Yeah, well, we’re not doing the same thing. That’s evident. So you don’t have to like it. I only have to like it.”

Andrew: Sure. For sure.

Fabeku: Yeah. I wonder how much of that’s a function of the punk scene on all of this, right? Because I’ve been the same … I don’t give a fuck. I do, “What works for you doesn’t have to look like what it looks like for me. And if you’re a cool person, I’m cool to hang out. I don’t give a fuck if you work with angels or Satan or Jesus or Buddha or not. I don’t care.”

Fabeku: And I guess I’ve never felt that push to make sure all of our shit looks the same. It’s never been something that matters to me. And it also has really never mattered to me if you understand why my shit looks this way. It seems irrelevant in some ways. Yeah. But I get that for a lot of people, it’s not.

Fabeku: That seems like a really important thing and the differences seem threatening or confusing or whatever. And that’s just never something that’s registered with me. My brain doesn’t work that way, I don’t think.

Aidan: Yeah. And I think you’ve got something there too about the punk thing for me at least, because there weren’t enough punks to just hang out with punks when I was coming up, though my mom flipped out and made me remove one of them. I remember getting both of my ears pierced at like 14, which was just not done where we were. That clearly was not cool.

Aidan: Because then, how do you determine which queer makes you queer? Right? But so we hung out with everybody that was a little freaky, which was a really weird population. Like at my high school, the first one … Fabeku and I had a briefly talk about that.

Aidan: The first high school that I went to, that freak contingent was the hippie kids, a couple of Goth kids, the drama club with a small contingent of knife fighting behind the school low riders, a few metal heads and a few … this kid, Clint, who did escape from Korea, the wrong side of Korea. So yeah. It was never. It’s just like, “Are you cool to me?” Right? That’s all I care about.

Aidan: And that same thing, that was my initial approach to magic and there was a point where that switched where people got really heated. Again, there were people that told me I was going to hell for doing LIBOR restaurant or whatever when I was in the OTO, but I never just could take any of that seriously.

Andrew: If only it was so easy to get to hell.

Aidan: We could have skipped the whole Monkey Island thing.

Fabeku: Right? I just could raid the library and come back to take a look at that book. It’s got teeth. Let’s take it.

Aidan: Exactly.

Fabeku: Yeah. And I think for me … and it was the same way at my school. I mean, there was literally four or five punk kids were sort of Goth punk hybrid or something. But it was just all the weirdos hanging out. And for me, I love that. I mean, it expanded my artistic horizons. It expanded my music. It expanded my sense of people.

Fabeku: And I guess I’ve always felt that way largely about magic stuff. I mean, even shit that I’m not really interested in. It’s been interesting to run into people that are just rolling on entirely different tracks. And so yeah, I don’t know. This idea that we all need to be on the same page and then I’m pretending that my track is better than your track, it’s the silliest shit.

Fabeku: I just don’t get it. Yeah. I can’t make sense of that in my head. And it doesn’t seem to be true at all in practice. I mean it just seems to be bullshit.

Andrew: Well. Maybe this is a good spot to wrap up today’s conversation by saying, “Hey, folks. Go follow where it leads you. Go get inspired about what you’re inspired about. And reach share because we’re freaking curious about it, even if we’re never going to do the same thing because it’s just wonderful,” right?

Fabeku: Yeah.

Andrew: For sure.

Aidan: Exactly. All roads lead to Monkey Island.

Andrew: All roads lead to Monkey Island. And if you find-

Aidan: And if you’re interested in-

Andrew: … please let us know.

Fabeku: So let us know.

Andrew: [crosstalk 01:15:37] submarine. All right. Aidan, where are you hanging at online these days? Where should people come and connect with you?

Aidan: Aidanwalker.com and then all the various social media stuff; Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I can be found. And if you happen to find this before the 31st at midnight, I’m teaching a class starting the 2nd of February. So registration is open up till the 31st of January midnight.

Andrew: Beautiful. Fabeku?

Fabeku: Fabeku.com and Facebook. That’s it.

Andrew: Perfect. And I am @hermitslamp everywhere, or thehermitslamp.com and Instagram being in my point of view, despite all our commentary today at the pinnacle of social media existence. So definitely, come and check me out there. All right, folks. Thanks for taking the time today. I really appreciate it as always.

Fabeku: Thank you.

Aidan: Thank you.

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