Psychedelic Magic
Full-day Workshop
– Julian Vayne at Treadwell’s

Saturday 20 October 2018
@ 11:00 am – 5:30 pm | Deposit: £40
Price: £75 (Deposit £40, balance of £35 due on the day)
Time: Arrive 10.50 for 11 am start. Ends 5.30 pm
Treadwell’s Bookshop, 33 Store Street, WC1E 7BS, London.
Telephone: 020 7419 8507
Email: info@treadwells-london.com

Psychedelic Magic
Full-day Workshop – Julian Vayne

This full day teaches how to achieve psychedelic states without drugs, using methods including shaking, spinning, dancing, drumming and breathwork. It also shows how to to introduce intentions into these states, to create change in yourself and the world. Combining traditional shamanic knowledge and modern neurological research, this workshop is a highly accessible day of practical technique. It is suitable for both experienced practitioners and people new to exploring altered states of awareness. Small class allows individual attention: max 16 attendees.
Julian Vayne has been practising magic for thirty years. Also a writer, he is best known for his chaos magic writings, most recently Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony.
www.treadwells-london.com/event/psychedelic-magic/

Out There
The Transcendent Life and Art
of Burt Shonberg
Spencer Kansa

Featured


Out There
The Transcendent Life and Art of Burt Shonberg
Spencer Kansa
Format: Softcover / 256 pp / illustrated in colour
ISBN: 978-1-906958-79-4
£30/US$45
Subjects: Art/American Underground/Biography/Film Studies.

From the late-1950s until his premature death in 1977, Burt Shonberg was one of the most highly admired artists in Los Angeles. During this period, his eye-popping murals graced the facades and interiors of popular coffeehouses and hip clubs on the Sunset Strip; his paintings adorned several notable rock album covers, and his haunting portraits featured prominently in Roger Corman’s film adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and The Premature Burial.

Born in 1933, Shonberg grew up in the all-American beach town of Revere, Massachusetts, where, according to his friends, he spent most of his time drawing and indulging in his love of monster movies. After graduating high school, he studied for two years at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and then, after a brief spell in the army, he ventured to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a commercial artist.

Soon after he settled in L.A., Shonberg became the lover of the legendary occult artist Marjorie Cameron who turned him on to the teachings of the Edwardian magus Aleister Crowley and introduced him to the mind-warping properties of peyote. Shonberg also embraced the Fourth Way system of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, and his canvases began to reflect the mystical illumination inspired by his higher states of consciousness.

In 1960, the artist was chosen by Dr. Oscar Janiger to participate in his groundbreaking study into the effects of LSD-25 on the creative process. Although Shonberg regarded himself as a magical realist, his remarkable renderings of his hallucinogenic visions led many of his acolytes to regard him as the preeminent psychedelic artist of the era, and in the words of his friend and fellow painter Walter Teller, “Burt was the artist of Laurel Canyon.”

Yet despite his popularity and status, Shonberg’s artistry has been criminally overlooked in all historical accounts of the Southern Californian art scene, until now. Out There redresses this injustice and brings some long overdue recognition to L.A.’s greatest lost artist, in a book illustrated with rare examples of his incandescent artwork.

“Spencer Kansa has time traveled. Knowing Burt as well as I did, it really does feel, from his assessments and descriptions, that Spencer actually knew him as well, and Burt for sure would have dug him. They would have had a good time. I can see Burt smiling. I’m serious.”
Hampton Fancher, screenwriter, Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049.

Read Spencer Kansa interview about Burt Shonberg and Bohemian Los Angeles with the LA Review of Books
lareviewofbooks.org/article/burt-shonberg-and-bohemian-los-angeles-an-interview-with-spencer-kansa/

Author’s bio:
Spencer Kansa is the author of Wormwood Star, a biography of the American artist and occult icon Marjorie Cameron (Mandrake of Oxford). His debut novella Zoning is published by Beatdom Books. His interviews with literary legends William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowles and Herbert Huncke feature in Joe Ambrose’s book Chelsea Hotel Manhattan (Headpress).


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#scifi

# Gurdjieff

# oscarjaniger

#forrestackerman

#psychedelic

#psychedelia

#beatniks
#ufos

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#arthurlee

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#lsdart

#lsdtrip

#lsd25

#beatgeneration

#randycalifornia

#spiritof76

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#surrealism

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#abstract

#dali

#picasso

#avantgarde

#bohemian

#cafefrankenstein

#monstermovie

Wormwood Star
The Magickal Life
of Marjorie Cameron
(revised & enlarged)
Spencer Kansa

Featured

9781906958602

This New Edition features fascinating new insights and info,
as well as over 20 new images.

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Ebook editions:
Click here for Kindle UK edition

Click here for Kindle USA edition


Wormwood Star
The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron
Spencer Kansa
Format: Softcover/302 pp/illustrated.
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906958-60-2 (was 978-1-906958-08-4)
£13.99/US$24
Subjects: Biography/Magick/Thelema/Art/American Underground/Film Studies

In the first ever biography written about her, Wormwood Star traces the extraordinary life of the enigmatic artist Marjorie Cameron, one of the most fascinating figures to emerge from the American Underground art world and film scene.

Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, in 1922, Cameron’s uniqueness and talent as a natural born artist was evident to those around her early on in life. During World War 2 she served in the Women’s Navy, and worked in Washington as an aide to the Joint Chiefs Of Staff. But it was after the War that her life really took off, when she met her husband Jack Parsons. By day Parsons was a brilliant rocket scientist, but by night he was Master of the Agape Lodge, a fraternal magickal order, whose head was the most famous magus of the 20th century… Aleister Crowley.

Gradually, over the course of their marriage, Parsons initiated Cameron into the occult sciences, and the biography offers a fresh perspective on her role in the infamous Babalon Working magick rituals Parsons conducted with the future founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard. Following Parsons death in 1952 from a chemical explosion, Cameron inherited her husband’s magickal mantle and embarked on a lifelong spiritual quest, a journey reflected in the otherworldly images she depicted, many of them drawn from the Elemental Kingdom and astral plane.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Cameron became a celebrated personality in California’s underground art world and film scene. In 1954 she starred in Kenneth Anger’s visual masterwork, ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome’, stealing the show from her co-star Anais Nin. The budding filmmaker Curtis Harrington was so taken with Cameron, he made a film study dedicated to her artwork entitled, ‘The Wormwood Star’. He then brought Cameron’s powerful and mysterious presence to bear on his evocative noir thriller, ‘Night Tide’, casting her alongside a young Dennis Hopper.

Cameron was an inspirational figure to the many artists and poets that congregated around Wallace Berman’s Semina scene, and in 1957 Berman’s show at the Ferus Gallery was shut down by LA’s vice squad, due to the sexually charged nature of one of her drawings. Undaunted, she continued to carve a unique and brilliant path as an artist. A retrospective of Cameron’s work, entitled ‘The Pearl Of Reprisal’, was held at LA’s Barnsdall Art Park in 1989, and after her death some of her most admired pieces were included in the ‘Reflections Of A New Aeon Exhibition’ at the Eleven Seven Gallery in Long Beach, California. Cameron’s famous Peyote Vision drawing made its way into the Beat Culture And The New America retrospective held at the Whitney Museum in 1995. And in 2006, a profile of her work was featured in the critically lauded Semina Culture Exhibition. The following year an exhibition of her sketches and drawings was held at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York.

With so much of her life and work shrouded in mystery, Wormwood Star sheds new light on this most remarkable artist and elusive occult icon.

All Material on this page copyright © Spencer Kansa

Cover of First Edition


#rogercorman

#edgarallanpoe

#aleistercrowley

#scifi

# Gurdjieff

# oscarjaniger

#forrestackerman

#psychedelic

#psychedelia

#beatniks
#ufos

#extraterrestrials

#arthurlee

#horrormovies

#lsdart

#lsdtrip

#lsd25

#beatgeneration

#randycalifornia

#spiritof76

#counterculture

#surrealism

#magicalrealism

#abstract

#dali

#picasso

#avantgarde

#bohemian

#cafefrankenstein

#monstermovie

Pharmakon:
Drugs and The Imagination
Julian Vayne


Pharmakon
Drugs & The Imagination
Julian Vayne
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 1869928946
£12.99/US$22
Subjects: Chaos Magick/Entheogens.

Ranging across both published and anecdotal evidence, Pharmakon traces the story of drug use as a means of self-exploration. By examining apparently simple questions such as ‘what is a drug?’, Pharmakon deconstructs and reconstructs the idea of drug experience. Experiences that the author believes are fundamental to the process of self-actualisation and learning.

Naturally though this book discusses all sorts of things that are currently illegal in many nations the author would never wish to encourage anyone to break the Law. Moreover since this book contains information about how human beings can fly like birds, become transformed into animals and explore the farthest reaches of inner space it is, quite clearly, a work of fiction.

Julian Vayne is an occultist who has written on a number of esoteric subjects (witchcraft, the tarot and the sociology of contemporary Paganism). This book is aimed at both the general reader and those who are interested in the use of drugs in a spiritual context.

Delving into areas as diverse as philosophy and neurochemistry, this is a book that in both style and content seeks to invent a new understanding of drugs in culture….

Review
Pharmakon: Drugs and the imagination, by Julian Vayne
The philosopher’s stoned
By Gary Lachman
Published: 24 December 2006

‘Talking about your drug experiences is like talking about your dreams: it may be personally rewarding, but for others it’s a bore. As with dreams, the insights, visions and revelations that accompany some drug experiences can provide new perspectives on your life and help you to “know yourself”. The person on the receiving end of your dope stories, however, more times than not stifles an impatient “So what?” and wonders when you’ll get to the point. This is the paradoxical character of drug experiences: their profound subjectivity is a barrier to communication.

A handful of writers, De Quincey, Huxley, Burroughs and a few others, managed to cross this threshold and master the art of “trip-lit”. But most accounts of psychedelic journeys into inner space boil down to a less than informative “Awesome, man”. This may let us know that the voyage meant a lot to you, but it still leaves us in the dark as to what was so meaningful about it.

Julian Vayne argues that drugs can be an effective tool in self-exploration, and provides some useful theoretical scaffolding in understanding exactly what a “drug experience” is. Vayne argues that the mainstream materialist view of drugs is incomplete, and he makes clear that the chemical analysis of various substances like LSD, Ecstasy, cannabis and other popular items is only half the story. The importance of “set and setting” and our cultural expectations about exactly what a particular drug is supposed to do are equally crucial; our imagination and anticipation about what we will encounter after ingesting a magic mushroom are at least as significant as the psilocybin housed in the fungus itself. Drug experiences, Vayne contends, are learnt. They aren’t simply a matter of an automatic chemical reaction between my bloodstream and the toxin I’ve introduced to it.

He makes a similar point about how the same drug may have very different effects on different people. A lump of hash may lift a Baudelaire into poetic reverie, but the same lump may only sink the rest of us into befuddled sleep. LSD advocates in the 1960s made a similar discovery when it became painfully clear that taking acid didn’t automatically make people more spiritual and enlightened. The trip, good or bad, is as much in ourselves as in the drug.

Although Vayne has written several books on occult subjects, the occult or magical sensibility informing the book is curiously faint. The tone is academic, and a great part of the book is devoted to the mechanics of how drugs interact with our neurochemistry. He’s also at pains to anchor drug experiences in the post-modern discourse of transgression. This makes for a text in which Derrida turns up almost as often as Aleister Crowley. It’s refreshing to find occultism rubbing shoulders with other viewpoints, but the narrative is sometimes burdened with digressions on the Derridian “trace” and other notions.

Vayne’s most interesting insights come with his discussion of autism and schizophrenia as two poles of human consciousness: one an impenetrable contraction of the ego, the other a debilitating exposure to the chaos of the unconscious. Vayne makes a good argument that, rather than exceptional conditions, autism and schizophrenia are the extremes between which our ‘normal’ consciousness fluctuates; drugs for him are a means of compensating for imbalances between the two. Like many writers on mystical subjects, Vayne sees western culture as veering too much into an ego-bound autism. Hence the virtue of hallucinogens in providing a kind of controlled schizophrenia to even things out.

There are also some howlers. Theophile Gautier and the other members of the Club des Haschischins ate their cannabis, they didn’t smoke it. Julian Jaynes was a psychologist, not a historian. And I imagine that the “occultist W B Leadbeater” is an amalgam of W B Yeats and C W Leadbeater. If you’re arguing that drugs can be a tool in self-actualisation, it’s a good idea not to provide material for jokes about how stoned you were when you put your book together.

From Mandrake Speaks #100

‘A well researched and informative look at a variety of popular and not-so-well-known drugs. He deals with how they interact with our minds and bodies both chemically and psychologically, and how we perceive substances on a personal and society-wide scale. The similarities discussed between some drug experiences and some mental illnesses may lead to different viewpoints on both. Liberally sprinkled with folklore and anecdotes, Pharmakon examines the use of drugs in self-exploration employing a knowledgeable, yet down-to-earth approach that’s interesting and readable.’

More reviews see Erowid and Occultbooks

THE GREAT PURPLE HOO-HA
part II
Philip H. Farber


The Great Purple Hoo-Ha
part II
Philip H. Farber
Format: Softcover/232 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-251
£9.99/US$14.99
Subjects: Fiction/NLP/Magick.

‘Joe climbed out of the hole into the gray light of a stormy afternoon. Nothing was going as planned. He still hadn’t gotten his girlfriend, the goddess, into bed.

The aliens never arrived and Elvis hadn’t returned.

Up on the stage, robed magicians toting automatic weapons called down unspeakable things from the sky. A crowd of a million people was beginning to riot. And Joe knew that it was up to him, the most famous man in the world, to save the day and bring forth the Great Purple Hoo-Ha – if he could only figure out what the heck it was.’

‘As blatant propaganda, The Great Purple Hoo-Ha is funnier than Catholicism and slightly less disgusting than ads for colonic irrigation.’
– Ivan Stang,
Church of the Subgenius
www.subgenius.com

‘A surreal, submodalicious page turner that will have you leaping from the written words to your own life in a joyous celebration and an aching wish for your own Hoo-Ha.’
-Donald Michael Kraig,
author of Modern Magick and The Resurrection Murders

”From a magicko-religious point of view I’d say, ‘The Great Purple Hoo-Ha proves that changing Perception is the Great Work’. From a reader’s perspective I’d say, ‘It’s like Stranger in a Strange Land except much funnier and with hotter sex.’ From a friend’s perspective I’d say, ‘Dude, you should buy this!'”
– Don Webb,
author of Aleister Crowley: The Fire and the Force and Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path

‘Farber’s writing is a joyride through the psyche. Absurdity and the internal workings of our own beliefs are less than a hair’s width apart – and Farber illustrates this with inimitable style, humor, and a kitschy sense of self- referential pseudo-realism.’
– LaSara Firefox Allen, MPNLP,
Developer of Gratitude Games and author of Sexy Witch
lasaraallen.com