Lost Theatre, Battersea, London – 26th – 29th November.
Shedding her robes and her jewellery, her mind and her faculties, the goddess Ishtar approaches and mounts the stage; the audience follow her closely until she stands at a portal, the body of Nuit arching over it. Ishtar gives up her crown and her godhead at the climax of the opening ceremony, and then gloved hands unceremoniously yank her through the portal. Aleister Crowley appears with an accordion, send the punters in after her with a song:read more
Salutations and revelations!
I’m giving two talks this month, on the 21st and 28th.
The Church of Ayahuasca - October 21st
@ Cafe Royal. London: 6.30 pm for a 7.00 pm start.
Blurb: Ayahuasca, a South American plant-based drink containing the psychoactive compound DMT, has long been venerated by the native peoples of South America for its divinatory and healing properties. Denounced by early Spanish missionaries as a work of the devil this drug allows users to supposedly commune directly with plant and animal spirits and, by purging negative energy, it can induce a spiritual awakening or rebirth. However it must be administered by a true shaman. Disreputable brujos in Peru have been known to induce tourists to take the drug with the sinister intent of stealing their life energy.read more
Review published at Psychedelic Press
It is always sad to see cages in the zoo, but having just seen them at the botanical gardens I’m not sure what to think. Whether they are there to protect the psychoactive plants within from the public or the public from the plants is unclear, but regardless, cages with plants inside are a poignant comment on the logic of the War on Drugs.
Starting on September 20th, Kew Gardens is hosting a month long series of talks and workshops, Intoxication Season, to educate the public about psychoactive plants, and I went along to preview the event. Kew Gardens is magnificent even without psychedelics, but it is a real treat to see salvia divinorum, tobacco plants, witching herbs and alike beautifully displayed (and not all in cages). I smarted to read ayahuasca described as a “dangerous drug” on one of the explanation boards – but if we are going to have a sensible approach to drugs, we need to think beyond our reflexes, regardless of which way they kick.read more
This Sunday 27th, at 2pm, I’ll be speaking at Secret Garden Party:
Music, myth and medicine in the Amazon – ayahuasca and the poetry of experience
Then the following weekend I’ll be doing a workshop / sing-song about harmonic disobedience and actorvism at the Green Gathering with
Blurb about the Secret Garden Party talk:
Music is a central component of all traditional ayahuasca ceremonies, and the Daime ayahuasca ritual consists almost entirely of singing. Where does the poetry and melody come from, and is there anything in it that stands apart from other forms of sacred music?
- Andy Roberts (historian and Fortean Times writer) on the history of the Welsh Psilocybin festival.
- Casey William Hardison (one-time underground chemist) on his bust, incarceration.
- Dr Ben Sessa (psychiatrist and co-founder of Breaking Convention) on medical cannabis.
- Simon G. Powell (author and film-maker) on psilocybin and natural intelligence.read more
Angel of the library
Genie of the pen
Write the demon on the page
And cross him out again
At the State of Magick conference in Leicester next weekend, I’ll be giving a talk about magick and writing called Howling Poetic. I’ll also be performing a poem or two. Conference details here, facebook here, my abstract follows beneath the wing-skull fetish.
In its dreams, visions and urges, the unconscious communicates in the language of poetry. We call out to our gods and familiars, and the world around us answers with rhyme. Synchronicity falls in perfect metre if we stress the right syllables, and even our failures have their own peculiar rhyme scheme.read more