The Julian Vayne My Magical Thing series of video interviews features people who can be considered to be occult practitioners of some kind talking briefly about an item they possess that has an interesting story. I realised I had an opportunity to air a wild and wacky tale involving a figurine of the Egyptian cat goddess Bast. I contacted Julian and was pleased that he was happy to feature me.
Readers of my Atargatis would know that I embarked on a psychic questing adventure along the River Thames in 1991 but mention that some details were excluded, primarily for reasons of space and pace in relation to the wider story. This little tale dates from the beginnings of that saga. It was featured in my very first Glastonbury lecture, The Goddess and the River Thames, almost 25 years ago in July 1995. I did repeat the lecture a few times and it was taped by the Isle of Avalon Foundation in the mid-nineties but, since then, the Bast story has not featured in any of my books, or podcast interviews. Some of it was briefly mentioned in my YouTube lecture When Magic and Fiction Meet. This is the fullest version currently available. It’s a great example of the extent to which extreme strangeness became part of my everyday life then.
It was great to have been talking to Amanda Bradley of Mystic Waldorf in New Zealand about my new book during the time of the full moon and eclipse. It’s inevitable in doing this round of promo interviews that I will repeat myself but I’m trying to bring something a bit different into each one, depending on who I’m talking to. I do also go a little beyond what is included in the book.
It’s the 25th anniversary of me moving to Glastonbury today, so very nice that this arrived. Previously only available in Kindle format, now in paperback in UK. 114 pages.
The extraordinary 80s adventures of Andrew Collins in the Glastonbury Star Temple that led to his investigation of the Giza plateau have been featured in my books before, particularly Avalonian Aeon. There was so much material in that book that I sometimes felt that it would be good to isolate this classic psychic questing material and let it stand on its own. So here is the directors’ cut. Everything that was in Avalonian Aeon is here again along with material originally left out for reasons of space. There are also new details. Most notable is the inclusion of a visualisation often used by Andy that came from the Giza visions of legendary psychic Bernard G of what he called the Crystal Chambers that lay beneath the ground. And it’s great to feature artwork by Bernard from that time on the cover. This remains for me the greatest magical mystical story I’ve ever heard. It blew my mind to pieces when I first learned about it from Andy in 1988 and going back over it I was glad to see it still felt the same.
Starting with the medieval Essex mystery of the Knights of Danbury, an expansive odyssey leads to the Glastonbury Star Temple, a secret Knights Templar ceremony, Black Alchemy, and a Hermetic blend that reveals the Morphogenesis pattern and process understood and used by a lost culture before the pyramids. Here is the epic psychic quest at the root of Andrew Collins later work and the initial inspiration for his investigation of ancient hybrid strains of humanity.
This release is timed to resonate with the 35th anniversary of the climax of the narrative, the 30th anniversary of my own involvement with this material as told in Avalonian Aeon, and the 10th anniversary of that books publication.
My latest book was undoubtedly kick-started by my previous appearance on Rune Soup in Dec 2019. Very satisfying to effectively launch it from there now. Talked with Gordon yesterday, the 15th, 6 months on from the anniv of the Tor death of Abbot Whiting, the time when Boris was in the area and my brain went into overdrive. It’s a satisfying cycle. And with the arrival of the book, all kinds of further weirdness has occurred featuring Jung and Robert Anton Wilson. I talk about it all here.
And on Kindle, where there is a good Look Inside sample.
From the back cover:
HISTORY AND MYTH
The writings of historians reflect the trends of the times in which they were written. This in turn can make a difference to how a society understands itself and the events it experiences and the responses it makes to them.
Here is a Glastonbury-centred consideration of history from the perspectives of Arnold Toynbee and Titus Livius, of mystical experiences, cycles, portents, and of astrology.
The Oddity of British Prime Ministers.
The Great Conjunction Cycle 1284-1518-2020:
Capricorn Pan, Cronos Saturn, Pluto Hades.
Henry VIII, William Rufus, Edward I, Edward III, Richard III. Richard Whiting, St Dunstan, Frederick Bligh Bond.
Joseph of Arimathea King Arthur, Virgin Mary, the Holy Grail. Lord of Misrule, the Fisher King.
The Pursuit of the Millennium and Extinction Rebellion. Book of Revelation template, Romance of the Golden Age, Age of the Holy Spirit.
Dissolution of the Monasteries, Pilgrimage of Grace, Peasant’s Revolt, Anabaptist Munster Rebellion, Gordon Riots, Brexit.
Glastonbury Plague Diary.
The Victoria Park Lughnasadh 2012 Olympic Caper: a Psychogeographical Feast.
Boris Johnson, Jan Bockelson, William Blake, James Joyce, Joachim of Fiore, Frances Yates, Marsilio Ficino, Margaret Murray, Albrecht Durer, Scipio Aemelianus, Marguerite Porete.
I recently had an excellent chat with Steven Snider of The Farm on the theme of crossing the Abyss that runs through my Crowley book. It featured Crowley himself, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Lovecraft, the Loch Ness Monster, and Montauk.
I wrote the book over 10 years ago so we ponder its possible increased relevance as what I identified as a number of Aeon of Horus themes are very pertinent today as we face a major challenge and profound unknown.
Great to have a UFOlogical chat with Zelia Edgar of Just Another Tin Foil Hat. We covered the psychic questing roots with the 1974 Aveley abduction and 1976 Sunderland family case that feature in my Avalonian Aeon and Atargatis. and expanded out from there. I felt nostalgic recalling how I got into the work of John Keel and Jacques Vallee when I was in my twenties and it’s very encouraging to see people like Zelia enthusiastically devouring the classic works and pondering the high strangeness conundrums.
After a lost hard drive prevented them from uploading, Glastonbury Symposium have given me permission to post my 2015 presentation that launched The Glastonbury Zodiac & Earth Mysteries UFOlogy. Really pleased about that as it is one of my faves.
This was the first time I put myself through the fun and stress of back-engineering a book to launch at a specific event, a crazy strategy I would adopt another 5 times.
I always enjoy (and that’s a mild term) the writing of my books but the combination of the subject matter and the time of year I was working at fever-pitch, from June to July, have left me some of my strongest memories.
The fact that it’s almost five years ago and this footage has only just appeared online is another aspect of its nostalgia factor for me. DVDs were initially on sale and I had a personal copy. Glastonbury Symposium have been gradually uploading old presentations but mine was among some that were lost.
I have since appeared on Ancient Aliens, getting a brief few moments to discuss the core material in the book but the edit was extremely frustrating. The UK is 6 months behind the US broadcast so I had forgotten all about it when it was screened again a few weeks ago here. It’s very satisfying to present all this as I would want it to be seen now.
I have to have a soundtrack for the writing of all my books. With this one I went back to some obscure mid-seventies prog. In Search of Ancient Gods by Absolute Elsewhere was inspired by the von Daniken book of the same name. It was originally sold with a gatefold cover that held a brief booklet introducing the subject matter. The production was in quadrophonic sound so, even if just listening with 2 speakers, there were weird effects designed to enhance the feeling of moving sound. It’s not up-there with the likes of Tangerine Dream but I did listen to it in dark rooms under the influence of a lot of hash many times decades ago when I had barely heard of Glastonbury. On that basis it was strangely moving to resurrect it for such an episode in my life. I have no idea what a new listener would make of it.
It was also nice to revisit an audio-visual promo video I did for the book in 2015 as well, featuring all of the visuals from the lecture and plenty more, accompanied by the classic ambient sounds of Rainbow Dome Musick by Steve Hillage.
My book is available on Kindle globally and there’s still some paperback copies on Amazon UK.
Thanks again to Glastonbury Symposium for permission to post their footage.
My book The Occult Battle of Britain was delivered to my home a year ago today. It’s excellent to note the symmetry of this video being posted in synch with that.
In the hours leading in to the time of the full moon over the last weekend I had the chance to chat across the airwaves/ethers from Glastonbury to Steiner enthusiast Amanda Bradley in New Zealand.
We discussed the life and work of Dion Fortune. I lingered awhile on the big events of 1940 and how I made my own connections to them in the nineties. This included me discussing how the 1940 Glastonbury material was used by me on the night of Princess Diana’s funeral with the imagery adjusted for the occasion.
I also had a bit to say on Rudolf Steiner, his visit to Tintagel and Archangel Michael.
In conclusion I noted how intriguing it was to be making a Glastonbury New Zealand connection with such subject matter when Robert Felkin had launched a branch of the same magical order that Dion Fortune had joined in New Zealand.
I’ve just had the opportunity to appear on a podcast conversation broadly concerning Hellier with Allen Greenfield. He talks for about an hour and then I get to air some of my thoughts on the second series.
I felt it was worth expanding my notes for some of the things I say there and to include things there wasn’t time for. I have to assume some familiarity with Hellier in the reader. It’s not my intention to go into detail on the programme but to provide what I consider to be useful feedback stemming from my background in psychic questing and multiple readings of Cosmic Trigger! Having written Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus a decade ago with its lengthy consideration of UFOlogy, particularly in the section Chapel Perilous: Adventures in the Goblin Universe, was also useful. The book also included a chapter on the work of Allen Greenfield and the secret cipher code he used to link Crowleyan occultism with UFOlogy. This came to be of increasing significance in Hellier, with Greenfield himself being interviewed in the second series. I welcomed the invite from Frank Zero and Steve Snider to participate in their Farm programme with Allen himself.
The first five-episode series of Hellier was screened in January 2019 and immediately got my attention. Ghost-hunting paranormal TV shows have tended to be a big turn-off for me, generally being embarrassingly mediocre and featuring total dorks. This new show was a lot different. The production values were very high. The team were immediately a likeable and credible bunch. They were involved in an investigation that ticked a whole load of the right boxes for me.
John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies is a classic case study of how UFOlogy is often part of a far wider paranormal spectrum of what came to be called High Strangeness, involving strange creatures from the American night, goblins, bigfoot, Men in Black, and an intensification of synchronicity. The Hellier team are steeped in Keel and their investigation of a mystery featuring weird creatures and underground caves centred around a particular locale had a strong mood of the mothman mystery.
I also felt that the way the team approached their work and how it developed very strongly reminded me of something I’ve had rather a lot of involvement in myself.
Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips developed psychic questing in the late 70s in the UK. This involves getting psychics out into the landscape, visiting strange sites, often under cover of darkness, interacting with spirit forms and entities and following visions and synchronicities to investigate mysteries. Some of this resulted in seemingly coming into contact with the bad guys. Outrageous manifestations often accompanied all this. Questing evolved out of an investigation of the earliest UK abduction case in 1974, a classic that shows the connectedness of the paranormal spectrum to UFOlogy. Andy’s recent book Lightquest was a USA guide to interacting with light and plasma phenomenon. There’s a lot in the Hellier story that resonates with psychic questing. Graham Phillips and Martin Keatman’s books The Green Stone and The Eye of Fire, Andrew Collins’ The Black Alchemist, The Second Coming and The Seventh Sword and my own Avalonian Aeon and Atargatis demonstrate the enormous scope of the subject.
I settled down to binge the hell out of the second series in my hometown of Glastonbury in the county of Somerset in the UK. It was intriguing to see that a Somerset USA became central to the activity in the story and that cross-referencing with faery lore concerning its UK namesake was occurring. I watched all ten episodes in one massive session starting in the afternoon.
Amazon Prime premiered Hellier series 2 on Nov 29th in the UK, the 333rd day of the year.
Firstly, this is a huge number in Crowley studies as it represents Choronzon who is dweller on the threshold of the abyss, and fucks peoples brains up bigtime with lies and dispersion and madness. He stands on the portal of Daath which in Kenneth Grant’s system is the entry to the qliphotic averse tree he calls the Tunnels of Set where the Lovecraftian dudes hang out. I have a feeling that these cave portals and tunnel systems potentially give entry to just such realms and understanding them as such is useful.
Secondly, I’m sure nobody involved with the show chose the date deliberately. This emphasises to me how important the medium is that the message is manifesting through. The internet is a vehicle for magic and synchronicity. External forces can use it. And the fact that this whole thing is playing out in the era of e mails and mobile phones and Amazon and YouTube enables it to develop in a way previous epics never could. Feedback and interaction and generation of new material can happen at a rapid rate, followed by widely disseminated discussion Imagine Crowley tweeting, vlogging , and posting pics from the Enochian episode in the Algerian desert that featured the Choronzon ceremony. Imagine articles and podcasts and videos following on within months and tens of thousands of people engaged with it. The intelligence behind this is making use of the modern forms for a reason. Something uniquely collective might be brewing.
I note what I would term an archetypal pattern that sometimes activates when the mysteries of a particular locale are investigated. One starts with a distinct oddity and it then expands until lines are getting drawn on maps, secret societies become visible, and the scale rapidly spirals outwards. Rennes Le Chateau kicks off with the mystery of Berenger Sauniere. Priory of Sion and Knights Templars come into view. Lines drawn on maps. Massive sacred geometry seemingly revealed. All placed on global grid amidst big game players. Montauk. Air force base and timespace experiments. Crowley and the Babalon Working appear and the mystery schools become players. By the 3rd book the global grid of secret sites is a vital ingredient. Nazi Tibetan malarkey. Bad guys. Horrorshow of fear to test resolve. And the UFOlogical aspect is there all the way though with the contentious contactee Preston Nicholls driving the initial developments and then synchronicity becoming the major tool of “research” as the perspective endlessly expands. It seems obvious to me that the Hellier team will come up against a giddying expansion of what they are looking into that gallops off as far as Rennes and Montauk. This is not necessarily bad but it can be a test of focus.
As the second series progressed it was obvious to me that we are moving into Robert Anton Wilson Cosmic Trigger territory. This was made so clear in the final episode that I’m amazed it wasn’t picked up on.
The Hellier team are actually reading from Crowley’s The Book of Lies and stating how they feel they’re on the threshold of some great mystery. They are pondering the chapter featuring the Star Sapphire ritual and stalling over what it’s about.
I would remind everyone of RAW.
‘I entered Chapel Perilous quite casually one day in 1971 while reading The Book of Lies by the English mystic Aleister Crowley.’
Wilson had a kind of revelation that concerned sex magic and how it, along with drugs, was a major feature in the lineage he ultimately identified as maybe stretching back to Egypt and Sumeria and ET contact from Sirius. The revelation happened through Chapter 69. That chapter is actually a commentary on the Star Sapphire.
A key Wilson concept that has found its way into a lot of discourse is Chapel Perilous.
.‘In researching occult conspiracies, one eventually faces a crossroad of mythic proportions (called Chapel Perilous in the trade).’ ‘Everything you fear is waiting with slavering jaws — but if you are armed with the wand of intuition, the cup of sympathy, the sword of reason and the pentacle of valor, you will find there (the legends say) the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Life, the Philosopher’s Stone, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.’ ‘You come out the other side either a stone paranoid or an agnostic; there is no third way. I came out an agnostic.’ There are ‘those without the pentacle of valor who stand outside the door of Chapel Perilous, trembling and warning all who would enter that the chapel is really an Insect Horror Machine programmed by Death Demons and dripping fetidly with green goo.’
This is very much the mood that increasingly builds in Helier as more and more horror stories and strange situations abound. It really seems to me that the team are in that territory as series 2 ends.
Sirius has already got a few mentions in Hellier. Wilson gets famously primed by a number, in this case, 23. Wilson finds the Illuminati investigation opens up into an enormous consideration of secret societies, bad guys etc and the extent to which UFOlogical high strangeness gels with occultism.
The name Parsons keeps getting flagged in Hellier. Even to the extent of it being found carved into the pavement. Jack Parsons was perhaps an even greater devotee of Pan than Crowley. He recited Crowley’s Hymn to Pan at wild parties and rocket launches. It’s surely only a matter of time before the Babalon Working crops up and Kenneth Grant’s idea that it opened a portal for the UFOs and whatever the hell else.
The team are being led into an American shadow psychosphere which has echoes of Levenda’s Sinister Forces, Maury Terry’s Ultimate Evil, Underground Bases, the Shaver Mystery, a waft of Montauk, the whole enchilada. At one point, when they feel surrounded by the bad guys, I’m reminded of the 70s movie Race with the Devil.
The phenomenon requires humans of a particular type to break through into our realm. John Keel played down the idea he was in any way a catalyst in the mothman story but it’s obvious he was and his autobiog of his early days, Jadoo, makes this clear. This guy spent his 25th birthday with the Yezidis. Had Yeti adventures on Himalayan slopes. He was not Mr Normal and from the moment he arrived in mothman territory the whole thing intensified. The group alchemy of the Hellier team is notable in series 2. Their respective qualities gel very well. The team themselves are a vital ingredient in what they are investigating. The mysteries of this become apparent when one of them realises he has wandered into the territory of an ancestor.
As the series went on I kept thinking about George Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal. At one point I was actually shouting at my TV, so it was great when it got mentioned as so many themes in there are pertinent. My own personal takeaway from that book didn’t get mentioned and I take it as one of a number of very important definite warnings concerning the territory the team are entering.
Barre Toelken was an exemplary academic investigator of the Trickster. He hung out with the Navajo for decades, totally respecting their culture and being accepted by them. He collected coyote trickster stories and because they were only told in the winter he would only play tape recording he had made in that season etc. He was even invited to talk about the trickster to an exclusively Navaho audience. It was only then that he got hints that some of the lore had been kept from him, even after 30yrs of study.
To quote Hansen
‘As Toelken was interviewing an eminent singer (medicine man) about coyote stories, the singer asked him if he was prepared to lose a member of his family. The singer explained that though parts of the tales could be used for healing, some could be used for witchcraft. Toelken’s analytical dissection of the tales suggested that he intended to use them for that purpose, and losing a family member was the price to be paid for becoming a witch. The singer went on to tell him that even if he had no such intention, his inquiries would lead others to suspect him of being a witch, and to try to kill someone in his family. Toelken was understandably shocked, and a bit alarmed, and he began to reassess his interpretations. There came to pass several events that gave him pause. His informant’s family suffered a series of accidental deaths and other misfortunes. Toelken could not logically link them to the revealing of the tales to outsiders, but he could not dismiss the possible connection either. He considered the risks to his informants and family and eventually decided to halt his inquiries into the coyote tales. In April 1981, some months before his late-night talk with the singer, Toelken had taken part in a conference that discussed the trickster. It was out of season to tell the stories, so he obtained a special dispensation from a medicine man. Even so, as he was about to leave for the conference, he bent over to pick up his luggage and passed out. He struck his chin and bled profusely; this was followed by other problems and several synchronicities involving coyotes.’
RAW’s daughter was murdered. Leary’s wife committed suicide on his 35th birthday. His daughter followed decades later. Brian Barritt’s daughter was killed in a car crash just up the road from Glastonbury (Barrritt accompanied Leary on their mysterious Algerian Crowley Choronzon synchro-mesh). Jack Parsons was killed in an explosion. Victor Neuberg ruined for life after his desert jaunt with Crowley. The centre of gravity of the Mothman story is the bridge disaster. Keel came to feel that the communicating entities were ultimately evil.
A real test can be failed. A real initiatory ordeal can mash your entire life. Any fault-lines in your health, sanity, finances, material stability, relationships etc may be subject to eruptions. Cultivate your consensus reality strength. You cannot anticipate where things might get difficult. And the bridge disaster shows how these things ripple out from the personal. Good luck to the Hellier team.