This Visionary Dialog starts with a webinar on November 17, 2014. Join the discussion and post here!
Watch a recording of the webinar that kicked off this conversation:
Today we see a growing interest in fringe consciousness experiences long associated with the “occult”: clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, and encounters with disembodied spirit. Burners return from the playa startled by the high incidence of synchronicity, and the uncanny moments when they caught their friends thoughts before words passed through their lips. Rigorous lab studies are demonstrating that these experiences are more than just superstition. At the same time, once-sober minded, skeptical shamanic journeyers return from ceremonies with plant spirit medicine convinced that consciousness permeates the universe. The contemporary occult expresses itself quite differently than the one we associate with 19th century seances, table tipping, Madame Blavatsky, W.B. Yeats and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. For instance, whatever happened to Ouija boards? Similarly, the mysticism of the 60s counterculture, with its obsessive throwing of the I Ching and the hippie levitation of the Pentagon, seems a far cry from how the occult appears today.
But are the differences really so great? To explore this topic, we’ve gathered some of Reality Sandwich’s most knowledgeable and popular writers on the occult.
- Gary Lachman – Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member and bassist for Blondie. Has written for The Guardian, Mojo, Times Literary Supplement, and more. Author of “Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World” and “The Secret History of Consciousness.”
- Mitch Horowitz – A nationally known writer, speaker, and publisher in alternative spirituality. Author of “One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life,” and “Occult America.”
- David Metcalfe – David is an independent researcher, writer and multimedia artist focusing on the interstices of art, culture, and consciousness. He writes regularly for Evolutionary Landscapes, Alarm Magazine, Modern Mythology, Disinfo.com, The Teeming Brain and his own blog The Eyeless Owl.
- Pam Grossman – Pam is an independent curator, writer, and teacher of magical practice and history. She is the creator of the blog Phantasmaphile and the Associate Editor of Abraxas International Journal of Esoteric Studies.