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How I Became a Wizard (Level 23, Chaotic Good) or To Death And Back Again

Updated: May 16

Originally performed at The Unfamiliars scratch lab in Colchester 2018

Here I am, djing on the club night I hosted back in 2012, Skank Sabbath. This was the year of smashing the dancefloor with Seeds as MC, and a set of Nu Jungle and 140bpm breakbeat. I had been a DJ since 1989, playing major London clubs, UK festivals and European parties. The year kicked off with my 40th birthday event, in February, little did I know what would follow over the next 6 years. Skank Sabbath, Monster Rave and 2013 will get a blog post of its own, for now here’s a taste.

Three of Swords, Art magazine issue One cover

In April I collaborated with some like minded folk on putting free art into the hands of the general public. The ‘3 of Swords’ was born as a way to promote local artists across a range of mediums, to connect with an audience. The magazines were distributed in clubs, shops and cafes, all independent outlets, to encourage better foot fall.

The first issue cover featured a collage of the Colchester Town Hall and a pagan fire ceremony.

A veiled act of magick, dubbed the tarot card the 3 of swords, it was two fingers at the mediocre and banal atmosphere that had settled in Essex. A cultural Molotov, that burnt brightly, lit some fires, and opened some minds.

Halloween. or preferably Samhain (31st Oct - 2nd Nov) 2012 became a focus of several magickal acts and rituals. A conscious desire to push the envelope, mixing performance art with the occult. An endeavour to reclaim my imagination and become an artist proper. I’d secretly always been a frustrated sculptor and this energy drove me to filmmaking. This photo shows me in my guise of Rev. Wright of the Worldwide church of Agnostics, Hyperstitional Hex Historian, a persona with Discordian tendencies. Rev Wright would host a screening of The Exorcist at St. Martins church, privately open a magick circle at home with a friend and conduct divination. Hope is received.

Mr Bill Drummond as The Street Sweeper

The third act over Samhain was to attend Bill Drummond’s performance at the Minories gallery, Colchester. The talk was entitled ‘How I became a Superhero’, which intrigued me. What if superheroes are the new gods of today? Then if Mr Drummond considered himself a god, and as a hero of mine, he deserved an offering. I duly attended the evening as Rev. Wright along with a doctor’s case containing 20 or so issues of the 3 of Swords.

After his talk I joined the back of the book signing queue. The person in front of me left the table, I stepped towards Bill, my god.

The performance took place as described below

Rev Wright gains eye contact with Mr Drummond, whilst placing his case onto the table between the two men. Mr Drummond, looks slightly puzzled but game.

Mr Drummond, would you accept the contents of this case, for a copy of your book?’ asked Rev Wright

Mr Drummond - ‘Yes

Bill then deftly opened the bag, withdrew the previously unseen magazines, and replaced them with a copy of his book. closing the case

Taking him by the hand, Rev Wright thanked Mr Drummond and walked away from the table.

The Fool and the key

The book I received through this act, was ‘100’, one hundred questions that Bill had answered over the years. The first use of it for bibliomancy (divination by book) revealed a question about the nature of art. Bill’s in depth answer caused me to reflect on my own participation in the art world. Why do I promote others above myself? What was I scared of?

A week later, whilst sat at the dining table, I became aware that I could see a classic lions cage around me. In my minds eye the vertical bars present and I could sense the confinement. I engaged with the vision, as a spontaneous act of magick, acting out opening the cage door, and stepping outside.

Gathering my myself, the apparition still present, I recalled there being an old key knocking around the house and thought I should lock the cage, so I could never re-enter. I knew, without consideration, that this sign was a representation of my self imposed limiting thoughts, manifest. That this immediate act of sorcery was true liberation, the result of previous rituals and acts. The magick was working. Thanks Bill

The genius Arthur Rackham’s Freya

I began a more overt magickal operation again, something that I had been slowly getting back into as a regular practice, building an altar and using it daily. The initial invocations of the ‘universe’, began to lead to an appreciation of the Northern Pantheon. I had bought a lovely bronze Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) and runes were still a core symbol system for my magick, especially charms and candles. Through this practice I began to identify the need to connect with the divine feminine, and I built a bedside shrine to Freya, using art by Arthur Rackham, to achieve this.

Shortly afterwards Claire came into my life on the Winter Solstice, through a series of synchronicities, my Freya manifest. We have been together ever since the transition of the 2012 Mayan epoch. She would be vital to this tale.

The Reverend goes to church in the new year of 2013 with a show on the web based Four Aces Radio, every Sunday for 2 hours or more. Oh boy, what did I just commit to, a weekly music show as Rev Wright. It will receive a post in greater detail in the near future. The show gave me a voice, a form of expression, a platform, I was putting myself out there. I held interviews, randomly themed shows and let it all hang out. Below is an early example of the show.

Rev Wright’s Sunday Service ran until 27th April 2014, with the final show becoming a call out to a fine collaborator in the midst of chronic injustice. Everything got heavy. This period was intense, with the fall out of denying disordered folk their gain. The power of the word ‘No’ is devastating, it can start wars and it can start freedoms.

Soul Sigil

8th July 2015 is the birth date of the Soul Sigil, an intricate star design made up from runes combined and digitally designed to express a desire for love and compassion. It was a further evolution of my use of Photoshop to manipulate and develop sigil design. The early digital designs was used for a ritual performance at the Waiting Room, Voices in the Dark, a scratch lab by Renegade (Gari Jones) on 12th January 2014. The Soul Sigil design would resurface the following year.

Shrine? check, ritual? check, soul sigil? check and Will Wright proxy? check

April 2016 sees the filming of Servants for the band So Called Humans, the outcome of many pre-production meetings with Ed Sykes, who would work closely with me on the music video. I had shot a previous video for the group, but this was to be something different, Ed and I were keen to make art, to experiment and to put personal magick and esoteric symbology within the piece.

When directors go wild, on location for filming Servants music video

It was around this time that it became clear that my ballooning to 25 stone in weight whilst battling to help my kids, and wrestle with my demons, was having a massive impact on my health. I was in constant pain, struggling to walk and diagnosed with Diabetes.

As pictured, the shoot for Servants was a hugely enjoyable break from the struggles. The creative process brought relief, aided healing and nurturing. It was also the beginning of one of the most transformational acts so far.

It became apparent that the 4K video footage we had shot and multiple effects I was trying to apply, was causing my editing PC to fall over. Render times were ridiculous, slowing the edit process to a crawl. I decided to build a new computer, with all the knowledge and expertise I had developed putting together edit rigs over the years. The custom watercooled behemoth, MIMIR, was born.

MIMIR, custom water cooled super PC

MIMIR is Justified and Ancient

I was fascinated by the role of the headless giant MIMIR, from the Northern Tradition. He was teacher to Odin/Woden who famously lost his head and continued to provide advice and insight. This machine would be a tribute to him, as I required inspiration and support during the edit process.

Editing entered a hiatus at the end of 2016, brought on by the continued health battles and struggles with work. I had lost focus, everything was a blur.

Wizards at work, The Killing Joke

3rd November 2017, the So Called Humans support Killing Joke at the Colchester Arts Centre. The gig is sold out and at the last minute Ed arranges a guest list space for me. A powerful night, with the songs Love Like Blood and The Eighties hitting me like a divine force. Something shifted in me, not that I could acknowledge at the time, but this act of magickal sermon, delivered by Jaz Coleman, was doing something. A few days afterwards, whilst struggling to concentrate on my magickal practice a message came through loud and clear.

“The secrets of the Universe will be revealed to you in good time.”

— Spirit

Ed Sykes helped drag me through the rabbit hole, as 2017 began, both of us falling into the art. Edit sessions resumed, with us working closely together, to discover the video hidden in the footage. Tarot reads, hugs and tears would ensue. The post production process had become a process in mutual healing and discovery. Revealing truth and vulnerability as we navigated the form and structure of the music video, as it emerged.

April Fools Day 2017, Super Weird Happening, a 14 hour Discordian event in Liverpool. Alan Moore would be present, and after seeing a talk of his years before, I was inspired to found Slack Space arts collective, I thought this too good an opportunity to miss so Claire and I drove up from Essex, staying in a dreadful AirBnB.

Oh, and I brought a bag of magic mushrooms with me.

‘One gram of liberty caps will be gentle’ I said, ‘Giggly and spacey would be the effects’ I said. Nope, it turns out that it was a lot stronger than that, and led the pair of us on a Don Juanesque journey of self discovery. Mine was acknowledgement of Social Anxiety. People freaked me out. I also got to shake hands with and meet Alan Moore. It felt like an important act, one might consider magickal. Yet another hero.

A bunch of weirdos, my kind of people.

Youth (member of The Killing Joke), pictured above, was to interview Mr Moore, just as our dose was beginning to wear off. It was everything I expected, inspiring, a call to magickal creative arms. To boldly go over the top and fight the good cause. Not to desire anything from the work, the work was all that was needed. I took this back to Colchester with me. Below is a recording of that interview

The night after our return, I had a very powerful and disturbing phenomenon take place. I entered a form of trance, my mind raced, being shown hidden childhood abuse, whilst my body shook and tremored. It felt as if I was physically processing trauma, that I had been finally allowed to remember. Like every gasp and held breath was allowed to be released. I took this to be Seidh, the trance practice recorded in the Eddas. Deeply profound.

The video to Servants was completed and posted to the web on the Summer Solstice of 2017, over 18 months since its inception. The Magus Opus, the great work of magick that Ed and I had promised ourselves. But the spell had still yet to take its true effect. My magickal practice had begun to point the way to a psychedelic truth within the Northern Tradition, that Odin/Woden was a title, rather than a name, that the tree he hung from was the nervous system, and the death he undertook, was that of the ego. I knew what I had to do, The Heroic Dose, but when?

I sought advice in a solitary ritual in the woods, loud and clear came the message, it would be the 22nd August 2017. The day after the Eclipse and the day before the return of the KLF, at their happening.

Saint McKenna

“The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because of the artists, who are self-selected, for being able to journey into the Other, if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.”

— Terence Mckenna

I felt like I was walking to the electric chair, into an unknown far more terrifying than I had ever thought. Claire was my support, helping to set the scene and frame the act in ritual, to build a hand rail on which I could guide my journey and make sense of what I as about to do. Candles were lit, affirmations sounded, circle opened and I was smudged. I had completed a PhD’s worth of reading to prepare myself, hours spent listening to the words of Terence McKenna, advocate and pyschonaut of the fungal experience.

“The shaman is not merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself.”

— Terence Mckenna

Instantly my life long suicidal ideation was gone, I had traveled to where our ancestors had been, met non local intelligences we had long forgotten and received information that still pours into my work. I had been initiated into the Northern Mysteries. Much of what I had struggled to understand within books on magick became clear, although all the reading had not truly prepared me for what I would experience. Those writers that do not know, are easily identified, now.

I had become a wizard. Everything Terence McKenna said is true.

“It’s best not to sugarcoat this: the most effective route to becoming invincible is to take a high dose of psychedelics in a suitable ritual environment.”

— Gordon White, The Chaos Protocols

In the years since the initiation I have been even more conspicuous with my practice, leading ceremonies with friends, forwarding a career as an artist and further developing techniques within my practice. Looking back on events leading up to it, it’s clear how everything fits unconsciously together. while I was stumbling at the time. Now, I see how crammed Servants was with iconography and symbols of what would happen. Led by the Soul Sigil, guided through a portal into another dimension. Facing ego death. Follow the Crow.

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