in Iona's Domain
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NEW PUBLICATIONS: Psychedelic Monographs & Essays publisher, Tom Lyttle has just released a new book entitled Psychedelics ReImagined, Autonomedia, 1999. [Contact Autonomedia for purchases at 718-963-2603, phone and FAX]. Tim Leary helped Tom with his editorial choices on this book, and wrote the Introduction. The anthology contains a chapter by myself, entitled "Chaos as the Universal Solvent: Re-creational Ego Death in Psychedelic Consciousness." It parallels the course of experiential therapies with the generic psychedelic experience.
ABSTRACT: There is a generic process in nature and consciousness which dissolves and regenerates all forms. The essence of this transformative, morphological process is chaotic -- purposeful yet inherently unpredictable holistic repatterning. The Great Work of the art of alchemy is the creation of the Philosopher's Stone, a symbol of wholeness and integration. The liquid form of the Stone, called the Universal Solvent, dissolves all old forms like a rushing stream, and is the self-organizing matrix for the rebirth of new forms. It is thus a metaphor or model for the dynamic process of transformation, ego death and re-creation.
INTERVIEW: IONA MILLER & RICK MILLER. C. Dana Andrews interviews us for the metaphysical magazine, CROW, coming out next month. We discuss some of our respective backgrounds, alchemy, ego-death, magick, art, metaphor, ritual, etc.Find the text of this interview at the end of this What's New page by scrolling or click here:
SHORTCUTS: If you have been using the Collected Works full address there is now a shortcut, which is oocities.com/iona_m. Don't forget the underscore. These are case-sensitive URLs. http://www.oocities.org/iona_m/
SYNDEX shortcut: http://www.oocities.org/numeronomy/
SYNERGETIC QABALA shortcut: http://Zero-Point.tripod.com/
DIAMOND BODY shortcut: : http://Sourceress.tripod.com/
UPLOAD NOTICES: If you would like an automatic notification by me of new uploads at your e-mail site, check out signing onto this service at the end of the Collected Works Homepage; it's easy to sign up, and will alert you to changes, or articles you may have been waiting for.
WEBRINGS: Collected Works has most recently (5/2000) joined OUROBOROS: THE GNOSTIC RING, which features many interesting links of interest to Jungians, alchemists, magicians, mythologists, pagans, etc.
Collected Works and Synergetic Qabala are now part of the Qabalah Webring, and Mythos & Logos Webring, and Ouroboros: The Gnostic Ring, which provide many related links. Find them at the bottom of their respective index pages.
ARTWORK: The compiling and uploading of my collages is still in the works. More oceans, jungles, and caves remain to be scanned and loaded. But the three Psychogenesis books are done. Just click on either Art Gallery or 7. Netzach at either Qabala listing (CW Homepage) or Synergetic Qabala Homepage. There are three separate books here: Alchemical Reality, Chaosophy 2000, and Mythopoesis. They take a long time to load (sorry), but are worth the wait. In the works is a slide show format.
We are also in the process of photographing a series of original art by Frances Israel Regardie which he did for his own Temple; originals are now in the Miller Library, graciously donated by Lady Sara Cunningham-Carter. They include the "Four Watchtowers," "Pillars of the Temple," and "Lid of the Pastos." There will also be a collage piece by Phyllis Seckler of the College of Thelema. Look for their new listings under "Art Gallery" at Collected Works index page.
POETRY: I've begun writing poetry, much to my own surprise, since the turn of the Millennium. On the mystical/erotic side, it can be found on the Collected Works Homepage by clicking on:
There are more than seven files here, so be sure to use the "Next button" to continue. To get to an individual file use its index iona_m/ionapoems1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc.
Eventually, there will be Real Audio recordings of some of these as both songs and poetry readings. Temple of Living Light is already a beautiful song, by composer James Eastman, and leads off his new self-titled CD.
WRITING: My ex-husband, Richard Alan Miller, and I are collaborating again. He is a physicist, parapsychologist, and world-renowned herbalist and writer. We are currently working on two books: one on ESP and Self-Hypnosis, and its relationship to current consciousness studies in cognitive science; the other on Tantra, based on lectures from Rick's old AOL metaphysics course. Rick plans to upload his extensive metaphysical library when he upgrades his website at Magick Net. in the near-future. We are currently seeking a new agent, as our former one, Bernard Shir-Cliff, has retired. Maybe someday we'll get around to writing metaphysical fiction.
"A Day at the Beach," photo by Iona Miller, 2/2000
SYNDEX: Bob Marshall continues to refine his vision ("Marshall Arts") of the graphic solution of the prime number enigma. Most of the Synchrographics and Numeronomy study sheets remain to be scanned and loaded, but a visit this Spring 2000 moved things along. More graphics. We're still looking for a metaphysically-minded mathematician and/or number theorist.
APPEARANCES: Rick Miller's keynote address at the Portland, Oregon MENSA event went terrific. A fine time was had by all. He spoke on aphrodisiacs. Rick met author Jean Auel, who wrote Clan of the Cave Bear and The Mammoth Hunters.
For you herb fans, Rick will also be the keynote speaker at HerbFest 2000 in Regina, Saskatchewan this July. It is the largest grower/buyer herbal conference in North America this year.
BOOKSALES: Sales of The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes are up, particularly in Europe. So thanks to any German-speaking patrons, who are buying the hardcover German language edition, which has Crowley's Thoth deck as its accompanying art. Note that there are also Spanish and Portuguese (Brazilian) versions of this work available through Inner Traditions, Intl.
Also note that large portfolios of Joel Radcliffe's art from The Book of Lambspring, published in our work THE MODERN ALCHEMIST, are still available from Phanes Press. FYI: Joel is preparing to go to Timbuktu to help locals set up a bookbindery to restore and preserve a collection of that country's ancient manuscripts from around the 1100s. This is a joint project of UNESCO and several corporations.
VOICE MAIL: You can leave a 90 second Voice Mail for me which will be delivered to my E-mail at excite.com. Just use the access code number, 1-888-Excite2, followed by my personal number, 232-652-3666, (which is the numerical equivalent of ADAM KADMON) on any touchtone phone. If you have this number with you, you can reach me from anywhere without a computer terminal.
Please use sparingly, as it only takes 60 calls per month. If I don't know you, leave an e-mail address to receive a reply.
RICHARD MILLER AND IONA MILLER
A Discussion on Magical Formulae
Edited by C. Dana Evans
I met Rick Miller online in an AOL class on Metaphysics. He totally intrigued me with his quantum understanding of magick. With nine new publications out this Spring, Rick Miller is "cooking." He is a keynote speaker at the Mensa Conference in Portland, Oregon on April 22nd. The topic? How aphrodisiacs actually work, chemically! The three book series published by Inner Traditions on the Magickal and Ritual Use of Perfumes, Herbs, and Aphrodisiacs are still respected authorities in the arena of the occult, according to Stuart Weinberg of Seven Stars Bookstore, 731 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. I talked with Stuart in January, 2000, and he had this to say:
[Seven Stars Bookstore has]..."carried Rick Miller's books for years. His books were classics before there were 30 other books competing for reader's attention on the subject. His material still does exceptionally well in this arena. His Aphrodisiac book is certainly 'kick ass.' The sexual focus has certainly been elevated in recent years, and again, Rick [and Iona'a] books were there before there were others, so certainly Rick has had a seminal influence in a variety of fields. His collaboration with ex-wife Iona Miller on The Modern Alchemist continues to do very well. This title is about Personal Transformation within an alchemical framework; a classic, and continues to do very well."
DANA: For readers unfamiliar with The Modern Alchemist, Rick, can you just explain a little about that work?
RICK: Well, The Modern Alchemist was published in 1994. In that book, we take a 14th century alchemical text, translate it from old German into English, and Iona adds a psychological commentary from the Jungian perspective. Joel Radcliffe did a beautiful job of rendering the medieval plates into pen and ink. It spans the developmental spectrum from awakening to perfection. The first half is about therapy, the second about the Path. It is a translation in terms of the modern transformational process; a contemporization of alchemy.
IONA: I guess you could call it "The Magickal and Ritual Use of Alchemy.!"
DANA: How did you folks ever come to writing a book like this. Can you tell me something of your spiritual progressions?
IONA: My first exposure to metaphysics was in the 60's. I lived in Ojai, California, a Theosophical center, and homebase for Krishnamurti, the "Un-guru." Through Theosophy, and the excellent library there, I learned about various mystic arts, including astrology from a former Bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church. Of all of them, magick seemed to be the most intriguing because it had the most depth. My study ranged far and deep. Realizing this was not exactly the "norm," I began investigating psychology, also. By the early 70's, I was an avid Jungian. I began writing to crystallize my thoughts on the interface between mysticism and depth psychology. A continuing interest of mine is the relationship of psyche and matter.
RICHARD: My first experience was as a child in high school. I was part of a study conducted by Duke University, later known as the Foundation for the Study of Man. My mother was a known clairvoyant who had been observed prior. They were checking children to see if there was a hereditary passing on of skills. It turned out, I am a "transmitter," rather than receiver. However, using a scientific technique for ESP that I developed, I was able to win the 1st National Psychic Tournament at the Gnosticon Conference, 1975, sponsored by Llewellyn Publicationss. There were many world-class psychics there.
DANA: So you were sort of formally introduced to magick with this Psychic Tournament?
RICHARD: My first actual formal training began, like my [ex]wife, with Theosophy. From there I explored Rosicrucians, Wicca, and Free Masonry. Soon, I also came to the same conclusion Iona did regarding magick, after reviewing the options.
DANA: This conclusion concerned initiation? What is this concept?
IONA: I think that initiation is one way of simplifying the Great Work by connecting yourself with a tradition of spiritual development. Why re-invent the wheel! Ultimately, though, my path became the Jungian one of individuation which doesn't require joining anything. Life, as well as spiritual teachers, creates rites of passage that influence the deep psyche. But some form of spiritual practice is essential.
RICHARD: I could make a second comment on that by saying that I originally was collecting these things like merit badges. I wanted access into certain kinds of groups which could demonstrate religious experiences through their intiation processes...[Magickal groups taught me] tricks of the trade, shortcuts. In my apprenticeship I learned the whys and wherefores of structuring ritual. Essentially it means preparing a switch to go from profane into "sacred" space. If you prepare a ritual correctly, you have a switch to turn off the experience so it doesn't take over your personality.
There are other aspects important in ritual also. You set up your form of psychological protection. If you drive an automobile, you know what a seatbelt and an airbag mean. Those are a part of your automobile's overall design. A ritual is done similarly, metaphorically speaking. You want to have a sense of protection, or availability of protection. Also it brings a cleansing, allowing a finer focus of attention.
Some psychics use no protection and fall indiscriminately into trance and are "taken over" by a spirit which might be benign but could just as easily be malevolent. It is difficult to know even though these spirits assure you they are not bad. You have no way of knowing where that source of energy is coming from.
If you draw a circle of protection, using a ritualistic format, you clear a working space and call in specific energies or archetypes. Its been used for centuries - tried and true. Most new age channeling is done with no preparation. Prior, you may even take a ritual bath or sweat. Those who automatically or indiscriminately fall into a trance state are more open psychologically to the phenomena of possession by seemingly alien forces.
DANA: Are you talking about assimilation or a breaking down of one's ego?
RICHARD: Yes, but even ego-death is O.K. with preparation so it can be integrated. There are a lot of questions that arise and that is just one of them. I have always felt most comfortable with Grimoire magick, which uses formulas. This is probably because that is where I first entered my studies: Abra-Melin the Mage, The Greater Key of Solomon -- that sort of work. It is like being a mathematician who does really well in algebra. I have an affinity toward that kind of system. Ritual may also be internalized and done without the formality. Internally done, ritual is very subtle and ever-present. Ritual is one way of approaching integration, or unity. [We address this process] in The Modern Alchemist.
DANA: It seems to me that you are approaching low magick and high magick ideas.
IONA: Low magick is the evocation (calling up) of demons, or complexes, or your own sub-personalities, in order to get them to swear allegiance to you. Clearing the issues they represent serves the personality and will. High magick, or theurgy, is invocation (calling in) of supra-personal, or archetypal energy known in the past as Gods and Goddesses. Theurgy is the technique of bringing that energy and those qualities within you in a sacred space. It serves itself. It implies bringing in resources from the transpersonal realm. ...Employing the correspondence of the Tree of Life by Pathworrking means changing states of consciousness at will, and it works both ways. Those things reacting to your energy help create an atmosphere as well. The common meeting ground of both matter and psyche is the imagination.
RICHARD: That is the purpose of it. There is a symbiotic relationship.
IONA: The correspondences help create an atmosphere, a sacred moment, a holistic moment. The senses are the quickest way to access a Gestalt experience, or memory unit, either imaginal or physical.
RICHARD: For example, regarding the use of perfumes: the nose is the only known place where the brain directly accesses the physical universe. What a perfect way to get access to specific brain functions and associations. The scent helps set the stage for a ritual or archetypal encounter. If you have access directly into the brain with incenses and perfumes, you can make the imagery better or more enhanced.
DANA: So it's like if you can see a concept in your mind's eye, that concept can become present on a material plane.
RICHARD: Well, you see, that is the concept. They are not separate. What you are trying to do is reach across the planes. Remember the old adage, "As Above, So Below." If you have it on one plane, you literally have it on all planes. What you are trying to do is find tools that assist you in making those temporal connections so that the event can happen on an imaginal level. If it can be done on that level, it is real. And you can direct it just like an artist. In fact, that is what magick truly is.
IONA: It is an aspect of art, one mode of artistic expression. It differs from ego-gratifying fantasy, because it serves a transpersonal aim. Imagination is not something you make up, rather it is something that happens to you. Ritual, archetypes, myth, and dream are all expressive of a developmental level. Metaphor is the language form of that spectrum of the psyche. Like cures like. When someone's root metaphors change, so does their self image, feelings, and beliefs.
RICHARD: Metaphors are very efficient for going directly into the source of transpersonal energies. Of course, as with all shortcuts, there are some perils. You need to know where the "cow pies" and "land mines" are. Hopefully, with a psychologist and physicist writing, you get a broad enough based perspective so that you can navigate those waters a little more easily. Consciousness maps or modeling systems make it more accessible to you. Even if you don't fully understand them, you can use them. You may not understand the rings in your car, but you know if you have certain kinds of compression, the automobile will function.
Essentially what we are trying to do is give you enough of the physics and the psychology of it that you have several planes bridged, and can allow the rest of it "to flow" as it were. It is a metaphysical worldview that is not inconsistent with science.
Flow is the keyword, of course. Aleister Crowley used to talk about "enflamement," or energized enthusiasm. It is that part of being an active participant where you are caught up in the act itself, become part of the dream, if you will.
IONA: It is not much different than the Taoist sense of being in the flow. That is why, at a certain point, ritual is not so much a psychological necessity as an aesthetic expression. It expresses the sheer joy of a consciously lived life. At a certain point, magick precipitates into daily life through synchronicity and through the flow. Understanding the language of symbolism you can read into your daily life the things and mythemes that previously you could only comprehend and access during ritual or through divination.
RICHARD: Ritual becomes part of your total waking experience. When you reach that stage of relationship with yourself and your environment, this is a state-specific form of consciousness. In the O.T.O. they call this Grade 7, or Adeptus Exemptus. That means you are exempt from a host of reactions, because you are in synch with your universe. You can be a great magician and still not be exempt. It's similar to someone of Wall Street who can materialize money out of nothing, to use a low-level metaphor. You get the idea.
IONA: Like the adage, "If you're so smart, how come you're not rich?"
RICHARD: What you are doing is trying to go for higher plane experiences. Your inner plane experience is where the richness and real wealth lies. This was true in alchemy. It is the "gold" of the philosophers, mined from the lead of profane experience. It has nothing to do with the physical, material plane, but that is often seen as a reference point of your ability, or functionality.
IONA: The point of magick, getting into a conversation with your Holy Guardian Angel, is not substantially different from the experience Abraham Maslow described as Self-Actualization. He also describes the peak experiences that go along with that state. The stabilization and generalization of that state into daily life has certain specific characteristics.
DANA: Is this Angel an inner/intra psychic relationship or an autonomous, non-human creature? Please explain.
IONA: Either way, it is real. Jung spoke of this same force as a relationship with the self through an on-going inner dialogue. The alchemists called it the meditatio. It means a relationship with the self or one's wholeness. Others know it as the Higher Self.
RICHARD: On the Tree of Life it is defined as Tiphareth, and relates to the biological and psychic heart center. That is like getting access to the other nine-tenths of your cerebral cortex. Tiphareth is only half way up the climb on the Tree of Life. Further up comes the Abyss, a void that precedes the experience of Union with Godhead, or the Source, the goal of God-Realization, which requires meditative practice.
Iona's "evil twin," Mona
File Created: 2/20/2000 Last Updated: 6/01/2000