Independent Researcher / Occultist / Author
Julian Vayne is a British independent scholar and author with over three decades of experience within esoteric culture: from Druidry to Chaos Magic, from indigenous Shamanism through to Freemasonry and Witchcraft. Growing up in the Britain of punk and then rave culture Julian immersed himself in the philosophy and techniques of magic. His journey into group ritual practice began within the Western Esoteric Tradition when he was 16. Since then he has worked in ceremony with practitioners from many different lands and lineages. Julian is a senior member of the Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros and widely recognized as one of Britain’s leading occultists.
Esoteric magic and stage magic rely on altering perception. What we perceive is largely based on our preconceptions and beliefs about the world. We see what we expect to see, rather than what is really there. Magicians engineer this process, by which means they might alter who we believe ourselves to be (the aim of much occultism), and also aspects of the physical world around us (a rabbit came out of that hat!). Our senses construct our reality tunnel from the clues they gather, deceiving us with a fabricated version of the physical environment. How much more fabricated then must those deduced versions of non-present reality be, upon we base our decisions?
From the power of placebo to the shamanic sleight of hand – many approaches to magic embrace the use of fakery to generate real effects. In this presentation occultists Nikki Wyrd and Julian Vayne will explore the methods by which the unreal is made real in settings including shamanic healing, spirit communication and spell casting. We’ll show how fakery serves to articulate wide social concerns and ways in which it can initiate actual changes in society. Join us for a journey through the worlds of Ayahuasca-infused psychic surgery, the ‘as if’ philosophy of Austin Osman Spare, the mythical role of the trickster, and a discussion of the implications of a magical understanding of deception in the era of deep fakes, fact-checkers and dis-information.
Since the mid 20th century and the encounter between western science and psychedelic substances the therapeutic value of these materials has become well established. The return of licensed psychedelic research in the new millenium appears to confirm the earlier findings of mid-20th century researchers. Currently these substances are being used to treat illnesses including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance addictions and depression. Outside licensed research environments the claims of health benefits associated with psychedelic substances are legion, as are the methods of their use for ‘healing’, from underground therapeutic sessions through to ceremonial consumption in religious or shamanic settings.
Contemporary research has described the action of these substances in some detail at psychopharmacological and neurological functional levels but few hypothesis of psychedelic psychology have emerged in contrast to the mid 20th century where Freudian, Jungian and other models – notably Leary’s Eight Circuits model – were deployed to suggest how these mind-manifesting experiences initiate healing.
Drawing on insights from contemporary brain imaging and from the subjective accounts of research participants this presentation will present evidence towards the development of a new theory of psychedelic healing in which the discovery of a ‘healing metaphor’ is a critical component. The relationship between both ‘traditional’ and emerging methods of psychedelic healing will be explored in context of this hypothesis and suggestions for further research outlined.