Hearing the Voices of God: The Importance of Mystical Experience in Personal Transformation
Nikki Wyrd has helped spread chaos magic techniques through her writings, publications, talks and workshops since 1990. As a member of the magical network known as The Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros, she has attended and organised numerous rituals, residential meetings and public events. As a writer she co-authored The Book of Baphomet (which merges science with magical beliefs) and has contributed to many periodicals and collections of poetry. She enjoys helping people explain their ideas more clearly, mostly through her work as a copyeditor on more than a dozen books, three theses and many academic papers, on range of subjects including psychedelic culture, magical thinking, philosophy, and the meeting point of Chinese Medicine/Western medicine. She has published seven occultural books under her imprint, The Universe Machine. She transcribed all the talks for the book The DMT Dialogues. She is the Editor of the Psychedelic Press Journal, a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Psychedelic Studies, and Director of Breaking Convention, a biennial multidisciplinary conference on psychedelics held at the University of Greenwich, London. Her Ecology degree comes in very useful when contacting the faery realms.
Whilst historically mystical encounters were framed in the acceptable, religious cultural setting, in today’s secular society with its rational foundation, we find such moments harder to integrate. A case can be made for the contemporary acceptable nature of mystical moments induced by a material cause, psychedelic drugs. The usage of these substances looks set to spread beyond the spiritual and consciousness explorers of the past 50 years, as therapeutic and medicinal licences are extended. For many beneficiaries, an understandable and sensible metanarrative would assist considerably with their treatment, both for themselves and for their social milieu. Here Nikki maps out a path into and out of the deep mystical sense of connection, the loss of self, which is recognised as necessary for a successful alteration in ‘stuck’ thought patterns, which is the aim of many therapies directed towards those suffering from addiction, depression, and trauma. She suggests that lessons can be learned from the eclectic techniques of Chaos Magic, and shares some practical and theoretical structures which can provide the individual with robust strategies to navigate the otherworldly realms. The title references her own first deeply revelatory experience.
“The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today (in so far as we are unbelievers, or, if believers, in so far as our inherited beliefs fail to represent the real problems of contemporary life) must face alone, or, at best with only tentative, impromptu, and not often very effective guidance. This is our problem as modern, ‘enlightened’ individuals, for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence.”
(Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces)