The official demise of Arthur Magazine, Jay Babcock’s carefully cultivated psychedelic culture journal, left many fretting their future prospects for an intriguing, in depth, and off-color window into the fractuous mindstream of contemporary culture. Thankfully the digital beast we ride would never allow such a thing, and Arthur Mag lives on through online archives, and a new Tumblr feed, which is already bearing fruit as evinced by the news of the upcoming publication of Anthony Alvarado’s initiatic indulgence D.I.Y. Magic, a book born from a series of articles that ran in Arthur Magazine:
“What is magic? It is the fine and subtle art of driving yourself insane! No really, it is just that. It is a con game you play on your own brain. It is the trick of letting yourself go crazy, and when it’s done right, the magus treads the same sacred and profane ground where walks the madman…
We can read descriptions of myths, of the practices of shamans, but the descriptions we might read by a Pentecostal believer, or a voodoo practitioner ridden by the loa, will be meaningless to us unless we have already been in the state they describe. These are wholly subjective experiences.
If you take these many practices, from across countless fields, cultures, religions, modes of being and systems of ritual (hypnosis, song and dance, duende, speaking in tongues, enchantment, faith healing, divination, out of body experience, sweat lodges, drumming, yoga, drugs, fever and on and on), we find that we are really talking about the same thing: a state where the mind lets go of the normal way of being and is opened up to an experience of existence as a whole that is bigger and without time. These states are all really different forms of the same thing, or if not the precisely the same thing, then near and adjacent territories in a realm that lies parallel to this one, reachable by many means.”