EP82 Openness to Spirit and “Six Ways” with Aidan Wachter

June 8, 2018
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This week Andrew is joined by the one and only Aidan Wachter. We catch up a bit since our last Stacking Skulls Episode and the converstation flows from there. We discuss Aidan's book "Six Ways: Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic" (which has been very popular at the shop" and Aidan's Talisman work. We also dive into what it means to be open to spirit and the connections that can be made from there. 

Connect with Aidan on his website, and look for "Aidan Wachter" on the social media outlet of your choosing!

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Andrew
 
 
 

ANDREW: Welcome to another instalment of The Hermit's Lamp podcast. I'm here today with Aidan Wachter, and, you know, I feel like Aidan's a person who needs no introduction, but in case this is the first time you've run across him, let me say: Aidan's been on before by himself, Aidan is part of the Stacking Skulls, which is the mythological magical band made up of a few of the people who come on here on the regular, and we get together and talk about magic, and Aidan is a talismanic wizard and genius who produces amazing jewelry, and Aidan just has a new book out, called Six Ways, which is, as I'm sure we'll talk about in the episode, the book that I wish that I had received when I was starting, and the book that I wish I had written if I was going to write a book on magic. So, it's all of those good things. You know, I gave you a bit of an intro, but for folks who don't know you, Aidan, who are you? What are you about? 

AIDAN: [laughing] What am I about? I've just been at the magic thing for a long time, and in a kind of weird pattern that I can see from now, I can kind of, and I'd imagine this is true of a lot of people, I can see at this point kind of the whole chain that got me here [laughs], and on top of the jewelry work, the kind of intention that I have is to kind of transmit as much of that as is useful to people. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Without all the detours that really were just mostly time wasters. And, yeah, I live on a little micro-ranch in the mountains of New Mexico, where most of the time it's really windy, but not today, it actually rained for the first time in, like, months! 

ANDREW: Uh huh.

AIDAN: With a bunch of chickens and a duck who's about to hatch a pile of ducks if that works out. I think today or tomorrow. And some goats and some dogs and my wife. And I play music, I write some, and I make a lot of silverwork. So. 

ANDREW: Nice. So, I mean, somebody was asking, before this episode was recorded, you know, what's the move like? Because, you know, you've been there for a while, but has it been a year yet? 

AIDAN: We've been in this house for just a little bit over a year now. About a year and a third. Yeah, the last place was a kind of weird one, cause it was kind of in a high-end homeowner association zone, of kind of Santa Fe suburbs? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Which is really not our scene! [laughs] We laughed that that house was the house that all of our parents would have been really proud if we had actually acquired intentionally, cause it was huge, and ...

ANDREW: Sure.

AIDAN: Fancy. And was totally not us. So, we're in this tiny little 700 square foot casita here. I was thinking about that question, and it's a little strange because, due to just setting up the ranchita here, and getting everything set up, and then my surgery and all that, we haven't really been out a lot in this area. So, to answer kind of what New Mexico has done, is really, like, what has this two and a half acres done? And so, it's not super New Mexico-like ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Perhaps in a general thing. But it's been really good. It's really quiet and it's really full of animals, in a way that we didn't expect. There is more kind of songbird activity than I've ever seen anywhere that I've lived. We've got a huge raptor population, we're in like the essentially what is like ... appears to be the raven preserve part of New Mexico. There is probably 150 ravens that clearly live within, you know, 1/4 mile of us, so there's always ravens in the yard and they come and mess with our dogs. Yeah. 

ANDREW: How did you find ... So, like, I think about where I live. Right? You know? I mean, where I live and where the shop is, you know? And the shop's been where it is ... I mean, I was across the street before this, so if we include that, I've been in the same ... in both places, about six or seven years, right? And, you know, for me, so many of my spiritual practices kind of end up being kind of connected to spirits of place and in places where the spirits that I work with like to show up. You know, so has there been a change in your spiritual practice with this move? You know, before you moved this way? 

AIDAN: You know, that's a somewhat strange question. I was thinking about this a lot in relationship to the book, cause there's kind of a really big move toward kind of spirits of place and kind of the bioregional animism that Marcus McCoy's coined that term and brought up. And I have some sense of that. But having moved as much as I have, which I figured out a couple months ago, I've moved 37 times, and I'm 51, so [laughs]. And so, a lot of those I was all in the same place, so. It definitely changes my sense of things, like my overall perceptions change a lot when I move, but the spirits I work with are pretty consistent. And that's mainly, I think, because I do most of my work in trance. 

ANDREW: Hmm.

AIDAN: And so, things change over there, but that's not really related to place. The places that I go are fairly consistent, and the shifts that happen there, happen over really long periods of time. 

ANDREW: Right. 

AIDAN: And those things come with me, and that stuff doesn't change based on where I live so far that I've seen. 

ANDREW: I can see that. I mean, for me, so much of my work, my work sort of out in the woods and whatever, is connected to the spirits of those places, for sure, but it's also as often as not connected to like, you know, I can go find a willow tree anywhere, I mean, you know, in the greater sense of Toronto and the surrounding areas and many other places, and once I'm hanging out with the willow tree I can do willow tree stuff, you know? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: So, like it tends to be more tied to feature, and tied to species of plants or things like that than it tends to be, you know, like I want to go find somewhere really swampy, I want to go, you know like I really love the ... me and the redwing blackbirds have a thing, you know, so I need somewhere that's marshy and they're gonna be there then. But you know, the places that I tend to go tend to be predominantly because they are the most convenient to where I'm living or working ...

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: Versus explicitly tied to the land.

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: So. 

AIDAN: And then the ... yeah, and I kind of get that with the animals. So, for me, like, the ravens have always been a big deal for me anyway ... 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so that's a presence here. And we are ... we have lured in an insane rabbit population that is basically merging with our chicken flock now. And you'll look out and they're all hanging out at the feeders, or they'll be sharing the waters, and ... I have a thing with the rabbits too, so ... they're kind of my underworld creature.

ANDREW: Nice.

AIDAN: And then the other thing that did happen here, is, and I have to go back, I haven't spent enough time there, you know is there's this really ancient Guadalupe shrine here. 

ANDREW: Mmm.

AIDAN: That's, I don't know when that ... I mean, it's old. I want to say it's more than 300 years old, I think. And like that place is one of the most intense power spots I've ever been in. Like that's been continuous use for hundreds of years. And that's ... Yeah, that's an amazing place. That was ... I mean I know that that changed some of ... That certainly affected me, was spending a few hours in there. There's another church that's dedicated to St. Michael, but I haven't been up there yet, those are both in Santa Fe. And, yeah, I mean, New Mexico is really interesting cause it's such a different place than anywhere I've ever lived. And especially kind of down where we are, which is really rural. We're not in ... 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: You know, we're not in anything like hoity toity ... We have a Walmart, a gas station, and three or four feed stores. [laughs]

ANDREW: Right. 

AIDAN: You know, we live in the neighbourhood where you see, you know, somebody's escaped horse running down the road. 

ANDREW: Right. 

AIDAN: With people chasing it. [laughs] So it's ... I love the spaciousness and the open ... It does remind me a lot of trying to see where we were except that I'm not as wrecked by allergies as I was in Tennessee. 

ANDREW: [10:04 crosstalk] 

AIDAN: That openness definitely is really helpful. The clear skies, basically all the time, is really helpful for me. 

ANDREW: Hmm. So, since you were last on the podcast ...

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: So, you know, the Stacking Skulls crew was on, end of January, early February, you have this book that came out, and I don't usually do book episodes cause I think that they're not that exciting.

AIDAN: Totally.

ANDREW: But your book has been super fascinating to me. Because I think that it represents such a grounded introduction ...

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: To magic, and such a grounded introduction that is not ... Not invested in making you believe something. 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: So many books are ... you know, they're like, "Sign up for the Golden Dawn, we'll give you the special apron, and you'll be a believer. Sign up for this, or sign up for that," you know, like, and not that there's anything wrong with having a belief system or expressing that belief system, but, I feel like your work is sort of devoid of that in an overt way that I think is very fascinating. 

AIDAN: Yeah. I think that ... It was really interesting to me, and I'm glad that that comes through, cause that was certainly the intent, that when the book started, when the book kicked up, and it kicked up really fast -- the framework took about two weeks to write, and then it just took me another two years to finish, basically. Any time I would try and go even vaguely into "let's talk about how you should do something," [laughs] like I would just get kicked by the allies, like, "that is not why we want you to do this," like, "do what you would do." 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And there wasn't a lot of that to begin with, but it really did get weeded out pretty aggressively, cause I don't think it's generally relevant to the practice of magic. I talk about the general and the specific in the book, in a few places, and I don't go incredibly deep into it, but that's kind of my take, is we tend to get lost in the specific in a lot of our conversations or books or whatever about magic. Which is great for the people that are doing the exact same kind of work. But it makes it kind of difficult for somebody that's not, that they don't really fit that mold, to figure out what parts you can use and what parts are really important. If it's really important that I know all these names or all these correspondences or all of these ... or that I work with these specific gods, does that mean that I can't do this work? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And I was definitely looking to counter that. 

ANDREW: Yeah, I think it's great because ... You know, we have a lot of conversations going on around sort of appropriation, and, you know, what do we do with, you know, other people's histories, and other people's spirits, and other traditions, and stuff like that. And I think that it's really sticky to sort of go through and read a bunch of books and cherry pick all the pieces that you want, you know? 

AIDAN: Yeah.

ANDREW: And kind of put them together. Cause it might work, and you might unlock something, or you might end up with a lot of trouble, or you might be fooling yourself, or you might just rub all those spirits the wrong way, and it's really kind of arrogant of us as humans to sort of think that we can understand all of that in a way that kind of goes beyond that, you know? 

AIDAN: Totally.

ANDREW: And I say that as a person who at points in my past has been arrogant in those ways, you know? 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm. Me too! 

ANDREW: And I've discovered things and been like, "Huh. That would have been way better had I not done that thing..." 

AIDAN: [laughs]

ANDREW: Or whatever, right, you know? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: Yeah. 

AIDAN: Well and I think too, I think that there's a big part in there which is, you know, kind of, I keep blasting out this thing from Ido Portal, who's kind of a crazy movement guy with a capoeira background, but he's gone all over the place. Where he talks about that there's a point where information becomes too much, and it's no longer helpful. And he means that in a developmental sense, like learning more data, more or less, more systems, more theories, at some point actually stops helping you, and it kind of turns on you, and so, I think that that was a present thought in the book too, was like, what's ... how much can I give you, it's kind of why the title of approaches and entries is, how many different doors to interesting spaces that are helpful in my experience can I get you through? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And then, I don't want to give you much more information than that ...

ANDREW: Right.

AIDAN: Because if I do, that's going to color what happens when you walk through them. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so, instead, I'd rather have you walk into that space, and go "Okay, what goes on in here?" And see. Cause what goes on in there for you is likely to be really different than what goes on in there for me or for Andrew or anybody else. 

ANDREW: Sure.

AIDAN: Unless we come in with such a clear picture of what is supposed to happen in there that that just shades everything. And we kind of get what we expect. Versus what might be way better for us to get in there. 

ANDREW: Yeah. Yeah, it's amazing the shaping influence that our consciousness plays on things, right? and our preconceptions and so on, you know? 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: And I think that this sort of notion, you know, I shared a video the other day, I'm working on a new tarot deck, and it doesn't have a title, but, like, so I finished my Orisha tarot deck and handed it in to Llewellyn in April, and as I was doing the final steps of that, I created a ... and that, the Orisha deck was very very structured and very very thought out, you know, and inspired when I was actually doing the art, but like the, but so much of it ... Sorry for that brief interruption! And then I created this sort of surrealist, very dream-inspired black and white deck, and then I realized what I wanted to do was just like basically slop paint around and make something really bright and colorful, so I've been making this deck and I was working on the Judgement card, which is what I shared recently ...

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: And, as I was sort of like working on it, and sort of allowing something to emerge, I was like, "Why do we have to see the angel? Why do we even think the angel looks like us?"

AIDAN: [laughs]

ANDREW: "Why is the angel anything other than, like, light and motion?" You know? 

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: It's sound, right? You know, and I think we have so many notions about, they look this way, they look that way, they, you know, have this shape or that shape, yet, in my experience it's not true. My experience is that they are so utterly other that we create that layer on top of them so that we can interface with it, but even that's not required. You know? 

AIDAN: Right. Well, it's funny, I have this very, if we were to talk image, there's an entity that I visit in a southern place that's this fire spirit, and it's kind of like a traditional, I would think, positive view of Lucifer, as like look, this very fiery ... 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Bright, intense being. Very masculine. And for the last, I don't know, five months, half the time if I go into that space, he looks like that, and half the time he looks like Gary Numan's daughter, Persia. There's like this 12-year-old blonde girl, that's in his, if you go and watch the "My Name is Ruin" video by Gary Numan, she's the girl in there. So obviously this came from me. There's no reason that this thing has watched this video. [laughs] And it clearly just kind of grabbed that image as something that it liked, to present as. Or, I just overlaid that image, that somehow there's energy there. It doesn't really matter ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: But it was really helpful in some ways, I think, to just realize, yeah, this is my avatar, in the old RPGs or whatever ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Right, I've got like my little image, and that's what we're generally interacting with. I deal with a number of spirits that change all the time, and like, there's just, it's either like, there's something in the eyes, or if they speak I know, or sometimes there's just a vibe that they give off, but that they've never been the same thing twice. And if I come in thinking "oh, this is an angel that has wings" or whatever, I may not have been able to see all of these different aspects. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And I'm not sure whether those aspects are more important just as to my own self or to them or whatever, but it does leave it really ... It leaves it ... It kind of keeps you from instilling ... At least it keeps me from instilling dogma about it. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Whereas if I said you're going to walk into this space, and you're going to meet this, you know, fiery being, who's a slender man, six feet tall, well-muscled, right? the kind of standard shit you see in the old stuff ... 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And you walk in and like, no, you see this 12-year-old girl in a kind of ratty shift, with, you know, white painted cross on her forehead, do you not realize that that's the thing that you're supposed to be? Probably, right? Cause that's not what it looks like. 

ANDREW: So, how do you ... How do you verify, or do you verify, who you're talking to, then? 

AIDAN: [laughs] Well, I'm a little weird on that sense from what I understand, talking to people. Almost nothing that I work with has a name. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And the few times that I've tried to get names out of most of them, they don't give them to me. They'll either give me a title ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Which they're really clear is a title. Or they'll just like make something up. [laughs]

ANDREW: Call me Steve!

AIDAN: Yeah, call me Steve! [laughs] Totally. I just look for how useful what I'm getting from them is, and then over time is it consistent with them?

ANDREW: Right. 

AIDAN: So, there's a being that I think I've mentioned before when we were talking that I work with called, that I call the Night Mother. And she's always functioning the same with me. 

ANDREW: Hmm.

AIDAN: But again, some of the kind of allies that I've met through her are also what I kind of refer to as collective or hive beings, we've talked about that before. So, I'm not certain that she's not, you know, kind of again an avatar to a collective.

ANDREW: Right. 

AIDAN: She doesn't feel that way. She feels very solid and there's links to a lot of different deities that I could say ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: This is on the continuum with these other kind of particular goddess figures. 

ANDREW: I think that's actually a really interesting point if you don't mind me segueing here for a second. 

AIDAN: Yeah, go ahead. 

ANDREW: You know, there's always this question that I run into, right? Because ... and let me start by saying, hey, whatever people do is whatever people do. Like, you know. Neither -- I don't think either of us are here to neither judge nor claim to know the ultimate truth, right? 

AIDAN: Oh, hell no! [laughs]

ANDREW: But like there's this ... But there's this sort of point of tension that happens, because I practice a traditional religious practice, and because I have such a background in magic and chaos magic and other traditions like that, and because I still practice spirit-based magic and stuff, mostly around my business and my clients, for my clients. But, you know, like, people have these experiences where they say, "this Orisha spoke to me," or "I saw this spirit," or whatever, right? And I think that there's this openness in your approach, which I really think is super smart, which is to sort of say, "Yeah, it's a spirit from like, that collection, or from that like, direction, or from those kinds of things," right? 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: As opposed to sort of leaping to this sort of assumption that, you know, Zeus himself strode out from Olympus, wherever that might be, and came to see you. Yeah, maybe it was Zeus. Maybe it was a Zeus-like thing. Maybe it was a spirit related energetically to that, you know? You know and because, so many people have interactions with these different spirits, and yet, and yet, you know, certainly from a traditional point of view, the belief is that they are not those spirits themselves. That the Orishas themselves only generally speak through their priest craft. 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: So, then what's going on with all these other people who are having some kinds of experiences? Especially where those experiences carry truth or carry through in some way, right? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: And I think that this idea that there are, you know, there are certain spirits or deities or whatever you want to call them, and then there are, kind of like when we go read the Goetia and stuff, you know? 

AIDAN: [laughs]

ANDREW: There's this person, and then they've got 300 governors, and they've got 26 servants, and they've got, you know, this, that, and whatever, right? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: And to think that we've gotten so cleanly and clearly to the top of that order, you know, is somewhat presumptuous, especially in the absence of clearly definable magical process to get there. You know? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: Like, if you're going to call Balail, well, there are documents and there are ways to go about it, and there, you know, and then that seems way more likely. But to think that Balail's out just strolling around, and bumps into you on the street and wants to have a conversation with you, maybe not so much, but maybe a spirit from that crew, you know? Or do you disagree with me? What do you think? 

AIDAN: No, I actually do, and I mean, that's where I kind of, that whole think is what led me into kind of what I refer to in the book as biological animism at one point ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so, I go, "No!" Like, I've got, you know I'm made of these ungodly number of different types of cells and different structures ...

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And a lot of them do basically the same thing, right? So, all my motor neurons are doing the same thing. They're doing it in different parts of my body and they're connected to different structures, so when they do that same thing, different things happen, right? But so, I began thinking about the entities that I was kind of interacting with in that sense, you know, again, this will probably not be comfortable for some folks, but, if we kind of view that the crossroads is this, extensively spread thing, whether we ... especially if we add in all the structures that are like it, so if we look at the tree, if we look at the center posts in some religions, and some forms of shamanism, and if we say, all these things are crossroads-like, they're kind of cognates of that ...

ANDREW: Yeah. 

AIDAN: They serve a similar function, right? And so, it makes sense to me that all of those beings that we find wed to that idea in all of these different cultures are probably of a type, to some degree. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And this isn't to say that you don't find individual things, I don't know enough to say that that's not the case, and I think it probably is. I'm not saying they're all the same, which is one of the things that you get in some arguments, which is not the one that I make at all. But ... Like, I know that my work is highly connected to that space. 

ANDREW: Mmm.

AIDAN: And, if I look at the kind of spirits that I operate with, a lot of them operate within that function. And they do show as very different, but yeah, it's like, there's a thing that I interact with that is very Woden-like, but I don't know that that's Woden. And you know, I had a really interesting experience in trance a couple years ago, in relationship to that specific thing, and the ... Another being that I dealt with told me to go find a Woden and ask my question to the Woden that I found. [laughs] And I kind of asked for clarity on that, and they were just like, really clear about it, like ...

ANDREW: Yeah. 

AIDAN: You just, you don't worry about it ... 

ANDREW: You just, you go find one! 

AIDAN: If you go find one, they all do the same thing, more or less, was the idea. Any of them will be able to help you out. 

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: And again, it depends on what you come with. I didn't come with something that said this is one deity is ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: 100 percent discrete from all other beings. And therefore, you know, there is a lot of silversmiths. There is a lot of magicians.

ANDREW: Sure.

AIDAN: There is a lot of ... And it's not necessarily that you're always going to need that one in specific to help you. 

ANDREW: And it's not like all magicians are of the same category either, right? 

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: You know? Yeah.

AIDAN: Yeah. You know. But yeah, there's a certain point where someone's going to say "yeah, you should go talk to a goetic magician," or "you should go talk to someone that works with the Orishas." Cause they'll be able to help you the best in this particular situation ...

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: You know. To me that just seems pragmatic and in my experience, it’s been consistent. I don't know that it's the truth or anything like that, but it's been consistent. 

ANDREW: Who knows what that is, right? [laughs] I'm gonna leave that for another time!

AIDAN: Yep, absolutely. 

ANDREW: So, one of the questions though, since we're talking about going and visiting the spirits, right? Someone commented on one of the Facebook posts about this podcast that they were curious about how they could deepen their trance. You know? 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: How do you get deeper, you know, and I think that really, that's part of the whole spectrum of how do you get there faster, how do you get there easier, how do you go further, how do you stay there longer ...

AIDAN: [laughs] Right. 

ANDREW: What kind of advice do you have for people trying this out? 

AIDAN: So, I only really can speak to my own experience and that I've helped a few people with this thing, I'm not ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: I've done a little bit of teaching but not a lot. So I don't have a vast body of students where I could say, "This always works!" So, I have no idea if this always works. It might! The two things that ... The first thing I would say has to do with the speed issue, and that is to slow down. And that doesn't mean not to try and get deeper now, but as you go in, slow the whole process down, so like at the point that you get relaxed enough to go in, through whatever kind of induction you use, do that for a longer period of time and see if that will settle you further out. 

So, for me I do almost all of my trance work flat on my back, and I mention it in the book, but one of the things that I find really helps is I lay pillows over my body, and that that weight kind of holding me down seems to do something to help me separate more from my body sensations. I don't have, it keeps me from wanting to kind of wiggle my toes and do stuff like that. It's not like I'm always buried or anything, but that definitely has helped. And so slowing that process of getting in, to me is always a good thing, and then once you get in, to really do what you can to kind of intensify the sensoria of whatever it is you're getting. And this may be visual, it may not be visual. I have both visual and nonvisual stuff that goes on this way. 

And so, we'll just assume that this is a visual thing, that you've got it to the place where you actually can get a sense of things. And for me, this is not ... I always, I never know how to describe it, but it's "like" vision. I don't have the internal space that I'm always seeing everything, like I'm seeing you on the screen ...

ANDREW: Sure.

AIDAN: But, I have a clear sense of what things look like, and I don't know if that makes sense to anybody that's not been there, but ...

ANDREW: Well, I find for me personally, I find that I was pursuing that sight piece a lot ...

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: A long time ago, and got quite far with it, and to be honest now I've largely abandoned it. 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: I'm like, man, it's so much work to get to that place. I could actually ... I realized at some point that I could just kind of know, instead ...

AIDAN: Yeah! 

ANDREW: And I like that a lot better, because I'm like, I just kind of know, and if I need visual information, I can receive it as sort of a blending of sight and knowing, but it means, especially because I can do a lot of this work sort of sitting with clients and doing readings, and sliding in and out of these spaces, it's so much more convenient to just like know things and just be able to articulate them ...

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: And I don't have to get to that place where I'm sitting looking at the thing and so on. And not that that's not interesting, but ... Yeah, it just seems less helpful to me over time. 

AIDAN: It's ... The thing that I've found, which is, and I totally agree with that, and the thing that I've found that is helpful, and it's totally okay, this is one of the places where the kind of "fake it till you make it" actually works in magic ...

ANDREW: Yeah. 

AIDAN: Which is, what I talk about in the book, is kind of talk to yourself about what you would see.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And part of what happens, I think, when we do this for people that aren't kind of super visual in that space, and I am not super visual in that space, and what it did for me was it began to kind of break that need to see everything. 

ANDREW: Right.

AIDAN: In technicolor.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Cause it's like, I was proceeding anyway, so whatever part of me was resisting getting what visual information I do get kind of gave up. And so, to me once I get, if you get into a space, play with what's in that space rather than necessarily going "I want contact." 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: So for me, the majority of my work I do in the West, in the West where I go is very moist.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: A little bit of fog, but it's not foggy, but it's more like you see the wisps of fog through the trees and the forest sometimes kind of thing, and I try to, if I'm not kind of getting the feeling that I'm in super well, I'll start trying to get a little more about whatever, so if I notice that there's water running, what does that feel like? What does that ... What is my sensation on my skin feel like? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Do I want, am I cold? Am I ...?

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: Am I warm? Can I hear the water? Is the water like, drippy? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Can I find water that I could drink? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Which is, you know, if you're talking to the fairies, this is not recommended, but I'm always all for drinking the water when I can in the other world. But, and that type of process is the thing that's really worked well for me. And it kind of syncs up to kind of the main theme in the book I think which is kind of go as deep as you can with wherever you are ...

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: Rather than trying to add more to it. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And see what happens. 

ANDREW: Yeah. For me I did ... I used to do this process a lot, which I still sometimes do. Which is, I would sort of as I start sliding into trance I would start picturing myself on this path into the woods, right? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: And, as I was walking, I would sort of focus on the idea of walking the path in the woods until I could hear crunching of the gravel on the path under my feet.

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: And then I would pick up a set number of stones and drop them back and hear them dropping back. And then after I'd accomplished that, then I would put my hand on the tree and feel the bark and what that felt like. And then, at that point, I would turn and see that I was at the end of the path, and it was opening up to wherever I was going, which was usually the same place.

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: Like very structured pieces. It sort of emerged though, not from the notion that like, you know, I'm going to go, like, if you're going to visit somewhere very structured, there are structured ways to get there, right? Like ...

AIDAN: Right.

ANDREW: Like maybe path workings on the tree of life, like there's tons of great stuff on that, you can take a look at that, but for me it was like, there's this thing where I started to notice this stuff, and there was this dance back and forth between noticing what I was experiencing and then engaging back with it, back and forth ...

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: And then that kind of solidified over a few months into that process.

AIDAN: Right. And that's ... I would say that, yeah, very similar things, again like, if I go to the West and I'm not feeling like I'm at a place where I can connect with the things that I deal with yet, then I'll find a spring, that's kind of one of my things, it's like I want water running off of a rock. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And then that's a place where I can kind of wash my hands and bless myself with that water or drink some of that water, and then continue from there. And it kind of is this process of deepening that. You know, when the allies show up, not necessarily, I don't tend to go very hard with them if they do show up, it's just kind of like, what goes on here? [laughs]

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: You know, what ... is there anything you want to show me? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Is there ... cause usually I find that trance is not the place that I initially go for answers to questions unless I already have somebody that I know I can go visit to do that with, so it's really just about making those connections and like, what shows up for me in here? 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Is there something going on for me in this space? And a lot of times it takes a long time. There's places that I go back to repeatedly, dozens of times, before anything really happens, that's of any, yeah, describable import.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so I think it's just time and yeah, seeing what happens, like it was really interesting, like, when I started traveling to the West, I would go to the ocean a lot.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And for the last five years, there has been nothing for me to do at the ocean. [laughs] So I kind of don't go there! If I get called there, which happens, that's happened a couple times, but in general, like, this is kind of boring ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: This is not my place, where there's other spaces that are far more interesting and where I actually have work to do and that's where the allies are generally waiting for me.

ANDREW: Hmm.

AIDAN: And again, I think it's probably different for everybody. I go to very few places. But I go to those places very frequently. And kind of the same thing on the entity front or deity front, I work with very few, but I tend to work with them as much as I can, to do the work that I want, like the idea of having 72 spirits or something to work with is like, WHY? 

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: What's the ... [laughs] what would I do with that? That's more friends than I have. [laughing] By a long shot! I don't know what to do with all of them! [laughing]

ANDREW: Yeah. I think that's, I think that ... You know, people ask me, like, you know, what deck is the best, or whatever, like, and, I mean, I have one deck. I read with it. I have three unopened copies in a drawer because it's out of print, and if it doesn't come back in print I don't want to be sad down the road that I can't replace it. You know? 

AIDAN: Mmmhmm.

ANDREW: And like -- and before I worked with this deck, which has been the last number of years. You know, at some point I worked with another deck for like the better part of ... I don't know, somewhere between 15 and 20 years exclusively, and I think that there's something that ... there are different things that come, right? There's something that comes out of ... we talk about devotion, right? You know and sort of being devoted to a deck or to something particular, I think it brings about a different quality of change, than, you know, than having 72 friends or 72 decks or whatever, and I don't know that either is bad, but sometimes I don't understand what's on the other side of that equation, because it's so far from my journey with things ...

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: That I don't know what to do with it. You know? 

AIDAN: No, and I totally think that there is ... I don't ... I know folks that work extensively with, you know, whether it's Goetia or Enochian or all sorts of different systems that are incredibly involved, and it appears to work well for them, so it's not, I have no issue with it, but for me, that's definitely not my approach. You know. It's like I kind of covet another guitar, but I've got two acoustics and one electric, and I don't really need one to do what I do and so it's kind of like that just hangs out on the back burner, and I like to shop for them, but I don't like actually to pull the trigger for them.

ANDREW: Right.

AIDAN: And the same as you, even though I read with cards, very limited, you know, I recently found one deck that reads really beautifully for me and I have four copies of it, because it was going out of print. 

ANDREW: Which one? 

AIDAN: I use the, what is this guy? It's this guy, it's the Arcana deck from Dead on Paper.

ANDREW: Okay.

AIDAN: It's a playing card tarot deck. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: So it's, you know, it's poker sized, but it has the full trumps. And court cards are all fully arted up, but all of the suit cards are playing cards. 

ANDREW: Nice.

AIDAN: And it reads really well for me. Yeah. I bought it, I got two of them and started reading with it, and was like "oh, hell, these are about to go out of print," and had to track down two more just in case. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: So. 

ANDREW: That's awesome. So, when you ... one of the other things we were talking about, we've been talking a lot about trance stuff, right? But I mean, one of the other things that we ... certainly is in your book, right? and I know is part of your practice, is also this process of like, doing work, right? 

AIDAN: Right. 

ANDREW: Do you do your work when you're in trance? Do you do your work elsewhere?

AIDAN: [laughs] The answer is yes to all of those. 

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And this is the other thing I was thinking about this in response to the deepening trance work and so this is one of the methods that I do really like for that, and I forgot about it earlier, so thank you for the question, too. Most of what I do on the surface is offerings ...

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And then asking the people that I have a regular offering practice with for help. Which is just talking. And then I do a lot of kind of simple candle magic as I talk about in the book. And I do a lot of sigil magic. 

I also do, that's almost the wrong approach, related to that, is that there's an aspect of all that work that I do in trance. There's very little that I do that I could define as being discrete work. Some of the sigils are, and some of the candle magic is, where this is the only thing I'm doing, is I'm going to ask this once for this one thing. Almost everything is done as an overview. 

ANDREW: Hmmm.

AIDAN: Or as a piece of a bigger whole.

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: Which is kind of the ship that I talk about in the book, is this whole magic thing in my life and all of its aspects are in general focused in one kind of coherent direction.

ANDREW: Mmm.

AIDAN: And I'll use different tools to sort out pieces that need to change, or to steer that, kind of the whole thing, but I'm rarely doing anything super specific that is separate from that. If we were just looking at kind of percentage wise, you know, maybe five percent of stuff is going, "hey, I want this," or "I need a little more oomph over here" or "can we make this stop?"

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so, that tends to be that I'm getting information on the trance side, I'm getting what I kind of, what I refer to as body work over there, I get a lot of experiences with the things that I deal with in trance kind of putting themselves into my body and it's ... it feels kind of like physical body work.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: Too, and my experience of it is, is that they're kind of adjusting psychic structures, or clearing blocks, or removing kind of bad attachments. And so that's often one of the places where if I'm doing a lot of work for something, one of the allies will offer some assistance. Either in thinking about it or in this kind of body work approach. And that totally, so they're all, they're all very integrated. 

And then the other piece, which is the one that I mentioned, is helpful for getting into trance that I do, is ... And I don't do this all the time, but it's a really useful technique that can be worked with if you've got a pretty solid trance space and ... If you're using the book, I would do this in the upper work space in the tower that I talk about, which is kind of just a mostly empty working room that has a table in it, and so that's the first place I would try this. And what you do is, in the waking world, get a box, get a wooden box, and clean it up, and then paint it in some way that's really clear, so, you know, mine is like blue or black and has big dark blue circles on all the sides and on the top, so it's really clearly this box. And I think it's important to make it -- there'll be no questions there. And it's really ... Mine is really simple cause again my visualization skills aren't that great. [laughs] And what I will do sometimes is if I know I need a little different angle of work, is I'll put the components for that work, I'll do whatever kind of ritual or spell work I'm going to do, and then all those pieces go into the box. So, if I'm going to do candle magic, I might, you know, inscribe two candles and prep one of them and burn one of them and the other goes into the box. And if there's a sigil that goes with it, that goes into the box. Or if there's a talisman that goes with it, that goes into the box. Or a crystal or something like that. And then put that box together, in whatever your working space is, closed up, and go on about your day or whatever, and then when you go into trance, go into, in this case, that tower space, and go in knowing that that box is going to be available to you.

ANDREW: Mmmhmm.

AIDAN: And so I'll walk into that space, if it's not already on the table, I kind of imagine that I'm going to reach into the box is usually in the shop here, into the shop from the tower, and bring that box in with me. And then I'll do that spell work from that space in trance. And that's one of the most useful things that I have found for really -- it doesn't necessarily improve your visualization or anything in trance, but as far as, it concretizes what's going on.

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: It builds a really solid link between your kind of more normal consciousness and that space that you get into in trance work. 

ANDREW: That's awesome. Yeah, I think figuring out how to like, connect here to there in as many ways as possible is definitely the way to go.

AIDAN: Yeah. [laughs] Definitely makes everything work better ...

ANDREW: Yeah.

AIDAN: In my experience, for sure. 

ANDREW: Cool. So, we've been talking for a while here, so maybe we're at that point where we should say "Hey, go buy Aidan's book, it's fantastic. If you're not already following Aidan, go follow Aidan." You know?

AIDAN: [laughing]

ANDREW: Yeah. Where should people come find you? 

AIDAN: I'm at aidanwachter.com. I'm Aidan Wachter on everything. Except you can probably find me as Aidan Wachter on Twitter too, but it's silfrsmith [rooster crowing in background] in the old Norse spelling on Twitter, but Aidan Wachter on Facebook, I've got a page, Aidan Wachter Talismanic Jewelry. The book is available generally all the online sources. I'm too busy with jewelry to try and deal with distribution, so, there's really no ... no stores have it as far as I know. And yeah, I'm just generally around, if you do a search for Aidan Wachter Talismanic Jewelry you will find something that will lead you to all the rest of it. [rooster crowing in background]

ANDREW: That's awesome. Well, thank you for making the time to chat today.

AIDAN: Absolutely.