Guide to starting your own religion

Urbana in Fall334I grew up in Champaign-Urbana in the 1960s when it became a hotbed of counterculture activity. You won’t find much of that today, unfortunately, and the University and town seem like a foreign land almost, despite the fact my beloved cannabis plant has a very long and storied history in the town (more on that later).

Many people have read my conspiracy theories and how I think a web of secret societies often pulls strings from behind curtains, and they love my analysis of the black magic sorcery going on inside the central banks of the world, but when I veered off into suggesting a possible solution to our religion problem was to start manifesting our own corruption-free religions, I may have surprised a few. Actually, I think most everybody makes up their own form of spirituality these days, only some attempts are more effective than others. Starting your own religion is pretty simple really, no more difficult than starting your own garage band, and in fact, music and religion work hand-in-glove and always have. So do mathematics and religion.

Around 1966, the Turks Head, in Champaign (founded by Steven Simon) became the center of energy of the counterculture revolution in Central Illinois. Two people went there and landed, both older brothers of close friends. These had to be two of the most enlightened teens in town. Of course, the establishment came down hard on early revolutionaries. Don was threatened with the dreaded electroshock therapy, a polite term for torture, but ended up being shipped off to some Summerhill-like retreat for problem kids that may have been an MKULTRA op for mind experiments. Which makes me wonder if Summerhill was an op. The designated path leading to what looks the Garden of Eden is often a mirror trick leading in the opposite direction.

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Jetsonism is Nirvana?

stonesIncandles

Lots of people ask me about the spirals I keep drawing all the time. You notice that sigil must be important to me because I put a spiral on the center candle on every magic candle set I make. Where did this fascination with spirals start anyway?

Well, truth be told, it started with Kenny Scharf. I went to interview Kenny around 1981 and he showed me a piece of paper about spirituality, religion and the use of icons (which I now call sigils) that he’d recently written while coming down from mushrooms. I was blown away by the insights Kenny expressed in that essay and keep in mind, Kenny was only 23-years-old at the time, just out of college.

JetsonismI’m looking for the original xerox Kenny gave me of those ideas on art and spirituality. Can’t seem to find it in this immense archive I’ve collected over the last 45 years, but I did locate a copy of the same material that was printed in a 1983 brochure for a solo show at the Tony Shafrazi gallery that may have been Kenny’s breakout moment (see left).

The essay concluded with the line: “Hydrogen God is the creator: sun, planets, earth, man. The sun being hydrogen, fusing to helium as an after product. Man plays God by using atoms, destroying himself in the process: nuclear catastrophe. Jetsonism is Nirvana.”

The one thing in this essay that really stuck with me however, was how a spiral could take you to a higher level. Kenny had stumbled onto this magic after he’d painted one on his ceiling and began staring into it while high on mushrooms. It actually helped him take his art to a higher level and I don’t think he’d deny this.

I grew up worshiping the Merry Pranksters, who created a ton of magic in the 1960s. When they painted their bus Furthur, they made it magic in the process. Then they began painting themselves and everything around them, transforming their world. I don’t think Kenny knew anything about the Pranksters, his magic bus icon probably came from the Partridge Family. But Kenny instinctively understood the magic of customizing everyday objects, ritualizing them in the process. At the time, Kenny had recently customized a vacuum cleaner and was taking it for walks around the neighborhood like it was a pet dog, all part of the magic world he was manifesting.

Today, the specter of nuclear annihilation has diminished considerably, but the threat of environmental and/or social collapse still hangs around, although I refuse to get involved with apocalyptic thinking. Fear is the basis for all mind control and also it’s also what keeps a lot of people from realizing their dreams. One wonders what sigils will inspire future generations. If you want some help with your prayers and meditations, I have to say, getting a set of my magic candles may help you. Making these magic candles isn’t really my new “hobby,” like my kids think it is, but my sincere attempt to pass on some of the knowledge I’ve picked up over the last 45 years on this planet. The magic is real.