A Little Introduction (approx. 7 min. read)
Hi, the following essay sprawled out of control into a what I now call a woo-woo piece. A densely packed linked up trans-media story, riddled with facts, methodology and research based thinking, yet considering epoch sized, call em’ cosmic-ramifications, or woo-woo. I’d like to thank everybody who crossed my path along the way and above all to wish readers a strong, resilient and joyous 2020 as we shuffle toward the lights. After a number of perceived synchronicities recently, charged by the universal sense of existential dread flowing through the species at the moment, I’m reflecting on 44 days that impacted my life in 2012 and what I can learn in 2020. If you get tired of my tales you can skip to video and music links.
My story begins around 1996, when I was living in Stourbridge UK and experimenting with psychedelic drugs and trip poets. I discovered two authors simultaneously, thanks to close friends, that had a deep and lasting impact on my life: Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson. When I discovered the chapter, Law Of Acceleration, in Wilson’s popular work of non-fiction Cosmic Trigger (1977) and his inclusion of McKenna’s Timewave-Zero theory, the penny dropped, or my voice dropped, something dropped. Wilson’s model of information doubling and onward to distinguishing exponential growth, including McKenna’s model and his love for entheogens and magic mushrooms was precisely what I needed to hear. Since then, I’ve followed the 2012 stuff and chimed in now and then with my 5c contribution to what I think it all means. As I said, woo-woo, to mean BIG ideas about complex processes and esoteric knowledge, a bit like criticism of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. These were the wild and out-there things this young apprentice shaman pined for. Indeed, these are the conditions that led me to adopt the artist name: Fly Agaric 23 around 1995.
To give at least some idea of what I had read at this point in my life, yet not necessarily understood correctly! I’ll list a few titles: Food Of The Gods, True Hallucinations, The Invisible Landscape by McKenna, Cosmic Trigger I, II and III, Sex Drugs And Magick, Quantum Psychology by Wilson.777 and The Book Of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby, I-Ching And The Genetic Code by Martin Schonberger, plus dipping my toe into Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval and even a taste of David Icke (spits over shoulder, ugh). During this time (1996-2000) I was drumming, learning to DJ with Jungle/Drum and Bass, Hip Hop, Trip Hop music, plus discovering the diverse UK underground cultural melting pot, leading to collaborating on nights and events locally.
Jump forward 16 years, after living in America for five years, attending McKenna’s Wake in San Francisco, interviewing Wilson and contributing to his biographical film: Maybe Logic, and helping to found The Maybe Logic Academy (see MaybeLogic Quarterly). I was working at the 420 Coffeeshop, Amsterdam, collaborating closely with poet John Sinclair. It’s the 19th of November, the 25th High Times Cannabis Cup is opening.
John Sinclair And His Amsterdam Blues Scholars At The Cannabis Cup
As an unofficial, satellite performance, celebrating cannabis and hemp culture during the High Times Cup, John Sinclair And His Amsterdam Blues Scholars performed at Club Aknaton on November 19th, 2012. John Sinclair, Leslie Lopez, Esther Croez, Mark Ritsema, Vicente Pino, Rebbecca Waller and myself played two sets of reefer jazz, one with Sinclair front and center.
During the show, Steven Hager (of High Times) and Fantuzzi (Of The Fantuzzi Band) turned up, danced and fluffed-up the aura of the party. At the end, Hager stepped on stage and invited the band to join his Temple Dragon Band: the official High Times 2012 house band. Half the band accepted his offer. Rebbecca, Esther and I joined up for a week of creativity, chaos and a wild path to the Kukulkan pyramid, four weeks later.
At some point late in the week Fantuzzi asked me if I wanted to join him, to play drums at Synthesis 2012, taking place in Chichen Itza. It didn’t take me long to decide. One song I played with both The Temple Dragon Band and with Fantuzzi is called Warriors Of The Rainbow, and is his interpretation in song format, of the Hopi Prophecy.
John Sinclair: Rainbow Warrior
John Sinclair interpreted the broader idea of a tribal gathering 60 years ago when co-founding the Rainbow Peoples Party. John’s strong and deep musical roots in blues and jazz and his love for poetry lead him toward a more practical role in uniting the tribes. His work with the Detroit Artists Workshop, the White Panther Party / Rainbow People’s party and the MC5 has been well documented. For the purposes of this essay I’d suggest that John is a walking bridge between THE tribes and has evidenced explicit works about North American Native Peoples, Peyote Rituals, Mardi Gras Culture, and African American culture without parallel in the western tradition. Read his books and listen to his dozens of albums. Perhaps consider the musical ensembles and events and projects by John as extensions of the Rainbow Warrior complex, woo-woo thing that I’m trying to get at. He exhibits a series of radio shows titled, Ancestor Worship, that chronicle the shamanistic healing tradition of blues and jazz music, you dig? Check out Radio Free Amsterdam for his weekly radio shows.
There are many Rainbow groups, families and organizations that have led to a very wide spectrum of colours in the Rainbow. Which was kind of the idea, but fogs the air when trying to hack through the 1960’s LSD drenched Rainbow clouds for sight of the Hopi visions.
Opening up for M.F Doom and Ghostface Killer: Jamming with Coke La Rock.
At the end of a mad week with the Dragons, that included two live rehearsals and a series of scout missions lighting candles and playing music, we performed to a packed house at the Melkweg, opening up for M.F Doom, Ghostface Killer and the 25th High Times Cannabis Cup Awards Ceremony. Featuring major players in the Cannabis and Seed business/culture. I was fully stoked to drop live break-beats with the band, jam with Coke La Rock, to a packed house. Although there was no pay for any of this and as yet, no high quality recording released, it was worth the stress. Most importantly, it opened the door to the Yucatan, 28 days later. The Chinese year of the Dragon had a bite in store for me (born in 1976) Snap snap. I honored all the entities I could muster and prepared for a journey into the unknown unknown.
Synthesis 2012: A Tribal Gathering
I raided my savings to buy my ticket and quickly became the butt end of a joke about my purchase of insurance for the end-of-the-world party. On arrival at the festival I was disappointed with Michael the organizer, after I was asked to pay $400 for a ticket, besides the fact I was unpaid house-drummer for the festival. I reluctantly paid up, as I was already in agreement not to receive payment. The shitty end of the stick was mine to grab and be grateful. I quickly overlooked this when I came to realize others were in a far worse situation than I, like the infamous Fyre Festival, in some sense Synthesis 2012 suffered from a combination of miss-management and unforeseen mishaps. One such hurdle was the coach travelling from California with logistical equipment, instruments and supplies was turned back at the Mexican border. Still, there were not enough rooms booked, or pick-up coaches booked for all the guests, let alone the festival goers, many of whom had to camp in less than favorable conditions, without basic amenities.
To Micheal’s credit, he had to deal with some serious shit out there. At one point the local mayor turned up with an armored vehicle demanding some payment from Michael, taking him off in a black limousine for a chat. Who knows if he or anybody else got paid or profited from the event. Who cares? I was feeling grateful to be there with thousands of others and these hiccups were easy to take on the chin. In retrospect, these gripes are massively outweighed by the positive reverberations from my experience. But worthy of mentioning by way of introduction to…
21st December 2012: Yes We Kukulkan.
I awoke at 4.00 A.M on the morning of the 21st, to form a candlelight vigil from our hotel to the ancient Mayan Pyramids. I have described my day previously as a remarkable, memorable and most beautiful day of my life. Synchronicity in the air, birds circling the pyramid, epiphany after epiphany. But what does is all mean, how can I describe my feelings? I’ve pondered this ever since and here will try to re-examine.
In the Video above, at 55 seconds in you can see my friend Mike running around the Kukulkan Pyramid while I am filming Carolyn Casey and Kevin Whitesides in conversation about Novelty Wave, Time Wave Zero and Mayan / Hopi Prophecy.
You can read my poem and longer review HERE and Here. Watch the video I shot HERE and visit the panoramic photography I made HERE. I’ve also created some DJ mixes reflecting my journey HERE. Okay, enough about me. Let’s bring things right up to 2020 with fresh new analysis of what the hell happened, what it means to me and what I think it means for you? How do I communicate such folkloric wisdom and hidden knowledge in a novel way?
One concept I came away with, that solved a part of the mystery concerning the rapid destruction and disappearance of the Mayan civilization, was that they neglected their environment and fell out of harmony, to put it simply, with fauna and flora, so descended into tyranny violence war and death. It’s not difficult to see parallels with our current climate emergency, yet today on a larger, global scale. If the ancient secret message is “look after the planet or else it will turn and bite you on the ass” great, we can agree and get to work pronto!
2020 Sun Ru Synchronicity
After locking the doors of the Cannabis Museum at 10.00 PM, I walked out into the busy Amsterdam street and noticed somebody walking towards me dressed in a unique array of clothing and jewelry. “Sun Ru?” “Yeah, Hi, what’s up?” It was indeed Sun Ru Carter, artist, traveler and performer at Synthesis 2012. I snapped of him in front of the pyramid on the 21st. And of us together at Cafe Batavia in Amsterdam, 2020.
We walked the streets for a short while, singing and drumming and talking until heading to the Cafe Batavia, there we shared some sacred herb and chatted with new friends at the table. At one point, I tried to describe the Hopi Rainbow Prophecy, while also explaining how Sun Ru and I met. I found it very difficult and messed it up royally, which led to me later taking time to look into it again so the next time I’d have a more convincing description. Meeting Sun Ru like this, by accident in the street, started me to thinking about the 2012 festival once again, the Mayan calendar and revisiting Timewave Zero. What does it all mean, what was the message?
kukulkan sun ru
21 / 12 / 2012
amsterdam sun ru
25 / 1/ 2020
–25th January 2020.
From the bottom of my heart, I love you all. Let us remember that we are all brothers and sisters. We do not need to destroy this planet or each other. We can live in peace. Let us let go of our “warrior” mentality and embrace Love, Compassion, and Equality. Please.–Michael Denicola, blog.
This piece of writing is a direct result of seeing Michael’s recent video concerning the unity between indigenous tribes, in particular the process of North and South American medicine folk sharing knowledge and the broader context of a worldwide concrescence of elder wisdom. Starting with care and attention to mind body speech and other personal preparations to help prepare for entry into the mysteries, in some sense. Yes, the juicy parts of these teachings involve the sacrament and wrestling with the cosmic serpent for meaning and assistance, however Mike helps remind me through his trans-disciplinary customized practices that your empty stomach and mind make room for the fullness of heart and body during the experience, or words to that effect. Please read his incredible description (blog) retelling his trip to Synthesis 2012 and the escapades he got up to on the 21st.
Thankfully you can watch Mike’s video yourself and hear him describe his interpretation of elders’ wisdom teachings and how we can learn and move toward bringing them into our own lives and the lives of others. He is humble and encouraging you to join in the conversation, as am I. Please consider joining the search for meaning within this tangled web, while exhibiting a healthy skepticism and model agnosticism wherever possible. Having met Mike and seen him at work, I can hand-on-heart attest to his performance by example of things he holds dear and important to share. Here I’ll copy my initial message to him about his video, that serves as a good outline of where my thoughts have been flowing:
Mike, thank you for reaching out. In a nutshell I feel you are right on many levels, the take away for me is to find the others, the elders and listen to them and what they have to say. If I understand you correctly, in the spirit of synthesis and polytheism, the gathering of the methodologies of the tribes…North and South America, Tungustus, Africa, India, Asia, Indonesia…the whole planet seems to me, to be a lofty and noble goal of anybody on the path…looking to expand and synthesize knowledge, experience, empathy. All that good stuff. No small feat!
The distinguishing feature I sense of uppermost importance today surrounds the medicine traditions, as you mention, mother Ayahuasca, Peyote, and other entheogens, powerful visionary plant based medicine, in some sense for treating the nightmare of history…in a deep Jungian sense, plus perhaps (and this is a leap of faith on my behalf) real RNA-DNA treatment, insight and potentially “visions and stories” from which, with a dedicated international team of sympathetic fun-loving fans of scientific induction, useful medicinal knowledge may be gained. At least a story like Lorenzo’s Oil! A story of one man dedicated and driven to go search and synthesize medicine himself, when no others will.
I fess’ up I am no expert in any of these fields, I read more than I practice and acknowledge that. However, after seeing two large birds encircle Kukulkan Pyramid on 21st 12th, and having read The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby I am biased in my full agreement with what you say. I’d add that, to the western alphabetical and Aristotelian mind, pictographs and ideogrammic languages can seem very alien. The lack of good honest translations and the act of translation itself, misses a whole lotta’ love and meaning within aboriginal and tribal cultures. Perhaps with a new approach and synthesis with pictographic languages, a deeper synthesis between spiritual technology and language…and mama matrix most mysterious…will emerge?
In my estimation, such shamanic biotechnological innovation, including Mantra, Yantra, Tantra and Sutra, focused through a lens of a global community of plant medicine teachers/elders and systems of interconnected fauna and flora, insect, animal, planet, cosmos…etc. And with a pinch of Wim Hoff (Meditation to boost the immune system) and some laughter (same same) we can join in, lead, expand the global conversation on harmony, disease, mind, body, spirit. And with luck, presented with inclusion of Hopi folklore (perhaps drop the word prophesy?) and other appropriate traditions (Including the Western Magikal Tradition) free from digital nihilism. Lo!
Perhaps with close focus on Yanomami, Ashacanica, Shipibo and other dwindling tribes, with an extra urgency due to the present threat of corona infection among these deep forest tribes, we can save them and their unique systems of knowledge. Perhaps this will become a test of my theory, in some respects, and we will see if Shaman can confront and beat Covid-19, as crass and distasteful that thought is. May all the trillions of gods and goddesses protect those indigenous people and aboriginal peoples, plus all sentient beings world wide from the novel new crown king of viruses.
If you feel repulsed by any talk of the spiritual, non-human entities and/or drug induced visions…please consider the simple fact that on the surface these are fantastic stories, above all else they bring insight into the human condition and cultural practices and eternal questions. Ask yourself where you enter the narrative, where your part in the story begins and ends. Keep in mind that a true initiation never ends.
Timewave Zero And The Singularity
Technology and culture critique and one time associate of Terence Mckenna, Mark Pesce, recently mentioned something that fits with a thought I ‘ve had since Covid-19 struck. Mark points out HERE that for a moment in March, nobody could predict the future further than 30 minutes ahead! and makes the explicit link to a singularity. Terence Mckenna and Robert Anton Wilson both wrote about the singularity, Terence went a lot further with his development of a piece of predictive software that predicted novelty. Terence fused the exponential growth of novelty, as described through technology (Moore’s Law) and science (DNA RNA genetic innovations) with an old sequence (The King Wen Sequence) of reading I-Ching and…to top it off the Mayan Long Count Calendar, which went jackpot around 21st December 2012. Yeah, some far out stuff, high magick and art and science and mysticism all wrapped up in a psychedelic presentation by master storyteller Mckenna.
For the purposes of getting to a balanced, unbiased perspective, upon both Terence’s Timewave Zero and the broader question of indigenous and aboriginal knowledge, I highly recommend Robert Anton Wilson and in particular his chapter in Cosmic Trigger I titled: Law Of Acceleration. In 2012 I recorded myself reading said chapter and used it on a track with my band Dr Marshmallow Cubicle, listen HERE.
Besides this chapter, I’d like to draw attention to Wilson’s multi-model agnosticism approach, or roughly translated the ability to think, suspending disbelief until all the data has arrived or such point that you have a balanced proposition. Wilson, in my humble opinion was a master of cutting through spiritual materialism, he used hard and soft scientific methods from Karl Popper, Alfred Korzybski and Einstein, to hold up against controversial and lesser know methods of mysticism, magick and art. I think Wilson’s method of multi model agnosticism will help both decipher this Terence Mckenna Singularity (and interpretation of the Mayan/Hopi Prophecy) and perhaps more pressingly, the new uncertainty of dealing with life in covid-19 infused 2020’s.
I’d guess that Mckenna and Wilson and Timothy Leary for that matter, shared a playful intellectual rebelliousness. Each willing to follow their instinct and learned, collective minds wherever the evidence may take them. And if that meant parking God, Capitalism, Patriotism and Sobriety in the garage and going on a psychedelic voyage into the unknown (consciousness…the last frontier) so be it. Maybe it has something to do with their Irish genetic heritage. They all adored and studied James Joyce, funny that, no? I’d also point out the other obvious link here that brings this whole essay together, the unifying principle between these individuals and the themes, can you guess? It begins with a “D” and ends with “rugs”, albeit from a neurochemical and social cultural perspective. Each was in favour of removing restrictive drug laws and using not abusing them as tools for research, fun and profit. With a particular focus on Cannabis, Magic Mushrooms, LSD and Ayahuasca (DMT).
Neither of these three counter-culture icons are here with us, yet through the magic of literature and digital media they are about within the in-digital sphere. Search any platform and you will find their thoughts, words and deeds spread to the furthermost edges of planet earth. Here I would like to suggest that for me, a 44 year old white middle class urban Englishman, Wilson, Mckenna and Leary are alike the powerful ancestor spirits invoked and celebrated by indigenous and aboriginal peoples and tribes, remixed for western capitalist tribal societies. I hope to show that between these three cosmic voyagers, there’s much in common with shamanic, indigenous knowledge and culture, that can be translated and refined by their work. Building bridges between indigenous cultures and in-digital cultures is critical for our collective futures. I hope I can be challenged and scrutinized over such bold, fringes of woo-woo statements.
The Hopi Prophecy – The Warriors Of The Rainbow?
As I understand it, very briefly, when the planet and the animals are dying a new tribe will emerge, the warriors of the rainbow, a mix of brave men and women united in bringing harmony, peace and prosperity back to planet earth, for all sentient beings to enjoy and reconnect with earth (mother earth, Gaia, Ma’, Matter etc.) I’m guessing here as you can probably tell, its much more than these words can express.
The prophecy, like any other myth, has many hidden variables, not least what is lost in translation. Many tribal and indigenous cultures have oral traditions which include rituals and drugs, which make for tricky communication, meaning and objectively. This problem is nothing new to those who spend time with ancient, and newer, mysteries. Hermetic magicians have wrestled with the unity between science and religion (or between quantum mechanics and non-human spirit entities) since the Renaissance, or possibly much further back to the origins of Taoism, I-Ching?
At present, I feel what is required, to be blunt…is a mixture of an experienced physicist and rational Popperesque mind, with a fully functioning indigenous shaman, or planet medicine specialist. A chimera of the two. Somebody who can bridge the gap, a human vessel, crucible, in which opposing cultural traditions can be unified. A 6 month Shamanic quarantine class for the brightest and humblest, with the express mission to bring back their findings packaged for the in-digital masses, rooted and dosed with essence of indigenous reality labyrinth…whatever woo-woo that is?
To return to Joyce here for a moment and Finnegans Wake in particular, the only book and brought with me to Synthesis 2012 festival..the text acts like a bridge between peoples and culture via language, it contains a hefty amount of Hermetic magic and myth unity. “a devotional book for the object-besotted white man,” Carl Jung once said of Ulysses. I say YES to Finnegans Wake as a new post singularity bible for uniting the tribes and cultures of the planet with a hilarious labyrinth of ambiguity, tribal unity and portals of discovery.
I’ve discovered that after twenty years reading the book, still, a large proportion of people who I try to turn on to it (much like Timewave Zero, or many of Wilson’s ideas) are met with a frown, chin scratch or shrug. This is why we require great contemporary story tellers in the mix with public intellectuals, empathetic, full of sympathy and optimism in equal measure. Critical and constructive, playful and forgiving, brave, maverick, seeding edge and willing to try anything twice. The urban technoshaman, in some sense. I dunno…part Lon Milo Duquette, part Russel Brand, part Bruce Sterling, part Chelsea Manning, part Alan Moore…my fantasy Rainbow Warrior of in-digital people. I digress. Hold tight while I consider my thoughts over the coming weeks.
To conclude: A true initiation never ends. We can all do a little to help the planet regenerate itself and lessen the impact, same same we can do a little to help ourselves and lessen the burden. As a writer of fiction I want to go further and invoke a mighty rainbow warrior spirit and a new healing-space awareness, pivoting on the themes of art, altered states, ecstatic poetry, dance and respect for ancestors and elders, in particular.
There is new hope in knowledge that indigenous medicine folk are communicating and sharing between each other. I hope we, in the urban jungle, can learn from this simple fact, also sharing medical data, treatments and strategy for wellness and wellbeingness, in honor of our elders, ancestors and for ourselves. Share good knowledge, question, scrutinize, rationalize, play, measure feedback. Reconnect with the great spirit of woo-woo however you like, make it count, give it your best shot.
Let’s collectively induce a benevolent conspiracy, a tsunami wave of novelty washing the planet with altruistic connectivity. Love, laughter, health, Peace. The good stuff.
Handful Of Sources
Hopi Prophecies Revisited. A Critique of Rudolf Kaiser by Armin W. Geertz.
Hopi Beliefs of Wellness and Unwellness By Lavonne L. Lovern and Carol Locust.
Claiming Legitimacy: Prophecy Narratives from Northern Aboriginal Women by Julie Cruikshank