Tag Archives: drugs

Lisa Romero on going Beyond Psychedelics & Sorcery. Episode two in my How To Live Beyond series.

10 Jan

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Welcome to the How To Live Beyond series of eps on AEWCH! To open 2023, each episode in this series will consider a set of tools or way of thinking that are useful but that we’re ready to go beyond in 2023. We’ll be looking at abundance and manifestation, wellness and self development, entheogens, paganism,  and more. The first episode (AEWCH 208) featured Mitch Horowitz on How To Live: Beyond the New Age.

These are the techniques and traditions we use to cope with and confront the challenges of our time, but risk –  if we can’t consider them deeply – getting us stuck in those challenges or worse, funneling their strengths back into those challenges. These episodes arent a call to forget about these techniques and traditions, but instead a call to bring forward what theyve offered without the barbs of the problems they’re tangled up with.

This time:

It seems like everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded by messages about why psychedelics are good for you, and how we can magic ourselves into a better planet or against capitalism etc etc.

It could be Graham Hancock advising ayahuasca use to see reality, or Michael Pollan detailing hallucigenic health benefits. And there’s #WItchesOfInstagram + leftist spiritual podcasts and books on using magic to survive and combat capitalism. Techies are microdosing to support their lives and by extension gentrification and class war, feminists are reclaiming witchcraft, Marxists are spellcasting, gay men are turning to Aleister Crowley for inspiration.

And to make matters worse, people who condemn using magic and mushrooms are even worse than all that. Religious fundamentalists, tankie materialist leftists, conservative fascists, edgelords saying magic is “woke,” new age “seekers” none of whom seem to have bearings in spiritual truth.

What is going on here, and does any of it lead to real and liberating spiritual inspiration, or are we just getting driven deeper and deeper into materialistic culture, politics, and economy?

To talk about all of this and how to get beyond it, I asked spiritual teacher and writer Lisa Romero onto the show. This is the deepest I’ve ever gone on the topic, and I think it throughly illustrates the dangers of sorcery and psychedelics, and how to think about them without becoming a foot-stomping fascist or a tech-hippie psychonaut enthusiast.

What’s useful? What’s outdated? What spiritual techniques need to be allowed to die (and be reborn)?

Lisa’s latest appearance on the show was on AEWCH 200 where she and I talked with Duncan Trussell where the three of us investigated this topic. This is a natural continuation, but we go much, much deeper, using the idea that accessing and commanding the beings in the realm of magic and psychedelics – the astral realm – is the adolescence of humanity.

And we also go into what we can do and how to approach the astral realm… and go beyond it.


One of my favorite episodes on elemental beings, which we talk about at length on this episode, is AEWCH 188 with artist and spiritual teacher, Marko Pogačnik. Marko and Lisa have a lot in common, and I hope to get them in conversation with each other sometime. For now, listening to the two episodes can bring them into conversation within and with you.

Conor McPherson’s play The Weir, is one of the finest expressions of encounters with the astral realm and the Otherworld (and how not to deal with them). Of course it’s best to see it, but unless you’re lucky enough to have a production going on nearby, reading it is the next best thing. It’s in this collection of his plays.

Here’s Lisa’s website: The Inner Work Path . All of her books are worthwhile; but the one closest to this conversations is A Bridge to Spirit: Understanding Conscious Self-Development and Consciousness-Altering Substances. And here’s Lisa’s recent appearance on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Perhaps related to this episode in a sideways manner – Lisa’s book Spirit-led Community: Healing the Impact of Technology.

Until next time, friends: Live well!