Introduction — Oct 27, 2018
When it comes to the spiritual worlds that co-exist with the physical most of us in the material realm are like babes in the wood. Initially, at least. It takes a while for us to orientate ourselves and find our feet, so to speak.
In other words those with little experience of the spiritual realm can be easily duped and there are plenty of entities that are trying to do precisely that. It’s no coincidence the word Lucifer, the herald of a false enlightenment, also stems from words illuminate and delusion, to deceive.
It’s also no coincidence that we are repeatedly instructed by the media and the powers that be that “discrimination” is bad. In itself discrimination — the process of discerning or differentiating one thing from another — is not bad. However the powers that be have linked the process with prejudice and racial hate and through association made it appear bad.
So that we have been instructed, if only subliminally, that to discriminate, to discern and think for ourselves is bad.
This has a bearing on what follows. For example I would ask how the former death row inmate “knows” he encountered an “angel”? I’ve also encountered what might be considered an “angel” but on reflection I’ve come to realise that it was not an “angel”, just a disincarnate but benign human.
It took me several encounters to realise this but there is a difference; just as men are different from animals and animals are different from plants. Angels belong to an entirely different order of creation.
So what sort of entity did Damien Echols encounter? Was it really an angel? Or the soul of a benign human? Or was it a more malign entity disguised as something more benign?
Remember there are disincarnate entities that revel in deceiving and leading astray with promises of false enlightenment.
I reserve judgement on what Damien Echols says but the fact that it is being promoted by the Guardian, which once wholeheartedly backed lies about Saddam’s WMD makes me sceptical. Ed.
Magick ‘saved my life': the former death row inmate turned warlock
Carey Dunne — The Guardian Oct 27, 2018
The first time Damien Echols saw an angel, he was terrified. It showed up one day in his prison cell at Tucker maximum security unit, in Arkansas, where he was serving a death sentence after being wrongfully convicted of a triple child murder.
The angel had no halo or trumpet. “It wasn’t like a person with blond hair and blue eyes and wings on its back,” Echols says. Instead, it looked like “two black triangles: one big triangle as the body, and a smaller one for the head. It had no discernible facial features. But I knew it was an angel. And I got why angels in the Bible say ‘be not afraid’ whenever they show up because this thing was terrifying.”
After the initial shock, he felt “completely encased” in the angel’s clear light.
For years, in solitary confinement, Echols had performed rituals intended to summon protective angels. It was part of his spiritual practice of “ceremonial magick”, which he defines as “the art of shaping reality with intention and will”. But he’d always experienced angels as comforting visualizations, like imaginary friends – until he saw the triangle apparition in his dark cell, where his only regular visitors were mosquitoes and rats. “It was the first time I felt like [an angel] was really, physically there,” he says.
That vision cemented his faith in magick, spelled with a k – which, he emphasizes, has nothing to do with the hat-trick illusions of David Blaine, nor does it involve Harry Potter-style spell-casting. Rather, it’s a “specific spiritual tradition derived from an amalgamation of Gnostic Christianity, esoteric Judaism and Taoist energy practices.”
He started practicing for eight hours a day: “I turned my cell into a monastery.”
Now, he credits magick with his release from prison after 18 years. In his new book, High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row, he presents himself as living proof that these esoteric techniques – which include visualizations, breathwork, and bellowed chants in Hebrew and Aramaic – really work.
“I did magick to lessen the power of the politicians who were invested in carrying out my murder,” he writes. “I performed magick to draw freedom toward me.”
Given the near-miracle of his resilience, even skeptics might find themselves swayed by his testimony.
While Echols’s interest in occult spirituality is part of what helped him survive, it was also part of what landed him on Death Row in the first place. As a Metallica-obsessed teenager in West Memphis, Arkansas, in the midst of the “Satanic Panic” of the 1990s, his dabbles with Wicca made him an outcast in his Bible-thumping town.
In 1993, three eight-year-old boys were found dead and mutilated in a ditch near the shack where Echols lived. In their search for suspects, the town labeled Damien and his two metalhead friends “Satanists” and accused them of killing the boys in a ritual sacrifice.
No physical evidence tied the three teenagers to the brutal murders. But during Echols’s trial, prosecutors presented the pentagram doodles in his diary as evidence of his guilt. The jury was convinced. Damien was sentenced to death.
“It’s like Salem all over again,” an 18-year-old Echols says in Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, a 1996 HBO documentary on his trial.
In prison, after being ordained into the same Zen tradition used to train samurai, he found his calling in ceremonial magick. Its rituals helped him harness imagination and memory to transcend his abject conditions. Deprived of sunlight, he performed the “Fourfold Solar Breath”, visualizing “the golden energy of the sun” pouring through his limbs. Abused by prison guards– “they beat me so bad I started to piss blood”, he says – he pictured archangels shielding his body. “There would be entire days when I wouldn’t even think about where I was,” he says, “because I’d be so absorbed in doing magick.”
In 2011, after HBO’s Paradise Lost helped rally a movement to free the so-called West Memphis Three, and DNA evidence introduced a new suspect, Echols and his two alleged accomplices were released.
Since then, he’s remade himself as a spiritual teacher, attracting a small but devoted group of followers. He’s currently traveling the country on a book tour, teaching introductory magick classes in six cities.
With a slicked-back mohawk and a southern drawl, he has none of the holier-than-thou placidity of many western New Age gurus. “I tend to be a grouchy asshole most of the time,” he says. He finds Zen meditation and “feel your butt in the chair”-style mindfulness practices “boring as hell”. His book doesn’t pretend to offer any quick fixes, nor is it preachy or prescriptive. He’s frank about his own desperate struggles and the hard work that spiritual practice requires. After presenting step-by-step instructions for performing various rituals, he encourages readers to figure out which techniques work best for them.
During a class at Last Rites Gallery in Hell’s Kitchen, 26 students sat on red velvet settees, watching Echols prepare to demonstrate “The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram”. It’s a practice derived from the Golden Dawn, an occult group founded in the 1800s in London, which counted WB Yeats and Aleister Crowley among its members.
“I have muscle spasms, facial tics whenever I do it,” he warned, pacing in front of a wall hung with his “talisman” paintings, constellation-like sigils inspired by biblical archangels. “I look like an arthritic monkey flailing around.”
Among the students was a man with Echols’s talisman symbols tattooed on his biceps; the actor Chloe Sevigny, in a poofy pirate blouse; and a woman wearing cat ears, petting a cat on a leash. They watched Damien trace giant pentagrams in the air, his face twitching.
Tickets to the class were $200 a pop. Sarah, a school administrator from DC, drove seven hours to attend. “I look to Damien because, like thousands of others, I was inspired by his resilience,” she said. “He taught me that anyone can be freed from their own personal prison cell. I had put myself in an imaginary cage; the bars were made of my anxieties and fears.” Sarah wakes up at 3.30 every morning to practice magick; thanks to Damien’s teachings, she says, “I am mostly free of anxiety and sadness.”
At a recent talk and book signing in Manhattan, Echols led an audience of more than 100 in a guided meditation he says reliably helps clear his mind.
“I want you to imagine that you’re sitting in a prison cell,” he said. “There is nothing in this cell but you. White walls, white floor, white ceiling. On the back wall, there’s a small slit of a window, up so high you couldn’t even see out of it, unless you pulled yourself up that wall like you’re doing a pull-up or a chin-up.”
He told the audience to imagine that they were doing just that: standing at the cell’s back wall, reaching up to the window ledge, feeling the cold, gritty concrete against their skin, hooking their fingers around the window’s bars, and pulling themselves up with all their might.
“As your eyes come right above the edge of the window, white light roars in and obliterates everything,” he said. “You, the cell, everything. It’s all gone. Just white light.”
The audience opened their eyes, then lined up to get Echols’s autograph.