You can see this interview all fancy pants style in the Infinity Network E-Zine here (the layout is far superior and wonderful <3)
A few moments with Andrieh Vitimus
Andrieh Vitimus is a long time practicing magician, published author of Hands-on Chaos Magic, and host of radio show, Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole, which can be found on http://deeper-down-the-rabbit-hole.com. He also teaches at a number of conventions, which is how I met him at ConVocation. A group of us on the Infinity Network have been working through his book and so I thought it’d be fitting to interview him in celebration of the completion of the first run through of it.
Kiki: Alright. So let me begin by saying, it’s an honor to be interviewing you, and I appreciate the opportunity.
Andrieh Vitimus: Thanks for having me Kiki.
Kiki: Do you feel that chaos magicians should start with a traditional base in magic? I have seen this across the ‘net as well as in a number of other books. Why, or why not?
Andrieh Vitimus: 10 years ago, I would have said absolutely, yes. Chaos magic is best understood if you have two or more paradigms. In a way you get one paradigm down, then get a second, radically different paradigm down…. and get results with both of the systems. Then you realize, hmmm maybe there is not an ultimate truth where you must be right. Now, I think as long as you have a training program to start with, something or someone just to take you through the steps ( or least plan yourself ). It’s more important to set out a plan for yourself and stick with it. With the discipline, you’ll see results… it just takes perseverance.
Kiki: I noticed at ConVocation that you stressed daily discipline as well. It seems to be a common idea that magic is something to be done only when one feels like it, so that it doesn’t become a chore. Why do you disagree with this?
Andrieh Vitimus: I think magic is a lot like a martial art. The idea that you can do it when you feel like it, just doesn’t work. Now you could change what you do everyday, flexing the muscles, but the daily practice is like a exercise. Think about it this way. Magical force, intention training, and willpower training get better and stronger. Magic is a direct confrontation with reality, not really a “when you feel like it”. Like an athlete, you have to have your A-game when you step to the plate. If you do it only when you feel like it, essentially the force of will just won’t be there. The methods have to be inside your subconscious mind, and the techniques even to get into trance have to be useable which means deeply internalized.
Kiki: That’s a very logical reasoning. If there was one exercise in all of “hands-on chaos magic” that you would advise doing daily, what would it be?
Andrieh Vitimus: The Waterfall with deep breathing. The waterfall with light, deep breathing.
Andrieh Vitimus: First, relaxation. Second, energy cleansing. Third, refreshing yourself. Its a rough and rougher world… and people need to separate themselves from the problems, conditioning, and even emotional reactions to start actually changing their reality.
Kiki: What is chaos to you?
Andrieh Vitimus: The Unformed “Stuff” underlying everything… Aka the formless illusion or non-illusion that the world is created out of… If order is illusion built by our intention on the void of sea of chaos, then there only is chaos and intention. Really, I say you can call chaos the Dao, the Void, and a host of other names.
Kiki: So the stuff of the ‘verse. I like that. What was the first conscious magical act, or spell you ever performed?
Andrieh Vitimus: This will sound weird but it was when I first started. I was coming back from Champaigne Urbana… It was a huge storm, one of the weirdest. Six tornadoes around…. I had lost everything….. I floored my Talon Turbo Charged car toward the store… toward a tornado in front of me.150 miles per hour in the storm. And in that moment… I just told that tornado with all my will to move. It did. From that moment I was a magician. Now, that isn’t all the time results mind you. But in moments of those kinds of results are possible.
Kiki: Very very cool. What systems or paradigms do you think influenced you the most at the beginning of your magical career?
Andrieh Vitimus: Initially, my family taught me a system of energy work that was similar to a shamanic elemental mixture that was close to what actually later I saw in Bardon, but the emphasis was definitely more shamanic.
Kiki: What systems or paradigms do you think influence you the most right now? If there is a change, why do you think that is?
Andrieh Vitimus: I am really working on a few things. First, I am working on a combination of NLP hypnosis and energy work so I can work on another book. This is definitely a continuation of where I ended at Hands On Chaos Magic. Of course Vodou and hoodoo ( alot )… and surprising large amount of mantra work in Hinduism.
Kiki: You seem to do a lot of NLP hypnosis. Got any recommendations for anyone looking at getting started in it?
Andrieh Vitimus: Well first, with the amount of Hypnosis we do on our radio show Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole, you could learn a lot just by listening to us every week. We actually DO it. Now for NLP, I love NLP the new technology of Achievement. For hypnosis, I will soon have a self hypnosis correspondence course, but right now find your local chapter of Sleepwalkers… they practice hypnosis on each other for free and of course a google search on self-hypnosis will turn up a lot of videos. The real important thing with hypnosis is to allow yourself to be hypnotized like we do for free on Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole, and then use that memory to go forward. Hypnosis is a natural part of what our mind can do and 99% of people can be hypnotized. Really, so much of our media space is about hypnotizing people… that people already have been hypnotized many times in their life if they watch any videos or TV. But these very ideals of experimental magic, means… a lot of the time people are re-inventing the wheel. Ultimately, there has to be some sort of real balance between authors, the past, and new experimentation that speeds up the process of magic as a technology that we as a society can advance.
Kiki: That is a really interesting concept. What is the relationship between practitioners and authors? Are you okay with this relationship? And how would you change it if you could?
Andrieh Vitimus: An author is partially a researcher, an academic, and an artist. These do not needfully mean they do magic. Just like a magician doesn’t needful craft a longer set of words that serve as an artful directing how to do magic. Many authors of the occult are simply NOT practitioners, they do not actually do magic. Many practitioners who do magic have no interested in talking about or writing a book on magic. Essentially, the skill sets often DO overlap but there is no need for them to. Now that said, most of the quality occult authors I know, do actually DO the magic, but there are more then a few academic books on magic.
Kiki: So what is the ideal relationship between the authors and their readers? And how does this compare to how it really is?
Andrieh Vitimus: I am not sure what the ideal one would be…however, its great when I hear people using my techniques as a starting point and then developing a whole bunch of related things. Some of these related things are often very cool when I hear them. For me that is close to the ideal. I think now a lot of times the one-up-menship gets in the way of that, along with both the tendencies of “us-versus-them” camps between authors (modern versus traditional arguments), and the tendencies to hero worship. Authoring is a craft like other art forms, the authors are really human too and like other artists they really need the support of communities to keep going. Really view the authors for what they are. Resources that may be helpful and if they are support them.
Kiki: I agree. We need to support authors. It seems that a lot of times when people pick up a book, they assume whoever wrote it is long dead and gone.
Andrieh Vitimus: Occultism, for the most part has exploded. Most of the authors, are very well alive, and most have day jobs.
Kiki: And speaking of occult authors… Who do you think is the most influential Magi of all time?
Andrieh Vitimus: That’s almost an impossible question to answer… because it depends on which occultism we are talking about and each brach in each culture would tend to have different strong points. For western magic, I think clearly owes such a tremendous debt to ancient Eqypt. For me personally, one of the most influential books I read was Condensed Chaos because I was just getting into magic and it made a lot of sense in its agnostic view. Then again, I like learning from people so I will pay for that often times if the people have interesting insightful things to say.
Kiki: Touché. Do you think entities such as servitors can develop their own consciousness? why or why not?
Andrieh Vitimus: I do think they can develop their own consciousness. This in practice has happened to me more then once. My opinion on this is that servitors are a type of life. Life tends to re-organize itself toward evolutionary and survival goals, and this is very much a part of the dna imprint that we the creators start from. It seems to continue into servitors who when they work with more people or are exposed to more and more situations seem to adapt. Eventually, they have adapted enough away from their own programming to have a sort of consciousness. Now, of course, if your a hermetic magician you might say everything is consciousness, so of course they have consciousness. Sometimes though servitors will act on their own volition and not always with the best results. I build my servitors with a certain evolutionary plan and also build very simple servitors that are more like magical levers. Even the simple servitors seem to adapt. Sometimes it seems like consciousness is much like a self-propagating and evolving force within magicians and thus their creations too.
Kiki: So with that thought plan, Do you think man created godforms or the other way around? I’ve heard that servitors can become godforms after evolving…
Andrieh Vitimus: Well I am agnostic on that. Certainly in many traditions, the godforms were people once. Can servitors evolve to godforms, it seems like it? But then the chaos current is playing hard and loose with the term god. In practice though, I have seen a lot of group egregores, become more like godforms in the effect they have a on group, and likewise have seen weird things in the forest that just didn’t seem to be man made. Perhaps in a holographic way, both of the questions reflect on each other and are true at the same time that man created the godforms and the godforms created man. Certainly we see our ideas transforming us, even though we came up with an idea. In a way the idea is both created and creator.
Kiki: What is your personal favorite (fictional) god form?
Andrieh Vitimus: Fictional Death from The Sandman Comics, god form traditional probably Tiamat ( then a whole bunch of Lwa)
Kiki: Very cool. The sandman comics. Is there a creation myth that resonates with you?
Andrieh Vitimus: I actually enjoy the Hopi multiple worlds myth for its storytelling, and the Daoist principles for its practicality. And of course, who could leave out the psychedelic cow story of the norse.
Kiki: Hmm I don’t think I’m familiar with either, care to give a short summary?
Andrieh Vitimus: The daosit creation myth is that the Dao spawned male and female principles of which 8 principle are created. These spawn the 64 vibrations of the Iching and then those vibrations spawn all combinations we know as the world. This is a GROSS simplification.
Kiki: Of course.
Andrieh Vitimus: Now the hopi world is interesting just ’cause its told as a long story where man is created and mostly destroyed many times… Some of the men and women who live closest to the way get carried to the next. This probably sounds a lot like the Matrix mythology. Now the story is interesting but its really the storytelling as an art form that makes it interesting to hear. Of course, the creation myths themselves seem useful in practical explanation as symbolic understandings of how the system your working with work. AKA here is your starting assumptions for whatever paradigm you work with. Of course, the creation myths themselves … well they cant all be right.
Kiki: So do you think a background in mythology is something that can help a magician become more proficient in paradigm shifting?
Andrieh Vitimus: I think before working with a godform, its always useful to know the mythology, else how do you know what your paradigm shifting to. So in a way, I am still in the older school of thought that you should know the mythology before performing magic with it. Again though, I love the stories, however the myths give you a lot of source material to build a ritual practice on.
Kiki: One more question, what kind of chocolate do you like?
Andrieh Vitimus: White usually over raspberries or Strawberries.
Kiki: Good to know. Thanks for talking with me today, and I can’t wait to hear your next episode of deeper down the rabbit hole!