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Photo by Bart Schaneman

I stuffed a few things into my beat-up backpack. Socks, t-shirts, my sleeping bag. I felt nervous to go, but I couldn’t articulate why, exactly. The trip was just a quick Labor Day Weekend jaunt to Taos, New Mexico, where I’d been dozens of times. I’d spent many nights in the Forest Service campground where my girlfriend and I were planning to stay. I knew where to find the strongest coffee in town, the best breakfast burritos. …

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To the uninitiated, Chaos Magic can appear infinitely complicated. Thousand of books and websites outline a seemingly unending number of complex rituals that practitioners have used or philosophized over as a way to produce practical results. Wading through all of this, it can be easy to forget that the most important aspect of Chaos Magic is the result itself, not some dusty tome of dense, nerdy occult theory. And, as Peter J. Carroll asserts in Liber Null, “Altered states of consciousness are the key to magical powers.”

I recently used a sensory deprivation tank (also known as an isolation tank or a flotation tank) for the first time. I have to admit that at first I found myself feeling a bit like Homer in the episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa convinces him to take her to a sensory deprivation center. I was restless, bored, and I couldn’t quiet my mind. However, eventually I found the experience to be an excellent manner of achieving an altered state of consciousness in a comfortable and soothing way. …


Nathaniel Kennon Perkins

Publisher, bookseller, & writer. Author of CACTUS & THE WAY CITIES FEEL TO US NOW. Order my new novel, WALLOP:

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