Terence McKenna Ads in Magical Blend Magazine (June 1998)

Today, I received a copy of the June 1998 issue of Magical Blend magazine. I was hoping that it would contain a review of John Major Jenkins’ book, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date (Bear & Company, 1998). Magical Blend June 1998 001

Terence McKenna wrote the Foreword to Jenkins’ book, and, from what Jenkins has said elsewhere, the reviewer for Magical Blend also discusses Terence’s contribution and ideas. All I know, however, from Jenkins, is that he and Terence wrote written responses to the review that appeared in an issue in “Fall 1998.” Since the magazine was published monthly, it’s unclear exactly which month in “Fall” he was referring to. So, when I saw an inexpensive copy of the June issue show up on eBay, I thought it might be a good candidate for the issue that contained the initial review that prompted their “Fall” rejoinders.

Alas, the June 1998 issue did not contain what I was looking for….however, it did contain a fair bit more Terence McKenna than I had expected, in the form of a range of advertisements for events & products.

Magical Blend June 1998 002

I’m not actually sure yet which of these Whole Life Expos Terence spoke at in 1998.

Magical Blend June 1998 003

The book ‘A Magical Universe’ features an essay by Terence McKenna (there are a few copies left available through our crowdfund).

Magical Blend June 1998 004

Terence McKenna in Hawaii @ The New Millennium Institute, May 24-30, 1998

Magical Blend June 1998 005

Terence was popular enough in the pages of Magical Blend that they created a special Terence McKenna issues specialty set that readers could purchase.

Magical Blend June 1998 006

(Bottom Right) – The Psychedelic Sourcebook: “The most complete, focused and subversive psychedelic resource list in print.” -Terence McKenna – A psychonaut must!

Magical Blend June 1998 006

Magical Blend June 1998 007

(Bottom left) – Better decisions, better relationships. Visit the authentic Oracle of Changes online. Absolutely FREE. “Cool, very cool.” -Terence McKenna – http://www.ICHING.com

Magical Blend June 1998 007

Magical Blend June 1998 008

Terence McKenna in Hawaii @ New Millennium Institute, May 24-30, 1998

Magical Blend June 1998 008

Journey to the Mayan Underworld – John Major Jenkins Interview Item #2

This is the second item in the series of annotations to my interview with John Major Jenkins.

51qLHmdd7+LAfter mentioning (6:11) that he cites The Invisible Landscape in his 1989 book Jouryney to the Mayan Underworld (“for the shamanism”), he mentions that it was through seeing an article by (or interview with) Terence in Magical Blend magazine during the same period when he was writing that book that he realized that this “put [Terence] on the map as some kind of cultural icon or something, a real guy that was out there, because of course, [in] the late ’80s, you couldn’t just go on Google and look people up.” This realization led to their eventual contact through an I Ching mailing network that they were both members of.

There are a couple of annotations to be made here.

  1. The first is that the Magical Blend article that JMJ refers to is almost certainly the ‘New Maps of Hyperspace’ article from issue #22 (April, 1989) that was featured in an earlier blog post. Since Jenkins refers to the period of “1988, maybe early 1989,” and since this is the only Magical Blend appearance in those two years, it seems likely. It seems even more likely, given that JMJ cites that very article in his (2017) revised edition of Journey to the Mayan Underworld. Without seeing his original (1989) manuscript, it’s difficult to know what changed (it’s clear that there have been significant revisions).
  2. The second is the specific nature of the reference that JMJ makes to The Invisible Landscape. I have to say, given his qualifier in the interview with me, that he was mostly interested in the shamanism, his actual use of The Invisible Landscape is actually more of an attempt to extend their argument about the “electron spin resonance” (ESR) of drug molecules and DNA storage of memories. This eventually does get back around to shamanism but only at the very end of the discussion, where he finally speculates that “shamanic journeys to the ‘spirit world’ may have access to these [ESR patterns fundamental to human DNA], resulting in the abstract art seen at Mitla, as well as the Sacred [Mayan] Calendar which reflects the same pattern.”

Since Jenkins passed away, I have attempted to fill in my collection of his work and have also tried to (very respectfully) be in touch with his family to discuss assistance with archiving and preserving his work and substantial amounts of historical documentation. The new edition of Journey to the Mayan Underworld (2017) is among those items, and it is also now one of the new items in the Terence McKenna Archives.



Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #11 – New Maps of Hyperspace (in Magical Blend, 1989)

Today’s random-number-generator-selected item from the Terence McKenna Archives is another issue of Magical Blend magazine, this time issue #22 from April 1989. The magazine contains an edited transcript of a talk, which Terence gave in 1984 at the Berkeley Institute for the Study of Consciousness (founded by Arthur Young in 1972–Young and his wife Ruth hosted some of Terence’s earliest talks), with the title ‘New Maps of Hyperspace’. This talk has been through several edits: the original talk (the recording of which I have not seen), the version in this magazine, and another slightly edited version that appeared in Terence’s book The Archaic Revival. One of my favorite ads for Terence, emphasizing his “Word Magic” via “public raves and private musings,” is also present.

“All these other images — the starship, the space colony, the lapis — these are precursory images. They follow from the idea that history is the shockwave of eschatology. As one closes distance with the eschatological object, the reflections it is throwing off resemble more and more the thing itself. In the final moment, the Unspeakable stands revealed. There are no more reflections of the Mystery. The Mystery in all its nakedness is seen, and nothing else exists. But what it is, decency can scarcely safely hint at; nevertheless, it is the crowning joy of futurism to seek anticipation of it.”

There was also an article by, and several ads for products from, Robert Anton Wilson:

Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #10 – The Alchemical Microcosm: Terence McKenna & The Evolution of Consciousness

Magical Blend magazine #56 (August 1997) included the second part of an interview with Terence McKenna by John David Ebert. I’ve included some snippets of that interview here. There are also some advertisements spread through the magazine for companies which feature Terence McKenna as a selling point in the ad. This is also another example of the common ‘double-R mistake’: It’s Terence, not Terrence.

“Language is something very deep and general in nature. All of nature seeks to communicate, and that information is moved around on many levels. What is new and unique about human beings is speech. In standard English, speech and language are used almost interchangeably. I would like to see that change…language is something very old and very general.

…The future of communication is the future of the evolution of the human soul. As we communicate with each other with greater facility, the boundaries and the illusions of difference just evanesce and disappear.”

“I see culture offering cheap substitutes for authentic experience. Culture wants you to regret the past, anticipate the future and barely notice the felt presence of immediate experience. To my mind, this is the most toxic value that we tolerate: the devaluation of our feelings as they occur to us in the act of living in the moment in a defined locus of space and time. That’s who we are; that’s all we will ever be. And a world made out of hope and regret is a very pale substitute for that feeling of being vitally connected and present in the living world.”

This Week’s Terence McKenna Archival Haul (6/4/17)

An interesting array of items came into the Terence McKenna Archives this week. I’ll just get straight into it:

  1. Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal by Tom Shroder includes a couple of passages mentioning Terence in two separate sections on Ricks. One chapter is on Rick Doblin includes a story that Rick also conveyed to me when I interviewed him about Terence regarding the origins for funding an MDMA study as a sort of opposition to Terence’s general cautioning against the promotion of that substance. Another chapter is on Rick Strassman, who I’ve been meant to interview for some time now about his own interactions with Terence but keep losing track of time (soon enough).

2. Eric Cunningham wrote his PhD dissertation, Hallucinating the End of History: Nishida, Zen, and The Psychedelic Eschaton, in the Department of History at the University of Oregon largely as a comparison between the eschatological ideas of early 20th century Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida and those of late 20th century American psychedelic spokesperson Terence McKenna. Nishida’s work incorporated Zen Buddhism with contemporary Western philosophy, taking on the likes of Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel with his own unique philosophy which would become the foundation of the highly influential Kyoto School in Japan. As is often the case with Humanities PhD work, Cunningham’s dissertation was subsequently published as a book. It would be nice to also have a copy of the actual dissertation, as, no doubt, some edits were made between the completion of the dissertation and publication of the book manuscript (so, if you’re reading, Eric, and have a digital copy that you’d be willing to send…). There’s obviously huge sections devoted entirely to McKenna, so I will only post some evocative snippets here just so you can get a sense of the territory.

3. I found some well-priced copies of Thomas Lyttle‘s Psychedelic Monographs & Essays volumes and so ordered them in partial use of some recently acquired birthday money–for the general psychedelics library, not the TM Archives. I wasn’t expecting anything from Terence, as I had looked through most of these before in other people’s libraries and hadn’t noticed anything, and nothing is listed for PM&E on Terence’s bibliography. So far, I’ve only received #5 and that expectation largely holds up. However, there is a review, by George Root, of The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Tributes to Gordon Wasson. Roots review is quite long but only mentions McKenna among a list of contributors and doesn’t explicitly mention or discuss his chapter called ‘Wasson’s Literary Precursors’.

4. Aftershocks: The End of Style Culture by Steve Beard includes several mentions of Terence and an event report/review of True Hallucinations (the latter of which I’m hoping to be able to use as part of a document I’m creating for an upcoming crowdfunding campaign and so won’t post here). Beard, too, includes reference to Terence’s appearance at Fraser Clark‘s London club, Megatripolis as well as comparisons between Terence, Tim Leary, and Hakim Bey.

5. For those of you who have been actively paying attention to the blog, you may recall a couple weeks ago, I came across a book, Cam Cloud’s Acid Trips, which contained some black & white copies of photos of Terence, shot by Chip Simons, at his home in Occidental, California. They came from the same shoot as this well-known photo which accompanied an interview by David Jay Brown. Well, to update you on the situation, I have received a folder in the mail from Simons which contains film positives of many more snaps of Terence from the same photoshoot. All I can say for now is that they are truly delightful! I have an appointment on campus next week with the Image Resource Center on campus to digitize them. Of course, these photos belong to Simons, and I don’t have any immediate plans or permissions to share them at present. But, I’m hoping to be able to use some of them as part of the upcoming crowdfunding campaign (but I’ll need to discuss those details with the photographer). Eventually, they will come out, but for now they need to stay private–I will keep you updated.


6. The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop (the Revised & Updated edition, 2006, is what I got–the 1st ed. is 1999), Nina Luttinger and Gregory Dicum briefly mention Terence’s comments about the relationship between the rousing effects of coffee and the labor-intensive raison d’être of the Industrial Revolution, although they (understandably, given their focus) leave out his query about why the ubiquitous workplace 15-minute coffee break is not replaced with a cannabis break.

7. Follow for Now: Interviews with Friends & Heroes, edited by Roy Christopher, contains a favorite interview of mine with Terence by the ever-insightful and barbed culture critic Mark Dery. Dery’s interview is preceded by a long introductory text (also by Dery), which is also a favorite treatment of Terence and his life and work. The interview and its lengthy introduction will be featured in the ‘Companion Guide to Terence McKenna’ feature that I am creating for the upcoming crowdfunding campaign. I had previously had scans of this but finally added a hard copy to the collection.

8. The material in A Magical Universe: The Best of Magical Blend Magazine (1996) was selected by the magazine’s editors, Jerry Snider and Michael Peter Langevin. Terence appeared in the pages of Magical Blend on many occasions, offering essays and interviews alongside reviews of his books and advertisements for his products. Robert Anton Wilson called Magical Blend “a quiet revolution.” The selection that is included in this edited volume is an essay that Terence wrote for Magical Blend #26 (April 1990) and was later reprinted in The Archaic Revival. I already had a copy of this in the archival holdings but received a few copies to use as incentives for crowdfunding.

9. A couple weeks ago, I received a copy of Matthew Pallamary‘s Spirit Matters: A Memoir, which, among other delightful reminiscences, describes the story behind the photo below, in which Pallamary sent along the first printed copy of the first edition of his novel Land Without Evil to be gifted to Terence at the 1999 AllChemical Arts Conference, shortly before his death. Well, this week, I received a copy of Land Without Evil, which is dedicated to Terence. I’ll get the archives copy signed when I meet with Pallamary in a couple weeks when he comes to town as a workshop leader at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

10. Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History by Mary Kilbourne Matossian was one of the books in Terence’s library and is among the books cited in Food of the Gods, where it is used as part of an argument against “the Wasson-Hofmann theory” that the kykeon beverage of the Eleusinian mysteries was a form of ergotized beer (of course, Terence, following Robert Graves, wants to push the possibility of a psilocybin mushroom).

11. The following items were added to the general collection and don’t include any specific material related to Terence McKenna, but I thought that they might be of general interest, so thought I would include them as well. So, here’s the ‘Supplemental Haul’…

See you next week with the next haul!