Monday, September 22, 2014

Cave of the Numinous: Book Review and Interview with Author Craig Williams

"Oh Wisdom Goddess Kali! The mundane world calls me mad, let them think what they wish, carry me to Your secret Cave which the world believes is Hell." Craig Williams

Book Review of "Cave of the Numinous"


Cave of the Numinous Courtesy Craig Williams

I first met Craig Williams at the annual Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle several years ago where he was giving a presentation about art and different aspects of the Dark Goddesses in Hindu mythology. I was immediately impressed by, not only his occult knowledge, but with the depth and breath of his topic. My attention was grabbed as he spoke about how the seeker must work hard in their own learning and healing. He expanded further to say that if anyone claimed to heal your chakras they were full of it because that actually is the work of the Spiritual seeker themselves. At that point I exhaled a silent Hallelujah because I had grown weary of many teachers or people involved in the Occult, New Age or Pagan paths both on line and in person who touted themselves as Masters or High Priestesses but who seemed to have very little knowledge, experience or who just wanted to make a buck. Here was a man who was calling bunk on those practices and telling us to work through these dangerous paths ourselves; to be our own occult scientists and to experiment, learn, do and record. I listened intently the entire lecture and have followed his writings ever since.

  All too often those of us who are interested in such paths find ourselves in an almost unbelievable labyrinth of information, teachers, traditions and books.  The diligent student works hard to weed out the dross from the pearls and to ever seek understanding of self and the world around him or her. Many of the books, philosophies and teachings once considered taboo and heretical, and consequently carried a prison or death sentences along with them, can now be found with relative ease and with a lack of scrutiny from the powers that be. The information age is upon us and indeed much has been revealed. However, owning a violin does not a maestro make. The skill required for such a title is years in the making and while this connection is easily made in relation to being a violinist or baseball player or surgeon, it seems to escape many in relation to the occult, magic and spirituality. I sort of see it akin to the game you played when you were a kid where you had a secret message and you whispered into the ear of one kid and he whispered to the next and by the time you reached full circle it was watered down or completely wrong.

Craig Williams
I have often griped and grumbled about folks who take a few weekend workshops or read a few books and who claim to be enlightened, or be healers or be self initiated into "fill in the blank" tradition. Oh dear readers magical "practitioners" abound and they are ready to teach you and guide you to the truth. Things like "hierarchy", or "Master/Guru", or "decades of study" are scoffed at and ridiculed. No, they do not need a Master to teach them, in their mind that is just another word for dictator. And hierarchy, goodness, why that just leads to fundamentalist thinking and let us not forget that in our modern age we do not need to study for decades for we have Google!

And so I must tip my hat yet again and praise my friend Craig Williams for being brave enough to write "Cave of the Numinous".  Mr. Williams pierces through and challenges the modern mind set to say that the ancient Masters and Sages did indeed have a system of spiritual praxis that worked and still works today for those willing to set their feet upon the path.  As a reference point to students the book works in a system of esoteric Hinduism, Left Handed Tantra and utilizes holy texts such as the "Bhagavad Gita".  However, do not let that make you nervous if you are interested in other paths and traditions such as Traditional Witchcraft, African Diasporic Traditions or other Shamanic paths because Craig Williams writes "Cave of the Numinous" as a guide for all spiritual seekers and indeed lets us in on this secret.  One of the main points he makes is that of finding a Guru. The term Guru is now a pejorative in modern lexicon because of the many self-proclaimed Gurus out there haunting the streets of LA,Santa Fe, Sedona, San Francisco and Austin, and many of us are loathe to use it. However, Craig illustrates that "Guru" does not merely mean "teacher", it also means initiator and a person who radiates a spiritual light that helps to guide and cut through the ego of the student and to bring him to enlightenment.  As I read through this book not only did I learn more about esoteric Hinduism but I could also see these tools as being applicable to the student of the occult and of course closer to my own heart, witchcraft.  Craig writes:

 "Without the Deity and the Guru, the devotee runs round and round in a solipsistic samsaric Hall of Mirrors, always searching for something 'outside' which will provide access to the secret inner realms....In essence, one cannot be a visitor to penetrate into the realms of Indian esotericism; one must be come a devotee."

We see the same fevered "student/teacher" hopping and workshop collecting among many in other veins of occult traditions. We see the breaking down and infiltration of traditions by the banal masses as they demand entrance into the Halls of the Sacred and Hidden. We see the same entitlement and self worship of many Westerners applied to Eastern mysticism and other mystery traditions. But again Mr. Williams stands firm and tells us to really look and understand what is happening and why a Master/Guru is important. He writes:

"It is a modern conception that Numinous transmissions are easily accessible to all regardless of the experience or preparedness of the student.  In many cases, the teacher becomes an afterthought and the sacred transmission of Gnosis, if found to be valuable at all, is seen as a commodity which can be bought or sold by anyone regardless of preparation or valid qualifications. The student seeks a guide who will validate all of his thoughts/ideas and will quickly dispose of the teacher if any challenge is made to the chela's naive beliefs or consumerist ideals. Information is viewed as something which can be claimed or purchased, initiations much the same. Anyone who draws attention to this situation with a critical eye is labeled an 'elitist' or 'traditionalist' turning those once powerful words into pejorative terms."
Blue Lotus by Maya Grey

You see Craig touches on a very important fact that spiritual transmission and direct spirit contact in what ever tradition can ONLY be achieved via a one on one relationship via Guru/Master and student. This helps the student to avoid the common phenomenon of "UPG"(unverified, personal, gnosis). The Guru shapes the lesson for exactly what is needed in that space and time for that individual student. No on-line class, distance learning or group setting can achieve this level of devotion and depth to the student. The intimate relationship between Guru and student is stressed again and again because it is of the utmost importance. In mundane reality this type of transmission may be  seen as abhorrent because of our individualistic values, this relationship is actually radical because as Craig writes:

"At its roots, the Guru/student relationship represents the ultimate inversion of the modern mindset, standing firm as a beacon of "luciferian" light of truth, illuminating the passageway into the inner realms of the sacred where the (profane) individual is deconstructed by the solar light of the Atman/Soul."

After expressing the importance of the Guru and student relationship in depth we learn in the Chapter titled "The Sacred Mystery of Guru Yoga" just how in this particular tradition that information and gateways are revealed to the student. The Jnana Yoga is a path of wisdom in which the student is led deep into the realms of the body and mind. Various pathways and techniques are illustrated for us as we journey here. Next is the Karma Yoga wherein the Guru leads the student in exercises of self-transcending Action. Craig also makes sure to point out that Left Handed Tantra is not an excuse to self indulge in all the sex, drugs and rock and roll you were forbidden to engage in when you were sixteen. He illustrates beautifully that it is about transcending yourself and those blocks to your own spiritual gnosis! This may mean you need to get over it and have an orgy at an S & M club or simply that for you living a year of silence is exactly the medicine for your transcendence. Perhaps you have an aversion to giving to the homeless, if so time to open your wallet.  If you are engaging in outrageous acts in which you are getting satisfaction from others and calling it Left Handed Tantra then you probably are not really making much change or gaining gnosis. You are just enjoying a mental masturbation of sorts along with playing ego games. We also learn of the path of Bhakti Yoga which is the heart song of the Guru/Student relationship and in which many Westerners feel threatened by. Here again the Guru relationship is stressed and it is something to take note of and so is the subtlety that the teacher may not be what you expect. In other words he may not be the old man in the diaper in the cave on the mountain. Be open to the teacher and see with your heart.

After we learn of the different ways in which the Guru can lead us Craig Williams opens with a set of rituals to help us on this path. The first is the "Cave of the Hridaya Ritual", which is intended for the seeker to open and draw a Guru to him or her. In other words should you be in the place in which you have no teacher this ritual is here to open you to one. Again as I read it was obvious that the seeker could focus on any Master Teacher in what ever spiritual tradition that they felt called to or if clarity was the issue an open call could be made and the journey begun.

Now that we have a firm understanding of the Guru/Student relationship and the pitfalls of the Left Handed path of Tantra part two of the book, "Approaching the Nightside: Provisions for the Left Hand Path", helps us on the actual journey.
Kali (Artist Unknown)

Here we learn about the dangers of the Left Hand Path and the Dark Goddess and the damage if the Guru or student are unprepared. Craig gives us information and techniques to traverse this path and ways of dealing with the blocks, fears and issues that arise. However, the psychological dangers are not the only thing the student and Guru must traverse, there are the dangers inherent in working with Spirits and indeed the Dark Goddess herself. As each person interacts with others in different ways so too do the Spirits and the Gods. Without proper preparation and tools the journey is perilous indeed.

Craig asks you to ask, "Why do I desire contact with Nightside powers," What do I hope to accomplish by contact with the Nightside,"and "How will this Nightside contact be used and integrated into my spiritual praxis?" 

In essence are you practicing a Theurgy of the oppressed? Are you doing this magic out of ego, fear, hatred, greed, lust and ignorance? If so the blood due of the Dark Goddess will be fierce indeed. However, to walk in truth and power and desire to change self and to receive the Dark Kiss one may approach with respect and humility. You may be able to fool yourself but you cannot fool Her. In this chapter Craig goes into depth in the preparations of the body and mind. A holistic approach to a dramatic and searing spiritual journey. Here is the prep work, here we tune our violins, we strengthen our bodies, we practice with our minds.

Finally we arrive at two final rituals the first is the Pratyhara Ritual in which the student "withdraws" the senses in order to traverse deeply into the realm of the Dark Goddess. The second is the Saturn Ritual in which we travel to the darkest recesses of our souls. As above so below, the micro and the macro, alpha and omega and depths of course which cannot be illustrated by a writer with type on a page, because dear reader, one must walk the path alone and practice in earnest...and so I will say no more of these esoteric rituals which lead to the Cave of the Numinous, the Gate of the Soul. No my friends the first step is to purchase this book and digest the information for yourself. The second is whether you feel drawn to Left Hand Tantra and esoteric Hinduism or other roads. If you do then begin to call to yourself a Master teacher to help guide you as you step out in devotion, practice and faith. A good place to start is with Craig Williams book. Good luck my friends and perhaps we shall pass on the moon and star lit road as we journey into the Cave of the Numinous. If we do then I tip my hat to you because this definitely is the road less traveled.

Interview with author Craig Williams

Image courtesy of Craig Williams




Maya Grey:  Can you tell us what inspired you to write “Cave of the Numinous”?

Craig Williams: My main inspiration for writing the Tantric Physics series was based upon a discussion between David Beth and myself in which we were discussing and lamenting the endangered state of the “teacher-chela” or Guru-chela relationship in the modern world. I wanted to reveal my unique system of Tantric Physics and Esoteric Hinduism and its role within the larger system Esoteric Voudon and David Beth’s Kosmic Gnosis; however I did not want this to be a dry lifeless “academic” text so the idea of an entire Tantric Physics series came about. The first volume, “The Cave of the Numinous”, focuses upon the vital role of the teacher, the prime importance of physical initiation and the important preparatory tools which must be examined and used prior to any journey into the terra incognita of the mind, body and Soul. These are the foundations of all the systems which I guide and function within as both a Bishop and as a private Chela of David Beth. I wanted this series to offer anyone working within an initiatory system effective tools for transformation. The fact that this reveals a unique system of Tantric Physics and Esoteric Hinduism is almost secondary, as the material could be easily utilized by a Sufi practitioner, a Buddhist or a Gnostic of any system! I even included unique rituals to help open unique doorways for finding a valid teacher. I hope to inspire a revival of the important role of the Guru-chela system in modern gnostic / occult groups as well as provide some unique initiatic insights which are typically overlooked or disregarded in more dry academic tomes connected to Tantra. I also wanted to make a radical statement of how Left Hand Tantra functions within the larger framework of Kosmic Gnosis, which includes Esoteric Voudon. The use of the terms “Left Hand” has also become vitiated and I wanted to help clear the fog and shine some light into the shadowy world and reveal a systematic ontology within. Left Hand Tantra is NOT a “free-for-all”  hedonism, but rather a radical pathway of personal transformation, a “merciless path” which demands everything from the wayfarer and requires guidance, common sense and initiation to be effectively manifested.  I hope to reveal all of this in the coming years with further volumes in the Tantric Physics series by Theion Publishing.  

MG: We see a lot of reference to “Left Hand Tantra” and paths to “The Dark Goddess” on the internet as well as in books and it seems like there is a lot of misinformation as well as dodgy teachers out there. What advice can you give to seekers when approaching or researching a teacher?

  CW:  Yes, the terms “Left Hand Path” and “Dark Goddess” are becoming completely commodified in the modern world, with anyone and everyone claiming to be “left hand” and calling up the “Dark Goddess” as easily as shooting an email to a friend or texting with an iphone.  Therefore it becomes incumbent upon the student to use discrimination with seeking a pathway or teacher. However, this discrimination must first be turned upon themselves!  They must ask sobering questions: “why am I seeking a teacher? Why am I seeking to walk the Left Hand Path? What do I hope to gain? What am I willing to offer the teacher or system if and when I find them?  Have I worked to balance myself on the most basic levels before seeking deeper study?”  These are just a few questions which jump out to me and is far from an exhaustive list! The modern seeker seems to search for a teacher / system like they are shopping for a new car; they treat it as a product which can be easily obtained with little effort and which must conform to their every wish! I often hear students or seekers ask or complain about how hard it is to find a teacher yet when asked what they are willing to do to actually obtain this rare mythical artifact, the answer is a blank stare. The teacher is expected to “wow” or impress the student and convince the student that he or she is a worthy guide for them. So it’s a complicated and depressing situation, a true example of the Kali Yuga.
     A student must surely seek a teacher who is authentic, this goes without question. However, this must also be joined with an attitude which is ready to be a student! I also think the modern technological age has left a tamasic residue in the mind, in which the student expects everything to be “instant” and as easy as sending an email. Finding a valid teacher is hard but NOT impossible. But to find this we may have to travel, search, meet many people , change and grow! You can’t just Google enlightenment! Although I’m sure there are some people who say that you can.
     Another important idea for students to keep in mind is to look for the fruit of the teacher. Has the teacher produced other students which were able to manifest and grow? Is the teacher cultivating a personal approach for the student based upon his or her unique adhikara or state of being or are they handing out a homogenized standardized transmission?  The student should examine the background of the teacher and ask themselves if this background seems to connect to areas in which they too have journeyed or expressed curiosity, and approach the teacher with humility and respect, not treat the teacher as if they are a product which comes with a “satisfaction guaranteed” tag!  Spiritual systems can be quite complex and confusing, and the mind is even more mysterious. So for a student to assume that they can be their own guide is both naïve and dangerous. I’m always shocked to see people grasp the idea that one cannot learn martial arts or medicine “on your own” yet claim that any and every God is communicating all the inner secrets to them instantly without any guide!!  The bottom line is that there is no guarantee for anyone. But there are constant Cosmic doorways offered to the student, however one has to be watchful, patient and open to change / growth.

MG: So many people believe they do not need spiritual teachers and that they are receiving direct Spirit contact because of feelings they had or dreams they had. Can you speak to this and help clarify the difference between what goes on in our psyche versus work with a Guru or Master in relation to the Spirits?

 CW: This is an extremely important question! We live in a world filled with Spirits on an infinite level of Cosmic expression therefore there is no doubt that one can communicate with discarnate intelligences. In the system of Kosmic Gnosis in which I work and teach, the one in which David Beth guides, cultivates a level of awareness which I term “Sacramental Vision” in which we seek to communicate and “see” the Soul which resides in all levels of the world and in all levels of the physical mind-body. So I have no doubt that one can contact Spirits and discarnate intelligences. However, to assume that any and every emotional stimulation or dream is a valid Spirit communication is an extremely dangerous and flawed pathway.  This is one of the reasons why so many Sufi teachers tell Western seekers “you don’t need a Spiritual guide, you need a psychologist!” which more often than not angers the seeker who then labels the Sufi teacher as “arrogant” or flawed.  To communicate with Spirits, Loa, Gods, the Dead, Ancestors, or any type of discarnate intelligence is an extremely subtle experience in most cases, and one must learn to cultivate an entirely new system of “subtle organs” which function on a level which in most cases is in radical opposition to the modern conditioned mind / world.  Therefore most if not all traditional systems use physical initiatory methods to link the student to a sacred lineage or paramapara which can open doorways into the Numinous which are obscured or hidden to the modern sight. The teacher can provide access to these realms via words, texts, rituals and physical initiation and help the student cultivate the subtle inner organs which can function on the inner realms of Being. This allows for a balanced experience and also protection in mysterious realms as well. There is no doubt an infinite number of Spirits existing in our environment, in our bodies and in our mind-space; some of these Spirits can be helpful, some indifferent, some feral and some malevolent. It’s extremely naïve to believe that we can navigate these realms without guidance from people who have also journeyed into these realms! Therefore it’s important to have guides and teachers in the physical realm, a flesh and blood teacher. In the systems in which I function and serve, whether alchemical Apostolic Kosmic Gnosis , Left Hand Tantra , JuJu Rouge sorcery, or Esoteric Voudon, the teacher must be a physical person and the initiation must be in the physical as well. There is no “astral guide” or “astral initiation” which can come before overpower the physical transmission between the Teacher and Chela.  We may have occasional moments of “divine inspiration” no doubt! But to assume that we can call these up like we can order a coffee is not only absurd but insulting to the respective gnostic systems themselves.  Many people with severe psychological problems claim to talk to Spirits! Many serial killers claim that Spirits told them to kill!  Many religions start wars which Spirits claim to guide!  Talking to Spirits seems to be as easy as calling your best friend these days, which is quite misleading and misinformed. Our Spirit guides can be easily contacted however, this is often not in any way connected to how we perceive standard communication to function! So we must also use discrimination and cultivate systems which allow us to enter into inner states of awareness not contaminated with modern Archonic dross.  I often feel that it’s much like spending time in nature once one has lived in an urban environment for a long time. It takes time for the senses to readjust to a new environment, one without artificial stimulation and artificial nourishment. Once the mind and senses enter a new environment, new sights and sounds can start to manifest which we would be unable to discern initially; and we often need someone to teach us how to adjust and adapt to this new environment, how to build a fire in order to provide natural light. If one considers this scenario in a contemplative mood, many powerful metaphors can be revealed with are related to our spiritual lives.
     I have no doubt that people can contact Spirits. I just encourage people to have a sober attitude to this communication and not assume that every nuance of the nervous system is a message from the Gods. Discarnate intelligences communicate via our senses and our nervous systems, and these can be damaged and flawed. I discuss this in-depth in “Cave of the Numinous” and we often need the diagnostic mind of the teacher to show us where the flaws exist so we can clear / heal and resolve these flaws so that clear Spirit communication CAN occur.  The teacher can and should function as a doorway into the mysterious realms of the Numinous and teach us to travel into these realms in a safe and powerful manner.  
     I grew up immersed in study with a Spiritualist church and the main guides in this group were crucial for helping others to learn to “listen to the Spirits” as well as discerning what the “Spirits” were attempting to communicate! It was common sense knowledge that it took time, patience , initiation, systematic personal spiritual cultivation, and human guides in order to cultivate clairvoyance and clairaudience. It was not assumed or taught that anyone or everyone could “communicate with the Spirits”, it was a process of subtle listening as well as physical initiation and personal spiritual evolution it was not just “calling in the Spirits.”  Yet today the modern world demands instant results and communication modeled after our obsession with technology! Therefore I encourage people to find balanced human guides to help facilitate travels into the “ Borderland” and to couple this with methodical spiritual study to facilitate cultivation of the inner senses which function in the mysterious realms of the Spirits and in the subtle realms which surround us all.  There are of course always rogue exceptions to these ideas but these are much rarer than we would like to think, and to assume that each of us is an exception to the rule is a naïve and dangerous idea as well!

MG: Let’s talk about meditation and ritual and how that leads to spiritual praxis. So many people want to jump right to the “book of spells” or how to get what they want from the Spirits. Why are meditation and ritual important?

 CW: This is another excellent question which is directly related to the previous question.  The use of meditation is extremely important to de-condition the mind and clear the mindspace of pranic residue which we refer to in Yoga as vasanas and samskaras. If the mind is not calmed and cleared, if the waves of the mind are not calm, one cannot effectively enter into deeper states of consciousness or for that matter clearly communicate with discarnate intelligences.  The use of meditation is foundational for all other practices in any system of inner work. Therefore it is incumbent upon the student to learn to meditate and to cultivate a calm balanced state of mind before attempting to dive into mysterious realms much less walk the Left Hand path!!  And learning to meditate from a book can be difficult therefore, once again the role of the teacher and tradition comes into play.
     The use of ritual is also extremely important as it is the gateway into Sacred Time and Sacred Space; it takes us outside of mundane time and space and allows us to induce specific states of being which are conducive to deeper states of consciousness and communication with Spirits / Loa / Gods.  This is one of the most important roles of the Mass in Gnostic work.  I think in many ways, learning to meditate and to use ritual work is perhaps the most important work one can do to begin the process of deepening one’s spiritual praxis. This takes time, patience and guidance and is not as exciting as a “secret grimoire” or book of spells, however as Michael Bertiaux has said, the magician must “be able to translate himself literally into a grimoire.” The student must learn to find the secrets hidden within the mind- body before he or she seeks to find a secret book which instantly opens the gates to the infinite. Learning how to meditate and learning how to perform ritual work (which can vary from tradition to tradition) is extremely important in understanding the true “inner secrets” and should not be ignored.

MG: You work a lot in Ayurveda and are committed to health and well being. Can you speak to this as well as the concept of the body as alchemical alembic?

CW: The health and vitality of the human body is a crucial factor in spiritual growth. In Indian gnosis this was always a foundational factor with the medical system of Ayurveda always being used in conjunction with Yoga or in conjunction with Tantra; Ayurveda is particularly important in Left Hand Tantra as it has a unique sub-speciality concerned with sexual vitality termed Vajikarana chikitsa which is focused on the use of specific substances to cultivate health and vitality in relation to sexual activity as well as overall reproductive health. Tantra , Yoga , and Ayurveda are essentially alchemical sciences which allow the physical as well as the mental body to be transformed into an alembic, a womb nourished by the tapas of the practitioner’s sadhana. Therefore in Left Hand Tantra we seek to cultivate a deep core of physical and mental health and use unique methods of rejuvenation to cultivate specific types of magical Ojas which can be used in a wide range of practices. If one is always tired, anxious, depressed or suffers from poor quality sleep or digestion, then the ability to deepen one’s spiritual praxis is severely limited.  I have lengthy study of allopathic medicine as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine used in conjunction with Ayurveda in an attempt to envision and translate the unique metaphors of the corporeal body. In the Kosmic Gnosis of the EGA, guided by the Hierophancy of David Beth, we do not seek to transcend the physical or mental body, rather we seek to refine and utilize the corporeal in all its esoteric functions! This also applies to the systems of Esoteric Voudon and Esoteric Hinduism which function within the meta-current of the EGA’s Kosmic Gnosis.

MG: What advice can you give to folks who are new and seeking or who are going through a “dark night of the soul” and are in ways seeking for the second time but have lost faith in their spiritual journeys?

 CW:  I would always suggest that people seek out a teacher in the physical realms who can help guide and develop one’s practice as well as seek to connect with like-minded individuals who share common goals. Our social environment is very important as it can determine the state of our mind, creating a background or stage upon which we choose to act out the karma of our lives. Therefore I always suggest people seek spiritual fellowship and fraternity and the guidance of a teacher who can provide insights and advice. This is not always easy but it is far from impossible.  I also encourage people to use systems of cognitive therapy and to strive to make time for fun and laughter in their lives. Our lives are gone in a blink of an eye, and we must realize that each day is a rare opportunity to live, experience life and help one another. Often when people are experiencing a “dark night of the Soul” the best thing to facilitate a shift is to seek ways to help others who are less fortunate and are suffering more than we are suffering. We must seek to turn our entire lives into a sacred prayer to the Divine and not constantly seek “results” like we seek mundane goals.

MG: You let us know in your book that the tools therein are not just for Esoteric Hindu paths but can be used for other spiritual disciplines. Can you expand on the relationship or similarities between Gnostic, Vedic and Voudou systems?

CW:  Yes, the tools found within “Cave of the Numinous” are applicable for ALL systems of gnostic praxis, not just Esoteric Hinduism. The common thread which unites Vedic / Voudon / Gnostic systems is the Teacher –Chela relationship and the one-to-one transmission of gnosis via the physical relationship between the Teacher and Chela.  This cannot be over-emphasized! It is my hope that “Cave of the Numinous” will inspire any reader to reevaluate their spiritual praxis and seek out a valid guide to help them grow and deepen their respective praxis and break away from ersatz egoic based New Age practices which preach instant results or “magical secrets” which bypass dedicated methodical cultivation of Self-Realization.  “Cave of the Numinous” seeks to provide a unique window into initiatic systems however it also provides rituals and insights which can awaken inner gateways whereby the practitioner can contact living guides / teachers who can assist them on their unique journey into the Numinous.

MG: Many readers may not know that you also work as a Rootworker and hail from Louisiana. Can you talk to some of your experience in Hoodoo and how that ties into your work in esoteric Voudou?

CW:  I am eternally grateful to have the good karma to grow up in Louisiana!!  I was able to grow up in a magical world filled with Spiritualist churches, Catholic mysticism, and feral folk Hoodoo practices. I was always drawn to studying folk systems of medicine and at one time owned an herbal apothecary which served as a supplier to local Conjure practitioners and Root workers ; this allowed me to study and work with a wide array of Hoodoo systems.  When I eventually encountered Esoteric Voudon and the works of Michael Bertiaux, it was not strange to me in any way, it actually seemed to make sense. I consider meeting David Beth as perhaps the most important point in my spiritual life as it allowed me to integrate my lifetime of experiences in Louisiana Hoodoo, Catholic mysticism, and Vedic initiatic gnosis into a larger meta-current of Kosmic Gnosis. I still use a large amount of Hoodoo practices in my personal work, and see the system of Esoteric Voudon as a larger ontological framework into which I can feed my inner experiences of Conjure and Hoodoo.  This is also applicable to my initiatic work with David Beth within the system of JuJu Rouge Fetich sorcery as well as the larger system of Tantric Physics, in which Michael Bertiaux is also extremely supportive! It also important to note that even within my studies of Hoodoo and Conjure, it too was with one-to-one physical teachers and not from astral realms or books!

MG: Can you speak a bit more about “The Dark Goddess”, what do you mean when you say this and what advice can you give for people who are drawn to this type of “energy”?

CW:  When I speak of the Dark Goddess, I am referring to the various forms of MahaKali found within the system of the Dasha Mahavidyas or Ten Wisdom Goddesses of Indian Gnosis.  There are many realms in which the Dark Goddess seeks to express Herself, however, for the systems in which I function, the Dark Goddess MahaKali serves as the main Gateway.

MG: Thank you so much Craig for writing this phenomenal book! Where can readers find access to you and what plans do you have for future writings, teachings and events?

 CW: It’s my pleasure to have this conversation with you Maya! I have always admired your work! I look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming “Voices of Modern Gnosticism” panel talk in November which will be moderated by the amazing Greg Kaminsky of the wonderful Occult of Personality! And I encourage everyone to sign up for updates from Theion Publishing for information on future volumes in the Tantric Physics series and also visit my website at www.AyurvedaAustin.com.


You can find more information about Craig Williams and the "Cave of the Numinous" as well as other esoteric titles at Theion Publishing. Happy Hunting!