I felt EXCITED as I read. No mean feat. I truly was inspired.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
A bastion of the esoteric.
Intelligent, literate, and well produced.
As converging ecological problems such as climate change and resource depletion challenge the foundations of modern civilization, behind the obvious and urgently needed practical responses lay myriad psychosocial, religious and mythical issues that can only become more pressing. The reframing and revival of “archaic” notions such as magic, polytheism, first-hand experience-based spirituality, and animistic engagement with the natural world offer fresh and potentially vital paradigms for meeting these vast ecological threats with coherence and integrity.
Dreamflesh Journal documented an eclectic range of ideas, investigations and experiments informed by this complex ecopsychological framework. Essays, interviews and art ranged over many facets of human and non-human life that seem to be important to this transition: dreams, altered states, visionary media, occultism, sexuality & gender, animism, collective intelligences, psychosomatic healing, bodily symbolism, cognitive linguistics, new materialism, creatively disciplined prehistorical and anthropological studies, images & spirit (iconoclasm, idolatry, anthropomorphism, fetishism), death & dying, depth psychology, ecology… to name a few.
- Editorial – Gyrus introduces Dreamflesh Journal.
- Endtime Healing: An Interview with Michael Ortiz Hill – A discussion with the author of Dreaming the End of the World: Apocalypse as a Rite of Passage, Gathering in the Names: A Journey into the Land of African Gods and The Village of the Water Spirits about the mythical foundations of the Bomb, envisioning ecological catastrophe and Michael’s attempts to build bridges back from America to Africa via the realm of dreams.
- The Mythic Breath – Chaos magician Dave Lee discusses intensive breathwork—the better-known guises of which are Rebirthing, Vivation and Holotropic Breathing—in relation to the mythical images presented in the Norse tradition.
- My Dream Self and Me – Jennifer Dumpert, a prolific dreamer and writer on feminism in American Buddhism, discusses a remarkable process in her dream life that resulted in the discovery of her dream self as a distinct entity, with tastes, fears, and perspectives of her own.
- Bread, Cheese & Wine: The holy trinity of the Earth – In this extract from his book Dionysos: A Sinuous Essay to Divine the Universe, Lars Holger Holm discusses the “spiritual gut feeling” aroused by a gastro-mythical approach to the three rustic pillars of French cuisine.
- Between the Lines – A poem by performer and activist Claire Fauset.
- Em’balm: Restoration Ritual – Australian occultist Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule documents the evolution, in collaboration with Giselle Aquila, of a rejuvenatory ritual based on the Egyptian embalming rites for the dead.
- Strawberry Fair, Armpit Hair – Baby-Crone Bella Basura on the cultural history and personal power of female body hair.
- Stories on a Stick: An Interview with Donal Ruane – Film maker Donal Ruane discusses his experiences as an apprentice ayahuasquero in the Peruvian Amazon, and the documentary-in-progress that emerged from this process.
- Twilight of the Oil Economy: An Interview with Richard Heinberg – The author of The Party’s Over and PowerDown discusses Peak Oil, the crossing of the high-point of world oil production, and the wide-ranging impact this and related energy resource issues will have on modern civilization.
- Feeding the Bone Orchard – Stephen Grasso examines the Western tradition’s blindspot for relating to ancestors, and explores the way other cultures—from the syncretic religions of Latin America to Japanese Shinto—ritualize the centrality of ancestors to their spiritual world.
- Ploughing the Clouds – An edited transcript of a 1994 lecture by philosopher Peter Lamborn Wilson, discussing various orthodox and heretical theories of “origins”—of consciousness, of social structures, of the state—with a view to creating a multi-model approach to the paradoxically unknowable and uncannily close realm of human prehistory
Cover art copyright Amodali 2006