Back in the days when I still thought IJ would sell like hot cakes, I did an interview with Jeff Belanger of GhostVillage.com. Jeff was an old work colleague of mine who suddenly gave up his day job to write…. he now has 12 best sellers to his name!
Interview by Jeff Belanger – [email protected]
Ghostvillage.com author interview
In Inner Journeys, Dr. G. Michael Vasey shares how the study of the occult, meditation, and his deeper self has enriched his life. Vasey offers a path the reader can follow for getting in contact with their own spirit guides. Ghostvillage.com caught up with Dr. Vasey to ask him about his life and the new book.
Was there a single event in your life that stirred your curiosity in the occult?
There really wasn’t a single event so-to-speak. In fact, it is difficult for me to pinpoint the moment when I became interested since I have been fascinated by the whole subject from the earliest age that I can recall. When you grow up seeing things — they are just there — you assume that they are there for everyone else too.
Perhaps the moment I truly became curious was when I realized that others did not necessarily share my experiences and visions and that was a difficult moment because other people’s reactions are often hostile — especially when you are all children. This occurs at a certain age — around your early teens — because up until that point, it is put down to simply having a vivid imagination!
In your first chapter you mention the problem mainstream society has with the word “occult.” What is your definition of the word and do you think we’re making any headway in a better understanding of these esoteric mysteries?
The word “occult” simply means “hidden.” An alternative word to use might be “arcane.” Words often get hijacked and frankly the word “occult” has been hijacked by Hollywood and the Church. You know there are actually sites on the Web that purport to show “occult” symbols and their true meaning and there one can find out that the pentagram is a satanic symbol along with almost every other symbol you ever thought of. Actually, the pentagram is simply a five-pointed star and has no meaning other than the one you chose to give it. It’s the same with the word occult — to me it just means that I have to dig deep within myself for knowledge — knowledge that is normally hidden to my conscious mind.
Unfortunately, I think the world is moving in two opposite directions at once. On the one hand, there are a lot more open minded and inquisitive people out there and on the other there are a growing number of closed minded people too. I think it is unfortunate that some people who subscribe to certain religions can’t limit their beliefs to themselves but feel it necessary to impose their beliefs on all of us too.
You were raised in England but now live in the United States. Do you see a difference in how Europeans perceive this subject compared to Americans?
Absolutely! I think Europe being an older and more established society is much more at ease with itself than the US. Believe it or not, the home of free speech is the UK — I can say whatever I want there but you have to be careful here — especially in the south! Many of the schools and traditions that are used today by occultists originate in Europe and the UK — for example the Golden Dawn which spawned a number of other groups such as the Fraternity of the Inner Light which in turn spawned the Servants of the Light — the school I studied with. There is more tradition and tolerance for these things in Europe and there are much fewer fundamental religious types too.
Delving inward through meditation is an extremely personal and intimate experience. What compelled you to share it in your book, Inner Journeys?
I was told to, otherwise I probably would have kept it to myself. The voice told me to write and I said, “Write what?” It said, “Write a book.” I was a bit puzzled myself but it showed me what to write about and so I did. Most of the writing was done following a meditation session and it was almost automatic since you are still in a higher state of mind. As I wrote I realized that no one had written a book quite like this before — a personal account of studying with an occult school and the impact that it had on your life and inner make up. To work effectively it had to be honest. After all, studying the occult is to look at yourself and through a systematic and on-going process to work on changing yourself for the better. The book had to show that process and had to provide a starting point and an ending point in my inner development.
Your spirit guide, Asteroth, seems to play a significant role in your life. Do all of us have a spirit guide? What can we gain by making contact with our guide?
Asteroth was an inner voice that spoke to me and had a certain visual form in my mind. She has gone now and the reason she has gone is that she was a part of my own inner make up. This is why I say studying occult methods is very much the same as self-psychology. She was a part of myself that needed to be assimilated and in the process I become more whole and more harmonized. In that respect, everyone has access to the inner voice they just have to be still and quiet enough to hear it. If you hear that voice and can cultivate it you will find that it knows all the answers. The answers are inside of us but most people rush around seeking answers outside themselves in this illusionary world. To hear that voice you have to open yourself to it and the “ego” doesn’t like you to know the truth about yourself!
Is there any danger in exploring the occult through meditation and the other methods you mention in your book?
There can be. That is why studying with an established and bona fide school like the Servants of the Light (SOL) would be my recommended way to go about it. It gradually exposes you to methods through time avoiding a shock to the system. The danger is in going too far too soon and not being able to handle mentally what you find within your inner landscapes. This is why schools like the SOL warn students to stay away from drug induced states of different reality because that’s like being thrown in the ocean before you have learned to swim. You might be okay, but you may also drown.
The biggest challenge I had to overcome was that many of my existing beliefs — the foundations I had built myself on — were challenged over the course of the 5-year study. You go through all kinds of stages with that, such as denial, anger, disbelief, etc. and finally acceptance. It’s only in going through those experiences that you can become more of who you truly are and what you have the potential to be — and that’s Magic literally.
What does your family think of your spiritual practices? Have they begun to explore these deeper mysteries for themselves or do they simply think dad is “weird?”
They accept me for who I am and they don’t know any different. My eldest son is in college and he is certainly interested but hasn’t yet taken any steps to follow in my footsteps. Nor would I want him to. I think you need to have a good deal of life experience behind you to really benefit from this approach. He certainly isn’t embarrassed by it though since he has been telling his friends to read his Dad’s book!
What do you want your readers to take away from Inner Journeys?
That magick and the occult are not to be feared. Magick is the process of getting to know yourself and, by changing who you are, you change the outer world too — it’s “positive thinking” but with a much deeper and more long lasting effect — and it takes longer to perfect as a result. You create your own reality and we are all one. All inter-connected. That one interconnected consciousness is constantly creating the world we see and it is what we might call “God.” In that sense, we are all sparks of the one Fire. My story will hopefully encourage others to take a similar journey and for those already on that journey, it provides something they can relate to.
What’s the first music album you ever bought and where is it now?
Interesting question! It was a compilation album of T.Rex songs, I believe. T. Rex were never as big in the US as they were elsewhere in the world for some reason but Marc Bolan’s (singer, guitarist, songwriter in T.Rex) songs are actually used in a lot of TV commercials these days! Bolan was a fascinating person — he was built a bit like a Hobbit and he claimed to have studied with a Wizard in Paris! I still have most of their CD’s today.
See the original at http://www.ghostvillage.com/library/2006/lib_vasey.shtml