THE SEVENTH RAY
A Modern Mystery School for Occulture Conference, Berlin 2022
We will begin this 2-hour workshop with an open discussion about the
necessity of a Mystery system for the modern age, as well as the history, culture and
philosophy of the ancient Mysteries of Egypt and Greece.
We shall explore what remains to us modern humans of mystery ,
as a sense and within the collective cultural consciousness.
How might a reinvigoration of the mystery mindset or perhaps more fittingly - the mystery spirit,
serve to enrich the contemporary experience of living?
Can the Mysteries quell rising tides of apathy or alleviate existential angst?
You will have a chance to try a menu of techniques for attaining beneficial altered states and insight.
A sample of these techniques will include:
Guided Hypnagogic Meditation - Dream Magic : Sarah Janes
Sarah Janes leads this dream incubation session exploring the potential of the
dream to be a form of magical activism, and as a realm to manifest a desired
outcome. Dream incubation is an ancient method of cultivating a healing and
revealing dream by ritual, intention and hypnotic suggestion and has been used as a
way of faith-healing, ancestral connection and divination for millennia. The dream is
an opportunity to practise life skills, explore interpersonal relationships, refine the
psyche and deepen understanding of oneself. In this experiential session you will
develop an intention for a specific dream, create your own dream spell and ritual
(which can be continued at home), and Sarah will guide you in a hypnagogic
meditation to help plant the seeds of your desired dream in your unconscious
Hyperhumanism: Carl Hayden Smith
Hyperhumanism is now, more than ever, required to counteract the transhumanist
agenda. Through the use of current technology humans have fallen prey to the
digital feed that directs us on how to behave, what to have, what to achieve and what
to aspire to. By choosing entertainment over culture, humans are degrading
themselves to be part of this feed and as a consequence immediate gratification,
confirmation bias and neglect are taking control of us. Social media technology has
been used to subjugate us and capture our attention, this makes it difficult for us to
regain our sovereignty over ourselves, and the way we use these technologies.
Hyperhumanism is intended as a wakeup call, to allow us to remember our natural
capacity to shift states. These techniques have been explored throughout human
history. Hyperhuman techniques allow us to build new ways of being.
Near Death Meditation - Thanatotherapy : Pascal Immanuel Michael
Pascal Michael leads this musing on life and death and helps you to explore your
own personal expectation of the death experience with the aim of releasing some of
the fear around death and dying. A guided visualisation / psychical travelling to
engender a near-death-like experience with cosmical Egyptological proportions -
with special accentuation of the 'life review' phenomenon where one evaluates their
life experience and deeds thus far - for the reification of the realisation that one is a
'Child of the stars', instilled with a sense of mission within the game that is life
Stealing Sacred Fire - Working with the Watchers: Lena Korkovelou
Behind the layers of shadows surrounding the rituals and practices of many
covens and occult groups - especially those of the Luciferian Witchcraft tradition - lies
a little-known story veiled in secrecy. The story of a cult of angels who stole fire, their
human companions and acolytes, and the terrible price that comes with daring to
stand up and talk back, with asking questions and reaching to lift the veil of the mysteries.
We will take a journey back in time to explore the lore and symbolism
associated with Fallen Angels or Watchers. Lena will share insights from her
personal experience of working with them, as well as a pathworking technique that
combines insights gained from the other current she
works with - that of Norse shamanism and runic practice.
This workshop is designed as a taster session to demonstrate the essence of the
Seventh Ray mystery school, as it exists today, but you also have the opportunity to
co-create the next manifestations of the project because an expanded version of the
workshop will be available to participants in the 2 days following Occulture in Berlin.
Participation is via application. Please email stating your interest entering the
mysteries, include your date and time of birth : firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Hayden Smith is the co-founder of the Cyberdelics Society
https://www.cyberdelicsociety.com and Founder of the Museum of Consciousness
https://www.museumofconsciousness.space Carl is also the interim Head of
Research, Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) at the
Institute for Creativity & Technology, Ravensbourne University London. Carl has
given over 300 invited public lectures, conference presentations and keynotes in 40
countries and published more than 100 academic papers. His research interests
include Embodied Cognition, Spatial Literacy, Umwelt Hacking, Sensory
Augmentation, Artificial Senses and Body Hacking.
Sarah Janes is an author, lecture salon host and sleep hypnosis workshop leader.
Her forthcoming book Initiation into Dream Mysteries: Drinking from the Pool of
Mnemosyne (Inner Traditions, 2022) explores the history and culture of the dream as
medicine in the Western esoteric tradition, through ancient Anatolia, the Near East,
Egypt and Greece. She is interested in the dream as a magical practice, as an
incubatory realm for real world manifestation. Sarah also hosts a popular online
Egyptology lecture series called Explorers Egyptology, is co-host and producer for
the Anthony Peake Consciousness Hour and is collaborating with Rupert Sheldrake
and the British Pilgrimage Trust to reintroduce the idea of sacred sleep on pilgrim
routes around the UK.
Lena Korkovelou is a Greek expat based in London. She is the creator and host of
the Mask and the Mirror, a YouTube podcast exploring daemonic imagination,
gnosis, and art as a magical practice and an altered state of consciousness. With a
background in literature, creative writing and journalism, Lena is a fiction writer with a
lifelong passion for all kinds of storytelling. She is also a practising occultist with over
two decades of experience and an eclectic approach. She currently focuses on
sabbatic craft, Watcher lore and the Norse tradition of seidr and galdr. Some of
Lena’s main influences include the work of Andrew Chumbley, Jan Fries, Peter Gray
and Austin Osman Spare, and her heart is half Odin, half Lucifer.
Pascal Immanuel Michael BSc, MSc is a Psychology PhD candidate at the
University of Greenwich, comparing the DMT experience and the near-death
experience (NDE), with a view to establish the NDE as a psychedelic episode –
indicated by their phenomenology and neural correlates, as well as their
transformative and parapsychological effects. His interests lie in death and dying as
an entangled continuum – existing at the levels of the molecular, humanistic, and
transpersonal. He has presented at Breaking Convention and the Oxford University
Psychedelic Society, and published in journals such as Frontiers. He is a coordinator
for the ALEF Trust’s certificate in Psychedelics, ASCs and TP, and the 2020
recipient of the Schmeidler Outstanding Student Award.
ABOUT THE SEVENTH RAY
THE SEVENTH RAY began as a Mixed Reality platform inspired by Mystery School initiation techniques of the ancient world. The platform employs the latest in perceptual and sensory augmentation technologies to explore the meaning and modern day significance of these ancient ceremonies. The historic texts provide a formula and the new technologies provide the tools to revive these rites into previously unimaginable formulations. The Seventh Ray seeks to explore the combined power of drama with the particular state of awareness one feels when they fully inhabit a mixed reality. Might the MR brain exhibit closer parallels with the ‘book reading brain’ than that of the ‘movie watching’ one? The ancient texts give us a formula; the emerging technologies of VR and AR give us the tools to revive these ancient rites into unimaginable dimensions.
‘Initiation’ has been a part of human culture for centuries and underpinning every expression of the process is the core precept that ‘you have to die in order to live.’ This is not a physical death, but rather the deliberate obliteration of the Ego - which might involve using intense fear, intoxication, sensory deprivation or utter surrender as a tool.
Essentially, the release of Ego and over-identification with the Self, provides an individual with a spiritual rebirth and a personal experience of the divine potential integrated within. An over-identification with mortal flesh, blood and a personal thought world that one believes to be the sum of oneself, is seen as the root cause of humanity’s misery.
Cross-culturally, ancient cultures recognised the human race as the result of a union between heavenly and earthly forces. Their ultimate destiny to return to the divine source of all things. Initiation was preparation for this moment, for the moment of death, for the continuation of an eternal spirit. Another important aspect in the mysteries is the ceremonial linking of the human life cycle, with that of the cycle of the Seasons of Earth, the process of decomposition, decay, death, rebirth and renewal, the Spirits of nature and the cosmos.
Since antiquity much has been written about the positive effects of the initiation experience upon the individual. Our experiment is an attempt to provide these transcendental and liberating gifts in a modern way for those who may not even be aware that anything is missing. The positive effect we might recognise contemporarily might be similar for some as facing and overcoming the worst fear. If our worst fear is dying and we pass through that process and come through the other side, our joy in life comes through our releasing fear.
In studying centuries old initiation techniques we can find common symbols and systems that still have transformative power, that still resonate with our collective unconscious. We are surrounded by symbols and meaning in every moment of life, but our connection to the deeper significance of these symbols is buried beneath a strong attachment to material reality. From street names, to brand logos to movie plots - the power of symbols to speak directly to the human psyche about its own nature has been watered down, or worse still - polluted and confused. We might explore these symbols and meanings in our dreams or in other altered states, but our waking awareness is so bombarded by a culture of distraction we often fail to see the meaning and significance in these ever-present stories and symbols. These symbols exist apart from ourselves in the normal world and therefore our Ego preservation narrative persists.
THE SEVENTH RAY COLLECTIVE was formed in 2017 by Carl H. Smith and Sarah Janes to create immersive mixed reality experiences inspired by ancient technologies. Developers Matteø Zamagni, Jose Montemayor Alba and Pablo Bueno Melchor were later brought on board to help design our first experience - THE SEVENTH RAY, A Virtual Initiation Experience.
The project was funded by the V&A and premiered at the Electronic Visualisation and the Arts Conference, 2018
Since then the experience has traveled to conferences around Europe, including the Occulture Conference in Berlin (see below) with the Cyberdelic Society and the collective have collaborated on a number of creative and cultural projects in which the oldest technologies and the newest come together.