I’m a past lecturer and Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my PhD on British magic in 1997. I’ve also been a lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, where I taught courses and workshops on Shamanic Consciousness and Altered States of Consciousness for many years.
My anthropological fieldwork with British witches, druids, and shamanic practitioners resulted in many articles and publications including Magic, Witchcraft and the Otherworld and The Nature of Magic.
Perhaps I’m best known for my writing on consciousness and magic, including The Anthropology of Magic, which I wrote as an academic introduction to understanding the experience of magic, and my collaborative work with neuroscientist Erik Goodwyn, Magical Consciousness.
For my personal journey in academia and magic please see The Owl, the Dragon, and the Magician: reflections on being an Anthropologist studying Magic, originally written for a seminar on the Paranormal at Esalen, California and published in the Pomegranate 2015:
Taking this approach one step further, I’m now in the process of encapsulating some of what I’ve learnt about magical consciousness in novel form as a story involving the mythologies of William Blake, and the politics of Mary Wollstonecraft, which I hope to publish soon.
More recently I’ve been working on trying to create a bridge of communication between a Western understanding of magical consciousness and indigenous and First Nations’ world views, attempting to address our outstanding environmental, social and ecological disasters in my book Developing Magical Consciousness, with the hope of creating alternative visions for the future. My sense is that in our post truth world stories are becoming more and more important as methods of communication, whether it be negatively through conspiracy theories or positively stories through that speak directly to participating with nature and our emotions, as in my article in Anthropology Today, Vol. 38, no.1, February 2022.