Seizing the Sanctuary Keys: The Magick of Rave Culture

Back in the year 2004 when I was kicking a nasty drug and alcohol burn, I turned my obsessive tendencies towards the rave subculture. The hypnotic and pulsing vibrations generated by the multitude of different electronic music genres was somehow just what my brain needed. Music had been my first love in life before my teen years saw the full bloom of my latent addictions.

It was only natural that when I broke from years of oblivion seeking that I turned my focus back to more innocent diversions. Music had seen me through many a dark period and would come to my aid in a massive way in the early weeks and months of detoxing from toxic overload. I had been interested in techno from a distance for some time but something in my initial sober state spiraled me deeply into a raving rabbit hole.

The flux between dark metallic despair and angelic heights of euphoria that techno is capable of spoke to me deeply in my time of need and I flew headlong into compulsive record store binges to satiate my cravings. It was escapism and retreat back into my 13-year-old self that knew of music fetishism and hiding from a dangerous outer world. Reconnecting with that instinctual setting tided me over through an otherwise horrible stretch.

A critical book fell into my hands that made drilling down deep into a dense and multilayered underground scene more immediate. Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture (Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture, US title) written by Simon Reynolds is the quintessential history of the evolution of both the music and the colorful surrounding culture of electronic music. I own a few other books about the subject but none acted as much like a Bible as Reynolds.

He wrote for the true music fiend that craves every minute detail and morsel of insider drama. Rather than a dry a distant retelling of history based on interviews and other sources, most of what Reynolds wrote came from embedding as a participant into the very fabric of the scene. He was at the raves. He took the drugs. He met the players.

Like a true love letter, Energy Flash is exhaustive in giving space to all the prominent subgenres of techno from UK Acid House to Dutch Gabber hardcore. Of particular use to me at the time was a complete discography of every album and track named in the book broken down by chapter. From those pages in the back of the book I highlighted and checked off items as I added them to my personal collection.

While it was certainly the addictive sound of the music that emotionally drew me into the study of the history, I was just as fascinated by the strong visual and cultural elements that all vibrant undergrounds generate. I was very familiar with such a phenomena from previous involvements with heavy metal, punk rock, grunge, industrial and hip-hop. When I dug back into late 60’s and 70’s rock era, much of the same trappings can be found. There’s fashion, promotional art design, drug customs, lingo, dance styles, social or political commitments and live event rituals.

With the electronic scene you get a mega-dose of all of the above to such a degree that the accompanying elements that grew out of the music are pretty well inseparable from it at this point. Like all authentic underground countercultures, they became an-encompassing lifestyle to maintain. While I have been to a few raves in my life, I admittedly missed out on the truly pinnacle days that Reynolds’ book documents.

While raves where at a height in the US during the mid-90s, I was into mostly rock oriented music at the time. My closest friends and I were into a different sort of partying and drug scene. We were more a house/hotel party, rock concert bunch. I did however have many secondary groups of friends and a girlfriend that “raved” and I often planned to make it to one only to have plans fall through. I took ecstasy for the first time after junior prom. By the time I made it, the illegal party days were coming to a close. 

Reading Energy Flash and listening to music walking around town with headphones on or alone in my room, my experience was very imagination based. While the music is certainly designed for communal experiences and reverie, I was having an intensely personal and internal relationship with it. When I put the tunes on, my intent was to enter a mental trance and ride the wave of emotions, picking up a natural endorphin rush to fill my substance-free void.

While I’ve always been more personally invested in metal and punk music on a day-to-day basis, the thing I appreciate about rave music that facilitates a unique experience are those moments of unifying bliss that are best expressed by pure instrumental forms of music. A continuously mixed electronic set is designed to take the listener on an emotionally changed roller coaster full of perky peaks, steady valleys and dark dips.
“Where rock relates an experience (autobiographical or imaginary), rave constructs an experience. Bypassing interpretation, the listener is hurled into a vortex of heightened sensations, abstract emotions, and artificial energies.” – Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash
Studying Reynolds book and collecting all the accompanying music was a constructive hobby and a wonderful pressure release valve. I was dealing with very heavy doses of confusion, anger and weird readjustments to my surroundings at the time and any relief was welcome. I was drawing from other resources and tools as well, but it was the music that always helped in a pinch. That period seems so far gone in my memory now. A remembrance of another lifetime.

Energy Flash eventually came off the nightstand and found a place on my bookshelf; having served its purpose and me moving onto whatever obsession followed. I always held the book in high regard but never felt compelled to restudy the material. That changed recently as I had spent some time speaking with my wife and her sister about their old days as teen ravers. Some of the old CDs came out and Energy Flash came off the shelf with them.

In an odd way I had hoped to find some correlations that I had instinctively felt were there between the rave subculture and the occult magick I have since made a study of. I didn’t think they were there, I only hoped they were. Some 12 years ago when I read it, I had now idea what esotericism was or much about alternative spirituality for that matter. I was in for a bit of a surprise as I began my reread. With 12 years of lived experience and seeking for the lights that only drugs had once shown me, I was reading with a completely different pair of eyes this go-around.

The studies of sociological inner-group dynamics and intricate rites of passage that the largely, very young ravers partook in was engrossing reading the first time through. But in retrospect, there were quite a number of references and dimensions woven into the story that simply went over my head. Back then I was interested in the music, the drugs and the decadence. I had no way of understanding the influences Reynolds covered that came in from Terence Mckenna, shamanism, UFOs, Gnosticism, Zen or Hakim Bey.

Looking at it now, it’s like, no shit, Sherlock. Before having the myriad of mystical and radical touch points spelled-out for me as I flipped through the book pages again, I had my own thought that raves ecstatic highs and communal initiations were very much a cousin of sorts to magick and the occult quest for universal truth.
“Gnosis is the esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth that various pre-Christian and early Christian cults believed could be apprehended directly only by the initiate, a truth that cannot be mediated or explained in words. In rave, catchphrases like ‘hardcore, you know the score’ or ‘you know the key’ are code for secret knowledge to which ‘only the headstrong people’ are privy. 
And this is drug knowledge, the physically felt intensities induced by Ecstasy, amphetamine, and the rest of pharmacopoeia. The MC’s role, as master of the sacra-mental ceremonies, is ceaselessly to reiterate that secret without ever translating it. The MC is an encryptor; a potent inclusion/exclusion device – for if you’re not down with the program, you’ll never know what the idiot is raving about.” – Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash
What I found interesting about the passage above was not so much that drug states on E are just like states of transcendental gnosis, although I won’t argue that it shares nothing in common either. Having hacked my way into elevated conscious in my youth and failing to hold onto it or converting that knowledge into sober states, my focus today is on natural forms of magick and altered states. That being said, the really interesting aspect for me about rave culture or any subculture, are their initiations, secret dialectics and the achievements of awareness beyond identification with the self and the body.

That a modern underground music scene can unconsciously (or consciously) mimic mystery cult traditions by means of coded language, secret meeting places, esoteric art forms and shamanistic trance states produced by music, is well, a little trippy.  A yearning for rites of passage and social initiation into exclusive clubs are a part of the human makeup and seem to be instinctual. Where they fail to exist formally or fail to satisfy, they are created by and for the participants.
“Magic, yes. I remember one Full Moon (rave party) at Grey Whale Cove, down on Santa Cruz Beach – the most beautiful, magical place I had ever seen. People as far as the eye could see. As everyone started coming up on their Ecstasy and their psychedelics, a huge ring formed around the DJ booth. Everybody was holding hands and spinning, running in a fast circle. 
To me, it was like going back to witchcraft or something – pagan magic rituals. It was out of hand, like we were tapping into something (that was) just taking us in these directions.” – Jason Walker from Rave America by Mireille Silcott
Rave Flyer
Impressive to me are that most of the people who were involved with making the music, producing 
the events and especially those making up the attendance base, were very young – still kids in many cases. Impressive as well is the completely permissionless, decentralized, entrepreneurial, DIY drive underlying the entire enterprise. The secrecy in rave was twofold: one, to preserve authenticity and two, to work around police and prohibitive official red tape.

This anarchistic, grassroots formation of the culture is an aspect given good coverage by Reynolds in his writing. Music parties without permits, radio stations without channel approval. The state and its bureaucrats were treated like the unnecessary and constraining obstacles that they were. Rules were broken out of necessity to create an atmosphere were rules had no place. Without an overt political motive, actions were taken to create the community that players in the scene envisioned. It just so happened that that reality was a direct threat to the system and the established procedural order.

While the underground dance scene never was politically organized in the way that the anti-war, civil rights conscious, hippie rock era was; the mere existence of the scene was it’s own attack on the status-quo.  

In a similar vain, the occultist or ritual magician seeks no permission to gain access to the doors of inner-wisdom. Instead, the gatekeepers of organized religion are dismissed altogether with a knowing that the real power is found outside of dogmatic hierarchies. The reigns grabbing ethos inherent in magic practice carries into the impulses of the raver. Both seek to reach an esoteric source, totally inaccessible through ordinary aboveground means. The journey to the holy temple takes turns off the map.

I see a strong correlation in mindsets that, disinterested in convention, pursue a “by any means necessary” path to destinations of deliberate choice. There’s nothing happenstance or casual about being truly in an underground subculture. The absolute same can be said of a commitment to the occult. The efforts are painstaking but the rewards are special and held closely by the devoted.  

Another interesting parallel between rave and magical practices or magical thinking is the notion of synchronicities. Loosely defined, a synchronicity is a belief that certain events are falling directly into place for an individual as if by the universes design. These synchs can come in the form of a premonition that comes to pass or the appearance of signs, symbols, patterns or correspondences that carry personally meaningful resonance. On Ecstasy, the user feels surrounded by meaning, like the universe is focused upon them and beaming down messages. Every song and every face seen feels angelically choreographed.
“The sensory flood can seem visionary, pregnant with portent. Serious speed freaks often have a sense of clairvoyance and gnosis, feel plugged into occult power sources, believe they alone can perceive secret patterns and conspiracies.” – Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash 
The question of how much to make of the perceptions of drugged states seems unresolvable. Opinions tend to be very strong in either direction as if it’s a binary proposition. The outsider to these highly charged personal experiences looks askance at both the religiously triggered awakening and the chemically aided one. Both occurrences often leave the person somehow changed but yet forever second-guessing the validity of what they felt. All they can often be sure of is that they saw, heard or felt something extraordinary – broke through from origins unknown.

It does appear to be a rare case in which an individual who has stolen a peak behind the cosmic curtain of existence has the sustained commitment and will to follow up on that initial burst of inspiration and convert it into a daily spiritual regimen that doesn’t include the drug. There are stories to be heard on both sides of that fence and legitimate claims to be made one way or the other. My intent is not to place one ahead of the other but to observe and compare all means of attaining divine contact.

There are enough pre-historic, ancient and contemporary cultures that integrate mind-altering substances into their religious ceremonies to evidence a genuine claim that the two elements can share space. An even bolder claim would argue that they necessarily share a function.

Rave Flyer
In considering a non-religiously grounded shamanic psychedelic journey that takes place at a rave, the insights can perhaps be as profound but often leave the person without a net in the aftermath. Without a foundational structure to relate the experience to and evolve the spark it struck, the drug taking itself becomes the means and the ends. Like a revolving door, the psychically altered user (usually very young without spiritual roots), repeats the drug trip again and again attempting to recapture the elusive flight into the cosmic heavens.
“A sacrament in the secular religion called ‘rave,’ Ecstasy can just as easily be a counterrevolutionary force as it can fuel a hunger for change. For it’s too tempting to take the easy option: simply repeating the experience, installing yourself permanently in rave’s virtual reality pleasuredome.” – Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash
This is exactly the predicament I landed myself in in the years leading up to 2004. Living in an endless cyclical loop of pleasure and pain, vainly trying to live in cheaply won fantasy realms on the other side of my own faults and limitations. The elixirs of various substances offered quick release from mundane reality and plunged my consciousness into netherworlds of either delights or horrors. Each plunge, yet another risk of an unhealable wound. Risk became a trivial standard.

Oddly enough, there are similar risks in serious magickal workings if undertaken in a caviler fashion without proper psychic protections in place. Likening it back to subjecting the mind to mood enhancing chemicals, opening the mind up to hit of kundalini surging is whispered to burn out the operating system. 
“There is only one reward for those who seek spiritual unfoldment or extension of power without first cleansing the body and soul. The very powers which the student draws to him in his studies will destroy him unless he is robbed in the garments of purity. Unto the unpurified, God is a consuming fire; for wherever dross is in the nature His power will burn it away. With the influx of the spiritual power there is a great cataclysm in the body of man; and if he has not prepared it to the best of his ability to receive this light, his foolhardiness will precipitate obsession, insanity and death, for broken bodies, nerves and minds follow in the wake of broken laws.” –Manly P. Hall, The Sacred Magic of Qabbalah
I’m still working towards a purified manor of achieving the sorts of heights I once knew so well. I’ve reconciled that the inner-bliss of ritual and meditation may never produce the visceral excitements of a night of illegal taboo breaking. But for me, the occult offers its own life-enhancing taboo transgressions. The activity is still carried out secretly and entry into the stream is somewhat guarded and protected from posers. Religious orthodoxy threatens Hell for magic as much as it does for having too much fun. Mainstream society is still quick to assign their fearful labels on it.

If rave was a contemporary act of rebellion, the occult has been at that game for centuries longer. Thwarting authority can be achieved at no cost of brain cells so I’ve learned. Whether it’s subverting political or spiritual power structures, the self-reclaiming practices of the occult offer the freedom and liberation I previously sought in pill form.

The results are anything but instantaneous to be sure. Older now and hopefully marginally wiser for my ware, patience and persistence are prices I’m willing to pay to ascend the ladder of illumination this time around. It appears as if I used up all my shortcuts and cheat codes.  But the game is far from being lost. 

Confession of an Art Director: Occult Advertising Tech

The appeal of ceremonial magick and the occult works for me along two planks, or more aptly, two pillars. One the one hand it addresses my metaphysical yearnings and on the other it compliments my artistic or creative nature.

As it happens, I had been practicing a form of magick long before I realized it as such. You see I work in the revered and despised business of advertising. The big brains in the field keep trying to rename the profession to recapture the mystique it once had in days gone by. Or to avoid the increasing stink associated with the ubiquitous annoyance of "ads." 

Today, they call it content. Who knows what it will be next year. Whether by means of time-tested mass-market retail promotions or targeted infotainment content creation, the end goal is still the same. Access and influence.

I was lured into the craft in the way that most of my colleagues were, with the promise of a steady paycheck (to pay off our massive student debts) while fooling around being “creative” all day.  And all night, quite frankly. But hey, they promised me it would be good, dirty fun.

Being paid to exercise my creativity was all I really wanted out of life as an early 20-something. Upon securing my first position, I felt as though I had beaten the game. There was a feeling that I had successfully hacked my life and perfectly situated myself for satisfaction optimization. Forget that I had really wanted to be a filmmaker or an author. Those ambitions seemed unreasonable and
risky back then, as I already made the internal deal with myself to comprise dangerous art for safe creativity.

(The more time that has gone by, the more I realize that those compromises are what the film and music industries have always been built on.)

At the time I really did and still do have an affinity for the graphic designer archetype. I was fully aware of the creative power that typography and manipulated photographs had on my entire life. Everything that I loved came with a branded package and visual identity. Films, music, toys, comics, etc. 

The archetypal art director, Paul Rand

In fact, the sexy allure of a sophisticated image seemed not only purposeful but also necessary – if only to make up for the crude and truly obnoxious communications out in the world. Maybe I could help make the crap better, I thought.

My grasp on the esoteric power of symbolism encoded with meaning and association was not fully formed at the onset. Though I knew full well about blatant propaganda art, which I came upon in design school. I just didn’t fully appreciate how subtle propaganda could become when better disguised. 

It’s funny in a way because I recall that as a graphic design student, one of my fascinations was focused on Soviet and fascist propaganda posters. More precisely, a fascination with Nazi propaganda. One entire project I self-assigned was dedicated to breaking it down and reinterpreting it. I most certainly was captivated by the Russian Constructivist movement and Italy’s Futurism style. I consider the Soviet and Italian designers far in advance of the official German artists for their graphic innovations and avant-garde compositions.

Yet, for reasons I didn’t fully understand, it was the Nazi advertising that struck a really ominous and dark chord with me. The work was like a crime scene that I couldn’t look away from.

Everyone familiar with sorcery understands the explicit use of occulted symbolism employed by the Nazis under the influence of Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler. For me it wasn’t until years later that my study of the occult brought the Nazi history back to me. I knew nothing substantive about the occult growing up even though I was immersed in it indirectly. Surprisingly or not, occult symbolism was never explained to me in any design class.

Heinrich Himmler

Could it be that the academics in design education not understand the mystical possibilities of pictograms? It may be a matter of terms. As in, a reluctance to acknowledge the magick nature of embedding meaning into symbol sets, and a preference to use the respectably modern term - psychology. Design professionals will forever speak of psychology and the ability to subconsciously make suggestions. But magic? The occult? That’s not intellectual enough. Not rational enough. 

My reaction to those taboo German posters was quite irrational, visceral and immediate. The images worked, regardless of my complete opposition and repulsion towards the actual ideology represented. It’s quite possible the element of taboo was part of the operative magick, still resonant, all those decades past their shelf life. I was captivated and hypnotized by the powerful graphics set in potently harsh colors with type set in gothic Fraktur.

I can only imagine a time when the idealistic propaganda was seeded on a public still blinded to the worst implications of Übermensch nationalism. A public desperate for self-assurance and confidence after suffering economic and political humiliation following WWI. For hypnosis to really work, I think the subject has to need or want to believe.

Under Hitler, the Nazi visual communications program was under mandate to resurrect a classical pictorial realism to their art. Realism infused with the style of heroic idealism that set the standard for dominant cultures like Greece and Rome. Every depiction of a soldier or a citizen took on the look of a sculpted Greek God. Symbolic eagles and Teutonic Knights were employed to dramatic effect. 

This brings to mind high-end luxury fashion advertisements; representative of ultra-superficiality and vanity but that does not fail to entrance even a guarded viewer.

That is the seductive power of images – they work outside of rigorous logic, bypassing their way straight into our emotionally driven subconscious. The most effective images speak to our primal instincts.

Sex. Strength. Control. Order. Desire. Satisfaction. Victory.
"The design and marketing methods used to inculcate doctrine and guarantee consumption are fundamentally similar." –Steven Heller, design historian, author and critic
The power of magic works very much along the same lines as artistic works. A principle difference being that the occultist intentionally creates scenarios in which they make themselves susceptible to forces of influence. The use of intricate symbols and archetypes during ritual and meditation bypasses the iron doorways of the rational and critical mind to gain entry into the subconscious. Through a form of self-suggestion and deliberate programing, the magician can create change in their interior and exterior environment.

Encountering art or messaging in a happenstance way allows others to infiltrate the mindscape of an unsuspecting audience for the implanting of often uninvited ideas. It’s easy to understand that the same energetic magic that is imbued into the icon of the swastika can be projected onto other icons, like the Macintosh apple or the Nike swoosh. Even though the designers are working with different energy frequencies, the principles are still the same.

The Nazi Party branding style guide 
Evolution of a symbol

Advertising logos with the support of an ever-increasing swarm of media channels and direct pathways into our brains, are infused with meaning and aspirational associations. While political logos are supported by rhetoric-laden speeches and public relations photo ops, product logos are supported with radio jingles, attractive models, magazine ad copy, catalogs, websites and celebrity YouTube ads. On second thought, there’s almost no difference between a political campaign and a product campaign, since the politician is a product as much as a bag of chips.
“Consider the use of brand logos. These are words or symbols with little inherent meaning that have come to signify expansive and often emotion-laden concepts. Just as a witch might summon spiritual interference via pentagrams, a marketer can call forth thoughts and behaviors by wielding the visual mark of a product or corporation. Symbols bring reality into being.” - Matthew Hutson, Psychology Today 
I’ve designed a number of logos over the last decade and no one I worked for made any analogies between my work and witchcraft. However, everyone in the business accepts that these little brand signatures carry buckets of emotions that trigger reactions in the minds of audiences by way of a physic transference of ideas. The more subtle and sophisticated (occulted) the suggestion, the better.

The Fed/Ex logo with its esoteric arrow hidden in plain sight is a prime example. Creating these sorts of suggestion images is no easy task and part of the reason why great designers are highly coveted and well paid by their corporate patrons.

In ceremonial magick these brand logos are referred to as sigils. A sigil is a simplified visual abstraction of angels, demons, intentions, requests to the universe, or any number of other things that can be petitioned by way of these small icons. Nobody has presented the correlations between marketing and magick better than comic writer and magician, Grant Morrison.
“Corporate sigils are super-breeders. They attack unbranded imaginative space. They invade Red Square, they infest the cranky streets of Tibet, they etch themselves into hair-styles. They breed across clothing, turning people into advertising hoardings. They are a very powerful development in the history of sigil magic, which dates back to the first bison drawn on the first cave wall. 
The logo or brand, like any sigil, is a condensation, a compressed, symbolic summing up of the world of desire, which the corporation intends to represent. The logo is the only visible sign of the corporate intelligence seething behind it. Walt Disney died long ago but his sigil, that familiar, cartoonish signature, persists, carrying its own vast weight of meanings, associations, nostalgia and significance. People are born and grow up to become Disney executives, mouthing the jargon and the credo of a living corporate entity. Walt Disney the man is long dead and frozen (or so folk myth would have it) but Disney, the immense, invisible corporate egregore persists. 
Corporate entities are worth studying and can teach the observant magician much about what we really mean when we use the word “magic.” They and other ghosts like them rule our world of the early 21st century.” – Grant Morrison, POP MAGIC! 
I have to say, in my limited geographical range, I’m the only person making ads with an interest and practice of ritual magic. It doesn’t mean they aren’t out there; I just don’t know them. I can pretty much assure you that rituals are not being preformed over corporate logos off in some secret boardroom. However, saying that doesn’t downplay the actual magical conjuring that goes into the creation of icons and their subsequent launching into the pop culture universe.

Chamber of "secret" meetings

In my own professional work, I’ve never been deliberate about placing any occulted messaging in it. On the other hand, I was always deliberately trained to be evocative, tap into the experiential emotions and memories of an audience and leave them with a strong directive for following up on whatever the proposition. If not overt magick, plenty of magical intention is exerted by the designer to evoke responses in the external world. 

We often talk about planting a seed that becomes actionable in a decisive moment of consumer consideration. What usually sways a buyer from one brand to another is influenced in some degree by the magic of emotional persuasion that can be developed over time by continual grafting of associations onto the brand identity.

Of course all of this knowledge creates a level of internal discomfort for me. I was naïve when I first took on this career. I had an idealized vision of a cool and creative art director responsible for crafting beautiful design and photography while hanging out with all sorts of creative types. That part can be true to an extent. But there’s a clear trade-off when getting into bed with national or even global corporations. 

Creatives have to be willing to be use their skills to craftily manipulate the public to believe a certain product has a superior benefit when in most cases their competition has an equivalent. It’s not something that’s palpable everyday but often enough to cause tension.  

When various products all have the same ingredients or serve the same purposes, it’s known as product parity. In this mass consumer environment, packaging and messaging provide the essential magic to get over. A creative employee in the ranks of these companies has to either embrace their role as cleaver magician or buy into a narrative that what we do is just an honest form of creating informed consumers.

The market is a battlefield. Companies live and die in matches of throat-slitting competition. The ad (wo)men are a part of that war, enlisted in the PSYOP department. Brands don’t beat their competition without deploying a hard mind game. 

An emerging tactic in the field is being touted as Neuromarketing. A self-styled guru of this marketing science, A.K. Pradeepof, goes all Deepak Chopra in his pitch made for this video.

Pradeepof claims roughly 95% of our decisions are made by the subconscious mind. The part of our brains most susceptible to programming and hypnotic suggestion. Perhaps ad execs have always known that to be the case but now with developing neuroscience they can seize on that data in new and aggressive ways.
“…the world's largest and most sophisticated companies are applying the latest advances in neuroscience to create brands, products, package designs, marketing campaigns, store environments, and much more, that are designed to appeal directly and powerfully to our brains.” – A. K. Pradeep, The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind
Predicting or anticipating motivations that led to purchasing behavior is a critical area of study within the marketing community. Now with digital behavioral data tracking as a mainstay in the telepathic marketing arsenal, there’s almost nothing that can’t be discovered about our personal beliefs, thoughts, desires and preferences. Everything important to our lives from business to personal goes into the Google memory bank. That data is tracked, studied and parsed for exploitation by men and machines.

If the mind can be accessed and mined for psychological drives and impulses, that access can be turned from observation to the elusive prize of influence. There’s nothing new about any of this save for the steroid enhancing powers of invasive digital realm tactics.

There’s absolutely nothing about nonconsensual invasions of privacy that appeals to me on a creative level. Cold analytics and invasive tracking are replacing what cleaver and sometimes-artful persuasion once achieved. My lack of enthusiasm over this industry sea-change reduces my value in the systematized ground game.

The more individuals are aware of the game at play, and I think they are increasingly so, the better situated they are to tuning out the barrage of invasive messaging that comes with our engagements in the digital space.

When symbols can be utilized for self-programing as opposed to leaving that interior space open for corporate squatting, personal magick can thwart the tactical sigils droned into our mental homes. My method is studying how symbols subconsciously work and developing rituals that aim at purifying my consciousness and boosting an awareness that brings me into more light. With that heightened illumination and receptivity, attempts against me through ad propaganda or media programing are very much diminished. 

My continual interests in the creative tools of commercial art lie in the possibilities for subversion and redirection of them into fields of consciousness-raising via non-commercial expression. The techniques of the discipline are out there and increasingly accessible, which allows the public an opportunity to create personal propaganda.

The beauty of this digital media world is the availability of decentralized spaces and limitless storage capacity to counterbalance the visual and intellectual landscape and directly compete with the multi-nationals. Until our access to these platforms is revoked our stifled, they present channels for positive magick and a line of attack more sophisticated then ever before.

For the pollution I put out, my personal business will be to put equal efforts into subversion and passionate consciousness expansion. That is until the executive powers that be root me out for the malcontented fraud that I am. Until that day, I fall back on a perspective that isn’t fresh anymore but still very poignant from where I stand –
“Who controls what you see, controls what you think. But our reality is no longer based on what 'they' tell us. With the new media tools we all have at our disposal, all of us with the inclination to make our voices and opinions heard loudly, can now more fully participate in the debate.  
In a society where capital is king, and when every fucking dipshit with a dot com is making bank like they are printing cash in the cellar, and many of them are, the point should be to get as close to that AOL, Time-Warner, AT&T, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, RCA money as you possibly can get. If they will give, you should grab and not think twice.  
The truly up to date rabble-rouser wisely seeks the path of lest resistance and subverts from within.  The multinational media corporations need people like us. To make their software, to write their articles and produce their television shows. Smell an opportunity for mischief? I do.  
The days of throwing Molotov cocktails and getting beaten up by cops (although Seattle did look like fun), is out. The days of living in a penthouse apartment, driving a Lexus and beating your enemies at their own game is in. Have your cake and throw it to in other words. Don’t complain about the media. Become the media. Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the Illuminati and it is us.” – Richard Metzger, speech given at Disinformation Con

Cult as Culture: Inside the Source Family with Isis Aquarian

All great spiritual story-telling strengthens in potency with heavy doses of myth, personalized remembering and retelling. From Hermes Trismegistus, to Jesus Christ, to Moses, to the Buddha, to Muhammad, all the way down to Aleister Crowley and Joseph Smith. These are spiritual figures that have changed the world through their unparalleled stories and legends. Setting aside their explicit teachings, it's the many questions surrounding the authenticity of their life's deeds that capture the imaginations of millions. 

The 20th century man known as, Father Yod, may not have the amount of scholarship documenting his life as the aforementioned giants of world religions but he has most certainly a mythos and legend to offer. 

James Edward Baker, born on the Fourth of July in 1922, lived through some of America's most storied periods of the 20th century. From unpretentious Cincinnati, Baker grew into a large man in size and ambition. In a sense, he typifies a variety of American dreams that came to life in that most explosive historical era. A Silver Star Marine in WWII who according to legend, shot down nine Japanese planes while his battleship was under kamikaze attackHe has two other reported kills by way of his expert jujitsu trained hands. Believe it or not, his heroic myth only continued to grow from there. 

After stints as a Hollywood stuntman and body-builder, Baker turned his obsession with an organic, vegetarian diet into a series of restaurant businesses. (Allegedly, the capital raised to manifest his visionary business came from robbing banks – myths and legends, indeed.) By the late 60's his living legend status was further cemented on Sunset Blvd. as the owner of The Source restaurant. 

Young Jim, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives

It was from that location that his identity both as a psychedelic rock performer, heading his band YaHoWha 13 and as a mystery cult guru came together. Did we get to the part yet where he had 14 wives? As you'll learn from one of his spiritual wives, Isis Aquarian in the following conversation, the man that was reborn as Yahowha would make history one more time by amassing a communal family living in the Hollywood Hills under the banner of the New Age philosophy.

The Father Yod legend peaked in the early 1970's and faded out of public view after his death in 1975. (He died in legendary fashion as well, in an epic hand gliding accident in Hawaii.) That was until Isis decided to resurrect the man's mythos and teachings by combing through her extensive artistic and media archives. After many years her efforts have resulted in the release of books, a hugely popular documentary, an educational website and many audio recordings.

Like many, I discovered the Source through the film that was released in 2012. As someone with an interest in occultism, countercultures, the psychedelic era, spiritual cults and rejectors of the status quo of society – my fascination with the family is heavy. The fantasy of dropping out and living a radically intense spiritual lifestyle is hard to shake. 

Of course myths and photographic memories from the past are never as pure or idyllic as they exist in my daydreams. There's plenty of controversy and moral conundrums surrounding the man that roughly 150 called their spiritual father. Like our own biological fathers, Yahowha was not a living God but a human with typical human shortcomings. His flaws vary in nature depending on which family member is reflecting on the history. As a culture, we tend to place our spiritual leaders on high pedestals. Father Yod is by no means unique in his failures to live up to our standards of purity. It's not my job to deliver a moralistic judgement on a scene I wasn't a part of from the inside to observe. 

It's best to allow those who were there, share their experiences, with the understanding that no single individual can speak for the whole. In this installment of our Source Family analysis, we start with the family historian, archivist, biographer and documentary associate producer: Isis Aquarian. As she has become accustomed to doing since the resurrection of interest in the commune, she opened her archives to me and shared very personal her stories.

If you came here for 1970's counterculture, occultism, law breaking, youth rebellion, decadent Los Angeles, rock n' roll, communal living, vegetarianism, beautiful people, sex, a little drugs and a lot of God – you came to the right place. Because this is the story of the one and only Source Family.

Isis Aquarian then and now, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives

What does the Age of Aquarius represent to you?
In astrology there are different ages. It seems each age is about 2,000 years. This last one was the iron age of Pisces and a dark, lower vibration in a lot of ways. The AQUARIAN AGE is now upon us, as we have shifted into a new astrology sign. It’s an age of light and more spiritual “beingness.” It is said this is the age of a new mankind, a new way of living, a new earth. One that will see our evolutionary morphing into more of a light being as we move from the mind of ego/personality, to the heart, love, wholeness, non-judgments; as we all are one hearted! 
Jesus was one of the prototypes for the new mankind for this age. A more spiritual being, a greater body of light. Which means it is a new program and the old programs will not work, so we will see a lot of destruction and change for all to let go and move forward from the heart. 
We are seeing the beginning threads of it now. It is the reset and reboot genre, but this age is 2,000 years, so if you think of it we are just in the beginning stages. 
Father would talk often of this new age and new beginning and we all legally took the last name as a family/brotherhood of AQUARIAN to honor and reflect this. We were fore runners in a lot of ways.  
Photo composite by Snow Aquarian, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives

How did you first meet Jim Baker or become a member of the Source Family?
I met Jim Baker when he was at his restaurant on Sunset Blvd. called The Old World, a very famous happening place at the time. This was mid 60’s, his current girlfriend was a French girl called Dora and they lived up stairs. I used to go to The Old World and was introduced to him - he was awesome. 
He was known as the food guru and a Hollywood legend but I become friends with Dora and so we use to hang out a lot. As much as I thought Jim Baker was amazing, it just seemed there was a hold on us and I ended up moving in other circles where I met Ron Raffaelli (one of the most famous rock n roll photographers of that timeframe) and lost touch with Jim and Dora for a while.
It was through Ron needing “Jesus like” people for a poster he was shooting for Jesus Christ Super Star, that I remembered someone saying Jim had opened a new vegetarian place on Sunset Blvd. called, The Source and that he dropped out and started a small commune family. They were wearing robes and had long hair and so I decided to go see my old friend Jim and get some models. The rest is history as they say and probably will be covered later on with these questions.
The Source on Sunset, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives

Can you describe an average day in the life of the Family during its peak? Maybe a dawn/noon/dusk/midnight overview.
Dawn: Around 3 or 3:30 we would get up, stretch (some yogi stuff). Jim had been with Yogi Bhajan then opened The Source and so a lot of that was incorporated into the Source. There was not a lot of talking we were pretty much into a meditative space as we got ready for morning meditation. We might take a quick dip in the pool or a quick cool shower to wake us up, start the flow of our nerve-force. The brothers did some simple exercises, the women tidied up the space and got coffee ready and then after one cup we all went down to the meditation area and prepared the vibration and self for Father to come in and start the energies. Then right before the sun started to come up we would always go outside and greet it and everyone would start their day. 
Noon: By then those who worked at the Source were there and the household would be into their daily routine, the children, cleaning or some took care of business. Father would do whatever. Sometimes he would go for a walk or go to the Source (restaurant) or be involved with some project for the family or maybe go in the band room and have fun with the musicians. But mostly the music happened in the morning. Sometimes later on in the day father would take a nap or spend time with family that was at the house, etc. 
Dusk: Our group family time is morning meditation the rest of the time is open.
So people come back from their shift at The Source, others go for the night shift. The children and moms had their schedule and couples had their time. The day always brought the uniqueness of bonding, sharing , fun or interactions among us or with father. By dusk we all were pretty much winding down as we went to bed early, usually about 8 pm. 
Midnight: Hopefully, we all are asleep but some might be awake or some might be coming back from night crew clean up at The Source. Everyone was quiet and meditative at that time.
Membership card, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives

It’s obvious Jim Baker/Father Yod read widely and chose to incorporate aspects from a variety of teachings. What would you say are the primary sources of spiritual influence on the Family teachings?
We had our teething material for sure: Science of Being book was written in 1923 by Eugene Ferson. It was our teething material and we got a lot of our concepts and practices and understanding of the spiritual realms from it.  In the early years Father was inspired and wrote a book in 10 days called Liberation. 
Liberation by Father Yod
This booklet was printed out and given to all who came into the family. It was also handed out to anyone who wanted or sold for $1.00 at The Source Restaurant. Electricity and I reprinted it a few years back and it’s on our website
It reflected those times and still holds a lot of truth, some of it he would have updated to fit the now. 
We studied and were given information on all religions, beliefs, spiritual concepts, i.e. the Koran, the Hebrew teachings, Bhagavad Gita, The Essenes, the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Emerald Tablets of Thoth, Theodore Heline on the Americas Destiny and The King James Version of the Bible, Corinee Helene with the sacred science of numbers, H.P. Blavatsky’s works, J. Krishnamurti works, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely with Essene Gospel of Peace, the Tibetan book of the Dead, the I Ching, Israel Regardie and the Golden Dawn, Manley P. Hall teachings and his book The Secret Teachings of all Ages (which most on a spiritual quest in the 60/70’s had.) 
Father was a great fan of Mable Collins from the Theosophical Society group. Her Light on the Path, Through the Gates of God and As the Sun Moves Northward were our favorites. Paul Foster Case of the BOTA for the Tarot and The Great Seal of the United States. 
A more detailed description of our inspirations can be found on our website
What was Father Yod’s relationship with Yogi Bhajan? How long did he study with him and what beliefs did he bring back with him?
Jim Baker’s father left him at 6 months old and he always looked for a father figure.
It was at the timing of Jim selling his restaurant, Old World, and dropping out into what was happening with the hippies, etc., that he opened a new concept called The Source, which was founded on the concepts on the unknown teachings of Jesus and vegetarianism, with no harm and a pure diet, etc.
Dora, his wife of the time, who was with him at the Old World also helped with the concepts of The Source and was the one who designed the original Daisy flower logo. However, she soon ended up leaving Jim and they divorced and she went back to France.
One day someone said to Jim that there was a party that they thought he would enjoy and he should go. He did and saw across the room this powerful spiritual looking man who ended up being Yogi Bhajan. 
Jim also thought this man had a big ego and did not connect with him. But as Jim was leaving to go home he passed the Yogi and the Yogi reached out and grabbed Jim’s arm and said, “come to my morning meditation Son.” Well, Jim melted immediately because here was someone more powerful and into spirit than Jim was and he called him the magic word, “SON.”
Father Yod with Yogi Bhajan, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
Jim went that next morning and saw the yogi as a father figure and became one of his most devoted disciples. The yogi offered Jim a lot in the spiritual teachings and path and the calming of Jim’s ego and personality. Jim also at this timing meet a young girl who ended up living with him at The Source and later became his 4th wife. She was not that into the Yogi or giving up everything to him when he wanted Jim to hand over The Source to him. Jim wanted to declare the Yogi as the Father of the new age and God. Yogi said, no, that was not his destiny and this started the split. 
There was a crew working The Source – some were also in the Yogi vibration and then Jim decided that it was up to him to be the Father and start his own commune and take the Eastern teaching to a more Western concept for the new age, which he did. Jim and Yogi had some bitter back and forth for a while but they always loved each other and stayed somewhat in touch. 
Father Yod always held the yogi in his heart, although he did not agree with some of what he was doing. He called him our Spiritual Grandfather and that is what he still is to us to this day. We kept a lot of the yogi exercises and some of the breathing practices and diet knowledge. The day Father Yod/Yahowha was “passing over” he had us call the Yogi and they talked. I stayed in touch with Yogi G long after Father left the body and we had some good conversations. He loved that he was our spiritual grandfather and he always held Jim in his heart. 
I look back at the 60s and early 70s counterculture as a profoundly spiritual era when people were looking back into occult wisdom and experimenting freely with mystical paths. Drugs and rock music always get the spotlight or are seen as being responsible for that. Is that how it happened or was it something more than that?
The 60’s/70’s were a gateway, an opening of a portal of sorts and many of us walked through it. It offered the beginning of a spiritual crossover genre to gear us for the new age. Many just felt the energy and went for that learning experience from the heart, which offered us all to be soul to soul. 
It was a preparation for the start of our morphing into our next evolutionary process, of a more spiritual light being and dropping the old programs, which will not fit into the new one coming. Music is a Universal Language and reaches all by the soul no matter the nationality, race, religion, etc. 
Image courtesy of The Source Family documentary 
It was the chariot we rode into the ethers upon and the music from the 60’s reflects that, it was special. The bands of that time were special. Drugs gave us the opportunity to bypass the shit and go on the fast track in our understanding of this new evolutionary program. It tuned us into the soul of the matter, the spiritual. However, a lot misused it, and that energy destroyed many as they got burned out. But it allowed enough of us to cross over and start the new frequency. The trick was and has always been and still is now, to HOLD ONTO IT, in the right way. 
Music did not escape The Source Family, as we had many musicians and this started our time of recording and playing spontaneously in the early morning hours when we were in that rarified space of pure spirit. YaHoWha 13 was formed with Father, who said he would long be teaching and sharing through the music that was made in those days. This is true. The family had other bands as we went, Spirit of 76, which was more rehearsed, Savage Sons of Yahowha and then Breath, which was formed in the latter part of the family journey. We were part of the forerunners and pioneers of that historical timeframe, and as such, we hold historical and culture value that will long out live us all.

What’s your perspective on spiritual cults? Most begin with a very pure and altruistic purpose and devolve into power struggles, grandiosity of leadership and the abuse of members. Did the Source begin as an innocent commune of friends or was it designed to be a cult from the beginning?
Cult means culture, ones way of life or living or believing. Cult never had the sigma anywhere else as it ended up having in America due to Charles Manson. The press needed a buzzword and cult ended up being it. 
The Source Family was a true commune family/brotherhood. We ended up into the mystery school teachings. Father Yod was always our patriarch and glue that held it together. He was a powerful being but from the heart. We gave all we had to the family when we came in, but he gave us so much more. 
The Source was handed over to us all, as well as a very good lifestyle and spiritual concepts that we all were looking for, and in a way that suited our soul frequency. We also felt incarnational residue with that soul of Father Yod and each other. We became a sisterhood and a brotherhood. 
The family at Mill Valley 
And so we all entered into the family in full disclosure and in agreement. There was nothing hidden in anyway from us. We were free to leave at anytime. As in anything, at times it did get messy but it was always taken care of to all in concern and in the right ways. So there was a trust that built up. 
Father was the head but he always said that if he did something that someone did not agree with they were to speak up and many did so, we were not sheep. In fact, we were all chiefs or generals in our own right. It was a powerful combination of energy, power, respect and trust, yet held together by protocol and agreements. In those times we were such spiritual babies. A powerful leader was needed, i.e. people like the Yogi and Father were that to us. 
He also said that in the future there would be no need for a master or leader, as everyone would be that and the parents would be that for the children, with no middleman between God and them or their souls. Everyone would have a thread of importance accordingly to their path and grade level in this school here on earth of life and everyone would have to take their own exams for graduation. And to remember that you would never expect or give someone in kindergarten something meant for one in high school. That all would be on their path and not to judge and to be kind. 
There’s been a discussion of the value of cults in society or positive cults. Do you distinguish the Source as falling into that category? Where is the line that if crossed leads a group to danger or even death?
Cults are being confused with communes or group sharing and living, which has a long history both in Europe and here. Communal living has been a way of life for many reasons; Asian families as well as India and many other cultures have as many as 3 to 4 generations living as one.  Farms/ranches have hired hands living in side cottages but they are all one family in eating and sharing the load. 
Religious groups in many cases live communal: the Mennonites, the Shakers, the Oneida’s, Mormons, monks/nuns. The 60’s/70’s just brought to light that concept more in the now with crash pads, then communes or ashrams, etc. Like I said, Cult is Culture - ones way of living or belief. Today, we have many group homes, with echo villages starting and group sharing becoming very popular among this generation due to better living. With the economy now so poor, older people are also doing shared group homes for the same reason. Also, for the companionship. 
As in any situation any family, group, religion, commune, tribe, etc., can end up in danger or even death. Why? Well you have to look at each situation, i.e. the Jim Jones group, the Waco group, historical events like the Masada tribe in Israel, Heavens Gate in San Diego. The Source Family was a good-hearted group of people who believed and lived in love and kindness. However, things did start to fall apart after we sold The Source Restaurant. 

Jim Baker would always be able to hit the ground running and move matter when needed. But then Father Yod was no longer doing that or starting something else or something new to keep it all going or himself. When he took that fateful flight in the hang glider that day - it was in part to just do something different and he had always been fearless. He also said if it was meant to be he would either fly safe or not and said he would leave it up to God. And that is what he did. 
He flew, crashed and yet was alive when we picked him up. There was no blood, no broken bones and he was lucid and conscious. The only thing he said was his back hurt a bit and something like “I thought I was in control but it seems this is God’s last lesson for me.” He passed over 9 hours later. The autopsy and cause of death are listed as unknown. Jim Baker also had an M.O. of leaving any situation when it was done. Well, he ended up doing that even with us because we could not do it or let him go and it was done. 
I would not put our adventure into the category of dangerous, hurtful, harmful or with death having anything to do with its leaders or members. It was a good commune/brotherhood/cult, with our own way of living and believing. We were one of the good guys if you ask me. There were bends in the road and learning curves for sure and sometimes it got messy but then that is what learning and moving forward is about in a better way for all.

How did the Source Family film come about and are you happy with how it came together?
The film came about due to The Source Family book that Electricity and I did. We spent 7 years on it and printed 250 copies and then Jodi Wille found out about us and called from L.A. and said she wanted to publish a book on us. Since we had just spent the time doing it, she came to Hawaii to connect and ended up editing, rewriting and adding to make it more for the public. 
During that time she heard the stories and ended up meeting a lot of The Source Family members. I said to her, “wow, we should film these meetings as the back stories and behind-the-scenes that have always been my favorite. She thought about it and we ended up doing a road trip with a friend who had a camera to shoot. 
When we got back, another producer came on and wanted to be co-director and partner but she (Maria Demopoulos) wanted to shoot it with a better, high def. camera, etc. So what we shot they did not use. It became a real Hollywood project and other backers came aboard, all in the film industry –John Tanzar, Holly Becker, Braxton Pope, Amaryllis Knight and Michael Deluise. It took 2 years and then premiered at SXSW to rave reviews. That took Jodi and I (sometimes Maria and Electricity and a few other Source Family members for Q and A if they lived in that area), on another two-year trip for film festivals, events, screenings, etc.  It is now a culture iconic, a historical cult classic!
Some might say that the Source documentary film directed by Jodi Willie and Maria Demopoulos glosses over some of the historical dirty laundry related to underage sex and lack of medical treatment for children for instance. Have you done your best to portrait the shortcomings of that time and Father Yod amidst the revival of interest in the Source?
I was associated producer on the film and a subject in it.  My archives were used, so I was kept in the loop. I also agreed to allow it not to be whitewashed or they were not going to do it. No one wanted another in-house religious documentary. It was bare-white knuckles at times because I was protective of the legacy. Also, it was a learning curve for me to realize that not everyone got the same out of what I saw or did. 
We all had our own reality. After the shock of this, I was able to move forward better, in realization that one reality did not negate the other. What some saw as dirty laundry, I saw as The Source brotherhood processing their lives and journeys, in the commitments we all agreed upon in going on this trip with Father Yod, and with each other. 
Isis Aguarian and director, Jodi Willie during a Q & A
It is all a learning curve and there are bends in the road and sometimes it gets messy as life does. But for me I trusted Father, he had proven over and over again that he had the knowledge and the power and the right way of thinking in leading that journey. If anything, and I mean anything, was off, we all knew we could speak up and at times we did. It was open to the whole family. Nothing was a secret and nothing was set in stone.
I recently saw a hit on Facebook that had a monk looking guy in meditation and said: “EVERY MASTER WAS ONCE A DISASTER.” Well, there you have it. No one gets off scot-free.
It is said that Jim Baker had three major periods during his teaching time in the family. The “Father” times living at the Mother House. The “Father Yod” times at the Father House located in the Hollywood Hills and finally the “YA HO WHA” period in Hawaii.  Why is the Hollywood Hills house considered to be the high point along that journey?
There were actually 8 periods. 
 1. SOURCE RESTAURANT DAYS, THE LOFT: The early years of Father when he still lived at the Source above in a loft with his wife at the time, Robin. The small group working at The Source (about 12 of them), all lived outside in various apts. They started together around Father, who some even called Jim. Father decided that they all should get one house together and this started the first commune home called The Mother House. This was the beginning stages of the family with Robin and Father (who Robin still called Jim), as the married couple and Father as the head and then the family. It was a simple time and had different set of protocols. There were couples, only a committed man and woman. Father married some couples. 
The Source Restaurant, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
There were ideas that were being set down to govern the whole family, where everyone worked at The Source and The Source would take care of everything for them. People started to come together fast and the Mother House was an amazing place to be - it was a huge mansion. Father never moved into that house with the family. He and Robin kept to themselves at The Source but he would come for morning meditations and other visits. That later part started the Mother House genre. 
 2. MOTHER HOUSE L.A. DAYS: Towards the ending of the Mother House days things started to change very quickly with Father and Father and Robin. It started as Jim and Robin for Robin but it did not stay that way and she was not prepared for it.  By this time the family was being given family names and she became Ahom and Jim became Father Yod. He first took on another woman, Bonadea, which did not go over well with the flow of Ahom and Bonadea left. A lot started to change in the family flow and one day Father Yod said “I am going on a journey. I do not know where it will take me but it is my journey and you are welcome to come. And I will tell you it will not be boring and there will be fun.” 
The Mother House, Los Angeles - Image from Curbed 
It was at this point that we all knew it was going to change and had the opportunity to agree upon it and stay or leave, most stayed. Father Yod then took on several other women and that time cemented that genre and it was no longer the Jim/Robin show. He then bonded with Makushla and she became his main women to the end. The Mother House days were innocence, new, exhilarating, and calm. 
Father’s teachings were amazing. He started to draw from the cosmic ethers and our early days of learning in the spiritual realms were so exciting, we could not get enough of it. Our teething material of books and anything else we could find are listed somewhere but I would say this all contributed to be what most call the Camelot Days - it was perfect! 
Isis with Father in the temple, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
3. FATHER HOUSE DAYS L.A.: We had to move from the Mother House as it was the Chandler mansion and they were selling it. We had only been there a year. We found another great house in Nicholas Canyon and we called it the Father House. That’s where Father Yod, Makushla and Ahom (who was pregnant at the time), moved in with the family. 
 Two of Father’s other women became pregnant and he moved them to their own side rooms right off his main room. From that time on just him and Makushla shared his bedroom to sleep in. It was open the rest of the day for his other women and/or family. Father had a council of varying women, some became his women for awhile, some did and stayed and some went on to be with other brothers. We were then into a real family structure and routine with morning meditations and living as a whole. We had children and a children’s room set aside for them to have schooling and live. 
The Fatherhouse, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives  
We built cubby holes that were spaces stacked upon each other, giving each enough room to have their own sleeping space and some privacy.  Those that worked at The Source would do so, those that had duties at home would do so. We had a pool and that was great.  The music and band energy also took hold and the bands were formed. We turned the garage into a band room and they did 65 vinyls all spontaneously. 
Spirit of 76 was the first band, then Father formed his band called Yahowha 13 and then offshoots of other genres happened. The Savage Sons of Yahowha album. Aquariana did her album and then in S.F. the Breath band was formed. We decided to leave the city and wanted to go to Hawaii, buy land and farm to become self-sustaining and left alone. So, we sold The Source and moved to Kauai.
4. KAUI HAWAII DAYS: The move to Kauai was the start of our wandering. We left L.A. and no longer had The Source and there were 150 of us hitting the island in mass. They freaked out and thought we were the Mansion Family and we were never allowed to get a toehold. We were asked to leave and it got gnarly. Father decided to go on a trip to India and other places to see if we could get land and live peacefully. 
He took off with a few Brothers and Makushla and a few other women and they went to India but it became apparent that we needed to stay in America. South America and some other places had been scouted by some of the other family members with the same conclusions. 
Father Yod sent everyone back while he and Makushla, with one other Brother made a short stop in Egypt to go to the pyramids. He ended up being initiated on Easter morning by an adept who met them at the bottom (that is a whole other story), and then told the family in Kauai to met him in S.F. - that this is where we going to try to fit it again. 
 5. S.F .DAYS: So, the family went to S.F. and we had to rent moving vans to keep our stuff and move everyone around, as we could not find a proper housing for awhile, this is again a whole other story. We did end up with a mansion called the Atherton Mansion and stayed six months and he wanted to go back to Hawaii, which he said was HOME. During the S.F. days the band Breath formed and recorded their album and Father Yod/Yahowha formed and he sealed who his wives where and that was that. 
There were 13 of us with Makushla still as his main woman. Ahom had a daughter and Prism had his daughter and Aquariana had his son by that time. It was hard setting up another business, so the brothers all went out and got individual jobs. That was hard on everyone. In L.A. we were able to have our own reality and world completely, taken care of on our terms, where we all worked and stayed together. Then we were being fractured and split and it was felt. 
 6. DOC. HILL MANSION DAYS - BIG ISLAND DAYS: Father took some of the Brothers and a few of his women and we spearhead the trip back to Hawaii. But that time we decided to go to the big island and we ended up in Hilo. We got a small house to start and then slowly more of the other family came over and we ended up having another big house on the waterfront that all of us could live at, so the whole family came. This was the Doc. Hill Mansion days.

The Brothers ended up getting jobs together and a labor force started where the brothers could be together and work. It seemed that they were going to give us a chance and we were well received and were happy. However, this is where and when Yahowha started to get restless. 
In the S.F. days he tried to disperse us and said that he had given us all he knew and it was time for everyone to leave and go out on their own and start their own journey now. WE WOULD NOT LEAVE! It started up again in Hilo. He just did not see it continuing on like that and he really felt done with what he started and created and saw that it was time for everyone to do their own thing then with everything he shared with us. 
Courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives  
Brother Mercury had gone over to Oahu to do some hang gliding and he was up there with a flyer named Dennis. Dennis had a great rental in Lanikai called the round or glass house, where he invited Mercury to stay. Mercury decided he wanted to break the world record of staying up in a glider and told Father and Yahowha jumped all over this one and used it to have a break. He left for Lanikai with Makushla and myself. 
Two of Mercury’s women had already been sent over. We all stayed in the Lanikai house and Dennis became a son and Father named him Jupiter and we took over the house. Mercury did 13 hours in the air and took the record (another story) and Father wanted to stay in Lanikai a bit longer and sent for his other women. We ended up staying about six weeks and that was long enough to start the break the family from him and loosening the ties. 
He once again said we had to decide what we were going to do to move forward and how, he no longer wanted to continue the way it was. In fact it ended up with him basically being and feeling done with it all and not wanting to even be here in this incarnation. We had talked about ways of dispersing, how he was going to live and none of it seemed to be the next step for him. He decided he wanted to try hang gliding. As I stated before he was fearless and I think needed the excitement of something else besides being in this body. 
He said it was up to God how that flight would go and jumped off the Mt. top in a hang glider that Mercury had set up for him and launched. The wind was very strong that day but as soon as he jumped, I kid you not, it stopped and he dropped out over the ocean and pulled the kite back in to land and landed. When we found him, we took him back to the Lanikai house where he left the body nine hours later. I have told this story in another section, we wanted to keep his body in vigil for three and a half days as was our belief and his wishes and we did so. The family back in Hilo was notified and they were in shock and held a vigil there with chanting. 
A dying Yahowha with Makushla, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives  
The women had two Brothers come over to help and we then had to decide what was going to happen. Makushla took us to Maui to see if that is where we wanted to be. It was not and we went back within a few days to the family in Hilo and started the new chapter without Him. The Hilo house was also going to be up for sale and we had to decide what to do. There was an empty place called the Hilo County Club that they said we all could live in until we figured it out. 
 7. HILO COUNTY CLUB HOUSE DAYS: We were there maybe four months, but it was big and had room for us all and it was on private grounds. It had some golf carts left that the kids like playing with and we made some good mud bath areas. We were missing the Lanikai area and decided that since Father Yod/Yahowha left the body there, we should be living there. 
Makushla had taken over as the head of the family, not because she wanted to, she did not. It was just that no one else seemed right or agreed upon by the whole. It was decided to go to Oahu in Lanikai. 
 8. LANIKAI DAYS HOUSE: We found several homes in Lanikai and all moved over. We had one main house that only his women and children took and then several other houses near by for the family. We all still gathered together everyday for meditations and connected throughout the day. It was on the beach and it was nice to have that meditative space and lifestyle. The Brothers all went out and tried to get jobs. Not everyone was able to do so and the family was not being able to be taken care of as a whole with our basic needs, food was not so available and a lot of the pregnant women suffered. The family tried to hold us all together for awhile but it shortly became apparent that it was no longer working and the family started to leave little by little. 
Makhushla went to Canada to attend the World’s Peace Fair where Yogi Bhajan and Buckminster Fuller were also attending. She wanted to present our Dome Village idea and get backing as a last attempt to hold it together in a way that would work. 
She left with two of the women and said if that didn’t work we would all disperse and come back together in two years where everyone had a way of contributing and being able to be on their own, yet together. Well it did not work and we all dispersed and never got back together. All went on to their own path and journey with their own family units, etc. 
We did have groupings that tried being a group home here and there and we always had those that stayed in touch with each other and we did basically throughout the years know what was happening with most of us. We did have some reunions starting in the 90’s and in 2001 we had our big reunion in Hawaii. It was nice and this started Electricity and I with wanting to secure and save the Legacy. The Book and going through the Archives started after that. 
I recently came across a retrospective of the communes of Vermont in the early 70s and how these back to the land movements pioneered a lot of culture that has become commonplace today like organic foods and farmer’s markets. The Source was obviously heavily involved with the food revolution as well. How did that healthy eating, natural foods idea come onto the youth scene?
It was a time of peaceful and no harm done, so the vegetarian concept really took hold. “Don’t eat anything that can run from you” was a popular slogan. Some would not even wear anything to do with animals, like leather shoes or sit on sheep skins for meditation, that was common with a lot. The Nature Boys were popular in L.A. area, they lived off land, did not kill for food, etc. 
There was a time in the early family that we went through when we wore cotton and had sandals or shoes made with some kind of rubber soles, I can’t remember what it was called. The advocacy for food as health and how our diet influenced our health and spirit being was major in how most were progressing their lives at the time. It made sense and still does.
It is known that our organs were made more for a herbal plant diet for our digestion. It is known that meat petrifies in our organs because it takes so long to digest. The knowledge of things like Elephants and other animals living long in the animal kingdom as vegetarians. The thought of killing something for our food was so brutal to our sensitivities at that time and things like drinking milk from a cow who has four chambers and we have only one in our stomach did not match up. 
Goats milk became popular. Famous people like Paul Braggs and Jack Lelane were also very influencal. The teachings or gospels of Jesus Christ were one of do no harm to any living thing, so vegan/vegetarian was accepted for those on that spiritual path. Even today there are whole countries and societies that have been vegetarians for eons like the Monks and Buddha’s concepts. Consider India - they have thrived very well as a nation. With the Eastern influence of the ashrams and the Yogi hitting American, it fast became acceptable and not a threat or woo-woo idea.
Another cultural concept that you guys seemed to be ahead of the curve on was homeschooling or un-schooling which has only grown stronger since the 70s. What were you trying to accomplish then? What do the public schools do mentally or spiritually to children that you think is a detriment?
Basically, the public school systems leave out God, the nature concepts and the spiritual. We, as many, felt we were spiritual beings and that there should be no middleman between God and us and that parents should be in that role for the children. In their diet, schooling, spiritual growth, so that new race or new generation would be able to replace the old programs of the state/government dictating what and how we should be raising this generation. Things like the Waldorf and Steiner concepts were a lifesaver for many and still are. We had our own reality and our own concepts and we wanted that for each other and our children. 
What happens in a tribal genre - the wisdom, customs, teachings are passed down. Just think back to the stories you hear of Catholic schools, boarding schools, public schools and you have your answer. It is an old program, all of it and the new program is upon us and the old will not fit. 
Timothy Wylie from the 70s spiritual cult, the Process Church, wrote in his book that one of his biggest regrets was overlooking the plight of some of the children within their community as far as a certain lack of care and direct parenting they received. Do you have any similar regrets?
Love Timothy Wylie, he is a friend. The thing with The Source is, we were only really together for four or five years, so by the time we had babies and they were old enough for school, etc., we had dispersed. They were some mothers who came in with their children and so they were a little older. Some kids were four, six or seven. 
But all in all, the children were well taken care of. After Father Yod left the body, it all started to break down and of course this included the children. They were starting to be of a age where we had to think of disciplines, etc. The children were never ever spanked, hit or harmed in any way. We did not use corporal punishments and the power of the word used in positivity was strong among all of us anyhow and with using it with the children. 
The family at Hilo, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives
But they began to feel the disconnect and some of the confusions with us and probably some things were done, felt or said that was not of the highest with them. I don’t know because it was the mothers who took care of them and they always had their own separate space. The only thing I know of or every heard of negative is towards the end someone had the idea of making a big box for separation or time out if they did not obey and I think some felt that was not right. 
It would have been interesting to see that play out in having Father and the family stay together long enough to see the children come of age and how that would be handled and integrated with the whole.
How did the government overstep their grounds or attempt to break apart or undermine the activities of the Source?
Well we soon learned that we were on the FBI/CIA list and actually had encounters with some of them. We would catch them in black suits on the hill behind our home spying. Once Father sent a son to tell them to come down and have a cup of coffee. We did not see them again after that. But I am sure they were around. 
There were a lot of people from that time on the list. Rock stars who seemed to have power over that generation, activists of the time, etc. A few years after the family dispersed I did request from them any info they had on file. They sent me some but everything was blacked out. 
 Also, there were things like us not having our children in school and home births and too many people in one house - all of that was illegal. So we were on their radar and started to be investigated and that instigated one of the reasons we left L.A. and wanted to get land somewhere else, where we all could live our lives the way we wanted. But that never really happened. The building inspectors would come, social services were investigating us, etc. 
What was the level of commitment required from a family member to be a part of the Source?
To agree to be part of that commune in all ways and no longer in the Maya, we called it, you no longer worked outside, lived outside or basically held onto any threads that were pulling at you and not of the same vibration that we were creating among us as a whole. To commit to spiritual practices, to be positive and vegetarian, see Father as their guide, keep with the practices of no harm, no lust and do your duty what ever it was, be it at The Source or home or with the band, etc. 
Jam session, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives  
Once again, this was not just our protocol but one that was taking hold in ashrams and other communes or groups. I think a lot of it had to do dropping the old way that was not working or had things that would not fit into the new reality we were on and so stepping out it allowed one to be in the flow better. When you think about it, monasteries have been doing it for ages. Monks, some sects, some societies, tribal, religions, organizations, the ashrams again. We were all at that time just doing the same thing but were different in our own ways. 
I really feel that that timeframe in history was a very special time and a very short opening. Some called it “shock troops” or a fast track to get in/be a part of and then it was as if it closed and was done and ended. Almost as if, we did not have the luxury or time to be more all-inclusive with the outside world. 
How would you describe the internal politics of the Family? Hierarchical? Horizontal? A democracy? A dictatorship? Anarchic? Communistic? 
Most where young, many in their teens and 20’s. Some were older and Father was in his 50’s with a lot of life experience and knowledge. Everything had to have a head or glue that held it together as we all were pretty much spiritual babies and need a teething time.

Father started the family/commune and his Source Restaurant took care of all of us. He was the head and he was why most of came in. So, we had a benevolent patriarch. We had protocols and we had a council that was made up of different people at times. Father made it very clear that anyone could question anything, speak up and or leave at any time. In fact there were times he asked people to leave. 
As time went on and some now say they were not happy or should have questioned some things well, why did they not, they could have. Does that put us in a cult or having been brainwashed? It’s up to that person’s reality or experiences in it and what and how they got out of it or saw it.  I always felt we were “HEART WASHED,” and being brainwashed at those times that crossover from the mentality of our parent’s generation and what was happening is why we all dropped out. 
Courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives
We knew it was not working and we knew it was not what or how we wanted it worked. It was truly the old way or program and we were part of the forerunners brining in the new. As in anything at times, it did get messy, there were twists and turns and bends in the road but that is what evolution is about and it got taken care of. 
We were not perfect people; we were not raised spiritual perfect. We had not morphed into our next evolutionary process of a spiritual being. We were still in the “animal man” working out that part as we were shifting into the light. This is what this New Age is about. 
So, there are the two parts, the war of the two sides and that is why Father was so important for us. He could handle it, see it, and had the power and love to take care of us as we moved through it. He was on his own evolutionary journey and he had his own twists and turns and we got to be a witness to that and it was an amazing thing. We were a mystery school genre and we were on the fast track. 
How physically and emotionally difficult is it to live communally in a DIY situation? Did people think it was going to be an opportunity to live a laid back, no hassle life and ended up rudely awakened by the grueling aspects of being self-sufficient?
At first it was amazing because we were very, very wealthy with The Source. We had what we wanted, lived in mansions, had no worries, yet there was structure to it all. It was not until we sold The Source and left our comfort zone and no longer had the “goose that laid that golden egg” that trouble started. 
We would have been fine because all of us were workers and doers but once we left L.A. and moved to Hawaii they were not ready for us. They thought we were the Mansion Family and so we were never able to get a toehold in opening up another restaurant or business or finding land or home where we could be left alone and live in peace. 
Courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives  
We were at that point rudely awakened to it all. This started the process of the Brothers now having to go out in the world and work, which they no longer fit into and those effects started the tearing of our fabric as a tribe. We were not ready for it and were not given the chance to do so in the way we wanted. 
Money became very tight we no longer had all the luxuries or food at our disposal and yet we wanted to hold out for what and how we wanted things. It kind of became like the wandering in the desert as a tribe unto ourselves in faith and we never ended up coming out of it. Father left the body and the glue and the head was gone, and it was time for us all to grow up, come back from that alternative reality we were in, hit this world again and figure out to have live in it once more. It was hard.
Was Father Yod an initiator? Did you participate in ceremonial or ritual initiations for new members?
There were really no initiations. Everyone new was assigned to one of us who were already there to help them and they were given a booklet that had our protocols and teachings and concepts. 
Father took care of most of it in each morning meditation. Meditation time would be spiritual and yet at times be more family energy orientated. We had time to discuss problems or have them answered or taken care of while we were all together as a whole.
Anyone new coming in also had a 30 day sexual fast, to make sure they carried no diseases and were more in tune with the family.
How was the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine recognized within the source context? Were women truly “free” and revered equally to men in the family living arrangement?
Some have different takes on this one. Everyone had their role or part to make the whole work. Father was the head, he very much supported the equally of women and the upliftment of them in everyway. The honoring of the male and female was very respected by all. 
We went through a lot of remembering different incarnations and ways of life with each other. There was a period where it was a man and wife as a couple and that was it. The man had his role as the head with the women inspiring and supporting that but with the concept that both were equal. Then men took on other wives. There was a period where Father gave the women the right to take on other husbands but once it all was experienced, the end result came down to the man taking responsibility of being the head and the women having her role and the man could have other women. 
Father Yod with all 14 wives, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives
I don’t feel that the women felt inferior or less then and I don’t think the men felt that way either. Anyhow at the time it seemed that way. Of course after it was over, years later, when a lot of the family tried to make sense of some of it from a timeframe lived in a different reality than now; being judged by the standards of the reality of this world we are now back in. It was like apple and oranges, two different things. 
Most of us are happy we had that experience, yet most of us in the now say we probably would not do it again in that way anyhow. It was a different time and now is now. Every Age is a different time and had its growing process and things that in the now, no one longer would want or do in that way. That is what moving forward is about. 
What were the preferred methods of spiritual practices or exercises while in the Source? Did you teach unique forms of meditation or energy work?
We used some of the yogi exercises, the stretches the breathing and some other exercises the men used with body like weights. We did a cold shower or dip in the pool in morning to attune our nerve force. Each morning meditation took on what ever form it did. Each morning was different. Some were taken from the ethereal realms some were from what we had read or heard about and it made sense to us at the time. Our life practice was a meditation in motion to begin with.
How strong was the influence of the ancient teachings of Hermes Trismegestus? Were the texts attributed to him read in the family?
We read, investigated it all. Teachings of Hermes, The Emerald Tablets, The Secret Teaching of all Ages by Manly P. Hall, the Tarot, the Hebrew teachings, the Egyptian teaching and many others. If it rang a bell of truth for us we incorporated it.
Reconstruction of the Emerald Tablet

The Seven Hermetic Principles of Truth from the Kybalion are featured on the Source website. Was the Kybalion considered a primary spiritual text that everybody read?
Everything was primary then. We incorporated it into how we saw it fitting into our lifestyle.
How did the Source incorporate the ancient idea of divine names, words and esoteric Hebrew and Christian language like the Tetragrammaton?

The Tetragrammaton, the hidden holy sacred name of YHVH became our main teaching. We studied it, chanted it and most of us still do.
Do you recall what information Father Yod or others channeled or accessed through the Akashic Records? 
There was a lot. A lot that explain the mystery teachings or concepts like birth and death, incarnation, residue threads, karma, the Trinity phases of our life. We have a whole booklet we put out on all of this called, No More Secrets, which basically is what we had as our teachings at the time from all of this.
What part did/does astrology, the Tarot and the Zodiac play in the framework of the Source teachings?
As it all, it was also a part of our learning curve and knowledge. We actually had astrologers in the family and studied the BOTA teachings on the Tarot and the Zodiac influence as being star-seeded or star beings. 
Isis and Father Yod, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives
A topic like astral projection or astral traveling is very popular these days. Was that a frequent practice in the family in those days as well?
We were given the teaching on both and the wisdom and warnings about both. The Emerald Tablet is about these teachings. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is about these teachings. The Egyptian teachings are about these beliefs.
How were drugs used in the family? Were they considered tools to work with? Did psychedelics play a role in shamanic style workings?
There were no hard drugs used. We only used the sacred herb (pot) but only in the morning meditation and only one hit. We did not really need it and in fact it could burn out one’s solar center. 
What we were doing with spiritual practices replaced all that. Most of us came in with enough acid and some with hard drugs to last a lifetime and in fact had to be weaned off of it all. 
Very once in awhile someone would give Father some mushrooms and he would take them or share it with who was there but in general we found it did not really get us any higher than we were. 
Symbolism seemed to play a strong role in the artistic expressions of the Source. From Egyptian symbols, the Hebrew alphabet, ceremonial robes, to occult symbols like the pentagram and Zodiac signs. Did Father Yod deliberately integrate all the symbolism or did it enter from many streams?
It came from both and everything. It was a sum accumulation of all lifetime residue threads culminating in this incarnation of the Now. With understanding and respect. 
Jim Baker had his second marriage officiated by Ann Davies who as that time was the High Priestess of the occult order, Builders of the Adytum. Are you aware of whether or not Jim was initiated into BOTA? If not an initiate, would you consider him a student of that path?
Yes, they were married by Anne Davis of the BOTA and had to take lessons for the initiated for Ann Davies to do so. 
This was actually Jim’s 4th marriage and one that he later said was the last of Jim Baker’s marriages and said Robin was the 4th and last wife of Jim Baker. She signed on for the Jim and Robin venue and when that was no longer, he as Father Yod dissolved it. She was going to leave but stayed and ended up becoming pregnant and that made it even harder for her. She still calls him Jim.
Is it true Father Yod meet Manly P. Hall?
Yes, he met Manly. He was a friend and student and loved him. Hall's book, Secret Teachings of all Ages was like the Bible for people seeking, especially the hippies in L.A. believe it or not. I had the book before I joined the family and it still is my favorite. 
In the early part of The Source Family, Father took a few of us over to see Hall one day and Hall handed him a list with about 50 names on them and said to give those names out or have people in family pick. That is how I got my name Isis is from that list. It was given to me by Father.
The Secret Teachings of all Ages, Manly P. Hall

What was the biggest contention or conflict that had to be endured during your time with the family?
For me, I never felt I had or was enduring anything other than a very awesome spiritual journey and one I agreed with. I was in my late 20’s, a bit older than most and had know Jim Baker at The Old World (restaurant). I knew when I stepped on the porch of The Source he was no longer my friend Jim and looked like Moses and God all in one
(he was the perfect depiction of Michelangelo’s paintings). I knew that was my destiny and never questioned it ever, even to this day. 
We both knew we had made this commitment to DO THE WORK with each other before incarnating. He said I had always been there in the temple or orders or situations, having his back on spiritual genre, as well as the personal ones. 
The love was pure and from the heart. We had a man/woman relationship but it was balanced and I needed nothing from him. We were good to go this lifetime. So things were a bit different with me and Him and that journey. I was not caught up in most of the situations. The other women were fine with me, it had nothing to do with him and I.
I felt I understood his journey, his process of his own journey to a better enlighten being. There were learning curves yes, but by the end he did good. We all had a sisterhood to begin with so as his wives it was a smoother understanding of each other and acceptance.
The only little glitch that happened for me was when I started to tape the morning class and preserve them. He was going through a period of not wanting it all to end up dogma or him idolized or who knew. But one night he had a few of the Brothers take all the tapes and destroy them. I was absolutely furious and stormed in his room the next day and said “I’m leaving.” 
Those tapes in that time period were some of the most profound, pure forms of his being and teachings, they were that part of the Camelot days and I knew what had been lost and as the archivist and historian I could not handle it. However, I calmed down and the next day just kept taping, he laughed and said, “well I tried.” Then he said to record it all and that one day it would not only save the legacy but be of historical and culture value. And it has been. 
Father and Isis, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 

What prompted the move down to Hawaii in 1974-75?
We were being hassled by too many government agencies and could not live the way we wanted. We as many did in those times also felt that an impending war or some kind of catastrophe was going to happen. We knew the law of moving into the new and to do so the old had to be destroyed. 
He wanted us safe and so we wanted land to be self sufficient and left alone. Hawaii for some reason had a pull for him, which was great for me and for many of us. 
I have been in Hawaii since I was 7, my father was stationed here in the Air Force and it has always felt like HOME to my soul. Through my life, I had always come back for many visits.  Also, Hawaii was known for clean air, water, ocean, land and the people had a tribal vibration of family and aloha, love. I stayed in Lanikai area after the family dispersed (moved to Oregon for a bit but came back) and this is where I still live.
The family in Lanikai, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
The natives did not exactly welcome the family when you got down to Hawaii. This was of course an era following the Manson Family murders and that term The Family might have freaked people out.
Was that an especially difficult period for everyone? 
This was the one that almost destroyed us. We were not ready for it and yes, they thought we were bad people. 
How did you adjust to life after Father passed away in ’75?
After he passed over, most of us for awhile never thought we would part or disperse. Makushla became the focal point as a head to try to keep it together but she was not Father. It became apparent very soon that it truly was time for something else for everyone. 
Some of the people just walked out and left taking nothing and not looking back. Some did their own little groupings and got group home situations with each other, some went back home, etc.  At this point I was with a Brother from the family, Ra, and I had just had a baby girl, Saturna, who was 6 weeks old when the family dispersed. She was the last baby born in the family time. 
Ra had another women and a daughter and we all got a house in Kailua/Lanikai area with another brother, Vortex. The men went out to work and it worked for awhile but it was hard on everyone, especially Ra. His other woman had left and went back home and we were struggling. 
We ended up parting when Saturna was around 4. I had saved all the family archives and so I was still connected to that thread and to Father Yod. That thread of Yahowha never left. I ended up raising my daughter as a single mother. She maintained a relationship with her father and we are fine also.
Was that period so important to some and such an emotional high that they have struggled to find a healthy footing in life without the structure of the Source in their life anymore? Or without someone like Jim to guide them?
It was hard for a few and took years for some of us to let it all go without letting it go. We had one foot in this world/realm and yet the other in the frequency of that journey and him. Some were relieved to be back in this world and have what they wanted when they wanted in their own ways again. Some went to other groups. Each has their own story of it all accordingly. 
How would you describe the relations between family members today? 
Most have moved on. Some talk, some do not. Most will acknowledge that, yes we all had and shared an experience together and in its timing it was fine. But it is over and most of one’s life experiences are throughout all of our lifetime. Although for a lot of us that one still holds a very important thread.

Most have made new commitments, new family lives, new adventures. Most will say they are happy they were part of that in that timeframe, but would not do it again. I can only speak for myself in saying that I never left that thread and it stayed connected, I have been in a relationship and have a life still with that soul we called Father Yod. 
We are just living it in a different way in the now. After Ra, I did not end up with anyone else and have basically become an Aquarian Nun of sorts: Nuns and Monks have existed for ages committed to their love or God of choice, nothing new about that.

About 15 years ago I decided it was time to do something with the archives and save the legacy, we were almost flat-line with no heartbeat and no one wanted to come out of The Source closet. We were known as a cult and most had families that did not even know about The Source. 
The 2001 reunion, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
Some were business people going by other names and did not want it known they were part of it. There were many reasons but no one wanted a book. So I stood up by myself and just started that journey. Very soon a Source brother, Electricity, wanted to help as he wanted to know the whole story. 
He came into the family late and he loved Father Yod. He actually was married to one of Father’s women, Harvest Moon, and they had three sons. He also was a business man and did not want to use his real name, so he started out with not being mentioned or was going to use another name. 
It took us seven years but when the book came out and the family saw how many enjoyed it and embraced it as cool, they started to want on the bandwagon also.
Then the documentary was done and well, the rest is history. 
However, the coming out party was interesting because a lot of us came back together that have not seen each other in all those years and of course that started the opening up of suppressed hurts, misunderstands and we wanted a healing to start. It took a long time. With most of us it is good. With some it is still not, but most have again moved on with it. 
 We are at least at a stage where we can come together in social protocol and mind our Ps and Qs, but it is taking time for a lot of the healing. It is basically between each person and Father. The ones with each other are healing and some are hard because everyone wants the healing from their point of view or reality. However, I think we are a point where we know we have our reality with it and everyone else has theirs and we are allowing it knowing that one does not negate the other. 
 I have spent some time visiting and talking with many members of past communes from that time and to my surprise we all are going through the same issues. 
Did your spiritual ideas carry right on as they had been even without Father there? Or did you go through a time of creating distance from that chapter of your life?
Knowing something is the first step because you cannot say you were not told. The doing of it as a lifestyle takes dedication and working at it everyday for the rest of your life to maintain it. 
So, they are incorporated in our lives in pieces here and there in the way we see fit. Many of us have gone on to add and update everything we had with the new knowledge from the Internet (the new library of Alexandra if you ask me). 
It is all there and with what we were given as a foundation, the new knowledge makes sense. Actually science and quantum physics are now proving what most of us accepted on faith in that time. Science is proving religions. Not to mention all the stories being handed down as myths are proving to be right. 
When did you really embrace or become reenergized in the Source again? What projects got this all going for you again?
I never left it. It was just a waiting game for right timing. I think becoming older and knowing something had to be done or it would be lost kicked me in butt and the book started it. For seven years we got to go through all the scrapbooks, photos, graphics, writings, stories, memories and then when we listened to the tapes and had them remastered and put in mpg files, OMG.

We got to time travel for real. We could hear Father’s voice and hear what it was like again to be there. The real deal, in real time. The documentary is what made it all an icon of historical and culture value.
Can you comment on the books that have come out from the Source? Liberation, No More Secrets and The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13, and The Source Family.
These were all things that came as a natural project from Electricity and I working with archives for so long. They were part of making sure the archives were saved in a form that was usable and in a way to share.
Can you talk about the Source comic book collaboration that was undertaken with Blue Water Comics? 
I loved that project. I met the owner Darren Davis on a trip promoting the book in Portland at Powell’s Book Store. He came and we talked and I said we should do a comic book on Father Yod, it would be so cool. He said he had never done anything like that but thought it could be fun. So, we did and now we have a comic book.
The Source comic, courtesy of Blue Water Comics 

Can you talk about what’s known as the Mystic Road?
It was a practice that one day an adept brought to Father and just left. Father adjusted it to fit us and the family used it. He had all the Brothers for sure do it and if the women wanted to they could. It was a 22 week practice of stilling the mind, controlling the mind. It is powerful stuff and works. Electricity has made it one of his missions to make it available to anyone who wants it. He does events with it. 
Amazon has it and our so does our site, 
The thing is, we have never been able to find any information on anything like this practice so we do not know where it even came from.  It’s one of those mysteries. 
Is there a sense of duty to represent the teachings of the Family and Father Yod for this current generation?
For me there is a sense of duty to make it available. Save and preserve it as the legacy that will long live after all of us are gone. That has been accomplished, as I have left all the archives to UCSB in their prestigious Hamilton Library program for study by scholars and student for many, many, many, years and generations to come. 
It has historical and culture value of that timeframe and so many did not keep or archive like I did on The Source. When I, or a few of us do events or speak, we bring it up and there is always lots of good Q and A around it all and we now have the material in a form to pass on and share if wanted. 
What we had from that timeframe, so much of it is now mainstream like home schooling, home births, diet food knowledge, spiritual teachings, etc. It all just seems incorporated in what is being given in the now with so much more added. 
Some of the family does their own thing with it, like one brother Djin does Kabala classes with incorporating a lot of the family teachings. Electricity does events and class speaking with the teachings and I do some with him. I do my own thing with it. 
Of all the aspects of the Source that people are interested in today – the music, the spirituality, the communal living, natural living and eating – what aspect stands above the rest in terms of what is being gravitated to or embraced?
All of it. Because in those times it was just the beginning and it was like gold to find any of it from anyone or anywhere. We were part of the forerunners and pioneers of that timeframe that brought so much of it into the now to be used and it is being done with the way this generation now embraces it in their own way. 
The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWha 13 and the Source Family  
We are the old guard and still standing. But I feel we all are this generation now, working together. We see each other as souls and I am finding there is non- judgment in relating as color or age. It is pretty seamless in sharing and getting together just as humankind, no matter the age. 
Is there anything like the Source happening today?
There will never be another Source, it was for that time. But there is defiantly the influence of it and many give credit to it for their inspiration. There are café/restaurants founded on the principles and respect of The Source, i.e. Café Gratitude and Elf Café in L.A. for examples. 
There are fashion designers who created wear from Source dress inspiration. There are groups forming wanting to try to figure out more of a group or communal way of living in the now in ways that will work for them, inspired by The Source. There are musicians who are inspired by the family music. 
Society seems as emotionally wounded, spiritually confused and as broken as ever. Did the ideals of the 60s counterculture fail? Are they coming back? What do you think young people need today that they are missing?
It did not fail. We got it. Many got it and have carried that thread into the now and passed on it in their own ways. There is a renaissance happening in the now of that timeframe and that in itself is bringing it all back. My God, if I see one more tie-dye T-shirt as I pass through all the different cities around this country.
What immediate projects related to the Source are on the horizon or do you still hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
I have had a very full rich fulfilling life this incarnation around. I have both parents and six siblings. I worked after high school in D.C., was also a model, socialite, beauty contestant winner and was a White House social aid under Johnson. 
I lived in NYC and moved in and out of that scene including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. Worked for one of the coolest model airlines, Braniff, who wore Pucci uniforms. I traveled several times around the world. Dated famous people. I was engaged to one of the most famous rock n’ roll photographers of that time. 
Isis being photographed by Ron Raffaelli, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 
I had a great life, wanted for nothing really. I was always in the in-crowd and then hit L.A., dropped out and became a flower child/hippie. One of my favorite times. And then left it all when I found my destiny with Jim Baker who then was Father Yod and on his journey with spirit evolution. 
I never set out or intended to accomplish anything really. Life just came my way presented itself and then I moved on. 
Being with Father Yod and that work, having my daughter Saturna and now a Granddaughter is pretty fulfilling for me as a woman. And I have been loved and respected as friends by many good men and women.

Having my thread intact still with Father Yod/Yahowha and saving the legacy is rounding it all off. I am 74 and still, there is so much good stuff happening and being involved with. 
As far as commitment to this legacy, there is only one more thing left, that is getting the photos in a form to be shared. We are working on a coffee table photo book and that will be that. 
I have my own life I have cultivated over these last 15 years with many people I have meant. I have groups that are soul family and there is no drama. We all are good to go with each other and that is so nice. I have other thing I’m doing as my own identity. So, I feel pretty balanced with it all.
I could not have this alone and I just want to honor and say “thank you” to all those who have partnered with me on any of the projects.
Isis in Hawaii, courtesy of Isis Aquarian Source archives 

Research The Source Family website to learn more of the history, order their music, morning meditation CDs and books.

The Source documentary film website is a must view.
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