by Frank Moore, 1991
breaking taboos releases a magical freedom if done in certain contexts. this is true and important, but only in the first stages of magical training. taboo can be defined as social or moral forbiddens which maintain a dogmatic power structure by fear of what is outside that structure.
the things that are taboo, and hence are magically charged, in the normal social reality, are not taboo in the reality of the magician. there are no taboos or morals within the reality of the magician. for example, when i eroplay with someone, the eroplay itself is not taboo or transformative for me. the being with the other person in the eroplay is transformative, but not in the taboo dynamic. for me, eroplay, ritual reality, etc. is just everyday living. magicians will not do a lot of things, but this is never from a taboo/moral consideration, but from a practical ethical knowledge of how things work.
in what i do, breaking taboos is important in the first stages. in the public and private performances, as well as in my short-term work with people, breaking taboos plants seeds and time bombs, cracks the normal frame to let in a glimpse of an alternate reality.
but within the apprenticeship, there comes a time where, if the student relates to the magic life as breaking taboos, rather than as her everyday life, it becomes clear that she is taking a vacation from the normal social world, rather than truly living beyond taboos as her own personal reality.
the first ring of the chero apprenticeship, introduction to cherotic magic, lasts for 10 weeks. i meet with the student once a week for 2-4 hours. (for someone who lives outside the bay area, this ring can be done as a 10-day intensive.**) this ring focuses on the cherotic basics of the magical work. this is done one on one, focusing on how the student can use these basics in her life even if she does not go on to the advanced rings.
the break between each ring has proven to be vital. the minimum break period after the first ring is a month. there is no commitment to return from the break.
the second ring, practice and performance of cherotic magic, is 6 months. this is an intensely physical training, which includes both public and private ritual. this training will affect every aspect of the student’s life profoundly.
the third ring, living magic, is 2 years and is focused on the student’s devoting his life for the 2 years to the aiding of the shaman in the magic work. because of this, during the break between the second and third rings, after the student hears the calling for this devotion, he should arrange his personal life to make this devotion possible.
beyond these first three rings of magical training lie four deeper rings into the realm of the responsibility of the shaman. but it is important to stress that each ring is complete in itself, reaching a different level of shamanism.
**the out-of-towner may stay at the ashram/salon of all possibilities during this intensive. subject to availability.