Interview with Carl "Llewellyn" Weschcke:  "There is no known limit to what we can be"

Carl Weschcke photo

There is no known limit to what we can be. Just do it!

--Carl "Llewellyn" Weschcke

By Melanie Marquis

Have you ever wanted to know the real key to complete psychic empowerment? When one of the world’s most avid proponents of magick and the New Age teams up with a seasoned paranormal researcher to write a book revealing just that, the result is truly groundbreaking. Carl “Llewellyn” Weschcke, chairman of Llewellyn Publications, has joined forces with Joe H. Slate, author of Connecting to the Power of Nature (Llewellyn, December 2009) and founder of the International Parapsychology Research Foundation, to bring us Psychic Empowerment for Everyone: You Have the Power, Learn How to Use It (Llewellyn, November 2009). Carl’s contributions to the spread of Neo-paganism and occult science are beyond enumeration. In addition to publishing countless books on previously occult subjects through his company, Carl is credited with compiling the 13 Principles of Wicca, used as guidelines in the Army’s Chaplain’s Handbook and still a philosophical standard for many modern practitioners of the nature-centered religion. After spending years as a Witch in the public eye back in the sixties, playing a pivotal role in the rise of alternative spirituality, Carl chose to work primarily behind the scenes in the decades that followed. Until now. With his new book due out this month, I caught up with Carl to find out just what Psychic Empowerment for Everyone is all about. After all, what tarot reader couldn’t do with a little boost to psychic ability?

Tarot Reflections: I understand you’re busy co-authoring books with Joe H. Slate, and your first title, Psychic Empowerment for Everyone, is debuting this month. How did that come about?

Carl Weschcke: Like most publishers, I was a frustrated writer. I never had the time to write other than promotional articles and advertising. When Joe kindly asked me to write with him I took a look at my present circumstances and realized that management of Llewellyn was in the capable hands of my wife and son, and a strong staff. I’m now 78 years of age and basically serve as a consultant to those people although I keep my hand active in new title acquisitions, strategic planning, and marketing. I had the time to write, and what Joe proposed was perfect. Neither of us knew how it would work out, but it has worked smoothly and I am very happy doing it. 

Of course, I do bring my publishing experience into the process – after all I’ve done every job from editing, typesetting, art, design, legal, advertising copy, sales, etc. – for over fifty years. I see the book as a finished product as soon as we agree on a chapter outline. The goal is set and visualized.

TR: Your book is not the typical E.S.P. 101—it has great depth and deals with very spiritual concepts. What exactly does psychic empowerment mean to you?

CW: For me, psychic empowerment is part of self-empowerment. It is fundamental to the fulfillment of our potential to become more than we are. Neither Humanity as a whole nor any individual person is born a ‘finished’ product. Self-empowerment is the empowering of Self – it’s the primary job for all of us to grow, to develop, and to become all that we can. 

TR: Did you have any paranormal or psychic experiences in childhood that helped shape your interest in these subjects?

CW: Yes – too many to fully describe and many are colored by the view of a young person to whom dreams and psychic experiences were often as ‘real’ as any day-to-day experiences. However, one in particular has always remained in the forefront of my childhood memories. I was perhaps four years old when I came down the stairs to find my grandparents visiting. I was so overjoyed that I levitated from the stairs into the living room. Memory or dream? Other memories are of dream visitors – teachers, guides, or dream characters? When I was perhaps six years old, I was playing outside with a friend. When I was called in for lunch I told the maid about my friend named ‘Banana.’ She informed me that she had kept her eyes on me the whole time, and I had been alone.  Whatever! (A typical Minnesota exclamation) I always had a broad view of life and the universe. I said to my Grandfather, we’ve lived before, haven’t we? He merely said ‘Yes, we believe so.’

TR: Is psychic empowerment really available to everyone?

CW: Of course! I don’t use Biblical language literally, but it is symbolically descriptive. We are created in God’s image (call it Source, Force, Creator, Great Spirit, or whatever) and that means we have the potentials of godhood (call it Enlightened, Fulfilled, or whatever), essentially to become more than we are now. We have psychic and other ‘powers’ that are mostly still undeveloped, and it is our responsibility to grow into a Whole Person by developing those raw powers into skills that can be used just like other skills. 

TR: Why is it important for people to learn how to use their psychic powers to the fullest extent?

CW: We are born not only with the capacity but the obligation to do it. It’s the primary job of each and every one of us. We can do it, and we must do it. As we grow, we will at the same time be changing the world around us for we are part of it. Our consciousness is inclusive. The World is not outside of us – we are part of one another in a great wholeness.

TR: Your book offers a 7-day plan anyone can use to achieve psychic empowerment. Can you share an exercise a person could do right now to begin increasing their psychic skills?

CW: Relax, and move into yourself. As you feel yourself naturally sinking into trance (or as you do so by implementing techniques in the book) find a single phrase that ‘says it all.’ I speak to myself: I am happy. That single phrase captures it all – health, success, enjoyment, whatever! As I say it, I smile, for mind and body are one, and the smile says everything that the words do. 

TR: Has the Tarot played a role in shaping your own psychic abilities?

CW: Yes, Tarot has played a part in my own psychic development, but mostly from a broad Magickal foundation. I consider the Tarot the most dynamic system of divination in the Western Tradition, comparable but superior to the I Ching in the Eastern Traditions. (Note—I do not consider Astrology to be a divinatory system, but that’s another subject.) 

Tarot has evolved beyond the "fortune telling" system it was in medieval Europe - lending credence to the myth that it was created as a game to preserve the esoteric knowledge during the Dark Ages. It was primarily the Golden Dawn's incorporation of Tarot into their curriculum that inaugurated the modern movement, which was given further foundation by the Waite & Colman Smith (both Golden Dawn members) development of the Waite-Smith Tarot Deck. With further development relaying the Kabalistic system to the Tarot by a series of occultists (Crowley, Dion Fortune, Gareth Knight and most importantly Denning & Philips), Tarot has become both an adjunct to Magickal practice and a Magickal system in its own right. 

I am not a Tarot reader on a regular basis, but I do incorporate Tarot in my magical and psychological work and consider it to be the most cohesive way to recognize the major archetypal influences and energies active in our lives. Without question, the Tarot does shape my psychic abilities. 

TR: How can a Tarot reader better tap into their psychic powers during a reading?

CW: My answer is the same as I would offer any person in any work: Extend your Awareness! Don't be overly dependent on written interpretations whether for Tarot, Dreams, I Ching, etc. or understanding the importance of any event that comes with a ‘glow’ attached to it. This ‘glow’ thing is hard to explain but we all encounter magical moments, remarkable coincidences, or a Tarot card that stands out in a reading. It's the Sub-Conscious Mind's way of communicating the ‘Pay Attention’ command.

In our society, but that is really universally so, we are conditioned against becoming broadly aware. Instead we focus on our immediate environment and our familiar interpretation (understanding) of daily activities and events. We are mostly closed to seeing anything not already familiar to us - and that inhibits our psychic development and a reader's ability to ‘tap into their psychic powers during a reading.’

Be ‘open.’ Don't enter into any situation with pre-conceived expectations. Extend your awareness to the invisible world around you that is filled with energy and intelligence. Be open to the promptings of your own Sub-Conscious Mind, and direct specific questions to it and expect answers to appear as intuitive promptings, in your dreams, during meditation, in your readings, and in ‘glow’ messages.

TR: Do you have a favorite Tarot?

CW:  I think all the modern Tarot decks are useful, and believe a good reader should have a selection of these ‘professional tools’ to draw upon for particular readings and particular clients. Experience will determine their particular values to the readings. I have a special fondness for the Llewellyn Tarot as you might expect.

TR: I understand that "psychic" is a lot more than just E.S.P. and clairvoyance. Your book discusses the very nature of the universe in relation to psychic empowerment, challenging everyone to take on the task of developing these abilities and reclaiming this psychic power. Where will psychic empowerment take humanity? 

CW: We are still evolving, as is everything else in and of the Universe. We may not be able to know the final form that we will take because there is no finality within this universe. Perhaps there is a point of perfection when individually and collectively we merge back into the Source, but that is beyond my perception. Yes, I challenge everyone to grow and to become more than they are, and all they can become. There is no known limit to what we can be. Just do it!

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

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