Heilsa, this is an interview written by me :Wolfshaman: and Craig Fraser, Centurion Method creator, you should know that.
Shall we commence this communique with you reflecting on whether you think most of the current Centmeth practitioners really ‘get it’? Do you think there will be the same people doing the method
as there are part of it now?
I don’t think everyone who does the Centurion Method now will keep doing it. I started out my fitness journey doing MMA workouts, explosive reps, nothing but bodyweight, all in the gym. Then I moved onto classic weight stuff, I used machines, I used barbells and did the holy trinity of deadlifts, squats and pull ups, all to get fit for the British military. Lucy was the same, except she got into the Army. And then beginning of 2012 we started doing CrossFit, we met a couple who were doing MovNat (Matt is now head instructor at MovNat Goteborg) and we started doing heavy primal stuff, a lot of yoga, which Lucy favours and mixed it up with classic weight lifting. It was around June/July of 2012 that we came up with the “Conan Method”, I was mixing my yoga with MovNat, with CrossFit workouts using bricks and rocks and mixing running and climbing into it and we decided there was something there, something that was missing in other systems. We effectively rounded it all together, and renamed it the Centurion Method.
The reason I went into that little history lesson is to a) show how varied our fitness experience was before we settled on the CM and b) to show you how new and fresh CM is, even to us. We’re still adapting and learning and experiencing it as much as the practitioners. If it wasn’t for characters like Darcy, Oana, Kristina, Leah, Tom, Sarah, Beamish, Paul, the Wolf Kvlt and dozens of others we wouldn’t have settled on titles like Berzerker, Spearwife, Grandmaster of the Pit, and we certainly wouldn’t have been brave enough to ram home the Satanic/Superion/Superman philosophy as firmly as we have. The practitioners are what make a method. But fundamentally, if no one else was doing it, Lucy and I still would be, and I’d still be writing the way I do…so as much as we’re all in it together, I know that some people will find something that suits them better and they will go and do that. We don’t mind, as long as they succeed, and the CM was a stepping stone on their path to finding their mountain and climbing the fucking thing. In that sense, whether or not people ‘get it’, is obsolete.
Are you any closer to having the abandoned church property with the cemetery?
Haha, no, not that particular one…we got an email from the company selling it on the behalf of the Church of England and they said the Bishop of the Diocese of Salisbury had looked at our website and felt we were unsuitable tenants and contrary to the beliefs of the CofE! We don’t mind really, we’ll find a rundown old shack to work out of eventually, church or not. We have a long history with the church and I’m sure we’ll have many run ins in the future. Flag of Christ and Flag of Lucifer and all that…
What were your thoughts behind the titles of the following workouts?
Some of these will seem quite weird, but, here we go,
Sword Swallower the 3rd – Me and Lucy were writing one of the workouts, I remembered that it made me gag and retch and so…I named it after what it would feel like to swallow a sword…
Hammer of the Witches – the name of the Malleus Maleficarum, the witch hunting book ‘written’ by the two illiterate idiot Catholics in the Middle Ages. I don’t know…I think it was a Warhammer reference.
Poisoned Mead – another reference to gagging or retching, I remembered when I watched a friend of ours eating San Pedro cactus he’d foolishly mixed with lemon juice and heaving as he chewed on it. So, suffering and pain for a subsequent spiritual experience, pain for pleasure, etc.
Hindu Kush – named after the type of Indica marijuana that comes from the (obviously) Hindu Kush mountains in India/Pakistan/Afghanistan. I think it was a reference to how sleepy and sluggish I felt after the workout, probably an endorphin rush mixed with the workout knackering me.
Return of the King – so, the last workout in the book, the 100th, I knew it’d be called RotK before I even wrote it. It doesn’t actually bear much reference to the workout, but I kept it anyway. We’ve altered it for the hardback edition, made it harder.
While writing the Legion of the Black Flame book, are you personally testing the workouts before they are scribed? Could you write about one or two of them here?
I won’t say an awful lot about the Legion of the Black Flame as it could alter drastically before it comes out, but it’s essentially a booklet for the Praetorians. We’ve never entertained that 90% of the users of CM will even get to Praetorian, let alone maintain it, so those who do should be ‘initiated’ into the upper/deeper mysteries of the Centurion Method. It will be freely available to anyone who wants to buy it, but most CM practitioners will probably quietly close it, put it on their bookshelf and never read it again…it is pretty out there. I’m determined to get people going further than they’ve ever gone before, repeatedly, so the workouts are fucking insane. We didn’t really mention it in the Training Manual but the Praetorian level of fitness is the same as a Paratrooper in the British Army, so it makes sense that we take it to the next logical step, which is SAS, Special Forces, SBS, Pathfinder kind of shit, full on immersion workouts…one of them involves climbing a mountain four times, another is simulating carrying a 25kg flag pole (as a Roman standard bearer did) for a 5-30 mile run, depending on what the dice say. It’s not for everyone.
I really enjoy the primal routines from the back of the manual, will there be more of this or advanced yoga in the new book?
We’ve got a 100% primal, yoga focused book on the back burner so we’ve been putting off adding any strictly primal workouts to the Praetorian book. It doesn’t really apply to what the Praetorian is, by that point if you aren’t doing yoga every day to flex and stretch your physical and spiritual muscles then something is seriously wrong, and you WILL burn out. Yoga is something quite close to our heart, so I know Lucy would agree with me when I say it’s almost becoming something extra to CM, we don’t want it to become a shambolic ‘quick I’ll do some yoga’ before or after a workout. It should be a
discipline every Berserker or Spearwife is spending some serious time on. Yoga is everything rolled into one school, it’s been bastardised by middle aged stay at home wives who lived through the 60’s and think it’s all peace and love…for me it couldn’t be further from the truth. I see yoga as something warriors do to keep limber and toned for battle. Much in the same way as tea drinking was for the Samurai, there’s nothing effeminate about drinking tea out of a tiny cup or meditating for three hours when your body is covered in blood and soot…
Are you in touch with the runic system, and do you practice seid or other talismanic meditation and stadhagaldr?
I am aware of the runic system and Lucy and I intersperse our routines with some of Paul’s rune postures and vibrations from the Stadhagaldr book but we’ve kind of put that on the back burner as well as we utterly loathe drop shipping as we call it, finding out about something we’d be interested in and just giving it a go and then never looking at it again. We need to include new things slowly into our own process so that it engrains naturally and fluidly, otherwise it just feels strange. As for seidr and the runes as a functioning magical system, I wouldn’t say I use them in an orthodox fashion, I am a bit of an Indo-European integrationist so I find myself using Tantric systems of meditation, with rune casts and then interpreting my magick through a Babylonian/Egyptian kind of Tarot like lens. It’s probably a leftover from Crowley, but I don’t necessarily believe in keeping things utterly Germanic, or totally indigenous either way. If I were to do that it’d have to be all Welsh/Wessex traditional, so I’d be out in the woods standing on one leg under a hazel tree with a faery stone tied to my face and a patch over my left eye, which I did do for a while, but I’m not elitist when it comes to magick…as you can see.
Your thoughts on Buddhism?
This shouldn’t be as interesting a question as it is, but I find Buddhsim both enthralling and disgusting. I adore Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and I actually found that book infinitely more beautiful than any orthodox Buddhist text I had read. I’m interested in what would probably be called esoteric Buddhism, the practice of the Tibetan llamas and more folkish traditions of the Tibetan and Nepalese people mixed in with the less orthodox schools. I suppose that’s more of a focus on the cultural Tantra mingling in with the Buddhism, I’m especially fond of the Siddhas and the Rishis, and all the superhuman characteristics and exploits of the Tantric masters, throwing shit at people and eating corpses and going on ten thousand year sex marathons that actually only last a few minutes. That to me is much more where the truth lies, in an Aghora/Sadhu kind of interpretation of the orthodox. I have a fondness for Brahminic literature and I adore the Vedic rituals and the Vedas themselves, but they quite clearly spawned the orthodox Buddhism of the blind, bald, half naked ascetic Buddha which people seem to adore. I’m just troubled by the similarity between the idiot Buddha people like to worship and Christ, the two go hand in hand, weakness, metaphysics that worships a life extra to this one, focus on this life as a miserable existence of death and pain and martyrdom. Going full circle that’s why I loved Siddhartha as a book, when he realises at the end that Nirvana is here and now, that the attainment of godhead and unity with ‘other/absolute/non’ is THIS life, that to me is the point to Buddhism. Ironically, Buddha said the same thing, “finger pointing at the moon” and “mistaking the raft for the shore”.
What have you studied throughout your life, did you take any professional courses? Or has it all been self study through books/encyclopedias/gilds etc.
I won’t go into the pointless study at school or college, because we can all agree that the majority of what they call education is simply an exercise in training someone to remember facts and repeat them during a test. Most recently I took a course in Personal Training which gave me the power to make the Centurion Method exactly as I saw it, without the fear that I was doing something wrong or designing the programs wrong. I now have the ability to PT people either in person or through the Method itself, which is a hugely powerful tool.
Outside of the Centurion Method, I’m entirely self-taught. If we’re talking about writing, or art, or poetry, I’ve been drawing since I was a child, at least once every week for the last 20 years, and I’ve been writing for over a decade. I used to write short stories for my own amusement then delete them, just to test my vocabulary and I always write books about my experiences, what I’m enjoying at that moment in time and then just get rid of them. I’ve probably written in excess of 100 stories in my lifetime, and only ten to twenty have been read. I’ve written a book on witchcraft, a poetry anthology and a collection of short stories, all of which are there for my personal enjoyment and that of some close friends who share my love of Weird Tales style prose.