Modern Magick – Andrew McGregor
When he was 14 years old, Andrew McGregor almost died in a car accident. This near-death experience prompted in him a desire to understand everything. McGregor spent the last 30 years reading entire libraries, asking questions, looking for answers. It was 13 years ago when McGregor quit the advertising industry to pursue spiritual healing full-time, something he’d already practised since he was a teen. “I felt like I wasn’t helping anybody and I didn’t like the competition.” So he channelled his energy into readings and opened his Toronto shop, The Hermit’s Lamp.
Q. Tell me about the relationship between reading and religion.
A. When I almost died I needed to know everything about the world, and so I read every book in my high school and town library on psychology, religion, politics, spirituality. I’ve also travelled a fair amount, so I know quite a lot about all the major religions of the world. And when someone comes and sits with me, I’m going to speak to them (if they’re from a specific tradition that they practise) within the structure of their tradition when possible. If someone who is Catholic walks in, I’ll suggest they speak to a saint known for guiding people through a specific problem.
Q. What can you recall as your most memorable reading?
A. I mean, there are many readings where I’ve had really miraculous stuff come through. But the things that are most exciting to me are when I say something to somebody and they get to acknowledge a truth that they’ve been avoiding or unable to acknowledge anywhere in their lives — “I really do want to leave my husband,” or “I really actually have a different orientation.” Those things, I think, in some ways are the most profound and interesting to me. The other stuff is intriguing, but I’m not sure how much it matters in the longer arc of a person’s life.
“the things that are most exciting to me are when I say something to somebody and they get to acknowledge a truth that they’ve been avoiding or unable to acknowledge in their lives”
Q. What do you think is the most common misconception about what it is that you do?
A. I think people worry that coming for a reading will take away their free will somehow, and I don’t think that it ever happens. You always have as much free will as you have, which is rarely as much people would think they do, because culture, condition, history, circumstance limits them a lot — more than people are willing to admit. Also, people are often afraid that I’m going to see their deepest, darkest secrets, but I generally only answer what people ask and I don’t read everybody for the whole of their life. Even if I were able to, that’s pretty invasive and it would take forever.
photo by carlos a. pinto