Turn Your Life Into Art

Lessons in Psychomagic from the San Francisco Underground by Caveat Magister

Now available to order in paperback and ebook editions.

About the Book

Over 30 years, San Francisco’s underground art scene developed techniques to create magical, impossible, life-changing experiences. Today big corporations are trying to figure out how to spend millions of dollars to do what these artists and anti-artists did using nothing but time, space, and imagination. It was “a movement without a manifesto,” with people discovering how it worked through trial and error. Very little was written down — until now. Caveat Magister, Burning Man’s Philosopher Laureate, has written this book to explain what these experiences were, why they worked, and how you can create your own. 

You Will Learn:

  • What “psychomagical” experiences are, and why they can have such a powerful transformative effect
  • Why rag-tag groups of weirdo artists have been so good at peak experience design, and why wealthy corporations filled with equally talented people have done so poorly
  • Where “magical art” connects with the work of Jung and the Humanistic psychologists to support personal development and mental health 
  • How to create experiences that go beyond design and seem impossible – until you experience them yourself


“If you’re looking for more magical, peak experiences in your life, this book is a bible on how to find and create them.”
—Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart

“Burning Man’s philosopher laureate has unearthed the philosopher’s stone of transformative experience. Combining a deep understanding of jackassery and play with a scholar’s command of psychological alchemy, Caveat has written the essential grimoire of experience design.”
Stuart Mangrum, Director, Burning Man Philosophical Center

“Somewhere between the wistful and the liminal, some truly enchanted experiences await you. By absorbing the lessons from San Francisco’s potent underground scene, this book will reveal how to summon them for yourself and others. Hallelujah! ”
—Jennifer Raiser, author of Burning Man: Art on Fire

“There is a problem with reading about the many magic moments crafted by San Francisco’s long line of art pranksters, cacophonists, reality hackers, and high weirdos: if you weren’t there, you did miss out. Luckily, Caveat Magister was taking notes and stealing blueprints that he now presents in this thoughtful, inspiring DIY guide. The man behind the curtain, you see, is you and your pals.”
Erik Davis, author of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

About the Author

Caveat Magister, aka Benjamin Wachs, is frequently mistaken for a fictional character. He has lived in a Buddhist monastery in India, was a founding member of Burning Man Project’s Philosophical Center, and the founding board chair of The San Francisco Institute of Possibility. His book The Scene That Became Cities is considered the definitive exploration of Burning Man’s philosophy. Visit his website: FascinatingStranger.com


For a review copy or to offer this book for sale: publishing@burningman.org

To contact the author: Benjamin@FascinatingStranger.com

Purchasing Details

Now available to order in paperback and ebook editions.

Published by Burning Man Project
Price: $21.99 USD (print) / $9.99 USD (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-7349659-2-6 (print) / ISBN 978-1-7349659-3-3 (ebook)
Size: Trade paperback