Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

Research, Reviews, Conferences

Posts Tagged ‘Lee Irwin

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: a Conference for Scholars and Practitioners



July 22-25, 2010

Through scholarly research, the interaction of Western Esotericism with the mystical traditions of organized religion has been recognized to be extensive. Further, and less well known, is the often pivotal role esoteric groups and beliefs have had in shaping the modern world as a whole, while remaining “Hidden in Plain Sight.”

We invite you to this conference to join with other scholars and practitioners within the field of western esotericism in exploring the substantial influence this tradition has on modern thought.

In addition to the opportunity to share our research and practice within the realm of western esotericism, we envision the weekend as an opportunity to celebrate the many facets of this tradition. We invite participants to exercise not only their scholarship, but cultural creativity as well.

We will gather together July 22-25, at Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, founded in 1927 by H. Spencer Lewis.

There is no set conference fee. There is a suggested donation of $75.00 per participant to help defray Conference costs.

The Keynote Address will be given by Lee Irwin, Ph.D., Lee Irwin is Professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston. He is a scholar of world religions with an emphasis on Native American Traditions, western esotericism, hermeticism, contemporary spirituality, mystical cosmology, and transpersonal religious experience as related to dreams and visions. He is the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Esotericism (ASE) and a board member of the Sophia Institute and the Institute for Dream Studies. He has been a workshop leader and group facilitator for over twenty years, particularly in the areas of visionary cosmology and the development of the sacred human. He is the author of many books and articles, including: The Dream Seekers, Visionary Worlds, Awakening to Spirit: On Life, Illumination, and Being, The Alchemy of Soul, and Coming Down From Above: Prophecy, Resistance, and Renewal in Native American Religions.

Keynote Address: “Reincarnation and the Psychonoetic Body in Western Esotericism” This presentation will explore the topic of reincarnation in a historical review extending from Pythagoras to the present. The emphasis of the talk will focus on a variety of theories of reincarnation and the political context within which those theories were developed. He will also address the topic of participatory knowing and the importance of paranormal perceptions as an adjunct to reincarnational theories in western esotericism. Five explicit examples of theories on reincarnation will be presented: Plato, Origen, the Cathars, Jan Baptist van Helmont, and H. Spencer Lewis. Each example will be contextualized by culture and the religious environment to demonstrate issues of contestation or marginalization. Overall, the author’s approach supports reincarnation as a viable theory for post-mortem existence.

Some of the other Papers currently in preparation for the Conference include:

Maria de Lourdes Argüelles, Ph.D.: Dr. Arguelles is Professor Emerita of Education, Claremont Graduate University, a licensed psychotherapist in the State of California, and a long-time student of  Alchemy and other Western Esoteric Traditions. She has also been a practitioner for several decades in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition and was ordained a Nagkma (female tantric practitioner) by HE The Garchen Rinpoche. She currently resides in Idyllwild, California.

“Forbidden Knowledge: Western Esotericism and Higher Education in the Social Sciences and Humanities” This presentation is based on a longitudinal action-research and narrative study of the status and reception of Western Esoteric knowledge and practices in several undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities in the United States. It documents and analyzes ways in which the academy formally and informally discourages social science and humanities faculty from incorporating these knowledge and practices into the curricula. The presentation also examines various strategies that the author and other faculty members have successfully utilized to bring the richness of esoteric traditions into their classrooms. In addition, it details pedagogical tools found effective in introducing secularly-oriented students to esoteric traditions.

, M.Div., CCHT and Brigitta F. D’Amato, CCHT: Debby Barrett holds a Master of Divinity, from the San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA and a B.A. in Religious Studies and Koiné Greek from Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a Certified Clinical and Alchemical Hypnotherapist in the Alchemical Hypnotherapy Institute and a Master Apprentice of the D’Amato Spiritual Group Facilitation Program. Her memberships include the National Guild of Hypnotists, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC and the Traditional Martinist Order.

Brigitta F. D’Amato is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist in the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners;  an Alchemical Hypnotherapist, a Certified Group Process Facilitator, and an Instructor of Alchemical Hypnotherapy in the Alchemical Hypnotherapy Institute;  she is a California State Certified Instructor of Hypnotherapy, a State Licensed Practitioner of Religious Science for the International Centers for Spiritual Living and a Designated Examiner in the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners.

“Tracing the Roots of a 20th Century Recovery Phenomenon to the Royal Tombs of Egypt” Hidden in plain sight are two parallel texts of personal alchemical transformation. Both can be attributed with shaping the human experience of the Divine within a specific time and both offer a map for a journey of self discovery.  Both are structured as 12 sequential progressions to wholeness.  One comes from the ancient origins of the Western Esoteric Tradition (The ancient Egyptian mystical text called “The Treatise on What is in the Hidden Chamber” or “The Am Dwat” (c. 1550-1400 BCE), the other from modern American Spiritual Psychology, Bill Wilson’s 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (1939).  One seems to have offered its powerful secret knowledge only to the highest ranks of ancient Egyptian culture, while the other text is freely available to what is often referred to as the “dregs of humanity,” namely struggling addicts protected only by the thin veil of anonymity.  The core messages of both these 12 faceted journeys will be excavated and compared, revealing the timeless Truth held within the divinely inspired human passage of reintegration and ‘re-membering’.  With a brief exploration into Jungian psychology and the archetype of the hero’s journey, these two texts will be presented for consideration as therapeutic models that will continue to revolutionize humanity’s psycho-spiritual journey of transformation.

Luiz Eduardo V. Berni, Ph.D.: Dr. Berni is a Psychologist with a Masters in the Science of Religion, and a Doctorate in the Psychology of Human Development. He is a founding member of the Center of Transdisciplinary Education (CETRANS), a member of the Work Group “Psychology and Indigenous Traditions” of the São Paulo Psychology Council, and general coordinator of Rose Croix University International for the Portuguese Grand Lodge in Brazil.

“The Sacred Circle Dance and the Numinous” The Sacred Dance movement is very strong in many countries. Bernard Wosien, a classical dancer until the end of Second World War, discovered the power of folk dancing (usually dancing in a circle) and began researching and collecting Helige Tanze (Sacred Dances) because of their holistic power for healing people, to transport people to a meditative level of consciousness, and also to connect with the Sacred (as Rudolf Otto describes it). In the 1970s, he began to work with the Findhorn sacred dancers in Scotland, also connected with the Rosicrucian, theosophical and Sufi traditions. Thus began the Sacred Dance movement which is the subject of this study, with important foundations in Scotland and Brazil, and connections with the United Nations. As the presenter has both researched this subject, and is a practitioner himself, he will share both perspectives. The study will consider the way in which the participants report transpersonal states of conscience and connection with the sacred and mystical. Since, in Brazil, Sacred Dance is being increasingly used in the educational and corporate world to improve the cooperation between people, this is a prime example of how an esoteric practice and movement have impacted our world for the better.

Peter Bindon, M.A.: Peter Bindon served as Grand Master of the English Language Jurisdiction for Australia, Asia, and New Zealand of AMORC from 1996-2008. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC. Over the years, he has served the Rosicrucian Order in many capacities in Australia, and internationally he served as Supreme Legate (1989-1996). Peter and his wife, Nola, live in New South Wales and have an adult son.  The Presenter drew upon his talents as a botanist and anthropologist to design the Rosicrucian Peace Garden in Rosicrucian Park, an Eighteenth Dynasty Egyptian garden. This educational garden, authentic to the period, features a temple, viewing dais, grape arbor, an array of historic plants, and a reflecting pond to mirror this very special setting.

“Ancient Alchemical Diagrams: are they Mirrors of the Human Soul for the Modern World?” This presentation will examine examples from Alchemical diagrams and the texts that accompanied them to determine whether they might have spiritual elements encoded in them that relate to the advancement of the human soul. Ultimately, the presentation will address the question of their relevance to us today.

Maria Butina: Ms Butina is an internationally exhibited visual artist with exhibitions held in Prague, Split, San Jose, and Anaheim. Her art flows from her deep spirituality and mysticism. She is active in the Rosicrucian and Martinist traditions.

“Vibrations: a Journey of Light in Visual Art” The Images are the results of her search for the Truth, search for the Light, and search for the self in the inner self. They represent an inner state, visions, and intuitions on the material plane. They are impressions of her inner voice, and vibrations of her soul consciousness. They represent a closeness to the Cosmic.

Herm Cardona, MSSI, 32°: Herminio F. “Herm” Cardona is a Retired Foreign Service Officer and Former Army Counterintelligence Special Agent.  He is Worshipful Master of Cape Coral Lodge No. 367 Free and Accepted Masons in Cape Coral, Florida, National Advisor of the Scottish Rite Wisdom Strength and Beauty Club, and Senior Administrator of The Freemason Network, and an active Rosicrucian student.  His articles have appeared in Foreign Service Journal, The Virginia Masonic Herald, The Florida Freemason, and Scottish Rite Journal. Herm earned a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) from the Joint Military Intelligence College (National Defense Intelligence University) and a Bachelor of Science of Liberal Arts from the University of the State of New York (Excelsior College).  He is a Certified Senior RF Engineer and the holder of several Information Technology Certifications.

“Fiat Lux: Freemasonry, the Enlightenment, and the Emergence of a New Socio-Political Order” Freemasonry has influenced modern sociopolitical thought in that it was both a “creature of” and an” agent for” the Enlightenment, played a major role in the American Revolution and the creation of the United States of America, and had an ideological influence on the leaders of many revolutions which sought to establish secular democracies as the form of government for their newly liberated nation states. This paper studies the manner in which a highly diverse and disorganized number of Masonic lodges reinvented themselves — by means of the Constitutions of 1723 — into a highly disciplined network of “finishing schools” in which the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment were not only taught, but also exemplified.  Thanks in part to its esoteric “Mystery School” aura and its extensive use of ancient ritual and symbology, Freemasonry attracted not only the scientists, but also the thinking men, the mavericks, and the philosophers of its time, men who would in turn, become the “movers and shakers” of the Enlightenment. It continues by examining the extent to which Freemasonry was a political force in Europe, the American Revolution, and the formation of the United States of America. It concludes by briefly examining the Masonic credentials of revolutionary leaders in France, Italy, Latin America, and Turkey, and the extent to which their revolutions may have been influenced by Masonic ideology. It concludes by offering the proposition that the dreaded “New World Order,” so feared by Masonic conspiracy theorists, is the result of the creation of the United States of America.

Madeline Daniels. Ph.D.: Dr. Daniels holds a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology (1975), and another in clinical psychology (1988). She is a Full Member of the American Psychological Association, and a California licensed psychologist. She is also a Life Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners, and on the Board of the American Board of Intelligence Analysts. She holds Diplomate status as a Forensic Examiner and a Forensic Psychologist, as well as a Certification as Medical Investigator Level V. She was the Executive Director of Crossroads Center, a private counseling and consulting group in New Hampshire from 1979 to 1993. She has conducted workshops and in-service training, gave numerous professional presentations, and has taught at the State University of New York, the University of New Hampshire, and Humboldt State University in California, as well as a variety of community colleges. She wrote a syndicated newspaper column from 1982 to 1988, and authored 3 books. In 1983 she had a radio show in Boston, “Family Talk.” From 1988 to 1993, she ran an educational non-profit called the Spectrum Cross-Cultural Institute For Youth, Inc. (SCIY) which gave multi-cultural presentations in hundreds of schools throughout the U.S. and overseas. In addition, she drafted legislation to “support multi-cultural and multi-ethnic education for New Hampshire students,” and lobbied for 2 years with support from all political parties, conservatives and liberals. The bill was unanimously approved by the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1990. She relocated to California in 1993. After nearly 17 years of working with victims and survivors of trauma and abuse, she began working with those who committed such crimes. She ran a parole outpatient clinic part-time for a year, then moved on to a forensic practice and contract work in over a dozen prisons. Her experience in California include over 500 hours on Child Protection Services cases and over 400 hours working in county jails. She now has a clinical practice in the Greater San Jose area.

“The Alchemy of Transmuting Human Venom: How Esotericism Provides Balance for this Process” Esoteric philosophies and mysticism have contributed enormously to society’s preservation of basic values of kindness and respect towards all things. This study will demonstrate how Mysticism and esoteric traditions — non-literal by definition and often preserved in oral tradition — have always placed an emphasis on reasoning through the exploration and creative use of human puzzle-solving skills. In the current era, we see the rise of “human venom,” the manifestation of violence that results in unkindness and damage to others, in large part due to the current increase in the literalism of today’s fundamentalisms of all cultures. All spiritualities converge in an orientation towards the transcendent and compassionate, constructive relationships with others. Revitalizing those core similarities is an important step in healing society and enabling our ability to walk in harmony with our society and with the transcendent. In order to find gracefulness in behavior and balance in our daily lives, this presentation will explore ways in which we can draw upon ancient mystical principles to return to focusing on the inner goodness in each of us and the reconciliation of opposing viewpoints, The same characteristics that have been proven effective in psychotherapy’s healing of the individual, including unconditional positive regard for human beings, can provide guidelines for healing our larger society. Like psychology, esoteric traditions assume that the process is important to achieving a positive result. Mystical practices utilize metaphors and alternative frameworks to facilitate an enlightenment or understanding that goes beyond what mere words can easily define. In exploring the contrasts and effects of various philosophies, we can find an antidote to current deficiencies in thought and behavior. In doing so, we can encourage a more balanced and healthier world.

Workshop: Patricia Downes, Ed.D.: Dr. Downes is an Organization Development Specialist with a doctoral degree from George Washington University.She also a Life Coach (CPCC) and a Relationship and Organization Systems Coach (ORSC).Her work has been done in the public and private sectors, in international organizations, including the OAS, and in consulting. She has been a Rosicrucian student for over 25 years. She serves as AMORC’s Regional Director in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The Great Work and the Workplace: Transforming Work and Workplaces through Stealth Esotericism” Esoteric tradition teaches that whatever the human being does or creates from a place of deep consciousness and concern for all existence is part of the Great Work and the continuous process of co-creating a better universe for all. Many are bored at work because that work does not bring together the body and mind. This interactive presentation proposes a mystical perspective of work which examines work from the inside out, allowing us to open the door to deeper learning, wisdom and the workplace. This perspective can become the tool for transforming organizations into workplaces where individual creativity is respected and where work is seen a joyful and sacred experience. One of the questions the presentation explores is why so few people are involved in the work they enjoy or learn to enjoy? How can those numbers be increased so that more and more of us find joy and deep satisfaction from the work we do? How can organizations be transformed so that we are concerned not with how the business works but how the universe works? Universal law governs all that exists. How do we raise and grow organizations where love becomes the bottom line? In this interactive experience, participants will go through a series of exercises that work on the inner self first and then the collective. These exercises allow participants to tap into our common humanity and the need we all have for respect, honor, appreciation, and involvement. The presentation will be followed by a brief discussion on how these exercises can be utilized in the workplace.

Kathryn LaFevers Evans, M.A.: Kathryn LaFevers Evans is a native Californian and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma. Her Native American ancestors walked the Trail of Tears from the Southeastern United States to Indian Territory. Her French Huguenot ancestors emigrated from the Palatinate to Pennsylvania in 1709, in search of religious freedom. Evans’ higher education degrees and training are in Literature and Writing, Research in Consciousness, and Esotericism. Over the past seven years, she has presented academic papers on Esotericism at eleven conferences. Having practiced inspirational Neoshamanic techniques and rituals for thirty-seven years, she refers to her path as “reading the book of nature.” Her own personal struggles enliven Evans’ writing and teaching with empathy. She lives in Ojai, California, and frequents the Pacific Ocean and the High Sierras with her family.

“Magic & The Binary Code: Renaissance Christian Kabbalah & Buckminster Fuller’s Tensegrity Structures” The Renaissance Christian Kabbalist worldview is embodied as an emanating six-fold model of the genesis of creation in Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’ De Magia naturali Book II and Quincuplex Psalterium Psalm 118. This image depicted in Psalm 118, of what is known as Merkabah mysticism’s “seed of life,” and also worldwide as the “flower of life,” exemplifies the transmission of Western Esoteric thought into the modern world through a key methodological tool and marker — the Hermetic binary. Through Natural Magic, utilizing nature’s forces of attraction and repulsion, the mythic Hermes (Mercury) Trismegistus knows the nature of God and how to achieve it. This is a magia naturalis wherein nature is an isomorphism of the Creator. Grounded in the theological concept termed Coincidence of Opposites, the presentation equates this creative technique with the binary code of modern science and with the nature of thought itself, tracing contemplation of the rose or lotus back to Egyptian Prehistory. This image of the Hermetic Christ was brought by the Huguenots and Anabaptists into the New World. Americans have been depicting artistic images of the seed of life, the flower of life, from the seventeenth century to the present day in what are now known as “Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs.” Buckminster Fuller also received this transmission of Western Esoteric ideas from our ancestors, imagining—and creating—buildings out of six-fold “Tensegrity Structures.” Tensegrity Structures thus model the Christian Kabbalist worldview that the first binary in creation is the paradox of God above and humans below, balanced in a Trinitarian unity of Word expressing nature: the Trinity of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit. The presentation demonstrates, how, in our world of spiritual need, the time has come to heed Lefèvre’s request in De Magia naturali that Academia engage in a practical approach, along with a theoretical approach, to Western Esotericism — not just as a mythic worldview, but as a practical phenomenology of thought and creation.

Helen Heightsman Gordon, M.A., Ed.D.: Dr. Gordon published five textbooks while a Professor of English at Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California, as well as numerous articles, opinion pieces, and humor, in scholarly journals, newspapers, and professional newsletters. Her poetry has been published in such diverse venues as Amelia, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Good Housekeeping, and the Salt Lake Tribune. Her chapbooks of poetry and humor are available online. In 2007, she won first prize in the “Best Historical Novel” category at Hollywood Book Festival for her first novel, Voice of the Vanquished: The Story of the Slave Marina and Hernan Cortes. In 2008, she ranked among finalists in the category of “Best New Non-Fiction Books,” (sponsored by USA Book News), for her second edition of The Secret Love Story in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Her interest in solving the puzzling 1609 Dedication to the sonnets led her to explore the effects of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry upon 16th century literature.

“Shakespeare’s Riddle for Today’s Rosicrucians: Hidden Messages in the 1609 Dedication to the Sonnets” For the past four centuries, the enigmatic dedication to the 1609 edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets has hidden the author’s plea to future generations of Rosicrucians and Freemasons to understand his story and bestow upon his beloved son the immortality of literature. The man who used the pen name of “William Shakespeare” reveals through symbols, codes, and cryptography that his true surname was DeVere, that he loved a woman named Elisabeth, and that they had a love child they could not acknowledge, Henry Wriothesley, to whom the sonnets were dedicated. DeVere’s natural son, Henry Wriothesley, raised as the Third Earl of Southampton, was the “fair youth” of the first 17 sonnets, as well as the mysterious dedicatee “Mr. W. H.” with his initials anagrammed. In 2007, the author published her findings in the Rose Croix Journal. In this presentation, she will demonstrate how she deciphered the message and how it throws new light onto the orthodox interpretations of the poetry and plays.

Dennis William Hauck, Ph.D.: Dr. Hauck is a practicing alchemist, author, consultant, and lecturer working to facilitate personal, institutional, and global transformation through the application of the ancient principles of alchemy. He writes and lectures on the universal principles of physical, psychological, and spiritual transformation to a wide variety of audiences that range from scientists and business leaders to Hermetic and New Age groups. Hauck’s initiation into alchemy took place while he was in graduate school in mathematics at the University of Vienna, and he has since translated a number of important Latin and German alchemy manuscripts dating back to the fourteenth century. A gifted speaker on esoteric subjects, Hauck has been interviewed on nearly three hundred radio and TV programs including such popular national shows as NPR’s Morning Edition, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo, Art Bell’s Dreamland, CNN Reports, and Extra. He has lectured around the world and is a regular keynote speaker at the annual International Alchemy Conference ( The author of over a dozen books on alchemy, his latest works are The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy, The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation, and Sorcerer’s Stone: A Beginner’s Guide to Alchemy. He is currently working on a full translation of Gottlieb Latz’s epic work Die Alchimia. Websites: and

“Materia Prima – The Nature of the First Matter in the Esoteric and Scientific Traditions” The alchemists believed that no transformation — whether in the laboratory, in the body, or in the soul — could succeed without the presence of a mysterious ingredient known as the Materia Prima (First Matter). Nothing was more important to alchemist’s work than this energetic essence, which they believed could be extracted from any substance and actually rendered tangible and visible. This presentation examines the nature and properties of the elusive First Matter. First, we look at how the alchemists exposed it, accumulated it, and worked with it to accomplish the regeneration of the substance at hand. Then, we explore how the concept of the First Matter evolved in both the scientific and esoteric traditions to become a fundamental, although often unrecognized, tenet of both modern physics and modern Hermeticism.

Julian Johnson, MPS, MA: Julian Johnson is a non-profit executive with masters degrees in non-profit management and developmental psychology.  He is a longtime student of mysticism and a member of the Rosicrucian Order for more than 35 years.  In 1999, he helped organize a conference in New York under the theme “Where Mysticism Meets Science,” bringing together scientists from a number of disciplines who presented empirical research supporting concepts in the teachings of Eastern and Western mystical traditions.

“Rosicrucian Principles and Scientific Discoveries” The Rosicrucian movement declared itself openly in Europe under that name in the early 1600s, a time when the rate of scientific experimentation and progress was rapidly increasing. Alchemy and medieval science had always been a component of the Rosicrucian Tradition, and several figures associated with Rosicrucian philosophy, such as Robert Fludd, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton were in the forefront of scientific progress. The present study explores some notable Rosicrucian principles and modern scientific thought and research that now support them, including the mind-body link, the interaction between consciousness and matter, and the theory of reincarnation.

Bruce Krajewski, Ph.D.: Dr. Krajewski received his Ph.D. in English and is a Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University. Previously he has served as Department Chair of Literature and Philosophy at Georgia Southern University (1999-2005), and Associate Professor of English and Film from 1991-99, and Chair of the Department from 1995-97 at Laurentian University. He is the author of Traveling with Hermes: Hermeneutics and Rhetoric, and editor of several other books, including Gadamer’s Repercussions: Reconsidering Philosophical Hermeneutics (University of California Press, 2004).

“The Man in the High Castle: Everyday Esotericism in Small Town New Jersey circa 1940” In Avenel New Jersey during the 1940s, Curt Grunzig built a castle with a temple. He and his wife Barbara inhabited the Castle, which provoked many rumors in the small New Jersey town. He was also a published author, clearly influenced by theosophy and Rosicrucianism. The author left behind some unpublished papers: this presentation will be an analysis of those papers, and of the mysterious castle.  Deeply mystical and spiritual, Grunzig’s library was filled with works he designated in his will as “the secret doctrines which lie at the base of all culture and religion.” The presentation seeks to uncover some of the ways that “everyday esotericism” influenced this little corner of twentieth century America.

Hugh McCague, Ph.D.: Dr. McCague is an analyst, consultant, and teacher in the Institute for Social Research at York University in Toronto. He is a statistician, architectural historian, and a student of mysticism and esotericism in its historical, architectural, artistic, and practical manifestations.

“Florence Nightingale and the Advancement and Spiritualization of the Nursing and Statistics Professions” Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was world renowned and much beloved by the age of 36 because of her outstanding service as a chief nurse for the British military during the Crimean War. This work was the formative prelude to the much greater and far-reaching service of the next half century in which Nightingale founded and guided the nursing profession in its modern secular form, and championed major health and hospital reforms as a pioneering applied statistician. With the recent scholarly editing of her prolific writings, including books, manuscripts, diaries and letters, the great depth and wide range of her underlying mystical and philosophical erudition, experience, and motivation can be discerned. Nightingale is an important figure in the Western mystical tradition closely aligned in approach and inspiration with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa of Avila. Through her meditative reading and travels in Egypt and Greece, Nightingale was greatly edified by the esoteric traditions of Egypt, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and Pythagoreanism. Her advancement of the nursing profession and innovative application of statistics for holistic and environmental health reform were all active and conscious expressions of Nightingale’s rich contemplative
and mystical way of life. Guiding these movements were her application of mystical and esoteric laws and principles for the far-reaching and on-going benefit and healing
of humanity.

Mioara Merié, Ph.D.: Dr. Merié received a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Science from the University of Bucharest in1993, and a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Notre Dame in 2005. She has also done additional work in Physics and Peace Studies in Romania and the United States. Having taught at the Secondary and University level in both countries, she is a Political and Cultural Analyst and an Independent Historian. Extensively published and a frequent Conference speaker, in 2005 she was the Winner of the Notre Dame Gender Studies Competition Award, with the paper “From the Afterlife to Life: Feminism and ‘Spirit Drawing’ in Victorian England.”

“Christian Esotericism and the Inner Eye: Automatic Drawing, Sciences of the Mind, and Religious Innovations in Mid-Nineteenth Century Britain” This presentation explores intersections among mid-nineteenth-century British religious innovations, art, psychology, psychiatry, and an older Christian esoteric, Gnostic, Hermetic, and Kabbalistic heritage.  Specifically, it analyzes the religious and scientific universe of a middle-class group of empirical “investigators” of the afterlife known as the group of Christian Spiritualists. The main goal of this group was to demonstrate empirically a renewed eschatology, focused on the idea of the progress of the spirit in the afterlife.  Their main concern was to offer experimental proofs for the rejection of two central doctrines of Protestantism: the everlasting punishment of the wicked and the doctrine of the election by grace.  Christian Spiritualists felt that they could defend a more “democratic” eschatology by refuting empirically the image of an oblivious and “motionless” intermediate state of the spirit in the afterlife.  The study case analyzed here suggests that esotericism, far from representing an obsolete and ossified corpus of beliefs, encapsulates in itself the potentiality to articulate a different attitude toward faith and God.  What is at stake is a perennial human need to eschew dogma and authority and to seek instead the immanence of the sacredness and an unmediated personal spiritual experience.

Zaven Paul Panikian: Born in Cairo, Egypt, to Armenian parents on February 9, 1948, Zaven Paul Panikian migrated to Australia in 1963 and settled in Sydney. Paul worked in government and legal positions, followed by small businesses. He joined the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC in 1969 and served in Sydney Lodge from 1970. In 1996, he was a part of the formation of the English Grand Lodge of Australia, Asia, and New Zealand, and served on the board as vice president. He was elected to the position of Grand Master by the Board of the Supreme Grand Lodge on October 7, 2008. Paul continues to work from Sydney where the Grand Lodge is located. He lives with his wife and four boys not far from the Grand Lodge and Sydney Lodge.  His research interests lie with what impact mysticism has had directly and indirectly on humanity, and on the Rosicrucian quest today, considering what impact it has on the arts, culture, education, etc.

“The Rosicrucian Quest: Then and Now” This presentation considers the magnitude of the mystical quest undertaken by Rosicrucians and other like-minded seekers. It reviews briefly its role in the past from the seventeenth century onward, as well as what impact it has had directly and indirectly on humanity. From there it moves to the Rosicrucian quest today and considers what impact it can have on the arts, culture, education, etc. Most importantly, the present study seeks to establish mysticism and the mystical path as an important medium for the betterment of humanity, and discusses the role of AMORC as a leading disseminator of this work on this path. The Rosicrucian quest urges us to diligently pursue personal enlightenment. As we evolve spiritually so does humanity.

Dean Radin, Ph.D.: Dr. Radin is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA). His early career as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For a decade, he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories; for over two decades, he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and three Silicon Valley think-tanks, including SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the U.S. government. He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997) and Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006). His technical articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Psychological Bulletin to Journal of Consciousness Studies. He has appeared on television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon and PBS’s Closer to Truth to Oprah and Larry King Live, and he has presented over a hundred invited lectures in venues including Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton Universities, Google headquarters, DARPA, and the US Navy.

“Common Sense and the Evolution of Reality” Most people, most of the time, take for granted that “reality” is identical to everyday common sense. In terms of what we might call naïve realism, basic properties of Nature like time and space, matter and energy, separate objects, the arrow of time, etc., are regarded as givens, or as absolutes. The same is true for subjective properties like color, tones, and taste. But we know that none of this is actually true. Science, especially the cognitive and neurosciences, and physics, have revealed that naïve realism is based upon an extremely tiny slice of a much greater reality that never reaches conscious awareness, and that our sense of reality is thus a crude cartoon model of what is “really” out there. When we attempt to see beyond the veil of common sense, using the lens of science focused by multidisciplinary scholarship, inklings of a greater reality can be glimpsed. Those glimpses appear to resonate with holistic descriptions of reality as provided by mystics throughout the ages. One consequence of appreciating that naïve realism is a special case of a larger, more complex reality, is that commonly reported experiences regarded as anomalous by the scientific mainstream, or labeled paranormal by the general public, are instantly reframed as expected and perfectly normal.

Geoffrey Redmond, M.A., M.D.: Dr. Redmond is a biomedical scientist and practicing physician with a long interest in Chinese and Western metaphysics. Much of his work is concerned with understanding the persistence of traditional ways of thought in a world seemingly dominated by science. His most recent book, Science and Asian Spiritual Traditions (Greenwood Press 2008) explores the relationship of metaphysical and scientific thought in pre-modern China. He is the author of five previous books and over one hundred research articles. Doctor Redmond is a graduate of Cornell, the University of Virginia and Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons. He lives in New York City with his wife, novelist and musician Mingmei Yip.

“Influence of The Yijing (I Ching, Chinese Book Of Changes) on Western Esotericism.” The study of Western esoteric traditions (defined as including Egypt and the Middle East but not East or South Asia) has tended to be separate from the study of the esotericism of other cultures. Yet esotericism has always traveled far beyond its borders of origin. The Yijing, or Chinese Book of Changes, has exercised particular fascination for several reasons including its extreme antiquity (nearly 3,000 years), the high esteem in which it was held in China, the cryptic nature of its texts, the intuitive appeal of is yin-yang duality, and the seeming numinosity of its unique trigrams and hexagrams. While the Yijing traditions did not involve secret transmission, as many esoteric traditions did, it was assumed that special talent, fostered by self-cultivation, was necessary to understand this classic. Indeed, one who fully understood the Changes was a sage, who had complete understanding of the nature of macrocosm and microcosm. This expresses the appeal of the Changes to esotericists, who seek to know ultimate reality. The first Westerner to seriously study the Yijing, the Jesuit Joachim Bouvet, interpreted the classic from the figurist perspective as expressing the truths of Christianity in hidden form. Gottfried Leibniz was fascinated by the relation of the hexagram lines to binary mathematics. Later interpreters construed the Changes from a variety of esoteric perspectives: Canon Thomas McClatchie found sexual symbolism; Carl Jung used it to advance his highly influential theory of synchronicity, and Aleister Crowley felt one of his greatest accomplishments was a scheme of equivalents between the Kabalistic Tree of Life and Yijing trigrams. Beginning in the sixties, many now utilize the Yijing as a source of guidance on personal decisions.

Katherine Schaefers. M.A.: Ms Schaefers received her M.A. in Classical Archaeology from the Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands (2004). Her primary research interests include Gnostic Archaeology and the iconography of Graeco-Roman mystery religions, including the Isis Mysteries. Katherine is currently a lecturer in the Anthropology of Magic, Science, and Religion at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California. Her initial publication, “Essene Ethnicity” appeared in the Rose-Croix Journal (2008). This presentation will share updates and insights from her 2004 Master’s thesis “Gnosticism: Towards an Archaeological Definition.”

“’Gnostic’ imagery from the beginning of our Era to Today” This presentation will endeavor to provide suggestions for the possible identification of “Gnostic” material culture, while taking on the question of why there are very few legitimately recognized artifacts from an early Christian period religious movement termed “Gnosticism” by later scholars. This study works to aid scholars in the iconographic identification of ancient Gnosticism, so that we may trace and evaluate symbolic meaning as the movement has continued up to the present day, and its effects on modern trends of thought and belief.  The ancient and modern definitions of “Gnosis,” “Gnostic,” and “Gnosticism” are discussed, along with images illustrating possible Gnostic iconography.

Aimy Shaluly: Aimy Shaluly was born into a Rosicrucian family of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crusis (AMORC) and thus has developed a deep philosophy of life at a very young age. In addition to following the beautiful mystical philosophy of the Rosicrucian teachings, Aimy has also served as an officer in various capacities within this organization that has helped her develop real world people and organizational skills. She is a graduate of the University of Tampa in the field of Electronic Media, Art, and Technology, with a concentration in Management Information Systems. She currently works as Marketing Manager for Mastercut Tool Corp., an international manufacturing firm located in Safety Harbor, Fl. Aimy’s formal education and work experience, combined with her unique life training in the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, gives her a keen insight into real-life situations. She currently serves as the head coordinator and organizer within the Colombe Committee for the English Grand Lodge of the Americas, a committee dedicated to the guidance of young girls within the order. She enjoys art and music, and directs much of her free time towards helping others through the portals of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, as well as contributing to a number of charities with her time and efforts.

“From Ancient to Modern: the Tradition of the Colombe in the Rosicrucian Order.” This presentation will explore the ancient traditions and symbolism behind the role of Colombe within the Rosicrucian Order AMORC, and how this mystical tradition has evolved over the centuries. The benefits derived for the individuals fortunate to grow up in the studies of esotericism and mysticism will also be examined.

Kitty Turgeon: Ms Turgeon is Executive Director of the Foundation for the Study of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Vice President for Education of the Roycrofters-at-Large Association, and recent recipient of the U.S. National Arts & Crafts Conference Lifetime Achievement Award. She holds a B.S. degree and a Master of Professional Services degree from the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University.

“Elbert and Alice Hubbard’s Great Work: The Influence of the Rosicrucians on the Roycrofters and the Modern Arts and Crafts Movement” (Co-Author and Co-Presenter: Hugh McCague, Ph.D.) The presentation will illustrate the influence that the Rosicrucian Tradition and other Esoteric Traditions had on Elbert and Alice Hubbard, progressive philosophers and leaders of the influential Roycroft Arts and Crafts movement of East Aurora, New York.  H. Spencer Lewis, chief executive officer and Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC indicated that the Hubbards worked with him on the first American Council to reactivate the outer expression of the Order in the Americas in 1915. Notable connections and concurrences of the Roycroft and the Rosicrucians can still be made. The presentation discusses the literary and artistic evidence, the effect that esotericism and Rosicrucianism had on the Hubbards, the expression of this influence through the Roycroft, and its subsequent impact on the wider Arts and Crafts movement and society can be inferred. The literary evidence includes the writings and lectures of Elbert and Alice Hubbard which are replete with profound points of agreement with the Rosicrucian philosophy. The artistic evidence includes the designs, craftwork and iconography of the Roycroft and its campus have many special allusions that closely match Rosicrucian symbolism, laws and principles. Some of these correspondences include the recurrent rose motif in the Roycroft Inn’s windows and Roycroft publications, the aphorisms inscribed on the Roycroft Inn’s portals, and Elbert’s appellation and magazine title The Fra. In addition to the Roycroft movement that was active until 1938, the Roycroft Renaissance movement has been underway since 1960. Since 1976, the Roycroft has been the only Arts and Crafts center to have been regenerated by a new guild and colony of artisans, the Roycrofters-at-Large Association (RALA) Artisans. Part of this renaissance has been the on-going contact with, and influence of, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. In this manner, the Rosicrucian philosophy and inspiration has been subtly suggested and effectively expressed as “Hidden in Plain Sight” for over a century in the Roycroft and Roycroft Renaissance.

George Young, Ph.D.: Dr. Young was born Pontiac Michigan in 1941, and grew up in Madison, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University in 1973. He has served since 2009, as a Fellow at the Center for Global Humanities, and since 2003, as Adjunct Professor of English and Language Studies, University of New England. His extensive publications include Force Through Delicacy:  The Life and Art of Charles H. Woodbury (1998); Nikolai Fedorov: An Introduction (1979), and Hermotimus’ Voyages (poems), (1976). He is a frequent lecturer on Nikolai Fedorov, Russian literature, and other academic subjects at U.S. and international conferences on Russian literature and philosophy. His current work includes a new book Fedorov and Russian Cosmists, and a study of literature and thought in the non-Russian republics of former USSR.

Esoteric Tendencies in Russian CosmismLittle known in the West, Russian cosmism is an important movement in Russian thought rooted in the ideas of the nineteenth century thinker Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903) and extended, through the twentieth century, into a comprehensive, holographic view of the universe, treating elements from traditional esoteric doctrines as legitimate subjects for scientific, theological, and philosophical enquiry.  Major figures in the cosmist movement include  the rocket pioneer and grandfather of the Russian space program, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky,  (1857-1935), the geologist, biologist, and  developer of the theory of the noosphere, Vladimir Verndasky (1863-1945), the creative theologians Sergei Bulgakov (1871-1944) and Pavel Florensky (1882-1937) and the philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948). This paper focuses on the esoteric elements in cosmist thought and on the idea of active evolution, the cosmist insistence that we have the ability, indeed the Christian or rationalist duty, to determine the course of future human and cosmic development.

Please register early. Registrations will be accepted through June 22 or until the conference is sold out. Registrations will not be accepted at the door.




The International Society for the Study of
Religion, Nature & Culture

For full details

“Religion, Nature, and Progress”
the Third International Conference of the ISSRNC
at the University of Amsterdam 23-26 July 2009

More than 80 scholars from all continents and from various disciplines will participate in sessions focused on: Responding to Climate Change: Religion and Southern Perspectives on ‘Light’ Development; Nature, Ecosystems and Ethics; Sacred Sites and Sense of Place; Farm Gardens / Forests / Water and Spiritual Progress; Notions of Progress in the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution; Christianity / Islam / Eastern Traditions / Indigenous Traditions and Progress; Intercultural Contacts, Animism, Pantheism and Paganism; and Philosophical, Political, Methodological & Historical Considerations. The final Program Book (complete with introduction, program, information on the conference venue, abstracts, and list of presenters) is now available as downloadable PDF. Participants can also register for a post-conference eco-excursion to ‘places of progress’.

Featured speakers
include Odeh Rashid Al-Jayyousi (World Conservation Union IUCN, Amman); Jonathan Benthall (University College London); Jan Boersema (Free University, Amsterdam); Colin Campbell (University of York); David Haberman (Indiana University); and many others.

Lee Irwin writes:
From the large program, I would like to highlight the following papers that deal particularly with issues of Western esotericism:

– William R. Newman, Indiana University (USA): “Isaac Newton and the Perfecting of Nature” (keynote lecture)

– Nina Witoszek, University of Oslo (Norway): “Leonardo da Vinci Our Contemporary? The ‘Other’ Renaissance and Its Views on Religion and Progress” (keynote lecture)

– Colin Campbell, York University (UK): “The Easternization of the West and the Rehabilitation of Nature” (keynote lecture)

– Graham Harvey, Open University (UK): “Progressive Animism: Sustaining Diversity among the Co-Creators of the World” (keynote lecture)

– Eric Katz, New Jersey Institute of Technology (USA): “The Paradox of Pro-gress: Domination and Autonomy” (keynote lecture)

– Egil Asprem, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands): “Utopia and the Paranormal: Degeneration and Progress in the Parapsychology of William McDougall and J. B. Rhine”

– Michael York, Bath Spa University (UK): “Full of Sound and Fury; Signifying Nothing: Earth Religion and the Experiential”

The Conference Book (complete with introduction, paper abstracts, maps, etc.) will be available online on Friday, 17 July.

Online registration is possible until Tuesday, 21 July 2009. For any further questions please contact the University of Amsterdam Conference Office at, or +31 20 525 4791

The registration fees for all three days of the conference are:
300 EUR for members and 370 EUR for non-members
200 EUR for student members and 260 EUR for non-member students

Participants also have the option to register for a single day.
130 EUR for either Friday or Saturday
90 EUR for Sunday

For Students the single day rates are
60 EUR for either Friday or Saturday
40 EUR for Sunday.

Registration includes program book, conference bag, reception, two lunches (Friday and Saturday), and coffee/tea breaks. One may also register separately for the dinner on Saturday evening in the center of Amsterdam and for the post-conference eco-excursion to ‘places of progress’.
Conference Venues
Opening Session July 23rd:
Allard Pierson Museum
Oude Turfmarkt 127
1012GC Amsterdam

Public transport: the museum can be reached by tram number 4, 9, 16, 24 or 25

Conference Sessions July 24-26:
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6
1012 CN Amsterdam

Public transport: take tram number 4, 9, 16, 24 or 25; get off at stop called Spui. Cross the water and take the narrow street called Langebrugsteeg. This street will continue as Grimburgwal after 50 meters. At the end of the street (you cannot go any farther) turn left (Oudezijds Achterburgwal) and enter the small gate at your right after 25 meters. Proceed straight ahead and turn left under the archway.
The administrative organization of the ISSRNC Conference is being taken care of by the Conference Office of the University of Amsterdam. For questions pertaining to logistical organization (registration, fees, accommodation, schedule, excursions, etc.), please contact the Conference Office at, or +31 20 525 4791. For all other questions please email
Amsterdam: Transportation, Accommodations, EcoExcursions, General Tourist information

Most participants will arrive at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (airport code AMS), which is about 20 km from the centre of the city. There are good and frequent train connections from there to Amsterdam Central Station (six trains every hour during daytime). The train costs 3.60 Euro for a one way trip of fifteen minutes. Please note that due to the construction of a new underground line parts of and around the Amsterdam Central Station are inaccessible. Taxis are available at the west entrance/exit.

The conference organizers have reserved housing at discounted prices for conference participants. see:

EcoExcursion to “Places of Progress”

A post-conference excursion has been organized for the conference participants on Sunday, July 26th. To register for the excursion please send an e-mail to It will also be possible to register for the excursion during the conference (as long as places are available). Please note that the excursion is not included in the conference fee.

Sunday July 26th.
This excursion departs straight after the conference closure on Sunday and takes us westward for a bicycle trip and guided tour to the coastal dunes of Schoorl and De Kerf (‘The Carve’). This is a man-made sea inlet through the dunes near Schoorl, to allow more freedom to the ecological processes of wind, sand and water. Since the start of this project in 1997, a brackish wetland has developed harbouring various rare and protected plants. The lessons from this successful early ‘nature development’ project are now applied in other places. The tour will be guided by the Institute for Nature Education (IVN).

Amsterdam and The Netherlands
For a document with travel and additional information about Amsterdam, including basic tourist information, we have prepared a printable PDF.
Organizing Committees and Conference Director
Two committees have organized the conference. Please return to this conference web page for updates.
The Scientific Committee consists of Kocku von Stuckrad, Jan Boersema, Bron Taylor, Albertina Nugteren, Kristina Tiedje, and Sarah Pike.
The Local Committee consists of Kocku von Stuckrad, Jan Boersema, Albertina Nugteren, Cathrien de Pater, and Annick de Witt.
Kocku von Stuckrad
University of Amsterdam
Department of the Study of Religion
Oude Turfmarkt 147
1012 GC Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Conference Themes
What does ‘progress’ mean with regard to nature? Controlling nature has for centuries -particularly in western societies – been identified with ‘progress’. Are recent notions of ‘managing planet earth’ – especially addressing climate change – perhaps new versions of the same idea, put into a more environmentally positive form? How do secular notions of progress and of nature interact with ideas of salvation history and religious apocalypticism? Do certain religious traditions lend themselves more naturally than others to endeavors to ‘improve’ nature and humanity? These and other questions will be addressed in over 70 presentations at the conference. The conference will furthermore discuss the underlying cultural, religious and intellectual sources where ideas of progress come from taking into account the different cultural contexts in the world.
Featured speakers to address the conference theme from diverse perspectives include Donald Worster (University of Kansas), William R. Newman (Indiana University), Ruth and Dieter Groh (University of Konstanz), Colin Campbell (University of York); John Barry (Queen’s University, Belfast); Eric M. Katz (New Jersey’s Science and Technology University); Nina Witoszek (University of Oslo); Matthijs G. C. Schouten (Wageningen University); Odeh Rashid Al- Jayyousi, International Union for Conservation of Nature (Amman, Jordan); Jonathan Benthall (University College London); David Haberman (Indiana University); Graham Harvey (Open University); Robin Wright and Bron Taylor (University of Florida).
The following questions will be addressed:

* What does ‘progress’ mean? What are the parameters of progress and what are they based on? Which different conceptualizations of progress exist worldwide? And what does progress mean with regard to nature? Is nature in need of improvement or salvation? Or has nature to be protected from the impact of human activity? And is that progress?
* Controlling nature has for centuries—particularly in western societies—been identified with ‘progress.’ How can this be explained? And are recent notions of ‘managing planet earth’ perhaps new versions of the same idea, put into a more environmentally positive form?
* Talking of progress seems to imply improvement and an ultimate goal that has to be achieved. What are the underlying principles of evaluation and diagnosis? Are they self-evident or do they have a contested and changing genealogy? What are the cultural and intellectual sources where ideas of progress come from?
* Many concepts of progress apply a model of time and salvation that is based on religious worldviews and traditions. How do ideas of salvation history and religious apocalypticism interact with secular notions of progress and of nature?
* Cross-cultural comparison shows that in different cultural contexts there exist different ideas regarding progress. Are contemporary concepts of progress typically western? Do certain religious traditions lend themselves more naturally than others to endeavors to ‘improve’ nature and humanity?

Previous Conferences
The Society’s second major international meeting with the theme “The Re-Enchantment of Nature across Disciplines: Critical Intersections of Science, Ethics, and Metaphysics,” was in Morelia, Mexico, 17-20 January 2008, and co-hosted by by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Over 150 scholars attended and there was great enthusiasm for the interdisciplinary and international discussions that were engaged. More than a few scholars felt it was the best, most energizing conference they had ever attended. A sense of its richness can be gained by reviewing the final program.
A conference with the theme “Religious Studies and Theology Exploring Sustainable Development: Challenges for Higher Education,” which was organized by the Centre for Sustainable Management of Resources of Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) was held 27-28 September 2007, and co-sponsored by the ISSRNC. See its Call for Papers for its thematic interests, and its Sustainability Projects for more on the conference.
A conference entitled “Faith, Spirituality and Social Change,” focusing on exploring inter-faith dialogue and multi-faith action for social change, was held at the University of Winchester (UK), 14-15 April 2007, and was co-sponsored by the ISSRNC.
The inaugural conference of the ISSRNC, with the theme “Exploring Religion, Nature, & Culture,” was held 6-9 April 2006 at the University of Florida. Descriptions of the event, which was a tremendous success, with over 150 scholars and nearly 200 registrants, can be found in the Society’s June 2006 newsletter, vol. 1, #2 and by perusing the final conference program, which includes abstracts, an index, and a list of the many financial sponsors and institutional co-sponsors.



Lee Irwin of Charleston College South Carolina kindly sent us this calender of events in England.

Sat. 28th. June 2008 10.30am – 6.00pm
Assembly Rooms, Ludlow, Shropshire, UK.

Tracy Thursfield: Eliphas Levi and the French Occult Revival
Robin Cousins: The Travels of John Dee (illustrated)
Julia Phillips: Madeline Montalban
Ken Rees: The Regency
Alan Richardson: W.G. Gray

Plus esoteric bookfair with specialist booksellers. Midian will be
there with an extensive selection from stock including new titles and
rare books.

Tickets £15.00 payable to Verdelet @ P.O. Box 82, Craven Arms,
Shropshire, SY7 8JW


Saturday 6th September 2008
Day session 1100 – 1800
Evening session 1900 – 2200

A day of seminars featuring cutting-edge thinking from pioneers in the
field of magickal practice, followed by an evening of rituals
demonstrating Chaos Magick in action:

Duncan Barford
White Hair and Brown Pants: When Magic Turns Paranormal
Alan Chapman
Magic with a K: How to Spell Correctly
Mary Hoptroff
Codes to the Heart of Power: a Shamanic Perspective
The Kite
The Colours of Wealth Magic
Dave Lee
YourSelves: The Grimoire of Selfhood, part 2
Susan Leybourne
Sex, Magick, and Getting What You Want
Peter Mastin
Life Sculpting
Soror Res
The Noosphere, the Biosphere and the Chaosphere: When Worlds Collide
Julian Vayne
Two Worlds and In-Between: the Changing Concepts & Use of Space in
Modern Magick
Plus Special Guests…

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
(nearest tube: Holborn)

Tickets £23 daytime, £10 evening, £30 day + eve

Online ticket sales (subject to booking fee) at
Direct ticket link:
Tickets by phone (subject to booking fee) 020 7267 6148
Snail-mail tickets available – just send a cheque in favour of P.
Mastin to
BM8482, London WC1N 3XX, UK


Saturday 4th October 2008
12:00pm till 1:00am
The Canal Club, Ulfgar Road, Wolvercote, Oxford, England, OX2 8AZ
Tickets £20

There is to be a reunion/revival of the old annual O.G.D.O.S.
International Thelemic Symposium this autumn. Tickets are £20 each, in
cash over the counter at The Inner Bookshop if you are nearby otherwise
email to reserve them, where we
will contact you with regards payment and postage.
There will be no guest list or concessions. The event will consist of
speakers to start with from 12noon till 7pm.
The speakers in no particular order are:

Lon Milo DuQuette – Topic TBA
Constance DuQuette – Topic TBA
Mike Magee – The 5 senses in A.M.O.O.K.O.S. and Tantrik Traditions
Charlotte Rodgers – Taboo & Blood Rites (A Talk with Slideshow Pictures)
Jake Stratton-Kent – Goetic Magick
Melissa Harrington – Thelema & The Feminine Part II
David Beth – Topic TBA

After a break there will then be a fully staged Gnostic Mass to all who
want to take part. It will be performed by the E.G.C. ordained Priest
and Priestess of York. The Eucharist will be administered to all who
take part. During the Mass it will be musically accompanied by Sharon
Krauss and Guests. This will continue after the Mass too with a Live
Musickal performance. After that there will be DJs till 1:00am when a
short bout of thank you speeches will round of the evening.


Includes illustrated talks, performance, interactive presentations and
ceremony, plus Attunement – Enchanting the Sacred Space, followed by
Magical Journey impromptu ritual drama.
Saturday price £20.

Saturday includes:
Gaia’s Revenge led by Cressida Pryor and the Mad Moll Mummers and
Mayers. Olivia’s niece offers a short play that grapples with those
issues that affect us all – global warming and the shopping mall…
Which Goddess Lives Near You? Interactive session led by author,
singer, songwriter and Priestess Caitlin Matthews. Includes song and
oracle work.
Is She Local? with Caroline Wise. Following Caitlin’s theme, we discuss
identifying and communicating with your local Goddess, God, guardian
and genius loci. Includes magical exercises and divination.
The Goddess and the Stars. Andrew Collins unveils dramatic new
discoveries showing a link between the oldest known artistic
representations of the Goddess, the evolution of human spirituality,
and the constellation that spans the Great Rift in the Milky Way.
Honouring the Goddess of the Groves. Priestess and Artist Sheila Broun
invites you to join in making a shrine to Nemetona, connecting us to
the ancient forests.
Who’s That Girl? Lynn Picknett, author of ‘Mary Magdalene,
Christianity’s Hidden Goddess’ shines a light on Mary Magdalene and
looks at her Isian and London connections.
Isis is You Sis (Variation). Performance from Xanthe Gresham. Be
amazed! “Xanthe Gresham speaks like a woman spitting jewels.”

Other presenters to be confirmed.

Tickets: credit card sales or to collect in person: Treadwells
Bookshop, 34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PB.
Telephone: 020 7240 8906
By cheque: payable to Starfire Publishing, BCM Starfire, London WC1N
3XX, please enclose your address.
A donation will be made to The Friend’s of Bride’s Mound.

Sunday 6th July – Meeting the Goddess
Optional walk in the City to discover the site of the Roman Temple of
Isis and her sisters, with guided meditations and a chance to make your
own links and discoveries.
This will only be open to those attending on the Saturday.
Sunday price £5



Dr Sophia Wellbeloved is director of a small independent publishing company publishing books related to G. I. Gurdjieff. see and htpp://

is the author of:
Gurdjieff, Astrology and Beelzebub’s Tales, Solar Bound, 2002,
Gurdjieff: The Key Concepts, Routledge, 2003, See links.
49 Trojan Herrings & Tripidium, Waterloo press 2009




is the minister of the Memorial Church (Unitarian), Cambridge and is one of the chaplains to the University, Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge Regional College. His research interests centre on liberal Christianity, its self identity and relationships with other faith traditions. He is also a musician and has recently contributed entries on Unitarian hymnody to The New Julian Dictionary of Hymnody (ed. J. R.Watson, Canterbury Press/Eerdmans, forthcoming 2007), SEE LINKS.



is Professor of Philosophy at College of the Siskiyous, in Northern California, USA. As an active scholar with the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, she has authored numerous papers and journal articles. Her interest in Western Esotericism began as an undergraduate philosophy student and has continued to be a foundational element throughout her professional writing and teaching. She is fervent about philosophical relevancy and, in her teaching, guides students away from the twin dangers of abstract reason and uncontrolled irrationality. In following Nietzsche, she participates in phenomenological psychology and actively experiments with her life. In 2008, she published:
· Behind the Looking Glass.(Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008) which is a definitive study of the Alice and Sylvie and Bruno books, via a philosophical examination of Lewis Carroll’s literary position in relationship to the British nineteenth century Neoplatonic/Occult Revival.
· Dressage in the Fourth Dimension, Second Edition, (Novato, California: New World Library, 2008) which draws on such diverse sources as sacred geometry, ancient Western and Eastern philosophies, and esoteric spirituality in an attempt to suggest methods for healing humanity’s alienation from nature.



is Professor of Western Esotericism and Director of the Centre for the Study of Esotericism, University of Exeter. Current areas of supervision include Hermeticism; Rosicrucianism; Swedenborg; Theosophy and Modern Art; Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy; contemporary Gnostic movements. Publications include: Helena Blavatsky (2004); Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason (2002). As General Editor of Western Esoteric Masters (North Atlantic: Berkeley) he has edited Rudolf Steiner (2004), John Dee (2003), Emanuel Swedenborg (2003), Jacob Boehme (2001 ), Robert Fludd (2001), SEE LINKS.



Dr. Lee Irwin is Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the College of Charleston. He has studied world religions intensively, with an emphasis on Native American religions, Western Esotericism, Hermeticism, Contemporary Spirituality, and Transpersonal Theory — particularly around themes connected to dreams and visions. He is also the Vice President of the Association for the Study of Esotericism (, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Sophia Institute ( where he gives frequent presentations and for the Institute for Dreams Studies ( where he also present regularly. He is also an Associate Editor and a contributor to Elixir: The Journal of Consciousness, Conscience, and Culture ( and a member of the Editorial Board of Esoterica: The Journal of Western Esotericism ( His books include: The Dream Seekers, Visionary Worlds, Awakening to Spirit, The Gnostic Tarot, and The Alchemy of Soul (forthcoming, spring 2007), SEE LINKS.




Daren Kemp is editor of the Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies ( with Marion Bowman (Open University). He is the editor of Handbook of New Age with James R Lewis, and author of New Age: A Guide and The Christaquarians. Dr Kemp lectures widely, including recently at the London School of Economics and Edinburgh University, and by invitation in Tokyo and Hungary. His academic interests focus on alternative spiritual movements, anomalous experiences, and their interaction with mainstream society, especially law and business. Daren is also qualified as a solicitor and chartered company secretary.



is a Lecturer in History and Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge. He is the author of ‘Social Classes and Social Relations in Britain 1850-1914’ and ‘United We Stand. A History of Britain’s Trade Unions’.

He edits the History and Policy website developing a network of historians interested in interacting with public life. His main research interests are in the history of trade unionism, popular radicalism and counterculture; and he has recently started a new project on the history of British counterculture since 1945. This will require a transdisciplinary approach, taking in literature and psychiatry/psychotherapy for a start, beginning as it does with the early careers of Alexander Trocchi and R. D. Laing.

He is currently in the final stages of a book on shipyard workers and social relations in Britain, 1870-1950. This aims to reconnect economic, social and political history by dealing with the organisation of work, the relations between leaders and members within a major craft union, and the role of that union in Labour Party politics.


The Library at the University of Kent at Canterbury


is lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent at Canterbury and co-convenor of its M.A. programme in the study of mysticism and religious experience. He is the author of articles on Jung (most recently in Harvest, 1998, 2000, and Jung and the Monotheisms, ed. J. Ryce-Menuhin) as well as on Rudolf Otto (Religious Studies) and the transpersonal psychologist, Ken Wilber (Religion, 2001). He is presently working on a book on ‘C. G. Jung, Numinous Experience and the Study of Mysticism’. He teaches courses on Analytical Psychology and Eastern Mysticism, Phenomenological and Psychological Approaches to the Study of Mysticism, Gurus and Disciples, Psychology and Religion, and Hinduism: Paths to Salvation


The CAMBRIDGE CENTRE for the study of WESTERN ESOTERICISM is independent of any academic or esoteric communities, the directors share an interest in the need for a wider dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the field of Western Esotericism and in the establishment of a secular space in which an interdisciplinary network can thrive. From 2009 CCWE has operated within Lighthouse editions Limited, a small publishing company Directors: Dr Sophia Wellbeloved, Jeremy Cranswick – see

%d bloggers like this: