2011 Workshops

9 am -9:30 am Opening remarks

9:30 am. – 11 am- “The Greek Vowels in Hellenistic Magic” – Tony Mierzwicki – Bibliography

Hellenistic Magic is characterized by the extensive use of voces mysticae–mystical/magical names and the seven Greek vowels which often occur in long strings of various combinations. The vowels were sometimes sung and had numerous associations, including the seven Chaldean planets and musical tones. The voces mysticae were used by some theurgists to achieve Sustasis (contact) with a deity or daimon – a necessary preliminary step in the liberation of the soul from the bonds of fate.

11am – 12:30 pm – “Theurgy, Astrology, and the Mystery of the Decans” – Don Frew – Bibliography

While most Neoplatonists dismissed the use of astrology for spiritual guidance, both Neoplatonic and Hermetic theurgists recognized its utility in the construction of effective rituals. However, the astrology practiced in their time — the first few centuries CE — was very different from the astrology practiced today. We will go through the basics of Hellenistic astrology, its application to ritual, and how it was understood by the practitioners of theurgy. This will present original research on the Decans. Having had my curiosity piqued by mysterious references in Hermetic texts to the Decans as secret sources of great magical power and knowledge, I have spent the last 10 years collecting material on them from obscure Hellenistic sources. I will describe my reconstruction of a system of Decanic magic that I have used to significant effect.

12:30pm – 2 pm – Lunch in hospitality suite

2 pm – 3:30 pm – “Animation: How It Works and How to Do It” – John Opsopaus – Bio/Bibliography

The “god-making passage” is one of the most famous parts of the Hermetic texts. It discusses “animating” a statue, that is, giving it a soul, but provides little information. In this workshop I will present the Neoplatonic theory of animation, which explains the process for invoking a god or daemon into a statue. From theory I will turn to practice and explain effective operations for animation and how they may be used for various theurgical purposes.

3:30pm – 5 pm – Closing panel discussion

Includes lunch in our hospitality suite where we’ll gather after the event for evening discussions

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