2010 Workshops

9 – 9:30 amOpening Panel

Introductions, panelists’ backgrounds, comments and how this event came together. (The following titles for presentations are subject to change.)

9:30 – 10:30 am – Hermeticism – Tony Mierzwicki

Hermeticism originates from a body of philosophical and religious writings popularly attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (or Thrice Great Hermes), a deity resulting from the fusion of the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth. Hermeticism, which emerged at the same time as early Christianity, profoundly influenced Greek thought. When it was rediscovered in fifteenth century, it was a driving force behind the Renaissance, inspiring many of the greatest minds in the West. Hermeticism is the basis of medieval European magick and alchemy, and much modern ceremonial magick. This workshop will overview Hermeticism, including the deities upon which it focuses.

Tony Mierzwicki is the author of Graeco-Egyptian Magick: Everyday Empowerment and has contributed to various anthologies and magazines. He is writing a forthcoming book on Hellinismos which grew out of his research into the ancient Greek religion, being one of the primary constituents of Graeco-Egyptian Magick. Tony has completed three degrees at the University of Sydney – MA, BE and BSc. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary. Tony has been continuously running workshops and rituals recreating ancient magickal practices in the United States and on the east coast of Australia since 2001, drawing on his practice of ceremonial magick which he began in 1990. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, he currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with his wife, Jo-Ann, who has been co-facilitating his workshops since 2004.


10:30 – 11:30 – Chaldean Oracles in the Western Mystery Tradition- Brandy Williams

Fragments of the Chaldean Oracles appear in many esoteric rituals and texts without explanation or context. This talk reviews the remaining texts, their context, and magical techniques described in the oracles. The discussion places theurgic technique before the operative magician in a way that can be understood, adopted, and adapted by the practitioner who wishes to explore them. Studying the oracles illuminates the essence of magical practice, our connection with the divine.

Brandy Williams has been a teacher in the magical communities for 30 years. Her books include Practical Magic for Beginners and Ecstatic Ritual: Practical Sex Magic. Her new book, The Woman Magician, will be published by Llewellyn in fall 2011. http://www.brandywilliams.org

11:30 – 12:30 pm – Neo-Platonism & Wicca Today – Don Frew

Neoplatonism was the final synthesis of all of the philosophical systems of the pre-Christian Mediterranean world. It combined aspects of philosophical, magical, and religious thought from Egypt, Greece, and Rome into a school of thought that embraced diversity and promoted magic as a means of uniting with the One. This program will present the history of Neoplatonism, its core ideas and proponents (ancient & modern), and its unique applicability to the intellectual and spiritual life of the modern Pagan, focusing especially on Neoplatonism’s role in the origins of modern Wicca.

Don Frew is an Elder in both the NROOGD & Gardnerian Craft traditions, and is HP of Coven Trismegiston in Berkeley CA.  He has been investigating the origins of modern Wicca for over 15 years and has traveled the ancient world in search of the texts & artifacts that illuminate our past. He has been doing ongoing interfaith work on behalf of the Craft for over 23 years, serving as a National Interfaith Representative for the Covenant of the Goddess, on the Board of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, on the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, & in the Assembly of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is the founder & Director of the Lost & Endangered Religions Project, a non-profit group aiding marginal religious communities around the globe.

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch


1:30 – 2:30 pm – The Nexus of Mystic and Magus – Diana Young

An exploration of post-Golden Dawn Theurgy in the Western Tradition, from the early 20th Century to the present day.  Noting the two distinct streams of magical practice developed by Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune, the emphasis here will be on the work of Dion Fortune and her heirs. Two discrete approaches to Theurgy, represented by Mystic and Magician, and the necessary balance of the two in the achievement of mastery, will be further examined in a brief dialogue following the lecture.  Joining Diana for this dialogue will be her colleague since 1971, Robert Young, and visiting British magician, Andy Cooper, founder of the Academy of the Opened Ways.

Metaphysician, priest/ess, ritualist, and wordsmith in prose and poesy, Diana has been living a Magical Life for forty years.  Having headlined in North Beach nightclubs and studied at the American Conservatory Theatre in the late 1960’s, she joined the group around British Metaphysician, Grace Hooper Pettipher in 1972, succeeding, with her colleague, to the leadership of that circle after her mentor’s passing. Subsequently Diana co-founded the Victor B. Neuberg Memorial Drama Society, and worked with Grady L. McMurtry, as well as performing for numerous years as a Living History Interpreter. In recent times she has worked in association with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Diana is a founding member of Mysterium OM, for whom she writes and produces theurgic ritual.

2:30 – 3:30 pm – Theurgy in Our Community – Sam Webster

The practice of Theurgy has profound implications for the spiritual development of individuals but also for the communities in which it is practiced. In the days of Iamblichus (~300AD), temples graced every city and provided a locus for practice. Our day is different yet the same principles apply. Given everything we have heard this day, how are we to walk this profound path of Theurgy for the benefit of the Community and its many members?

Sam Webster, M. Div., Mage, has taught magick publicly since 1984. He graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 1993. He is an Adept of the Golden Dawn and a co-founder of the Chthonic-Ouranian Templar order, as well as an initiate of Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu and Masonic traditions. His work has been published in a number of journals such as Green Egg, Reclaiming Quarterly, Mezlim, and Gnosis, and most recently in his book “Tantric Thelema” (www.Concrescent.net). He founded the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn in 2001 (www.OSOGD.org), and serves the Pagan community principally as a priest of Hermes.

3:30 – 5 pm Closing PanelSummation, and conclusions.

We will also discuss what we want to see for next year in July or August 2011.

5pm – till whenever.

The Hospitality suite will host some food and we can phone for delivery or room service. Hang out into the night discussing and visiting.

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