9 – 9:30 am Breakfast snacks
9:30 am – 9:45 am Opening introductions and remarks
9:45 – 11:15 am– “The first and oldest of things illuminate the last“: A look at the non-Greek Hermetic texts with Don Frew
The eighteen or so tracts (or libelli) of the Corpus Hermeticum come down to us in Greek, but there are a few texts connected with the Corpus that survive in other languages. This presentation will introduce and compare four lesser known texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus: the Book of Thoth (in Demotic Egyptian), The Ogdoad reveals the Ennead (in Coptic), the Asclepius (in Latin), and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus (in Armenian). One of these works, The Book of Thoth, is so early as to be “pre-Hermetic”, while the Asclepius is commonly believed to be among the last of the true “Hermetica”, and yet common threads run through them all. From Ptolemaic Egypt to the 4th century CE, and across several languages, Hermes Trismegistus speaks to us with a recognizable voice.
11:30 – 1 pm – Iamblichus and Divine Possession with Richard Reidy The Neoplatonist Iamblichus wrote his defense of theurgy and theurgic ritual in De Mysteriis. He attempted to introduce the symbols and theology of Egyptian religion to the Platonic community and the Hellenic world. He revered Egyptian theology because it possessed real power, “imitating the nature of the universe and the creative energy of the Gods.” Iamblichus’s position irrevocably changed the attitude of Platonists toward the body and the physical world. We will examine the specific Egyptian elements contributing to Iamblichus’s theurgy, in particular how the Egyptian cult served as a model for theurgy because of its imitation of the nature of the universe of humans and gods. We also will look at his understanding of mantike (prophetic inspiration), enthousiasmos (divine possession), and the inspired oracle.
Richard Reidy (Master of Divinity, 1979) authored Eternal Egypt: Ancient Rituals for t he Modern World (available thru Amazon.com), a comprehensive collection of key pharaonic ritual texts with commentaries and background info. He moderates the Temple of Ra in San Francisco and an Egyptian Reconstructionist temple in San Jose, CA, meeting monthly. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 – 2 pm Lunch
2 – 3:30 pm – From Gross to Fine: Theurgy in Practice with T. Thorn Coyle
Effective theurgy requires all parts of us to be present at every level of being.
Theurgists such as Iamblichus instructed us to work from gross to fine in our operations. But what does this mean? How can we best approach this? There is a simple formulation: Thought. Energy. Emotion. Matter. The contemporary magic worker can use these levels to gauge what is missing from her magic, uncovering how best to approach the Gods and any theurgic operation. This session will include discussion and a diagnostic meditative working.
3:45 – 5:30 pm – Panel discussion with Q & A.
6 pm – Dinner and Social time