Sunday, August 29, 2010

TheurgiCon 2010

The first annual TheurgiCon 2010 was held on Saturday August 28, in Berkeley California. It was sponsored by Glenn Turner, long time veteran Convention organizer and former National First Officer of CoG.  I was a one day symposium with the goal of covering everything you ever wanted to know about Theurgy.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m., five speakers were arranged in such order as to present basic historical information first, with each speaker building upon the work of his or her predecessor. Each succeeding speaker moving forward in time, followed the thread of theurgy as it developed from its most ancient roots to its present day practice in such organizations as The Open Source Golden Dawn and British Traditional Wica.

First up was Tony Mierzwicki the author of Graeco-Egyptian Magick: Everyday Empowerment. 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.  The title of his presentation was  - An overview of Hermeticism

Next came Brandy Williams who is a former CoG National First Officer. The title of her presentation was Chaldean Oracles in the Western Mystery Tradition. Brandy "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."

Nest we had Don Frew who is also one of CoG's National Interfaith Representatives.  His presentation was titled -  Neo-Platonism & Wicca Today.  In addition to his work with CoG Don "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."

After lunch the afternoon began with the presentation - The Nexus of Mystic and Magus - by Diana Young:
"Metaphysician, priestess, ritualist, and wordsmith in prose and poetry, 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"

The final presentation was Theurgy in Our Community - by Sam Webster:
"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."

As Rachael Watcher said in her report for The Wild Hunt and the Pagan Newswire Collective:

"The day of academic pursuit was followed by equally deep and thoughtful conversations in the Hospitality suite accompanied by wine and food. I wandered about seeking impressions of the day from participants. Gus diZerega, author and teacher commented, “I think it was a great presentation. It far exceeded my hopes. The quality of the presentations was wonderful, the variety of perspectives fascinating …”  Barbara Cormack, head of the Open Source Golden Dawn, “I came because I feel that my tradition is one of the modern flowerings and an inheritor of theugric practice. I was curious to see what the speakers would do with that topic and I wasn’t disappointed…” Nathan Bjorge, presenter at PantheaCon on Neo Platonic practice “I think that this was a wonderful opportunity for different traditions to come together and explore this history, this context for our modern pagan traditions…” Everyone agreed that it was a great success, worth the money and stated that they looked forward to next year’s presentations with interest as well as curiosity as to how, as a concept, this symposium would develop.

Glenn Turner promises a published presentation of the papers presented, and I look forward to that. I’m also delighted that this is only an annual event. It will take me that long to digest what transpired here today."