Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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My Adventure Between the Worlds in Sacred Space

I recently attended the joint Between the Worlds and Sacred Space conference that occurred in Maryland from the 5th through the 8th of March. Between the Worlds is a conference which occurs every few years, dependent on the right astrological circumstances, while Sacred Space is an annual conference. I'd never attended either, but I had been invited to be a presenter for Between the Worlds by Ivo Dominguez Jr (And a hearty thank you to him for doing so). Thursday was the start of the event, and I attended the opening ritual, which was a powerful awakening of the Sacred Space egregore. I liked how everyone got involved in the ritual...It was quite moving in its intensity. Later on I attended a talk by Literata on Modernity and Occultism and how different people had specific visions of what they wanted to manifest and how what they manifested didn't quite turn out the way they expected, but nonetheless built a current of sorts that we can look back on in history.

On the second day of the event I attended a panel on alliances with the spirit world, with Diana Paxson, Dorothy Morrison, Kirk Thomas, Aeptha, and Michael Smith sharing their perspectives on working with the spirits. I enjoyed the various perspectives they shared, all of which showed a depth of experience that was meaningful to anyone listening to the panel. Then I presented my class on the Alchemy of Breath, which seemed well received. As a presenter, it is always nice to have a room full of people who are genuinely engaged in what you are sharing. After that we attended the ritual prep class for the main ritual. What I liked about it is that they provided people the necessary background information to get the most out of the ritual scheduled for that evening. Later I went to Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki's class on Astral Doorways. This was a fascinating class, where she presented information on the second road/world. A lot of what she presented fit in with what I've been learning from R. J. Stewart (no surprise given their respective lineages), but it also gave me food for through about my own practices in relationship to imagination. Finally I attended the main ritual, which was a syncretic mix of five different traditions, woven together quite nicely to create a ritual which spoke to the importance of being present and participative in the changing times, to represent your cause during those times and know that others were also there. Following all that I had some conversation with people I've met and people I already know.

On the third day of the event I attended a panel on community, featuring T. Thorn Coyle, Christopher Penczak, Byron Ballard, Katrina Messenger, Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, and Ivo Dominguez, Jr. It was an excellent panel, with good questions and commentary from each of the panelists on community and their own struggles and success with building and sustaining communities. It gave me a lot to think about in regards to what community is. Later that day I attended a talk by Jason Miller on Sexual Alchemy. What I enjoyed most about his talk was how he explored both Western and Eastern systems of sex magic in the talk and provided some insights in to how such systems might work together. Afterwards I presented my talk on the Esoteric Secrets of Fantasy, which was well received. We got into some good conversations about tropes in fantasy as well as how viable magical practices can be derived from such work. I then went to the gala ball, where the band Tuatha Dea played some excellent music, which many people danced to. I ended up getting into some nice conversations with people I'd met during the con.

I unfortunately didn't get to any workshops for the final day of the event. And the next Between the Worlds won't occur until 2020, while the next Sacred Space conference will be next year March 10-13th. I would highly recommend going to either conference. I will admit that I attended more workshops at this conference than I typically do at most others and part of that was because the conference was small, and part of it was because the emphasis is on intermediate to advanced topics.

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


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