Archive for the ‘florida pagan gathering’ Tag

Florida Pagan Gathering, the Frosts and a Modern Day Witch Hunt   17 comments

Greetings to my Neopagan Friends!

I just got back from an incredible week at the Florida Pagan Gathering (hereinafter “FPG”).  Keep an eye on my Facebook page, as I will be uploading some awesome pics from the event – including many shots taken with us, Janet Farrar, Gavin Bone, Todd Berntson, Orion Foxwood and others.  I actually got to sit around and talk shop with these elders and experts like I was one of them or something – so that’s a win.  😉

I must say I am moved by the close-knit community I see at every festival.  Having headlined there several times – as well as at their sister festival Green Song Grove, and even given workshops at the festival when I’m not headlining – I have come to know the board of directors and staff pretty well.  In each and every case I have found them to be dedicated and wonderful people, who sacrifice so much of their lives and livelihoods to make these events happen.  Many of them have become close friends of my family.

Sadly, not everyone appreciates that sacrifice as much as myself.  To be fair, most people honestly do – but you can’t expect to run a festival as large as FPG and not have a few issues.  Or that you won’t piss off some people no matter how hard you try.

And that leads me to the subject of this blog post.  Sadly, the FPG Beltaine 2014 event had a bit of a dark lining.  It wasn’t something that disrupted the festival itself (though, believe me, it tried!), but there was certainly some serious turbulence going on beneath the surface of the festivities.

 

The Actual Creep – Kenny Klein

It all started with a real piece of shit named Kenny Klein.  If you’re active in the Neopagan communities you’ve probably heard of this creep.  He was a pagan author and musician, and traveled around the festival circuits.  He also apparently had a reputation for crossing boundaries with the ladies.  Heartbreakingly, many of his intended targets found that it was pretty damn hard to accuse a “BNP” (Big Name Pagan) of inappropriate action.  This isn’t uncommon in any community, I’m afraid.  People don’t want to believe that “it could happen here” and they sure as hell don’t want to believe their idols and elders could engage in that kind of behavior.  So Klein pretty much got away with his attitudes for quite some time – a problem that really does need to be seriously addressed in our community and all communities everywhere.

So why is this suddenly an issue we’re all addressing?  Because Klein got himself arrested for possession of child porn.  He got hauled off to the slammer where he belongs, the women he had abused over the years came forward in a wave of “we told you so, you frigging idiots!”, and the entire Neopagan community went haywire.  They suddenly realized a predator had been living right in their midst, attending their festivals, spending time with or near their children –  you know the kind of moral panic one can expect after news like this breaks.  People start to question their safety, which is a good thing to think about.  But then they start to get afraid.  And when fear sets in…

 

The Witch Hunt – Gavin and Yvonne Frost

So now the subject of Neopaganism and pedophilia has become a hot topic, and people have begun to cast around for targets to attack.  You might think it wouldn’t be hard to find someone.  Pagans can get pretty raunchy around the bon fire, especially if the booze has been flowing.  Most of the time any play that ensues is consensual.  Sometimes – like in the case of Klein and the way he treated women – it’s not.  Surely it wouldn’t take much effort to find any number of big horny pagan dudes with a habit of thinking with the wrong head…

And find someone they did!  They tracked down an 80 year old man and woman, who had written a book forty years ago (now out of print, mind you!) that contained some objectionable material.  And so enters Gavin and Yvonne Frost, and their Good Witch’s Bible (first published in the 1970s).

Without a doubt, that book is the most controversial book ever published on the subject of Wicca.  The Frosts make some pretty wild claims about themselves – such as insisting that they brought Wicca to the United States and that their Church and School of Wicca is the oldest organization of its kind.  In other words, they claim to be the primary Elders of the entire Neopagan movement in the US.  They are also way, waaaaaay into the Great Rite and have published a lot of material about sacred sexuality.  They are rather (in)famous for having some shocking ideas about sex and how it should be approached in the Craft.

What actually got them targeted by the post-Klein inquisition was a chapter in the Good Witch’s Bible.  The Frosts claimed the material was historical, presenting practices that had been done in the earliest days of the Wiccan religion.  It spoke of preparing female initiates for the Great Rite by giving them phalluses to take home and practice with.  It suggested that virginal initiates go to a doctor to have their hymen broken, so they would not experience pain during their first ritual intercourse.  Shocking – but not evil.

But they also suggest that female initiates could go home and have their father help them use the phallus!  Scandalous – and most certainly fodder for Jerry Springer.  (For you kids, Springer was a senator with his own television show… oh never mind.)  But still not the reason the peasants have stormed the Frost castle.  No, here are the lines that have everyone in an uproar:

 

“The physical attributes of male and female virginity are destroyed at the youngest possible age, either by the mother or by a doctor. In the female case, the hymen is painlessly broken surgically. In the male case, the mother makes absolutely sure that the foreskin can be drawn fully back by cutting the underside attachment membrane.”

 

And with that, the Frosts declared to the world that early Wicca sought to “destroy” the “attributes of virginity” in initiates at the “youngest possible age.”  Thus, you can see how some readers might get the impression this is a description of ritualized pedophilia.  It gives the uncomfortable impression that early Covens actually performed these ridiculous acts on little girls 13 or 14 years old!

My opinion, as an author and historian, is that the Frosts are full of shit.  I don’t buy for one second that early Wiccans sent home dildos for their female aspirants to use with their fathers.  My studies into Neopagan history and practice has shown nothing of the sort, and I don’t think the Frosts could prove these claims with any documentation.  Peer review would ask exactly where these practices took place, exactly when, exactly who.  It would demand references and documentation.  None of these things are found in the Frosts’ account, and I would hazard to say we can dismiss the material as fanciful nonsense.

At the same time, I think those who dislike the Frosts and their work have also jumped to conclusions.  The Frosts have never claimed to engage in these practices themselves.  And even if they did, they have stated many times that no one under the age of 18 is allowed to join their Church and School of Wicca.  In 40 years there has never been a single accusation or complaint that the Frosts have ever harmed a child.

Yet this hasn’t stopped the public from hanging the pedophile label onto the Frosts.  That phrase “at the youngest possible age” just sits wrong with people, and I can understand why.  Therefore, after Kenny Klein’s head was put in the stocks, the posse headed straight on over to their place.  Not only were the Frosts targets themselves, but suddenly any venue that might give them a platform to speak was also considered fair game.  Pagan festivals that had the Frosts scheduled were lambasted.  They were first accused of “supporting pedophilia”, but this soon turned into accusations of protecting pedophiles on camp sites and even practicing pedophilia themselves!

A full blown Witch Hunt was underway!  People who had been brothers and sisters in the Craft for decades were suddenly attacking one another with vile accusations.  An atmosphere of “us vs. them” and “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” developed.

To defend the Frosts’ right to publish what they understood to be historical information was equated with supporting pedophilia.  In fact, every complaint issued against the Frosts (or anyone defending them) was couched in the unspoken assumption that they are, in fact, practicing pedophiles or at least knowingly advocating it.  No one could be bothered to stop and ask if the Frosts really were supporters of sex with little children…  😦  They just are, so attack!  And because they “just are” we must also attack with zeal every person and every Pagan festival that doesn’t agree the Frosts are pedophiles.

And that is when the Florida Pagan Gathering was put in shackles and hauled up before the Grand Wiccan Inquisitors.

 

Caught in the Middle – Florida Pagan Gathering

FPG was one of the venues that had invited the Frosts to speak this year.  Now keep in mind that the Frosts had been to FPG the year before, and it wasn’t a big deal.  There were a few who didn’t like them being there, but I never saw a real issue develop over it.  I attended their astral travel workshop with my daughter and we really enjoyed it.  (In fact it was the very first guided astral trip my girl had ever taken!  She was a natural at it, btw.)  The workshop was well attended, and I personally found the Frosts – particularly Yvonne – to be very sweet and pleasant folks.  I couldn’t see any harm in having them come back the following year as fellow headliners.

But then the Klein debacle went down, and suddenly the Frosts were the harbingers of evil, a cancer upon the community who were being coddled and facilitated by an uncaring FPG board of directors.  Or so said a bevy of detractors – many of them long-time FPG attendees and even some staff members.  It all began when several of them got together to write a “Joint Resolution” in protest of the Frosts’ invitation to speak at FPG.  (You can read it here, scroll to the very bottom of the page.)

Now, to be fair to these guys, that Joint Resolution is pretty tame.  It merely states that they believe the Frosts advocate “the sexual initiation of children into the Craft” and that therefore they feel the Frosts should not be allowed to present workshops at FPG.  It invited others who agree to sign on.  Notice, too, that the resolution doesn’t call for the Frosts to be banned from the festival.  It doesn’t accuse the Frosts of any crimes, or of being secret predators.  It just states that the Frosts wrote some bizarre and objectionable stuff and the signatories would rather not see them give workshops during the festival.

Of course, I disagree that the Frosts would ever advocate any kind of sexual activity with a child.  Just writing about a historical practice does not mean you advocate it.  (I write about animal sacrifice in my work.  I even defend its practice within the ATR communities.  I include a section on the subject when I give classes on magickal offerings.  But that doesn’t mean I sacrifice animals myself, nor that I encourage my students to do so.)

And I also disagree that FPG – or any venue – giving an author a platform to speak automatically means they support or advocate every word written by that author.  Come on folks, that one is a standard disclaimer in every venue in the history of ever!

So I obviously have some fundamental disagreements with the authors of the resolution.  But, still, they have every right to publish that resolution – just as I defend the Frosts’ right to publish the malarkey they did.

However… this is the Internet, and we all know what that means!  The resolution quickly attracted the rabid anti-Frost crowd, along with no small number of internet trolls who simply like to stir shit anywhere they find it.  Flame wars erupted and all the vile accusations I mentioned above began to be tossed around.  FPG had to delete several of the threads that had gone too far, and finally had to shut down comments on their page entirely.  The anti-Frost Witch Hunters jumped upon that as “proof” that FPG was protecting and covering up the practice of pedophilia at their festival.

Before it was over, some coward had even contacted the owner of the festival site (which also happens to host children’s’ camps during the summer) and told them that hoards of pedophiles were about to descend on FPG to have their way with any children they could find there – and that the FPG board of directors were pederasts who would facilitate the abuse!!

Disgusted yet?

The result was that FPG was forced to call the Frosts and tell them how bad things had become, and the Frosts agreed to simply stay home.  Someone out there was actually willing to harm the camp site to get their way, and even to destroy FPG itself if it was necessary.  Meanwhile the Frosts have been dis-invited from several festivals around the nation, and their livelihood has been taken from them.  Two old people who never committed a crime, destroyed thanks to one douchebag (Klein) who actually did.  This is one of the most vile displays of cowardice I’ve seen in my lifetime.

I’m angry over this issue for two reasons.  First, as an author and historian I will defend to the death the First Amendment right of my fellow authors to report history.  Even if that history turns out to be bogus – which I think it is in the case of the Frosts – it should be torn apart academically and tossed into the historical rubbish bin.  But we can NOT persecute the authors merely for publishing it!  If we go down that road, then every occult author in the world is royally screwed.  Forty freakin’ years from now I might find myself excommunicated because I once wrote about animal sacrifice, if the Pagan community at that time decides it is not an acceptable practice.  And what else will be banned?  What other books will we burn?  What other authors will we destroy?

Second, I am angry that the anti-Frost trolls who made this mess are so willing to drag the good people at FPG down into the mud with them.  They claimed that FPG dismissed them and their concerns, but that isn’t the case at all.  FPG disagreed with their assertions about the Frosts – and that made the rabble rousers angry.  So they resorted to accusations and attacks, and even called the FPG board a bunch of pederasts.  It was simple cyber-bullying and nothing more.  I’d take one of the Frosts’ alleged dildos home and use it on myself before I’d tolerate a petty bully.  Or a group of them.

 

The Infamous FPG Round Table

I got involved right around this time.  At the festival, the FPG board hosted a round-table discussion.  Far from “ignoring” or “covering up” the issue, the board was willing to gather everyone together (face to face, not on a goddam Facebook page) and allow absolutely everyone to have their say.  A talking-stick was used to preserve order, and any holder of the stick was given 90 seconds to say anything they wished.

That day I got to hear every author (including Janet and Gavin!) stand and speak in defense of the First Amendment and against the kind of bullying that had taken place.  (Except for one, which made little sense to me.  I won’t say who it was.)  I saw a soldier stand and remind us how he had given up his rights and put his life on the line overseas so we could enjoy the right to publish what we will.  I saw a police officer say exactly what he thought of child molesters, but that he would be damned if he’d let a vocal minority dictate what he can and can’t read or who’s workshops he can attend.  I saw a fiery druid priestess stand and tear the bullies a new one.  And I saw many long-time FPG attendees and staff stand and literally break down in tears over the vile things said against the festival and the board.

I decided to attend that round table for several reasons.  First, I had seen this situation grow, and I was pretty disgusted by the Witch Hunt atmosphere that had developed.  Second, I was not going to sit silently by without defending my FPG friends – they are damned good people who didn’t deserve to be bullied for issues (Klein, the Frosts) they had nothing to do with in the first place.  And third, as an author and headliner at the same festival the Frosts were banned from, I had to stand and speak out for everyone’s right to free speech, including my own.

So I carefully wrote four points I wanted to cover in my minute and a half.  When I got ahold of the talking stick, I walked right out out into the middle of the room and really let everyone have it.  Here is what I said, nearly verbatim (I am writing this from memory):

 

My name is Aaron Leitch, I am an occult author.  You’ve heard from some very wonderful and kind people here today.  I’m not kind.  I have four points I’m going to cover here:

Point #1:  I have heard a little rumor that the anti-Frost faction in this nonsense has claimed all of the authors here at FPG support them.  How dare you?  How dare you involve my name in something without consulting with me first?!

Point #2:  I am disgusted that a bunch of self-proclaimed “witches” would involve themselves in a Witch Hunt!

Point #3:  You cannot provide a single victim of the Frosts.  Not a single arrest.  Not even a single complaint in 40 years.  So you are not protecting children here, you are engaging in book burning and witch hunting and nothing else!

Point #4:  For those of you who would engage in lies and slander, who would call these fine people [I gestured toward the board members] pederasts?!? – You are not Pagan, you have no business in this community, and if I had any authority in this matter you would be banned from this festival permanently!

That is all I have to say.

 

NOTE:  I have been asked by several people to clarify point #4 above.  Am I suggesting everyone involved with the original Joint Resolution is not a Pagan?  No.  I defend their right to their opinion and their right to publish that opinion.  I admit the original resolution didn’t call for any of the flames or hate or dirty tricks that followed.  But – those things followed anyway, and I refuse to accept as “Pagan” anyone who would lower themselves to such tactics.  And that includes anyone involved with the original Joint Resolution that has used, and some who continue to use, those methods of getting what they want.  That’s not Paganism.  It causes harm, and that pretty much breaks the one basic rule we all agree upon, doesn’t it?

 

So there you have it…

Now you have heard the story of this debacle from an actual FPG insider, rather than from some tabloid-style hit piece posted by someone with half a clue and less brains to back it.  I have no doubt whatsoever that this post will result in loud proclamations that I, too, am a lover of little children.  And probably that I eat babies and kick puppies, too.  But, hey, this is the Internet.  You gotta expect the stupid…

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Stump the Wizard at FPG   Leave a comment

Greetings students!

I’ve got some good news.  I’ll be at Florida Pagan Gathering Beltaine 2013 in about a week.  I’m not one of the headliners this year, but I have volunteered to present a workshop while I am there (Friday 4-6pm).

I’ve decided to forego the lecture format this time, and instead let the attendees direct the discussion.  This will be a good opportunity to ask someone with nearly 30 years of experience any question concerning magick you desire.  We can talk philosophy, certainly, but I hope you will take this chance to ask some practical questions about magick, spellwork, etc.

 I have backgrounds in Neopaganism and Wicca (Traditional and non-Traditional), Hoodoo and conjure, ATRs such as Palo Mayombe, Santeria and Voodoo, Solomonic Magick and Western Ceremonial Magick (especially the Golden Dawn).  Plus, there is a good chance my wife Carrie Mikell will be present, and she can answer from any of the above traditions – with even more depth into the ATRs.

Because this is a rare opportunity for you to pick our brains, I have decided to call this workshop “Stump the Wizard.”  🙂  Any question you have about the practice of magick, we’ll likely know the answer.  And in case we don’t, we’ll know how to find out.  😉

Hope to see you at FPG!

(Remember, this is a large festival, so there will be an admission charge!)

Posted April 28, 2013 by kheph777 in events

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Back From FPG Beltaine 2011   2 comments

Greetings Fellow Heathens!

(Pictures are forthcoming.  I’ll update this post when I get them ready.)

I’ve been back from the Florida Pagan Gathering for a couple of days, and I’m only now finding the strength to write this post.  😉  My hands are devastated (and my legs bruised) from hours of pounding my drum back to tribal days, and the sun sapped every ounce of water and nutrients from my body.  But, my friends, this was a deeply magickal experience from start to finish – and I am honored to have been a part of it.

The magick really started before we left for the festival.  After my recent invocations of Samael and his martial angels, I wanted to balance things out with some (long overdue) invocations to our household patron Iophiel, Intelligence of Jupiter.  Since we were about to leave for a Pagan festival at which we hoped to sell some things and turn a profit, it seemed like a good idea to perform the invocations before we left.  We were even leaving on a Thursday – the day sacred to Jupiter – so dawn of that very day was prime for the work.

So with the altar to Iophiel up and running nicely, we set off for Ocala National Forest.  We needed to pick up a few things on the way, and stopped at the bank to deposit my most recent royalty check.  There, we had our first surprise:  The Angelical Language, Vol II (the Lexicon) is being translated into French!  That made my check significantly larger than I had expected, and was a great omen that Iophiel had answered our call.

Even the trip to Ocala was a mystical journey.  It was a two-and-a-half hour road trip that took us through several locations associated with both my and my wife’s childhoods, as well as old places significant to our mystical paths.  It was literally like taking a trip back in time as we made our way to the campsite.

Once we arrived, we found ourselves thrust even further between the worlds.  The festival headliners were assigned cabins, and we arrived to find gifts and amenities waiting with my name on them.  We were given a radio that would call assistance or even a taxi to take us anywhere in the park we requested.  (For the record, we only used it once.)  And we only had to walk to the cabin next door for three meals a day or snacking anytime – along with good company and conversation for what I’m sure was 24 hours a day.  It was quite the rock-star treatment – and what we required didn’t even scratch the surface of the resources these folks had available…

Even outside of the realm of the headliners, FPG is the most sophisticated operation I’ve witnessed among Pagan festivals.  (I’m sure there are others, I just haven’t been to them.)  They had a trolley service – separate from the taxi – running at all times, so you never had to walk if you didn’t want to (or couldn’t).  There were misting tents and well-distributed facilities, not to mention shade tents over every vendor booth.  The security force was something to behold:  strong, friendly people strolling the grounds with bright red arm-bands (glowing versions for nighttime) and large staves in hand.  They were well trained, well organized and served as both security and medics.  Plus, they and the entire staff were connected by radio at all times, and no one on staff was ever out of the loop.

So both headliners and guests were free to forget about the world and lose themselves in the magick of the place.  I had to give my first lecture soon after arriving, and was pleasantly surprised to discover Mrs. Phaedra Bonewits attending!  (Her workshop immediately followed mine, so I got to attend hers as well.  It was both fun and informative.)  As it turned out, she was also sharing a cabin with us – and that wasn’t the only surprise.  Also sharing our cabin were Kirk Thomas (the current Archdruid of Ár nDríaocht Féin), and Patrick McCollum (Neopagan Elder, world-class jeweler, presidential adviser and fighter for your religious freedom).  It is perhaps needless to say we spent some time this weekend learning some incredible things and making wonderful new friends.  🙂

Outside of the cabins, we were invited to all of the “in” spots and even several private rituals.  (Special thanks to Lia Fail Coven and the Dirty Foot Tribe, you folks are exceptional!)  We never wanted for food or drink, let me tell you!  But, then, no one did – guest or headliner – it was just that kind of atmosphere.

The public rituals were yet another shock and surprise.  They were hosted by a local ADF proto-grove (Osprey Suncoast), and both Kirk and Phaedra had flown in to participate.  This was my first opportunity to witness how the ADF does their magick.  I had heard from Ian Corrigan that they use methods strikingly similar to what you read in my Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.  What I witnessed that weekend confirmed it – these guys may be Neopagans, but they’re using the Old Magick.  They don’t call quarters and cast circles, they make invocations and pour offerings into the fire.  Even the ancestral spirits were invoked:  during the main Beltaine Rite, this was done with a proper white-table covered with offerings, and the invocations were read by Phaedra herself.  Let me tell you, Isaac was there, without a doubt!  Not every eye in the circle was dry after that…

And what a Beltaine rite!  To get to it, we had to leave the ritual site entirely, and enter through a portal flanked by Faery casting incense, blessings and purifications upon us.  (Carrie tells me she first noticed Isaac’s spirit here, greeting those who entered.)

Once we were in, we were treated to several performances centered on Beltaine and the themes of spring and renewal.  A short morality play about different tribes working together despite their differences.  A beautiful vocal solo during which every child in attendance was free to dash into the middle of the circle to play and chase a pretty fairy who danced clockwise with a large beach ball.  The mixture of the song with the laughter of the children and those watching them play was very moving.

Then came the invocations and offerings to the spirits, the ancestors, Mother Earth (invoked via a litany song involving everyone present), the gatekeeper between the realms and the Gods associated with the Rite.  Of course there was a sacred fire in the center of the circle – and everyone present had the opportunity to pass directly by it thanks to a complex Spiral Dance involving perhaps 200 people or more!

Witnessing the ADF’s rituals over the weekend was deeply moving for my wife.  When she and I met, she was interested in Celtic Neopaganism and was actively searching for an ADF grove.  By the time she found one (hours away from where we lived), it had disbanded.  So, she ended up going other directions in her path.  Finally getting to see the ADF in action, and getting to meet both Phaedra and Kirk, was truly coming full circle for her.

Over our four day stay, I gave three lectures and sold signed copies of my books.  Carrie also sold henna tattoos at the same booth.  Iophiel be praised, I sold out of Secrets… entirely and even dipped into a few copies of The Angelical Language.  We were able to take home a worthwhile profit even after hemorrhaging some of it back into the festival for gifts and trinkets for ourselves.  🙂

My three lectures, by the way, went wonderfully!  Well, at least two of them did.  The first one was located outside in a nice little pavilion.  But, a local forest fire had a helicopter in the air, taking water from a nearby lake.  Much of my lecture was drowned out by the noise, so I didn’t have the kind of audience participation I would enjoy during the second two lectures.

The following two lectures took place inside (air conditioning, but no air traffic!) and were just a thrill to host.  They were well attended, and I was told later they were among the most well-received presentations of the event!  (That’s saying something, since I was at a major Pagan festival, talking about Biblical magick!)  Kirk attended my lecture on invocations, and was so impressed he immediately purchased a copy of Secrets…  (I just can’t describe what an honor that was!)

Carrie nearly got the honor of putting a henna tattoo on Phaedra, but the days were busy and we never got the spare time to get it done.  So, we are using that as an official excuse to drag her back here at some point.  😉

From the moment we left our home to the moment we reluctantly (yet, at the same time, eagerly) returned to it, we were truly transported to another world.  It was a mixture of our own past and return to where we started with new experiences and wonderful new friends.  We will return in Samhain as guests – plus we will rent a vendor booth and Carrie is already set to give a henna workshop.  And if we are invited as headliners again, we won’t hesitate to be there!

LVX

Aaron

Posted May 10, 2011 by kheph777 in events, grimoires

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Aaron at Florida Pagan Gathering   1 comment

Greetings, Festive Heathens!  And happy Beltaine to everyone!

In just a few days, we will be heading out for Florida Pagan Gathering in Ocala, where I will be giving three lectures on Solomonic Magick:

http://www.flapagan.org/

I will be selling my books when not lectureing.  Also, my wife, Carrie Mikell, will be doing Henna Tattoos – and she is an expert in this field.  (She is taken quite seriously by her Indian and Middle Eastern clients.)  She will also be selling a few trinkets with Henna designs on them.

With any luck, we will be selling a few cast-wax items as well – such as the Seal of Truth.  Keep your fingers crossed on that one!

I will also be drumming my fingers off at the fireside whenever I get a chance – so if you don’t get to attend my lectures, stop by the fire or our table and say hello!  🙂

Here is the write-up of my workshops:

Aaron’s Workshops (May 5th-8th):

Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires
Thursday 1:30P-3:30P Oak Hall

The medieval and renaissance grimoires – or magickal textbooks – were among the first occult texts written in book form. Included in this genre are such titles as The Key of Solomon the King, The Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Barrett’s The Magus, The Grand Grimoire and many others.

These classic sourcebooks of Western magick became foundational to such traditions as the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Hoodoo, Hexcraft and even Wicca. Then, for a time, they fell out of use as modern practitioners considered them quaint and outdated, or even outright black in nature.

Thankfully, this view has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, and modern students are finally taking a fresh look at these dusty old tomes and the magickal philosophy they describe. This “Old Magick” is considered one of the most powerful and dangerous magickal systems. In this workshop we will discuss the history of the grimoires as well as the modern Solomonic revival. Any questions you have will be answered, and myths will be busted.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!

Magickal Invocations and Conjurations
Friday 4p-6p Valhalla

Creating your own magickal invocations and conjurations can be as simple as composing a prayer or mantra that addresses the beings you wish to contact and states your intent. Many modern Pagan textbooks teach just that- often suggesting the use of rhyme and metre. Ceremonial textbooks tend to skip the rhyme and metre, and focus upon formulaic lists of hierarchies instead.

However, the grimoires and occult textbooks of the Medieval and Renaissance eras- which preserve what we call the Old Magick- show us something more. The creation of unique invocations or conjurations was both an art and a science, with its own established rules. Agrippa discussed it in his “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, it was reiterated in the “Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy” and it is hinted at in several popular grimoiric texts.

In this workshop, we will explore this ancient art-form and learn how to create powerful invocations and conjurations for our own magick. We will focus upon the grimoires and, therefore, upon Biblical literature and mythology. However, the principals you learn here can be applied to magick of any tradition.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!

Evocation and Working with Spirits
Saturday 4p-6p Summerland Pavilion

Modern methods of spiritual evocation tend to follow a “summon-question-banish” formula. That is, a magician decides what he needs and which spirit can grant it to him. He then summons the entity, questions it or makes a request and finally banishes it – quite possibly to never see or hear from the entity again.

Yet, this is not a complete reflection of the ancient art of summoning spirits. The “Old Magick” focused more upon gaining familiars and building working relationships with specific entities – and that practice brings its own special rules and protocols. From constructing altars and spirit pots, to making proper offerings, to the art of evocation and even dealing with ghosts and other unwanted spirits – we will discuss all of this in more in this workshop.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!

Zorge,
Aaron

Posted May 1, 2011 by kheph777 in events

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FPG Beltaine 2011 – Aaron’s Workshops   Leave a comment

Greetings dedicated practitioners!

I will be at Florida Pagan Gathering (Beltaine 2011) this spring, hosting three discussion workshops – all focused on the “Old Magick” of the grimoires. (See below for descriptions of each workshop.)

FPG will take place from May 5 through May 8. I will be there all four days. Once my lectures are scheduled, I will update this notice here and on Facebook. So stay tuned!

You can find more information about FPG, including location and admission prices, at:  http://www.flapagan.org/

AARON’S WORKSHOPS:

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Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires
Thursday 1:30P-3:30P Oak Hall

The medieval and renaissance grimoires – or magickal textbooks – were among the first occult texts written in book form. Included in this genre are such titles as The Key of Solomon the King, The Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Barrett’s The Magus, The Grand Grimoire and many others.

These classic sourcebooks of Western magick became foundational to such traditions as the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Hoodoo, Hexcraft and even Wicca. Then, for a time, they fell out of use as modern practitioners considered them quaint and outdated, or even outright black in nature.

Thankfully, this view has changed drastically over the last couple of decades, and modern students are finally taking a fresh look at these dusty old tomes and the magickal philosophy they describe. This “Old Magick” is considered one of the most powerful and dangerous magickal systems. In this workshop we will discuss the history of the grimoires as well as the modern Solomonic revival. Any questions you have will be answered, and myths will be busted.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!

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Magickal Invocations and Conjurations
Friday 4p-6p Valhalla

Creating your own magickal invocations and conjurations can be as simple as composing a prayer or mantra that addresses the beings you wish to contact and states your intent. Many modern Pagan textbooks teach just that- often suggesting the use of rhyme and metre. Ceremonial textbooks tend to skip the rhyme and metre, and focus upon formulaic lists of hierarchies instead.

However, the grimoires and occult textbooks of the Medieval and Renaissance eras- which preserve what we call the Old Magick- show us something more. The creation of unique invocations or conjurations was both an art and a science, with its own established rules. Agrippa discussed it in his “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”, it was reiterated in the “Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy” and it is hinted at in several popular grimoiric texts.

In this workshop, we will explore this ancient art-form and learn how to create powerful invocations and conjurations for our own magick. We will focus upon the grimoires and, therefore, upon Biblical literature and mythology. However, the principals you learn here can be applied to magick of any tradition.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!

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Evocation and Working with Spirits
Saturday 4p-6p Summerland Pavilion

Modern methods of spiritual evocation tend to follow a “summon-question-banish” formula. That is, a magician decides what he needs and which spirit can grant it to him. He then summons the entity, questions it or makes a request and finally banishes it – quite possibly to never see or hear from the entity again.

Yet, this is not a complete reflection of the ancient art of summoning spirits. The “Old Magick” focused more upon gaining familiars and building working relationships with specific entities – and that practice brings its own special rules and protocols. From constructing altars and spirit pots, to making proper offerings, to the art of evocation and even dealing with ghosts and other unwanted spirits – we will discuss all of this in more in this workshop.

This will be an open discussion workshop, so bring your own ideas and opinions and be ready to share them with us!
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And, YES, I will be selling books when I’m not giving lectures. You can also get some henna done by my wife Carrie Mikell, one of today’s top henna artists. So come on by and say hi! 🙂

“Aaron Leitch has been a scholar and spiritual seeker for over two decades. He is a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Stella Matutina and the Societas Magica. His writings (both in print and on the web) cover such varied fields as ancient Middle Eastern religion and mythology, Solomonic mysticism, shamanism, Neoplatonism, Hermeticism and Alchemy, Traditional Wicca and Neopaganism, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelema, Angelology, Qabalah, Enochiana, African Diaspora Religions, Hexcraft and Hoodoo folk traditions, Psychology and Consciousness Expansion, Cyberspace and Virtual Reality and modern social commentary. He is the author of Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, and The Angelical Language: Vols. I and II.

Visit Aaron at kheph777.tripod.com”

Posted January 6, 2011 by kheph777 in events

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