Workshops

The Evolution of Hekate: From Magical Goddess of the Underworld to Soul of the World with Crystal Addey, M.A.
Number, Beauty, Mystery: Classical Architecture in a Sacred Context with Steve Bass
The Mysteries and the Ancient Theologians in Mystical Islam with Christopher Bamford
A Gift of Vision: Iamblichus and the Sanctification of the Senses with Leonard George, Ph.D.
Sites that Inspire and Buildings that Sing: The Mysteries of Classical Architecture with Alvin Holm
“Do Not Enter Here Without Geometry” with Keith Critchlow
Hadrian and Julian: From Noon to Twilight of Roman Paganism with Leonard George, Ph.D.
Plato, the Mysteries and the Golden Section with Scott Olsen, Ph.D.
Art, The Golden Mean and the Inner Mathematics of Nature with Dorothea Rockburne
A Symposium on the Psyche with Paulos Pissanos and others
The Philosophy of Logos with Stanley Sfekas, Ph.D.
The Tarot: A Living Oracle with Ellen Goldberg, M.A.
The Orphic Hymns with Theologos Simeoforos

 

The Evolution of Hekate:
From Magical Goddess of the Underworld to Soul of the World
Crystal Addey, M.A.

For ancient people, the gods were not abstractions – their presence and their gifts were vital features of life.  Each human habitat was felt to be shared with spiritual beings. In archaic times, the lands of Thrace and Caria were the homes of Hekate, who was honored as a goddess of three realms. In later times, her presence spread across the Mediterranean regions, and her roles included goddess of the Underworld, goddess of magic and witches, oracular goddess and Soul of the World.

Number, Beauty, Mystery
Classical Architecture in a Sacred Context
Steve Bass, M.A.

The spiritual context of early civilization was mystery religion, and the classical system of architecture was developed as its backdrop. If civilization is considered a product of human vision, often expressed through symbolic number and geometry, then architecture must also be informed by such symbols. In this presentation, the nature of symbolic number will be illustrated by demonstration, and the relation of number to beauty explored. The elements of architecture, guided by number, will be placed as elements in the process of the mysteries.

The Mysteries and the Ancient Theologians in Mystical Islam
Christopher Bamford

This workshop will examine the implicit influence of the Mysteries and the explicit role of ancient theologians and philosophers such as Pythagoras, Empedocles and Plato in Islamic alchemy and Sufi philosophy and mysticism. We shall see how the Greek wisdom teachings and texts gradually migrated eastward during Hellenistic times and up through the first five Christian centuries to provide cosmological and metaphysical supports for the Qu’ranic revelation. Looking at the various alchemical traditions, as well as Sufi traditions such as the school of Suhrawardi and the Persian platonic theosophists of Light, we shall trace how, especially through Gemistos Plethon, Islamic insights fructified the Renaissance.

A Gift of Vision: 
Iamblichus and the Sanctification of the Senses
Leonard George, Ph.D.

The Syrian sage Iamblichus (240 – c.325 AD) was so famously wise that even in his lifetime he was crowned with the title Theos, “Divine.” The best-known of his few surviving works is De Mysteriis, “On the Mysteries.” Drawing from the deepest wells of pagan insight, Iamblichus formed a grand synthesis of antique wisdom. Through philosophical study and ritual enactment, he taught, the senses could be opened to “the communion of all things.”  

Sites that Inspire and Buildings that Sing:
The Mysteries of Classical Architecture
Alvin Holm

Much has been written about famous sacred sites and how and why they retain their charisma, sometimes for millennia. Even more has been written about beautiful buildings and how their splendor is achieved. There are no conclusions, so far, to either of these independent studies, but perhaps through a consideration of Pythagorean teachings we can come to understand more about both in relation to each other. Harmonic relationships as they exist in architecture, music, the earth and the human body will be the subject of this investigation. Particular emphasis will be given to Greek myth and the mysteries of classical architecture.

“Do Not Enter Here Without Geometry”
Keith Critchlow

How many of the platonic scholars of the last and even this century have taken seriously the implications of this injunction? It did not say those without literacy or numeracy or even music cannot enter. It particularly specified geometry. Geometry ensures that thought and word become deed. These values are implicit in the Pythagorean/Platonic teachings on the goal of life – i.e., wisdom. This workshop will be an introduction to the practice and symbolism of “number in space”, which is geometry in essence. Two- and three-dimensional geometrical experiences will be offered.

Hadrian and Julian:
From Noon to Twilight of Roman Paganism
Leonard George, Ph.D.

Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire at the moment of its greatest reach. A skilled warrior, he chose peace when possible, and focused his genius on the spiritual life of the Empire, most profoundly expressed in his design of the Pantheon in Rome. Two centuries later, times had changed. The Empire was shrinking, menaced on all sides, and Christians were taking power. Julian II was the last pagan emperor. His brief reign marked the final brilliant glimpse of a pagan vision.

Plato, the Mysteries and the Golden Section 
Scott Olsen, Ph.D.

Plato, an initiate of the Pythagorean and Eleusinian mysteries, has long been acknowledged as “the world’s interpreter.” But under an oath of silence, he was forbidden to openly disclose the deeper revelations. We know from written fragments by members of the Academy that he revealed much in his esoteric (oral) teachings in his Unwritten Lectures. In this workshop we will investigate how Plato may have subtly inserted keys to the mysteries (including the secret of the Divine Proportion) into his dialogues, along with puzzles and hints which he may have hoped would provoke astute readers into their own revelations.

Art, The Golden Mean and the Inner Mathematics of Nature
Dorothea Rockburne

Underlying the structure of most ancient art, especially Egyptian and Greek, are the proportions derived from “the Golden Mean” and from Pi. This geometric tradition continued throughout the Renaissance, well into modern times. However, teaching these ancient proportions began to wane after World War I with the revolutionary DADA movement in France. Today this vocabulary has pretty much been erased from the art-making dialogue. Because of my early Beaux Art education and later my passion for mathematics, Geometry, and Egyptian art, I found myself compelled to re-examine this mysterious proportion, which seems to govern most things in nature, including me. Through the language of my art I have tried to posit the concept that mathematics and the Golden Mean evoke in each of us an emotion that is both ancient and archetypical. Since our bodies are based on the Golden Mean, viewing the Golden Mean evokes in us a bodily response. This presentation will examine my use of combining the Golden Mean with Topology in contemporary art. This is the history of my life’s work.

A Symposium on the Psyche
Paulos Pissanos and others this line is doubled

Following the tradition of the ancient academies, the 'panelists' will lead a discussion on the Psyche, each briefly presenting their position according to their particular field of expertise in a more conversational and rhetorical style. Following this, participants are invited to raise questions and issues which will be answered by various members of the panel according to their perspective, whether philosophical, classicist or esoteric.

The Philosophy of Logos
Stanley Sfekas, Ph.D.

Among Greeks, Logos became the common philosophical term for that all-pervading order that underlies the universe (called variously nature, providence, destiny or God).     This workshop deals with the genesis, the development and the nature of Logos, from Pre-Socratic philosophy to the present. We will examine the concept of Logos in Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Philo, Plotinus, the Church Fathers and Byzantine philosophers. We will also consider the meaning of Logos in contemporary culture.

The Tarot: A Living Oracle
Ellen Goldberg, M.A.

Although the epoch of the temples and shrines of the Oracles is now past, the Tarot remains as a living oracle based in the Western Esoteric Tradition. It is a compendium of knowledge into which the streams of kaballah, alchemy and hermetic philosophy have flowed. It is filled with archetypal symbols that stimulate the deeper levels of the subconscious mind. In our time, the temple of the Oracle lies in our hearts. In this workshop we will learn how to pose questions to the oracle, and how to let ourselves become receptive to its answer.

The Orphic Hymns
Theologos Simeoforos
 
 This workshop examines the Orphic hymns in relation to their use in the Mysteries. We will also explore the esoteric meanings within the language of the hymns and the ways in which these evocations of the gods were expressed. This will be connected to the deeper symbolism inherent in the Greek language that is apparent in alphanumeric symbolism and in the significance of epithets and root-words in these ancient paeans.


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