Scotland is one of the most esoterically rich countries on earth. The rock of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is some of the oldest anywhere, and the island is dotted with enigmatic megalithic sites, most famously Callanish, that echo an ancient culture. Lewis is also a place inhabited by Picts, Scots and Vikings, where Gaelic is still spoken. This year’s Esoteric Quest, the thirteenth in a series stretching back to 1995 on Western spiritual traditions, will continue our theme from our 2016 Quest in Iceland of exploring the mysteries of the North. This time we will encounter the meeting of Celtic and Norse cultures, experience the mystical beauty of these islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, and go deeply into Scotland’s more recent esoteric traditions, from alchemy to Freemasonry. Our home base will be Lews Castle, a 19th century estate recently restored to perfect condition.

There will be a Pre-Conference day visiting the megalithic sites on Lewis and Harris, and two Post-Conference journeys: one to the celebrated eco-village and spiritual community of Findhorn, followed by three days on the most sacred of all Scottish islands, Iona. The other will return to the expansive grandeur of the Westfjords of Iceland, a realm of cosmic ocean vistas, ever present rushing waterfalls, and immense, profound silence.

We invite you to join us on this Quest and participate in one of the most highly regarded series to be found anywhere on the planet on the half-forgotten spiritual history of the West.

Download our color brochure HERE and to receive our online newsletter, Quest News, please sign up.

For more information contact
Andrea Lomanto at +1 212 219 2527 ext. 101
or email

The New York Open Center

Click below to visit websites or see brochures from past Esoteric Quests:

2016: An Esoteric Quest for the Mysteries of the North of Iceland

Last year the Esoteric Quest took place on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the West of Iceland, a place long held sacred in Norse Mythology. Conference attendees joined leading scholars, writers, artists and adventurers as together we entered the great Mysteries of the North in one of the most magical realms on earth.

Click HERE to see website

2015: An Esoteric Quest in the South of France

Long known as a focal point for numerous spiritual streams, The Languedoc region of France was at the heart of the high medieval culture of both the Troubadours and the Gnostic Christian Cathars. The Bons Hommes, as the Cathars called themselves, created one of the most remarkable and enigmatic spiritual movements of the Middle Ages, the destruction of which was one of the great tragedies of European religious life. The Troubadours were the first to bring romantic love to the Western world in poetry and song of great elegance and charm that expressed a new merging of the erotic and the mystical. Click HERE to see website

2013: An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Arabic and Medieval Sicily

On this Quest as we followed the golden thread of wisdom,the half- forgotten spiritual history of the West,in our tenth international conference on the Western Esoteric tradition.

2012: An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria

This trip explored The Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity that thrived in Alexandria, Egypt. Our conference brought vividly to life the most influential center of culture and esoteric wisdom in antiquity, the authentic birthplace of the Western mind.
Click HERE to see website

2009: An Esoteric Quest for Inner America

The Open Center’s eighth Esoteric Quest addressed the life-enhancing spiritual impulses that emerged powerfully in America. We brought alive the worldviews of Native Americans, seventeenth century Alchemists, Freemasons and Founding Fathers, Transcendentalists, early Feminists, and Spiritualists. We also honored numerous twentieth century American writers and artists influenced by esotericism, and celebrated the contemporary, multicultural, spiritual explosion. Writers, scholars and performers joined in the beautiful Catskill Mountains at a special moment of rebirth of the American spirit.
Click HERE to see website

2008: An Esoteric Quest for the Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity: Spiritual Experience, Wisdom and Art in Ancient Greece

This Quest took place on the magical island of Samothrace, Greece, far off the beaten track in the northern Aegean Sea. For a thousand years, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace was one of the most famous mystery centers of the ancient world, rivaling Delphi in stature and fame. International scholars, writers and artists gathered for the seventh in the Open Center’s series of conferences on the Western Esoteric Tradition. The conference was followed by three optional journeys. One explored the Sufi world of Istanbul, the other journey traveled to Delphi, Eleusis, and other evocative mystery centers of mainland Greece. Lastly we traveled to Ephesus, Didyma, and Miletus, exploring oracles and sacred sites from early Christianity.
Click HERE to see website

2007: An Esoteric Quest for the Golden Age of Andalusia: Sufis, Kabbalists and Christian Philosophers in Medieval Spain

This conference took place in Granada, the evocative and beautiful city lying below the snowy Sierra Nevada that, alone on the Iberian Peninsula, remained under Muslim control until the fateful year of 1492. Outstanding faculty from Spain, France, Britain and the United States addressed such topics as: the Zohar, the Sufis of Andalusia, Arabic alchemy, Ibn ‘Arabi and Rumi, the knowledge system of Ramon Lull, the troubadours, and the place of Spain and Islam in the Grail stories. Evenings were filled with poetry, flamenco, and music that emerged from the blending of ‘Las Tres Culturas‘.
Click HERE to see website

2006: An Esoteric Quest in Central Europe, From Renaissance Bohemia to Goethe’s Weimar

This eight-day itinerant conference began in the Czech Republic in Kutna Hora and then proceeded to Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) in western Bohemia. It concluded in Weimar, Germany, and followed the Western Esoteric Tradition from fifteenth century Bohemia to its reemergence in Goethe’s artistic and scientific work.

2000: The Italian Renaissance and the Esoteric Traditions: Hermetic, Cabalistic and Neo-Platonic Philosophers & Their Influence Today

This five-day conference took place in Florence, Italy, and looked at the world of Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and the many other remarkable figures and esoteric impulses that characterized fifteenth century Florence.

1998: The Grail: Arthurian Mysteries and the Grail Quest

This conference brought alive the Celtic background of the Grail stories and explored the roots and meaning of the Arthurian legends. It was held in Lampeter, Wales.

1997: Prague, Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition

Held at the Zofin Palace on an island in the center of Prague, this conference coincided with the Festival of Rudolf II, King of Bohemia and Hungary, and Holy Roman Emperor in 1600, and investigated many aspects of the alchemical world of renaissance Bohemia.

1995: The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited: The Western Mystery Tradition in Bohemia. A Conference in Honor of Frances Yates

The first of the Open Center’s conferences on the Western Esoteric Tradition, this event brought together scholars, researchers and writers in the Southern Bohemian mecca of alchemists, Cesky Krumlov. It was named after Frances Yates’ pioneering work, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment.