Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Esoteric Book Conference 2013

Late yesterday evening I got back from the 2013 Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle. This was my first time attending the event and I enjoyed it a lot. Last spring I submitted my "Ministering Angels" presentation to the conference, but it was not accepted. There are limited slots for presentations because the conference is two days with only a single programming track, and they also give precedence to authors holding book releases at the conference. On the other hand, the advantage there is that unlike the OTO conventions I also have attended I was never stuck choosing between two presentations that I wanted to see - which was nice.

The presentations were in general quite well done. The most relevant one to what I've currently been working on in my own practice was on consciousness and astrological timing, which covered in detail the differences between natural and conventional time in the context of vedic astrology. From that talk alone I picked up a method for working with planetary hours that I had never seen before. Also, my OTO brother David Shoemaker launched his new book Living Thelema with a concise presentation on the magical system of A.'.A.'. and Thelema in general. The entire presentation schedule can be found here.

While I could tell that one or two of the presenters had limited public speaking experience, the material of the talks was nonetheless excellent. I found it kind of amusing that the most polished presentation turned out to be the one I personally found the silliest, on Michael Bertiaux's "Zothyrian" system. Personally I've never gotten the appeal of Bertiaux's work - it strikes me as tailored to twenty-somethings who think running around in gothy clothes makes them sorcerers and that anything scary and hard to understand is by definition deep rather than incoherent. Still, I will say that it was the best explanation I've heard of that particular system.

At any rate, in addition to the presentations the conference had plenty of breaks for perusing the assorted vendors, mostly book dealers and smaller "talismanic" publishers - though Inner Traditions, a much larger outfit, also had a big display. Red Wheel Weiser was on the list of vendors but as far as I can tell didn't show, and Llewellyn was completely absent. Unfortunately for me so was Pendraig, but I'm hoping that I might be able to convince them to attend next year. The selection of books was quite good, and I came across a number of very nice limited edition books that I had never heard of previously.

The conference also included an art fair with a variety of original pieces, many with alchemical themes. Esoteric art occupies kind of an odd space in the mainstream art world, so it was nice to see the conference provide a dedicated venue for it with a highly engaged pre-selected audience. I don't know how many pieces wound up selling, but I know that if I were an esoteric artist a venue like the conference would be just the place to display my work. In addition to the original pieces beautiful prints of other works with similar themes were also available.

I decided to attend in the first place to promote my upcoming Mastering the Great Table, and found quite a bit of interest in Enochian magick among the attendees. Saturday evening the conference held a performance at which I hoped I would be able to do a lot of networking, but the way that the venue was set up made doing so impractical. While I found this disappointing, fortunately the closing reception Sunday evening totally made up for it and I was able to make some good connections.

All in all I had a great experience attending, and hope to be able to make it back there next year. If you have an interest in esoteric books as a collector, magical practitioner, or both I highly recommend it.

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2 comments:

Bornbazie Flame said...

Hello :)


I am the author of a book that is well overdue. Mode Of living is compiled ancient and contemporary knowledge pieced together for the first time to complete a manual for illumination. The aim for the book is to rewrite failing cultural habits that are destroying the world by prioritising a superficial materialistic existence.

Mode Of Living - the love-based lifestyle uses academic theory to explain New Age claims such as the aura and chakra, while bridging religion and science. It is the first manual for taking care of the material and immaterial aspects of a human being. Mode Of Living supplies the knowledge to expand conscious awareness, enabling an individual to live a more satisfying life. The book is aimed at explaining what a person actually is, and their connection to the universe.

The endless number of diet plans on the market is good evidence that they are all missing something. Conventional living does not teach how we are part of a whole system. By concentrating on sustaining the body you neglect the immaterial body. But what is the immaterial body?

Please visit www.modeofliving.com for more detail.

Would you like to have this book sold on your site, or review it?
bornbazie@modeofliving.com

Kind regards and all the best,

Bornbazie

Scott Stenwick said...

If you would like to send me a copy of your book, I would be willing to review it, though you should keep in mind that it can sometimes take me awhile to get around to it.

I don't sell any books directly from this site, even my own, but if I do review your book I will put a short description and link to Amazon or wherever you would like on the Books and Media page.