Schedule of Main Events
and Workshops 2019
Wednesday August 7th
7:00pm - Welcome Dinner at Hawthorne Hotel
Thursday August 8th
Pagan Conceptions of the Self
The pagan commitment to multiple sources of reality (i.e. multiple divinities) and thus multiple truths about the cosmos has important implications for what it means to be a self. This lecture will consider ancient sources that point to a very different idea of the self than the one we have inherited largely from monotheistic sources. Specifically it will investigate the idea of a multiple and ever-changing self that overlaps and interweaves with the gods and the natural world.
With J.W. Dotson M.D.
Lemon, once rare and treasured in ancient Rome for its healing powers, is now a commonplace supermarket commodity. But it retains its powers for luck, love and the rapid clearing of negativity. Citrus fruits were seen as powerful panaceas for both physical and spiritual afflictions and they were distilled by themselves and in combination with other citrus, herbs and spices into early colognes, such as Carmelite Water and Aqua Mirabilis. And these colognes became the basis for contemporary spiritual products like Florida Water, 4711 cologne, and Van Van. We will examine both citrus fruits and other lemon-scented herbs such as Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, and Lemongrass which share magical properties.
With Jennifer Lapierre
This lecture covers the basics, including a brief overview of Tarot's origins, picking the right deck, the importance of meditating before a reading, Major and Minor Arcana cards, what the different suits symbolize, using the Celtic Cross spread, and the pros and cons of reading yourself versus others. Participants are welcome to bring a deck if they own one.
Eclipse Oratorio: Bad Seeds
Nate Speare & Mythopoetic Astrology
"Eclipse Oratorio: Bad Seeds" is an astrological forecast & interpretation of the 2019 solar and lunar eclipses, and their unifying themes, in a performative form inspired by Homeric epics, channeling, overtone singing and extended voice. The performer, Nate Speare, will interpret the 2019 eclipse cycle as connected to themes of orphans, child wounds, secrets, greed, tyranny, and potential for speaking to our inner child demons and nursing our wounds in a way that transforms these qualities. The performance will include direct audience interaction and will juxtapose literarily extrapolated astrological interpretation with onomatopoetic vocal composition.
H. P. Lovecraft: Fact vs Mythos in the occult world
With Mani C. Price
This lecture will discuss the horror writer Lovecraft and his influence on the occult world since his death (and even just before). Was he a closet occultist? Why is this myth about him so prevalent even today? We will also discuss the influence of New England and the Salem Witch Trials upon the work of this horror icon.
The Morrígan: Meeting The Many Faces of The Great Phantom Queen
With Julia Penelope and Gwen Walsh
In this class we will delve into the many aspects of The Morrígan, the Celtic goddess of war and peace, death and rebirth, sovereignty and sorcery. Gwen and Julia, two devotees of The Morrígan, will provide an overview of The Great Queen’s many faces and names, her presence throughout Celtic history, and personal experiences and practices with the goddess. We will close with a guided meditation to meet The Morrígan in the aspect which she may call to the individual.
Salem Witch Power Immersion-
With Nick Dickinson
Salem is the capital city of The Witch archetype. The deep psychological associations with witchcraft create an energetic vortex that we will tap into using custom crafted ritual, meditation and group chant. Immerse yourself in the power of The Witch and create a lasting connection to the nearly limitless energy of her mandala. In this secular collaborative ritual we will:
- explore the most significant symbols of the witch and establish our connection to them
- invoke and radiate the power of The Witch through guided meditation and chant
- establish ourselves as beacons of witch power in our own unique expressions
no previous experience necessary and you do not have to identify as a witch to participate
This is a Foundational Level Meditation & Ritual and will last approx. 90 Minutes.
A Light in the Dark: An Introduction to Candle Magic-
With Matthew Venus
The burning of candles is a common form of spell work found both within the folk magical systems of Hoodoo and Conjure, and in practices of modern witchcraft an paganism. In this workshop we will discuss the history of candle magic and the ways it is both effectively and successfully employed. We will cover types of candles, creative techniques for preparation, altar arrangements, and more. All done in a way which empowers the student to begin this work on their own, or for the seasoned student, to find new inspiration to take their candle magic in new directions. Each student will get to prepare and bless a candle to take home with them.
The Night Queens
With J.W. Dotson M.D.
Pale and poisonous, filling the night with their narcotic vapors, the deadly flowers of the Nightshade family call forth the lunar powers of madness and intoxication. With respect and devotion, these flowers reveal themselves as tutelary spirits of bewitchment, domination and mediumship. We will discuss Datura, Brugmansia, Nicotiana, Ratrani flower, as well as the nonpoisonous Jasminum sambac, and the Orchid Cactus.
Solo Sex Magic, Sacred Pleasure and Orgasmic Manifestation
With Gwen Walsh
Sexual energy is creative energy, and holds an infinite amount of power and potential. Sex educator and witch Gwen Walsh will guide participants on the introductory practices of solo sex magic, sacred pleasure and orgasmic manifestation. From shadow work to amplifying and achieving one’s goals, explore the toys, tools, and techniques of your own sexual power.
The Demonization of Women in History and the Rise of Modern Feminism
With Jacqui Allouise-Roberge
Jacqui will begin this lecture session with a group meditation and brief ritual to Lilith, to draw in the energies of autonomy, agency and rebellion. During this lecture we will review several strong, female figures in history, and how patriarchal society has distorted their stories in centuries long effort to oppress women. From Lilith to Mary Magdalene, Joan of Arc to the suffragette movement, we will explore the courage and strength of women in history who have laid the foundation for the modern feminist movement.
Transatlantic Cunning: English Magic in the American Colonies
With Dr. Alexander Cummins
From astrology to necromancy and back again, the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British colonies seemed awash with sorcery. This is a talk about the ideas of magic which early modern English colonists brought with them to the Americas: from their preconceptions about Native ritual and "heathenry", to almanacs of star-lore and prognostication, and from common forms of folk magic and divination to high-brow treatises on alchemy and handbooks based on medieval spirit conjuration. This talk is presented by the historian and diviner Dr Alexander Cummins, himself an English magician now living in these United States. Dr Cummins will lead us on an exploration of what early American magicians did and how they went about doing it. Along the way, we will learn about how shadowy colonialist fears were projected onto indigenous peoples and their cultures, as well as much of the necessary background and context of "everyday practical magic" and arch occult philosophy alike.
TBA Spoken Word Poetry and Open Mic Event
Film Screening and Panel Discussion at Cinema Salem
This film, originally released in 1922, stands as the first ever film to present an exploration of witchcraft. Created in a pseudo-documentary/horror style, the film was controversial for its time due both its subject matter, and the variety of both strikingly beautiful and artfully disturbing vignettes it presents to examine the role of the Witch and occultism throughout history.
Following the film we will have a brief intermission immediately followed with a panel discussion moderated by Matthew Venus of Spiritus Arcanum. Our panel will discuss the and dissect the factual folklore from the more fantastical fallacies presented in the film, and further, discuss the historical character of the Witch in film and media. Panelists will include Dr. Al Cumins and Jesse Hathaway of the Radio Free Golgotha Podcast and Jacqui Allouise-Roberge, owner of The Cauldron Black in Salem, MA.
$5 from every ticket sold will be donated to The Witchcraft & Human Rights Network Organization, an organization which works throughout the world to educate and combat against human rights violations occurring as a result of witchcraft accusations, and we will also be holding a raffle during the event to raise further funds for this most worthy cause. This event is 18+ *This event is also included with the purchase of our VIP Pass
Friday August 9th
An Introduction to Jewish Magic - the Magical Scriptures, Amulets & Teachings of the Children of Israel
With Brother Moses
Since Biblical Times, the Children of Israel have had a rich and powerful tradition of spiritual workings. Although heavily suppressed among kabbalistic scholars by the rabbinical authorities in the 1400s, these teachings and practices remained vital in the folk life of the Jewish people. The concepts and approaches have become fundamental to magical practices around the globe. This class will give an overview of Jewish magical thinking, concepts and approaches, and provide examples of workings with Psalms, scriptures, written amulets and more.
Astrology Chart Reading 101
With Jennifer Lapierre
This lecture is intended for those with zero experience in reading astrological charts. I will use the natal charts of lecture participants and cover planets, zodiac signs, and houses. By lecture's end, those crazy glyphs and squiggles will no longer be a foreign language! *Participants should ideally email their birth data beforehand to
Astro-Dramas: Planetary Rhetoric in Action
With Nate Speare & Mythopoetic Astrology
"Astro-Dramas: Planetary Rhetoric in Action" is a workshop of exercises designed to activate the archetypes of astrology by exploring our everyday life situations with a poetic basis of mind. Participants will immerse themselves in extended range vocal work, uncovering how the gods and goddesses of astrological lore live between boundaries of pitch, tone and timbre (and their schisms). Through movement and the contribution of a 'forecast' text (1-2 paragraphs that they either write themselves or gather from another source), prophetic speeches are dramatized in space. Participants will tune their eyes and ears toward animating the latent archetypes in the forecast and search for the missing archetypes that demand inclusion. Participants will also write dialogues between astrological archetypes based on their life situations exploring ways to bring out the voices of the planets. Part therapeutic, part performative, astro-drama work draws inspiration from Roy Hart Theatre voice work, PanTheatre, Jodorowsky's psychomagic, archetypal psychology in the lineage of James Hillman, and the Neoplatonic lineage of Marsilio Ficino's astrological music therapy.
You put what in there?! The historical and practical use of witch bottles
With Julia Penelope
Witch bottles are one of the most historically documented countermagick devices found in Europe and places colonized by Europeans. Traditionally they were usually filled with sharp metal objects, hair/nails, various forms of liquid (often urine) and often hidden within walls or buried under doorsteps in an effort attract and trap psychic attacks directed at their makers. In modern times, witch bottles are used for many different kinds of spells but are still often chosen as the first line of defense when protecting property or personhood. This workshop will provide a historical and archaeological overview of witch bottles (including the showcasing of a witch bottle recovered in an excavation from the Rebecca Nurse Homestead-the oldest woman murdered during the Salem Witch Trials). We will also go over the modern use of witch bottles and then everyone will get the chance to make their own witch bottle- supplies will be provided by me with liquid to be added later
Talismanic Creation in the Solomonic Tradition
With Mani C. Price
In this workshop we will cover a brief and condensed summary on the history of magical talismans in the Solomonic Tradition including an examination of talismans from the Picatrix, the Lesser and Greater Keys of Solomon,and the Book of Oberon. Students will participate in creating their own personal talisman to take home and use. Ritual consecration will be covered and students will have a chance to perform it during the class.
The Role of Magic in a Pagan Cosmos
How does magic fit into the structure of reality and what makes it possible? Different metaphysical and theological views will have different answers to this question. This lecture will explain the unique role and nature of magic within a pagan/polytheistic understanding of the cosmos. Specific topics touched upon will include the relation of magic to religion within a pagan context and the practical implications that a pagan metaphysics has for the practice of magic. Particular focus, because of the availability of primary sources, will be given to the Hellenistic period and both Classical and Archaic Greek culture. The Greek model can then be used to help understand the nature of magic in other pagan cultures.
Double Trouble Geomancy Power Hour
With Dr. Alexander Cummins & Sam Block (polyphanes)
Come on down for a two-hour introductory crash course in the wonderful divinatory art of geomancy! A thousand-year-old system of divination that started in the sands of old Arabia and the Sahara, this system of divination left a lasting impact on Western occulture and spiritual practices for hundreds of years. Undergoing a modern renaissance of its own, join Mr. Block and Dr. Cummins to learn about this system and to get answers to all your questions about the art for divination, magic, and all other spiritual concerns you might have!
With Jesse Hathaway Diaz
Devils and Whores, Murderers and Thieves, Clerics and Sorcerers. These are the 'Good People' of Quimbanda, the spirits of earth and fire that stir lust and desire, grant luck and vengeance, and protect those who serve them. Statues and iron tridents covered in palm oil and blood, the air thick with tobacco and the smell of cachaça and gunpowder in the air- what *is* Quimbanda?
Quimbanda is a spiritual system born in and because of Brazil itself: a child of West African magic and world-view mixed with Indigenous plant and spirit lore and some glossings of European witchcraft and sorcery. Originally a possession cult focusing on spirit contact and pragmatic workings, it has become a complex system incorporated into Umbanda and some lineages of Candomble, as well as surviving as its own practice. It has gained increasing popularity in the past few years due to material now available in English, but initiates are few and far between here in the States.
Drawing from his knowledge and experience over the last decade as a Tata Quimbanda, Jesse Hathaway Diaz will explore the worldview and spirits of Quimbanda, going into the various Exus and Pomba Giras that find their home here at the crossroads of Fire. We will discuss its history and influences, and the nature and qualities of the Seven Kingdoms and how to approach the spirits there. We will discuss the importance of possession and divination, and showcase a few workings of traditional Quimbanda, and look at the day to day of the terreiro (temple) and as well as the tools, technologies, and initiatic rituals of this rich magical system.
The Fundamentals of Conjuration - Working with Spirits
With Brother Moses
Working with spiritual allies and assistants is one of the most daunting and rewarding dimensions of spiritual practice. In this class, we'll learn the metaphysics of spirit, the theories, best practices, and essential tools for interacting with spirit, and key insights to ensuring safe and beneficial working relationships with spirits.
Witches Flying Ointments
With Kris Gurky
The iconic images of witches flying on brooms is rich in lore and fear mongering propaganda, as it was said witches used flying ointments in order to transport themselves to do their bidding with the devil.
In this workshop, we will discuss the history of Witches' Flying Ointments, learn the magickal & healing properties of herbs used in witchcraft, ointments, and the lore associated with them. Everyone will craft a Witches' Ointment to bring home.*Due to the nature of discussion and plant matter we will be using, this is an 18+ workshop. $25 materials fee paid directly to instructor. Limited to 15 attendees
Power Mapping For Magical Activism
With Sarah Lyons
Politics is about power, and the paths power takes through all aspects of our lives. Being a political actor means finding ways to channel and control aspects of that power. (Not) surprisingly, this is also what a lot of magic is about, but how can we put a name to power which is so all encompassing, let alone find ways to master it? Power mapping is a tool activists use to chart the political pathways of power, and find ways to control or redirect that power. Learn how to use this technique for activism, your own magical practice, or ideally, a combination of the two.
Geomantic Divination and Theurgy
With Sam Block (polyphanes)
The divinatory art of geomancy is old, but for most of its history in the Western occult world, its practice was limited almost exclusively to divination—but there's no reason why that should always be the case. In this lecture, geomancer extraordinaire Sam Block will talk not only about the divinatory aspect of geomancy for understanding the workings of the world but also how one might use the art of geomancy and its sixteen geomantic figures as foundations for building a spiritual practice of enlightenment of the soul and elevation of the spirit through prayers, rituals, and meditation.
The Feast of Diana: Main Ritual of the Salem Summer Symposium (Open to the Public)
at the historic Witch House
Antilux will be a truly unique evening of immersive ritual performance held at the historic Witch House. This presentation will center around themes of persecution, marginalization and liberation in the face of oppression.
$5 from every ticket purchased will be donated to The Witchcraft & Human Rights Network Organization, an organization which works throughout the world to educate and combat against human rights violations occurring as a result of witchcraft accusations. This event is 18+
Saturday August 10th
Introduction to Herbalism: Teas, Extracts, Oils and Salves
With Sheilagh Cruickshank
Curious about herbalism but not sure where to begin? Join local herbalist Sheilagh Cruickshank on a condensed journey covering how and where to find herbs, standard herbal remedies and how to prepare them.
Playing Cards in Hoodoo, Rootwork, and Conjure
With Professor Charles Porterfield
Playing cards have a rich and mysterious history, and generations of rootworkers and hoodoo practitioners have carried them to help see the future and change the present. Professor Porterfield will be teaching the ins and outs of using playing cards for spells and charms, plus authentic old-time divination methods. Join in on this fascinating and humorous class taken from his notable book "A Deck of Spells: Hoodoo Playing Card Magic in Rootwork and Conjure." Don’t miss this chance as Professor Porterfield lays his cards on the table and guides you in how to use common playing cards in your own magical work.
CBT for Occult Practitioners (Intermediate)
With Aria Michaels Paradise
The power of our magick is predicated on awareness and intention. By developing these fundamentals we expand our consciousness, purify our internal landscapes, and ultimately enhance our craft. As witches and magicians we may feel some reservation to approaching the often patriarchal lens of therapy. However, some of the tools of contemporary counseling can be incredibly beneficial to our magickal practice. In this class, we will be discussing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and how we can incorporate this lens into our daily practices. Through implementation of CBT tenets, we can also improve our ability to employ clear channel communication, increasing our effectiveness as channels and mediums.
Introduction to Geomantic Magic
With Dr. Alexander Cummins
Considered a “sister” to astrology, the system of divination known as geomancy was an incredibly popular and well-regarded form of divination in Renaissance Europe. It was not simply a divination system however. The talismanic use of geomantic figures - 'betwixt images and characters' - was considered by many Renaissance magicians to bridge a divide between divination and operative sorcery: offering a range of elemental, planetary and zodiacal magical techniques.
These and other examinations of how early modern geomancer magicians worked their Arts begins to demonstrate the ceremony, invocation, spell-craft, evocation, spirit-work, and theurgy underlying this once-popular art of divination. Much more than a party-trick of simple fortune-telling, geomancy apprehends, interrelates and articulates grounded lived realities fundamentally dependent upon occult cosmological meaning and the conscious sorcerous manipulations of ritual magic. This class will guide those new to geomancy and astrological magic through the options geomantic magic presents - from the sorceries emergent from sortilege, the image magic of characters and letters, talismanic spell-craft, and simple but potent folk magics of candle, bath, prayer, and charm, as well as techniques for working a variety of tutelary elemental, planetary, and necromantic spirits of geomancy.
Herbal Infusions for Mind, Body, Soul
With Master Red Fox
In this hands on workshop we will explore the practice and ritual nature of infusing herbs for drink, food, and skincare. Connecting to the energies of plants & using that intention to manifest on a daily basis. Together we will also prepare herbal infusions, decoctions, and teas which participants will be welcome to sample.
Missed Call from Your Local Spirits
With Elizabeth Autumnalis
For centuries the witch has been equated with the idea of low magic. Folk practices utilizing the land and spirits who reside within it. Nowadays people have become disconnected from the land around them, including witches. We tend to reach out to the pantheons of old rather than recognizing the spirits that are all around us.
Come sit with Elizabeth as she pulls from her experiences growing up with the spirits of Salem and learn to develop your own unique relationship with your personal spirits of place.
Magic for the Resistance
With Michael Hughes
This experiential workshop looks at the fascinating history of magical resistance, from historical accounts of European witchcraft, African American Vodou and Conjure in resistance to slavers, witches and occultists vs Nazis, through the turbulent, magic-drenched 60s and to the present renaissance of magic resistance in the era of Trumpism (with the inside story of the viral Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him). We’ll view some powerful, seldom-seen images, explore hidden stories and legends, and end with a ritual from Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change!
Herbal Folklore: Uncovering the Histories and Mysteries of Our Local Plants
With Sheilagh Cruickshank
Join Sheilagh to discover how our ancestors used plants for cursing, curing, protection and seeing fairies! Hear tales of witches and demons, Gods and Goddesses, ancient love charms, and the forgotten secrets within your local garden herbs and roadside weeds.
The Crossroads: Center of the World
With Professor Charles Porterfield
Join us as Professor Porterfield takes us out to a place that belongs to no one, outside the borders of the village, town, and city to the center of the world. Professor Porterfield will be teaching about the history, traditions, and methods of working with the Crossroads in hoodoo, rootwork, and conjure. Learn about sending work out to the four corners of the world, bringing items to the center of the world, the often whispered about act of meeting the “Devil” and who and what he is, as well as a variety of traditional works and tricks done at the place the roads meet. Come on down as the Professor guides us outside the boundaries and into a place that is not a place where all things are possible.
Why The Left Sucks at Magic (And How it Can Get Better)
With Sarah Lyons
Republicans are highly adept at magic, and Donald Trump is a magician. Am I blowing your mind yet? Wake up and strap in, steeple, as we look at the ways the political is inherently magical, and why people on the broad "left" can't seem to grasp this, at their own peril. From Fox News, to Trump's relationship to The Positive Thinking movement, to Exon Mobil and climate change, we'll look at the ways those in power consciously construct our reality, and how those on the left can win the mind war.
at Hawthorne Hotel
The Mercato Delle Streghe is a uniquely curated Witches Market held in the heart of historic Salem Massachusetts. Here you will find a collection of vendors offering both magical and lifestyle wares for those with discerning tastes of a darker palette. Organized and curated by Spiritus Arcanum, this market will have something for everyone. Jewelry, Apparel, Magical Tools, Artwork, and Oddities will all be available for perusal and purchase.The market will be held on Saturday 8/10 in the legendary Hawthorne Hotel at the same time as the Symposium's Black Cat Cabaret costume party.
*There is no charge for this event, which is open to the public, but we will be asking attendees to make a donation towards The Witchcraft and Human Rights Network during the event. Attendees with VIP or General Admission badges will be given prefferred admittance to the market as we anticipate a large crowd attending.
7pm-12am The Black Cat Cabaret: a 1920s themed Occult Costume Party at the Hawthorne Hotel
Join us at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel as we celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of The Cauldron Black and the Height of The Salem Summer Symposium with The Black Cat Cabaret a 1920s Occult Themed Costume Party. Come dressed in your best interpretation of magical style with a 20s twist and compete for a cash prize for Best Costume. The evening's events will also include performances from Devilish Drag Queens, Tantalizing Belly Dancing, and Bawdy Burlesque Performances!!! We'll also be having a Community Ritual, Raffles and Door Prizes, Delicious Food, Themed Cocktails, and several surprises as well!
Sunday August 10th
12:00pm Occult Speakeasy Pub Crawl
Additional Symposium Events
These events take place between Aug 3rd-6th and are auxiliary to the Salem Summer Symposium and are not a part of registration packages.
Some events are free of charge, others will be ticketed separately through The Cauldron Black.
Revisit this space for updated info on the most current offerings.
Sat. August 3rd -All Day Trunk Show at The Cauldron Black
-free to the public-