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SOLD OUT Kenneth Grant Conference
Saturday 2 March @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm| £35
Kenneth Grant Conference
– Launching ‘Servants of the Star & the Snake’
– Starfire Publishing
This full day of talks on British occultist Kenneth Grant (1924-2011) is held in conjunction with the release of Starfire’s collection of essays, Servants of the Star & the Snake, bringing together aficionados of all things Typhonian. It run 11 am to 6pm.
Henrik Bogdan: Creative Imagination, Arcanization, and Obliqueness: Deciphering Kenneth Grant’s Magical Universe
Michael Staley: The Emergence of New Isis Lodge
Caroline Wise: The Throne of Isis: Nuit, Isis and the Nu-Isis Lodge
Chris Giudice: Drinking from Hecate’s Fountain: Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies and the fusion between literature and practical magic.
Manon Hedenborg White: Feminine Difference and the Other Woman: Babalon and the Scarlet Woman in the Typhonian Trilogies.
Robert Anderson Plimer: Kenneth Grant’s Amenti and the Origins of a Nightside Narrative
FULL DETAILED PROGRAMME
Title: Creative Imagination, Arcanization, and Obliqueness: Deciphering Kenneth Grant’s Magical Universe. In the Typhonian Trilogies, persons, locations, books, family history, memories, objects and mystical experiences encountered by Kenneth Grant in his teens, twenties and thirties form the main threads of an intricate web of correspondences that go beyond time, geography, fantasy, fiction and reality. This private magical universe is even more explicit in the Nightside Narratives with their striking combination of fact and fiction. To Grant, history is not something dead, sterile and linear, but on the contrary something alive and circular. In this paper I will set out to trace some of the main components of Grant’s private magical universe, in addition to discussing the function and import of the Grantean universe in the light of concepts such as Creative Imagination, Arcanization, and Obliqueness.
Biography: Henrik Bogdan is a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Gothenburg. He is the author and editor of numerous publications, including Servants of the Star & the Snake: Essays in Honour of Kenneth and Steffi Grant (London: Starfire Publishing, 2018) and Kenneth Grant: A Bibliography (London: Starfire Publishing, 2015).
Speaker: Michael Staley
Title: The Emergence of New Isis Lodge. In early 1955 Kenneth Grant launched New Isis Lodge, writing rituals, gradework, visualization exercises and instructional papers for the various Degrees, and later published the Manifesto of New Isis Lodge. At the centre of it was Nu-Isis, a compelling vision which was synthesised from Thelema, Advaita Vedanta, and Spare’s Zos-Kia Cultus, and which was subsequently developed throughout Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies. This talk examines the mystical and magical experiences out of which Grant fashioned his conception of Nu-Isis, and the structure of New Isis Lodge which he subsequently developed.
Biography: Michael Staley is the founder of Starfire Publishing. He knew Kenneth Grant for more than forty years, becoming his publisher in the mid 1990s, and across a number of years republished the Typhonian Trilogies in new editions. He lives in north-west London with his wife Caroline Wise.
Speaker: Caroline Wise
Title: The Throne of Isis: Nuit, Isis and the Nu-Isis Lodge. There has been much speculation and misunderstanding about the Nu-Isis Lodge and its activities over the decades. Caroline discusses the degree rituals, their structure and purpose. She will also lead the company in a visualisation exercise based on one of the rites.
Biography: In 1989, Caroline Wise initiated the republishing of Kenneth Grant’s work when at Skoob Esoterica, which led to the publication of Remembering Aleister Crowley, Hecate’s Fountain, and Outer Gateways, previously unpublished works by Grant. Until recently she was administrator for The Fellowship of Isis, probably the largest goddess network in the world, and has contributed several books about the goddesses, most recently SHE: Primal Meetings with the Dark Goddess, with Storm Constantine and Andrew Collins.
Speaker: Chris Giudice
Title: Drinking from Hecate’s Fountain: Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies and the fusion between literature and practical magic. This talk will aim at establishing the work of Kenneth Grant, one time secretary of the magus Aleister Crowley, as a prime example of fictional practise, within the contemporary occult milieu. A reclusive character in life and an under-researched figure of the occult revival of the second half of the twentieth century, the line between practical magic and the use of literary devises to induce the reader into a ‘derangement of the senses’ advocated a century earlier by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), is blurred and sometimes cancelled altogether. Through an analysis of his work, Hecate’s Fountain (1992) in particular, and through interviews with previous members and current high ranking members of the Typhonian Order, it will be my aim to highlight the author’s repeated recourse to fiction when dealing with themes of magical practice and initiation.
Biography: Having obtained a BA in Literae Humaniores from Oxford University and an MA in Western esotericism at Exeter University, Dr. Christian Giudice has defended his PhD thesis ‘Occultism and Traditionalism: Arturo Reghini and the Antimodern Reaction in early XX Century Italy’ at the University of Gothenburg. His interests lie in the intersection between occultism and modernity; the life and works of Aleister Crowley; occultism and film; fin de siecle and early 20th century magical communes. He has published reviews and articles on the most relevant journals in the field of Western esotericism.
Speaker: Manon Hedenborg White
Title: Feminine Difference and the Other Woman: Babalon and the Scarlet Woman in the Typhonian Trilogies. This talk will discuss notions of femininity in Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies, focusing on Grant’s interpretation of Babalon and the Scarlet Woman. Exploring how Grant articulates feminine difference in terms of sex, blood, and otherness, Hedenborg will analyse whether the symbol of Babalon in Grant’s work has the potential to indicate new ways of envisioning femininity.
Biography: Manon Hedenborg White holds a PhD in the History of Religions from Uppsala University. Her doctoral dissertation, The Eloquent Blood: The Goddess Babalon and Constructions of Feminninity in Western Esotericism, is currently under publication from Oxford University Press. Her postdoctoral research, funded by the Swedish Research Council, explores women’s roles in 20th century Thelema.
Speaker: Robert Anderson Plimer
Title: Kenneth Grant’s Amenti and the Origins of a Nightside Narrative. Kenneth Grant’s use of the term Amenti(a) is suited to that of an interstitial or liminal entry point linking Dayside consciousness and subsequent access in to the Duat. As such, Ament reflects the ‘western gateway’ (cf. ‘Mauve Zone’) into the Nightside (cf. dream-cells and tunnels of Set); and, as Grant notes throughout his Typhonian Trilogies and Novellas, this is where corporeal objects begin to dislimn. The Duat has 3 purposes, all of which Kenneth Grant was very well acquainted with; their origin can be foreshadowed in the Book of Gates and the older Stellar and Typhonian gnosis. Grant’s genius was as a master of parampara, weaving a ‘way’ throughout the various strands of both ancient and modern magical praxis.
Biography: Robert has lectured for 20 years in Ancient History, Archaeology, Ancient Languages, Philosophy and Religious Studies. He runs monthly seminars at the Courtyard on the Isle of Wight where he lectures on a variety of Occult subjects, including: Graeco–Egyptian Magick, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, and both ancient and modern Alchemical theoria et praxis. Published works include a Four Volume series on Hermetic Philosophy; his now sought after Decoding Alchemy; The Alchemical World of Edward Kelley – Theatrum Astronomiae Terrestris; The Philosopher’s Net – At the Still Point of the Turning World. Robert is at present working on a new magical interpretation of the hieroglyphs and iconography presented in the ‘Book of Gates’ (Egyptian Netherworld or Duat).