This years Crucible was better than ever. Better yet, we had a small meeting of the NJ based members of the Blog Community.
Going from left to right you have Deb from Charmed I'm Sure. Jow from A Mages Blog, me from right here at Strategic Sorcery, and Kenaz Filan from his excellent eponymous titled blog.
For those that do not know Crucible is a convention of mages and mystics, and witches etc usually held in October. It is put on by the Omnimancers, If you are into non-ritual based magic that tries to take as scientific an approach as possible and you do not know Arthur and the Omnimancers, than you should definitely check them out.
Not only are the Omni's unique, but they tend to seek out unique topics for the festival, stuff that you just do not hear about elsewhere. In the past there have been workshops on Uncle Chuckies Psionic Devices, Black Magic, Astral Biology, etc.
This year I was on both Panels: Pop Magic along with Kenaz, Rich, and Heather Freeman discussed the ways in which magic, paganism and pop culture overlap and effect one another for good and for ill. Magical Screw Ups and Oh Shit Moments which also featured Andrei Freeman, Deb, Alex, and Arthur. If you dont know who these folks are , check out the Line up page.
Unfortunately being on the panels means that I missed a class in Psionic constructs and a workshop on Wyrd.
After the panels I was again torn: do I see Kenaz on Vodou or Jow on Alchemy? I planned to hop back and forth but when Kenaz and Kathy started going on Vodou Money Magic, I just couldn't pull myself away. Thankfully I will be able to catch up on it all on DVD.
After a very nice dinner, where the photo above was shot, I listend to Cliff Low - the proprietor of a site that has been a favorite from almost the very first day I got on-line Necronomi.com. Cliff spoke about his work with the Grimoire "Hermes Trismegistus on the Fifteen Fixed Stars" which is focused on making special rings that channel the powers of each of the stars. He spoke in detail about the Persian Roots of the text, the astrological theory behind it, as well as the current research being done by himself and his mentors Christopher Warnock and John Michael Greer. Better yet, he brought a large selection of rings that he made using the text and shared some stories from his own life that illustrate the powers he is talking about. This lecture was of particular interest to me as I had a vision of four of the symbols of the fixed stars and was told to work them into a spirit trap design. They in turn made their way onto the covers of both my books as well as the logo from this blog.
After that I attended Arthurs talk "Through the Magical Wormhole", which was on the Omnimancy view of realms and dimensions and how they get used in magic. While most magicians access various astral realms, Arthur is one of the few people besides myself that work magic that exploits extra dimensions of space, time, and probability in his magical system. His powerpoint video helped clearly illustrate a difficult subject and also present the Omni view of topics like the role of deities which differ from most magical trads. It was a great follow up to last years Astral Biology lecture and I look forward to the next in the series.
After that came my spiel on the 10 Principals of Strategic Sorcery. Readers here already know the 9 and I will be writing about the 10th one soon enough. Because I was speaking at the same time, I missed Simon Zelots lecture on "The Magic of the Angelic Wars" which present magic from The Malakim Society. I know absolutely nothing about them and I look forward to seeing that one on DVD as well as the others I missed.