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Giving Up The Ghost : A Morbid Conference on Death & the Occult

“Behold this ruin! 'Twas a skull Once of ethereal spirit full! This narrow cell was Life's retreat; This place was Thought's mysterious seat! What beauteous pictures fill'd that spot, What dreams of pleasure, long forgot! Nor Love, nor Joy, nor Hope, nor Fear, Has left one trace, one record here.”

―Anna Jane Vardill

Join us for a full day of discussions & workshops on death, dying, & the occult. Ticket price includes all workshops, complimentary beverages, and feasting at 7pm.

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"UnveilingThe Funeral" with Angela Eglezos

Angela Eglezos and Nicole Esposito are licensed funeral directors representing Dignity Memorial Funeral Providers who specialize in preplanning funeral arrangments. They will be doing a short lecture on the benefits of prearranging your final wishes, how to ensure they will be fullfilled, and conquering the stigma of death. Come bring all your funeral related questions and let them help demystify the funeral trade.

"The Catholic Death Cult" with Aerrin Kolfage

They feasted in graveyards, made altars of corpses, worshipped before sarcophagi, drank blood, and consumed human flesh: they were early Christians. The pagans of Late Antiquity thought the Christian mystery cult, known now as Catholicism, was a coven of necromancers, cannibals, and sorcerers and they weren’t entirely wrong. Catholicism distinguished itself from among other European and Mediterranean spiritual traditions by its fondness of not just death and the dead, but all the artifacts of death that were otherwise often regarded as unclean, whether it was corpses, tombs, funeral goods, or weapons of execution. In this class we will discuss the late Antique and frequently necromantic roots of the greater Catholic Death Cult and its many permutations including the Cult of Relics, the Cult of the Souls of Purgatory, and the Cult of Saints and their use to the modern witch.

"Witchcraft 101 : The Dead" with Dakota Hendrix

Join Dakota Hendrix for a nighttime run with the haunts, haints and hags. Learn the difference amongst the ghosts, spirits and spectres you'll encounter in this lifer and the next. Together, we'll explore mediumship, the psychic senses, seances, possessions, working in the graveyard and the veneration of the ancestors.

"Practical Necromancy: A Brief History and General Discouragement" with Cooper Wilhelm

A talk on historic instances and techniques for raising and speaking to the dead, from biblical descriptions, to medieval European methods, to necromancy in modern America.

"Blood of the Covenant" with Rowan Lanning

Although not quite as common in this day and age, people of all religions and nations remember and revere their ancestors. It’s seen as way to keep the past close to us so we do not forget the wisdom of the ancients or break our lineage with them, but there are many questions surrounding ancestor worship. Are our ancestors like gods, or do you give offerings to your deceased mother so that she doesn’t get upset when you don’t call on her for a few years? Is it a way to feel connected to those who came before us, a way of perpetuating harmful social hierarchies, or simply a way of making reparations with the past? Most important of all - what does ancestor worship look like when you don’t know who your ancestors are? My talk will be centered around the norms and ideas we hold surrounding family and ancestry; of the beloved dead, the mighty dead, and the distinction held therein, as well as the senses of alienation, isolation, and obligation that come with desiring ancestral knowledge, and how trauma and oppressive norms have been generationally passed (or forgotten) between generations. You (like me) have billions upon billions of ancestors and you will never be able to know the concrete facts about the lives of 99.99% of them because they predate history itself. How personal we choose to get with that 0.01% who can be known to us is up to the practitioner themselves.

Muerte en Aztlán by Vanessa Quilantan (@pronailprincesa)

While mainstream Western culture tends toward a somber and fearful approach to the concept of death, it's historically shown to be a beautifully complex and highly celebrated aspect of Xicanx/Mexican culture. We're going to start with Mexican funeral traditions, but then we're getting down and dirty into Dia de los Muertos, La Calavera Catrina, Santisma Muerte, post-colonial syncretism of Latinx religious systems, ancestral veneration, and death's role in Santeria and Xicanisma.

More speakers TBA

$25 entry

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SPEAKERS

AERRIN KOLFAGE is a folkloric witch who puts a thoroughly modern twist on Old World peasant practices and American folk traditions. She uses practical magic, spiritual counseling, divination and works with the saints to effect major transformation and address everyday problems. Aerinn has been featured in Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Black Book Magazine.

DAKOTA HENDRIX is one of Brooklyn’s premier witches, diviners and spiritual counselors. They are a reader, advisor and educator at Catland & the founder of Black Hand Conjure. Dakota has been featured on Italian Vogue, Huffington Post, VICE, Broadly, Bitch Media and MTV.

COOPER WILHELM is a writer and researcher based in NYC. CooperWilhelm.com

ROWAN LANNING is a hereditary animist witch who moved to New York from the Pacific Northwest a little over two years ago. A musician, herbalist, student, activist, and scientist among other titles, Rowan has been claimed by magic since she came into this world and has had a tumultuous and interesting experience grappling with her own sense of identity and family, blood and chosen alike. She currently works as a research assistant studying sustainable and equitable water management, as well as at a yoga studio in Manhattan. Rowan spends whatever slivers of free time she has satisfying her cravings for knowledge, experience, and magic - all preferably close to a body of water.

VANESSA QUILANTAN is an interdisciplinary thinker, independent scholar, community organizer, writer, nail technician, Bruja, abolitionist, Tejana Xicana smokin mad marijuana. Follow her on IG/Twitter @pronailprincesa.

Earlier Event: July 15
SPIRIT SEANCE - with Paul Beaudet
Later Event: July 28
Mastering Palmistry : Level 1