I'm hosting these three fabulous events at Observatory, so please come along:
Dawn’s Left Hand: The Art of Ithell Colquhoun and Mid-20th Century British Occulture
An illustrated lecture with Amy Hale
Date: Friday, October 5th
Presented by Phantasmaphile
Until recently, Ithell Colquhoun was a footnote in the history of the Surrealist movement, but her enormous body of art and writings show her to, in fact, be one of the most prolific and unusual occult thinkers of the twentieth century. Her dedication to the Hermetic arts brought Colquhoun into contact with some of the most important movements and key occult thinkers in Britain during her life, including Thelema and the OTO, Witchcraft, Masonry, Golden Dawn, alchemy, Martinism, and Druidry. This illustrated talk will show how the key trends and figures of twentieth century British occulture directly influenced and intersected with the body of work of an important artist and seeker.
Amy Hale is an Anthropologist specializing in contemporary Celtic cultures with an emphasis on Cornwall and esoteric cultural history. She is the co-editor of New Directions in Celtic Studies (2000) and Inside Merlin’s Cave: A Cornish Arthurian Reader (2000) in addition to writing over 30 other articles ranging in topic from Neo Druidry to politics and occult culture. She is the past co-editor of the Journal of the Academic Study of Magic (with Susan Johnston Graf), and is working on a biography and several other projects related to the life and work of Ithell Colquhoun.
Apocalypse Now? The Lure of Nostradamus in Modern Times
An Illustrated Lecture with Stéphane Gerson, Associate Professor of French Studies at NYU
Date: Friday, November 16th
Presented by Phantasmaphile
All of us are familiar with the name Nostradamus, but who was he really? Why did his predictions become so influential in the Renaissance and then persist for nearly five centuries? And what does Nostradamus’ endurance in the West say about us and our own world? Alone among French prophets and astrologers, Nostradamus and his puzzling quatrains have resurfaced in one historical crisis after another. Whenever we seem to enter a new era, whenever the premises of our worldview are questioned or imperiled, they offer certainty and solace.
NYU historian Stéphane Gerson grew interested in Nostradamus in the wake of 9/11 and then undertook extensive research in Europe and the U.S. In this talk, he will situate Michel de Nostredame in his world and then trace the singular posterity of his prophecies until they became our modern Gospel of Doom. He will explain why so many people have gravitated toward his quatrains and suggest that we reconsider Nostradamus as a creature of the modern West rather than some antidilluvian relic. Ultimately, the Nostradamus phenomenon tells us more about our past and our present than it does about the future.
Stéphane Gerson is a cultural historian of modern France and the author of Nostradamus: How an Obscure Renaissance Astrologer Became the Modern Prophet of Doom (St. Martin’s Press, 2012). He is also the editor of a new edition of Nostradamus’s Prophecies for Penguin Classics. An associate professor of French Studies at NYU, Gerson has won several awards, including the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History and the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies. Gerson lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY, with his family.
Natural Perfume Blending Workshop with Julianne Zaleta
Date: Sunday, December 2nd
Presented by Phantasmaphile
***Very limited class size. You must RSVP to phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com to attend. You will then receive a payment request via Paypal***
Smell is the most neglected of our senses yet it has an instantaneous power to penetrate our consciousness, invoking memories and emotion. Odors are ethereal and elusive yet can strongly attract or repel.
As a concerned consumer, you are choosing organic food, seeking out sustainable products and opting for eco-friendly packaging. But what about the fragrance you wear? That signature scent is likely composed of synthetic materials (as most commercial fragrances are), mass-produced, packaged and shipped around the world in the millions of units. Natural perfumery is a much different process that uses only essential oils and precious absolutes that are extracted from plants. Like fine wine, subtle differences can be found from the same plant from year to year depending on soil conditions and climate meaning that it is not an exact science but a creative alchemical process.
In this sensory workshop we will examine the artisanal art of natural perfumery. Students will gain a basic understanding of the sense of smell, the history of perfume, the advent of synthetic ingredients and the return to naturals. Perfume ingredients and formulation will be explored, and each participant will leave with two bottles of their own bespoke perfume.
No prior knowledge of perfume making is required. Students should bring a notebook to class, all other materials will be provided.
Julianne Zaleta is a natural perfumer, aromatherapist and herbalist and has trained with Michael Scholes and Jeanne Rose. Owner and sole proprietor of her own company, Herbal Alchemy Apothecary, Julianne creates aromatic and therapeutic remedies and elixirs for a wide variety of ailments. As a perfumer she has trained with Mandy Aftel to create a line of all natural perfumes. Recently she has turned her attention to artisanal cocktails, which makes her work life quite enjoyable, as you can imagine.
Looking forward to seeing you at some or all!