Terrarium Making Workshop

twigWith Twig Terrariums
Date: Tuesday, May 22nd
Time: 7:30-9pm
Admission: $60 ***You must RSVP to phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com, as class size is limited.  You will then be sent a Paypal payment request.
Presented by Phantasmaphile

Learn to create a Twig Terrarium with the Twig chicks, Michelle and Katy, of Brooklyn’s famed Gowanus neighborhood. They’ll provide hands-on guidance and offer tips and tricks to miniscape your own little green world out of moss. All the ingredients are provided, including little tiny people to populate your world! They’ll go over the steps to making a healthy terrarium, how to maintain it, and the different types of mosses we use.

Katy and Michelle are the creators behind Twig Terrariums. Their living sculptures have been featured in The New York Times, NPR’s Niche NYC Series, the Museum of Arts & Design, as well as the magazines Entrepreneur, Real Simple, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Country Living. In Twig’s Brooklyn studio,  they create moss terrariums and other small worlds to intrigue and delight. They use a variety of glass vessels, from antique and vintage to repurposed and recycled. Each terrarium comes complete with a tiny scene that ranges from naughty to nice and everything in between - Central Park muggings, crime scene investigations, fantasy lands full of fairies and unicorns, as well as the more bucolic scenes of waterfalls and hikers, forest scenes, and lovers in the park. Anything goes in a Twig Terrarium! Visit www.twigterrariums.com for more information on our very verdant venture.

Symbols & Spells

judikasigilA Workshop with Judika Illes
Date: Sunday, June 10th
Time: 2-4pm
Admission: $40 ***You must RSVP to phantasmaphile [at] gmail.com, as class size is limited.  You will then be sent a Paypal payment request.
Presented by Phantasmaphile

Symbols reverberate with power. They are not just mere markings. Instead they convey and radiate magical forces. Because of this, symbols are among our oldest and most potent magical tools. Their use spans the globe, as well as a vast spectrum of spiritual and esoteric traditions.

Magical symbols include seals and sigils- Kabbalistic and otherwise, Egyptian symbols, such as the ankh and the “girdle” of Isis, the Congo Cross, glyphs, runes, vèvè, alchemical, Masonic, fertility, Adinkra, and hex signs.

Symbols serve virtually unlimited magical uses. They are incorporated into amulets, talismans, and mojo bags and used in divination, spirit summoning, and magic spells. The most accessible manner of working with symbols is candle magic.

In this class, we will explore the esoteric power of symbols and how this power is transmitted through candles. The class will begin with a lecture about symbols and will then evolve into a hands-on workshop. Each attendee will have the opportunity to create a magic candle.

Attendees will receive a hand-out of symbols. We will also discuss how to create your own magic symbols to serve your own personal needs and desires.

PLEASE BRING a notebook or paper and something to write with, so that you can take notes.

PLEASE ALSO BRING a candle. The size is up to you, but the larger and more substantial the candle, the more surface space is available for carving symbols into it. Birthday candles and tea lights are too small and tapers tend to break. Pillar and round votive candles are best.

Colors, like symbols, radiate power and a candle’s color is chosen to coordinate with a spell-caster’s goal. Here is a list of traditional color associations, but if you possess your own associations, please trust your intuition:

Black: protection; banishing; fertility; regeneration; healing chronic illness.

Blue: protection; peace; healing emotional, mental or psychic illness; terminating addictions, including smoking.

Brown: justice; legal issues; grounding.

Green: fertility; prosperity; money; healing physical illness and conditions.

Purple: power; sex; erotic love spells.

Red: luck; good fortune; love; fertility; healing blood ailments.

Pink: love; spells benefiting children.

White: ancestral work; contacting those in the Next Realm.

***White candles possess the power of the blank slate and may be substituted for any other color. If in doubt or unsure, bring a white candle.

Judika Illes is an independent scholar, international speaker, educator, and author of books of folklore, folkways, and mythology about the subjects of magic, the occult, divination, diverse spiritual traditions, witchcraft, and the paranormal.  She is the author of four popular encyclopedias: The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, The Encyclopedia of Spirits, and the new Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, and Sages. Her other books include Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spellcasting, Magic When You Need It and The Weiser Field Guide to Witches. Her website is: www.judikailles.com

This event is in conjunction with Observatory’s Sigils & Signs group art show.

Magic Circles in the Grimoire Tradition

dr-faustus-in-a-magic-circle-frontispiece-of-gent-s-translation-of-dr-faustus-published-1648An illustrated lecture with William Kiesel of Ouroboros Press
Date: Friday, June 1
Time: 8pm
Admission: $8
Presented by Phantasmaphile

‘With the center of the circle as a starting point, orientation can take on precise meaning in the context of its ritual, which was designed to secure spiritual knowledge and material dominion in the world through the agency of spirits, stars and cabalistic arcana.’

Magic Circles have been depicted in popular expressions of magic and witchcraft as well as detailed with full rubrics in traditional manuals of magic such as the Clavicula Solomonis or Liber Juratus.  Using narrative, visual and textual material available from European grimoires and manuscripts, William Kiesel will discuss the various forms and functions of this important piece of apparatus employed by magicians in the Western Esoteric Tradition, including their role in providing authority and protection to the operator, as well as examples of their use in divination and treasure finding.

WILLIAM KIESEL is an independent scholar researching occultism and western esotericism in practical and historical contexts.  He is particularly interested in esoteric symbol systems and their use as manifested in alchemical, hermetic and occult traditions.  In addition to giving presentations on these topics in the United States and abroad, Kiesel has also collaborated in avant garde music circles concerned with the esoteric use of music.  It was the later context which led to his contribution in John Zorn’s acclaimed ARCANA series with an essay titled Musings on the Hermetic Lyre.  His first book ‘Magic Circles in the Grimoire Tradition‘ is part of the Three Hands Press monograph series. William is the director of Ouroboros Press and editor at CLAVIS: Journal of Occult Arts.

This event is in conjunction with Observatory’s Sigils & Signs group art show.