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Film as Ritual-Magick

Film as Ritual-Magick Dr Lila Moore

In the forthcoming historic and groundbreaking Magickal Women Conference, I'll be giving a Masterclass on art and film as ritual-magick. It is an opportunity to share knowledge based on the legacies of two extraordinary women who have inspired my artistic practice and stimulated my academic, theoretical writings. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the dynamics, forms and creative processes involved in the intersection of the arts and mystical/magickal practice and inner experience that are still regarded as subversive in traditional academic settings and rarely incorporated into programmes of study often simply due to the lack of time and also due to the unique areas of expertise, which are highly specialised.

In terms of film and magick, the more familiar work is of Kenneth Anger who has aesthetically integrated his occult practice of Thelema and his mode of film-making to generate magickal experience in the viewers. Less known is that Anger followed in the footsteps of the film-maker Maya Deren, who was the first to devise film as ritual-magick and the first to do so from the perspective of a woman and the feminine in general. She was not a follower of Thelema, however, she studied the occult and subsequently became an authority on, and priestess of, Voudoun. Moreover, from the very start of her vocation as a film-maker she devised film to have the form, dynamics and impact of a transformative ritualistic happening.

In this Masterclass, I am demonstrating one film by Maya Deren as a process of ritual-magick, which should be empowering to the participants and which they would be able to continue practising, and experiment with, on a personal level.

I also show how the spirit drawings produced by Moina Mathers in 1888-1900 were integral part of her ritual-magic and practice of 'travelling in the spirit vision'. Her visionary art, pioneering ritualistic public performances, and writings became integral part of the foundational and essential teachings of the Order of the Golden Dawn and have influenced the many orders and movements that followed.

I base this experimental and experiential Masterclass on extensive research and practice. I wrote on Maya Deren's ritualistic form in art in several articles which were published in leading academic journals. My article on the important legacy of Moina Mathers will be published very soon by an open access academic project entitled Women in World Religions and Spirituality Project of Virginia Commonwealth University. Project directors and ediors: Rebecca Moore and Catherine Wessinger.

The Magickal Women Conference is sold out. If you're one of the lucky ones with tickets, I would love to meet you in person, and you're most welcome to join my Masterclass that will be from 11:00am to 11:40. You may also get in touch with me via the contact form in my website or FB. This is the link to my session on the official conference programme

Hieroglyphic Body Dr Lila Moore

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