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  • Writer's pictureDr Lila Moore, All Rights Reserved

Making Magic Happen

“The Magickal Women Conference held on 1 June 2019 was a major international gathering in London celebrating women in the occult, witchcraft, and esoteric traditions. The Conference was designed to pay homage to the women of the past who challenged the status quo by embracing mysticism, magic and occultism, and to the women who continue those rich traditions through lived practice, performance and teaching.” (Sue Terry and Erzebet Barthold)

On 25 June the long-awaited publication Making Magic Happen: Selected Essays from the Inaugural Magickal Women Conference 2019, will be released. Making Magic Happen includes Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki’s Keynote Speech ‘The Art of Survival’, and essays, artwork, and inspiration from another seventeen of the forty speakers who made the Magickal Women Conference 2019 a truly unforgettable event.

My sold-out masterclass at the conference was converted into an essay, which I wrote and illustrated with original photographs of technoetic rituals. I am truly honoured to be included in this milestone publication and in a lineage of pioneering women whose ideas have generated R/Evolution in art, culture, and various fields of knowledge, embracing the spiritual and the scientific, the ancient and the futuristic.

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki has been a source of inspiring empowerment for me. Now in her nineties, “Dolores is a living link with the Western Mystery tradition of the great female occultist Dion Fortune (1890-1947) through her own teacher, W.E. Butler (1898-1978). Butler was a member of Dion Fortune’s esoteric group The Fraternity of the Inner Light, which she founded in 1924, which itself stemmed from the late Victorian occult organisation, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn”. Dion Fortune was initially trained by the artist, performer and ritualist Moina Mathers (1865-1928) the co-leader of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In my essay, I describe her magical personality, creative skrying practice and bright mind. She clearly understood the interdisciplinary nature of the modern world and the cultural need to synthesise art, spirituality and science.

Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

“"The Magickal Women Conference emerged as a response to a rising tide of interest in the occult in popular culture and increasing academic scholarship in the field of esotericism in the early twenty-first century”. Regardless, in academic and professional conferences on the feminine and the occult, women were always in a minority position. This is gradually changing, as my recent paper at the Conference for the Study of Spirituality demonstrates, we are seeing a growing interest in previously unacknowledged women artists whose work was entangled with spiritual and occult practice or vision. Moreover, ‘the spiritual ritual of the digital’ is unstoppable, according to Tula Giannini.

My essay is entitled: Magic(k)al Visions of the Ultra-modern Woman: Reconsidering the Feminine Aesthetics of Moina Mathers and Maya Deren (Pp.207-225)

This is the opening paragraph:

“Two women summon the sea, one is soaring above it as the mistress of its watery elements (Flying Roll XXIII), and the other is born of it, and quests her place on earth with the senses of an oceanic creature (At Land 1944). They are both trailblazers, the first is modernising magic with an artistic flair, and the second is innovating the art of film through modern ritualistic aesthetics. She makes films akin to ritual-magic. Although belonging to different epochs, Moina Mathers (1865-1928) and Maya Deren (1917-1961) share a common ground that enlightens the processes involved in the intersection of the arts and ritual-magic especially with regards to the role of women and the feminine”. (p. 207)

In addition, I write on my practice of Digital Poems of Ritual-Magic, which was inspired by those great visionaries. “Digital Poems of Ritual-Magic (Moore 2018-2021) coincide with an emerging twenty-first-century trend of feminist witchcraft that arises from women’s dark and silent, ancient and deep, isolated existence. It represents a radical aesthetic stance, social and cultural resistance to types of oppression we are so accustomed to that we hardly recognise them. Digital poetry of ritual-magic is to speak the magical thought-forms, to birth them through our bodies and minds, and give them image and sound in multiple dimensions and realms.” (p. 222)

Making Magic Happen: Selected Essays from the Inaugural Magickal Women Conference 2019, Book launch, 25th June from 7:00-9:00pm BST.


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