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Conway Hall, London
Saturday 10th April
A review of what took place therein.......
By Frater Algazel (Ineptus Maximus)

...And there I was, a strange little hall tucked away in London. Milling about were creatures of the like I had not seen before.... Indeed the vibes (maaaaan) were portentous and must be a symposium of magick!

Being a relative new-comer to magickal practice this was to be my first taste of the wider occult 'community' and to say I was intrigued by what the day might hold was an understatement of cataclysmic proportions.

The day did not begin in the best manner when myself and my friend realized that the programme of events had been twisted arse-over-tit from that which we received with the tickets and as it now stood there were a couple of terribly annoying clashes......hard decisions had to be made and so it was that I found myself nervously awaiting the arrival of Phil Hine for a 'Tantrum' workshop (pun alert!). It is always strangely pleasing when people who's writings you respect look absolutely nothing like the mental picture your subconscious has been carefully and patiently building up. What can I say.....Phil Hine!!!! Such is this mans reputation on the 'scene' that he had inspired a terribly nice chap called Alex to travel all the way from Norway for a half-hour Phil Hine workshop (and had his passport stolen for his troubles previous to the Symposium).

Hine looked disarmingly normal (compared to some of the daft twats walking around) and apart from mildly eccentric hair and glasses you might well not realize that this guy dabbled ( !! ) in the magickal arts.. It's funny how people like Phil Hine and Richard Bandler (co-founder of NLP) give off a certain aura, you just know that you shouldn't fuck with this person because they can do really scary stuff to your sanity in unimaginably horrible ways....

Phil launched into some really interesting information on which the practical exercise would be based. It concerned various Indian myths in which one god/goddess or another would expel from their nose (or some other orifice) a spirit that was a manifestation of a desire or emotion. The idea of the exercise was to manifest and recognize and accept all those petty wants and desires in spirit form, (I had a feeling that I would soon see the spirit of 'I need a smoke NOW!'). Phil asked us all to enter a mediational state and then preceded to guide us through the visualization. Once we had projected these 'spirits' we were left to our own devices to see what happened. I myself managed to let loose a few of my archetype/spirits/whatever that have arisen at various times along with a couple of newbies that intrigued me... It was interesting to see their interactions with one another......but that is for another article!

The workshop ended with Phil coaxing us into having a tantrum about something petty, which was quite hilarious and left me 'buzzing' in that particularly 'stoned' kinda' way, lord knows what an onlooker would have thought of us all stomping the ground and demanding stuff from some invisible mother-entity or whatever...!

Unfortunately I missed a couple of hours after that to go hunt food (ended up in a fakkin' McDonalds! AARRggh!) and check out the second hand book stores.

The next seminar I attended was a talk by Dave Lee, another 'name' on the scene and author of 'Pandemonaeon'. Titled 'The psychedelic Wizard' this seminar was about one of my favourite subjects...drugs! It was all quite interesting, particularly Dave's thoughts on the use of drugs in magickal workings although I think perhaps his presentation style needs a little boost (of course it might have had something to do with his notes getting mixed up!).

This was followed by a couple of youngish mages giving a talk on 'magick and musick' which was very interesting indeed and revolved around a wonderful invention - 'disco-lights' (he he) that flashed with the right intensity and frequency to simulate the workings of Brion Gysin's Dreammachine. Unfortunately a demonstration was not possible due to the usual concerns about epilepsy and I was not around for the party at the end of the day....doh!

After a break there followed perhaps my favourite event of the day, a seminar on 'sexual Blossoming' by Dr. Tuppy Owens from the Sexual freedom coalition. The Doctor was a wonderfully ebullient lady who's enthusiasm for her subject was obvious. On announcing that hardcore pornography was going to be shown on the slide projector there was something akin to a cheer from the audience and she proceeded to outline what the Coalition does and what it stands for. Judging by her nature I would say that sexual liberation is a must for everyone if the charisma she exuded was anything to go by. The great thing was that there was absolutely no sense of 'dirtiness' or selaciousness that one might expect from this seminar, indeed it was proof that even society's worst taboos can be dealt with in a healthy way by mature and intelligent people with a good sense of humour.

The Doctor invited a friend of her's, a Wiccan with a penchant for Domination, to take the stand. She was to give a demonstration of a Dom/sub session....a spanking!!!!. A volunteer was asked for from the audience but the 'back-up plan', a man with superb side-burns, was so eager to take his rightful place that no-one had opportunity to volunteer themselves! The guy was obviously up for a spanking and it would have been such a shame to have taken the opportunity from him. The Dominatrix proceeded to demonstrate all kinds of fascinating implements and techniques she uses in her D/s sessions and did so with a similar ebullient relish that infused the atmosphere with a feeling of 'fun'.... All in all a fantastic and entertaining seminar!

Finally it was the turn of the legendary Alan Moore, famed for his wonderful Watchmen, V For Vendetta and Swamp thing comics (all HIGHLY recommended). There was much waiting as the crew gamely tried to get a cantankerous and faulty DAT machine to work and just when it all looked like it would fall apart someone came up with a new machine.....we wait with baited breath...... The curtains part and to reveal an atmospheric and minimal set..... Without going into detail, Alan Moore read a truly fantastic piece of prose that encompassed his passion for Psychogeography and interwove so many threads (including the life and times of Arthur Machen) that it had a very definite effect on one's grey matter. As Moore brought the event of the symposium itself into the story all assembled were mightily amused by Moore's comedic take on it's attendees, 'Get yer Tattwa's out for the lads!' indeed! Whilst reading, the words were illustrated by a wonderfully graceful lady doing some interesting mime-work with, amongst other things, a snake!! Unfortunately the DAT tape was still not quite right and the ambient 'music' occasionally cut-out but Moore's superb reading carried it all along at a break- neck pace. Although he'd probably hate me for saying this it would all have made a wonderful illustrated graphic novel...... Alan managed to trip on his mic-cable at the end but it somehow seemed to fit the elements of humour that had been interwoven and raised a few chortles in the audience......

All-in-all it was a great day, only slightly marred by the re-organization that had taken place, and I would have liked to have seen more stands selling occult paraphernalia although Atlantis Bookshop was there and I picked up a few tomes I'd been looking for. Special mention must also go to the wonderful Chthulu sculptures on sale (wish I had the money!). The sculptures on sale were the ones you'll find in 'the pseudonomicon' by Phil Hine. I was deeply disappointed that I couldn't attend the mass of Horus and party that was to follow due to previous engagements.......but I'm sure a good time was had by all. On the strength of this Symposium I would certainly be inclined to attend others like it and, if anything, some of the attendees serve to remind you what happens when you take magick and oneself a little too seriously (you know who you are.....nice cane mate!).

For relevant information:
Check out Phil's excellent site at:-
Liberate yourself with the Sexual Freedom Coalition at:-
Email me at: (please?...i am sad and lonely!)

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