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Chris Wood

Chris is an independent researcher, happiest in the grey areas between disciplines, making connections and revelling in the interplay between history, legend and mythology. Magically, he works with the Land, the Streams of Wisdom that flow into it, and the Emerald Spark, in a Traditional Craft framework. My more public interests include museums, inter-faith and (as I have to pay the bills somehow) sustainable transport.

Egyptomagia: An Exploration of the Influence of Ancient Egypt on Western Magic

Western magic owes a great debt to the religious and magical ideas and practices of Ancient Egypt. The knowledge has come down to us by complex and convoluted means: stirred into the brew that is the Hermetic Tradition, distorted and reinterpreted in Greek, Roman, Jewish and Islamic writings, hidden in plain sight in Jewish and Christian liturgy and architecture, and extracted and reimagined in Renaissance Alchemy. It had become a well-integrated part of the Western Mystery Tradition by the 19th-century, when Ancient Egypt was rediscovered by antiquarians, collectors and archaeologists. The amazing discoveries from Napoleon onwards inspired the new academic discipline of Egyptology, popular 'Egyptomania', and 'Egyptionising' design in decorative arts and architecture. Whilst skewed to the funereal, these discoveries, and the ideas interpretted from them, brought new life to the Egyptian stream in Western Magic, fertilized by direct ritual contact with the co-evolving gods. Chris' talk explores the inspiration and the legacy of this reunion of ideas, with examples ranging from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to the Norfolk Broads.

Previous Appearances

Harvest Moon 2013 - "The Streams of Wisdom"