Out of all the conventions I've had the opportunity to go to for the past three years, this is the one I wanted to go to the most. I've heard nothing but good things about it, as well as the group who hosts it. It caters to magicians, witches, sorcerers, and pagans of all stripes. It's a smaller convention, compared to others I have been to, but that does not reflect on its quality. There are several talks and panels that take place during Crucible, covering a lot of ground, topic-wise. Click this link for a listing of topics covered this year, and in previous years. And here is my review of the panels and talks I attended:
- Panel: What Wizards Do - A discussion moderated by Jason Colwell, touching on such topics as daily work, what daily work consists of, the effect of each panelists True Will on their decisions, how each deals with setbacks and disappointments in life, and why each one went into occultism. Panelists included Maggi Setti, Inominandum, Rufus Opus, Andrieh Vitimus, and one man I only know as Alex. The panelists all had some good input, whether their practices were framed as uncovering one's deep humanity, being in tune with one's body, to simply keeping the proverbial wolf (thanks Morgan Eckstein) at bay.
- Panel: Maleficent Magic - Admittedly, I really wanted to attend this one. Maybe a bit too much...but still! It was a really good one, very insightful and juicy. Topics covered include practical examples of curses each panelist performed and their effects, when cursing is justified, the effects of repeated cursing on the caster, and then it ended with a final statement on the topic from each panelist. Again, it was moderated by Jason Colwell, and the panelists included Inominandum, Rufus Opus, Andrieh Vitimus, Alex, and Andrei Freeman.
- Maggi Setti: Love, Sex, and Magick - This panel was about finding ways to cultivate love in one's life, and in the programme booklet it stated "in ways that go way beyond your wildest dreams". I don't think it quite accomplished that, per se, but it was still a good talk by Maggi because I felt it went deeper, a little more "meta" into what love is, the highpoints and pitfalls, and how magic can intersect with it and affect it.
- Inominandum: Sex Sorcery - This panel was a fucking hoot! I never realized how good a speaker Inominandum is, and I felt this talk was a very good exploration of introductory concepts of sexual sorcery and the use of sex in magic and mysticism. He handled the topic in a good, mature manner and delivered on what was promised in the programme booklet: providing a primer as well as revealing how best to make use of sex in one's sorcery, spirit, and life.
- Rufus Opus: Nothing But An EYE - This was a very interesting talk by the good Frater, covering an introduction to the ecstatic mysteries and how they relate to Hermes and Hermeticism (HINT: They're not at all mutually exclusive!). Included in this was the effect of the use of alcohol and entheogens in a Hermetic ritual context, which is a topic I find pretty interesting and hope to one day experiment with a little. The presentation was completed with a conjuration of Hermes during which I had a VERY interesting experience, which I'll detail in a later post.
- Andrieh Vitimus: Beginning Information Sorcery - This topic is one of my current favorites in modern magic. It steps beyond all the narratives which state that magic ONLY works by some vague energy, or ONLY by the action of spirits, or ONLY by the mind or as some confidence-building exercise. Patrick Dunn explores this topic in one of my favorite books on magic, and Mr. Vitimus goes in-depth with it, explaining how one can incorporate Informational sorcery into their practices, and giving examples from his own experience and knowledge. Vitimus offered a lucid exploration that, when applied, can open vistas!
As you can see, I've had nothing but good things to say about each event I attended, and for good reason. There was one event, which I did not attend, which I actually heard nothing good about, and it was a talk on Demonology. As I don't know all the details and wasn't there, I can't say anything about it.
Now, my drive to and from Crucible, frankly, sucked balls and the beautiful landscape seen during the near-endless trek through Pennsylvania was the only thing that made it bearable each way! :-) This, for the record, is not equated with the drivers and traffic authorities of Pennsylvania, however. If I go next year, I'm totally flying, hands-down.
But back to Crucible! I'm very glad I attended, and I want to give a big shout-out and "THANK YOU" to the Omnimancers who hosted it, and all the presenters and folks who made it happen. The hotel was very nice, the staff was great. The restaurant's food was good, and the bar's drinks were strong! In addition, I was graced with the fantastic fortune to meet, talk, and hang out with several of the amazing people I've met through the Occult Blog-o-Sphere, including Pallas Renatus, Polyphanes, Deb, Jow, Rufus Opus, and Inominandum. I think next year I need to kidnap Kalagni , The Unlikely Mage, Rachel, and Skyllaros and drag them with me. Kicking, screaming, and in a burlap sack if necessary! ;-)
(or maybe preferably; I don't know their kinks!)
I also met several awesome people for the first time and made some great connections, including Piggy and his owner/wife(?), Knights Edge Leather, Jay, Carmine, Ogre & Arthur from the Omnimancers, Emery, Michael, Ms. Maggi Setti, Andrei Freeman, Jessica Alcorn, and several others. You all ROCK!
It was fantastic and I hope to go next year!