We have assembled a stellar team of speakers for this conference, including Dr. David Shoemaker, Lon Milo DuQuette, Dr. Richard Kaczynski, Dr. Lauren Gardner, Harper Feist, Andrew Ferrell, and Aaron Maybank.
Dr. David Shoemaker
Dr. David Shoemaker is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in Jungian and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. David is the Chancellor and Prolocutor of the Temple of the Silver Star, and a senior initiate of Ordo Templi Orientis and A∴A∴. He has more than thirty years of experience training and supervising initiates in these organizations.
David was the compiler of the TOTSS publication, Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920-1923, and a co-editor of the collections of the writings of Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral), The Thoth Tarot, Astrology, & Other Selected Writings, The Kabbalah, Magick, and Thelema. Selected Writings Volume II, and Collected Poems 1946-1996. He was also the co-editor of the collection of correspondence published as Karl Germer: Selected Letters 1928-1962. His popular book Living Thelema followed on the success of the eponymous podcast, and The Winds of Wisdom collected his visions of the 30 Enochian Aethyrs. David’s latest book is The Way of the Will: Thelema in Action.
In addition to his work in magick and psychology, David is a composer and musician.
Lon Milo DuQuette (virtual presenter)
Lon Milo DuQuette is the author of 19 books that have been translated into 12 languages, and the host of a daily Facebook/YouTube morning show. He is also an award-winning singer-songwriter and recording artist whose musical career has spanned over 50 years. Lon is also an internationally recognized authority on tarot, Qabalah, and ceremonial magick and has written extensively about the life and work of Aleister Crowley. He is currently the US Deputy Grand Master of Ordo Templi Orientis, and his most recent publication is the novel, An Accidental Christ; The Story of Jesus as Told by his Uncle. He is currently finishing up his newest tarot-related offering, which is due for release in the Spring of 2025 from Weiser Books.
Dr. Richard Kaczynski
Dr. Richard Kaczynski is the author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2010), which the Times Literary Supplement deemed “the major biography to date” of the Beast. He has also written Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City (2019), Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley (2009), and the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), among others. His writing has also appeared in anthologies such as Trans-States: The Art of Crossing Over (2019), The Art and Science of Initiation (2019), Success Is Your Proof (2016), Tarot in Culture (2014), Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism (2012), and Mathematics in Popular Culture (2012). Richard has also edited, annotated, and introduced the first critical edition of Aleister Crowley’s Sword of Song (2021; US edition forthcoming). His his latest book, Friendship in Doubt: Aleister Crowley, J. F. C. Fuller, Victor Neuburg, and British Agnosticism, was just released in March 2024 by Oxford University Press.
Since 1990, he has lectured internationally on these and other topics and has been featured in the documentaries Secrets of the Occult (2006), Aleister Crowley: The Beast 666 (2007) and The Witch of King’s Cross (2020). He has been a member of Ordo Templi Orientis since 1987, currently serves U.S. Grand Lodge as a Bishop and Sovereign Grand Inspector General, and is Secretary of Academia Ordo Templi Orientis. By day, Richard is a social psychologist, biostatistician and research scientist whose 1993 doctoral dissertation examined metaphysical beliefs and experiences among occult practitioners.
Dr. Lauren Gardner
Dr. Lauren Gardner works as a counselor, educator and psychotherapist in private practice in Chapel Hill, NC. Her esoteric background encompasses over a decade of study, practice, and teaching within the Golden Dawn and A∴A ∴ systems.
Professionally, she has been published in academic, peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Humanistic Counseling. Her esoteric writing includes contributions to Commentaries on the Golden Dawn Flying Rolls, as well as numerous essays and other writings available in print and online. Most recently, she co-edited Phyllis Seckler: Collected Poems 1946-1996.
Lauren has presented workshops at Babalon Rising, NOTOCON, and the O.T.O. Women’s Symposium, where her presentation on the feminine archetype in historic and modern formative literature changed the perspectives of attendees, resulting in experiences unexpected and much appreciated. She has also presented professionally on Pagan advocacy at conferences at both regional and national levels.
Her doctoral dissertation is a phenomenological study of the experiences of Pagans in psychotherapy. She enjoys fun conversations by the pool, dark spiced rum and ginger beer, and decent human beings with interesting experiences worth comparing notes.
Lauren recharges by spending solitary time in the wilderness. She lives in Raleigh, NC, and has been known to write under the name “Soror Madimi.”
Harper Feist is the sobriquet of a Ph.D. chemist who has been interested in the intersection of magick and science for most of her life. She’s currently interested in the role of the scryer in ceremonial magick and has taken part in many workings involving both chthonic and celestial spirits.
On the Thelemic side, she’s proud to be a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis and an A∴A∴ student. In her mundane life, Harper is a mother, a cat herder and a martial artist specializing in Ko-ryū Japanese weapons training.
Aaron Maybank is an initiate and Academic Track instructor of the Temple of the Silver Star, and the Director of the T.O.T.S.S. Atlanta Study Group.
Prior to his involvement with the Western Mystery tradition, Aaron was first exposed to esotericism and meditative practices through a West African Sufi lineage. His spiritually heterodox upbringing eventually motivated him to study in the field of Anthropology.
Having an abiding interest in Hermeticism, his personal research over the past several years has been focused on Hermetic Alchemy and its various forms of transformation expressed in theory and practice from the Renaissance to the present day. He is also a member of the International Alchemy Guild.
Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Aaron is also a jazz saxophonist. He lives in the Greater Atlanta area with his wife Ina, their three cats and dog.