The Four Quarters Lecture Series -2016
Older Members may recall that for two years in the mid-2000s, we offered a series of lectures during Moon Service Weekends. The series was dropped because we simply did not have the people power to do it in a good way. Since then the idea has been repeatedly discussed by the Board of Directors, but the issue has been how to squeeze a lecture series into an already packed schedule. The addition of The New Land and our new changes to the Moon Service schedule (along with a hat-tip to Eric Eldritch) have now made revisiting a lecture series possible.
The Four Quarters Lecture Series is six once-a-month lectures held on Moon Service Weekends during our prime season, when there are no other major conflicts in the schedule. These are university level talks on spiritual and ecological subjects, held in the Main Pavilion on Saturday from 12 to 3:30pm, with full A/V support. They will include the talk with Q&A, followed by light refreshments and a meet-&-greet for attendees. Moon Service dinner and Moon Service are a part of the evening. We hope to create the perfect low-impact getaway to Four Quarters, so that you can be a part of the weekend too.
May 29 ~ Understanding Santeria with Vincent Huckle
This first in our lecture series will explore the history, traditions, and current practices of Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion with a growing presence in the Mid-Atlantic. Intended to be especially accessible for beginners, Vincent will present the Orisha God-forms, their ceremonial traditions and the role of divination in the practice of Santeria, with a discussion of the role of Santeria within the African diaspora, its survival through slavery, and resurgence in modern times.
Vincent is a Santero initiated into the priesthood of Obatala in February, 2004 in Havana, Cuba. He is also the first recognized Oba (Master of Ceremonies) in the DC region’s Santerian community. His Ile (“teaching house”) stretches from DC through Virginia to North Carolina.
June 25 ~ Evolution of the Greek Pantheon with Chrisso Boulis
Most of our exposure to ancient Greek mythology came via the work of 19th century British Classicists. While this material is fascinating, it bears little resemblance to the perception by modern Greeks of their ancient history. Come explore the ancient Greek pantheon and the evolution of its myths through the unique lens of a serious Classicist and irreverent Modern Greek Woman.
Chrisso comes by her interests honestly; her family originated on the islands of Calymnos, Smyrna, and Minoan Crete. She has a Master’s in Classical Archaeology from Indiana University, and is a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as Registrar of Records at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
July 23 ~ Ancient Egyptian Magic and Symbolism: Parallels to the Modern World with Sophia Kelly Shultz
The words “magic” and “magician” may conjure images of men in tails pulling rabbits from their hats, but for the ancient Egyptians these words had a vastly different meaning. Explore the magical symbolism in Egyptian art, the rich corpus of magical rituals, and discover some surprising parallels between Egyptian ceremonial practice and the little rituals you might be performing every day.
Sophia is a professional artist focusing on artwork of a spiritual nature. She has a BA in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania specializing in ancient Egyptian language, and has spent many years working with the university museum’s Egyptian collection.
August 20 ~ Archetypes of the Grail in Western European Mythology with Jonathan White, Ph.D
Two decisive centuries of Western European history reinvented folkloric and religious materials, turning ceremony into art in the 12th Century, and art back into ceremony in the 20th. Such unlikely figures as the Green Man, the Fisher King, the Lady in the Lake, and the Man in the Moon appear and reappear in the literature and religion of the Western world—and provide keys to the psychology of modern Pagan belief.
Jonathan has a Ph.D. in American Literature from George Washington University; his dissertation focused on the survival of mythic archetypes in contemporary literature and film. He has taught comparative mythology and literature at George Washington University, the Smithsonian Institution, and numerous conferences and community events. He is a Third Degree Initiate in the Stone Circle Tradition of Wicca, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Certified Public Health professional.
September 17 ~ A Stubborn Presence: Jewish, Celtic and Pagan Origins of the Madonna with Neil Manel Frau-Cortes
Many aspects of modern Madonna devotion have notable parallels with ancient pagan mythology as seen in the Celtic and Phoenician pantheon of the Iberian peninsula. Through an overview of these ancient religious practices, as well as Jewish magic and superstition, this lecture explores the survival and transformation of god and goddess worship through the ages.
Neil is a hazzan, writer, musician and researcher in the field of medieval Jewish studies, with a particular interest in Kabbalah, popular religious manifestations and heretic movements. As a performer, he specializes in Sephardic music, its origins and transmission.
October 15 ~ Pragmatic Ideology of Native American Spirituality with Michael McGee
Native American communities have had alive and vital traditions that have been handed down through the generations to today. These traditions not only teach each generation how to honor those who have come before us and have served the People but they teach us how to continue on into the future, making every aspect of our communities strong and interconnected. In this discussion we will explore some of the basic spiritual and cultural concepts, traditions and practices such as “Seven Generations” and “We are all related” and living without selfishness or greed.
Michael has been a part of Native American Ceremony for the past 30 years, supporting Sun Dances and ceremonies all over this country. He has been honored to work with Elders all over the country and to continue their vision to see these traditions stay alive.