Speakers from 2014
Robert M. Place
Robert M. Place is a New York based Tarot artist and author, who is best known as the designer and author of The Alchemical Tarot, The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, The Buddha Tarot, The Tarot of the Saints, The Vampire Tarot, and the Angels Tarot. He is also well known for his scholarly work, especially as the author of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, which Booklist has said, “may be the best book ever written on that deck of cards decorated with mysterious images called the tarot.” He is also the author of Alchemy and the Tarot, The Fool’s Journey, Shamanism, Astrology and Divination, and Magic and Alchemy. His Tarot art has been displayed at the Museo dei Tarocchi, in Riola, Italy, in the Craft and Folk Art Museum, in Los Angeles, and is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York.Robert is recognized throughout the world as an expert on and gifted teacher of the Western mystical tradition and the history, philosophy, and use of the Tarot. He has conducted lectures and workshops in education centers in the United States and Europe, including the Open Center, Omega Institute, The New York Tarot Festival, and The Reader’s Studio in New York, The World Tarot Congress in Chicago and Dallas, The Southeastern Regional Tarot Festival in Florida, The Museo Dei Torocchi, in Riola, Italy, and he was the curator of the Fool’s Journey, an exhibition on the Tarot that originated at the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum. He and his work have appeared in the BBC program, The Book of Thoth, and in the series Strictly Supernatural. He has also appeared on A&E, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and the Learning Channel.
Kirk White, D.Div., M.A., LAC
Kirk White, M.A., L.Ac., is a healer, teacher and author. He has been a practicing Witch since 1973, a psychotherapist for 19 years, and a licensed oriental medical practitioner for 20 years. A past president of Covenant of the Goddess (North America’s oldest and largest association of Witches and Wiccans), and past director of the University of Vermont’s Parapsychology Program, he also founded Cherry Hill Seminary, a professional Pagan ministry program with faculty and students worldwide. In 2006, Wildhunt.org named him one of the “25 most influential modern living Pagans today”. In addition to working as a consultant with Pagan seminaries nationwide such as the Aquarian Tabernacle Churches' Woolston Steen Theological Seminary, he is a licensed acupuncturist/ Chinese herbalist, registered psychotherapist, and legal Pagan minister. His skills and interests include traditional healing modalities, various magickal and spiritual traditions, and models of Pagan leadership and ministry. He is also a very active Freemason and hierophant of the Beth-El Temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Ainsley Friedberg does not remember a time when she did not have occult interests. She was initiated into the Golden Dawn in 1977 but left shortly afterwards being one of the few to hold the degree of 0:0 neophyte for over 25 years. In 1980, Ainsley discovered Wicca and self-dedicated to later start the CWPN in 1989. She received her first degree from Laurie Cabot and her 3rd and eldership from Stewart Farrar, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. For over 12 years, she was the owner of the Witchcraft shop "Avalon" in Monroe, and later, South Norwalk, Connecticut. Ainsley was strongly involved in the campaign to educate the public about Wicca and appeared in many local and national newspapers and on many television and radio shows including NYC's Z100. She may be seen yearly on A&E's "Haunted History of Halloween." In 1998 Ainsley decided to dedicate her studies to the Pagan beliefs of her own ancestry, the Slavic peoples. She is the webmistress of "Slavic Paganism & Witchcraft," the oldest Slavic Pagan site in English on the web, and the moderator of the "Leszi" list on yahoo groups, the first egroup dedicated to Slavic Heathenry. Ainsley now resides in Stratford, Connecticut and is in the process of writing a book on the Heathen folk traditions of the Slavs.
James Stone has been a student and practitioner of the occult arts and sciences for more than 25 years, and is the co-founder of C.R.O.W. the Ceremonial and Ritual Order of Witches. His personal practices include elements of witchcraft, shamanism, music, martial arts, ceremonial magic, and Thelema. He has spent a lifetime exploring subjects that complement and illuminate his path such as comparative religion/mythology, Jungian psychology, postmodernism, Qabala, and symbology. Approaching spirituality with both a sense of the sacred and a sense of humor he has synthesized a unique perspective that continues to evolve, educate and entertain, while infuriating fundamentalists of all kinds. Born in Ignorant Bliss, U.S.A., he currently resides in the state of Paradox with his love and Schrodinger’s cat. Or does he?
Gayle Nogas M H
Gayle Nogas M H is the founder and proprietor of Gayle's Thyme & Herbal Apothecary in Enfield, CT since 1995. Gayle's Thyme carries a wide variety of metaphysical and spiritual supplies, as well as essential oils, candles, incense, jewelry teas and spices. Gayle's Thyme also offers classes, demonstrations and workshops using herbs and aromatherapy for healing your mind, body and spirit.
Adam Deion is a Master - Teacher offering classes in Cosmic-Universal Living Light Energy, Sekhem-Seichim, Reiki, Karuna, Shamballa, and Blue Star... Most recently he has developed his own system of spiritual energy-based healing called "Awaken Healing Energies" which combines many of his talents from different areas and offers his clients-students the next step in their healing process and empowers them to become energy-based healers if they so choose... He has been a Crystal Enthusiast for fifteen years and from 1997 on he has been teaching a wide variety of workshops on the healing power of crystals and stones... Adam has been into holistic healing for over eighteen years and has been a Reiki Master-Teacher since 1998...
James Strain is a member of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Tempi Orientis and is the past master of Tahuti Lodge, OTO in New York City. He is a Bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church and a High Priest in the Gardnerian Tradition of Witchcraft.
Soror Alecto is a member of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis and master of Tahuti Lodge, O.T.O., in New York City since 2007. e.v. She is a chartered initiator in O.T.O. and an ordained Priestess of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. Soror Alecto lives in New York City.
Rob made his first drum in 1986, in the very early days of the hand drum phenomenon in this country. His love for percussion and people grew, and soon he was exploring every aspect of ethnic percussion. Now, he makes and sells drums, teaches, gives seminars, runs drum building workshops, and owns Primal Beat Percussion, a 20+ year old drum company, as well as Imagicka, an eclectic shop in Binghamton , NY.
It is his calling, and he gave up a job as an electrical engineer to focus on bringing percussion to the people, and feeding the growing drum circles in the U.S. The drum circle is empowering, as everyone has a place, everyone is a musician. His goal: to help break the paradigm that music, spirit, and magickal experience are for a very few, and that the rest of us are destined to be the audience.This illusion must end. Step up, participate, and get involved with the creation of your own life.
Tala is a healer of multi-cultural decent and influence. Her heritage is a mixture of Celtic, African, Native American and European decent. However, her spiritual journey began when she and her mother were living throughout Mexico. While exploring one of our world’s ‘Sacred Power Spots’, Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, Tala was struck by a bus and was pronounced dead. She was revived when three indigenous Mayan Shamans appeared from the jungle and proceeded to pass her body between them and chant. They brought her to their hidden jungle village on the mountain to recover and heal for three days. When Tala emerged from the jungle on the fourth day, she told her mother’s companion that she had been “given the light of god by the Mayan people”. She was five years old when she experienced this N.D.E. (near death experience). This opened the door to her receiving messages and visitations from spirits to this day. At age 23, Tala was the recipient of Shaktipat, in person directly from Shri Anandi Ma. This is a transmission of energy/ god force through (in her case) physical touch which awakens the Kundalini. It often sets the person on their true spiritual path. Many who receive Shaktipat become healers and teachers. Over the years, combined with her continuing formal education, she has maintained a balance between the physical sciences and the metaphysical. She was one of the first 60 people in the U.S. to be sent to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX to be trained by NASA to educate local teachers about the International Space Station in its beginning stages. She became an R.C. Counselor, Peer Counselor, and an Ordained Minister for the Universal Life Church. She is a Certified Holographic Sound Healer and is a Reiki Practitioner. This year she has become an ordained Minister and Reverend of Our Lord & Lady of the Trinacrian Rose Church/Coven of Salem, Mass and has completed her 2 year apprenticeship in the Pachakuti Mesa Cross-cultural Shamanism and is now a Paco-Shaman. She has made her living for the past years as a powerful energy worker/healer of individuals and groups and a master craftsman of ritual, ceremonial and energetic tools. Her dream is to travel the world and continue her formal and spiritual education with locals and indigenous peoples
Cori Burke has always believed in reincarnation and the principal that you get back what you give. As a newborn, she was dedicated to the Monk's Order of Eternal Enlightenment (yes, her mom was a cool hippie), and when she finally found Paganism during her high school years, she felt like she had finally come home. Since then, Cori has studied everything she could get her hands on about the Gods, the Mysteries, Paganism, Wicca, and more. She is still learning. For 10 years, she was the High Priestess of, and co-ran, a very active coven in Connecticut. She also trained in the Gardnerian and Alexandrian Traditions of Wicca where she was initiated to 3rd Degree High Priestess. She is active in the pagan community and loves to teach. She specializes in creating theatrical ritual that moves people to have a spiritual experience and discover more about themselves. She has a BS Graphic Design with a Minor in Art and Focus in Psychology. Currently she is President of the CWPN, Inc., the designer for Harvest Gathering, a henna artist, a jewelry maker, a mom, and an Assistant Art Director.