Association for Consciousness Exploration
The Association for Consciousness Exploration LLC (ACE) is an American organization based in Northeastern Ohio which produces events, books, and recorded media in the fields of "magic, mind-sciences, alternative lifestyles, comparative religion/spirituality, entertainment, holistic healing, and related subjects."
The organization was founded in 1983 by members of the "Chameleon Club" (founded in 1978), and their fictional founder, C. C. Rosencomet, on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. As a campus organization they offered concerts of local musicians, a film series, and hosted appearances of Jim Alan and Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, Dr. Raymond Buckland, and the first Cleveland appearance of Timothy Leary (at Amasa Stone Chapel). The primary directors are Jeff Rosenbaum and Joseph Rothenberg, and many of the founding members still make up much of the core organizing group. In the 1980s, they also ran a "mind spa", providing hands-on experience with mind machines, biofeedback devices, and a sensory isolation tank. The motto of the Chameleon Club is "CHANGE", and that of ACE is "Dedicated to the Expansion of the Frontiers of Your Consideration". ACE was originally located at The Civic, a former synagogue in Cleveland Heights, OH, and there offered classes and featured appearances of Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Robin Williamson, AmyLee, Ian Corrigan and Selena Fox. In 1985 it moved its offices to the Masonic Temple Annex Building in the same city.
Activities and functions
ACE is best known for hosting the annual Starwood Festival, a six-day summer camping event held in July featuring live entertainment and classes on a variety of subjects including Neopaganism, eclectic spirituality, consciousness, holistic health and other topics, and the annual WinterStar Symposium, usually held in February. They have also created the MusicStar Festival, Opening Inner Doorways, and The Thing in the Woods. They have co-sponsored events with other organizations such as the SpiritDrum Festival (with Musart) and the Rant 'n Rave (with the Church of the SubGenius), and have participated in other organizations' events such as the Agora Psychedelic Festival, the World Magic Festival (created by Jeff "Magnus" McBride), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's psychedelic exhibit I Want to Take You Higher: The Psychedelic Era 1965-1969.
ACE produces and sells books, tapes, CDs and DVDs of performances, lectures and panel discussions from their events, and several obtained from other sources, including the ACE/Llewellyn Collection (a co-operative project between ACE and Llewellyn Worldwide) and the ACE/ADF Collection (a partnership with Isaac Bonewits and the Neo-druidic group Ár nDraíocht Féin).
ACE maintains the Starwood Center: a workshop/seminar/bookstore facility in Cleveland, Ohio. Classes, drum circles and multi-media productions have been offered at these facilities featuring such notable individuals as occult author Isaac Bonewits, percussionist Jim Donovan, Church of the SubGenius Reverend Ivan Stang, Celtic Neopaganism author and bard Ian Corrigan, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart of the Church of All Worlds, Neopagan folk singers Kenny & Tziporah Klein, and singer/songwriter Victoria Ganger. The first two DEVOtionals, an annual event run by fans of the band Devo, were held at the Starwood Center in 2000 and 2001 . Stone Creed Grove, a local branch of the Neo-druidic group Ár nDraíocht Féin, holds occasional meetings and open rituals at the Starwood Center.
- Association for Consciousness Exploration: About ACE
- Two 60s Cult Heroes, on the Eve of the 80s by James Neff (Cleveland Plain Dealer Oct. 30th, 1979)
- Timothy Leary: An LSD Cowboy Turns Cosmic Comic by Frank Kuznik (Cleveland Magazine November 1979)
- Group Strives to Expand Matters of Man's Mind by Dan Jacobs (The Sun Press (Associated with Sun News) - Cleveland, OH Thurs. Nov. 23rd, 1989 Pg. A3)
- Beating Stress Through Meditation by Donna Furman (The News-Herald - Willoughby, OH Sun. Oct. 5th, 1986 Section F)
- Tank Aids in Relaxation, Stress Reduction by Joan Burkhart (The Sun Press (Associated with Sun News) - Cleveland, OH Thursday Jan. 17, 1985 Pg. C5)
- Local Group Hosts Dr. Timothy Leary by Will Allison (article about Timothy Leary & Robert Anton Wilson appearance at The Civic) The Observer (CWRU Campus Newspaper) Cleveland, OH (Friday Sept. 29th, 1989 Pg. 4)
- Celtic Musician Gives Concert (article about Robin Williamson appearance at The Civic) The Plain Dealer (May 4th, 1990)
- Krassner (2005)
- Vale and Sulak (2001)
- Adler, Margot (1979) Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. Beacon Press, 1979; revised and updated 1997. Penguin (Non-Classics) ISBN 0-14-019536-X, ISBN 978-0-14-019536-1
- Bonewits, Isaac Emmons (2005) The Pagan Man: Priests, Warriors, Hunters and Drummers Citadel Press ISBN 0-8065-2697-1, ISBN 978-0-8065-2697-3
- Michael Carlson obituary of Robert Anton Wilson 
- "Expanding the Frontiers of Your Consideration" article 
- Gamboa, Glenn "DEVO Devotion" Akron Beacon Journal (August 20, 2000)
- Gilboa, Netta "Getting Gray With Reverend Ivan Stang" Gray Areas 
- Gill, Michael "Circle of Ash" Cleveland Free Times (July 7, 2005) 
- Hunter, Jennifer (2000) 21st Century Wicca: A Young Witch's Guide to Living the Magical Life. Citadel ISBN 0-8065-1887-1, ISBN 978-0-8065-1887-9
- Klaus, Jared "Exploration, Psychedelia & Wicca" Cleveland Scene C-Notes. (Jan. 11th, 2007)
- Klaus, Jared "Oldstock" Cleveland Scene (Feb. 21st, 2007)
- Klusterman, Chuck "DEVOtional is for Hard-Core Fans Only" Akron Beacon Journal (September 14, 2000)
- Krassner, Paul (2005). Life Among the Neopagans in The Nation, August 24, 2005 (web only).
- Lesie, Michele (Oct. 2nd, 1989 Section C Pg. 1) High Priest of LSD To Drop In: Timothy Leary Now Looks to Expand Minds With Software. The Plain Dealer
- Nema (1995) Maat Magick: A Guide to Self-Initiation. Weiser Books ISBN 0-87728-827-5
- Niesel, Jeff "Soundbites" (September 14, 2000) article on DEVOtional at Starwood Center: Cleveland Scene 
- Niesel, Jeff "Slack Is Back: Quit Your Job! Make Waste! The Church of the SubGenius Has Come to Town!" Cleveland Scene (April 6, 2000) 
- Pike, Sarah (2006) New Age and Neopagan Religions in America. Columbia University Press; New Ed edition ISBN 0-231-12403-1, ISBN 978-0-231-12403-4
- Reed, Robert A. & Joy S. Miller-Upton & Donald W. Wallbaum Local Festival Celebrates Pagan Rites (August 3, 1989) The Free Paper Logan, OH.
- Seachrist, Denise (2003). The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh. Kent State University Press: World Musics Series. ISBN 0-87338-752-X
- Vale, V. and John Sulak (2001). Modern Pagans: an Investigation of Contemporary Ritual. (Interview with Jeff Rosenbaum). San Francisco: Re/Search Publications. ISBN 1-889307-10-6
- rosencomet.com - the Association for Consciousness Exploration website