Gnosticon

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Gnosticon, sometimes called the Gnostica Aquarian Convention, was a magical and Neopagan event sponsored by Carl L. Weschcke and Llewellyn Publications from 1971 through 1976, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, one of the first such to be held in the United States.

In 1970 Weschcke opened the Gnostica Bookstore in Minneapolis together with the Gnostica School for Self-Development. The first of several festivals was staged the following year, called the "First American Aquarian Festival of Astrology and the Occult Sciences". The festival attracted many of the best-known Witches, Wiccans, Magicians and Neopagans of the time from all around the world, including Jonn Mumford,[1] [2]Selena Fox and Jim Alan (both, founders of Circle Sanctuary),[3] Isaac Bonewits (founder of Ar nDraiocht Fein), and Gavin Frost and Yvonne Frost (founders of the Church and School of Wicca). Witchcraft rituals were conducted, and Weschcke led meditations for peace and the healing of the earth. Later festivals were renamed and became known as 'Gnosticon'.[4]

Importance to the Neopagan Movement[edit]

One of the events at Gnosticon was the First Psychic Tournament in 1975[5] which featured around 40 self-styled psychics, such as Noel Tyl, Jean Dixon, Sybil Leek, Isaac Bonewits, and Richard Alan Miller (author of The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs[6]), who won the competition. The book The Essence of Tantric Sexuality by Mark Michaels (Swami Umeshanand Saraswati) and Patricia Johnson (Devi Veenanand) was based on Jonn Mumford's lectures at Gnosticon.[7] In 1974 Playboy Magazine sent reporter Mordecai Richler (author of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz) to cover that year's Gnosticon,[8] a particularly high-profile coverage of a Neopagan event for that time. Church of All Worlds founder Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (then Tim Zell) met his soon-to-be wife Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart at one of the Gnosticons.[9]

References[edit]

  • Interview of Selena Fox mentioning her participation in Gnosticon [1]
  • Bio of Jonn Mumford mentioning his lectures at 1976 Gnosticon [2]