The Circle of Arte – two European Talks

William Kiesel, the publisher and editor of Ouroboros Press, will be giving two talks in the coming weeks. The first will be at Treadwells Bookshop in London [Covent Garden] March 19th and the second will be at the University of Amsterdam on March 25 as part of the Conference “Emblems, Magic, and Hidden Knowledge” along with several other scholars of Western Esotericism. The same talk will be given at both events [see description below].

LONDON March 19th

19 March 2008 (Wednesday)
“The Circle of Arte”: Magic Circles in the Western Grimoire Tradition
William Kiesel (Ouroboros Press)
7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7PB

For almost a thousand years, magic circles have been depicted in popular books of magic and witchcraft, as well as in high magic grimoires such as the Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Liber Juratus. Tonight’s talk will explore the varieties, forms and functions of “the circle of arte” in this long tradition. Our speaker will draw upon the evidence from historical texts and manuscripts: illustrations, sketches, descriptions, instructions, and ritual rubrics from grimoires. He will also consider the circle’s role in providing authority and protection to the operator, and tell us about its uses in such activities as divination and treasure finding. See what some of the oddest and rarest magical grimoires say about “the Circle of Arte”, and you will never see it quite the same way again.

William Kiesel is the publisher and editor of Ouroboros Press. He works with translators of Arabic, Latin, German and Romanian to provide fine and deluxe editions of rare magical texts to the English-speaking world, most notably grimoires and alchemical works. Of grimoires, he is currently working on a second volume of the Picatrix, and has already published the Heptameron and the first volume of the Picatrix. He lives in the United States and is speaking at Treadwell’s during a brief visit to London.

AMSTERDAM March 25th

Workshop on “Emblems, Magic, and Hidden Knowledge”
25 March 2008
On March 25, a conference on “Emblems, Magic, and Hidden Knowledge” will be held for students as well as independent and established scholars, in collaboration with the department History of Hermetic Philosophy (GHF, Religious Studies) of the University of Amsterdam. Particular emphasis will lie on the role of imagery and emblems in magic and alchemy, and in pursuits and conceptions of (hidden) knowledge; however, questions related more generally to the study of Western esotericism and its methodology will also be addressed.

The full program may be seen at the website for the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism: