I am fresh from attending the recent American Academy of Religions pre-conference event Mapping the Occult City: Magic & Esotericism in the Urban Utopia, hosted by Phoenix Rising Digital Academy and DePaul University. Convened by Dr. Jason Winslade, the day-long event explored the interaction of the city as entity, idea, and cultural engine with esoteric philosophy and occult inspirations.
The event’s location in Chicago provided a fortuitous opportunity to dive into the city’s rich cultural heritage as it pertains to historical and contemporary esoteric currents. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chicago was at the center of global culture. Hosting the World Columbian Exposition and the Parliament of World Religions in 1893 represented merely the outer manifestation of a deeply seeded cultural, and often occult, milieu that found a home in the Windy City. Read the rest of this entry