Save The Date! May 2, 2020 – Institute for Hermetic Studies (IHS)Third Annual Conference

UPDATE:  30 April 2020


Government restrictions on travel and gathers resulting from the Coronavirus-19 pandemic have required that the 3rd Annual Conference be held virtually. This is our first effort at holding an event in this manner, as such are are extremely grateful to our Board, sponsors, donors, volunteers, presenters, and you, our virtual attendees for making it happen.

As of this date we have all of the presentations recorded and they are being edited and will be posted at for accessing.  We will post more information as soon as the materials are available for accessing.

Thank you for your continued support of this vital project.

Stay healthy!


Mark Stavish, M.A.
Director of Studies


Subscribe to VOXHERMES to receive notifications of updates.


Topic: The Vault of Christian Rosencreutz by Erik Krogstad

In 1614, a mysterious document entitled the Fama Fraternitatis appeared in the German town of Kassel, and changed the history of Europe. This document described a secret brotherhood of adepts who called themselves Rosicrucians and their founder, Christian Rosencreutz, or C.R.C.  In it was a description of a vault in which C.R.C. and much of the Rosicrucian’s secret knowledge were buried.

The height of the story centers around the rediscovery of C.R.C.’s tomb, buried in a concealed, underground vault of seven sides. Engraved upon a circular altar over the tomb were the words (in Latin): “Unto the Glory of the Rose Cross I have constructed this Tomb for myself as a Compendium of the Universal Unity.”

This lecture will explore the symbolic structure and spiritual implication of the Rosicrucian Vault hinted at in the Fama and explored in the later teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Vault has many mysteries it is an emblematic tomb of death and spiritual resurrection, as well as an initiation chamber and place of meditation. However, its primary significance is that of the “mystical center” or “inner temple” of man. This is an internal, God-centered reality which is inherent in the symbolism of C.R.C.’s “Compendium of the Universal Unity.”

Presenter: Erik Krogstad is a Director of Cloud computing and has been a guest speaker at AWS Re-Invent Plus Summits. He is the host of Esotricity podcast which focuses on a blend of spiritual and technology topics. Erik is a Past Master of St John No. 115 F & AM, active in numerous Masonic bodies and has attained the Master Masonic Scholar distinction from the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge. He is also an active member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn along with other invitational esoteric traditions and organizations.

Erik is a member of the Delaware County Alzheimer’s association, the Pyramid Club of Philadelphia, and Aid for Friends Philadelphia. He is a world class sport fisherman, active climber and hiker, and a sporting clay enthusiast.  A graduate of Widener University, in communications (B.A) Erik exalts a unique perspective on many topics including technology, spirituality and life management.

Topic: Supernatural Phenomena from the Middle Ages to Colonial America by Candace Perry

The belief that comets, atmospheric optical phenomena such as sun dogs, and strange fantastical creatures were portents or messengers of God’s wrath was pervasive in Europe from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. These anxieties, and associated visual culture, accompanied German speaking immigrants to their new homes in Pennsylvania. The fear of comets even inspired a group of German millenialists to abandon their lives in Europe for the fledgling American colony. This illustrated lecture presented by Candace Kintzer Perry, curator of the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, will explore the how these beliefs were manifested in print and religious practice in Europe and Pennsylvania.

Presenter:  Candace Kintzer Perry, Curator of Collections of the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, Pennsburg, is a native of Robesonia in western Berks County, Pennsylvania.

She holds BA in history from Penn State and an MA in American History and Museum Studies from Duquesne University. Perry has written numerous articles and lectures on Pennsylvania German history and culture, most recently, the article on Pennsylvania German Textiles in The Pennsylvania Germans: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Perry also serves as a correspondent for the Town & Country newspaper in the Upper Perkiomen Valley.

Topic: Doorways Within the Flesh: The Physical Body as Field of Esoteric Exploration by Craig Williams

This talk will explore the role of the human body as the prime alchemical landscape for spiritual exploration and ultimately, Self-Realization. The experience of the human incarnation as a doorway for spiritual transformation, the opportunity for transforming corporeal sensation into sacred ritual, and the striving for health / vitality to maximize karmic expression will be discussed. Key ideas from Tantra, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine will be presented to unfold a truly integral view of the importance of the role of the human body in spiritual evolution.

Presenter:  Practitioner of Ayurvedic Medicine, Vedic Sciences, Gnostic Spirituality, and Martial Arts, Craig Williams  (Austin, Texas) is also the author of Cave of The Numinous: Tantric Physics vol. I (Theion Publishing, 2014), and well as numerous articles on health, martial arts, and authentic initiation in the Kali Yuga. Craig also writes various ‘Daily Meditations’ pieces in his Blog: Transmissions from the Kali Yuga (

Craig Williams is an ordained Bishop (Tau Lazarus) with Apostolic Succession and has a private medical practice in Austin specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Yoga, and Jyotish. He is the recipient of the prestigious Vedakovid and Yogacharya titles awarded by Vamadeva Shastri and the American Institute of Vedic Studies and the Yogayurvedacharya title from the Academy of Traditional Ayurveda. More information can be found at:

Topic: Sacred Alignment and the Dark Side of Sigils

This presentation will explore the heterogeneous nature of sigils and the cross-over between sigils and symbols within a psychosomatic context. This approach necessarily deals with the grey area between the Qliphoth or shadow and formative sides of the Tree of Life.

Presenter: Robert Podgurski has been studying magick, qui gong, and yoga for over 30 years, engaging in a syncretic pursuit examining the history, practice and genesis of eastern and western esoteric studies. These investigations have established the foundation for this book.

Bob regularly lectures and conducts workshops on sigilization, occult theory and methodology as well as poetry and the esoteric in verse. In May of 2014 he was the writer in residence at the Gloucester Writer’s Center in Gloucester, MA wherein Podgurski facilitated a workshop “Wandering on Course to a Gestalt Poetics” that has informed his ongoing investigations into qliphothic consciousness.  He has been interviewed on Occult of Personality as well as on The Q.Psience Project, KGRA Radio. His essays have appeared in various journals such as The Fenris Wolf, Starfire, The Qliphothic Opus III, Abraxas, Cauda Pavonis, and The Italian Quarterly to name a few.

Podgurski is a poet writing in the modernist magical tradition and has been published in Sulfur, House Organ, Notus New Writing, Compound Eye, Open Space Magazine, and Poetry Dispatches. His collection of poems Wandering On Course was published by Spuytin Duyvil Press in 2013. He has also recently completed a magical novel, Beyond The Lens of Time.  His website is:  www.

Bob holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Topic: The Pentagram – History and Prejudice of a Symbol 

Since the classical period pentagrams have been used as an important religious symbol by the Babylonians, Pythagoreans, and are used today as a symbol of faith by many Neopagans, akin to the use of the cross by Christians and the Star of David by Jews. Several faiths also associate the pentagram with magic. Christians in the past commonly used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus, and it has found its way into the symbolism of Freemasonry.

However, this near ubiquitous symbol has a history that goes beyond what we may consider “occult”, and has been employed in Governments, Churches, Organizations, and much more. In fact, many of us see the Pentagram so much throughout our day, we no longer even know we are seeing it. In this presentation will help  you to re-see what has been before you, and to re-imagine what its symbolism means to you.

Presenter: Nicholas Vettese is a Data Analyst for eBay, and works in their Automotive Division, WHI Solutions. Nicholas is a Past Master of St John No. 115 F & AM, and is active in numerous Masonic bodies as well as being an active member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn along with other invitational bodies traditions and organizations.  Nicholas enjoys many perspectives on topics including technology, writing, photography, spirituality and religions.

Conference Registration Fee:  $55

Registration may be done by email using PayPal: for communication and payment purposes.

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  1. […] pleasant hours on the phone with Williams, in preparation for his scheduled presentation at the Institute for Hermetic Studies Conference in May 2020. Among the topics of interest was that of geography and role it plays on magical […]


  2. […] honored and excited to be speaking at the upcoming at the 3rd Annual Institute for Hermetic Studies Conference in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania on May 2nd, […]


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