Hymns, Myths and Mysteries of Orpheus

Despite the immense influence of the Hymns of Orpheus, did Orpheus even exist? Were the Hymns of Orpheus a literary hoax, possibly perpetrated by Pythagoras? Why did Ficino, the father of the Renaissance, write that “No magic is more powerful than that of the Orphic hymns.” What were the allegedly Orphic death passports and what are the passwords one most know in the land of the dead? How did these obscurities influence, to name only a few, Plato, the troubadours, Dante, the Italian Renaissance, the history of opera, Agrippa, Shakespeare, the English Romantic poets, the Parisian magus Eliphas Levi, Aleister Crowley, Jean Cocteau, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jack Kerouac, Jim Morrison, and the current Broadway hit musical Hadestown? Who were the wandering poet priests of Orpheus and why did Plato and Euripides despise them? Significantly, how can we benefit from the work attributed to Orpheus today?


Ronnie Pontiac was esotericist Manly P. Hall’s research assistant for seven years. He’s the author of American Metaphysical Religion: Esoteric and Mystical Traditions of the New World and co-author of The Magic of the Orphic Hymns: A New Translation for the Modern Mystic, both published by Inner Traditions. He’s lectured for the Theosophical Society in America, Camp Chesterfield, the European School of Theosophy, and the Last Tuesday Society. He’s also guitarist of Lucid Nation which evolved from a riot grrrl punk band to an experimental rock group. He’s produced award winning documentary films including Viva Cuba Libre: Rap is War.

Curated & Hosted by

Amy Hale is an Atlanta based writer, curator and critic, ethnographer and folklorist speaking and writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall. She is the author of Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern Loved Gully (Strange Attractor 2020) and is currently working on several Colquhoun related manuscripts. She is also the editor of Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses (Palgrave 2022). She has contributed gallery texts and essays for a number of institutions including Tate, Camden Arts Centre, Art UK, Arusha Galleries, Heavenly Records and she is a curator and host for the Last Tuesday Society lecture series.

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Apr 11th 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

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