The Spiritualism Symposium, curated by Shannon Taggart

About this series

Spiritualism, the American-born religion based on the belief in communication with spirits of the dead, was once a popular movement that influenced Western culture. Yet Spiritualism’s legacy has often been censored or neglected by academia and the media. The Spiritualism Symposium examines the surprising path from the séance room to the history of science, medicine, technology, politics, and art. It also explores topics related to mediumship and the study of the supernatural. This series presentations are drawn from past symposium’s hosted annually by Shannon Taggart in Lily Dale, New York, USA—home to the world’s largest Spiritualist community.

Each lecture will be sold separately, see below for details of the other lectures in the series (if missed, these will be available on demand)

The Ancient Oracles Revived: Sibyls, Spirits, and the Power of a Woman’s Voice, with Marjorie Roth, Ph.D.

About this event

This talk contemplates the phenomenon of Sibylline prophecy and its distant echo in the practice of Spiritualism today.  The legendary Sibyls of antiquity uttered their oracles “with frenzied mouth, unadorned and unperfumed”, using a voice so strong it would “reach for a thousand years.”  We will encounter “Sibyls” belonging to several different time periods and walks of life up to and including the mediums of Lily Dale, exploring how their voices– and their messages– have changed worlds.

Marjorie Roth is professor of music history and studio flute at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Her study of Sibyls and Sibylline oracles has led her to multiple artistic, social, and spiritual trends throughout history. Her research interests include 16th and 17th century music, women’s studies, alchemy and magic, and music history pedagogy. She has read papers on these topics at conferences in the US, Egypt, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Greece, and Iceland, and she is a frequent presenter at Esoteric Quest conferences sponsored by the New York Open Center.

Shannon Taggart is an artist and author exploring the intersection between Spiritualism, photography, and the representation of belief. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally, including within the publications TIME, New York Times Magazine, Discover, and Newsweek. Taggart’s monograph, SÉANCE (Fulgur Press, 2019), was named one of TIME’s ‘Best Photobooks of 2019.’

Image Title: Priestess of Delphi  (1891) by John Collier

The Spiritualism Symposium, curated by Shannon Taggart