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Esoteric Quest 2018

Quest for the Lost World of the Incas

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We are currently in the process of creating the 2018 Quest, which will take place from August 22 to 28. It will be our first time in South America on an Esoteric Quest for the Lost World of the Incas. This will involve time in Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu. We will offer two Post-Conference Journeys, a marvelous experiential component of the Quest; the first will take us to Lake Titicaca, the islands of the Sun and the Moon in Bolivia, and will conclude in the capital city of La Paz. The second will allow for further exploration in and around Cuzco and then continue to Lima in time for the Feast of Saint Rosa as well as touring, “The City of the Kings” as well as a visit to The Temple of Pachacamac outside of the city. We expect our brochure to be out in March.

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ABOUT THE ESOTERIC QUEST

The Esoteric Quest is an ongoing conference and travel series engaged with the rediscovery of the lost or half-forgotten spiritual history of the West. It brings together scholars, writers, artists, and performers deeply versed in the Western Esoteric Tradition and offers some of the leading events in the world on this profound topic.

The Quest began in 1995 in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, the Southern Bohemian mecca of alchemists, with the conference entitled “The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited” (an “esoteric Woodstock” as it was described at the time by Gnosis magazine). It has now continued for 22 years and has addressed such themes as The Italian Renaissance and the Esoteric Traditions in Florence, Italy; the Golden Age of Andalusia in Granada, Spain; the Cathars and Troubadours in 12th century Languedoc in France; and the world of Ancient Alexandria in Egypt. More recently the Quest has covered the Mysteries of the North in Iceland and in the Western Isles of Scotland.

Produced by the New York Open Center, the city’s leading institution of holistic learning for over thirty-three years, The Esoteric Quest is more than a study of spiritual history. It seeks to find the relevance of these traditions to our circumstances in the present day and foster deep interest in the wisdom of different cultures and epochs. The speakers and locations are carefully chosen to offer memorable and convivial experiences that enrich our sense of wonder and open us to fresh ways of seeing the world. Its prime ingredients are high-quality learning, an evocative ambiance, and a program that includes the arts and a strong emphasis on building warm community.

Esoteric Quest 2019

We are also working on the 2019 Esoteric Quest which is expected to return to Europe and continue our theme of the Mysteries of the North in regions and in spiritual traditions that we have not previously visited.

Contact

For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at 212.219.2527 x101, or write to quest@opencenter.org.

Past Esoteric Quest Conferences

2017: An Esoteric Quest in the Western Isles of Scotland: Megalithic, Celtic and Norse Cultures in the Outer Hebrides

The thirteenth in a series of conferences on Western spiritual traditions continued our theme from our 2016 Quest in Iceland of exploring the mysteries of the North. We investigated the geometry and alignments of the evocative standing stones, pondered the meeting of Gaelic and Norse cultures, experienced the mystical beauty of these islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, and learned about Scotland’s more recent esoteric traditions. Our home base was Lews Castle overlooking Stornoway harbor, a beautifully restored 19th-century estate.
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2016: An Esoteric Quest for the Mysteries of the North in Iceland

The twelfth in the Open Center’s series of conferences on the Esoteric Quest took place on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the West of Iceland, a place long held sacred in Norse Mythology. Its sparkling ocean and long ridge of protective mountains terminate in the Great Snow Mountain Glacier itself, Snæfellsjökull, long seen as a holy place. While Norse mythology itself is filled with fascination and spiritual depth, there also was much more to the Vikings than the familiar stereotype of plunder and mayhem. They were not only warriors and raiders, but also adventurers, artists and shamans who deeply valued the Völvas, seeresses capable of peering into the future. Conference goers were invited to join leading scholars, writers, artists and adventurers to enter the great Mysteries of the North in one of the most magical realms on earth.
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2015: An Esoteric Quest in the South of France

This Esoteric Quest was held in the Languedoc region of France. Long known as a focal point for numerous spiritual streams, this area was at the heart of the high medieval culture of both the Troubadours and the Gnostic Christian Cathars. The Bons Hommes, as the Cathars called themselves, created one of the most remarkable and enigmatic spiritual movements of the Middle Ages, the destruction of which was one of the great tragedies of European religious life. The Troubadours were the first to bring romantic love to the Western world in poetry and song of great elegance and charm that expressed a new merging of the erotic and the mystical.
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2013: An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Arabic and Medieval Sicily

This Quest took us to medieval Sicily, a brilliant center of Arabic culture with its poets, geographers and mosques. In the 12th century, the incoming Norman impulse created the most tolerant, multicultural and radiant land of its time, a place where Catholics, Byzantines, Jews, and Muslims all co-existed and flourished. It was an island where esoteric knowledge flowed through philosophers, Sufis, Neo-Platonic troubadours, Kabbalists and alchemists, and seekers of The Grail.
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2012: An Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria

This journey explored “The Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity” that thrived in Alexandria, Egypt. Our conference vividly brought to life this most influential center of culture and esoteric wisdom in antiquity, the authentic birthplace of the Western mind.
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2009: An Esoteric Quest for Inner America

The Open Center’s eighth Esoteric Quest addressed the life-enhancing spiritual impulses that emerged powerfully in America. We brought alive the worldviews of Native Americans, 17th century Alchemists, Freemasons and Founding Fathers, Transcendentalists, early Feminists, and Spiritualists. We also honored numerous 20th century American writers and artists influenced by esotericism, and celebrated the contemporary, multicultural, spiritual explosion. Writers, scholars and performers joined in the beautiful Catskill Mountains at a special moment of rebirth of the American spirit.

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2008: An Esoteric Quest for the Mysteries and Philosophy of Antiquity: Spiritual Experience, Wisdom and Art in Ancient Greece

This Quest took place on the magical island of Samothrace, Greece, far off the beaten track in the northern Aegean Sea. For a thousand years, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace was one of the most famous mystery centers of the ancient world, rivaling Delphi in stature and fame. International scholars, writers and artists gathered for the seventh in the Open Center’s series of conferences on the Western Esoteric Tradition. The conference was followed by three optional journeys. One explored the Sufi world of Istanbul; the other traveled to Delphi, Eleusis, and other evocative mystery centers of mainland Greece. Finally, we traveled to Ephesus, Didyma, and Miletus, exploring oracles and sacred sites from early Christianity.
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2007: An Esoteric Quest for the Golden Age of Andalusia: Sufis, Kabbalists and Christian Philosophers in Medieval Spain

This conference took place in Granada, Spain, the beautiful city lying below the snowy Sierra Nevada that, alone on the Iberian Peninsula, remained under Muslim control until the fateful year of 1492. Outstanding faculty from Spain, France, Britain and the United States addressed such topics as: the Zohar, the Sufis of Andalusia, Arabic alchemy, Ibn ‘Arabi and Rumi, the knowledge system of Ramon Lull, the troubadours, and the place of Spain and Islam in the Grail stories. Evenings were filled with poetry, flamenco, and music that emerged from the blending of ‘Las Tres Culturas‘.
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2006: An Esoteric Quest in Central Europe, From Renaissance Bohemia to Goethe’s Weimar

This eight-day itinerant conference began in the Czech Republic in Kutna Hora and then proceeded to Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) in western Bohemia. It concluded in Weimar, Germany, and followed the Western Esoteric Tradition from 15th century Bohemia to its reemergence in Goethe’s artistic and scientific work.
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2000: The Italian Renaissance and the Esoteric Traditions: Hermetic, Cabalistic and Neo-Platonic Philosophers & Their Influence Today

This five-day conference took place in Florence, Italy, and looked at the world of Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and the many other remarkable figures and esoteric impulses that characterized 15th century Florence.

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1998: The Grail: Arthurian Mysteries and the Grail Quest

This conference, held in Lampeter, Wales, brought alive the Celtic background of the Grail stories and explored the roots and meaning of the Arthurian legends.
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1997: Prague, Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition

Taking place at the Zofin Palace on an island in the center of Prague, this conference coincided with the Festival of Rudolf II, King of Bohemia and Hungary, and Holy Roman Emperor in 1600, and investigated many aspects of the alchemical world of renaissance Bohemia.
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1995: The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited: The Western Mystery Tradition in Bohemia. A Conference in Honor of Frances Yates

The first of the Open Center’s conferences on the Western Esoteric Tradition, this event brought together scholars, researchers and writers in the Southern Bohemian mecca of alchemy, Cesky Krumlov. It was named after Frances Yates’ pioneering work, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment.
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Video Library

This crowd-funded project makes the audio and video recordings of almost all previous Quests available to the general public. Currently, our Quest in Iceland is available for streaming; more will soon be added. You can view individual lectures and workshops or stream a complete conference for a modest fee.

Supported Devices
There are lots of ways to watch The Esoteric Quest videos on devices other than your computer — to start, Vimeo is available for these popular app platforms and devices:

TV and Set-top Devices
Apple TV (2nd and 3rd Generation, pre-installed)
Apple TV (4th Generation): search for “Vimeo” in the tvOS App Store
Android TV: search for “Vimeo” in the Google Play Store
Roku
Amazon Fire TV devices 
Samsung TVs (2015 Tizen-powered devices)
Chromecast (via our iOS and Android mobile apps)
Read more about TV apps here

If you prefer to take The Esoteric Quest on the go, you can do so with the Vimeo app on the following devices:

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iOS iPhone/iPad
Android phones and tablets
Amazon Fire tablets 
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