Wilbert Salas Atasi was born in the small mountain village of San Francisco, south of Cusco. In addition to working in his family business, which is dedicated to providing a deeper understanding of the Incan mysteries and the Peruvian people, Wilbert helped create Kusikuy (“happiness” in Quechua). This organization focuses upon directly supporting under resourced communities in the areas of health, education and sustainable development.


Steve Bass, M.A., R.A., studied architecture at Pratt Institute, and traditional arts at the Royal College of Art, London. He has taught at Notre Dame University, the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, and the Grand Central Academy of Art. His book, Beauty Memory Unity—A Theory of Proportion in Design, is currently in preparation by Lindisfarne Books.


Jorge Luis Delgado was trained by the Kallawaya shamans of the Lake Titicaca region and the Q’ero elders of Cusco, the last remaining tribal descendants of the Incas, and is widely recognized as an authority on the Inca traditions.


Leonard George, Ph.D., is a faculty member of the Department of Psychology and the Chair of the School of Social Sciences at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The author of Crimes of Perception and Alternative Realities, he is a life-long student of esotericism and has served as an advisor and presenter for The Esoteric Quest for many years.


Malcolm Kennard, Ph.D., has had a diverse career as a professor, director and consultant in the UK and Canada with many peer-reviewed publications both in science and the arts. He is currently an adjunct professor affiliated with the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.


Erwin Salazar Garcés is a professor emeritus of social sciences who taught in many colleges in Cusco for more than thirty years. He has also been an amateur astronomer for over forty years and is the author of Inca Astronomy and The Inca Astronomy Handbook in English. He is currently director of the Cusco Planetarium.


Juan Carlos Machicado Figueroa is a Native American from Peru born in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. He has done 30 years of research on Inca Spirituality and wrote When the Stones Speak: Inca Architecture and Spirituality in the Andes, winner of two international awards on Art and Native History. He has taught Incan civilization at the University of Nottingham in England, and at the University of New Mexico where he researched parallels between the Native Americans of the Southwest and the Incas.


Ruben Orellana Neira was chief archaeologist at Machu Picchu for twenty two years and is deeply versed in its mysteries. He studied social sciences and anthropology at the University of San Antonio Abad in Cusco. More recently he has been researching the art of healing and examining archeological sites in the Valley of Cusco for the National Institute of Culture.


Scott Olsen, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the College of Central Florida, and author of the award-winning The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret, and the forthcoming Divine Proportion. He lectures widely on the Perennial Philosophy and Transformative States of Consciousness. He also curated the 2017 exhibition and publication of the associated catalog, Mysteries of the Amazon: Visionary Artwork of Pablo Amaringo & His Students.


Theo Paredes, Ph.D., is an anthropologist who consults with indigenous cultures worldwide to maintain sustainable communities, and teaches their myths, symbols, and architecture. A native of Cusco, he has studied Andean and Amazonian healing techniques for over twenty years, and is the founding director of the Poqen Kanchay Foundation (“Where Light Germinates”), an NGO which seeks to rescue, research and teach ancient knowledge and techniques from Pre-Incan and Incan societies to transform living into an art.


Mirabai Starr is author of numerous books, including Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, new translations of the Spanish mystics John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, The Showings of Julian of Norwich, and the award-winning God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity & Islam.  A leader in the emerging inter-spiritual movement, Mirabai leads contemplative inter-spiritual retreats worldwide.


Conference Staff:

Director: Ralph White, New York Open Center

Co- Coordinator and Production Manager: Carrie Wykoff, Events That Matter

Co-Coordinator and Registrar: Andrea Lomanto, New York Open Center

Director of Finance: Nancy Rotger, New York Open Center


Ralph White is co-founder of the New York Open Center, one of America’s leading institutions of holistic learning. He has directed the Esoteric Quest conferences since their beginning in 1995, and is the author of the highly regarded memoir, The Jeweled Highway: On the Quest for a Life of Meaning. He also edited and introduced The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited.


Carrie Wykoff has been the conference coordinator for the Esoteric Quest since 1998. She produces all types of events and the Quest is truly one of her favorites. She is the conference coordinator at SUNY New Paltz  and is also an interfaith minister, a musician, a fitness instructor and a youth theater director.


Andrea Lomanto has served as the registrar for the Esoteric Quest since 2006. She is also a puppetista, educator, and founder of Power Up Youth Project.

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