The Presenters of The Esoteric Quest

Steve Bass,  M.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.


Paul Bembridge, M.Phil., was a staff tutor at the University of Exeter’s Centre for the Study of Esotericism, working alongside its founder, the late Professor Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts with a lifelong interest in the esoteric traditions of the West, particularly as they are transmitted in the works of its poets.


Jonathan Bricklin is the author of The Illusion of Will, Self, and Time: William James’s Reluctant Guide to Enlightenment (SUNY Press, 2015) and edited the anthology, Sciousness.


Nicholas Cope, M.A., studied at the Royal College of Art (1991) where he specialized in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts. In 2016, he was appointed Professor Emeritus of R.I.L.K.O. (Research Into Lost Knowledge Organization). He is the co-author, with Keith Critchlow, of The Knap of Howar and the Origins of Geometry.


Haraldur Erlendsson, M.D., is an eminent Icelandic psychiatrist and specialist in the treatment of psychological trauma. He has long had a keen interest in the esoteric, particularly dream symbolism and yoga. His recent novel, The Man Who Drew Triangles, draws on his research into earth energies and sacred geometry.


Leonard George, Ph.D., is a Canadian psychologist, educator, writer and broadcaster, and a lifelong student of Western esotericism. He is a faculty member of the Department of Psychology and the Department of Music Therapy at Capilano University, British Columbia. The author of two books and dozens of articles, he has been an advisor and presenter for the Esoteric Quest conferences for many years.


Tess Maginess, Ph.D., is co-writer with Grace Clunie of The Celtic Spirit and Literature and the author of a collection of poetry, Vivarium. She is currently a senior lecturer in Queen’s University, Belfast, working in adult education. She has published widely on literature, adult education, mental health and older people.


Halvard Hårklau, M.Sc., a biochemist by profession, is a long-time student of the esoteric traditions whose research aims to combine the best of academic rigor with authentic spirituality. An instructor in Mindfulness Meditation, he is also a practitioner of Tai Chi and Qi Gong.


Mary McCormack was born and raised on the Isle of Lewis and, barring six years when she studied English and Scottish History at the University of Aberdeen, has lived on Lewis all her life, though she has traveled extensively. A native Gaelic speaker, her daughter, Alyth, a singer/actor, currently performs with The Chieftains.


Alastair McIntosh, Ph.D., is a leading writer and speaker on spirituality for our times. Raised on the Isle of Lewis, he holds an honorary professorship from Glasgow University and a fellowship in divinity at Edinburgh. His most treasured

books about the Hebrides are Soil and Soul (2001) and Poacher’s Pilgrimage (2016).


Christopher McIntosh, D.Phil., is the author of The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason; Gardens of the Gods; and Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival. His fictional writing includes the short stories Master of the Starlit Grove and The Wyrde Garden. Christopher also was on the faculty of the Centre for the Study of Esotericism at Exeter University.


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.


Ian Stephen is a native of Lewis and a former coastguard who, since winning the inaugural Robert Louis Stevenson Award in 1995, has worked as a poet, novelist, artist, storyteller and broadcaster. His first novel, A Tale of Death and Fish, was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian and been compared to Moby Dick.


Peter Vallance was born and raised in rural Scotland. He has lived for the past thirty years in the Findhorn Community where he is Artistic Director of the Universal Hall and organizes the Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song. He tours internationally with his work as a dance teacher and storyteller and organizes tours to the sacred sites of Scotland and Ireland.



Conference Staff:

Director: Ralph White, New York Open Center

Coordinator: Carrie Wykoff, Events That Matter

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 also an interfaith minister, a musician, a fitness instructor and a home educator.


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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