Below is a list of suggested reading to help you expand your knowledge of the conference themes. None of the reading is required.

The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library: An Anthology of Ancient Writings Which Relate to Pythagoras and Pythagorean PhilosophyDavid Fideler
The Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery TraditionsJoscelyn Godwin
The Harmony of the Spheres: The Pythagorean Tradition in MusicJoscelyn Godwin
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth:  Mysticism in Music from Antiquity  to the Avant Garde – Joscelyn Godwin
Music, Mysticism and Magic – Joscelyn Godwin
The Greek Cities of Magna Graecia and Sicily – Luca Cerchiaia et al
The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest SecretScott Olsen
An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of WisdomChris Bamford
Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi TraditionDavid R. Fideler and Sabrineh Fideler
History of Muslim Sicily – Leonard Chiarelli
Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the MediterraneanJohn Keahey
Gardens of the Gods, Myth, Magic and Meaning in Horticulture Christopher McIntosh
G.R.S Mead and the Gnostic Quest – Clare Goodrick-Clarke
The Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical IntroductionNicholas Goodrick-Clarke
On Persephone’s Island : A Sicilian Journal – Mary Taylor Simeti
Sicily: An Illustrated History – Joseph Privitera
Pomp And Sustenance: Twenty Five Centuries Of Sicilian Food – Mary Taylor Simeti
A Sultan in Palermo – Tariq Ali
Kingdom of the Sun 1130  to 1194 – John Julius Norwich
The Norman Kingdom of Sicily – Donald Matthew
The Emperor and the Saint: Frederick of Hohenstaufen,  Frances of  Assisi and Journeys to Medieval PlacesRobert Cassady, Intro by John Juilius Norwich
Intellectual Life at the Court of Frederick  IIHohenstaufen –  William  Tronzo Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library: An Anthology of Ancient Writings Which Relate to Pythagoras and Pythagorean Philosophy
David Fideler

This anthology, the largest collection of Pythagorean writings ever to appear in English, contains the four ancient biographies of Pythagoras and over 25 Pythagorean and Neopythagorean writings from the Classical and Hellenistic periods. The material of this book is indispensable for anyone who wishes to understand the real spiritual roots of Western civilization. Golden Thread: The Ageless Wisdom of the Western Mystery Traditions
Joscelyn Godwin

The Golden Thread traces the interconnectedness of esoteric wisdom in the Western world, from classical antiquity to contemporary Europe and America. Joscelyn Godwin lends personal perspective to an arrangement of text that is historical and wisdom that is timeless, creating a source of inspiration that calls us to action in our everyday spiritual practice. Every chapter, therefore, makes reference to some aspect of contemporary life and issues of immediate concern. Harmony of the Spheres: The Pythagorean Tradition in Music
Joscelyn Godwin

Professor of Music at Colgate University and a widely respected musicologist, Godwin traces the history of the idea, held since ancient times, that the whole cosmos, with its circling planets and stars, is in some way a musical or harmonious entity. The author shows how this concept has continued to inspire philosophers, astronomers, and mystics from antiquity to the present day. of Heaven and Earth:  Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the Avant Garde
Joscelyn Godwin

Joscelyn Godwin explores music’s effects on matter, living things, and human behavior. Turning to metaphysical accounts of the higher worlds and theories of celestial harmony, the author follows the path of musical inspiration on its descent to Earth, illuminating the archetypal currents that lie beneath Western musical history., Mysticism and Magic
Joscelyn Godwin

This is a historical study of music contending that it is a powerful agent for self transformation, for the healing of body and soul and for awakening the spirit within. The collection reflects the view that from whatever age music emanates there is a close link between music, mysticism and magic and as illustration the author includes the spiritual and philosophical dimensions of the work of Plato, Plutarch, Kepler, Balzac, Gurdjieff, Schopenhauer and Stockhausen, Wagner and Schumann – none of these names may appear related but the common ground is shared through music. Greek Cities of Magna Graecia and Sicily
Luca Cerchiaia et al

After colonizing the Aegean islands and the coast of Asia Minor, the ancient Greeks turned toward southern Italy and Sicily, driven by the unrest that troubled their homeland in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. The new arrivals brought with them their language, as well as their cultural and religious traditions and the institution of the polis. In Italy they created an autonomous political community that eventually surpassed the cities of Greece in wealth, military power, and architectural and cultural splendor. Such forefathers of Western philosophy as Pythagoras, Parmenides, and Archimedes lived and worked within this civilization. The Greek Cities of Magna Graecia and Sicily presents an overview of Greek colonization in Italy and the principal historical events that took place in this area from the Archaic period until the ascendancy of the Romans. This comprehensive survey is followed by a review of the major archaeological sites in the region. Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret
Scott Olsen

A concise and useful handbook, the Golden Section – also known as the Golden Ratio and Golden Mean – is a line segment divided into two parts, such that the ratio of the short portion to the longer portion is equal to the ratio of the longer portion to the whole. It is one of the most elegant and beautiful ratios of the mathematical universe because of its combination of elegance and simplicity, hence the divine nature of its name. Drawing on art, architecture, philosophy, nature, mathematics, geometry, and music, and beautifully illustrated with all manner of images, The Golden Section tells the story of this remarkable construct and its wide ranging impact on civilization and the natural world. Endless Trace: the Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom
Chris Bamford

In this collection of essays, Bamford, director of Lindisfarne Books, explores Sophia, or divine feminine wisdom, as expressed throughout the Hermetic or esoteric tradition in Christianity, and in the profound insights of many great Western thinkers and poets, and potentially in each of us as we learn to act like Wisdom herself, opening to receive what God gives. Bamford embraces a difficult subject with personal passion, rendering it with a poetry and incision that sincere readers will find deeply inspiring. Bamford describes the way feminine wisdom acts as the companion and helper to God, a kind of omnipresent cloud or mist that mirrors God’s creation. Creation, we learn, took place as a great sigh of compassion, as Sophia helped God become known by becoming incarnate in all that exists. "Sophia’s other name, revealed since the Mystery of Golgotha, is primordial cosmic human nature itself," writes Bamford. Bamford proceeds to give a thrilling glimpse of what it might mean to awaken to our original, pure nature, to become wise and to know the world and ourselves through the Incarnation. Ranging through Western tradition, from the ancient Hermetic tradition to the medieval troubadours to the Romantics, Bamford offers a jewel box full of gems about what it can mean to be compassionate and open-hearted, to be Sophia.’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition
David Fideler and Sabrineh Fideler

Working from the original Persian sources, translators and scholars David and Sabrineh Fideler offer faithful, elegant translations that represent the full scope of Sufi poetry. These concise, tightly focused meditations span only a few lines but reveal worlds of meaning. The poems explore many aspects of human life and the spiritual path, but they center on the liberating power of love. of Muslim Sicily
Leonard Chiarelli

A History of Muslim Sicily is a study of the period of Muslim Arab rule on the island from A.D. 827 to the Norman conquest in A.D. 1070. It is the first detailed study in English covering the various aspects of this 243-year period. It incorporates new Arabic sources and draws upon archaeological studies that hitherto have not been used. The book covers the political, social, economic, demographic, and cultural impacts that during this period forever changed the island’s character. Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean
John Keahey

Sicily is the Mediterranean’s largest and most mysterious island. Its people, for three thousand years under the thumb of one invader after another, hold tightly onto a culture so unique that they remain emotionally and culturally distinct, viewing themselves first as Sicilians, not Italians. Many of these islanders, carrying considerable DNA from Arab and Muslim ancestors who ruled for 250 years and integrated vast numbers of settlers from the continent just ninety miles to the south, say proudly that Sicily is located north of Africa, not south of Italy. Seeking Sicily explores what lies behind the soul of the island’s inhabitants. It touches on history, archaeology, food, the Mafia, and politics and looks to nineteenth- and twentieth-century Sicilian authors to plumb the islanders’ so-called Sicilitudine. of the Gods, Myth, Magic and Meaning in Horticulture
Christopher McIntosh

Gardens of the Gods reveals the symbolic language of garden design, exploring the gardens of China with their moon gates and immortal rocks, the Zen gardens of Japan, and the paradise gardens of Islam. It even looks at Renaissance Italy with its richly mythological imagery, the landscaped parks of England, and the gardens of New Harmony in the US. Striking modern examples include the Tarot Garden of the sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle. Beautifully illustrated, Gardens of the Gods also includes a chapter with suggestions for creating your own "garden of meaning" and a selected catalog of plants with symbolic or mythological associations. R. S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest
Clare and Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

George Robert Stowe Mead (1863-1933) was a major translator, editor, and commentator on Gnostic and Hermetic literature, and thus a pivotal figure linking the late nineteenth century esoteric revival to twentieth century art, literature, and psychology. As a young convert to the new movement of Theosophy, he served as private secretary to its co-founder, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and after founding the European section of the Theosophical Society, edited its London journal, Lucifer, for many years. Mead’s initial interest in Theosophy and Hinduism soon blossomed into a lifelong and wide-ranging engagement with the texts of Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Hermeticism. His editions and commentaries on previously inaccessible sources became standard works before the First World War and an important source of inspiration to such figures as Jung, Ezra Pound, Yeats, and Robert Duncan. A new entry in the Western Masters Series of concise biographies noting key figures in the Western esoteric tradition, G.R.S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest introduces Mead’s life, works, and influences, combining a substantial biography with a collection of his most important writings. Western Esoteric Traditions: A Historical Introduction
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s book is the definitive account of the Western Esoteric Traditions, tracing their complete history from their roots in Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, and Gnosticism in the early Christian era, up to their reverberations in today’s scientific paradigms. He demonstrates that, far from being a strictly intellectual movement, the spread of esotericism owes a great deal to geopolitics and globalization. In Hellenistic culture, for example, the empire of Alexander the Great, which stretched across Egypt and Western Asia to provinces in India, facilitated a mixing of Eastern and Western cultures. As the Greeks absorbed ideas from Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, they gave rise to the first esoteric movements.  From the late sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, post-Reformation spirituality found expression in Theosophy, Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. Similarly, in the modern era, dissatisfaction with the hegemony of science in Western culture and a lack of faith in traditional Christianity, led thinkers like Madame Blavatsky to look East for spiritual inspiration. Goodrick-Clarke further examines modern esoteric thought in the light of new scientific and medical paradigms along with the analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Persephone’s Island : A Sicilian Journal
Mary Taylor Simeti

An American married to a Sicilian professor and ancestral farm owner, Simeti with her family divides the year between Palermo and the countryside. In a beautifully written journal covering one year, she records with an artist’s eye the rhythm of the seasons, the extremes of climate and contrasts between the lush coastal region, wheatlands and the mountainous, more barren interior of the island. With a useful historical perspective on Sicily’s blend of civilizations, she also provides lively insights into the character of its people, their social and burial customs and festivals, some of them of Greek, Arab or Norman origin. The author appears to have retained an American independent spirit while immersing herself in an alien society and mastering the practical demands of rural existence. That her sensitivity to the charms of her adoptive land does not blind her to its shortcomings makes her a most reliable guide. Illustrations. An Illustrated History
Joseph Privitera

Sicily was the jewel of the Mediterranean, and Sicilians were the first civilized people of the Western World-here is their rich and diverse history in crisp prose and lively illustration. This concise history relates how Sicily rose to become the first independent, civilized nation of greater Italy, as well as home to many of the world’s most distinguished philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and artists. The narrative subsequently recounts the region’s millennium-long decline at the hands of foreign invaders, its hard-won battle for freedom in 1860 under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, and its current status as a center for art and tourism. And Sustenance: Twenty Five Centuries Of Sicilian Food
Mary Taylor Simeti

Pomp and Sustenance is a celebration of one of the oldest, most varied, and best-loved cuisines of Europe, at once frugal and extravagant, robustly simple yet often handsomely ornate. For twenty-five centuries, the people of Sicily have been creating what is perhaps the basic cuisine of Europe on the beautiful island in the heart of the Meditteranean. Beginning with the oldest and most elementary components in the Sicilian diet, Mary Taylor Simeti surveys the bounty of the Sicilian table and Sicilian history. Simeti provides authentic recipes as well as evocations of the dishes’ origins: from the simple glories of vine, olive, and wheat to the culinary innovations of Arab and Norman invaders; from the plain but mouth-watering dishes prepared by peasants in the Middle Ages to the ritual luxuries of Sicily’s aritocracy; from the succulent delicacies made in monasteries and covents to the street-food pleasures that have become favorites all over the world. Sultan in Palermo
Tariq Ali

Set in medieval Palermo, this is the fourth novel in Tariq Ali’s celebrated Islam Quintet. The fourth novel in Tariq Ali’s ‘Islam Quintet’ charts the life and loves of the medieval cartographer Muhammed al-Idrisi. Torn between his close friendship with the sultan and his friends who are leaving the island or plotting a resistance to Norman rule, Idrisi finds temporary solace in the harem; but his conscience is troubled… of the Sun 1130  to 1194
John Julius Norwich

There were two Norman Conquests. John Julius Norwich is writing about the ‘other’ one, the conquest of Sicily. When on Christmas Day 1130, Roger de Hauteville had himself crowned first King of Sicily, the island entered a golden age. Norman and Italian, Greek and Arab, Lombard, Englishman and Jew all contributed to a culture that was as brilliant as it was cosmopolitan; to an intellectual climate that attracted the artists the artists and scholars of three continents; and, to an atmosphere of racial and religious toleration unparalleled in Europe. Sixty-four years later to the day, the sun set on the Sicilian Kingdom; but its glory lives on in such dazzling monuments as the Palatine Chapel in Palermo or the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalu. In this, the second volume, John Julius Norwich tells the story of the Kingdom in all its splendour, through the reigns of the grotesquely misnamed William the Bad and the Good to the bastard Tancred desperately struggling to preserve his country’s independence. Norman Kingdom of Sicily
Donald Matthew

This book is an introductory account of the kingdom of Sicily established in 1130 by Roger II, a "Norman" king, and ruled by Roger, his son, and grandsons until 1194 when the kingdom was conquered by his son-in-law, Henry VI of Hohenstaufen. The period covered does, however, extend from 1130 to 1266, when the kingdom passed from the Hohenstaufen heirs to Charles of Anjou, which is roughly as long and as coherent as the "Norman" monarchy of England between 1066 and 1204. Emperor and the Saint: Frederick of Hohenstaufen,  Frances of  Assisi and Journeys to Medieval Places
Robert Cassady, Intro by John Juilius Norwich

The Emperor and the Saint is a vivid place-by-place telling of the life and times of the most enlightened, creative, and dynamic ruler of Medieval Europe, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. St. Francis, who shared with Frederick a love of the natural world and was baptized in the same cathedral in Assisi, is a parallel and contrasting presence. Cassady enthusiastically guides the reader through the history and legends, pausing to describe the architecture of a cathedral, to marvel at the atmosphere of a town, to recommend the best place for a quiet picnic of local fare. Life at the Court of Frederick  IIHohenstaufen
William  Tronzo

This text is an assessment of artistic, literary and scientific culture during the reign of an influential and enigmatic medieval ruler, Frederick II Hohenstaufen.