Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conference: The Archaeology of Gatherings

The Archaeology of Gatherings
Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland
25th to 27th October 2013
Conference Abstract

The Archaeology of Gatherings is a thematic international conference to bring together a range of speakers from different disciplines including both academics and professionals.  The aim is to explore the material culture and psychology behind gatherings of people.  With 2013 being the year of 'The Gathering' this theme was chosen to examine why people over millennia have come together, often in large numbers, for religious assemblies, social interaction, to exchange commodities and ideas, along with other reasons such as farewells, wakes, political opposition, inaugurations etc.

Organisers: Sam Moore, Fiona Beglane, Bridget Brennan, Ursula Garner

Applied Archaeology, Dept of Environmental Science, School of Science, IT Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo, Ireland


Archaeology of Gatherings Programme: IT Sligo, 25-27th October 2013 

Friday 25th October
Informal drinks, Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo

Saturday 26th October
Session 1:
Opening address
Dr Jonathan Lanman, Institute of Cognition and Culture, QUB:
Ritual and Divergent Modes of Cohesion
Dr Hans Hognestad, Centre for Cultural and Sports Studies, Telemark University, Norway:
Identity, power and the sociality of football
Edel Barry MPhil, Built Heritage Collective Ireland: Gatherings:
The Archaeology of Railways in Ireland
Dr Robert Hensey, Archaeological Research Professional:
Crowd-sourcing in the Boyne Valley

Session 2:
Prof Elizabeth FitzPatrick, NUI Galway:
Shifting Territorial Boundaries and Medieval Assembly Places
Dr Dominic Bryan, Institute of Irish Studies, Queens University Belfast:
Public Space and Power – Ritual and Identity in a ‘Shared’ Belfast
Prof Stuart Tyson Smith, University of California, Santa Barbara, US:
Colonial Gatherings: The Presentation of Inu in New Kingdom Egypt and the British Imperial Durbar, a Comparison
Stephen Dixon, MSc, IT Sligo:
Archaeological and anthropological aspects of 'forced gathering' from within the Jewish Holocaust
Lunch with demonstration by Ancient Music Ireland from 1:30

Session 3:
Keynote Speaker:
Prof. Clark McPhail University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, US:
The Life Course of Temporary Gatherings
James Bonsall, University of Bradford, Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics, Dr. Chris Gaffney, University of Bradford, Prof. Vince Gaffney, University of Birmingham, Heather Gimson, Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics, Robert M. Chapple, William Dunlop Archaeological Photographic Archive, Irish Radiocarbon and Dendrological Dates, Wolfgang Neubauer, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, University of Vienna:
Tonight we’re going party like it’s 1985! The Archaeology of Festivals in Geophysical Data
Dr Edel Bhreathnach, Discovery Programme:
Medieval Gatherings
Tea/Coffee and Poster Session
Session 4:
Dr Stefan Bergh, Dept of Archaeology, NUI, Galway:
Meeting at the edge – Turlough Hill as a place of prehistoric assembly
Michael MacDonagh, NRA:
Under the same night sky – the architecture and meaning of Bronze Age stone circles in mid-Ulster
Patrick Gleeson MA, UCC:
Gathering the Nations: Kingdoms, Communities and Civil Society in Early Medieval Ireland
Close of Day

Sunday 27th October
Session 5:
Dr Una MacConville, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, UK:
Gatherings on the ‘Far side banks of Jordan’
Dr Louise Nugent, Independent Scholar:
Gatherings of faith: Pilgrimage in medieval Ireland
Pádraig Meehan, Independent Scholar:
'Cargo Cults' in the Pacific; Irish Neolithic parallels?
Dr Candace Weddle, Assistant Professor of Art History Anderson University South Carolina USA:
Blood, Fire and Feasting: The Sensory Experience of Greco-Roman Sacrifice

Session 6:
Keynote Speaker:
Prof Mike Parker-Pearson, Institute of Archaeology, University College London:
Gatherings at Durrington Walls and Stonehenge
Dr Richard Madgwick, Cardiff University:
A Passion for Pork: Feasting in southern Britain from the Neolithic to the Iron Age
Dr Julia E. M. Cussans, Archaeological Solutions Ltd, Stephen J. Dockrill, University of Bradford, Ian Armit, University of Bradford, Julie M. Bond, University of Bradford, Jo T. McKenzie, University of Bradford:
 ‘You’re invited to a party, don’t turn up legless’: case studies in feasting and community gatherings in Iron Age Scotland.
Closing address
Poster prize presentation
Close of Conference followed by unofficial field trip

Monday, October 14, 2013

At a Perpetual Distance: Universal Freemasonry and Its Historical Divisions - Conference 2014

At a Perpetual Distance: Universal Freemasonry and Its Historical Divisions" An International Public Conference 
March 23, 2014, 2:00 to 5:00 P. M. (PST) 

Roosevelt Center for the
Study of Civil Society and Freemasonry
Los Angeles, California

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Cécile Révauger, University of Bordeaux 
Distinguished Speaker: 
Dr. John Cooper, Grand Master Grand Lodge of California, 2014
Distinguished Speaker:
Dr. Roger Dachez, President Masonic Institute of France 

Although Freemasonry prides itself as being universal, it is divided along historic cultural lines based on sex, religion, and - in some cases - ethnicity and race. This conference will examine the uniqueness of these streams of Freemasonry, as well as what they have in common. 

•Are the divisions of Freemasonry into a male-only fraternity, a female-only fraternity, and a mixed gender fraternity helpful or harmful to its universality?

•Is it possible for a form of Freemasonry which requires a belief in a Supreme Being as a condition of membership to be compatible with a form of Freemasonry which has no such requirement?
•Have historic forms of Freemasonry which originated as a result of racial distinctions, such as Prince Hall Freemasonry, make a positive contribution to the universality of Freemasonry?
•Can there be an organizational framework within which all expressions of Freemasonry work in harmony?

Liberal Arts Lodge Building
2244 Westwood Boulevard 
Los Angeles, California 

Inquiries may be sent to:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Declaración de La Logia Mixta Anáhuac - Declaration of the Mixed Lodge Anáhuac

La Logia Mixta Anáhuac, auspiciada por la Gran Logia Mixta de Norteamérica y el Caribe, Hace la siguiente declaración, dirigida al mundo masónico y profano.
En relación a las decisiones de algunas Logia federadas a la Gran Logia de Cuba y que han sido publicadas en algunos foros de Internet, reiteramos nuestro  parecer al respecto y que están muy bien definidos en el articulo onceno de nuestra declaración de principios, donde se hace mención de las palabras del Benemérito de Las Américas, I:.H:. Benito Pablo Juárez, donde expresa que:” Tanto en los pueblos como en las personas el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz”.

La Logia Anáhuac no comulga con ningún partido político, religión o grupo sectario de ninguna especie, reconocemos a todos los masones del universo como hermanos y respetamos las decisiones que se adopten en cualquier Logia del orbe, aunque no estemos de acuerdo con ellas; pero exhortamos a todos a mantener la unidad, que en definitiva es quien hace la fuerza y a tratar de zanjar las diferencias en las mesas de negociaciones, no atacándonos los unos a los otros, ni utilizando la fuera que da una determinada posición de cargos e dirección, dentro de las Logias o en las Grandes Logias, que la verdad salga a la luz, si, ese en definitiva es uno de los objetivos de la masonería, pero buscándola juntos no divididos, quitándonos nuestros intereses personales de la mente y trabajando en bien de la institución y de la humanidad.

Todos masones, todos iguales, todos hermanos

Libertad, Igualdad, Fraternidad
Miembros de la logia Anáhuac
La Habana, Cuba octubre 2013

The Mixed Lodge, Logia Anáhuac, under the Grand Lodge of the Mixed Modern Rite of North America and Caribbean, makes the following statement , addressed to the Masonic and profane world.
In relation to the decisions of some federated Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Cuba which have been published in some Internet forums, we reiterate our view in this regard and are well defined in the eleventh article of our mission statement, which references the words of  I: . H : . Benito Pablo Juarez, which states: "In both the villages as people respect the rights of others is peace ."

Logia Anáhuac does not subscribe to any political party, religious or sectarian group of any kind, we recognize all Masons universally as brothers and respect the decisions taken at any Lodge of the world, even if we disagree with them, but we urge all to maintain unity which ultimately is what gives us strength to try to resolve the differences at the negotiating table, rather than attacking each other , or using outside influence to support certain positions and address position within of Lodges or Grand Lodges , the truth comes to light, yes, that definitely is one of the aims of Freemasonry, but looking together undivided, forsaking personal interests of the mind and working for the benefit of the institution and humanity.

All Masons, all equal, all brothers

Liberty, Equality , Fraternity
Members of Logia Anáhuac
Havana, Cuba in October 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Visions of Enchantment: ESSWE Conference 2014

Visions of Enchantment: Occultism, Spirituality & Visual Culture. An international Conference at the University of Cambridge, England: March 17-18, 2014.

This two-day conference is a collaboration between the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge and the Arts University Bournemouth and is organised in association with the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE).
It seeks to investigate the formative role that occultism and spirituality have played in the creation of both Western and non-Western visual and material cultures. The conference aims to provide a stimulating platform for the presentation of innovative research in this field as well as to encourage dialogue and exchange between academics with a specific research interest in art and occultism.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Antoine Faivre (Sorbonne)
Professor M. E. Warlick (University of Denver)
Professor Emilie Savage-Smith (University of Oxford)
Dr Marco Pasi (University of Amsterdam)
Dr Sarah Victoria Turner (University of York)

Conference fees:

Regular: £ 45
Students: £ 25
Speakers: £ 15


On both days, all presentations will take place in rooms 1 and 9 in the Mill Lane Lecture Theatres, University of Cambridge. They are located on 8 Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RU.


The conference tickets include a luscious buffet lunch with assorted sandwiches, muffins, yoghurts and fresh fruit-platters, still and sparkling water, fruit juices and smoothies.
On each day of the conference, there will also be two 30-minute breaks for coffee, tea & biscuits.


Accommodations must be arranged by the attendee. The organisers will not be able to assist with any room bookings.

Conference Committee

Judith Noble (Arts University Bournemouth)
Rachel Parikh (Magdelene College, University of Cambridge)
Daniel Zamani (Trinity College, University of Cambridge)

For any queries, please contact the organisers at
Call for Papers

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mestre Didi: Great Afro-Brazilian Artist and Priest Dead at 95

Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos, Mestre Didi died this morning at age 95. Master, internationally renowned artist and spiritual leader of Ilê Asipá.

The body of Alapini (High Priest) of the Cult of Egungun being veiled in the Terrero Ilê Asipá, located in Piata and founded by him on December 2, 1980, his birthday. Mestre Didi, primarily known for his beautiful sculptures, was the son of Mãe Maria, one of the main holy mothers of the Ile Axe Opo Afonjá. Burial will be on the 17h of October, in Jardim da Saudade.

Deoscóredes Maximiliano dos Santos ( Salvador de todos os santos, Bahia, Brasil, December 2, 1917 - October 6, 2013 ) was a writer, and artist of international repute and an important Afro-Brazilian priest of the Egungun tradition He was popularly known as Mestre Didi.

"Master Didi is a priest-artist. His expression works through aesthic creation , one rooted in intimacy with the existential universe where African ancestry and worldview merge with the life experienced in Bahia. Completely integrated into the Nago universe of Yoruban origin, he reveals in his works an inspiration of mythical proportions. He uses a Nagô visual language with which he express the experience of the sacred, which is manifested by a symbology of a formal aesthetic character." Juana Elbein dos Santos.

His Personal and Religious Life:

His father Arsenio dos Santos, who belonged to the "elite" class of tailors in Bahia when Mestre Didi was born, would later move to the Rio de Janeiro at the time there was a great migration from Bahia to the then capital of Brazil.

His mother Maria Bibiana do Espirito Santo, better known as Mãe Senhora (Lady Mother) was a descendant of the traditional family Asipa , originating in Oyo and Ketu, important cities of the Yoruba empire in what is now modern day Nigeria . His great-great grandfather, Sra.
Marcelina da Silva, Oba Tossi, was a founder of the first house of the Nago tradition of Candomble in Bahia , the Ile Ase Aira Intile afterwards known as Iya Ile Nassô. His wife Juana Elbein dos Santos , an anthropologist, was his companion in all his journeys overseas, to the countries of Africa , Europe and the rest of the Americas, which were of great importance for their exchanges and experiences that contributed significantly to the unfolding institutional struggle of the African-Brazilian tradition and fight for respect for minority rights and identity. His daughter Inaicyra Falcão dos Santos, an opera singer, graduated in dance by the Federal University of Bahia , a professor, researcher of African-Brazilian traditions, education, and the performing arts in the Department of Dance Art at Unicamp .

Eugenia Ana dos Santos, Mãe Aninha treated Didi like she was his grandmother, was initiated in Orixá religion and gave him the title of Assogba , High Priest of the Cult of Babalu Aye .Arsenio Ferreira dos Santos was the nephew of Theodore Mark Pimentel, Alapini the first Mestre Didi in the Egungun Cult, the male ancestor tradition, with origins in Oyo , one of the great city states of the Yoruba.

Arsenio Ferreira dos Santos continued the initiations of Didi, confirming him with the title Ojé Korikowe Olukotun. LaterDidi received the title of Alapini, highest rank in the Egungun society, in Ilê Agboula and one year later in 1980 he founded Ilê Asipa onde for the service of Baba Olukotun and other Eguns of the ancient tradition.

In September 1970, not finding anyone in Brazil who could make his confirmation of Balé Xangô, he went to Oyo and performed the rituals in the city which originated the cult of Shango. The ceremony was performed by Balé Sàngó and the Otun Balé of Xangô de Oyo.

His Art and Writing Career:

As a sculptor, writer, essayist and curator, Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos or Mestre Didi was a towering representative of Afro-Brazilian culture.

The vision of Bahia of Master Didi was effectively transmitted via an extensive production of sculptures - which earned him international recognition as an avant-garde artist. Some of his  works are on permanent display at the Picasso Museum in Paris, the MAM of Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, and at several other foreign museums, including in the USA.

Their shapes made  with beads, shells, lace and leather palm leaves are inspired by myths, legends and objects used in the Orixá religion. His initiation - to art and religion - began when he was a boy of only 8. He began making wooden carvings, then came the "Lexus" carved in cement and clay. At age 29 he published his first book, Yorubá Tal Qual se Fala - with a foreword by Jorge Amado and graphics by Carybé.  20 Other books followed, among them stories and the tales of the religious temples of the African tradition of Bahia. But Mestre Didi always judged the written word inadequate in imparting knowledge. In the early 80s Mestre Didi ran a community center where he wrote and staged plays, taught singing, dancing, makeup and the arts to children. He believed there was no dichotomy between the arts, and that all the stories of his people were Afro-Brazilian songs. They were meant to be heard, sung and danced. This is why Master Didi was also recognized as a multifaceted artist, a Renaissance man of Afro-Brazilian culture.  He made the world a richer place for us all!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Refreshingly Different View of Masonic Responsibilities

This letter, addressed from the Venerable Master of Lodge Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento  N°. 203  in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to the Municipal Mayor of Rio de Janeiro after the shocking attack of school teachers by military Police in City Chambers, came across my desktop yesterday. I feel it imperative to share this with Masons in North America. I feel this firstly because too few US citizens even are aware this atrocity occurred. Secondly, it clearly exemplifies a form of Freemasonry which those who speak much and do little, would object to as representing an "unseemly" breach of Masonic Dogma. That dogma favored in North America claims to forbid the admixture of Freemasonry and politics under any circumstances. While I will not excoriate those who hold that position, I will note that this unseemly example seems pretty seemly to me. I think it is a breath of fresh air, and demonstrates an alternate perspective of the best that Freemasonry can be. Sorry, London, I beg to differ!

School Teacher attacked by
Police in Rio de Janeiro 
The English translation follows:

Your Excellency Mr. Jorge Felippe Councillor, Mayor Municipal Cidadae of Rio de Janeiro.

The august and respectable Masonic Lodge Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento     N°. 203, meeting in Ordinary Assembly, takes note of The VIOLENT ACTS which occurred within the Camara Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, involving teachers in the public education and municipal police officers at his command.

Thus, this Board has chosen to publicly express their vehement repudiation of all these VIOLENT ACTS, which are transforming the State to a stage of TRAGEDY, while we call for immediate and urgent measures confirming the FACTS and making the guilty accountable.

18 defenseless military police confronted by dangerous educator
In fulfilling its role in the struggle for human rights guarantees, it is requested that urgent measures are provided to rescue the democratic rule of law, PEACE, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE GUARANTEE OF  SOCIAL JUSTICE, insisting that the priority be the RIGHTS OF CITIZENS.

Furthermore, we request that you, in a dignified and honorable manner, resign the presidency of the chamber and its mandate.

Rodrigo dos Santos Morato
Venerable Master