Many thanks to Dr Scott Jeffery for another wonderful conference report in the BASR (British Association for the Study of Religions) Bulletin. Arguably, this year’s Trans-States conference (held 13th-14th September) lived up to its title even more that the original conference in
trans- prefix meaning: across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond
state: a condition or way of being that exists at a particular time
An unabashed play on words, a ‘trans- state’ is, among other things, a coincidentia oppositorum. An alchemical wedding that defines the fixed place, where boundaries are actively transgressed. In many ways, this point of intersection—this crossroads—is where the role of the magician, mystic and artist collide. Where each can play a role in revealing the neoteric and the numinous, while making ruinous the antiquated and the corrupt. Revelation and revolution are often intimately linked; the sudden and violent unveiling of the truly novel, utterly alien, and ineffably Other, brings with it the upheaval of our very foundations—that of the individual, and of the societies we build. The art of revelation, is the art of cataclysm and catharsis.
The first Trans- States conference, The Art of Crossing Over, themed itself upon the Major Arcana card, The Hanged Man, and focused solely on boundary crossing, liminality and the queering of normativity. This upcoming Trans- States conference, The Art of Revelation, themes itself upon The Tower. As such, it seeks to broaden its scope to include the shock and awe of revelatory and paradigm-shifting occultural experiences; the impact and implications of anti-structure, of alterations in consciousness and of the revolutionary aspects of paranormality.
This is a transdisciplinary conference that will explore the complex interrelationships between contemporary occulture, revelation, non-ordinary states of consciousness, power, structure, textuality and deconstruction.