Harper Feist is an esotericist, a scientist and a historian. She’s interested chiefly in magical innovations of late antiquity, and the use of these tools and methods today. She is involved in both the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis: most recent past-Master of Leaping Laughter Lodge, Valley of Minneapolis, MN, USA; ordained priestess of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, current interviewer of U.S. Grand Lodge’s official podcast, “Thelema Now”) and the A:.A:. She has given a number of recent presentations at national and international meetings including NOTOCON, ThelemaCON and the Magical Women Symposium. The work presented in this presentation will be published in October in Hadean Press’ Conjure Codex.
The Poetry of Phyllis Seckler – a performance art piece – ThelemaCON, October 2020.
History and Use of the Bornless Ritual – ThelemaCON, October 2020.
The Body as a Scrying Sensor – ThelemaCON, October 2019.
Pranayama: History, Physiology and Practice – ThelemaCON, October 2019.
Women and Grimoire Magic in the Time of the Inquisition, Magical Women Symposium, June 2019.
Scrying with the Body – NOTOCON (national OTO meeting), October 2017.
Class: Scrying – A Workshop of Esoteric Awareness, The Blackthorne School: www.blackthorne.com
Paper Presentation – Toys of Torment and Transcendence
The iynx of antiquity and the strophalos of the late Graeco-Roman era are often combined in today’s historical and popular occult literature. The iynx was a wheel-shaped wooden disk suspended on a leather thong passed through two holes and was used to propitiate love spells. This device has been known since its appearance in Pindar’s Pythia 4. Pindar and other authors describe the use of this apparently innocent spinning toy as a principal ingredient in the most brutal of love spells with the eye to drive the victim to madness if they do not yield to erotic persuasion.
The strophalos, a much more elaborate ritual device, described as a golden sphere with lapis lazuli at the centre, covered with characters and spun on a leather thong, was first described in the second century CE.
These two devices are conflated, confused for one another, and misunderstood in much of the popular literature concerning either one of them. Contemporary popular works involving the attraction and coercion of deity are witness to an amalgamation of the two devices. By late antiquity, the spinning ritual devices – at that point called strophalos – were used in theurgical operations, and possibly in initiations into the Mystery Cults.
This presentation will argue that the devices were never equivalent and, further, neither of these devices have been historically documented as having been used to compel the presence or action of deities.
Time permitting, the presentation will include rituals for using both, and a demonstration of the actions of a iynx.