Amy Hale

Amy Hale

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Stories of Future Magicks

“Western” esoteric culture, including contemporary Paganisms, and modern occult practitioners, are often characterized by Romantic antimodernism, stemming from ideologies of spiritual degradation and loss, and the idea of an imagined “Golden Age” that can only be rescued by a purified, spiritual elite. Yet this portrayal of a magical culture longing for an imagined era filled with Gods and forgotten spiritual technologies misses the many ways in which magic is and has been used as a form of engagement with modernity and visions of the future, not as a retreat into a mythical past.

Today an emerging crop of magically inspired artists and thinkers are creatively responding to issues such as climate change, evolving ideas of gender, and a rise in authoritarian politics with hacks and remixes of occulture that reject constructs of traditionality and Platonic essentialisms.

Inspired by queer and feminist theory, this nascent movement embraces enmeshment, Afrofuturism, play, hybridities and an inspirited universe.

Patricia MacCormack, Tai Shani, and The New Mystics Collective are just a few of the esoterically inspired artists and writers engaging with this time of global crisis through crafting visions of future worlds and magical action.

In this richly illustrated lecture, I will share stories and images of ways that occultists and magicians from both the past and the present have envisioned alternative futures, defying backward looking stereotypes by proposing richly tactical enchantments.


Dr. Amy Hale is an Atlanta based writer, curator and critic. She has a PhD in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA and has published academic and popular articles on a wide range of topics such as Paganism and the New Right, women’s esoteric art, Cornish cultural nationalism, Arthuriana, color theory, and occult performance art.

She has written widely on artist and occultist Ithell Colquhoun, notably the biography Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern Loved Gully (2020). She is also the editor of Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses (2022).

She is currently a curator and host for Viktor Wynd’s popular Last Tuesday Society lecture series and has written gallery texts and essays for a number of institutions including Tate, Camden Arts Centre, Art UK, Arusha Galleries, Heavenly Records and Spike Island, Bristol. Other essays can be found at her Medium site and her website


Twitter: @amyhale93