Richard Gavin

Richard Gavin is a critically-acclaimed Canadian author whose work explores the realm where dread and the sublime intersect. His supernatural tales have been published in five collections, including Sylvan Dread: Tales of Pastoral Darkness (Three Hands Press, 2016). He co-edited (with Patricia Cram and Daniel A. Schulke) Penumbrae: An Occult Fiction Anthology (Three Hands Press, 2015). Richard’s esoteric writings have appeared in Starfire Journal and Clavis: Journal of Occult Arts, Letters and Experience. His book on Night Consciousness, The Benighted Path: Primeval Gnosis and the Monstrous Soul, was released by Theion Publishing in 2016.


Presentation: Invoking the Other: Alterity, Abjection & Dread in the Initiatory Experience

One of the essential hallmarks of the occult experience is a sense of Otherness; a primordial intuitive comprehension that the world is teeming with unfamiliar yet palpable Presence. Often this eerie, unworldly sensation challenges our boundaries of Self and world perception. The eldritch atmosphere that radiates from such Presence offers glimpses into the living Real.

The purpose of this lecture is to both examine the effect of Otherness upon the Initiate and its role in the esoteric experience, and also posit how the conventionally negative responses of dread, abjection, and alienation can in fact serve as profound tools toward deepening one’s bind with the realm of the Spirits.

Drawing upon such concepts as liminality in ritual, Austin Osman Spare’s theory of Neither-Neither, Freud’s Das Unheimliche, surrealism, the oneiric, the literary tradition of supernatural horror fiction, the monstrous, and folkloric concepts such as the No-Man’s Land, Invoking the Other aims to illuminate the merits of going Beyond.