OCCULTURE. Esoteric Conference Berlin, 2019.

These dark days of the year arrived with plentiful, exciting activities perfect for submerging into the personal dark forest of the soul everyone of us has inside. 

Starting with Emma Ruth Rundle on October at Zukunft Am Ostkreuz, the Occulture Conference followed from October 31st – November 3rd. I could not imagine a better date for this event to take place!

The event was supposed to take place at Musikbrauerei, close to Volkspark Friedrichshain. Still, in the mids of the programming, the venue decided to cancel. Maybe due to prejudices or fear? Some even say, ignorance. Luckily, the organizers found another place around where they could host the conference and make the Berliner esoteric community happy. Anomalie Art Club was, then, the place to be. One of those hidden, somehow tricky to find without a map, dark places Berlin offers. 

I had to opportunity to wander around with my camera during the second edition of the Occulture Conference to learn that this is an event that will surely grow year by year. 

These are the Pros and Cons I found (based on my own experience and talking to a few people I encounter there).

Pros: 

  • Perfect Date.
  • A bunch of qualitative Talks and Workshops with guests from all around the world.
  • Tarot diviners. 
  • Esoteric art all around the venue. 
  • Indoor and Outdoor areas. 
  • Body Art performances, such as suspensions. 
  • Zero-waste enthusiasts. 
  • Indoor, no smoking. 
  • Cool stage and stage decoration.
  • PHURPA, of course. 

Cons: 

  • It was a bit confusing to find out where which performance would take place. 
  • Delays in the schedule from up to one and a half hours.
  • No ambient music to create a mood outside the performance & workshop rooms, which gave somehow a cold feeling. And sometimes no music in between performances. 
  • Too many diviners at the same time in the same area. 
  •   The light design during some performances wasn’t always accurate (on those that were on on stage). It felt more like distracting club lighting than something planned for the show. 

I have to admit that one of the main reasons for me to got was Phurpa.
Phurpa is a Russian shamanistic Three-Man ensemble that performs live practices of Bön, a spiritual Tibetan tradition that is practiced in Sibiria as well. Their performance consists of an intense vocal meditation with mantra throat chanting accompanied by instruments like shells, cymbals, horns, drums, and oboes.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to see them perform live, and it was so intense that after two hours, I had to leave. This time I couldn’t miss the chance to see them again and challenge myself to stay until the end of the ritual. This time, with my camera as well.

The conference has a vast potential, I am excited to see what is coming next and I look forward to attending next year again!