The History of the Magic & Mystery School

Prepared by Lawrence Hass, with Bryce Kuhlman and Tobias Beckwith

Revised September 2011

Learn even more from our Wikipedia entry.

 

“In the Beginning, there was Magic in the world. . . .”
                                                 —Mystery School, “Arcanum,” page 3

“My way has never been to follow the conventional route.  My first taste of an ‘un-conventional’ was at the early Magic Symposiums in the mid-80s…. When the Symposiums stopped, I felt a sense of great loss:  magic withdrawal…. I discovered that if I wanted to find a new kind of magical experience, I would have to create it.”
                                                —Jeff McBride, Genii, February 1994

 

Mystery School Logo1991
Jeff McBride, in consultation with Eugene Burger, founds the Mystery School (what later gets changed to the Magic & Mystery School), and begins planning for the 1st event in spring 1992. 

1992
Mystery School
April 26-29, 1992, Ananda Ashram, Monroe, NY
Special Guest:  Eugene Burger


1993

Mystery School
First Session:  April 22-25; Second Session:  April 27-30
Ananda Ashram, Monroe, NY
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Jack Adams, and Abbi Spinner
Special Guest:  Ormond McGill

World Magics Festival Logo1st Annual WorldMagics Festival
August 3-8, Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, NY

1994

Mystery School
First session:  May 4-8; Second Session:  May 12-16, Ananda Ashram, Monroe, NY
Theme:  The Mind, Body, and Spirit of Magic
Special Guest:  Max Maven
Continuing Faculty:  Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Tobias Beckwith, and Bob Neale

**Special note:  The “Man Alive” documentary was filmed during the interval and the Second Session.

2nd Annual WorldMagics Festival
August 3-7, Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, NY
Special Workshops:  Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, and Paul Harris


1995
Mystery School
June 19-23, Dai Bosatsu Zendo Retreat Center, Catskill Mountains, NY
Special Guests:  Dan Harlan, Bob Fitch, and Charles Reynolds
Talks by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, and Bob Neale 


1996
Mystery School
June 16-20, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY
Special Guests:  Stephen Minch and Charles Reynolds
Master Classes by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, and Tobias Beckwith
Workshops by Jennifer Adams, Margaret Steele, Bob Fellows, D’vora Cohen, and David Parr


1997
Mystery School
June 11-15, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY
Special Guest:  Peter Samelson
Featured Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Margaret Steele, Charles Reynolds, Bob Neale, and Bob Fellows

Mystery School '98 Logo1998
Mystery School
June 22-26, La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, Santa Barbara, CA
Theme:  Magical Storytelling: Tricks of Truth
Featured Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Bob Fellows, Margaret Steele, Just Alan, and Kevin Dunn.
Workshops by Abbi Spinner, Tobias Beckwith, and Paula Malatesta


1999
Mystery School
June 24-27, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, NY
Council of Advisors: Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Margaret Steele, Karen St. Pierre, David Parr, Abbi Spinner, D’vora Cohen, Tobias Beckwith, Just Alan, and Bryce Kuhlman

Master Classes Begin. The first one was held in Las Vegas, October 23-25.

Myserium Logo
2000
Mysterium:  The Next Step
June 20-23, Mount Charleston Lodge
Jeff McBride’s Magic Retreat presented in association with Eugene Burger, Tobias Beckwith, Abbi Spinner, Bryce Kuhlman, Katlyn Breene, Desert Moon Circle, and the Alchemical Ritual Theatre Company 


2001
Legends of Magic
November 9-11, Mount Charleston Lodge
Special Guests:  Lance Burton, Ormond McGill, Channing Pollock, and Johnny Thompson
Featured Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Tobias Beckwith, Patrick Martin, and Bob Neale


2002
Master Classes held throughout Europe


2003
Mystery School
June 26-28, The Magical Arts Center (Wonderdome), Las Vegas
Lectures by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, and Larry Hass

Focus on Bizarre Magic
October 16-19, The Magical Arts Center (Wonderdome), Las Vegas
Lectures by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, and Abbi Spinner and Katlyn Breene
Historical note:  This was the first event to feature “The Witches and Wizard’s Ball” on Friday night and “Bonedance” on Saturday night—events that continue to held today.


2004
Beyond Bizarre
October 14-17, The Magical Arts Center (Wonderdome), Las Vegas
Lectures by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, and Abbi Spinner and Katlyn Breene


2005
Mystery School Presents Beyond Bizarre: “Magic and the Art of Storytelling”
September 29-October 2, Las Vegas
Lectures by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, and Bob Neale


2006
Magic & MeaningThe Magic and Meaning Conference
October 25-28, Las Vegas
Lectures by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, and Abbi Spinner

 

2007
The Magic and Meaning Conference
October 24-27, Las Vegas
Special Guests:  Larry Hass and George Parker
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Tobias Beckwith, and Mystery School Alumni: Jon Randall, Fr. Daniel Rolland, Michael J. Fraughton, Paul Draper, Tom Meseroll, Jordan Wright, and Robert Parker


2008
The Magic and Meaning Conference
October 22-25, Las Vegas
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Tobias Beckwith, Larry Hass, George Parker, Jon Randall, Robert Parker, Paul Draper, David Goodsell, Jordan Wright, Fred Turner, Lauren Turner, Craig Conley, Marjorie Hass, Gordon Meyer, and Payne


2009
The Magic and Meaning Conference
October 21-24, Las Vegas, NV
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Tobias Beckwith, Bryce Kuhlman, Larry Hass, Paul Draper, Robert Parker, Payne, Ruth Setton, John Tudor, Fred Turner, Joseph Zompetti, and Mark Zust


2010
The Magic and Meaning Conference
October 20-23, Las Vegas, NV
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Abbi Spinner McBride, Larry Hass, George Parker, Shawn Anthony, Craig Conley, Cory Haines, Marjorie Hass, Kenton Knepper, Master Payne, Cyril May, Gordon Meyer, Todd Neufeld, Robert Parker, David Reed-Brown, Ruth Setton, Fred Turner, Jordan Wright


2011
The Magic and Meaning Conference
October 19-22, Las Vegas, NV
Presentations by Eugene Burger, Jeff McBride, Bob Neale, Tobias Beckwith, Bryce Kuhlman, Larry Hass, George Parker, Kenton Knepper, Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, Stan Allen, Jay Fortune, Cory Haines, Marjorie Hass, Larry Heil, Kabir Khan, Tom Meseroll, Robert Parker, Payne, Luna Shimada, Tom Verner.