As I reported in a previous post, author and occultist Kenneth Grant left his current incarnation last month. I never met him. I wish I had. My copies of his first trilogy of books are well worn from study. There was a time when he only had a few books published and nothing new had appeared for several years. I used to say that more people talked about what they thought Grant had written than had ever actually read anything by Grant. Today, a lot of his books are available—some quite expensive—and if you’re interested in reading his works I would strongly urge you to read them in their order of publication.

I wish I’d met him and had a chance to talk with him. Reading is one thing, but actually hearing someone speak and talking with him or her is something else.

I never met Aleister Crowley or MacGregor Mathers. They died before I was born. I wish I had met them. I did meet Israel Regardie several times and we exchanged several letters. I also knew Scott Cunningham very well. I tell this to people and I often get awed expressions. “I wish I had met them” they say.

I did meet a wonderful person, Sri Lokanath (Michael Magee) who knew Grant. Through Lokanath I was introduced to a far deeper world of Tantra and one of the most important modern teachers of the subject, Mahendranath. I never met Mahendranath, but we did exchange several letters. I have a photo of him, which he sent me, on one of my altars. I wish I’d met him.  I have met Dr. Jonn Mumford several times. Mahendranath, Mumford, and Osho (AKA Rajneesh) are the three pillars upon which modern practical Tantra are built. I never met Osho or Mahendranth. I wish I had.

There’s an old saying: If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. I would say it’s time to stop being a beggar. Instead of spending time years from now wishing we had  met with important leaders of the occult community, I would urge people to seek them out when they’re speaking in your area.

For example, this coming weekend (February 18–21, 2011) in San Jose, California, there is going to be a huge convention called Pantheacon. There will be numerous speakers, teachers, and authors there, some you may know and some who are “up and coming.” I can say that in the future many of us will be saying, “I wish I had met them.” Here’s one chance to be active rather than a beggar. I’m not saying you have to come to this particular convention, but when you have a chance to see these people, I think you’ll always remember it.

In just one event at Pantheacon you’ll have a chance to meet:

Mary K. Greer, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Tarot.
Amber K and Azrael Arynn K, two leading writers on Wicca and Witchcraft and founders of Ardantane, a Wiccan/Pagan seminary in northern New Mexico.
John Michael Greer, an important Druid and author on occultism, Freemasonary, the Golden Dawn, and other magickal subjects.
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, one of the earliest and most important people involved in all of modern Paganism, including being a founder of the Church of All Worlds and the important magazine Green Egg. He is also a founder of the Grey School of Wizardry.
Tess Whitehurst has had her writings appear in several journals and is an intuitive counselor and energy worker.
Lon Milo DuQuette is a humorist and musician, but is perhaps best known as one of the leading and most important commentators on everything and anything having to do with Aleister Crowley and magick.
Deborah Blake is an award-winning author, a well-known author on magick and Witchcraft, a jewelry maker and co-founder of the cooperative known as the Artisans’ Guild
Alaric Albertsson, a founding member of Earendel Hearth, was on the Board of Directors of the Heartland Spiritual Alliance. He is currently a member of the Druidic organization ADF and has written on Anglo-Saxon magick and traditions.
Melanie Marquis is the founder of the United Witches global coven and organizer of Denver Pagans. She is a writer who has written for the American Tarot Association and numerous other publications.
Ruth Barrett is a Dianic High Priestess and an award-winning recording artist of Goddess songs. For two decades she served the Goddess community of Circle of Aradia in Los Angeles.
Jhenah Telyndru has been called “the mother of the Avalonian revival” by PanGaia‘s Elizabeth Barrette, developed the Avalonian Tradition and has been teaching it for more than two decades.

I guess I should mention that I’ll be there, too. (For details on all the workshops I’m giving and panels I’ll be on click on this LINK.) As I wrote, you’ll have a chance to meet all these people at just one event, Llewellyn’s 110th Anniversary Author Fair at Pantheacon. Others who will be at Pantheacon whom I consider important include Elishiva Nesher, Luisah Teish, Orion Foxwood, Richard Kaczynski, Z Budapest, Vere Chappell, Selena Fox, Starhawk, T. Thorn Coyle, Margot Adler, John Opsopaus, Joseph Max, Don Frew, Taylor Ellwood, Jason Pitzl-Waters, Sylvia Brallier, Athena Wallinder, Diana Paxson, Tony Mierzwicki, Glenn Turner and many others.

I realize that only some of you reading this will be able to attend Pantheacon, but there are other events that will be held all over the world and it is likely that there will be something in the coming year in your area. I urge you to consider attending them so that years from now you won’t be wishing you had met a teacher or author.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...