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Project Talk: J D Kelley and the making of AstroMagia

What's Happening

About the Project Talk

Join JD Kelley live for a deep conversation about magic, textuality, and community, and his experiences of making the AstroMagia conference.

Enjoy a lunchtime talk with astromage JD Kelley who organizes the AstroMagia conference. The hour will entail a casual conversation between JD and host Jenn Zahrt, and will end with a live Q&A. A recording will be posted to the CAELi YouTube channel afterwards.


The practice and study of astrological magic has been on the rise in recent decades. As part of the contemporary western-astrological tradition, its practice has often inhabited the fringe. This, however, is shifting as more are starting to see astrological magic as the “missing piece” within the tradition: that of the participatory. Just as observational astrology moves us out from charts and into the living sky, astral magic offers the opportunity to move beyond concept and onto encounter. Astro Magia seeks to gather those involved in related fields with the many voices and actors who are engaged within the content and context of astral magic.


We take a broad scope: one that can encompass the sorcerous; the astrologically-sophisticated; the folkloric; the academic; and the creative. The aim is mirrored by the diverse perspectives we aim to gather: those from practitioners, creatives, academics, and those who hold the space in-between. Equally, we wish to give space for all levels of familiarity with astral magic, its history and practices.

We endeavour with a transdisciplinary approach to further the conversation based on the fundamental dynamics present within astral magic, that which arises from the direct participation with time and spirit, image and story.



This is an invitation to delve deeply into the ongoing love affair between the heavenly and the terrestrial, and within it to reimagine a 'holy material'.

The role of embodying the astral is at the core of talismanic astral magic, a collision or collusion between the imaginal, the physical, the celestial, and the knowing skill of the mage. While this particular magical form may be the pièce de résistance of the arte, the application we know is much wider indeed.

This is a call for but is not limited to explorations of: knowledge and practice of astral embodiments, be they through dance, body modification, or weightlifting; various forms of talismanic astral magic and their practicalities; honing astral sensibilities via aesthetic, physical, or metaphysical practices; engaging with the astral through building, gardening, and sculpting; and explorations of materia: herb, stone, gem. You are dared to make this as practical as possible. Practical applications of all kinds relevant to the beginner and the more advanced will be highlighted.

Many find that at the heart of this hidden intercourse is Eros, the Erotes, or the Erotic. It is the hope of AM23 to give ample room to delve into these dynamics, their role, and entanglement within the astral arts, as well as to all that is within the astral sensible and sensual.

Host Jenn Zahrt will facilitate live questions from the audience.

Where It's Happening


JD Kelley

About the Creator

John-David (JD) Kelley finds his way through portent and presence. He hails from the urban jungle of NYC, the springs of southern Alabama, and the rolling dunes of Florida’s gulf coast. He is a child of wyrd-ness and delightfully dances in the play of the living cosmos.

He is a student of magical and mystical traditions both young and old and an enthusiastic practitioner of oracular arts, astrology, and astral magic. He has been flirtatiously engaged with Reclaiming since 2002, as of late with the DragonRise WC and with witchcraft formally since the age of thirteen. For the last eleven years he has lived in England and Scotland, reconnecting with his ancestors of blood and practice, as well as, the tutelary spirits of these lands. He endeavours to weave the threads of practice and place between the old world and the new. JD takes a pan-poly-animist view in most of his goings-on.

JD is the current chair for the Scottish Astrological Association, the president of the International Association of Astral Magic, and the organiser of Astro Magia. You can find him at Cunning as Folk where he teaches and practices his range of esoteric and interpretive arts, or you can follow his dance on all channels @cunningasfolk.

Jenn Zahrt, PhD

About Your Host

Jenn Zahrt is an author, publisher, and teacher of cultural astronomy and astrology. In 2017 she was appointed as an Honorary Research Fellow at the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She researches the many forms of astrology emergent across human cultures past and present, with a special focus on early twentieth-century German culture. She has taught and lectured domestically and internationally in places such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. She is the founder of Revelore Press, creative director of the Sophia Centre Press, and the deputy editor of the peer-reviewed journal Culture and Cosmos. In 2020 she became the Senior Editor of The Mountain Astrologer, and in 2021 she founded the Celestial Arts Education Library Institute in Olympia, WA, where she currently lives. Discover more of her work:

Additional Information

This event is sponsored by the Celestial Arts Education Library. If you’d also like to support CAELi, consider joining as a member.

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