Date & Time
09/10/2020 - 09/15/2020
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
September 10-15, 2020
This September, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Esoteric Quest, the Open Center’s highly regarded exploration of the Western Tradition, with a conference in Portugal, a land of bright sun, lush vineyards and expansive sea, and a country richly endowed with little-known spiritual and esoteric history.
Our Main Conference will take place in Tomar, the legendary stronghold of the Knights Templar, with its magnificent castle, sacred convent and magical ambience. It will also highlight Portugal’s fascinating Jewish and Sufi history, introduce us to its extraordinary modernist philosopher and poet, Fernando Pessoa, and embrace the exquisite music of Fado, longing turned to melody. This is perhaps the most moving expression of the Portuguese soul, known as saudade.
Portugal is filled with beauty, a complex history, and deep spiritual traditions. The Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Jews, and Christians have all left significant legacies, as have the Knights Templar. Suppressed in France and throughout most of Europe, the Templars continued in Portugal under a new guise, the Order of Christ. Their grandmaster was Prince Henry the Navigator who placed his country at the forefront of the Age of Discovery as Europe began to explore the Atlantic and the coast of Africa, searching not just for trade but for Prester John, the mythical priest king thought to rule an enlightened kingdom in the heart of Africa or Asia.
We’ll have optional and illuminating Pre and Post-Conference Journeys (see below), and our special, alchemical blend of deep learning, evocative locations, exhilarating music and dance, and warm conviviality that is the essence of our Esoteric Quests.
Contact our registrar, Andrea Lomanto, at email@example.com or 212-219-2527 x101 with questions. Conference brochures will be available soon. Complete information on our Quest in Portugal – including registration details – will be posted this spring at esotericquest.org.
Esoteric Lisbon and Sintra
September 8-10, 2020
Our Pre-Conference Experience brings us two nights in Lisbon, the captivating capital city, overlooking the Atlantic and the River Tejo. We’ll have a choice of either enjoying esoteric Lisbon, with its impressive Jeronimos Monastery and winding cobblestoned streets, or spending the day visiting Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site with its celebrated “well of initiation” at the Quinta da Regaleira.
The Lands of the Knights Templar and the Alentejo Coast
September 15-20, 2020
One of our two Post-Conference Journeys takes us further into the beautiful valleys and villages of central Portugal on the trail of the Knights Templar, who experienced a remarkable resurgence in this country after their suppression. We will visit these mysteriously beautiful eastern borderlands with their medieval castles and hilltop fortress towns, and conclude our travels on the nearly untouched Atlantic beaches of the Alentejo Coast, with their forests of pine and cork oak.
The Camino of Santiago de Compostela: The Portuguese Way to the Heart of Galicia
September 15-20 or 22, 2020
Our second trip follows the Portuguese Way of the Camino of Santiago de Compostela, stopping first in the beautiful Alto Douro wine region and then in romantic Porto, enjoying a serene boat ride on the river and exploring the city’s rich history, including its Jewish legacy. We then cross into Celtic Galicia, the northwest province of Spain, and arrive in Santiago itself. Those who chose will have an opportunity to walk short portions of Europe’s most famous pilgrimage route. An optional extension will take us to the wild coast of Fisterra, the traditional end point of the Camino.
Upcoming Quest Events:
Free Introductory Evening
Esoteric Quest Open House
April 3, 2020 at 7:00pm
We invite you to a preview of an Esoteric Quest in Portugal and Galicia, Spain with Ralph White and Andrea Lomanto. Our Open House will be followed by an optional screening at 8:30 pm of Carlos Saura’s wonderful film Fados, highlighting Portugal’s achingly beautiful art form.
Click here to register for the Open House.
New York Open Center