2005archive gathering .

In Edinburgh, Scotland, 7th., 8th. & 9th. October, 2005.

The Gathering this year was of an exclusive medium size with 35 invited people attending. This is the way for the hard core of like minded people to enjoy the event almost like a non stop party AND have a chance to socialize properly with each other throughout the day

The Gathering this year was a special event in many ways, especially as it marked the inauguration of the Eternal Order of the Immortals, 2005.

Grand Magus of the Inner Circle of Bizarre Magik,Joe Cabral, travelled to the Edinburgh Gathering from the States to invest Karl Bartoni and Bernard Anderson with 9th degree memberships (the highest membership level) in the ICBM. They were the first two people to be made members of the ICBM outside the U.S.A. and head the newly formed branch 5 (Britain) of the ICBM as British representatives of the Grand Magus.

Many people arrived early in the week and stayed on for extra days, including from U.S.A, Carl Herron (Brother Shadow), Joe Cabral (Grand Magus of the Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick), Diana Enright, Richard Lavengood, Mary Tomich, David & Melissa Birtwell, and briefly from Sweden, Hugo Vesper.

As a good number of people arrived in Edinburgh on the Thursday, they all first met up at the Sakura Guest House (run by Margaret Clark, one of the Stalwarts of the Gathering) before moving off to Alex's (partner of the late Charles Cameron) flat for food and drink. All talked until the wee hours about magick, Charles, Tony Andruzzi, past Gatherings and Gatherings yet to come.

During the day there were trips around Edinburgh, especially one to Greyfriar's Graveyard to survey an area where a special ceremony was to take place the following day for all attendees. By evening, all attendees were present in Edinburgh and they met up at the Sakura for an evening of fun and surprises. After the official welcome, gifts were exchanged. Roni Shachnaey started off by giving everyone a beautiful little coffin box and Adrian Harris gave all a sprig of traditional lucky heather. Next, Joe Cabral gave everyone a beautiful full size poster and a hand carved natural wand. 

Next came awards. Joe Cabral (Grand Magus of the Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick) presented Karl Bartoni and Bernard Anderson with membership certificates, a plaque and pendant as they were made first U.K. members of the Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick (indeed first members outside the States). A great honour indeed. Next, The Order of the Bat award (this rare award  is given in recognition to exemplary service to magic/k and only to those who attend the Edinburgh Gathering) was presented to Frank Allen, Roni Shachnaey, Diana Enright, Joe Cabral & Hugo Vesper.

This ended the formal part of the evening. Next all were getting their
posters signed, breaking into small discussion groups and showing works
in progress. The informality of the evening was great fun and many did not get to bed until very late.

Everyone assembled at Margaret's at 9:00 AM and took cabs back to Greyfriars Cemetery where we were able to enter a large area that is normally locked to the general public. Our admittance was thanks to Andy Younie and Black Hart (of City of the Dead Tours).  [By the way: There are a number of reasons this area is locked. Search this cemetery on the internet and read the history, HERE or HERE.  

Andy unlocked the gate and all filed down a long outdoor corridor flanked by ancient chambers on both sides. At the end Andy gathered the group around and related the history of the grounds as Karl Bartoni, Brother Shadow, Bernard Anderson and Joe Cabral prepared for the ceremony.

When Andy finished the special ceremony was conducted and then there were photos taken.  Everyone then went to the Unionist Club, the venue for the afternoon session and show. This started off after a reading by Roni Shachnaey and a moments silence whilst candles were lit in memory of Charle W. Cameron and Tony Andruzzi.  Trevor McCombie then gave everyone a CD of his lecture and our good friend, Adrian Harris, then took over as MC and did a wonderful job for the informal afternoon show.

Brother Shadow gave us his "Bizarre Words of Encouragement." Michael Diamond presented his "Return of the Highgate Vampire." A very
nice performance piece done in true Andruzzi style.
Next Leslie Melville with his extremely entertaining thumb tie routine and later, a performance of one of the routines featured in his recent book (Kismet! - Or "The Enchanted Stepping Stones"). Brian Maxwell, who knows how to put on a show, took the classic "Rope Though Body" trick and turned it into a "Phantom of the Opera" tale. Bernard Anderson entertained us with a very large parchment while telling the story of "When Witches Meet." Diana Enright  weaved a story around purple strips of ribbon that magically linked together at the end. Joe Cabral performed his "Ring in a Dead Frog." (Yes, you read it right). Adrian Harris entertained us with a wonderful prediction involving lots of ties. Finally, Roni Shachnaey performed his "Graffiti" (Russian Roulette with cans of spray paint). The show was wonderful and the talents of all the performers were readily appreciated by those watching.

That evening everyone went back to Margaret's for a buffet supper and yet
more magic and fun.
Brian Maxwell performed close-up now and was just as masterful as he was earlier. Kevin Price waited  for everyone to finish eating before he did his voodoo presentation.  He took out a voodoo doll, mumbled a few words over it, and then stabbed it in the face where the nose would be. After a few moments HIS nose began to bleed. A test of sympathetic magick.  This was another great night at the Gathering but we all knew we were coming to the end as Saturday night gradually turned into
Sunday morning.

There was one bit of magic yet to be done: A magic show as a parting
gift for Margaret and her grandchildren. While waiting for Margaret's
family to arrive many were treated to a video of Karl Bartoni's early
days as an escape artist. What a treat it was to see young Karl in
action. The kids arrived and we did the magic show. Not bizarre, but great fun and well received. Sunday night we had the goodbye dinner at a favorite Chinese restaurant for those who were leaving in the morning. A few people returned to Margaret's afterwards to continue with chats about magic and thoughts for the next Gathering.

Throughout the days of the Gathering, Jim Critchlow informally showed off his devious magical inventions, thinking and performances, much to the amazement of all. All in all, a great time had by all and the days passed to fast. Some people stayed on in Edinburgh for a few sightseeing trips and another meal at Alex's before bidding farewell for another year.

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