Photo: Courtesy of Jamieson Wolf.
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Alternative and holistic healing event to take place at Kinki Kitchen Lounge

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a divination class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you may want to get in on the Ottawa Awakening Consciousness Expo on Feb. 21.

While not a school, and not affiliated with J.K. Rowling’s fantasy world, the expo will give attendees the opportunity to learn about alternative methods of healing, delve deeper into the occult, and learn about magick from some of the best in the field. The event is sponsored by members of the Evolving Consciousness meetup in Ottawa.

Jeffrey Weinstein, one of the key members of the meetup, is hoping that students will attend the event to learn more about the alternative field and holistic healing, and the way it can help with their everyday lives.

“Energy can work to transform our DNA, it has an effect on our actual physical being,” says Weinstein.

The expo will be a day-long event and will feature an array of professionals from the holistic and alternative field, as well as booths and presentations by local astrologers, healers, and divination experts.

One of the local experts who will have a booth at the expo is Helene Arts, a University of Ottawa alumna and sponsor of Evolving Consciousness. Arts graduated from the U of O in 2000 with a BA in religious studies, which she believes contributed to her already budding interest in the alternative field.

Arts now owns a business called Witch Hollow, which is described as both “a place and an experience,” on her website. The website offers insight into the occult, magick, and witchcraft, while the physical location in the Lanark Highlands of Ontario houses events and workshops, and is also available to rent.

Arts will have two booths at the expo and will also be doing at least one talk about magick and how it works. For those wondering about the spelling of the word, Arts says that those in the field spell it with a “k” to differentiate from stage magic.

Arts believes that a shift away from traditional religions is happening, but that people are still looking for a place to explore spirituality, which is where the alternative field comes in.

“There’s a whole bunch of cultural shifts that have been happening over many years away from codified, patriarchal religious institutions… but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t interested in exploring the spiritual side of themselves and of life and continuing to ask the big questions like ‘why the heck are we here?’” says Arts.

Arts also notes that although the field doesn’t mind the word “alternative,” she believes it is a bit inaccurate due to the fact that it is only alternative to mainstream religions.

“It’s actually much, much older than any of the more codified religions. So I would say it’s resurfacing, in fact, after having being suppressed or oppressed over the last number of, probably 2,000 years.”

So, if you’re interested in learning how to tap into your own spirituality, or just want to see what it’s like to get a tarot card reading, check out the Alternative Consciousness Expo.

Tickets for the Alternative Consciousness Expo will be sold at the door for $10. The expo will take place 10 a.m.–8 p.m. at Kinki Kitchen Lounge in the ByWard Market.