“Živorad Mihajlović Slavinski and Occultism’s Evolution in Former Yugoslavia and Contemporary Serbia”: María Pinal Villanueva Wins RENSEP Fieldwork Grant

In June 2023 we announced the Fieldwork Grant, aimed at funding doctoral dissertation research that contributes to anthropological knowledge centred around the study of esoteric practices. Our objective is to support significant and dynamic projects that advance our comprehension of esoteric practices. We are happy to announce that the grant has been awarded to María Pinal Villanueva for her project titled “Živorad Mihajlović Slavinski and Occultism’s Evolution in Former Yugoslavia and Contemporary Serbia.”

María’s research delves into the evolution of occultism in former Yugoslavia and contemporary Serbia, with a particular focus on the work of Živorad Mihajlović Slavinski, psychologist and founder of Ecclesia Gnostca Alba and Spiritual Technology. Slavinski, a disciple of Kenneth Grant, Michael Bertiaux, and Charles Berner, is credited with introducing Occultist ideas and practices in the region in the 1970s.

Živorad Mihajlović Slavinski and Kenneth Grant. Image Source: www.labirintostellare.org


By examining Slavinski’s contributions, María’s research investigates the nature and content of spiritual practices in the region, evaluating the significance of these practices within their sociohistorical context.

María will conduct an in-depth analysis of the epistles exchanged between Slavinski and his mentors in occultism, Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux between 1975 and 2006.

This collection comprises a total of 179 letters, covering topics such as Bertiaux’s initiation of Slavinski into his Ecclesia Gnostic Spiritualis and Grant’s conferral of the tenth degree in the OTO. It also features extensive discussions with both occultists on various magical techniques, occultism, and debates on the nature of consciousness, among other subjects.

In addition to archival research María’s long-term project involves conducting interviews with Slavinski’s former and current followers, as well as analysing materials. Such as his books, press articles, and TV appearances, among others.

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