thanks to Yvonne Aburrow for stepping in at short notice to speak on
Thanks also to everyone who turned up to support the first in our schedule of
talks for the year.
Yvonne raised some interesting issues, which led to a lively debate about how people from widely differing traditions and viewpoints would be able to contribute to a "meta-narrative" rather than prescribed dogma, with the conclusion that pagans and magickal practitioners are unlikely to be able to agree on anything except that "there is no orthodoxy."
Creatures: Corvids, Amphibians and the Lore of Witchcraft"
in poetry, prose and vision.
Giles will be focussing upon
the mythology, folklore and natural history of two maligned groups of animals,
and is sure to excite your curiosity with tales of 'tick-toads', toad-men and
toad-bones, toads in Romany folklore, witches' familiars, crows in Greek
mythology, the corvid manifestations of the Morrigan, and the magical
significance of some other corvids; choughs, jays, jackdaws and rooks.
Giles Watson is a published poet, an amateur naturalist and a regular in 'The Cauldron'. He defines himself as 'an idiosyncratic witch'. Giles has a PhD in Cultural History, has taught English, History, Drama, Sociology and Film-Studies. He has spent part of his life in rural
We had quite an in depth discussion on the 'feather pits'
that have been excavated at Saveock in
opinions as to what they may have been used for. Apparently the 40 or so pits - which are lined with swan skins turned feather side inwards and contain many different birds eggs, magpies, animal jawbones, nail pairings and newspaper clippings - have been radio carbon dated now and extend back to the 1650s, with one example being as recent as the 1950s. Various theories have been put forward as to their origins, but even the archaeologists favour witchcraft. Fascinating!
Used and developed by Jew and Gentile, mystic and magician
alike, the Jewish mystical system of the kabbalah has a fascinating history. Through
inspiration and speculation it has shape-shifted over the centuries to take on
a variety of interpretations and expressions.
This talk will focus on some of the key features in its evolution and the main traditions that embody it today. Kenneth Rees is a lecturer in esoteric spirituality at a number of
"As If" and "In-Between"
.... two concepts In Austin Osman Spare's philosophy that cut to the heart of modern magic. A talk given by Spare scholar Chris Chibnall. Chris is an artist, hypnotherapist and prospective author who lives in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. He has written a "Book of Pleasure in Plain English", being a transliteration of Spare's original work into a more accessible form: it is currently in preparation for publication".
November: Fred Gillam – Poisonous Plants: Metaphor and Metamorphosis
This talk, illustrated with beautiful and detailed slides, looks at the body of Folklore and Allegory surrounding British Poisonous Plants, and affords a glimpse of the esoteric thinking and beliefs behind the myths of our native plants of power. Fred is the author of 'Poisonous Plants in
Stanton Drew Stone Circles, near to
centre. Recent work at this site has shown that it is much larger and more complex than was previously thought, and may have been comparable to larger sites such as Avebury or
Nick Hanks is a professional archaeologist and a recognised teacher at the