Friday, 6 December 2019

Witch Games: Villainous - Playing Disney Baddies

After doing witchy things, playing board games is one of my favourite activities of an evening. If the games are vaguely witch-themed, all the better. Here's my review of Villainous, a board game in which you play villains from Disney movies.

My favourite character to play is Maleficent (of course). Other villains are Jafar, Ursula, Captain Hook, Queen of Hearts, and Prince John.

It is an unusual game, as each player has their own unique board in front of them, representing their land or kingdom. The first one to complete their goals wins, and the goals are, of course, something nefarious. Malificent is trying to put curses in place across the land, for example. You interact with other players by also playing cards that allow you to send good guys, such as Ariel, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Robin Hood, Dormouse, to thwart them.

The game is for up to six players; it is strategic but not too difficult. There is a reasonable amount of variety because the characters are all a bit different, with their own decks of cards, goals and abilities.

Oh and in the centre of the table is a cauldron that players draw power tokens from - another nice witchy device.

Villainous is one of my favourite new games out this year, and looks like it is a top seller this winter. I'd say it is suitable for children aged about 10 and over as well as adults, so would be a good family game for Christmas.

You can view Villianous on Amazon - and you can follow the links below to read about some other witch-themed games I've blogged about in the past:

Terry Pratchett Witches Boardgame
Dark Gothic
Witching Hour
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Board Game



Thursday, 5 December 2019

News: Paganism, Witchcraft and the Occult

Here's a round-up of news stories about paganism, witchcraft and the occult in the press from the past week or so:

"Pagan police called in to solve New Forest occult crimes" - story at The Times: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pagan-police-called-in-to-solve-new-forest-occult-crimes-j3335fxmv

"Dornoch kids report on trial of Janet Horne – witch or not?" - story at Northern Times: https://www.northern-times.co.uk/news/dornoch-kids-report-on-trial-of-janet-horne-witch-or-not-187352/

"This British Museum's Eerie Christmas Decorations Celebrate the 'Depth of Darkness,' Winter Solstice's Pagan Origins" - story at Time about the Tate Britain: https://time.com/5743167/tate-britain-christmas-decorations-anne-hardy/

"The Pagan Power of Frozen II" - comment at The Mary Sue: https://www.themarysue.com/the-pagan-power-of-frozen-ii/

"Actor Greg Wise tells how a witch predicted his romance with wife Emma Thompson" - story at Mirror.co.uk: https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/actor-greg-wise-tells-how-21010420

"Druids and witch lose appeal against Stonehenge trespass conviction" - story at Swindon Advertiser: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18073264.druids-witch-lose-appeal-stonehenge-trespass-conviction/

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Two Weeks' Pagan Events In and Near London


Here are events in London plus a few in other parts of the UK over the next couple of weeks that could be of interest to pagans. If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Now - 2 February 2020; William Blake exhibition. Venue: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. Entry: £18/£17/Free for members. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/william-blake-artist?

Now - March 2020; Ithell Colquhoun exhibition. Venue: The Last Tuesday Society and the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RS. http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

Now - 8 March 2020; Troy: Myth and Reality exhibition. Venue: The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. You need to prebook tickets unless you are a British Museum member. Standard tickets: £20. https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/troy-myth-and-reality

Now - 5 December; Divine Stroke - exhibition of art inspired by spirituality. Venue: Amina Malik Gallery, 28 Station Road, SE25 5AG. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/950087035356252/

Now - 23 May 2020; Gods and goddesses of Roman Britain eye-opener tour - daily gallery talk. Venue: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 11.15am-11.55am. Free, just turn up. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/events/gods-and-goddesses-roman-britain-eye-opener-tour

Now - Saturday 7 December; PaganAid Yule Auction 2019. Online auction in aid of the pagan charity, starts 8am. Details on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2459571671035990/

Wednesday 4 December; Forest Bathing in Queen's Wood, Highgate. Meet in the cabin behind Queen's Wood Cafe, Highgate. Time: 9.30am. Ends at noon. Price: £25. https://www.meetup.com/London-Forest-Bathing-Nature-Connection-Meetup/

Wednesday 4 December; Time to Meditate - group meditation (every Wednesday). Venue: Buddha on a Bicycle, Covent Garden, London. Arrive 6pm for 6.10pm start. Donations of £3 recommended. Details: http://www.meetup.com/meditation-trust-london/

Wednesday 4 December; The psychology of conspiracy theories. Talk by Dr Dan Jolley at Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub. Venue: The Star and Garter, 60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NY. Time: 7.30pm. Details: http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org

Thursday 5 December; Practical Mystics: Spirituality and Action. Talk and book signing by  Jennifer Kavanagh. Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6.30pm. Free event. For more details visit the websites http://www.watkinsbooks.com/  or https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks/

Thursday 5 December; Book Launch party for English Illuminati. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London, Eng WC1A 1LY. Contact the shop to reserve a place. Time: 7pm. For more details, call 020 7405 2120 or visit http://theatlantisbookshop.com/

Thursday 5 December; Forgotten Studies of Memory: Hodgson and Davey’s Mal-Observation Report and the Psychology of Magic. SPR Lecture by Matthew Tompkins. Venue: Society for Psychical Research HQ, 1 Vernon Mews, London, W14 0RL. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £5/£2. https://www.spr.ac.uk/

Thursday 5 December; Mayan Cacao Ceremony hosted by Ricardo Goni. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £33. www.aho.community

Thursday 5 December; The Scarlet Woman - magical mistress to feminist archetype. Lecture by Dr Manon Hedenborg White. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £10. Book by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Friday 6 December; Open Evening with Taster Sessions and Demonstrations at the College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London, SW7 2EB. Time: 4.30pm-9pm. Tickets: £25.  https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Friday 6 December; Meditation and Om Healing. (Weekly, usually on Friday). Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8EA. Time: 7pm. Entry free. http://theosophicalsociety.org.uk/

Friday 6 December; Holistic Sound Bath Meditation - Summoning The Sacred (weekly ceremonial gathering). Venue: Training Points Fitness and Therapy, 6 Coopers Yard, Crystal Palace, SE19 1TN. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £20. https://www.facebook.com/summoningthesacredsound/

Saturday 7 December; Yule Social Gathering. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 5pm-11pm. Tickets: £3. www.aho.community

Sunday 8 December; Shamanic workshop. Venue: Woodford Church at 9 Grove Crescent, South Woodford London, E18 2JR. Time: 11am-4pm. Cost: £10 pay at door.  http://woodfordchurch.com/

Sunday 8 December; Meditation class with Lisabetta (almost) every Sunday. Drop-in class suitable for beginners and more experienced meditators. Venue: The Little Escape Therapy Centre, 4 Paxton Mews, off Westow St, London SE19 3RW. Time: 10am-11am. Cost: £12 per class, £30 for 3 classes. https://harmonious-healing.com/

Sunday 8 December; Embodied Archetypes - Winter Wisdom with Lewis Barfoot. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 11am-6pm. Tickets: £60. www.aho.community

Sunday 8 December; The Alt Bring and Buy - Xmas event. Venue: The Dome, 178 Junction Road, London N19 5QQ. Time: 11am-5pm. Entry: £1. https://www.facebook.com/events/2894550193889008/

Monday 9 December; Study Group: The Temple Legend. Venue: Rudolf Steiner House, 35, Park Road, London, NW1 6XT. Time: 7pm.  Entry: £3. http://www.rsh.anth.org.uk/ and https://www.meetup.com/rudolf-steiners-spiritual-science/

Monday 9 December; Free Beginners Astrology Class by Astrological Lodge of London. (Every Monday evening). Venue: 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8EA, Time: 6pm-6.50pm. Tickets: Free. https://astrolodge.co.uk/

Monday 9 December; Yule Witchcraft. Workshop with Rebecca Beattie. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £20. You can book by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Monday 9 December to Tuesday 10 December; Aphrodite's Flame 10th anniversary. Everyone around the world is invited to light Aphrodite's Flame to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its first lighting. Keep a candle lit for as long or as short a time as you wish from dusk on the date listed to dusk the following day. https://www.facebook.com/aphroditesflame/

Tuesday 10 December, Nova Stella December/Yule Party and Social. Venue: The Sir John Oldcastle
29-35 Farringdon Road, London EC1M 3JF. Time: 6pm start. https://www.facebook.com/events/426974854632364/

Tuesday 10 December, All Good Things with author Stephen Ellcock. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London, Eng WC1A 1LY. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £10. For more details, call 020 7405 2120 or visit http://theatlantisbookshop.com/

Wednesday 11 December; Gemini Full Moon Gong Bath. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Two sessions: 7pm and 8.30pm. Tickets: £20. www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk

Wednesday 11 December; Sacred Singing. Open your heart and voice through chanting. Venue in London N16. Time: 7.30pm. https://www.facebook.com/Sacred-Singing-107030010683454/

Thursday 12 December; Who Was Homer? Lecture by Daisy Dunn. Venue: BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 1.30pm. Tickets: £5. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar.aspx

Thursday 12 December; The Hidden Universe. Talk and book signing by Anthony Peake. Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6.30pm. Free event. For more details visit the websites http://www.watkinsbooks.com/  or https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks/

Thursday 12 December; Wicca Moon's Late Night Witches` Soiree. Late night shopping, mulled wine and mince pies, also readings £20 for 20 minutes. Venue: Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Rd, Eltham, London SE9 6SH. Time: 7pm. By invitation, email for the door password and an invitation: shirlee@wiccamoon.org.uk. More details: https://www.facebook.com/WiccaMoonEltham/


Thursday 12 December; Necromancy, That Most Forbidden Magic. Lecture by Dr Al Cummins. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £10. You can book by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Thursday 12 December; Wicca Full Moon Ceremony by the Thames with London Woodland Witches and Outdoor Pagans. Venue: Meet by the Millennium Bridge, south bank, at 7.30pm. Fee: £5/£3. Details: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/

Thursday 12 December; The Seasonal Folklore of Plants. Talk at South East London Folklore Society (SELFS). Venue: The Old King's Head, Kings Head Yard, 45-49 Borough High St, London SE1 1NA. Entry: £5/£1.50 concessions. Time: 8pm. (Meetings are normally the second Thursday of each month.) https://www.facebook.com/groups/2438110887/ To guarantee a seat, email cunningfolkmusic@gmail.com

Friday 13 December; Storytelling at Work. Workshop with Tobias Mayer: Venue: 42 Acres, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW. Time: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Corporate rate: £330 + VAT, self-pay: sliding scale from £300 to £50. For more details visit: https://www.42acresshoreditch.com/events/

Friday 13 December,  Yuletide with the Nest Collective at the Foundling Museum - folk performances and storytelling. Venue: The Foundling Museum, Brunswick Square London, WC1. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £12 in advance(£10 concs) £14/£12 on the door. More details: https://londondreamtime.com/calendar/

Saturday 14 December; Satanic Flea Market: AntiChristmas Fayre 2019. Venue: Electrowerkz.  7 Torrens Street, London EC1V 1NQ. Time: Noon-6pm. Entry: £3. https://www.facebook.com/events/445183959464501/

 Saturday 14 December; Seasons of the Sacred: Winter. A shared meal and a look at nature and folktales of winter. Venue: St Ethelberga's, 78 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AG. Time: 6pm. Tickets: £18/£22. https://stethelburgas.org/event/seasons-of-the-sacred-winter/

Saturday 14 December; An African Shamanic ceremony of teaching, joy and inspiration. Talk by John Lockley. Run by: Alternatives. Venue: The Columbia Hotel, 95-99 Lancaster Gate, London W2 3NS. Time: 7pm. Tickets £20 online. For more details and to book tickets: http://www.alternatives.org.uk/

Sunday 15 December; A Blot For Holda. A gathering of Heathen, Druid and Wiccan groups from around London in Greenwich Park for a free public ceremony to honour the Goddess Holda at her sacred site in the park. Meeting from 1pm for 2pm start. Social at a pub afterwards. Details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/151618854867807/permalink/3024277584268572/

Monday 16 December; The Miracle of Self Care. Talk by Cheryl Richardson. Run by Alternatives. Venue: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Rd, London NW1 7AY. Doors open: 6.30pm. Talk at 7pm. Tickets £25 online. http://www.alternatives.org.uk/

Monday 16 December; Occultism and Film. Talk by Dr. Christian Giudice. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £10. You can book by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Tuesday 17 December; Talk on the Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas by author Al Ridenour. Venue: The Last Tuesday Society and the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RS. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £15. http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

Wednesday 18 December,  An Evening with Al Ridenour, author of The  Krampus and the Old Dark Christmas. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London, Eng WC1A 1LY. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £10. For more details, call 020 7405 2120 or visit http://theatlantisbookshop.com/

Note: I am not responsible for any of these events. I try to ensure the details I list are accurate, but do not always know about late changes or ticket availability. Please contact the organisers before turning up to any event. If you spot something that needs correcting or are running an event you want listed, please email me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Online Charity Auction with Proceeds to PaganAid

The charity PaganAid is holding an online auction of exciting Pagan items donated by a wide range of Pagan crafters and traders. These include handcrafted jewellery, original works of art, signed prints, a pagan 2020 calendar, Viking-style drinking horns, tarot and books. I have donated signed copies of my books Pagan Portals - Candle Magic, Pagan Portals .- Poppets and Magical Dolls, and Every Day Magic for the auction. You can see the entire list here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/teh_guru/m.html?

PaganAid aims to tackle environmental issues and poverty. Many people are poor as a result of the exploitation and industrialisation of the environment. Some of them have no choice but to deplete their local environment because of their poverty. PaganAid wants to break this cycle of destitution and destruction by helping people to meet their basic needs through living in harmony with nature.

It intends doing this by funding small-scale projects that help poor and marginalised communities to protect and develop their own livelihoods and the environment about them – projects that put equal value on ending poverty and protecting Mother Earth. The auction is part of fund raising efforts towards these goals.

All of the money from this auction will go to PaganAid-supported good causes. It is running on Ebay from the 1st-7th December, meaning you can do your Yule shopping and benefit charity at the same time.

There are more details about the auction on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2459571671035990/

Monday, 2 December 2019

Yuletide Folklore: The Christmas Goat from Sweden


It is December, so are you ready for some Yuletide folklore? These lovely little straw animals are Christmas goats from Sweden. They are on display at the Horniman Museum in south east London. According to the museum's information: 
The Yule goat predates Christianity and is probably connected with the Norse god Thor. Thor rode across the sky in a chariot pulled by two goats. At harvest time the last sheaf gathered was thought to have lucky properties and was saved for making into the Christmas goat.
During the 19th century, one of the men of the family would dress up as a goat, knock on the door, and hand out gifts to children. By the early 20th century, a mythological figure, Tomten, had taken over the role, but the goat is still used for decoration.
I am really tempted to go out into my garden and see if I can find some dried grasses suitable for making into a Christmas goat to bring luck to my own Yuletide festivities.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is at 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ. You can find out more about the museum here: www.horniman.ac.uk/

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2016/10/a-night-of-magic-at-horniman-museum.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/08/magical-doll-healing-kundu-at-horniman.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/12/the-night-of-dark-lucy-2-books-on.html