Monday, 11 December 2017

News: Winter Solstice, Witchcraft, Trees

"From the community The ‘Magickal’ Traditions of Winter Solstice Come to Canton Public Library" - story at Courant Community: http://www.courant.com/community/hc-ugc-article-the-magickal-traditions-of-winter-solstice-2017-12-10-story.html

"I Visited a Forest-Dwelling Witch to Cure My Crushing Existential Dread" - story at Motherboard: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nedzdm/i-visited-a-forest-dwelling-witch-to-cure-my-crushing-existential-dread

"Is this Surrey's most haunted tree?" - story at Get Surrey: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surreys-most-haunted-tree-14004308

"Why do we have Christmas trees in our homes, when should you put one up and why decorate it?"- story at Metro: http://metro.co.uk/2017/12/08/christmas-trees-homes-put-one-decorate-7143746/


Sunday, 10 December 2017

Hay House is Offering Free Audiobooks

At the moment, Hay House is offering people a free download of one of six audiobooks. I just acquired 33 Spirit Journeys by Denise Linn, which I'm looking forward to listening to. You can find all the details here: http://www.go.hayhouse.com/audiobook-giveaway?

First Copies: Pagan Portals - Poppets & Magical Dolls


Christmas has come early for me! There was a knock on the door yesterday and it was the delivery of an unexpected parcel. Inside I found the very first printed copies of my latest book, Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls. Although the book isn't due to be published until summer 2018, you can pre-order copies already.

Here is a description of Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls from publisher Moon Books' website:
Poppets are dolls used for sympathetic magic, and are designed in the likeness of individuals in order to represent them in spells to help, heal or harm. The word poppet comes from the Middle Ages in England, originally meaning a small doll or child, and it is still in use today as a name of endearment. The term is older than the phrase ‘Voodoo doll’. Pagan Portals – Poppets and Magical Dolls explores the history of poppets and offers a practical guide to making and using them in modern witchcraft. It also covers seasonal dolls, from Brigid dolls, used in celebrations for the first stirrings of spring, to fairy dolls enjoyed in tree-dressing at Yuletide. Other topics covered include spirit dolls, ancestor dolls and dolls as representations of mythological beings and creatures from folklore.
The book is in a similar style to my earlier book, Pagan Portals - Candle Magic. Both are designed as introductions to traditional aspects of practical magic and teach a range of techniques for effective spellwork.

You can pre-order Pagan Portals - Poppets and Magical Dolls on Amazon and order Pagan Portals - Candle Magic on Amazon.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Magic School: Learn Candle Magic in Central London


I'm running a workshop on practical candle magic at Treadwell's Bookshop on Sunday 14 January 2018. The class runs from 1pm to 3pm, all materials are supplied, it is only £20 per person and you get to take an enchanted candle or two home with you.

The candle magic workshop covers material from my book Pagan Portals - Candle Magic, but also includes a few extras. Here is the description of the class from Treadwell's website:
Candle magic is a basic and central skill in the repertoire of pagans and indeed anyone who practises magic. It’s easy to learn, handy and people find it a favourite method. If you always wanted to know how to a spell, or if you are keen to be able to work simple magic in accordance with old traditions, this evening is for you.
To book a place on the workshop call 020 7419 8507, email info@treadwells-london.com or visit via the Treadwell's website: https://www.treadwells-london.com/event/practical-candle-magic-10/

You can buy copies of Pagan Portals - Candle Magic at Treadwell's store and online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/shop/candle-magic-lucya-starza/

Treadwell's is at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS.

Links:
https://www.treadwells-london.com/event/practical-candle-magic-10/
http://www.moon-books.net/books/pagan-portals-candle-magic
https://www.treadwells-london.com/shop/candle-magic-lucya-starza/

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Colette Clairvoyant's Book Review of Every Day Magic


Here is a wonderful video review of the book I edited, Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days.

If you like what you see, you can view Every Day Magic on Amazon.

Survey Leads to Book & Map of British & Irish Fairies

Where to find fairies in the UK
Today, a major modern history of British and Irish fairies is officially published. The book Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present is by Dr Simon Young and Dr Ceri Houlbrook, who conducted a survey on modern fairy beliefs.

Britain's Belief in Fairies is Going Up
Dr Simon Young, lead scholar of Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present, concluded as part of the research the first scholarly online fairy survey over four years that British people's belief in fairies is increasing.

Only four per cent said they did not believe in fairies, while 44 per cent of the respondents said they had actually seen fairies. Twenty-three per cent they had seen a fairy once, 57 per cent saw them occasionally and 20 per cent saw them regularly. The rising number of sightings correlates with the popularity of films about myths and the supernatural such as The Lord of the Rings (based by JRR Tolkien on a Worcestershire fairy recorded as being seen near his aunt's house).

The online questionnaires included detailed questions about the geographical, social and religious background of the respondents as well as their actual experiences. Dr Simon Young and Dr Ceri Houlbrook (Fellow at Hertfordshire University) were supported by a team of leading folklore and history researchers from the Universities of Chichester, Bristol, Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, the Folklore Society and Bourne Hall Museum.

Britain's Fairy-Map: British Fairies Like Cities
All of those who provided detailed descriptions of their sighting of British and Irish Fairies also added geographical locations where they saw (or continue to see fairies). This data allowed Dr Simon Young to draw up the first fairy map for Britain. The map of sightings by respondents addresses at least one previously unanswerable question – where in Britain one is most likely to encounter fairies and where fairy researchers are most likely to encounter people who see fairies.

Overall, 80 per cent of people saw fairies once or occasionally, which suggests that a special sensory talent is not necessary to come across British or Irish fairies.

Britain's top fairy towns are London (more than 50 per cent of regular city sightings), Birmingham, Bath, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Britain's top fairy counties are Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, London, Essex and Oxfordshire. Yorkshire, where the Cottingley Fairy photographs were taken, is still one of Britain's most active counties where fairies are regularly sighted

British and Irish Fairies are Not Necessarily Nice
British fairies are not necessarily nice tutu-wearing butterfly-sized creatures. Respondents who encountered British and Irish fairies reported that they were angry (particularly in Essex and Scotland) and mischievous. Some respondents reported that their encounters were sexually and erotically charged (especially in Essex, Hampshire and Somerset). Fairy sizes varied from leaf-size to 15ft giants.

For further information on the results click on this link: Britain's Fairies Are Not Necessarily Nice

You can view Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present on Amazon

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

This Week's Pagan Events In and Near London


Here are events in London over the next week or so 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 - 16 December; Curses! by Bompas and Parr. Exhibition and immersive installation at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, Malet Place, London, WC1 6BT. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/events/curses-bompas-parr

Now to 31 December; The London Stone on Display. Venue: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN. Free exhibition during museum opening hours. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london

Now - Wednesday 28 February 2018; Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Venue: PACCAR Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. Timed slots every day. Tickets £16 adult, £8 child. Enquiries: 01937 546546. https://www.bl.uk/
Now - 8 April 2018; Exhibition: Living with Gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond. Venue: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Tickets: £15 standard, members free but booking essential. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

Now - Wednesday 28 February 2018; The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic: An exhibition dedicated to Cornwall’s most magical Museum, featuring photographs from Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic by Sara Hannant and Simon Costin. Last Tuesday Society. Venue: Viktor Wynd's Museum of Curiosities, 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RP. http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/


Wednesday 6 December; Traditional Tibetan spiritual chanting from the Dalai Lama’s Gyuto monks. Venue: Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6pm. Free event. For more details Tel 020 7836 2182 or visit the website http://www.watkinsbooks.com/

Wednesday 6 December; Time to Meditate - group meditation. 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 6 December; Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub. (Note change of talk and speaker) Deborah Hyde talking on fairies. Free mince pies will be available. Venue: The Star and Garter, 60 Old Woolwich Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NY. Time: 7.30pm. Details: http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/

Thursday 7 December; Curator's introduction to Living with Gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond. Venue: BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 1.30pm. Free, but advance booking required. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

Friday 8 December; Gallery talk: Lost or found? Anglo-Saxon beliefs before Christianity. Venue: Room 41, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 1.15pm. Free event. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/

Friday 8 December; Open Evening at The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 5pm-9pm. Cost: £25. Advance booking essential. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Friday 8 December; Oasis of Sound - Sound Bath and Mantra with Anne Malone. Organised by the Oasis of Sound Meetup Group. Venue: The Life Centre Islington, Brittania Row, North London. Tickets £15. Time: 7.30pm. Details: https://www.meetup.com/Oasis-of-Sound-Sound-Bath-n-Sound-Scape/

Saturday 9 December; Radical Potions: exploring herbal folk medicine of London's past, Hosted by Gone Wild Herbs and others. Venue: The Imaginarium of St Nick London, 32 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TU. Time: noon. Tickets £30/£25.  www.designmynight.com  and https://www.facebook.com/events/326274791179635/

Saturday 9 December; Mars, Planet of Passion. Afternoon Seminar with Chris and Vivianne Crowley. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 1pm. Tickets £20. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Saturday 9 December; Psychic Saturday hosted by The Witches' Inn and Crossed Palms. Venue: The Essential Training Organization, The Pilot Building Quarryside Business Park Thornton Side Unit 1, Redhill, RH12LJ. Time: noon. https://www.facebook.com/events/339063503188595/

Saturday 9 December; The Mysterium: the World’s Most Bizarre and Enigmatic Phenomena. Talks by David Bramwell, Mark Pilkington and  Jenny Rowe at The London Fortean Society. Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. Time: 2pm. Tickets: £8 plus booking fee. http://forteanlondon.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday 9 December; Changing Gods and Rewriting Rituals. Workshop with Lesley Jackson. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49A Museum St, London WC1A 1LY. Time: 2pm. Cost - contact Atlantis for details, advance booking required. Tel: 020 7405 2120 or email atlantis@theatlantisbookshop.com. Website: http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com/

Sunday 10 December; Tarot Cards for the Absolute Beginner. Day workshop with Sue Merlyn. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am-5.30pm. Tickets £75. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Monday 11 December; Young Urban Witch Workshop: Element Fire Evening Mini-workshop with Rebecca Beattie. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 6.30pm. Tickets £20. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Monday 11 December; Tarot practice evening with the Tarot and Healing Group. Venue: tbc. Time: 7pm. Entry: £5, but you must be a member of the meetup group and reserve a place in advance. https://www.meetup.com/Tarot-and-Healing-Group/

Tuesday 12 December; Why social cognition is key for understanding who’s religious and who’s not Talk by Dr Jonathan Lanman. Part of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit Invited Speaker Series at Goldsmiths. Venue: Room LG01, Prof Stuart Hall Bulding, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW. Time: 6.10pm. Free entry, no need to book. Details: https://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/speakers/

Tuesday 12 December; Alchemy with the Science Museum. Hogwarts Curriculum Lecture - part of a series running alongside the Harry Potter Exhibition. Venue: British Library Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £15/£10. Visit https://www.bl.uk/events/hogwarts-curriculum-lectures? or call 01937 546546

Tuesday 12 December; South London Wicca Meetup. Nova Stellar Presents an Evening on alien autopsy with Spyros Melaris. Venue: The Castle, 34-35 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6DB. Time: Doors open 7pm, talk starts at 8pm. Entry £3. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/296968547469779/

Tuesday 12 December; Aleister Crowley and his Magick. Evening Seminar with Marco Visconti . Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm. Tickets £20. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Wednesday 13 December; Discussion Forum: The early SPR philosophers: their message for today.. Venue: Society for Psychical Research HQ, 1 Vernon Mews, London W14 0RL. Time: 6.30pm. Entry: Free for members. https://www.spr.ac.uk/

Thursday 14 December; Shakespeare’s Ghost Live. Talk by Adrian Parker-Reed and Annekatrin Puhle. Venue: Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6.30pm. Free event. For more details Tel 020 7836 2182 or visit the website http://www.watkinsbooks.com/

Thursday 14 December; Women's Singing Circle with South London Red Tent. Venue: Balham Spiritualist Church, 211 Balham High Road, London SW17 7BQ. Time 7.30pm. Tickets: £15.73. https://www.meetup.com/South-London-Red-Tent/

Thursday 14 December; Earthstars Group Meeting: In the dark time of the year, celebrating the return of the light. Venue: Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 4SH. Time: Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start. Entry by donation. https://www.facebook.com/Earthstars-Sacred-Space-104790729559515/

Thursday 14 December; The Dark Side of Christmas. 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: £3/£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 nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Friday 15 December; Tales of Winter Magic at Butser Ancient Farm. Venue: Butser Ancient Farm Chalton Ln, Chalton, Clanfield, Waterlooville, Hampshire PO8 0BG. Time: 6.30pm. Tickets £15 adutls/£8 children. Tel: 023 9259 8838. www.butserancientfarm.co.uk

Saturday 16 December; Meeting the Horned Goddess, Deer Mother Workshop - Caroline Wise. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am-5pm. Tickets £70 (deposit £40). Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Saturday 16 December; Winter Solstice Gorsedd at Coldrum Long Barrow. Hosted by Kent Gorsedd. Venue: Coldrum Stones, Neolithic Long Barrow, Trottiscliffe, Kent. Meet in the car park at noon. http://www.woodspirit.org.uk/Kent%20Gorsedd2.htm

Sunday 17 December; Shamanic workshop. Venue: Woodford Church at 9 Grove Crescent, South Woodford, London E18 2JR. Time 11am-4pm. Cost: £10. http://woodfordchurch.com/

Sunday 17 December; Yule Ritual in Highgate with London Woodland Witches Magicians and Outdoor Pagans. Meet at The Woodman's Pub, Archway Road, Highgate, from 2pm-2.30pm to walk to the woods Queens Woods. Fee: £3. You must reserve a place in advance. Wear outdoor clothes and bring lanterns and a drum if you have one. Details and bookings: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Outdoor-Pagans/

Sunday 17 December; A Blot for Holda. Heathen Winter Solstice rite in Greenwich Park. Time: 2pm.  Bring food and drink to share. Details: https://www.meetup.com/The-Kith-of-The-Tree-and-The-Well/

Note: I do not organise any of these events so please contact the organisers before turning up to anything. I try to make sure my listings are accurate, but if you spot an error, please let me know.