Thursday, 23 January 2020

News & Culture: Witches, Witchcraft & Witch Hunts

Here is a round-up of recent stories about witches, witchcraft and witch hunts in the news, books and history:

"My mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me (and other bizarre excuses for not filing a tax return" - story at Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

"Trump knows nothing of witch hunts" - story at Otago Daily Times:

"Old woman branded a witch, severely beaten up in Bengal" - story at Outlook India:

"Susan A. Penta's New Book 'Suzy and the Witch' is a Heartwarming Tale That Shares the Newfound Friendship Between Suzy and a Witch" - Press release at Digital Journal:

"Step Into The Land Of Dark Magic In India" - Travel feature at Outlook India:

"How mum's 'white witch' brew of chicken feet and pigs' trotters led to £10m business in just three years" - story at

"There's a folk horror occult escape room talking over a subterranean Glasgow pub" - story at Glasgow Live:

"WEIRD NORFOLK: A village row in Runhall which became a witch hunt" - story at Eastern Daily Press:

"How to Tell Your Fortune by Reading Tea Leaves, According to a Real Witch" - story at StyleCaster:

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Pagan Events In & Near London at Chinese New Year

Here is a listing of events in London over Chinese New Year and Imbolc that could interest pagans, plus a few things taking place not too far away. If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at

Now – 26 January 2020; The front of the Tate Britain has been transformed into a winter temple in an immersive art exhibition by Anne Hardy, combining light and sound to explore the natural rhythms of the earth, the tides of the Thames and the winter solstice. Venue: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. Entry: free.

Now - 2 February 2020; William Blake exhibition. Venue: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. Entry: £18/£17/Free for members.

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

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:

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.

Wednesday 22 January; The Seasonal Self - Winter Session with Forest Bathing Nature Connection. Meet near Highgate station. Time:  9.30am-noon. Price: £35.

Wednesday 22 January; Time to Meditate - group meditation (usually every Wednesday). Venue: Buddha on a Bicycle, Covent Garden, London. Arrive 6pm for 6.10pm start. Donations of £3 recommended. Details:

Wednesday 22 January; There's Method in the Magic. Library Lecture by Tabitha Stanmore. Venue: Cecil Sharp House, north London. Doors open 7pm. Tickets £8.

Wednesday 22 January; Introduction to Essential Oils. Venue: Wakefield Gardens, Crystal Palace,
London, SE19 2NR. Time: 7pm. Tickets: Free but you must reservea place in advance via  More details:

Wednesday 22 January; Spellcraft workshop for Beginners with London Woodland Witches. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49A Museum St, · London. Time: 7pm. Fee: £20. Details:

Wednesday 22 January; Aquarius New Moon Gong Bath with Welford Wellbeing. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Two sessions: Time: 7pm and 8.30pm. Tickets: £20.

Thursday 23 January; Imbolc Drum Ceremony. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £20.

Thursday 23 January; Sacred Singing. Open your heart and voice through chanting (every 2nd and 4th Thursday). Venue in London N16. Time: 7.30pm.

Thursday 23 January; Vigil for the Outcast at Crossbones Graveyard. Gather from 6.45pm for a 7pm start in Redcross Way outside the Memorial Gates, London SE1 1TA. For more details, visit

Thursday 23 January; Wicca on Film: the Early Seventies. Talk by Gary Parsons. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £10. Book by visiting the shop or online:

Friday 24 January; Meditation and Om Healing. (Weekly, usually on Friday). Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8EA. Time: 7pm. Entry free.

Friday 24 January; Gerrie March Presents her Students. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London, SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £13/£15.

Friday 24 January - Sunday 26 January; Reiki Level I course. Venue: The Upminster Complementary Healing and Teaching Sanctuary, Pea Lane, Upminster, Havering, RM142XH. Starts at 7pm on Friday and ends 1pm on Sunday. Weekend costs £200. For details call 07786328908; email or visit

Saturday 25 January; Awaken the Goddess Festival. Venue: Exhibition Hall, Fulham Library, 598 Fulham Road, London SW6 5NX. Time: 9.45am – 7pm. Tickets: £26.

Saturday 25 January; Underworld Journeys: Myth, Psyche and Initiation, 2nd part of course by pagan tutor Kenneth Rees. Venue: The Mary Ward Centre, Queen Square, London WC1 (nearest tube stations – Holborn, Russell Square). Time: 10.15am – 5.30pm. Fees: £57/£20. Enrolment: 0207 269 6000 or online at:

Saturday 25 January; Gong Bath with Guru Ben. Venue: The Upminster Complementary Healing and Teaching Sanctuary, Pea Lane, Upminster, Havering, RM142XH. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £20.

Sunday 26 January (tbc); 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.

Sunday 26 January; NWK Pagans Moot. Venue: Chislehurst Caves, Bromley, London BR7. Time: 11am.

Sunday 26 January; Candle Magic Workshop. Afternoon workshop based on my book Pagan Portals - Candle Magic. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 1pm. Cost: £20 per person. You can book online at or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

Sunday 26 January; London's Chinese New Year Festival to celebrate the start of the Year of the Rat. Performances in and around Trafalgar Square and China Town from noon. Free, public event.

Sunday 26 January; Kith of the Tree and the Well Moot hosted by Philip John Parkyn and Hendon Heathens. Venue: The Horseshoe Inn, 26 Melior street, London, SE1 3QP. The meeting opens at 2pm, short talk at 3pm, seasonal ceremony starting at 3.45pm. Entry: £2.

Sunday 26 January; London Goddess Pilgrimage with Out of the Norm Tours. Guided walk through sites in London sacred to the Goddess. Meet at The Crypt at St Paul's, Warwick Lane, London, EC4M 8AD. Time: 2.30pm. Free event, but donations welcome and you must reserve a place.

Monday 27 January; 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.

Monday 27 January; Reiki and Past Lives. Talk by Torsten Lange. Run by Alternatives. Venue: St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL. Time: 7pm. Tickets £15/£20.

Monday 27 January; Imbolc Witchcraft. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm. Cost: £20 per person. You can book online at or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

Monday 27 January;  Brighid and the Flame of Spring online workshop with Danu Forest. Time: 7pm. Fee: £15, pre-booking essential. For details email or visit

Tuesday, 28 January, Frieda Harris, Aleister Crowley and the Thoth Tarot. Talk by Deja Whitehouse. 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:

Tuesday, 28 January, 2020; Children of Circe first moot. Introduction by Richard Levy, then talk by High Priestess Petra Wingert. Venue: The Devereux, Holborn, London, WC2. Room booked from 7pm, talks starting at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 28 January; So Moot It Bee pagan moot hosted by May Draper. Venue: The Good Intent 3 John Street Rochester, Kent, ME1 1YL. Time: 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 28 January; The Living Wisdom of Trees. Talk by Fred Hageneder. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London, SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £13/£15.

Wednesday, 29 January - 8 March; Exhibition - The Bard: William Blake at Flat Time House. This exhibition opens on 29 January at 6pm with a reading from William Blake's Jerusalem by poet Chris McCabe. Venue: Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4BW.

Wednesday, 29 January; A Skeptic's Guide to Aliens. Talk at London Fortean Society. Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX. Time: 7.45pm. Tickets: £4/£2.

Wednesday, 29 January; Hertford and Ware Moot Moot. (Usually the last Wednesday of each month.) Venue: The White Horse, 33 Castle Street, SG14 1HH Hertford, Hertfordshire. Time: 8pm. Entry: £3.

Thursday 30 January; The Living Wisdom of Trees. Talk and book signing with Fred Hageneder. Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6.30pm. Free event. For more details visit the websites  or

Thursday 30 January; Lucid Dreaming and Mugwort Introduction with Ricardo Goni. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £33.

Thursday 30 January; Shamanic Journeying with Eddy Elsey. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £25.

Thursday 30 January; First Steps in Thelema. Workshop with Marco Visconti. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £20. You can book by visiting the shop or online:

Thursday 30 January; PFL Imbolc Ritual. Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. Time: 7.30pm for 8pm start. Entry: £6/£5 (PF members and concessions).

Friday 31 January; Greet the Returning Light - Gong Bath with Diana Vernon. Two days before the Sabbat of Imbolc or Festival of Candlemas, this is a traditional time for reflection and setting intentions. Greet the quickening life energy of spring and in a candle-lit hall and let the resonance of the gongs renew your energy for the year ahead.Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensbury Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm-8.30pm. Members £22/non-members £25. Call 0207 589 3292 or visit

Friday 31 January; Imbolc Goddess Circle with Lucy North. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £30.

Friday 31 January;  Talk on Spirit Communication by author Claire Broad. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49A Museum St, · London. Time: 7pm. Free entry. Details:

Friday 31 January; January 2020 Alexandrian Witchcraft Soiree. Venue in London. Time: 8pm. Newcomers should call 07767496936 to confirm attendance. More details:

Friday 31 January - Saturday 1 February (tbc); Aphrodite's Monthly Festival, hosted by Aphrodite's Flame. Everyone around the world is invited to light Aphrodite's Flame in honour of her monthly festival. 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.

Saturday, 1 February; Wheel of the Year Meditation - First Stirrings, gather at the well head for meditation at noon, followed by conversation on the lower lawn. Venue: Chalice Well World Peace Garden, in Glastonbury. Free admission to the gardens from 10am to noon. Refreshments on sale. For more details, visit the website

Saturday, 1 February; Spaces and their Spirits. One-day workshop with  Julian Vayne. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am-5.30pm. Tickets: £75. Deposit £40. Balance of £35 due on the the day. You can book by visiting the shop or online:

Saturday, 1 February; London Goddess Pilgrimage: Imbolc edition with Out of the Norm Tours. Meet at the café at St.Paul's, St Paul's Church Yard,  London, EC4M. Time: 11am. Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance and donations welcome.

Saturday, 1 February; Imbolc with the Goddess Bridget and Tara, organised by Wicca Moon. Women only celebration of the Divine mother of 10,000 names in her aspects of Bridget and Tara in a day of circle and ritual. Venue: Tudor Barn, Well Hall Pleasaunce, Well Hall Rd, London SE9 6SZ
Time: 11.30am - 4.15pm. Tickets: £25. Reserve a space book on or call wicca moon on 0208 8507803.

Saturday, 1 February 2020; AnderidaFest 2020. Venue: Southwick Community Centre, 24 Southwick Street, Southwick, BN42 4TE. Time: 10.30am-10pm. Tickets: £22.15.

Saturday, 1 February; Imbolc 2020 - Seasonal Ceremony with London Woodland Witches. Venue: Queen's Woods, Near Highgate Station, · London. Meet outside the Woodman's Pub by 4pm to be led to the woodland. Fee: £5. Details:

Saturday, 1 February;  Dance Temple and Cacao Ceremony. Venue: 42 Acres, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW. Time: 6pm. Tickets:  £11.37. For more details visit:

Saturday, 1 February;  Imbolc: Celebrating the light within - Mindful Singing and Celebration. Venue: Cambrian Community Centre, 1 Grove Rd,· Richmond. Time: 6pm.

Sunday 2 February; Mythic London: Walking the Talk with Caroline Wise, organised through Treadwell's. Meet at Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA. Come prepared for all weather. Price: £22, advance booking essential. Time: 11.45am prompt start. You can book by visiting the shop at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS, or online:

Sunday 2 February; Aphrodite’s Herbal Workshop with Suburban Herbalist. Venue: The Upminster Complementary Healing and Teaching Sanctuary, Pea lane, Upminster, Havering, RM14 2XH. Time: 10am. Tickets: £25.

Sunday 2 February; Space for Me retreat - Embracing 2020. Gentle yoga, meditation and nature therapy. Venue: Jacksons Lane Arts Centre, 269A Archway Rd, North · London. Time: 2pm to 5.45pm,  Price: £50.

Sunday 2 February; Anderida Gorsedd Imbolc open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex. Meet near the car park between 1.30pm and 2pm for a walk up to the chalk hill figure at 2pm. Afterwards back to the Giants Rest pub in Wilmington for a social drink together.

Please note: I do not organise any of these events except my candle magic workshop at Treadwell's. I try to make sure my listings are accurate, but am not always aware of late changes and ticket availability. If you spot anything that needs changing, please email me at

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Witchcraft on a Shoestring: White Candles are Fine

I'm continuing my series of posts called Witchcraft on a Shoestring, which I began last autumn after someone who came to one of my workshops suggested I do more for witches who are strapped for cash. Today I am writing about how it is perfectly OK to use ordinary white candles for candle magic.

You sometimes read in witchcraft books, or hear people say, that you need special candles for spellwork: the right colour, the right wax, made in a certain way and so on. It honestly isn't true.

While things like colour symbolism can be used to boost the effects of any type of magic, people were using white or natural looking candles for witchcraft for centuries before coloured candles became widely available. Handmade candles in expensive wax are lovely too, but again they are not necessary. When you cast a spell, the intention is the most important thing.

For the very simplest of candle spells all you need is an ordinary, white tea-light and some matches. With the end of a match scratch a word onto the wax for what it is you want to wish for. Just one word can sum it up, for example: health, wealth, joy, love, success, protection or justice. Visualise your wish coming true as you light the candle. Put it somewhere safe. An empty jar or an old saucer will do if you don't have a proper tealight holder. Ideally let the candle burn down all in one go, but don't leave lit candles unattended for safety reasons.

You can add colour in other ways if you want. You could put the candle on a plate, saucer or candle holder of an appropriate colour, if you have one. You could write out your spell intention using a coloured pen or pencil, then place that in front of the candle or behind it. Flowers, crystals or even jewellery of a suitable colour could be put near the candle - although only if you happen to have the flowers, crystals or jewellery already as this is all about saving money.

If your spell is to help you get a bit more money coming in, then place your purse or wallet in front of your candle. Light the candle and make your wish, then visualise the light flowing into your purse or wallet, filling it with cash in the year ahead.

For more candle spells, you can view my book Pagan Portals - Candle Magic on Amazon or, as a cheaper option, look at the spells page on my blog for free.

Previous related posts

Monday, 20 January 2020

Tune in to Hear me on the Pure Paranormal Radio Show

I'm going to be interviewed on the Pure Paranormal Radio Show tomorrow evening. At 7pm on Tuesday 21st January, I will be the guest of radio presenter Tom Warrington. In the Pure Paranormal Radio Show, Tom and co-host Barry Frankish chat to a different guest each week about all things uncanny.

The show is every Tuesday night from 7pm and is on Pulse Talk Radio, a community radio based in the UK with wide mix of programmes, but particularly presenting material for people who are curious about the paranormal.

Past episodes of Pure Paranormal are available on Mixcloud, and if you miss the live interview with me you should be able to catch up with it there at a later date.

The picture shows Tom and Barry.


Friday, 17 January 2020

Archaeology News: Underworlds, Idols & Death Houses

Here is a round-up of news stories about archaeological finds that reveal information about our pagan past:

"How 3500-year-old 'entrance to another world' was uncovered near Peterborough" - story at

"The ancient Anglesey finds of 'international importance' that you can now see for first time" - story at North Wales Live:

"Archaeology news: Scandinavian warriors buried in ‘death houses' stun archaeologists" - story at The Express:

"This Inca Idol Survived the Spanish Conquest. 500 Years later, Archaeologists Are Unveiling Its History" - story at Smithsonian:

"The upheaval of HS2 is manna for for treasure-hungry archaeologists" - story at The Times:

"Historic England: 10 English archaeological finds of the decade" - story at BBC News: