Friday, 22 May 2015

This Week's Pagan Events In and Near London


Here are some of the events in London and a few in other parts of the UK that could be of interest to pagans over the Bank Holiday weekend for the week ahead:

Now - 25 May; Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album. Art Exhibition at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN. Open 10am-6pm daily. Entry: £7.50. Details: www.courtauld.ac.uk

Now - 31 May; Surreal England - Leonora Carrington, Pailthorpe and Mednikoff, Robin Ironside and Austin Osman Spare. Exhibition at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History, 11 Mare St, London, E8 4RP. Museum open Wednesday - Sunday 11am - 10pm. Tickets £3. More details: http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

Now to Sunday 19 July. Numinous - photographic exhibition by Sara Hannant inspired by the tradition of offering votive rags at Cornwall’s Holy Wells. Venue: Forty Hill, Enfield EN2 9HA. Free to enter, opening times: Tuesday–Friday 11am–5pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays noon–5pm. For more details, call 020 8363 8196 or visit: http://www.fortyhallestate.co.uk/

Friday 22 May; Hawaiian Kapa: sacred cloth and potent patterns. Gallery talk at the British Museum (room 91), Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 1.15pm-2pm. Free event just turn up. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar.aspx

Friday 22 May; Free meditation course in Dulwich Library, 368 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8NB. Time: 6pm. Reserve a place here: http://www.meetup.com/Free-meditation-course-in-Dulwich-library/

Saturday 23 May - Sunday 24 May. Dry Stone Wall Drop-In at Crossbones to create a Garden of Remembrance. Organised by Bankside Open Spaces Trust. Crossbones Garden, Redcross Way. London, SE1 1TA. Time: 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm. Free event. For more information on the BOST events contact Nicola: info@bost.org.uk or visit http://www.bost.org.uk/

Saturday 23 May; Crossbones Vigil to honour The Goose and the outcast dead of Cross Bones Graveyard. Gather from 6.45pm for a 7pm start in Redcross Way outside the Memorial Gates, SE1 1TA, opposite the Boot and Flogger pub, just north of the junction with Union Street. Nearest tubes Borough or London Bridge. The event is free, but donations are welcome. For more details, visit http://www.crossbones.org.uk/

Saturday 23 May; Kitchen Witch Open Ritual - Prosperity; Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Gravel Hill, Horndean PO8 0QE. Ritual start at 2pm, arrive 15 minutes before start time. Full details: https://www.facebook.com/events/700912503352929/

Sunday 24 May; Witch at Speaker's Corner. David Parry will be preaching about our need to return to Paganism at Speakers Corner at mid-day. A shared lunch will follow. Location: Speakers' Corner, North East corner of Hyde Park, London W1K. Time: noon. Free. Just turn up. https://www.facebook.com/events/891609400878132/

Sunday 24 May; Introduction to Wicca and Witchcraft. One-day workshop by Shamanic Spirit, in Croydon. Tickets: £40. Time: 2pm till 7pm. You can find out more and book for the course here: http://shamanicspirit.co.uk/earth-workshops/introduction-to-wicca-witchcraft/

Sunday 24 May; South Essex Presents the 7th Annual Beltane Pagan Picnic with live entertainment and witchy market organised by Wild Warrior Events. Vemue: Hadleigh Country Park, Wickford, Essex. Starts at noon. Entry £2 adults, children free. Details at http://wildwarriorevents.webs.com/

Sunday 24 May; Screening of The Wicker Man (1973) at Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BY. Time: 8.45pm. Tickets: £5/£7.50. Box Office: 020 74943654. http://www.princecharlescinema.com/

Tuesday 26 May; Blogging as a Spiritual Journey. Talk and book signing by Margaret Cahill, author of Under Cover of Darkness: How I Blogged My Way Through Mantle Cell Lymphoma.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/

Tuesday 26 May; Chertsey Moot. A social moot held on the last Tuesday of the month at the Golden Grove pub, Ruxbury Road, St Annes Hill, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 9EN. All welcome. From 8pm to 11pm. For more details, email: sian_ap_pysgotwr@yahoo.co.uk

Tuesday 26 May; Meditation and Yoga. Free weekly meetings hosted by Ruth, Katka and Galya. Venue: Phoenix Community Centre, 66 Westow Street, Crystal Palace, SE19 3AF. This takes place on Tuesday mornings from 11am - 12pm. Free event, just turn up. http://www.meetup.com/Free-Meditation-Yoga-South-London/

Tuesday 26 May; Advances in Parapsychology. Talk by Professor Chris Roe. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm-8.30pm. Cost: £10/£12 Advance booking advised. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Tuesday 26 May; Greenwich, London’s Gateway. Talk by Marion Briggs at Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT. Doors open at 7pm, event from 7.30pm - 9pm. Entry: £3.50 (£1 concessions, students and under 25s). http://www.rsh.anth.org.uk/

Wednesday, 27 May; Egyptomania’s Magical Jewels. Talk by Eleanor Dobson. Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm - 9pm. Tickets £7. Advance booking required. Call 0207 419 8507. For further details: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Wednesday, 27 May; Altruism Talk by Matthieu Ricard. Venue: Alternatives. Venue: St James's Church Piccadilly, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL. Time: 7pm - 8.30pm. Tickets £12/£8 online. For more details and to book tickets: http://www.alternatives.org.uk/

Wednesday, 27 May; Sound Meditation. Venue: Goose Green Clinic, 57 East Dulwich Road, London SE22 9AP. Time: 6.30pm. Cost:£12/£10. More information and booking: http://www.meetup.com/Holistic-SoundBath-Meditation-Summoning-The-Sacred-Dulwich/

Thursday 28 May; The Gift of Alzheimer's.Talk and book signing by Maggie La Tourelle at 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 28 May; ____ing Strange: The Weird and Wonderful World of Animal Sex. Talk by Professor David J. Hand at the London Fortean Society. Venue: Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4NR. Time: 7.45pm - 10pm. Entry: £3/£2 concessions. For more details, visit http://forteanlondon.blogspot.co.uk/

Thursday 28 May; Discover your Relationship with the Heart of Home. Lecture with Christian Kyriacou at Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT. Doors open at 7pm, event from 7.30pm - 9pm. Entry: £12. http://www.meetup.com/Sacred-Sites-and-Sacred-Walks/events/222607939/

Friday 29 May; Magic in Medieval Spain and Re-Thinking the Occult. Talk by Dr Francis Tobienn at Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm - 9pm. Tickets £7. Advance booking required. Call 0207 419 8507. For further details: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Saturday 30 May; Shekinah and Her Magical Sisterhoods. A workshop with David Goddard at The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London WC1A 1LY. Time 11am-5pm. Cost: £50. You must reserve a place in advance, contact Bali on either 020 7405 2120 or atlantis@theatlantisbookshop.com

Sunday, May 31; Making Anointing Oils Workshop with Tanya Moulding. Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am to 5.30pm. Tickets £55. Advance booking and deposit required. Call 0207 419 8507. For further details: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday, May 31; Sacred Walks and The Kingston Zodiac Adventure - walking the Gemini sign in The Kingston Zodiac.Meet at Hampton Court Train Station, Hampton Court, Surrey, at noon. Walk takes about 3 hours. Cost £10/£5, advance booking required: http://www.meetup.com/Sacred-Walks-Kingston-Zodiac-Adventure/

Sunday, May 31; Scrying Workshop with Cobwebs at Cauldrons at Unit 137, Romford Shopping Hall, 43 Market Place, Romford RM1 3AB. Cost: £20. Time: 11am. More details at http://www.cobwebsandcauldrons.co.uk/ or email cobwebsandcauldrons@gmail.com

Sunday, May 31; Sunday Afternoon Full Moon Social hosted by Wiccan High Priestess Caroline Westbury. South London Wicca Meetup meeting at a private house in Tooting, mostly aimed at newcomers to Wicc. Meet at 2pm for nibbles and an afternoon social in the garden, followed by a ritual at 6pm. Free but you must reserve a place in advance. Details at: http://www.meetup.com/South-London-Wicca-Meetup/

Sunday, May 31; Enhance Your Witch Power - Workshop, Spell and Ritual session with Global Wicca Earth Healing Temple London. Meet at St Marks Gate, Victoria Park, Hackney Wick, E9 5HT at 3pm. Bring a mat to sit on. To reserve a place and for more information, visit http://www.meetup.com/Global-Wicca-Earth-Healing-Temple-London/

Sunday, May 31; Garden of the Dead with London Dreamtime. Venue: a secret location in the city. Meet at 2pm near Monument. Tickets £3, booking essential, email vanessa@londondreamtime.com. For more details, visit http://londondreamtime.com/calendar/

If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at badwitch1234@gmail.com. Please also email me if you spot any errors in my listings.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Review: The Book of Destiny: Answers from the Oracle

When I was a child, very occasionally, my father would get out an old book that told your fortune. It was called The White Magic Book - a misleading title as it was an oracle in book form rather than a grimoire of spells. It promised to answer your questions, and though it seemed you were randomly finding the answers within in its yellowed and musty pages, it was usually surprisingly accurate.

The hardback copy my father owned was falling to bits even when I was young and I suspect it may not have stood the test of time since. I searched for it among my parents’ belongings after they passed away, but did not find it and have always had a yearning for another like it.

So, imagine my delight when I was given a new oracle in book form to review. It is called The Book of Destiny: Answers from the Oracleby Barbara Meiklejohn-Free and Flavia Kate Peters. The very first words reminded me of the old tome my father treasured:
Imagine yourself in an old dusty attic room. It is filled with relics from a forgotten time and as you look around you notice a worn trunk in the corner. You kneel before it and slowly lift its creaking lid. Searching through the contents, you find a large leather-bound book. Unable to determine the title, you carefully lift it up, blowing away the cobwebs and dust, till the words ‘The Book of Destiny’ appear. With trepidation you open the book… You tentatively turn the pages, yellowed with age. You realise that this isn’t any ordinary book, for it speaks to you of ancient secrets, words of the wise, and with a gasp you quickly shut it. For a moment you close your eyes, then taking a deep breath you open the book again. It falls to a page that appears to have been written especially for you. In that moment, the message tells you all you need to know.
The Book of Destinyis actually a bit different to The White Magic Book – and simpler to use too. You just think of a question and then open the book. Whatever pages it falls open at will give you clues and insights to provide the answer. What is really original about it is that familiar old sayings are used as titles for each message.

For example, the very first one is ‘Crystal Clear’, and suggests that you are asking for clarity because “Your judgements are being clouded at the moment by your expectations and fears, and those of others.” It suggests gazing into a crystal ball for all to become clear.

There are hundreds of sayings in the book. Each comes with an explanation of the meaning, a picture and some history or facts about the item depicted. You can see the image of the crystal ball to the right.

I really love this original twist on fortune telling. It seems to tie into traditional folk wisdom and combine the best aspects of using pictures and words for divination and insight. What I would say is that it is ideal to own this book in paper format. My review copy was a pdf. I used a random number generator for page selection, but it would feel so much nicer to open some real paper pages.

Using The Book of Destiny has also prompted me to venture up into the attic for one more search for my father’s book. Maybe, just maybe, that tattered old copy of The White Magic Book is still hidden in a worn trunk in a dark, cobweb-strewn corner, ready to reveal its secrets once more.

I have discovered that I could order a second-hand copy of The White Magic Bookvia Amazon, but it wouldn’t be the same. If I was buying a new book, I think I would go for The Book of Destiny.
Links and previous related posts
The Book of Destiny: Answers from the Oracle
White Magic Book
http://www.moon-books.net/
http://www.barbarameiklejohnfree.com/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/10/review-shaman-within-by-barbara.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/09/are-some-tarot-decks-more-genuine-than.html

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Being Over 50 and Having Few Regrets

Today is my birthday and although I'm not going to reveal my exact age, I will admit I am over 50. According to some research I read recently, apparently 19% of  those over 50 say they haven’t saved enough money for retirement and 18% think they married the wrong person.

Well, I'm certainly in the first category - my savings wouldn't last long at all if they were all I had to live on - but at least  I am very content with the person I married. I might not be wealthy, but I am lucky in love and I think that is more important.

Here is a list of the top ten regrets of the over-50s identified in the research:

1) Nearly a quarter (23%) said they hadn’t seen enough of the world
2) 19% said they didn’t save enough money for retirement
3) Almost the same amount (18%) said they married the wrong person
4) 17% said they never told their parents how much they meant to them
5) 16% chose the wrong career,
6) 16% said working long hours/spent too much time at work
7) 15% said they didn’t spend enough time with their children
8) 15% claimed they worried too much about what other people thought
9) 15% wished they had learned to play a musical instrument
10) 15% regretted not asking their grandparents more about their life before they died

I would have to say that of the list, the only two I feel strongly about are the first and last. I would love to have travelled more and I wish I had asked my grandparents, and parents, more about their lives before they died. I guess it isn't too late to do more travelling though.

But despite the regrets listed, the research showed that the over-50s generally believe that happiness is more important than money. They remain optimistic and, like me, aspire to travel the world.

The research was put published by Silversurfers.com. Survey methodology: 1,000 over-50s were surveyed online in a study managed by Mortar London.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Pagan Eye: Perseus and the Gorgon's Head


This huge statue of the Greek hero Perseus, who slew the Gorgon Medusa, looks over south east London from the walls of Eltham Palace, in Greenwich. The story of Perseus is told in the movie Clash of the Titans.

Eltham Palace is part Art Deco mansion and part medieval royal palace, but also has lots of classical influences such as the statue above. It is a great place to visit for a day out. You can find out more here: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/eltham-palace-and-gardens/

On each Pagan Eye post, I show a photo that I find interesting, with a few words about it. I'm not quite sure what I'll be including - it could be a seasonal image, a pagan site, an event, or just a pretty picture.

If you want to send me a photo for a Pagan Eye post, please email it to badwitch1234@gmail.com Let me know what the photo shows and whether you want your name mentioned or not. For copyright reasons, the photo must be one you have taken yourself and you must confirm that you are submitting it for A Bad Witch's Blog.

Links and previous related posts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseus
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/eltham-palace-and-gardens/
Clash of the Titans (2010)
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/02/pagan-eye-aphrodite-statue-at-british.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/02/pagan-eye-sphinx.html

Monday, 18 May 2015

Holiday Cottage in Wales with Views of Snowdonia


A friend of mine, Angela, who runs a small farm in Wales is renting out a beautiful holiday cottage and also puts up guests in her farmhouse. The picture above shows the cottage. The cottage and farm look gorgeous both inside and out and have lovely views of countryside over Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia.

The cottage can be rented just for a holiday, but would also be great for someone wanting to run an event.

Angela said: "The house and cottage would make a good venue for teaching. Possibly with the cottage as the tutor accommodation and then up to six people in the house with additional camping outside. The large living room would make a good study room; also the kitchen/diner, which is equally large."

There is also a barn that could be used for activities.

Storytelling events are run from the farm at the moment and Angela is hoping to put on some pagan and green spiritual weekends too. You can find out more and see further lovely pictures of the accommodation, farm and surrounding countryside at Angela's website: http://www.edendream.co.uk/