Saturday, 1 August 2015

News: Burning Times, Witchcraft, Aliens, Pagans

"Monk admits telling lesbian witches: 'We used to burn people like you'" - story at The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11775991/Monk-admits-telling-lesbian-witches-We-used-to-burn-people-like-you.html

"Life-threatening witchcraft accusations still a grim reality for women worldwide" - story at Daily Buzz: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-buzz/life-threatening-witchcraft-accusations-still-a-grim-reality-for-women-worldwide-174354467.html

"Rights groups laud Witchcraft Act" - story at eKantipur: http://www.ekantipur.com/2015/08/01/national/rights-groups-laud-witchcraft-act/408747.html

"2,000-Year-Old Strange 'Alien' Skeleton Unearthed in Russia!" - story at Latinos Post: http://www.latinospost.com/articles/68187/20150730/2-000-year-old-strange-alien-skeleton-unearthed-russia-details.htm

"In Memorium: Deborah Ann Light — Conservationist, Feminist, Pagan Priestess" - story at East End Beacon: http://www.eastendbeacon.com/2015/07/24/in-memorium-deborah-ann-light-conservationist-feminist-pagan-priestess/

"GP Taylor: Tempted to pin my hopes on paganism" - story at The Yorkshire Post: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/gp-taylor-tempted-to-pin-my-hopes-on-paganism-1-7347055

"Shadow of the Horns: An interview with Lucifer" - interview with an occult rock musician at treble: http://www.treblezine.com/24628-lucifer-interview-shadow-horns/

Friday, 31 July 2015

Street Art: Sun and Bird for High Summer


I've been posting photos of London street art over the various pagan festivals since last Yule, including for Earth Hour, Ostara, Beltane and the Summer Solstice.

This coming weekend is Lammas - the festival of the grain harvest. I couldn't find any street art that showed wheat and barley being gathered in - probably because those living in inner cities don't get to see much of that. However, I always feel that Lammas is also the festival of high summer. Although the longest day is behind us, this is often the hottest time of year and many of us are still looking forward to sunny holidays in the country or in foreign lands.

I hope this smiling sun and tropical bird capture a little of that, even though the photo was taken on a cold, damp day on a grey London street. If you want to see this picture or any of the other street art I have photographed, travel to Hoxton in the East End.

Links to previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/06/street-art-solar-image-for-summer.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/12/hugs-under-hood-seasons-greetings-in.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/05/street-art-beautiful-green-eyed-goddess.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/03/pagan-eye-east-end-street-art-promotes.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/03/pagan-eye-march-hare-in-london-street.html

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Free Adult Colouring Template for Art Therapy

Hobbycraft is offering a free download of an adult colouring template showing a rather lovely owl. Art can be very relaxing and you don't need to be highly skilled to do colouring in. Some even consider it a form of meditation.

The template comes from the book Color Me Happy: 100 Coloring Templates that Will Make You Smileby art therapist Lucy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter.

You can find out more and get the download link on the Hobbycraft website here: http://blog.hobbycraft.co.uk/free-owl-zentangle-download/

News: Occult, Witch Persecution, Lammas, Music

"Uncertain times fuel occult beliefs in China's Party hierarchy" - story at Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/29/uk-china-religion-idUKKCN0Q307E20150729

"Twelve suspects arrested for burning alleged 'witch' to death in KwaZulu Natal" - story at Times Live: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/07/28/Twelve-suspects-arrested-for-burning-alleged-witch-to-death-in-KwaZulu-Natal

"Lammas Festival being held in Dorchester in aid of William Barnes gallery" - story at Blackmore Vale Magazine: http://www.blackmorevale.co.uk/Lammas-Festival-held-Dorchester-aid-William/story-27482767-detail/story.html

"MUSIC: Yoko Ono Collaborates Again On New Album ‘Yes I’m A Witch Too’" - story at Flavorwire: http://flavorwire.com/530490/yoko-ono-collaborates-again-on-new-album-yes-im-a-witch-too

Lammas Pagan Events in London and Elsewhere


Pagan events for Lammastide in London and other parts of the UK that could be of interest to pagans.

Now - Sunday, 2 August; Fabularium Fairytale Festival run by the Crick Crack Club. Various locations in London. For more details: http://crickcrackclub.com/fabularium/. Tickets: www.fabularium.eventbrite.co.uk

Thursday 30 July; PF-London Lammas Open Ritual. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn London. Time: 7.30pm for 8pm start. Ritual ends around 9pm followed by feasting until 10pm. Entrance: £6/£5 PF members. Please bring seasonal food and drinks to share at feast after ritual. For more details, visit http://london.paganfed.org/

Thursday 30 July; The Awakening: 9 Principles for Finding the Courage to Change Your Life.Book signing and talk with Sidra Jafri 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/

Friday 31 July; Story-Fest - storytelling aimed at children and families at the Museum of Childhood.Venue: A Museum of Childhoodm, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA. Free event for all ages, just drop in. Sign up for some workshops on the day. Time: 11am - 4pm. http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/events/osummer-holidays-fun-fridays/

Friday 31 July; The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving.Book signing and talk with Lisa J Miller 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/

Friday 31 July; Gong Soundbath - for people who seek deep relaxation, rejuvenation and acceleration of their inward journey. With Diana Vernon MCSH. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm-8.30pm. Cost: £18/£20 Advance booking advised. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Friday 31 July; Once in a Blue Moon - Energize your aura with powerful Lunar energy with Global Wicca Earth Healing Temple London. Meet at St James Street railway station, Walthamstow, London E17 7PJ, event is at a private location. Bring any of your own ritual tools if you have. Meet at 7pm. Price: £10. To reserve a place and for more information, visit http://www.meetup.com/Global-Wicca-Earth-Healing-Temple-London/

Friday 31 July; Blue Moon Ceremony and Picnic with optional evening visit to Krishna Temple with Wiccan High Priest Mani Navasothy. Location: St James Park, London, London. SW1A 2BJ. This event is also part of a Hindu Magical meetup. Location: Terrace Gardens Richmond, London. Meet at 4pm. To find out more and to reserve a place, visit: http://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Outdoor-Pagans/ or http://www.meetup.com/Krishnas-and-Hindu-Magicians/

Saturday, 1 August; Digital workshop - Ancient Egyptian journey to the afterlife. Venue: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 11am-4pm. Free event, just drop in. For more details visit: https://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar.aspx

Saturday, 1 August; Wheel of the Year Festival - Fruition Meditation at Chalice Well World Peace Garden, in Glastonbury. Gather at the Well Head at noon for celebration and meditation until 12.30pm, followed by a chance to chat on the lower lawn. Free admission to the gardens from 10am to noon. http://www.chalicewell.org.uk/

Saturday, 1 August; Free and Open Gorsedd of Caer Aribi Lughnasadh Ritual. Druidic ceremony to celebrate the First Harvest and the festival of Lugh at Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire. Time: meet at the Red Lion pub from noon; ritual 1.30pm - 3pm. Free event but offerings of bread, cake, mead and Bardship welcome. Camping in tents in the overflow car park is allowed on the nights of Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, 1 August; HT Lammas: Pan's Picnic 2015. Venue: Queen's Wood, Highgate, London. Meet at the Woodman's pub at 2pm. Ritual takes 4-5 hours. Bring food and drink to share. Free event, all pagans welcome. Full details: https://www.facebook.com/events/671409319639224/

Saturday, 1 August; Chakra Healing: Energetic Cleanse and Harmonisation with Aang and Vaz of the London College of Spirituality. Venue: Latvian House, 72 Queensborough Terrace, London, W2 3SH. Time: 1pm. Cost: £33. Details: http://www.meetup.com/londonspirituality/

Saturday, 1 August; Lammas Earth Healing Ritual - free event with Global Wicca Earth Healing Temple - London. Meet at Meet at the Peter Pan Statue near Lancaster Gate side of Kensington Gardens, London. Time: 5pm. Details: http://www.meetup.com/Global-Wicca-Earth-Healing-Temple-London/

Saturday, 1 August; Hendon Heathens Moot, Venue: Greyhound Pub, Church End, Hendon, London, NW4 4JT. Time: 6pm. Hendon Heathens meets at this pub the first Saturday of every month.

Sunday 2 August; Lea Bridge Conservation Volunteers will be scything the Lammas Meadows in Walthamstow Marshes. To find out more, visit http://www.lbcv.co.uk/

Sunday 2 August; The Craft of Silversmithery With Neil Burridge. Full-day workshop at Caer Corhain Shamamic Development Centre of the Isle of Sheppey, 1 Southleas farm cottages, Lower Road, Minster, Sheppey ME12 3SW. Time: 11am-4.30pm. Cost £35 per person. Very limited places, so advance booking and payment essential. For more details and information on how to book, call 07885682295 or 01795 874542, email ccearthevents@live.co.uk or visit;http://www.touchtheearthuk.com/

Sunday 2 August; Pagan Pride Nottingham - UK's largest celebration of the diversity within the Pagan community with live music, dance, talks, workshops, performances. Venue: The Arboretum, Nottingham. Time: noon-6pm. Free event. http://www.paganpride.org.uk/

Sunday 2 August; The Silver Chalice Lammas ritual is taking place at 12 noon in the sun circle at Avebury henge, in Wiltshire. All welcome.

Sunday 2 August; Anderida Gorsedd Lughnasadh 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.

Sunday 2 August; Wheel of the Year ritual drawing from Celtic earth/pagan traditions at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, 3 Pilgrim's Place, London NW3 1NG. Time: 7pm. Tel: 020 7433 3267. http://www.rosslynhillchapel.com/

Monday 3 August; Psychic Circle run by Shamanic Spirit at a venue in Croydon, South London. The circle is held on Mondays fortnightly starting at 7.30pm. Cost £5. For more details and to book places call 07952 041477. For more information, visit http://shamanicspirit.co.uk/

Monday 3 August; London Energy Share meet-up. Venue: Friends Meeting House, 52 St Martins Lane London WC2N 4EA. Cost: £10. Time: 7.15pm. To reserve a place: http://www.meetup.com/londonenergyshare/

Tuesday 4 August; Cobwebs and Cauldrons Moot. Venue: White Horse Pub, Chadwell Heath, Essex. Moot takes place on the first Tuesday of every month. 7.30pm start. http://www.cobwebsandcauldrons.co.uk/

Wednesday 5 August; Free Outdoor Event - Guided Meditation and Picnic Social with Himesh and the London Spirituality Meetup Group in Regents Park. Meet at Regents Park tube at 6.40pm to walk to St Johns Lodge. Free event but bring water and a picnic and something to sit on. Details: http://www.meetup.com/londonspiritualcommunity

Thursday 6 August; ‘The Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magick’. Lecture by Dr Al Cummins. Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm. Tickets £7. Advance booking required. Call 0207 419 8507. For further details: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Thursday 6 August; I Met a Monk: 8 Weeks to Happiness, Freedom and Peace.Talk and book signing by Rose Elliot 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 6 August; Fortnightly Druid Order Open Introductory Evening. A chance to learn more about at The Druid Order (A.D.U.B.) at an evening with talks and a meditation. Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm for 7.30pm start. Price: £5 on the door. For more details, visit http://thedruidorder.org/druidorder/Meetings.html

Friday 7 August; Open Evening at the College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 5pm-9pm. Cost: £20. Advance booking advised. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Saturday 8 August; Meet the Archetypes: Tarot. Workshop with Suzanne Corbie. Venue: Treadwell's, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am - 5.30pm. Tickets £55. Advance booking required. Call 0207 419 8507. For further details: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday 9 August; PFL Lammas Family Picnic at Coram's Fields, 93 Guildford Street, London WC1N. Family gathering for the festival of first harvest - bring some picnic food to share. Coram's Fields is a children's playground and adults are only allowed with accompanying children. Starts at noon. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/527764950708771/

Sunday 9 August; Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, Celebration on Primrose Hill with the Loose Association of Druids. Gather in the Hawthorne Grove at Primrose Hill, London, NW1 8YH, between 12.30pm and 12.45pm to prepare the site ready for a prompt 1pm start. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm. Bring a small contribution of food and drink to share. All are welcome.

If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Review: Pagan Dreaming by Nimue Brown

I find dreams are inherently fascinating. They can be like free movies created by our own subconscious minds to delight, scare or otherwise entertain us; they can allow us to do things we would never be able to do in real life; they can give us personal insights; offer solutions to problems and help us heal from painful life experiences. Occasionally, just possibly, they might offer portents for the future or even allow us to communicate with those not in the physical world – loved ones who have passed on, other spirits and maybe even deities.

Of course, most of the time dreams are just a replay of stuff that’s happened in our day-to day-lives and sometimes can be downright stressful and unpleasant. But they continue to be not entirely explained by science, psychology, magic or mysticism. A new book called Pagan Dreaming: The Magic of Altered Consciousnessdelves into the secret world of dreams to explore what they do and how we can get the most from them.

Author Nimue Brown says in her introduction: “I will explore the dream as a pragmatic, bodily thing, as a psychological phenomenon and as a spiritual experience... I offer tools here for integrating your dreaming experience into your spiritual practice, and for using dreams to discover yourself as both a physical and a spiritual person.”

Pagan Dreamingis down to earth, sensible and practical. Nimue points out that the first and most important step in dreamwork is to get a good night’s sleep – regularly. She offers advice on how to do that: having a comfortable bed, excluding noise, eating healthily, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and being kind to ourselves when we are suffering from stress and anxiety.

Nimue warns against using dictionaries of dream symbolism, as what happens within dreams is personal to us and we are the best people to work out what they mean. She also underlines that most dreams are just dreams: “Do not let the anxiety dreams convince you that they are portents of the future, such that they feed your fear!”

Much of the book is about how to explore dreams to gain insights into ourselves. For those who are also looking for the numinous, there is advice on how to spot it: “If you are thinking about a divinatory aspect to dreams, it is worth pondering whether you see that as the universe speaking to you directly about important matters, or as portents drawn from the chaos, or as your own wisdom speaking...it’s important to spend time getting to know your dreaming habits before you start reading too much into them.”

Studying one’s dreams, unsurprisingly, involves keeping a dream diary and spending time just after waking to mull over any dreams. Nimue says: “The more attention we pay to our dreams, the more likely we are to remember them. The more we think about our personal symbolism, the more likely we are to keep using the same symbols in dependable ways. It is a bit like inventing a private language for yourself, and the more you invest in this, the more you will tend to get out of it.”

While many books on dreamwork hype the skill of lucid dreaming, Nimue is actually against it. She says: “Western culture is relentless in telling us that the rational mind knows best. Reason and logic are championed while feeling and intuition are held suspect. What could be worse than to be irrational? And yet, we are not wholly rational creatures and will make many of our most important decisions for less than perfectly rational reasons. Dreams are one of the few spaces where the intuitive side of self still gets to exist. I think we shut that down at our peril. Lucid dreaming can be a colonization of the wild dreaming space by the conscious, rational mind and that’s something I am uneasy about.”

However, she does see dreamwork as being an aid to magical or spiritual practice, and offers suggestions for doing visualisations or prayer at the edge of sleep. She says: “Magical dreaming is something that will start to happen for us if we engage with our lives, and with our dreams.” She also discusses techniques to incubate dreams – some taken from descriptions of historic shamanic and bardic practice.

A good summary of Pagan Dreamingcomes at the end: “To work with dreams is not to practice the kind of magic that leads to definite outcomes. It is not spellwork or prayer. This is an act of opening to the unpredictable, seeing what you can get and then trying to make sense of it, or not, as you prefer.”

Publisher Moon Books says on its website: “Mixing the pragmatic and the spiritual, Pagan Dreaming goes far beyond the standard dream dictionary to offer instead a range of ways for making dreaming a meaningful part of your spiritual life. Exploring symbolism, the physical implications of dreaming, dreaming as learning and problem solving it then places the spiritual dimension of dreams in a context that will help readers go beyond x=y interpretations towards something that will enrich and re-wild their lives. The book includes an array of techniques for working consciously with dreams and developing a Pagan spiritual practice around dreaming.”

Pagan Dreaming is insightful, thought-provoking and well written. I would recommend it for anyone looking to explore their dreams. The book is due to reach shops in August 2015 and can be ordered via Amazon.

Links and previously related posts
Pagan Dreaming: The Magic of Altered Consciousness
http://www.moon-books.net/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/10/review-druidry-and-ancestors.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/04/review-hay-house-basics-lucid-dreaming.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2011/12/bluebirds-dreams-and-spirit-animals.html

Magic School: Kabbalah in Western Mysteries

Treadwell's in London is running an eight-week course called Kabbalah in Western Mysteries starting on September 8. The tutor is Diana Taylor and the classes are on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 10pm. The cost is £200 for the complete course.

Here are the details:
The tree of life, the middle pillar, the sephirot, the lightning flash: these refer to concepts and symbols within the core discipline of European magic: the Western kabbalah. Since Pico della Mirandola this strand of spiritual magic has been essential knowledge for the magician, used by everyone from John Dee to Eliphas Levi to Dion Fortune to Alex Sanders. Diana Taylor teaches it in a structured and intensive course. There is homework, class activities, meditations and practical exercises. Students who successfully complete will receive a certificate.
To find out more or to book for the course call 020 7419 8507, email info@treadwells-london.com or visit http://treadwells-london.com

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

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

News: Archaeology, Avebury, Satanic Statue, Cats

"Neolithic house discovery at Avebury stone circle dig" - story at BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-33686240

"Satanic Temple Unveils Goat-Headed Statue in Detroit" - story at Myarklamiss: http://www.myarklamiss.com/story/d/story/satanic-temple-unveils-goat-headed-statue-in-detro/11860/ib91M8UtTESsFFjFuuIolA

"Cat paw print discovered on Gloucester Roman roof tile" - story at BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-33687439

Review: Hay House Basics - Energy Healing

What surprised me when I read Energy Healing: Unlock Your Potential as a Healer and Bring Healing into Your Everyday Lifeby Abby Wynne, was just how much the techniques of energy healing have in common with witchcraft.

The *real* training of witchcraft is all about how to raise magical energy and then how to focus that energy to effect change - to make spells work. The key to doing that well is to learn to recognise and trust what your intuition is telling you, along with the ancient lesson of "know thyself". That's pretty much what Energy Healingteaches how to do. Okay, the emphasis in Abby Wynne's book is on using energy for personal healing rather than, say, spells to make your wishes come true but, as a witch, magical healing is one of the things I do get asked for frequently.

Energy Healingis in the Hay House Basics series, which means it is a straightforward guide aimed at beginners. The book is primarily intended for those who are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression in their life and want a self-help guide that teaches them how to make changes. Energy work is good for that, and the lessons in the book explain the theory with plenty of exercises to put it all into practise.

Hay House's description of the book says: "In this book, energy healer and psychotherapist Abby Wynne explains the basic concepts of energy healing and gives you exercises and techniques for getting started right away. You don't have to look outside for someone to help you heal - now you can take the first steps yourself. Learn how to: ground and centre yourself; bring healing into your everyday activities to help you feel calmer and more balanced; open to a healing light; send energy healing to loved ones."

You certainly don't need to be a witch, or even a pagan, to try out the techniques - anyone can give them a go. However, if you are starting out on a path of spiritual self-discovery or even witchcraft training, regular practise of personal energy healing will stand you in good stead. If you simply want to get over emotional issues that you feel are holding you back and stopping you enjoying life to the full, energy healing can be just the thing too. Energy Healingteaches how to do it clearly and succinctly.

To find out more, Hay House's website for the Basics series is: http://www.hayhousebasics.com/. At the site you can find free downloads to go with each Basics book. Abby's Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/AbbyEnergyHealing?

Links and previous related posts
Energy Healing: Unlock Your Potential as a Healer and Bring Healing into Your Everyday Life (Hay House Basics)
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/03/review-hay-house-basics-mindfulness.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/04/review-hay-house-basics-lucid-dreaming.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/05/review-hay-house-basics-past-lives.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/01/review-angels-lead-new-series-of-basics.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/02/review-hay-house-basics-crystals.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/04/review-tarot-how-to-read-and-interpret.html
http://www.hayhousebasics.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AbbyEnergyHealing?