Thursday, 3 September 2015

Magic School: Journey to the Dark Goddess

Jane Meredith is running a distance learning course Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul.

This distance course will begin in October 2015 and run for five months, following her book Journey to the Dark Goddess.

Jane said: "We’ll spend a month preparing to descend to the Underworld, a month descending, a month in the Underworld, a month returning and the final month integrating our journey."

The course includes five conference phone calls, once a month of an hour and half, and four one-to-one Skype calls with Jane. Between calls, those on the course stay in contact via a secret Facebook group, open only to participants.

Dates for the Course:
October 11, 2015
November 8, 2015
December 6, 2015
January 10, 2016
February 7, 2016

Cost: $250 (can be paid by paypal)

For more details about the course email jane@janemeredith.com

Jane Meredith is also in London next week offering a talk and a workshop:

Tuesday 8 September: Reclaiming Paradise: A Trance Journey with Jane Meredith. Venue: Atlantis Bookshop,49a Museum Street, London WC1A 1LY. Time: 7pm. Cost: £7.50. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/518821024941897/ If you wish to attend contact Bali at The Atlantis Bookshop by calling 020 7405 2120.

Thursday 10 September: Circle of Eight: Creating Magic for Your Place on Earth.Book signing and talk by Jane Meredith 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/


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

TV: The Ascent of Woman on BBC 2

There was a really interesting documentary on BBC 2 tonight called The Ascent of Woman. The first episode was about ancient civilisations, powerful women, goddesses and also the way in which the role of women varied between different cultures in the ancient world.

The description on the BBC website says:
Travelling from the Eurasian steppes to the sites of early civilisations, Dr Amanda Foreman explores how early civilisations dealt with the roles and status of women.
You can find out more and view the first episode here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0693dsh

Events: Cries of London and Month of the Dead


Here are some details of two series of events taking place in London this autumn. While they aren't specifically pagan, they should appeal to anyone interested in London history, folklore and curiosities.

London Month of the Dead

Throughout October 2015 and concluding on All Souls Day, Curious Invitation and Antique Beat are hosting the London Month of the Dead, in conjunction with Brompton and Kensal Green cemeteries. The tours, talks, workshops and entertainment on offer are aimed at investigating the capital’s relationship with its deceased residents. Events include a tour of Hyde Park’s pet cemetery, a private view of the Museum of London’s bone archive, taxidermy workshops, candlelit evening concerts in the cemetery and a series of weekend death salons with talks on subjects ranging from public dissection and body snatching to reincarnation and funereal folklore.

For a full list of the events and to book tickets, visit the London Month of the Dead website: http://londonmonthofthedead.com/index.html

Cries of London

The Bishopsgate Institute is running a series of talks and over events inspired by prints capturing the realities of life for street traders in London from the Elizabethan era until the 20th century. The series is being run in collaboration with The Gentle Author of East End culture blog Spitalfields Life.

To find out more and to book tickets call 020 7392 9200 or visit the website http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Learning: Lumiere de Londres Soy Candle Workshop


I love candles. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me or who regularly reads my blog. After all, I have just finished writing a book about candle magic.

As well as being reasonably deft at candle spells, I also enjoy making candles. One Yule, back when I was in my teens, I handmade candles as gifts for all my friends and family. In those days paraffin wax was ubiquitous. You could use beeswax, but that has always been expensive. Nowadays, there are a wide range of natural waxes you can use – the most common type being soy.

Soy wax can be used to make candles in much the same way as paraffin wax. However, it can also be used in some wonderful new ways – as I learnt when I went along to a soy candle workshop with Sakeena Edo at her family-run business, Lumiere de Londres.

The Lumiere de Londres studio, in Woolwich, south-east London, is lovely. When I walked inside on a grey and drizzly day last week, I immediately felt at home. It had a cosy, friendly atmosphere, smelled of scented oils and perfumes and had shelves displaying beautiful candles, shimmering scented oils and beauty products made by Sakeena herself.

Sakeena is qualified in making natural healthcare products and perfumes as well as candle making, and offers courses in them. What’s more, Sakeena has developed ways of combining all three things.  The half-day soy candle workshop I went to showed how to make an aromatherapy candle, wax melts and a massage candle.

Aromatherapy candles were not particularly new to me, although Sakeena described how to make them in an easy to understand, no-fuss way. Everyone at the workshop - even those who had never made a candle before - quickly crafted their own container candles smelling of gorgeous essential oils and decorated with dried flower petals.

Massage candle were something I had not heard of. They are made in containers in a similar way to the aromatherapy candles, but olive oil is added to the soy wax as well as some essential oil. The idea is that when a massage candle is lit and the wax/olive oil mixture has melted, it can be dripped onto the hands and rubbed in like a rich handcream or massage cream.

The wax melts do not have a wick in them, so aren't really candles at all. They are a blend of soy wax, gentle oil and perfume set into small ice-cube moulds. These can later be melted in an oil burner to scent the room or dropped into a foot spa or bath of warm water to dissolve and nourish your skin.

Sakeena also offered lots of general tips. This included the advice that if you want a container candle to burn evenly and thoroughly, the first time you light it you should ideally let it burn continuously for two hours. If you extinguish it after just a short time, it will make a well in the wax and every time you light it after that it will continue to just sink further into that well rather than melt all the surface of the candle evenly all the way down.

I really enjoyed the workshop and learnt a great deal more than I was expecting to. I'm very tempted to go along to other courses run by Lumiere de Londres, which include making candles in the shape of flowers.

The pictures on this post show, from the top: the display of candles in the studio; a massage candle being made; wax melts setting; flower candles; the soy candles and melts I made plus two shimmering, scented oils I bought at Lumiere de Londres, made by Sakeena.


Links and previous related posts
www.lumieredelondres.com
info@lumieredelondres.com
www.facebook.com/lumieredelondres
@lumiereuk
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/08/thanks-for-helping-me-pick-my-book-cover.html

Monday, 31 August 2015

Pagan Eye: Witches Gather at Uffington White Horse


I've just got home from a rather wet holiday, staying at a pub called the Fox and Hounds near the Uffington White Horse. Despite the grim August Bank Holiday weather I felt absolutely at home. Just before I left, I realised why that might be as I spotted a sign in the pub window, through which you can see the famous White Horse on the distant hills. The sign said: "Witches gather here."

Yes, indeed they do.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures.

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.

Links and previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/08/pagan-eye-uffington-white-horse-in-rain.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/08/white-horses-of-england.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/10/pagan-eye-westbury-white-horse.html
http://www.uffingtonpub.co.uk/
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-horse-hill/

Pagan Eye: The Uffington White Horse in the Rain


Rain and fog are not the best conditions to climb up to the Uffington White Horse, but they are rather typical weather conditions for English August Bank Holidays.

This was the view I got yesterday. But although visibility wasn't exactly great I'm still glad I made the effort. I also walked around Uffington Castle, which is an Iron Age earthworks, and on to Dragon Hill. Today I am intending to visit Wayland Smithy, a couple of miles from the Uffington White Horse.

Although the weather has been a bit grim, I've been staying at a very welcoming pub nearby, called the Fox and Hounds. As well as offering views of the White Horse from the garden, it serves a really good Sunday lunch and this weekend has a beer festival on. Just the place to warm up and spend the evening.

My Pagan Eye posts show photos that I find interesting - seasonal images, pagan sites, events, or just pretty pictures.

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.

Links and previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/08/white-horses-of-england.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2012/10/pagan-eye-westbury-white-horse.html
http://www.uffingtonpub.co.uk/
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-horse-hill/

Friday, 28 August 2015

News: Witches. Archaeology, Films, Astrology

"Church of ‘witch-slapping’ pastor withdraws application to open UK school" - story at the National Secular Society: http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2015/08/church-of-witch-slapping-pastor-withdraws-application-to-open-uk-school

"Cave Lion Bones May Represent Stone Age Sacrifices" - story at Archaeology: http://www.archaeology.org/news/3636-150825-russia-cave-lion

"10 Bitching Witch Movies" - story at Papermag: http://www.papermag.com/2015/08/best_witch_movies.php

"Banker Turned Astrologer Raises Seed Funding for Astrology Marketplace" - story at PR Newswire: http://www.prnewswire.co.in/news-releases/banker-turned-astrologer-raises-seed-funding-for-astrology-marketplace-522650971.html