Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Pagan Eye: A Bluebell Wood in Sunshine


The four-day break might be over, but here is a picture of a lovely bluebell wood to help you keep the spring holiday mood even if you have to go to work this morning.

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.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/04/woodland-bluebell-walk.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/04/pagan-eye-wild-garlic-just-starting-to.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2016/06/pagan-eye-elderflower-celtic-healing.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/06/pagan-eye-bank-of-wildflowers-on.html

Monday, 22 April 2019

Book Extract: Natural Tides in the Dictionary of Magic

Here's another excerpt from a useful reference book for witchdes - one of the 26 articles in The Dictionary of Magic and Mystery, compiled by Melusine Draco for Moon Books. It is all about the power of the tides, which Melusine Draco knows a lot about as she is also the author of Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore.

Natural Tides
Since the beginning of time, when man first stood on the shoreline and wondered at the vastness of the ocean, it has been recognized that the periodic rise and fall of great stretches of water had something to do with the moon. Nowhere else on earth was Nature’s power and glory so much in evidence. The tides are due to the moon’s gravitational pull on the water, lifting it to form a bulge resembling enormous wave-crests: one on the side of the earth facing the moon, and the other on the earth’s far side, for there the moon’s pull draws the earth away from the water. The friction between the water and the rotating earth slows the movement of these bulges, and for this reason high tide, as the bulge is called, does not occur exactly when the moon is overhead, but somewhat later.

The sun’s gravitational pull raises similar tides, but less powerful than those caused by the moon. At full and new moon, when the sun and moon are in a straight line with the earth, they produce an especially powerful spring tide. This has nothing to do with the season: spring tides occur throughout the year. This means that we need to tear ourselves away from the stereotypical moon goddess concept and think in terms of the natural interaction of the Sun and Moon, moving in a cosmic rhythm of perpetual motion. Some may be reluctant to accept this idea but it is a scientific fact that, despite its impressive gravitational pull, the moon is a dead, barren place, reflecting the sun’s light, not its own.

Although the ancients had no scientific understanding, this is what is known magically as ‘old wisdom’ – the true interpretation recorded in folklore and logged into our collective subconscious – not the modern ‘fake-lore’ currently in vogue. Without coming to grips with this ancient knowledge, our own modern magic will be stunted.

So, let us return to the sea… in mid ocean, the tides are simply a rhythmic rise and fall of the water. On the continental shelf, they act like the waves on a beach, and become a bodily rush of the water towards or away from the land, producing the tide’s ebb and flow, and in between, when the tide is almost at a standstill, there are brief periods of slack water. This rise and fall takes place twice every day and the sea witch recognizes the importance of knowing about them from both a magical and safety point of view.

Besides the familiar tides of the ocean tides, there are also two other examples to take into account: earth tides and atmospheric tides. Earth tides refer to the alternating slight change of shape of the Earth due to the gravitational action of the sun and moon, and atmospheric tides of the alternating slight motions of the atmosphere, which have the same effect. The moon draws away the envelope of air that surrounds the Earth to produce the daily atmospheric tides.

Recent research has revealed more evidence of the effects of these earth-tides: parts of western Britain and Ireland, for example, ‘bounce’ by four inches and that the movement is caused as tides ebb and flow twice daily! Again, we have scientific proof of cosmic influences on the earth on which we stand, so magical working can be timed to coincide with these natural movements for greater effect.
  • High tide, just before the water pressure is at its greatest, would be the best time for positive or drawing magic.
  • Low tide, when the tide has turned and the earth is about to ‘bounce’ back, is the time for banishing or reducing magic. Calendars and almanacs give the dates of the moon’s phases, but for the sea witch it is essential to also consult local tide tables (usually given in local newspapers) so that we always know the actual times of high and low tide for our area.
Magical synchronicity is the secret key-word.

You can view The Dictionary of Magic and Mystery on Amazon and also view Traditional Witchcraft for the Seashore on Amazon.

Friday, 19 April 2019

London Gods: Southwark Cathedral at Easter


One of my resolutions this year was to blog about the Gods and Goddesses of London. Being a pagan, I have so far written about many pagan deities whose presence can be felt or seen in the city, including Isis, Brigid, Mithras and many more.

Today I am blogging about Jesus and sharing these pictures of London's Southwark Cathedral. You might wonder why a pagan is writing about a Christian God, but I respect all deities of the world. The message Jesus brought is as valid today as ever: that love is better than hate; that we should try to forgive; and to consider our own faults before throwing (hopefully metaphorical) stones at others.

And Southwark Cathedral is a holy place that has welcomed pagans within its doors. Back in 2010 I saw The Southwark Mysteries performed there. This modern version of medieval mystery plays retells sacred stories in a way that is relevant for our time.

It was penned by visionary poet John Constable. In 1996 his shamanic double, John Crow, received a vision in which the Goose, a Southwark spirit, revealed the hidden history of the prostitutes and down-and-outs who lived outside the law in the Bankside Liberty of the Clink. These prostitutes were known as Winchester Geese, because the brothels they worked in were owned by the Bishop of Winchester. John says that the Goose also revealed a lost paupers' graveyard - Cross Bones. This was later unearthed during work on the Jubilee Line Extension and is now a memorial garden where vigils are held on the 23rd of each month.

Archaeologists have also found the remains of pagan temples in the vicinity of Southwark Cathedral. The cathedral website has an online exhibition where you can see some of the artifacts, including statues of a hunter god and a household 'Genius'. Here's the link: https://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/visiting/exhibitions/romano-southwark-online-exhibition/

So, this Easter, I am writing about Jesus as a London God, that many of London's sacred sites are both Christian and Pagan, and about the shared message of helping those in need.


You can view The Southwark Mysteries on Amazon.

Previous related posts
http://crossbones.org.uk/
https://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/visiting/exhibitions/romano-southwark-online-exhibition/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/03/fortean-london-sacred-and-profane.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2019/03/london-goddesses-isis-her-temple-by.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2019/01/looking-back-at-gods-and-goddesses-of.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/09/green-london-southwark-cathedral-herb.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/06/pagan-eye-hearts-for-peace-at-southwark.html

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Pagan Eye: Occult Art at Plymouth Labyrinth


Phil Smith, whose weird adult activity book I blogged about earlier, sent me this photo. It shows one of the objects on display at Plymouth Labyrinth, which is an art installation and events programme currently on Plymouth.

He said that this is "one of the more occulted elements of the exhibition." 

I think it is an inventive way to upcycle a rusty wheel and an old boiler into something that looks like a dystopian future version of the Museum of Witchcraft's Wondrous Candle. I like it.

Plymouth Labyrinth is on until 19 April at RAAY (Royal Adelaide Art & Yoga), 9 Adelaide St, Stonehouse, Plymouth PL1 3JE. You can buy the activity book, which is useful even if you aren't in Plymouth, here.

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
https://artdotearth.org/plymouth-labyrinth/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2019/04/plymouth-labyrinth-and-pantheon-of.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/08/the-museum-of-witchcraft-magics.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/05/pagan-eye-art-inspired-by-sun-and-moon.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/09/pagan-eye-masks-in-crypt-art-at-seaford.html

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Photos of my Cat With and Without her Cone of Shame

I am so pleased to see my cat Tuppence looking her old self again!

For over two months she had to wear a cone around her neck to stop her from scratching. She had got a deep-seated infection at the side of her mouth that was resistant to the first lot of antibiotics the vet put her on.

That meant she had to have a biopsy to find out what was going on and what would treat it, then different antibiotics and steroids.

A few days ago, she had a checkup at the vet. The good news is that infection is gone, the biopsy scar has healed and her fur is growing back. She no longer has to wear the cone of shame and has been enjoying going out in the garden again. We are also slowly reducing her steroids.

I took the photo to the right, showing her looking as cute and cheeky as ever.

The photo below is one I took a few weeks ago when she was still wearing her cone. She had a rest on a pile of laundry, but I didn't have the heart to move her.


Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/08/create-your-own-tarot-deck-cat-in-box.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/08/some-cat-wisdom-for-international-cat.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/06/witches-cats-here-are-my-two-new-kittens.html

Mostly London: Pagan Events for Easter & Earth Day


Next week is Earth Day and this weekend is Easter. I'm not going to discuss whether Pagans should celebrate this festival or not - I'm just going to list some wonderful events over the next week or so. Most of the ones I mention are in London, as that's where I'm based, but some are great exhibitions and open rituals in other parts of England.

Now - 2 June; The Lore of the Land. Exhibition exploring our deep-rooted relationship with the natural world. Venue:  The Studio, Horniman Museum and Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ. https://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/the-lore-of-the-land#image-0

Now - 22 April; A Coven A Grove A Stand. Art installation rediscovering the persecution of witches and reimagining the landscape, by Susan Pui San Lok. Venue: Firstsite Gallery, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH. Free entry. Open daily 10am to 5pm. https://firstsite.uk/whats-on/coven-grove-stand/

Now - October; Waking the Witch. Touring exhibition curated by Legion Projects and supported by Arts Council England. Venues: (1 May - 8 June) Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury; (September - October 2019) Bonington Gallery, Nottingham. http://www.wakingthewitch.uk/#

Now - 22 June; Magical Exhibitions in York: Magic and Mystery. Exhibition exploring the fine line between science, religion and magic in medieval society. Venue: Barley Hall, 2 Coffee Yard, York, YO1 8AR. Open 9am-5pm daily. Normal admission costs. https://barleyhall.co.uk/whats-on/magic-mystery/

Now - 31 October; Betwixt and Between: Isobel Gowdie, the Witch of Auldearn - the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic's summer exhibition. Venue: The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle, Cornwall. Entry with museum ticket. https://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/

Now - 15 September; Smoke and Mirrors - exhibition about the psychology of magic. It includes items from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. There are also live performances of stage conjuring on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Venue: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Free admission. https://wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/W_vuwBQAACoA_SY2

Now - Friday 19 April Witch; Unburied, Unburnt, Unbound Bristol Art Exhibition. Venue: The Vestibules, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. https://www.facebook.com/events/1951215798339767/

Wednesday 17 April; Time to Meditate - group meditation (every Wednesday). 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 17 April;  London Kabbalah Group weekly meeting. Venue: The Meditation Centre, St Marks, Myddelton Square, London EC1R 1XX. Time: 7.30pm. Entry: £10. https://www.meetup.com/London-Kabbalah-Group/

Wednesday 17 April; More Mead Moot with Pagan FutureFests. Venue: Hope Pub, 48 West Street, Carshalton SM5 2PR. Time: from 7.30pm. Meets on the third Wednesday of each month.  http://www.meetup.com/Londonpagancommunity/

Thursday 18 April; Morning tour: an introduction to ancient Egypt. Venue: Room 4, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 8.50am. Tickets £30. For more details visit: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar.aspx

Thursday 18 April; Opening Night Reception for the Occult and Symbolism Group Exhibition. Venue: The Underdog Gallery, Arch 6 Crucifix Lane, London SE1 3JW. Time: 6.30pm. The exhibition runs until the end of May and is free to view, but you must reserve a place for the opening event. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/384779368774466/

Thursday 18 April; 21 Rituals to Ignite Your Intuition. Talk and book signing by Theresa Cheung. Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6.30pm. Free event. Details: https://watkinsbooks.com/events/

Thursday 18 April; Wiccan Full Moon Ceremony by the river Thames with London Woodland Witches Magicians and Outdoor Pagans. Venue: Meet outside Tate Modern and Bankside Gallery, London SE1 at 7.30pm for a Wiccan circle ritual on the banks of the Thames. Cost: £3 You must reserve a place in advance. Wear outdoor clothes and bring food and drink to share. Details and bookings: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/

Friday 19 April; Meditation and OM Healing. Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8EA. Time: 7pm. Free event. http://theosophicalsociety.org.uk/

Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April;  Easter Festival with talks and entertainment at Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 6XT. Time: starts 7pm on Friday, then in the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday. Entry by donation, no need to book in advance. https://www.meetup.com/rudolf-steiner-spiritual-science/

Friday 19 April; Pink Full Moon Overnight Gong Bath. Venue: Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 10pm-7am. Tickets: £45. www.aho.community

Saturday 20 April; Moon Workshop - Inanna The Warrior. Venue: Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Road, London SE9 6SH. Time: 11am-4.30pm. Tickets: £45 For further details contact Shirlee@wiccamoon.org.uk, call 0208 850 7803 or visit https://www.wiccamoon.co.uk/ourshop/cat_1460861-Event-Workshops.html or http://www.wiccamoon.co.uk

Saturday 20 April; Lions and Sphinxes in Ancient Egypt. Gallery Talk. Venue:  Room 4, British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Time: 1.15pm. Free entry. For more details visit: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/events_calendar.aspx

Saturday 20 April; Tea Ceremony and Labyrinth at St. Augustine's Tower with Sound Mysterium. Venue: St. Augustine's Tower, Hackney, London E8 1HT London, United Kingdom. Time: 7.15pm. Tickets: £25. https://www.facebook.com/events/388899435177005/

Sunday 21 April; Foraging Walk with John the Poacher on Hackney Marshes. Meet at Aho Studio, 13 Prince Edward Rd, London, E9 5LX. Time: 11am-3.30pm. Tickets: £35. www.aho.community

Sunday 21 April; Peace Fires for the Full Moon. Light a candle or fire for peace wherever you are in the world, for just for 10 minutes or an hour or longer and state the intention: “Let there be peace on earth and love for one another.” Details: http://peacefires.org/

Sunday 21 April; Rune Reading Workshop. Venue: Spiritual Gifts, 26 Millais Rd, London EN1 1EE. Time: 11am. Tickets: £10. You can also buy a set of runes for £20. Contact Barbara on 07932667425 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/963112950549596/

Sunday 21 April; Dawn of the Oak. Pagan moot (normally on the third Sunday of each month). Venue: The Sir John Oldcastle, Farringdon Road/Greville Street, London EC1M 3JF. Time: 3pm-6pm. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dawnoftheoak/

Monday 22 April; Earth Day 2019- Family friendly Gathering- Woodland Picnic and Eco Ceremony, Run by London Woodland Witches and Pagans. Venue: Trent Park. Meet at Trent Park Cafe, Barnet EN4 0JY. at 11.30am, then walk to the field near Cockfosters gate. Wear outdoor clothing and bring a picnic and something to sit on. Details: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/

Monday 22 April; Earth Day Forest Bathing in Queen's Wood, Highgate. Meet in the community garden behind Queen's Wood Cafe, Highgate. Time: 4pm. Price: £25. https://www.meetup.com/London-Forest-Bathing-Nature-Connection-Meetup/

Tuesday 23 April; St George's Day Vigil for the Outcast at Crossbones to honour The Goose and the outcast dead of Cross Bones Graveyard. Bring a flower, a ribbon, a totem or memento to tie to the shrine. Gather from 6.45pm for a 7pm start in Redcross Way outside the Memorial Gates, London SE1 1TA. For more details, visit  http://crossbones.org.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/GooseandCrow/

Tuesday 23 April; Spirit Worlds of Northern Europe: Gods, Runes and Magical Plants. Talk by Andreas Kornevall. Venue: The Psychedelic Society, Greenhouse, 8 Mackintosh Lane, London E9 6AB. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £10-£20. https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thepsychedelicsociety/

Wednesday 24 April; Breathwork with Dragons for St George's Day with Lucy North. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £32. www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk

Wednesday 24 April; Comix, Cults and the Occult. Entertainment at Helgi's, 177 Mare Street, London E8 3RH. Time: 7pm. Entry: £6.66. https://www.facebook.com/events/326250671367832/

Wednesday 24 April; Resurgence Talks: Building and Dwelling – Ethics for the City with Richard Sennett. Venue: 42 Acres, 66 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LW. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets: £12. For more details visit: https://www.42acresshoreditch.com/events/

Wednesday 24 April; Discussion of Rites of Passage at Hertford and Ware Moot Moot. (Usually last Wednesday of each month.) Venue: The White Horse, 33 Castle Street, SG14 1HH Hertford, Hertfordshire. Time: 8pm. Entry: £3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/104788436218047/

Thursday 25 April; Touched by Nature. Talk about plant spirit medicine journeys with Lucy Wells and Pip Waller. 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/  or https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks/

Thursday 25 April; Her Eyes Were Wild: Fairies and Madness. Lecture by Folklorist Jeremy Harte at London Fortean Society. Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.. Time: 7.45pm. Tickets: £4/£2. http://forteanlondon.blogspot.com/

Friday 26 April; AGM followed by lecture at Rilko (Research Into Lost Knowledge). Venue: Rudolf Steiner House, 35, Park Road, London, NW1 6XT. Time: 6.45pm, lecture usually starts 7.15pm. Entrance: £8/£10. http://www.rilko.org/

Friday 26 April; Beltane Witchcraft. Evening seminar with Rebecca Beattie. Venue: Treadwells, 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/

Saturday 27 April. Pagan FutureFests - Belostra festival with music, stalls, talks, dancing, drumming and refreshments. Venue: Stanley Halls, London SE25 6A. http://www.paganfuturefests.org.uk/id2.html
https://www.facebook.com/Pagan-FutureFests-352385661439366/

Saturday 27 April; SPR Study Day - Tribute to Guy Lyon Playfair. Venue: Society for Psychical Research HQ, 1 Vernon Mews, London, W14 0RL. Time and price tba. https://www.spr.ac.uk/

Saturday 27 April; Family Storytelling at Leighton House Museum with London Dreamtime. Venue:  Leighton House Museum 12 Holland Park Road London W14 8LZ. Time: 2pm and 3pm. Tickets: Tickets: £3 for children, free for accompanying adults. For more details visit https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/leightonhousemuseum/whatson/families.aspx  email vanessa@londondreamtime.com or visit https://londondreamtime.com/calendar/

Saturday 27 April; Earthkin Springtime Gathering. A family-friendly gathering and picnic. Venue: Gillespie Park Nature Reserve, Islington, London  N5. Time: 2pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/384712295711510/

Saturday 27 April; Beltane Ceremony with Watchers of the Old Ways at the Rollright Stones,
Off the A3400,Chipping Norton  OX7 5QB. Time: 2pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/310001256356121/

Saturday 27 April; The Thin Veil of London. Two-hour walk around Holborn and Bloomsbury, interwoven with mysteries from the stories of Arthur Machen, with Minimum Labyrinth. Tickets:  £17.50 (£12.50 concessions). Two performances: 3pm and 6pm. Details and booking:  www.minimumlabyrinth.org.

Sunday 28 April; Sunday Meditation class with Lisabetta 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. https://harmonious-healing.com/

Sunday 28 April; 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-3.15pm. Cost: £20 per person. You can book online at https://www.treadwells-london.com/ or reserve a place by calling 020 7419 8507, emailing info@treadwells-london.com or visiting the shop.

Sunday 28 April; Woodland Beltane 2019. Seasonal festival gathering with London Woodland Witches and Pagans. Location: Queen's Woods, Near Highgate Station. Meet at the Woodman pub at 2pm to walk to the woods at 2.30pm. Tickets: £5, wear outdoor clothing and bring food and drink to share. Details: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/

Sunday 28 April: Luna Iter - Journey of the moon - for Pagan and Wiccan Seekers. Pub moot followed by a ritual close to each full moon. Venue (tbc): Pembury Tavern 90 Amhurst Rd, London E8 1JH. Moot usually starts at 4.30pm, then at 6pm moving to a historic site for the ritual. Fee: £4/£5. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1230392930656154/

Please note: I am not responsible for any of these events except my candle magic workshop at Treadwell's. Although I try to make sure the details on my listing are accurate, I do not always know about late changes or ticket availability etc. Please contact the organiser before attending any event. If you want an event listed on my blog, or spot anything that needs changing, please email badwitch1234@gmail.com.