Friday, 21 July 2017

Lancashire Witches Weekend at Lancaster Castle


Lancaster Castle is to host a Lancashire Witches Weekend on the 19th and 20th of August 2017, with a series of immersive events and entertainment created by local theatre company Little Gargoyle Ltd. Commemorating the 405th anniversary of the arrest, trial and execution of the Lancashire Witches in 1612, the festival includes a range of events and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a bespoke Pendle Witch Walk, a character-led tour where audience members become the accused and explore the historic superstitions and practices of the time. The Well Tower will also be opened up to visitors, giving participants an opportunity to hear Ol' Demdike speak of the 'evidence' that placed her in this place of incarceration.

The three witches from Shakespeare's Macbeth will be 'toiling and troubling' in the castle courtyard, and for the young (and the young at heart), there will also be broomstick training and a Little Witch Show where younger visitors will be invited to help the little witch come up with a spell to catch a dragon.

Other displays, exhibitions and visitor attractions organised as part of the festival will include a special exhibition of Carol Ann Duffy's poem commissioned in 2012 as part of the 400th anniversary of the Lancashire witches and the latest visual representation of the story from PhD student and artist Alisa Reed.

Stonemason Alan Ward will be displaying his unique range of carved faces, heads and calligraphy created at the castle and local Corio Raptor will be bringing their birds of prey to the courtyards.

This is a ticketed event so visitors are advised to prebook. Many of the events are covered in the £1 entry fee (payable on the door) with additional charges for the optional Pendle Witches Walk (£8), broomstick training (£6) and visits to the Well Tower dungeon to meet Ol'Demdike (£3).

For full details of events and to book tickets visit www.lancashirewitches.co.uk or call 01524 419486.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/07/history-of-pendle-witches-their-magic.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/06/pagan-eye-pendle-hill-in-snow.html

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Review: Woman Most Wild: Liberating the Witch Within

I love this book - and that is a big deal for me to say.

Having been a witch for several decades - and having reviewed books on witchcraft on my blog for one of them - I've read countless tomes aimed at teaching witchcraft and it takes a lot to impress me these days. But Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within by Danielle Dulsky really did.

I love the way the book is written. It is poetic and inspiring. It teaches more through story-weaving than through dry instruction. It reminds me of the much-acclaimed Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, which Danielle Dulsky cites early on in Woman Most Wild.

I love the way it teaches an intuitive approach to magic - trusting your feelings and sensing the magic in the world rather than learning lists of correspondences or Goddess charges by rote.

And I love that the form of magic the book promotes is inclusive and non-hierarchical. Although it is aimed at women and written from a gentle feminist perspective, Danielle Dulsky is clear that you do not have to have a womb to honour the divine feminine in each of us.

The book itself is in three sections - the "three  keys to liberating the witch within" that are in the subtitle. The are: alignment with the cycles of nature, understanding the importance of ritual, bonding with a circle of like-minded seekers. The chapters in each section offer experiential ways to sense the energies within the cycles of the moon and sun, the seasons and our bodies - then to use those energies to empower our lives and work ritual and magic.

The last section offers advice for setting up a witches circle - specifically not called a coven to get away from more structured groups. In the circles described by Danielle Dulsky, there is no high priestess (or high priest) and all women are equal.

As it said in press release I was sent by publisher New World Library:
Woman Most Wild helps us all reclaim the power we were born with and asks us to come home to our inner witch. Instead of being shamed for our “wildness” [Danielle] validates it as our birthright, which includes a deep connection to nature. In her own words from the book: “The wild is your human way of relating to the life-force that is beyond human but wholly natural.”
You can view Woman Most Wild on Amazon and also view Women Who Run With the Wolves on Amazon.

Links
http://newworldlibrary.com/#
http://danielledulsky.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/NewWorldLibrary
Facebook: facebook.com/NewWorldLibrary

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

This Week's Pagan Events In and Near London


Here are events in London plus a few in other parts of the UK over the next week or so that could be of interest to pagans. If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Now to 31 December; The London Stone on Display. Venue: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN. Free exhibition during museum opening ours. http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london

Now to 30 September; Austin Osman Spare exhibition at the Last Tuesday Society. Venue: Viktor Wynd's Museum of Curiosities, 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RP. http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

Now to the end of 2017; Poppets, Pins and Power - an exhibition on the craft of cursing at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Boscastle, Cornwall. http://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/

Wednesday 19 July; Stillness and Meditation at Mandeville Place. Venue: School of Economic Science, 11-13 Mandeville Place, London. Free lunchtime event starting 1pm. https://www.meetup.com/Light-in-London/

Wednesday 19 July; Let's Meditate - group meditation. Venue: Buddha on a Bicycle, Covent Garden, London. Starts 6pm. Donations of £3 recommended. Details: http://www.meetup.com/meditation-trust-london/

Wednesday 19 July; Wendy Rule - Witch Songs - Acoustic Performance. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Ticket price £12. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Wednesday 19 July; More Mead Moot promoted by Pagan FutureFests. Venue: Hope Pub, 48 West Street, Carhsalton SM5 2PR. Time: from 7.30pm. Meets on the third Wednesday of each month. https://www.facebook.com/Pagan-FutureFests-352385661439366/ http://www.meetup.com/Londonpagancommunity/

Thursday 20 July; Dada Jyotirupananda - Meditation - Being All You Can Be. Talk on Tantric meditation. Venue: 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 https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks

Thursday 20 July; Cochranian Tarot Philosophy with the London Wicca Meetup Group. Venue: tba, Time: 7pm. Details and reservations: https://www.meetup.com/The-London-Wicca-Meetup-Group/

Thursday 20 July; House of Heron Drum Circle to Shamanic Journey. Venue: Caer Corhrain, 1 Southleas farm cottages, Lower Road, Minster, Sheppey, ME12 3SW. Time: 7.30pm. This takes place on the third Thursday each month. For more information visit http://www.touchtheearthuk.com/

Thursday 20 July; Conspiracy Theories are for Losers. Talk by Professor Uscinski at London Fortean Society. Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL. Tickets £5. Time: 7.30pm. Details: https://www.facebook.com/LondonForteanSociety/

Thursday 20 July; The Circle of Ankerwycke moot on the third Thursday in each month. Venue: Function room at the back of the Two Rivers Pub, 43 Church Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4EN. Time: 8pm.

Friday 21 July; Amanda Roberts Presents her Students at the College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2EB. Time: 7pm. Cost: £10/£12. Advance booking recommended. For details call: 020 7589 3292 or visit https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Friday 21 July; Open Circle every Friday for anyone wishing to develop their psychic and mediumistic abilities. Venue: Woodford Church at 9 Grove Crescent, South Woodford, London E18 2JR. Time 7.30pm. Cost: £3. http://woodfordchurch.com/

Friday 21 July; Cacao and Ecstatic Dance - with Ecstatic Dance London. Venue Skylight Centre, 49 Corsica Street, London N5 1JT. Time: 8.30pm. Tickets: £15 / £12 earlybird. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cacao-ecstatic-dance-with-ecstatic-dance-london-friday-nights-tickets-33380995456

Saturday 22 July; Peter Ackroyd Thames psychogeography pub crawl with Minimum Labyrinth in aid of charity trees for cities. A walking tour from Westminster to Rotherhithe, taking in 10 pubs’ worth of real ale, from 11am-9pm. Tickets £20 - all money goes to charity. http://www.minimumlabyrinth.org/peter-ackroyd-thames-pub-crawl.html

Saturday 22 July; Myth in the Tarot - Intermediate Workshop.  Day Workshop with Suzanne Corbie. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am-5.30pm. Tickets £70 (deposit £40). Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Saturday 22 July; Experience Spirits of Nature (Introduction: Come and Touch One!). Meet at the Gandhi Statue in Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London at 4pm. Cost: £10. https://www.meetup.com/Experience-Spirits-of-Nature/

Sunday 23 July; Meditation at Russell Brands Trew Era Cafe, 30 Whitmore Road, London N1 5QA. Starts 10.15am. Free event. Details: https://www.meetup.com/meditation-trust-london/

Sunday 23 July; July Red Tent - Make Room for your Womb! Event organised by South London Red Tent. Venue is a private house and you must be a member of the group to sign up. Time 11.30am. Wear something red. https://www.meetup.com/South-London-Red-Tent/

Sunday 23 July; The Kith of the Tree and the Well moot. Venue: The Horseshoe Inn, 26 Melior Street, London SE1 3QP. Time: 2pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1575434692486979/

Sunday 23 July; The Ageless Wisdom For Everyone. Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place London, W1U 8EA. Time: 2pm. Entry: Donations welcome. Details: https://www.meetup.com/Theosophical-Society-in-London

Sunday 23 July; Nurture your Aphrodite - Women's Circle. Venue: Chisenhale Dance, 64-84 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ. Time: 3pm. Cost: £10. https://www.facebook.com/events/809989095822050/

Sunday 23 July; Rose Quartz Crystal Healing with Wolf Sister. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Rd, London E9 7AD. Time: 6pm. Tickets: £30. http://www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk/

Sunday 23 July; Crossbones Vigil to honour The Goose and the outcast dead of Cross Bones Graveyard and the dead and wounded of the London Bridge attacks. 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/

Sunday 23 July; Tribal Chanting Ritual to invite magic, even if this magic is nothing but poetry. Meet at Hampstead Heath Overground Station, South End Road, Hampstead, London NW3 2QD at 7.30pm to walk to the site. Bring water and a blanket to sit on. You must reserve a place in advance. https://www.meetup.com/Tribal-Chanting-Ritual/

Monday 24 July; Wicca New Moon: Gaia-Selene Circle (monthly, outdoor circle) with London Woodland Witches Magicians and Outdoor Pagans. Venue: Outdoor location Queen's Woods, Highgate. North London. Meet at The Woodmans' pub garden by 7pm then go to the woods. Cost: £3 You must reserve a place in advance. Wear outdoor clothes and bring a blanket to sit on. Details and bookings: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Outdoor-Pagans/

Monday 24 July; The Magical World of Transylvania. Lecture by Will Hunter. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Ticket price £8. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Tuesday 25 July; LDN Talks @ Night: A Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal. Talk by Professor Chris French. Venue: Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ  (exact address provided after booking). Time: 7pm. Tickets: £12. http://uk.funzing.com/funz/ldn-talks-night-a-skeptic-s-guide-to-the-paranormal-8357

Wednesday 26 July; Midweek Tarot . Event with the Tarot and Healing Group. Venue: The Plough 27 Museum Street, Bloomsbury, WC1A 1LH, London. Time: 7pm. Tickets £5, advance reservation necessary. https://www.meetup.com/Tarot-and-Healing-Group/

Wednesday 26 July; London Energy Share. Venue: The Skylight Centre, 49 Corsica Street, London N5 1JT. Time: 7pm. Tickets £10. https://www.meetup.com/londonhealingshare/

Wednesday 26 July; Lamiae, Transgression and Double Lives. Brooke Magnanti in discussion with Christina Oakley Harrington. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Ticket price £8. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Wednesday 26 July; Hertford Pagan Moot. Venue: White Horse Pub, 33 Castle Street, Hertford, Herts SG14 1HH (45 mins from central London). The pub does not have disabled access. This moot meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 8pm. contact via Facebook page Hertford Pagan Moot.

Thursday 27 July; Gerry Thompson, author of Astral Sex to Zen Teabags, a New Age Spoofapedia, about humour for spiritual development. Venue: 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 https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks

Thursday 27 July; Free Social: Peaceful Meditation and Picnic with the London Spirituality Meetup Group. Meet outside Regents Park Station, London between 6pm and 6.30pm to walk to the park. Bring a picnic. https://www.meetup.com/londonspirituality/

Thursday 27 July; Magic of the Iron Pentacle with Jane Meredith, based on her book of that name. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49A Museum Street, London WC1A 1LY. Time: 7pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/479245622415159/

Thursday 27 July; We're All Gonna Die: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint. Talk by Dr Andrew Chesnut at London Fortean Society. Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX. Tickets £4/£2. Time: 7.45pm. Details: https://www.facebook.com/LondonForteanSociety/

Thursday 27 July - 28 July. Rite of the Flamekeeper with Aphrodite's Flame. Wherever you are, you can light a flame to honour Aphrodite. To find out how to get an Aphrodite's Flame candle and for mor information about the event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1718636448430160/

Friday 28 July; An Evening with Tiokasin Ghosthorse at the London College of Spirituality. Venue: Columbia Hotel, Windsor Room, 95-99 Lancaster Gate, London, W2 3NS. Tickets £15/£30. Time: 7pm. https://www.meetup.com/londonspirituality/

Saturday 29 July; The Masonic Magician. Talk and book signing with Philippa Faulks. Venue: Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 5pm. Free event. For more details Tel 020 7836 2182 or visit the website http://www.watkinsbooks.com/

Saturday 29 July; Festival of Paganism 2017; Venue Ipswich Oddfellows, The Oddfellows Hall, 37 High Street,  Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 3QH. Time: 10am-4pm. Free entry. https://www.facebook.com/events/154429345102050/

Saturday 29 July; Goddess Epona Workshop. Venue: Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Rd, London, SE9 6SH. Time: 11am. Tickets £20 in advance, £39.99 on the day. For details or to book a place email shirlee@wiccamoon.org.uk or call 020 8850 7803.

Saturday 29 July; Self-Love Healing Workshop with Sensing Energy and Intuition Development. Venue: Latvian House, 72 Queensborough Terrace,· London, W2 3SH. Time: Noon. Price: £15. https://www.meetup.com/Sensing-Energy-and-Intuition-Development/

Saturday 29 July - Sunday 30 July; Eastbourne Lammas Festival. Lammas ritual plus music, dance, stalls, food and drink on Eastbourne seafront. Western Lawns, Eastbourne Seafront West, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4EE. Free. http://www.lammasfest.org/

Sunday 30 July; Meditation at Russell Brands Trew Era Cafe, 30 Whitmore Road, London N1 5QA. Starts 10.15am. Free event. Details: https://www.meetup.com/meditation-trust-london/

Sunday 30 July; The British Museum and the Awakening of English Magic. Walking Tour with Caroline Wise organised by Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 10.30am. Ticket price £15. Tel: 0207 419 8507 or email: info@treadwells-london.com http://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday 30 July; Silver Chalice Lammas Celebration in the sun circle Avebury henge, in Wiltshire. Time: 12 noon. Free event, everyone welcome. Afterwards there will be a handfasting, again all welcome.

Sunday 30 July; Woodland Lammas: Wiccan Harvest Ceremony open ritual with London Woodland Witches Magicians and Outdoor Pagans. Meet in the garden  of  the Woodmans Pub on Archway Road, Highgate, North London at 2pm for a short walk to the woods where the ritual will take place. Cost: £3. You must reserve a place in advance. Wear outdoor clothes and bring a blanket to sit on. Details and bookings: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Outdoor-Pagans/

Sunday 30 July; The Ageless Wisdom For Everyone. Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place London, W1U 8EA. Time: 2pm. Entry: Donations welcome. Details: https://www.meetup.com/Theosophical-Society-in-London

Sunday 30 July; Lammas Wheel of the Year ritual at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, 3 Pilgrim's Place, London NW3 1NG. Time: 7pm. Tel: 020 7433 3267. http://www.rosslynhillchapel.com/

Note: I do not organise any of these events. I try to make sure the details are accurate, but please contact the organisers for more information or tickets. If you spot anything that needs correcting on my listing, email me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Question: Were You a Different Gender in a Past Life?

Joining in the Doctor Who debate. For those who believe in reincarnation - do you think you might have been a different gender in a past life?

Pagan Eye: Lost Tableau from the Witchcraft Museum


This stone circle is a lost tableau from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall. I was reminded of it when I read Spells from the Wise Woman's Cottage (reviewed on Saturday), which mentioned that the stone circle tableau had been replaced by the exhibition space - currently displaying Poppets, Pins and Power. Then, when I was looking through my old photos for a picture of the cottage at the museum, I also found a photo I had taken back then of the stone circle. Here it is.

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://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/07/review-spells-from-wise-womans-cottage.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/05/pagan-eye-dolls-from-poppets-pins-power.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/05/pagan-eye-gift-of-books-to-museum-of.html

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Folklore Podcast Covers the Play Witch


The latest issue of Mark Norman's Folklore Podcast is about a new play called Witch. It was written by Mark's wife, Tracey Norman, who is an actress and historian. In the episode, Mark interviews her about why she wrote the play and what it is about.

Tracey wrote Witch after researching English witch trial documents and depositions from the early modern period. The play is heavily based on one particular trial, but is not an attempt at exactly replicating it. Instead it transposes some of the material from that trial and from other witch trials into a conversation between three characters in a library, in which a magistrate decides whether the case should go to court.

The play was first performed in the library at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic at Boscastle and is on tour around the west of England. There is also an audio recording that you can buy to download. You can hear an excerpt from that on the podcast.

On the Folklore Podcast website, Mark says: "This serves to give a voice to those people from our past who were denied one at the time, telling an important story. Tracey talks about her research, the play and the other projects which are coming out of this important work."

You can listen to the podcast for free here: http://www.thefolklorepodcast.com/ and you can follow the Witch project at www.traceynormanswitch.com

Links and previous related posts
http://www.thefolklorepodcast.com/
www.traceynormanswitch.com
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/05/folklore-podcast-on-traditional.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/01/folklore-podcast-on-witches-and-fairies.html
http://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/

Occult London: A Door Ajar and a Haunted Church


This door that stands invitingly open, yet not within any visible wall, is outside the historic church St Botolph Without Bishopsgate in the City of London. Called "Ajar" the door is part of this year's Sculpture in the City display of art in public spaces. It is by Gavin Turk and the description on the City of London website says:
As a reference to the painting 'La Victoire' by Rene Magritte, 'Ajar' is a surreal gateway: a spiritual journey through the imagination, an interactive sculpture that children will enjoy as much as adults. It is a key to the imagination: unlocking ideas of the infinite as mused on by Aldous Huxley quoting Blake, "If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
It simultaneously references both Duchamp's work '11 Rue Larrey', a corner door that is always open and shut and a Bugs Bunny sketch, where a door in a frame freely stands on a cliff in a landscape. 'Ajar' is placed without walls and is permanently half open encouraging the choice to go around, or go through.
I went to St Botolph not with the intention of seeing art - although that was an added bonus - but to visit a church that is reputedly haunted. In fact it is the scene of a famous photograph many believe shows a ghost.

One Saturday in 1982 a picture was taken inside the church by photographer Chris Brackley. When he developed it, he saw a shadowy figure of a woman on the balcony. She had definitely not been there when he took the shot. Other effects, such as double exposure, were ruled out. The picture is still a mystery and might indeed show something supernatural.

St Botolph is one of the stops on a ghost walk in the book Walking Haunted London. I'll share a few more photos I took along the route on my blog in the future.

You can view Walking Haunted London on Amazon.

Links and previous related posts
http://www.botolph.org.uk/
https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/art-architecture/sculpture-in-the-city/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/12/yule-ghost-tales-most-haunted-house-in.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2013/07/pagan-eye-doorway-to-another-world.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/10/seriously-spooked-assaps-ghost.html