Thursday, 22 August 2019

Pagan Eye: Willow Tree in Sydenham Wells Park


This wonderful picture of a willow tree was sent to me by Nathalie Andrews, who said it is in Sydenham Wells Park, in south-east London. She described it as "absolutely stunning", and I agree.

Wells Park gets its named after springs that were found in Sydenham in the 17th century. The springs were said to be medicinal and attracted crowds of people to the area, for their health-giving properties. Some of the springs are still active, though mainly below ground.

Nowadays the park contains a sensory garden, planted to stimulate all the five senses. The garden has a water feature that uses recycled water and is powered by solar energy, symbolising the underground springs. A perfect place to visit over the Bank Holiday weekend if you are in the area.

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.

The photo is copyright Nathalie Andrews.

Links and previous related posts
https://lewisham.gov.uk/inmyarea/openspaces/parks/sydenham-wells-park
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2019/02/pagan-eye-west-wickham-oak.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2010/08/pagan-eye-druid-oak.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/11/pagan-eye-trained-oak-at-plotlands-essex.html

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

This Week's Pagan Events In and Near London


The August Bank Holiday weekend is nearly here and there's plenty to do if you are in London. You could even go for a walk on the Thameside beach, as in the picture above. I regularly post a listing of pagan events in and hear London over the following week or so - plus a few things further afield. Here's the latest. If you know of an event that you want listed, please email the details to me at badwitch1234@gmail.com.

Now - 8 September; Museum of the Moon. Luke Jerram's artwork featuring NASA imagery of the Moon. Venue: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD. Free to visit Various classes including meditation and yoga are bookable at an extra charge https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/museum-of-the-moon.html

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 - 27 October, Secret Rivers: discover the secrets of London's historic waterways. Exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands. Venue: No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL. Free entry. https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands

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/

Wednesday 21 August; Free Guided Tour of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (takes place every Wednesday). Venue: UCL, Malet Place, London, WC1 6BT. Time: 2pm. Free, but you must book in advance: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/event-ticketing/booking?

Wednesday 21 August; 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 21 August; When Plants Dream: Ayahuasca and the Global Psychedelic Renaissance. Talk and signing with Vicky Hartley. Watkins Books, 19-21 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 6pm. Free event. For more details visit the websites http://www.watkinsbooks.com/  or https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks/

Wednesday 21 August; The Cosmovision of Shamanism. Venue: New Acropolis Cultural Association
19 Compton Terrace, London, N1 2UN. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £5/£3. https://www.facebook.com/events/300670604150008/

Wednesday 21 August; 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 22 August; Performance: find out how paranormal phenomena can be explained by psychology with Professor Christopher French, an expert in paranormal experiences, cognition and emotion. Venue: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Free admission. Times: 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Tuesday, 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday. Free entrry, but spaces limited. https://wellcomecollection.org/events/XNV9XxAAANssft2A

Thursday 22 August; Crowley on Film. Talk by Gary Parsons.  Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.15pm. Tickets £10. Book online at https://www.treadwells-london.com/ or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

Thursday 22 August and Friday 23 August; 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.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tea-ceremony-labyrinth-at-staugustines-tower-tickets-56675606264?

Friday 23 August; 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/

Friday 23 August; Meditation and Om Healing. (Weekly event, usually on a Friday). Venue: The Theosophical Society, 50 Gloucester Place, London, W1U 8EA. Time: 7pm. Entry free. http://theosophicalsociety.org.uk/#

Saturday 24 - Monday 26 August; Luna Iter Camp at Moat Mount. Venue: Moat Mount Outdoor Centre, Barnet Way, London NW7 3A. Full price adult tickets £20. https://www.facebook.com/events/754232751645931/

Saturday 24 August; Wicca Moon Presents a Day of Ritual and Magic to Honour Goddess Diana and Aradia her daughter the  Queen of witches. Venue: Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Road, London SE9 6SH. Time: 11am till 4.30pm. Early bird price £45.For further details contact Shirlee@wiccamoon.org.uk, call 0208 850 7803 or visit https://www.facebook.com/WiccaMoonEltham/ or http://www.wiccamoon.co.uk

Saturday 24 August; Blended Incense Making. Afternoon Workshop with Rebecca Beattie. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 1pm. Cost:£40. You can reserve a place by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday 25 August; The Marseille Tarot Introduced. Workshop with Adrien Mastrosimone. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 11am-5.30pm (with a break in the middle). Cost: £75. Deposit £40. You can reserve a place by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday 25 August; NWK Moot. Venue: Chistlehurst caves.  Time: 11am. You must be a member of the group to attend. https://www.facebook.com/groups/445487428816887/

Sunday 25 August; Mythic London Walking Tour with Caroline Wise organised by Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Starting place for walk: Ye Olde Cock Tavern,  22 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA. Time: noon-3pm. Ticket price £22 includes programme. Book online at http://www.treadwells-london.com or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

Monday 26 August; Jane Harrison: Classics for Paganism. Talk by Dr Liz Williams. Venue: Treadwells, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Book online at https://www.treadwells-london.com/ or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

Tuesday 27 August, Workshop on natural cordage with nettles (and raffia) at So Moot It Bee Pagan Moot. Venue: The Good Intent, 3 John Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1YL. Time: 7.30pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/2331697053586402/

Wednesday 28 August; Virgo New Moon Gong Bath. Venue: She's Lost Control, 42 Valentine Road, London E9 7AD. Two sessions: Time: 7pm and 8.30pm. Tickets: £20. www.sheslostcontrol.co.uk

Wednesday 28 August; An Evening with Nicholas Pearson, author of a new book on crystals and minerals. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London, Eng WC1A 1LY. Tickets: £10. Time: 7.30pm. For more details, call 020 7405 2120 or visit http://theatlantisbookshop.com/

Wednesday 28 August; Poltergeists and Possession. Lecture by Alan Murdie, chairman of the Ghost Club, at London Fortean Society. Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX. Time: 7.45pm. Tickets: £4/£2. http://forteanlondon.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 28 August; Hertford and Ware Moot Moot - this month's topic is The Dark. (Usually the 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 29 August; Metaphysics in Science Fiction and Fantasy with Elizabeth Crowens, author of The Time Traveler Professor series. Venue: The Atlantis Bookshop, 49a Museum Street, London, Eng WC1A 1LY. Time: 6pm. You must RSVP to reserve a space by emailing atlantis@theatlantisbookshop.com or call 020 7405 2120. Website: http://theatlantisbookshop.com/

Thursday 29 August; Live Seance at The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub, 418 St John Street, London, EC1V4. Tme: 8.30pm. Tickets: £14. http://www.theknockknockclub.co.uk/

Friday 30 August; Fundraiser - Bat Walk for Heritage. Venue: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, The Soanes Centre, Southern Grove, London E3 4PX. Time: 6pm. Tickets · £42.15. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fundraiser-bat-walk-for-heritage-tickets-67201207621?

Friday 30 August;  Wicca New Moon Training Circle with London Woodland Witches. Venue: Queen's Woods, Highgate, North London. Meet at The Woodmans pub patio area at 7pm to be led to the woodland site. Cost: £3. Wear outdoor clothing and bring food and drink. Details: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/

Saturday 31 August; Pagan Pride UK: Anglia Festival 2019. Venue: Mentmore Road, Linslade,  Leighton Buzzard, LU7. Time: Noon-7pm. Free family-friendly festival. https://www.facebook.com/events/412476462633854/

Saturday 31 August; Witch Bottles Workshop with Tanya Moulding. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 1pm-4pmpm (with a break in the middle). Cost: £30. You can reserve a place by visiting the shop or online: https://www.treadwells-london.com/

Sunday 1 September, 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 1 September, Sacred Smoke - Workshop on making incense and smudge mix with Anthea of  Shamanism and Evolving Consciousness. Venue: Buddha on a Bicycle, 27 Endell St,· London. Price: £85, all materials included. Time: 12.15pm-5.30pm. https://www.meetup.com/Shamanism-and-Evolving-Consciousness/

Sunday 1 September, Temple of the Goddess Isis - Divine Feminine Heart and Womb Awakening with Kundalini Serpent Sisters. Venue in Croydon. Time: 4pm-7.30pm. Tickets · £25 - £35. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womb-healing-and-inner-divine-feminine-resurrection-at-our-temple-of-isis-tickets-66169313197?

Sunday 1 September; Doreen's 20th Anniversary Tribute. Online event hosted by Doreen Valiente Foundation. Time: 7pm – 8pm. Free. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1047045122167514/

Sunday 1 September; Heart Beat - Monthly Drumming Collective with Gong Master Olaf Nixon. Venue: The College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, Kensington, London, SW7 2EB. Time: 6pm. Tickets: £21/£23.  https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/

Monday 2 September; Free Beginners Astrology Class by Astrological Lodge of London. (Every Monday evening). Venue: 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8EA, Time: 6pm-6.50pm. Tickets: Free. https://astrolodge.co.uk/

Monday 2 September; Candle Magic Workshop. Evening workshop based on my book Pagan Portals - Candle Magic. Venue: Treadwell's Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury London, WC1E 7BS. Time: 7pm. Cost: £20 per person. You can book online at https://www.treadwells-london.com/ or reserve a place by visiting the shop.

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 listings are accurate, I do not always know about late changes or ticket availability for events that I'm not involved with. Please contact the organiser before attending any event. If you spot anything that needs changing, please email me at badwitch1234@gmail.com

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Magic School: Spellbound: A History of Magic

There's an evening class course on the history of magic starting this October at Imperial College, in London. It offers to teach the true history of magic, witchcraft and occultism from ancient times to the present day. It runs on Monday evenings from 6pm to 8pm and the first class is on October 14.

Here is the programme:

Autumn term
1. Religion’s weird sister: defining magic
2. Voodoo dolls and cursing slates: effigy magic since ancient times
3. Stone circles and healing wells: magic and the landscape
4. Celtic folklore: fairies and curses
5. A ‘witch craze’? Witchcraft in Europe, c. 1400-1750
6. Obeah and Voodoo in the Caribbean
7. The cunning-craft
8. Shamans and shape-shifters
9. Grimoires: the history of magic books

Spring term
10. Mesmerism, spiritualism, and the Victorian occult revival
11. Devils and demons: jinn, exorcism and deliverance
12. Alas poor ghost: restless spirits and second lives
13. Cursed Britain: evil magic after the witch trials
14. Making a fortune: fortune-telling and tarot cards
15. Military magic: the supernatural during war and conflict
16. Curse of a continent? Witchcraft in modern Africa
17. From Brothers Grimm to Harry Potter: the power of the magical imagination
18. Traditional Chinese folk magic
19. New witchcrafts for a New Age? Baphomet and Satanism, wicca and hedge witchcraft
20. A global magical revival? Occultism today

The tutor is Tom Waters, a university history lecturer and the author of Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times. Fees for the entire course are from £210 to £395. Classes will take place at Imperial College's South Kensington Campus. You can find the full details here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/evening-classes/autumn-spring-courses/october-courses-list/history-of-magic/

The photo at the top shows a 16th century picture of witches by Hans Baldung Grien


Monday, 19 August 2019

Motivation: Five Ways to Boost Your Confidence Daily

Here are some tips from motivation speaker Wendy Smith on how to boost your confidence:

Modern life sees us surrounded by beauty – Instagram filters, Love Island bombshells and picture-perfect celebrities. The result? Our confidence can be knocked. Whether it is body confidence, confidence in our ability or the confidence to be ourselves each and every one of us faces their own struggle.

However, there are some simple daily activities you can do to help you feel good. Wendy Smith, neuro trainer, sports coach and motivational speaker, says: “Anyone has the ability within them to change their thinking and therefore change their reality. If you want to be confident you can – it’s all a matter of how you speak to yourself and the actions you take.”

Here are five daily activities you could try to boost your confidence:

1. Get up and show up
Stop hitting the snooze button! Get up and decide how you want your day to play out. From the moment you open your eyes choose which thoughts are going to run your day. You have around 60,000 thoughts a day influencing your emotions and behaviours. Spend a few minutes jotting down your beliefs about yourself each morning then decide if they are really true. Whatever you think, you are never wrong so if you want to feel confident you should think confident.

2. Choose your colours wisely
Wear something you love! Clothes and colours have the power to make us feel confident. Have you got that particular outfit that makes you feel on top form? If not, find a colour specialist who can look at your skin tone and wardrobe and help you find the colours that make you feel great. Colours are powerful, they can drain the life out of us or empower us.

3. Take a long hard look in the mirror
There is no ‘perfect’, don’t believe the filters and the Photoshop. Instead of looking in the mirror and being critical of yourself wondering why you aren’t skinny enough, toned enough, tall enough, short enough etc, stop worrying about what you think you should be and see what you love about you. Every day pick three things that you love. Are you a great dancer, the best friend, an awesome lover, have the best legs or beautiful eyes? Start looking and noticing the beauty of you and notice how doing this everyday adds to your confidence.

4. Commute the right way
What do you do on the way to work – social media, listening to the news, reading a paper? Is it a habit that will generate confidence within you? If not change it! Create a morning track list to motivate you into the state you want to be in. Choose music that makes you feel really good. Music is a great state changer, choose the songs that make you want to get up and dance, stand tall and smile wide. What songs put a spring in your step? These are your morning playlist!

5. Spend some time imagining the most confident you
Our mind does not recognise the difference between imagined reality and the here and now, so the more you see yourself as a confident person, walking tall, smiling, having fun, the more your mind will create this with your body. Confidence is something we create on the inside, you cannot buy it from a shop. Imagine yourself confident and true confidence will follow.

For more information on feeling confident and happy visit https://wendysmith.me.uk

The picture shows Wendy Smith. After overcoming a high-speed motorbike accident in her youth which caused severe spinal injury, cardiac arrest and years of rehabilitation Wendy went on to compete for Great Britain in the 2005 Paralympics. Now she spends her time giving motivational talks and offering 1:1 coaching.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Pagan Eye: Strange Sightings in Clowes Wood


This picture was sent to me by Jodie Hibbert Scobie, who said: "I was researching the history of Clowes Wood when I came across your blog. I was here yesterday. I absentmindedly took a photo of my son's friend. We were walking and chatting. When we arrived home, I was scrolling through my photos. I spotted what seems to be a black hooded figure in the background on the right. My son spotted what appears to be a face on the left hand side.

"I have attached them in case they are of interest to you and also in case you're able to shed any light. The atmosphere in Clowes Wood yesterday was very 'off'. My son walked under a tree and just after he'd passed it, a branch fell right where he'd been walking. We just laughed it off as coincidence, but I'm not wondering if there may have been anything to it. We heard little to no birdsong.

"Anyway, feel free to use my name and photo if it creates a blog of interest. I look forward to hearing from you or, potentially, reading a blog."

Thanks very much, Jodie, for sending in the picture. It is mysterious, I agree. I can't quite make out what the black shapes outlined might be, although it is possible that they are two people wearing robes to do a ceremony to honour the season of Lammas out in nature. If so, that would be perfectly innocent, although might look surprising to passers-by. Or, of course, the figures could be more supernatural. If anyone has any other ideas, do leave a comment.

Clowes Wood is in Kent, near Canterbury. You can find more details here: https://explorekent.org/activities/clowes-wood/

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.

The photograph is copyright Jodie Hibbert Scobie.

Previous related posts
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2015/03/pagan-eye-glastonbury-tor-in-sea-of-mist.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/01/pagan-eye-hobby-horse-at-pagan-wassail.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2017/11/pagan-eye-trained-oak-at-plotlands-essex.html
http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2018/03/pagan-eye-rollright-stones-in-snow.html