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Witchcraft and Environmentalism
Philosophy meets witchcraft in this lecture by Anna Titov. In it, Anna looks at contemporary witchcraft through the lens of philosophical ideas from 20th century phenomenology through to object-oriented ontology. Witchcraft practice involves the creation of an ‘otherworld’, an act performed in order to bring change into the 'real' world with which one has ‘real' interactions. Focussing on this, she sees it on one level as an act of self-preservation in response to the irreversibility of the Anthropocene and its effect on our relationship to Nature, including the climate crisis. How are these spaces for change created? What is the phenomenological interaction between perception and the liminal within them? How do witches form empathic communication with nonhuman entities thus deepening their connections with their environment? All these are addressed, and in doing so Anna invites us to consider that magical practice may indeed be a first step towards halting the damage we are inflicting on the environment. Anna Titov is a writer and researcher in philosophy. She is pursuing a PhD at the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value (Pardubice), focussing on notions of subjective physical experience in the wake of a waning natural world. She completed an MA in Continental Philosophy at Warwick in 2021, with a dissertation that looked at trans-anthropocentrism in Nietzsche's middle writings. Her areas of interest are Nietzsche, phenomenology, embodied philosophy, and esoteric spirituality.
In Conversation: Pagans and the Satanic Panic – Peg Aloi & Sarah Kerr
Pagan scholar Peg Aloi and Pagan Fed president Sarah Kerr discuss paganism and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s–90s, before turning their attention to the renewal of alarmism today not only on the fringes, but in various parts of the mainstream media and political institutions. What is happening? Do Pagans again need to worry about being demonised after thirty years of relative acceptance and truthful presentation of their ways? Or is this a blip? This is an important conversation that every Pagan will want to take note of.
In Conversation: the Druid & the Witch – Jonathan Woolley, Rebecca Beattie
Dr Jonathan Woolley and Dr Rebecca Beattie discuss celebrations, connection and the Wheel of the Year. They talk about their shared understandings of the deeper meanings of the festivals, the cultural significance of hidden practices and how the public image of their respective traditions have changed over time. Original event date: 26th April 2023
In Conversation: Suzanne Corbie & Rebecca Beattie
Suzanne Corbie and Rebecca Beattie, both Wiccan initiates, talk about what it means to be a priestess. They share what magic means to them, how they practice the Craft, and some of the amazing characters they have met along the way; towards the end, they answer questions from the audience. An insightful and brilliant conversation not to be missed! Original event date: 30th August 2022
In Conversation: Medium and the Magician – Mark Vincent Smith & Charlie Hall
Chaos magician Mark Vincent Smith and spiritualist medium Charlie Hall share their experiences working with spirits of all forms. In a fun, wide-ranging conversation, they compare notes on how spirits have interacted with people throughout human history. Both share experiences, anecdotes and a few hair-raising tales. After a lively discussion, they lead an interactive Q&A, with questions put forth by members of their enthralled audience.
In Conversation: Chaos Magic to Save the World (Audio Only) – Patricia MacCormack
Christina talks to philosopher Patricia MacCormack, who champions the power of queer chaos magic in the current apocalyptic era. In this memorable conversation recorded at Treadwell's in the presence of a live audience, Patricia argues that chaos magic – especially what she calls 'chaosium cunnis' ('cunt chaos') – offers a place of respite and transgression in the world's current state of affairs. As she explains how magic can help bring into being a queer chaos world, she digresses into such fabulous side-bars as squid vulvae, tentacled torment and eco-mucous – and ultimately, and perhaps most importantly, hope and grace. Patricia and Christina also celebrate her book THE AHUMAN MANIFESTO, which launched these ideas. A provocative yet hopeful conversation, very much not to be missed! Original event date: 2nd September 2022
In Conversation: Priestess & Witch – Thorn Mooney & Rebecca Beattie
A lively conversation between author and Gardnerian priestess Thorn Mooney and Rebecca Beattie, as they discuss their lives in the Craft and compare notes on what it means to walk the path of priestess and witch. They tell the stories of their routes into Wicca, coven work, and how their dedicated vocation has formed their lives, both inside and outside the tradition. Original event date: 2nd October 2022
In Conversation: The Welsh Folk-Witch – Mhara Starling
Welsh folk witch Mhara Starling shares her insights into working with the land and the landscape. She tells stories from her magical practice and adventures, which are embedded in her native Wales, including her experiences of working with the Red Dragon of her homeland. Original event date: 23rd June 2022
In Conversation: Theatre, Performance & Magic – Emily Carding & Julian Vayne
Emily Carding, a Shakespearean actor, talks about theatre, magic and performance with Julian Vayne, from private ceremonies to public ritual. The conversation was recorded at the time of the solstice, prompting the original title of the event ('Midsummer Night's Dreaming') and additional discussion of faeries, how they are understood by humans, and how one might develop a magical relationship with them. Original event date: 21st June 2022
Talk: Women in the Occult – Manon Hedenborg White
Manon Hedenborg White, author of ELOQUENT BLOOD, discusses women in occult history, the roles they have played, and the symbolism of the feminine in the esoteric world – sometimes to empower, sometimes to undermine. The Thelemic Babalon will also be explored, delving into her hidden depths and meanings. Original event date: 16th June 2022
In Conversation: Lon Milo DuQuette on Thelema, Qabalah, and Magic
Lon Milo DuQuette, author and veteran member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, talks with Julian Vayne on a life in Thelema, the Qabalah, and their shared love of the Thoth tarot. Humorous, eloquent, and heartfelt, this is a remarkable conversation with a genuine living legend in the occult world, offering fantastic insight into what it is like to live a life immersed in magic. Original event date: 19th May 2022
In Conversation: Damh the Bard, with Julian Vayne
Acclaimed pagan singer-songwriter Damh the Bard reflects on spirits, legends, and ritual with his friend Julian Vayne. Damh is perhaps Britain's most beloved pagan singer songwriter, not only playing his own concerts but also at pagan festivals, conferences and gatherings across the country. In this reflective conversation, Damh and Julian discuss rituals of the seasonal cycle, artistic creativity, and ancient legends as food for spirituality, comparing notes and sharing memories.
Lecture: Angel Of Hackney [Spiritualism] – Paul Bell
Paul Bell tells the story of remarkable Victorian London medium Florence Cook, also known as 'The Angel of Hackney'. While not as famous as other Victorian mediums such as the Fox Sisters, Cook was regarded in the 1880s as the most powerful medium of her era, such that Arthur Conan Doyle dubbed her 'the Angel of Hackney'. In this riveting illustrated lecture, Paul Bell takes us back to the streets of 1880s London, when seances and the spirit cabinets were all the rage, and where patriarchal society could be disrupted and erotically disturbed. He unpacks the story and the issues it raised, resulting in one of London's most dramatic spiritualism cases. A fascinating lecture offering deep insight into the Victorian obsession with spiritualism and mediumship.
Talk: Mystical 1920 Woodcrafters - Annebella Pollen
Annebella Pollen discusses the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, in conversation with Christina Oakley Harrington. Utopian outdoor enthusiasts and nature worshippers grounded in English pagan lore, the group's 'Inner Aspect' featured outdoor rites, esoteric symbols and mystical practices. Its growth through the 1920s and 1930s was also concurrent with the birth and growth of Wicca. Original event date: 14th April 2022
Lecture: Witches of the Silver Screen - Heather Greene
Heather Greene, author of LIGHTS, CAMERA, WITCHCRAFT, traces the history of witches and witchcraft on screen – from the Wicked Witch of the West to THE CRAFT, the witch has been portrayed in myriad ways and through the lens of different archetypes over the years. In this presentation, Heather shows what these different presentations of the witch (and of women!) can reveal about the perception and judgement of women on screen.
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