Hail the Highgate Vampire
London's Victorian garden cemeteries have a remarkable allure, with their crumbling chapels, shady bowers, and Egyptian follies. In this lecture, Dr Romany Reagan celebrates them, while at the same time, considers them theoretically as sites of ritual. The talk discusses the complex host of people who use them: media-hungry occultists, mock satanists, 21st-century witches, as well as mourners and tourists. Practitioners and visitors alike search for the secular sublime in these graveyard landscapes. Dr Romany Reagan received her PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in performing heritage, for work on North London's Abney Park cemetery. Further research took her into the occult literary heritage of Stoke Newington, ‘earth mystery’ psychogeography, and folklore. Publications include ‘Crossing Paths/Different Worlds in Abney Park Cemetery’, Ways to Wander (2015) and 'The Gendered Garden: Sexual Transgression of Women Walking Alone in Cemeteries', Death & the Maiden, 2017. Website: https://blackthornandstone.com/
Nails, scrapes of cloth, bodily fluids... All of these and more are found within Witch Bottles. This lectures explores the why, how and who of the fascinating history of these powerful folk charms. Wayne Perkins is an archaeologist with over twenty years of experience. He is currently researching medieval graffiti, ritual protection marks and ritual practices in the medieval buildings of the south-east of England.
The Psychological Model of Magic
This lecture is presented by Mark Smith, a popular Treadwell's teacher and independent chaos magician; he works extensively with the techniques developed for working with subconscious blocks, motivation and core beliefs. In this lecture he will explore the many facets that make up his unique blend of psychology and magic.
Picture Yourself in a Burning Building
Scott Treleaven presents his autobiographical essay ‘Picture Yourself in a Burning Building’. In it the listener meets him in his various ages and phases: the child who sees the fairies, the teen who discovers his queerness, the young occult explorer who strives to find and lose himself. Over the course of forty minutes he takes us into his inner life and his outer experiences of the AIDS epidemic, 90s queer zine culture, phenomenology, Buddhist psychology and anarchism. Ultimately he questions whether or not - in an era of precarious irrationality - it might be time to put some old ghosts to rest. The presentation is illustrated with images of his art of the past twenty years.
Lucifer: A Shadow of Light
This talk examines the Lucifer myth and the impact these stories have had on Western society. It’s a tricky tale that involves lies, legend, and history. We will partly unravel some of these mysteries by examining the original texts associated with Lucifer. Tina Anghelatos has a theology degree with a specialisation in ancient languages. She uses these languages to unlock biblical tales and their relationship with the Western mystery tradition.
Péladan: Paris' Occult Artist-Philosopher
Joséphin Péladan (Sâr Merodack, 1858-1918) was the enfant terrible of the French occult revival -- a symbolist artist, occultist and philosopherinfluenced by Platonism and Luciferian theology. Péladan's philosophical project was a plan for the salvation of humanity - this was to be done by an inner circle of artist-initiates who bombard the masses with uplifting symbol-laden art and would ignite a collective awakening. Human creativity would thus redeem the Fall of man and angels. The occult artist, in short, holds the key to salvation - an idea that is as radical as one can imagine today. Dr Sasha Chaitow is the acknowledge world expert on Péladan. An independent occult scholar and freelance lecturer, she has many publications to her name, including a forthcoming study of Péladan with Fulgur Press. She is also a painter with numerous solo exhibitions and an active art practice.
In this richly illustrated lecture based on her new book, "Atalanta Unveiled" (2020) Dr Sasha Chaitow traces this path through the structure and content of the Atalanta fugiens together with a number of Maier’s other works. She explores the coded mythical references in the images and provides evidence that the emblems need to be rearranged to decode Maier’s full message.
Forming spirit traps, making witch bottles and concealing mummified cats in buildings: these were regular practices in the early modern period (c. 1650-1800). But what were people afraid of? Archaeologist Wayne Perkins specialises in studying these activities (known as 'apotropaics') and tonight he shares the current state of research, his own findings, and many intriguing examples. Be ready to learn about the coded shapes which speak to matters of the Evil Eye, the dangers of childbirth and the unwanted attentions of the many supernatural beings - the restless dead, wandering spirits, revenants, vampires, fairies and demons. And perhaps even more local mortal dangers like unfriendly neighbours' curses.
Heavenly Alchemy Live Lecture
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have been called 'the golden age of religious hermeticism' (Jean Dagen), a period when alchemy was the greatest passion of the age, and when some of its most prestigious texts were printed. It was also the age of Shakespeare. Alchemy was everywhere in Elizabethan and Jacobean literature, and it is not a question of whether Shakespeare was aware of it or not, but to what degree it permeated his thought and writings. In this talk Paul explores the significance of Hermeticism, neo-platonism and the ideas of Paracelsus in the intellectual world of Shakespeare's contemporaries; and more particularly, its influence on Shakespeare and his work. He will examine, the Tempest in detail, with reference to King Lear, and other plays and poems.
Mithras: Roman God in London
In a dark cave, a man straddling a bull plunges a dagger into it. A dog and a snake leap to lick its blood, while a scorpion grips its testicles. This image is the centrepiece of Mithraism, a mystery cult of the Roman Empire. Here in London the Walbrook Mithraeum has been superbly restored and opened to visitors in 2017. This illustrated lecture delves into the rituals and meanings of this god's worship and is led by Ruth Clydesdale, an independent researcher and lecturer on art, religion and their links to ancient philosophies.
The Origins of Tantra Part 3 of 3: The Saiva Mantramarg
This final lecture in Phil Hine's "Origins of Tantra" series examines the development of the Saiva Tantric current. He explores the right-hand and left-hand currents, the Sakti tantras and the Kaula transmissions. The lecture also covers Tantric sorcery, ritual, transgressive practices and the worship of ferocious goddesses. Phil Hine is an independent researcher and author. Whilst he is best-known for his three books on Chaos Magic, he is also a practitioner of a hybridised approach to Tantra with over thirty years experience, and also has a background in Wicca and Ceremonial Magic. His latest work can be found at http://enfolding.org and you can follow him on twitter at: @PhilH86835657
Folk Magic in Pennsylvania
The Long-Lost Friend is the magical book at the centre of this tale of murder, mystery and folk magic. Join Dan Harms as he explains the history of folk magic in Pennsylvania. Dan Harms, editor of The Long-Lost Friend: A 19th Century American Grimoire, takes us on a journey through the history of this infamous book of fake magic. You can find out more about Dan Harms at his irregularly maintained blog: http://danharms.wordpress.com.
The Necronomicon has whispered into the minds of authors and magicians ever since it was first described in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. A book of magic so evil that it would drive the readers to madness, or so some would claim. Dan Harms, co-author of The Necronomicon Files, takes us on a journey through the history of this infamous book of fake magic. You can find out more about Dan Harms at his irregularly maintained blog: http://danharms.wordpress.com.