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.