Tag Archives: pagan studies

A Day for Patricia Crowther at The Belgrave Rooms on Sun Apr 6th, 2014 in Nottingham

A Day for Patricia Crowther is a conference at The Belgrave Rooms on Sunday April 6th, 2014 in Nottingham, offered by the Centre for Pagan Studies and the Doreen Valiente Foundation [HT Sorita d’Este].

A Day for Patricia Crowther conference 2014

“A Witchcraft Conference in honour of PATRICIA CROWTHER, Sunday 6th April 2014, 10am-6pm, The Belgrave Rooms (Masonic Hall), Nottingham, with talks by: Vivianne & Chris Crowley, Rufus & Melissa Harrington, Philip Heselton, John Harper … plus the best in Pagan stalls & historic exhibition of Witchcraft Artefacts. Tickets are available at £15 each

We are continuing our series of ‘A Day For …’ events and this year we will be honouring the achievements and contribution to the Witchcraft and Pagan community of Patricia Crowther.

Patricia is one of the few remaining contemporaries of Gerald Gardner and has to be considered one of the true Elders of the Craft. She was initially reluctant to allow us to hold a day in her honour but we have persuaded her that the Craft and pagan communities deserve their chance to pay her their respects and celebrate her so we are very pleased to announce that all being well she will be our guest of honour on the day.

We will also present talks by Vivianne & Chris Crowley, Rufus & Melissa Harrington, Philip Heselton and Patricia’s good friend and astronomy expert, John Harper.

This year we have taken note of past comments and decided to hold the conference out of London. Nottingham has played a part in the modern history of the Craft and is close to Patricia’s home town of Sheffield. Nottingham boasts a lively Pagan community, being the home of Pagan Pride whose volunteers will be on duty to support our event with us and our other major supporter, GreenMantle magazine.

As a venue we have chosen the grandoise and magnificent Masonic Halls called locally ‘The Belgrave Rooms’ which is on the tramline outside Nottingham Trent University less than 5 minutes walk from the city centre’s Market Square. On-street parking in Nottingham is readily available and Sunday rates are £1 per day on the meters.

The doors will open at 10 and close at 6, there will be refreshments and lunch available (you should be able to book your lunch on arrival) and we’ll have a selection of invited Pagan stalls as well as an exhibition from the Doreen Valiente Collection which will be ‘enhanced’ with some on-loan artefacts as well.

Tickets are priced at £15 and all the booking information is available on the Doreen Valiente website. And if you sign up as a Doreen Valiente Foundation member you will receive discounts on tickets and information about other opportunities during the conference weekend.” [via]

Omnium Gatherum: Aug 28th, 2013

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together …

Unicursal Gareth Branwyn illustration
Boing Boing’s Gareth Branwyn is crowdfunding a book [via]


  • Mark Stavish, via email; from the your-shortfall-is-more-than-my-entire-budget dept.

    “The New Alexandrian Library Project is nearing completion, but, has fallen short by about $50,000 of its financial goal. Ground has been broken, and construction underway, but more money is needed.”

  • Unearthed Peruvian tomb confirms that women ruled over brutal ancient culture” — Scott Sutherland, Geekquinox [HT Anne Rice]; from the girt-with-a-sword dept.

    “Centuries ago, in the Sechura Desert of northern Peru — one of the most arid and brutal environments on our planet — the Moche people developed an equally-brutal culture. With no written history left behind, much of their society still remains a mystery, but paintings on pottery have shown researchers evidence of a rigid culture of survival, with ritualized combats where the losing side was sacrificed.

    Findings in recent years expanded the tale of these people even further, telling a story of how they were ruled by women, priestesses who also acted as queens.”

  • The Elements and the Four Cardinal Directions” — Aaron Leitch, Aaron Leitch’s Blog [HT Sorita d’Este]

    “To my knowledge, there are no systems of correspondences of Elements to directions that go back to 5000 BCE. The earliest such correspondences could have arisen would have been in cultures that developed astrology – likely going back no further than Babylon. Not even Egypt had such correspondences that I know of – though they did have the four Sons of Horus as the pillars of the four directions (associated with the arms and legs of Nut), I’ve never seen any Egyptian text that associates them directly with four Elements.”

  • The Placing of the Elements In A Golden Dawn Temple” — Alex Sumner, Sol Ascendans

    “The magical inner-workings of the Golden Dawn ceremonies take the Temple, and astrally transport it through Time and Space and across dimensions – to the Hall of the Duat, in the Egyptian otherworld.

    Hence, the correct placing of the elements should neither be for the Northern Hemisphere, if your temple is in the Northern Hemisphere, nor for the Southern Hemisphere if it is physically located there, but for how the elements would be placed in the Hall of Judgement in the Egyptian otherworld.”

  • A Very British Witchcraft — channel4.com; from the fire-up-the-vpn dept.

    Channel 4's A Very British Witchcraft

    “The extraordinary story of Britain’s fastest-growing religious group — the modern pagan witchcraft of Wicca — and of its creator, an eccentric Englishman called Gerald Gardner.

    Historian and leading expert in Pagan studies Professor Ronald Hutton explores Gardner’s story and experiences first-hand Wicca’s growing influence throughout Britain today.

    Born of a nudist colony in 1930s Dorset, Wicca rapidly grew from a small New Forest coven to a worldwide religion in the space of just 70 years.

    It’s a journey that takes in tales of naked witches casting spells to ward off Hitler, tabloid hysteria about human sacrifices and Gerald Gardner himself appearing on Panorama.” [via]

  • Love Spells, Prostitutes, and Poison” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio

    “When we think of magic in the ancient world, we tend to think that what we today consider magic was, back then, simply religion. Certainly this holds true for things like worshiping many gods, divining the future, or other such activities. But there definitely was a subset of ancient practice that was considered to be against the grain. Those engaging in such practices go by many names: magoi (a term used to refer to ‘Eastern’ holy men), pharmakeis (those skilled with drugs and potions), goetes (spiritual practitioners who engaged the dead), and epodoi (singers of incantations). But all had one thing in common: they were perceived as working against nature, and thus society in general.”

  • Why terrorist bosses are micro-managing dicks” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing [See, Amazon]; from the show-mommy-exactly-where-you-helped dept.

    “It comes down to this: people willing to join terrorist groups are, by definition, undisciplined, passionate, and unbalanced, so you have to watch them closely and coordinate their campaigns.”

  • Cyber-Harassment: What the Online Community Can Do to Stop the Trolls” — Jade Walker, huffingtonpost.com; from the disgustipated dept.

    “Basically, don’t feed the egos of the attention-starved people who use the Internet to (often anonymously) defame, harass and frighten. Or worse, accept that this is how the world should work instead of trying to change it.

    To which, I call bullshit.

    I would not tolerate such behavior in person, and I am certainly not about to do so online. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Others have also decided to fight back.”

  • Anita Sarkeesian at TEDxWomen 2012“; from the nobody-goes-there-anymore-it’s-too-crowded dept.

    “… creating an environment too toxic and hostile to endure.”

What is wrong with marketing secret demons?

I noticed a few papers that have been posted to Academia.edu‘s platform for sharing research papers. You may be interested in these.


What is Wrong With Pagan Studies?” by Markus Altena Davidsen from Method and Theory in the Study of Religion [HT Al Billings]

“Most scholarship within pagan studies rests on the methodological principles of essentialism, exclusivism, loyalism, and supernaturalism. Consequently, pagan scholarship advances idealized notions of paganism’s essence, insider interpretations of social processes, and pagan theology. In other words, pagan studies contributes more to the development and promotion of paganism than to the critical study of the modern pagan movement.” [via]


Marketing Demons: Joseph Perl, Israel Baal Shem Tov and the History of One Amulet” by Jonatan Meir from Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts from Cherub Press


Openness versus secrecy? Historical and historiographical remarks” by Koen Vermeir, also the author of “States of Secrecy. From Alchemy to the Atomic Bomb“, both from The British Journal for the History of Science

“Traditional historiography of science has constructed secrecy in opposition to openness. In the first part of the paper, I will challenge this opposition. Openness and secrecy are often interlocked, impossible to take apart, and they might even reinforce each other. They should be understood as positive (instead of privative) categories that do not necessarily stand in opposition to each other. In the second part of this paper, I call for a historicization of the concepts of ‘openness’ and ‘secrecy’. Focusing on the early modern period, I briefly introduce three kinds of secrecy that are difficult to analyse with a simple oppositional understanding of openness and secrecy. In particular, I focus on secrecy in relation to esoteric traditions, theatricality and allegory.” [via]