Here’s a list of magical events over the next week or so with a mixture of online and in-person things to do, including celebrations for Imbolc and the first stirrings of spring. I generally list events in the UK, especially in or near London, but some are outside that time zone. If you know an online or London-based event you want included, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Now to 19 February; Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt. Exhibition at the Sainsbury Gallery at the British Museum, London. Find out more here: britishmuseum.org/hieroglyphs
Every Wednesday and Friday; Open Days at the College of Psychic Studies, 16 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2EB. Time: 11am – 4pm. Free, just pop in. https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/
Wednesday 1 February; Imbolc: free online celebration by
Cunning Folk. Time: 7pm. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/cunning-folk-7829505560
Thursday 2 February (and other dates); Morning Meditation. Free online event via Mirthy. Time: 9am. https://www.mirthy.co.uk/event-calendar/30-minute-morning-meditation/
Thursday 2 February; Ancient Egypt and modern identities. Three short online talks chaired by Mary-Ann Ochota via the British Museum. Time: 5.30pm. Free but donations welcome and you must reserve a place. https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions-events
Thursday 2 February; Begin Again Imbolc Ritual. Venue: She’s Lost Control, Valentine Road, London. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £35. https://sheslostcontrol.co.uk/collections/all-events
Saturday 4 February; January – Walking The Wheel with Freya. Workshop. Venue: Wicca Moon, 50 Well Hall Road, London, SE9 6SH. Time: 3pm. Tickets: £20. https://www.wiccamoonuk.com/product-category/events-and-workshops/
Sunday 5 February; Herbal Magic: Spells That Really Work. Online class with the Seed Sistas, via the College of Psychic Studies. Time: 1pm. Tickets: £80. https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/
Sunday 5 February; Woodland Witches Imbolc 2023 and Full Moon: Seasonal Gathering with Mani via London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Venue: Outdoors in Queen’s Wood, Highgate, North London. Meet at 3.30pm to walk to the site. Tickets £5. https://www.meetup.com/LondonWoodlandWitches/
Sunday 5 February; A Shire Spring. Online event by Jason Buck Storyteller. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets ·from £3.50. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/jason-buck-storyteller-5020006777
Tuesday 7 February; ‘She could sit and spin those stories all night!’: The Midwife Effie Currie. A Folklore Society Online talk by Dr Tiber Falzett. Time: 6pm. Tickets: £6. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-folklore-society-32190494089
Tuesday 7 February; A Witch’s Guide to Ritual. Venue: She’s Lost Control, Valentine Road, London. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £30. https://sheslostcontrol.co.uk/collections/all-events
Wednesday 8 February; Drumming and Meditation online with Taz Thornton. Time: 7pm Price: free. https://www.facebook.com/TazThorntonOfficial#
Thursday 9 February; Cheating the Ferryman. Free talk by Anthony Peake. Venue: Watkins Bookshop, 19-21 Cecil Court, · London WC2N 4EZ. Time: 5.30pm. https://www.meetup.com/WatkinsBooks
Thursday 9 February; Love Spells – A Candle Making Workshop and Ritual. Venue: She’s Lost Control, Valentine Road, London. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £45. https://sheslostcontrol.co.uk/collections/all-events
Saturday 11 February (and other dates); Witches and Witchcraft History. Pay What You Can Walking Tour by Wonders of London. Meet at Tower Hill Station, Trinity Square Gardens, London EC3N 1JL. Time: 7pm. Tickets by donation. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/witches-witchcraft-history-pay-what-you-can-walking-tour-london-tickets-481606948347?
This evening I will be lighting a flame for the goddess Brigid, the same candle that I’ve been burning for the past 18 days. In the picture at the top you can see it as it was yesterday on my altar.
I began this devotional practice earlier this month with a group of pagan friends in the Woodspirits group, and blogged about it. We’ve been lighting our candles in our own homes, but sharing our thoughts and pictures on the group’s Facebook page. The idea was suggested using inspiration from “Nineteen Flames for Brigid” as described by Lunaea Weatherstone in her book Tending Brigid’s Flame. I marked a candle with 19 sections and burnt one each towards the end of the day. You can see what it looked like originally in the photo to the right.
Each evening our group focussed on a theme or area of life with which Brigid is associated. The first evening was dedicated to welcoming Brigid. Following that we focussed on fires of the hearth, the ancestors, Brigid’s sacred flamekeepers, poetry, courage, righteous causes, the oppressed, new beginnings, smithcraft, the Earth, animals, water, creativity, nourishment, peace and gratefulness. Tomorrow morning the group will discuss the words for the final night and Imbolc Eve.
Behind the candle I put cards representing Brigid from three different oracle decks. They also had words on them showing Brigid’s varied associations. The first card is from the Divine Feminine Oracle. The words on it are: “Brigid, Goddess of the Eternal Flame. I am the Eternal Flame and each day might light grows brighter.”
The second card is from the Legendary Ladies Goddess Deck and simply reads: “Brigit – Inner Peace.”
The third card is from Keepers of the Light Oracle Cards. The message on it is: Brigid – Inner Strength. Move back to wholeness. Recognise that you have the power.”
I’ve found it helpful and thought-provoking to consider all those different messages as I’ve sat in contemplation withy my candle burning. Some seemed more relevant to me than others, but the entire experience has been worthwhile. I look forward to any insights I will find when I light my flame and tend it tonight in Brigid’s name.
Other previous related posts:
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 email@example.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.
Previous related posts:
I got a huge response when I blogged about the start of the Year of the Cat and invited readers to send in photos of their feline friends. Ellen Evert Hopman, author of A Legacy of Druids and other books on druidry and herbalism, sent me the photo at the top. She wrote: “The Triple Goddess of the household (a calico). Her name is Brighid.”
Hazel Sargent emailed me with the second photo and said: “This is Boo who I adopted during lockdown and who was put to sleep on New Year’s Eve just gone. Miss him very much. Although I am still very sad I will look at adopting another cat when ready.”
I know how sad it is to lose a much-loved moggie, and I am more than happy to commemorate Boo by sharing this beautiful photo. I’m sure he had a wonderful life with Hazel after his adoption.
Marc Sansum posted the pic at the bottom, of Binx. He said: “It’s a very apt name! He’s very vocal, especially when his bowl is empty!”
Thanks very much to Ellen, Hazel and Marc for letting me share these pictures on Saturday, which I like to think of as Caturday.
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I sometimes hear pagans complain that London doesn’t have green spaces. It simply isn’t true, which is why I’ve decided to start a series of posts on my blog specifically about Green London. I thought I’d start with Bloomsbury Square Gardens. It’s opposite Swedenborg House, which I visited earlier this week to see a brilliant esoteric exhibition about place and space.
Bloomsbury Square dates back to the 17th century and was one of the earliest London squares, surrounded by posh houses. The gardens at the centre were first created in 1723 and redesigned at the start of the 19th century. There are other squares with gardens in the area including the larger park in Russell Square where London Pagan Pride often starts.
Concerning an Idea About Place is the name of an exhibition currently on in the gallery at Swedenborg House in London. The objects displayed force us to question our ideas about place, space and distance – from how we look at the buildings we are in to how we experience being inside our own skulls.
The objects range from photographs of corners of rooms in the building to a chair once sat in by a historical figure to a plaster cast of “the wrong skull”. Cast in 1908, it was supposed to be a replica of Swedenborg’s skull but the wrong skull was copied by mistake. On the walls around it are various writings which this unusual relic has inspired, including text by Iain Sinclair.
The exhibition description on the Swedenborg Society website says
“In a now famous passage from his Arcana Caelestia, printed in London between 1749-56, Emanuel Swedenborg wrote that our ‘ideas of place and distance’ are not anything real but ‘states of thought and affection’. (§1376) Since then, this idea has had a profound influence on philosophers, writers and artists alike, and has had a direct impact on Romanticism, Symbolism, Surrealism and Psychogeography. Curated by the Society’s Museum Director, Stephen McNeilly, this intimate exhibition draws together miscellaneous items from the Swedenborg Collection that explore this theme and confirm our experience of place as an ‘inner sense’, linking the external world of things to our internal world of ideas and feelings.”
I popped along to see the exhibition yesterday and found it thought-provoking. I took some photos including the ones on this post. Concerning an Idea About Place is free to enter although reserving a ticket is recommended, which you can do here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-swedenborg-society-8460713300 It runs until the end of February.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a London-based philosopher and visionary. The Swedenborg Society is a registered charity that publishes his works as well as hosting events and exhibitions. Swedenborg House and Gallery is at 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH.
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