The tickets for our day of talks on October 15th are selling well. The theme is Halloween and we have some fascinating talks lined up. An evening of poems, prose and music (complete with wine and nibbles) is also included in the ticket price. The event is being held at the Wellington Hotel in Boscastle.
Here is a preview of Judith Noble's talk. Judith is a Senior Lecturer in Film Production at the Arts University, Bournemouth. She researches and publishes on avant-garde and experimental film and the occult and esoteric. She is the author of “A Witch’s Mirror: The Art of Making Magic.”
This paper traces the evolution of a Samhain ritual in one Wiccan coven in Devon over a period of nearly 25 years, beginning in 1991. The coven is not hierarchical, and its rituals are actively developed by all its members. It was founded within the Gardnerian tradition but over many years has developed a strong commitment to the forms practices of what might be termed Traditional Witchcraft.
When this writer first became involved with the coven, its Samhain ritual was broadly similar to that of other Gardnerian groups, marking the passing of the year into darkness, a journey inwards to the world of spirit and a point of contact with loved ones who have passed into spirit. However, over the years it has evolved into a very deep and intense ritual of spirit contact and inner vision, which demands a concentrated degree of engagement and commitment and which has profound and sometimes very unexpected effects on the participants. It works profound changes in all those who experience it, and makes the world of spirit a very present reality for them.
In this paper I examine how this ritual has grown and changed and consider its form and its meanings. Contained within the structure of a Wiccan ritual are practices which have much in common with some forms of Shamanism, with the possession states experienced in some African Diaspora spiritualities and with deep trance. I also consider the effects of the ritual on its practitioners.
This paper is written from personal experience and with the consent of the members of the coven.
Tickets are £25 per person
Ways to pay
By card: phone the Museum on 01840250111 and complete the transaction using a credit or debit card
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By cheque: send a cheque made payable to Museum of Witchcraft to our address: the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, the Harbour, Boscastle, PL35 0HD
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