This from Treadwells…
Iridescent Undulations: A Workshop on Lam
3rd March (Saturday) SOLD OUT
10th March (Saturday) SECOND DATE by popular demand
Time 11am – 6pm £40 in advance
A supernatural being “Lam” appeared to Aleister Crowley in New York in 1918 during the course of a series of magical rituals known as the Amalantrah Working. Crowley drew a portrait of the entity, and used it as a frontispiece to his Commentary on Blavatsky’s work The Voice of the Silence, which he published in the Blue Equinox in 1919. In 1945, Crowley gave the drawing to Kenneth Grant, then a young student of his. Grant republished the drawing in 1972 in The Magical Revival and treated it at length in his Typhonian Trilogies, since when Lam has evoked a powerful, brooding fascination, such that many groups and individual practitioners work to invoke and communicate with Lam.
But what is the nature of Lam? What is its significance, and why should anyone want to work with it? We shall consider these and many more questions in the course of this workshop, which will be a day of talks, discussions and of course practical work. Practical exercises will build throughout the day, culminating in the group performance of a Lam Working. Michael Staley is a prominent member of the Typhonian O.T.O., the editor of the journal Starfire and the founder of Starfire Publishing. He has taken a strong interest in Lam since the late 1980s, and works regularly with a number of colleagues in a Lodge dedicated specifically to working with Lam.
The latest list of events includes many others – see the full story for details.
BOOKING: Please book in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. +44 (0)20 7240 8906. Map on our website . Note: all events start promptly and latecomers are not admitted. Wine is, however, served from 7pm on nights when the events commence at 7.30pm. All Treadwell’s evening talks are followed by a drinks party.
H.P. Lovecraft and the Occult:
A Series With Dr. Justin Woodman
Dr. Woodman lectures in anthropology at Goldsmiths College, Birkbeck College, and the University of Westminster. He has contributed articles on Lovecraftian themes to Strange Attractor and The Journal for the Academic Study of Magic.
Evening One: The Man, the Myth, the Magic
17th January (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Treadwell’s presents Dr. Justin Woodman’s series of four talks analysing aspects of H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), the author best known for the creation of the Cthulhu mythos, a fictional mythology detailing monstrous powers “from beyond”. Tonight, Woodman casts a critical eye on the “magical” context of Lovecraft’s life and work. He then explores some of the myths surrounding the man and his fiction. This first talk also begins to examine the powerful influence that Lovecraft’s unique literary creations have exerted over the contemporary occult imagination.
Evening Two: Legends of the Necronomicon
31st January (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
In part two of this series, Justin Woodman explores the history of the legendary Necronomicon in fact and fiction, and ponders its continuing relevance to contemporary occult cultures. Penned by the Yemeni poet and mystic Abdul Alhazred circa 700 CE, the dreaded Necronomicon is perhaps one of the most powerful and alluring of H.P. Lovecraft’s creations: a grimoire able to rend apart the very fabric of reality and bring forth the Great Old Ones themselves. Although a work of fiction, the Necronomicon has yet achieved a social and physical reality with more than twenty versions having been published since the 1960s.
Evening Three: Chariots of the Dark Gods
14th February (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Many of H.P. Lovecraft’s best known tales of the Cthulhu mythos intimate that the human species is nothing but a by-product of extraterrestrial interventions in Earth’s prehistory. His idea predates the “Ancient Astronaut” theorists and “alternative archaeologists” by over thirty years. Woodman demonstrates that Lovecraft is a pervasive (but often unacknowledged) influence upon ufology and UFO religions. In the second part of the lecture, Woodman speculates further on the relationships that have developed between imaginative fiction, Forteana and contemporary occult cultures.
Evening Four: Chaos, Cthulhu, and Contemporary Consciousness
28th February (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Tonight’s talk concludes the series exploring the relationship between Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and contemporary occult cultures. Woodman here focuses on Chaos magic and other recent movements, and considers the claim that Lovecraft was a “mythographer of modernity”. It can be argued that he was a writer whose enduring vision is consonant with the claims of cutting-edge magic and theoretical physics; moreover, Woodman suggests, his work intimates something about the current trajectories of Western culture and consciousness.
Dangerous Books, Hidden Knowledge and Demons in Vellum
Cecile Dubuis 23rd January (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm £5 SOLD OUT
Mesopotamian Demons III
Dr. Irving Finkel 25th January (Thursday) 7.15 for 7.30pm £5 SOLD OUT
19th Century Irish Occultism and the Emergence of 20th Century Celtic Spirituality: “Old Gods, Nearly Dead”
Joseph De Lappe
30th January (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Celtic Spirituality has been widely influential in the twentieth century on a plethora of paths and traditions: New Age, Druidic, Wiccan, Shamanic and Christian. Though it encompasses a welter of beliefs and praxis, a central discourse is “spiritual homeland” – a real or imaginary place to which one belongs by ties of tradition, language or kin. Moreover, this Celtic homeland is said to emanate ancient values superior to those of the modern world. This talk will look at this phenomenon in Ireland at a key point in its development, the period at the turn of the twentieth century. To do this the speaker examines, amongst others, three Irish occultists and Celtic scholars: W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker and Hyde. Their notions of Celticity and spirituality are outlined and explored. The question is posed: does Celtic Spirituality, in its appeal to a spiritual homeland, represent a challenge to modernity? In other words, are we seeing “the resurrection of old gods nearly dead” from their bogs to exact tribute (to paraphrase Robert Graves)? Or is the opposite true: is Celtic spirituality itself a product of modernity, a construction of nineteenth century Romanticism that effectively sounded the death knell for those old gods by building new temples on their graves? Joseph De Lappe, born in the Irish Ghaeltacht, has done postgraduate research in art history, critical theory and sexuality. In his personal life he is a druid whose practice centres on themes of appropriation, antecedence and authenticity in contemporary Celtic spirituality.
Lapwing, Dog and Roebuck: The 1734 Witchcraft Phenomenon
8th February (Thursday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
The 1734 system of witchcraft was developed by Joseph Bearwalker Wilson from sources including the now famous “Robert Cochrane Letters”, the correspondence between Wilson and Cochrane (Roy Bowers). It has remained largely unknown in Britain, but has been very influential in the United States, although it has frequently been misrepresented. Stuart Inman, who studied with Joseph Wilson for seven years, will be discussing both aspects of the history of 1734 and its approach to the Mysteries.
On Dissolving the Distinction between Human and Animal:
A Series With Dr. Stephen Alexander
Dr. Stephen Alexander did his PhD at Warwick University on D.H. Lawrence and continental philosophy. His work focusses on transgression, shock and taboo subjects.
Evening One: Zoophilia – Philosophy Culture Series
13th February (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
For his fourth annual philosophy series of the continental and transgressive, Dr. Alexander turns to the animal-human relationship.
This opening paper challenges the metaphysical assumption that human beings are distinct from the rest of animal life. Dr. Alexander gives an original twist to several post-Nietzschean thinkers, by considering their views in relation so zoophilia as an erotica practice. The erotic relationship between human and animal exemplifies and brings into focus many of their concerns.
Evening Two: Ophidicism – Eve and the Serpent
20th February (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
This paper constitutes an attempt to radically re-examine the story of Eve’s biblical encounter with the serpent. It will be argued that reconciliation between the two is crucial if we are to ever move into a post-moral and transhuman future. Whether this requires neo-pagan veneration or even sexual congress with snakes is one of the points to be discussed.
Evening Three: Come Not with Kisses – Leda and the Swan
27th February (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Many poets and artists, including W.B. Yeats and D.H. Lawrence, have been fascinated by the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. Here, Dr. Alexander will offer a critical reading of the cultural and political use made of a tale that describes the violent sexual encounter between a featherless woman and a bird which comes not with kisses, but with a hiss of wings and a sharp beak.
Evening Four: Equus Eroticus – Why Do Girls Love Horses?
13th March (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
The question to be addressed concerns the erotic fascination that some young women (and, indeed, some young men) feel for horses. Via a close reading of D.H. Lawrence’s short novel St. Mawr and reference also to Peter Shaffer’s play Equus, we will discuss everything from pony-play to Plato; from horse-worship to horse-ripping.
Evening Five: In the Company of Wolves – Animal Transformation Fantasy
20th March (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Therianthropy refers to the idea that we might shed our clothes, our skin, and our humanity and transform ourselves into beasts. It has long had a powerful hold upon both the magical and literary imagination. Via a reading of Angela Carter’s erotic re-workings of Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood, we will examine this fantasy, as well as pay a brief visit to the world of furry fandom.
Evening Six: Becoming-Animal – On Molecular Bestiality
27th March (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
This final paper will examine the philosophically occult notion of becoming-animal, as developed in the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Abandoning the fantasy of molar transformation, the more interesting idea is advanced that we might rather be able to enter into a “zone of proximity” with an animal and therein exchange particles at a molecular level.
Pamela Colman Smith: Birthday Celebratory Evening
Led by Caroline Wise and Friends
16th February (Friday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Pamela Colman Smith (1878–1951) painted the famous, standard, Rider-Waite tarot deck; yet she is obscure compared to her more famous teacher in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (A.E. Waite), whose name is on the deck she created. She was an extraordinary woman: an occultist, artist, African-American, traditional storyteller, social hostess, lesbian and magician. Pamela Colman Smith died penniless, her body of work broken up and scattered against her wishes. On this, the night of her birthday, Caroline Wise and friends lead a celebration in her honour. The multimedia evening will include three short talks by different people on different aspects of her life, slide illustrations, informal tarot readings and anecdotes. As it is her birthday, there will of course be birthday cake and wine.
Fumigatories and suffumigations: Making Incense the Old Way
Treadwell’s Presents Led by Paul Wood Lily Moss
18th February (Sunday) 12 noon – 5pm £22 in advance
Fumigatories, or suffumigations (incenses), are an integral art in the grimoire tradition, ceremonial magic, cunning witchcraft and folk magic. In this workshop, the making of incense for magic is introduced in a hands-on environment. The principles behind recipes for numerous purposes are explained: psychic power, visionary ability, love, legal success, justice and house purification. The students will be taught the particular magical powers of certain gum bases, then oils, roots, barks, leaves and petals.
There is hands-on practice all the way through, and samples of all the ingredients will be tested. Each person will mix three personal fumigatories. Instructions from Solomonic and other grimoires will be looked at, as time permits. The fee includes samples, supplies, refreshments and handouts. All of Treadwell’s incense supplies will be on sale at 10% off on the day (for those attending the workshop). NOTE. This workshop or one of the previous incense or herb magic workshops serves as a prerequisite for the INTERMEDIATE herb magic series that will commence in Summer 2007.
The Doctor is In: Everything you Wanted to Know about Visiting a Hoodoo Doctor
Lisa Mead and Stephen Grasso
19th February (Monday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
To inaugurate their hoodoo doctor surgery, opening for business at Treadwell’s next month, tonight’s speakers will give an introduction to the rôle of the professional magician, ancient and modern. The practice of professional magic has a long history in all cultures, from the stone age shaman fixing cures for the tribe, to the hoodoo workers of the American south tying mojo bags and working conjure for clients.
Professional magic thrived in England in the period following the Reformation, with cunning folk plying their trade up and down the country; but by the nineteenth century it had slid from view. Now it’s back. A doctor administers to the survival needs of the species, and it is a rôle as relevant to contemporary London in the twenty-first century as it was to our distant ancestors.
Paracelsus: Renaissance Magic and Science
Dr. Philip Ball
22nd February (Thursday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
The name Paracelsus is a by-word for the archetypal alchemist: the wizened man with wild hair, shambolic laboratory and shady reputation. The real Paracelsus – alchemist, scientist, occultist – is the subject of this talk. But he was a larger-than-life figure even in his own day: an enemy of the medical establishment, a scourge of the universities, an alchemist, army surgeon and radical theologian. He accumulated myths even before he went to an early grave: his name was linked with Faust, who bargained with the devil. Philip Ball explores the intellectual, political and religious undercurrents of the sixteenth century, placing Paracelsus on the cusp between the medieval and modern eras. In his work, uniting the diverse disciplines of medicine, biology and alchemy, he assisted – almost in spite of himself – the birth of science and the emergence of the age of rationalism. Philip Ball is an award-winning freelance writer and a consultant editor for Nature. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media, and has ten books on scientific subjects to his name. His next books, Universe of Stone (on Chartres cathedral) and The Sun and Moon Corrupted (a novel), will be published in 2008. He studied chemistry at Oxford and holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Bristol.
Iridescent Undulations: A Workshop on Lam
3rd March (Saturday) 11am – 6pm £40 in advance SOLD OUT
10th March (Saturday) 11am – 6pm £40 in advance (by popular demand!)
A supernatural being “Lam” appeared to Aleister Crowley in New York in 1918 during the course of a series of magical rituals known as the Amalantrah Working. Crowley drew a portrait of the entity, and used it as a frontispiece to his Commentary on Blavatsky’s work The Voice of the Silence, which he published in the Blue Equinox in 1919. In 1945, Crowley gave the drawing to Kenneth Grant, then a young student of his. Grant republished the drawing in 1972 in The Magical Revival and treated it at length in his Typhonian Trilogies, since when Lam has evoked a powerful, brooding fascination, such that many groups and individual practitioners work to invoke and communicate with Lam. But what is the nature of Lam? What is its significance, and why should anyone want to work with it? We shall consider these and many more questions in the course of this workshop, which will be a day of talks, discussions and of course practical work. Practical exercises will build throughout the day, culminating in the group performance of a Lam Working. Michael Staley is a prominent member of the Typhonian O.T.O., the editor of the journal Starfire and the founder of Starfire Publishing. He has taken a strong interest in Lam since the late 1980s, and works regularly with a number of colleagues in a Lodge dedicated specifically to working with Lam.
An Introduction to Seidr: A Workshop with Katie Gerrard
4th March (Sunday) 1 – 6pm £22 in advance
Within Norse literature, the term Seidr refers to acts of witchcraft and cunning craft. Within modern paganism it has been described as a Northern Tradition shamanism, and as the intuitive magic of heathenry. This workshop will use both primary and secondary descriptions of Seidr, combined with personal experience, in order to explore the different aspects of practices referred to as Seidr. In particular, the day will focus on the High Seat rite, which is inspired by the Greenland Sagas. The workshop will finish with an example of a High Seat rite where a seer will enter the underworld through a trance in order to converse with the ancestors and answer questions from the room. Due to the high energy nature of this rite, the workshop should only be attended if you feel you have the experience and health to work with trance techniques. Katie Gerrard is a longstanding Wiccan high priestess who has been studying Seidr both practically and academically for nine years. She has given several talks on the subject over the last four years, and runs a practical Seidr group based in North London.
Memoirs of a Working Exorcist
8th March (Thursday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
David Devereux makes his living as an exorcist. He does his work quietly and discreetly in locations ranging from ordinary suburban homes, country pubs and provincial offices to the boardrooms of multinationals and the mansions of household names. He can tell the difference between psychic activity, hauntings by the dead and other entities; he has cornered a malevolent ghost, and has witnessed violent and terrifying poltergeist activity. This is a night of his tales. Devereux’s delivery is the deadpan, matter-of-fact tone of the unphased professional. He tries, he says, to approach the tasks of his profession with calm, authority and logic – if often accompanied by a cigarette and a swift whisky. A superb night is guaranteed for all. And yes, he is for real. David Devereux is a senior field officer for Athanor Consulting, a paranormal protection agency based in Bristol. His Memoirs of an Exorcist was published in 2006 by Andre Deutsch, and his magical thriller Hunter’s Moon (Gollancz) will be out in June 2007. For more on him see http://www.david-devereux.com/.
Poetry, Voice, Invocation and Magic: A Third Night with Occultist Zachary Cox
14th March (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Occultists take note! A night for you. Tonight at Treadwell’s, Zachary Cox will perform Crowley and other Edwardian occult/pagan poets. For those of you who are younger and may not know this living legend, Zach Cox is a Thelemic magician of some fifty years experience, who has dedicated himself in large part to excellence in ritual form and to the power of invocation and poetry. He has long championed lyricism and aesthetics in the pagan sensibility, and has a commitment to artistic beauty and music as integral to a “high culture” modern paganism. In the 1980s and 1990s, Zachary published and edited the occult journal Aquarian Arrow (famed for its Ramsay Dukes column). He and his partner ran a ritual training lodge for many years, whose rites have become the stuff of underground legend. In the 1980s the Neopantheist Society issued a recording of Cox reading Crowley invocations and ritual poetry; it remains a benchmark of the art. Much of his more serious work, however, has taken place in the private sphere, particularly in recent years. Treadwell’s is proud to present this rare public appearance.
The Test of Magic: A Talk/Workshop by Len Roberts
17th March (Saturday) 2 – 5pm £10 (registration in advance)
“There is only one test of magic: does it work?”
In this interactive talk/workshop, Len Roberts will explore and explain the way of Western Mysteries magic and take you through some of the techniques that must be mastered by those who choose to follow this inner way. These techniques are have a long tradition in the West, and those participating will be given the opportunity to learn how to put them into practice under the guiding eye of an experienced practitioner. Len Roberts is an Alexandrian priest and witch who has been a practitioner of esoteric magic for 37 years.
Herbal Magic Workshop: Potions and Lotions
Treadwell’s Presents Led by Paul Wood and Lily Moss
18th March (Sunday)1 – 6pm£22 in advance
Herbal preparations are an integral part of natural magic, cunning witchcraft and folk magic. This workshop provides a hands-on environment to make bath salts, sachets and herbal potions that you can use yourself, or give to another. You can make items to gain psychic power, visionary ability, love, legal success, justice and house purification. In this afternoon workshop, everyone will be taught the attributed powers of some important gum bases, oils, roots, barks, leaves and petals. There is hands-on practice all the way through, and samples of all the ingredients will be tested. Each person will mix three items to take home. All of Treadwell’s herbal supplies will be on sale at 10% off on the day (for those attending the workshop). Registration is taking place now, and places are limited. NOTE. This workshop or one of the previous incense or herb magic workshops serves as a prerequisite for the INTERMEDIATE herb magic series that ! will commence in Summer 2007.
Roots and Herbs in Hoodoo: Their Legends, Origins and Powers
22nd March (Thursday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Tonight, a hoodoo doctor gives an in-depth examination of some of the tradition’s most iconic ingredients, including John-the-Conqueror root, florida water, goopher dust and hot-foot powder. She introduces some of the colorful legends, stories and travel routes of ingredients before turning to their uses and attributed powers. The ingredients will be on hand for those who have never seen them. Hoodoo is an African-American system of folk magic, famed for “come to me” sprays, good luck powders and money-drawing floor-washes. Its practitioners are called “doctors”, and its products are made with secret elements. Its roots lie in the fusion of immigrant and native lore in the southern states of the USA. Lisa Mead was initiated into hoodoo by her Brooklyn godmother and is now a doctor in the tradition. She is of the Gullah people of the South Carolina islands of the USA, now living in London and writing a history of the tradition.
Travels of Dr. Dee: A Slide Lecture
28th March (Wednesday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
John Dee, Elizabeth I’s astrologer and leading mathematician, was deeply involved with alchemy and angelic magic. The latter practices involved his scryer and best friend Edward Kelley. Dee and Kelley’s lives were filled with travel, and everywhere they went they got involved with princes, gold-making, angelic visitations, and hair-raising adventures. Robin Cousins, a long-term student of Elizabethan magical philosophy, has visited a great many of these sites across Britain and Europe. His slide lecture takes us on their journeys, outlines their adventures, and explains their magical practices. The slides show original buildings, towns, manuscripts, and magical paraphernalia. Places illustrated include Mortlake-on-Thames, Manchester, Upton-on-Severn, Leadenham, Prague, Cracow, Trebon, Ceskykrumlov, Gilova, Most, and Krivoklat. After the slide lecture, Robin will take questions and the group can discuss some of the themes raised. Robin Cousins has published variously on Dee and Kelley over the past fifteen years. He has an exceptionally intimate knowledge of their angelic system and its working methods, which he has been studying in depth for the past two decades.
Retroactive Magic in Ritual: A Workshop with John Harrigan
15th April (Sunday) 11am – 6pm£40 in advance
John Harrigan will take you through an experiential day workshop that exposes participants to the core magical techniques and practices that are integral to FoolishPeople’s work. You will examine retroactive time and learn how to apply it through magical ritual using powerful exercises that combine the transcendental and theurgic strands of ceremonial magic with established theatrical techniques. Particpants also approach how these can be combined to re-examine notions of time, will and motivation, and show how these are used to shed fixed negative, inherited identities to reveal true will. This workshop is suitable for all levels of experience. Please register for this course as soon as possible as spaces are strictly limited. The cost of the day includes tea, coffee and other light refreshments. John Harrigan is director of the occultist theatre company FoolishPeople, whose cycle of plays was recently performed at the Horse Hospital Theatre in Bloomsbury. For more on FoolishPeople and the work of the company, see www.foolishpeople.org
Advance Notice (full details to follow)
Economy, Myth and Practice at Holy Wells
5th March (Monday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5
Book Launch: Beastly Behaviour
Nexus Publishing & Virgin Books
16th March (Friday) Free
Magic at the Crossroads
14th May (Monday) 7.15 for 7.30pm start £5