SELFS Talk: Thursday July 14th: Wicca

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The past century has borne witness to a growing interest in the belief systems of ancient Europe, with an array of contemporary Pagan groups claiming to revive these old ways for the needs of the modern world. By far the largest and best known of these Paganisms has been Wicca, a new religious movement that can now count hundreds of thousands of adherents worldwide. In this talk, Ethan Doyle White will provide a historical outline of this faith, in doing so examining its beliefs, practices, and the community of practitioners that has developed around it.

Ethan Doyle White is a PhD researcher at University College London (UCL) and is the author of Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft (Sussex Academic Press, 2016) as well as various other publications on the subjects of modern Paganism and related forms of occultism, and the religious beliefs and practices of early medieval England.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & commences at 8pm.

£3/1.50concs

email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or chance your arm & roll up on the night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SELFS TALK: Thursday 9th June: The Confused Origins Of Freemasonry

Beneath all the many mysteries about Freemasonry there are two questions which no one seems able to answer. First, where did it spring from? Many say it originated in the Knights Templar or Rosicrucians or mediaeval stonemasons – but could any of these be true? Second, why did it suddenly become organised in London almost 300 years ago?

Dr David V Barrett, author of A Brief History of Secret Societies, explores these questions and comes up with some intriguing possibilities.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & commences at 8pm.

£3/1.50concs

email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com to book a place or chance your arm & roll up on the night

SELFS Talk: May 12th: Execution Sites Of London

London was once known as the “City of the Gallows” for the frequency of its public executions. Since the 10th Century over two hundred thousand people are believed to have been beheaded, burned at the stake or hanged, for crimes ranging from counterfeiting to witchcraft. Public executions were once keenly anticipated events, attended by passionate and partisan crowds often numbering tens of thousands and London’s execution sites, including Tower Hill, Tyburn, Smithfield and Charing Cross became popular destinations for visitors. Public executions were finally outlawed in Britain in 1867. Historian, folklorist and gravestone expert ROBERT STEPHENSON will recount some of the more grisly episodes from this once popular spectator sport.

The talk will be in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street, & will commence at 8pm

It costs £3/£1.50 concessions

Walk ups are welcome. To guarantee a seat email georgehoylefolkmusic@gmail.com

APR14 SELFS TALK: Thursday April 14th: The Greenland Whale Fishery.The history of & in a song.

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The Greenland Whale Fishery ( Roud 347), described by A.L. Lloyd as “the oldest – and many think the best – of our surviving songs of the whaling trade” gives a fascinating insight into the dangers and disasters of the 18th and 19th century whaling industry. Tracing the song from broadside sheets, via the late Victorian collectors, through the 50s and 60s folk revival to the present day illuminates the life of the song, as well as the history of the British whaling fleet. The journey takes us from London’s Greenland Dock, to Orkney and Shetland and on to Spitzbergen and Greenland, following the voyages of Scoresby and Conan Doyle.
There will be singing.

Sarah Lloyd is currently completing an M.A. in The Traditional Music of the British Isles at the University of Sheffield. She sings and plays in the folk band, Gentlefolk, performs solo and with others at The Goose is Out and is a member of Dulwich Folk Choir, where she first learned this song.

Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat

email George at nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

SELFS TALK: Thursday March 10th: A Beginner’s Guide to Aleister Crowley

“Mr Crowley: what went on in your head? Mr Crowley: did you talk to the dead”. The lyrics from Ozzy Osborne’s song from his debut solo album, Blizzard of Oz, seem as good a  way as any to introduce us to one of the more notorious magical figures of the 20th Century. Occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist or mountaineer: who was Aleister Crowley? This presentation will cover the basics, no prior initiation required.

Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat

email George at nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

11 FEB SELFS TALK THURSDAY 11TH FEB: A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO JOHN DEE

John Dee was one of Tudor England’s more extraordinary characters. Courtier, historian, astronomer, cryptographer & mathematician. He was also an alchemist & obsessed with talking with angels. Obviously he deserves a talk all to himself at the South East London Folklore Society. Look into your black mirror & see if you are free on the second Thursday of February at 8pm for an enlightening talk from George Hoyle.
Talk starts at 8pm in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head.
Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

Admission is £3/1.50concs

SELFS TALK THURSDAY 14TH JANUARY 2016: UNPREPARED TO DIE

The South East London Folklore Society are delighted to start 2016 with a bang with a talk from Paul Slade on murder ballads.

Cheerfully vulgar and revelling in gore, murder ballads are tabloid newspapers set to music, carrying word of the latest ‘orrible murders to an insatiable public. Victims are bludgeoned, stabbed or shot in every verse and killers often hanged, but the songs themselves never die. Instead, they mutate –
morphing to suit local place names as they criss cross the Atlantic (often beginning life in Britain) and continue to fascinate each generation’s biggest musical stars. Journalist Paul Slade traces this fascinating genre’s history via its greatest songs

Slade investigates real-life murders which inspired well-known
ballads and uncovers many startling new facts about them.

This talk will appeal to fans of folklore, music and true crime & will cover subjects from the critically acclaimed book of the same title published in November 2015

“Compulsive stuff.” – Ian Anderson, fRoots
“Fantastic” Dave Henderson, Mojo

Naturally the book will be on sale at the talk.

The talk is in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street. Entrance is an extremely civilized £3/1.50concs

Walk ups are very welcome, however you may wish to book in advance to guarantee a seat by emailing nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com

SELFS TALK: Thursday 10th December: OF SHADOWS: OBJECTS FROM THE MUSEUM OF WITCHCRAFT AND MAGIC: Sara Hannant

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.22.11This is Sara Hannant’s second visit to SELFS, her first being a tour de force on the English Ritual Year. SELFS does not say this lightly: this is a talk you will be wanting to come to. This talk is in advance of the publication of OF SHADOWS: ONE HUNDRED OBJECTS FROM THE MUSEUM OF WITCHCRAFT AND MAGIC published by Strange Attractor Press

‘If you really must understand this world, first you must stand upon your head.’ Cecil Williamson, founder of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

Objects, exuding magic and mystery, emerge from the darkness of Cornwall’s much loved Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Artist and photographer Sara Hannant has captured the very essence of these carefully selected artifacts, which include wax dolls, wands, statues, daggers, pendants, robes and amulets, all used in the practice of witchcraft and magic. Some have been displayed at the museum for years, others have long been hidden in its archives.

Says Hannant: “It was best to photograph at night. This enabled the objects to emerge from the darkness, where it is said magic begins. Superstition and magic have encircled photography from the beginning. In many cultures the word for photography/photographer translates as ‘soul taker’, ‘shadow catcher’, or ‘face stealer’. The camera itself was perceived as a magical object, and photographs were thought to possess supernatural powers.”

The talk will start at 8pm in the upstairs room of the Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street. It will cost £3/1.50concs

You can roll up or book a seat with nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to be guaranteed a seat

SELFS Talk: Thursday 12th November: Symbolic Devices: On the Hieronymous Machine and Other Magical Technologies

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Symbolic Devices: On the Hieronymous Machine and Other Magical Technologies
If, as Arthur C Clarke famously observed, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, then can we accept that any sufficiently advanced magic is also indistinguishable from technology? In this illustrated presentation, Mark Pilkington presents a historical overview of psychotronic devices – the radiant collision point of magic, art and technology.
Psychotronic devices fuse aspects of vitalism, electromagnetic field theory and psychic sciences like telepathy, psychometry and dowsing. Mark will look the development of psychotronic technologies from the 19th century to the present, a journey that incorporates experimental medicines, science fiction fandom and some of the world’s most prestigious art galleries.

Mark Pilkington is a writer, publisher, curator and musician with particular interest in the fringes of knowledge, culture and belief.

The talk will be held in the upstairs room of The Old King’s Head & will commence at 8pm

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs

To guarantee a place you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book

SELFS TALK Thurday October 8th: The Tarot Tour Of London: Geraldine Beskin

20adda9d08e8480c6dbbfcf30fbcabdbThe Tarot Tour of London

A presentation by Geraldine Beskin

The Tarot Tour of London uses 22 of the major historical sites as the basis of the tour as they correspond with the major Arcana. There are obvious ones like the Wheel of Fortune being represented by the London Eye and the Tower card by the Tower of London. Others are not so easy to presume as it is their history, myth, legend and folklore that makes them complement the meaning of a card.

Geraldine Beskin of The Atlantis Bookshop is a Londoner and occultist and is delighted to combine the two as she presents the capital from a fresh, new angle.

The talk will start at 8pm in the upstairs room of the Old King’s Head

Entrance is £3/1.50concs

to avoid disappointment in event of a full house you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance