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

SELFS TALK: Thursday July 9th: The Undead Of London & Elsewhere

(Image MS912, Senate House Library, University of London)

This month’s SELFS promises to be a real treat with talks from both Scott Wood, whom many SELFS regulars will remember ran SELFS before moving on to run the London Fortean Society with David V Barrett, & Christopher Josiffe, library cataloguer at Senate House & eldritch writer.

Scott will be talking on Revenants. Across the west and across history the dead have risen with as much ferocity as the vampire of folklore from eastern Europe. The dead riot in the Netherlands, confess sins in London, attack livestock in Oxfordshire, rock their graves in Islington and are held back by St Augustine’s cross in a church in England. How often has the dead returned to their loved ones bedroom at night?

This talk goes from classical myth to Icelandic saga to case notes from Royal Bethlehem Hospital and W.B. Yeat’s private letters to trace the secret life of the unquiet dead.

Christopher will be talking about Doctor Eric Dingwall. Dr Eric Dingwall, – twentieth century psychic investigator, anthropologist, sexologist and librarian – is a much less well-known figure than his friend, rival and sometime enemy Harry Price. But he deserves to be remembered, for his rigorous and scientific methods when investigating alleged psychic phenomena, and for his early use of then-nascent psychoanalytic theory as a tool to understand the psychic, the medium, and the post-World War One séance phenomenon.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Scott Wood co-founded the London Fortean Society and gives regular guided walks on the themes of ghosts, folklore and London’s forgotten history. He writes a column for the Londonist on “Fortean London”, and is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse of the Tube.
Christopher Josiffe is a library cataloguer at Senate House and writer whose articles on Arthur Machen, Rollo Ahmed, Aleister Crowley, Eric Dingwall and Gef the talking mongoose have been published in Faunus, Fortean Times and Abraxas. He is currently writing a biography of Gef.

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

SELFS TALK: Thursday 11th June: The Poorest Hee

988546_10152800562157073_5521374006977075919_nThe English Civil War: Roundheads, Cavaliers, Cromwell, Charles the First. One of the major formative periods in our nation’s history & one many folk don’t know much about. Join storyteller Sarah Rundle in a comprehensive history. There may be Levellers, Ranters & Quakers. Christmas may be banned. 5% of the population may perish. There will be an interval for drinks.

The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street

Talk starts at 8pm
£3/1.50 concession

To be sure of a place you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book

SELFS TALK: WEDNESDAY MAY 13TH: YEATS IN LONDON

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W.B. Yeats was one of the twentieth century’s key poets. He spent some very formative years in London. Yeats authority, Niall McDevitt will guide us through a side of Yeats you may not be familiar with…

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK IS ON WEDNESDAY NOT THURSDAY THIS MONTH!

The Old King’s Head, off Borough High Street

Talk starts at 8pm
£3/1.50 concession

To be sure of a place you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book

SELFS TALK Thursday April 9th 8pm: SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE: LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S LONDON

William_Shakespeare_1609SELFS TALK Thursday April 9th 8pm: SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE: LIFE IN SHAKESPEARE’S LONDON
The life of William Shakespeare, Britain’s greatest dramatist, was inextricably linked with the history of London. Together, the great writer and the great city came of age and confronted triumph and tragedy. Triumph came when Shakespeare’s company, the Chamberlain’s Men, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of many of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, while London struggled against the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague. Globe takes its readers on a tour of London through Shakespeare’s life and work, as, in fascinating detail, Catharine Arnold tells how acting came of age. We learn about James Burbage, founder of the original Theatre in Shoreditch, who carried timbers across the Thames to build the Globe among the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside, and of the terrible night in 1613 when the theatre caught fire during a performance of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt, the Globe continued to stand as a monument to Shakespeare’s genius until 1642 when it was destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell. And finally we learn how 300 years later, Shakespeare’s Globe opened once more upon the Bankside, to great acclaim, rising like a phoenix from the flames Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard’s own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist’s eye for detail with a historian’s grasp of his unique contribution to the development of the English theatre. This is a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the man and the myth.

Catharine Arnold is an author, journalist and academic, best known for her ‘London’ series of popular history books: Necropolis: London and Its Dead, Bedlam: London and Its Mad and City of Sin: London and Its Vices. Her most recent work is Shakespeare’s Globe: Life in Shakespeare’s London.

8pm at the
Old King’s Head Pub,
The King’s Yard
45 Borough High Street SE1 1NA.

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs.
These talks can get busy.
To avoid disappointment you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance.

Those who have booked in advance will be seated first and the room will be open for those who want to take a punt and turn up on the night at 7.40

SELFS TALK: Thursday 12th March: The Last Witchtrial

Helen-duncan-cheeseclothHelen Duncan, a Scottish medium notorious for producing ectoplasm, also known as Hellish Nell, was the last Briton to be imprisoned under the 1735 Witchcraft Act. Upon her verdict & sentance Duncan cried, “I have done nothing; is there a God?”
Geraldine Beskin of the Atlantis Book will relate this fascinating tale of second world war paranoia & persecution.

8pm at the
Old King’s Head Pub,
The King’s Yard
45 Borough High Street SE1 1NA.

Entrance is £3/1.50 concs.
These talks can get busy.
To avoid disappointment you can email nigelofbermondsey@gmail.com to book in advance.