Canterbury Christ Church University Open Lectures

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Canterbury Christ Church University Open Lectures

Come along and join the MA students at our Open Lectures series. Attendance at the Open Lectures will cost £5 per lecture (payable on the door, or by booking online in advance – free for CCCU staff and students ).

The Open Lectures take place at our Canterbury Campus on Saturdays from 6.15pm – 7.45pm. You can book your place online.
For information you can call us on 01227 782919

Lectures takes place in Newton (Ng07)

Directions to our Canterbury Campus

Saturday 21 January 2017

Visions of the Imaginal: Imps, Goblins, Fairies and Machine Elves
William Rowlandson

‘All was this land fulfild of fayerye./The elf-queene, with hir joly compaignye.’ Chaucer’s Wife of Bath wished to make England great again. Her age lacked fairies. ‘Who are the Little People?’ asked Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘they are near connections of the dreamer’s, beyond doubt.’ Borges wrote that elves ‘are tiny and sinister. They steal cattle and children and also take pleasure in minor acts of deviltry.’ Terence McKenna rapped bemushroomed with ‘self-transforming machine elves. Sort of jewelled basketballs all dribbling their way toward me.’

Elves and other wee folk have been with us for generations, and will likely remain with us. Are they still cattle-snatchers? Why elves? Why now? Drawing in part on Jung’s engagement with daimonic beings and in part on James Hillman’s visions of the ‘imaginal’, William will investigate the cultural resonance of elven experiences, reflecting not so much on the ontological status (where and what and of what are the elves?) but on their meaning as aspects of a greater social and cultural ecology.

William Rowlandson is Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent. He is the author of Reading Lezama’s ‘Paradiso’ (Peter Lang, 2007), Imaginal Landscapes (Swedenborg Society, 2015), Borges, Swedenborg and Mysticism (Peter Lang, 2013), and co-editor with Angela Voss of Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013). He has published widely on Latin American cultural and political history. He plays drums as often as he can.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Tarot Readings: The Influence of Set and Settings
Nikki Wyrd

Tarot cards have been used for around two hundred years, in various guises. Ranging from fortune telling device, to in depth psychological analysis tool, the ways in which they can be deployed are fascinating in their own right.

Tonight Nikki describes some of her own experiences as a tarot reader in different settings. Nightclubs, tattoo conventions and kitchen tables each have their own glamour. Taking symbol manipulation as the common theme, Nikki reflects on how tarot cards act as non-ordinary encounters with the self for those who come to her for advice.

Nikki Wyrd has read tarot cards for 30 years, mostly for friends and sometimes for paying customers. Her deep curiosity about life has resulted in an ecology degree, lots of thinking, talking and writing about the human condition, and many years practising chaos magic; she now spends her time copyediting, publishing books, and editing the Psychedelic Press Journal. In her spare time, she acts as a director of both the Breaking Convention conference, and the Psychedelic Museum..

Saturday 18 February 2017

The Calling, Training and Practice of Sangomas in Relation to an Astrologer’s Vocation
Darby Costello

During the 1970s, the field officer for a small museum in Johannesburg, South Africa and a Zulu witchdoctor began a project to gather and record the traditions and practices of various other witchdoctors around the country. They both felt strongly that these practices were of immense value, both culturally and spiritually, and must not be lost with the increasing encroachment of Western values.

In this talk Darby will present some of her experiences and research in this project which lasted some seven years, and illustrate and discuss the calling, training and practice of these healer/diviners in relation to her astrological vocation today.

Darby Costello, MA, Hon DFAstro is a practising astrologer who lives in London.  She was born in America where she was educated traditionally until the late 1960 when she discovered and studied astrology in Boston.  In 1971 she visited Southern Africa and stayed twelve years where she spent much of that time with sangomas – tribal healers – transcribing their lore and practices for a small museum in Johannesburg. During that time, she began making her living by practising as an astrologer.

The sangomas saw that she was ‘working with her spirit’ – with the stars – as they were with their ancestors, and what she learned there still informs her practice today.  Darby has taught at the Centre for Psychological Astrology since 1988 and the Faculty of Astrological Studies since the early 1990s and she lectures and teaches internationally. She has written several books on astrology; some on her own and some in collaboration with other astrologers.  In 2006 she was awarded an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University. Her consultation practice is at the heart of her working life as an astrologer.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Romanticism as Activism: Why Myth Matters
Dr Martin Shaw

martin-shawA most powerful way to affect change in this world is to address the one that underpins it, what Henry Corbin called the Mundus Imaginalis. Mythologist and storyteller Martin Shaw will be speaking into what he calls, “myths from the edge of the fire”: stories that seem to be more than just allegory or elegant fabrication. Over his talk Dr. Shaw will give voice to myths and poetics that celebrate a world alive, charged with mystery and filled with disclosure. Alongside, he will speak of the consequence attached to such directives; of the trade of comfort for shelter, of the ancient imperative to be a beauty-maker rather than a chaos-creator, and how both myth and many initiatory practices reveal the steps to such maturation. From this position, reverie leads to participation, romanticism to activism.

Dr. Martin Shaw is a mythologist, storyteller and author of the award winning Mythteller trilogy: A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Snowy Tower and Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia. Director of the Westcountry School of Myth, he is co-designer (with Dr. Carla Stang), of the upcoming Myth and Ecology MA at Schumacher college in Devon, England. He designed and lead the Oral Tradition and Mythic Life courses at Stanford University, and is principle teacher at Robert Bly’s Great Mother conference. Shaw lived in a black tent for four years on a succession of English hills, exploring remaining pockets of wilderness. His translations (with Tony Hoagland) of Celtic lyric poems and folktales have been widely published, and his book; Courting the Dawn: Poems of Lorca (with Stephan Harding) is due for release in 2018.

Saturday 18 March 2017

What Canst Thou Say?
Belinda Hunt

Metamorphosis V is one of a series of seven works in pastel by Belinda Hunt, which emerged spontaneously over a few days in 2013, after the death of a close friend.

Images speak, and to the artist, this one seems to say: to follow a true spiritual path, the aspirant needs the heart of a Lion and the eye of the Hoopoe – the one hailed in symbolic language as the embodiment of courage, and the other as a guide whose piercing vision opens the way to the Source of Life itself.

As a professional artist Belinda has found that images may burst free of the framework foisted upon them by the painter’s best intentions – they become archetypal presences with messages that can demand of their ‘creator’ a change in spiritual direction. In an earlier lecture in 2014, Belinda described the imaginal power and purpose of images, illustrated with examples of her work. A mural, still in progress, entitled The Feast of the Gods, drew some challenging responses from the audience.

This 2017 lecture seeks to bring new insights to that work, and will explore more recent works as well.  The talk’s title invites attention to the voice of soul, a responsibility we all share, and must act upon and give voice to, in whatever creative way we can.

Belinda Hunt is an artist and researcher. She has MAs in German and Modern History (Oxon.), Mysticism and Religious Experience (University of Kent), and Transpersonal Arts and Practice (University of Chichester)..



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Tel: 01227 782994