The Re-Enchantment Series:
Unlocking Magic & Inspiring Action
Steiner House, 35 Park Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 6XT
Every other monday: 8 October, 22 October, 5 November, 19 November, 3 December 2018, 18.30-21.00
Monday 8th October: Dreaming the Land & Native Spirituality, with Mac Macartney & Sharon Blackie
Monday 22nd October: Sound & Sacred Geometry, with Jill Purce & Angela Voss
Monday 5th November: Secrets of the Forests: Lives Within & Beyond the Trees, with Alan Rayner, Kay Haw & Martin Bidartondo
Monday 19th November: Quantum Physics & Holistic Science, Hardin Tibbs & Philip Franses
Monday 3rd December: Consciousness: Redefining Our Parametres, with Rupert Sheldrake & David Luke
Monday 17th December - Date TBA
ABOUT THE SERIES:
We’ve fallen out of love with the world. It’s clear from the way we treat it.
Every other Monday in central London from 8 October - 3 December we will be re-igniting curiosity as we explore aspects of daily life including consciousness, quantum physics, trees, holistic science, native spirituality, sacred geometry, storytelling and sound.
Mass mental illness and climate change are not inevitable. They are the result of certain narratives, behaviours and habits. Let’s shift perspectives, empower ourselves for change and co-create a future we want to be a part of.
With special thanks to Sharon Blackie and her 2018 publication The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday.
Dreaming the Land & Native Spirituality
Monday 8th October
THE LAND'S LONG DREAMING: CELTIC MYTHOLOGY, THE OTHER-WORD & ANIMA MUNDI
Enchantment has nothing to do with magical thinking; rather, it is founded on an understanding of the mythic imagination as a living principle that draws us into deeper, lasting relationship with this beautiful, animate Earth. And in these uncertain times, we need the wild wisdom of myth more than ever – because myth is the bridge from which we can learn to let ourselves fall into the land’s long Dreaming. Celtic mythology offers insights into our own native traditions, and the ancient stories of our own lost Dreamtime. Those stories are founded on a reciprocal and respectful contract between people and the land – a contract presided over by Otherworldly women who represent the spirit of the land and of the Earth itself, the anima mundi. These stories of our own land are calling to us, and so are the archetypal characters who inhabit them. It’s time to reclaim them. It’s time to dream ourselves awake.
DR SHARON BLACKIE is an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction, a psychologist who has specialised both in neuroscience and narrative, and a mythologist with a specialisation in Celtic Studies. Her unique approach to working with myth, fairy tales and folklore highlights the insights these traditions can offer us into authentic and meaningful ways of being which are founded on a deep sense of belonging to place, a rootedness in the land we inhabit. In early 2017 she founded The Hedge School: both an online space and a physical location in Connemara, for teachings in myth, wild mind and enchantment.
Sharon was the founder and editor of EarthLines Magazine and is the author of The Long Delirious Burning Blue, If Women Rose Rooted and The Enchanted Life. She is now completing a collection of original fairy tales about shapeshifting women, Foxfire, Wolfskin, which will be published in autumn 2019.
After several years as a crofter in the north-west of Scotland and the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Sharon returned to Ireland in 2014 and has recently traded an old stone riverside cottage in Donegal for a house among the hills, lakes and seaweed-strewn tidal inlets of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Her experiences on the westernmost edges of the Celtic fringe give her a unique perspective on the psychology of belonging, and our relationship with place.
THE DREAMING & THE AWAKENING
In the beginning was the dreaming. All that was, is, and will be, is born from the dreaming. We knew this once and we can know it again. The deep dreaming of the land is the ancient loving voice of our mother calling us home. The outstretched hand of Native peoples is cupped and held by the mother. This way they do not forget. It is different with us. Yet even so, magic steals upon the land and we are rising as if from a deep sleep. How wondrous…….to be born at this time of great awakening. Mac Macartney shares some parts of a love story that is surfacing all around the world. It seeks to reclaim our future and name it beautiful.
MAC MACARTNEY is an international speaker, writer and change-maker. He is also the founder of the leadership-based social enterprise, Embercombe. and co-founder of the organisational change network Liquid School.
Over a period of twenty years Mac was mentored by a group of indigenous elders. During this training and ever since, he has attempted to bring two worlds together – an ancient world-view that emphasises relationship, interdependence, and reverence for life with the significant challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.
Sound, Sacred Geometry & The Healing Voice
Monday 22nd October
THE HARMONY OF THE COSMOS: GEOMETRY, SOUND & THE SYMBOLIC IMAGINATION
We find so many references to 'the music of the spheres' in literature and poetry, but what does this mean? Is it only a poetic conceit, or is there a deeper truth in the idea that the cosmos is permeated by harmony, and embodies perfect geometric ratios? We will start with the philosopher Pythagoras, the father of both music and mathematics, and look at the way esoteric philosophy and practices understand the human being to be a mirror of the harmonies of the cosmos. This will lead us to the astrological music therapies of the Renaissance, and to a discussion about how we can work with these ideas today to reconnect people with the powers of the symbolic imagination.
ANGELA VOSS is a senior lecturer in the Education faculty at Canterbury Christ Church University, and directs the MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred which builds bridges between esoteric wisdom traditions and transformative learning. She is also a musician and astrologer, and has written extensively about the Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino, music, symbolism, astrology, and more recently, transformative pedagogy in Re-enchanting the Academy (Rubedo Press, 2017).
THE HEALING VOICE: JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
This experiential talk will explore how sound and the voice have been understood and used in different traditions as one of the most effective ways to balance the mind and body and ultimately achieve enlightenment. Jill will show how we can empower our lives by using our voice to release a uniquely powerful energy, which can be used for physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual healing. By freeing the voice in certain ways it is possible to find physical health and emotional joy and spiritual ecstasy. We will experience the ancient magic of Mongolian overtone chanting, sacred songs, chants, sonic meditations and more.
JILL PURCE is recognised internationally as the pioneer of the Sound Healing and Ancestral Healing movements, through her rediscovery of ancient vocal techniques, the power of group chant, and the spiritual potential of the voice as a magical instrument for healing and meditation. She gives workshops throughout the world, “Healing Voice”, teaching diverse forms of sacred chant, and especially Mongolian overtone chanting and “Healing the Family and Ancestors”, combining Family Constellations with chant and ceremony. Author of the book The Mystic Spiral, Journey of the Soul, and the albums Overtone Chanting Meditations, and The Healing Voice, she guides non-singers as much as international opera performers in their pursuit of the lost voice. Read more: www.healingvoice.com
Secrets of the Forests: Lives Within and Beyond the Trees
Monday 5th November
UNDERSTANDING TREES, FUNGI AND THE EVOLUTIONARY FLOW OF LIFE
Alan will explain how his studies of trees, fungi and their diverse ways of relating to one another in natural communities contributed his new understanding of creative evolutionary processes based on the receptive-responsive relationship between intangible space and energetic flux. He will discuss how this understanding can help us to appreciate our human place in the natural world and enable us to live in a more passionate, compassionate and sustainable way than we currently do.
ALAN RAYNER is an evolutionary ecologist, writer and artist. He was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1950 and gained BA and PhD degrees at King’s College, Cambridge in 1972 and 1975. He was a Reader in Biological Sciences at the University of Bath from 1985 to 2011 and has published numerous papers and books, the latter including, most recently, 'The Origin of Life Patterns in the Natural Inclusion of Space in Flux’. He was President of the British Mycological Society in 1998 and President of Bath Natural History Society from 2012 - 2018. Since 2000, he has been pioneering awareness of 'natural inclusion', the co-creative evolutionary flow of all forms of life in receptive-responsive spatial and energetic relationship. This awareness enables us to understand ourselves and other life forms as dynamic expressions of our natural habitat, not independent subjects and objects. He has a special interest in helping people to become more aware of the diversity of wildlife in their local neighbourhood, and how this can help us to learn to live together in a more passionate, compassionate and sustainable way than we currently do.
TREES AND WOODS ARE IMPORTANT FOR HUMANS - BUT HOW CAN YOU HELP THEM?
It is essential we work together to protect our natural environment, but this is not just for its own benefit. Humans have integral links to nature and there is increasing evidence to show the significant benefits it provides our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Trees and forests provide amazing, beautiful places that unwind and inspire tired bodies and minds. Learn about how we are connected to the natural world and discover some simple but effective ways to get involved in the conservation of the UK’s trees and woods.
KAY HAW used to work as a land surveyor, where she witnessed first-hand the loss of nature from the UK as it was consistently bulldozed and marginalised. Determined not to be a cog in the destructive machine of ‘progress’ and gaining a profound connection with the planet, she swapped sides and swore to help protect the natural world.
In her role with the Woodland Trust she strives to conserve, share knowledge, inspire and connect people more deeply to trees and woods. As editor of the Trust’s Wood Wise publication, she strives to bring expert contributors together to help convey the importance and wonder of various key conservation topics and share best practice.
FUNGI AND PLANTS WORKING TOGETHER
We are learning fast about the ancient and intimate links among living plants and fungi. It turns out that most plants do not have roots, they have fungus-roots instead. From the tiny first land plants, to today's huge forests, fungi have always been crucial facilitators. Their essential networks are underground, so their study has been largely out of sight and out of mind. However, we now know that these widespread fungal-plant interactions control nutrient and carbon cycles in our rapidly changing planet. Come to learn about mutualism, cheating and pollution in the world of fungi and plants.
DR MARTIN BIDARTONDO works on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, one of the dominant symbioses of terrestrial ecosystems. The systems that he has studied include arbuscular, ectomycorrhizal, monotropoid and orchid mycorrhizas, and mycorrhiza-like associations of bryophytes. Following his ground-breaking research on the evolutionary ecology of the diverse plants that cheat mycorrhizal mutualisms, his team has investigated: 1) the mycorrhizal ecology of heathlands first revealing the mechanisms of tree invasions and then uncovering nutritional links among vascular plants, fungi and non-vascular plants, 2) the environmental drivers of forest mycorrhizas at large scales, revealing the impacts of nitrogen pollution across European forests in collaboration with ICP Forests, and 3) the ecology and evolution of their newly discovered, yet ancient and globally-widespread, symbioses between lineages of plants and fungi.
Quantum Physics: The Science of Metaphysics
Monday 19th November
QUANTUM WEIRDNESS AND METAPHYSICAL HORIZONS
Quantum physics is fascinating not simply for the theory itself, but also for the metaphysical questions it raises. Many working physicists are surprisingly uninterested in these questions because to them it is just a practical theory and, as they put it, they “know how to turn the mathematical handle” to obtain highly accurate results. But the metaphysical questions are of great interest to many of the rest of us, since they imply a significant shift away from the worldview promoted by classical physics, which after three hundred years forms our dominant understanding of reality. Many physicists believe that science makes no metaphysical assumptions, and argue that quantum theory does not justify opening up such questions. Yet the whole edifice of physics rests on presumed answers to underlying metaphysical questions which lie beyond the reach of science itself. Far from being unjustified, quantum theory seems to be pushing us to rethink these underlying assumptions simply to make sense of the paradoxical picture it is painting of reality. This presentation will look at the specific ways in which physical theory has gone beyond its own starting assumptions and will ask whether this is pointing to a new metaphysical worldview which could re-enchant our culture.
HARDIN TIBBS is a strategic analyst, futures thinker, adviser and innovator with long experience of future-focused strategic thinking. His work is focused on interpreting complex emerging situations and generating strategic insight. His consulting clients include major companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in the United States, Europe, Australia and South-East Asia. Hardin is a skilled strategic analyst and strategy process facilitator.
THE ‘NOTHING’ OUR THEORY OF EVERYTHING FORGETS
The zero was developed in the East several thousand years ago, in a mathematics that understood emptiness and realisation as the foundation of existence. Ancient Greece in contrast was founded on a notion of the one. The zero was never understood in the West as a foundation to mathematics. Only in the 16th century did zero and the decimal system enter into Western thought giving an abstract perspective to existence. In the 17th century, Newton understood the colours as relating statically to light, without including the influence of the darkness. The physics Newton founded discarded the importance of darkness from the experience of light.
Goethe (1749-1832) is well known as a playwright exploring the darkness of the human soul through his play Faust. Goethe looked into science for the dynamic interaction, where darkness develops into light and light is limited by darkness. In acknowledging the influence of darkness, Goethe showed new aspects of colour with complementary effects (of darkness journeying into light) to those Newton had presented (of seeing light limited by darkness).
Goethe illustrated the play of darkness and light in the way we are moved by anItalian Master’s painting to live the raw emotion of death and life presented through it. Action is framed within the shades of emptiness and the bright calling to realisation. Zero and one is the ladder which existence visibly descends and ascends. In redrawing the balance of darkness and light, emptiness and realisation, zero and one, a dynamic challenge is painted of who we are, combining science and spirit.
PHILIP FRANSES is a Senior Lecturer of Holistic Science at Schumacher College. Philip studied mathematics at New College Oxford from 1976 to 1980, yet academia’s dull explanation of the world inspired Philip on a counter-journey into the depths of experience, travelling and a re-sensitisation to quality. In 2005, after a fifteen-year career designing intelligent software, culminating in a programme now used in The Netherlands by all Dutch courts, Philip had a chance encounter with Satish Kumar and was moved to come to Schumacher as an MSc student. In 2009 Philip joined the faculty on the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College and has been teaching as Senior Lecturer since then. Now Philip is moving to develop the application of Holistic Science in the world and is currently work with Global Synapses that work on the application of holistic ideas into practice.
Philip began and edits the Holistic Science Journal. He is Director of the Flow Partnership and is the author of Time, Light and the Dice of Creation: Through Paradox in Physics to a New Order (Floris Books)
Consciousness: Parapsychology & Psychedelics
Monday 3rd December
THE MIND BEYOND THE BRAIN
Most scientists assume that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is much too limited. People can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. People's intentions can also be detected telepathically by animals from miles away, and some people can tell who is calling them before they pick up the phone. Our minds seem to extend stretch out beyond our brains through attention and intention. And they are also open to more-than-human forms of consciousness, both through spontaneous mystical experiences and through spiritual practices.
DR RUPERT SHELDRAKE is a biologist and author of more than 85 technical papers and twelve books, including Science and Spiritual Practices. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and philosophy at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow. He was a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and director of studies in cell biology. From 2005-2010 he was director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, for research on unexplained human and animal abilities. He is currently a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, near San Francisco, and also of Schumacher College, in Devon. His web site is www.sheldrake.org
PARAPSYCHOLOGY & PSYCHEDELICS
(TALK DESCRIPTION PENDING)
DR DAVID LUKE is a Senior Lecturer for Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling at the University of Greenwich. He joined the university in 2008, and is course coordinator for Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience; and Individual Differences and Abnormal Psychology on the undergraduate programme. He is also lecturer on research methods; criminology and forensic psychology; and functional neuropsychology for speech and language therapists.
David's particular interest is in transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, having published over 100 academic papers in this area, making him one of the leading researchers in this specialist area. He was President of the Parapsychological Association (2009-11), and has received an Early Career Research Excellence Award (2011) and won the faculty's Inspirational Teaching award (2016) from the University of Greenwich.