The Esoteric Grail and The Emerald Tablet Talks
The Esoteric Grail: Early 20th Century Britain
Dr Juliette Wood (University of Cardiff)
23rd September (Tuesday) 7.15 for 7.30 pm start. £5
The early 20th century was a rich time for British occultism and secret societies. The Golden Dawn, the Rider-Waite Tarot, the novels of Charles Williams, the Christian hermeticism of AE Waite, Aleister Crowley's OTO; all were flourishing at this time. And over in Glastonbury, a chalice was discovered in a well; was it from the last supper? Visions suggested it was. Then Dion Fortune appeared there. Again and again the symbol of the holy grail appeared amongst these groups, in their ceremonies, their visions, their dreams, their art and their poetry. Juliette Wood, in her magisterial and lively style, show just how it did.
Tonight will be will be a panoply of chalices, cups and grails, accompanied by tales of art, novels, tarot cards, rituals and regalia. We promise that if you come along you will never look at a wineglass the same way again.
Juliette Wood is one of Britain's leading experts on myth and folklore. A Director of the Folklore Society, London, she is also an associate lecturer in the School of Welsh Cardiff University . A regular contributor to TV and radio, she is the author of several books on Celtic myth and legend, such asThe Celts: Life, Myth and Legend (Duncan Baird 2003) and The Rose and the Thistle: Essays on the Culture of Late Medieval and Renaissance Scotland (Tuckwell Press). Her most recent book is Eternal Chalice: The Enduring Legend of the Holy Grail (IB Tauris, 2008)
The Emerald Tablet Introduced
An Illustrated Lecture by Paul Cowlan
24th September (Wednesday) 7.15 for a 7.30 start. £5
"As above, so below." This phrase expresses core concept in alchemy, in hermeticism and in magic. It is from a remarkable text called The Emerald Tablet, which dates from the first centuries AD, in Egypt. Supposedly written by Hermes Trismegistus himself, patron of spiritual transformative magic, it is full of mysterious references and allusions which point to the way the work of magic connects to the world and to the spirit. For a full text in contemporary translation, see Wikepedia, "Emerald Tablet."
The Emerald Tablet's principles were essential in modern magic: Golden Dawn, Crowley, Gardnerian Wicca, Alex Sanders, Dion Fortune -- all these cite and base their magical principles on the doctrine 'as above, so below'. In this illustrated talk Paul Cowlan will outline the text's history and guide you through the Emerald Tablet itself.
Paul Cowlan has been studying and working non-operative alchemy for over 20 years. By profession he is musician, poet and songwriter. He lives in Germany and visits the UK once or twice a year, during which times he usually gives a sold-out lecture at Treadwell's. He returns this year for another popular talk date. www.paulcowlan.co.uk
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