… a thought making crooked all that is straight.

Ludlow Book-Feast and Bun-Fight

I had been looking forward to the Ludlow Esoteric Conference and Book Fair for several months. It did not disappoint, although the entertainment and lessons came in unexpected ways!

The Green Witch has given a very fair assessment of the lectures that day, including a good summary of the nasty little showdown at the end of Ken Rees’ lecture. I too have signed up for The Regency discussion group, and look forward to hearing more about it.

The research I did prior to the conference as background for the lectures oddly took some of the interest out of the lectures for me. The first talk on John Dee and Edward Kelley’s travels told me nothing new, although I enjoyed looking at the copious slides (even though one person said it was a poor excuse for showing the family’s holiday pics πŸ˜‰ ). I think my stamina has waned in some respects and I find it quite tedious now to sit through a lecture unless the speaker is brilliantly interesting as Guy Ogilvy was last year (I could have listened to him talking about alchemy for hours and only felt more rejuvenated not exhausted by his speaking). And yet I can read for a day and always feel immensely satisfied; writers do not necessarily make speakers, and speakers do not necessarily do justice to their subject matter. Although I did enjoy Ken Rees’ talk – an entertaining, balanced and academic view – not something we see often in the pagan world. I will certainly attend more conferences (it’s good for my soul like metaphysical porridge and green tea!) but ultimately I shall always prefer a book which I can put down every now and then to make a cup of tea or cuddle the rat (that is not a euphemism, I do mean cuddle the rat!). As such I was happy to abandon the main part of the day’s lectures in favour of getting to know Arnemetia and Mereth better. This was personally a more valuable and nourishing experience than any lecture. I was overwhelmed that day by the care shown to me by my dear Green Witch, as well as Arnemetia and Mereth, who (although we have communicated for over a year) were meeting me in the flesh for the first time. I have rarely encountered such genuine kindness, and it did my spirit good. Apart from which, days out with the Green Witch are always Good Days.

It was interesting that my urge to protect myself psychically for the conference – an urge which had pestered me for a few days – was justified. There was one rather toxic lady there who was leaking nastiness. I sat near her at one point and spent a lot of my time shielding from her. The last thing I wanted was to draw her attention and thankfully I slipped under her radar. It’s always worth trusting your instinct and setting up protections – it’s better to be protected and not need it, than unprotected and covered in someone else’s psychic ooze!

One major highlight was the book fair. I heard one man say that the Ludlow Conference was his excuse to buy occult books for the year, and I can well understand why. Throughout the year I scan second-hand bookshop shelves for occult books of interest. Generally I buy what I find, but this book fair (a modest 5 stalls) was a collection of gems that made it difficult to choose. If I had found any one in isolation in a bookshop I would have been pleased, so to see so many in one room was utterly bibliorgasmic for me! My library on Egyptian magic/spirituality/mythology is expanding nicely. Once I have my core list of titles I shall be setting up an intense reading/re-reading schedule. The results will be formulated in my very own book of Egyptian Magic, a sourcebook for me to use and peruse. I can’t wait … well, actually, I can, because I know the journey is going to be just as enjoyable as the destination.

A very satisfying day in all. Some interesting ideas bandied around between the Green Witch and Mereth (which I hope come to fruition, to the benefit of us all). Next stop the Thelemic Symposium in Oxford and then Witchfest International!

Β© starofseshat 2008

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11 responses

  1. The Green Witch

    I love the sound of you writing a book for your own use; who konws where it might get to!

    The books were indeed a massive draw – can’t believe I got away so lightly – actually, did I leave a book in one of your bags??

    July 1, 2008 at 12:05 pm

  2. starofseshat

    Nope, don’t think so. I don’t think we merged bags, did we?
    Here are the books I bought:
    The Magick of Thelema, Duquette
    Adam and the Kabbalistic Tree, Halevi
    The Ancient Egyptians, David
    Practical Egyptian Magic, Hope
    The Occult Arts of Ancient Egypt, Bromage
    The Mystical Qabalah, Fortune
    Inner Visions, Drury
    Awakening Osiris, Ellis
    Egyptian Magic, Farr
    The Survival of the Pagan Gods, Seznec (is that one yours??)

    July 1, 2008 at 12:20 pm

  3. Hmmm, the idea we talked about has been rattling about in the back of my head and I’m thinking about the possible alternatives to Dillington.

    One excellent (IMHO) thought was that the loose non-community of various Witchy friends and acquaintances I have all have differing and complimentary talents and areas of expertise. Knowing that, wouldn’t it be interesting to arrange an entire weekend of talks and workshops, independently of anyone or where else, and do it right?

    I have Event Management experience and I’m sure TGW would be excellent on RSM Organiser mode – what do you think…?

    July 1, 2008 at 2:56 pm

  4. starofseshat

    Yup, sounds like a plan – I’d come! I like the idea of pulling together different talents and aspects of paganism – surely an ideal way to achieve unity in diversity. Apart from which, it sounds like FUN. WhiteWicca Academy? πŸ˜‰
    Keep the ideas coming, and if I can support you in any way – just shout.

    July 1, 2008 at 3:10 pm

  5. The Green Witch

    RSM Organiser – hand me my thigh high buckskin parade boots! πŸ™‚

    I’d love to do something like that. I think it might fly really well. More work to do on this one!!!! Talk about exciting.

    Yes, my dear Seshat, the Seznec is mine – I’ve got a head like a sieve.

    July 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm

  6. The Green Witch

    WhiteWicca Workshops! πŸ˜›

    July 1, 2008 at 3:14 pm

  7. starofseshat

    Erm, parade boots for everyday wear? Or just when you is da RSM-dude-lady? πŸ˜‰

    July 1, 2008 at 3:41 pm

  8. starofseshat

    Yeah, the Seznac kinda stuck out – there is a bit of a theme with the books I bought, isn’t there? πŸ™‚ Even more apparent when I list them. The RH is designing a book cataloguing programme for me in Access – my occult books are logged in a portable paper notebook, but my other books need more GBs! Also, if I get started on this second-hand bookselling I want to have my stock organised! Maybe if I fed and watered you, Green Witch, you could come and help me catalogue??

    July 1, 2008 at 3:45 pm

  9. I don’t know, any excuse to get the kinky boots out!

    Seriously though, I think there is value in playing to our strengths, and the discussion about having a message and the huge diversity in our ‘community’ makes me think of that Madonna saying:

    “If someone gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

    Run over two days, there could be such workshops as:

    …no, I’m not going to list them here, that would be silly…

    but we must get our heads together, as I can feel a new project coming on – which is handy as the little house is nearly finished!

    Hedge: When shall we three meet again,
    TGW: In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
    When the hurly-burly’s done,
    When the battle’s lost and won.
    Seshat: That will be ere the set of sun.
    Hedge: Where the place?
    TGW: Upon the heath.
    Seshat: There to meet with Arnametia.
    Hedge: I come, Mr Tibbs!
    TGW: Mouse calls.
    Seshath: Anon!
    All: Fair is foul, and foul is fair…

    (Sorry, silly fit!)

    July 1, 2008 at 5:59 pm

  10. The Green Witch

    I’d be only too delighted, and I’d do it for free, if only to get a jump on the good book opportunities!!

    But food sounds good too… πŸ™‚

    July 1, 2008 at 7:26 pm

  11. starofseshat

    Check out Ken’s lecture series on The Green Witch’s blog

    August 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm

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