More at Treadwells

In my top three London hangouts, Treadwells makes its umpteenth appearance here. The best programme of talks and events hung around cultural history and esoteric beliefs. The world just gets deeper, stranger and much more curious after a visit here. Come and find out about Triple Goddesses (cor I’d like to be one of those!), Cunning Men, and Pentagons. Seriously bright bunch who hang out here, though it feels inclusive too. Here are some upcoming highlights – retro Medieval tree hugging included.

31 March & 5 May Foraging for Herbs: A Guided Teaching Walk for Aspiring Hedge Witches with Natasha Richardson

Knowing your herbs is an essential skill in the path of the hedgewitch. Natasha Richardson leads seasonal walks to help you learn just this. She identifies native plants that are important in British folklore and in herbal medicine in this two-hour foraging walk in a part in Central London. Along the way Natasha will share stories, superstitions and also some basic biochemical facts about each. A lively speaker, she is both a hedgewitch and medical herbalist with her own established practice, Rowan Remedies. This walk concentrates on herbs visible in March.

Price: £8.00 Time: 12.45 for 1.00 pm departure, Regents Park tube station.

3 April Beacons of Belief: Trees in the Religions of Early Medieval England with Dr Michael Bintley (Oxford University)

They say that pagans are tree huggers, and so it is fitting that tonight’s talk is on the importance of trees and woodland in the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons and their Norse neighbours. He uses current interdisciplinary approaches to sources, so you will be treated to Old English and Old Norse texts, Anglo-Saxon art, sacred landscapes, and ritual objects. And, he argues that the veneration of the tree did not cease with the adoption of the cross; indeed, the shift from paganism to Christianity was a case of gradual assimilation rather than sudden abandonment of old ways. Mike Bintley (Oxford University) wrote his doctoral thesis on ‘Trees and Woodland in Anglo-Saxon Culture’, and has also taught medieval literatures at University College London and Birkbeck. We welcome him to Treadwell’s for the first time.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

23 April Waking the Dead in the Middle Ages: The Tales the Graves Tell with Dr James Holloway

Stories of the walking dead are common in medieval literature, from romances to saints’ lives. Ghouls, ghosts and vampires were said to return from their graves to terrorise the living. But how much did ordinary people actually believe these tales? Can the odd items found in some medieval graves shed more light on these beliefs? Join James Holloway for a tour of some of the stranger burial practices of medieval Europe, and learn about the archaeological evidence for belief in the dangerous dead. Dr James Holloway studied archaeology at Cambridge University, and remains fascinated by the strange things that people are willing to do to dead bodies.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 pm start

21 May Bohemian Occult Subculture in the 1890s: Artists, Actors & Writers of the Golden Dawn with Christina Oakley Harrington

The Order of the Golden Dawn is an icon for modern occultists: it’s the late Victorian ceremonial magic organization which created the template for subsequent Western mysteries, Kabbalah, Celtic mysticism, and even Wicca. The 1880s to 1920s saw an occult renaissance, sudden and powerful: historians stress the founders’ connection with freemasonry, giving the impression that it was a club of old Establishment men. In fact, the Golden Dawn was driven by a bunch of young creatives – friends working in ad hoc collaboration. Meet these young bohemian women and men, and be inspired. Christina Oakley Harrington repeats this illustrated lecture at the request of those who could not attend the sold out performance last autumn. Early booking advised.

Price: £7.00 Time: 7.15 for 7.30 pm start

Treadwell Books, 33 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BS

Always book in adv on – its a popular place 020 7419 8507

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