Treadwell’s is a magical bookshop in London’s Bloomsbury area with books on the Occult, Wicca, paganism and the history of Western magic and world belief systems. They have the most incredible events programme…the only downside is that its a little…professional? They assume a degree of knowledge and having read Roald Dahl’s The Witches isn’t gonna cut it . But go to a few talks and you might get a bit of patchy knowledge here and there to apply. You could even just go for the people watching – London’s under underground coming out to play.
On my shortlist for the summer:
12 July 11 (Tuesday)
Occult London: A Walk for Occultists
Know the main characters of British magic and want more quirky tales about their London adventures? This walk’s for you. Rosicrucians, OTO, Thelema, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi, John Dee, the Golden Dawn, Freemasons, and Harry Price: all were active in London, and you now visit places of their incense-fogged sitting rooms, secret temple chambers, invocations, imprecations, candle-lit conjurations. Guide Paula Dempsey is the author of The Investigator’s Guide to Occult London (2011), and a longstanding friend of Treadwell’s. Also: Thurs 21 July, 7 pm; Saturday 13 Aug 2pm; Thurs 25 Aug 7 pm. Bookings for all being taken now. For a fun walk that doesn’t require background knowledge, we recommend the ‘Witches Wizards and Warlocks.’
Price: £8.00 in advance
Time: 6.50 for 7.00 pm start
29 July 11 (Friday)
Through A Glass Darkly: Performance Inspired by Victorian Seances of the Fraudulent Mediums
The London Magician
At this exclusive evening of mind-reading and cold-reading performance, the London Magician will talk about, and demonstrate, the mind-reading and magical effects that first flourished in the Victorian seances hosted by fraudulent mediums – people who were emulating genuine psychics in parlours across England. Meeting the dead, past-life regressions, amazing mind-reading, apports — the fraudulent mediums were the forefathers of the cold reading prodigies of today. But more than being told, you will be shown: magic will be performed, minds read, tales and fortunes told. Illusion, mentalism and magic meet, through a glass darkly. Note: This will be the last performance ever of this show at Treadwells.
Price: £10.00 in advance
Time: 7.15 for 7.30 start
17 August 11 (Wednesday)
Smoke and Mirrors: London’s Voodoo Psychogeography
Writer and witch doctor Stephen Grasso unveils the hidden occult landscape of the City of London. ‘Dark rum hits old stone at the crossroads and we enter heavy Voodoo terrain, tuning into the dub echoes of history. The mysteries of the boneyard and the buried river slide into focus. The lunar temple of St Pauls Cathedral opens its doors for witchcraft, and the chained giants of the Guildhall break their bonds. Our Lady of the Thames pulsates outside of time … Senses are washed clear and duplicitous spells are undone. All cities have magic.’ Stephen Grasso lives in London, practices Voodoo, and is published in many journals, most recently Strange Attractor IV.
Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start