Mark Cocker Master Class On Nature Writing

This is a four-hour seminar, split over two days in one week, to explore some of the techniques of nature writing. We will pay careful attention to language, and also to the power and importance of your initial observations. It is this preliminary work that often determines whether the words you choose will be original, fresh and suggestive.

The other key goal will be to explore how writers select their central theme, create mood and map out the psychological setting and the physical context quickly and in the fewest words. Economy of language is essential, since it is about distilling the essence of a place or season and using a part to evoke the whole scene.

This may be an exercise on nature writing, but it has deep relevance across the genres. All writers draw upon the landscape and the wider environment to create an atmosphere ad to set the scene. The class may be online but we will get as close to the living world as we possibly can.

Instructor: Mark Cocker is a multi-award winning author and naturalist, whose 12 books include Crow Country, Our Place and Claxton. Over the last four decades he has also published more than 1000 essays on nature in national and international newspapers especially the Guardian.

In The Realm Of The Dark Rabbit: A Comic Lecture By David Bramwell

“A nude horse is a rude horse” ran the US campaign slogan for The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals in 1959. The group even picketed the White House, demanding that the Kennedys cover their horse’s private parts with trousers. For its founder, Alan Abel, the society was one of innumerable high-profile pranks at the expense of the media. A few years later he even convinced the media that his 83 year-old grandmother, Yetta Bronstein, was running for president, with policies that included ‘compulsory national bingo and mink coats for all’.

Abel was a classic trickster, the archetypal peddler of mischief whose cunning, deceit and mischief can be found in every culture across the globe.

Whether it’s Sascha Baron Cohen as Ali G, Bugs Bunny, Pussy Riot, Bart Simpson or even – arguably – Donald Trump, tricksters take the role of rule-breakers, subversives and catalysts for change. From email fraudsters to the antics of Banksy, they can confound and delight in equal measure. They are the gremlins in the works. What drives some people to con, deceive and pull pranks and hoaxes, often at considerable risk?

In this funny and fascinating talk, Dr Bramwell unveils the strange and mercurial world of the trickster, from archetypes of Wile E Coyote to real-life examples such as as Chris Morris, Bonsai Kittens and Boatie McBoatface.

But while tricksters change culture, is culture changing our relationship with the trickster? In our digital age has the trickster risen to become a new driving force in politics, culture and social networking? There are even new religions with trickster gods as their figureheads and using meme magic to spread political chaos. Are we living in a ‘golden age’ of trickery or a time in which unprecedented levels of deceit and cunning leave many of us wishing we could put the rabbit back into the hat?

Speaker: David Bramwell is a British writer, musician, performer and broadcaster. For BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, he has made programmes on diverse subjects, including Ivor Cutler, clapping, time travel, and the murmurations of starlings. He is the founder and host of Brighton’s legendary spoken word night, the Catalyst Club.

These are extraordinary times and the plague has hit some harder than others, tickets are by donation – if you possibly can £10 is much appreciated, but £2 is also much appreciated. Thank you for your support.

Introduction To Rune Magic/runic Sorcery – David Lee

Introduction to Rune Magic / Runic Sorcery

Two Day Workshop

Day One Saturday 3rd April 6-8pm

Day Two Saturday 10th April 6-8pm

(tickets are for both events)

What are runes?

How do we use them for spellcasting?

How can we tell if a rune in a reading is positive or negative?

Learn the basics of the Elder Futhark so you can makes spells for anything you wish – prosperity, health, security, inspiration, success, justice, concealment, communication and more – and that’s just the start!

You’ll create your own set of rune-cards and learn how to do divination with them. You’ll learn how to sing rune-galdor, how to create bindrunes, and you’ll put these practices together to make your own runic spells.

Dave Lee is a magician, breathwork coach and writer. He has spent over four decades exploring consciousness and changing realities, using techniques that include meditation, magick, psychedelics and energy work. He is a leading light in the Chaos Magic organization the Illuminates Of Thanateros and a Master of Rune-Lore in the Rune-Gild.

His books include the ground-breaking Life-Force: Sensed Energy in Breathwork, Psychedelia and Chaos Magic

Magic, Medicine, and the Body in Pre-Modern Europe with Dr. Alexander Cummins

The influence of the magical world – the astrological forces of the shifting starry heavens, the impact of both helpful and haunting wandering spirits, and the myriad of stray witchcrafts – upon our physical bodies has been a perennial concern throughout human history.

In this class, professional diviner, magician, and historian Dr Alexander Cummins will take us through the history and magic of melothesia: the practice of understanding occult influences – from the stars to restless spirits and everything in between – upon the human body.

Such a study begins with the infamous “Zodiacal Man” diagrams so popular throughout Western magic, medicine, and astrology: that were used to chart the underlying causes as well as symptoms of various maladies, distempers, and dysfunctions. These maps of an “occulted anatomy” also provided schema for establishing therapeutic treatments and regimen, and even informed works of magical protection and prevention as well as cure.

Such a class aims to not only celebrate enchantment and magical ways of viewing the body, but also the actual anatomisation of occult philosophy and sorcerous activity themselves. That is to say, not only how magic could be located in the body, but how the body could inform and enrich our engagements with the spirits and sorceries of the world.