Centre For Pagan Studies http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com A Resource for Pagans Everywhere Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:20:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Youtube project What Doreen Means to me – Instructions http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/youtube-project-what-doreen-means-to-me-instructions/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/youtube-project-what-doreen-means-to-me-instructions/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:20:18 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4783 whatDoesDoreen


Make video containing your message of “What Doreen Valiente means to me” 3 minutes or less is ideal
2    Upload it to your Youtube account and make it “public”
3    Notify us with the link to the video
4    We will then add it to the playlist which is here http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrwb8tTI1GPrblYetxq-x4yiOBxBYGljX
How to Contact Us with your link:-
a) by Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DoreenValienteFoundation
b) by email at foundation@doreenvaliente.org
c) by PM at https://www.facebook.com/WitchJuan

Please share this so people know how they can become involved.

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What Does Doreen Mean to You? http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/what-does-doreen-mean-to-you/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/what-does-doreen-mean-to-you/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:34:02 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4778 whatDoesDoreen

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Samhain http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/samhain/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/samhain/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:06:35 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4772 samhain

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Pagan Symposium Press Release http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/pagan-symposium-press-release/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/pagan-symposium-press-release/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:23:41 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4767

Symposium: A Gathering Of The Clans

On July 12th, representatives of a number of the largest and most prominent pagan organisations took part in an historic event, a symposium hosted by the Pagan Federation in London thought to be the first time that so many groups representing so many Pagans had gathered together in one place to talk about the Pagan community and it’s future.

The symposium was held in a spirit of setting aside past differences and looking for ways to work together and collaborate on a wide range of issues to give the Pagan community, perhaps for the first time, a real and organic sense of unity. Some of the issues covered were accurate and coherent representation of Pagans and Paganism in the media, protecting Pagan heritage and the sacred landscape of the nation (and indeed other nations) and caring for the wider community in matters of education, health, social care and interfaith.

Mike Stygal, president of the Pagan Federation of England and Wales, opened the meeting by quoting from a similar introduction by Doreen Valiente from the inaugural Beltane meeting of the Pagan Front in 1971 (which became the Pagan Federation in 1980.) We were all struck by the continued relevance of her words:

“Unity is strength and I welcome the fraternal unity of all sincere people of goodwill who follow the Pagan path. We may not always agree with each other but we must support each other in our struggle for our right to follow the religion and lifestyle of our choice in the modern world.”

The symposium concluded with agreement that further meetings should take place. The size of this meeting was limited solely by the size of the venue and we hope future meetings, buoyed by the success of this one, can be held in larger surroundings with an even greater range of representatives.

Meanwhile, attendees have agreed to collaborate in a number of side projects, not least this, the first public statement on behalf of the symposium. Pagan Dawn asked all those who took part to let us know their feelings on being involved in this historic event. Here’s what they had to say:
ON JULY 12th, cats were herded in London – representatives from many Pagan organisations decided to work together. Some may be pessimistic about this but this time I really think it will work. No one organisation is trying to take this over and it looks like being an equal collaboration for the good of Paganism generally. The areas we discussed included sacred places, media, ceremonies, and community support and mental health. Sharing knowledge and expertise is good. More pagan groups are already becoming involved. Provided we each remember it’s not about us, or our individual organisations, the future looks bright.

■ Andy Norfolk, Ancient Sacred Landscape Network
facebook.com/ AncientSacredLandscapeNetwork

The Centre For Pagan Studies and the Doreen Valiente Foundation feel privileged to be a part of the first steps on a road to possible unity among the modern Pagan community. The day was characterised by a real spirit of willingness to sensibly engage with each other. Finding common ground and playing to each group’s strengths could see Paganism soon develop the coherent voice it has lacked for so long. This was a historic day and there is a great deal of good yet to come from the green shoots of this fledgling ‘group of groups.’

■ Ashley Mortimer, Centre for Pagan Studies / Doreen Valiente Foundation
www.centre-for-pagan-studies.com, www.doreenvaliente.org
A HISTORIC meeting of groups and of minds representing the spectrum of Pagan and Pagan-like beliefs. This assembly was an example of how much we have matured and grown in our relationships with each other. No group rivalry or politics, instead pragmatism and a willingness to talk frankly and constructively about those matters which we deem of inherent importance to all our futures. A spirit of co-operation and open-minded sharing of ideas and opinions in a spirit of friendship and good natured camaraderie which was a model for all inter-Pagan relationships from now on. Superb!

■ Tam Campbell, Children of Artemis

I ARRIVED unsure what to expect but with high hopes for the future of Paganism. It became apparent that although each group in attendance was dedicated to making a positive difference in the Pagan world, by pooling their knowledge and resources so much more could be achieved. It was humbling to be part of this first meeting where, despite the diversity of groups in attendance, a real sense of unity could be felt as we all took the first steps to making a real difference to the future of Paganism and Heathenry in the UK- if not worldwide.

■ Diane Narraway, Dolmen Grove

FROM the first moments as everyone arrived, the prevalent attitude was positive. Smiles and greetings, hugs between friends and new introductions. As the day went on, the smiles grew wider and the laughter louder. The key word that keeps coming back to me is ‘enthusiasm’. We were all so keen, so full of ideas but not just dreams – real, practical and achievable plans. From the basic hope to have Pagans working together, that spark ignited, and very tangibly so. We all felt the excitement, that history was being made right now… and our responsibility within that.

■ Cat Treadwell, The Druid Network

THANK you, Mike, for the vision of this group. The day went far too quickly, always a good sign, showing a general engagement! In future, we look forward to days where we focus on particular aspects. Meredith and I found the day pleasant and interesting and were especially impressed with the contributions from Andy Pardy and Ashley Mortimer, and want to hear more of their ideas. We also want to thank Morgana for giving the international perspective, highlighting the very serious issues they are facing. We think it’s good to be up to date with the Pagan scene internationally. Meredith was impressed with the Moon Temple delegates, and the idea of what can be done.

■ Caroline Wise, with Meredith MacArdle, Fellowship of Isis

WHEN Mike Stygal invited me to this event I did have my doubts as to how effective it would be; I was expecting that there would be egos clashing and territorial rights being waved like battle-axes. Nothing could have been further from the truth. There was a great diversity of organisations represented amongst the small number of people there, and a total and unconditional willingness to give and share information and experiences. I heard many times that day people commenting that it was a ground-breaking and “historic” meeting that would open up a new phase for the Pagan community, for us to become a Pagan community! If the spirit of that day can be nurtured and carried forward into the future then it surely will be a day to be remembered with pride! Wassail!

■ Phil Parkyn, Kith of Yggdrasil

MY participation at the Pagan Symposium was multifold. Firstly, it was as organiser and then as General Secretary for the Pagan Federation as well as the ‘eyes and ears’ for the Glastonbury Goddess Temple (who were unable to attend due to an important dedication ceremony that day.) It was a privilege to be a part of it. My thought on the day was ‘Unity through diversity’, and how powerful it will be that Pagan organisations are coming together in this way to support one another. The genuine friendship between organisations on the day was truly wonderful. May it long continue.

■ Elle Hull, Glastonbury Goddess Temple

THREE of the council of Elders from Moonhenge were privileged to be part of the symposium held in London. It was a ground-breaking and ambitious meeting of minds that we hope will set the trend for closer collaboration between Pagan/ Heathen traditions and the wider community. As impartial observers to start with it was clear to us that we have had the opportunity to be part of something momentous. We felt that new bonds were formed and old wounds were starting to be healed, a new beginning. Moonhenge has been set up as a community sacred space to celebrate our diversity together, and as such we extend an open invitation for any future gatherings you may wish to hold here in rural Cambridgeshire.

■ Stephen Parsley, Moonhenge

I WAS asked to represent OBOD at the Pagan Symposium meeting at Neal’s Yard. The venue was well chosen. A warm day sat within a circle of warm people. I felt there was a genuine desire to respect and connect with our various paths, and I think this more than anything will be the guiding spirit if we are successful. Technology is brilliant of course but sometimes meeting physically is indispensable to fostering clarity and unity. A worthwhile day and a good beginning.

■ Shaun Hayes, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids

THE recent Pagan Symposium, which was in effect an intrafaith or roundtable event, was valuable as a meeting place for Pagans to discuss and exchange ideas. Pooling our resources is badly needed when time is our most precious commodity. In a world where survival takes most of our time, spiritual matters are neglected. And yet it is our spirituality and sense of free spirit which can help us to ride out any crisis! PFI welcomes any activity which will enhance this ideal.

■ Morgana Sythove, Pagan Federation International

THE Pagan and Heathen symposium was conceived as an attempt to bring representatives of Pagan and Heathen organisations together with a view to exploring ways we might work more closely together, supporting each other, signposting to expertise found in our respective organisations and collaborating on projects of mutual interest. That meeting included representatives from many of the main Pagan and Heathen organisations in the UK. There was a little apprehension that things might not go according to plan. But there was also a great deal of shared intent that we would all do everything we could to make the gathering a success. It was indeed a success and it continues to be so.

■ Mike Stygal, Pagan Federation of England and Wales

IT WAS such an honour to be invited to participate in what essentially is a little piece of history being made. This is something that has needed to happen for quite some time and it is great to see so many being represented. To have national key players all in one room opening up communication, talking about how we can work together to bridge gaps was, in my opinion, the first step into the new generation of the Pagan community. Each organisation has a different focus and goals. We have laid a foundation for each group to not have to be all things to everyone, but to work with allies to better represent the community as a whole.

■ Esme Knight, Pagan Pride

SUNSHINE at a full moon heralded the success of this historic event. Clans gathered and much was discussed of pertinence to the Pagan community. The most important thing for me however was the willingness to work together for the good of all. Reflected by the fact that many had travelled long distances to attend, mutual support is both clearly wanted and clearly working. The Symposium gatherings will go from strength to strength for the circle has been opened and will not be broken. Merry Meet and Merry Part and Merry Meet again!

■ Eleanor Bennet, Pagan Radio

I WITNESSED a remarkable event, the coming together of several of the UK’s most influential Pagan groups and individuals, and a constructive meeting which didn’t immediately regress into a conflict of egos or goals. The Symposium was not led by any one agency, nor was an agenda imposed upon us; instead partnerships were formed, and a natural network of creativity and cohesive thinking was formed that I believe represents a new and holistic approach towards modern Paganism in the UK and beyond, which the Police Pagan Association is very grateful to be part of.

■ Andrew Pardy, Police Pagan Association

AS A long-standing member and admin of UK Heathenry, I was kindly invited to London for ‘Symposium; A gathering of the clans.’ Other attendees came from Pagan, Wiccan, Heathen, Druid, and Goddess groups, and I’m heartened to say that everyone clearly recognised the value of free communication, both for pooling relevant practical advice and for working together as and when appropriate. Several people were already aware that Heathenry is a distinct religion, partly overlapping the Pagan umbrella, which should hopefully form a solid foundation for further fruitful dialogue.

■ Jez Green, UK Heathenry


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Calling all artists http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/calling-all-artists/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/calling-all-artists/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:49:51 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4758 mural paint“A CALL FOR ART”

You are invited to participate in an open competition to provide the book cover art for the Centre For Pagan Studies latest publishing project.
Description of Project: The book is a novel set in the period just after the English Civil War (1640’s) and tells the story of a group of real witches trying to outwit the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, and thus avoid the gallows. The author had a previous version of the book with a favourite cover that showed a noose hanging from a ghostly black tree with the face of a serene but striking witch in the noose, the general colour theme was purple and black.  Feel free to use that idea loosely or come up with something totally creative of your own on the theme of Witches and Hanging.
The winner of this competition will be awarded Membership of the Doreen Valiente Foundation for 1 year, with the bag of goodies that comes with that, and will have his or her artwork appear on the book cover.  The terms and conditions of this competition are as follows:
Submit your original artwork created in response to our Call For Art competition.

You may enter for consideration paintings, photographs, graphic art, collage art, and other visual media by submitting a digital SUBMISSION file (in JPG or JPEG format) of the work. The FINAL artwork size needs to be at least 3,000 pixels tall, no compression, in jpg or TIFF format. The specs for initial submission can be maximum quality compression with a long dimension of at least 1000 pixels.  Please try to keep the SUBMISSION file size under 2 MB – we will make arrangements with the winner for receipt of the FINAL artwork file.

You may submit more than one entry.

All submissions are subject to the format guidelines and limits set forth in this document.

No submissions will be considered if they are defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or otherwise offensive or in poor taste.  Anyone who participates in the competition in a disrespectful or unlawful manner, including making hostile or negative comments related to age, disability, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will be disqualified.

The judging staff will select the winning submission.

By submitting your work to this competition, you are representing and agreeing as follows: (i) your submission is your own original artwork and, at the time of your submission, you have all ownership rights in the submission; (ii) if you are selected as the winner you will enter into a written agreement to authorise us to publish your submission and you will accept the Doreen Valiente Foundation membership in full compensation for all right, title and interest in any and all visual reproductions of your original work for all purposes related to the publication of the book.
This competition is being organized to support and nurture the work and careers of other artists. If you wish, the CFPS may also elect, in their sole discretion, to include your submission in a “gallery” of submissions interior to the pages of the book, allowing the book’s readers to see your work, read a brief biography about you, and link to websites displaying more of your work.

Any questions or disputes related to the terms, conditions or participation in this competition shall be resolved by the judges in their absolute discretion.

Deadline: Art will be accepted until 31st October 2014.  Please note that the administrators encourage early entries, as another prize category may be added to reflect higher numbers of submissions.  Finalists will be notified via e-mail by 30th November 2014.  The winner of the competition will be announced no earlier than November 15th date and no later than November 22nd date.  The winning artist will be notified via e-mail.
Please send your SUBMISSION entries to:


See the post on Facebook

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Author – Yvonne Aburrow http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/speaker-and-writer-yvonne-aburrow/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/speaker-and-writer-yvonne-aburrow/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:55:09 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4703 Yvonne Aburrow PortraitYvonne Aburrow is a Gardnerian Wiccan author and poet who lives in Oxford in a small cottage with her partner Bob and two cats, Morrissey and Ziggy. She has a MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University. She is interested in archaeology, history, study of religions, folklore, landscape, and natural history.

She is a regular contributor to and volunteer moderator for the Centre for Pagan Studies Facebook group

Yvonne is on our list of speakers for conferences and events.
You can find her blog here



All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca, Avalonia Books, 2014
The Endless Knot, poetry collection, Birdberry Books, 2012
Many Names, poetry collection, Birdberry Books, 2012
The Magical Lore of Animals, Capall Bann Publishing, 2000.
A little book of serpents, Birdberry Books, 2012.
Auguries and Omens: the magical lore of birds, Capall Bann Publishing, 1994.
The Sacred Grove: mysteries of the forest, Capall Bann Publishing, 1994.
The Enchanted Forest: the magical lore of trees, Capall Bann Publishing, 1993.

Yvonne’s Latest Patheos Posts here:

  • - Ten Pagan Writers I Am Grateful For In a Troubled SeasonAmong all the thoughtful and passionate voices I have encountered this year, here are ten I am especially grateful for at the moment, in no particular order.
  • - The Three Brigits of the Ulster Cycle and the Forgotten Origins of Neopagan TheologyThis week, we are pleased to once again host an original research article by Christopher Scott Thompson, exploring an alternative origin for the "maiden, mother, crone" Goddess theology that has been so influential in contemporary Paganism.
  • - Elections, Politics, Consent, and #sexyvoterhaikuYesterday was a completely improvisatory performance, unfolding in real time, exploring the metaphor of elections and politics as sexy, as seduction, as the whole damntangle.
  • - Samhain and RemembranceThe Pagan festivals are less about a single day when we reflect on or celebrate a particular aspect of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and more about the the high watermark of the ebb and flow of a tide of energy. But the season of remembrance is not at an end. The tide of Samhain ebbs until it rises again as the tide of rebirth at Yule. And on the way to the turning of the tide, there is Remembrance Day on 11th November. I don’t know how many Pagans actually do ritual for 11th November, but I am sure many of us will be wearing poppies - red, white, or mauve, or all three.
  • - Ancestor Work: It’s Not Always About “Honoring”Ancestor work is not always about remembering the positive. Sometimes, it can be about demanding justice, making reparations, or healing wounds.

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Team Member – Sue Gardner http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-sue-gardner/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-sue-gardner/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 19:33:00 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4677 sueGardnerHello, my name is Sue Gardner. I am a new member to the CFPS. I have been aware of the good work that the Centre does, and continues to do via Julie Weltch. So when I was asked if I would like to volunteer my services, I jumped at the chance.
My role at the moment is with the admin side of the Facebook group and pages, but this helps me to feel that I am helping the Pagan community in some way, albeit small at the moment. I will be promoting the good work the Centre is doing, and hopefully will maintain and gain more interest in future events.
As a Pagan I am still what I call new to the community thing. I have practiced for many years alone, Then I became more aware of what was going on around me within the Pagan world, and decided to attend the local moot – The Three Hares Moot, and really enjoyed the social side of getting together with like minded people, from the moot I have learnt so much more about my path, and gained new friends along the way.

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Team Member – Julie Weltch http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-julie-weltch/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-julie-weltch/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:53:00 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4663 Julie Weltch

Julie Weltch

My name is Julie Weltch, I have only recently become a volunteer for the CFPS but I have been interested in and have supported the work that the Centre does for quite some time and I feel it is one of the most important organisations within Paganism at present. My role is a relatively small one at the moment, I am admin for the Facebook page but I value my role because keeping the social media side of the Centre is an important cog in the machine that keeps everything working smoothly and keeping the public up to date with what is happening in the Centre what projects are coming up, thus maintaining interest and hopefully stirring up new interest as well.

As a Pagan, I am involved in a few other projects as well, I help run a Pagan federation affiliated moot called the Three Hares moot in Portsmouth, I am also RC for the PF and I run a Lyceum (teaching group) affiliated with the Fellowship of Isis and offer celebrant and spiritual services to my local community.

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Team Member – Alison Jane Beer http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-alison-jane-beer/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/team-member-alison-jane-beer/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:49:49 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4666 Alison Jane Beer

Alison Jane Beer

My name is Alison Jane Beer I live in Hertfordshire and although I have always followed a spiritual pathway I have only been a Pagan for 3 years . The most amazing journey of self discovery which culminated in the museum of witchcraft Boscastle and Sennan cove Cornwall. I joined the Chiltern Nemeton Grove and have completed my training as an Ovate . I am a solitary witch and happily study and love the serendipity of my path. I attend the many moots in Hertfordshire and have met the most amazing people, I find the Pagan pathway fascinating as the members are all so different the freedom to express oneself I feel empowered by the whole journey. joined the Centre for Pagan Studies to further my knowledge and for my love of Doreen Valiente her writings inspire me, and I feel that she talks directly to me from the page. Her writing is so clear and straight forward with humour and humanity, and as I was never lucky enough to meet her I was fascinated to see some of her tools that John bought to a pagan Federation conference a couple of years ago. So when volunteers for thought for the day were asked for I was happy to offer to help.

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Artemis Gathering 2014 3-day event in Oxford http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/artemis_gathering/ http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/artemis_gathering/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 16:12:37 +0000 http://centre-for-pagan-studies.com/?p=4630 artemis_gath

The Artemis Gathering is a 3-day event organised by the Children of Artemis in honour of their patron Goddess. All information can be found here http://www.witchfest.net/artemis_gathering.htm

and it is to be held Horley Campsite, Wroxton Lane, Horley, Oxfordshire, OX15 6AU see the map.

This event is usually booked up very quickly, so get your tickets now from Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/artemis-gathering-2014-tickets-9979634355

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