The weekend of the much anticipated Welsh Occult Conference began with an A-typical Mercurial trick or two, as the joker God tried his hardest to keep us from attending – but the Companee of the Green Man and Mother Nature are made of stern stuff, and we endured. All be it our plans for the Friday, were laid waste… well almost.
The Dragon Hotel in Montgomery were most accommodating with our late arrival. The rooms were lovely, and we settled into the bar to unwind and socialise with the lovely Hellfire Helen, who regaled us tales of her dreaming incense – very kindly gifting us a portion each… but that is, as they say, another story; lets just say we slept well and our dream were interesting…
We rose early to breakfast and decided to go for a short walk afterwards, to see the “sights”.
You know, the British weather is a peculiar thing; this summer has been kind to us, with sunshine and warmth after that long hard winter, and the previous summer that failed miserably come the August. So it was delightful to arrive in the beautiful town decked out in Mother Natures best flowers blooming happily, filling the air with their perfumes.
A short walk across the square with it’s quaint shops, up the hill and down the road to St Nicholas’s Church filled the senses with awe – the views from which were outstanding, heralding an adventure into the sacred ritual landscape across the valley the next day.
Then onto the conference in the town hall. We chatted with the stall holders, (such good stalls!) and friends who had also made the journey – the Occult/Traditional Crafter scene is so small in the UK, nearly everyone knows everyone, so these events are always a good chance to socialise; this one was no different from any other. After a good natter and some early bargains, we settled down for the talks.
First up was Tracy, and a very well researched talk on the history of the pentagram, which was quite enlightening. Then a brake, in which I caught up with a young man I know well online, and it was a pleasure to meet him and his beautiful fiancé – if every you get a chance, check out his blog; it’s really very very good 🙂
Next was Jake Stratton-Kent, and for all of you who know JSK, he needs no introduction – what he doesn’t know about necromancy isn’t worth knowing!
His talk was on the PGM; that delicious collection of papyrus from 2,000(ish) ago – containing many spells from both the Greek and Egyptian mages, including some re-wroded to fit the newly emerging Christianity. I was secretly pleased to see his copy of the PMG looked very much like my own; well worn, with many little tabs, bookmarking important sections. But I doubt my knowledge comes any where near Jakes – he truly is one of those rare people who walk their talk… I recall his mentioning the general spell for consecration being easy to adapt and the question and answer session that followed was most excellent. A highly entertaining talk.
We broke for lunch, and as the caterer had failed to turn up, we went back to the hotel to eat, and socialise before returning to hear Sian Sibley speak on Hekate. As with the pervious speakers, Sian gave an excellent talk, but at one point she was asked not to speak so quickly! To which she laughed, and replied, “Well I am Welsh!”
Next up was my favourite talk of the even; Mrs Midian, Victoria Musson, on the Sacred Landscape, something which sits with me very well … it’s clear Victoria is hefted to her home land too. Her talk, even with out the planed power-point presentation, was also very enlightening – she is clearly hefted to her part of the world, and her roots go deep there.
Then last but not least, the final talk was given by the organiser, Gary Nottingham, a sorcerer of some repute who regaled us with a few tales of past successful workings, as well as plenty of food for thought regarding the Arte of Magic.
The day had ended all too soon!
The following day, refreshed and ready for adventure, we ventured into the Sacred Landscape to visit Mitchel’s Fold stone circle, before heading our way back home.
For those of you who do not know the area, it is filled with Sacred sites; hill forts, burial chambers and spirits of the land abound.
It was a very fitting end to a wonderful week end – and the good news is, there will be another, Welsh Occult Conference – at the time of writing, it’s planed for Saturday 11th May 2019 at the Town Hall, Welshpool, Powys. Details of speakers though, have yet to be released.
For now, I leave you with a little folklore….
There is a legend, that once, during famine, a good witch gifted the villagers of the area, a white cow, who could never be milked dry; as long as the milk was never spilt on the ground the cow could feed the hungry – so all the good folk of the parish went up the hill to milk the cow, every day, and thus were saved from starvation.
But there was an evil witch, called Mitchel – who disgruntled with such generosity, took a sieve and milked the cow dry – such was the anger at this that the witch was turned to stone… some say by the good witch, some say by the Vicar… but which stone is her?