Our speakers' forums host a range of exciting talks and workshops from experienced speakers, well-known community figures, and skilled professionals. Scroll down to find this year's line up!
Speakers Forum One
13:00- Spiritual Devolution by Taz Thornton of Firechild Designs
Sometimes, in our quest to become more and more 'spiritual’, we can absolutely lose touch with reality. What began as a quest for enlightenment and fulfilment can become just another mask that separates us from the world. Falling into this trap can tip us into judgement, detachment and a place where we’re defeating the object and not really learning much at all.
So how do we spot it and stop it before it happens? Join Taz Thornton for a lighthearted discussion on the knife edge between spiritual evolution and spiritual DEvolution.
Taz Thornton is a shamanic healer and workshop leader, as well as a crafter of sacred ceremonial and medicine pieces. Her talks and workshops have a light-hearted and down to earth feel, despite their powerful messages, and have always proven popular at Pagan Pride UK.
Taz is a member of the Society of Shamanic Practitioners and has presented at the UK shamanic conference many times. Beyond shamanism, she is also trained in Reiki and Neuro Linguisting Programming, as well as being a FIRE Certified Firewalking Instructor. She is a member of the Society of Shamanic Practitioners (SSP) and the International Business and Personal Development Association (IBPDA).
14:00- The Future of Paganism in Education by Mike Stygal (President of the Pagan Federation)
This year, Mike will be talking about how to enable teaching about Paganism in the context of the mainstream classroom. He'll outline some of the complexities of developing curriculum for Religious Education, and in developing a scheme of work to introduce aspects of Pagan traditions. Join him to hear his hopeful vision for the future of Paganism in education, and find out what he's doing to work towards it. A must-hear talk for parents, guardians and anyone with an interest in seeing Paganism find a place on school syllabuses.
Mike is the president of the Pagan Federation and has worked in education for many years. He is also the Pagan Federation's representative to the RE council of England and Wales and to the Interfaith Network for the UK. He regularly works with other organisations such as the Pagan Symposium to share and develop good practices.
15:00- The Masculine Principle in Paganism by David Knight
Join David for a talk about the Masculine Principle in both classical and modern Paganism. A talented speaker and researcher, David combines story and his in-depth historical knowledge in a session that questions our preconceptions on masculinity in both the divine and in ourselves.
David is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and the contact point for the Grove of the Corieltauvi. A long-time member of the Pagan community, he co-runs the SpellCrafters open public ceremonies in Nottingham.
He’s also a talented actor, under the name Dylan Knight, and has worked at venues such as the London Dungeon. In recent years he co-founded the atmospheric and entertaining storytelling troupe, Tales from the Fireside, with Les Prince and Brian Barber, and we’re thrilled to say the group will also be performing at Pagan Pride UK 2016.
16:00- A Pagan's Guide to Not Believing by Dr. Lindsay Davies
Describing herself as the world's only 'postmodern Jungian animist', Lindsay has thirty-five very eclectic years' experience as a Pagan and is priestess for Nottingham's oldest open celebratory group which she runs with Ian Overton.
Lindsay is a keen supporter of positive and credible representations of Paganism, and draws on her academic background in education, philosophy and critical theory to argue for robust approaches to our spiritual practice(s). With a longstanding love of myths, symbols and processes of transformation, she is passionate about the work of C.G. Jung and subjects relating to learning, growth and healing.
Her workshop examines what happens if you take 'belief' and 'faith' out of your Pagan practice. Does it fall apart or does it become more robust? Come along and try some simple techniques for removing the fluff, flakery and fakery from your spiritual life.
17:00- Introduction to Magical Meditation Techniques by Sam Pearson
Sam is a solitary witch and eclectic pagan of twenty years. With a degree in Psychology and diplomas in holistic and music therapies, she is a keen practitioner of meditation and visualisation and relishes the opportunity to guide others in developing their skills for more effective magic making, better health, and general well being. She is a member of the Dagda and of the Outer Hearth of Arianhrod
Her workshop will introduce attendees to meditation techniques which they can use in their magical and spiritual practices. This includes an overview of and exercises in grounding techniques, self-protection methods, visualisation in magical pratice and guided journeying. The workshop is very 'hands on' with a focus on teaching practical skills.
Speakers Forum Two
13:00- Mindfulness and Colour Healing Workshop by Annie Jones of November Mists
Annie is a shamanic witch who runs the Divine Moon moot in West Bromwich. Through her shamanic practice, she works with a group of animal spirit guides and has recently felt called to start using her healing abilities. She’s studied a wide range of fascinating subjects from Parapsycholoy and Psychology, to Acupressure, to Mindfulness and Colour Healing, gaining diplomas in many of these. She’s also an experienced Tarot reader.
At her workshop, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the practice of mindfulness, and to try a meditation aimed at bringing you into the here-and-now. Annie will also discuss the healing qualities of the seven spectrum colours which can be used to balance the chakras, and will finish with a short colour-breathing meditation. The aim is to balance mind, body, and soul, leaving you refreshed and grounded.
14:00- Paganism and the Deep Green Christian by Matt Arnold
Join Matt for a Journey of Discovery and Re-enchantment through Interfaith Dialogue.
Matt is currently a pioneer minister in the Anglican Church system. His work includes a number of eco/spiritual projects in Mansfield and he jointly facilitates Pleasley Forest Church, The Bridge (what is believed to be the first Pagan-Christian moot in the UK) and is chair of the Pleasley Community Orchard group.
His interest in the overlapping areas of Paganism and Christianity, and interfaith dialogue between these groups has taken him outside of his previous comfort zone into places of wonder and excitement, learning from some truly beautiful and patient Pagan friends along the way. Not one to shy away from a challenge, he seeks, and has discovered, spiritual gems within the Pagan paths which are compatible with his own faith path and incorporates them in order to broaden and re-enchant it. The result is a 'Deeply Green', indigenous Christian, who now sees the cosmos and all its inhabitants in wonder and praises the Eternal One together with them.
Come with an open mind and heart to hear how a once very anti-Pagan, evangelical Christian was humbled by the Pagan friends he made, and how he has sought to become a 'person of peace' within the Pagan communities, moving from the grey to the green. Find out how Pagans and Christians may peacefully work together initially through mutually respectful dialogue, and learn how by listening to the Divine, another’s beliefs and to one’s own tradition, our own lives and the world around us can be transformed for the better.
There will be an open question time towards the end of the session, so please bring any you may have.
15:00- Supporting People with Disabilities in the Pagan Community with the Pagan Federation's Disabilities Team
Beth Murray is a solitary witch, and a published novelist who uses her experience of living with disabilities to fuel her writing. to fuel her writing. Petra Lucas has been part of the Pagan community for over nearly fifteen years, and has been living with disabilities for over twenty, including Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She enjoys meeting new people and chatting over cake
16:00- Growing Community: A Guide to Setting Up & Running Moots by Alex Bear
17:00: Pagan Parenting: A Round Table Discussion by Melissa Wheeler (Regional Manager for Lincolnshire, Pagan Federation)
Melissa Wheeler is the Pagan Federation's current Regional Coordinator for Lincolnshire and one of the organisers of the Lindum Circle, an open, family-friendly moot and ritual group. Recently she has begun taking on celebrancy work, which she truly loves. She's an Eclectic pagan with Celtic-Heathen leanings who has been on the path for over two decades.
At Pagan Pride UK 2016 Festival, Melissa will be leading a round-table chat and open discussion on Pagan Parenting. Bring your ideas and questions along for a lively chat, where attendees can share ideas and thoughts on this diverse journey. You don't have to be a parent: It 'takes a village' to raise a child, and we are all 'aunties' and 'uncles' to the younger generation
Mel is mum to four kids, who range from toddlers to seventeen, and lives with three of them, along with her partner, and their two mischievous cats. She loves to crochet, and is rarely seen without a project in her bag. Originating from Greenwood, Indiana, she has lived in the UK for over fifteen years
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