Lecture - Dr Christina Oakley Harrington - A witch falls in love with Husserl

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Dave Luke

Sep 10, 2009, 6:10:24 AM9/10/09
A Witch Falls in Love with Husserl and Papaya Leaves: Pagan Gods under
a Full Moon (Mind the Compost Heap)

Tuesday, 29th September. Please join us for wine, wit and some wanging
on in true salon style.

October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AL

(Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 1618). – email: rentals AT octobergallery.co.uk

RSVP so that we can anticipate numbers – Please book in advance by
credit card to guarantee a place or pay on the door.

Entry £7 /£5 Concessions, Arrive 6pm for a 6:30pm Start - Wine

This is a night of tales, reminiscences and reflections on three
intersecting cultures in Britain today, and a few of the most
challenging ideas run through them: the ecology movement, the
consciousness / entheogen subculture, and the community of European
Wicca. These three communities share some values: the sacredness of
Nature as a living, sentient being; the value of alternative
perspectives; and an appreciation of experience of the material word
in its sensuous glory. The differences are less obvious, but run deep,
and tonight's speaker considers these. There are so many
imponderables, it can be overwhelming. Questions seem to outnumber
answers, and the over-confident hardly inspire certainty in those who
value nuanced insight.

How can today's European witches, reciting Shelley in BBC accents in
the elegant Sussex downs, claim anything in common with Balinese
medicine men? How can taking drugs make you believe you can heal
others? Can you speak of The Feminine Principle and not, actually,
objectify women? What difference does ritual really make (or is it
just self-indulgent). What difference does recycling make, when people
are dying of loneliness? Awkward questions with no easy answers show
us the rough edges of these various paradigms. If anyone can see us
out of this morass, she suggests, it is people like David Abram,
author of The Spell of the Sensuous, and the indications in Husserl's
philosophy. And some good food and drumming. Maybe. Tonight's talk is
a lecture, a stream of consciousness, a standup routine, a one-woman

Christina Oakley Harrington is a Wiccan priestess who has been
intimately involved with modern paganism for over half her life. She
was raised in West Africa and in a closed society which largely
excluded Westerners in Southeast Asia. She has lived in the West since
her teens. Her mother lives in the deep countryside, does organic
gardening, was a pioneer in healing with vitamins and alternative
health in the 1960s, and can forage for natural food. Christina
herself lives in London, drinks too much coffee, struggles to identify
recycling categories. She has, however, been known to recite Shelley
to the blowing winds on the Sussex downs. She has a PhD in medieval
history, is a former university lecturer, and is the founding director
of the legendary Treadwell's Bookshop in Covent Garden.

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