Burying large reptiles under the floor. It must be a “Pagan survival,” right? Doubtlessly an apotropaic custom, like scorch marks on wooden beams as charm against fire, or leaving old shoes and such inside the walls during construction.
The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity St. David (formerly at Bath Spa University College) now has an online journal, Spica, with work by students in the MA program in cultural astronomy and astrology.
Spica is available as a free PDF here.
Articles in the premier issue include “An investigation into how counsellors/psychotherapists respond to clients who introduce astrological beliefs into therapy sessions” and “Do consumers of astrological services use astrology as a method of actively seeking divine guidance? If so, what astrological services are sought for the purpose? A Pilot Study.”
Call for papers . . .
Vol. 17, no. 1: Literature and the Stars
We are inviting submissions for Vol. 17 no 1 (Spring/Summer 2013) on Literature and the Stars. Papers may focus on any time period or culture, and should deal either with representations of astronomy or astrology in fiction, or studies of astronomical or astrological texts as literature. Contributions may focus on western or non-western culture, and on the ancient, medieval or modern worlds.
Papers should be submitted by NOVEMBER 15, 2012. They should typically not exceed 8000 words length and should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Shorter submissions and research notes are welcome.
Contributors should follow the style guide.
Please include an abstract of c. 100-200 words.
All submissions will peer-reviewed for originality, timeliness, relevance, and readability. Authors will be notified as soon as possible of the acceptability of their submissions.
Culture and Cosmos is published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, SA48 7ED, UK.
As from Vol. 17 no 1 Culture and Cosmos will be published open-access, on-line, in the interests of open scholarship. Hard copy will be available via print-on-demand.
In 2008, an English academic who works with ancient and modern Celtic languages created “a piece of Iolosim,” in other words, a pseudo-ancient tale in the spirit of the Welsh literary forger and Druid revivalist Iolo Morganwg.
Written in Middle Welsh and “translated” into English, it purports to be a hitherto-unknown section of the Mabinogion, a famous collection of medieval Welsh tales with possibly older roots.
Imagine his surprise when he finds the whole thing—uncredited, of course—on a website devoted to “Keltic mysteries” and the revival of ancient Welsh Paganism, or some approximation thereof.
The ancient ‘Legend of Amaethon Uab Don’ quoted here as evidence for this mystic cosmological bollocks was penned over a month or so by yours truly, c. 2008, while glugging back the diet coke in Jesus College Oxford computer room. The website of this bunch of chumps not only has copied my entire text (in English and Middle Welsh), but also begins with a long and pompous screed about how wicked it is to steal other people’s material.
Anyone who read the “Fifth Branch’s” introduction carefully would have seen some signals that it was bogus—there is no “Judas College” at Oxford University, for one thing—but who reads carefully on the Internet when they are busy cutting and pasting?
From the announcement:
The ‘Astrologies’ conference, organised by the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on 24-25 July 2010 was the first gathering of academics working in the history and culture of modern astrology. The range of topics explored in the publication of the conference proceedings is broad, and reflects the strik ing diversity of techniques and underlying philosophies which underlie the enduring human perception of meaningful relationships between the heavenly bodies and life on earth. Although astrology has been treated in many scholarly works as a monolithic entity, all of the papers in this book demonstrate one of the paradoxes of astrological thought and practice: the existence of a relative ly stable tradition of cosmological and astral representations and ideas combined with a adaptability that has enabled astrologies to meld with different spheres of human endeavour in a variety of cultures. The papers are grouped into three basic themes: the symbolism of astrologies, the history of astrologies within different cultural con texts, and the practice of various astrologies from both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ perspectives.