Julian Vayne workshop on Saturday April 28th
Many thanks to Jo Ellender for this wonderful write up. Jo is a Friend of the Museum, she attended the workshop and has helpfully been volunteering at the Museum since January.
Sigils, Talismans and Magical Signs
This wonderful workshop on Saturday 28th April was led by the entertainingly erudite Julian Vayne, allowing those present to examine a wide variety of magical signs and symbols and reflect on how we could create and incorporate them into our lives. We started the day with introductions, where we all felt welcome, included and a valued part of the proceedings, and this continued for the rest of the day.
Julian then gave an outline of the various types of magical signs, from the historical and familiar apotropaic (or witch) marks, through culturally diverse concepts such as yantras to the modern magical signs of Facebook memes and emoticons, illustrated with pictures and practical demonstrations where appropriate, although fortunately Julian decided that invoking the fire pentagram in the library might be a bad idea! He then invited us to draw and share our sets of personal magical symbols, perhaps humming as we did so to distract the conscious mind and allow our sub conscious one to speak to us.
After a short break outside in the glorious sunshine, with brief cleansing ritual, we re-entered the library, seeking guidance from the spirit of the library to show us each books that would offer insight as a form of bibliomancy. As we pored over the books many found deep wisdom and meaning in our selected texts and were able to share some of that before breaking for lunch.
Next we joined together in brief ritual before once again merging with the spirit of place, this time that of the museum itself, whilst exploring the exhibits and allowing ourselves to be guided to new and different objects and texts to the ones we might normally be inclined to hone in on, and find those that had personal resonance.
Julian then invited us to journey into our sub consciousness, with the aid of his drumming, to seek out our hidden wisdom, before we were tasked with creating personal sigils using this newly gained insight. We were asked to form a circle and place our sigils on the floor in the centre so we could see what had been produced, and then Julian led us in a deeply magical charging of our sigils with drumming, singing, chanting and much all round energy raising, after which we had a chance to go out into the sunshine one final time to show the elements our wondrous sigils!
The day concluded with reflections, joy and the invitation to give feedback. Thank you Julian for a day that, whilst being easy to understand even for any novices amongst us, was illuminating and inspiring and certainly exceeded my expectations. Julian is an excellent teacher, combining humility, patience and joyful humour very successfully and I look forward to the Tarot workshop in September. Thanks also everyone who attended, shared of themselves and joined in to help create such a caring and supportive circle. Final thanks to the museum team for promoting and supporting this fabulous day out!
Images above show some of the feedback Julian received on the day – just brilliant!