Open Lectures 2016 CCCU

Come along and join the MA students at the CCC Open Lectures series. Attendance at the Open Lectures will cost £5 per lecture (payable on the door, or by booking online in advance – free for CCCU staff and students ).

The Open Lectures take place at our Canterbury Campus on Saturdays from 6.15pm – 7.45pm. You can book your place online or call us on 01227 782919

January 23 2016

‘Tarot Cards and the Art of Interpretation’
James Frost

This illustrated lecture is based on James’ forthcoming academic paper ‘Towards a Hermeneutic Understanding of the Tarot’ (International Journal of the Image ).

It will provide a historical overview of tarot cards and their traditional uses and development as a tool for divination. Particular attention will be given to the art and dynamics of visual interpretation.

James Frost is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University. James is involved in the programme management of creative courses, he teaches the history and theory of art at undergraduate level and as a postgraduate supervisor. James completed his MA in the Study of Mysticism and Religious Experience at the University of Kent and was awarded a distinction for his dissertation A Study of Meaning in the Images of the Tarot .  For around 12 years he worked as a puppet maker, puppeteer and street performer with his company the Theatre of the Small. As a practising artist, he has exhibited regularly in East Kent and occasionally in London and Barcelona. His current research interests include the iconography and use of the tarot, folk culture, mummers’ plays and the Kentish wooden horse, puppetry and stop motion animation.


February 5 2016

The Symbol in Psychology, Magic, Art and Astrology’
Richard Swatton

This presentation will be an exploration of the use of the symbol in psychology, magic, art and astrology.  In various forms of depth psychotherapy, the symbol is understood to be a product of the unconscious mind, both collective and personal; a type of language that when interpreted reveals certain psychological conditions of the individual.

In magical use the symbolic-image is used to help consciousness relocate itself beyond the world of form in order to contact the living force or forces that exist)s) on the “other side” of that image. In this context the symbol is used as a gateway or portal to another world or state of consciousness in which various magical operations, including divination, can be performed. In art the symbol-image is used to invoke various mental and emotional responses in the observer. In all three contexts, the symbol acts as a medium through which arises the possibility of a transformation of consciousness. As for astrology, apart from mathematics, it alone stands as probably the most sophisticated and practical symbol-system ever devised; a discipline that uses both the mind and the symbolic imagination for almost any purpose.

Richard Swatton’s astrological education began in 1976, learning traditional, horary, and occult-theosophical approaches within the Western Mystery Tradition. He then went on to study Noel Tyl’s humanistic astrology for several years after which he began his in-depth psychological astrology training at the CPA gaining the Dip Psych Astrol. in 1994. After teaching astrology independently and in groups for over 20 years, he is now on the staff at the London School of Astrology. Richard is an accomplished jazz pianist and composer, but changed careers to become an integrative psychotherapist in 1994. His personal developmental work includes a 12 year Jungian analysis, lucid dreaming, meditation, mindfulness and retreats. He holds the Dip. Psych Couns and an MA in Psychotherapy.  His main teaching in astrology stresses the importance of establishing a dynamic and powerful relationship with the symbols the astrologer employs.


February 20 2016

‘The Inner Beloved’
Jeremy Naydler

This talk will be an exploration of the numinous inner figure, to whom Dante gave the name Beatrice, or “the bringer of blessings”. Like Rumi and Ibn Arabi before him, Dante knew the Inner Beloved both as a real human being and also as an archetypal power mediating the divine presence.

Although needing to be encountered in the flesh in order fully to be experienced, ultimately the Inner Beloved dwells in the innermost recesses of the soul, there commanding our most ardent devotion and stimulating our deepest creative energies.

Jeremy Naydler holds a PhD in Theology and Religious Studies. He is author of several books on religious life in antiquity, including Temple of the Cosmos , Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts and The Future of the Ancient World. Jeremy teaches Dante’s Divine Comedy for the Temenos Academy’s Foundation Course in the Perennial Philosophy.


March 5 2016

‘Nineteenth Century Spiritualism: the Case of Indridi Indridason’
Erlendur Haraldsson

Indridi Indridason (1883-1912) became a medium in 1904 when he accidentally joined the first sitter group in the country. Immediately the table started moving violently; he became afraid and wanted to run away.

The Experimental Society was founded by academics to investigate the phenomena around him; a detailed record was kept of the séances and the various phenomena such as levitations of the medium and objects and their movements in mid air, some of them being musical instruments that were played upon at the same time by invisible forces. Direct voices of communicators were heard in 77% of the recorded sittings in different locations of the séance room and away from the medium, singing was heard, sometimes of two trained singers at the same time, a soprano voice and a male bass voice. Sometimes the medium was forcefully levitated and two men were needed to hold him on the ground. Light phenomena of various forms and colours were seen and sometimes a human figure was seen in a ‘pillar’ of nebulous light, near as well away from the medium. He died at the young age of 28 and in the five years of his mediumship he produced under stringent conditions almost of all the phenomena that have been observed in physical mediumship.

Erlendur Haraldsson is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. He studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Freiburg and Munich in Germany and at the University of Virginia in the USA. He received his PhD from the University of Freiburg, and  has been visiting professor in the United States and in Germany. Erlendur is an active researcher and has written seven books which have appeared in many translations and editions. Among them are Indridi Indridason, the Icelandic Physical Medium (with L. R. Gissurarson), The Departed among the Living, At the Hour of Death(with Karlis Osis), and Modern Miracles, Sathya Sai Baba, A Modern Day Prophet . He has lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic and in the United Kingdom and published some one hundred papers in scientific journals. Four documentaries have been made of Haraldsson´s studies of children who remember past lives, such as by the BBC. For more information and extensive bibliography, see his homepage:


March 19 2016

‘The Immortal Soul in the Ancient Greek Cosmos’
Efrosyni Boutsikas

The idea of the immortality of the soul was a theme that concerned a number of different aspects of ancient Greek life. The Mystery cults addressed concerns of the afterlife and prepared the initiates for dealing with the unknown.

The subject of the immortality of the soul was also explored in Greek philosophical and cosmological investigations that sought to better understand the place of the psyche in the cosmos, but also the role of the divine realm. This talk will introduce the common concerns that ancient Greek Mystery cults and cosmologies had and how these concerns shaped and expressed current understanding on the mechanics of the cosmos.

Efrosyni Boutsikas is a lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Kent and a member of the Council of the International Society for Archaeoastronomy in Culture(ISAAC). Her research focuses on ancient Greek religion, myth, astronomy and the role of time and space in ritual performance.


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