Friday, 4 November 2011

John & Caitlin Matthews | Hawkwood College | Stroud

9-11 December 2011- JESUS AND MYTH: A Gnostic Pilgrimage into Myth, Folk Belief and Paganism 
John and Caitlín Matthews with special guest, Mark Townsend

        'Myth is something that never happened but is happening all the time.'
                                                                  - Sallustius, Greek poet.
We invite you to join our 27th annual Hawkwood mythic showcase where we discover the how the roots of Gnostic, folk beliefs and Paganism all meet together in the myths surrounding Jesus in this winter gathering of our mystery school where all are welcome.
The director and writer of The Emerald Forest, John Boorman, once said that ‘Christianity is the imposition of a desert religion upon a forest people,’ but that is not quite true, since many of the foundational pagan myths that were drawn into the figure of Jesus derive from the myths of the green gods who die to rise again: Dionysus, Attis, Adonis and Osiris, which the Classical mysteries celebrate. The ecstatic cult divinities of the pagan world elide seamlessly into the one who called himself ‘the True Vine.’ We follow the track of that wild and free spirituality that leads to the heart of true knowing with one of the shepherds of the Western Mysteries.
This magical weekend includes the ritual, Finding the Oil of Mercy, based upon Gnostic myths, creating an opportunity to unite with ancestors and descendants through time and space in a healing communion of spiritual hospitality. The living myth that deals with the work of healing and reconciliation is a story needed in all ages: it tells of the individual’s pilgrimage, the soul’s story and the healing of communities and nations from the wounds of tribalism.
If Jesus meek and mild turns you off and Christianity is not your thing, then this course is for you as we explore the roots of this living myth with non-denominational and inclusive welcome, as well as some miraculous magic by Mark.
I have no dwelling; and I have dwellings. I have no place; and I have places.
I have no temple; and I have temples.  I am a lamp to those who see me.
I am a mirror to those who understand me.   I am a door to those who knock at me
I am a way to you,  a wayfarer. Now answer to my dancing!
From the Gnostic Hymn of Jesus
Caitlín and John Matthews have given a unique and hospitable winter course in December at Hawkwood for 27 years as part of their mystery school teaching in the Western Mysteries. Join us and become an honorary member of ‘the Company of Hawkwood’. This relaxed weekend is where friends and like-minded newcomers can meet together at this special time of year, to celebrate the season and bring the stories, myths and rituals home to the heart. Caitlín contributed to Mark's book, Jesus Through Pagan Eyes. For their books, courses, training, see
Mark Townsend served as an Anglican Priest for 13 years before resigning his membership of the Church of England in order to express his ministry in a far more eclectic way. While still a Christian Priest, he is also a member of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and The Magic Circle. He uses magical illusions and mythology to open up his audiences to their own deep inner magic and has taken his 'Soulful Magic' all over the world, performing to such diverse audiences as Roman Catholic nuns and Massai Warriors. BBC's 'Extreme Pilgrim,' Rev. Peter Owen Jones refers to Mark as a 'Priest at the Edge.'  His new book, Jesus Through Pagan Eyes is released in 2012.
BOOKING: Single: £276, Shared: £248 Non-res: £210. Please send a non-returnable deposit of £80 payable to HAWKWOOD COLLEGE and SAE for map and details, to Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Rd., Stroud, Glos GL6 7QW. 01453 759034 email:

1 comment:

  1. There are just a few places left as of 4th December. Our ritual, from Gnostic sources celebrates the coming together of the Western mysteries. Spiritual hospitality is our watchword - if you want to experience where Paganism, Gnosticism, Classical Hermeticism and Christianity blend at the mystic melting point - you are very welcome to join this annual meeeting of our mystery school. We come without dividers on this one, so do not be fearful of proselytizing. Come as an initiate of your own mysteries and go in the same condition.