Despite having lived in London my whole life (aside from uni) and having an interest in learning more about Paganism as well as a longtime interest in magic and similar subjects, and having known of its existence for a couple of years, I only managed to go to Treadwell’s on Monday. I’d been meaning to go for a while to browse but never got round to it, and while I wanted to go to one of their open circles I had, again, never got round to it.
I really should have, because I had a wonderful evening.
I arrived about 45 minutes early, which was fine because there is an awful lot to look at in there. It’s mostly books, but they also sell other bits and pieces like candles, essential oils, insence and altar equipment so I had a wonderful time browsing, and may end up buying a new athame. Then we all headed downstairs for ritual. The shop had filled up while I was browsing, as it closes at 7pm aside from those of us there for ritual. The circles are held in the basement room of Treadwell’s, and the first part of the evening is a mini lecture/discussion/workshop on a topic that’s in some way related to the ritual. This month focussed on storytelling and the Wolf Moon, and the only changes to the ritual given here were that instead of the songs being played when we smudged our wolf pictures there were four people drumming (one of whom was me!), and Lisa wasn’t able to make it as she had to go to New York for work at short notice so Ellie led the ritual instead.
Although I could have gone to many of these circles before, I’m glad I managed to get to this one. I was quite lucky to do so, as numbers are limited to about 20 and there was one space left when I phoned to book. It was weird being in a circle again with more than one person, as the only other time it’s happened was when I went to one of the Samhain rituals at uni while I was doing my MA, seven years ago. I also really enjoyed the walking meditation, where we walked slowly round the room clockwise with our eyes half-closed and/or unfocussed while Ellie dummed and read it out. And holy crap, I actually felt something during it – it was the howling part when I started to feel tingles running up and down my spine, and this feeling of elation and buzzing lasted through the chanting and closing, starting to fade when we left the ritual room.
Outside of actual ritual events I had a great time meeting people. Ellie is a lovely friendly person and very good at leading ritual, and I spent time between the workshop and ritual chatting to a few of the attendees, and I’ve made a couple of new friends too. I’d highly recommend Treadwell’s as a must-go place for anyone interested in Paganism, and the Open Circles are wonderful for any Solitaries out there who occasionally want to be able to do group work.
I wish I could have stayed longer to talk and unwind, but I had to leave fairly soon after the ritual ended as I have to get up at sparrowfart for work and it was already gone 9:30pm. But I made sure to grab a piece of the chocolate cake that was laid out among other refreshments, partly for the cakes and ale tradition, partly to help me ground, as eating is a very good way to pull your mind out of the ritual headspace and back into the mundane, and partly so I had enough energy to get home before I collapsed with tiredness.