The Mythic Imagination - talks, trails and mysteries
  Weekend 13-15 October 2017  
  Fons et origo ~ wells, springs and sources  
  Friday, 13 October  
  5.45pm Welcome. Registration and drinks.
James Harpur. A brief introduction to the weekend: 'Imagination and the Golden Chain.' The tradition of imagination as opposed to reason, from the Neoplatonists via the Romantics to modern psychology.
  6.30 pm Supper  
  8.00-9.00 pm Merrily Harpur. 'Fons et origo': an illustrated introduction to the mirrored Otherworld - one that can be glimpsed in the strange church fonts of West Dorset.  
  Saturday, 14 October  
  10.00 -12.30
at half time.
James Harpur. Workshop: The Poetry of Water. From the Castalian Spring to the peaty rivers of Devon, water has always been a source of inspiration to poets. James Harpur will lead a workshop on eight poems, including those of Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney, which explore their relationship to rivers, wells, streams, and oceans. No previous knowledge of poetry is required and the texts will be provided.

  12.30 Lunch  
  2.00 Trail:  Fonts and beginnings. Guided by Patrick Harpur and Merrily Harpur  
  4.30 Tea and discussion  
  5.30 Film by Jules Cashford: The Adoration of the Lamb, by Jan Van Eyck.
  6.30 Supper  
  8.00-9.00 Jules Cashford. Illustrated talk: ‘The Moon, Mnemosyne, and the Water of Life.  
  Sunday, 15 October
  10.00 James Harpur. Talk, 'Drinking at the Fountains: an exploration of poetic imagination and the Muse.' Do modern poets ignore the idea or reality of the Muse at their peril? Does it provide a link to our shamanic ancestors, and a way of accessing what Yeats called ‘the universal mind’ or what Ted Hughes called ‘the elemental power circuit of the universe’?  
  11.00 Refreshments  
11.30 Lindsay Clarke. Talk, ‘What Mystery Pervades a Well?’: Wishes, Prophecies and Initiation.
  12.30 Lunch  
  2.00 Trail: Holy wells. Guided by Patrick Harpur and Merrily Harpur  
  4.30 Tea and discussion: Patrick, James, Jules, and Lindsay answer questions.  
  5.00 Farewell  
  Talks are illustrated with Power Point projections as appropriate.
Patrick, James and Merrily will be present most of the time (except for lunch) for informal questions and discussion. Lindsay Clarke and Jules Cashford will be present some of the time.
N. B. The programme is flexible - timings and individual talks within it may change from time to time.
  How to book  
Courses overview
  The Golden Chain  
  '...Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making". Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it). I say 'Soul making', Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence. There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions - but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. Intelligences are atoms of perception - they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God. How then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them - so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?' ~ John Keats, letter 14th February 1819