Conference Programme 2020

Pagan Phoenix Southwest Spring Conference


Programme  – Saturday 7th March 2020

9.15 Doors open
10.00 Welcome and opening attunement / Isis prayer
10.15 Gary Lachman – “Aleister Crowley: Magician, Monster, God?” 
11.15 Coffee break
11.45 Pete Jennings – “Pathworking”
12.45 Lunch
14.30 Karen Cater – “Spirit of the Hare”
15.30 Tea break
16.00 Raffle
16.15 Kristoffer Hughes – “Cerridwen – Witch, Muse, Goddess?”
17.15 Closing Ritual followed by piping and dancing with Merv and Alison Davey
End of day time programme
20.00 Music and dancing with Damh the Bard


Gary Lachman will be talking about the English Occultist ‘that old beast’ Aleister Crowley.
Gary is the author of twenty-one books on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness to literary suicides, popular culture and the history of the occult. He has written a rock and roll memoir of the 1970s, biographies of Aleister Crowley, Rudolf Steiner, C. G. Jung, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Emanuel Swedenborg, P. D. Ouspensky, and Colin Wilson, histories of Hermeticism and the Western Inner Tradition, studies in existentialism and the philosophy of consciousness, and about the influence of esotericism on politics and society.

Heathen Pete Jennings recently updated his original 1992 Pathworking book and has written over twenty more on Paganism, Heathenry, Ghosts and Folklore as well as three novels. He was born in 1953 and originates from Ipswich, Suffolk. He recently retired as a registered social worker but is also a qualified psychotherapist. Outside of work he was a President of the Pagan Federation, singer with rock and folk bands, radio presenter and actor. He continues to be an Anglo Saxon re-enactor and would really wish to be remembered for his pioneering work on the Speed of Dark.

Pete Jennings-coverpaperback

Karen Cater – ‘Spirit of the Hare’ (a talk with songs) by Karen & Colin Cater.

The folklore and mythology of hares, from the dawn of time to the present day, and from nearly every continent on Earth. ‘The Hare in the Moon’, Springtime and Dawn, ‘Witch-Hares’, Good luck and Bad luck, and how the hare has influenced Karen’s art.

Hedingham Fair_Heralds of the Dawn

Karen and Colin Cater are Hedingham Fair. You will almost certainly know Karen’s Yule card and T-shirt designs which have been around for over twenty years; quintessentially English, but standing at the crossroads where folklore and historical culture intertwine with mysticism and the Old Religion. In the background of Karen’s work there has always been the land, its creatures and the passage of the seasons, also reflecting her love of home and countryside: her cats, ploughing horses, hedgerow plants and birds and animals from field and garden. Karen is the artist, Colin the historian, both are folklorists, writers, singers and musicians.

Kristoffer Hughes will guide us on a remarkable journey into the deep past to discover who Cerridwen is, where she came from, and how she has survived in the literal tradition for over 1,500 years.
Kristoffer is the founder and head of the Anglesey Druid Order in North Wales. He is an award-winning author and a frequent speaker and workshop leader throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. He works professionally for Her Majesty’s Coroner. He has studied with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and is its 13th Mount Haemus Scholar.  He is a native Welsh speaker, born to a Welsh family in the mountains of Snowdonia. He currently writes for Llewellyn Worldwide specialising in Celtic studies and also death and bereavement.

Parents, please be aware that it is an adult event and speakers may address adult themes.

Closing Ritual and The Cornish Piper

The Conference day concludes with a Closing Ritual.

Directly after the ritual, Merv Davy (Grand Bard of Cornwall and Cornish Piper) and Alison (his Drummer) lead everyone in the traditional Spiral Dance. Help to bring the energy of Spring into your hearts and add to the spirit of Penstowe.


This year’s raffle is in aid of The Woodland Trust, in support of Ausewell Wood nr Ashburton. Raffle tickets will be on sale during the conference on Saturday.


Before and After

Friday 6th March 2020. For local Pagans and those staying for the weekend at Penstowe, we offer the infamous Friday Night Fiendish Quiz, hosted by Damh and Cerri. This usually begins after the meets and greets, at 8 pm in the bar.

The Quiz will be followed by a jam session in the bar. Musicians welcome.

We are sorry to announce that the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle will not be open for conference attendees to visit on Sunday 8th March 2020, due to circumstances beyond our control. It will be the first time in 22 years that the conference cannot include a visit to the Museum. The Museum will be undergoing a major refurbishment programme this winter which will not be completed in time for the conference and it will not be possible for it to open.

For people who wish to extend their stay in North Cornwall, we will provide information about holy wells, sacred sites and other magical and interesting places in the area which you might like to visit. Watch this space…

Lunch (on Saturday)

Penstowe Manor provides a range of meals to suit different tastes and budgets in the lounge.  Hot drinks can be purchased from the fully licensed bar.

Lunch can be purchased from Penstowe Manor on Saturday. Omnivore, vegan and vegetarian options are available. Please order lunch at the bar/counter in the coffee break (11.00), in order for your order to be processed in time for lunch.


There is also a range of stalls that sell hand-made or similar goods made by Pagan crafts-people, with an emphasis on those from the South West, as we like to support our local community.  Attendees will be able to shop throughout Saturday.
Examples of this year’s stalls.


Please remember the privacy of others. Please do not take photographs of attendees or audience members without permission.




Pagan Phoenix Southwest Spring Conference 2020 Poster