2017 Lectures so far
A quick announcement for some up-coming lectures in the UK.
On Friday 7th April I will be presenting a lecture entitled The Ghosts of Tantra Past at Treadwells Bookshop of London. In this lecture I will examine the complex issues surrounding the ‘origins’ of Tantra; looking at both origin accounts in contemporary Western occult texts, orientalist accounts from the colonial period, and current scholarly theories which place the origins of Tantra within the context of the Saiva religion.
On Thursday 4th May I will be at Treadwells again, this time presenting a lecture on Tantra and Trance Possession. Trance possession is not a feature of Tantra that has received much attention beyond scholarly literature, and many people are often surprised to hear that Tantric practice does feature possession. In this lecture I’ll be examining evidence for Trance possession in tantric textual sources and iconography, the ‘influence’ of alcoholic beverages within those practices, as well as wild deities such as Chamunda and Bhairava.
On Saturday 30th September I will be speaking at The Visible College’s Before the Dawn – a one-day conference examining the roots of the nineteenth-century occult revival. My lecture, entitled “Shameless Sects and Brothers of the Left” will examine the complexities of the Theosophical Society’s relationship with India, and in particular in relation to the worship of images, forms of ecstatic religion, and the concept of the Left-Hand Path.