Eventually I worked out how to get the photographer to make me look good. Basically, ask them about their own work: “What have you been photographing today? What do you like to photograph? How long have you worked at the newspaper?” etc. And of course I’d try and explain Witchcraft so that it didn’t seem too weird. But it’s the image that everyone looks at in the paper. They don’t care so much about the text, although I would get grilled by other Pagans when the articles came out: “Why’d you say that? Why didn’t you say this?” And of course my family and relatives were wincing with discomfort and embarrassment that I would shame them by being interviewed about such a kooky topic. So again, there was more reason to feel tense about the resultant article, but I just had to accept that I couldn’t please everyone.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Going through my Book of Shadows from the late 80s and early 90s I came across these newspaper photos of myself from around 1996. Back in the 1990s being interviewed in the newspaper about Witchcraft and Paganism was a bit of a big deal, and it was a real gamble as to how the journalist and more important, the photographer, were going to portray you. If they liked you they might say nice things about you, but if they didn’t like you they would treat the topic, and you, in a flippant manner. As a member of The Church of All Worlds (CAW) back then, part of progressing through the Circles (degrees) involved being able to talk about Paganism to the media. So you’d say yes to interview requests and then wait on tenterhooks for the article to come out and hope you’d come across as OK.
When the article came out there’d be angry phone calls from relatives about how you’d embarrassed them, and when you arrived at your workplace people would stare at you with a mixture of reverence and contempt. Who are you to be getting media coverage, and for something so obviously weird? I would often deeply regret not having done my best to get the journalist and photographer on my side, but eventually learned how to do it (see next post).
These days, now that control of your image is in your own hands, you can make beautiful, professional-looking images with a phone camera, and get international coverage through social media. We see images constantly and are pretty blasé about them. It’s de rigueur to portray yourself in the most glamorous manner possible, for reasons spanning promoting a business or just your own perceived awesomeness. There is no need to sweet-talk a journalist or photographer, hoping they won’t make you look like a clown, we can simply bypass them – and of course media coverage is all really rather ho-hum, it doesn’t have the power it used to. No one even cares about being on TV because everyone’s got their own little YouTube show.
Sure, Witches have been getting media coverage since the 1950s, and much of it sensationalist. Now we have to fight the scrum of social media to get any attention that lasts more than one day. Different times.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Of all the Goddesses of Witchcraft, Hekate is the best known today. This workshop looks at the origins and history of Hekate, her spheres of influence, sacred animals, relationships with other gods, association with mystery religions, connection with the dead, and her role in regard to famous witch-priestesses from antiquity such as Circe and Medea. Through the examination of primary evidence including ancient religious and magical texts, sculpture, visual art, magical gems, curse tablets, and binding spells, the figure of Hekate will be illuminated. Participants will also experience a ritual devoted to Hekate in order to establish and strengthen their own relationship with the goddess.
The Presenter, Caroline Tully
Caroline has a background in various traditions of witchcraft and magick and is also an archaeologist who studies ancient Mediterranean Pagan religions and their manifestation in the modern world. She has written many articles and chapters on these topics and is the author of the book, The Cultic Life of Trees in the Prehistoric Aegean, Levant, Egypt and Cyprus (Peeters 2018). Caroline reads Tarot and is a regular workshop facilitator on a range of magickal subjects at Muses of Mystery, Melbourne’s finest metaphysical destination.
This workshop will be held at Muses of Mystery on the 3rd July 2021.
Monday, May 10, 2021
I’m presenting Magical Gems and Jewellery, Healing, and the Stars at the Hekate Symposium on Thursday 20th May (night UK) Friday 21st May (morning Aus). Then in person on Saturday 22 May at Muses of Mystery (see previous post, below).
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Witches regularly wear occult jewellery: pentagram pendants, amber, jet, moonstone, coral, or even acorn necklaces; magical rings with special stones or symbolic designs; and lots of silver, the metal of the moon. Wearing jewellery is a form of communication: to the wearer to other people, and to hidden forces attracted by certain colours, substances and patterns. Join Dr Caroline Tully in a workshop about magical gems and jewellery from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt; ancient healing modalities and gods; and healing astrology. Learn about the stone amulets, empowering talismans, and protective jewellery of the Ancient World, and the spells used to activate them. Through discussion and practical ritual, contemporary approaches to healing magic will be revealed. Bring a piece of your own jewellery and through ritual we will draw down the stars to consecrate it to a healing deity. Participants will also take home their own moonstone amulet.
Caroline has a background in various traditions of witchcraft and magick. She has written for many Pagan and occult publications and was a feature writer for Australia’s Witchcraft Magazine for six years. Caroline is also an archaeologist who studies ancient Mediterranean Pagan religions as well as their manifestation in the modern world. She has many areas of interest including ancient religions, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelema and contemporary Paganisms, particularly Witchcraft and Pagan Reconstructionism.
Held at Muses of Mystery
Thelema is a Greek word meaning ‘will’ or ‘desire’. Join Dr Caroline Tully in a beginner’s workshop on Thelemic Witchcraft, a form of New Aeon Witchcraft that focuses on methods for causing change in accordance with your will. Through practical ritual and discussion this old-but-new approach to Magick will be illuminated. Caroline has a background in various traditions of Witchcraft and magick. She has written for many Pagan and occult publications and was a feature writer for Australia’s Witchcraft Magazine for six years.
Caroline is also an archaeologist who studies ancient Mediterranean Pagan religions as well as their manifestation in the modern world. She has many areas of interest including ancient religions, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelema and contemporary Paganisms, particularly Witchcraft and Pagan Reconstructionism.
Held at Muses of Mystery
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Bewitching Caroline, admirer of Holy Dionysus,
But not a mere Maenad - herself a goddess in the flesh,
Minoan sister to the winged and protective Isis,
She’s an epiphany among the sacred rocks and trees, so dewy-fresh.
Her copper-tinted, dark and wavy lengths of locks
Are crowned with a wreath bestowed on her by coven sisters
And like Bulgakov’s Margarita on a vernal equinox,
Abandoning her clothes, she flies, short-circuiting transistors.
She flies through inky-black and starry, moonlit skies
And whispers very ancient, closely guarded incantations,
Her skin aglow and fragrant with a secret potion’s spice,
She’s headed to a place of mysteries and pagan celebrations.
Her Tarot cards are spread and pentagrams are dampened
By drops of fresh and ruby-colored sacrificial blood,
With servant entities and spirits of ancestors honored, not abandoned,
Her power can heal or punish, stir a whirlwind or a flood,
But that’s by night and in her sacramental, secret lair,
But in the daylight - she’s a scholar, razor-sharp, creative and quick-witted,
Her learned colleagues hardly guess the source of her bewitching flair,
Only some chosen few to take a glimpse into her mysteries are graciously permitted.
This lovely poem was written by my friend, the Aegean archaeologist and all round multi-talented artist, Michele Mitrovitch. See more of her work here.