October is my favourite month of the year. The impending chill in the air, opportunities to layer clothes and wrap up, lighting candles and fires, making soup, Halloween and Bonfire Night, the changing light and the colours of nature all fill me with joy for the coming Winter season.
This year I took full advantage of all the Autumnal things on offer and have spent lots of time collecting, foraging and arranging things (see Amanda’s post on Autumn tablescapes).
I was unaware of the quirky online homeware emporium, until my friend Rohini (who writes interiors blog The Beat My heart Skipped) introduced me to them. Chatting to Jane Rockett at the launch, I was mightily impressed with how the two best friends have spent the last 10 years bringing up children and growing their company from a small offering of homeware and gifts, to their current collection of 3500 products and three successful catalogues.
I have long been fascinated by the moon, witchcraft and magic and this week, thoroughly enjoyed a talk at the House of Hackney shop in Shoreditch, titled The Witch as an Icon of Empowerment.
Part of their Witchmas festival, the fascinating panellists included Diane Pernet, the woman behind A Shaded View on Fashion, one of the first fashion blogs. A former New York designer who moved to Paris in 1990 where she runs a fashion film festival, she’s a fashion icon known for her black mantilla, beehive hairdo and voluminous head to toe black outfits.
Christina Oakley Harrington PhD, FRSA is a former academic historian who is the founder and director of the famed Treadwells esoteric bookshop in Bloomsbury and a practicing witch.
Caroline Wise is an expert on the lost Goddesses of the ancient world, and how they are relevant to women today. She also gives talks and researches the female esoteric pioneers of the 19th and early 20th century and runs classes on the art of being a priestess in the modern world.
All fascinating women – their insights into witchcraft, its connections to nature and championing the under represented in society, really struck a chord with me and I am fascinated to know more about the subject and practices.
House of Hackney have several other events coming up, which if you are interested in all things mystical, should be interesting – I have signed up for the The Spiritual Home Clinic with Marc Peridis and a gong bath (I will let you know how that goes!).
And lastly I spent an magical evening at the Dalston Curve Garden at their Pumpkin Lantern Festival. The annual event feature hundreds of pumpkins decorated by local children, hot toddies and autumn treats from their cafe bar, blankets & hot water bottles and a wood-burning stove in the Pineapple House to keep everyone cosy. It’s now on my calendar as a must see every Halloween from now on.