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Fate and Prophecy in Legend and Tradition

  • 03-04/09/2022
  • 10:00-17:00
  • St John's Church Hall, Vicarage Lane, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire HA5 9AE

The Sixteenth Legendary Weekend of The Folklore Society

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2022

at St John’s Church Hall, Vicarage Lane, Knaresborough

When the tree withers in my mother’s garden, know that the end is nigh and seven signs before Doomsday will darken the obsidian mirror. The third age of the spirit watches in the church porch, a Sunday’s child gifted with second sight, fine before seven. I saw a dead man win a fight whose dragons had grown white and red on the mead of prophecy. He that is born to be hanged, let him sow hempseed till a threefold death cuts the thin-spun life. Weave the warp and weave the weft! The clock stopped, never to go again, when a lying spirit entered the prophets. Stalks of yarrow divide the elect from the reprobate: tinker, tailor, tealeaves. Don’t go down the mine, daddy, for the time is come but not the man. The stars impel a red sky at night but do not compel the great king of terror. There are those who shall not taste death before the bad fairy is left out of the christening with three laughs: cast the runes on the Ides of March, my merry young men, for you’ll not see your crystal balls again. This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.

The omens are good for this two-day conference on Fate and Prophecy in Legend and Tradition, to be held on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th September 2022 as the sixteenth Legendary Weekend of the Folklore Society, at St. John’s Church Hall, Knaresborough HG5 9AF, in Mother Shipton’s home town.  Whether you’re into Norns or Nostradamus, Armageddon or astrology, we’d like to welcome you to attend.

Contributions will cover a range of subjects such as: scrying, lucky signs, prophecies, precognitive dreams, swirling teacups, foretelling tempests, the promise of blessings and the fulfilment of curses. Anyone can join us–folklorists, theologians, fortune-tellers, sages and storytellers. Presentations will take the form of talks, performances, or film.


Saturday 3rd September

9.30    Registration and coffee

First session

10.00  Richard Jenkins, The Politics of Prophecy: From the Old Testament to the 21st Century

11.00  Coffee at conference

Second session

11.30  Diana Coles, Days of Future Past

12.00  Matthew Cheeseman, The Prophecies of Goro Adachi

12.30  Kesha Marvada, Archetypes in Aagamvani Prophecy in the Traditions of the Meghvar Community of Kachchh

13.00  Break for lunch (not provided)

Third session

14.30  Helen Frisby, Mortality, Prophecy and Modernity

15.00  Holly Elsdon, The Third Secret of Fatima

15.30  John Billingsley, Windows in Heaven: The Rev. Charles Tweedale of Weston

16.00  Tea at conference

Fourth session

16.30  TBC

17.00  Mark Valentine, Literature of Tea Leaf Reading

17.30  Tommy Kuusela, Scandinavian Love Divination

Sunday 4th September

10.30  Coffee at conference

11.00  Simon Young, Rooks, Rookeries and Omens, 1700–1950

11.30  Gordon Casely, The Rise and Fall of the Tay Bridge

12.00 Kate Smith, Foretelling Floods

12.30  Break for lunch (and close of conference papers)

Conference fee: £30 for speakers, £60 for others attending. Coffee/tea will be provided during the breaks. Lunch is not provided. Book via email to thefolkloresociety@gmail.com

If you would like to attend please contact, by 1st July: Jeremy Harte, Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF,

Tel. 020 8394 1734 or email jrmharte@gmail.com