This is the website for the annual Leaping Hare convention, which is held every spring in Colchester, Essex, Britain. We will update this site with information about each forthcoming convention, as well as featuring reviews of previous years.
The 2014 convention went very well and I think those attending will agree that the quality of talks and workshops was high this year. We'd like to thank Jonathan, Sam, the Willow's Drum band, Paul, Terry, Sheena, Mara, and Clan Ogma for all their sterling performances. Our thanks go to all the volunteers on the day ~ particularly Di for coordinating everything, John for manning the door, Terry for emceeing, Libby for booking the stalls, Barry for opening the day, and Venetia for advertising the event. Without the volunteers from the Colchester Pagan Network, this event could simply not happen. We would also like to thank the stallholders, readers, and of course the people who attended on the day for making the whole event so enjoyable.
If you would like to book a stall (please note they tend to sell out quite a few months in advance) contact stalls, offer your skills as a speaker/performer for the 2015 event on March 28th, or purchase a ticket then please email talks.
This site was last updated on 3rd March 2015
Tickets are also available from Diane on 01206 331183.
Karen Cater's talk ~ Wassailing. tbc
Joanna van der Hoeven's talk ~ Nemetona, Goddess of the Grove. Little is known of the goddess of sanctuary and sacred space, at least historically. Yet Nemetona was once a popular goddess, with altar inscriptions, place names, and also tribal names dedicated to her throughout Europe. How can we connect with this goddess today in our modern world, in a way that is relevant and honourable?
Sai Arjun & Ranbir Singh's talk ~ Hindu-Pagan Relations. HHR (Hindu Human Rights) was formed in 2000 to highlight the persecution, marginalisation and discrimination against Hindus worldwide. This was rarely reported in the media. At the same time documentaries in abundance have flowed regarding ancient cultures, lost civilisation and indigenous peoples. Yet Hindus are the largest surviving remnant of not just an ancient culture and civilisation, but one which is unashamedly pagan and polytheist. However, in modernist discourse, this is derided as regressive, backward, enslavement to superstition and a barrier to that amorphous term ‘progress’. Yet much of what we take for granted in western civilisation has pagan roots: Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Slavonic, ancient Roman and Greek. Monotheist dominance and the modernist paradigm it has engendered have cut off much of the cultural and civilizational interchange that used to flow freely. Anything which does not fit into these neat compartments is thrown aside as unfathomable and contradictory belief systems which have no place in the modern world. In fact they are not only extremely relevant to the world today but have shaped it. Without those important elements that world which we take for granted would not even exist. Yet as with pagan voices that of Hindus is excluded from much of this important dialogue as somehow irrelevant, or at best an exotic import or cultural souvenir. By following such narrow focus, not only are the peoples of Europe being severed from their own past, but are also being offered a very myopic future in excluding the spiritual aspect of physical existence which ancient and indigenous cultures always recognised. The result of this can be witnessed in fears that humans will be replaced by robots. This is because without the spiritual element this is what we have become, something which was recognised in ages past.
Nimue Brown's talk ~ The Spirits of Place. Pagans of different paths all tend to go in for rituals. When we stand in ritual, to whom do we address our words? We might be talking to the Gods, or to our ancestors. We might invite or summon elemental spirits - big things, coming from afar. How often do we think about the unique patch of ground beneath our feet, or the small, quiet presences that might be part of the ritual space we're in? Without the support of the spirits of place, rituals just don't work as well. This talk explores how to connect to the spirits of place in ritual.
Morrigan's Path music ~ (Ian and Sheena Cundy, Jim Olley, Carol Richardson and Mark Barnard) are a band of Essex minstrels, casting their own musical spell under the watchful eye of the Great Spirit of the Old Ways. At Beltane last year, the band released their debut album, Call to Avalon, in Glastonbury. They enjoyed traveling and playing beyond the boundaries of Essex for the rest of 2014 while writing new material for the next album. This work in progress continues, and underlies the constant stream of creative energy that is Morrigans Path...
Robin Herne's workshop ~ aimed at inexperienced storytellers who want to improve their skills and those looking to use storytelling as a devotional act in rituals. Participants will be encouraged to develop and perform stories during the course of the workshop.
Sam Marks' workshop ~ please bring your own drum to take part in the popular rhythm workshop.
Tom Brown's workshop ~ Spirits of place can seem like an abstract concept. How do we make that more immediate and accessible?
Adrienne de Roy's workshop ~ learn about the Egyptian lion goddess Sekhmet and be guided through an encounter with her.