Saturday, July 03, 2004

Under the Spell of Sulis-2

But before I could visit the temple of Minerva Sulis, there was the conference to attend. I arrived midway through the first day, 24 June, considerably jet-lagged, after a journey on two airplanes, two trains, and my feet.

Arriving at The Forum, a 1930s movie palace now home of the Bath City Church, I was a little perplexed by the church's name on the marquee. But the building looked right, and once inside, I knew.

For that weekend, the stage was decorated with potted Salvia divinorum, San Pedro cactus, morning glory, and other interesting plants--not quite the BCC style, I'm sure. But they fit with an auditorium full of psychonauts, astrologers, Pagans, and (mostly Pagan) academics.

We presenters really had only 20 minutes out of the allotted 30, once you subtract the introduction and the question-and-answer period. Some people (like me) still wrote out papers with citations, such for our own security, while knowing that we would have to condense them drastically.

My list of people whom I knew of but had never met included the grand couple of psychoactive chemistry, Alexander and Ann Shulgin, as well as two outstanding astrologers, Robert Hand from the US and Liz Greene from England, not to mention the two German ethnobotanists, Christian Raetsch and Claudia Mueller-Ebeling.

More to come. Meanwhile, some views of Bath.

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