Temenos Academy & The Harmony Institute, University of Wales Trinity St David

 at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David Campus

in Lampeter, Ceredigion SA48 7ED


Wednesday 22 March 2023


Chair:  Hilary Davies, Fellow of the Temenos Academy

WELCOME from Dr Nick Campion, Director of the Harmony Institute and Professor Bettina Schmidt


St Columba and the Poetic Imagination


This illustrated talk explores the figure of St Columba (Columcille in Irish) in the poetic or mythic imagination. Born in 521, Columba left Ireland for the island of Iona and founded a monastery that helped to spread the Christian faith in what is now Scotland and northern England. More than an abbot and evangelist, Columba was a charismatic pastoral leader, political ‘fixer’, miracle-worker, healer, clairvoyant and poet. James will examine Columba not so much as a historical person but as the archetype of Poet, Pilgrim and Exile, three significant figures in Irish culture and the country’s historical imagination.

James Harpur is the poetry editor of the Temenos Academy Review and has published eight books of poetry and a debut novel, The Pathless Country. His book, The Oratory of Light, poems inspired by Iona and St Columba, is published by Wild Goose Press. He lives in West Cork.


Twelve-fold Harmony: Symbol and Place


Symbolic of the order of the divine cosmos is the recurrent image in old British legends of twelve knights, saints, hermits, or missionaries around a central figure: King Arthur and his Knights, or St Columba and his companions, an earthly reflection of the constellations spinning round the polar axis. Earth-sky relationships ground mythological cycles worldwide: the twelve signs of the zodiac, the solstices and equinoxes, the changing faces of the moon, the daily paths of sunlight. Twelve sections radiating from a sacred centre or temenos are the archetype of Plato’s ideal city or society, described in Laws, book 5, also manifest in the layout of the ancient monument of Stonehenge and the architecture of Wells Cathedral. This pattern coincides with that of William Blake’s fourfold city of the divine imagination, as a mandala of consciousness, emblematic of the human archetypal universe in its wholeness.

Christine Rhone, translator, writer, events organiser, and retired teacher, co-authored Twelve-Tribe Nations and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape with John Michell, and has regularly contributed to the Temenos Academy Review since 2008. Her book translations include Sacred Geography of the Ancient Greeks by Jean Richer, Saint Francis of Assisi by Jacques Le Goff, Theosophy, Imagination, Tradition: Studies in Western Esotericism by Antoine Faivre, and many papers for the University of Lausanne.


A Consolation of Stars



‘We drew lines between the silver scatterings of the heavens

and showed the stories of ourselves to ourselves.’

This sequence of interconnected Greek myths tells of the creation of some of the most prominent constellations in our night sky, including Orion, the Pleiades, Scorpio, Pegasus and Cygnus.

Hugh Lupton has been a professional storyteller since1981. He tells stories from all over the world, but his particular passion is for the hidden layers of the British landscape and the stories and ballads that give voice to them. He also (with Daniel Morden) tells many stories from Greek mythology, including the Iliad and the Odyssey. In 2006 Hugh and Daniel were awarded the Classical Association prize for ‘the most significant contribution to the public understanding of the classics’. Hugh has written many collections of folk tales for children (published by Barefoot Books). For adults his published work includes ‘Norfolk Folk Tales’ and two novels: ‘The Ballad of John Clare’ (published in 2010) and ‘The Assembly of the Severed Head’ (published in 2018). Most recently a collection of his writings on myth ‘The Dreaming of Place’ has been published by Propolis Books (2022). He is also a poet and lyricist.


Advance bookings only – Admission free

TIME:   9.30am for 10am – 4.30pm

VENUE:  The Old Hall, Lampeter Campus     NB. The OLD HALL is opposite the CHAPEL in the Old Building

A light vegetarian lunch, and tea/coffee will be served, free of charge.


T    (01233) 813663


There is a variety of accommodation available in Lampeter town. To enquire about B&B accommodation on the Lampeter campus please contact the Accommodation Office




Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images


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