Mary Attwood MA
Co-Founder and Director
Mary is co-founder and director of The Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred, an art historian, author, mentor and business creative. She is co-founder and director of Channel McGilchrist, was the founding Chairman of the Victoria branch of 90,000 member strong The Arts Society, is a qualified practitioner of yoga, meditation and mindfulness, has published two books with Watkins, and published an ancestral family book with the CFHT in 2023. She holds a BA hons degree in the History of Art from UCL and Birkbeck, where she focused on late medieval and renaissance Art and Architeture. She hold an MA with distinction in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred from CCCU where she researched renaissance art and art’s effects in general on the viewer/ beholder. Taking as broad an epistemological approach as possible, she studied the meaning/s of art, specifically quattrocento Florentine Renaissance art, in the contexts of ancient Greek philosophy, the neuroscientific approach of McGilchrist’s hemisphere theory, archetypal psychology and Renaissance artistic approaches.
Mary’s teaching and research seek to offer a renaissance of art and consciosuness, through a broader understanding of art, not as an object to be analysed, but as a bridge between seemingly disparate ways of understanding the world and our place in it. While honouring the historical, broadening perceptions of art beyond rationalising analysis, categories and styles, opens doorways both in us and in the image. But beyond this, she beleives that how we look at art art can reveal ways of knowing and seeing that change not only what we see in art, but change us and the world, and can help meet the complexities of modern living by offering a renaissance of humane values.
Mary regularly hosts our online seminars, talks and courses with our other director, Dr Louise Livingstone. She also teaches group sessions, including her monthly The Art of Seeing sessions, holds private and group gallery tours, and one-to-one sessions. She has written for the Poetic Mind, The Journal of Creativity and Inspiration, private artists, and is currently working on a book which explores different approaches to, and encounters with art, and its transformative potency.
Recent article on Vision and Ekphrasis click here
“Mary does not ‘teach’ as such; she introduces a painting (or an artist, or an idea) and then enters a process of mutual discovery as a co-explorer…” (Veronica Bennetts)
Louise Livingstone PhD
Co-Founder and Director
Louise is co-founder and director of The Centre for Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred and founder and director of the Heart Sense Research Institute – www.heartsenseresearch.co.uk. Louise taught on the MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred at Canterbury Christ Church University and completed her PhD there. The title of her thesis is: How can the thought of the heart offer effective ways of engaging with conflict? An imaginal and reflexive study. The project draws on the discourses of transformational learning, depth psychology, holistic science, cultural history, esoteric wisdom and religious philosophy. Louise offers talks, courses, events and contemplative journeys founded upon Heart Sense – the approach that she developed as part of her PhD research.
Louise’s work aims to re-imagine the long-forgotten wise and intelligent heart for contemporary times; illuminating through research, contemplative action and nourishing dialogue how the heart as a focal point of compassion, love and kindness, and as an organ of perception and wisdom, is a valuable and vital ally in our world of increasing global challenges, injustice and inequality. Her research has wide applicability in terms of social justice, sustainability, and the development of eco-consciousness. She also holds an MSc in Holistic Science, with distinction, from the Schumacher College, Devon, UK.
Louise is a founding member of the Awakening Heart Collective, and also uses the Heart Sense methodology to support young people/students as part of the New Paradigm Navigators project at the Scientific and Medical Network. In addition, Louise is a thought-leader for IRewild; an institute working to engage with complex challenges to help restore a viable world for humanity and all life on Earth. Through IRewild, Louise has co-authored a book titled – Even the Caterpillar Sings – Bringing Our Souls Back Into A Deeper Relationship With Nature. Louise is widely published, and you can view all her publications here. She is currently working on a trilogy of workbooks exploring the Heart Sense approach and the possible implications of this framework in relation to personal, collective and global transformation.
“I notice that I am changing, which means – encouraged by Louise, and deepened by the course I have just completed – tuning ever more emphatically to my heart’s bountiful guidance. It was there all along, but I didn’t fully recognise the gold that glowed at the centre of me.” F Owen
“What a beautiful class… one of the most thought provoking I’ve attended. [Louise is] such a natural presenter and made us all feel so safe and welcomed.”
“Thank you for a wonderful series of guided experiences with my many hearts. It’s been a gift and is a gift to open to the world through the wisdom of the heart.”
“I am finding hearts in my life I didn’t see before and I am appreciating the knowing of the heart more and more.” (Previous course participants)
Patrick Curry PhD
Faculty Member & Visiting Lecturer
Professor Emeritus Linden West, PhD, FRSA
Faculty Member & Visiting Lecturer
Dr Linden West is Professor Emeritus of Canterbury Christ Church University, and a celebrated researcher and writer. He is a distinguished scholar in the broad field of adult and transformative education as well as learner motivation and professional learning. He is also a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, drawing on (but not exclusively so) object relations/relational psychoanalytic perspectives. He brings insights from clinical work and training into understanding learning, popular education and what we might call transformative and transcendental experience. He is an historian of popular and workers’ education while his main contemporary interest has lain in the application of auto/biographical and narrative enquiry, and interdisciplinary psychosocial and spiritual perspectives, to diverse educational, social, cultural, political, psychological and religious phenomena. Most recently he worked among Jewish Israeli and Palestinian educators, exploring how narrative methods can provide a basis for meaningful dialogue across the profoundest of differences. He has been writing too on class and adult as well as higher education, drawing on the complex stories people tell – most recently working class women at university and their encounters with otherness and in their own complex self and identity work. He has undertaken oral history work among Kent Miners and their communities, leading to a major 2024 exhibition called Radical dissent? Workers education and the Kent Coalfield. He has sought to develop forms of writing doing most justice to the complexity and intimacy of experience, alongside encounters with what can be repressive social and cultural forms. He asks, ‘what enables people to keep on keeping on?’, including the role and nature of love and the idea of the gift in adult learning. He draws on feminist writers like Hélène Cixous, and myth and literature, to chronicle and interpret the nuance of experience, including of the ineffable. Linden has drawn on the work of Latin American radical educator Paulo Freire and liberation theology to illuminate processes of ‘annunciation’ – the bringing forth of new life and hope – in the most difficult and perplexing experience, including in the Jewish Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Linden is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (RSA). He has worked in various British Universities and has been Visiting Professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca, the Université de Paris Nanterre, and Michigan State. He co-coordinated the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults’ (ESREA) Life History and Biography Network as well as a Network devoted to transformative processes in learning and education over many years. He is an Emeritus Steward of the International Transformative Learning Association, an Editorial Adviser to the Journal of Transformative Education. His book, written with Laura Formenti, Transforming perspectives in lifelong learning and adult education, a dialogue won the prestigious Cyril O. Houle international prize for outstanding literature in adult education in 2019. In 2020 Linden was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, at the University of Oklahoma, USA. Linden has written and edited many books and is published in diverse academic and popular journals. His work is translated into French, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.
View Linden’s publications and talks by clicking here
Angela Voss PhD SFHEA
Co-Founder & Contributor
Angela Voss is a valuable contributor to the Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred Diploma, and much of Angela’s research materials can be found on this website. For many years, Angela was involved in devising and teaching Masters programmes in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred in Canterbury UK, along with some wonderful colleagues. Her passion for Renaissance music and culture led her to delve into the magical world of the fifteenth century magus Marsilio Ficino, and from there to the Western esoteric traditions and the power of the symbolic to awaken the human soul. She has written extensively on Ficino’s astrological music, on astrology and divination, Neoplatonism and magic, and on transformative learning. She has also practiced as an astrologer and tarot reader.
“The determination and untiring vision of Angela Voss have been essential in blazing a trail of imagination through all our work at Kent” (Geoffrey Cornelius)
Simão Cortês MA
Simão Cortês is an astrologer, academic and a dream researcher. He has been exploring symbolic and divinatory techniques since 2012. In 2018 he concluded his Master’s in Myth Cosmology and the Sacred where he developed a Creative Project focused on dreams. He is now pursuing a PhD about the relationship between dreaming and education. His main interests are dreams, astrology, ancient philosophy and the intersection of animism and social justice issues.
Andreas Kornevall is a Swedish author, storyteller and ecological activist. He grew up in Chile, Sweden and Switzerland, and now directs the Earth Restoration Service charity https://www.earthrestorationservice.org/ based in the UK. In response to the sixth mass extinction, he was the catalyst behind the Life Cairn movement: memorials for species rendered extinct at human hands. He also co-founded the volunteer organisation https://www.workingabroad.com As a storyteller, he works with old myths and fairytales; his stories tend to gravitate around the Norse material which have led him to lecture and perform in universities and educational centres, and a live BBC radio performance. He is also a prize-winning author, whose work has been published in magazines such as Resurgence, The Ecologist, Permaculture magazine and in the Dark Mountain series. He is currently the nature and almanac writer for Perspectives Magazine, https://perspectivemag.co.uk/ based in London and his new book: Waking the Dragons is out with Green Magic Publishing. He is a member of the ‘Forn Sed’ (Old Customs Association) in Sweden which works closely with ancient Norse culture, traditions and spirituality, unearthing old legends, forgotten folklore and endangered Norse languages. Through his work he was recently voted by the University of Southern California as one of their 100 spiritual exemplars.