Leo Connolly-Growing up Weïrd
Like most kids, I spent a lot of my time playing make believe. Making “potions” out of soap, claiming twigs and chopsticks were wands, and that I had a limited connection to the element of air – though I blame The Last Airbender for that one. I loved fantasy and still do, it holds a dear place in my heart. Simultaneously to all this I was an avid reader, especially non-fiction and encyclopaedias. I studied animals, cooking, engineering, and biology and any other book I could get my hands on. All this is to say I love the world, and I love my interpretation of reality.
These blended together in my early teenage years when I decided to direct my thirst for knowledge to the make-believe. What is the real-world magic? Because, obviously, stories had to come from something. Every myth, spell, witch’s hat and magic sword has a piece of reality embedded into its history somewhere and I was determined to find it. So I have spent more than a decade studying the intricate history and practice of magical systems.
A lifetime of studying
I started with western European alchemy – Paracelsus, Dee, Newton etc. – then turned to theurgy and theosophy. This then turned into LaVeyan Satanism (because every “edgy” teenage boy gets pushed into fascism and militant anti-theism one way or another), then theistic Luciferianism because society really isn’t great so let’s change it. Around the age of 16 I fell into the New Age movement though didn’t last long; however, I have held onto the shiny crystals and yoga but in a deeper way that is more connected with its roots and not the wealthy, white, “health and wellness” skinny influencer version. Over the past few years, I’ve also tried Wicca, Druidry, Paganism, modern and traditional Witchcraft, and the Cunning Arts of British history. All of them with their own incredible history and practice (though some require initiation).
Most of all, I’m fascinated by the history and progression of all of this. From the origins of superstition which we can see growing in elephant populations, to reading and studying ancient literature and classical myth, to biblical studies to the movement of religion, faith, magic, and science as the world moved forward further into the unknown. I deeply believe most people will find a practice, movement, or tradition that appeals to them and if there isn’t I’d love to help them develop their own modern mythology.
through to spirit banishing, or even just being there to listen, empathise, and resolve any issues you may be going through.
Leo at Yoga Dharma
Leo is brining his magic and folklore to Yoga Dharma and Shati Lounge on:
- Saturday 9th July