Gaian Times – Eco-Magazine #11 (Beltane/Summer 2015) published!

Hi all,   it gives me great pleasure to announce the publishing (online) of the latest Gaian Times eco-spiritual e-Magazine.

Take a look at  the new  mobile friendly site    www.GaianTimesMagazine.com

Gaian Times -11  May 2015 Cover-md

Regulars may know, previous issue#10 came out in Feb’2014, and the one for May’14 never manifested.  So this latest magazine is coming out after a year-long gap. ..and all the more reason to celebrate it!   :-)

My big thanks to the following Writers/ Contributors of this issue:

Ann Tomlin, David Rankine, Durlabh Singh, Jo Rowland, Kumar Devasan, Lisa De Fresne, Renard the Fire Druid, Rose Dixon, Vathani Navasothy

Contents (GT#11):

  • Editorial
  • Longtime Lover Returns (spring poem)
  • Aphrodisiacs – Food for Lovers
  • Aromatherapy for Beltane
  • The Catcher in the Sky – Swift Gifts
  • Animal Communications
  • Williams Syndrome Awareness month
  • Experiences of an Elder Pagan
  • Response to `Making Money’ article
  • Reiki : Personal path to divine healing energy
  • Sacred Geometry – Language of Relationship
  • Pagan Activism
  • Rome (Gallery)
  • Hollow Earth thoughts – Review of Earth Hour & Earth Day 2015
  • Taiji Terror Tales 2015 : London Demo at Trafalgar Square
  • Bhai Sehna (short story)
  • Beneficial Vitamins
  • People: Art of David Rankine
  • Chief Seatle (poem)
  • Astrology: Retrograde Planets in 2015
  • Sacred Journey – Pagan Federation London Conference 2015
  • Entertainment: Dalek-Om in Glastonbury
  • Gallery1 : Climate March London 2014
  • Gallery 2: Peaceful Demo Japanese Embassy – Stop the Ivory Trade
Contents of Gaian Times #11

Contents of Gaian Times #11

Best Wishes

-Mani Navasothy  (Director / Chief Editor)

Lunar Eclipse 4th April 2015 – Full astronomy, Astrology & Visibility data

Hi all,  there is a Total Lunar Eclipse coming up on 4th April 2015.  (which is two weeks after the total Solar Eclipse of 20/3/15).

Note on Magical works & interpretations: Am adding essential graphics (astronomy data & visibility map) .. Readers will note that I tend to create / present data and graphics that are of practical use, either for observation, or for the purpose of doing your own esoteric/ personal magical work during the times of these eclipses.  (In these cases, I try to avoid giving any/ extensive interpretations, as that `taints’ the reader’s subconscious. Eclipses are powerful enough ..and I have been personally doing `Eclipse Magic’ for so long.. that I prefer to let the magical potential of the eclipses be tuned int by interested readers/ magical practitioners  (Astro-mages, High Magicians and so on..). There are plenty of other blogs/ sites who give extensive interpretations..

Okay, back to this Eclipse…

Effectively, you can start to actually see the Moon beginning to be eclipsed (dark patch shows and and spreads) from 10:15am…and it will end by 1:44pm (Gmt).   Some where in the middle of this (3 hr 29 min period), we get the Total Eclipse of the moon – between 11:57am to 12:02pm (gmt)… for  duration of 4 mins 43sec.

But of course, Moon will be entering the penumbral shadow of the Earth long before it actually becomes noticeable to naked eye (at 9.01am) and it only leaves this penumbral shadow at 4.58pm.  (this part of it is of scientific interest ..and dare I say `magical’ interest only.. as it is not discernable to naked eye..

Astro data & graphics- Lunar Eclipse 4 April 2015- by Mani Navasothy    www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Astro data & graphics- Lunar Eclipse 4 April 2015- by Mani Navasothy http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

P1, P2, U1,U2, U3, U4 – Astronomy terms  for Eclipses explained:

P1:First penumbral contact occurs when the Moon first enters Earth’s penumbra,

U1: First umbral contact marks when the Moon is first shadowed by Earth’s darker umbra.

U2: Second umbral contact takes place at the beginning of totality, when the Moon is fully eclipsed by the Earth’s umbra,

U3: Third umbral contact  occurs at totality’s end.

U4: Last umbral contact  marks when the Moon completely leaves Earth’s umbra,

P2: Second penumbral contact  occurs when the Moon leaves the penumbra.

Note:  Partial lunar eclipses do not have U2 and U3 values, since those are reserved for when the Moon fully enters the Earth’s umbra. Rather, contact times for partial lunar eclipse are designated only P1, U1, U4, P2 respectively.

Astrology:  Planetary positions for this Eclipse (at 12:06hrs gmt)

Chart -Lunar Eclipse 4 April2015 (c) Mani Navasothy  www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Chart -Total Lunar Eclipse 4 April2015 (c) Mani Navasothy http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

The next set of Eclipses occur later in the year, a partial Solar Eclipse on 13th September’15 (in the sign of Virgo) , and a Total Lunar Eclipse on 28th Sept’15 (in the sign of Aries). I will of course cover full data/ presentations & preparations for those in a few months time.. (let’s live through this one first :-)

Stellar Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

link:

Supermoon – list of dates 2014- 2012

Astro data & Astrology for Total Solar Eclipse 20th March 2015

Page: Astrology– Beginners info on symbols, transits, charts & reading Ephemeris

my Eclipse Magic website (ebooks)

Woodland SPRING EQUINOX 2015 Ritual Gathering in Richmond Park – London (21st March 2015)

Hi All, here is the Spring Event that I will be personally facilitating, with Hern’s Tribe (woodland ritual group I founded some 11 yrs ago).    So come Join us for the the afternoon/ evening in Richmond Great Park, where the Deer roams freely (living symbol of Hern the Horned God).. for celebrate Spring Equinox. It’s when the daylight hours equal the night hours… time of balance.. and when the Sun enters Aries – first sign of the Zodiac. We’ll be marking these magically in our ceremony, and do empowering magical work for the coming year!! – Bright Spring Blessings. – Mani

Woodland Spring Equinox 2015

Woodland Spring Equinox 2015

Date: Saturday 21st March 2015
Venue: Richmond Great Park.
Time: Meet-up by Richmond Gate (entrance to Richmond Park) by 2 pm.   (post code : TW10 6RR)

Google map link:   https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4504099,-0.2953595,18z?hl=en

Transport:
Please get to Richmond Station (British Rail / Tube). Outside the station, take the bus 371 (going towards Richmond Hill). This goes past Richmond Gate/ Star & Garter Home. After about 10 minutes in bus, get down at the `American University’ stop…and walk forward (5 mins) to Richmond Gate..

Those driving by car can park inside the park (closest car park to Richmond Gate). It’s free parking. Then walk back to the gate and meet us.

Duration: 

Hern’s Tribe woodland rituals are `gatherings’ and generally organic. It’s best to arrive and flow with events..or even go exploring the woods. It is best to allow 4-5 hours for these events, so that you can have the best magical & communal experience.

WHAT HAPPENS – General details for HT events   (some changes occur for specific events/ venues).

We’ll have the usual combination of social, setting up altar/ sacred space, seasonal ritual, chants & Drumming, magical work (including eco-magic and sometimes healing work). -Experienced HT members set up altar/ quarters, some prep for ritual fire, any cover sheets (if raining).
-You can ask to help.. :-)

RITUAL  (this will be adapted for individual events):

Basic format——-

-Generally, we begin with clearing the space (sweeping, tidying up)
-Hern Call (chanting `Hern’ nine times)
-Shamanic consecrations (Incense, rattle, drums, salt-water, essential oil)
-Creating magical circle (words/ wand/ staff)
-Calling of Elements & animal quarters / spirits.
-Invoking Horned God / Goddess energies
-Variation of seasonal myth (sometimes)
-Magical work ( group work, personal, eco, healing etc)
-Blessing of Food & Drinks
-Feasting & Socials.
– Drumming & Chants & Dancing
-Any trance work (this is unpredictable.)

RITUAL items to bring:
– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

** Please make sure you take these back immediately after ritual is over, so they don’t get misplaced in the dark
** Items placed on altar may get handled or photographed by others. Plans for 2015—
In the past we have ritually explored various myths & legends. In 2015, we’ll continue this – by working with various Horned Gods & Goddesses, woodland spirits etc.

ALL WELCOME:
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
-Non-pagans, friends/ families & children of pagans are welcome.

FOOD & DRINKS TO SHARE:
Here are some suggestions–

-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).
BE MINDFUL / Interruptions / Phone calls:
-At all times, we ask you to be mindful of any serious ceremony / meditation/ trance/ healing/ magical works going on, and not interrupt or be intrusive.
-Please don’t use mobile phones etc during ritual. (may not work in woods anyway!)

PHOTOS/ Recordings:
-These are semi-private events (even though they are in public woods/Park).
-Not everyone may like being photographed by a stranger!!
-No recording during ritual please.
-Feel free to take pics of altar, of your self in ritual setting, and of your friends there.. (If you are going to put them in blogs/ facebook etc..ask others in them..before tagging anyone you are not too familiar with.. It’s basic privacy etiquette!)

OUTDOOR PREP:
Please see our website  for guidelines on what to bring, how to be prepared for outdoor rituals in woodlands, and some health & safety instructions.

BAGS in the Park :
-Please keep space tidy.. and your own belongings/ bags at a suitable place. It gets dark.. So ensure you can find them easily afterwards. But also ensure they are not in the way that others may trample over it in the dark!
-If you put anything on the altar, please remember to take it back..(and not anyone else’s item by mistake).
-Please don’t leave things behind.. we don;t always find them..when tidying up in dark..

HELP with tidying up/ taking rubbish back to  bins is greatly appreciated.

CLOTHES / BLANKETS / SEATS:
-Please wear sensible outdoor cloths…waterproof is better..and good shoes (always) to walk in slippery or muddy surface. If you have a walking stick/ Magical Staff, do bring it, as it helps with walking in the woods – and you can use it in the ritual..!!
-Feel free to bring picnic blankets/ sheets to sit on (ground may be wet)
-Bring small light camping-style stool or chair to sit on (be mindful of carrying bulky objects while walking up slopes/ wet ground).

-Mani Navasothy
(Founder/ Hern’s Tribe)

Link

Hern’s Tribe –  www.Hern-Tribe.org

Meetup:  London Woodland Witches, Druids, Outdoor Pagans

Earth Hour 2015 – Eco Ceremony & Candle-lit Social in London (28th March’15)

Our annual eco-event in  London to observe Earth Hour! The idea is to switch off all non-essential electric appliances, lights..  So what better than to get to the park…some green space..and be in candle-light…with like-minded friends? !!

Earth Hour 2015 – Eco-Ceremony & Candle-lit social in Central London (28March2015)

 

In the past we have facilitated a Candle-lit walk along the river Thames. This time, we are planning to gather in a local park – and have a circle of Candles around us, as we observe Earth Hour.

So come and join me and my Eco-friends ..from about 7.3pm onwards.. for meeting & greeting..and socialising. And around 8.30pm, when the actual Earth Hour begins.. we will gently go into a small meditation, followed by an Eco-Ceremony (may last abut 20-3omins). Then we shall continue with socials, an outdoor Picnic and merriment..

Venue: St.James Royal Park  (open to public till 12 midnight!)

Transport: see park info : https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/st-jamess-park/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-here

Meeting point:   `Inn the Park’ (outside this Restaurant in St.James Park).

Meeting time:   Please be outside the `Inn the Park’ by 7.30pm, so we can gather walk up to a suitable spot in the park and do the eco-ceremony at 8.30pm.   After that we can socialise (candle-lit picnic!!)

Earth Hour Shield( - created in 2014 for rituals (c) Mani Navasothy 2014

It is important, that while so many of us care about the Earth and eco-causes, and fight ever day to resolve make the problems of our World, we also must create time for being Happy, to connect with like-minded humans, strengthen our ties, power up one another’s motivations and spread hope – that the World will get better!!

Those will be the focus of the Ceremony. So people of any and all religions & faiths welcome.

There are no protests, no campaigns…no slogans.. Only a few evening hours of total positivity & peace.

All I ask is that those who come do so with an open & tolerant mind, and with peace & harmony in their hearts.

This is a family-friendly event. So do bring your small children .(wrap up warm though! It gets cold by the open spaces of the river Thames).

Do bring picnic food & drinks to share ..:-)

-Mani Navasothy

 

Links

Gaian Times Eco-Spiritual Magazine (free online)

London Woodland Witches Druids Eco-Magicians & Outdoor Pagans (Meetup group)

Isidias Navigatum- Goddess Isis Blessing of the Fleet – Ritual in London (by river Thames)

It gives me great magical honour to invite you to this  3rd annual ceremony in London, by the river Thames.  Originally it was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back.  You will have heard the saying, `waiting for my ship to come in’ – a saying that indicates a person waiting for his /her good fortunes to arrive.  Well, in order for ships to come in they must first be sent out – and with blessings and good plans.  We are adapting the  old ceremony to suit the times and place we now live it!  In this ceremony, we will bless the `fleet’ and place our hopes and wishes of good fortune and success in the ventures we are starting as Spring approaches. We then set the ships to sail (some will be sent.. other larger models will be pulled back, so as not to litter river Thames).

Date: Sunday 1st March 2015

Time: 1.30pm onwards (allow 4+ hrs)

Location: Riverside area, Richmond Upon Thames, London

Meeting point:  Meet us at Richmond Train Station between 1.15pm – 1.30pm. We’ll get walking (takes 15-20mins) to the ritual spot by the riverside.

Isidias Navigatum Blessing the Fleet ritual 2015 London

Isidias Navigatum Blessing the Fleet ritual 2015 London

Code of conduct:
While there is a social element to these gatherings, many of us do take these magical rituals seriously. We ask that you observe the `atmosphere’ and be mindful of when to be sociable and when to be serious (usually when the ritual starts!). Organisers do use humour to lighten the mood at times (and to make newcomers feel at ease).
We ask all to be in good public behaviour, as we will be in a public place.

Fee: A donation of £2 is welcome towards our costs and continued running of these rituals and our meetup group.

Ritual outline :

A statue of the Goddess will be carried to the water side. Women may offer mirrors so that Goddess Isis may see her beauty. We will pour milk on the banks then sprinkle the statue with precious perfumes & flowers. As the final part of the ritual, a small replica boat(s) will be filled with spices and other magical items, and sent (out to sea) as an offering to the Goddess Isis.

Bring your own boats for this ritual..

 

Bring your own small boats!

Be it paper boats or small scale models – to either sail them on the river Thames afterwards, or to symbolically place them on our altar during ritual, to gain the blessings of Isis for your own ventures ahead in 2015.

Practical  details

Meet us at Richmond Train station (just by coffee shop inside the main foyer!).  Meeting 1.30pm.. We’ll walk together to the ritual spot by the river..for ceremony & feasting.  We expect to be back by station at 4.30pm-5pm..  and visit a cafe or pub to socialise (in warmth).

**Please wear absolutely sensible shoes, warm & water poof cloths** ..  Our rituals go ahead whatever the weather.. and how ever many or few people attend. We do them for serious magical purpose!   So no need to double check ..if its snowing or  blowing storms! Just turn up and take a chance..  Magic is supposed to be wild and tied with nature!!

All are Welcome to attend these . Do contact us and contribute with your creativity, knowledge & magic for these new explorations..

Gathering Format: 

Our Gatherings normally take the following form

a) Meeting at the Richmond Station, at appointed place, and then walking together to the selected Ritual area.

b) Pre-Ritual Social & setting up altar / getting into ritual cloths and explanation of ritual (delegating some ritual roles to people who are interested).

c) Ritual

d) Feasting & Social

e) Taking down altar, packing & tidy-up, and departures (Individuals make their own way back).

*Some people leave as soon as Ritual is complete. Others stay longer to enjoy socials & bonding with our friends.

Please bring Food & drinks to share. It can be a bottle of wine, soft drinks, hot drinks (in a flask), short eats, snacks, bread, butter, cheese, humus, cakes, salads, pasta and so on.

Privacy/Photos :
As it is a public place, passers-by may take photos or watch from a distant. That is unavoidable.  If you do not wish to be identified, you may bring a ritual mask and wear it.   Members of our ritual group may also take photos.  But we ask that no photos are taken during the setting up of altar or ritual itself.  There will be plenty of opportunities after the ritual..  to pose with the altar and others. Thank you :-)

Students/ Researchers / Journalists:   You are welcome to `genuinely participate’ in the ritual (no note taking or filming!!) .  But please understand these are real magical ritual explorations – for the organisers, ritual group,  and for participants attending these.  Being observed, probed with questions, photographed or analysed can completely destroy their magical experiences and spiritual purpose of these events.

**A quick self-check is not to do anything you won’t do in a Church, Hindu temple or Islamic Mosque.   These pagan rituals are similarly important to the pagans doing them..!! **

Bright Blessings

Mani Navasothy

 

Join Our Meetup:  

London Woodland Witches Druids Eco-Magicians & Outdoor Pagans

London Woodland Witches, Wiccans, Eco-Magicians & Outdoor Pagans (meetup group)

Hi all, I like to take a moment to publicise the meetup group I run.  Although I’ ve been organising rituals for over a decade, the meetup groups was only set up about 11 months ago.. where I now put all the different types of ceremonies & rituals I organise..as well as a few that I attend (Druid rituals).    Here’s the full info..  and the link is at the bottom.   If you are in London and like to attend these, do follow the link and join..  Most events can be accessed without actually joining..but joining means you get the automated reminder few days prior, so you’ll not forget :-) BB.   -Mani

meetup--  London woodland witches & outdoor pagans

meetup– London woodland witches & outdoor pagans

London Woodland Witches Druids Eco-Magicians & Outdoor Pagans

Welcome!   Join us for Rituals & Pagan Social gatherings in London – and explore  Paganism, Druidry, Wicca & Witchcraft,  and  Eco-Magical workings!  Our events are a friendly mixture of formal ceremonies &  informal socials. These events take place in various public Woodlands, parks and outdoor settings in London. We also add  indoor socials/ pagan moots. All of these are great for Beginner wanting a friendly introduction to Wicca & witchcraft, Pagan ceremonies, ritual magic, and for meeting like-minded people.

Connect with fellow Seekers, Magicians and Pagans!

Enjoy feasting & socialising after the ritual. (Bringing food, drinks & wine to share – Wiccans love the social as much as the rituals!)

Why Woods & Outdoors? On Weather & Power of Nature: 

If you are looking for the real energies and powers of nature – for personal empowerment, then being regularly outdoors, experiencing nature.. (no matter how challenging it gets at times!) is the best way. For our events, you can attend in ordinary outdoor cloths.. (warm and water-proof)  and/or put on cloaks & robes or other tribal cloths once you arrive at  the ritual area..!.  At times, it will be sunny and warm. Or wet, wild and stormy. And attuning to those energies, energises you, liberates you, empowers you!  That is magic…and that is what it means to know real untamed awesome power of nature!.

———————————- Types of Events we organise ————–

Woodland Witchcraft & Wicca Rituals  –(monthly, on the evening of Full moons, or evening before. If it falls on a weekend, we start earlier in the evening. If on a week/work day, we keep these punctual and to the point)

 Seasonal pagan Festivities ––  (8 times a year, on a saturday/ sunday  close to the Sabbat – Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, Autumn, Samhain, Yule.   we organise our own Eclectic/shamanic gatherings under `Hern’s Tribe’.  We also visit our friends’ `Druid rituals’)

• River Thames-based   rituals – (started in 2006, we had 8-10 rituals a year, but now focus on special Thames-Isis rituals or other special ones ..about 3-4 times a year.  Some take place in central London, others near Richmond – but always by the river Thames, and often at low tides, so we can work on the banks of the river Thames..)

• Eco-magical explorations / Gaia Guardians– We believe in using magic & ceremony for the benefit & healing of not just us humans, but also the Earth, Environment & animals.  Eco-Magic is a ceremony or even a small part of another ritual that focuses on this kind of work.  We meet for special days such as Earth Hour, Earth Day, Peace Day.   We now plan to meet more often just for these events – Walking & exploring woodlands;  Meditation & Nature-spirituality;  Eco-art;  Nature photography

• Social Events, Pagan Moots, Trips and camps —   We are also very sociable.  Some of us attend Pagan moots (pub socials) that our friends organise;  In the Summer, we organize  a Pagan Camp in the Epping Camp site; And at various other times, we gather up our pagan friends and go for trips in or out of London – to festivals (Edinburgh Beltane, Hasting Jack O Green, Eastbourne Lammas, Carshalton Jack,  October Plenty, Notting Hill Carnival..and so on).

—————— What we do magically in or rituals —————

Being a Witch, Druid or Shaman is not about  power and control – but gaining mastery of inner forces, clarity and empowerment – while working with external forces.   It is about sharing that knowledge and wisdom with others (being a Wise-Man or Wise-woman), changing the world for better with your own magical skills – bit by bit!

• Consecrations, Magic Circle & 4 Elements –  We consecrate people and the space using candles, incense, bells, rattle; We cast a protective magic circle/ sacred space using a wand, staff or athame (witch’s knife), and open gateways to elements (Air, fire, water, Earth) in 4 directions – east, south, west, north.

• Chants, drums, dance –  we use chanting, drumming and circle / spiral dance at ceremonies to raise energy and to shift our focus before or during rituals;

• Spells & ritual Magic – Paganism & Witchcraft involve doing magic spells..  using symbols drawn on objects, visualising, lighting candles, tying knots on cords/strings, planting seeds, cooking food mindfully,  and so on.

• Masks, Ritual & Enactment – Wearing masks, robes & cloaks allows ritualists to shift perception – their own and others in the ritual; We also write a ritual (scripted like a play), allocate parts/ roles to volunteers, prepare/ memorise some of that in advance, and enact those rituals; Themes can be seasonal (harvest, birth of Sun child, marriage of God & Goddess), or mythological (Hero’s quest, Fool’s Journey, blessing of boats, birthday of Isis and so on).

• Gods & Goddesses and Magic:   We work with Pan (Fertility, lust), Aphrodite (Love & sensuality), Cernunnos (Lord of the animals), Hern the Hunter-god, Diana the Virgin-Huntress who can not be owned my any man, Gaia the mother goddess.. and other deities. We always aim to do some personal magical work (in the group), spells, chants, a bit of spiral dance.. and also put energy towards eco-magic to help protect environment & endangered wildlife in the world.  

If all this sounds too much – don’t panic!  We give you plenty of explanation and notes at the start, in an informal sociable way..    Our websites are full of information articles, videos and blog links to give you plenty of background. And you can always contact the Organiser/ facilitator and chat about any of these.

—————————————————-

Note to  Students/ Researchers / Journalists:  You are welcome to `genuinely participate’ in the ritual (NO note taking!!) .  But please understand these are real magical ritual explorations.  Being observed, probed with questions, photographed or analysed can completely destroy their magical experiences and spiritual purpose of these events.

————————————————–

About the Organiser:

Mani Navasothy   – Sri Lankan Asian, brought up as a Hindu;  Wiccan High Priest (initiated in Gardnerian tradition in London);    20 yrs of Witchcraft, wicca & Coven experience;  11 years of running regular Open rituals indoors & outdoors in London; Previous Events Manager for `Pagan Federation London’ (7 yrs);  Has given numerous  Talks, workshops, media/radio interviews; Astrologer, published Esoteric author (6 books in KIndle),  Visionary Artist.   Mani integrates creativity, magic, eclectic shamanism, primal side of Witchcraft, as well as transpersonal psychology in most of the events.

London Woodland Witches Druids Eco-Magicians & Outdoor Pagans

Hanuman – The Monkey God in Hind Epic `Ramayanam’

Here is the extended version of what I recently wrote on my facebook wall, about Hanuman.  He is a monkey – who is supposedly an incarnation of Lord Shiva.  Hanuman is the  son of of Vayu (God of Air) and a mortal Lady Anjana.    He can also fly.. well he’s a monkey and is able to leap over mountains and stay up in the air.. (Son of Vayu..god of Air). Another ability that Hanuman has is to grow into a giant form.

Photo is from facebook page Astro Ulagam . Photo Credits : Justin Tiew

Photo is from facebook page Astro Ulagam . Photo Credits : Justin Tiew

In the epic story Ramayanam,  Lord Raman and his brother travel through the various forests looking for Rama’s wife Sita who has been abducted by a Demon King called Ravanan.     Raman comes across a Monkey-Prince who is living in fear in a cave with his close ministers and confidants (one of whom is Hanuman).   Once the brutish and most powerful Monkey Lord Vali has been defeated by Rama,    Hanuman and other monkeys choose to help Rama help with the search for Sita.

It is Hanuman who leaps across the oceans, lands in Lanka (kingdom ruled by the demon King Ravanan) and eventually finds Sita ..who is imprisoned in a forest prison.     Hanuman manages to meet Sita, pass message from Raman, takes a message from Sita, and eventually returns to Rama..  Great war ensues and Raman & his army defeat Ravana and free Sita.

Three events that are worth highlighting..  

1.  Burning of Lanka:  After secretly meeting Sita in the forest prison, Hanuman causes problems and is caught (he allows himself to be caught) by Ravana.  When his tail is wrapped in fabric and it is set on fire by the demons,  Hanuman escapes…takes up his giant form..and using the lit tail as a burning torch, he sets flame to many parts of Lanka…  before leaving….(to go back to Rama & Lakshman and tell them he has located Sita).

2. Carrying the healing mountain:  During the war itself, at one point, due to magical trickery, both Raman & his brother Lakshman are mortally hurt and appear to fall in battle and die.    A special healing herb was required to help them..  So Hanuman leaps off to find the herbs that only grow in a certain mountain range.  As he was unsure which was the correct her, he uproots the entire mountain..carries it to the battle zone…where upon the essence of the herbs waft over the fallen Raman & Lakshman…and they awake.  (Hanuman then returns the mountain to its proper place).

Hindus  worship Hanuman as a powerful demi-god in his own right, and Hanuman is often depicted as flying with the mountain in his hands.

3. Giant Chariot in War:  In another moment during the war,   Raman’s chariot is destroyed by the demon king Ravanan.    And Raman is left standing on the grounds of the war zone.   Hanuman immediately assumes his giant form, and carries Raman and Lakshman on his shoulders, so that they may continue to fight the war on equal footing.who helped Raman & Lukshman win the war against Ravanna the Demon. In one of the stories, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. Hanuman is the Son .

Hanuman and Sani (Shani) or Saturn:

It is also said that Hanuman rescued Sani (Saturn) from the clutches of Ravana (when Hanuman was bound up by Ravana and set fire to his tail..)

Perfect Devotee of Raman :

In one of the chapters of Ramayanam, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found.   In another section, (after Raman & Sita return to their kingdom),  Hanuman is given a gift of pearl necklace.  He then set about pulling the necklace apart, and breaks each pearl.  When asked why he was destroying the pearls, Hanuman answers that he was merely looking to `see’ if he can find Raman & Sita inside each pearl.

These two incidents illustrate Hanuman’s devotional nature towards Raman & Sita.  All he wanted to do ..during and after the war was to worship and serve Raman & Sita.

Tale of monkey tail (meeting Beeman) 

In the other great epic Mahabharatham,,   one of the pancha-pandavas (5 brothers on the side of good) was going through the forest when he comes upon an old monkey sleeping on the side of the path..with his tail across the path.  Beema (being the strongest man in that story) demands the monkey move.   The monkey refuses but says that Beeman may pass if he can move the tail aside.  Aggravated,  Beeman tries to brush aside the monkey’s tail..then lifting it..  He fails…and realises his own ego..  And the monkey reveals himself to be none other than Hanuman.  It transpires that Beeman is also the son of Vayu (God of Air). So the brothers embrace.    Beeman then asks Hanuman to help the pandavas in the coming war.  Hanuman says he is tired of wars and will not fight again, but promises to watch over their welfare.

Monkey Flag:

The lead archer Archunan (one of the 5 brothers, the Pandavas) rides in a chariot (piloted by none other than Lord Krishnan himself..another long story). This chariot flies a flag that has the image of Hanuman..   and this is the `blessings’ that Hanuman had promised Beeman.

Well,  I grew up reading the Hindu epics Ramayana (and Mahabaratham) ..so Hanuman is one of my favourite Gods.. The above are things I have written from a long term memory ..(it’s been over 30+ years since I read the hindu epics).

It is worth saying, that I am now starting work on an art/ writing project  connected to hindu epics, and so will be re-reading Ramayanam & Mahabharatham (in tamil) soon..  Watch my blog for updates in the coming months :-)

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

ps.  I have used when possible, the Tamil pronunciations for the various Hindu epics and characters. Tamil versions usually end with an `m’ or an `n’..where as the Hindi / English way of writing ends with an `a’.  For example,  Ramayanam (Ramayana), Mahabharatham (Mahabharatha), Raman (Rama), Ravanan (Ravana).

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Avatars of Vishnu

youtube video: Hanuman chants