All posts by Mani Navasothy

Visionary Artist, published Author, Astrologer, Pagan Teacher, Wiccan High Priest & Ritual magician, Photographer/ Digital Film Maker; Sci-fi/ Doctor Who fan!

Thai Pongal – Harvest Festival of Tamils

Thai Pongal

Happy Thai Pongal.

That’s what Tamils and other Indians who celebrate this festival say to one another at this time.

It’s the same as wishing someone `Happy New Year’ – because for farmers in Indian countries, this is actually a new year. Well, not just for farmers – it is the beginning of the new calendar for Tamils and marks the first day of the new year.  Thai is the name of the first month.

The rituals for Thai Pongal involve people clearing their homes of clutter and old unwanted items (sometimes burning them), sweeping of the whole house and washing the floors (if cement or concrete), then purifying the home with ringing of bells, incense and so on. On the day of Pongal, all household members will rise early, look to the rising Sun and make a prayer, then take a bath / shower (anointing themselves with special water blessed by priest from a nearby temple). All then wear new cloths.  The matriarch or lady of the household will cook the special milk-rice in the heart fire, and bring it on a plate to the family altar. Here everyone gathers to offer prayer, songs and worship. Then the rice and other sweet food items are shared, and offered through out the day to any arriving guests. Chewing sugar-cane  or sugar-candy is also tradition, as well as giving gifts to all – new cloths, religious statues or artefacts, furniture etc. Greeting cards are exchanged between family members, friends, relatives and work colleagues.

Here’s wishing you a fruitful year ahead. May all the seeds you plant be nurtured by the earth and rain, and energised by the Sun..

Shooting brings us closer to God??

A friend posted the following in a social network in his status-bar.

This may sound strange , but ive just come back from shooting and pleased with myself cos I shot 99 out of 100. After shooting I feel a sense of deep inner peace and Zen. I also have that blissful post orgasm feeling. Guns have given my the inner spiritual peace i search so long for. Guns have also brought me and xxxx.. closer than anything else in our somewhat strange relationship. I think taking up shooting is the ultimate relationship bonder and the way to getting closer to god.

My response:

 “I used to practice my air-pistol in back garden 20+ yrs back.. til lady next door started a panic that I may shoot her cat. The hobby never went further than a year of shooting club in Uni. But some years back, one morning when I woke up to find a Heron by my garden pond, with a goldfish in its beak, first I thought of was to shoot it from my window – to save rest of my goldfish! By the time I dug out pistol and cocked it, heron had flown. Moral of the story – I don;t trust the beast within us that is used to weapons, for in a fit of rage, one day ..it may break free of reason – no matter how clever and controlled we think we are! How can the act of practicing a sport that stems from intent to kill bring us close to God and inner peace? The psychology is all wrong there I fear.”

Someone else has commented that, “martial arts training has a spiritual side, like the Kung Fu monks – I think it has a lot to do with the attitude with which the discipline is approached”.

What do people think?   You comments welcome on this matter..

-Mani

PM David doing a Goliath in Hospitals

Prime Minister’s body language very Gung-Ho!!

Saw the News earlier this evening (6th Jan’12) – showed our Prime Minister David Cameron visiting a hospital, shaking hands with the nurses – something about cutting out the paper works that nurses face, so that they can spend more time hands-on with actual patients!  Let me leave the issue of PM barking up a tree that already has been barked at!   (Across the street, Guys Hospital Nurses gave an interview, saying they already have a system of reducing / monitoring their paperwork loads so they can focus on patients!)

What actually pissed me off was our PM’s body language!!   I’d seen this exact  scene before, on a previous of his Hospital visits which had media coverage.   In both cases, he had a white shirt on (not a crime) – with his tie tucked into front of shirt, and long sleeves of shirt rolled up to elbow height – all presumably for hygienic reasons, to avoid contamination?

Or a bloody visual statement  – “Look at me, I’m in the front line, in the trenches, ready to roll me sleeves and stand as one of you!”

In Hospitals, Mr Prime Minister, even Doctors wear long sleeves, and ties, and they don’t all roll it all up, especially when they are just doing walkabouts in admin areas, nurses desks etc. (I’ve been there, even watched an actual  minor surgery on a man’s brain..)

Stop playing to the media Mr.Cameron!   Unless you are actually in an Operating Theater in a hospital performing surgery, you don’t need to do all that rolling tie & sleeves routine!!

-Mani

Saved a child’s life today

I was in Bush Hill Park (Enfield, North London) for my appointment with my Osteopath. Afterwards, busy sorting some letters, and was crossing the street – opposite the pub `Bush Hill Park’  next to the station by the same name, around 4.45pm.

I’d crossed the road (one of those islands in the middle), and saw 2 ladies behind me, and a child – no more than 3 yrs old.  The child ran in front… to cross the next part of the road, and I saw a car coming fast around the bend.   Quickly put my hand forward, blocked child and pulled him/her back – as car sped past!!   The ladies shouted at child, thanked me and grabbed his/ her hand.  I walked on to the station, went up and down the bridge to other side, to the post office.

That’s when it hit me…  as I was crossing the  bridge over railway track to other side – I’d just saved a child from a hit-and-run. At the very least there would have been broken bones, and worse – death!    I was suddenly choked, and overwhelmed by tears.

Exactly 22 years and 3 days ago , someone hit my father when he was crossing the road after work, maybe around 4.30pm- 5pm in London.  It defined my rediscovery of spirituality, paganism, life & death.   Today.. this.

I’ve always lived by my code – every life is worth saving.  But I’ve been conflicted inside recently, as I’ve been trying to get rid of a mouse in my room for over a week.   But this is a human life – one of 8 billion of the world – that I saved today. The enormity of it hits!   I can’t explain that feeling in words!!!

-Mani

Storm Chasing: Wind, me and the Willow

Here’s some exhilarating news  about last night!

Parts of UK have been battered about by high winds last night (early hours of 5th Jan’12) and half of the following day.   There have been gusts of winds reaching 60-70mph.

I was bust doing work on the laptop – and part of me kept wanting to go out in the garden and experience the stormy weather – cos I like doing that, and ave done so before (once went out by the coast at midnight to see the sea front in midst of  70+mph winds. Then promptly went back to the B&B I was staying, got April out of bed, wrapped up carefully, and got her out too … just for few minutes! Wow)

Back to last night – well, the winds hadn’t ceased, and by 4.45am, I fully succumbed to the temptation – got out of pyjamas, put on proper outdoor cloths, coat, scarf, hat – promptly carried my magical Sword – and went out to the Willow tree in the garden!   And climbed the long ladder that’s been kept there… to mid-section of the tree (to branches above height of a 1st floor roof, but big enough to carry my weight without snapping).

It was fantastic!   I stayed up there for a good 20 minutes, experiencing each wave of gusts – doing various visual and magical works , of clearing the cobwebs from my mind.   (I had not been up the tree since the Neighbours had cut parts of it one afternoon, without our permission, and against our express instructions! And of course, I have been suffering bad back-pains and getting treatment – and it creates a slow-settling fear that itself can be debilitating).    So it was good to be up there – to reconnect, and let go of that trauma, for me, and no doubt for the Willow tree too!

It must have been some sight – if anyone had seen me – standing up a tree at such night time, holding and waving a sword about, facing the winds!

At some points, I closed my eyes (after ensuring my foothold was secure and I wasn’t going to slip on damp tree-trunk or branches)- and just felt the tree sections move me about.   It truly felt – if at all possible – like I was riding a Dragon in the sky!!

After such an experience – life looks different!  And all of today, I have been working fiercely, as if there is a storm-force inside me.

There probably is one!

Mouse-Watch (penultimate chapter)

The ongoing problems of rodent in my room came to a conclusion last night – at last!

Despite 3 of those electronic sonic repellers in my room positioned at various directions (more intricate coverage than a laser-scanned vault in a mission:impossible movie!), and traps etc, the little rodent has been still running about.  It was only around 11.30pm, few nights ago, as I was working on my laptop, that it scuttled down the curtain by the window..  and ran under a bookshelf. I looked up to the plant pot on the shelf atop that shelf – and instantly, like a rapid-flash-forward in a movie (honest), many observations all fitted in –  the various little disturbed soils on all the plant pots, the small scattered bits of corn on altar and books below window, the reason why no amount of poisoned bait was being taken etc.

These were the deductions:  The mouse has been nesting in various holes in soils of the plant pots;   It has been nibbling away at the ears of corn I had on my `horn of plenty’ hanging by window, and also positioned on top shelf of the altar-frames above fire place;  and since there was a large supply of natural food supply of corn (I had picked some from a field in late summer), the mouse did not need to reach for any of the poisoned blue-tinted grains on the floor – all its food was above ground!

I sent nearly 3 hrs clearing it all out, removing all the corn & grain.   Then as I watched between 3.30am and 5.30am, it ran about, looking at various spots.  I had to sleep with my table-lamp pointing at obvious areas of the floor (and towards fireplace) to keep it away!

Next day I went to the shops  and got some `mouse pasta’ (pound shop?), and spread it all over obvious routes (as per my observations of night before). I went out to see some friends..and when I came back 4hrs later, I noticed some of the `food’ had been nibbled.  And I heard no scuttles last night…or tonight!

This whole episode (feels more like a Series!) has taken between 23rd Dec- 4th Jan.    Hopefully I can now sleep better, as there’s so much to get done!

Ps.  Earlier in the summer of last year, there was a rodent problem in my partner’s house…mainly her room’s floors and walls! In her case, we think it was a rat or a squirrel – the sound it made every night got worse, rattling water pipes, every time it moved up and down, as if a fright train was driving through the walls!    I am NOT exaggerating!!  It kept her (and me) sleepless for so many nights for nearly 2 months! It at times even felt surreal …as if the Squirrel was a Ghost wearing Chains, and rattling it about …like a Ghost of Christmas future!

Oh, the picture here is a photo of a tiny mouse (dead) that my partner found in her kitchen (no that wasn’t the big Rat on Chains!)

In case anyone who has mouse as pets is reading this – my apologies. In case anyone who thinks am making a mountain out of a mole-hill (!) – wait till you have a problem like these, and when you can’t sleep in your own room, then you’ll know.

And for all others who suffer such problems- my sympathies!  Contact me for moral support, cos I understand.

And finally- remember that rodents carry fleas that carry plagues!!   And mouse-urine can cause all sorts of diseases.  So wear gloves when dealing with it;   And final final Health & Safety note-   Be careful when handling mouse -poison!   I know we can get a packet of it for under £1 …but it can kill.. even humans!

Jupiter-Moon (aka Happy New Year 2012)

Happy New Year!

First blog of the year 2012 – and so many thoughts and observations to blog about. Where to start?

Okay this isn’t exactly in the chronological order – but then, they say neither is Time itself – that is to say, Time is not linear??! And Space-Time is warped and the closest distance between 2 points is not a straight line, but a curved line etc.

Back to the New Year. Or rather to the picture.  This one was taken on 2nd Jan’12, at 23.59hrs.  It’s been brightened slightly, contrast increased, and obviously reduced in size.   But apart from that, what you see is the waxing moon and the planet Jupiter – no special effects. Just a digital camera set to 3 Megapixels, put on 10 seconds timer to reduce any shakes, sat on a normal ladder outside, and put on night mode (takes an exposure of about 4-5 seconds I think).

Astrologers say Jupiter and Moon are both auspicious, and Venus – so am posting this picture as the first entry of 2012  (I saw all 3 a few days later at the same time…albeit separated by half a sky.  They will be conjunct in a few moons, so should appear right next to each other).

I’ll put a reminder nearer the time.  Meanwhile, around 24th January, we should see Moon with Venus. Am hoping for a photo like this for that event.  If you have a digital camera, just go out there and take it.  Astronomy starts easy!!

-Mani

Stellar Event of 2012 – Transit of Venus

TRANSIT of VENUS    (6th June 2012)

The biggest astronomical event of 2012 – that both Scientists and Astrologers are talking about – is the Venus transit of the Sun!   This is where the planet Venus is going to be `seen’ passing in front of the Sun.  (It’s like a Solar Eclipse – where the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun and blocks out the Sun temporarily..  But because of the stellar distances involved, Venus will be seen as a little spot moving across the width of the Sun.  (Warning: do not look at this with naked eyes or any optical devices. It will blind you). It happens every 100+ years or so, and so is very unique.  It happens in pairs – and what we are about to see in 2012 is the 2nd of the pair (first of this pair was in 2004, and lasted 6 hrs!).  Next one will be in the year 2117 – and none of us alive today will see it again!!

“Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years .”  Says the Wikipedia article.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_of_Venus

I am in the process of writing about the astrological symbology of this, as well as the Eclipse-Magic that can be done centered around the Transit of Venus.  The `Eclipse-Magic e-workbook‘ will be published in early 2012.   Keep an eye on my website  http://www.craftandmagic.org/ for details of this in January.

-Mani

ps. Reminder:   BBC Tv’s  Astronomy show  `Stargazing Live!’    returns in January 2012  – for 3 nights – 16th, 17th & 18th January (8pm on BBC2). It covers the surface of the Moon, our galaxy the Milky Way, and Planets beyond Solar system (is here life out there?!)   I’ll do a reminder nearer the time.

Ghosts of the past – aiding the dead

On the eve of New Year.. and there is one thing I have been meaning to write about – before I can move on into the future!

It began with a dream on the morning of 25th December – in which April and I visited a hospital, where I met her mother – who was dying! To cut a long dream short, in the dream, many things got resolved between all 3 of us. And then I saw the elderly lady (Jean) free of all the needles and tubes, glow and float, and fall! Bearing in mind, I once came very close to meeting her (who would be my mother-on-law) in a hospital few years ago – but never actually met her, and since then had only seen 1 photo of her – I think this was a remarkable dream. It had elements of magic – of aiding a suffering person to pass through the veil.   Half a day later, when my back-pain issues started, I pushed this dream aside. But it was worth mentioning.

It wasn’t just in that dream that I had `performed’ a passing-through magical work. Few years ago, my sister and I did a very similar – albeit slightly Hindu version – ceremony for my uncle Sathyamoorthy who was suffering from cancer, and in a nursing home in Kent. That night he passed away.  And going back about 7-8 years, the first time I did that sort of a ceremony was for Maureen Brown  on Christmas Day  (Wiccan High Priestess and Psychologist, who had taught me so much of magic and psychology). That evening, she passed away. Previously she and I had discussed portals and the voids..   and it suddenly came to the forefront of my mind that afternoon. A fellow coven member and HPS  was part of the ceremony.

Some 20+ years ago, a few days after New Year, my father Navasothy (that was his first name, which in Tamil custom, become my Surname!) met with a road accident while crossing the road and died. It was a singular event that set me off – initially into a faithless spin- and brought me into the world of Paganism & Magical spirituality.   And reaching further back, to when I was 5 years, I saw my paternal grandfather die, at home, in his bed, surrounded by family. I was in my father’s arms that moment, and I remember crying because I had seen my father cry!

To this day, even such things as very old bones I find on the banks of river Thames (in London) tend to have a strong psychic effect on me – anything from tingles in the head, a burning sensation of the face, heaviness of the chest area, or head-ache that takes half  day to fade.  All I have to do is touch an old bone!   (This is a huge subject matter that I will write about another time).

My one regret is – I could not go and attend to a person who was pagan-hindu and dying – just about the time I was getting ready for my Handfasting / pagan wedding ceremony 2 years ago.  Weddings are so hectic to organise, and I just could not bring my self to give up half a day that week. I am sorry that I did not. The guilt plagues me still- that I may have been able to help that Soul pass over easily and that I didn’t.

As I stand on the eve of the next year – 2012 – I shall remember the loved ones I have aided, other nameless dead-Souls , both human and animals, I have touched. I don’t only need to remember them on Samhain (pagan festival of honoring the ancestors), or on the day of their deaths, or on some special religious day (such as tomorrow when it is the day to do a special `moksha-pooja’ for my deceased father). I can remember them whenever I wish.

I once wrote a story titled, `Yesterdays’ Fathers..’.  Time I dusted it, scanned it, and published it.

The Osteopath

After 5 days, my back is finally returning to some sort of normality, thanks to my Osteopath John Yeboah. My visit 2 days ago sorted most of the problem, but one part of my lower back (right side, the bony bit) still felt `stuck, locked’ and painful.

Today’s visit focused on that area – more focused (and slightly warmer) treatment with the ultrasound tool, followed by deep muscle manipulation and stretching (ouch, that’s the painful part), and finally positioning the legs, arms and twisting -pushing the hip and torso in a manipulative move that could look (and feel) dangerous – but when the bones click – relief floods!

I was looking a the many biology / anatomy diagrams on the treatment room wall – so many muscles, nerves, joints!

Good God- if just one was manipulated incorrectly, no doubt the client would be in a worse situation.  So I have the utmost respect for this very essential medical profession (to me at least).

It’s still quite weird, calling the Osteopath by his first name, as we are used to calling people of medical professions as `Doctor..’
He is quite brilliant and well organised – most of his work place automated – from door alarm, cctv monitor inside treatment room looking out the main reception to the integrated computer that shows everything from appointments to a treatment diagram/ plan of the patient, and the automated  appointment online system that sends texts/ e-mail as confirmation.  As I explore self-employment horizons, I hope I can reach a sort of similar self-contained level of personal and professional management –  for I have been known in the past to be a bit dis-organised, lacking focus or a poor time-keeper.  I can say all this now, because it’s all changing. or `Surgeon’ or `Specialist’.  Well, John  in my view deserves a better title surely? And all the other such medical experts  (and I asked him if I can blog about him-  in the middle of me being flat on my belly on the treatment couch, my face poking down through a small hole, with only a view of the floor, as he treated my back).

Thanks John for the inspiration, as well as the treatment that keeps me walking normally – every day!

For anyone wanting a brilliant nice  qualified Osteopath in the Enfield / north London area  (based in Bush Hill Park, one stop from Enfield Town), here’s the link http://www.enfieldosteoclinic.com/    John is 18 years in full-time Osteopathic  Practice,  Registered with the General  Osteopathic Council (GOsC), and a Member of Back Care (N.B.P.A.).

-Mani