Category Archives: Art & Craft

Photographing Sophie – Highs, lows and lessons!

My father’s body wasn’t even cold in the hospital body, but I ran up to the car, grabbed my camera, came back to the Intensive care unit and started taking a few `forensic’ photos of his torn ear, head injury – all through my tearful and blurry eyes!  That was one cold hour past midnight back in January 1990.  And here I am, on a Summer’s day in June 2018.  What’s that got to do with Sophie?   Well, the common thread.. is Photography! And  she’s very well, energised and happy that her photo’s going viral all over new sites around the world this morning, following our visit to Stonehenge yesterday – in case you were worried for her!

Sophie photo - woodland autumn 2017 by Mani Navasothy.jpg
Autumn Equinox ceremony- September 2017 – with Aaron as Hades and Sophie as Persephone . Photo (c) Mani Navasothy.        www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Sophie first attended one of my Woodland Witches & Pagan ceremony- back in Autumn 2017. She had glitter make up on her cheeks and a new agey jacket.   But that’s not what caught my attention (well that did catch my eyes).  I was asking for volunteers form the attendees to take on a ritual role of the Goddess, and Sophie  stepped forward.  Now normally only experienced or regular attendees volunteer..  so I was surprised, but she looked every bit like she could carry the beautiful and maiden Goddess Persephone who gets abducted by the Dark Lord Pluto/ Hades and taken to underworld..  So I accepted her offer..  And my friend Aaron took on the role of Hades!  The ritual went well, and their roles – symbolic – and directed and coached by me – went well too.

Since then, Sophie has attended many of our woodland ceremonies & socials, hung out with us, gone camping with us to Glastonbury, day trip to Hasting and sea side, and more recently (yesterday) an ver night drive out trip to Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and then Avebury.   She’s become a good magical friend of mine..  (and still remains awesomely beautiful like a Goddess!)

For me, Photography is not a hobby..!!

As the opening paragraph will have told you.. `taking photos’  is  a serious `interest’ of mine..  capturing real life moments and characters of people on photo – as I do that ..be it my father who had just died, or a sun set, or a Maypole Dance …or a mermaid like Sophie after a ceremony !)   Why ?  because life is precious, moments are magical and once past ..can never be lived again, and I have insecurities about loosing people that are dear to me.  So I snap away..  moment after moment.. trying to hold of to them all, lest I forget!   I have done since I was a little boy.  (Now am almost a 49 yr old middle-aged man!)

That said, one of my growing gripes / disappointments / irritations in modern times – is that of my creativity being hijacked or worse `stolen’ .

I see moments …character..  beauty ..  life..death..  and all inbetween..  and capture it..  Or compose it creatively and artistically.  If it’s people – friends – I direct them (be it a video production or a photoshoot).  Then I shoot the picture.  So it infuriates me, when someone standing next to me – swoops in – without so much as a polite request – and takes the shots that I line up and the people that I direct.  This happens a lot now.

On the one hand, I am happy for the person whose photos are being taken.  They are being `seen’ and their moment being recognised and captured.    But unlike me who honours, respects and uses it to empower people, others often seem to just steal a moment..  and that person’s soul!  They don’t seem to give acknowledgement or thanks to the subject at hand.  They don’t seem to celebrate them.  They don’t seem to offer them anything in return as a kind gesture.

This I realise happens a lot in the cut-throat world of Photography, Journalism, media, movie and celebrity culture we now live in.  If someone is in public eye, they are fair game?  Is that it? Is that right?

sophie photos - Baz Beltane
Sophie with Maypole  at Woodland witches Beltane Ceremony – May 2018.   Main photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (3rd photo by Baz).          http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Of course some of my other friends who swoop into copy or steal a shot that I line up or direct ..aren’t all like that.  They are part of my world, my friendship groups and my spiritual communities.  When they do too much that swoop & shot, I do hit back with a joke..  (or in the case of one friend, I actually did throw a light punch at his stomach ..with a smile on my face!  We hugged it out afterwards..  but I needed to make the point, and words were not sinking that message!)

sophie photos - david mani
Hastings.  Sophie adoring Sea.    Main Photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (1st photo by David). http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Ever since a Hindu priest threw a bucket of water in my direction at a Temple chariot festival 2 years ago, and that blessed water splashing all over my camera, my equipment has not been its full self.  The view screen doesn’t work, and video image stabilizer malfunctions.  Currently I don’t have enough finances to buy the next gen DSLR.  So I make do with a wounded camera…

Well, half the time, I don’t even carry it..  because that’s not my work!  My work is Priesthood, and as a Magical /Pagan events Organiser and Teacher.  I can’t organise an event, take care of all the  related matters, and support, nurture and empower the people ..attendees.. if am clutching on to a camera.  So moments come and go..and others capture it..   and sometimes I take out my mobile phone and catch a part of it.  (well, effectively, I conjure the Event and others capture it..  Put it the media way, I make the News and others report it!)

I say I don’t worry about this..  but writing this blog indicates that I do!  In so much as if my artistry and creativity and Art directions are being used by other people, they should do the decent and honourable thing- of either paying me a proper fee – especially if they used such a shot and sold it to papers…and that got used by many news sites all over the world!

 

sophie photos - Dail mail
Sophie at Stonehenge, Summer Solstice 2018.   This shows screen capture of pic that some other photographer swooped into steal and sold to media. (screen shot of DailMail news site).

Sophie was just walking away when I called her to stand by that stone, to put her head on that stone, to not look at camera, but look at the Sun, and to close her eyes.  That was my work…capturing a moment of my friend ..to give it back to my friend.  But the thief who stole that over my shoulder has sold his shot, and earned some money off my creativity ..and my friend.

Does that seem right to you?

There are two upshots to this whole experience.  1.  Sophie is feeling happy that her photos and her rune & glitter make up creativity – yes that’s her own magical creativity and her face ..is seen all over the world.  (How long before she gets a modelling contract?! Yeah!)    2.  I finally realise the value of my own Artistic talents…and it’s time I put my Photography services forward.

I’ll leave you with the exclusive shot of Sophie (test shoot) as an Antlered Goddess!!

-Mani Navasothy

Author Teacher Ritual Magician (and Photographer!)

Antlered Goddess poject sophie
Sophie – Antlered Goddess .  photo (c) Mani Navasothy  http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

 

Links:

London Woodland Witches – Outdoor pagan Rituals (meetup)

Quantumligh Photography & Videos by Mani Navasothy (facebook page) – 

Daily mail feature – Summer Solstice 2018 

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Beltane Blessings to all! (art works)

Beltane Blessing (c) Mani Navasothy 2018

Beltane Blessings - Mani

Happy Beltane - art by mani navasothy 2018

The Horned Goddess – photoshoot project (2017-2018)

The Horned Goddess – photoshoot project!
Horned Goddess photoshoots
Hi all.. Horns & Antlers are a power symbol in nature for many animals.. and used for protection. It’s not just sported by male animals.. The deer may only have males (stags) having elaborate Antlers.. but Cows, goats, sheep, Bulls..
also have horns..
In pagan spirituality, we honour and worship many horned God figures.. (Herne, Pan, cernunnos).. but few horned/ antlered Goddesses are seen.. (Elena, Baast).

I saw the art work that my friend posted on facebook ..(of a Horned Goddess image)..and it reminded me of my long term wish to create some new photographic images of Horned Goddess..

As you can see from attached pics, I’ve worn Antlers many times over the past 13-14 years ..(since my eh.. obsession(!) with Hern the Hunter started ..resulting in the founding of woodland ritual shamanic group Hern’s Tribe in 2004). But what I really like is to do now is build up plenty of images of women in Antlers & Horns..! So.. am hereby launching this project!

So what am I looking for?

1. Ladies who are interested in being `Horned Goddesses’ 
(ie dress up, put make up, wear costumes, shamanic props..and pose for photos in natural settings.. woodland..parks..riversides.. hills.. forts.. neolithic sites.. by castles..caves…etc).
–Age/ acting ability – all welcome.
–Magical/Pagan? – nope.. if you are happy to pose as Antlered Goddesses..then am not complaining. ..as long as you can take artistic directions.

2. Crew / Team of creative people – to get involved and help me co-create this. I have a vision..but need help. Make up artists, costume creators / lenders, prop-makers, drivers with cars, supporters! Location scouts..

3. Costs – let’s be creative and innovative..and keep costs to minimum.. Everyone involved can come out of this project with brilliant works for their portfolios, experiences. Unless we have someone who can be a generous Benefactor, or unless we set up a crowdfunder to cover costs.. we just have to cover our own expenses, own travel cards. Only exception will be if I drive out, then i can take 3 people (essential to that shoot) in my car.. (Crowd funding, some 2018 calendar sales are all possibilities.. but I like to get started with shoots soon).

when?

While some planning/ development is needed, am not one for delaying this any longer.. Of course it will be ongoing throughout Autumn/ Winter and into Spring/Summer of 2018..but it starts NOW! 🙂 Let’s aim to get some of this done..in Autumn.. before all the leaves change colour and drop.. 🙂

If you are working with me..then be ready to run with the Horses & Stags.. or plod on with the Turtles.. My policy is …`shoot fast..and think later’ :-p

So don’t think too much.. Follow your intuition/ gut.. and jump in ..if interested..!
Reply to this message and I’ll start coordinating..or send me a private message ..or to one of my pagan `pages’ and we’ll take it from there.

Bright Earthy Blessings
-Mani Navasothy.

ps.  I posted this on my facebook wall on 5th October 2017.  It’s been a while but have been getting 15+ interested people/ ladies already.  So it’s time to plan further.

Contact me by sending me a message using form below please so I can communicate directly with you via e-mails etc.  You have to be able to get to London or nearby so I can get to you..(1-2 hrs by car).

A Prelude to Imbolc

Prelude to Imbolc - Mani Navasothy 2017.jpg

— A Prelude to Imbolc —————–

Some stories end..
Sometimes sadness descends for no reasons known..
and shadows just rise and cloak us..and choke us..

MidWinter may have passed and Sun-child may be born..
But we are entering the deepest part of winter..this.. now..

And here we plea to the Winter-Goddess
to loosen her grip on the world..
And here we lament for the passing of the old…
And here, soon we’ll call on the renewed great Virgin
Goddess of Love & Healing to appear from her place of snow and Ice.. unto our world once more,
Lit by a path of light and flames.

And then snow will stop falling..
and snow drops will rise..
the land will turn from grey with hints of green..and yellow..

All that is yet to come..
But.. we are entering the deepest part of Winter..!

Remember the small gaps through which sands of time slip..
Remember too the face of the clown behind the mask..
Remember the tears never seen..
and the bleeding heart of the Knight behind armour..
And sorrows behind smiles..

So then..
’til the New moon.. !

(c) Mani Navasothy – Jan’17

Photos :Ther – Chariot festival at Ganapathy Temple – Wimbledon (7Aug16)

I attended the Ther (annual chariot festival ) at Ganapathy temple yesterday with my mother, and met a few relatives and friends 🙂 Also managed to to Ganapathy mantra 1000+ times (counting on fingers ..without my chanting Rudraksha was a bit difficult at times.. as we’re all walking..and much was going on.. )

It was amazing, spiritual and absolutely festive as ever. This time around I was able to focus more on the different aspects (forever studying and decoding the intricate ritual aspects and their meanings.. much of it is not usually taught in schools..except to Brahmins who are training to be Hindu Priests).

So here are the tons of photos. You can see full explanations under each photo in my facebook album.. (it’s my intention to preserve the meanings, and share that with those interested).

Om Maha Ganapathy Nama!
-Manivannan

The Journey of our Sun-Wheel

The Sun-Wheel I made ..and it’s journey through several Midsummer rituals (June 2016), venues (London, Richmond park, Brixton, Avebury, Glastonbury), and finally being given to fire (atop Glastonbury Tor) so the wishes people made (tied knots) may be carried to the divine..and manifest! -Mani

  1. Sun Wheel created at home on 16th June 2016
  2. At Midsummer ritual in London for Pagan Federation : London (conway hall, Holborn)- 16/6/16
  3. At Hern’s Tribe  MidSummer ritual in Richmond park – 18th June2016.
  4. At OneSpirit ecstatic dance event – 18th June’16
  5. In Avebury – by Witche’s Throne  – 20th June’16
  6. Avebury – Full moon
  7. Atop Glastonbury Tor – 21st June’16 … ritual
  8. Sun rise at Glastonbury – 21/6/16
  9. 10 & 11.  SunWheel finally committed to ritual fire at Glastonbury Tor (21June’16).

SunWheel Journey.jpg

Melanie Ivy- Mother of Dragon (Game of Throne -fan belly dance video)

Dear all,  guess what?  It’s finally here – The Melanie Ivy – Mother of Dragon fan Video – that I filmed/produced with my friend Melanie!

Melanie Ivy -Throne with dragons - PR pic (c) Mani Navasothy 2016
Melanie Ivy – Mother of Dragons  (Game of Thrones)  Fan video produced by Mani Navasothy

As some of you know, I have been venturing more into dance / music / story telling videos…(and not just Esoteric / magical videos, features or DrWho fan series!).  And this is the latest in that creative stream!

We filmed this over 2 separate days (one in March’16, and one in April’16) in and around parks/ woods in Croydon (South London area).   My sister Vathani helped a lot with day#2 of filming  & support (when we had to set up a bonfire, as well as look after Melanie’s pet Python Shiva).

The editing took some time..but I did the `Editor’s cut’ (version 1) over a solid 2 day work..  Showed it to Melanie, had ideas and re-edited it (shorter, faster)..and here is the final work.

my  big thanks & praise to Melanie (and Shiva the snake) for working hard with me on making this video.. It’s the sort of creative thing I had wanted to do for many years… and here we are!

There’ll be some behind the scenes clips up soon.. But for now.. enjoy this dance-story….and do visit her YT video channel and subscribe!!

-Mani Navasothy  (digital film maker)

Link:

Melanie Ivy- Fusion Belly Dancer & snake charmer- facebook page

Melanie Ivy – Youtube channel 

Mani Navasothy – Gaian2012 Esoteric Videos

Doctor Who London Fan films by Mani Navasothy

Here be Dragon! Photos of Pagan Pride Parade London – 2016

Hi all..  Here are some photos taken on my camera..  I was also carrying the dragon so my sister took photos too..  🙂   If this all appeals to you…click the link at the bottom..  come join our facebook group… and get ready for next year’s 20th `London Pagan Pride Parade’ (in 2017).   -Mani

 

Related links

Facebook group : Pagan Pride Parade London – support & promotions

blog post – Pagan pride Parade London 2016

meetup group:   London Woodland Witches & Outdoor Pagans

A Ceremony of Flow – Photoshoot with Melanie Ivy

Hi all, amongst other creative and esoteric things, I also enjoy taking photos, filming & producing videos.  I have been working with the divinely delightful Melanie Ivy (to call her an important muse in my life is an under-statement).  She is a  Lifecoach, fusion Belly dancer and a snake-charmer (I’ve gently played with her pet Python). We’ve been doing some videos (more on that another time).

Earlier this afternoon, Melanie & I drove up to a rather important woodland and an actual Spring..     Here’s a few of the photos I took.. More soon. 🙂

Bright Blessings.  -Mani

ps.  Please head over to her professional facebook page and give it your support  with a `like’ and share.  Thanks .. https://www.facebook.com/melanieivyunplugged/ 

pps . If you like to work with me on magical photoshoot , please do contact me. Thankx.

 

Be Brave of the Warrior within

Be Brave of the Warrior within  – Empowerment poetry by Mani Navasothy

Be Brave of the warrior within (c) Mani Navasothy 2016

Be Brave of the Warrior within

There is much in this crazy world that needs and deserves
the protection of the Warrior within.
It is a fire to be embraced,
not feared and banished or oppressed
out of shame,
Or a desire for the path of love.

Even Love..
even light
even peace
needs the protection..
of the sword and the staff at times
From those who would see it destroyed,
those who have their black hearts set on murder and mayhem
Death and destruction of love and light.
and in the face of such demons,
flowers and kisses stand no chance
Only tooth and claw can rise
and face such vicious oppressions

Only the Tiger in our eyes
Only the wolf in our arms
Only the bear within our bellies
can make a difference
in those moments of battle of breaking ideals and bones
Moments that pierce and want to scratch out our souls.

You speak of leading the wolves
and seek its company
Was it for its smile and a tender lick of the tongue
upon your face?
or the power and perseverance of its jaws?

You seek the company of Lions
Is it for the beauty of its beating heart
and the majesty of his mane
or the sharpness of his claws?

You peek at mother-bear in the forest
Is it for her style of walking
and the seeking of salmon
or the awesome strength of her body?

By all means, fly like an Eagle
sore to spiritual heights
Shout, hoot and see wisdom in the dark
like an Owl
But remember.
And please do remember..
The Owl and the Eagle..
They dismember their food so viciously too
They do tear out the flesh of little rodents,
and swallow whole the bleeding hearts of small birds!

There is a Warrior in all of us..
It is in..
..The fire that protects us
..The bone that stands us
..the muscle that moves us
There is a Warrior in all of us..
one that needs embracing..
One that stands with us..
Yes, even us..who are on a path of love!

(c) Mani Navasothy 2016

25th feb’16