Category Archives: General

Society: Why must people of Britain dance on the grave of Margaret Thatcher?

Margaret Thatcher (c) Mani Navasothy 2013
Margaret Thatcher (c) Mani Navasothy 2013

When I say `people of Britain’ I mean all those who at this moment have their feet on the soil of Great Britain. So let’s get to the ones who are currently rejoicing, splitting their own spleens, plotting celebrations, protest marches and demonstrations – all against an already dead 87 year old woman – namely Margaret Thatcher!

Here’s a Question to those who are so angry that they are planning demo’s …or blasting such negativity on various internet & social network platforms..:  What is wrong with you people?  And why now? What do you hope to achieve by it all?

The woman – Margaret Thatcher – who passed away few days ago at the age of 87, was 3-times democratically elected Prime Minister of Great Britain. Let’s put a spot light on some key points here – Democratically elected!  Not once or twice..but three times.  The country chose her.  Did I say 3 times?

If people didn’t like her style or ways of politics or the way she was running the Country, then why keep electing her ..again..and again? But it happened. And as far as I know, there were no Vote-fixing, or military intimidation..or anything of the sort that has happened in some other so-called democratic countries..   No one forced anyone to vote for her.. yet people did. So no point then putting the blame (if there is any) on the woman.

As to the question of why now..?    For haven’s sake..  if there ever was a time to protest – democratically – it was while Margaret Thatcher was in power as Prime Minister.   People had had 11 years to do it then..   and if people did, and it didn’t go anywhere…well, then I can only conclude that not enough of the majority (did I mention democracy) wanted change bad enough to all come together and protest..despite whatever circumstances opposed them.   And as Great Britain was not under military or any sort of Dictatorial leadership, people had the power and freedom.. full stop.

Okay, so perhaps people felt powerless or intimidated by her leadership..  (we are talking about billions of people in the whole of UK here!). And then the inevitable happened. Her own cabinet plotted against her..  (People power..  democracy at work..in mysterious ways).   And she finally left her post..

If there was another moment to rejoice and plan demonstrations, there was the chance. She was no longer in power. People could have had their street parties then..

No.. people waited..  and got on about their lives..  for almost 2 decades..

And then ..`after’ she dies…of natural ill-health..   people now plot and plan  demonstrations..   against  dead woman..  the first woman to become Prime Minister in the country that created the first people-power parliament in the world!

This `dancing on the grave of a dead person’ is absolutely pointless, and utterly cowardice!

Collective expression.

It’s been common for mass of people ..or rather the emotions that are sinking into their human Collective (psyche) to surface at perhaps unexpected times ..and triggers.   Uk mourned for Princes Diana when she died in a car accident. It’s not that everyone loved her, but everyone’s own feelings of suppressed grief needed an outlet..and the death of Diana provided it. People rejoiced at the wedding of Prince William & Kate..  It’s not that everyone loved them…but people had a need for celebrating, and their wedding provided the opportunity. So did the Queen’s Jubilee events..

And now, with the nation’s Economy and people’s finances in dire nose dive..  (not just hitting the ground, but seem to be heading for the depths of Underworld), with no end in sight, with crisis after crisis, faith in government and banks…and papers all fast decaying..    people need to vent their frustrations..  and anger..

And so..here’s an opportunity ..  to dig out a 20 year old repressed feeling..  (some people who are about to do these demo’s weren’t even born 20 yrs ago..that’s quite a joke)…

Trouble with the world is, while someone pushes their neck in the grand noose, and takes on the weight of the people ..and works hard (doing their best), everyone lets that happen..  And then years or decades later..  people choose to act..   It’s not just unfair, but inhuman..  to want to protest against an ex-leader who did her best.. in dire circumstances.

People should not blame Margaret Thatcher now..  as they had 11 years to get rid of her then.  People should not protest now..because they’ve had almost 2 decades to do that too. (If people do want to protest, do it for a better reason..  to make a point to the current government or banks about

Next blog: How to send Love & Light energy..!
Next blog: How to send Love & Light energy..!

current circumstances! !)

The sad thing is, even in death, Margaret Thatcher is serving the Nation- by giving people a trigger to expressed their current suppressed frustrations (even though they are retro-projecting it all onto her).

Rest in peace, Margaret Thatcher…  Iron Lady..! My respects to you!!

-Mani Navasothy

2011 Census: KS209EW Religion, local authorities in England and Wales

The National Census in Uk took place on 27th March 2011.

The data is being released in stages by the Office for National Statistics http://www.ons.gov.uk.

Pagan organisations made a concerted effort to campaign among pagan communities, asking them to register themselves in the religion category as `pagan – xxxxxx’  where the individual can state their particular path as a sub-category of `pagan’ so that a clear number can be gleamed.

Well, the xls sheet that gives religion data does not yet give this details..  So pagans will have to hold their breath a little longer.

But here’s the religion data that has been released.. (xls sheet available for download freely from ONS website). here’s the link

This is for the WHOLE of England & Wales

Christian       33,243,175       (1)

Buddhist         247,743       (6)

Hindu               816,633       (3)

Jewish              263,346      (5)

Muslim               2,706,066       (2)

Sikh                       423,158       (4)

Other Religions      240,530       (7)

No religion      14,097,229

Religion not stated   4,038,032

Now assuming all the pagans did state their religion, as either `Pagan’  or `Pagan-Druid, Pagan-Wiccan’ etc..  or just as `pagan’, `Druid’, `shaman’ etc..  it all will be within the `Other Religions..  240,530.

The above table shows that Christianity has the largest declared numbers, followed by Muslims – second largst, then Hindu (3rd place), then Sikh (4th place), then Jewish (5th), Buddhist (6th place)..   Other Religions (there could be hundreds!) currently occupy 7th place..

 

here’s a screen capture of the interactive map that shows the percentage of people in areas ..for the `any other religions’ category…as it was in 2001 Census and the current 2011 Census UK.   (darker the blue, more numbers!)

UK Census comparison  (2001 & 2011) for  `Any other religions'  in England & Wales   (c)ONS
UK Census comparison (2001 & 2011) for `Any other religions’ in England & Wales (c)ONS

We’ll wait and see what the `Pagan-xxx’ category will show up ..when the full data is released.

-Mani Navasothy

Introducing..Esoteric Enterprises Initiative – for Pagans & magical Entrepreneurs

Proud to present the formal launch of the Esoteric Enterprises Initiative!   

This Introduction video that explains the Aims, Objectives, Networking, Rewards & benefits of this new Gaian Times Social initiative – created mainly for pagans, esoteric practitioners, New Age people, Spiritual &psychics who are looking to create or develop their esoteric business ventures, online presence, products and community services – with a view to wealth-creation for themselves and for their communities.

Interested Pagan & esoteric people can go to the http://www. EsotericEnterprises.co.uk website and do an e-mail Opt-in to receive weekly, fortnightly and monthly bulletins and free tools/ tips on how to build online platforms, internet marketing, social networking, SEO and other techniques for building own enterprises!

Related sites:

http://www.GaianTimes.com (free online quarterly magazine)
http://www.GaianTimes.org (eco-spiritual organisation. Registered not-for-profit company)
http://www.EostericExpert.com (Mani Navasothy’s professional site on products & services)

-Mani Navasothy

Photo of post-Full Moon, Jupiter & Orion’s Belt

Moon & Jupiter 30Nov12 0258hrs gmt south-west sky

Here’s a photo I just took of the South-Western sky (from London)- Today’s day 30th November 2012 – at 02:58hrs gmt.

It shows the post-full moon (over exposed and causing a lense flare!)…and to the right of the moon, the brightest spot is planet Jupiter.

And to the lower left of the moon is Orion the Hunter…you can clearly see his belt!

It’s an average digital camera I used..  I set it in a tripod and set on manual mode (so it takes as long as it takes for an exposure..and t took a good 5 second exposure – hence the dark sky looks almost day-light…due to over exposure..  from moon light and light pollution of course!)  Oh,to avoid hand-shake of camera, I also set the timer for 2 seconds..pressed the button and waited.. (3mega pix settting).

-Mani

 

Concrete & Dog-Rubbish inside Ancient Oak Trees in Richmond park

Dog rubbish inside Oak tree in Richmond Park, London

I was in Richmond park earlier today, doing some photography, as well as some magical work this afternoon.. and I was utterly dismayed to come across some unsavory rubbish – not just in the usual places (in fact no rubbish in the usual places)…but INSIDE some very old Oak Trees!

I love ancient oak trees – especially the ones with a hollow central part.  Most old Oaks have it.. but if the outside bark is complete..then we never see the hollow inside section.  As part of natural wear and tear, parts of the outer bark drops off, and `an opening appears’..  This,over time widens (especially if people and or animals go in and out often and chip bits of the edge off).

Those hollow oaks are magical places- sacred temples. I mean, how often does a human get to be inside another living being – after birth?  Think about it – we all were inside our mothers’  wombs – and once born, we never can go back..  and we don’t ever get inside another living creature in our lifetime – unless of course, we can  step inside a hollow living oak tree!

So today, I was exploring and came across one hollow oak – that had  large chuck of bricks & concrete block – someone had places inside (possibly as a seat?)…and I managed to move it out and chuck it far away from the tree…and later, I found another hollow oak tree with a small plastic bag – of dog excretion!   Honestly- people who walk their dogs in these conserved Royal parks..   could easily carry their dog excretion and put it in special bins..  Why just dump in the woods? and why – or why put it inside a hollow oak tree?

It’s already very bad to have any sort of carnivore excretion introduced to the Richmond  park..  The excretion contains chemicals and substances that are not local to the Richmond park habitat, and it introduces unwanted ecological (bacteria) intruders …which can upset the food chain, cause bugs to grow and even cause diseases to the local wild life such as Deer (300 Re deer and 350 fallow deer live in Richmond).

Am not making any of this up.  All this information comes from notices in the park itself.

richmond-concrete-bricks-in-oak-trees-28nov12.jpg

So…doggie-owners – do nature a service – don’t put ya dog-crap in the park..and certatintly, don;t be so bloody lazy and hide it inside trees!  That’s the worst thing you can do to those trees..(putting infection right inside them!)

-Mani Navasothy

 

Trial of a Time Lord (pt1): The Kangaroo Court

Doctor Who- Trial of a Time Lord. Photo by Mani.
Doctor Who(c)BBC

Doctor Who – one of my all time favorite TV shows – I’ve just been watching one of my old video tapes..

In the story `Trial of a Time Lord’ – the High Council of Gallifrey (Doctor’s own people)  take him out of time (sort of a `hi-jack’) and start with an `inquiry’ into his behavior.

“By Order of the High Council, this is an impartial inquiry into the behaviour of the accused person- known as The Doctor – who is charged  that he on diverse occasions has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a Time Lord. He is also charged with on diverse occasions of transgressing the first Law. The Doctor is an incorrigible meddler in the affairs of other peoples and planets”   – says Valeyard , the Court Prosecutor.

The proceedings start and the Prosecutor begins showing `evidence’  – bits of scenes gathered and presented, with parts of it censored or deleted (for security reasons, he claims). As the Doctor was yanked out of Time, he has temporary amnesia, and plays along with the `inquiry’  in order to get to the bottom of things.

And of course, what started off as an `impartial inquiry’ starts to evolve alarmingly – against The Doctor!

“These proceedings started as a mere inquiry into the Doctor’s activities. I am suggesting that now it becomes a trial. If he is found guilty, I strongly suggest the termination of his life..!”   blows the Court Prosecutor.

(Of course it is later revealed that the High Council was corrupt, and the Valeyard was hired to scapegoat and destroy the Doctor.. in a trumped up Trial.. There is more to the nature and identity of the Valeyard, but that’s a big psychology topic for another post!)

`Trial of a Time Lord’ –  first broadcast by the BBC in UK way back in 1986 (produced by the late John Nathan Turner). It is a 6th Doctor story (starring Colin Baker, who is currently on `I’m a Celebrity..Get me out of here’ on ITV..). By the way, few decades ago,I met Collin Baker in a science-fiction convention..  I won the first prize for creative art, and he gave me the prize on stage for me (but I also got to talk to him informally that day).  I have a photo of us somewhere…must post it when I find it 🙂

So this story `Trial of a Time Lord’ – it is one of my all time favorite .  Not just because it’s my first proper viewing of Doctor Who shows in UK..when I was beginning to understand English (back in Ceylone, I didn’t know English!)..  but because if the actual over-reaching story arc of the `Trial of the Time Lord’. It is of course about what we call `Kangaroo Court’ –  where a collection of individuals adjust, fabricate or  keep misrepresenting evidence, in order to reach their pre-fixed decision or judgement. It is a clever way of seeming to have a `public impartial trial’ – just to get what they already want- ie the condemnation of the accused. It is done in many dictatorial countries and systems… as a way of getting rid of people who otherwise pose a personal threat to the Controlling Body.

You see – at that time in the UK (1985-86) ,  Doctor Who (show) had come under heavy criticism by a few politically minded people.. (Mary Whitehouse?) who was attacking it for its story lines of guns, killing and violence.  Collin Baker’s 6th Doctor came after Peter Davison’s 5th Doctor – the Edwardian Cricketer costumed `nice guy’..  So am sure it was a shock to many people..  to see a Doctor who was seen to be impulsive, rash, radical, had his shadows showing here and then, and one who did not pull punches!

The Forfeit – Drwho art by Mani Navasothy
(The Doctor vs Valeyard)

I believe- and so do thousands of others – that Doctor Who stories of that era had far less violence that could be seen in other shows and films of the time.  (No one complained about all the other shows…I mean look at Star Wars?)   I think it was a politically motivated Witch-Hunt on Doctor Who..  and it manipulated public’s feelings with some threat of how children watching Doctor Who are getting badly influenced (right…and what of the hundreds of video games where children get to shoot, torture and kill…kill..kill.. with their own hands…with hyper-realism?!)

The BBC halted production for 18 months (until then Doctor who had been regular for every year..since 1963!!).   So when it came back on TV in 1986, people were watching it cautiously ..BBC was  cautious…and so the good Doctor Who was on trial..in the storyline..and for real too.   (sadly, after that series, it was suddenly changed…They scapegoated Collin Baker the Actor (for portraying the Character as it was written), instead of the writers for their stories…and instead of giving him decent new stories, they junked the whole thing-   cowardly scapegoating  damage control to shift blame..!

It was an unfair time!   And similar things happen to real people in real world communities and situations.  Guess what? It happened to me recently. But that’s another story..and this is about Doctor Who 🙂

Now here’s an art work I did many years ago..  showing the battle between the Doctor and the Valeyard – who wants the remaining life-force of the Doctor! It shows chess pieces.. Black Knight up and the white Bishop down..  The dice shows a total of 13 points..  representing the 13 `incarnations’ that a Time Lord has, and of course the `Hanged-Man’ card of Tarot – showing the Doctor being hung!   This one didn’t win the prize…but am fond of it. 🙂

Till next time..

Mani  (rebel Time Lord) 🙂

other post

Robin Hood & Roj-Blake: Rebels against the Sheriff & The Federation

Doctor Who: A Screwdriver gone too far? 

Thoughts on Diplomacy & Politics

I sometimes think that Diplomacy is a double-edged sword – in that it appears to serve both parties, but the `Diplomat’ surely must have an inner personal motive, or some sort of loyalty – to even start engaging in the process. Often in heated battles situations (wars!), the Diplomat does not rise from one of the warring sides. But it is a person(s) from a 3rd party. All seems to go well until tables are turned (and tables always get turned in real life). When a conflict arises in the backyard of the Diplomatic Agency or person, how they react often determines their true metal!

I find that Diplomats are fine, and preach much noble ways, as long as they have no personal involvement. But should there be any, the very same people seem to react in the most undiplomatic manner. Governments, agencies, and people in positions of power have all done this. In this sense, I think of diplomats as rather cunning and cowardly. (The word Self-serving comes to mind too – but then show me one person on this planet who is not self-serving?! We all are!)

I’ve thought about global  examples..   how the British or American diplomats enter Eastern war zones and carry out mediations. Fine and dandy. But when some sort of war comes to their own lands (home), all such approaches seem to go out the window!  Local and national governments, or governing bodies – who perceive the  threat don’t sit around calling foreign diplomats to help. No. They get their military in ship-shape first; and their weapons; and their internal security measures, surveillances.. and of course they start to pass new laws to defend themselves, and to give themselves `new legitimate’ powers – so they can do anything, and call it `okay’.  Look at all the cameras around London..  look at all the new laws..  all since the few  deaths by terror attacks on a bus, a station or a building in a few Western cities. But out there in the rest of the world, whole cities are getting blown to bits – and that some how seems to be acceptable..

If you think I am talking about international wars and peace  processes, and that none of these will touch you personally – think again!

How well do you know the politicians and Diplomats in your community? When I say `know’ I mean their real darker sides that you don’t see – because you never challenged their core, and so they never have had reasons to show a personal retaliation. Politicians in power  do play long games well…  they are good at it..  a hand-shake here, a hug there, kiss a baby here, make a speech there, cut a ribbon here – and stitch someone else in the dark!

Think about all the Dictators in the world – none of them gained power through war. No. First they won their people’s hearts with politics, diplomacy and promises. And when they were in power, they started making deals, and secret promises to their loyal commanders, and threats to anyone who dare oppose them..  That’s how their empires grew- and it takes decades sometimes.. for true colours to show.

It is not guerilla warriors who employ terror tactics. Politicians do it 10 times more. Politicians in power use outside events ( a bomb here, an attack there) to their advantage – and use it to stoke people’s fears more..  and offer solutions in the form of new measures, rules, systems and laws! And they line their supporters in other places of power – so that when a `democratic vote’ takes place within an elected body- they are sure to have support.  It all looks perfectly democratic. But beneath the surface, their shadows move and grow!

I’ve never liked politics or diplomacy. Just can’t trust it.  Am a get up and go kind of guy.  Am an action man – who shows his happy face and the angry face – as and when it happens. I growl, I snarl, and do fight tooth-n-nail to the last drop of my blood. My family & friends might not like it, but they know what they are getting..

My darker side is in full light of the world!   Can diplomats and Politicians  say the same?

I think not.

-Mani Navasothy

Pagan Federation appeals against Charity Commission’s Rejection (my thoughts)

News is circulating on the internet platforms, that the Pagan Federation has made an appeal against the rejection by Charity Commission (UK). The website www.ThirdSector.co.uk has reported the news that Pagan Federation is appealing against the Charity Commission’s decision to reject the Pagan Federation’s application.

“The Charity Commission rejected the federation’s application in October, arguing that it did not fulfil the ‘essential characteristics’ of a religion or its criteria for public benefit…..

…..The commission rejected the federation’s application for charitable status in October. It said it did not consider that the federation fulfilled the essential characteristics of a religion or its criteria for public benefit….”   

I was aware that the Pagan Federation had been rejected in its application to seek Charity Status the first time (years ago), and another application was being prepared by the Pagan Federation some while ago (December 2010).  I was contacted by the Vice President of the Pagan Federation for some information on the Ope Rituals I was managing in London for Pagan Federation since December 2004. The VP’s request concerned outlines of  whether the Pagan Federation asks for payment for these open rituals,  are people let in free if they don’t have money and so on. I suppose it was about showing evidence of how the Pagan Federation serves the general public.

A simple research on the Charity Commission’s website will show anyone that for an entity to be recognised as a Charity, it needs to show that the entity’s activities must be benefiting the public (`for the benefit of the public’ ).  The Charity Commissions’ website gives several examples of `Objects’ (Objectives) which satisfy this requirement. Categories such as `advancement of religion’, `advancement of education’, `advancement of arts, culture, heritage or Science’ are some examples.  I have been researching all these several years ago, when I was preparing to create Gaian Times – the eco-spiritual organisation (initially as a not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee – very much like The Pagan Federation has been since year 2000).

I am only guessing here – with my knowledge being specific to the Pagan Federation’s usual activities and organisational structure, it’s Constitution, its documentations at Companies House where any companies are registered (free for all to view), and my own research of Charity commission application guidelines.  I suppose the problem that the Pagan Federation may have faced  could have been in demonstrating how its existing practices, activities and Constitutions are serving the general public (bearing in mind it was created to be a campaigning organisation `to promote and defend the pagan traditions’ – which is applicable to a specific community (although it could be said that anyone who wanted to know about Paganism can enter it and benefit from it).

Reading the online reporting at ThirdSector website, I found the following passage to be rather worrying.

“..Winder said winning charitable status could give the federation the legitimacy and recognition of being one of the official religions of the British Isles…”

Why am I worried? Well, in the first instance, I do hope that this online reporting is a journalist hash-job of taking full explanations given by the Pagan Federation Officer and reducing it to a short quote, where valuable information is lost, as well as sentences become `out of context’. Otherwise this quote does not make sense. Why?

Because The Pagan Federation is not and never has been nor ever will be – a religion! The Pagan Federation is an organisation that campaigns for pagan traditions, for pagan religions, for pagan people’s rights just as other people have their rights.

If The Pagan Federation did indeed apply to become a Charity on the basis of it being a religion, of course it is not going to succeed in its charity status for that reason. I am aware that recently the Druid Network gained Charity Status – (No: 1138265 – THE DRUID NETWORK).  Their primary activities are stated as, “INFORMING, INSPIRING AND FACILITATING DRUIDRY AS A RELIGION”.  Now this is quite clever statement. It does not say Druidry IS a religion, or that the Druid Network is a Religion. Rather its activity is `Informing, inspiring and facilitating..’  a particular product…where the product being `Druidry as a religion’ – which implies…its campaigning Druidry as a religion. (It does not claim it already is). Furthermore, it does not seem to limit this campaigning (ie informing, inspiring and facilitating..) to a particular group or community. Anyone – general public- can be informed, inspired and facilitated to!

I am not sure exactly what wordings were used in the Pagan Federation’s Charity status application – but I do fear that appealing on the grounds of definitions of what a religion is, and how paganism fits into all that is a long and winding road – can be full of many challenges.

It is my suggestion that the Pagan Federation convenes a big ol’ committee meeting  / Directors meeting/  members meeting to debate and discuss changes as follows..

  • a) change its basic constitution to broaden it, then,
  •  b)  send in an amendment to its `Articles of Association’ (memorandum, Objects in particular) such that those reflect a `general serving nature’ to Companies House (Government body which manages Company Registrations).. and
  • c) operate under this new system for at least a year or two, and proactively serve general public – (with such things as setting up various eco-centric initiatives (note   ECO.. not Ego), charitable activities like collecting money and sending it to places in parts of the world where it’s needed.., or even such things as running open workshops and courses specifically titled `Paganism and magic for enhancing the lives of general public’   etc
  • d) and finally compile all this `real evidence of serving the public and the world’ – and send it off with a new application to Charity Commission (3rd time lucky?)

I have been a member of the Pagan Federation for 15+ years, and been actively serving it for 8 years- organising those rituals, conventions, socials, picnics.. until few months ago. And though some `new radical elements’ within it   now seem to have a hobby of attacking and bullying me in online platforms, I still have the best wishes and growth for the Pagan Federation. I think I promised a few Wiccan Elders that I would.

-Mani Navasothy

related links

Gaian Times eco-spiritual organisation & magazine

Charity Commission

Companies House

Druid Network

Pagan Federation

Wikipedia – Pagan Federation

ps. A few minority fail to understand that a personal blog is all about the person discussing, debating, offering views and generally being  `personal’. This one is one of my personal broadcasting channels (my other platform is Gaian2012 – youtube channel).  That reminds me, soon,  I will be discussing (under Esoteric Enterprises) how everyone can and should utilize similar online-tools.

Elephant in the Water: Lord Ganesh in the Sea

Lord Ganesh in the Sea

(c)DailyTelegraph.co.uk

Tales of a Triangle: Children of Artemis Witchfest, Pagan Federation..and me!

Witchfest 2012 -Children of Artemis -flyer

Children of Artemis – a Wiccan (witchcraft) group created the now popular event `Witchfest’ back in November 2002. Clever move really…and clever name..not to mention a brave one! For that I must applaud the genius of `Merlyn’ – founder/organiser of these events. (I first met `Merlyn’  at Vivianne & Chris Crowley’s home, in London, where a number of Wiccans were meeting to plan and deliver a batch of `Wicca Study Group’ in central London. So Merlyn & I were introduced under very trusting circumstances by trusted Elders of the Craft. It was only after that, that I started attending Children of Artemis Events).

Back in those days, we had lots of TV shows like `Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and `Charmed’ – where we could regularly see major Characters using Witchcraft! And the world took it with a growing appetite for such magical, Witchy adventures lived by ordinary (?) people in the modern world. It’s possible that this growing features of the occult, Wicca and Witchcraft  contributed to many a young people either becoming aware  of or gaining a pop-culture-style interest in Wicca & Witchcraft. This in turn helped propel organisations such as Children of Artemis who focused openly on the subject matter (in comparison to others such as The Pagan Federation – who gave focus to many a pagan paths such as Druidry, Shamanism, Northern traditions..in a more campaign sort of way).

There I must make further distinctions. People look up campaigning bodies or organisations – mostly when they are in  sudden desperate need for such help. But people will look up groups and other organisations for the purpose of entertainment, lifestyle and social networking.. anytime and every day! And as Children of Artemis began to cater for this `lifestyle’ side of Wicca & Witchcraft, I believe it also started to gain popularity. Add to this the factor of CoA  owning the domain name http://www.Witchcraft.org (which is bound to come up every time someone searched for that topic), and the addition of a members interactive forum ..where so many debates in so many `rooms’ were going on – it’s hard not to see why CoA grew so quickly. (The also provided a number of other services & campaign helps..).

CoA Magazine-8 Samhain2003-Imbolc2004
Magical Empowerment article by Mani Navasothy

CoA has had its critics – the other pagan organisations who liked to consider themselves as `serious’ and `Children of Artemis’ as light and a fad. I should know.. I was part of those other organisations such as The Pagan Federation. I myself was – to start with – an active member of the CoA! It is where I started making my earliest pagan friends in local pub moots (Croydon), and I also made many an online friends in those discussion forums (not to mention contributing). I was already an initiated Witch /Wiccan so I had that in common with others. I had contributed an article in the Children of Artemis Magazine `Wicca & Witchcraft magazine’ ( my article `Magical Empowerment in a Godless Universe’ appeared in issue#8   Samhain/Imbolc 2003/2004). And I have given talks at 2-3 of the CoA Pub moots (Croydon & Rochester, Kent). And of course a number of workshops at Witchfest Events…on subjects such as Quantum Magic, Elements, Dragon Magic.

I think my biggest contribution (most prominent perhaps is a better word) came when I put together a ritual team, out of strangers I had enlisted on the CoA forum, planned details by e-mails with them, and met only at the `Medieval Witches Ball’ in February 2004 at Fairfield Hall, Croydon..  to do a closing Ceremony! Some of the people I met in that ritual are still my friends – 8 years on!  What precipitated from that was a regular outdoor ritual group – the first 2 – at Spring & Beltane of 2004 were billed as `official’ CoA outdoor rituals, and the organiser Merlyn himself attended – in Lloyd Park, Croydon, along with 20-30 people!  (This group later became named by me as `Hern’s Tribe’ at Samhain of that Year, and still works rituals outdoors in London). Our ritual group also was asked to and did one other major ritual.. the Beltane Closing Ceremony at Witchfest England in May 2004.  Shortly afterwards, my magical partnership with a fellow Wiccan ended and the ritual group changed.

Sadly, the gremlins came to work- and some of my frank discussions online in CoA Forums came under scrutiny by certain moderators. My posts (in the `Male Mysteries’ forum) were deleted, which began a spiral down path of me & CoA eventually parting company. At about the time I was welcomed by the `Pagan Federation London’.  From November 2004, my focus shifted to Pagan Federation London- and for the next 7+ years (till Spring of this year 2012) – where I began to develop (over time) the `PF London Events Team’ (originally just made up of my own friends and keen supporters in Hern’s Tribe). There we have created so many features, events, brought back many an old events and made them regular features (Conventions, Balls, Picnics..) What the current `Pagan Federation London’  Officers take for granted, own and even have become rather possessive  & protective about (against me of all people) are mine and my friends’ creations!

That is  quite funny really  (one of them recently accused me of trying to sabotage an open ritual…which dare I say I planned and booked some 6-8 months prior!).  It’s all rather silly. But I appreciate that people have to find their on feet…and those less experienced tend to feel so insecure – that rather than ease into it, try and shoot their predecessors like me, as if that somehow will fix their own hidden issues? perhaps I am too much of a radical and a moral compass that they just can not face..  This process could also be a bit like children – who when hey reach adolescent have to exercise their growing adult-powers…by challenging their parents and teachers first!  It’s just human nature, I guess.

CoA Mag8 Ad for Witches Ball 2004

Last year, at the Pagan Federation 40th Anniversary Conference, I bumped into Merlyn (creator / organiser of Witchfest). It wasn’t the first time, as I had bumped into him few years ago in a pub and shook hands. But last year, I spoke of me attending the Witchfest. He even handed me a flyer for the event in November 2011. But then the Pagan Fed wanted to have a Stall and I volunteered along with another officer (the new District Manager of Pagan Fed London now!). So I manned the stall in shifts, and attended a few talks.

I must say, looking back over the years, others have had their share of stirring or even egging me on in to certain states…possibly because my clashes have provided endless gossip and entertainment for the pagan communities in London. It’s a bit like a pagan/ witchy version of `EastEnders’ perhaps? In any case, I now stand neutral – within my own sphere, and it probably disappoints those who seek entertainment at my expense! People have shut me up for too long with excuses of `for the good of community’ – and I think it’s time that a balance is struck, and my own withheld truths – such as these I have written above- (and more) are revealed!

And today – it is Witchfest International Event.. their 10th anniversary, and my Wife and a few friends are already going. And me- I am planning to attend – not as a member of CoA, not as a Rep of the Pagan Federation ..not as Speaker, Ritualist…but just as me..  Mani..  a paying customer .. looking for a day out with my wife and friends, some fun, some  workshops,  and some dancing when the bands start in the evening.

Guess what.. Tomorrow is already here!! 🙂

-Mani

Links:

Children of Artemis (wikipedia)

CoA website

Witchfest website

Pagan Federation (wikipedia)

Pagan Federation website

Blog- on PF (wiki entry developement )

PF London website (Oct 2005- Oct 2012)