Category Archives: Male Mysteries

O, to be a Man in modern times (Male Mysteries)

O, to be a Man in modern times:

So Brad Pit talks about standing by his woman (Angelina) when she lost 30 pounds and went through a low of all time.. and Dustin Hoffman emotionally explains the interesting thing about being a woman in Tootsie ..(`That was never comedy for me’..*tears*) ..

Do you think it’s time the rest of us men started to speak of our discoveries, our emotions, our hopes, sacrifices, dreams and nightmares.. and about the women who lifted us up.. and those who used us, abused us, envied us, feared us, toyed with us, loved us, hated us, and wanted to put us on planes and shoot it down?

Or shall we speak of those who could only see a threat and the large monstrous shadows the small boys within us cast? Shall we ordinary men speak of the darkness and light we have found in the hearts of the women in our lives?

Why must a man be praised only when he shows sensitivity to a woman or a child?
Why must he tuck his tooth, tail and claws, and submit or be vilified?

Why can’t a man’s voice be as strong as thunder and as sharp as a sword, as well as his touch be as gentle as feather and eyes soft and smokey as mist? Do we not worrhip Odin & Thor, Hern and Ares, as well as Pan and Sol and Osiris too? What of Chiron the mortally wounded warrior-Healer-Teacher? And Prometheus bringer of fire?

Isn’t it time.. for men to educate the world that we have more than just testosterone and beer flowing in our veins.. ?
There are moon-huts and red tents for women.. So isn’t it time for some Weyland-Huts and Sun-Circles..for men??

Males Mysteries in London - coming soon in 2014 (by Mani Navasothy / Hern's Tribe)
Males Mysteries in London – coming soon in 2014 (by Mani Navasothy / Hern’s Tribe)

Being a modern-man is not just about a pussy-kiss, a cock-rub or a bunny-tail dabbing on our faces and arses..
It is more than a spear to the Cauldron..
Deeper than a lance to the boil, more joyous than a wand to the Chalice.

It is not about the guilt of not being sensitive or strong, providing or not, or carrying the shame of men gone before and what they have done to other women..

Being a man is about the dance of light and life in all our dark places… turning war into peace, and peace into prosperity, with Sun in our hearts, moon in our brows, and Stag-horns adorning our Crowns..

It is much much more.. !
Background :

Back in 2002, in `Unicorns’ (my then-coven), a small group of men studying transpersonal psychology with the late Maureen Brown, began to meet monthly for `Male Mysteries’ discussions, prompted by Maureen. It lasted only few months. Some years later, I went on to start Hern’s Tribe, with ideas of it being a male mysteries group..but it evolved in a different way, encompassing men and women. For a long time, I have thought about these. A few years ago, Chris Crowley mentioned something about a Wiccan Male mystery meeting..that never materialised. With the guys of Hern’s Tribe, I’ve made some explorations (closed) on this subject.. exploring fire, using animals (road kills), tool making and so on (I once had to `procure’ a dead-Stag head using only a sharp edge of a branch..and later clean it all up only with craft knife to the bone..! So let’s just say Ia m no longer `squeemish’)

The NEWS: (Male Mysteries is coming to London)

So..in 2014, look our for one or two new things.. as preparations have been already underway..for few months on the exploration of `Male Mysteries (London). A facebook page & group are already set up (secret for now)..and additional pages in my Hern’s Tribe website are being developed too.. Dates for meeting are set.. and all will surface soon ūüôā

Bright Solar Blessings
-Mani Navasothy
Winter Solstice 2013

Lammas – pagan festival of harvest & sacrifice of Corn King

Lammas Sacrifices..

“Is he pure of heart?”

“Does he love the land..?”

“Does the fire of courage run through him..?”

Questions we can all ask of ourselves..as we reach Lammas…personal and agricultural time of harvest..!

What powers of authority will you willingly relinquish as the time has come? Or will you hold on to it..and become a Dictator?

Lammas sacrifice (c) Mani Navasothy

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy  (Wiccan High Priest, Author, Teacher)

related links

 

Swearing oaths on the Horns – A Hern’s Tribe (London) Ritual for MidSummer

Hern's Tribe Summer gathering 2013 - Swearing on the Horns (adapted) ritual
Hern’s Tribe Summer gathering 2013 – Swearing on the Horns (adapted) ritual

It’s been known that an old custom of `Swearing on the Horns’ used to take place in the High Gate area every year between 17th and 19th Century.  For the most part  these proceedings seem to have a farcical element (if not all) to it.   However,  Hern’s Tribe began to re-interpret and  enact this Ceremony some years ago, at Queen’s Woods (along with the `Windsor Hern ritual’ Рanother old custom that is said to be done for the well-being of the Sovereignty of this land).

Join us for a special Summer event outdoors in North London, at Queen’s Woods, for this Ceremony. Participate in it, and swear on the Horns of Hern, for your well-being, and that of the land, and make an oath of your promise to Hern or the Green-Man of the land in return.. to do your honorable best for the land and it’s people!

Afterwards, join in with festivities, drumming & singing, and Summer feasting.. and perhaps some Story telling …as the evening approach… of Fairies, Dragons, and magical realms.

Bring drums, masks, horns (if you have any), food & drinks, and any poetry & songs to share!

Date: Saturday 29th June 2013

Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm (core ceremony). Socials ongoing afterwards till last person leaves!

Venue: Central clearing at Queen’s Woods, North London.

How to get there: Get to `Highgate tube station’ (northern line), then to main road ( Archway Road). Turn in to Wood Lane, which becomes Queen’s Wood Road half way through. On the left hand side, at this bend is a formal entrance (with sign board) to the park. We’ll have ribbons tied up to mark the way!

Map ref:  http://goo.gl/maps/DgYNY

-Mani

Link:  

Hern’s Tribe- Outdoor shamanic ritual group ( website)

Article online about the old Swearing on the Horns (on mysterious Britain website)

 

Deers of Richmond Park London (Photos & info)

As a Pagan and one who magically attunes with the `Horned God’ energies (of Hern the Hunter, Cernnunos Lord of the Beasts/ animals), I often find it enjoyable to visit Richmond park, and just wander through – and observe the Deer. Granted they are in a managed park (Richmond is one of the Royal parks of London), the deer are free to roam and do what they like!

Here are some hi-resolution photos of the Deers of London’s Richmond Park – taken about a month ago, a few hours before sunset.

to pose or not to pose
Deer in Richmond Park (photo~ Mani Navasothy)

Rutting stags

In early Autumn (September and October) they begin their rutting – where male deer (Stags) begin their courting behaviour – first eating a lot in the weeks leading to this period, putting on a lot of body mass, and then herding and rounding up a large number of female deer to mate with (his Harem). ¬†During this time, the Stags do become highly agitated and can charge at people or animals (dogs) if they go anywhere near the herd. It’s a pure and simple territorial act!

Those other stags that do not have a harem of female deer do try to sneak into already rounded up female groups Рwhen the Stag of that group is distracted or drifts out a few yards. But then the leading Stag will charge and antlers get locked.. and often the intruding stag(s) are chased out. During the rutting season, the leading Stags make a lot of growling sounds. They do not eat much, and expend their energy in mating and defending his herd.  (and by the end of the rutting season, his body mass goes down!)

Int the light
Into the Light? Deer in Richmond Park (Photo ~ Mani Navasothy)

Culling

In Richmond, towards the end of Autumn, planned and managed culling (killing) occurs – where Rangers and trained gunners select a percentage of deer to kill.. so that the park can continue to sustain the deer population. During the culling weeks, the park is closed early (culling takes place after hours!) People are not advised to be in the park lest they get shot by mistake!

How to get to Richmond Park

  • Richmond Park is in the South West part of London. There’s a main Railway station (Richmond) that has both british rail (from Clapham Junction take the trains towards Reading..) ¬†and also the underground tube trains (District line going from London Victoria station)).
  • Once at Richmond station, come out, and within few steps, you’ll find bus stop (same side as station).
  • Take the Route Bus 371 from Stop: E ¬†towards Kingston. (buses every 8-10 mins)
  • Travel ¬†in bus for about 15 mins. Get out at `American University’ stop.
  • Walk forward on the same side for 3-5 minutes, and turn left at main junction (Land mark: Star & Garter nursing home)…and you’ll arrive at `Richmond Gate’ of the park. (The park has many `gates’ )

I’ll be adding more photos, video clips and sound clips soon .. ¬†(ones I have been filming & recording for a number of years!)

-Mani Navasothy

links¬†–

Hern’s Tribe – outdoor ritual group with Hern – Hunter-Horned God as main focus¬†¬†All welcome to Hern’s Tribe seasonal rituals

Pagan God & Goddess – article in my Witchcraft & Magic website

Stag divisions
Stag Divisions! Deer in Richmond Park (Photo ~ Mani Navasothy)

Rage, Power..and Freedom – Magic of the Wildman within?

Rage, Power and Freedom..! Those are qualities that the Incredible Hulk has in common with the Wildman within (applies to Wild-woman too). We are not talking about the behaviour of modern day city men and women  (or even the thuggish Football hooligans) who go out in packs on an evening out, (or to a  match) and act out their uninhibited self after consuming drugs or alcohol. We are (well I am) talking about the  psychological functions of the Primal Man or Primal woman Рthe deeply buried sub-personality!  (We all have an inner Wildman, inner Giant, inner Dwarf, inner wise-man/ woman, inner child and so on..  ).

The Incredible Hulk factor

Hulk - as a version of Primal Man!
Hulk – as a version of Primal Man!

I was watching The Incredible Hulk on Television a few nights ago (a movie that came out few years ago) – where Bruce Banner’s father talks about these qualities which his Son possesses (when he turns into the monstrous Hulk). It’s a comic book character of course – Scientist Bruce Banner accidentally gets overdosed on gamma radiation that ¬†affects his physiology for ever- and whenever Bruce gets angry or is physically violently hurt (attacked), he goes through a startling¬†metamorphosis – and turns into a Green Giant, that seems to act on rage. It’s only when the anger subsides that the process reverses, and Bruce resurfaces .. unable to remember anything while his Hulk persona has taken over.

In this case, it’s anger that’s triggering the process- and it’s anger we need to look at here!

Anger Рa Primal instinct of self preservation 

Psychologists will tell you …..Anger stems from a Self-preservation instinct.!

It may seem unlikely that in modern day, we get angry for smallest or biggest triggers- many of which don’t have any semblance of a `personal attack or risk’. ¬† So why would be bring up a `self-preservation’ instinct? ¬† ¬†Well, ¬†in ancient times, if someone attacked you, or took away one of your few possessions, it may mean life or death (survival) for you! ¬† There were no possessions of luxury (ipods, computer games, ¬†coal drinks etc). ¬† ¬†Warm cloths, personal hunting tools, corner of a communal cave, section of a hut or a tribal village- ¬†each had a purpose of personal survival… So ¬†if someone took any of it, or intruded without being welcomed, it would have been met with an `angry’ (what we call angry now) reaction of violence! ¬†Defending one’s¬†territory, hut, village, possessions.. etc

Thankfully, unless we are getting attacked by criminals (I’ve been there many times), we don;t have to retaliate so violently. But certain things do trigger anger or rage within us. ¬† Normal anger is …well..normal. We all feel it.. at times. But rage is different. It’s all consuming, and can be violent.

Am all too familiar with anger turning me into a `Hulk’ myself. ¬†Yes Anger does sometimes tear out the self-control and releases the inner-hulk. ¬†And no, I’ve never hut anyone.. ¬†but have tended to slam doors, throw household objects on the floor, and shout at anyone who’s interactions have triggered the whole process! ¬†Very close family or friends have seen this.. sadly. ¬†But it’s entirely another matter if it happens in public – usually because of some one else has been rowdy, abusive or even physically attacking me!

In those moments, I have watched myself transform within- fear leaves, mind becomes alert (and assesses possible exits, safety and dangers to myself)..and of course I am ready to not just defend myself..but willing to attack in return! ¬†Anger seems to give a kind of adrenalin rush, super confidence and even strength …that can last long enough (5 -10 minutes at the most).. ¬† Where as people who are drugged r drunk may feel similar `false confidence and bravado’ ¬†and attempt to take on challenges (but their body is weak and uncoordinated by the influence of substances), ¬†a normal human being ..in a state of anger ..will have the jolt of confidence and has the normal senses that become acute and heightened.. ¬†The adrenalin fuels, and hormones flood to block any physical pain, so the person can spontaneously take on physically incredible tasks…(and more likely succeed too!).

Moments of Rage – a primal response

I am sure we have all been in those moments – moments of pure rage??! ¬†(If you have not been in one, either you are suppressing a natural function, or lying to yourself that you don’t get angry!)

People are all too quick to¬†catalogue¬†¬†a series of human emotions.. ¬† Love, hate, Joy, anger, envy, jealousy ..and a hundred more. What’s worse, anger is seen as a negative emotion to be handled, suppressed, to be shameful off, be¬†embarrassed¬†about.. ! ¬† ¬†We are clouded by modern day and heavily abstract thinking.. We need to go beyond.. ¬†to before…to primal times, to truly understand this.

Am sure most people know enough Psychology to jump up and say, `It’s a flight or fight response’.. ¬†and they will be right too. ¬† But there’s more to it.

Primal humans did not have language …not in the way we do now. Primal man didn’t have the complex cognitive understanding of a hundred emotions. In fact, am quite sure there were and still are not so many `emotions’. A large amount of it is abstract, result of our intelligence trying to give everything a label. ¬†Primal man would have felt a type of raw angry emotion, if he had been threatened or hurt. The emotions would have been also similar if something he considered his was forcefully taken from him (possession). That is unless of course he is a lowly tribesman and the one who took his possession (objects, house, cattle…or even his `mate’ ) was his Tribal Chief..in which case a sort of¬†hierarchy comes into play (and submission!). If possible, he would attack or defend, and if not possible, he would run away to safety. This is common to any animal – then and now. And Primal man would have been no exception.. ¬†!

I haven’t read anything to known this – I merely put myself in a similar situation ¬†and remove modern day complex thoughts and system from my intellectual mind.

Primal man is a few steps removed from the Ape he evolved from. And we modern people are about 10,000 years ahead of primal man!

Meet the Wild One

Green Man of the Wildwoods
Green Man of the Wildwoods

We don’t need a Time to go back and…to meet the primal man! ¬† We also don’t need a burst of gamma rays to trigger some internal cellular transformation. ¬† ¬†The Wildman (or Wldwoman) ¬†is within us! ¬† The millions of years of evolution that gave rise to the Primal Man who acted out of animal reflects, base emotions, and primitive instincts …are still within each one of us.. ¬†It has only been a few thousand years since that point where we have become `civilised’ (not nearly long enough for very old and long term natural conditioning to have been weened out of our human psyche!)

It is in moments of crisis, or personal threats – for those who are in touch with their inner Wild Man or Wildwoman- that rage becomes a trigger for transformation! We may have a hundred modern thoughts and intellectual constructs flooding our minds, but certain triggers put us right back in the realm of the Primal Man and Woman!

When that trigger occurs, the inner Wildman or Wildwoman is released. Or rather, we become strongly in touch with that primal self that is burried under all those layers. ¬† And in expressing that un-civilised state, ¬†¬†which is otherwise curtailed by our everyday systems , social stigmas, conditioning and legal framework,¬†and in becoming unanswerable at any one or reason for a brief flashing moment…. ¬†the chains of social conditioning, expectations and all that break and fall away! ¬† And we experience personal power..and our potential for doing anything we dare… ¬†true Freedom!

The Green Man imagery that pagans often worship, honour and talk about – has some deeper ideas behind it. He is often thought of as the Spirit of Nature, symbol of spring, symbol of Fertility. But am sure there are many who have experienced that wild energy in outdoor rituals wil tell you- The Green Man is also about raw Power and Force of nature. (Every time I’ve stripped off my normal cloths, got into a Greenman mask & outfit..I experience that transformation…of freedom and power! Am sure some of you have done that before!)

Running Wild in the Forests 

Some 20 years ago, long before I was a western pagan interested in doing rituals, or shamanism or any of that, and long before I ever became interested in Psychology & Counselling, I was attracted to outdoor places.. ¬†woodlands and forests.. ¬†And sometimes, when the mood has taken me, I have taken off all my cloths, put then somewhere safe, and allowed myself to be a Human-animal. ¬†While fully aware, I have enjoyed the freedom that comes from ..not walking about naked in a forest…but crawling about on the forest floor through bushes and on rocks and gravel (yes there’s been the odd scratches). I have avoided people, and allowed myself to experience a strange sense of freedom. ¬†I have crawled in the Sun and even in the storms.. and I have growled, prowled, ran, crawled and explored the world from a low point of view.

And one thought has often occured (before or after those explorations). What if one day I go into the woods and never come back? What if I allow the Human animal full freedom.. and it forgets who it was? What if rationale and human intellect just peels away ..and the Human-animal that I am runs free? ¬†Yes, am sure psychologists would give it all sorts of explanations. Am aware of all that. They’d even give it all sorts of analysis and diagnosis…and I am aware of that too. Twenty years ago, I was unaware of Psychology or Spirituality, about trance, shamanism and western paganism. ..and about invoking Gods and Goddesses into Priests and Priestesses. ¬†(Now I do).

The feeling of Freedom and being immersed in my power- that has been tainted by so many years of social conditioning..

But more and more, I remember those old feelings of running Wild in the Forest in thunder storms .. !   The Primal Man is still within..  and  breaking at the bones to come out!

Here’s a thing- you try it out, and then you’ll really know what I am talking about!! ūüôā

-Mani Navasothy

HT-beginning2004-5Note about Hern’s Tribe: About 8 years ago, I started an outdoor shamanic ritual group called `Hern’s Tribe’ – ¬†which tends to meet 8 or more times a year alreays outdoors (rain or shine) to gather, socialise and do rituals. ¬†Tribal cultures, their systems and ways have always interested me.. ¬†for the hidden primal powers they posses. ¬†Read more about Hern’s Tribe.¬†

Maha Shivaratri (Shiva’s night) and the Worship of Hindu God Shiva

Lord Shiva Cosmic Dancer (Hind God of creation and destruction)   Art -ManiN'13
Lord Shiva Cosmic Dancer (Hind God of creation and destruction) Art -Mani Navasothy’13

Maha Shiva Ratri ¬†is the `Great Night of Shiva’ ¬†– when Hindu devotees of the God Shiva spend a whole night in total worship and prayers of Shiva – either in their homes or local temples. ¬†

Shivarathri nights for coming years:  

  • Friday 24th February 2017;
  • Tuesday 13th February 2018;
  • Monday 4th March 2019;
  • Friday 21st February 2020

 

NEW: Click here to read about `Flames of Shiva Ceremony that you can perform)

 

 

Shiva:  Tribal God of the Dance

Shiva is a god with a 3rd eye on his forehead – which he keeps closed, as the opening of it can bring forth divine flames which no one can bear! ¬† Shiva’s son Murugan (Karthigeyan) is said ¬†to have been born of the flames that came from Shiva’s 3rd eye!)

Shiva wears a serpent around his neck, a Crescent moon on his hair, and the river Ganga ¬†flows from her heavenly origins down to Shiva’s head, and after being slowed down, flows down to Earthly realms. Shiva is often seen to be meditating – on mountain realms, or in Crematoriums and graveyards. ¬†He has a tribal look, and only wears a Tiger-skin cloth (or deer skin). ¬†He holds in his hands a Trident (powerful weapon that targets any evil), and in his other hand carries a Drum..which he drums to reach a trance state in his dance!

Shiva taking on Karma

The day before (9th Match) is Pradosham, when Shiva is said to have taken in the poison of a great serpent and swallowed it so that it would not harm the worlds!   (This symbolises the bad Karma).

People often pray to Shiva to ask divine help in breaking the karmic cycle or birth, death and soul’s reincarnation.. ¬† It is said that the worship and devotion to ¬†Hindu God Shiva enables a person ¬†to convert the negative karma from One’s life into positive energy – as Shiva is the remover of sin and and Lord or mercy. Mere words or worship are not always enough, as it has been known through mythological and religious stories – that Shiva has come in many disguises and incarnations and tested his worshipers …at times to extreme breaking points.. and revealed himself at the 11th hour (so to speak), before a crisis occurs, and rewarding his worshipers.

Tales of Shiva’s appearances to his devotees

In one story, Shiva came in the guise of a man being a guest at a family man who’s good deed and genuine honour was well known. In his guise, Shiva asked the man to `kill his only son, cook him and serve it as a meal.. The Host (worshiper) though extremely distraught was willing to do so.. as it is a rule in Hindu Vedas (sacred writings) that providing food for guests is a great thing in itself. Shiva, once satisfied, not only brought back the life of the child, but blessed his worshiper and family. This is an extreme story.

Another one tells of a King building a great Temple for Shiva and setting a date for the Temple Consecration, for which he had prayed Lord Shiva to appear. Shiva refused because he had already agreed to attend another even greater temple in another part of the country. The King was so puzzled but chose to attend the other Temple Consecration, and went to the said part in search of a person. It turned out that the said man was – though firm devotee of Shiva- very poor and had been building ¬†`an astral temple’ in his mind in regular meditations…and it was that Temple consecration which Shiva had chosen to attend.

A third story involves a Spider who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. In a forest, there existed a statue (Shivalingham) of Shiva. The dried leaves of nearby trees and other dirt often fell on the statue. So the Spider persisted daily and kept weaving webs above the statue, to create cover so that leaves and dirt will not fall on the statue. It is said that Lord Shiva appeared one day and blessed the Spider and gave it Moksha (ascension to divine ¬†realm at Shiva’s place).

The Hindu teachings highlight 64 of such specific stories of Shiva’s devotees – (not all human).

Dance of Destruction 

Maha Shivratri falls on the 14th day of the dark half of ‘Margasirsa’ (February-March). The ceremonies take place ¬†at night. ¬†Some teachings say this ¬†festival is observed in honour of Lord Shiva’s marriage to Parvathi (Goddess Shakthi in one of her incarnations). ¬†¬†On this festival people worship ‘Shiva – the Destroyer’. This night marks the night when Lord Shiva danced the ‘Tandav’- a cosmic dance of destruction. In the hindu stories, Parvati ¬†was said to have died, and pining for her and out of extreme sadness and anger, Lord Shiva began the dance of Destruction that shook the Cosmos and all of creation. (Parvati was then incarnated on earth as a King’s daughter, and Shiva eventually married her and brought her back to Kailasa ¬†– his dwelling on Mount Himalaya). ¬†[ Gods and Goddesses often leave their divine realms and incarnate on Earth in human form, and eventually return ].

Story of the Great Flame (Shiva’s night)

The Story of Maha Shivarathri that I am familiar with from my childhood involves the divine Male Triplicity Р Lord Brahma (creator), Lord Vishnu (Protetor) and Lord Shiva (Destroyer and Re-creator).    The story states that an argument arose between Brahma & Vishnu ..as to which of the two is the greatest God. They could not settle the matter, so they approached Lord Shiva. Shiva smiled mischievously, and offered a competition. Shiva took up form as a large flame, and he suggested that whomever finds the end of the flame first shall be named the greatest God (Brahma or Vishnu).    Brahma took up form as a Swan and flew upwards, higher and higher, in search of the top of the flame.  Vishnu took up form as a Wild Boar, and dug deeper and deeper into the ground, in search of the bottom of the flame.  After a lot of effort, both Brahma (Swan) and Vishnu (Boar) gave up..  and it was then that realisation struck them both.

Both came to stand defeated, humble in front of the great Flame that is Lord Shiva, and praised him, as the greatest of all, as his was a form without beginning or ending. Shiva returned to hims normal form.

Shiva Rathree is said to be the night ..when this great search had taken place!

What happens on Shiva Rathri

Hindus observe a strict fast on this day and ¬†keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam ¬†( phalic symbol representing Shiva’s union with Sakthi) is worshipped throughout the night by Abishekam (ritual washing ¬†with milk, curd, honey, rose water, fruit mix, and so on). ¬†Devotees continue to chant the sacred mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” . ¬†¬†Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva are sung with great devotion.

Shiva’s Mantra

It is said that  those who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins, and will reach Kailasha Р the abode of Shiva.  Such devotees are liberated from the wheel of births and deaths.

What you can do on Shivarathri

Anyone interested in the spiritual work on this special night can worship Shiva in their own ways. Lord Shiva sees, hears and knows all.

  • Light ¬†a Lamp or Candle on Shivarathri ..and keep a vigil all night.
  • Fast for a day and night – if possible. Or consume only milk and fruits. Or just milk-rice.
  • Do not eat any meat (if you must eat). Do not consume any drugs or alcohol.
  • Keep your mind pure of distractions – as hard a sthis may be (doing so for a whole night can be hard!)
  • If possible, create an altar in a clean and sacred place. Light incense. Decorate with flowers. ¬†Have a glass of water or milk on the altar, as well as a Shivalingham or Shiva statue (or picture).
  • Cleanse the altar by ringing a bell over it a few times. You may also show Arthi (camphor blocks that are lit and burnt and wafted over altar or any statues).
  • If known, sing chants or hindu hyms.
    Silent meditation and prayers are equally fine.
  • Chant `Om Shivaya Namaha’ ¬† – several times out loud, or softly in a meditative state.
  • Visualise Lord Shiva as a cosmic force – the light of every star and galaxies (Old stars explode and die that their plasma and dust may coalesce ¬†and form new Stars and planets).

Bright Stellar Blessings

-Manivannan Navasothy

ps. my late father’s name – Navasothy -is ¬†that of Lord Shiva ..and means `Nine Flames’ ¬†ūüôā

Links to Hindu / Tamil features

NEW:  `Flames of Shiva Ceremony that you can perform

New: Hanuman  РMonkey God in Hindu epic Ramayanam

Vinayagar Shathurthi – Birthday of Elephant God Ganesh

Navarathri- Nine nights of the Goddess 

Sooran Por (Demon War) and Lord Murugan

Lord Krishna’s message – what is to happen?¬†

Thai Pongal- Tamil Harvest Festival 

Do men Cry in the Rain? (Male Mysteries)

The song goes “..One day when my crying’s done, am gonna wear a smile and walk in the Sun.. until then, I do my crying in the rain..” ¬† Do you guys? And I am talking to guys..as in men.. (‘cos these days everyone calls everyone guys.. so it gets confusing).

The other day, I was in a particularly emotional state. and had broken down into a few tears .. in front of my mother and my sister..no less. Just for a few seconds, ¬†mind you! ¬†(well,I had ..by some personal miracle, been holding back the emotions for a good 2 hours as I¬†traveled¬†through the London Transport system at evening peak travel time.. without any tears showing in public!). ¬† So you know what my mum said, as she patted my back briefly? ¬† That men don’t cry.. Okay so she said that in a consoling tone..but that’s what she said.

Now I am a deeply sensitive guy (as in Man!) inside, and most of the time the best expression of emotions I have is anger.. ¬†and frustration.. I can give all sorts of psychology- but the truth of it is, it’s a habit learnt from my father (sadly). I had of course seen him cry in the past – either when he was drunk, or that one time..when he held me ( I was a 5 yr old boy) and while watching his father (my grandfather) die!!

Between then and now, I have shed tears.. ¬†in sympathy, empathy..or just because I am plain old upset or deeply sad.. about one thing or another. ¬† (Some 4-5 months ago, when a select few people of a Pagan community were hell-bent on bullying and¬†harassing¬†me online.. ¬†I had had darker days..and only my partner saw me in moments of despair and tears). ¬†¬†But yes, most of the time.. 99% that is.. ¬†I hide… ¬†either very late at night, quietly.. or out in the garden ..underneath my sacred Willow Tree ..(a weeping Willow is no good if one can’t actually weep under it sometimes…!) ¬†And yes, I have stood out in the rain at times crying too.. ¬† ¬† The other great excuse ¬†I’ve used to hide tears is…cold! ¬†Yeah, just say you have a cold, and that’s why your eyes are watery.. ¬† Sniffle a few times, and blow your nose in a tissue in front people..or go as far as to act out a quick sneeze…and no one will guess!!

Going Forward

Seriously, leaving my personal trials and tribulations aside (and what’s the point of a personal blog if I can’t do the¬†occasional revelation?).. ¬†I got to thinking about all sorts of things.

Society: Male Mysteries
Society: Male Mysteries – emotional support and psychological explorations of well-being for men.

Firstly that if more men do express emotions, then for people like me, those suppressed emotions won’t surface as `anger’.. ¬†and the world will really be a better place.

Secondly, that if there are more groups, places or support – for men ..to help deal with our struggles, then much breakthrough can happen. ¬†It’s not about some great big scheme, where men turn up and do communal crying… as some therapeutic act (though here may be serious merit in that too). No. It’s about a place.. ¬†physical or online, where without this social stigma that men can’t show emotions, ..we men can live emotionally enriched lives.. ¬†and face crisis and struggles better (instead face them with¬†aggression¬†– something I am known for doing!)

Male Mysteries РEsoteric & Magical Explorations 

Some 8-9 years ago, I was having weekly counselling . ¬†No, not because there was something wrong.. I was studying Transpersonal Psychology, and training in Counselling Skills. So the course required me to be in counselling to deal with old stuff…and so much resolutions and wisdom came out of that. ¬† The lady who helped me was the late Maureen Brown. And she often spoke of a deep lack of `Male mysteries’ in pagan, esoteric and spiritual communities… Or just in modern world…for all ! ¬† We got a little group going.. monthly. ¬†But it did not progress. However, I took some of those ideas and started forming the pagan outdoor group `Hern’s Tribe’ ¬†– which was to be a Male Mysteries group. ¬† ¬†That changed however, and became a unisex general outdoor shamanic group. ¬† ¬†Some of the guys in Hern’s Tribe did how ever explored a few male mysteries in 3-4 outdoor special activities & ceremonies (ideas of fire, hunting etc). It was a private subgroup we called Obsidian Order (taken from the fact that Obsidian is a hardened glass-crystal that stone age man used to fashion sharp spear-heads or arrow tips).

Hern's Tribe: Male Mysteries
Hern’s Tribe: Male Mysteries – esoteric explorations

But recently I had been thinking about all that, and have been inspired (by Circumstances and just socially aware thinking)…to take those ideas forward. ¬†Already I have set up a facebook group and a page ¬†(Can you believe that? almost 1 Billion people on facebook, and no Male Mysteries group or page until yesterday!) ¬†It’s just a seed…work in progress…but do look for it, and become a member or a fan.. ¬† I’ll of course promote it once it has taken shape.

I’ll close this blog post with one final though.. ¬†on tears again. ¬† Very much all those ancient Egyptian statues and art works seem to have that specialised Eye-design.. and why does it always show a tear? ¬†Tears of Isis? Tears of Ra? Tears ..why?

-Mani Navasothy

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