Hymn to Pan is one of the most famous creations by the English Occultist & Ritual magician Aleister Crowley. He wrote this in 1913 (published in 1919). I had first seen this poem performed by the late Wiccan Elder Zachary Cox, at a Pagan Picnic in Queen’ Woods, High Gate, North London.. (2006?). I have seen it done by a friend few years ago (again in Queen’s Woods, at a Beltane Ritual I was facilitating for my `London Woodland Witches meetup group’ . Going as far back as 2008,
I’ve been organsing `Pan’s Picnic’ every year.. And it was now..during lockdown, while we are doing so many online zoom rituals, that I had the sudden idea to perform this poem myself. I began fully familiarizing myself with the poem at night. Each night I’d whisper it and practice..(‘cos others were sleeping in our household).
And on the night of 21st March 2021, after much delays and almost giving up.. I drove to the woods near Croydon – where I hold Hern’s Tribe rituals for some 16years. There I quietly set the camera up.. set up an altar – and heard the poem in my head as I danced with flame. When it was all done, I packed it all away …and finally set the voice recorder, and let loose reciting the poem!! And the Pan in me was fully Free!
(note: Apart from adding a little echo for the later section, no other voice manipulation was done. The throaty croaky snarly growly changes were as it happened live in 1 take of the voice recording…and almost in 1 long breath too. You can hear it once where I gasped for breath and continued!)
It’s now my quest to fully learn this glorious poem by heart.. and do it as a Self-invocation & Charge of the God Pan -in a woodland ritual, for that is what this poem is. If you study the words carefully,. you’ll see where it changes from `calling Pan’ to `being Pan’ !
The Jupiter-conjunction-Pluto in Capricorn is happening three (3) times in this year 2020! Anyone who knows evening the slightest bit of astrology knows that (a) Conjunctions are really powerful and (b) when something involves Pluto, it’s going to be deep, intense.. and ultimately transformative. And there is a (c) too.. that when Jupiter is involved, there are beneficial forces at work! Let’s look at some details:
The Jupiter-Pluto-conjunction occurs on 5th April 2020, then the planets go retrograde. During this phase, they conjunct again, on 30th June. The planets slip far back in the sign of Capricorn… (Jupiter goes backwards to 17 degrees Capricorn, and Pluto back to 22 degrees). They slow and stop..and start to go direct. Pluto first then Jupiter. As Jupiter is a further back but a faster moving planet than Pluto, it eventually catches up to Pluto and conjuncts on 12th November for the 3rd time..
(note: Jupiter leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius on 19th December.. where it then conjuncts Saturn in Aquarius on 21st December.. but that’s a stellar story for another blog).
The graphics shows exact dates when Jupiter & Pluto make certain `events’
Where? All of this is occuring in the sign of Capricorn the mystical sea-goat (ruled by Saturn). Capricorn is an Earth sign.. Jupiter is fiery and Pluto.. well, Pluto rules the deep, the unconscious, the underworld!
So who will these transits affect or influence? Short answer is…*everyone* Long answer.. Well, As all this is happening in Capricorn, that sign is the meeting-ground. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, and Pluto rules Scorpios. So those signs will be strongly affected too. But then, the position of Capricorn will be a particular house’ position for each individual. For some it will be their birth sign, for others it’s their 2nd house (wealth, values), 7th (relationships, partnerships), 10th house (Career, fame) and so on.. Capricorn will be one of the 12 houses for any one of you. So that particular sector of your life will be the one most transformed by these 3 repeated aspects.
Not only that – but on your own natal chart, look to see what house encloses the signs of Sagittarius & Scorpio. Those houses will be affected for you personally.
A conjunction blends and combines the energies of both planets involved. As Capricorn plays host to this conjunction, the energy of Capricorn will be added to the mix of Jupiter & Pluto.. Expansion, farsight, distant travel, higher learning, religion, law, Justice, gambling, impulsivity, risk taking, flirting & romance are some qualities to bear in mind for Jupiter. Intensity, secrets, probing, manipulation power, control, sexuality, others’ money, death and rebirth and ultimately transformations are the energies that Pluto brings to this conjunction. And as you can see…the combinations and permutations of these energies are very many indeed.
It all depends on what you are open to, how far you are willing to work with some of the energies, influences and issues that are surfacing..
You won’t just get one chance but three! The weeks and days leading upto the first occurence of this conjunction will raise up deeper issues. Rather than fearing them, start to acknowledge hem to your self..and work through them…resolve them.. integrate them.
By the time the conjunction has occurred a 2nd time (especially as both planets are retrograding), you may feel your best laid plans of dealing with these issues are all gone awry.. That may result in frustration, more fears, avoidance, obsessions, escapism, addictions, harming others or self-harming, destructive habits, manipulative habits and more. Or you may simply feel like or actually cut and run away.. avoid issues, take more risks, loose your temper.
Dabbling in the occult or dark magic may take you in unsafe directions.. and endanger self or others. Guard against falling prey to outside cult or occult influences.
Small things may trigger you into acting disproportionately, or exaggerate reactions, blow things out of proportions. The negative traits of Jupiter & Pluto may take hold. Usually during a triple-repeated conjunctions, the mid-point is very trying.. where nothing makes sense, and control and plans are gone.. and you may feel compelled to act in nonproductive ways..
That will be the time to work very hard at staying calm.. to stay grounded and centred.. to do more personal work of spirituality or psychology. Also a time to keep safe with tried and tested methods, people or places.. Stay safe.. but let go of expectations.
When such powerful planetary energies are at play, trying to become clever, trying to manage it, employing short cuts rather than working carefully and sincerely through the issues raised to surface is not going to work in the long term.
Between the 2nd and 3rd occurance of the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction..ie between 30th June and 12th November – Do The Work!! Be genuine.. and hold faith the fact that this is ultimately beneficial aspect and the transformation – once slowly and deeply achieved – will benefit you for decades to come.. for we will not live to see this similar aspect again in our lifetimes.
It may interest you to know, I myself will be strongly affected by these aspects.. (one of those planets rules my birth sign!). And there is one thing I have learnt about the influence of stars in my life. I can not cheat it by knowing about it in advance.. (I’ve tried in the distant past). So I myself will be trying to take some of this advise for me… And as more insights and far-sights surface, I’ll be sure to blog them/ add them here.
Magic & Spirituality
Of course there is one matter I have not mentioned so far.. Well I have in an indirect way. The cheating!
Many believe all of our lives and all that we do are `fated’ – that is to say predetermined by Fate or God or Goddess or universe, and we do not know but our futures are all set in stone. BUT an equal number of people believe that we humans have Free Will.. and that we are the Masters of our own destiny & futures. And certainly, those who practise Magic believe that we have the ability to influence and choose our future in a direct and esoteric way.. !
So I like to add a few suggestions..in the way of tackling the conjunctions coming, (well by the time you read this, the first of the conjunction will be happening.. I am writing this `under their influences already’ and that was intentional. I could have written this 2 months ago when i first mentioned it..but I wanted to get a better handle on the energies brewing..so I could write it better.. and I am. I trust that as the aspect brews, it’s inspiring me to write the most relevant words and thoughts.. The fact that I have never taken this style of writing an astrological blog is evidence of its influence.. as I didn not even think to add magic & spirituality to this blog.
To those suggestions then..
Work with some God forms and archetypes.. Learn about the gods and myths of Zeus and Jupiter.. and even a little of Thor and Vishnu (all are connected to Jupiter!) Learn and work with Pluto / Hades Lord of the Underworld.. Work with Shiva the dancing form (destroyer). And work with Saturn. Those are the energies at work here. and tuning into them more will help.
Though trying to control the outcomes of these aspects is likely to backfire.. doing some constructive planetary magical works can be productive.
It is a powerful time of transformation and expansion – though it may not seem that way. dig deep, or pierce the wounds .. clear the hole of clutter, and dross, and drain puss from old wounds.. Let it all heal.. and ready the ground and plant new seeds and dreams. These will grow into glorious new tall trees… Their roots will go deep..as their branches will spread far and wide.. beyond th small horizons you were ever used to before.
Bright Stellar Blessings
Author, Teacher, AstroMage.
ps. I will shortly begin to offer my support & services for High Magical talismans/ charms, as well as personalised astrological forecasts (3, 6, 9 or 12 months). Please keep an eye on my blog or my official website http://www.Mani.org.uk. Thanks.
The partial Solar Eclipse of 11th August falls at 10.59am in the firey sign of Leo the Lion! And back in 2013, we created a Sekhmet statue from Thames clay and after ceremony, submerged her in the river. Finally we are keeping our promise..and on this Solar Eclipse Day in Leo, the submerged Sekhmet will rise!!!
Join us for a variety of magical working & socials through out this day. It’s going to be tricky trying to run this ..as we travel around London from place to place.. so please `rsvp’ to this event (even if you have a mild interest in one of more of the activities).. and stay updated – as we lead up to this event, and also on the day, as we travel from place to place.. so you can figure out where to meet/ join us. (you can just join us for the man morning work during actual Eclipse, or the evening ritual by Thames at low tide!).
1. Morning Solar Eclipse meditation with Yantra & Chant – for personal internal shift. > 9am meeting at Richmond station.
This takes place (tbc) at Richmond Park.
We’ll be meeting at Richmond Train station ..ticket foyer at 9am-9.15am (no later) and take bus to Richmond Park.. for the actual meditative/ magical working in a quiet open-spot (regardless of weather!! As energies is what we are working at exact moment of Eclipse). We’ll enter meditative work at 10.45am and be immersed in it during Eclipse at 10.59am. Work will conclude around 11.15am (includes star meditation and opening of cosmic portal). After this, we’ll have a short picnic/ lunch.. either in park or in Richmond town.
Some of us will then be travelling to British Museum.. via tube to Earl’s court, then piccadilly line to Holborn and walk from there to British Museum.
2. Visit to Sekhmet Statues at British Museum. > 2.30pm.
We’ll be meeting by the road-entrance/ gates to the British Museum at 2.30pm. Gather anyone else ..and go in for a short visit directly to the ground floor (entry then turn left) Egyptian section, where the triple Sekhmet statues from Egypt are displayed. There we’ll have a silent personal few moments..(as there will be public visitors too). We can take photos with the Lady herself.. to mark the visit.
After this, those carrying on, will walk to Tottenham Court Road tube station. We may stop for a coffee break. also may stop for snacks. From there, taking Northern line to Embankment.
3. Visit to Cleopatra’s Needle (Embankment)> 6pm.
We’ll arrive at Cleopatra’s needle at approx 6pm. (check meetup for updates/ delays). Here we’ll just spend a short while, marking the moment with photos .. with Cleopatra’s Needle & the 2 Sphinxes. It’s purely a social visit.
Then some of us will continue – back to tube, travel to Blackfriars. There we’ll probably stop at nearby supermarkets (tesco / sainsbury) for provisions (food & drinks for evening ceremony). And continue walking to Millenium Bridge and Tate Modern Gallery area.
4. Rise of Sekhmet- Ceremony by river bank (Tate Modern area) > 8pm onwards. Donations (£3) welcome.
We’ll be gathering by the river-side seats outside Tate Modern Gallery from 8pm. When all are gathered, we’ll be walking down the steps to river bank, under the usual ritual spot/ concrete walkway.. set up altar, and do our main Sekhmet Ceremony.
(details of this ceremony will be updated here in due course).
Low tide is at approx 21:39hrs BST. so we’re safe..and will finish up by 10pm. A larger hand-made sculpture of Sekhmet will be `raised from the river’ and processed to the Altar space, where ceremony will take place.
Note: Sekhment is Lion-headed warrior Goddess, as well as a Solar deity. So she is perfect for this day of Solar Eclipse in Leo.
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).
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
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).
This annual ceremony was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back. You will have heard the saying, `waiting for my ship to come in’ – a saying that indicates a person waiting for his /her good fortunes to arrive. Well, in order for ships to come in they must first be sent out – and with blessings and good plans.
We are adapting the old ceremony to suit the times and place we now live it! In this ceremony, we will bless the `fleet’ and place our hopes and wishes of good fortune and success in the ventures we are starting as Spring approaches. We then set the ships to sail (some will be sent.. other larger models will be pulled back, so as not to litter river Thames).
Fee: suggested Donation £3 towards our costs and continued running of these rituals. (thank you).
Ritual outline : A statue of the Goddess will be carried to the water side. Women may offer mirrors so that Goddess Isis may see her beauty. We will pour milk on the banks then sprinkle the statue with precious perfumes & flowers. As the final part of the ritual, a small replica boat(s) will be filled with spices and other magical items, and placed in the river as an offering to the Goddess Isis. Smaller paper boats may also be placed in the river and let go off..
Bring your own small boats! Be it paper boats or small scale models – to either sail them on the river Thames afterwards, or to symbolically place them on our altar during ritual, to gain the blessings of Isis for your own ventures ahead in 2017.
Practical details / meeting point (edited on 28Feb17)
new meeting point / time: Hollyhock Cafe, Terrace Gardens, Petersham Road, TW10 6UX. Meet there by 1.30pm
( You can get to Richmond station by 1pm and you must walk/ take a bus to Terrace Gardens). We will cross the road to the riverside for ceremony.
Exact spot for ceremony may vary/change depending on how busy the riverside is . So please meet at the Cafe and we can all walk to the riverside.
Altar set up by 2pm. Ceremony will soon after that.. At the end of the ceremony our `ships’ will be set sail followed by Feasting. We expect to be back at station by 5pm .. and visit a cafe or pub to socialise (in warmth).
**Please wear absolutely sensible shoes, warm & water poof cloths** .. Our rituals go ahead whatever the weather.. and how ever many or few people attend. We do them for serious magical purpose! So no need to double check ..if its snowing or blowing storms! Just turn up and take a chance.. Magic is supposed to be wild and tied with nature!!
All are Welcome to attend these . Do contact us and contribute with your creativity, knowledge & magic for these new explorations..
Our Gatherings normally take the following form
a) Meeting at the Richmond Station, at appointed place, and then walking together to the selected Ritual area.
b) Pre-Ritual Social & setting up altar / getting into ritual cloths and explanation of ritual (delegating some ritual roles to people who are interested).
d) Feasting & Social
e) Taking down altar, packing & tidy-up, and departures (Individuals make their own way back).
*Some people leave as soon as Ritual is complete. Others stay longer to enjoy socials & bonding with our friends.
Please bring Food & drinks to share. It can be a bottle of wine, soft drinks, hot drinks (in a flask), short eats, snacks, bread, butter, cheese, humus, cakes, salads, pasta and so on.
We ask that no photos are taken during the setting up of altar or ritual itself. Thank you 🙂
Link to meetup event for this ceremony
Isidias Navigatum- Goddess Isis Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony 2017 (Richmond)
This annual ceremony was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back. You will have heard the saying, `waiting for my ship to come in’ – a saying that indicates a person waiting for …
Dear all, I am organising this ritual tomorrow in Richmond.. Details below.. All welcome.. No prior knowledge of Rituals or Hindu ceremony / magic required as I will give a full explanation .. Best wishes & Blessings. Mani
Ganesh Chathurthi is a special festival that honors the birth of the Hindu elephant-headed god, Lord Ganesha (Ganapathy, Vinayagar). He is said to remove obstacles and bring good fortune.
This year, the festival begins on 17th September and culminates on Sunday 27th Sept, which seems ideal for us to meet for our own outdoor special event.
I had previously witnessed participated in `Durga in the water’ event in London (Putney) over a decade ago, and was inspired to start river Thames-based seasonal rituals (Tamesa London Circles). Those then evolved into Thames-Isis rituals (and still continue.. ).
However it’s been a long term wish to return to the the roots…and do a Hindu ceremony.. so here we are! 🙂 For this ceremony of `Ganesh in Water’, I will be creating a new Ganesh sculpture out of Willow tree branches & bio-degradable strings..
It (he) will then be used in our special water-side ceremony by the river Thames. It will take place in a `clean/ clear’ section of the river Thames (Richmond area).
I will begin making a Ganesh figure tomorrow morning and will bring the figure (probably 1′ x 1′ x 1′ – bulky to carry).
On the day, `he’ will be placed on the altar..and we can all add items, leaves, twigs and other bio-degradable decorations.. while Chanting & prayers take place.
Then we will place Ganesh in the Thames and send him on his way.. 🙂
Date: Sunday 26th Sept’2015
venue: Riverside at Richmond, London (closest landmark: Terrace Gardens, Richmond)
Time: Please gather at ritual spot by 3pm.
Map to ritual spot
ps. This is a mirror event from my `London Hindu Magicians’ meetup group. All are welcome of course. 🙂
The following guided Meditation was written by me, for use in an Open Lammas ritual in London (for Pagan Federation London seasonal event ..on 30July’15). I decided to share it here for the benefit of others. The art work herein was done specially for this.
“In myth & legends, the concept of personal sacrifice occurs again and again. It is often coupled with some quest and a reward to gain something important. Here are some examples:
-The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, was to remove the sins of the people.
-The Sacrifice of Odin / the God who hung upon the World Tree – was to gain the secrets and mysteries of the Runes.
-The sacrifice of the Corn King / Barley Corn is for harvest and to renew the energies of the land.
-And on the darker side, Hern sacrificed himself on a Windsor Oak tree, for vengeance and Justice.
Now think about your own lives. Think about your own struggles and challenges and quests, and the sacrifices you keep making..over and over.. again and again.. day after day… months..and months..year after year.
Q: Take a moment to think about these personal sacrifices.. The Card you picked at the start may offer some divinatory focus.
Q: Have they produced the rewards? Have you got the results you were seeking? If not, why not?
Q: Sometimes, more often, in order for magic to happen, you must do the spell and then let go.. totally let go…
Close your eyes now..and imagine yourself as the being that is hanging by the feet upon the World tree..like Odin and the Hanged Man. You dangle above the Earth.. neither rising, nor falling.. between worlds.. and not part of the world. You have hung long enough. You have suffered long enough. It is time to drop back into the world and be part of it, so that your magic can materialise in your life!
Get ready to count from 10…down to 1. On the count of 1, you are going to let go, and drop..and glide back to the Earth.
10.. 9..8.. 7.. 6.. 5..4..3..2..
Bright Lammas Blessings
(c) Mani Navasothy
This post may NOT be reproduced without express permission from Mani Navasothy. You may however re-blog/ share / link…provided you show the source link to this post here at Quantumphoenix.net Thank you.
It pleases me to announce our 3rd annual Celebration of The Night of the Cradle. The `Birth of Goddess Isis’ ceremony will take place on the New Moon (in watery sign of Cancer) on Thursday 16thJuly 2015. We gather by the banks of river Thames for a special Ceremony in the evening…to mark the Night of the Cradle’ where Sky Goddess Nut gave birth to the Egyptian Goddess Isis.
Date: Thursday 16th July 2015 .
Venue & time: Richmond (riverside) by the riverside passage/gate to Terrace Gardens (looks like a cave!).
Meet at Richmond station by 6.30pm and walk with me to the ritual spot (20 mins). I will be prompt, and this `walking together’ is a symbolic and informal `procession’ part of the ceremony!
Or follow the google map and arrive at the ritual spot (Terrace Gardens area..but by the river) at 7pm onwards.
As this is a `Night of the Cradle- Birth of Isis’ , we are starting this ceremony later in the evening, so that we may perform the rite after sunset..(night). We’ll be using the `cave-like’ space by the riverside.. and will fix `stars’ on the ceilings .. to recreate a `body of the Sky Goddess Nuit’ (mother of Isis).
The ceremony itself is expected to be 30mins ..and then we’ll continue socials/ feasting.. (It’s a birthday party, after all). 🙂 So be sure to bring plenty of Wine & cakes.
Ceremony outline (subject to changes) —————–
A decorative altar with Sky Goddess Nut and a concealed statue of Isis will be set up.
Element consecrations (incense, lantern, salt/water).
Isis called by her many names! This will be a chant led by Organisers.
Goddess Isis (statue) is revealed.
Milk & flower Ceremony – all bath statue in milk, followed by offering of flowers. These are then offered to the river Thames.
Food & drinks blessed and shared.
Birthday Party !! (Birthday of Isis).
What to bring:
Food & drinks to share.
As it is a public place, passers-by may take photos or watch. That is accepted by the organisers, in the spirit of celebrating the Birthday of Isis 🙂
We ask all to be in good public behaviour.
`Why do you come? To kill the King. Why? His blood feeds the land! ‘ And so begins many a traditional ceremony for Lammas.
The Hanged Man of Tarot – Odin’s sacrifice, the cutting down of Corn King, and the ritual suicide of Hern the Hunter all get played out one way or another in our lives. Join Hern’s Tribe on the eve of a Blue Moon, for resolving these painful cycles, and come together for a joyous celebration of Lammas – time of great Harvest and for reaping the rewards of your hard work. Bring your masks & drums and join in this tribal jollities.
Hern’s Tribe has facilitated several Open rituals for PF London in the past (between 2005- 2012). And we are thrilled to have been invited by PF London to facilitate this ritual. It’s a welcome return after a 3 year gap.
May Hern protect us
——–Info by PF London————-
Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London.
Entry fee: £5 (for PF members & concessions), £6 for all others.
Time: 7:30 – 10:00 PM Arrive from 7.30 pm for pre-ritual socialising in the foyer. Ritual starts at 8 pm and usually concludes before 9 pm. Feasting and socialising follow the ritual until 10 pm.
Please do not arrive before 7:30 PM. If you are early, please utilise one of the nearby pubs, cafes or gardens to sit and socialise in.
Please switch off mobile phones before going into the ritual.
No photographs or video are allowed during the ritual.
Please bring a little food & drink to share during the feast after the ritual.
Here is the extended version of what I recently wrote on my facebook wall, about Hanuman. He is a monkey – who is supposedly an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hanuman is the son of of Vayu (God of Air) and a mortal Lady Anjana. He can also fly.. well he’s a monkey and is able to leap over mountains and stay up in the air.. (Son of Vayu..god of Air). Another ability that Hanuman has is to grow into a giant form.
In the epic story Ramayanam, Lord Raman and his brother travel through the various forests looking for Rama’s wife Sita who has been abducted by a Demon King called Ravanan. Raman comes across a Monkey-Prince who is living in fear in a cave with his close ministers and confidants (one of whom is Hanuman). Once the brutish and most powerful Monkey Lord Vali has been defeated by Rama, Hanuman and other monkeys choose to help Rama help with the search for Sita.
It is Hanuman who leaps across the oceans, lands in Lanka (kingdom ruled by the demon King Ravanan) and eventually finds Sita ..who is imprisoned in a forest prison. Hanuman manages to meet Sita, pass message from Raman, takes a message from Sita, and eventually returns to Rama.. Great war ensues and Raman & his army defeat Ravana and free Sita.
Three events that are worth highlighting..
1. Burning of Lanka: After secretly meeting Sita in the forest prison, Hanuman causes problems and is caught (he allows himself to be caught) by Ravana. When his tail is wrapped in fabric and it is set on fire by the demons, Hanuman escapes…takes up his giant form..and using the lit tail as a burning torch, he sets flame to many parts of Lanka… before leaving….(to go back to Rama & Lakshman and tell them he has located Sita).
2. Carrying the healing mountain: During the war itself, at one point, due to magical trickery, both Raman & his brother Lakshman are mortally hurt and appear to fall in battle and die. A special healing herb was required to help them.. So Hanuman leaps off to find the herbs that only grow in a certain mountain range. As he was unsure which was the correct her, he uproots the entire mountain..carries it to the battle zone…where upon the essence of the herbs waft over the fallen Raman & Lakshman…and they awake. (Hanuman then returns the mountain to its proper place).
Hindus worship Hanuman as a powerful demi-god in his own right, and Hanuman is often depicted as flying with the mountain in his hands.
3. Giant Chariot in War: In another moment during the war, Raman’s chariot is destroyed by the demon king Ravanan. And Raman is left standing on the grounds of the war zone. Hanuman immediately assumes his giant form, and carries Raman and Lakshman on his shoulders, so that they may continue to fight the war on equal footing.who helped Raman & Lukshman win the war against Ravanna the Demon. In one of the stories, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. Hanuman is the Son .
Hanuman and Sani (Shani) or Saturn:
It is also said that Hanuman rescued Sani (Saturn) from the clutches of Ravana (when Hanuman was bound up by Ravana and set fire to his tail..)
Perfect Devotee of Raman :
In one of the chapters of Ramayanam, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. In another section, (after Raman & Sita return to their kingdom), Hanuman is given a gift of pearl necklace. He then set about pulling the necklace apart, and breaks each pearl. When asked why he was destroying the pearls, Hanuman answers that he was merely looking to `see’ if he can find Raman & Sita inside each pearl.
These two incidents illustrate Hanuman’s devotional nature towards Raman & Sita. All he wanted to do ..during and after the war was to worship and serve Raman & Sita.
Tale of monkey tail (meeting Beeman)
In the other great epic Mahabharatham,, one of the pancha-pandavas (5 brothers on the side of good) was going through the forest when he comes upon an old monkey sleeping on the side of the path..with his tail across the path. Beema (being the strongest man in that story) demands the monkey move. The monkey refuses but says that Beeman may pass if he can move the tail aside. Aggravated, Beeman tries to brush aside the monkey’s tail..then lifting it.. He fails…and realises his own ego.. And the monkey reveals himself to be none other than Hanuman. It transpires that Beeman is also the son of Vayu (God of Air). So the brothers embrace. Beeman then asks Hanuman to help the pandavas in the coming war. Hanuman says he is tired of wars and will not fight again, but promises to watch over their welfare.
The lead archer Archunan (one of the 5 brothers, the Pandavas) rides in a chariot (piloted by none other than Lord Krishnan himself..another long story). This chariot flies a flag that has the image of Hanuman.. and this is the `blessings’ that Hanuman had promised Beeman.
Well, I grew up reading the Hindu epics Ramayana (and Mahabaratham) ..so Hanuman is one of my favourite Gods.. The above are things I have written from a long term memory ..(it’s been over 30+ years since I read the hindu epics).
It is worth saying, that I am now starting work on an art/ writing project connected to hindu epics, and so will be re-reading Ramayanam & Mahabharatham (in tamil) soon.. Watch my blog for updates in the coming months 🙂
ps. I have used when possible, the Tamil pronunciations for the various Hindu epics and characters. Tamil versions usually end with an `m’ or an `n’..where as the Hindi / English way of writing ends with an `a’. For example, Ramayanam (Ramayana), Mahabharatham (Mahabharatha), Raman (Rama), Ravanan (Ravana).