We begin a series of workshops for teaching tools, techniques needed for psychic protection, safety, making sigils, talismans & charms and doing deeper level High Magic rituals.. These are often kept `secret’ or students have to read hundreds of pages of books (Golden Dawn, Keys of Solomon), or end up trawling internet for not so well-thought out blogs. People often copy what they see, without checking for mistakes which then get propagated..and don’t produce the results they want in their magic.. or worse ..the mistakes create magical side-effects that can cause more psychic problems with supernatural beings, entities, spirits. One tiny mistake can easily cause someone many years of problems. (been there done that!)
In this practical workshop, you’ll be taught:
-The Element invoking pentagrams for Air, Fire, Water & Earth (and banishing pentagrams), and explained how they derive from the astrological chart (High Magic).
– Introduced to the system of Planetary Hours, and what day/ what hour precisely to do planetary magical spells for better results.
– System of magic squares (Kameas) and their planetary connections, that further enhance planetary magic; How to systematically create/ draw them for initial invocation of those energies; What metals to use;
– Use of Planetary seals (sigils/ symbols) used to create talismans and charms.
– How to create deeper sigils for specific spell-casting, using Kameas (this is often never explained in online blogs. And neither am I going to blog it).
Unlike our other courses/ workshops, teaching High Magic requires much more organisation & attention, efficiency and practise. Teaching these require clear step by step progress, less chit-chat or social distractions, learning tools that then help with further tools and techniques. So all students will be given a `workbook’ at start of course, for taking notes & doing exercises.
You may RSVP by all means (( meetup link at the bottom of this blog), but please complete payment for a confirmed space. Spaces are kept strictly limited for purpose of teaching subject matters efficiently. After the course, you’ll have access to video tutorials by Tutor for viewing and practice.
(This is an outdoor course, so please attend with proper weather-appropriate clothing, pack lunch, note book, and attend after a good night’s sleep for focus. I do my best to teach in a down to earth, easy to understand manner, but some concepts and work still require good focus and attention on your part. Understanding principles is important in high magical work so that there are no doubts or uncertainties, through which `problems’ can creep in).
Until now, I have kept all my teaching to Wicca, paganism and what i call `low magic’ work that involves chants, candles, cords. However, behind the scenes, when people have contacted me via websites & pages privately, i have done my best to advise them. But as with many things, prevention is better than cure, when you are upto your eye balls in psychic attacks, hexes and entities. So am starting these workshops to help others and share important magical works in psychic protection & magical safety!
Everything living has a survival instinct..and when a moment comes – to be killed or be killed, each must make a choice. That’s just biology. I also believe in the Collective unconscious, where all the minds are linked.. And that when we humans don’t deal with our emotions, repress them, we sink those shadows deep into the collective..adding to its murky waters..
It follows that every killing instinct everyone has all adds up.. every hurt person who wants to lash out at their offender.. can seek revenge by hurting back or repressing or dealing with that (process it and transform it).
Now I think that some of us are strong willed enough to sink our repressed feelings and instincts…and get on with life. But some poor sod (person) out there who has no strength of Will…but is connected to the human collective…will have a weak `flooring’ through which the repressed collection of harmful instincts will erupt out.. !!
In short, what we repress comes out in someone else.. and they become the villain…the abuser..the killer..the rapist..the murderer!
This much I have formulated/understood and believed for over a decade and a half..(since 2001 when i started learning transpersonal psychology and blending it with my own spirituality and beliefs). ps. I call this my `Volcano theory of human shadows!’ (that the visual I get).
When we are faced with such a villain, it’s easy to brand him/ her as utterly evil.. It’s humanly impossibly not to hate or vilify that person. I personally would fall for that every time.. ! We would even call that person `Evil’ . But i try to accept that…that person is only a conduit for the sum of all our own darkness and shadows!
As for Evil.. I actually don’t think there is such a thing.. shockingly!!
But there is a selfish drive in all of us..all beings..including the spirits..that were once human or animal..or were never born as such. I don’t think that dying somehow removes some of these selfish or self-preserving drives.
It is my belief now (after the last 4 years of various psychic experiences)..that the spirit world is full of creatures.. entities.. everything from ghosts of a dead worm and insects to humans..and some forces we come to call angels.. even Gods! everything wants to survive..to go on..to keep its identity. They will do this however way they see fit.. unless some altruistic feelings stop them from hurting other beings. The dead worm’s spirit will keep on trying to scour for `food’ (energy).. and that can be coming from vampiristic / leeching from humans who are living..
And the `Angels’ won’t steal from us..but try to aid.. As for Demons.. they are probably larger beings who act on their drive for energy and power ..and may temporarily `work’ to aid some humans..but in the end ..their motives are entirely self-serving.
Well..this is the grand theory/ belief I have constructed for myself over years.. and this is probably the first time I have put it all in one go..in one place.. (these exist in copious hand written notes in paper…and spill out when i give talks or workshops..in pieces)
–version 1: 11th April 2018
The above was written in answer to a friend’s question about do I believe people can be evil or who they become by following a path.
That question arose in answer to my post :
Angels & Demons in our minds and magical works:
It puzzles me.. why, when we have so many hundreds if not thousands of Godforms, Angelic forces, fairies, dragons and nature spirits.. do some people leap off and seek Devils & Demonic forces to work with?
I don’t accept the explanation that they are working with their shadows. If that’s the case, the first option is a Therapist, a counselor or a Psychiatrist!
The only explanation I can think of is…those others believe that their work with `demonic forces’ is somehow more fundamental or more powerful …than any other forms or forces..such as Gods & Angels!
Millions if not billions of people around the Globe get on with their lives, without it, and at best they call on a God or Angel…more so than a demon!
Never mind them…I myself have got this far in life.. by working with Gods and Goddess forms, and perhaps some angelic energies. When certain entities are trying to intrude, a simple `Om Shivaya’ chant has been more than enough to stop it. Perhaps it’s the Gods..perhaps its my belief in the Gods.. that gives me this advantage over unknown forces. It’s safe to say, my work will always be with the light, while I carry on illuminating my own transpersonal shadows.
I have no blooming idea who I am.. artist, writer, magician, shaman, witch, Wiseman, trickster, director, producer..blah.. blah.. In the end.. I think I am Mani.. yay.. great conclusion to a long quest, right? Wrong! Even that is a name given to me by my parents (not even the first one.. they gave me another name..and changed their minds and few weeks later went and changed it on the certificate :-p ) So anyway as I often point out.. the magical / witch / shaman names we give ourselves in initiation rituals is a tad bit more of our own choosing than the name we’ve been stuck / blessed with since our birth. (hint: They call it `given name’ .. perhaps all forms we fill should henceforth have ..along with `give name, family name, married name’ another box too.. called `chosen name’ ?!)
But anyway.. so the only way forward ..is to go backward and clean up all this transpersonal mess.
This is why in esoteric realms, we rant on about `Know Thy self’.. not easy as it sounds..or all these born-last-night-gurus make it out to be. `Know thy Self’ is a quest that can first strip you bare to the bone.. and then some more.. It’s more than just `breakdown to breakthrough’.. !
I remember an episode in the old Babylon-5, when Captain Sheridan goes to the Shadow world ..and dies..as forecasted. (`If you go to Zahadum, you will die’) . Then a whole episode came up where he finds himself in a dark cave.. ( how symbolic and womb-like) and with an ancient wise-alien (Lorien the First One).. and the one question Lorien kept asking.. `Who are you?’. Sheridan has to figure this out before he is somehow brought back to life in `our world’.. (self realisation gives birth to identity?!) with some sort of borrowed time.. (spoiler alert – decades later, he goes into space and just sort of fades/ bursts into light).
This has stayed with me for so long.. and I marvel at the deeper transpersonal symbology behind it all.. Going into our own shadows and clearing it means we experience a death…because the old self full of shadows changes…(death and rebirth).. The question `who are you’ is the most powerful one of all that kills everything we think and feel we are… till we reach a single simple deeper truth (can’t tell you what that is ..it may be different for you and me).
And at our eventual physical death, all that energy locked up in our body is released. Okay when its’ cremation or decades of decay in a coffin below ground.. we don’t see this energy release…But if it were to happen in one moment..we’d see all of our `mass’ transform into energy (light).. After all. it was light (energy) that was transformed into mass in the first place…inside a star.. long before we even became born as humans. (every atom in out body came from something else around us.. food..air..water.. but it can all be traced back to the star where it was created out of energy…cos `we are star dust’).
So is that who you are…a thinking piece of Star Dust?
What about before?
wait a sec.. !!!
Am I going too far ..too wide..too deep and too long into the past? well.. did you travel with me down this Quantum rabbit hole? Great… ‘cos this was step one of the `Know thy self’!
This is an outdoor experiential course (in 3 parts), covering all the basic principles, practices & ritual magic within Wicca – as it has been generally practised in the UK for the past 20 years (based on the form of Wicca founded/ propagated by Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente and many other elders of The Craft.
It is suitable for all beginners, but each subject is covered in greater depths, and includes meditations, pathworking, and magical / ritual work – to embed what you are learning!
You may attend one or more.
• Part 1: Sacred Space & Energy (sunday 10th Sept’17)
• Part 3: Ritual Magic, Wheel of the year, Covens & Initiations (Sun 15th October’17)
Course Fee: £13 (previous fee£18) per person per session. Book in advance to confirm a space. (discretionary discount available for those with financial challenges. Please contact Mani via private message)
Time: 10.30am to 5pm.
venue: Wimbledon Woods.
meeting point: Wimbledon Windmill Tea Room, Windmill Road, SW19 5NQ (we then go into the woods for the course).
Getting there: From Wimbledon or Putney, take the bus No 93. Alight at bus stop `Parkside Hospital’. Go into `Windmill Road’ and walk about 10mins to get to the Tea Rooms/cafe and meet us there. Tutor will be waiting by the outside seating area.
This place has free car park / toilet facilities. Car park fills up so get there early to park.
———– Course Contents (please DO NOT copy )—————–
Part 1: Sacred Space & Energy (10th Sept’17)-
You’ll experientially learn about the following :
Chakra system of personal energy centres will be explained, with a practical meditation to experience this;
An energy attuning pathworking will be led by tutor (using 4 element imagery, as well as growing horns & branches, and connecting to the Earth centres using imagery of growing roots.
Consecrations – you’ll first see a demonstration of purifying and blessing, using Salt & Water, incense and Candle / lantern, the tools to use, and the usual wiccan words; Then each student will get a chance to practise the consecrations;
Circle casting: Using your own wand, athame or the tutor’s wand, you will learn the visualisation, energy work and practise casting a magic circle.
Elements & Quarters: The reasons and methods of calling/ invoking the elementals at the quarters inside a magic circle will be explained and demonstrated with words and symbols (invoking pentagrams, and element triangles) to be drawn; You will then practise this;
Transpersonal qualities: There will be further explanations of the qualities invoked with elements, colour and symbolic correspondences. An exercise will also be undertaken by us – for internal elemental exploration and transpersonal balance.
Witches Rune: Often used in Circles for energy raising (creative poetry written by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern Witchcraft). We will allocate some time to exploring the Witche’s Rune, the symbolism inherent in it, and have several practice chants of it.
Part 2: Working with God & Goddess in Wicca (24th Sep’17):
You’ll experientially learn about the following :
God forms in Wicca: This includes Cernunnos, Hern, Pan, Green Man, Dark Lord (Death), Sun God, Odin, Osiris …amongst others. The symbology of Horns, hooves, antlers are explained, as well as some discussion on the demonising (Pagan god seen as satan/ devil) of the god by non-pagans. We’ll deal with any hidden fears, old conditionings and prejudices, and work transpersonally to reconnect with the Horned God of Wicca and his empowering wildwood energies. Chants will be taught and used.
Goddess form in Wicca: We’ll explore the Triple-Goddess imagery used in Wicca- maiden, mother and crone, as well as the various examples – Dianna the Huntress, Isis , Cailleach, Hecate, Gaia and more…
The God & Goddess cycle in Wicca explained with diagrams and notes- ie the maiden Persephone’s abduction at Autumn, motherhood, rejuvenated Bride arriving back to land at Imbolc; Marriage of God & Goddess at Beltane; the sacrifice of the God at Lammas; coming of Dark Lord at Samhain; Birth of Sun-child at Yule and more.
Invocations, evocations and Charges of God & Goddess : What happens after circle is cast and energy raised in a coven? How are the god & Goddess brought into the Circle? Who carries those energie? What is the Drawing down of the Moon? And Sun? How does working with God & Goddess empower Witches? All will be explained with brief demonstration of postures.
We’ll go through some invocations and learn to use them. (which you can use in your own or group rituals).
Charge of the Goddess – the poetry work created by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern witchcraft will be looked.
Cup and sword pathworking – to meet the God and Goddess.
Part 3: Ritual Magic, Wheel of the year, Covens & Initiations in Wicca (15th Oct’17)
You’ll experientially learn about the following :
Principles of Magic & Divination explained using the hexagram;
Main forms of ritual magic practised in coven-wicca explained and demonstrated.
Use of magical tools – brief explanation of main tools & their uses in a circle will be covered ;
Wheel of the Year – 8 main seasonal festivals (Imbolc to Yule) explained with their themes and main magic.
Coven structures, initiation degree systems; some preparations and quests that seekers of initiation must undergo (no oathbound coven secrets will be divulged! But published materials will be talked about, and any misconceptions/ fears you have will be addressed as long as it does not breach wiccan secrecy oaths.
All about your Witch-Name : What is it? Why? How do you go about choosing one? When is it used? and more.
What to bring ————————————
For your own comfort, please bring any food/drinks lunch (Please avoid eating during course delivery, unless otherwise stated on the day !);
bring flask of hot drinks.
***Bring comfortable cushion/ mat to sit on, as well as a blanket / throw to wrap up ..during meditative work (or if it’s just cold).
Please wear warm coats, socks (those ankle socks are pointless…as gnats and mosquitos will get you !), scarf..
We’ll have some wine for ceremonial parts of the course & for a bit of social after
Strictly no exotic substance/ drugs etc!
Note books/ pen .
Recording / photography policy : No Photography during course delivery & practise, or any private recording by phones/ dictaphones.
Course notes by Tutor: Some printed notes will be provided.
Rain cover: If the weather proves changeable / wet on the day, a tarp cover will be set up.
(Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest)
A copyright note: I’ve been running these (particularly woodland-based) `Wiccan Apprentice’ courses for many years, as 1-day courses, 3-part courses and 5-part courses (since 2006), and as e-witch Apprentice course (9 modules) since 2012. While the subject and contents of Wicca do not exclusively belong to me or anyone, I am an initiated Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest with authority to teach and train others, and this particular way of grouping Wicca topics and delivering them has been my own `innovation’ since 2006, as evidenced by records (flyers, blogs, website publicit & course notes) that I am able to produce! Anyone embarking on teaching Wicca should start from ground up and devise their own form syllabus/ grouping.
A note on charging a fee: While for decades the teaching and running of courses on Wicca has been done by hundreds of established Wiccans/ Elders of the Craft (for a fee), the process of actual Initiating someone (properly prepared) into a Coven has always been done freely and without any fee, by all respectable Coven leaders including myself. The fees we charge are for the preparation of courses, organising an event and giving our time as Teachers.
As much as I like to `resign’ from Life, Universe and the internet. There’s just too much crap going on in the world…for me and anyone with Gaia-consciousness to stay on the sidelines and look for Himalayas to retreat to.
THIS is our battle.. to keep the divine faith in our souls, hopes in our hearts, stay cautiously optimistic, unconditionally positive, challenge any and all ill-doings elsewhere and everywhere.. and stand up for a better world – no matter how gloomy things may look.. and how close the Four Horsemen seem to be. This is where our warrior-energies are need… not to fight, to hurt, maim or kill a fellow human..but to put to flight the welling darkness and rising illusions and delusions.
This battle is not fought with side-arms & arrows, mace or missiles – but with patience, endurance, inner strength and a strong belief within.. Doesn’t matter what god or goddess or divine being you believe it…but believe it.. and make him/ her/ it be your peaceful power and strength.. !
The inner child may be afraid.. and throws tantrums, seeking attention. But it is seeking safety, support and love. Not just yours or mine..but all the Inner-Children of the billions of people on Earth! As adults, we can exude positivity, assurance, offer support, emotional acceptance and understanding.
This is the time for all of our Love, light and compassionate, nurturing, empowering thoughts, feelings and deeds to rise to the surface and spread.
Bright Stellar Blessings!
ps. This piece was written by me, last year (June’16), on my personal wall on facebook, but seemed rather apt to share here on my blog now.
As of the coming new moon, we are starting a new monthly ritual circle in the woods.. Wicca New Moon : Gaia-Selene Circles. If the full moon is for bubbling cauldrons and magic brimming to the surface, then new moons are for seeds, intents, going deeper within for magical & psychic development, Healing & transformative work.
These Wicca New Moon Circles involve taking time to connect to Gaia/Earth & trees, reaching inner stillness, peace and flow of magic, and the use of that magic for healing and empowerment. We began these Wicca new moon circles in May 2017, and as they grow and evolve, it is expected to form a regular group of people (and leading to a possible training Coven).
These circles are facilitated by Mani Navasothy – initiated Wiccan High Priest, with over 21 years of The Craft & Coven experiences including training and initiating Wiccans.
suggested Fee: £3
The tutor travels from south London to run these events, by popular requests for events in North London. Fees collected therefore go towards travel & costs of running this event (candles, spell craft items, cakes & wine for blessing etc).
At these events, the following will be covered :
• Gaia meditations.
• Personal Energy work (varies)
• Wicca New Moon Ceremony
• Some Wicca Basics practise (Consecration, Circle, Elemental quarters)
• Healing & spell craft (Subject to development)
You may attend once or regularly and gain benefit for your self, and/or do healing work for your friends & loved ones (ask them permission first please..).
Or you may simply attend and gain grounding, centre the self, and energising your self.
These monthly gatherings will open with a basic wiccan consecrations & circle set-up, then extend into meditation, chant, and finally extended Magic & Healing works at hand; Be also open to working intuitively.
Attend with an open mind and a trusting heart.
As these are evening events in the woods, please dress warmly, possibly with water-proof clothing.
Bring a blanket for wrapping as there will sections where we’ll be seated and be still for meditative parts; Also bring a cushion and a small picnic blanket to sit on for comfort (often the ground can be damp.. ). Bringing a small flask of hot drink for your self will be an added bonus.
Note: Initially, these monthly Wicca New moon Gaia-Selene circles will run from May’17 for 3 months and continue into Autumn/ Winter, subject to further interests.
Queen’s Woods, north London (nearest tube: High Gate – northern line).
Meeting point :
Please be in the garden area of The Woodman’s Pub, Archway Road – We will all walk together (15 mins) to a suitable spot in woods for the Wicca Circle. (exact woodland location may change on the night. So please meet at pub garden).
usual duration/ schedules (apprx):
we meet at the woodman’s pub garden/ patio area from about 7pm. Around 7.30pm we walk together (15mins) to the woods, via Wood Lane (com out of pub garden and turn sharp right ). After communally setting up the sacred space & altar, we begin ceremony (8.30pm latest..). Ritual ends and we begin tidy up/ leave by 10.30pm latest (or earlier). All times are approximate, and I try to be a little flexible- but due to it being a week day, we must try to be punctual s attendees can get home not so late usig public transport.
Note to Late arrivals:
Because we have to set-up, do ceremony and return by 10pm, we regret we can not wait for late-comers.
Future dates in 2017:
Monday 25th September 2017
Monday 23rd October 2017
Monday 20th November 2017
Monday 18th December 2017
Link to our meetup where I have set up events for each of these events
We are starting a new monthly ritual circle in the woods.. Wicca New Moon : Gaia-Selene Circles. If the full moon is for bubbling cauldrons and magic brimming to the surface, then new moons are for seeds, intents, going deeper within for magical & psychic development, Healing & transformative work.These Wicca New Moon Circles are not our usual fla…
Article originally written on 9th March 2012. eBook `Coven Guide: How to become an initiated Witch’ published on 13th November 2012.
If you are reading this article, then I imagine you belong to one of the following categories:
You are seeking initiation, or are just interested or curious about initiations (non-initiate).
You are against initiations and want materials to argue against (non-initiate).
You have been initiated already (or you have initiated others) and want to know what I may have to say.
All of these supposes that the `initiation’ we are talking about (about to) is one of those formal, human engineered initiations. That is to say – one that is created by one or more Priests/ Priestesses for the purpose of an individual going through them. It can be pat of a solitary working, or as part of joining a Wiccan/Witch coven. (Discussions and thoughts about differences between Wicca & Witchcraft are found in another article, so I will use those terms loosely here).
Let me address the second category first! Whatever I am writing in this article comes from my personal experiences of about 15 years of participating in initiatory Wiccan covens in the UK. I have also initiated a number of people into Wicca. I am qualified to write about my experiences and thoughts, and opinions. And before anyone jumps on the matter of me revealing `secrets’ of initiations, they really should just visit a big bookshop (for real) and browse through the shelf on wicca / occultism – because hundreds of other people have written about it all. Even novices who have never run a coven or initiated others and taken responsibility for guiding others, seem to write about Wicca these days.
If you are one of those who has been initiated recently, then this article may have additional insights for you. You really should book time with your initiator(s) soon to go through your experiences, insights, questions and thoughts on your personal experiences. It is a valuable meeting that will benefit you, and them! Gone are the archaic days where initiators act like walking-gods (or Dictators) and `ride’ their initiates hard. We don’t put up with that sort of behaviour in the modern world. Ancient or modern, initiations and the people involved reflect and must also move with the times. Hierarchy that worked 200 years ago in ancient Greece or even covens in 1950’s just won;t be applicable in the modern era.
Coven leaders used to `give’ the `witch name’ to their initiates at initiations in the early covens of 1950’s, 60’s (or even in recent times). But this is something I personally do not agree on! Leaving aside arguments and logic-chopping about Fatalists and what’s `fated’, my insights on the matter is that- the first conditioning we human beings ever get from the moment of birth (or even before) is our very name! We don’t choose it. Our parents, relatives, guardians, foster-parents, social service officers, adopters and others name us! And we grow up with the energy of that name that has been given. And unless you are one who chose to change your name legally by deed-poll, you are still bound by that conditioning. And choosing your own `witch name’ or identity is possibly the most liberating and empowering act one could ever do! So if an initiator is going to give you a name, then they are not giving you freedom, but more slavery! And in any case, freedom can not be given. It is a right, and when it fails, it must be taken!
Let’s get back to initiations! And the first category of people reading this: You are interested in, or are about to go through a Wiccan initiation.
If you are about to go through one that a coven or individual is preparing for you, then I hope you have had plenty of time to think about and explore your reasons for this.
Why do you want to be initiated?
Are you fully aware of the expectations the coven or that initiator has from you, once you go through it?
Practising Witchcraft and/or Wicca does not require one to be initiated into a coven or wicca by others! Once you embark on that path, or awaken to that path by a series of coincidences and synchronous events, initiatory experiences start happening for you! I guarantee that!! It may be little things or big life-splitting events! There will be challenges, hardship and difficulties, in equal measure to all the harmony, depth, spiritual insights and rewards. (but most humans tend to only notice the `problems’ ). What I am trying to say here is that fate itself (and the Gods and Goddesses) will put you through initiatory experiences! You don’t need a man or a woman in a Priest/ Priestess /leader/ guru role to do that.
And here’s an important thing to be aware of: even of you are going through an initiation that is devised by a coven leader or a High Priest/ High Priestess, they can not engineer the experiences. The initiatory experiences will either being to build up –before- you have your initiation, or it will stat to happen –after- you formal initiation ceremony or ritual. A word of warning – sometimes you might go through weeks or months before these start to happen. It’s like a lit-fuse. You don’t quite know when it will explode and start to manifest. Another word of warning: the `euphoric’ experiences you may get during a coven initiation, while giving you a feeling of spiritual well-being, are not always going to be the only things you will experience. Don’t fall into a false sense of spiritual security. There will be challenges ahead- and every single oath you have taken will come back to test you in the months and years ahead! In fact, you will always be challenged and tested. It’s not a done deal. It’s an ongoing partnership – with the deities!! (You have been warned!)
So why do you want to get initiated? To learn more; to get deeper wisdom; To serve the world; To teach others… Ah, the responses are endless and many. Trust me, I’ve given many of them myself (I went and looked at my old magical diaries of pre-initiation days!). Some of those responses make me shrink with shame and embarrassment. Oh, no one else has seen them, but I know. It’s amazing how I was trying to pull the wool over those Gods of mine! Oh, they knew all along, am sure, like a parent who can see through the lies of a young child.
So I ask again – Why do you want to get initiated? Be utterly honest with your self now. Write it down. And them read what you wrote, and burn it if you have to. But be honest 100% with your self. Then, if you have to, go ahead and create those `other’ reasons which everyone else will accept and applaud you for!
Am I being harsh? Yes, probably. Okay so let me ease up a bit.
Reasons – real ones – for initiations vary. Here are some perfectly valid personal reasons.
Initiation is attractive and scary at the same time. (mystery of the Craft).
Initiation is (currently) the only way for you to join a coven or a magical group (joining a group). (there are training groups you can join and explore spirituality & magic, without getting initiated, by the way! I know, because I myself have run many of them).
It’s a deep-rooted calling and you just can’t explain it (intuitive).
Serious magic can only be learnt after initiation (or so you believe).
Your friends / partner have been initiated – and they either want you to be initiated, or you don’t want to be left behind.
You are writer / Journalist, looking to learn some things and then write about (this has happened many times!). Warning: Many who start off this way have ended up `really’ being pulled in to the mysteries and become `genuine’. Initiation is a door and anyone who walks through it –be in genuine Seeks or attention seeking Fools – are going to find their lives transformed sooner or later for real! Gods can wait a very long time!!
There’s plenty of other reasons, but I wanted to highlight some, to give you a feel of the cross-section of reason. Whatever your own reasons, know that they are valid for you! (That applies even the journalists, and wannabe get-rich Gurus !)
Expectations of your initiator is something you must be fully aware of – so please have a good long genuine discussion. Coven leaders and initiators are not gods or goddesses (unless you fancy them that way, in which case, you should read my article on `Sexuality in Wicca & Paganism’). You should be able to sit and talk to them freely. By all means, learn from them, and respect them, (and even love them), but for Heaven’s sake, don’t get into the pit-fall of putting them on a pedestal (even if they want that!).
So talk to them – about what they expect from you, once they have initiated you into Wicca and/or their coven. Initiations have many purposes – one of them is joining individuals into the group-mind magically. Initiations are not to be treated as one-night-stands in wicca! It’s a long-term committed relationship – between you and the coven.
Most initiators in Wicca will expect you to attend coven and coven socials regularly, and for long periods. We are talking about at least the 8 festivals, a number of full moon/ new moon rituals (total of between 12- 20 rituals per year), training sessions and/or meetings (once a month – either in coven set-up or as one-to-one with your initiators) and of course coven/group socials – where members meet together at coven-home, or meet-up and go to pagan events, moots, festivals etc.
These things may not be exclusively stated or even expected – but trust me – there is highly likely to be these expectations. Initiators expect the people they initiate to stick around, working magically with them and coven for a good 3-4 years. In that time, they not only teaching and training them, but also investing their magic, hopes and ideals in their initiates. It is all about passing on knowledge and wisdom. That is part of the magical contract. And that is also how the wiccan lineage and magical current continues.
Not many people actually talk about this, possibly for fear of new Seekers becoming afraid of commitment and never joining. But it’s best all around to be clear from the start. No point joining a group, then giving the coven and initiators the run-around with excuses and explanations as to why one could not attend a meeting. Once pr twice is fine, but when ongoing, it shows a deeper lack of commitment. And there is that magical axiom – As within- So without. If life keeps throwing distractions at you and stops you going to coven, then, the question to ask is – is it fate that’s manifesting those distractions, or something deep within you?!
That brings me to another core ideal in magical traditions. Know Thyself! And be mindful of what you are thinking- feeling – doing – sensing – at all times. It’s not easy. It’s hard at first. It may feel like you mind doesn’t stop. And that you are `on-call’ all the time. But this phase will pass, and you’ll learn to be `normal’ about being so mindful. For example, as a Physicist, I am always aware of forces and material limitations of the objects around me. And as a magician, I am aware that I am sensing (esoteric) energy all the time, but learning to either ignore some or tune into to some more actively. It’s a bit like noise in our world. If you are in towns and cities, you hear what we call `background noise’ – it’s a collection of all the sounds that are going on. We learn to ignore them, but can also choose to listen to specific sounds. (Mothers are well-tuned to crying babies. Their own, or even other babies). So returning to the point- Know thyself & Mindfulness are important.
We’re just scratching the surface – but am sure you can begin to see the depth and seriousness of initiations. Initiations are not just rituals you do, it applies to articles and books too. In these preceding sections, I’ve been preparing you for the main matter of initiation. Taking you through all sorts of hoops!! Well done for sticking with the reading. And if you just skim-read this, you really should know. I write non-fiction like fiction. I plant clues, and I write like a mystic, in cryptic clauses too. So you should read this article at least a few times, to gain maximum insights from this.
That said, let’s get back to initiations.
Your approach & relationship with would-be-initiator(s):
Here are some serious considerations and questions you may (and should) be asking your self, once you’ve decided that Wiccan / witch initiation is for you. I’ll also add the insights for each one.
Did you ask for it? This may seem the most ridiculous of all questions. But in Wicca and in any initiatory mystery pagan traditions, a Seeker must take personal responsibility for his or her own path. And if you want to be initiated into a coven, or by someone who is an experienced Witch/priest/ priestess, you have to approach them – and ask for it! Most self-governing and honourable Coven leaders/ Initiators will not approach you and `offer to initiate you’. (If they do – run!). No matter how well you know someone, and no matter how much hints you drop, or how many hints they may drop, the clinching point is – you must gather your wisdom about you, and ask them to initiate you.
Did you get to know your would-be initiator? Don’t just walk up to a would-be initiator or a coven leader, and ask for initiation! Those days probably existed, but not now. You really must spend many months getting to know them – not just as pagan friends, or acquaintance, but as a `would-be initiator-of-you’! You may have known someone for years, and they may even have talked about their coven and such. But the moment you decide that you may like to join their coven as a trainee/ initiate, the relationship shifts magically, and it must shift! A teacher-apprentice connection suddenly forms. You have to get to know that part of them from scratch. (and if you do know them well, don’t try to pull emotional strings to get initiated. Remember that the Gods are watching!)
Is it about you or the initiator? Short answer- the moment a seeker decides to go down the path of formal initiation, it becomes about that Seeker- ie you! The would-be-initiator may give you all sorts of explanations, but ultimately, even though they are the initiator(s), the journey, the need and quest is all about you! And they are then-onwards there, in your life, to aid your learning.
How do you get to know the would-be-initiator(s)? This is the easiest one to answer, yet hardest to achieve. It’s got to be a gradual process, and you have to make the effort, unconditionally! You have to ask for either time with them – formal appointments to go and chat with them, or invite them to socials (group social and/or personal) where you can converse. In addition, you have to `hang-out’ with them, by going with them to some pagan festivals, events, conferences, pub socials, open rituals etc. Don’t end up stalking them by finding out about where they are going and always turning up to the same events. Everyone needs a bit of personal space. Even would-be-initiators. So just go to a few of the events. Once you have expressed a desire to `work magically with them’ they would know you are going to do this, so don’t get too sneaky about it. Be open. You don’t have to turn up every where they go. But you are best advised to turn up at least to the Open rituals, socials and other events that they may actually organise, or publicise, as one they are going to. It’s likely a hint that they are giving you an opening to socialise with them. Be genuine and civil with them (but no bribes of excessive gifts!).
Do they have experience? This may seem obvious, but – do they? These days anyone can `gain knowledge’ by reading a number of books, and set themselves up us some sort of coven leaders or initiators. But a genuine Initiator should have had a certain number of years experience being in a coven to learn and train to be a Wiccan, and ten undergone further training to become a self-contained coven leader (and an Initiator). In the old days (30-40 years ago), in some wiccan lineages, Witches spent a year as Initiates, and then were given their `2nd degree’ – as a High Priest or High Priestess, and thus were `validated’ as Initiators who are qualified to teach, train and initiate other seekers. In my opinion, this is not enough time. It’s like a novice learning to drive. Even after learning and passing a driving test, they the need `real life’ driving experience for a long period – before gaining expertise to be able to drive in motorways, highways and especially teach others. So why and how could someone become so competent in just 1 year to be able to teach or initiate? People generally go through a plethora of psychological and magical processes in their own rights. Sometimes time must pass, for experiences to sink in and become wisdom. As with would-be-initiators. Not only must they have `done time’ as seekers and initiates, but they mist also have spent time learning to teach, train, mentor and ultimately initiate. And here’s a pearl- someone who is very good in managing a team of 20 people in a business is not necessarily going to be good in training a seeker in magic. An expert in looking after pets isn’t necessarily an instant-expert in looking after a young child. The approach and psychology will be different.
The Initiation contract:
Not many talk about this, but once a person indicates they are seeking training and/or initiation from an Initiator (coven leader), and that initiator agrees, a magical contract exists! Dating is possibly a good analogy to explain this. In early stages (when one is footloose, wild and single), one may socialise with many would-be romantic partners, and at a certain stage, may even go-out with more than one person to explore compatibility. But then comes the committed relationship stage- where the person develops a relationship with only one person (unless they were `promiscuous’). In Wicca, when one has asked for training and a coven leader(s) have agreed, it’s a committed relationship. In romantic life, often committed relationships lead to marriage, so in wicca, a training relationship leads to initiation. Of course, relationships can fail, and engagements can break. Same in wicca. Sometimes, after a while, training relationships can break, because the Seeker and would-be initiator may find that they can not work together magically in the long term. There are many reasons why this can happen.
Their personalities do not gel better, and one or neither are willing to work to over come this.
The Seeker looses interest, or can not maintain commitment and exclusivity in working magically with the Coven leaders.
One or both parties move residence – to a location too far for travel and training in the long term.
The boundary between Seeker and trainer is breached, and quite possibly dependency, projections, or worse a sexual relationship may have developed – which in turn makes the training relationship incredibly difficult for both.
So assuming you traverse all these issues well and carefully, you will be on course for your initiation. Of course there are many more stages in between this and actual initiation. We’ve only been covering the psychological and logistical aspects here, so far. There is the whole magical development to consider – the Quests, knowledge, practise, preparations, tools, name, interactivity with would-be-coven members (or other initiates), where it all takes place, and the secrecy itself! Yes, there is the issue of secrecy!
What next? I can’t tell you, not because I am bound by some secrecy (well that too), but because what follows will be unique between you and your would-be-initiator(s).
If you have any questions, feel free to write to me – either as comments below, or as private messages . I’ll answer – as much as I am allowed to answer.. (without breaching the Wiccan secrecy oaths I have taken).
May your path be full of challenges you can conquer, and wisdom you can uncover. And may your deities always watch over you.
Note: This article was written on 9th March 2012. It was then fully developed as a book `Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ (published 13th November 2012; 144 pages; ISBN: 978-0-9560746-4-5 (Awakening Publishing). You can buy the pdf version from me (this blog) directly by visiting the page here . page: Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ e-book
Note: (17th May 2018).
Wicca New Moon & Wicca New Moon circles in London:
From this summer onwards, I’ll be getting back to holding Wicca New Moon’ training circles in a woods in North London.. you may wish to attend those for some practical experiences of foundations of wicca.. There are also my monthly Wicca full moon circles’ in central London by river Thames Link to my meetup is here https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/
Dear all, this half a day experiential session is part of our Woodland Wicca workshops. New comers to Wicca and those interested in joining our private wicca Ritual group will benefit from these short but informative introduction workshops – that brings you on to the `same page’ as everyone else.
This is an experiential session, covering the following:
• Introduction to spellcraft & Magic in Wicca – how we do magic; within-without principle; Basic requirements; safety & warning in spellcraft; Laws of return;
• Cord Magic – Using Cords, how you can do magic; demonstration & practice with a cord (you can actually use the opportunity to do a bit of magic) . ( 1 metre cords will be provided)
• Rune Magic – Basic introduction to Runes – symbols & meanings; How to do Rune magic; Bind Runes;
• Candle Magic – Preparing the candle- anointing/ consecrating; Intention setting; Using one of the Runes learnt (in same workshop), you’ll all do one candle -magic. (stick candles – white – will be provided).
——Other Wicca Training workshops coming soon)—
(*) We will be running a wand-making workshop & pentacle making workshop in this series in Spring/ summer, covering details, symbology, uses etc for each one.
(**) We will be covering Book of Shadows & creating/Writing Rituals, deity/elemental invocations / devocations and carrying those energies within – in Spring/Summer.
Attendance: Limited to 13 people – Attendance must be finalised by all 2 day prior so that workshop materials can be bought.
*revised* Fee: £9 As I need to know exact number of people attending, for getting cords/ candles/ notes etc, you must book in advance with payment.
We meet by the cafe / tea room at `Wimbledon Tea rooms’ and will go into nearby woodland area for workshop. If it’s wet/ raining, I will put up a Tarp cover, as we have done in previous outdoor workshops.
*revised* Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
*revised* Time: Please be at Tearooms by 11.30am latest..so we can go into the woods and begin at 12pm. Workshop ends at 4pm.
Address: Windmill Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NQ
This place has free car park / toilet facilities. Carpark fills up fats..so get there early and park.
What to wear / bring:
***Please dress really appropriate for weather! *** Good water-proof coats, proper boots/ shoes / trainers..that are not going to get soaked in mud/ rain. Gloves, scarf. hats; possibly a bag/ ruck sack to put all your belonging and set aside (on the ground, when doing ritual).
This is a special Full moon Ritual, scheduled to tap into the energy of partial Lunar Eclipse of 7th August 2017.
(please note: previously there was a workshop scheduled but it has been now changed to a ritual).
No previous experience of Eclipse magical working necessary. Eclipse Magic rituals are quite unique and separate ..and use practical tools (some modern ones such as a plasma-wand), astrological symbols/ names, some transpersonal work and magical visualisations. These are all uniquely explored by Mani for many years (almost 20 years).
• Date: Monday 7th August 2017
* this is the evening of the Full Moon/ partial Lunar Eclipse. We will be setting some specific intentions to work the energies of the coming partial lunar Eclipse (in Aquarius).
useful astronomical data (from NASA):
• Penumbral Eclipse duration : from 16:50hrs to 21:50hrs (BST). Umbral eclipse duration: 18:22hrs to 20:18hrs (BST). Greatest Eclipse is at 19:20hrs BST. Ecliptic conjunction : 19:11hrs BST.
• Lowest tide: 21:20hrs (0.7m). [from Port of London site].
Your personal work (suggested 7pm – 7.20pm)—————- :
Those interested in catching/attuning to the moment of `greatest Eclipse’ may wish to arrive early..find a quiet spot and do your own personal meditative work. You may also be able to find a quiet spot by river.. though if it’ a very sunny warm day.. other Londoners will be out and about by Thames…! As long as you personally are able to sit and ignore outside noise/ distractions..you can attune within. I suggest you aim for personal meditative work between 7.00pm – 7:20pm.
Our group work (scheduled 7.30pm to 10pm) ——————-
• 7.30pm- 7.45pm : Meeting outside main entrance (seats) by Tate Modern Gallery
• 7.45pm- 8.15pm : Go down to Thames & help set up altar area.
• 8.15pm – 9.50pm : Main ceremony (leading into feasting/ social). – This will be the formal wicca circle set up and held on the river banks. It will still be taking place within the penumbral duration of the Eclipse.
• 10pm- 10.30pm : Socialising back at top – the Green grass area at front of Tate Modern Gallery.
The stellar forces of Eclipses are comparable to chaotic stormy seas – and knowing when Eclipses take place and what types of personal magic you can do, enables you to tap into those powers to accelerate, course-correct, enhance and empower your life!
Every Year there are at least 2 pairs of Eclipses (Solar & Lunar) – which means you can do Eclipse Magical works 4 or more times in a year! Some works can be done with only 5 minutes of effort, and others take a few weeks or even a few months of preparation. But all create intense changes over longer periods of time in your life.
This innovative, easy to use e-book gives full introductions to the Science, Astronomy, Astrology, Esoterica & Magical core concepts useful to all who like to experiment with Eclipse Magical Techniques. Mani Navasothy has been personally exploring these for over 15 years, and is now sharing his own secret techniques of using Stellar energies for Balancing, Cleansing, Powering Up, as well as the highly specialist methods of using Dragon Magic & Portals and Cosmic Gateways.
Eclipse Magic Workbook – by Mani Navasothy
If you are interested in reading about ritual magical work you can do at Eclipse-times.. to tap into those hidden powers and potentials (more so than just a new moon or full moon)…then take a look at my book `Eclipse Magic workbook’ (it’s the world’s first book exclusively written on eclipse Magic!)
First few chapters give easy introduction for beginners to try eclipse magical work. Later chapters give much more involved work.. that requires days of pre-planning.. (If you start now.. you’ll be ready to do the advanced work for the next set of eclipses! There are at least 4 Eclipses (2 sets) every year!!
You can purchase the full `Eclipse Magic Workbook’ here for £18.00, and /or the Introduction books on Amazon (search Amazon books for Eclipse magic!)