Fall Jack of London, and the (re)birth of Mani!
(an amusing account of Pagan Pride Parade London 2019)
At first look, it brought everyone a laugh, and at 2nd look it made me feel a bit disappointed – that after all that dancing on Church steps, Jack of London was fine…but some dancing with ladies in the fountain ended in the fall of Jack.
And at 3rd look, as I sat in the garden sipping coffee, the whole magic of it finally sunk in…! It was no a fall ..but a watery birth..for me!! And Jack of London is now ehhh ..my `mother’ 🙂
A full week before Pagan Pride Parade London 2019, I started to make the `Jack of London’ (that’s the name I’ve given him..as he’s not quite a full Jack..nor a full horned god..both are seen in him). As any serious magicians would do, I did a quick tarot reading for the significance of this `Jack’. I drew 2 cards.. one his significance in my life, and one..his significance for people of London..as he is supposed to be heading the parade. got The Tower fr me, and Chariot for Londoners. And I was quite happy with it..though had no idea how it was going to unfold.
And I spent the next 6 days and nights making the Jack that can be lightweight and easy flat-pack to carry by me in trains/ tubes..but also had to be quick and easy to assemble …and must be good enough for both me and Ian to carry..as I had already asked him to help. (he is always partially carrying other Jacks in other festivals..so I wanted to give one with his name on it..and one designed magically with him in mind as much as me..).
On the day all went well.. (well..I finished Jack by 5.30am that morning…had 3 hrs sleep and was at Russell square by 11am to start assembling him. My Rochester Witchy friends came to visit. Reggie bought me coffee. Long missed friends Peter & Hannah came to say hi..and many others. It started to get crowdy..and i moved away to focus..
My partner Louisa arrived 10 minutes to spare.. after settling her 3 kids with babysitter. So no time for making her a beautiful crown.. or one for me.. it took 30 seconds to twist some ivy and willow from my garden and make us quick crown. Magic won more than magnificence or pageantry. Clock was ticking,.
Then came the parade.. Louisa & Rachel kept Jack’s sides from hitting things.. Ian led Jack…so through a small window..from inside Jack.. I could just about see his head..and had to trust him .. and follow…in the streets of London.
What a thrill and joy it was.. dancing freely, shagging trees and lamp-posts, Jack went on his merry ways of fun and frolic. (he is a symbol of fun and fertility and magic.. I had no control of him…he even went up on some church steps and danced..and tried getting in the road and smirk at buses and people).
For a third of the journey in the middle of the route, from Atlantis Bookshop to Treadwells bookshop, my (Hern’s Tribe) Tribal brother Ian carried the Jack in the streets.. and I had the honour of carrying his sacred Bridie doll.. (that has magical echoes in this tale too..as you’ll see). And my partner Louisa carried Ian’s special staff with a Hare on it.. (fertility anyone?!)
Then the return to fountain..and dancing..
And I was initially not going into the Fountain. I didn’t know if Jack was going to peel off his paper-mache face in the water But he did go in.. nudged and pushed by a bevy of pagan maidens wanting to frolic with him.. (disclaimer: any ensuing pregnancies are not the fault of Jack!!
Then from inside I could feel water gushing up all over me.. and pressures in different directions…and I could feel me slipping..(Jack is heavy and bulky.. and at best of conditions hard to carry / manage…,so imagine in a fountain with all those people pushing and pulling..and the water too..playing its forceful part).
I had a choice of resist and get hurt..or trust and let go.. I trusted and let go and fell.. Lucky no bamboo broke and pierced my legs or my heart (note t self: Health & safety assessment next year on carrying Jack!)
And David and others seem to have caught the fall of Jack in the fountain..
Looking at this photo and mulling over it.. a remarkable and amusing realisation came over me.
It was Jack of Green who fell.. and aided by a few ladies and gent, I was pulled out.. The whole thing happened in the Fountain… It was a magical watery birth..by any other name..and right out in the open, in front of all those Londoners. 🙂
Jack stood up and stayed in the fountain a bit longer.. then dried up in the Sun…recovering from all that birth pain no doubt.
As for the question of paternity… I created Jack with greens and Antlers..after my God Hern and Green man. and Jack rebirthed me.. I am father and the Son..and Jack is Son and mother. Yeah …bit complicated..right?
That’s paganism for you. 🙂
**Request: Please do not take or quote anything out of context. Please read fully **. Context:During early morning Easter sunday service on 22nd April 2019, 6 churches in Colombo, Sri Lanka were bombed. Over 200 people have died. It is reported that a Islamic terror group is responsible for it. Few days on, it’s sunk in, and the following is my rage, slowly being brought under control.
So last night… may be because Pluto retrograde has started ..or maybe I finally had a moment of stillness for matters to sink in – I got very angry! Angry does’t even cut it.. I was enraged.. and bordering on utter racism, prejudice and hopping mad to start my own religious hate/ war!!!!!.
What’s triggered this? well ..the matter of many churches in my homeland..nay home town ..being blown up by some terrorist factions operating in Sri Lanka… potentially the Islamic terror group.. That’s what triggered it.
I mean the Muslim population is a tiny minority in Sri Lanka.. far below the Tamil minority .. If 50 years of guerilla fighting by Tamil Terror groups wasn’t going to give Tamil separatists a state of their own, what possible chance is there for an even smaller minority to engage in such acts?
I can only conclude that it’s not instigated by people internally but by outside forces…militants hell-bent on trying to cause more wars, more deaths….all in the name of Allah and Islam.
“Death to all muslims!” – That was the raging reaction I felt last night.. for starting a terror campaign in a tiny tropical Island that has been dealing with its own internal racial shit for 50 years…the result of which was why my family & I ended up as refugees in UK some 35 yeas ago.
Sri Lanka is not the America that’s bombing Muslims in Syria or another Islamic country. Sri lanka has no international influences or wealth or power. As I said Sri Lanka is just a tiny little island with its own problems. It poses no threat to Islam or muslims!
The only war that’s been going on there was the racial one between Tamils-Hindu minority and Sinhalese-Buddhist majority! That ended in 2009.
Now the bombing of Churches – begins a new war fueled by rage and retaliation, despair, feelings of injustice and more.. The Christians have done nothing to anyone in Sri Lanka.
So when the church that I used to go and pray in, in my childhood days is bombed (and yes I am a Hindu but I am happy to be talking to Christian gods too….have done since my boyhood days)- it strikes a deep root..a nerve.. and suddenly, the war is at my doorstep.
I’m reasonably clever and manipulative and controlling.. Or maybe it’s Pluto retrograde bringing those qualities to the surface. But whatever it is, this morning that rage burns on.. I sat and thought about all the ways I was going to wipe out the Islamic pests who are are now bringing the world into mass war on so many violent fronts. What will happen is everyone else on the planet will get fed up, fueled by emotions, and start one massive war against Islam and Muslims.. and it will not end well..till all of them are wiped out.
Is that what the Islamic people want? A whole world at war against them? Are the terrorists honestly so stupid as to think their Allah is going to protect them all against such odds? Is this a mass self-inflicted extinction of Islamic people in progress?
Perhaps their God should be annihilated. Yeah, am not going to wage on people, I’ll take it to their god..and wipe that being out.. Well..not me..but my own Gods & Goddesses will.
These thoughts have raged through my head . Last night and this morning.. I could feel it twisting in me, turning me to the dark side of the force. .. I could possibly invoke every dark being out there and send it all their way..and more.. wipe them all out..
And that would make me the most evil man in history..with genocide of a kind under my belt…will it not?
This is what bombing a few churches so far away on a tiny island that I have not set foot on for 35 years does. It turns one good Witch into the worst witch possible.. undoing 2 decades of good community work and service I have done.
All gone in a flash.. if I let it.
Luckily for me.. Louisa is in my life…! (She is my partner).
She listened patiently to my angry rants… and slowly started to feed positivity into my head.. She spoke of changing minds of people.. she spoke of working to bring world peace..for real…not just talking about it.
And a bit of sanity began to surface in me.. and I thought…Yes.. I’ll use magic.. to change minds (excuse me, am still under the influence of the Pluto-retrograde!). Then when she started talking more about Peace… I began to think of Earth day and how we held hands around a big tree and wished for Peace in all the worlds.. and of World Peace Day.. and what we can do…not just on that day..but at every event, every ceremony, every gathering, every social..!
We don’t need guns or missiles. We have the ability to do Magic! Its power in our hands, hearts and minds. Lets use it.. before rage makes monsters of us all.
Right from the beginning..I have struggled intuitively to get behind this latest movement for saving the planet.
I’ve had some strong personal views which could be construed as rebelling against the rebels.. (bear in mind I’ve been doing eco-magic and campaigning, participating in eco-causes, protests, fundraisers – for many many years..). I’ve finally started to have dialogues with a few close friends on this matter, trying to understand – no this new movement for an existing cause – but my self, and why I intuitively feel detached or not involved in it.
I’ve studied the websites, the symbol, seen enough graffiti on walls of London, stuck postcard posters on bus stops.. read about it on articles, read friends’ facebook posts and personal accounts.. politely said no to their invites to go join these protest events and more.. (bit also magically welcomed and supported some of the XR participants at my ritual, and offered subtle advise on using magic.. for further their efforts for success).
Matters such as the very name `Extinction Rebellion’ and their symbol, and their urban vandal/gang-like activities bother me.
Maybe I am tired of it all after 20+ years of it, maybe my own personal life circumstances have changed my focus. Maybe my age itself and lacking physical stamina deters me?
I’ve put off doing this write-up for a while.. knowing that once I do, my views become open to all to read, interpret, engage, align with or argue against! It will alienate people..my views.. people who thought I am one of them will see me in a different light.. be a bit shocked, annoyed, disappointed, disgusted, angry even. But strangers and friends who feel the same way as me but have been cautious or afraid to voice it will be relieved an get behind me..(that will make me a figurehead for a Rebel against Rebellion.. But it does not mean that I am opposing the desperate need for action to save the world.. That cause remains).
So let me get to some of my transpersonal and magical concerns about this XR movement.
1. Name “Extinction Rebellion”
Catchy and emotive.. and easy for the masses to get behind with. But what is it actually saying..? Unless someone explains it… what does it mean if you just heard the phrase `Extinction Rebellion’ ? What is the call for action? Are you a rebel calling for Extinction? Oh yes.. that meaning is there too.. Its ambiguous.. and can muddle up the subconscious mind.. like the example of someone shouting `DON’T Look’ (nearly anyone who hears it will turn and look…human nature). Blessings such as `May you never hunger’ subconsciously enforce the action words …and in this case, `You’ and `hunger’ . Never is a word that gets lost in the language of the emotive subconscious mind. A better blessing – one I campaign for – is `May you have good food’.
So now look at the phrase `Extinction Rebellion’ again.
What is it telling your deeper mind when you are not thinking about it consciously?! `Go get extinct’?
In my view, a better phrase could have been `Rebel against Extinction’ (yes okay that’s clunky.. but it is not ambiguous). Or better still..find a name that does not use the negative word `Extinction’ !! Take a leaf ..nay a whole tree from `Green Peace’.. no words in there that have any negative connotations..but they take action.. campaign..protest…(sometimes, not-peaceful protect!).
2. The Symbol.
At a first glance, when it first started to appear on social media etc, I ignored it…thinking it was some weird pop-band sign. It vaguely reminded me of the Rune Daeg (morning/ new dawn) sideways. I did not equate it to a hour glass…(and I am normally obsessed with time.. time travel…etc. It should have occured to me..but it did not).
An hour glass has an important feature missing from their symbol..the actual sands of time..!
Perhaps a little cross-line to indicate it would have made that clear. Or even 2 lines.. the bottom of the glass showing it full..and top of it showing it almost empty.. That would show that time is running out.
I bring 2 other previous use / misuse of magical symbols here to aid your pondering.
a) the CND peace symbol..(Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) shows what I can only see as an upside down Algiz (protection) rune. Whatever it may symbolise..it has a downfacing protection rune. Everytime it is used..in every flag and poster.. its’ enforcing thee idea of `no/ weak protection’ 😦
b) The swastika symbol- used by Hindus and Pagans…and appropriated by Hitler to be a magical power symbol for Nazi cause. None of us pagans and Hindus like it…but look at the evidence of how a magical symbol used can power a cause. That was used for evil.. But we in the here and now can use good magical symbols for important earth saving causes.
The hour glass of sand running out is not exactly a good magical symbol.. if it is going to keep reinforcing the idea of that. Just like the upside down Algiz/ protection symbol used for world peace’ everywhere that still has not produced world peace, the time running out hour glass symbol is only going to enforce that ..and not actually giving the world more living time! (note: I myself have used the Hour glass over Earth’ symbol in Gaian Times magazine I edit.. but started using hands holding Earth’ as a more positive eco-symbol.)
3. The graffiti approach
As I started to see central london walls with the Extinction Rebellion symbol being graffitied, in amongst other ragged and seedy sex posters, it just all felt very dirty.. and only thing it was triggering in my educated mind was associations of gang signs and vandalism! Gangs and Vandals are the ones who just go about defacing public places with such graffiti. A proper `saving the planet from extinction’ movement should not be doing the same!
For the uneducated.. I don’t mean those without schooling- but those with no knowledge of who the Extinction Rebellion’ is, these symbols on london walls are just going to look like dirty or scary gang symbols.. The people will just walk on… quickly..away from such territorial gang spots’ lest they were intruding some inter-gang location wars.. !
And as for the masses of repeat postcard sized posters ..with big symbol and some tiny writing’ being stuck to bus stops .. again..all I could think about was `pop band promotions in Camden’ (Camden is a north london town where alternative lifestyle/ people…like goths, heavy metal guys and girls, tourists abound).
I mean, what sensible person standing on a bus stop is going to risk leaning over and read such a poster? I would not..in case others think am reading about some gang or pop group.. and get judged’. Okay I personally don’t care about that.. but others might nit want to be associated with unauthorised posters stuck on bus stops!
It’s about perceptions.. and judgements by our fellow man and fellow women.
Thus far, I’ve only written about the `problems’ I have perceived personally.. or rather how the XR movement’s publicity has intruded into my life..which I had kept a distance from.
Of course I am educated in the whole matter.. but so far its been me playing Devil’s advocate. Why? Because that will be the line the Government & majority of Politicians, and authorities and Media will be doing.
Now let me look at my worries..!
4. possible Burn outs & Fad days
The Extinction Rebellion movement didn’t just rise over night! There has been a slow deep development. The organisers’ are not just dirty hippies’ ( a phrase a news paper referred to). The organisers are clever, educated and well-organised people, who have been plotting and planning it all for months… maye years. And they have brought this to a global level of awareness, with methodical build up over many months.
I am pleased for that – that its all emotive and peaceful..and has got everyone – many exhausted and despairing eco-carers, campaigners, protestors – all excited! Am happy that the fire of rebellion is spreading from the old activists (the converted) to envelope and gather others who have been uninvolved so far..(the non-converted).
But my worry is one of burn out.. and peaking too soon.. before the work is done.
Its easy to be a short term activist – jump on a cause or an eco-bandwagon, and run wild with others, and feel you are doing some good. Or some may even do it as a `rite of passage’ – harking back to the 60’s and 70’s.. This is their Hippie days… to be lived an then peel off and work on work, career and al that – where these XR days will be just a massive social media photo album to show off to their kids..?!
Yes the build up has been slow and steady…but look at all the peace marches & protests that has already been?
March for Climate Change! ran for few years…still does…I think…But it’s stopped hitting my own awareness window. Either I am a fraud who has left that bandwagon after few years, or maybe it’s just burnt out and I don’t hear much about it.. If so.. why? Maybe because life is busier than ever.. and so many more causes are fighting for social media publicity spot in our awareness… that it all just blends into one hazy mass that we can’t relate to anymore.
What about the Occupy London movement? I was there at St.Paul’s Cathedral.. in those days.. So were many of my friends. I went regularly..and many camped out.. But few years since then… what has it achieved, other than as being a historical foot note or a small paragraph like this on a blog post? Sad but a reality I must blast open.
We..well I don’t want the Extinction Rebellion movement to become yet another foot note..of something that was just a flash in the pan! Even a year long activity is still a flash in the Historical pan of hundred years…!
The XR movement has to do better.. Okay yes it has punched a massive awareness hole in the hard wall of stagnating system… woken people up..made them passionate..and involved.. and maybe even confused. But it has to have a long term plan.. to change the world – unless of course, creating a shock wave was the objective. In which case, XR has just about done it. Well done.
But as a long term eco-carer, a magical practitioner, an earth Goddess (Gaia) worshipper and honorer of the planet, as an ongoing eco-magician who is working it in my own other ways, I want more.. much more. I want to save the planet – for my own selfish reasons.. so that it can still be here for my nephews, and for my kids.
Before `Pagan Frontiers of London’ ..there existed and still does.. The Pagan Federation: London, where I held the post of Events Manager for some 7 years (2004 to 2012). I organised & ran open rituals, masked balls, Gaia conferences, created and ran PF: London website, and even started the facebook page & groups for PFL that still continues (just seen my old events art work in there that dates back to 2009 or something).
After stepping down from the PFL Events Manager post ..to seek out new pagan worlds and boldly go to new magical frontiers (am a Star Trek fan), I started `Pagan Frontiers of London’ as a gateway site fit for the glitzy colourful event-driven social media era – to share info, events and my own service to the Pagan community.
Even in the wilderness years (2013 to 2015), when I had minimal contact with PFL events, I was very much supportive of PF and PF: London (how can I not…half my friends and Elders are still within it).
In 2018, I re-joined the PFL events team again, and as of January 2019, now hold the post of `PF London Social Media Officer’. This is a great honour and a thrill.. to be part of the Pagan Federation (I’ve been a member since mid 90’s..). I cherish the knowledge that back in 1970’s several Wiccan Elders got together to start the Pagan Federation.. (and I am of their wiccan lineage). So the PF is `family’ to me in more ways than one.
And as always, I fondly remember the late Jean Williams, who was `my’ District Manager in those days, who taught me much about serving the community in PF, and tempered my wild ways (well a little). I remember her every week as I pass by the hospital in Highgate – even now- the place where I used to visit her in her last few days.
So many others have stood by my side or behind me and supported me since I began serving the PF in 2004. My ritual group Hern’s Tribe, late Maureen Brown (High Priestess), Chris Crowley (prev. PF President), Vivianne Crowley (High Priestess & my Craft Elder), Mike Stygal (prev. PF president), Rufus & Melissa (prev. PFL events managers), Caroline Westbury (High Priestess & friend), Christina Oakley (Treadwells bookshop), Geraldine Beskin (Atlantis bookshop), Luthaneal Adams (prev. DM for PFL), Paul Newman (PFL Treasurer since 2004), Andrew T (PFL events team), Jeremy Morgan (Druid path), Geoff Miles (Heathen path), Philip John Parkyn (Heathen path), my sister Vathani, my prev.magical partner April, Reggie, Paul Harvey, Rob T, Marcus Lee (technomage) …to mention but a few.
I have never been alone. And always stood on their strong shoulders, and been nurtured by their affections.
And beyond them, there are my Gods & Goddesses and my faith in them – and they do put me through my paces, but also offer inner-strength. Because this work is never easy.. being in spotlight, running events, accepting good & bad projections from people, and still finding the light within to help them.
So my admiration and respect goes to any and all people who stand in spotlight, take all the likes & hates, and still get on with serving the Gods, the land and its people.
Everyone knows that I am a long term (35 yrs) fan of the BBC TV sci-fi show `Doctor Who’ – where a Time Lord called The Doctor steals a time ship called the TARDIS and runs away from his home plant / people..(Gallifrey /Time Lords). I started watching it back in Sri Lanka, when i was very little.. probably about 10 yrs of age.. And it was Jon Pertwee as The Doctor, battling strange wax dummies and even stranger alien in armor (Spearhead from Space & Time Warrior). At the time I was totally unaware of who the Doctor was..(pardon the pun).. or anything about his time ship.. I just saw a few scary stories.
It was when i was back in UK in 1985, that I picked up the thread again…to see Colin Baker as The Doctor in Trial of a Time Lord – where he was being tried for all his crimes of interfering on the affairs of other planets and people.. It was a stitch-up of course by the darker side of himself in another guise (The Valeyard) .
Stories? No…my life has reflected many of these aspects too.. I was a little refugee boy aged 15, fleeing from my native land, fearing persecution, coming to UK and settling here as an alien (much like Jon Pertwee’s Doctor did in England in `Spearhead from space’). I went on to do a B.Sc Physics degree. And in the past 20 years I’ve gotten into all sorts of scrapes with all sorts of work, esoteric and eco communities – fighting for what I feel is right, and getting support often but also vilifications at other times..
About 5 years ago I finally bit the bullet, and started filming my own Doctor Who fan video stories.. ‘cos well I had always wanted to make my own films.. and now I could, what with digital cameras, affordable editing softwares, and good old youtube and social media to screen my videos.. Oh and friends who are so loyal that they’ll (reluctantly at times) agree to star in my videos! Currently we are on our fan series#2, where we are telling the story of an ancient Time Lord called Lucifer who has fallen to Earth and has no mind or memory of his own. (sounds familiar on both personal and mythological grounds ..right?) . I also now have my own DrWho London meetup.
So when Prince Charles (next in line to be King of Great Britain! He is a radical and an environmentalist too), visited the BBC’s Doctor Who sets and they released some pictures, I was quite titillated. And few days ago when a fan group I am in had a little caption competition with Prince Charles weilding a sonic screwdriver.. I could not resist doing a full on magazine cover with him.
Prince Charles takes my fancy – in a admiration sort of way. He has been a rebel of the Royal Family for so long.. divorcing his wife Diana, marrying for love, putting his royal paws over issues that royals were supposed to stay impartial at, growing his own vegetables, speaking out about architecture of the past, being an avid environmentalist and all that. And so `Who’ knows, with a TARDIS at his disposal, he might make a bigger difference – that where he is now…forever on tow behind his mum HRM The Queen.. who really should have stepped down by now and let Charles be King.
So this special blog post goes in honour of Prince Charles – The Doctor!
Gallery of Charles at Doctor WHo studios (taken from google – no copyright breach intended)
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN OPENED THE NEW BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, LONDON ON 7TH JUNE 2013 PICTURE ARTHUR EDWARDS
CARDIFF, WALES – JULY 03: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meet current stars of Doctor Who Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman during their visit BBC Roath Lock Studios on July 3, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
This is half a day experiential Introductory Course on Spellcraft & Psychic protection.. New comers to Wicca and those interested in learning basics of Spellcraft / Ritual magic / Psychic safety and protection will benefit from this course.
This covers the following:
1. Introduction to spellcraft & Magic – Basic requirements; safety & warning in spellcraft; Laws of return;
2. Cord Magic – Using Cords, how you can do magic; Teaching chant used in wicca for cord magic. Quick demonstration
3. Rune Magic – How we use runes in spellcraft (we had a full day Rune magic workshop in September, so this one is brief intro only).
4. Candle Magic – Preparing the candle, Intention setting; you’ll all do one candle -magic. (stick candles – white – will be provided).
5. Psychic Protection: Entities, Spirits, Angels & Demons! Why ? where? how? Basics of Psychic hygiene, relevant tools, LBRP & Archangel work will be covered briefly. Note: Curses/ hex-breaking is not our expertise. For those we can only offer general advise.
Fee : £15 payable by paypal/ meetup to confirm a space.
Spaces limited to 12 people (now only 10 spaces available).
For more details and to book , visit meetup event page for this course.
-Mani Navasothy (Wiccan High Priest/ Course Tutor)
Introduction to Spellcraft, Psychic Safety & Protection. (half day course)
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018, 11:45 AM
Queen’s Woods Near Highgate Station London, GB
3 Witches Wiccans & Pagans Attending
This is half a day experiential Introductory Course on Spellcraft & Psychic protection.. New comers to Wicca and those interested in learning basics of Spellcraft / Ritual magic / Psychic safety and protection will benefit from this course. This covers the following: 1. Introduction to spellcraft & Magic – Basic requirements; safety & warning in sp…
“To speak the Truth, to honour our spoken word, and to be Just & Fair in all our dealings..!”
I’ve followed (King) Arthur Uther Pendragon for a long time now.. and admired what he (sometimes single handedly) stands up for and injustices he stands up to! Had the privilege of inviting him to facilitate one of the rituals at PF London in 2005-6 when i was Events Organiser for PFL. Some years ago when he said to a group.. hold everywhere sacred..(not just Stonehenge) I took it to heart and have been keeping London as my sacred focus..instead of always running out of london to other spiritual places all the time.. And appreciate his sentiment that if we pagans want to keep Stonehenge sacred in the eyes of tourists etc at festive times, we should `robe up’ and be seen in our magical/ priest/ priestly appearance..
So it is finally my honour to be Knighted by Arthur at the Templar Church yard – this time last year (2017) in London… at the culminating ceremony of a day of rituals around London. (there were others.. warrior Priestesses & priests who were knighted at same event..and we stand together in fellowship). Sir John Crow was the first, followed by Jenny, Debbie, Donna and a number of us. Their photos are in my other album for this Sacred day of rituals’ 🙂
To the `uninitiated’ it may be seen as a curiosity, a gimmick.. but for some of us, this – done in a magic circle, on sacred grounds (Templar Church in London, on the spot where the old Lamb building stood before it was wiped by WW bombing in 1942).. this act matters.. and takes on deeply significant proportions.
“To speak the Truth, to honour our spoken word, and to be Just & Fair in all our dealings..!”
I’ve always done this.. so it isn’t so much a beginning of the journey but a recognition of what i have been doing for a decade and a half.. and I will continue to do so..
`We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart, and hand to hand,
mark O spirit and hear us now..
Confirming this our sacred vow!’
My father’s body wasn’t even cold in the hospital body, but I ran up to the car, grabbed my camera, came back to the Intensive care unit and started taking a few `forensic’ photos of his torn ear, head injury – all through my tearful and blurry eyes! That was one cold hour past midnight back in January 1990. And here I am, on a Summer’s day in June 2018. What’s that got to do with Sophie? Well, the common thread.. is Photography! And she’s very well, energised and happy that her photo’s going viral all over new sites around the world this morning, following our visit to Stonehenge yesterday – in case you were worried for her!
Sophie first attended one of my Woodland Witches & Pagan ceremony- back in Autumn 2017. She had glitter make up on her cheeks and a new agey jacket. But that’s not what caught my attention (well that did catch my eyes). I was asking for volunteers form the attendees to take on a ritual role of the Goddess, and Sophie stepped forward. Now normally only experienced or regular attendees volunteer.. so I was surprised, but she looked every bit like she could carry the beautiful and maiden Goddess Persephone who gets abducted by the Dark Lord Pluto/ Hades and taken to underworld.. So I accepted her offer.. And my friend Aaron took on the role of Hades! The ritual went well, and their roles – symbolic – and directed and coached by me – went well too.
Since then, Sophie has attended many of our woodland ceremonies & socials, hung out with us, gone camping with us to Glastonbury, day trip to Hasting and sea side, and more recently (yesterday) an ver night drive out trip to Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and then Avebury. She’s become a good magical friend of mine.. (and still remains awesomely beautiful like a Goddess!)
For me, Photography is not a hobby..!!
As the opening paragraph will have told you.. `taking photos’ is a serious `interest’ of mine.. capturing real life moments and characters of people on photo – as I do that ..be it my father who had just died, or a sun set, or a Maypole Dance …or a mermaid like Sophie after a ceremony !) Why ? because life is precious, moments are magical and once past ..can never be lived again, and I have insecurities about loosing people that are dear to me. So I snap away.. moment after moment.. trying to hold of to them all, lest I forget! I have done since I was a little boy. (Now am almost a 49 yr old middle-aged man!)
That said, one of my growing gripes / disappointments / irritations in modern times – is that of my creativity being hijacked or worse `stolen’ .
I see moments …character.. beauty .. life..death.. and all inbetween.. and capture it.. Or compose it creatively and artistically. If it’s people – friends – I direct them (be it a video production or a photoshoot). Then I shoot the picture. So it infuriates me, when someone standing next to me – swoops in – without so much as a polite request – and takes the shots that I line up and the people that I direct. This happens a lot now.
On the one hand, I am happy for the person whose photos are being taken. They are being `seen’ and their moment being recognised and captured. But unlike me who honours, respects and uses it to empower people, others often seem to just steal a moment.. and that person’s soul! They don’t seem to give acknowledgement or thanks to the subject at hand. They don’t seem to celebrate them. They don’t seem to offer them anything in return as a kind gesture.
This I realise happens a lot in the cut-throat world of Photography, Journalism, media, movie and celebrity culture we now live in. If someone is in public eye, they are fair game? Is that it? Is that right?
Of course some of my other friends who swoop into copy or steal a shot that I line up or direct ..aren’t all like that. They are part of my world, my friendship groups and my spiritual communities. When they do too much that swoop & shot, I do hit back with a joke.. (or in the case of one friend, I actually did throw a light punch at his stomach ..with a smile on my face! We hugged it out afterwards.. but I needed to make the point, and words were not sinking that message!)
Ever since a Hindu priest threw a bucket of water in my direction at a Temple chariot festival 2 years ago, and that blessed water splashing all over my camera, my equipment has not been its full self. The view screen doesn’t work, and video image stabilizer malfunctions. Currently I don’t have enough finances to buy the next gen DSLR. So I make do with a wounded camera…
Well, half the time, I don’t even carry it.. because that’s not my work! My work is Priesthood, and as a Magical /Pagan events Organiser and Teacher. I can’t organise an event, take care of all the related matters, and support, nurture and empower the people ..attendees.. if am clutching on to a camera. So moments come and go..and others capture it.. and sometimes I take out my mobile phone and catch a part of it. (well, effectively, I conjure the Event and others capture it.. Put it the media way, I make the News and others report it!)
I say I don’t worry about this.. but writing this blog indicates that I do! In so much as if my artistry and creativity and Art directions are being used by other people, they should do the decent and honourable thing- of either paying me a proper fee – especially if they used such a shot and sold it to papers…and that got used by many news sites all over the world!
Sophie was just walking away when I called her to stand by that stone, to put her head on that stone, to not look at camera, but look at the Sun, and to close her eyes. That was my work…capturing a moment of my friend ..to give it back to my friend. But the thief who stole that over my shoulder has sold his shot, and earned some money off my creativity ..and my friend.
Does that seem right to you?
There are two upshots to this whole experience. 1. Sophie is feeling happy that her photos and her rune & glitter make up creativity – yes that’s her own magical creativity and her face ..is seen all over the world. (How long before she gets a modelling contract?! Yeah!) 2. I finally realise the value of my own Artistic talents…and it’s time I put my Photography services forward.
I’ll leave you with the exclusive shot of Sophie (test shoot) as an Antlered Goddess!!
2 nights ago, at the exact moment Neptune-retrograde began, I made a change to my username here on facebook.. Not once in the past 10 years has anyone ever complained about me changing my username..till now. So I thought I’d address this.. !
Firstly, Facebook is NOT a government official Registry site.. So we can use whatever names we like.
Secondly, You and I have many reasons for using certain names.. keeping privacy, building brand, online identity, magical aspiration, personal changes/ growth/ shifts.. all sorts of reasons! None of us ever need to explain or justify our reasons.
That said, I first used the name `Lucifer’ in my fan Doctor Who video episode `Lucifer’s Legacy’ and published it in late July 2014. And for comparison, the TV series `Lucifer’ came out in January 2016..(a solid year and a half ..after my own assumption of that character.). But of course in the interim, I have gone on a tangent.. into Archangels, and high Magic.
I’ve used `Hern3000′, `Novalight’, `QuantumPoenix’, `Centaur-Rising’, `Mystic Mani’ and such in the past! Each name has been a helpful evolution in my own personal and magical life. And so is this one – Morningstar!
I am an astrologer and a ritual magician. So if am using the name `Morningstar’, there’s probably deeper magical reasons for it – reasons that I don’t ever have to explain to anyone, least of all on social media!
Just saw a post about one friend talking about being `allergic’ to the said community.. and trying to be with her ups and downs.. (<Sometimes thoughts and emotions may come in a flurry and sweep over us, yet what remains is our true essence. We are not broken, we don’t need our chakras aligned, our chords cut and our karma released.. we just need to be present with what is> is a line I liked in her post!).
I confess.. one reason I began to feel (remember ..my POV) distant from a particular spiritual community is because I felt it was always smiles and high. To this day.. when I post my deeper thoughts, processes, agressions.. 99% of one spiritual community of friends..hardly show any like or comment or support.. It’s as if my rawness is not real or perhaps it’s not something they can accept or process.
I see lots of posts of people longing and searching for their twin flames and soul mates.. unaware possibly of passing so many rough diamonds underfoot! I also note, at the mere hint of any flirting .. many rapidly throw in the words, `brother/ sister’ relationship.. 🙂 (I don’t really need any more sisters thanks.. I was born with 2.. I have by wiccan craft sisters of the coven and everyone else..has to have earned that very special bond over time with me to be called a `sister’).
I find the pagan communities (druids, wiccans, shamans, heathens) to be rough, ready, raw, up, down,.. but acceptable and authentic. Because these lot are wearing their hearts & groins on their sleeves 🙂 They wrangle, they gossip, they fight, they make up, they drink (funnily enough ..they don’t all smoke spliffs at gatherings.. they experience the ceremony as they are!)..
So yeah.. am all for grit and mud…and rawness.. and the real authenticity.
ps. .. yes…as we brew towards a Sagittarius full moon, am aware this post is going to ruffle a few feathers..but hey, shooting from the hips is also part of the cosmic Archer’s qualities! An I am one.. So there !
pps. the featured photo is of my friends meeting at a gathering…and each one of them is dear to me..and 100% authentic.