You all know I have a Physics degree/ tech background and into all the multi-media stuff. Am also very much about nature & spirituality..and striving for tech-free time/ balance in life.
Everything is becoming hyper-real and accelerated these days.. What’s the hurry..? where do we have to get to so fast? Mars? Uranus? Death? Reincarnation? Oblivion?!
We are tumbling through our lives, transplanting & embedding our minds and emotions more and more into Cyber realms.. living our lives there too..and forgetting the shadows taking shape in the Collective.. Am not talking hypothetical. Am talking thought-forms, spirits, wraith and cyber-psychic entities (there I just invented a word).
Yes people are supposed to be connected..but NOT to 100’s or 1000’s.. however superficial that might be. At those levels, individuality blurs and gets lost. If that’s what you want..fine.
There’s another danger too!! When any more than 1-2 people gather in a group, a group shadow forms within that small collective subconscious.. and it gets projected out onto its members and outsiders.. One becomes the hero another the black sheep.. Have we forgotten `Lord of the Flies’ that we all read in primary school English?! Imagine the fears, phobias, whims, wants, power-struggles, egos and other secret obsessions within each of our minds..spilling into social media..along side our posts and pictures and status updates…sliding past any obvious `filters’ and privacy settings. It’s all gathering..coalescing..in the darkness of cyber-realms that we can’t see.. And it’s reaching out tendrils to feed.. !
Those of you energy-sensitive must have realised the shifts and tremors by now surely?!!
It is really time to slow it down.. and not fall for multimillion dollar companies’ strategies, marketing and the euphoria of quick adrenalin fixes (event junkies!). Yes I know, the fear is of not getting left behind. The curiosity is in wanting to know everything. But instead of food & drinks ..we are now consumers of pixels and info bytes. It’s feeding mass amounts of useless junk into our minds on a daily basis.. Yes humans have some 80-90% brain space unused. But it;s not a hard drive to be filled with junk.. is it? There are mysteries of the mind that we can be working to unlock.. That all requires silence and stillness ..not more electronic pixellated noise!
So.. take stock now.. as I am.. !! It’s not a static process.. We’re going to have to regularly take stock and balance our cyberlives with physical lives.
ps. I totally welcome real personal relationships and connections. 🙂 Happy to have hours of sit-downs, informal lounging and tons of teas, coffees and wines.
What’s Gaslighting? A manipulative tactics employed by a person, organisation or entity to gain more power! Here’s a copy of article blog found, written by Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D. Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D. (link at the bottom).-Mani
Gaslighting is a tactic of behavior in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works a lot better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting. It is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. In the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.
People that gaslight use the following techniques:
1. They tell you blatant lies.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
You know they said they would do something…you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality – maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
They know how important your kids are to you, they know how important your identity is to you. So that is one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you did a disservice by having those children. They will tell you that if only you weren’t _____________, you’d be a worthy person. They attack the foundation of your being.
4. They wear you down over time.
This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting – it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting – it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy – the heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what hit it.
5. Their actions do not match their words.
When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing. It is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value – is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter – and again, question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for – it is probably something that served the gaslighter.
7. They know confusion weakens people.
Gaslighters know that all people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable – and that happens to be the gaslighter.
8. They project.
They are a drug user or a cheater – yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so repetitively that you start trying to defend yourself – and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.
9. They try to align people against you.
Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what – and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as “____________ knows that you’re not right”, or “___________ knows you’re useless too”. Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. The gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to – and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what the want. Isolation gives them more control.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter – because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be right, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn more to the gaslighter for the “correct” information – which isn’t correct information at all.
The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them before you fall into the gaslighter’s trap.
Okay..I can’t contain this excitement so am going to just blurt it.. Melanie Philippides and I have been planning a set of rather powerful workshops involving.. ( take a deep breath).. snakes! Pythons in fact. She has 2.. and is looking after a 3rd one.. one of them is very large indeed..(twice as big as this one in photo).. whom I met yesterday evening.. for ..shall we say, `getting attuned’ before working on the details of workshops..!) 🙂
I met Melanie first at the Birthday of Goddess Isis ritual by Cleopatra’s Needle, Embankment, in 2013.. but lost touch for a few years but was facebook friends. The photo below was taken at one of Melanie’s snake / fusion Belly dance performance in a venue in Croydon last October’15 where I met her again (and Shiva). We seem to have all that Game of Throne, snakes & Dragons magical explorations in common..and the result now of course are these magical joint workshops..
watch out for full details in a few days.. and then ..book fast…as spaces will be limited!
In deeds may we be noble once more…! ( A Solar Oath):
Good morning all.. There is so much positive, creative, wonderful, affectionate, loving, kind, generous, divine things to be thinking about and doing in the world.. 🙂
Yes there are worries.. and sadly human nature is such that…there is a compulsion and need to want to talk about it. Simmer and fester..and chase our own tails..! 😦 (That’s actually not human nature.. It’s a wounded Inner-child behaviour).
One of the key magical principles.. – even by all that airy fairy quantum probability/ observer/ collapse wave function thingy! – is that what we think and pour energy into starts to manifest…!!
So make it a good thought eh? 🙂 Have a great day! 🙂
Am posting a part of the Solar-prayer/ invocation I wrote/ used at a recent Midsummer ritual:
“Great One of Heaven, Powers of the Sun
We worship thee in thy ancient names
Sooriya, Sol, Lugh, Ra and Horus
Rise up in our skies.. and illuminate our lands
Bring us clear Visions.
Illuminate our souls.
Set free all spirits that seek liberation.
In our dreams, may we soar to new heights.
And in deeds may we be Noble once more.
May our hearts be full of honour.
And may we forever shine in your splendour.”
As much as I like to `resign’ from Life, Universe and the internet :-p 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.
Maureen Brown was a High Priestess of Wicca, and a qualified Counsellor, Psychotherapist, mother and grandmother- when she passed away into the arms of the veiled Isis, on this day, 11 years ago (25th December 2004). Since then Christmas day has never been the same.
I met her in the year 2000, at a Wiccan summer gathering of many covens, in a Glastonbury camping site. I didn’t know at the time that she had had surgery in her stomach and was recovering.. but she danced wildly with me in the barn that evening during the party / socials.. And later we spoke about magic and psychology and how she could help me with some of my issues (I didn;t tell her..she had just inferred!) It awed and impressed me so much.. She said to go and visit her in Croydon. I said I will.
But I did not. I thought I could do it myself.. you know.. sort myself out. I figured that if all else fails, I can always go to Maureen. And a year or so passed – until I was Pan in an Open ritual, and at the end of it, 2 Witches – a man and a woman, waited to give me an invite to their coven ritual.. at Maureen’s biding ofcourse!
So I went a few days later, and thus began a great friendship, admiration, and learning. There’s much more of course ..but that can all wait for some future write up.
What was important was.. few years later, she was diagnosed with cancer..terminal..and we all gathered around, as she spent weeks ..nay months preparing.. not just her life..but all her students & friends .. Well, she’s the psychologist, what else was she going to do?
And on the Christmas day, 2004, a fellow Wiccan Priestess Hazel and I went to the Hospice, and we just the two of us did a passing ceremony to aid Maureen who was already comatose. And within hours, she passed away. I ofcourse got home lit some candles.. and began to do some art work, titled, `passing of a Priestess’ – and after finishing the art, I called the Hospice, to hear the news that Maureen Brown has passed away.. just 15 minutes prior!
That Christmas time was special.. where few weeks prior, we had the most biggest party in her house, fire works, table for 30+ ..and passing her white wig around ..all of us taking photos ..making merry and light of what’s to come. It was one last glorious party she organised…for all of us! (she’s a Counsellor.. she prepared us all well).
This morning I woke up all still ..feeling rather quiet.. possibly as we are just coming out of a cancerian full moon.. and over coffee, I looked on internet to find that apart from my blogs, and a PF document, no mention exists of Maureen Brown or her work.. How sad.. And what an honour. And I’ve spent hours digging through my computer files, looking for photos, rituals, key dates..piecing dates together..(like the `Sea Priestess ritual Requiem’ that we Wiccans gathered to do at Brighton where Maureen’s ashes were scattered in the sea on an Autumn day in 2007!)
There is much more to say..so much more.
But for now.. I remember Maureen Brown, the Extraordinary High Priestess & friend who changed my life.. and empowered it. As she often said, the work never ends., and some of us carry it on…even now!
Lammas…time of willing sacrifices.. for better quests! So, here’s a disturbing thought – will you survive without facebook/twitter/ instagram and all the other online worlds?
How much has it taken root and changed (trapped) your every day life? Do you have a fulfilling life outside it..or even when you are off-line, do you think in terms of updating your status, posting, sharing with others..?
We now have to fight this fallacy that `if we are not on online worlds, then we don’t matter, or that we are missing the best slice of bread life has to offer..’
It’s what the Transpersonal psychologists call `womb-world’ – being stuck in a place that initially provides us with protection, sustenance and warmth. Clubs, societies, communities, religious sects & cults…are all `womb-worlds’ of differing scales and magnitudes.. So is an alliance to a Nation or a flag!
There comes a time we have to get out..or be pushed out.. and be born ..as painful as that process of birth is.. into the real world.. into light!!
Have a think.. and make the right changes & sacrifices for Lammas!
Regulars may know, previous issue#10 came out in Feb’2014, and the one for May’14 never manifested. So this latest magazine is coming out after a year-long gap. ..and all the more reason to celebrate it! 🙂
My big thanks to the following Writers/ Contributors of this issue:
Ann Tomlin, David Rankine, Durlabh Singh, Jo Rowland, Kumar Devasan, Lisa De Fresne, Renard the Fire Druid, Rose Dixon, Vathani Navasothy
Longtime Lover Returns (spring poem)
Aphrodisiacs – Food for Lovers
Aromatherapy for Beltane
The Catcher in the Sky – Swift Gifts
Williams Syndrome Awareness month
Experiences of an Elder Pagan
Response to `Making Money’ article
Reiki : Personal path to divine healing energy
Sacred Geometry – Language of Relationship
Hollow Earth thoughts – Review of Earth Hour & Earth Day 2015
Taiji Terror Tales 2015 : London Demo at Trafalgar Square
Bhai Sehna (short story)
People: Art of David Rankine
Chief Seatle (poem)
Astrology: Retrograde Planets in 2015
Sacred Journey – Pagan Federation London Conference 2015
Entertainment: Dalek-Om in Glastonbury
Gallery1 : Climate March London 2014
Gallery 2: Peaceful Demo Japanese Embassy – Stop the Ivory Trade
The FRIENDSHIP TEST on FACEBOOK: (aka The EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL).
This sort of thing does the rounds..like gypsies selling their aluminium wrapped paper flower and asking for money, or chain letters that say God & Angels saved them but will curse if you don’t spread it to 29 people…etc..
We HATE these friendship tests about `who’s reading my status’ and `copy this, leave 1 words etc.
NEWS FLASH.. facebook decides whom it shows your status updates to.. So fact is, probably less than 30% of your `friends’ see your status updates ..(the rest of your friends don’t even know you are testing them!!).
And of you were thinking that ..well…your friends should mark your account for `give me notifications’ – think again. We’ll be needing 36 hrs a day to catch up on all of our friends’ status updates.. and liking, sharing or responding to them all.. .and we will never go to work, never sleep, never have sex, never do gardening..never vote and so on..
So here’s the deal…Wise up people…STOP posting those silly tests….!
Post an actual silly joke ..or a video of a kitten licking a fur blanket…or a gif of a grass hopper jumping into a cup of Soup (sorry, don’t know where that came from…probably from the lawn).. those might actually get a response from your other friends.. !!
And if you – like me – are one who gets annoyed and feels torn and partially inclined to respond but don’t like to….well, here’s your salvation trick – You know how the USA & UK governments have a policy of non-compliance to any terrorist demands.. ? Well, adopt same policy for self.. Don’t oblige any Emotional Blackmailers!
And if you are a friend who – for whatever difficult life reasons – wants to test your friends… here’s a bit of advise..
Friends don’t test friendships!! If you do plan to, it is more likely that …your friends will unfriend you…if they are anything like me, who has that `non-negotiating with Blackmailers’ policy!!
Can you keep a Secret? Can you keep magic a secret? And when I say magic, I don’t mean illusions and tricks you see as part of a stage show (or a TV show). Those always have technical gimmickry to them – sleight of hands- where one hand distracts you while the other is working the trick, or smokes & mirrors! You get the picture.
When I say magic (and some purists like to use the word `magick’ with a `k’ at the end to differentiate), I mean the esoteric kind, the ritual type, the real psychic power of the mind, spells, witchy things, potions, hexes, curses, warts, eye of newt & leg of frog, venom of snake and.. (yes, poor things!) all that. Of course these days `ritual magicians’ (better word) don’t do all that animal sacrifices…Instead they do deep meditative works, self development of psychic abilities arrived at by months if not years of personal study, hard work and trial and error practises! The kind that I may or may not have or am practising.. supposedly! :-p
Back when I was a small boy in the 3rd world country of Sri Lanka, (formerly Ceylone during the British Occupation), I used to read those comics – Adventures of Mandrake the Magician. Created by Lee Falk in 1943 (who also created The Phantom Ghost who walks), Mandrake uses his legendary powers of hypnotism and illusion to combat crime. (But he also had `real’ psychic abilities which he used from time to time). With his companion Lothar, an African strongman, he fought evildoers ranging from gangsters to masters of disguise to aliens. He also had a twin brother who used his power for evil instead of good.
And there is one thing that Mandrake the Magician often says as a catchphrase when people ask him about how he managed certain things.. “A Magician never reveals his secrets!!”
Well, I also used to read (if you are interested), Tarzan the Ape Man, Phantom the Ghost Who walks, Flash Gordon space hero.. And look how those have shaped my adult life.. All of those have woven into serious (!) aspects of my growth (!!). I have a degree in Physics and avidly learn about space, time and quantum physics; I run an outdoor tribal ritual group called Hern’s Tribe; I campaign for many causes (my battles against evil), and I may or may not be a practicing ritual magician..!
Back to magic!
Within the last decade, there came the BBC saturday night series for family viewing.. a retelling of the `early years’ of Merlin the Magician (British mythical person who supposedly lived at the time of the legendary King Arthur). This TV series showed a young Merlin coming to live in Camelot.. where Magic was banned under pain of death.. a Camelot where Arthur was still a Prince. So Merlin kept his budding powers and practices of Magic a secret!
And the tag line when BBC launched the series was..of course.. “Keep the Magic Secret..!”
Okay so those are comics and TV shows.. Well, aren’t they?
If you ask any serious ritual magicians, (and again, don’t go thinking that I am one.. I may or may not be one.. ), they will tell you.. there is some power and empowerment in holding secrets..especially the deeper practises of ritual or ceremonial magic itself. Why? well a) it has to do with the power of the mind.. which requires focus and development and it can not happen if people keep prodding it.. b) secrecy keeps the practitioner safe.. as it did of many witches who during the witch trials of medieval times.. and c) in modern days, this secrecy avoids any possible negative perceptions and judgemental or prejudiced behaviour by other people – like employers, co-workers, some family & friends, people of certain religions and so on.
In this day and age where we write (blogs like this) about magic, write books, create youtube videos, give talks or workshops, appear in TV shows / interviews / documentaries (most of which I may or may not have done) and tell people – keeping our magical practices secretive can be very very hard indeed.
It is often a balance of wanting to share knowledge, skills, expertise, to help people, aid them in their own personal development, or self-healing – against keeping our own safety and privacy!
So people – who like to share what they know with others – struggle with this balance.
So if you are one of those good wise souls who wishes to share and help others, but like to preserve your privacy or safety, what do you do? do you keep the magic secret?
Not quite! You hide it in plain sight!! Perhaps..!!!
After all, isn’t that what Gerald Gardner – father of modern Wicca & Witchcraft did,,, back in early 1950’s, while Witchcraft was still illegal by law? Did he not write it all in a fiction adventure story called `High Magic’s Aid’? And when the Witchcraft Act (law) was repealed in UK, Gardner openly started to share about wicca. He was not the only one.. Others who have written about serious magic in fiction-form include Dion Fortune (her famous `Sea Priestess’ book which by sheer coincidence seems to contain so many of the Invocations and such now used by initiated Wiccans..).
But hiding in plain sight is not a luxury for people who have already declared themselves to be Practitioners of ritual or ceremonial Magic – for google remembers everything..and so do people – who copy and save online pictures, articles, web links.. and blog or put status updates ..about what they know! All these can be brought back…in weeks, months or years time ! Your revelations, once provided, can never be buried!
So what is the best way forward?
Selective revelations! In certain groups, forums, platforms – where there is a higher ratio of genuinely interested and sympathetic people.. people who will learn from you, but preserve and protect your privacy and safety..
That leads me to another blog on a topic of epic seriousness.. Who can we trust in this great big wide world of Magic?? Stay tuned..! (or subscribe to my blogs)