Woodland Midsummer Ritual by Hern’s Tribe – 17thJune 2017 (North London)

Join us  to celebrate Midsummer  2017..  with ceremony & socials.  We’ll drum, dance and make merry …after the ceremony to honour the Sun that’s reached the height of his power.  We’ll also be marking/ celebrating our own personal achievements 🙂

 date:  Saturday  17th June 2017.

Duration: 2pm to 5pm.  (meeting from 1.30pm)

`This marks the height of the Summer, and the longest day of the year. Astrologically, it is exactly the point when the Sun enters the sign of Cancer (which is the natural house of the Moon!). The new-born Sun of the midwinter (Yule) has grown to it’s fullest potential, and so pagans are mindful at Midsummer that the wheel turns. It is when the previously defeated Holy-King returns, challenges the Oak-King and wins. Thus at Midsummer, the rein of the Oak King ends and the one of Holy King begins. Midsummer games such as tug of war enact this battle between summer and winter forces. In terms of the God myths, it is a time for the God to become Sun-King, and take his place on the throne of responsibility for his people’

RITUAL :  

Out ritual *Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get  involved in the actual ritual   – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.

****suggested Fee:  £3 per person***

RITUAL items to bring:

– Ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks / ground sheets / blankets
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks / flower crowns (No athame!! ..  No swords!)
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter  (all candles in lanterns only please, unless it’s large pillar-candles.  Strictly No tea-lights on ground or trees!!)
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
– Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

No Children:

We ask no children / babies in prams etc to be brought.

Behaviour / alcohol/ drugs policy

This is in a public woodland/ park.    We wish to make sure  the good reputation/ credibility of our group/ members/ organisers are maintained.   So please BE on good behaviour.    No drugs/  substances allowed.  Anyone found disrupting will be asked to leave..  and in extreme cases, organisers may call the Police for the safety & well-being of everyone else present.  Don’t ruin it for all.. Be good!  🙂

Photos/ privacy:

Please do not take photos during set-up, run-through or ritual..   Other times, it’s fine.  It’s in a public place so we can not stop the public walking through or taking pics.   If worries about your privacy / identity,  please wear a ritual mask to safeguard your identity in photos that others may take of the group.

Meeting place (Woodman’s Pub):

Gather in the Woodman’s Pub from 1.30pm..  Get to `High Gate’ Tube station..  come up to manin road. Turn right.  Pub is just 30 seconds away.

After Ceremony & some socials in the woods, we will head back to the pub (woodmans) for more socials.

-Mani Navasothy

Wiccan High Priest & Founder of  London Woodland Witches and Outdoor Pagans.

Link to meetup event

Woodland Midsummer Ritual by Hern’s Tribe – June 2017 (Queen’s Woods)

Saturday, Jun 17, 2017, 2:00 PM

Queen’s Woods
Near Highgate Station London, GB

55 Woodland Witches & Pagans Attending

Join us  to celebrate Midsummer  2017..  with ceremony & socials.  We’ll drum, dance and make merry …after the ceremony to honour the Sun that’s reached the height of his power.  We’ll also be marking/ celebrating our own personal achievements :-)New date:  Saturday  17th June 2017•***** Fee: £3 per person **`This marks the height of the Summ…

Check out this Meetup →

 

An it harm none? Video on Wiccan Rede

An it harm none? Video on Wiccan Rede

Witch-eBytes is a new series of videos by Mani Navasothy – initiated Wiccan High Priest in the Gardnerian Tradition in London.   In this video, I talk about the implications of the Wicca rede: `An it Harm none.. do as you will’!

As some of you know, I have over 20 years of The Craft & Coven experiences, as well as over a decade of organising and facilitating open rituals, workshops & training courses in Ritual Magic, Wicca & Paganism. In this video series, I’ll be addressing wicca, magic and pagan concepts, ideals, issues – for educational and training purposes.

You can follow Mani’s Esoteric blogs (QuantumPhoenix) at
http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

You can like & interact with Mani on facebook via page:
http://www.facebook.com/ManiNavasothy

 

 

Pagan Pride Parade London 2017 – TODAY

Dear all, join me for this great annual event in Central London!   I have been attending these for many years, and have  helped out/ carried Giants/ been appointed as one of the `Guardians’ of this event by original organiser Jeanette Ellis.  So it thrills me to announce the ongoing success of this.

******Family Friendly  & Free event*****

• Bring your drums

• Bring Banners

• Wear masks & Colourful Pagan costumes

• Carry Staffs (no sharp weapons/ swords!!)

• Make `Giants’ and bring them..

See you there

-Mani

Pagan Pride 2017!!!!

Gather with us in London, for this year’s Pagan Pride Parade. (organised by `Pagan Federation London’)

Break out your broomsticks, don your floral crowns, hold the heathen hammer high and bang your drums proudly – because we’re taking to the streets to fly the Pagan flag and celebrate the freedom of our faiths.

Drummers, Banners Holders, Parade Giants, Fairies, Floats and Pagans of all stripes, join us for a day of fun and festivities.

We’ll be gathering in Russell Square and then marching our parade through the streets, before returning back to Russell Square for a communal picnic and frivolity.

Gather at Russell Square from 12:00noon for preparations, dressing up, etc .  Parade starts at 1pm.

Nearest Tube: Russel Square (5 minutes) ; Holborn (10 minutes)

Bring your own food and drink for the picnic or get your food on the day from the Russell Square cafe.

Russell Square is in the heart of Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum. It has a central plaza and water feature, which has become a popular place for Pagans to dance and make merry, year after year.
There is a cafe which is open all year round and expansive lawns and vibrant floral displays.

Event on our meetup

Pagan Pride Parade London 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017, 12:30 PM

Russell Square Gardens
Woburn Place London , GB

53 Woodland Witches & Pagans Attending

Dear all, join me for this great annual event in Central London!   I have been attending these for many years, and have  helped out/ carried Giants/ been appointed as one of the `Guardians’ of this event by original organiser Jeanette Ellis.  So it thrills me to announce the ongoing success of this.******Family Friendly  & Free event*****• Bring …

Check out this Meetup →

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

 

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)

You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, more frolics.. and more magic!!

Mayday falls on a Monday and no doubt mny will have coven & other events to attend that whole weekend (Fire festival in Edinburgh,  Hastings Green Man festival etc).  So we have staggered our own woodland festivities to the following weekend..  It extends the Beltane festivities..and gives all something to look forward to (without clashes) and have a final big event.. !!   🙂

• ***** Fee: £3 per person **

About Beltane: 

`The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane  (May eve) the land is at it’s most lush and green, and fertile. If Spring Equinox is the time of fertility and mating in the animal kingdom, then Beltane is one of courting couples making commitment to one another- and Handfastings! In the God-Goddess myths, this is when the playful God is said to commit to the Goddess – which is symbolised by the Sacred Marriage! The Maypole dance that is traditional at this time symbolises the fertile powers of the masculine, penetrating the land, and the ribbons danced and woven around it lock that power! A ring of flower at the tip of the Maypole signifies the feminine. Magical working with the Fay (Fairies) is an important feature at this time, in contrast to the magical work with the departed spirits at Samhain, the opposite point’ (taken from www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )

RITUAL :

Out ritual *Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get  involved in the actual ritual   – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.

****Fee:  £3 per person***

RITUAL items to bring:

– Ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks / ground sheets / blankets
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks / flower crowns (No athame!! ..  No swords!)
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter  (all candles in lanterns only please, unless it’s large pillar-candles.  Strictly No tea-lights on ground or trees!!)
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
– Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

Handfasting / confirming Pagan marriage vows:

In the past, couples have asked organiser about this.   Handfasting is a big event in itself, and we do not wish it to be reduced by being included in a public ceremony as a `side-event’.  It also detracts from the focus of everyone else.   However, after Blessings of Cakes & Wine (and while still within our magical circle/  sacred space), we may consider couples who are already bonded, to declare their vows / re-affirm their vows by our altar.

**(please message Mani- Wiccan High Priest-  in private in advance to arrange this – or simply to arrange your own separate day for handfasting!)**

Adult themes : 

As this is a fertility festival, there is bound to be  jokes, flirtatious behaviour, adult humour throughout the event..

No Children:

We ask no children / babies in prams etc to be brought.

Behaviour / alcohol/ drugs policy

This is in a public woodland/ park.    We wish to make sure  the good reputation/ credibility of our group/ members/ organisers are maintained.   So please BE on good behaviour.    No drugs/  substances allowed.  Anyone found disrupting will be asked to leave..  and in extreme cases, organisers may call the Police for the safety & well-being of everyone else present.  Don’t ruin it for all.. Be good!  🙂

Photos/ privacy:

Please do not take photos during set-up, run-through or ritual..   Other times, it’s fine.  It’s in a public place so we can not stop the public walking through or taking pics.   If worries about your privacy / identity,  please wear a ritual mask to safeguard your identity in photos that others may take of the group.

Meeting place (Woodman’s Pub):

Gather in the Woodman’s Pub from 1.00pm..  Get to `High Gate’ Tube station..  come up to manin road. Turn right.  Pub is just 30 seconds away.

Map (High Gate tube/ pub & Queen’s Wood)

After Ceremony & some socials in the woods, we will head back to the pub (woodmans) for warmth and more drinks/ socials.  It all depends on how long we all hang out in the woods with lanterns / candles..

-Mani Navasothy

Wiccan High Priest & Founder of  London Woodland Witches and Outdoor Pagans.

Our meetup event for this:

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 1:00 PM

Queen’s Woods
Near Highgate Station London, GB

33 Woodland Witches & Pagans Attending

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, m…

Check out this Meetup →

 

Earth Day 2017:  An Eco-magical gathering in Trent park, London (22April 2017)

Earth Day 2017: An Eco-magical gathering in Trent park, London (22April 2017)

22nd April is  `Earth Day’  – every year!

So join us on this special day..  for a family friendly social, picnic, drums, dances, facepaints..and that all important Eco-ceremony !   Takes place in Trent Park- one of London’s biggest woodland areas open to all..  with acres of space, free car park, cafe, toilet facilities.   We are usually within easy reach, at our `usual spot’ to the left open ground area of the `Cockfosters Gate entrance!

Time: 1pm onwards (car park gate shuts at 5pm..but people can stay much later).

Venue: Trent Park, Cockfosters (Piccadilly line, north London)

Meeting Point: Trent Park Cafe, Barnet EN4 0JY, UK.

Google map link for meeting pointhttps://goo.gl/maps/NJwkrwNDMiF2

Facilities: There is a proper toilet & cafe and car parks. Children can play in play area.Location: From Cockfosters tube, the `Cocfosters Gate of Trent park is only 5 minutes walk. We will be in the field immediately to the right..when you enter the park.. Cafe etc is further ahead.Event details

Our Activities  (tbc) :

• Drumming, Chanting & dancing

• Family Picnic (bring own food or bring some to share)

•  Face painting (for kids and adults !)  need reliable volunteer !! or bring own paints & share/ create activity

• Earth-Healing /  Eco-ceremony

Please Bring:

• Drums & Musical instruments

• Bring family & friends (all religions welcome. This is about Earth).

• Bring eco-magical banners & posters to showcase and charge up with energy for your campaigns

• Bring crystals & ritual items for altar

• Bring plenty of Food & Drinks to share

• Bring ground sheet / blanket or folding stool (for yourself)

What you can do:Please share this event and promote Earth day & Eco-Activities.

Weather: We can’t predict the weather  but we’ve  always carried an event, no matter what nature decides to do on that day. We will have some cover 🙂

History: Earth Day  22nd April- has been celebrated and marked by people of the world for over 40 years (since 1971). It provides a focus for hundreds of initiatives and activities.. from Eco-based fundraising, environmental campaigns, creating educational activities for those unaware of Earth’s  ecological & environmental problems.. to magical or spiritual ceremonies to connect with Gaia“ the earth goddess/ spirit!

– Mani Navasothy

So you want a Wiccan Initiation?! (full article by Mani Navasothy)

So you want a Wiccan Initiation?! (full article by Mani Navasothy)

So you want to get Initiated?  

Article  (c) Mani Navasothy  – Wiccan High Priest

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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!)
  1. 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.
  1. 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!).
  1. 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.

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

 

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  

London is Defended!   (my reaction to terror attack on Parliament, London 22March 2017)

London is Defended! (my reaction to terror attack on Parliament, London 22March 2017)


I have loved this country!  The refuge, the safety, the shelter and belonging –  it has afforded me and my family all that for the past 30+ years! And I love London, and all the glorious and wonderful treasures it has and continues to offer!!  And on a pagan- spiritual- new agey sort of way, I worship and honour this land.  People who know me well..know this already.

Imagine my shock – when this evening (last night, as I’ve not been to sleep yet) – when my sister barged into my room and told me about a terror attack on the British Parliament (I was putting the finishing touches to a community website that I’de been neglecting but finally updating..  and it actually has on the banner a picture of me wearing a mask and posing right outside the Parliament!)

My initial thoughts were sheer shock – thinking this is going to unravel London, and the terror-threats that have shown their ugly hands in other countries (USA, France, Germany) have touched us too here in London..   I immediately checked astrology transits – a few stressful ones for friday.. (mercury opposing Pluto is the worst I could find) followed by few great transits on saturday and sunday.   Nothing catastrophic like Mars-Uranus agitations..  but still it can plant shadowy seeds (park that for now).

I checked on the internet for quick news update – and sadly learnt that few people (including a Police man who was defending the Parliament) had died.  These deaths will have ripples..  That is for sure. (My father dying caused decades of ripples in our family..  so I don’t ever underestimate a husband/father’s death on his kids & family).

But a part of me was unperturbed and I even smirked  at the sheer stupidity of the attacker!!

What was he thinking – that a car and a knife was going to get him into Parliament? Our Parliament?!

I am the kind of guy who worries that if I walk slightly awkward, the police & cameras by Parliament might take me away  – My paranoia aside ( childhood fears from Sri Lanka..story for another blog)..  I have a huge amount of faith and trust in the Police, the security services and intelligence people who protect this country ( that’s England am talking about).

So I did smirk at the idiocy of some man who tried this attack.  Surely he must have known he’s bound to fail..  and even at the cost of his life? Perhaps, alarmingly worrying, is the thought that maybe he did know..  but causing an even symbolic  disturbance – albeit a failed attack – still show cases a point – that an attack is possible…and it can disrupt and spread fear and doubts amongst our people..

But London is strong..  as a place, as a collection of people, as a multicultural community, a sparkling city of dark and light, steel and glass and water (Thames), and as an old land itself.

There are Gods & Goddesses watching over our city – they have and they continue to do so.  I know, because I am one of those Pagan / Hippie / New Age/ spiritual type who worships London and invokes ancient deities to watch over it.

My magical friends & I have done many rituals in the past…for that safety purpose – The Thames-Isis rituals by the banks of river Thames and Cleopatra’s needle (Embankment), the Sekhmet ritual by Waterloo bridge/banks, the Hern rituals in Windsor Great Park, Croydon, Queen’s Woods, and dare I say ..even the submerging of Hindu Ganesh sculptures into the Thames!

For years, nay, decades now, I have personally been attuning to the energies of London – the city and the woods and the Palace of Westminster.   River Thames and Big ben are in the background of very much all the logos of all the pagan websites I have created and maintain since about 2006..  Every time I go past it, I take photos of the Parliament – be it a casual trip, a Doctor Who fan filming / photo shoot, or intentional visit to go see the statue of Boudicca – ancient Warrior queen of this land!

Perhaps, the attunement is too much..  because I did wake up today at 12noon with such bad headache that could not be shifted by breathing, massaging neck or coffee…that I had to take nurofen painkillers..  I now wonder if that was a sort of psychic alarm bell ringing on my clairsentient mind.. (because around 2.45pm the attack took place).  This might sound crazy..but I’ve been sleeping in a tent in garden for many months..  and sometimes when am in the house..I get a certain feeling..and later when i get to my tent for sleeping, i had found that fox has been in my tent..(front store area) peeing and marking territory.  Somehow that act of invasion rings my psychic alarms.  So  an attack on London was bound to have had some pre-effect on me.  (After all I have walked and marked London as `my realm’ for years!)

Whatever it is..  I am heading into London tomorrow..  for a leisurely wander – to visit the old favourite places.. river Thames, Trafalgar square, Millennium Bridge..and if the police open it up..  Parliament square  itself!  And I’ll be sure to spit, scratch and stomp out any traces of terror.

London is my City..it’s my realm..  my friends and families and communities live here..  and  I’ll defend  it with all my might and magic!!

-Mani Navasothy