Hymn to Pan is one of the most famous creations by the English Occultist & Ritual magician Aleister Crowley. He wrote this in 1913 (published in 1919). I had first seen this poem performed by the late Wiccan Elder Zachary Cox, at a Pagan Picnic in Queen’ Woods, High Gate, North London.. (2006?). I have seen it done by a friend few years ago (again in Queen’s Woods, at a Beltane Ritual I was facilitating for my `London Woodland Witches meetup group’ . Going as far back as 2008,
I’ve been organsing `Pan’s Picnic’ every year.. And it was now..during lockdown, while we are doing so many online zoom rituals, that I had the sudden idea to perform this poem myself. I began fully familiarizing myself with the poem at night. Each night I’d whisper it and practice..(‘cos others were sleeping in our household).
And on the night of 21st March 2021, after much delays and almost giving up.. I drove to the woods near Croydon – where I hold Hern’s Tribe rituals for some 16years. There I quietly set the camera up.. set up an altar – and heard the poem in my head as I danced with flame. When it was all done, I packed it all away …and finally set the voice recorder, and let loose reciting the poem!! And the Pan in me was fully Free!
(note: Apart from adding a little echo for the later section, no other voice manipulation was done. The throaty croaky snarly growly changes were as it happened live in 1 take of the voice recording…and almost in 1 long breath too. You can hear it once where I gasped for breath and continued!)
It’s now my quest to fully learn this glorious poem by heart.. and do it as a Self-invocation & Charge of the God Pan -in a woodland ritual, for that is what this poem is. If you study the words carefully,. you’ll see where it changes from `calling Pan’ to `being Pan’ !
Isidias Navigatum: Blessing of Wealth 2021 ceremonyfor London Woodland Witches meetup community.
This annual ceremony was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back.
–Monday 8th March 2021
–8.30pm to 9.30pm ONLINE (Free)see link below for meetup event.
This is our 9th annual event, and is being held online (due to social restrictions). However we are including newly filmed video clips of our ceremonial altar-ship being floated on river Thames at Richmond with Goddess Isis statue onboard!
Back in 2001, when I was an Elected Equal Opps officer in the Home Office Union, we had a period of internal committee wrangles.. lots of frosty faces, and many internal e-mails flying about. Accusations, counter-accusations. Justifications. Rights and wrongs. And on one side the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and about 10 others…and on the other side was just me, and my mentor/ Branch Secretary Peter R.
Peter would say to me, `Mani, we are here to serve the members. So just do your duty to them’ And it took so much effort for me to park my ego aside, ignore the taunts by other officers, and keep working only on members’ cases!
Funnily enough, about the same time, as a newly made Wiccan High Priest, and a coven-free wiccan, I ended up as a Guest at the late Maureen’s coven.. and was eventually made the Coven High Priest.
And I can tell you …it’s not easy being part of an existing coven of super-transpersonally trained Witches, let along being their coven HP. Once there was an internal `trial by fire’ period that lasted 3 weeks (every Friday).. where I was throwing my `authority’ about, and Maureen and the whole coven spent hours and hours talking and debating and discussing with me.. (Ritual kept getting postponed 3 weeks in a row). Each Friday we’d gather at 7pm and the talks went on till early hours…Exhausted we’d either sleep over or go home.. at 2..3..4..5am and next Friday gather again..and it would carry on. None of us ran away.. None of us disrespected one another..but they all stayed…to help me understand some fundamentals.. of how to become a Good coven leader! And its never about exerting authority or teaching the highs and lows of magic. It’s about serving!!
In the end I learnt a valuable wisdom.. that a Coven leader does sit on the tip of a pyramid.. not at the top like a boss stepping on Initiates below. But the inverted pyramid tip at the bottom.. holding the weight of the entire coven and all the members.. and serving them!!
I once tried to offer my 1-2-1 ritual help to a wiccan and was told that am being possibly divisive and power-over. Another time a wiccan wanted my sword, and then wanted me to fight her. When I backed off, I was told by Maureen that I had dishonoured the member.. and as HP, I needed to heed her wish and battle her so she can work through her own issues ..
Coven running is never easy. Looking after initiates and trainees is never straight forward. Each person and indeed each event/ situation is unique.
And we struggle.. we struggle on and on .. to do what I often say.. `the right thing’ !!
I pick just these mere 2 situations to make a simple but profound point. That Since those days..I have worked really very hard… to serve!! Be it Pagans who contact me or wiccan initiates or trainees. Along the way, I have had to make sacrifices.. it has even once cost me a relationship.
And here I am again.. with a number of Wiccan initiations in the horizon, juxtaposed against the well-being of my personal life, the interest of family, partner, other initiates and more.
It’s painful at times.. times when the timing of crisis is never good.. Times when we have to put aside our breaking hearts and taunted minds, and reach for inner truths guided by our gods…and do the `right thing’. Yes we all agreed at our initiation that “we are willing to suffer to learn” but sometimes.. it’s just a near impossible situation. No one else will understand.. and everyone will try to criticise you or pull in different directions and loyalty-battles.
Do you know what… ? I’ve had this for over 20 years in my role as High Priest. This is not the first time… and this won’t be the last time. And I marvel at the Elders of The Craft who have been doing it for 30.. 40.. 50.. 60 years.
In Wicca, at initiation, we gain 2 titles.. Witch & Priest / Priestess. At first it may seem like some cool titles.. that we can flash about for added credibility on social media or some TV interview. BUT those titles come with heavy responsibilities.. The first part (Witch) is a magical one.. The other – `Priest / Priestess’ is one of service! Serving our Gods & Goddesses, serving people.. and serving the land.! In the 2 decades of my time as High Priest, since those Maureen coven days, I’ve never ever forgotten that.. !
The Jupiter-conjunction-Pluto in Capricorn is happening three (3) times in this year 2020! Anyone who knows evening the slightest bit of astrology knows that (a) Conjunctions are really powerful and (b) when something involves Pluto, it’s going to be deep, intense.. and ultimately transformative. And there is a (c) too.. that when Jupiter is involved, there are beneficial forces at work! Let’s look at some details:
The Jupiter-Pluto-conjunction occurs on 5th April 2020, then the planets go retrograde. During this phase, they conjunct again, on 30th June. The planets slip far back in the sign of Capricorn… (Jupiter goes backwards to 17 degrees Capricorn, and Pluto back to 22 degrees). They slow and stop..and start to go direct. Pluto first then Jupiter. As Jupiter is a further back but a faster moving planet than Pluto, it eventually catches up to Pluto and conjuncts on 12th November for the 3rd time..
(note: Jupiter leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius on 19th December.. where it then conjuncts Saturn in Aquarius on 21st December.. but that’s a stellar story for another blog).
The graphics shows exact dates when Jupiter & Pluto make certain `events’
Where? All of this is occuring in the sign of Capricorn the mystical sea-goat (ruled by Saturn). Capricorn is an Earth sign.. Jupiter is fiery and Pluto.. well, Pluto rules the deep, the unconscious, the underworld!
So who will these transits affect or influence? Short answer is…*everyone* Long answer.. Well, As all this is happening in Capricorn, that sign is the meeting-ground. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, and Pluto rules Scorpios. So those signs will be strongly affected too. But then, the position of Capricorn will be a particular house’ position for each individual. For some it will be their birth sign, for others it’s their 2nd house (wealth, values), 7th (relationships, partnerships), 10th house (Career, fame) and so on.. Capricorn will be one of the 12 houses for any one of you. So that particular sector of your life will be the one most transformed by these 3 repeated aspects.
Not only that – but on your own natal chart, look to see what house encloses the signs of Sagittarius & Scorpio. Those houses will be affected for you personally.
A conjunction blends and combines the energies of both planets involved. As Capricorn plays host to this conjunction, the energy of Capricorn will be added to the mix of Jupiter & Pluto.. Expansion, farsight, distant travel, higher learning, religion, law, Justice, gambling, impulsivity, risk taking, flirting & romance are some qualities to bear in mind for Jupiter. Intensity, secrets, probing, manipulation power, control, sexuality, others’ money, death and rebirth and ultimately transformations are the energies that Pluto brings to this conjunction. And as you can see…the combinations and permutations of these energies are very many indeed.
It all depends on what you are open to, how far you are willing to work with some of the energies, influences and issues that are surfacing..
You won’t just get one chance but three! The weeks and days leading upto the first occurence of this conjunction will raise up deeper issues. Rather than fearing them, start to acknowledge hem to your self..and work through them…resolve them.. integrate them.
By the time the conjunction has occurred a 2nd time (especially as both planets are retrograding), you may feel your best laid plans of dealing with these issues are all gone awry.. That may result in frustration, more fears, avoidance, obsessions, escapism, addictions, harming others or self-harming, destructive habits, manipulative habits and more. Or you may simply feel like or actually cut and run away.. avoid issues, take more risks, loose your temper.
Dabbling in the occult or dark magic may take you in unsafe directions.. and endanger self or others. Guard against falling prey to outside cult or occult influences.
Small things may trigger you into acting disproportionately, or exaggerate reactions, blow things out of proportions. The negative traits of Jupiter & Pluto may take hold. Usually during a triple-repeated conjunctions, the mid-point is very trying.. where nothing makes sense, and control and plans are gone.. and you may feel compelled to act in nonproductive ways..
That will be the time to work very hard at staying calm.. to stay grounded and centred.. to do more personal work of spirituality or psychology. Also a time to keep safe with tried and tested methods, people or places.. Stay safe.. but let go of expectations.
When such powerful planetary energies are at play, trying to become clever, trying to manage it, employing short cuts rather than working carefully and sincerely through the issues raised to surface is not going to work in the long term.
Between the 2nd and 3rd occurance of the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction..ie between 30th June and 12th November – Do The Work!! Be genuine.. and hold faith the fact that this is ultimately beneficial aspect and the transformation – once slowly and deeply achieved – will benefit you for decades to come.. for we will not live to see this similar aspect again in our lifetimes.
It may interest you to know, I myself will be strongly affected by these aspects.. (one of those planets rules my birth sign!). And there is one thing I have learnt about the influence of stars in my life. I can not cheat it by knowing about it in advance.. (I’ve tried in the distant past). So I myself will be trying to take some of this advise for me… And as more insights and far-sights surface, I’ll be sure to blog them/ add them here.
Magic & Spirituality
Of course there is one matter I have not mentioned so far.. Well I have in an indirect way. The cheating!
Many believe all of our lives and all that we do are `fated’ – that is to say predetermined by Fate or God or Goddess or universe, and we do not know but our futures are all set in stone. BUT an equal number of people believe that we humans have Free Will.. and that we are the Masters of our own destiny & futures. And certainly, those who practise Magic believe that we have the ability to influence and choose our future in a direct and esoteric way.. !
So I like to add a few suggestions..in the way of tackling the conjunctions coming, (well by the time you read this, the first of the conjunction will be happening.. I am writing this `under their influences already’ and that was intentional. I could have written this 2 months ago when i first mentioned it..but I wanted to get a better handle on the energies brewing..so I could write it better.. and I am. I trust that as the aspect brews, it’s inspiring me to write the most relevant words and thoughts.. The fact that I have never taken this style of writing an astrological blog is evidence of its influence.. as I didn not even think to add magic & spirituality to this blog.
To those suggestions then..
Work with some God forms and archetypes.. Learn about the gods and myths of Zeus and Jupiter.. and even a little of Thor and Vishnu (all are connected to Jupiter!) Learn and work with Pluto / Hades Lord of the Underworld.. Work with Shiva the dancing form (destroyer). And work with Saturn. Those are the energies at work here. and tuning into them more will help.
Though trying to control the outcomes of these aspects is likely to backfire.. doing some constructive planetary magical works can be productive.
It is a powerful time of transformation and expansion – though it may not seem that way. dig deep, or pierce the wounds .. clear the hole of clutter, and dross, and drain puss from old wounds.. Let it all heal.. and ready the ground and plant new seeds and dreams. These will grow into glorious new tall trees… Their roots will go deep..as their branches will spread far and wide.. beyond th small horizons you were ever used to before.
Bright Stellar Blessings
Author, Teacher, AstroMage.
ps. I will shortly begin to offer my support & services for High Magical talismans/ charms, as well as personalised astrological forecasts (3, 6, 9 or 12 months). Please keep an eye on my blog or my official website http://www.Mani.org.uk. Thanks.
The world is reeling with thousands of deaths as a result of the current Corona Virus pandemic. No one is beyond reach of this virus.. Every aware human is facing this fear of death! Scientists & Health service professionals are beyond busy – doing their best to save lives and stop this pandemic. Many nations are in lock down to stop the spread of the virus. So what are we …Pagan priests & priestesses doing to help? Are we any good to anyone if we feel crippled by our own fears, shadows and the dark that’s lurking in human collective at the moment..? I have some reflections on these matters..and what we Priests & Priestesses should be doing! -Mani
On 28t March, my shamanic group Hern’s Tribe were to meet in our usual woodland space for ceremony and to observe Earth Hour. But due to corona virus and national Lockdown / isolation guidelines, our event did not go ahead. It bothered me. So few days later, i gathered enough Will power to go the woods (drove and avoided all people contact ..not many in woods anyway).. Set up a basic altar and did this brief magical work of healing.
It is based on the Caduceus / twin serpent/ ankh shield I had painted several years ago. I carved the same runes on the pink candle used too.. The magic was done without filming.. The did a spontaneous evocation.. while filming this bit… starting with the Opening Prayer (wicca) . The video ends with an adapted Healing words (on screen.. not spoken.. )
I know some people have a fascination or obsession with death.. BUT Can people STOP sharing death tolls ..minute by minute on social media?! It’s not helpful to anyone who has anxiety, panic attacks, mental health issues etc. Keep your selves, your loved ones and friends safe & sane.. Social isolation does not mean you can spread fear and panic by calls texts and social media.. especially to people who are already in isolation & delicate mind-states or unwell!!
If any of you are suffering these, then please call the NHS help line.. Don’t infect your friends with your own panic!
Don’t share fear, panic or despair.
If you are a magical person, you know that planting these in your mind or other people’s minds is only going to manifest these realities even more.. That is if you *really* believe in magic, and not take it up as a social fad.
So do the magical community..and indeed the human race a big favour. Save the human race by giving it positive seeds to manifest in its subconscious Collective.
Put your belief and magic into strengthening your mind powers, your cell-immunity, and personal healing powers (while still following National medical health & safety guidelines !)
I run a number of outdoor events event month.. and am also part of teams that run bigger events. In recent days there’s been an escalated numbers of cancelling or postponing of events coming up in next few months.. ! There’s great uncertainty.. Fear of catching the virus/ infection ..and indeed an unspoken but most certain fear of death looms everywhere. All very understandable..
Yes absolutely ..we must be responsible.. follow advice by experts, authorities and government (though they did take a very idiotic approach early on …one that is now shifting ).
But I also believe that as `magical practitioners’ some of us are in community care (priest/ priestess) roles and have to become beacons of hope and faith…(mind you, not blind faith!).
Cancelling events is necessary! But so many things are disappearing fast – things that people depended on as ladders and constructs to get through days and weeks in the past.. like looking forward to events, socials, shopping, just meeting a friend or even a loved one across town.. ! In addition to the obvious but perhaps unspoken fear of personal death or loosing a loved ones, there’s also now perhaps an unsaid deeper feeling of defeat.. despair and desolation!
On a magical level, this is a disaster for the human collective.
Our fears and emotions sink in to the collective, and start to take root like dark seeds.. and they *will* manifest more of that darkness and despair.. if this negative cycle is not arrested.
From an events point of view, short of government law passing on militant curfews, there has to be – not large scale- but small events running here and there .. with plenty of safeguards put in .. so that they can act as the right kind of light & magic into the heart of the human / esoteric collective.. !
If a little creature like Virus can bring us to our fearful knees… let us learn to respect Gaia… but we can also turn to our great `mind and magic over body’ powers ….really start to believe it and practise it.. I propose we keep doing magical work on our bodies.. send the magic inwards..to every cell.. and keep them healthy and strong..
It’s time to believe that true magic is within. The upcoming triple Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions in 2020 show us how the wider horizon and the microcosm are connected..
We are excited to announce 2 major Samhain / Halloween events organised by London Woodland Witches & Pagans meetup group.
1. Woodland Witches Samhain
Sunday 27th October 2019
4pm to 8pm
SAMHAIN – the Pagan seasonal festival for honoring our ancestral spirits, seek wisdom from the spirits in the veil between worlds ! Our Outdoor Samhain is particularly intense because of the real dark (wet, windy) environment among trees and bushes that are already bare …! As evening falls, there is an eeriness that also becomes apparent.. Once at the ritual space, you will be immediately involved in the ritual – of the calling of the DarkLord, and communing with ancestors. Some divination work will commence before feasting.
This is an open ritual held in an outdoor park/woods with easy public access.. Out ritual Team will conduct the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual.
Fixed Fee: £5. Pay The ferryman at the beginning of the event.
Meeting point: Please meet at The Woodman’s Pub (Archway Road) from 4.00pm. You will be led to the woods at 4.30pm by The Ferryman, for ritual.
Media policy: Our media policy is quite firm – we allow NO filming, NO recording, No interviews at any of our events- for the sake of privacy of people attending and for them to celebrate/ worship without any such `performance’ pressures. We allow some photos *after* the ritual..for your own personal memories.. You may take pictures of altar and your self or your own friends, with permission. No photos / media may be used for any unauthorised use in books, websites or other forms of publications. If in doubt, contact me directly. Please help us keep these events a protected magical space for individual worship..as wicca and paganism are religious paths. Blessings. Mani (founder/ organiser)
central London by South Bank (start from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre)
It was the Night before Halloween.. Ghosts & Ghouls were stirring and not an undead soul was resting! Keeping to our tradition.. we are holding our pre-Halloween walk along south bank side of river Thames in central London. This time on wednesday 30th October!
This is a `fun’ event with an undertone of seasonal magic. So Gather ..with costumes & lanterns by Globe Theatre (near Millennium Bridge, south bank).. After a few sips of ginger wine via our drinking horns and tankards..we’ll amble along the path… We’ll stop near Oxo tower (green area) for our annual `Thames: River of Souls Ceremony’ to honour the Spirit of Thames & Ancestors. Then continue walking to Royal Festival Hall..
Bring snacks & drinks to share.
Bring pumpkins. Lanterns (no naked flames please for safety).
Bring battery operated lights.. costumes.. masks etc.
Stay as long as you like.. and leave when you want to.
Fees: Suggested Donations £3 welcome to the `Ferryman’ (for your underworld journey)!
Meeting point/ time:
Please get to outside steps of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre / Bankside pier by 7.30pm. We’ll get organised and begin walk. We hope the 1000m walk will only take us about 1 hour at an extremely leisurely procession/ festive walking speed.
In Wicca & Witchcraft Covens, Ritual groups, Shamanic Circles and Groves, a member takes on a Magical name or a Witch-Name. This Witch/ Magical name is then used within those circles and Ceremonial groups. In fact in initiatory Covens, a Seeker adopts a new Witch name, is only known by that name within the Coven thereafter. Should any member accidentally speak their `worldly’ name, the person who spoke it is firmly and symbolically `punished’ gentle scourging by coven whip!) – – not to inflict pain but as a reminder and future conditioning.
In the old days, Witch names may have been essential survival tools. When and if a member of a coven is caught by Witchfinder generals, the caught Witch is only able ..even under torture.. to reveal Witch names of other members…so true identities are kept secret.
Of course nowadays, when Wicca & Witchcraft is no longer illegal or punishable by death, that sort of life-preserving secrecy no longer exists. So why use witch or magical names?
In this video, I speak about our own given names (ones we are given at birth by or parents/ guardians) , and why Witch names are important in our magical lives. I also explain how to go on about discovering your own Witch/ Magical name (few essentials), and how to magically declare them, where and when to use them. I also speak with some examples about the Do’s and Don’ts.. some of the dangers/ pitfalls to be avoided when choosing your own Witch or magical names.
Please share this video with any of your magical groups, friends or communities who might find this useful.