Category Archives: Social Media

Photographing Sophie – Highs, lows and lessons!

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 photo - woodland autumn 2017 by Mani Navasothy.jpg
Autumn Equinox ceremony- September 2017 – with Aaron as Hades and Sophie as Persephone . Photo (c) Mani Navasothy.        www.QuantumPhoenix.net

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?

sophie photos - Baz Beltane
Sophie with Maypole  at Woodland witches Beltane Ceremony – May 2018.   Main photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (3rd photo by Baz).          http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

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!)

sophie photos - david mani
Hastings.  Sophie adoring Sea.    Main Photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (1st photo by David). http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

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 photos - Dail mail
Sophie at Stonehenge, Summer Solstice 2018.   This shows screen capture of pic that some other photographer swooped into steal and sold to media. (screen shot of DailMail news site).

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!!

-Mani Navasothy

Author Teacher Ritual Magician (and Photographer!)

Antlered Goddess poject sophie
Sophie – Antlered Goddess .  photo (c) Mani Navasothy  http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

 

Links:

London Woodland Witches – Outdoor pagan Rituals (meetup)

Quantumligh Photography & Videos by Mani Navasothy (facebook page) – 

Daily mail feature – Summer Solstice 2018 

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What’s in a social media name?!

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.. !

whats in a social media name

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!

Stellar Blessings to you all.
-Mani

Pixelations: A Social Media overload for business & pleasure!

Am seeing this disillusionment all around me.. Perhaps it’s the Mercury-direct or the Saturn-retrograde just starting…but the pattern is too much to ignore. People with online business dreams are feeling deflated. Others feeling despair..dismay.. and a lot of other dis-something
pixelation a social media overload
here’s what I wrote on a friend’s wall on this matter.
“..the whole `facebook network brings growth and business’ is a complete fallacy. Long ago I was telling people / pagan organisations to get with the times and get on FB.. Now I’m saying `FB is a waste for business’ and this too will come to pass. (meanwhile other things are growing and spreading in between the pixel-gaps!)
People use it as an escapism… a time passing devise.. Everyone will `like’ ..pages and groups will grow.. There’ll be lots of exchanges.. and everyone then forgets.
How can our brains cope with such an overload?
With overwhelming options and alternatives, what results is an option-paralysis and inactivity.. not more activity. There are now over 1 Billion accounts on FB (world population is 8 Billion for comparison)..and everyone is being `encouraged’ to sell on FB.. It’s an impossible scenario..doomed to fail as we go beyond saturation levels..
The dot-com bubble burst..So will FB selling & marketing fantasy.
I stopped `investing’ in FB growth about 1-2 years ago..and just play.
My advise..? build a website..and keep it alive.. It has a slightly better chance of being discovered when people actually have a need and search google for it..
But beyond that, Keep it all real and keep it physical.. make real impressions face to face.. That’s what’s going to work.. ad anchor in the mind. (I can’t remember 1000 people’s names, posts and lives, or the 600+ pages I am supposedly `liking’ and benefiting from. But a person I met 2 years ago, I remember easily, because there was dancing in the rain, sitting with others naked in a sauna, and songs of a rebellious form! That memory stayed firm in my mind for 2 years..and was instantly accessible. And this post you might forget..but the keys I just planted might linger in your minds 
Real physical impressions involving 5 senses are the key, especially when pixels will fade.. Afterall, everything we see online is coming to us as visual input and now a bit of sound too on videos.. Its not enough anymore…not when there’s an avalanche of them competing for our attention..and the best we can do it consume it and file it in our short term storage… and visual memory will fade sooner or later if not anchored in the brain .. That’s biology we can’t ever beat..!
So don’t look for an alternative social media..or an App that manages other Apps.. or better pixelation strategies. Marketers are clever and desperate for your custom.. Augmenting reality? What the actual f**k is that, for heaven’s sake? Something is real or not. So ..get real!
Mani Navasothy
v1- 18th April 2018
ps.  Me writing about this online on my blog, about social media, may seem like a man sitting on a branch up a tree and sawing off that very branch.  But while there is a certain facility for viewer-comments and writer-replies, websites & blogs are very much authority building top level google-searchable platforms.  These are formal exotic gardens where as social media is like the weedy forest floor.  Yes there’s valuable precious medicinal plant life there…but also a lot of rubbish that no one clears out…  if you catch my drift.

Untainted Apologies, Compliments & Blessings – aka – Don’t be lazy on social media!

Dont be lazy on social media

Self-serving Corporate entities & Community builders (part 1)

The real agenda of these corporate `community builders’ and `social media strategists’ is always about positioning themselves to make money… Individuals do it to some degree.. not a problem. On a primal level, every living creature competes for resources to keep itself nurtured and safe. (Just saw a squirrel in garden looking for spots to hide a nut). And we human are no different. We all have to earn a living afterall.

self serving corporate entities - blog.jpg

Anway, big companies purporting to be adding to society do it on monu-Mental levels ..ie power-positioning themselves, They use us `members of community’.. we use them `providers of platforms’. They try to get us to spend on them and on their partner/ Affiliates’ products and services. .. we try to save by looking for short cuts and gimmicks..!

Guess what? They give us short cuts & gimmicks that look like its making our lives thrilling easy and better…but they got there by studying social psychology and patterns of our behaviour, and created those very short cuts & gimmicks. They would say it’s about providing solutions to our every problem or cause or concern. But in a blunt world, we know it as `cornering the market’!

If it’s not money, then it’s fame, or authority, or followers that are the real end results for those initiatives. And even if someone starts with the most altruistic or spiritual intentions.. they either get lost in the ocean or get swamped, stamped on, swallowed..or worse..have to start selling their souls (ie ideals) to survive and keep their altruistic ventures going..!

Everything costs and that cost has to and often does come out of us!!

I wrote this on a friend’s wall about social media..and this is the extended version.

That said, I’ll be saying more about individuals who purport to build or serve communities but again have the self-serving components that are much bigger than the social serving parts of their plans..

Trouble is.. you are doing it..and I am doing it.. we are doing it.. to some degree. So this sort of conversations put out are usually double-edged swords..that cut both ways. Then again.. it’s all about degrees.

One of the saddest problems I observe is that those of us here on the grass root levels.. swipe and snipe at one another ..for trying to earn a few hundred pounds a month.. to pay bills.. to provide for our loved ones – while the big guns out there are bulldozing the world to make millions of pounds/ dollars! We are powerless to stop them.. we are pawns in their hands.. so we helpless people take our bitterness and frustrations out on our selves and one another ..here on the grass root levels. Tell me that this is not the truth of it? !

So by NOT addressing this schism, we are letting the big ones get away..
So having a little scratch wound by our own swords is a small price to pay for opening up these topics . (and you all know that I have enough scars and bloody noses to show for it.. and am not stopping any time soon..) :-/

Part 2 / Video soon. 8-| )
-Mani

A word or three on Personal Disclosures

A word or three on personal disclosures:

I have always come at my contributions on facebook or my blogs etc.. with real experiences and disclosures, giving most subject matters my personal context. Rather than prod others to reveal personal things, I do it about myself ..and hope others will reciprocate..and build trust. This is NOT ego (as some perceive it as)..but a humanistic approach (instead of a dry academic approach) .

There are people – loved ones, friends, family, ex-partners – whom I protect.. Where my life stories interface with theirs, i try to keep their parts/ details somewhat vague..and focus only on my parts. This again can come across as if I am being egocentric. But it’s a balancing act.. keeping their privacy while telling my story. Not easy .

I teach by being a living example, and talk about live examples from my life. In short, I say what I do and do what I say (almost).

And I live by the principle that the Truth can’t harm me.. well..at least in the long term it can’t..(though it does in the interim, hurt me at times – when people use what I say against me). It’s all about steadily becoming more congruent with my self..and internally self-consistent.

Easier said than done of course.. It’s all work in progress!
-Mani Navasothy

Sinking into Cyberspace..!!

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.

-Mani

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.

Great Britain : A new Womb World?

“The Child is afraid and angry and is lashing out.. He/she wants to claw him/herself back into the Mother’s womb. But ..in a few days, there is a very good aspect of Pluto trine Jupiter.. (Happens every 4 yrs). Seeds seldom grow on the surface. They need deeper darker places first.. Out of some deep dark thing, transformation (death and rebirth) will occur.. expansion of horizons will come..!

In the astro-aspects ahead, Saturn is NOT involved.. It’s not the time for hermitage or silence.. Venus & Jupiter are involved..They are both social planets.. 🙂 Mars goes forward..it’s all about action..and energy. Remember these ..as you go into the weekend.. 🙂

In everything we think feel and do.. each one of us (individual self) is just `one’ and everyone else…is the majority! we survive that and navigate daily…🙂 Trust that sometimes to leap up as Supermen and superwomen often do, we first have to crouch down and kick against the hard ground first..” – Mani 

GBR womb world cometh - june2016

So the majority of the people of GBR have voted in the EU Referendum..to exit the European Union.   This morning I woke up to find the mood rather sombre amongst many of my friends (judging by their facebook feeds/ posts).   I know a lot of European people..friends..magical people..  So I can understand their sentiments. (Some are even worried they are going to have to `go back’).

Me..well..I have been living in the UK for 30+ years…came here as an asylum seeker..and I have what’s called an ILR..   So no one’s kicking me off UK..  That’s not the worry.

What is…is that people are harking back to some by-gone glorious Great British Empire days..  forgetting much of that was built on the plundering of other 3rd World countries…(like my native land Sri Lanka, India, Australia and so on..).   I hold no grudges…as without that British occupation of my native land, my parents and myself would not have become the people who we are now..  all westernised..civilised..   educated in English Universities etc.   (BTW In a modern day where the phrases `occupying another nation’ is banded about in a bad way… let’s not forget Britain dd that to many countries!!)

Leaving that aside for a moment, I return to the panic..worry and despair some of my esoteric friends are feeling..  And above are  some short  comments /posts I made on their various posts (on facebook)..in response to their posts..

Take it in a positive way.. It’s all fine.. Because I trust the stars and what I glimpse..I can’t believe all this is going to be bad ..  It’s part of the progress..however  that future unveils to us…

-Mani Navasothy

ps.  This just in..   London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the following on his facebook page:

” I want to send a clear message to every European resident living in London – you are very welcome here. As a city, we are grateful for the enormous contribution you make, and that will not change as a result of this referendum.
There are nearly one million European citizens living in London today, and they bring huge benefits to our city – working hard, paying taxes, working in our public services and contributing to our civic and cultural life. We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign – and to focus on what unites us, rather than that which divides us.” – Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.

The Facebook Friendship Test (Don’t do it!)

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.

facebook friendship test (c) Mani Navasothy 2015
facebook friendship test (c) Mani Navasothy 2015

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!!

-Mani Navasothy

NEWS: Pagan Federation facebook group Open!

Dear all, Good news!!   the reset GROUP for Pagan Federation is now OPEN (from Yule onwards..)

Feel free to join it again..or indeed feel free to join it…to have discussions and debates with other members of The PF..and other non-members/ supporters of the PF. (you don’t have to be a member of the PF to join this group).

PF England & Wales group

 

In case anyone is curious.. this group had over 8,000 members..but some weeks ago, it was set to `secret’ with a committee view to deleting it and making more use of the PF Page.. But due to overwhelming member requests, it has been saved. (yes, I also protested/ requested for it to be saved!!).

So go on to this group..join../ re-join. It’s always been a lively place for debates…

ps. I have been a member of the PF for almost 20 yrs (lapsed only 2 yrs ago).. and a member of this group since it originated.. and I continue to do so. -Mani

Here’s the link

facebook GROUP:   Pagan Federation -England & Wales