Category Archives: Society

Feet off our train-seats!

I was on the 8:05pm train from London Victoria,heading to Horsham!

Initially I was quite busy, texting to a few friends on matters of the feature articles for the upcoming Olympic special edition of Gaian Times e-magazine.

Then I suddenly became aware of 3 people sitting in the group seat adjacent to me – a man and a woman on one side and another man opposite them. The man (one of the couple) had both his feet on the seat opposite him, albeit on a small plastic bag. This effectively hemmed in the other man.  And the other man took out his wallet-like object and showed them, and said, `Can you please take your feet off the seats?’

The coupe were obviously not English (I could not see their faces). So some polite explanation took place.  The other man turned out to be a Police officer. I have no idea if he was one of London’s Met Officers, or one outside London…but he obviously was out of uniform – maybe going to or from work, or juts on his day off, or perhaps, on plain-cloth duty. But he said he is a Police (as the other one didn’t  fully comprehend the badge! In the ensuing polite (and hardly audible) chat between the three of them, I could only hear what the police-man was saying.

He made it very clear to the other visitors, that in this country we don’t put feet on seats in trains. The others tried to explain something about their country, where no one does, so the police-man asked, why they would not put feet in their country, but thought it was okay here (in UK). I think they answered something to the effect that they had seen so many youths put their feet on train-seats here!   The police-man talked about showing respect.

The foreign couple got off when their stop came. And after that, I turned to the Police-man and actually thanked him for doing what he did. I briefly said I’d tried doing that in trains (asking people to take their feet off seats) and I’ve often encountered aggression and have even had to move train carriages! I mused about how dirty seats ruin people’s suits!

When my stop came, I got up, and nodded a `Take care’ to the (police) man, and he returned a smile and a bye.

For a brief while, I felt justice had been done…right in front of my eyes, on a crime that has been going on for so long – one that irritates me whenever I see it.. people putting feet on train seats- despite signs saying `do not put feet on seats’.

What’s worse is that I see people in suits packed to the hilt in carriages in the morning en route to work..but in the evening, those very same (some) seem to think it’s okay to put their feet on seats – whilst still wearing their suits and boots, but now en route to their homes or some socials.

I’ve even cleverly taken photos of a few of those people.. and video clips..  I switch on my camera on video mode, pretend to rummage through my bags while leaving camera on the side.. which continues to shoot their misadventure!

It’s not the only anti-social behavior  have seen in society!  Antisocial behaviors are committed not only by thugs, delinquents and hooligans in late night travels, but by otherwise ordinary people – who think that a few drinks,or just the fact that they are going on a party night gives them some social authority to misbehave!

Gone are the days I have put up with it. Misbehaving people – watch out, Beadle’s not about – but I am- with my secret filming tactics!!

-Mani

Royal barge Gloriana carrying Olympic flame in river Thames 27July2012

Here’s one of the many photos & videos I took yesterday by the river Thames, of the barge Gloriana with the Olympics 2012 flame!

More videos and pictures in the forthcoming olympic issue of Gaian Times e-magazine..on 4th August’12.

-Mani

 

 

 

Olympic 2012 Bashing: Negative magic by Hypocrites!

No sooner had the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony at Stratford (East London) finished – or even long before it even finished – social network sites were filling up with posts from amazed admirers, and- I am extremely disappointed to say- negative, whining, hypocritical pictures and posts by some others!

Everyone  is entitled to their views and opinions. So yes, I do understand that some people will vent their negative views. But those of you who do so- can you at least wait till the Opening Ceremony has concluded, before putting out your views??!

I have seen in Social networks sits like facebook, people posting sarcastic, negative and critical posts. I have seen how people seem to have take screen-shots of the ceremony ..and added various negative comments, their own ill-devised campaigns and started circulating those. And I have seen how others take it on and share it.

It’s obvious that the people who would have paid their ticket to get to the Opening Ceremony will in no way have taken photos and edited it all on their tech-phones and blasted them out into the internet. I imagine most people who went there would have been supporters. So the ones who have been putting those graphics out must be those who caught it on TV coverage… And if so, here’s a message to those: You are breaching copyright and brand rules – Be Warned!  Create your own graphics, or use photos you have created – for these negative Olympic Bashing campaigns – or just don’t!!

Personally, I was not all that bothered some months ago – and I have heard all the debates and arguments – about how much it’s costing us tax payers, how it’s only serving the elite and the rich, how it’s commercial, how it’s not really for the people, how it’s throwing chaos and inconveniences at the people who live in London.. etc etc.

Yes, I know it’s cost 27million pounds for the ceremonies etc. Is that such a big deal for an International event that’s bringing together over 200 countries in a friendly competition?  More Millions have been spent on far less important football matches – some of which have served none but companies that own them! More millions have been spent on making films – which have been nothing but 90 minutes of entertainment and don;t serve the world in such ways that the Olympic does. So if you are going to compare and criticise, do it in context, and do it fairly!!

Talking of entertainment – yes I watched the 90 minutes of the Opening performance show last night live on Tv, and was thoroughly entertained by it. I marveled at the theatrics, constructions, the incredible dance choreography involving thousands, the stage management that must have gone into it, the technical coordination and skills involved and so on. It may be costing 27million pounds and ran for 90 minutes – but I put it to you again.. there have been films made that have been that long which have cost 5 times as much, and have had not even a fifth of the significance or relevance on a world arena!

And those who criticize the skills and talents: here’s a question I ask-  Have you ever made a 2 minute movie using your digital camera, tried editing that with a few special effects and shared that on social networks? Have you ever organised a small party for 200 people? Have you tried doing an art work that is the size of a wall perhaps? Have you tried composing music?   Have you tried creating something with real hard work and passion..and then put it out to the world, and await the possibility of being accepted  by the friends or harshly rejected?  If you have not – then you will have no idea what it takes to create anything of the size and scale of such a thing as the  Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics 2012. And that being the case, you are just being an armchair critique. Which in my book is utterly self indulgent, childish and rather pathetic of you!

Context and perspective, please!

Assuming that all those cons and arguments hold water- what can we do?  The Olympics 2012 are here, in our doorstep.  The Olympics stated off decades ago with high ideals in mind – as a uniting force and to celebrate the skills of the human ability and it’s potential for physical excellence. Even if some of you think modern Olympics are not doing that – and only a day has gone by so you can;t judge it as such- why put negativity into the Global human Collective?

Each one of us has the power to add something positive – here and now – every post we do on the internet that gets seen by a hundred of others is a flame that we each hold..   So rather than pass on a black flame of shadows and strife, why not say something good, and pass that on?  Worse, why take images of something that can be used positively and tarnish it’s energy by using it negatively?     Whatever is happening in those stadiums may be beyond our individual influence at this stage- but what we each put out into the internet IS within or power..and we can use that power for good..

The Olympics is like a Child – it’s born now. Rather than look at what’s wrong, what disabilities it may have, I say- nurture it, and support it in some way energetically and it may well grow up to be a good human being – symbolically speaking!

If you are a practicing magician or a pagan or a spiritual being- hold a flame of hope in your hearts now, and that may actually do good (if you believe that you have power and that you can change the world – that is).

-Mani Navasothy

Related links:  Gaian Times e-magazine – exploring the science, magic and psychology of our Earth

Torn Canvas: Pieces of my life

Having started to talk about the Art works,  I’d like to share some of my personal history- key events that shaped the way my life has evolved.  I’ve used some of the art work to illustrate the mood.

Racial Violence in Sri Lanka (my Country of origin)

This has played a major role in shaping not just mine, but several hundred thousand Tamil people!  It’s an age old issue of seeking more independence hat stems from 1979 to modern day, where Tamil people have been so persecuted by Sinhalese people and the government army, that Tamils have had to take up arms and fight a guerilla war! (You may have heard of the `Tamil Tigers’ ).  Our family was one that got caught up in all that, and we eventually came to the Uk in fear of our lives.  We were the lucky ones, for many thousand Tamils have been killed since 1985.

Racial Violence in Sri Lanka – Tamil being beaten up by Army!  (c) Mani Navasothy

A personal attack on me -(the personal disability begins).

A day light mugging after school, at the age of 17yrs colored the way I began to see the world around me in London- something I had thought was going to be better than Sri Lanka. The attack on me broke my right shoulder, and though it healed, it has become a recurring physical problem (not to mention getting mugged again few years ago in a bus and getting my right shoulder dislocated for the 4th time!). It prevents me from doing contact sports, but has squeezed me into other paths- such as aerobics, fitness, walking, exploring the country, mind-powers (when the body fails) and so on.

Wingless Flyers (c) Mani Navasothy.

Death of my father ( Scars that go deep..)

Few days after the new year of 1990 also changed my life in a big way. It is in one sense equivalent to a naive crown prince being thrust onto the throne and expected to rule the kingdom (family & cultural responsibilities of asian male!) But on the other hand, it was also very much a door of darkness opening beneath my feet and falling into a chasm of delayed psychological trauma! I believe it took a few years before the full force of his sudden death hit me- which spun me into an exploration of death, brain, mind, and transformation. It saw me become faith-less, and rise again with pagan spirituality empowering me and enlightening me with some mysteries.

Earth Healers (c) Mani Navasothy


Paganism & Ritual Magic
(From darkness into Light, and from weakness to power)

This is a spiritual path of empowerment that includes nature worship. No middleman is needed between me and the god  or goddess! This spirituality is nothing new to me- as it has highly similar facets to Hinduism that I was brought up with (which after all is an eastern form of paganism). However there are differences- the lack of physically built temples, the strong emphasis on lunar & solar cycles, the exploration of natural land and features all around us as a place of divine- all help very much to empower me! Not just that, even the Stars out there, and galaxies, and exploding Supernovae and black holes.. are all of the mysteries.. that I am fascinated by as a Scientist, admire as an artist, and worship and honor as a Pagan!

-Mani

Artist-Writer-Magician-Scientist

Hierarchy within Wiccan Covens

I was initiated over 15 years ago, and lucky to have had those first 4 years …where my High Priestess & High Priest taught and trained me (and my fellow Craft brothers & Sisters).  For those glorious 4 years, I did nothing but learn the Craft, rituals, magic, and kinship. And then one day I was ready and got my 2nd degree initiation, became `an Elder’ and a High Priest of Wicca ..and was gently cast out into the bigger world..

That was when the politics began!  And since then, I’ve had many a discussion with pagans, wiccans and non-initiates (in courses that I have run) – about Covens.

I’ve seen the way the Wiccan covens ..and Wiccan community have evolved..  with time…just in the 15+ years I have been a part of. I can only imagine how it must have been in those early `golden’ years of Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, and of course Alex Saunders. Am not what they’d say..about the Craft now..if they were still alive.

Personally, I myself am seriously perturbed by the way loyalty, discipline, commitment  respect and a  whole load of other sincere traits within Wicca seem to be eroding away these days…and like the yobs in the streets who make trouble and say `it’s my right’,  modern wiccan members seem to do pretty much all sorts of things and call it evolution.

On the one hand, I am all for traditions being kept alive. But then, on the other hand, all things have to change..evolve..  and at times, I find myself being the `black sheep’ of the Wiccan community…simply by me being thought-provoking, and challenging.

So in a series of articles.. (and a few books coming later in the year), I’m going to explore these..

First thing..  let me set the scene…and explain a few basics…as I have now come to understand them..  (extracts from my forthcoming book `Seekers’ guide to Wiccan Covens’).

What’s a coven?

A Coven is traditionally a group of Witches – full stop! It is not a place, not a room, not a house, not a website, not a forum, not a meeting point or any of that. A coven is given a unique identity by a name for that group – often at the choosing the people who formed it and lead it. It is a magical association of certain specific individuals. Where ever those members may be, they feel and know that along with the others of that group, they are `their coven’! You can compare this to the question of `what is a family’? Exactly. A Family is a group of relatives. They may live in the same house, or not. Some old, some young. A core family framework is a man and woman – father and mother- and their children. The extended family includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, niece & nephews and more. A family starts with a couple – bonded in Love – and grows as they have children. A coven has very similar structure, as you’ll see below.

Who are Coven members, Seekers & Trainees?

All the people who have formally asked to join a Coven, under the leadership of the couple who formed a coven, are coven members – of that coven! Even in the early stages, if some people have asked to join a coven or are exploring or seeking – but have not gone through an initiation ceremony – are still in many ways members of that Coven.

Coven Leaders & the extend of their authority

As with a family model, which is very much what Wiccan covens are based on (like the tribes of old), a coven usually has a couple – a pair who are magical partners – at the helm of it. This couple are the Coven leaders – often that coven’s High Priest and High Priestess. The abbreviation is HP & HPS. They are effectively who form the coven, initiate others into that coven and run that coven! Their authority is pretty much absolute within their coven. There are cases, where other High Priests & High Priestesses of other covens come to visit – ie do socials and rituals together. Even in such cases, the authority of the actual Coven leaders is- should- and must be respected by all.

This isn’t always understood by everyone. And sometimes visiting High Priests & High Priestesses try to exert their own authority – especially if they have been Wiccans and running their own covens for much longer, or the special case where they are the people who initiated this coven leaders! But such behavior will undermine the authority of the HP & HPS of the coven where everyone is a gust.

This can be easily understood if you think about the family model again. Think about a big family occasion, where a couple who have 3 children, invite their grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins and so on. Within the house where the party is being held, the couple have the final authority. It is incorrect for the grandparents or an uncle or aunt to intervene in important matters – even if in the larger family framework, they have age and authority.

well, more on Wicca, Witchcraft & Covens…another time…:-)

-Mani Navasothy

connect with me on facebook  www.facebook.com/ManiNavasothy

Related Links:

1.  So you want a wiccan Initiation?  

2. Coven Guide: Become an Initiated Witch – by Mani Navasothy

3. e-Witch Apprentice  Training (Correspondence course)

Psychology of Parties

We’ve all been to parties – school parties, house parties, hen-parties, stag-parties, office parties, fancy-dress parties, fetish ones, gothic ones, formal ones, open ones,  private ones,  weddings, clubs, even funerals ..launch parties for books & films and so on.

What happens there is a complex mix of interactions between people – ones who organise, ones for whom it is organised, ones who attend, ones who are invited, ones who gate-crash (sneakily attend without invitation!). Complex but a goldmine for psychologists and observers (yes, they attend too!).

Some years ago, in my Transpersonal Psychology & Counselling training course, we spent a whole weekend (a full saturday & sunday) studying the psychology of parties- and then we had a party on the evening at the end of it. Yeah, how’s that for a bit of mental work-out?  We had all just learnt all the many things..  and yet, we just observed ourselves undergoing behavior patterns – exactly as the psychology predicts!

That’s the beauty of psychology – knowing it doesn’t make one exempt from it!   The people who think they know so much that they can control their own behaviors and hide from other people’s observations (or worse, manipulate other people’s behavior) are just kidding themselves – because other Psychologists can spot  patterns miles away – unless of course they themselves are either very drunk or very drugged up or just too busy in other amorous activities!

 Firstly,  a party that is organised by someone for whatever reasons or causes – is all about the person organising it. It is all about them!  Not a bad thing at all, but am just saying. It can be to feel-good about their self, their life and it’s achievements, celebration, marking an event, making a political statement etc. And everyone else is there to willingly support that person(s) at the heart of the party!

But of course, everyone who attends is doing so ..inwardly..  for themselves!  They attend on the front to support the cause or person, but each attendee has at least one or more personal agenda(s).   To make friends, to show off their own achievements, to procure support for their own causes and ventures, wheeling & dealing, networking,  seducing others, building empires of their own, plot to destroy other empires & groups & business et are all personal motivations.  And each person attending makes so much effort to look good and presentable in a way they plan – even the shambolic `I am a rebel and I don’t dress-up’ type is doing so to make that point. If they did not attend, they can not make that statement- can they?

Some business people spend a large part of their operational hours in parties & socials, or even organising them. It is not for the purpose of spending their hard earned wealth. But rather, it is to create opportunities of interactions, where in what appears to be a social tone, business transactions & agreements can take place much easily!  Product launches, Fashion shows, Art Exhibitions, Fundraiser events, High-end Auctions & biding are example where this type of interactions take place.

This brings another important perspective – to make a statement or show off or serve the self, each person needs an audience or an arena. They either create their own arenas elsewhere, or attend another person’s arena (party) and hi-jack part of it, or do both! Even the rebellious people attend other people’s parties – because they require this arena. And in attending someone else’s arena, they are coming within the sphere of influence of the organiser. This may sit uncomfortably with the rebels, but they put up with this, as it affords them a new set of audience! This is one reason why we often find opponents of politics or some other ventures still attend their opponent’s party.  And the one inviting his or her opponent does not like to do so, as it is as good as letting their own empire be used, but not inviting an opponent can send the message that the organiser is weak. So it goes on.

In normal domestic parties (and the notorious Office party at Christmas!), people tend to have different and personal agendas. There  it is one of befriending co-workers whom they have fancied or admired from afar for months! Befriending or in some cases, seducing – for the purpose of either starting a long or short sexual encounters!  One-night stands and heart-aches the week after…usually! Here a dangerous type operates – one who stalks others and waits for an opportune moment of vulnerability on their `prey’s part!  Here alcohol, cigarettes and drugs play a role too.

There is of course the case of using alcohol or recreational drugs to `get under the influence’ . Often, the user is willingly letting this happen – either allowing someone else to supply them with excessive substance, or the user  just consumes the alcohol/drugs that they themselves have a direct access to.  Reasons and motivations vary – to relax and switch off their minds, to gain some self-confidence,  to shake off personal responsibility (and afterwards blame their potential wild behaviors on the substance), to forget personal troubles, or just to loose themselves for a few hours!

These are of course extreme observations and examples of behaviors found it parties, and any sort of celebratory gatherings!  The purpose of this blog is not to criticize or condemn anyone, as many of us have at one point or other done one or more of these. But it is a reminder to us all, that Parties are not as care-free as we like to think. In many cases, parties are extremely hard work  (and am not even referring to the behind-the-scene organizing).

People attend with one thought in mind – and more often than not- people surface with other issues which can take days, weeks or months to process and accept. For example, a one-night stand at a party can either lead to a long term relationship, or an unwanted pregnancy that traumatic changes the lives of the two people and perhaps their friends too.  A casual encounter can lead to a fantastic business deal or venture, or careless disclosure can expose privacy and confidential issues, and potentially bring down a group, a business or an empire of sort!

Next time you attend a party – have a thought, then have a drink, and enjoy the psychology of it all 🙂

-Mani

ps. I must acknowledge the late Maureen Brown, Psychologist and Counselor for her teachings in this area!

Bewitching London: Brooms, Pentagrams & Olympic Torches

On Saturday 21st July 2012, the Olympic Torch came to London! That was 3-4 days ago.

Since then it’s been carried by hundreds of individuals in a relay, along a clockwise direction around London, starting from the East, heading south, west, and eventually back to East part of London by 26th July.  And on Friday 27th July, it will be transported (not in a relay but by vehicles) to furthest west point of London- to Hampton Court, and be carried on the Queen’s Jubilee barge..by river Thames, to Tower Bridge.. before being taken to the Olympic Stadium for official launch ceremony!

This whole journey of of high esoteric interest to me.

Way back in 2005, being a practitioner of Magic & Wicca, I had the idea of doing a `London-Circle’ magically. (If others had done it before then, I didn’t know about it).  I had been interested in Earth-Magic -working with the land directly. So with the help of my partner April, and my friend Reggie, I set off to do a series of magical `circles’ around London.

We did the following on 3 separate occasions:

  1. Take a home made Witche’s Broom, in the Circle Line (Tube network) and sat in it for a whole circuit around London.  That took us about 90 minutes. It was our way of `sweeping London’ with a magic broom! Once completed, we took it straight to a PF London open ritual (Yule ritual, in early December).
  2. Trace the shape of a pentagram over London, by travelling (in public transport) from point to point, as if we were drawing a pentagram.  This was easier said than done. For example, imagine travelling by shortest tube possible, from Greenwich (South-East point) to Wembley (North-west point) and so on. We started in a woods in the North London, around 10am and ended the pentagram by about 11pm that night! That was just April & me – just travelling (and having short lunch and evening meal breaks in local cafe/ pub).
  3. Finally, we got in a car, lit a consecrated candle, and took it for a drive around the whole of the M25 – starting from the Southern point, clockwise, back to the South. And at the quarter points, we got out of the car to get on the road side, and `call a quarter’ (as Pagans do in a magic circle).  It was a tough act towards the end..  with the large pillar candle so full of melted liquid wax, that every shake of the car threatened to flood the candle-flame out with liquid wax. But we made it. This was done after traffic time in the evening an took about 3+ hours.  It was actually New year’s eve, and the idea was to then take the candle (still lit) to Trafalgar square/ Thames side for the evening fire works/ celebrations. However, we gave that idea up, and took the incense sticks we had been burning, to central London.

Earlier today, I watched the Torchbearers take it past my local area – around 2.15pm along the streets of Sutton.  And the recent taking of the Olympic Torch around London in a clockwise direction reminded me of the old magical works I had done back in December of 2005.

It is interesting, that the final relay of the Olympic Torch takes it along the river Thames. A flame on the water – opposite elements! The flame arrived n London on the last day of Sun in Cancer (astrological water sign and home of the Moon), and is now gong through London as the Sun travels through the first third section of Leo – a fire sign and home of the Sun! So the flame is in it’s astrological element now.

It is as if – intentionally or unintentionally, London is being consecrated by the flame, and a circle is being cast around it!  Despite all the commercialism of the Olympics, it is nevertheless no ordinary flame. It is one lit by a Priestess of Apollo temple in Greece!  So there was already magic to begin with!  I believe this will change London- not just the economical or political landscapes as everyone expects, predicts and hopes – but on a much deeper magical and spiritual level. When everything else has faded away, the magic will remain – below the surface of the `London Collective’ (and Tamesa!)

Personally, am planning a few magical workings of my own..  starting with a special Flame watch social on 27th July in the morning, followed by a bit of magical working nearby..

-Mani

Related links:

Gaian Times magazine – Olympic special issue out on 4th August’12.

Tamesa London Circle- special rituals by river Thames 

Pagan Federation London ( PF London) – seasonal indoor rituals.

Witchcraft & Wiccan Open Rituals (quarterly) in London

Corn-Kings, Dictators & Lammas Principles

Lammas is one of the 8 agricultural festivals celebrated by modern pagans – in the UK, Europe, America and other countries where pagan practices are observed (and growing).

What’s Lammas? Agriculturally? Magically? What does it mean for the non-pagans.. and for the world at large? These are questions I have asked myself – for being a pagan doesn’t mean socialising and caring for other pagans, but for the whole world- Paganism is all about nature worships, and nature in my book includes all on Earth!

Corn King mask worn at pagan Lammas ritual

Here’s what I wrote about Lammas in my Witchcraft and Magic website for the festival section:

“All that rise shall fall again.. says the popular pagan poetry! The newborn Sun-child of Yule has grown to be a rampant and playful youth and lover at Spring, committed man and husband at Beltane and responsible Sun-King at Midsummer. And at the time of Lammas, at the height of his supreme power, the King steps down- or rather gives up his life force to the land! This is harvest time in the fields, where Corn and other such grain are harvested. John Barleycorn is `baked’ and sacrificed. In God mythology, the God willingly gives himself up and the Goddess cuts him down, so that his blood may feed the land. Though it may sound alarmingly gruesome, this is to be seen in terms of symbolism, and not actual! The spilling of his blood is in fact the falling of the grains and seeds to the ground, that they may produce next year’s crops! Just as the fallen seed sleeps safely within the soil, till winter passes and next spring, so the spirit of the Lammas-King enters the underworld.”

AGRICULTURAL  SYMBOLISM

So effectively, Pagans celebrate the first Harvest of the crops (agricultural)..  harvest of the Corn and wheat!   And traditionally, the first cut of the corns is kept, woven into a Corn-dolly and kept in the house as a symbol, and at the start of the following year’s farming preparations, it is ploughed back into the fields. Thus the energy is returned to the farmland/ field.

In magical rituals, traditionally, one person takes on the role of the `Corn-King’ , and is invoked with those energies, revered, celebrated, and at the culmination of magical ceremony amidst songs and dance- symbolically cut down as a Willing Sacrifice. No, not in the style of some hollywood horror movie. But a designated Priestess (representing the Earth) passes a sickle or knife across the neck (symbolic!!) and the `Corn-King’ falls gently to the ground (in a dramatic way!) He is then covered up by a cloth, and all dance around and `mourn’ the passing of the Corn-King, and his willing sacrifice. Towards the end of the ritual, he is `resurrected’  (pagans don’t like to leave an enacting person `dead’ !)  This is ritual drama – that is all. Cutting off the head, releases the energy of the Corn king, which is needed to replenish the land once more!

MALE MYSTERY

But many years ago, I was having a dialogue with the late Maureen Brown (High Priestess) on these matters, and she discussed the idea of `Every man giving  (not giving up, but giving) his life-forces – the ability to create life. Yes we are talking about the sperms! There are impulses within all biological beings to procreate. But there are also primal instincts of self-preservation. To procreate one must choose to let go of some of those self-preservation instincts – because the Offspring born will eventually grow and rise, to challenge his/her father (parental figure). The next generation can not truly be free until the previous one lets go. The great Oak must fall, so that the acorn in it’s shadow can see new light and grow. The genetic material goes on (in the Offspring), but not the biological entity (father).

So for a man, the sacrifice is the letting go of his life-force, in favour of  his off-spring.  The `corn’   must be cut down, so that its seeds can fall to the ground and crate he next generation of crops. The corn holds the mystery.  And a man must let go of his seeds, so that they may create the offspring. This is the deeper male mystery that many have become oblivious to!    It has been known that in private & personal  magical Lammas rituals,  some Male priests have symbolically `offered’ their owns seeds to the Earth. As we all know, magic can be done with all sorts of body fluids – blood, sweat, urine, and of course sperms!

KINGS & DICTATORS – a special case

On a communal, world front, the Lammas principle is all about someone who has been in power – and serving the land and people- stepping down willingly his or her time has come!) – so that another one who has proved him/her self may take the place of the Ruler!

There is such a thing as holding on to power for it’s own sake – something Dictators are well known for doing!   They do not step down – for whatever reason, and te land and it’s people suffer under such dictatorial rules.  So unless old age, illness or some accident removes those dictators from power – naturally – it is left up to the People ..and rebellions to rise, and over-throw the Dictator!  (In democratic places, this would be some sort of referendum, public poles, elections etc, and in non-democratic countries, this often is outright civil unrest, rebellions, even warped rebellion which is terrorism of groups fighting against tyranny of their own government or rulership!  Here the Robin_hood principle comes into play!)

There are some special cases of people in power – even the `good ones’- holding on to their reign for so long. One must wonder if it is because of fear of their successor not doing a good job, or if it is pure ego.  One example of this that I can see is the Royalty in England at the moment!!

The reluctant King who does not step down – is not limited to royalty, but to other politicians, presidents, military leaders, Board of Directors in Companies, Media bosses…and even community leaders!  Anyone who stays past their time in a position of power and authority of serving or ruling is simply.. tempting the natural order to step in..  and Lammas principle to enter their lives. And it will happen, sooner or later!  (This will happen to all of us, in our own realms and communities, in whatever power and positions we each hold. That must not be forgotten. And yes, I am aware of it. It is why I tend to step down from certain things when I feel my time has come.. and I start to do that quite a few months before Lammas!  That is my way of working this energy!  )

So every time pagans re-enact a Lammas ritual, the cutting down of the Corn King- we are in fact enforcing and strengthening this magical principle – for I have realised, that is how we the people of the land rule and govern our Kings and Dictators – by magic!

In Magic, we trust!

-Mani

 

Disruptive aggression of Uranus-opposition-Mars (19July’12)

Chances are- you are already feeling the effects of this particular astrological aspect!   It’s probably come out of old brewing issues, but has exploded from the depths, to the conscious mind within the last few days..or even last 12 hours!

The opposition of Mars against Uranus is taking place in the early hours of tomorrow (19th July’12).  2:55hrs GMT to be exact (3:55hrs British summer time). Mars is a planet symbolising war, assertiveness, aggression, initiative of new ideas/ actions..  and rules the sign of Aries.  Uranus is one that rules Aquarius, and has the effect of creating humanitarians, innovations, freedom …but in its disruptive form, causes rebelliousness, overt eccentricity and possibly even terrorism! (humanitarian rebellious ideals gone too far!)

So a show-down between these two planets is not going to sit easy in anyone’s life!! Especially for Aries, Aquarians andLibrans.  Why Librans? Well, Mars is currently in the sign of Libra.  What’s actually (astrologically_) traumatising is the act that Uranus is in the sign of Aries..  the home of Mars. So from a Mars point of view, it’s as if you were out on a world tour (of the Zodiac) while you get a long term visitor staying in your home, and suddenly, they are having fights and arguments with you over distance – phone or e-mails or even through other mediums.   Ah, I almost forgot about Mercury – planet of communication …currently going retrograde! So, what ever miscommunications can happen…will happen. And that’s not good for people involved in aggressions and rebellions!

Feelings of violence can escalate – so would a sense of your own eccentricity and individualities.

This really is a difficult time..   My advise?   Try to step away from it all…just for 24 hours..  read a book, watch tv, write a blog or two :-p

-Mani

Comparison: Self-Help Book vs Apprentice Course

Yes, I know.  I myself have and am writing several self-help books (Eclipse Magic!), as well as  running Apprentice Course (e-Witch). I did a personal comparison, to explain the benefits to my clients/students online. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Please leave your comments. Thanks. -mani

Self-Help Book  vs An Apprentice Course

What’s the difference?

 There are thousands of Self-Help & How-To books on the market, and there are a few hundred Apprentice-style courses!  What’s the difference? After all, don’t they both tell the reader what to do certain things and how to do them??  And why should you opt for an Apprentice course/ training rather than a Self-Help book? I answer these below.

Self-Help Course / Book Apprentice Course / Training
It’s a One-off Buy. Often there is a series of modules.

 

You have no contact with the Author / tutor. You have regular contact with author / tutor.

 

No contract between student & tutor. A `contract’ exists between student & tutor (even if it is a loose `understanding’ in some cases).

 

Student is on his / her own from start to finish. Student has reliable and guaranteed mentorship from start to finish.

 

Occasionally student can contact author. Reply is one-off. Regular communication from student is `expected’ by tutor, and planned in. Author/ tutor is committed to addressing student’s learning challenges  – no limits.

 

Student is 100% responsible for planning & managing own training by following the Book. Tutor takes up to 50% responsibility for planning and managing the student’s training.

 

Student may pick and chose chapters / modules (our of order it is intended). Student is highly encouraged to follow the steps / modules in correct sequence for deeper and progressive development.

 

Often Shot term design. Quick-fix results. Student may rush learning. Longer term commitment serves better results. Training designed to embed learning deeper through experiential approach.

 

Linear subject-matter training. One area at a time is targeted for training. Parallel subject-matter training. Many areas & skills are developed gradually.

 

Student trusts self. Student is asked to trust the Tutor’s judgement, even on matters that may be  counter-intuitive.
Parts of the course may fulfil the student’s immediate need. Rest of the course often left unfinished. Aims to fulfil the long-term needs of the student, even though short-term needs my not seem fulfilled. Tutor contact motivates students to stick to full course.

 

No bond between student & author/ tutor. Long term bonds develop between student & tutor / author.

 

Total fee low. Student pays for information, and step by step instruction. Collected fee higher, as student pays for Value,  Experience & time of the Tutor. Training program will change and evolve to suit the Student’s unique learning needs!

 

Many authors offer this. Fewer authors / tutors offer such 1-2-1 commitment over longer terms.