Join us on Halloween Night in Central London on Monday …31st October 2018.. We gather for a fun-filled Halloween walk ..with costumes * lanterns, then stop near Oxo tower (green area) for our annual `Thames: River of Souls Ceremony’ to honour the Spirit of Thames & Ancestors.
As for last year, We begin with a procession along river Thames (from outside the Globe Theatre, and walk along bankside, past Tate Modern, Blackfriars Bridge, Oxo Tower, Gabriel’s Wharf, and end at Royal Festival Hall… for a break and social (free to get inside and use their cafe/ seating areas).
Bring snacks & drinks to share.
Bring pumpkins. Lanterns (no naked flames please for safety). Bring battery operated lights.. costumes.. masks etc.
Our ceremonies are open to everyone, of all paths and religions.
Stay as long as you like.. and leave when you want to.
Fees: suggested donation £3 to the `Ferryman’ (for your underworld journey)
Meeting point/ time:
Please get to outside steps of Shakespear’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. 🙂
Cloths/what to bring:
-Wear warm/ waterproof comfortable cloths… Please check weather for London for friday evening and dress appropriate. Wear good footwear..as standing/ walking for longer duration can get hard on the feet.
-Please bring small picnic-style food and drinks to share.
-Bring things for self.. and if feeling generous, something to share with others..
Safety notes: Everyone is asked to take extra care with their own personal safety as we’ll be in a busy public place. Keep valuables with you at all times.. or with a trusted friend who is not playing a big role in ritual. beware of thieves/ pickpockets, any silly protesters (who don’t like pagans) and may try to cause a wrangle. If this happens..just step away from it.. do not be baited.. and just get out asap…and get far away to a safer place.
No swords…no athames..or other `real’ weapons – or anything that might alarm the general public /police. We play safe and nice.. And you are responsible for your own good behaviour and health & safety!!
With bright blessings
– Mani Navasothy
Link to our meetup event:
London Halloween walk & Thames river of Souls Ritual 2018
Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018, 7:30 PM
Bankside Pier (end of New Globe Walk) Bankside, SE1 9DT London, GB
28 Witches Wiccans & Pagans Attending
Join us on Halloween Night in Central London on Monday …31st October 2018.. We gather for a fun-filled Halloween walk ..with costumes * lanterns, then stop near Oxo tower (green area) for our annual `Thames: River of Souls Ceremony’ to honour the Spirit of Thames & Ancestors. As for last year, We begin with a procession along river Thames (from o…
Hi all.. Am organizing the following seasonal festivities in the woods as usual. Just click the links/ pictures to visit the relevant events under my `London woodland witches’ meetup events. Bright Blessings. -Mani
Wicca is a Pagan religious Path that includes honouring the divine, as well as the use of ritual magic for empowerment and bettering of our lives. This 1-day intensive course is for beginners & seekers – to all those interested or curious about Wicca & Witchcraft and like a simple, down to earth, friendly introduction…the whole lot in one day..!
Please attend with an open mind, and flexibility of time. We go into the woods to be away from the machinations of urban society, and to attune to the rhythms and energies of nature. Try to relax, ground, centre, earth and be open for the duration of the course. Allow a bit of time-buffer towards end for questions/ answers & conversations. Afterwards, we’ll go to the Woodman’s pub (indoors) and continue with some socials and carry on conversing about wicca and related matters.
VENUE: Course will be held in outdoor woodland setting (Queen’s Woods, where usually hold our outdoor Wicca rituals). we’ll meet at nearby Pub (Woodman’s) and walk together.
Nearest Tube: HighGate (northern line) – then 1 min walk to the pub.
This is a basic introduction course. Brief explanations will be given as well as demonstration on consecrations, circle casting, calling elements; You’ll learn how to properly say/ pronounce wiccan words/items, as well as some work on invocations & God/Goddess charges;
• Intro: Origins of Modern Wicca; Wiccan Law & principles;
• Energy: Connecting to nature; Chakra & Tree meditation;
• Altar & Ritual tools – athame, wands, sword, scourge, pentacle etc
• Sweeping/ purifications; Consecrations with salt & water/ incense; casting magic circle (words/ demo);
• Elements & Quarters; Symbols & qualities of Air/fire/Water/Earth in wicca; pentagrams/ triangles; invocation words (demo); Transpersonal work (4 functions).
• God & Goddess in wicca: Horned Gods- Hern, Pan, Cernunnos; Moon Goddesses – Maiden/ mother/ Crone; what are God/Goddess invocations & charges? who can use the energies? Empowerment; Importance of devocations;
• Magic & Spellcraft in Wicca- healing spell; cord & candle magic;
• Esbats & Sabats- Wheel of the year – related seasonal myths & rituals explained (Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, MidSummer, Lammas, Autumn, Samhain, Yule); Full moon/ new moon rituals;
• Initiations & Coven life – brief outline of degrees, how to approach covens, hierarchy; who is suitable; rejections; non-initiatory covens; Projections & attractions to god/goddess energies; abuse of power (warnings);
NO Recording / photography—————— .
Tutor may take some photos with permission for publicity purpose. Your faces can be blurred on any photos to be used. Let Mani (Tutor) know)
We can not predict weather ..but we can be prepared.
• Please wear plenty of warm clothing (it actually gets cold when you sit down on the ground for long). If it’s raining much, tutor will bring a tarpaulin sheet cover.. so we don’t get wet (too much)
What to bring———
• For your own comfort, please bring any food/drinks lunch (Please avoid eating during course delivery!). Bring flask of hot drinks. Bring comfortable cushion/ mat to sit on, as well as a blanket / throw to wrap up .. (or if it’s just cold). Please wear warm coats, socks scarf..
• We’ll have some wine for ceremonial parts of the course & for a bit of social after.
If you have any questions/concerns, please do contact me via private message on meetup. Thanks.
Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest / Author
Link to my meetup event: https://www.meetup.com/London-Woodland-Witches-Pagans-Magicians/events/254038294/
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 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?
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!)
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 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!!
Just saw a post about one friend talking about being `allergic’ to the said community.. and trying to be with her ups and downs.. (<Sometimes thoughts and emotions may come in a flurry and sweep over us, yet what remains is our true essence. We are not broken, we don’t need our chakras aligned, our chords cut and our karma released.. we just need to be present with what is> is a line I liked in her post!).
I confess.. one reason I began to feel (remember ..my POV) distant from a particular spiritual community is because I felt it was always smiles and high. To this day.. when I post my deeper thoughts, processes, agressions.. 99% of one spiritual community of friends..hardly show any like or comment or support.. It’s as if my rawness is not real or perhaps it’s not something they can accept or process.
I see lots of posts of people longing and searching for their twin flames and soul mates.. unaware possibly of passing so many rough diamonds underfoot! I also note, at the mere hint of any flirting .. many rapidly throw in the words, `brother/ sister’ relationship.. 🙂 (I don’t really need any more sisters thanks.. I was born with 2.. I have by wiccan craft sisters of the coven and everyone else..has to have earned that very special bond over time with me to be called a `sister’).
I find the pagan communities (druids, wiccans, shamans, heathens) to be rough, ready, raw, up, down,.. but acceptable and authentic. Because these lot are wearing their hearts & groins on their sleeves 🙂 They wrangle, they gossip, they fight, they make up, they drink (funnily enough ..they don’t all smoke spliffs at gatherings.. they experience the ceremony as they are!)..
So yeah.. am all for grit and mud…and rawness.. and the real authenticity.
ps. .. yes…as we brew towards a Sagittarius full moon, am aware this post is going to ruffle a few feathers..but hey, shooting from the hips is also part of the cosmic Archer’s qualities! An I am one.. So there !
pps. the featured photo is of my friends meeting at a gathering…and each one of them is dear to me..and 100% authentic.
Once in a while I get a person/ friend/ friend of a friend..coming on into my posts/ discussions..and interactions quickly go south! and I end up totally shocked at the accusations they level at me..or indeed at `all men’.
When something propels that fast and out of the blue..and spirals out.. I have to remind myself to pull back and realise it’s really nothing to do with me.. but that person concerned probably has deep issues due to some past negative experiences or conditioning..
(who doesn’t?! I know I have my share of them.. It’s all work in progress – doesn’t mean am going to let everyone take pot shots at me. Am an aware man..but am also a human with my own instincts of self preservations!)
As sad as it is, the men-bashers really should stop projecting their issues on all the men and especially stop looking for `evidence’ that all men are bad, all men are dictators preachers, all men are angry and self-indulgers (words a recent female friend used at me, so am using it as some examples!)
Laws of attraction comes to mind. If you keep looking for any evidence, that becomes your reality and it will keep manifesting..! Science is all about looking for impartial and independent evidence.. (even then.. we have the quantum mechanical thing that we can’t observe a system without affecting it!). And psychology is full of the placebo effects (belief becomes real), projections and transferences..
In short..a mine-field of `mind-mines’! Any one of it can trigger..and explode and cause a messy wrangle..
Navigating through all this..and then trying to get to a truer reality is not easy.. In Fact it may never be possible. (That’s what `Maya’ or illusions is all about.. and only way out is through detachment.. of everything, and the quest for enlightenment and arriving at the feet of Lord Shiva! In short, one can’t be on Earth and hope to be out of reach of Maya…!)
So.. to any women out there into male bashing.. I’d say `please go about trying to truly heal the wounds one or more men may have inflicted on you..’ Because not all us men are bad.. but if you keep thinking that, and keep looking for evidence of that, you’ll find those monsters in all our manly shadows..
Remember Ladies.. there are many men out there who are doing a different kind of work.. Lammas Kings comes to mind. If you don’t know what that is…do look it up.
ps. And ofcourse… `men bashing women’ also has the same problems. Goes without saying.. But I’ll say it anyway.
Dear all.. we wait for one of these and suddenly two come along!! We have 2 very special events.. Alex Sanders & Maxine Sanders are the Witches who founded one of the two main wiccan lineages (the Alex Sandrian wicca, and Gardnerian wicca being the other line). Anyone interested in or following the Wicca & Witchcraft magical paths will find these events highly important.. So don’t miss it and miss out!!
here are the links to their respective facebook events.
An Evening with Maxine Sanders – to celebrate the publication of the `Alex Sanders notebook’ ..taking place on this friday 25th May’18 (free event) at The Atlantis Bookshop in London.
The ‘Alex Sanders Notebook’ is a remarkable survival of the career of the famed King of the Witches, Alex Sanders. The notebook was kept by him over a number of years and contains both traditional witch lore and a fusion of arcane and modern occult teachings. Alex Sanders tore up the notebook (as he often did with his private writings) but the pages were taped together by a student and preserved by Maxine for over thirty years (info taken from facebook event page).
Then on 9th June’18, Evening with Alex Sanders & friends- A Celebration of the Life of the King of the Witches (6 June 1926 – 30 April 1988). being held at Mary Ward House, London…an event led by Maxine Sanders, and organised by Geraldine Beskin of The Atlantis Bookshop, Darren V Strongman & Sharon Day. . (tickets £17.50. ust be purchased in advance).
The Evening will start with a very special Alexandrian Rite ‘led by Maxine Sanders. It is extremely rare for Maxine to be doing any kind of public working – which makes this even extra special and not something you would want to miss out on. This may be the only chance many Alexandrians will have. During the 1960s Alex met Maxine, whom he initiated into the Craft and made his high priestess. In 1965 they handfasted, and lived in a basement flat near Notting Hill Gate in London, where they ran their coven and taught classes on Witchcraft.
event will include speakers, a film, and filming of the event itself.. (info / extracts taken from facebook event).
Something Royal is happening in Windsor.. And the media will be in full throttle about it. If you like to get away from it..and escape to one of the Royal parks in London.. and hang out with like-minded Pagan & Magical folks.. this is the event for you.
Come dressed in your flower crowns..and Horned head-dresses..or just outdoor attires.. Bring your ground sheets, food, drinks and picnic.. Bring your sun lotions & insect sprays.. Flasks of coffee & Tea..or cash for the cafe where you can get snacks..
Free carpark & toilet facilities in Richmond Park.
Hopefully we’ll spot some deer too..
Saturday 19th May 2018.
Duration: 12pm to about 4pm.
Venue : Richmond ParkThe plan (approx):1. We’ll meet at Richmond station foyer coffee shop.. (12pm). Take bus 371 to Richmond Gate. (stop at `American University’ then 3 min walk).2. At Richmond Gate (1.00pm), we’ll walk up to `Pembroke Lodge’ (car park/ cafe/ toilets) ..gather others coming by cars..then walk on to a spot for picnic. If you are coming by cars, you can park here and wait for us to arrive ..Safety with Deer / wild life:Observe a safe distance from any wild animals like Deer. This is NOT rutting season so they are usually not aggressive…But be safe. Also be less intrusive..and not spook them. After all Richmond park is a wild life sanctuary for them.
Historical note: We first ran a `Stag Watch’ event for Hern’s Tribe on 29th October 2012–
Bright Blessings . `May Hern protect us’
Join my meetup to stay updated with this and more outdoor pagan ceremonies & socials:
This is the 20th Anniversary of the Pagan Pride Parade London!
Sunday, 13th May 2018.
12 midday – 6pm
Russell Square, London, WC1B 5, United Kingdom
Nearest Tube: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line)
This event is FREE Join us to celebrate Paganism in all its forms, by marching in the oldest Pagan Pride Parade in the UK.
We will all gather in Russell Square from 12pm, where our team of organisers will be located by the central water fountain. Then, at 1pm we will begin the march of our parade.
With giants, dragons, drummers and dancers, we’ll take over the streets of London and let our Pagan banner fly high. Get dressed up in your finest Pagan attire, perhaps don a mask, bring a drum or another instrument. Whatever you want to show your Pagan spirit.
At the end of the parade, we will all return to Russell Square, where we will continue to make merry, with Morris Dancers, stalls and a picnic.
Please bring your own food for the picnic, or alternatively, you can get lunch in the Russell Square café, located in the park, right next to where we’ll be.
This event is completely free, family friendly and a great day out where you can meet like minded people from all across London and further afield. So, be sure to join us for the 20th Anniversary of the Pagan Pride Parade London.
The whole thing of religious `Them & us’ has come up elsewhere on my wall. It relates in part to the old Witches being persecuted by Christians. So am writing this post (*1).
The inference is that modern wiccans who practices Wicca & Witchcraft as a religious / neo pagan path.. are carrying some old `racially’ suppressed trauma of their ancestors being persecuted..and have an inherent `fear/ dislike/ apprehension/ animosity (take your pick’ or some similar feeling) against Christians!.
Truth of the matter is.. many modern witches and wiccans actually can’t prove their own lineage extends that far to the witches of the old.. I argue that there is no such `racial memory’ and that it’s just a fad..a presumed feeling.. because people love to have just historical clues and reasons for carrying causes.. (we can just believe in a cause and carry it.. we don’t’ need a historical justification or reason or validation).
Being an initiated Wiccan & Witch ( now pushing past 21 years of it..) sometimes I get the feeling I am expected to carry these `party lines’ of the `persecuted witches’.. a feeling of `them and us’ against Christians.
Am sorry to disappoint all.. but as Hindu I grew up not just going to the Temple with my family in my boyhood days, but also to adjacent Christian Churches. In fact we’d pick and choose what Gods we went to to pray for.. One example would be, when i had a strange mole on my finger, i was advised to go to the St.Anthony’s church for 7 weeks and pray, take a bit of salt & pepper, and crawl under the stand where a certain St.Anthony statue was. I did that and the mole disappeared long before the 7th week, though I completed the 7 weeks. It can be said that was my first practice of self delusion, prayer or heaven forbid.. Magic!(*2).
If anything I should have a prejudice against Buddhists..because it’s the Sinhalese people who were majority Buddhists who have caused racial violence against my Tamil / Hindu people..and murdered thousands.. back in Sri Lanka.. I’ve lived through not one but two of those episodes…running for our lives each time.
Yet I do my best to educate myself and weed out any hidden prejudices that may have developed as a result of those direct personal life and death episodes…which in theory should make me hate every Buddhist on the planet. So moral of my personal tale is.. enough of this `them and us crap’ !
I now don’t give a frack about what religion did to what other religion way before my time..
None of the `Witches’ living in our times have ever been persecuted to death enmass for their religions by another.. (save for a few individual harassment cases) .
As someone who actually has been persecuted for his religion, I think my perspective and aspirations should stand higher than these petty them-us arguments. As such, I do not ever want to see it or hear it in my presence from my open minded friends..
If I can be a hybrid of so many beliefs and not explode or go insane…then there is no excuse for anyone else(*3)!
*1: Am NOT a Ph.D in English, and nor do i have to worry about composing a thesis here that’s gotta hold water.. These are just my simple human sentiments.. typed in one go without editing (Thank you Mercury direct!). So please do see beyond the specifics and to the message I am trying to convey..
*2: There are other incidents of Hindu priests advising the family of rope & water magic for finding out lost family dog, and one drunken father cursing someone with water ..and many a sessions with my grandmother who did all manner of potions, lotions, wafting of incense, flames and shamanic spitting to ward of evil eyes, o the local soothsayer lady who went into a trance and channeled Goddess Kali.. and advised devotees.
On the harsher side, I have as a boy just about sneaked a peep at a new Kali temple being consecrated with many animal sacrifices..and seeing their blood run in a small stream past me! (This is why it makes me extremely concerned when people purport to worship Goddess Kali in the west as if she’s some pussycat in their pocket.. Would they do so with the terrible Sekhmet who had an equal bloodthirsty mythical origin in Ancient Egypt? I think not.
*3: Am sadden to hear that there’s even a divide of `Them & Us’ …from a Hereditary Witch’s point of view, towards rets of the Wiccans.