Initiatory Wiccan covens have `rules’ or hidden protocols and boundaries. Not all are written down, but they are taught and passed on to new trainees and new initiated Witches who join covens. But some trainees & initiates, knowingly or unaware, breach these boundaries. Not just them, but even some Coven leaders are prone to smudging the lines.. fostering confusion with initiates. In my 25 year experience in The Craft (Wicca), either directly (my own initiate) or indirectly (other covens), I have seen these breaches occur. It has often led to disharmony, conflicts of loyalty, and even spelt the end of Covens, relationships and friendships.
When a trainee of mine recently asked me if s/he could continue to be part of another magical group …after having a wiccan initiation (from me!) I was reminded of this issue and thought it must be talked about, and addressed. So that all can be educated. Many things could have been addressed in this video.. but it’s a spontaneous informal video-blog.. not professional lecture. So do watch this, and take its message to heart ..!
Spellcraft for Beginners – online (zoom video) course facilitated by Mani Morningstar & Freya Witch – initiated Wiccans of the Gardnerian Tradition of the Craft. We have been running Spellcraft courses outdoors (in woods) and indoors (Atlantis Bookshop) for many years. Now with circumstances making us stay indoors, we’re designing this Beginners course to be held online. And for the first time, we are adding the Craft of doing Herbs & Oils in spells, to our existing line up of teaching you the basics of magic with Candles, sigils, cords & knots! (Rune magic is now one of our special extended course in its own right).
You’ll learn about 3 different techniques of doing ritual magic for your self. Using candles for magic, using Cords & knots for magic and using a selection of Herbs & Oils.
Mani will give an introduction to different types of spellcraft , and take you through the basics of candle-magic, colour correspondences, preparations, what sigils/ symbols to use. He will also cover cord magic (using knots on cords).
Freya Witch will introduce you to working with herbs & oils, give explanations, and then talk you through 2 actual spells that combine easy to obtain herbs & oils – and show you how to do a protection spell, and Banishing spell.
Date: Friday 13th November 2020.
Visit my meetup event to book for this. use link/ click this below
31st October 2020 is a Blue moon (2nd full moon in same month). 1st October – Full Moon in Aries (21:06 hrs GMT) 31st October – Full Moon in Taurus (14:49hrs GMT Note: On 31st October, there is a Sun-opposition-Uranus aspect around 15:53 hrs. This is a stressful aspect that requires opposing energies to be balanced or reach a compromise. As the full moon happens an hour before this aspect, it will most likely bring up additional tensions, stress and issues that day/ evening. -Mani
Back in 2001, when I was an Elected Equal Opps officer in the Home Office Union, we had a period of internal committee wrangles.. lots of frosty faces, and many internal e-mails flying about. Accusations, counter-accusations. Justifications. Rights and wrongs. And on one side the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and about 10 others…and on the other side was just me, and my mentor/ Branch Secretary Peter R.
Peter would say to me, `Mani, we are here to serve the members. So just do your duty to them’ And it took so much effort for me to park my ego aside, ignore the taunts by other officers, and keep working only on members’ cases!
Funnily enough, about the same time, as a newly made Wiccan High Priest, and a coven-free wiccan, I ended up as a Guest at the late Maureen’s coven.. and was eventually made the Coven High Priest.
And I can tell you …it’s not easy being part of an existing coven of super-transpersonally trained Witches, let along being their coven HP. Once there was an internal `trial by fire’ period that lasted 3 weeks (every Friday).. where I was throwing my `authority’ about, and Maureen and the whole coven spent hours and hours talking and debating and discussing with me.. (Ritual kept getting postponed 3 weeks in a row). Each Friday we’d gather at 7pm and the talks went on till early hours…Exhausted we’d either sleep over or go home.. at 2..3..4..5am and next Friday gather again..and it would carry on. None of us ran away.. None of us disrespected one another..but they all stayed…to help me understand some fundamentals.. of how to become a Good coven leader! And its never about exerting authority or teaching the highs and lows of magic. It’s about serving!!
In the end I learnt a valuable wisdom.. that a Coven leader does sit on the tip of a pyramid.. not at the top like a boss stepping on Initiates below. But the inverted pyramid tip at the bottom.. holding the weight of the entire coven and all the members.. and serving them!!
I once tried to offer my 1-2-1 ritual help to a wiccan and was told that am being possibly divisive and power-over. Another time a wiccan wanted my sword, and then wanted me to fight her. When I backed off, I was told by Maureen that I had dishonoured the member.. and as HP, I needed to heed her wish and battle her so she can work through her own issues ..
Coven running is never easy. Looking after initiates and trainees is never straight forward. Each person and indeed each event/ situation is unique.
And we struggle.. we struggle on and on .. to do what I often say.. `the right thing’ !!
I pick just these mere 2 situations to make a simple but profound point. That Since those days..I have worked really very hard… to serve!! Be it Pagans who contact me or wiccan initiates or trainees. Along the way, I have had to make sacrifices.. it has even once cost me a relationship.
And here I am again.. with a number of Wiccan initiations in the horizon, juxtaposed against the well-being of my personal life, the interest of family, partner, other initiates and more.
It’s painful at times.. times when the timing of crisis is never good.. Times when we have to put aside our breaking hearts and taunted minds, and reach for inner truths guided by our gods…and do the `right thing’. Yes we all agreed at our initiation that “we are willing to suffer to learn” but sometimes.. it’s just a near impossible situation. No one else will understand.. and everyone will try to criticise you or pull in different directions and loyalty-battles.
Do you know what… ? I’ve had this for over 20 years in my role as High Priest. This is not the first time… and this won’t be the last time. And I marvel at the Elders of The Craft who have been doing it for 30.. 40.. 50.. 60 years.
In Wicca, at initiation, we gain 2 titles.. Witch & Priest / Priestess. At first it may seem like some cool titles.. that we can flash about for added credibility on social media or some TV interview. BUT those titles come with heavy responsibilities.. The first part (Witch) is a magical one.. The other – `Priest / Priestess’ is one of service! Serving our Gods & Goddesses, serving people.. and serving the land.! In the 2 decades of my time as High Priest, since those Maureen coven days, I’ve never ever forgotten that.. !
Hey all.. here’s a snap shot of some key Open rituals, festive events and magical courses happening in january for my `London Woodland witches & Pagans’ meetup group. These events are open to all..regardless of membership of meetup. Just make a note of the event you like, and simply turn up and join in Only exception is the course..for which you need to pay fee in advance to book a space..)
Spellcraft for Beginners– evening course at The Atlantis Bookshop, Holborn. Wednesday 22nd January 2020. (6.45pm to 9.30pm). Fee: £20 early bird. (£25). Pay in advance to book. spaces limited to 13 people.
Woodland Imbolc – Festival gathering & Ceremony at Queen’s Woods, High Gate. Saturday 1st February 2020. (4pm to approx 7.30pm) . Fee :£5. Pay at event.
Please click on the links above, or the posters below, to be taken to relevant event on my meetup where you can read full details for each. (I’ll set up blog posts for each in january 2020). Bright Blessings. Mani
“Winter approaches.. nights are long. Day light is short. And in the deep caverns below the Earth, the great Goddess gives birth to the Sun-Child! We gather to mark this sacred event and celebrate Winter Solstice”.
Out ritual Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.
*** Fixed fee: £5 ***
Date (: Friday 20th December 2019.
Duration . 6.30pm meeting point for 7pm walk to woods and starting ritual.
Queen’s Woods (gather at Woodman’s pub first)
Meeting point: ——–
Gather in the Garden/patio area of `The Woodman’s pub’.
Magical Safety ————-
** Once Circle is cast, we do not allow anyone to enter the sacred space..or leave without an appointed Priest/Priestess opening a doorway in the circle. If you arrive late or must leave at any point, please seek the appointed Priest/Priestess for this. Please do not Crash the circle – as it can cause magical weakness for the whole ritual and let outside energies enter or leak our own built up energy**
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
** This event is NOT suitable for children.**
What to bring/ Food & drinks to share ——————-
-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).
Cutlery etc: Plastic cups, paper plates, forks & knives, spare bags (to pack items not eaten), bin bags – we usually bring these. But if you can bring some too – that will be good.
Torch light – Some evening gatherings finish in dark. So a torch light helps to find things when tidying up & packing.
Seating : Folding seats / ground sheet ( for your self to sit on) – optional.
We are excited to announce 2 major Samhain / Halloween events organised by London Woodland Witches & Pagans meetup group.
1. Woodland Witches Samhain
Sunday 27th October 2019
4pm to 8pm
SAMHAIN – the Pagan seasonal festival for honoring our ancestral spirits, seek wisdom from the spirits in the veil between worlds ! Our Outdoor Samhain is particularly intense because of the real dark (wet, windy) environment among trees and bushes that are already bare …! As evening falls, there is an eeriness that also becomes apparent.. Once at the ritual space, you will be immediately involved in the ritual – of the calling of the DarkLord, and communing with ancestors. Some divination work will commence before feasting.
This is an open ritual held in an outdoor park/woods with easy public access.. Out ritual Team will conduct the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual.
Fixed Fee: £5. Pay The ferryman at the beginning of the event.
Meeting point: Please meet at The Woodman’s Pub (Archway Road) from 4.00pm. You will be led to the woods at 4.30pm by The Ferryman, for ritual.
Media policy: Our media policy is quite firm – we allow NO filming, NO recording, No interviews at any of our events- for the sake of privacy of people attending and for them to celebrate/ worship without any such `performance’ pressures. We allow some photos *after* the ritual..for your own personal memories.. You may take pictures of altar and your self or your own friends, with permission. No photos / media may be used for any unauthorised use in books, websites or other forms of publications. If in doubt, contact me directly. Please help us keep these events a protected magical space for individual worship..as wicca and paganism are religious paths. Blessings. Mani (founder/ organiser)
central London by South Bank (start from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre)
It was the Night before Halloween.. Ghosts & Ghouls were stirring and not an undead soul was resting! Keeping to our tradition.. we are holding our pre-Halloween walk along south bank side of river Thames in central London. This time on wednesday 30th October!
This is a `fun’ event with an undertone of seasonal magic. So Gather ..with costumes & lanterns by Globe Theatre (near Millennium Bridge, south bank).. After a few sips of ginger wine via our drinking horns and tankards..we’ll amble along the path… We’ll stop near Oxo tower (green area) for our annual `Thames: River of Souls Ceremony’ to honour the Spirit of Thames & Ancestors. Then continue walking to Royal Festival Hall..
Bring snacks & drinks to share.
Bring pumpkins. Lanterns (no naked flames please for safety).
Bring battery operated lights.. costumes.. masks etc.
Stay as long as you like.. and leave when you want to.
Fees: Suggested Donations £3 welcome to the `Ferryman’ (for your underworld journey)!
Meeting point/ time:
Please get to outside steps of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre / Bankside pier by 7.30pm. We’ll get organised and begin walk. We hope the 1000m walk will only take us about 1 hour at an extremely leisurely procession/ festive walking speed.
In Wicca & Witchcraft Covens, Ritual groups, Shamanic Circles and Groves, a member takes on a Magical name or a Witch-Name. This Witch/ Magical name is then used within those circles and Ceremonial groups. In fact in initiatory Covens, a Seeker adopts a new Witch name, is only known by that name within the Coven thereafter. Should any member accidentally speak their `worldly’ name, the person who spoke it is firmly and symbolically `punished’ gentle scourging by coven whip!) – – not to inflict pain but as a reminder and future conditioning.
In the old days, Witch names may have been essential survival tools. When and if a member of a coven is caught by Witchfinder generals, the caught Witch is only able ..even under torture.. to reveal Witch names of other members…so true identities are kept secret.
Of course nowadays, when Wicca & Witchcraft is no longer illegal or punishable by death, that sort of life-preserving secrecy no longer exists. So why use witch or magical names?
In this video, I speak about our own given names (ones we are given at birth by or parents/ guardians) , and why Witch names are important in our magical lives. I also explain how to go on about discovering your own Witch/ Magical name (few essentials), and how to magically declare them, where and when to use them. I also speak with some examples about the Do’s and Don’ts.. some of the dangers/ pitfalls to be avoided when choosing your own Witch or magical names.
Please share this video with any of your magical groups, friends or communities who might find this useful.
In a Wiccan ritual or any pagan Ceremony, creating Sacred space includes the casting of a Magic Circle – for safety and protection, and to keep the powers that are being worked with..so that magic can happen. Here we demonstrate the casting of a Wiccan Circle, with easy to learn words.
Traditionally, in a group or coven, the Priest hands the casting tool (a wand, an Athame or a Sword) to the Priestess. He then either steps aside or stands beside her and connects with her psychically and adds his energy . The Priestess channels his energy as well as her own energy to visualise and cast the magic circle (sphere). Traditionally they start at the North, move through East, South, West and end back in the North.
The Circle can then be sealed with a Pentagram. (In this video in may seem like a Earth invoking pentagram, but from the point of view of the Circle-casting Priestess, it is a Fire invoking pentagram). Once the Circle is cast, the Priestess hands the Athame / wand to the assisting Priest with a Kiss. He then places it on the Altar.
Then the magical work begins inside the Circle such as calling elemental quarters, raising energy, and invocation of God & Goddess, and more. (** Remember to ground the Circle once the full ceremony is completed!!!**)
(more videos demonstrating those will be uploaded soon).
Bright Blessings. -Mani & Louisa.
For more Wicca & Witchcraft resources- info, tools, courses & workshops we run, please visit our websites:
In Wicca & Witchcraft rituals – both public or private ones in Covens, during the `Cakes & Wine’ part of the ceremony, a magical couple bless the Wine. This is usually done during the `Cakes & Wine’ section that follows the main ceremony.
During the Blessing of the Wine, the Priest kneels and holds the Chalice of Wine (female symbol), while the Priestess stands holding the Athame or wand (male symbol). The Priestess then speaks the words, and gently plunges the wand into the chalice – symbolic of a union of male and female energies. The blessed wine is then offered to the Priestess first, then the Priest partakes of it. Then if there is a circle or congregation, the Chalice of wine is shared with all.