Tag Archives: Beltane

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

 

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)

You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, more frolics.. and more magic!!

Mayday falls on a Monday and no doubt mny will have coven & other events to attend that whole weekend (Fire festival in Edinburgh,  Hastings Green Man festival etc).  So we have staggered our own woodland festivities to the following weekend..  It extends the Beltane festivities..and gives all something to look forward to (without clashes) and have a final big event.. !!   🙂

• ***** Fee: £3 per person **

About Beltane: 

`The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane  (May eve) the land is at it’s most lush and green, and fertile. If Spring Equinox is the time of fertility and mating in the animal kingdom, then Beltane is one of courting couples making commitment to one another- and Handfastings! In the God-Goddess myths, this is when the playful God is said to commit to the Goddess – which is symbolised by the Sacred Marriage! The Maypole dance that is traditional at this time symbolises the fertile powers of the masculine, penetrating the land, and the ribbons danced and woven around it lock that power! A ring of flower at the tip of the Maypole signifies the feminine. Magical working with the Fay (Fairies) is an important feature at this time, in contrast to the magical work with the departed spirits at Samhain, the opposite point’ (taken from www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )

RITUAL :

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.

****Fee:  £3 per person***

RITUAL items to bring:

– Ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks / ground sheets / blankets
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks / flower crowns (No athame!! ..  No swords!)
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter  (all candles in lanterns only please, unless it’s large pillar-candles.  Strictly No tea-lights on ground or trees!!)
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
– Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

Handfasting / confirming Pagan marriage vows:

In the past, couples have asked organiser about this.   Handfasting is a big event in itself, and we do not wish it to be reduced by being included in a public ceremony as a `side-event’.  It also detracts from the focus of everyone else.   However, after Blessings of Cakes & Wine (and while still within our magical circle/  sacred space), we may consider couples who are already bonded, to declare their vows / re-affirm their vows by our altar.

**(please message Mani- Wiccan High Priest-  in private in advance to arrange this – or simply to arrange your own separate day for handfasting!)**

Adult themes : 

As this is a fertility festival, there is bound to be  jokes, flirtatious behaviour, adult humour throughout the event..

No Children:

We ask no children / babies in prams etc to be brought.

Behaviour / alcohol/ drugs policy

This is in a public woodland/ park.    We wish to make sure  the good reputation/ credibility of our group/ members/ organisers are maintained.   So please BE on good behaviour.    No drugs/  substances allowed.  Anyone found disrupting will be asked to leave..  and in extreme cases, organisers may call the Police for the safety & well-being of everyone else present.  Don’t ruin it for all.. Be good!  🙂

Photos/ privacy:

Please do not take photos during set-up, run-through or ritual..   Other times, it’s fine.  It’s in a public place so we can not stop the public walking through or taking pics.   If worries about your privacy / identity,  please wear a ritual mask to safeguard your identity in photos that others may take of the group.

Meeting place (Woodman’s Pub):

Gather in the Woodman’s Pub from 1.00pm..  Get to `High Gate’ Tube station..  come up to manin road. Turn right.  Pub is just 30 seconds away.

Map (High Gate tube/ pub & Queen’s Wood)

After Ceremony & some socials in the woods, we will head back to the pub (woodmans) for warmth and more drinks/ socials.  It all depends on how long we all hang out in the woods with lanterns / candles..

-Mani Navasothy

Wiccan High Priest & Founder of  London Woodland Witches and Outdoor Pagans.

Our meetup event for this:

Woodland Beltane Gathering & Maypole Dancing 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 2:00 PM

Queen’s Woods
Near Highgate Station London, GB

59 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2017..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)You will not want to miss this..  !  (just look at a few photos (below) of what we did. That’s when our ritual `team’ organically came together.  So this year it’s bound to be more festive, m…

Check out this Meetup →

 

London Woodland Beltane Ceremony & Maypole Dancing 2016

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2016..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly! ‘cos this is a family-friendly event).

`The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane  (May eve) the land is at it’s most lush and green, and fertile. If Spring Equinox is the time of fertility and mating in the animal kingdom, then Beltane is one of courting couples making commitment to one another- and Handfastings! In the God-Goddess myths, this is when the playful God is said to commit to the Goddess – which is symbolised by the Sacred Marriage! The Maypole dance that is traditional at this time symbolises the fertile powers of the masculine, penetrating the land, and the ribbons danced and woven around it lock that power! A ring of flower at the tip of the Maypole signifies the feminine. Magical working with the Fay (Fairies) is an important feature at this time, in contrast to the magical work with the departed spirits at Samhain, the opposite point’ (taken from www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )

Meeting:

Gather in the Woodman’s Pub from 1.30pm..  Get to `High Gate’ Tube station..  come up to manin road. Turn right.  Pub is just 30 seconds away.

RITUAL : 

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.

RITUAL items to bring: 

– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks / flower crowns
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

After Ceremony & some socials in the woods, we will head back to the pub (woodmans) for warmth and more drinks/ socials.

-Mani Navasothy

(Wiccan High Priest)

ps.  Here’s the link to my meetup `London Woodland Witches’  where you can join in and find more up to date info..

Woodland Beltane Ceremony & Maypole Dancing 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016, 1:00 PM

Queen’s Woods
Near Highgate Station London, GB

38 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went

Join us  to celebrate BELTANE 2016..  with ceremony & Maypole Dance.  We’ll drum, dance and choose a May King & May Queen.  And feast and frolic!  (sensibly!)`The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane  (May eve) the la…

Check out this Meetup →

Gaian Times – Eco-Magazine #11 (Beltane/Summer 2015) published!

Hi all,   it gives me great pleasure to announce the publishing (online) of the latest Gaian Times eco-spiritual e-Magazine.

Take a look at  the new  mobile friendly site    www.GaianTimesMagazine.com

Gaian Times -11  May 2015 Cover-md

Regulars may know, previous issue#10 came out in Feb’2014, and the one for May’14 never manifested.  So this latest magazine is coming out after a year-long gap. ..and all the more reason to celebrate it!   🙂

My big thanks to the following Writers/ Contributors of this issue:

Ann Tomlin, David Rankine, Durlabh Singh, Jo Rowland, Kumar Devasan, Lisa De Fresne, Renard the Fire Druid, Rose Dixon, Vathani Navasothy

Contents (GT#11):

  • Editorial
  • Longtime Lover Returns (spring poem)
  • Aphrodisiacs – Food for Lovers
  • Aromatherapy for Beltane
  • The Catcher in the Sky – Swift Gifts
  • Animal Communications
  • Williams Syndrome Awareness month
  • Experiences of an Elder Pagan
  • Response to `Making Money’ article
  • Reiki : Personal path to divine healing energy
  • Sacred Geometry – Language of Relationship
  • Pagan Activism
  • Rome (Gallery)
  • Hollow Earth thoughts – Review of Earth Hour & Earth Day 2015
  • Taiji Terror Tales 2015 : London Demo at Trafalgar Square
  • Bhai Sehna (short story)
  • Beneficial Vitamins
  • People: Art of David Rankine
  • Chief Seatle (poem)
  • Astrology: Retrograde Planets in 2015
  • Sacred Journey – Pagan Federation London Conference 2015
  • Entertainment: Dalek-Om in Glastonbury
  • Gallery1 : Climate March London 2014
  • Gallery 2: Peaceful Demo Japanese Embassy – Stop the Ivory Trade
Contents of Gaian Times #11
Contents of Gaian Times #11

Best Wishes

-Mani Navasothy  (Director / Chief Editor)

Outdoor BELTANE: Maypole dancing & Ceremony in Woods (Sat 2nd May’15)

Join us for the the afternoon/ evening to celebrate Beltane – the festival of fertility and sacred marriage between the Horned God and the Green Goddess! We’ll have much merriment, making flower crowns, face/ body painting, May pole dancing, drumming, singing, feasting and festivities. The evening will conclude with a small ceremonial fire for all to jump over.

Woodland Beltane 2015

Date:Saturday 2nd May 2015

Venue: Croydon: Woods behind Coombe Lane Tram stop.
Time: 2pm gathering – for set up, decorating altar, erecting Maypole and pre-rite socials.. Drumming/ face/body painting will generally commence; Ceremony will be around 4pm, followed by feasting; Fire jumping will be later in the evening. –

Meeting point: Please wait at the `Coombe Lane’ Tram stop to be collected. There will be a 10-15 min walk through woods (medium slopes!) to ritual spot. If weather wet, wear good grip boots.

DURATION:

Hern’s Tribe woodland rituals are `gatherings’ and generally organic. It’s best to arrive and flow with events..or even go exploring the woods. It is best to allow 4-5 hours for these events, so that you can have the best magical & communal experience.

WHAT HAPPENS – General details for HT events (some changes occur for specific events/ venues).

We’ll have the usual combination of social, setting up altar/ sacred space, seasonal ritual, chants & Drumming, magical work (including eco-magic and sometimes healing work). -Experienced HT members set up altar/ quarters, some prep for ritual fire, any cover sheets (if raining).
-You can ask to help.. 🙂

RITUAL (this will be adapted for individual events):

Basic format——-
-Generally, we begin with clearing the space (sweeping, tidying up)
-Hern Call (chanting `Hern’ nine times)
-Shamanic consecrations (Incense, rattle, drums, salt-water, essential oil)
-Creating magical circle (words/ wand/ staff)
-Calling of Elements & animal quarters / spirits.
-Invoking Horned God / Goddess energies
-Variation of seasonal myth (sometimes)
-Magical work ( group work, personal, eco, healing etc)
-Blessing of Food & Drinks
-Feasting & Socials.
– Drumming & Chants & Dancing
-Any trance work (this is unpredictable.)

RITUAL items to bring:
– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

** Please make sure you take these back immediately after ritual is over, so they don’t get misplaced in the dark
** Items placed on altar may get handled or photographed by others. Plans for 2015—
In the past we have ritually explored various myths & legends. In 2015, we’ll continue this – by working with various Horned Gods & Goddesses, woodland spirits etc.

ALL WELCOME:
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
-Non-pagans, friends/ families & children of pagans are welcome.

FOOD & DRINKS TO SHARE:
Here are some suggestions–

-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).
BE MINDFUL / Interruptions / Phone calls:
-At all times, we ask you to be mindful of any serious ceremony / meditation/ trance/ healing/ magical works going on, and not interrupt or be intrusive.
-Please don’t use mobile phones etc during ritual. (may not work in woods anyway!)

PHOTOS/ Recordings:
-These are semi-private events (even though they are in public woods/Park).
-Not everyone may like being photographed by a stranger!!
-No recording during ritual please.
-Feel free to take pics of altar, of your self in ritual setting, and of your friends there.. (If you are going to put them in blogs/ facebook etc..ask others in them..before tagging anyone you are not too familiar with.. It’s basic privacy etiquette!)

OUTDOOR PREP:
Please see our website http://www.Hern-Tribe.org for guidelines on what to bring, how to be prepared for outdoor rituals in woodlands, and some health & safety instructions.

BAGS in the DARK:
-Please keep space tidy.. and your own belongings/ bags at a suitable place. It gets dark.. So ensure you can find them easily afterwards. But also ensure they are not in the way that others may trample over it in the dark!
-If you put anything on the altar, please remember to take it back..(and not anyone else’s item by mistake).
-Please don’t leave things behind.. we don;t always find them..when tidying up in dark..

HELP with tidying up/ taking rubbish back to Tram stop/ bins is greatly appreciated.

CLOTHES / BLANKETS / SEATS:
-Please wear sensible outdoor cloths…waterproof is better..and good shoes (always) to walk in slippery or muddy surface. If you have a walking stick/ Magical Staff, do bring it, as it helps with walking in the woods – and you can use it in the ritual..!!
-Feel free to bring picnic blankets/ sheets to sit on (ground may be wet)
-Bring small light camping-style stool or chair to sit on (be mindful of carrying bulky objects while walking up slopes/ wet ground).

-Mani Navasothy
(Founder/ Hern’s Tribe)

Video: Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh (nudity involved)

Beltane Fire Festival Video (c) Mani Navasothy 2011
Beltane Fire Festival Video (c) Mani Navasothy 2011

Beltane is one of the 8 festivals of the Pagan annual calendar. It is a fertility festival  mostly celebrated in the western european countries, taking place at the end of April and beginning of May (Eve of May), and marks the beginning of Summer.  Many pagan couples get married (Handfasting) on or near this time.

This topic came up while I was speaking to some friends about visiting the Festival in Scotland. So I decided to blog this video I made few years ago.

Wiccan perspective on Beltane: The veil between the world of men and fairy (or spirit) is said to thin twice a year, at Beltane and at Samhain, which are on opposite points of the year wheel. At Beltane (May eve) the land is at it’s most lush and green, and fertile. If Spring Equinox is the time of fertility and mating in the animal kingdom, then Beltane is one of courting couples making commitment to one another- and Handfastings! In the God-Goddess myths, this is when the playful God is said to commit to the Goddess – which is symbolised by the Sacred Marriage! The Maypole dance that is traditional at this time symbolises the fertile powers of the masculine, penetrating the land, and the ribbons danced and woven around it lock that power! A ring of flower at the tip of the Maypole signifies the feminine. Magical working with the Fay (Fairies) is an important feature at this time, in contrast to the magical work with the departed spirits at Samhain, the opposite point. (c) WitchcraftAndMagic.org

 

Here is a short video (filmed and edited by me) of the Edinburgh Beltane Fire festival.

Content for this informal video was filmed in 2011 (some photos used were taken in previous years).    Video Published on Apr 27, 2012 by Gaian2012 (my YT video channel).  Music tracks used in this are royalty free, and license purchased. All rights reserved (c)Mani Navasothy.

 

Links for further Info

Wicca, Witchcraft & Magic – Read about Wicca & other Pagan Festivals – such as Samhain/ Halloween, Yule, Imbolc, Spring, Summer, Lammas and Autumn Eqx.  This site also has info / articles on what is Wicca/ Witchcraft, Spells, magic, Horned God & Moon Goddess and invocations.

Gaian Times Magazine explores the science & Magic of the earth, and features thought-provoking articles in science, psychology, ecology, environment, astrology and social trends. It is a not-for-profit company registered in England & Wales. No: 07515903.

 Beltane Fire festival in Edinburgh takes place on the night of 30th April of each year, organised by Beltane Fire Society (registered charity in Scotland ). for details. In 2012, they celebrate 25 yrs of running this festival.

Gaian2012 – video Channel –   named after the Earth Goddess Gaia – this is the Eco-spiritual channel for videos on Pagan Spirituality, Ritual Magic, Wicca, Mini-documentaries, How-to guides on magical techniques & tool making, clips of rituals & festivals, and thought-provoking debates on Earth, Environment & Eco-Spirituality.

 

Be Loved..! (A Beltane Blessing)

“I thought you You loved me..!” I heard her screech, as I got closer.  She was in tears, and so was the guy walking besides her. It was long past midnight, and they were walking along a woody path, in pouring rain.

After a wonderful Earth day Picnic & Eco-Ceremony in Trent park, I was returning home. I had got the last bus from Modern, and still had a 10 minute walk – along a quiet path with trees on either sides and past a fat flowing stream.   The couple walking infront of me must have got off from the same bus..  and I heard occassional loud screeches from the distance. It’s only when I got closer (I walk fast) that I realised they were having some sort of an emotional exchange. It seemed that he was not there at a particular event or place, and she had had a bad experience.  All I could hear was silence and sobbing from him and few softly spoken words.

As I over took them, there was only one thought in my mind.

We all – you, me and everyone – want to be loved!  (Is that why we call some people in our lives, `Beloved..’? 🙂

Beltane Blessings - Lord and Lady (c) Mani Navasothy 2014
Beltane Blessings – Lord and Lady (c) Mani Navasothy 2014

And when we do, it puts us on top of the world!!  And we are not, we are in hell..  !!

So, with whatever energy I had left of the wonderful Earth Day event, I spread a bit of magic their way – that they shall feel loved. And as I walked further, it came to me – that it’s a pretty good spell to cast on the whole world.

So on this Beltane Day, with the images of the Lord and Lady I caught in the flames last night, I wish you all fulfilment of Love.

Be Loved..

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

ps. The image at the centre is a real photograph..  one of about 200 I took of the flames..   and I saw so many shapes ..and this one seem to show a lady on the left and a lord on the right 🙂  It seemed the perfect one to share on my 400th blog post. 🙂

Maypoles & Motorbike crashes: The Death in Life aspect of the Wheel

Motorbike - devils chariot
Motorbike – devils chariot

Sunday 28th April – my partner and I were in a bus in Enfield, carrying a Maypole with ribbons (from it’ previous outing a week prior to it), and we were on our way to an outdoor Maypole Dance social in Trent Park..   We were on the upper deck of a double-decker London red bus..  literally 5 minutes away from Oakwood tube station.

At some point, I heard a strange sound crunching sound.. It was similar but deeper to what you would hear if you took a drink-can and crushed in with your hands..  or maybe it was similar to the sound of driving a wheelbarrow over a half-dozen small branches in the garden… as they rub and crack in a sequential sound..!

I remember swearing to myself thinking the bus had gone over some branches on the road..

The bus continued for a further 50 years..  and we were beginning to forget it…when it stopped. And then suddenly realisation hit me.. and I looked back through the back window..  Traffic was building up some 50 yards behind..  We got out quick..  and I had a better look ..

Back in the distance was a motorbike.. fallen on the road, and a few yards further back was a fully leather-clad face-down helmet-wearing human body.. motionless. People were gathering.

Both my partner and I got that kick in the gut sick feeling..  We didn’t want to stay…so we walked fast forward…about 20 minutes to the next station.. and eventually got to Trent park.

The weather was not brilliant.. (it had been so sunny the day before.. and the day afterwards…but on that day it was wet and cold..

Some friends had already arrived and put up a wind-breaker..  Another friend had brought a 3-piece tall Maypole..

We sat, socialized, made flower crowns, had  few nibbles..  We even practiced playing the Didgeridoo..

There was severe turn of weather..  It actually `rained’ hailstones..  first small ones..  then really large ones!

We retired to the cafe, warmed up with more coffee, and then I bid farewells, and got home with my partner April..

But no Maypole dancing took place.!

What has been going through our minds..  is that the Motorcyclist must have driven between the Bus and a car on the other side…but due to the angle got trapped between the two..and the two large vehicles of steel slowly rubbed, scraped and crushed the motorbike and its passenger.

A micro-moment of risk taking and miscalculating by him had most likely caused him his life..!

Over 2 decades ago, I lost my father to a street accident.. on an ordinary working day on a high street near Elephant & Castle, London, on a normal afternoon..  Drivers of a A bus, a car and a motorcycle were all giving conflicting accounts of how my father had run and fallen to the road. The Coroner’s inquest filed an open `accidental death’ .. So none more that I (and my family) are aware of the devastating effects of a human-road-kill..

It has taken me weeks and I am still not the same.. nor will I ever be.. after hearing that …bone-crunching sounds.. !

At this time of Maypoles and Beltane festivities and pagan frolics, celebrating life and love and sex..  nature reminds us of its opposite point on the Wheel of the Year..  Samhain..  the honouring  of the departed dead, and remembering the lost loved ones..!

But the Wheel will turn..  and Samhain will come..  once more..and then..  as we immerse ourselves i n thoughts of the dead, nature will remind us of the Life that is all around us.. !

-Mani Navasothy

Flower crowns & NEWS articles

Few weeks ago, a Journalist for the local News Paper in Enfield contacted my wife April. She was tracked down through the pagan monthly social gathering that April has been running in Enfield for over 3 years (Enfield Town Circle).

April Jonquil & Mani Navasothy in Enfield Gazette News March 2012

The Journalist wanted to interview us about the upcoming Christian Festival `Easter’ and wanted our view on older pagan festivals that take place at this time.  So we had some phone calls, and we told them about Spring Equinox and about Beltane, and the older festival of Ostara – all the symbols of which seem to have been nicely muddled up (cooked?) and fashioned into the `Easter’ celebrations of Christ’s death and resurrection!

Within few days of the call, we had an early morning photo-shoot in Enfield, by the canal, just near the Registry office. Few people who walked past us thought we had just got married – and wished us well.  Well, we were in bright cloths and were both wearing flower crowns 🙂  The photo shoot took place a midst newley bloomed Daffodils!

I must say, for April & my handfasting (pagan wedding ceremony that took place in Epping forest few years ago), the flower crowns were somewhat  lacking! We had wanted natural flora, but at the time, our friend who created a flower crown had made just one..  and what was natural in her harden at the time was a rose and a few flowers.  It had often upset my wife April to look at those photos – one large rose on her forehead.

So this time, I made a big effort- I used ivy and new strands of Willow, and wove some red roses, with an original red ribbon used in our handfasting ceremony to make the crown.  And I am pleased to say, April was happy. And being wished by passers-by, we almost allowed ourselves to believe that is was our wedding day!  But that of course, is yet to come! 🙂

-Mani

The article in Enfield Gazette 28march2012