Tag Archives: christmas

Yule Rites: A new book on Winter Ceremonies & Rituals.

Yule Rites  by Manivannan Navasothy – NEW Book Out now.  Over 50 pages – explores the the symbols, ceremonies and traditions of Winter Solstice rituals.   Includes 3 full and varied rituals that anyone in a pagan group or coven can do, or facilitate as an Open Ritual.

 download this FREE within the next 3-4 days. It will be available in Amazon Kindle soon).

Visit Witchcraft and Magic website  (also available at Pagan Frontiers of London)

Preface:

Somewhere between Magic, Religion & Science lies reality and life itself.

Yule Rites by Mani Navasothy 2012 - exploring the symbols, ceremonies and traditions of Winter Solstice rituals.
Yule Rites by Mani Navasothy 2012 – exploring the symbols, ceremonies and traditions of Winter Solstice rituals.

And Yule Rites (Winter Solstice Ceremonies) have always been about the Hope and celebration of Life, Light and renewal of Hope  – at the darkest hour.  And dare I say – the months leading to this moment have been getting darker, in real terms as well as on a personal level.  Like icebergs, huge chunks of my life have broken off and fallen into the cold Abyss.  It may be because of stellar influences – like the Uranus-Pluto oppositions that are with us on and off between 2012 to 2015, or a cumulative result of some intense Eclipse magical works I did.

Or perhaps, the World really is going through a major shift on 21st December 2012 – the supposed end date of the previous Mayan Calendar, and what we are all experiencing are those re-birth pangs!  Which brings us back to Winter Solstice – and rebirth of the Sun-child.

Included in its entirety are 3 Yule/Winter Rituals, which I had personally wrote and enacted in 2004, 2008 & 2011. So you are not just reading a book on Yule Rites, but have the choice of actually doing some rituals – and riding on the energy streams which have been created already by those rituals.  Photographs of those rituals & set-ups will be on slide show presentation on my websites, so you can take a look at what we did, and gain more ideas.

This particular project (Yule Rites) originally started as a Webinar to be broadcasted for December 2011, following on from our Halloween & Samhain webinar on  31st October 2011.  However, the Solar & Lunar Eclipses of November took much of my focus (that’s resulted in several Astrology Webinar, and 2 Books.. so far!) So I am pleased to finally complete the `Yule Rites’, albeit in a book form!  And guess what? As per the original idea of sharing knowledge openly in a Webinar, this book is initially free for any and all to download. And then it becomes available as an eBook for purchase on popular online portals.

What started out as a very short Guide, just a few pages to hand out on websites for new comers to Paganism at each seasonal festive time, has grown into what you see here. So I am not just pleased, but very pleased in deed.

As always, I’d be very happy to hear form you – comments & constructive criticisms, and even suggestions of what Guides & books you might like to see me publish. Under the Gaian Times Social Enterprise Initiative, we have plan to start publishing `your’ books too! So get writing!  It’s the perfect time for birth of new ideas and ventures!!

Best Wishes & Bright Stellar Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

(December 2012.  London, UK)

Contents

1.  Paganism, Wicca & Witchcraft.

2. Yule Rites – Symbolism, Traditions & Ritual practises of Mid-Winter.

Sun Gods from around the World.

Sun Cycle: Earth orbit & the Seasons.

Dark Days of Winter & Equation of Time.

Rebirth of Sun:  Myths & Rituals.

Druid Rituals at Stonehenge (England, UK).

Battle of the Holly & Oak Kings and ritual killing of Wren.

New Beginnings & New Year Resolutions.

Yule Log & Fire.

Mistletoe – between the worlds.

3. Sun Worship at Winter.

Hindus:  Sooriya & Festival of Pongal

Mayas & Aztecs: Tonatiuh &  Inti

Egyptian: Ra, Horus & Isis.

Mithras of the Romans.

Festival of Saturnalia.

4. Christmas Connections.

25thDecember : Christianising  the Pagan Festival

Virgin Mother.

X’mas tree.

Dis-integration: Satanising an old God.

Saint Nicholas:  Green vs Red Santa (the media rewrite!).

5. Yule Rituals & Magical Work.

Ritual words & communication with your Deities.

a) A  Wiccan Coven Yule Ritual (2011).

b) A Public Winter Solstice Ritual with Sky-God & Earth-Goddess (2008).

c) An Egyptian themed Winter Solstice Ritual with Isis & Horus  (2004).

6. References.: Books & Websites.

7.  Articles & Online Resources.

Appendix 1: What is Paganism?.

Appendix 2:   8 Major Pagan Festivals.

Appendix 3: Pagan symbols.

Appendix 4:  Concerns of Satanism, Devil worship & Human Sacrifices.

Appendix  5.  Online Resources.

Appendix  6.  Other Publications by the same author .

For other books by Mani Navasothy, please visit Mani’s Amazon Author Page here.

Kindle Books by Mani Navasothy. Available for purchase now.
Kindle Books by Mani Navasothy. Available for purchase now.

Winter Rites: Coven Yule Vs Church Service

On the night of 23rd of December, I celebrated the Winter Solstice in a private coven (withchy) Yule ritual in south London.  Then on the night of 24th of December, I attended a small local Church service in north London. Quite a bizarre one for many pagans and Witches, am sure.  Many pagans have woken up to it, and have been previously unfulfilled or unsatisfied Christians. So when they hear about an initiated Wiccan / pagan going to a Christmas service ..it must raise questions such as – has he started to waver? is he going over to the other side?

Unusually for our coven, especially at Yule, we had 5 guys (Priests or male Witches) and 1 gal (High Priestess). Almost 5-6 of the other Priestesses had not turned up due to one or other personal circumstances.  Initially, when I turned up, the other 4 guys were almost at a point of giving the Yule ritual a miss and going straight on to the celebrations, feasting and sipping of the wines!  But after some discussions, we decided to do a rather informal ritual.. (which ended up having almost all the ritual components anyway, albeit in different order at places!).  Yule is about the birth of the Sun-child, so considering the numbers present, I suggested the Priestess holding a Cauldron, and the 5 Priests lighting (in turn) candles inside the Cauldron. That seemed a good symbolic ritual..  where the Cauldron is the birthplace of light!

Following day, I went to be with my partner for the Christmas / festive 3-4 days..  and we went to a local church for a short service.  Some bus-driver talked about Jesus, sin, loving God,  following the rule of the God (people who sinned can;t go to heaven) and Gods’s love and own sacrifice (God sent his only Son into mankind to take on all of our sins, so mankind can be free to enter heaven).    Now this `sin’ part was not something neither my partner nor I ever accept or agree.  Needless to say, we believe we are all born free and pure – no sin – full stop!   It’s what we do there after that creates a sort of `good/ bad’ person.   Sadly, seeing that this sin-issue is at the heart of Christianity makes it impossible for any pagan to digest.

We were not there to infiltrate, nor recruit, spy, disrupt or anything of the sort.  We were looking for a bit of rejoicing..  festive experience. Singing..!

To give it perspective, I must mention –  few weeks back, we had both unexpectedly went to a Service at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Central London, and it had been hea

venly..the ethereal singing that echoed through that Cathedral.  I guess we wanted a re-experience of that.   It could also be that after many years of being practicing Witches/ pagans, we are feeling certain elements to be lacking.  Christianity may have come only 2000 years ago, in contrast to Paganism that has existed for many thousand years, but at least in modern times – pagan celebrations of Yule does not seem to nearly even match the festive atmosphere and celebrations of Christmas, it’s choir and carol singing, the lights and decorations.  And it is that festive element that we seem to miss, and sought in that Church service.

Another factor to add –  one of my friend- a Christian – came to a pagan open ritual recently.. only few days prior to this – to see what it’s like.  So I guess we were just completing the exchange – not that it was some contrived exchange. Truth is – we all seem to have did it for our own personal genuine reasons.

In the case of my partner and me, (despite my bad-back experience which started on Christmas day)..  we had a quiet and personal few days together – sipping wine, watching period dramas on TV, Xmas films on old videos  (Scrooged, Miracle of 34th street..) and having the Christmas meal for 2 evenings in a row – with a X’mas / yule tree and plenty of candles around us. That in the end gave us what we had been searching for – which neither coven nor church seem to provide for us.

This all reminds me of the old pagan principle –  “If that which you seek you do not find within, you will never find it without!”

A slithering crawling Christmas

Here’s something that ha changed me for good.. it’s almost unbelievable.. ordinary and agnonizing and insightful.

I often suffer bad back.. have done for 2 years, on and off, visit to the Osteopath for treatment with ultrasound that heats up my back joins & muscles, followed by deep-massage..followed by some contorted leg/arm/back twisting that results in several clicks of the spine that gives release!  And I’ve learnt to do some of that twisting-clicking at home.. I have to do it every day..at night before bed or as soon as I get up in the mornings..  to have a normal day.  Long walks, climbing hills, dancing…any of those things (even love making) leaves my lower back locked in agony.

Those of you who have similar afflictions will know what am talking about.

On X’mas day, 3 days ago, all was well, save for a mild back-ache. It was just me and my partner April in her house.. We were looking forward to a few day of personal time..   And just after a late breakfast …early afternoon, while pushing the coffee table forward slightly..  it struck!

Pain in my lower back as I’d never before felt it. I literally crumpled to the floor, unable to stand or sit.  I could not move at all. I was flat on my back for 3-4 hrs in absolute agony.. watched 2 cartoon films on TV upside down. My head almost where the dog usually sits …so floor smelling a bit of the dog..

Much later, unable to hold, I had to literally slither like a snake.. on my belly..with just my arms and elbows.. for propelling my body forward – from the sitting room to the bathroom/ toilet.  By this time, thoughts of all sorts of possible despairing and disabled futures had gone through my mind so many times amidst tears..  that I could not hide or brave in front of my partner.  Everything from bionics, Six million dollar man, back surgeries I had seen on TV where they snap some of the tips of vertebrates and clamp some and fuse rest together had gone through my mind.

Once I got to the toilet, standing up was agony.  My jogging trousers were already dragged and sliding off..after crawling.  I could support my body with arms, but that meant my hands cold not do anything else. How to pull it down, release myself and pee? From there on..everything was not just agony – but incredibly insightful.

How do disabled people do this every minute, every hour, every day..after day..for ever for the rest of their lives?

Day 2 was a bit better.. I wasn’t slithering..flat on belly…but crawling.  Could not put body weight on lower back.. but could crawl on knees and arms..as long as mid-body was held rigid.

Today…day 3..  I can walk…like a stiff Robot..still holding mid-body rigid, as if I am one of those Victorian Ladies learning the art of poise and glide, while holding a book on my head and not moving it.

My partner has been incredibly supportive.  My sister & mother are in their home, suffering flu and chest infections, coughing blood, waiting in Hospital Accidents & Emergency lounges for hours, texting me with their progress, and getting my texts on my progress.

In just about 3 days, my perspective has changed.   How can it not, when one slithers, crawls, cries, despairs, feels helpless, becomes afraid of a nightmarish future of wheel chairs and paralysis and more?

Yes, many able-bodied people go through injuries and have these thoughts, am sure, and most- when they get better, tend to get sucked in my day to day struggles..and forget.

My lab partner in University for 3 years was a friend who had a wheel chair; My 2nd High Priestess had a 40 yr old daughter in wheel chair, who joined us for doing magic sometimes in coven.  My partner, my mother, and my younger sister- have all had jobs working with people who are disabled and needed care – school kids to elderly.  I’ve worked as Equal-Opportunities officer in the Home Office for 2 years ages ago, and in a school of 140 kids with learning difficulties.   But this experience is different..  it’s gone deep and excavated all the other experiences to the surface..

I’m not going to forget!

Happy Yule

Birth of the Sun-Child

Winter Solstice – when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn..  shortest day..longest night..!

This year it’s happening on Thursday 22nd December 2011.. at 5.30am (GMT). That’s the astrology.
Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and New-Agers  celebrate this – and have done so for thousands of years – and consider the Sun-child being born.  Makes sense as after this, the days get longer…Sun gets stronger ..growing   its full force by Summer Solstice.
Of course this has been somewhat  `acquired’ by Christianity, and repackaged as celebration fo the birth of Christ (baby Jesus!).   Any decent effort at historical research will show that Christ was not born in December, but in earlier part of the year (if we can even consider the birth of Christ as `real’).
I have no problems with Christianity.  Brought up as a Hindu, I also went to the nearby Church with family – once in a  back in Ceylone in the early 70’s.   No one would deny the `magic of this time’..
These days I look forward to the annual special show of Doctor Who on Christmas day..   and yes, I have a Yule tree in my home, and it has lights…and I think about those Christmassy feelings of childhood gone by..