Tag Archives: Eco-Guardians

Looking back at Gaia Conventions of 2007,2008 & 2009!

When the Pagan Federation discontinued its National Conferences after the one of 2004, many wondered what will happen. Many of the districts of the PF began to hold local district conferences. Following suit, PF London also held its district conference in 2007. Instead of calling it just a district conference, I took the initiative (as the then PFL Event Manager) and gave it a name and an identity – `Gaia3 convention’ and a tag-line, `Earth, Environment, Kinship’, for that’s what the Convention was all about! This was done to bring additional awareness to ecological matters, because I had observed, at the time, that pagans in London seem to talk a lot of honouring and worshiping the Earth and natural world, but didn’t seem to put the kind of emphasis on such ecological matters – that far less earth-centred companies or other non-pagan groups were doing. It was crazy that there had never been an Earth-themed conference of any sort – not at least in the previous 12-15 years (to my knowledge).

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I was new to convention organising, but did my best, with the help of the PFL Events Team and my District Manager Jean Williams! PF London didn’t have more than a few hundred pounds of funds, so an idea was conjured up – to seek temporary `loans’ of small amounts (£25-£50 ) per person from willing volunteers of the pagan community. And we raised over £500 – enough to put a deposit for the hiring of a large hall at ULU (University of London Union). The PF itself saw our efforts and gave us an equal amount as a loan also. Needless to say, we had a good ticketed turn-out of attendance, and covered all costs, and paid all the people back their `loans’. It was all informally and efficiently done. In essence, it was a Convention funded by the people!

At Gaia3 convention of 2007, we had several interactive features, such as a `Wyrd-Wall’, `Walking Witches & Wizards’ and `Pandora’s Box’. In the first, convention goers tied a small string with their thoughts/ intents, onto a `wall’ to make a random and complex web of strings. (These were used in the 4th Convention in `Wyrd-i’ in 2010). The Walking Witches were Stewards who went around befriending new comers and making them comfortable, and the Pandora’s box was a feed-back box ( a reverse of the concept!). There was also the `Copper exchange’ where each person had 5 small coins (1 penny coins) and through out the day, each person would `exchange’ his or her coins with another convention-goer. All coins were collected and magically committed to the river Thames at the end of the Convention. It symbolised the exchange of energies (and a reason to interact with one another).

There followed 2 further annual conventions. In 2008, we had the `Gaia-Fortuna Convention’ probably another first (using a double-barrel name of 2 Goddesses). It took place around the Autumn (harvest) time, and concentrated on Harvest and good Fortunes; The 3rd in the series was at Midsummer in 2009, and suitably named `Gaia-Sol convention’ , with a focus of integrating the masculine fiery energy of the Sun wit Gaia.

Year 4 saw the idea of kinship and interconnectedness evolve- and there was only one way it possibly have moved towards – to the concept of Wyrd. This is the magical web of Fates that connect all of us. So it was called `Wyrd-i convention’. People asked me what the `i’ stood for, and wondered if it meant the roman numeral 1? Maybe, or maybe it stands for `imagination’, because creative imagination is key to the working of magic!

Last year, there were no Gaia-related conventions, because the Pagan Federation held a national major conference in London to celebrate its 40th anniversary! However, last year, on the new moon of Aquarius (star sign with humanitarian qualities), we finally formed `Gaian Times’, to continue the magical and sociological work initiated by the Gaia Conventions.

Below are a full list of Speakers, Experts, Workshop facilitators and Performer – who participated in the 3 Gaia conventions, and supported its objectives.

PFL-Gaia3 convention 2007
PFL-Gaia3 convention 2007

Contributions to Gaia3 Convention 2007

Contributor Activity Theme
Adrian Harris & Jacqui Woodward Smith Opening Attunement
Jean Williams. Talk What’s special about the PF?
Christina Oakley Talk Magical London in the Victorian, Edwardian and Inter-War Years of the Twentieth Century
Jacqui Woodward Smith & Hilde Workshop The Sacred in the City- workshop
Mike Stygal Talk Interfaith
Jack Gale Talk Shamanism, Gardening and the Earth Spirits
JOHN CROW performance & talk Urban Shamanism- Goose and Crow and the Cross Bone Portal
Adrian Harris talk Us and Them: Listening to the more-than-human majority
Ric Kemp talk The Deer Goddess
Orianna & Indigo workshop Court cards- Tarot
Alan & Mani workshop Drumming workshop
`Temple of the Four winds’ Closing Ritual
PFL--Gaia-Fortuna Convention 2008-sept2008
PFL–Gaia-Fortuna Convention 2008-sept2008

Contributions to Gaia-Fortuna Convention 2008

Contributor Activity Theme
Caroline Wise Opening/ talk Fortuna Opening Ceremony & Talk’
Kenneth Rees Talk 35 years and counting! – positive changes in the pagan/witchcraft communities since the 1970s
Vivianne Crowley talk Goddess Fortuna
Mark McCann workshop Making friends with fortune: how to weave the thread of fate and change your destiny
Sascha talk, demo and mini-workshop Gothic Bellydance (Raqs Gothique!)-
Hilde workshop Spirit in the City – The Earth We Walk On
Marielle workshop Ritual Dance within the Temple
Caroline Robertson Talk “All Acts Of Love And Pleasure Are My Rituals”
Mark Jeoffroy Talk/poetry The Poet as Magician
Bachus Border Morris Performance
Ed & April Richardson workshop Sounding the Runes
Meredith Talk with video clips ‘Gods of the Future?’
Michael Bingas Talk HISTORY MYSTERIES
Jacqui workshop The Bee Goddess: the Hive of Community and Justice in the Workplace
John Constable aka John Crow Talk/Performance The Goose, The Crow and the Cross Bones Portal
Geraldine Beskin Talk Aleister Crowley
Phyllis Pointer Talk ‘Hoodoo, The Blues and Robert Johnson
Hern’s Tribe & Tribe of Avalon Closing Ceremony
PFL- GaiaSol Convention 2009
PFL- GaiaSol Convention 2009

Contributions to Gaia-Sol Convention 2009

Contributor Activity Theme
Tribe of Avalon & Jacqueline Anne Woodward-Smith Opening ceremony
Jeanette Ellis Talk The Stag Horned God’
Steve Wilson Talk Paganism and Sex’
Emma Restall Orr Talk Paganism in a Modern World’
Chris Crowley Talk Myths and legends of Midsummer’
members of the PF committee Presentation PF: “Story Time: How the PF Bug Got Me.”
Simon Michel Workshop ‘Dancing hands, dancing drums
Neeraj  Davis. Meditation Chakra sounds meditation’
Bacchus Border Morris performance & workshop
Marielle Holman workshop Gaia, the Goddess of nourishment and Earthiness’
Sasha Cooper workshop `Getting in touch with your inner Goddess/God through Gothic Bellydance’
`WolfTurtle’ (Mani) & Friends Closing Ritual

Gaian Times calls these wonderful individuals, to support the work of Gaian Times, and contribute feature articles, and share with us their ongoing Earth-centred works.

(c) Mani Navasothy. Gaian Times.  January 2012,

(The above is an extract from the January 2012 (issue#3) of Gaian Times e-Magazine)

Gaian Times eco-magazine
GT issue#3 (January 2012)
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Eco-Guardians vs Warriors of the Rainbow? Some evolutionary thoughts

Rainbow Warrior - art- Mani N2013
Rainbow Warrior – art- Mani N2013

Few days ago, a friend wrote the following in her facebook profile:

“There will come a time when the Earth grows sick, and when it does, a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the World, who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it…they will be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow.      Mission.. Mother Earth..”

My thoughts were spurred on by this, and here was my response:

It’s not so much that the Earth grows sick.. but people are pissing in their own tents!!  What the Earth needs is a bunch of intergalactic bulldozer-space ships to come down and flatten all the fowled up `human tents’ (people and their `products’) and push the whole damn lot over the cliff edge (that would be jettison the whole trace of humanity into the nearest nuclear furnace ..like the Sun). Then the skin of the Earth can heal itself.. !! We humans ..even the wonderful eco-warriors – have gotten that inner-arrogance, where we think we are going to be the grand-saviors of the Earth…  Earth doesn’t need us..and it can exist in many different extreme states…and it will make no difference to it.. But it’s us people who need the ground …soil..water and warmth.. from the Earth!

I was writing it in a sort of tongue in cheek fashion, but trying to express my frustration and despair  at a) how one strand of humanity fowls up the Earth & environment..   and b) another strand thinks it is the savior!   (In all honesty, I would chalk myself closer to the second category!)

I would add the following remarks (seeing I get more space to do so in the blog than in a facebook reply

  • Already a whole bunch of people exist (the tribe) who believe in deed -and- words  ..and they do work to improve matters    [they do things, as well as write about such things to promote/ educate/ increase awareness]..
  • Healing a wound – is not all that simple a concept (or clear cut, rather).  If  a living creature suffers a physical harm or damage, the body will try to repair itself ..But bacteria and other microbes get in and start to make the would worse..  Those microbes are just trying to get on with  their own living!   So with Earth!   If humans have caused  the previous `norm’ to be thrown off balance.. ir more carbon, dirty chemically polluted seas etc..   then some other life forms (other than humans) will take advantage of the `new environment’..  As far as Earth as a whole is concerned, it’s just reached a new balance.. !  Some life forms die, others thrive!   In such scenario, `Healing’ is not required.
  • In some ways, we humans are a natural product of the Earth and evolution. And if we are polluting the planet…then sadly that’s also a result of the evolution (in a round about way).  What’s to say where evolution will go?  Perhaps out of those chemically polluted seas and grounds will emerge a new resilient species or two or hundred?!
  • Finally, I hate to call anything that has a peaceful or altruistic purpose by linking it to war…and warriors! Warriors of the Rainbow  just implies a bunch of multicoloured body-painted warriors going to war!   Let’s call  them something else shall we?    I prefer the name `Earth or Eco-Guardians’   (you can start analysing the word `Guardian’) 🙂

So.. what do you think?

-Mani Navasothy