Tag Archives: eco-warriors

Extinction Rebellion: Possible pitfalls & personal concerns..

Right from the beginning..I have struggled intuitively to get behind this latest movement for saving the planet.

I’ve had some strong personal views which could be construed as rebelling against the rebels.. (bear in mind I’ve been doing eco-magic and campaigning, participating in eco-causes, protests, fundraisers – for many many years..). I’ve finally started to have dialogues with a few close friends on this matter, trying to understand – no this new movement for an existing cause – but my self, and why I intuitively feel detached or not involved in it.

I’ve studied the websites, the symbol, seen enough graffiti on walls of London, stuck postcard posters on bus stops.. read about it on articles, read friends’ facebook posts and personal accounts.. politely said no to their invites to go join these protest events and more.. (bit also magically welcomed and supported some of the XR participants at my ritual, and offered subtle advise on using magic.. for further their efforts for success).

Matters such as the very name `Extinction Rebellion’ and their symbol, and their urban vandal/gang-like activities bother me.

Maybe I am tired of it all after 20+ years of it, maybe my own personal life circumstances have changed my focus. Maybe my age itself and lacking physical stamina deters me?

Chronian Tilt
Chronian Tilt –  Visionary Art (c) Mani Navasothy . Painted 29May1996.  Shows how the modern world of industry and pollution are weighing down the planet more so than the past. Hour glass shows sands running out..  over a black and polluted water.

I’ve put off doing this write-up for a while.. knowing that once I do, my views become open to all to read, interpret, engage, align with or argue against! It will alienate people..my views.. people who thought I am one of them will see me in a different light.. be a bit shocked, annoyed, disappointed, disgusted, angry even. But strangers and friends who feel the same way as me but have been cautious or afraid to voice it will be relieved an get behind me..(that will make me a figurehead for a Rebel against Rebellion.. But it does not mean that I am opposing the desperate need for action to save the world.. That cause remains).

So let me get to some of my transpersonal and magical concerns about this XR movement.

1. Name “Extinction Rebellion”

Catchy and emotive.. and easy for the masses to get behind with. But what is it actually saying..? Unless someone explains it… what does it mean if you just heard the phrase `Extinction Rebellion’ ? What is the call for action? Are you a rebel calling for Extinction? Oh yes.. that meaning is there too.. Its ambiguous.. and can muddle up the subconscious mind.. like the example of someone shouting `DON’T Look’ (nearly anyone who hears it will turn and look…human nature). Blessings such as `May you never hunger’ subconsciously enforce the action words …and in this case, `You’ and `hunger’ . Never is a word that gets lost in the language of the emotive subconscious mind. A better blessing – one I campaign for – is `May you have good food’.

So now look at the phrase `Extinction Rebellion’ again.
What is it telling your deeper mind when you are not thinking about it consciously?! `Go get extinct’?

In my view, a better phrase could have been `Rebel against Extinction’ (yes okay that’s clunky.. but it is not ambiguous). Or better still..find a name that does not use the negative word `Extinction’ !! Take a leaf ..nay a whole tree from `Green Peace’.. no words in there that have any negative connotations..but they take action.. campaign..protest…(sometimes, not-peaceful protect!).

2. The Symbol.

At a first glance, when it first started to appear on social media etc, I ignored it…thinking it was some weird pop-band sign. It vaguely reminded me of the Rune Daeg (morning/ new dawn) sideways. I did not equate it to a hour glass…(and I am normally obsessed with time.. time travel…etc. It should have occured to me..but it did not).
Why?
An hour glass has an important feature missing from their symbol..the actual sands of time..!

GaianTimes-banner2-2010-MN
Gaian Times Magazine . website banner 2011 – used the same idea of Hour Glass over Earth, to show time running out for planet Earth.   Art (c) Mani Navasothy 2011.

Perhaps a little cross-line to indicate it would have made that clear. Or even 2 lines.. the bottom of the glass showing it full..and top of it showing it almost empty.. That would show that time is running out.

I bring 2 other previous use / misuse of magical symbols here to aid your pondering.

  • a) the CND peace symbol..(Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) shows what I can only see as an upside down Algiz (protection) rune. Whatever it may symbolise..it has a downfacing protection rune. Everytime it is used..in every flag and poster.. its’ enforcing thee idea of `no/ weak protection’ 😦
Algiz protection rune & CND peace symbol - Mani Navasothy QuantumPhoenix.jpg
Algiz (magical) protection rune of the Vikings  compared to the CND Peace symbol (reverse of the protection rune).
  • b) The swastika symbol- used by Hindus and Pagans…and appropriated by Hitler to be a magical power symbol for Nazi cause. None of us pagans and Hindus like it…but look at the evidence of how a magical symbol used can power a cause. That was used for evil.. But we in the here and now can use good magical symbols for important earth saving causes.

The hour glass of sand running out is not exactly a good magical symbol..  if it is going to keep reinforcing the idea of that.  Just like the upside down Algiz/ protection symbol used for world peace’ everywhere that still has not produced world peace, the time running out hour glass symbol is only going to enforce that ..and not actually giving the world more living time!  (note: I myself have used the Hour glass over Earth’ symbol in Gaian Times magazine I edit..  but started using hands holding Earth’ as a more positive eco-symbol.)

3.  The graffiti approach

As I started to see central london walls with the Extinction Rebellion symbol being graffitied, in amongst other ragged and seedy sex posters, it just all felt very dirty.. and only thing it was triggering in my educated mind was associations of gang signs and vandalism!   Gangs and Vandals are the ones who just go about defacing public places with such graffiti.   A proper `saving the planet from extinction’ movement should not be doing the same!

For the uneducated..  I don’t mean those without schooling- but those with no knowledge of who the Extinction Rebellion’ is,  these symbols on london walls are just going to look like dirty or scary gang symbols..  The people will just walk on…  quickly..away from such territorial gang spots’ lest they were intruding some inter-gang location wars.. !

And as for the masses of repeat  postcard sized posters ..with big symbol and some tiny writing’ being stuck to bus stops ..  again..all I could think about was `pop band promotions in Camden’  (Camden is a north london town where alternative lifestyle/ people…like goths, heavy metal guys and girls, tourists abound).

I mean, what sensible person standing on a bus stop is going to risk leaning over and read such a poster?  I would not..in case others think am reading about some gang or pop group..  and get judged’.  Okay I personally don’t care about that..  but others might nit want to be associated with unauthorised posters stuck on bus stops!

It’s about perceptions..  and judgements by our fellow man and fellow women.

Thus far, I’ve only written about the `problems’ I have perceived personally.. or rather how the XR movement’s publicity has intruded into my life..which I had kept a distance from.

Of course I am educated in the whole matter..  but so far its been me playing Devil’s advocate.  Why? Because that will be the line the Government & majority of  Politicians, and authorities and Media will be doing.

Now let me look at my worries..!

4.  possible Burn outs & Fad days

The Extinction Rebellion movement didn’t just rise over night!   There has been a slow deep development.   The organisers’ are not just dirty hippies’ ( a phrase a news paper referred to).  The organisers are clever, educated and well-organised people, who have been plotting and planning it all for months… maye years. And they have brought this to a global level of awareness, with methodical build up over many months.

I am pleased for that – that its all emotive and peaceful..and has got everyone –  many exhausted and despairing eco-carers, campaigners, protestors – all excited! Am happy that the fire of rebellion is spreading from the old activists (the converted) to envelope and gather others who have been uninvolved so far..(the non-converted).

But my worry is one of burn out.. and peaking too soon.. before the work is done.

Its easy to be a short term activist – jump on a cause or an eco-bandwagon, and run wild with others, and feel you are doing some good.  Or some may even do it as a `rite of passage’ – harking back to the 60’s and 70’s..  This is their Hippie days…  to be lived an then peel off and work on work, career and al that – where these XR days will be just a massive social media photo album to show off to their kids..?!

Yes the build up has been slow and steady…but  look at all the peace marches & protests that has already been?

Climate march Taiji Dolphins Save Elephants - Protest marches Mani Navasothy.jpg
various Marches & protests – 2015 : Climate March, 2016: Stop Ivory Trade.  2016: Taiji Save Dolphin massacre.    photos (c) Mani Navasothy.

March for Climate Change!  ran for few years…still does…I think…But it’s stopped hitting my own awareness window.  Either I am a fraud who has left that bandwagon after few years, or maybe it’s just burnt out and I don’t hear much about it.. If so..  why?  Maybe because life is busier than ever..  and so many more causes are fighting for social media publicity spot in our awareness… that it all just blends into one hazy mass that we can’t relate to anymore.

What about the Occupy London movement?  I was there at St.Paul’s Cathedral..  in those days..  So were many of my friends. I went regularly..and many camped out..  But few years since then…  what has it achieved, other than as being a historical foot note or a small paragraph like this on a blog post?  Sad but a reality I must blast open.

Occupy London 2011 photos (c) Mani Navasothy  .jpg
Occupy London protests 2011  -outside St.Paul’s Cathedral.  photos (c)Mani Navasothy

We..well I don’t want the Extinction Rebellion movement to become yet another foot note..of something that was just a  flash in the pan!   Even a year long activity is still a flash in the Historical pan of hundred years…!

The XR movement has to do better..   Okay yes it has punched a massive awareness hole in the hard wall of stagnating system… woken people up..made them passionate..and involved..  and maybe even confused.  But it has to have a long term plan.. to change the world – unless of course, creating a shock wave was the objective. In which case, XR has just about done it.  Well done.

But as a long term eco-carer, a magical practitioner, an earth Goddess (Gaia) worshipper and honorer of the planet, as an ongoing eco-magician who is working it in my own other ways, I want more.. much more.  I want to save the planet – for my own selfish reasons.. so that it can still be here for my nephews, and for my kids.

Will XR movement do that?

-Mani Navasothy

links to some of my blogs on past Eco-events

Gaian Times Eco-spiritual Magazine 

Save the Elephants 2019

Taiji Dolphins Massacre – save the Dolphins 2014

Climate march 2015

International Peace Day 2016

 

 

 

 

Gaia Guardians: The Next Generation! (and all Good things..)

In 2006, I was introduced to Earth day by the now late Jean Williams, Wiccan HPS & pagan elder. It was a park tidy up and eco ceremony in Queen’s Woods. I took up the cause, thinking, surely we have to do more..and bring more awareness and celebrate it. The following year (2007) I organised the first `Gaia convention’ (called Gaia-3) for PF-London. It was followed by PFL Gaia-Fortuna, and PFL Gaia-Sol conventions in 2008 & 2009. Friends & I also started `Gaian Times Magazine’ 5 years ago.

And so this year..2017 marks 10 years of me organising and facilitating Earth day events..in various guises 🙂 Thank you Jean Williams.

Earth Day 2017 Trent park- composite (c)Mani

And it is with mixed feelings that I now announce that this is where I bow out on these big Earth day events. I had that feeling when i set off yesterday morning carrying lots of heavy bulky things.. feeling tired, saying to my self (like that hobbit Frodo once said..), `I can’t do this anymore..’ . And last night I got home and did a quick tarot to ask some divine advise.. and indeed my original intuition was correct. The cards say it is time.

But I am content and happy that we have had the highest number of children attend an Earth Day.. but there was no Eco ceremony. I felt that ..as I watched everyone socialise and play.. that `Life itself on the body of Gaia is a divine ceremony’ (so long as we are aware and mindful of it).

Am also aware that now in London.. others are organising big Earth Day events (indoors). It remains my cause to keep getting Pagans out into the parks and woods.. which I will carry on in other ways and other events.. such as meditative events, walks in woods, and Eco-Healing work..

Thank you all who have come to the many Earth Day & Earth Hour events I have facilitated and participated. Thank you to all my friends, family & Tribe who have helped me with organising these events and supporting them. And thank you wonderful humans, children, and animals ..for attending and enjoying the events. Together we are Gaia.

EarthLight Blessings of Gaia.
-Mani

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).

Like our facebook page for GT
Like our facebook Page

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)

Invoking Cernunnos – Lord of the Beasts – for protecting Wildlife!

Invoking Cernunnos -Lord of the Beasts.. (c) www.ArtofMani.co.uk 2014
Invoking Cernunnos -Lord of the Beasts.. (c) http://www.ArtofMani.co.uk 2014

In view of recent Eco-protests and resulting connections with fellow supporters, I’ve been thinking about Eco-campaigns..  What gets us all down? 

It’s not the hardships of fighting..demonstrating.. campaigning.. that is the difficulty which many Eco-Warriors face.. BUT it is the despair of it sometimes.. that it might be a loosing battle.. as everything else seems overwhelming..!  

We make slow but sure progress..  some MP’s listen..  a government or a country bans wild life trade.. burns its stash of apprehended ivory and animal products..  sends  a clear message to poachers!

But despite this..  elsewhere.. poachers get in to protected wild life parks in African lands, and kill protected Rhinos..or Elephants.. That is sad, frustrating, and demoralising..    It can even loose hope in the hearts of the Campaigners!!

 

Eco-Magic?

While am at it, another point of despair for me personally is seeing the `lack of numbers’ of Pagans/Magicians who turn up at these protest & campaign events!    Yes, everyone says they worship nature, and they do magical work for the world and animals..   but I am not seeing much talk about it..or evidence of that kind of activity..  Raising a pint of beer and wishing for animal wellbeing is all nice and well..  but when do we re-start doing serious Eco-magical rituals..in parks and woods..and public places..  and start thrusting that energy deeper into the human collective? (Dragon eco-magical group, established by Dr.Adrian Harris have been doing it for decades.. But who else?) 

A magical call for Hope

So with that in mind, I shall call on my fellow pagan/ shamanic/ magical people…to do some eco-magical workings.. simply..to keep all us Eco-warriors positive..hopeful..and confident!!

So..We shall invoke Cernunnos.. an ancient shamanic/horned deity.. who is the `Lord of all beasts’ (animals).. !

May Cernunnos protect all the wild beasts, and instill power and strength in those of us who fight to protect those wild beasts!!

-Mani 

**(please share this post, if you can, to spread this message & image magic!)**

Links to Eco-Magical posts

Saving Oaken Wood in Kent

Ecoguradians vs Rainbow warriors – some ebolutionary thoughts

Hanging Earth- does it need saving?

We are the trees  (sanctuary Earth)