Tag Archives: Gaia3 Convention London

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)

Blast from the past: Pagan Dawn Magazine No164 (Autumn 2007)

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164 (published by The Pagan Federation)
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164 (published by The Pagan Federation).
ISSN No: 1357-5147

I was just writing about moving hose..  and sifting through old documents in the shed (and the Garage is still untouched .. 😦  )  Well, here’s another thing I found downstairs, in the corner of a bookshelf in the dinning room, burried under a lot of old videos (yeap, they all have to be either given to charity shops or thrown out!)

As some may know, I started organising Open rituals & events for the London District of The Pagan Federation, from December 2004, till recently (Spring 2012). But of course, apart from the hundreds of documents, web entries, e-mails and flyers and programmes that I myself had created for all those events, there is no `external’ evidence (Am going by the strict wikipedia guidelines!  For any claim to be valid, some entry bya  3rd party publication needs to be provided).  This is a key principle for all budding Esoteric Entrepreneurs – especially Authors, Writers, Tutors, Public Figures etc.

So me finding this Magazine is  quite valuable indeed.

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- contents(art work by Mani Navasothy)
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- contents
(art work by Mani Navasothy)

This single issue was edited by Kitty McIntyre before Sheena Morgan took over as Editor in the subsequent Samhain/Winter 2007 Issue of Pagan Dawn. In this the following items appeared that were relevant to me.

  • Art works (on Content page3, page 23, page 27)
  • Credit to Artists / Artists profiles (page 49)
  • Outline of the events I had been organising in PF-London (page 14) – in `Around the Federation’
  • Jean Williams’ account of the `Gaia3 Convention’ that I had conceived and organised (page 32 & 33) – where my then title as `London Events Organiser & Deputy District Manager’ is stated in print.

Such published  documents (3rd party) where one’s works are credited / cited – are important  for any and all Authors, Artists & Experts. These all fall under`professional validations’ – and we do need them in the modern worlds, where trust & credibility building are important for our every ventures.

So here are those pages I just mentioned.

.

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Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- artists profile for Mani Navasothy
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- artists profile for Mani Navasothy

In the Artist profile for my entry, I  begin by saying,

`Art is very sacred to me. I often paint long into the night and get lost in it. In the morning what I see seems surprisingly alien and amazing to me.’   I go on to say, `I’d categorise my art as fantasy, science fiction and visionary. The human elements, environment and magic are the themes.’   Interestingly, I finish by saying, `I hate selling or loosing my work – it makes me wonder how a spider would feel when we break its webs!’

I say interestingly, because, that was 2007, and this is me now on the eve of 2013 – where I am planning to sell some of my old and new art works. Well, reality is, we all have to do something to earn a living – and to use the Spider analogy, we have to use our own resources to make that living..  A spider spurts its resin and spins a web – to catch its vital food. Likewise, we must use our skills and talents to create or provide things which in turn bring us an earning.

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- p32- gaia3 convention
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- p32- gaia3 convention

Here, then District  Manager Jean Williams, says of the Gaia3 Convention for PF-London,

“Suitable venues in central London are expensive so we were very nervous about embarking on this venture, but the vision and infectious enthusiasm of Mani Navasothy, London Events Organiser and Deputy District Manager, soon attracted a team of eager helpers determined to make it a success.”

I shall do a detailed blog – another time- under Esoteric Enterprises – on the now chiseled in stone event, Gaia3 Convention’ – how I conceived it, named it, came up with innovative ways of funding it (we had no money to begin with!) and how its unique themes and activities evolved. (Feature `Wyrd wall’ threaded through and became the 4th PF-London convention some 3 years later..  after Gaia-Fortuna & Gaia-Sol conventions).

-Mani Navasothy

related  stories / links

Memory Lane: Workshops at Witchfest Uk 2003 

My cleaning up work on Wikipedia entry for The Pagan Federation (examples of editing & citing references)

Image magic: Creating the PF-London logo