April Jonquil – daughter of an Arm Gal – wrote an article in GaianTimes Magazine#6 (November 2012) ..as a featured piece to mark the Remembrance Day (11th November). In the article, April made many observations with regard to how her late mother had worked in the Land Army (UK) and then subsequently held that with a personal honor and regard.
<Mum was in the RAF and ‘our Vera,’ as mum would say, was the lady who sang of romance and hope that helped keep up the morel of the soldiers. She would visit our soldiers abroad and sing songs of love and peace to bring our boys home. ‘And the Nightingales sang in Barkley Square…’ -Mum would often step into a moment of nostalgia and break into song.
Then l spotted an old tambourine that reminded me of The Salvation Army who would march down our street and wake us up on a Sunday morning, They were always led by a lady playing a tambourine, followed by the trumpet players and the drummers, all out of sync. By the time the elders had taken a deep enough breath to blow their trumpet they had gone out of tune. It was a right old racket but we loved them all the same. Well, a least mum did! And she so loved military brass bands and she had this thing of wanting to suck a lemon in front of one. They can’t get you for thinking,’ she would say. l guess it was the rebel in her. Or maybe she just wanted them to sound home from home.
As I passed by my local supermarket on the way home l saw The British Legion out in force! Their poppies at the ready, made by volunteers who believe in the cause they stand for. The colour red spreading out across the nation, reminding us of what our battles and personal battles are all for. Our coins and hopefully notes are slipping inside those containers. The coins give off their own sound, while notes stay silent. We wait and watch to make sure the volunteers see it go in the box as we want nothing in return but that extra special smile! The smile that say thank you it is all worth standing, freezing my butt off hour after hour.
Children are encouraged to take money into school to buy a poppy, as the word ‘donate’ seems to be fading. I remember one of the children l used to work with coming home from school with a flower she had bought from a charitable organisation. She couldn’t remember the charity for which it was for as that wasn’t important, just the fact that she had a flower the same as everyone else in the school. Her brother complained as to why she hadn’t bought him one too. ‘But l only had a pound,’ she said…>
We open up the GT archives, so you can re-read the FULL FEATURE.
We all know by now (don’t you?) that there are so many action groups and campaigners – utterly distraught by the annual September to March killing of hundreds of Dolphins in Taiji Cove, Japan! The country states it’s an ancient tradition.. where Dolphin pods are ushered in from the sea int the Cove by boats..then people descend into the cove ..and start massacring the dolphins.. a sort of coming of age tradition for their people or something.
BUT reality is different! Many discrete Journalists and activists have witnessed local zoo and park people monitoring from the shores.. later selecting suitable Dolphins for their respective water parks.. and rest are killed.
So here is the second annual big demonstration in Central London – outside the Japanese Embassy – to make our hard feelings known..and to urge them to top this barbaric `tradition’.
The organisers of this event have set up an event page in facebook.. with following details:
“Another event outside the Embassy of Japan in Piccadilly, London to protest the slaughter and capture of dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Japan. Remember to bring along posters and banners 🙂 megaphones, whistles and inflatables! 🙂 date is confirmed to be 21st February! Starting at 12 and finishing with a minutes silence and candles being lit around 6pm.” Facebook event page
Date: Friday 21st Feb 2014
Venue: Outside the Embassy of Japan (Piccadilly, London). Nearest tube: Green Park
Time: 12pm to 6pm
See you there good people
ps. Good NEWS: India declares Dolphins as `Non-Human Persons’ and bans all Dolphin captivity programs for whatsoever reasons! Read about this in the latest edition of Gaian Times eco-spiritual Magazine #10 Out now.
You know what..in all the excitement of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary event, I totally forgot to blog the fact that last week, the issue#9 of the Gaian Times e-Magazine was published online 🙂
“…Gaian Times Magazine just keeps getting better – as more and more professionally published authors, experts and beginner-writers join our ever growing team of contributes!
In this issue, we are joined by Kenny Klein, who writes about a very Wiccan Samhain, Amber Agha sharing her shamanic perspectives on Releasing the past held by the land, Julie Dollman writes about Re-Engaging with Living Energy, and Christ Street focuses on the mystical nature of London – be it a city of revelations, planetary chakra or a Stargate!
That’s not all! John Dray, Andrew Durling & Maria Mossman contribute eco-themed reports on the Declining Bee population, the Fracking issues & movie, and the March for Elephants, UK – a new group set up to campaign for saving Elephants!
Something I had always wanted to know- and as if my magic- Bruce Nixon’s feature on how money is made by banks and the impact of monetary reform – covers my curiosity!
Gordina Steckert from Germany writes about spiritual concepts to keep us emotionally stable; Vathani Navasothy not only writes about Herbs fo ruse at Halloween, but gives us photo-blogs about the Dartmoor Stones – which rather nicely resonate with our mini-author profile on Rebecca Beatie who has written books on those very west country landscape-inspired fiction.. !
Wendy Stokes has once more contributed with a Book Review, and also written about the troubles caused by those `Teenage Exorcists from USA’.
My own interview / video follows up the matter, by giving an opportunity to Maria Savva -owner of Spirit of Isis. Interestingly, Maria’s son George Eralclides – whom I met during that event turned out to be a fashion blogger, and has contributed GT’s first fashion column!
And that’s not all.. By now you’ve seen the titillating images of that `Angel’ on the cover..and will know that we are starting some new features.. into the many worlds of alternative cultures. We start with a report on Erotica 2013!
Well, things are certainly going to warm up, as we head towards winter in western hemisphere, and summer in the southern hemisphere.
Earlier in 2013, GT took a few extra months to surface (April’13). But we are going to make up for it… with a special edition next month! (Oh yes, more work for me..I’ve only just finished with this issue!)
As it’s coming up closer to Christmas / Yule, and New Year, we’ll go with those themes..as well as our usual columns. Am already looking forward to `The Muse that got away’ (ahem, that will be a Burlesque feature on a good friend of mine who is very successful now in Canada!). We hope to have features from the alternative/ goth scene in Brighton; A persona profile of a Glastonbury Priestess of Avalon.. Astrology, and more!
So hurry up and finish reading this issue…before the next one gets here quickly!!
-Mani Navasothy (Editor / Director – Gaian Times)
November 2013, London, UK…”
A very Wiccan Samhain
Death by Words
Releasing the past, held by the land- a Shamanic Perspective
Re-Engaging with Living Energy
Five spiritual concepts to keep you emotionally stable.
Samhain Herbs: Insights into Seasonal Herbs
London city of Revelations, Chakra or Stargate?
Making Money – A word on monetary reform
Ecology & Campaigns
Honey Bees Decline;
Gasland pt2: A Fracking Film Event & Review
March for Elephants – Reviews & New Initiatives in UK
International Peace Day- Family Picnic in London
Storm Magic & Psychic Techniques
Wicca Full Moon Rituals in London
Events & Reviews
The Country Writer’s Craft: Writing for Country;
The Warrior’s Call to Glastonbury
International Peace Day
Quests of Isis (Thames Ritual)
Woodland Autumn with Romuva & Hern’s Tribe
People & Community:
Author feature: Rebecca Beattie –
Right of Reply: Spirit of Isis speaks to Teenage Exorcists
Photo & Video blogs:
Ancient Stones of Dartmoor
Notting Hill Carnival
Closing Down Kew Gardens!
Thames Halloween Ritual
Culture, Fashion & Entertainment:
A Rosey Winter; Halloween fashion;
All Acts of Love & Pleasure: A Day at Erotica 2013
Magical Bookshops & Sites
Atlantis spiritual Centre (Enfield)-
Atlantis Bookshop – oldest occult shop in London
Clearly Destiny – based near Euston, London
Crystal Delights Emporium (website created under Gaian Times Social Enterprise Initiative!)
Pagan Frontiers of London – established in 2005, this Community platform now serves over 50,000 visitors a year!
Enjoy.. Just click the picture…visit the website…opt-in to become FREE subscribers..and we’ll send all the links to you to star reading.. BUT hurry.. next issue#10 comes out in m id-December..
Are you in need of a FREE website..to get your community or personal venture started?
Well.. Gaian Times e-Magazine (registered not-for-profit) is providing FREE brochure websites.. to / group venture..or to show case their art & Craft/ product/ services..
But Hurry ..and get in touch..as we start work on this in a few weeks..and all must be ready by end of October.. Deadline for applying to this free Offer: 21st September 2013.. But it’s bound to be popular…so get in touch soon. (Normal professional website costs lots fo create and host.. and registering your domain name has other costs.. If you take up this GT offer, it costs you NOTHING.. for a whole year!!)
(Gaian Times will choose the 5 projects/ ventures that are most akin to the nature of Gaian Times itself…ie Eco-spirituality, Earth, environment, kinship, personal enterprise, art, community support and so on. If in doubt, just contact GT anyway…you never know if your venture qualifies !)
“The telephone, invented in 1870, has evolved into a global wireless network communication array of mobile phones..that are already on its way to sub-dermal implanted chips! The Car invented in 1672 has evolved too to become engines & rockets that have already taken a man-made object outside the Solar system!! And computers – originating as concepts only in 1822 – now rule almost every aspect of our lives on Earth and continue to evolve in the direction of Artificial Intelligence!!
What about Pagan spirituality – that of nature worship, and of Gods & Goddess entities?..”
you’ll have to become a (FREE) Subscribed member. It’s easy, just visit Gaian Times website and enter your name and a reliable e-mail, where we send the link to the latest magazine 🙂
There’s just 1 day to go before the annual International Earth Day’.. and we have pulled together a variety of useful features to mark this event. And we are organising one or two of our own Gaian Times Earth Day Events – a Family picnic with focus on activities for young children, and then a meditative walk in Richmond park (the following day) – anyone wanting quiet time to tune into the energies of the Earth.
So how do you think of Earth day, and mark it? Those serious about caring for our Earth and Environment will tell you.. every day should be Earth Day. But on Earth Day, we can make a big song and dance about it and promote Earth & Eco-Awareness to the others who don’t think so much about the Earth.
To me personally, at least now, the focus for Earth Day shifts …more towards the Earth i self. I believe in the Gaia deity of the Earth, and I do what I can through out the year – so for Earth Day nowadays, I think of it as `my mother Earth’s Birthday’! We don’t quite know when it was formed all those billions of years ago, but it does us and Earth well to give her a birthday and celebrate it.
On to the other contents of this magazine then-
Few weeks ago, Margaret Thatcher – first female Prime Minister of UK (3 decades ago now) passed away, and her funeral was a few days ago. There has been much supportive and highly aggressive reactions to her death – from people. My own feelings have been that anyone who is dead now deserves their peace and to be left alone. The protestors have had almost 2 decades to make their feelings known (while she was alive) so now seems a rather distasteful time to start organising street parties in London to mark her death.
Rose Dixon has written a wonderful analytical feature article comparing the intense rites of Passages that both Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana have gone through in their living years.
I finally get to address my concerns and thoughts about the Future of Paganism (nature worshiping religions) in `Paganism in the 25th Century’ part 1).
Vathani looks into the ant-social behaviour of people that is on the increase in our London public trains and buses – and asks how this can be in a world that is becoming more focused on `Social Media’ and `connecting and sharing’ with one another (almost 1 Billion people out of the 8 Billion of world population is on one Social Media site!)
This year, we are publishing 3 Gaian Times magazines.. simply because all our workloads in other writing and publishing projects are getting rather too much.
But we will be focusing more on the various Gaian Times Enterprises & Social Initiatives! You can read about these in our main pages (www.GaianTimes.com) Free websites for start-up pagan entrepreneurs, ePublishing, some Fundraising, and even a new initiative about sharing the wisdom of Elderly People are all going to get much mote focus..
As for reading.. you now have to subscribe to get full access to the Magazine. Well, it gives you – amongst other things- a real sense of exclusivity. And for us, it makes it easier to start making better connections with our loyal readers…and give more !
So enjoy reading Issue #7, and we’ll see each other in our various events or social media platforms..www.GaianTimes.com
The `Earth Day Ceremony’ came to my attention through the efforts of Jean Williams, now a retired but honorary committee member of The Pagan Federation, and an elder of The Craft. That was some years ago.
Taking up the cause of the Earth
I took up the cause, and worked with Jean to continue organising a special outdoor Earth day Ceremony – not just as part of my task as the Events Manager of `Pagan Federation London’ (London District of the Pagan Federation, where Jean was the District Manager..some years back). I took up the cause because the Earth had already been close to my heart by then.. and on one fine day in the garden (almost a decade prior) I had made a personal oath upon the Earth.. to guard and protect and do all I can for Gaia (Earth Goddess) and Earth..
Gaia Theory & Hindu Earth Mother
I was already a believer of Gaia as an entity. (My introduction to the Gaia Theory – originated by James Lovelock as a hypothesis and now accepted by majority of Scientists as a `Theory’ – came almost 2 decades prior to that, when I was reading the Issac Assimov novels of `Foundation’ and `Robots and Empire’.. I say introduction to Gaia Theory, because.. as a Hindu, I was already brought up with beliefs of `Pooma Thevi’ (Earth Mother Goddess). She appears in many hindu mythologies, and my most memorable and favourite moment is when ..towards the end of the Hindu epic `Ramayana’, Sita (Rama’s wife) calls to Earth-Mother at a moment of despair, and with quaking of Earth, ground cracking open, Earth-mother ascends in her throne, lifts up her daughter Sita and places hr on her own lap, and disappears back into the Earth.
Earth Days Past and Future
I think for about 5-6 years, I have been organising Ceremonies for Earth Day in London, usually in one of the woods or parks (Queen’s Woods, then Trent Park). It falls on 22nd April ..which is close to the pagan festival of Beltane. So our ceremonies have also had partial elements of Beltane festivities.
As Earth Day 2013 approaches (less than a month to go now), I was remembering those past events…(photos above are from 2011).. as I look forward to the future ones. Though I have stepped down from holding any official positions of Event Organising for other Pagan Organisations, there is now Gaian Times – a not for profit registered Company (Organisation) that I founded and a Director of…which takes up my eco-active efforts. Apart from producing a Free online Magazine (so as to have a good reach), Gaian Times also has several Social Enterprises, and Eco-initiatives..!
Yes I am organising an event for next month’s Earth Day.. but it’s quite different.. much quieter.. and a mindful event.. I’ll say more on that in another post…with full details.. But hey…Gaian Times is facilitating an Earth Day Family picnic & festive afternoon too.. 🙂 More later.
This feature`Children attending Pagan Rituals’ was originally written for and appeared in the September 2011 Issue of `Gaian Times Magazine (Eco-Spiritual). It was written after the topic was discussed openly in one of the Pagan groups that I was a member of. Only sections of the article are reproduced here for further debate. The Full article is still available in the Gaian Times magazine #2
What must be held in mind is that .. while voluntarily working as the `Events Manager’ for the `Pagan Federation ‘ ( London District), some pagan parents brought up the issue of them being unable to bring their young children to any Open rituals that were being held in London. They had been discouraged from doing do by others in the past, it would seem. So I began to make a special effort to change that situation, and actively started encouraging parents to ring their children to open rituals. (Unsupervised Children were not allowed. Parent/ Guardian supervision was required). I went as far as to even ask and then encourage one pagan friend to have her young daughter be in a grand closing Ceremony of a Conference.
It’s quite `normal’ now (here in the Year 2013) to see Parents and children taking part in or just watching open rituals and pagan Ceremonies. But some 7-8 years ago, that just wasn’t the case. It was a very rare occurrence, and even then, in some outdoor ceremony in a park. I guess the Organisers of such events were nervous about allowing such things, as the media was already full of pagans being persecuted. And Pagan parents were equally probably wary of being at the receiving end of any such antagonistic approaches by ill-educated members of general public (or a thrill-story weaving Journalist!).
————————-Feature written by Mani Navasothy. Edited by April Jonquil.——–
What are your opinions on children in ritual? Is it good to be inclusive; bad to bring young children when they don’t have a choice; distracting; informative? Is ritual a place for children?
These are issues that will continue to have a big influence in pagan communities! Any person(s) who have been a practicing pagan (attending rituals, ceremonies in public or at home) is going to face these issues when they themselves become pregnant and prepare to have their own children. No such Pagan is – under normal circumstances- going to give up their pagan beliefs or practices, and so sooner or later, will wish to attend a ceremony, be it public or private. And it’s highly likely that when they do, they will face the matter of either taking their child to the event, not taking their child, or wishing to take their child but finds that the event does not allow children in it!
As a result of that `public discouragement’, those pagan parents who wish to go to rituals are going to find themselves in serious difficulty, and their only option may well be that of not attending any rituals for many years.
One male began the discussion by stating, “there should be something appropriate for children. Children are a very beautiful quality to any event or ritual but great care must be taken to make it inclusive for the children so that they do not feel excluded. So a large amount of attention needs to be given, and when more adult themes are being used, then children should not attend.” He go son to point out that we were all children once. “They hold beautiful gifts which we should all cherish and nurture ourselves.”
This same message came up in the tone of another response, this time from a lady, “Children are our future, we are their past; our lives are intertwined. To isolate them away from this vital environmental upbringing is almost denying them of their religious heritage…” Heritage is a theme we shall focus on a little further in this feature. This lady goes on to clarify that it’s the parent’s decision on reserving judgment on how disruptive their children could get in a particular situation, and so holds that supervisory responsibility in that environment for those children.
Another mother (of three grown up children) stated that, “we appear to be the only culture where children are thought of being in the way, or an irritation. This is due to adult intolerance and selfishness. Children should be part of our religion and our way of life.” She makes a witty remark that there is no need for children to be, “ not left at home in their Wellies, along with organic compost, until the age of 18 years!!!” By this she means that Children are not some inanimate objects that should be left out till they are ready and turned adults. In response to a suggestion that children may be becoming `indoctrinated’ if they come to pagan rituals, she firmly said, “We are not brain washing as other religions do, merely celebrating the love for nature. That under any heading is healthy for a child. To sing, dance and share love, no brainwashing!”
Another mother (one with younger children) sought to compare Paganism and Christianity in their respects of including Children. “ Sunday mornings are generally family services, specifically aimed at all ages with some provisions in place for small children (crèche, crafts and stories), while Church services during the week and evenings are kept for more ‘serious’ worship.” This mother asked the question, “Why can’t Pagan rituals be the same? If it is on an afternoon/evening, then perhaps as someone suggested, keep the earlier part more ‘family friendly’ and the evening for serious and adult orientated part of the ritual?”
One lady contributor was in agreement with the views of the famous author Richard Dawkins when she responded earlier in the debate, “There are no Pagan children, only the children of Pagan parents. While inevitably the parents beliefs will rub off a bit on children, I’m of the opinion that they should be protected from indoctrination until they are old enough to make their own decisions”.
To this strand of argument, another male added, “If people are coming to do serious magical work, I do not think it is appropriate to have children there. Someone/all would need to keep an eye on them and it would be a distraction”. Then he went on to add, “But if it is just a light hearted celebration of festival, then why not. It all depends on the content!”
Appropriateness of a ritual was discussed by many, and nearly all participants of the discussion agreed that it’s not always appropriate for children to be at a particular ritual. She explained that she had been to rituals where children were not given something else to do (while ritual was going on) and so they have been very distracting. She points out a valuable thought, that as adults people can easily assume incorrectly he length of time for which a child might remain calm in a group setting. .
Another mother with grown up children was against the notion of children in pagan rituals. “My own view, based on having been the parent of small children who are now not so small, is that not every occasion is suitable for children”. It’s a statement that resonates with the majority of contributors……. The Full article is still available in theGaian Times magazine #2
-What are your thoughts on this matter? Please leave a comment below so we can continue to explore this delicate but important topic.
Gaian Times eco-spiritual Magazine #6 came out back in November 2012, and had 3 special `covers’ (well, being an e-magzine, we can have as many covers as possible). Each cover gave attention to a special feature or a cause.
The Formal Cover had Rose Dixon in her `Urban London Witchy’ look, holding the Earth in her hand. The original photo was taken by the banks of river Thames in London, after a `Thames: River of Souls’ Samhain (Halloween) ritual, where about 30+ interested pagans attended.
Pamela Harvey, Rose Dixon, Vathani Navasothy, April Jonquil, Beth Murray, Debbie Galllagher, and Mani Navasothy (Editor/ Director) contributed features to Issue#6 of Gaian Times.
The Magazine featured the following special articles:
Witches in London
Disappointing Death at 16 (personal account)
Stag Watch: A bit of a Crush
Love the Badger Dance
GBH: Goddess Bodily Harm (discussing eating habbits of Pagans)
Books and failed Ideas (on creative writing)
Poppy Thoughts of an Army Gal’s daughter
NEWS on Australia creating largest Marine reserve
Poem: Island Earth
Soorna Por: Demon War (Hindu festival)
Gaian Times Social Initiative: Esoteric Enterprises
African Elephant Massacre
Magic & Meditation to protect the Taiji Dolphins from annual massacre
Major Pagan Festivals in 2013
Cover 2 highlights the `Remembrance Day’ article (Remembrance Day in Uk takes place on the 11th day of 11th month every year!)
April Jonquil wrote a special feature article for this titled `Poppy Thoughts from an Army Gal’s daughter’, reminiscing about her late mother Jean who had been in UK’s Land Army during the war.
Cover 3 featured the `Badger Dance’ – a protest event that took place right outside the Houses of Parliament in London, where Eco-activists held a good-natured `Badger Dance’ to protest against the Government move to cull mass amounts of Badgers in UK country side because of TB disease found in some Badger population. Rose Dixon wrote a special feature article on Badger Dance.
By the way Rose Dixon (one of the Key contributors to GT) has a magical / eco blog at http://RoseDixon.net
The next issue of GT is due to be published in March 2013, (subsequent issues will be in June, September & December (tbc). But before march’13, Gaian Times Special Volume#1 will be coming out later in Feb’13 (in a few weeks).