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So you want a Wiccan Initiation?! (full article by Mani Navasothy)

So you want to get Initiated?  

Article  (c) Mani Navasothy  – Wiccan High Priest

If you are reading this article, then I imagine you belong to one of the following categories:

  • You are seeking initiation, or are just interested or curious about initiations (non-initiate).
  • You are against initiations and want materials to argue against (non-initiate).
  • You have been initiated already (or you have initiated others) and want to know what I may have to say.

All of these supposes that the `initiation’ we are talking about (about to) is one of those formal, human engineered initiations. That is to say – one that is created by one or more Priests/ Priestesses for the purpose  of an individual going through them. It can be pat of a solitary working, or as part of joining a Wiccan/Witch coven.  (Discussions and thoughts about differences between  Wicca & Witchcraft are found in another article, so I will use those terms loosely here).

Let  me address the second category first! Whatever I am writing in this article comes from my personal experiences of about 15 years of participating in initiatory Wiccan covens in the UK. I have also initiated a number of people into Wicca. I am qualified to write about my experiences and thoughts, and opinions. And before anyone jumps on the matter of me revealing `secrets’ of initiations, they really should just visit a big bookshop (for real) and browse through the shelf on wicca / occultism – because hundreds of other people have written about it all. Even novices who have never run a coven or initiated others and taken responsibility for guiding others, seem to write about Wicca these days.

If you are one of those who has been initiated recently, then this article may have additional insights for you.  You really should book time with your initiator(s) soon to go through your experiences, insights, questions and thoughts on your personal experiences. It is a valuable meeting that will benefit you, and them! Gone are the archaic days where initiators act like walking-gods (or Dictators) and `ride’ their initiates hard. We don’t put up with that sort of behaviour in the modern world. Ancient or modern, initiations and the people involved reflect and must also move with the times. Hierarchy that worked 200 years ago in ancient Greece or even covens in 1950’s just won;t be applicable in the modern era.

Coven leaders used to `give’ the `witch name’ to their initiates at initiations in the early covens of  1950’s, 60’s (or even in recent times). But this is something I personally do not agree on!  Leaving aside arguments and logic-chopping about Fatalists and what’s `fated’, my insights on the matter is that- the first conditioning we human beings ever get from the moment of birth (or even before)  is our very name! We don’t choose it. Our parents, relatives, guardians, foster-parents, social service officers, adopters and others name us! And we grow up with the energy of that name that has been given. And unless you are one who chose to change your name legally by deed-poll, you are still bound by that conditioning.  And choosing your own `witch name’ or identity is possibly the most liberating and empowering act one could ever do! So if an initiator is going to give you a name, then they are not giving you freedom, but more slavery! And in any case, freedom can not be given. It is a right, and when it fails, it must be taken!

Let’s get back to initiations!  And the first category of people reading this:  You are interested in, or are about to go through a Wiccan initiation.

If you are about to go through one that a coven or individual is preparing for you, then I hope you have had  plenty of time to think about and explore your reasons for this.

  • Why do you want to be initiated?
  • Are you fully aware of the expectations the coven or that initiator has from you, once you go through it?

Practising Witchcraft and/or Wicca does not require one to be initiated into a coven or wicca by others! Once you embark on that path, or awaken to that path by a series of coincidences and synchronous events, initiatory experiences start happening for you! I guarantee that!!  It may be little things or big life-splitting events! There will be challenges, hardship and difficulties, in equal measure to all the harmony, depth, spiritual insights and rewards.  (but most humans tend to only notice the `problems’ ).  What I am trying to say here is that fate itself (and the Gods and Goddesses) will put you through initiatory experiences! You don’t need a man or a woman in a Priest/ Priestess /leader/ guru role to do that.

And here’s an important thing to be aware of:  even of you are going through an initiation that is devised by a coven leader or a High Priest/ High Priestess, they can not engineer the experiences. The initiatory experiences will either being to build up –before- you have your initiation, or it will stat to happen –after- you formal initiation ceremony or ritual.  A word of warning – sometimes you might go through weeks or months before these start to happen. It’s like a lit-fuse. You don’t quite know when it will explode and start to manifest.  Another word of warning: the `euphoric’ experiences you may get during a coven initiation, while giving you a feeling of spiritual well-being, are not always going to be the only things you will experience. Don’t fall into a false sense of spiritual security. There will be challenges ahead- and every single oath you have taken will come back to test you in the months and years ahead! In fact, you will always be challenged and tested. It’s not a done deal. It’s an ongoing partnership – with the deities!! (You have been warned!)

So why do you want to get initiated? To learn more; to get deeper wisdom; To serve the world; To teach others…  Ah, the responses are endless and many. Trust me, I’ve given many of them myself (I went and looked at my old magical diaries of pre-initiation days!).  Some of those responses make me shrink with shame and embarrassment. Oh, no one else has seen them, but I know. It’s amazing how I was trying to pull the wool over those Gods of mine!  Oh, they knew all along, am sure, like a parent who can see through the lies of a young child.

So I ask again – Why do you want to get initiated? Be utterly honest with your self now.  Write it down. And them read what you wrote, and burn it if you have to. But be honest 100% with your self. Then, if you have to, go ahead and create those `other’ reasons which everyone else will accept and applaud you for!

Am I being harsh? Yes, probably. Okay so let me ease up a bit.

Reasons – real ones – for initiations vary. Here are some perfectly valid personal reasons.

  • Initiation is attractive and scary at the same time. (mystery of the Craft).
  • Initiation is (currently) the only way for you to join a coven or a magical group (joining a group). (there are training groups you can join and explore spirituality & magic, without getting initiated, by the way! I know, because I myself have run many of them).
  • It’s a deep-rooted calling and you just can’t explain it (intuitive).
  • Serious magic can only be learnt after initiation (or so you believe).
  • Your friends / partner have been initiated – and they either want you to be initiated, or you don’t want to be left behind.
  • You are writer / Journalist, looking to learn some things and then write about (this has happened many times!). Warning: Many who start off this way have ended up `really’ being pulled in to the mysteries and become `genuine’. Initiation is a door and anyone who walks through it –be in genuine  Seeks or  attention seeking Fools – are going to find their lives transformed sooner or later for real! Gods can wait a very long time!!

There’s plenty of other reasons, but I wanted to highlight some, to give you a feel of the cross-section of reason. Whatever your own reasons, know that they are valid for you! (That applies even the journalists, and wannabe get-rich Gurus !)

Expectations of your initiator is something you must be fully aware of – so please have a good long genuine discussion. Coven leaders and initiators are not gods or goddesses (unless you fancy them that way, in which case, you should read my  article on `Sexuality in Wicca & Paganism’). You should be able to sit and talk to them freely. By all means, learn from them, and respect them, (and even love them), but for Heaven’s sake, don’t get into the pit-fall of putting them on a pedestal  (even if they want that!).

So talk to them – about what they expect from you, once they have initiated you into Wicca and/or their coven.  Initiations have many purposes – one of them is joining individuals into the group-mind magically. Initiations are not to be treated as one-night-stands in wicca! It’s a long-term committed relationship – between you and the coven.

  • Most initiators in Wicca will expect you to attend coven and coven socials regularly, and for long periods. We are talking about at least the 8 festivals, a number of full moon/ new moon rituals (total of between 12- 20 rituals per year), training sessions and/or meetings (once a month – either in coven set-up or as one-to-one with your initiators) and of course coven/group socials – where members meet together at coven-home, or meet-up and go to pagan events, moots, festivals etc.
  • These things may not be exclusively stated or even expected – but trust me – there is highly likely to be these expectations. Initiators expect the people they initiate to stick around, working magically with them  and coven for a good 3-4 years. In that time, they not only teaching and training them, but also investing their magic, hopes and ideals in their initiates. It is all about passing on knowledge and wisdom. That is part of the magical contract. And that is also how the wiccan lineage and magical current continues.

Not many people actually talk about this, possibly for fear of new Seekers becoming afraid of commitment and never joining.  But it’s best all around to be clear from the start. No point joining a group, then giving the coven and initiators the run-around with excuses and explanations as to why one could not attend a meeting. Once pr twice is fine, but when ongoing, it shows a deeper lack of commitment.  And there is that magical axiom – As within- So without.  If life keeps throwing distractions at you and stops you going to coven, then, the question to ask is – is it fate that’s manifesting those distractions, or something deep within you?!

That brings me to another core ideal in magical traditions. Know Thyself!   And be mindful of what you are thinking- feeling – doing – sensing – at all times. It’s not easy. It’s hard at first. It may feel like you mind doesn’t stop. And that you are `on-call’ all the time. But this phase will pass, and you’ll learn to be `normal’ about being so mindful. For example, as a Physicist, I am always aware of forces and material limitations of the objects around me. And as a magician, I am aware that I am sensing (esoteric) energy all the time, but learning to either ignore some or tune into to some more actively. It’s a bit like noise in our world. If you are in towns and cities, you hear what we call `background noise’ – it’s a collection of all the sounds that are going on.  We learn to ignore them, but can also choose to listen to specific sounds. (Mothers are well-tuned to crying babies. Their own, or even other babies).  So returning to the point- Know thyself & Mindfulness are important.

We’re just scratching the surface – but am sure you can begin to see the depth and seriousness of initiations. Initiations are not just rituals you do, it applies to articles and books too. In these  preceding  sections, I’ve been preparing you for the main matter of initiation. Taking you through all sorts of hoops!! Well done for sticking with the reading. And if you just skim-read this, you really should know. I write non-fiction like fiction. I plant clues, and I write like a mystic, in cryptic clauses too.  So you should read this article at least a few times, to gain maximum insights from this.

That said, let’s get back to initiations.

Your approach & relationship with would-be-initiator(s):

Here are some serious considerations and questions you may (and should) be asking your self, once you’ve decided that Wiccan / witch initiation is for you. I’ll also add the insights for each one.

  1. Did you ask for it?   This may seem the most ridiculous of all questions.  But in Wicca and in any initiatory mystery pagan traditions, a Seeker must take personal responsibility for his or her own path. And if you want to be initiated into a coven, or by someone who is an experienced Witch/priest/ priestess, you have to approach them – and ask for it! Most self-governing and honourable Coven leaders/ Initiators will not approach you and `offer to initiate you’. (If they do – run!). No matter how well you know someone, and no matter how much hints you drop, or how many hints they may drop, the clinching point is – you must gather your wisdom about you, and ask them to initiate you.
  1. Did you get to know your would-be initiator? Don’t just walk up to a would-be initiator or a coven leader, and ask for initiation! Those days probably existed, but not now. You really must spend many months getting to know them – not just as pagan friends, or acquaintance, but as a `would-be initiator-of-you’! You may have known someone for years, and they may even have talked about their coven and such. But the moment you decide that you may like to join their coven as a trainee/ initiate, the relationship shifts magically, and it must shift! A teacher-apprentice connection suddenly forms. You have to get to know that part of them from scratch. (and if you do know them well, don’t try to pull emotional strings to get initiated. Remember that the Gods are watching!)
  1. Is it about you or the initiator? Short answer- the moment a seeker decides to go down the path of formal initiation, it becomes about that Seeker- ie you! The would-be-initiator may give you all sorts of explanations, but ultimately, even though they are the initiator(s), the journey, the need and quest is all about you! And they are then-onwards there, in your life, to aid your learning.
  1. How do you get to know the would-be-initiator(s)? This is the easiest one to answer, yet hardest to achieve. It’s got to be a gradual process, and you have to make the effort, unconditionally! You have to ask for either time with them – formal appointments to go and chat with them, or invite them to socials (group social and/or personal) where you can converse. In addition, you have to `hang-out’ with them, by going with them to some pagan festivals, events, conferences, pub socials, open rituals etc.  Don’t end up stalking them by finding out about where they are going and always turning up to the same events. Everyone needs a bit of personal space. Even would-be-initiators.  So just go to a few of the events. Once you have expressed a desire to `work magically with them’  they would know you are going to do this, so don’t get too sneaky about it. Be open. You don’t have to turn up every where they go. But you are best advised to turn up at least to the Open rituals, socials and other events that they may actually organise, or publicise, as one they are going to.  It’s likely a hint that they are giving you an opening to socialise with them. Be genuine and civil with them (but no bribes of excessive gifts!).
  1. Do they have experience? This may seem obvious, but – do they? These days anyone can `gain knowledge’ by reading a number of books, and set themselves up us some sort of coven leaders or initiators. But a genuine Initiator should have had a certain number of years experience being in a coven to learn and train to be a Wiccan, and ten undergone further training to become a self-contained coven leader (and an Initiator). In the old days (30-40 years ago), in some wiccan lineages, Witches spent a year as Initiates, and then were given their `2nd degree’ – as a High Priest or High Priestess, and thus were `validated’ as Initiators who are qualified to teach, train and initiate other seekers. In my opinion, this is not enough time. It’s like a novice learning to drive. Even after learning and passing a driving test, they the  need `real life’ driving experience for a long period – before gaining expertise to be able to drive in motorways, highways and especially teach others. So why and how could someone become so competent in just 1 year to be able to teach or initiate? People generally go through a plethora of psychological and magical processes in their own rights. Sometimes time must pass, for experiences to sink in and become wisdom.  As with would-be-initiators. Not only must they have `done time’ as seekers and initiates, but they mist also have spent time learning to teach, train, mentor and ultimately initiate.  And here’s a pearl- someone who is very good in managing a team of 20 people in a business is not necessarily going to be good in training a seeker in magic. An expert in looking after pets isn’t necessarily an instant-expert in looking after a young child. The approach and psychology will be different.

The Initiation contract:

 Not many talk about this, but once a person indicates they are seeking training and/or initiation from an Initiator (coven leader), and that initiator agrees, a magical contract exists!  Dating is possibly a good analogy to explain this. In early stages (when one is footloose, wild and single), one may socialise with many would-be romantic partners, and at a certain stage, may even go-out with more than one person to explore compatibility. But then comes the committed relationship stage- where the person develops a relationship with only one person (unless they were `promiscuous’).  In Wicca, when one has asked for training and a coven leader(s) have agreed, it’s a committed relationship. In romantic life, often committed relationships lead to marriage, so in wicca, a training relationship  leads to initiation.  Of course, relationships can fail, and engagements can break. Same in wicca. Sometimes, after a while, training relationships can break, because the Seeker and would-be initiator may find that they can not work together magically in the long term.  There are many reasons why this can happen.

  • Their personalities do not gel better, and one or neither are willing to work to over come this.
  • The Seeker looses interest, or can not maintain commitment and exclusivity in working magically with the Coven leaders.
  • One or both parties move residence – to a location too far for travel and training in the long term.
  • The boundary between Seeker and trainer is breached, and quite possibly dependency, projections, or worse a sexual relationship may have developed – which in turn makes the training relationship incredibly difficult for both.

So assuming you traverse all these issues well and carefully, you will be on course for your initiation. Of course there are many more stages in between this and actual initiation.  We’ve only been covering the psychological and logistical aspects here, so far. There is the whole magical development to consider – the Quests, knowledge, practise, preparations, tools, name, interactivity with would-be-coven members (or other initiates), where it all takes place, and the secrecy itself!  Yes, there is the issue of secrecy!

What next?  I can’t tell you, not because I am bound by some secrecy (well that too), but because what follows will be unique between you and your would-be-initiator(s).

If you have any questions, feel free to write to me – either as comments below, or as private messages .  I’ll answer – as much as I am allowed to answer.. (without breaching the Wiccan secrecy oaths I have taken).

May your path be full of challenges you can conquer, and wisdom you can uncover. And may your deities always watch over you.

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

 

Note:  This article was written on 9th March 2012.  It was then fully developed as a book `Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ (published 13th November 2012; 144 pages; ISBN: 978-0-9560746-4-5 (Awakening Publishing).    You can buy the pdf version from me (this blog) directly by visiting the page here .   page:    Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ e-book  

Wiccan Apprentice Course (woodland based, in 3 parts) – starts 4th sept16 – Wimbledon

Many in my meetup group have asked for a deeper, extended covering of Wicca, so here it is – a course in 3 parts. It is still suitable for beginners, but each subject is covered in much greater depths, and includes meditations, pathworking, and magical / ritual work – to embed what you are learning!

This takes place over 3 consecutive Sundays in September. You don’t have to do all of them.. (but if you did, it will form a cohesive deeper and practical experience of Wicca). You may attend one or more.

• Part 1: Sacred Space & Energy (Sunday 4th Sept)

• Part2: Horned Gods & Moon Goddesses (sunday 11th Sept).

• Part 3: Practical Magic, Covens & Initiations in Wicca (Sunday 18th Sept)

Fee: £13 per session. You can book/ rsvp now for each course, and turn up and pay by cash on the day.

The following structure has been devised by me.


wiccan apprentice 1 of 3 (c) Mani Navasothy

Part 1:   Sacred Space & Energy –   (Sunday 4th September 2016)

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

Magical energy preparations/ work:

• Chakra system of personal energy centres will be explained, with a practical meditation to experience this;

• An energy attuning pathworking will be led by tutor (using 4 element imagery, as well as growing horns & branches, and connecting to the Earth centres using imagery of growing roots.

• Consecrations – you’ll first see a demonstration of  purifying and blessing, using Salt & Water,  incense and Candle / lantern,  the tools to use, and the usual wiccan words; Then each student will get a chance to practise the consecrations;

• Circle casting:   Using your own wand, athame or the tutor’s wand,  you will earn the visualisation, energy work and practise casting a magic circle.

• Elements & Quarters:     The reasons and methods of calling/ invoking the undertaken elementals at the quarters inside a magic circle will be explained and demonstrated with words and symbols(invoking pentagrams, and element triangles) to be drawn;  You will then practise this;

• Transpersonal qualities:   There will be further explanations of the qualities invoked with elements, colour and symbolic correspondences.  An exercise will also be  undertaken by us – for internal elemental exploration and transpersonal balance.

• Witches Rune:   Often used in Circles for energy raising (creative poetry written by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern Witchcraft).   We will allocate some time to exploring the Witche’s Rune, the symbolism inherent in it, and have several practice chants of it.


wiccan apprentice 2 of 3 (c) Mani Navasothy

Part 2:   Working with God & Goddess in Wicca:   (Sunday 11th September 2016)

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

• God forms in Wicca:   This includes Cernunnos, Hern, Pan, Green Man, Dark Lord (Death), Sun God, Odin, Osiris …amongst others.   The symbology of Horns, hooves, antlers are explained, as well as some discussion on the demonising (Pagan god seen as satan/ devil) of the god by non-pagans. We’ll deal with any hidden fears, old conditionings and prejudices, and work transpersonally to reconnect with the Horned God of Wicca and his empowering wildwood energies. Chants will be taught and used.

• Goddess form in Wicca:   We’ll explore the Triple-Goddess imagery used in Wicca- maiden, mother and crone, as well as the various examples – Dianna the Huntress, Isis , Cailleach, Hecate, Gaia and more…

• The God & Goddess cycle in Wicca explained with diagrams and notes- ie the maiden Persephone’s abduction at Autumn,  motherhood, rejuvenated Bride arriving back to land at Imbolc;  Marriage of God & Goddess at Beltane;  the sacrifice of the God at Lammas; coming of Dark Lord at Samhain; Birth of Sun-child at Yule and more.

• Invocations, evocations and Charges of God & Goddess :  What happens after circle is cast and energy raised in a coven?   How are the god & Goddess brought into the Circle?  Who carries those energies?  What is the Drawing down of the Moon?   And Sun?  How does working with God & Goddess empower Witches?   All will be explained with brief demonstration of postures.

• We’ll go through some invocations and learn to use them.  (which you can use in your own or group rituals).

• Charge of the Goddess – the poetry work created by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern witchcraft will be looked.

• Cup and sword pathworking – to meet the God and Goddess.


wiccan apprentice 3 of 3 (c) Mani Navasothy

Part 3:   Ritual Magic, Covens & Initiations in Wicca   (Sunday 18th September 2016)

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

• Principles of Magic & Divination explained using the hexagram;

• Main forms of ritual magic practised in coven-wicca explained and demonstrated (Candle magic, cord magic, healing work, rune magic).

• We’ll do one piece of practical magic.

• Making of tools and how to consecrate them in a circle will be covered, with an option for you to consecrate one of your tools (wand);

• Coven structures,  initiation degree systems; some preparations and quests that seekers of initiation must undergo (no oathbound coven secrets will be divulged! But published materials will be talked about, and any misconceptions/ fears you have will be addressed as long as it does not breach wiccan secrecy oaths.

• All about your Witch-Name :  What is it? Why?  How do you go about choosing one?  When is it used? and more.


What to bring

• For your own comfort, please bring any food/drinks lunch (Please avoid eating during course delivery, unless otherwise stated on the day !);

• bring flask of hot drinks.

• ***Bring comfortable cushion/ mat to sit on, as well as a blanket / throw to wrap up ..during meditative work (or if it’s just cold).

• Please wear warm coats, socks (those ankle socks are pointless…as gnats and mosquitos will get you !), scarf..

• We’ll have some wine for ceremonial parts of the course & for a bit of social after

• Strictly no exotic substance/ drugs etc!

• Note books/ pen .


Recording / photography policy

No private recording by phones/ dictaphones.

No photography during course delivery & practise. .


Course notes / voice recording  by Tutor:

Some printed notes will be provided

Parts of the Course will be recorded (voice only) by the Tutor, and uploaded to a private link, where students who attended the course can listen in a few weeks after the course to refresh their minds.  (only informative parts. Pathworking etc will not be part of this.


Practical Details for the Day (venue/transport).

Public transport:

You can get to Wimbledon (served by Train, buses, tram, tube).

From Wimbledon, take bus 93 going towards Putney.

Get down at `Wimbledon Tea rooms’ stop

Walk 5-10 minutes along a small road to Wimbledon Tea Rooms, inside Wimbledon Common.

By Car:

You can drive in and park your cars for free.

Meeting point:

Please gather at the outdoor seats of the Tea Room/ Cafe by 11.30am.   Once all are gathered, we’ll all walk up into the space set up for the course (close to where we held the course in February & July’ 16).

End time:

We will break for lunch and short tea/coffee breaks. And we shall aim to finish by 5pm..


Links to the Meetup events for these courses (where you can pay by paypal)

• Part 1:   Sacred Space & Energy  (Sunday 4th Sept)

 Part2:   Horned Gods & Moon Goddesses  (sunday 11th Sept).

• Part 3:  Practical Magic, Covens & Initiations in Wicca  (Sunday 18th Sept)

Bright Blessings
-Mani Navasothy
( Wiccan High  Priest & published Author)

Woodland Wicca Full Moon Rituals (monthly) in London-2016

Our Wicca Full moon Rituals  are ideal for people interested in Wicca & Witchcraft.  They provide an Introduction to Wicca, Witchcraft & Ritual Magic – for all new comers and beginners, and Seekers of The Craft.  Consisting of friendly and informal introductions, they then move on to a formal Wiccan Ritual – facilitated by me – Mani Navasothy (Initiated Wiccan of 20 years, Gardnerian  High Priest).

Note- Our Wicca Full moon Ritual gatherings are returning after a month gap, by popular request.   Those interested in joining our closed training coven should first attend  these wicca full moon rituals and gain some practical experience.

Full moon- Woodland Witches London March 2016

Wiccan Ritual Outline:

-Preparing space & setting up Altar. (done by Ritual Team separately)
-Run-through-  Lead facilitator Mani (High Priest) will explain outline of Ritual, delegate any roles.  Brief Q&A.
-Enter Ritual space with reverence.
-Sweeping
-Opening prayers and /or Meditation (chakra or other)
-Consecrations with salt & water, incense, candles
-Casting magic Circle
-Calling elemental quarters
-Energy raising
-Invocations / prayers to Moon Goddess & Horned God
-Magical work
-Cakes & Wine blessing
-Closing & Grounding work
– Feasting, Socialising…

————**Admission fee:   £3  (new from May’16) **—————

What to  bring: 

***Please dress appropriate for weather! ***  We are tired of seeing people who attend with thin / minimum clothing, and then become cold quickly.  (a)  If you are cold, you can not focus on the ritual / magic , and (b), Seeing someone else being cold  severely distracts the others from focusing on their own magical work.

**Please DO bring some food (sensible snacks..  bread & cheese / humus are a good start)  and any soft drink/wine that you like to share with others in circle.   Social element/ feasting together is an important aspect of Wiccan rituals.

** Our rituals may start in twilight, but often end when it’s already nightfall..   So a torchlight is a great tool to have as `standard’ in your travel bag for woodland rituals, as well as a blanket / small ground sheet to sit on.

What ritual tools / items to bring

– A wand a or athame – if you have one. Please make sure you observer the law on carrying knives (any such item must be packed during transport, so that it can not be quickly `pulled out’ and used.

-your own magical items – crystals, tarot etc.

-A robe/ cloak to wear

What NOT To BRING

– please DO NOT bring used candles, or candles that already have magical work done on them.

-do not bring pre-made charms/ talismans for the purpose of `charging them up’ ..

Training & Personal Magical development:

These are training circles.  Introduction & explanations of many aspects of the ritual are given through out, and you’ll be given opportunities to take certain minor or major roles in the ritual. Major roles will need preparation and learning beforehand, so will be offered to those attending regularly and training with this group.

If you attend these regularly, you can build up a sound practical experience of all aspects of Wicca & Witchcraft.  Remember it is traditional for new Seekers to be trained for a year and a day in Wicca – before undergoing any Coven initiations.  On a personal level, You may use that as a sensible yard stick, and aim for a year worth of ritual attendance, study and exploration – to become a self-sufficient Wiccan. Along the way, you will either develop your own magical / psychic skills, or fine tune any existing abilities.

Outdoor working with primal forces:

These ritual circles take place in public Woodlands or parks.   As they are outdoors, at the mercy of elements (sunshine, storms, snow, fog etc)..  it can be hard at times to gather motivation to attend, or while attending, keep focus (if you are cold and getting soaked).  But remember..  we `real’ wiccans & Witches do have to work hard .. (but take no foolish risks), push our own personal / Psychological boundaries..  in order to gain Mastery of the Self.. and towards a respectful relationship with elements, entities and world around us!

By being outdoors in nature regularly in a ritual setting,  you’ll develop a real magical / psychic attunement & healthy respect to nature’s wild energies, as well as an inner confidence, outdoor ritual experience and dare I say..  empowerment and magical competence… on top of learning/ practising Witchcraft & wicca in the natural wild way it is intended.

Future dates of our Wicca Full moon rituals (in 2016) – tbc

Please always check relevant `events’ near the time in case of changes.

  • Friday 20th May
  • Monday 18th July
  • Wednesday 17th Aug
  • Fri 16th Sept
  • Sat 15th Oct
  • Monday 14th Nov
  • Tues 13th Dec

Note: I  also organise  Wiccan Sabbats  – Imbolc, Beltane,  Lammas & Samhain,  and Shamanic Solstices & Equinoxes.   Join the meetup to stay updated.

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy (Gardnerian High Priest)

Link:

Join my meetup group to stay in touch with all the rituals.

London Woodland Witches, Wiccans, Ritual Magicians & Outdoor Pagans – meetup group

E-Witch Apprentice – Correspondence course in Wicca

London Woodland Wicca- Full Moon Ritual- November 2014

These monthly Wicca & Witchcraft monthly Circles are ideal for YOU – if you have an interest and like to participate in an outdoor Wiccan ritual with like-minded magical people.

a Wicca Full Moon 2014 -2

How our event is organised

1. Meet n greet at a pre-fixed public place (Cafe/ Pub/ station – this may change so check each event carefully)
2. Walk together to the woods and to the exact ritual spot (this also changes depending on other factors on the day).
3. Set up altar & do ritual (see below for ritual format)
4. Feast & socialise
5. Tidy up & departure
6.Back to Cafe/ Pub for warm up and social and chats.

****** Please read the POLICY at the bottom ..about Photography/recording/ research /Journalists etc*******

The ritual (Wiccan format) 

• Sweeping
• Opening Prayer / Path working
• Consecrations with salt/water & incense
• Magic Circle Casting
• Calling of elemental quarters – with invocations & symbols
• Energy raising with chant . brief circle dance
• God & Goddess work (some times invocations)
• Magical work / spell-craft
• Blessing of cakes & wine
• Some training work/ wicca discussions (if time permits)
• Closing of energies
• Socialising / feasting
• Tidy-up & departure

These Wicca Circles are facilitated by Mani Navasothy (Wiccan High Priest with 19 years of Craft & Coven experiences in London). Some times we get assistance from other wiccan friends (initiated, solitary, hereditary etc).

Come and join us..! Please wear sensible outdoor (warm, waterproof) cloths, and shoes. Please bring some food & drinks/wine to share at the feast after ritual..
There will be opportunities to talk to Man and ask questions afterwards at social..

Meeting details

  • Date: Saturday 8th November 2014.
  • Meeting time (at Pub) – 4pm.
  • Meteing Venue: Woodman’s Pub. (This is 3-4 minutes walk from the nearest Tube station.. The Pub is on the main road..on corner of Archway Road & Muswell Hill).
  • Nearest Tube: High Gate (Northern line).
  • Ritual venue: Queen’s Woods (North London).


*We gather in the Pub and all walk together to the ritual spot. We regret we can not give extensive instructions to the ritual spot…because it is difficult to guide people to a spot in a wood full of trees.. We know it by sight ..so best join us at start ..in the pub..*

More details, training videos, wicca articles – on our website
http://www.WitchcraftAndMagic.org/ You can also join our e-mail list there for exclusive news, updates & more.

Bright Blessings

Mani Navasothy

———————————————–
POLICY (PLEASE READ THIS):

-No audio/ video recording at any time!
-No photos during ritual (but before & after is okay..subject to individual permission)
-No photos of others without YOU asking them clear permission.
-No `observations’ or `note taking’ by research students/ Journalists.

-Mani (organiser/ Wiccan) has been in the public eye for over a decade, running many open pagan events – and has given personal & formal interviews etc for BBC, Channel 4, and others. Mani himself is an author/ publisher/ online Promoter & internet Marketer).
BUT – THESE woodland events .. are created for the sole purpose of teaching and sharing his Spirituality with other interested pagans/ beginners of the Craft.. So Mani is exceptionally protective of these events..and does not like media exploitation or intrusions…
————————–

Introduction to Wicca, Witchcraft & Ritual Magic

Are YOU a seeker of The Craft?  Are you looking for an introduction to the world of Wicca & Witchcraft?  Perhaps curiosity of the mild kind, because you hear it everywhere now..or maybe it’s a serious calling..?!  You just have to go deeper, seek to understand Wiccan ideas, theories and more importantly, practical experiences?   Oh yes, practical experience ..with real Wicca people..  So invaluable for your magical development..  and yet..that’s like looking for needles in haystack.. These Wiccan are everywhere, but no sooner had you caught wind of their possible presence, and start to approach them, they vanish in to the woodworks!  ( that should be `into the Woodland’ 🙂

Introduction to Wicca Witchcraft Ritual Magic in London
Introduction to Wicca Witchcraft Ritual Magic in London  *click for Details*

Serious Wiccans – the initiated and experienced kind- are a bit hard to find. They don’t want to give away their identity, or locations..  just in case the old WitchHunt resurfaces..?  No not really.   But it’s all these media sensationalism..  Satanising serious Wiccans..  megalomanising (?) confident and outspoken Magicians..  It just makes us want to hide..  ! But some of us…just a few..  like to dance not just in moonlight naked..but in Daylight..  semi-naked..  No ..that’s not true..  We wear weird and interesting masks, flower crowns, or just plain old jeans and jumpers, and pretend-Dracula-leather-Jackets..and hide in plain sights..  pubs, street corners, woodlands, parks..  old people’s homes.. !   Eh, strike the Street-Corners and Old People’s homes ..that part is not true. 🙂

Right, enough about my wit.   More about Witchcraft! Let’s get serious !

Your search is almost over! You have come to the right place..  well, one of them..!

So here below, am reproducing (! No don’t go there) part of an article from my website Wicca, Witchcraft & Ritual Magic..  that covers numerous resources for Seekers of The Craft!

Brief overview of Wicca

What is Wicca (modern Witchcraft)?

Wicca is one of the modern pagan paths, based on several of the old nature worshiping religious practices in western countries (Druidism, Shamanism, Heathenism are some of the other paths!). Wicca is considered to be a religion by thousands of people, and it involves certain ideals, incorporates mythologies, male and female forms of the divine in the shape of a Horned God and Moon Goddess, and works with th energies of the Elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth). It also includes divination work, psychic development, and the practise of Magical rituals and spells.. for attaining wishes, or seeking changes in one’s life.

Wicca was `founded’ or put-together by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s in UK, using components and aspects borrowed from other western, eastern and ancient / classical magical practices. It is a mystery tradition (meaning that it has to be practised or experienced in an immersed and practical way to be fully understood! It means that no amount of theoretical reading, researching, dialogues & conversations with other people ..is going to give You that understanding! You simply have to do it, and live it.

Wicca is believed to be the modern equivalent of the old Craft of the Wise, or Witchcraft! And as such it also suffers quite a lot of discrimination… not the least from Christian and other religious (non-pagan) people.. who believe Wicca to be harmful, evil and so on.

 The rest of the article covers the following.. (you have to read it on the website..  If I put all of it here, google spiders will slap my wrist!)

  • Wiccan Ideals & Rules
  • Wiccan / Witchcraft Covens & Initiations
  • Rituals, naked rites and sexuality:

That’s just one article..and the website itself has even more articles.. some sharp (or blunt..depends on how you look at my words.. I don’t pull my punches!)  Some are controversial (you’ve read my blog posts..  you know my style!)

  • Consecrations
  • Energy Raising
  • Invoking Elements
  • Blessing Cakes & Wine
  • Ritual Magic
  • Covens
  • Sexuality in Wicca
  • Wiccan Principles
  • Initiations
  • God& Goddess
  • Paganism vs Satanism
  • Anti-Witchcraft Laws of old England

Before you jump to some conclusion.. (the one that I’d rather you didn’t..), let me just say..  

“Wicca is best learnt experientially. It is gritty, muddy, wet & wild in untamed nature, and requires dedication & discipline. Working with *blood, bones, knots & spells are part of that, as well as the exploration of deities, transpersonal elements and cycles of nature.. from the fertile energies of spring to the solem shadows of Samhain, leading to the light of Yule & Imbolc”.

For more information on the Woodland Wicca Rituals, Seasonal Ceremonies, e-Witch Apprentice Training, and other Courses I run (through out the year!)  please visit my  website    Witchcraft And Magic.

Look forward to making your Witchy Acquaintance.

Bright Blessings.

-Mani Navasothy (Wiccan High Priest, London, January 2014)

ps. Google Spiders! Don’t you just love those little ones.. scuttling about.. pulling strands ..weaving..this and that?   It’s almost too Wyrd..!!

Woodland Wicca Circles 2014 (Monthly, London)

Woodland Wicca & Witchcraft Circles - monthly in London 2014
Woodland Wicca & Witchcraft Circles – monthly in London 2014

These Wicca & Witchcraft monthly Circles are ideal for YOU – if you have a serious interest and like to attend and participate in an outdoor Wiccan ritual with like-minded magical people.

Following the experiences of running this in 2013, I have also listened to feed-backs and requests, and am now making these rituals more on a regular monthly slot (2nd Sunday of every month!). I will also be offering some e-mail support between Rituals, as well as apprentice-style mentoring for those attending regularly (and are serious!!)

Because of the changing nature of these Circles, the following will now apply!

  • No photography (except by organisers).
  • No *journalists or student observers! (it changes the energy and puts it on a `performance’ modes – not good for magical work!)
  • Increased privacy  of these events (info NOT readily given out), so that I can offer an apprentice-style mentoring for serious Seekers of The Craft!
  • Additional e-support will be also available.. (as much as my free time allows it), for interested people.

(* I am happy to be interviewed by Journalists / Students outside of these events, by prior arrangement…and will charge a consultation fee!)

Dates for 2014: 

Most of these are on the 2nd Sunday of each month!

  • 12th January 2014
  • 9th February 2014
  • 9th March 2014
  • 13th April 2014
  • 11th May 2014
  • 8th June 2014
  • 13th July 2014
  • 10th August 2014
  • 14th September 2014
  • 12th October 2014
  • 9th November 2014
  • 7th December 2014

Venue:

All these will take place in outdoor settings in London (one of the Woodlands/ Parks). But we may change the venue depending on individual circumstances.

* Important: please join my mailing list at  http://www.witchcraftandmagic.org  to be kept updated of the venue, meeting point/ meeting times  & exact date (in case of last minute changes!)

New comers can always attend, by joining my private mailing list and getting private e-mails with full details of venue & time of meeting! You will be asked for full real name, e-mail and mobile number- so that I can inform you of any last minute changes quickly… (and keep close contact and build magical connections)!!

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

My Background:

I am an initiated High Priest of Wicca in one of the prominent lineages in UK, and the lead-facilitator for these Circles, and have nearly 18 years of Craft & Coven experiences in London, of running regular outdoor open & closed rituals. From time to time, I run indoor Introduction to Wicca & Witchcraft courses in Central London, outdoor monthly apprentice training, Practical Magic workshops and other seasonal rituals (under `Hern’s Tribe’ and `Tamesa London Circle’)

Links

Wicca, Witchcraft & Ritual Magic (website)

Wicca & Witchcraft – (facebook page)

Hierarchy within Wiccan Covens (blog)

Coven Guide: How to become an Initiated Witch (e-Book)

Circle Casting (youtube video)

Contact me here

In Wiccans we can Trust…or can we?

“Perfect Love…Perfect Trust..!”   Two passwords that every single Gardnerian or Alexandrian Wiccan initiate learns at the time of his or her first degree initiation!   And then, almost certainty, he or she forgets..well, almost!

The Pentacle – a Wiccan symbol
art ~Mani

Wicca is a neo-pagan religion, crafted using several strands of magical principles, traditions, beliefs and Witchcraft practices – by Gerald Gardner in the mid 1950’s, at a time the practice of Witchcraft was still illegal. (The Act was repealed in 1951). *Wicca is an initiatory tradition, in that a new member is `brought into the existing Coven of Witches (Wiccans)’  through the process of an initiation ceremony or ritual. At this Ceremony, the `Seeker’ (Postulant) is made to swear an oath of secrecy and loyalty – to keep the secrets of The Craft, and to also protect other Witches. In the back of the Book of Shadows, there are `Laws’ – many of which instruct the Witch on actions to take towards protecting his or her fellow Witches & the Coven.     *(I am not revealing anything here that has not already been written about by Witches, talked about in Festivals and Conferences, or debated in many an online forums!)

In modern times, experienced Wiccans often boast of the network of Wiccans, and the way initiated members of one coven may be accepted as guests in other covens – even far away- provided there as been the personal vouching for those members. It’s a kind of `trust currency’ that is used within such groups and networks.

And yet, from many a personal experiences, either my own, or by observations – I know that even Initiated Wiccans of related covens or branches of covens – don’t always practice this `Trust’ – even when they know that another person is `one of theirs’.

In recent history, there have been cases of people jumping to ill-conclusions,  judging another Wiccan without even bothering to investigate facts or giving the benefit of the doubt, or worse – condemning another Wiccan in public and cajoling other friends into a sort of colluded behavior that can be easily seen as bullying & harassing   It is simple  human decency and my own sense of ideals that prevents me mentioning names, and not some Wiccan secrecy oath.

There have been many debates online on this matter (facebook is full of it). Many are quick to say that we are all people..humans..and such behavior (mistrust, squabbles, in-fights) are all part of our human nature.

I disagree. I did not take such serious magical oaths, in the presence of my Gods & Goddesses and the powerful Elemental entities, and a coven of Witches- agreeing that my soul will be damned and the Curse of the Goddess may be upon me if I break these solemn oaths-  so that I can just throw away that oath when my `human nature’ asserts itself.

The Wiccan oath is not one of convenience, nor is it `an aspiration’ or  `just a guidance’ – to me. It’s a serious oath, one that goes deeply into my psyche, and entangles with my past, present and future lives! Yes, I have had in the past, and continue to have my `am only human’ moments. But at all times I have conducted myself with self-integrity and in line with the oaths I took.

But in a fast moving society —  when `internet covens’ do `internet rituals’,  cherished Wiccan Authors allow others to be harassed and vilified in their own `facebook profiles’,  other Wiccans suddenly seem to gain so much faith that the Goddess will protect and so they themselves need not interfere in any Wiccan-related unjust situations —   my `human side’ is fast growing stronger than my `Wiccan side’.  In the last few years, I have seen steadily increasing evidence of such Wiccan failings.  If Wiccan society has moved on so much with the times, then maybe it’s time I moved on too..  instead of holding on to some romantic notions & ideals of secrecy and protecting the fellow Witch!

It occurs to me..  perhaps we  need new `laws’ in Wiccan initiations?   or perhaps we just strike all such `conditional’ constructs out of The Books of Shadows?   What do you think?

Rules only have power, as long as the followers follow them and enforcers enforce them. As for Wiccan laws – well, I have yet to hear of some `personal psychic account’ that a Prophet of the Horned God Pan or a Messiah of the Moon Goddess came down from some mountain or rose from a Lake…to give us these `Laws’. What we use came from a Man! And man is..only human!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and views..

-Mani Navasothy

ps. As we are moving towards `Halloween’ (Samhain) – traditionally seen as a very `witchy time’, I will be writing several thought-provoking blogs and articles on the subjects of Wicca,Witchcraft & Magic. be sure to subscribe or follow my blog to read more.  🙂

Visit my website Witchcraft & Magic

Witchcraft vs Wicca – a comparison

A bit more on Witchcraft & Wicca.  Another article / write-up I was doing some months ago, and like to share here. -Mani

Witchcraft  vs Wicca:

 “ Witchcraft is a mystery tradition. It is best learnt experimentally. It is gritty, muddy, wet & wild in untamed nature, and requires dedication & discipline. Working with blood, bones, knots & spells are part of that, as well as the exploration of deities, trans-personal elements and cycles of nature.. from the fertile energies of spring to the solemn shadows of Samhain, leading to the light of Yule & Imbolc.”

Witchcraft is an unusual `religion’ – in that, you can practice the Craft without necessarily working with the deities in any way. There are so many books written by Scholars who have researched the subject, and there are yet more – all of whom tend to claim that in the ancient times, people practised witchcraft and they also worshiped certain gods and goddess of the Witches. This approach has been deeply favoured and `built-in’ to Wicca – the actual modern religious pagan path that also has its roots in Witchcraft.  So by saying `Witchcraft is an unusual religion…’  I was throwing a curve-ball, which I hope you caught on to immediately! It has that thought-provoking `gestalt’ feel to it- controversial, and pushing for a counter-rebellious response from you!

Let’s take it a notch or two down, and look at it in another way – from the gut, rather than through the eye-glasses of academics! The only way to understand Magic is to experience it by practicing it, and not by reading and talking about it!

What do we `know’ of Witchcraft from myths, here-say, fairy tales and medieval stories?  I refer to the general perceptions of general public, when I use the term `we’ here.

  • Witchcraft is practised by individuals called Witches.
  • Witches are mostly women – either old hags / ugly crones, or nubile nymphs who seduce and entice (men).
  • Witches work spells at Full moons, and Dark moons.
  • Witches do spells, chants, curses, love-potions, animal sacrifices, boil lotions & potions in their pots, pans and cauldrons.
  • Witches don’t like people’s company, and are rather solitary or reclusive. They live in small cluttered cottages, houses,  make-shift huts or adapted caves.
  • Witches have contracts with the devil or other dangerous unethical entities of supernatural make-up.
  • There are no major initiation frameworks. Witches are `natural’  or are made by other Witches in cultish rituals.

What do we know about Wicca, as it has been popularised in modern media, written about in books, magazines and websites?

  •  Wicca is a neo-pagan religion.
  • Wicca was  `founded’ or put-together by certain key English persons in the 1950’s in UK, using components and aspects borrowed from other western, eastern and ancient / classical magical practices.
  • Wiccans (people who follow Wicca) are also Witches, or practices Witchcraft.
  • Both men and Women can be Wiccans.
  • Wiccans mostly work and belong to covens.
  • Anyone with commitment and connections can join a coven or be initiated into Wicca (by another suitably qualified Wiccan). People can also follow the path and declare themselves as `Wiccan’.
  • There is a hierarchy in Wicca –  Coven leaders and members.
  • There is an initiation framework in wicca: Postulant, 1st degree initiate, 2nd degree Witch (High Priest / High Priestess), and 3rd degree Wiccan.
  • Wiccans have a clearly set-out framework for rituals – Opening, consecrations, energy raising, elements, deity work, blessing & sharing.
  • Wiccans worship Gods & Goddesses.
  • Deity energies are invoked into chosen people (Male & Female) in the coven at any one ritual. This aspires to `see’ the divine in humans.
  • Wiccans have rituals (or coven events) at Full moons, new moons, and 8 festivals around the year.
  • Wiccans do not do animal sacrifices, nor eat children.
  • Wiccans follow set-out ethics and rules which act to deter most wiccans from `abusing’ their magical powers for egotistical, harmful or extreme selfish causes.

This list is not extensive or exhaustive, but it serves to illustrate some of the main perceptions we have of the 2 concepts – Witchcraft and Wicca.

But a key point must be made – Olden day Witches were not Wiccans.    It’s doubtful that most of them even referred to themselves as Witches (for far of persecution?).  But modern day Wiccans do and are `qualified’ (or rather given a hierarchical validation at initiations) to call themselves Witches, as well as being Wiccans.   It’s as if the more acceptable aspects of Witchcraft have been taken, and amalgamated with other pagan practical frameworks, and be now known as Wicca.

My view is that Wicca has parts of Witchcraft within it, but not all. And Witchcraft is a more nebulous raw practice of dabbling in spell-craft and magic, without so much of the contrived framework of Wicca that would either define or restrict it.

(c)Mani Navasothy (23Feb12)

This was used in the website Witchcraft & Magic