It saddens me to announce that a great Elder of the Craft & Pagan communities in London, and a Wiccan High Priestess – Jean Ellen Williams- has passed away few days ago – on Christmas day 25th December 2015.
As Fates would have it, I was writing about another dear HPS Maureen Brown who passed away on 25th December, 11 years ago, when news of this came. I have had to wait till news was given to Jean’s family & close friends, before it could be made public here.
Christina Oakley Harrington (of Treadwell’s Books in London) and a very close friend of Jean Williams, posted the following few days ago:
“We sadly announce that Jean Williams, a much loved member of the Pagan community, died yesterday afternoon. She died peacefully, from heart failure, with her husband Zach at her side. Jean had been involved in paganism since the early sixties – she founded and ran Pagan Pathfinders for thirty five years, co-founded the Companions of the Rainbow Bridge, was a core member of the Pagan Federation since 1988 — and made many friends through her European summer holidays. Gracious, sociable and non-dogmatic, she relished the variety of paths and personalities in paganism. Also in some ways a very private person, in her personal spiritual life she was a Wiccan high priestess of the Gardnerian tradition, with a quiet and close-knit coven who are very much her intimate family. She leaves her husband (Zachary Cox), her brother, and many treasured friends and colleagues. We will be announcing arrangements in about a week’s time. .. Blessings, Ruth, Peter, Sylvia and Christina”
And I posted the following on my facebook wall and community pages:
“The news has been now openly announced elsewhere so I can write a little about it – Jean Ellen Williams – Wiccan Elder and High Priestess – has died yesterday (yeah on Xmas day) due to heart failure.
About 2 weeks ago I went to see her in hospital, and had some chats.. We were told she was getting better and even moved back home. I spoke briefly on the phone with her on Yule (22nd December)..and was planning to go see her (as soon as my dreaded cold was gone..I did not want to infect an unwell lady).. but sadly it is not to be.
She’s been a great magical friend & mentor for me – and held my hands and supported me so much when in 2004, I took the responsibility of being Events Organiser for Pagan Federation London, and continued to do so till I stepped down in 2012. Jean is also the lady who introduced me to Earth Day.. In hospital I was telling her that she’ll be my honoured Guest for the Gaian Times (eco-magical) conference am planning for 2016… (it will now be in her honoured memory..for she cared so much about the Earth!).
In hospital, she spoke of magical things… quantum things.. and her new book being almost complete..and gave me some things to read about. There is much more to say.. but now is not the time..
I am deeply grateful to one dear friend who was kind enough to keep me informed. I have hundreds of old photos…which I will share privately with relevant people.. For now, Jean, may you rest in eternal peace..and awaken unto the divine realms! ps. please find Maureen and Madge and Harry ..and have some tea & cakes! ..”
Dear all, Good news!! the reset GROUP for Pagan Federation is now OPEN (from Yule onwards..)
Feel free to join it again..or indeed feel free to join it…to have discussions and debates with other members of The PF..and other non-members/ supporters of the PF. (you don’t have to be a member of the PF to join this group).
In case anyone is curious.. this group had over 8,000 members..but some weeks ago, it was set to `secret’ with a committee view to deleting it and making more use of the PF Page.. But due to overwhelming member requests, it has been saved. (yes, I also protested/ requested for it to be saved!!).
So go on to this group..join../ re-join. It’s always been a lively place for debates…
ps. I have been a member of the PF for almost 20 yrs (lapsed only 2 yrs ago).. and a member of this group since it originated.. and I continue to do so. -Mani
Imbolc (Candlemass) is one of the 8 nature based festivals that pagans celebrate – and it is said to be the time when the Winter Goddess who has kept her grip on the land loosens her hold, so that the ice melts and waters break and flow again. It is when the Goddess Bride (Brigid) `returns’ to the land. Her path is lit by candles, symbolising the return of light and warmth which is imminent. Bride is a Goddess of poetry, inspiration, healing, knot-magic and weaving. With her, she brings the gifts of 3 flames! (Read more about Pagan Festivals)
Here in London, we are fortunate to have so many pagan open rituals and ceremonies, organised by several groups or organisations.. Here are some that are taking place over the next few days..
Click on each one to visit the relevant group/ organisation’s event page…to read more.
1. Thursday 30th January 2014– Indoor Imbolc Ritual ..organised by Pagan Federation London District..
Facilitated by Catuvellauni Druid Grove
Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London.
Entry fee: £5 (for PF members & concessions), £6 for all others.
Time: 7:30 – 10:00 PM Arrive from 7.30 pm for pre-ritual socialising in the foyer. Ritual starts at 8 pm and usually concludes before 9 pm. Feasting and socialising follow the ritual until 10 pm.
2. Saturday 1st February 2014-Woodland Imbolc Ritual by outdoor shamanic group Hern’s Tribe..
These have been taking place for almost 10 years, in the woods near Croydon. Gather at Coombe Lane tram stop by 3pm..to be guided to the ritual spot in the woods.. FREE.. (dress fully appropriate for snow or rain or cold, and slippery, muddy steep woodland floor!!
Not entirely suitable for anyone with walking disability..
Family friendly.. children with parents welcome..
All are welcome.. pagans, non-pagans, friends.. to participate in the ceremony and/or the social afterwards.
Time: Meet-up at Tram stop (Coombe Lane) by 3 pm.
We’ll have the usual combination of ritual, with sacred shamanic space, some chant & Drumming, and magical work. A ritual fire will be carefully lit for this ceremony, and we’ll have home made bread & wine to share..
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.
Here’s the screen shot of the `new look’ of the Pagan Frontiers of London. This website has been active since October 2006, and currently serves over 42,000 visitors now!
Pagan Frontiers of London – is the community gateway for all Pagans, Magicians, Wiccans & Witches, new comers, students & media people. It is here to provide networking platform, as well as Information, Advise & Guidance on Pagan events & activities in London. Open rituals, Courses, Ritual groups, social moots & talks, Conferences, conventions, Eco-magical activities, festivals, pagan community organisations, eBooks, pagan products & holistic professional services …are all FREELY publicised in this gateway site.
Between 2006-2012, it held the `official site’ position for the London District of The Pagan Federation. Created, registered and maintained pretty much every week by myself, the site became disassociated with any one pagan organisation and global in October 2012 – following my own stepping down from the Pagan Federation’s London District Council. Since then I had been quite busy with finishing several of my book writing, and finally had a few days to re-design the site, as I had wanted to for many months. Am confident that the look and feel is settling – as I’ve started to build in flexibility for many new features (oh, it’s all technical behind the scene stuff – though on the surface that’s not quite evident yet. As each new feature is brought online over the coming weeks and months, the site will expand to include them easily!)
Previous facebook page – created entirely by me on my own initiative, and supported by The Pagan Federation – had been growing over the last 4 years (since 2008) to fan numbers of about 1,800+. But unfortunately, that old page had to be taken off-line in October’12, due to some online bullying and harrasing that I myself was subject to within that Page.
In my life, lightening does strike the same place many times.. Sometimes it causes `Towers’ to fall.. and other times, ideas are energised and come alive.. But my past achievements and developments were not just fluke, but result of sustained hard work over many years – to have the farsight, ideas, create, collaborate & network with others, develop and nurture systems, groups, events, communities and online platforms.
It is sometimes emotionally hard — when outsiders (and even close friends who turn out to stick a knife in one’s back) sabotage, try to squash or destroy works that some of us have spent years nurturing and creating. At times doubt creeps in, as to could such things be re-created or developed again. And in the Winter months, as I stayed focused writing those esoteric books – on magic and spirituality- I pondered these during a social hibernation period. And now, as the snow has come and started to melt, the Wheel turns, and as we pagans say, `All the dies shall be reborn.. All the falls shall rise again..!”
So here we are…with new ventures and launches ..light and dark horses controlled expertly.. and `Chariots’ steered masterfully, with the wisdom of the `Hermit’ within me offering guidance, after the solitary works of the winter months.
I would like to make a special thanks to close family, friends and certain experienced Wicca Elders & Pagan people in the Pagan Community (they will be wonderfully acknowledged when the Time & Tides are right) – who have not only given me moral support through my `hermit’ months, but made me realise that I have my place in the scheme of things, even if I had felt like a `Hanged-Man’!
2012 – though not the end of the world, has been a major end to parts of my life. And with ends come new beginnings. That after all is the way of the Phoenix. 🙂
Children of Artemis – a Wiccan (witchcraft) group created the now popular event `Witchfest’ back in November 2002. Clever move really…and clever name..not to mention a brave one! For that I must applaud the genius of `Merlyn’ – founder/organiser of these events. (I first met `Merlyn’ at Vivianne & Chris Crowley’s home, in London, where a number of Wiccans were meeting to plan and deliver a batch of `Wicca Study Group’ in central London. So Merlyn & I were introduced under very trusting circumstances by trusted Elders of the Craft. It was only after that, that I started attending Children of Artemis Events).
Back in those days, we had lots of TV shows like `Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and `Charmed’ – where we could regularly see major Characters using Witchcraft! And the world took it with a growing appetite for such magical, Witchy adventures lived by ordinary (?) people in the modern world. It’s possible that this growing features of the occult, Wicca and Witchcraft contributed to many a young people either becoming aware of or gaining a pop-culture-style interest in Wicca & Witchcraft. This in turn helped propel organisations such as Children of Artemis who focused openly on the subject matter (in comparison to others such as The Pagan Federation – who gave focus to many a pagan paths such as Druidry, Shamanism, Northern traditions..in a more campaign sort of way).
There I must make further distinctions. People look up campaigning bodies or organisations – mostly when they are in sudden desperate need for such help. But people will look up groups and other organisations for the purpose of entertainment, lifestyle and social networking.. anytime and every day! And as Children of Artemis began to cater for this `lifestyle’ side of Wicca & Witchcraft, I believe it also started to gain popularity. Add to this the factor of CoA owning the domain name http://www.Witchcraft.org (which is bound to come up every time someone searched for that topic), and the addition of a members interactive forum ..where so many debates in so many `rooms’ were going on – it’s hard not to see why CoA grew so quickly. (The also provided a number of other services & campaign helps..).
CoA has had its critics – the other pagan organisations who liked to consider themselves as `serious’ and `Children of Artemis’ as light and a fad. I should know.. I was part of those other organisations such as The Pagan Federation. I myself was – to start with – an active member of the CoA! It is where I started making my earliest pagan friends in local pub moots (Croydon), and I also made many an online friends in those discussion forums (not to mention contributing). I was already an initiated Witch /Wiccan so I had that in common with others. I had contributed an article in the Children of Artemis Magazine `Wicca & Witchcraft magazine’ ( my article `Magical Empowerment in a Godless Universe’ appeared in issue#8 Samhain/Imbolc 2003/2004). And I have given talks at 2-3 of the CoA Pub moots (Croydon & Rochester, Kent). And of course a number of workshops at Witchfest Events…on subjects such as Quantum Magic, Elements, Dragon Magic.
I think my biggest contribution (most prominent perhaps is a better word) came when I put together a ritual team, out of strangers I had enlisted on the CoA forum, planned details by e-mails with them, and met only at the `Medieval Witches Ball’ in February 2004 at Fairfield Hall, Croydon.. to do a closing Ceremony! Some of the people I met in that ritual are still my friends – 8 years on! What precipitated from that was a regular outdoor ritual group – the first 2 – at Spring & Beltane of 2004 were billed as `official’ CoA outdoor rituals, and the organiser Merlyn himself attended – in Lloyd Park, Croydon, along with 20-30 people! (This group later became named by me as `Hern’s Tribe’ at Samhain of that Year, and still works rituals outdoors in London). Our ritual group also was asked to and did one other major ritual.. the Beltane Closing Ceremony at Witchfest England in May 2004. Shortly afterwards, my magical partnership with a fellow Wiccan ended and the ritual group changed.
Sadly, the gremlins came to work- and some of my frank discussions online in CoA Forums came under scrutiny by certain moderators. My posts (in the `Male Mysteries’ forum) were deleted, which began a spiral down path of me & CoA eventually parting company. At about the time I was welcomed by the `Pagan Federation London’. From November 2004, my focus shifted to Pagan Federation London- and for the next 7+ years (till Spring of this year 2012) – where I began to develop (over time) the `PF London Events Team’ (originally just made up of my own friends and keen supporters in Hern’s Tribe). There we have created so many features, events, brought back many an old events and made them regular features (Conventions, Balls, Picnics..) What the current `Pagan Federation London’ Officers take for granted, own and even have become rather possessive & protective about (against me of all people) are mine and my friends’ creations!
That is quite funny really (one of them recently accused me of trying to sabotage an open ritual…which dare I say I planned and booked some 6-8 months prior!). It’s all rather silly. But I appreciate that people have to find their on feet…and those less experienced tend to feel so insecure – that rather than ease into it, try and shoot their predecessors like me, as if that somehow will fix their own hidden issues? perhaps I am too much of a radical and a moral compass that they just can not face.. This process could also be a bit like children – who when hey reach adolescent have to exercise their growing adult-powers…by challenging their parents and teachers first! It’s just human nature, I guess.
Last year, at the Pagan Federation 40th Anniversary Conference, I bumped into Merlyn (creator / organiser of Witchfest). It wasn’t the first time, as I had bumped into him few years ago in a pub and shook hands. But last year, I spoke of me attending the Witchfest. He even handed me a flyer for the event in November 2011. But then the Pagan Fed wanted to have a Stall and I volunteered along with another officer (the new District Manager of Pagan Fed London now!). So I manned the stall in shifts, and attended a few talks.
I must say, looking back over the years, others have had their share of stirring or even egging me on in to certain states…possibly because my clashes have provided endless gossip and entertainment for the pagan communities in London. It’s a bit like a pagan/ witchy version of `EastEnders’ perhaps? In any case, I now stand neutral – within my own sphere, and it probably disappoints those who seek entertainment at my expense! People have shut me up for too long with excuses of `for the good of community’ – and I think it’s time that a balance is struck, and my own withheld truths – such as these I have written above- (and more) are revealed!
And today – it is Witchfest International Event.. their 10th anniversary, and my Wife and a few friends are already going. And me- I am planning to attend – not as a member of CoA, not as a Rep of the Pagan Federation ..not as Speaker, Ritualist…but just as me.. Mani.. a paying customer .. looking for a day out with my wife and friends, some fun, some workshops, and some dancing when the bands start in the evening.
Here is the finished wikipedia entry for the Pagan Federation that I have just completed. Am putting it in my blog as a record, in case others need to back track or edit the entry and loose references. – Mani
————————wikipedia entry begins————————————
The Pagan Federation is a UK-based voluntary organisation, founded as the PAGAN FRONT with the objective of providing information and countering misconceptions  about Paganism. It was formed in 1971, which campaigns for the religious rights of Neo-pagans and educates both civic bodies and the general public about Paganism.
*Beliefs of the Pagan Federation
The Pagan Federation believes that `Paganism is the ancestral religion of the whole of humanity’ , according to Cole Morton who was awarded the`Pagan Federation National Journalist of the Year‘ in 2010. Pagan Federation states that for someone to be Pagan, they need only believe in the following:
Each person has a right to follow his or her own path, as long as it harms no one.
The Pagan Federation aims to represent all “followers of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion” and has a membership that includes druids as well as wiccans, practising modern witchcraft; shamans, engaging with the spirits of the land; and heathens, worshipping the gods of the north European tribes .
The Aim of the PF translates as the following core activities,
Promotion of contact between Pagan groups and genuine seekers of the Old Ways.
Promotion of contact and dialogue between the various branches of European Paganism and other Pagan organisations worldwide.
Provision of practical and effective information on Paganism to members of the public, media, public bodies, and the Administration.
[#1] According to the Pagan Federation Wessex website the Pagan Federation “seeks to support all Pagans to ensure they have the same rights as the followers of other beliefs and religions. It aims to promote a positive profile for Pagans and Paganism and to provide information on Pagan beliefs to the media, official bodies and the greater community.” 
[#2] It is active throughout Europe and organises a large number of Pagan events. The organisation produces the magazine, Pagan Dawn which is the Pagan Federation’s journal. In 2001, it successfully fought for the reinstatement of its first Youth Manager, Dr Ralph Morse, whose association with the organisation was considered sufficient grounds for his sacking as Head of Drama, Media and Theatre Arts at Shenfield High School in Essex.
[#3] There are many different regional bodies each organising its own events and functioning on a local basis 
*Pagan Federation in the Media
Epping Forest Guardian reported on 24th July 2012 that an anonymous leaflet stuffed through letterboxes on Epping High Street on Monday (July 23) warns of a Pagan ‘plan to abduct a male member of the public for use as part of their rituals’. This claim was dismissed by a representative of the Pagan Federation. The Representative stated that the Pagan Federation works with the Government to create guidelines on recognizing Paganism. 
BBC online article on PF The Pagan Federation as saying that Pagans want the same recognition as other faiths, and that druids, Wiccans, witches and other pagans constitute a serious and growing religious group. 
*Campaigns of the Pagan Federation
The BBC reported on 27th February 2011, that according to the 2001 Census, 42,000 people declared themselves as Pagans – the seventh highest number for any UK religion – but some experts believe the true figure was nearer 250,000 – and is significantly higher now. For the 2011 Census, The Pagan Federation was asking all Pagans to put aside their reservations and to put ‘Pagan’ in the box for religion. This is so that a truer value of the number of pagans in the UK could be determined.
Back in November 2010 (24/11/10) I was browsing through some wikipedia entries for various pagan organisations.. and came across the shocking fact that for `Pagan Federation’ entry, there was very little flesh.. nay…very little bones! So I set about adding new sections.. such as PF”s 3 Principles, The work of the PF, Community Services, the District structure of the PF, and external links for PF International, and PF London.
Unfortunately, nearly all of them (except the links) were deleted due to them being having unsourced or unreliable 3rd party references.
Well, earlier today (last night now) I was checking, by* chance, and found that the whole entry had been marked for deletion in 12th September 2012, but had be `saved’ because one person had pleaded that, “This is the national organisation for pagans in the UK and while I agree the present article is poor it should be improved rather than deleted”.
Well, it occurred to me that I myself had recently mentioned the Pagan Federation in atleast 2 Newspapers this year alone (In April, for Enfield Gazette, and in July, for Epping Forest Guardian), and those should be reliable 3rd party references. I started digging, remembering the Cole Morton Book `Is God still an Englishman’ in 2010 (he mentioned my name& quotes me in page 338, as I just found out!) , and his Guardian G2 feature in June 2009 – for which I had also been interviewed and photographed (material not used in G2). Bit more googling got me a few good links…one from BBC, mentioning the census of 2011 and the Pagan Federation.
So pooling all of it together, I have now added new sections to the wiki entry for Pagan Federation –
Origins of the PF (as Pagan Front in 1971) with ref in Witches An encyclopedia of Paganism & magic
Beliefs of the PF
Aims of the PF
Campaigns of the PF
all with reliable 3rd party citations, websites & links.
In astounds me that with 40 years of History, there aren’t more mentions of the Pagan Federation in various books, news papers, media etc. Actually there are…am 100% sure of it…but it’s just that no one seems to have put a well constructed wikipedia entry for the Pagan Federation…. (I mentioned it years ago in a PF council meeting..where I also suggested the PF take an active presence in the internet..social networks.. – which was not forthcoming..so I went ahead and set those UK, London & International groups/pages up inn facebook!)
Well, I should have been doing my own writing.. but for the past 6+ hours (6.30pm to 00:00hrs) I have been at it.. trying to give it some bones and some flesh that can’t be torn off by wikipedia experts who scrutinize articles for quality!
I am not sure if all my entries will survive.. as my citing / referencing skills are very new…and I may have done it not quite right. But those references are there now..so someone else can do a better job of it…if need be.. (It’s just cosmetic).
And better still.. I hope the hundreds of Pagan Federation members, Elders, Committee members, PR Gurus, web masters and Officers ..will dig deep, find more referencing material stretching back the past 10-20..30 years…and add more bones, flesh..and even a bit of healthy fat to the Pagan Federation entry in wikipedia :-p
One thing for sure- I haven’t worked this hard on referencing anything …for over 20 years (last time was when I was in University).
It occurred to me that I’ve gone past my 100th post/blog, and have written about varied number of things – magic, science, astrology, Gaian Times, society and such..but not said a word about something that has been so very important in my life – from about 2004 till now: The Pagan Federation – a membership organisation that has been in existence in the UK and around the world now – `promoting and defending the pagan traditions’ (unless they’ve changed their mission statement in recent few weeks!)
I’ll go into the full history of how I became involved, the rituals, conferences, highs & lows, power politics & gossips (yeah, let’s spill it all!) another time! (awww?!) Right now, what has been occupying my thoughts is the actual PF-London Logo!
Well, since I started taking up the responsibility for the PF London website ..must have been October 2005-6 (must check my internet hosting records…will confirm asap), I have been creating one version or another, to put on the website. (I actually took up the `Events Manager’ post for Pagan Federation London in November 2004, from Brian & Trish – the previous District Managers for PF London). From my graphics files, I have dug out the old versions of the PF London Logo(above).
Well, before I go further, let’s say a little about image magic. Magic in the esoteric / psychic sense is using mind-powers or spells and incantations to gain some sort of real result or changing reality! (as opposed to the stage magician tricks.. which are in fact best described as `illusions’). Image magic deals with creating images of one sort or another, and using that to do magic! It’s a bit like doing a candle-spell..where one lights a candle as part of a spell, but here instead of a candle, the `magical practitioner’ creates an image. Now, Egyptians are probably the best known example for doing image magic – what with their numerous Pyramid paintings (on the walls). Along that same thread, there’s also the ancient cave-man’s cave paintings…of hunts and festivities. Using wax dolls, poppets are also forms of image magic!! (ah, now you’re getting it?)
Well, my earlier logo designs were just quick art & graphics works. Then I got to thinking about using real photos of nature for the logo design. The `Pagan Federation’ logo was a scratchy hand-drawn black & white picture of a Tree, Sun & moon. It had been that way for many decades. ..even at the time of me joining the pagan federation..way back in 1995.. and around 2004 when I was taking on the task of PF London Events Manager.
I wasn’t going to be concerned with other districts, but for my part, for PF London, I started to work on logos.. (you can see older designs above). Even the 2007 design was done using photos.. That `tree’ was a photo of an Oak tree in Windsor Great park. But it was either autumn or spring, so not many leaves, and so I had to flesh out some green for leaves. I played with more or less the same photo right up till November 2010, when I decided to well-and-truly develop good high quality graphical logo. (The PF was still using the old hand-drawn design. (shown here).
Here you can see how I began to use photos I had taken of the Sun, Moon & tree..to create the current PF London logo. My own graphics & photography skills had been getting better (as well as my internet & website building skills). So below, you can see all the stages.
The purpose of using the `real’ images incorporated into a logo is to tap into those real elemental energies!
I used the logo as a power-source in the websites, flyers, banners etc. And where ever it was, it was powering the PF London to further heights, success & recognition. Am proud to say our events have been getting better and better..
Of course, I have just heard that PF in its infinite wisdom is going to do some corporate banding..and all the district logos will be removed (each district has developed and used its own) and the main PF logo will be used (forced) across all districts!
This will have far-reaching (magical) consequences.. in my view, for PF London..who knowingly or otherwise, has been riding the power-wave of the elements! When the logo goes (and I have already taken it down from all main online forums) is when suddenly the endorphins dry out.. and sobering starts…along with real hard work…for the next generation of Managers & Coordinators.
Am sure they have their magical as well as the business strategies all mapped out?
Whaaa? Magical strategies? What’s that, you ask? You know consulting the tarot, studying astrology, sitting and mulling over what the gods want of you, what the people want, what you want..and making decisions, setting things in motion, putting magic in every step of the way…as if one is feeding a new born baby…that sorta thing! You didn’t think I go this far on my own..or did you?
I have more blogs & a book on this topic..coming soon 🙂 Keep following my blog.. for more magical tools & tips..!
Quite apart from the sheer lunacy of this claim, I can already (in the blink of an eye) see so many discrepancies in the claim made by the flyer’s contents. It rather looks like someone with half a knowledge looked up a whole load of disjointed pagan topics on wikipedia or something and created the flyer. 😛 I’ll address those points in another blog.. (Oh yeas, we pagans have a right to reply!)
Our sincere thanks to Katie for being so open-minded on this matter, and giving us sensible pagans an opportunity to respond. Very well done Katie. Some of us are likely to nominate her for the special PF Journalist award (one that Boris Johnson was once awarded). More on that another time.