Full Moon in the watery and misty sign of Pisces now.. on 9th Sept 2014, at 01:38hrs GMT (02:38hrs BST)
It’s been known that an old custom of `Swearing on the Horns’ used to take place in the High Gate area every year between 17th and 19th Century. For the most part these proceedings seem to have a farcical element (if not all) to it. However, Hern’s Tribe began to re-interpret and enact this Ceremony some years ago, at Queen’s Woods (along with the `Windsor Hern ritual’ – another old custom that is said to be done for the well-being of the Sovereignty of this land).
Join us for a special Summer event outdoors in North London, at Queen’s Woods, for this Ceremony. Participate in it, and swear on the Horns of Hern, for your well-being, and that of the land, and make an oath of your promise to Hern or the Green-Man of the land in return.. to do your honorable best for the land and it’s people!
Afterwards, join in with festivities, drumming & singing, and Summer feasting.. and perhaps some Story telling …as the evening approach… of Fairies, Dragons, and magical realms.
Bring drums, masks, horns (if you have any), food & drinks, and any poetry & songs to share!
Date: Saturday 29th June 2013
Time: 2.00pm to 4.00pm (core ceremony). Socials ongoing afterwards till last person leaves!
Venue: Central clearing at Queen’s Woods, North London.
How to get there: Get to `Highgate tube station’ (northern line), then to main road ( Archway Road). Turn in to Wood Lane, which becomes Queen’s Wood Road half way through. On the left hand side, at this bend is a formal entrance (with sign board) to the park. We’ll have ribbons tied up to mark the way!
Map ref: http://goo.gl/maps/DgYNY
As a Pagan and one who magically attunes with the `Horned God’ energies (of Hern the Hunter, Cernnunos Lord of the Beasts/ animals), I often find it enjoyable to visit Richmond park, and just wander through – and observe the Deer. Granted they are in a managed park (Richmond is one of the Royal parks of London), the deer are free to roam and do what they like!
Here are some hi-resolution photos of the Deers of London’s Richmond Park – taken about a month ago, a few hours before sunset.
In early Autumn (September and October) they begin their rutting – where male deer (Stags) begin their courting behaviour – first eating a lot in the weeks leading to this period, putting on a lot of body mass, and then herding and rounding up a large number of female deer to mate with (his Harem). During this time, the Stags do become highly agitated and can charge at people or animals (dogs) if they go anywhere near the herd. It’s a pure and simple territorial act!
Those other stags that do not have a harem of female deer do try to sneak into already rounded up female groups – when the Stag of that group is distracted or drifts out a few yards. But then the leading Stag will charge and antlers get locked.. and often the intruding stag(s) are chased out. During the rutting season, the leading Stags make a lot of growling sounds. They do not eat much, and expend their energy in mating and defending his herd. (and by the end of the rutting season, his body mass goes down!)
In Richmond, towards the end of Autumn, planned and managed culling (killing) occurs – where Rangers and trained gunners select a percentage of deer to kill.. so that the park can continue to sustain the deer population. During the culling weeks, the park is closed early (culling takes place after hours!) People are not advised to be in the park lest they get shot by mistake!
How to get to Richmond Park
- Richmond Park is in the South West part of London. There’s a main Railway station (Richmond) that has both british rail (from Clapham Junction take the trains towards Reading..) and also the underground tube trains (District line going from London Victoria station)).
- Once at Richmond station, come out, and within few steps, you’ll find bus stop (same side as station).
- Take the Route Bus 371 from Stop: E towards Kingston. (buses every 8-10 mins)
- Travel in bus for about 15 mins. Get out at `American University’ stop.
- Walk forward on the same side for 3-5 minutes, and turn left at main junction (Land mark: Star & Garter nursing home)…and you’ll arrive at `Richmond Gate’ of the park. (The park has many `gates’ )
I’ll be adding more photos, video clips and sound clips soon .. (ones I have been filming & recording for a number of years!)
Hern’s Tribe – outdoor ritual group with Hern – Hunter-Horned God as main focus All welcome to Hern’s Tribe seasonal rituals
Pagan God & Goddess – article in my Witchcraft & Magic website
Addressing Christian Concerns on paganism: Satanism, Devil worship & Human Sacrifices
As Halloween approaches, the media circus of sensationalizing the perceived dangers and apparent darker sides of cults start to surface. It sells papers and TV shows!! But the ill-advised people who embark on such stories for their selfish 15 minutes of fame & fortune (a trait that is actually more related to Satanism) deliberately end up harming nature-based religions such as Paganism.
Paganism & Wicca have absolutely nothing to do with Satanism!
We have come across numerous misconceptions and hyped-up media propaganda about the perceived `Satanist nature’ of pagan groups, Witchcraft covens and other such new age groups. Those who level such propaganda and attack clearly have not done their studies or research (and tend to twist truths to suit their on personal group gain). Satan is a concept that is found only within the Christian Religions. No pagan or Wiccan ever worships `Satan’ or the `Devil’.
There are ancient Horned Gods such as Pan (Greek), Cernunnos (Celtic), Herne (English) and other such mythological god figures that take centre-stage in pagan worship, as well as Triple moon related Goddesses (Diana the Huntress, Selene, Hecate) and even horned Goddesses such as Isis & Hathor (Egyptian Cow Goddess). Ancient spiritual systems contained within themselves worships of animal & elemental powers – because ancient human was in awe of such powers. Horned animals were specifically revered as they often portrayed stature, status, protective and defensive powers. Pagan traditions that have horned God or Goddess stems from this belief. Horns were considered as symbols of power, not symbols of evil.
When one levels stories and accusations at Pagans working with Satan or Devil, and adds `evidence’, it must be born in mind- that no religion in the world has conclusive evidence of it’s authenticity as coming from the divine itself, other than by here-say and words written or preached by prophets, followers and Saints.
Religion ultimately deals with belief in a divine. As no evidence ever exists that one god from one religion is more real than another god or goddess from another religion, all beliefs – while they can be followed and respected- can not and should not be taken as `gospel’ or ultimate truth over another.
All Journalists, Teachers, Parents and learned people should do well to heed the old saying, `One Man’s God in another man’s Devil’, before spreading accusations that one religion is good and another is evil.
As to the stories of human sacrifices often reported in media- these are not the beliefs or practises of any Pagan, Witch or Wiccan!
In ancient times, many old tribes around the world have practises human or animal sacrifices as part of their religious beliefs and customs. They were trying to avoid the `wrath of their gods’ and also appease their gods. What was most valued by them was life, and they offered life, in exchange for better harvest, better divine protection against their enemies, and safety from destructive natural forces and so on. What history called `Witchcraft’ was those ancient tribal practises. Modern day pagans do not follow these. What we call Wicca & Witchcraft now is something very different.
Modern practises of Wicca & Witchcraft involve using herbs, crystals, healing, and divination using tarot & runes, astrology, meditation, attuning to trees, rivers, land and seas and so on.
Just as the word `Gay’ has now gained a totally different meaning to what it originally was (Happy), and just as modern day Christians can not be held responsible for the Crusades and great massacres old Christians undertook, and just as modern day Germans can not be held accountable for other Germans who attempted genocide of the entire Jewish Race – so Journalists and others can not and must not tarnish the modern day Pagans and Wiccans with primitive witchcraft practises of ancient tribes that had lived thousands of years ago. In all cases, the names remain, but meanings, practises and underlying beliefs have changed!
(This `article’ is an extract from an upcoming publication).
(c) Mani Navasothy. 2012