Tag Archives: Religion

Lammas Blessings to all (photos)

Lammas Blessings to all.
Here are Some wonderful pics of our Woodland Witches – Lammas Altar – 2019. Corn Goddess image, and Corn King mask for ceremony.


Join our meetup and stay updated for our upcoming  Ceremonies. https://www.meetup.com/LondonWoodlandWitches/

We are open to new people joining our ritual team…people who show sincerity, some long term commitment, and willingness to be patient and work well with existing team. If that interests you..first stop is to com to some of our rituals and see how we do things.  2nd stop is to come to the smaller full moon / new moon training circles and start  taking on smaller roles.. 🙂

Next Wicca new moon circle is tomorrow Friday at Queen’s woods.

https://www.meetup.com/LondonWoodlandWitches/events/262670055/­

Bright Blessings

-Mani

Isidias Navigatum- Goddess Isis Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony 2017 (Richmond)

This annual ceremony was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back. You will have heard the saying, `waiting for my ship to come in’ – a saying that indicates a person waiting for his /her good fortunes to arrive. Well, in order for ships to come in they must first be sent out – and with blessings and good plans.

We are adapting the old ceremony to suit the times and place we now live it! In this ceremony, we will bless the `fleet’ and place our hopes and wishes of good fortune and success in the ventures we are starting as Spring approaches. We then set the ships to sail (some will be sent.. other larger models will be pulled back, so as not to litter river Thames).

Fee:   suggested Donation £3 towards our costs and continued running of these rituals. (thank you).

Ritual outline : A statue of the Goddess will be carried to the water side. Women may offer mirrors so that Goddess Isis may see her beauty. We will pour milk on the banks  then sprinkle the statue with precious perfumes & flowers. As the final part of the ritual, a small replica boat(s) will be filled with spices and other magical items,  and placed in the river as an offering to the Goddess Isis. Smaller paper boats may also be placed in the river and let go off..

Bring your own small boats!   Be it paper boats or small scale models – to either sail them on the river Thames afterwards, or to symbolically place them on our altar during ritual, to gain the blessings of Isis for your own ventures ahead in 2017.

Practical  details / meeting point (edited on 28Feb17)

  • new meeting point / time: Hollyhock Cafe, Terrace Gardens, Petersham Road, TW10 6UX. Meet there by 1.30pm
  • ( You can get to Richmond station by 1pm and you must walk/ take a bus to Terrace Gardens). We will cross the road to the riverside for ceremony.
    Exact spot for ceremony may vary/change depending on how busy the riverside is . So please meet at the Cafe and we can all walk to the riverside.
  • Altar set up by 2pm. Ceremony will soon after that.. At the end of the ceremony our `ships’ will be set sail followed by Feasting. We expect to be back at station by 5pm .. and visit a cafe or pub to socialise (in warmth).

**Please wear absolutely sensible shoes, warm & water poof cloths** ..  Our rituals go ahead whatever the weather.. and how ever many or few people attend. We do them for serious magical purpose!   So no need to double check ..if its snowing or  blowing storms! Just turn up and take a chance..  Magic is supposed to be wild and tied with nature!!

All are Welcome to attend these . Do contact us and contribute with your creativity, knowledge & magic for these new explorations..

Gathering Format: 

Our Gatherings normally take the following form

a) Meeting at the Richmond Station, at appointed place, and then walking together to the selected Ritual area.

b) Pre-Ritual Social & setting up altar / getting into ritual cloths and explanation of ritual (delegating some ritual roles to people who are interested).

c) Ritual

d) Feasting & Social

e) Taking down altar, packing & tidy-up, and departures (Individuals make their own way back).

*Some people leave as soon as Ritual is complete. Others stay longer to enjoy socials & bonding with our friends.

Please bring Food & drinks to share. It can be a bottle of wine, soft drinks, hot drinks (in a flask), short eats, snacks, bread, butter, cheese, humus, cakes, salads, pasta and so on.

Privacy/Photos :
We ask that no photos are taken during the setting up of altar or ritual itself.  Thank you 🙂

Bright Blessings

Mani Navasothy

Link to meetup event for this ceremony

Isidias Navigatum- Goddess Isis Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony 2017 (Richmond)

Sunday, Mar 5, 2017, 1:30 PM

Hollyhock Cafe, Terrace gardens, Petersham Road, TW10 6UX
Richmond London , GB

18 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went

This annual ceremony was held at the start of the Spring time in Ancient Egypt, to gain the blessings of Goddess Isis upon the ships and boats (Fleet) – so that they may go forth, find commerce, resources and wealth and bring them back.  You will have heard the saying, `waiting for my ship to come in’ – a saying that indicates a person waiting for …

Check out this Meetup →

 

Hanuman – The Monkey God in Hind Epic `Ramayanam’

Here is the extended version of what I recently wrote on my facebook wall, about Hanuman.  He is a monkey – who is supposedly an incarnation of Lord Shiva.  Hanuman is the  son of of Vayu (God of Air) and a mortal Lady Anjana.    He can also fly.. well he’s a monkey and is able to leap over mountains and stay up in the air.. (Son of Vayu..god of Air). Another ability that Hanuman has is to grow into a giant form.

Photo is from facebook page Astro Ulagam . Photo Credits : Justin Tiew
Photo is from facebook page Astro Ulagam . Photo Credits : Justin Tiew

In the epic story Ramayanam,  Lord Raman and his brother travel through the various forests looking for Rama’s wife Sita who has been abducted by a Demon King called Ravanan.     Raman comes across a Monkey-Prince who is living in fear in a cave with his close ministers and confidants (one of whom is Hanuman).   Once the brutish and most powerful Monkey Lord Vali has been defeated by Rama,    Hanuman and other monkeys choose to help Rama help with the search for Sita.

It is Hanuman who leaps across the oceans, lands in Lanka (kingdom ruled by the demon King Ravanan) and eventually finds Sita ..who is imprisoned in a forest prison.     Hanuman manages to meet Sita, pass message from Raman, takes a message from Sita, and eventually returns to Rama..  Great war ensues and Raman & his army defeat Ravana and free Sita.

Three events that are worth highlighting..  

1.  Burning of Lanka:  After secretly meeting Sita in the forest prison, Hanuman causes problems and is caught (he allows himself to be caught) by Ravana.  When his tail is wrapped in fabric and it is set on fire by the demons,  Hanuman escapes…takes up his giant form..and using the lit tail as a burning torch, he sets flame to many parts of Lanka…  before leaving….(to go back to Rama & Lakshman and tell them he has located Sita).

2. Carrying the healing mountain:  During the war itself, at one point, due to magical trickery, both Raman & his brother Lakshman are mortally hurt and appear to fall in battle and die.    A special healing herb was required to help them..  So Hanuman leaps off to find the herbs that only grow in a certain mountain range.  As he was unsure which was the correct her, he uproots the entire mountain..carries it to the battle zone…where upon the essence of the herbs waft over the fallen Raman & Lakshman…and they awake.  (Hanuman then returns the mountain to its proper place).

Hindus  worship Hanuman as a powerful demi-god in his own right, and Hanuman is often depicted as flying with the mountain in his hands.

3. Giant Chariot in War:  In another moment during the war,   Raman’s chariot is destroyed by the demon king Ravanan.    And Raman is left standing on the grounds of the war zone.   Hanuman immediately assumes his giant form, and carries Raman and Lakshman on his shoulders, so that they may continue to fight the war on equal footing.who helped Raman & Lukshman win the war against Ravanna the Demon. In one of the stories, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found. Hanuman is the Son .

Hanuman and Sani (Shani) or Saturn:

It is also said that Hanuman rescued Sani (Saturn) from the clutches of Ravana (when Hanuman was bound up by Ravana and set fire to his tail..)

Perfect Devotee of Raman :

In one of the chapters of Ramayanam, Hanuman opens up his chest to reveal his heart..where an image of Rama & Sita could be found.   In another section, (after Raman & Sita return to their kingdom),  Hanuman is given a gift of pearl necklace.  He then set about pulling the necklace apart, and breaks each pearl.  When asked why he was destroying the pearls, Hanuman answers that he was merely looking to `see’ if he can find Raman & Sita inside each pearl.

These two incidents illustrate Hanuman’s devotional nature towards Raman & Sita.  All he wanted to do ..during and after the war was to worship and serve Raman & Sita.

Tale of monkey tail (meeting Beeman) 

In the other great epic Mahabharatham,,   one of the pancha-pandavas (5 brothers on the side of good) was going through the forest when he comes upon an old monkey sleeping on the side of the path..with his tail across the path.  Beema (being the strongest man in that story) demands the monkey move.   The monkey refuses but says that Beeman may pass if he can move the tail aside.  Aggravated,  Beeman tries to brush aside the monkey’s tail..then lifting it..  He fails…and realises his own ego..  And the monkey reveals himself to be none other than Hanuman.  It transpires that Beeman is also the son of Vayu (God of Air). So the brothers embrace.    Beeman then asks Hanuman to help the pandavas in the coming war.  Hanuman says he is tired of wars and will not fight again, but promises to watch over their welfare.

Monkey Flag:

The lead archer Archunan (one of the 5 brothers, the Pandavas) rides in a chariot (piloted by none other than Lord Krishnan himself..another long story). This chariot flies a flag that has the image of Hanuman..   and this is the `blessings’ that Hanuman had promised Beeman.

Well,  I grew up reading the Hindu epics Ramayana (and Mahabaratham) ..so Hanuman is one of my favourite Gods.. The above are things I have written from a long term memory ..(it’s been over 30+ years since I read the hindu epics).

It is worth saying, that I am now starting work on an art/ writing project  connected to hindu epics, and so will be re-reading Ramayanam & Mahabharatham (in tamil) soon..  Watch my blog for updates in the coming months 🙂

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

ps.  I have used when possible, the Tamil pronunciations for the various Hindu epics and characters. Tamil versions usually end with an `m’ or an `n’..where as the Hindi / English way of writing ends with an `a’.  For example,  Ramayanam (Ramayana), Mahabharatham (Mahabharatha), Raman (Rama), Ravanan (Ravana).

Links

Hinduism – links to all my blogs & write-ups

Hindu ritual dates & festivals in 2015

My Hindu-Pagan path

Facebook: Astro Ulagam

Avatars of Vishnu

youtube video: Hanuman chants

2011 Census: KS209EW Religion, local authorities in England and Wales

The National Census in Uk took place on 27th March 2011.

The data is being released in stages by the Office for National Statistics http://www.ons.gov.uk.

Pagan organisations made a concerted effort to campaign among pagan communities, asking them to register themselves in the religion category as `pagan – xxxxxx’  where the individual can state their particular path as a sub-category of `pagan’ so that a clear number can be gleamed.

Well, the xls sheet that gives religion data does not yet give this details..  So pagans will have to hold their breath a little longer.

But here’s the religion data that has been released.. (xls sheet available for download freely from ONS website). here’s the link

This is for the WHOLE of England & Wales

Christian       33,243,175       (1)

Buddhist         247,743       (6)

Hindu               816,633       (3)

Jewish              263,346      (5)

Muslim               2,706,066       (2)

Sikh                       423,158       (4)

Other Religions      240,530       (7)

No religion      14,097,229

Religion not stated   4,038,032

Now assuming all the pagans did state their religion, as either `Pagan’  or `Pagan-Druid, Pagan-Wiccan’ etc..  or just as `pagan’, `Druid’, `shaman’ etc..  it all will be within the `Other Religions..  240,530.

The above table shows that Christianity has the largest declared numbers, followed by Muslims – second largst, then Hindu (3rd place), then Sikh (4th place), then Jewish (5th), Buddhist (6th place)..   Other Religions (there could be hundreds!) currently occupy 7th place..

 

here’s a screen capture of the interactive map that shows the percentage of people in areas ..for the `any other religions’ category…as it was in 2001 Census and the current 2011 Census UK.   (darker the blue, more numbers!)

UK Census comparison  (2001 & 2011) for  `Any other religions'  in England & Wales   (c)ONS
UK Census comparison (2001 & 2011) for `Any other religions’ in England & Wales (c)ONS

We’ll wait and see what the `Pagan-xxx’ category will show up ..when the full data is released.

-Mani Navasothy