Our 5th annual Celebration of Birthday of Goddess Isis’ – to mark the Night of the Cradle’ where Sky Goddess Nut gave birth to the Egyptian Goddess Isis. It will take place as before, on the river banks of the Thames in Central London!
Date: Sunday 16th July 2017
Duration: 1.30pm to 5pm (approx)
Meeting point– Meet us at the Hollyhock Cafe, Terrace Gardens, Richmond at 1.30pm. At 2pm we will ceremonially process and go down to river bank..for ceremony.
The ceremony will use a blend of Wiccan & adapted Egyptian ritual outlines. (Note: My research indicates Birth of Isis was celebrated on 17th July.. but our ritual this year takes place on sunday 16th July).
The ceremony is expected to be 45mins ..and then we’ll continue socials/ feasting.. (It’s a birthday party, after all). 🙂 So be sure to bring plenty of Wine & cakes.
** Donation (suggested) £3 *****
——– Ceremony outline —–
A decorative altar with Sky Goddess Nut and a concealed statue of Isis will be set up.
Opening prayers and /or Meditation (chakra or other)
Consecrations with salt & water, incense, candles
Casting magic Circle
Calling elemental quarters
Invocation : Isis called by her many names! Printed sheets provided. Each attendee may utter 10-20 names.
Goddess Isis (statue) is revealed.
Milk & flower Ceremony – all bath statue in milk, followed by offering of flowers. These are then offered to the river Thames.
Magical work (optional)
Cakes & Wine blessing
Closing & Grounding work
Feasting, Socialising… Food & drinks blessed and shared.
Birthday Party !! (Birthday of Isis).
————— What to bring————————
— Wear ceremonial robes / masks (Egyptian style if possible).
— Musical instruments (drums, systrum, bells)
— Food & drinks to share.
— Poetry / your own Invocations to honour Goddess Isis
As it is a public place, passers-by may take photos or watch. That is accepted by the organisers, in the spirit of celebrating the Birthday of Isis 🙂
However intrusive photography by professionals for purpose of outside publishing is prohibited.
We ask all to be in good public behaviour.
Safety of Thames water
Though the water is cleaner to paddle, it is NOT suitable for drinking!! Avoid handling the Thames water.. and if you do by chance, then please use anti-bacterial hand-wash/ wipes to sterilise your hands before handling any food!
***Please dress really appropriate for weather! *** Good water-proof coats, proper boots/ shoes / trainers..that are not going to get soaked in mud/ rain. Gloves, scarf. hats; possibly a bag/ ruck sack to put all your belonging and set aside (on the ground, when doing ritual).
Witch-eBytes is a new series of videos by Mani Navasothy – initiated Wiccan High Priest in the Gardnerian Tradition in London. In this video, I talk about the implications of the Wicca rede: `An it Harm none.. do as you will’!
As some of you know, I have over 20 years of The Craft & Coven experiences, as well as over a decade of organising and facilitating open rituals, workshops & training courses in Ritual Magic, Wicca & Paganism. In this video series, I’ll be addressing wicca, magic and pagan concepts, ideals, issues – for educational and training purposes.
For the past 3-4 years, we have been gathering on 21st September- International Peace Day – to mark this day, do a small ceremony, and have a social/ picnic. This time we are meeting by the `Peace Pagoda’ in Battersea Park, London.
As it’s a weekday, we’ll gather from 6pm onwards.
After initial meet & greets, and settling, we’ll set up sacred space with consecrations, purification, calling elemental quarters – then – do a 10 minutes of `Om’ chanting for World Peace. Our magical work will culminate with a combined effort to create a piece of eco-art or mandala, with whatever objects/ sacred items we can individually bring…lit by a circle of candles in lanterns / jam jars (no naked candles please…for safety reasons).
Please note: So we shall create a free-flow eco-art / mandala of our own design .
Details: wednesday 21st September 2016. Gather from 6pm…for ceremony/ Om chat at 7pm. Socials & candle-lit picnic afterwards. venue: Meet by the Peace Pagoda, Battersea park, south london. We’ll be on the grass area besides it..
What to bring:
-Food and drinks to share.
-Ground sheets / cushions
-Candles in Lanterns only please
-Magical items / crystals/ talismans to add to a peace mandala (you can take your magical items back).
** Note: we are NOT playing any drums/ musical instruments**
More details of this event nearer the time.
Peace Day background:
Few years ago I met Jeremy Gilley at a London Entrepreneur Meeting (He had just 5 minutes to tell everyone all about it. It turns out, he founded a non-profit organisation `Peace One Day’ in 1999, and campaigned for just 1 day of peace in war zones. In 2001, United Nations formally adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. So inspired by this – and having never heard of it till that moment, I decided to hold `Peace Day Picnics’ in London.. and have been doing son for few years now..)
International Peace Day : Ceremony & candle-lit picnic – Peace Pagoda, Battersea
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016, 6:00 PM
Peace Pagoda. Battersea Park Battersea Park London, GB
11 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went
For the past 3-4 years, we have been gathering on 21st September- International Peace Day – to mark this day, do a small ceremony, and have a social/ picnic. This time we are meeting by the `Peace Pagoda’ in Battersea Park, London.As it’s a weekday, we’ll gather from 6pm onwards.After initial meet & greets, and settling, we’ll set up sacred spa…
Back in August 2015, I began `sleeping in the garden’ for a few days – that extended to few weeks..It was okay because it was summer time..
But then a quest began.. I decided to stay a bit longer and enjoy being connected to nature, mark the cycles, be invaded by foxes, feel storms and rains shake my tent and so on..
Then I thought let’s test myself by being out there for Winter…and it worried me (am the weakling-guy who used to get sick all the time if i got wet or had a small injury)..
Now..well, winter has come and gone.. ! While mother Earth held me and sister willow watched over me, the elements have torn me and stripped me to the bone and soul, and re-built me.
Am constantly aware of the plights of homeless people in streets.. and surely will do something soon about it..
Summer is almost here.. along with a new threat …pollens.. and I’ve become `used’ to being out.. Used to getting, coming into the house, wash and go about my life.but at night finish up.. go into garden..see clear skies, planets (Jupiter is there every night).. see the moon wax..wane and wax again.. and go into my tent…set up candles (around tent) and inside.. put on my chanting music in earphones..wrap up and fall asleep..with gods and magical things in mind!
Yes there have been ups and downs.. moments of solitudes turning to loneliness..but that’s no so much a physical but a mental thing or one of the heart..
This has been quite an empowering thing.. grounding..connecting to nature.. going deeply within to face my own darkness and shadows, tuning into my own energies & power, finding more humility but also becoming more assertive & confident in a quiet way. I have nothing to prove..Am alive..and there are wonderful people in my life.. so many new people and things have entered my life…and much of the old has been reviewed, healed and transformed.. ..and life’s mysteries (and my-Story) is still unfolding..
There is so much to say about all the insights, learnings, ideas, thoughts and revelations that are flooding my hear & mind.. The work is ongoing (for now). And I’ll share more of it over the coming weeks and months..
Bright Earthly Blessings
(Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest & Shamanic Practitioner)
Moral compass & Magic (pt1):
A friend was asking others about this.. Made me think.. and here’s my radical thoughts (`thought in progress’..I’ll come back to this later):
1. Magic..for those who work it..should be everyday stuff .. not something to use until till some pivotal, crisis or noble cause strikes. If you know it, use it as you would use your hand, legs, mind, heart, eyes!
2. Anyone on the planet can learn / practise magic.. So it’s not an exclusive `advantage’ or responsibility resting in the hands of some elite or select bunch of Gurus and Wizards. All can have access to it..
3. As for moral compass.. that’s just too cerebral.. way too many laws and rules.. made up by those ahead of us or gone before.. just disempowering, holier-than-thou, scaremongering-crap..
No moral compass is needed! `Do what thou Will’..full stop!
In wicca, there’s the `rule’ – `An it harm none, do what you will’. Well, if we take magic as something that is possible (albeit, with some training & development for some..and more natural for others), then it ceases to be a special case that requires special rules. The `an it harm none..’ applies to *anything* we do in life with any thing we have- … hands, gun, swords, words. We should strive not to hurt or harm anyone or anything (an impossibility in itself..but that’s another debate).
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.
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.
-Opening prayers and /or Meditation (chakra or other)
-Consecrations with salt & water, incense, candles
-Casting magic Circle
-Calling elemental quarters
-Invocations / prayers to Moon Goddess & Horned God
-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.
-Mani Navasothy (Gardnerian High Priest)
Join my meetup group to stay in touch with all the rituals.
Wicca is an Initiatory path! It is also one of the `Mystery religions’.
What this means is that, from the moment you begin your `mild interest’ or `serious exploration/ study’ of Wicca & Witchcraft, the initiatory process(es) begin taking effect in your life! Consciously or subconsciously, you begin to undertake / undergo spiritual & psychic quests and challenges. You’ll face obstacles.. progress and set-backs..
Many will give up or drift off..to explore other paths or something else.
What is important is to keep the faith..and discipline..and the journey in sight! (not just the destination).
You are probably wondering what real mystery is left in Wicca, after pretty much everything about it has been (apparently) published in books and websites..?
Reading or talking does not give you a personal experience of the God or Goddess, but their powers being invoked on you might! Talking does not give you true insight about elements, but standing in the woods in a storm and trying to invoke the opposite element of Fire might!
Many people know that we have been running `woodland Wicca Rituals’ for 2-3 years now.. What you may not know is that, several years ago, I ran an outdoor Wiccan Apprentice Circle, and 3 of the regular attendees (of the 10+) went on to become Initiated Witches. That said, about 4 years ago, I stopped working in any sort of indoor Wicca Covens. Since then my path has been one of solitary (in so far as my own Craft & magic is concerned) and one of service (in so far as facilitating outdoor open rituals for people).
But times have changed…!
I am now preparing to facilitate a monthly Wicca Training Circle (The Wiccan Apprentice Circle), where all the foundations of Wicca & Witchcraft will be taught – to seriously interested and committed individuals.
In these Apprentice Circles, You will learn – and practise- the basics:
-Laws of Wicca
-Consecrations & Circle casting
– Working with Quarters & elements
– working with God & Goddess)
– Charges & invocations
– Magic & spell craft
– Transpersonal Psychology (helps with `Know thy self’ and much more).
We will also cover the following magical matters:
– Writing Rituals – for self, for group and public events
– Working with ArchAngels
– Psychic development & protection
– Divination (Tarot, Runes)
– Creating Magical tools (wands, pentacle, scourge etc)
– Talismans & Charms
– Healing work These Circles will be initially open for 3 months (May, June, July) so that we may form a core group, and then become *private* (where new people can join by request/referrals/ invitation only).
It is envisaged that a formal closed working Coven of Witches will evolve from these circles, as we head in to into 2016. (we shall see…as I know that `Man may propose..but Gods dispose!’ 🙂
Please note – that I have actively chosen to work outdoors, for reasons of Magic & Empowerment. So all Circles & Rituals will be held outdoors (in quiet areas of public woods, or parks). In case of rain/ storms etc, we’ll simply work with the elemental forces of nature…! (a tarpaulin cover sheet stretched between trees also helps to give us cover from rain!! 🙂
However, we will be organising additional social-meetings (in a local pub or coffee shop) on a regular basis, for members of this `Apprentice Circle’ and new comers to meet and have social time, bond, ask questions and go forward.
Wiccan Apprentice Circle Dates
Sunday 18th May 2015
Sunday 14th June 2015
Sunday 12th July 2015
These dates are usually the Sunday closer and before a New Moon.
During May, June & July, we will not have our *Wicca Full Moon rituals* (they have been running since Feb’15) ..but those will recommence in September’15.
How many initiated Wiccans or otherwise, have been using the so called `invocation and devocation’ pentagrams in wiccan/ witchcraft or magical circles? Quite many thousands, I imagine. Back in my early `initiate/ first degree’ days (almost 2 decades ago now), I was taught those invocation pentagrams, and used them (still do) when standing in one of the quarters (North, East, South or West) and calling a respective element (Earth, Air, Fire or Water).
To be honest, it was hard trying to remember which way to `draw’ those pentagrams, as they differed for each quarter/element. One easy solution was taught to me – that for Air and Water (East and West), one started drawing the pentagrams `towards’ the altar. But for Earth and Fire, this was not possible..
Well, last year, while talking about this in a shamanic ritual, I was doing a fire invocation pentagram with an actual flaming torch (outdoors, in the woods).. and explaining it to someone. An astrology friend said, `well, you know why don’t you? it’s because Leo is there!’. That’s all he said, and that’s all he needed to say. In a flash the whole thing clicked in my head, as I worked / visualised the related images. And as soon as I got home I drew it all up and looked at it to make sure – and then wondered – `why on earth had no one told me about this in my old coven days? and why have I not read about this full explanation for some 15-20 years?’
And I resolved to share what I had learnt/ worked out openly. hence this blog post. (but even this took me months to get down and actually do.. because of my laziness of having to sit and do all that explanation *fully*).
It’s not just this stuff that is lurking in my mind as one of many `do blogs’ ..There are plenty more magical things I have learnt, worked out, reverse engineered or just created by trial and errors or experimentations (magical).. that require sharing.
This morning, I woke up and had (out of the blue) just one thought.. that my subconscious had surfaced.. and it was.. to begin that sharing!
(ps. I had since then learnt, some of this stuff comes from or practised by the `Golden Dawn’ western magical tradition practitioners).
So here it is..the full explanation…starting with astrology.. (there are still some questions..which I will pose and hope someone can answer).
1. The 3-Dimensional view of our Earth & the Sun.
Above is a graphical representation of what the Earth & Sun will look like, if viewed from space, from a point of vie `above’ the plane of the ecliptic (ie the orbital plane of planet Earth around the Sun). As you can see, the Zodiac signs are star systems far away, but they can be `projected’ onto a sheet in each of the 12 directions where those systems exist.
2. Making Earth the Centre.
In astrology, we draw charts of the Sky, as if they are seen from the Earth. So Earth is placed in the centre. You can see from above graphics, how – slightly shifting the Sun-Earth pair gives rise to this. And because the zodiac systems are so far away in relative terms to the Sun-Earth distance, the view of them do not change. In this graphics, watched from the Earth, the Sun will appear to be set against the Zodiac sign of Aries. (ie Sun in Aries).
3. Astrological Chart – a graphical representation of the Sky
In the pic above, I have `got rid of’ the details and 3-dimensional elements, and only left-in the Earth, Sun and the positions / directions where Zodiacs are. This is a `view from the `top’ (above the Ecliptic plane). And this is what it means when we see or draw an astrology Birth chart. Note: The fist sign of the Zodiac – Aries- is drawn in the `rising sign’ position at Spring Equinox.
Note: This is the starting point now, for the invocation pentagrams!
4. Elements and Fixed nature of Zodiac signs
In astrology, each sign of the Zodiac is assigned one of the 4 elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth). I’ve grouped and shown these in the 4 corners of the diagram. (not in any order or direction). In astrology, there are qualities that are assigned to signs. The qualities are Cardinal, Mutable and Fixed. I have highlighted the `fixed’ signs.
As you can see, Leo is the fixed Fire sign. Taurus is the fixed Earth sign, Aquarius the fixed Air, and Scorpio the fixed Water sign. Note that I kept their positions in the astrological chart.
here on it gets easy to do the invocation pentagrams.
5. Fire invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
The fire invocation pentagram is drawn, by starting the first arm of the pentagram from the `midheaven’ position, and `into’ Leo, the fixed Fire sign, thereby activating the element of fire. The pentagram is then completed by carrying on the other 4 arms of it as shown in diagram above.
6. Earth invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
Here, for the invocation of Earth energy, we start from the same (midheaven) position,, then drawn the first arm of the invoking pentagram `into’ Taurus, the fixed Earth sign.
7. Air invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
For the Air invocation pentagram, the first arm of the pentagram is drawn such that it `enters’ the fixed sign of Air..ie Aquarius (as shown above).
8. Water invocation Pentagram using astrological chart
The first arm for the water invoking pentagram is drawn such that it enters the fixed water sign, ie Scorpio.
Note: I have shown these (Fire, Earth, Air water) `not in the order’ of invocation, but in a way that initially shows you the symmetry of them.
Of course in Wicca / Witchcraft circles, the order of invocation, is
I hope you found these full visuals useful and finally can see why the invocation pentagrams are drawn the way they are done. It is purely based on astrological convention of drawing the chart, relative zodiac positions on that chart, and where on that chart the fixed signs for each of the elements are situated.
The most important thing to have in mind is that it’s all just `conventions’ created by a magical system, and that in space there are only relative positions… there are no ups, downs left and rights; And that in magic, you – as the practitioner who is exercising the Will- has the choice and say in how and what you do!
Copyright /sharing note: As an artist, magician and an educator, I work very hard to create these visual aids to help others. Am happy for anyone to share this on social media/ reblog above blog, provided copyright note (c) Mani Navasothy / http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net remains. No publication of these graphics in any book /course / training allowed without express written (and magical) permission from myself. Thank you.
Hi all, I like to take a moment to publicise the meetup group I run. Although I’ ve been organising rituals for over a decade, the meetup groups was only set up about 11 months ago.. where I now put all the different types of ceremonies & rituals I organise..as well as a few that I attend (Druid rituals). Here’s the full info.. and the link is at the bottom. If you are in London and like to attend these, do follow the link and join.. Most events can be accessed without actually joining..but joining means you get the automated reminder few days prior, so you’ll not forget 🙂 BB. -Mani
Welcome! Join us for Rituals & Pagan Social gatherings in London – and explore Paganism, Druidry, Wicca & Witchcraft, and Eco-Magical workings! Our events are a friendly mixture of formal ceremonies & informal socials. These events take place in various public Woodlands, parks and outdoor settings in London. We also add indoor socials/ pagan moots. All of these are great for Beginner wanting a friendly introduction to Wicca & witchcraft, Pagan ceremonies, ritual magic, and for meeting like-minded people.
Connect with fellow Seekers, Magicians and Pagans!
Enjoy feasting & socialising after the ritual. (Bringing food, drinks & wine to share – Wiccans love the social as much as the rituals!)
Why Woods & Outdoors? On Weather & Power of Nature:
If you are looking for the real energies and powers of nature – for personal empowerment, then being regularly outdoors, experiencing nature.. (no matter how challenging it gets at times!) is the best way. For our events, you can attend in ordinary outdoor cloths.. (warm and water-proof) and/or put on cloaks & robes or other tribal cloths once you arrive at the ritual area..!. At times, it will be sunny and warm. Or wet, wild and stormy. And attuning to those energies, energises you, liberates you, empowers you! That is magic…and that is what it means to know real untamed awesome power of nature!.
———————————- Types of Events we organise ————–
• Woodland Witchcraft & Wicca Rituals –(monthly, on the evening of Full moons, or evening before. If it falls on a weekend, we start earlier in the evening. If on a week/work day, we keep these punctual and to the point)
• Seasonal pagan Festivities –– (8 times a year, on a saturday/ sunday close to the Sabbat – Imbolc, Spring, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, Autumn, Samhain, Yule. we organise our own Eclectic/shamanic gatherings under `Hern’s Tribe’. We also visit our friends’ `Druid rituals’)
• River Thames-based rituals – (started in 2006, we had 8-10 rituals a year, but now focus on special Thames-Isis rituals or other special ones ..about 3-4 times a year. Some take place in central London, others near Richmond – but always by the river Thames, and often at low tides, so we can work on the banks of the river Thames..)
• Eco-magical explorations / Gaia Guardians– We believe in using magic & ceremony for the benefit & healing of not just us humans, but also the Earth, Environment & animals. Eco-Magic is a ceremony or even a small part of another ritual that focuses on this kind of work. We meet for special days such as Earth Hour, Earth Day, Peace Day. We now plan to meet more often just for these events – Walking & exploring woodlands; Meditation & Nature-spirituality; Eco-art; Nature photography
• Social Events, Pagan Moots, Trips and camps — We are also very sociable. Some of us attend Pagan moots (pub socials) that our friends organise; In the Summer, we organize a Pagan Camp in the Epping Camp site; And at various other times, we gather up our pagan friends and go for trips in or out of London – to festivals (Edinburgh Beltane, Hasting Jack O Green, Eastbourne Lammas, Carshalton Jack, October Plenty, Notting Hill Carnival..and so on).
—————— What we do magically in or rituals —————
Being a Witch, Druid or Shaman is not about power and control – but gaining mastery of inner forces, clarity and empowerment – while working with external forces. It is about sharing that knowledge and wisdom with others (being a Wise-Man or Wise-woman), changing the world for better with your own magical skills – bit by bit!
• Consecrations, Magic Circle & 4 Elements – We consecrate people and the space using candles, incense, bells, rattle; We cast a protective magic circle/ sacred space using a wand, staff or athame (witch’s knife), and open gateways to elements (Air, fire, water, Earth) in 4 directions – east, south, west, north.
• Chants, drums, dance – we use chanting, drumming and circle / spiral dance at ceremonies to raise energy and to shift our focus before or during rituals;
• Spells & ritual Magic – Paganism & Witchcraft involve doing magic spells.. using symbols drawn on objects, visualising, lighting candles, tying knots on cords/strings, planting seeds, cooking food mindfully, and so on.
• Masks, Ritual & Enactment – Wearing masks, robes & cloaks allows ritualists to shift perception – their own and others in the ritual; We also write a ritual (scripted like a play), allocate parts/ roles to volunteers, prepare/ memorise some of that in advance, and enact those rituals; Themes can be seasonal (harvest, birth of Sun child, marriage of God & Goddess), or mythological (Hero’s quest, Fool’s Journey, blessing of boats, birthday of Isis and so on).
• Gods & Goddesses and Magic: We work with Pan (Fertility, lust), Aphrodite (Love & sensuality), Cernunnos (Lord of the animals), Hern the Hunter-god, Diana the Virgin-Huntress who can not be owned my any man, Gaia the mother goddess.. and other deities. We always aim to do some personal magical work (in the group), spells, chants, a bit of spiral dance.. and also put energy towards eco-magic to help protect environment & endangered wildlife in the world.
If all this sounds too much – don’t panic! We give you plenty of explanation and notes at the start, in an informal sociable way.. Our websites are full of information articles, videos and blog links to give you plenty of background. And you can always contact the Organiser/ facilitator and chat about any of these.
Note to Students/ Researchers / Journalists: You are welcome to `genuinely participate’ in the ritual (NO note taking!!) . But please understand these are real magical ritual explorations. Being observed, probed with questions, photographed or analysed can completely destroy their magical experiences and spiritual purpose of these events.
About the Organiser:
Mani Navasothy – Sri Lankan Asian, brought up as a Hindu; Wiccan High Priest (initiated in Gardnerian tradition in London); 20 yrs of Witchcraft, wicca & Coven experience; 11 years of running regular Open rituals indoors & outdoors in London; Previous Events Manager for `Pagan Federation London’ (7 yrs); Has given numerous Talks, workshops, media/radio interviews; Astrologer, published Esoteric author (6 books in KIndle), Visionary Artist. Mani integrates creativity, magic, eclectic shamanism, primal side of Witchcraft, as well as transpersonal psychology in most of the events.
Can you keep a Secret? Can you keep magic a secret? And when I say magic, I don’t mean illusions and tricks you see as part of a stage show (or a TV show). Those always have technical gimmickry to them – sleight of hands- where one hand distracts you while the other is working the trick, or smokes & mirrors! You get the picture.
When I say magic (and some purists like to use the word `magick’ with a `k’ at the end to differentiate), I mean the esoteric kind, the ritual type, the real psychic power of the mind, spells, witchy things, potions, hexes, curses, warts, eye of newt & leg of frog, venom of snake and.. (yes, poor things!) all that. Of course these days `ritual magicians’ (better word) don’t do all that animal sacrifices…Instead they do deep meditative works, self development of psychic abilities arrived at by months if not years of personal study, hard work and trial and error practises! The kind that I may or may not have or am practising.. supposedly! :-p
Back when I was a small boy in the 3rd world country of Sri Lanka, (formerly Ceylone during the British Occupation), I used to read those comics – Adventures of Mandrake the Magician. Created by Lee Falk in 1943 (who also created The Phantom Ghost who walks), Mandrake uses his legendary powers of hypnotism and illusion to combat crime. (But he also had `real’ psychic abilities which he used from time to time). With his companion Lothar, an African strongman, he fought evildoers ranging from gangsters to masters of disguise to aliens. He also had a twin brother who used his power for evil instead of good.
And there is one thing that Mandrake the Magician often says as a catchphrase when people ask him about how he managed certain things.. “A Magician never reveals his secrets!!”
Well, I also used to read (if you are interested), Tarzan the Ape Man, Phantom the Ghost Who walks, Flash Gordon space hero.. And look how those have shaped my adult life.. All of those have woven into serious (!) aspects of my growth (!!). I have a degree in Physics and avidly learn about space, time and quantum physics; I run an outdoor tribal ritual group called Hern’s Tribe; I campaign for many causes (my battles against evil), and I may or may not be a practicing ritual magician..!
Back to magic!
Within the last decade, there came the BBC saturday night series for family viewing.. a retelling of the `early years’ of Merlin the Magician (British mythical person who supposedly lived at the time of the legendary King Arthur). This TV series showed a young Merlin coming to live in Camelot.. where Magic was banned under pain of death.. a Camelot where Arthur was still a Prince. So Merlin kept his budding powers and practices of Magic a secret!
And the tag line when BBC launched the series was..of course.. “Keep the Magic Secret..!”
Okay so those are comics and TV shows.. Well, aren’t they?
If you ask any serious ritual magicians, (and again, don’t go thinking that I am one.. I may or may not be one.. ), they will tell you.. there is some power and empowerment in holding secrets..especially the deeper practises of ritual or ceremonial magic itself. Why? well a) it has to do with the power of the mind.. which requires focus and development and it can not happen if people keep prodding it.. b) secrecy keeps the practitioner safe.. as it did of many witches who during the witch trials of medieval times.. and c) in modern days, this secrecy avoids any possible negative perceptions and judgemental or prejudiced behaviour by other people – like employers, co-workers, some family & friends, people of certain religions and so on.
In this day and age where we write (blogs like this) about magic, write books, create youtube videos, give talks or workshops, appear in TV shows / interviews / documentaries (most of which I may or may not have done) and tell people – keeping our magical practices secretive can be very very hard indeed.
It is often a balance of wanting to share knowledge, skills, expertise, to help people, aid them in their own personal development, or self-healing – against keeping our own safety and privacy!
So people – who like to share what they know with others – struggle with this balance.
So if you are one of those good wise souls who wishes to share and help others, but like to preserve your privacy or safety, what do you do? do you keep the magic secret?
Not quite! You hide it in plain sight!! Perhaps..!!!
After all, isn’t that what Gerald Gardner – father of modern Wicca & Witchcraft did,,, back in early 1950’s, while Witchcraft was still illegal by law? Did he not write it all in a fiction adventure story called `High Magic’s Aid’? And when the Witchcraft Act (law) was repealed in UK, Gardner openly started to share about wicca. He was not the only one.. Others who have written about serious magic in fiction-form include Dion Fortune (her famous `Sea Priestess’ book which by sheer coincidence seems to contain so many of the Invocations and such now used by initiated Wiccans..).
But hiding in plain sight is not a luxury for people who have already declared themselves to be Practitioners of ritual or ceremonial Magic – for google remembers everything..and so do people – who copy and save online pictures, articles, web links.. and blog or put status updates ..about what they know! All these can be brought back…in weeks, months or years time ! Your revelations, once provided, can never be buried!
So what is the best way forward?
Selective revelations! In certain groups, forums, platforms – where there is a higher ratio of genuinely interested and sympathetic people.. people who will learn from you, but preserve and protect your privacy and safety..
That leads me to another blog on a topic of epic seriousness.. Who can we trust in this great big wide world of Magic?? Stay tuned..! (or subscribe to my blogs)