Tag Archives: The Pagan Federation

Blast from the past: Pagan Dawn Magazine No164 (Autumn 2007)

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164 (published by The Pagan Federation)
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164 (published by The Pagan Federation).
ISSN No: 1357-5147

I was just writing about moving hose..  and sifting through old documents in the shed (and the Garage is still untouched .. 😦  )  Well, here’s another thing I found downstairs, in the corner of a bookshelf in the dinning room, burried under a lot of old videos (yeap, they all have to be either given to charity shops or thrown out!)

As some may know, I started organising Open rituals & events for the London District of The Pagan Federation, from December 2004, till recently (Spring 2012). But of course, apart from the hundreds of documents, web entries, e-mails and flyers and programmes that I myself had created for all those events, there is no `external’ evidence (Am going by the strict wikipedia guidelines!  For any claim to be valid, some entry bya  3rd party publication needs to be provided).  This is a key principle for all budding Esoteric Entrepreneurs – especially Authors, Writers, Tutors, Public Figures etc.

So me finding this Magazine is  quite valuable indeed.

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- contents(art work by Mani Navasothy)
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- contents
(art work by Mani Navasothy)

This single issue was edited by Kitty McIntyre before Sheena Morgan took over as Editor in the subsequent Samhain/Winter 2007 Issue of Pagan Dawn. In this the following items appeared that were relevant to me.

  • Art works (on Content page3, page 23, page 27)
  • Credit to Artists / Artists profiles (page 49)
  • Outline of the events I had been organising in PF-London (page 14) – in `Around the Federation’
  • Jean Williams’ account of the `Gaia3 Convention’ that I had conceived and organised (page 32 & 33) – where my then title as `London Events Organiser & Deputy District Manager’ is stated in print.

Such published  documents (3rd party) where one’s works are credited / cited – are important  for any and all Authors, Artists & Experts. These all fall under`professional validations’ – and we do need them in the modern worlds, where trust & credibility building are important for our every ventures.

So here are those pages I just mentioned.

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Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- artists profile for Mani Navasothy
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- artists profile for Mani Navasothy

In the Artist profile for my entry, I  begin by saying,

`Art is very sacred to me. I often paint long into the night and get lost in it. In the morning what I see seems surprisingly alien and amazing to me.’   I go on to say, `I’d categorise my art as fantasy, science fiction and visionary. The human elements, environment and magic are the themes.’   Interestingly, I finish by saying, `I hate selling or loosing my work – it makes me wonder how a spider would feel when we break its webs!’

I say interestingly, because, that was 2007, and this is me now on the eve of 2013 – where I am planning to sell some of my old and new art works. Well, reality is, we all have to do something to earn a living – and to use the Spider analogy, we have to use our own resources to make that living..  A spider spurts its resin and spins a web – to catch its vital food. Likewise, we must use our skills and talents to create or provide things which in turn bring us an earning.

Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- p32- gaia3 convention
Pagan Dawn autumn 2007 -No164- p32- gaia3 convention

Here, then District  Manager Jean Williams, says of the Gaia3 Convention for PF-London,

“Suitable venues in central London are expensive so we were very nervous about embarking on this venture, but the vision and infectious enthusiasm of Mani Navasothy, London Events Organiser and Deputy District Manager, soon attracted a team of eager helpers determined to make it a success.”

I shall do a detailed blog – another time- under Esoteric Enterprises – on the now chiseled in stone event, Gaia3 Convention’ – how I conceived it, named it, came up with innovative ways of funding it (we had no money to begin with!) and how its unique themes and activities evolved. (Feature `Wyrd wall’ threaded through and became the 4th PF-London convention some 3 years later..  after Gaia-Fortuna & Gaia-Sol conventions).

-Mani Navasothy

related  stories / links

Memory Lane: Workshops at Witchfest Uk 2003 

My cleaning up work on Wikipedia entry for The Pagan Federation (examples of editing & citing references)

Image magic: Creating the PF-London logo

Pagan Federation appeals against Charity Commission’s Rejection (my thoughts)

News is circulating on the internet platforms, that the Pagan Federation has made an appeal against the rejection by Charity Commission (UK). The website www.ThirdSector.co.uk has reported the news that Pagan Federation is appealing against the Charity Commission’s decision to reject the Pagan Federation’s application.

“The Charity Commission rejected the federation’s application in October, arguing that it did not fulfil the ‘essential characteristics’ of a religion or its criteria for public benefit…..

…..The commission rejected the federation’s application for charitable status in October. It said it did not consider that the federation fulfilled the essential characteristics of a religion or its criteria for public benefit….”   

I was aware that the Pagan Federation had been rejected in its application to seek Charity Status the first time (years ago), and another application was being prepared by the Pagan Federation some while ago (December 2010).  I was contacted by the Vice President of the Pagan Federation for some information on the Ope Rituals I was managing in London for Pagan Federation since December 2004. The VP’s request concerned outlines of  whether the Pagan Federation asks for payment for these open rituals,  are people let in free if they don’t have money and so on. I suppose it was about showing evidence of how the Pagan Federation serves the general public.

A simple research on the Charity Commission’s website will show anyone that for an entity to be recognised as a Charity, it needs to show that the entity’s activities must be benefiting the public (`for the benefit of the public’ ).  The Charity Commissions’ website gives several examples of `Objects’ (Objectives) which satisfy this requirement. Categories such as `advancement of religion’, `advancement of education’, `advancement of arts, culture, heritage or Science’ are some examples.  I have been researching all these several years ago, when I was preparing to create Gaian Times – the eco-spiritual organisation (initially as a not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee – very much like The Pagan Federation has been since year 2000).

I am only guessing here – with my knowledge being specific to the Pagan Federation’s usual activities and organisational structure, it’s Constitution, its documentations at Companies House where any companies are registered (free for all to view), and my own research of Charity commission application guidelines.  I suppose the problem that the Pagan Federation may have faced  could have been in demonstrating how its existing practices, activities and Constitutions are serving the general public (bearing in mind it was created to be a campaigning organisation `to promote and defend the pagan traditions’ – which is applicable to a specific community (although it could be said that anyone who wanted to know about Paganism can enter it and benefit from it).

Reading the online reporting at ThirdSector website, I found the following passage to be rather worrying.

“..Winder said winning charitable status could give the federation the legitimacy and recognition of being one of the official religions of the British Isles…”

Why am I worried? Well, in the first instance, I do hope that this online reporting is a journalist hash-job of taking full explanations given by the Pagan Federation Officer and reducing it to a short quote, where valuable information is lost, as well as sentences become `out of context’. Otherwise this quote does not make sense. Why?

Because The Pagan Federation is not and never has been nor ever will be – a religion! The Pagan Federation is an organisation that campaigns for pagan traditions, for pagan religions, for pagan people’s rights just as other people have their rights.

If The Pagan Federation did indeed apply to become a Charity on the basis of it being a religion, of course it is not going to succeed in its charity status for that reason. I am aware that recently the Druid Network gained Charity Status – (No: 1138265 – THE DRUID NETWORK).  Their primary activities are stated as, “INFORMING, INSPIRING AND FACILITATING DRUIDRY AS A RELIGION”.  Now this is quite clever statement. It does not say Druidry IS a religion, or that the Druid Network is a Religion. Rather its activity is `Informing, inspiring and facilitating..’  a particular product…where the product being `Druidry as a religion’ – which implies…its campaigning Druidry as a religion. (It does not claim it already is). Furthermore, it does not seem to limit this campaigning (ie informing, inspiring and facilitating..) to a particular group or community. Anyone – general public- can be informed, inspired and facilitated to!

I am not sure exactly what wordings were used in the Pagan Federation’s Charity status application – but I do fear that appealing on the grounds of definitions of what a religion is, and how paganism fits into all that is a long and winding road – can be full of many challenges.

It is my suggestion that the Pagan Federation convenes a big ol’ committee meeting  / Directors meeting/  members meeting to debate and discuss changes as follows..

  • a) change its basic constitution to broaden it, then,
  •  b)  send in an amendment to its `Articles of Association’ (memorandum, Objects in particular) such that those reflect a `general serving nature’ to Companies House (Government body which manages Company Registrations).. and
  • c) operate under this new system for at least a year or two, and proactively serve general public – (with such things as setting up various eco-centric initiatives (note   ECO.. not Ego), charitable activities like collecting money and sending it to places in parts of the world where it’s needed.., or even such things as running open workshops and courses specifically titled `Paganism and magic for enhancing the lives of general public’   etc
  • d) and finally compile all this `real evidence of serving the public and the world’ – and send it off with a new application to Charity Commission (3rd time lucky?)

I have been a member of the Pagan Federation for 15+ years, and been actively serving it for 8 years- organising those rituals, conventions, socials, picnics.. until few months ago. And though some `new radical elements’ within it   now seem to have a hobby of attacking and bullying me in online platforms, I still have the best wishes and growth for the Pagan Federation. I think I promised a few Wiccan Elders that I would.

-Mani Navasothy

related links

Gaian Times eco-spiritual organisation & magazine

Charity Commission

Companies House

Druid Network

Pagan Federation

Wikipedia – Pagan Federation

ps. A few minority fail to understand that a personal blog is all about the person discussing, debating, offering views and generally being  `personal’. This one is one of my personal broadcasting channels (my other platform is Gaian2012 – youtube channel).  That reminds me, soon,  I will be discussing (under Esoteric Enterprises) how everyone can and should utilize similar online-tools.