Do you use the Tarot cards…for personal or professional psychic readings? If so, have you stated creating your own set of unique cards? I know many people use other existing Tarot card sets.. I once had a very `strong’ magical person who said that I shouldn’t use the Crowley pack, because I won;t be able to handle it magically (yet). [It was this friend’s wife who taught me tarot …many years ago].
I believe there is no such thing as a powerful tarot card pack or not. All Tarot card packs are pretty much neutral ..or empty.. Yes, they have powerful symbols, some of which have been created by some pretty powerful magicians in the past (and present?). But in the first instance, when you get a card pack… it’s empty.. that is until you start using it..and learning those symbols, and connecting with them.. and then they may become a `powerful set’ …for you!
The best thing is for you to create your own cards… either scribbly drawings that are coloured, or use photos you have personally taken and cut and paste them (use a graphics software) into one image. This may take time..but these cards are 100% yours, once you have created them.. and they work for you..!
As part of some personal image magic, few years ago, I started creating some of the tarot cards …using mostly personal photos or photos of objects and places I have taken myself. I have he 4 Ace cards, about 4-5 major Arcana, and few minor arcana cards! At some point, I may work on completing the set..or may be never.
Above are the images of the 4 Ace cards I had done.. Apart from the Crown on the Ace of Sword, all images are from my own photos.. .. taken in my explorations.. Even the `crown’ has a few subtle alterations and additions (gems & features) that I created or added. 🙂
The images or ideals of Angels have been cropping up much in the last few days.. in tarot, in astrology, and in other places around me. So I created this bit of Art.. There is some image magic involved… Two people gave birth to this one.. though I am the one who finally fleshed him/ her out. I’ll write about that another time.. Enjoy the picture…. and may he/ she watch over you! Bright Stellar Blessings. -Mani
For a long time, many have been concerned about the way technology is advancing – thanks to the internet and the World Wide Web.
Where is it going? Who is watching? And dare I ask – what’s actually brewing within the internet… in that vortex, where Billion minds and thoughts exchange? Those who are psychic, and particularly sensitive to energies.. may have sensed it…as you hang out in the internet late at night, when all other noises have subsided, and a kind of vibe or pulse can be felt..
As Magicians, we all know about the power of Mind.. and also about Thought-Forms. So imagine the powers of all those minds…Billions now.. using the internet.. thoughts go from mind and neurons to electronic signals.. and back to neurons.. Thoughts and ideas that are recorded in their trillion million masses on computer memory..
We think it needs electricity to make it work.. all those giga bits of information.
Says who? And has anyone really thought about the quantum fluctuations, probability waves of all that information… entangling within themselves and with our minds?
Gaia Theory.. a network of living organisms…that supposedly give rise to a planet-consciousness.
And so a network of billion trillion minds interacting with electrical impulses ..? Surely it’s there… ?! I alone have been thinking about it for at least 20 years, so I can only imagine how many others have been thinking about it too.. That means it already exists….!
Gaia is already in its clutches…at his mercy. And am sure she is screaming in 1’s and 0’s ..
ps. (19/3/13). We often talk about the Web of Wyrd.. and over the past few decades, we have been making electronic webs all over the world and tying Billions of human minds to it… Ages ago, different proteins swimming in primordial soups came and locked together ..because it was convenient for survival..and made bigger living cells.. What’s to say the same is not happening in Cyber-Collective Consciousness, where bits of our billion fragmented thoughts aren’t coming together ..fitting in like jigsaw pieces.. and self-creating a electro-thought entity..? -Mani
pps. (21/3/13). I’ve had a comment from a person, but sadly there was much swearing, and personal insults (How mature!) :-p So I can not publish that comment. Am a bit astounded that someone out there can get so personally worked up about my blog post on an abstract / fantasy /thought-provoking concept …such as CyberGod. We are not talking about video games here. We are in the realm of the Collective Unconscious and Esoterica. What I write are my views. Anyone is welcome to argue counter-points logically, scientifically or esoterically – and I can respect it. Anything else is just … waste of pixels. 🙂
Thames-Isis rituals will be held in central London this year (2013). Here are some preliminary info art works created for them.
Thames-Isis (Tamesis) Rituals in London
We are planning to explore the mysteries and magic of the Goddess Isis in a series of rituals to be held by the banks of river Thames in London. (Tamesis is an old name of river Thames, and supposedly means `Thames-Isis’).
Dates & Rituals:
Saturday 3rd March : Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony (Isidias Navigatum). Ritual outline (tbc): A statue of the Goddess will be carried to the water, where flowers-wreathed women may offer mirrors so that she may see her beauty. Priests will pour milk on the sands from a pitcher shaped like Isis’s breast, then sprinkle the statue with precious perfumes. As the final part of the ritual, a small replica boat will be filled with spices and sent (out to sea) as an offering to the Goddess Isis.
Wednesday 17th July:Birthday of Isis (Night of the Cradle). Sky Goddess Nut gives birth to Isis.-– (update) This ritual will be a scaled down event on that evening by Thames. And we’ll be providing additional resources for everyone to mark and celebrate it everywhere! (or by your local river-sides!).
Saturday 16th November: (Full moon) Quests of Isis: searching, mourning and the finding of Osiris. (This is the `Samhain equivalent).
All Welcome to attend, to contact us and contribute with your creativity, knowledge & magic for these new explorations..
About this art/ photo
The above is a statue that the late Maureen Brown (Psychologist, Professional Counsellor, High Priestess of Wicca) gave me as a gift many years ago. It depicts a form of Osiris and his wife Isis. I have used a backdrop of a view of the river Thames (looking to the west from the Millennium Bridge) for this graphics. The moon is a photo that I had taken and was added to this graphics – but here’s the thing .. there really was a full moon in this river view photo in that exact spot (but it was not detailed and rather small). The statue was kept literally on the key boards of my laptop (with backdrop photo on screen) and lit by a table-lamp in just the right way to create the `moon light’. The whole thing was then obviously photographed and re-worked digitally to create this finished art. 🙂
ps. The blue `space’ background in the top photo is also an art work I created (last year)..every pixel of it drawn by me!
Feel free to copy / share the art works – as long as you give due credit. Ta 🙂
“..Listen to the words of the Star Goddess, She in the dust of whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircleth the Universe,” goes one of the lines in the Charge of the Goddess. As an astrolger and a magician / Wiccan, I am particularly fond of those lines. I take it to mean that the body of the Star Goddess is so vast that in covers and encompasses the whole Universe, and that even the mere dust from the feet of the Star Goddess are the `Hosts of Heaven’ (ie other deities, angels etc).
My knowledge of Science & Astronomy tells me that Stars and Planet and galaxies are made of vast amounts of interstellar dust and gas that have coalesced by the pull of gravitational forces to form those objects, and those gas and dust clouds of primordial universe were made of sub-atomic particles …electrons, protons, neutrons and yet smaller `objects’ such as quarks, gluons and photos.
Here on Earth, often religious prose talks of powers of god, goddess, nature, and elements – air, fire, water, earth. But these are not the fundementals of nature – atoms, subatomic particles and forces such as electromagnetism, gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces..
What is interesting now in modern times are the many theories and scientific explorations of yet more hidden entities of nature – such as Dark matter & dark energy..which are seemingly undetectable at the moment by direct means, but have been scientifically attributed to be making up the `missing mass’ of the Universe, and the hidden forces / energies responsible for the way galaxies behave – pushing each other apart (the expanding universe).
These all start to come back to the hidden nature, energy and forces that are `out there’ – not just the known forces and faces of deities but the veiled, powerful and unknown. Of course in different religions, their respective followers worship their own versions of these hidden forces and deities. In ancient Egypt (and now modern pagan traditions), the `Dark Isis’ seems to be a popular form of deity who stands for such hidden power. Dark in this sense (in my view) does not mean dangerous, evil etc but simply hidden. Returning to the idea of what existed `before the big bang’ that created the known Universe and its contents, we can start to get a feel of the reality or non-reality – the non-existing creative force that brought forth the Universe. Science has no answers there, so it is fine for a scientist (and a magician) like me and others to speculate,ponder and muse.
Creating this art was quite easy. I used an Isis statue my sister had brought from her Egypt trip as a gift for me (one I re-painted few years ago). I had the statue in front of my lap top with a backdrop of the Eclipsed Sun graphics I had previously created for my Eclipse-Magic eBook (and that was created using photos of bonfire flames and a photo of the full moon I had taken). The photo of Galaxy M106 was then overlaid and parts removed and merged. 🙂
I will say more about these concepts in future posts.. There’s quiet a bit of such thoughts in my book `Eclipse Magic Workbook’ . And more of it will be explored in the forthcoming book `Quantum Magic for Pagans’ . They both tackle the questions of looking deeper into what we call magic, religion, power and ultimately forces of nature and Deity!
By the way, in future posts, I will also be looking at some of the `fears’ people have about the `Dark Isis’. If you have thoughts to share, please leave a comment below 🙂
well, I seem to have finally started the topic that this blog was created for .. the realm where Science and Magic /Religion entangle. 🙂
Special Ritual in January 2013 (Hern’s Tribe – outdoor Pagan Group)
Journey of the Fool.
Ritual based on the first major arcana card of Tarot (The Fool) – which symbolises new beginnings and ventures. We will be doing this ritual outdoors in one of the park/ woodlands of London (tbc) – creating a Talisman and consecrating it at each of the quarter-gateways of the elements.
Saturday 12th January 2013
Gather at 2.00 pm by Tram Stop `Coombe Lane’ (5 minutes from East Croydon Railway Station)
Ritual involves walking through some hill areas to reach a view point. May not be suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
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Guess what? I didn’t get on a plane and go to the land of the ancient Aztecs or Mayas, to get photos. Below are the actual photos I have used in creating this Maya Pyramid scene. The steps were created using sections of a photo repeated and pasted. This is just for fun..
By the way, the baby I am holding in the photo is my nephew 🙂
ps. I’ll do a mini-blog another time on how the `Mayan Priest’ graphics was created. Would you believe it has features of an arch from a Church?
`The Calling’ was initially done as a painting/crayon work on A4 paper. But few years later, I took a photo of it, and whilst keeping the dragon intact and enhancing it, I added photos of April, backgrounds (countryside from Cornwall, cliffs from Hastings) by building up layers (infact the original photo of the `girl’ is a nude one, and the cloths were built up using other photos of fabric!!)
The Hern graphics (left) is quite old.. almost 6 years, and was initially created for the ritual group `Hern’s Tribe’ (something I started). You can see how the original photo of me (beardless, short cropped hair) was digitally pained and enhanced. The interlaced background of Trees came from a photo of trees i had taken in Wimbledon! Few years ago,the same art was used in A Pagan Federation magazine `Pagan Dawn’.
The eco-art `Deer Goddess’ (right) is one that my partner April and I created in Richmond park some 3-4 years ago, using twigs and pieces we found nearby. Once finished, we did some meditative work with the creation, and left it for the natural elements (and real Deers) to scatter it again. We can just imagine if a passer-by had seen it (it wa slightly hidden) and got a surprise!
Here’s me, writing these blogs week after week – since December’11, putting my thoughts of Science, Technology, and recently more Psychology and Pagan spirituality. It occurs to me that I’ve left out (till now) an important part of me from the bigger picture. I am an Artist – and have been one, all my life – long before I could talk in english, long before I believed in deities, and long before I learnt the Sciences! In fact I used to define my identity as `An Artist’! (which no doubt will shock so any who have come to know me in the recent 20 years!)
From a childhood age, I have drawn and painted (water colours) and art comes rather naturally for me – then and now – though nowadays I don’t seem to do much of it with pencils, papers & paint brushes. These days it’s mostly photographs and Graphics softwares. Unless of course it’s a bnaer or a ritual backdrop, or a mask or some prop! But in my heart of hearts, that really doesn’t count or satisfy me! Gone are the mountain ranges and sun rises, sea sides and sun-sets, farms, cows, elephants, peacocks and monkeys, old railway tracks and coal burning trains – and even some festivities of the local temples! Those were the pre-14 years of my art world. Now it’s fantasy creatures, gods and goddesses, aliens, dragons, Earth-rise on alien worlds, and Suns in artificial spaceships…
What I long for is to draw with pencils, on paper and paint with brushes and colours – get it messy and wait for those terrifying mistakes which first ruin but then vastly change and make the whole work better than planned. Yes Serendipity!
For all most 2 years I have had a dedicated website (Art of Mani) set up for my various `new’ art works.. That’s works I had created since 1985 – from the point of my arrival in England – first english comic books I created, covers for teen fictions, fantasy & visionary arts, masks, props, sculptures made of paper and even my own hair!
“Some pieces of work take literally years from start to finish- not because they are very large, but because the creative act is a force that has its own cycle, and we can never really predict it” I say in the Profile section of my Art website.
“When inspiration hits, I do quick drawings, doodles or sketches on note books- sometimes any piece of paper I can find! At some point I then sit down to draw them out / flesh them out in detail. (after many cups of coffees, television programs that just happen to be most interesting as they have never been before!). Once this is done (the agonising process of primal fire that just will not stop till it’s energy has been spent!), I put the work away- and this is where the `years’ might come in! And one day when the mood and circumstances take me, I take it out of some long forgotten folder and (after more cups of coffee) start painting! Of course once the painting starts, I become utterly involved, irritated by interruptions of having to eat, drink and sleep.. till the work is done. Occasionally mistakes happen, water spills, (worse- coffee spills!) (even worse, I accidentally rinse my paint brushes in the coffee cup!) But the joy has always been in correcting the mistakes and finding that the finished painting turned out far better than planned! Serendipity?!! “
This is all very well, talking about what I wrote in my Art website, but why have I not given any serious attention …to that website or even my art works? .
I don’t know why..
Actually I do. It’s my writing.. it takes, uses and drains almost all of my creative times, and so the Artist in me never has enough energy to stand, stare and pick up a pencil and paper..and be lost in those imaginary worlds within made manifest on paper.
I keep telling myself – that when I have written all the things I have to write out of my system (!), I’ll stop, and get to my art..and give the rest of my life to art!
But what if those days never come?
I realise suddenly, the Artist and writer in me must co-exist, just as the Scientist & Magician in me exist together – switching from one to another. After all, there’s plenty of space in my mind, for such sub-personalities 🙂