Tag Archives: wicca & Witchcraft

Woodland Wicca – Yule / MidWinter Ritual 2017 (17th Dec’17)

“Winter approaches.. night-hours are long. Day light is short. And in the deep caverns below the Earth, the great Goddess gives birth to the Sun-Child! We gather to mark this sacred event and celebrate Winter Solstice”.

Practical Details —————–

*** Fee: £3 ***

Date : Sunday 17th December 2017

venue: Queen’s Woods  (gather at Woodman’s pub first)

meeting point: Please gather in the beer garden of `The Woodman’s pub’ (Archway Road, High Gate) between 2pm- 2.30pm. We will be walking together to the woods (15 min walk) to do ritual..

Duration : 2pm to 6pm (includes meeting at pub first).

Ritual——————–

Details near the time.

Out ritual Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.

Magical behaviour———–

**From the moment you arrive at sacred space in woods, you are kindly asked to observe stillness and reverence throughout the ceremony. All willing are expected to participate – during which moments, you are asked to be calm and not disruptive of their inner-work. **

Magical Safety ————-

** Once Circle is cast, we do not allow anyone to enter the sacred space..or leave without an appointed Priest/Priestess opening a doorway in the circle. If you arrive late or must leave at any point, please seek the appointed Priest/Priestess for this. Please do not Crash the circle – as it can cause magical weakness for the whole ritual and let outside energies enter or leak our own built up energy**

RITUAL items to bring:

– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

ALL WELCOME————–
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
** This event is NOT suitable for children.**

What to bring/  Food & drinks to share ——————-
Here are some suggestions–

-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).

Cutlery etc: Plastic cups, paper plates, forks & knives, spare bags (to pack items not eaten), bin bags – we usually bring these. But if you can bring some too – that will be good.

Torch light – Some evening gatherings finish in dark.  So a torch light helps to find things when tidying up & packing.
Seating : Folding seats / ground sheet ( for your self to sit on) – optional.

**wear sensible outdoor cloths***.

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

Join our meetup for this event   Woodland Yule/ MidWinter ceremony 2017 (London)

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Halloween 2017 – Lantern-lit walk & Tamesa river of Souls Ritual by Thames (London 31Oct17)

Join us on Halloween Night in Central London on  Monday …31st October 2017..  We will be facilitating our annual `Thames: River of Souls / Samhain’ Ceremony to honour the Spirit of Thames & Ancestors. This time we will begin with a ceremonial procession along river Thames (from outside the Globe Theatre, and walk along bankside, past Tate Modern, Blackfriars Bridge, Oxo Tower, Gabriel’s Wharf, and end just outside National Theatre (the circular concrete `performance’ area along the riverside).  We hope to do our ceremony in this space – subject to local circumstances / crowd etc.    (or do ceremony nearby).

This is the actual Halloween night.. In the midst of fun-people in London will be in fancy dress…So Wear Fancy dress…Masks.. Witchy Cloaks.. Wizard attire.. Ghostly look…Werewolves & Vampires welcome! Bring your carved Pumpkins… Lanterns with light or candle in it..!

Our ceremonies are open to everyone, of all paths and religions.

Bring some easy snacks & drinks to share..for the `Feasting with Death’ (tradition at Samhain).

Stay as long as you like.. and leave when you want to.

Fees:   suggested donation £2 to the `Ferryman’ (for your underworld journey)

Details (tbc) ————

Meeting point 

We will be gathering outside the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (riverside gate) / Bankside Pier area at 7.30pm.   After designating ritual roles, getting our lanterns & costumes setup, we’ll begin a slow and social walk along bankside..

We’ll be walking along south bank riverside walk… from Globe Theatre, past Millennium bridge (south side), Tate Modern Gallery,  Blackfriars overground station / bridge,  Oxo Tower, Gabriel’s Wharf, and finally end just outside National Theatre.  Our Halloween ceremony is expected to be held in the open public circular concrete `performance’ area along the riverside (see photo attached)- this is subject to local circumstances, other crowd etc.If it’s not possible there, we’ll be nearby so keep an eye out.

Meeting time/ shedule: 
Please get to outside steps of Shakespear’s Globe Theatre / Bankside pier by 7.30pm. We’ll get organised and begin walk at 8pm.   We hope the 1000m walk will only take us about 1 hour at an extremely leisurely procession/ festive walking speed. 🙂  So we’ll be gathering outside the National Theatre area (end of walk) by 9pm..and do a short Samhain ritual by about 9.15pm.   Then we’ll continue socialising.

Ritual:

Due to the public space, the ritual team will be organised in advance ..so we can arrive at end point and perform the ritual without much fuss.   There is bound to be general public watching..  so we’ll be asking experienced ritualists to help in advance ( 1 week before) to volunteer for parts and get ritual prepared.. and be in costume../  masks.

**More details of actual ritual near the time** (come back and check here near the time or join our meetup event Tamesa Halloween 2017

How to find us:   There’ll be a number of us ..gathering by the Globe Theatre area by river. We’ll already be in ceremonial clothing (robes, cloaks), wearing Samhain ritual masks, carrying lanterns, staff etc..  (strictly no swords…no knife!!)

Cloths/what to bring:

-Wear warm/ waterproof comfortable cloths… Please check weather for London for friday evening and dress appropriate. Wear good footwear..as standing/ walking for longer duration can get hard on the feet.

Food/drinks:
-Please bring small picnic-style food and drinks to share.
-Bring things for self.. and if feeling generous, something to share with others..

Safety notes: Everyone is asked to take extra care with their own personal safety as we’ll be in a busy public place.  Keep valuables with you at all times..  or with a trusted friend who is not playing a big role in ritual.   beware of thieves/ pickpockets, any silly protesters (who don’t like pagans) and may try to cause a wrangle.   If this happens..just step away from it..  do not be baited..  and just get out asap…and get far away to a safer place.

No swords…no athames..or other `real’ weapons – or anything that might alarm the general public /police. We play safe and nice.. And you are responsible for your own good behaviour and health & safety!!

With bright blessings

– Mani Navasothy

Join our Meetup for this event – Tamesa Halloween 2017

 

Woodland Wicca Samhain 2017 – Seasonal Ritual & Halloween Gathering (28Oct17)

Join us for the evening to mark SAMHAIN – the night for honoring our ancestral spirits! Outdoor Samhain is particularly intense because of the real dark (wet, windy) environment among trees and bushes that are already bare …! As evening falls, there is an eeriness that also becomes apparent.. Once at the ritual space, you will be immediately involved in the ritual – of the calling of the DarkLord, and communing with ancestors. Some divination work will commence before feasting.

• This is an open ritual held in an outdoor park/woods with easy public access..  Out ritual Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get  involved in the actual ritual. 

Please read this info section fully to get a good idea of what is involved, so that you are better magically prepared. Thank you. 

• There is a Fee of £3 which you pay The ferryman at the beginning of the event.

About samhain: 

“Samhain is a festival for the dead and ancestors. Death is seen as a transition from one phase of life to another (The Death Card in Tarot has similar meaning), or from one incarnation to the next. This rite invokes the God an Goddess of the underworld. The Dark Lord opens the gateway between our world and the underworld and invites all to feast (commune) with the dead. At Samhain the veil between world is thin, and so it is perfect time for the art of divination and mediumship.”  www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )

*new date* Date: Saturday 28th October 2017.

Fee: £3

venue: Queen’s woods.

Meeting point:  Woodman’s Pub (garden area), Archway Road, High Gate.

Please meet at The Woodman’s Pub (Archway Road) from 3.00pm. You will be led to the woods at sunset (4.40pm exactly) where you will pay the `ferryman’ your fee, and enter ritual space!

schedule:  

  • Pub meet & greet  3.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Walk to woods : 4.00pm
  • Ceremony begins at 4.40pm  (at Sunset).

***This event is organic – and is expected to last 90 minutes  including meditative & stillness, ritual drama, an audience with The Dark Lord, and Samhain magic (communing with Ancestral spirits & rebirth work) .  There will be slow chanting, drumming at various sections, and a small ritual flame in a cauldron **  After the formal end, there will be some feasting in sacred space/ circle by the Altar, and a return to the Woodman’s pub for more socials..**

Magica behaviour:

**From the moment you arrive at sacred space in woods, you are kindly asked to observe stillness and reverence throughout the ceremony.  All willing are expected to participate – during which moments, you are asked to be calm and not disruptive of their inner-work. **

Magical Safety: 

** Once Circle is cast, we do not allow anyone to enter the sacred space..or leave without an appointed Priest/Priestess opening a doorway in the circle.  If you arrive late or must leave at any point, please seek the appointed Priest/Priestess for this.  Please do not Crash the circle – as it can cause  magical weakness for the whole ritual and let outside energies enter or leak our own built up energy**

RITUAL  outline  (subject to changes) 

• Opening, Sweeping  & Consecration

• Circle casting & calling quarters

• energy raising chant/ spiral dance

• Invocations of Crone Goddess & Dark Lord

• Crone Goddess magic-  burning of regrets.

• DarkLord Magic –  Seasonal magic – Opening of Gateway to Underworld, communing / honouring the dead & ancestors.

• Audience with Dark Lord (tbc) – attendees go and meet  the Dark Lord 1-2-1 in a separate space for few minutes each (optional).

• Blessing of Cakes & Wine

•  *devocations  (* At Samhain, circle is NOT closed)

• Feasting & Socials

RITUAL items to bring: 

– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

ALL WELCOME: 
-All Pagans of any spiritual are welcome..
-Non-pagans, friends/ families & children of pagans are welcome.

FOOD & DRINKS TO SHARE: 
Here are some suggestions–

-Home made/ baked items are exceptionally welcome (Bread, cakes, buns, salads, soup, pre-cooked potatoes).
-Wine & Mead are popular for the pre-ritual social and for feasting & socials afterwards!
– shop-bought items (sausage rolls, short-eats).
-Cheese / ham/ butter/ crisps/ dips
-Chicken (cooked pieces)
– Water / soft drinks/ tea & coffee in flasks
-vegetarian food/ vegan food
(Basically any items that add towards a sensible feast/ meal).

Halloween Costume

You are welcome to dress up in your Halloween best cloaks, robes, shamanic attires etc.    Bring pumpkins, masks, glow-lights, food & drinks to share…

-Mani Navasothy   (Author, Teacher, Wiccan High Priest )

—————Wicca Resources/ books /courses by Mani———–

If you are interested in Wicca & Witchcraft, formal coven work, initiation and training, personal study, then the following will be useful for you:

• Our websitewww.WitchcraftAndMagic.Uk   – check it out for extensive articles & videos on wicca & Witchcraft;

• eBook  `Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch‘   – written by Mani (Wiccan High Priest with 20+ yrs of experience in craft, coven & initiation).

• eCourse – e-Witch Apprentice study course . (home study course in 9 modules. study at your own pace.  Contact with Tutor for e-mail support. Includes ritual work, transpersonal psychology, all wicca subjects, tool making).

Wicca Course in London- (in 3 sessions) Outdoors in Woods (September & October 2017)

This is an outdoor experiential course (in 3 parts), covering all the basic principles, practices & ritual magic within Wicca – as it has been generally practised in the UK for the past 20 years (based on the form of Wicca founded/ propagated by Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente and many other elders of The Craft.

It is suitable for all beginners, but each subject is covered in greater depths,  and includes meditations, pathworking, and magical / ritual work – to embed what you are learning!

You may attend one or more.

• Part 1:   Sacred Space & Energy  (sunday 10th Sept’17)

• Part2:   Horned Gods & Moon Goddesses  (Sunday 24th Sept’17)

• Part 3:  Ritual Magic, Wheel of the year, Covens & Initiations (Sun 15th October’17)

 Course Fee:  £13   (previous fee£18)  per person per session.   Book in advance to confirm a space.   (discretionary discount available for those with financial challenges. Please contact Mani via private message)

Time:  10.30am to 5pm.

venue: Wimbledon Woods.

meeting point:   Wimbledon Windmill Tea Room,  Windmill Road, SW19 5NQ  (we then go into the woods for the course).

Getting there:    From Wimbledon or Putney, take the bus No 93. Alight at bus stop `Parkside Hospital’. Go into `Windmill Road’ and walk about 10mins to get to the Tea Rooms/cafe and meet us there. Tutor will be waiting by the outside seating area.

This place has free car park / toilet facilities. Car park fills up so get there early to park.

———– Course Contents (please DO NOT copy )—————–

Wicca Course outdoors London- Autumn 2017 - part 1 of 3 by Mani Navasothy

Part 1:   Sacred Space & Energy (10th Sept’17)-  

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

  • Chakra system of personal energy centres will be explained, with a practical meditation to experience this;
  • An energy attuning pathworking will be led by tutor (using 4 element imagery, as well as growing horns & branches, and connecting to the Earth centres using imagery of growing roots.
  • Consecrations – you’ll first see a demonstration of  purifying and blessing, using Salt & Water,  incense and Candle / lantern,  the tools to use, and the usual wiccan words; Then each student will get a chance to practise the consecrations;
  • Circle casting:   Using your own wand, athame or the tutor’s wand,  you will learn the visualisation, energy work and practise casting a magic circle.
  • Elements & Quarters:     The reasons and methods of calling/ invoking the elementals at the quarters inside a magic circle will be explained and demonstrated with words and symbols (invoking pentagrams, and element triangles) to be drawn;  You will then practise this;
  • Transpersonal qualities:   There will be further explanations of the qualities invoked with elements, colour and symbolic correspondences.  An exercise will also be  undertaken by us – for internal elemental exploration and transpersonal balance.
  • Witches Rune:   Often used in Circles for energy raising (creative poetry written by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern Witchcraft).   We will allocate some time to exploring the Witche’s Rune, the symbolism inherent in it, and have several practice chants of it.

 

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Book for Wicca course – part 1 (10th Sept’17)   £13

 

Wicca Course outdoors London- Autumn 2017 - part 2 of 3 by Mani Navasothy

Part 2:   Working with God & Goddess in Wicca (24th Sep’17):  

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

  • God forms in Wicca:   This includes Cernunnos, Hern, Pan, Green Man, Dark Lord (Death), Sun God, Odin, Osiris …amongst others.   The symbology of Horns, hooves, antlers are explained, as well as some discussion on the demonising (Pagan god seen as satan/ devil) of the god by non-pagans. We’ll deal with any hidden fears, old conditionings and prejudices, and work transpersonally to reconnect with the Horned God of Wicca and his empowering wildwood energies. Chants will be taught and used.
  • Goddess form in Wicca:   We’ll explore the Triple-Goddess imagery used in Wicca- maiden, mother and crone, as well as the various examples – Dianna the Huntress, Isis , Cailleach, Hecate, Gaia and more…
  • The God & Goddess cycle in Wicca explained with diagrams and notes- ie the maiden Persephone’s abduction at Autumn,  motherhood, rejuvenated Bride arriving back to land at Imbolc;  Marriage of God & Goddess at Beltane;  the sacrifice of the God at Lammas; coming of Dark Lord at Samhain; Birth of Sun-child at Yule and more.
  • Invocations, evocations and Charges of God & Goddess :  What happens after circle is cast and energy raised in a coven?   How are the god & Goddess brought into the Circle?  Who carries those energie?  What is the Drawing down of the Moon?   And Sun?  How does working with God & Goddess empower Witches?   All will be explained with brief demonstration of postures.
  • We’ll go through some invocations and learn to use them.  (which you can use in your own or group rituals).
  •  Charge of the Goddess – the poetry work created by Doreen Valiente – mother of modern witchcraft will be looked.
  • Cup and sword pathworking – to meet the God and Goddess.
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Book for Wicca course – part 2 (24th Sept’17)   £13

 

Wicca Course outdoors London- Autumn 2017 - part 3 of 3 by Mani Navasothy

Part 3:   Ritual Magic, Wheel of the year, Covens & Initiations in Wicca (15th Oct’17)  

You’ll experientially learn about the following :

  • Principles of Magic & Divination explained using the hexagram;
  • Main forms of ritual magic practised in coven-wicca explained and demonstrated.
  • Use of magical tools –  brief explanation of main tools & their uses in a circle will be covered ;
  • Wheel of the Year – 8 main seasonal festivals (Imbolc to Yule) explained with their themes and main magic.
  • Coven structures,  initiation degree systems; some preparations and quests that seekers of initiation must undergo (no oathbound coven secrets will be divulged! But published materials will be talked about, and any misconceptions/ fears you have will be addressed as long as it does not breach wiccan secrecy oaths.
  • All about your Witch-Name :  What is it? Why?  How do you go about choosing one?  When is it used? and more.
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Book for Wicca course – part 3 (15th Oct’17)   £13

 

What to bring ————————————

For your own comfort, please bring any food/drinks lunch (Please avoid eating during course delivery, unless otherwise stated on the day !);

  • bring flask of hot drinks.
  • ***Bring comfortable cushion/ mat to sit on, as well as a blanket / throw to wrap up ..during meditative work (or if it’s just cold).
  • Please wear warm coats, socks (those ankle socks are pointless…as gnats and mosquitos will get you !), scarf..
  • We’ll have some wine for ceremonial parts of the course & for a bit of social after
  • Strictly no exotic substance/ drugs etc!
  • Note books/ pen .

————————————————————

  • Recording / photography policy  :  No Photography during course delivery & practise, or any private recording by phones/ dictaphones.
  • Course notes  by Tutor:    Some printed notes will be provided.
  • Rain cover:  If the weather proves changeable / wet on the day, a tarp cover will be set up.

Bright Blessings
-Mani Navasothy
(Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest)

Wicca course Tutor - Mani navasothy

A copyright note:  I’ve been running these (particularly woodland-based) `Wiccan Apprentice’ courses for many years, as 1-day courses, 3-part courses and 5-part courses (since 2006), and as e-witch Apprentice course (9 modules) since 2012.   While the subject and contents of Wicca do not exclusively belong to me or anyone, I am an initiated Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest with authority to teach and train others, and  this particular way of grouping Wicca topics and delivering them has been my own `innovation’ since 2006, as evidenced by records (flyers, blogs, website publicit & course notes)  that I am able to produce!  Anyone embarking on teaching Wicca should start from ground up and devise their own form syllabus/ grouping.

A note on charging a fee:   While for decades the teaching and running of courses on Wicca has been done by hundreds of established Wiccans/ Elders of the Craft (for a fee), the process of actual Initiating someone (properly prepared) into a Coven has always been done freely and without any fee, by all respectable Coven leaders including myself. The fees we charge are for the preparation of courses, organising an event and giving our time as Teachers.

An it harm none? Video on Wiccan Rede

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.

You can follow Mani’s Esoteric blogs (QuantumPhoenix) at
http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

You can like & interact with Mani on facebook via page:
http://www.facebook.com/ManiNavasothy

 

 

So you want a Wiccan Initiation?! (full article by Mani Navasothy)

So you want to get Initiated?  

Article  (c) Mani Navasothy  – Wiccan High Priest

If you are reading this article, then I imagine you belong to one of the following categories:

  • You are seeking initiation, or are just interested or curious about initiations (non-initiate).
  • You are against initiations and want materials to argue against (non-initiate).
  • You have been initiated already (or you have initiated others) and want to know what I may have to say.

All of these supposes that the `initiation’ we are talking about (about to) is one of those formal, human engineered initiations. That is to say – one that is created by one or more Priests/ Priestesses for the purpose  of an individual going through them. It can be pat of a solitary working, or as part of joining a Wiccan/Witch coven.  (Discussions and thoughts about differences between  Wicca & Witchcraft are found in another article, so I will use those terms loosely here).

Let  me address the second category first! Whatever I am writing in this article comes from my personal experiences of about 15 years of participating in initiatory Wiccan covens in the UK. I have also initiated a number of people into Wicca. I am qualified to write about my experiences and thoughts, and opinions. And before anyone jumps on the matter of me revealing `secrets’ of initiations, they really should just visit a big bookshop (for real) and browse through the shelf on wicca / occultism – because hundreds of other people have written about it all. Even novices who have never run a coven or initiated others and taken responsibility for guiding others, seem to write about Wicca these days.

If you are one of those who has been initiated recently, then this article may have additional insights for you.  You really should book time with your initiator(s) soon to go through your experiences, insights, questions and thoughts on your personal experiences. It is a valuable meeting that will benefit you, and them! Gone are the archaic days where initiators act like walking-gods (or Dictators) and `ride’ their initiates hard. We don’t put up with that sort of behaviour in the modern world. Ancient or modern, initiations and the people involved reflect and must also move with the times. Hierarchy that worked 200 years ago in ancient Greece or even covens in 1950’s just won;t be applicable in the modern era.

Coven leaders used to `give’ the `witch name’ to their initiates at initiations in the early covens of  1950’s, 60’s (or even in recent times). But this is something I personally do not agree on!  Leaving aside arguments and logic-chopping about Fatalists and what’s `fated’, my insights on the matter is that- the first conditioning we human beings ever get from the moment of birth (or even before)  is our very name! We don’t choose it. Our parents, relatives, guardians, foster-parents, social service officers, adopters and others name us! And we grow up with the energy of that name that has been given. And unless you are one who chose to change your name legally by deed-poll, you are still bound by that conditioning.  And choosing your own `witch name’ or identity is possibly the most liberating and empowering act one could ever do! So if an initiator is going to give you a name, then they are not giving you freedom, but more slavery! And in any case, freedom can not be given. It is a right, and when it fails, it must be taken!

Let’s get back to initiations!  And the first category of people reading this:  You are interested in, or are about to go through a Wiccan initiation.

If you are about to go through one that a coven or individual is preparing for you, then I hope you have had  plenty of time to think about and explore your reasons for this.

  • Why do you want to be initiated?
  • Are you fully aware of the expectations the coven or that initiator has from you, once you go through it?

Practising Witchcraft and/or Wicca does not require one to be initiated into a coven or wicca by others! Once you embark on that path, or awaken to that path by a series of coincidences and synchronous events, initiatory experiences start happening for you! I guarantee that!!  It may be little things or big life-splitting events! There will be challenges, hardship and difficulties, in equal measure to all the harmony, depth, spiritual insights and rewards.  (but most humans tend to only notice the `problems’ ).  What I am trying to say here is that fate itself (and the Gods and Goddesses) will put you through initiatory experiences! You don’t need a man or a woman in a Priest/ Priestess /leader/ guru role to do that.

And here’s an important thing to be aware of:  even of you are going through an initiation that is devised by a coven leader or a High Priest/ High Priestess, they can not engineer the experiences. The initiatory experiences will either being to build up –before- you have your initiation, or it will stat to happen –after- you formal initiation ceremony or ritual.  A word of warning – sometimes you might go through weeks or months before these start to happen. It’s like a lit-fuse. You don’t quite know when it will explode and start to manifest.  Another word of warning: the `euphoric’ experiences you may get during a coven initiation, while giving you a feeling of spiritual well-being, are not always going to be the only things you will experience. Don’t fall into a false sense of spiritual security. There will be challenges ahead- and every single oath you have taken will come back to test you in the months and years ahead! In fact, you will always be challenged and tested. It’s not a done deal. It’s an ongoing partnership – with the deities!! (You have been warned!)

So why do you want to get initiated? To learn more; to get deeper wisdom; To serve the world; To teach others…  Ah, the responses are endless and many. Trust me, I’ve given many of them myself (I went and looked at my old magical diaries of pre-initiation days!).  Some of those responses make me shrink with shame and embarrassment. Oh, no one else has seen them, but I know. It’s amazing how I was trying to pull the wool over those Gods of mine!  Oh, they knew all along, am sure, like a parent who can see through the lies of a young child.

So I ask again – Why do you want to get initiated? Be utterly honest with your self now.  Write it down. And them read what you wrote, and burn it if you have to. But be honest 100% with your self. Then, if you have to, go ahead and create those `other’ reasons which everyone else will accept and applaud you for!

Am I being harsh? Yes, probably. Okay so let me ease up a bit.

Reasons – real ones – for initiations vary. Here are some perfectly valid personal reasons.

  • Initiation is attractive and scary at the same time. (mystery of the Craft).
  • Initiation is (currently) the only way for you to join a coven or a magical group (joining a group). (there are training groups you can join and explore spirituality & magic, without getting initiated, by the way! I know, because I myself have run many of them).
  • It’s a deep-rooted calling and you just can’t explain it (intuitive).
  • Serious magic can only be learnt after initiation (or so you believe).
  • Your friends / partner have been initiated – and they either want you to be initiated, or you don’t want to be left behind.
  • You are writer / Journalist, looking to learn some things and then write about (this has happened many times!). Warning: Many who start off this way have ended up `really’ being pulled in to the mysteries and become `genuine’. Initiation is a door and anyone who walks through it –be in genuine  Seeks or  attention seeking Fools – are going to find their lives transformed sooner or later for real! Gods can wait a very long time!!

There’s plenty of other reasons, but I wanted to highlight some, to give you a feel of the cross-section of reason. Whatever your own reasons, know that they are valid for you! (That applies even the journalists, and wannabe get-rich Gurus !)

Expectations of your initiator is something you must be fully aware of – so please have a good long genuine discussion. Coven leaders and initiators are not gods or goddesses (unless you fancy them that way, in which case, you should read my  article on `Sexuality in Wicca & Paganism’). You should be able to sit and talk to them freely. By all means, learn from them, and respect them, (and even love them), but for Heaven’s sake, don’t get into the pit-fall of putting them on a pedestal  (even if they want that!).

So talk to them – about what they expect from you, once they have initiated you into Wicca and/or their coven.  Initiations have many purposes – one of them is joining individuals into the group-mind magically. Initiations are not to be treated as one-night-stands in wicca! It’s a long-term committed relationship – between you and the coven.

  • Most initiators in Wicca will expect you to attend coven and coven socials regularly, and for long periods. We are talking about at least the 8 festivals, a number of full moon/ new moon rituals (total of between 12- 20 rituals per year), training sessions and/or meetings (once a month – either in coven set-up or as one-to-one with your initiators) and of course coven/group socials – where members meet together at coven-home, or meet-up and go to pagan events, moots, festivals etc.
  • These things may not be exclusively stated or even expected – but trust me – there is highly likely to be these expectations. Initiators expect the people they initiate to stick around, working magically with them  and coven for a good 3-4 years. In that time, they not only teaching and training them, but also investing their magic, hopes and ideals in their initiates. It is all about passing on knowledge and wisdom. That is part of the magical contract. And that is also how the wiccan lineage and magical current continues.

Not many people actually talk about this, possibly for fear of new Seekers becoming afraid of commitment and never joining.  But it’s best all around to be clear from the start. No point joining a group, then giving the coven and initiators the run-around with excuses and explanations as to why one could not attend a meeting. Once pr twice is fine, but when ongoing, it shows a deeper lack of commitment.  And there is that magical axiom – As within- So without.  If life keeps throwing distractions at you and stops you going to coven, then, the question to ask is – is it fate that’s manifesting those distractions, or something deep within you?!

That brings me to another core ideal in magical traditions. Know Thyself!   And be mindful of what you are thinking- feeling – doing – sensing – at all times. It’s not easy. It’s hard at first. It may feel like you mind doesn’t stop. And that you are `on-call’ all the time. But this phase will pass, and you’ll learn to be `normal’ about being so mindful. For example, as a Physicist, I am always aware of forces and material limitations of the objects around me. And as a magician, I am aware that I am sensing (esoteric) energy all the time, but learning to either ignore some or tune into to some more actively. It’s a bit like noise in our world. If you are in towns and cities, you hear what we call `background noise’ – it’s a collection of all the sounds that are going on.  We learn to ignore them, but can also choose to listen to specific sounds. (Mothers are well-tuned to crying babies. Their own, or even other babies).  So returning to the point- Know thyself & Mindfulness are important.

We’re just scratching the surface – but am sure you can begin to see the depth and seriousness of initiations. Initiations are not just rituals you do, it applies to articles and books too. In these  preceding  sections, I’ve been preparing you for the main matter of initiation. Taking you through all sorts of hoops!! Well done for sticking with the reading. And if you just skim-read this, you really should know. I write non-fiction like fiction. I plant clues, and I write like a mystic, in cryptic clauses too.  So you should read this article at least a few times, to gain maximum insights from this.

That said, let’s get back to initiations.

Your approach & relationship with would-be-initiator(s):

Here are some serious considerations and questions you may (and should) be asking your self, once you’ve decided that Wiccan / witch initiation is for you. I’ll also add the insights for each one.

  1. Did you ask for it?   This may seem the most ridiculous of all questions.  But in Wicca and in any initiatory mystery pagan traditions, a Seeker must take personal responsibility for his or her own path. And if you want to be initiated into a coven, or by someone who is an experienced Witch/priest/ priestess, you have to approach them – and ask for it! Most self-governing and honourable Coven leaders/ Initiators will not approach you and `offer to initiate you’. (If they do – run!). No matter how well you know someone, and no matter how much hints you drop, or how many hints they may drop, the clinching point is – you must gather your wisdom about you, and ask them to initiate you.
  1. Did you get to know your would-be initiator? Don’t just walk up to a would-be initiator or a coven leader, and ask for initiation! Those days probably existed, but not now. You really must spend many months getting to know them – not just as pagan friends, or acquaintance, but as a `would-be initiator-of-you’! You may have known someone for years, and they may even have talked about their coven and such. But the moment you decide that you may like to join their coven as a trainee/ initiate, the relationship shifts magically, and it must shift! A teacher-apprentice connection suddenly forms. You have to get to know that part of them from scratch. (and if you do know them well, don’t try to pull emotional strings to get initiated. Remember that the Gods are watching!)
  1. Is it about you or the initiator? Short answer- the moment a seeker decides to go down the path of formal initiation, it becomes about that Seeker- ie you! The would-be-initiator may give you all sorts of explanations, but ultimately, even though they are the initiator(s), the journey, the need and quest is all about you! And they are then-onwards there, in your life, to aid your learning.
  1. How do you get to know the would-be-initiator(s)? This is the easiest one to answer, yet hardest to achieve. It’s got to be a gradual process, and you have to make the effort, unconditionally! You have to ask for either time with them – formal appointments to go and chat with them, or invite them to socials (group social and/or personal) where you can converse. In addition, you have to `hang-out’ with them, by going with them to some pagan festivals, events, conferences, pub socials, open rituals etc.  Don’t end up stalking them by finding out about where they are going and always turning up to the same events. Everyone needs a bit of personal space. Even would-be-initiators.  So just go to a few of the events. Once you have expressed a desire to `work magically with them’  they would know you are going to do this, so don’t get too sneaky about it. Be open. You don’t have to turn up every where they go. But you are best advised to turn up at least to the Open rituals, socials and other events that they may actually organise, or publicise, as one they are going to.  It’s likely a hint that they are giving you an opening to socialise with them. Be genuine and civil with them (but no bribes of excessive gifts!).
  1. Do they have experience? This may seem obvious, but – do they? These days anyone can `gain knowledge’ by reading a number of books, and set themselves up us some sort of coven leaders or initiators. But a genuine Initiator should have had a certain number of years experience being in a coven to learn and train to be a Wiccan, and ten undergone further training to become a self-contained coven leader (and an Initiator). In the old days (30-40 years ago), in some wiccan lineages, Witches spent a year as Initiates, and then were given their `2nd degree’ – as a High Priest or High Priestess, and thus were `validated’ as Initiators who are qualified to teach, train and initiate other seekers. In my opinion, this is not enough time. It’s like a novice learning to drive. Even after learning and passing a driving test, they the  need `real life’ driving experience for a long period – before gaining expertise to be able to drive in motorways, highways and especially teach others. So why and how could someone become so competent in just 1 year to be able to teach or initiate? People generally go through a plethora of psychological and magical processes in their own rights. Sometimes time must pass, for experiences to sink in and become wisdom.  As with would-be-initiators. Not only must they have `done time’ as seekers and initiates, but they mist also have spent time learning to teach, train, mentor and ultimately initiate.  And here’s a pearl- someone who is very good in managing a team of 20 people in a business is not necessarily going to be good in training a seeker in magic. An expert in looking after pets isn’t necessarily an instant-expert in looking after a young child. The approach and psychology will be different.

The Initiation contract:

 Not many talk about this, but once a person indicates they are seeking training and/or initiation from an Initiator (coven leader), and that initiator agrees, a magical contract exists!  Dating is possibly a good analogy to explain this. In early stages (when one is footloose, wild and single), one may socialise with many would-be romantic partners, and at a certain stage, may even go-out with more than one person to explore compatibility. But then comes the committed relationship stage- where the person develops a relationship with only one person (unless they were `promiscuous’).  In Wicca, when one has asked for training and a coven leader(s) have agreed, it’s a committed relationship. In romantic life, often committed relationships lead to marriage, so in wicca, a training relationship  leads to initiation.  Of course, relationships can fail, and engagements can break. Same in wicca. Sometimes, after a while, training relationships can break, because the Seeker and would-be initiator may find that they can not work together magically in the long term.  There are many reasons why this can happen.

  • Their personalities do not gel better, and one or neither are willing to work to over come this.
  • The Seeker looses interest, or can not maintain commitment and exclusivity in working magically with the Coven leaders.
  • One or both parties move residence – to a location too far for travel and training in the long term.
  • The boundary between Seeker and trainer is breached, and quite possibly dependency, projections, or worse a sexual relationship may have developed – which in turn makes the training relationship incredibly difficult for both.

So assuming you traverse all these issues well and carefully, you will be on course for your initiation. Of course there are many more stages in between this and actual initiation.  We’ve only been covering the psychological and logistical aspects here, so far. There is the whole magical development to consider – the Quests, knowledge, practise, preparations, tools, name, interactivity with would-be-coven members (or other initiates), where it all takes place, and the secrecy itself!  Yes, there is the issue of secrecy!

What next?  I can’t tell you, not because I am bound by some secrecy (well that too), but because what follows will be unique between you and your would-be-initiator(s).

If you have any questions, feel free to write to me – either as comments below, or as private messages .  I’ll answer – as much as I am allowed to answer.. (without breaching the Wiccan secrecy oaths I have taken).

May your path be full of challenges you can conquer, and wisdom you can uncover. And may your deities always watch over you.

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

 

Note:  This article was written on 9th March 2012.  It was then fully developed as a book `Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ (published 13th November 2012; 144 pages; ISBN: 978-0-9560746-4-5 (Awakening Publishing).    You can buy the pdf version from me (this blog) directly by visiting the page here .   page:    Coven Guide: Become an initiated Witch’ e-book  

Introduction to Wicca- one day Course -at Atlantis Bookshop London (June 2017)

Intro to wicca - day course - Atlantis Bookshop 17June2017 by Mani Navasothy

Join me in this one-day Indoor course, `Introduction to Wicca’   at the oldest occult shop in London, The Atlantis Bookshop.  This is a rare occasion –  as there are no wicca courses running in central London for many years (last one was run by us several years ago).

Who is this course for?

This course is  for beginners, students & seekers who are interested in  Wicca & Witchcraft!  No previous knowledge or experience is necessary.  You only need an open mind, patience and willingness to learn what Wicca is all about – as it has been since Gerald Gardner’s time in the 1950s in England to what its evolving now all around the world..  in private initiatory covens & public groups.


Date:   Saturday 24th June 2017

Time:   10.30am Intro for 11am start.  Course ends at 5pm.

Fee:   £27   Pay Now (secure link)

•  Attendance is only by pre-booking & paying course fee.  You may book online here (meetup), on our website (see link at bottom) or in person by visiting Atlantis Bookshop.

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Course Delivery :

This one-day course will use explanations, photos/videos/ power point presentation,   pathworking and some practical demonstrations of certain parts of wiccan ritual.  Full notes of topics covered will be given so you can just focus on listening & learning (rather than busy making notes).

Contents: 

Origins of Modern Wicca;  Wiccan Law & principles ;  Basic Energy work;  Altar & Wiccan Ritual tools; Consecrations, sacred space & casting magic circle;  Working with Elements & Quarters;  Power raising & witches Rune; Horned God & Moon Goddess;   Magic & Spellcraft in Wicca ;   Wheel of the year – 8 major Sabbats/  Festivals, their related seasonal myths & rituals; Initiations & Coven life.

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Facilitators:

• Lead Tutor:   Mani Navasothy – initiated Wiccan High Priest.

• Assistance:  April Jonquil – initiated Wiccan Priestess.

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Duration /  format /  Breaks:

• 10.30am  – Arrival /  Greetings /  Intro /  Tea & Coffee    

• 11am   – Main course delivery.

• There will be a 45min lunch break (bring your own sandwiches or visit nearby cafes/shops)

• Course formally ends at 5pm.  After packing, you may stay for chats with Tutors.  we mostly likely will go to a nearby coffee shop / pub for a bit of socialising & chats.

Recording / photography policy

No recording by phones/ video/ dictaphones.

No photography during course delivery & practise.

Venue / transport:

• address:   Atlantis Bookshop, 49A, Museum Street, WC1A 1LY, London

• nearest Tubes :  Tottenham Court Road / or Holborn (then 10 min walk).

The Atlantis Bookshop is one of the oldest Occult bookshops (2nd most oldest) in London that is still open.  It is owned and run by Gerladin & Bali and has been in their family (except for a brief period in the middle).  It has been frequented by many historically significant pagan, magical & occult figures (such as Aleister Crowly!)

• The shop sells magical tools, art & artefacts, as well as thousands of books!

• Our course takes place in the downstairs room (again historical for the many things that have taken place there).  There is a small toilet & kitchen area.

• We have been running our indoor Wicca courses at Atlantis Bookshop since 2006 (and few times at Conway Hall).

• British Museum is about 5 mins walking distance from here!

Bright Blessings
-Mani Navasothy

–> Pay for – 1 Day Wicca Course in London – June 2017 (secure paypal method)

Candles, Cords & Rune Magic – woodland Spellcraft workshop (London, April 2017)

Dear all, this half a day experiential session is part of our  Woodland Wicca workshops.  New comers to Wicca and those interested in joining our private wicca Ritual group will benefit from these short but informative introduction workshops – that brings you on to the `same page’ as everyone else.

This is an experiential session, covering the following:

Introduction to spellcraft & Magic in Wicca –  how we do magic; within-without principle; Basic requirements; safety & warning in spellcraft; Laws of return;

• Cord Magic – Using Cords, how you can do magic; demonstration & practice with a cord (you can actually use the opportunity to do a bit of magic) .  ( 1 metre cords will be provided)

Rune Magic – Basic introduction to Runes – symbols & meanings;  How to do Rune magic; Bind Runes;

Candle Magic – Preparing the candle- anointing/ consecrating;  Intention setting;  Using one of the Runes learnt (in same workshop), you’ll all do one candle -magic. (stick candles – white – will be provided).

——Other Wicca Training workshops coming soon)—

(*) We will be running a wand-making workshop & pentacle making workshop in this series  in Spring/ summer, covering details, symbology, uses etc for each one.

(**) We will be covering Book of Shadows  &  creating/Writing Rituals, deity/elemental invocations / devocations and carrying those energies within –  in Spring/Summer.

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Attendance: Limited to 13 people –   Attendance must be finalised by all 2 day prior so that workshop materials can be bought.

meeting point/ Time/ Travel Details: 

We meet by the cafe / tea room at `Wimbledon Tea rooms’   and will go into nearby woodland area for workshop. If it’s wet/ raining, I will put up a Tarp cover, as we have done in previous outdoor workshops.

  • *revised* Date: Saturday 8th April 2017
  • *revised* Time: Please be at Tearooms by 11.30am  latest..so we can go into the woods and begin at 12pm.   Workshop ends at 4pm.
  • Address: Windmill Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NQ

This place has free car park / toilet facilities.  Carpark fills up fats..so get there early and park.

What to wear / bring:

***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).

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

Wicca workshop: Altar, Magical tools & Broom Making (12th March’17)

Dear all,  am starting the 3rd cycle  of our Wimbledon Wicca rituals & Training group – with half-a-day outdoor training workshop.This is an experiential session, covering the following:

• Importance of Altar in Wicca – how to create one ; indoor/outdoors; formal/ informal; directions; seasonal variations/ themes

• Magical tools of wicca – Introduction to —  Athame, sword, white handled knife, (*)wands, scourge, staff, (*)pentacle and more; where to place them on altar; which ones to use, when not to use some tools, (**)Book of Shadows..

• Broom – Why the broom is important.   Followed by an introduction work on making your own brooms using materials we find around in the woods.

All photos taken at our Rituals & workshops taken place in 2016.  All photos (c) London Woodland Witches & Outdoor Pagans – meetup group.  Not to be used by anyone without written permission of Mani Navasothy (owner/  facilitator of `London Woodland Witches & outdoor Pagans).

——Other Wicca Training workshops coming soon)—

(*) I will be running a wand-making workshop & pentacle making workshop in this series  in Spring/ summer, covering details, symbology, uses etc for each one.

(**) I will be covering Book of Shadows  &  creating/Writing Rituals, deity/elemental invocations / devocations and carrying those energies within –  in Spring/Summer.

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No need to bring anything..   we’ll find all we need in the woods..

What you may wish to bring are any special cords / strings you may wish to use to make the broom, as well as any garden secateurs!

Please bear in mind that ..we’ll do this in an informal, playful way..  using whatever twigs/ branches we can find..(most will be wet and possibly feeble..so it may be hard to find nice sturdy pieces..) .  But this is practise.

I will also bring a full set of altar tools..  and go through them properly, and lay out a standard wiccan altar..  You may take notes, photos etc for personal use (don’t put them up on meetup or facebook etc ..as they are my magical tools..   They are for teaching..not for showing on social media).

Fee: £9   (you can pay online via paypal/credit/debit card Now..(keeps a space for you)

or 

rsvp now ..and pay in person at the workshop by cash – (please only rsvp if you are 100% serious..and not just on half whims.  Magic is all about making an intention and carrying it through!!)

meeting point/ Time/ Travel Details: 

*New Date – Sat 12th March 2017

We meet by the cafe / tea room at `Wimbledon Tea rooms’   and will go into nearby woodland area for workshop. If it’s wet/ raining, I will put up a Tarp cover, as we have done in previous outdoor workshops.

Please be at Tearooms by 11.00am latest..so we can go into the woods, setup and start this workshop at 11.30am…and end at 3pm.

Address: Windmill Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NQ

This place has free car park / toilet facilities.

What to wear / bring:

***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).

Bright Blessings

-Mani Navasothy

Link to Join / book event (via meetup)

 Altars, Wiccan tools & Broom making

Welcoming Bride Virgin Goddess – Woodland Wicca Imbolc Ceremony in N.London (Jan2017)

Join us for the afternoon/ early evening to mark IMBOLC (Candlemas).

“Imbolc is said to be the time when the Winter Goddess who has kept her grip on the land loosens her hold, so that the ice melts and waters break and flow again. It is when the Goddess Bride (Brigid) `returns’ to the land. Her path is lit by candles, symbolising the return of light and warmth which is imminent. Bride is a Goddess of poetry, inspiration, healing, knot-magic and weaving. With her, she brings the gifts of 3 flames!”   (taken from my site  www.WitchcraftandMagic.uk )

*** Fee: £3 **

We now have a formal ritual team. Also many requested us to carry on doing rituals in north london. (But organiser lives in South London!) So to cover various meetup running costs & ritual expenses, we now have a fixed fee of £3 per person.

Practical Details:

  • Date: Saturday 28th Januar 2017
  • Time: 2pm meeting at Woodman’s pub (Patio garden) for walking to woods and 3pm ritual start (ritual start time is approx due to organic nature of setting up)
  • venue:  Queen’s Woods, Wood Lane (nearest tube: High Gate – Northern line).
  • Meeting point: Woodman’s Pub, Archway Road –   Meet us in the back garden – patio area of The Woodman’s pub..(corner of Archway Road) ..2 mins from HighGate tube (north london). We’ll leave at 2.30pm .. walk *together* to the woods, set up altar and do ritual.

RITUAL :

This is an open ritual held in an outdoor park/woods with easy public access..

Out ritual *Team will conduct key aspects of the ceremony, with plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the actual ritual – ie with elements calling, chants, magical work and so on.

Outline:

  • Wiccan Opening Prayer, sweeping & Consecrations
  • Circle casting & Element quarters called
  • Farewell to Winter Goddess
  • Invocation of Virgin Goddess Bride / Bridget
  • Bride arrives via a path lit by candles ..and blesses all with her 3 gifts of flames
  • Cakes & Wine blessed & shared
  • Close circle
  • Feasting

Invocations (video examples)

  • Plea to Winter Goddess (video by Mani Navasothy)

  • Call to Bride – Virgin Goddess (video by Mani Navasothy) 

 

RITUAL items to bring:

– Your ritual cloths/ robes/ cloaks
– Staff / wands / antlers / tribal masks
– Drums & musical instruments
– Lanterns / candles / lighter
– Crystals / runes / divination tools
-Poetry / invocations (learnt or to read)

To stay in touch with the woodland rituals I organise, please visit my meetup group (free to join) London Woodland Witches & Outdoor Pagans’ 

-Mani Navasothy

(Esoteric Author, events Organiser & Wiccan High Priest)