This came up in one of my facebook community pages…so here’s the question and my answer.
With regard to Wicca, why keep the old ways a secret? Why keep the sacred truth to yourselves when it should be shared with the world?
To be honest.. so much of Wicca has now been talked about, blogged about, and more importantly written about extensively in thousands of published books..! So the World knows all about it…the initiation rituals, the seasonal ones, the tools, the oaths …all of it. There are no wiccan secrets as such now in the present day.
BUT..and it’s a big but.. the mystery of wicca remains..! It can only be experienced in an actual closed group ritual.. no matter how much of it has been written or talked about.
Why is it that way? Talking and reading is the equivalent of a pregnant lady watching a documentary on TV about giving birth, or a young man/woman watching a romantic film… However, the actual experience of giving birth to a new life (all that birth pain for mother, and risk of her own death!) … or falling in love with another person (the thrill, the chase, the apprehensions, the insecurities, the actual Union/ making love) …….those things can only ever be `known’ by actually experiencing it. The real mystery remains.. no matter how many books One reads or how many movies one sees!!
So yeah…no secrets in Wicca now.. but magical Mystery remains!!
Last night, I had to pleasure and privilege to be there for a talk by Shani Oates at Nova Stellar! `Nova Stellar presents..’ is a monthly gathering where newcomers to Paganism & Wicca can attend, gather, socialise and listen to Intro talks/ Life journeys by now famous and well known Pagan authors, speakers, ritualists, magicians and public figures.
The event blurb gives the following info about her:
“Shani is an occultist, mystic, Luciferian Pilgrim of the Forbidden Arts, Traditional Craft practitioner, researcher, historian and writer of the Craft, magic, ancestral tradition – particularly the Robert Cochrane Tradition – and the cultural folklore and folk-magicks of the UK and its Northern Heritage.
She is Spae-wife and Matriarch of The People of Goda, The Clan of Tubal Cain and a student of anthropology, Tantra, philosophy and the arcane ‘Other.’
She is also the author of several books that write informatively on the myths, gods and archetypes that imbue and inform the Cults and Crafts of Witchcraft and Folk-Traditions, shifting through the arcane to modern times.
Her written works include: ‘Tubelo’s Green Fire’, ‘The Arcane Veil’, ‘Star-Crossed Serpent’ (Volumes I-IV), ‘The People of Goda’, ‘The Robert Cochrane Tradition: CTC: Tubal’s Mill’ (revised edition – 2018), ‘A Paean for Hekate’ , ‘Crafting the Arte of Tradition’ and ‘The Devil’s Supper’ .
Her numerous articles in other Craft anthologies, periodicals and magazines over the last two decades include: ‘Pillars II: The Ebon Kteis’, ‘Scalding of Sapientia’, ‘Heritage’ A Clan of Tubal Cain Anthology’, ‘Genuine Witchcraft is explained: Secret Tradition of the Royal Windsor Coven and The Regency’, ‘Serpent Songs’, ‘The Wanton Green’, ‘The Silver Wheel’ and ‘Ancestors of the Craft’
I realised that Shani Oates holds the official position of Matriarch (Maid) in the Cochrane Tradition of (traditional) Wicca/ Witchcraft – and was the one to pass the responsibilities/ energies from the previous Magister to the present one.. So this talk by Shani was very informative …not lest because she is closer to the source but is one of the source! and on some levels, some of what she spoke about (re: Robert Cochrane and some practises of the Cochrane Craft) was quite earth shattering for me on a personal level!
Until now I had only had hearsay and scraps of info about the late Robert Cochrane and Cochrane witchcraft. Shani talked in good details about much of it. And I asked several questions that had puzzled me for ages, such as the position of the Magister (and learnt that at any time..there is only one for the entire Clan. ( he was also at the talk, but kept humbly quiet as it was not his talk.. But I spoke to him briefly afterwards, especially on some awkward political matters that I had heard about in the London Cochrane craft community’ – which turns out to be not connected to the legitimate members of the Clan after all.. (straight from the mouth of the current real Magister of the Cochrane Craft clan!!)
In the talk’s Question time, I posed some questions to Shani.. on any possible old magical working connections between Gardnerians (my lineage) and Robert Cochrane/line. It was useful to learn that Doreen Valiente – mother of modern Wicca (Gardner’s HPS) had been invited by Cochrane to go and work with him/ them at some point… but no other official or formal workings/ partnerships or any initiatory connections exist. These put to rest many gaps and concerns I have had in my mind for many years… and I am relieved, to say the least, and excited by some similarities I have with my own evolving organic practise of Open rituals I facilitate at Queen’s Woods. . (For my personal record I took a photo with Shani – private for now – and perhaps one for my Biography).
There were references to the Regency group that spun out from some members who had worked with Cochrane. I was interested in the Queen’s Woods connection, where I have been holding my own `London Woodland Witches Pagans & Ritual Magicians’ meetup events for over 4 years (and other open rituals there for even longer).
Always grateful to learn new things of the Craft and this has given me much to mull over..
Gardnerian Wiccan High Priest
ps. Shani was kind enough to correct some errors in some of the matters I had written (I’ve deleted 2 sentences). She provided the following via facebook message:
“There have been four Magisters of the Clan of Tubal Cain, but several others of the actual Tradition itself prior to Robert Cochrane. The image depicts Robert Cochrane, Evan John Jones, Robin-the-Dart and Ulric Goding., three I have known personally, and one to whom I was linked to through Evan John Jones. Two of later leaders of the Regency circa 1969 had once been in Cochrane’s Clan, but left just before his death in 1966. After 1969, those two were responsible for the outdoor rituals that many associate with the Regency – these were held in Queenswood. Cochrane, the Clan and the early Regency never worked there. ” – Shani Oates (via FB)
Please note- all photos presented below ..taken at the event (c) Copyright to Mani Navasothy. Usual legal rules apply.
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.
Dear all.. It’s Imbolc now.. time for the virgin Goddess Bride to appear again in our lives..bringing with her the 3 flames…gifts of purification, creativity & Healing.. (that’s been going on already in my life.. thanks to not one but a few lovely Goddesses .
Anyway…I will be with my woodland ritual friends tomorrow at Queen’s woods (High gate) for our open Wiccan Imbolc ritual.. So if you are that way inclined ..do come join us.. All are welcome.. Below is the link to my meetup event for it..
Imbolc 2016 – Woodland Wicca Seasonal Ritual
Sunday, Jan 31, 2016, 3:00 PM
Queen’s Woods Near Highgate Station London, GB
33 Woodland Witches & Pagans Went
Join us for the afternoon/ early evening to mark IMBOLC (Candlemass).”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 lig…
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.
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)
These monthly Wicca & Witchcraft monthly Circles are ideal for YOU – if you have an interest and like to participate in an outdoor Wiccan ritual with like-minded magical people.
How our event is organised
1. Meet n greet at a pre-fixed public place (Cafe/ Pub/ station – this may change so check each event carefully)
2. Walk together to the woods and to the exact ritual spot (this also changes depending on other factors on the day).
3. Set up altar & do ritual (see below for ritual format)
4. Feast & socialise
5. Tidy up & departure
6.Back to Cafe/ Pub for warm up and social and chats.
****** Please read the POLICY at the bottom ..about Photography/recording/ research /Journalists etc*******
The ritual (Wiccan format)
• Opening Prayer / Path working
• Consecrations with salt/water & incense
• Magic Circle Casting
• Calling of elemental quarters – with invocations & symbols
• Energy raising with chant . brief circle dance
• God & Goddess work (some times invocations)
• Magical work / spell-craft
• Blessing of cakes & wine
• Some training work/ wicca discussions (if time permits)
• Closing of energies
• Socialising / feasting
• Tidy-up & departure
These Wicca Circles are facilitated by Mani Navasothy (Wiccan High Priest with 19 years of Craft & Coven experiences in London). Some times we get assistance from other wiccan friends (initiated, solitary, hereditary etc).
Come and join us..! Please wear sensible outdoor (warm, waterproof) cloths, and shoes. Please bring some food & drinks/wine to share at the feast after ritual..
There will be opportunities to talk to Man and ask questions afterwards at social..
Date: Saturday 8th November 2014.
Meeting time (at Pub) – 4pm.
Meteing Venue: Woodman’s Pub. (This is 3-4 minutes walk from the nearest Tube station.. The Pub is on the main road..on corner of Archway Road & Muswell Hill).
Nearest Tube: High Gate (Northern line).
Ritual venue: Queen’s Woods (North London).
*We gather in the Pub and all walk together to the ritual spot. We regret we can not give extensive instructions to the ritual spot…because it is difficult to guide people to a spot in a wood full of trees.. We know it by sight ..so best join us at start ..in the pub..*
More details, training videos, wicca articles – on our website http://www.WitchcraftAndMagic.org/ You can also join our e-mail list there for exclusive news, updates & more.
———————————————– POLICY (PLEASE READ THIS):
-No audio/ video recording at any time!
-No photos during ritual (but before & after is okay..subject to individual permission)
-No photos of others without YOU asking them clear permission.
-No `observations’ or `note taking’ by research students/ Journalists.
-Mani (organiser/ Wiccan) has been in the public eye for over a decade, running many open pagan events – and has given personal & formal interviews etc for BBC, Channel 4, and others. Mani himself is an author/ publisher/ online Promoter & internet Marketer).
BUT – THESE woodland events .. are created for the sole purpose of teaching and sharing his Spirituality with other interested pagans/ beginners of the Craft.. So Mani is exceptionally protective of these events..and does not like media exploitation or intrusions…
Wiccan Apprentice Training – is a hands on, outdoor experiential Wicca Course -created by Mani Navasothy (http://www.WitchcraftandMagic.org). It comprises of 5 individual sessions, with 3 core Wicca modules & 2 Practical Magic workshops. Next course starts on 27th April 2014 in London.
Visit the website http://www.WitchcraftAndMagic.org to learn about special discounted fees and to book your place – on one or more of the sessions, or the full course. This course takes place on Sundays..
If you are interested in learning all aspects of Wicca in an experiential way over a period of 3 months, in a woodland setting, under the expertise & guidance of a Wiccan High Priest with almost 2 decades of Craft & Coven experience – this is the training for you!
You will learn
the foundations of Wicca, Principles & laws, Altars & Consecrations, Circle casting, Elemental Quarters & Energy Raising in a Circle, Invoking the Horned God & Triple Moon Goddess. You will also learn about doing Magic & crafting essential Wiccan tools (wand, Pentacle, Rune Magic & Cord Magic).
Wand-Making & Rune magic. You will learn about and make a spiral wand, then do a formal consecration of tool ritual for it. This is followed by learning about Runes, and carving bind-runes on your wand to energise it. The workshop concludes with a Wiccan ritual, where you will use your new wand to either cast a magic circle, or invoke one of the elemental quarters.
Wax pentacle making & Cord Magic. You will learn about the symbols Wiccans use on a pentacle, then create a Wax pentacle using a special technique devised by Mani for outdoors. Herbs & Crystals will be embedded into the Pentacle. You then do a tool consecration for the pentacle. This is followed by learning to do a Wiccan Cord Magic. Finally, you will use your pentacle in a consecration ceremony of salt & water, as practiced in covens.
Mani Navasothy, brought up as a Hindu in Sri Lanka, is an initiated Wiccan High Priest of many years, and has nearly 2 decades of The Craft & Coven experience in London, UK. Over the years, Mani has built up extensive experience running magical Training groups, running rituals & conventions for The Pagan Federation, , as well as promoting pagan spirituality in TV, Radio & news paper interviews. Mani Navasothy is the founder of Hern’s Tribe, co-founder of Tamesa London Circle, and Director/Chief Editor of Gaian Times eco-spiritual magazine.
I was giving a talk at one of the pagan moots in NW London last night (Staines Moot).. The title was `Wiccan Journeys: There and back..and there again..!’.
It mainly outlined my (thus far) journey in the Wicca path.. how I became interested, how I became an initiated Wiccan, reaching my stage (and responsibility) as a High Priest, running training covens & groups, initiating new Seekers and so on. The talk also covered my back and forth journeys – as I have not always felt like a `wicca’ (but always a `Witch / Magician’ !) There are times when I have slipped out of the coven life and wiccan communities – and gone to do other magical things.. like starting `Hern’s Tribe- outdoor shamanic / eclectic group’ (the more recent one being the `woodland wicca rituals’ and the `Thames-Isis rituals) – see links at the bottom.
Well, this morning, I caught on to some debates that have been going on…about the good/ bad experiences, the ego and hierarcrhy of High Priests, High Priestesses, and coven leaders.
Needless to say, I have some deep thoughts on this ( I never like to hear anyone bad-mouth Wicca ..especially hard working Coven leaders..!)
Here are some of my responses:
Taking pot shots at Wiccan Hierarchy?
No one is forcing anyone into a particular tradition, path or system of beliefs.. But if one is entering a system, they should learn to be aware of its exiting form, structure, rules, guidelines.. – before criticising it, attacking it, or trying to change it. !
My HPS once told me, `walk in the footsteps f others..see what entails..before criticising what they do’ !
I appreciate that people may have had bad experiences from individuals or groups..but unless you have ever organised events, rituals, groups..and run things for long periods of time… no real wisdom is gained.
I get a little tired of people ranting on about Wiccan Hierarchy, and taking pot shots at the roles of High Priests & High Priestess. They are part of that path and system.. Learn it, understand why it’s there in the first place.. before tearing it apart. And if you are compelled to tear it apart.. I ask why? Is it because of a personal grudge, bad experience, or one;s own ego not being fed? –
The training of Coven Leaders:
Leadership of anything is always a double-edged sword.. It is there to serve the people.. but abused, it can harm the people.. To quote a line from Spiderman, `With great power comes great responsibility’
Serious covens filter interested people .. work out their commitment, dedication, loyalty etc..before even taking anyone on as trainees…and then after a year or even many years…initiate them…(into their tradition and their coven!)
It takes many years of practice ..before those initiates reach a stage of taking good personal responsibility and also that of others..and the HP / HPS stats is a `teaching position’ – it’s NOT handed down like confetti.
Even after reaching that stage.. they then undergo more months / years of `on the job mentoring’ to become `good’ HP & HPS.. Anyone who’s got this far ..then goes out and starts their own coven..trains others..initiates others.. !
This is the long hard path in an ideal world.. Old ideals and standards are dying out with those people who held it.. They have tried to pass those on.. and that wisdom survives.. just about..!
So there you have it.. just some immediate responses.. But no doubt, we shall all come to this topic..again and again…and again 🙂