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Club for London yoginis
- requests prompt wiccan to start new centre

Calcutta got its first school of wicca, a western branch of witchcraft, late last year. This December, London will have its first club of yoginis, the Indian parallel to the wiccan.

The bridge between the two is the Calcutta-based wiccan Ipsita Roy Chakraverti. The other aspect wiccans and yoginis have in common is the worship of the mother goddess.

A spate of online requests from abroad to sign up for the Wiccan Brigade, which Ipsita had launched in Calcutta last November, prompted her to add a London chapter, to be called Ipsita’s Yogini Club.

“I’ve always believed the yogini and the witch are the same, and London seems to me to be a place where various cultures of the world have come together. It has a rich cultural history and an atmosphere in which the spirit of the past lives on. It is the right place for the Yogini Club,” says Ipsita, who will be dividing her time between Calcutta and London.

Her website ipsita.hellorosetta.com has received about 60 applications from “professionals, civil servants, business people and students” abroad, ever since the launch of the Wiccan Brigade. The Yogini Club will start off with a core group of 15, shortlisted after a “rigorous screening”.

The aim of the Yogini Club is the same as the Wiccan Brigade — empowerment of the individual, and development of the personality and the psyche. But Ipsita plans to customise her London lessons with specific social issues.

“I would like to introduce one or two social themes — finding ways to stay away from addictions, helping the family unit stay together or equipping single women to cope with life without emotional dependence on others,” explains Ipsita, who is also set to take her first steps in film production. The production house that Ipsita set up in August 2007 has embarked on a series of documentary films to explore the ancient, “mystical” sites of India. “The idea is to unravel the secrets of places which have been long overlooked.” The first film is The Konark Code, where the wiccan explores how the Sun temple was used as a healing spot.

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