Image of the Moon

Image of the Moon
Image of the Moon

Image of the Moon as she appeared to me in February of 2015.

A feminine figure on a black field, a blue-lined purple cloak hangs from her shoulders.  She holds a bowl in one hand and a stang in the other.  She is crowned, and broad horns extend from the sides of her head.  Her face bears three eyes, and two more stare from each of her horns.

When Aradia and I conjured the Moon at the end of our cycle, I had no idea how the archangel Gabriel might appear to me. After all, Michael had appeared to me as the most femme Sun I had ever seen.  That the archangel appeared to me in the guise of the Witches’ Goddess, then, was not unsurprising … but neither was it expected.

HPF XXX Workshop: On the Conjuration of Spirits

I forgot to mention something really exciting about the coming festival: I will be running my first workshop.

Between the Ceremonial Experiment and working my way through RO’s Seven Spheres, I’ve been doing a lot of conjuration over the last four years.  Some readers may recall my conjurations of Baphoment (still my most popular post by an obscenely wide margin), cannabis, and my natal daimon and genius.  Friday afternoon, I will be running a workshop based on those experiments and instructing attendees on the theory and practice of spirit conjuration using a spirit and scrying crystal.


Readers who attend should totally introduce themselves as such!

Looking Forward to Heartland Pagan Festival XXX

A week from today will mark the beginning of the 30th Annual Heartland Pagan Festival.  There’s a lot that could be said, perhaps a lot that should be said, about the speakers and bands and history of the festival.  I think for all that, however, I will permit the HSA to speak forthemselves, except to point out the pink elephant: that this is also the first year that the festival will be facing direct competition.  What makes this coming festival significant for me is that, having attended far, far more often than not since 1998, this will be the first festival that I have helped put on.

The HSA is a public organization, and I could have paid my dues and “membered up”, as they say, at any time.  There are a lot of reasons I didn’t, but they mostly revolve around a few highly negative encounters with influential members of the organization, and my personal distrust of any org large enough to handle money.  Several events at the 2012 festival, however, fundamentally changed my relationship with the fest and the organization.

Firstly, staggering back broke from my first year at real college, I came to the festival not as a paying customer, but as work exchange: twenty hours of labor for “free” entry. Working for parking and security, I got to know a lot of the people who actually run the org.  More importantly, though, that was the year I started a massive public shitstorm over the gendered implications of the public ritual arc.  At the end of those mediated discussions, I was asked to join the organization.  Living and attending college in Indiana at the time, however, I was unable to do so.

I graduated in the Spring of 2014 and celebrated with a victory lap studying abroad in Greece then going on a three-week road trip with Aradia.  We made it back to civilization and the internet with exactly enough time and money left to join the HSA, vote for committee chairs, and join the Sacred Experience Committee.  From June to December, we helped hammer out the theory and framework of the three main rituals.  In January, the first prose drafts of the ritual appeared, and Aradia and I recruited Chirotus and Pasiphae from the old proto-coven to join the SEC.  Last week, I got on the phone with Brianna Misenhelter of the ATC Pagan Information Network and HPS of the KC chapter of the Wite Ravyn Metaphysical church, and talked a little bit about what y’all will be able to look forward to at the festival.

Over the course of the last year, I’ve gone from hiding behind a shroud of plausible deniability (anyone with a serious interest in doxxing me could probably do so without much difficulty) to being a public pagan.  Whoops.

I can’t begin to say how excited I am about the rituals we’re going to put on.  From the brouchure:

Over the course of this year‘s three rituals we will cleanse ourselves of the preoccupations
which prevent us from fully participating in the festival, reclaim our Promethean light,
and launch ourselves back into our lives with power, passion, and purpose.
Opening Ritual—Thursday, 6:30p
In this wordless ritual we are each killed and resurrected in order to cleanse ourselves of
the baggage which prevents us from seeing clearly. The first priestess appears and obtains
the tools of magic.
Main Ritual—Saturday, 7:00p
The priestess draws her consort from the crowd and, with his aid, restores the Word and
the Light to humankind. Tokens of power will be handed out to attendees.
Closing Ritual—Sunday, 10:00p
Final ritual focuses on turning words into actions and manifesting our visions in our lives.

You, my dear readers, get an additional sneak preview.  Below are four of the ten masks that I’ve made for the ritual.

Elemental Masks

Image of Mercury

Image of Mercury
Image of Mercury

Image of Mercury as he appeared to me in February of 2015

A yellow-orange figure with wings sprouting from his head.  He has large orange eyes which his orange helmet cannot contain.  His arms are held tight to his body, one hand clutches a book and the other is open like a claw.  A billowing garment hangs from his waist, concealing one leg, the other boasts a winged ankle.

This image was at once one of the  most clear and one of the least surprising: active, winged, and helmed, he strongly resembles many traditional images of Mercury and Hermes, though he lacks the Caduceus.

Image of Venus

Image of Venus

Image of Venus as she appeared to me on Friday 23 January 2015.

A feminine, bare-breasted, brown-skinned figure with green-and-red wings instead of hair and a fire atop her head.  She has a single eye on the right side of her face but which does not restrain itself to the natural dimensions of her head.  She holds a staff in her right hand, bearing the traditional symbol of the planet Venus at the top, and a green robe drapes down from her left shoulder, concealing her arm and all below her waist.  A foaming sea crashes in the background.

I’ll be honest, I expected Venus to be less … complicated.  Certainly less uncanny.  I did not expect the fire imagery, or the cyclopian stare.

Image of the Sun

Image of the Sun

Image of of Michael as she appeared before me on Sunday 11 January 2015.

A golden voluptuous figure with a blazing star instead of a face and for wings instead of arms, each bearing a staring Dionysiac eye.

This image surprised me greatly: I have dealt with the sun as both “male” and “female” on numerous occasions, but I did not for a moment expect the Archangel Michael to reveal itself to me in the form of a woman.  The Dionysiac eyes were also a shock, but perhaps should not have been; the sun has possessed me on several occasions, though usually more penetratingly than envelopingly.

Michael also provided me with a seal for later conjurations, which I have also kept to myself.