Coven Oldenwilde's 23rd Annual Free Witch Ritual on Samhain (Halloween), West Asheville, North Carolina: "Magical Persona"

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

8pm till midnight

113 Clinton Ave., Asheville, NC 28806

Who/What do you feel you are? Come as you are!

  • Werewolf
  • Vampire
  • Dark Fairy
  • Witch
  • Tree-huggin’ Dirt Worshipper
  • Creature of the Night
  • Or …?

ADULTS WELCOME, NO PETS PLEASE (our 22-year-old Coven cat familiar simply won’t tolerate any other animal life-forms, sorry!)

First, we’ll duly affright trick-or-treaters on our Covenstead's front porch (giving them goodly treats as reward for their bravery, of course)!

Then we’ll Center in the front room, and descend to the ritual room — where we’ll cast traditional Gardnerian circle and throw down wicked magic to throbbing music — with the mutual goal of effecting the “fall of Princes”.

We’ll spiral dance macabre, lament our Beloved Dead, and Divine our futures for the New Year — using Kwan Yin “cookies”, wood strips, yarrow stalks, Tarot, Runes, and more.

Sprinkle fairy dust atop your shoulders; go rustic or ancient or glamorous Witchy! You get out of magic what you put into it — and the world needs your magic now more than ever.

The truth is, Witchcraft not only is the world’s first religion, but remains its most popular. So come out, be proud, and shout loud!

Rituals and Sabbats cover

What is a "magical persona"?
Read an excerpt from our new book Rituals & Sabbats…

Witches often either enter circle embodying a unique magical persona, or spontaneously manifest Elemental airy, fiery, or flowing movements or Deity mannerisms during a rite when they feel ecstatic.

A magical persona is similar to an alter ego or alternate personality that comes to the fore when you're “all in” a rite's energy and purpose. It's also closely akin to being briefly inhabited by a Deity as described in The Goodly Spellbook, “From a God's Mouth to Your Ear—Oracles.” The more deeply true you know yourself, appreciate yourself, free yourself from conventions of how you assume you're supposed to act or dress, the more easily the Divine can speak to you and, through your ways, touch and inspire others.

The word persona is Latin for “mask,” and it originally described the voice-amplifying masks that ancient actors wore when personifying mythic characters in public plays, and Deities during religious Mystery rites. These larger-than-life dramatic props included the iconic comedy and tragedy masks that became the familiar symbol of theater arts. In many cultures, donning a ritual mask is an important part of the process of assuming or channeling the Deity or Spirit that the mask portrays—it serves as a cue to the wearer, the attendees, and the Being evoked. Beyond masks, a persona can be augmented by powdered red ochre clay, mud, body paint, bindis, and so forth applied directly to the skin.

Color is another magical cue that is a potent part of a persona. For example, a Korean mansin (shaman) may embody a dozen different Deities and spirits in the course of a ritual. To summon each one, she dons a particular costume in a specific color or color combination. Similarly, in a Moroccan Gnawa trance-music ritual, attendees who become possessed by one of the seven different mluk Spirits that the ritual evokes take up and dance with a scarf or veil in Its corresponding color.

Wiccan ritual color cues include the Triple Goddess's white, red, and black— signifying Her Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspect, respectively—and the color palettes that we give in the “Guide to Sabbat Rites.”

You can devote as much time as you wish to perfecting the authenticity of your persona's look in detail. For instance, if your Sun sign belongs to the Element Air, you could sew or acquire impressive accessories and accoutrements associated with an Elemental Air Sylph, such as iridescent wings or a gossamer cotton or thin linen robe.

We've seen spectacularly creative examples, such as a Craft Elder covered head to toe in patches covering his hat, shirt, over-vest, pants, and shoes—each sporting thought-provoking Pagan symbols and words of wisdom that he'd collected over decades' time; women who attach so many feathers, flowers, leaves, or feathers to their bodies with invisible, removable adhesive that they seem more fairy than human; kids who revel in running through woods in camouflage body paint and deerskin bikinis or leather loincloths; and much more. We've also been frequently pleased to know a Covenmate well, only to see them mutate into another Being at a gathering or rite, transforming themselves into something supernatural before our eyes.

A persona may captivate you by surprise, can even seem utterly opposed to your normal nature in every respect; or can radically change as you grow spiritually over time. Regardless of how, when, or what, the more you become the magical self you want to be, the more you feel you are deep down essentially, the more you can dress and act in ways that affect others and give them ideas of their own.

Some things Witches do to begin taking on their magical persona include painting their body; getting tattooed, whether temporary or permanent; glittering their brow; sporting a wild hat, mask, gloves, cane, or spike-heeled boots; or braiding or dyeing their hair and such. By layering effects, we change our appearance into the essence of what we want others to perceive us as, be it a dragonfly, fairy, Deity, animal, mythic character, etc.

Occasionally someone's insecurity or subconscious may come to the fore, and someone who thinks they're properly manifesting a persona is unaware that they're actually acting incongruously. For example, we once had a student who tended to go lupine during ecstatic rites—but then he'd blow the effect on participants by beating bones on flagstones or engaging in other antics that wolves cannot do.

Keep your persona believable: if you create a costume to support your persona, adjust its detail as experience proves that you should, such as for safety. For instance, don't put yourself in peril of burning by wearing a feather headdress while leaping a balefire.

Magical persona is about being what you are, or trying to be what you want. Either way, your voice or silence, movements, mannerisms, look, and purpose must be readily identifiable, consistent, and Pagani. Demonic clowns and such don't qualify.

— Excerpted from Rituals and Sabbats: Sacred Rites and Seasonal Celebrations, by Lady Passion and *Diuvei, Sterling Ethos, New York, NY, 2017. Buy it now on Amazon.com!

BRING:

  • Ale or wine. (Preferred: IPAs, stouts/porters; Livingston chardonnay.)
  • Snacks or hors d'oeuvres. (No tree nuts or sesame seeds, please.)
  • 8- or 10-inch taper candles in abundance — white, yellow, red, blue, green, black, or similar.

RSVP:

Email questions or offer to volunteer to help us prepare for, set up, conduct, and clean up after the rite to Lady Passion at: [email protected] or phone: (828) 251-0343. Map & directions.