2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day Spiritual Transformations

The folks at Lansing Pagan Pride Day sent us a great press release about their event on August 27, 2016. We are going to present it here so we can spread the word. Thank you, Tanya the PR Queen, for getting it to our writers so quickly. This is their event as a local chapter of the Pagan Pride Project.


The Pagan Pride Project
The Pagan Pride Project

It is with great pleasure that the Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is announcing the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day Event.  The event will be filled with vendors, classes, rituals, music, kid’s activities, swag and a food tent.  The event will be held at the Valhalla Park in Holt, MI from 10am to 6pm. Free to attend which also includes classes and rituals!

Each year the Mid-Michigan Pagan Council adopts a theme that guides the climate of the event.  This year the theme is Spiritual Transformation. This theme was inspired by the Elder Futhark rune Eihwaz. Eihwaz, pounced “Yew-was”, dates back to proto Norse.  The meaning translates to “the axis or process of spiritual becoming.”   This rune indicates change, transformation, confrontation of fears and assertive powers.

As part of this theme a public ritual will be performed by the Mystics of Rhea Lur coven.  Mystics of Rhea Lur is based in Corunna – Owosso area.  They are an eclectic based coven that has been practicing for approximately ten years. The coven is non-high priest/ priestess basis and is led by two elders – Helen Griffus and Cathy McQuillin. This will be their first public ritual. This is a participatory ritual and is open to anyone.

Education will be offered through several classes throughout the day.  These classes are open to anyone seeking information, change or out of sheer curiosity.  The classes will be taught by highly-regarded Michigan pagan community members such as: Helen Griffus from the Mystics of Rhea Lur coven, Stan Nunn and Geralyn Mystic from Pagan Pathway(s) Temple in Detroit, Melissa Hill from Cedarsong Grove and LeAnn Crouch a local solitary practitioner.  These experienced teachers will provide the skills, tools and advices to achieve higher spiritual functioning.

Offering many wonderfully hand-crafted products and other goods to help create the Spiritual Transformation in your life, is our local vendors. The Lansing Pagan Pride Day open-air market vendors will offer a variety of goods that range from baked goods, oils, jewelry, altar supplies, books, divination tools to natural health and beauty products, home décor and clothing. Just some of our vendors are:

  • GothicMoms DarkCharms
  •  Cedarsong Grove
  • Living Roots Creations
  • Moonlight Magic & More
  • Tarot by Roz
  • Archaic Circle
  • The Enchanted Oak
  • Body Hart and Soul
  • Momento Mori
  • Mother Moon
  • Brady Street Bakery and Confectionery
  • Copper Bear Creations
  • Alex and Jayde Kids
  • Children’s Activities Tent.

No event would be complete without food!  Spending the entire day at this fun-filled community event will surely work up an appetite. Stop by the food court for a bit to eat.  Reasonable prices with a wide range of foods to choose from that is friendly to most diets – including homemade five-star vegan veggie burgers!

While you’re there don’t forget to pick up some swag to let everyone know that you participated in the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day!  Show off your pagan pride by purchasing your very own official 2016 LPPD Spiritual Transformation tee-shirt! Shirts are available for pre-order – see the website listed for details.

And finally – stop by and say “hi” to the proud sponsors of the 2016 Lansing Pagan Pride Day: Dark Candles •. Universal Society of Ancient Ministries • Pagans In Need-Lansing.  Their generous donations helped to make this event possible.

The Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is committed to the strength and growth of our Pagan community. We value all pagans, from the individual to the family, the solitaire to the coven, and the merchant to the store owner. The Mid-Michigan Pagan Council is without tradition, as we celebrate spiritual freedom, fellowship, and personal beliefs. We support an individual’s right to believe and practice what is true and right for them. We will strive to build a strong pagan community in the Mid-Michigan area that is supportive, and a topic of pride for all persons involved.

Having attended this event once, I can honestly say that I had a really good time and highly recommend it. They have been around for a few years now, and the staff are committed and have a lot of heart. The park is spacious and there if plenty of time for learning, contemplation, and family fun.

For more information about the Lansing Pagan Pride Day, you  can contact Carrie Zay or Nichole Ellwagner at 517.402.1026 or 517.331.0771 or email info@lansingppd.org.


The MoonFire Workings – Devotion, Manifestation, Promulgation and Education

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

“They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.” Liber Legis 1:15

During 2013, my magnificent partner in crime, love and magick and I wrote and performed a series of twelve public rituals in a de-sanctified little gothic country church in the middle of nowhere near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Each ritual was loosely based on the prevailing zodiac sign and ruling god. We also performed some of them at other gatherings in the southwest Michigan area. These were the MoonFire Workings and this is their story.

Used with permission
Paul and Pat at ConVocation 2016

The story begins long ago during the heyday of the east coast Wiccan movement. My lovely partner, Pat, started an originally eclectic coven that was first adopted by trainers from Athanor, a Celtic Shamanic Order and then began initiations through an Alexandrian HPS, from the “Du Bandia Grasail” (DBG) tradition, whose initiations came directly from Alex Sanders and is the first documented Alexandrian Coven in the USA.  Ironically, both lines of trainers traced their origins back to this same origin.  Pat later also joined “The Order of Ganymede (OG)  an Alexandrian Chhonioi organization also originating from the same lineage.  The order is very Hellenistic in nature harboring a deep appreciation of Ceremonial Magick with the Cabalistic teachings of Dion Fortune having a large influence.  Pat has always had a deep regard for Crowley and Thelema, and as many know, ceremonial Magick and Thelema is a major component of the foundation of Gardner’s system of Wicca.

When I met Pat, I started spending substantial time in southwest Michigan where she lives and which is now both our home. She would take me to the various local gatherings. These were much simpler and rustic than the quality of ritual found on the east coast, and of course in ritual groups like the OTO. Therefore, Pat and I decided to write and perform a ritual for a local Yule gathering that would combine elements of both Ceremonial Magick and Traditional Wicca, to show what dramatic ritual could be when “rightly performed with joy and beauty”.  We wrote a Yule 2012 ritual celebrating the sun moving into Capricorn, using a goodly quantity of Pan imagery and texts. The ritual included the Star Ruby, a traditional Wiccan circle opening, the Hymn to Pan, reading of Liber A’ash and more.

The yule ritual had quite the effect!! Some loved it, others sadly lacked knowledge of the correspondences used in the ritual and so it went over their heads, one or two were uncomfortable with the ceremonial content and were ignorant of the huge impact Crowley and his works had on Gerald Gardner and Wicca.

Goaded on by the positive feedback, and with a grim determination to vanquish ignorance, we started to plot other deeds….

We felt called to restart Pat’s old coven and combine Wicca and Thelema plus Traditional Witchcraft and other powerful currents. We had attended the Occult Conference in Glastonbury (UK) a few months before where members of the British OTO, Wiccans, Druids and Chaotes agreed that well-meaning but uneducated solitary practitioners were dumbing down the Western Esoteric Tradition, and that the various mystery paths should recognize and celebrate their common foundation and heritage, and work together to preserve the heritage instead of bickering at each other. This resonated strongly with us, Pat being a Wiccan with a strong appreciation of Thelema, and me being a Thelemite who had practiced Wicca before getting interested in Ceremonial Magick and Traditional Witchcraft.

MoonFire at Rite of Brigid, OTO Chicago 2015
MoonFire at Rite of Brigid, OTO Chicago 2015

As we were starting to discuss and plan, a friend of Pat’s who runs an earth based pagan church in a cool little gothic church in the middle of nowhere asked us for ideas on how to get more people to attend her church… So we decided to write a series of twelve zodiac rituals, using our Yule/Capricorn ritual as a model and start performing them publicly at her church to draw people in.

The first ritual, the Rite of Aquarius, was written and performed in January 2013 at Eclectic Path Earth Resources in Otsego, MI. It was followed by a Pisces Moon ritual that included a full-blown Wiccan drawing down of the moon and five-fold kiss plus the Lesser Banishing Ritual Of The Pentagram. A Mars/Aries ritual that included an Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Mars and used war like verses from Liber Legis chapter III followed.  Then we created a Venus Ritual that included grimoire Magick from “The Consecrated book of Black Venus,” a mercury ritual that included Liber Israfel, and so on and more through the whole year. Writing, planning and performing an 18 to 20 page hour-long ritual a month was exhausting, but also is a very magical and fulfilling rite of manifestation and will. The Rites of Eleusis, Holy Books Of Thelema, Orphic Hymns, Liber Reguli, The Star Ruby and more were all proudly put on display for those who have never witnessed traditional group magick before

Attendance started modestly with about 8 people, and rose to a high of some 35. We invited some of the regulars to be side officers, some of these asked for more training and exposure. This led to us inviting the most keen to form the beginnings of the new MoonFire coven.

As detailed knowledge of the occult arts, correspondences, et al, was lacking in some, the original rituals were written to include a great deal of explanation as to why certain tools, candles, or weapons were in use. They were also designed to subtly expose people to Thelema and Alexandrian Wicca without being evangelical. The rituals were therefore educational and taught people the use of correspondences in ritual magick, and indeed what good and deep ritual magick should be like.

MoonFire at Grand Rapids Pagan Pride Day
MoonFire at Grand Rapids Pagan Pride Day

The MoonFire coven is now very active in SW Michigan. As well as private rituals, initiatory work, and our public zodiac rites, we have spread our wings and started performing rituals in Chicago for the OTO, also Pagan Pride days in Grand Rapids and Detroit, Blackberry Farm gatherings and more. We joined the Covenant Of The Goddess. Our public Esbat remains very popular and is now its own tradition – running consistently at New Moon in Kalamazoo every full moon weekend for over a year now. We still occasionally perform some of our original twelve zodiac rituals. Our members have added to our cannon – writing rituals that are now joyously performed yearly. Many of have had the guts (and our bottomless thanks) to step up and be side officers at public rituals. NOT BAD FOR A FIRST THREE YEARS!!!……

What do I see in my crystal ball for the next three years….. I see us opening a store and pagan church/temple serving Michiana… I see more public rituals at the new store and elsewhere. I see us playing a bigger role in local pagan life such as Convocation, Pagan Fest, Pagan Pride, Pagan charities, interfaith out-reach. I see us starting an OTO body to serve Michiana. I see some of our initiates achieve their 3rd degree and start hiving to form new covens to celebrate our lineage and tradition but also continue the spirit of innovation. I see new coveners joining to bring their own spark to replace those who hive. For those who have been with us since the early days – we love you and thank you for abiding with us… To those that are new…. hold onto your hats – we’re just getting started……

Every MoonFire ritual is closed with a standard exultation composed of selected verses from Liber Legis, be it our public monthly esbats, or our private rituals or anything we do, and so I close this essay with the same.

“Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us. This is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. The word of sin is Restriction. There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will. Every man and every woman is a star. And Thou hast no right but to do what thou wilt.”  

This IS a place of MoonFire.

Love is the law, love under will.