Local witches bring ancient Greek festival to life
From the end of the Bronze age until the fall of the Roman empire, people across the Mediterranean would travel to the Greek city of Eleusis to experience the Eleusinian Mysteries - a ritual so profound that it is said to have freed participants from the fear of death. This month, a local Wiccan group is providing an opportunity to experience that ritual again at their Spring Mysteries Festival.
The Spring Mysteries Festival will be held April 18-21 at Fort Flagler in Nordland, Washington. For the last thirty-four years, the Aquarian Tabernacle Church has been hosting this festival to bring the Eleusinian Mysteries to life. Like their ancient counterparts, participants are sworn to secrecy to preserve the magic of the experience.
'The Mysteries are an opportunity for people to connect with the Olympian Gods, dedicate themselves to a better, more fulfilling life and reawaken the magick within themselves,' said Archpriestess Belladonna LaVeau. 'With the world in a state of chaos, the lessons that were basic to the Greeks, who gave birth to modern civilization, can bring us back to those things important to live a rich and full life.'
Because of the ancient oaths of secrecy, the Eleusinian Mysteries have been reassembled thanks to scholarly research. Staff members have been working on their roles in the ritual for a year, sometimes longer, in preparation and participants will have an opportunity to speak directly with the Olympian Gods as part of the festival.
The four-day festival also includes workshops, vendors, and the debut performance of a brand-new album from popular New Age musician Wendy Rule. Tickets and lodging information is available at www.springmysteries.com.
Rt. Rev. Dusty Dionne to be elevated as new Archpriest
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC), an International Wiccan Church, is elevating a new Archpriest into its ranks after 5 years of being without one when the previous Archpriest passed away. Rt. Rev. Dusty Dionne, who has been a High Priest within the ATC for over almost a decade, will be elevated this Good Friday [April 19] during the annual Spring Mysteries Festival hosted by the ATC to join his wife in partnership within the Archpriesthood. Matriarch Belladonna LaVeau-Dionne, who will continue as head of the church.
Wicca is an earth-based religion commonly referred to as witchcraft. The Aquarian Tabernacle Church was founded in 1979 with its World Headquarters in Index, Washington, on the Skykomish River. The ATC has received recognition from the IRS allowing the same privileges of chartering affiliated churches as the Catholics and Mormons, making it one of the largest Wiccan Churches in the world.
Dionne's training began as a young child while learning Native American Spiritualism, laying down the groundwork for a life of magick. He is the High Priest of the WISE Tradition, a British Traditional Wiccan path with roots to Janet and Stewart Farrar. His ministry has been heavily influenced by Taoism and science, helping give him a broader spiritual understanding of the universe that is practical, encompassing, and result-oriented. 'Wicca is sacred science. It is far too practical to be something that you have to take on faith,' said Dionne. 'Wicca and science run hand-in-hand, and day-by-day science is catching up.'
A frequent media guest, Dionne has made appearances on local shows such as Jon Anastasio's 'Power of Healing,' internet-wide shows such as 'Turn up the Night' with Kenny Pick, and local Seattle CNN affiliates. Dionne speaks on the worship of Wicca, politics within religion, the breaking down of the universe from the perspective of the magically inclined, and Wiccan Leadership Concepts.
Dionne holds the tenant of 'care for the earth and those around you' close to his heart. He sits on the Board of Directors for Save the Seeds Foundation, a charity that is focused on preserving the natural food supply. He helped organize a program called #PillowsForEveryone that provided bedding supplies from donors to hundreds of needy people and works every year with Pasado Safe Haven to disseminate hundreds of pounds of food, clothes, bedding, and toys to pets across the Skykomish River Valley of Washington. Last year Dionne travelled 10,000 miles sharing the importance of earth stewardship and home family gardening with local communities.
As for this new role, Dionne hopes to bring his love of the earth, helping others, and skills with politics within religion and ministering to the table when he becomes Archpriest. 'It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Pete Davis. The world has a lot of challenges today. In the past, Wicca has been getting its feet under Her. Now, the world needs us, and the lessons of living in harmony with the Earth like never before. It's time we looked beyond the pagan community and focus on Earth Stewardship.'
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church is a legal and fully-recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1979. Their headquarters are in Index, Washington although they have affiliate congregations across the United States and other counties including Australia, Italy, Canada, Ireland, and more. www.atcwicca.org
Courtesy of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church
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