LUSTRATION IN AFRICA
Clan of Kheper Temple, Cape Town, South Africa
27 – 29 April, Year 13 Aq.
From the time the Kick-Off Part started in Florida I was pretty much in constant motion until after the Lustration. We left the US on Tuesday, spending a total of twenty hours in the air, with brief stops in Atlanta and Amsterdam along the way. None of these stops involved any substantial wait, so it seemed very much like one long, uninterrupted flight.
I was traveling with Correllian Proto-Elder Rev. Terry Power and his lovely wife Angie. If you read my report from the Kick-Off Party you will know that they had just had their handfasting, and were on their honeymoon trip. Theirs is a very special story –high school sweethearts separated for many years, they recently met again and realized they had always loved one another. It was a great pleasure for Lady Stephanie Neal and I to preside at their handfasting.
We had just one day to rest before the start of Lustration weekend. We spent that day touring Cape Town. Known as the “Mother City”, Cape Town was founded in 1652, and is considerd one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It is a beautiful city with many styles of architecture, all spread out at the base of majestic Table Mountain. I was told that Capetonians are very attached to their Mountain, and it is no wonder for Table Mountain is visible from virtually everywhere here. Nearby are Lion Head, which is shaped as it is named, and Signal Hill from which many locals like to watch the Sunset.
The region is one of the “Six Floral Kingdoms” of the Earth, being a unique ecosystem with plants found nowhere else on earth –over 2,200 plants unique to the area in fact.
Friday we were picked up by Rev. Brett Burgell, Chief Priest of Clan of Kheper Temple, and Dedicant Matthew Van As, who took us by car to Rondekuil, the farm where Lustration was taking place. Here we were greeted by Lady Raene, Head of Clan of Kheper Temple, and a Correllian Proto-Elder. Of course we have worked with Lady Raene for some thirteen years, but it was wonderful to finally get to meet her face to face.
The opening ritual was led by Rev. Morne Pretorius, of Sewanian Wolf Coven in Durban. Rev. Morne and Rev. Carole of Sewanian Wolf Coven had traveled a long way to join us. Rev. Morne led a beautiful ritual that included a releasing by writing blockages on laurel leaves and letting the wind carry them away, and lighting the Ancestor Candle that would burn throughout the weekend. It is important for readers in the Northern Hemisphere to realize that Cape Town is in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is Fall here and the Lustration of the Ancestors coincides with the Samhain season, so there is even more of an emphasis on the Ancestors than is usually the case.
There are many other differences as well –for example Deosil and Tuathail here are reversed. So a circle is cast counter-clockwise, and devoked clockwise. The correspondences to the Airts are also different with North being Fire and South Earth. East and West remain the same. Although we knew it, and had experienced this before, it was still somewhat confusing for we northerners at first –but we quickly caught on.
You can see the Opening Ritual here: http://youtu.be/pOTv9skXmUY
After the Opening Ritual we all went inside for the Opening Comments. Lady Raene spoke first, welcoming everyone to the event. People had not only come from Cape Town and its immediate area, but also had flown in cross-country from Johannesburg, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. I then spoke, describing Lady Raene’s pivotal role in the development of Correllianism in South Africa, and thanking her for all her hard work. We then played a video message from Rev. Alyssa Maxon in the US and Rev. Terry presented the beautiful banners she had made for Clan of Kheper Temple and Lady Raene, displaying their Correllian heraldry. We then played a video message from Lady Janice of Children of Gaia Temple, wishing everyone in South Africa well, and officially “Kicking Off” the event.
Finally we brought out the Library Indices. These are the two massive volumes that catalog the books gathered in the book drive for the Interfaith Library to be hosted by Clan of Kheper Temple. This project was a tremendous outpouring of love and support from our US members for our South African members, and is highly appreciated. The idea is to create a real-time metaphysical library for the South Africans who have difficulty obtaining these materials and in many cases do not have access to the internet. People here are very excited by this project and deeply touched. I believe that it will be a monument to the bonds of love that connect us across the ocean for many years to come.
Rev. Laurie Denman headed the Library project, and did a magnificent job. Rev. Laurie brought tremendous dedication and spirit to the Library Book Drive, as well as a wonderful sense of organization. In this she was helped by a team of people all of whom played important parts, notably Rev. Liz Hamilton. We cannot possibly thank Rev. Laurie and her team enough for this incredible undertaking! Bless you all!
This was followed by an outdoor feast in honor of the Ancestors, with the Ancestor Candle in a prominent position.
Saturday morning we all assembled for a day of presentations. The first presentation was mine, and I spoke loosely about the State of the Tradition, with an emphasis on building better communication. This was a continuation of the same theme I spoke on at the Kick-Off Party and at many other occasions this year, for communication is truly our greatest priority. We recognize that with a global population we face some unique issues in communication and in making everyone feel fully engaged, and that meeting these challenges may take time, but it is our greatest priority for the year. I have been using the metaphor of making everyone feel as if they are in the same room, and truly this is our goal.
You can see my presentation here: http://youtu.be/0MP15HaPR6k
Next Lady Raene spoke about the State of the Tradition in South Africa. As a Proto-Elder Lady Raene is the only African member of the Correllian Council of Elders and the Tradition’s senior Priestess on the continent. Lady Raene spoke about how far Correllianism in South Africa has come over the thirteen years she has been involved in the Tradition. Lady Raene has worked very hard and long to build up Correllianism in Africa, and her efforts have born wonderful fruit indeed. Today the Correllian Tradition has three full Temples (Mystic Moon, Clan of Khepher, and Clan of Mafdet) and two Witan Shrines (Moondragon’s Lair and Sewanian Wolf Coven) in South Africa, is legally recognized and Correllian Clergy in South Africa can qualify as marriage celebrants –not an easy thing in this part of the world. The state of Correllianism in South Africa is something of which the entire Tradition should be justly proud.
You can see Lady Raene’s presentation here: http://youtu.be/8zWmyeXo9MQ
Next Rev. Terry Power spoke. Rev. Terry spoke about the importance of our differences and how much we have to learn from one another, about the importance of focusing on what we are rather than what we are not, and the role of the Correllian Creed in Correllian spirituality.
You can see Rev. Terry’s presentation here: http://youtu.be/s-K8BVLFNu8
After lunch we reassembled for our last two presentations.
Rev. Brett Burgell, Chief Priest of Clan of Kheper Temple, gave a presentation of Stones of South Africa. I found this an especially interesting presentation, as it focused on the origins and physical characteristics of the stones in question. Although I have long studied stones I found that I learned some fascinating new things about such stones as Brandberg Crystals and Riemvasmaak Flourite!
This presentation had been specifically requested by Rev. Laurie Denman, because of the South African stones being offered as perks to donors in the Interfaith Library Book Drive. At the end of the presentation Rev. Terry is entrusted with the donor’s stones for transportation back to the US, from whence they will be mailed to their recipients.
You can see Rev. Brett’s presentation here: http://youtu.be/IfMVhvS9jLk
Our last presentation was by Rev. Debbie Geary, one of Clan of Kheper’s two maiden Priestesses, the other being Rev. Linda Everitt. Rev. Debbie gave a wide-ranging talk that included comments on her personal spiritual journey, a great deal of fascinating information on southern African beliefs and rituals regarding the Ancestors, and interesting commentary on the African-inspired iTongo Tarot deck.
You can see Rev. Debbie’s presentation here: http://youtu.be/wQ6dllx37eY
As I mentioned, Samhain in the Southern Hemisphere comes at May 1st rather than November 1st, so our Lustration fell right in Samhaintide. Consequently, a masked Samhain Ball was held for Saturday night. The ballroom at Rondekuil, already quite elegant, had been decorated in red and black with a large Ancestor Altar on one wall.
People assembled in a mixture of costumes and formal dress, wearing masks that had been decorated earlier. I am indebted to Angie Power for decorating my mask for me, with a dapper feather cockade. One by one we were escorted to our seats. Matthew Van As acted as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The festivities began with a spirited dance by Sharleene Olivier. Then the lovely Michelle Castagnini performed a multi-part concert of classic songs including La Vie En Rose, Cry Me A River, and Fly Me To The Moon. Rev. Terry led a toast to Lady Raene, who with her people has worked so hard to make this Lustration possible. Then Lady Raene again addressed the crowd. After that followed dancing inside while Rev. Terry conducted interviews outside. It was a wonderful night!
You can see part of Michelle’s performance, and Lady Raene’s speech here: http://youtu.be/zAIkM8W4_j4
You can see Rev. Terry’s interview with Rev. Brett Burgell and Rev. Debbie Geary here: http://youtu.be/XTQmUM6oso0
You can see Rev. Terry’s interview with Michelle Castagnini and Dawn Harrison here: http://youtu.be/exmPgeN4w8Q
You can see Rev. Terry’s interview with Lady Raene here: http://youtu.be/DTJLQ_bpj1M
Most Lustrations end with the Lustration ceremony itself occurring around noon on Sunday –not so this one. Sunday boasted a full day’s programming.
First came the end of the silent auction being held in support of the event. The auction included books, stones, jewelry, and a variety of metaphysical items. Auction winners included a mix of local and international bidders. Congratulations to everyone who won their auctions!
Following this I led a presentation on the Ancestors and a Message Circle, offering a Spirit Message to each person present.
This was followed by a Temple Deeming. This season there were three groups up for Deeming: The Witan Shrine of Hecate in Seville, Spain, headed by Rev. Ayra Alseret, was up for Proto-Temple: The Proto-Temple of Brigit, in Granada, Spain, headed by Rev. Harwe Tuileva, was up for full Temple status: and the Silver Moon Proto-Temple in British Columbia, Canada, Headed by Rev. Norma Langlois, was up for full Temple status.
Finally it was time for the Lustration ceremony itself!
The Guardian was Rev. Brett Burgell. Matthew Van As acted as Vocifer and Dawn Harrison as Sonifer.
Rev. Julia Cameron and Rev. Debbie Geary acted as Aquifer and Lucifer, cleansing with salt and water and blessing with fire and air.
Rev. Linda Everitt acted as Junovacator, and Rev. Brett Burgell as Genovocator.
The Quarter Guardians were: Rev. Morne Pretorius in the East, Rev. Debbie Geary in the North, Rev. Julia Cameron in the West, and Sharleene Olivier in the South.
The Joint Charge and Great Rite was enacted by Rev. Morne Pretorius and Rev. Julia Cameron, with Carole de Bruyn as Rite Lector.
Sharon Baker acted as Offertory Priestess, making the customary offerings of flowers and incense, and flour and water to the Ancestors.
Proto-Elder Rev. Terry Power acted as First Elder for the ritual. Angie Power acted as Elder’s Herald.
Aldo Castagnini and Angie Power acted as Califers, facilitating the Toast.
Finally Proto-Elder Rev. Raene Packery acted as First Priestess for the ceremony, while I (Rev. Don Lewis) acted as First Priest and Grand Oracle.
Here is the Oracle brought through from the Ancestors:
“We come to you this night in love. We come to you with open hearts, and we ask you not merely to walk with us Hand in Hand, but to know our presence in your lives. As we open our hearts to you, so may you open your hearts to us, that the circle which stretches between the worlds may be a part of life in every moment. The Veil grows thinner year by year. You will find our influence stronger in your lives than ever before. Not only here in this room, in these Temples -but throughout the world- Spirit will be moving with great strength in coming months. And you will see the falling of walls which have stood strong, and the opening of doors that have defied opening. Ancient dust shall blow away and clouds shall part as the Light of Spirit shows stronger than it has for many a generation. These coming years –beginning now- bring great work for you who stand with us, and for we who stand with you. For it is the time to realize that which we have long labored for -and you shall see the greater integration of Spirit and Matter before your eyes. These are our words to you now. And from our hearts we give you blessing!”
After the Oracle the Ancestors blessed the Lustral Water, and Rev. Terry Power led the Quarter Guardians in the act of Lustration itself.
This was followed by the Toast and our regular Awards and announcements.
Rev. Terry Power, Head of the Correllian Awards Program, announced the Tradition Awards for this cycle:
The Order of the Golden Wand, for Service to the Tradition and the World, was awarded to Rev. Laurie Denman of Florida, USA, and Rev. Liz Hamilton of Pennsylvania, USA, for their work with the African Book Drive. This was an incredibly successful project, and a wonderful act of service to our Correllian Family! In addition the Order of the Golden Wand is also awarded to Rev. Gitta Seyfert for her extensive work with charities inside and outside of the Tradition.
The Order of the Silver Chalice, for excellence in the arts, was awarded to Rev. Alyssa Maxon of New York, USA, for her work with the Correllian heraldry banners.
The Order if the Iron Pentacle, for excellence in teaching, was awarded to Rev. Catha Moren, of Linköping, Sweden, and Rev. Harwe Tuileva of Granada, Spain.
And finally the Order of the Thurible, for inspiring others, was awarded to Rev. Ayra Alseret of Seville, Spain, Rev. David MacDonald of Tennessee, USA, and Rev. Angela Munn of Georgia, USA.
Congratulations to all of our Award winners! Your hard work is what keeps this Tradition going! May you be blessed!
Ordinarily we announce the results of Temple Deemings during Lustration, but with the Deeming ceremony taking place so soon before the Lustration it was not possible to do this on this occasion. Therefore this is the first time that the Temple Deeming results are being announced.
I am pleased to say that Silver Moon Temple in Canada and Temple of Brigit in Spain are advanced to full Temple status. The Shrine of Hecate in Spain is advanced to Proto-Temple. Congratulations to Rev. Norma Langlois, Rev. Harwe Tuileva, and Rev. Ayra Alseret and everyone in their respective groups on a successful Deeming!
And our final announcements deal with the Council of Elders itself. As you may remember, two years ago we chose to expand the Council of Elders by appointing a number of Proto-Elders. These are people serving on the Council of Elders without yet being seated as full Elders, but having that eventual potential. We are now introducing Regional Elders who have special duties in specific regions. These will be introduced slowly, and the exact role of this office is still being developed.
I am pleased to announce that the first such Regional Elder is Proto-Elder Rt. Rev. Raene Packery, who is now acclaimed as Regional Proto-Elder for Africa. Congratulations and Blessings Arch Priestess Raene!
In our second announcement about the Council of Elders I am pleased to announce that we will be reviving the office of First Director. Rt. Rev. Jason Highcorrell, who is a fully seated Elder, is hereby proclaimed First Director of the Correllian Tradition. Congratulations and blessings Arch Priest Jason!
And finally, as you may know, the office of First Elder has been vacant since December. I am very pleased to announce that the new First Elder of the Tradition is Rt. Rev. Stephanie Neal. Congratulations and blessings Arch Priestess Stephanie!
You can see the Lustration ritual here: http://youtu.be/6c8HrpDpzXk
After the Announcements we gave thanks and brought the Lustration ceremony to a close, and with it Lustration weekend in Africa. It was a wonderful time.
I want to again thank Lady Raene and all of the good people of Clan of Kheper Temple for all of their hard work in creating this lovely event! Thank you for a job exceedingly well done! And I want to thank all of those who came so far to attend. Thanks also to Rev. Terry Power and Angie Power for all their help and their company on this momentous trip. May the Blessing be upon you all!
Blessings to all!
Rev. Don Lewis
First Priest and Chancellor
Correllian Nativist Tradition