Pagan News and Views Since 1998
Sacred Sea Regional Lustration Report
Sacred Sea Regional Lustration
by M. Rev. Donald Lewis
As you may know the weekend of September 4-5 marked the first Correllian Regional Lustration. The Lustration ceremony, intended to cleanse and bless the Tradition, was a traditionally one of the ceremonies conducted by the Correll Mother Temple in honor of the Correllian Ancestors. Since Year 2 Aq. (2002 AD) we have held central Lustrations twice yearly – initially in the Correllian heartland of central Illinois, and later in widely varying locations. As of this year we have decided to move the Lustration of the Living to be a regional event, occurring simultaneously in numerous locations, while retaining the Lustration of the Ancestors as a single central event each year.
The first ever Regional Correllian Lustration of the Living was held by Sacred Sea Temple, of Powder Springs, Georgia, and served the southeast region of the US. Although it was the only regional Lustration this year, we hope that it will serve as inspiration for many next year. All that is needed for a Regional Lustration is one or more Temples working together with a High Priest/ess to bring through an Oracle.
If we can gage the future of Lustrations by this Sacred Sea Regional Lustration, then the future is bright indeed! I have rarely attended a more enjoyable and uplifting event –and I have attended many events in my time. Lady Stephanie, Rev. Mike, and all the good people of Sacred Sea worked long and hard to make this Lustration a wonderful and deeply memorable occasion, and they succeeded in this tremendously!
The Lustration was held at Sacred Sea Temple, a dedicated Temple building in Powder Springs, Georgia. An imposing white building with many large windows and a spacious veranda, surrounded by several acres of land, Sacred Sea provided a gracious setting for the Lustration to unfold in.
The festivities began on Saturday with the Deeming ceremony, held in The Pearl, the main ritual room of Sacred Sea Temple. Lady Stephanie Neal HP, of Sacred Sea, and Lady Virginia Powell HP, of Selu, joined me as Deemsters. Rev. Sheila and Rev. Angela of Sacred Sea acted as Deemster’s Heralds.
Four groups were up for Deeming: Silver Moon Witan Shrine of Victoria, Canada, headed by Rev. Naudia Silverwind, was being Deemed for translation to Proto-Temple: Sacred Light Proto-Temple of Maryland, headed by Rev. Katherina Ghazzoul, was being Deemed for translation to full Temple status: Sacred Light Witan Shrine of South Florida, headed by Rev. Richard Keen HP, was being Deemed for Proto-Temple status, and Children of Gaia Witan Shrine of South Florida, headed by Rev. Janice Nalis HP, was being Deemed for Proto-Temple status. Only Lady Janice was able to attend the Deeming in person. Lady Janice was attended by Children of Gaia’s Maiden Priestess Rev. Joanne Grimes and Rev. William Grimes.
After the Deeming came an outdoor concert in the Lewis Courtyard adjoining the Temple. The concert featured dance, music and song by many performers. Rev. Holly Winterberry opened the concert with a bellydance. This was followed by a performance by Sacred Sea Music Shrine Keeper Davey Fortney Jr., who performed an original composition “Journeys in the Sacred Sea”. Next the Sacred Sea Singers sang “Oh Correllian”, also an original composition with words by Rev. Stephanie Neal HP and music by Davey Fortney Jr. This was followed by a dance presentation by Rev. Amanda, a swords dance by Matt, bellydance by Rev. Amanda and Davey Fortney Jr., and poi dancing by Rev. Amanda, Alex, Rev. Michael, Davey, Bradley, and Wesley.
After the concert we returned to The Pearl for a question and answer presentation by Lady Steff and myself. This proved to be a very interesting discussion right from the first question, which was “Define Deity”.
Next came dinner on the lanai. All manner of dishes were served at outdoor tables overlooking the Temple’s garden and grove. Sacred Sea has established a custom of planting a tree or bush for every initiation or major event held at the Temple. To commemorate the Regional Lustration Sacred Sea planted a hawthorn!
After dinner the High Priesthood returned to The Pearl to prepare for the evenings initiations, while outside a Fellowship Circle was being held in the Lewis Courtyard. The Fellowship Circle was for those who were not involved in the initiations as well as for those to be initiated and dedicated up to the point where they were taken away to meditate.
The initiations went very well. New Initiates included Rev. Alex, Rev. Davey Fortney Jr., and Rev. Caithlyn. New Dedicants included Rhonda, William, and Matt.
After the initiations there was birthday cake for Dedicant Bradley Knebel who was celebrating his twenty-fourth birthday. Happy birthday Bradley! Then followed drumming and dancing in The Pearl until late in the night.
Sunday was of course the Lustration itself. The ceremony was enacted in the Lewis Courtyard. Rev. Mike Neal acted as Guardian. Dedicant Rob and Dedicant Wesley cleansed and charged the circle. Then Rev. Mandy performed a special cleansing and purifying dance to complete the preparation of the sacred space. Rev. Michael acted as Genevocator and Rev. Amanda acted as Junovocatrix. I myself too the role as Presiding Priest and Lady Stephanie Neal of Sacred Sea joined me as Presiding Priestess. The Quarter Guardians were Dedicant Bradley (East), Rev. Alex (South), Rev. Davey (West) and Rev. Mandy (North). Rev. Mandy and Matt enacted the Great Rite and Joint Charge with Rev. Angela as Rite Lector. Lady Janice Nalis of Children of Gaia took the role of Elder with Rev. Joanne Grimes of Children of Gaia as her Herald. Lady Steff brought through the Oracle of the Ancestors which was this:
“You have already struck the note upon the beloved heartstrings of the Correllian Ancestors. We are well pleased. For we love you from –you think from afar, but indeed we reside right so close to you that even a blade of grass is too far. We instruct you and we say to all of you, our Beloved –for you call us Beloved and we call you ‘Beloved’ back- but we shall now from this day forward give you a new song in your hearts, from this day forward we want all of you to go tell them, tell them that we in fact are the ones that will hold your hands and love you –and those that have gone astray -they think- well we will love them back. There are many new ways that we are going to express ourselves, and there are many new knowledges, forgotten AND new, that we shall give to each and every one of you. But don’t look necessarily to the teacher, though yes there will be new knowledge from them, but also look at all avenues. The next time you take your next step –is there a lesson there? An experience there? An awakening there? For you have been creative too long, for too many aeons, to think that you have ever gone on your own, beloved.”
After the Oracle followed the actual Lustration with Lady Janice joining Bradley, Rev. Alex, Rev. Davey, and Rev. Mandy respectively to bless the Four Quarters of Being.
After the toast came the customary time of announcements. We had a number of announcements for this Lustration, notably Deeming results and awards. The results of the weekend’s Deeming were these: Silver Moon is advanced to Proto-Temple Status –congratulations Rev. Naudia and all the fine people of Silver Moon Proto-Temple! Sacred Light is advanced to Full Temple Status –congratulations Lady Katherina and all the fine people of Sacred Light Temple! Sacred Light of South Florida is advanced to Proto-Temple Status –congratulations Lord Richard and all the fine people of Sacred Light of South Florida Proto-Temple! And Children of Gaia is advanced to Full Temple Status –congratulations Lady Janice and all the fine people of Children of Gaia!
Next came our awards. We have for several years made it our custom to give awards acknowledging the hard work of people within our Tradition, so that they can be shown the appreciation and recognition that they deserve! In this cycle our awards are: The Order of the Golden Wand to Rev. Michael Kotch, in recognition of his good work with the Officers of Avalon: The Order of the Iron Pentacle to Rev. Morghana Silkmoon in recognition of her mentoring, ritual work, and teaching –and most especially in recognition of her providing a point of contact for the Portuguese speaking members of our Correllian family! The Order of the Thurible to Rev. Krysty Underwood and Rev. Rebecca Doolin in recognition of their work in ritual leadership.
And finally in recognition of all his work in the CNT Fundraising Office, especially his organizing and carrying out the Lustration Silent Auctions, the rarely given Chancellor’s Special Service Award is given to Rev. Michael Neal! This award was last given in Year 5 Aquarius, and is only awarded for special services to the Tradition.
Congratulations Rev. Michael, Rev. Morghana, Rev. Krysty, Rev. Rebecca, and Rev. Michael!
Following the Lustration ceremony was a lavish feast on the lanai, which will be remembered as the Feast of the Butterflies. I have never seen anything quite like it. Several extremely friendly butterflies blessed members of the assemblage by landing on them and remaining with them without fear. Rev. Mandy, Matt, and Rev. Bill Grimes were all marked in this way.
After the feast followed the First Southeast Regional Correllian Clergy Roundtable, in which we assembled in The Pearl to discuss issues of interest to Correllian Clergy and to the southeast US region in particular. It was a very positive meeting, which helped to cement many of the new connections established during the weekend.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend and a most memorable Lustration! Thank you everyone at Sacred Sea and all who attended!
Blessings to all!
Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell,
First Priest and Chancellor
Correllian Nativist Tradition
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