I am very happy to say that I am one of the organizers for the Babalon Rising Pan-Thelemic Festival. Thelema, for those who don't know already, is a Greek-derived word that means Will. Specifically, Thelemites are interested in discovering and acting in accordance with their True Will. (This doesn't mean doing what one merely wants or desires, but it is really about being in touch with one's higher nature and working in accordance with Universal Will.)
Though there are several magickal and religious orders within the Thelema, Babalon Rising prides itself on being "Pan-Thelemic" -- a place for All Wills (or all paths of Will). We have several branches of the OTO, Golden Dawn, Neo-Paganism, Sacred Sexuality and even Hellenic Polytheism who attend, present, and generally play very nicely together for the four days of classes, rituals, discussions and celebrations in the woods of Southern Indiana.
I have presented at the festival since 2008, offering attendees various Aphrodisian encounters. This year, though the timing isn't strictly in accord with the HMEPA calendar, I am leading an Aphrodisia ritual -- the version included in Cult of Aphrodite. (I feel okay in offering the Aphrodisia at a different time than would have been traditional in Athens considering that several other poleis had their own Aphrodisia rites according to their local calendars.)
Since 2009, my part in helping with Babalon Rising has been in scheduling presenters for sacred sexuality and sex magick topics. This year, we have an entire secondary track dedicated to these topics, and we have several amazing presenters.
Mike and Lissa Manor of the Temple of Venus Erycina will be leading workshops on channeling and erotic shadow work. David and Amanda Torrey and the courtesans of Temple Terra Incognita will present several workshops, including discussions of sacred prostitution in today's reality, working with Deities and other beings, and the impact of chaos magick. Lady Lyn will lead a Sacred Touch Ceremony -- a Babalon Rising staple ritual which has been led in the past by its originator, Mike Manor, and by myself -- and she will discuss working with energy in sacred sex work. Maegdlyn Morris will lead a Polyamory discussion, and she will host a Bacchanalia in conjunction with her Babalon Finishing School. And our keynote speaker, Jason Augustus Newcomb, will discuss sex magick for long-term couples.
Last year, my beloved Glaux and I literally stormed the field with a our thyrsoi and wine bottles as the first thunderstorm of summer rolled through -- giving us the chance to run and roar with maenads and satyrs in celebration of the Bromiad (in honor of Dionysos Thunderer).
If you are a magickal practitioner, I cannot begin to stress enough the amazingness of this festival. There are rituals everyday -- both scheduled and impromptu. The classes and workshops are first-rate. If you are at all sensitive to energy, you will feel it as soon as you come through the gate, for indeed the entire festival is a magickal working for those who are open to it.
If you are not a magickal practitioner, there is still so much for you. Many of the rituals are celebratory in nature. And the classes are just so informative!
And the bonfires! Louis Martinie of the New Orleans Voodoo Temple drums practically all night (and will be leading a drum blessing this year). The drummers, the dancers, the fire-spinners, the firetenders all work the alchemy of the fire from sundown until sunrise every night.
I'd love to meet some of you there! The festival runs from June 10 through the 13, and we give you free days on the 9th and 14th for set-up/tear-down. Check out the website for registration information, schedule and directions!