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June 21, 2013 / Brooklyn news / Bushwick / The Greatest Story Ever

New house of worship is based on sorcery, woman power

Witch church? The one in Bushwick

The Brooklyn Paper
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Meet the BushWiccans!

The Borough of Churches’ latest addition is a group of pagan women who have set up a Wiccan church in Bushwick that is routinely holding ceremonies based on celestial beings and menstrual cycles.

Members of the new Moon Church say it is a far cry from a typical house of worship, but only because there are no pews, no priests, no passing of the collection basket, and a good deal of sorcery.

“It’s guided meditation, breath work, learning magic together,” said Lyndsey Harrington, one of the group’s founders. “We’re trying to marry that to magic and spirituali­ty.”

The monthly service is chock full of standard church pageantry, including candles, incense, and offerings to the spirits, combined with flowing skirts, long hair, and plenty of woman power — so much so that the mention of “God” usually ends with an “ess.”

“I realized how witchcraft is integral to woman and empowerment and the female collective,” said Harrington. “It’s about learning to be vulnerable with other women and the power that comes from that.”

The church celebrated the last new moon with a ceremony led by Harrington, a 22-year-old native of southern California who grew up surrounded by alternative spiritual groups, in a fourth-floor apartment of the McKibben Lofts. About 20 women and a couple of men participated in the hour-long circle that included incantations and readings from the book of the Grateful Dead (well, Greatfull Dead lyrics, anyway).

In addition to the new moon ceremonies, the church regularly hosts women-only gatherings focused on menstruation.

“We have a circle that is about loving your body and learning how to reclaim your menstrual cycle,” said Harrington. “It’s all about manifestation and noticing our cycles that we experience as related to cosmic cycle.”

There are eight organizing members of the church, which started at the Body Actualized Center, a yoga, music and spiritual center on Troutman Street in Bushwick, and gatherings draw anywhere from 10 to 50 participants intent on making the world a better place.

“It’s a kind of community organizing, getting groups of creative people together to be their creative selves,” said co-founder Asha Cherian, who also goes by the name Asha Man.

To that end, the people of the Moon Church try to be a loving, supportive community to each other.

“We have an e-mail list with apartment and job postings and advice,” said Cherian.

The Moon Church does not have a brick-and-mortar gathering place, instead holding its ceremonies at members’ homes, the Body Actualized Center, or the occult bookstore Catland on Flushing Avenue, which is fine with them, because, in the end, one’s own body is her temple.

“Right now, we’re focusing on strengthening the inner collective,” said Harrington.

Find the Moon Church on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moon-Church/540269319326639?fref=ts

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 10:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Chooch Buster from Park Slope says:
This is a spiritual aspect of the bohemian diaspora in Brooklyn. By no means a first, but interesting to see now in Bushwick. I have nachus for these churches because they are closely identified with my people. In the 90s the Pagan faiths were frequently found among artists in Williamsburg and the LES. Let's hope they buy an old church and raise the roof! Bring some faith back to the hood!
June 21, 2013, 6:14 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Harrington, a 22-year-old native of southern California

Read no further.

It's fun to play dress up, until a witch gets burned.
June 21, 2013, 6:46 am
o3 from bk says:
wait, do they get a tax exemption?

if so, i'm starting the mountian bike church ))
June 21, 2013, 6:51 am
Chooch Buster from Park Slope says:
Meh. The witch hunters were displaced long ago. We hunt chooches today.
June 21, 2013, 7:25 am
manhatposeur from brokelyn says:
cult of harry potter!
June 21, 2013, 7:41 am
hahaha from Manhattan says:
Dress up fantasy fun time! YAY! Seriously? Reclaiming menstrual cycles? Like, like fishing a used tampon out of the waste basket? These dipsters must think they'ev gotten a bit old for D&D.
June 22, 2013, 12:57 am
Chooch Buster from Park Slope says:
The jokes on witches and hipsters are as obvious as they are irrelevant. The point is. Whatever it is, witchcraft, unicycles, abstract painting ... it is hands down a culture superior in every way to the oppressive slop that the corporations and churches have been force feeding to the zombie mooks of Brooklyn for half a century.
June 22, 2013, 4:36 pm
Jay Rossetti from Bensonhurst says:
This is far from new and this article doesn't seem well informed. I'm sorry but I'm skeptical of a 22 year old founder of what is in essence a Coven. Covens exist throughout Brooklyn; this isn't the first and it wont be the last. Glad to see Catland mentioned though as its an amazing store!
June 27, 2013, 10:08 pm
Chooch Buster from Park Slope says:
Good point, Jay. "By no means a first" I said above. In a borough of European, Hispanic, and Haitian immigrants, there must have been covens over the decades. But this is a hipster coven, which makes it newsworthy, since everything hipster seems to be newsworthy. There were Wiccans and Witches among the bohemians in Williamsburg years ago. But bohemians in Brooklyn back in the day were not nearly as controversial or as reviled or for that matter as entrepreneurial as are hipsters in today's Brooklyn.
June 29, 2013, 12:53 pm
Mark from Bed stuy says:
So predictable, a bunch of trust fund Santa Barbara California twenty year olds holding hands, doing Mali, dressing with the right cool trendy witch uniforms...claiming higher consciousness ....sounds like a bad episode from girls.
Aug. 5, 2013, 5:52 pm
Mark from Bed stuy says:
So predictable, a bunch of trust fund Santa Barbara California twenty year olds holding hands, doing Mali, dressing with the right cool trendy witch uniforms...claiming higher consciousness ....sounds like a bad episode from girls.
Aug. 5, 2013, 5:52 pm
Mark from Bed stuy says:
So predictable, a bunch of trust fund Santa Barbara California twenty year olds holding hands, doing Mali, dressing with the right cool trendy witch uniforms...claiming higher consciousness ....sounds like a bad episode from girls.
Aug. 5, 2013, 5:52 pm
Ovaldo Brown from Crown Heights says:
I'm an empathe, so I feel everything around me and within me and it makes me uncomfortable and the things that i feel scares me and the things that I see makes my skin crawl. Please help me? Please pray for me? What do you or your family know about witchcraft, santeria, or voodoo and can you have them work on my behalf? My name is Ovaldo Brown. Just ask around, and can you also work on my behalf, if you do it?
Jan. 10, 9:11 pm

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