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