Sunday, January 19, 2020

Interview with Grand Elder Madame X of the second annual Elder and Leadership Summit by Dave Wolff

Interview with Grand Elder Madame X
Co-producer of the second annual Elder and Leadership Summit

I recently got wind of a major event in the planning stages, that you are co-producing with Stefan Henderson. Many people have been invited to get involved. Tell the readers what this event is, where it’s being held and its significance?
Indeed. Stefan Henderson, aka Lord Stefan Resurrectus and I are co-producing the second annual Elder and Leadership Summit. This event has been created to stimulate face-to-face interaction, problem-solving, education & collaboration for the betterment of the Greater Nightkind Community: Vampire, Pagan, Therian or Otherkin.
I am very proud to say that this year the Summit will be taking place right here in New Jersey, with the majority of the gatherings happening at my “home away from home” QXT’s Night Club! Located at 248 Mulberry Street, just a few blocks away from Newark Penn Station. We are very excited and can’t wait for our four days of networking, discovery, education, and fun, beginning Thursday, May 28th.
We seek to continue the spirit of what we began at our first Summit in Georgia spring of 2019. To continue to offer Elders, Leaders and fledglings alike, the opportunity to sit down in the same room, get to know each other in person, and discuss important topics that will encourage further collaboration, problem-solving, deeper understanding of techniques, as well as a deeper understanding of self and others. We hope to heal old wounds, build new bridges and motivate our many fragmented groups to grow together as a Community that shares interests, challenges, and goals.
So yes, our 2020 Elder & Leadership Summit Planning Committee is still open to both seasoned and fresh presenters who wish to share their experiences and beliefs. We are open to presentations, workshops, classes and panels on Community building, leadership & communication skills, inner nature, personal development, energy work, innovation, mysticism and all other topics that may appeal to the multifaceted individuals that make up or very colorful Nightkind Community, be they Vampires, Pagans, Therians or Otherkin. We are also looking for Merchants, Art Exhibitors and Authors.
I encourage everyone who can - to attend. It will be an unforgettable experience!
You can find a tentative agenda on our Facebook Event. And there is more information on the Elder and Leadership Summit at our Official Facebook Page.

How successful was the first annual Elder and Leadership Summit? Who were the guests involved and what did they contribute?
The 2019 Summit was what I would call intimate but it was without doubt very successful. It was a special and rare blessing indeed to be counted among the participants, representatives and distinguished dignitaries from so many Nightkind organizations across the country, which included: Georgia, Washington State, Colorado, Louisiana, California, Illinois, and New Jersey just to name a few.
Together with members from the Court of the Iron Garden and my international coven, House of the Dreaming, I offered a sacred Affirmation Ceremony. It was my interest to affirm, solidify and elevate the ancient blood within us so that it will continue to flow, revitalize & strengthen our journey as leaders and future leaders - today, tomorrow & for years to come, empowering all of us in our renewed Dream of Community.
Some of the more vocal participants at last year’s Summit were Anya Magdalena Rakoczy of House Rakoczy, Lestelle Dawn of the Coven of the Articulate, Janet White of Clan Resurrectus, Derek Lestat of the Greater Chicagoland Coalition, Alex Longineet of the Court of the Iron Garden, Mistress Nyx Fury of House of the Dreaming, Wendy Kestler, and of course Stefan Henderson.
The educational presentations offered a variety of explorative opportunities. My very favorites were a very informative presentation on Enochian magick, the sanguine exchange demonstration, and the workshop on the energy of gems and minerals. The private Elder Meetings were also very constructive focused on sincere dialogue, identifying common challenges and collaborative solutions. But I must say, the highlight of the event was certainly Stefan’s and Anastasia’s Wedlock Ceremony and the beautiful exchange of vows, spotlighting the vocals of the Community’s own Baron Misuraca.

Who among your friends and contacts has expressed interest in this year’s event since you started inviting guests?
I am delighted to see that this year’s Summit agenda has indeed sparked the interest of my friends and colleagues, and we haven’t yet really begun to promote. Many of last year’s attending Elders have already confirmed interest in returning including Wendy Kestler, Janet White, Derek Lestat, Lestele Dawn, and Alex Longineet. While it’s too early for the Planning Committee to announce who will be attending and who will be presenting; at this time I can certainly disclose that we are showcasing Rune Readings by return attendee Bakaal aka Wes Reeves, Tarot & Bone Readings by Lady Aubrianna, and Fangsmithing by the infamous Tom The Misfit of Costume Fangs NYC.

It sounds like there is an extremely healthy occult scene in New York and New Jersey, as well as other states across the U.S. How long have you been involved in what’s going on locally and what interested you in this lifestyle?
New York and New Jersey have always walked hand in hand when it comes to their joint interest in the occult and mysticism. Immediately coming to mind is NJ native Henry Steel Olcott, the first president of the NY Chapter of the Theosophic Society. And since then, there have been so many others who have exchanged blood and ideas between our two states, to pave the road for where we are today.
I have been interested in the occult ever since I can remember. It’s simply part of who I am. By ’75 I had already become an avid reader and collector of books on the subject. My first fascination was with extra sensory perception, mediumship, and divination. I have been involved in the ‘scene’ since the NYC Coven Days of the mid 80’s. A time before the internet, when we met in secret at each other’s homes, or otherwise covertly announced our back-room-meetings on The Village Voice, a local NYC newspaper. Rob, host of the old alternative club The Mission, Mike, host of The Cat Club, and Herman Slater, proprietor of the old occult center The Magickal Childe were some of the very first individuals I met, who facilitated gatherings where the occult and vampirism were openly discussed. Back in the 90’s I ran The Rift, an arts forum guild catering to the beautiful children of the night, where I hosted various events on both sides of the Hudson at locations like Archetypus in Edgewater NJ, The Pulse Theatre in Midtown Manhattan, CBGB´s Gallery, and of course at my favorite location Madame X Lounge. I was an early member of SNOG (NYC), co-founder of the original Iron Garden (NJ) back in the 90’s, the first citizen of the Court of Lazarus (NY), the first bearer of the Order of the Black Marble … Currently, I am the Matriarch of House of the Dreaming [est. 2000] and the Primus of the Iron Garden [resurrected in 2015] among other roles with other lesser-known Community organizations.
For me, it’s an inner calling. I am simply compelled to serve our Community. I have met amazing individuals that both humble and inspire me. I feel I am making a difference for those around me – some call me sister, muse, teacher … even mom. In reaching out to others I build myself. I really can’t imagine a more meaningful life-path or growing experience.

What occult/spiritual paths have you taken on since discovering the occult underground/ Nightkind Community and how have they been beneficial to you?
I love that question. Yes, we learn, grow and evolve. Evolution becomes more dynamic, more pointed, with the level of exposure and interaction, not just with truths and understandings, but also as a response to those who we encounter on our journey, regardless if they walk our path, a parallel path, or a diametrically opposed one. In my life, I have had two major awakenings that stand out among all the other layers.
When I was seven years old my schoolmates stoned me for being a witch. I guess they saw thru me, into what I thought was just natural. This very cathartic event propelled me into a deeper understanding of who I was – a natural-born witch. I accepted that layer of myself well into my late 20’s. I studied witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy and often used the term sanguine witch. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to deepen my path by studying Taoist, Native American, and Urban Shamanism. Shamanism will always be at the core of my beliefs; it is the basic truth of all magic. I also studied Yoga and T'ai chi ch'üan for years. I studied Ceremonial Magick, Palo Mayombe, and Chaos Magick…
My second major awakening was just as cathartic. I almost perished in my attempt to test what I had denied about myself for years. I had been told repeatedly I was a vampire, but it simply was not my truth. I resolved to test it and consciously abstain from interpersonal interactions and any type of energy absorption. This test catalyzed my ‘dark night of the soul’. The results were dangerously evident; I would simply come apart without vitality exchange. This changed forever how I perceived who I was and my role in the Community. It was time I accepted I was Vampire. I emerged ready to take my cumulative Nightside experiences and the wisdom I had garnered, combine them with my Dayside, manifest my potential and become who I was intended to be. I became a minister, a priestess, and a guide. I started my own coven, took in acolytes and embraced a more visible role in the Community. From the Awakening to the Becoming.

Since Magickal Childe, Other Worldly Waxes and the old Enchantments closed down, are there newer occult shops open in Manhattan and New Jersey? Which of them would you recommend?
The only constant in the universe is change. It is, however, disconcerting to look back and observe the ebb and flow of those havens around us, which has also forced us to change and grow into newness. The new Enchantments shop isn’t bad. I’ve picked up a few things there recently. But my favorite metaphysical shop is in Clifton New Jersey, Botanica San Lazaro. It’s a beautiful space replete with treated candles, fresh herbs, oils, books and other tools we simply can’t live without. They offer yoga classes in their Inner Peace Center upstairs, and from time to time they also host psychic fairs. Plus they have a very accessible and knowledgeable staff, who is very helpful and accommodating. I would most certainly recommend Botanica San Lazaro to anyone who is procuring everyday magical staples or the more hard to find components. When you go, tell them Madame X sent you.

Are there any memorable tales from those shops you mentioned that are worth recounting in this article?
Back in the 80’s at The Magickal Childe, Herman Slater was a terrific influence on me. Not only did he prepare the most remarkable potions for us seekers of the magickal arts, but he conducted the most powerful, transformative gnostic masses; a great inspiration to my own ceremonies to be sure.
I also recall with fondness the Full-Moon Circles held at Enchantments back in the 80’s & early 90’s. Sister Carol of Enchantments, better known today as Lady Miw Sekhmet, would share with me such profound wisdom, reminding me of what deep inside I already knew. I often think back on her eyes and attribute my determination to the tools and acumen she lovingly placed on my hands over 30 years ago.
Today’s Enchantments still offers caring personalized services that reflect the spirit of old. I find their magical candles and apothecary selections to still transmit the heart and soul of both Carol and Herman. Cat and Tom are knowledgeable, articulate and sincere – what more can we ask for?!
A few years ago, my international coven, House of the Dreaming held an unforgettable gathering at Botanica San Lazaro. We were extremely satisfied with the care, attention, and generosity of the proprietor, Lorenzo Martes; all our guests raved about the shop. We were so pleased to welcome our international members and our friends from NJ, NY & PA to this warm, modern space to participate in meditation, open discussion and, of course, ‘shopping’. I continue to collaborate with Botanica San Lazaro at our Iron Garden gatherings. They are welcome purveyors of pagan goods, services, and have also presented educational segments and spiritual ceremonies for our group.
I hope both Enchantments and Botanica San Lazaro are available to join us as merchants for the Summit.

Who in the occult Community - musicians, practitioners, authors - have you met or established friendships with over the years?
You know, its questions like this that get me in trouble. How can I possibly mention all the many friends I have made over the years? As I said I have been in the Community for over 3 decades… and I strive to keep my friendships. And goodness, I certainly wouldn’t want to misrepresent them… But I do love to spread the love so hope it is perceived just for what it is. Here are just a few names you may recognize.
Goddess Rosemary Sahjaza (ID) - High Priestess & Spiritual Mother of Temple House Sahjaza. Some may know her as Goddess Rosemary, others as Silky Rose; I call her Sister with a capital S. Goddess Rosemary is the loving mother figure and Grand Elder for countless many in our Community always offering encouraging advice and a warming embrace. When the going gets tough, it’s my Sister Rosemary I turn to for sound advice. Hailing from the same roots of the ‘NY Coven Days’ and of underground fetish parties, Rosemary and I share many friends and interesting stories, but by far the most remarkable story is the one told by those who have been transformed by her generous wisdom.
Patrick Rodgers (PA) – Best known for being a concert promoter, DJ, and the big boss at Dancing Ferret; he is also an author, as well as the beguiling interview host of the YouTube program “Interviewed by a Vampire”. Patrick and I first met in 1998 at the very first Dracula’s Ball he hosted. Patrick is a beautiful man, charismatic, traveled, intelligent and an avid consumer advocate. It’s no wonder I became a frequent attendee of Patrick’s fantabulous music soirees in Philadelphia. His multifaceted efforts and creative drive to build Community is truly inspiring.
Father Sebastiaan (CA) – Infamous fangsmith, author, club promoter, and impresario. He is best known as the founder of Clan Sabretooth. He is also the most controversial figure of the modern-day vampire Community, despite having been the very architect of it. It was his NYC Vampire Balls that first brought the Vampire to light; I was there, but many of my friends refused to attend and come out of the coffin. I didn’t meet Sebastiaan at the first grand ball of ’96, we were already friends from years back, as we frequented the same music clubs and shared similar interests. Through the decades we have collaborated on a variety of Community projects including subculture books, events, and socials. I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.
Baron Misuraca (NY) – Vocalist, Musician, Conceptual Artist and overall Renaissance-Man of the Arts. He is the bassist & vocalist for the international acclaim band Carnivore A.D., but is still best known for being the long-time vocalist for the Gothic Metal band Vasaria and for his retro music show the Vampire Lounge. The Baron commands his audience with his debonair stage presence and his silky mane. The Barron and I first met at the old NYC vampire club Mother’s back in the 90’s. Since then, we have fostered a working friendship; I’ve shared in each other’s company on stage at QXT’s, at the Iron Garden, and at BatStock functions. It was wonderful to put work aside and have the opportunity to casually socialize at last year’s Elder and Leadership Summit.
Michelle Belanger (OH) – Founder of House Kheperu, Author, Teacher, and Singer. Who in our Community has not heard of Michelle Belanger? She is a renowned author, researcher, paranormal specialist, television personality, and is ‘the’ leading authority on vampires in fiction, folklore, and modern culture. Back in the mid 90’s before we even met in person, Michelle and I were both working independently in different corners of the US on very similar literary projects designed to draw out others who shared our Nightkind identity. When we finally met, we immediately recognized each other as spiritual sisters. I consider myself honored to have had the opportunity to interact with Michelle in person, both with Community and musical endeavors. She will always be a welcome guest at my home.
Margot Day (VT) – Singer, flutist, poet, and songwriter. Margot Day is the centerpiece goddess of the witchy-goth musical duo Metamorph. Margo and I first met in the 90’s at GBGB’s Gallery at a club night aptly called Alchemy. I couldn’t help but identify with her transcending lyrics and voice. She has the soul of a seasoned witch, the heartbeat of a passionate poet, and the voice of a Nightingale on a rainy moonlit night. We just had to be friends. Over the years, Margot has had an extremely busy calendar, yet she has always found the time to be a steadfast supporter of my Community efforts; like the 2000 NJ Goth Challenge at Connections and the Iron Garden. We’re so due for another visit.
Doktor John (NJ) – Journalist, Reporter and Artist. Many may know him as the journalist who for nearly 20 years chronicled of the Gothic, Punk and Industrial scenes in The Aquarian Weekly, a NJ-based regional newspaper focused on alternative events and rock music. Our eyes locked across a crowded dance floor at The Bank in NYC, and we immediately became friends. We’ve shared many scene moments together at music concerts, poetry nights and social events. Dokor John has been a supporter of all my Community events, including The Rift, the NJ Goth Challenges, as well as the Iron Garden. It would be great to have him exhibit his art at this years’ Elder Summit, particularly that piece he painted me in.
Myke Hiddeous (NJ) – Vocalist, Songwriter, Author, Photographer, and Artist. Best known for being the founder and frontman for the gothic rock band The Empire Hideous, he also sang lead vocals for SpySociety99 and The Misfits among others. Myke is a wonderfully complex man brimming with genius and mystery, who never ceases to amaze me with his talents and determination. We’ve shared a delightful friendship since the 90’s. I have been inspired by his profound artistry with the canvas and paintbrush, I have modeled for one of his photography projects, and may even appear on one of his upcoming music videos, so stay tuned.
Genoveva Rossi (NJ) – Actress, Scream Queen, Writer, Model, and Professional Psychic. Knowing Genoveva has been an adventure, her days are filled with action-packed off-the-beaten-path fun. Although I promised never to disclose for how long we have been friends, we have certainly spent many evenings together dancing, stargazing and enjoying the camaraderie carved by our mutual thirst for the occult, the macabre and the supernatural. Once, we even feasted on a freshly slaughtered willing sacrificial victim… and we have pictures to prove it!
Don Henrie (CA) – Actor and Model, best known as The Vampire Don or The Vampire Emperor due to his appearance on the reality show Mad House. He is one of the few individuals who are perfect for the public eye; he is savvy, well-spoken, charismatic and good-looking, which transmits a very favorable image, not just for himself, but for the whole Nightkind Community. Don and I met in NYC at a social event hosted by mutual friends where we bonded over shared drinks and engaged in a bit of energy play. We may live across the country from each other but we’ve managed to keep an eye out for one another, always look for the random opportunity to catch up for drinks.
Jeffrey Jene (NY) – Magician, Grand Illusionist, Actor, Artist, Singer, Writer, Animator and yes, he is a bit of a juggler too. He would have to be to combine all this with his pointed interest in metaphysics and the occult. Jeffrey and I met at QXT’s back in 2010 and I immediately recognized him as part of my soul family. It is rare to find someone so talented, dedicated and persevering, with a nurturing heart always aiming to lighten the spirits of those around him with magic, wonderment, laughter, and pleasure. Jeffrey is a Citizen of the Court of Lazarus in NYC and from time to time joins us at the Iron Garden to offer us a special treat.
Kai Irina Hahn (NY) – Singer, Actress, Event Producer, and all-around Bad Ass Diva. Kai is best known for being the lead singer for the EBM Dark Wave band The Sedona Effect and being the keyboardist and back-up vocalist for NOIR. But Kai is also the producer of the yearly Vampire Cruise on the Hudson, which I had the pleasure to be stage manager for last year. Kai and I met in the summer of 2013 at the Tuxedo Park Renaissance Faire and I was immediately captivated by her fantastic accent and European flair. We share many interests including a love for visual arts, martial arts, roleplaying, and of course vampire mischief.
Amara Willey (NJ) – Elder of Hands of Change Coven, Founding Elder of the Pagan Pan Council and Creatrix of Mind Body Spirit Home. Also known as Crow, she is the driving force behind Ishtarfest, the Pagan Picnic, and the public Full Moon Rituals hosted by HoC. Crow and I met at a workshop and ritual night hosted by her coven in the spring of 2016 and anchored our friendship on spirituality, the fact we are both Aquarians, and our shared love for the Community. Crow’s shining light walks hand in hand with her generous spirit in a pointed effort to nurture, motivate and empower all who seek her counsel.
Lorraine Henrick (NJ) – Founding Elder of the Tree of Light Healing, Teacher at Healer’s Academy, International Instructor for the Modern Mystery School, HPS, Magus Hermeticus, and Master Healer. Lorraine and I met thru Facebook in 2015 but because of our mutual international exploits, it wasn’t until 2018 that we finally connected in person. Lorraine and I share a passion for globetrotting. Like me, she has traveled extensively, including remote locations in Asia & South America as both a student and teacher. We are very blessed to have her as a frequent presenter at the Iron Garden.
Eddie Massey (PA) – Author, Teacher, Artist, Psychic and Event Producer. Reverend E. Massey is a Ronin Elder of the Iron Garden, Founder of the Pocono Witches Festival & Ball, Owner of The Pocono Witch Shoppe, Psychic Investigator at Paranormal Spirit Finders and Founder of the Pocono Paranormal & Psychic Weekends. Exemplary Community leader of the Pocono region and practicing witch for the past 25 years, the Reverend and I share a mutual drive and were destined to meet. We will be conducting a lunar ceremony at Dark Side of the Con 4, this spring, and hope to collaborate on many future projects, so stay tuned.

What group from those you mentioned earlier is directly involved in planning the Elder and Leadership Summit each year? Who is on the event planning committee with you? Is this the same staff as you had last year or are there some new members?
Last year the event was planned primarily by key elements from Clan Resurrectus. This year we have a special Summit 2020 planning committee for our NJ based event. The planning committee is made up of the team of individuals that developed the NJ Bid for this year’s Summit, as well as, a few members of the Allied Coalition of Elders or rather ACE. ACE was formed at last year’s Summit, where all of its members are Community Elders who were present at the 2019 Summit. Our 2020 Summit Planning Committee is entirely different than last year although there is some overlap, however half the team is new to the Summit planning effort. This is the dedicated team that makes up the 2020 Elder & Leadership Summit Committee:
• Viceroy Stefan Resurrectus, ACE & Patriarch of Clan Phoenix Resurrectus (GA)
• Madame X, ACE, Matriarch of House of the Dreaming, HPS, Primus of the Iron Garden and Prince of the Skylands-Gateway Halo (NJ)
• Lady Danann-Starseed aka Janet White, ACE, Founding HPS of Coven of the Northern Lights & HPS of Clan Resurrectus (GA)
• Lord Blueeyesoul of Ra-Horakhty aka Alex Longeneet, ACE, Founding Elder of the Court of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• Lady Morgana LaRouge, Mother and Founding Elder of House LaRouge, Elder of Clan Order Of The Dragon (NY)
• Lady Finna DeElf aka Denise Ericksson, Clan Corvid, Master or Ceremony for Arlington Lodge at VASA and Founding Elder of the Court of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• Heidi Worthless aka Wendy Kestler, ACE (CA)
• Fluffy aka Andy Beck, Citizen of the Iron Garden (NJ)
• David Siriux (AZ)

What role or roles will you be taking on during the Summit? Does it include being a presenter?
I think my primary role with the Summit is happening right now. I am in essence the lead when it comes to producing this event. Together with our planning committee, I developed the 4-day agenda and will continue to work on cultivating just the right combination of presenters to make this event a thrilling success.
I have thrown in my hat to present on the History of the Vampire Community; since I am one of the grand-elders of the VC and have experienced much of it first hand, I feel particularly qualified to speak on the subject. Yet, as a seasoned teacher and presenter, I can also offer a lecture or workshop on a variety of other topics like dream-work, awakenings & becoming, energy exchange techniques, vampire craft, building Community, etc.… I am certainly open to present on whatever topic the Planning Committee feels would be most beneficial. I don’t expect we will know exactly what I’m presenting on until the Committee has fully considered all other submitted proposals. The Elders & Leadership Summit is not about any one person, but about the greater Community.

Where have you been doing your most aggressive promotion for the Summit?
Since we are in the early stage of securing presenters, we have depended primarily on word of mouth and sharing the news on some select special interest groups. I don’t think a full-out advertising campaign is what we really want. It’s not our interest to attract everyone; instead, we’d prefer to attract those individuals that are already involved in vampirism, paganism, therianthropy, witchcraft, and already grasp the integration of the deeper shades of magick and self-identification. As we get closer to the date, we may release public service announcements both on social and on print media; after all, it’s not just about this particular event, it’s about raising awareness about the elders of today, the leaders of tomorrow and how to best foster open-dialogue, cooperation, networking and fraternity.

Are there any topics you would like to see covered besides those you discussed? Who else would you like to see attend?
Regarding topics, it would be great to have a shadow-self workshop. I feel it would be very beneficial to explore what the shadow-self is, to discover the benefits of reintegrating with our shadow-self and perceive it as an ally.
Another topic of interest would be the worship of ancient gods, discovering pathways to better connect with the essence of ancient deities and maybe even touch upon the dangers of communing with the darker divinities.
I would also love to see a panel discussing addressing “What is an Elder” it would be interesting to hear the different requirements for Elderhood from different groups and hear the opinions and expectations of what elders should embody.
Another idea would be a panel discussing “Elder Needs”. Elders are often perceived as impervious, and although that would be ideal, it is far from the truth. Elders often find themselves isolated and lacking in support networks.
… Meanwhile, in addition to the wonderful creatures I mentioned before, I would love to see more of my House of the Dreaming Family attend the Summit like Master Deacon, Lady Sequanna, Bholanath, Khan, Ezikiel, Hesperus and Queen.
It would be wonderful if some of the Iron Garden Elders like Lady Talon, Sir Dario, Lady D, and all our Citizens joined in the fun.
I would also love to see some of the First Generation VC Elders attend this year’s Elders and Leadership Summit, like Lady CG, Lord Vlad (Don Deich), Rexxx Black, Lord Stephan O’Mallie, Damien Daville, Lady Saint Eve (Gabrielle Penabaz), Lord Vhamp, PsyVamp, Tony Sokol, Dominae Draconis, Lord Vlad & Sky Claudette and other Community luminaries like Kathrine Ramsland, Konstantinos, Lord Corvis (Eric Vernor), Lady Rhea, Aron Leitch, Raven Digitalis, DW (John Coughlin), Christopher Penczack, Joseph Laycock, John Edgar Browning, Craig Setti, Jet Black, Merticus Stevens, Xeurika, Narradas, Ravena Lee, Sappho (Emilie Conroy), Contessa Emil, Old World Vampire (Christopher Loehlein), Logan & Daley South, Lord KJ, John Bardy, Lord Ramirez, Lord Blackheart (Blake Hart), Lady Mehnea Panthion, Lady Monette Panthion, Lord Ryu, Lord Alexander Warlocke, Dire Wolf, Queen Gotica, Father Evan Christopher, Belfazaar Ashantison, Lady Jezabel DeLuna, Azrael Frost, Raith Kell, Miguel Valentin, Sir Victor Magnus, Lord Thanatos Ventrue, Lady Valfreyja, Empress Gem Evolution, Lord Shaolin, Mother Gunnr and Father Vincent … just to name a few…
YES, I would love to see ALL my friends stateside plus all those that live abroad to attend!
I would like all my Facebook friends, as well as my friends who refuse to get on FB, to also attend! I would also like them to come and bring their amazing friends to join in and share. It would be a splendid opportunity to get reacquainted or to finally meet, to clarify past misunderstandings, to make cross-introductions, and to sit down and chat face-to-face exploring, discovering, networking, and building.

What is the future of the pagan/occult community in Manhattan and New Jersey from your perspective?
One of the biggest troubles of our Community (and not just NY & NJ) is that pagan/occult groups and organizations are typically decentralized, fragmented and isolated from one another. For a community that is anchored on accepting diversity, we can sure be a judgmental unforgiving lot, ostracizing each other for diverging beliefs and personal choices. Our Community could certainly benefit from cohesive stability. Larger institutions can ensure permanence and efficacy, but at the same time, these institutions can become static, resistant, and pedestrian. New concepts, approaches, and out-of-the-box thinking generally stem from smaller groups on the fringes of the Community. For these reasons I believe it is crucial that we come together, if not always, at least on special occasions, like this Summit, to share, grow and create according to our collective evolving needs. We are part of the generation that has brought us a very daring brand of progressive paganism. I foresee that together we will usher in an even more inclusive, dynamic and productive post-modern approach to our joint communities: a reclaiming of the vampire, a deeper relatability for otherkin, and a more holistic attitude to magickal thought. I envision our contemporary Community growing toward a resilient empowered collective that will enable limitless spiritual and cultural evolution.
See you at the 2020 Elder and Leadership Summit!

-Dave Wolff

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