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I Wear My Crown

There are a lot of things I want to write about on my recent adventure to Pantheacon. There was so much learning, connection, and transformation that I almost didn't know where to begin. That was until I realized that I should just begin where I always try to begin - at the Great Work of transforming the soul. 

My intention of going to the Con was not deep spiritual transformation. But that's what happened regardless thanks to one ritual in particular. On Saturday night I attended Rite of 1,000 Crowns, a joint ritual facilitated by CAYA Coven and The Living Temple of Diana. The intention of the rite was to invoke sovereignty by claiming the crown of the Goddess.

One by one we filed into the ballroom past a line of ringing bells and singing bowls that shaped an atmosphere of enchantment and anticipation. I knew the rite would be special as the quarters began being called, which was done by the beating of drums, the swaying of hips, and the singing of an absolutely delicious chant. Frankly, I was already in tears by that point. Looking back on that process of constructing the space I think "damn, now that's how you call some quarters!" But of course that was just the first part. I don't want to break down every single detail of the rite as i know there are plans for others to perform it in the future. But essentially, each person was crowned with a golden, starry circlet by each of the presiding priestesses and priests. We were also guided to the thrones of the seated gods where we showered flower petals upon them, all in ecstatic song and dance.

So then I sang. I sang with the embodied breath of God Hirself who was filling up every inch of me. And then I danced. I danced without resistance or fear, sweating from the heat of the unceasing desire that continued to well up within me. I felt myself become possessed with the sovereign power of the Great Mother, who is the center and circumference of all that I was and all that I will become. I felt my past and present colliding with the joy of my bright future, which exploded before my inner vision like a spiraling galaxy, my place of Birth. This is not a poetic metaphor of my experience. It was my reality, my truth.

As I drank deep from this cup of blissful ecstatic union that descended upon me, God Hirself spoke, first as a whisper and then as a roar. I am still processing these messages but the large arch of that voice said "do not doubt for one moment that every square inch of you is holy. I am the laughter at the edge of your joy and the fires of creation that ignite your deepest purpose. I have blessed all of this and no man can remove the gifts I bestow. Isn't that wonderful? Let's celebrate this knowing! Let's dance!"

At the end of the rite as folks processed out of the room, I joined a few others in kneeling at the central altar, a spiral Goddess crowned and horned. I offered my deep thanks with endless streams of tears that fell on the silken cloth of the altar. I had no actual words, although no words were required. She was the receiver of my gratitude as well as the source of it. There was no part of me that was not of Hir, and that knowing remains as I type this two days later.

Sometimes the gods are present at ritual and sometimes they manifest before you in all their majesty. She was moving through that room that night. Every swaying hip and every singing lip was the holy body of the Goddess. These are the rituals that change lives. These are the rituals of liberation, release, and righteous rebellion. The over-culture and systems of oppression hate these rituals because of their vast and limitless power. They know that when we take up the crown of sovereignty, there are no shackles that can restrain us. Harvey Milk knew this. Judy Shepard knows this. Every screaming voice in Occupy knows this. Rituals that shape us and move us are humanity's keys to salvation, strength, and of course sovereignty. 

As I return to my job and the "mundane" world around me, I do so as a new person. I am crowned with a starry circlet of gold, seen or unseen. I will take it with me and share it with those who dare to claim their kingship. I have to remember this. I have to remember who I am now. I will wear this crown.

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David Salisbury is a queer, vegan, Witch and author experiencing life in our nations capital. David is Wiccan clergy within the Firefly Tradition and is High Priest of Coven of the Spiral Moon, a Firefly coven based in DC. The focal point of his spiritual practice is one of service, activism and respect. To fulfill this vocation, he is a full time employee with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization. He is the author of The Deep Heart of Witchcraft (Moon Books, 2013) and Teen Spirit Wicca (Soul Rocks, 2014).

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