Unlike the rest of you creepy pervs, I read Teen Vogue for the articles. Which is how I caught this posi-review of the burgeoning pagan/witch/occult/shamanic/anarchistic/dada-esque meta-movement happening in Brooklyn these days. The piece revolves mainly around our ‘hood’s very own Moon Church (via Body Actualized) who get a fair amount of ink:
“At the Body Actualized Center in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, a group of girls are working to curb the misconceptions surrounding modern-day witches…. Together they form Moon Church, an all-female community that seeks to ‘breathe new life into the archetype of the witch,’ as their website explains. At the gathering, everyone is greeted with a hug—even strangers are made to feel welcome—and led through a meditation session while sage burns and calming music plays.”
If you have any idea how the terms “Bushwick” and “occult” intersect, then I don’t need to get into how this reads as a social meme or explain what this looks like in realtime.
But, basically, coven culture has been getting craaaaaaaaaaaazy f’ing hip over the past decade-and-a-half or so, with huge spikes happening on both coasts manifesting in de/re-constructions of music, art, gender, and fashion. Not to mention, in the middle of the country we have good ol’ Texas rep’ed by fashion designers, Sisters of the Black Moon….
…who should immediately become your one-stop-shop of cloudy-witch awesomeness, because they are in fact awesome.
Not surprisingly, all of this interest in the occult came riding right alongside yet another wave of interest in 60s “counter-culture,” and especially its lesser known intentional spiritualities like The Source Family (an early off-shoot of Kundalini Yoga founded by the wily Father Yod)…
…and, perhaps even more so, The Source Family’s house band, Yahowa 13.
Not to mention the myriad of other nobby twig-centric post-modern paganisms that have less to do with black shimmery crushed velvet, and more to do with the wonderful imagery of the recently released Wild Unknown tarot deck…
…and the sonic terrificness of ambient drone music such as Sunn O)))…
…or Fever Ray, who (albeit slightly more mainstream) basically sums up the semiotics of Obama-era post-grad witchery in one four-minute music video.
On the literary front is Feral House‘s inprint, Process Media, who came up early in this sweep of 60s occult interest, and has done a nice job of getting the word out by pub’ing highly colorful and enjoyable reads on said Source Family, as well as MC5 and the White Panther Party, The 13th Floor Elevators, shamanic gardening and, of course, the very Viking and ambient, Moondog.
Basically, I’m down with ALL of it, and am stoked to see public-minded witch-people getting respect, even if it means they’ll probs become even more cool then they already are, and eventually become enveloped by the Spectacle (who is always on the lookout for another trend to feast on in a never-ending game of recuperation).
I only bemoan the fact that regardless how far out peeps wanna get, if any well-funded kitchen witch actually ran into the likes of a “Moondog” on a subway back in the day, that post-gender urban shaman would’ve avoided his ass like the plague.
Hindsight is pretty f’ing 20-20 on this one. But, I love love love it all the same!
Oh man. This makes me want to crank some Dead Can Dance, break out Buckland’s Big Blue Book & call the 4 quarters. Wonder if these kids have read The Mists of Avalon yet?