The New Orleans Witches' Ball
Article ID: 14831
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,995
Times Read: 5,811
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Author: Maggi Horseman
Posted: November 13th. 2011
Times Viewed: 5,811
Sponsored by: Witchy Living
Location: New Orleans, LA
Event Date(s): October 27, 2011
This year my husband, our par amour, and I decided that New Orleans would be just too fun at Halloween. Its unique, beautiful history, and lush, gothic vibe was too much to resist, so off to the US’s most haunted city we went. The veils were thin, the humidity and temperature were surprisingly pleasant in the low 70’s. One of the delightful events we found was the first annual New Orleans Witches' Ball, organized by Kim Cairelle Perilloux of Witchy Living, and locally sponsored by Erzulie's Authentic Voodoo, Esoterica Occult Goods, Fragile Beauty, Haunted History Tours, Glass Magick, and Boutique du Vampyre.
The dress code was “creative” black tie, which had me nervous, as this was a proper Southern gala. We dressed in our best steampunk, witchy finery and set out from our hotel through the Garden District to the decadent Van Benthuysen – Elms Mansion. We had been fantasizing about the event since our last visit to New Orleans, when, on a streetcar ride down St. Charles Avenue, we had drooled over that exact mansion, commenting on how incredible the gazebo and surrounding courtyard would be for a ritual.
We were not disappointed. Our fairytale fantasies became the evening to die for as we stepped through the iron gate and into the mansion. Carved fixtures, original paintings, incredible crystal, marble staircases, and sumptuous gourmet food greeted you in every corner. Whenever you needed, throughout the entire night, there was a waiter offering you yet another amazing Creole delight. The people were indeed dressed to the nines with formal witchy gowns, hats, steampunk, and magickal costumes from throughout history.
Cairelle and her mother Susan, our hostesses, greeted people with excitement as the guests wandered through the spacious venue, getting a Persephone pomegranate martini or trying a taste of the incredible array of cheeses or carved meats. An altar was set for people to write petitions to their beloved dead, a remembrance for why we were here to celebrate to begin with.
Morella got the evening started with a timeless revelry of whimsical carnival signing and music. Their gothic-Victorian songs were a perfect fit for the wide array of costumes and the luxurious setting. Entertainment continued through the night. Anaar did an interpretive dance of the Chalice and the Blade that took gothic fusion to a devotional level. The attendees were mesmerized by her control and skill as she energetically wove the power of the Underworld Queen all around her. I was quite captivated and have to admit it was the most moving, inspiring ritual act I have experienced in a long time.
Back inside the house, was the silent auction, being held upstairs, past a grand winding staircase. Original paintings, one-of-a-kind handcrafted ritual items, and limited edition, signed books were among the goodies up for bid. Across the way, Lindsay Ducote-Guidry of Orleans Photographie was taking perfect formal pictures of the guests.
The drinks from the open bar and hors d'oeuvres continued throughout the entire evening, much to my surprise. Frenchy and the Punk got people dancing in an explosive, drum-beating, hand-clapping, foot-stopping gypsy folk world beat they do so well.
Finally, the Samhain ritual commenced at Midnight. Unfortunately, in true Cinderella style (also known as a morning person on East Coast Time) , I had to call it a night and head home, leaving my coven’s Samhain to do the duty for this year’s marking of the season. I always worry that I expect too much from a special evening out. The New Orleans Witches ball left no desire unfulfilled. I can't imagine a more stylish, cordial, and enjoyable time, Pagan or otherwise. I hope that the people from all of the other 38 states that attended felt the same. I am already working on planning a trip next year to the Crescent City, Witchy Living, and the New Orleans Witches' Ball.
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Website: http://owt.sacredwheel.org http://lettinggoisflying.blogspot.com
Author's Profile: To learn more about Maggi Horseman - Click HERE
Bio: Maggi Setti is a Third Degree High Priestess within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. She has been a member of the ASW for 9 years and leads one of its covens, Order of the World Tree, in Bergen County NJ. Her interests and specialties include Qabala, Tarot, aspecting, nature devas, the Celtic pantheon, gardening, scrying, shadow work, sacred dreaming, martial arts and warriorship, and women's mysteries and empowerment. Her writings can be found at http://lettinggoisflying.blogspot.com and at http://Witchvox.org. Her first book is titled Ecstasy in Shadows.
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