The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

August 29, 2008

Rossville witch school plans gathering

ROSSVILLE — There are more festivities in northern Vermilion County than just Labor Day activities.

Practitioners of the Correllian Nativist Tradition — which may be described as a denomination of Wicca founded in Vermilion County — will gather this weekend for the Witch School Conference and Correllian Lustration.

Events begin with a drum circle from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight at 330 Elm Street, Hoopeston.

Saturday, events include a dinner, Wiccan initiations for those who’ve completed varying degrees of study and a temple deeming ceremony, which legitimizes places of worship for the tradition.

The Lustration, which is open to the public on Sunday, is a ceremony that blesses the Correllian tradition, the Deity — or God — as both male and female and recognizes the interconnected nature of all beings.

A Lustration ceremony also is staged in the spring, but the spring ceremony is mostly intended to honor the tradition’s ancestors. The spring ceremony has been conducted at a variety of locations, but the fall ceremony always is scheduled in Vermilion County.

This weekend’s ceremony is a high ceremony, which uses formal rituals and traditional formal religious Wiccan attire.

“The fall lustration aligns members of the tradition, but both ceremonies are for purification and blessing, to confer the blessing of the Diety and of the ancestors upon everyone in the tradition,” said the Rev. Don Lewis, chancellor of the Correllian Tradition and chairman of the Witch School board.

The ceremony itself consists of blessing water from the Vermilion River. The ceremony is carried out through a Correllian elder and four people representing the “four corners” or four directions north, south, east and west.

Lewis conducts the ceremony, but a First Elder — a woman from Danville — performs the actual Lustration blessing. During the ceremony, Lewis also invokes an oracle, which means he receives a prophecy or message from the ancestors. Messages may involve events taking place in the next year or next few years. Some messages might talk about emotions.

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