That Time I Was In A Lesbian Wiccan Coven

October 31, 2014 — 111 Comments

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In New York city in the 1990’s everyone was a lesbian.

The 1990’s was the birth of lesbian chic. Even if you weren’t lesbian, it was cool to look like one (bald Sinead O’Connor), dress like one (Darlene from Roseanne creating the  “Lesbian Lumberjack Look”) and have ambiguously lesbian “friendships” (the armor-wearing heroine of Xena: Warrior Princess and her “sidekick” Gabrielle).

The early 90s NYC was a powerful time and place to be gay. Lipstick lesbians were emerging as glamorous and sexy; breaking formerly inflexible definitions of lesbian identity.

I don’t know if that’s why I fell in love with Nicolette, my beautiful impossibly bitchy lesbian girlfriend.  As I young girl I remember being just a little too excited for Charlie’s Angels on Wednesday nights.

And never really following or caring about the plot.

While besotted with Nicolette I became a frequent patron of several lesbian bars in the village. Lesbian nightlife was thriving fiercely down in the Village, where I lived. We hung out at Crazy Nanny’s, Meow Mix, Clit Club.

 

And then there was Café Tabac.

Never before or since has there been such an elegant, renowned, celebrity studded lesbian hangout as Sunday nights at this “see and be seen” legendary salon. Café Tabac was always packed with semi-famous gay artists and musicians, as well as full throttle celebrities like Madonna. It was THAT kind of place.

And it was there that I met Sapphire.

Sapphire was a tiny smoldering inferno of lesbian sexuality. Not even quite 5 feet tall, she had waist length black hair, green eyes, and the kind of presence that makes everyone nervous. For no reason.

Or else maybe it was her huge rack.

Nicolette and I were winding down, but I still frequented all the lesby hangouts (because, why NOT?) One Sunday night at Café Tabac, I noticed Sapphire noticing me. Of course I knew who she was. Everyone knew her. She ran a downtown experimental lesbian theatre troupe that was fast becoming famous.

I went to the bar and ordered a drink, standing strategically next to her. She spoke.

“I know you. Have you ever auditioned for me?”

“No. ”

She stared into my face, in a way that would make most normal people uncomfortable. Thank God I wasn’t normal.

“It’s your Divine Feminine Energy. We’re Sisters. We all know each other.”

At this point, she seemed like a crazy person, but one with magnificent breasts. When she fingered the pentacle around her neck, I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.

Because I had an insatiable book habit, I had read “Drawing Down the Moon” and “Spiral Dance.” I said to her, “Happy Beltane!”

Game ON.

 

Sapphire was High Priestess of a Dianic Wiccan ‘Circle,’ or coven. Dianic Wicca is mostly, if not completely, made up of lesbians. They had 12 members, and Sapphire was looking for a 13th. Guess who that ended up being?

First, I had to be “initiated.”

Which meant I had to get naked (or “skyclad”) in front of all of them.

Shit just got real, right?

 

I was assigned several books to read. I had to choose a Craft name. That, I will not share with you. But Wiccans typically go by three names; the first being something appropriately witchy, the second something nature related but with a jacked up spelling, and then their own surname. So, you might get, “Bronwyn Forrest Goldberg.”

 

The initiation ritual took place in the woods. Where I was to get naked and into a bathtub.

Yes. They had a bathtub in the woods. One of the women owned a house in upstate New York. On her property, she had a “staging area” and the path leading to it had a motherfucking bathtub.

I had met the other women in the coven by now, but that did not make this any less bizarre.

I was told to dress in clothes that could be “cut away” easily, which I thought was metaphorical. I wore black tights and a black tank top.

Sapphire led me down the path, and one of the women, whose role that evening was that of ‘Challenger,’ approached me. She was carrying a sword and wearing a mask – a handpainted leather combination fairy/moth sorta thing.

I was wondering if I was having an acid flashback.

Next there was a whole lot of Monty Python-esque dialogue.

She asked, “Who comes to the gate?”

I had to say,

“It is I, (my Craft name), child of earth and starry heaven.”

Her: “You are about to enter a vortex of power, a place beyond imagining, where birth and death, dark and light, meet and make one. You are about to step between the worlds, outside the realm of your human life. Have you the courage?”

Why not? They were 12 extremely hot women.

 

Me: “I tread the path with perfect love and perfect trust.”

Her: “Prepare for death and rebirth.”

Woah, woah, wait a minute!

Then this bitch took her sword and cut my clothes off.  Not in a hot way. In a creepy, Rosemary’s Baby way.

 

Then, I had to get bathed in the outdoor tub. Afterwards, I dried off and knelt before Sapphire.

She asked, “Are you willing to swear the oath?”

“I am.”

She asked,  “Are you willing to suffer to learn?”

“Yes.”

She pricked her finger with a needle, squeezing out a few drops of blood.

“Repeat after me: ‘I, of my own free will most solemnly swear to protect, help and defend my sisters  of the Art and to keep the Coven’s Charge.

I will always keep secret all that must not be revealed.”

 

I guess I kinda blew that one with this blog post. Oopsie.

 

Sapphire:  “Arise and be anointed.”

She then made an X mark on my forehead. In BLOOD.

“May your mind be free. May your heart be free. May your body be free. I give you the Craft!”

The rest of the Coven members grabbed me,  lifted me, and carried me three times around the Circle, laughing and shrieking. Chanting my new name.

Freaky shit, right?

It was the 90’s. I was very young.

DON’T JUDGE.

 

We met every month, more frequently if there were holidays or specific urgent rituals that needed to be performed.

I would come home from work and play my answering machine.

“Hi, you’ve reached Samara. I’m not in, so please leave a message at the beep.”

BEEP!
And then Sapphire’s throaty voice:
“Take my hands and let us dance naked. Let’s unleash the stars from our chest and swim within the power of our souls.”

Since she was the High Priestess and I was a lowly Apprentice, I’d get the list:

“I need a double-action reversing candle and a statue of the Virgin Mary.”

“The stupid supermarket spice aisle doesn’t carry vervain! Can you go to Enchantments and get some?”

“I need something to clean a wine stain from a white robe.”

“Oh, and ask Byron at Enchantments how to get wax off the cat.”

 

Ugh. Jasper, her idiotic cat.

When the coven met in her apartment, it was non stop:

“Jasper, off the altar and away from the cauldron!”

“Jasper, stop attacking my feet while I am casting the circle!”

”Jasper, STOP DRINKING WEST!!!”

 

The coven was taking over my life, becoming my primary focus of attention. I  spent less and less time with my non Wiccan friends.

I now found myself constantly burning sage in my apartment. Spending all my money on Wiccan accoutrement.

I actually carried on conversations which included,

“Blessed be!”

“My third eye chakra is KILLING me.”

“Clearly she’s not a witch if she’s breaking the Reed.”

I even started a conversation with a woman one evening at Café Tabac with, “So. What’s your element?”

 

Sapphire, as High Priestess, became increasingly more controlling over my life. And finally, it just became Too Much.

Apparently, fluoride is bad for the brain-located pineal gland. Sapphire claimed this was harmful to our Third Eye Chakras. She demanded that we all purchase expense Reverse Osmosis Filtration systems, which she was conveniently selling to remove the fluoride from our drinking water.

I finally realized that she was, not to be punny, bat shit crazy.

And my Wiccan days were over. (Kind of. Don’t piss me off, unless you know how to banish a Magick spell…)

 

 

What do you think of Wicca?   Does this all just seem crazy to you?
Did you watch Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie Practical Magic, and most recently, American Horror Story: Coven?
Are you a witch?
Talk to me.  I’m listening.

 


For your Halloween listening pleasure…

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111 responses to That Time I Was In A Lesbian Wiccan Coven

  1. 

    Oh Samara. I thank the Universe every day for these colorful life-moments you so generously share with us. 🙂
    You definitely win for most interesting/bizarre experiences! Between being the receptionist at the call-girl house, and this…..You just win. *bows down* *hides her own sad little stories that pale in comparison*

    And oh, I could never judge the lesbian wiccan thing. I mean, it was the 90’s after all, right?

    Love you like Reese’s.

    • 

      Your stories are not sad and little! And if you were living in downtown NYC together, you would have been right in that Wiccan circle with me.

      Yes. You would. Own it.

  2. 

    holy Halloween….I’m first!!!! FRIST!

  3. 

    Ha! I would’ve totally picked you up in a bar in the 90’s. I used to hang out in the LES back then. Who knows? Maybe we’ve already met.

    • 

      No way! Really? Another blogger who hung out on the LES in the 90’s?

      Maybe we DID already meet. Where did you hang out? Do you still live in the city?

      • 

        I live in Panama now, Samara, but in the late nineties I lived on Long Island and took the train to the city nearly everyday–basically up to no good. I was only nineteen or twenty, so I didn’t hang out in bars often. I was usually on the street with a bottle of St. Ides in a brown bag, hahaha. Ate at Leshko’s all the time. Hung out with a variety of characters on the fringe. Interesting times. One of the books I’m writing is set in LES. I’m sure it’s much different now. Do you live or visit there? I’d love to go back one day.

  4. 

    You are awesome, Samara! This just verified it. Of course, now I DESPERATELY want to be your friend… even more so than before. Hilarious!!

  5. 

    Oh my goodness…you have so many awesome sides to you. I loved that you shared this story and not less than completely obsessed with what your craft name is. Please, purty please? With a little candle wax and bergamot??
    (On a side note…I broke the internet when I clicked over from my e-mail notification. Spooky, huh? Thought you’d want to know 🙂

    • 

      Michelle, the FREAKIEST thing happened. I posted the link to this in five different places on Facebook, and ALL THE LINKS WERE BROKEN.

      Creepy.

      I was definitely a wild child back then, and a sordid past does make for fabulous blog fodder.

      Bergamot? hahahaha

      • 

        Perhaps the Wiccan’s knew you were sharing their secrets and broke the link. MuHaHAha!
        Ps: You need to add the word “sweet” to anything sordid associated with you. You are most definitley someone I’d love to live down the street from 🙂

      • 

        Oh, how I WISH we were neighbors. There is no one fun to play with where I live.

        Okay, so we’ll be make believe online neighbors. Let’s have coffee together, right now. How do you take yours?

      • 

        You would think after raising kiddos and being old, I’d drink coffee…but, I don’t! I love the smell and make it for the hubs every morning. My drink of choice? Spark energy drink–cuz nothing says good morning like heart palpitations and fruit punch morning breath.
        So yes…you grab a coffee and I’ll peel myself off the ceiling. xo

      • 

        “cuz nothing says good morning like heart palpitations and fruit punch morning breath.”

        That right there? You’re my new best friend. Are you on Facebook?

      • 

        I am on Facebook–personal and an author page. Which is funny…cuz I’ haven’t published anything to warrant an author page.
        I go on a FB diet every few weeks and then binge because I miss the drama and cute kitten videos.
        I would love to be your friend!! I’ll come find you, too 🙂

      • 

        Yay! Thank you!!
        Have an awesome Sunday. Xo

  6. 

    This is an exquisite piece! I devoured every word. Bravo!

    • 

      Hi! Welcome to the craziness that is my blog!

      I’m so glad you took the time to read this, and comment. Hope you visit again. Next time, I’ll serve some wine – red or white? xox

  7. 

    Love this, Samara! Oh wow, what a trip. That third eye chakra talk is too much. My husband has coven that supposedly keeps tabs on him. Valid? You tell me. Happy Halloween!! How did your trunk trick-or-treat go?? I’m sure you killed it!

    • 

      A coven keeps tabs on your husband? Okay, that is WAY more interesting than Trunk or Treat (yes, I killed it!).

      Now, about that coven and your husband…?

  8. 

    An endless supply of entertaining stories, you are.

    “Then this bitch took her sword and cut my clothes off. Not in a hot way. In a creepy, Rosemary’s Baby way.”

    You’re the funniest person, ever. Seriously.

    xoxo

    • 

      An endless supply of bad decisions during my misspent youth, I am.

      Btw, I posted links to this post all over different groups on Facebook. NONE OF THEM WORKED. When you clicked on them, they all said, “You broke the Internet.”

      How creepy is that???

  9. 

    You had me at naked? Wait…what?

  10. 

    *grins* You’re nutty as a fruitcake, Precious, but I’m glad you didn’t let yourself get *completely* taken over by the madness.

    And dude, you have LIVED! Thanks for writing it.

    • 

      Oh, I’m taken over by madness. Just not of the Wiccan variety.

      xox

      • 

        *hugs* Ah well. I’d say “I wouldn’t have you any other way” but actually there are lots of ways which I wish I could. Which sounds filthy, but actually isn’t – I wish there was a way for you to have more peace in your soul, and more evenness, and more consistency of confidence in yourself and the love of those who care for you. But I hope that these things will come with time. And in the meantime, I think you’re superbrilliant anyway 🙂

      • 

        I would love that- more peace and confidence.
        In the meantime, I’ll be content (more than) with the love of friends like you.

  11. 

    I always knew I was a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. This confirmed it.

  12. 

    So, the majority of the time I spend in my e-mail inbox is to delete posts that I know I’m never going to read. Shameful, I know, but honest. Then, sometimes a title kinda just jumps out at you.

    For about three years I lived with my mom and step-dad, while I was in my early twenties. Every. Single. Day. After. Work…was spent watching Charmed and Law & Order on TNT (or whatever channel it was on) I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode about those “P” named girls. I always gave my mom a hard time for watching, but deep down I guess it wasn’t half bad. I mean…Alyssa Milano. What else do you need?

    • 

      Alyssa Milano is hotness personified. That show probably had more *secret* male viewers than any other show on TV.

      She’s still gorgeous, that Alyssa. Wowza.

  13. 

    I watched all of the shows you mentioned (well, not American Horror Story, because that show just confuses the shit out of me!) If someone wants to be Wiccan, then more power to them! I’m not a religious person myself, mainly because I believe when a religion gets organized, that means someone is always in charge. And when you have a human in charge, they tend to get corrupted by power – even if they have the best intentions at first. And when there is corruption, that often means that someone is being victimized or oppressed.

    Wow – that got deep pretty fast! I need to lighten it up by watching some episodes of Charmed or something 🙂

    • 

      Jana, you are so right! Sapphire was on a complete power trip, and I was her personal errand girl. How *religious* is that???

      I just started watching American Horror Story this season, and I love it. It’s bizarre as hell, but I dig it. It’s really creepy, so I usually make my kid stay up and watch it with me. Parenting at its best.

  14. 

    I love sage. The most on my saltimbocca.;-)
    Good story.

  15. 

    Samara, you may have left the coven, but I think they cast a curse on this post to back-date it by about 12 hours – in my reader, it shows that you posted it 6 hours ago, but it’s showing with other posts posted 17-19 hours ago.
    And yes, Wicca does seem crazy to me.

    • 

      There were so many freaky things that happened when I published this story (on Halloween) I got totally freaked out. I posted it in five different Facebook groups, and NONE OF THE LINKS WORKED!

      I was sure Dark Magick was at play. I put protective crystals under my and my kid’s pillow. I’m still alive, but I’m not writing about Wicca ever again…

  16. 

    Fuck yeah I believe in Wicca. I was Jasper, the god damned cat. My bad behaviour and crazy antics was just me desperately trying to get one of you bitches to notice me and change me back into a man. Thanks for nothing.

  17. 

    Me? A witch?
    I used to say prayers to the moon. I created magic charms. I have bound others and myself. I have cursed and I have banished.
    But, not in a long time.
    The last spell I cast was a blood spell, to keep myself from falling in love with the wrong person. It didn’t work like that of course, but it wasn’t phrased like that really, that was just the end goal I was working towards. And, in that regard, it did work. I did not fall in love with the person I dated before I met the Queen.
    And then I met The Queen…and I haven’t needed magic since.

  18. 

    That is a fantastic story. I don’t even care if you made it all up, it was brillo all the way.

    • 

      Not one part of this was made up! Squandering my 20’s and 30’s may not have helped me succeed in life, but it gave me fantastic blog fodder!

      I heard they don’t really celebrate Halloween in England. Is it just an American invention, then?

  19. 
    Diana underwood November 1, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I’m not a witch per say but I’m very intuitive, I use sea salt and sage for purification all the time and I love getting my cards read once a year. I’m sure if I committed to learning I could be a very powerful witch, just ask my husband…lol

  20. 

    Dammit, i had a super long comment & fb erased it when my connection was lost during posting! Ahhh! Summary was, my three friends & i were in eighth grade when The Craft came out. We were OBSESSED during a life millstone marking period of time of lost innocence. We couldn’t understand the majority of what we read about Wicca, but we certainly tried. The bonds we created went deeper beyond the bonds we made with mixing our blood & twenty years later, we’re still aquaintances, if not friends. I’ll always have a special place on my heart for those girls & the crazy fun we had trying to recreate the wonderment of our favorite movie! Thank you for bringing back those memories for me!

    • 

      Did you ever sacrifice any virgins? Now that’s a good time!

      And what gives with Facebook? There is Dark Magick at work, I tell you!

      I’m so glad you stuck around to post another comment. Thanks for reading!
      xox

      • 

        My entire life seems filled with darkness, only I married a nonbeliever who refuses to let me burn sage. Ugh. Dummies.

        And no virgins but ourselves, lmao! Ahhh, to be 14 again!

  21. 

    I know I’m not supposed to say this is outright porn for me, but my clitoris boner aside I love the idea of Wiccans, and also pagans. It makes EVER SO MUCH MORE SENSE to me than Western religion. Or any organized religion actually.
    Like you, I wouldn’t want to devote my entire life to it, but getting back to actual NATURE, instead of living by ridiculous Catholic, hypocritical man-made rules that are anti-nature and anti-human, is a much better choice to me. Nature is much more worthy of my worship than those tall tales in the bible. The bible is a great book, don’t get me wrong, but I take it for what it is: Historical fiction.

    Plus, bathing in the woods? I’m down like a clown. Sign me up, cut away my mom jeans and I WILL buy a reverse osmosis filter. It’s worth the price of admission.

    • 

      p.s. My sisters & I met a male witch in New Orleans, Rudy Raven. He wanted to show us his alter, but when he started talking about liquid latex, we got a little suburban mom nervous and bailed. He was super hot though.

    • 

      Somehow I don’t picture you on mom jeans. But maybe they’re a good idea? I wear skinny jeans all the time, and I’ve been told they’re responsible for the discoloration of my nether regions.

      And I have NO idea why I just wrote that except you bring out the lunatic in me.

      Blessed be!

  22. 
    daddyslittlehmongslut November 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Lol I love you girly! You crack me up. It’s no wonder where little guy gets it from. But as far as Wicca goes, I’m not Wiccan. But I do come from a long long long line of shamans. I was born in a family of three shamans on both sides of family. So as a child I was taught herbology and ways to not appease the spirits. I’ve seen some messed up stuff. But having some hot bitch rip off my clothes in the Rosemary’s baby way. That’s def not something I would have been comfy with. I’m glad you got to enjoy something out of the ordinary and even more glad you shared it with us. Xoxox hey babe I got some ideas on cake send me a text sometime :*

  23. 

    I’ve a third eye. However, its not in my head…

    Its OK I’ve already got my hat on

    Strip me naked and whip me with sage brush, but , you do make me smile Samara

    • 

      “…beatnik’s out to make it rich..”

      Loved listening to Donovan. Thanks for that S ox

    • 

      Kit! How are you!!

      I’ve been lazy about answering comments- well, not lazy as much as pressed for time.

      Glad I make you smile. Blessed be. What’s going on in your part of the world?!

      • 

        Samara, no apology required. I’ve been trying to resume writing again, and reading. Always reading.

        Its been a busy season. My legs! I’ve clocked up 6,000 miles in the last 9 months. Bit busy in the saddle. I’m a confirmed endorphin addict. But dont save me! And I’ve obviously got a Samara habit (such a glorious whole body suffusion of supper heated pleasure!)

        Still climbing on the wheel of work too often. In fact I’m sitting up in bed, psyching myself up, listening to the wind singing lamentations of capsized ships and drowned sailors. Tis the seas season to claw hard at the land. Everything returns.

        I’ll be dropping droppings on your blogs now the nights have drawn in (lucky you eh. Get your dust pan and brush ready)

      • 

        Just started indoor cycling again, after a very long hiatus. Too long.

        How coincidental that you’ve referenced the sea. The post I’m publishing today uses the ocean as a metaphor, repeatedly.

        Hmmmm. Interesting. You got inside my brain?

  24. 

    I know a few girls who got into that scene back in the 90s. I have 2 friend who are full fledged Wiccans. I like some of the elements of Wicca and played around with witchcraft as a teen in the 90s, but I think two of my spells came back to me 3 fold– not kidding–and that freaked me out. Love your story. I have to stop being so damn lazy and post more frequently!!

  25. 

    I’m not going to say much. I’m just going to say I admire your bravery, writing publicly about things I couldn’t possibly remember twenty years later.
    Blessed be. I’m off to stimulate my pineal gland to the sound of whales who sing to my beta waves.

    • 

      If you stick a Q tip in really deep, you’ll get that pineal gland like a mofo.

      Expect a paradigm shift on the astral plane when that happens. The whales will actually sing in human English, at that point.

  26. 

    I worked with a woman who was in some sort of Wiccan coven. I think she was also a lesbian. I never had much conversation with her about it. I sort of regret it–it would probably have been interesting to hear about it.

  27. 

    Now THAT’S a good story!

  28. 

    In the 90’s, I was still a kid, but I’m pretty sure my now-estranged older sister was into the wiccan thing. Come to think of it, she may have dabbled in the lesbian thing…she did wear a tux to prom…

  29. 

    Oooh…sounds like The Craft. I love that movie. Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Please…let me guess….Fire?

  30. 

    You ordered me not to judge, Samara, but but but … odd. Are we OK? I don’t need no spell!

  31. 

    Loved this post! I am in the “20’s in the 90’s” group, also – while I can’t claim a past as complex as yours, it was a colorful time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing it.

  32. 

    I don’t know how or even why your blog came up under “blogs you may like” but someone knew me better than most.

    This post is fucking awesome. Your cutting edge bizarre down to earth shit is a great fucking relief form all the lovey-dovey niceities shit I normally have to read, like, reblog and ass kiss just to get anyone to find and read my blog. Granted, my topic of expat life is not nearly as exciting as your life and if I had my way, I’d write nothing but the fucked up state of this fucked up nation led by a bunch of elite white blue blood white boy assholes

    Phew; that felt good; thanks for providing my daily relief; I’m an instant follower (also a Brooklyn native).

    I’d love it if you have a glance at my tame blog but I’m not sure why it woudl be of any interest to you other than I write better than 95% of my followers (and so do you)
    Well done
    http://www.experimentalexpats.com

    Later girl !!
    Ro on behalf of RoDi (my wife would hate your blog but I don’t care)

    • 

      What’s up, BROOKLYN!

      You’re a breath of fresh air. I don’t know how you found me either, but I am DAMN glad you did!

      Thanks for the link. I follow several hundred blogs, and try to read what I can- but I’ll get there!

  33. 

    Samara, you are amazing. Thanks for sharing your experiences – my life is soon boring by comparison!

  34. 

    So boring. (I guess it’s soon boring, too. 🙂 ) I hate auto-correct.

  35. 

    So I’m curious now on your thoughts about chakras and the pineal gland? I have become more spiritual than ever, but if that’s not your style, don’t worry.. I’m very open minded and I would love to hear your perspective. Thanks!

  36. 

    When my best friend and I were in middle school and highschool we had an interest in this stuff. I never knew lesbian Wiccans were a thing, though. The 90s were a funky time.

  37. 

    Have you ever thought about writing a book about these stories? I would definitely read it!

  38. 

    I wish i could team up with a lesbian coven and do their bidding in exchange for money and power

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. That Time I Was In a Cult « A Buick in the Land of Lexus - June 10, 2015

    […] I joined a Lesbian Wiccan coven.     And I was an active member of a well known cult back in the 90’s. I didn’t KNOW it was a cult.  You think it’s this really cool group of super enlightened people who are helping you achieve your highest goals. Until you end up brainwashed, broke, and dancing naked in the Poconos with several hundred similarly lost souls. […]

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