The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

strange prayers

with one comment

- photo by Mitch Waxman

For the first post on this curious altar- “City of Marble and Beryl”, in Astoria’s St. Michael’s Cemetery – click here

For the second post on this curious altar-Effulgent Valleys“, in Astoria’s St. Michael’s Cemetery – click here

for a link to a google map, showing the location as recorded by GPS, click here

As the moon waxes to full, anticipation has found a home in the heart of your humble narrator, for the ritual site in St. Michael’s beckons. These shots are from May 28, 2010, one day after the full moon- which is referred to as the “hare’s moon” by antiquarians and occultists alike.

As is usual, the photographs are “forensic in nature”, and reveal the scene exactly as found and in situ, and nothing was manipulated or even touched.

from wikipedia

It is traditional to assign special names to each full moon of the year, although the rule for determining which name will be assigned has changed over time (e.g., the blue moon). An ancient method of assigning names is based upon seasons and quarters of the year. For instance, the Egg Moon (the full moon before Easter) would be the first moon after March 21, and the Lenten Moon would be the last moon on or before March 21. Modern practice, however, is to assign the traditional names based on the Gregorian calendar month in which the full moon falls. This method frequently results in the same name as the older method would, and is far more convenient to use.

The following table gives the traditional English names for each month’s full moon, the names given by Algonquian peoples in the northern and eastern United States, other common names, and Hindu and Sinhala names.[9] Note that purnima or pornima is Sanskrit for full moon, which has also become the Malay word for full moon purnama. Full moon days are sacred according to Buddhist tradition and called Poya in Sinhala, the dominant language of the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The big question, of course, is “how are the folks who are working this ritual site getting in?”. St. Michael’s is quite secure, surrounded by corporate office parks and highways and locked tight behind stout fences. Well, not so stout, as a little exploration of the border fences showed several apertures and obvious breaches. I guess if someone wants to, they’re going to get in.

from wikipedia

The monthly cycle of the moon, in contrast to the annual cycle of the sun’s path, has been implicitly linked to women’s menstrual cycles by many cultures, as evident in the links between the words for menstruation and for moon in many resultant languages. Many of the most well-known mythologies feature female lunar deities, such as the Greek goddesses Selene and Phoebe and their Olympian successor Artemis, their Roman equivalents Luna and Diana, Isis of the Egyptians, or the Thracian Bendis. These cultures also almost invariably featured a male Sun god.

Male lunar gods are also frequent, such as Nanna or Sin of the Mesopotamians, Mani of the Germanic tribes, the Japanese god Tsukuyomi, Rahko of Finns and Tecciztecatl of the Aztecs. These cultures usually featured female Sun goddesses.

The bull was lunar in Mesopotamia (its horns representing the crescent). See Bull (mythology) and compare Hubal. In the Hellenistic-Roman rites of Mithras, the bull is prominent, with astral significance, but with no explicit connection to the moon.

Also of significance is that many ancient pagan religions and societies are orientated chronologically by the Moon as opposed to the sun. One common example is Hinduism in which the word Chandra means Moon and has religious significance particularly during the Hindu festival Karwa-Chouth.

The moon is also worshipped in witchcraft, both in its modern form, and in Medieval times, for example, in the cult of Madonna Oriente.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This time around, the feathers scattered around were black, and completed rather than shredded. The quills were also still attached.

from wikipedia

Madonna Oriente or Signora Oriente (Lady of the East), also known as La Signora del Gioco (The Lady of the Game), are names of an alleged religious figure, as described by two Italian women who were executed by the Inquisition in 1390 as witches.

The story which they are reported to have told is an elaborate and fantastical tale of occult religious rituals practised at the houses of wealthy individuals in Milan, Italy, where a woman known as the Madonna Oriente, possibly regarded as a goddess by her followers, performed magical acts such as the resurrection of slaughtered animals.

The two women, Sibilla Zanni and Pierina de’ Bugatis, were brought before the Inquisition first in 1384, and with their story apparently dismissed as fantasy, were sentenced only to minor penance. When they were investigated again in 1390, however, they were charged with consorting with the Devil, condemned, and executed.

While there is no evidence that the organized group described by the women actually existed, their testimonies are remarkably similar to those of several other groups in Italy and greater Europe, such as the followers of Richella and ‘the wise Sibillia’ in 15th century Northern Italy, the Benandanti of 16th and 17th century Northern Italy, the Armiers of the Pyrenees, the Romanian Căluşari, Livonian werewolves, Dalmatian kresniki, Hungarian táltos and Caucasian burkudzauta.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The last batch of feathers observed were white, and suggested plucking. These were large and dark in color. I shot off the camera flash on the above shot, in the hope that certain ornithological enthusiasts known to be Newtown Pentacle readers might hazard an attempt at classification.

from wikipedia

The pregnancy of Coatlicue, the maternal Earth deity, made her other children embarrassed, including her oldest daughter, Coyolxauhqui. As she swept the temple, a few hummingbird feathers fell into her bosom. Coatlicue’s fetus, Huitzilopochtli, sprang from her womb in full war armor and killed Coyolxauhqui, along with her 400 brothers and sisters. He cut off her limbs, then tossed her head into the sky where it became the moon, so that his mother would be comforted in seeing her daughter in the sky every night.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The main ritual focal remains the same, but candles and offerings have been altered from previous months. The candles are red and purple, and there are two cigars.

from wikipedia

Moon magic is the belief that working rituals at the time of different phases of the moon can bring about physical or psychological change or transformation. These rituals have historically occurred on or around the full moon and to a lesser extent the new moon. Such practices are common amongst adherents of neopagan and witchcraft systems such as Wicca. Witches in Greek and Roman literature, particularly those from Thessaly, were regularly accused of “drawing down the moon” by use of a magic spell. The trick serves to demonstrate their powers (Virgil Eclogues 8.69), to perform a love spell (Suetonius Tiberius 1.8.21) or to extract a magical juice from the moon (Apuleius Metamorphoses 1.3.1). These beliefs would seem to be consistent with many other cultures traditions, for instance; casting of the i ching is often done during the full moon’s apex.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One cigar is approximately in the same position as the last one was, on April 30th.

this link from wikipedia actually refers to Santeria, which is not what I think we’re seeing here, but the spirit of it is correct

“The colonial period from the standpoint of African slaves may be defined as a time of perseverance. Their world quickly changed. Tribal kings and families, politicians, business and community leaders all were enslaved in a foreign region of the world. Religious leaders, their descendants, and the faithful, were now slaves. Colonial laws criminalize their religion. They were forced to become baptized and worship a god their ancestors had not known who was surrounded by a pantheon of saints. The early concerns during this period seem to indicate a need for individual survival under harsh plantation conditions. A sense of hope was sustaining the internal essence of what today is called Santería, a misnomer for the indigenous religion of the Lukumi people of Nigeria.

“In the heart of their homeland, they had a complex political and social order. They were a sedentary hoe farming cultural group with specialized labor. Their religion based on the worship of nature was renamed and documented by their masters. Santería, a pejorative term that characterizes deviant Catholic forms of worshiping saints, has become a common name for the religion. The term santero(a) is used to describe a priest or priestess replacing the traditional term Olorisha as an extension of the deities. The orishas became known as the saints in image of the Catholic pantheon.” (Ernesto Pichardo, CLBA, Santería in Contemporary Cuba: The individual life and condition of the priesthood)

As mentioned, in order to preserve their authentic ancestral and traditional beliefs, the Lukumi people had no choice but to disguise their orishas as Catholic saints. When the Roman Catholic slave owners observed Africans celebrating a Saint’s Day, they were generally unaware that the slaves were actually worshiping their sacred orishas. In Cuba today, the terms “saint” and “orisha” are sometimes used interchangeably.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The second was inserted into the “Gran Poder” red candle.

from wikipedia

A classic Quimbanda ritual, called a trabalho, consists of several parts: a motive, dedication to a spirit, a marginal location, the metal or clay (earthy) material, an alcoholic drink, scent, and food (usually a peppered flour-palm oil mixture, sometimes called miamiami). An example of a trabalho is as follows:

Trabalho 1: ” A work of great force, under the protection of [Exu] Tranca Ruas das Almas (Block-Streets-of-the-Souls), to eliminate an enemy. “

  • Go to a crossroads of Exu on a Monday or Friday near midnight, if possible in the company of a member of the opposite sex;
  • greet Ogum with a bottle of light beer, a white or red candle, and a lighted cigar;
  • greet Exu Sir Block-Streets-of-the-Souls by opening seven bottles of rum (cachaga) in the form of a circle, lighting seven red and black candles, and offering seven cigars;
  • put inside a vase (alguidar) and mix the following: manioc flour (farinha da mesa), palm oil (azeitede-dendd), and peppers;
  • put on the ground in the middle of the circle the name of the person whom one wishes to hurt, and, using a knife, stab this with violence, asking Exu to attend to one’s request.”

Depending on the purpose of the ritual, aspects of the trabalho will change. For instance, if one desires to seek justice from Exu they will use white candles, rum and a written request. Therefore, certain colors denote different motives in a ritual: white symbolizing an honest and justice-bound motive and red and black representing an aggressive and illicit motive. Other rituals substitute the harsh or spicy smell of cigars for the sweet smell of carnations, thus symbolizing the transformation between harming and helping rituals. Likewise, rituals involving female spirits (Pomba Giras) are less aggressive in their performance. A trabalho to obtain a woman is as follows:

Trabalho 7: “to obtain a woman. “

On a Monday or Friday night, go to a female crossroads (T-shaped rather than plus-shaped) and greet Pomba Gira by pouring a little rum, ” or better yet, champagne or anisette (aniz)”;

  • place two pieces of cloth (pano) on the ground, one red and the other black, and on top of this put five or seven red roses in the shape of a horseshoe;
  • fill a cup of good quality with champagne or aniz;
  • put the name of the desired person in the cup or in the middle of the horseshoe;
  • sing a ponto (song) and thank Pomba Gira.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The purple candle had melted out, its wax incorporating into the loam.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

On the other side of the hill, flies were buzzing about this tumbled stone. There seemed to be some kind of carbonized “stuff” on it, almost a greasy smear of ash.

from anthropoetics.ucla.edu

Crimes typically associated with ritual violence include: trespassing, vandalism, church desecration, theft, graffiti, arson, extortion, suicide, kidnapping, ritual abuse, animal sacrifice, and ritual murder. Trespassing related to ritualistic crime usually involves persons entering private areas such as woods, barns, and abandoned buildings for the purpose of having an isolated place to worship. Since most occult theologies are nature based, rituals are frequently held outdoors and altars are often constructed of natural elements. Vandalism most often associated with occult crime includes cemetery and church desecration. The most common types of cemetery desecration attributed to occult groups are digging up graves, grave robbing, and tampering with human corpses or skeletons. This is frequently motivated by religious beliefs that require human bones to fulfill specific rituals. Church desecration frequently includes destroying Bibles, urinating and defecating on holy objects and furniture, tearing crucifixes off walls, and destroying rosaries and crucifixes. It is important to note that the motivations behind such vandalism can also be attributed to hate crimes. Thefts from Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, hospitals, morgues, medical schools, and funeral homes are often linked with ritual violence. Items that are most often taken include cadavers, skeletal remains, blood, and religious artifacts that are considered sacred: crucifixes, communion wafers, wine, chalices, and so on. Frequent motivations for these thefts are that particular groups require actual holy artifacts or human organs, bones, and the like for their rituals.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The material on its surface was vegetable in nature, but it was stuck to something whose adhesive qualities were strong enough to resist strong breezes and attract a number of largish black and green flies.

from nypost.com

Two of Queens’ largest parks are hotbeds for animal sacrifices, according to park rangers and advocates.

Longtime Parks Department ranger Joe Puleo told The Post that killing animals for ritualistic reasons in the city is widespread, but that Forest Park and Highland Park are the most common locations.

Perpetrators of the outlawed act are rarely busted because they perform their bloody rituals in the dead of night, and the two parks no longer have 24-hour patrols due to budget cuts.

“They are never caught, because they are careful, and they never do it during the day. They do it at night when no one is around,” Puleo said.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Lords and Ladies of Newtown, there is a hidden cult at work amongst you, amongst the moon shadowed tomb legions of Astoria.

About these ads

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 7, 2010 at 12:30 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. [...] posted about in “City of Marble and Beryl“, “Effulgent Valleys“, and “Strange Prayers” a few months back? What the heck, man, you just kind of dropped the whole thing after [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 877 other followers

%d bloggers like this: