By Jeffrey V. Smith
After a two-year break, Five Weird Sisters Productions is returning, Oct. 15, to host Nederland’s third Witches Ball to celebrate the full moon when the “veil between the worlds of the living and the dead” is thinnest. The event, which kicks off at 6 p.m. at The Caribou Room, features a special performance by Xerephine, music by The Gael and Queencake along with a “ritual,” spiral dance and Færy’s Bazaar.
Nederland locals Kimba Stefane, Kim Culver, Nancy Moon, Gail Eddy and Janette Taylor, the five “sisters,” formed their group in 2012. They decided to put on a “Witches Ball” after attending several similar events in other towns and deciding that the Nederland area needed it’s own to allow adults to celebrate Pagan customs as well as the more serious aspects of the season like honoring ancestors and other deceased loved ones. They are all “really looking forward to hostessing this year’s ball.”
The Witches Ball is meant to be a celebration of the full moon closest to Samhain, a time when the “veil between the worlds of the living and the dead” is thought to be the thinnest. According to the organizers, the full moon is an ideal time to release “what no longer serves you.” They suggest coming to the ball with intentions for the New Year, and acknowledge what will be released. A special alter will be set up to remember loved ones who have passed. Everyone is encouraged to come in costume, and, for a small fee, enter a contest with a $50 prize.
Headliner Xerephine is said to have a voice “like no other.” Born and raised in the United Kingdom, she carries Celtic undertones and plays in an array of styles from upbeat ambient dance with deep bass to entrancing meditative soundscapes, featuring live harp and bodhran. Her lyrics unfold like fairytales to reveal messages about life here on earth. Activism and a thirst for healing the earth and its inhabitants weaves its way through her lyrical web and lies at the heart of many of her songs.
The Gael is an acoustic ensemble from Nederland and Eldora, playing Celtic, bluegrass and old-time music. The band includes Laura Fisher on hammered dulcimer, Debbie Smiley on fiddle and Bill Ikler on guitar. Mary Joyce often joins in on fiddle.
“This one is going to be over the top compared to the other ones because we have the beautiful venue to use, and then Xeriphene,” Stefane said. “[She] is putting on the fairy tail experience… a whole production. She is also doing some aerial. In between her songs, she does fairytale skits. She has dancers. I mean, it’s going to be a big production. We are also doing our ritual, and the spiral dance we usually do, but this one is going to top all the other ones… It’s going to be a blast.” The ritual takes place last, so those who do not wish to participate can leave, but still enjoy most of the event.
The popular Færy’s Bazaar will be even better this time. It includes clothes, crafts, lotions and medicinal salves, bath products, and many other locally-produced products as well as “readers of various modalities.”
Tickets, available online and at Blue Owl Books, 176 Hwy. 119 S., are $15 and include music, Færy’s Bazaar, Spiral Dance, and ritual. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Originally published in the October 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly