This past weekend, members of Golden Thread Camp, O.T.O. hosted a Ritual Retreat Weekend in Windber, PA, birthplace of seminal Rock ‘N’ Roll DJ Alan Freed. Participants stayed at the Grand Midway Hotel, a former brothel turned hotel and presentations and rituals took place at the American Renaissance Church, a deconsecrated Catholic church a short walk up the town’s main street.
The hotel’s rooms were dedicated to and decorated in an array of themes: the Beatnik Room, Frankenstein Room, Vampire Room etc. One room did offers coffins to sleep in. The dining room now is the home of the sculpture of Azrael that once resided at Westgate in New Orleans, a shrine to the Angel of Death that closed down in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At least two rooms boasted noticeable paranormal phenomena. The church is currently housing a small portion of the doll collection amassed by noted author Anne Rice.
Saturday’s presentations included talks on antecedents to the Gnostic Mass, Solar and Lunar adorations, a workshop to create a Solomonic talisman, a group performance of a Crowleyan ritual to invoke The Holy Spirit, Isis (in this case into a handy blue skinned, blue garbed Queen of the Night doll), etc. That evening the Gnostic Mass was performed in the main room of the Grand Midway under a ceiling boasting a wall to wall painting of the Universe card from the Thoth deck. Sunday’s presentations included a talk on Hexagram rituals, a charging of the Solomonic talismans, and a group performance of Liber Samekh.
There were reports that by weekend’s end that the more boisterous spirits seemed to have calmed down a bit.