Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Public Animas Ceremony Part 4a: Trust Your People: The Costumer

Continued lessons from the Public Animas Ceremony: An Invitation to Passion.


Our Angel of a seamstress. A rare photo taken at a PBG (Brewer's Guild) gathering.
She looked like this for months, regardless of what shenanigans
were perpetrated in her midst, she doggedly seamed, adjusted, altered.


If The Vision is true, it will find the right people. Trust them.


Three people contributed needful infrastructure to this ceremony; the costumer, the choreographer & the Magus/DJ. First, the costumer. 

I began very early with the costuming for the ceremonial Officiants because I knew that constructing any kind of clothing takes time, especially something out of the ordinary, something that comes from the vision of a needlework artist.

I also had set a goal not to allow this event to to become a financial bloodletting -- a condition which has afflicted our community unnecessarily over the past few years. Starting early allows decisions to be made carefully, thoughtfully & also gives ample time to scout for the best pricing. Her words to me after we spent under $100 on notions, fabric & fusing to costume the five Officiants was, "We positively stole that fabric..." And we did.

And after we found her a lovely, unused, adjustable dress form for only $40 thanks to local internet listings, we of course knew, this thing was charmed.

Of course, ultimately, we ended up with subtle differences & the costs inevitably adjusted accordingly.

Aesthetic influence: Mermaid Skirt,  Erte Inspired with Side Train in Silver by Chovihani, Etsy.
Aesthetic influence: Mermaid Skirt, 
 Erte Inspired with Side Train in Silver
by Chovihani, Etsy.
Part of The Vision's aesthetic was influenced by Erté, in particular, an Erté inspired ensemble with a slightly Greco-Roman feel & a mermaid skirt. I am crazy about Erté. I feel his designs & artwork bear a magical subtlety which penetrates the subconscious -- often because what he designed appears simple through the clean lines of his artistic rendering, but in actuality, they are often nearly impossible to execute in reality. 

Our Angel discovered the same after she had settled on this mermaid skirt costume for the central Officiant & drafted some truly lovely, mirror-image Erté designs for the two Officiants on the ends: 


Original Erté inspired designs for Officiants.
Angel's original Erté inspired designs for Officiants.

Several months into the preparations, she sent me a message stating that she struggled long enough to make this design happen & it simply was not practicable, at least not with our cotton poplin. She needed to conjure a new design. Enter the subtle differences.

She settled on an infinity dress design, in a new fabric, which worked out even better really because its versatility will allow the Officiants to use the dresses in the future again & again. Subtle, fortuitous differences.

And for the men, something that just worked beautifully from the beginning.

Men's Officiant design (plus center Officiant ensemble).

What is the significance of costuming? Why is it worth the effort? I can only speak from my own experiences, but I find that when humans put forth the effort to present a well-rounded aesthetic, ritual & ceremony have more psycho-spiritual impact. Aesthetic introduces an element of surprise & evokes a sense of otherworldliness. It also expresses a sense of value -- value for what you have created together, value for what you are presenting to your fellow humans, your spirits, your deities, your tribe. Ceremony is Sacred Theatre, dressing the part is natural procedure.

Chaos in Costume. Animas Officiants doing something... (Certainly not the best photo, but great angles on attire. Photo credit: Papa Faunus
Chaos in Costume. Animas Officiants doing something...
(Certainly not the best photo, but great angles on attire.
Photo credit: Papa Faunus


This is why the magick of a visionary costumer is so essential & why trusting them is a necessity. The ceremony would not have had the same atmosphere without her ideas, efforts, limitless patience & talent. Purchasing pre-made costuming would not have contributed the energy, the passion that these hand made garments brought to the ceremony. Everything Angel gave to this project was imbued in these garments -- her energy-steeped creations charged the Officiants & the event as a whole. She made this ceremony what it was, without her, it would have been something noticeably different. For this, she has our deepest gratitude.

If The Vision is true, it will find the right people. Trust them.

And make sure they know they are valued.

Thank you Angel. Thank you.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this series sharing the wisdom garnered from your experiences. I'm currently embarking on a largish co- operative working, my first, and it's very daunting!

Moma Fauna said...

Oh! You don't know how happy I am to hear that! Although this was not the first public ceremony I have participated in, or even orchestrated to some degree, this really was my first rodeo & there was SO much to learn -- so many layers, so many details, good grief! My goal is to have it mostly written by the end of this month. This is a bit of a closing ceremony for me -- the writing & reflection, that is. I hope some of my lessons can help you make your visions come true. :)

lifthrasirsuccess said...

beautiful i am so glad that this worked out so well. it's rare to see male attire that matches what women are wearing but is still...male? i really like the men's clothes a lot, i wish men wore that more often. i just mention this because dressing women up is easier than dressing men up culturally. women have more options and so findinga good design like this for men takes a lot of skill!plus the performance part of large rituals is really overlooked. since it's not for all "initiates" there has to be more done to get the crowd involved and visuals help so much. really good group rituals i have found are nothing like good private rituals. having something for various intelligences to connect with: visual, musical,linguistic, kinetic, interpersonal, logical, intrapersonal are all very important. that connection is the invitation to the imagination and soul. kinetic rituals are bad for me. music and visuals i respond well to. rituals with plays, choirs, freeform dancing space, private experience personal areas etc are really amazing. everyone talks about getting the crowd involved but doesn't explain how. or give specifics.thank you for sharing the reality. i want to call but my sleep cycle with exposures and your time difference with kids makes me forget when the timing is finally right. i did dream that the desert is now bad for you. not in general maybe but your desert?it made me sad because it made you healthy and now it doesn't in my dream. health was related to joy andpassion in the dream too. i'msorry if they have taken Utah.

Moma Fauna said...

oh, those men's costumes are truly lovely & i credit Angel's ability to devise something elegant yet masculine & still *comfortable* to her deep interest in Japanese culture. you can see the cultural influence there. i think it is important to let things become what they will naturally, if i done the classic neo-pagan thing & had insisted on some sort of Ren-faire garb, or Woo-ey Robes or strictly Greco-Roman, it would never have worked out so well. working outside of the box, that totally works! ant you're right, men get so shortchanged in the fashion realm.

"since it's not for all "initiates" there has to be more done to get the crowd involved and visuals help so much." Exactly.

"having something for various intelligences to connect with: visual, musical,linguistic, kinetic, interpersonal, logical, intrapersonal are all very important." As you know when we spoke, we aimed for this & i think, mostly, we accomplished it -- i will cover that further. some of the limitations of being outdoors showed themselves for sure...

timing is pretty good now, we're only 2 hours off now, but i seem to be in a cellular/data black hole & rarely get service. email me some timeframes if you have a sense of that -- as for the desert, that story shifted radically. i can explain better thru voice. funny too, i dreamt you visited, quite probably the same night. ;)


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