By Editor-In-Chief Gabriella Barthe
With a dim glow emanating on the upper level of the TriWorks Building, the open hall filled with burning smoke from sage as Sanctum Folkloria owner Lucky Cabral circled the room in preparation for the opening performance. The room parted into a large circle with Lucky and Priestess of the Black Forest Tradition Madame Ceridwyn centered among them.
As the music began, Madame Ceridwyn took over the room with a mesmerizing Conjuring Dance to kick off the night’s festivities. Madame Ceridwyn’s ritual performance was merely one aspect of the Second Annual Whaling City Witches’ Ball arranged by Lucky and her local New Bedford esoteric retail space Sanctum Folkloria.
For thirty dollars apiece guests were treated an event filled with entertainment and metaphysical faire. Upstairs live music was performed by bands THE HAMMER PARTY and THE SEARCH PARTY along with DJ Heartless.
Downstairs guests were given the opportunity to partake in free esoteric readings in the Psychic Parlor. Readers included Tarot Cards, Oracle Cards, and Mediums to connect with those who have passed.
Just outside of this room was a rather large ritual offering table lain out in honor of the ancestors for those who attended the event. Attendees were encouraged to leave notes to loved ones, small emblems and photos of those who have passed, and traditional offerings of tobacco, rum, whiskey, money, food, and candy among other options.
These items will be handled and dedicated on Samhain by the witches of Sanctum Folkloria. Samhain is a pagan religious holiday marking the end of the harvest season and happens to line up with Halloween. This is also considered by many witches to be the turning point on the wheel of the year marking October 31 as a witches’ New Year. It is also often considered to be a time when the “veil is thinnest” meaning it would be the easiest time to talk to those who have passed in this belief system.
With all of the traditional and ritual significance of the events at the ball, the true focus of the night was to raise money for the ‘Polar Prince of Purchase Street’ Woobah. Wobbah, Lucky’s three-footed dog and familiar is a loved addition to the Sanctum Folkloria staff and for a period of time now has been dealing with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and the complications that come along with it.
“I loved the fact that they were holding the event for the Canine Foundation – it was quite a surprise but I thought it was wonderful” said Tristan Richter, Music Education Major class of 2022 when asked about the goals of the night.
TEAM WOOBAH, as they have taken to referring to the effort, helps support both Woobah’s medical expenses and contributes to the battle against canine cancer which affects over 65 million dogs a year through the National Canine Cancer Foundation.
To raise this money, food was donated by Greasy Luck, ticket sales contributed, and the organizers held both a 50/50 raffle and a room filled with “witchware raffles” where guests could purchase tickets and try their luck to win over 20 different items.
“It was great to see representation,” Tristan recalled, “The night definitely had it’s flaws, but what event doesn’t? Overall it was a fun experience, I would definitely go again.”