A History of the Denver Witches’ Ball
The Denver Witches’ Ball began as a community project of Dragonfhain and the High Plains Church of Wicca in 1991. Hearthstone Community Church had just begun offering its open public Full Moon rituals in Denver, but no one was yet offering public Solar Sabbat rituals to the neo-Pagan community. As High Priest and High Priestess of Dragonfhain and founders of High Plains Church, the husband and wife team of George Moyer and Jackie Weller were interested in starting public celebrations for Beltane and Samhain, the two most important holidays in the Wiccan cycle of the year.
Beltane, also known as May Eve and May Day, marks the beginning of the summer half of the year, a time of budding, blossoming and fertility. Samhain marks the winter half of the year, a time of harvesting, culling and celebrating our dear departed.
The first Denver Witches’ Ball took place on the Saturday night before Samhain in a rented United Methodist Church basement hall in Englewood in 1991. About fifty people came. There were a few merchants there, participants were costumed and they bobbed for apples and played other traditional games when they weren’t dancing.
As the years went by, the Ball became a major community celebration attracting as many as 800 people, with over 30 vendors, a psychic fair, multiple musical performances, costume contests, drumming, dancing, children’s activities, and a midnight ritual.
At the turn of the century the Witches’ Ball moved to the beautiful, historic Highlands Masonic Temple at 35th and Federal Boulevard, in Denver, where the Ball now takes place each year.
As our community grows and evolves, the special events that are the expression of that community evolve. In 2014, Jackie turned over production of the Ball to Chris and Karen Mohr. They are committed to carrying on the tradition. They continue to pursue the expression of the mission of the Witches’ Ball, to create the celebration of magickal community in a way that serves many diverse interests — all in one place, one night, each year. See you at the Witches’ Ball!
Our blessings go with the spirit of George Moyer, who departed for the Summerland on August 25th, 2011.
Celebration – to celebrate a Wiccan holy day
Magickal and sacred space – to create a place for costumes, masks, face paint, divination and sacred ceremony
Mystical experience – to provide a space for trance drumming, dancing, and prayerformance*
Community-building – to offer an opportunity for a diverse and scattered community to come together
Volunteerism – an opportunity for staff and volunteers to hone skills while giving back to their community
Alternative economy – to create a marketplace for local artists, psychics and craftspeople
Inclusivity – to create a family-friendly, all ages event
Support for the arts – to create a paid venue for local Pagan-influenced musical acts
(*Thanks to Kaewyn for that word describing the place where the arts and ritual intersect)