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A Chance To Dance With Witches

StarrHannah Rubenstein Starr Ravenhawk is a high priestess of the Wiccan Family Temple, which hosts its sixth annual witches ball on Sunday.

This Sunday night is the one time of the year that a mere mortal can cavort with “real witches.”

The sixth annual Witches Masquerade Ball, at The Delancey in the Lower East Side, occurs on Halloween night. Billed as “A Night for all Vamps, Pagans, Witches, Druids, Goths, Faerie Folk, Magical Folk, Indigos & Urbanites,” the Ball regularly draws hundreds of guests to its Halloween festivities, which include performances by belly dancers, an ancestral drum circle, Indian pop singers, dancing, and what is mysteriously referred to as “a secret midnight ritual.”

“We’ll put a spell on you!” laughs Starr Ravenhawk, a high priestess of the Wiccan Family Temple that hosts the Ball.

Starr, co-founder of the Wiccan Family Temple, describes the Wiccan group as an “eclectic, improvisational, all-inclusive open circle” based in the East Village. Twice a month, in a rented storefront on East Ninth Street, a motley group of Wiccans and curious guests come together to practice the religion — recent offerings include “Witchcraft Ethics” and “Psychic Self-Defense” — in a public forum unimaginable in years past.

Starr has many monikers — real estate agent, minister, high priestess, mother, and independent business owner. Many people have told her that she bears a striking resemblance to Chaka Khan, and she does — if the singer wore a silver pentagram necklace and wove purple strands into her curls.
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