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That Old Time Religion With a drop of oil and a kiss on the cheek, a coven of New Yorkers regularly enters the `sacred space' of modern witchery
[CITY Edition]
Newsday - Long Island, N.Y.
Author: By David Friedman. STAFF WRITER
Date: Oct 10, 1991
Start Page: 92
Section: PART II
Abstract (Document Summary)

"She was there," [Phyllis Curott] says. "A statue, just as she appeared in my dream. The platform, the gown, the crown, the star - everything." Curott rushed over and read the inscription. "The Libyan Sibyl," it said. Later that day, Curott learned from a dictionary that sibyl means witch, a priestess of the old goddess religion.

The sculpture garden was new. There was no way Curott could have seen the statue before - a curious happenstance, to be sure, but not enough to turn Curott into a priestess, herself. Not yet, anyway. So after receiving her law degree in 1979, Curott, the daughter of two political activists, went to work for an organization fighting union corruption.

In the spring of 1981, Phyllis Curott was initiated. The actual ceremony is secret, so Curott is unwilling to discuss the details. She is, however, willing to describe it as a "death and rebirth experience" in which she cast off her old ways of perception and took on new, deeper ways, along with a new name, Aradia. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Curott was given a Book of Shadows to copy by hand. Not a sacred text, the Book of Shadows is a book of Wiccan rituals, poetry and commentaries.

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