Established for five years, The Circle is a nature-based religion organization, however, Bri Levantino, President of the organization, says, “We welcome all religions…we enjoy helping people find their path…It doesn’t have to be pagan necessarily.” The club hosts two main festivals–the Halloween Carnival and the May Day Festival.
As October nears its end, The Circle plans to host its annual Halloween Carnival. This year Levantino plans to not only meet with club officers to discuss a theme, but also seeks input from the Salem community. Through SurveyMonkey surveys and asking around on campus, The Circle aims to find out what community members “…want to see…want us to have this year, what did they enjoy last year that they want us to bring out?” says Levantino. All member of Salem Community are welcome and encouraged to participate this year.
From a pagan point of view, Halloween celebrates the end of the year. “That’s basically our new year. It’s all about the harvest,” says Levantino. “Last year it was on Clewell Patio on the night of Halloween…it was…a Harry Potter theme. We had wand-making, we had Dr. Rushing come out and she sorted people. We had tarot reading, and really yummy food.” As with all of their events, teas were also available for purchase.
In preparation for their Halloween Carnival, The Circle holds a Divination Fundraiser event. “We have it in the Little Chapel every year. We have people doing palm readings, pendulum, tarot cards depending on what people on campus can read certain things. That goes on throughout the day. We have a list of people doing the readings and people can set up private appointments,” says Levantino.
Since at least the early 1900s, Salem has been celebrating May Day in the spring, which features a parade and the crowning of a May Queen. Levantino says, “It was kind of as big a festival as Fall Fest. It died down and The Circle has taken it on and brought it back.”
Levantino endeavors to negate previous views that have been associated with the club. “The Circle hasn’t had a really good reputation. People have been very against The Circle because they don’t really understand what we’re about. This year I want to get out and say, ‘Hey, we’re here for you guys, we’re not all of these negative stereotypes that you have. This is what we’re about and we want you guys to come out and have fun and be a part!’” announces Levantino.
“We have some really cool booths and we just really enjoy celebrating Halloween,” says Levantino.
Contact Bri Levantino with any questions, or if you are interested in being involved with this year’s Halloween Carnival. Levantino says, “We like bringing in new, fresh ideas from new members. We like having new things and not having the same exact thing every year.”
Sophomore Bri Levantino relaxing on Clewell Patio