Why must I Register before showing up at the festival?
After three away from festival life, the Babalon Rising coffers are bare, and we are returning to a "grassroots" organization model. Our event must pay for venue rental fees, sanitation, printing, supplies, equipment, presenter expenses, travel costs, and more -- all before the gates open. We need to know that we'll have enough attendees in order to cover the basic costs this year.
Once we have 50 registrations (at either the early or regular rates, not including barters), we will open up the option for late/gate registration. We're thinking of this as one of our "stretch goals" in 2023.
Can I attend for a Single Day? Can I attend for a single night?
You can attend for a single day, provided that you still register in advance. When you purchase that registration, you can also purchase a night-pass for an additional fee.
What we can't do is allow single-night registrations without an accompanying day-pass.
Day passes are valid from 9a-9p. Night passes are valid until 9am the following morning.
Where do festival proceeds go?
The money generated by the festival goes into running the festival. Whatever money is left over after all expenses are paid is forwarded into the next year's operating expenses.
What is the purpose of this festival?
The Babalon Rising festival was created as a way for Thelemites of different organizations and philosophies to come together in siblinghood to celebrate the New Aeon and to discuss and practice magick, ritual, and the 93 Current.
Why is the festival 21+?
The festival has several elements that the organizers felt were inappropriate for minors (those under the age of 21) to be around, both for their safety, and the legal protection of the festival. Some of these include: drinking, sexually-themed rituals, and occultism. The organizers hope that, as the festival is adults-only, it will provide an environment conducive to magicians for doing their Will.
Is there an online forum for festival attendees?
Yes! We love keeping in touch with people interested in the Babalon Rising Festival throughout the year. Join us at our official Facebook Group to share photos (with consent), discuss past festivals, keep in touch with old friends, and help plan future festivals!
How did this festival originate?
An O.T.O. First Degree, an E.G.C. Bishop, a Chaos Mage, and a Gardnerian Wiccan were having a late-night dinner at Steak-n-Shake... it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it was the beginning of the Babalon Rising festival, proving once again that the Law is for All!
Culture of the Event
What is Thelema?
That is a difficult and thorny question! Here is a brief answer, along with some links for further exploration.
Thelema, Θελημα in Greek, means Will. Thelema is the name of the philosophical school and religious matrix established in 1904 with the writing of Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law) by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). The Law of Thelema is summed up in two phrases from the Book:
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40) and
“Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57).
Those who follow the path of Thelema are called Thelemites. Thelema emphasizes individualism, and the uniqueness of each person's True Will, which is generally defined as the innermost Nature or proper life course of the individual. As a result, it is very difficult to make blanket statements about its nature, or the natures of its adherents. Even the label of "religion" sometimes fits Thelema awkwardly. Thelema is more accurately defined for some Thelemites as a philosophy and a way of life.
The process of discovering one's True Will is referred to as the Great Work. The techniques used to accomplish this difficult task fall under the general term Magick, and traditionally include practices such as yoga, invocational ritual, astral body work, and contact with the higher self. In Thelema it is up to the individual to find the doorway to his or her own inner self. The Book of the Law states that we are all divine creatures: “Every man and every woman is a star” (AL I:5). As such, Thelemites are encouraged to discover their own divinity, as well as their personal sense of right and wrong, based on both rational thinking and through the Great Work.
In what ways is this a Thelemic event?
The Babalon Rising Festival supports attendees in the uncovering and pursuing their True Will through establishing personal autonomy and accountability; providing high-quality lectures, workshops, rituals, and other experiences centered on Thelemic principles and practices; and fostering community with other Thelemites.
Is the festival connected to any specific magical orders or fraternities?
No. While the organizers of the Babalon Rising Festival might have affiliations with various magickal orders, the festival itself has never been sponsored by or explicitly connected to any magickal society or group. Our current and past organizer committees includes folks with ties to several magickal communities and initiatory paths (include some folks who work entirely independently). It is a deeply held value of this event that Thelema is for All.
Do I have to be a Thelemite to attend?
No. Although we define "Thelemite" fairly broadly, we don't require that anyone adopts this label for themselves in order to join us. (Doing so would be most un-Thelemic, we feel.)
Why is Babalon Rising a camping event (and not a conference)?
There a several reasons. One is that several of the event founders were regular attendees at the original venue (which was a camping-based festival facility) and had deep community ties there. Another is that most of our organizers and frequent attendees enjoy this brief dip into the relative wilderness to strip away the barriers to magick and Will that they experience in their more "civilized" usual surrounds. Yet another is that several fantastic Thelemic conferences and gatherings already exist in hotels and convention spaces. We believe that offering this event in a camping-based environment offers a radically different experience for ritual, fellowship, and the impromptu magickal discussions and rituals that are manifested only at Babalon Rising.
What are the festival rules or code of conduct?
Babalon Rising Festival attendees are expected to use common sense and apply Thelemic principles regarding keeping themselves safe and not infringing on the Will of others. Festival organizers are not able to "waive" the laws of the nation, state, or county in which we are gathered. We are especially unforgiving of actions that subvert or override another's Will. We reserve the right to reject and/or revoke registration to any participant at our sole discretion, without refund or appeal.
Where can I offer feedback, suggestions, or ideas for the festival organizers to consider?
A survey link will be emailed to all attendees after the festival each year, and a QR code will be posted at BR-HQ (our hospitality and information area) throughout the event. We welcome constructive feedback that will allow us to continue improving the event experience.
Is the entire festival clothing optional?
Yes! The entire Babalon Rising festival is clothing optional in all areas that are not visible from the public road or waterway. However, we do recommend that you plan your clothing, or lack thereof, with the weather in mind! The festival may become hot, wet, or chilly. (Note: since the entry road and creek are visible from public spaces, clothing is required in those areas.)
Is filming and/or photography permitted?
Filming is not permitted except in specially designated areas. Photography is permitted with the explicit consent of ALL subjects who are in the shot. This includes folks in the background. Furthermore, separate consent must be given by those subjects for photos to be shared on websites, social media, or other outlets. Failure to obtain proper consent is grounds for removal from the current festival and/or banning from future events.
Are audio recordings permitted?
Presenters are permitted to capture audio recordings of their own presentations with the express permission of all those in attendance; and all attendees may capture audio of their own personal conversations, formal or informal interviews, and private rituals as long as express permission is obtained from all participants. Failure to obtain proper consent is grounds for removal from the current festival and/or banning from future events.
Can I breastfeed at the festival?
No. Children under age 21, including children being breastfed, are not allowed beyond the gate during Babalon Rising. You may choose to stay off-site, at your own discretion, in order to facilitate this and other childcare concerns.
Any other cultural notes?
If you have specific concerns or questions, we would love to include them here. Please contact us directly.
Registration & Bartering
What does it cost to attend the festival?
In 2023, the early registration rate is $77 (from Jan 1 - Mar 30) and the regular registration rate is $93 (from Apr 1 - May 30) per person.
If we are able to open a late/gate registration option, it will be $111 per person.
Day Passes are $40 each, and Night Passes can be added for an additional $15. (Night Passes are only available as an add-on to a Day Pass of the same date, regardless of arrival time. Day Passes run from 9a-9p, and Night Passes from 9p-9a of the following day.) At this time, Day and Night Passes are only available online before the gates open.
If I pre-register but can't attend, can I get a refund?
No. Due to the costs of materials, supplies, equipment, and facilities that were pre-purchased in anticipation of your arrival, the Babalon Rising Festival is unable to offer refunds for any reason, aside from a cancellation of the event as a whole.
However, if you are unable to attend, you may either transfer your registration to another attendee during the same year's event, or you may transfer your registration to the following year's event. (If you need to make transfer arrangements to another attendee, you will need to do so at least 5 days before the event officially begins. If this is not possible, please contact us within 5 days of the event closing. In 2023, these windows are: anytime before June 4 or between June 12-June 17.)
Are there options to reduce the cost of my entry?
Yes! We need a fairly large team of volunteers to help run this event, and we are willing to "barter" a portion of your admission fees in exchange for your time and help. Space is limited on our barter teams, so please apply for a spot early if you are interested. NOTE: Since "barters" pay a customized rate for entry, we ask that folks who are interested in bartering refrain from submitting any registration payment until their position and amount have been confirmed. This will help us avoid any clerical confusion.
What happens if I don't fulfill my barter?
You will be expected to pay the amount that had been discounted from your registration. This must be handled before you are able to register or volunteer again. In some cases, depending on the circumstances and at our sole discretion, you may also be considered ineligible for future barter positions. We count on our barters/volunteers to help run the festival, and we find ourselves at a significant operational disadvantage when we are unexpectedly short-staffed.
I don't have the funds to pay the full admission right now. What are my options?
You have two choices that both allow you to get registered without having the full funds to pay for regular admission. You can either volunteer to be part of our barter team (which will reduce your entry fees and could eliminate them altogether) ~OR~ you can choose the non-refundable Save-My-Spot option (in which you part of your entry now and the remainder when you arrive).
Please note that the Save-My-Spot deposit can be transferred to another attendee in the same year it was purchased (at least 5 days before the event begins), but it cannot be applied to the admission fees for future events.
If I owe money at the Gate, do I have to pay in cash?
There are a few reasons why you might need to pay a balance when you arrive -- including Save-My-Spots, barters, late/gate registration (if available), or other special arrangements. We offer several options for paying these balances.
You may pay using paypal.me/babalonrising, Venmo @Asteria-Books, or CashApp $LaureleiBlack prior to or at arrival. Just show the gate attendant your confirmation from the app when you check-in.
Cash is always an option -- and is the most reliable once you are on the land.
QR codes will be available at the gate for you to use your own device to send money. Please note that mobile data is notoriously spotty at Midian, and you may need to leave the site to access your preferred payment app or withdraw cash from an ATM.
Venue & Amenities
Where is the festival being held in 2023?
Midian Events -- 4093 Bonne Hollow Rd, Springville, IN 47462
If you have been to the festival between 2014 and 2019, you will be excited to return with us to this lovely and intimate setting in Southern Indiana.
What amenities can I expect at this location?
Midian is an event venue that offers event-based primitive camping, limited electricity, a sheltered stage, fresh drinking water, firewood, firepits, & hiking trails.
Our event will also arrange for necessary sanitation (port-o-lets and a roll-off dumpster), ice, cooling/spray stations, and possible other amenities (TBD).
Midian does NOT currently have shower facilities, and attendees should make plans for attending to their personal hygiene during the 2 days of this event in other ways in 2023. (Lawrence County officials have ruled out personal "camp showers," as well.)
Who can place trash in the roll-off dumpster? What kind of trash is permitted?
Babalon Rising arranges for a roll-off to be placed near the front entrance of the Midian grounds, and all attendees are encouraged to make use of this dumpster in order to keep the grounds clean. Leaving rubbish (food waste, packaging materials, hygeine and prophylactic items, broken camping gear, etc) at your campsite may result in fees or denied-entry to future events. We expect all attendees to leave their campsites and public-use spaces as good as (or better than) they found them. If the roll-off is full, attendees are expected to pack their rubbish out and dispose of it on their own.
In an effort to reduce the amount of waste created by the festival, we encourage all attendees to bring a re-usable water bottle, pack-in larger containers of water if they dislike the well water, and to remove packaging from as many items as possible during their packing process.
What's the deal with "Private Potties"?
Babalon Rising makes arrangements for several portable restrooms (porta-johns, port-o-lets) that are publicly available (and unisex). However, many attendees over the last few years have chosen to rent a private potty for the exclusive use of a small group, with members in that group sharing the expense.
If you decide to rent a private potty, here are the details you need to know:
Potty rental fees must be fully paid in advance and are non-refundable. Fees vary from year to year. Please check the Registration page for this year's potty price.
All potties must be scheduled by May 20.
Private potties are placed along the main camping road, along with several public-use potties. Private potties are locked (zip-tied) by festival workers upon their arrival and marked with signs. You will claim your preferred potty when you arrive to set-up camp. Potty locations are available on a first-come-first-served basis, so it is wise to have someone in your party claim your group's potty early on Thursday -- the set-up day in 2023.
You are encouraged to bring a combination lock to secure your potty for your group's use. The festival is not responsible for "unauthorized use" by other attendees.
You may add a personalized sign or other temporary decorations to your potty, at your own financial risk. (If you damage a potty, the festival will invoice you for the cost and the financially-responsible attendee will be unable to register for future events until the bill is paid.)
All trash, supplies, signage, and decorations must be removed from your potty no later than Sunday check-out. All trash should be taken by someone in your party and placed inside the roll-off dumpster.
All potties on the land are cleaned prior to the event opening on Thursday (or arrive clean). They are cleaned and re-stocked with paper again on Friday and Saturday. The cost of these cleanings is reflected in your rental fee; however, it is your party's responsibility to make sure the potty is unlocked and accessible when the sanitation vendor arrives.
Private potties are stocked by the festival with wipes and hand sanitizer prior to the festival opening. The cost of these supplies is included in your rental fee. The festival will keep the public-use potties replenished with hand sanitizer and paper throughout the festival, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own wipes in the event that festival-provided supplies run out. Replenishing of private potties' supplies is the responsibility of the renters.
What should I bring to the festival?
Other than an open mind and a magical spirit, we reccommend you bring supplies for a weekend of primitive camping, including a tent, a sleeping bag, sunscreen, spare clothes (but remember that the festival is clothing optional!), a camp chair (for workshop and bonfire seating), meals and snacks, and water if you dislike or are sensitive to well water. We have created a suggested festival packing list available for download here (COMING SOON).
What should I ~NOT~ bring to the festival?
Please do not bring firearms, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages (not intended for personal consumption), friends or family under the age of 21, or pets. None of these are permitted.
Where is the best place to camp?
Camping is permitted in nearly any suitable location throughout the site except for those areas specifically designated for vendors or where your campsite would be an obvious obstruction (e.g., in the middle of the road, right in front of the main stage, at the entrance of a workshop space, etc). If you require electricity, you will also be limited to a few campsites with power hookups. Please arrive early to set up and let the staff know if this is the case so they can direct you to appropriate and available areas.
Also please keep in mind that not all attendees of the festival will keep the same hours as you! The most active areas in the daytime are the workshop areas, the vendor's area, and the food area. The most active areas at night are the main fire and the stage. We strongly suggest that you plan your campsite according to your sleeping habits.
There are no areas that are specifically designated as "quiet areas" for this event, and even the camping spaces have the possibility of becoming hubs of ritual and discussion at night. We recommend ear-plugs for folks who worry their sleep may be disrupted.
Will my campsite have a firepit?
If you arrive early to the festival (Wednesday or Thursday) there is a very good chance that you will have access to a firepit at your campsite. Many firepits are located in the camping field at the festival location. If you are arriving to the festival later (Friday or Saturday) you may still have access to the firepits, but may need to share with other later arrivals -- or plan to bring a camp-stove in order to prepare your meals. We also recommend "cold-camping" (bringing only meals and snacks that do not require heat/fire for preparation) as an alternative.
Are there internet and cell phone connectivity at this venue?
Midian does not have its own internet connection due to the limits of availability by providers in the area; however, many attendees find that they have good access to mobile data and talking options, depending on their carriers. (Currently, Verizon and T-Mobile seem to have the strongest and most stable signals in the area.) Neither Midian nor Babalon Rising can make any guarantees regarding either phone or data access while onsite.
Are there charging stations or other electrical access at this venue for attendees?
No. There are a limited number of electrical outlets, and all are reserved for use only with the explicit permission of the festival's organizers. Unauthorized devices are likely to be unplugged and may be moved out of the way, at the sole risk of the device's owner.
Will I be able to plug in my C-Pap?
Probably. We will make every reasonable effort to reserve some camping areas close to electricity for the use of attendees with medical devices. Please make arrangements with organizers early in order to facilitate your needs.
What is the weather like in the region?
Weather is notoriously unpredictable in Southern Indiana, but the average temperature for mid-June is a high of 83° and low of 60° with some precipitation. Past experience has taught us that you should plan for all types of weather: hot & dry, hot & wet, cold & dry, and cold & wet. Be sure that your tent/shelter is waterproofed, and dress in layers. Bring an extra towel!
Are there food vendors or a community kitchen?
Midian does NOT have its own kitchen facilities or a permanent food vendor. Babalon Rising is actively recruiting food vendors to join us, but we cannot make any guarantees at this time regarding their participation.
Some camp-communities within the festival make arrangements for meal-sharing and camp-kitchens within their own groups. Just be aware that these are not being provided as a festival-wide service, and you need to have the explicit permission of those groups to use their equipment or eat their food. If you're looking to join such an arrangement, you might find interested folks on our private Facebook group.
All attendees should make arrangements for their meals prior to coming to Babalon Rising and should be prepared for the possibility that no food vendors will be in attendance.
Where can I buy Supplies in the area?
There is a "corner store" in Springville (about 5 minutes from Midian) that has some limited grocery items as well as hot/fresh food like pizza, sandwiches, etc. For greater selection and availability, the town of Bedford, IN is only a 15 minute drive (11 miles). There are grocery chains there, including Aldi, JayC, Ruler, and Walmart, as well as several convenience stores and pharmacies.
Can I bring my RV or pop-up camper? Will I have access to water, electric, or sewer, if I do?
Your may bring your camper, RV, or pop-up to Babalon Rising; however, we have a very limited number of gravel parking "pads" -- and these are located in our general parking area at the edge of the facility. Due to space constraints, we are unable to offer any parking inside the main gate except for short un/loading periods. (Exceptions may be made for organizers whose campers are part of the operational plan for the festival.)
No such vehicles will have access to water/sewer, and electrical access is extremely limited. Plan to "boondock" (run the generator, and port your own water/waste in and out) if you bring a camper. Alternatively, Spring Mill State Park is about 30 minutes away in Mitchell, IN and offers RV camping options.
Can I stay off-site during the festival?
Yes! Bedford, Indiana is less than 15 minutes from Midian's gate, and it offers several hotel options.
What airport(s) are located nearby?
Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport (SDF) are roughly the same distance to Midian -- at about 1.5 hours away by car.
Is there a bus station nearby?
The nearest Greyhound bus stop is on John Williams Blvd in Bedford, IN -- about 11.5 miles from Midian.
How can I arrange a ride-share with other attendees?
Yes, in theory! We encourage attendees to make connections in our Facebook group in order to ride-share, if they are able.
Health & Safety
What precautions does the festival take to limit the spread of coronavirus, influenza, and other public health concerns?
We ask (but don't require) all attendees to have up-to-date vaccines and to be tested for public health concerns prior to arrival at the festival. We expect that all attendees will use common sense and hold themselves accountable for limiting the spread of such diseases through such simple measures as frequent and thorough hand-washing, physical distancing, and staying at home if they are symptomatic or have had recent exposure (with or without symptoms).
We have always educated about and encouraged safer sex practices among our attendees, and we will continue to do so.
We discourage attendees from drinking out of shared bottle, jugs, or cups. Our pitch-in community feast will be served by volunteer staff who are observing ServSafe precautions in the preparation and handling of food.
Will I be able to plug in my C-Pap or other medical equipment?
Probably. We will make every reasonable effort to reserve some camping areas close to electricity for the use of attendees with medical devices. Please make arrangements with organizers early in order to facilitate your needs.
What sort of First Aid assistance is available?
We have several First Aid volunteers who are stationed at the First Aid booth during the event and are happy to provide attendees with basic supplies and support (such as bandages, compresses, ointments, analgesics, etc), which attendees will be expected to administer for themselves. For any medical situations which the attendee cannot address on their own (or with the help of a friend) using these basic supplies, the attendee will need to seek off-site medical care.
What is the nearest hospital, if there is a medical emergency?
IU Health on 16th Street (Hwy 50) is the nearest hospital to Midian.
I have a medical condition. Who should I tell at the festival?
If you are attending the festival with a known medical condition, please make sure that you are attending with a "festival buddy" who is aware of your situation and is comfortable providing the support you may need if a crisis arises. In the event of a crisis, First Aid barters (and all organizers on-duty) are able to contact EMS services or direct your "buddy" to the nearest hospital.
Are there supports in place for emotional/psychological well-being during this event?
Attendees should be aware before coming that primitive camping and high-intensity magick can be triggering for a number of emotional and psychological concerns. Many attendees find the support they need to navigate these experiences within the Babalon Rising Festival community; however, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. We are unable to provide "Mental Health First Aid" beyond the natural availability and support skills offered by caring friends. We very much recommend that attendees identify the supports they may need (in terms of people, techniques, medications, etc) and make provisions for their mental health care while they are in attendance.
I have a disability. What sort of accessibility accommodations are available?
Midian is a fairly young private event venue with primitive camping and presentation facilities. Currently, there are no ramps or handrails in many areas, and the terrain is both rocky and uneven. Several wheelchair-, walker-, and cane-users have found the land and facilities navigable, but we recognize that this will not be the experience for everyone who uses a mobility device. Persons with mobility or vision limitations are encouraged to attend the festival with a friend or "festival buddy" who can assist them with setting up camp, navigating difficult terrain, etc.
Babalon Rising is open to arranging barter positions (discounted festival entry in exchange for work/service) in the case of persons/personnel who attend solely to assist an attendee with disabilities. Furthermore, we are actively recruiting ASL interpreters who are interested in signing at workshops, lectures, and rituals in exchange for reduced festival entry. Please contact us through the barter application in order to volunteer in this capacity.
What is the Feast of the Beast?
The Feast of the Beast is an all-night group-participation ritual and celebration that the organizers of Babalon Rising host as an annual event. The Feast of the Beast takes place Saturday night, into Sunday morning. All festival-goers are welcome to attend. We encourage those individuals who would like to participate fully in the ritual to dress in their favorite ritual gear, or as their favorite God-form! For more information on the Feast of the Beast, click here.
What workshops, rituals, performances, or lectures are being offered for the 2023 Babalon Rising Festival?
Our Description of Festival Events page is the best place to find the most current listing of the on-schedule offerings at this year's festival. Of course, our attendees are known for bringing lots of off-schedule magick to the event, as well. Since much of the off-schedule ritual is impromptu and/or semi-private, we have no way to promote it. But you may be able to learn more in our Facebook group prior to the event.
What has been presented at past BR festivals? Who has presented in the past?
With 2023 being the FOURTEENTH iteration of the Babalon Rising Festival, we have proudly been host to a couple hundred lecturers, ritualists, performers, and other magick-makers -- Lon Milo DuQuette, Donald Michael Kraig, Louis Martinie, Brandy Williams, Georgia van Raalte, Bill Duvendack, Jason Augustus Newcomb, Richard Kaczinski, Laurelei Black, Phil Farber, Tannin Schwartzstein, David Shoemaker, and Mayan Ruins among them (just to name a few).
Our incredible presenters (whether internationally-known or homegrown-favorites) have offered our community several hundred of the most incredible ceremonies, workings, classes, performances, and other experiences that have ever happened in the occult community. You can get a glimpse of what has happened at past Babalon Rising Festivals on our Past Events page (COMING SOON) -- or by visiting an old "capture" of our website at the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine!