By Tony Sokol
As we probably say too often, every day is Halloween at Daily Offbeat and this year we found that offbeat minds think alike. At Temple House Sahjaza also treats every day like it's Halloween and they've been living that way since 1976.
Temple House Sahjaza is the longest consecutively running private organization of its type within the modern new age and occult underground. Most of their teachings are private and remain a mystery to those not initiated into the Temple.
Daily Offbeat spoke exclusively to Goddess Rosemary, the High Priestess and Matriarch of the Temple House Sahjaza, which she calls "a 'tongue-in-cheek' group of like-minded artistic, creative and literary individuals interested in science and the arts."
Though often mentioned in vampire circles, "the Sahjaza seek a balance of dayside and nightside in all aspects of life," Goddess Rosemary said. "They are spiritually intuitive beings that exist between the physical and metaphysical worlds, thus providing magickal, divinatory, psychic, healing and empathic abilities as well as a great artistic and energetic support system to the whole gambit of the arts and to those they meet."
The Goddess in Goddess Rosemary is "just my name not a title," she said. Though she did "practice Full Moon God and Goddess worship rituals."
The High Priestess said that "despite the use of the word 'Temple'" the Temple House Sahjaza is "not a religion but a philosophy of spiritually based living that allows for individual expression of belief while maintaining a common moral and ethical code."
The collective follows "no particular religion and our members are of all faiths we are non-denominational however all our members are and follow some form of spirituality and are spiritually enlightened beings, we are for the most part, made up of pagan based and earth based followers but each is an individual," she said.
"Spirituality is important to us, but not your own unique way to find God and Goddess," she said. Though we are more known for our outspoken pagan faith based rituals and rites explored during the full moon goddess explorations in the 90s in NYC and beyond. We believe in individual freedoms and freedom of expression and the "harm none" rule, as well as the pay it forward or 'karma' concepts, we push the envelope in the area of literature and the arts."
"The initial seeds for the Sahjaza were planted in 1976, 38 years ago." In 1985, Goddess Rosemary established the power exchange organization Z/n Society NYC, which stood for Zenith and nadir. Z/n evolved into Temple House Sahjaza which has active members worldwide still maintaining a continual presence in New York City, Florida, Brazil, California, NOLA, and beyond," the matriarch said.
Though, the Priestess warned "We don't reveal our membership specifically beyond."
"We are big supporters of underground theatre and theatrical companies, such as, La Commedia del Sangue: Vampyr Theatre," Goddess Rosemary said "The Sahjaza have been putting on events since the 70s such as Cirque de Erotique and the most recently the Undead-A-Go-Go. Over the years Temple House Sahjaza has done everything from Ghost Tours to Whale Watching. Cirque de Erotique came long before Cirque de Soleil was on the scene."
Goddess Rosemary "owned one of NYC's first notable Computer Graphic Corporations in 1985 and paved the way for groups to follow such as Kinko's."
The High Priestess is also an artist, actress, filmmaker and "champion of women's freedom of expression, personal growth and rights." She is also an "advocate for lost and homeless shelter pets, spay and neuter programs and education."
As an artist, Goddess Rosemary exhibited art in "Gallery shows in NYC from the Andrus Gallery at Carnage Hall, to the Salmagundi Club and other Galleries and venues." Goddess Rosemary explores fetish and celebrates the female form.
She has directed award winning films that she calls "in-depth and psychological works like Fritz Lang or perhaps even David Lynch." She is a fan of "cult classics, film noir and dark movie format" and often works in black and white. She also designs her own sets, having studied art direction for film at the New School and acting at HB Studio in NYC. She also studied dance at the Leslie Dance School also in NYC.
"We have many sorts of individuals that make up the whole Sahjaza. Our makeup of who we are and what we do is shrouded in mystery on purpose," she said.
"We prefer to stay in the Shadows in this day and age."
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