The Original Sacred Pentagraph Personalities
By Tarostar – December 5, 2011
In the early 1970s, arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada from Houston, Texas were June D. Zabowsky- Lady Charmaine Dey and her husband Steve Zabowsky, who opened the first site of the Bell, Book and Candle shop at 1422 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Also from Houston came Sybil Leek to open an Astrology School in Las Vegas. Charmaine and Sybil had met in Houston through connections to the Theosophical Society and around an occult shop called The Witch's Cauldron. Charmaine related many tales about those days in Houston over the years.
In here earlier years, she had been known in Burlesque Theatre as Charmaine the Champagne Blonde and was famous for exotic dancing and a unique version of the Dance of the Seven Veils, expressed through theosophical symbology of colour and levels of consciousness.
Her husband Steve was a tap dancer on the same Burlesque circuit. In his later years he was an accomplished costume maker for strippers and exotic dancers and a congenial salesman in the Bell, Book and Candle shop.
They were both friends of the famous stripper Sally Rand.
( As an aside to set the stage for a time frame for those who remember: Tarostar saw Sally Rand in here last performances, when she was reduced to doing a lounge specialty act at the Mint Hotel in downtown Las Vegas in the early ‘70’s. She was in her 70s then.
In those days, Fremont Street in Las Vegas was the end of the line for performers and the last stop before fading away.
If a performer were on the way down, Fremont Street was the last stop before the back door out. If a performer were on the way up, Fremont Street could be a front door in.
Loretta Lynn did a Mint Hotel country/western lounge act before becoming famous. She had those twins, who eventually ended up on the Hee Haw TV Country/Western Show in her act. Their hit song was Norwegian Wood.)
Sybil applied to the Clark County, Nevada licensing board to open an Astrology School. The county, at that time, had an ordinance on the books claiming any person in the Occult is to be considered an "itinerant Gypsy" and assumed to be playing a confidence game on the public and therefore, to be treated as untrustworthy. Her application for a business license was declined.
Those county ordinances had kept most Occult Arts and Psychic Sciences in Las Vegas in the background and not openly practiced.
The only acceptable shop for that type of thing in Las Vegas at that time was Bertae Specialties, an early version of a New Age Yuppie-oriented approach. (Mr. Bertae required his saleswomen to dress as Cleopatra with exotic make-up and curly-toed sandals, wearing a sandwich board advertisement and parade up and down Fremont Street in 120°F Las Vegas Summer temperature.)
Sybil challenged the county in US Federal Court. Her grounds were that she could not be an "itinerant Gypsy," being a prominent celebrity, a substantial businesswoman and owner of a town house in an exclusive Las Vegas neighbourhood. Besides, the term of "itinerant Gypsy" would be discriminatory to authentic people of a Gypsy/Romany heritage, which she claimed she had.
The county mooted its own ordinance and issued Sybil a license for an Astrology School. That opened up Las Vegas for all kinds of other aspects of the Occult Arts and Psychic Sciences.
Sybil's Astrology School opened in a strip mall on Industrial Road, at that time, way beyond the airport.
Arriving back in Las Vegas about this time, Tarostar became involved in the circle of people in and out of the Bell, Book and Candle Shop, when it was at 1422 Las Vegas Blvd. S. . He had been doing the late Hippie Scene in San Francisco, selling occult jewelry on the streets as The Runic Witch.
Working in the occult supply trade at that shop, during the day, and room service and Showroom at the Frontier and Stardust Hotels at night, he made a decent living, where he could continue occult studies and begin building his personal library.
Charmaine and Tarostar put together a unique brand of Occult oils, bath salts, powders, Spellcraft ingredients and herbal recipes based on the arcane lore from Witchcraft tradition.
The Bell, Book and Candle Shop moved to a better location – 1549 E. Charleston Blvd., and continued with its established reputation in the supply trade.
During this time the Theosophical and Witchcraft studies were combined and a small Circle of Initiates was created as Morningstar Chapel.
Guest Psychic readers would take appointments at the shop, such as the Hollywood reader Gerome Criswell of Ed Wood movie fame and a Dr. Gilley from the Phoenix, Arizona area.
Sybil had sold her Astrology School to one of her better students and moved on. As she toured on lecture and trade circuits, she would stop by the Bell, Book and Candle in passing through Las Vegas and chat with Charmaine and those in the shop.
The core ideas for what became The Sacred Pentagraph were discussed and notes made from those chats and discussions.
Since Sybil was a prominent celebrity, lecture tour and psychic fair hangers-on would gush all over her and whine that they were just going to die, unless Sybil initiated them into Witchcraft. Her remedy for that was to turn the psychic gush thrice round widdershins and say thrice: "You're a Witch!"
She and Charmaine would sit at the table in the display room of the Bell, Book and Candle and cackle and chortle over those "widdershins-spin-around" initiations.
(Sybil always maintained she was a "fam trad" and could only initiate someone in direct family line; one of her sons – Stephen or Julian.
Tarostar lost contact with them after Sybil's passing in 1982 and Charmaine's passing in 1983. Charmaine's husband Steve had contact with Sybil's younger son for a while after that. Steve, however, passed also in about 1994.)
During those years 1974-1983, the essential core of Craft practices and initiatory system and Coven organization that has gone into The Sacred Pentagraph were worked out and implemented. The essential Coven aspects were kept as an inner core with an Outer Court organization known as ALL SAINTS CHURCH OF MYSTIC SCIENCE, incorporated in Nevada as a non-profit religious organization in 1975.
Witchcraft organizations, at that time, were just beginning to go public and encounter difficulty from the authorities and resistance in the public eye. By establishing an edifice/façade, conforming to standard appearances as a New Age Church, the Sacred Pentagraph Witches avoided any public alarm or opprobrium.
Lady Laura had come to the system through the Bell, Book and Candle shop and helped incorporate the Outer Court All Saints Church of Mystic Science. She was a very valuable asset and contributor through time and effort in organization and running the Outer Court.
She organized her own Circle in the Craft system of the Sacred Pentagraph and featured in-depth study of May Pole celebrations and Lady Festivals, which she implemented with great success.
Up to the date, 12/03/2003, she and Tarostar were the last surviving Elders of the tradition.
The purpose of the Outer Court; All Saints Church of Mystic Science, was to function as a form of "New Age" church and guide sincere seekers to the esoteric core and the Sacred Pentagraph system within the tradition of Witchcraft.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State in Carson City, Nevada as document #531-76, its Articles of Incorporation may be seen.
While implementing the Outer Court, some tension arose between Lady Laura and Tarostar with Charmaine and Steve her husband. Charmaine and Steve visioned an organization, which could be an ordination mill, such as that Universal Life Church from Modesto, California, which ordains anyone as anything, for a fee.
Tarostar and Lady Laura didn't feel that type of association would be beneficial to serve the better interests of the Craft. Eventually, Tarostar's and Lady Laura's ethical standards pertaining to such a matter prevailed and ruffled feathers were smoothed over.
Moving into the late 1970s, the notes from the chats and discussions between Charmaine and Sybil, old Steve, Tarostar and Lady Laura were being written up as The Sacred Pentagraph began to flesh itself out through Tarostar's pen. It was as if the thought-form of the system were writing itself.
Lady Charmaine's health began to take a turn for the worse, as she eventually succumbed to kidney failure.
An old church building, which used to stand at the corner of 10th and Carson Streets in downtown Las Vegas, was obtained to house both the Outer Court of All Saints Church of Mystic Science and the inner circles of The Sacred Pentagraph.
Tarostar became known for the full ceremonial Rites of Craft Necromancy at the annual Dumb Supper Samhain celebrations. Private invitations were eagerly sought after by people in the Las Vegas Craft and Psychic community.
During this time, people from other traditions and paths in the Craft were coming to those of us associated with the Bell, Book and Candle shop for validation. One was a gal from Phoenix, Arizona, wanting to open a subsidiary Bell, Book and Candle shop. She had poor business acumen and lost that shop, which eventually opened as The Black Cat Shop in Phoenix. Another was a young couple from Southern California, known in biker circles from that area – the Tanners.
Basically, it was the product line of oils, bath salts, powders, Spellcraft and herbal recipes Charmaine and Tarostar had created, which could be sold on the psychic fair circuit and through other shops in the trade, which brought people to the Bell, Book and Candle from within the Craft.
As Charmaine's health continued to deteriorate the Bell, Book and Candle Shop was incorporated as Bell, Book and Candle Inc., having Charmaine, her husband and Tarostar as the incorporators and directors. Document #6691-81 filed with the Secretary of State's Office in Carson City, Nevada. The Bell, Book and Candle moved to a new location at 1722 E. Charleston Blvd. in 1982.
Within a year of each other in 1982-83, sometimes guest reader Criswell passed, Sybil Leek passed and Charmaine passed.
Tarostar left the Bell, Book and Candle to open a shop called Ye Olde Herb Doctor at 125 N. Bruce St., in Las Vegas. ( He did not resign from Bell, Book and Candle Inc. Late in 1983, Old Steve had made a deal to sell Bell Book and Candle Inc., as private/personal property, to one Lucky Simone from the psychic fair circuit in Southern California, and the ill-fated One Step Beyond Shop in Marina del Rey, Ca.)
Lucky began to use some of the notes from The Sacred Pentagraph to teach students Witchcraft for a fee, with initiation as part of a package deal. He claimed the manuscripts were his own writings and bequeathed to him by Charmaine. (He is on cassette tape telling these things to students. These tapes are in Tarostar's possession.
Tarostar had copyrighted the manuscripts of The Sacred Pentagraph to protect his work, but that didn't seem to register as valid with Mr. Simone. One may check the forms filed with the Library of Congress.)
Lucky would claim the manuscripts written in Tarostar's handwriting were actually the handwriting of Charmaine. Old Steve had led him to believe that as part of the deal in selling Bell, Book and Candle Inc., to Simone, that he could benefit from "Charmaine's" manuscripts.
Trouble in paradise popped up when in Federal Court in 1987, Tarostar established his handwriting and ownership of the copyright to The Sacred Pentagraph; US District Court, District of Nevada before US magistrate Pro 1987-88.
In the meantime, Tarostar had become a published author through publishers in the Occult Supply trade and a contributor of articles to various Craft newsletters, such as the Georgian Newsletter from Bakersfield, California and the Green Egg, when it was published from Ukiah, Ca.
(A serious economic downturn hit the Las Vegas, Nevada area in 1987 with a long-protracted Culinary Union strike. The Las Vegas Strip and all its workers were affected.
Since many small businesses had their main clientele in that union, the following dearth in local cash flow caused many to go under.
Tarostar's Ye Olde Herb Doctor shop was one of them.)
Rather than return to employment in the Hotels, Tarostar took a position with the Psychic Eye Shop in the shopping centre at 953 E. Sahara Blvd. (A Robert Leyson had a string of Psychic Eye Shops in Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area.)
At the Psychic Eye, early in 1989, Tarostar saw an ad asking for experienced occult supply applicants in the Circle Network News. The ad was from The Occult Shop in Toronto, Ontario. He answered the ad and was granted the position as shop manager.
Bringing his occult supply experience to the Toronto area, Tarostar continued with his work fleshing out The Sacred Pentagraph by working on the forth and fifth volumes of the opus.
Under the aegis of the Wiccan Church of Canada, through its High Priesthood, Richard and Tamarra James, some of The Sacred Pentagraph rituals were performed, augmenting the Odyssean Tradition in the Craft.
Tarostar became associate clergy in the WCC.
Lady Tamarra and Lord Richard have helped foster elements of The Sacred Pentagraph through performances of some of its rituals and Mystery Plays, both at the WCC Temple in Toronto and at the Convocation Meet in Michigan.
They have helped keep the tradition active and from falling into abeyance.
The further rituals of The Sacred Pentagraph, written between 1989 and 2005 have been incorporated into The Sacred Pentagraph Book IV – Book of Esbat and Book V – The Cornucopia. These two volumes are nearing completion and are forthcoming.
In 2004, Lady Laura passed away, leaving Tarostar as the last surviving Elder.
R.G. Bennien 'Tarostar" 04/12/05