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My Adventure to Iron Garden – Vampyre Court in Newark New Jersey

My Adventure to Iron Garden – Vampyre Court in Newark New Jersey

Last night, my brother Kronos and I made the trek from Baltimore to Newark New Jersey to spend an evening with Iron Garden. In torrential downpour the whole 3 hours up and 3 hours back... good times.

We had a good time though. It was both a dance party as well as a formal Court experience. My mission for going there was to witness the formal Court experience side of things, as I’m doing some research into how to host my own in the Mobtown Halo (Baltimore, MD)

What is Iron Garden?

Iron Garden defines themselves as “A Safe Haven for New Jersey’s Nightkind Community.” They operate as a “Vampy(i)re Court” style event….

Okay but wtf is a Court style event?

What are Vampyre Courts?

Vampyre/Vampire Courts in the real vampyre community generally come in 1 of 2 forms.

The original traditional Vampyre Court system that was created in the 90s -early 2000s is usually comprised of representatives of all the Houses in an area gathering together in a formal setting to discuss the community, anything happening, social event planning, and any other formal or informal business needed to be discussed amongst this council of representatives.

As time passed on, some Courts adopted things like keynote speakers on focus topics, poets, and other artistic presentations and ritual that goes along with the community business.

These traditional Courts do often have a hierarchical structure to them, including a Leader aka “Regent” and a High Council of members who all took on different duties. Things like Keeper of the Veil or a rulekeeper, Keeper of the Scroll, a recordkeeper or head scribe type position, or Gatekeepers aka front door staff.

New Vampyre Court structures are more like organizations than they are events. They’re a mock-feudal royal Court that operates under one banner.

Iron Garden operates in a traditional way. It was originally a Court specifically for Ronin vampyres but it has evolved to include representatives of several Houses.

What happened at the event?

First, the venue QXT has a main floor that has a large bar and a big dancefloor. Anyone who saw my silly live video saw us dancing around upstairs. In the basement they have 2 rooms separated by a short hallway. On one side of the basement they held Court. On the other was music, a couple vendors, and a bar.

The Court part of the event consisted of a few parts. This particular event’s theme was secret societies & chivalric orders…. in basic terms, Freemason shit. lol Each of Iron Garden’s events has a theme and they tailor their activities around that theme.

1. Conclave – right at 8pm they had a conclave discussion. Chairs were put into a circle. The speaker, Lord Armond of House Akcros gave his presentation on the Influences of Secret Societies. He discussed the Masonic influence on everyday life. Things we don’t realize have masonic origins. Things like a judge’s gavel, or the phrase being “black balled.” The black ball is a “no” vote when voting on matters in Masonic meetings. white balls are “yes” votes.

2. Host announcements – introductions of the various presenters. They inducted the Host as the official Host for the rest of the year. She repeated a passage to swear an oath to the position, put her name in their ledger, and carried on as the Host of the event. She presented all the speakers, introduced all the Elders involved in the event, etc. I honestly need a local clone of her. She was very good at her hosting duties.

3. Keynote Speaker – By Lord Jabbar AgaKhan-Asotus was about Chivalric Orders. Discussing the patriarchal nature of Masonic orders. Jabbar is a very energetic and charismatic speaker. The subject matter itself was interesting to say the least.

4. Citizenship Inductions  – This section was very interesting. When someone attends Iron Garden 3 or more times, they can be inducted as a citizen of Iron Garden. They inducted citizens through a small “ritual” where they received a piece of magnetic hematite that represents the seed of their energy, said a passage, and placed their seed stone on a metal rod that included every other citizens hematite on it. It was a really cool concept. But it was interesting to watch. A little cumbersome, albeit not a super long ceremony. But by the end of this ceremony we’d already been through a couple hours of discussions so I can’t lie… I was getting antsy.

5. Raffle/Auction – This part is where I started to struggle. ADHD brain been sitting still for hours and now I’m getting some strange energy pangs in this moment. Plus, I’m not sure if they do raffles and auctions at every event so I’m not sure if it was something the regulars expected… but Kronos and I definitely didn’t. They also did a collection plate sort of thing that threw us off but I respect the hustle, running an organization if expensive so I took notes. lol. But the running of the auction was painfully awkward. I can’t tell if it was the energy of those presenting it, or the fact that nobody wanted to bid on the thing so second hand embarressment? Someone did step up and buy the thing, but it was just weird. Once the auction part was over and they moved into raffle, I quietly stepped out and went into the other room.

I know they went on for quiet a little while after I left, but I spent time talking to friends and fam in the other room. There was quite a handful of people there who did not sit in on the entire Court experience so I get the impression that people who have been doing it a while regularly don’t sit for the whole thing. I’m sure there’s different reasons as to why people do or don’t attend the whole thing but I have no clue.

Once the Court part was over, everything moved into dance party mode.

That part was cool. Just typical Goth Night stuff… Although the upstairs DJ was playing a random mix of stuff. That was the most fun part.

The Dynamic of Vampyre Club events through my eyes

I wish I could properly express to you the amusement I get of sitting back and watching/analyzing club dynamics through the lens of my particular perspective. You see, once upon a time I was heavily ingrained into my regional EDM/Rave scene. I spent 12 years running security for hundreds of events. So, my club scene experience while very different from the VC, makes it easy to dissect the archetypes people fall within and profile people based on it . It’s something I have always done, especially when going to new places. I sit and soak in everyone’s vibe, see how they act, observe their patterns, come to my own conclusions, and then as I integrate more into a place as I keep going back, my ideas get tested. It’s been a sort of energy reading & intuition testing practice I’ve done with people my whole life because of the experience I have with club scenes and that industry.

This practice and how I see these club scene environments coupled with watching how these archetypes and dynamics play into Vampyre Community “politics” adds a whole new level of intrigue for me. It’s interesting to see the correlation between how people act and their position they play in the Court. Or how new they are in their position. How gung ho someone is to assert dominance on their crowd to display the power they have. Anywho… that’s a whole conversation I could post about another day, and probably will…

In conclusion…

It was an enjoyable experience, I would go back, I would take my House there to represent… but probably not any time soon and probably not making the trip up and down in one shot again.

For more information about Iron Garden check them out  here:


About The Author

Jessica Corvidae

Jessica Corvidae is an artist, writer, creator, teacher, spiritual consultant, and full time Vampyre Witch. Her uniquely practical Pagan approach to Vampyre Witchcraft and her longstanding leadership within the Vampyre Community has piqued the interests of audiences across the globe. Jessica’s no-nonsense attitude and low tolerance for bullshit has gained not only the attention, but the friendship and loyalty of many along the way.