Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Temples and why we need them.

Pagan's today have two features about them for which they are well known. One is a love for nature the seond is a distaste for anything even coming close to organization. For an example talk to some about the idea of building temples and so how fast they start talking about Nature the way Protestants do about needing nothing but Jesus.

Chris Orapello did a show recently on his podcast the Infinite and the Beyound located here: http://infinitebeyond.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=479546 that discussed the issue of Paganism and Nature. I myself plan to do a blog about Nature later down the road. For now let us just say that all to often Pagans tend to think of Nature as some Disney like setting of trees and bunnies, often forgetting just how deadly nature can be.

Awhile back I saw a Discovery Special about a pod of Orca that attacked a blue whale and her calf seperating and killing the baby. Many had to go into therapy saying nature was about love and healing not killing babies. These people before this time had always thought the term "Killer Whale" was just some mean nickname given to a gentle and loving creature.

Still this does not address the main issue why have Temples at all?

To start with if we ever want to get our Groves growing a place to meet and celibrate is a must, we cannot keep meeting at Myeddin and Morgan's place on every Holy day after all. A temple would provide a place for worshippers to gather (Plus Myeddin and Morgan will no longer need to worry about having property damaged or destroyed plus no more calls from the neighbors!)

In addition a temple provides a safe contact point between the Grove and the outside world. Myddin and Morgan I am sure would be very nervous about having any stranger just drop by there house, however strangers coming into the temple is another matter altogether. Classes can be held, a library maintained. A safe place to hold events and rituals. This is a place we wouldn't have to worry about having to constantly rent out or worry about avalibility. It would be OUR place.

Speaking of seekers and classes a temple would be a way to "fly the flag" for Paganism. A temple would make the statement, we are here to stay. We are serious about our faith and are not going away. As we grow and establish houses of worship people will start to take us more seriously and we will see our ranks grow as seekers come to take a look into what we believe.

To get here we as a community need to start growing up. We can't just "take a break" whenever the drama gets to hard on us, we can't constantly be self focused. Bills and expenses will have to be payed, land bought, a design agreed on and used, here I think we can take a note from the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and come up with a standard Temple design to be used at most times.

I'd love to see Pagan temples become a community center. Hosting in addition to rituals and classes parties and maybe even D&D and miniature games an LAN parties (charging a slight fee) along with sports, possibly even entering church or minor leagues and other such interests.

In times of tragedy people coming to the temple seeking healing and candle vigils.

Just think of it, the temple a popular hang out for people of all ages. Due to it's constant outreach programs and the fun events hosted it has grown in membership. Another 9-11 happens, or maybe something smaller, a local tradegy like a mine collapse. One of the Temple clergy is with the morning family possibly with a couple of members of the warriors guild to run off any Fundimentalist family members who in there spirtual arogance would dare to use this as chance to drag them back into the Church.

At the Temple lights are on, coffee, tea, water and sodas are brought out. The kitchen is in full swing preparing meals, the TV is locked onto a new channel. The meditation room and chapel are filled already. Beds are pulled out of storage and people are flocking to the grounds seeking healing, news reporters might even ask for a statement.

This is what we can be if we are willing to work for it.



  1. Hmm, I don't know. Temples are spendy and require lots of time, managers, priests, priestess etc...Plus, the closer one gets to a bureaucracy, the closer they get to the doom that has consumed Christianity in America. Organization would be nice but...I personally prefer lose and spontaneous, local and private to public and out there.

  2. Every faith goes through an evolution where it must "mature", and hopefully not lose touch with what makes it unique. While some may be willing to keep things very informal, others will accept some structure to their pagan worship. Two options:

    First, pagans of all kinds band together and chip in for these natural areas. The entire structure would have to be worked out from scratch. But hopefully an agreement could be worked out where the leaders of the grove would realize they are to serve as leaders of the whole "umbrella" of paganism and not run the place solely according to their own path.

    Second, pagans enter into partnership with a friendly faith, say, the Unitarian-Universalists, and together purchase these areas, making the areas open for all that would worship there, open to all, respecting all. I would think the occasional Christian would appreciate praying in a natural setting, too. :)

    The first option would allow for greater autonomy and greater community recognition of the pagan faiths, while the second option would probably be easier to make reality.

  3. Oh, and you said we can play D&D there, too? Sweet!

  4. Well of course Pesko! A temple should be a community center.

  5. It could be something looser like the equivalent of a YMCA/YWCA. Loosely affiliated with various pagan groups but run independently. It could also be affiliated with the Unitarians since they seem to have a mature organization.