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  • permanent space/pagan church

    My Grove is somewhat unique in the pagan world in that we own a building and land, we have our own established permanent space, and we are a legally established church in the state of Maryland. We have gatherings every Sunday in addition to our high day rituals.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else belongs to a group with permanent space, and how it affects your group's activities

    or whether you do or not, what do you think of pagan groups having permanent space, establishing churches and regular meetings?
    Memories of Pain and Light
    http://painandlight.wordpress.com/

    Simple acts of devotion will never suffice.
    You, I cannot worship by halves.

    Hellenic Web Forum- http://forum.hellenistai.com

  • #2
    i'm not really active with my former group anymore, although i still do participate on an irregular basis... our paths have just drifted apart.

    however our (or their) permanent space is a 39' circular garden surrounded with standing stones. we've been working there and continuing to build on for over nine years, and the area holds quite a bit of magic. many amazingly powerful rituals have taken place there over the years, and it is quite 'charged'.
    as soon as i enter through the stone gate and begin walking the three concentric paths i immediately enter 'the space'. when i'm in the circle i notice very little outside of it.

    so yeah, i feel that having a permanent space, especially a very special place, is conducive to really good ritual. although i don't think i automatically associate that with a church or any kind of centralized authority.

    here's a picture...
    Last edited by Theres; November 26th, 2006, 02:40 AM.
    some people are like slinkies -
    not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when they are pushed downs the stairs.

    True enlightenment comes from discovering principles which challenge your spiritual view, not from inventing principles to confirm it.



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    • #3
      wow Theres that place lookes cool!... i cant wait to get a garden of my own! ive already designed it and everything!

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      • #4
        There's a group with a permanent space only about an hour away from here. I've been told it's beautiful there. Unfortunately, for most of their ceremonies and/or activities, there's some sort of fee. So I don't go. Plus I'm not big on large groups of people. If it was free, I'd be willing to at least try being in a group, but... I don't have money, people. Although they do have a few free activites every year. Usually I haven't gotten up there for those because of other scheduling issues... work and school and stuff. Maybe someday, though. Then I'll let you know how I feel about permanent spaces like that.
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        My artwork is for sale!! Visit http://etsy.me/dIFblg. Support a starving artist!!!! (Please... I'm hungry!) [email protected]

        Thanks to Faeawyn for my banner.


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        • #5
          That's one of my dreams, to own land where I can create such a space. One of the challenges of being part of a group here is finding space for ritual. My last coven, there were only a couple of us that had room in our homes for all of us to meet. And for a while, I couldn't hold ritual at my home because I my at-the-time boyfriend wasn't respectful of my faith, and would make all kinds of racket, blast the TV, etc.

          For groups that hold public rituals, it's hard to find an appropriate space that doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Or an outdoor space where the ritual can't be disrupted.
          I am no longer an active member of MW. I have no wish to continue trying to cope with the Elephant in the Living Room. To My Friends: You can find me on MySpace.....

          http://www.myspace.com/niftywitch





          Wooleybob and NiftyWings will tie the knot on October 27, 2007!!


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Crysiira View Post
            There's a group with a permanent space only about an hour away from here. I've been told it's beautiful there. Unfortunately, for most of their ceremonies and/or activities, there's some sort of fee. So I don't go. Plus I'm not big on large groups of people. If it was free, I'd be willing to at least try being in a group, but... I don't have money, people. Although they do have a few free activites every year. Usually I haven't gotten up there for those because of other scheduling issues... work and school and stuff. Maybe someday, though. Then I'll let you know how I feel about permanent spaces like that.
            Would you, though? Even when it's free you find something more important to do. It costs money to run a permanent space--to make AND keep it beautiful. should they come up with that money all on their own?

            Which brings up an interesting point--when you start mixing religion and money things get wonky. On one hand--charging for events 'feels' wrong BUT on the other hand - you have to pay for that space somehow. (and alot of times there is a lot more than money that go into upkeep of a permanant space-time, etc)

            I've been involved in the larger pagan community for years--been helping to try to bring some cohesiveness to the community. And all it brought was grief--
            I put on two Pagan Pride Days - which are free events by nature - but it costs to put them on. We held fundraisers and I had people complain about the costs for families - AND we even had family pricing. It's a fundaraiser and people complained about the cost--we kept things extremely reasonable, but you can't always please everyone (that person lived in an entirely different part of the state and wouldn't have had the gas money to get there-but had the balls to say we didn't think about the families)

            I'm sure you're not like that person in a different part of the state-but if even when it's free you don't go-I hold my doubts about it. If it was important enough to you--you'd find a way to get there come hell or high water. We had the same people, time after time, coming to support the fundraisers--even from hours away. It was that important to them to support community.

            I have permanent space in my homes-wherever they may be--for our group (and we're working on becoming a legal church) and people don't realize the wear and tear. Stuff gets spilled on the carpets--I'm the one who steamcleans them every couple of months. I'm the one who pays the increased utilities, toilet papers, paper towels bill. That isn't to say that they don't contribute, because they do... food is brought to rituals, people donate paper plates, cups, etc. It's just that there are other intangibles that, after time, add up.

            Would I change it? Not in a heartbeat--this is my calling and MY choice. I've given up concerts I wanted to see very badly because it was ritual night or class night or whatever. I've given up alot of different things and made sacrifices to get there for events. I feel our home is fortunate and is blessed by being the permanant space for our group.

            As I said--if it was important to you and your spirituality--you'd find a way. Being part of a group costs more than just money, BTW. Your spirituality is centered on being solitary now... and you probably shouldn't change that.

            Elise
            Last edited by ~Elise~; November 26th, 2006, 03:38 PM.
            *~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

            Resident Beotch


            It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
            The Mysteries aren't secret.
            They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
            There just aren't any shortcuts.

            That's the Secret.

            Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

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            • #7
              You know, I totally understand that they have to charge. I'm not upset about that in the least. They have land to upkeep, things like that. I just can't afford it. I can't afford an extra $20 for a meal out of the house most months, much less $50 or more for a single person to attend a ritual. I very much hope once I'm out of school that I will be able to attend these. Yes, I know my religion is important to me, and that "come hell or high water" I should move my schedule around to accommodate the free activities. Unfortunately, even though I can be excused from school and work because it's religious, I still lose the education I would have gotten by going in that day, or the money I would have earned by going in that day, and those are important to me too. Besides, as I already stated, I'm more of a solitary than anything, so... I just don't make those dates important because I have made other days important for my private rituals.
              Last edited by Crysiira; November 26th, 2006, 06:43 PM.
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              • #8
                $50 a ritual.... good gods that is extravagant by any standards. that is outrageous.

                Don't lose your education or any monies that can be made, EVER. I have given up things I wanted to do, not things that I needed to do to survive. No one could ever ask that of you.

                And, to be honest, I'd wonder about a place that charges that much to attend. I don't think ANY ritual would be worth that... is there more to the admission charge? A workshop? something else that would be worth that type of money?
                *~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

                Resident Beotch


                It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
                The Mysteries aren't secret.
                They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
                There just aren't any shortcuts.

                That's the Secret.

                Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

                If you're talking shit behind my back - then you're close enough to kiss my ass.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, that was a rather random example. It depends on what they're doing. I'd have to go back quite far in my e-mails to get a more balanced, fair approximation of what prices are; and of course it changes depending on what's being done. Often thier rituals include overnight stays because they realize some people are coming from quite far away; as far as I know, it's the only and/or best place in the state or something.
                  Anyway... yeah, no giving up my education or anything like that, don't worry! As I said, once I'm out of school, then we'll see. :hahugh:
                  sigpic
                  My artwork is for sale!! Visit http://etsy.me/dIFblg. Support a starving artist!!!! (Please... I'm hungry!) [email protected]

                  Thanks to Faeawyn for my banner.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pearls59 View Post
                    $50 a ritual.... good gods that is extravagant by any standards. that is outrageous.

                    Don't lose your education or any monies that can be made, EVER. I have given up things I wanted to do, not things that I needed to do to survive. No one could ever ask that of you.

                    And, to be honest, I'd wonder about a place that charges that much to attend. I don't think ANY ritual would be worth that... is there more to the admission charge? A workshop? something else that would be worth that type of money?
                    And to think some New Agey types charge HUNDREDS of dollars for people to participate in their workshops.

                    I've heard it said that the New Agers are the haves, the Pagans are the have-nots.

                    Hmmmmmmm....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Crysiira View Post
                      You know, I totally understand that they have to charge. I'm not upset about that in the least. They have land to upkeep, things like that. I just can't afford it. I can't afford an extra $20 for a meal out of the house most months, much less $50 or more for a single person to attend a ritual. I very much hope once I'm out of school that I will be able to attend these. Yes, I know my religion is important to me, and that "come hell or high water" I should move my schedule around to accommodate the free activities. Unfortunately, even though I can be excused from school and work because it's religious, I still lose the education I would have gotten by going in that day, or the money I would have earned by going in that day, and those are important to me too. Besides, as I already stated, I'm more of a solitary than anything, so... I just don't make those dates important because I have made other days important for my private rituals.

                      $50 per person for a ritual???? Wow, that's crazy.

                      My Grove does ask for donations- a suggested donation of $5/person/event from non-members, but by no means is it required. Poeple who are able to very often give much more voluntarily...and those that can't are still more than welcome. Foks that can't afford to donate often find ways to help out around the Grove during gatherings, by helping to set up or clean up, cook, straighten out the library, do maintenance work, teach workshops etc. We even have a system set up where if someone wants to join but can't afford it, they can volunteer a certain number of hours, or teach a certain number of workshops instead of paying. ($40/year is so little for what the membership gives you, but some people can't afford even that, we make our place available for everyone that sincerely wants to be here.)
                      Memories of Pain and Light
                      http://painandlight.wordpress.com/

                      Simple acts of devotion will never suffice.
                      You, I cannot worship by halves.

                      Hellenic Web Forum- http://forum.hellenistai.com

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                      • #12
                        My husband and I also have a dream of obtaining our own land and building for our organization. We also dream of one day opening our own metaphysical shop as well. Ideally, we would like a building big enough to serve the needs of our group but also having enough space to have the metaphysical shop in (say the front) of it as well.
                        Church of Eclectic Pagan Fellowship

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                        • #13
                          I think the idea of a permanent space is pretty neat - I like the idea of being able to meet on a land designated specifically to paganism. It sounds pretty awesome.

                          $50/ ritual, however, not so cool. I would take issue with that. Fiamma, it sounds like you have some reasonable requests, perfectly logical!
                          'when it's darkest, men see the stars' - emerson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wrenjamin View Post
                            I think the idea of a permanent space is pretty neat - I like the idea of being able to meet on a land designated specifically to paganism. It sounds pretty awesome.

                            $50/ ritual, however, not so cool. I would take issue with that. Fiamma, it sounds like you have some reasonable requests, perfectly logical!

                            I think a lot of people agree....the Grove has been in it's place for 10 years now (WEll, will be 10 years at Yule :-P )
                            Memories of Pain and Light
                            http://painandlight.wordpress.com/

                            Simple acts of devotion will never suffice.
                            You, I cannot worship by halves.

                            Hellenic Web Forum- http://forum.hellenistai.com

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                            • #15
                              Not my kindred, but a kindred in Maryland, Gladsheim, has a Hoff right in the middle of town.
                              Fairy Tales are more than true;
                              not because they tell us that dragons exist,
                              but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."- G.K. Chesterton

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