When I was 15, my Uncle Tom gave me the book The Mists of Avalon. Given my fascination with the King Arthur story, I read the Mists with great fervor. Later that summer, I was visiting my Aunt Julie and mentioned to her, “I wish the religion in the Mists of Avalon was real.” To which she said “It is, I’ve been practicing it most of my life.” Thus began my journey learning about and studying paganism. And although I found Reclaiming and many profound teachers, I did not ever find a school of Avalon in my area or a temple that I could go dedicate myself to. I learned that most earth based traditions from Europe went underground or were joined with Christian faiths. I accepted these facts, knowing that there were plenty of trainings, workshops and classes I could take to further my growth as a priestess.
However, my longing for a temple, a place to serve through grew. When I was in my mid-twenties and transitioning out of working for a non-profit, I longed to go study at a temple dedicated to Mother Earth.
None existed that I knew of. I began to believe that it might be part of my purpose to create one. Here’s the problem with that: I am a pretty practical person. I believe in bridging the mainstream with the mystical. I generally do what I say I’m going to do. So to talk to people about building a temple was to put it lightly “a stretch”. But despite the stigma and the fear of strange looks, despite the voice of my father in the back of my head saying “You are going to do WHAT?” I decided to move forward with the visioning, know that the more I visioned, the more I had to step into believing that temples can live in this time and modern world. I began to see the cultural and political importance of having a temple dedicated to Mother Earth at this time.
I also began to see my friends have kids. And I wanted those kids to grow up in a world where they could get blessed at a Temple to Mother Earth, where they could celebrate their coming of age, and where they could get mentorship and training if they so chose.
This is just the beginning of a tale that has about 10 years of history. Currently, Terra’s Temple as we have been come to be named has been going for the last 5 years. We are heading into the real embodiment of the original vision, to be a legitimate Temple, available to serve the community. To hold community transformational ceremonies, to host luminaries speak about how to tend to the planet in this important age.
But we need your help. To do this, we need community support. We no longer live in the age of feudal funding for temples (some say we still do, but this is another conversation). We believe that to have a temple dedicated to Mother Earth is something that the community wants and needs. We believe that Mother Earth Herself wants this to happen. Do you?
All donations through our campaign are tax deductible. Please help us by donating or sharing our fundraising campaign. Sharing via your social network is a fast and free way to support us (“It doesn’t cost to click!” As a good friend of mine says!)
There are other ways to support Terra’s Temple. You can become a monthly member as low as $15 by going to our website. You can come by and volunteer, and we can always use toilet paper-Just Saying!
More to come…..
Sefora Janel Ray