Thursday, March 13, 2014

Profane Into the Sacred: The creation of an Urban Pagan Temple

                It all started with a simple phone call.  An aquiantance I have known and worked with social on and off over the years was, according to my cell phone display, calling me.  It was a bit of a surprise, she does not often contact me.  Curious as to what it could be about, I answered.  In short she was calling because she had acquired an old machine shop she was going to turn into a dance studio.  It had a large fenced yard and was wondering if I and the pagan community would be interested in using it for rituals.  At first I was skeptical.  I have, over the years been looking for such a site.  I have seen all sorts of places and none of them worked for or another.  Still, I told her I would come by and look at it. It was after all less than a block away.  I am so glad I did.  It is about as perfect a space as any urban druid could hope fore!  Well, perfect in the practical no non-sense business kind of way.  It already has 6 foot tall fencing with three layers of bobbed wire around the time to keep out would be vandals.  It is tucked away just off a main road behind buildings.  It is easy to get to, has a bus stop not even a block away, and plenty of parking.  There is water.  It is however devoid of life.  It is an ugly dirty brown barren piece of land.  Bits of metal and plastic, glass and junk are frequent.  The earth itself is hard backed desert brown that has been infused with the droppings of oil and industrial waste.  Digging down one gets less than an inch before hiding dirt mixed with oil and hard packed by years of trucks and machinery rolling over it.  Only a pick axe or jack hammer can break it up.  This earth eats shovels for lunch.  The surrounding businesses are another machine shop type building, a lumber and stone yard, and a gas company depot.  Across the street is more of the same.  It’s an industrial area to say the least.  In short it’s a functional but ugly piece of land.  I brought some of the other leaders of the pagan community over to look at it with me.  We decided to go for it.  So it is that I have spearheaded this project.  I have gathered together those of the community willing to be founders and their vow to cover the very reasonable rent.  We are going to take this ugly profane piece of land and transform it, to the best of our abilities to something sacred and beautiful. 
                Having started working on the site, pick axe swinging, I got to thinking about those “special” and “holy” places and places like this one which just…well are profane, or perhaps profaned.  It would be nice to find one of those special magical places with trees and grass and a great view and build a temple there.  Yet when I thought about it, it occurred to me how much easier that is then what we are attempting to do here, magically speaking.  Yet it is needed so much more in this dirty, ugly industrial landscape.  To transform this little piece of land into something natural, beautiful, and a place of worship…well, what more powerful magic could there be?  This is, in many ways, the most powerful “magical” working I have ever done.   It won’t happen overnight, and I am sure there will be bumps along the way, but for now all is flowing and falling into place.  Though my muscles are sore from the pick axe work I have done the last two days to raise standing stones and place torches, my spirits are soaring.  I believe the kindred approve of this venture and are and will continue to help.  As I worked today a pure white pigeon flow low over the temple with a branch in its beak, and landed in the rafters of the lumber yard next door.  Though cliché’, I take this to be a very good omen indeed. 

Below are some photos of the site and the progress made thus far.