Thursday, September 30, 2010

Twin Cities Pagan Pride 2010

Well, I attended and taught my workshop at the Twin Cities Pagan Pride this year. The location for this year’s event was at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, which is an old converted church in the western side of Minneapolis. Because of the new location and the smaller area, the venue was probably not as big as supposedly has been in previous years. Saturday was fairly well attended, but Sunday was only sparsely attended, at least until the mid afternoon. My class held on Sunday at 12:30 had only four of five attendees, but this made the workshop more intimate and allowed for a wider range of topics to be discussed. I also was able to really examine the nature of my workshop on Sacred Space, Temples and Groves, and found that it does need some adjustment, but overall, the class was a success. The weather for both days was quite nice, pleasantly warm during the day, and cool during the evening - and lots of brilliant sunshine, which I enjoyed soaking up a bit of that, too. (Winters can be pretty harsh up here in the great northern plains.)

I also got to meet some old friends that I haven’t seen in quite a long time, as well as hang with some friends that I hadn’t got the chance to socialize with during the summer months. It makes me realize that living way out in the countryside has its benefits and its drawbacks. Seeing friends on a regular basis is one of the things that doesn’t happen often enough, so I often feel like I am missing out on what is going in the city. However, the isolation has its uses, which is the peace, the silence, ability to tune into nature, and enjoy long periods of thinking, meditating and working magick as often as I please. I am lucky in that I have a large home in the country and can support both an indoor temple (with an adjoining fire place) and an outdoor grove. Having both of these features makes living out here both a positive experience and one that has aided my spiritual and magickal development.

So, with that being said, I am enjoying this autumn, but I am definitely feeling a lot of internal spiritual movement deep within my soul, and I know that there will be some very interesting things awaiting me in the next couple of months. Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and I love all aspects of it, especially Samhain! The period from late September through the end of December are my most productive times, and it’s the time when the magick really manifests in a very powerful way - so I look forward this autumn with a high degree of optimism and encouragement.

Some interesting points about sacred space were written into my notes for that workshop, and since I haven’t shared any of that information with my readers, I wanted to post it here for all to read and think about. Here are my notes, but I have restricted them to include only the initial information about sacred space.

Introduction to Sacred Space

To define sacred space, we need to first define the terms sacred and space.

The dictionary can help us with this task (Merriam Webster).

Sacred - something that is dedicated to (exclusive) religious use, hallowed - consecrated by love or reverence, dedicated to a person or purpose, inviolable.

Related words: Sacramental - anything that is considered to have a sacred significance. Sacrifice - making an offering to a deity, giving up of something cherished or desired.

Sacred Space - a place or area (room) dedicated (either permanently or temporarily) for religious use, consecrated by a special process (either an outward act or an inward perception) and using either obvious or implied boundaries.

Sacred space establishes a boundary threshold between the domain of spirit and the mundane world, where what is within that boundary is considered to be a participant of the domain of spirit.

What is outside that boundary is to be considered part of the mundane world, or that space which is not essentially a participant in the expression of the sacred.

The boundary that is used in Witchcraft and paganism (if it is used at all) is a circle.

A circle can be found in both an indoor temple and an outdoor grove.

Other most essential element is the altar, which symbolizes a point or specific place in the circle where the godhead may be approached and communicated with in a direct manner. (Think sacred mountain or world tree.)

Because of the use of a boundary for sacred space, the temple room or outdoor grove characterizes a kind of magick or liturgical operation that is defined as using the process of immersion.
The gods, spirits and special creatures in paganism and witchcraft are experienced directly and individually by all - there is no veiling, gradation or partitioning of that exposure.

Pagan and wiccan magickal and liturgical practices are different than Christian or ceremonial magickal practices. 

Frater Barrabbas

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