Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Temple of Demeter (Gaea Goddess Gathering 2017)


Every year, Gaea Goddess Gathering selects a goddess to honor.  This year, Demeter was the choice for the mother cycle of life.  Over towards Sunset Ridge, a temple is erected in the goddess's honor.  I had the privilege of being on temple staff this year and assisted with the creation and maintenance of the Temple of Demeter.


Temple was created under two tents and formed into a U-shape for attendants to travel through.


The entrance was marked by a gorgeous structure and green drapes.


The first thing you might notice is the immense number of plants, grown by the temple coordinator, Cheryl, and placed in the silent auction to raise funds for GGG.  These plants marked the "summer" portion of the year, a time where Demeter is peaceful and calm.


One table in the summer side was an altar of offerings to Demeter.


The other side?


A cleansing station.  Attendants were asked to use the wheat to sprinkle cleansing water onto themselves before entering the next part of the temple:


Winter.

This side of the temple represented the time when Demeter lost Persephone to Hades and was decorated with dying plants and pots of dirt.  We asked attendants to think about a time in their lives that they felt extreme grief or hurt.  Think about their darkest moments, their struggles, their hurt.


The attendants would then end their walk at this table.  Here, they would inscribe and anoint a tealight candle so that they could use it to the light the way the next time they face the darkness.


The anointing oil was a blend of herbs and oils that represented calming, self-love and affirmation.  I created this blend as the last project in the temple while setting it up.


They would then exit the winter portion into spring, where smaller plants and garland decorated the last portion of temple.


Attendants were asked to think back to the pain and grief of their winter walk and write it down on a piece of paper as an offering to Demeter.  This box, you may remember, was used in the main ritual I led.


Attendants were then led to a meditation area where they could speak with Demeter and think about what they had experienced in the temple.  This is also where we held morning meditation.


Across from the meditation area sat another altar to Demeter where offerings were brought.


The mirror on this altar was offered for scrying and meditation.


Lastly, attendants were offered bookmarks with detailed information about Demeter and seeds as a gift from the goddess on their way out of temple.


Though I am nontheistic, temple was truly a spiritual experience for me.  I was able to help ladies who attended GGG connect with the goddess - be that Demeter or their own personal inner goddess - and that meant the world to me.  I led Saturday's morning meditation which involved looking within to find our protector side.  I also led a short impromptu ritual blessing the temple on Thursday night.  

The Temple of Demeter was certainly a learning experience for me and I hope to assist with the temple next year as well!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your work.

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  2. The Temple was lovely and I availed myself of all of it. There was an interesting sign I found in the Winter section that had me mesmerized...Demeter is also one of my Pantheon of Goddesses I work with on a continual basis, one reason I came to GGG this year. Thanks for the giveaways, the thought you put into the Temple and all your hard work.

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