The pace of the Temple Project has stepped up over the past few weeks, and we’re moving into the next phase of this work. It’s not easy work or fast work: this is something that may very well take a lifetime to achieve and that’s okay.
Whenever I think about this work, I have two things that pound relentlessly in my head.
Build slow. Build strong.
We might not have a master plan for how to get there, but we know where we want to end up and the most important part of that is listening to our community and listening to the Temple itself. In many ways, we’re just midwives helping it to create itself in this world.
I recently posted about the Temple Project and what we’re aiming to do with it. After being fairly much on our own journeys for the past twenty years, it was surprising and saddening to realise how disconnected and isolated our pagan communities are.
Polytheism (at least the pagan brand) is still a fringe path, marginalised and misunderstood and still far more underground than I would like. I regret the path our western society took, that saw the rise of monotheism stamp out the many different unique beliefs and practices that functioned side by side in our ancient world. I often wonder what today’s world would look like if Rome had never been Christianised.
Would we have 21st century cities full of beautiful stone colonnades and airy modern glass Temples for all the big showy gods (I’m looking at you, Zeus) and small hidden shrines tucked between CBD cafes and nestled on grassy suburban lots? What could our modern world be if polytheism had stood the test of time?
We constantly come across solitary pagans who are desperate to find others like themselves to connect to. The Temple Project isn’t about bringing polytheism into a dominant place in Western culture, but it is about providing a central space for pagans to work together and for newcomers to learn more and be supported on their journey.
We said we didn’t have a master plan. But we do have a guide…
Phase One – Foundations
For a year, we’ve been laying the foundations of the Temple and these aren’t built with bricks and mortar. They’re built with people talking, coming together, accepting that we are all different and yet still part of a bigger whole.
We’re connecting people through social media, networking like lunatics at every event we can get to, hosting Temple Gatherings and running workshops to bring our community together and get to know them.
These foundations will be our priority for some time yet, but it’s almost time to move into phase two.
This is where it starts to get really exciting.
Phase Two – Manifestation
Phase two is the birth of the physical Temple.
This can’t and won’t happen instantaneously with a fully formed pagan centre emerging in the middle of Brisbane overnight.
We’re building slow to build strong so the shift from community gatherings and workshops into a physically manifested Temple is going to be a long and careful one. We listen to what people tell us and we listen to what the Temple tells us.
And over the past few weeks, the Temple has been telling us it’s ready to make a first appearance. From this, we’ve developed the idea of the pop-up Temple.
The pop-up Temple is a transportable, temporary space that can be set up at events around the country to test out the concept. A scaled down approach of the final intention, this will offer a smaller number of core altars to archetypal deities: Mother Goddess, Sun/Stag Lord, Huntress/Moon Goddess, Love deities, Underworld deities and Tricksters.
The Temple aims to provide an oasis of sacred space within the public arena. Visitors will be encouraged to make offerings of their own or through some basic supplies provided, and to share energy with the Temple itself.
At its core, the pop-up idea is intended to let our community experience the Temple (all our work is experiential in the end), and hook into the energy brewing behind it. It’s also to let the Temple itself begin stretching its legs into thisworld, to learn from small experiences and shape itself according to need and requirements.
Learning is critical in work like this: experiencing both success and setback are important in shaping the way the story goes.
And after that?
Phase Three – Realisation
This one still feels a long, long way into the future, but eventually the hope is to give the Temple a permanent home. There’s all sorts of legal, financial and associated details we’re sorting out along the way to reach that point. And at every stage of the Project, we need to constantly, always, check back in with the community need for this to continue.
Ultimately we aim to have a space for new pagans and interested people to come to and learn about the many, many, many diverse ways we interact with our gods, our worlds and each other.
Paganism certainly has much to offer this world at a time when western society is eager to find a new way, and we want to give ourselves a voice. But most importantly, we want to support each other. We want to provide those isolated individuals, couples and small groups with a community to support them, a sense of belonging and recognition that although we each walk our own path, we are not alone.
What do we need from you?
Your ideas, your thoughts, your brilliant genius creative inspiration!
If you know of an upcoming event you’d like to see the Temple at, please tell us! We have some already planned and are investigating others, but the more the merrier.
If you have artwork or old altar pieces that you don’t use anymore and would like to donate to the cause, we would love to hear from you.
Or if you want to see something in particular in the pop-up Temple, please tell us!