Earth Religion Breakthrough in the Current Political Climate
Article ID: 10631
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,897
Times Read: 4,971
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Author: Star & Rose Temple
Posted: May 14th. 2006
Times Viewed: 4,971
When we started on our Paths, the Paths to seek more than just the pablum that we had been fed as children in Sunday Schools, kitchen tables, living rooms and the ever-droning on tele-evangelist programs, we walked headlong into uncertainty. We may have said good-bye to a God, perched precariously upon a cross, to sermons or masses that had nothing to do with what we were feeling or going through. We also left behind a good deal of hypocrisy. The do as I say and not as I do lecture was old and stale. We stepped further on the Path, tentatively at first, but later picking up momentum as people, some that we knew, others (the majority) that we didn’t joined us. They walked beside us, in rhythm with us, they brought with them, their own stories, their own dreams, their own viewpoints. Our nights were filled with laughter, songs and drumming. We danced to the tune of a very different drummer. The drummer in our souls. Long suppressed by what was right and what was wrong. We now made our own rules, but still followed the Path of non-violence towards others, including ourselves.
And now, in a political climate that seeks in some very creative ways to destroy us or our beliefs, we found hope. The Elves, (as most of us call ourselves) have come through the Fire and emerged with a very big prize. Our Heart (the Tree) , Our Blood (the Drumming) , Our Mind (Beliefs) , and Our Place - LOTHLORIEN.
The story of the Path for us started over 20 years ago, in Southern Indiana. There were only a handful of us then. We held ‘Festivals’ to celebrate our life. Little by little others joined us, and we (collectively) purchased land. Over 100 acres in which to plant and grow ourselves on. The Festivals changed over time and created themselves before our eyes a beautiful tapestry of Love, Friendship, and Warmth. We built structures, Radiance Hall - where we gather to eat and socialize, Thunder Dome - a 40foot wide covered Sacred Drumming pit, 2 Composting Privy’s - to shelter us as we sat and thought. We walked the Paths of the land and discovered native herbs and nut trees. We cleansed our bodies in the clear running stream. And we gathered once again, around our hearth fires and told the tales of our lives and listened to others who would join us, tell of their Path as well.
Lothlorien grew up around its children. As the days turned into weeks and then into years, the Trees grew taller, as we aged under a hazy Sun and a brilliant Moon. Our step started to slow, and still Lothlorien pressed on. Many new faces appeared over the years as we said good-bye to others who were with us from the beginning. We still celebrate our life’s-passages under the Trees, Sun and Moon. We welcome the new Elves to our hearth fires and share our tales and our food. We share what sustains us in the outside world of Mundania. We celebrate together our Freedom. We come together individually or in groups. We rise sometimes early and welcome in the Sun with Drumming, Laughing and Song. We stay up late and let the beat of the land take us to places not of this Earth, time or place. We are One. We are Many. We are Strong. We are Alive. Most of all, We are Survivors and Caretakers of our Freedom.
And now 20+ years later, we light our fires as Spring washes over the Land, and we who lovingly tend it, celebrate New Life. This Spring, as we Welcome it with Drumming, Dancing, Song, and Ritual, we celebrate our prize. On January 22, 2006, Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary was granted Federal Non-Profit Status. We qualified for the 501 (c) 3 Status as a Public Charity Religious Organization. The Path to this prize was started 3 years ago as a way to help secure a place for those of differing religious thought and viewpoints to come together in Peace, Love and Friendship and to share what we were with each other and to celebrate our Diversity of thought. That dream is now realized within a political climate that would seek to have us silenced or retreat back into our closets. We have our protection from the elements around us now, and share what we have with all those who seek its warm embrace.
We are not the first Alternative (Ecumenical) Religious Organization to be granted this status, there are a few others. The Open Hearth Foundation in Washington D.C., was a great inspiration in helping us to achieve our goal. Many secular organizations are recognized by the government. Its quite easy if you are of mainstream beliefs. Even though Wicca is legally recognized as a religion, they are regularly persecuted for those beliefs. If you are apart of the “Other Religious or Pagan View ” (not one of the big three) , the Path for you is even harder. There are no set rules to making the transition from State level Non-Profit to Federal Non-Profit, only hard work, long hours of research, headaches, endless meetings, many rewrites of multiples of forms, and times when you think that going insane would be so much easier than the Path in front of you. Yet, the reward that comes with the 501 (c) 3 status is worth it. We are a part of the precedent. The precedent to empower those who walk side by side with us under the Trees to enjoy Our First Amendment Rights as granted to us all under the Bill of Rights.
We still are cautious in our new skin. The rules for us have changed. Our By-Laws reflect that change. Our policy book grows monthly. And slowly donation and grant information makes it way to us. We struggle forward. Clearing out the old, and making way for the new beginning that our Festivals and celebrations of Life will bring us this year.
Our dream is now realized. We are a protected island in a sea of religious and political uncertainty. We Welcome All who would join us around our fires. Come join us. Share your stories. Repair and heal your heart and soul in a place where the green is not only seen but breathed as well. Practice your Beliefs in this sacred space that we - the Elves, call LOTHLORIEN.
Visit us at www.elvinhome.org.
Star & Rose Temple
Location: Kankakee, Illinois
Author's Profile: To learn more about Star & Rose Temple - Click HERE
Bio: Lyn Nitz - Aka - Fimbrethel Entwife, is the comptroller for Elvin H.O.M.E., Inc. She is one of several Eldar Stewards that are responsible for the day to day goings on at Lothlorien Nature Santuary.
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