Page: Profile: Group
||Total Views: 11,657,025
Formed?: June 21 2000
New Members OK?: Yes
501* Cert.?: No
Group Id: 22795
Poster Id: 201704
Total Views: 4359
Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple
Age Range/Type: Adult
Located in: Sylva, North Carolina
Key Contact: Lianna
Spiritual Path: Hearthstone tradition (core)
Status: Established Group
Community Support: Open Circles... Legal Clergy... Teaching Available
Group Overview: Our Temple is located in Sylva, NC.
Here is our contact info:
Facebook: "Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple"
Lianna Costantino, HPS
The Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple owns private properties on which all rituals, workshops, festivals and social gatherings occur. We are very careful about not disclosing the physical location of our Temple to non-members for safety and privacy reasons. If you are interested in visiting, please contact me for a visit off-property first.
I am Lianna Costantino, the current HPS.
Our Temple is incorporated in the state of NC as a legal church, with 501c3 status pending. We have well-trained, experienced, competent clergy, ritualists and educators here. You will find no "Witch Queens" or "grand-high-pooh-bahs" here. We are big on respect and don't care for witch wars or big egos. We are interested in the quality of our kind and altruistic members, not the quantity of members. Our clergy are legally ordained to serve their various communities.
The Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple is an umbrella organization for the many diverse Pagan individuals and groups of various traditions and paths forming under it, independently and autonomously, and using our facilities. By "Pagan", we mean any indigenous spiritual tradition of the world before the Abrahamic faiths came along (and surviving since) , even though not all of them necessarily refer to themselves as "Pagan". And that said, Jewish Kabbalists and Christian Gnostics are also welcome here.
We all agree with and adhere to basic Temple core values, as a group. We have a Council of the North Star who assists in settling any disagreements and helps guide the Hearths. This Council is made up of clergy of the various Hearths for equal representation. We have a Board of Directors who handle all legal Temple business.
We have groups of people here who share similar spiritual paths, and we loosely refer to those groups, which have their own names, as belonging to Sylvan "Hearths". They are:
The Asatru / Heathen Hearth
The Buddhist / Daoist Hearth
The Ceremonial Magickal Hearth
The Dianic Hearth
The Discordian Hearth
The Druid Hearth
The Hellenist Hearth
The Hindu Hearth
The Ifa Hearth
The Kemetic Hearth
The Queer Hearth
The Roman / Strega Hearth
The Vodoun / Santerian Hearth
The Wiccan Hearth
Some of these are up and running, some are newly forming and some have not gotten off the ground yet, but the structure is in place for all of them to emerge when they are ready.
We also host the Lodge of the Sacred Staves, a traditional Circle of Eight which works towards the evolution of the Round and humanity.
If you might be interested in either joining one of these Hearths, or facilitating one of them, or you have an established group who needs a safe, private, outdoor place to meet, please feel free to contact us!
We also have "Houses" here which are groups of people who share similar interests, some of which perform various functions at the Temple, and provide for teaching, learning, sharing and networking opportunities, such as:
The House of Acolytes (high priests in training)
The House of Bards (singers, musicians, dancers, etc.)
The House of Brewers (brew their own mead, beer, wine...)
The House of Crafters (every craft imaginable!)
The House of Diviners (all divinatory arts)
The House of Gingerbread (all our chefs and bakers)
The House of Green Jack (gardening)
The House of Guardians (Temple security)
The House of Guides (peer, pastoral & professional counselors)
The House of Healers (all the healing arts)
The House of Herne (animal husbandry)
The House of Maidens (high priestesses in training)
The House of Smiths (blacksmiths, welders)
The House of Wildcraft (includes hunting, fishing, survival, etc.)
Most of the above are up and running, a couple are new and forming and a couple have yet to get started but there is interest in them all. With time they will all be realities here, and then some.
Our credentials and verifiable references are available upon request.
We are VERY approachable, friendly and down-to-Earth here.
We are family friendly (open to gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered folks) ! Homophobia is not welcome here.
We are also melodrama free, lol, and when strife occasionally arises, it is dealt with compassionately and resolved quickly and respectfully.
Many of us here happen to be traditional, while also being progressive, dynamic rather than static, yet we are most definitely not snobs! Snobbery and "witch wars" are two things we all have no time or respect for, in others or ourselves. We believe that "united we stand, divided we could burn.....again...." and it saddens us whenever we see some of the arrogance, snobbery and "snubbery" within some of the Pagan community at large.
There is no salt on our table.
We remain open to kinship with other individuals and groups and we always respect the confidentiality and privacy of others, especially those who choose (or need) to remain in the "broom closet" for whatever reasons. Most Pagan paths are esoteric paths that involve at their core the search for balance, to know oneself, and to balance the ego to become a sacred, altruistic and empowered being on a path of enlightenment. Again, that leaves no room for big egos there. For many esoteric paths, the spiritual death of the ego should precede the physical death of the body. Here, we search for balance in all things.
We involve all our children whenever it is appropriate to do so. (We do not train those under 18) We are a sincere bunch with a solid group mind and bond, a shared intent and style, love and trust between us, who have become a happy and mutually supportive family. Most of us are of a very scholarly bent, but although we love our books and esoterica, nothing replaces *doing*. The experience is where it's at. And while we value the doing, on our spiritual paths, we each hope to become a human *being*, more than a human "doing", lol.....
There are many within our Temple family here who are in the law enforcement, government, medical and educational fields. There are currently 82 active members of our Temple (April, 2013) , and we are growing.
In our training we do teach things like ethics, pastoral counseling, dealing with the media and public speaking, the law, ritual safety, and much more, because in my personal opinion, the job of "clergy", when someone who takes vows of service to others, comes with much responsibility and a need for competency. Anyone can claim to be a naturally gifted healer or counselor or Witch, and many certainly are born naturally gifted, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and competence in some areas often has the prerequisite of training and experience. (No prejudice implied!)
We have applied for 501c3 status. We just don't have the determination letter back yet.
We do own 2 fair sized pieces of property, in the name of the Temple, that currently houses:
2 large Circles, a Summer one, and a Winter one (a covered traditional British wood-henge) ;
A "lover's bower" (think Beltane) ;
A very large deck with a fire table;
A Memorial Garden;
A community garden;
A tree and medicine walk that encompasses the property
An island with a gazebo
An indoor Temple.
A fairy glen with a spring head and wishing tree;
A Spring and stream;
A pet cemetery;
A human cemetery (limited space) ;
Camping pads for overnight campers
We are also building a ceremonial magickal Lodge next Spring.
Feel free to contact us with questions, or just to say "hi"! We do welcome visiting fellow Pagans, individuals as well as from other established groups at our open events, however there is a caveat: Our "open" events are open by invitation to those whom we know or are able to meet with ahead of time in order to get to know each other a bit, and to let them know, more or less, what is expected behaviorally (decent etiquette, appropriate behavior) , and find out how we may best serve their needs. We require oaths never to reveal our location or the identity of our members to non-members.
This may sound a little paranoid, but we have experienced several instances of true discrimination that give us cause to take our safety and privacy seriously. We think it is worth it to be safe rather than sorry.
That said, we welcome friendships with individuals and other Temples and groups as well as allies of various sorts!
The Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple provides:
All 8 Wiccan Sabbats of the year for the community at large
Campus ministry for Western Carolina University
Sponsors the Pagan Student Association at WCU
Hospital ministry for Harris Regional and Mission hospitals
Prison ministry at the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, GA
Legal handfastings / weddings
Same-sex weddings!!!!!!!!!!!!! (which will be legal one day!)
Coven training and Initiation / membership in the Wiccan Hearth
An on-line seminary
Lectures at WCU on various Pagan topics
A large research (and some lending) library, including books, magazines, videos and music
All rites of passage
Regular Pagan Nights Out
A 5-day Summer festival (in July)
Fall campout weekend
Assistance in cases of discrimination (legal advocacy)
Cultural competency training
Environmental activities: our adopted highway, cleaning the Tuck, etc.
SpiralScouts for children
Charitable activities: our Sacred Harvest food, clothing and cash bank; assisting with the local charitable institutions
Our Hearths and Houses
An Etsy shop, where our Crafters sell things to raise money for the Temple.
We love to network with other Pagan groups whom we support, such as:
The Sacred Well Congregation and Greencraft Tradition
Circle Sanctuary and Lady Liberty League
Coven Highland Wild
Mother Grove of Asheville
We respect these groups and their members (and others) a great deal and regard them as AWESOME and important organizations and individuals, and we recommend them very highly to everyone! (see their links on our website)
Some people come here looking for "shamanic training" or "Native American" ceremonies and teachings.
We would never presume to offer any such ceremonies or teachings here as there are Native people here, but non trained, or authorized, to lead any such ceremonies. And I personally do not know of any Mayan, Native American, African, etc. person who would refer to themselves as a "shaman". That is an Evenki/Tungus word which only really applies to a true shaman from Siberia.
There are people who study and practice what I will loosely refer to here as "shamanic-styled techniques" which involve transpersonal psychology and many other things, and many of them, in my personal opinion, are wonderful people who help others. Some are dangerous frauds and cultural thieves just out to get laid and/or make a lot of money. Some will cause you nightmares, make you physically ill or even get you killed (look up "James Arthur Ray") because they have no idea what they are doing.
Here at Sylvan Hearth we generally prefer to refer to things as they really are, or are not, and we do not play at things that are not ours and which others have clearly stated that they are not ready or willing to share. The "why not?" of it is not our place to ask. That is a long discussion which there is no room for here, but that is the gist of where we stand.
If you want to practice an Earth-centered indigenous spiritual tradition, there are many to be found in every place on the planet, not just the Americas. I very respectfully suggest you look to the indigenous Pagan roots of your own ancestors first, as the ancestors of every person on this planet in every place on this planet were "indigenous" and "Pagan" if you go back far enough.
If you are Native American, or have Native American ancestry, and want to learn more about your own heritage and culture, again I humbly suggest that you go and live with your relatives and learn from the Elders there.
If you are not, look to your own ancestors and you will find an Earth-centered tradition that pre-dates the Abrahamic traditions, and they all have things in common like a sacred tree, drum, fire, creation story, medicine, etc., no matter where your ancestors came from.
If you are not Native American, but you still feel strongly called to the way of life of a particular Native American nation, my suggestion for the best approach would be, perhaps, to go and live among the people you want to learn from, with the RIGHT INTENTION, spend years allowing them to get to know and trust you and vice versa, with your mouth closed and your eyes, ears and heart open, and then ask someone who truly knows, such as an Elder, to teach you. It is obviously up to them to decide whether or not they will.
If they refuse to teach you, they probably have a good reason, and if you understood it, they probably would not have refused you.... And that does not then give you license to commit cultural theft or fraud. But there are others, like Wicca, or Buddhism, who will share with you and take you in.
Most of the books I have seen that purport to teach Native American spirituality and ceremony are nonsense. There are a few who teach an ethical and accurate overview though of the underlying thought and structure of some Native practices and beliefs.
At our Temple, we do not practice, approve of, participate in, support or condone the cultural theft of any Native American spiritual tradition, plastic shamans or the sale of ceremonies (including our own) for money.
Your path doesn't have to be borrowed from someone else.
This needed to be addressed, for many reasons, mostly all the inquiries.
Best wishes on your path!
Telephone: (828) 331-8688
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