Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Building the Temple of Your Dreams

OK, here you go: I'm writing you a check. I want you to build your ideal pagan temple, spare no expense.

So what would it look like?

Would it have columns? Standing stones? Would it have a dome? Would it even have a roof at all?

What is it made from? Wood, stone, brick? Poured concrete?

What is its footprint? Is it circular? Square? Rectangular?

What's around it? A grove? An encircling temenos wall? Gardens? Is there a sacred spring, a sacred tree, a sacred stone?

What does the inner sanctuary look like? Is it large, the gathering place of many, or is it small and intimate? Are there windows? Is it dark and private, or filled with air and light?

What existing temple does it most resemble? Stonehenge? New Grange? Karnak? The Parthenon?

What liturgical needs do you need to satisfy? Is there a central hearth, or a fire-altar? Is there provision for an eternal flame? Do you need to be able to circumambulate the temple? (I'll bet you do.) If so, your temple needs to be free-standing. Do you need to have an Underworld into which to descend?

Is there a temple kitchen? A temple bath, or sauna? A temple library?

Well, tell me what you need, and I'll cut you a check to cover.

How do you spell your name again?


Above: Miguel Coimbra, The Temple of Artemis of Ephesus


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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Jamie
    Jamie Friday, 07 September 2018

    Mr. Posch,

    My ideal temple would be inconspicuous. An ordinary commercial structure hidden in plain sight, preferably near a river. It would host shrines to the local land spirits and river god, various hellenic deities including the Olympians, and ritual space in the basement devoted to the mysteries of Mithras and the Great Mother.

    An elaborate, purpose-built Pagan sacred space would be nice. However, experience in a former life as a Christian church board member has taught me that such dedicated religious buildings tend to become money pits over time. Besides, an elaborate and purpose-built temple would might as well have a bullseye painted on it.

    Better to squirrel away resources for the long haul and avoid anything too grandiose, in my opinion.

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