This past Sunday, the Open Hearth Foundation Pagan Community Center took two huge steps closer to opening its doors with a Community Blessing Sunday afternoon and a volunteer painting event for the Pagan library on Sunday evening.
Pagan Community Center Blessing, Warding, and Protection Ritual
Becoming, an earth-based pantheistic spiritual community based in DC, performed a community blessing at the new Pagan Community Center in DC.
Though the center does not officially open until December 31, 2011, Becoming held its monthly Circle of Connection at the Pagan Community Center, led by presiding celebrant Ketzirah, which included a working to cleanse, protect, and bless the center. Becoming is a Foundation-level OHF member and long-time supporter of the OHF.
As part of the circle's main working, the group performed a cleansing, warding, and protection ritual and group blessing lead by Angela Raincatcher, former presiding celebrant of Becoming as well as a founding OHF board member, and Frank Stormcatcher, Security Trustee for the OHF.
"The new community center is a physical container which can nurture the growth of our community," stated Angela Raincatcher. "To accomplish this, the container needs to be clean, strong, and blessed. The working was intended to provide the community the opportunity to care for the container that will care for the community. We came together as a community for a common purpose, took collective and individual responsibility for the maintenance of the community center, and planted our intentions for it sustainable and fruitful future."
Frank Stormcatcher, called the ritual an unmitigated success, "Today, the community has truly taken ownership of this space. I am proud to have been a part of this effort, and very confident that the center will be a safe and secure place for all of us."
Thirty members of Becoming, the OHF, and the greater Pagan community participated in the ceremony which also marked the first public event at the center. Former OHF board member, Eric Eldritch commented on how the blessing brings full circle his experience in DC, "My first apartment 25 years ago was a block away (pointing out the window) right there. I dreamed of places in DC for like-minded spiritual gatherings. On my path I found OHF and wow, dreams do come true!"
(Photo Courtesy of Eric Eldritch)Library Preparations and Painting
Following the blessing, 15 volunteers spent four hours removing wall paper, sanding and spackling the walls of the community center, and began painting the room that will house the center's Pagan library.
Over the last ten years, more than 4,000 books have been donated to the OHF, which were stored by volunteers around the city until a permanent space was established. The goal of the painting event was to get the room ready for the consolidation of the OHF Pagan Lending Library which will take place on Saturday, November 20. The OHF has organized another volunteer event to gather the books from the various venues and deliver them to the center. They will also be collecting donated bookcases and furniture items for the space at that time.
More information on the volunteering for the OHF Library Move Event can be found on Facebook.
The OHF Board of Director's is also actively seeking donations for additional furniture and other items. If you have item's you would like to donate, please visit openhearth.org/wishlist.html