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Me: First, tell me just a bit about your organization, including your location and mission in the Pagan Community.
The Sylvan Hearth Pagan Temple is located in Sylva, NC about an hour west of Asheville. We offer a safe place for Pagan worship, socializing, study, Initiation, networking and peer support.
Our Temple property features:
• A community garden of herbs and medicinal plants throughout the property
• An outdoor "Summer Circle" for ritual
• A covered "Woodhenge" in the traditional British style for ritual during inclement weather
• A memorial garden
• A running stream and faerie glen
• Camping pads for overnight guests
• And much more
We provide campus ministry support to the Pagan Student Association at Western Carolina University which is very active on campus. We also provide Prison ministry and Hospital ministry regionally to Pagan inmates and patients. We host a Pagan Night Out once a month, either at the Temple or at a local pub. We offer an online seminary which provides ordination upon completion. (All Initiations must be done in person.) We are involved in various charitable and environmental organizations in the greater community. We have a close relationship with many local clergy and have created an interfaith group on campus which also works within the community. We do not proselytize but are active in the community and seek to shed a positive light on Paganism.
Me: Did anything inspire your members to begin crafting for your organization?
The Crafters House started out with just a few people who were interested in learning new skills. We would meet and teach each other how to knit or make jewelry. Once we formed the board of directors and purchased the property we started to look around at all the beautiful things we had made and realized that an etsy shop would be a really great way to raise money to support our Temple.
Me: What programs/events do you offer/provide for your local and regional Pagan Community?
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* We also host Sabbats on campus at Western Carolina University, where our high priestess also gives several lectures a year, and a small summer festival on Temple property.
* We perform legal handfastings, Wiccanings, funerals, etc. All the rites of passage.
* We have a Coven, which is about to become 3 Covens, and classes and Initiation are offered for membership in those, for those interested in practicing both Wicca and Witchcraft.
Me: What is a Hearth or a House, especially the House of Crafters?
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A Hearth is a group of people within the Temple who want to practice a certain spiritual tradition together. For example: A Buddhist Hearth or a Dianic Hearth. We welcome all positive pagan paths.
A House is a group of people within the Temple who share similar interests and activities, such as making beer, wine and mead (House of Brewers) or gardening (House of Green Jack), to give just 2 examples.
Me: Anything else you (or your High Priestess) would like to share?
We are a humble group of people who respect each other, respect diversity and do our best to walk our talk.
Me: How can interested people find you?
Our main website: www.sylvanhearth.com/
Our Etsy Store: www.etsy.com/people/SylvanHearth
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Sylvan-Crafters/234295406624559
On twitter: @SylvanHearth
Much like etsy, temples such as these are based on community support and the dedication of a few people. Thank you all for being a part of that support!