How can a human-built space restore a broken relationship with the natural world?
The vision is for Earth Temples to be built on the edge of all cities and respond to this question.
The Earth Temple is a round place to rest, reflect, reconnect and restore our relationship to the natural world. It is a place of belonging to the Earth that is open to all; a place of beauty, made of local natural materials, and designed to include the presence of all beings of the natural world.
We are sharing this vision along with first architectural drawings to invite you and hear from you if and how you would like to imagine engaging in bringing this vision into life - from model making to the finding of place, the realisation and the tending of the space.
The design of the Earth Temple
Touching the drawings on paper, you may imagine the warmth within thick walls of Earth and the unique sense of refuge in the city found in the silence of this space.
The Earth Temple is envisioned to be 26 meters wide, round, made of natural material found on site. Its four entrances are designed to celebrate the Sun in the East, Water and Plants in the South, Earth and Soil in the West, Air and Animals in the North. An olive tree stands in the center as a symbol of peace and the sculpture of a woman and a man seating.
The roof is made of glass. Within the walls are places of rest and underground at the center is a kiva, a dark cave, a place of reflection and deep listening.
The temple is a place to welcome all, locals, passer-bys or refugees.
At the first gathering in Totnes around the vision of Earth Temples, we started imagining Totnes as a potential place to welcome a first Earth Temple.
We would like to offer the opportunity to engage and explore the different facets of this project :
Please do get in touch with questions and remarks, or suggestions of people to contact to make this happen.
The vision of Earth Temples in Cities was brought to life by Azul-Valérie Thomé, designer of rituals, artist and activist devoted to restoring humanity back to a deep relationship with the Earth. She holds an MA in Ecological Design Thinking from Schumacher College and is currently based in Totnes.
Azul Valérie Thomé for SOULand www.souland.org
MEETING ARE HAPPENING IN TOTNES in 2019. See Facebook Page for more details or email me :firstname.lastname@example.org
The Worship of Place
There is a temple I know whose roof is made of sky.
On its ceiling are painted clouds and stars
And the rooms and corridors are made of leaves and branches;
Its doors are open to all people, day and night.
Anyone may enter, whether or not they listen
To the wise words spoken within.
I know a synagogue through which a river flows
Against boulders inscribed with scriptures of moss,
Where salmon leap in exaltation and wild doves sing.
The rabbi has a beard of green-grey lichen and
His prayers are carried on the gurgling silver stream.
I know a mosque in which every direction is sacred.
Within that holy place, I see the face of the beloved
Beneath every stone and in the heart of every flower.
Fallen oak leaves are the flurries of the faithful, dancing;
The call to prayer is sung upon the whirling, wild wind.
The priestess of this shrine bars entry to no one;
She greets me in silence and in silence I depart.
Everyone is welcomed in for worship;
The congregation of all creatures give praise
And offerings to the hallowed sanctuary;
The object of their veneration is the world itself.
When I arrive in this boundless cathedral,
With my eyes unclouded by guile or cunning,
I know the presence of such exquisite beauty
And a joy so intense it’s almost unbearable.
I fall over myself trying to find the best way to worship;
I press my back against the trunk of a broad tree
Or a tower of cracked, stacked stones;
I tell my confession to the twisted heather,
And bow down before the yellow-flowered gorse;
I renew my vows in the presence of the damsel fly
And receive the blessing of the magpie and the wren.
All the while, skylarks carry my prayers to heaven.
At the altar of this great temple,
There is a fountain, invisible to my eyes.
If my worship is whole-hearted, I am washed
Clean of sorrow and all my restless thirst
Standing in this sublime sanctuary,
I am cracked in two and an old well
Bubbles in my heart once again.
The water is so clear and delicious,
I cannot keep it to myself.
Will you come with me to that fountain now
And fill your cup of longing from this endless, untamed spring?
by Tom Hirons the Falconer's Joy
'With permission from Hedgespoken Press'