The Goddess Temple Gives Birth To a Man Cave
Illustration Credit: Man from the Forest by Joe Anderson
On the spring equinox five years ago, with the full moon in Virgo, about a hundred people gathered at the Jackson Wellsprings in Ashland, Oregon, to dance, to pray, and to perform ceremonies to consecrate a new temple to honor the Sacred Feminine. The Goddess Temple of Ashland was birthed from a vision of Graell Corsini, who brought together 19 women from a diverse background of the world’s wisdom traditions and healing arts. Over the years the temple has flourished, offering yoga classes, ecstatic dance and music, empowerment pujas, a moon lodge, ritual immersions in the sacred pool (Mikvah), and priestess gatherings. Now Corsini is delighted to report that the Goddess Temple is giving birth—to a men’s temple called the Temple of the Oak.
As Corsini explains: “Men have played an important role in supporting our temple from the beginning, holding sacred space during our rituals and hosting the Men’s Night gatherings here. Their temple will let them explore the goals of ‘provide, protect and serve’—while learning healthy, life-affirming ways to express their power and wisdom.”
The owner of the WellSprings, Gerry Lehrburger, MD, who embraced Corsini’s offer to build the Goddess Temple, says, “The men attending the Men’s Night at the Goddess Temple kept saying they needed their own place.” Today’s women, compared to men, seem to honor Gaia in a more reverent manner. As WellSprings is committed to restoring balance with Nature, I left the decision to the women, and now it’s going to happen.”
Robert Wagner, founder of Wild Sacredness and a facilitator of men’s gatherings on the property, says the energy sparking the men’s temple goes beyond the fascination with the woods that boys experience growing up, building forts and protecting the territory. “The Temple of the Oak will allow men of all ages a sacred space to share their challenges, heal wounds, learn deep respect for the feminine, and clarify their role as men in our community,” Wagner said. “Hearing and supporting our brothers is badly needed in our culture.”
The men initially built a sweat lodge on the site to hold a ceremony to ensure success of the temple. Tying willow branches together and covering the framework with blankets, about 24 men went in and “sweated our prayers,” Wagner said, allowing the vision of the temple to materialize.
The site for the temple was then cleared—a fifth of an acre of land situated between two large oaks, facing Bear Creek, and bordered by large boulders. “We’re going slowly at this stage, gathering materials—stone, wood, earth, and cobb. We want it to be an organic, cooperative venture, growing as we allow inspiration to come from the land itself.”
Tony Corsini, a leader of the men’s effort, explains, “We know this land was special to Native American tribes, who would come to these springs for healing and birthing, ceremony, and holding Council. They would drop their weapons and be at peace in this valley.
“We want to explore and honor the Sacred Masculine, without being exclusive,” Corsini continues. “That can include many different traditions—expressed through workshops, initiations, personal healing space, and male councils. I think the mingling of masculine and feminine groups, actively sharing ceremony together, is unique. I believe it will draw many people.”
Lehrburger agrees. “Jackson WellSprings is unique in the way it blends different cultures; that adds to the depth. We’re opening portals as we seek to preserve ancient knowledge that will help us redefine our relationship to nature. Priests, sadhus, rabbis, indigenous elders have all come to WellSprings to bless the water—the property is a model for inviting people into ceremony.”