For More Information on the Gift Economy, visit www.gift-economy.com

Upcoming Events at the Temple in March, 2017

Please join us for these upcoming events:

Week of  March 5 through 11:  Spring Clean Up at the Temple
Can you rake up a bag or leaves?  Walk the grounds and pick up trash? Paint?
If you can, please contact Candace at 702-569-0630 to let me know when.
I will be here and have all necessary tools ready.
Thank you SO much!

Sunday, March 12: – Full Moon Ritual and Silent Auction as well as many small items for sale.
Potluck at 7:00 pm in the pavilion (weather permitting), and ritual in the Temple at 8:00 pm  Open to all!

Monday, March 20:  Community Ostara Celebration
Potluck at 7 :00 pm in the pavilion (weather permitting),  followed by ritual in the Temple at 8:00 pm    Open to all!

Monday, March 27:  Women’s New Moon Circle
Potluck in the pavilion (weather permitting), followed by ritual in the Temple at 8:00 pm.  Women Only

We are having to repair or replace all 4 swamp coolers on  the Guest House and Priestess house this Spring.
Monetary donations for this project are needed, and can be easily made by utilizing the paypal button on this webpage, or by sending a check, payable to:  Temple of Goddess Spirituality, dedicated to Sekhmet  mailed to:  P.O. Box 813, Indian Springs, Nevada 89018

Your donations are tax deductible.

Thank you so very much.
Bright and bountiful blessings,
Priestess Candace Ross

Gift Economy, Donations and The Future of the Temple

Recently a young woman taking a college class wanted to write a paper on the Temple, and asked me to fill out a questionnaire.  One of the questions asked was where I thought the Temple would be 20 years from now.  My answer was: That will depend entirely on the community.

 

For 23 years, founder Genevieve Vaughan has been almost single-handedly funding the Temple. (Donations received from supporters other than Gen Vaughan come to less than 5% of our current annual budget. )

 

Ms. Vaughan, now in her late 70’s, has indicated it is time for us to find alternative sources of funding for the Temple. We have just formed a Temple Council which will be addressing this and other business of the facility, but your generous support, both financial and spiritual is needed.

 

Monetary donations are tax deductible and can be made:

* online through Paypal on our website (www.sekhmettemple.com)

* by mail to:  Temple of Goddess Spirituality, dedicated to Sekhmet, PO Box 813, Indian Springs, NV 89018

* in the Donation Box located at the Temple bulletin board.

In addition, I will be posting monthly a list of supplies and materials currently needed (should you prefer to donate goods,) and the jobs around the property which I would welcome help with.


We will continue the “Silent Auction” fund raisers at the Full Moon potlucks, and have plans for an on-line store.


I’m sure our talented Temple Council will be coming up with many more creative ways to keep our beloved Temple of Sekhmet going.


Blessed be!


Priestess Candace Ross

Community Contributions

Hello Community,

The Temple has been serving the community for over 20 years, and the vast majority of our funding comes directly from Temple founder Genevieve Vaughan.

Since we are “gift economy”, and do not charge for rituals or stays in the Guest House,  I would like to talk with you about the many ways you can contribute to the Temple, should you wish to do so.

But first let me say thank you to all who have (and continue to) support the Temple with your energy and donations.  There are not words to properly thank you for your generosity!  It is so greatly appreciated.

There are three ways to contribute to the Temple:

The first would be donating your time/labor to maintenance and projects.

There is ALWAYS a leaking pipe to fix, a path to rake, a floor that needs mopped, or trash to pick up from around the grounds.
Anyone wishing to come out for a few hours to help, should contact me preferable a day or two ahead of time.   I can then make a list of projects for you to choose from, and have tools and supplies on hand.

The second way you can contribute to the Temple is by donating supplies for the Temple and Guest House or materials for maintenance and projects.  There is a short, general  list of items ranging from toilet paper to bird seed posted on both the website and bulletin boards at the Temple.  For additional needed items and materials for projects, please give me a call. 702-569-0630

The third way to contribute to the Temple is monetarily.  You are welcome to designate what your financial gift is to be used for (and it is tax deductible).

In 2014,  I dream  of replacing  the clothes dryer (the old one has died),  getting replacement  kitchen cabinets in the Guest House, planting more trees and cactus, getting new tires and a tune up for the Temple truck, and (dream of dreams!) building a large, covered  picnic pavilion near the Temple that can seat  (at least) 50 people. (The guest house is too small to continue hosting  our ever growing events.)

If you have ideas/suggestions on how we can achieve any of this in the upcoming months, I would love to hear from you!

Love and blessings,

Candace
Temple of Goddess Spirituality, dedicated to Sekhmet
PO Box 813
Indian Springs, Nv 89018

The Gift Economy

by Genevieve Vaughan

Paper given at the Women’s Worlds Conference at the University of Makerere in Uganda, Summer 2002. Download a PDF

I believe we can say that Capitalism is Patriarchal, especially Northern or ‘Western’ Capitalism. We can say Capitalism is actually the economic mode of patriarchy. The reason for this is that the values which underlie the construction of the male gender and the values that motivate capitalism are the same: independence, aggression, competition and domination are thought to be the values of the male gender. Capitalism expresses these values as well, at many different levels, from that of the individual capitalist to the corporation, to the country and the hemisphere. We can say we actually have a gendered economics. Perhaps this identification has not been clear enough because we still tend to look at gender and its values as biologically based, and it appears that Capitalism at least can accommodate women as well. Its values, though similar to male values seem to express an aggressive and competitive ‘human nature’, in which all participate.

However, if we look at gender as socially constructed, starting with the identity of the nurturing mother as the norm, perhaps we can understand where the patriarchal values come from, if they do not come from biology. A child is identified with its mother as the model for its being whether male or female, however when a boy begins to learn language he finds that he is in a different gender category from the mother, who at that time is the source of all his sustenance. But at that early age all he know is nurturing. He has to learn or invent another identity as did his father before him, and he does this by trying to be the opposite of the mother. Where she includes him, he excludes others, where she holds him near, he tries to be independent, where she feeds, he hits, where she gives, he dominates. Part of my hypothesis is that the early development of the male in opposition to the nurturing mother is the basis of the values of patriarchy and its institutions, including capitalism. Another part of my hypothesis is that the norm of the nurturing mother contains an alternative economic way as well as an interpretative key with which to re interpret many of the aspects of patriarchal thinking. The Western intellectual tradition is actually based on the denial and concealment of the mothering norm and on the destruction and co optation of a world view based on it which I call the ‘gift paradigm’. This world view is prior to a second world view which now dominates in our society, the exchange paradigm.

For-GivingGift giving involves giving directly to satisfy needs, it is other oriented, paying attention to the other and creating or procuring goods which satisfy the other’s specific needs. Giftgiving transfers value from the giver to the receiver by implication, indeed if the receiver were not important to the giver, she would probably not be satisfying the need. Gift giving creates the bonds of community – in fact the word ‘muni’ in Latin meant ‘gifts’ and is the root word of both ‘community’ and ‘communication’. By nurturing the bodies and minds of the people in their care women actually create the community whose members would not exist in exactly that way without that sustenance. (I am not saying that this is all that women do, or that they do it all the time, but that gift giving is required and elicited by children and is necessary for the development of the human community). The opposite logic, exchange gives only in order to receive an equivalent of what has been given. It requires quantification and measurement, and is ego oriented rather than other oriented, since the purpose of the exchange is the satisfaction of one’s own need not the need of the other. Exchange creates adversarial relations since each of the exchangers is trying to get the most possible out of the transaction. It does not create the bonds of community but rather separation and independence. Competition to achieve domination of more wealth and more power over others replaces the bonds of community created by gift giving with the bonds of domination in hierarchically structured social groups. The two paradigms are actually in conflict and competition with each other because the gift way threatens the exchange way. In fact if every one were giving to satisfy needs, there would be no need to exchange. The market society based on exchange therefore creates scarcity on purpose so as to not allow gift giving to achieve the status of the mode of production and distribution of the society. The Patriarchal values of Capitalism serve in this creation of scarcity for the many. By possessing and dominating large amounts of wealth Capitalists – along with other powerful men in political and religious institutions, can not only keep the wealth in their own hands and but they can also keep it away from the needs of the many. The poverty of the many is caused by Capitalism and is necessary for the functioning of the market system, not just one of its unintended by-products. Concentrating wealth in the hands of the few is not a safe business however, so hierarchical institutions of armies and police are enlisted to defend it. Enormous amounts of money are spent on armaments. World wide, $18 billion are spent every week on armaments while that would be enough to feed everyone on earth for a year. This non nurturing expense creates a drain on the nurturing economy, taking away those billions from what I call the Gross Nurturing Product – GNP. The impoverishment of the people by this means also distorts their view making them believe that patriarchy is the only possible reality and the market system is their only possible way to survive.

The nurturing mother often gives more to the male child who is trying to create a masculine identity in opposition to her gift giving identity. This creates a basic paradox whereby the mother values more and gives more to the one who is unlike herself. Not only do patriarchal men and their institutions devalue women and the gift economy. Women do it also, stepping down from the position of the main model for behavior in a culture, putting men before them, and creating a sort of social veil behind which the gift paradigm is hidden.

Women need to take back the power of definition. Women’s free labor in the home and elsewhere is gift labor, which is given to the family but also sustains patriarchy itself both in the form of individual men and in the form of the patriarchal institutions. It has been estimated that if housework were counted in monetary terms it would add some %40 to the GNP in the US, more in some other countries. We can also look at surplus value as gift value that is given to the Capitalist by the worker. Surplus value is the part of value of the work that is not covered by the salary of the worker. That is the free gift which forms the profit of the capitalist and motivates the whole market system. Using gift giving as an interpretative key in this way lets us see how much the market system actually depends on gift giving, nurturing, need satisfying labor. The value of the women’s labor passes through the labor of the men who have been nurtured by them, and into the surplus value or profit of the capitalist. That free part of the labor is done by men and women, forced into it by poverty and the functioning of the system. Even if it is forced from the worker for the capitalist it is free.

Globalization is one more development of Patriarchal Capitalism by which more gift labor and cheap resources (resources of which a large part is free to the buyer) can be transferred from the South to the North. The market economy makes it appear that the gifts are going the other direction, that the Capitalists are giving jobs to the people of the South. Having caused enough scarcity through exploitation and debt creation, the North has diminished the level of life in the South so that the price of labor is cheap for the Northern investors – that is it brings a large percentage of gift value. By privileging a few workers by monetizing their labor, Northern corporations create a funnel or bridge by which gifts from the South can be brought to the North, with the appearance that the Corporation is providing the only source of a decent livelihood. A structure of laws is made to uphold the flow of gifts from the South to the North, from the poor to the rich, from women to men. These laws are based on the values of the exchange system, on defending property over the satisfaction of needs, on ‘paying’ for crime, and maintaining the hierarchical structures of dominance. What is needed is not justice, which is based on the system of exchange, but a commitment to finding the problems which cause crime and solving them. That solution may include the protection of the gift givers rather than of the Patriarchal Capitalists, a re visioning of society, putting the gift paradigm first and showing the actual dependency of the market upon gift giving. In fact the market, the whole exchange economy is actually a parasite on the gift economy – and the gift economy allows this. It nurtures the parasite. Recently it has become quite clear how the law is being used to uphold the transformation of gifts into commodities Not only the gifts of women and communities but the gifts of Mother Earth have become the hosts of the patriarchal parasite. Scarcity is being created where previously there was abundance in many new areas. The patenting of life forms, the commodification of traditional knowledge, the privatization of water are only some of the ways in which what was formerly a free gift is being seized by the parasite and the flow of gifts channeled into its financial institutions, protected by international law.

In order to combat this state of affairs it is important to unite the women’s movement with the movement against Globalization and Patriarchal Capitalism, not to look at feminist issues as those having to do with the self interest of women – according to the logic of exchange – but to look at feminist issues as having to do with a logic of gift giving as opposed to the logic of the market. The other oriented logical gesture which we must practise in order to be mothers needs to become the respected not the disrespected human way. That is what needs to be institutionalized instead of the false and artificial logic of exchange and the values of patriarchy. By re naming the aspects of patriarchy in a way that makes gift giving visible, we can see that we already have an alternative economic form in our hands, if we can only take back our gifts from the parasite. We can do this at all levels from the individual to the institutional, from the South to the North. Women need to become conscious of the gifts that are being given, by others as well as by themselves. Women and men of good will in the North need to ally against Patriarchal Capitalism with the people of the South, and become conscious of the gifts that are being given to the North. We can do this by recognizing the gendered basis of economics as we know it, and by proposing a more human way. This recognition can be aided by a re vision of all of patriarchal thought, restoring the gift paradigm in the innumerable places where it has been taken away. On this basis of new/old values we can create a gift economy, make peace, and accumulate the abundance for all that is necessary to make it work.

Proposing the Gift Economy

by Candace Ross

What if………..
Everyone started sharing, just a little bit
With everyone else,
something that they liked to do
and didn’t charge for it?
plantI like making art and growing plants.
In current society, I have to sell
“things” or my “time” to live.
But if I gave some of my art
And some of my plants away,
And other people gave away some of what they do
Before long our society
Would have a different shape.
I believe we would soon have
More time for “giving”
Than for “selling”.

Community and the Gift Economy

by Candace Ross

community“Whenever I ask people what is missing from their lives, the most common answer (if they are not impoverished or ill) is ‘community.’

What happened to community and why don’t we have it anymore?  There are many reasons – the layout of suburbia, the disappearance of public space, the automobile and the television, the high mobility of people and jobs – and, if you trace the “why’s” a few levels down, they all implicate the money system.

More directly posed: community is nearly impossible in a highly monetized society like our own.  That is because community is woven from gifts, which is ultimately why poor people often have stronger communities than rich people.  If you are financially independent, then you really don’t depend on your neighbors – or indeed on any specific person – for anything.

In former times, people depended for all of life’s necessities and pleasures on people they knew personally.  If you alienated the local blacksmith, brewer or doctor, there was no replacement.  Your quality of life would be much lower.  If you alienated your neighbors then you might not have help if you sprained your ankle during harvest season, or if your barn burnt down.  Community was not an add-on to life, it was a way of life.  Today with only slight exaggeration, we could say we don’t need anyone.  I don’t need the farmer who grew my food – I can pay someone else to do it.  I don’t need the mechanic who fixed my car.  I don’t need the trucker who brought my shoes to the store.  I don’t need any of the people who produced any of the things I use.  I need someone to do their jobs, but not one unique individual person.  They are replaceable and, by the same token, so am I.”

~ Excerpted from “Circle of Gifts” by Charles Eisenstein

Over the next year, here at the Temple we want to focus on building community, on “expanding the circle.”  Take a moment to think what building community means to you.

I recently came across an ancient proverb in the Multi-cultural calendar I received from the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. It reads:

Taking the first step with a good thought, the second step with a good word, and the third with a good deed, I entered paradise.

This sounds to me like the writer believed, as I do, that paradise is available to each of us now, today, on this Earthly plane.  And it seems to me that without peace, without community, there can be no paradise.

One Earth One People

Let’s take that first step now:

Let’s relax, take a deep breath in and release it.

Let’s begin by sending out good thoughts to everyone reading this article. See your good thoughts lovingly wrapping around each person in front of their computer.

Now send those good thoughts out to all living beings. Send out good thoughts to our precious Mother Earth. Send bright, beautiful loving thoughts up and out into the universe.

Step two is speaking good words.  Let’s speak good words to and of the past.

Take a moment to go over the past year in your mind. What stands out as a particularly good event or memory? Here and now, think of it or speak of it with love and gratitude.

The third step in reaching paradise, according to the proverb, is in doing a good deed.

Take another moment to think about a way this year that you can build community, “expand the circle,” achieve paradise.

This does not have to be a large, or costly deed.  It could be something as simple as walking the dog of an elderly neighbor who can no longer do it.

It could be volunteering your time or talent at a non-profit organization, teaching a child how to garden, having a regular family night with your children or grandchildren. Be creative.  How can you see yourself building community this year?