For many years I have been describing this shrine to Nevada visitors I may have hosted as being dedicated to the proposition that, at the essence of their experiential spiritual roots all the world's religions are similar, therefore the differences between religions are but scaffolding and we ought to celebrate our unity in the Divine Essence and stop killing each other over religion.
However, in late 2006 I discovered that this shrine is dedicated to the Goddess Sekhmet and that there is an official website for this shrine (click on the link to go there). The shrine and website are maintained by its resident witch. It does not have this religious peace theme as its explicit message, although the last lines of a 'channeled' message from Sekhmet the Goddess to one of the past 'witches' resident at the site, Rev, Patricia Pearlman, on that website is:
I have given you the arts, mathematics, and sciences, to fulfill your needs, to
grow and enjoy. Yet you are not satisfied without power. Why is power better
than all of what is natural and in abundance around you and the beautiful gifts
that flourish in your garden? It is not fear that I support, but a desire to
wash your eyes, cleanse your ears and clear your throat. For then, you will see
the smile, hear the birds, and talk the truth. When you understand this, then, there will be no blood shed upon the earth.
In addition to that very clear and thought-provoking call to renounce seeking power (over others) and instead seek peace, there were two ideas in the story the founder (Genevieve Vaughan) tells of her life and what led her to build the shrine that probably also communicated to me while in the shrine.
In describing the mighty change that led her to build this shrine to a Goddess and open the doors of it to anyone (even a male like me), she says in part (note that these thoughts are 'ripped' out of her context and 'pasted' in to serve my context, go the 'Herstory' part of the website linked above to read her complete story):
This change in perspective . . . also let me continue to support and love people who have other cultural legacies and belief systems. . . . The . . . gathering of women from different cultures to share their intent and commitment for a better world, are all at some level rituals for peace.
In the channeled message from the Goddess, and in places elsewhere on the website, the suggestion is strongly and repeatedly made that persons will receive messages from Sekhmet (who is a symbol of the Divine Feminine1 in the world) and they should contribute their messages and impressions to the official shrine website.
No doubt the insight I walked away with from visiting this shrine several times was just such a revelation! I visited the shrine once on my own, after I had just finished my web pages on Rumi, and I received this very distinct impression while there. Of course it is also what Rumi says: that it doesn't matter if you are Hindu, Christian, Jew or Muslim, what matters is the purity of your heart and the reality of your relationship with God. Maybe that set me up for this very distinct impression. Subsequently I visited the shrine with my mother when she was alive, and later with my wife and granddaughter, and the impression of this same theme remained.
So FOR ME this is still the meaning of this shrine: differences between religions are just scaffolding built over the same root spiritual experience that is natural to us all. So let's respect each other as fellow emanations from the same Divine Root, and stop killing each other over the scaffolding! Peace!
1As far as the Divine Femine is concerned, I celebrate and comment on that concept on another page. Being male does not make me a partisan for either sex either here or in the land of Divine myth and spiritual reality. The founder of the Sekhmet shrine claims to be a feminist. That concept suits me fine. Feminism means a belief in equality between the sexes, and that is so obvious it ought to require no further discussion. Of course I do discuss it on several other pages, including my most popular one month after month for a whole decade now, which is about a woman's movement in the High Middle Ages.
Go Back to LifePicks in 2006 'Yearbook' Page Go Back to ThoughtsandPlaces.Org Home