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Temple of Goddess Spirituality, dedicated to Sekhmet

Updated on August 17, 2015
relache profile image

Raye gardens organically, harvests rainwater, strives to eat locally, and honors the gods from her home in the Pacific Northwest.

A Goddess Temple In The Desert

In the 21st century, the idea of a goddess temple in the desert, located right in the middle of an area with a federal prison, a nuclear test facility and a military base that is center for the majority of UAV controllers (unmanned aerial vehicles, aka drones), may seem out of place but in a world that seems to be rapidly losing its sense of balance, that may be just what the Goddess wanted.

The Center for the Study of Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet is many things to many people. It's a non-profit center which explores and supports the idea of the gift economy. It's a temple dedicated to the desert goddess Sekhmet, the lion-headed daughter of the Egyptian sun god Ra. It supports the actions of grassroots peace, women's rights and anti-nuclear movements. And it's the dream of founder Genevieve Vaughn come to life through the actions and dedication of many hands.


This video shows you what it is like to stand in the temple and turn around and view the space, including the various shrines and the fire pit. Video by Relache

Sa Sakem Sahu

Heart Of The Sun: An Anthology In Exaltation Of Sekhmet
Heart Of The Sun: An Anthology In Exaltation Of Sekhmet

An anthology of collected writings about Sekhmet, created by some of the women affiliated with the temple. The collected authors include former priestesses at the Temple, members of the local Las Vegas magickal/spiritual community, and academic goddess scholars.

 
The Temple
The Temple | Source
Desert Priestess: A Memoir
Desert Priestess: A Memoir

Memoir of Anne Key who was the priestess of the Sekhmet temple for three years.

 

The First Sekhmet

This is the first statue of Sekhmet that was in the Temple.  It was stolen and destroyed in the spring of 2014.  The community raised funds to pay for a new figure.
This is the first statue of Sekhmet that was in the Temple. It was stolen and destroyed in the spring of 2014. The community raised funds to pay for a new figure. | Source

At The Temple

The Temple is out in the desert, about an hour northwest of the city of Las Vegas. It used to be pretty quiet out there but growth of that city has changed things a lot over the last decade. The Temple land is owned by the Shoshone Nation, bought from the government (who stole it from the Shoshone) and then gifted back to them with the actual Temple land now rented from them.

The location sits approximately in the center of three government facilities: a federal prison, a nuclear test site and a military base which houses the majority of the US drone control facilities. The Temple works to support peace efforts, prisoner outreach, human rights and many more humanitarian causes, putting out energy that is counter to all that is around it.

Local goddess-oriented groups also use the site for their spiritual practices. There are new and full moon meetings each month and a festival to the goddess Sekhmet which is celebrated annually. The resident priestess also works to provide workshops and social events, such as crafting circles, lectures and movie nights.


Sekhmet Temple guest house
Sekhmet Temple guest house | Source
The goddess labyrinth
The goddess labyrinth | Source

Honoring Sacred Space

When the land was first acquired, there wasn't hardly anything there. A house sits on the land, housing the priestess/caretaker. There is also a trailer house which is used for visiting guests and provides meeting space for events. With prior arrangements with the priestess, groups or individuals can schedule retreats there.

The Temple itself was designed and built by a women's collective. The straw bale structure was made from materials on the land and features doors in the four directions and a roof that is open to the sky. This houses the goddess statues and is the core of the sacred space. Adjacent this building are several other features which have been constructed over the years.

A Fairy Grove honors the Fae Folk and is full of all sorts of statues and icons brought by guests and visitors. A unique labyrinth in the shape of a goddess icon was built on the land for walking meditations. A ship's mast was found on the temple land and put up to be the Maypole used to celebrate Beltane. As time and donated materials permit, gardens are slowly evolving. There is also a found-art project in progress, building symbolic stations which represent some of the many names of Sekhmet. Eventually this will form a path for meditation and contemplation that weaves around and connects different parts of the land.

Visit the Sekhmet Temple

A
The Sekhmet Temple:
Cactus Springs, NV 89018, USA

get directions

There are no specific signs and you will have to keep an eye out for it on the left-hand side of the road as you drive north on 95.

The new Sekhmet statue, installed and dedicated in the Temple in August 2014.
The new Sekhmet statue, installed and dedicated in the Temple in August 2014. | Source

Supporting the Temple

One of Genevieve Vaughn's founding principles of the Temple is the practice of the "gift economy." It does not cost anything to stay there and is space is entirely supported by donations. When you stay, you can gift the Temple with physical help on projects, donate needed items or make a monetary contribution.

Before you plan your visit, you'll want to contact the priestess and find out what projects are in progress or what events might be taking place. There might be a need for specific supplies depending on what is about to happen or what has just happened. You can also check a wishlist of items posted on the Temple website.

Gifts of service are also possible. The land where the Temple and guest house facilities are located are somewhat remote and there is often a need for some repairs or upkeep at the site. Several improvements such as a garden expansion, the construction of a greenhouse and the building of a drum circle are also works-in-progress. In keeping with the location and the Earth consciousness cultivated there, many of the plans involve earthen building techniques.


Sekhmet dressed and adorned for Yule 2015.
Sekhmet dressed and adorned for Yule 2015. | Source
Desert Priestess: A Memoir
Desert Priestess: A Memoir

This is an audiobook of Anne Key's memoir, read by Abbi Spinner McBride

 

Comments and Contributions

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    • relache profile imageAUTHOR

      Raye 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I try and get there at least once a year to just have some mental space and spend time in the desert, which is almost a complete opposite of the climate/topography of where I live.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites. Looks and sounds like a fascinating place.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR

      Raye 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      The Temple isn't going anywhere, so you can visit it the next time you are in the area.

    • Amber Vyn profile image

      Amber Vyn 

      5 years ago

      Wow! I've been out west (I'm in San Antonio) a lot over the past few years, and I wish I had known about this! Voted 'up' and 'interesting'.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR

      Raye 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I'll be out at the Temple in a little over a week. We'll only get about two days to stay but the desert at this time of year is both beautiful and rather temperate.

    • WriteAngled profile image

      WriteAngled 

      6 years ago from Abertawe, Cymru

      Who can withstand the blaze of Thy rage?

      But to those who love Thee,

      Thou art a mother lioness,

      warming and protecting her cubs.

      SA SEKHEM SAHU - DUA SEKHMET!

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