A Blog by and about the Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater

The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater is a neo-pagan, goddess oriented congregation and religious charity headquartered in Palenville, New York. Our home is a 150 year-old inn called Central House. The photo above is a vintage postcard which was mailed in 1917. This blog is all about our current events and what is going on at Central House.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Special Announcement: Palenville Pagan Pride Day!

I am very excited to announce that I have been made the Local Coordinatorfor Pagan Pride Dayfor the Hudson Valley area. The Maetreum of Cybele will be hostessing this event. We will hold the organizational meeting to form the committee on Saturday, April 11th at 2pm at Central House. The date of the event is one of the primary items on the agenda.

Pagan Pride Day is a combination of charitable activity and community outreach, committed to creating a positive face of paganism for the larger community. We are looking for volunteers for the Palenville Pagan Pride Day committee to help with the following areas:

* Fundraising
* Public relations and advertising
* Acquiring pagan vendors
* Workshop/speaker booking
* Charitable outreach
* Booking musicians

We welcome pagans from all paths and all groups. Being a member of our Pagan Pride Day committee would require making a commitment to be present for at least most of the meetings, which will at first be held every two weeks and as the event draws closer, they will be held as necessary. Volunteering on the Pagan Pride committee can be highly valuable and rewarding experience. You'll make new friends, learn new skills and take away many wonderful memories. Most of all, you will be part of an important effort to draw our local community together. Sounds good? Then drop us a line at
firstchurch@gallae.com If you can't make the commitment to be on the committee, but would like to be involved in some other way, such as by vending, presenting a workshop or just helping with setup and cleanup, drop us a line, anyway!

Come and help us make Palenville Pagan Pride day happen!

April 5th, 2009

Season of the Tree was a success again this year. We had twelve people in attendance altogether. We would have had more, but two of our priestesses had family emergencies involving parents just before the weekend. Four people underwent the Mysteries this year, and we played “Milk” in the theater for the others. I assisted with conducting the mysteries. We elevated two priestesses: Helen Farrell and Caillean’s daughter, Francesca Tronetti. Congratulations to them both!

Marina also came back to visit us for the first time in a number of years. It was great to have her back and for me, to finally meet her in person. She brought along her new girlfriend, Norma and a cooler full of exotic fruits. There was some delicious mangoes and papayas along with something far more exotic: a durianfruit. These fruits are native to Southeast Asia and are quite popular there, but for westerners, they are an acquired taste that most of us don’t acquire. They have a delicate, creamy texture, but an indescribable flavor that has been compared to almonds, onions, garlic, asafetida or less charitably to lighter fluid. I can’t say that Marina won me over to the wonderful world of durian fruit, but I am glad to have had the opportunity to try one!

We have finally gotten started on redoing the walls in the ground and second floor hallways. As of this writing, most of the 70’s era wood paneling is now off! We found, to our pleasant surprise, that much the old plaster was still in decent shape. There were only a few places where large chunks had come off. What we mostly have to deal with are numerous, small nail holes and dents. It looks like all they are going to need is just some patching and sanding with drywall compound. Given that the walls were in such good shape, relatively speaking, I’m kind of baffled as to why the wood paneling was put up in the first place. It didn’t do a thing for the ambiance of the place, and frankly made it feel like a cave or dungeon. Underneath the paneling, we found old wallpaper in a rather attractive, circa 1930’s (we think) art deco pattern that looked like stylized feathers. It was beige and gold with a few red highlights. We liked the look it gave, but unfortunately since it was ripped and moldy in too many places, we could not save it. Ultimately, we are going to paint the walls white, and strategically place pictures and stencils to hide any flaws. ;)