Monday, May 23, 2011

Let's Make Sure that Grandkids Can Visit

So, lawyerly disqualifiers first, I don't know Liona Rowan, but this survey was passed to me by a local Wiccan I know well. Rowan is conducting a survey concerning the need for a low-cost retirement community for people s/he calls "Pagan Elders." It's my impression from reading the survey that, by "Pagan Elders," Rowan means "old Pagans," rather than "old Pagans who have, for example, published books or made a big mark," but I may be wrong. And I could wish that the grammar were, well, better.

However, many Christian and Jewish groups provide nursing homes and retirement communities, either for their members or for older people of any religion who need care. So the concept of Pagan elder care is not surprising, especially as we move into an era where many of the people who came to Paganism in the decades between the 1960s and today are getting older and in need of care.

I can't help but imagine life in a Pagan nursing home. Tarot readings at lunch. Vegan meals. Of course, the Beltane circles might have to conclude before 4:30, when we old folks begin to flag. Endless discussions about whether it's appropriate to call only Goddesses at the Full Moon. Skyclad rituals with walkers. Meds dispensed along with Reiki. Weekly smudging with sage in the dining hall and crafts center. (OK, that was totally not PC and completely inappropriate, not to mention ageist, and I'm sorry. Still giggling, but sorry.)

I will say that I can see the benefits of a Pagan retirement community. And we now have our own burial grounds, so why not a place to retire? One question that's missing is whether or not Pagans need to bring pets with them. I imagine that many would want to.

Here's Rowan's survey, in case you are interested in taking it. Responses should be emailed to :


Dear Pagan, Goddess spirituality and Polytheist Community,

My name is Liona Rowan. I am a Witch and priestess assessing the need for a retirement community for our low income Pagan Elders. In my research I have found zero retirement communities for our Elders. It is my hope that I can help that become a reality by assessing the needs and desires of our Elders. Because many of our trailblazing Elders have been spending their time and energy building community, sharing their knowledge and generally care taking. Many of our Elders live in poverty or near poverty. I believe this is unacceptable.

By assessing the need for such a retirement community with a Temple on site I hope to be able to acquire grant monies and donations to build a retirement community in a country setting but near a major city. I am in the process of setting up a 501c3 for the Temple and retirement community to be called 10K Sanctuary.

In my vision there will be initially eight homes that will be around 700-800 square feet. Enough room for a single person or a couple to live comfortably. At the moment the rent will be set at $600. a month all utilities included. I hope to have an orchard and large herbal and vegetable garden in addition it is my dream to have bees. The vegetables and fruits would be available (at no cost) in season to the residents of the retirement community along with honey.

This is still in the exploratory phase. Please answer the questions and add any suggestions or improvements that you feel are important to create a harmonious place to grow old in the company of other Elder Pagans.

Thank you,

Liona Rowan

10K Sanctuary Pagan Retirement Community Survey

Please return all surveys to:

On a scale of 1-10 1 being the least important and 10 being the most important please answer the following questions

To choose your answer, simply highlight your choice and type an "x" in the place of the number you chose. Thank you in advance for your input!

1. It is important for me to live in a retirement community with other Pagans, Goddess or polytheistic spirituality people.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. It is important to me to have personal outside space for a garden or leisure.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. It is important to me to have an indoors or protected community Temple/worship space when the weather does not permit outside ritual.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. It is important to me to have access to a priestess on site as needed.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5. It is important for me to have an office/study/ritual space in my dwelling.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6. It is important for me to have a washer/dryer in my dwelling.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

7. Wheelchair accessibility to temple, personal dwelling and outside spaces.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

8. It is important to me to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with the community.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9. It is important to have access to activities in the larger community (YMCA, library, local restaurants, bars, supermarkets, farmers markets, etc. )

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

On a different note:

using the same scale 1 being the least important and 10 being the most important.

1. I would like to have access to fresh organic fruits and vegetables in season.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. I would like to have access to a community resource person.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. I would like to have the option of group transportation to access the larger community.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Please take as much space as you need to answer the following question:

As an Elder in the Pagan community my ideal retirement community (not assisted living or nursing care facility: Just start typing your responses after the colon, save and send the completed survey to

would include:

would look like:

would provide:

please include anything else you feel is important in a retirement community for Pagan Elders:


Picture found here.

1 comment:

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