TRYON, N.C. — Light Haven Spiritual Center is set to transition. Its high priestess and spiritual director, Aeptha, announced that the organization is selling its lands and buildings. She described this as a shift in direction and a different use of the organizational energies.
Light Haven’s leadership will use the profits from the sale to establish a charitable foundation. The law requires foundations to give away part of their funds each year. Light Haven leadership plans to fund charities for human, animals, and the environment. Groups within the Pagan community will also be eligible for these funds.
Located in North Carolina, Light Haven consists of 86 acres of fields, gardens, woods, three buildings, and a large garage for equipment storage. One building, the facilitator or mother house, has a private sanctuary. One building functions as a place for classes, offices, and public ceremonies. The third building is Aeptha’s home.
Aeptha described Light Haven’s practice as “ceremonialist, with a bit of a lean towards shamanism. Light Haven works with the Western mystery traditions as well as the Egyptian mysteries.”
Aeptha said that pushes from the both the inner and outer worlds drove this decision to transition. She felt that her inner-world contact was telling her that change was coming. She explained that this inner world contact stressed the need to consolidate resources.
The outer-world push involved several factors, such as increasing maintenance demands, diminishing number of new students or members, and changing technological preferences. As the buildings on the property have aged, their maintenance needs have increased and grown ever more demanding.
Besides the buildings at Light Haven, its community has also aged. Aeptha said that they have “gotten sick, or have moved onto other traditions.” Two have recently crossed over, she added. While some new people have joined Light Haven, newer people have not replenished those leaving.
Another factor for the transition lies in the economic and cultural changes that have occurred over the years. Younger people seem to lack the free time that people in the recent past seemed to have had, she said.
Instead, Aeptha finds that they want to learn “in a quick strong shot, a working weekend, once a quarter.” They take that knowledge with them to work on their own. They cannot travel to Light Haven once a month, regardless of their commitment or interest.
Aeptha attributes this decrease in free time directly to shifts in culture and economics. She began her spiritual path in the 1980s, when it was much easier to support a single person. Now, she noted, “The cost of living is such that many people find that they need to have two salaries, just to support themselves.”
Light Haven also lacks a significant cyber component. Aeptha’s training in the 1980s did not include cyber work. She has, however, slowly made her way into the technological world. Aeptha’s millennial niece will work with her on developing Light Haven’s cyber component.Selling the land could provide a relatively large amount of money, enough to seed a charitable foundation. According to Aeptha, Light Haven’s leadership has worked out its tax structure. At present, many aspects of that foundation remain unknown. These unknowns include the criteria for granting funds and the process for requesting them.
Aeptha stated that she would not be drawing a salary from this foundation. In fact, her current salary helps to support Light Haven. She describes it as a labor of love and does not regret it. Even so, Light Haven costs her time, energy, and money.
Aside from the foundation, Light Haven will continue its spiritual work after the transition. Aeptha said that she does not want to recreate “what we already have, just in a smaller form.” She hopes to see Light Haven transition into something different. After this transition, Aeptha plans to increase her teaching schedule.
Looking at this transition from a spiritual perspective, Aeptha said, “Light Haven is not buildings. It is not land. These have been vehicles that Light Haven has moved through, very worthy vehicles that I love.” Another source drives Light Haven, she said.
Aeptha expects that other forces will continue to drive Light Haven, “just in a different form.” She stressed the need to accept change, “Sometimes we do get attached to a certain way something looks.” That attachment can become so strong, “that it becomes fixed and it’s not allowed to grow and change.”