By David Salisbury
For nearly a year, PNC-DC has been reporting on the announcement and progress of the New Alexandrian Library – a Pagan library project at Seelie Court in Delaware. This week, a huge step in the construction process took place as workers laid the foundation for the physical structure. I was able to briefly speak with ASW elder Michael Smith on the process. Additional information on the building was given by Jim Dickinson, the NAL’s Project Construction Manager.
CapitalWitch – Recently the foundation for the library site was poured. Can you describe what that process was like?
Michael Smith – It was actually a several stage process. First the footers were poured and a riser wall was constructed to make sure that the finished floor would be above the 100-year flood-water estimates. We want to make sure everything we are entrusted with is kept safe for the ages! After the foundation was backfilled to ensure a minimum 4” floor pad, we held a ritual to seed the floor area with crystals charged at the Between the Worlds rituals in 2004 and 2007, waters collected from the sacred sites around the planet, and crystals charged by supporters of the project over the years. The floor pad was then poured over all those charged sacrifices and blessings. It is just amazing how much energy people have given in support of this project through the years, in anticipation of this manifestation, and we are so grateful that it continues!
CW – Are there any obstacles such as weather that pose challenges?
MS – The construction process can be unpredictable – as anyone who has ever built their own home knows! After the necessary permits were obtained (a daunting process in itself!), the weather was our most difficult challenge. There were alternating periods of extreme heat and then strings of days when rain prevented work. Temperature is very important when pouring concrete and too much heat can cause all sorts of issues: early set of the concrete, inadequate time to work it properly and ensure air bubbles are floated out and the pad cures level. Today, we got very lucky in that the temperature was much lower than predicted a few days ago. The decision was make by the contractor and the masons at 5:30 a.m. this morning. The floor is in, beautifully flat and curing well!
CW – The laying of the foundation seems like an exciting step both physically and spiritually. Was there or will be any additional magickal prep-worked involved in the setting of the foundation or the raising of the walls?
MS – As mentioned above, sacred waters from around the world, sacred protective objects and crystals charged for this very purpose at our Between The Worlds gatherings’ main rituals in 2000, 2004, and 2007 are placed throughout the foundation. This work was designed to root all of the power and intention we have raised to support the Library over the years. Additional ritual and magickal work will be done at each step of the construction. The specific dome construction allows us to place objects and implant workings into each seam between the triangles – to help the project grow and prosper each step of the way.
CW – What are the next steps for the structure of the building?
MS – After the pad is full cured, the contractor will begin assembling the vertical riser walls. Then he will use a small crane to lift the triangle components into place. It is then that we will be able to see the ‘dome’ take form! Soon after, the standard wood construction bits will be put in (and windows and doors installed) – and we will have a strong, durable, long-lasting concrete vault for the collection!
CW – Do you expect the upcoming stages to move forward in the time frame you anticipated?
MS – Giving a couple of days here and there – to deal with future weather issues – we are expected to be right on schedule! The dam has broken and the energy of this project is flowing from Yesod to Malkuth in a free and beautiful way! The building will be done on schedule. We have great confidence in our contractor and appreciate his desire to make sure things are done right and well, even if it take a little longer than expected. We expect the Library to be around for many, many, many decades and recognize the need for the beginnings, and there will be many, to be as considered and grounding as possible.
Then begins the hard work of outfitting it to display and maintain the collections in peak condition: shelving, digital media equipment, etc. It is a very exciting time and there are small hoards of people that cannot wait to get into the nuts and bolts details of outfitting a state-of-the-art esoteric research library!
CW - Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MS – We need continued donations of money! We will, of course, release a complete accounting of the project and an official audit of the project by an outside firm. We want everyone to know we are using your donations wisely and responsibly!
New Alexandrian Library is a Dream whose time is now. Now, more than ever, we need the continued support of the communities and individuals the NAL is being built to serve. Please donate!
Any monetary donation, no matter how small, is needed now as the project progresses. One can donate through the NAL’s website or through the Causes campaign ‘Support the New Alexandrian Library.’
Please, spread the word of this important project to one’s communities and friends. And look for more exciting news and additional ways that people can help the New Alexandrian Library in the near future.