Awakenings

“We look upon the sun and we rejoice in it’s renewal.
Come! Enter our Circle.
Be with us!”

This land, this nature sanctuary, this place of community, is sanctified by the blood, sweat and tears of those who have gone before. We are not there now; the snows and bitter cold gives the earth down time, a time of rest before renewal.

But I can imagine the first stirrings that signal the coming season. The earth shivers quietly, shaking awake those seedlings that came to rest in the fall. The renewal of the sun spreads a growing warmth to the tree tops, sending messages down through the trunk, through the roots and into the soil that holds the memories of our ancestors. Soon! Soon the awakening!

There is power in those memories waiting to be tapped and recycled, drawn up with our ritual and veneration, with our blessings and our work. Raven-Wolf is definitely a labor of love and as with the season, there is a quickening now. An anticipation for the rebirth of sanctuary.

scan0002 (2)By the time we open the Land, the trees will be budding. Grass will appear in patches and having been fed by the leaves of the fall, the brilliant green of Spring will be more than a promise of things to come. And through the still bare branches, the sun will warm us.

The excitement builds as the first tents are pitched. Checking in at the front gate scan0012we will be greeted with a smile and a hearty welcome home! On any part of the property the building sense of community can be felt. Old friends greet one another and new friends are gathered in with hugs.

scan0017During the day we work as a team to chop wood and carry water, all the while laughing over mishaps or crying for the loss of loved ones who could not make it this year.

 

scan0007And we will stand together in the Circle, giving thanks to the Holy Ones for the gifts of Nature and spirit, without judgement, leaving behind us, for awhile, the concerns of the mundane world and refreshing our bond to Mother Earth.

 

Spring is coming. My thermometer reads 0 degrees right now, but I know that Spring is coming. I’m digging out my gardening gloves, checking the tent to be sure it’ll keep me dry, and planning easy meals. The gates will open in just over a month.

Are you ready? Looking forward to meeting you there!

 

Lady CrowW

 

 

 

 

 

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Into the Woods!

Only 32 more days until Spring arrives! Only a few weeks after that the first work weekend will take place on Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. For some of us, that means checking to make sure we have everything we need to work and camp on site. For those who have never been there or may have never been in a more primitive camping situation, you may be wondering what the necessities are for such an event.

Spring on the Land is unpredictable. “April showers bring May flowers.” It can be snowy, rainy and/or warm. A good warm coat and a sturdy pair of boots or work shoes will serve you well. If you get cold or chilled easily, you may even want to consider a pair of thermal underwear. Bringing along a rain poncho is always a good idea just in case those April showers show up. Warm gloves are a good idea but so are work gloves to keep your hands clean and protected.

Poison oak, ivy, & sumacRaven-Wolf does have poison ivy and poison oak on it. If you are allergic to either or both, you may want to start a regime of vitamin C to boost your immune system about a week before coming. Be sure to pack calamine lotion or any other treatments you use for such occasions, along with a small first-aid kit and something for headaches and just plain aches and pains from working hard.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend a great deal of time cooking. Bring foods that are easy: canned chili, baked beans, chunky soups, hot dogs that can be cooked over an open fire, etc. All these, and more, are quick and satisfying. Which also means you need to pack utensils for cooking and eating, matches to light a fire, and drinking water (until we get the hand-pumped well retested). We ask that whatever you pack in, you pack back out with you.
We’re hoping to have at least one “potluck” on these weekends, but that’s all very much in the planning stages right now. Keep watching for more news on this.

Be aware that if you plan on camping overnight, you will need a tent and a good warm sleeping bag. The few cabins that we have on the Land are in dire need of cleaning and repair so they will probably not be available for use.

Raccoon PantsBeing a nature sanctuary, there are wild animals on the Land. Although there are no bear or large wild cats, there are raccoons, deer, squirrel and bats. In the case of the raccoons, you will want to make your food supply unreachable either by placing it in your car at night, with the windows rolled all the way up, or in a storage trunk or container that is “child-proof”. Raccoons are very clever and can open many types of containers when they suspect food is inside.
We ask that you don’t bring any pets or animals with you. Our first priority is the animals that are already living and using Sanctuary Land. Besides, these are work weekends for humans. Bringing your pets along isn’t fair to them or to the other humans who may have allergies or fears concerning them.

scan0008Although plans for the future include composting toilets for several sites on the Land, right now we have outhouses. These also need cleaning up and fixing up. Something is better than nothing, but bring toilet paper with you!

Speaking of all this cleaning and fixing up, if you have any tools such as rakes, shovels, saws, etc. that you would be willing to bring with you, we would greatly appreciate it. This goes for chainsaws, weed-whackers, and lawn mowers as well. Right now, until we get firmly on our feet again, we will take all the help you are willing to lend us!

CampfireIt’s not all work though. We do have fun, especially after the day’s work is done. We gather around campfires to talk, laugh and get to know each other. I’ve made many a friend around those fires and gotten to better know the ones I was already acquainted with.

scan0003When you come to the Land, be sure to stop at the registration area – just inside the gate on the left-hand side, to sign in. The gates will be closed and locked at night to keep curiosity-seekers out, usually around 8 p.m.

For those who have never been to the Land before, you may request directions by sending a SASE to: Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, P.O. Box 61, New Straitsville, OH 43766.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to RavenWolfNature@aol.com We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Until we meet on the Land…

Blessed Be
Elder Maya
Samantha Herron

Countdown to Sanctuary!

Greetings, everyone!  Here we are in the second week of February and although many of us still have snow on the ground our thoughts are probably turned toward warmer weather and the opening of Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary!

Behind the scenes there is a flurry of activity. Our coordinator, Mary Borden, is bringing together all the necessary pieces that make up a cohesive plan. Board of trustees, Land Committees, and Maintenance are but three of the groups that will work together, along with those of us who are willing to put our energies into cleaning up Raven-Wolf and making it a safe place to worship and commune with Nature and those of like mind.

Many hands are needed in this effort. We are tentatively planning to open up scan0009 (2)work weekends some time in April and there are many projects to be accomplished. Downed trees need to be cleared and cut up for firewood, outhouses need rebuilding, buildings need repairing, mowing, weed-whacking; whoa, sounds like a lot of heavy labor!!

scan0009But wait, there’s more…if you, like me, have physical limitations that preclude helping with the heavy stuff, there are still many things that we can do. Cooking meals, coordinating raffles (goodies abound!), paperwork, sweeping, painting, picking up sticks; the list goes on. I was a part of the Land many years ago and I can attest to the fact that there is always something for someone to do on work weekends. And if you can’t be there, a financial donation is always welcome.

After a day’s work, sitting around a beautiful campfire next to old friends and new is a reward in and of itself. No sound of traffic, no nosy neighbors, and a place to speak freely about our spirituality, the next sabbat, or the latest ritual, this part of Mother Earth becomes a home away from home. ‘It takes a village’, so the saying goes, and those of us who have been around for a while look forward to those “new friends”. We hope you’ll join us.

If you are interested in working with us as we rebuild this community, send an email to ravenwolfnature at aol dot com for more information, or join us on our Facebook pages at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary or Memories of Ravenwolf.

 

Many Blessings,

Lady CrowW
Selena Wolff-Mason