Have you ever been to a Pagan festival? Or have you yet to experience one? If you have been to one, is there any one thing that was your favorite experience? If you haven’t been to one, what do you look forward to experiencing?
Our history began at the primitive group camp area in Hocking Hills State Park as “Goddess Gathering” in June, 1983. It was an awesome experience just in the fact that we attracted 65 people to join us. Then there was the rituals, the workshops, the vendors, and the wonderful experience of meeting and getting to know new like-minded people.
Much like now, there were only a few of us to put on this event so some us did double and triple duty. Oh, but it was so worth it! We greeted everyone who came and asked if they needed any help getting set up. Then Opening Ritual was held the first day. This was followed on Saturday night with the Main Ritual followed by a potluck feast. In between, there were workshops, campfires and drumming. It truly was an event that left a continuous smile on your face. We all hated to see it end.
The next year was at another state park and that was followed by five years at a local ski resort where our attendance grew to around 250 people. The experience of the ski resort sort of spoiled us. There were showers and flush toilets along with a lodge that had a fully functioning kitchen where breakfasts could be made and served. It was here we held the “Pagan Olympics” with unique events that brought laughter and fun to the event. We even bought used trophies from places like Goodwill to give to the winners. It was a great time!
Then, due to the owner wanting to sell his property, we had to seek another site. This lead us to the Land we call Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. Just before Hallowmas/Samhain, 1989, we signed the contract to buy our 16 acres.
Many of the people who had so enjoyed the conveniences of our former site didn’t return – after all, we had become very primitive. Still, we persevered and began to attract a whole new crowd of people who didn’t seem to mind our primitive nature that much and were willing to help in our efforts to improve the site.
The first Goddess Gathering was held here in June, 1990 and the Goddess blessed and purified the Land that year with lots and lots of rain. That rain, as miserable as it was at times, brought us together. It provided situations that allowed us to help each other – whether that was making a food & ice run or helping push someone’s car up or down the hill in the mud. It was heartwarming to see these “strangers” come together, making the best of a not-so-nice situation.
In the years that followed, we continued the tradition of an Opening, Main and Closing ritual. The Main Ritual Feast, that follows the Main Ritual, continued to be potluck and was enjoyed by most everyone. Later, there was the bonfire! Dancing, drumming, and just enjoying the company of each other and the Land itself…magickal! Of course, there were still workshops and we had a few vendors as well.
Now we are beginning again. This year, there will be no formal gatherings as we try to bring the Land back into shape so that we may once again come together to teach, learn, drum, dance, eat, drink, laugh, cry, and worship together.
During this year, we want to get to know you and you get to know us. We want to hear your ideas and what you would like to experience when, once again, the festivals begin. We would also like to hear any ideas that you have concerning the repair and improvement of the Land and that includes fund-raising ideas.
This is sacred space that is here for the use and enjoyment of all who come to it. We want it to be an experience to remember and a reason to return!
Once again, 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.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!!!