Sacred Space

scan0012I talk a lot about the Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary being “sacred space”, but what do I really mean by that? Is my definition of sacred space the same as yours? Because I believe in clarity of communication, I want to take some time here to explain my definition of sacred space and how I feels that applies to the Land that we call Raven-Wolf.

For decades I have belonged to a spiritual path whose foundation is Nature-based. Unlike many of the major religions, we don’t build separate edifices to worship in. At the most, we might have a room in our homes that is kept separate for spiritual purposes. Many have a corner in a room that they use. We would all much prefer to perform our rites of worship outside in our backyards. Sometimes that’s totally possible, sometimes it’s totally impossible. Whatever space we have, we consider it sacred. We do our best to keep it separate from those spaces that are mundane. When we cast our Circles, we are preparing the space we are in to become sacred for the rites of worship we are about to perform. This is our way of “building a temple.” It is a place of both worship and protection.

When we acquired our 16 acres, our intent was to provide a safe place for all those who call themselves Wiccans, Pagans, and by many other positive path names, to gather for the purpose of getting to know each other, sharing knowledge and performing ritual together. For those who didn’t have a backyard or couldn’t go out in theirs to perform rites of worship, this was to be that place where, at least a few times a year, people could come and be Wiccan, Pagan, magickal without fear of persecution.

To many of us, the Land became a 16-acre Circle – sacred space. As words from a ritual state, the Land became “a time that is not a time, a place that is not a place, a world separate and apart” and all done in honor of the Goddess and the God. The gate to the Land became the entrance to that Circle where you could (and should) leave all of mundania behind and enjoy the connection with Nature and your own spirit.

The Land is held in reverence and treated with respect. For all that it gives to us, we return that kindness with stewardship of the Land. Rituals are done on the Land on a fairly regular basis to keep it protected and safe. They are also done to ask for guidance from the Powers-That-Be, by whatever name you may choose to call them. We continue in our efforts to keep it something that exists beyond the mundane world. This is what I call “sacred space.”

It is hoped that you will come and experience it. See for yourself what is being recreated and restored. Come feel the magick that resides within Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, won’t you?

NatureIn Light and Love,

Elder Maya

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Passing the Torch

GG to RW Photos0009I first heard about the land about six or seven years ago. I was instantly enthralled by the stories, fellowship, purpose and hard work that went into this sacred land. The fact that the original “Goddess Gathering” got bumped from place to place, until its current location was found, and it being a permanent location always excited me. The fact that there is a sacred Pagan land to celebrate and honor the Goddess and nature that could be accessed more than just once a year made me think of the ancient days and the temples and sacred lands. Then I was instantly sadden when I heard that the land was not being used and was sitting stagnate for years.

Until earlier this year, when I heard that the land was going to be revitalized then I got excited and I wanted to do what I can to get the land back to what it used to be as a sacred gathering place, campground and a place for the Pagan community could gather in peace and get back in touch with nature. I wasn’t able to participate in the first few working weekends due to scheduling conflicts with work, but as soon as I could get down there I was amazed at all that I saw and the potential the Land had to return to what it once was. I brought some friends with me and they had a good time in sharing in fellowship camping and working the land. The three weekends in a row that we spent there so much happened. You could see paths again, camp sites were being cleared out and the upper and lower circle were cleared and could be used again.

In those three weekends I could feel the Land coming to life and being used and honored once again. My mentor and I did a fire protection spell at the lower circle and a wedding was held the following weekend at the upper circle. People enjoyed the camping, hiking and just the fellowship and being able to do work for the Land and see a huge difference then what the land started off with at the beginning of the year. I am truly blessed and honored to be able to do the worthwhile work it is taken to get the Land back to where it belongs. In the next month or two my friends and I are going to be working on painting the tables, cabins, picnic tables and everything else that needs painted there. We will also be clearing the rest of the paths ways to the grandfather tree, playground area and the bonfire area!

If you are looking for something to do on a weekend I recommend coming to the Land and help restore its beauty and energy that it holds. Even if its not for a whole weekend or even a whole day, it will be well worth the trip and the help will be appreciated. No matter what type of health condition you may be in or age we can use the help; even if its sitting at the pavilion keeping track of people coming and going, helping cook and prepare the community meals or helping the new people find paths and learning about the old stories; to taking down dead trees, mowing fields and shoveling rocks on the main path and entrance.

I hope to meet some of you wonderful people that I heard so many fun and good stories about and I hope to see some new blood on the land to help protect it and keep the land alive. Help us to keep the torch burning and passing it on to the next generation and those to come.

Goddess and God 2

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust,
Willow

A Raven-Wolf Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice - StonehengeAsk anyone who’s ever been to Raven-Wolf and they’ll tell you, “It’s all about Summer Solstice.” Before we ever had work/camping weekends; before there were smaller gatherings on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend; even before we ever own the Land, it was all about Summer Solstice.

Other Gatherings across the country seem to feel the same way too. Many are held on or near the Summer Solstice. “Why?” you may ask. I’m not sure of the answer but here’s my thinking. From a weather perspective, it’s kind of a “Goldilocks” time of the year. You know, “Not too hot, not too cold. Just right!” for gathering people together and having fun. From a spiritual, celebratory perspective, it’s the holy day that celebrates the Sun reaching it’s highest peak; the day being the longest day and the night, the shortest night of the year. Rituals were/are performed and bonfires lit in hopes that the Sun will not fade away and bring with its decline the cold and Winter. We all know this is just part of Nature’s cycle, but we celebrate, enjoying the warmth of the Sun while secretly hoping its warmth and light will stay just a little longer this year.

When we began Goddess Gathering so many years ago, we gave much thought to when the best time to hold such a gathering would be. May was still too chilly, often, and sometimes rainy still. July was usually too hot and dry to enjoy much of anything but sitting in the shade while drinking something nice and cold. Summer Solstice made perfect sense. That tradition has stuck for over 30 years now.

Once we got the Land, when the gates first opened in the Spring, until the week before Summer Solstice, we cleaned and straightened, mowed, sawed up downed wood all in preparation for the upcoming Summer Solstice Gathering. People planned workshops and rituals. We even had people who would assist with the potluck dinner that always took place after the Main Ritual on Saturday. We wanted people to come and enjoy themselves – to have a relaxing, spiritual experience.

This year, unfortunately, the Gathering we had hoped we would be ready for will have to wait for next year. Although progress continues, there is still much to be done. There are still downed trees to cut and stack the wood; areas to be cleared and mowed; buildings, benches, and picnic tables to be painted; cabins and campers to be cleaned, aired out and even restored. There is hope. We are motivated! We have a memory of what it was like and we would like to share that with newcomers and have former members return, even if for just one time.

We’ve discovered we can’t do this alone. The more hands, the quicker the work will go and the more ready we will be to start the actual plans for the “Grand Re-Opening” of Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary with our first Summer Solstice Gathering to be held there in quite a few years. We are very grateful for the help we have received from those who have driven as far as 3 ½ to 4 hours away to do whatever they could for a day or two. To be honest though, we could use more help.

If you would love to see an annual Pagan/Wiccan/Magickal Gathering take place annually in a wonderful wooded site, we invite you to be part of making that happen by joining us on one of the many work weekends scheduled for this year. You can find them listed on the left side of this page under “Events – 2015”. Know that everyone who comes and helps with the work that needs to be done gets credit toward membership fees for next year. The more you help, the more credit you get. While this is a great incentive, we hope you will come see the Land and feel the wonderful vibrations. It’s sure to make you fall in love with the place!

We are also very open and desirous of hearing what you would like to see happen at that grand re-opening gathering. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. If you would like to come and present a workshop, once again, contact us. We’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and suggestions.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Summer Solstice!!! Next year, let’s all gather at Raven-Wolf for one heck of a celebration! See you there!

Summer Solstice 2Blessed Be

Elder Maya

The Old Ways

My mother taught me how to can fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies. It was one of the most enduring skills that I’ve ever learned, still with me after 50 years. I am proud that I can store the food that I’ve grown. In the coming winter months it makes me feel secure knowing every ingredient that we’re eating as the North winds howl. I carry with me the memories of sweating over a hot August stove as the product of our efforts come out of the canner gleaming and colorful; the delightful pop that tells me the lids have sealed.

My grandmother Verna taught me how to sew; on an old treadle Singer, believe it or not. I learned about life from those lessons. How patterns come in pieces, like puzzles, and how to use a discerning eye to fit them together to make a whole. How to use the tools available and stitch slowly with love to find the beauty in a particular piece.

Life experiences have taught me that “it takes a village…”. Elders hand down  knowledge of how to be self-sustaining and keep alive the inner workings of where our food comes from and how to live productively for the betterment of the community. Sharing our own unique skills to barter or buy those things that we ourselves cannot produce creates a web of inter-connectivity that expands our prosperity exponentially.

For me, Raven-Wolf represents spiritual community. For those who shed blood, sweat and tears to heal the Land, the gift of the healing of Spirit is given. We can touch the earth and hear Her singing, filling us with the joy of a job well done, and in the touching we connect with each other.

It is primitive camping when we stay overnight. There is no electricity, and only a hand pump for water. This may seem like an imposition, but it only seems that way. There is much to be said for the concept of struggle. Working hard at doing things the old way causes us to dig deeper within ourselves, to learn about where we come from. In turn we can begin to see where we are going.

A lot of the “primitive” skills are being lost to technology and convenience and I think a lot more than canning, sewing, hunting, building shelters and connections to Nature are going by the wayside. While it is easier now to buy our food in the stores, get our clothes off the rack, and watch “church” on tv, the interconnection and true interdependance are atrophying.

We are people of the Old Ways, worshipping the Old Ones through Nature and connection. Even though many of us are in a place where we can’t build our own furniture or can our own tomatoes, we can still remember to keep in touch with the concept of self-sustanence through community involvement. Whether it be shoveling gravel at the entrance to Raven-Wolf, taking a meal to a shut-in, or a donation to the local shelter, keep in mind that these are your fellow travelers.

We need each other. Our Mother calls to us as Her children to behold each other with reverence, as well as mirth; to share with each other our love for Her and with ourselves; to keep pure our highest ideals; and to Remember the Old Ways.

Blessed Be,
Lady CrowW

GARAGE SALE!!!

In a continuing effort to raise money for the repair and rebuilding that need to happen on the Land, but also new tools and other equipment, Lady CrowW has gone through her Altar equipment and donated many nice pieces for fund-raising.

All these items are in an “as is” condition with “very good” being the key phrase in explaining that condition. You will find no prices as we would like to offer you the opportunity to be as generous as your purse or wallet allows. Please make an offer by number and realize that, should we have to ship them to you, costs for postage and packaging should be included.

Here’s what we have to offer you: (If you click on the pictures, you will see a enlarged view of them. If you are viewing this on our web site, you will have to use your browser’s “Back” button to return to the article. Thank you.)

DSCF0009There deep red Chalices have a clear stem and base. They stand 7 ¼” tall with a 4” Chalice mouth. They have a nice weight to them.

DSCF0012These olive green Chalices have a mottled effect to them. They stand 7 ½” tall and have a Chalice mouth of 4”.

DSCF0013There are three of these green oak leaf Chalices, which we would like to sell together. They stand 6 ½” tall with a 4 ¼” mouth. They are heavy in weight.

DSCF0014Lavender glass stands on top of clear stems and bases with these 6 ½” Chalices that have a 4’ mouth opening.

DSCF0047Black fluted glass Chalices that stand 6” high with a 3 ½” mouth. These are a sturdy weight and very pretty.

DSCF0016Light-weight green glass Chalices are trimmed with gold rims. They stand 7” high and have a 2 ¾” mouth opening.

DSCF0017There are 3 of these clear glass Chalices that have 2 ¾’ mouth openings that are rimmed in gold. A white winter snow scene adorns each. They stand 8” high.

DSCF0050Light-weight, smoky gray glass. These Chalices stand 6 ½” tall and have a 3 ¼’ mouth opening.

DSCF0046Made of black glass, these Chalices are two sizes. One stands 9” tall with a 2 ½” mouth, while the other is 10” tall with a 2 ¾” mouth. Light in weight, they are very nice.

DSCF0018White wood candlesticks that stand 7 ¼” tall are made for tapers and would look nice on any Altar.

DSCF0019Hefty-weight brass candlesticks. They stand 6 ¼” tall and are nice for holding tapers.

DSCF0020These two 4” high clear glass candlesticks would look nice holding tapers on anyone’s Altar.

DSCF0021Black metal candlesticks made for holding pillar candles. They stand 3 ¾” high and would easily hold a 3” pillar candle.

DSCF0049These wonderful acorn and oak leaf taper candlesticks are made of metal, but it’s unknown what kind. They would be great for a Fall ritual!

DSCF0024Green glass candlesticks that stand 4 ½” tall and are made for tapers. Very nice.

DSCF0025These black glass candleholders could be used as mini Chalices! They stand 4 ½” high and are used for votive candles. (Two votives are included.)

DSCF0026Brass and steel Athame with blue decorating the sheath and a blue stone on top of the hilt. It has a 5” blade of stainless steel and is 9” overall. The sheath has a clip on the back for wearing on belt, boot or Cingulum. For ritual purposes only.

DSCF0027Nice sounding brass Bell. It stands 6 ½” high.

DSCF0028Smaller brass Bell stands 2 ½” high. Has a tinkling sound to its ring. Would be great for a portable ritual kit.

DSCF0029DSCF0030Beautiful blue and gold wooden (we think) box. It measures 6”H x 9”W x 6” D. The clasp is brass

DSCF0031This clear glass vase would be nice for a flower or two on your Altar. It stands 9” tall.

DSCF0032Slightly different in shape, this is also a clear glass vase. It stands 9 ½” tall.

DSCF0033Handmade wooden Paten created from a slab of wood. It measures 10 ½”.

DSCF0034White opaque glass oak leaf Chalice stands 6 ½’ high and has a 4 ¼” mouth opening.

DSCF0035This solitary white ceramic candleholder stands 4 ½” tall and will easily hold a 4” pillar candle.

DSCF0036Made of olive green class, this oak leaf bowl stands 5 ½” tall and has a 6 ¼” mouth. By placing sand in it, it could be used as a Thurible.

DSCF0037This oak leaf bowl very much resembles the one above having the same dimensions, but being Spring green in color.

DSCF0038Pale green in color, this glass candlestick will easily hold a 3” pillar candle. It stands 4 ¾” high.

DSCF003910 ½” tall, clear glass decanter would work well for wine or water!

DSCF0040Native American shaman/medicine man stands 10 ½” high. Made of either wood or polymer, it is definitely not ceramic.

DSCF0041This white ceramic basket is not solid. It would make a nice bowl or basket for offerings on an Altar.

DSCF0042Heavy weight, clear glass candleholder looks like a glacier (pretty cool). It stands 3” high and will hold a 1” pillar candle or votive.

DSCF0043Metal Star tree-topper could also be an Altar decoration. It stand 12 ¼” high and has 12 stars cut into it. There is a 1 ½” opening in the stem for placement on a tree.

Well, that’s it for now. There may be a few other items added later. If you are interested in any of these items, remember to use the number listed with them when you contact us. You can reach us on Facebook at either “Memories of Raven-Wolf” or “Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary”. You can also email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. You can also contact me either on Facebook (Samantha Herron) or email me at Durga1974@aol.com

Please be sure to share this with others! Thanks, in advance, for your contribution to the growth and revitalization of a wonderful sacred space!

God & Goddess

Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya