Ask 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!