What’s on the Land?

RW Site Map0001If you’ve never been to Raven-Wolf or you’ve been there this year and all the rain has kept you from finding out what exists on the Land, I offer up this site map to show you what was recreated and is now in the process of being restored.

We’ve used the 16 acres that make up Raven-Wolf in what we considered the best possible way for both the enjoyment of its human members & guests and to keep as much of a “natural” energy to it for the pleasure of the wildlife that lives there all the time.

One of our policies has been to avoid cutting live trees whenever possible. If there’s any way to prevent that from happening, we try our best to use it. Right now, there is more than enough downed wood and dead trees to keep campfires burning for some time, we only need cut it.

At the turn of this century (I can’t believe I just said that!), we added a play area for children that included the building of playground equipment such as a teeter-totter, swings, and a slide. All these need painting and fixing but still exist in the area marked “P” on the map for future children to use.

Back in the woods, you will find the “Grandfather Tree”. This was the biggest tree left standing after the Land was logged out, before we bought it. The only thing that saved it is a huge burl on the tree. We’ve honored that tree by building a huge chair at its base for storytelling. There are/were small benches for children to sit on and listen to whomever would choose to be the storyteller.

Originally, the bonfire and drumming circle was in the Main Ritual Area, but because of our respect for those who need a little quiet in order to sleep themselves or get their children to sleep, the bonfire was moved to the back of the property in the area marked “K”. This area needs work. It hasn’t been high priority so far but we will get to it. There are even benches (that need painting) for those who come to enjoy the fire and the drumming to sit on!

There are three two-seater outhouses on the Land that we have hopes of converting to DYI composting operation some time soon. The one in the Main Ritual Area is under construction after being hit by a falling tree several years ago. These also need painting and are on our “To Do” list.

Besides the Main Ritual Area, where the Opening, Main, and Closing Rituals for the Summer Solstice Gathering are held, there is the Lower Ritual Circle that can be used for private rituals of either individuals or small groups. You’ll find it marked “L” on the map, near Registration.  Although a lot of clean-up has been done here, we still have a few things that need doing to make it usable again.

Most of the campers and cabins that exist on the Land need work done and there are a few of these that could be used/rented by people coming to spend time on the Land once they are restored. If you have an interest in restoring one of them for your own use or that of others, I would say contact Mary Borden about how to make that happen.

The hill that takes you from the entrance level of the Land to the upper level has been called “Dragon Hill” for years. More appropriately, it’s really “Draggin’ Hill” because if you walk it, it’s guaranteed your ass will be dragging when you get to the top! It’s a good healthy workout and after you’ve done it for a while, you can actually do it without puffing and panting.

Well, that’s a brief tour of Raven-Wolf. Here’s hoping your curiosity has been peaked enough to come and see it for yourself. Although it remains a ‘work in progress’ as we continue to restore it, it is beautiful and peaceful. Come visit, won’t you?

scan0009Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

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We Came, We Saw, We Painted!

DSCF0055It had been seven weeks since anyone had been to Raven-Wolf. It seemed like all we had done in April and May had been undone by Mother Nature Herself. Just like everywhere else in Ohio, plenty of rain had fallen creating glorious mud and lots of green growth as far as the eye could see.

There were only four of us this time, but we were determined to see how much we could do in the day we had allotted ourselves. So, it began with weed whacking to create spaces to stand in to paint the buildings and benches along with scraping and sweeping off the areas to be painted – beginning at the lower area of the Land.

We’d brought twelve gallons of paint, five brushes and a roller on a long pole. The storage shed and the lower outhouse were the first to be tackled. With all that rain, some areas of the buildings had to be left alone in hopes of drier times. For the most part, both received their first new coat of paint in more than a decade.

DSCF0057Once that was done, the three guys (Gary Herron, Del Smarr, Chris Peterson) went up the hill to work on the “Elder’s cabin”. More weed whacking was required to reach it and paint, but afterwards, well, it looked really good!

While they were up the hill, I started working on the registration area, including the picnic table that has sat there for probably 22 years. While I still need to paint the under side of the table, I think you’ll agree, it’s not looking too bad… DSCF0065

I pushed on next to the benches that sit around the communal fire. Having sat in all that rain, I was doubtful that they would be able to be painted at all. Fortunately, in the time it had taken to do the outhouse, shed and registration, the Sun had been shining down on them. Sadly, one of the benches, which I thought just had gotten a little moldy, had been invaded by ants and will have to have new back board put on it so there was no sense painting that one! Another bench remained too damp for painting, so I focused on the one that the Sun had dried out well. Granted, like the picnic table, the under side needs painting , but, this is the end result…

DSCF0064Not too bad, huh?

I walked up the hill to find that the guys had moved on to the what used to be the First-Aid deck. Although it didn’t get completed, a lot did get done and it looks good.

DSCF0060

So that was our day at Raven-Wolf. We got there a little before 10 a.m. and left a little after 5 p.m. feeling like we had really accomplished something.

There is still a great deal to be done. Regular mowing and trimming, buildings to be repaired, an outhouse to finish rebuilding, downed trees to cut up and dead trees to bring down and, of course, finishing first coats of paint and then putting on second coats. The list goes on.

While people say they want to see Raven-Wolf come alive again and be a place of gathering, it takes people being willing to come for even a few hours to make that dream a reality. I realize most people lead very busy lives these days. I do myself. Look what four of us accomplished in less than seven hours. If we can do that much with four people, imagine what we could do with eight, or twelve or sixteen people! Just in one day!!!

We have gone off the schedule of work weekends and are going when we have time. If you would be willing to come, even for just one day, please contact us. Let’s see if we can match your schedule with one of ours and continue to bring Raven-Wolf back to life so we can all enjoy meeting and sharing on this sacred site next year!

Until we meet again…

Peace and SerenityLove & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

Let Your Voice Be Heard, Let Your Words Be Read

Diary EntryThere is so much we could share here on this web site while we patiently wait for that time when we can gather together in person on Raven-Wolf Land. Everyone has something to share: a memory of past gatherings or work weekends; things they’ve learned from their experiences with primitive camping both on the Land and perhaps elsewhere; recipes they’ve tried over the fire and loved; herbal/natural cures and preventatives; experiences at other festivals and gatherings (whether good or bad) are also welcome; even hopes and dreams for a new, re-born Raven-Wolf and/ or Summer Solstice Gathering.

I, for one, would love to hear what others have to say. Even if you haven’t been down to the Land in years, or never been there yet, there are things you could share with the rest of us. Those who have said they would love to help, but health issues make them feel like they have little or nothing to contribute, can contribute by sharing your wisdom, your knowledge and your experiences with the rest of us. It will cost you nothing except for a little of your time along with a little energy typing on your keyboard.

No one person’s words are of greater value than any other person’s. We are here to share what we know and learn from what others know. That’s how strong community is created. Strong community would mean that Raven-Wolf would grow and flourish and be there for generations to come. It all begins with your involvement. Whether that  involvement is cutting wood, mowing grass, donating money, cooking a meal, or writing an article for the web site, it ALL matters.

So, the bottom line is, we want everyone to be part of this restoration and rebirth. Contributing an article is just one more way that you can be part of what is being done to bring back sacred space and strong community. Don’t tell yourself you have nothing to contribute. You do and you should.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you and read what you have chosen to share with the rest of us. Articles can be emailed to RavenWolfNature@aol.com . Go ahead…flood our inbox!!!

Writers WantedBlessed Be

Elder Maya