It all began in 1982 as a desire to create and put forth an annual Summer Solstice gathering for Pagans, Wiccans and those following other magickal/nature-oriented paths.
We called it Goddess Gathering and the first one was held in 1983 at the primitive group camp area of Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio. There were only 65 people in attendance but it was great!
The following year we were at Lake Hope State Park and then the State Parks wouldn’t rent to us so we turned to a privately owned ski resort in Logan, Ohio where we spent the next five years.
By the end of the seventh year of Goddess Gathering, we had over 200 people in attendance and we were known nationwide. However, the owner had decided to sell the ski resort, so, once again, we were faced with the search for land to hold the Gathering.
We had made a profit every year so it wasn’t a question of money to rent land. It was a question of where we could rent so that we could worship the Goddess and Her Consort and commune with Nature and each other without too many restrictions. The state parks didn’t want to rent to “our kind” anymore and trying to find a private place was next to impossible. What to do? What to do?
We decided it was time to search for our own land. Thanks to some former Temple members, we found some land in SE Ohio. It was badly in need of healing. When we saw it in October, 1989, it had just be logged out by a commercial logging company that Spring. The best way I can describe it is that the land had been raped. No other words can begin to describe the devastation that was left in the wake of the prime wood being harvested by a commercial logging company.
We placed a down payment on it, with a two-year land contract, and prayed for the rest to fall into place. We were now the owners of 16 acres of rural land. The problem was the amount of work that would need to be done before the next Gathering could occur. We didn’t even have a driveway to get into the land from the road. Then there was the question of clearing land for camping and, at the very least, creating outhouses for the many that might attend.
Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary became the manifestation of a dream of many who wanted a place to worship and celebrate with like-minded people in privacy without fear of prejudice. For about a quarter of a century, it was just exactly that and more.
Now, the Gatherings have ceased to exist and the land lies fallow. Many who were members and guests there have lost touch with each other. Some who were a big part of building and maintaining the land as well as facilitating the Gatherings have crossed the Bridge of Light.
Some of us who have fond remembrances of the people and events that took place there chose to create a Facebook page called “Memories of Raven-Wolf”. It was on this page that we started reconnecting and talking. From that came the idea of a reunion and from that came the realization that the Land still needed us and we still wanted to be there.
We are now beginning a new journey – one that brings Raven-Wolf back to life; where the Land will be taken care of; where gatherings will be held once more and, hopefully, where a new generation of Wiccan, Pagans and other magickal people will find the joy that we’ve known through the experience of being there. We invite you to join us as we resurrect this very magickal and spiritual place.