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10 Days & Counting Until Goddess Gathering!

Hard to believe, but it’s true! Summer Solstice is just ten days away and so is the beginning of the 2nd Annual Goddess Gathering. After an absence of over ten years, we’ve returned to the sacred space known as Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary to celebrate the Solstice and we invite you to come join in the celebration!

We’ve already got people coming from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and, of course, Ohio. There’s still plenty of room on our 16-acre site for people looking to celebrate the Summer Solstice with like-minded people. So no matter when you decide you might want to check us out, you can register at the gate. There are prices for the entire event or day passes, if you just want to come for a day. Children under 18 are free.

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If you do decide to come for the entire event, and you’ve never been primitive camping, I’m sharing some information I shared a couple of years ago from a book called Roughing It Easy. The book was originally published back in 1975 and was authored by Dian Thomas. At the time, the Washington Post called it, “A camper’s bible!” Maybe that’s because it was written by an outdoor woman from Utah. All I know is it was and still is a valuable book to have around if you’ve never been camping or haven’t been in quite a while.

One of the valuable pieces of information she shares is how to make a bed roll, in case you don’t have a sleeping bag, have no one to borrow one from, and/or can’t afford to buy one. It goes like this:
*Tape a tarp on the ground and spread one blanket over it.
*Lay the outside edge of a second blanket down the center of the first so that it is halfway off the first.
*Lay a third blanket over the first and a fourth blanket over the second.
(If you desire more blankets, continue in the same manner.)
*If you desire a sheet, lay it down as the last blanket.
*To close the bedroll, take the outside edge of the top blanket and bring it to its other edge. Continue overlapping blankets until the bedroll is completely folded. To close the bottom, fold it under 3” and pin it in several places. (See figure below.)

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My only addition to this is that, since a ground cloth is essential to keeping yourself and your bedding free of ground moisture, you should wrap the bedroll in that tarp. It will keep it clean and dry while you transport it. Sleeping on the ground is tough so you may want to bring an air mattress, cot, or at least a foam pad to put underneath you to make things a little more comfortable. Don’t forget your pillow!

The author has offered different lists for a camper, whether first time or seasoned, to consider – most are pretty practical, but things that could be forgotten. For example, under “Personal Equipment List”, she lists clothing, sleeping equipment, but also personal items like a comb, a mirror, towel, washcloth, toothbrush and paste. She also has a “miscellaneous” list that includes camera, chapstick, first-aid kit, flashlight (so important down on the Land), any meds you may take, pocket knife, sun glasses and a musical instrument (you never know what may happen around a bon-fire!)

She then moves on to her “General Camping Equipment” list. She makes two suggestions here: 1) take as little as possible; 2) take equipment that can be used in different ways and later discarded such as cans and foil. For basic equipment, she suggests:
*A hatchet or axe
*A blade saw or a string saw
*Tarps and/or ground cloths
*Ponchos
For fire equipment:
*A shovel and water bucket (in case of fire)
*Leather, heavy cotton or asbestos gloves (for handling hot objects
such as logs, pans, or foil-wrapped food placed in the fire for cooking)
Basic cooking equipment:
*A good skillet or Dutch oven
*A grill or grating (to place over the fire to cook)
*Can opener (don’t know how often this is forgotten!)
*Knives
*Spatula
*Toasting forks
Other suggestions include:
*A dish pan
*Dish soap
*Trash bags
* Paper towels
* Paper plates, cups, and utensils (especially if you don’t like dishwashing)
*Aluminum foil

The lists go on, but you get the idea and I’ve listed some very bare necessities that are often forgotten.

So what makes us so primitive? There’s no electricity of any kind, at this time. Plans for the future, when funds and hands are available, include solar for lighting and also for things like CPAP machines for those who need them when sleeping.

Although we do have one outhouse that is fitted for composting, we have two others that still await that conversion and are very much “outhouses”.

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Water on the Land comes from a hand-pumped well at the bottom of the hill close to Registration. Although the water has been drunk by those of us who have frequented the Land for decades, since it is an open well, we are required to post the sign you see below by the Health Dept. The water is good for drinking, cooking, and washing. If you feel you would rather not drink from it, then you will need to bring drinking water with you.

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Being a nature sanctuary, there are wild animals on the Land. Although there are no bear or large wild cats, there are raccoons, deer, squirrel and bats. In the case of the raccoons, you will want to make your food supply unreachable either by placing it in your car at night, with the windows rolled all the way up, or in a storage trunk or container that is “child-proof”. Raccoons are very clever and can open many types of containers when they suspect food is inside.

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We ask that you don’t bring any pets or animals with you. Our first priority is the animals that are already living and using Sanctuary Land. Besides, this is a celebration for humans. Bringing your pets along isn’t fair to them or to the other humans who may have allergies or fears concerning them.

Raven-Wolf does have poison ivy and poison oak on it. If you are allergic to either or both, you may want to start a regime of vitamin C to boost your immune system about a week before coming. Be sure to pack calamine lotion or any other treatments you use for such occasions, along with a small first-aid kit and something for headaches and just plain aches and pains from working hard. Bug repellent is also a good idea.

Poison oak, ivy, & sumac

We ask that anything you pack in, you pack out when you leave. Keep watch on all fires you build – make sure they do not flame so high as to burn the trees and make sure they are out when you leave. We very much appreciate your time, efforts and cooperation!

If you think you might want to come, and aren’t sure how to get there, contact us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com and we’ll email you PDF copies of 2 maps on how to find us!

Anticipation builds… Come join in the fun!!!

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Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

Memorial Day Memories

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The traditional meaning of Memorial Day is to honor the memory of those who served and fought to protect our freedoms. My intention here is to take nothing from that traditional meaning but to add another – to honor the memory of the so very many who came to the call of the Goddess, God, and the Land itself at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary.

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The beginning days were tough with no road in, lots of forest and few camping spots, and land that had been ravage by a logging company to remove all the old trees for the lumber they could provide. Many would have thought it an impossible job with few people, even fewer power tools, and weather that often worked against us. However, the Spirit that moved on that Land and through the people couldn’t be stopped.

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Without those who came and donated their time and energies, Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary wouldn’t exist. So it is here, on this very special weekend, I would like to remember all those who contributed to the Land, whether it was physically, emotionally, spiritually or all three, the impact you made with your efforts will never be forgotten.

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Without mentioning names, I share some pictures of those times. Not everyone who added their energies is pictured here. Some, at the time, preferred not to be photographed. Just the same, you and all the rest will forever have the gratitude of the rest of us for all you did.

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While some have crossed the Bridge of Light, others have moved on with their lives, or are no longer in a position to be part of Raven-Wolf. You are missed and your energies will never be forgotten.

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As we began to rebuild, it became evident the time has come for a new generation to add their energies and become part of this wonderful sacred space. The Goddess, God and the Land call to you and, somewhere out there, there will be those who hear the call and answer to create new energies and make new memories.

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Love and Blessed Be

38 Days until Goddess Gathering!!!

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Time is moving so fast! Although the Winter was very gentle to the Land, there’s still work to be done to get ready . We welcome any and all who might want to add their energies to the continuing restoration of this sacred space.

There are two consecutive work/camping weekends coming up – May 19 – 21 and Memorial Day weekend – May 26 – 29. These are the weekends when a large portion of the maintenance and preparation take place for the upcoming Goddess Gathering event. Remember that camping is free for both weekends in exchange for your help .

The big project for the next weekend involves a dumpster and the disposing of many years of debris that accumulated while the Land sat fairly dormant. We consider this to be both a physical act and a magickal one as well. Not only does it help restore the Land to its former beauty, but it sweeps away the vibrations of the old to make room for the new. With this act of compassion and caring, Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary is reborn and opened to infinite possibilities of a new generation of magickal and nature-loving people.

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As you can see from the above picture, what must be disposed of has at least made it down the hill to where the dumpster will be delivered this coming week. All it takes now is willing hands to take it from this pile and place it into the dumpster so that it can be taken from the Land both physically and vibrationally. Your help would be most appreciated.

Besides this project, mowing, weed whacking, clearing paths, opening campsites, cutting wood, creating wood piles, and more are waiting for hands to help accomplish the tasks. Even cooking a meal for those working or sitting at the gate to welcome those arriving counts as helping out! Don’t forget that your help this year counts towards a discount to Goddess Gathering 2018!

So, if you’re looking for something to do for the next weekend or two and are willing to help out in exchange for free camping and discounts to the next year’s Goddess Gathering event, contact Mary T. Borden at marymom1@earthlink.net or 740-241-9340 for gate opening times.

Just a reminder to those who are thinking of coming to this year’s Goddess Gathering: You can register at the gate, but if you’d like to take care of the paperwork early, all mailed registrations must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2017 so we have time to send your confirmation letter and maps to you.

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Young or old, when you pitch in and help, the Land helps you to rest very well….anywhere!

Love and Blessed Be

Elder Maya

Goddess Gathering Draws Closer

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As you can see, from the picture, things are really greening up down at Raven-Wolf. To quote Coordinator Mary T. Borden, “It is Spring and everything is springing up and trying to reach over our pathways.”

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There are a few branches down as well on some of the paths to cabins and elsewhere so work was done to start clearing these away and overhanging branches also. Thanks to Barbara and Starla for their help with this!

54 days to go!!! So as the countdown continues to Summer Solstice and Goddess Gathering, there’s another work/camping weekend coming up on May 5 – 7. That’s when all the power equipment returns and the first mowing of the season will take place. There will be more clearing of paths and overhanging branches. Maintaining safe walking paths are a priority on the Land along with clearing the driveways for people, especially coming up the hill.

The early registration discount for Goddess Gathering expires in a couple of days so if you’re thinking of attending and want to save some money, get your registration in right away!!! Registration forms can be found on the web site under “Goddess Gathering” and then “Festival Registration Form.” For now we can only take checks, money orders or cash (Do NOT send cash through the mail!).

Goddess Gathering registrations will still be accepted by mail postmarked no later than June 1, 2017, for anyone who wants to make sure they have a spot and have less to do upon arrival – all you’ll have to do is present your Confirmation Letter at the Registration site. Registrations now, whether by mail or on site, are:

ENTIRE FESTIVAL : JUNE 21-25, 2017 (5 days)
After April 30, 2017 – $60 per person

FESTIVAL DAY RATES:
After April 30, 2017 – $20 per day per person

***Children under the age of 18 are FREE!***

MAIN RITUAL POTLUCK FEAST:
Bring a dish or pay $10 per person

VENDORS: While you still have to pay the regular registration fee to attend Goddess Gathering, there are no additional registration fees for vendors and we DO NOT ask for a percentage of your sales!!! We will, however, be asking you to donate a sale item for an auction to raise money for Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary that will be held during the festival.

We are still actively seeking Workshop Presenters and Entertainers. If you have a subject that you would like to present in the format of an hour long workshop or you have a talent that you would like to provide enjoyment for others with, we invite you to go to the Workshop & Entertainment Application form (click on that title to the left of this page), fill out the form and send it back to us. We will then confirm whether you have a spot for Goddess Gathering 2017. Here’s your incentive to get involved: If you are willing to put on two one-hour workshops OR give one full hour of entertainment, we will give you FREE admission to the Gathering!!!

Remember, we have a contact page on the web site now if you have questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you. Even better… we’d love to see you and meet you for one of the work/camping weekends or at Goddess Gathering itself!

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Love & Blessed Be

Countdown to Goddess Gathering!

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Last weekend was the first work/camping weekend at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. A rainy Friday and some chilly nights left a small group to do a walk-through to assess the Winter’s damages. I’m happy to say that they were almost non-existent! Other than a branch down across a path leading to one of the cabins, everything was pretty much as it had been left.

For us, that’s really good news. Since the rebuilding, rejuvenating, and general maintenance started in 2014, Winters have generally meant clearing away and cleaning up from the dormant time before work could continue on the projects to bring the Land back to its former stature. So, “Thank you, Lady and Lord and anyone else who had a hand in being gentle to our sacred land!”

Guess what? We’re only 67 days from the next Goddess Gathering! Yeah, I know, that’s pretty amazing! Our coordinator, Mary T. Borden, would like to see a lot of improvements take place between now and then. What we need are willing hands to help. Yes, we are a primitive site with a hand-pump well and latrines, but there have been many who have spent some pretty wonderful times on that Land and never felt uncomfortable because everyone pitched in to help. We’re looking for more of those kind of people to come and be part of this sacred space that we call Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary.

You can find our calendar of events on the web site, but here are the camping/work weekends between now and Goddess Gathering (June 21 – 25, 2017):

April 21 – 23 : For this weekend we start weeding places we want to
plant. It is OHIO, so planting will take place a litt later. For now, let’s look at where we want to CULTIVATE some NEW GROWTH.

May 5 – 7: Wood-cutting – chainsaws and wood-splitters will be in use to create piles of community firewood in various areas for the upcoming Solstice Gathering.

May 19 – 21: Potential planting weekend. Once again, this IS Ohio, so it will depend on the weather.

May 26 – 29: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – We shortened up the time between weekends to take advantage of this longer weekend. Depending on the weather and hoping for  sunny skies to allow for a fresh coat of paint on surfaces that need protecting from the elements.
June 9 -11: Officially, the lat weekend before Goddess Gathering.  This is a time to mow campsites for those who are pre-registered and make surer there are fire rings and
wood caches set up for them in advance.

Remember, there is free camping for anyone who comes to help on any of these weekends AND any help you give this year will count toward a discount to Goddess Gathering next year!

Please don’t hesitate to come to a work weekend because you aren’t physically capable of wielding an ax or running a chainsaw. There really, truly is something for everyone to do. If you like to cook, you could help by cooking for the work crew. If you like kids, you could watch the children of those working. Are you a people person? You could sit at the gate and greet people when they come in. If you can hold a paint brush, there are things that need painting. Like I said, something for everyone. We could help from everyone who is willing.

If you’ve never been to the Land and would like directions, you can contact me, Samantha Herron, at Durga1974@aol.com or message me on Facebook and I would be happy to email you a PDF copy of two maps we have available to get to the Land.

We have new contact information for our coordinator. You can reach Mary easiest by email at marymom1@earthlink.net or you can reach her by phone at 740-241-9340. We’ve had a few people get lost even with the maps, so having a phone number could come in handy!

One last thing before I go. There’s only about 2 weeks to go before the deadline for pre-registration discounts expire. Registration must be postmarked by April 30, 2017 to receive the early registration discounts! Come May 1, 2017, the cost of registration, either by mail or at the gate, for the attendance to the entire event jumps to $60.00 per person. Day rates will also jump from $15 a day per person to $20 a day per person. If you want to attend and save some money, be sure to get your registrations postmarked by the deadline!!!

For those interested in attending, a registration form can be found on the web site. Right now, we can only accept cash, checks, and money orders. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

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Love and Blessed Be

Opening Weekend is Nearly Here!

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It’s hard to believe another Winter has passed and the gates to Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary are about to open again! In about two weeks, people will gather again to begin the work of caring for the Land and preparing for the next Goddess Gathering at Summer Solstice.

Nature calls to many as the last of Winter disappears. Feeling the wind on your face and the Earth beneath your feet can be very satisfying and very healing. This particular piece of Mother Earth is truly sacred space. It offers much and only asks for a little TLC in return.

Much has been accomplished in the last two seasons: buildings have been repaired and painted, camping sites and paths have been reopened, fallen trees have been cleared and cut into firewood, signs have been repainted, and sacred sites have been restored besides the normal maintenance that’s done each time there is a work weekend. There’s plenty more to be done to rebuild and improve this wonderful 16-acre site.

April 7 – 9, 2017 is the first work/camping weekend. We’re still offering free camping to anyone who is willing to come and lend a hand in the work that needs to be done. It doesn’t matter what your work skills or physical capabilities are, there’s something for everyone to do from running chainsaws and weed whackers to stacking wood or picking up sticks for kindling to sitting at registration to greet people coming in.

If you think this is something you’d like to check out and try, you can contact Mary T. Borden either at marymom1@earthlink.net or you can also message her on Facebook for gate opening times and/or directions to the site. REMEMBER: any help you give this year will count toward a discount to Goddess Gathering next year!

A new season is about to begin, filled with infinite possibilities. Who knows where the road may lead and what joys may be found along the way? Are you up for an adventure? Come join us and be part of the recreation of something spiritual and special!

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The Earth Awakens

 

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Here we are…only one month from the opening of Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary for the 2017 season! Wow! It hardly seems like any time has passed at all. Soon it will be time to assess the damage done by the winds, rain, and snow of this Winter and begin the work to ready the Land for the season and especially for Goddess Gathering 2017 – “Solstice with the Goddess”

That first weekend will be April 7 – 9, 2017. It’s still free to camp, if you are willing to help and you will need to check with Mary T. Borden, the Coordinator, for gate opening and closing times. No matter what your physical abilities may be, there will be some way that you can be of help, if you are willing. Remember, any help you give this year will count toward a discount to Goddess Gathering next year!

Being down on Sanctuary land is a very healing experience. That healing goes both ways – as we do what we can to take care of this wonderful sacred space, the Land heals us in return – mentally, emotionally, and physically. There’s a lot of love that resides on this Land. You feel it the moment you step out of your car onto it. We were meant to be here – to heal and be healed.

The coming together of like-minded people who care about the Earth, creates a joy that’s hard to explain. The “work” that needs doing doesn’t seem like work at all. For some, it becomes a blessing to be part of taking care of this Goddess-given land. You begin to feel a real connection with the Earth here. Mundania seems far, far away when you are here. It’s a whole other reality that exists on Raven-Wolf land.

There are many who have said they seek to find a place where they can openly express who they are and be able to practice their rites unencumbered. That’s one of the many reasons this Land was established 27 years ago. A new generation of people is being sought who want to be part of something like Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary and Goddess Gathering. Here, we can be stewards to the Earth, healing it and ourselves; we can meet others who follow similar paths and rejoice in our similarities; and, here, we can openly be who we are.

A new season is about to begin. Time to plant seeds, both physical and spiritual, for the growing season ahead. What do you wish to grow and harvest this year? We hope you will choose to come grow with us as we begin yet another season of caring and sharing in Nature!

Be sure to check out the Calendar of Events here on the web site. If you can’t make the first work/camping weekend, perhaps there’s another that will allow us to meet! See you there!

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Blessed Be

Elder Maya