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

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

Come When You Can, Do What You Can

Goddess in SpringtimeEarth Day has come and gone. The Lady continues to spread Her Springtime gown. The weather is growing warmer. There is still much that needs done on the Land known as Raven-Wolf if we are to bring it back to a place where gatherings can once more be safely and pleasantly held there.

I’ve heard many say that due to health issues or other complications in their lives, they don’t feel they could be of any help or they couldn’t endure sleeping on the ground. These comments have come from both new people interested in what Raven-Wolf will have to offer in the future and from those who have been members for some time.

As I have stated before, I’m not the 42 year old that helped open that Land 25 years ago. Soon to be 67, my body does balk at sleeping in anything other than a comfy bed. Sitting at a computer 6+ hours a day and having arthritis makes doing any kind of physical work exhausting and, the next day, painful. But, you know what? That Land is a very special place and I want to be a part of restoring it. After the first work weekend, it took me four days to return to what is normal for me. It was a good soreness though. I felt like I had gone there and aided in the healing. However, being a practical Taurus, I realized that I had to find a compromise – one that allowed me to be part of this and still keep my body as happy as possible (and also keep up my responsibility to two cats who were freaked out by being left alone for 36+ hours). So, I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that the best option for me was to go for the day and then return home to my cats and my bed to rest from whatever I am capable of doing to help heal this precious, sacred site.

It is here I would like to address the fact that although strong, young people are needed to do some of the work, there are other things that those with less strength can do to help. Can you rake? Can you take a bucket and sponge and clean? Can you cook? Can you pick up sticks or stack wood that others have cut? Can you sweep? Can you sit at the gate and be sure that new people are directed to where they need to go or that those who don’t belong at Raven-Wolf are turned away? There is so much that doesn’t require you to be a “lumberjack” or a “ditch digger”. I, myself, am mostly a “paper-pusher” these days. So be aware that we could use people that can raise funds, promote the Land and our web sites, write articles and more.

There are a certain number of campers and cabins available on a “first come, first serve” basis right now. So if you are not able to sleep on the ground or don’t have the equipment to do so, check on the availability of these limited spaces with Mary Borden. If that still isn’t something you can do, then think about doing what I will be doing – come for the day. Saturday would be the best bet. The gates open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. That’s 12 hours that could be devoted to helping in whatever way you are able and you can still return home to sleep comfy in your own bed.

Once we restore the Land, then maintenance will take far less time and less people. Right now, however, I ask you to consider or re-consider what, when and how you might be able to help in this large task that faces us. The end result will be that next year you will see a schedule of actual events with the Summer Solstice Gathering being the primary big gathering of the year where you will experience workshops, rituals, a potluck ritual feast with a big bonfire and drumming to follow. Is this not something worth working towards and being a part of? I think it is and I hope you do to.

The Goddess calls…

Mother Nature - A

Blessed Be,

Elder Maya