Wood-Cutting Weekend

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What a difference a couple of weeks can make – especially here in Ohio! With the warmer, drier weather came many more people to help with the continuing efforts to get things in shape for the upcoming event – Goddess Gathering Reborn – that will be taking place at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, June 17 -26, 2016.

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Although it had been designated a wood-cutting weekend (and a good amount of wood did get cut and split), other projects were begun as well. That communal fire pit that sits next to registration had been dismantled at the beginning of the month to let the ground dry. This time around, things were leveled, a gravel based laid, and everything reassembled. Now comes repainting the benches that took a beating through the Winter. Paths that had become overgrown, due to lack of use and maintenance over the years, began to be cleared. More paths to go, but at least the work has begun.

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DSCF0139.JPGThe Land has begun to attract many new people and we are very grateful for the interest and the help. We’re truly hoping the word will spread and many more will find their way to our little piece of sacred space. In the meantime, I want to sincerely say, “Thank you!” to everyone who took time out of their busy lives to come and be of help. Too many names this time to mention, but you know who you are and we are truly grateful.

We are now at the end of April so I wanted to remind you once more that if you intend on attending Goddess Gathering Reborn, and haven’t registered yet, May 31st is the deadline for pre-registrations that will save you money. Please remember we have a capacity of 150 adults and once we reach that number, no more registrations will be taken either by mail or. after May 31st, at the gate. Here’s the information again:

ENTIRE FESTIVAL – JUNE 17 – 26, 2016 (10 days)

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $100.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $130 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL RATES – 7 DAYS OR ANY PORTION (6/20/16 – 6/26/16)

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $ 75.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $100 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL DAY PASSES – A 24-HOUR PASS
These can be obtained by registering on site during the festival for $25 per person, per pass.
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Remember vendors only have to pay the entrance fee. No other fees are asked to be paid.

You will find registration forms here on the left side of this page under “Goddess Gathering Reborn – Festival Registration Form”. All forms must be postmarked no later than May 31, 2016.

If you have questions, you can ask them here on the web site or go to our Facebook page – Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary – and ask them there, or you can email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. You can also contact me either on Facebook (Samantha Herron) or email me at Durga1974@aol.com. Lots of ways to get your questions answered.

The next work weekend is coming up this weekend, April 29th – May 1st or you can check our Calendar of Events at the left of this page for the other upcoming work weekends. Hope to see you there!
Until next time…

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The Land is Officially Open!

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The first official work weekend took place this last weekend with Mother Nature testing the determination of those few brave souls who came to help with the preparations for the upcoming Goddess Gathering Reborn event.

Rain, followed by snow and cold temperatures made this work weekend interesting to say the least. But there were some hardy individuals who came to the call of the Land and helped to cut more downed wood and split it along with folding tarps, putting a new sign at the well, starting the rebuilding of the communal fire and surveying the site for the work that still needs to be done in coming weeks.

A BIG “Thank you!” goes out to Mary T. Borden, Del Smarr, Ray Taylor, Amber Emler, Rhonda Savage and her son, and Gary Herron for coming out and helping!

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About that sign at the well… The hand-pumped well that’s our source of water at Raven-Wolf has been in use for over 20 years. Every year the well is chlorinated, but, because it is an “open” well, the health department of Guernsey County has told us that we must post a sign warning people to drink at their own risk. For this reason alone, we have posted the sign.

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For those of us who have been working and celebrating on the Land for decades, we have drunk from the well and never experienced anything bad happening to us as a result. Others, who have never drank from an open, hand-pumped well, may feel apprehensive about it. This is only something you can decide. Know, however, that the well is safe to drink from, but if you are not inclined to do so, you will need to bring your own drinking water any time you come to visit us.

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I wanted to also remind everyone that, if you want to pre-register for Goddess Gathering Reborn, there are registration forms available here on the web site. We do have a cap of 150 adults so registering a head of time is something to really consider. You will also save money by registering by May 31st.

ENTIRE FESTIVAL – JUNE 17 – 26, 2016 (10 days)

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $100.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $130 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL RATES – 7 DAYS OR ANY PORTION (6/20/16 – 6/26/16)

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $ 75.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $100 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL DAY PASSES – A 24-HOUR PASS
These can be obtained by registering on site during the festival for $25 per person, per pass.
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Remember vendors only have to pay the entrance fee. No other fees are asked to be paid.

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There’s still more downed wood to take care of, gravel to lay on the driveway, benches to paint along with the inside of the outhouses, trash to clean up and a camper to tear down, besides one outhouse that needs to be finished building and two others that need converting to composting, more camping spaces to clear and clearing the bonfire area. We would truly appreciate all the help we can get!

There’s an unofficial work weekend happening April 15 – 17 and another scheduled work weekend April 22 – 14. If you’ve never been to the Land before, contact me (Samantha Herron) on Facebook for directions and I will email you maps to the site. It will give us a chance to meet each other and for you to see the beautiful place we’re working to restore.

Until next time…

The Woods

Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

The Land Awakens

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The Land awakens, Magick is afoot and the Goddess is alive!!!  It is time to open the land and to prepare for the camping season and the Goddess Gathering reborn.  A few of us went down a couple of weeks ago to check out the land to see what needed done and what damage the winter may have brought.  We had some new faces join us with some familiar ones.  We were shocked and happy to see that there wasn’t much damage and that the land was coming to alive.  The only things we found was four downed trees covering the path up Dragon Hill.
We had a new couple that got there first.  They went exploring a little bit and found a hand saw left out from last season and went to work to move a downed tree before anyone else even showed up and asked them to help.  As soon as the rest of us got there we explored and did a quick tour and got to work.  We were having troubles with the chain saw so we got to work using hand tools and pure muscle to move the downed trees to clear the roads.
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With the few hands we had there we got a lot of work done and are ready to get things rolling.  What is there to be done you may ask.  Well there is quite a bit actually.  We need a latrine built and two others painted and converted to compost latrines.  Paths need cleared and fire wood needs cut and stacked.  Gravel needs to be placed on the paths and holes along the drive need filled.  Camp sites need cleared and flowers need planted.  These are just a few things that need accomplished. 
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When the rain and sunshine comes we will need fields mowed and paths trimmed.
Does this seem like a lot of work?  Of course it does but its well worth it and the more helping hands the better.  Is this work too hard for you to do?  That is ok, we can still use you.  WE need people to sit at the registration table, making sure that people are staying hydrated, being a communication person and keep tabs on people and projects, help prepare meals and keep the fires stoked so that others can work on other projects.  Everyone can help either with big projects or small ones.  The goddess and the land appreciates any and all help that can be given.
So come join the fun, fellowship and good hard (or not so hard) work.  Your help smiles and encouragement will always be welcomed.  Until next week and I see you on the Land.
 
Blessed Be,
Willow

Festival Registration Deadlines & Discounts

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The official start of Spring is on March 20th, but for those of us in the colder parts of the US, Spring is definitely in the air! With Spring comes thoughts of sunshine, warmer temperatures and getting outside to enjoy it all.

If you’ve been looking for a place to enjoy Nature and meet like-minded Pagan and magickal people, come see us at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. This year for the first time in years, we will be coming together to celebrate the Summer Solstice at an event we’ve entitled “Goddess Gathering Reborn”. This is a 10-day event that will be presenting workshops, drumming circles, and rituals to celebrate the Sun’s zenith in the sky.

This year we’re offering discounts for early registration and you can register for the whole event or part of it. Prices and deadlines are as follows:

ENTIRE FESTIVAL – JUNE 17 – 26, 2016 (10 days)

Jan. 1, 2016 – March 21, 2016 each adult person is $ 75.00

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $100.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $130 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL RATES – 7 DAYS OR ANY PORTION (6/20/16 – 6/26/16)

Jan. 1, 2016 – March 21, 2016 each adult person is $ 60.00

March 22, 2016 – May 31, 2016 each adult person is $ 75.00

***CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE FREE***
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WAIT TO REGISTER AT THE GATE THE COST IS $100 PER PERSON.
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FESTIVAL DAY PASSES – A 24-HOUR PASS
These can be obtained by registering on site during the festival for $25 per person, per pass.
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Raven-Wolf is a 16 acre site. For this reason, we’ve had to put a cap on the number of people from whom we can accept registrations. That cap is 150 adults. Our suggestion is that if you’re really interested on attending all or any part of this event, you get your registration in as soon as possible. Not only will you assure yourself of a spot, but you’ll save some money as well. Now, how can you possibly go wrong with that?

In the meantime, if you live within traveling distance of Raven-Wolf, check out the events happening prior to Goddess Gathering Reborn listed under “Calendar of Weekends – at a glance”. These events are free to those who are willing to come and lend a hand in rebuilding and maintaining Raven-Wolf.

If you have any questions about Goddess Gathering Reborn, Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary or anything else, please feel free to contact us on our Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary Facebook page, or email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. You can also contact me either on Facebook (Samantha Herron) or email me at Durga1974@aol.com.

We look forward to meeting you!

Blessed Be

Elder Maya

 

The Gates Will Open Soon

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Can you feel it? The first stirrings of the Earth have begun as it wakes from the sleep of Winter here in Ohio. Can you hear that? It’s the Goddess whispering of Her return. She’s calling to us, asking us to help Her.

Soon the first work weekend will take place at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary and preparations begin for the first Gathering at Summer Solstice to be held there in many years.

April 8 – 10 the gates open for the year and work on a long list of things that need to be done will start. I won’t lie. We need help. The more hands to do the work, the quicker it gets done and the more pleasant Goddess Gathering Reborn will be for all who attend. You may believe you have nothing to offer, in the way of help. Don’t sell yourself short. There’s things for people of all capabilities. Yes, we need help from people who can run a chainsaw, weed whacker, etc., but we also need people to clean and paint. We even need people who can cook or just sit the gate to greet new arrivals. If you want to add your energies to this revival of Pagan celebration, there’s something you can do, no matter what your physical capabilities. We could use your help.

Goddess Gathering Reborn is a gathering for Pagans, Wiccans and all other magickal people walking a positive path. It’s about coming together with like-minded people and celebrating our spirituality. It’s a safe place to come and become who you truly are away from all that’s mundane in your life.

We invite you to come and add your energies to ours in the rebuilding and rejuvenation of this wonderful Pagan-owned site and event. We look forward to seeing you and so appreciate anything you are willing and able to do to bring this dream back into manifestation!

Be sure to check out the “Calendar of Weekends” by clicking on the link at the left. You can contact us on our Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary Facebook page, or email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. You can also contact me either on Facebook (Samantha Herron) or email me at Durga1974@aol.com to obtain a map to the site or ask any questions you may have.

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Blessed Be

At a Snail’s Pace

Snail's Pace 2This past Labor Day weekend was a three day weekend down on Raven-Wolf Land. There are only 3 or 4 more work weekends before the Land is closed down for the year.

Progress is still being made, albeit much slower than we had hoped. You see, we really thought more people, especially of the Pagan/magickal variety, would see the value in bringing back to life, and use, this wonderful piece of sacred space that has seen so many gather there in years gone by. Such has not been the case – and I mean to lay guilt-trips on any one here, just a statement of fact.

It’s kind of a puzzlement to me. You see, I hear lots of Pagans and others say they would love to have a place to go, a place to “unplug”, a place to gather with other like-minded people. One would think, with all that desire, there would be lots of folks contacting us for the specifics on how to get there, what needs done, how can they help. The silence is deafening.

So those of us who want it to see it restored, go when we can and do what we can. Progress continues. Whether there will be a 2016 Summer Solstice Gathering will depend on those willing to help and the amount of work that still needs doing. We’re not giving up hope, but more help would sure be appreciated and would make the possibility of that 2016 Summer Solstice Gathering more attainable and realistic.

This year, for helping, we are offering discounts on next year’s membership fees. This can still amount to 30% to 40% off next year’s fees, with the weekends that remain to do the clearing and repairs still to be done.

So what still does need doing? Well, there’s more painting to be done, more paths to be cleared, mowing continues, and there’s an outhouse to finish rebuilding. We’re clearing trash to a localized place so that in the Spring a large dumpster can be rented and the trash hauled away. Also, as the weather cools, there’s lots of dead wood to be taken down, cut and stacked. There are also signs that need repainting.

Our coordinator, Mary T. Borden, has been working to get our garden tractor/mower running again. By process of elimination, she’s come to the conclusion a new carburetor may be in order. With the tractor fixed, a lot more grass would be cut a lot quicker. That would free up hands for other projects.

Once everything is brought back to where it once was, then maintaining it will be much simpler and less time consuming. Have we made progress this year? Hells yes! Is there more to do? Without a doubt. Is it worth putting blood, sweat and tears into it? Well, for me, I would have to give a resounding “Yes!!!” Raven-Wolf is a place dedicated to the preservation of Nature and the preservation of the human spirit. It is here, close to Nature, without the distractions of everyday mundane life, that healing begins and the gentle voice of ones True Self is heard much more clearly. This alone makes it sacred space and this alone makes it well worth the time and effort it takes to restore it.

So I call out to you now and ask you to come away from the city, away from your computer, your phone and all else that is a distraction. Come experience what Raven-Wolf has to offer you. I truly believe you will be glad you did. You can contact us on our Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary Facebook page, or email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. You can also contact me either on Facebook (Samantha Herron) or email me at Durga1974@aol.com. Ask for the next dates someone will be down there and request a map to the site. We will be very happy to meet and greet you and the Land will appreciate your help.

Come to the WoodsBlessed 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…

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Blessed Be,

Elder Maya

Festivals – Past and Future

Have you ever been to a Pagan festival? Or have you yet to experience one? If you have been to one, is there any one thing that was your favorite experience? If you haven’t been to one, what do you look forward to experiencing?

GG to RW Photos0001Our history began at the primitive group camp area in Hocking Hills State Park as “Goddess Gathering” in June, 1983. It was an awesome experience just in the fact that we attracted 65 people to join us. Then there was the rituals, the workshops, the vendors, and the wonderful experience of meeting and getting to know new like-minded people.

Much like now, there were only a few of us to put on this event so some us did double and triple duty. Oh, but it was so worth it! We greeted everyone who came and asked if they needed any help getting set up. Then Opening Ritual was held the first day. This was followed on Saturday night with the Main Ritual followed by a potluck feast. In between, there were workshops, campfires and drumming. It truly was an event that left a continuous smile on your face. We all hated to see it end.

GG to RW Photos0003The next year was at another state park and that was followed by five years at a local ski resort where our attendance grew to around 250 people. The experience of the ski resort sort of spoiled us. There were showers and flush toilets along with a lodge that had a fully functioning kitchen where breakfasts could be made and served. It was here we held the “Pagan Olympics” with unique events that brought laughter and fun to the event. We even bought used trophies from places like Goodwill to give to the winners. It was a great time!

GG to RW Photos0004Then, due to the owner wanting to sell his property, we had to seek another site. This lead us to the Land we call Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary. Just before Hallowmas/Samhain, 1989, we signed the contract to buy our 16 acres.

Many of the people who had so enjoyed the conveniences of our former site didn’t return – after all, we had become very primitive. Still, we persevered and began to attract a whole new crowd of people who didn’t seem to mind our primitive nature that much and were willing to help in our efforts to improve the site.

scan0021The first Goddess Gathering was held here in June, 1990 and the Goddess blessed and purified the Land that year with lots and lots of rain. That rain, as miserable as it was at times, brought us together. It provided situations that allowed us to help each other – whether that was making a food & ice run or helping push someone’s car up or down the hill in the mud. It was heartwarming to see these “strangers” come together, making the best of a not-so-nice situation.

GG to RW Photos0006In the years that followed, we continued the tradition of an Opening, Main and Closing ritual. The Main Ritual Feast, that follows the Main Ritual, continued to be potluck and was enjoyed by most everyone. Later, there was the bonfire! Dancing, drumming, and just enjoying the company of each other and the Land itself…magickal! Of course, there were still workshops and we had a few vendors as well.

Now we are beginning again. This year, there will be no formal gatherings as we try to bring the Land back into shape so that we may once again come together to teach, learn, drum, dance, eat, drink, laugh, cry, and worship together.

GG to RW Photos0008During this year, we want to get to know you and you get to know us. We want to hear your ideas and what you would like to experience when, once again, the festivals begin. We would also like to hear any ideas that you have concerning the repair and improvement of the Land and that includes fund-raising ideas.

This is sacred space that is here for the use and enjoyment of all who come to it. We want it to be an experience to remember and a reason to return!

Once again, for those who have never been to the Land before, you may request directions by sending a SASE to: Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, P.O. Box 61, New Straitsville, OH 43766.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to RavenWolfNature@aol.com We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!!!

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Blessed Be,

Elder Maya