And the Wheel Turns…

DSCF0093Can it really be that we are only weeks away from the end of our first year of restoration? It hardly seems possible. Wasn’t that first weekend just a month or so ago?

It’s been almost 6 months since the work of restoring Raven-Wolf began. Our hopes had been that we would have lots of help and restoration would happen in no time flat. Although that hasn’t been the case, the few who have come have put their hearts and souls into it and worked their fannies off to boot. “Thank you.” hardly seems like words enough to express our gratitude for what you have done.

This past weekend was sort of impromptu. It wasn’t on the schedule, but some of us found time to be there. We recognize there is still plenty of work to be done if we are to open the Sanctuary next Summer Solstice for a festival that welcomes both new people and, hopefully, brings back those who spent Summer Solstice here in the past.

As I walked around the site, I could see camping areas being opened up again. It’s beginning to take on that “park-like” quality once more. There’s an air of friendly invitation beginning to loom. “Come visit. Come enjoy the peace that I offer.” If you listen closely, you can hear it whispered on the wind and through the trees. The Sanctuary longs for Pagans, Wiccans and other Magickal folk to come be part of the experience offered here once more.

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There’s a wood-cutting weekend coming up October 16-18th. There’s plenty of dead trees to fell, wood to be cut up and stacked. Doing this ensures a good stock of seasoned wood for campfires for the next year. What’s even more important about all this is that there will be plenty of wood for the Summer Solstice bonfire! So, if you have a chainsaw or know how to run one, can swing an axe or use a hand saw, can stack wood or even would just be willing to cook a meal for workers or play water “boy” for those doing the wood cutting – we could use your help.

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As you know, this past year has been a “freebie” for anyone who wanted to come down and lend a hand. Next year, when the gates open for the season, the prices for coming to the Land will be in place. Although we have been, for almost 20 years, a “membership only” Sanctuary, we want to give new people a chance to come and fall in love with this Land. For this reason, we are opening the gates to any Pagan, Wiccan or Magickal person who would want to come and visit or help. You will be able to register by mail or at the gate.

After the gates have closed for this season, probably after Hallowmas/Samhain, there will be lots of new information placed on this web site that will include the new Calendar of Events for 2016; prices for all events; how to apply for membership and how to register by mail for an event. Planning has already started for our main event – Summer Solstice. As those plans develop, we will place more information on the web site and network it out through Facebook, Twitter and any other avenues we can find. We hope it will also spread by word of mouth.

For now, the invitation still stands – Come join us! If not this season, then come when the gates reopen in the Spring. 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.

Come to The Woods 2Love & 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

A Raven-Wolf Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice - StonehengeAsk anyone who’s ever been to Raven-Wolf and they’ll tell you, “It’s all about Summer Solstice.” Before we ever had work/camping weekends; before there were smaller gatherings on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend; even before we ever own the Land, it was all about Summer Solstice.

Other Gatherings across the country seem to feel the same way too. Many are held on or near the Summer Solstice. “Why?” you may ask. I’m not sure of the answer but here’s my thinking. From a weather perspective, it’s kind of a “Goldilocks” time of the year. You know, “Not too hot, not too cold. Just right!” for gathering people together and having fun. From a spiritual, celebratory perspective, it’s the holy day that celebrates the Sun reaching it’s highest peak; the day being the longest day and the night, the shortest night of the year. Rituals were/are performed and bonfires lit in hopes that the Sun will not fade away and bring with its decline the cold and Winter. We all know this is just part of Nature’s cycle, but we celebrate, enjoying the warmth of the Sun while secretly hoping its warmth and light will stay just a little longer this year.

When we began Goddess Gathering so many years ago, we gave much thought to when the best time to hold such a gathering would be. May was still too chilly, often, and sometimes rainy still. July was usually too hot and dry to enjoy much of anything but sitting in the shade while drinking something nice and cold. Summer Solstice made perfect sense. That tradition has stuck for over 30 years now.

Once we got the Land, when the gates first opened in the Spring, until the week before Summer Solstice, we cleaned and straightened, mowed, sawed up downed wood all in preparation for the upcoming Summer Solstice Gathering. People planned workshops and rituals. We even had people who would assist with the potluck dinner that always took place after the Main Ritual on Saturday. We wanted people to come and enjoy themselves – to have a relaxing, spiritual experience.

This year, unfortunately, the Gathering we had hoped we would be ready for will have to wait for next year. Although progress continues, there is still much to be done. There are still downed trees to cut and stack the wood; areas to be cleared and mowed; buildings, benches, and picnic tables to be painted; cabins and campers to be cleaned, aired out and even restored. There is hope. We are motivated! We have a memory of what it was like and we would like to share that with newcomers and have former members return, even if for just one time.

We’ve discovered we can’t do this alone. The more hands, the quicker the work will go and the more ready we will be to start the actual plans for the “Grand Re-Opening” of Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary with our first Summer Solstice Gathering to be held there in quite a few years. We are very grateful for the help we have received from those who have driven as far as 3 ½ to 4 hours away to do whatever they could for a day or two. To be honest though, we could use more help.

If you would love to see an annual Pagan/Wiccan/Magickal Gathering take place annually in a wonderful wooded site, we invite you to be part of making that happen by joining us on one of the many work weekends scheduled for this year. You can find them listed on the left side of this page under “Events – 2015”. Know that everyone who comes and helps with the work that needs to be done gets credit toward membership fees for next year. The more you help, the more credit you get. While this is a great incentive, we hope you will come see the Land and feel the wonderful vibrations. It’s sure to make you fall in love with the place!

We are also very open and desirous of hearing what you would like to see happen at that grand re-opening gathering. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com. If you would like to come and present a workshop, once again, contact us. We’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and suggestions.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Summer Solstice!!! Next year, let’s all gather at Raven-Wolf for one heck of a celebration! See you there!

Summer Solstice 2Blessed Be

Elder Maya