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!

Walk in the Woods

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Spring Approaches…

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It’s a new year – a number one year – a time when all things are possible. Spring is in the air, even though the calendar tells us that there are 5+ weeks of Winter.

As the Earth is slowing awakening, we humans are feeling the urge to be outside with the sun shining on our faces and the wind gently blowing through our hair. Nature is calling to us. You can hear it, can’t you?

And so the land known as Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary begins to whisper to those who can hear its call. The Opening Weekend is still almost two months away, but still…She calls because She needs us.

Although Winter hasn’t been as harsh as ones in the past, there will be downed trees to clear, debris to be gathered, and buildings to be checked for damage. This is all besides an outhouse to convert to composting and a tool shed to organize. That first weekend will be April 7 – 9, 2017. It’s still free to camp, if you are willing to help. Check with Mary T. Borden for gate opening and closing times.

With a new year comes the planning and preparations for another Goddess Gathering. From Opening Weekend to Summer Solstice is only a matter of 10 ½ weeks. Obviously, your help would be greatly appreciated.

This year’s Goddess Gathering has been titled “Solstice with the Goddess” and, as stated after our meeting, we had heard the voices of many say that the prices we were asking were too expensive, and now reducing the festival to a five-day event, we decided to take a look at what could be done about that. Please note the following changes:

ENTIRE FESTIVAL : JUNE 21-25, 2015 (5 days)
Before April 30, 2017 – $50 per person
After April 30, 2017 – $60 per person

FESTIVAL DAY RATES:
Before April 30, 2017 – $15 per day per person
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

***The new Registration Form can be found by clicking on the title to the left on this page ***

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 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!!!

So you can see there are many reasons to become part of the awesome experiences at both Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary and Goddess Gathering.

Although there is a Calendar of Events that tells you about the weekends on Raven-Wolf and there are forms for registering for Goddess Gathering and also for being a presenter at the Gathering, we know that sometimes there are questions that still need other answers. This year, we’ve added a “Contact Information” page. You can find the link to it on the lower left-hand side of the web site right under “About”. We hope you will find it useful.

So, you can see that as the Earth begins to warm and awaken, we’ve started planting some seeds that we hope will grow some excellent experiences for all the magickal and Nature-loving people who might choose to come and join us. We sincerely hope you will accept our invitation!

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Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

The Earth Calls to Each of Us but Only a Few Will Hear the Call

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This past weekend was another of the few remaining work weekends for the season down on Raven-Wolf land. I was unable to make it due to illness and it saddens me to report that only two people came to continue the work there. I want to say “Thank you!” to Mary T. Borden, the Coordinator, and her daughter, Jennifer Borden, the Head of Maintenance for the work they accomplished in ridding the Land of leftover trash from many previous years of former members. Ladies, you are awesome!

Here’s the thing I really don’t understand though. Over the years, the last few especially, I’ve heard Wiccans, Pagans, and other nature-loving spiritual people say how they would like a place to go and meet other like-minded people. I’ve heard people say they want to be out in Nature where they can practice their rituals and beliefs unencumbered by city noise, neighbors and other distractions. Raven-Wolf is Pagan-owned land and has been for over 25 years. The whole purpose of getting this land was to provide such a place.

Then there are a myriad of people who talk every day about planet Earth and how we all need to be doing things to help Her. You’re right. Part of what we humans are meant to do is be stewards of the Earth – to work in harmony with Her and help protect and conserve the plants, trees, and animals. Well, that’s the other part of what Raven-Wolf is all about. That’s why it’s called a “nature sanctuary.”

So here is Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary – a place for communing with Nature, being a steward to the Earth, and a sacred space where you can practice your spirituality without fear of interruption of any kind. Where are these people who say they want such a place? Where are the people who claim they want to be part of the healing of the Earth?

Although this 16 acres was bought primarily for Wiccans, Pagans and other magickal folk, all who walk a positive path and care about Nature and the healing of the Earth are welcome. They always have been. So, if you’re an ecological-minded person, a tree-hugging person, a lover of the peace and quiet of the country, you are most welcome no matter what your spiritual path may be or even if you have no spiritual path.

Please forgive me, I’m feeling a little sad right now. This little piece of the planet needs hands and hearts to help it. There is a desperate need for people willing to come and spend a few hours, a day or even the weekend to help out. Whether you can wield a chainsaw or cook a meal, you’re help would be greatly appreciated. If you can run a mower or use a paint brush, the Land could use your help. There are so many things that need to be done that there’s something for anyone, no matter how physically capable you are, to do. Quite frankly, the Land needs all the help it can get.

The rebuilding and recreating isn’t all about work though. Raven-Wolf has been that place to celebrate the changing of the seasons, rites of passage, and other celebrations. It has been a place of drumming circles, bonfires, dancing, laughing and so much more. That part of Raven-Wolf needs to be brought back into existence as well. New, happy memories are waiting to be made.

Two weekends remain before the official closing of the Land for the season: September 30 – October 2 and October 14 – 16. While there is still trash to be cleared away and dead trees to be marked for felling, there is also an opportunity for drumming, talking, laughing, enjoying Nature and each other. We hope you will find the time to come and join us.

I want to close with a poem I found years ago whose words have so much meaning.

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO WE ARE

We have forgotten who we are.
We have alienated ourselves from the unfolding of the cosmos
We have become estranged from the movements of the earth
We have turned our backs on the cycles of life.

We have forgotten who we are.

We have sought only our own security
We have exploited simply for our own ends
We have distorted our knowledge
We have abused our power.

We have forgotten who we are.

Now the land is barren
And the waters are poisoned
And the air is polluted.

We have forgotten who we are.

Now the forests are dying
And the creatures are disappearing
And humans are despairing.

We have forgotten who we are.

We ask forgiveness
We ask for the gift of remembering
We ask for the strength to change.

We have forgotten who we are.

U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

native-american-proverb

Blessed Be,

Elder Maya

The Temperatures are Cooling & the Woods are Calling!

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Need to get away? There’s a camping/work weekend coming up this coming weekend – August 27th and 28th. Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary is a wonderful place to get out and enjoy Nature while helping to preserve, maintain, and care for a piece of Mother Earth.

This weekend the main project is cleaning up the pile of trash that’s accumulated from tearing down one camper and cleaning up several others along with years of “this and that” that’s been left behind by former campers. It will probably take more than one weekend to sort through it and decide what can be recycled, re-purposed and what must be sent to the landfill. Your help would really make a difference!

The nights and mornings can be a little cooler now, so we highly recommend that you bring warmer clothes and sleeping gear, if you’ll be staying the night. Don’t forget to bring sturdy shoes and gloves for working.

Can’t make it this weekend? Well, there’s a three-day Labor Day camping/work weekend September 3rd through the 5th. The work on cleaning up the trash pile will continue along with some mowing and trimming, if time permits.

It won’t be all work. There will be time to get to know each other, relax and enjoy the wonderful surroundings and awesome vibrations that Raven-Wolf offers those who come to both help and heal.

Remember, camping is free to those who come and help.

Gates will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning for both of these events.

We hope to see you there!!!

Breaking News!

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Both Council and Board members met this weekend to discuss next year’s Gathering. With rain in the forecast, we gathered at the First-Aid Station to discuss ideas that would improve the event and entice more people to come and check it out.

The first conclusion that was come to was that although Goddess Gathering Reborn was a spot-on title for the 2016 Summer Solstice event, returning to the name that brought so many people together in the past was the right thing to do. I present to you –
Goddess Gathering LogoWe’re adding a “theme” title: “Solstice with the Goddess”

Next on the list was setting the dates for next year. It was decided that, since the actual Summer Solstice occurs on Wednesday, June 21st, we should return to the way things used to be done and make the Gathering a five-day event. Mark this on your calendars!!! Goddess Gathering 2017 will be held June 21 – 25, 2017.

Since we had heard the voices of many say that the prices we were asking were too expensive, and now reducing the festival to a five-day event, we decided to take a look at what could be done about that. Please note the following changes:

ENTIRE FESTIVAL : JUNE 21-25, 2015 (5 days)
Before April 30, 2017 – $50 per person
After April 30, 2017 – $60 per person

FESTIVAL DAY RATES:
Before April 30, 2017 – $15 per day per person
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

***The new Registration Form can be found by clicking on the title to the left on this page ***

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 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!!!

IMPORTANT NOTICEAnother thing that we would really like to be able to do this year is have solar power for those who have CPAP machines and would like to attend. Knowing that you have a way to comfortably breathe while sleeping and still be able to attend the Gathering, is something we would really like to provide for you. We’re looking into it and seeing what we can do to make that happen.

So, that’s it for right now. There are still six work weekends left in this year if you want to earn a discount or even free admittance to Goddess Gathering 2017. Be sure to check them out on the Calendar of Weekends – at a Glance at the left.

Planting Seeds

 

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It was the first time in over a decade that people gathered in the Main Ritual field. Small in number, we came together to celebrate the Summer Solstice, Life and all the gifts we have been given.

The ritual was a new one written by Lady Peregrine aka Jayne Bennett, which only seemed appropriate for this new beginning. It was a wonderful gift to be sharing this sacred space with others once again.

When it was time for Cakes and Wine, a piece of the “old” appeared. The Goddess Chalice (shown above), once a part of so many rituals in the before time, was filled, blessed and taken around for everyone in the Circle to partake of. There’s a quote from one of our rituals that says, “May the strength of the old enter into the new and Life arise once more.” Nothing could more appropriately say what the presence of this Cup meant for it had been handcrafted by a former attendee to those previous Goddess Gatherings, Karl Sebek, and gifted by him to us.

They say that wisdom is gained from experience. Although we had hoped for a bigger turn out, we learned a great deal from having the courage to rebirth this event. Plenty of mistakes were made, but without mistakes how does one learn and grow?

We are once again in our infancy. While we were “asleep” the world has changed and now we must make the attempt to change while still remaining true to who and what Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary was and is meant to be. There will be some changes coming – ones that we hope will meet with your approval and attract more of you to Raven-Wolf and Goddess Gathering Reborn in 2017.

REMINDER: There are still plenty of work/camping weekends left to earn a discount or, perhaps, even free admission to next year’s Goddess Gathering Reborn.  Click the Calendar of Events on the left side of this page to check for upcoming dates.

Here’s how it works: Come for the day or the entire weekend. Camping is free to those who are willing to lend a hand in the continuing maintenance and rebuilding of Raven-Wolf. The really cool thing is that besides being able to camp for free, you receive credit for work done towards next year’s festival!!! Some of the attendees to this year’s event got in for free because of their willingness to help with the work facing us.

Our next work/camping weekend is July 15 – 17. If you are interested in coming to help, you can go to our Facebook page and leave a comment or you can private message Mary T. Borden on Facebook or you can even email us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com.

In closing, I want to tell everyone who came and helped this year, in any way, shape or form, that your work didn’t go unnoticed and is very much appreciated. A special “Thank you!” goes out to our coordinator, Mary T. Borden, for all her hard work and efforts. Also on that list are Gary C. Herron, Max Butcher, Damien Phelps and John Sydenstricker for their over-the-top efforts in restoring Raven-Wolf.

It is our sincere hope that the seeds that were planted with this event produce a bountiful harvest of new magickal, nature-loving people in the coming years!

Blessed Be,

Elder Maya (aka Samantha Herron)

 

Do You Hear That? It’s Summer Solstice Approaching!

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It’s really hard to believe but we are only 31 days from the start of Goddess Gathering Reborn!!! That also means we are only 14 days from the close of early registrations!

If you plan on attending the rebirth of an old and dear celebration of the Summer Solstice, and you want to be able to do it as cheaply as possible, then you have a mere two weeks to get your registration postmarked to us.

If circumstances are such that you are unsure whether you will be able to attend or don’t know how long you will be able to attend, then rest assured that there will be registrations taken at the gate. We accept cash, checks and money orders only for right now. No credit, debit or other forms of electronic payment can be taken.
Although the prices are listed on the web site, here’s a list of what to expect, both for registering early and at the gate:

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.
May 15, 2016

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In the meantime, there’s still lots of work to be done to get ready! The rain has caused a lot of grow that needs mowing and weed-whacking. As you can see from the pictures above, work has begun on tearing apart the old camper to get rid of it and make things safer. The floor frame will then be used to build a bunkhouse for those who want to rent some sleeping space for the night.

There are two free camping weekends still to come before Goddess Gathering Reborn takes place. All we ask is that you come and help with the things that still need doing to prepare for this event:

May 27 – 30               Memorial Day Weekend is a long weekend that allows us to keep things maintained while also doing things that haven’t been taken care of yet. We invite you to join us as we continue to prepare for the Gathering at Summer Solstice.

June 3 – 5                    We call this our “Busting Butt” weekend since we are only a couple weeks away from Summer Solstice and  seek out those “last minute” things that really should be done. There’s gravel for the entrance to make sure everyone gets in the gate okay. Come join us!

We very much desire this first Gathering in such a long time to be one filled with good events that create good memories. We really could use your help. Even if you think there’s nothing you can do, you might be surprised at the help your very presence might lend to making this happen!

PLEASE BE SURE TO CONTACT US FOR MAPS TO THE SITE even if you only think you might be coming. We’re out in the woods after all, and not easy to find.

Until we meet on the Land…

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Love & Blessed Be