A Hush Falls Over the Land


Last Wednesday, my High Priest and I went to the Land to retrieve his medicine bag and to do our traditional “Closing” ritual for the Land. It was a somewhat dreary day, mostly cloudy with some drizzle here and there on our 2- hour drive. We parked outside the gate, not wanting to disturb the energies of it being closed for the season, and walked in.

It was so quiet and still. The trees are mostly bare now and the walk up the hill was reminiscent of childhood, walking through ankle-deep fallen leaves. The first thing we noticed, as we rounded the bend at the top, was a tree getting ready to fall next to the first-aid station. A common occurrence on the Land, I wonder how many more will fall during the Land’s Winter rest.


We walked back to the Ritual Field, past the Feast Area, now deserted, but where a wonderful feast took place at Summer Solstice and Goddess Gathering Reborn. Another wonderful memory of this magickall place.


Even the pond seemed deserted of all the lively frogs that occupied it this year. So quiet and still…not a ripple to be seen on the surface of the water.


As we walked through the woods, past the Coordinator’s camp site, there was a loud rustling sound. As I looked up, there was a white-tailed deer running away from us to the back of the property. An awesome sight to behold!

We continued our walk through the campsite, checking for damage, from weather or intruders, and began our descent down the hill once more, heading for the gate.

Normally, the Closing Ritual is held in the Lower Ritual Circle with at least five people in attendance. Things change. So, with only two of us to do this rite we decided to do it at the gate. I would like to share that with you now:

All stand with lighted white tapers.
A single candle is lit in the center of the Circle.

East:   The wheel turns again. The Lady has gone to join the Lord, Her Consort, in     the Underworld. All growing is done.
So Mote It Be.

The East taper is extinguished and East steps to the Altar and waits.

South:   Though the heat of the Sun declines, the passion in our hearts for life on this Earth does not. It is this passion that will warm our souls through the Winter months.
So Mote It Be.

The South taper is extinguished and South steps to the Altar and waits.

West: The lakes and streams will freeze thus ceasing their flow, but the flow of our emotions and spirits will continue on. Nothing can prevent this if we will.
So Mote It Be.

The West taper is extinguished and West steps to the Altar and waits.

North: The flowers fade, the cold winds blow and the snow falls. The wisdom of experience has taught us that all that dies will be reborn. We carry the joy of that wisdom in our hearts and, turning inward, we wait.
So Mote It Be.

The North taper is extinguished and North steps to the Altar and waits.

After a moment of silence, all say:

And the wheel turns,
And the wheel turns,
And we are all bound to the wheel.

Pause 3 beats and intone:

  I          A       O
(EE) (YAY) (YO)

The Center taper is extinguished.
The Circle is closed. The rite is ended.
And so it was that we stood at the gate and turned toward each direction – I did East and West and my High Priest did South and North. It was an emotional rite.

We walked back around the gate, doing a final Pentagram for protection, and left the Land to rest for the Winter.


Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

Sacred Space

scan0012I talk a lot about the Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary being “sacred space”, but what do I really mean by that? Is my definition of sacred space the same as yours? Because I believe in clarity of communication, I want to take some time here to explain my definition of sacred space and how I feels that applies to the Land that we call Raven-Wolf.

For decades I have belonged to a spiritual path whose foundation is Nature-based. Unlike many of the major religions, we don’t build separate edifices to worship in. At the most, we might have a room in our homes that is kept separate for spiritual purposes. Many have a corner in a room that they use. We would all much prefer to perform our rites of worship outside in our backyards. Sometimes that’s totally possible, sometimes it’s totally impossible. Whatever space we have, we consider it sacred. We do our best to keep it separate from those spaces that are mundane. When we cast our Circles, we are preparing the space we are in to become sacred for the rites of worship we are about to perform. This is our way of “building a temple.” It is a place of both worship and protection.

When we acquired our 16 acres, our intent was to provide a safe place for all those who call themselves Wiccans, Pagans, and by many other positive path names, to gather for the purpose of getting to know each other, sharing knowledge and performing ritual together. For those who didn’t have a backyard or couldn’t go out in theirs to perform rites of worship, this was to be that place where, at least a few times a year, people could come and be Wiccan, Pagan, magickal without fear of persecution.

To many of us, the Land became a 16-acre Circle – sacred space. As words from a ritual state, the Land became “a time that is not a time, a place that is not a place, a world separate and apart” and all done in honor of the Goddess and the God. The gate to the Land became the entrance to that Circle where you could (and should) leave all of mundania behind and enjoy the connection with Nature and your own spirit.

The Land is held in reverence and treated with respect. For all that it gives to us, we return that kindness with stewardship of the Land. Rituals are done on the Land on a fairly regular basis to keep it protected and safe. They are also done to ask for guidance from the Powers-That-Be, by whatever name you may choose to call them. We continue in our efforts to keep it something that exists beyond the mundane world. This is what I call “sacred space.”

It is hoped that you will come and experience it. See for yourself what is being recreated and restored. Come feel the magick that resides within Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, won’t you?

NatureIn Light and Love,

Elder Maya


“We look upon the sun and we rejoice in it’s renewal.
Come! Enter our Circle.
Be with us!”

This land, this nature sanctuary, this place of community, is sanctified by the blood, sweat and tears of those who have gone before. We are not there now; the snows and bitter cold gives the earth down time, a time of rest before renewal.

But I can imagine the first stirrings that signal the coming season. The earth shivers quietly, shaking awake those seedlings that came to rest in the fall. The renewal of the sun spreads a growing warmth to the tree tops, sending messages down through the trunk, through the roots and into the soil that holds the memories of our ancestors. Soon! Soon the awakening!

There is power in those memories waiting to be tapped and recycled, drawn up with our ritual and veneration, with our blessings and our work. Raven-Wolf is definitely a labor of love and as with the season, there is a quickening now. An anticipation for the rebirth of sanctuary.

scan0002 (2)By the time we open the Land, the trees will be budding. Grass will appear in patches and having been fed by the leaves of the fall, the brilliant green of Spring will be more than a promise of things to come. And through the still bare branches, the sun will warm us.

The excitement builds as the first tents are pitched. Checking in at the front gate scan0012we will be greeted with a smile and a hearty welcome home! On any part of the property the building sense of community can be felt. Old friends greet one another and new friends are gathered in with hugs.

scan0017During the day we work as a team to chop wood and carry water, all the while laughing over mishaps or crying for the loss of loved ones who could not make it this year.


scan0007And we will stand together in the Circle, giving thanks to the Holy Ones for the gifts of Nature and spirit, without judgement, leaving behind us, for awhile, the concerns of the mundane world and refreshing our bond to Mother Earth.


Spring is coming. My thermometer reads 0 degrees right now, but I know that Spring is coming. I’m digging out my gardening gloves, checking the tent to be sure it’ll keep me dry, and planning easy meals. The gates will open in just over a month.

Are you ready? Looking forward to meeting you there!


Lady CrowW






Countdown to Sanctuary!

Greetings, everyone!  Here we are in the second week of February and although many of us still have snow on the ground our thoughts are probably turned toward warmer weather and the opening of Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary!

Behind the scenes there is a flurry of activity. Our coordinator, Mary Borden, is bringing together all the necessary pieces that make up a cohesive plan. Board of trustees, Land Committees, and Maintenance are but three of the groups that will work together, along with those of us who are willing to put our energies into cleaning up Raven-Wolf and making it a safe place to worship and commune with Nature and those of like mind.

Many hands are needed in this effort. We are tentatively planning to open up scan0009 (2)work weekends some time in April and there are many projects to be accomplished. Downed trees need to be cleared and cut up for firewood, outhouses need rebuilding, buildings need repairing, mowing, weed-whacking; whoa, sounds like a lot of heavy labor!!

scan0009But wait, there’s more…if you, like me, have physical limitations that preclude helping with the heavy stuff, there are still many things that we can do. Cooking meals, coordinating raffles (goodies abound!), paperwork, sweeping, painting, picking up sticks; the list goes on. I was a part of the Land many years ago and I can attest to the fact that there is always something for someone to do on work weekends. And if you can’t be there, a financial donation is always welcome.

After a day’s work, sitting around a beautiful campfire next to old friends and new is a reward in and of itself. No sound of traffic, no nosy neighbors, and a place to speak freely about our spirituality, the next sabbat, or the latest ritual, this part of Mother Earth becomes a home away from home. ‘It takes a village’, so the saying goes, and those of us who have been around for a while look forward to those “new friends”. We hope you’ll join us.

If you are interested in working with us as we rebuild this community, send an email to ravenwolfnature at aol dot com for more information, or join us on our Facebook pages at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary or Memories of Ravenwolf.


Many Blessings,

Lady CrowW
Selena Wolff-Mason