10 Days & Counting Until Goddess Gathering!

Hard to believe, but it’s true! Summer Solstice is just ten days away and so is the beginning of the 2nd Annual Goddess Gathering. After an absence of over ten years, we’ve returned to the sacred space known as Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary to celebrate the Solstice and we invite you to come join in the celebration!

We’ve already got people coming from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and, of course, Ohio. There’s still plenty of room on our 16-acre site for people looking to celebrate the Summer Solstice with like-minded people. So no matter when you decide you might want to check us out, you can register at the gate. There are prices for the entire event or day passes, if you just want to come for a day. Children under 18 are free.

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If you do decide to come for the entire event, and you’ve never been primitive camping, I’m sharing some information I shared a couple of years ago from a book called Roughing It Easy. The book was originally published back in 1975 and was authored by Dian Thomas. At the time, the Washington Post called it, “A camper’s bible!” Maybe that’s because it was written by an outdoor woman from Utah. All I know is it was and still is a valuable book to have around if you’ve never been camping or haven’t been in quite a while.

One of the valuable pieces of information she shares is how to make a bed roll, in case you don’t have a sleeping bag, have no one to borrow one from, and/or can’t afford to buy one. It goes like this:
*Tape a tarp on the ground and spread one blanket over it.
*Lay the outside edge of a second blanket down the center of the first so that it is halfway off the first.
*Lay a third blanket over the first and a fourth blanket over the second.
(If you desire more blankets, continue in the same manner.)
*If you desire a sheet, lay it down as the last blanket.
*To close the bedroll, take the outside edge of the top blanket and bring it to its other edge. Continue overlapping blankets until the bedroll is completely folded. To close the bottom, fold it under 3” and pin it in several places. (See figure below.)

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My only addition to this is that, since a ground cloth is essential to keeping yourself and your bedding free of ground moisture, you should wrap the bedroll in that tarp. It will keep it clean and dry while you transport it. Sleeping on the ground is tough so you may want to bring an air mattress, cot, or at least a foam pad to put underneath you to make things a little more comfortable. Don’t forget your pillow!

The author has offered different lists for a camper, whether first time or seasoned, to consider – most are pretty practical, but things that could be forgotten. For example, under “Personal Equipment List”, she lists clothing, sleeping equipment, but also personal items like a comb, a mirror, towel, washcloth, toothbrush and paste. She also has a “miscellaneous” list that includes camera, chapstick, first-aid kit, flashlight (so important down on the Land), any meds you may take, pocket knife, sun glasses and a musical instrument (you never know what may happen around a bon-fire!)

She then moves on to her “General Camping Equipment” list. She makes two suggestions here: 1) take as little as possible; 2) take equipment that can be used in different ways and later discarded such as cans and foil. For basic equipment, she suggests:
*A hatchet or axe
*A blade saw or a string saw
*Tarps and/or ground cloths
*Ponchos
For fire equipment:
*A shovel and water bucket (in case of fire)
*Leather, heavy cotton or asbestos gloves (for handling hot objects
such as logs, pans, or foil-wrapped food placed in the fire for cooking)
Basic cooking equipment:
*A good skillet or Dutch oven
*A grill or grating (to place over the fire to cook)
*Can opener (don’t know how often this is forgotten!)
*Knives
*Spatula
*Toasting forks
Other suggestions include:
*A dish pan
*Dish soap
*Trash bags
* Paper towels
* Paper plates, cups, and utensils (especially if you don’t like dishwashing)
*Aluminum foil

The lists go on, but you get the idea and I’ve listed some very bare necessities that are often forgotten.

So what makes us so primitive? There’s no electricity of any kind, at this time. Plans for the future, when funds and hands are available, include solar for lighting and also for things like CPAP machines for those who need them when sleeping.

Although we do have one outhouse that is fitted for composting, we have two others that still await that conversion and are very much “outhouses”.

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Water on the Land comes from a hand-pumped well at the bottom of the hill close to Registration. Although the water has been drunk by those of us who have frequented the Land for decades, since it is an open well, we are required to post the sign you see below by the Health Dept. The water is good for drinking, cooking, and washing. If you feel you would rather not drink from it, then you will need to bring drinking water with you.

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Being a nature sanctuary, there are wild animals on the Land. Although there are no bear or large wild cats, there are raccoons, deer, squirrel and bats. In the case of the raccoons, you will want to make your food supply unreachable either by placing it in your car at night, with the windows rolled all the way up, or in a storage trunk or container that is “child-proof”. Raccoons are very clever and can open many types of containers when they suspect food is inside.

Raccoon Pants
We ask that you don’t bring any pets or animals with you. Our first priority is the animals that are already living and using Sanctuary Land. Besides, this is a celebration for humans. Bringing your pets along isn’t fair to them or to the other humans who may have allergies or fears concerning them.

Raven-Wolf does have poison ivy and poison oak on it. If you are allergic to either or both, you may want to start a regime of vitamin C to boost your immune system about a week before coming. Be sure to pack calamine lotion or any other treatments you use for such occasions, along with a small first-aid kit and something for headaches and just plain aches and pains from working hard. Bug repellent is also a good idea.

Poison oak, ivy, & sumac

We ask that anything you pack in, you pack out when you leave. Keep watch on all fires you build – make sure they do not flame so high as to burn the trees and make sure they are out when you leave. We very much appreciate your time, efforts and cooperation!

If you think you might want to come, and aren’t sure how to get there, contact us at RavenWolfNature@aol.com and we’ll email you PDF copies of 2 maps on how to find us!

Anticipation builds… Come join in the fun!!!

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Love & Blessed Be

Elder Maya

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Memorial Day Memories

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The traditional meaning of Memorial Day is to honor the memory of those who served and fought to protect our freedoms. My intention here is to take nothing from that traditional meaning but to add another – to honor the memory of the so very many who came to the call of the Goddess, God, and the Land itself at Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary.

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The beginning days were tough with no road in, lots of forest and few camping spots, and land that had been ravage by a logging company to remove all the old trees for the lumber they could provide. Many would have thought it an impossible job with few people, even fewer power tools, and weather that often worked against us. However, the Spirit that moved on that Land and through the people couldn’t be stopped.

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Without those who came and donated their time and energies, Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary wouldn’t exist. So it is here, on this very special weekend, I would like to remember all those who contributed to the Land, whether it was physically, emotionally, spiritually or all three, the impact you made with your efforts will never be forgotten.

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Without mentioning names, I share some pictures of those times. Not everyone who added their energies is pictured here. Some, at the time, preferred not to be photographed. Just the same, you and all the rest will forever have the gratitude of the rest of us for all you did.

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While some have crossed the Bridge of Light, others have moved on with their lives, or are no longer in a position to be part of Raven-Wolf. You are missed and your energies will never be forgotten.

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As we began to rebuild, it became evident the time has come for a new generation to add their energies and become part of this wonderful sacred space. The Goddess, God and the Land call to you and, somewhere out there, there will be those who hear the call and answer to create new energies and make new memories.

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Love and Blessed Be

Goddess Gathering Draws Closer

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As you can see, from the picture, things are really greening up down at Raven-Wolf. To quote Coordinator Mary T. Borden, “It is Spring and everything is springing up and trying to reach over our pathways.”

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There are a few branches down as well on some of the paths to cabins and elsewhere so work was done to start clearing these away and overhanging branches also. Thanks to Barbara and Starla for their help with this!

54 days to go!!! So as the countdown continues to Summer Solstice and Goddess Gathering, there’s another work/camping weekend coming up on May 5 – 7. That’s when all the power equipment returns and the first mowing of the season will take place. There will be more clearing of paths and overhanging branches. Maintaining safe walking paths are a priority on the Land along with clearing the driveways for people, especially coming up the hill.

The early registration discount for Goddess Gathering expires in a couple of days so if you’re thinking of attending and want to save some money, get your registration in right away!!! Registration forms can be found on the web site under “Goddess Gathering” and then “Festival Registration Form.” For now we can only take checks, money orders or cash (Do NOT send cash through the mail!).

Goddess Gathering registrations will still be accepted by mail postmarked no later than June 1, 2017, for anyone who wants to make sure they have a spot and have less to do upon arrival – all you’ll have to do is present your Confirmation Letter at the Registration site. Registrations now, whether by mail or on site, are:

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

FESTIVAL DAY RATES:
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

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 still 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!!!

Remember, we have a contact page on the web site now if you have questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you. Even better… we’d love to see you and meet you for one of the work/camping weekends or at Goddess Gathering itself!

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Love & Blessed Be

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

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.

Calling All Pagans – Young and Old!!!

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June 17-26, 2016

With only two weeks until the opening weekend of the first annual Goddess Gathering Reborn, I wanted to remind everyone that 24-hour Day Passes are available at the gate.

24-Hour Day Passes for $25!!! The perfect solution for those who:
1. have never been to a primitive camp site before and are not sure if they would like it;
2. have never been to a Pagan festival and aren’t sure about whether they would enjoy it;
3. have limited time and/or money but would still like to come and see what it’s all about.

And the perfect day to check us out? That would be Saturday, June 25th! Why? Because Saturday is our big event day:

1. Workshops
2. Main Ritual
3. Potluck feast following the ritual
4. Bonfire and drumming following the feast.

With a 24-hour Day Pass you can come in on Saturday, stay for the festivities and then camp for the night. A perfect way to get to know Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, Goddess Gathering Reborn and all the people attending.

So, if a 24-hour Day Pass seems like something you might want to do, either email me (Samantha Herron) at Durga1974@aol.com or private message me on Facebook for directions to the site. We’d love to see you there! Come join us, won’t you?

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.
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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