2016 Events

2016 Events

There are many gatherings and events that take place at Raven’s Knoll. The Knoll is a home for the Pagans and Heathens, and allied spiritual folk. It is volunteers that put on these events. Remember, you can organize your own event at the Knoll.

Beltaine Work Weekend – April 29 to May 1, 2016

The first work weekend at Raven’s Knoll features a May Pole Dance and Beltaine ritual, as well as a Walpurgisnacht ritual and bonfire … as well as sweat and work to open the campground. No cost!

Witches’ Sabbat – May 27 to May 29, 2016

The purpose of the Sabbat is to provide a forum where practitioners and other interested persons can come together to learn and share information relating to non-Wiccan witchcraft and its associated practices. The weekend consists of rituals, discussions, workshops, a potluck with stone soup feast, and much more. Together we build a relationship with the land, create a stang for the main ritual, tell stories, hang out around the fire pit, and most importantly: learn, share and grow as Witches. This year the theme is “Curses and Defense Against the Dark Arts” and the featured herb will be henbane (Hyoscyamus niger).

Three Rivers Festival – June 3 and 5, 2016

This festival is the annual gathering of the Eastern Ontario members of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship. Everyone is welcome. This year will be hosted by Dancing Lights Grove. The theme is yet to be announced, as is the deity to be honoured by erecting a shrine in Nematon. The main ritual will be in his honour, where attendees will raise a shrine to him.

Firemonger’s Workshop Weekend – June 10 to 12, 2016

This is a hands-on weekend for people interested in the art and skill of managing Pagan festival fires. This is a workshop for people who seriously want to burn things. The event also features a potluck cooked over the fire.

Van and Kettle Gathering – June 17 and 19, 2016 (tentative)

This event is a present-day the exploration of Victorian traveler caravans, cooking and culture. Plans being hatched include: period outdoor cooking; tarot card reading; period games; and, bartitsu. More to be announced.

Hail and Horn Gathering – June 30 to July 3, 2016

This is the fifth year for this Heathen and Ásatrú spiritual event. This year will see a blót to the god Thor and the raising of a god-pole in his honour, a húsel feast of traditional foods, a formal high sumbel, an esoteric rite, as well as workshops and games.

AnticiFest – July 23 to July 26, 2016

Can’t wait for Fest? No one can. That is why scads of people arrive early to holiday before the wondrous event that is the Kaleidoscope Gathering. Good times are anticipated. Regular camping rates apply. But … your stay may be anything but regular.  (Stay tuned for possible “special events.”)

Kaleidoscope Gathering – July 27 to August 1, 2016

The Kaleidoscope Gathering is Canada’s largest Pagan festival, which has been going for 27 years. The theme this year is “Portals Portals are liminal gates; some found and some created. They can be talismans, places, or intentions. They exist within us and without, as doorways to access that which is Other, beyond, or far within. Come prepared to find, create, and pass through “Portals” at the KG 2016. (Only attendees of the festival may camp at Raven’s Knoll at this time.)

LebowskiCampFest – August 5 and 7, 2016

We have heard the Word, and it is “Abide.” The Raven’s Knoll congregation of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude and the Lost Dominion Screening Collective are holding a tent revival to learn from, and apply, the teachings of the Dude. This fest is a camp out where we commune with the wisdom of the movie the Big Lebowski. The theme this year is “Dream Sequences.”

Pagans Unplugged – September 2 to 5, 2016

This is a simple camping excursion for Pagans, without being plugged in to phones, computers, and worries. There is no programming, just hanging out with friends doing regular stuff at the Knoll … swimming, bonfires, stars, hammocks, archery, wandering … Stay for as long or as little as you like. (It is not a music event, but do free to make music.)

KornuKopia Gathering – September 16 to 18, 2016

This gathering is for Pagans, Heathens and their friends to celebrate the last bounty of the Summer and the Turning of the Wheel of the Year into Fall, honouring the Gods in mirth and reverence. The festival features the burning of the Man in sacrifice to the Goddess on behalf of the folk, workshops by community members, chanting and singing around the campfire, and a communal Fall Fruits Feast.

There are other possible events coming or being planned for 2015, from private coven activities, to Underworld and Fallen Kingdome LARPs, to SCA events, so stay tuned. The campground is open for regular camping or to hold your event, from the start of May until the end of September, unless otherwise noted.

Here are the other possible events that are possible, but are still settling on a date or being confirmed:

Well and Tree Gathering – May 20 to 23, 2016 (tentative)

Of Earth, of Well, of Birch, of Bog. We feel the interconnection between ourselves and the Earth Mother. Come together to celebrate in this open-to-any, Land-Water centered gathering to pay tribute to the impending planting season, the fertility of life and field, and to participate in the annual Procession of Her Holy Mother Nerthus.  A Feast of the Folk will solidify the nature of hospitality, frith and peace without arms. Bring your hearth & kindred banners! Bring your noise makers!

Siling Labuyo Arnis Proficiency Seminar (SLAPS) – Fall T.B.A.

Come to experience this amazing Filipino martial arts, taught by Badger Jones and friends. Hands on instruction will be provided covering single stick, knife, staff and spear, as well as empty hands techniques. There will be test cutting with live blades, and the ever-popular dirty tricks workshop. Attendees will be able to buy into the work weekend food program.

Feast of Sekhmet – Summer T.B.A.

The Feast of Sekhmet is an annual festival for the satiation of the Goddess Sekhmet. Each year she is recognized by a different name. Honour is also paid another of the Neterju connected to her. Together attendees honour them through feasting and revelry.

KornuKopia Gathering 2015

The KornuKopia Gathering is a festival for Pagans, Heathens and their friends to celebrate the last bounty of the Summer and the Turning of the Wheel of the Year into Fall, honouring the Gods in mirth and reverence. This is the fifth time this Harvest celebration will be taking place. The festival features the ceremonial burning of a massive sculpted offering, to honour the harvests of the year and give thanks for blessings already on their way.  This year it takes place September 18 to 20.

Wickerman 2014 B


Cost (including taxes) to attend is $75 per adult for the weekend, $30 per child (7-15), and sproglings are free (6 and under). A day pass for adults is $50 and for children is $20. Hydro is an optional extra, for an added $12 per night. To make your registration happen faster, please print out and complete the KornuKopia Registration Form 2015.

Check out the group event on Facebook or join up with the Facebook page.


The gathering this year is centred upon the Burning of the Man and on the communal thanksgiving potluck Feast of the Folk.  If you would like to offer a workshop, please write Auz or Gypsy to make arrangements.


Friday, September 18

All Day Registration & Set Up Camping

6 to 7 Supper (Y.A.G.)

8:30 p.m. Welcome Ritual (Standing Stone)

9 p.m. Chat, Sing, and Socialize (Hearth Fire)

9 p.m. Dice Games (Rookery)

Saturday, September 19

All Day Personal Offerings for “The Burning” on the Pyre (Drum Fire)

Until 3 p.m. Drop-off ‘Blue Ribbon’ Entries (Raven Stage)

9 to 10 Breakfast (Y.A.G.)

10 a.m. Archery Games (Raven Field) (or, in case of rain, Boardgames in the Rookery)

12 a.m. Earth Oven Baking (Mud Oven)

1 p.m. Naalbinding (Rookery)

2 p.m. Hunting Ethics (Rookery)

3 p.m. ‘Blue Ribbon’ Table (Raven Stage)

4 p.m. Prepare for the Feast

5 p.m. Feast of the Folk & Wake (Long Hall Tents)

8:30 p.m. The Burning [Main Ritual] (Birch Grove & Drum Fire)

9:30 p.m. Fire Performance (The Fire Liberation Front)

10:30 p.m. Drum, Dance, and Celebrate (Drum Fire)

Sunday, September 20

All Day [Eat leftovers at the YAG; YAG drink service only, 10 to 11 and 4 to 5]

11 a.m. Celtic Nematon Rite (Nematon)

12 p.m. Astralagus Bone Oracles (Rookery)

1 p.m. Proto-Germanic Weapon Dancing (Raven Stage)

2 p.m. Kubb and/or Horseshoes (Horseshoe Pit)

3 p.m. Wind in Your Sails [Farewell Ritual] (Standing Stone)

Workshop and Ritual Descriptions

Archery Games (with Gypsy) – Archery is a fun activity. It is even more fun if you are shooting at one another!  Gypsy has crafted a number of sets of full contact archery equipment for Raven’s Knoll. A number of different games will be tested out and tried. (In case of rain, this will be transformed into board games in the Rookery.)

Astragalus Dice Oracles (with Auz) – From the Ancient Levant to Ancient Greece to the Mongol steppes, the “knucklebones” of sheep, their astragalus, have been used both as games of chance and to determine the will of the gods. Like the dice that they evolved into, they fall in unique ways. At this introdcutory workshop, divination methods and games using astragalus will be introduced, discussed and experimented with. (Please bring your own set of astragalus, if you have them.)

“The Burning” (Main Ritual) (with MA, Auz, Gypsy, the Folk) – We celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year into Fall; as the leaves turn their colours, as the sky darkens to nigh, as the Summer licks the vaults of heaven as a final flame. Each year at the KornuKopia Gathering our main ritual has featured the ceremonial burning of a communal offering.  This year we sacrifice ‘The Man’ who will carry our personal offerings to the Gods on the rising flame of his funeral pyre.  This year, again, we burn … we burn … we burn … for we give thanks for blessings already on their way.

‘Blue Ribbon’ Table (with Melissa and Friends) – A tradition of our grandmothers has long been to lay away the fruits of the land and our labours away in the Fall for the lean times of the Winter.  Make your favourite preserve, jam, pickle or food fermentation, and share it with others at our KornuKopian table. The most appreciated will win the blue ribbon!

Celtic Nematon Rite (with Sheena MacIsaac and Friends) – This will be an Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) Druid-style ritual for the Autumn Equinox.  This rite in the holy enclosure dedicated to the Celtic gods will honour the fruiting Mother and celebrating the second harvest.  Please bring an offering representing the fruits of your personal harvest this year whether literal or symbolic.

Chat, Sing, and Socialize (with the Folk) – A glowing hearth-fire draws us back to a time when entertainment was drawn from the circle around us, from heart-to-heart conversations, from wisdom and stories shared, from the skill and magick that lived in the souls of our fellow tribespeople. Feel free to share with those around you.  Feel free to bring an instrument, if you play.

Dice Games (with Auz) – The tumble and dance of the bones, the dice of fate, is a staccato tune that voices a message; a message in which we can see our fortunes rise or fall. The dance of these bones can foretell or change our future, but we cannot. Our “roll” is merely to accept it. At this event come and play bone and dice games, to test and try your luck.  Games like tali, liar’s dice, and bunco will be taught and played.

Drum, Dance, and Celebrate (with the Folk) – This is like “Chat, Sing, and Socialize,” except louder and with more drumming.  Remember to bring you drums!

Earth Oven Baking (with Auz and friends) – The earth oven is the most ancient method of baking loaves, the sacred bread of our Neolithic ancestors.  This basic foodstuff has nourished body and soul for millennia.  At this workshop create various types of flatbreads and fire them in the Raven-decorated mud oven.  Get your hands messy!

Feast of the Folk & Wake (with the Folk) – For millennium the main form of spiritual communion of our ancestors has been the sharing of a meal. At the Feast of the Folk we end the KornuKopia Gathering by sharing a meal with one another, with the ancestors, and the gods, in honour of the Fall season and all it brings. Please bring an item to share at this potluck feast, as well as your own ‘feast gear’ (dishes, cutlery, etc.).  Our sacrifice, ‘The Man,’ will join us at dinner as our guest.  Please feel free to prepare a toast, ode, song, offering, what-have-you, for him; since this will also be his wake before we burn him at the main ritual.

Fire Performance (with The Fire Liberation Front) – Born from the fiery laboratory of the subterranean circus scene, the Fire Liberation Front is poised to set our minds ablaze with a dazzling, incendiary spectacle. Their performance will celebrate the burning of the Man; fusing together fire spinning, whip cracking, juggling, contortion, acrobatics, belly-dancing, and death-defying stunts …

Fishing: Harvest the River (with Gypsy) – Come fish with Gypsy on the Bonnechere River as we attempt to respectfully harvest local animals for the Feast of the Folk. Gypsy knows this river well and can teach anyone how to angle. Some gear is available to borrow, so complete newcomers are welcome.

Hunting Ethics (with Angela) – Fall is a season of harvest, of both plant and animal. An ethical hunter can play a valuable role by thinning the herds to prevent starvation over the winter, or helping track the spread of dangerous diseases. An unethical hunter can cause serious damage to animal populations and habitats. Join us for a discussion on how to harvest meat safely and responsibly.

Kubb and/or Horseshoes (with Shane, Gypsy, and Friends) – An early medieval Swedish game of tossing chunks of wood?  If you have never played experts from Kubb Canada will teach you.  It is a fun, easy game for all ages.  A late medieval English game of flinging horseshoes?  Either way you get to toss stuff in a relaxed atmosphere while sipping the beverage of your choice.

Naalbinding (with Brenda and Shane) – Naalbinding is basically Viking knitting. Two needle knitting is actually an innovation that only spread to Europe in the late Middle Ages from the Islamic world; before this knotted clothing fibre craft was done with one needle.  At this workshop learn a bit about the technique and try it out; including the infamous “Oslo Stich.”

Proto-Germanic Weapon Dancing (with Erik Lacharity) – [possible workshop; description to follow]

Welcome Ritual (with Auz and MA) – This will be a short ecumenical Pagan ritual to start off a magickal weekend to celebrate the season of harvest.

Wind in Your Sails [Farewell Ritual] (with Auz and MA) – All things come to an end, but endings lead to beginnings. This will be a short ecumenical Pagan ritual to say goodbye to our gathering for another year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I vend?

Yes, and there is no extra charge. See the Kaleidoscope Gathering vendors’ page for more information, basically the same rules apply. The most important thing to know is that you need proof of insurance.

Can I bring my pet?

It is possible, but only so long as it is preapproved by Maryanne Pearce. Contact her early to find out.

Why is the KornuKopia Gathering so amazing?

Three reasons: 1) Because awesome people attend; 2) Because we burn large sculptures; 3) Because we get to celebrate the Harvest season together as a community at Raven’s Knoll.

How long is a day pass?

A day pass is for 12 hours, but does not include an overnight stay or the setting up of a tent, trailer or similar temporary accommodation.

Will the YAG be open?

Yes.  For some limited late breakfast and dinner hours.  Please see the schedule above.

Portals: Theme for the Kaleidoscope Gathering 2016

The theme for the Kaleidoscope Gathering in 2016 is “Portals.” Portals are liminal gates; some found and some created. They can be talismans, places, or intentions. They exist within us and without, as doorways to access that which is Other, beyond, or far within. Come prepared to find, create, and pass through “Portals” at the KG 2016.

Holy Places, Arches of Intention

A grove deep in the woods, a shrine with idols of the gods;

where cross the mighty and shining ones.

Jade honouring Odin (photo by Shane Hultquist)

Upon a far hill, the ancient stone circle;

drawing through to the other side for generation upon generation.

stone circle

In the spiral, at meeting of heart and grove;

stand the stangs, hung with bones that bring Spirits together again.


Archetypes of Transformation, Metaphors of Entry

In the dark and dank ship’s hull, pitching on the waves;

seen through the port-hole the bright blue sea and the promise of land beyond.


Deep below the cerebellum, a chunk of ancient grey flesh;

dazzling bright as rainbow nirvana, pineal gland to burst the mind.


Starting children’s stories, held true for adults;

wardrobes, rabbit holes, chalk drawings, police call boxes, books, and yellow brick roads.


Gates Manifest in the Mind’s Eye

Upon the desk a grimoire, a candle, and a darkened glass;

scrying the other side of our eye’s view.


Nothing but a cardboard carapace and a planchette;

still bringing those that answer “yes,” “no” or “good bye.”

ouija 2

Rising serpent within, lead through the body gates;

from base to crown, exploding inwards with a power beyond.

vaam chakra

Poetry of Objects, Opening Amulets

An heirloom cameo from a great-grandmother;

worn it recalls the smell of the dinner’s prepared and a warm embrace.

grannie cameo

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water:

Pentacle, return we to the Quintessense, entrance to the Divine.


Sigil upon the neck, hanging at the drip line of word and thought;

carrying an emanation, bound.


Inscribing Sacred Spaces, Doorways to Spirit

The besoms sweep the sacred circle ‘round;

moonlight upon the dew-dropped grass, chants of the Goddess upon the lips.


A packed earth floor has corn-flour sigils drawn upon it;

calling forth the spirits by rum and by drum.


Standing in the circle of salt, concentrating upon the chalked triangle;

upon the vapours of the smoke, beings are called.


Entrance to the Super-natural, Ingress of the Sublime

A perfect ring of fungi, sprung where the fairies danced;

cross your fingers three times or taste the musical lights.

fiairy ring

Falling into where all are born, musky aureole of ecstasy;

new life is born, new knowledge formed, as old as She.

vagina mother

Deep wells, cold and clear, ringed with witch tree and billowing cloth;

bubbling up before people knew to look below the surface of their reflections.


Shrine Trail: Development and Plan

The Shrine Trail is a forest pathway that will run along the Northeastern border of Raven’s Knoll. It will stretch from the Jötunn Ve all the way to the Æsir Ve, passing through forest, over bridges, and alongside a wetland marsh. (Assistance is required to execute on this plan, please see Gypsy Birch at Work Weekends to help out.)

Phase One

Phase One entails the basic physical creation of the trail. This includes marking the desired route, raking back detritus, removing undergrowth, and the construction of bridges over the swales and ditches. All bridges will be designed to accommodate the space required for two pedestrians to cross, and to withstand the minimum weight capacity of 2,000 lbs. This is to meet the demands of supporting the small utility vehicles that may be required to pass through the trail, as well as power wheel chairs. While the trail will be designed to be suitable for pedestrian traffic, utility vehicles will provide significant assistance in transporting the materials required to construct the later phases of the trail as well as assist in creating the shrines.

  • Route marked
  • Detritus raked
  • Undergrowth removed
  • Bridges installed

Additionally, once Phase One is complete, dedicants will be allowed to begin constructing their approved shrines. However, the locations for these shrines must be within the portion of the trail that has been finished within the span of Phase One’s requirements. This span will most likely be within the Southernmost half of the Shrine Trail.

  • Shrine theme
  • Desired location
  • Traditions and taboos/codes of conduct
  • Required materials
  • Construction timeframe
  • Designated and potential caretakers

To submit a request to build a shrine to the Stewards, please consult with others in your interest community and return this form to ravensknoll@rogers.com.

Phase One estimated completion date: July 2015


Phase Two

Phase Two is intended to involve the general completion of the trail from the second bridge all the way North to the Æsir Ve. The trail will be widened to accommodate small utility vehicles as well as two side-by-side pedestrians.

  • Second section of trail widened
  • Some shrines started and/or completed

Phase Two estimated completion date: September 2015

Phase Three

Phase Three is the final phase in the construction of the Shine Trail. It is expected that the entirety of the trail will have been widened to accommodate utility vehicles, all bridges will have been installed, and multiple shrines will have been completed.

  • Entirety of trail widened for utility vehicles
  • Drainage ditch formed
  • Culvert installed
  • Path raised in Northern section

Phase Three estimated completion date: October 2015


Shrine Trail (Preliminary)

Shrine Trail (Preliminary)



Húsel Menu for Freya at HHG 2015

A central feature of the Hail and Horn Gathering is a sacred feast known as húsel.  Foodstuffs which we will offer at the Vé, will be collected and prepared in a way consistent with the cooking techniques of the Germanic peoples of old. Our communal efforts at the raising of the God-pole to Freya, the blót, bind gods and folk together through this ritual meal in her honour.  It is in the hall at the feasting board that frith is shared with every bite, growing in joviality well into the throws of symbel.

All HHG registrations include the husél feast dinner. Friends who are regular campers at Raven’s Knoll and are not registered for Hail and Horn may join the feast for a $30 fee, preregistration is required for this so we can plan purchases.

(Please note that this menu is tentative, as the exact menu depends upon numbers of feasters and other logistical concerns.)



*** “Smear-breads” – Start on the table ***


Homebrewed ale

Buttermilk (thin, unsalted version)

Switchel (a chilled honey-drink flavoured with cider vinegar)


Maslin Loaf

Rye Crispbread

Green Pancakes


Cultured butter

Lard with caramelized onions and crackling bits

Sharp mustard


*** “The Immortal Sow” – First Service ***

Apples, Bacon and Onion

Smoked Bacon with Apples and Onions (Danish style)


*** “Skause Warmth” – Second Service ***


Pork broth


Pork meatballs, poached in broth, spiced with garlic and mustard seed

Buttermilk Dumplings

Barley dumplings poached in pork broth


*** “Searching for Od” – Third Service ***


Grilled pork sausages, no filler, flavoured with sage and caraway

Millet frumenty

Glutinous millet ‘rissotto’ coloured amber-yellow

Horse Bean Salad

A salad of fava beans with chives, mixed wild mushrooms, fresh apples, toasted walnuts, blueberries, feta cheese, and apple cider vinaigrette


*** “Sweet Lady” – Ends on the table ***

Sweet Pottage

Thick barley and flax porridge, topped with crushed roasted hazelnuts and honey

Strawberries and cream

Strawberries with whipped cream



Hail and Horn Gathering 2015 – Freya

Hail and Horn is an annual gathering organized by Canadian Heathens to express in fullness of our ancient religious custom. The gathering is anchored by three intertwined rituals – blót, húsel and symbel – and a deep reverence for the Gods. This is the fourth year of the gathering.  This year, in particular, we honour Mardoll, the Lady Vanadis, Freya.



Hail Lady Freya! Raising a God-pole is the main ritual at Hail and Horn. Each year a log of red pine is carved in the likeness of a god/dess and ceremoniously ‘planted’ into the earth within the Vé. To date Odin, Frigg and Freyr have been planted and Freya will join them in 2015. The lore on such a custom is taken from the Risala of Ibn Fadlan, where the Rus would erect the likeness of their gods and ancestors to receive sacrifice. It is our aim to honour the Æsir and Vanir in a similar fashion, befitting our ancestral ways. Offerings of food and drink will be made to the Lady Freya in a blót ritual which will link directly to the main feast. The Vé at Raven’s Knoll is unparalleled in Canada due to its stature, vision and plentiful community use. As a permanent publicly-accessible sacred enclosure, it is one of the best locations in the country to experience our Elder Kin.


As our ancient heathen ancestors did (as among the Anglo-Saxons) we will be partaking in a sacred feast known as húsel. Foodstuffs which we will offer at the Vé, will be collected and prepared in a way consistent with the cooking techniques of the Germanic peoples of old. Our communal efforts at the raising of the God-pole to Freya, the blót, bind gods and folk together through this ritual meal in his honour.  It is in the hall at the feasting board that frith is shared with every bite, growing in joviality well into the throws of symbel.

High Symbel

Raise the horn! Symbel (pronounced sumble) is a communal ritual drinking within a hall. At Hail and Horn participants are invited to partake in a ‘High Symbel’, meaning to hail the gods of the historic Germanic and Scandinavian peoples. Loki may be honoured at symbel, as for what is stated in Lokasenna. Our symbel is based upon well-documented research by Stephen Pollington in his work, the ‘Meadhall’. The format is modelled on that of Anglo-Saxon sources as opposed to the popular American Sumbel.  This symbel features a non-circular setting devoid of a simple three round structure. Each participant may chose to speak over the horn by signalling the byrele (Cup/Horn Bearer) if/when they are so moved to do so. The thyle (Orator and Hall Challenger) will keep the pace flowing and enforce any rules of etiquette, if such a need arises.



This is a preliminary program based on the work of volunteers, so some times and arrangements of program elements may change. Once you are at the event there will be a board displaying the program for all to see.

Thursday (June 25, 2015)

Early arrivals can secure their preferred camping spot, though there is no lack of space, and meet other early birds. Some activities may be organized if there are a fair number of folks on Thursday. Possibilities range from a movie night, board games or the age old art of storytelling. Heck, grab an ale and pull up a stump for a relaxing evening before the festivities begin.

Friday (June 26, 2015)

Carving of the God‐Pole (All day)

During the day, as you set up camp, come and witness Erik Lacharity carving the likeness of the Lady into the godpole. Get a sneak peek of the craftsmanship, envision the hidden form emerging from the rough red pine.  This will be the fourth heavenly pillar erected in the Vé and the second depicting a goddess.

Welcome Reception / Landwight Offering (5:00pm)

In the evening, after dinner, join together shoulder‐to‐shoulder around the hearth to meet one another and make offerings to the many wights of Raven’s Knoll whose land we will be meeting upon over the weekend. (Auz Lawrence & Erik Lacharity)

Welcome Fire (9:00pm)

As people from farther afield arrive into the evening, we sit in conversation around the fire reacquainting ourselves with those who we have not seen for a while and making new connections with our friends. (Folk)

Saturday (June 27, 2015)

Sausage Making (10:00 – 11:00)

Join Stephan Lebeau as he prepares the sausages we will enjoy at the Húsel feast. Listen and learn as he crafts these delectable morsels surely fit for the gods … but primarily for we mere mortals to indulge in.

Freya, Lady, Vanadis: Goddess of Many Faces (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

There are many sides to Freyja: love and sexuality, war and death, magic and seið all of which make her who she is. This will be a guided discussion of those many sides. From her time before the written word, all the way to the Medieval Nordic witch cults, to our experiences of her today. Participants are encouraged to bring their knowledge of lore, archaeology, and personal gnosis to the discussion. (Jade Pichette)

Ég tala ekki íslensku [svo vel] (2:00pm – 3:00pm)

No Problem! Have you ever wished to pronounce Old Norse words and names of gods and goddesses appropriately? Are you baffled by ð, þ and funky accents showing up in ritual texts and sagas? Join us at this workshop to learn about the Icelandic language, the closest language to Old Norse that is still spoken today. Tips on the phonetic values of letters and where to put the accent when using Icelandic will be discussed, but bring along any question you may have on grammar, history and use of the language. Questions on Iceland, and on where to turn if you also wish to learn Icelandic, are also welcomed! (This workshop will be given by Annie Langlois, who’s been studying Icelandic for the past 4 years and has achieved half-decent fluency. Because believe me, only half-decent fluency can be gained in 4 years.)

Freya Blót (4:00pm – 7:00pm)

At this holy rite we honour Freya. We plant her idol, her god‐pole; deep into the ground to rise high into the air to open the permanent holy enclosure that is the Raven’s Knoll vé. In a manner inspired by the account of Ibn Fadlan’s travels amongst the Swedish Rus, we provide offerings of flesh, leek, ale and grain to the Vanadis, the Falcon-skinned, that she may know of us and we may know her. We give a gift for a gift, for a gift deserves a gift. (Tracy Thillman & Assistants)

Folk Fire (9:00pm)

The blót rite having ended, we then regain the world of mankind and the social joviality which makes us a part of this world. By the hearth-fire, we will wile away the hours or, if we are yearning and brave enough … to prepare for the journey into the realm of the Unseen and meet with a Spá. Would we know more? …

Esoteric Rite, Prelude (9:30pm – 10:00pm)

At this time those interested in taking a fateful adventure will be briefed on the upcoming experience and some pre/after-care topics will be discussed before being led back to the Vé.

Esoteric Rite (10:00pm – 11:30pm)

In the Saga of Erik the Red, the Seeress performing oracular seið stated that she was the last of a band of nine sisters. In this spirit, let’s turn back the clock and experience the same tremendum which shook the centres of elder folk. May we find a good oracle with which to guide our coming days and shed light upon the winding ways of Wyrd. (Linda Demissy & Assistants)

Esoteric Rite, Aftercare (11:30pm – 12:30pm)

Folk attending the esoteric rite will have a subdued fire at which to come back to Midgard and discuss their experiences with one another before joining again with the rest of the gathering.

Sunday (June 28, 2015)

Preparation of the Húsel (Early morning)

During the day, those who wish can devote themselves to their community by creating the recipes of the blót feast. From the same ingredients offered to Freyja we will fortify the folks’ connection to our gods and our ancestors when we sit at the festive board. A number of discussions will surely be had regarding the archeology of Heathen food and religion, as well as the symbolic association of the ingredients, to participate in said discussions offer your hand in the crafting of the feast. (Sarah Clements & Folk)

Archery (10:00-11:00)

Warfare in the Viking Age Northland was not all groves of spears, songs of sword and shield, or arcing axes.  It was also storms of arrows! At this workshop basic archery skills will be taught and tested.  We may try some catching of arrows out the air and clout shooting , if there is the equipment and the interest. (Gypsy Birch)

The Meaning of Symbel (11:00 – 12:00)

Symbel is a holy ritual of Heathenry, the depths of which can sometimes be hard for people coming from other religious traditions to fully comprehend. This is a vital ceremony of modern Heathenry with deep and ancient roots in many places in the Northlands. Using “The Meadhall” by Stephen Pollington as a launching point, this workshop leads participants through some of the meaning and lore of symbel and will help familiarize the participants prior to the event. (Erik Lacharity)

Art of the Tale (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

Do you have a burning desire to share an epic tale? Have you ever crafted an entertaining yarn? Whether or not you have experience in the art of the tale, let an experienced bard share with you some tips and tricks to captivate your audience and lead them through a maze of punctuation and gesticulation. (Gypsy Birch)

The Werthana: Presenting a Canadian Heathen Archive (2:00pm – 4:00pm)

For many of us, we feel that we are living in a time of greatness … maybe even a new Heroic Age. Many of us have spent numerous years building Heathenry in Canada and leaving a footprint everywhere we go. Some of us have many stories to share about the early days of our religion as well as impressing memories of more recent deeds. Some of us feel that if we do not begin the work to document and collect these memories, in a fast paced world that accelerates with each passing year, we may lose them forever. After doing some research on smaller archives which specialize in sub-cultural Canadian spheres of society and ruminating on what a future digital archive may look like, the presenters wish to share their ideas and engage in a discussion of how we best preserve our fledgling legacy for those to come. (Jade Pichette & Erik Lacharity)

Húsel (5:00pm – 8:00pm)

After a formal welcome and greeting, we toast Freya with horns held high and sit at table together to experience the blessings of the húsel feast. With traditional food in our bellies, sitting on the benches one with the other, we know in our bones that we are a folk in communion with the Gods and ancestors. We receive a gift for a gift, for a gift deserves a gift.  (Auz Lawrence with many others)

High Symbel (8:00pm – 9:00pm)

At this formal, High Symbel ceremony, the banners that flutter behind groups and individuals that have come from far and wide to meet one another in the Hall sit and hear the sacred words of one another. It is honour and fortune we strive for in our lives, our virtue that brings gifts from gods and ancestors, good thoughts and words that bind us in frith. At symbel we honour the Aesir, Vanir and their allies, our ancestors, and the good deeds of our folk. Over the mighty horn, filled with the holy ale, it is through our actions, words and gift‐giving through which the images of the mind’s‐eye become reality in the weave and weft of wyrd. (Erik Lacharity with many others)

Skalds’ Fire (9:00pm)

The formal symbel continues into an evening of skaldic display about the hearth‐fire. Oh, wordsmiths! Oh, music‐weavers! Bring your ear‐mead that the folk can revel in the finery of our traditions. Stories and songs of our myths, of the Lady, of the folk‐lore of your place and people, are particularly appreciated. (Gypsy Birch & Folk)

Gifting of the Rings (after Skald’s Fire)

One of the important traditions at Hail and Horn is that of gifting arm rings. Each year a portion of each attendee’s entry fee is reserved for the crafting of beautifully ornate rings to be given, by the folk, to two deserving recipients. These new recipients are chosen by the body of past years’ receivers, one could turn to Pollington’s work and refer to them as the “doughty” or those who have proven themselves to be good and hale and inspirations for other’s to look up to. These rings, physically given by Auz and Erik on behalf of the folk, should be viewed as a constant reminder to strive towards excellence and to toil in service to folk, land, wights and gods. To stave off the wyrm, it is good to give generously and to be proud of our deeds whether great or small.

Monday (June 29, 2015)

Redemoot (11:00am – 1:00pm)

At this workshop we assess how the fourth annual Hail and Horn Gathering went. We start the planning process for next year. (Auz Lawrence & Erik Lacharity)

Farewell Blessing (1:00pm – 1:30pm)

At the end of the morning, a formal farewell blessing is offered to everyone who attends.  (Because a fair wind in your sails or a healthy horse are better than a storm rocked barge or a broken down wagon on the moors.) (Auz Lawrence & Erik Lacharity)



The cost of registration for this camping event is $120 per adult (18 and older). Registration for youth (aged 13 to 17) is $50. Registration for children (aged 7 to 12) is $25.  Ankle-biters (6 years old and under) are free. (Electrical hook-ups, trailers and shared cabin space is available by pre-registration, and rates as per the regular rates.)  All prices include taxes.

All HHG registrations include the husél feast dinner. Friends who are regular campers at Raven’s Knoll and are not registered for Hail and Horn may join the feast for a $30 fee, preregistration is required for this so we can plan purchases.

A registration form is available to download by following this link. Although registration and payment at the door is available, to plan the event, we would really, really appreciate your preregistration even if you cannot pay until you are at the door. We accept payment by Interac transfer or on-site.  Please arrange all payments and the submission of your registration form through  ravensknoll@rogers.com.

There is also a “Draupnir Benefit” for groups; for every group (kindred, hearth, banner, etc.) that includes eight paying adults, the registration fee for the ninth paying adult is waived.

Odin and Frigg

Hail the Landvettir! Hail the Ancestors! Hail the Gods!

Concerts at the Kaleidoscope Gathering 2015

Cory Orr – Wednesday (July 29, 2015) (Might be another day)

Cory Orr is a local musician performing all over Ontario. Last summer he quit his job as a cabinet maker so he could travel and play music. He spent two and a half months performing everywhere from the streets, beaches, festivals, cafes and bars! Currently he’s working at a skateboard shop and playing as much music as possible. This summer is going to be another great one! Let’s kick back relax and enjoy the tunes! You can follow him on Facebook and check out his music on SoundCloud.

Corey Orr

Fiddlehead Soup – Wednesday (July 29, 2015)

Fiddlehead Soup is an Eastern Ontario trio transports listeners to Scandinavia, southern Europe, South America and beyond with a wonderful collection of folk songs sprinkled with a garnish of Scottish and Irish tunes and original music. Featuring veteran musician Douglas Hendry on cittern and 12-string guitar, and mother-and-daughter team Glenna Hunter and Ursa Meyer on fiddles (and other instruments that come to hand), this delightfully earthy trio provides a most pleasing pottage of international folk.

Doug Hendry

Doug Hendry

Glenna Hunter

Glenna Hunter

Ursa Meyer

Ursa Meyer

Tara Rice – Thursday (July 30, 2015)

Rice’s voice has been described as haunting and otherworldly, ebbing and flowing symbiotically with her propensity for bending genres. Throughout her music we can experience a heartbreaking vulnerability expressed in one moment, playful inquisitiveness or sensuality in the next and then the hiss of barbed vitriol. Yet somehow, it all seems to happen at the right time, delivered with emotionally wide-ranging lyrics and melodies that endure in the soul. You can find her work on the Gaia Gathering album “Songs of the Northern Tribes,” or check her music out on her website.

Tara Rice

Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo – Friday (July 31, 2015)

From the dark crossroads comes the classic rock and soul, New Orleans Mardi Gras, R&B, Zydeco, Voodoo and Latin Jazz Grooves of the hoodoo bretheren, the Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo.  The band has been around since 1991 after instigator Steve Lund (Vocals & Drums) worked the root on some talented musicians. With Steve, the band consists of Brian Magner (Sax, Vocals & Percussion), Grant Tomkinson (Vocals & Bass guitar), and Guido Guzzo (Organ, Piano & Vocals).

Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo


Jenny Robert – Sunday (August 2, 2015)

Jenny will keep your heart and soul activated with her velvety smooth vocals, her sweet and loving personality, and her undying passion for life.  Jenny was born and raised in the small town of Timmins, Ontario Canada.  She is always on a journey towards fulfilling her musical passion. (You may remember her from a Bardic Competition win a few years ago.) Check out her music on her website.

Jenny Robert

Ginger Doss – Sunday (August 2, 2015)

Ginger Doss is a spiritual seeker, performing songwriter and music producer from Austin, Texas, whose work spans multiple genres, including pop, rock, alternative and spiritual folk. Six years ago she gave up having a permanent home and began living the nomadic life of a highway hippy, seeking to unite, heal and uplift the human tribe by strengthening our connection to the divine and each other through music. She now performs her award winning music, a.k.a. Chakra Rock, internationally to a wide variety of diverse and spiritual communities where the focus is expanding human potential through the strength of community and the pursuit of enlightenment. (If we are lucky the talented bass player, Lynda Millard, may be able to accompany her.  As when she visited us in 2013, she love to play with skilled local fest drummers.) Check her out on Facebook or buy her music on-line.

Ginger Doss

PVC Bows and Archery Dodge-ball

This is a guest post by Gypsy Birch about a project he is working on for Raven’s Knoll.

How It Started

A couple of months ago, sometime around mid-February, I was visiting Auz (Austin Lawrence) and the topic of archery came up. He mentioned to me that he and a few others had recently tried to make a bow out of PVC pipe. Due to circumstances, they had been unsuccessful. Personally, I found the idea of a bow constructed of PVC pipe to be rather ludicrous. A bow made from materials that weren’t naturally occurring? Of course, a moment of introspection had me realize my notion was flawed. My own hunting bow is made of composite materials, and my arrows are aluminum. I had no reason to feel so negatively about what I assumed would be a crude piece of work.

Undeterred by my hesitation, Auz had me sit and watch an online tutorial for making these bows. The video was straightforward with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. After seeing how plausible they would be to make, and how functional they really were, I decided that perhaps I would give these bows a shot. Auz still had his supplies from his recent attempt, and sent them home with me to get started. In retrospect, I believe that this had been his plan all along: get me interested in making PVC bows, and rather than risk that I not follow through, he put the supplies directly in my hands so that I had no excuse. The fact that I am writing this right now is testament to his successful efforts.

One of the ideas that Auz and I discussed was a game that would essentially be archery dodge-ball. Put simply, people in a field shooting padded arrows at each other. This was my primary driving force behind making an assortment of PVC bows. Make enough bows for two teams of players, get some foam safety arrows, and play some games. Masks would be purchased from an outside source. The entire concept, still in its infancy, was entirely dependent on my success or failure at making the bows, and I got started right away.

I struggled, at first, at not only making the bows, but understanding the entire process. I watched and re-watched the videos to make sure I had everything right, but my failing was patience. Waiting until the PVC was heated through to a properly pliable state took too long for my short attention span. Understanding that this was the issue, I decided to pair my bow making with watching old episodes of Star Trek. This proved to be a very wise idea.

Applying the heat gun to the PVC to soften it.

Applying the heat gun to the PVC to soften it.

Tillering a bow in the workshop.

Tillering a bow in the workshop.

After a few weeks of off-and-on attempts, I had created my first two bows. They were very simple, with slightly recurved limbs, and while they were functional, they were not nearly flattened enough to be of proper use, and I was using a crude rig of polypropylene rope as a bowstring. I showed my work to Auz, and his delight in seeing functional PVC bows was quite infectious. We set off to the hardware store and procured all the supplies needed to keep making more. For reference, a standard length of PVC pipe is 10′ long, and we cut ours in half to make two 5′ bows. In terms of diameter, 3/4” pipe was the way to go; I tried using some 1” pipe, but the amount of time needed to heat it entirely through was frustrating. Plus, that additional 1/4” made the bows significantly more powerful, beyond anything that I was looking to make for this project. One of the most important factors in making these bows was ensuring that they were not too powerful for shooting safety arrows.

Six bows on the right are ready-to-play, aside from needing handle wraps and some cosmetic works. Two smaller ones in the middle are for kids. The small compound (which, of course, I did not make), is a youth bow with low enough draw strength that I feel safe using it in archery games. Three large ones on the left were some of my first attempts, and while they work, the bowstring length and the flexibility of the pipe are far from ideal. Small one on the farthest left is not even close to flattened enough, and the small size of the limbs means that it is stupidly powerful.

Six bows on the right are ready-to-play, aside from needing handle wraps and some cosmetic works.
Two smaller ones in the middle are for kids. The small compound (which, of course, I did not make), is a youth bow with low enough draw strength that I feel safe using it in archery games. Three large ones on the left were some of my first attempts, and while they work, the bowstring length and the flexibility of the pipe are far from ideal. Small one on the farthest left is not even close to flattened enough, and the small size of the limbs means that it is stupidly powerful.

As I worked on this project, the weather had begun to turn towards the warmer side, even if only slightly. This allowed me to begin constructing the bows outside in the garage, providing me with the proper work space needed. I was becoming significantly more successful with creating higher-quality PVC bows, but the problem still remained that I did not have anything resembling a quality bowstring. So, back to the online tutorials. I looked at the two most common methods of making a bowstring, and was really hoping that I could pull off making a “Flemish twist” string. I can’t. Laziness is a factor in this inability.

Close look at the grip for the faux-wood bow. Same as the bowstrings, I am making the grips with no knots.

Close look at the grip for the faux-wood bow. Same as the bowstrings, I am making the grips with no knots.

I moved on to the other style, the “endless loop”. I was very hesitant to learn that nowhere on the bowstring is there a knot. Of course, this makes sense, because typically a knot will reduce a string’s strength significantly, and having weak points on a bowstring is a bad idea. It turns out that a combination of twists and wax keeps everything quite solidly in place. Beeswax, one of the suggested waxes, was not too hard to come by, but I also picked up a stick of actual bowstring wax to get started. For the actual string, I used 50-lb braided fishing line. As per some of the tutorials, this was a suggested alternative to professional bowstring material, and much easier for me to come by. The last item for this was some basic cotton string to hold it all together, not much bigger than basic thread.

This is my string-making rig. It sits across my lap while I watch movies and TV, casually making bowstrings. The dealy sitting on the plank is a beeswax candle. Random amusing note: This piece of wood used to be part of a ping-pong table, other parts of which were used to make the wheels on a the cart used to carry Nerthus at the Procession of Nerthus ritual.

This is my string-making rig. It sits across my lap while I watch movies and TV, casually making bowstrings. The dealy sitting on the plank is a beeswax candle.
Random amusing note: This piece of wood used to be part of a ping-pong table, other parts of which were used to make the wheels on a the cart used to carry Nerthus at the Procession of Nerthus ritual.

Suffice it to say, working with waxed, tightened strings can be very painful on the fingertips, especially when constant pressure is required.  I will say with some measure of pride that I think I might actually have a talent for making bowstrings, as this was the most immediately successful of all my undertakings related to this project.

A nicely wound string.

A nicely wound string.

Bows and bowstrings made and ready, the last step for me was the acquisition of arrows. I priced out LARP safety arrows online and spoke with the organizers of the local LARP, and while the options were not quite as expensive as I had feared, they were still pricey enough to make a large-scale purchase rather daunting.

Fortunately, just as online tutorials provided me with instruction on bow-making, I was able to find numerous sites that showed how to make safety arrows using regular arrows. Completely remove the arrow’s point, permanently secure a piece of flat metal (pennies were often recommended) across the end of the shaft, and use a combination of open-cell foam, soft-cell foam, and copious amounts of duct tape, hot glue, and superglue to seal it all together. In my case, I elected to use a screw and washer at the end of the arrow. The screws were able to thread into the shaft of the bow where a typical point would screw in, which gave the washer additional security beyond just glue.

The primary point of contention among the instruction sites was the material that the arrows should be made of. Some said only fibreglass or carbon fibre, some said only wood, and some said only aluminum. While each of the sites gave some reasoning as to why they felt their material of choice was the safest, my personal experience is that aluminum shafts would provide the most safety. Fibreglass will split over time and leave painful, invisible splinters. Wood arrows have too much potential to snap and create sharp points, especially if accidentally stepped on. With people running through the playing area, this would be a risk. I have personally (accidentally) shot an aluminum arrow at a cinder block from less than twenty feet away with my compound hunting bow. The result was that the end of the arrow shaft was nearly crumpled, having bent at an unfixable angle. No sharp exposed points and no splinters. For this reason, I settled on aluminum arrows.

Despite the cost-saving methods I had devised, I still had the issue of finding the core components of the arrows. For the price of a new aluminum arrow, it would have been just as worth buying the pre-made LARP arrows. My best bet was to find someone I knew who might have a few extra arrows sitting around. After contacting a few people, I managed to find someone willing to trade fifty used aluminum arrows for the price of one of my highly-coveted thrift shop finds, to which I agreed. The arrows had all their points removed (which was, in fact, ideal), and were missing a few fletchings, but they were straight and ready to be worked on. Once I got them in hand, I began to try my hand at the safety arrows.

A montage of the arrows being constructed.

A montage of the arrows being constructed.

With the exception of my first attempts, the arrows were also made in the garage, on the same table that I make the bows. The arrows did not require standing still with a heat gun, for which I was very thankful, and I was able to make safety tips that I was personally comfortable getting struck with. I have taken the bows and arrows with me when visiting people, and I have personally been hit in the right butt-cheek with one of my arrows, and have struck others square in the belly. Regrettably, my poor aim is to blame for accidentally hitting the funny bone in my wife’s arm (the padding minimized the tingling sensation). I can land four padded arrows within a four-foot radius from thirty-five paces away, but I can’t hit between the shoulders from seven paces. Regardless, I was confident in the safety of my arrow design.

Now that most of the supplies were ready, it was time to decide on how the game was going to be played. While there are multiple variants that will be tried over time, the next section will detail the core game setup and rules that we will start playing with.

The Game

Of the utmost importance to all aspects of the game is safety. Any equipment that shows signs of excessive wear or any damage will be immediately removed from game-play. Players must be over 18 or have signed permission from their legal guardian.

Protective face equipment is to be worn at all times when playing. While every effort has been made to ensure the full safety of the bows and arrows, face-masks are required. Masks designed for Paintball or Airsoft games are acceptable. Some masks will be provided, but supply is limited. If participants are able to bring their own, it would allow for more players on the field.

The game variant we will start playing with will be more akin to dodge-ball than the individually-focused game of tag, with the playing area set up in an open field. Teams will be split evenly (ideally by skill level), and each team will be assigned half of a large, rectangular playing area. In the middle of this space, bisecting the rectangle and separating the teams, will be an area somewhere between ten to twenty feet across (dimensions to be determined). This space is considered a “No-Man’s Land” or “Neutral Zone” in which players are not allowed to enter (except in certain cases, as to be explained). The purpose of the space is to ensure that no arrows are fired from very close range.

The exception to entering the safe zone is to retrieve arrows. Any player entering this space is to leave their bow behind. These players are also not eligible targets for the opposing team.

Once the game starts, players will shoot safety arrows at their opponents. A hit anywhere on the body aside from the head counts as a hit and the player is “out”. Any out player must immediately leave the playing area. An arrow striking a player’s bow does not count as a hit. This also leads to the rule of not using heads or bows as a shield. Furthermore, players are not allowed to catch airborne arrows. If an arrow bounces up off the ground and makes contact with a player, it does not count as a hit.

When a player is out, they are allowed to remain around the outside border of their team’s playing area to retrieve arrows for the players still active.

While it is desired to have referees present at each game, this may not always be feasible. The Honour System will be in effect. Any player found to be cheating will have to leave the game.

That is the core game to start. Future variations may include players being armed with safety/boffo swords for close-quarters combat, or some players being in an unarmed “Monarch” role that their teammates must protect.

Aside from the bows and arrows themselves, the following is a list of equipment:


  • Mask


  • Thick shirt
  • Running shoes
  • Gloves
  • Arm guard (or form-fitting long sleeves)

Well, there it is. Archery dodgeball will be at Raven’s Knoll sometime this year. For those that are interested, I will be posting a series of photos detailing how I made the safety arrows.

I won’t be posting a step-by-step process of the bow-making; check out the Backyard Bowyer’s Youtube video for that. I followed his process for the making of basic PVC bows. His videos are very simple and straightforward with easy-to-follow instructions. He has a number of bow-making projects that I may someday feel experienced enough to try.

I also recommend this guy, Tim Piatek. He does PVC projects beyond just bows, and tends to lean a lot more towards the artistic side of bow-making and painting.


Raven’s Knoll Work Weekends 2015

Raven’s Knoll is a collective labour of love and a gift we give each other.  The Knoll is a physical place that provides a special place that is a home for a number of Pagan and Heathen. It only exists because of volunteer effort.  There are six work weekends schedule this year.

The Stewards (Auz and MA) and the Groundskeepers (Brendan the Handy, Lugh Sulian, Gypsy Birch) of Raven’s Knoll host Work Weekends where people volunteer to help contribute to the upkeep of Raven’s Knoll or assist with any number of Knoll projects.  Any skill level or aptitude is appreciated and welcome.

Camping on work weekends is free for the people volunteering.  If you have a friend or partner along, who does not volunteer they can feel free to camp at the regular rate.  They can still join in on the meal program and socialize around the fire at night, too.  All parents of teens and teens take note: we sign for high school co-op and volunteer hours. We are also pleased to act as references for teens, should you wish it.


Usual Schedule

Most people arrive on Friday evenings. Others may do a day trips rather than stay the whole weekend. It is recommended you stay for as long as you can on the weekend, in order to be able to socialize and learn from other volunteers.  It is amazing what fun and learning can be had on a “work” weekend!  There is almost always some ritual or activity to attend on the Saturday; be it a movie night in the Rookery, card games, mini-Bardic around the campfire, horseshoes, archery or axe throwing.  (Some volunteers may be asked to take on the planning of these events.)


5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Folk arrive and set-up their campsites

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Early arrivers and hosts get a few jobs prepared for Saturday (collecting tools and the like); Kitchen witches prep for Saturday meals

9:30 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Socializing around a communal campfire


8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Breakfast

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Discussion of day’s tasks; division and assignment of work

9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. – Working on tasks

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Lunch

1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. – Update on tasks; re-assignment of tasks

1:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Working on tasks

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Clean-up for Dinner; while some prepare a few jobs for Sunday

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Dinner

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Free time; and most work weekends, a ritual or scheduled activity

8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. – Socializing around a communal campfire


9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Breakfast

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Discussion of day’s tasks; division and assignment of work

10:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Working on tasks

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Lunch

2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. onwards – Working on tasks

3:30 p.m. onwards – Some people continue a few tasks and clean-up; others break camp and return home


Meal Program

We offer an optional meal program run by our volunteers for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sundays. The cost is $6 for breakfast, $6 for lunch, $10 for dinner, or $30 for the entire weekend, prices include HST. Children under 12 who are with a volunteer will eat free.

Unless there is an event at the same time, all meals will be at the Rookery. If you do not wish to join the meal plan, you are welcome to bring your own food and join us. We will be having some type of short blessing or toast before every meal. (Don’t forget that we need volunteers in the kitchen to clean, cook, deliver and prepare.)

On a typical menu you can expect the following.  The only major variation will be on the Saturday dinner, the option which will be announced in advance.

Coffee and tea are always freely available.  (Soda pop is available for purchase from the Y.A.G.)

Saturday Breakfast

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Corn Flakes


Orange Juice

Bananas and/or Banana Bread

Brown Sugar

Saturday Lunch

Crudité Vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet peppers, etc.)

Vegan Dip (like hummus)

Dairy-based Dip (like tzatziki)

Sandwich Bar (bread with gluten-free option, meat, cheese, condiments)

Iced Tea and/or Switchel

Saturday Dinner

Two crock pot options (meat or vegan) with starch accompaniment (with a gluten-free option)


Meat Chili or Vegan Chili with Cornbread

Jerk Chicken Gumbo or African Peas over Yellow Rice

BBQ Meatballs or Greens with Tofu over White Rice

Pirate Pork Coconut Curry or Chana Masala (chickpea curry) over White Rice

Beef Stew and Colcannon (mashed potatoes, onions, cabbage/kale)

Hot Sauce

Iced Tea and/or Switchel

Cookies and/or Squares (vegan, with gluten-free option)

Sunday Breakfast

Scrambled Eggs


Baked Beans (vegan version)

Toasted Bread (Brown Wheat and Gluten-Free)

Orange Juice

Sunday Lunch

Crudité Vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet peppers, etc.)

Vegan Dip (like hummus)

Dairy-based Dip (like tzatziki)

Grilled Burgers (buns with gluten-free option, beef burger, vegan burger, American cheese, condiments)

Iced Tea and/or Switchel


What to Bring

  • “Ditty bag” a mesh bag containing bowl, plate, cup, utensils
  • Travel coffee mug
  • Travel water bottle
  • Towels (for shower and swimming)
  • Sunscreen, bug spray, toiletries, medicines
  • A hat and/or sunglasses
  • Protective work equipment, such as work gloves, boots, hearing and/or eye protection
  • Bedding
  • Tent (if not indoors)
  • Beverages
  • Musical instruments (if you play)
  • Special equipment related to the special activity of the weekend


Electricity for medical equipment

On work weekends, electricity if fee for medical devices, such as powering CPAP machines or recharging power chairs. Other electricity usage can be purchased at the regular Raven’s Knoll rates.


Indoor Accommodations

Indoor accommodation in the Nest (the dormitory-style cabin) or trailers is available, especially for early work weekends!  There are a limited number of spaces.  Please contact MA at ravensknoll@rogers.com to secure your spot. (Please be 100% sure you will be attending, before booking a space.) These spaces are sheltered, but are not heated. Pack accordingly.


Children, Non-Working Partners, Physical Ability, Pets

Children are welcome to attend. Depending on the ages and numbers, a child wrangler may be available from among the volunteers. (Children under 12 who are only attending with volunteers eat for free on the meal program.) For those with small children or babes in arms, as well as those with physical limitations, we will happily find work that is suitable for your needs. Pets are also welcome, but they must be on-leash. In addition, please be sure your pet has shade, water and food, and is not left to bark.



Coordination is done through the Raven’s Knoll Work Weekends Facebook page. Scheduled work weekends are listed as “events” on that page.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact MA or Auz on Facebook or write us an e-mail (ravensknoll@rogers.com).


LebowskiCampFest – “Art is Strongly Vaginal”

My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal

Which bothers some men. 

The word itself makes some men uncomfortable.

– Maude


We have heard the Word, and it is “Abide.” The Raven’s Knoll congregation of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude and the Lost Dominion Screening Collective are holding our second annual tent revival to learn from, and apply, the teachings of the Dude. This fest is a camp out where we commune with the wisdom of the movie the Big Lebowski.

The theme this year is “Art is Strongly Vaginal.”

Date: August 7 to 9, 2015

Dress: Your best attempt at costumes from the movie, bathrobes, what have you.

Cost: $45 for an adult, includes camping. Kids only pay the regular Raven’s Knoll camping rate. (Pre-registration opens in May.)

Listed below you will find our draft program for this year’s event.  As you can see it is highly participative. It’s a complicated program.  Lotta ins.  Lotta outs.  And a lotta strands to keep in your head, man.  Lotta strands in an old Achiever’s — And, below the program, is the menu for the Ralph’s Place (the on-site) chip truck.  Open for your convenience, so you will not have to cook for yourself the entire camping weekend.


Friday, August 7, 2015

6:00 p.m.

Throwing of the Ringer

Hosts: Rev. Shane and Gypsy the Apostate

Location: Raven Stage

“Take the Ringer. I’ll drive.”


8:00 p.m.

Jackie Treehorn Presents:

A Johnson Sketching Contest


Telestrations Tournament

Hosts: Rev. Auz and Gypsy the Apostate

Location: Rookery

“Wave of the future, Dude. 100% Electronic.”


9:30 p.m.

Nighttime Bowling

Hosts: Rev. Shane and Gypsy the Apostate

Location: Raven Stage

“Let’s go bowling.”

Night bowl

11:00 p.m.

Whale Song Contemplation

Host: Rev. Courtney

Location: Beach

“I am the Walrus.”


Saturday, August 8, 2015 

10:00 a.m.

Yoga Challenge

Hosts: Rev. Earthsong, Rev. Brynn and Rev. Dood

Location: Rookery Grove

“Hey, careful man. There’s a beverage here.”

Yoga Challenge

12:30 p.m.

Cowboy Bowling

with Bluegrass DJ

Host: Gypsy the Apostate, with DJ Doc Abider

Location: Horseshoe Pits

“Got a whole cowboy thing goin’.”


2:00 p.m.

Maudeist Aerial Painting

Host: Rev. Auz

Location: Rookery Grove

“My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal.”

Original Art Maude Painting

(To purchase this great print, visit the artist.)

3:30 p.m.

Greek Chorus Interpretive Dance

with Dudesong Readings

Host: Rev. Wolfsong and Rev. Auz

Location: Raven Stage

“Dude, I finally got the venue I wanted.”

Marty Dancing

5:00 p.m.

Costume Contest

Host: Gypsy the Apostate

Location: Dude Shrine

“You don’t go out and make a living dressed like that.”

Dude Shrine

7:00 p.m.

Sacramental White Russian Mixing Contest

Host: Gypsy the Apostate

Location: Rookery

“Another Caucasian, Gary.”


8:30 p.m.

Baby! LoveYour Body!” (Short Film)

The Big Lebowski” (Feature Film)

Hosts: Church of the Lost Dominion Screening Collective

Location: Raven Stage

“A way out West there was a fella. Fella I want to tell you about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski.”

The Big Lebowski Movie Poster

10:30 p.m.

An Achiever Trivia Contest

Host: Rev. Brynn and Rev. Dood

Location: Raven Stage

“Is this your homework, Larry?!”

Larry's Homework

Sunday, August 9, 2015

12:00 p.m.

Mass Dudeist Ordination

Hosts: Rev. Auz and Rev. Shane

Location: Dude Shrine

“Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”


1:00 p.m.

Scattering of the Cremains

Host: Rev. Brynn

Location: Beach

“In your wisdom, you took him Lord.”


Ralph’s Place 


Friday: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.



Coffee & Tea

“Make sure to stay and finish it. It is your right.”

A Selection of Non-oat Sodas

“To wet your whistle when tellin’ tall tales.”

Non-alcoholic White Russian

“For the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers.”


Instant Oatmeal


Waffles (Regular, Lingonberry, Honey, Chocolate)

The Big Johnson Breakfast

“When you need that extra big sausage for a day of logjammin’.”


Fries or Rings


Bunny Chow

“Wonderful woman. Very free-spirited. We’re all very fond of her.”

(“Bunny Chow” is a South African curry in a bread bowl. No bunnies are harmed.)

Stranger Cowboy Chili

“Too thick for a moustache to strain.”

Vaginal Strawberries and Cream

“Luscious, moist, red fruit makes some men uncomfortable. Strawberry.”

(Please note that Ralph’s does not accept post-dated cheques. All cream is fresh.)