LebowskiCampFest 2014 Report

Brothers and sisters! We have heard the Word, and it is “Abide.” The Raven’s Knoll congregation of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude held a tent revival to learn from, and apply, the teachings of the Dude. The first LebowskiCampFest was held from August 9 to 10, 2014 at Raven’s Knoll campground near Eganville, Ontario, Canada. This fest is a camp out where we commune with the wisdom of the movie the Big Lebowski on the weekend of August 9 and 10, 2014.

The Pagan community in Canada are really laid back and recognize a good ethos when they see it. Around these parts, over the years, the theology of Discordianism has been popular, as has the Church of the Sub-Genius. But now that we have heard the word of the Church of the Latter Day Dude, the evolution of introspective hilarity and slack has reached its logical theological zenith. Although, LebowskiCampFest was established as a weekend for volunteer staff to chill after KG, it was indeed created by a bunch of event organizers. Thus, like a Dude getting wrapped up in events beyond his control, we could not help but organize lots of awesome stuff to do.

An article describing the amazing event was published in the Dudespaper, we really encourage you to check it out.

Next year LebowskiCampFest will take place on the weekend of August 8th and 9th. In honour of Maude and her entourage the theme for the event will be Art is Strongly Vaginal.


It should be vaginal.

Bone Dance: Theme for the Kaleidoscope Gathering 2015

The theme for the Kaleidoscope Gathering in 2015 is “Bone Dance.” It is a theme that touches parts of the spiritual traditions and philosophies of a number of paths that cross at Raven’s Knoll, in the Pagan community. It is not a simple theme, and it may be challenging to explore in all its aspects. We invite everyone to dance your thoughts around this theme, within the bone box of your skull, before next year.  Provided here are a few concepts and ideas to get you started.

‘T ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

The Bone Dance is about freedom from social categories.  To dance in your bones is to exalt in existing beyond gender or class categories, beyond your body type, or your physical abilities.  Ironically, in the dead skeleton our common living humanity is unmasked in its most potent form. That knowledge and joy in pure camaraderie is the music of our common dance.

Activities related to this element of the theme could include discussions of gender, race or oppression in Pagan societies or our modern spiritual paths. It might involve how archaeologists and osteologists actually read social categories back into human remains. Body positive, expressive movement or dance activities could be appropriate.

Roll the bones

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.  The tumble and dance of these bones, the foot of the sacrifice, the life we offered to the gods and ate ourselves, 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.

Games of chance, particularly those involving dice, are related to this part of the theme.  Also too fortune telling using bones, shells, and associated objects comes directly to mind.  Discussions on the nature or meaning or ethics of sacrificing animals for religious or life sustaining purposes is in keeping with the theme of Bone Dance.  Viewpoints or understandings of fate that involve acceptance rather than a desire to change are to be considered.

Memento mori

The Bone Dance reminds us that we all must die. The Black Death brought to Europe new folk philosophies. The grateful dead danced with the living to remind everyone, woman or man, serf or lord, of the vanity of materialism and the transient nature of all goods and pursuits.  In the certain knowledge of death, and the uncertain knowledge of what lies beyond, cultivating detachment and other virtues rises to the fore. In memento mori, understandings of what was meant by the relationship between life and death are expressed in the artistic or symbolic reminders of spiritual teachings.

Discussions on this movement of the Bone Dance could relate to how spiritualities resolve the issue of death or how religions change due to catastrophic social upheavals.  Specific figures such as the Grim Reaper or the Grateful Dead or Kali or Santa Muerte have arisen as objects of special devotion.  Art dedicated to that which is beyond life describes the bone dance so people can see it.  Many religious philosophies, like Roman stoicism or the zen of the samurai class or Odin’s cult, can exist in the place of momento mori.

Buried in the sky

Within the flesh, below conscious thought, moves the bones. When the living body dies, it becomes a corpse and rots to carrion.  Carrion is consumed by the vulture, by the eagle, by the raven.  Upon wings the memory of life flies into the sky, circling high above, joining the circling wind that envelopes the Earth.  In many traditions, the white bones stripped of all else represent pure, egoless consciousness.  The still bones only exist for a time, before they too join the rest of the body to circle and dance through imagining that is beyond the individual one, to the One that is greater.

Examining eastern religious philosophies such as Tibetan Buddhism or Hinduismism can deepen an understanding of the theme of the Bone Dance. Scientific understandings, whether biological or psychological, of how we individuate as people from the rest of the world, human or animal, are possible ways to engage with the theme. A common shamanic initiation and transformative dream or vision is having ones’ flesh stripped away to the bone.  Thus, initiation and religious transformation into a new mode of being are a way to explore the bone dance.

Rattle the bones

As is known, the Danse Macabre, no matter what any of us may do or think, unites us all. Music too unites humanity over time and space, from the bone flute of the Neanderthal to playing the rib bones to beating a Sámi drum with a reindeer bone hammer.  Any such dance needs music to set things in motion. Within our ribs is the beating heart, over bone white tooth our breath sends sound to swirling.

Concerts, workshops and performances using bone instruments would be fascinating. Music made using simple and ancient techniques strip music to its core, as a body is striped to the bone.

Plate of bones

All living things are fed through cycles of death and rebirth, whether nurtured by a dying star or the sister creature beside them. One day we eat and another we are eaten. Whether cloaked in skin, fur, feather or scale, whether in joy or despair, love or hate, wonderment or fear, the form of life clings to the bones. Before the final transformation, the bones remain.  Remaining a moment longer to rattle and to remind us of the gift of life. Many hunter gatherer traditions form a direct relationship with the spirit of the animals and plants that they hunt and gather.  Giving thanks for their gift of life, using their bones to commune with them and respectfully beseeching their assistance in staying alive.

Many religious traditions use dance and use bones to connect with the spirits.  In particular, shamanic traditions are ones that dance the bones. Art, workshops and rituals exploring these traditions are within the theme. Discussion of the craft and science that describes how different life forms are connected to one another or how parts of ecosystems support one another are of interest. How to make ritual tools that connect to the spirits or the gods using the natural products of dead fauna or flora is part of the bone dance. How religions teach of the importance of life in the midst of the knowledge of mortality is a wisdom to pass on to others, too.

Psychopomps, powers of the beyond and ancestors

Our own flesh and bone is given to us through our ancestors’ experience and their very DNA. We are their continuity; we share their flesh and their bone. In both a physical and metaphorical sense, they are we, the dead live. The interactions of ancestors and spirits with the living are the purview of the shaman, the witch, the priest, the elder. The veil, the river, the rainbow, the earth, time … whatever separates the living from the dead, can be spanned.  Spanned with mind and thought, but in many traditions, also by a designated god or a spirit guide. These psychopomps protect and provide traditions for us to interact with our ancestors, the mighty and belovéd dead.

Gods and Goddesses are often associated with the ancestors or spirits of the dead, take Baron Samedi and the Gede or Lady Freya and the Disir as examples. Workshops and rituals of gods and goddesses that span the space between living and dead, or those entities that receive and protect the ancestors are part of this theme.  Obviously too, the act of ancestor worship, or how the living are received themselves as ancestors or transformed again into the living after their death are part of the bone dance. The techniques and application of graveyard or burial mound practices, magickal bone-work, and ‘tapping the bone’ rituals are all recollections that could be shared and explored.

Enjoying the clouds and the rains

Death arrives for us all.  But death happens throughout life, too.  We are always dying, yet our cells constantly renew.  Sometimes in life we exist beyond ourselves, beyond time, beyond thought.  It is at these times when we die to ourselves to become immortal.  This experience of living in the bottomless beyond may be found in sleep and dream, in sex and ecstasy, in contemplation and mind, in plant or brew, in drum and dance. In the bone dance, nothing matters, but it all does.

Techniques for exploring dissolution of the self and the creation of spiritual understandings of transcendence are within the theme.  As are explorations of the biology of longevity and aging, how they occur, and how we respond to them medically, socially and spiritually.

We have come to Be Danced

(by Jewel Mathieson)

We have come to Be Danced
Not the pretty dance
Not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
But the claw our way back into the Belly
Of the Sacred, Sensual Animal dance
The unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box Dance
The holding the precious moment in the palms
Of our hands and feet Dance

We have come to Be Danced
Not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
But the wring the sadness from our skin dance
The Blow the chip off our shoulder Dance.
The slap the apology from our posture Dance

We have come to Be Danced
Not the monkey see, monkey do dance
One two Dance like you
One two three, Dance like me Dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
Tearing scabs and scars open Dance
The rub the Rhythm Raw against our Soul Dance

We have come to Be Danced
Not the nice, invisible, self-conscious shuffle
But the matted hair flying, Voodoo Mama
Shaman Shakin’ Ancient Bones Dance
The strip us from our casings, Return our Wings
Sharpen our Claws and Tongues Dance
The Shed Dead Cells and slip into
The Luminous Skin of Love Dance.

We have Come to Be Danced
Not the hold our breath wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
But the Meeting of the Trinity, the Body Breath and Beat Dance
The Shout Hallelujah from the top of our Thighs Dance
The Mother may I?
Yes you may take 10 giant Leaps Dance
The olly olly oxen free free free Dance
The everyone can come to our Heaven Dance

We have come to Be Danced
Where the Kingdom’s Collide
In the Cathedral of Flesh
To Burn Back into the Light
To unravel, to Play, to Fly, to Pray
To root in skin sanctuary
We have come to Be Danced

We Have Come.

2015 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 – May 2 and 3, 2015

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! (Also, May 2 is Gypsy and Juniper’s Handfasting.)

Well and Tree Gathering – May 16 to 18, 2015

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!

Firemonger’s Workshop Weekend – May 29 to 31, 2015

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.

Three Rivers Festival – June 6 and 7, 2015

This festival is the annual gathering of the Eastern Ontario members of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship. This year will be hosted by Dancing Lights Grove.

Van and Kettle Gathering – June 13 and 14, 2015

This event is a present-day the exploration of Victorian traveler caravans, cooking and culture. Plans being hatched include working on building and painting ‘vans, period outdoor cooking, tarot card reading, and bartitsu.

Hail and Horn Gathering – June 26 to June 29, 2015

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

Feast of Sekhmet – July 11 to 12, 2015

This is an annual Kemetic gathering to honour the goddess Sekhmet. Each year she is honoured under one of her thousand names and another of the Neters is honoured.  This year the companion deity is Bast.

AnticiFest – July 25 to July 28, 2015

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.

Kaleidoscope Gathering – July 29 to August 3, 2015

The Kaleidoscope Gathering is Canada’s largest Pagan festival, which has been going for 26 years. The theme this year is “Bone Dance.” Our own flesh and bone is given to us through our ancestors’ experience and their very DNA, we are fed through cycles of death and rebirth. Within the flesh, below conscious thought, moves the bones.  Whether cloaked in skin, fur, feather or scale, whether in joy or despair, love or hate, wonderment or fear, the form of life clings to the bones. We can gain knowledge beyond these cloaks by dancing our minds to the bones; find spirits, find depth, find wisdom. In the bone dance, nothing matters, but it all does. (Only attendees of the festival may camp at Raven’s Knoll at this time.)

LebowskiCampFest – August 8 and 9, 2015

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 “Art is Strongly Vaginal.”

Pagans Unplugged – September 5 to 7, 2015

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 19 to 20, 2015

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 Wicker 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 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 events that are planned, but are still settling on a date:

Witches’ Sabbat – T.B.A.

The Sabbat is a gathering of witches who practice, teach and share the experience of the traditional Craft.

Siling Labuyo Arnis Proficiency Seminar (SLAPS) – Spring and 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.

Rites of Raven’s Knoll Anthology: A Devotional to Pagan Land

Together we have built a place of magick and spirituality: Raven’s Knoll campground.

Originally purchased due to the need to have a permanent place for Kaleidoscope Gathering, these 100+ acres have become much more. A place to dance, to drum, to sing. A place to be free. A place to venerate gods, spirits and ancestors. It is home now to half a dozen events and a growing number of sacred sites.

In the homesteading community they have a saying: “You will be disappointed at how little you can accomplish the first three years on your land, but astounded at what can be achieved in the first five.” Raven’s Knoll is now celebrating it’s fifth year. In honor of this milestone, and the countless hours of work it took to get this far, we are putting together an anthology of the rites and sacred sites we have created together.

Submission Guidelines

  • Maximum word count is 3,000
  • Submission deadline is December 15st, 2014. Pagan Standard Time does not apply.
  • Both prose and poetry will be welcome, as well as ritual scripts, meditations and prayers. No fiction please.
  • We are seeking your personal spiritual experiences of Raven’s Knoll, with a focus on rituals and sacred sites.

A few examples are: the tale of your experiences at a ritual; the script for a ritual that you performed; a devotional poem or prayer for the land; a special/spiritual experience’ sharing about a particular sacred site that has meaning to you; or something you have learned from the land.  These are merely examples, if you have an idea and are not sure if it will suit, feel free to contact Juniper.

  • Include with your submission your name (can be a craft name), as well as a short bio. The bio should be roughly 250 words, but it can be less.  You may plug your website, blog or business in your bio but please keep it professional. The word count for your bio counts towards the word count for your overall submission.
  • Anyone can make a submission, and we sincerely hope that all submissions will make it into the book. However, we do reserve the right to refuse a submission for any reason. Depending on the number and length of submissions, we may have to pick and choose, as the larger the book the more costly it becomes. Obviously, we want everyone to be able to afford the book! If we have enough interest, perhaps we will do another one a few years down the road.
  • We will be doing some basic editing for formatting, spelling, and grammar. We will not be re-writing your words. The utmost respect will be given to your voice. After the initial proofread we will be sending your submission back to you with suggestions to improve quality, such as little fixes to grammar or expanding upon something that is interesting or inspiring.  Make your changes and send it back to us. Once you receive your proofread version, please send back your changes within two to three weeks if possible.
  • Written submissions should be in .doc, .odt, or .txt format.
  • Please avoid heavily formatting your submission. We will have to format everything according to the needs of the book and publishing formats anyways.
  • Submissions must be in English. A few words or lines in French are permitted.
  • Before sending us your submission, please run it through a spell check and have a friend proofread it. This will save us a great deal of time!

Suggested Structure for Submission

Optional: Evocative preface (ex. quote, paragraph narrative, poem stanza)

Optional: History and reason for ritual

Optional: Academic sources & inspiration

Optional: Importance of the sacred place (if you are sharing about a ritual held at the Standing Stone, what does this site mean to you or the community)

Required: The Meat: Your story, meditation, poem, narrative description, ritual script, etc.

Optional: Personal experience or reflection on importance

Required: Your Bio

Cover Contest

We will be holding a photo and art contest for the front and back covers of the book. You do not need to design the covers themselves, just submit artwork or a photo for that purpose. The editor(s) will choose the images that would work best for book covers and then we will hold a poll in the Facebook group so everyone can vote on the final winners.

  • No faces, but people may be in the shot so long as you have their express permission.
  • Images must be of good quality and high resolution.
  • Images submissions should be in .jpg or .jpeg or .png

How to Submit

Attach your submission to an email with the title of “Knoll Anthology Submission (Your Name Here)” and send it to juniper@walkingthehedge.net

Further Details

  • We will be publishing the book on Lulu, meaning that it will be available online, even on Amazon, so quality and content matters.  We want to represent our community well.
  • We hope to have the book available for purchase before Kaleidoscope Gathering of 2015. Please respect the deadlines.
  • Authors/submitters will be given a free e-book or PDF copy of the book. We hope to also give them a free physical copy but this all depends upon budgeting concerns.
  • We will strive to keep the cost as low as possible, enough to cover the publishing costs and perhaps make a small amount for funding maintenance and improvements at the Knoll.
  • E-book and physical copies will be available. The physical copy will likely be trade paperback.
  • You will retain copyrights to your submissions.
  • We will be accepting suggestions for a title. The current working title is Rites of Raven’s Knoll – A Devotional of Pagan Land

Executive Editor: Juniper Jeni

Supporting Editors: Austin Lawrence & Gypsy Birch

KornuKopia Gathering 2014

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 19 to 21.

Burning of the Wickerman, 2014

Burning of the Wickerman, 2014


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 $30 and for children is $15. Hydro is an optional extra, for an added $12 per night. Cabin accommodation is available for an extra $15 per night, but should be booked early, as space is limited. To make your registration happen faster, please print out and complete the KornuKopia 2014 Registration Form..

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 Wickerman and on the communal thanksgiving potluck Feast of the Folk.  If you would like to offer a workshop, please write to see Auz or MA on the weekend and we will add it to the program.


Friday, September 19

All Day Registration & Set Up Camping
5 to 6 Supper (Y.A.G.)
8:30 p.m. Welcome Ritual (Standing Stone)
9 p.m. Chat, Sing, and Socialize (Hearth Fire)

Saturday, September 20
All Day Personal Offerings for “The Burning” (Drum Fire)
10 to 11 2nd Breakfast (Y.A.G.)
5 to 6 Supper (Y.A.G.)
9 a.m. Fishing: Harvest the River (meet at Dock)
10 a.m. Mind’s Eye Walk (Rookery)
11 a.m. Earth Oven Baking (Mud Oven)
1 p.m. The Land is Listening: Working with Land Spirits (Rookery)
2 p.m. Kombat Kyusho (Raven Stage)
3 p.m. Leather Crafting for Beginners (Rookery)
4 p.m. Open Game Table & Kubb (Long Hall Tent)
8:30 p.m. The Burning [Main Ritual] (Birch Grove & Drum Fire)
10 p.m. Drum, Dance, and Celebrate (Drum Fire)

Sunday, September 21
10 to 11 Y.A.G. 2nd Breakfast
10 a.m. The Power of Pie (Rookery)
11 a.m. Bows and Axes (Archery Field)
12 p.m. Thresholds and Borderlands (Rookery)
1 p.m. Seasonal Alchemy (Meet @ Rookery)
2 p.m. ‘Blue Ribbon’ Table (Raven Stage)
3 p.m. Prepare for the Feast
4 p.m. Feast of the Folk [Farewell Ritual] (Rookery or Diagonal Alley)

Workshop and Ritual Descriptions

“The Burning” (Main Ritual) (with MA, Auz, Jock MacGregor, 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; last year was the first time we offered the Wickerman.  The folk put personal offerings into the wicker effigy as thanks for blessings already on their way, to express the gratitude of each individual personal harvest. And our designated Champion speaks to the Goddess on behalf of the Folk at the ritual. This year, again, we burn … we burn … we burn … for we give thanks for blessings already on their way.

Bows and Axes (with Gypsy Birch and Friends) – Depending on the weather, we will have a scheduled time to shoot arrows and fling axes. Feel free to attend if you are a beginner with no equipment or an expert with your own equipment. We can show you how! (There is a material fee of $5 should you loose or brake an arrow.)

‘Blue Ribbon’ Table (with Auz, Brenda and Chris) – 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!

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 multi-stage workshop, we will mix and ferment dough and fire it in the Raven-decorated mud oven.  Get your hands messy!

Folk Feast (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.).

Leather Crafting for Beginners (with Alli) – This workshop will explain different types of leather with which to craft, their characteristics and what they are usually used to produce.  Information on how to spot a good hide when buying for a project, how to use leather and lay out projects will be presented.  There will be a chance to try out tooling and sewing of leather.  (If you have your own set of tools, feel free to bring them.  A free information packet will be available for the first 10 people.)

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.

The Land is Listening: Working with Land Spirits (with Angela Grey) – Many different Pagan paths emphasize the importance of developing a relationship with local landscapes. But why is this important? How does one go about it? And how can this kind of work deepen and strengthen your personal practice? Join us for one witch’s perspective on working with landscapes, and the spirits that reside within them. Discussion to follow.

Thresholds and Borderlands (with Juniper) – In many traditions and cultures we find various beliefs about that which lies between this world and next. We call this by many names, the Veil and the Hedge are but two. There are also rich folk traditions of the places between found on this here earth; sea and sky meet, between the wild and our own backdoor. Join us as we explore the places that are neither here nor there.

Mind’s Eye Walk (with Drew Thomson) – Come and join me and go explore some of the much beloved places of the Knoll in a whole new way. Mediation followed by a short walk to a few places where you can test, explore, experience the Knoll without the use of sight, only relying on touch, hearing and maybe even taste. A chance to further your own awareness of the energy around you and how you can interact with it with different senses. Then after, if time allowing, a short reading from the Oracle Deck will be done to see what more can be learned after the experience. Note: Blindfolds will be used if you are more comfortable bringing your own. please feel free.

Seasonal Alchemy (with Brynn Hultquist) – What do sulphur, mercury and salt have in common? They are the three essentials in Alchemy. Come explore this ancient esoteric art referencing spagyrics (plant alchemy), spirituality and the Cosmos for the purposes of ritual spellwork, physical healing and spiritual growth. We’ll discuss basic spagyric tinctures and the nature of “solve et coagula”…and it’s relation to “the burning of things!”…and the ritualistic uses of spagyric products. Of interest will be discussion on *intent* for the purpose of obtaining and experiencing the Whole as a sum of its Parts (aka, enlightenment, healing and increased vitality, creativity’n’stuff…and the “Why”).

Kombat Kyusho (with Gregory) – Kyusho Jitsu is the martial arts application of the eastern Asian medicine system. Kyusho Jitsu uses body mechanics, the theory of chi, and energy meridians to attack and disable an opponent’s nervous system, no matter their size. This workshop is suitable for participants over age 14 and will not involve strenuous contact.

The Power of Pie (with Big Momma and Little D.) – The harvest season is upon us. The changing leaves, the fresh crispness to the air and farmers fields bursting at the seams with delicious FOOD! leaves. For Jax harvest foods include so many recipes, but none as humble as The Pie. In this demonstration we will be putting together, from scratch, four different seasonal pies using Canadian settler recipes from 1850-1917. So come on out and learn to grind the flour, prep your fillings, and love the lard!

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.

Preliminary Workshops and Rituals 2014

The theme for this year’s gathering is “Field and Forest.” Since the early Middle Ages “field and forest” has been used as a poetic phrase that evokes the spirit and bounty of the natural world. In the modern age, we invoke these spirits and their bounty into our lives to celebrate High Summer and the Lammas-tide, to glory in our connection to the boundless circle of life. To learn more about the theme, or for suggestions on workshop ideas, check out a previous Quork post.

The Kaleidoscope Gathering is entirely put on by volunteers; in fact it is the experience Festers bring themselves that makes the gathering.  As the former organizer, Lady Pamela Fletcher, always said: Everyone has something to share and everyone has something to learn.

Below you will see some of the amazing workshops and rituals that are being planned.  There is still time to submit a workshop!  Get busy and submit your ideas, remind your friends …. The Programming Pirates will be accepting submissions until July 4, 2014.  To submit a workshop or two, use the Submit a Workshop page on the KG web site.

Preliminary Draft Workshops and Rituals:

Achieving Tarantism using the Dargason – Doug Hendry/Fiddlehead Soup

Archery – Helmut

Aromatic Kinesiology – Kimi Bois

Bardic Competition – Jock MacGregor & Friends

Blends of Old – Kimi Bois

Cairn Walk Ritual – Ethan Kinkaid and Cormac (Fraser Sinclair)

Children’s Bardic Workshop – Hobbes

Clinical Aromatherapy – Kimi Bois

Communicating with the Devas – RP

Field and Forest : The Wine and Cheese Event – Ron Lyen

Field and Forest: A Guided Meditation – Jeff Wilson-Williams

Firing the Panty Cannon! – Kestral Pyr

Forest Therapy – Drew Thomson

Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft – Robert Huneault

Intro to Bellydance Egyptian-Style – Zena Nesrallah

Introduction to Permaculture for Pagans – Christopher Kelly-Bisson

Introduction to Reiki Level 1 – Keenan Viau

Kaleidoscope Gathering 101 – Eagle Eyes

Land Beyond the Naked Eye  – RisingPhoenix

Main Ritual: Field and Forest – To be announced

Make Your Own Boffo Weapon  – Hobbes

Making the Most of Ritual – Juniper Jeni

Men`s Ritual – Stephane Lebeau

Men’s Warrior Circle – Hobbes

Mixed Warrior Circle – Hobbes

Open Drum Circle – Kevin McLaughlin

Paganism 101 – Eagle Eyes

Paganism and Jesus: Closer than you think!  – Lukayo Faye Estrella and Jacky with a Y

Pick Up Sticks: An Arnis Workshop – Ron Lyen

Poly 101 – Nadia and Stephen

Poly ABCs:  Agreements, Boundaries, & Contracts – Nadia & Stephen

PolyMIRs: Metamour Interactions & Relationships – Nadia & Stephen

Quest for Ravens Knoll 2014 (LARP) – Andrew “AJ” Jennings

Roleplaying Game with Jeff – Jeff Wilson-Williams

Running of the Woodwose Ritual -The Woodwose

Sharing the Dance: Bonding Between Generations – Fiddlehead Soup/Doug Hendry

So You are Pagan or Heathen.  So Now What – Doug Thew, Juniper Jeni, Eagle Eyes

So you Wanna do Some Energy work, eh?! – Myst

Tantric Yoga Energy Work: Portals and Channels (Part 2) – Bex vanKoot

Tantric Yoga Energy Work: Six Chakras (Part 1) – Bex vanKoot

Techno Gods Ritual – Kaitlyn and Ethan Kincaid

The Elder’s Tea  – Alex del Busso  and Christine O’Connor

The International Witches Guide to Magic in NZ – Polly Lind

The Land is Listening: Working with Land Spirits – Angela Grey

The Stag King Ritual – Greg Currie (current Stag King) & former Stag Kings

The Togetherness of the Dance – Doug Hendry

The Trials of Artemis – Kim Ross & Rachel Creamer (current Huntress)

Third Gender Ritual – Lokabrenna Kindred and Friends

This is not the Workshop You’re Looking For – Shane Hultquist

To Be or Not to Be in a Coven or Kindred – JS (Jean Sebastien Daunais)

Totem in My Life – RisingPhoenix

Vikings vs. The Panty Cannon – Kestral Pyr

Women’s Ritual – Tracy Thillmann

Working with Animal Parts – Juniper Jeni

Writing and Performing Effective Rituals – Angela Grey

Húsel Menu for Freyr at HHG 2014

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 Freyr, 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.

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 appreciated for this so we can plan purchases.




Home brewed ale

Spiced Mead

Medieval Swedish mead recipe


Non-alcoholic sweet and sour quaff, made with honey and cider vinegar



Flat crisp-bread made from rye

Spelt loaf

Raised sourdough loaf made with spelt

Smears and Relishes


Danish-style pork paté

Smoked and herbed country cheese

Hung and smoked fresh cheese with herbs and garlic

Cucumber pickles

Vinegar salad of cucumbers and fresh dill, Danish-style

Fragrant mustard

Grainy mustard with dill seed

Honey mustard

Smooth mustard with honey


Head, hock and hoof soup

Unctuous slow-cooked pork broth with onions

Pit-roasted swine

Dark Ages style roast pork


Roasted beets

Roasted red beets

Sauerkraut with caraway and juniper

Young sauerkraut of cabbage with caraway and juniper


Baked apples

Baked apples stuffed with walnuts, crumbs and honey

Firemongers Weekend

A weekend for firekeepers to hone their skills and learn new techniques, or for aspiring firekeepers to learn all about it.  Attendees will have the main fire pit to practice with, without the distraction of drummers and dancers, so they can play with the fire day and night.The purpose of this event is to share ideas about festival firekeeping and improve the skills of people managing fires at at the various area gatherings and festivals. Your host and facilitator is the experienced firemonger Kimberly Ross.  More Flamey!

The Burning of the Bull at the 2013 KornuKopia Gathering at Raven's Knoll.

The Burning of the Bull at the 2013 KornuKopia Gathering at Raven’s Knoll.

Clothing: Please remember to wear closed-toe shoes (canvas or leather are best) with a sturdy sole, and non-flammable clothing when fire-keeping. You may also want to avoid clothing with metal rivets or buttons.

Beverages: Remember to bring plenty of water containers to keep hydrated. If you want to consume alcohol in moderation, that’s fine, but intoxicated people will not be allowed to tend fires.

Food: There is no meal plan or other available food on site, so make sure you pack some. There should be plenty of cooking fires, though….

Main firepit: Though the fire is warm, the nights will get cold. Remember to bring warm clothing along for later in the night. A chair is also a good idea. And lots of water!

Cost: The cost will be regular Raven’s Knoll camping fees, plus pitching in for the cost of fuel and related stuff.

(To learn more or ask questions, check out the Facebook group.)

Tree Flame


Friday, May 23

7:00  p.m.: Orientation Fire

Meet at the main firepit to start the bonfire and go over fire safety, basic concepts, and build a lovely big fire. Over the evening, we will be discussing how to build and maintain a fire for effective heat and light, what woods to use, and strategies to make your fire easier to maintain and all-around prettier, not to mention the importance of a good pokey-stick. Fire pit etiquette and festival challenges will also be discussed. Proper banking procedures will also be covered at the end of the night. Everybody gets to play!

Saturday, May 24

12:30  p.m.: Firebug basics.
Meet at the standing stone firepit to learn and trade fire-starting techniques, mostly modern, but flint & steel and bow-drill methods will be taught as well. We’ll also get into some variants and showy techniques.

2:00  p.m.: Fuel for the fire
This will be a discussion of the properties of different types of wood, as well as alternative fuels and accelerants; how they work and when to use them.

3:30  p.m.: Key Skills
How to use keystone firepits, how to build a cook fire, and how to properly maintain small fires.

5:00  p.m.: Fuel for fire-keepers (dinner break)
Dinner is important. And we should already have a great cooking fire if you want one!

8:00  p.m.: More Flamey!
Time to rekindle the bonfire at the main firepit, and for everyone to get some more time to play. We will also be going over some cool tricks and ways to add flare to your fire, and ways to handle challenges that conditions may present. If there are campers who want a hearth fire, we may take some time to address that type of fire and let people who are interested get some practice at a smaller fire while others work on the big one.

Sunday, May 25

12:00  p.m.: Fire at Festivals
An open discussion about what part fire-keepers play at festivals, what the job entails, what improvements could be made, and how to avoid burn out (pun intended).

1:00 p.m. onwards: Smoke Stuck to You

Bring the luscious smell of wood smoke back to your homes!

Salamanders are mythically associated with the magic of energy released from wood.

Salamanders are mythically associated with the magic of energy released from wood.

Feast of Sekhmet: Keeper of the Light

Keeper of the Light, Milady Sekhmet bring us into your protection and let us avoid your destruction!

Welcome to the Feast of Sekhmet an annual festival for the satiation of the Goddess Sekhmet. We come together in her honour. This year we recognize her name Keeper of the Light. The one who brings light into our lives and fire into the darkness. We will also honour her father Ra, Sun god of the Black Land of Egypt. Together we will honour Sekhmet and Ra, may their light guide us.

Registration Fee: $50 CAD for adults, $20 for 7 to 17 year olds with advance registration before June 1st, 2014. $60 CAD for adults, $30 for 7 to 17 year olds at the event. Under 7 year olds are free. (Extra fees for those who want cabin space or electricity)

To register or for more information e-mail: feastofsekhmet@gmail.com

Check out the Facebook event for ongoing updates or the blog site for similar (but more) information.



FRIDAY JUNE 13th, 2014

Evening: Opening Ceremony
The people of the many tribes gather in reverence. It is a time of meeting and exchange. Together we will be cleansed by the sacred waters, and breathe together the Ka, the breath of life within each of us as we prepare for a weekend of joyous revelry, worship and, offering to the Keeper of the Light.

8 p.m.: Storytelling & Performances
Come and partake in stories of the Neterju, the creation of the world, Sekhmet’s journeys. Or come for the music, dance and fire performances. The night will be hosted by Gypsy Birch of storytelling fame.

10  p.m. – 1 p.m.: Community Fire
This will be the time for Feast attendees to meet and greet. It will be a layed back time of music, talking and preparing for the next day.

SATURDAY JUNE 14th, 2014


Noon: Ra Ritual
O Great Falcon, Ra! We honour and placate you, father of the Neterju, creator of the black land. It is through Ra that we were formed and that we continue to have life. We will give offering during the heat of the noonday sun as Ra rides his sun chariot across the sky.

2 p.m.: Kemetic Cosmology Workshop
The Neterju, the Gods of Ancient Egypt, have a long and sometimes confusing history. Come hear Jade teach about the families of the Neterju and hear the story of the creation of the Universe.

4 p.m.: Body Painting
We will be learning about the importance of makeup and ornamentation in Ancient Egypt, but what is more fun than getting hands-on! We will be doing body painting, make-up and ornamentation in Kemetic style. Feel free to bring your own make-up also, professional body-painting will be available for those who want a little extra.

6 p.m.: Feast
Join together and celebrate Sekhmet with a great meal. We will begin feasting in the early evening and continue on as the darkness of night falls upon us. The feast will include the lighting of the fire, and will lead into the Sekhmet ritual. Please bring food to share as well as your own plates and utensils (please no plastic or paper).

Evening: Sekhmet Ritual
Em Hotep Sekhmet! Keeper of the Light! It is to you we give offering through libations, dance and, song. We see your righteous wrath and offer to you. Together we will give libations to Sekhmet, ritually imbibe and dance around the fire, that gives us light. This will be an ecstatic ritual that will continue the rest of the night. After the main ceremony where offerings are given however, the rest of the ceremony will be 18+.

SUNDAY JUNE 15th, 2014

1 p.m.: Closing Ceremony
The tribes will depart for another year after libating and satiating Sekhmet and her father Ra. Once more we will cleanse ourselves before a return to the mundane. Em Hotep Ra! Em Hotep Sekhmet! May we survive another year of your bloody wrath.

2 p.m.: Visir’s Council
The Visir’s Council was where the people gathered to be heard. We will talk about how this year’s Feast went, ways to improve it as well as, discuss the secondary deity and theme for next year.

Ancient Egypt Food

Preparation for the Feast

Please refer to the general camping checklist on the Raven’s Knoll Website for a list of the basic camping supplies you may wish to bring.

In addition to your camping gear, there are some keys things that we are hoping for all attendees to bring to the Feast of Sekhmet.

Keep in mind that this is not a re-constructionist event, and as such we understand that there will likely be a variety of interpretations that take place for these things.

  1. Offerings.

  2. Potluck Food (~Egyptian) and non-disposable Tableware. Blankets/pillows to sit on.

  3. Apparel (black makeup, white linen sheets). Jewelry vendor will be on site.

  4. Alcohol (the event will not be providing this).


  • Offerings will be made to Sekhmet as part of the Main Ritual. There will also be an altar set up for the duration of the event, as well as a place at the feast table. Feel free to bring offerings for whichever of these locations you feel is most appropriate for you.

  • If you do not have a particular offering to bring, suggestions for Sekhmet include: red alcohol, pomegranates, red fruits.

  • There will also be a daytime Ra ritual if you wish to bring an offering.


  • As this event involves a feast, we are keeping costs down by having it as a potluck feast. We are asking for attendees to bring food items that are of an Egyptian heritage. We do understand that truly “authentic” Egyptian cuisine can be hard to recreate with current, local options, but please try the best you can. If you are unable to find recipes, please let one of the organizers know and we can connect you with one.

  • Please strive to make all food items as Finger-Food friendly as possible. If you have an amazing dish that you like and really want to bring, that is just fine, but please avoid items that require a bowl. This is mostly for the ease of continually feasting over the course of the night.

  • The feast will be held in a area that does not have electrical access, so please plan accordingly for serving vessels (no Crock Pots).

  • Bring non-plastic, non-paper, and non-glass cups and cutlery. We are aiming for a feast that uses only re-usable metallic or wooden items (and there is no glass allowed around the firepit, where the feast will be held). Value Village is an excellent resource for items on a super-low budget.

  • We will be sitting on the ground in the feasting area, so remember to bring blankets to sit on (if you cannot sit on the ground, that is okay).


  • Prior to the main feast, we will be having a workshop on basic Egyptian makeup and clothing, at which you will be able to get advice on how to dress for the feast. We are hoping to create a particular atmosphere, and having everybody dressed appropriately is a good step towards that.

  • White Linen (or off-white) is the recommended fabric for outfits/tunics (old bedsheets work well). Bring them to the workshop for help assembling the fabric properly.

  • While we encourage you to bring your own makeup and outfits, we will provide options if you need them. Basic makeup is free, but clothing, bodypaint, and extravagant makeup will have a slight fee*. We do ask that, if possible, you bring your own makeup if possible for hygiene purposes, but we can help you with application.

    • Basic makeup (simple black eyeliner, possible quick pattern): Free

    • Complex makeup (multiple patterns, body paints, gold body powder ): ~$5

    • Basic cloth tunic (made of one white sheet): $10

    • Cloth tunic and complex makeup: ~$12

      *Fee subject to change.

  • If you are not sure what patterns are appropriate, bring your stuff and our staff members will be happy to help you out with ideas.

  • Keep in mind that there will also be a vendor on-site selling Egyptian and Pagan Jewelry. This can be a great resource for accentuating your outfits at a great price.


  • Part of honouring Sekhmet at this event is achieved through the imbibing of alcohol. Keep in mind that this is in no way a required component, and that the legal drinking age in Ontario is 19.

  • The event will not be providing or selling alcohol. It is your own responsibility.

Hail and Horn Gathering 2014 – Freyr

Hail and Horn is an annual gathering organized by Canadian Heathens to express in fullness 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 third year of the gathering.  This year, in particular, we honour the Frith-Maker, the Lord Yngvi-Freyr.



Hail Lord Yngvi-Freyr! 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 both Odin and Frigg have been set in the holy stead and Freyr will join them in 2014. 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 Lord Freyr 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 Freyr, 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 26, 2014

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 27, 2014

Carving of the God-Pole: Noon – 5 pm

Throughout the day stop by the seasoned craftsman as he hews Lord Freyr’s complexion from a red pine log, which had once stood within the wight-blessed forests of Raven’s Knoll. Once the carving is complete and the appointed hour has arrived, the physical form of Beli’s Slayer will be solemnly processed towards the Vé. Within, it will be erected in the company of Odin and Frigg and be awakened to receive blót by his honoured folk.

Welcome Reception / Landwight Offering: 7 pm – 8 pm

Once most attendees have arrived and unpacked, the folk will gather for an offering to the landwights. This is a wonderful time for various banners to rekindle their relationships from last year and share great memories with newcomers. This is the time when we give offering to the many seen and unseen beings who have welcomed our stay in their midsts.

Welcome Fire: 8 pm – 1 am

Get toasty and draw a horn! At the Keyhole Fire Pit we will come together to share in company, rejoicing in old and newfound friends. As with last year’s event the welcome fire will be open to all those camping at Raven’s Knoll allowing folks curious about HHG a chance to meet many in our great community and share in ways. If they like what they hear and see, maybe they will voluntarily join our band of good heathen folk… (Note: This is the time to for Raven’s Knoll guests to converting their camping passes for a Hail and Horn experience.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kubb: 10 am – 12 noon

Want to throw sticks at wood and kill a king? Thought so. What better way is there to unwind than a fun and exciting ancient Swedish game which seems like a strange marriage of horseshoes, lawn darts, bocce and… stacking firewood? If you’re still not sure… you can find more information (rules and much more) at Kubbcanada.com.

Freyr: Til Ars ok Friðr: 1 pm – 2 pm

Freyr is a god known to the general public as a “fertility god.”  However, like other gods honoured by Heathens, he is a unique personality that encompasses so much more than just one aspect.  In this discussion we will discuss his many qualities, his strengths and foibles, his symbols and signs; from a grounding in the lore to a sharing of personal experiences and impressions.


Alf Locks and Knots of Vengeance: The Wearing of Matted Hair in Heathen Tradition: 2 pm – 3 pm

There are a few examples of Heathen spiritual practices being tied to the wearing matted hair styles. There will be a brief presentation about similar hairstyles as a spiritual practice amongst Ras Tafari, First Nations people, and Hindus, as an ethnographic bridge to explore the Heathen examples of various matted hairstyles worn by ‘outsider’ warriors and in the treatment of mental illness. A discussion of possible modern Heathen applications of this manner of hair-styling to our spirituality will be suggested.

Freyr Blót (Raising Freyr’s God-Pole): 3 pm – 5 pm

At this holy rite we honour Freyr. We will plant his idol, his god-pole, deep into the ground to rise high into the air and permanently set his place by Odin and Frigg in the 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 will provide many appropriate offerings to the Frith-Giver, the Yngling’s Alf, that he may know of us and we may know him. We give a gift for a gift, for a gift deserves a gift.

Skirnir: The God and his Wand: 6 pm – 7 pm

Through a brief textual analysis of the Frey and Gerð myth we will discuss ways of viewing and relating to Skirnir; “The Bright One,” Freyr’s messenger and servant. There will also be a short introduction to the practice of using wands in the type of sorcery that follows the Old Norse tradition.

Folk Fire: 9 pm – 1 am

After the blót rite, we will retire to the communal hearth-fire at the Standing Stone to socialize, laughing loudly in the knowledge we still live on this beautiful green earth and speak in hushed tone to one another of the mysteries and trials of our lives. (This fire is also opened to all at Raven’s Knoll regardless of registration at HHG.)

Oracular Rite: 10 pm – 12 am

Spy across the hidden veil, peek beyond the unseen border. Do you seek answers? Secrets known only to Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld? Bring offerings to the Lord Yngvi-Freyr and perhaps he will grant a parley with Ylfedom… This will be an evening ritual, therefore bug repellent and warm clothes may be necessary. As with all HHG late-night esoteric rituals, things can get a bit ‘surreal,’ supernatural and/or emotional. If you are not a fan of theatrics, spirit work or anything remotely out of the ordinary… you may want to relax around the communal fire and share in good drink and conversation instead.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dark Ages BBQ 101 (Feast Prep): 10 am – 2:30 pm

Feasting is a big commitment, though not as big as the commitment to cook it. Throughout the day many dedicated volunteers will be helping to cook, prep and clean. We would say that the folk that feast together stay together… but the folk that cooks together makes damn sure the fare is worthy of the gods. Some past attendees have experience working with an open fire or furiously julienning veg, if you have never cooked outdoors, this is a time to learn from those who have.

King’s Table: 11 am – 12:30 pm

If all that food preparation has you looking to unwind or just need a little break from the fray (eh… pun), take turns winning the day at King’s Table (hnafetafl). This is a centuries old game much like a cross between Fox and Geese and Othello. It is said that after the gods finished building their assembly seats, they played at ‘tables’. So if it’s good enough for the gods, it’s darn well good enough for us.

Kinda like Dark Ages BBQ 101: 11 am – 12:30 pm

Prior to all this fun there will be fire pit cooking safety tips and camp hacks so bring your learning-helm.

Martial Entertainment: 1 pm – 2:30 pm

This entertainment feature will bring to you a deep historical presentation on the armaments of the time – the armour, weapons, and tactics of the Vikings. After the lecture, folk can get an up close look at the gear, before they are donned by the warriors and used in live steel combat; demonstrating the fight styles and techniques of the day. But combat alone was not where warriors sharpened their skills, they also liked to play soldier games. The finale will include one or two games of skill that test our combatants’ coordination and reflexes, one against the other. (This will be presented as a collaboration between Nadim and Matt, members of Torvik and Blackthorn.)

Approaches to Lore Study: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

There are many different ways to approach lore study, many of which are more or less suitable to particular types of spiritual practice and development.  For instance, there is a strictly symbolic, historically contextualized study of texts, there is a reasoned extrapolation of an imagined spiritual past into the present, and there is emotionally placing oneself in the text in the present day.  In this discussion we will compare and contrast different ways to approach and study the lore and discuss how effective these different approaches are in impacting on our spiritual and theological development.

Greeting the Guests: 3 pm – 3:30 pm

Húsel is a form of shared sacral feasting, much how Symbel is a Germanic form of sacral drinking. Just like the High Symbel, guests and friends under the roof-trees are the measure by which we define the folk. The Húsel is open to all those camping at Raven’s Knoll, whether heathen or heathen-curious. In bringing together so many folk at one table, we have a wonderful opportunity to make merry with our kith and kin. And if there are some sitting at the board who are not Heathen, they sure better be heathens after (or it is hoped at least).

Húsel: 3 pm – 5 pm

As it is said in the Hávamál: “With half a loaf and an empty cup, I found myself a friend.”  In that spirit, we will partake in the good bounty of Lord Freyr, gorging upon the grain he provides and meats of the swine. Large draughts of skillfully crafted ale will wash everything down and make room for more! Clanging of cups and the smiles of good company will be our reward. (Check out the planned menu at the end of this post.)

Farewell to Guests: 5 pm – 5:30 pm

Our guests that had joined us for Húsel will be hailed fairwell as they depart our company, so that those attending the gathering can prepare for High Symbel.

High Symbel: 5 pm – 8 pm

Let the banners come together, amassed in the Great Hall! High Symbel is a time for the folk to gather and pass the horn of Wyrd, binding fast the bonds of luck. By our words we will express our deeds and our future goals, boasting and toasting to the main of our fellowship. Honour will be given to our gods, the Æsir and Vanir, their allies, our ancestors and each other. The Valkyrie filling our mighty horn with holy ale will grant inspiration, bearing witness to the gifts and troth of the folk. Let us make merriment and drink fondly of our age.

Skalds’ Fire: 8 pm – 10 pm

After High Symbel, join the folk around the hearth-fire for an evening of entertainment circa 1,000 CE. Word-smiths and musical enchanters enthrall us with your magic and transport us into your myth. Skaldry is an age old craft which was promoted in the interest of binding the folk and their lord to the deeds of our ancestors and the gods. Share with others tales of our folk or tales from your heritage. This is a participatory activity, so bring your stories, poems, songs and performances!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Redemoot and Planning HHG 2014: 11 pm – 12 pm

Redemoot is a chance for everyone to share with the organizers and many volunteers what their experience was like at the third annual Hail and Horn Gathering. Discuss any improvements you would like to see in the upcoming year or promote what you feel should become a staple. Most importantly we will be selecting which god or goddess we will honour in 2015. (You have to attend to have a voice in the decision.)

Farewell Blessing: 12 pm – 1 pm

At the end of the morning, a formal farewell blessing will be offered to everyone who attended.


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 will be set in the coming weeks.)  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 appreciated 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!