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

Registration

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.

Program

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.

Schedule

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.

Menu

Drinks

Ale

Home brewed ale

Spiced Mead

Medieval Swedish mead recipe

Switchel

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

Breads

Knækbrød

Flat crisp-bread made from rye

Spelt loaf

Raised sourdough loaf made with spelt

Smears and Relishes

Leverpostej

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

Meats

Head, hock and hoof soup

Unctuous slow-cooked pork broth with onions

Pit-roasted swine

Dark Ages style roast pork

Kales

Roasted beets

Roasted red beets

Sauerkraut with caraway and juniper

Young sauerkraut of cabbage with caraway and juniper

Sweets

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

Program

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.

sekhmet5

Program

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

ra1

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

  • 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.

FEAST FOOD AND TUPPERWARE

  • 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).

FEAST APPAREL

  • 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.

ALCOHOL

  • 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.

Freyr4

Blót

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.

Húsel

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.

freyr3

Program

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.

freyr-la-mitologia-nordica

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.

Registration

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!

The Flyting of Odin and Thor

This two person play is an interpretation of Hárbarðsljóð (Lay of Hárbarðr) which is one of the
poems of the Poetic Edda, found in the Codex Regius. The original is an Old Icelandic didactic,
flyting poem with figures from Norse mythology.

This interpretation was written and performed by Brandon “Gypsy” Birch and Austin “Auz”
Lawrence as an introduction to the Hail and Horn Gathering 2013 Skaldry Competition, with
Gypsy playing Odin and Auz playing Thor.  (If you would like to perform this play, please contact Gypsy or Auz.)
[Odin stands silent in a black cloak which covers half his face holding a spear. Bearded Thor appears
holding a hammer, with a backpack, wearing a belted tunic, but no pants.]

[Odin is to one side of the hearth-fire, while Thor is to the other.]

Thor: Who is yonder Ferryman across the water? Ferryman! You over there!

Odin: Who’s that peasant over there, calling out to me?

Thor: Ferry me across this river! I have lots of food in my backpack to pay you with. I have had many
successful hunts in the wood this morning.

Odin: Well, aren’t you awfully pleased with your morning wood. Be careful, you have no idea what
this evening may hold. Oh, and your mother’s dead.

Thor: What? My mother is dead?!

Odin: Yup. She’s in the ground. [Winks.] Now look here, how can I expect you to pay me? I bet you
don’t even have a farm. Look at you, you don’t even have pants, how do you expect me to take you
seriously?

Thor: If it’s too difficult for you, I can show you where to land the boat. [Points to a spot on the bank.]
Wait … Do you even own that boat? Or, are you just some asshole standing beside a boat?! But if it’s
not yours, whose is it?

Odin: A hero gave me this boat and told me only to take worthy men into it. Are you a worthy man?
What’s your name?

Thor: I am Odin’s son, Magni’s father. I am Thor, mightiest of the Gods! Now, tell me your name!

Odin: Hárbarð, I am, and seldom do I hide my name. [Winks.]

Thor: Why would you hide your name? Unless you actually are just some asshole standing beside a
boat.

Odin: Woah! If you’re looking for a fight, I could easily defend myself against you. Unless, of course,
it was my fate to die.

Thor: Hey! Don’t make me come over there, weakling. I might get wet, but I’ll kick your ass!

Odin: Hey, I’m even fiercer than that pansy Hrungir. If you really want to come over here, it might not
be worth getting your … uh … “pants” wet.

Thor: I … What? … [Looks down at his lack of pants.] … Hey! I beat Hrungnir, that giant blockhead.
What have you done?

Odin: I spent five full winters with the seven sisters on All-Green Island. We would wrestle all day
long and I got plenty of exercise.

Thor: How does a guy like you get seven sisters?

Odin: Those women liked wise men, and I’m a wise man. That means the women were wise, and the
greater knowledge we had of each other, the wiser we got. Trust me, boy; my sword has never been
sharper. What have you done that is better?

Thor: I threw a dude’s eyeballs into the sky [Points to the heavens], and now everybody can see them
in the stars. What were you doing when I did that?

Odin: I used spells and visited sleeping witches in their dreams, and bestowed upon them the gift of
my … fearsome wand.

Thor: Well, I fight giants all the time in Jotunnheim, protecting Midgard and all of mankind.

Odin: I have caused wars, and all the nobles who died went to Odin. All the peasants? They all went
[Gestures across the river] to Thor.

Thor: Be careful with how mighty you are when it comes to the dead. You do not want to break the
balance between Gods and men.

Odin: You spine-less dog. You may be strong, but you crawled around in a giant glove afraid to fart or
sneeze lest you wake a sleeping giant.

Thor: You sodomite ergi-man! I’d beat you into Helheim, if only I could reach across this river.

Odin: Easy there, big fella. Save that fighting energy for your wife Sif’s lover.

Thor: You’re just being a dick … and mean. I don’t trust you.

Odin: Hey, it’s the truth. You’d know that if you were home by now. And you’d be home by now if you had a boat.

Thor: Look, I’ve already been waiting here for too long, and … —

Odin: I didn’t think a God like Thor could be so easily slowed by a mere ferryman.

Thor: Last chance. Row your boat across, now!

Odin: [Pauses and moves like he is about to do it, but then steps back.] Nope, not gonna do it.

Thor: Well, I … [Sighs.] … Can you at least give me directions?

Odin: Yeah, you just take the winding road to the fork, take a left, keep going until you come to the
foot of the mountain, and then head through the valley. Then, when you find your mommy, she can tell
her little bearded baby how to get to Odin’s Hall.

Thor: [Starts to walk away, but then turns back.] You know what? Even if you did take me across the
river, I wouldn’t have paid you.

Odin: That’s fine. I have all I need right here. [Digs around in his pouch, brings his hand back out and
gives Thor the finger.]

[Thor exits. Odin removes his hood revealing his face, one eye closed and one eye open.]

Banner Bonanza

This guest post is re-posted with permission from Brynn Hultquist amazing, award-winning blog, Lupus Interrupted

Not going to lie…having to keep on the down-lo for the past couple of months has been difficult considering the magnitude of the emotional connection I made with a project I’d recently completed.

And by project, I mean commission.

The word “commission” is important here, because it signifies an idea that someone had, talked to someone else about said idea, and my name came up in order to make that idea happen. It is also, by far, the coolest thing that has ever happened in my crafting lifetime :D

Fast forward to March.

Literally. Fast. Forward.

I never saw February. ;)

A very special woman wanted to gift to a very special man for his birthday a “Game of Thrones” type banner for each and every *department* of a very special festival that they both are the organizers for: Kaleidoscope Gathering.

Some of you may remember the banner I’d crafted for Raven’s Knoll itself. You can check that out: The Banner That Brynn Built.

Some of you may also remember the banner that I’d crafted for our family hearth: The Banner That Brynn Built, Part Deux.

This was for ELEVEN banners…encompassing various aspects of the volunteers (All hail the volunteers!!)

But wait! There’s MORE!! TWELVE banners, actually…because you cannot have eleven departments without having the Momma Banner of Kaleidoscope Gathering itself *GRIN* I made that one a SuperSecret…’cuz I’m badass* like that.

(*and by badass, I mean my OCD simply couldn’t process having all the departments and not one for the festival itself…*shifty eyes*)

Here’s a little bit’o’how it’s made:

Bring...it...ON.

Bring…it…ON.

Meet IronBoard...steel-like extension of my right arm...

Meet IronBoard…steel-like extension of my right arm…

Design, zoom image, tape to window...

Design, zoom image, tape to window…

The program I use to expand my images to print out over multiple pages is called: blockposters.com This is…by far…the most awesome bit of schiznit in making these banners!! \m/

Then:

Go, Go, SuperCraftersGloves!!!

Go, Go, SuperCraftersGloves!!!

Ya. That. Trace it up! Then? HAND PAINT IT UP!!

BOO-YA! Every little line…every title…every sub-title…every slogan…every detail of the images the departments chose to represent the tireless goings’ on of the volunteers in our community.

Funny story:

Shane (husband): Hey, Auz (birthday Dude) is coming over tomorrow to work on website stuff.

Me: Really. (Academy Award winning dramatic look around the room WITH arm flourish, for good measure)

No couch for over a month...

No couch for over a month…

Sewing machine in dining room. IronBoard still up and out.

Shane: Oh, shit.

LMAO!! Boys. ;)

“GET TO THE BANNERS, WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Okay, okay…I just wanted to ensure that the deets about how they’re created was, y’know…put out there:

Yagermeisters: Ye Auld Grubbe, fry truck

Yagermeisters: Ye Auld Grubbe, fry truck

Word and Music: Entertainment and events

Word and Music: Entertainment and events

Vendors...Darth and an R2D2 with moustache, man! You...have to be there...

Vendors…Darth and an R2D2 with moustache, man! You…have to be there…

Trolls: Maintenance

Trolls: Maintenance

Special Undertakings: Archives, special ventures

Special Undertakings: Archives, special ventures

Raven Relay: Communications

Raven Relay: Communications

Polka-dot-docs: Medics

Polka-dot-docs: Medics

Nefarious Bunnies: Registration

Nefarious Bunnies: Registration

Munchkinland: Children's Program

Munchkinland: Children’s Program

Flying Monkeys: Security

Flying Monkeys: Security

Fire Keepers...um...that's what it is, actually

Fire Keepers…um…that’s what it is, actually

Back panelling

Back paneling of each banner with drapery…fringe at each bottom…

Banners slowly fill the rooms...people talking, planning, scheming?, laughing...

Banners slowly fill the rooms…people talking, planning, scheming?, laughing…

Trying to blend into the wall, all of my walking-pneumonia self...totally thought I could stay the night for my first "big person" sleep-over...but alas, my lungs said "No."

Trying to blend into the wall, all of my walking-pneumonia self…totally thought I could stay the night for my first “big person” sleep-over…but alas, my lungs said “No.”

 And the Momma Banner, of course:

Kaleidoscope Gathering

Kaleidoscope Gathering

There you have it. For over a month, I got to “live in my mind” at Raven’s Knoll during KG as I envisioned the people, the areas, the events…the community.

A huge shout-out to those whose events I could not attend, for the coffee-dates that can now be rescheduled…and for the faith and trust in me that my absence was for something oh-so-very important. :)

Kaleidoscope Gathering…Bringing community together for 25 years.

Can’t wait to see my family make memories for the next 25…

 

Swing Low (Heathen version)

Sung to the tune of the African-American spiritual “Swing Low.”  First presented by Auz and Brad McDonald at the Three Rivers Gathering 2o13. Lyrics filked by Austin “Auz” Lawrence.

I crossed the scree, and what did I see? Wind, trees and the rocks.
I crossed the scree, and what did I see? Wind, trees and the rocks.

Swing low sweet chariot, Freya with her cats.
O, Swing low sweet chariot, Freya with her cats

I climbed the rainbow, and what did I see? Heimdall greeting me.
I climbed the rainbow, and what did I see? Heimdall greeting me.

Swing low sweet chariot, Thor riding with his goats.
O, Swing low sweet chariot, Thor riding with his goats.

I entered the hall, and what did I see? A grey beard with one eye.
I entered the hall, and what did I see? A grey beard with one eye.

Swing low sweet chariot, Odin swinging his spear.
O, swing low sweet chariot, Odin swinging his spear.

I forded that river, and what did I see? Ladies spinning my fate.
I forded that river, and what did I see? Ladies spinning my fate.

Swing low sweet Stallion, Hermod at the gate.
O, swing low sweet Stallion, Hermod at the gate.

I descended to darkness, and what did I see? Hella’s rotting corpse.
I descended to darkness, and what did I see? Hella’s rotting corpse.

Swing low sweet chariot, Sun running ‘cross the sky.
O, Swing low sweet chariot, Sun running ‘cross the sky.

I walked the cavern, and what did I see? Dwarves forging all the gold.
I walked the cavern, and what did I see? Dwarves forging all the gold.

Swing low sweet Stallion, Skynir with the staves.
O, swing low sweet Stallion, Skynir with the staves.

I crossed the meadow, and what did I see? Gerd shining in the nude.
I crossed the meadow, and what did I see? Gerd shining in the nude.

Swing low sweet chariot, Moon running ‘cross the sky.
O, swing low sweet chariot, Moon running ‘cross the sky.

I travelled the plain, and what did I see? Loki with his horde.
I travelled the plain, and what did I see? Loki with his horde.

Swing low sweet chariot, Valkyries come for me.
O, swing low sweet chariot, Valkyries come for me.

I sailed those flames, and what did I see? Ancestors all around.
I sailed those flames, and what did I see? Ancestors all around.

A Personal Story by Drew

The Raven’s Knoll Quork welcomes people’ s personal stories regarding gatherings they have attended or what Raven’s Knoll means to them.  This guest post is by Drew Thomson.
Seven years ago I needed to walk away from one of the best opportunities for happiness that has lucked to come across my path, which to this day has not been equaled or bettered. The experience opened my once naive eyes to a whole new world, and put me on the rather bumpy path that I have experienced since then.  At that time, I had been promised a home and was looking onto a horizon were I would never worry about anything again. That never happened.  And, I was shattered for many years. Until, five years ago, after years of fighting illness, I took a very short trip to a place near Eganville. Just a few years before I was on a common route, full of promise and hope with a beautiful soul with whom I would have been quite happy to share my life. Instead just twenty minutes away from a promise of being Home and never having to worry about things again, I did find a home … and a community that has helped me come a long way; a long way, in healing, in learning how to heal. I just did not know at the time it was my healing.  I do now.  I found other souls, to share my life with … that of the sacred grounds, the fest, the colourful and endearing people that form the community known as Raven’s Knoll. I have learned to live and laugh again. Then, even further, this magical place gave me a chance to be a part of volunteers in the biggest Fest of the year, called the Kaleidoscope Gathering.  Volunteering is a chance for me to give back, to become part of the very thing that gave me my life back. I hope that my hard work and easy nature will in turn give a chance to others to make their own personal journey; through the experiences of the place called Raven’s Knoll, to find their own Home.