In ancient times, when the Old Europeans still hunted, gathered and herded, the year was simply divided into two seasons. The joyful beginning of the year was at the beginning of May when the sheep and goats were led out to their mountain pastures. The end of this Summer season fell at the end of October/ beginning of November, this was the “Gates of Winter.” The herds were brought back to the safety of a sheltered settlement, all debts were settled, and offerings were made to thank the deities for their summer bounty and petition the deities as they showed their winter aspects, to be merciful to those who honored them. The deceased ancestors were also honored and fed, as they also were petitioned to watch over their descendants thru the bitter winter. The Celtic tribes call this time Samhain, “Summer’s End,” while the Slavic tribes call it Zaduszki, “Ancestor’s Eve” or Velines, “The Day of the Souls.”
On Friday afternoon we will make sacred cloths called rushnyk. Friday night we will thank Pokrova, the Mother Goddess, Spirit of the Harvest and Protector of All.
On Saturday afternoon, we will be carving turnip lanterns as our ancient ancestors did long ago (and the newer variations with pumpkins.) We will also be doing Slavic wax divination and other divinatory methods for the cusp of the year.
On Saturday we will assemble an ancestral altar. Feel free to bring photos or momentos that you would like to put on the altar for Saturday night ritual, which you can then remove when ceremony is over or after Sunday’s farewell ritual. Our Saturday evening ritual will involve a Dumb Supper, ceremony and fire circle.
Sunday's Slavic ritual with Michael Stephen Feifer in service.
Friday Arrivals: $55
Saturday Arrivals: $35
Stay in a Cabin- add $20/person
Reserve your own private cabin- add $50 (guests of your cabin should register as 'stay in cabin')