Planning For Our New Nemeton

I have a few things on my mind that I thought might be worth a blog post, but one of them would be better discussed after Pantheacon is done, so I’ll aim to cover that one next week.  In the meantime, I’ll share a post that I wrote for our Grove mailing list and FB and G+ pages, just in case one of my four remaining readers didn’t see it there.

Oh, I’ll also throw in here: Assuming that we wasnt to keep this blog going in some form, what other blog sites would folks recommend?  The main features I’d be concerned about would be (a) free (duh), (b) the ability for other folks to post from their own accounts if I gave them permission, and (c) having an easy way to import the entries from the blog.  Of course, those of you who have volunteered to help out with the Grove’s Web presence, volunteering to copy all of the posts manually would be super helpful, and fairly easy (if mind-numbingly boring).

So between my night class and preparations for Imbolc, I’ve somehow managed not to share the biggest Grove news of the winter: We’ve found a new site for our outdoor rituals!

It’s at Cavallo Farm, a horse farm in Superior Township, and just barely in the Huron watershed. Actually, only part of the property is in the ‘shed, the border with the Rouge watershed crosses through the property. The place where we want to set up the nemeton is just on the Huron side. Talk about liminal space! You can see the site here:
http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=2185+N+Harris+Rd%2C+Ypsilanti%2C+MI+%28Cavallo+Farm%29

We’re going to put the nemeton just northwest of the northernmost point of the circular drive. The property does include some of the wooded area to the west, and the owner says that we can clear out a circle and a path to it in the long term, but for now it will be faster and easier to set up the nemeton in the open area.

Sadly, I have no experience in building a ritual space from scratch, since I didn’t join SLG until a few years after the Botsford nemeton was built. And I’m not exactly an expert on landscaping in general, either. At the business meeting this week, we came up with our best guess of what we need to do to make it into a working ritual site:

* The grass probably needs to be mowed at some point. I don’t know whether the owner of the site has one. I would assume that she does. Still, if someone has a hand-mower they’d love to use!

* The three standard Druidic altars required for any ADF rite:

The bile’. The owner does have a powered post-hole digger, so that part will be easy. Is there any feasible way we can get the old bile’ moved from Botsford to here? If not, are any of us good enough at woodworking to make a new one? There are fallen trees on the site which should be big enough. Keep in mind that if we can’t get this done right away, we can still use the “porta-bile'” that we use for our indoor rites, though if we go that route, a Maypole dance at Beltaine is out of the question.

The fire. How does one make a safe, permanent fire pit? Rodney says he has plenty of stones for this.

The well. No, it doesn’t have to be a functioning well, a two-foot pit will suffice. But we’ll definitely need some kind of covering for it so people (and horses) won’t trip in it.

* We’ll probably want sawhorses or some other kind of barricade to place between the ritual circle and the driveway.

* We’ll also need to set up a gathering area for socializing, someplace away from the ritual circle. We’ll want tables and chairs that we can store on-site, if possible.

So, all that said, I’d like to set up a work day on a Sunday in April (earlier would be better for my stress levels) to get the site ready, assuming that the labor part can be done in one day, which I’m guessing it could be. Any expert advice from experts out there would be appreciated.

This will obviously be one of the biggest projects our Grove has ever worked on, and hopefully the prologue to the many wonderful stories we’ll create there through our rituals and our community!

Blessings,

Rob

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One thought on “Planning For Our New Nemeton

  1. (Comments from the original post on our old site:)

    Posted by Melissa:
    I like blogspot, it’s commonly used and fairly customizable. It’s what I use for my blog. I’ve also heard decent things about wordpress. My question is, why does the fire need to be in a pit? If I got to make a fire altar, it would be built upward. Maybe you could look at cob ovens for some sort of inspiration?
    Sounds awesome, good luck!
    Monday, February 20th 2012 @ 7:55 PM

    Posted by Rob Henderson:
    An oven could work, though I’d be concerned about (a) the cost (yes, we really are that poor), and (b) horses running into it or tripping over it when we’re not there. A fire circle would be cheap to make and easy to walk over when not in use.
    Monday, February 20th 2012 @ 8:10 PM

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