Elder Cabin Blessing Ceremony
At the 2011 Wolf Creek Rosette Royale announced the vision and dream of building new elder cabins on the land in order to have safe and warm housing for our use during the Wolf Creek Dance and for special-needs housing through the year for other groups and events. While it was hoped that MAYBE one of the cabins might be ready for the 2012 Dance, it came as a surprise to many upon arrival at the June Dance that both cabins were completed, AND that outdoor stairs were added on to Garden House to replace the indoor “stairs of death” that has vexed everyone with its treacherous incline.
It was with great glee and profound gratitude that many of us gathered on a Saturday afternoon, June, 2012, in front of the already-occupied cabins to have a Elder Cabin Blessing Ceremony to tell the story of their birth, offer up prayers of thankfulness, and for Rosette to christen them with their new names— Sage & Cedar.
Rosette began the ceremony by telling us how the project came to be: “One of the things that has always been important to us is where will we place our elders so we will know they are safe. So that we know they will have good, proper shelter and protection, in the same way they offer us shelter and protection with their wisdom and knowledge and their gifts.
“As the Dance has grown, and we have gotten older, we are shifting and we are aging, and our needs are growing. For many years we have placed our elders in Garden House and in the two structures behind it. I love seeing the elders on the back porch and having a good time and have people fix meals for them, but I always get a little nervous about Garden House and those stairs.
“Last year we had a moment where an elder was coming down the stairs and the elder slipped. Luckily everything was okay. But that was just one more indication to me that we needed to do something different and create new places.
“As the Dance is growing we need to grow as well in a respectful way. And so Jeff Westphal, the Bundle Keeper and I were talking and ‘you know it would be great if we had cabins there, something that we could build for our elders and those with special needs come and stay there. They can be warm, and dry, and safe.’ And so we talked about it, and okay, we’re going to do it.
“But we needed to raise some money, and my fear-flag just totally went up. I said ‘Money? I have no idea how to raise money! We’ll never raise the money!’ And ‘how much does it cost?’ Badger said, ‘oh, it might be $15,000…’ And I said, ‘how is that EVER going to happen?’
“So we put of the Call, last year in 2011 here at Wolf Creek. Here we are a year later, and here are the cabins! The abundance of this community has helped provide this gift!”
Rosette had approached Badger — a long-time visitor and friend to Wolf Creek, and a long-time Naraya Dancer since 2004 — to ask him for his advice, and to come with a design for the cabins, based on his many years of construction experience. Badger says, of this request: “This has been a long-standing prayer of mine— one, to give back to Nomenus and to give back to this land because I found my way to the faeries and they basically saved my life from a life of anger, shame and guilt. And then they lead me to my Naraya family, so that was a long-standing prayer too. So I was really happy to be approached with this project. I was able to knock out two birds with one stone. It felt really good and was really right.”
At the time when the budget of $15,000 was proposed, there were some who thought— ‘no way can you build 2 cabins for that small of a budget in such a short amount of time!’ But the proof is in the pudding, as they say. It speaks of Badger’s ingenuity, good-heartedness, and the concerted effort of many many people to pitch in and help. Badger continues the breathtaking story:
“I’ve built hundreds and hundreds of living spaces through the years, but these went up really well. And I was guided and directed by the ancestors here on this land. I felt their presence really strong. Sometimes I would get ahead of myself in the construction process, and I would forget a relevant task that I would need to perform to get to that end-result, and all of a sudden I would feel an ancestor say “Ah, Badger, what do you think, you know, so that you don’t have to go back and fix it?” So I would say, ‘oh, thank you very much!’. So it was a really beautiful process.”
About all the support he had, Badger said:
“I was really supported in a very good way by the community through all of your prayers and well-wishes. I was taken really good care of by the stewards of the land— I was fed and made comfortable. After the last Beltaine gathering all of those boys and girls came in and wrote on the inside of the wall cavities, their prayers, their songs, and sweet little messages about the land. Little satchels of plant medicine were placed in the four corners. It was really beautiful!”
Clyde Hall offered his words and thoughts:
“These cabins are a manifestation of bringing a vision and a dream into reality. But it takes somebody who knows how to use the tools and how to bring that into this world. There are people in this world who do things and build things like my friend Badger. I have great admiration for Badger. A lot of bringing this dream to reality was with the heartfelt efforts of people like you, whether it be $25, $5, or $10— a lot of it was contributed through the NCPC, where we had special funds just for these cabins. Speaking as the Director of NCPC, there are hopes, dreams, and visions for two more cabins! Hopefully these cabins will be well taken care of and loved, and that not only we Naraya Elders can use them, but also other Elders of other gatherings. It will be a great blessing all around this faerie community to have these structures here. Bless you all for helping out!”
During the Ceremony Oliver, Stella Maris, and Mugwort got up and a few words were said on behalf of the land community. Mugwort had this to say:
“To me and to a lot of us these structures speak to the good heartfelt friendship between the Naraya and Wolf Creek all these years, how solid both groups feel in our relationship with one another. It’s an amazing gift! The timing is really nice that, at the same time that flowering is happening in other ways these buildings sprout on our land as an expression of love. Let this be another piece of new beginnings here.”
Grandma Janet, one the elders who adopted the Cedar cabin as her beloved residence gave us a tour of the space, saying:
“You’ve got to see this! With all these wonderful shelves it’s nice not having your clothes lying in a lump. And I get to sleep on my buffalo robe, and it comforts my heart, just like this place does. But you thought of everything! We are grateful to all those that made this possible!”
Murray Edelman, who took residence in the Sage cabin, was most delighted with the unexpected accommodations:
“I’ve been coming to Wolf Creek since the first Dance in 1999, and even before it became Nomenus. And over the years its become harder and harder to camp out, and I’ve had some really bad nights of cold. And this time I’ve had two amazingly wonderful nights of sleep. It’s been warm, there’s been no draft, it’s been a really wonderful experience. I’m so grateful! I can feel my ability to give back so much stronger because I’m not dealing with the physical problems of being here.”