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GOVERNANCE

Great Works

Spirit Haven, Inc. is a member-driven organization. Every year (barring extenuating circumstances), on the Sunday of our Beltane and Samhain Festivals, we hold our Great Works meetings. These are considered General Business meetings, as required by Article 2 Section 4 of our Bylaws.

Referendum items must be submitted to the Director of Records 30 days prior to the start of Festival to be added to the Great Works meeting Agenda. Any item submitted after that deadline may be discussed, but not voted on, during the Great Works meeting and can be added to the Great Works Agenda for the subsequent Great Works meeting.

Voting & elections

Who can vote?

Active members (those who are over the age of 18 and have purchased 12 months of membership for $30, or 6 months for $15) of Spirit Haven, Inc. are entitled to the following:

  • One vote per person on the Board of Directors
    Voting for the Representatives of their regional Area
  • One vote on each referendum presented at the twice yearly Great Works Meetings (business meetings held on the Sunday of each Festival)
  • Voting for the Board of Directors is done online through 7 p.m. Saturday of Festival.
  • If you’re unable to attend Great Works, you may designate someone who will be attending as your proxy.

The following lists contain some of the various positions throughout Spirit Haven that are determined by election:

  • Area Representatives: 1 year term. Ballots are collected in-person at Area Meetings during our Samhain Festival. The Areas are as follows:
    • Austin
    • Central Texas
    • Coastal Bend
    • North Texas
    • Outlands
    • San Antonio
    • SouthEast Texas
    • West Texas
  • Vendor’s Representative: 1 year term. Ballots collected online until 7 p.m. Saturday of our Samhain Festival.
  • Spirit Haven Board of Directors and Transparency Advocate: 1 year term. Ballots collected online until 7 p.m. Saturday of our Samhain Festival. The Board positions are as follows:
    • Executive Director (ED)
    • Assistant Executive Director (AED)
    • Director of Communication (DoC)
    • Director of Finance (DoF)
    • Director of Member Services (DoMS)
    • Director of Property and Assets (DoPA)
    • Director of Records (DoR)
    • Transparency Advocate* (TA) 

6 months

$15 for 6 months

Yearly

$30 for 1 year

Student yearly

$30 for 1 year

and reduced Festival prices

Proxies

While every active member of Spirit Haven is entitled to one vote on each referendum item during the Great Works meetings, sometimes members are unable to be present in order to cast their vote. In that situation, a proxy may be assigned: someone who will be present and will cast your votes for you.

Please keep in mind that BOTH the individual whose vote is being proxied AND the person who will be present at the meeting will BOTH need to have active memberships with Spirit Haven on the date that the proxy will be used for voting. Proxies should only be assigned to someone you trust to vote in your best interest.

Don’t know who to assign your proxy to? Get in touch with your Area Representative and ask about how they vote!

Meet our Board of Directors!

Executive Director (ED)

Candyce Eskew

The Executive Director (ED):

  • Act as Fiduciary Officer of the corporation
  • Preside over Board meetings
  • General + Active management of the affairs of the Corporation
  • Sees that all orders + resolution of the Board are carried into effect
  • Tasks customarily performed by the office of the President

The ED also presides over the Festival Committee + the Area Representatives.

Assistant Executive Director (AED)

James Bell

The Assistant Executive Director (AED):

  • Assists the Executive Director in the execution of duties
  • Stands in for the ED in their absence
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors or delegated by the ED
  • The AED also supervises Spirit Haven Societies and serves on the Internet Committee. 

Director of Communications (DoC)

Chloe "Wren" Valles

The Director of Communications (DoC):

  • Manages all communications, both internal & external
  • Oversees the Spirit Haven Events Calendar
  • Manages Spirit Haven’s social media presence
  • The DoC also presides over the Marketing Team, the Internet Committee, the Publications Team, and the Fundraising Team.

Director of Finance (DoF)

Lisa Kay “Lyryal Thea” Cifelli

The Director of Finance (DoF):

  • Acts as Fiduciary Officer for the Corporation
  • Keeps records of the finances, writes checks, + receives all money paid to the Corporation
  • Deposits all funds to the corporate accounts
  • Ensures tax returns are filed in a timely manner
  • Provides the membership with semi-annual financial reports of the Corporation
  • The DoF also performs the duties carried out by the office of treasurer + any other duties, as assigned by the Board of Directors or authorized by the Executive Director. 

Director of Member Services (DoMS)

Amanda Boehm

The Director of Member Services (DoMS):

  • Acts as the membership’s primary point of contact with the Board
  • Assists with non-member questions about Spirit Haven membership
  • Accepts requests, comments, suggestions, and complaints from Spirit Haven members
  • Manages the designated campsite lease program
  • Oversees membership enrollment + festival registrations
  • The DoMS also performs other duties assigned by the ED + Board of Directors. 

Director of Records (DoR)

Kenneth "Ken Lake" See

The Director of Records (DoR):

  • Serves as a Fiduciary Officer of the Corporation
  • Acts as secretary for all meetings of the membership + the Board of Directors
  • Ensures all notices of the Corporation are distributed properly (including distribution of meeting minues)
  • Supervises the Corporate Officer & Registrar
  • Manages + maintains the membership rolls in cooperation with the Registrar
  • Maintains the Corporation’s archives of official documents
  • Serves as official keeper + issuer of membership vote proxies
  • The DoR also performs general duties carried out by the office of Secretary, as well as any assigned by the ED + Board of Directors.

Director of Property and Assets

Laura "Sara" Henderickson

The Director of Property + Assets (DoPA):

  • Manages use of Spirit Haven’s real + intellectual property
  • Maintain appropriate insurance for Spirit Haven property + events
  • Oversee maintenance of Spirit Haven real property, information systems, + intellectual assets
  • The DoPA also performs other duties assigned by the ED + Board of Directors.

Transparency Advocate

Killina Rose

The Transparency Advocate (TA) position is specifically designed to be the eyes and ears of members of the organization and report to them at each business meeting, as their representative and is a direct report to the membership at large. The TA role ensures transparency between the Board and the Membership.

*The Transparency Advocate is a membership advocate/advisory role, and is not a member of the Board of Directors. 

Requirements to run for the Board of Directors

Candidates for a Board position must meet the following requirements, and the meeting of these requirements will be verified by the current Director of Records. Completing verification means someone is, according to our bylaws, eligible to run for an hold a Board position. Whether someone is competent, suited for, or desirable as a Board Member can only be determined by a vote of the Members.

To serve on the Board of Directors, a Member must meet all 4 criteria below:

  • Be a current Spirit Haven Member and in good standing.
  • Have been a Spirit Haven Member for a minimum of one year and one day in the time period immediately preceding the declaration of candidacy.
  • Serve as any of the following:
    • Lead Area Representative for a minimum of one year
      Area Representative for a minimum of two years
    • Senior Festival Staff for a minimum of one Festival;
    • Service or experience matching the position sought for two years minimum, and have been a member of Spirit Haven for at least five years (i.e. CPA and a member from January 2011 to February 2016)
  • Sign an Affidavit of Disclosure regarding any felony convictions.
    • Felony conviction does not preclude candidacy or service on the Board of Directors.
    • All Affidavits of Disclosure shall be held in confidence in the official archives of the Corporation by the Director of Records.

Additionally, election to the position of Director in Spirit Haven requires the use of your Legal Name. Spirit Haven Officers have to be listed on public legal records. The Executive Director, Director of Records, and Director of Finance must all be prepared to file paperwork for Bonding as Fiduciary Officers of a 501(c)3 corporation. There is no expectation of privacy when running for election or serving as a member of our Board of Directors.

Faerie Mound

Located off the main road, across from Carol’s Corner, the area within the white posts/inside fencing has playground equipment and child-size picnic tables. There is no fire ring, no electricity, and no adults on-site. There are concrete tables outside near the space for adults to rest while watching their littles.  (NOTE: Spirit Haven is not responsible for providing childcare or supervision.)

Magical Meadow

Where fire comes to play and the may pole dances. One of the primary locations our community gathers to share traditions, practices and revel in our community. This also includes the concert pavilion and the Revel fire ring. There is open camping available in the back against the tree line but no electricity, limited shade, and no seating for concerts. Magical Meadow is the first thing you see as you come over the bridge, it’s a large open field with the Revel Ring in the middle.

The Ve

The Ve is a dedicated to Universalist Heathen practice, honoring the Elder Kin (Æsir and Vanir) and the Ancestors (Disir and Alfar). The Ve is an inclusive space, open to all whom the Gods have called. Within the Ve are the Thor-tree, the ancestor cairn, the sacred fire, and the altar space itself. The Thor-tree, severed in half by a lightning strike, stands at the entrance to the space. The ancestor cairn is an ever-growing monument to those who have gone before us. Rocks available in the space are able to be marked in remembrance and honor of loved ones and added to the cairn. The sacred fire is kept going with all-natural chunk charcoal, and resins are placed nearby that can be burned in the fire along with other offerings. The altar space itself is marked off from the main portion of the Ve by a stone circle. Within the space are two altars, one dedicated to the Aesir and one to the Vanir. There are alfa bowls on each altar where libations can be poured out in offering.

“With half a loaf, and cup half filled,
A friend full fast I made.” 

Temple Ganesha

Temple Ganesh is the first Hindu sacred space at Spirit Haven. Dedicated to the elephant-headed remover of obstacles, the temple celebrates Ganesha, the ruler of the Muladhara (Root) Chakra. The Temple is a sacred realm in dappled sunlight within a beautiful ring of trees. Anyone can offer puja (worship) to Ganesh with devotions, offerings, praise, chanting or song. Whether you’re there to break a coconut, offer sweetly-scented flowers or incense, ring a bell, chant or just meditate, Temple Ganesh will offer you a comfortable, warm place to worship the God of all Wisdom. Jai Ganesha! 

Self Blessing Station

This is the transitioning area from our Mundane lives to Magical lives at Spirit Haven Ranch. It is located past the Front Gate, past the bridge, on the left as you come up the hill and across from Magical Meadow. There is a sign, a table and a place to sit. You can stop after CheckIn. – if your trip was stressful, leave it at the Altar! You can stop after unloading/parking – gives you a little time. You can visit anytime you need to re-center or rid yourself of destructive or negative thoughts.

In order to have a peaceful, loving and fun festival, we need to leave our bad energies behind and invite the awesome, positive and tingly vibes into our time together. Doing it is the easy part.

  • Water – spritz yourself with spring water (no essential oils added).
  • Fire – light a candle – the winds are strong across the fields, so good luck, have a friend help.
  • Air – light some incense and place in the bucket of blue pebbles or light some sage and have someone help smoke cleanse you.
  • Earth – touch the directional stones, feel the coolness (but really HOT in direct sun), plant your feet, and breathe deep, ground yourself.

* You can leave offerings, if that has meaning for you (flowers, stones, seeds, nuts, or LIGHTERS) 

Ravenswood

The entrance to Ravenswood is past the entrance to Lothlorien, back through the woods. There is an altar, a gathering of three trees for the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, and space to sit and reflect. Bring a chair, blanket, or commune with nature in this Morrigan-centric space.

Naos Templum

Located near the Labyrinth and centered around the fire ring on Phoenix Meadow, this space is being created for those who are called to work with Greek and Roman deities. A space to make devotions and offerings to those theoi who weave their blessings through our lives. Naos Templum is “temple” in both Greek and Latin,  respectively.

This is a long term transformation and we think that good things are worth the wait! Future plans include a rebuilt and maintained fire ring, individual devotional altars , drainage, and shade.

As of Beltane 2023, we have the posts installed where the future columns will be,  the locations and designs of the individual altars laid out, and the main altar has been set up for devotionals and offerings to all the Greco-Roman deities. We have also added temporary alter markers with a devotional for each theoi.

The main altar is stocked with offerings as libations each festival. During festival,  there will be a short overview of Greek Reconstructionist practice and some simple devotional guides. This guide also includes a list of people you can reach out to if you have further questions about Greco-Roman deities, devotionals, or making offerings.

We try to host one public event per festival. Our temple tenders do their own personal devotionals and rites in the temple and folks are welcome to observe and ask questions after they are finished.

Memorial Grove

Memorial Grove is located in a small inlet along the main road, across from Phoenix Meadow. It features an altar, with stone benches scattered around the space. We also feature the Memorial Web dedicated to those who have helped grow and shape this land.

The Grove is created as a meeting place for those who have gone beyond the Veil and those who have been left behind. It is a space for all the dark gods and goddesses but the space will forever remain undedicated to any one god or goddess. The heartsick living can find some respite in this place, and for those who have transitioned – this place is a sacred space for them and to commune with them.

Memorial Grove is an ideal choice for any sort of memorial, particularly at Samhain, but can also be used for rituals dedicated for the deities of death and the afterlife. As a meeting place, it has also been successfully used for communication between worlds, and workshops focusing on ancestors or history. It can easily fit workshops or classes of 20 people or less.

Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is a meditative experience, journeying inward to the soul. Stay and play, pray, or reflect in the center before journeying back out into the world. In addition to being a powerful meditation tool, our Labyrinth is dedicated to the Fae and is a wonderful place to commune with them and leave them offerings. It is also an ideal space for initiations, rites of passage, handfastings, and rituals focused on manifesting within or on letting go. Come walk the Labyrinth and experience its magic for yourself!

Herne's Hollow

Herne’s Hollow has been a sacred space since 2004. It is located across the road from the Labyrinth, down a shady path that leads you into a beautiful hollow, rich in serenity and magical presence. The ancient tribes of Britain worshiped Herne the Hunter. He is associated with the Wild Hunt, protection, warrior energy, valor and honor. At Herne’s altar all are welcome and none can say nay. Bring your offerings and commune with the Horned One in this sacred space. Keep your eyes out for the Fae, in the Hollow they are often seen at play.

Haven Grove

Haven Grove is a neutral space with no particular affiliation with any god, goddess, or tradition. A sacred space for those who don’t have one. Welcome to Any and All. Will feature natural tree altars,  plenty of open area for meditation and small rituals. Also has a dedicated area for Handfasting rituals. Lots of shade, no power, no seating. 

Grounding & Centering Temple

The Grounding and Centering Temple was created at our first Beltane on the Land, based on the need for a quiet place in which to heal and seek counsel. It is open to anyone who needs a time out, a place for reflection, grounding and centering, and meditation. As you spend time here, please honor the energy and intention of the place. Help yourself to the blessing oil on the altar, and light some incense (if the wind allows) to help you in your meditations. If you are in need of spiritual counseling at the Temple, contact a Guardian, or come to Lair Bastet camp, just down from Carol’s Corner, where there are priestesses ready to help. You are never alone. 

Grandmother's Grove

Over the river (well, creek) and through the (Meditation) Woods, to Grandmother‘s Grove we go: Grandmother’s Grove has always been a part of Spirit Haven’s festivals, even before we moved to Spirit Haven Ranch. It served as a gathering and community space, a place for children’s story time, and various workshops and rituals. Now, Grandmother is waiting with open arms for any who wish to commune with her.

Here, you will find the giant Grandmother tree, a stone altar, a standing stone, a fire ring, and a large, open space perfect for stargazing, workshops, or rituals. Come sit under her tree, light a fire and stay a while, watch the stars, or read The Story of CMA from the Grandmother’s Storybook. The feeling here is warm, welcoming, and loving, and Grandmother‘s Grove is not dedicated to any particular energy. 

Dragon's Nest

The Dragon’s Nest is a secluded, calming space which is ideal for quiet meditation and contemplation. The purpose of the Nest is communion with Land and  Cosmos as living entities, Dragon, the undertow of reality, the vast, complex consciousnesses of the world around us, adjacent to human tradition, maybe even inclusive of it, but far greater than it. The space is guarded by a trellised archway, nestled in the wood across from Grandmother’s Grove. Once inside, offerings to Land and Cosmos may be made to the decomposing stump in the center of the clearing. Beneath our feet, Above, Around, and Within, the Dragon lives and so do We. 

Council Oak

Our blessed Council Oak has transitioned from her former self into a beautiful memorial altar, adorned with a beautiful altar top handmade from pieces of her trunk. A wooden footbridge and a lovely arbor lead into the space, and a cedar-post fence surrounds the entire site. 

Brighid's Temple Complex

Brighid’s Crossing: Brighid’s Crossing has existed with our organization since before Spirit Haven Ranch was purchased. It has always been a special location for crafts, chanting, music, and gathering. As the Temple Complex has come together, Brighid’s Crossing has become a more public and social part of the Complex, in contrast to the quieter, more meditative Altar area.

Brighid’s Altar: Brighid’s Altar consists of a slab of oak cut from the sacred tree known as Council Oak. At each festival, Brighid’s Temple Coordinator oversees the gathering of temporary items and gifts to place on the altar. This consists of things such as: whiskey, candles, incense, woven Brighid’s crosses, prayers/blessings/invocations written on paper, and much more.

The Standing Stone: The Standing Stone was dedicated in approximately 2008 and was livingly carved by hand to be placed at Spirit Haven Ranch. Stones have long been used as a marker of a sacred site or in honor of sacred beings. This stone was erected in Brighid’s honor.

The Prayer Tree: There are traditions of marking requests of the Gods or saints at sacred trees all over the world. Strips of cloth or other items are brought and imbued with the bringer’s wish for aid, thanks for aid given, or request for blessing in general, and then tied to the tree. These objects are believed to be a conduit of physical manifestation of the prayer or request they are sending. Many trees can be found in Ireland and across the world that hold the physical manifestations of countless prayers. The prayer tree in Brigid’s Temple Complex is just such a tree. Members have adorned the tree with pieces of cloth in representation of their wishes or prayers. This practice has been active here since at least 2008 and it is hoped that future members will learn of it and participate in its sacredness.