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WORKENDS

What's a WorkEnd?

Throughout the year, the Ranch Team (led by the Ranch Manager), will schedule and organize maintenance tasks at SHR over a weekend… thus the name “WorkEnd.”

It’s anything and everything needed to maintain SHR and it’s buildings, from re-roofing a structure to organizing the tool shed to painting buildings and making sure everyone is hydrated… you name it. Those who may have physical limitations or various forms of disability are totally welcome; there is always something for everyone to do!

While we certainly put the Work in WorkEnds, we have a ton of fun, too! Make lasting connections with your team, dance to the drums around the campfires at night, and yell “ONE TEAM” – an affirmation of the work we’re doing and the appreciation for those doing it with us.

Not a Spirit Haven member yet? No worries! You can attend two WorkEnds in a calendar year before you join!

When’s the next WorkEnd?

What should I expect?

Ever wanted to learn how to identify native flora, build a structure, use a chainsaw, or weld – with a bunch of Pagans? You’ll love WorkEnds.

Expect to work hard, play hard, and camp under the stars. Bring your camping gear, sturdy shoes and gloves, LOTS OF WATER, sunscreen and bug spray, and a drum if you have one!

We tackle a wide variety of projects, including:

  • Working with foresters and soil specialists to encourage and protect our native ecology
  • Repairing ranch tools
  • Building and improving new structures
  • Maintaining and improving Sacred Spaces
  • Improving accessibility around the ranch

Policy reminders

  • Spirit Haven Ranch is a “Pack It In, Pack It Out” facility. Any and ALL trash you produce (including night-time fireside festivities and meals) needs to leave with you.
  • Guests will be allowed to attend two WorkEnds, after which time, they will need to become members in order to enjoy member benefits, such as, attending further WorkEnds.
  • All dogs MUST remain leashed. Pets are like kids: you’re responsible for their care, keeping, and behavior.

Requirements & information

  • Let the Ranch Administrator know you’re coming: ranch.admin@spirit-haven.org
  • Sign in at Mathew’s Healing Station upon arrival for safety and accountability.
  • Attend the brief Safety and Task Meetings at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday mornings around Guardian Fire (this is where you’ll obtain tasks).
  • Mathew’s Healing Station is usually available as a crash space and is “first come, first served.”
  • Port-a-Potties are located near the SHR Office/Guardian Building.

WorkEnd Liability Waiver

Spirit Haven Inc.
Spirit Haven Ranch: 9706 Anchor Ranch Loop, Flatonia, Texas 78941

Spirit Haven Ranch Volunteer Waiver Form

This waiver must be signed before work begins, and will be good for one year from the date of signing.
I agree that my electronic signature is the legal equivalent of my manual/handwritten signature on this document. By selecting “I agree” using any device, means, or action, I consent to the legally binding terms and conditions of this document.

General Safety Waiver:

 

I,

, do hereby sign and affirm that I am 18 years of age or older, and am considered an adult. I am of sound mind and body. I understand the risks and hazards that are involved with work of any kind on the property owned by the Spirit Haven Inc., known as Spirit Haven Ranch or SHR. These risks include but are not limited to: Insect bites and stings, snake bites, cuts, scrapes, cactus spine punctures, falls due to uneven terrain, sunburn, and heat exhaustion. Knowing these risks, I waive the Spirit Haven Inc. of any injury incurred while doing normal tasks during a work period. These tasks may include but are not limited to: Clearing & moving brush, mowing, weedeating, cutting & digging cactus, moving dirt and/or rocks and gravel, cutting mesquite, and minor construction projects which may include use of power tools (drill, impact drill, air compressor, skil saw, compound miter saw, band saw, nail gun, etc), hammering, painting or sawing, and/or pouring and mixing concrete. I understand, acknowledge, and take responsibility for the risks involved in these activities.

I also understand that I am responsible for ensuring that I am wearing proper clothing, including jeans, a shirt, and leather boots or closed-toe shoes with hard soles while working. I will wear any required protective gear to ensure my safety and that of others, including safety eye wear, gloves, hat, sunscreen and chaps. I will take regular water breaks and will provide water for myself as I understand there is no potable water on the SHR property. I understand that by not regularly drinking water, Gatorade or any other electrolyte-replacement drink, I am putting myself at risk for heat exhaustion, for which I may be sent to the hospital for treatment. I waive all liability of SHR for this, should it occur.

I also understand that I am a fully responsible and liable as Guardian for any child who is under my care, and that they shall wear proper clothing, including jeans, a shirt, gloves, sunscreen, and leather boots or close-toe shoes with hard soles while on the property. I will provide water for any minor child(ren) under my care, as I understand there is no potable water on the SHR property;

I also understand that I am responsible for ensuring that my child has regular access to water and will take adequate breaks. I understand that by not regularly drinking water, Gatorade or any other electrolyte-replacement drink, I am putting my child at risk for heat exhaustion, for which they may be sent to the hospital for treatment. Knowing these risks, I waive the Spirit Haven Inc. of any liability while my child is on the property called Spirit Haven Ranch (SHR).

Please use the email associated with your Spirit Haven membership, if applicable.

Questions?

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.