Rites of Spring 39 ~ May 24-29, 2017
We gather once again to celebrate the sacred Earth and the turning of the seasons in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
Weave the web of community
Share in ancient traditions and new rituals
Learn through workshops and dialogue
Sacred fires burn,
Drums echo the rhythms of life and
Dancers join the sparks flying toward the sky.
Young people come of age with the community’s blessing
Lasting friendships form and families grow as we come together in community – learning, making music, celebrating with ritual and sharing our joy.
Since 1979, our community has re-emerged each May as hundreds of participants from many places and paths come together to live and learn, work and play in a setting apart from our everyday lives. We create and strengthen our spiritual community with
- Ceremonies from different traditions, including our annual rituals of Dancing the Maypole and Weaving the Web of Community
- Family and children’s events and workshops
- Drumming, Fire Circles and a variety of Sacred Dance for all levels
- Concerts and music jams
- Transformative rituals
- Intensive classes meeting daily
- Affinity Groups and programs for “Over 50’s”, LGBTQ, recovery, young adults, artists, writers, activists, women, men and more.
- Time to be in a beautiful and sacred natural environment
- Dozens of one-time workshops on subjects including topics such as ritual, meditation, activism, tarot, African drumming, dance and indigenous European traditions
Together we form a vibrant and joyful living community that expands outward with us when we leave.
We carry home new perceptions about each other and the world and we know that we build our future on this sacred Earth together.
Join us for what promises to be an inspirational and joyful Rites of Spring.
Special highlights for 2018: TBA
The vast majority of excellent presenters at Rites of Spring are volunteers from within the community.
We like to include as many of the traditions represented as possible, so we encourage you to share the way that you practice by offering a presentation. Give some special consideration too, to what you might have to offer our young people’s program.
Program Proposals – Priority Deadline – March 21
Submit a proposal now! ( Online Program Proposal form )
The first round of program decisions will be made right after the Spring Equinox. Anything received later than that will be added to a waiting list and scheduled on a space-available basis. We accept only one program from most presenters, though you may propose up to three in order of preference.
Type of presentations can include:
- Childrens Program
- Young Adult / Next Generation
- Affinity (discussion) Group
- Multi-session classes (a very limited number will be accepted)
Most workshop slots are 1.5, 2 or 3 hours, shorter performances are often grouped together as time and style suggest. Deadline for proposals: March 20, 2018
Rites of Spring Special Events:
Opening Fire Lighting
On Wednesday night we come together from many directions to light the community fires of Rites of Spring. The opening ritual begins at 9:30 PM, with fire spinning, chanting, drumming, and dance, and concludes with a procession through the camp to light the central Community fire and the Ritual fire at Bear Rock.
The Ritual Fire Circle
The ritual fire circle has been a sacred space for deep community connection and personal transformation since the very first Rites of Spring. Everyone is welcome to drum, to dance, to offer food and water to others, to tend the fire, to share a poem or a song.
We bind ourselves to Earth and Sky and fuel our path for the bright season ahead.
Weaving the Web of Community
Ritually weaving the web of community together, we create in visual form all our connections to each other and to all beings of the earth and we send out our visions for healing and growth into the world.
Bring your Banner!
For the procession leading to the Web Weaving!
The Art Salon
Some of our artists share and talk about their work and how it connects to their spiritual practice.
Artists, contact us by May 1st if you want to bring art to show at the salon. There is a firm limit of 4 smaller works or 2 large ones.
The Poetry Jam
We bring together our gifted poets and writers to share their work and the work of others. All are welcome. Let us know by May 10 if you have a big piece to present. Earthspirit AT earthspirit.co
Concerts and Dancing
This year featured performers include Sharon Knight, Lynn and Will Rowan, Sarah Stockwell Arthen , Sam Long , and Ness Smith-Savedoff with his contra-dance ensemble.We plan to have live music of some kind every night.
On Sunday night everyone at Rites of Spring is invited to participate in a community meal and celebration including great food and entertainment.
EarthSpirit Auction of Goods and Services
A chance to help support EarthSpirit in the work it does all year long. Please contact us in advance, or let us know at registration when you arrive if you have something you would like to donate.
Carnival and Psychic Fair!
A special evening of fun for vendors, crafters, astrologers, tarot/rune readers, and the like – at the Merchant Circle! Contact Ali Bourgault by May 10 for more information. Email: ahealingvibration AT gmail.com
The Village Builders Assembly
The two days prior to Rites of Spring are structured as a preparatory and community-building time for experienced participants who want to help ritually and physically create the beautiful, connected and attuned environment that holds us all for a week. Those who participate can count on some hard physical labor and some meaningful ritual.
Each person attending for those two days must commit to both being part of a Village Builder Team that will work with body and spirit to create the space, and to participating in discussions and rituals to deepen our connections with one another, with the land we’re on and with the realm of spirits.
Village Builders Assembly attendance is limited to 100 applicants who have attended Rites of Spring in past years and are committed to participating fully (We will count on you!)
Arrival and registration for the Village Builders’ Assembly is from 11 am to 2 pm, Monday, May 23rd. Please plan to arrive during that time.
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Rites of Spring Community
We want to ensure that people who are at Rites of Spring for the first time make connections and feel at home. We strongly encourage you to come for the full 6 days rather than just for the weekend, so that you have time to truly experience being part of the community.
We invite you to attend at least one morning Newcomer session as soon after your arrival as possible – even if you have attended other pagan gatherings in the past. These are led by long-standing community members who will introduce you to the history, community and culture of Rites of Spring.
Please be sure to mark the newcomers check box on the application form, so that we can welcome you warmly to our community. Thank you for giving us a chance to help make your first Rites of Spring more enjoyable.
Children have a wonderful time at Rites of Spring and we try to keep it affordable by only charging for the two oldest children in each family and not at all for those under 5. Please consider, especially if you are not a parent, what you might add to enrich the experience of our young people at Rites of Spring and send in a program proposal.
We design programs for all ages of children staffed by parents and volunteers. Infants and young children ages 0-4 are provided with a guided play space supervised by staff and volunteers. Children ages 4-10 are offered workshops, activities and crafts each day designed to keep them connected to the spiritual purpose and natural flow of the gathering. More information will be sent to registered parents in mid May.
There is a strong sense of community among young adults at Rites of Spring.
Following their Rite of Passage at about age 15, young members of the community are invited to participate in our “Next Generation” programs which are designed for individuals between 15-25. Newcomers who are in this age group are encouraged to join in.
Lunch sessions with community elders, social get-togethers and workshops of special interest to this age group are scheduled throughout the gathering, and members of the Next Generation program may also be given particular roles in community rituals or other events.
Craftspeople and artists have always been a big part of Rites of Spring. You add a lot to the festive atmosphere and we hope that everyone coming to the gathering will support you. We encourage you to register for the whole week, and hope that you will take some time away from your wares to relax and to participate in other aspects of the gathering, especially the large whole-community events, like the Web and Maypole Rituals.
If you wish to be a merchant at Rites of Spring, please complete all appropriate parts of the PDF application or online registration form and return it to us by April 10 to guarantee a space.
We offer a $100 discount on a full-week registration fee which will be automatically calculated when you register. Instead of a vending fee, we collect a 10% commission on gross sales at the end of the gathering to benefit our scholarship fund. All merchants must collect and pay Massachusetts state sales tax on items other than groceries or clothing. If you do not yet have a MA Sales Tax Certificate, you may apply for one at: Mass.gov website.
The merchant area is outdoors, so you need to bring your own table, decorative display setup, weather protection, and safe storage facilities. Nothing larger than a 10×20 tent is legally allowed without a special permit, so please limit your contiguous set-up to that sized space. Some fun extra lighting and extension cords for vending during our nighttime carnival will be helpful.
Many merchants like to donate an item to the Sunday auction as a way of further supporting EarthSpirit’s ongoing mission. If you are so inclined, we are most grateful and we do ask that you plan ahead and let us know.
At Rites of Spring there are daily Pagan Twelve Step Meetings, open to all participants of Rites, and all programs are welcome: AA, Alanon, NA, OA, CODA, ACOA, etc. Members meet together to share joys and struggles, strengths and vulnerabilities, knowing that in anonymous sharing we can break the isolation and find strength. It is usually possible to arrange substance-free cabin space, so mark that choice on your application form. If you need a guarantee however, the best way to assure substance-free space is to bring your own tent
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Rites of Spring Culture and Policies
Rites of Spring is an attempt to create a spiritual community that can work and live together. Over the years we have established certain guidelines that we must ask all participants to agree to before registering. If you do not feel that you can agree to abide by these policies, please do not submit an application form.
- Rules established by the camp management must be respected.
- Parents are responsible for their children at all times.
- Do not bring illegal substances to Rites of Spring, do not use alcohol in excess, do not give alcohol to minors.
- No smoking is permitted inside any buildings; butts must be disposed of properly.
- No nudity is permitted in public areas.
- No pets are allowed. We can refer you to a kennel nearby if you need one.
- Rites of Spring is not a public event. Media coverage of Rites of Spring is prohibited without written consent of the organizers.
- Photography is not allowed in ritual space and is permitted at other times only with the permission of all included in the photograph. Please be certain that you have consent – especially from the parents of minors – before publishing anything electronically or in print.
- We reserve the right to deny or revoke admission to Rites of Spring without refund for dangerous or disruptive behavior or for non-compliance with gathering policies.
Selected official event photographers and a videographer will work during the event. When they are active in this capacity they will be identifiable and will shoot only from one side of the circle. If you do not want to be photographed, please either make yourself known to them or simply stand on the same side as they are on. We are always glad to receive copies of photographs that you have taken at Rites of Spring for the same purpose if you are willing to share them with us.
Rites of Spring Location
We return to our familiar mountain-top home-away-from-home for Rites of Spring, a summer camp in the far southwestern corner of Massachusetts, near the Connecticut and New York borders. It is situated on hundreds of acres of woods, surrounding a huge private lake and abutting the Appalachian Trail. There are no nearby neighbors, so we can enjoy drumming all night at the fire, the freedom to be who we truly are and the peace of mind that privacy brings.
At our site there are many camp cabins with bunk beds as well as a lodge, a big, rustic dining hall and kitchen, areas for camping, fields for rituals and fire circles, and a waterfront area which includes canoes and sailboats.
Our friends on the camp staff provide lifeguards and boat supervision for us each day, as well as leading groups through the challenging high ropes course and climbing tower.
Because the camp has a limited capacity to recycle, we ask that participants plan in advance to carry out all recyclable materials that they bring in and not deposit them in the trash.
You may indicate your preference for sleeping accommodations, whether cabin or camping, on your application form. Most cabins sleep between 10 and 14 people in bunk beds with shared bathroom facilities and hot showers in each cabin area. Several Adirondack-style “rustic” cabins are also available which sleep 4-5 people in bunks. There is electricity in all of the cabins.
A limited number of beds are available in two heated lodges. There is an additional fee for heated sleeping space and there are no small cabins or private rooms available. If you choose a heated lodge, there is an additional charge of $60 per person, including children who are not co-sleeping with a parent.
A cabin or tent camping space is included in your registration fee. Environmental regulations specify that no RVs or pop-ups are permitted at the camp. Sleeping in your standard sized van is allowed, but only with prior permission. You will be able to indicate your preferred cabin style on your application form. We try to accommodate all requests but cannot guarantee we can meet them all.
Choosing Cabin Mates
Families and anyone wishing to stay with someone specific in a cabin must complete the housing group section of the form. Choose a name for your group (one word, up to 10 letters), even if there are just two of you. Register as early as you can and make sure this section is filled out the same way on all forms.
Space for tents in the Merchant area is extremely limited and available for merchants only by special arrangement. Merchants, please be sure to indicate a second housing choice on your application form.
All beds in each cabin will be assigned, so plan ahead. If you will be bringing a tent, please do not also sign up for a cabin space “just in case”. We will have some empty beds available in reserve in case of washed out tents.
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Rites of Spring Application and Registration Information:
Rites of Spring begins Wed,, May 25th, and ends on Memorial Day – Mon. May 30th, 2016.
The Village Builders Assembly (open only to returning participants) begins on Monday, May 23
We also accept weekend-only registrations.
Arrival times are:
Monday: 11am – 2pm
Wednesday:1pm – 10pm
Advance registration is required for the gathering.
Please Register Online if at all possible. You can pay with a credit card or send a check.
Unaccompanied minors (under age 18) may be permitted under certain conditions. Please speak with someone in the office before applying.
Please direct any questions about your application to email@example.com or call the office: 413-238-4240. Our office is staffed by volunteers so replies may take up to a week, especially in the early registration period. Thank you for being patient.
Confirmation and Directions will be sent out in early May.
If you have not received your directions by May 18, please call the office or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Before then, please be patient.
Participants attending Rites of Spring from Wednesday to Monday may purchase a full meal plan (15 meals plus access to snacks at all times) with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, or a “Dinners Only” plan.
Weekend registrants may purchase a full weekend meal plan. No weekend dinner plan is available.
All Rites of Spring participants are invited to the Feast on Sunday night.
Meal plan purchases must accompany your application and will not be available on-site.
Children on a meal plan must have a parent on the same type of meal plan. Under 5’s are free.
All meals are included in the registration cost of The Village Builders’ Assembly. If you want to continue meals, you must purchase a meal plan for the rest of the event (Wed. thru Mon)
As part of building our community, everyone age 15 or over who is on any meal plan assists in the kitchen with one of the meals on your plan in addition to your other volunteer shift. We are sure that the food, and the atmosphere in the kitchen, will be as wonderful as ever.
Some adjustments in the menu may be made for specific dietary needs if we are notified early, but cooking for a group this size gives us limited flexibility, so plan on cooking for yourself, or bringing supplementary foods (like non-wheat products or dairy-free cheese) if you have requirements that we may not be able to meet. We suggest that everyone bring some items for snacking, especially for your children.
Not on the Meal Plan?
If you choose to cook your own meals, please bring a camp stove, a cooler and enough food to last the entire gathering. Cars may not be driven in and out of camp during the festival. We do arrange daily runs for ice and emergency supplies, but we cannot do grocery shopping for you. Kitchen facilities are not available for general use.
Rites of Spring Registration Rates
We stagger rates to encourage early registration and this year’s rates are the same as last year’s.
Payments are made to Tamelin Productions, the company that manages the financial end of Rites of Spring.
Click here for information about financial assistance.
Registration Fee Table
Registration Fee Table
for Applications Postmarked by:
May 11 by mail
May 13 by paypal
|Option 1: Rites of Spring Full-week Wed. 5/25 -Mon. 5/30|
|Adult (over 17)||$265||$299|
|Children (ages 5-17)||$150||$150|
|Option 2: Weekend only Fri. 5/27- Mon. 5/30|
|Adult (over 17)||$230||$230|
|Children (ages 5-17)||$120||$120|
|Option 3: Village Builders Assembly 5/23-25
Plus Full-week registration Wed. 5/25 – Mon. 5/30
|Adult (over 17)||$365||$399|
|Children (ages 5-17)||$200||$200|
Meal Plan Fees
Full Meal Plan
Dinners Only Meal Plan
Weekend Meal Plan
|Adults & Children
13 and up
|Children, ages 5-12||$90||$55||$75|
Please direct any questions about your application to email@example.com or telephone us at 413-238-4240
Important – Registration and Refund Policies
All mailed or faxed applications must be postmarked by May 11. 2016. On-line applications with PayPal will be accepted until May 13, 2016 midnight.
Credit Card payment is accepted through PayPal only, whether using online registration or sent to to firstname.lastname@example.org when using a paper form.
Credit card payment must be for the full amount – no deposits will be accepted.
All balances must be received by May 13th.
Any exceptions made for “last minute registrations” after May 13th will be charged a fee of $25.
All returned checks will be assessed a service fee of $20.
Requests for refunds will be considered if received in writing (email is fine) on or before May 13.
Requests received before April 20 are eligible for either cash or credit toward another Tamelin Productions event within one year.
Refund requests received between April 20 and May 13 are eligible for event credit only.
All refunds will be assessed a $25 processing fee
We cannot accept requests for refunds over the telephone, and no exceptions to the deadlines can be made. Please do not ask.
All current “active” members of EarthSpirit may deduct a $10 member discount.
Payment must be received by the deadline stated, or you will be charged the rate for the later deadline.
Register Online (you can pay with PayPal, check or money order)
If necessary, you can also use our print-and-mail Application in PDF format
Mail printed applications to:
Rites of Spring Application
c/o Tamelin Productions
P.O. Box 340
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Or FAX to (413) 238-7785
If you need a paper form mailed to you, please email or call the office. If we are not able to answer, please be sure to leave the address you want the application packet mailed to on the answering machine. We cannot accept collect calls.
All mailed applications must be postmarked by May 11, 2016 and must include payment.
If money is the only thing preventing you from attending, please apply for a scholarship or one of the work exchange positions available, which usually involve physical labor – either working in the kitchen or with the children – or sometimes a job prior to the beginning of the event. We offer at least one full scholarship to Rites of Spring each year as well as many work-exchange and partial scholarship positions.
We include a space on the application form for anyone who would like to contribute toward a fund for further scholarships. We have always received enough money between these donations and the tithes from our Merchants to enable several people to attend who otherwise could not.
If you would like to apply for finacial aid. The earlier you apply the better. Please use this Online Financial Aid Form. The more information you give us, including any special skills or abilities that could be contributed on a work exchange basis, the easier it will be for us to find the best way to help you come to Rites of Spring. Applications for Financial Assistance must be received before April 8th.
In early May registered participants will be sent a link to a private confirmation web page which will include directions, what to bring and all of the information you should need in advance.
Directions will be sent out after May 13, the final registration date. If you have not received your directions by May 14, please call us or email email@example.com; before then, please be patient.
Our site is not directly accessible by public transportation.
We encourage you to share rides as much as possible, both to reduce our collective energy consumption and because parking on the site is limited. Please let others know if you will have room in your vehicle or if you need a ride. Join the Rites of Spring 39 Yahoo group when you receive your invitation and post your request or offer there or in the Facebook event, EarthSpirit Prensents Rites of Spring 2017
Peter Pan and Bonanza buses from New York City, Boston and other major cities do travel to Lee and Great Barrington, MA. We schedule shuttle runs to the bus stations at specific times for a modest fee. Let us know on your application form if you need to be picked up. We need all bus pick-up information by May 15th. Taxis are also available in town.
For registration-related questions, e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Program-related questions go to: email@example.com. Please use “Rites of Spring” as the subject.
You may also call us at 413-238-4240.
If you do not reach someone directly, please leave a detailed message. Let us know when and where to call you back. Our office is staffed by volunteers and replies may take up to a week, especially in the early registration period. Thank you for being patient.