Rites of Spring Fire Ritual

Rites of Spring 42

The 42nd Annual Rites of Spring

COVID-19 Date Change

Dear EarthSpirit Members,
After much consideration we have decided that for the health and safety of our community we will be postponing Rites of Spring until Labor Day weekend this year. We are very fortunate that our longtime home in the Berkshires is available to host us during this long weekend, and hope that by that point we will be able to gather in person safely and joyfully.

EarthSpirit will offer a variety of online programming during the week of May 20-25th. Although it cannot replace being together, the seasons continue to turn and we will do our best to celebrate the coming warmth in Rites of Spring spirit. More information about these offerings will be posted in the next couple of weeks.

All registrations submitted for May 2020 will be rolled over to the fall. Those who already registered should keep an eye out for an email in the next couple of days with details on pricing and other relevant information. A new registration link will be shared soon for the fall event for those of you who have not yet registered.

We are disappointed to make this announcement and will sorely miss being together in May. However, we are confident that this is not only the right, but also the only choice we can make to keep each other safe during this unprecedented time. Though we are isolated physically, our web of connection with each other and the Earth remains strong and will sustain us until we can be together again.

With commitment and an open heart,

Deirdre, Andras, and the Rites of Spring team

Sustaining Ourselves, Our Community, and Our World September 2020

We gather for our 42nd year to celebrate the sacred Earth and the turning
of the seasons in the mountains of western Massachusetts.
Join us, as together we
Weave the web of community;
Share in ancient traditions and new rituals;
Look forward to what we can become;
Learn through workshops and dialogue;
Light the Sacred fire;
Echo the rhythms of life with our drums;
Dance to join the sparks flying toward the sky;
Honor young people coming of age with the community’s blessing;
Form lasting friends and see families grow as we come together in community –
learning, making music, celebrating with ritual, and sharing our joy.

Confirmed Featured Speakers and Performers:

Also Confirmed:  Sharon Gadonniex, Jimi Two Feathers, Isobel Arthen

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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”, Queer folx, recovery, young adults, families with children, artists, writers, activists, women, men and more.
  • Time to be in a beautiful and sacred natural environment
  • Dozens of workshops on subjects such as ritual, engagement and activism, magic, tarot, skill sharing, meditation, West African drumming, permaculture, 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.

Register Online for September

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Rites of Spring Gate

Rites of Spring Program

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.

Maypole Ritual
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.

The Art Salon
Some of our artists share and talk about their work and how it connects to their spiritual practice.
Artists, contact us at artsalon@earthspirit.com 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 because of space limitations.

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. poetryjam@earthspirit.com

Concerts and Dancing
This year will feature a special pre-screened Cabaret Night as well as performances by Will and Lynn Rowan, Laura Tempest Zakroff and Nathaniel Johnstone, Sarah Stockwell Arthen, and Sam Long. We are also planning a  contra dance, a trance dance, DJ Meow Meow and live music every day.

The Feast
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
This is your chance to help support EarthSpirit in the work it does all year long. Please contact us in advance earthspirit@earthspirit.com if you have something you would like to donate, or if you would like to offer your time to be a server at the Feast.

Goblin Market!
The return of a special evening of fun, games and goblins at the Merchant Circle for vendors, crafters, astrologers, tarot/rune readers, and the like. Contact us by email for more information. RoSprograms@earthspirit.com

The Village Builders Assembly
The two days prior to Rites of Spring are structured as a preparatory and community-building time for 100 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.

Rites of Spring 41 Sacred Fire

Presentations

How can we best sustain ourselves in this stressful time? How can we strengthen our sense of community? How can we help move our world toward a sustainable future? This year’s program will feature discussions, practices and rituals with these questions in mind.

The vast majority of excellent presenters at Rites of Spring are volunteers from within the community. We love the diversity that brings to the program and invite you to consider sharing the way that you practice by offering a workshop, ritual, discussion or performance for adults, families or our young people’s program.

Program Proposals – Priority Deadline – March 21  Submit a proposal now!

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.

Register Online for September

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Rites of Spring 41 maypole

Rites of Spring Culture and Community

About our Community

Rites of Spring is designed to encourage interdependence as a community. People who regularly attend have created an extended and inclusive clan that arises out of the mist each spring and welcomes new members. This clan holds together because of a few simple expectations based on personal responsibility, some shared basic values and a personal spiritual connection with the sacred Earth. These expectations grow from a sensitivity and respect for other people regardless of spiritual tradition, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other differences, along with a willingness to engage in the daily practice of living in a community.

Newcomers
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.

Please be sure to mark the newcomers check box on the application form, so that we can welcome you warmly to our community. We invite you to attend at least one Newcomer’s Lunch as soon after your arrival as possible – even if you have attended other pagan gatherings in the past. These with be hosted by long-standing community members and will help you connect with both new and experienced members of the community.

Thank you for giving us a chance to help make your first Rites of Spring more enjoyable.

Merchants
Our merchants are mainly craftspeople and artists. They have always been a big part of Rites of Spring and add a lot to the festive atmosphere with their beautiful handmade items. We encourage merchants 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.

We offer one discount on full-week registration fees for merchants and another if there is an assistant who will be actively working at a booth. This 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 and vendors provide their own set up with a size limit of a 10×20 tent. For more details, check out this Merchanting FAQ.

Many merchants like to donate a substantive item to the Sunday auction as a way of further supporting EarthSpirit’s ongoing mission and its members. If you are so inclined, we are most grateful and we do ask that you plan ahead and let us know. For questions after that, please contact Ali Bourgault merchants@earthspirit.com

Rites of Spring 41 Web Blessing

12 Step
At Rites of Spring, members often organize daily Pagan Twelve Step Meetings, open to all participants of Rites, and all programs are welcome: AA, Alanon, NA, OA, CODA, ACOA, etc.  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. Please let us know if you would like to coordinate this this year RoSprograms@earthspirit.com.

Families and Young Adults

Young People

Young people are a vital part of our community and we aim to include them throughout the event.

Children
We design programs for all ages of children and for families. Infants and young children ages 1-4 are provided with a guided play space which is staffed by parents and other volunteers. Children ages 4-10 are offered workshops, activities and crafts each afternoon, designed to keep them connected to the spiritual purpose and natural flow of the gathering. There will be a series of morning sessions for families to participate in together. We hope that families will also come to the community rituals together and find many ways to enjoy being with each other and in community on the mountain. More information will be sent to registered parents in mid May.

Young Adults
There is a strong sense of community among young adults at Rites of Spring.

Following their Coming of Age or at about age 15, young members of the community are invited to participate in our “Next Generation” affinity group which is designed as a place where individuals between 15-25 can come together.

Programs of special interest to young adults are scheduled throughout the gathering.

Rites of Spring 41 Procession

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, except by official event photographers. It 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, including on social media.
  • At Rites of Spring, consent is a “yes,” not the absence of a “no.” Please actively seek consent from others whenever it might be relevant.
  • 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 for the purpose of our organizational archives.

Register Online for September

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Rites of Spring File Lighting Procession

Rites of Spring Location, Lodging and Transportation

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.

We have wonderful facilities here – many camp cabins with bunk beds, 2 beautiful lodges, 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 at specific times, as well as lead groups through the challenging high ropes course and climbing tower.

Recycling and composting are both available at the Dining Hall this year! Please use them as much as possible to support our efforts at maintaining a green and sustainable gathering.

Lodging
A cabin or tent camping space is included in your registration fee.  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 in shared rooms are available in two heated lodges. 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. There are no small cabins or private rooms available.

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 and only in specific areas. 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.

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.

Transportation

Our site is not directly accessible by public transportation. We will send out the address and directions to confirmed participants.

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 in the Facebook event page, “EarthSpirit Presents Rites of Spring 2020“. We will also keep a list in the office, but direct contact works better.

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 9th. Taxis are also available in town.

Register Online for September

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Rites of Spring 41 Village Builders

Rites of Spring Application and Registration Information:

Rites of Spring begins on Wednesday, May 20, and ends on Memorial Day – Mon. May 25th, 2019. The Village Builders Assembly (open only to returning participants) begins on Monday, May 18. We also accept weekend-only registrations. Advance registration is required for the gathering and the final deadline to register and pay is May 9th.

Everyone is expected to remain on site from the time they arrive until the time they leave except in cases of emergency. If you know you will need to depart before 3pm on May 25th, please send a message in advance to rosreg@tamelinproductions.com.

Arrival times are:

Monday: 11am – 2pm
Wednesday: 1pm – 9pm
Friday: 6pm-9pm

Advance registration is required for the gathering and the final deadline to register and pay is May 9th.

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 limited conditions. Please speak with someone in the office before applying.

Please direct any questions about your application to rosreg@tamelinproductions.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.

If you have not received your directions by May 11, please call the office or email rosreg@tamelinproductions.com. Before then, please be patient.

Meal Plans:
We offer a variety of meal plans for our participants, and options are outlined on the registration form. Participants may also choose to prepare their own meals. If you choose to cook on site, please plan to set up a camp kitchen and bring everything you need except ice for your whole stay. Refrigeration and kitchen facilities are not available for general use.

Note that meals are provided to all Village Builders participants up through Wednesday lunch.

We are able to provide food for omnivores, vegetarians, and usually for those who are gluten-free or dairy intolerant. If you have other dietary restrictions, please plan to supplement the provided meals with your own items. We suggest that everyone bring some items for snacking, especially for your children.

Rites of Spring Registration Rates
Registration rates remain the same as last year’s.
We stagger rates to encourage early registration. 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. Click here for information about financial assistance.

Registration Fee Table
for Applications Postmarked by:
April 7
May 7 by mail
May 9 by paypal
Option 1: Rites of Spring Full-week Wed. 5/20 -Mon. 5/25
Adult (over 17) $285 $310
Children (ages 5-17) $170 $170
Option 2: Weekend only Fri. 5/22- Mon. 5/25
Adult (over 17) $250 $250
Children (ages 5-17) $140 $140
Option 3: Village Builders Assembly 5/18-2o

Plus Full-week registration Wed. 5/2o – Mon. 5/25

Adult (over 17) $385 $410
Children (ages 5-17) $220 $220

 

Meal Plan Fees
Full Meal Plan
Dinners Only Meal Plan
Weekend Meal Plan
Adults & Children

13 and up

$185 $100 $140
Children, ages 5-12 $100 $65 $85

Please direct any questions about your application to rosreg@tamelinproductions.com or telephone us at 413-238-4240

Important – Registration and Refund Policies

All mailed or faxed applications must be postmarked by May 7, 2020. On-line applications with PayPal will be accepted until midnight on May 9, 2020.

All payments must also be received by May 9th.
Credit Card payment is accepted through PayPal only, whether using online registration or sent to to rosreg@tamelinproductions.com when using a paper form.

Any exceptions made by phone or email for “last minute registrations” after May 9th will be charged a fee of $25. All returned checks will be assessed a service fee of $20.

Refund Policies:

  • Requests for refunds will be considered if received in writing (email is fine) on or before May 12. We cannot accept refund requests by phone, nor can we make exceptions to this date.
  • Refund requests received before April 18 are eligible for either cash or credit towards another Tamelin Productions event within one year. Requests received between April 18 and May 9 are eligible for event credit only.
  • All refunds will be assessed a $25 processing fee

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, or write to rosreg@tamelinproductions.com to have a paper form sent to you.

Mail printed applications to:
Rites of Spring Application
c/o Tamelin Productions
P.O. Box 340
Williamsburg, MA 01096

Financial Aid

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, moving equipment, packing up at the end of the event, etc. – or sometimes a job prior to the beginning of the event.

Applications for Financial Assistance must be received before April 7th.

Applications for financial aid are a part of the general application process, and the earlier you apply the better. 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.

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.

Confirmation
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. If you have not received this information by May 11, please call or email rosreg@tamelinproductions.com; before then, please be patient.

Register Online for September

42nd ROS | PROGRAM| COMMUNITY | LOCATION | APPLICATION

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