Retreat & Events Calendar

The Mythic Fire Circles are currently on hold… and we are not sure if or when they may be offered again.

Mythic Fire Circle

Conversations Waiting to Happen

“Stories are for people what water is for plants” Linda Hogan

Join us for the Autumn Mythic Fires, 7p.m. – 9p.m.

Friday, October 21, November 18, and December 16

at RavenWood Forest, Studio of Mythic & Environmental Arts
32 Munson Rd, Chesterfield, MA 01012
Call/email to let us know you are coming –
Come with a story, poem, song/instruments, or let one find you at the fire.
Bring camping chairs or blankets, clothing for outside, water,
a few logs for the fire if possible
we will gather inside if there is rain
Donations appreciated

Long ago, and just yesterday, people gathered around a fire, outside in the open air or around the hearth inside, not just to warm themselves physically but to warm themselves in their hearts and souls. This was often a time to take stock of one’s life in that moment, after the day’s work was done and meals completed. Stories were told and maybe poems were recited, jokes brought laughter, and songs filled the air with the emotions of life. Perhaps
something warm to drink was shared. If Elders were present they might tell a story of a time before time about the ancestors of the family or people gathered around the fire, or maybe, just maybe, they told a story from their people of how the world came to be.

It has been said there is an old Mayan tradition that when certain stories were told the storyteller would keep telling the story until every single person present fell asleep. If you tried to stay awake to hear the end of the story it would never happen. The teller was obliged to keep telling and it was considered disrespectful to not fall asleep.

Come be part of an opportunity to gather around a fire and rekindle this old way of being together with your
fellow humans. Bring something to share or just be present and listen to others. It is simply a time to step out of the space of your day to day life and make room for some nugget of gold to find its way to you.

Facilitator Bios:
David Sprague originally trained and worked for over 40 years as a child and family therapist. He holds a MSW from the University of Conn and a Master of Liberal Studies based on the History of Ideas from the New School for Social Research. He has a long standing interest in different ways of Knowing and Being in the world. David has learned ritual and healing from Malidoma Some, West African Healer and Elder of the Dagara people from Burkina Faso. He has trained in Systems and Family Constellations, Ceremony, and Ritual with international teacher Francesca Mason-Boring, a member of the Shoshone Nation. 413-214-2689

Valerianna Claff is an artist, educator, storyteller, singer, and steward of RavenWood Forest and teaches studio art at RavenWood and at Clark University. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has engaged in a lifelong exploration of creativity, spirituality, music, healing, women’s wisdom traditions and the mythic imagination. She is passionate about creating space to nurture creativity and mine the deep well of imagination to unearth creative vision and authentic, life-giving soul stories. 413-296-0330


A presentation from a few years ago.

RavenWood is excited to offer this wonderful workshop:

The Mythic Mask: Sacred Masks for Personal and Community Use

A women’s one day workshop,

Saturday, August 3, 10am-5pm, facilitated by Lauren Raine, MFA

In traditional societies masks are viewed as sacred objects, liminal tools that “enable the divine to come to earth” to bless, celebrate and teach all members of the tribe. We can explore ways to bring this transformative sensibility into our contemporary lives as artists, performers and ritualists by creating masks, finding their “mythic voices”, and sharing their stories. This one-day workshop will explore the shamanic use of masks, as well as their potential for community ritual theatre.

Lauren’s Bio:

After studying mask traditions in Bali, in 1999 I made 25 multi-cultural “Masks of the Goddess” for the Spiral Dance in San Francisco. The collection travelled throughout the U.S. for 10 years, used by many communities to celebrate the Divine Feminine in world mythology and in our personal lives. I have also directed productions with the collection, and taught mask workshops for women at numerous venues including the Kripalu Institute and the Sedona Center for the Arts. In 2007 and 2009 I also received a fellowship at the Alden Dow Creativity Center at Northwood University, and was resident artist at the Henry Luce Center for the Arts at Wesley Theological for my “Weavers” Project, based on the Native American creatrix myth of Spider Woman. In 2012 I began a new travelling mask collection called “Numina: Masks for the Elemental Powers.”

To view “The Masks of the Goddess” book:

~ Cost: Sliding Scale, $75-$100, pre-registration required

~ Potluck lunch

~ For more information and registration, call Valerianna at RavenWood Forest, 413-296-0330,

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