The road past the farmhouse leads through a copse of pines and then opens to our pasture land as it wanders uphill. This is a view from the hilltop looking south.
Turning to the East one would find our Labyrinth, sited on the highest part of the hill, pictured here in a night time ceremony. The Four Quarters Labyrinth is a modification of the classic seven-fold design, 84 feet in diameter and 264 feet around, with over 1,200 feet of walkway. Our Members started the project in 2003 and are raising the funds to outline the walkway in granite curbstones. So far over 275 feet of curbstones have been installed.(For more details, visit the Labyrinth's page under "Land and Stone Circle").
Turning to the North, one would see our Main Parking area. At our own events, we prefer that all cars park in Main Parking after offloading their camping gear. But Main Parking is not just for cars. Here we see it used as the ceremonial site for a traditional Lakota Sundance ceremony. The elders felt its high, clear location was ideal.
The upturned earth to the right of the road marks our buried grid power and DSL conduit. We dislike the idea of visible power poles in camp, and instead have begun the process of burying the power and Internet lines into camp. Begun in the spring of 2008, we hope to have this project completed by spring of 2012.
Turning left from Main Parking we pass through the camp gates and enter the Camp proper. "RV Land" borders the edge of the road here, with spaces for our Members' permanent RV camping spots. In keeping with our anti-car policies, RV Land is located at the very entrance to Camp. When creating RV Land we went to some effort to provide a "Green Screen" between each camp site. RV Land is served by our camp water system and will be the first area served by our buried grid power and DSL project.
Just past RV Land "Ridge Road" straightens out and begins its course into the heart of Camp. From this view the "High Meadow is just opening up on the right, and unseen are the high cliffs that border Sidling Creek to the North.
Just beyond the High Meadow we arrive at the "Coffee Dragon's Lair" and the Upper Shower building. This is hospitality central at Four Quarters, and during our own events the Coffee Dragon serves free coffee, hot chocolate and tea for everyone. During some outside events it is set up as a full service cafe, with home made hot foods. The pavilions make for a shady spot to drink, chat and play. It's rare not to hear the sounds of an impromptu string band.
We are proud of our Upper Shower House, designed and built with high, open framing and roomy stalls that include our imported Australian super low flush toilets. The Aussie's know about saving water, and these dual flush fixtures will operate on as little as 0.4 gallons per flush. Very expensive they were, but worth it. And we use Japanese on-demand water heaters for the showers; they make the hot water as it is used, no tanks.
Much of the detailing in the Shower House is the product of our woodshop, we hand built the doors, as an example. And trying to keep a sense of humor in all things, we have added our signs, and our visitors have added their comments! We will be adding washer and dryer service in the building for the 2011 season.
Just to the other side of The Coffee Dragon is our little storage shed, the first building placed in camp, way back when. As we have grown, our kit bag of toys, supplies and decorations has grown too; and our little shed has been given over to housing them. We call it the Ceremonial Shed now and it is full of drums, paint, candles, fabric, sound systems, decorations and everything else one could want for making fun on The Land.And directly across the meadow from the Dragon is our stage, 24 feet square with 10 feet to the rafters, seen here draped in black stage cloth in preparation for a night time film projection.
The major project in 2009 was the construction of our first dormitory building in camp, to complement the Loft by the Farmhouse. Our dorm uses a radical construction technique, where planks are milled on our own equipment with double tongue and groove joints, then laid edge-wise on a laminated truss to form solid wood walls. Very material effiecient, strong and pleasing to the eye and to the touch.
During the winter of 2010 we wil be making all of the furniture for the Dorm in our woodshop. 16 bunkbeds, chairs, benches, tables and more. Come on by if you like the smell of wood shavings. Then on to the porch, windows and the add-on restrooms. Can you tell we are proud?Which brings us to the heart of Four Quarters, The Stone Circle. Our ongoing project in the building of Mutual Investment in Spiritual Community, and a physical center for Earth Spirituality. We cannot communicate this in pictures, the Circle has to be experienced for oneself.
But here is a glimpse.
Passing a young child through "The Mother Stone." A moment of silence within The Circle.
The North Altar dressed up for a Thanksgiving Celebration. Sixteen years after the first Stone, The West Gate Stone goes up, joining the Circle, Stones Rising 2008.
And now, on to The Camp Tour Too
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 email@example.comIncorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an InterFaith Non-Denominational Church, Monastery and Spiritual Retreat Center. All donations fully tax deductible as allowed by law. PA EXMP 75-538-546 FED EIN 25-1853964© 1995-2013 The Church of Four Quarters™, Four Quarters™ and Four Quarters Farm™ Free use of text expressly granted for all non-profit purposes; unchanged and with attribution to Four Quarters. All other rights reserved.