The News from Four Quarters

Building, planting and planning. Sharing ceremony and good, home raised food.
Oddities in the weather and how the orchard did.
Observations on the Global Crisis.
Earth Spirit and Earth Living.
These are all parts of the News from Four Quarters.    Enjoy.  

January 22, 2020

2020 Schedule at a Glance Available

2020 CalendarAtGlance 600fadeWe relase our year's scheudle before to give folks a heads up for their year. .

The 2020 Schedule At A Glance is now availale! Members, friends, guests and interested parties can download a printable PDF of the year's schedule here. We have just about all of our events listed, our regular Spiritual Events, Moon Services, Festivals, and Member Events through the end of the year. So start marking your calendars and putting in for those vacation days and saving up that lunch money to get away!

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 December 14, 2019

Winter Scenes: A Photo Essay

1Lets start with cattle. Our herd of Scottish Highlanders.Thats "T-bone," our yearling white calf.

This is a photo essay,   over 30 pictures intended to give a flavor of life here on the Land.
As the skys darken, and the winds grow brisk we set about the work of Winter.
The Land in repose, but we living here confirmed in the never ending rural cycle of the seasons.
Plan. Prepare. Repair. Make ready for the promise of the Sun's return!  Enjoy!

     Highlanders are a heritage breed and very different from modern cattle. They grow slowly, are very self-sufficient and produce very lean meat, almost like venison.
    Ours came to us in early 2018 and ever since we have been learning. Because what we knew about cattle raising would fit in a teacup! We purchased a bull summer of 2019 and we think we now have six pregnant heifers, lets hope!
     We began the learning process with fencing, as none of Four Quarters was fenced. And we are fencing to support "rotational grazing." Smaller paddocks that the cattle are rotated through during the grazing season. It stimulates pasture growth, but requires much more fence than conventional pasturage.
     Here we see a load of round bales purchased from a neighbor being unloaded. Part of our winter preparations.
     Food for cattle, food for us, food for thought.

3     Nothing so reinforces our ties to the seasons like heating with wood. As we say out here, "I'm making firewood today." Because it is a process, and it never ends. Summer, fall, winter... no opportunity is missed to cut, split and stack the winters wood.
     We are fortunate. After over two decades we have a fine collection of equipment and many hands to make the work go quickly. Here we see our crew in the Big Bottom, processing the last of our Emerald Ash Borer killed ash trees. Because this is a camping area, we will grind out the stumps and chip the branches, spreading it out on the forest floor. In the deep woods we leave the branches where they fall, home for all the critters that make good use of them.
     To me, personally, nothing says "Home" like a 10 degree February morning. The clock says 4:30AM, I put on the coffee and step out barefoot on the back porch for the first arm-load of that days firewood. It's cold inside the house too, but there are still glowing coals from last nights ashes. Soon the house will wake up, the stove will begin spreading its warmth. All is well for another winters day.

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January 9, 2020

Moon Service, January 18, 2020

waning gibbous moonOur Winter Moon Services tend to be small, intimate, and involve a warm hearth.

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year to you from Four Quarters! We hope the winter is a time of peaceful reflection for you all. Please join us as we gather around the warm hearth on January 18 and celebrate our first Moon Service of 2020!  Church Supper at 5:00 PM, Service Follows.

Winter Moon Services are a great time to get to know each other better and share ritual in a small, intimate way. If you are interested in volunteering to host or help with ritual, winter services are a great time to try it out and lend a hand! Contact us if you are interested in leading a service.

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 December 19, 2019

A Hunters Prayer

TheHuntFour Deer cold aging from the winters hunt. Fresh Venison stew for Yule-Tide Friday night.

I, beside this quiet doe
Kneel and for a minute mourn
Between my victory and her woe
My quickly beating heart is torn.

I, on this mountain midst the oaks
Vow to this beast that once had life
We will give thanks when down below
We taste your strength...
Your sacrifice.

December 8, 2019

Winter Work

Griffith FarmhouseNov2019 4828 1200The Farmhouse, November 2018 - The work moves indoors, to workstations, office desks, and kitchen tables.

After a long and busy Spring and Summer, the festival season at Four Quarters peaks during Labor Day weekend's Stones Rising, when we perform the inspirational community work of adding stones to the Stone Circle, the "beating heart of Four Quarters" since that very first day over twenty-five years ago. As the Autumn days grow shorter, the festival season winds down with Samhain followed by Yule and the Winter Solstice. The arbors are put away. The sweat lodge is put to sleep for the winter.

But the work does go on, it merely turns inward. We turn to the planning of the coming year. We reflect on the season past and meditate on the year to come. We also look at the numbers, always a process that can bring a... sobering perspective. And always, planning, planning, planning. For most of our major events, planning the next year's typically starts even as we're putting the candles, drums, and shovels away.

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November 8, 2019

Call For Articles

Wheel of the Year in Production -  Nov2019Producing the Wheel of the Year in Adobe Indesign

It’s that time of the year again! New Stones are Risen. Samhain has passed. Solstice and Yule are on the horizon. So once again the Board of Directors, and captive Art Director and Designer Kurt Griffith retire to their monks cells and engage in the annual ritual of cobbling together the Wheel of the Year for 2020.  We have our pencils, calendars, event planners, astronomical tables, and even a crystal ball, bonds, tarot decks focused on eighteen months out.

So once again we are calling out to each and every one of you for your articles, prose, poetry, brilliant photographs to fill out yet another edition of the Wheel of the Year. People approach us and say, “I have this idea…. ” We have some news for you; you don’t need our permission to write an article. JUST WRITE and get it to us. Material that we have, we can review and choose to use. Stuff that we don’t have, however brilliant the idea, we can’t use!

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October 1, 2019

Crossing the Bridge - Stones Rising 2019

By Etain Preston & Beth Thomas

Griffith SR19 4767 1200“In the curragh and off we go, o’ver to Scotland’s shores we row,
To build a chapel there, for the Stone.”
- Steve McDonald

So goes the words from the song Stone of Destiny. It is my traditional go-to song for hitting the road to Stones Rising. This year was special, this was Year 25. My 24th year with Four Quarters. Having been to many Stones, I know that each year has a different flavor, a different vibe. The people are different, the energy they bring is different, the theme is different. Yet in many ways there is continuity, familiar faces, familiar rites and rituals that have been created over the years. There are things we do from just plan tradition, whether collective or private. So, when the time came, as in years past I over packed the car and set out for the 4.5-hour drive with anticipation for what Stones held in store this year.

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