Quite by Accident

by Eliza Riggs

Summer 2003

I tripped upon Four Quarters quite accidentally, by way of advertisement you might say. And reading the Wheel of the Year Calendar provided me with mind’s-eye images of what I might expect. A Hippie Haven in southern Pennsylvania? An Interfaith Sanctuary? A farm? A camp? A commune? I did not know, but I was very curious and whatever Four Quarters turned out to be, I believed was worth exploring. And like anything else, I knew I would have to experience Four Quarters to find its truth.

As a first-time newbie in early 2003, I fully intended to spend as much of my teacher’s summer vacation as I could at Four Quarters. And I was told by the smiling faces at registration that if I did, I would surely be a different person by the end of the season, with “The Season” referring to the Moon Services and events that begin in May with Beltaine and end in late October with Samhain. I listened closely and thought this promise might prove true, but how or to what extent I couldn’t know. I did know that I had already seen a great deal and had done a great deal in my 40 years. I had prided myself in identifying problems, figuring the best solution, and then putting the equation to work. I was skilled at overcoming obstacles, and now it appeared I was obstacle free. I had a good job, nice home, dependable transportation, good friends and many, many cats. But I could see I was lacking something. I hadn’t a clue what that something was or where to find it, or I would have already sought it out. The thing I was lacking was not obvious, although I knew it figured largely in the way I viewed the world. “Unfulfilled” may be the best way to describe the way I felt, and as a teacher I had supposedly the most fulfilling job in the world. I needed answers; answers to questions I didn’t know how to ask.

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Responsibilities of Vocation

Catherine Buck

“There is no substitute for the
conviction that one has a destiny
and is fulfilling it.”
– Kailin Stonesinger

To what do we respond when we’re responsible? From where do we get our “marching orders?” How do we know what is our work to do? So many times – for example at Stones Rising – I’ve heard folks say that they don’t know what to set their hands to, because they don’t know where they’re needed or wanted. I tell them that their help is valuable in any of our many Paths of Service, but that they should do what they’re most called to do. Some of these folks look at me like I’ve got three heads, some of them jump in and do something, and some of them thank me with a contemplative look on their faces.

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A Poem sent to us by an inmate in Missouri

I feel the heartbeat of the World, and I know she is with me.
I hear the songs of the wind,
and my hear soars through the heavens.
I see the vibrance in the colors of life
and the fire that is my soul comes alive.
I smell the sweet fragrance of life, abundance
and my mind finds peace.
I taste the fruits of the World
and my worries are cleansed, for I will never hunger.
And in all that is the God and Goddess, a true harmony with them is shared with the love they have given us.
In this we can find peace and serenity.

Responsibility to Self and Spirit

by Tony West / Three Blade Jaguar

    All things pass between the Four Quarters of the Earth. And any stray accident or obligation, fancy or dream can account for a person’s first visit to the Land we call Four Quarters. What will draw you back though, is always a quest for Spirit. Something you saw here, someone who touched you here, showed you a way of being alive that is larger, fuller, truer… so you came back for more.

    There is a relationship, then, between you and what you have found on this Land. Where there are relationships, there are responsibilities.

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Restoring a Sense of Balance

Jon Noll

    Put very simply, to me “Earth Spirituality” means viewing the world that we live in/on as sacred and recognizing that its own natural cycles and phenomena contain messages, knowledge and insight. Rather than treating this beautiful planet (that hurtles through the depths of space at speeds barely conceivable to human thought) as a one-stop shop full of natural resources solely designed for our consumption, it is to be revered instead for its longevity and the life it has provided to us. Insisting on any one label to how that Earth Spirituality is worshiped is akin to name brand versus generic medicines; they all contain the same ingredients and have the same effects. What they all have in common is belief and faith in the power and divinity of nature.

     I have stood in awe as I bore witness to the power of water flowing down a flooding river as the chunks of ice cut through a steel bridge like butter. I watched the footage of another bridge oscillating to a gentle breeze and then collapsing with amazement. I have long been astounded that human beings would choose to live on top of a fault line or in the shadow of a volcano.

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