Please utilize the staff, they are eager to serve you! WS staff take ideas, hopes, supplies, and ritual gear, then turn these things into an event. The work they do includes minding fires, tracking down spare blankets, finding lost items, showing people around, seeing to your safety, cleaning and maintenance, overseeing workshops, running rituals (to name just a few of their duties). If you have a question, a need, or concern, they are your go to people. Remember that WS staff are volunteers, not employees, these kind of folks have gifted us with their time and labour.
We are a young group, all of us under 40, all of us Milennials. We don’t fancy ourselves to be wise gurus or elders, we’re simply the folks willing to do the work to make this event happen. Amongst us, we do have years of experience volunteering at pagan events and festivals, running public and private rituals, teaching workshops, and helping to build Raven’s Knoll and other communities. You’ll also find everything from a nurse, to a bartender, a person with their security license, a person with their WHMIS certification, a couple of First Aid certifications, a degree in Celtic Studies, someone who is ex-military, someone who does addiction outreach and social work, a volunteer firefighter, a few folks with customer service backgrounds, and more.
One of the ethics that WS is built upon is this: leaders are not born, they are made. As such, we strive to encourage and support people to step into leaderships roles. We do this in a variety of ways, the key one being the Worker Bee program. Each year we choose someone from among the attendees of WS who stood out to us, and make them staff for a year. They get to peek behind the curtain and see just what it takes to plan and put together our event, as well as offer their ideas. During the event itself, they are given roles in the rituals and act as a general helper and extra set of hands. Perhaps the most import job of the Worker Bee is Elder Care. It is the Worker Bee’s job to see to our Elders and older attendees. After all, an Elder is the last person to ask event staff for something, no matter how much they need it. Because they’ve been in their shoes and know how exhausting it is! This ensures that our Elders are given the respect and that little bit of special treatment that they deserve, and also provides the Worker Bee with some real one on one time with someone whose witchcraft career might have started before they were born.
Juniper will ruin any preconceived notions you may have about her. She will also be the first person to point out that her socks don’t match. She has been practising witchcraft and paganism, in one form or another, for around 20 years. She’s blogged, done podcasting, written stuff that has been published. She’s volunteered at many festivals and events, lead a bunch of rituals, and teaches workshops. Juniper is the lead organizer of WS, meaning she’s the “big picture” person who ensures that all the little details come together into a cohesive event. Please forgive her if she seems a little distracted, this job takes a lot of brain power.
Role: Organizer, Priestess.
Gypsy is Raven’s Knoll security staff, and helps run security for many of the smaller events at the Knoll. He is also on the Flying Monkeys team during the Kaleidoscope Gathering. He enjoys baking, gardening, and making spicy sauces. He likes pasta too, kind of. And spinach. Pop Tarts.
Role: Gypsy heads up the Circle Guardians (aka Flying Monkeys, aka security).
Alli aka Pegacorn, aka the Viking Healer. Predominantly a heathen with a splash of other varieties Pegacorn comes to the beck and calls of those in need. You can occasionally spot the Pegacorn at various gatherings such as KG and KKG, usually working as a medic as she is a nurse by profession. Pegacorn is big into kitchen witchery, gardening and making people smile. The 2016 Huntress of KG will keep a watchful eye and ensure that everyone stays healthy.
Role: Designated MEDIC for WS, Priestess, Overseer of House Rookery.
Janine (Heron) has been on the spiritual road from an early age and was a Solitary practitioner until 23. She explored deeper in to her native heritage and began a journey on the red road (mino bimadiziwin). 10 years of traditional ceremony and connecting with reconstructing or reclaiming traditional people from turtle island. With her Fiance Giibwanisi. she has journeyed traditional territory across the western and central “Canada”. Learning songs, ceremony and language she continues to work with community who respect, cultivate, and practise ancestral knowledge, lore and reconstruction. She also loves unicorns, coffee, & shiny things.
Role: Priestess, Stone Soup & Potluck Coordinator.
Melissa is an Ottawa based Pagan and Kitchen Witch with a passion for nature and getting her hands dirty. When not gardening, cooking or looking for new recipes, she can be found researching folk and herb lore. She is a regular volunteer at local pagan festivals and is beginning to dip her toe at teaching workshops on various topics. She enjoys camping and can regularly be found exploring the local hiking trails in an active attempt to not get lost. Her main areas of study include historical witchcraft, green witchcraft and Celtic based Paganism.
Role: Priestess, Overseer of House Clowns, Registration Coordinator.
Pollen is a long time fan of all that goes bump in the night. She began her relationship with the bumpy ones as a youth and has continued to dance with them ever since. During the summer you can find her at the Knoll visiting with the spirits and helping out over the weekends. In the fall she is found teaching at Ottawa Pagan Schola and attending Algonquin College. She is an avid practitioner of the Craft and chooses to live a magickal life. Do not be surprised to hear her exclaim just how much she loves being a witch. After all, being a witch is pretty cool.
Role: Priestess, Overseer of House Jokers.
Matt & Sheena and their Hoard of Pagan Babies. Matt was raised in a covertly magical household and is currently an ADF Druid. Sheena has been studying magic since 12 and currently defines “her path” as complicated. They met at Raven’s Knoll 7 years ago, fell in love and are now out numbered by their offspring. They also have been heavily involved in the creation of the Nemeton at Raven’s Knoll. They may not make sense because of sleep deprecation but their hearts are in the right place and generally have a clue what is going on.
Role: Event Parents (the adultier adults) & General Helpers, Priest/ess
Kai has the distinct honour of being married to Melissa. He is a dedicated volunteer at Raven’s Knoll. Kai works as KG as a Troll, that means he cleans toilets, changes garbages and generally does the gross grunt jobs no one else wants to do. Affable and laid back, you’ll find Kai by the fire-pit tending our fires while pretending that the showers don’t need to be cleaned.
Role: Firekeeper, Maintenance.
Raz was forged between the broken beats of the rave scene, and the thrashes of mosh pits, and has since sought her path through the studies of war and education. She has mastered potion-making with various spirits made of juniper, sugar cane, potato, agave and rye. Ask her about how she has tamed dragons, charmed snakes, and about her faithful animal companions. In other word, Raz is a bartender of epic proportions. She was recently adopted by various event staff at the Knoll and shortly after, put to work.
Role: Firekeeper, Maintenance, Circle Guardian in training.
Basil, aka Beef Castle Basil, aka Mayor of Bogside, has served as staff at a number of events held at the Knoll, including the hot and difficult job of cook at the YAG during KG. He is a well known Bard who may or may not have won a few Bardic Competitions. Basil’s path is one of song, story and beats. When he isn’t getting involved in shenanigans, turning ancient myths into modern rap songs, or hosting parties on Bogside, he can be found being a surprisingly responsible and reliable member of the Knoll community.
Role: Circle Guardian.
Olivia began her relationship with witchcraft 11 years ago. She attended her first Kaleidescope Gathering in 2014, fell in love with Raven’s Knoll, and has attended every Witches’ Sabbat since. Her loves include bones, bees, gardening, and hedgewitchery. You can usually find her sitting by the various waters of Ravens Knoll. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this year’s staff!
Role: Worker Bee (helper, elder care, apprentice), Priestess.