Elf Fest 2013

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Elf Fest 2013
Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary * 559 McFadden Ridge Road * (Bloomington / Bedford / Needmore, Indiana) * http://www.elvinhome.org/event.php?EventID=2 *

Every year the Elf Lore Family (ELF) and Holy Order of Mother Earth (HOME) put on the Elf Fest at the Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary just south of Bloomington. A great community-based festival, small and family sized event in the heart of the 100+ acres of sacred woodland in Indiana. It takes place late May annually. (In 2014 it will be May 21st through 26th) It is billed as a “Community Fertile Earth Folklife Festival” open to all. This 2013 event I attended was their 30th year of existence celebrating community and sanctuary. The event consists of theatrical and musical performances, drumming, vending, camping, meetings, workshops, may pole dances, seasonal rites and ceremonies, Paganism, Earth Spirituality, primitive camping, fellowship, kid’s activities, bands, discussing circles, dancing, feasting, and revelry. It is a annual fundraiser for the Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary and Elvin Home, Inc. (401(c)3 non profit) The site has altars, temples, circles, shrines, camping areas, a feasting hall, lending library, self-composting toilets, hot showers, dish washing station, drinking water, fire wood, fire pits, drumming circle, hiking trails, stages, and performance space. It is the largest event held at Lothlorien annually as a Spring festival with rituals, fire dancing, drumming, dancing, shopping, workshops, rites, and celebrations. In the past, they’ve had may pole dancing, a labyrinth, blessing of cars, spiral dancing, saunas, sweats, plant walks, women’s circles, magic shows, comedy, puppets, bands, theater, with a variety of workshops. Swimming is also available in the creek. During Elf Fest there is the Cauldron Cafe open for breakfast and lunches. Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

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Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary

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Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary
* P.O. Box 1082 * Bloomington, IN * 47402-1082 * / * Needmore, Indiana * http://www.elvinhome.org/index.php *

I remember the first time hearing about Lothlorien … it was by a member of the Omneopoia band in Eugene, Oregon in the early 1990’s as a place I must go for the folk there were like me. I made it there in the late 1990’s as I attended Wild Magic and Elf Fest. I was in awe and completely impressed by how this Elvin community cooperatively live together and manage the Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary. The estate is a center for spiritual retreat as well as a land sanctuary green haven all centered around community and the Earth. It is owned and operated by Elvin H.O.M.E., Inc. – The Holy Order of Mother Earth. In its origins it was known as E.L.F. but changed names when confused with a radical eco-group under the same acronym. They possess federal 501(c)3 status as a non-profit spiritual and ecological entity (since 2008). Lothlorien consists of 109 acres of forest, hills, and valleys along the southern edge of Indiana’s limestone belt. Operated by volunteer labor by means of community, love, ecology, and faith – the center is open to anyone for visitation and attendance to festivals. It is also a nature based campground where sponsors and members can come camp and share in its growth, perpetuation, and regeneration. It was founded by the Elf Lore Family (ELF) in 1983 as a woodland meeting ground, survival education center, and a retreat for Elves. It has since evolved to a sanctuary for all earth-respecting faiths, religions, paths, and beliefs. Members, volunteers, ELF, and HOME all consider themselves Earth Stewards – coming to the land working it, shaping it, and transforming it. They hold several festivals every year, have community gardening, landscaping, lawn-care, path clearing, building of structures and shrines, and repairing those existing as their sacred duties. In addition to the garden, there are several self-composting permanent toilet teepees, a Long hall where meetings, gatherings, and feasts held, a loaning library, a kitchen, campgrounds, communal showers, stages, sacred circles, a thunder dome for drumming, altars, shrines, and temples. Camping season runs from March 21st until October 31st. Definitely a magical model I’d love to follow, create, or be a part of … if only it existed on the west coast! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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