2017 Harvest Festival Photos

What a celebration! Photos from our 2017 Harvest Festival

Bringing our community together to share our gratitude for the Rain, Sun, Clouds, Thunder and Wind is one of the highlights of our busy year as Nahua-tradition weather workers. Our Harvest Festival only happens once a year, but it's an important event. From our perspective, it is a valuable moment in the lives of a sustainable community. There are many perspectives on what defines the word "sustainability." For us, true sustainability occurs when our community is in good relationship with the Weather Beings.

Read more...

 

asheville weatherworker Erin Everett
asheville weatherworker Erin Everett
asheville weatherworker Erin Everett
asheville weatherworker Erin Everett
On Sunday October 1, 2017, the Asheville Weather Workers (known as quiatlzques in the Nahuatl language) gathered with Asheville-area community to, once again, bring our traditional offerings of appreciation to the weather for its generous gifts to our region. These traditional offerings have been made for many generations in the central Highlands of Mexico, the homeland of our Nahua tradition. And, offerings to give thanks for the gifts of Earth and Weather have been made by countless traditions across the world, in a very similar way.
In our experience, during this ancient but simple ancestral ceremony, everyone participating does their part to forge good relations between the human people and the Weather Beings. And...we get to have a warm, joyful time together sharing food, music, stories and emotions while we do it!
Special thanks to virtuosos Alexi and Eli Haynes for providing the fiddle music for our event, and for all of the community members who helped in so many ways to make this event a success. Thank you to our Firekeeper Lisa Lichtig and to the Sacred Fire Council House for holding us so well.
And, of course, thank you to the Sun, Wind and Clouds for dancing with us in our ceremony.

Photos: Lisa Lichtig and Patrick Hanaway

Casa Xiuhtecuhtli – Our Home

Casa Xiuhtecuhtli - Our Home

asheville-weatherworkers-casa xiuhtecuhtli
Spring ceremonies at our ancestral home, Casa Xiuhtecuhtli

By Amy Haynes

Home is a powerful expression and can evoke feelings of being held and nourished. Home is the sanctuary where we drop our outer facade and show ourselves as we really are. In our modern world, not all of us experience that sense of home with our birth family, but many of us can relate to those ideals of home and seek to create them for ourselves as we grow older.

An ancestral home provides that grounding, that sanctuary for people who are part of a spiritual tradition. It provides to the tradition-holders a place to stand, to be rooted in and supported by that tradition. Casa Xiuhtecuhtli, in Tepoztlan, Mexico, is just such a home for those of us initiated as weather workers in the Nahua tradition, with don David as our caporal mayor (ceremonial leader). Each year we journey to Casa Xiuhtecuhtli, where we open our hearts, come before the Weather Beings as we really are, pray for our people and our lands and return home with the blessings of the Weather Beings to be shared throughout our local communities, helping all our relations. This cycle of gratitude, of giving and receiving is what allows us to belong, to be at home.

Prior to 2006, don Lucio de Campos was the caporal mayor; the ceremonies were held on his land, at his altar. He died in 2005, passing the title of caporal mayor to David Wiley. There was a period of transition before the new caporal mayor’s altar was firmly established at Casa Xiuhtecuhtli. Since that time, we have built a beautiful temple to house the altar. We continue to make enhancements and to maintain the land in a way that is welcoming to the larger community. The altar is no longer the personal property of one man or one family but now belongs to a community, enlivened by the deep connection of don David to the Weather Beings.

In order to purchase and maintain this special – and now sacred – land, each weather worker personally made a pledge to help sustain it financially. We are doing so in conjunction with the mara’akate, members of the Huichol-lineage medicine path, whose sacred temple (tuki) also resides on the land, bringing its blessings of connection and healing to the community.

At this time, we are reaching out to you, our beloved community, asking you to connect to that sense of home within yourself, to honor the strength of what that foundation brings to us and to our communities. And in doing so, if you feel called, we would welcome any and all contributions to our donation bowl.

All monies collected, minus the costs of hosting the Harvest Festival, will be donated to the Casa Xiuhtecuhtli fund to meet our pledge and help pay for this special land. We greatly appreciate any help you can give us.

I look forward to seeing you at the Harvest Festival!

Many thanks,

Amy Haynes for the Asheville weather workers

Learn about our Nahua weather work tradition and our tradition's leader.

The Asheville Weatherworkers are a group of Asheville-area people who have been called, initiated and trained in the unbroken lineage of weather workers of the Nahua people of central Mexico. For a traditional experience of gratitude and celebration of the bountiful weather, come join us for our Harvest Festival. For more info or to make a donation to Casa Xiuhticuhtli, email info@ashevilleweatherworkers.org

Sustainability in Our Times

Traditional Wisdom for Sustainability in Our Times

goldenrod clouds asheville weather workers

By Erin Everett, with Amy Haynes

On Sunday October 1, 2017, I hope you'll join us in gathering to celebrate the Rain, Clouds, Sun, Wind, and Thunder. Recently, all of us in our area and those south of here had a close brush with a very expressive Weather Being. This force in the world was known as Irma. With storms before and after her affecting so many, she got my attention since early predictions had her heading for Asheville, my home town.

As Irma approached, I felt many things. Fear came up (especially when I saw the trajectory predicted to be heading right toward Asheville!). That fear was also like a thrill, knowing that this storm had something for us. Concern for our relatives who were directly in Her initial path came up. As my emotions flowed through me, then came the engagement. “Hello, Irma, what are you saying? What gifts do you have for my people? Are you just here to wreak havoc, or is there something more?” Most of my conversation was with feelings and impressions, not words. As the discussion continued over the days the storm was building, I deepened my understanding of my place in relation to the storm.

Similar to many traditions, the wisdom in our Nahua weather work path is that the world is speaking to us and is actually in dynamic relationship with us all the time. How do we open to these interactions?

It starts with listening and feeling. Every time we stop and breathe deeply the living presence of the world, every time we give thanks for rain and feel the support of that beneficial weather soaking into our bones, we're taking a beautiful step in that dance with the alive, aware world.

That's what our Harvest Festival is all about. The Weather is speaking to us, all the time. In coming together as a community to feel and acknowledge the gifts of weather that we receive in our prosperous land, we are speaking back. Perhaps that conversation is the most sustainable thing we can do to bring balance in our times.

Erin Everett is one of a group of people in the Asheville area who have been called, initiated and trained in the unbroken lineage of quialtzques (weather workers) of the Nahua people of central Mexico. She has been a weather worker for over 15 years.

Learn more about our Nahua tradition.

Join us for our Harvest Festival!

Give thanks for our beautiful weather: Join us for our Harvest Festival!

Asheville weather workers Harvest Festival
Asheville Weather Workers Harvest Festival

Mark your calendars for Sunday October 1!

In the times of our ancestors, communities benefited from those who specialized in creating mutually supportive relationships between human people and the forces of weather - Wind, Cloud, Thunder, Lightning, Rain, and Sun - also known as the Weather Beings.
The Asheville Weatherworkers are a group of Asheville-area people who have been called, initiated and trained in the unbroken lineage of weather workers of the Nahua people of central Mexico. For a traditional experience of gratitude and celebration of the bountiful weather, come join us for our Harvest Festival.
Asheville weather workers
Asheville Nahua-lineage weather workers Adam Laufer and Amy Haynes enjoy a job well done, admiring flower offerings made to honor Iztaccihuatl, our sacred mountain in Mexico. Iztaccihuatl's partner, the active volcano Popocatepetl, is showing his approval in the background!
 

 

Event details and directions.
 

Harvest Festival Details and Directions

Harvest Festival 2018 Details and Directions

2018 Traditional Weather Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 6, 2018

Please arrive at or before 11:30 am for the ceremony, which goes from 12 noon to 4:30 pm.

Asheville weather workers Harvest Festival

Learn more about our 2018 Harvest Festival and our spiritual tradition.

Please bring:

  • Offerings for the Weather Beings. Each person attending, please bring all three of these: fresh whole fruits, cut flowers, and bread. Local is great, if you can find it.
  • A potluck item to share reflecting the abundant harvest. You may choose to bring a mug for your use to save on paper cups.
  • Clothing to fit the weather throughout the day and afternoon.
  • Family and friends who want to celebrate with us. This is a kid-friendly event!
  • Your interest and open heart.
  • Please bring a donation for the Harvest Festival.
  • Please bring a donation for our beautiful Sacred Fire Council House, the venue for our festival.
 
Directions to Sacred Fire Asheville and the Sacred Fire Council House:

Please park at 90 Rocky Hollow, Weaverville NC.

• From Asheville, take I-40 to I-240 to 19-23 (aka I-26) North towards Weaverville.
• Exit # 15: Jupiter-Barnardsville.
• Left off exit ramp onto Jupiter Rd.
• First right onto old 19-23 (possibly no road sign).
• Go ½ mile, veer to left onto Locust Grove Rd (blue sign for Baptist church).
• Go 1 ½ miles, turn right onto Rocky Hollow (gravel road).
• Proceed to the 5th drive on the left, # 90 Rocky Hollow. Marked with a "Park Here" sign to the Parking area to the left of the A-frame house. From parking area, walk left up to the fire structure on the hill to the left of the parking area. Someone will greet you there and tell you what’s next!

Learn more about our 2018 Harvest Festival and our spiritual tradition.

About our 2017 Ceremonial Leader

About this year's ceremonial leader, Erin Everett

Erin Everett Asheville Weather Workers
Erin Everett and Adam Laufer

Erin Everett was initiated as a quiatlzques (person who makes water arrive) in the Nahua tradition of weather work in May of 2003 with her husband, Adam Laufer, and also with her Asheville compadres Amy Haynes and Douglas Haynes, among others.

Like the other weather workers in this tradition who live across the USA and in the UK and Mexico, she returns to the homeland of the tradition in Mexico each year, often twice, to participate in ceremonies to "turn on the rain" at the spring beginning of the rainy season and to "turn off the rain" in the fall. In addition to learning to be a ceremonial leader and temezcalli (sweat lodge) leader, she is being trained by her teacher, don David Wiley, to be a tepahtiani (medicine healer) in her Nahua tradition.

Asheville weather workers
Asheville weather worker Erin Everett

In addition to her work in Mexico, like the other Asheville-area weather workers, she works ritually with the weather of our local area to ask for balance and abundance for our crops, forests, animals, plants and people. Community support is crucial to the work of all of the weather workers, and the yearly Harvest Festival brings a wonderful opportunity for people of the community to participate with the weather workers to give thanks for the generous abundance of the Weather Beings.

At 2017's Harvest Festival, hosted by all of the Asheville-area weather workers, Erin will be the ceremonial leader at the altar. Please come out and support her and all of us weather workers. We look forward to seeing you at our Harvest Festival on October 1! 

Event details and directions.