Forty people and multitudes of Clouds, Breezes, and Sun and Rain Showers joined the four Nahua-tradition Asheville weather workers for our 16th Annual Traditional Weather Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 3. Please enjoy this slideshow and the stories from the people who showed up to celebrate the abundant blessings of our beautiful weather. We hope to see you at our festival next fall!
Special thanks to our photographers Sally Casper and Lisa Lichtig.
Experiences of our 2021 Harvest Festival
"For me, it was a such a relief to be there again. As prayers were being said, the rain's tempo changed according to the words that were being expressed. A very sacred connection was felt from this. An enlivening experience, for sure. As always it is quite beautiful to see the bountiful harvest after the table and buckets are filled with flowers, bread & fruit. A much needed tradition to carry forth into the future. I felt so grateful to be able to attend and so appreciative of the work that is being done by the weather workers for our area. Thank You so much!" —Trinity Wolf
"The ceremony was very powerful for me. I appreciate the care and planning and skill of the weather workers who offered it. Thank you!" —Laura Boggess
"This event is extremely important to me and my life. While this is the second harvest festival I attend each year (what a blessing!) this one happens where I live and at the community fire I have been attending for so long and with my fire community. I feel extra connected to the mountains and land and weather that I engage with every day. I am grateful also for the integrity with which the ritual is led. I love the sound of the conch shell. I feel a kinship with all the ancestors and beings around me during the festival/ritual at that location especially. On a deep level within me it feels vibrant and connective and loving to participate in this event over so many years with the same group of people and with new ones as well. I am grateful to the Asheville Weather Workers." —Elizabeth Kelly
"It is always one of my favorite events. A ritual for all the people." —Annie Menzer
"It was a really amazing time to gather, I feel really honored and fortunate to be a part of the prayers, the good food, the laughter and the rain! Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to this work. I look forward to having 200 people there next year (:" —Kyle Steele
"Enjoyed everything, feeling blessed" —Richard Lewis
"I greatly appreciate the kindness, love & inclusion felt @ this festival." —Val Lamberti
"When the gentle rains arrived as the people were walking up the knoll I felt simple miracle of being alive and part of life - it just continued to deepen as we began to pray and the day unfolded. Lets invite more people!" —Lisa Lichtig
"It was wonderful! One of my favorite events each year" —Olivia
Both new and returning people, including seven young people between the ages of 10 and 17, joined us to celebrate the bountiful gifts of Rain, Sun, Thunder, Lightning, Clouds and Wind on September 20. The day started cold and cloud-covered, and as our ceremony went into swing, the clouds dispersed and the bright sunlight emerged with some gentle breezes caressing us.
Please enjoy these photos. Thank you to photographers Annie, Sally and Lisa.
We also want to thank Sacred Fire Asheville for hosting this event, and also our volunteers and the 33 people who took time out of their Sunday to celebrate the abundance we have received from the Sky. Even in COVID times, our seasonal ceremonies continue on!
"Very meaningful, peaceful, humbling and reassuring that 'we are not alone' in our struggles. Thank you for the efforts in preparation and so smoothly presenting the events as they unfolded. Look forward to next year!" —Jim & Martha Branden, new participants
"It was lovely and well thought out. Thank you all." —Annie Menzer
"This event is vital to my sustenance and well being and to nourishing my soul and my connection with nature and the weather beings in particular. I am immensely grateful for every aspect of this event from the giving of gratitude and offerings to the prayers and shell trumpeting." —Elizabeth Kelly
"The beef stew and cake were amazing. Grandfather Fire gives us the capacity for gratitude, the weather beings give us a reason to be grateful. THANK YOU" —Lisa Lichtig
"Just fantastic. Your attention to social distancing made social distancing straightforward and integrated into the programming. The set up, flow, prayers and community were soul nourishing. The weatherworkers attending demonstrated leadership, dedication and gratitude. The blue skies and gentle breezes only added to the magic of the day." —Olivia Woodford
"Despite the challenging times we are living in during 2020 it was so nourishing to be in community for the Weather Harvest Festival this year.
I felt such gratitude to the weather workers for their immense commitment and the courage of all the community members that showed up for the day on the beautiful land of Sacred Fire.
All aspects of the event felt well communicated to me as a volunteer and attendee both prior to and during." —Sally Casper
"I enjoyed it, and it felt good to have the opportunity to give back and give thanks for the weather." —Jim Lindsey
"I love being with community and sharing in this prayerful ceremony of the Weather Workers. Wonderful day, wonderful event!" —Lisa Kolk
Please arrive at 11:30 am on Sunday, September 22.
Throughout time, ceremony has always been one of the important ways that human beings recalibrate ourselves to the living world around us.
At our Harvest Festival, you’ll . . .
hear a story,
join us in a potluck meal,
and make traditional offerings to thank the Rain, Clouds, Thunder, Lightning, Wind and Sun for the gifts of weather that have brought us our harvest.
Giving thanks for the gifts we’re given in our lives is such an important part of being human. Come join us to experience this simple and rich ceremony that has its roots in the timeless connection between human beings and weather.
This time of year reminds us that death remains a natural and important part of the cycle of life. In our Nahua tradition of the Central Highlands of Mexico, November 1st is named the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), a time in which the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest and an auspicious time to honor and celebrate our loved ones who have died. Amy Haynes, Quiatlzques in the Nahua tradition, will lead us in creating a traditional altar to provide us with an effective opening to express our gratitude and love for those who have crossed, to share in any lingering grief and to receive their blessings and wisdom.
Day of the Dead Celebration Thursday, Nov 1 st, 2018
Led by Amy Haynes, Quiatlzques (worker with weather for the benefit of her village) in the Nahua tradition
(RSVP by October 30)
We will gather at the Sacred Fire Asheville Council House to create a traditional altar to celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have passed on. After opening the space, we will share a potluck meal inside the home of our firekeepers, Lisa Lichtig and Patrick Hanaway. The rest of the evening will be spent back at the fire sharing our stories or listening in silence. Prema Sheerin, one of our community’s traditional healers and head of the Sacred Fire Community’s Death and Dying Council, will be in attendance to share her wisdom.
If you wish to honor a family member or close friend who has died more than 1 year ago you may set a place for them on the altar. Place settings must be for adults who passed prior to November 1, 2017.
4 – 6 pm: Arrive to set up your section of the altar. You will create a place setting to entice your loved one to join the celebration. Bring a photo of the person to be honored along with a sample of their favorite food and/or beverages. You may also bring miniature representations of their hobbies and passions. An example would be if they had a favorite car or truck you could bring a matchbox version of it. In discerning what to bring – be guided by the image of a place setting at a festive banquet. Some cut flower bouquets and candles will be on the altar but you are welcome to bring your own in addition to those provided.
6 pm: Share a potluck meal. Please bring a dish.
After dinner: Time around the fire to share and to listen. At a certain time we will depart the Council House together leaving the altar intact until Saturday morning.
Nov 3rd (Saturday) 10 am: The altar will be formally closed. This will be the time to retrieve your altar items. If you cannot be present for the closing you must let Amy Haynes know in advance so other arrangements can be made. Items will not be held after the clean-up on Saturday.
RSVP by Oct 30 so the space can be prepared as needed. You are welcome to come to the potluck and spend time around the fire without setting a place for a loved one.
RSVP to: Amy Haynes, email@example.com. There may be a delayed response to your RSVP as she will be away from email until Oct. 19th. If you need directions to Sacred Fire Asheville, please let Amy know this when you contact her.
HELP will be needed so please indicate your willingness/ability to help with set up Thursday or clean up Saturday when you RSVP.
DONATIONS to defray costs and support the Council House will be gratefully accepted.