The Story of Vinotok

From the BOOK OF WAYS AND CREATING
Photos by Mark Schwiesow and Lydia Stern-Mountain Magic Media

Becoming the Myth, Living the healing Story. These images have been captured in forest and field, in sun and snow and in the secret haunts and private lives of the archetypal Vinotok characters. These are the fey and the fierce who have woven and created our communal myth for 35 years.

We have caught these earthy folk in their magic, mystery and majesty–simply being who they are and doing what any Other-than-human-beings might do. Welcome to an enchanted Autumn Equinox–Be more Wild than good!

Once upon a time–long ago and long into the future- the Godmother was told an ancient story…

photo Mark Schwiesow
art and photo by Ann Moore

about a village and valley who honor the Earth, and Marry the Land,

and the magical, mysterious people she meets along the Way,

photo Mark Schwiesow

…of a Sacred Smith who creates strange phenomena and Phoenixes of fire,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…with the Alchemical Artist who paints the world of First Nature and the Fey,

Photo by Mountain Magic Media

…the glory and power of Harvest Mother, the Valkyrie who comes riding

Photo by Mountain Magic Media

…her golden steed SinNom, and birds winged with flashing light

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

….to visit her sacred Lands

photo by Mark Schwiesow

and the enchanting Maidens who are her spirited stewards of the seasons,

Photo by Mountain Magic Media

…as they await the Harvest Child at Autumn Equinox and return of the Light to come,

photo by Mountain Magic Media

…Harvest Mother is both fierce and compassionate. She is full-bellied and pregnant, riding into battle to protect her Lands,

photo by Mountain Magic Media

…She calls forth the Wasteland to remind man of his devouring greed, of the raping and destruction of her glorious body, the Earth

photo Mark Schwiesow

…She summons the brave and the lonely ones–Crepitus, the Defender of the Great Grump, the sacrifice for the Seasons and return of the Spring…

photo Mark Schwiesow

… the Earth Drummer, keeper of the Seasons and Heartbeat of time,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…ahhhh, And answering her call Earth Dragon explodes from the molten depths,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…and the majestic Red Lady of Mountain Waters flows forth from her wild streams,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…she lifts the Chalice of life, the sacred waters and life blood of Earth have been polluted, the Well Maidens who protect the sacred springs have been ignored, disrespected, endangered

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…it is now time for the Grand Sorceress to gather and guide the Pilgrimage of Wise Ones,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…the Grand Sorceress lights the Cauldron, calling for the Union–

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…and the many faces of Sovereignty, the most powerful circle of Earth Protectors has become One…

Photo by Mountain Magic Media

…Harvest Mother leads the power of Nature behind her, bringing Life to awakening

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…the Godmother holds the Book of Ways and Creating as the Seer of past into future, Priestess of the Wyrd, Earth ritual, reverence and respect,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…the Earth Dragon and Mother of the Wild, ancient and new

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…the Alchemical Artist who communes with Earth Beings

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…and the Red Lady who calls all men to task

photo by Mark Schwiesow

…They bid the Maidens and muses of magical ways, to Call Up the Green Man

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

…the lover and leader, Father of forest and field, brother of all creatures and protector of the Earth,

photo by Mark Schwiesow

He who is chosen by Maidens, Mothers, Warriors and Wise Ones

photo by Mark Schwiesow

…in their searches the Maidens discover the Green Man’s forest haunts,

Photo by Mark Schwiesow

The fierce, tender feminine will not falter–the goal is the Green Man and partner of Earth

photo by Mark Schwiesow

…for a Year and a Day collective unity for all beings, creatures and lands align–

Celebrating our chosen one. Once a Green Man always a Green Man.

photo by Mark Schwiesow

…and now we bring this story to you.

It is time to create your own unique ceremonies for the Land, for reciprocity, for caring kinship and to ignite your community’s deepest spirit.

It is time to stand forth and Celebrate – We are all One with the Earth.

Every Man is Green

for Dan Escalante April, 2020
As well as Art Thilquist, Andy Bamberg & Jamie Madsen who have Walked On

Ours is a place that celebrates the Green.

Ours is a place that celebrates sacred feminine and the Green Man.

All women are the sacred land. All men are green.
We are all the harvest.

We are a valley of souls who venture into the inner wilderness,
as well
as the outer wilds.

Sometimes we enter with others, sometimes we leave
alone.

We know that we do not own this Place Spirit, this Earth Home,
we do not own time.
Time owns us, and the Earth receives us

The mountains enfold us, the rivers carry us home.

We are the seeds, and we will all become the Harvest.

We are meant to be tilled into
the furrows of
mountains, turned by the winds, water and weather.

Some men are elders when they are planted, others are still youths.

All men are Green.

Some men are too swift to be caught, others are caught by the swift splendor of each heartbeat.

All men are Green.

Some men are exuberantly Green, some are quietly Green,
others are gently, tenderly Green, others are valiantly, powerfully Green and a very few are exquisitely, quintessentially Green.

All men are necessary. All men are Green.

We are all the Harvest.
We will feed the soil–
human becoming humus,
humus becoming human.
It will be some time before
the new World Communion will be ready– before the seed sprouts, grows perfectly tall, comes to a head

is sickled and bundled by many hands which become one hand,
one hand which becomes
many.

Then, at Lamastide we harvest first offerings together.

The threshing floor is alive and filled with chaff.
We gather at the circle and bake
the bread.

The ovens are lit,
we are surrounded by warm sweet smells of yeast and grain, growing the loaves of life–
and communion to come.

We are the harvest.
We sing “Oats and corn, oats and corn all that dies shall be reborn.”
We must be satisfied that our labors will be enough.
We are ancestors of the future and this communion
must come.

This year we will share a feast of bitter herbs, salted wafers,
the hosts of our tears.

All men are precious, all men are Green.

We will share in the Equinox rites, We are the Ancestors, the food, the Feast and the nourishment
of tomorrow.

All men are Green.
Walking along beside the cart toward the Autumn Equinox Fires bearing the sacrificed Green.
We will sing “Vine and grain, vine and grain,
all that falls shall rise again.”

Blessing and Beckoning Prayer Flag Activity

This year Vinotok is particularly focused not only on what we need to banish from the Wastelands, but how we want to rise up out of this fire.

The practice of hanging prayer flags originates in Tibet, with the belief that when the wind blows the flags, the blessings written on them spread throughout the land. For this, we call on you, each individual in the community, to make your own Blessing & Beckoning Prayer Flag, to be a beacon for the future we want to create and to offer gratitude and blessings to our community and our place.

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut an 8” x 11” rectangle out of any kind of green cloth you can find. Leaving two inches at the top, decorate your rectangle with blessings and beckonings. These could be wishes, pleas and visions for the community and for the planet as we move forward into a brighter future. Decorate with markers, paint, sewn objects, beads, bits of fabric–whatever sparks your creativity.

Then, anytime between Sunday, September 13 and Saturday, September 19, visit the Fire Circle at the crossroads at the Four- Way Stop and hang your Blessing & Beckoning Prayer Flag on the line provided.

Vinotok will sew all of our Blessing & Beckoning Prayer Flags together, rising from the flames of transformation, to call in balance, reciprocity and goodness for our community and the world.