Kawashaway is a place where the physical plane and the spiritual plane overlap, and many faeries have been visited by spirits here. This is a place of change and transformation, a place where your closely held illusions may be challenged, a place where you can risk being your most authentic self.
It is a land of “both/and” rather than “either/or”, a land of paradox: joys & sorrows, anguish & comfort, fear & courage, sublime & ridiculous, they all co-exist here. It is a place to try new things, not knowing whether there will be success or failure, to be afraid — and to do it anyway.
radical faeries — who we are
Defining faeries, someone said, is like trying to bottle fog (but we’ll try anyway). Faeries are outside the twin strait jackets of gender roles and consumerism. We make a conscious choice to come together in community, retreat, heart circle.
We join together in mutual aid and love for play, work, self-discovery, and nurturing. We are urban and rural dwellers, artists, political activists, drag queens, writers and poets, witches and workers, cooks, carpenters, and geeks. As a people we have necessary and unique contributions to make, ones that we must make to regain the lost balance of the larger human community on the planet. Being radically (i.e., at the root) decentralist and anti-authoritarian, we believe we are all called to lead.
yoohoo! the northwoods band of faeries is calling you!
Whether you are coming for the first time or returning, the Northwoods calls your name. Our band once again makes its rendezvous with play and ritual, work and love, heart and soul, sweetness and laziness, bliss and transformation, sexuality and spirituality, rock and water, earth and sky.
All faerie spirits (who may identify as bi, butch, dyke, fag, femme, fruit, gay, homo, nellie, lesbian, intersexed, nancy, queen, hermaphrodite, queer, straight, transgender or transvestite) are welcome regardless of gender, age, or sexual orientation. In a spirit of respect for the peace and sanctity of individuals, no pets are allowed at Kawashaway during the Gathering and a chemical-free environment is encouraged.
The following behaviors have been identified as unwelcome at the Sanctuary at any time:
Possession of any kind of gun at the Sanctuary is unacceptable. Guns are dangerous and unnecessary at Kawashaway. Hunting is not allowed at Kawashaway. Toy guns are discouraged.
Physically striking or in any way assaulting people or things (other than your own possessions) is unacceptable. The following are also considered violent: intimidation; stalking; defacing or destroying objects, nonconsensual sexual behavior; verbal, sexual, and emotional abuse. Violence is not tolerated against plants, animals, facilities, or the land. Consensual S & M activity should not be construed as violent.
Taking things that belong to others, or which belong at the Sanctuary, is not acceptable. If you want something, ask; anything else is dishonest and disrespectful.
Forest fire is a danger anywhere in the North Woods. Open fires are not allowed at campsites.
doin’ it for ourselves
A smoothly functioning gathering takes work — before, during and afterwards. You can expect to spend an hour or two each day, taking care of things other than your faerie self. It could be preparing dinner or cleaning, building a fire or beauty maintenance, running a workshop or hosting an event.
The more experienced help the less experienced learn how things get done. When all are aware that there’s water to be pumped and carried, onions and wood to be chopped, and songs to be sung for the pumpers and the choppers, the basic needs of all can be met in a spirit of playful cooperation. Then, work truly is love in action.
a sanctuary deep in the woods
“Kawashaway” is an Ojibwa word said to mean “a spirit land — no place between”. We feel that the place is special, that it bridges the spiritual and physical worlds. It is where bodies and spirits meet and commingle.
The heavily wooded Sanctuary, on a lake in Superior National Forest, is a wild and rustic land which is home to bears, wolves and loons, pines and firs, moose, squirrels, wildflowers, Barbie doll shrines, grouse, and mosquitoes.
Our vision since 1989 has been to preserve the Sanctuary land and water as a safe place — apart from yet very connected to the wider world — as a place of emotional and spiritual well-being for loving, healing, playing, growing, and working in cooperation, as a community of kindred fae souls.