Make a headwreath, make a pilgrimage, give a gift
The positive energy generated during Vinotok is especially important this year as we rise from the flames and manifest a more nourishing and positive future—not only for us in this community, but for the nation and the world.
Take advantage of all our offerings the remainder of this Vinotok Week as we work to shift our mindsets and priorities to ones of gratitude, balance and reciprocity towards each other and the Earth.
—For Stoking the External Fires events, tune into KBUT from 6 to 7 p.m. for Liar’s Night and the Community Feast & Handfasting Ceremony broadcasts; and 8 to 9 p.m. for the Trial of the Grump passion play.
—For Stoking the Internal Fire activities, including a map and supplemental mythological and activity information for Walking the Way: A Vinotok Pilgrimage and the Writing Through the Changes journaling and meditation prompt worksheet, visit www.vinotok.org. You may also follow our Facebook page, or check out our blog on our website for inspiration throughout the remainder of the week.
And—we’d love to encourage our community to help us weave the magic of the week. Make a headwreath and wear it to work, or about town running errands. Pull out the corset and horns to walk the Pilgrimage. Gather a bundle of dried greenery to decorate your door.
Stoking the Internal Fire
Walking the Way: A Vinotok Pilgrimage: The Vinotok Pilgrimage is installed and available! Download a map and instructions from www.vinotok.org, along with the “How to Pilgrimage” instructions and strike out on your own self-directed Vinotok Pilgrimage on Elk Avenue as well as the surrounding area. In visiting all the altar stops along the way, you’ll collect all the materials you need to conduct an inspiring and contemplative Vinotok. Each altar offers mythology on the archetype it represents (think Green Man, Harvest Mother, Earth Dragon and the Knight), as well as an activity. Activities range from making a headwreath (be sure to grab some willow branches from the Green Man altar at the Lower Loop); to selecting a special rune for the season (grab a rune round from the Knight altar at the top of Elk); to meditation and journal prompts; and special Grumps & Gratitudes forms. In the spirit of reciprocity with the land, you are invited to bring a small offering to each altar. Find suggestions for appropriate offerings, maps, all supplemental mythological and activity information all at www.vinotok.org.
(Vinotok Altars are generously sponsored by Mountain Earth, the Eldo, Slogar, Talk of the Town, Bonez, Mikey’s, Dogwood, Teocalli Tamale, Secret Stash, Tobacconist, Kochevar’s, Mountain Spirits. Last Steep, Public House and the T-Bar.)
The Fire Circle: Walking the Way: A Vinotok Pilgrimage culminates in the Fire Circle where the Crossroads meet at the Four-way Stop with our final theme of “Banishing & Beckoning.” Each year at Vinotok we banish our grumps by writing them on slips of paper, stuffing Grump Boxes stashed throughout town, and burning them with the actual Grump (assuming he’s found guilty at the Trial).
We do have a Grump, currently installed at the Fire Circle inside a labyrinth, and up throughout Vinotok Week until the end of the day on Saturday, September 19. How we interact with it, however, is going to be different.
When you arrive at the Fire Circle, you will find the entrance to the labyrinth and the Grump through a ceremonial archway. Please feel free to pause, and use this archway to conduct your own Handfasting ritual with your beloved (find instructions at the Harvest Mother altar at the Pershing Mine coal tailings next to the Gronk); or conduct your own ceremony of Marrying the Land, an ancient European ceremony assuring balance between humans and the Earth (instructions for this dedication found at the Dragon Altar overlooking Peanut Lake).
At the entrance with the archway, also find information on walking the stone labyrinth to get to the Grump. Labyrinths are tools of walking meditation used to tap into your intentions, intuition, creativity, simplicity, body, spirit, intimacy and community. You will walk the labyrinth to put your grumps in and on the Grump itself.
Begin with Banishing. You may find instructions for “Grumps & Gratitudes” at the Magistrate and Jester altar on the Vinotok Pilgrimage at Mountain Spirits. But, instead of Grump Boxes about town, at the Fire Circle you will find one Community Grump Box. You may put your grumps in the Community Grump Box, or you can affix them directly to the Grump itself, or in it. Please do not put loose pieces of paper in the bowl of the Grump, as they might fly away with the wind and that would not only be embarrassing, but be considered litter to boot. Consider instead tying them inside a bundle of fabric; lashing them to your own Straw Grump (visit the Ancestors & Elders altar at the Big Mine for specific instructions); or affixing them to a small offering (see any of the altars for directions on “How to Pilgrimage” and directions on appropriate offerings); any of which could be tied onto the various pieces of the Grump, or put into the central bowl. The goal is to not have our grumps flying about town, but to weight them down sufficiently to stay in or on the Grump.
Then, End with Beckoning—drawing up all of those positive visions about the future you can muster; giving gratitude to each other and the Earth, offering blessings to all that is meaningful to us; and beckoning the way forward out of the fire. At the Fire Circle you’ll find clothesline with clothespins for you to hang your Blessing & Beckoning Prayer Flag. Find instructions for making this Prayer Flag at the Maiden Altar at the Dogwood.
What do we need to get rid of, banish and burn from our individual and collective midst? And then … because it is so important to have something that rises from the flames … what do we want to manifest in the future. Banish and Beckon. This is the Fire Circle.
Please note there will be no public burning of the Grump. But please be assured, your Grumps, collectively with the rest of the community’s, will be transformed. The Grump itself, as well as the community’s collective grumps will be removed by sunset, Saturday, September 19.
Give a Gratitude Gift: Let’s spread some love around! The world certainly needs it. Express your gratitude to someone in the community by sending a Gratitude Gift hand-delivered by this year’s very special Green Man, Brandon Johanns. The gift is a surprise but includes original artwork from Peggy Morgan Stenmark, blessings and poetry from the Green Man and other small tokens of appreciation. Think of them as a Vinotok Valentine sent by our very own Cupid. $5 donation per gift ordered at www.vinotok.org.
Make a Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flag: This year Vinotok is particularly focused on what we need to banish from the Wastelands, but also on how we want to rise up out of this fire. Find specific instructions at the Maiden altar at the Dogwood, or by visiting www.vinotok.org. Cut an 8 x 11-inch 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 strikes your creativity. Then, anytime before late afternoon Saturday, September 19, visit the Fire Circle at the crossroads at the Four-way Stop and hang your Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flag on the line provided. Vinotok will sew all of our Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flags together, rising from the flames of transformation, to call in balance, reciprocity and goodness for our community and the world.
Stoking the External Fire
Radio Theatre on KBUT: All of Vinotok’s traditional public events have been transformed into radio theatre at KBUT! Tune in from wherever you are for some truly local entertainment.
—Thursday, September 17
The Botsie Spritzer Memorial Invitational Liar’s Contest: 6 to 7 p.m. on KBUT. Hear the best of the best of tall tales, whoppers and adventure stories from the community! Vinotok curates a list of champions from previous Liar’s Night performances bringing them together to compete in a radio theatre on air production at KBUT, all judged, ending in the declaration of the quintessential Vinotok Liar’s Champion in all the land. Plus, hear some juicy details and raunchy accolades for our 2020 Green Man. Listen to the creativity of suggestion rise to the occasion as we transform our most naughty evening into one that doesn’t offend the regulating powers that be on the airwaves. Where can your imagination take you? We’re here to help.
—Friday, September 18
Community Feast & Handfasting Ceremony: 6 to 7 p.m. on KBUT. While you’re stirring up your all organic and regionally produced meal from your Community Feast Box, tune into KBUT, the tie that binds us, for a non-denominational Community Handfasting Ceremony with Marcie Telander, D.Div., as we commit to the protection of each other and of our land—together! Following, local songbird Lizzy Plotkin plays us her traditional and original songs to further concoct the perfect “apart-together” ambiance. Call in live to KBUT to dedicate toasts to community members and dedications for a more positive and transformative future. If you missed the opportunity to buy your own Community Feast Box, reserve this time from 6 to 7 p.m. to settle in, get cozy, warm up the kitchen, and unite through radio entertainment on KBUT—no matter what you’re cooking! Buy a bottle of the very special, limited edition, while-supplies-last-only Vinotok Village Zinfandel bottled by Buckel Family Wines in Gunnison with Delta County grapes available at Mountain Spirits.
—Saturday, September 19
Trial of the Grump: 8 to 9 p.m. on KBUT. Has it been a while since you really heard the Trial of the Grump? Catch every word as the Green Man faces his potential demise, yet is kept temporarily alive by the maidens; every clash of blade and claw as the Earth Dragon and technological Knight duel to a seeming death of primordial nature; the frantic attempts of the Magistrate to allow order and justice to reign; and the final commanding words of the divine feminine in the voices of our all-powerful Harvest Mother and Red Lady. This radio theatre will be at its finest!
Happy Vinotok to all of our Community!