Contribute to the Sanctuary community shrine!

Sanctuary is a calm and serene place where Fireflies can come to ground themselves and to reconnect with their intentions for the event. As we thought about how to create this space, we were greatly inspired by the Laurelin community, and especially by the Laurelin community shrine.

As described by a long time Firefly and Laurelin community member -

When you first arrive onsite at Laurelin, you can sense that there is something very special about the land. The air is charged, the woods are alive, and the natural beauty that embraces you once you walk into the forest canopy feels amplified and enhanced by energies both seen and unseen. This is not by luck or proximity; this is the result of the love, care and intention that is put into this land by its owners and the people who call it their spiritual home.

For those who are not aware, while Laurelin hosts the Firefly Arts Collective’s regional burn in July, it is first and foremost a thriving Pagan community that publicly celebrates Wheel events all year round that are based on it’s eclectic, Vermont style Pagan roots. The Laurelin Community has been active since the early 1980’s, and continues to attract Pagans, both near and far, as a gathering destination and spiritual retreat.

Of these gatherings, the largest takes place in late July, during Lughnasadh. It is a 4 day event which functions as both an extended wheel celebration consisting of classes, rituals and events, as well as functioning as a yearly spriritual homecoming.

One of the most revered and well attended rituals during Lughnasdh is the Community Shrine (Standing Stone) ritual. The standing stone itself lived on the site for many years, where it was slated for use as a stone doorstep. In the early 2000’s, Laurelin Community members erected it in its present location where it currently overlooks the field, marks the opening of the forest, and acts as a spiritual touchstone for all visitors who come to this sacred land.

During the Community Shrine ritual, Lughnasadh attendees gather at the Standing Stone, where all who wish to update the community since their last visit are welcome to walk up, touch the stone, then speak their truth. It is a place where victories and personal milestones are celebrated, where challenges and struggles are acknowledged, and where communal support is given to those going through tough, emotional times. People will often leave momento’s, remembrances of loved ones, or symbolic tokens that mark their current state in life.

This year, members of the Firefly Commmunity are looking to incorporate this tradition into the Firefly event. While the Firefly community temporally exists for just one week of the year, the reality is that bonds made during the event and its lead up create connections that are very deep and profound. For some, the experiences during Firefly are transformative and impactful. For others, there is a sense of “home” and grounding.

Our intention is to request that Fireflies bring offerings to the community shrine at Sanctuary that have made them feel grounded or connected to the Firefly community. The intention is to create a space where Fireflies can go to be surrounded by physical reminders of the love that we all have for one another, which is hopefully grounding for anyone who is feeling alone or otherwise having a hard time. Like the Standing Stone itself, this Firefly shrine will act as a connection point that transcends time and space, that gives and accepts, that welcomes good times, and holds space in hard times.


How can I contribute?

We invite you to contribute in the following ways:

  1. Bring an offering of a physical object for the shrine! You can bring your offerings to Sanctuary during Firefly, or you can contact us before the event to arrange a dropoff in either Somerville or Bethel.
  2. E-submit a piece of text that resonates for you! We will bind these e-submissions into a zine that will be held at Sanctuary and distributed around Firefly.

What kinds of offerings will Sanctuary accept?

Any non-hazardous object that reminds you of a time when you have felt connected to Firefly and the community! Stuffed animals, pictures, fidget toys, art, etc. etc. are all wonderful.

If you would like to bring a food offering, please package each portion individually and label all allergens.

Can I have my offering back?

Yes! If you would like your offering returned to you, you can return to Sanctuary before the end of the event to retrieve it.

All offerings remaining at Sanctuary at the start of Exodus will be packed for storage and brought to a future Firefly.