Visiting OSS

The Land

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is 160 acres of gardens, groves, woods, and beautiful high meadows. Located on the western bluffs of the Missouri River overlooking thousands of acres of conservation wetlands, it lies at the intersection of the Ozark Shield, Great Plains and Missouri River biospheres. Because of its unique location, it is home to an enormously diverse array of plant and animal species. Archaeological finds on the property indicate periodic habitation and possible ritual use for several thousand years.

The caretakers of the land are the Board of Directors, Clergy, and the Land Stewards who are all dedicated to the well-being of the land and the community.

Natural Laws

Revised August 2010

Use of this land is extended to beings and spirits of goodwill, subject to the Following:

  • Walk in Peace. Physical or verbal aggression will not be tolerated. A diverse group of persons will use this land and all should be treated with dignity and respect. Walk in peace also covers interactions with other Oak Spirits and participants on all Oak Spirit Sanctuary e-lists and other public and electronic forums.
  • No firearms and no hunting allowed on land owned or used by Oak Spirit Sanctuary.
  •  Fishing with permission only. Catch and release encouraged, harvest for personal use only. Please consider donations for restocking if you harvest. No unattended lines allowed. Fish only in areas away from docks and beach areas for safety reasons.
  • Do not disturb or remove plants or animals without express permission. Do not cut live trees except Honey Locust, which has been declared an invasive species.
  • Fires in fire-rings or designated areas only. No unattended fires and no fires in dry windy weather.
  • Limit use of electronic sound generating devices. Practice courteous camping. If in doubt, ask an Oak Spirit Sanctuary board member.
  • No dogs or other free roaming pets without prior permission. You may be asked to leash or remove an animal that disturbs people or wildlife.
  • No vehicles are allowed on gravel road unless authorized by an Oak Spirit Sanctuary board member. 4-Wheel drive vehicles do not constitute an exception. Car usage is based on a daily basis and is dependent upon the land condition.
  • No discharge of wastes, pesticides, herbicides or other agents to repel insects or kill noxious weeds without prior approval. The only exception is trace run off from your body of insect repellents.
  • No littering. Pack it in – pack it out. We cannot dispose of campers’ trash, so please take it with you.
  • Check the map. Avoid posted no camping or access areas. Please be familiar with our boundaries and do not trespass on our neighbor’s property.
  • All bills and outstanding fees, including, but not limited to unpaid registration fees, assessed damage fees, unpaid expenses, must be paid as a part of working and playing well.
  • The use or possession of illegal substances and/or the illegal usage of controlled substances shall be strictly forbidden. Any behavior that endangers the safety of our children and families or the security of our land shall also be forbidden.
  • If it happens here, it stays here. This rule pertains to the privacy of retreat goers and their personal choices of freedom. This does not include harmful actions in which case another person should always be notified. Any damage to person(s) or property, whether real or consequential, resulting from violation of these Natural Laws, shall be recompensed by the person responsible for said damage. If the responsible person is an Oak Spirit, his/her good standing shall be suspended until appropriate compensation has been made. Oak Spirit Sanctuary and/or its agents or assigns shall take appropriate measures to ensure compensation is made.

Visiting Rules and Regulations

Revised August 2013

Whether you are here for a festival, camping, or just the afternoon, please respect the wellbeing of the church, the land, and all our community members, and follow the following policies.

Local Laws

Oak Spirit Sanctuary aka OSS (formerly known as Ozark Avalon Church of Nature) is a 501c3 Nature Reserve and Wiccan Church.

We obey all local, state and federal ordinances and laws. Firearms, illegal drugs, illegal use of controlled substances, or underage consumption of alcohol are strictly forbidden. Any behavior that endangers the safety of our children and families or the security of our land and church shall be forbidden. Also, please remember that all of Oak Spirit Sanctuary’s clergy members are mandated reporters for the state of Missouri and so are many of the other visitors that walk our lands.

Alcoholic Consumption

Alcohol is allowed at unless otherwise stated except within two hours of ritual. We ask that you please drink responsibly and in moderation. Drinks are often shared around the fire.

If you are the parent of an underage child it is your responsibility to ensure that they do not consume any alcoholic beverages while at Oak Spirit Sanctuary. Oak Spirit Sanctuary does not serve or sell alcohol to minors, nor do we endorse or knowingly allow underage drinking.

Personal Welfare

Be responsible for your own welfare and for the welfare of those in your charge while at Oak Spirit Sanctuary. OSS will not be held liable for personal loss or injuries while attending the festivals, camping, visiting or otherwise using the land of Oak Spirit Sanctuary.

Most of the festival season is very warm. Please be sure to drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen. Also, please take precautions against poison ivy, poisonous snakes, and insects, including mosquitoes, ticks, and stinging insects. Remember, you are in the woods! Keep foodstuffs contained and sealed up to eliminate wildlife raids.

Children

Children are welcome at OSS. We have a play area by the retreat center for their enjoyment, and many of our family events offer children’s activities. That being said, please keep in mind that children and minors are always the responsibility of their parent or guardian while at Oak Spirit Sanctuary.

Children should not be left to wander unattended or unsupervised. All children are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with all guidelines set forth. Failure to do so could result in dismissal from the festival without refund.

Children are not allowed at any festivals that are Clothing Optional or in the back of the property past Maypole where clothing optional space is set aside area.

Keep OSS safe for your family and all families.

Waivers

All visitors to OSS must sign a waiver. Waivers are available in the retreat center and at the registration booth for events. Some festivals may have additional rules, regulations and waivers.

Personal Items Etiquette

Please be respectful of other people’s items, especially drums and other instruments as well as magickal equipment. Please do not play other people’s drums without permission, and do not set items on drums. Drums are not tables, and can be damaged by pressure, moisture, and rough objects. Drumming is allowed at all hours during a festival, provided it does not interfere with a scheduled event, like a quiet ritual. Please check with festival organizers if you are unclear on when drumming is appropriate. As for other personal items, if it is not yours, ask before you touch or use it.

Ritual Etiquette

Oak Spirit Sanctuary hosts many moons throughout the year as well as eight Sabbat days. We also have many sponsored events happen on the land throughout the year. When attending a ritual at OSS please use good ritual etiquette.

Please do not consume any mind-altering substances, including alcohol, at least two hours prior to the ritual. If you have prescription medications that fall into this category, please tell a clergy member prior to ritual that you have taken them.

Please come to ritual on time. If you are late, you may not be able to be cut into the circle.

Please participate if you are in circle and keep inner circle chatter down.

If you bring children into the circle, you are responsible for them. If they are disrupting the ritual, you may be asked to leave the circle.

Hunting, Fishing, Foraging & Planting

No hunting or fire arms are allowed on the land. Fishing is not allowed without prior approval of Oak Spirit Sanctuary Board members or those appointed to by the board to monitor land usage. Catch and release is strongly encouraged, harvest for personal use only. Please consider donations for restocking if you harvest. No unattended lines are allowed. You may only fish in areas away from docks and beach areas for safety reason.

Please ask permission before harvesting or planting, including trees (except Honey Locust, which has been declared an invasive species) at OSS. Even well-intentioned unapproved plantings or harvesting can endanger the ecology of OSS.

Do not remove animals from OSS without express permission.

Land Use

Oak Spirit Sanctuary tries to be as organic as possible. There should be no discharge of wastes, pesticides, herbicides or other agents to repel insects or kill noxious weeks without prior approval of the board. The only exception to this is the run-off from your body of insect repellents.

No vehicles are allowed off the gravel road, except in the designated parking area, unless authorized by an Oak Spirit Sanctuary board member or appointed agent. 4-Wheel drive vehicles do not constitute an exception. Car usage will be based upon land condition on a daily basis.

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is not a shelter for animals. Please do not drop off your pets. All dogs are expected to be on a leash unless permission is given for them to free roam. This will depend on the animals training and behavior. You may be asked to remove an animal that disturbs people or wildlife. No pets are allowed in the retreat center unless they are a service animal.

Limit the use of electronic sound generating devices. If you are staying overnight on the land, please be courteous of others that may be there as well. If in doubt ask an OSS board member, or an appointed agent.

Also, OSS borders the property of several people. Please be courteous and do not trespass on our neighbor’s property, such as the large barn by the retreat center.

Trash and Garbage

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is a pack in, pack out facility. That means you should take home any trash/recycling that you generate. We do not have the ability to dispose of campers and festival attendees’ trash. A compost bucket is available in the kitchen. Please help OSS and our environment clean by creating as little waste as necessary and by keeping your camp area cleared of trash and clutter. No cigarette butts or other debris is to be tossed on any part of the grounds.

Fire Tending

The fire tenders around the main fire are trained and authorized by Oak Spirit Sanctuary to work with the main bonfire. Unless you are an authorized fire tender, please do not start a fire in the main ritual fire pits without permission from the OSS board, or appointed person. Only approved OSS fire tenders may handle fire wood or fire tending of the main bonfire. Fires are only allowed in fire-rings or designated areas only. No unattended fires are allowed. Oak Spirit Sanctuary reserves the right to deny building fires in any fire pit in dry windy weather.

Choosing a place to Stay

Staying on the land is permitted in nearly any suitable location throughout OSS except for those areas specifically designated or where the site would be an obvious obstruction (in the middle of the road, or right in front of the main house would likely be a bad idea). Also, please avoid setting up where it would block access to any of the shrines, altars and trails around OSS. Please refer to the land use area for more details about choosing a site to stay, while you enjoy the peace and serenity of the land in your worship.

Active Areas

Please keep in mind that not all attendees of the festival will keep the same hours as you! The most active areas in the daytime are the workshop areas, the vendor’s areas, and the kitchen. The most active areas at night are the main fire and the stage. There is often all night drumming, dancing, and singing around the bonfire near the retreat center or in community meadow. The quietest areas are the areas past Fog Bog toward Rosebud Circle. We strongly suggest that you plan your stay according to your sleeping habits.

Fire Pits

There are many campsite fire pits available at Oak Spirit Sanctuary. Please do not create a new fire pit without prior permission from OSS staff. If you arrive early to an OSS event there is a very good chance that you will have access to a fire pit at your campsite. If you are arriving to an event later you may still have access to the fire pits, but may need to share with other later arrivals.

Clothing Optional

There are designated clothing-optional areas of Oak Spirit Sanctuary year-round. Clothing optional means just that — clothing is optional. You don’t have to be nude or skyclad to visit the area, but please be aware that other people may be. As a result, children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the clothing optional area. This is the area of the land that is past the Maypole on the left side of the road. Some festivals may be entirely clothing optional. Please check the festival website for details.

Please remember that nudity is not an invitation to touch, nor does it imply consent in any way. Please be courteous and respectful of other people’s space. Harassment will not be tolerated.

Also, we recommend that you plan your clothing, or lack thereof, with the weather in mind! The weather may become hot, wet, or chilly.

Natural Laws not Covered in the Regulations

The use of Oak Spirit Sanctuary is extended to beings and spirits of good will subject to the visiting rules and regulations as well as a few general natural laws. All visitors of Oak Spirit Sanctuary are expected to walk in peace with other visitors. Physical or verbal aggression will not be tolerated.

Oak Spirit Sanctuary is open to all races, genders, sexual orientations, and positive lifestyles and spiritual paths. Anyone heard or seen engaging in hurtful intolerance, or any other hurtful prejudiced behavior will be asked to leave Oak Spirit Sanctuary immediately with no refund.

Walk in peace also covers interactions with other Oak Spirits and participants on all Oak Spirit Sanctuary e-lists and other public and electronic forums.

All visitors of Oak Spirit Sanctuary are expected to work well and play well with others. If you are found to not work well or play well with others you may be asked to leave Oak Spirit Sanctuary for a period of time.

If you owe money to Oak Spirit Sanctuary and have not made arrangements with the Board or Site Manager to pay the money, including, but not limited to, fees, unpaid registration fees, assessed damage fees, unpaid expenses, rent, etc. you will be considered not working and playing well with others and be asked to leave Oak Spirit Sanctuary for a period of time or until such time as your debt is met or arrangements have been made.

Remember that if you’re attending an event here, you need to respect the privacy of the other event goers and their personal choices of freedom. These means to make sure you ask before you publish or share any information/pictures/names etc. of other event attendees without their permission. To coin Las Vegas “What happens and Oak Spirit Sanctuary, Stays at Oak Spirit Sanctuary.” This does NOT include harmful actions, criminal actions or actions that go against the other laws and regulations or natural laws of Oak Spirit Sanctuary. If any of these situations occur, a Board member or Clergy member should be notified immediately.

Any damage to person(s) or property, whether real or consequential, resulting from violations of the Visiting Rules and Regulations or Natural Laws Not Covered in the Rules and Regulations shall be recompensed by the person responsible for said damage. If the responsible person is an Oak Spirit, his/her good standing shall be suspended until appropriate compensation has been made. Oak Spirit Sanctuary and/or its agents or assigns shall take appropriate measures to ensure compensation is made. The board of Oak Spirit Sanctuary reserves the right to request that people leave for a period of time and/or set conditions Oak Spirit Sanctuary and/or Oak Spirit Sanctuary events if they break any of the rules and regulations or the natural laws.

Download a PDF of the Visiting Rules and Regulations.

Camping and Lodging

Camping is available on the land for $10 a night/tent. Kids’ tents are free. Please check in at the retreat center when you arrive. Camping fees may be paid in person or online here.

Most locations are open to camping; use common sense to not disturb the well-being of other plants, animals, sacred spaces, and people. Review the Natural Laws and Visiting Rules for information on fires and land use.

Camping is already included in the registration fees for multi-day festivals (Ostara, Beltaine, Harvest Homecoming, and Samhain). It is also free to volunteers on work days.

Camping is not included on Lunar Gathering weekends. If you are planning to stay the night for a lunar, please pay for your campsite at the retreat center or online.

Limited lodging for people with disabilities or similar needs is available in the retreat center. Please contact us at info@oakspiritsanctuary.org, or speak to a board member or land steward, if you are in need of indoor accommodations.

OSS%20map

Download a PDF of the property map

Amenities include:

  • Three-Acre Lake
  • Hiking Trails
  • Natural Shrines
  • Permanent Circle Areas
  • Land to stay on and connect with Nature
  • Retreat Center (1880’s era farm house)
  • and much more!