Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the Ardantane campus?

A: In northern New Mexico, in the Red Rocks are of the Jemez Mountains, about an hour’s drive northwest of Albuquerque.

Q: How do I get to the campus?

A: If you register for a class or retreat, or volunteer to help with a Blessed Beavers work party, you will be sent directions. If you want to attend a sabbat celebration or would simply like to visit the campus, contact the Executive Director (director@ardantane.org) and she will probably send you directions. For reasons of safety and security, directions are NOT published online or in the media

Q: How much land is there at Ardantane?

A: 27.15 acres, surrounded by National Forest on two sides, was the initial land purchase. Since then 2+ acres have been added.

Q: When Ardantane bought land for its campus in 2002, what facilities were there?

A: A dirt road.

Q: What facilities does Ardantane now have on its campus?

A: A well, two electric posts, a staff residence, classroom/meeting areas, three overnight cabins, a handicapped-accessible restroom and shower, storage facilities, and various sacred ritual sites.

Q: What is the largest building?

A: Our geodesic dome is a combination classroom and ritual space, with about 1000 square feet of area. It contains the Ardantane Library, statues and icons of many deities from different faiths. Concerts, classes, meetings, sabbat celebrations, and memorial services have all been held there.

Q: What are the overnight cabins like?

A: The cottages are designed with Elemental themes. Hawk Haven is the Air cottage, sleeps three, and is also used for small classes. Cattail Cottage is the Water cabin, and also sleeps three. Kitschwitch has no particular Element; it’s done in a fun Halloween theme and can sleep three if they are friendly.

Q: Will there more cottages?

A: Yes. We plan to add a Fire cottage (Hearthfire House), an Earth cottage, and a Spirit cottage (names not chosen). One of these will be handicapped-accessible and attached to the restroom and shower building

Q: Is there a charge for overnight accommodations?

A: No, not for people attending a weekend class or retreat, or a work party.
People may also reserve the facilities for personal or group retreats, in which case a donation is appreciated.

Q: What is the restroom/shower like?

A: It’s called the HARRE Potty (Handicapped-Accessible RestRoom, Eco-friendly) and contains two separate bathrooms, one of which is ADA-compliant and includes a shower. It was completed in 2014.

Q: What other facilities are planned?

A: The Gryffindor Common Room is partly constructed adjoining the Dome. This will include a meeting space, social/coffee area, small shop with ritual and magickal items, and books), and the Deborah Ann Light Collection of Pagan and magickal books.
The Dining Hall/commercial kitchen/Green Man Pub will be located near Brigit’s Circle.
The Mango Tree (working name) will be an open-air pavilion in the center of campus, for sheltered outdoor gatherings.
The Office Annex will be part of the Dome complex after the Common Room is completed. It will hold the Ardantane office and files, a restroom, and a storage area.

Q: What are the sacred sites you mentioned?

A: Ardantane has a labyrinth and six ritual circles: Brigit’s Circle, the Oasis Circle, the Bardic Circle, the Sun Circle, Moon Circle, and Hekate’s Circle. They vary in size and are used for sabbat celebrations and special rituals, including handfastings, memorials, and personal and family rituals. Ardantane also has these sacred sites:

  • Brigit’s Shrine is near the entrance, and was built by a single volunteer to honor the Celtic goddess, one of Ardantane’s patron deities.
  • The Labyrinth is a Cretan-style seven-course labyrinth formed of black river stones.
  • The Shrine of the Ancients consists of short standing stones around a natural rock altar; it honors all those living beings who came before us, including our human ancestors.
  • Gaia’s Altar is a natural boulder near Bardic Circle. Hikers had begun to leave pretty stones on it, that they found in their wanderings. We have continued the custom and dedicated it to our Mother the Earth.
  • A circle dedicated to Hekate, and a processional way from the main part of campus to the Circle

Q: What other special sites are planned?

A: A second Labyrinth based on the Elements.

Q: Are there trails at Ardantane?

A: There are three marked trails.

  • The Dragon’s Tail Trail begins near the Dome and ascends to a higher level where the Sun and Moon Circles are located.
  • The Seeker’s Path begins at Dragon’s Tail near the Sun Circle, and loops around to the Labyrinth. There are seven simple stone altars placed along it.
  • The Canyon Trail begins at the end of the old dirt road that runs through the campus, and goes to an access point for Canyon Cercado, which marks Ardantane’s northern boundary.

Q: Is the campus eco-friendly, or “green”?

A: As much as we can make it. The state-of-the-art water system takes both black- and gray water, purifies it with living microbes, and routes it to a drip-irrigation network in the Oasis area. The buildings are clustered in one fairly small area of the land, so the rest can be left wild.
Future plans include rainwater harvesting, more native plantings, solar panels to generate energy, and hopefully some restoration of the grassland that was here before the land was overgrazed generations ago.

Updated November 2014

Q: How much land is part of the Ardantane campus?

A: 25 acres in the original land purchase, plus 2.15 acres in a more recent addition, which we call Spirit Hollow, and contains Hekate’s Circle..

Q: Where is the campus and land located?

A: In northern New Mexico on the southern edge of the Jemez Mountains, about an hour’s drive from the center of Albuquerque.

Q: How was this particular land found?

A: Ardantane teams spent three years searching for the ideal land, focusing on the area within driving range of both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We visited many properties—a tale in itself—and knew instantly that we were home when we saw this land.

Q: When was the land purchased?

A: In 2002.

Q: How much did it cost?

A: $206,500, plus, of course, interest.

Q: Where did Ardantane get the funds to buy it?

A: Amber K and Azrael Arynn K (Executive Director and Dean of Sacred Living at Ardantane, respectively), loaned Ardantane Inc. the money for the down payment… AND paid the monthly payments until Ardantane could take over payment.

Q: Who holds the title to the land? (Who is the owner of record?)

A: Amber K and Azrael (and Los Alamos National Bank) are the owners of record. Title will be transferred wholly to Ardantane Inc. in the future, when the loans are paid off.

Q: How much was financed through the bank mortgage loan?

A: $136,500.

Q: How much is still owed on the bank mortgage for the main land?

A: As of June 2014, $25,773.02.

Q: How much are the regular payments on the bank loan?

A: $500 every two weeks.

Q: When will the bank mortgage loan be paid off?

A: At the current rate, in the spring of 2017.

Q: How much will it cost to reimburse Amber and Azrael, for the money they advanced?

A: $ 141,930.28 total: for the down payment and principal and interest payments before Ardantane took them over.

Q: Will Ardantane be paying interest to Amber and Azrael?

A: No. They have requested only the amount they originally loaned. The interest they could have made on that money over the years is their gift to Ardantane.

Q: Has Ardantane added to its land since the initial purchase?

A: Yes. In 2012 we purchased just over two acres from a neighbor, bordering the original campus, and named it Spirit Hollow.

Q: Why was this land added?

A: For three reasons. We wanted to honor Hekate, one of Ardantane’s patron goddesses, so have dedicated the land and a new ritual circle there to Her. Also the land gives us more of a buffer between Ardantane and our adjacent neighbor, which provides more privacy for Ardantane activities. Third, the new land contains an old dirt road, which if graded will give us a “back-door” entrance and exit from the campus in case of emergency.

Q: How much did the new addition (Spirit Hollow) cost?

A: $25,000 for just over two acres.

Q: How much does Ardantane pay monthly on the Spirit Hollow mortgage loan?

A: About $140 each month.

Q: How much is still owed on the bank mortgage for the Spirit Hollow land?

A: As of June 2014, $16,875.42.

Q: When will the Spirit Hollow loan be paid off?

A: At the present rate, in April of 2028. Naturally we hope to pay it off earlier.

Q: How many other Pagan nonprofits have land and facilities in the United States?

A. We have no exact figures… but very few.

Updated November, 2014

Q: How is Ardantane legally structured?

A: Ardantane Inc. is a 501c3 tax-exempt educational organization recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. It is also a non-profit corporation under New Mexico law.

Q: How is Ardantane governed?

A: By a Board of Directors. There are usually 5 to 7 members, and our rules require that they be from at least three different Earth-honoring spiritual traditions. They meet approximately every other month and are responsible for the overall health and operation of the corporation, and approving the program, policies, and major facility changes.

Q: Are the Board members compensated?

A: They work in the service of the Lady and Lord, and the wider Pagan and Earth-honoring community. They receive no financial compensation. However, they are permitted to attend Ardantane programs without charge.

Q: How are the faculty members chosen?

A: To join the permanent faculty, individuals must submit an application form and letters of reference, and be approved by consensus of the existing faculty and the Board. Permanent faculty members automatically receive a portion of the registration fees for each class they teach, and are eligible to serve as Deans of the various schools if chosen.
Ardantane also uses the services of guest faculty members, who are skilled teachers and knowledgeable in their fields. Guest faculty fees are variable and arranged individually for each class. They have no formal say in the academic planning process at Ardantane.

Q: How is Ardantane staffed and administered?

A: The Executive Director supervises the staff of Ardantane. There are several positions such as Membership Director, Land Care Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Facilities Planning Director, Ardantane Alley Coordinator, and Fund-raising Director.

Q: Are these paid positions?

A: No. The staff are all volunteers, with the exception of the Executive Director, who receives a salary of $10 per year so that she is legally an employee of the Board. Regular staff are allowed to attend Ardantane classes and events without charge, but receive no other tangible compensation. They are in Service.

Q: Can positions overlap?

A: They can and do. Board members are expected to hold a staff position in addition to their Board responsibilities; it is a working Board. The Executive Director is also Dean of the School of Pagan Leadership, etc. etc. The work of Ardantane is done by an organic, somewhat fluid group that expands, contracts, and changes over time.

Q: Who else helps with Ardantane?

A: The Blessed Beavers come together at least once a month (except January) to build, clean, and organize the campus facilities. Some are regular volunteers, others appear occasionally. With a few exceptions (contracted to professionals), they have built most of what you see at Ardantane. They work under the direction of the Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Director.

We have a seasonal resident who serves as hostess in the absence of the permanent residents, and does many projects on campus to improve its beauty, cleanliness, and organization.

Though most classes at Ardantane are team-taught, occasionally we have Teaching Assistants or Aides who assist in return for getting fees waived.

Sometimes people offer to help with a limited-term, definite project on campus, such as a specific building or cleanup project. They may or may not be part of the ongoing staff, but their help is greatly appreciated.

Q: Are their employment opportunities at Ardantane?

A: No, we have no paid positions, excepting (technically) the Executive Director. Teachers are offered modest fees for the classes they lead. Ardantane is a labor of love and a channel for Service.

Updated November, 2014

Q: What things do you teach at Ardantane? Are there schools within the overall Ardantane umbrella?

A: We have five schools within Ardantane: Magick and Witchcraft, Pagan Leadership, Pagan Spirituality, Sacred Living, and Shamanic Studies.

Q: Where are classes held?

A: The majority of our classes are held at our campus about one hour’s drive northwest of Albuquerque. But we also offer classes in Albuquerque, and occasionally in other cities by invitation, and at Pagan festivals.

Q: Are there classes online?

A: Yes. We have gradually increased our online offerings, and there will probably be about six online classes in 2015. Online programs typically consist of four meetings, once a week.

Q: What are the class or tuition fees?

A. Presently $60 for a one-day workshop in person and the same for a four-week online class. Two-day weekend intensives normally cost $110. Participants can trade volunteer work for part or all of a class fee.

Q: Do I have to enter one of the schools to attend classes?

A. Classes are open to anyone; you do not have to be formally enrolled in a School’s Certificate program.

Q: Do I receive any recognition for completing a single workshop, class, or seminar?

A. Yes; you will receive an attendance certificate and credit toward a full Certificate, if you should decide to go for one at a later date.

Q: How do I enter a Certificate program?

A. Fill out an application (download here) and turn it in to the Dean of the School you are interested in. He or she will respond and discuss your program of study with you.

Q: How long does it usually take to finish a Certificate program?

A. In general, about two years, attending classes on occasional weekends. We do not offer every class every year, otherwise you could finish in a year.

Q: What if my interests span different subject areas, and there is no program that quite fits me?

A. No problem! You can work with any Ardantane Dean to design a Certificate program targeted to your needs and interests. Your individualized program can include classes from different Ardantane schools and sometimes other training or life experience.

Q: Is Ardantane an accredited school, like Michigan State University for example?

A. No. Such accreditation is very expensive to the school, but more importantly, the accrediting agencies require that you offer certain subjects and teach in a traditional way. Our programs include subjects not recognized by most institutions (like magick and energy healing), and we often teach in creative ways, rather than lectures, and in nature, rather than giant lecture halls. We choose not to pay large amounts of money to an agency just so that they can control our educational programs.

Q: What are the benefits of earning a Certificate from Ardantane?

A. Ardantane Certificates give you a guided, focused way to enhance your own spiritual practice and help others along their spiritual paths. They will not help you land a job in the mundane world. We teach “not how to make a living, but how to live.”

Q. Where can I get more information on the particular schools and their programs?

A: Check the website descriptions and then contact one of the Deans:

School of Magick and Witchcraft: magick@ardantane.org

School of Pagan Leadership: paganleader@ardantane.org

School of Pagan Spirituality: paganspirit@ardantane.org

School of Sacred Living: sacredliving@ardantane.org

School of Shamanic Studies: shaman@ardantane.org

Q: What is the HARRE Potty?

A: HARRE stands for Handicapped-Accessible RestRoom, Eco-friendly. It is a freestanding building near the center of the campus and contains two separate bathrooms, plus a utility room.

Q: Is it ADA-compliant? (Americans with Disabilities Act)

A: The larger bathroom at HARRE is ADA-compliant and includes a shower. This means in part, that it is wheelchair-accessible.

Q: Who built it?

A: The basic foundation and structure was built by DCS Enterprises, a local contractor. Rough plumbing and electrical have been done by Reliable Remodel, also local. Insulation, drywall, painting, and tiling are the work of Ardantane volunteers with experience in these areas; we are deeply grateful for their time, energy, and skills.

Q: Is it complete?

A: It is scheduled for completion in 2014. At the time this is written (November), we are preparing to start the tiling and then install the plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, water heater, and ramp.

Q: How was it paid for?

A: By fund-raising and gifts from generous donors, over a period of three years. PLEASE NOTE: We have yet to cover the costs of the interior plumbing fixtures and their installation, the water heater, or the light fixtures. If you can help with any of these costs, please contact the Executive Director at director@ardantane.org.

Q: What happens to the gray water and black water from the HARRE Potty?

A: It runs to a state-of-the-art water treatment system in the Oasis, behind HARRE and La Casa. Here the water is purified in underground tanks by microbes, then pumped into drip irrigation lines just under the surface of the land. That’s why there is so much greenery back there.

Q: Why is there a central restroom facility, instead of bathrooms in each visitor cottage?

A: The expense of individual bathrooms would have been enormous, especially considering that the campus is built essentially on solid rock. Cutting channels for the water and sewer lines, to and from half a dozen buildings, would be more than we could handle. A central bath and shower is more economical and resource-efficient.

Q: Will there ever be more restrooms at Ardantane?

A: There is a small one in La Casa, the staff residence, and it is tied into the same water treatment that HARRE uses. When we eventually build a commercial kitchen and dining hall, we will need to have one there as well. Tentatively we will also have one at the Dome Annex, when that is built. It has not been decided what technology we will use for the latter two; they may have solar-composting toilets, since running sewage lines all the way to the water treatment area that HARRE uses would be very difficult and expensive.

—Updated January 2017

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