12 Simonds Hill Road
Hubbardston, MA 01452
(978) 928-4198

Potential Cauldron Farm Guests...

We have a few questions for you. These are things we wish we had asked some of our previous long term guests. We don't expect you to write out answers to all these, but give some real thought to whether you'd be willing to honestly (honestly!) answer them.

First off...

Why do you want to be on Cauldron Farm? What do you plan on doing here? How long to you intend on staying? Will you actually show up, or is coming here more of a daydream for you? Do you have somewhere else to go if for any reason it is decided that you cannot stay here?

What are your living requirements and expectations? For example, do you require your own bed, or will you share? Do you plan to sleep on the couch or floor? Do you think you need a space in the main house, or do you want to stay in an outbuilding or find a patch of woods to camp in? How much personal privacy do you need? Do you have your own bedding/tent/supplies? How much unrestricted access do you require to our bathroom, phone line, internet connection, computer, television, kitchen, or other resources? How much stuff do you plan on bringing with you?

Can you tolerate heat and cold weather in the range normally experienced in New England during the season you will be here? Do you realize we do not have central air-conditioning, we heat much of our house with wood, and our outbuildings have no heat, running water, and generally no electricity?

Will you be able to tolerate two cats and a dog in the house?

If you smoke, will you refrain from smoking inside any of our buildings, and will you be sure not to leave your cigarette butts on the ground anywhere on our property?

Can you provide for your own food? Do you have any dietary restrictions or inviolable food preferences, or will you eat whatever it is we are eating, at the time we are eating it?

Can you contribute to household expenses? Do you have employment that will continue throughout your stay, or some other source of income? Do you have skills that you believe will allow you to find paying work in our area?

If you plan on bringing a vehicle, can you afford to maintain, insure, and fuel it? If you do not, do you realize that there are no local buses and we are 2.5 miles from the nearest convenience store, 10 miles from the nearest grocery store, shopping center, movie theater, etc. and more than a half-hour drive from regional train and bus stations? Do you realize that although you are generally welcome to accompany us into town when we go, we can not provide routine transportation for you on your schedule or let you borrow our vehicles?

Do you plan on studying with anyone here? Have you personally arranged the conditions of this study with the teacher, and agreed to provide them with compensation of some kind, whether money, labor or trade? If they have told you they do not require compensation, do you realize they are providing a valuable service to you, for which you may wish to give some small gift in gratitude?

Will you get along with us?

Do you realize that Cauldron Farm is the center for a pagan religious group and hosts gatherings for education, worship and socialization in the common areas of the house and other parts of the property? Do you realize that although you may be asked to help with preparation and cleanup, you are never required to attend any such events, and that some events may not be open to you? Do you realize that Cauldron Farm is a retreat center that hosts both religious and secular events for a variety of private organizations whose beliefs and practices may be incompatible with your own?

Do you realize that many of the folks at Cauldron Farm are loud, opinionated, and not at all shy about expressing themselves to anyone? Do you realize that some of the folks who come to Cauldron Farm have physical or mental disorders, unusual behavior, or low social skills which may surprise, annoy or confuse you?

Do you realize that many of the folks at Cauldron Farm are gender deviant, queer, perverted or have unusual relationship structures, and are not required to make any effort to hide this from you? If conversation in a common area strays to a topic you are uncomfortable with, will you politely excuse yourself rather than ask them to change the topic? Do you realize that some of the folks at Cauldron Farm occasionally wander about the house partially unclothed, frankly discuss sexual topics, and engage in small public displays of affection and will not appreciate you being either titillated or scandalized by it?

Will we get along with you?

Do you realize that Cauldron Farm is wholly owned and operated by Bella, Raven, and Jess, and although a good faith effort is made to keep everyone in the house happy, Cauldron Farm is not run on democracy or consensus?

Do you realize that we at Cauldron Farm will not tolerate racist, sexist, classist or otherwise bigoted attitudes from our long-term guests?

Will you treat every member of the household politely and respectfully, regardless of whether you like who they are or what they do?

Will you abide by household rules, regardless of whether you agree that they are the best way to do things?

Will you treat other people's resources with respect and care? If you damage something, will you make every effort to fix or replace it or otherwise make am mends in a manner that is acceptable to whomever it belonged to?

Will you clean up after yourself? Will you keep your possessions orderly, out of the way, and take them with you when you leave?

Will you show respect for our lack of financial resources, and not complain if we do not spend money on the things you think we should have or want?

Will you respect that we are all busy people, and that we don't always get done everything we'd like? Will you pitch in and try to help make things better, rather than complaining that we don't do enough?

Will you work to maintain a peaceful, productive and friendly environment?

Do you think you know how to run our farm and household better than we do?

Are you useful?

Do you require supervision to stay on task? Can you do a chore on a regular basis, or do you need daily reminders? Will you take initiative and do what needs to be done, even if it isn't specifically asked of you right then?

Do you have any chronic illness or recurrent insomnia that may make you useless for large stretches of time?

Will you clean? Will you sweep floors, wash dishes, do laundry, scrub floors, etc.?

Are you good with plants? Can you weed, water, and tend a garden?

Can you care for livestock? Will you help with feeding them, milking the goats, and with carrying bales of hay, sacks of feed, and jugs of water? Could you herd five to ten sheep out to a pasture, and make sure they don't run off for a few hours?

Will you help with logging? Can you use a chainsaw? Can you split wood? Will you carry wood?

Can you start a fire in a wood stove? Would you tend it and keep it going all day? Can you cook wholesome food with what ingredients are on hand?

Will you shovel snow? Will you shovel manure? Will you haul rock?

Do you have any small craft skills such as woodworking or sewing?

Can you build or assist in building outbuildings and other structures using low-cost or found materials?

Can you repair cars or small machinery?

And finally...

Do you realize we are not a homeless shelter? Do you realize you will not be able to guilt or otherwise pressure us into allowing you to overstay your welcome?

Are you sane? Are you on psychiatric medication? Do you plan to stop taking it when you arrive? Are you aware we are not a psychiatric facility, and will refer you to one if we feel that is what you need?

Are you aware we are not a detox clinic? Do you plan on being in withdrawal from any substances during your stay, including alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine? Do you plan on fasting or adopting new dietary restrictions during your stay?

Are you looking for love? Do you have plans of getting into bed with one or more of us, or one or more of our friends? Will you become upset if no one you meet wants to sleep with you, or if you get publicly chastised for making sexual advances that are deemed wildly inappropriate, rude, or ridiculous? Will you be disappointed that our gatherings don't spontaneously degenerate into wild orgies?

Are you running from the law? Are you aware we will not help you hide from the police, the military or any government agency?

Do you plan on bringing guns, explosives or other weapons with you? Are you aware that, as policy, we promptly inform the local authorities of any new weapons on the property, regardless of why you have them and whether they are legal for you to have and use?

Do you realize we are not a storage service or a Goodwill drop-off location? Do you realize we already have more stuff than we can comfortable store in our house and outbuildings, and probably don't want yours, especially if it smells like cat pee? Do you realize that we cannot guarantee that anything you abandon here will not be ruined by the weather, improper storage, animals or insects, the collapse of an outbuilding, or the carelessness of another guest before you return to claim it, and items left for more than a year may be sold, recycled, burned, thrown away, or donated to a charity?

Do you plan on buying, selling, or using any illegal drugs while on our property?

Do you realize we cannot pay for or otherwise provide for your medical care?

Thanks so much!

If you have any further questions on internships, or would like to talk to us about a time you might visit, please contact Raven at cauldronfarm@hotmail.com or call us at 978-928-4198.

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