Getting Lost to Find Our Way… Mount Shasta Tales (Part One)
While visiting in this awesome area of Mount Shasta, California – one of the major spiritual “energy vortices” in the world – there is SO MUCH nature time to have here that I’ve been out to different places for hikes and meditation spots around town since I arrived. Today, it was time for the first experience ON this huge, imposing, and yet nurturing mountain of the core point of the ancient land of Lemuria, over the mythical underworld of Telos.
The house in which I’m renting a room is right on the bottom portion of the mountain. In fact, from the room I’m renting, there’s a sliding door right next to the bed, onto a balcony that looks right up to the peak. I go to sleep every night looking out into the darkness, feeling the pulse of the mountain… as well as MUCH else!
I have a housemate, A’shaya, who is also renting a room here, in her last week after being here for 6 weeks (7 by the time she leaves). She’s done a lot of hiking from the house (there’s a foot path into the thick of things here on the mountain just a block from here) with a former renter… so I mistakenly assumed she’d known all of the path markers.
That probably wasn’t a good assumption on my part… on a mountain that climbs to 14,400 feet above sea level (starting at about 4,000 feet) , with a circumference of about 70 miles.
We were chatting away… I’ve discovered that conversations during hikes with anyone you meet here in Mount Shasta are also quite different than those you’d most likely experience on most other mountains. A’shaya’s a massage therapist turned astrologer… and there was a lot chit chatting about this kind of chart, that kind of chart… what she’s experienced since she’s been here, where she’s going, and the spiritual/metaphysical experiences and practices I have and have had, as well.
So, we made it to the top of the trail we had aspired to climb… and took some time just laying on some beautiful layered rocks, enjoying the sunny, 80-degree, dry weather. Such peace and quietude; so much of nature! We had realized that it seemed we had a swarm of butterflies around us the entire time up the trail; their visits and frolicking continued around us while we sunned ourselves. Plus lizards, beautiful flowers in bloom around us… just pure beauty and quietude.
And just… space.
Typically, when I’m on a hike and find a spot like that, I really like to be still, listen, and FEEL… without chattering or much interchange (in fact, I often prefer to go alone); however, on Mount Shasta, with A’shaya happily chattering away, I found I could STILL enjoy the moment and the stillness while simultaneously engaging in the conversation without feeling like I was being interrupted. Again… so different than the “regular world”!
Once we’d gotten our fill of the spot we’d chosen, we started back. Yet, the paths seemed completely different; neither one of us could remember which way we’d come, through many forks and winding turns. We THOUGHT many of the choices looked familiar… for awhile. Then it seemed like the landscape had changed completely.
At some point, I started laughing and said, “Well… maybe we simply walked through a dimensional doorway, which is why it all looks different…” She laughed and agreed with me. Then we considered whether we’d really want to find our way back through… because it DID feel different. MORE space… So, we decided to call on our friends, the elementals, to help guide us back to the house where we’re staying.
Right after we did that, we turned a corner, and there were two beautiful deer (shephards of the fairy realm) consorting in the wood… they jumped and bounded off in the opposite direction. So we followed…
The butterflies were still all around us… and yet, slightly ahead of us. We continued on their path.
Not to say we didn’t continue on in different twists and turns… we’d reinforce our request a few times (A’shaya had made the mistake of just asking for them to “lead us home”… I told her that was sort of a misleading request, since many would probably consider us home right there, on the mountain!)… and every time, a new path would light the way. And, as the trees are large on the mountain, there were times when we’d lose sight of the peak in the trees… and had to literally guess which was was down (because many of the paths led up).
Throughout this, we found we bonded. Neither of us ever got nervous, panicked, or upset about our predicament. In fact, the longer and further we went, the more fun we had with it. Yes, we got hot; yes, once our water ran out, we got thirsty (but I was VERY glad to have gotten a “nudge” in the grocery store last night to pick up a few protein bars for the hike, because THEY came in handy!)… but we just looked at it as a grand adventure, and pondered what we could learn from the experience. And we laughed… A LOT. We stopped saying that we might’ve taken “a wrong turn”… and just agreed that the many paths, regardless of which ones we chose, would eventually get us where we were going.
We picked out some great walking sticks, which we deemed our “Walking Staves of Light.” Though A’shaya was hesitant about using one in the beginning, she really bonded with hers when we started cutting through the hedge going downhill on beds upon beds of pine needles; they proved very useful.
At some point, we decided we must’ve been warriors in some indigenous tribe together in another life. It was then that we renamed ourselves the Warrior Goddesses of the Light… which of course worked well with our walking staff terminology! We even considered whether we should find some mud with which to paint stripes on our faces.
And, the butterflies led us on, staying around us… like we were in some sort of fairy tale.
Our variety of path choices became an exploration; a discovery of noticing when we could tell if a path that seemingly ascended actually turned into a descent; when we could start “reading” the mountain… and then we actually decided to start FEELING it, FEELING our way out.
After awhile I was really getting thirsty; I told A’shaya that it would be really, really nice if we could find a stream from which to drink… and then we could walk around for as long as we wanted without worrying about finding our way out. At some point, we started getting our bearings, and found the old railroad tracks that circle the mountain; since we had crossed the tracks in the beginning, we decided to just follow them until we saw a familiar spot. That never happened; what happened was that I finally spotted a paved road. So, we took a steep path down and came out into a park. We asked a few men who were walking across the manicured field where we were… we discovered we were a few miles from the house… one of the men looked at me and asked if we needed water, because there was a fountain from the springs right at the edge of our field. OK… so not a running stream… but the same meaning… and it was just as awesome (and absolutely refreshing)! What a perfect place to emerge from our play world!
After we explained that we’d sort of lost our way on the mountain, the passersby asked us if we needed a ride back to our house. We looked at each other, immediately understood without any words, and shook our heads, but thanked them for the offer. After they moved on, we agreed that we would see this adventure on foot, on our own, through the end… after all, we ARE the Warrior Goddesses of the Light! 🙂
And so, we made it back… in 5.5 hours instead of the planned 2… exhausted and dirty… but we’d never lost our sense of adventure and enjoyment of the journey, regardless of which path we took. We found humor and fun and playfulness in every turn… and we learned about each other; we learned about and celebrated our differences as well as our similarities, and we found that without any panic or sense of worry, that even though the path was longer than we had THOUGHT (even though my Higher Self obviously had it all under control… after all, I was at least prepared with those protein bars!)… we were given everything we asked for along the way.
We realized the amazing and wonderful messages that had come through for us on the journey… and how the real, all-encompassing message really was that it’s ALL about the journey itself.
After her 7-week period of solitude in Mount Shasta, A’shaya is moving to Florida in a week… and is seriously considering sending off her walking staff to Florida ahead of her, and then getting it sanded with just that engraved on it: “It’s ALL about the journey.” Because it really is.
How awesome is THAT?!