Places of Power, Places of Heart
On Mt. Tamalpais
Second in a series of ceremonial days with Steve Orsary
Click here for hike details...
Sunday morning, I walked out among the fog spirits to the Stone Circles. For years, I had hiked past this hidden setting so very near to the trail. One day, I was drawn to a small plateau overlooking the trail and the ocean, to see what I could see--and there it was. A central cairn encircled by two stone rings, spread under the nine-trunked Grandmother Bay tree, surrounded by offerings and looking out over the great blue Mother Ocean, Mama Cocha, to the west as far as you could see. I suppose these places want to be found when you're open and ready.
On Sunday, departing the parking area and moving through the gliding fog clouds, I paused at the offering rock with its Asian urn and cloth, where someone leaves spirit gifts. Then I stepped over the trickling reedy spring that seems to run in all seasons , feeding the out-of-place calla lilies. Looking back, swallows swooped and played over the orange-poppy-strewn draw, catching their breakfast and singing out a simple happiness. Blue-eyed grass and pink clover nestled below the tall grass, the last of the indigo lupine poked up their heads, the pink thistle was clustered with bees and the rattlesnake grass presented plump green and purple rattle-shaped pods. When we visit this place in July, the flowers will likely be mostly gone, and the rattlesnake pods will be dry and brown, shaking against each other like their namesakes and taking us into a space that communes with the ancestors who have walked here before us.
A half-mile in, I scrambled up 30 feet of rocks, the only semi-steep portion of this short rolling walk, and passed smaller fanciful cairns to enter the nine enclosing arms of the Grandmother Tree, and the Circles. There, I journeyed and found myself in contact with Grandmother Bay and the stones themselves in the Lower World. The spirit of the tree sank deep roots and made a welcome for us to come in July. The stones covered me in an enclosing cave, and then broke open into the sunlight following the spirit of a creamy tan dove into the golden light above. The message was clear: not to remain hidden and covered, but to step forward in the arising gentle spirit of Dove and to shine in the world, moving from a time of intense inner examination and challenge into spiritual renewal and light. Grandmother Bay gave me a stone from near her roots so I would remember this. And the message was not just for me, but for all of us who will visit here.
This will be the theme of what we do on the Stone Circle hike on July 18th. We will make an offering of a stone to contribute to and help build the circles, and we will journey from that spot. If you have experience journeying to the beat of a drum or rattle, this stone circle journey can only be deepened for you. If you do not know how to journey, you can still have your unique experience, and see where the drum takes you. And if you would like to formally learn how to do shamanic journeying, Kate O'Day and I will be offering an Introduction to Shamanic Journeying workshop a week before the hike on Saturday, July 11, in Corte Madera. And from this starting point, we can step out of our inner examinations to shine in the world.
A couple of hundred paces beyond the Stone Circles, there is a stone bluff that overlooks Mother Ocean and Bolinas far below. I sense this is the spot that anchors and feeds the Stone Circles, a great natural outcropping not built by human hands that holds the power of the earth and stone, grounds it deep into the earth and the deep sea waters, and draws the power back up into the air. This will be an optional side trip on our hike. On Sunday, I sat on a ledge there and looked straight out into the fog and clouds above the blanketed waters. All along the way, lizards were unafraid of me and came close. I was also joined on the ledge here by Lizard, supporting meditation and intuition and helping me tune into all that was around me and what it signified. Swallows continued to dip and sing among the cloud-decked firs. A Hawk silently glided in to roost in a near tree, and then was disturbed by Jay. I heard the distant jungle call of a great Woodpecker, an ally, and soon after glimpsed his red head sweeping through the near branches. All around, I was received and included in the songs of many birds. Power rose up through the stone beneath me and was focused outward to shine into the world. The way is open for us to return here. Come join us in July.
Contact Steve to register or for more information.
Click here for hike details...
Contact Steve to register.