Places of Power, Places of Heart
On Mt. Tamalpais
The Gateway into the Heart of the Mountain
NEW DATE (due to rain):
Sunday, April 8
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Contact Steve to register.
While it might have been nice to do our hike near the Spring Equinox, the welcome rain predicted for our originally planned date has guided us to go later in the month, in order to have a dryer hiking experience.
Perhaps the new date will now also allow you to attend.
Every mountain has a vast spirit presence.
Some say cities reside within mountains and that many beings dwell therein. Mt. Tamalpais has a number of different entries, some smaller doorways and at least one major one that accesses the inner area or realm. This one that I know I call
The Gateway into the Heart of the Mountain.
During Our Hike, we will...
-Overlook the ocean at our starting point (fog permitting)
-Descend through the cool woods on the mild and wild north side
of the mountain
-Do a purification ceremony at a spring that never runs dry
-Amble easily on an intimate path beneath a mixed forest of bay,
oak, madrone and fir trees
-Cross a number of cool springs that seep directly out of the
-See the continuation of the spring bloom (12 types of flowers
were out last week)
-Pass through groves of redwoods that generate a deep stillness
-Visit the Gateway into the Heart of the Mountain, with the
opportunity to journey, meditate or sit and commune with the
guardians of the Gateway, and the spirit(s) of the mountain
-Walk uphill with friends of like mind to view the powerful rock
outcropping that crowns the Gateway
-Gaze over the blue northside lakes of Phoenix, Lagunitas and
Bon Tempe from a two-track fire road with easy footing,
allowing your eyes and heart to rove widely.
The way is open. I have asked the guardians to guide the appropriate people to embark on our hike to the Gateway into the Heart of the Mountain. Are you one of them? If so, let us know, and we will make this short pilgrimage together.
This has been a difficult year for some of our relations on the mountain and in the woods.
The lack of rain for much of the winter has had the forest floor looking pale, a little brittle, and waves of brown tanoak leaves have brushed past me on winter hikes, partly the oak disease exacerbated by dryness. But recent welcome storms are turning that around. What a perfect time for us to bless and encourage the tree, plant and crawling people on a hike to the Gateway into the Heart of the Mountain.
Just as moss grows on the north side of the tree,
the north side of Apu Tamalpais was greening up last week. The springy fern-moss coats of the bay trees were finally looking vibrant, and the boulders have grown iridescent fur. Springs are seeping, creek washes are running, and everything has come alive. White milkmaids are popping out like pockets of late snow, and when you pass a thinner area in the canopy, the filtered sunlight has called out the magenta plumage of Indian Warriors. The level Northside Trail is imprinted with a mosaic of vivid dried leaves and the rejuvenated woods is infused with quiet joy. There should be even more flowers as the rain continues and spring unfolds.
From the spring, the trail is level and easy for about a mile to the Gateway at the base of a large outcropping of rock pushing out among the northside forest. We will have individual time there for each of us to make contact with the guardians and the heart of the mountain, to journey, meditate and come into balance with the strong presence there, and to see what it tells us.
When we are complete, we will proceed another level half-mile to a steeper shortcut, where we will engage our lungs and make a good moderate climb for about 10 minutes.The shortcut opens onto a fire road, from which we will be rewarded with a wide view of the stone massif above the Gateway, and then make a slow, steady climb for about 3/4 of a mile back to the Ridgecrest roadway. We will have completed three miles at this point, and will have the option to finish there or walk another half-mile or so back to our beginning point. (This will be about a three mile round trip, involving a downhill of 450' in elevation in .4 mile, a level stretch of about 1.5 miles, a moderately steep 10-15 minute section, and another gradual uphill trail of about 3/4 of a mile. The total ascent will be about 365' in elevation.)
We would love to have you with us on this hike on April 8th! Click here to register or for more information.
Registration is $40.
Details on logistics will be sent upon registration.
For forty years, Steve has been doing ceremony and hiking around the shoulders of our local mother-mountain.
On these visits to Mt. Tam, we will hike with mindfulness to key power spots, many secret or hidden from casual view. There, we will bond with the presence of the mountain, perform ceremony, make offerings and honor the local spirits. We will connect with the power and heart of the land, and with each other, heart to heart.
Steve Orsary is a shamanic practitioner, healer and poet who has hiked thousands of miles, many of them around Mt. Tam where he has walked every trail on the map and many that aren't. He and his wife, MaryAnn, work in Corte Madera where they practice Bioenergy Balancing, shamanic healing and body-centered psychotherapy. Read more about Steve.
Click to contact Steve. Limited to 10 participants. Feel free to send info about this hike to friends who might be interested.
Want to be added to our mailing list for future hikes? Click here for Steve's email address. Put "add me to your mailing list for future hikes" in the subject line, and send it to us.