When you feel a strong intuitive call, do you answer?
In the late spring of 2018, over the course of several weeks, I felt this extremely persistent message that I was supposed to be traveling the country. I knew it wasn’t meant to be a vacation. I knew it was Spirit calling me and I knew that it had something to do with my soul’s growth and purpose. When it’s Spirit calling, how can I help but say yes?
What was I supposed to do on this journey? (I knew it wasn’t a trip; it was a journey. There is a profound difference.) I decided I would be communing with nature, visiting sacred sites, offering prayers at “the wounded places,” and writing about the experience. I knew it my heart this would be a sacred journey. I began to realize it would be a pilgrimage.
At first I was fantasizing about outfitted vans or motor homes or pick-up trucks towing a tiny house. But as the last day of work approached and I realized I wouldn’t have enough money for these more luxurious items, I started purchasing camping equipment. The important thing was to go. The important thing was to start. I needed to show Spirit that I was willing to answer the call, no matter what.
The journey began August 22, 2018. It turned out to be so much more profound than I expected. There was definitely a strong inner component to the outer journey. And the inner journey has been very rich. (To get a brief glimpse, read The Peace, Power and Challenges of Pilgrimage)
As I traveled, the reasons for the journey continued to unfold. One of the more important things I was being called to do was offer a lot of prayer. I had become very sensitive to the many areas on this continent where there have been massacres of native people. It feels very important to me that those of us with white skin acknowledge these specific atrocities and offer heartfelt prayers for the spirits of those who were killed and the hearts of those who remain. We all suffer from these unhealed wounds of pain, anger, and grief; as well as guilt and shame.
Most of us have heard of Wounded Knee due to Dee Brown’s seminal book, but very few of us have ever heard of the huge massacres of the Tolowa people near Crescent City, CA or the Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek, Colorado or the Tompiro in the Sandia Mountains, NM or the Pequot in Mystic, Connecticut. All of these massacres resulted in even more deaths than those at Wounded Knee. And yet, most of us were never taught this! The land holds the energy of the suffering, and those descendants who live on hold the heaviness in their hearts.
Occasionally I will stumble upon other things that trigger the empathic part of me, like piles and piles and piles of trees at lumber yards, or tiny “veal” houses at a dairy farm . (The day I saw those little white shelters at the dairy farm was a very, very difficult day. Fortunately there were no calves inside them at the time. I returned to offer prayers nearby the following day. I prayed for the calves and the cows and a change of heart among the farmers. I prayed long. I will be writing about this in more depth, too, you can be sure.)
After “heavy” experiences, I am learning I need to restore my spirit in a place of sublime beauty or power. I think this is something we all have to learn to allow space for. This is a really challenging time on the planet. We have to care for that sensitive part of ourselves which suffers from it all.
The itinerary below reflects the path traveled thus far:
REVISED ITINERARY for the First Few Months (updated 10/1/18)
- Powerful Castle Crags and sacred Mt. Shasta, CA
- North to Ashland, Oregon
- West on Rte. 96 along the Klamath River, through Happy Camp and Orleans (home to Native people and purported home of Bigfoot)
- The redwoods at Humbolt and Del Norte Counties, CA
- Crescent City, CA — Jedediah Smith Redwood Park and site of Tolowa massacre (prayer ceremony)
- North to Bandon, OR (prayer ceremony)
- North along the western coast, stopping at various places to commune with the ocean
- Sand Dunes of Oregon
- East to Christmas Valley, OR
- Northeast to Montana –Polson; Flathead Reservation of the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreilles; Glacier National Park; Garden of 1000 Buddhas
For most of October, I stayed in the northwestern section of Montana, south of beautiful Flathead Lake in Polson and also in the sweet village of Arlee. I was really blessed to get to know both wonderful, intuitive (non-native) women and, gradually, members of the local tribal people as well, including one elder who is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. It is such a blessing to begin to feel embraced in a new community. The fact that I so quickly felt loved and welcomed is a testament both to Montana’s people and to the spirits who called me there. (Yes, I had quite an amazing mystical experience and sacred dream while camping in the spectacular Mission Mountains!)
In November, through the beautiful generosity of several friends, I was able to travel down to Santa Fe, NM where I was scheduled to give a talk called “The Guiding Light of Our Inner God Self.”
I am currently on a small hiatus from the “official” pilgrimage. My initial focus after giving the talk was completing my book, Grief and Grace: Essays on Love and Beauty in the Midst of Dying. (Now published through Amazon. Or you can get a signed copy by sending me a message. See “Written Work” elsewhere in this website.) Now I am working on generating some income for the next leg of the pilgrimage (heading east), which I hope to do sometime in the middle of 2019. Meanwhile I will be making day trips or short excursions to Madrid, Albuquerque, and Taos, NM, as well as to Crestone, CO and possibly to Colorado Springs.
I don’t yet know all the reasons I am being asked to stay here in Santa Fe a while, but I trust that it is all for a higher purpose. (And I also hope to return to Montana at some point. I felt a real heart-spirit connection there.)
The journey continues. One step at a time. One day at a time.
THE LIFE OF A SPIRITUAL NOMAD
I am continuing to write about my experiences on this sacred journey. There is a lot to share and process. Thank you for bearing with me as I complete this next writing project.
NEXT LEG OF THE JOURNEY
So, I have work and other commitments lined up in the Santa Fe area through April. After that, my hope is to drive east to Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and then hopefully northward toward New England.
I will be doing everything I can to save up money for this trip, and, if anyone wants to contribute by making a donation, I would be truly grateful. I am also working on acquiring a truck or van, which will make it easier to navigate difficult weather and terrain and also to haul my gear and books. Eventually I hope to manifest a camper or mini-home-on-wheels so that I can travel cost-effectively wherever and whenever Spirit leads.
If you can help, I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!!
Big bountiful blessings to you as we each work in our way to create a better world.