31 May 2011

Peninsula Adventure

I had a fantastically witchy Memorial Day weekend.  I went out to the Olympic Peninsula with a covenmate and basked in nature for two and a half days.  No, shadow work doesn’t have anything to do with nature and yes, I do most of my workings indoors, but I’m still a Pagan and I still love being out in nature.  Although the Cascades are my normal haunt when I want to get out, the Peninsula does have a special place in my heart.  One thing that the Peninsula has going for it that there are so very few people out there.  Apart from a few towns and villages, the Peninsula is largely uninhabited – most of it being state or national park or forest.  This gives it a special feeling of primitive wildness that is unmatched just about anywhere else I frequent.  Then there’s the rainforest.  If you haven’t been out to the Hoh Rainforest you’re missing out, just bring a really good raincoat or deal with being damp.

We got out to the Peninsula on Saturday evening, settling into our hotel in Forks.  We spent the evening drinking tea, doing massive amounts of tarot work, and generally figuring out how to direct our magickal lives for the next year or so.  I am blessed with some amazing tarot readers as friends and what I learn never ceases to amaze me.  One of the really important concepts that we explored was the idea of grounding and centering in deity.  Normally, when you ground and center you envision excess/unwanted energies flowing out of you and into the ground and then envision ambient/natural energies flowing into you and helping to anchor your magicks by centering your physical and etheric bodies together.  A common way of doing this is to envision yourself as a tree with roots going down into the earth to allow unwanted energy to flow out and branches reaching up into the sky to take in the energy of the universe.  This works just fine 99.999% of the time, but not always – particularly if you’re in a location with unpleasant energy or if the ambient energy just isn’t compatible with you.  The best way to deal with that sort of scenario is to just ground and center into a different location.  All of this work is done energetically by envisioning things, so there’s nothing to keep you from envisioning your roots growing into a particular location (like Mt. Rainier or Stonehenge) rather than where you happen to be.  However, if you have a very close relationship to a particular deity you might be able to get their permission to ground and center into the energy of that deity.  If you can get that kind of permission, then your deity will tell you how to go about doing so.  It’s a little bit disturbing and the results are a little like being half drawn down all day (having deity almost inhabiting you, but not quite).  I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless your deity actually tells you to, but it would be useful in an emergency where you needed every bit of energy you could get.

The next day we went hiking, first in the Hoh and then out to Cape Alava.  Every time we go to the Hoh we do the Hall of Mosses trail – a short (3/4 mile) walk through some really spectacular trees covered in moss.  After lunch we made the drive out to Lake Ozette to the Cape Alava trailhead.  The trail is a little over six miles round-trip (there’s a 9.2 miles loop that we decided against this time ‘round) on a boardwalk through the rainforest.  It is some of the most spectacularly beautiful and powerful wilderness I know.  Walking through the trees you can feel the power of the place coming through your feet and wafting off the trees.  It’s the sort of place that makes you think of magick and fairytales, as if an elf could come walking out of the woods at any moment.  There was a particular stretch of trail near the beach we nicknamed “Narnia” because it felt so magickal and alive.  The trail leads to a stretch of wild coastline with nothing but a few tents and sea lions for miles.  Down on the beach we sat on a piece of driftwood during misting rain, munching on dried fruit and jerky just listening to the surf, watching the birds, and marvelling at the ocean.  It’s a trek, but it’s worth it.

On Monday morning we bid Forks farewell and began the drive back to civilization.  (No, I don’t consider Forks civilization – anywhere wild enough to wake up to otters playing outside is not civilization.)  We always like to stop at Lake Cresent on our way home just to enjoy the last glimpses of turquoise glacial water and rising mists.  This much natural energy will keep me going for the next month or two.

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