Mysterious Mount Shasta

Hello everyone – here is an email about Mt Shasta and a bit of what I’ve been up to ….

First – I got it wrong – the mountain is not ‘made’ of amethyst, but is often referred to as ‘the amethyst mountain’.
There are awesome professional photos of Mt Shasta – check them out on Google Images.
The above photo was taken by Robbyne, and those below by me (the third one during severe drought.   Without her customary cloak of snow the mountain seemed to be bearing her skin and basking in the sun.

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Some interesting facts about Mt Shasta:-
  • The mountain has a tendency to attract unusual cloud formations, (some spectacular versions of which you will see on Google Images)
  • Pilots give it a wide berth because their instruments are affected if they go too near.
  • The mountain has its own weather system
  • Glaciers are getting bigger on the mountain, but are shrinking elsewhere on the globe
  • A large bushfire went all around the mountain, but did not go on it or up it (and the surrounding forest continues up the slopes)
  • Plans for a top dollar ski resort came to an abrupt halt because the mountain sent an avalanche straight down the hill, in that exact spot, and the area is still devastated.
  • The mountain is loved dearly by the locals, and has many special spots that locals love to hike too, including lakes (one in a heart shape), waterfalls, forests, gardens, springs and meadows.
  • There are numerous reports from locals of unusual experiences and happenings, and various legends that circulate regarding the mountain.
  • If you google Mount Shasta, as I did before I went, you will read all sorts of things.
The mountain has been held as sacred for many thousands of years, by different people from different places – and the mountain itself is said to be very very ancient.
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The European settlers quickly realised that this place was special – and started to travel here for cures.  Before then a collective of indigenous tribes acted as guardians of this place – and the mountain was reserved for medicine business, vision quests, and other matters of importance and reverence.  I have heard it said that the tribes of the area, despite their various wars and disagreements, all unanimously kept the mountain sacred and never fought their wars on that land or brought their disagreements there.
What is very interesting is the water that gushes forth out of the mountain (which later becomes the Sacramento river) and is legendary itself.  We went to the source waters today – and the waters literally do just gush out of the side of the mountain, and tumble down the hill in little pools and waterfalls.  They are tested as being 99% purity, of the highest vibration, and it is said that the waters take about 50 years to pass through the mountain, which is why they are so filtered and so pure.
Even the tap water is Mt Shasta water, we drink it, brush our teeth in it, bathe in it … but most local people (and many from further afield) travel to the headwaters with empty bottles and just fill up there where it bubbles out of the mountain.
There is a bit of a theme of water this visit –   and much time invested in personal cleansing, and de-toxing, and removing layers of embodied stress with massages, the kind that are designed to get right in and sort out all the painful bits.
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So I have been having a series of these interesting things called an Ionic Foot Bath.  It is for detoxing.  It is a little pail of water with some sea salt added.  Then you put your feet in.  A gadget involving stainless steel and copper is put in.   The lady explained it.  Something to do with the combination of your bodily energy and the salt creates a current through the water.  It helps the salt draw the toxins out into the water.  Then the copper reacts with the different toxins and colours them, which allows the lady to identify where the toxins have come from – to analyse  – ie one colour means toxins from around your joints, another means toxins from the liver, another means from kidneys, and so on.  It was pretty wild to put my feet into clear water – doze off – and later wake up to see my feet resting in a swirling frothy range of very yucky colours.  Horrible.  Absolutely horrible to think that all came out of my Feet!!!!!   I got a real fright and drank orange and mango juice with dinner that night instead of wine.  Robbyne thought this was hilarious and said the toxins in my footbath were more likely from with acidity caused by stress than wine.
……… food for thought …….
Also went to a place called Stewart Mineral Springs – where the water is so full of minerals that it feels silky and viscous and slippery against your skin.  They are Shasta waters and so very pure and cold.   You repeat this particular procedure three times.  You have a Mineral Spring Bath in whatever temperature you choose (10 minutes), then you go into s sauna which is piping hot (10 minutes, or as long as you can stand) – THEN – you go outside and plunge into a pool in the river, which is VERY COLD, to wash all the toxins off.
The first time around I yelped and yelped and got out of that river quicker than you can say ‘river’.
The second time I didn’t yelp as much, but I got out of that river quicker than you can say ‘river’.
The third time around I knew I had to duck my head in – you will be proud of me, I didn’t yelp, got my head under, then I was out of that river quicker than you can say ‘river’.
First I felt like crying because I felt stunned and sooky.  Then I got over that and felt AWESOME! (and I have been bragging about it ever since.)  I recommend it.  I really think it does wonders, that mineral soak, then sweating and then cold water.  Good for blood circulation if nothing else.   To make me feel better Robbyne told me that she brings people here from all over the world and so far the only ones who haven’t yelped in the river were some Swiss people, who glided elegantly in and out, and a group of Japanese people who went paddling around in that freezing cold water as if it were a pool on the Gold Coast.  She said her husband flatly refuses to go in.   He does not like the cold.
Here is a photo of Robbyne and her husband Guy in the Peace Garden at Mt Shasta.
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The Peace Garden is this place which is quite amazing.
A local couple have set aside a portion of their own land as a Peace Garden, which they have created, and maintained with their own funds, and built with their own time.  It is open to the public, anyone at all, from sunrise to sunset each day.  It has its own roadside entrance.  There is no fee and noone standing at the entrance.  It is just free time in a lovely place that is full of people’s heartfelt prayers.
The garden has little sections dedicated to different themes, one with a statue of Mother Mary, one with a statue of Quan Yin, one with a statue of St Francis and a copy of his prayer, one set aside for your own prayer flags, one for an obsidian stone circle, one with a labyrinth, etc.  It is beautiful.  Below are some photos.
The personal prayer flags are particularly beautiful.  There are strips of fabric and pens provided for free in a little box tucked under one of the small trees.  And you can just go there alone, in your own time, and write a prayer.  Robbyne says you write 3 prayers on a strip of fabric, one for yourself, one for your family and close friends, and the third for the global community; then you find a spot on a tree to tie your own prayer flag so it can blow in the wind and send your prayers off into ‘the outer’.  As you can see from the photos the prayer flag idea is very very popular.
The labyrinth is an allegory for the twisting, turning, mysterious path of life, and you can walk alone in that labyrinth, right there under the gaze of the mountain, in peace and quiet, pondering whatever you choose to ponder.
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The other beautiful thing about the garden is that we suddenly saw a magnificent cat.
I have nicknamed him “Mr Mt Shasta” …
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Robbyne took me onto the mountain to a beautiful area of woodland, sitting much higher up than the thick fir forests which coat the slopes of the mountains all round.  Here the trees were thinner and covered in lichen, and there are many boulders left lying around in tumbled piles, from the mountain’s days as an active volcano.  To me it felt like a landscape that exists outside of time.  It was beautiful memorable time spent there.
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Tomorrow we go to a waterfall, which awaits at the end of a spectacular hike through woods, then to a sacred stone on the mountain which lies high above the treeline, and then to the Grandmother Wisdom Tree.  This of course is the plan at present – but our plans have been changing themselves along the way, and we have been going with the flow, and adapting ourselves to whatever comes.
Anyway – that’s all for me
I hope you have some fun looking up pictures of Mt Shasta on Google Images … if you have time …. it’s worth a quick peek!
12 October 2013, Mt Shasta (northern california) USA
Postscript – since this first trip, inspired by my 2012 Bali journey with Robbyne, I have returned to Shasta many times.  I went from being reticent about going to the mountain (because I had read so much strange stuff on the internet) to being reluctant to leave the mountain.  If you are interested in experiencing this place I would encourage you to do so.  You can go there alone, as plenty of people do, or if you would like contact Robbyne she can arrange personal journeys either for a single person, a couple, or a small group, her website is http://www.whitewolfjourneys.com.  You will see the mountain in a different way if you do …..
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