The last couple of weeks have been a Godsend—a deeply rich spiritual experience adorned with moments of sheer delight.
The Psycards USA funding arrived just in time to fund the excursion to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We decided against taking the RV because the nature of the trip required not just going and parking somewhere, but driving from here to there and back again. We left on Thursday the 18th, leaving the cats and the RV at Fisherman’s Corner in Hampton with our now-good friends Mandy and Dan. It was hot when we left, so we felt good about leaving them the air-conditioned RV to provide some relief.
|The view from Thompson Causeway, Thompson, Illinois.|
As we traveled north, we stopped at every mound along the river to pay respects to the spirits of the land, to the ancestors of the people. Along the way we viewed magnificent vistas, learned a little history and found dozens of “synchronicity” threads to my work and to my novel Bartleby: A Scrivener’s Tale, which was launched on Kindle recently.
We visited a bookstore in Galena, took photos of Herman Melville’s uncle’s house, traveled back roads to the Savanna Army Depot with its abandoned buildings being robustly reclaimed by nature to visit the overlook from the longest natural sand dune formation in Illinois, 70 feet above the Mississippi River. Shortly after we crossed into Wisconsin, we discovered The Grotto in Dickeyville. This amazing shrine was built by one man (with help from his parishioners) with materials from all over the world. It was a surprise discovery, I found it delightful.
We also checked out the campsites at Thompson Causeway for a future excursion. Nearing sunset we stopped at Wyalusing, WI, so I could wade in the River herself. We stopped for a drink in Ferryville and waited for the sunset, which was a beautiful as it promised.
We stopped at every historical marker—Rick called them “hysterical markers” because they sneak up on you so quickly and you have to respond immediately, as in “Quick! Pull over here and read this sign!”
We intended to spend the night in LaCrosse, but couldn’t find an affordable hotel, so we moved on to Winona in Minnesota and stayed in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Bluff at the (you guessed it!) Sugar Loaf Motel.
Friday morning we launched out early heading for Minneapolis, and learned more about the Mississippi River when we came upon Lake Pepin. Lake Pepin is still the Mississippi River, but here it has been slowed to form a natural lake. Lake Chippewa is a tributary river that empties into the Mississippi at a steep angle, and because of this, it deposited more silt than the Mississippi could carry away, forming a kind of natural dam. The Mississippi backed up upon itself and formed Lake Pepin—the widest natural part of the river at an average of 1.7 miles. It is also rumored to be home to lake monster “Pepie” but we didn’t see any sign of unusual creatures outside of the human variety.
We arrived in the Twin Cities and found our hotel, only to discover that it was a second floor room with no elevator. No way we were going to be able to carry our bags upstairs! Rick’s back and shoulders and weight-lifting limitations from the hernia surgeries put him out of the bell-boy business a long time ago, and I have the tendonitis and the bad elbow from packing last year, as well as my own chronic low back troubles. At those rates, I expected either an elevator or a bellhop!
Cedric Red Feather had mentioned to me on the phone that a number of folks were staying at the AmericInn in Coon Rapids, so we went there. At first, the desk clerk told me there were no rooms left, until I asked for smoking. Ta-da! A room magically opened up. (First advantage smoking has given me in a long time.)
We met Cedric’s group at the Bunker Park Stables for a trail ride. I was thrilled because I haven’t had a chance to ride in many years (18, I think), and I had never ridden with Rick. I was assigned a horse named Eli, and Rick was to be placed on Zeus—a big Belgian.
After the ride, we all traveled to Cedric’s apartment house, the Oaks of Lake George. There we ate and introduced ourselves to each other. Cedric announced the plans for the weekend and roles everyone would play in the ceremony to come Saturday night. Regalia was gifted and I was surprised and delighted to receive my own shawl with the patch that read “Mandan Dreams: Lake George Spirit Gathering.” It boasted a Kokopelli in the sunset near a lake. Beautiful synchronicity!
It was such an honor to be included with this powerful group of spiritual leaders and medicine people. I’m still not certain how I came to be included, but I am deeply grateful.
One of the gathering, Sherman Sierra, invited us to attend his lecture the following morning at the Best Western next to the AmericInn. He was at the gathering with his wife, Sariah, an elvin-like being of deep mystery and eternal innocence, and his father- and mother-in-law, a deeply spiritual Mormon couple.
The next morning I attended Sherman’s lecture titled “Anthropology 101”—which was basically an exploration of Native oral histories, the Bible and the Book of Mormon. While I didn’t necessarily agree with all of Sherman’s conclusions, I was fascinated by the clues and information regarding pre-Columbian Native history. Sherman told us that this was an historic moment, because never before has this collection of reasoning been presented to anyone outside the Mormon Church, or Native gatherings.
It was filled with references to the Tower of Babel, the Adamic (or Ur) language; touched on Findhorn, elves and fairies, vortices, ley lines, spear points found in both Turkey and the Virginia Piedmont area, flying saucers, and the Melchizedek priesthood. Now this may all sound a little too woo-woo, but trust me, it was fascinating and I look forward to doing more research. Also, this brief list does no justice at all to the presentation given by Sherman.
With this spirit-mind-thinking so stimulated, we all gathered at Lake George State Park to have a picnic and to share our skills. I learned the right way to wear my regalia, listened to Cedric tell of prophecies, had my aura tuned by Katherine Kennedy, and had enriching conversations with a number of people over the course of the afternoon.
It was hot but I managed to survive the trail ride and the picnic without having any hint of heat stroke. We broke for dinner—Rick and I went back to the hotel—then reconvened at Lake George around 6:30. We gathered our staffs together and Cedric and helpers set them up in a sacred circle. Inside the circle was placed a buffalo robe and a white buffalo robe, as well as an alter with buffalo skulls. We could place objects before the alter to be blessed. I placed my newly gifted rose quartz, my newly acquired Lemurian crystal, my Psycards, and a picture of Kyle (symbolically including Mary Ellen and baby-to-be). Rick thought at first that he didn’t have anything, then he was inspired to put his keys on the blanket for blessings on all our travels.
No photos were allowed of the ceremony, as this was private and sacred, so you will have to rely on my own faulty memory. We gathered around 7:30 and began to chant and drum. Players with assigned roles came and were blessed and danced and sang for specific purposes. There were channeled messages, prayers, songs, chants—and mosquitoes! But despite the thick swarm of insects, I received not one single mosquito bite that evening. At one point during the ceremony, we saw a flash of light over the center of the lake—a significant event, in my view, and confirmation that we were connected to the spirit world in a very powerful way. We continued this way until long after dark and although I didn’t have any direct or personal epiphany, I felt included in this important prayer for the world.
The next morning, exhausted, we rested and watched TV in the hotel room. I went for a swim and sat in the hot tub to ease my muscles from riding and from walking so much at the park. Late in the afternoon, Rick and I were able to get our aura photos taken by Katherine and her dad, Larry. Then it was off to Stillwater for our final gathering on a paddle-wheel boat for a sunset dinner cruise on the St. Croix River.
I will leave the pictures I have posted on Facebook here and here to tell the rest of the story of the Lake George gathering.
Next post: The Trip Home.