Friday, September 16, 2011

9/16/11—Touching Primeval

Today's Draw: The Hermit from the Mythic Tarot. Have you ever been on a Vision Quest? Does the idea of spending time alone in the woods scare or excite you? What fears might you have to overcome to pursue something like that...or do you even want to?

The Hermit is one of the cards I identify most with in the tarot. He is the one who walks alone...searches within...retreats from life...pursues ever-deepening wisdom.

There have been a few times in my life that I've craved some sort of vision quest. A vision quest is a Native American spiritual quest in which someone sets out into nature alone without food or shelter for a few days. Typically, they'll find a spot somewhere, surround a small area with stones and stay within the stone circle the entire time. These extreme conditions leave the individual with nothing but themselves and the spirits as counsel. It's not unheard of for someone to die on a vision quest.

Now, I'm not really looking for conditions that extreme. I've set out for Lewes, Delaware in the off-season to spend time at the beach alone, for example...haha. One time I stayed in a lodge on Skyline Drive and did a rather challenging hike to see a number of waterfalls. That was in March, I remember, and some of the rocks were icy. I kept shedding and donning layers—from shorts to fully covered—based on my level of exertion. There were certainly times I was in shorts and sweating up a storm in 30-some degree weather. On the way back up, I kept trading resting spots with a group of Boy Scouts who, I'm proud to say, weren't as prepared for the exertion as myself. This was back when I was fit, though.

The most recent time, I got a hankering to go camping. I had never been camping before. I wanted to go alone, but a friend insisted I take her since I had never been before. It was a good thing she came because I was afraid of bears the entire time...haha. Plus, she is a total outdoors woman, so she was a good first companion. I had 175 lbs of dogs with that time and I remember that I was left about 2" of air mattress for myself and the only way I got any pillow space was if I was nose-to-nose with Passion, my enormous, warm-breathing dog. So that's kind of roughing it.

It's fair to say that I haven't done anything like this alone for the past 12 years or so. I really don't go anywhere without my dogs. On one hand, I really don't want to do anything without them. I wouldn't be able to focus without them at my side. Keep in mind, I'm with them 24 hours a day, most days. But on the other hand, they can really suck as companions in nature because they won't sit still. This is fine if they're off leash, but most places they have to be on leash. You can't just sit and enjoy a beautiful view with them. The only exception was one time at the beach when we sat there for hours. It was a rare 80 degree day in March...a weekday. And we had the entire place to ourselves. 

Anyway, as you might have guessed, what this is all coming to is that I need something like this now. And I'm not talking about a vacation. Sure, I could use a vacation. But I'm talking about a spiritual quest of some sort that's a little rugged, a little isolated, a little rustic and a lot natural. Something where the spiritual journey eclipses my lodging experience. It's not going to happen anytime soon, because I'm so fully booked until I take my real vacation in October. And that is a nice leaf-peeping experience at my isolated, very natural, but quite nice and accommodating B&B. 

You know, earlier this week we spoke of that fire and smoke, aboriginal connection. I feel so disconnected from that right now. So there's a yearning, a need inside me. Ritual is a way of getting there, as we discussed the other day. And so is a vision quest-y kind of journey. Actually, so is sexual attraction in its own way, which is what we talked about yesterday. In the absence of that, however, I'm probably more likely to use ritual and maybe some out-of-body sort of meditation at this juncture because it's all I can get lost for an hour or so. But I could use so much more. Do you ever feel this urge to connect to the primeval you yourself?

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