At this moment in life the weather is changing and metamorphosis is happening all around us. The trees, plants, water, and the earth echo the changes that happen within our hearts. Letting go, allowing the death to creep in through dormancy into the heart of the mother earth. Returning to the deep soil for reflection and preparing for winter to take us into the time of slow movement, rest, creativity, and focus inward.
As life shifts all around us and many demanding thoughts come in from the media bombarding our sense of peace and connection to what matters, I only know how to bow in gratitude for being surrounded by those such as you who make my life better every day.
In this moment I only have gratitude for every day that I arise on this earth to live my passion. It was not always this way for me, and I remember writing the poem below in 2012 during a time when I was ready to make the ever-pressing change the earth and my heart desired. After two years of healing and education in herbal medicine with plants, I left my job in 2014 after an autumn of releasing and letting go of all that was causing me turmoil and pain. Heading into my passion of being an herbalist, yoga teacher, and answering the call to helping others in the crossroads of their life through the modalities I have and continue to learn.
For the past three years, I have been gifted support from my family, friends, and most importantly the plants. I am so appreciative of the continued opportunities to serve my purpose offering herbal consultations, creating wild crafted herbal medicines, teaching and learning yoga under the Dharma lineage, releasing blockages from those who work with me, learning music, healing with many different plants, integration sessions of plant medicines, traveling creating community, and most importantly serving my home community of DC.
Today, with all that is going on in the world, I want to write to let you know that I love you! I am so appreciative to have this family to share my gratitude for the plants. I am finding so much solace in morning herbal teas, sacred meditations with plants, walks in the mountains, and the changing colors of autumn.
by: April Rameé
Leaves change and fall
Hearts break and split
People lose hope
As the weather turns from sunshine to rain
Those we love break down and die
With the autumn changes
Tears flow and memories of summer fade
The bittersweet beauty of autumn
Rings hard in the collective unconsciousness
Calling us to reflection
Cementing truths unbreakable
Impermanence rains supreme
Bow down to nature
For no matter where you are
Concrete jungle to remote landscapes
You are one with Mother Earth
Last time I wrote, I was off to travel through Upstate NY to complete vision quest and see my family. The journey was very difficult and amazing at the same time. The second year of vision quest, no eating or drinking water for four days, was a challenge. I felt my body burning away old thoughts, karmas, and emotions physically. There was no sense of comfort as my pain overtook every inch of my body, a complete 180 degrees from the previous year where it was so easy. Each year is a different gate of the four directions and an element following the healing of the medicine wheel. The first year is East or air, second year is South or Fire, third year is west or water, and the fourth year is North or earth.
Fire represents purification for the body, spirit, and soul. I felt this purification as my body, spirit, and emotions were greatly challenged. However, the vision delivered itself in the early evening before the last day. I am not able to discuss the vision, as it is important to hold this information close to ones heart and soul to honor the sacred creative process.
I returned home and got to work immediately on the next adventure….SOLAR ECLIPSE AND BURNING MAN!As with most things in life, I thought it would take me way less time than it really did, causing me to not write for more than a month! However, I am back! Here to continue to prove to myself that I have all the tools to travel, work, and stay connected in a good way.
The adventure begins at 12:30am on August 21, 2017! We drive non-stop, taking turns sleeping and driving as we head towards Kentucky. The plan is Hopkinsville for the full solar eclipse, which there is 2min and 40seconds of darkness. As spirit would have it though we ended up in Bowling Green, KY with no solar eclipse glasses but a kind stranger gave us two pairs and we were in the most beautiful park, crystals laid out and the purification of the solar eclipse begins. I have never in my life seen such a beautiful site! Pedro took amazing photos of the total solar eclipse. I can’t help but draw the correlation between the fire sit of vision quest, the total solar eclipse, and my 33rd year all as a way of purifying my spirit for the next part of my life where the visions are guiding my work.
Purified by the Sun,
Warrior of the Light & Founder of Antler Alchemy
The waters are the main focal point since the beginning of my flight into Bogotá. I flew over and saw the beautiful mountains but wonder where all the water is? I step off the plane and the first thing my friend asks me for is a part of the water I carry to combine with other sacred waters from around the world. Next we arrive to the Lagoon Madre Cambia to bless the waters there, I ask for permission to be on the land, and share my humble, simple plan to spend my time in Colombia with no intention other than to observe.
During a Kogi song and prayer I vision appeared. I could see and feel the trickle of two small streams of water from the top of Mother mountain coming down under the growth of humanity into the lagoon. When I shared this meditation with my friend, he mentioned that is how the Lagoon is sourced from the Mother and Father mountain in the area.
Here is the video of the music I meditated to:
Crying a greater part of the way to Playa Blanca, Colombia was unexpected. Watching as I pass miles upon miles of beautiful ocean inaccessible from the road because there are miles upon miles of concrete creating walls that no one can go around, not even rain water. Diversion of rivers, pollution of the water and in some cases there is concrete just for the sake of there being concrete. Here I am paying money to be transported on a bus that is guzzling resources and emitting tons of gas to get to a local beach that everyone can go to, however, the beach is beside me along the road yet I nor anyone in the local community has any access. The waters of the mountains and the rains are not able to get to the beach due to the blockades of concrete. I can feel the destruction of the cycles and reflect on how this is common around the world. Of course the beach on Playa Blanca is beautiful even as I watch every one cram themselves into the ½ mile portion of beach that is open to the public. The process to get there was an hour long, hot, dry and ironic scene with people drinking bottles on bottles of plastic filled with soda rather than water.
In stark contrast, I now sit atop the Sierra’s and I see the flow of the water in the river cascading down the beautiful mountaintops with non-exclusive access to the purity of the water. There are decided places where water is diverted by small pipes to lead to homes, where they allow the water to run freely into a concrete pool allowing any overflow to feed the gardens, which are providing food. While this seems to be the perfect condition I still see the plastic and the trash though, it may not be as much as most places it is still there. I see the lack of compostable toilets and wonder where the shit is going after it begins its flow down the bucket flush toilets. I see the water run off the dishes and clothes that are being washed, but what type of soap are they using, are they taking note of what they are releasing? Even in pristine areas where they continue to close off from the outside world to prevent the abuse of Mother Earth it seems to be in its own way still contaminated by abuse.
I think abuse to the earth is inevitable at this moment as many people abuse themselves. It is fucking hard. It is not pretty and easy to overcome. It is so hard to learn to break the abuse cycle. I know, I lived it, and I live it. It is one of the hardest things I have ever worked on in my life. There is so much pain and abuse it can be overwhelming. There really appears to be no end in sight, but I am here to tell you that there is always an end that starts with a new beginning. Each step we take.
I am saying nothing new and that is part of the reason why I do not even want to speak most of the time because no one is listening. I only know how to live this existence at the moment and work on continuing breaking the cycles of abuse. Are you coming with me? Are you ready? Are you ready to let go of your comforts and be even more comfortable in life than you can imagine?
I know it is hard to be happy all the time. It is weird to not feel as though you need to worry about the next day, the future, where money is coming from, where food is coming from. I know it is strange to really be in control of your day-to-day life. It takes so much work, time and effort. People ask me what I do for work and I tell them I live, because it is a full time job when you do it right. I couldn’t ask for a better job. This work doesn’t feel like work, it feels like heaven on earth. I can feel my heart continuing to open each and every day. I can feel worries fall away, and I can feel abundance in every moment. The gift of life is truly more important than anything I could ever imagine. To really live this understanding is different than to know. Knowing it is surface level and can lead to lack of real movement and depression. I have been there too and sometimes wallow there in that space of hopelessness. Understanding the gift makes it easy to shed abuse, love myself, and love the people around me in all of our faults and follies.
Message from Mother Earth:
I love you all. I love every part of you. Love me back and spend your days in my arms as I shower you with abundance. Destroy the concrete you have put over me, the hard edges you have created and allow my waters, which are my emotions to run freely back to the sources. Allow my waters to bathe you in beauty and release your abuses. Stop abusing me so you can live without abuse. Let me create the hard layers you walk upon. Of course you can use my resources to create beautiful structures and live within, but let them be ones that crumble back into my existence when you are gone. Let me show you the abundance and love you as creatures walking upon my back deserve.
Don’t you know I can devour all your trash and everything you created in less than an instant? My heart is made of fire and lava that can melt anything you have created. My waters, representing my emotions, can surge to a point of rage where I can reclaim everything you created and wash it out to sea. I can recycle the gifts you use to create the world into a new precious metal. I can devour you whole. Why not live in harmony with me so you can prosper and your children’s children can prosper? Choose the opportunity to harness the powers I yield by creating harmonious structures and life.
Heal the abuse created by “THEY”. Wake up and realize YOU are THEY! There is no person in power who has control over your life and your resources. Only you have the power! There is no fucking “THEY” there is no “I”! There are no corporations, politicians, and people with all the money. “THEY” are an illusion a source you give away your power, so you can live in continued abuse because it is so much easier to push the responsibility on someone else. It is so much easier to be a victim and to be abused than to stand up and take back your power and take back your heart and live each day according to your purpose. That is hard. And your purpose is not to accomplish anything. Your purpose is to live in harmony and love yourself. Wow! That is a fucking tough job. Let go of all the illusions do not allow yourself to become the victim.
Life happens, so there will be pain only because so many people believe in this disillusioned paradigm. Let it go and step into the shade of my trees and watch as a family of trees sway peacefully in the wind. Living for such a long time tapping into the resources deep into my earth. Changing the hard matter into fruit for those to eat and for medicines for you to use. Notice as they take the minerals from the earth and the air and transmute them into usable materials.
What do you transmute? How is your body creating harmony on the planet? Learn this and you can understand how to live in harmony with yourself and others and the planet.
White Lunar Dog
I polarize in order to love
I seal the process of heart
With the lunar tone of challenge
I am guided by the power of spirit
I am a galactic activation portal enter me
The road to this trailhead is windy, narrow, unpaved, bumpy, and full of pines and stars. The scent is overwhelming peaceful, as I am crammed in the back seat with César as we slowly creep closer to Clear Creek trailhead. Thinking about the energy for the day, a White Dog GAP day, and how I am a White Self-Existing dog. I feel a deep love for my dear friend, spiritual brother, and an innate loyalty our soul contract requires. We are embarking upon a challenge guided by spirit set by an intention I made many years ago when I discovered Mt. Shasta existed, to climb up there, spend a night or two, and meditate for hours with the spirit of the mountain. My intention is similar to César’s, whose goal is to hike to the summit of the mountain.
Ali and Michelle drop us off at 21:27 at the Clear Creek trailhead. We prep our gear, fill out forms, and grab poop bags! WHAT?! I must be crazy. I am about to start a hike in the evening through woods I never seen before, with animals, and no way to use a bathroom except on a piece of paper with a target and bag to put human waste in. I pray I do not need to use the bathroom but at the same time I feel excitement for the journey. We start the hike at 21:35, an ascent from below the tree line to above the tree line is the goal before midnight. Headlamp leads the way as we wind through the dark tree line. Looking up to see the stars during occasional breaks. I see the moon hidden amongst the tree line, low in the sky, large, warm yellow orange peak through tree line at times as we twist and turn through the tall pine forest. The moon is in Gemini on the eastern horizon. While in the western horizon Vega is bright in the sky and is a constant companion as we hike in the dark, leading the way towards Mt. Shasta’s peak.
22:11 – We are at a clearing and the waning gibbous moon is higher in the sky with Orion chasing after the moon. Vega still sits above the top of Mt. Shasta and we almost don’t need a headlamp to light the path. Shasta’s snowy peak gleams and beams in the night sky and only if my camera could capture the beauty, the stillness, the peace.
23:15 – A slow ascent but we are at a full clearing and Vega begins to set beyond the peak of Shasta. I see a red shooting star beam into the mountain and feel a sense of accomplishment for taking on an adventure outside of my comfort zone, but something I’ve always dreamed about. I recall a friend who I associate shooting stars with and know that he is right there with me at that moment experiencing the epic night sky through my senses and is guiding me on the path with love. The idea of being on this mountain so high up watching the sky rotate as we revolve around the Earth’s axis brings an eternal smile to my face. I know that when I am older and smile lines are etched in my skin this is one of the experiences that helped mark me with the beauty of that wrinkle. What more is there to life?
Star Date 220.127.116.11 Kin 211
Blue Electric Monkey I activate in order to play Bonding illusion I seal the process of magic With the electric tone of service I am guided by the power of vision I am a galactic activation portal enter me
00:00 – Happy Halloween! We are above the tree line and hear the babbling creek, which means there is water and we are close to where we should camp for the evening. The moon is high in the sky and lights our way as we abandoned the headlamp for the moon an hour ago. On the left of the trail appears to be the perfect spot to camp, soft, not too many rocks, some small bushes to block part of the wind. We collect water from the stream and set up camp. I purposefully make sure the tent doors are facing the East and West. East towards the mountain range horizon where the continuous stars emerges from the other side of the world. The west contains the peak of Mt. Shasta, which I stare at before going to sleep in awe at the beauty of the snow-covered peak reflecting the brightness of the moon.
05:00 – Alarm goes off. The sun is still asleep lighting the other part of the world, but Venus, Jupiter, and Mars look so beautiful in the sky in Virgo. Almost in a straight line in the sky and I honor Venus and the planets and stars as I step out into the cold morning air. The moon illuminates but not so much that I can’t see the stars. Orion is still in the sky following the moon closer to the peak of Mt. Shasta and it is one of the most beautiful sights in my life. The early morning sky with Venus my lover up high in the east, what more is there to life? Seriously? I fall back to sleep and dream prophetic visions of which are too hard to explain.
06:55 – I open the tent door and the colors are magnificent. A yellow, orange hue of early first sunrise. The planets are still out to play. César preps and leaves for his ascent higher as I keep the tent door open after walking around some to watch the sun rise with protection from the cold and wind. Sun gazing is always amazing but on this mountain with the peak of Mt. Shasta behind me and the mountain ranges in front of me….the first rays of the sun comes over the mountains. I have seen some beautiful sunrises before but this one is definitely in the top 5. This is why I came here; to see the stars, to see the sunrise, to feel the mountain energy as I sleep under peak, to feel the vibrations and sound of the mountain, to see the patterns unknown to my eyes while I stare at the sun restructuring and it strengthens my eyes. The dreams are so intense on the mountain; old lovers, friends, and people I never met before visit me. We frolic on adventures and rejoice in peace and love. I stay awake until 8am forgetting today is a Rainbow Meditation day and yet I some how feel a surge of energy as I am in deep meditation around this time. Eventually I fall back into a state of visions and dreams.
10:00 – I emerge from the tent finally and the moon is still out. I watch it set beyond the peak in less than 3 min. I look around my surroundings; the full day sun is much different than the night, early morning, and sunrise. There is a rock, which I thought at one point in the night, was a bear, I yelled at it in the evening, but seeing it as a large rock now I laugh at myself and think this is where I am spending my day. Perched on the rock to stretch, lay out my crystals for charging, write poetry, meditate, and lay out and slab. Slab is a term I use for laying on rocks which capture the sun’s heat and transfer the warmth into my body. Therefore, I am smack in the middle of warmth from the sun and the rock. It works quite nicely all over the world in many locations.
11:00 – I sit here and write after a short yoga session on the massive rock, which obviously fell down from the peak. Crystals charge facing the peak, I listen to the sounds of the mountain; the wind, comes into my ears and tells me the secrets of the mountain, the water cascades down small bubbling creek in the distance, the tress below are rustling to one another with the wind, and the sun beams down as clouds pass through the mountain range. I spend hours staring up at the clouds that are above me and look down at the clouds that are below me. There are patterns in the clouds, there are patterns I see in my eyes but I am unsure how to explain their shapes and morphing. The clouds give away to images of unicorns, dolphins, and other mystical creatures. I think about César and what the view must look like from higher up the mountain, in moments I am transported to his eyes, a bird’s eye view above the clouds, atop different peaks of 360-degree views of mountains. I feel as though I am a space holder as he traverses above the clouds into 14,000ft. of lofty existence. I can feel the Earth pulsating beneath me and my body captures the lessons where my intelligent mind is unable to grasp the subtleties of sacred matter. Who wants the mind to cloud the pureness of nature? The body, spirit, and soul have a higher understanding of things unseen. All I know…this is the life as a pray for the return of my brother in one piece.
3:15 – César comes back into camp and is freezing, I drape him in his sleeping bag, offer warm tea, delicious snack, and warm blanket. He looks as if he has seen the unseen. His eyes are wide, hands are cold, hair is in all directions, and he is alive! He discusses his epic climb to the summit, above the clouds he stared at them for what seemed like hours. The same clouds I saw below he saw above and we share images, thoughts, and exasperated exclamations of how it is all so unexplainable. On his descent he fell multiple times, became lost, and wandered around the mountain hoping just hoping he could find camp. Luckily he embarked upon a large stone with an arrow we had seen the night before and back tracked, more like re-climbed the mountain again to return home. I am so happy he made it safely because I began to get nervous about his return, praying for him to be safe, and felt him searching, but as any older brother/sister I gave him a little smart-ass remarks on his return and said he has no right to complain since this is the journey he chose. He made it back just in time for him to warm up some, eat a snack, pack up and make it down in time to meet our ride. As there is no cell service and these things must be planned and committed to before departing the presence of those who are helping. The descent down is quick and painless. My focus is getting us to warmth especially after César hiked in a guayabera, a Cuban button down shirt and a small pull over Tibetan hoodie and rain jacket; basically not enough gear to actually stay warm 14,000 ft. Also hunger takes over as coconut strips and little bit of water was all there was to feed me. In the moment and reflection I am nothing more than grateful for his fearlessness to climb to the summit, to have the opportunity to support his quest by holding space energetically, physically, and in prayer, spend time in communion with Mt. Shasta, and the chance to experience the summit through his eyes. Each day since then is constant integration and understanding images I saw, vibrations I experienced, and the union of the stars/planets as they play on my life.