I climbed up through the trunk, came out among the branches.  The sunlight streamed through the leaves, a light wind caused them to dance, and I took in the fresh, crisp air.  It was beautiful.  I stood among the limbs of my towering oak and reveled for a moment in the feeling.  And when I lowered my eyes to the leaves themselves, I saw that they were curling, drying, dying.  Not all, but most.  It was not the correct season for this, I realized with exclamation.  Down to the roots I went, through the trunk, the internal staircase spiraling downwards and widdershins, and I came out among the roots, deep in the Earth.  The cavern underneath the mighty oak was damp with water, the walls glistening as per usual, but the water was stagnant.  The natural spring and underground stream that fed the roots was plugged up.  There was a blockage; more than one, I sensed.  The only way to make sure my tree would be healthy again would be to address these hindrances, face them, come to terms with them, and let them pass.  My massive, towering oak, my Axis Mundi, my Middle Pillar, was in dire need of healing, of tender loving care, of focused attention.

No matter how tall the tree, no matter the amount of sunlight it receives, without a proper root system, without proper water and nourishment from the soil, it will tire, grow ill and eventually topple.  Address the ills, and visit with Shaman Warrior for healing.  Shaman knows what to do.

I came out of my meditation, nestled in the make-shift lean-to/hut that someone had built up against Rose Oak, my towering oak tree friend located in the Lockport Nature Trails.  From afar it looked as if someone had simply leaned loose branches up against her, but upon closer inspection I could see that it was an intended structure, complete with a square doorway.  It instantly brought to mind an image of a Shaman’s hut, where one would go for healing.  I couldn’t help but admire it, and it felt so right to me that it would be there, up against my friend who has brought me comfort, healing and interesting perspectives in the past.  I had crawled in, admired it from the inside, leaned up against my friend and closed my eyes, going into my meditative space.

Shaman Hut Rose Oak

Upon rousing from the meditation, I had my charges: heal thyself, and visit with Shaman Warrior, my healer guide, for aid.  Shaman is an interesting character; I do now know if Shaman is male or female, but I suspect s/he is two-natured or two-spirited.  At first, I perceived a very male energy from Shaman, but over time that energy changed to female, occasionally switching back and forth.  I have never seen Shaman’s face, as this guide wears a large wooden tiki-like mask and is covered in white furs; all I ever see are hands and feet, the staff Shaman carries in the left hand and the knife in the right hand.  More and more, my guide reminds me of masked Princess Mononoke.

As I thanked Rose Oak for her support and exited the structure to return to the world, I was reminded of the Peyote ceremony that I took part in last year, how I felt that I had been reborn as I exited the tipi.  That was my end goal now, I knew – rediscovering who I am, redefining Me, figuring out and becoming that which I want to be, that which will best continue my Path of Love, Compassion, Understanding, Empathy, and Service.

Lightest and Darkest Blessings.