Sometimes, when we really pay complete attention, we are gifted with a communion that takes us out of our daily existence and into the 'real' experience of life.
Four summers ago I visited the Devoto Memorial Cedar Grove on Lolo Pass. This grove from the first moment I heard of it has been calling and gifting me deeply. Each summer since hearing the first call, I have returned and included one good friend to travel the grove with me. Each friend has experienced and brought to the Cedars' a much-needed piece.
My personal blend of sacred herbs & plants includes the cedar from this grove, my clearing tools include a large piece of bark from the Grandmother Tree magically shaped like a cedar feather fan. Every trip has been blessed with a special harvest of needles and bark, wisdom and words, strength & courage leaving behind gifts of my love and respect. These visits have been magic-filled.
In 2012 I was told not to go further than the first 10 feet which of course I gently challenged. Here was my first opportunity to step into a forest filled with ancient ancestors only to be asked to leave.
In 2013 hearing I needed to come and harvest cedar for a special blend I was to make, we arrived and heard repeatedly 'NO not here’. Finding nothing had fallen to the ground to gather we decided to head home. Winding back over the pass I heard a loud "Pull off Here" command and found myself face to face with 3 large cedar trees standing with branches loaded and offering their needles for sacred use.
Last summer brought me to the Grandmother Cedar. She had fallen across the trail blocking access to the area where I usually make my offerings and sit to drum. She beckoned me to lie upon her and be with her. Feeling the life still beating within her and hearing her song as I lay there took me to a deeper understanding of the magic between trees and me, actually all of this planet and me. I have always loved the place we call Earth. I have ached for her and cheered with her, shed tears for her and rallied for her, knowing that she will always forgive and continue to offer love to us. She has protected me and drawn me closer to my medicine ways. She has taken me home through her night sky and brought me back with the waking sun. Yet the visit last year laid me open. It carved the path for me to really grasp what was to be shown in the months ahead.
Grandmother Cedar gifted me with memories and bark from her fallen trunk. I took several pieces but stopped before she told me. I stopped because I did not want to be a glutton. This May as I prepared for my trip to Ireland & Glastonbury I gathered satchels of my sacred blend digging into my stash of cedar. It became evident in my preparations that I would soon be out of cedar needles and would need to ask to come harvest in the grove. As I visited Ireland I left offerings to the land and was gifted small pieces of the Irish landscape for the sacred grove here. Glastonbury welcomed my offerings of cedar and at Og & Magog I received a piece to bring back to Grandmother.
Shortly after my return I heard Grandmother call asking me to come and see her. I was asked to bring a friend and was given that friends name. This wonderful friend has a gift of healing and as soon as the invitation was offered she connected with the grove and prepared for our visit. And now in 2015 we came to assist with the matrix as a support to a new paradigm needed for the cedars to survive.
Upon our arrival we were asked to reverse my normal routine. First we were to go to my special sacred spot, drum, and make our offerings. The Grove whispered its hello and delight in our visit. Grandmother Cedar chastised me for my reluctance to take more my last visit. Why was I so stubborn to take what had been offered? What was this 'belief' in my excuse of gluttony? Who was I to determine when a gift was enough? WoW! She was right. Who did I think I was to 'know' what was the right amount for a gift? Why would I put a governor on the outpouring of sacredness?
Traversing through the grove we finally came to Grandmother Cedar. She had been cut into several pieces so the trail could be cleared. Her heart still beat as she lay there, holding the interim Grandmother and the matrix of the grove in a supporting love. She knew as the Grove did that the old ways of holding space upon Earth needed to change. It could no longer fall upon one. There was a call now for several groupings of trees to bind together and then each group would hold the next until the matrix became a honeycomb shape and support system. We were asked to help in setting the matrix and flow. We were also asked to partake so we could understand the need for this paradigm shift.
Coming face to face with her once again, I was transported back to last year and my special time with her. Knowing I was to stay open to her guidance and blessings of the gift of her bark and needles, I pulled my bag out and listened. Gently taking her bark, needles from the branches that had begun to grow from her fallen trunk, tears flowed as I realized that soon she would be out in the world blessing homes, ceremonial fires, and altars. I continued until I heard her tell me "Take one piece just for you, my daughter, to remember me by for I won't be here next time you come". I gently laid the piece of offering I brought from Ireland and Glastonbury, stepping back I turned, my heart saddened yet full, knowing she would be gone when I returned.
Continuing our work it became apparent that each group of three old cedars had around them groups of three much younger trees creating a matrix of 12 that connected to the next 12. As we worked diligently, several groups of visitors would walk along the trails in the grove, stopping occasionally to chat with us. The entire time we worked there were no groups of 2 or 5 only the combo of 3, 9, and 12 ~ trees and humans. Finally we found ourselves back at the opening to the grove facing a line of male cedars guarding the grove from the highway. We were instructed to leave them as they were ~ connected to each other but not the grove. These cedars are the Guardians of the Grove. This place holds so much for all who visit. What a blessing to be asked to help.
Often times we think we are being respectful by our humility yet there are times when it is only our ego that declares the reasons for our humility. When I stopped taking the gifts Grandmother Cedar offered last year out of my need to 'not take too much and be disrespectful' I wasn't able to gift fully to others. I had to be careful with what I used in my sacred blend and in sharing with others. Being concerned about 'running out' brought lack to others and myself. Had I continued to gather more of Grandmother Cedar would be out in the world today.
It is so important to listen closely and not 'read into' or let our ego interfere in our sacred work. Whether it is in our gathering of sacred offerings, building our connections, or learning + listening from Spirit and our Soul, don't quit when You think it is time. Stop when all goes quiet and the stillness of the sacred moment assures you that completion has happened.
This journey we are traversing is filled with opportunities to lengthen and strengthen our connection to our Higher Soul Self and Source. We are here to learn and grown. Don't think because you have 'arrived' and completed course after course that you are done learning. Oh no ~ Beware of that ego trap! HA, Baba Yaga loves those times.
So keep on keeping on! Learn, Laugh, and Leap!
The journey continues ~
The Soul Traveler xoxox