The Sacredness of Mountains

A place to post stories, pictures, experiences and engage in druidic discussion of areas throughout the world that are considered to be sacred places. These may be ancient man-made structures, natural sites of great power and beauty, places of religious devotion, modern secular sites or individual private places that inspire awe and devotion.
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Cliath Cam McGormain
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The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Cliath Cam McGormain » 04 Sep 2014, 02:55

The Great John Muir once penned, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

I recently had the opportunity to climb Mt. Washington in NH, USA, in June. This mountain is the highest peak in the Northeastern USA, standing at 6288ft. The native inhabitants of the land called the mountain, "Agiocochook," which translates as "home of the great spirit." This hike was certainly the toughest I had undertaken to date. The temperature at the base of the mountain was 65*F. At the peak it was 27*F with wind gusts of 54mph and 20' visibility. I spent 9 hours on that ancient mountain, communing with her spirit, wrestling myself upwards through heavy brush and over massive stone. The decent was even more treacherous as the new trail was wet from rain and the threat of a bear encounter loomed when I literally stumbled upon fresh bear scat and tracks. Finally, on the relatively easy trail back to the head trail, the great spirit gifted me a Birch wand (Beith, Bjarken).

That night, as I lay in my sleeping bag at the bunk house I was staying at, The Great Spirit spoke to me and sang to me her somewhat melancholy song. One of heaviness and longing manifested in anger. I will never forget the secrets she shared with me that night.

Has anyone else had such an experience with a mountain, or any other natural place?
Leigheas Cliath Cam McGormain

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DaRC
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby DaRC » 05 Sep 2014, 13:36

As a mountain biker and road cyclist I have ridden a few :whistle: mountains. They each have their own spirit and lessons. Whenever I leave them I feel a deep sense of loss.
Of course to us Pro Road Cycling fans certain mountains are legendary, on Alpe d'Huez I approached with far too little humility, I met the man with the hammer and he nailed me. On Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, I approached with much more preparation and humility - no one 'conquers' a mountain, it just graciously lets us reach the top - and was granted perspective, in so many ways.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
http://gewessiman.blogspot.co.uk Image

Cliath Cam McGormain
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Cliath Cam McGormain » 06 Sep 2014, 18:53

On Ventoux, the Giant of Provence, I approached with much more preparation and humility - no one 'conquers' a mountain, it just graciously lets us reach the top - and was granted perspective, in so many ways.

Well stated! And thank you for sharing! :)
Leigheas Cliath Cam McGormain

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Sciethe
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Sciethe » 06 Sep 2014, 19:14

In the farlongago days of my youth I lived in the Yorkshire Dales, and used to go walking and climbing with my father, now long deceased. Great Whernside is not quite a mountain at 2,300 feet, but is a great and dangerous fell, and in those days there was no walkers path up it. We climbed it one day, it was above the dale in which we lived. It felt good to conquer it and stand at the top in hiking gear, but in a strange way wrong. A few days later (school holidays, I was .. what. 12?) I felt moved to do it again, by myself, and as was mostly my habit in those days I went barefoot. I made it -and back again- without anyone noticing I was gone. This felt right, and was my first intense introduction to the beauty of true solitude and connection in wild places. I must have looked like a lithe frog scampering unselfconsciously from watercourse to rock to watercourse up its flanks. I've learned a lot from mountains through the years, but the first lesson is often the most memorable. :D
Sciethe
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

Cliath Cam McGormain
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Cliath Cam McGormain » 08 Sep 2014, 18:14

In the farlongago days of my youth I lived in the Yorkshire Dales, and used to go walking and climbing with my father, now long deceased. Great Whernside is not quite a mountain at 2,300 feet, but is a great and dangerous fell, and in those days there was no walkers path up it. We climbed it one day, it was above the dale in which we lived. It felt good to conquer it and stand at the top in hiking gear, but in a strange way wrong. A few days later (school holidays, I was .. what. 12?) I felt moved to do it again, by myself, and as was mostly my habit in those days I went barefoot. I made it -and back again- without anyone noticing I was gone. This felt right, and was my first intense introduction to the beauty of true solitude and connection in wild places. I must have looked like a lithe frog scampering unselfconsciously from watercourse to rock to watercourse up its flanks. I've learned a lot from mountains through the years, but the first lesson is often the most memorable. :D
Sciethe

Sciethe -

I agree with you that sometimes it does feel wrong to stand on top of a mountain; like a hunter who shot and killed a dear and then feels remorse for doing so. Some Native American Indians would ask permission to take an animal's life, and when that life was taken, give thanks to the spirit of the animal and the land for providing such bounty. Nothing would go to waste; everything was used in some way.

I feel the way about the mountains. Before I set out on an attempt at a new peak, I research the mountain: discover it's native name and it's history. When I approach the mountain I call out to it by it's native name and ask it's permission to learn from it. I do not make it a struggle between the mountain and myself. Rather, I become one with the mountain, allowing it to show me the way.

Blessings and thanks for sharing,
CCMcG
Leigheas Cliath Cam McGormain

Dumnonii Weaver
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Dumnonii Weaver » 29 Nov 2015, 02:15

The sacred mountain of Snowdon speaks

A relation with Dinas Emrys began with a meditation on the hill after a conversational moment with a Holly tree in the garden of the hired holiday house my family ventured to.

The grove of oaks at the head of the valley on the way to the hill held another Holly tree and a journey that had me fly with the dragons. After several hours on the hill in the footsteps of "The Master Emrys" I departed with my vision.

This summer I took a well prepared group of women to the foot of the Snowdon mountain for a night of wild camping, the start of a four day quest by intent.

Thunder, lightening, fierce winds and low cloud in the morning answered our request for clear message and to be cared for.

We could not see our first summit. Never mind the peak.
The refusal was smarting till we returned to safety. The myriad of worried text, mails and calls flew in as the WiFi came in range.
The mountain had demand his respect. Two had died on the top that night as we hunkered down in our tarp shelter and listened on the wind.

An ascent on the train several days later taught us the sharp whip of the ice wind we had been spared and our prepared group was humbled. Half and hour at the top was plenty that day.

The lessons of this quest shortened by the mountains clear advice, still write in me every time I turn to it in my mind.

I will return, next time alone. It was me on the mountain in my vision not the group, the original vision for one. But oh how we learned to love and laugh on our way.

EASE was the advice he gave us EASE !
From this day forward we strive less, observe to release that which grates and drives us harshly. We press ourselves with kinder intentions of attainment toward all the mountains, hills and tumps that present before upon our path.

You may upon your journey
spot a group of greying gals,
sacred staff's in hand.
For we have set our footsteps now,
as Bards initiate, in this land.

When it comes to mountains, my personal advice is "Listen" and be sure you know how.
Of all the beings in nature that demonstrate the virtue of Lineage*, generational knowledge* and personal relationship with experience*. Mountain is one such being.

Travel well fellow journey friends

*Know how to read the signs,
*know when to shelter,
*know when to turn back.

That is until, you know how to speak back !

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Heddwen
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Re: The Sacredness of Mountains

Postby Heddwen » 29 Nov 2015, 12:36

The sacred mountain of Snowdon speaks

A relation with Dinas Emrys began with a meditation on the hill after a conversational moment with a Holly tree in the garden of the hired holiday house my family ventured to.

The grove of oaks at the head of the valley on the way to the hill held another Holly tree and a journey that had me fly with the dragons. After several hours on the hill in the footsteps of "The Master Emrys" I departed with my vision.

This summer I took a well prepared group of women to the foot of the Snowdon mountain for a night of wild camping, the start of a four day quest by intent.

Thunder, lightening, fierce winds and low cloud in the morning answered our request for clear message and to be cared for.

We could not see our first summit. Never mind the peak.
The refusal was smarting till we returned to safety. The myriad of worried text, mails and calls flew in as the WiFi came in range.
The mountain had demand his respect. Two had died on the top that night as we hunkered down in our tarp shelter and listened on the wind.

An ascent on the train several days later taught us the sharp whip of the ice wind we had been spared and our prepared group was humbled. Half and hour at the top was plenty that day.



The lessons of this quest shortened by the mountains clear advice, still write in me every time I turn to it in my mind.

I will return, next time alone. It was me on the mountain in my vision not the group, the original vision for one. But oh how we learned to love and laugh on our way.

EASE was the advice he gave us EASE !
From this day forward we strive less, observe to release that which grates and drives us harshly. We press ourselves with kinder intentions of attainment toward all the mountains, hills and tumps that present before upon our path.

You may upon your journey
spot a group of greying gals,
sacred staff's in hand.
For we have set our footsteps now,
as Bards initiate, in this land.

When it comes to mountains, my personal advice is "Listen" and be sure you know how.
Of all the beings in nature that demonstrate the virtue of Lineage*, generational knowledge* and personal relationship with experience*. Mountain is one such being.

Travel well fellow journey friends

*Know how to read the signs,
*know when to shelter,
*know when to turn back.

That is until, you know how to speak back !

Hello Dumnonii Weaver and welcome to the OBOD board :)


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