I have included footnotes which reference additional reading with far more detail on the Sacred Garden and the Spirit Realms at the end of this post.
I had two incredibly meaningful meetings with the spirit of the stone, and the second lead to a meeting with the spirit of the earth, the earth mother. It is hard to put into words what these meetings felt like since it was so far beyond anything I had experienced before.
My first meeting with the stone happened in a very vivid dream in which I was shown into a forest and to a rock outcrop, which was flat on top – a natural place for journeying. I was told that everything I would need would be provided for me. That night (in the dream), I slept under the edge of the rock outcrop, and the next morning, when I awoke, I found a package on top of the rock with food and clean clothes in it. As I opened the package I became aware of a presence, and looked up to find a tall stone standing behind the rock outcrop. I felt a warm greeting come from the stone, and it was then that I perceived facial features. These were not physical features, but the perception of features. The actual stone had no features. I returned the greeting and asked what I could do for the stone, and what the stone could do for me. I was told that this was just an initial meeting so that we could get to know one another and that we would have further contact in the future. The dream ended there and I immediately awoke in the physical, and recorded it in my journal. As I reflected on this dream journey, I realized that “everything I would need would be provided for me,” meant in this life, and on my path.
Several months later, after I had completed the first Visionseeker retreat, I had journeyed to my Sacred Garden (1) with the intention of talking with my Cosmic Committee, my circle of spirit guides, helpers, ancestors and master teachers, about what were the most important things for me to be working on to further my shamanic studies. Shortly after my committee arrived, my spirit helper Coyote came into the circle and looked up at me. He then turned and took a few steps and again looked up at me. I “knew” I was to follow him. We headed off down a forest trail at the edge of my Garden that leads to the lower worlds (2), and after a short time, my friend the Coyote stopped and looked to the right. As I looked to the right, there was the spirit of the stone. We exchanged warm greetings, and the stone invited me to merge with it. As I did I was nearly overcome with a powerful and loving energy that felt like it went clear to the core of my being, and I quite literally felt as if I had expanded almost to the point of bursting, and experienced a depth of connection with the spirit of the stone that is simply beyond words.
At some point, I realized it was time to disconnect, and found myself standing on the path where spirit helper Coyote was sitting patiently. We continued down the path and down into the earth to a room which I “knew” was where I would connect with the earth mother. I felt a very loving presence, and the earth mother and I exchanged warm greetings and then the earth mother invited me to merge with her. I felt a far greater expansion than I had with my friend the stone, and connections with all elements of the earth; the water, the soils, the rocks and trees, the plants and animals, and received and gave a chorus of greetings. Again, it is hard to describe with words the feeling of merging with the earth mother.
I realized afterward that part of the reason for the merging with the spirit of the stone was an interim step to prepare me for my meeting with the earth mother. It also answered the question I had for my Cosmic Committee. The most important step at that time was to work on and nurture my connection to the nature spirits.
(1) The Sacred Garden–Your personal place of Power and Healing, by Hank Wesselman, in the October 2005 issue of The Meta Arts Magazine and the book, Journey to the Sacred Garden by Hank Wesselman, Ph.D., which comes complete with a CD with a 30 minute track of drumming and a 30 minute track of rattling.
(2) The Spirit Realms, by Hank Wesselman, in the January 2005 issue of The Meta Arts Magazine