Places of Power, Places of Heart
On Mt. Tamalpais
The Springs Eternal Hike
The sixth in a series of ceremonial hikes
Saturday, September 10th
9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Contact Steve to register.
It has always filled me with wonder that water can spring up out of the earth and flow without ending, in every season, every day of the year, even in drought. We are in the rainless, parched, almost brittle time of year. Most of the creeks are dry, rocky and silent. Wildflowers appear as only isolated late bloomers, or as tough, hardy survivors and seed producers like dandelion and wild fennel. On a day's hike, I can count only about four parched blossoms now. The open hills are covered with crisp brown grass, wispy dry thistles, burrs and thorny things. Even the sticky monkey flower blossoms are shriveled and gone.
But there are a few places where the life of the water bubbles up right from the ground, or trickles out of hillsides from under rocks and roots and gravel. These small oases are always green, as the water makes music-box sounds for a moment, sinks underground, re-emerges in pools, and slowly feeds year-round small creeks. These are the magical places where the fairies dwell, and they always astound me in small but powerful ways. One of these is where our next hike will take us: Colier Spring.
On this hike, you will:
-Descend through the woods on Mt. Tam's North Side amid fir, bay, oak, madrone, huckleberry, fern, and dried moss.
-Absorb the unique quiet of this less-traveled trail.
-Look down on Bon Tempe and Lagunitas Lakes from above.
-Watch and listen for what bird spirits appear to guide you (chickadee, junco, dove, raven, woodpecker, hawk?)
-Hear of the song of the spring emerge from the forest.
-Step out of dry time and enter the moist space in between.
-Come to a watery green space encircled by redwoods.
-Be inspired by the magic of this rare fairy ring.
-Rest in the sound of trickling water, a falling acorn, a calling squirrel.
-Explore the source of this eternal spring.
-Discover what the spring causes to emerge from deep within you.
Come join like-minded and -hearted companions on a walk to re-awaken your wonder in the still woods and rising water. You will return filled and refreshed.
From a saddle between the East and West Peaks of Mt. Tam, a trail follows a wash that runs down the north side toward the lakes. In the rainy season, water runs. It is dry now, but as you descend amid the exposed stones, it gradually greens. Finally, if you listen closely, you begin to hear the faint sound of trickling water. This is the voice that draws you down to Colier Spring, which I have never seen fail, feeding a small stand of redwoods, the mushrooms, Jesus-bugs and salamanders. Here we will explore the magic that this eternal spring will reveal to us. (Click here to read about Steve's Journey experience at Colier Springs.)
With this hike, we continue our theme of following the water. On our first three hikes, we saw Mother Ocean, Mama Cocha, from the Medicine Wheel, the Stone Circles and the Peak. Then we experienced the Falls and the Lakes, healing ourselves and the waters that fell from the higher places into the lower pools. Here, we will receive the life that springs straight out of the heart of the earth, and discover the magic of that place and those that guard it.
Rating the difficulty of our hikes on a scale of 1-10, 1 being very level, short and easy, and 10 being very strenuous, our first three hikes rated 1-2. The Waterfalls hike was about a 4. This hike will have options for our route, depending upon the stamina and preferences of those who attend. The basic hike is 1.4 miles, rates about a 4, and involves an elevation loss and gain of about 450 ft., downhill and then back up by an easier trail. Another optional route could extend the hike to about 3.2 miles, include a steeper climb up to smaller Redwood Spring (another sweet spot), and would involve an elevation gain and loss of about 560 ft. (We can also negotiate other options, depending on who comes.)
Details on logistics will be sent upon registration.
Registration is $40 ($35 if registered by September 1st).
Click here to read about Steve's Journey experience at Colier Springs, and here to read Steve's poem "Spring."
Comments from participants about the hikes:
"This was a deep and healing experience. I often feel the disconnect that I/we as a society have with nature. During the day of the Lake Hike--next to the lake and under a might oak--I, and the group of us, connected easily with the deep holding and love that nature so generously gives us."
"I felt connected to the spirit of the mountain."
"Today was magnificent, it was incredible. It couldn't have been a wonderful day had you not organized it. There was a lot to enjoy and celebrate. And, I am glad we did good work. Hurrah for our team! "
"It was so nourishing to be laying on the ground, under the tree, feeling the stones and the aliveness of everything."
"It was so easy to breathe out there in all that open space. I felt very supported and held. "
"I was surprised I really connected with the spirit of the waters. It was a powerful and healing experience, for me personally, and--I believe--beyond me."
"Looking forward to the next hike!"
For forty years, Steve has been doing ceremony and hiking around the shoulders of our local mother-mountain. On these visits to Mt. Tam, we will hike with mindfulness to key power spots, many secret or hidden from casual view. There, we will bond with the presence of the mountain, perform ceremony, make offerings and honor the local spirits. We will connect with the power and heart of the land, and with each other, heart to heart.
Steve Orsary is a shamanic practitioner, healer and poet who has hiked thousands of miles, many of them around Mt. Tam where he has walked every trail on the map and many that aren't. He and his wife, MaryAnn, work in Corte Madera where they practice Bioenergy Balancing, shamanic healing and body-centered psychotherapy. Read more about Steve.
Click to contact Steve. Limited to 10 participants. Feel free to send info about this hike to anyone who might be interested.