Read Me First: Four Seasons Journey Solo Quest Preparation and Four Seasons Journey Solo Quest Day One
I don’t know what time I feel asleep or have woken up. It had to be early and then early again.
I was warm and comfortable all night waking only a few times to the sound of lightly falling rain. In the softly glowing light that I know is just pre-dawn it continues to fall and I decide to luxuriously lie in listening to it as the sun comes up. I feel so grateful for such a deep sleep. It feels healing on so many levels.
Misty rain continues to fall when I venture outdoors. The birds are still in great voice and I see black cockatoos today. Still, the king parrots cannot be beat for their vibrant beauty, singing not a sound but making their full presence known. Losing my gaze over them high in the trees I have my first experience of deep presence out here, realising that my senses feel extraordinarily heightened and sharp. It’s not in an anxious or adrenalin fuelled way. Rather an instinctual honed way of what it means to feel in partnership with someone or something. A knowing. A seeing. And one I know only comes without distraction or mindless ego chatter.
I am fully here now.
I sit on the damp earth with the lightly falling rain hitting my face to meditate. I slip into it easily, making the decision only to stop due to the increasing cold. I know I need to move a little to keep warm. As I open my eyes I see a wallaby ahead of me hop quickly by. It must be cold and therefore on the move too!
I have my first thought of food. And it’s not what I thought it would be. My first thought of food is to realise I am not hungry. Which I instantly question. How can it be that I’ve not eaten for more than two days and not feel hungry? In my life where I eat the usual meals and often snacks too, lamenting if I don’t get a cup of tea and something to nibble mid afternoon – how can this be? Will the hunger come? Surely it must.
I light three small candles at the front of my tent. A votive beeswax candle as my Mother candle and two red tea lights to bring in the energy of Mary Magdalene. Candles to me have always been a very beloved part of my sacred personal practice and it fills me with such gratitude to light these in such a beautiful setting. I pick up my journal to write but can only do so for a few moments. The rain begins to fall more steadily and I have to take shelter in my tent. I continue to journal to capture my thoughts and experiences and am loving the process of writing with a free hand and heart.
The sun finally comes out for the day and I make it to be late morning. The still dewy ferns and trees around me look so beautiful and I spend some time gently touching them noticing their curves, bumps and knots. The smell is intoxicating. A mix of eucalypt and woody moss in a delicious dampness I would love to bottle. For now, my sensory memory has to do.
I collect a leaf to press into my journal and notice at first what I thought to be a large snail crawling at the base of my tent. Closer inspection reveals no shell however and I suddenly realise it is a leech. Having seen (and had on me) tiny leeches before out here, I have my first small freak out at how large this blood loving creature is…as wide as my thumb and easily as long as my index finger.
Knowing how much sucking damage a small leech can do if they attach to you, (won’t kill you but will hurt and make you bleed a good deal once they’ve had their fill), I have absolutely no desire to have this shiny black beast anywhere near – or Goddess forbid in – my tent. And I can’t ignore it because all that will make me do is wonder where the heck it is every moment of the day. Carefully lifting it with my pen I slowly walk it down to the base of the trees. Thanks for dropping by little buddy and thinking about snacking on me for morning tea – but not today. Not eating right now I need all the reserves I can hold on to!
I am not surprised to notice that I often think about crawling back into my tent especially if I feel cold, but I know it’s important I stay out as much as I can. The weather truly is fickle and there is now no sun at all with total grey cloud cover and spitting rain. In the far distance I can hear another quester drumming which feels rhythmic and calming. I pick up my drum thinking I would play with her, but then realise it is best to let her finish until I begin. Even though it’s quite cold, my drum sounds beautiful and playing it on the land feels deeply connecting to the sounds and rhythms and energy that governs her. It makes me feel a deep part of what surrounds me rather than an outsider visiting.
When your life is not focused on appointments and schedules you really do lose track of time. And when you can’t see the sun for cloud cover it’s hard to know where in the day you are. I am feeling it may be about midday and then it occurs to me that truly the time does not matter. I have nothing to do right now that requires a time. I just need to be here. How possible is it for me to just be? Be here? Be in life? I sit for awhile and allow myself to feel into just that.
What I imagine to be a few hours later the sun is now shining and I decide to conduct my Mary Magdalene Priestess Ceremony. I know there were instructions on what to do for this from my course and training but either I’ve forgotten to bring them or my unconscious mind has left them behind knowing that I will feel into this the way I am meant to. This ceremony is to herald the end of the first stage of this beautiful course for myself – and a commitment to stepping deeper into the powerful feminine energy of Mary and her work in the world.
I make a small crystal grid at the base of a beautiful eucalypt tree. The edge of many of the leaves dropping down at my eye level have turned a deep burgundy, mixed with the softness of Mother green. It’s a perfect spot for a beautiful private ceremony. Inside the grid I place some dried red rose petals from my old garden and my candles. I sprinkle some spikenard (used by Mary to anoint the feet of Jesus) and womb love oil on the ground around the grid.
The powerful aroma instantly hits me with a force that makes me close my eyes and lower myself to my knees. The ensuing moments (or was it hours) of my life feel so intensely rich and powerful. Entered into by way of simply saying thank you to the Great Mother and Mary and then asking them what they would have me do. What do they desire to use me for? What am I called to? How is it that I am to be of service as a Priestess of the Magdalene?
All of which are questions that of course I am asking myself. Within all the beauty and fragrance of the ferns and trees and birds of the great mother and within the strength and commitment and kindness of Mary is me.
As of course there is you.
What will they have me do? How will they guide me to be? How am I to be called?
I listen. I feel.
And with a kiss to the deep ground below and a blowing out of my ceremonial candles, I cocoon into the cold night under the shimmery gaze of a waxing crescent moon.
There is much to dream.
Thank you for sharing Julie. I love your writing and have loved reading about your Solo Quest. What an enriching and beautiful experience to have ❤️
It was that indeed Jade. Thank you for journeying with me.
Thank you so much Julie for sharing this sacred journey – I felt like I was walking alongside you. I’m so looking forward to hearing more. Much love xo
Oh thank you Jenny. Honoured to have you walk beside me through the words.
I was right there with you & surprisingly my heart rate went up when I read your first night. I’m scared of the dark & I would have found it very difficult to quieten my mind & stay put. Beautifully written & I can’t wait for more. What an incredible, inspiring woman you are xx
Thank you so much Jeanette. I have never really been afraid of the dark but let me tell you – it takes on a whole new dimension when you’re out in the wilderness alone!