There are those trying times when one gets a bad break, financial plans fall apart, troubles at work, you know, stress explodes. Even thinking positive thoughts, one might wake up in a cold sweat, or have a sense in the stomach enough to take away any appetite. While it may seem like there is no relief in sight, there is a reprieve waiting. For stress, the natural prescription is getting naked and going for a hike. Get away and get in the present moment.
That’s what we did Sunday. A gorgeous day presented itself and we headed for Redington pass.
Since I recently did a post about gathering rocks for sacred ritual purposes, I discovered notes for a paper that I wrote of my experimentation with ancient ritual. The following is about this aspect of nudity, in which it can be an augmentation to exploration through ritual. I would suppose that this won’t be everyone’s cuppa, but food for thought.
This is the story of one of two rituals required during my studies. They were accomplished completely nude. There is something powerful in naked abandon. The senses, the awareness, the commitment to be completely open to divine guidance, to drop the interference of the world of role, clothing, or protection, to surrender the more conventional ideas of self to the intention at hand. There’s that surrender with trust.
I am up at sunrise. I give prayer and ask for guidance at the alter in my home. I have no plan, except perhaps a smudge, which is forgotten. I have DF with me, she with a similar intention. At the top of the mountain hill after the rocky falls, we will find a place that “feels” right and then go from there.
We walk up the desert mountain trail into the Tortolita Mountains. It is quite a climb and I have been fasting for the previous 24 hours. On the way, the course changes. It “feels” right to head up an entirely different direction, one that we haven’t yet explored. I know that we are intuitively on track.
A trail presents itself. It leads to an unusual crested saguaro cactus. This one has three crested arms, like I have never seen. To get a better look, we walk around it, and find an old jeep trail. There are old matate bowls in the granite surface of the trail, where Native Americans would grind with rounded rocks for hours over years. Near that, I follow a trail of broken pottery chards to a pile of them under a bush.
We are in in a gorgeous spot, where quiet harmony is seasoned with the call of the various birds. The first morning’s pastel light has made its way through the silhouettes of the canopy of tall majestic pines, which dwarf all of us below. Splotches of golden clear light paste a glow to each bush that it touches, a splotch here and one over there.
Rolling over, looking out the screen of the tent, I see the northern slope of this treasure, turning fully golden. Golden rose, golden yellow, translucent golden greens in a myriad of shadows. Beams burst through at intervals. I lay blessed. “Whoah” escapes from somewhere deep in consciousness and falls from my lips.
From a deep sleep, into wonderment, I grab my camera. I’ll seek an attempt to capture a piece of this, all the while knowing that I have no way of doing it justice. I have the sense of that energy of the first morning’s light, which all life seems to know. That energy that makes birds sing, sex arise, wakes the sleeping rabbit, flowers unfold and comforting warmth begins to grasp us all. Can a photo truly capture these new beginnings?
…The show is over, I squat and crawl into the small opening in the mesh, which is made by the familiar sounds of that zipper. I do all that I know to not disturb DF as she sleeps and rejuvenates the tired sore muscles from the previous day. Her determined flight into her disturbed dream, that must be completed in its haphazard way, draws her away and she only briefly notices. We rest together some more.