This past Saturday, I returned from another week-long camping trip, and I’ve been wanting to write and share some of the experiences I had during it. My very good friend, Mark, and I went up to Young State Park in Boyne, Michigan. We’d been planning for it to be our really big spiritual retreat, as our previous camping adventure had been focused on setting intentions for the summer and the future of our spiritual practices. However, we found it really difficult to find a focus or a direction we wanted to take our trip in. We were also met with some very mundane and (mostly) minor interruptions like watching the family’s dogs.
That’s not to say that it didn’t feel really good getting back out in nature and whatever few precious moments we could find to do witchy things as well as indulging in some traditions for visiting the area each year.
We spent some time one of the first nights there doing tarot readings for each other near the water in Boyne City itself. I’ve cleansed my Raven’s Prophecy Tarot deck, and plan to make it a deck that only my own energy goes into- something I’ve seen Mark doing with his Raider-Waite decks lately. I’ve never had a deck give me a reaction quite as intense as I experienced shuffling the cards for Mark’s reading; the entire middle portion fell out and I picked the cards from that. It just simply felt right at the time.
We also cleansed a number of crystals at the stream in the woods, and then took them to the beach. For the first time in well over a year, I cast a circle, drawing its boundaries in the sand with a blue goldstone wand I’d just cleansed. I empowered the deep brown agate mirror I’ve had for some time, and called on the goddess Morrigan. Each night, following, I had a number of intense dreams. One in particular stuck out to me:
What started as a dream of a rather normal camping trip, soon turned into one of myself wandering a stormy moor at night, wearing long dark skirts and a shawl. I knew that I was looking for someone, and found- among a tangled shrub on the moor- a black feather and a scrap of blue and green tartan cloth. I seemed to know what to do then, and called to a dog which came running towards me from the darkness and mist. It was black and resembled a Belgian shepherd, and answered to the name ‘Yew’. It led me through the moor and into an area that more closely resembled a suburban area, where I found a little girl (whom I was presumably looking for) hiding in bushes from some of Mark’s cousins and nephews. They were telling her they would tell Mark’s family she ran off. I managed to coax the little girl, who resembled a younger version of myself, out of the bush and into my arms, where I comforted her before returning to camp. When I returned there, a close friend of mine was there, and looked rather displeased with me.
I’ve still been pondering the meaning of the dream. Mark suggested the little girl might be representative of my inner child. Much of the symbolism of the dream is that of tenacity, death and rebirth, and otherworldly messages. The energy of the dog has been hanging around me ever since- though it’s significantly less noticeable while at home with my entire family around. He has appeared in multiple meditations throughout the last few days as well. I’m beginning to wonder if he isn’t, perhaps, a familiar spirit of sorts.
We occupied ourselves in all manner of ways: climbing the steps up the mountain, visiting the park in Boyne City, stargazing- we even took a quick adventure up over the Mackinaw Bridge with Mark’s friend, Dustin. One of my favorite things I saw during our wanderings was a now not-working telescope that had been built for the sole purpose of viewing the constellation, Draconis. It’s now become a home to a family of ravens, and my connection both to the birds and the constellation made it a really cool and special thing for me.
The sunsets there are beyond a doubt the most beautiful I’ve seen. There’s no better place to meditate, read tarot, or journal than on the shores of any of the lakes in Michigan. We didn’t, unfortunately, get to go up into the Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw, but the dock at the campgrounds was a perfectly acceptable place to view hundreds of stars.
On one of our last full days up there, Mark and I ventured to the Lavender Hill Farm. The spell of the flowers just hit you as soon as you stepped out of your car. The fields were beautiful, and it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny afternoon. We explored the large barn where they dried the plants and I even tried a lavender lemonade soda from the gift shop. On one of the upper hills, there was a lavender labyrinth. At its center, a group of stones that read ‘wisdom,’ ‘trust,’ and ‘love’ were perched on a pedestal. I walked it, focusing on the intention of prosperity for the coming months.
And of course, we visited Charlevoix. It’s a beautiful city on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, and filled with gorgeous shops. It was the first time I’d been back in the city since my grandmother’s death early in the year. The last time I’d been there, it was cold and nearly empty; this time it seemed overflowing with life. It was good to be back, to lose myself in meditation on the sunset and sailboats for a few moments despite having the puppies with us, to remember the smells and the sights, and the fun times I could remember having there. Because my grandparents there are passed on and I’m planning on moving out of the state soon, I took a few moments to really connect with the place. After all, I don’t know when I’ll see it again.
My Fiverr, as of now, is closed down. I’ve had problems with getting my direct deposit information to clear with them and Payoneer, the other company they were using for the money transfers. If I find the time and funds for something like Etsy, I might try online readings there. For now, however, paid readings are unavailable. My free monthly readings for the Full Moon ARE still available. I’ll continue posting reminders of those as time goes on.
I’ve got much now to study and look into- and tons of things to prepare for the coming school year. I’m looking forward to getting my schooling done and over with. I know that bigger, better things are just over the horizon.