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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Shamanizing at Bigelow Hot Springs

Bigelow Hot Springs
I love to camp and shamanize. For the past week, I have been camped on the McKenzie River near Bigelow Hot Springs, which is located on Deer Creek Road about 58 miles east of Eugene, Oregon on Highway 126. Bigelow is one of the few wild hot springs that you can still enjoy without paying any kind of fee. It is a small thermal spring that pools inside a beautiful riverside grotto. The spring emanates from the back of the grotto, so it is the warmest part of the pool. The best time to use this pool is when the river is at its lowest, during the summer and fall. The spring is popular on weekends, so weekdays are the best time to visit. Since it is a day use area, it is open dawn to dusk.

I love soaking at Bigelow early in the day, near sunrise if possible. I like to lie on my back in the back of the grotto and meditate to the calming sound of the current rushing over the river rocks. I just allow the current to carry me away on a journey into myself. It is a blissful place to go. I get in touch with my spirit self and the spirit of the place.

Every place on the planet has a spirit. From the wildest of forests to urban landscapes, every place has a spirit that oversees its life force. Healing the land involves actively working with the spirits of the Middle World in a collaborative way to clear negative energetic imprints, to harmonize what is out of balance, and to restore energy and life force which has been lost.

The energy of the place where I camp is balanced and harmonious, making it a good place to do shamanic work. When I arrived at my camp this spring, I discovered the claw marks of a bear on a cedar tree on the west side of my campsite. I found bear tracks around the camp. I frequently have encounters with bears at my medicine camps. I love bear energy and work with it often in ritual and ceremony. I like to drum the bear-beat and sing a bear chant. Whenever I call in my spirit helpers for help and healing, Spirit Bear comes immediately.

Each morning, I arise early to greet the sun with song and prayers. I then cook a simple meal of oatmeal with raisins and green tea. Throughout the day I play flute, drum, and sing as the mood strikes me. After sunset each evening, I begin another round of shamanizing. I open portals to the spirit world with drum, rattle, and flute. I call in the spirits and improvise an evening of shamanic music. I approach them with humbleness and humility, becoming like a hollow bone through which their life force may flow to be used as needed. Alone in a riverside camp, I offer myself as a vehicle of healing. That is how I choose to relate to the spirit world.

At the end, after dedicating the power which has been generated by the performance, I close the circle. I then crawl into my sleeping bag; physically tired, yet spiritually vibrant. My heart is wide open and blissful. Where the McKenzie River wraps around my camp, the soothing sound of the water lulls me into a peaceful sleep every night.

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