The lesson ofthe Mountain

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Forums -> Neo-Druidry -> The lesson ofthe Mountain

The lesson ofthe Mountain
Post # 1
The other day as spring emerged in my town of origin I decided to go out to make a set of runes and accompanied by my companion we ventured into the mountains to obtain a suitable branch to do so. I, being from a different area, am more accustomed to forests and am quite new to the sounds, slopes, life, and lessons of the mountains. Soon I found myself in a rather intense and forceful spiritual lesson. My Intention as I stated was to craft a new set of runes and as I headed into the mountain I kept my eyes and heart open to finding a suitable tree that would allow me one of it's limbs. There came a time when I felt drawn to a specific grove of trees nestled far from the road and up a gorge between two mountains, the slope was steep and bits of snow remained on the ground making the route that much more dangerous. My plan was to hike up to this group of trees once without equipment as often coming down the hill you find an easier path than going up, and pave the way in the snow making it less perilous. And as my gift for the tree was a gallon of crystal charged, blessed water, I wanted to not hike up with the equipment weighing me down the first time. So I began my trek from the truck to the trees. From the bottom of the gorge(which was itself a great slope with two harsh slopes leading into it) I could see 8 trees that called to me. 2 in particular that rested high on one side of the steep gorge. I saw the tree calling and wanted a closer look at its branches and a chance to ask the tree for permission. I set my sights not on the tree calling me but one that appeared, from where I was standing, to be at a much easier to reach place. I began to hike up and around one side of the gorge. Upon finding that I was directly above the tree and the slope was covered in ice and snow patches I realized to get back to the truck I would have to either turn back or find a new route as I could not climb this slope in its current conditions. I in my excitement and arrogant disposition decided to slide down the slope and treck through from where I was standing appeared to be a thick but manageable thicket of plants, vines, and brush. As soon as I slid down and reached a place to stand I dicovered my mistake. This thicket was not only much thicker than expected but also riddled with thorns and the snow here had received much less sun and thus was quite deep. Unfortunately the only thing to do was trek on. So I looked and saw that one path more than another appeared to be clearer as it allowed me to view the other side of it much more than the closer one. I began to walk towards it, each step my shoes became wet as my foot fell through the snow up to my thigh. The discomfort flooded me but as this was the only way I continued without complaint. The mountain would break me soon enough. Upon reaching this path through the thicket I found that while it did not have many vines blocking it, It did have enough vines in strategic enough locations to make it a challenge to cross this blockage into the next small grove. I carefully climbed under it all, wetting my pant knees and hands in the snow as not to disturb the mix of still sleeping plants and more painful(as I would soon find out) woken ones. As soon as I was on the other side of this challenge I discovered that simply put, I was an Idiot. The path that I had walked away from was not only easier but had nothing blocking it and led to exactly the same place, but an illusion of the eyes had led me to believe it was inferior and harder to trek. Now I found myself surrounded by thin tangles of thorns and vines. With only the slightest sight of a clearing ahead, containing the tree I had desired to find. Unable to find a path I decided to move a fallen trunk a foot to the right and climb over it to get across. As I lifted the trunk the extra weight forced me through the top layer of snow and I found myself waist deep in snow, cold miserable and to top things off my foot was caught in a branch at ground level and to get out I had to scrape my shin enough to bleed. Which I did. But now the trunk was moved and I could climb over. I found myself standing next to the tree that I wanted to get to only to find no suitable branches on this tree. Disappointed I called out to my companion who I had foolishly split up with. I heard her call back but could not see her from where I was standing. I began to attempt to find a path to her as it was clear I could not go back. She called to me saying the path was easy where she was. I felt excited and upset so I trudged to her finding myself often trying to force plants out of my way, but each time I did I made my trek harder and often this action resulted in bleeding and thorns swinging at my face and arms. Soon I found the best route through the thicket was humility. I had to submit to the mountain to make it out. I found myself at the den of an animal and felt that it would be disrespectful to travel through his home, and turned back to find a way around, upon turning back I found myself in a much easier path, while still difficult I has avoided several large thorn bushes. I found myself in a small path and soon discovered the animals tracks, a coyote, which had left a tiny almost nonexistent trail out from his home in the snow. I followed ever great full that this animal had shown me the way out, but found that every time in my mind I took for granted or ceased to appreciate the animal I had to climb on my hands and knees, almost in submission to get past an obstacle. Truly this animal was a guide of sorts and had shown me the way out. My companion had called to me several times as I came closer and while I had responded I could not see her. I traveled closer and closer to her voice, now excited and ignoring the pain of thorns and branches, but wagding through several feet of snow. She said that the path was clear from her point and I followed hoping to find releif, It was now I realized that I had disrespected her by not walking with her and listening to her council, and thus this whole situation had happend. My own hard hardheadedness could have been counteracted by her love and wisdom if I had only let it. I found myself at the foot of the slope she was on and noticed that one of the few plants which had helped guide and support my way in the past, a red vine, was all up the side of this mountain and to get to her I would have to climb through it, hopefully using it to keep myself from slipping down the ice and back into my thorn hell. following the sound of her voice I tackled my greatest challenge yet, The slope to her side of the mountain. I made it halfway up using the red vine as a brace but soon found that this plant too had thorns in some cases and only because of my attentiveness of the plant was I saved from a painful lesson. However the plant grew around either other firm plants or large stones which as long as I avoided the red thorny plant I found I could use it to identify the way up. I also felt as if each plant deserved a thank you for supporting me. I found myself able to see her now and a rush of energy filled me. finally I found myself standing next to her separated only by a thorny bush, the only way through was to once again submit and get on my hands and knees. My pride in front of her made me attempt to find another way but of course there was none. So I submitted and bowed to the awesome power and wisdom of the mountain and the plants who had led me out, though their lesson was harsh it was well learned. You do not own or command the mountain or its inhabitants, they are there to help and guide you. Not to serve you. And the second lesson, The same goes for your companion, listen to her no mater if you are the man. For a mans test is not in his wisdom or strength but in his ability to overcome his pride, and love and be loved. She with relative ease now led me to a simple path to the first tree I had been drawn to which appeared to be high and difficult. I asked if I may have a branch and it agreed. I trekked back to the car with relative ease following the footsteps of my companion, using them as makeshift stairs up and down the side of the mountain. Trekking back up the mountain with a gallon of water was difficult and tiring and as I reached her again I felt as if this alone was an adventure in itself as difficult as the thicket, but far less painful. I began to cut the branch I was told I could have and upon the first slice discover that I could hear and feel the plant and thus felt the pain and anguish of the tree. I wept as I cut, apologizing with every slice for what I was doing, the tree however never faltered in its gift and stood strong. Tired and pain ridden I felled the branch and with struggle opened the bucket containing the blessed water, I poured it on the tree and It directed me to also pour it on the trees surrounding it, including one that had turned me down and given no gift. I did so with a smile. At this point me and my companion started to descend the mountain but I being fatigued could not do so alone, she picked up the branch, tools, and bucket without my request, in fact against my protest, and headed down the mountain. This upset my pride and I asked to carry something but she continued, seeing that she was needed. Greatful, humble, and in pain, I followed her down the mountain and the third lesson happened upon me. I am not here to carry heavy things for her, but to show her the love and compassion she has shown you. When she is weak carry her weight and vice versa. Be her companion as she has been yours, as an equal. The ultimate lesson of this day, Love is greater than strength and power. The love of the tree, the love of my companion, the love of the plants that led and helped my path and most of all the harsh love of the mountain.
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Re: The lesson ofthe Mountain
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
Thank you for sharing with us ,the personal lessons you have been told .This is one of most amazing threads I ever read in this forum .We rarely see people enough brave to undergo inner introspection ,alongside with supporting physical challenges .The examination of yourself and your character ,without the unecessary filter of human pride, allowed you to learn those lessons .Most people would have chosen to be rather blind and oblivious and would have only ranted thus missing to learn too .
Following the track of coyote is also subte hint .Those anamals are tricksters and they also laugh foolishly ,but they are cunning ,clever and they survive because of it .They are one of those creatures that require wisdom out of folly .You had to physically follow the track of one of them to learn its technique of survival and learning .You did not only learn the lessons of the mountain ,but also the lessons of the this spiritual animal not realizing it .They also live in groups ,and they also appreciate how important is to have fellow soul to help you in hard situation .

The lesson of the Coyote is :

"Never take any of this seriouslly ,particularly those times you seem to blunder along from one error to another .Laugh about it ,cry about it ,but let the tears be those of relief rather than despair .It is only life .No big deal !"

Steven D.Farmer Ph.D

You will be surprissed to know one of the ways that you contact this spirit and its medicine is by rolling down foolishly of hill in childish alike manner and with similar irationality and enthusiasm .

Please research more about this animal medicine .It may have been your journey totem only for this epic hike ,ot it may be more longterm companion in your life .

I am glad you have learnt the lessons of the mountain ,now perhaps you should reflect on the lessons of this animal .

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