Morning Fog off Rennie River – Photo by Leah Schroeder
During the Womyn’s Gathering I participated in recently, a group of us hiked to a sacred site called Tie Creek. I wrote about this place last year.
It was a difficult trek. It is approximately 10 km each way. We left before lunch and I didn’t have time to pack much to eat. I had some flax crackers, sunflower seeds and a bottle of water.
We gathered on the bridge over the waterfall and began our journey through a forested area. There were a lot of Mosquitos. We had to walk fast to keep from being bitten. It was a warm day, but long pants and sweaters were needed for protection from the bugs.
More than 3/4’s of the way to Tie Creek, we arrived at what is known as the Sounding Stone. It is like a gateway to Tie Creek. There are two large boulders that mark this entrance, the first one is the Sounding Stone. Here, an offering of tobacco is placed and a prayer made to set the intention for one’s visit to this sacred place. It is said when you clap on the rock with your hand or another rock, if it doesn’t sound, you don’t have permission to proceed. When it sounds, particularly when using a small rock, it almost sounds like the beat of a large drum. This can also be considered an announcement of your presence, to let the spirits know you are on your way.
From this point, our journey became a bit more challenging. I felt we needed to turn to the left, but others felt the obvious path to the right was the correct way to go. Maybe there are a few ways to get to our destination. We followed this path, and part way through waded through a boggy area, followed by a short open area & then came to the entrance of more forest. This didn’t feel right. We turned around and went all the way back to the Sounding Stone to search for another way. We looked along the tree line to the left, but couldn’t see an opening for a path. I knew there was a reason we were finding this so challenging.
We followed the first path again, continuing to search along the tree line for an opening. The guide and I went ahead to see if we could find the right way, but ended up turning back. It was quite warm out and everyone was getting tired. We must have been walking back and forth from the Sounding Stone for about half an hour. We went back to the Sounding Stone one more time. This time I walked closer to the tree line. There was a lot of dead trees fallen over. I stood in front of one fallen tree and looked beyond it through the trees. This time the path showed itself to me. I could see through to the other side where there was rocky ground. This is what I was looking for.
Several people had turned around and went back to the gathering site by this time. There were still 15 of us who continued on. When we got to the fence that surrounds Tie Creek – a 10-12′ high chain link fence with barbed wire around the top and bottom (no one has a clear explanation as to why this sacred place needs this – something the government put up). We didn’t have a key, so we found a spot where there was enough of an opening between the bottom of the fence and the ground. A few of us held up the fence and one person held up the barbed wire, as people shimmied under the fence.
I walked to the top of the rock, and took off my wet socks and shoes, to connect directly to the powerful healing energy of this ancient rock. I encouraged others to do the same. I wandered around for a while, trying to find the same spot I meditated last year, a spot where there are offerings left for the little people of the forest – shiny objects, like beads, a little chair, a little metal bucket. I left some sunflower seeds and a tobacco offering.
I sat down on the rock, to spend some time in meditation. I could feel the presence of the little people. They were watching me. I could hear them rustling in the woods. I may have even heard them singing and drumming. After a short time, I began to sound my voice, toning whatever notes felt like emerging from within. A couple of times, on my hands and knees, bent down to connect my third eye with the rock beneath me. Some bees buzzing around me, let me know when my meditation time was complete. I went back to the top of the rock to wait for the others.
When we were ready to leave, I got everyone to form a circle and we created an energy wave that we sent out to the gathering and to the rest of the world.
When we left this space, and got back to the Sounding Stone, we offered tobacco and said a prayer to thank Spirit before continuing on our way back to the gathering. The forest seemed extra thick with mosquitoes as we moved quickly through this part of the journey.
When I arrived back at the gathering site and shared the story of our journey, I was reminded that likely the reason we had such a hard time finding the path by the Sounding Stone, is because those that got tired and turned around to go back, likely weren’t ready to journey to Tie Creek. It wasn’t their time to be there. It was a good lesson for us to recognize this. We also learned the importance of trusting our intuition. Everything happened as it was meant to.
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Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, ThetaHealing® and Integrated Energy Therapy® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca . “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my 48 years this has been and currently is the place I call home. I spent the last 17 years in Financial Services. A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges have led me to begin practising Reiki , ThetaHealing®, and now IET®. I have a desire to learn and practise other healing modalities, as well as serve children and empower young women around the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”