Myself, my best friend, a new friend, and 3 dogs traveled 6 hours to Mountain Rest, SC to be on the sacred land of the Cherokee boundary to watch the 8-21-2017 Eclipse. This is our story…. (insert funny little song here from all of those shows of life’s greatest mysteries)….
The story begins as an unfolding of a series of unpredictable and unplanned events. I might, at sometime, call them a series of sacred accidents, but my life has come to bear witness to the benevolent mysterious ways of pathworking that now considers “accidents” just part of the great design.
8-19-2017: 10am Saturday Morning – I wake up to my dearest cat and spiritual guide, Meatball, sick and needing to go to the vet. I took the sweet little girl to the Emergency clinic and she received treatment for a suspect UTI. Poor little girl (Don’t worry! She’s on the mend and we have a follow up appointment next Thursday.) My husband went, as planned, with our other dog to the beach and I stayed home to make sure said feline spiritual teacher was going to be alright.
(This is her ‘Fuck you for taking me to the vet, I’m putting myself away‘ picture.)
8-19-2017: 4pm Saturday Evening – After careful observation of her positive response to medication (and her emergence from the kitchen cabinet and healthy appetite), I called my best friend and invited myself to her Eclipse journey. She’s a water person – a sailor, an artist, a dreamer, a composer, a swimmer, a diver, and beautiful in her well of Spirit Water. As with many water people, her plans are vast, dreamy, beautiful, strong and tend to take up an absolutely limitless container of space (you know, kind of like if the ocean didn’t have gravity and land to hold it…). I’m an Earth person. I’m about as fixed and frustrating as I can be, especially when trying to re-create gravity or say, a continent for the ocean to hold on to.
She had a plan but it included a mowed mountain top, group camping, communal fire pit, and a requirement to BYOSB (Bring Your Own Shit Bucket). I’m a Taurus; I don’t BMOSB (Bring My Own Shit Bucket). I really quite prefer, at least, an outhouse or a tree line.
This Earth girl was on it. AirBnB had 3 listings. The Mountain Top with BYOSB; a $3000 cabin with hot tub; and an obscure post from some guy name Quentin who was renting his two tents out on some Mountain Cabin and Camping place RIGHT ON THE CENTER LINE OF TOTALITY.
8-19-2017: 7pm Saturday Evening
Earth girl had booked the two tents and campsite, but I knew deep down inside (you know, about 1 cm beneath my skin), something with this reservation did not land. I set up Meatball-Care for the next 32 hours. Thankful, again, for a best friend who owed me a favor and our amazing neighbors who have a 12 month old who can’t do anything but stay home and operate on a bizarre early human schedule.
8-19-2017: 8pm Saturday Evening
I do what I always do when I’m feeling conflicted. I went to American Hero and I ordered one turkey sandwich and one hamburger and ate half of each of them. (No, really… my ability to make decisions goes completely out the window.) So that curiosity doesn’t kill you, (I am a healer after all and want to keep you at ease), the sandwich was better.
8-19-2017: 11pm Saturday Evening
I’ve packed by now. Sort of. And tried to go to bed. Spirit was giving me some seriously bizarre instructions about what to bring, so my packing list included:
- Smokey Quartz crystal
- Tarot deck
- Prayer bundle making supplies – white linen, red string, tobacco, herbs.
- Three quartz crystals – one for each of the girls and one that I use – that I was told to charge up during the Eclipse
- My medicine bag
- First aid kit
- A large piece of round mica
- A piece of red linen
- A cocktail dress – black. I was given specific instructions to dress up
- A white scarf
- A bandana
- Some underwear – for good measure
- Night time, cool-weather sleeping clothes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- My camping hammock
- My fairy lights – a string of tiny little solar lights
8-20-2017: 5am Sunday Morning
I woke up after a bizarre dream to see if Quentin was an actual person who wrote back to confirm my reservation. Nope.
8-20-2017: 10am Sunday Morning
I went to the grocery store for ice and sandwiches and few other necessities – like half -n- half for my coffee.
8-20-2017: 12pm – 6:30pm Sunday Afternoon
I drove three women and three dogs and all of our camping gear and a cooler to South Carolina.
(Driving – hour 5)
8-20-2017: 7pm Sunday Evening
We arrive at the cutest of places – a mountain top retreat space with campers and music and kids and dogs and frisbee and June, a lovely caretaker who had no record of our reservation. We sat around for an hour allowing the creative unfolding to continue. She and her young, partially intoxicated staff, manifested a rocky campsite for us near campsite 25. (I think it was part of the driveway, but someone had used a back hoe to clear some land to turn a piece of machinery around or allow for cars to drive in a convenient circle.) Whatever, I’ve camped in a driveway before – but, since there was no reservation, there were also no tents. Well, there was one tent – a tiny tent, that my friend brought for her dogs. Open air camping it was…
8-20-2017: 11pm Sunday Evening
We setup our open air campsite, which was a bit uneven and another bit rocky. The dogs were fed, as were we. And I led us in a grounding meditation calling the directions, opening our 10th chakra, adjusting the 13th chakra and moving our place of balance between body and natural forces back into our hearts, and called forward the animal spirits who were hovering around to support each of the girls.
8-21-2017: 1:00am Monday Night
From my hammock and my imaginative fear of the nighttime outdoors, I was well convinced there was a wild pig trying to eat me. Fairy lights turned on! Small pomeranian bounced around on my belly – my hammock mate, Lucy. I jumped from the hammock, peed, mostly on my pant legs — but, whose really paying attention to those details… Jumped back into the hammock and shortly later realized that I was getting in the tiny tent with the dogs – and, my friend, who was stuffed like a badly architected swaddle, in her tent. Armed with lit fairy lights and said pomeranian, I walked up and said, “I’m getting in, there is a pig trying to kill me.” Needless to say, I scared the hell out of her. I guess to her, behind the screen of her tent, I looked like a lit up angry Spirit with some outrageous fur spilling out of my arms. She let me in anyways.
I slept on the old yellow lab, she slept on her gigantic standard poodle, Lucy, the pomeranian, slept in a little ball. No one slept. We just shuffled around each other in tiny movements, but at least we were alive.
A pack of Coyotes started cackling and howling not too terribly far from us. The mysterious tricky night ones. The Spirit keepers of magic and force.
8-21-2017: 7:00am Monday Morning
It was the day. It broke like a dam. No one was happy. Everyone was emotional, well, except Lucy and I – we were OK. I defeated a wild pig and was spared by a shamanic death with Coyotes. The other woman set off to scout for the perfect place to setup for the Eclipse. My friend wanted to stay in the woods and be alone, but also didn’t want to split up. Needless to say, no sleep doesn’t unfold too well with any of us.
8-21-2017: 11:30am Monday Late Morning
We found the spot. Together. In the packed up car, with three women and three dogs and our camping shit. 10 Parking Spaces left in the entire Oconee State Park – and then there were 9. Although, if this picture doesn’t sum up the energy of what it felt like to arrive here, I’m not sure what does…
One old lab, who has a seizure disorder. One Pomeranian caught up in Caution tape. One standard poodle looking defeated.
I scouted for the perfect spot. Requirements: Anywhere that we have a view of the sun. I’m the least scientific and least picky, but apparently I have good “luck” or can follow the scent of Divine unfolding. I hooked a left into a field to find the most massive cameras setup in a row and a guy with a telescope. I set our tarp down in the row of professionals. These people had scouted this place for months, maybe years. Some of them had t-shirts from other Eclipse viewings, from other places, like England! I had on my cocktail dress and a white scarf.
(Our tarp. The field.)
We were on the center line of totality. We also had bathrooms and lovely company. We waited comfortably – rather buzzing from anticipation (or exhaustion).
8-21-2017: 2:39pm Monday Afternoon
It started. Slowly at first. The sun being eaten up by the moon. The darkness creeping slowly in. The light changing to be cleaner and softer. Like an addiction, constantly looking up for moments at a time through our glasses, we were watching the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017. It was beautiful, like the first time ever laying my eyes on beauty. It was amazing to share this with a best friend, my water person, one of the dearest loves of my life.
(Two peas in a pod, eh?)
She took this picture of me. Look at my hand. See that? That is my electromagetic field under the presence of the Eclipse energy. The frequencies go a bit haywire when the moon covers up the sun. (Go figure.)
And then it went dark….