a ten mile ride down a ragged dirt road brought us to a lush oasis of coast live oaks and cottonwoods way out in the chaparral backcountry lining the whiter shades of desert to the east. the first hints of dusk crept in. the sun traced a path towards the pacific, a rose glow over the tecate divide to the west. we followed animal tracks up a wide run to the top of a hill. we closed our eyes, closed the circle between us. hands clasped. winds stirred warmth from an expanse of stone and sand. I spoke I know not what: an invocation perhaps. I invited my wild women to connect to the elements and root into the earth below. together we sang the sound of om, in circles, until the wind spiral carried our intentions to all directions.
we sealed our lips and returned to the trees in sweet silence. I had laid down a blanket and placed a large wooden bowl in the center. I had asked each participant of the ceremony to bring with them one sacred offering from home. each brought a piece of her own heart to place in the bowl: a tiny buddha statue, an immaculate stick of creosote, a flower, an array of quartz crystals. we brought our eyes closed and allowed an intention of healing to effortlessly arise from the heart of our hearts. then we chose an item from the bowl– it didn’t have to be our item, and few of us chose the offering we ourselves had brought. we shared our intentions, compounding their strength, holding them tight in the common space between sixteen hands, with the force of eight loving hearts.
my intention: to rewild our hearts. to heal together with the earth. to hold strong to our truth as stewards of the wild world, our home. and to seed this love for the wild in all the hearts we heal.
we broke bread. we made fire. we told stories and read futures. we drew away from the fire and into the dark to cock our heads towards that huge yellow moon, that sweet milky way pulling awe from our hearts through our mouths.
in the morning we told the stories of our dreams; many had dreamt of bears. and gathered on the blanket to close the circle of our ceremony. and set out into the rocky highlands, a pilgrimage under a white-hot sun.