Sometimes things do not go as planned. Sudden changes, unexplainable events that rock our world and facilitate the very change we were to afraid to make is often gifted to us by spirit. It can be years later when all the threads of that journey weave back together and we are able to make sense of our world when it seems to spin out of control.
In 2010 I would be guided to return to New Zealand to plant the seed of making this my home. New Zealand has always been my heart home but at the time I was still living in San Clemente, California. Something was shifting inside of me and my outer world was reflecting those changes. We would spend several months in New Zealand and the call to move grew ever stronger. Being able to live only in New Zealand for 6 months, Mount Shasta which is my Spirit home called me as well.
At that time, I was unaware of the golden thread that wove these two mystical places together but felt both lands tugged deeply on my heart thread.
Mount Shasta is sacred too many native American tribes but one that has a beautiful creation story that resonates with my heart is the Winnemem Wintu tribe. One because the chief is a woman and the other is their story. The Winnemem Wintu are water people and they believe that the holy spring on the mountain is the source of life. The people were entrusted to protect the salmon after the salmon gave up their voice to the human when realizing in time the human would lose their way and would need a voice to find one another. The Winnemem Wintu believe that when the salmon are gone, human will be gone as well.
When the Shasta Dam was constructed during World War II, it flooded the home of the people and blocked the salmon runs. The salmon were an integral part of the life and health of the McCloud River watershed. The eggs of the salmon were taken to different rivers all over the world to try to save them. Only one river in the world would provide the life force for the salmon. A river in the South Island of New Zealand. My soul’s journey and the longing to be both in Mount Shasta and New Zealand was beginning to make sense.
In 2005, a New Zealand professor contacted the tribe to say, “We have your salmon.” New Zealand salmon, it turned out, were spawned in the late 19th century from eggs cultivated at the Baird Station Hatchery on the McCloud River. In 2010, I began my yearly journey between Mount Shasta and New Zealand as though something was tugging at my heart. That same year, after five years, 28 of the Winnemem Wintu people came to New Zealand, where they held a ceremony on the Rakaia River to pray and dance for the return of their salmon.
Together the Winnemem performed a four-day salmon ceremony at the river. They bonded over large feasts, laughter, and a common struggle to preserve their culture and lands against the forces of assimilation. The following year in 2011, I would make my permanent move to Mount Shasta and the Ngai Tahu from New Zealand would now journey to Mount Shasta to join again with the Winnemem Wintu. One of the elders, shared that the salmon survived because the eel protected them, and they knew the Winnemem would one day return for them.
In January after the total lunar eclipse, we left Mount Shasta to make New Zealand our home base. As I left the mountain I felt a chapter ending and yet another beginning. On the recent new moon, now settled into life on Waiheke Island, my husband called me to the television where on the news the Winnemem Wintu had returned to the sacred river in New Zealand and were finally taking the salmon home to the McCloud River. The genetic research of the last several years had met all the requirements from both governments, something the Ngai Tahu and Winnemem Wintu knew, and the salmon were being returned to the waters that flow around Mount Shasta. 60 years has this story been being woven.
In September my story will have been woven for 60 years as well and now I understand my deep connection to the dragon line that weaves these two powerful places together. I myself will return to the sacred McCloud River and Mama Mountain to celebrate this joining together of two worlds in September. There is so much we can learn from the river known as the Long person for our own journey. We can gain strength and wisdom. We can gain an understanding of how deeply we are woven together and the importance of protecting our sacred waters. My story is your story as a golden thread weaves us to the dragon lines and to each other. Now more than ever we must remember we are truly one world, we must hold the faith and we must gather together often in sacred ceremony. The next full moon we will experience is dedicated to Honu the ancient one of the sea and provides an opportunity to remember our story, our connection to this beautiful water star. For those who are members of our online subscription series I have added both a ritual and a guided meditation to celebrate this night. Click Here
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We are from the waters and must protect the water.
Journey well. Love and rainbows, Robbyne