Walking the Land: El Shaddai by Marchiene Reinstra

El Shaddai by Marchiene Reinstra

Copyright Marchiene Reinstra 2011
All Rights Reserved

El Shaddai is the name I call a large mountain right in our back yard.  It is a volcanic vent and directly connected to House Mountain, the extinct volcano that dominates this area.   El Shaddai is Hebrew for “Mighty Breasted God”  associated with mountains.   El Shaddai does look something like a large woman’s breast.   And she is definitely the guardian of the area where I live in West Sedona, and towers over the whole landscape.

El Shaddai.jpg
Here is El Shaddai. It is a volcanic vent that has come from House Mountain, the dormant volcano southeast of it.

Eileen arrived at my place on a Saturday morning (March 19) so we could get out on the land before it got too warm.   We didn’t need to drive anywhere, because it is possible to walk out of the complex where we live and be out in the Coconino wilderness in less than ten minutes, and on a jeep road that leads into the area around El Shaddai.   We donned our backpacks, took our drum and flute, and set off for our “holy play.”  (see pic of Eileen on the path)

The path that leads towards El Shaddai is lined with beautiful cedars.   We paused between two large ones that were guardians, and formed an energetic gateway.   There, we offered cornmeal and seeds,  and asked permission to proceed.   Having received it,  we walked on down the road until we came to a place between El Shaddai on our left and a big red rock formation on our right which I call The Singers. (see pics of each)  You can see the outlines of two faces, back to back,  with open mouths as if singing.    It is easy to feel the special energy that moves between El Shaddai (feminine) and the Singers (masculine) in this area.

Eileen on path near El Shaddai.jpg
Every sacred place has ‘gate guardians.’ They can be a set of trees, as illustrated by Eileen in this photo. Or, they can be a huge boulder, or two of them. Sometimes, it is a tree combined with a boulder. One should always be on the look out for this pairing because it means you stop, give a gift of cornmeal and ask permission to continue on. Also, there is a shift of energy, a “veil” that will be felt by those sensitive enough to encounter it. That’s another ‘red flag’ that you are entering a guardian area. Stop and look around, you’ll find them.

It creates a great balance of the two energies in this whole area.   When we came to a spot where we were right in the alignment of energy between the Singers and El Shaddai, and where a path branched off in the direction of the Singers,  Eileen stopped, feeling this was the right place to do our ceremony.  It was right at the base of a huge and beautiful cedar as well.   We prayed in the seven directions individually, and then while Eileen prepared the sage offering,  I played my flute in the four directions to honor the spirits of the land and free up any blocked energy.

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Here is El Shaddai with a green Spring coat on her slopes. There is a huge old cedar tree directly in front of the camera.

Once the sage was smoking,  a wind sprang up, and it blazed strongly for quite awhile.  Eileen said she hadn’t seen anything like it before.   While this was happening,  a woman and dog came by, just as had happened when we were at Airport (aka Turtle) Mesa.    This time, the dog was white, and they took the trail leading towards the Singers without disturbing us.    Eileen began to drum and journey, and I also journeyed.   This is what I experienced:

Almost immediately, I saw the form of Bololokon appear,  circling and spiraling around and up the slopes of El Shaddai.   When  the huge serpent reached the top, she reared her head high up into the sky, and slowly faced each of the four directions in turn.  Then Bololokon turned into a serpent of fire and snaked back down to the base of El Shaddai, circled it, and from there slid along the ground all the way to the base of the Singers.

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There is a natural round, rock altar on the slope of the Singers. Here it is.

There, she coiled up at a place on a broad red rock shelf where I had done many ceremonies in the past.  I felt invited to go to Bololokon and stand in the center of her huge coils, which by now were now longer blazing with fire.   As I stood there surrounding by her, I felt a huge blessing energy radiating into me and out from where I stood into the whole area and beyond.    As I stood absorbing and enjoying this wonderful energy,  Grandmother Komwida appeared, standing  high on the eastern slope of El Shaddai, at a place I often did ceremony at sunrise and called The Grandmother’s Sacred Circle.  Then, way to the right near the base of the Singers I saw her daughter, Shining White Star,  appear from between the cleft of two huge guardian rocks I had recently discovered.

I heard a whisper in my mind from each of them, inviting me to come during the coming week to the places where they stood and do ceremony with the intention of completing the freeing of energy we were doing in our ceremony near the cedar tree.    I agreed to do this, and then the vision faded, and Eileen stopped drumming.

We first drew, and then shared our journeys with each other.   Her blog will tell more about her experience.

In the following week, I did as I had promised.   I went one morning at sunrise to the Grandmother’s Sacred Circle on El Shaddai.  There, I was directed to build a medicine wheel in the clearing,  and offer sage,  cornmeal, cedar, seeds,  and flute music.   I also sang power songs given to me in each of the four directions.   As I came down from the mountain,  a beautiful white dove perched on top of a budding cottonwood tree beside the path and sat there singing it’s beautiful notes as if in blessing and thanks for the ceremony and it’s effects.

the Singers, closeup.jpg
Here is one of the Singers. Looking upward, you can see a profile of a face, lips and chin.

A couple days later, in the golden hours of the late afternoon,  I went to the Guardian Rocks and built an altar with a pillar of stones on it,  once again offered cornmeal, seeds, cedar, sage, and played my flute and sang.   Once again a strong wind sprang up and blew the sage smoke through the whole area.   I felt it was a visible sign of the release of still more of the previously stagnant energy in that area.

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Here is another photo of the profile of the Singer. This one really shows the facial profile, the mouth opened and the singing.

As I walked towards home, I noticed for the first time a barely visible path winding up a bluff on my left.   I felt led to follow it, and it led to a hilltop I had never been on,  where there was a huge old cedar and stone wall structure at it’s base.   From there I could sit and survey the whole area around El Shaddai.   It was glorious, and I felt it was a gift of gratitude by the spirits of the place, and the ancestors,  for the ceremony and gratitude and honoring I was giving on the land.   There was also a clearing on the top of the bluff which had a very special energy, the kind one feels where sacred ceremony and prayer has been performed.

Approach to Singers.jpg

From a distance the Singers look like two red sandstone pillars. But the closer you get, the more you see their individualized faces.

That night,  and twice since then,  we have had wonderful rain in this area.   No, I am not surprised!

Eileen will be posting her blog tomorrow on El Shaddai.