Congratulations to Sandra Matuschka for her June Nature Spirit Photo Contest win. Sandra submitted a photo of her wizard Vision Quest stone. June’s Contest was to go out into nature, with a set intention, and find a stone that “popped out.” Then sit with the stone and listen to its story. This is a classic method by which indigenous peoples around the world have asked questions of the universe, and received answers.
Sandra tells us the story behind her rock:
I “ran away from home” for a night last Thursday to stay for a night at Wayside Inn in Sudbury (which is less than two hours from me). I left to give myself a reprieve from caretaking… (my two chronically ill relatives I help care for)… I thought this might be a good time to search for and find the stone of this month’s contest theme.
Wayside Inn is the oldest operating inn in our country (1716). I’d stayed once in the mid-70s, and again in the mid-90s. This time I stayed in one of the two still existing bedrooms from 1716 that were spared a fire in the 1950s. Although mine was reputed to be haunted, I found it quite comforting. Nearby is the Wayside Grist Mill (1929). I was dealing with a bout of recurring vertigo as well, so had to be careful how I turned and walked. Nonetheless, I persisted.
I spent part of late afternoon, and next day late morning roaming the mill grounds with my camera, soaking up all it had to give. I have not done this for a very long while. And those grounds had a lot to give. I scooped up one of the first small stones I found at the very entrance to the grounds because it reminded me of an arrowhead, and kept it with me.
It had been a long while since I had allowed myself to wander in such pure nature. In the midst of a field I was startled to smell my childhood summers at my grandparents in Newport (RI)! I started seeing things and remembered enjoying them as a child. The elementals/spirits seemed to begin allowing me vision. If I could have stayed forever, I would have. But at least I was blessed with a takeaway of communion that I know will remain with me and must be nurtured, something that surpasses the stone itself.
When I finally studied the stone I picked up, it seemed to have a wise hooded, bearded wizard seen ever so lightly — a reminder to me that I can find this epic nature all around me wherever I am, and I need not be in a special place to do so. I can receive succor and comfort from that fact, wherever I am or whatever need I happen to have. I am surrounded by what I need; it’s just that sometimes I can see it better than others. This was one of those times. I hope you enjoy the photos.
Besides being a nature spirit photo contest, this was an exercise in understanding that the universe is supportive – we only need to ask help of it! A rock vision quest consists of asking a question of the universe that you need an answer to, requesting the universe send you a stone with the answer. Then you start walking until a stone “pops.” Pick it up and study it…the answer will slowly reveal itself. Sometimes right away…sometimes over time.
There are often a number of images in a vision stone, for there are often many aspects to the question being asked. A second image I saw in this view of Sandra’s vision quest stone was a woodpecker, its head facing right. I noted that, on Sandra’s Facebook photo, and she responded Yes. I have a group of woodpeckers that I feed suet near the seed feeder
In actuality the universe, through stone language was providing Sandra with even more messages than she herself was consciously aware of. You see, in animal speak, woodpeckers represent a specifice type of universal energy. Native American traditions say the spirit of the woodpecker encourages you to protect those who are too weak to protect themselves. (The woodpecker eats insects attacking a tree whose life force energy is waning.)
Sandra saw the wizard, stating in response to another Facebook comment that I have always loved the Merlin story, from way back. Collected wizards for a while, but whittled them down to a couple special ones. This indicates that the wizard to her means power, protection, and the right wielding of energy. But stone speak also was also acknowledging and appreciating the woodpecker energy of active protection she was providing her two needy relatives.
Nature speak says that when an animal appears to you at least three times, it has a special message for you, and you should figure out what it is. The woodpecker world has a special message for Sandra in how she can successfully deal with the on-going stress of her situation. In a situation like this, I recommend the person locate more information about the animal, who has evolved successful ways to care for itself in its own similar situations. AND – Sandra’s message includes the energy of Merlin, the good and wise wizard who represents working with the energies of nature – another energy Sandra can further explore.
Furthermore, the wizard is perched on the woodpecker’s head. It has the position of a “familiar” – the spirit that backs up and supports the main energy of that combine. This is a situation often found when a tree or rock is recording a major energy. There is the energy – and there is the spirit protecting and supporting that energy. I myself have photographically recorded this many times. This is also a visual reassurance of the way the universe works and shows that we humans do, indeed, have spirit guides who are protecting us. In this case – Sandra is working with woodpecker energy, and the Merlin wizard energy is supporting and protecting her.
This humble stone successfully answered Sandra’s question and showed her the types of energy she could explore and master, to bring balance and peace to the issue that was concerning her.
When I myself has been in a similar situation, I will continue to sit with the stone, holding it, tucking it in a pocket as I go through my day (if it’s small enough), to consciously remind myself to connect in to the universal energies that can assist me to deal with that stated situation. This process helps me to understand that my situation is a universal one. As the universe is always ultimately seeking to establish balance, peace, and compassion – that type of energetic alignment is available to me as well, I simply need to connect to that particular aspect of universal power.
Thanks, Sandra, for this wonderful example of the subtle ways nature and humans can potentially interact and assist each other!
Sandra receives a $50 gift certificate to Crystal Life – crystal-life.com
July’s Nature Spirit photo contest is – the Grand Scale – larger than life scenes with nature spirits in them, as found in the national, state or local parks of communities around the world. You can participate by joining our Nature Spirits community; or by sending your image to firstname.lastname@example.org .