Mount Shasta, California
“When you go into the mountains, all you see are the forests, springs, lakes and peaks. But in the mountains there are also caves, underground rivers and deep caverns. Think of these sometimes, as well as of the beings that live in them, so that you can be their friend. Mountains are not simply masses of earth and rocks; they are containers for enormous treasures: crystals, stones and precious metals, which powerful entities watch over and work with. I am not saying this in order for you to go venturing into caves, armed with picks and pickaxes, to dig tunnels in the hope of finding seams of gold and silver. No. Pay attention to the symbolic, living aspect of mountains, whether you climb them or else dig deep in yourself to find spiritual treasure. “
– Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
Looking at Humbug Mountain from its South side.
Humbug Mountain sits just south of a tiny town on the Oregon coast called Port Orford. At 1756 feet it is the highest point on the Oregon Coast and a mountain which was once used as a site for vision quests by local Native American tribes, a fact which would have been lost in the annals of time had it not been for an out-of-print guidebook I found about the Oregon Coast written by local insiders I found in a second-hand book shop in Montreal. When I tried researching further if this was true, there were zero sources online, but given the fact that this is the highest mountain right on the ocean, it would make sense why this particular mountain has some special significance.
Humbug Mountain sits within the confines of the Eden-like Humbug Mountain State Park, a place which strongly reminded me of another magical place and one of my favorite places on Earth, Olympos, Turkey. Both are located in a tiny valley, mountains on all sides, with a river/brook cutting through the valley which then leads out to a magnificent beach. Olympos, an ancient pirate hide-out, is strewn with ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins in the midst of orange, lemon and pomegranate orchards and people stay in tree houses and the protected pebble beach is a breeding site for the endangered loggerhead turtle.
The beach at Olympos, Turkey
Humbug Mountain may not have ancient ruins but instead is draped with a lush, prehistoric temperate forest, giant ferns, giant Pacific pine trees, moss and clover and the beach, while sandy, small and private, has numerous seals and whales visiting within sight of the shore, and people stay in tents or RVs.
Trail from campground, goes under a bridge and leads you to the beach….
…And here’s the beach. Humbug Mountain State Park Beach, with Bush Creek emptying itself into the ocean.
Trail up the mountain.
Paralleled but different. The hike up to the top is about 5km long and while it is longer , it’s also far easier and more gentle than Neahkahnie Mountain. You have plenty of time to meditate and think things over while you walk up through one of the most beautiful forests I’ve seen in my life. It’s a funny mountain; one side is completely forested and wild, and the other side is just hard rock and literally drops into the ocean. The top unfortunately has a blocked view now. The trees have grown so there’s not much of a view, but there is a tiny meadow, and should any of you ever find yourself there, and it is a day not crowded by other hikers, you have plenty of space to meditate, pray or do ceremony of your choice. The vibe here is very, very peaceful. I hung out for a good hour and offered tobacco and made my way down.
Top of Humbug Mountain meadow.
What can I say about this place that hasn’t already been said or written already? The modern-day superstar of the New Age movement, Shasta is so many things to so many people. To the culty I AM movement, it is their world headquarters (their compound is near the base actually) and apparently sightings of St. Germain or Melchizedek or UFOs are common, depending on who you talk to. To channelers, the underground city of Telos, populated by ancient Lemurians sits underneath the mountain, to the Klamath Indians, the local Native tribe, it is the resting place of the spirit chief Skell after he fought Llao, creating Crater Lake. You can spend a lifetime reading about the various myths of this mountain if you really wanted to.
What happened to me was quite different. I got to Shasta by driving south, from Oregon, along Interstate 5. Shasta at 14 000 feet is a giant of a mountain and can be seen from hundreds of miles away. Once I passed Ashland and saw my first sight of Shasta, I don’t know why but I just started crying. The mountain had called and I came.
The main corner of Mount Shasta town
I’m not going to talk too much about Mount Shasta town or Mount Shasta Boulevard which has at least 8 crystal shops in the space of 2 blocks. Or how most of the books at the main New Age shop, “Soul Connections” had titles, 95% of which were channeled material from God-knows-what “spirit” or entity of uncertain origin. Or how the main crystal shop is selling crystal bowls, giant geos and original visionary artwork and paintings in the tens of thousands of dollars range.
They had to build up a wall and cordon off the source of the springs due to overuse and degradation of the land.
Or the fact that Panther Meadow Springs is now cordoned off to help the delicate plants there come back to life (some of them take hundreds of years to do so) since that meadow has been overused and trampled through by entitled, sanctimonious New Agers, neo-pagan hippies and idiot, hipster campers with zero respect, over the years. So much so, that the spring ran dry for the first time in its recorded history last year.
Bulletin board poster of Panther Meadow over the years and restoration effort.
Or the New Age tourists I had to yell at who ignored the designated trail completely and decided that getting to the spring was their main focus and didn’t give a shit that they were trampling through a delicate alpine ecosystem which is trying to recover. That kind of stupidity and disrespect is happening all the time on the mountain.
Stick to the trail, don’t walk on the grass or meadow.
However, the mountain is big enough and powerful enough to swallow up these tiny botherations. The road up to the final overview lookout at 7000 feet above sea level, is 20 km long (about 14 miles) and it winds its way to the middle of the mountain. Along the way, you’ll first see medium sized redwoods, which then give way to pine trees, which then give way to dwarf pines, which them give way to lichen and moss and then finally bare rock and snow, due to altitudinal zonation..
A diagram which briefly explains altitudinal zones of vegetation.
Funny enough, the soil and rock of the mountain looks almost pink or lavender in certain spots. You will see the change in vegetation the further up you go along the mountain, things get smaller and smaller the higher up you go. It also gets quieter and quieter and the sunlight gets brighter and brighter. People say mountains are holy places and that it is easier to have spiritual insights there, but I’m not sure if altitude sickness has something to do with it also. The symbolism is also obvious; the higher up into the mountains you go, the further you get away from this world and its sophomoric occupations.
The treeline stops very quickly from Bunny Flat.
I lucked out and got a spot to camp at the Panther Meadows Campground, the only designated spot to camp on the mountain and no where near the springs. There are 12 spots and it is usually first come, first served and I managed to get one of the last available slots. If you have never camped at 7000 feet in your life, it is an experience I would recommended to anyone. At night, it gets super cold, the wind starts blowing off the peaks of Shasta. It got so windy, it started rocking my tent and woke me up around midnight or so. When I looked out, I was rewarded with probably one of the most unforgettable scenes in my life. The entire mountain and forest were flooded in silver moonlight, so bright that you wouldn’t need a flashlight at all. The millions of stars could clearly been seen in the clear night sky and the outlined shadows of the alpine trees, super tall, straight and narrow, made me realize these were not normal trees. They looked like sentinels guarding the mountain. You could practically feel them watching you.
Panther Meadows is split in two, Lower Panther Meadow and Upper Panther Meadow, where the source spring is. Upper Panther Meadow is up for registration on the National Register of Historical Places in the US, given it has been considered a holy site long before the Europeans ever arrived and still in continuous use. People think that by coming here, taking a fuck-ton of pictures to show up to their friends back home that somehow, they’ll have a “spiritual experience” here but I don’t think that’s how this place works at all.
The source of Panther Meadows Springs, can you see the two circles where the water gurgles out of the ground?
This is a place where you offer prayers, you give it to the waters and let the waters carry them away from you, that’s it, no more. But with New Agers leaving behind “offerings” of plastic angels, Lemurian rock crystals and what not, disrespectful hikers walking wherever , the vibe has changed. It has become a tourist spot and now the only time you can ever really be here all alone is either in the middle of the night or right around dawn. It’s full of people all day long now.
The end of the Shasta road, where the treeline vanishes completely. The hike begins here.
The real place for leaving behind offerings is literally , at the end of the Shasta road, at the Old Ski Bowl. The treeline abruptly ends and from there you can try hiking the remainder of the 7000 feet to the summit, if you have the right mountain climbing gear.
It is even more insanely quiet and brighter here than at Panther Meadow. The overlook is strewn with rocks, boulders and rubble from the mountain itself and past pilgrims have started doing devotional rock formations here like;
Rock spiral at Mount Shasta.
This was the end of the road for me too. I burnt the sigils here and left the final bit of tobacco and mixed it into the soil of the mountain itself. Someone had started a giant rock spiral so I collected a few more rocks and added to it as well. I hope it keeps growing.
I now understand why pilgrims carry so much emotional resonance with them when they do pilgrimages. It is the doing of an act of faith and there’s no guarantee you’ll get to do it or finish it. The late meta-physical teacher Stuart Wilde offered a wonderfully simple prayer. It went “Please God, don’t let me go until I can fix this” and I think I understand the essence of that. It is really not about what you can receive, but rather what you can give and it is in the act of giving, with no expectation, no reward, nothing transactional nor conditional “If you give me this then I’ll do that”, that you end up receiving, a point which unfortunately is completely lost on New Age fetishists, religious fundamentalists , faux-yoga celebrity bunnies and the like. I think it is time we all changed that, don’t you?
As I write this, a few noteworthy developments are taking place. Astrologer Steve Judd was the first one to call it out in June. He basically said that the recent Saturn retrograde back into Scorpio from Sagittarius was a signal that some more unsavory truths about the private lives of prominent people was going to come out. And his prediction was correct.
David Icke has been saying from at least 1998 that former late, British Prime Minister, Edward Heath was a murderous pedophile, and now it looks like a victim has finally come forward with evidence and there is going to be an official investigation against Heath among other very prominent British politicians. This isn’t conspiracy theory territory anymore, this is in the mainstream media. Whether you want to admit it or not, London is still the intellectual, financial and political capital of this Earth. Places like Washington DC, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome etc. are all just satellite centers. If London, the City of London, Westminster and the British establishment collapse, there will be a domino effect around the world. Count on it.
The truth, like a panther, seems to be stalking, closer and closer to its prey. Not quite yet going for the jugular, but inching ever so closely to its target with each passing minute. Even more uncomfortable truths are going to come out and it leads me to believe that the age of subversion, greed and self-interest is coming to an end. The climate for it is vanishing. Evolve and adapt and try to start to get real or stay phony and go the way of the Dodo Bird. It’s your choice.