As my fire vision quest continued through the night, I learned a lot about my place in the land around me. Rather than feeling detached, unsettled and confused, I am now completely aware of why I am here and what I am here to do. All my life I have wandered aimlessly, trying to fit in to a society that for the most part I struggled to understand. At school I was ‘the geek,’ the awkward teenager, the unpopular one who was bullied and shy and completely lacking in confidence. As I grew older I became the quiet, polite young woman. But I was never satisfied. And now I am finally beginning to understand why.
Back to the dark hillside in rural Derbyshire. I had been listening to the steady beating of drums all around me. I had slept in the embrace of our Great Mother, and woke feeling happy and at peace. I spoke to the grand old oak tree under which I sat. I spoke to a tall, proud thistle that stood just in front of my sacred space. I was aware of small wild animals snuffling around behind me, but none approached. I was aware of my fellow spiritual travellers each sitting in their own sacred spaces up and down the hill, but I couldn’t see any of them.
At some point in the night I heard the sound of a Native American flute being played. The sound drifted up the hill, and I thought it came from a point lower down around where my sister and spiritual brother were sitting. I knew that neither of them had their flutes with them, but I clearly heard the soft, melodic, peaceful sound. Later in the night I heard voices chanting, like a sacred choir. Turning my head towards the empty field to my right, I saw no shadows and was not aware of any human presence. I knew the chanting wasn’t coming from our fire below, because everyone was in silence all night. It seemed that a spiritual choir had joined us, and their sound was beautiful. I was not the only person who heard it that night.
I slept again, this time curled on my side with my nose buried in the grass. I inhaled the fresh, clean smell of earth, and reveled in the freedom to partake of this sacred ceremony. Normally I would be afraid of touching a snail or a slug, or having a spider crawl over me, but tonight none of that mattered. Another time I lay flat on my back staring up at the stars after the clouds broke up. I saw my first shooting star, which was a very exciting moment. I saw the constellations, a rare treat nowadays. I don’t know their names, or which ones I saw, but I intend to further study the night sky in all its glory. I felt the energy of the Moon, although I couldn’t see it because the branches of the oak tree obscured it. I slept again.