Today, October 12, 2020, was a very special, magnificent day.
I have been living in Mount Shasta, California for a week now and knew somehow that October 12th may have some ‘symbolic meaning’ for me.
First, October 12th this year is Columbus Day in the US, or Indigenous Peoples’ Day. That in itself refers to the sanctity of the land and the sacred practices of its first inhabitants.
October 12, 2020 also marks the 101st anniversary of my father’s birth. Pierre Hilaire Francois Asselin was born in Paris, France. Over the fifteen years since my father’s departure, no October 12th has resonated in me as strongly as this year.
We had a beautiful sunset over the mountain last night with some orangish colors and a vast cloud forming right behind the mountain. A cloud that, at some point, turned dark and gobbled up the light. I didn’t pay much attention to this phenomenon, yet admired it from a meadow called ‘Sisson Meadow.’
Back in the house where I stayed, I experienced a feeling of gloom; I was bluesy. I noticed it, yet didn’t pay much attention to it. I went to bed and slept little. The feeling was still present in the morning. I wrote it down in my journal and l searched for possible reasons to this gloominess. One of them was the feeling of solitude—or even loneliness—that had engulfed Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary General, for most of his life. I couldn’t connect with anything personal.
The mountain had not called and I had no plans for my last day in Mount Shasta. I started looking at my messages. A friend of mine, who is living in California, mentioned her recent trip to Mount Lassen National Park, adding that Mount Lassen was the Sacred Masculine partner to Mount Shasta’s Divine Feminine. Suddenly, I had a plan for my day and things started to move; the first few insights, on the way to Mount Lassen, were meaningful.
A Divine Feminine mountain, a Sacred Masculine peak, there ought to be a union here, I thought, despite the geographical distance—of about 70 miles by bird’s flight.
As part of my spiritual practice, I pick three Tarot cards every day. On both Saturday and Sunday, I drew The Lovers (major arcana number six) in the second position. A strong card that repeats itself two days in a row, that was enough to make me think of a union. But whose union was it?
On Sunday morning, via a comment on my blog and a few clicks, I came across an article written on August 5th by a woman whose blog name was “believe4147.” The title of her article being, “Here comes the Groom,” which is about the coming again of Yeshua. In it, she quotes the disciple John, as follows,
“In my Father’s house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself:
that where I am there ye may be also.”
John 14: 2, 3.
The sentence, “I go to prepare a place for you,” had been swirling around my life since July 21st, the day our family came back from the Pacific Northwest. I had watched the movie “Harriet” in the plane and wrote down this sentence as it appeared on the screen at the very end of the movie.
These were enough clues to make me believe that my going to Mount Lassen had something to do with a divine union, or possibly reunion.
On the way down highway 89, a confirmation came through the pine lands, subtle and gentle. The gloominess I had experienced the night before was the gloominess of the mountain. It was her way of saying that she longed for her sacred partner.
If I needed an extra sign, it came through an RV that I crossed on that same road. Its name, written in large italic brown letters, was “Solitude.”
The Holy Child sends messages through the numbers we see and use.
Through this Divine Re-union, I was witnessing the Trinity. We had a Bride, a Groom and a Holy Child, or Spirit. This Holy Child doesn’t need to manifest in tangible form as It imbues the very air we breathe, the very water we use to wash and quench our thirst.
Sunday evening, I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town. I rounded up the bill to $30.
This morning, I decided to gas up before going to Mount Lassen. The bill came to $29.99 and I added one cent.
I arrived at the gate of Lassen National Park right before noon. The entrance fee was $30.
In themselves, I thought these repeated numbers were a sign of completion. Yet I didn’t know what completion it was.
Lassen National Park is a large piece of land which is traversed by a 30-mile road, with two entrances. I decided to drive down to the area on the south end of the park from which we can climb Mount Lassen.
In terms of height, Mount Lassen may be considered Mount Shasta’s little brother, culminating at 10,457 feet, while the magnificent lady reaches 14,179 feet.
From the parking area, the trail to the summit is 2.4-mile-long and the corresponding elevation 1,957 feet.
From the point where I was, at the bottom of the trail, I could spot two large erected stones that looked like a bride and a groom and I decided to go for them; they were about two-thirds of the way. Next to one of them was another smaller stone; large enough for a child.
As I ventured further above these stones, my feet started to reel and I felt the need to take a break. I sat on the ground, facing the valley, and started reading the book from Henry Van Dusen that I had brought with me. I was near the end of it and read the last few pages that composed the Epilogue.
Here are the last few lines of the book.
« With respect to the ‘public life’ of Everyman, we return once more to Hammarskjöld’s own dictum:
‘In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.’
We have suggested that, of this truth, his life is the proof, his ‘Road Marks’ the evidence. [Dag’s private journal is called Vägmärken in Swedish, or Markings in the English translation]
May not the obverse be equally true: In our era, the road to action adequate to the demands of these times necessarily passes through the world of holiness?
Only a spirit tempered in the fires of unflinching and indomitable inner struggle, more than that, a spirit firmly grounded in profound and secure faith in God, can yield character capable of supreme leadership for this tortured, frantic, unhappy age [this was written in the mid-60s]. This, at least, was Dag Hammarskjöld’s clear and strong conviction. We have cited his testimony, as well as the objective evidence, to the truth of this conviction for his own life. But he held it to be true for all [human beings]. Let this be his concluding words to us:
‘It is not sufficient to place yourself daily under God. What really matters is to be only under God …
‘… a living relation to God is the necessary precondition for the self-knowledge which enables us to follow a straight path and so be victorious over ourselves…’ »
Upon completing the reading of this marvelously detailed book, I knew it was time to go back onto the trail. Yet I didn’t know which way it would be, up or possibly down. I followed my feet and they decided to take a left toward the summit.
As I continued upward in this vast open space, I started reflecting upon the art of mountaineering, which was dear to Dag H., as he explored the rough terrain of northern Sweden. Climbing taxes the body and the spirit, yet the mountain path is usually clearly delineated with a few landmarks and good visibility. That was the case today, with signs telling us how far the summit was, and pictures describing the fauna and the flora.
Conversely, on the spiritual path, there is much we need to infer and decipher. There are usually fewer landmarks along the way—rather pebbles and breadcrumbs—and it is not so much an ascent, I would say, as it is a descent—a descent into the depths of our being, into the profundity of our psyche. The ‘spelunking metaphor’ has always been a favorite of mine, especially since January 2015 when I started my internet radio show, Nurturing the Spiritual Spelunker in All of Us.
In the darkness that accompanies us, who knows how deep we can go, and how many glimpses of our true nature we can catch along the way?
The remainder of my climb was easy, revigorated by new energy, and I was happy to reach the windy summit—but then what?
Questions came. Something—a meaning—appeared to be missing.
Why did I go that far up?
Did I purify my personal masculine by climbing Mount Lassen?
And what about the Beloveds? What symbol(s) do they represent in my life?
Although highly meaningful a journey because of the way the day evolved, there is more to this story—a ‘something’ I can’t put my finger on right now.
I tend to realize many things in retrospect. Yet I don’t know how long this particular “retrospect” is going to take to mature.
Yet I know that time, prompted by the Holy Child, always delivers its secrets … when we are ready.