It started with a series of events. I had been asking for a sign, an answer, or some vision of what I was supposed to do because recently I felt I was lacking in purpose. It seemed like my life had been put on hold. Today I was going to go hike around the nearby lake and find a place to meditate and pray on this. It was early morning and the water was still. The air was calm and the sun was shining through the damp branches of the pine trees. It had rained the day before.
I parked on the north side and was going to hike all the way around, and I didn’t care how long it would take me. It was a small lake so I knew it would only be about an hour or so. As I started the trail I already began to ask questions as I was walking. What am I supposed to do, how can I achieve a feeling of having more purpose right now in my life? Great Spirit, please give me a sign, please answer my prayers!
I repeated this prayer as if were a mantra. I was now half way around the lake and I realized that I was no longer praying, but now just enjoying my beautiful surroundings.
There was a shortcut that cut across what appeared to be a dried up portion of the lake. Since I was not in a hurry I decided to take the long way around. Somehow, I managed to get off the main trail and onto a smaller, unused trail. It was leading me in the right direction, but defiantly was not the main trail. There were tree branches hanging down far enough that I had to duck to get through. I heard a noise to my right, I looked and it was a small garter snake! We both froze and starred at each other for a moment. I wasn’t afraid because I knew it wasn’t poisonous and as a child growing up in Camp Verde Arizona, I was used to seeing snakes, if fact, when I was about eight or nine, I kept a four foot long Bull Snake as a pet. After years of studying Animal Messages, I knew this was a message of action. To have a Garter Snake cross your path means to act. To act on as many ideas as possible but do not become over stressed. This is not the time to sit on ideas. Inspiration flows. But what was I supposed to act on? I needed a clearer sign.
I knew the answers were starting to come now so I continued on the path. Just a short distance ahead I looked to the left and saw what appeared to be a corner of a stone room that had fallen. Could it really be? I took a few more steps pushing the branched out of my face, and I saw another partial wall. I detoured off the trail, as I usually do, and climbed over the berm of rocks. I was now standing at the edge of the mountain in an ancient Indian village. There must have been thirty to forty rooms! All collapsed of course, but what an amazing discovery. There were corners and parts of walls all around me. It’s like I had stepped back in time. I thought, Does anyone know about this?
I stayed for a while and took a few pictures on my smartphone. I even found a few petroglyphs on a rock nearby. I was in my element. I always love hiking to ancient ruins on my days off, but discovering one was a blessing. Was this a part of my prayer? Is this a sign? Is this what I am supposed to do. Still a bit confused I decided to process the event that just took place as I walked around the other side of the lake.
Half way around I saw several baby ducks and a momma duck near the shore. I stopped to take a closer look and rest. Then of to the distance I heard what seemed to be Native American chanting and drumming coming from the direction of the ruins. As I took my attention away from the ducks toward the chanting, it stopped. Did I really just hear that?
At one point during the intense part of my Shamanic studies, I was taught how to listen to the land. It could reveal it secrets just by listening close enough. I was first taught to lay near the area and put a small stone on my forehead, it would tell me everything about what had happened there. I used this ancient technique many times until I just became a natural at it. I got to the point where I could just stand in an area and connect with it. So yes, I do believe I heard the chanting coming from the direction of the ruins.
The hike around the lake seemed to happen so fast and before I knew it I was driving back home. But the signs continued. I was about a mile from my house when I saw a huge hawk gliding above just in front of me. I was only doing about twenty five miles per hour. This hawk seemed to be guiding me home. It even turned onto my street and once I parked in my driveway it circled for a moment then flew off. Another sign?
The Natives believed that the animals were the messengers from the Great Spirit to help guide us on our human paths. One ancient tradition is that we each have our own Animal Spirit Guides, and that they come to us when we need answers or guidance. Hawk has been one of my guides since I can remember. Just as the eagle is the messenger to the Great Spirit, the hawk is the messenger to the people. What was it trying to say? Be open to receiving a message?