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“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” John Muir

Before finding Pachamama I recently missed a drumming circle, healing retreat at Mt Shasta, CA, and was planning a trip that took me by this incredibly majestic mountain. I have always been drawn to all mountains, but in particular this one, the naming from what I have learned in my course and teachings of Shamanic initiation as, Apu Shasta. 

After coming out of a powerful 11/11 ceremony as a student amongst many great teachers and a medicine man, I set out for my journey back home with the intent to stop and pay respect to the great Apu Shasta. Answering my calling I set out on my 10+ hour drive. During my 620-mile drive, and many many hours of listening to Andres's shamanic teachings, I reflected on the questions I would ask about myself and my path. I thought about the symbolism of the offerings I would present and the process of how to present myself with respect. I debated stopping an hour or so before my destination for the night and arriving in the morning when it would be light. About 2 hours before planning my stop I remembered the new moon was the next day. I looked up the new moon info to find the moment of the new moon at Apu Shasta would be 11/13 at 1:27 am and I became very excited that my arrival time would be 1:19 am. Thinking to myself I must make this destination and be in the presence during this celestial alignment and experience the energy, so I stayed focused on the energy, the calling, and my drive. As I pulled into Mt Shasta City my radio was blaring "Naturaleza" by Danit and then "Presencia" started playing as I pulled into where I would park and camp out for the night at Sissou Meadow.

I walked out into Sissou Meadow in near blackness and reflected on the darkness of the Temezcal I was just in the day before. I stopped in a random spot, my phone read 1:23am. Light clouds were passing overhead barely glowing from the city lights as my eyes adjusted. I closed my eyes to look around and visualize, as I often do, to "see". I could hear nearby water trickling, and an occasional truck down the highway. I could see a small bright white glow spot in my vision as I looked upon the direction of Apu Shasta. As the moon aligned with the sun beneath my feet and Apu Shasta next to me, I felt a light breeze and felt heavy. I sat with the energy for a moment and suddenly a gust of wind blew as if I was being welcomed. I became slightly dizzy and could feel my chest vibrate. The moon finished its darkening phase and I decided I would head to bed as well and begin my day after much-needed rest and start my path to more light in the morning.

I woke to a partly cloudy day and Apu Shasta peeked through the clouds at me. I began my journey to Panther Meadows, but the gate was closed for the season at Bunny Flats. Not sure where my adventure would take me I trusted solely on my callings and guidance of what came to me. With no water and carrying only my offerings of white roses, white carnations, white cotton, white baby's breath, white corn, white sugar, white rice, and white wine I set out on my solo pilgrimage to meet Apu Shasta. I started to head up the road past the locked gate to my 2.5-mile destination at Panther Meadow when I saw a rock-lined trail headed towards the mountain. I sat on a rock at the trailhead, closed my eyes, and meditated for a moment where I would ask Apu Shasta permission to visit and to guide me on the path I should take. With my eyes closed I could feel the wind slightly blowing on my backside. I saw the same glowing ball of light as the night before at the center of the mountain and suddenly two hands opened as if to welcome me to the mountain. As the hands opened a strong breeze switched directions and blew directly into my face. I knew that trail was the direction and I set out to meet the great Apu Shasta.

The trail took me through the woods on a similar route as the road would have taken me but I was able to see much beauty and thanked Pachamama for all her glory and abundance. Two giant trees stood as if they were twin flames united in their love and I embraced them and stood in their presence, Other trees growing as if a harsh battle was fought with the rocks they grew from, flowers were abundant, plants thrived, and there was an abundance of sun. I arrived at a vortex of rocks people had made and I walked the vortex to the center and embraced the energy they felt in its creation. One solo hiker came through on a journey of his own as if he was late for a very important date! We chatted for a minute and shared pleasantries and he disappeared ahead of me. I came out to the upper level of the Panther Meadow parking lot where I was originally going to hike the road to. I looked around for a sign of where to go next and contemplated going down to the Panther Meadow for my offering but also wanted to find a closer connection to Apu Shasta to ask my questions and introduce myself. Being connected to my animal nature and spirit I noticed a set of Raven's tracks that walked towards a Forestry sign labeled Old Ski Bowl and knew this was my direction to go. My mom had always wanted to come back as a Raven!

I started on what would be my next challenging 2 miles with 2500 ft in elevation gain to nearly 10000 ft in elevation at the top of the Old Ski Bowl. I questioned my route and where I was going only to be guided again by a set of deer tracks going to an elevation past any vegetation and later a solo man and his dogs tracks. I crested the top of the Old Ski Bowl trail with nothing guiding me the last 1/2 mile in 3-6” of snow and I wanted to get to the 10000 ft mark. I was faced with a timeline of sunset and still wanted to do my greeting and offering to Apu Shasta and decided to do the last 500ft climb as it wouldn't take long. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with fear and the clouds moved in from all around and covered the mountain as if Apu Shasta was stopping me and telling me I had gone far enough. Scared and confused I asked what I should do and the spirits and winds blew me towards a large flat-topped boulder about the size of a large refrigerator lying down. The winds were calm there, the mountain still hidden in the clouds and overcast above me, this is where I would introduce myself to Apu Shasta.

I sat there on the rock with my hands grounded and gripping its edges tightly feeling the existence and presence of the moment. I looked up towards the top of the mountain meditating with my eyes closed and introduced myself. I sat in calm and decided to chant my Mantra when suddenly I saw a very distinct eye that I had been having visions of many times the week before my trip began. However, this time the eye turned towards me and I saw both eyes and a partial face looking at me and closed in as if to take a closer look. I asked about my path and if I was following what I was destined to do and be. Suddenly the face pulls back and I saw a dark beam going straight up out of me as if dark energy was being pulled from me and afterward, it turned to a brilliant beam of white light shining down through me followed by a laser-like beam of magenta light going from one horizon to the other in front and over me and then another from left to right. The power of the experience was incredible. I was certain I was on the right path and following my callings. I was about to break my meditation and thank Apu Shasta for the meeting, but I wanted to ask one more question. "What about Love?" “What about My Love?”

Suddenly the sun came out from behind the clouds and warmed me with an intense amount of heat to my core, to my heart. As if the Divine had taken over my experience or in connection with Apu Shasta, I knew instantly I am loved always, I am love! I am the self from which love comes and exists. I can make myself happy and whole and loved! I felt whole and complete and amazing being physically near and spiritually at the top of the world! The sun went behind the clouds, I thanked Apu and God for their presence, the winds calmed and I lay on the rock for a moment embracing the Love. I departed my altar leaving behind a flower and a rock I had symbolically kept for a couple of years before knowing about keeping a rock in our shamanic teachings and poured a splash of wine over it for celebration. I made a fairly quick descent down the mountain about a half mile and 1000 ft drop where I previously spotted a location with a shelter in large boulders to present my offerings. I reflected on the representations and meanings for each as an offering and buried them in a deep hole I dug with a rock nearby. Racing the sun down the mountain before dark I was nearly back to the parking lot at Panther Meadows and saw a large rock with "I Love You" on it, I placed my hand on it and said "I Love You Too!" thinking it was a message from Apu Shasta. Then a short distance later, on the back of the Forestry sign for Old Ski Bowl, I saw a message written and it read:

“❤️ Yo’ Self:

No Matter WHAT.

No Matter WHO.

Just DO IT!


Be Your Own Best


You’ll NEVER

Let You Down.



You’re Creator


As I walked past the sign and towards these Vortex circles of rocks, the message hit me hard, and I wept like a baby. I had so many emotions of feeling loved and cared for and it was all within. I haven't cried or expressed in that way in many many years! I didn't even have to make the hike as far as I did to learn this lesson but I was guided and flowed as the universe had sent me. I stopped when I was supposed to and given all I needed to know and followed my calling that brought me back to me. This calling for a pilgrimage to meet Apu Shasta turned into finding myself and I am so happy to feel and have my power back. So grateful to be ALIVE! To be on this amazing earth, to feel true unconditional eternal love, to have met the great Apu Shasta!

Now just another 2.3miles back to my vehicle, at sunset, through Panther Meadow….Two Ravens flew with me all the way back!

Hi Mom!

Greetings Apu Shasta!

Thank You Pachamama! 

Shae Neal

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