The Pilbara region of Australia is unlike anywhere else on the planet. It is an ancient land with a static unchanging energy which pervades the land,
the hills, the very atmosphere itself. The rocks average in age at about 2 billion years old and the indigenous aboriginals themselves have walked
these lands for at least 50,000 years. Here you feel very small when you consider just how old everything. It is a place which will draw out of your
long buried memories and feelings which seem to stem from another lifetime. For me it makes me feel very introspective. On more than one occasion
while driving the lonely roads I’ve come across a person who, after travelling alone for a few hours have become overwhelmed by the ancient energies
and has been reduced to a blubbering mess.
I myself work at an iron ore mine up here and have spent much of my free time scrambling over rocky hills, exploring secret canyons and swimming in
rock pools many of which have probably remained unseen from human eyes for nearly 100 years.
It was Mayan Apocalypse Eve (20th of December 2012) and due to all the hype (and also due in no small part to me actually wanting
happen) I thought I’d do something a little different. Behind our mine camp lies a hill. Despite being very steep many make the trek to the top via
a well worn path; and I myself have explored its foot hills extensively. But there are many caves visible from the base which no one to my knowledge
has ever explored for they are far from the path and quite hard to get to. One in particular had always caught my eye, so that night I decided that
this would be my destination. Truthfully I can’t tell you why I decided to do this. All I can say is that for the months leading up to this I
started noticing that cave more and more, and within the last few days prior to the 21st it was almost drawing towards it.
I myself am a fairly spiritual person and I seem feel the subtleties and nuances of universal energy flows more than most. Unlike those I mentioned
above though, when I’m in the Pilbara my soul begins to merge with these energies in what can only be described as a beautiful attunement of the
very very young (me) and the very very old. It makes me feel more ancient than time itself yet at the same time younger and smaller than I can ever
remember being in human form.
That night I meditated until the sun set, then I gathered a bag in which I’d packed my hippie rug, a large bottle of water and many of the smoky
quartz and pyrite crystals which I’d gathered on my many treks through the hills. Also I included a two little smudge stick blends I’d created
from many of the more aromatic plants that manage to survive out here; one for cleansing and one for the ritual itself. Lastly I packed a little wand
I’d carved one afternoon out of boredom from the branch of a small pioneer species known as the ‘desert poplar’, a pretty little white barked
tree with lush green leaves which looks more like something you’d expect to find in a European forest as opposed to the harsh countryside which it
calls home. Despite long ago moving on from my pagan ways, I still enjoy the focus and pageantry that a little ceremony can produce. That night I was
going to perform a ritual of renewal and hope.
I stole my way through the camp, carefully sticking to the shadows cast by the nearly full moon in order to avoid camp security which patrol the
village from dusk till dawn (mainly breaking up drunken miner parties before they get too out of hand). Once I reached the perimeter I skirted toward
the hill itself and looked up toward the cave. It stared back down and in the moonlight seemed bigger and deeper than ever. After battling through a
small mulga forest and navigating the all too familiar outcrops and ledges which lay in my path I finally reached the base and started my ascent. And
that is where the real fun began...
It was oh so very steep, and covered with loose scree from the outcrops above. I doubt many of you have actually been to the Pilbara before but one of
the first things you’ll realise if ever you do visit is that just about every plant is spiky as hell. I scrambled up the slope for what seemed like
hours and I swear I had a mini cardiac arrest somewhere along the way. By the time I reached the ledge where the cave was located I was bruised and
scratched and completely covered in dust. The fact that it was still about 90°F and 85% humidity also meant I was completely trenched with sweat. I
peeled off my t-shirt and just lay there at the mouth of the cave trying to catch my breath for probably close to 20 minutes. As I recovered I
marvelled up at the stars which are as bright as you could ever see owing to the fact that we are 100 of miles away from the nearest town and situated
well in the middle of the Australian outback far from any man made lights.
All of a sudden a shooting star tore through the night sky and after seemingly hitting some invisible barrier silently burst into thousands of tiny
white sparks which slowly floated down to the ground behind it. Now I’ve seen many shooting stars in my time but this was unlike anything I’d ever
seen before. I wondered if anyone else saw it at all, for there are so few people out here and those that are usually have eyes only for far more
‘important’ Earthly matters. If only to see this the climb had been worth it and removed all concerns in my mind that the trip was just a stupid
waste of time. And so I gathered up my belongings and turned to face the cave.
The Pilbara itself sees very little rain, but during the summer monsoonal storms blow in almost every afternoon. When I left the camp I’d noticed
one off into the distance to the south, given away in the deep black night by tiny purple-white flashes of lightening. I’d been too exhausted to
notice but by the time I’d recovered and gathered myself together the storm was now only a few miles away and the lightning flashes illuminated the
landscape around me. Like many storm clouds up here this one wasn’t yet dropping any rain and the lightening itself was not accompanied by thunder.
It was almost like watching a storm on ‘silent’ and the flashes not only made for a very atmospheric night, but also allowed me to see into the
far end of the cave which stretched back about 20 feet into the hillside.
In between the mute flashes the blackness of the cave mouth yawned before me. I moved to step inside but as I was crossing the threshold I felt what
almost seemed like a subtle barrier. Physically of course I could have entered but mentally I felt an unwelcomeness which kind of surprised me
considering up until now the cave and had seemingly drawn myself to it. I stepped backwards and then it hit me. I’d never asked permission to enter.
Simply and silently I asked the hill if I could come inside and within the gusts and eddies and rustling of leaves I heard my answer. I stepped
forward again, the barrier was no longer there, so I turned on the torch of my phone and stepped inside.
The cave itself had a static timeless feel to it and it was quite obvious that no human had stepped in here for a very long time. I also felt a small
sense of foreboding and I quickly scanned around the floor, walls and ceiling to check for snakes and any other animals that often haunt rock shelters
such as this. There was nothing and so satisfied my surroundings were safe I began to make myself comfortable. I laid out my blanket and gathered a
few rocks together to make a small fire pit. Fire was not only necessary for light (I hate artificial light in places such as these) but also for the
ritual. Also as mentioned caves like this tend to be resting shelters for all sorts of animals which in turn makes these places havens for all sorts
of parasites. I’d already found a tick crawling on me while gathering together the rocks and I could see two more slowly creeping through the dust
toward me. Smoke is a fantastic repellent for all sorts of nasties and soon a merry little flame danced in the rocks before me.
I began to lay out the crystals I’d brought – one pyrite nodule for each of the four compass points around me and one crystal of smoky quartz in
between the pyrite. I selected pyrite and smokey quartz for the energies I felt within them represented qualities within myself which I wanted to
further develop. Also as I’d found them locally they seemed quite fitting for my little ritual within the cave.
After setting up I lit one of the smudge sticks and cleansed out the cave. The foreboding I felt seemed to diminish somewhat, and my little fire now
burned brightly and chased away the last remaining shadows which hung in the far corners. Using the poplar wand I traced the circular path following
the path of the crystals and bought up an energetic barrier which would ensure my meditations weren’t interrupted by any unexpected subtleties.
I then sat cross legged on the blanket, whispered off a few words and began to build up the power within the circle. The pyrite/smoky quartz
combination seemed to tap directly into the place I wanted to be and though the wind grew stronger beyond the cave mouth, its influence within the
cave itself somewhat lessened and I my mind entered that slightly distant place where I know anything is possible. With the power within the circle
growing I dared to open my eyes. Outside the wind had now picked up to the point where the trees and whirled and thrashed wildly back and forth.
Within the cave itself the air continued to remain more or less still, though the energies which spun about the circle itself had almost reached their
peak. I gathered the second smudging blend in my hand and as I released the power of my intentions to the Universe I dashed it across the flames. The
fire flared and a pungently sweet acrid smoke filled the cave and slowly swirled around above my head on a small breeze which had managed to find its
way in. A small feeling of elation tickled me inside although I was feeling well and truly drained by then. I gave my thanks, closed the circle and
sank back to watch the light show, framed almost like a television set by the entrance to the cave. I checked the time and it was 12:02am. Perfect
timing. I had made my peace with the world so bring on the Apocalypse…
It started raining. This was actually a little annoying although not unexpected. I have to wake up every morning at 4:30, tricky at the best of times
for a night owl like me. By my calculations even if I left now I’d still only get about 3 - 4 hours sleep max though I was not however prepared to
risk scrambling down that steep rocky slope in the dark while it was raining. The moon was also hidden now by the clouds and the lightening show had
ceased once the heavens opened. So apart from the distant lights of the mine camp the night itself had all of a sudden become very dark indeed. My
shirt had almost dried of where I left it in the back of the cave as well and I really
didn’t feel like getting saturated again.
So I simply put it down to one of those ‘meant to be moments’ (as every moment actually is) which seemed especially poignant after I’ve held a
little ritual; and resigned myself to spending probably another hour in the cave.
Now here’s where stuff really starts getting interesting. I began to actually doze off to the sound of the rain falling all around me. The fire had
burnt down by now and a gentle breeze slowly moved through the cave. I had just only a second or so prior slipped deeply into slumber-land when *BOOM*
a massive crack of thunder clapped directly overhead. The whole night turned to day for a split second and I could only assume the hill itself had
been hit by lightning. Simultaneously a sudden gust of wind tore through the cave entering on the left hand side and moving in an anti-clockwise
direction around the back of the cave. Within it I swear I saw tiny pin pricks of light almost like the fuzz on an untuned television set. This gust
of faint sparkling air circumvented the entire cave until it swirled above the dying embers of my fire lifting all the snow white ash high up to the
The moment ‘it’ entered the cave I felt a fear enter my body like nothing I’ve ever known before. I could not move, I could not scream; and it
was all I could do just to turn my face to the direction of my campfire where ‘it’ was now rising up amongst the ash and sparks. This thing seemed
angry and I got the feeling I was somewhere I really wasn’t meant to be. Like everything else here it seemed very old, a spirit from the ancient
Dreamtime of Aboriginal myth. Within the swirling ash I saw the figure of large kangaroo standing above me on it hind legs. In my mind ‘it’ seemed
to question why I was here in this cave. I threw back a mental image of what I’d done earlier that night and then mouthed the words ‘But the hill
gave me permission to enter…’ For a moment it was as if time itself had stopped and every piece of ash hung suspended and unmoving in the air
above me. ‘It’ seemed to me like it was considering my response. And then without warning the feeling of fear began to slowly drain away from my
body. Simultaneously the ash began falling from the air like snow all around me and where the kangaroo had been it began settling on what looked like
the invisible figure of a man. Soon, enough ash had settled on the figure for me to tell it was a very old man of aboriginal descent dressed in
traditional garb (that is... nothing at all). This figure moved to regard me and I felt a sense of benevolence in his gaze. It then seemed to
recognise me as the person who would spend hours clambering around the foothills and gullies searching for secret places of beauty. I too recognised a
familiarity within the figure like a distant memory of a dream dreamed long ago. In my mind I heard (felt…) the words “It’s okay child, but you
must go now”. The figure then disappeared and another much more gentle wind entered the cave and carried the now falling ash out of the entrance and
off into the damp night air.
Outside the rain had subsided somewhat and although the descent would still be fairly treacherous I got the feeling I wouldn’t have a problem making
it back safely. Finally I got back to my room. It was 2:23am. I stripped off my saturated clothes and slumped on top of my bed naked and exhausted
before falling into a deep dreamless sleep. Two hours later I awoke one minute before my alarm clock went off. I actually felt more revitalised than I
had in a very long time. I got up, got dressed and after breakfast I made my way to the bus that takes everyone to the mine each morning. As I did I
looked up toward the hill. Strangely enough I could no longer make out the exact spot where the cave was…
Since that time I’ve noticed many changes in my life, and these changes appear to be happening at almost an accelerating pace. I now have a son, and
a new job. The taste of fast and processed food now makes me a little sick whereas prior I would probably visited McDonalds 3 or 4 times a week for my
usual Big Mac with extra bacon large meal. The work/hobby I actually love doing is finally being recognised (though I can’t live off it yet) and a
few longstanding personal issues have cleared themselves up.
The cause of all of these changes remains a mystery to me. Was it that night in the cave? Was it Precession of the Equinoxes? Maybe it’s simply the
natural progression of my life and would have happened regardless. I honestly don’t know. All I do know is that I’ll never forget that night when
I saw a spirit in a cave on a hill...
edit on 30/6/2013 by 1littlewolf because: (no reason given)