A Crystalline Hike in a Ancient Sparkling Forest

Last week, my grandsons Wesley, Sabien, and I visited the Petrified Forest near Calistoga, CA. We are in what Rudolf Steiner called the crystallization period, that fallow time between January 15 and February 15, when Earth is quiet and most receptive to the energies of the cosmos. Although I had not planned this timing, it was a magical time to visit a crystalline forest!

The term “petrified” betrays the energy of this ancient forest of redwoods and pine. 3.4 million years ago, Mount St. Helena exploded, dropping ash over the mature forest. Then, over millions of years, the ash became a kind of mineral silica slurry, the silica moving between the cells of the tissues and replacing them.

As we walked the trails of this family-run preserve, all three of us became mesmerized by the excavated fallen redwoods and pine sparkling in the sunlight, flecks of crystal shining like tiny stars. The bark and tree rings were so defined that it was hard (no pun intended) to distinguish trunks and logs of more recent trees from those turned to stone. 

But perhaps more impressive was the energy of the spot. The trail often was solidified ash, rich in iron, obsidian, and silica. We were walking on crystal. 

Quartz is amazing. Quartz crystal has electrical properties when mechanically compressed. Metaphysically, clear quartz is used in meditation for focus, amplification, and healing. It is said to facilitate the coordination of the right and left sides of the brain. The resulting consciousness is one receptive to Earth and all who reside here.

Some say the Fall from Paradise was not a fall from a participation mystique, or a merged unconscious unity but from a much more sophisticated consciousness. After this Fall, consciousness dimmed, a process that has resulted in devastating results to our environment. Rather than work with nature, listening intently and responding, humans have taken up an attitude of dominion over, justifying the exploitation of the earth. We have become increasingly removed from the earth and the heavens. Most of us have no idea on any given day the phase of the moon or what star is rising at sunrise.

Author and earth mound scholar Ross Hamilton states, “We do not yet understand the intellectual development and spiritual capacities of certain ancestral cultures located in various key locales around the world just six to five thousand years ago. We assume our forebears of prehistory inferior to us…we have been living in divorce from the ancient wisdom and in the process have literally lost the enlightenment once in possession of our forebears. With loss of light comes immediate loss of consciousness and memory…”(Hamilton, Star Mounds).

If there are places on earth to receive the light of our cosmos, I suspect this crystalline forest is one of those, and if there is a time to rest and quietly relearn how to listen, it’s now. Cosmic energies will bless you.