3/19/2018 – The Double Fives


This date again! The day of my birth and my new year’s day.

My 54th year was very full. A mix of emotions, energies and insight sparked by accomplishment, set backs, failure, depression, anxiety, national and international travel, partnerships forged and then dissolved, final ending of a decades old toxic relationship, new friendships established and growing, death, loss and letting go…which all has just strengthened and expanded my spirit.

The people who die (non suicidal) on their birthday have always intrigued me. I have always thought it the sign a certain soul…to leave the planet the day you arrived, years later.

For whatever reason, this really geeked me out this year. It hit me hard: What if Double Fives is it?

As the day approached I was getting agitated, nervous, restless. I was trying not to focus on anything and was beginning to somewhat lose my shit. With all the energy that was now swirling me, I decided to put my self in the area where I feel the safest: the desert wilderness.

As I have done in the past, the experience began with time spent at Integratron, bathing in the soothing sounds of a sound bath as it nourished and balanced my chakras, centering me. The greatest attribute of my time there is when I get to spend time with members of my soul family, the stewards of this this place.

One in particular, a Divine Goddess, engulfed me with an embrace as we recalled the last time I was there with my nephew in October. I told her of Mom suffering a brain hemorrhage around the time we were getting a sound bath and then her dying ten days later. The peace, love and connectedness I felt from this woman is over-whelming and as she held me, I whimpered a couple of times at the radiance of her love. She introduced me to her sister and again I was engulfed with a hug that just eased all my pain. As we chatted, the little group around us radiated such love, peace and tranquility, that I basked in the energy of pure love.

I parked a quarter mile way and walked towards the Rock. The silence and stillness of this place always amazes me. It grounds me immediately and the energy that surrounds it is obvious. I have witnessed more paranormal activity here than any other place I have traveled.

I walked around the rock to the west and placed both hands on the rock and began to both give and receive an immediate energy. I closed my eyes and stood there with my hands on the rock, slowly pulling my hands down, visualizing all the negatives in my life. It felt as if they had coagulated together in one mass and I felt as if they were amassing to be pulled out when my hands came off the rock as I moved them over an unseen curve of the rock.

I continued to walk around the rock, hands crossed behind me at the small of my back, past the filled-in opening that once was the entrance to the living space Frank Critzer dug out and built underneath and when I came to the point where the granite was exposed by the split in early 2000, I placed my hands on the white stone mass, centered and grounded.

I moved over to the piece of rock that fell away, found a point I could reach at arms length, moved alittle higher up, reached up and grabbed the rock and sort of stretched/ hung there for awhile. I let go, dropped to the ground, then moved around the fallen piece and continued grounding.

I walked back to my vehicle, dropped the tailgate, sat and looked out into the desert expanse. I felt at complete peace. The urge to spend the night grew so strong, but I had given a travel itinerary to a friend so someone knows the general vicinity of where I am traveling solo in the desert wilderness. This has only become a new habit for me.

I hesitated again with sticking to the itinerary, as I felt solidly connected here, but my conscience said firmly “The real truth lies Joshua Tree” so as I looked out across the open expanse, I spoke aloud my affirmations to this place, what I felt, what I saw, the beauty of it all, the spirit, the energy, I acknowledged it all. I felt an incredible sense gratitude, humility and complete peace. I stood, bowed Namaste and got in the car and made my way into Joshua Tree, CA and the western entrance to JTNP.

When I arrived at the park entrance, there was a electronic sign stating a wait time at the gate and suggested the eastern entrance at 29 Palms, I wrapped a uey and drove to the eastern gate and was in the park with no wait, aside from the 34 miles to drive there.

Immediately I was struck by the amount of traffic moving out of the park, more cars coming out of the park than I have ever seen IN THE park! Granted, it was late afternoon on a Sunday.

I drove to ‘the spot’ I have visited in the past for night photography, parked the car and walked into the spot to survey the scene for the night’s work. Clouds were beginning to form and I had a feeling the whole plan for midnight astrophotography would be scrapped.

I walked back to my car to gather up some gear and a truck had backed in next to me. As I walked up to my driver’s door, I said hello to the couple in the truck. We struck up conversation and I felt an immediate energy from these two. They got out of their vehicle and we struck up conversation. Within a matter of minutes of talking, we were all sharing laughter, truth and honesty; I felt an immediate connectedness to these two and it was such an incredible force, that it just drew me in more.

I took them to the spot where I had planned to work for the night, knowing by now the cloud cover would make it impossible. They asked if the could set up camp, I had no claim to the site, so I offered it up. We discussed what this meant and such; dude and I shared the correlation using terms like “aiding and abetting” “conspiracy against the government” “felonies” and a host of other wonderful termonlogies. In complete agreement with one another, dude and I high fived to seal the deal. The girlfriend looked at us with a surprised, nervousness and said “Wow! You two are so…” and dude and I looked at her and said simultaneously “What?!” and the three of us fell into a fit of giggles.

The dude, Aaron wandered off and the girlfriend, Michelle and I sat at the campfire talking. Michelle shared how a month ago, on Aaron’s birthday, he dropped her off at LAX for her trip to Mexico, then drove out to Joshua Tree National Park. Once there, he met a couple, who when they found out it was his birthday, honored him and showered him with their love, invited him into their camp and just made his birthday a celebration of him. She went on about how cool she thought that was that complete strangers would honor another complete stranger in such a way.

She was sitting in a heap by the fire as we chatted, in a mellow mood sort of way when she asked me “What brings you into Joshua Tree tonight?”

“Oh, I came here for the solitude and the peace.” I said, then continued “tomorrow is my birthday…” and that’s as far as I got. It was if a bolt of energy struck Michele and she jumped up, gave me a big hug and told me she’d be right back.

She returned from the truck with a large container in each hand and began a full production of preparing food. I tried to tell her not to go to any trouble and she wouldn’t have any of. Aaron returned back into camp and seeing the activity of Michele asked: ”Hey babe. What’s goin’ on?”

Michele smiled and said: “Dude!’ then pointing at me ‘ It’s his birthday tomorrow!!

Aaron’s body made a motion as if being struck by lightening and being grounded at the same time as he put his open hands in front of him, palms down like a stopping motion and let out this huge “WHOOOAAAA!”

The camp became electric! Red wine was passed around and flowed most of the night; rasta spliffs the size of small baseball bats were shared. As the various courses of food came off the fire, it was insisted that I begin the “breaking of the bread.”

When I travel into the wilderness I am fasting some, it’s part of the experience for me. I have plenty of water but usually eat very light, just for sustenance: nuts, dates, rice cakes, granola, maybe some jerky.

The food Michelle prepared was vegetarian and all oh, so good! And just enough was prepared for the three of us that there was neither waste, nor a gluttonous feeling of over eating. It was incredible birthday meal.

Even with the cloud cover that moved in completely scrapping “my plan” for night photography, it didn’t matter. I was receiving more from the universe from these two newly realized members of my soul family than capturing imagery of the night sky could provide.

When the time came, I bid my adieu and thanked them for the love they showered upon me. There was light talk of them joining me in the morning for the sunrise at Keys View, we said our good nights and I went to my Element for slumber and basked in the feelings of connectedness, love and harmony. I felt whole, complete, part of all…one. I was showered with more love by the actions of “complete strangers” in this five-hour window than members of my birth family have shown me on this date in decades.

I drifted off into a peaceful slumber, only to be awakened numerous times by the “biting cold” of the 40° high desert night temps! I didn’t get any solid sleep until I put on my wool hat on. My body clock woke me as usual about an hour before first light. I got out of the car to water some plants. Then checked in on Aaron and Michelle’s camp, which was still quiet. Although I wanted to feel more of their vibe, I didn’t want to wake them.

I sat for a bit by the now extinguished fire pit and went into meditation. When it ended, I sat in reflection and was stuck by amazement that as I celebrated my first birthday with out my mom on the planet, these two were what made my 55th so special. A rise of emotion welled and I felt my mom’s spirit. A warm energy came over me in the cool predawn. I sat there in silence until I began to again feel the coolness of the air, I stood and bowed Namaste, acknowledging the sanctity of the camp, the occupants asleep in the tent and thirdly to the over all oneness of all.

When I arrived at Keys View, a fiery sunrise had started to the east and a long stretch of cloud extended from the east out, across the Coachella Valley, creating a shadow that fell across the San Jacinto Mountains. The effect I was after was lost by this cloud cover, so my second planned shoot was now scrapped for anther time as well.

I made my way back to Park Blvd and headed west. I was amazed by the traffic in the park at such early morning hours. It was, without a doubt, morning rush hour traffic.

I pulled over to capture some imagery, got out of the vehicle and had walked a few feet away from the road when I heard a truck idling down behind me, turned around to look and there was Aaron and Michelle smiling and waving.

I approached their truck and they greeted me with HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I again acknowledged how spending time with them made my birthday. They got out of the truck, pulled out the camp chairs and made me a cup of hot coffee right there in a turnout on Park Blvd. We sat there for about an hour or so, then they packed things up as they were headed into LA. They gave me a bracelet as a birthday gift, then each gave me a tight, long hug and I thanked them yet again. Once in their truck, they both waved again and I watched as they drove off down Park Blvd. I grabbed my camera and continued to capture more imagery before I moved further west into the park.


The gift from Aaron and Michelle hangs from the mirror in my Element.

I traveled west along Park Blvd. until I felt a vibe that urged me to pull over and I pulled into the next turn out I came to. I grabbed some gear and headed out onto a trail into the desert. I captured some marco imagery of desert plant life and some wide angled imagery of JTNP with a snow capped Mt. San Gorgonio 55 miles in the distance.


The snow capped Mt. San Gorgonio



I made my way around a wall of rock and hiked for a short time when I found a little canyon that seemed to draw me in. As I first walked into the space, I felt a hesitation, like I disturbed something or shouldn’t be there. I paused for a moment and asked aloud “May I enter here? Am I welcome?” A lite breeze blew in from behind, bringing into the canyon a gust of warm air that quietly whistled as it passed my ears.

I climbed up into the canyon around the massive boulders and rocks. When I climbed up to the top of the canyon I was under a massive boulder. I wanted to sit here, but my first thought was if that rock moves, I’d be squished like a bug. This rock hat has been lodged here for thousands of years just might fall at this precise moment!

The massive rock was having an effect on me and I felt an urge to move away from it, so I decided to leave the canyon and began my descent out. Halfway down, I came to another rock that angled up between a narrow of the canyon wall to the right and another massive boulder to the left. To make my way down, I had to sit on this angled rock to shimmy down onto another rock and when I sat on this rock it was as if my entire being down shifted into a lower gear, orbit, plane…whatever. So significant was this shift, that I knew this was the spot to sit and it’s why I felt the strong urge from the road.

I removed all metal and electronics from my person, placed them in the camera bag and tossed bag down out in front of me. I removed my boots and positioned myself with the top of the rock at my root chakra, each foot slightly out and achieved a three-point ground. I calmed as I grounded into the rock. I went through my various mantras and movements and in no time went into meditation.

As I came out of meditation, I leaned my head back, outstretched my hands to the skies and just basked in the glory of the moment. As I brought my hands down, each one came to rest on the rock on each side and I was able to have each hand out at my sides. After a little positioning I achieved a five-point ground. I visualized again the coagulated mass of negativity I felt after grounding at Giant Rock the day before.

Like working out a stress knot during massage, I took three deep breaths in, then out. As I drew in the fourth deep breathe, I positioned my self so on the exhale, I turned my torso, applied pressure at all five points of ground and as I exhaled pushed out the negative mass I felt inside of me. I took another quick inhale, applying more pressure at the ground points as I exhaled deeper. I did this a third time hard, applying pressure against the rock as I pushed up against the mass inside. The sounds that came out of me each time as I exhaled and applied pressure into the rock were like a dry vomit, not a dry heave, but of something being rejected by the body in a vomiting like sound. What came out was a dark energy. After the third exhale, I fell against the rock wall to my right, gasping for air. It took six deep inhales, and quick exhales before my breathing started a calmer rhythm.

I sat there for a while looking out into the desert. I felt lighter in body and spirit. The energy of the canyon intensified basking me in a feeling of safety, comfort and belonging. I felt a history here, these rocks withstanding centuries. I felt an over-whelming sense that what just happened was monumental for me, but nothing that these rocks could not withstand. I felt a wave of humility engulf me as I realized I had connected to the universal source of power greater than oneself. Emotion swelled and I began to cry as I felt an energy radiate from the rocks, through me and expand out into the open space before me. I felt complete peace and contentment, yet at the same time felt insignificant, very small, like a grain of sand; still though, and strongly, part of a whole.

I sat here a while longer with all of this. A breeze blew down in from the back of the canyon and with it the energy shifted back to what I felt when I first arrived, cool and ominous, just not as foreboding. And with this, I knew it was time to go.

I bowed Namaste as I sat there, then put my boots, turned to face the massive rock to the back of the canyon and bowed and acknowledged it solid greatest, it’s place, and for all it accepted from me. Another breeze blew in from the back, a little warmer than the first, but it chilled me and gave me goose-bumps.

I climbed down out of the canyon and when I got to the spot where I entered, I tuned, faced it again and bowed, speaking out loud my gratitude for what just occurred, to the rock, to this place. Emotion built inside me and released. After walking a few hundred yards away from the canyon, I sat down and went through what just occurred. I was exhausted. I was thirsty. My nose was clogged from crying. Yet I felt lighter, at peace, happy, joyful. I felt as if there was…new space inside and it was bright.

I took out the camera and captured some imagery of desert life, then made my way back to the car for water. Sitting there on the tailgate, swilling bottled water filled from the aquifer at Integratron, I was struck by absolute awe as I recalled the last 30 hours.

I had “planned” 4 days in the wilderness to get away from all, to be isolated in vast openness, to disconnect from the world and in the process I became more connected with members of my soul family, with myself, with the world and the universe.

As the steady sound of the traffic on Park Blvd. droned by, I considered traveling further north into the Mojave towards Death Valley. As I began mapping a route in my head, a calming energy settled over me and I felt/thought/heard: ‘this has been enough for now.’ So I decided to save that route for another trip and made my way back down into the Coachella Valley.

When I notified my contact I had returned, she insisted she take me out for dinner to celebrate the day. I am still “cashing in” on birthday meals from friends.

The Double 5’s on this magical, mystical tour is lifting off nicely!!

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