Thursday, April 26, 2012


When I need a break from DC, it always helps to get up into the ancient mountains, to hang out with the wild Potomac River (and all the other rivers, too of course). There is so much potent, wild magic up there. Whew! The only other place I've been that feels as crazy-making wild is Wales. I know there are other tracts all over this beautiful planet that feel edgy, gorgeous, awesome and slightly dangerous, but I have never put my feet down in those places. I'm called, over and over again, up to the Shenandoah, along the Potomac. That land beckons.

Though - it isn't just the land that calls me. ("Just?") I'm drawn to Civil War battlefields like a moth to the flame. During my first few years in DC, I spent a lot of time walking the battlefields, reading about the Civil War, trying my shamanic best to bring healing to these haunted places by listening, doing ritual and praying. The work was interesting. I learned a lot but I tried to do too much too fast and as a result made myself crazy. Reya vs. the Civil War? Ha. It's no contest.

Though I feel the pull much of the time, I haven't stepped foot on a Civil War battlefield in many years. I still read, study, and think about that terrible time in our history, but I avoid the battlefields. It's prudent, especially as I grow older because the energy there is so intense even those who could give a rat's ass about the art of listening to subtle energies can feel the ghosts. Ask anyone who has ever visited these places. It's palpable. You can imagine the effect of these energies on me!

I get a bit drunk on the energy, disoriented and/or goofy. Sometimes I glaze over, feel spacey or fearful, like a deer in the headlights. So much is going on, I am sometimes dazzled, sometimes bewildered. When I try to eat, everything tastes moldy. It is so weird! Though quite entertaining, it isn't healthy.

Ah, but the ghosts got me on Tuesday! Civil War - 1, Reya - 0. Again. Sigh.

They got to my friend, too. The second we arrived in Harpers Ferry she began saying she was craving bar-b-que. "We HAVE to get bar-b-que - right now!" she kept saying. This friend is a very careful eater. She rarely eats meat, is a yogi, has a sensitive stomach so she chooses what she eats mindfully. I should have seen it, but I was already so far into the spin of energy, I did not have the presence of mind to say, "You? You really want bar-b-que?" We ate smoked, bar-b-qued pork sandwiches and a mountain of fries. This is SO unlike my friend. She asked for more bar-b-que sauce, even. Imagine the most dainty eater you know chowing down on smoked pork? Huh?? It should have struck me as weird, but it seemed perfectly natural, the way the oddest things are normal in dreams.

After that, I could not eat anything. I had no appetite whatsoever until the Sufi acupuncturist treated me yesterday. It's not like I'm in any danger of starving to death, but still it's not healthy to be disconnected from appetite. Yikes. They got me but good!

The fact that, "by mistake" we drove directly through the Antietam battlefield on our way out of town, right past the cemetery, should have alerted me to the fact that I was, in my own unconscious way, doing my dance once again with the fallen soldiers. But it was more than 24 hours after I returned before it dawned on me what had happened.

Good Lord. My mind is always the last to know!


X said...

The last picture of the light at the end of the tunnel with the iron gate is especially thought provoking and beautiful.

ellen abbott said...

What a terrible time in our history. Families torn apart, the country torn apart. We think that the reason we can't get any farther back in our father's genealogy than the civil war is that his family was one of those torn apart and names changed. personally, I think we're in the middle of another civil war right now.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

"My mind is always the last to know" is hilarious. THAT should be the title of your book :)

Wales had a quite an effect on me. I said nothing to anyone but I still think of it. The air felt magical to me, life swirling mists you could reach through and touch the past. Wonderful place. Where my family originated from actually.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, X.

Yes, Jeannette - it's a wild energy in Wales!

I agree with you Ellen. What should we do about it?

Rebecca Clayton said...

As I understand it, the Appalachians used to be part of the same geological formation as northern Europe, so there's a geological connection to Wales (and all of Britain).

It dawned on me recently that the Civil War isn't over yet. (Not a profound or unique insight, but it did dawn on me.) It's like Faulkner said: "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past."

Pam said...

Yes, I agree Reya. I haven't been to the Civil War grounds in the States, but have been to the Culloden battlefield in Scotland where the energy was very strong. The energy in Wales is unique isn't it, but suprisingly I had a weird shamanic experience in Amsterdam when I was a young traveller. Years later, a clairvoyant said "Spirit is telling me that now you understand the mystery of Amsterdam", but I never quite did!!

Elizabeth said...

Keep away from battle fields, Reya.
Avoid northern France
Normandy etc etc
As I get older I'm more and more affected by the spirits of places.......
which is why I get enough stimulation from almost nothing these days

steven said...

wales! the most magical and fluidly ripe land i've ever been in . . . stone and language and water and people all extended into a realm that is compehensible if you suspend all belief . . . .steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Hell yeah Steven. If you ever. Ome to visit, I'll take you to the ShenNdoah. There's a link to Wales as Revecc says, or T least a similar resonance.

Reya Mellicker said...

If you ever come to visit

Reya Mellicker said...

Posting from the iPad is somewhat problematic.

steven said...

the self correct on apples is the sweetest poetry . . . stuff slips through . . . no sweat reya!!! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Sometimes it's sweet!

Steve Reed said...

I remember visiting Antietam when I was younger, and it's true -- it DOES have a palpable energy. I don't always pick up on such things, but I felt the presence of all that horror and death, even in such a beautiful place.

Reya Mellicker said...


It is a beautiful place. They replanted corn in the areas that were mowed down, along with the soldiers. It's scenic and peaceful. And haunted! Of course you felt it, Steve!

Ravenstar said...


You are so right about the palpable energy of such places.
My husband, who is the last person to believe he could affected by
anything "supernatural," had a proufound experience at Manassas.
While I felt a reverence, he, who does not generally seek a connection
with spirit, knew he was in the presence of "spirits." He was touched
in a way that was totally unfamiliar to him. Listening to him express what
he was sensing and feeling was quite extraordinary.

Thanks so much for sharing so much of your life with all of us!

Many blessings to you!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks for the blessings!

Yes, the gift of these battlefields is that they touch even those who would never focus on that wavelength anywhere else. The Civil War is a wound that is still unwinding. We can't QUITE get over it. It's good to try anyway.