This is a story about Satori Through Fear – Spiritual Fire Transformation – Ego Death and Purification. Recently my family and I experienced the trauma of being evacuated for a wildfire near our home. While the effects of this experience are still raw and being processed, I feel like sharing a few things about it. Being from San Diego, wildfire was not something I regularly feared growing up. We moved to the foothills of northern California in March of 2014, so we’ve been learning about our new environment as we continue to settle in. Although I knew the risks of wildfire, I was not aware of the impact it would have on me when we bought our home and acreage in the forest. As painful as it has been in some ways, I have also learned some valuable lessons that I am grateful for.
The first part is the actual raw story about how things happened. (It’s a lot to read…) The last part is about what happened afterward.
The Day Felt Normal
October 8th was unusually dry and warm. In the evening we had our regular routine of getting the children into bed. My daughter thought it was funny how the static electricity in the air was making her hair stand up while she was sitting on the sofa. My husband was getting a load of laundry out of the dryer and we laughed at the sparks crackling around the clothes. I put the kids to bed and stayed by their bedside watching an After Skool video that I had found on YouTube when I was gathering inspiration about something I was writing about earlier. It’s called, “The NEED for Acceptance Will Make You INVISIBLE” – Jim Carrey. The only pictures I had taken that day were two screen shots of that video. We all got into bed. My husband and I couldn’t sleep. We laid in bed listening to the sound of the wind outside. The branches breaking off and hitting the roof. We were both concerned about trees falling or the power going out… and then, the power went out. We decided we’d just stay in bed and try to get some rest because he had work the next morning, but then the power went back on. It was keeping us awake. The on and then off of the power and the sound of the wind kept us on alert. We finally fell asleep with the power on at around 12:30 (not realizing we were in the path of danger.)
This is the screen shot I took before going to bed. I had no idea how relevant It’d be the next day.
At 4:05 Am we woke up to the power off and smoke filling our home. It startled me and I shot straight up in bed and immediately said to Alex in a sharp quivering voice. “There’s a fire!” I ran to the bedroom window that looks out to our front yard and the street but didn’t see flames. Meanwhile, my husband felt my panic and tried to calm me by saying, “Maybe its someone’s wood burning stove.” But I knew… So then I ran to the other window at the top of the stairs looking the opposite direction, and my heart sank. I saw a giant orange glow in the sky with brown thick smoke through the trees, and I knew it was coming. My intuition told me we had to evacuate, but I wanted to make sure, so I quickly looked at our local fire update website, and sure enough within seconds of my feelings telling me, the website confirmed there was a fire coming our way. I told Alex there was a fire in the next town over (which for us in these small towns means very close), so he literally flew down the stairs and ran out to the front, and as I saw him open the door I saw the lights flashing from the police car. I jumped into the bathroom with the light of my iPhone and put my contacts in, because my glasses are in need of tightening and they kept wanting to slide down. Then I ran down stairs as he was running across our deck back inside. I’ll never forget the sound of his footsteps. I knew with every quick step and the way he was nearing that he was worried. It was so terrifying intuitively knowing it was bad, but not knowing how bad or what was really going on. We had literally been awake for 1 minute.
This is an image our neighbor took driving away, but I wanted to show it because this is what it looked like out our upstairs window when I saw the orange glow.
He opened the door barely breathing and said, “Mandatory Evacuation! We gotta go, let’s go!” The next second felt like 5 as I looked outside the door while he ran past me. I saw the brown air, and felt the strength of the warm wind. A police officer was standing in the road in front of our house. I turned back around and saw Alex running up the stairs to get the kids from bed. I remembered the box I had prepared, and put next to my desk, so I ran to grab it. While I was crouched down to lift it up, I also grabbed my laptop computer that has over 40,000 pictures and videos on it from when our children were babies. The box had some important legal documents and some cash (I’d prepared it this summer, in case of an evacuation.) It was the bare minimum. I ran to the car and back before Alex had even come downstairs. I looked at my dogs and motioned for them to come. We ran to the car and I put them into my Subaru Legacy station wagon. They jumped right in. The police officer had been walking toward me up our driveway shining his light on me, but I focused on the dogs, and then he asked me if we needed help getting anyone out of the house. I said, “No Thank you”… (and I mumbled some gibberish about needing to get my cats and turtle, that he ignored because I was not speaking clearly.) He said, “Just get everyone out of the house now, and hurry!” I felt my heart sink further with the tone and urgency in his voice. I was afraid to ask but I said, “How close is it?” He replied, “It’s burning your road.” I was like, “Oh my God!” I literally went from a 10 on the panic scale (1-10) to an 11. It was like I didn’t have legs, I just hovered back as fast as I could and so many thoughts flashed before me. I ran back and saw Alex coming down the stairs with the kids. I didn’t spend more than half a second looking at them, I just trusted that he would be getting them into the car as quickly as possible and I’d be right behind him. I will never forget all of the short but long lasting moments of every second of these few minutes. Feelings and the looks on everyone’s faces, and the weird energy surrounding us. I looked for our cats, and saw our Siamese sitting next to the small wood burning stove in the front room. I grabbed her, and held her tightly and ran her to the car, and threw her in. Alex had gotten the kids outside and they were walking past me, as I said I was going back in to get Smokey, our Russian Blue cat. Alex said, “Where are your keys?!” (I had been holding them the whole time, and suddenly realized they were not on me or in my hand.) I said, “I don’t know, I must have dropped them!” I started running back to the house to go find them and look for our other cat, but the pressure in my mind to leave quickly was getting extremely strong, and I started to realize I had no time left. I turned around and saw my son standing barefoot with two stuffed animals looking at me with tears in his eyes, and full of concern. I gently yelled to him, “Get in the car honey, I’ll be right there!” Strangely the sound of the fire was loud in the distance and the air was carrying the sounds of the burning and the wind mixed into a deafening ear pounding noise. I ran inside and scanned for my keys and couldn’t find them. I looked for our cat and couldn’t find her with a quick glance. So I started panicking and searching for her, praying in my mind that I’d find her, and that she hadn’t ran out the door or hidden. I was terrified of the fire and sick to my stomach imagining losing her because she means so much to us and is my daughter’s BELOVED precious cat that she would be devastated to leave behind. A part of me got really close to thinking I almost had to leave her, but I wouldn’t give up. In the same moments I was looking for her, I didn’t care about the keys anymore, just her. I saw her staring at me bewildered, up on the kitchen counter in the dark. Her eyes glaring green. As I lifted her stiffened-out-of-fear body, I telepathically told her to trust me and not to try and get away. (She’s extremely strong and intelligent.) I ran back to the car as Alex was standing there keeping watch down our road and helping the kids, and then we just looked at each other, disappointed that the keys were gone, but knowing what we had to do. We said it at the same time, “We have to take the other car! Switch everything quickly!” (or something like that). I told the kids to get into their dad’s car, and I carefully put the cats inside it, reminding the children to not open the doors, or roll down the windows, because they might let the cats out. I opened the hatchback to get the dogs out, and Shanti jumped out and into Alex’s car, but Arrow ran all the way back to the house frightened. Alex chased after her and as he got to her, she was in fetal position on the front door step so scared. He picked her 50 lb. furry body up and carried her back to the car and I helped him get her in, and then we just said, “Let’s go!” and we got in the car.
Practice Non-Attachment All You Want But Shit Got Real Folks
Alex was driving. He had grabbed a pair of snow boots my sister had just handed down to me that were sitting in the living room by the door, and they were waiting for me in the front passenger seat. I had no socks on, but I put the boots on in case we would have to get out and walk or run or climb. I didn’t know what to expect. I was having extreme anxiety and felt hunched over in my seat, and so many thoughts and feelings were rising through me. I was overwhelmed with sadness that I had left my turtle because I had always told myself and the kids that I’d never leave her behind. I was overwhelmed with fear, that we might be trapped at the end of our road, because the police officer had said it was burning and I knew where the fire was coming from and that there was only one way out. We live at the end of a short dirt/gravel road, and when you get to the beginning, you have to turn right and go down a winding hill to then go up the hill further or down into the valley below. I could see the orange glow of the fire through and over the trees as we drove down our road. I was praying so much, the most I’d every prayed. Praying that we make it off our street alive and that we could still drive down the hill to the valley away from the fire. I was so struck with anxiety and fear that I remember curling my body up and whimpering, imagining the horrible things that one fears when you are thinking you and your family might be stuck in a wildfire in your car at 4:08 AM with innocent children in the backseat. I was sick and stiff, just literally barely breathing and just gasping for understanding.
I thought of all of my neighbors and said a prayer for each one of them, I looked for their lights on to make sure they were evacuating as we drove by. I felt in my heart so many things about my husband and children and pets. I saw my life flash before my eyes in these pockets of awareness, with fleeting peace and a deep inner stillness and surrender, mixed with chaos like nothing I’d felt before. I had come close to feeling this level of panic when my son had his first febrile seizure when he was a baby, but this was more intense, and was compounded by the pain and fear knowing that we were all together and all at the risk of dying. As we neared the end of our street you could see the fire on our road. We had passed the 4 houses on the left and the 2 on the right next to us, and the flames were thrashing up the hill toward our neighbors with the ponies and goats. I saw the fire and the lights of the police officers and the glow of the fire wall in front of us, that’s when I knew we were going to lose our home and our turtle, and car, etc. I felt my gut curl in tighter, and I cried a few tears in anguish as I also let it all go in constant prayer that we just please make it down the hill alive. The fire was on the left side of our road, and had just jumped over the only road we could escape on. It felt massive and I just kept praying the entire way down once we turned past the police officers shining the flash light into our car looking down at me that it hadn’t jumped across another part of that road further down. I remember staring at the officer with this distance gaze, and all I remember thinking was, “Thank you…” and I also was astounded at the calm courage that man emanated, putting his own life at risk as the fire was on both sides of him, behind and in front, and he was there showing us we had made it down the road, and to keep going. He was an angel to me… Such a blessing in the night.
As we drove, my husband was very careful, but I wanted him to go super fast. The thing about that, is we weren’t in my Subaru Legacy GT station wagon , we were in his Passat station wagon, but he has been working on it because it has had some mechanical issues and wasn’t driving very well. He was afraid the car might not even make it out. Plus, he was in shock and watching the road for signs of fire or animals fleeing, or people turning in front of us, etc. He seemed much more calm than I felt. We didn’t talk much except for when I told him to hurry a couple times, and prayed out loud in my thrashing about internally combusting with so many feelings and yet filling moment by moment with more and more gratitude that we were still on a road without fire. We made it down to the corner and I was able to take a big breath in finally as we drove down the hill into the dark forest ahead. I felt so sad, and kept having flashes of everything that had happened, and was imagining the fire burning our home and everything around it and in it. I had a thought to call my mom and dad, only because I am so close with them, and I just had to. But first I told Alex that we had to go to the horse ranch and tell my friend that there was a fire. I knew it might not get that far, but I didn’t want to risk it. We drove straight there and as we pulled up into the dark ranch I started talking to her in my mind, to wake her up. We are very psychically connected. By the time Alex had turned around she was opening the front door with a flash light. I jumped out of the car to tell her what was happening but I could barely talk, from lack of oxygen from the panic and from my anxiety shaking me to my core. She has such a strong presence that soothed me, but she looked freaked out too. She was extremely grateful we had thought of her, and I just let her know that we were safe and going to my cousin’s house. I wished her luck, and told her to start preparing to evacuate, because it’s a process to get 20 horses, 2 pigs, and a dog out in the darkness. She reassured me she had a plan, and they’d be ok. I know now looking back that right before the bottom of the hill into the valley was where the mandatory evacuation boundary stopped, but I thought it was possible it could have gotten to her eventually in those moments. We got back on the road and as we were facing the direction of our home again the huge glow of the fire at the top of our hill was so unreal. I was in so much shock still I hadn’t even said anything to my kids. I was just in survival mode, and knowing they were in the back was enough. Meanwhile, the cats were starting to freak the fuck out and were meowing like injured wolves (sounded more like howling). It was so loud and disturbing. They usually ride in their kennels but were just walking around the car climbing on the kids. The smell of cat shit began to take effect. Then the kids said they felt them pee on them. It was a mess. Their nerves were shot and they were releasing all over the car. I called my mom. She knew something was wrong, because obviously it’s not normal to wake up your parents on Monday morning at 4:15 AM. I told her we were safe but briefly explained how we had evacuated and that the fire was most likely burning our home. She stayed calm and asked where we were going, and I told her, to Scott’s, my cousin… He lives 30 minutes south east of us. I didn’t even question if he’d allow us to, I just called Scott and told him what happened and that we would be there soon. He said ok. It must have been shocking for all of them, too. I called my mom back and to my surprise she said that my younger sister who lives off the main road into Santa Rosa was packing up to evacuate. I was like “What?!” She told me there were bad fires over there too, and my heart started racing faster than before, now adding to my worries, my dear sister, her husband and their dog, cats and beautiful forest home and lush garden. I called my sister right away and just half cried/half talked but we barely said anything, just that we love each other and to be careful, and I kept telling her not to wait, just to go go go, because I was imagining the fire creeping up her road like it had ours.
The Beginning of Flashbacks
The rest of the way to my cousins’ I just felt horrible pains and tried to catch my breath. I turned around to finally look into my children’s eyes, and they stared back. I had no idea what this experience was going to do to them, but I knew I wanted to hide a little bit of my fear, so I kept holding myself back from crying and making noises. I wanted to make sense of it, to have some type of awareness that it was ok, and at times I fully accepted that we’d lost the home, but when I would start to think about it, I just would have intense flashbacks of the 4 minutes we spent in the home and driveway and driving down our road. Those 4 minutes are deeply etched into my mind and the flashbacks have not stopped… but they’ve slowed. We got to Scott’s and just pulled the car into the garage and shut the door behind us in case the animals jumped out and ran. We put the cats into the nearest restroom of the guest room and the dogs stayed in the garage. I hugged my cousin and just slumped down on the arm chair and was a blob of nothingness. I was just in shock honestly. SOOOO extremely grateful to be safe with my family. And yet dealing with so many emotions as well, feeling guilt for leaving my turtle, for not helping my neighbors (even though they were all fine), for not grabbing more “things” from the house, but mostly just relieved we were alive. There have been so many moments since that morning that I’ve had feelings arise that I didn’t know how to deal with, but I just found a way to.
I literally can’t go in to real detail about what that morning and day was like because it was so packed with feelings, thoughts, and realizations that it felt like a week worth of processing in a day. Completely over stimulating. When my cousin left for work at about 6:30, I was still shaking from anxiety and not wanting to walk. But I managed to shift my energy to hunching over and just made myself stand up, and get oxygen to my body. The kids were starting to unwind and we were able to start talking a little about what we had been through, but we kept it really short in spurts of information, and mostly just related telepathically, as talking about the experience was like opening a can of soda that was shaken up. You can try to open it slowly if you want, but it’s messy and you lose some over the sides. It needed to settle first. We were all exhausted physically but the adrenaline was pumping strongly. Besides the actual evacuation, the reason I couldn’t calm down was because we had started to look on our phones about the fires all over Northern California, and I literally was in a state of disbelief mixed with more fear, and just tons of sadness for all of the people I was imagining not getting out in time, or losing their homes.
On Being a Psychic Empath
This is an interesting part of my process as an empath. As much as I knew I had gone through something traumatizing and what every moment of it felt like, what that experience actually did to me was set me up for a more vivid and in depth feeling process for everyone else who was being evacuated. It was like I was reliving it over and over again each time I even thought about what we went through, and everytime I heard an update from my husband on the fires near my sister, or read an article about what was happening near our home. So many fires started that night, and the winds were insane. Over near my sister they were 70 mph, and the area we live had 40 mph. I got to the point where I knew I had to protect myself from the extra energy coming in that was squashing my heart into pieces. I found some food in the pantry to give to my kids, and made myself a cup of black coffee. I drank it super slow as I knew it could make me get more anxious. It actually helped me a little, so I started standing up straight and breathing while I held it and sipped. Warm beverages soothe me. I started to mentally take note of what I had brought with us and what we had left. It’s a short list of what we had time to get. My children, my pets (minus our turtle), Alex’s boots (without socks), my sister’s snow boots (without socks) for me, my daughter’s boots (without socks, that she had put on herself apparently without me realizing), my laptop, the box of documents and cash, and our cell phones. The children had each grabbed two stuffed animals off their beds when Alex woke them up and told them we were leaving because there was a fire. That’s it though. I didn’t grab my purse, glasses, food for the animals, clothes for us (we were in scrubby pajamas), jackets, socks, tooth brushes, anything. It would have been a total loss of everything we own besides my husband’s car, since it drove us to safety. I was less upset about what we would lose (beside of course, thinking about my turtle dying was haunting me), and more sad about the trauma of the entire process and worrying about other people. I could not for the life of me stop feeling extremely sad for the people trying to evacuate from the fires who did not have the warning soon enough or at all. I kept imagining how close it was to our house and how that felt, and then realizing how close it was and even closer to others and was feeling the psychic energy so strongly and I would just weep whenever I had a moment to step away out on the deck or into the bathroom, or when the kids ran to the other room. I had so many tears come out of my face that day because crying actually helped me release the energy.
Feeling Loved & Supported
The other thing that was helpful to me, which I know is not for everyone, was talking to my sisters, mom, dad, and friends. As many of you know, I only have about 6 actual people that I call my true friends. My friends mean the world to me, they are like family. My 6 closest sister-like true friends, who have been in my life for many years, started feeling the energy going out, and I can’t remember the order or anything, but I did start to get texts and emails from them, and then a couple from others. I know I had emailed my two soul sisters right when I was sipping my coffee, to just tell them we were ok, because I knew they’d know something was happening. Both of them live out of the country, but had actually started to hear the stories on the news. One of my friends doesn’t have a smart phone or computer or television, so I had to text her and have her call me later that night to find out. She had a trip planned to fly up from San Diego to visit us ironically, but I was like, yeah that’s probably going to be postponed. To my surprise, my longest friend, that I’ve had since 7th grade, said her bruja ways were telling her to check on me, and she randomly texted me without even knowing about the fires. It was so powerful to have them feel me, and to have them responding. It’s just like that, but it meant more to me this time. All 6 of them were surrounding me with love and support, and I could feel all of their unique presences around me.
This was a map of the fires that were burning as of October 12. Most of these had started at the same time, that night… October 8. Northern California fire season expands into November usually. My husband works with Cal Fire and the US Forest Service every summer and is usually getting dispatched right up until Thanksgiving, sometimes past it. I am SO grateful he was with us during the fire. We live between the 80 and the 5 in the foothills. Not going to say exactly where or which fire we were effected by for privacy reasons.
We kept looking at the updates all day, every day that week. The maps were not fully accurate in the beginning, and they showed the oval of the fire burning literally right up against the road we drove down. It literally looked like a containment line. But by Wednesday, they made an update and you could see how the fire had came up and was pointing right for our house but was held back. The map never did end up showing that it had crossed over to our road, but we saw the actual burn marks when we got to look in person finally, and had driven past the flames. We also found out that there was a spot fire closer than we realized, that was just over the house directly next to us. When our neighbors were evacuated which was right after us, the police officer was frantic and saying it was burning our road in two places. It’s literally 500 feet from our house. On Wednesday we got a text from a neighbor who said the houses on our road were miraculously ok, and we were allowed to go back to our home with ID and proof that we owned our home! We were afraid to get too excited, but had huge smiles on our faces and scurried to leave asap. We had not brought the deed to the home and I didn’t even have my license or anything, so we went to the title office, and they printed out a document to show to the police. We looked pretty tore up in our pajamas for the 3rd day, and snow boots on in 80 degree weather.
This was what it looked like at the entrance of our road. You can see the burned area we drove by the morning of the fire. We had to turn right and go the direction the white truck is going. The fire had came up the right side of the hill behind the oak trees in the forefront and jumped the road where we have our trash cans and mailbox. It burned everything up to them, but then jumped over. So strange. Then it jumped the trees behind the burn area you can see here, and was burning down the road closer to our house also.
This is a close up of the entrance to our road. The winds were blowing up toward the trees when we drove by that morning, and the fire had just jumped over the trees to the home behind them which is 500 feet from ours. The fire only burned vegetation on our road. The fire fighters were AMAZING! They saved our homes!
We drove back and although it was smoky and scary to return, the fact that we still had a home to return to, was such an incredible feeling. I instantly had survivor’s guilt. Especially when Alex got a phone call from his friend that helped us move in when we bought our home last year. He lives across the main road down from us, and lost everything. The police officer had told us we could stay 30 minutes only, so we got out of the car and told the kids to choose things they wanted to take and put them in their back packs. I walked up to the front door wondering if we had been victims of looting, but it looked fine… except the door wasn’t even fully closed, or locked. It was ajar. We had not even waited the extra moments to worry about that during the evacuation. Very telling of how it felt that morning. I walked inside and smelled the smoke, and it brought back the flashbacks strongly and I got big tears in my eyes. Then I looked down at the floor and saw my keys right on the bricks around the wood stove where I had picked up our Siamese cat. I went straight out to check on my turtle and apologize to her and pray over her. She was fine. Her pond was covered in ash and leaves, but she was out on her sun rock, although the sun was blocked by the smokey sky. I went upstairs and just stood at the doorway of my kids’ room and silently watched them for a few moments. My heart felt so raw and soft as I watched their sweet innocence unfold in front of me. My son, packing little toy cars and his favorite stuffed bats and snakes. My daughter choosing which horse toys to pack, and then grabbing sentimental items from her locked box. She was really excited to get to change into regular clothes. I walked into my bedroom and just looked around wondering what to even take. I first got my backpack and put my glasses, contact fluid, and my water bottle inside. Then I got my phone charger, and my special neck pillow. Then I found a tank top, some pants, socks and a pair of pants and underwear. After that I was like, what do I even need? I picked up my grandmother’s perfume bottle that I have kept with me on my dresser since she died. I packed it. I put my crystal necklace on, and then grabbed the special necklace my friend Petra made me and wrapped it up with a deerskin pouch I often hold, and put it in the backpack. Then I remember just standing there not knowing what to grab, but I saw the book my other friend had given me, my journal, some sharpie markers, and a few crystals. I decided that was all I needed. It didn’t feel like much, but after thinking we had lost everything, just having this stuff was like Christmas morning when you’re a little kid. I walked downstairs and saw my husband packing his items. Then on my way out, I grabbed my guitar, a set of tarot cards, and my headphones.
I helped the children get their things to the car, and we took pictures of the neighbor’s homes so I could show them their homes were still standing. We prayed our home would still be there when the fire was contained, but at that point it was still in danger, as the roads were still blocked and they were predicting a shift in the winds and higher temperatures that night. We drove away with that same feeling of not knowing if we’d ever see it all again, but we had on regular clothes, and we didn’t have that urgency to escape death. It was actually really comforting to see Lake Tahoe Hot Shot crews having a snack on our road, and a dozen fire fighters from Cal Fire having a meeting as we turned down the main road, a quarter of a mile from our house. Our road seemed protected and had ended up being a staging area. We felt blessed. I felt so sad for the roads to our left across from ours that lost their homes. Out of respect, we just kept driving straight and went back to Scott’s.
This is what it looks like behind our mailbox. People often wonder why the trees don’t always burn entirely. Fires are unpredictable and also, the winds were 40 mph. The dead grass, trees and structures that are not alive are what burn to the ground. That’s what “fire people” call fuel. Sometimes live trees burn as well, but the wind helped push the fire along.
Back at my cousin’s, the anxiety was still happening, but it had gone down to a 6 for me. I was still having major flashbacks about 2 an hour, with full on emotional releases, crying, shaking and feeling tight and worried. Alex kept encouraging me to look at the updates even though I would flinch every time he’d ask me to. I woke up early Thursday morning and looked up the info about the fires near my sister. She had been able to go back to her home the same day she evacuated as the winds had shifted and went the opposite direction of her home. The smoke was at the VERY UNHEALTHY zone though. Looking at the destruction of the thousands of structures burned there, was heart breaking and terrifying. I relived everything over and over and just dropped down to the ground and cried in the darkness of the home when everyone was sleeping. I sat on the floor reading stories about the hundreds of missing people and I could barely read the screen I had so many tears in my eyes. I felt so horrible for the families that were going through what we did, or even worse, actually seeing their neighbor’s homes or their homes burning as they barely escaped. I found out that day that my sister’s friend had died in the fire. He had gone home after work and texted his girlfriend that there was smoke in the house, but had gone to bed. They found his truck and the home burned and his body was confirmed dead. My sister and her husband had just hung out with him and his girlfriend the week before and had been planning to again. They had dozens of their friends lose homes and evacuate, and the emotional toll was heavy worrying about people they loved who were missing. The roads I remember riding down when I was constantly biking back before I met my husband when I lived there with my sister are burned. The home my sister and her husband use to live in was burned to the ground. I am still just shocked that so many homes burned. There were many homes & structures burned in the fire that almost got to us, but the fires near my sister were like 20 times worse.
Out off my cousins’s deck where I spent a lot of my time decompressing there were many deer visiting me which felt comforting.
Going Home Praying
I continue to pray for the people who lost their homes or lives, and the victims who lost loved ones. I had already been feeling a pull away from social media back at the beginning of September. I posted once a week for a couple weeks but then really felt the aversion when the fire came. The Las Vegas shooting and the hurricanes had really disturbed me and many others around the world too. My dad was checking out on the same day that guy checked in at Las Vegas. He could have easily been right there at that hotel when it happened, and I will never forget the sound of his voice on the phone when I called to check he was actually home and safe. My husband was scheduled to be dispatched to Texas on the day we got to finally go home. All his stuff was packed on the floor in our living room. That trip was postponed because of the fires. He just left this morning… I have a lot of worries about him going, but he looks forward to being able to help the victims of the hurricanes.
Thursday morning we saw that the evacuation order had been lifted and we were allowed to go home. The fire was 90% contained and we felt we were safe enough to return. That day was intense, but extremely magical. We steered clear of all the roads that we knew had burned and just went straight home. The only way to see what burned is to go down private roads (ours included), which is why I thought it was so disgusting for the woman who posted her video, that she had made her followers believe it was on her road, when she actually lives almost 5 miles away and was perfectly safe. Our friend called to say he would be needing help re-building and I saw my husband finally cry. A couple days later we went down his road and saw the damage and saw him out on the street in front of his burned home. Seeing how destructive the fire was and how close it was to us really put it all in perspective. We have spent many hours since then clearing more defensible space around our home, blowing leaves and branches off the roofs, and trimming more branches. We even decided to finally get something done that we had been trying to manifest since June. It may seem extra to some, or not a big deal to others, but to us, it’s something we have been saving for and had plans to manifest for years.
My New Ride
I had mentioned a while ago that my husband had something special he wanted to give me for our 11th Marriage Anniversary. The plans kept falling through and weren’t working out, but after the fire, and taking a break from social media, and really getting to see clearly what is important and what is not, we began to move energy, block energy, shift energy, and felt so humbled by this all. Alex and I finally manifested a new truck for us! He sold his Passat that had saved us from the fire and smelled like smoke, and bought me a Chevy Silverado LT 4×4 truck with a crew cab. It’s amazing! I say “me” because he handed me the keys to it Saturday morning, and said, “Happy Anniversary, I love you.” Having this truck out here in the country off this dirt road, knowing we have more room for our family to drive on trips to San Diego, safer for commuting with the kids around town, and able now to haul a future horse trailer, and get lumber for projects etc, is life-changing. It gets the same gas milage as the Subaru that Alex will drive now. He washed the Subaru and put all his stuff inside and claimed it as his own. It’s an awesome car, so I will miss driving it daily, but so far this truck is the newest vehicle I’ve ever owned and the technology is incredible. I am blown away and still figuring it all out. We are going to buy a camper shell for it soon, so our luggage and dogs will be out of the rain when we travel for winter. We call our Subaru “Blue Moon”, and have named my truck, “Thunder Wolf”. LOL (I will spare you the details of why, haha).
I feel safer now that the temperatures have started cooling, but the first night home, and even the first week, I was very anxious it could all happen again. We now park our cars facing forward, have the cat’s kennels by the door, have the deed to the house in the box, and have extra dog and cat food, etc ready if another fire starts. We ended up totally bonding with some of our neighbors. We had such a fun night sharing stories and also encouraging each other of what we’d do different next time. Our little road will never forget this event. Days before the fire came, my older sister and her kids had flown up to stay a few days. I am so glad they didn’t have to experience what we did. I am so grateful that we have our home. I am extremely sad for those who were not as fortunate.
I knew I would need to take a break from Instagram and being online in general, because the weight I was carrying was too heavy to put down, set aside and try to act like things were normal. What I haven’t mentioned, is that my son had fevers the days leading up to the fire, and our living room had flooded. We already had been dealing with the stress of knowing we have to remodel our entire front room, and as many of you know by now, one of the traumas that continues to effect me is the 2 seizures my son has had, so whenever he gets a fever above 102, I start freaking out internally. A switch goes on. I know he has grown out of them, but the anxiety rises up no matter what I do. It happens the second I know he has a fever. Whatever cold virus he had, went on to my daughter during the evacuation, then me, then my husband, and then when we got home, it swept back through and got us all sick again in the same order… On Samhain I had a fever and that was my third time getting sick from the virus, but I fought it off, and feel better now, writing this. We rarely get sick, so this has been a struggle… but it makes sense because our immune systems tanked with all the stress. It really fucked up my family. My children have been having nightmares. The first week after we got home I barely slept because my son would wake up crying and scared. I have been looking at what some people post here and there, trying to peek into the social media realm once in a while, but do not enjoy it. I have had a few people ask how we are doing, and that has been super sweet though, and I always respond to the people I feel pure loving energy from. But anyway, it’s been a lot to process. I don’t intend to delete my account, and I know I will post again at some point, but I have a strong aversion to Instagram. The only reason I have it is because these days it’s just part of running a business. My husband is the one who made me get a new account back in 2015 after we had moved here. I had tried Instagram and Facebook back in 2011, and only lasted a year. This time I’ve stuck around for a little over 2, and it’s been difficult to resist the urge to stop. Right now though, sitting here, I feel a renewed energy helping me feel like I can find a new way of using it, I just haven’t figured it out yet, so be patient with me please… Thank you for following along.
Fire hoses left behind, ready to be picked up.
Satori Through Fear – Spiritual Fire Transformation – Ego Death
With all that being said, I want to explain where I’m at now in my mind and heart. Many beautiful revelations and realizations have occurred. First of all, if you look back at my last post, there is so much congruence with everything that has been happening. Timeline wise, and astrologically. I had been preparing for some major changes sweeping through, but damn! Fire brings light to the darkness. THE FIRE ELEMENT REQUIRES BOUNDARIES. The fire we experienced was mixed with AIR… the winds. It fueled the intensity of the fire. When I think of fire in general, I resonate with words like: power, passion, creativity, destruction, movement, responsibility, and new ideas. Mix that with air and there were many messages communicating between “heaven + earth”. I have also been working with the Goddess Kali.
The cards here all represent Fire in some way… These cards show the process I went through… From left to right: The Tower card: unexpected upheaval, crisis, change: 10 of Wands: burden, the hard road; 7 of wands: courage against odds; & 6 of wands: victory, rising up.
Spiritual Fire draws attention to unfinished tasks, and has the power to consume, transform, cleanse and purify…
As much as I had told myself before this fire, that I would continue to “practice non-attachment” and be ok with an emergency, and not worry about losing things, and feeling ok about death, etc… when you are actually faced with a serious situation like we experienced, things really play out differently. People say they practice non-attachment as a way to comfort their self, and seem spiritually sound. But the practice is only as strong as what the spirit faces. It’s easy to practice non-attachment when everything is always safe and easy-going. But when you live through the awareness that you have actually lost everything, and then don’t, it’s really strange! I experienced an extreme spiritual crisis and it was very traumatizing, but also extremely transformational and beautiful. During the last 3 weeks I have been through all of the stages of grief, and have processed so many emotions and thoughts to the best of my ability. In the last week I have had some awakening moments which I attribute to the changes that were beginning in me when we woke up that morning of the fire.
Driving away from the fire and feeling like we were going to die and then just accepting that we had lost everything, I kept feeling something I didn’t have words for. It was and is inexplicable. It’s called Satori in Zen Buddhism. It’s a painful way to get to truly realize and experience your true essence, but when everything is lost, and you accept that, everything becomes clear. There is freedom. Something changed in me.
I was given a rare opportunity to open my eyes to death in a new way… by letting go, my ego couldn’t deal with it and I was shaking. The anxiety and panic was a natural reaction of my ego not wanting to give up before dying. Us human animals, we have this built in survival mode, and we try to stop death. That’s because we have a distorted understanding of death to begin with. Death actually is the beginning of life. I was shocked into realizing this… to deeply understand the meaning of life… I surrendered, and it dawned on me, and I kept having these enlightening moments that continue to fill me with awareness everyday. I think another reason I find Instagram annoying is that people are stuck in their own traps, feeling so important for that moment they post a picture of something and a clever caption. They live off that feeling of being relevant and important. But that moment never lasted longer than that moment. It’s all an illusion. It’s happening in the mind. It’s the ego using that facade as food for growth. I however, don’t want to feed that part of me. It doesn’t feel good, it isn’t sustainable, it’s not meaningful, and it feels like a huge waste of time. When we panic and shake from anxiety, it’s because we are trying to survive at all costs. We want everything to be ok because we are afraid to experience death or something close to it. But what is our death anyway, and who are we to control the deaths of others?
Saving What Was Almost Lost
I see a flaw in how spiritual minded people can get stuck on things. Thinking that to discard shame, conflict, or any negative feelings is to be more highly evolved, conscious and empowered by our own doing. I see that it is very natural for humans to have complex feelings, and we are not those feelings. An integrated person is not someone who has eliminated anxiety out of their life or that has no guilt or feelings of fear. It is someone who feels all of the feelings on the range of being-a-human spectrum, and does so without recrimination. To act like, or talk like you have found the key to numbing your feelings, whether you are literally trying to with herbs or medicine, or if you just fool yourself into believing your own lies, the reality is that to walk around acting like relationships should be easy, life is easy, living is all hugs and smiles, and being in a human body is some ecstatic experience all day long is just blasphemous. For the first time in my life during week 1 and 2 of my recovery from all this, I accepted that I had anger. I felt my anger from eons of oppression and wounding from the patriarchy rise up within me. I felt anger for the vision I have been blessed/cursed with as a seer. I felt anger for being such a fool in thinking things that weren’t true. The anger was so liberating to watch flare up and out of me. Thankfully, I had witnesses safely holding space for me to burn away the remains of what was no longer needed within me, or around me. This fire brought me back to a new beginning of seeing. Like a phoenix I have risen above the ashes of my former self, and realized that we are always dynamic and changing. There is no self to hold onto. We are not as fragile as we think. I was not shown the fury of this fire to be hurt and trampled on by life, but was shown a glimpse of what life is really about. I feel blessed by the experience. I feel fortunate that I could take away some gems of wisdom, and I have only begun to be able to find ways to share these gifts with others. I am sure some of my words have felt sharp edged or harsh, or maybe really weird or odd. But that is not my problem, and I only speak what I have felt to be true, with love in my heart as we all are in this together and I am you, you are me. I don’t hate anyone, or wish anything negative on anyone, even if you think I don’t like you, just know it is you that sees that, and I am in a place of love within, accepting of everything I do or don’t feel drawn toward. If I don’t like you, it’s not important. Think about what really matters. Relationships that make us feel seen and that we are able to work things out with, and that stir us to evolve. Everything can be a lesson in disguise. I am dedicated and devoted to living fully and to anyone who I have encountered thus far, I send love… Even the people who have broke my heart or disgusted me or angered me. Good luck out there and keep looking within. I know I Am.
This white dove was perched above the burned area on our road the day we saw the devastation where my husband’s friend lived and had driven slowly back in awe. I felt the symbolic peace and it looked like an angelic phoenix being up there that day… So lovely to see.
Plans for the Full Moon and 11-11
Tomorrow, the Moon is in Taurus, my Moon Sign. On November 11, I will turn 36 years old. My husband will be gone this month, and I have a lot of work to do to keep my kids and I safe and warm. I plan to travel a little this month, and have a couple things planned. Nothing set in stone, but things to look forward to. Tomorrow it will be 3 weeks since I last posted about the fire, and I will begin working on Cosmic Soul Maps again. I apologize formally to those who have been waiting patiently, but also I know you all know that I needed this time, and I am so grateful for all the love and support from you for being patient. I plan to give any clients that are on my waiting list, free copies of my book, Astrology of Herbs and Tarot as a gift of gratitude for the delay.
It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts to write this, and I will have more to share later. I have cried a lot trying to edit this all, and it has felt like one of the hardest things for me to write, as it is very personal and emotional to even re-read it. I still have a run-down feeling in my body, from the stress of this experience and the work I have done to get my family back to health. Plus, having my husband gone (he left this morning) takes a toll on me, especially during this shift in temperature, and the swiftness of his departure. I knew he had been dispatched before the fire, but wasn’t sure afterward when he’d be going. He barely had time to pack… and he said he might be going to Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands next. We were lucky enough to get the truck in time, but other things he left undone that I’ll need to fix this week. Like chopping wood, and prepping for the storm that is coming tomorrow. I’ve never been more excited for rain than I am now with this downpour nearing. I will finally feel relieved of that paranoia that another fire will be coming up to us. Yay for rain! I’m going to soak up this fall weather with my entire heart and soul, and let the fire’s inside my home in the wood stoves be safely contained and mark the new beginning of new boundaries I’ve secured in my life. I am not sorry for the new boundaries. I feel sure and calm. Thank you for reading. I hope that this article has shown you that their is much value in suffering, if only we can look for it and not lean into distraction from it to escape it. It’s all about how you suffer, not if. We all are going to face different things.
And the supreme beauty is that of tragedy. The consciousness that everything passes away, that we ourselves pass away, and that environs passes away, fills us with anguish, and this anguish itself reveals to us the consolation of that which does not pass away, of the eternal, of the beautiful.” – Miguel de Unamuno
This picture is of the house on the left corner of our road. The woman owns 4 Arabian horses. They are majestic. We get to pet them sometimes. She is long time friends with my friend who lives down at the ranch who I mentioned in this post (the one person that I fully trust in this new area we live in). The lady who lives here rode one of her horses to our house this weekend to let the kids see him. They wouldn’t have had time to get the horses out if the firefighters hadn’t held the fire back here at our road. It is a miracle our homes is still standing. I am forever grateful for the service of those who saved our lives and home that night.