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My leather back pack was heavy on my back as I climbed the rock slide to the place I felt called to for my first Utiseta. “Utiseta” means “sitting out” and is what the ancient Northern European peoples practiced when they sought a vision. I had packed my entire Mesa with its weight of stones and crystals and I was hoping to receive guidance for the direction I needed to move in life. I was at an in-between place, a crossroads.

I had fasted for a week – my sacrifice for the vision I wanted to attract. The rock slide was treacherous underfoot from the recent rains. I reached a place that was straight up, and I edged my right foot, then my left, slowly sideways as I felt my way around to where I could climb higher. I sidled off the rockslide and reached the top of the slope.

The friendly energy of pine trees surrounded a rectangular clearing, grown over from days of farming. I turned in place until a spot against a sixty-year old pine called to me. I cleared the ground beneath where I would sit, spread my blanket and set my Mesa on top of that. The colors of the day were beginning to fade as the Sun went down. I had time enough yet to discern the Four Directions and set the Mesa up within their embrace. I placed the candle in its glass jar in the East for Fire and the mind, the heavy fossil in the South for Earth and what has gone before, the Conch shell in the West for the waters and emotions, and the feathers in the North for Spirit and the wisdom of the Winds. The trees around me faded to gray as the setting sun cast an orange light across the surface of the Mesa cloth, a quilt I had made myself, its familiar print a comfort now as I prepared with Sage to enter into the Holy Presence, and spoke my prayers silently for the Winds to carry to the Divine.

I sat cross-legged and opened my mind to the presence of the energies close around me. A breaking of a branch, and a deer followed the path I had taken up the slope. Deer energy was good medicine – a time of gentle innocence. I knew I could be free from worry. A light breeze, and I inhaled the good scent of the pines, and waited for the Moon. Tonight it would be full. Mind waiting, open, receptive, I was aware of aches and pains in my body, shifted slightly.

And there he was, Mani, the silvery orb riding up the sky through the silhouette of the pines. Just as suddenly, Vision overcame me and I was lost to all external influences, present only to the Power of Utiseta.


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