Ancient Sites | Dragons | Meditation | Spirit of Place

Samhain at the Summit – Part 1 of 2

November 16, 2014

You may rightfully ask “Where the hell have you been?” A distinct lack of posts from me for a while. The response to such a question would be that I have been out of the country for a while. I spent Samhain in Africa, climbing the largest free-standing mountain in the world – Kilimanjaro. Did that prevent me from having a spiritual experience? Of course not! Here is one small part of that story.

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The summit of Kilimanjaro in the distance

When we reached the second set of huts called Horombo we had an ‘acclimatization’ day. This was a chance for us to relax a bit after two days of lengthy walking in thinning air. I decided to conduct a group meditation session half way up the mountain, and by chance we found that there was a tranquil place next to a stream just seconds away from the huts we had been staying in the for the last day, but which no-one had noticed until now.

Everyone seemed to come away from the session feeling much more relaxed, yet focused on the objective, and connected to the mountain.

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A cheeky meditation session at altitude

The Power of Kili

Using the meditative state I tried to connect to the Spirit of Place for Kilimanjaro mountain. It took a while to get myself into the right vibration, and then my attention was swept up to the white peak that I could only see in the distance at this point. I felt a deep and powerful stirring in the mountain, and suddenly something emerged through my connection.

I saw the spirit of the mountain rise up as a gigantic dragon towering above the peak, as large as a third of the whole mountain, and high as the stars almost. The dragon’s colour changed from white to light yellow, then to gold, orange and finally a deep crimson red.


I humbly asked for safe passage for myself and the team of friends that I was climbing with. The dragon started at me, glowering, as though I were an irritating gnat, but one which was persistent, and one which had at least made an effort to be noticed. The dragon’s reaction was pure derision!

There is no safe passage on Kili. It’s a challenge for your kind, and you are either up to it or you’re not. No-one will be helped. You are all not worth noticing, except for my amusement.

Blimey! I didn’t think I would mention to this to the others. I didn’t think it would do morale any good!

Kili as a dragon

In my vision I also saw that the mountain was a dragon’s shape – the days of walking up the lower slopes were its tail. Then, on the summit attempt, you would walk up its hind quarters and on to its back at Gilman’s Point. The crater rim was the scaly back of the dragon. Stella Point was the beginning of the steep neck of the dragon, and finally Uhuru Peak was the head itself.

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We slept a few short hours at Kibo huts, then quickly got prepared and ate before heading out into the cold night air. We started the walk slowly up to the summit in the dark – it was cold and difficult, hard to breathe and harder to focus. We followed the head torch light in front of us, each struggling with our own physical, mental and emotional battles to keep going in this inhospitable climate. Each step was laborious and slow.

Kilimanjaro 2014 (19)

I was on the body of the dragon, and this thought kept me going. The tail was done, and I was now on to the body of the beast. We all got to Gilman’s Point as the sun was rising and we saw the sky change from pale white shadows to yellow, then to gold, orange and the most astonishing red. Now I understood my dragon vision more completely.

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Here you understand the delight of seeing the sun rise

I cried at the sheer beauty, the synchronicity, the spirituality and the exhaustion of the physical and mental effort involved.

Will I make it to the top?


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