Into Silence

Quiet Yourself in the Beauty of Mount Shasta…

Some are called to Mount Shasta to summit the snow-capped volcano or explore its dense forests. Standing more than 14,000 feet and visible from 100 miles in all directions, its peak beckons the most adventurous visitor. But many others find themselves drawn to the mountain to seek a different kind of experience. “I get calls and emails from people around the world and they all mention that they felt called to come,” explains Andrew Oser of Mount Shasta Retreats. “And I guess the way I understand it is that Mount Shasta has a certain vibration and those who resonate with it feel the call.”

He speaks from experience. “I certainly was one of them before I lived here,” Oser says. Ashalyn, owner of Shasta Vortex Adventures, agrees. “I came to Mount Shasta in 1988 because things were no longer working for me in Oakland. It was really rejuvenating and a lot easier to channel up here because of all the unfulfilled thought forms that are hanging out above big cities.”

Photos courtesy of Discover Siskiyou

It’s not just the uncrowded energetic landscape that makes the mountain special. Mount Shasta has long been recognized as a spiritual site. “The Native Americans have lived here for thousands of years, and they’ve always claimed it as a sacred mountain. Some of their stories even talk about it being the home to the creator,” Ashalyn says. “There’s one area on the mountain where I’ve found 21 different vortex and portal sites on it.” In layman’s terms, a vortex is a specific location on Earth that acts as a swirling center of energy. And while many are scattered around the globe, Mount Shasta is internationally known as a place of power and peace.

Photos courtesy of Discover Siskiyou

Oser offers additional insight. “At about 6,500 feet on the mountain, my experience has been that it’s easy to drop into the silence, so it’s easier to focus on that rather than getting distracted by the mind.” Oser also draws a stark comparison between Mount Shasta and Sedona, Ariz., another famous vortex site in the Western United States that draws 3 million visitors a year. “You come to Shasta and it’s still a humble little peaceful, quiet mountain village. I believe it’s more conducive to having deep experiences.” 

Photos courtesy of Discover Siskiyou

For the spiritual seeker,  there are numerous guide and service options to explore Mount Shasta and the surrounding communities that live in its shadow. Shasta Vortex Adventures and Mount Shasta Retreats are two of the oldest and offer fully customizable experiences, depending on a client’s desires. Ashalyn describes everything from a one-hour shamanic awakening session to a seven-hour vision quest. They both visit sacred sites and will work with larger groups and or retreats. Oser is even willing to do a full-moon snowshoe hike, proving there’s no need to wait until spring to experience the magic of Mount Shasta. In fact, winter provides an exceptionally unique time for a spiritual reset when the air is cold and sharp, and the mountain’s famous lenticular clouds presage a coming storm.

Photos courtesy of Discover Siskiyou

Oser also sees this past year with the coronavirus as a unique intermission for people hoping to make some life changes or do some spiritual seeking. “I think we’re having an amazing, unique opportunity individually and as well as collectively to do some deep introspection. It’s a rare gift to get to slow down.”

Ashalyn agrees. “Since I teach people how to connect with themselves and find their bliss, usually when I leave them at the end of the day I say, now go home and use those skills to change the world in your own special way, because that’s what we’re all here to do.”

Shasta Vortex Adventures
400 Chestnut St., Mt. Shasta (530) 926-4326
Mount Shasta Retreats
[email protected] • (760) 525-4512

About Megan Peterson

Megan Peterson is a freelance storyteller who loves her family, her pets, and Northern California. Her favorite part of writing is finding flow, and she always relishes a touching human story. Aside from Enjoy, she’s typically busy writing and producing for television, having created more than 220 hours of on-air content on networks ranging from National Geographic to Netflix.

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