Mystical Experiencer: Person in their mid-thirties
Current location: U.S.A.
Age at time of experience: 36
I had been walking in the woods, which I do as a form of walking meditation, as a way of communing with nature, and as an act of devotion to my gods. I don’t remember what exactly I had been thinking about, but my steps took me to a hill that I associate with the god Cernunnos because it is covered in oak trees. Deer are always grazing there, and there is a big crossroads of trails at the top (oak, stags, and crossroads are all associated with him).
I walked on the trail for a while, but I saw some birders who were very happily observing the pileated woodpecker who lives on the hill. I didn’t want to disturb the bird and spoil the birders’ pleasure, so I ducked off the trail and started to cut through the woods towards home. I then felt compelled to sit at the base of a huge oak tree for the purposes of just listening to the sound of the woodpeckers in the trees and paying respect to the tree and to Cernunnos.
As I leaned back against the tree, I felt as if I had almost merged with it and felt myself deeply connected to the entire woods and by extension the Universe. I had the sense of experiencing the woods from the perspective of the big tree, as if time paradoxically stood nearly still and also raced by. I felt that I was being shown seasons flickering past like stop-motion film footage, but the calls of the birds and the rustling of squirrels seemed entirely timeless. I felt that I understood the great cycles of birth and death and my own small place within these massive turning wheels. After a while, things went back to normal and I went home and lit a candle and made an offering to Cernunnos.