The Stuff of my Nightmares…..

This is reposted with our wonderful Head Dame, Michele Zehr’s permission.  It is one of the most wonderful things I have ever read. 🙂 For more about Michele and her journey, go to




…is the stuff of my nightmares. My friends know how I revere all of nature. Give me a Rattle Snake, Black Bear or Mountain Lion any day over a tiny spider much less the giant hairy spider in this picture. But it was the giant hairy spider in this picture that Mother Nature placed before me this past week.

I just returned from the second meeting of the Ecology of Awakening program. This time we spent time on a 95,000 acre wildlife preserve called Wind Wolves in central California. 5 unique ecological zones unite at the preserve so we were surrounded by Coyote, Elk, Mule Deer, Red-Tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles, Bob Cat, Mountain Lion, and yes even a Rattle Snake. Only when I walked away from our base camp wearing my backpack, in search of the place my heart would lead me in the canyon so that I could spend the next 24 hours fasting alone on the land, did I find my foot only inches from this amazing animal spirit. To say that my heart skipped a beat is sort of an understatement because I’ve always had a complicated relationship with spiders.

Nature always reflects back to you exactly what you need to learn next about your own perfectly unique journey on Earth. I’ve had this confirmed over and over again in my life, but it’s in exercising patience where the answers are held.

When I found this spider (who felt feminine to me), instead of reacting to my impulse to get far far away, I instead sat with my discomfort and pounding heart to really spend time with her. I took many pictures and asked her if I could spend the night on the top of her hill, as this was where my heart had led me. She never moved…not even a flicker, and she just sat there allowing me to photograph her very closely. I could tell she wasn’t afraid of me so that put me at ease and I felt we had come to an agreement.

I thanked her for her time and proceeded to climb up to the top of what I’ve named Spider Hill. The reason I named it this was because when I got to the top, as far as my eyes could see were tall soft golden grasses, and about every foot or two was a dirt mound with several holes….the exact “home” I saw Ms. Tarantula next to at the bottom of this hill. When I turned around, however, this was my view.


This was the place I was supposed to spend all day and night alone until sunrise the following morning. I was supposed to lay down a small ground cloth, my sleeping bag on top of that, and sleep totally exposed under the stars while consuming nothing but a gallon of spring water. There would be no physical boundary between Mother Nature and me, no bug netting, no tarp, only the minimal gear that I needed to stay warm.

I had second and third thoughts about this as the mere vision of me lying there at night surrounded by thousands of Tarantula holes made my stomach turn. In fact, as I write this I am experiencing a “flight” reaction with cold shivers going down my body and my heart is racing.

This journey symbolized the very essence of how we are asked to navigate life. Follow our heads that almost always offers up the “safe” options? Or follow our heart’s creative options, even if it feels scary, dangerous, or uncomfortable? I stood there for several minutes looking around and it wasn’t long before I knew I had to stay on top of Spider Hill that night. My heart had led me there and I know that my heart will never steer me in the wrong direction, but my head might because it doesn’t have access to the whole picture. Besides, not staying would have been a fear-based decision and so far, no spider had tried to threaten me. It was the “what if” of the situation that created my fear and that was created by my mind and thoughts.

I did stay all night and was gifted with a beautiful clear starry night where I watched Orion’s Belt cross the night sky from East to West. I heard Coyotes howling at dusk and dawn and witnessed this most amazing sunrise.


So my job now is to wait and remain open to the continuing lessons that Spider wants to teach me. She is a sign of strong feminine energy and is the weaver of destiny. Usually when we find resistance inside of ourselves to a specific animal, it means this animal possesses qualities that you are not yet ready to embrace within yourself. Funny how this has happened right before I am to start working on my confirmation statement for our next EOA meeting, where we will fast alone in the Mohave Desert for 4 days and 3 nights and intentionally mark the beginning of a new journey that will bring each of closer to living our Truth. What is it that I’m ambivalent about with my own path and why am I ambivalent? What gifts are inside of me waiting to be expressed that I am fearful to express and why am I fearful? That is what I have to work on now.

This is just a snippet of the beautiful stories that unfolded not only for me but everyone in our group. Much like Spider’s web, each person in this small community in which I am a part will go back to their respective communities hoping to create change that will allow for a more respectful and “whole” version of life for all people and living spirits on the Earth. We are weaving our own web of change in fact.

So your support towards the final $775 will become part of that web too. It will allow me to build something new because you laid down your own circle of strong silk to support this larger vision.

If only 12 people contribute $65.00 each we will have achieved what I once told myself was impossible. That was the same voice that was warning me off Spider Mountain and I chose to follow my heart instead, which was uncomfortable, but my heart wouldn’t take no for an answer on this one and look how far we’ve come already!

Love Michele

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