Like Robin Hood and the Merry Men, we took refuge in the Sherwood Forest as our last haven home in Canada before re-entering the States. This seemed symbolic of this portion of our tale coming to closure and stepping into greater clarity from any illusion of “fantasy”, while also owning our power to create the faery tale of our own dreams. Nestled in an idyllic little forest oasis protected by century old elms of Sherwood Forest Golf & County Club, we have been navigating the new journey ahead by heart consciousness.
Although we’re still finishing out this last day today, I thought to share this post, as I am winding down things on my end.
We’ve had two and a half days and three nights here, which was just enough to prepare us for re-entrance into the States tomorrow.
We spent most of our time hunkered down in the quiet of this remote forest community, which is about 25 minutes from the city of Regina.
Alongside our own focuses, we spent quiet time around the pond pool at the edges of the forest overlooking trees and the rolling hills of the golf course and strolling the large grounds at dusk.
Sherwood Forest is a really unique little community and resort that hosts 268 yearly owned/leased campsite lots of residents who live in rv’s or a few mobile homes, and have their own magickal little plots of land creating an enchanted little neighborhood community of tiny mobile house living.
It was fun wandering through the streets named after things you’d find in the tale of Robin Hood and seeing the yards each person has uniquely created – some with gardens, decks, water features, and more.
Then there are the short term campsites like ours available, with use of the entire grounds.
I was able to finish my current book I’m reading (4th in a series) with so much peacefulness, but also spent time in contemplation and reflection on the path ahead, as everything is getting turned upside down again to view from a new perspective.
Makes sense with all of the major planetary dynamics unfolding including the two solar and lunar eclipses on the new and full moons this month beginning the first of September in Virgo (our first full day back in the States) and in Pisces come the 16th.
During our time here we did venture into Regina for errands, along with trying an all vegan/vegetarian restaurant called Hunter Gatherer Vegetarian Diner (quite unique and yummy) and then taking a 3 mile stroll around Wascana Lake in the 6 square mile Wascana Centre Park (simply beautiful and felt like an early Autumn day).
Regina is a lovely city with Victorian homes on some of the streets downtown near the many parks, and a host of interesting restaurants, and health food stores.
Magick was in the air, felt in that early Autumn breeze and even fun signposts like this street sign.
Elphinstone has several meanings but felt like an oracle path a faery or elf might follow in the Lord of the Rings or something, since we seem to be venturing in mythical tales lately including literally living in Sherwood Forest for a few days.
I’ve noted the shorter days and softening light.
I’ve been sensing an early and colder Winter this year.
And it’s the first year I’ve actually witnessed chipmunks hiding their acorns and have had so many run-ins with bears bulking up for their long Winter’s naps.
I feel a hibernation coming on early myself, to include a real hunkering down and need for retreat into creative madness…the kind that is intoxicating and fruitful and will manifest newness in all areas of life.
I’ll be sharing an update soon on where things are currently and upcoming changes at hand.
We’ve been continuing our run of relaxation in a little peaceful haven village of Manitou Beach for what will account for just 3 nights and two and a half days of spiritual retreat. We’ve called Manitou and District Regional Park Campground our home during this stay, which is just 5 miles north of Watrous, Saskatchewan and a short walk to the unique mineral waters of Little Manitou Lake, which is believed to have healing powers. It’s a beautiful campground with an enclave of mature trees around each site and abundantly throughout (they even have small tree groves on site where they are growing more), trails to the beach, through the prairie grasslands for a loop hike, and past lots of Saskatoon berries as well as a lovely garden that is part of the grounds and restful park.
The village of Manitou Beach hosts a lot of fun things for post-treatment relaxation of its visitors including restful parks, spas, drive-in movies, mini-golf and golf, Danceland, a bird sanctuary, kayaking, and more. There’s a coop market about 5 minutes down the road into town too.
The photos shared encapsulate the essence of our time here, which was one of peaceful magick.
Although I didn’t capture the rainbow while it was clearly defined (you can see a hint of it dissipated here below in the clouds to the left), there was even a small one that appeared across the lake when we reached the top of the hill on our short hike.
And for me, it was the space that brought me back to my writing, continued synchronous reading bridging story with reality, and digging more curiously about where I’m taking my new creations and the next leg of our journey in general.
All of this was partnered with the backdrop of the Lake, which for me seemed to be the energy prompting more depth and introspection in my explorations.
There is a “Legend of the Lake of the Healing Waters” that shares the stories about Manitou Lake.
The word “Manitou” itself carries a powerful symbolism by definition, which shares that it is a supernatural force, which to the Algonquian Indians, pervades the natural world.
Manitou is the spiritual and fundamental life force understood by Algonquian groups of Native Americans. It is omnipresent and manifests everywhere: organisms, the environment, events, etc.
The Great Spirit, Aasha Monetoo, gave the land, when the world was created, to the Natives (in particular, the Shawnee).
The term was already widespread at the time of European contact. In 1585 when Thomas Harriot recorded the first glossary of an Algonquian language, Roanoke (Pamlico), he included the word mantóac, meaning “gods” (plural). Similar terms are found in nearly all of the Algonquian languages.
In some Algonquian traditions, the term gitche manitou is used to refer to a “great spirit” or supreme being.
In the shamanistic traditions, the manitous (or manidoog or manidoowag) are connected to achieve a desired effect, like plant manitous for healing or the buffalo manitou for a good hunt. In the Anishinaabeg tradition, manidoowag are one aspect of the Great Connection. Related terms used by the Anishinaabeg are manidoowish for small animal manidoowag and manidoons for insects; both terms mean “little spirit”. In some Algonquian languages such as Iynu (Montagnais) the word manituw refers to underwater creatures to whom hunters offered tobacco in order to appease them when traveling through their territories.
The name of the Canadian province of Manitoba, named after Lake Manitoba in the province, derives from the place name manitou-wapow, “strait of the Manitou” in Cree or Ojibwe, referring to the strange sound of waves crashing against rocks near The Narrows of the lake. In Manitoba there are the petroforms of Whiteshell Provincial Park, and the Anishinabe Midewiwin refer to an area there as Manitou Ahbee. The petroforms are symbols made with rocks, and they serve as reminders of the instructions that have been given to the Anishinabe by the Creator. The Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine Society, are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. To them, the area containing the petroforms is Manito Ahbee, the place where God sits. It is the site where the original Anishinabe was lowered from the sky to the ground by the Creator.
Manitou Island means “spirit island”. This island is considered very important to the Ojibway, or Anishinaabe, with many sacred sites and sounding rocks. There is still a high population of native peoples on the island today.
The Fox Indians believed that the manitou dwelled in the stones of the sweat lodge. On heating the stove, the heat of the fire made manitou to come out from its place in the stones. Then it proceeds out of the stones when water is sprinkled on them. It comes out in the steam and enters the body. It moves all over inside the body, driving out everything that inflicts pain. Before the manitou returns to the stone, it imparts some of its nature to the body. That is why one feels so well after having been in the sweat lodge.
I find it again synchronous that the book series I’ve been reading of shamanic and medicine traditions have largely been based in Manitoba and are connected through the First Nations people there. No coincidences. 🙂
I’ll leave you with this story as shared in the Watrous Manitou Visitors Guide we were presented upon arrival to our campsite:
Long before white settlers emigrated to Canada and the western territories, Saskatchewan was designated as part of the Great Plains of western Canada. A variety of Canadian First Nations tribes traveled throughout the land, utilizing the available resources for their survival while still respecting the land from which it came.
The arrival of the European settlers impacted the tribes in a variety of ways. One of the most devastating effects settlers had upon the First Nations people was the introduction of foreign diseases such as small pox. The Cree people who populated the land area known as Saskatchewan were exposed to small pox and suffered devastating losses. When traditional medicines and remedies proved ineffective against this new disease, the Cree did the only thing they believed they could, move away from the site of death and destruction.
According to legend, some young braves fell ill during their tribe’s move. Fortunately the tribe’s choice of camp was in the vicinity of what is now known as Manitou Lake. The braves were too weak to continue the journey so the tribe built a shelter for them before continuing their journey. It is said the afflicted braves were overcome with fever and thirst and crawled their way to the lakeshore where they slaked their thirst and immersed themselves in the cool water. Spent from their efforts, it is said they remained on the beach overnight. In the morning, the braves experienced some relief from their symptoms. The braves attributed the respite to the water and remained on site, consuming and immersing themselves into the liquid medicine. Within days of their arrival at the lake, the braves regained their previous state of healthfulness and continued on their tribe’s journey. Upon reuniting with their tribe, tribe members were astounded by the braves’ seemingly miraculous return to health.
So was born the legend of the healing waters of Manitou Lake. Medicine men named the lake Manitou in reference to the Great Spirit, which is the equivalent of God. As the legend of the lake with healing powers spread via word of mouth, First Nations tribes later followed b the settlers ad then visitors from all parts of the world, traveled to the Lake of the Healing Waters to experience relief from a number of maladies. An entire industry of healing and therapeutic products sprang up from the lake resources, an industry that is still strong and vibrant today in the new millenium. How effective the healing waters are can only be determined through first-hand experience. Experience the Legend of Manitou for yourself!
Our last two stops have just been for a day and a half each, as we quickly make our way back south to be in the States again at end of the month – more on that upcoming. Sometimes even just a quick touch in can provide exactly what you need and lately I’ve been more focused on simply the present energy space the quick stop-ins create, as I know I’m seeing, receiving, integrating, and experiencing exactly what I need while passing through.
We’re off to Watrous today after our short time in Saskatoon – still in Saskatchewan – and rain has continued to walk with us, providing a thorough cleansing throughout much of our time of recent months. Although today the sun is shining and I’m feeling another layer to the new slate washed away into greater lightness of experience.
I don’t want to downplay any area we touch in with, as each place upon the Earth has its value and sacredness, just as each of us do.
So while we didn’t get a huge taste of Saskatoon, we were led to some peaceful and yummy finds worth sharing, as part of the reason behind these shares is to also simply provide information to other travelers, including fellow vegan friends and nomads, some info on what’s available.
While in Saskatoon we found two vegan friendly restaurants, which we visited in the same day.
One was “The Karma” where I enjoyed their delicious “Reconstructed Maki” dish that tasted just like vegan sushi in a bowl.
A yummy tummy satisfyer for a Pisces and in line with the “karma” theme, good city parking karma was on our side as a car pulled out directly in front when we pulled up. Yay!
After lunch we then decided to take a walk in Cosmopolitan Park on the Meewasin River Walk Trail that hugged the river, provided a view of the city, meandered through lovely tunnels of trees, journeyed under bridges, and offered us a stroll through the sculpture garden.
After, since our lunch was quite light, we decided to peek in on “The Griffin” where we found a variety of vegan desserts and baked goods asking to be sampled. 😉
And as usual, this is what happens when we hit cities with vegan finds to explore.
Yep, we ended up taking home an apple spice cake, caramel almond shortbread cake, and peanut butter brownie cake.
We had already eaten the chocolate chip cookie on the way home, which was deliciously thick and soft – my favorite kind! So, unfortunately can’t share it except to say I loved it!
Then after dinner at home, we made a sample plate for each of us to try a small bite of each goody. Yum!
Good karma, sweetness, and peace made for a swimmingly short, but enjoyable experience mirroring a continuing theme of restful integration.