from Stewart Springs
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Writings first published or posted elsewhere. Consider page a Stewart Springs Soaker's Digest. Would there were some truly old writings, like journal entries from founder Henry Stewart, but none appear to exist, as fire on grounds in late 40s likely destroyed any. Oldest offering to date is Maybelle Nelson's 1930's tribute poem.
Listed order of authors
Dana Goforth (3)
Joseph VaileKS Wild
"The atmosphere here changed;
the spirits had gone away"
Until his untimely death October 24, 2015 of liver failure, Ted was Stewart Springs operations manager ten years, living on grounds with general manager wife Rowena Pantaleon. Ted's quotes on Native American exorcism led by Charlie Thom are excerpted from 2010 Siskiyou Magazine article.
When we first got here in 2007, I was having horrible dreams - dreams about murder, dreams of a Native American man running after me with a tomahawk, that kind of thing.
Ted sensed the dreams were possibly caused by angry spirits, stuck souls who wouldn't or couldn't let go and move on after being massacred by settlers around their sacred healing grounds in the violent 1870s. [Ed.]
Other guests had similar dreams. I met Charlie Thom [late Karuk tribal elder and revered medicine man] when he attended a sweat here, and I told him about the dreams.
He said, "Let me go to my people in Sacramento"
When he came back, along with a medicine woman and several of his family members, he had a moundful of freshly cut tree boughs from four different kinds of trees in the back of his pickup. He built a small fire [by Parks Creek, just upstream from covered footbridge] and began praying and singing in his native Karuk tongue.
It began to smoke a lot because the boughs were green. The white smoke stayed really close to the grounds, and it went over to the creek, where it followed the creek in the direction the water was flowing, just above the surface. The white smoke formed a vortex-like motion and never dispersed its shape. It even went under the bridge along the water.
Each of us picked up a fresh bough, prayed into it, asked for the cleansing of the land, the healing of the land, and placed them on top of the small fire.
My wife gasped at one point, and stated what she saw. She saw the spirits inside the smoke vortex moving in the same direction as the creek was flowing.
We began to cry. Charlie Thom and the medicine woman smiled.
After that, the atmosphere here changed. The spirits had gone away.
Soaking up Shasta Setting
Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2006
Excerpted from longer regional travel piece
by Evin Halper
A middle-aged couple, each dressed in nothing but a thin sheet,
stood on the riverbank and contemplated the rushing water of
From my spot on the nearby bathhouse deck, I could
see the dry-erase board where someone had scribbled the water
temperature: 40 degrees.
The man dipped in a toe and yanked it
back. Sensible folks would have retreated to the sauna. But then they
would have been deprived of the full Stewart Mineral Springs experience.
There is a method to enjoying the rich mineral waters at this
bohemian resort in thick woods near the base of Mount Shasta. It starts
with a short, nearly scalding soak in one of 15 individual tubs in the
bathhouse. [Actually, one adjusts water temp to liking, both hot and cold taps being mineral water.] The therapeutic waters are so rich in earthly deposits that
more than 10 minutes at a time can irritate the skin. Then on to the
giant, wood-fired sauna for as long as you can stand it. And, finally,
the dunk into the icy creek.
Soak-sauna-swim. Repeat three times.
swim is crucial. American Indian lore has it that the dip into the
icy-cold creek washes the surface toxins off your body, removing the
stress from your life and boosting the immune system. The man standing
creekside understood that: He stepped out of his sheet and within
moments was submerged and swimming around as if in a heated pool.
I was impressed. My own dip into the creek was far shorter.
The remarkable thing was that I went in at all.
In this steaming-hot melting pot of Stewart Mineral Springs, guarded urban types like me mix with New Agers, lumberjacks and others. My wife, Erin, and I first happened upon Stewart Mineral Springs a couple of years ago. We had recently moved to Sacramento and were looking to spend a summer weekend at a mountain town not yet sterilized to suit the traveling hordes. [Ed. then, a decade later...]
off Interstate 5 in the northern reaches of the state, the springs are
in a part of California whose lumber mills, rail yards and general
stores recall Northern Maine to an East Coast expatriate's mind.
facilities at Stewart Mineral Springs are equally rugged. It has an
aging summer-camp feel, with creaky floors, plastic deck furniture and
mineral-stained tubs. A narrow hallway passes through the wood-shingled
bathhouse, past the 15 private-tub cubicles, ending in a common space
where a fire crackles in a wood stove. Guests shuffle through on their
way to the sprawling porch overlooking the creek.
silence, and New Age music wafts softly through the hallway. The quiet
is periodically interrupted by the manager [attendant Sherry, actually, long-gone to Iowa], a gruff woman, stomping
through, directing patrons to this tub or that, or bursting into the
sauna to toss impossibly large logs into the stove...
Debra posted this story on Open Exchange website, www.openexchange.org, to share a healing experience.
I discovered Stewart Mineral Springs in 2007 and was immediately drawn in by the "Relax, you're here" sign. The first thing I noticed was the wonderful quiet. The creek sounds and birds were all I heard. My dog, Grizzly, and I walked down the path towards the covered bridge.
The columbines and other wildflowers were blooming; the flowing creek and beautiful, tranquil forest surrounded us. I met an employee who explained the history of Stewart Springs and, most importantly, told me about the healing baths and how the minerals in the water pulled toxins from your body.
We live in a toxic world and our bodies have unique ways to fight these toxins. For some, the liver or colon are targeted. For me, it's the kidneys. In 2006, I'd been diagnosed with medullary sponge kidneys. My left kidney was failing and my right picked up the slack. I was told I'd have to be on pharmaceutical meds for the rest of my life and that I should begin dialysis immediately. I've never liked medications or doctors, for that matter. I began a homeopathic war that included changing my diet and regular exercise. I tried a few other things that fell to the wayside after my first bath experience.
As I entered the bathhouse, I was greeted by a very friendly attendant. I had brought a friend and we followed the first-time bather instructions. It was stress-free and full of powerful, positive energy. The love of mother earth was evident. The attendant poured our baths while we entered the hot wood sauna. It was clean and smelled like camping.
After twenty minutes, we went into our private baths to soak. Later, we eased into the plunge pool and submerged ourselves. The water was fresh and invigorating. As we walked back into the bathhouse, my friend noticed two red spots on my back, one where each of my kidneys were. I felt prickly sensations where the spots were.
Later, I learned that if you experience a mild, prickly rash it was toxins being released. I was completely wowed. For days after, I felt like a new person. I went back twice a week for the next year. In 2008, after a full work up, my urologist said that if he didn't have the data to prove it he would never believe it. Both kidneys were completely functioning. I never took a pill or had dialysis.
In 2008 I moved away from Shasta and didn't return for a year. My kidneys were sore again although I still ate the same nutritious way. The only difference was I moved to a toxic city and hadn't had a magical bath. When I returned in 2010, it was like my first experience. I had red spots and no more pain. I felt great. I'm planning to return at least once a month for a magical, healing bath.
This poem was published in local Weed Press August 10, 1934, in depths of Great Depression. Founder's daughter, Katy, and husband had been running place 20 years since Henry Stewart's passing. No idea who author was but grateful she felt inspired to write it for us to enjoy generations later. Parts are syrupy but writer obviously loved place
Tribute to Stewart Springs
by Maybelle Nelson
If you've lost your pep and feel run down,
Just hop in your flivver [auto] and leave the town.
Drive down the road 'till you see a sign,
Then drive four miles and the place you'll find.
It's a pretty spot, on a mountain top,
Where the sun shines all the day,
By a waterfall, where night birds call,
You can while your time away.
Where the pale moon beams, in this land of dreams
And all nature is at rest,
Where the old grow young and the sick grow strong,
'Midst the California pine trees in the West.
In the month of June, you can honeymoon;
You can laugh and joke and play,
You can sit and dream, by the rippling stream,
While all troubles will vanish away.
If you've got rheumatism, arthritis or the gout,
Just hit the trail for Stewart Springs and for yourself find out
That if you take these mineral baths, health and happiness 'twill bring,
You'll thank your stars you took the tip and went to Stewart Springs.
Don't forget while you're there to play the game fair,
Take a bath at the Springs every day,
And find out the truth, that the fountain of youth
Will drive all your troubles away.
Whether blues or disease, the water will ease,
'Twill drive out all aches and pain,
If you're sick do got grieve, you'll be well when you leave
And you'll want to go back there again.
Then, after you have gone, just pass the news on
To your friends, both new and old,
What the springs did for you, it will do for them, too,
And they'll thank you a thousand fold.
Stewart Springs, Stewart Springs, your praises we'll sing,
'Midst the tall stately pines of the West,
Your waters excel for both sick and well,
Just a place for the weary to rest.
Red and White Spring
An amazing discovery for all those who are in love with the merging of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine!
I would like to describe my personal experience with the Red and White Spring of Glastonbury, and then finish with the profound AvaSha connection of the Red and White Spring of Stewart Mineral Springs of Northern California.
My deep connection pours forth in Glastonbury from Morgen La Fay of the Forest and Gwyn ap Nudd of the Tor -- Queen and King of the Faery realm. My communications with them have revealed that the Red Spring is the womb blood of the Divine Feminine and the White Spring is the seed of the Divine Masculine. The Red and White Dragons also appear in our life force fluids of blood and our lymphatic system, the red and white energies also flow within the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the sacred Tantric flow is red and white, as well.
I have recognized the beliefs of Christian family, that the red is the blood of Christ, and from Goddess worshipers that the red is the
womb blood of the Goddess and the white is the breast milk of the Goddess. With all of these overlays, I find myself seeing an infinity symbol, a figure 8, that reveals the red and white on both sides, dancing, intermingling, and merging as one. Therefore, the balance of male and female in both the red and the white, not one being male OR female, which leads me to imagine, that the awakened ones are fulfilling the prophecy of balance as you read this.
The Red Spring of Glastonbury (Chalice Well) is recognized and utilized in much larger proportions than the White Spring.
The Red Spring has luscious gardens, pathways, a cottage, meditation room, membership, an entrance fee, and healing pools.
The rolling grass, gorgeous flowers, garden birds, and stone water features are brilliantly placed and impeccably cared for.
The White Spring is run by loving local volunteers, is candlelit, run on donations, barely open, and frequently visited by the lost knights, whom hang out in the courtyard and enjoy their altered states of consciousness. I have recently learned a grande overhaul of the interior has taken place, and the water falls free from ceiling height!
I personally have had the most powerful downloads inside the converted Reservoir building of the White Spring, at the Gwyn ap Nudd alter, Bridgit alter, and Black Madonna healing pool. I appreciate the power of the mystery in the darkness there, and love the local volunteers who pour so much of their heart into the space.
Summer 2008, I had the grace of joining James Tyberonn (who channels Metatron), at Stewart Mineral Springs of the Mt. Shasta region in Northern California. James held a powerful retreat that brought attention to both springs and he graciously invited Joanna Janaki and I to share our AvaSha connection which granted us the opportunity to give Priestess Water Blessings to a large portion of his attendees.
Two days prior to Tyb's Earth Keeper's event, our AvaSha Clan facilitated a Community Magick event where we held space for Mt.Shasta and surrounding area residents to co-create an AvaSha Wheel on the land, bless the Red and White Spring waters with Red and White Spring water of Glastonbury, Keltic and Israli folk dance, sing, and create a large community mural on canvas.
Unlike the Red Spring in Glastonbury, the Red Spring of Stewart Mineral Springs, (which I would like to transform it's name to Steward for energetic reasons, since we are stewards of the springs), the Red Spring has gone quite un-noticed. The set-up is not appropriate for safe and easy access and there is a concrete wall dividing the red and white spring.
During our AvaSha event, a beautiful local named David (a former Scottish King) informed me that the Red Spring was coming up on her own, regardless of the concrete wall, and has appeared under the foot bridge!!
I was so excited, because in ancient times the Red and White of Glastonbury once flowed to join each other, and now is blocked by road, fence, and neighborhoods.
At Steward Springs, they have the chance to meet!!! and better yet, under a bridge, hence the name source from the Goddess Bridget, or Bride, or Bridie, or Brigit, bridging the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, bridging the upper and lower worlds, bridging Avalon to Shasta.
Remember the Vesica Pisces is two circles joining creating a birth gate, may we trust, journey, connect, and thrive thru this gateway of balance on all levels into the Aquarian Age.
Water, Water Everywhere
First of three Springs-related articles. This one covers healing value of mineral waters, including Stewart's, and peoples' awareness of various mineral springs' healing properties around the world. Originally posted November 1, 2012
Dana Goforth lives on the central California coast "with four long haired cats and an awesome vacuum cleaner." She is a writer, artist, Reiki teacher and lover of natural springs. You can find more about Dana at www.danagoforth.com or read her posts at closedmonday.wordpress.com Several months ago, I was asked to write an article about
healing waters, specifically the waters at Stewart Mineral Springs. This
was a wee bit of a struggle as the term ‘healing’ is so overused and
the benefits of mineral water is as varied as the person who partakes.
Here is what popped out:
We are in the Age of Aquarius. According to native prophecy, we are
also heading into a water cycle on our planet. On a global level, the
cleansing properties of Mother Earth via tsunamis, massive flooding in
unexpected places, and the rising of the ocean, is clearly evident. More
accessible to us are the natural springs that also provide an
opportunity to cleanse and replenish.
Throughout time, people have sought the fresh water of springs and
wells as places of worship, sanctuary, and healing. The purifying and
healing properties of water, especially mineral waters, are well
documented. Even today, we value the life giving power of water with
many businesses devoted to providing a holistic environment that
includes baths of mineral water and services that support well-being.
So, what is it about water that is so alluring?
Undeniably, attraction to water is inherent to us. It’s our nature to
seek out sources, after all our bodies are 70% water, and it is as
important as the air we breathe. Just as the ancients sought and
followed sources of water, today’s scientists seek to discover its
presence on other planets. Because if there is or was water, there could
be life. Some cultures, including those of the ancient Egyptians, place
the origins of life in the oceans, a fitting metaphor for the birth of
the human race.
Water has long been used in spiritual ceremonies and plays an integral part in numerous belief systems. The premise of Feng Shui,
(water-wind), is that everything has consciousness, including the home,
and the Spirit of Water is used in a variety of ways to cleanse
negative energies and promote harmony of the house and those who live
Some Christian practices include full-immersion baptism in water
while others require an anointing of holy water at baptism or before
entering a place of worship. A time-honored, traditional practice of
bathing in the Ganges River is essential for a Hindi to clear away sins
and cleanse their soul. In classical mythology, the River Styx bestowed
supernatural abilities to mortals who bathed in it, and survived. Many
cultures have stories about a mythical Fountain of Youth with the
promise of immortality to those who drink the source waters.
Closely tied to the importance of water in ceremony is the role of
water in physical healing. Along with earth, air, and fire, water is one
of the key elements that make up the medicine wheel of life — with
water representing emotional energies (as with its use in Feng Shui).
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France is a well-known
grotto where many miraculous healings have occurred. Most Native
American medicine people use water in healing ceremonies in a variety of
ways including infusing the water with prayer and instructing the
patient to take the liquid internally. One tribe referred to a local
mineral springs as, “Big Medicine Fountain,” for its healing properties.
This description alone speaks to the significance of water as catalyst
Natural mud baths, rich in minerals, like those on the Flathead
Indian Reservation in Montana, are excellent at drawing the toxins out
of the body. The high silica content of the water at Stewart Mineral
Springs in Mt. Shasta, California, has a similar quality, especially
when combined with a dry sauna. Posting a testimony on the Stewart web
site, one guest describes how she no longer needed kidney dialysis after
repeated soaking in their waters. Ingesting the lithia water found at
Ojo Caliente in New Mexico, aids in digestion and has an added healing
component that helps depression. The Kusatsu Onsen hot springs spa in
Japan is said to cure everything but love sickness!
Balneotherapy, the treatment of disease using water therapy, is
prescribed by many physicians and is often recommended in conjunction
with other treatments, most commonly in Europe and Asia. Hot spring
waters rich in sulfur are found throughout the world but in Europe are
routinely recommended to assist in healing a variety of conditions
including skin ailments, liver toxicity, and gastrointestinal issues.
German physicians routinely prescribe visits to the badans after
major surgery. Mineral absorption through the skin is minimal but
combined with heat, can be slightly increased and the healing properties
intensified. Ingesting water has a more direct effect on the body but
without the restfulness of a relaxing soak. The steam from mineral
water, often enhanced with essential oils, is also a common way to
experience the healing benefits.
The therapeutic values of mineral springs are diverse. All mineral
springs contain a high amount of negative ions, which promotes
physiological well-being and physical relaxation. Bathing in hot water
increases the hydrostatic pressure on the body, which in turn increases
blood circulation that assists in breaking down and eliminating toxins.
It also increases the body’s metabolism and stimulates the organs that
improve digestion. Minerals that are absorbed through hot springs can
enhance the immune system and the production of endorphins. For those
persons with arthritis, the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on the
joints, relaxes muscles, and increases range of motion. A deeper sleep
is inevitable after time spent in the refuge of a warm bath.
Unfortunately, there is little direct, research-based evidence
of the healing and health enhancing properties of water alone. For the
past 100 years or so, both physicians and pharmaceutical companies,
especially in the United States, have turned away from homeopathic and
alternative healing methods – and even vilified such approaches. As
such, research and testing have steered away from these solutions and
focused on more profitable drug treatments. Yet people have continued to
trek to remote locations to “take the waters.” Saratoga Springs in New
York, Hot Springs in Arkansas, and Desert Hot Springs in California are
just a few of the places that have enjoyed continuous patronage from
those seeking a cure.
Sadly, we live in stressful times. We are blasted daily with
negativity and fear. We worry about the quality of our food, our air,
and our water. This, combined with the frustrating devastation being
wrought on Mother Earth adds to the caldron of stress, which, as we
know, only promotes ill health.
Imagine a web-like network of tiny waterways weaving just below the
surface of the earth. End to end, these rivulets and rivers are millions
of miles long, ebbing and flowing on a path of their own choosing. As
water moves through the earth’s substrata of stone, minute bits of
calcium, iron, and other solid minerals are absorbed and transported
elsewhere. Underground water lacks oxygen so its ionic properties are
increased. This feature attracts more minerals into the molecules than
surface water and by the time the water emerges, it’s loaded with
nutrients. Mineral-saturated droplets make monster stalactites, while
tiny streams rise to the surface and leave deposits on the banks of
creeks and in larger pools as in the Salineras de Maras in Perú or the
many colorful ponds in Yellowstone National Park. Interestingly, the
warm waters of Yellowstone host heat loving, colorful microbes, and the
temperature of the water can be determined by the color of the microbe
is living in it. Most mineral water that comes to the surface is cool
and mixes with snowmelt and rain. Occasionally, underground hot spots
heat or vaporize the water before gushing into a geothermal spring or
geyser. Because the earth’s crust has unique geologic configurations, so
does the mineral content of the waters passing through. Fortunately for us, Mother Earth continues to provide healing waters in abundance. As the beauty of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus
illustrates the gifts of Nature, partaking of natural springs for
sanctuary or healing brings a closer connection between ourselves and
Mother Earth. We live in unique times and the opportunities to grow in
many ways are abundant. Rejoicing in mineral water is one simple way to
augment any spiritual and healing regime.
Healing Properties of Minerals
Alkaline (pH 8.5 and higher) breaks down and eliminates stored toxins.
Arsenic improves skin conditions, arthritis, and assists in tissue growth. It may also address fungal conditions of the feet.
Boron strengthens skeletal system, builds muscle mass, and increases brain activity.
Bicarbonate improves circulation especially to the hands and feet, and assists cardiovascular disease.
Iron benefits the immune system and the blood.
Lithium aids digestion and relieves depression.
Magnesium promotes healthy skin and converts blood sugar to energy.
Potassium reduces high blood pressure, eliminates toxins, and promotes healthy skin.
Silica eliminates toxins and promotes healthy skin.
Soda aids digestion and promotes tranquility.
Sodium (chloride) soothes arthritis and other orthopedic
conditions, stimulates the lymphatic system, and strengths the central
Sulfur addresses a variety of conditions including skin
diseases, ulcers, inflammations, and respiratory problems. In Europe, it
is taken orally for liver and gastrointestinal conditions.
Second of three articles by Dana, this one on experiencing women's Native American sweat lodge ceremony at Stewart's some time ago.
Dana Goforth lives on the central California coast with four long haired cats
and an awesome vacuum cleaner. She is a writer, artist, Reiki teacher, and lover
of natural springs. You can find more about Dana at www.danagoforth.com or read her posts at http://closedmonday.wordpress.com/ With the beat from the ceremonial drums still pulsing in my body, I
bow and enter the darkened lodge. I’d left my glasses on the small alter
< March 8, 2014 sweat
covered with various adornments the other women had removed. I
make my way around blurry forms in the tent, hoping not to trip over
anyone or, heaven forbid, take a dive into the pit in the center. As I
settle down on the hard-packed ground, I watch as several more women
enter and make their way inside. Their shapes little more than colorful
smudges. Soon, glowing rocks are placed in the pit and the lodge flap is
Darkness tumbles in, cloaking me in a startling void. I smell bits of
purifying sage tickling my nose only to be replaced by the stronger
cedarwood scent coming from the heated stones. The Medicine Woman leader
sprinkles water on the hot rocks, piercing the stillness with a
satisfying sizzle. Someone lights a piece of buffalo grass, it’s sweet
scent mingling with the others. As my pores open, so does a heightened
sense of awareness. One by one the women speak. A prayer. A wish. A
healing request. I feel the beautiful feminine energies grow within me,
filling the darkness and mingling with others. Feeling my inner self share this divine energy, I realize how very
much our lives are impacted by dark, harsh energies on a daily basis.
Senseless acts of violence and blatant disrespect of Mother Earth in the
name of profit deeply disturb me. The anger I feel towards others
fear-based decisions drains away. I can’t change them but I can change
how I react. From a place of deep peace, I vow to walk more gently
through the days ahead.
The flap opens and the cool, early evening pours in, touching my hot
skin like velvet. My eyes take a moment to adjust before I make my way
to the smudge of light and exit the tent. My body is light and I feel
spiritually clean. I’m convincing myself that even my eyesight is
improving when my shin makes contact with the altar, scattering many
items across the dusty ground. I pick up my glasses with a sigh.
Thankfully, I didn’t fall in the pit.
Last of three articles, this one celebrating turning 50 at Springs. First posted on Open Exchange.
Dana Goforth lives on the central California coast with four long haired cats
and an awesome vacuum cleaner. She is a writer, artist, Reiki teacher, and lover
of natural springs. You can find more about Dana at www.danagoforth.com or read her posts at http://closedmonday.wordpress.com/
Celebrating at Stewart Springs
Last year, I turned 50. I'm not sure how that happened as I was only 48 the previous year. That is until my sister did the math and pointed out yes I was 50. Argh! What happened to 49? Since the auspicious day was only one month away I had to move quickly to plan something special.
Too late to place a trip to abroad, I focused on something closer to home. Stewart Mineral Springs? "How did I miss this place?" I've been going to hot springs for over 30 years. From natural mud baths in Montana, to underground caves in Colorado, to remote locations in Arizona, I've had amazing experiences. Yet here was a new adventure in the making. One thing really caught my eye, their Native American sweat lodge. I checked the calendar and saw that a sweat was actually scheduled on my birthday.
The short drive off I-5 took me through dehydrated, late summer fields and into a lush, forested valley. I followed my map to the end of the road and stopped before a small sign saying Stewart Mineral Springs, Welcome. I'm always amazed at the stillness I experience after being on the road for hours. Stepping from the car, I stretched, taking several minutes to look around. The fragrant pines were an immense welcome to my senses after the drive. Around me were several rustic buildings and I could hear the gurgle of the creek nearby. So far, so good.
Check-in was easy and the people were nice. They informed me that the last bath was in 15 minutes, "Would you care to take a bath?" the receptionist asked. I wasn't exactly sure what their definition of a 'bath' was but after a six hours in an air conditioned car, there was nothing I'd like better then to get naked in hot water.
The sweat lodge ceremony was the next day at 6 pm she told me as I headed towards my lodgings. Number 13 [cabin] stood alone, nestled in the trees. From his roof perch, a stellar jay watched me unload my bags and walk up the stairs. 'Hello you too' I said as I turned the key in the lock.
I schlepped the rest of my bags, food, and well-traveled, red teapot to the cabin. After depositing the goods in the fridge, I poked around the bathroom and bounced on the bed. Everything was clean, tidy and obviously well-maintained. I was very pleased to see a small, wood stove but decided that it would be unnecessary this late summer and draped my grubby travel clothes on it.
Comfortable in my sweats, I headed to the bathhouse. I crossed over the creek on a wonderful, timber, walking bridge. I wanted to hang over the edge and let the moving water mesmerize me a bit but I'd have time later to check out the grounds. I was on a mission! Entering the bathhouse through the gift shop, I was greeted by an attendant. She took my bath coupon explaining the bath experience. First, I was assigned a private room with a clawfoot bathtub. She briefly left to fill the tub and then we walked down one short wing to a large, wooden door that she opened.
I was immediately engulfed in hot, fragrant air. I peeked inside and saw a windowed firebox at the back of the sauna. Flames were dancing around several logs and the embers provided a soft glow illuminating a large, bench lined room. Aromatic cedar filled my lungs as we closed the door. After the bath and sauna, she suggested a plunge in the pool. Pool? What pool? She led me to the outside deck and pointed to the large, natural rock-walled pool that had been crafted in the creek. I noticed a sign on the wall with today's water temperature, 53 degrees. The plunge won't take long, I thought as I headed back to my room.
I lit the candle provided and slid into the bath. The water was divine and a perfect temperature. With my 6' body completely submerged in the large tub and I felt like I was enveloped in warm, velvet. Blissed out, I gently floated and let the day's travel evaporate. The water was divine and honestly, I don't think I'd ever felt this kind of softness in a mineral bath.
Before I completely felt my toes shrivel inside out, I wrapped a sheet around me and headed to the sauna. Typical of most saunas, the large room had two tiers of wooden benches for sitting or reclining. Even though there were several other bathers present, I had space to stretch out and breathe the cedar-scented air. People respectfully came and went. Soon, it was my turn to leave the glow of the sauna and head for my plunge – I love that word!
I'm generally not anxious about jumping into brisk river water but after baking myself, I decided the quick plunge approach was wiser than the slow, squinching, method. One swift dunk in the two-foot rock pool and several refreshing but pathetic breast strokes across took my breath away [Note: pool can be as deep as 3-4 feet; varies with ravages of nature and work traders willing to maintain it.] I crawled out on an adjoining bench to catch the sun. As I watched the water tumble over the rocks, I felt very close to nature and the spirit of the springs.
I scurried back to my room and once again immersed myself in the water. A curious thing happened. Being a ceramic artist and Reiki teacher, my hands are especially sensitive. As I relaxed further, I felt the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet tingle and throb with surges of energy. They felt like they were wide open and filled with a tremendous flow of light. Slowly, this feeling spread up my limbs and into my body until there were no boundaries between the water and me.
I woke up Saturday to the reality of being officially middle age. Ugh, horrid phrase, that. After lunch and another amazing bath, I took a short walk upstream looking for a place to just sit and be. Paralleling the creek, I passed other lodgings, the springs Source House, and was quickly alone in the woods. After several hundred yards of boulder hopping, I sat on a large rock surrounded by shallow, swift moving waters. With the warming, late afternoon sun on my back, I dangled my feet in the small pool, feeling the currents swirling around my ankles.
What a truly special place this is. The combination of the energy of the land and the water was one I had not experienced in my travels. I was still for a very long time, again feeling a connection, as with my first bath. To my surprise, I heard a drum beat. Wow, I thought, I have a great imagination! I opened my eyes and realized the sound was real and announced beginning of the pre-sweat ceremonies.
About an hour later, I walked towards the sweat lodge. Earlier, when I told the bath attendant that I was planning on celebrating my birthday by taking a sweat, she explained ceremony etiquette. I approached the group with a bit of my own insecurities about being a newcomer but also with an open heart, excited for another experience. The drum beater was Walking Eagle, elder tribesman of the Karuk and leader of the sweat lodge ceremony. Just before we entered the lodge, he came up to me and said he was deeply honored that I chose to celebrate this day with a sweat. Walking Eagle held my hand and thanked me. I was thinking, are you kidding? I'm the one honoring you and this amazing ceremony. Thank you, it is my honor as well, I replied.
I left Stewart Springs several days later. The mineral waters had worked their enchanting magic and I felt balanced and at peace. Between the baths and the sweat, both body and spirit had been purified in a most meaningful way.
As I write this, I am once again feeling a deep connection with the land and the magical, healing waters of the springs. Perhaps it's time to celebrate the lost 49th year with another visit.
James Tyberonn, engineer and geologist 35 years, visited over 75 countries in his work. He has keen interest in spirituality and metaphysics along with deep love for Earth, and has visited over 300 sacred sites around the world. He now focuses on understanding the living Earth from both scientific and metaphysical perspectives.
Channeler of Archangel Metatron since 2007, he is regularly featured in Sedona Journal of Emergence Magazine. See related esoteric article on Mt. Shasta region as a whole.) He'd once hoped through group of investors to rescue Springs.
Stewart Mineral Springs:
The Amazing Crystaline Waters of Shasta
The remarkable thing about the amazing crystal silica springs of Shasta is that it's such a well kept secret. The locals say they like it that way. It's not that they aren't willing to share, it's more around the fact that the rustic bohemian atmosphere of one of the most rejuvenating and healing natural springs on the planet is so available and affordable, and is not overrun by tourists.
Surprisingly it has not been bought out and turned into a high dollar 5-star resort spa. Interesting, that, because several times that has been looked at, but something seemed to intervene. Its almost like the amazing dual springs are meant to be for all the people, especially the ones drawn there for spiritual refuge and healing rejuvenation.
The springs at Stewart Mineral Springs have been revered by the Native Americans of the area as sacred for centuries. The Modoc's historically described them as an area of healing, rebirth, and fertility. The springs and land are still honored with Walking Eagle purification sweat lodges conducted by Native Americans every Saturday, and these are open to all who wish to be cleansed in that sacred way.
It is September 2001, just days after the infamous 9-11. After having had my flight to California cancelled while waiting to board the plane at 9 am on September 11th, I had, through great effort, managed to get to Mount Shasta on Thursday, September 14th. What a surreal week it had been.
After arriving in Sacramento, I drove my rental car to Stewart Mineral Springs for a spiritual retreat of Lightworkers. Just past Shasta City, I exited and looped under Interstate 5 and drove upward. The majestic twin peaks of the sacred mountain dominated the horizon behind me.
The road curved and changed from tarmac to pitted gravel. The entry to the springs resort was neatly couched between two ridges covered in cedar and pine, forming a serene canyon, threaded by a clear gurgling mountain stream.
The rustic presentation of Stewart Mineral Springs makes it one of the most understated health spas in America. The grounds were alive with devic and nature spirits, and the springs themselves are rich with lore and legends. The energy of place seems to melt away worry and fear, and a sense of uninhibited freedom from the restraints of the mundane aspects of life seem to pervade and convert itself into liberated joy.
The Native Americans valued the springs for their healing powers, and the owners have kept the resort deliberately primitive, with as few intrusions from the urban world as possible. The sprawling 37-acre site is somewhat of a random placement of quaint log cabins [rustic yes, but not log - Ed.], tipis, residences, apartments and a restaurant, centered around the office and bathhouse spa building. The grounds were landscaped and embellished with ponds, gazebos, and two wood framed bridges over the crystal clear creek. The grounds are riddled with footpaths and hiking trails, freshwater streams, and a sparking creek pool, carved out with retaining walls of natural stone.
Activities revolve around hiking, meditation; massage therapy and the healing waters of the amazing springs. The bathhouse entry serves as the resort office. Here one can sign up for the bath routine as well as arrange massage therapy. The bathhouse has over a dozen private rooms where the crystal spring water is heated and run into oversized tubs for soaking. As soon as the conference meeting ended for the day in late afternoon, I went immediately for the sauna and baths. I found myself indulging deliciously in the overwhelming sense of well being that the routine of bath-sauna and cold plunge afforded me.
I met Stuart, a local, in the sauna who was a longtime devotee of the area and part time employee. I asked him if there were any other springs in the area. I was amazed to learn that a red spring existed within a few feet of the white spring, but was not utilized due to its rusty-iron content. [It has super-modest welling rate, besides.] Having spent considerable time in Glastonbury I understood immediately the rarity and Gaic expression and meaning of a red and white spring occurring side by side.
I finished my sauna, and went immediately to the gazebo that housed the white spring. I spent a few moments gazing at the clear white spring, and its matrix walls lined with a cushion of snowy residue, fluffy white silica. I then walked to the edge of the gazebo, and to my joy and amazement, just a few feet a way was a rust red pool of water, draining slowly into the creek. It was unrecognized, and unkempt. I jumped over the gazebo railing and put my hands in the red spring. I felt a surge of electricity flow up my arm, and a communication with the conscious awareness of both springs. They were indeed a pair, and meant to be recognized.
I felt overwhelmed.
That evening, I enthusiastically shared with the sixty plus Lightworkers attending the seminar the discovery, rarity and meaning of the dual red and white springs. The following day, we organized a team of some twenty Lightworkers, with permission of the owners [managers], to clean the red springs, line it with stones and prayer ties, and do honoring ceremony to acknowledge and recognize its Divine Goddess expression. As we sang songs and cleaned the red waters, to our delight, the spring began bubbling.
The white spring was covered in an acrylic bubble top that blocked the ionic plasma field that occurs above all natural springs. We removed the top, and to our joy, it began bubbling profusely. The ionic field above both springs intertwined in helix. My dear friends Michelle and Lane looked beyond the gazebo and pointed out two trees that were also intertwined around one another in a braided helix. Unusual for pines.
Truly this was the Cosmic wink. We were in the helixed vortex of the living springs. A fertility expression of nature, where the male and female aspects were divinely coupled. My experience with the springs made an indelible impression upon my heart, and I knew I would return.
Red and White Springs of Shasta -Glastonbury
What is quite notable, rare and of extreme Gaic importance, is that there are two springs on the site. One red and one white, located side by side. To my knowledge the only other location on the planet that is embellished with a red and white spring side by side, is in Glastonbury, England.
There, the hallowed Chalice Well red springs at the foot of the Glastonbury Tor flows side by side with the White Swan springs. The red spring of the Chalice Well are said to have been blessed by Joseph of Armithea and Mother Mary, and are renown for their remarkable healing abilities in legend and lore.
The Druids of Glastonbury recognized the red springs as female, blood of the Divine Feminine. Legend is that the white springs were considered male representing the white dove of Archangel Michael. In fact, the famous leylines, the Michael and Mary lines intertwine on the Tor and across the two springs. The area became a major pilgrimage site for centuries, and still draws thousands each year.
The white silica crystalline and red iron magnetic springs of Mount Shasta have something of a similar purpose and history.
The mineral waters of both are an expression of the divine male and female aspects of the living planet, embraced in a sacred tantra of regeneration. Both living springs are consciously aware within a matrix of extremely high energy, in which the veil of dimensions is melted away to allow for spiritual rebirth. Both enhance metamorphosis of the soul.
[See preceding article for more on Glastonbury springs]
A Wedding to Whimsy
My first visit to Stewart Mineral Springs was in
2005, where I stumbled upon a wedding taking place in the sacred circle
at the back of the springs. My stay at Stewart was a powerfully, moving
experience for me; the people, the baths, the hiking
trails, and sleeping under the trees next to the creek. I had just
started dating a wonderful man. I introduced him to the magic of the
following summer. He loved it as much as I did. Every year
after that, we included a stop at the Springs in our annual California
roadtrip. We particularly enjoyed staying in the teepees. Last winter,
when we became engaged, our first thought was to have our
wedding at the Springs.
Living in Los Angeles, we looked at closer venues because we thought
the distance would be too great. But none of the other places held the
same magic we felt during our visits to Stewart.
When we finally decided to follow our hearts and have our wedding at
Stewart, the magic began to unfold. The wedding I stumbled upon back in
2005, was between a couple who own a truly special
wedding entertainment company (True Love Sound). When I contacted them
to help at our wedding, they were overjoyed as they shared our deep love
for the springs. When we told them of our Enchanted
Forest Faerie Viking Masquerade theme, they introduced us to their
friend, an amazing photographer who was excited to shoot our forest
fantasy wedding. She and I became friends and she introduced me
to a faerie masquerade costumer who made me the most gorgeous wedding
dress. Magic was truly afoot. One thing after another started happening
like this right up to the day of the wedding! I truly felt
that forces beyond our control took over!
Needless to say, we had a magically whimsical wedding! My husband
and I and all our guests put a huge amount of creative energy into the
planning (and celebrating). The days surrounding the
wedding were spirited and full of fun. We had a lot of support from Ted
and Rowena (Stewart managers), the staff at Stewart, and Ron [Tom] and Arlene
of Lilly's Restaurant (who catered the rehearsal dinner
and the wedding reception).
Our guests had an unforgettable time and
many are planning a visit in the near future. I can't think of a better
place to be married! The healing and relaxing energy of the
Springs and the beauty of the forest make it one of the most special
places on earth. We plan to return on our anniversary!
Joseph VaileKS Wild
"There’s nothing that reminds you that you’re alive, than 36-degree water"
Posted 2-16-16 in Ashland (OR) Daily Tidings newspaper. Also covers two other regional springs: Jackson Well Springs and Umpqua Hot Springs.
There I stood, on the banks of the icy cold reservoir, each breath creating a fog, clouding my view of the 50 other people in bathing suits, shivering, hovering, and wondering, as I was, if this really was the right way to start the New Year.
This was my second Polar Bear Plunge. For those of you who are first hearing about this phenomenon, the Polar Bear Plunge is often a charity event held through the winter in different parts of the world. They share one thing in common: Jumping into icy cold water. On purpose.Why? Exposing the body to really cold water has many supposed benefits: boosts immunity, improves sexual function, increases circulation, speeds weight loss, and creates endorphins. Endurance athletes do this regularly, soaking in ice baths after training to speed recovery. To me it is a wake-up call, a reminder to really live. There’s nothing that reminds you that you’re alive, than 36-degree water.
Except hot springs. As much as I love icy baths, hot springs are my preferred choice if I plan to spend time immersed in water. Hot springs are geothermally heated from inside the earth. Since hot water holds more suspended solids than cold water, hot springs often have high mineral content. They often smell of sulfur and other minerals, which many believe adds to their therapeutic properties.The use of water for mental and physical health and well-being (hydrotherapy) dates back to ancient civilizations. The boom of hot springs resorts peaked in the 1920s in the U.S. We are blessed with an abundance of hot springs in our region. Here are a few of my favorites near Ashland:
Stewart Mineral Springs:
Located outside of Weed, Calif., Stewart is a well-developed facility that has been around since the late 1800s. The protocol at the springs is to sit in your hot springs-filled clawfoot tub* for between two and seven minutes, then towel up, step outside and plunge into icy cold Parks Creek right outside. Repeat. Repeat again and again for 90 minutes, which is how long you rent your bathing room.
*Ed.: Actually water's propane heated, coming out of ground cold. It's #1 misunderstanding of place, legions thinking it a hot springs. Perhaps tying it is mistaking hired managers for actual, uber-absentee owners.
There are many other healing opportunities at Stewart, including a dry wood-fired sauna, massage, rustic cabins and nearby hiking opportunities. Pro tip: It is much easier to do the polar plunge when you are able to jump back into a hot bath.
Right outside of Ashland are the lovely Wellsprings and adjacent — and higher end — Lithia Springs Resort. The Wellsprings dates back more than 100 years, and has recently been remodeled and spruced up. On site are a large warm swimming pool, a steam room and a dry sauna. When I go there I am transported back to ancient Rome, where public bathing was the norm. For women concerned with privacy and cleanliness, Ladies Only night is every Monday, right after the weekly pool cleaning. According to the Wellsprings, these waters have been “revered for centuries by First Nation tribes as a ceremonial and birthing site.” The namesake for the springs is Eugenia Jackson who wanted these waters publicly available for “natatorium and sanitarium purposes.”
Umpqua Hot Springs:
By far my favorite local hot springs are the Umpqua Hot Springs, near Tokatee Falls and the “Dread and Terror” section of the North Umpqua Trail. The setting is right out of the Lord of the Rings (absent tiny Hobbits running around) with huge Technicolor plants and damp, mossy old-growth towering above as you walk to the steamy pools tucked in the woods.Warning: These hot springs have recently reopened after high bacteria levels were recorded. Some brilliant person took matters into their own hands and bleached the springs to kill the bacteria (and everything else), but it won’t stop me from going back. These springs are on public land and are largely undeveloped, so be prepared for a rustic experience.I prefer the more undeveloped hot springs found on public land, but that’s just me.
If you are planning some hot springs adventures, I recommend grabbing a guidebook such as “Hiking Hot Springs in the Pacific Northwest.”