Christina Lake, BC, Canada
Summer is winding down and everyone is going to the lake before Fall brings the chill. 3 hours away from Spokane, WA, nestled in hills and surrounded by trees, resides one of the most beautiful lakes in our vicinity. If you are looking for a change from the often busy and bustling Coeur d’Alene and you are looking for a place to escape and really rough it, this is the lake for you. There are bears, birds of prey, and loads of other wildlife who are eager to meet you (remember your bear spray!). Just going over the border (don’t forget a passport or an enhanced driver’s license) is like entering a whole new world with incredible wilderness.
Even just the drive up is something beautiful and unforgettable. I’ve heard a lot of Spokanites talk smack about Chewelah and Colville but those are some beautiful country towns. Colville National Park is massive and goes along the Columbia River. My partner and I often stop at our favorite beach on the Columbia on our way up to Christina Lake to exercise our dogs.
It is often said that the geologic make-up of Christina Lake gives the water some healing or nourishing qualities and from experience I am a believer. You come out of the water feeling so clean, your spirit awake to the incredible natural landscape around you. Having grown up on Coeur d’Alene (my family has a cabin on the lake) my first time in Christina Lake was a life-changer. Never have I felt purified from natural freshwater.
What you need:
Your body (in a bathing suit or sky clad)
This lake still has some traces of the inuit tribes who resided around it, even some cliffs on Christina Lake have drawings from a once local tribe. I suggest going rustic when calling the quarters and deities, example:
With a deep breath I welcome you, Air. I feel you fill my lungs and your winds guide the waves of the lake onto the shore.
Calling the other elements will vary on what is accessible to you. Is the sun still out when you perform this ritual for Fire? Is the lake loud or soft, etc.
Next, call on deity. Whoever you’d like. I enjoy calling on Mother Earth and the Lord of the Hunt when I’m in Canada.
Stand on the beach with your feet in the sand just in front of the water and ask yourself what you’re afraid of. Are there places in your life where fear is preventing you from meeting your basic survival needs? (Eat, sleep, water, etc). Give yourself time to analyze your life; fear isn’t always the result of horror movies, and often it’s the mundane fears that disrupt our life. Are you afraid of a new job? Of moving? Looking for a romance? Breathe through your fears, acknowledge them, and then put your feet in the water. Call to those present (elements and/or deity) to aid you in overcoming your fears and let the lake water carry the weight away.
Of what are you guilty? Where in your life have you committed to saying or doing something but you were not able (by choice or circumstance) to own up? What have you done that you are carrying guilt from? Acknowledge this to yourself. Call to those present (elements and/or deity) to witness as you take ownership for your words and actions. Walk into the water until the water is below your navel and let the water carry the guilt away.
Where in your life are you ashamed? We all have embarrassing moments and some of us can overcome them and move on but there are those of us who dwell and have a hard time letting go. Embarrassment is on a wide spectrum from someone playing a prank on you to saying or doing the absolutely wrong thing. Being uncomfortable talking about sex as a teen can often lead women and men feeling ashamed of themselves for desiring sex. Acknowledge areas in your life where you are ashamed. Call to those present (elements and/or deity) to aid you in overcoming your shame and let the lake water give you strength. Walk in until the water is below your chest.
“Grief weighs heavy on the soul” is a phrase I have heard a lot in my life and it’s true. Loss comes in all kinds of forms; death, friends moving far away, the end of relationships, and probably the most confusing are ambiguous losses. An ambiguous loss is one of the most common kinds, and can be the most damaging. It is the Island of Maybe. The in-between. Maybe she’s braindead, maybe she’s just temporarily unconscious. Maybe we’re in a relationship, maybe it’s over. In an ambiguous loss psychologists suggest saying “No” is often the only way of getting off the island. If you’re being pulled along by a romantic interest who is “hot and cold” than say, “No”. Banish it, and now you actually know what you are grieving. You aren’t grieving the idea of something; now you can heal yourself properly. Call to those present (elements and/or deity) to aid you in overcoming your grief and let the water cleanse you. Walk in until the water is below your neck.
The water is nearly surrounding you and by this point you’ve been so focused on yourself that you should take this opportunity to be aware of where you are. You are in a beautiful lake, on a beautiful planet. Breathe.
Lies, illusions, obsessions. These three things contaminate us. The lies we tell others and ourselves can spread into false comfort, false relationships, spreading into an illusion of reality. Where in your life do you need Truth and Honesty?
Obsessions even benign ones, can skew our version of reality and prevent us from connecting with ourselves and the divine.
Before you submerge yourself tell yourself 3 honest things. I would hope one of those things is, “I love you.” Now submerge yourself. Let the water embrace you.
Swim, laugh, enjoy the water. When you’re done thank the elements and deities for their presence.