Monday, June 23, 2003

Mount Shasta

I was idly looking at some of the wall decorations in Phoenix's room, and noticed that she had several pictures of a mountain. I asked her about it and she said it was of Mount Shasta, a 14000 ft high mountain near her home town in California. The mountain looked fairly impressive and i was immediately reminded of a recurring image that used to inhabit my skull from time to time. I had this vision of a mountain, high enough to poke its triangular head through the clouds, and i used to always imagine it from the air. Phoenix also told me that the mountain itself was considered quite spiritual and associated with local folklore, and i could readily believe it. Coming from a country where every distinctive peak is sacred to some god or the other, it didn't take me a huge amount of imagination to relate to this concept.

Mt. Shasta is also the site of a major gathering that happens once a year, in August, called the Harmonius Convergence. Based on a book by Jose Arguelles, published early 1987 called "The Mayan Factor", the gathering has apparently turned quite a bit commercial, but the idea is quite appealing. The mountain has also served as inspiration to all sorts of artistic activities ranging from poetry to the fine arts. Links to these as well as a complete record of anything anyone has done with respect to the mountain can be found here. The paintings by Frederick Ferdinand Schafer are very cool, and i think approximate the semi-mystical feel of the mountain. Of course, having never been there, i have no way to tell, and i can only rely on this web cam (refreshed every 20 mins) or this panaromic view (I really like these) to get an idea of the many faces of the mountain. This site has a brilliant collection of Mt Shasta photographs.