Crossroads are places of change. They are places of transformation, magick, bargaining and release. As I write this I am at the famously enormous Iowa 80 Truck Stop, a personal crossroads of which I am keenly aware, and a more nebulous one for the majority who pass through it. This place is brightly lit, spacious, filled with the shiny, the colorful, the distracting, the flavorful, the fattening, the costly, the flashing and the touristy. In the tradition of crossroads mythologies, I can just as easily see this as a place where adventures and good risks begin, as well as a place where people broker unwise deals with unscrupulous entities.
It does an amazing impression of purgatory.
For me, Iowa 80 marks the spot where the Eastern portion of this trip truly morphs into the Western portion, where the landscape becomes very different, the light is altered in angle and diffusion and the sky is much more of a vast, open space. I can feel the expansion of energy and space in all directions out here. It is similar to what I experience in the desert, and I am aware I am in the midst of a true pilgrimage.
Tonight I will be making chai from whole-ingredient stock given to me most generously by my friends who make it, through their company Sparkle Chai. I approached them about this because the act of sharing chai, especially amongst nomadic peoples, is a time honored tradition in the area of the world from whence it came, and I wanted to bring with me something I could share with fellow travelers, those who assist us along the way and those sharing the roads.
Chai at the crossroads will be my small kitchen ritual way of stepping into my role for the rest of this journey. It is the handing over completely of my energy and intentions to the Work of connecting with the amazing animals that wait to meet with me in Hill City and surrounding areas. It is my offering to the energies here, my thanks to them for seeing me here and beyond.
The bright lights of Iowa 80 are at one end of my shamanic spectrum. The wide skies of the Badlands of South Dakota are at the other. Thank you to Sparkle Chai, and to everyone who helped and who are still helping to make this dream a reality, most especially my dear Lexi who is my driver, my lighthouse, my Heart, always. I give you my blessings and gratitude here at the Iowa 80 crossroads and I raise my mug of chai to you all.
Edit: Made a PROPER cuppa this morning, after some practice …. Here’s how I did it. 🙂