Autumn Pilgrimage in the Bighorns

Autumn Pilgrimage in the Bighorns

On our recent trip to Wyoming we took a day to return to the Bighorn mountains for an autumn pilgrimage. After the steep drive from the arid Wyoming plains into higher elevations, we made the final trek to the ancient Medicine Wheel with the setting moon as our guide.

Following moon to Medicine Wheel
Following the moon to the Medicine Wheel (Photo by M. R. W. Bremer, 2021)

The site remains much as it has for millennia. Weathered stones arranged in a spoked circle, with offerings tied to the perimeter ropes and on nearby trees. As I meditated in the thin air contemplating the energies of this sacred destination, a strong wind suddenly swept across the mountaintop and pulsated through my body.

Medicine Wheel
The spoked circle of the Medicine Wheel (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Prayer bundle offering
Prayer bundle offering (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Entrance gate
Entrance gate to the sacred ground (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Conch offering
Conch offering (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)

Afterward, we took the long route coming down from the mountains. A wide sky and green forests punctuated with vibrant autumn trees along with expanses of brown grasses and blue sage brought a different energy. We paused to contemplate a turning of seasons in the Bighorns, and to say hello to a pair of curious bovines.

A turning of season
A turning of season (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Aspen trees
Aspen trees (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Bighorn autumn
Bighorn autumn (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Bighorn cattle
These cows seemed genuinely surprised by our arrival (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Autumn vista
Autumn vista (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)
Autumn’s last stand
Autumn’s last stand (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2021)

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