Type of Spiritual Experience
Mount Shasta (Úytaahkoo, Karuk) or the "White Mountain" in English, a 14,179-foot (4,322 m) stratovolcano, is the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range and the fifth highest peak in California. It is a member in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and is located in Siskiyou County. Mount Shasta has an estimated volume of 108 cubic miles (450 km3), making it the most voluminous stratovolcano in the Cascades.
It was sacred to the Wintu Native Americans, who believed their souls flew there after death. In some respects therefore it symbolically represents a ‘soul and spirit repository’ to the Native American Indians, despite its size, but these days it has taken on greater significance. These days it has a sacred significance to quite a number of religious groups.
Mount Shasta is not connected to any nearby mountain; it rises abruptly from miles of level ground which encircle it, standing nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above the surrounding area. The mountain has attracted the attention of poets, authors, and presidents. Shasta was memorably described by the poet Joaquin Miller:
"Lonely as God, and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California."
Naturalist and author John Muir said of Shasta:
"When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since."
Theodore Roosevelt said
"I consider the evening twilight on Mt. Shasta one of the grandest sights I have ever witnessed."
A description of the experience