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Volcano, CA

Volcano, CA Image courtesy of WesternMiningHistory.com

This past Saturday the 18th was my inaugural event at Black Chasm Caverns National Natural Landmark in Volcano, California. Volcano is a small ghost town with about 200 residents. At one time it was the most populous town in California, when at the height of the gold rush of the 1840’s, there was over 5,000 residents. The town of Volcano lies in the heart of Amador county which was considered to be the heart of the gold rush.

During the gold rush, some miners stumbled across a small opening in an out cropping of exposed rocks. What they found by candle light was the first small chamber of a much larger vertical caves system complete with multiple rooms, passageways and levels. What they did not know was that beneath them in the black depths below them was a series of underground lakes that when lit up many decades later would expose stunning blue marble and crystal clear waters. Among the many wonders such as incredible stalactites and stalagmites, one finds stunning flow stones and rare crystal formations.

Black Chasm Cavern

After visiting the caves with family, the idea to hold a group reading in the cave was hatched and soon after I had the location reserved and had stories about the upcoming event run in the local paper as well as being a guest of the local radio and television stations. With the event sold out and several private readings booked for after the group we finalized our menu with the caterers and booked the caves for a second event to take place on March 24th.

One of the factors driving a desire to work in the caves, was the unique properties of the environment. For example, there is no cell phone reception, so no interruptions from phones ringing. So far every group reading I have done in the past year has always had at least one phone interruption. Due to the depth underground, there is no ambient noise such as traffic, sirens or planes to distract. Since crystals and water work as amplifiers and conductors of energy, the location is wonderful for making contact with spirits.

The day of the event the forecast was for cool weather with a possibility of light showers and possible snow showers at the higher elevations. Just before leaving a cloud enveloped us and as we departed for the cave it lifted briefly. Once at the cave the check in process began as I greeted the guests and connected with my on site contact. nearly everyone made it, we had one or two no shows, but given the weather and the dense fog it was nice to see that everyone else made it.

There are no chairs in the Landmark room, and so the guests had brought pillows to sit on. I was still trying to figure out where I was going to sit during the event and as people cued up to head outside to the staging area, I had yet decided on the logistics and figured I would figure it out once down there.

A frequent question I am asked is regarding my nerves before going in front of an audience to facilitate a group reading. The funny thing is that I am never nervous about my “performance” I know that I have the ability to do what I do and to me communicating with animals and the deceased is as natural as carrying on a conversation with a person standing in front of me. So, I never worry about being able to channel the messages that come through. My concerns are far more ordinary such as, does my hair look alright, are my teeth clean, do I have dog hair on my coat, does the camera really add 10 pounds? and so forth. I also am concerned that everyone will have the person or animal come through that they want to connect with and are the lighting, audio, seating and other needs covered? I worry about the event starting on time and avoiding going over time. When focused on the minutia of details leading up to a successful event, one does not have time to worry about anything else.

Perhaps worry is not the best way to put it, rather it is more like since my energy is focused on ensuring the logistics are covered, I don’t have time or room in my mind to concern myself with any other details regarding the material brought forth during the event. In the hour or so leading up to going “on stage” I like to have some quiet time by myself. It is during this time that I thank those who have brought me so far and I give thanks for what is about to take place. I feel extremely blessed and privileged to be able to facilitate such peace, happiness and closure as I do and hope that I will never take it for granted.

Entrance to Black Chasm Cavern

After the last regular tour group of the day had exited the cave, our group headed out to the outdoor staging area for a briefing on cave etiquette. We then descended the stairs to the entrance of the cave and after learning a bit more about the caves composition and passing around a chunk of calcite crystal from the cave, we began a short tour of the cave as led by the onsite manager. The cave did not disappoint and before too long we found ourselves in the Landmark room. I took a few pictures while everyone was checking out some rare crystal formations. While walking along the last section of walkway I realized that for everyone to see me that I had to stand up across the room and elevated about 4 feet up on a landing near where the stairs entered the room.

Black Chasm Cavern, the Landmark Room

After everyone was in position, I began the group reading by focusing on those who showed up on their own accord, and not simply because they had been sought out by name. The first connection I recall involved a dog who came through to apologize for having killed another dog that had lived in the home. The dog who came through was still living and at the persons home during the reading. After I described the dog that was connecting with us, I later found out that someone in the audience had overheard the person asking another family member, “what about the dog that she killed” and that’s when I saw a second dog coming through and I then brought them forward.

Landmark Room, Black Chasm Cavern
Checking out crystal formations in the Landmark room. Those in attendance sat on pillows on the walkway the photo was taken from. Charles stood against the railing on the upper left.

Another early connection was the image of a young native Miwok brave. I saw him with arrows stick out of his torso, he was struggling to cross a creek that was about 3-4 feet deep and about 50-80 feet wide. He was in obvious pain and shock. I felt a strong sense of sadness and anguish when connecting with him. The time period was roughly the 1850s to 1870s. Later on that evening the connection was discovered as being the ghost who was responsible for the haunting of the home of one of the audience members, they had a house about 150 feet or so from the general vicinity of where this took place. This particular case will be worked on further, with the goal of crossing over the brave.

More beauty from the Landmark room in Black Chasm Cavern

More beauty from the Landmark room in Black Chasm Cavern

There was a connection with a gentleman who flew top secret experimental military aircraft and there was the comment from someones aunt about how they had a man in there sights at one time and then they took a different path. The gentleman being referenced was described using his birth date and additional supporting details such as his home environment. One really cool re-union involved a couple who came through, they had both taught dance and that was among the details brought forward.

Dragon like crystal formation at Black Chasm in the Landmark room.

Dragon like crystal formation at Black Chasm in the Landmark room.

Towards the middle of the group reading, after I had switched to calling upon individuals to give me the name of those that they wish to connect with, I saw a young gentleman coming through who had died in a car crash, he described how he was the driver and then he brought forward some personal messages and advice, it was very touching and very heavily emotionally charged.

One of the coolest formations in the Landmark room at Black Chasm Caves.

One of the coolest formations in the Landmark room at Black Chasm Caves.

I think that the final connection was with a dog who had been “put to sleep” due to cancer. The dog was very good at communicating and after describing themselves, providing their age and what they were suffering from, proceeded to rely a few touching messages for their people, providing some much needed closure. After the final connection, we headed out of the cave and after arranging to meet everyone back at our home, we caravan’d back home and proceeded to treat everyone to wonderful food and the opportunity to connect with similar like minded individuals.

Crystal tree from the after party.

Crystal tree made for the after party.

I was unable to attend the after party upstairs as I spent the entire time providing private readings in my office downstairs. I do understand however that everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the group reading and after party turned out to be a great success and I am very much looking forward to the next one on March 24th. We went all out with having a diverse menu, decorations and even had a chocolate waterfall. Everything was cave themed for the most part. I was very excited to be able to include my Mother’s birthday into the party and she was presented a cake and all the guests sang happy birthday to her … I was in the office doing a private reading, otherwise I might have photos to share from her blowing out the cake.

Menu from the after party.

Menu from the after party.

Two guests traveled from Santa Cruz, over 3 hours away, and I already have guests for the next event who are coming from Pacifica, if you would like to attend the next group reading at Black Chasm, let me know if you need a place to stay as we have secured special rates for our out of town guest at a wonderful lodge that is about a 10 minute drive from Black Chasm.

To learn more about Charles Peden, psychic medium and animal communicator, visit www.charlespeden.com.

To secure reservations for the next event at Black Chasm  or to book a reading for yourself visit the web site and send in an email or call 925-360-7469.

Black Chasm Group Reading March 24th 2012

Black Chasm Group Reading March 24th 2012

Curious about Black Chasm National Natural Landmark and you want to learn more, visit www.blackchasmcavern.com.

Black Chasm was the inspiration for the underground world of Zion in the Matrix movies, initially there was a desire to film in the caves, however due to logistical obstacles associated with shooting in such a fragile and cramped environment they instead created a set modeled after elements found within the cave.

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Poster for Group Reading event in Feb. 18th at Black Chasm Caverns

On February 18th of 2012 a first will be taking place at Black Chasm National Natural Landmark.

A group reading with a local psychic medium and animal communicator, Charles Peden (myself) is scheduled for 5-7 pm on this first Saturday after Valentines Day.

Never before has Black Chasm hosted such an event and this will be a first for not only myself, but for those in attendance as well.

The plan is to meet at the cave in Volcano, a “gold rush era ghost town” located in Amador county just about ninety minutes east of Sacramento, CA. After a brief introduction and quick tour of the caverns, we will assemble in the Landmark room and for the next hour and a half I will be bringing forth messages from animals (living and past) as well as the spirits of our human loved ones on the other side.

The first portion of channeling will be what I call an open channeling session where we will not ask for individuals to connect with us, rather I will look to bring forward those who would have not been asked about – this takes care of what I call “line jumpers.” The second half of the group channeling session will involve me calling upon each individual physically present and asking them who it is they wish to connect with and what their message or question is for them.

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to connect with someone connected to them, I am limiting the seating to 20-25 individuals.

The February, 18th 2012 event is fully booked, the next one is scheduled for March, 24th 2012 with more details to be made available in the near future, including how to obtain tickets for the event.

Some back story regarding the location and the idea for holding such an event in such a location.

Soon after moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Gold Country in Amador county, we discovered that we lived about ten minutes from a stunning cave. I have nearly always had an interest in rocks and minerals and growing up I was a bit of a rock hound. In addition to collecting rocks and minerals I was fascinated by caves and considered them to be quite adventurous as well as somewhat romantic – in the sense of outlaws hiding their loot in them and so forth.

When I was around 6-10 years old I recall visiting Sea Lion Caves in Oregon a few times and was struck by their size and their beauty. The sea caves were cool, but they were cold and smelly as well as very loud as they are home to a large colony of sea lions. Later on around 11 or 12 I stumbled upon some small caves while exploring the forest around our home near the Oregon coast and while small and relatively unremarkable, I did find the blade of an old Bowie knife in a cave and that was a very cool thing for a young boy like myself to find.

I never did get to explore or visit a cave that had stalactites and stalagmites as well as crystal formations and underground lakes and rivers, so when we moved close to such a cave I knew that it would only be a short matter of time before we visited it.

Our first visit to the caves was nothing short of spectacular, the formations were incredible – it was even better then I dreamed it would be. As a kid when I pictured caves, none of them came close to what my family experienced in Black Chasm Caverns. Now when we have out of town visitors, it is one of our “go to” activities and it never ceases to disappoint.

On of my last trips there, I really enjoyed how quiet it is and how incredible it is to simply take in the energy of the caverns. My first visit I was so worried about getting the right photographs and was marveling at the sights so much that I was not able to simply sit in one place and just take it all in. In subsequent trips both my wife and I began to feel a real connection with the caves energy.

Heidi, (my wife) called the company that runs the cave tours and discovered that they would be okay with an after hours meditation group being brought into the cave. So I called the company back and told them exactly what I was planning on doing – to my pleasant surprise they were receptive and so a date was chosen and I began to notify my clients about the event. After the local media picked up the story, all of the space for this first group reading has been booked and I have already picked a date for a second group event in the cave.

Black Chasm's "mascot" The Crystal Dragon

Black Chasm's "mascot" The Crystal Dragon

As you can see in the photo above, there are incredible crystal formations within these caverns. The stalactites and stalagmites are stunning and “Zion” in “The Matrix” movie is modeled after some of the features found within this cave.

The Landmark room is where the group event will take place and is pictured below.

Landmark Room, Black Chasm cave, Amador County, California

Landmark Room, Black Chasm cave, Amador County, California

Here are a few additional photos for your viewing pleasure. With the exception of the above photo and the photo of Indian Grinding Rock, all photos taken by Charles Peden.

Black Chasm Cave Entrance

Black Chasm Cave Entrance

When the cave was first discovered by “white men” it was during the gold rush of the late 1840’s. At first miners damaged the very first cavern, having no idea of the size of the cave or of it’s true beauty they took some of the stalactites and stalagmites as well as some of the other formations for themselves. After looking for gold in the cave and finding none – in the small area that they had access to, the miners began charging others a pinch of gold dust to view the sights underground. This continues to this day, however now the fee is $14.50 per a person for a tour, though they may still accept gold dust, should you have any to offer to them.

While the native population of  Miwok’s were aware of the caves presence, did not use it for anything. Less then four miles from the caves is North America’s largest grinding rock. This location was utilized by the Miwok to grind their acorns into flour for food. As a hole in the rock became too deep to work effectively, they would scoot over a few inches and begin a new hole for grinding.

Indian Grinding Rock

Indian Grinding Rock

Now back to the cave … so the cave has crystals (several varieties) and it has multiple chambers. The cave also features underground lakes which are incredible. As you proceed through the cave to the Landmark room, you will pass over one of the lakes which is just visible when you look down into a chasm. The lake is the most incredible color of blue, due to the blue marble that is in the water.

Below are maps of the caves known features, you can see the Landmark room is at the end of the tour area, the rest of the cave is off limits to exploring.

Upper Lever of Black Chasm

Upper Level Map of Black Chasm Caverns

Lower level of Black Chasm Caverns

Map of the lower level of Black Chasm Caverns

You can click on either map above to view them larger. So, as you can see, we will be surrounded by crystals, in a cavern that is just above several lakes, talk about a conducive atmosphere for channeling messages from spirit. The crystals have an amplifying effect upon the energy in the room and the water does as well. The perfect silence, no traffic noises, or planes overhead will be very welcome.

Black Chasm Caverns

The ceiling of the Landmark room at Black Chasm Caverns

After the group reading at the caves, those who wish to stay for a private reading or who just are not ready to call it an evening, will be invited back to my place in Pioneer, where with catering from Two Alan’s catering, we will enjoy some food and beverages.

Since the cave is a unique location that is very fragile, there are some basic ground rules and things to consider.

Do Not Touch any of the cave features or walls, the cave is still growing and the oils on our fingers can cause serious stunting of any further growth where we touched a feature. The cave has a walkway that is on the edge of the chasm, dropping anything into the chasm will result in immediate removal from the cave as well as requiring the staff to rappel down into it’s depths to retrieve whatever may have been dropped.

There are no restrooms in the cave, do not drink plenty of fluids before going in. Leaving the group will require an escort back to the surface in order to use the restrooms.

The cave is 57 degrees year around and so you will want to dress accordingly.

There are no chairs and chairs cannot be brought in, as such it is advised that you bring a small pillow to sit on for the event.

Cameras are suggested as you will want to document this experience and if lucky you too will get some great shots of some of the wonderful features in this cave.

To learn more about Black Chasm National Natural Landmark visit www.blackchasmcavern.com, to learn more about psychic medium and animal communicator Charles Peden and or to sign up for his next Black Chasm Group Reading, visit www.charlespeden.com.

The evening was a big success, more about the event, including additional photos, can be found here.

https://charlespeden.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/black-chasm-group-reading-notes-from-the-february-event/

Another group reading is scheduled for March 24th 2012 and tickets may be obtained from the web site; http://www.charlespeden.com.

Fall Creek Redwoods

Fall Creek Redwoods

One recent weekend I found myself busy with a late group reading in Oakland on Friday followed by an early morning guided beach combing excursion in Santa Cruz. The reading went great … one of the things that I will remember the most from it was channeling the flavor and texture of dead mice that had been frozen and then thawed in a microwave oven, simply not on par with a freshly killed live mouse according to the great horned owl who I was channeling. One of the individuals at the reading revealed that he worked with wild animal rescue and rehabilitation and confirmed that he was indeed feeding frozen and then thawed mice to the owl, pretty nasty stuff if you ask either the owl or myself.

Purple Beach Sea Glass Antique Bottle Stopper

Purple Beach Sea Glass Antique Bottle Stopper

The following morning found me squeezing into a wetsuit with a badly sunburned patch on my back, (a story for another day … perhaps) and meeting my clients in Davenport where the embers from the recent lockheed forest fire were still smoldering. The air had a decidedly wet campfire smell to it and after grabbing a cup of coffee and a giant oatmeal and raisin cookie at the Whale City Bakery, Bar and Grill we headed to the beach. The surf was up … way up with a big storm out in the Pacific and the sea glass collecting was a bit dangerous to put it lightly. The first real wave to hit the beach we were on hit with such force that I was knocked down instantly along with my coffee and with my life vest not yet zipped up. I lost my coffee, almost lost my vest and grabbed my client and helped her to her feet and for the rest of the day we gave the ocean a bit wider berth. Later in the day near the end of the guided

Beach combing is not always about sea glass, there are lots of animals to connect with as well.

Beach combing is not always about sea glass, there are lots of animals to connect with as well.

beach combing trip, we ran into a seal who had beached himself right near the higher end of the water line. I did not see him until I was about six feet away as I had my head down looking for abalone shell and sea glass. He announced his presence with a quick bark and then laid his head back down, best as I could tell … he was sick from ingesting some plastic or something to that effect.

Back in Santa Cruz later around 1 pm, I had just finished cleaning up after playing in the surf earlier that morning and had the bright idea to go for a hike in the redwoods. I wanted to go someplace with water,  such as a creek and with towering trees. It was easily around 90 degrees and my sister wanted to go to the beach at first but when I mentioned heading out to the redwoods … she suggested that we visit Fall Creek as she had been feeling pulled to go there herself.

We drove up into the Santa Cruz mountains and parked at one of the trail entrances. The quarrying and processing of limestone used to be big business in the Santa Cruz region prior to the 1900s and ruins from one such operation are located amongst the redwoods within the Fall Creek portion of Henry Cowell State Park. We found a parking space in the shade, locked up the car and headed down the trail.  Since discovering an ability to connect with not just human and animal spirits, but also being able to connect with plant life … I had not yet gone to the redwoods with the specific intent to communicate with the trees and other plants.

The hike to the lime stone kilns was very pleasant and we chatted about how poorly managed the forest was. We were commenting that there was far too much deadwood on the forest floor and that our modern policy of fire suppression in the forest was a complete disaster. We discussed how the natives would encourage controlled burns and how ever since the “white” man had arrived we had disrupted the natural cycle of fire and new growth.

Fall Creek Redwoods Trail to the Limestone Kilns.

Fall Creek Redwoods Trail to the Limestone Kilns.

Before too long the redwoods had worked their magic on us and we had our cameras out recording various sights that we wanted to capture and bring back with us. There were several butterflies and dragonflies and I managed to capture some very nice photos where I took my pictures only inches away from my subjects … no need for zoom. After some time we arrived at the ruins of the limestone kilns and enjoyed reading about what had been there in the past. At one time up to 40 men worked at the kilns … mostly Portuguese and Italian immigrants. We walked over to the kilns for a closer look and discovering that one of the doors was missing, we walked into one of the kilns and sat down in the middle.

Fall Creek Redwoods limestone kiln ruins.

Fall Creek Redwoods limestone kiln ruins.

View from the top of the limestone kilns in Fall Creek Park, part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

View from the top of the limestone kilns in Fall Creek Park, part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

For awhile we simply chatted about this and that and then I decided to put out a “blanket” call out to the forest. I made a request for anyone who wished to connect with us to chat with us. I addressed the animals and the plants as well as the spirits of the humans who had been there in the past, the natives and the workers at the kilns. After several moments of silence I got the feeling that we were not going to make contact with anyone there and so we started back down the trail in the direction that we had come from.

We took a few more photographs in the fading light and continued along the trail, pretty soon we saw a nice spot across the creek from us and we crossed over on some fallen trees that lay across the creek. We found a place that was elevated about 6 feet above the creek bed and just on the edge of the creek. As we sat there I once again went into a brief meditative state and while gazing down the bed of the creek I waited for someone to contact us.

All of a sudden I saw it … about fifty feet in front of us, I saw a large orb of energy … about five feet in diameter. The orb of energy was clearly visible to me with the naked eye, it appeared as a distortion in the atmosphere like a ripple or like what happens when you view an object through a water bubble. As far as orbs go, it was the largest ball of energy I had ever seen before and it continued slowly up the creek bed until it was only a few feet away from me and standing directly to the left of me. My sister turned to look at me as she had seen it too. By the way she was acting I knew that I was not just seeing things, she had clearly seen and felt it too. As it stood to the side of us, all of a sudden she broke out in goosebumps all over her body, even though it was 90 degrees and then I too broke out in big goosebumps.

Dragonfly found in Fall Creek park near Santa Cruz, CA.

Dragonfly found in Fall Creek park near Santa Cruz, CA.

We briefly chatted to establish that we had both seen and felt the same thing and then it was time to figure out who our guest was. At first I thought that we were dealing with a native who may have been a chieftain, but very quickly I realized that this was not the spirit of a human. I then checked to see if they were animal and I once again got a resounding “no”. I thought that perhaps there was a chance that this entity was from another world, but when queried it was apparent that they were from earth. Then the entity showed me everything in the forest all at once and I asked if they were rock and mineral to which I got a resounding yes!

Re-creation of energy field that we witnessed approaching us along the creek bed.

Re-creation of energy field that we witnessed approaching us along the creek bed.

At once it became clear to me … the plants, the animals and even the people who were and who had been here, were all part of the soil. All of their bodies came from the rocks and minerals present within the earth. As I had gone into the forest to connect with it, here I was connecting with the land itself  which of course was what the forest was made from. After

Butterfly photographed in Fall Creek Park.

Butterfly photographed in Fall Creek Park.

establishing to some extent … who we were communicating with, I decided to start the conversation and ask him some questions. But before I could do so, the forest turned the tables on me and told me that he wanted to start the conversation.

He wanted to greet us and thank us for taking the time to come and visit him. He said that he was honored to have an opportunity to connect with us and appreciated what we had been saying about the need for controlled burns. He said that it was refreshing to have someone recognize that he was in a bad state and overdue for a cleansing fire. Then I asked him how was it that he was male? He indicated that he really was not male or female but that for the sake of conversation that we were to refer to him in the male form, he also indicated that it was traditional in our society for the males to take such a leadership role, just like a native chieftain.

One of our biggest questions was if you are not the planet in general, such as Mother Earth, than what are your physical boundaries and do you stay one size or adjust to fit the size of the forest? What happened next convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that who we were talking with was the park itself and all of the land within it’s borders. When queried  as to his size, he indicated that he was part of Henry Cowell State Park which I was not aware of at the time, I simply thought that Fall Creek was it’s own independent park. I asked him if he could tell me how large he was in square miles and I got a resounding yes. I asked if he was greater than 10 square miles and I got a no. I asked if he was smaller than 5 square miles and I got a no. I asked if he was between 5 to 10 square miles and I got a yes. Then the number 6.7 jumped at me and I settled at somewhere around 6.4 to 6.7 square miles.

Fall Creek Redwoods forest floor.

Fall Creek Redwoods forest floor.

It was starting to get darker in the forest and after our brief conversation with the forest … with the land … we decided that it was time to head out. Upon returning home later that day, I looked up the size of Fall Creek park. First I discovered that it was part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and when you took the acreage of both the Fall Creek unit and the main part of the park  and added them together that they were equal to 6.47 square miles! The park told me what size he was and very accurately … remarkable, now it’s time to visit some other parks and see if I can do the same thing there. For more about myself visit … http://www.charlespeden.com and http://www.bythebaytreasures.com.

Fall Creek Redwood Grove

Fall Creek Redwood Grove