David Cauldwell


Dragon Dreamtime

Synaptic SeedsDavid CauldwellComment
Dragon Dreamtime.jpg

Eleven days in the wilderness does wonders…
…for your sense of clarity and direction
…for your ability to tune into the true vibration of your being and practise living and interacting from that place
…for a poet’s flowery sensibilities

The dreaming in New Zealand’s south island is strong, particularly near the Dragons Teeth - a prominent rock formation in Kahurangi National Park. After hitting music festival Luminate for a week, I went straight into an 11-day solo hike. This didn’t seem like such a good idea on the first day when my lack of sleep and dancing endeavours seemed to be catching up. Not great when you’ve got to navigate.

A third of the walk was bush bashing, abjectly at times through undergrowth so thick that the leaves molested my face. Branches poked, scratched and bruised from all angles. And over the 11 days a pattern emerged: Lose “path” (actually non-existent at times, demarcated by rock stacks); scout aimlessly; get impatient; set compass point; bush bash; get totally lost; give up on finding a path, and then find the path.

The journey was a test of trust, of believing I was strong enough to hike through both internal and external terrain. Most of all, it was about being kind to myself whenever I lost the way.

The jagged Dragons Teeth cut an imposing skyline

The jagged Dragons Teeth cut an imposing skyline

I scrambled out of the dragon’s mouth. I followed animal trails. Head-high tussock plains engulfed me. I lost my legs down sporadic, soggy holes. I listened to the distant echo of bird calls ricocheting off nocturnal valley walls.  

I weaved through the saddle of the Needle’s Eye and stumbled past the Drunken Sailors. I bathed in Lonely Lake and felt part of everything. I wild-camped on ridge tops beneath moon and stars. I watched morning mist hover over Boulder Lake. Branches drew blood. One whipped my mouth during an uncontrolled slide down a mossy waterfall. I ended up in places few people would have ever contemplated their existence while frantically chewing dried mangoes.

It was eight days before I saw people, two men aged 71 and 68. Their buoyancy and vigour was inspiring. I hope I’m that fit when I’m their age.

What kind of wilderness experiences have you had, and how have they inspired you? Drop a line in the comments below…


Every footstep taken
A line written in your personal Mythology
A rite of passage  
Through No-Time
Chronology dissolves during wilderness wanderings
Internal and external
The order of memories unimportant
When awakening in the realm of the dragon
Of magick
When Dreamtime merges
With all you ever thought was real
Then you are truly awake


TransmutersDavid CauldwellComment

Before the spark of the first thought, the utterance of the first word and the pulse of the first human heartbeat, an asteroid hurtled through space. This ball of noxious gas travelled from galaxies afar, lurching through black holes and interdimensional fluxes before colliding with Earth. The explosion rattled the planet. Plumes of dust smothered the sun. Odious odours spewed from a catastrophe of comet carnage. They mixed with the Earth’s atmosphere. Chemical reactions infused the planet with an invisible new race of beings.

The Transmuters were born, beings that absorbed energy through their temples and into their gaseous bodies. These balls of static electricity could discern the vibration of passing asteroids in the atmosphere. They were swayed by the currents of vast ocean waters, awakened by distant waves crashing hundreds of kilometres away. They could feel the movements of molten magma deep in the Earth’s core. They were able to use this energy to transmute their DNA, to adapt and densify so they could survive in their new home.

The Transmuters are everywhere. They feed off thoughts, from the pulses of irregular heartbeats. One feeds, they all feed. One action affects the entire tribe. They are selfless, communal beings acting always with the intention of galvanising the masses. Selfless acts of psychological sabotage: they feed off the selfishness, the cruelty and the single-mindedness of humans. They are a constant reminder that all of this can be transmuted in a heartbeat. As quick as an entire planet can be plunged into darkness, can a world find itself on the precipice of a light-filled dawn where possibility trails off every breath...