Stories of Spirit…Between the Worlds [the spirits of november]

November has long been a month of profound spiritual growth for me.  It was over 15 years ago that I had my major opening to Spirit, or at least when it seemed to hit its full force ‘You may be fucking crazy Sali’ momentum.  I had seen spirits since I was a very young girl, and was pretty comfortable with the thought, thanks to the early teaching of Grammy Brown.  But what began days after Halloween when I was 30 was more like some kind of special forces boot-camp for mediums.  It was powerful and often overwhelming.  It is also why I named my upcoming book ‘Jump Girl’, for I have always chosen the most direct route, with little regards for ‘easy’

My walking the line of crazy, opening to spirit moment was planned, something the team of spirits I work with reminded me of constantly.  What more it was planned by me.  Every mind-bending experience through time and space, every hold onto what reality you can, kundalini opening, every spirit sitting in me experience was drawn up ahead of time by ME.  After successfully passing whatever test I was taking, one of my trusted spirit companions would come forward and gently remind me that this had been my idea, that I had specifically planned to be tested the hard way.  I knew what they said to be true, for as they said it I recognized myself in the design.

A few years back I had a Soul-Level astrological Reading done by Marcella Eversole.  The things she spoke of in my Reading rang true, many of what she was telling me I was already implementing in my life.  As she finished my Reading she told me ‘You couldn’t have planned your chart better for the work you are here to do’.  This too rang as truth in my mind.

Every year when November circles back around, I find myself revisiting the Novembers that have passed since ‘the November Incident’ (a title that takes up two chapters in my book).  In my reverence, I want to step back from the world of the living and slip deeply into the warm coziness of my small home with its woodstove and quiet.  I  think of how thankful I am that my shamanic journey happened before the days of social media so that my bat-shit nuts crazy went relatively unnoticed by the outside world.  I am most thankful for the support of those who knew me well, that they could recognize that I was not mentally ill, but that something else was happening.

Waking up to Spirit, whether you have worked with it your whole life or not, is challenging.  In truth, the November Incident lasted for 4 months.  Four months of me wondering if I was ever going to feel normal again, four months of my body having spontaneous moments of convulsion as energy moved through my Kundalini, cleaning out all the old blocks in my Chakra system.  Four months of looking at all the things that hurt me. four months of looking at myself under a microscope.

I have long ago adjusted to the new level of spiritual connection in my life, in fact, it was my team of spirits that insisted that I begin doing Spirit Communication for the public.  They insisted that it was the work I had intended to do this lifetime.  At first, this seemed unbelievable as I had been working as a Psychic; looking into people’s lives and futures, for many years. But they spoke the truth, the real work I had intended for this lifetime was in communication…speaking to the unseen world and helping the living to find solace with death and an acceptance of an after life.

The November Incident; my opening of consciousness, took place over a decade ago.  I have adjusted to the point where that which had rocked my world is now my normal.  In doing so, in jumping into the deep waters I have worked really hard to find the way to the shallows, so that I may be a guide to others who are being tried by the boundaries of spiritual reality.  We are opening as a people and for many, this is a painful experience.  When our consciousness expands we must first look at ourselves, with a deep and penetrating lense.  We must look at that which we are ashamed of, the things we have done and that have been done to us, that hold pain.  This is where our power lies, our personal power lies in accepting the events that have made up our past, and choosing to use those events as teachers that strengthen us, instead of allowing ourselves to be continuously abused by them.

The dark months of winter are powerful.  The quiet and isolation that snow and cold carry naturally turn us inward, inviting us to explore the hidden recesses of our soul.  Do not be afraid to look.  We all have shadows, we all have parts of our personality we rather not acknowledge, and we have all been wounded.  You do not have to go at your shadow like a monster hunter, instead choose to be kind to yourself in the process…long baths, journalling, and good friends help.  That and Tulsi Rose Tea, and some Rose Quartz, and Reiki.

We are becoming that which we were intended to be…all of us.  We came into this world to evolve and grow, we can do so with fear and hesitation or we can do so with curiosity and a brisk stride…Tally Ho’ you know!

 

For those of you interested in the tales of my shamanic tight-rope journey through the November Incident my book ‘JUMP GIRL, the Initiation & Art of a Spirit Speaker’ comes out in February.  It is available for pre-order https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/

spreading love-salicrow

Advertisements

Stories of Spirit…The Sacrifice of War (remembering my father)

Today is Veterans Day and I am thinking of my father.  His whole life or at least the life that I was witness to was enveloped around his service in Vietnam.  His thoughts, actions, and values were reflective of this pivotal time in his life, and his physical limitations were created by it.  He carried a pride that had been drilled into him by boot camp sergeants and fellow soldiers, in the essence of his being he was a Marine.

 

Growing up the child of a wounded warrior, I knew the toll of war.  My father was missing an eye, a fancy piece of glass made to resemble an eye sat where it belonged.  As a child of four, I once accidentally witnessed my father cleaning his eye.  Walking into the living room to find him with his eye in his hand and the socket drooping on his face I was horrified.  I screamed and had to be comforted by my mother.  For days I was afraid of my father, not understanding what I had witnessed.   I have found myself revisiting this moment time and time again in my memory and can’t help but think how terrible it must have been for him, knowing that his appearance had scared his own child so.

Many of my father’s wounds were visible, the glass eye being the most noticeable.  He had physical markings to show that he had been damaged beyond repair, that war had taken a great toll on him.  But he also carried many deeper wounds that were not visible to the eye, wounds that affected how he saw himself and the world around him.  These hidden wounds were far more painful than the loss of an eye, for he was haunted by his actions and the things he saw during his time of war.

Mike Emory (my father’s mentor), Grammy Brown, My father Richard, his younger brothers Teddy & Eddy.

My father grew up very poor, raised by his grandmother in the deep North Woods of New Hampshire.  He lied about his age and joined the Marine Corp at 17 so that he could send money back home to take care of her and his younger brothers.  Having grown up wandering around the woods, his skills made him a natural for reconnaissance work.  This was what eventually took his life at 62.  He did not die from the grenade that had taken his eye and left him with shrapnel in his brain, in the end, it was the exposure to high levels of chemicals (agent orange) that destroyed his body.

He was thankful for the years he had between the grenade and his death, seeing them as borrowed years.  Years that allowed him to get married, have 3 children, and many adventures.  But those years between were not all good.  Along with the physical ailments the grenade had bestowed upon him, he also lived with nightmarish memories.  In trying to escape the thoughts that plagued him, he turned to alcohol and other substances for comfort.

redemption…re-connection after 13 years of not speaking.

My father’s story, in the end, was one of redemption.  He eventually found a path healing, after many losses and many bottles.  He lost his family to his own alcoholism and then found it again through sobriety.  He found a deep spiritual center inside of himself and embraced the gifts that were his birthright, seeing himself for what he had been all along, an intuitive medicine man.

Medicine Man

My Dad’s final goodbye

My experience growing up the child of a wounded veteran shaped me as it did my father.  Living with him, his addictions, and his pain, I gained a deep understanding of the hidden anquish anyone who has seen war experiences.  This exposure has led me to work with many veterans.  I have a great respect for the price they pay, and an understanding of the wounding they carry.  I do not think there are words deep enough to express how much respect I have for those who have served.  Whether I believe in the war they fight or not, I respect the soldier.  I know that there are many reasons why they enlist, choosing to fight for their country.  For some, it is a deep feeling of patriotism (something my father also had), but for many their choosing is much more practical.  They see military service as a way out of poverty, a way to provide a better life for themselves and the ones they love.  They take the gamble, rolling on their lives and mental stability, with hopes that they will be among the lucky.

I would like to take a moment to pause and send love and healing to all of our men and women who have experienced the service of war, and I ask you to join me.  Here is what you will need…

*a candle, *a flag or item that makes represents military service to you, * photos of your own loved ones who have served

Set up a small altar with the items of memorabilia & photos & light your candle.

Focus on your Heart Chakra, directly in the center of your chest.  Take deep even breathes through your nose.  With every inhalation imagine you are filling your chest cavity with love, with every exhalation imagine sending that love to everyone who has served in the military, starting with those close to you and expanding outward.

Do this for about 5 minutes then speak clearly out loud “Thank you for your sacrifice”, and blow out the candle.

Remember not all wounds are visible, not everyone is walking around with a glass eye or a prosthetic leg.  Most of the wounds of war are buried deep within.  Support your local VFW, and Veterans home.  Buy the red poppy from the guy sitting at the grocery store today.  Hell, donate more than is convenient, after all, we can not come close to matching the donation they made.  Remember to thank them, truly and deeply for they deserve our thanks.

I would personally like to thank the men and women who have served this countries military.  I have deep respect for the sacrifices you have made and understand the price it continues to ask of you.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Ancestor Honoring [staying connected to our beloved dead]

Death is one of my favorite subjects.  As a Medium I spend many hours a week talking to dead people, and much more speaking to people about the importance of mourning and honoring our dead.

Grammy Brown & my Dad ‘Richard’, two of my Beloved Dead.

Our relationship with death has in many ways been glossed over by modern media.  I believe this started in the 50’s with television and the homogenization of America.  We went from a nation that experienced death in the manner of our ancestors, deeply flavored by the many ethnicities that make up our nation, to a whitewashed ‘Leave it to Beaver’ style mourning.  Death became an organized wake or viewing hours, a funeral, and two weeks of casseroles donated by your friends and neighbors.

We let go of all of our outward signs of mourning.  Gone were the armbands, and ceremonial black dress; which now is just the standard daily uniform for a majority of folks living east of the Mississippi, leaving us with no visual signs that a person was still deeply involved in grieving their passed loved one.  Instead, like all good viewing audiences, we are supposed to follow the lead of our television leaders, and put on some lipstick, tidy our hair, and show people we were not fazed by death.  The only problem is, we are often not OK, and the lipstick doesn’t really do shit for the feelings we hold in our heart.

Death brings with it a deep melancholy, an overwhelming desire to hold/see a person one more time.  It makes us look at our regrets, and the precious moments we wish could be repeated.  Death is powerful, and we need to find a way of making the process of death and mourning sacred again.  We need to forget the television version and reach instead for the old ways, that does not hide death, but instead, show us that it is normal and that feeling ‘OK’ after the death of a loved one takes time.  We need to reclaim our relationship with our ancestors so that death no longer feels like isolation.  We need to educate ourselves about death, take it out of the closet and get to know it a little better.

Locally and nationally there is an organization known as ‘the Death Cafe’ http://deathcafe.com The Death Cafe is not a storefront, instead, it is a group gathering that sets up shop in coffee shops, libraries, and local gathering holes.  The group is open to anyone wanting to talk about death…people who are dying, people who have recently lost someone, and people just fascinated with death are all welcome.  In Vermont, we have groups in Burlington, Montpelier, Johnson, Manchester, and more…

In my work as a Medium, I often talk about the importance of keeping our dead alive in our thoughts and deeds.  This does not mean we pretend they are still alive, it means we interact with them as if they are still vital members of our family.  In my family, we speak of our dead so often, that my children could tell you stories about ancestors who died way before they were born.  They not only know the larger than life stories, but some of the simpler things, like the fact that Grammy Brown loved to smoke cigarettes, and that her father had a still on the property where he brewed moonshine back in the early 1900’s.

When the holidays come around our Beloved Dead are not forgotten.  Often a plate is put out for our ancestors, that is filled throughout the day with their favorite treats.  This tradition started with our Celtic ancestors who left our a feast for the dead on holy days, such as Halloween/Samhain.  A traditional Dumb Supper is done on or near Halloween night, some sources say as close to midnight as possible.  A table is elaborately set, as you are having a feast.  Food should be thought out, including favorites of your ancestors and loved ones.  The table is set for all living guest as well as all that are in spirit.  At the dinner, everyone remains silent, in observation of those who cannot communicate with us any longer.

Over time traditions change, as the pattern is woven with personal beliefs and additional ethnic spices.  My family, for example, is Irish Gypsy & Native American, creating a hodge-podge of hillbilly magic that is all our own…, We do not reserve the feasting of our ancestors to Halloween night alone.  They get plates at Thanksgiving, Yule and other family festivities.  We do not sit in silence, for that is something that does not exist in a loud Irish family.  Instead, we simply place a plate for our ancestors and fill it throughout the gathering.

Here is a simple way to honor your Beloved Dead; family, friends, loved ones and ancestors, this Halloween and in the upcoming season of holidays.

family altar

*Set up a small altar in a corner of the kitchen, dining room, or living room.  Place pictures of your loved ones who have crossed into Spirit on the altar, as well as small items of memorabilia that remind you of those you have lost.

*Place a plate on the altar, choose something special, perhaps something from your grandmother’s china, or a piece your sister made in pottery class.  You are giving your Beloved Dead a place of honor.

*Pick one item of food to place on the plate that you know will be appreciated by your loved one in Spirit.  Then tell others that they are welcome to leave a treat as well.

As the day goes on, the plate fills up with all sorts of goodness.  Drinks can be left beside the plate, as can smokes, after all, I know my Dad would appreciate a beer and a smoke.  Sometimes we eat whats on the plate.  Some people would frown on this saying that whatever you leave for the dead belongs to them.  But I am from poor stock, and my ancestors know that food should be eaten and appreciated by the living.  If you decide to munch from the plate of the dead, make sure to share a story as you do.  If you’re eating one of Gramma’s cherry chocolates, you damn well better be telling a story about her love of them.  If you smoking your dad’s cigarette, make sure to savor it and imagine all the times you saw him sitting on the porch having a smoke.

More then anything our Beloved Dead want to be remembered, talked about and part of our lives.  The more often we speak of them, and remember them through simple ceremonies, such as a plate at Thanksgiving, the easier it is for us to heal and feel their presence around us.  Remember our Spirits want to make contact with us, they want to reassure us that they are OK and that there is something after death.

I hope you have a fantastic Halloween season.  I will be celebrating quietly this year, with deep personal journey work and ventures into Spirit for myself.  As a Medium, it is easy to tell myself that I spend a lot of time in the Spirit world, but the truth of the matter is I am working.  I am helping others to connect to their Beloved Dead, it is not the same as honoring and connecting to my own Beloved Dead.  I hope you enjoyed the read folks, and that you find your way to connecting to those who have been lost to you through the veil of death.

spreading love-Salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Talking to the Dead in Public [elders, ancestors, and offerings]

I did a Seance the other day, sitting at a picnic table in front of a coffee shop.  The weather was a bit chilly and the elderly lady who sat in a wheelchair parked at the end of the table was bundled up in a fuzzy blanket.

I have done Spirit Communication in front of large crowds, and I have spoken to the dead under some unusual circumstances…I once did a Seance in a trailer in Florida, while the cable guy did an installation.  But this was my town, and the corner I sat on was in front the cafe that houses my studio.  It’s a busy part of town, and as my neighbors walked by they called out “Hi Sali”, oblivious to the fact that I was deep in a conversation with dead people.

The family I sat with had arrived at my studio for a Seance, but there had been a miscommunication, they had not heard me say that it was above the Grindstone Cafe, which meant upstairs.  They had their elderly mother with them; a woman close to 90 who was being pushed in a wheelchair.  As the cafe, itself is too busy &  close quartered to offer the privacy needed for such services, and they had traveled a long distance, we were left with only one option…the picnic table outside.

The weather was chilly, so I offered up a warm, fuzzy blanket from my healing space to help keep the family matriarch warm.  When her daughter draped the red blanket over her head and tucked it in around her frail body her appearance changed, she suddenly looked more like a priestess then grandmother.  I found myself thinking of the importance of the role of elder.  How wisdom and memory are gifts of time that only some of us are fortunate enough to experience.

It was a family of women I sat with; a mother, 2 daughters and a granddaughter.  They had come to communicate with the menfolk of their life, who had already departed for the world of spirit.  The women sitting together around the table with me had a strong bond with one another.  In fact, the family matriarch lived with her daughter and granddaughter, multiple generations living in one home.  I have lived this way, both as a child and as a grandmother.  I lived with my parents and grandparents a couple of times in my childhood, and both of my children have come home to live with me, bringing their children with them.  Although I do not live that way now, I know it and appreciate it.

In my work as a Medium, I have been introduced to many interpretations of the word family.  Some families are very small, consisting of one parent and a couple of kids, some are large including nieces, nephews, and grandparents/great grandparents and every kind of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousin you could imagine.  Family is something we all want, even if the one we are born into is not healthy for us, we still find ourselves missing it, or at least the idea of it.  There is something about shared history that helps us to accept the toll of time, and the dance of death.  By remembering those who have come before us, and watching those who have come after us, we see that we are more than this lifetime.  We are part of something greater.

When I was in Ireland, I had the opportunity to stay with an old Irish family, the O’Hanlons.  They were fantastic people with a rich family history, documented for over 1000 years.  I was blown away by this, and envious of the wealth of information they had on their ancestors.  Most of us are lucky to know if we who our great-great-grandparents were, let alone dozens of generations.

The Celts believe we reincarnate into our soul family.  That we step back onto the genetic trail that we have walked before.  I have seen this very thing while doing Past Life Readings for people.

The example that stands out the most clearly for me is this…The woman I was Reading for had a past life in which she came into the Boston during the early days of settlement.  She was a man in that life and had been born into a family of blacksmiths.  She, however, did not take the family path, instead deciding to become a doctor.  As I told her of the life I saw for her, she got excited and said: “That was my great-great-great grandfather.”  She had been doing some genealogy work, and as I spoke of her past life, she recognized an ancestor along her family tree.

Ancestor honoring is something I am quite passionate about.  Not because I see them as superhuman or close to deity, but because without our ancestors we would not be here.  We, humans, are genetically made up of the bits and pieces of our family DNA. We are amazing beings, and we don’t know shit about the complexity that we are.  Over the next couple of blogs, it is my hope to share a bit of my own practice of ancestor honoring, and the simple ways in which I recognize the family that has gone before me.  Today’s tip is about food, drink, and smokes.

The dead love to remember their favorite foods, beverages, and smokes.  If they were a smoker in life a simple way to give honor to them is to put a cigarette on your altar, or if you smoke yourself sit and have one while thinking about them.  If they loved to drink coffee, have your morning coffee while talking about them.

Yesterday I went out into the woods near Lake Willougby with my sister Sandy.  We were heading out to make offerings to the Fae Folk/Fairies and brought some snacks for ourselves.  As I crossed the bridge near her house, on the way to pick her up, my father (who is dead) exclaimed out of my mouth “Beef jerky Kid”.  He mentioned beef jerky 3 more times before I got to the store, and finally was satisfied when I bought a meat stick (more of a slim jim/then beef jerky).  At the lake, my sister and I both ate some while we talked about him.  I wasn’t surprised at all that he wanted to be included in our excursion as he had a deep love of the woods, that and my sister was wearing one of his flannel shirts when I arrived to pick her up.

Honoring our ancestors is in many ways honoring ourselves, for without those who walked before us, we would not be here today.  Our blood sings with the songs of our elders.  Some of the songs may be hard, sad songs, others soft and beautiful.  But whatever the song, it is our song and we are here to add to it, change it, carry on with it, in whatever way is ours.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks.  I will be writing more on ancestor honoring over the next couple of weeks.

spreading love-salicrow

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…The Solitary Samhain [Halloween alone with the spirits]

I woke up this morning with a feeling of loneliness.  As I perused through the images on my Facebook feed of ‘Witches High Tea’ and spiritual retreats, I felt a longing for the days of my past when I would be preparing with my coven or druid order for the upcoming Samhain/Halloween ceremony.

There is something beautiful about being part of a group, a deep sense of belonging and collaboration.  We humans, seek out such connections because it helps us identify ourselves.  We inspire, give support and challenge one another.  In many ways, we learn who we truly are when we interact with others.  Our similarities and differences of opinion and values help forge us into the individuals we are.  I love the idea of being part of something, but like most relationships, the people in them evolve, roles we take change and often we move on.  I suppose I am one of those that move on.  It’s not that I cannot commit, but more that my life often takes me on the winding road, with paths so narrow that I must often walk alone; part of the balance required if we are to truly know ourselves.

Loneliness is powerful, it has much to teach us about ourselves.  Many people try to avoid it at all cost choosing instead to fill their days with endless social media check-ins and the mindless chatter of superficial conversation.  Few people are comfortable with the thoughts that speak to them from the shadows of their mind.  We have become accustomed to identifying ourselves solely by the value that others place on us.  This is unfortunate for the shadow has much to offer us.  The path of one is also powerful.

I have no group to work my All Hallows magic with, I have groups I can join, and groups I can lead, but I have no group to which I currently belong, and yet I feel the call of my Ancestors, asking me to prepare for their holy night.  I am comfortable with my solitary position and accept the loneliness as fitting for embracing the veil of death.  I know that I have many friends who are waiting for me on the other side, reaching out for contact.  As a Medium, my days are filled with speaking to those who have passed on, to the Beloved Dead, but they are not mine, they are the loved ones of others, of the people who I help with my work.

I don’t know what Halloween will hold for me this year.  I wanted to do something fantastic, to go the extra mile in helping others have a truly spirited experience, so that they may walk away knowing what it feels like to cross the veil.  But there has been a hesitation, a delay.  I have not put out the announcement, and invited others to join me…instead I have paused, taken a deep breath and without intention chosen the solitary approach.  I feel that this year, I am being asked to go through the veil alone and that something/someone in that depth has need of me without the bonds of others. There is a teaching waiting for me in the shadow, and I must find my way there.

I feel regret for those of you who have become accustomed to joining me in the Betwixt & Between, crossing the veil at this time of year with my guidance and will indeed hold such space for you again in the future.  But for now I must follow the path of loneliness where it leads me.  I have prepared a Samhain Celebration for those of you who would like a little guidance in honoring your Beloved Dead this Halloween season.

ANCESTOR HONORING & the THINNING OF THE VEIL

You will need-

*Pictures and mementos of your loved ones

*A white Candle

*Offerings for your Beloved Dead (their favorite food, drink, smoke, flowers, perfume, etc)

Your altar should be a thing of beauty.  Choose your mementos wisely.  They do not need to be the most expensive, instead, they should hold sentimental value.  Prepare yourself for the ceremony as if you are going to a wedding, funeral, or church.  For you are having a very important date, and it is a sacred thing.

*Dim the lights in the room, light the candle on your altar.

*Imagine yourself surrounded by white light, that emanates out from your heart chakra (the center of your chest).  Take approximately 5 minutes to create sacred space.  With each breath out, the light around you is strengthened.  This white light is a protective bubble, allowing only the spirits of your Beloved Dead to be present.  With every inhale, call your loved ones to you with your mind.

*If you have offerings for you Beloved Dead (food/drink/smoke/perfume), speak to your dead of them, how you remember their favorites and have brought this offering for them.  Its ok to partake in the offerings, as long as you are doing so as an offering for your loved ones in Spirit.

*soften your gaze, allowing your eyes to focus on the light of the candle while allowing your peripheral vision to become enhanced. Wide angle vision is the same type of viewing we use to make pictures pop out in those 3d art pieces and the gaze that hunters use to keep their prey from feeling their eyes on them.

*Breathe deeply and stay relaxed.  Spend time with your concentration soft, allowing your loved ones to present themselves in whatever way that they may….scent, sight, hearing, touch.

*When you are finished close your circle, by thanking your Beloved Dead for being present and ask them to go in peace.  Blow out your candle, and leave your altar up for a day or two if you can.

*Take note of your dreams the following nights, as dreams are an easier place for spirits to make contact.

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

Stories of Spirit…I Choose Not to Hate [tolerance, social media, and respect]

It’s hot, too hot for late September in northern Vermont.  I am irritated and tired.  I don’t particularly like summer weather in July, let alone when it’s almost October.  The irritated part of myself is dumbfounded by the craziness of the country we live in and the multitude of ways we are distracted by the things that don’t really matter.

Social media is going crazy with meme’s of the flag; from people sharing their frustration over people not respecting it, and just as many people declaring the right to freedom of speech and protest.  I am not here to choose a side.  In fact, I choose not to take a side as I feel the whole thing is distracting from the death and destruction that has befallen thousands of people affected by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes.

*photo Stahr Crow

I understand people are passionate about freedom and the flag.  On a personal level, I stand with the flag. My father was a Marine wounded in battle, who spent most of his life carrying the scars of his service.  That being said I respect the fact that we live in a country which grants us the freedom to honor the flag or not, depending on our personal values.  That freedom is what men like my father fought for.

This blog is not about the flag, it is not about protest, it is about paying attention.  We are living in a time of great change, and we are all being triggered.  The change I speak of is happening on multiple levels.  It is an energetic change, in which the human species is evolving, becoming more empathic.  It is a change on an environmental level, in which our planet and its people are suffering the consequences of the abuse we have placed upon it.  It is a change brought about by overpopulation and the fear of not enough and it is the change created by global socialization and electronics.

We are in many ways overstimulated.  Like a child diagnosed with attention deficit, we are unable to stay focused on anything for long enough to understand it.  We are jumping emotionally and analytically from subject to subject, tragedy to tragedy, afront to afront without actually taking time to sit with our thoughts.  Where last week we were pulling together for our family, friends, and countrymen who were facing the onslaught of natural disaster, this week we are up in arms with our opinions around an athlete and his behaviors.  Really? Is he so important that his actions deserve our attention in the same way that hundreds of people losing their homes and livelihood does?  Are we really that fickle that our thoughts are turned by something that should be featured on the front page of a tabloid?

Now don’t get me wrong.  I understand he is doing something he feels is important, just as those of you who oppose his actions, and those of you who applaud his actions feel your opinions are noteworthy.  But let us take just a minute to think how this hatred, and separation into factions is taking its toll on our nation.  We are self-destructing and in many ways, it’s due to social media.

Social media can be a thing of goodness, connecting us to our family & friends through pictures and stories.  It can even be a source of education if we take the time to check the facts and make sure it’s not made up bullshit.  But it can also be a virus, one that slips into our thoughts filling us with feelings of insult and injustice.  It can separate us into categories that we wouldn’t even know we existed in 10 years ago.  I grew up with an understanding that there were certain things you didn’t talk about in casual conversation with those who were really not much more than acquaintances…because let’s face it, that’s what Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram friends are.  Hell most of us have friends on Facebook that we wouldn’t even stop to chat with if we saw them in the grocery store.  But here we are shooting off about whatever comes across our social media feed to whoever will hear us, and we are doing so with passion.

I am not asking you to agree with me, and I am hoping you will read this blog article with the love I am intending it to be laden with.  I am not trying to insult anyone, I am simply asking “Would you go into your local grocery store, pub, or library and speak out as in the same manner as you do on social media?”  

We need to realize we are all being triggered.  We are being triggered because we are scared.  Deep down inside there is a fear that comes from the discontent of our nation and climate change.  I am not asking people to turn a blind eye, I am not asking people to stand by when injustices are happening.  I am simply saying we need to take a moment, sit back and ask ourselves if we would so vehemently proclaim our opinions if we were standing on the local street corner, mini mart, or school function.  We need to remember what it means to be decent and kind to one another.

This triggering I speak of is multi-faceted.  As I said in the beginning of this blog it is partly due to the fact that we are becoming more empathic.  That means as a species we are developing another sense, a sense that allows us to feel the emotions of others.  This can be overwhelming, and can easily feel like an out of control game of pinball, with emotions flying all over the place.  Without understanding what it means to be empathic or how to control it, we are bringing in emotions from everyone we come in contact with, and as we do we mix them all together and shoot them back at the world to be mixed in with others emotions.  You can see how this can quickly become a mind-fuck.  The thing is, this emotional craziness is not limited to sharing physical space with others.  It can be picked up over the internet, through social media.  We can feel the emotion people put behind their Facebook status and Tweets.  We can feel it and we are responding to it.

When I was a girl I went to family counseling at the VA hospital when my father checked himself in to deal with his alcoholism.  In the meeting, the counselor told me and my sisters that in an alcoholic family the children statistically fell into particular personality types, as a way of coping with the addiction.  As he spoke I recognized myself in one of the descriptions, and my two sisters in other personality types he spoke of.  This set off a revolution in my head.  I did not want to be a statistic.  In fact, I refused to be a statistic.  The information I was given challenged me to change how I was living, as I did not want to live my life following a pattern created for me out of destruction.  I feel the same way about social media and the effect it has on our behavior.  I refuse to become someone who sits in the safety of my living room preaching hate!  I refuse to allow myself to forget my humanity and social conscience.  I may not always agree with my neighbors, but I do not need to fight with them over every last thing that pisses me off.  Frankly, I just don’t want to live my life with that much negativity in it.

If people spent half as much time doing something kind, as they do bitching about what they don’t like in the world we would find a lot more peace in our lives.

I am not asking people to stand down in regards to things that they are passionate about.  I am simply saying we need to think before we post on social media, imagine that the audience you are speaking to is standing in front of you, all of them…your whole audience.  Some opinions and conversations are best spoken to our trusted friends, and family, not our acquaintances and neighbors.

I will continue to send energy to the people of our nation and the world.  I pray for peace, tolerance, and understanding.  I am proud to be an American, even if I am not proud of all of the actions happening in our nation at this time.  I am also proud to be a kind person, one who chooses tolerance and love over intolerance and hate.

spreading love-salicrow

Sacred Travels…Fairy Trees, Rainbows and Stone Circles [The Piper Stones of County Wicklow]

There are alignments that happen in life in which you truly feel the presence of magic, even if you are unfamiliar with such things.  For most people the feeling is associated with awe, Druids would call it Awen.

Awen is the spirit of creativity, and Druids believe that for anything to manifest there must first be a moment in which thought is transformed into being.  We have all experienced it.  For some experiencing Awen is accompanied by goosebumps, for others there is a deep sense of knowing.  Like when you wish upon a star, and know that wish will come true.  It is a time of deep magic.

I experienced such a moment while visiting the Piper Stones in County Wicklow, Ireland.

We had traveled through the Wicklow Gap with our host, the O’Hanlons. The gap itself is quite stunning, with mountains covered in icy mist and winds that could easily knock you off balance.  It was a place of raw energy, that made me think of the difficulty early man endured…for I was wearing a long raincoat, an insulated under jacket, and high leather boots.  Early man had traveled through such terrain wearing nothing more then sandals, scraps of wool wrapped around their legs, and woolen cloaks.

The Piper Stones, also known as the Athgreany stone circle is not a tourist destination.   http://www.megalithicireland.com/Athgreany%20Stone%20Circle.html There is no monument center, or tour buses.  It is relatively unknown to anyone but locals, or those obsessed with such things who know how to Google search.  There is a small sign on the side of the road, next to a pull off, and a short walk through a field populated by sheep.

The circle is on the top of a small mound, overlooking the surrounding fields.  It consists of 14 granite stones, most standing upright but a few lying down.  There were originally 17 stones, but 3 are now missing.  In early days, farmers often re-purposed stones for use in stonewalls and the likes.  Along with the stones, there is a beautiful Hawthorn Cloutie tree https://salicrow.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-cloutie-tree/ present in the circle.

The Piper Stones was one of two stone circles I visited on this trip to Ireland.  As much as I love them, my visit was filled with other sacred spaces, such as the Giants Causeway, the Blarney Stone, Newgrange & Knowth.  So naturally getting to stand within the stones was powerful for me, as stone circles are often aligned to astronomical and earthly locations.  They were places of worship, particularly by those with a close relationship to the earth.

I placed my prayers among the Hawthorn cloutie tree, and opened myself to the energy there.  I gave offerings and sang songs of Spirit.  It was powerful, and I felt truly blessed.

photo credit-meagan o’hanlon

 

When as I stepped away from the Cloutie tree, I saw another Hawthorn down in the field and it called to me.  To say it called to me, means that I felt its presence from a distance.  I knew it wanted me to visit it as well, and I knew that in many ways it held deep personal magic for me.

As I approached the tree, I began to sing to it.  I noticed that plants grew at its base, plants that I knew to be sacred, known for their healing powers and magical potency…nettle and holly  surrounded the base of the tree.  I reached out to the touch the tree, feeling that my presence was welcome, and it communicated to me that I was allowed to harvest thorns from it.

Hawthorn is a magical tree, with a deep connection to the Fairy folk, it is said that one should never take anything from a fairy tree; particularly one standing in a field by itself, unless permission is given.  My advice here is “If you are unclear to whether permission is given or not, then it is not!”

In my case permission was not only given, but instructed.  I was allowed to take take 7 thorns for myself (the Hawthorn tattoo on my left shoulder has 7 thorns on it), 3 for my sister, and 8 for the magical family, I reconnected to in England last year.

I was deep in trance as I collected the thorns, singing and listening as I went.  I was completely in tune with the tree, knowing that I was taking part in a magical blessing and receiving a powerful gift.  After collecting the last thorn, I looked up from the tree and saw a rainbow before me, or the end of a rainbow more accurately.  Seeing this brought tears to my eyes and reinforced my belief that I was receiving a great blessing.

As I was down in the field near the Hawthorn tree, my husband and our host/friends were standing in the stone circle.  The rainbow was fantastic from where they stood.  They told me later they had tried to get me to turn around for the picture, but I was too deeply involved in my work to hear them.  I think the picture is better this way, as it shows the nature of what was really going on.

Small acts of magic happen all the time, but most of us miss them.  Sometimes though we are blessed with exceptional moments of spirit, that we simply cannot help but see for what they are.  My time in the Piper Stones was one of those moments.  I am sure to return there in the future.

An interesting fact about the circle is that when we arrived there was a local man rolling up a yoga mat.  He said he came there daily to meditate.  What a joy that must be.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks.  I will be back in the States on September 13th, ready for the Mabon season and my work with the Beloved Dead.

spreading love-salicrow