STORIES OF SPIRIT…Connecting to our Ancestors while the Veil is thin

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about it, except maybe leaf-mold which causes my allergies to flare up.  I love the temperature; which allows me to wear my favorite clothes (neckwarmers, knee-high socks, sweaters & fingerless gloves), I love the contrast of the dark gray lighting against the vividly colored maple trees, and the dramatic starkness that it brings to the Kingdom (Northeast Kingdom, Vermont) I live in.  But most of all, I love how thin the veil between the worlds of the living & the dead becomes.

As a Natural Medium, I am fortunate to have contact with my Beloved Dead whenever I wish.  I visit with my ancestors and guides often, enjoying both their wisdom and humor.   My many years of interacting with Spirits has made such things normal for me, and my years of personal study has provided me with the tools to turn my ability on and off as I wish….most of the time!

The months surrounding Samhain/Halloween ofter me the most exceptions to the rule, for the energetic boundary that separates the realities of spirit and being; living and dead, fae folk & human becomes less and less tangible.  I enjoy this time immensely, as it fills me with melancholy.  The season takes me back to a time when I was still exploring my relationship with the Otherworld; before I understood the strength of my own consciousness, before my major opening to spirit.

Otherworld- the world/worlds of spirit.

This photo was taken in Crawford Notch, NH in 2012.  I happened to catch a very large Nature Being.  You can find his head above the red leaves and his left shoulder just outside it.

Having grown up with natural psychic ability, and being from a generational line of mediums I was always able to sense spirit; see them, hear them, feel them, know when they were about.  But in the early years, it was scattered and cryptic, like some kind of sophisticated game I didn’t quite understand.  I was not the one steering the ship, instead, I was coasting down the river with a makeshift boat and no idea of what was around the next bend.  After many years of experience with the spirit world, I have learned to create boundaries, rules, and regulations that not only keep me safe but offer me the privacy and space required to live a normal life.   Now, Most of my communication is done through appointments in which I help clients connect with their Beloved Dead.  At these times I attune myself with the vibration of the Otherworld, focusing my lens so that I may connect with the Spirits I seek.  I look, listen and feel when and where I want to, and change the channel/look away when I do not.

When the veil between the world is thin, I am once again a magnet for spontaneous encounters with spirits.  I am occasionally startled when I catch them out of the corner of my eye or standing directly in front of me, but all and all I have acquainted it to being at a large festival; with lots of people about.   It can be a bit crowded and you may bump into someone from time to time, but it’s also a bit exciting.   In these unexpectedly times my heart races a bit and I am reminded that there is so much more out there than I see, let alone have control over.  So I let myself revel in the spookiness of the encounter and wrap the wyrd around me like a favorite shawl.

The truth is most of us crave this kind of spook, at least a little bit.  We want experiences that make us question what we know about reality, and how it affects us.  We want to catch a glimpse of the Otherworld; so that the possibility of the eternal soul may fill our minds.  We want to know, not just have faith that our spirit exists regardless of the body.  We seek for ourselves as much as we seek for those we have lost.

In these heightened times of spirit activity; when the veil is thin, I find myself thinking of the price we pay for being incarnate.  Don’t get me wrong, having a body has its perks, but all that lusciousness comes with a price.  We are blinded & deafened to the complexity of existence.  We are locked out from seeing all that we are, left to wonder and worry as we endure the hardships that are also part of being alive.  I wonder why it is most of us are unable to connect to the unseen world, what is the point of the disconnection?  Would we have simply been too lazy if we knew that that ‘life’ was eternal and that we were in a loop of experience?  Would we push ourselves as hard if we did not think somewhere in the recess of our mind that our time was limited?  We are living in times of deep change, in which the shadow lies deep upon our psyche, and with it, these questions become more paramount in my mind.

If you are seeking a connection to your Beloved Dead this Samhain season, I suggest you think deeply about the questions you would ask.   For seeking the council of our Ancestors is something we humans have done throughout the ages.  Times of betwixt & between when the veil is thinnest are ideal for this work.  Many cultures have seen these dark, in-between times as perfect for connecting to their kin and finding the guidance they seek.  Remember that the language of spirit is often symbolic and that we are all put out enough energetic light for our own Beloved Dead to find us.  Setting aside special time for communication when you are not disturbed is ideal, for it allows us to go deeper with our experience.

Here is a bit of something to use as a guideline for those of you seeking personal connection…

 

THINGS YOU WILL NEED-pictures and momentos that remind you of your Beloved Dead, candles (one or more), offerings for your Ancestors-their favorite foods, smoke, drink, as well as a notebook and pen.

*Set up an altar by decorating a small stand with your ancestorial offerings, candles, and photos.

*darken the room so that you are in dim light

*let your family/friends know that you are not to be disturbed

*When the altar is set, light your candles and take a few deep breaths., with each breath in imagine you are drawing in the light of the candle flame, filling your body with light, as you exhale imagine that light spreading around you like a luminous globe…surrounding you on all sides, as well as above and below.  This is your circle of protection.

*Call in your personal protective spirits, as well as deities (gods/goddess) that you work with.  Imagine them standing in your space as sentinels, keeping you safe and offering you strength.

SPEAK CLEARLY-asking that all spirits that enter your space do so with love and clarity.

When your space has been connected and created, invite your Beloved Dead to join you.  Taking a few minutes to allow for arrival, begin to use your peripheral vision to open your gaze.  This is easily done by looking down your nose slightly while allowing your viewing to expand to the sides of your vision.

When the room feels full (if you do not know how to recognize this feeling give about 10 minutes for arrival), begin by welcoming your spirits in truth.  Speak words of love to them, of how you have missed them and how you remember them.  After you have shared a few moments of love, speak your truth-telling your ancestors why you have invited them to your circle.  If seeking guidance ask of them the questions you would have direction on.  Know that answers often come in slowly, through imagery and thought.  Not everyone is sensitive enough to physically see or hear spirits.  But most of us will receive images in our mind, the key is not to talk ourselves out of what we are seeing.  When a thought comes in; no matter how cryptic, write it down in your journal.  It is important that during the experience your focus is on questioning and observing answers.  Digesting the symbolism is for after…

In the beginning, I suggest that you stay in this sacred space for at least an hour, as receiving information from the spirit world is not an easy task.  Know that you may feel a bit cold (so have a blanket near), and a bit hungry.  This is because, the spirits borrow our energy for connection.

When you have completed your communication session, thank your ancestors, deities, and guides.  Release your energetic circle by imagining the light returning to you, and through your breath to the candle.  Know that you have released all spirits and are safe.  Keep track of your thoughts and dreams over the next few weeks as often our messages come in many forms.  Once we have asked for guidance our ancestors will work to help us receive their answers in whatever way is best for us.

 

spreading love-

salicrow

 

 

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SACRED TRAVELS…I’m in Love with a Lake!

I woke up on the morning of July 14th from a ‘Crush-Dream’.  I was all warm and cozy in bed thinking how fantastic it was to be in love, how much I couldn’t wait to see my Beloved again, and then I realized I was dreaming about a lake.  In truth, it was not just any old lake, but the Great Mother herself; Lake Superior.

I must admit the stage had been set perfectly for me to meet the majestic queen of lakes, for I had traveled by car, plane, the kindness of a stranger & then caravan to get to her.  In short, there is no easy or quick way to travel from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan.  That being said it was worth it.

I have been traveling to the Mid-West (Wisconsin in particular) for the last 4 years, as a teacher and guide,  my teaching focused on the development of Psychic perception and expansion of consciousness. I have worked primarily with the same group of women, with additions and subtractions to the group as life demanded.  The Virmond Crows; as they call themselves (the name was chosen for the closeness in name of one of Milwaukee’s many parks ‘Virmond’ to my home state of Vermont) has grown to become kindred to me, they are my Mid-West Tribe and I look forward to my time with them each year.

Last year two of the women from the Virmond Crows spent some time in the sacred wild camping with my sister and me, while visiting Vermont; bonding in a way that can only take place through the use of a sacred container.  Sacred Container refers to time spent in deep connection, in which the group stays in contact with each other for the duration of the study; eating, sleeping, and playing together while exploring mystical studies.  This is my favorite way to learn & teach, for it takes us out of our everyday habits, rocks the boat of our subconscious programming and allows us to become more deeply ourselves.  After spending the weekend with us in New Hampshire, the visiting Virmond Crows said “We want that!”, and so our magical journey to the Upper Penisula and Lake Superior was birthed into being.

One of the Mid-West Tribe lives in the U.P. and became my host and partner on the ground.  When doing this kind of work, in which I must travel to teach my partner on the ground is of utmost importance, for they take care of the logistics with an eye that only a local can have.  She picked our location, arranged lodging and chose the places we would be working from.  I came with the teachings for the weekend set in my mind like a sailor on the water; strong and loose at the same time, ready to bend and bob when needed.

 

We arrived at ‘Black Harbor’ as the sun was setting, after spending most of  our day working with nature on the Black Harbor River.  We saved our introduction to Mother Superior/Lake Superior for dusk for the times of Betwixt & Between are particularly powerful when it comes to magical workings.

Dawn & Dusk are times of betwixt & between as they are neither day nor night, but somewhere in between.  Places and times in the Betwixt & Between hold the magic of becoming and carry a certain level of enchantment that even the novice can perceive.

Arriving at the lake the sky and water were ablaze with reds and oranges; the water reflecting both the sun and the iron in the sand of the supporting hills and embankments.  We had come to the lake to perform a water ceremony; an offering of thanks and an energetic blessing for the water and those who step into her embrace.  It was a magical experience from the start, the colors that welcomed us as we walked from the parking lot to the water were outstanding from the start, and only got better when we were blessed with seeing ‘the Green Flash’.

The Green Flash is caused by light refracting in the atmosphere, and it is hardly ever seen…It can be experienced by the lucky at sunrise and sunset when the light travels through more of the atmosphere.  For the viewer, the Green Flash is more like a green strobing line along the horizon.  It is such an amazing color; a technicolor sea-green strobe light that lasted for about 3 minutes.  I tried to take pictures, but could not do it justice…so I stood in awe capturing the image in my mind.

Driftwood @ Black Harbor/Lake Superior

The beach that we found ourself on was like something out of a hobo-beach dwellers dream.  It was covered in large pieces of driftwood, which had been deposited on the shore by the long hard winter of the following year.  The sky was starting to darken and the shore was alight with fires, and small make-shift shelters the locals had made for fun.  I felt like a child who had stepped into a magical park and allowed myself a few moments of fantasy; in which I imagined I would see Peter Pan and the Lost Boys camped out at one of the fires.  But soon I was back in focus, remembering that I was here to do magic that did not involve flying away into a fictitious world.  We were here to give our thanks and honor to the life-sustaining water of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior is known as ‘Gichi-Gami’-the big liquid or great sea to the Ojibwe/Chippewa who lived along her shore.  Lake Superior is the largest fresh-water lake in the world!

Although the beach was alight with fires, they were spaced far enough from one another that we were able to get a relatively private spot for our working without much effort, and the people who were there were respectful, seeming to understand that we were there for deep work with Spirit.  As the sky darkened we gathered wood and I easily started a fire (super easy when you are carrying charcoals to burn incense on…just saying). 

 

 

When darkness finally settled upon the water, we gathered close and began the evenings magic with a personal attunement to water; something I developed after a profound experience I had with water while visiting a spring on the side of Mount Shasta (more about that in the book I am working on).  The attunement process came to me partially through channeling and partially through my personal study of Structured Water.  Structured water is a molecular arrangement of water molecules that exists when water is near hydrophilic (water-loving) surfaces, such places are available in nature and in our bodies.  It is the belief that under ideal situations; which can be created, water is more viable and more easily programmed/blessed.  With the group circled around me, I opened their energetic bodies with sound and movement and first gave them the water blessing, that the waters in their own body may become energized.  This was a profound moment, in which I felt like we had stepped out of time and space, existing both in the present as well as in a timeless state of being that traveled through the sands of the beach connecting us to the past and future.  I love that liminal space, for it is perfect for magical workings.  We then gathered ourselves in sacred sovereignty and walked to the water where I shared the movements and words of the water blessing/attunement with the group.

Standing in a line along the shore, in water up to our knees we stirred the water with hand and wand creating spirals and infinity waves.  Our voices rang out in a shared song as we Toned the words of attunement.  The feeling of being between worlds was strong, as I heard the sound of Native women singing along with us in the Spirit world.  I soon found myself overcome with a knowing that I must go into the water after the blessing was done.  I needed to completely submerge myself in the dark waters of the lake.  The more I stirred, the more I sang the deeper the knowing sank in.  I did not have a choice in the matter.

Now, this was a bit of a dilemma for me as I was wearing leggings and a long-sleeved shirt.  I had not brought my bathing suit, as I was sure I would not go into the water for a swim until the following day.  Things I should point out-I am not one for skinny dipping.  I am not ashamed of my body, I simply am not much of a naked in public kind of gal.  But I had limited options…I could go into the water naked, or wear my undergarments, something that was at a disadvantage as I only had one bra with me on the trip.  So I stripped off my clothes and went into the water.

When my head was fully submerged I felt a great awakening come over me.  I found myself surrounded by what for lack of better words, an embrace.  It was not a physical holding, but an energetic cocoon of love.  It was so deep and all consuming that I felt like my paltry offering of a blessing had been but a peck on the cheek when compared to the level of love that was offered back to me.  I stayed in the water but for only a few minutes, the rocky floor of the lake feeling unstable beneath my feet in my altered state of mind.  I knew that I had been greeted by the Spirit of the Lake herself, and I knew I would be called back to her waters many times in my future life.

As we gathered our belongings and left the beach it was powerful to see how others had responded to our doings on the waterfront.  When walking by the large group of locals, we noticed that they all bowed their heads slightly when we walked by.  This to some seemed as it could be more of a ‘holy shit, don’t make eye-contact thing’, but in truth, I believe it was more of an acknowledgment that they had just witnessed something sacred.  Whether we share the same beliefs or differ in our faith, the sacred is recognizable to all.

My host Jamie and her daughter Nina.

I did return the next day, after waking from my crush-dream, I had no choice.  I needed to see my lover one more time before I departed her lands.  Returning in the daylight I collected rocks and driftwood (which I mailed home to myself).  I have always been a fan of nature given souvenirs, for they hold far more memory in them than some plastic trinket bought in a souvenir shop.  We lounged around the beach taking in the beauty of a space that is still seen as sacred.  In my personal thoughts I was already planning my next trip to Mother Superior/Lake Superior, knowing that I would be back.

Keep your eyes out for more information on Sacred Travels to Lake Superior by visiting my website http://Salicrow.com (be patient, stop by often, the site is going to be transforming in the next month or so/under construction).

I ended my trip to the Upper Penisula with a trip inland with my host & her daughter.  Where I got to take in the beauty of the many lakes and waterways that make up the U.P.  We repeated the water blessing at the little lake on my host property.  It was a powerful (and buggy) way to finish up my short stay.

Sacred travel can happen anywhere and everywhere.  It is more of a conscious switch of how you view the world and your place in it.  It requires the ability to take a step back from the hub-bub of our electronic world and choose a slower pace.  It is not a superpower, but something we all have innately inside of us.  We can all recognize the beauty of nature, connecting with it in a sacred way is to take it one step further and see that nature is also sentient.  The water, like the trees and the stones, is alive.  It has consciousness, and if you are patient enough to listen you will hear the love story that she is speaking to you.  I am thankful to be so blessed and love sharing this knowledge with others, I can feel my ancestors watching over me with pride when I do.

spreading love-salicrow

Virmond Crows in the U.P. (I love these ladies!)

 

SACRED TRAVEL…Stone Circles, Crystal Grids & Spell Work

Sitting on the edge of the Autumn Equinox I find myself reflecting on the magic of Summer and how 3 months can slip by so quickly.  It seems only last week I was celebrating the zenith of the Solstice sun, and now I am admiring the of turning leaves.  Over the next few weeks, I will share tales I was too busy to tell during the hubbub & sunshine.

The Awen Stone Circle w/Christopher Berg of Green Heart Farm

My summer was filled with unexpected, last-minute plans that placed me exactly where I needed to be at precisely the right time.  It started with having nothing scheduled for the Summer Solstice.  This alone was unusual as it was the first time in 22 years that I did not have ‘big plans’ for the holiday.  For 20 years I hosted a Medieval Costume party on the Solstice, and last year I traveled to Mount Shasta in California on sacred pilgrimage; spending time in deep magic/connecting with one of the planets Chakras.  The fact that this was the 22nd Solstice in the count did not slip past my Numerology-focused mind.  I immediately began to wonder what was in store for this year’s Sabbat.

22 is a Master Number (master numbers…11, 22, 33, etc), meaning it vibrates at a higher frequency than other numbers.  Often referred to as ‘the Master Builder’, it carries the potent energy of action & getting things done.

Sabbat- any of the 8 holy/sacred days in the pagan year connected to the turning of the seasons.

A few days before the Solstice my sister and I got a heads up from Spirit that it was time to put the finishing touches on a major spell we had been working on for the last 5 years.  [The spell/prayer was connected to helping people expand their awareness in a productive, safe & healthy way.]  In the same way that we knew it was time to complete our working, we also knew that the powers of the Universe generally cared little for our comfort in this matter; which meant we were to go about our magical ways regardless of the torrential rains.  With this knowledge, we drove to the sacred river spot of our childhood, where the spell had originally begun.  As it was in the beginning, so was it in the end…my sister submerged herself in the river, activating the years of work we had instilled in this magic. 

Shortly after this, I received a last-minute invite to the blessing of a Stone Circle that had just been completed in Springfield, Vermont…

THE AWEN CIRCLE-created by the Druid Tloog @ Green Heart Farm view video of the Awen Circlehttps://www.facebook.com/sali.crow/videos/2681739375184102/

The Druid Tloog

The Awen Circle was created on the sacred lands of Green Heart Farm in Springfield, Vermont through the co-creative energies of the Druid-Daniel ‘Tloog Gorey and the stewards/owners of the land, Cynthia and Christopher Berg.  The circle had only been completed days before the Solstice, and the blessing ceremony was put together on short notice; as a smart Druid knows to take advantage of something as energetically charged as the Solstice Sun!

Upon receiving the Circle blessing invitation I fully understood why my calender had remained open on such an auspicious holiday; having just completed a 5-year spell it only made sense that something memorable should happen, and I can’t think of many things that hold memory longer than a Stone Circle.

In continuation of the magic that held us in its story during the holiday sun my sister Sandy accompanied me on my journey south to the Awen Circle.  She had quickly agreed to join me after I had discovered that Springfield neighbored the town of Ascutney.  This information made us curious indeed, as my sister and I had another magical working that we had been plugging away at for the last 4 years…Gridding the Chakra Ley Line.  We had only one point left to the grid, the Heart Chakra, which just happened to be at Mount Ascutney.

Ley Lines are straight, electromagnetic lines that run below the Earth’s surface.  Stone circles and other holy spaces are often found on Ley lines.  Ley lines are believed to have an effect on all living things.  Think of them like the meridians of Chinese medicine.

Crystal Grids are used to connect, expand, heal and manipulate the energy of vortexes (spinning energy sites) along ley lines, as well as in homes, businesses, etc.

The Chakra Ley Line runs from Willoughby Lake in Westmore, VT to Derby, CT.  It has 7 chakra points, which are located in areas with large deposits of granite and are energetic centers that affect not only the area around them but in essence the country as a whole.  If you are interested in finding out more about the Charka Ley Line check out the book ‘the Gaia Matrix’ by Peter Champoux (https://www.amazon.com/Gaia-Matrix-Geometries-American-Landscape/dp/0967232805

wyrd-connected to fate

Here is where time and synchronicities get a bit wyrd…A few days before the solstice I retrieved a crystal that had grown into one of my trees.  Years ago, I had placed a crystal in a tree branch of a small poplar on my property that I have a close relationship with.  As time progressed the crystal grew into the branches, unable to be removed.  Just before the solstice, I went to show the Crystal Tree to my apprentices & found the crystal laying on the ground, forced out by the growth of the tree.  I knew immediately that the crystal had a special purpose and would connect whatever place it ended up to my land and the tree itself.

I knew this crystal was a gift to the stone circle @ Green Heart Farm.

So I packed my basket with the crystals for the Heart Chakra grid, the Tree-Crystal gifted by my poplar tree, my drum, and a few other offerings.  I picked up my sister and we headed south.  The ride was fun, we talked about the significance of the event, and how it was not a coincidence that it was so close to the Heart Chakra.  It made sense, that we should complete another spell, particularly since they were connected; the stones of the grid having been anointed with a potion/liquid intention created from our magical working of awakening/opening awareness.  We then set our GPS coordinates for Mount Ascutney, choosing to make a detour before attending the circle blessing.

We felt the chakra pulling us when we were 25 miles away and made our way to the base of the mountain near the state park.  We decided that we did not have enough time to deal with entering the park, satisfying ourselves with a pull-off, near the park at the base of the mountain.  We set up our grid along the side of the road, made offerings of tobacco, voice, drum, and prayers, then tossed a few crystals; charged with magical intention, deep into the woods where they could do their work.  As magical as this all was (remember folks, magic is a practical thing), we were pretty clear by this point that the real work would take place at the Stone Circle; which was only about 12 miles away.  We collected the remaining stones from the working we had just completed, and energetically carried the line and our work from the base of the mountain to the farm.

Cynthia & Christopher Berg of Green Heart Farm sharing their space with Sandycrow & I.

Arriving at the farm we were greeted by the smiling faces of folks who were ecstatic about the magical creation that had recently been erected on their property, and by Mount Ascutney itself.  In fact, the mountain was directly North of their property, and the Stone Circle itself had been aligned with the Mountain.  Another Wyrd Fact-the owners, as well as the builder of the circle, had no idea that Mount Ascutney was the Heart Chakra of the Chakra Ley Line (even though they had named their property Green Heart Farm). I love this kind of magic; when intuition speaks and gets its way regardless of the wheres or whys.

After sitting with the amazing view and thinking on how appropriate our decision to tie the stone circle into our work with the Chakra Ley Line, I was presented with another synchronicity when the owners mentioned that the circle was in the woods, in what they referred to as the Forest Temple (hmmm….said I, remembering the crystal from my Poplar I had brought as an offering).

The walk to the circle was divine.  through fields, past a pond, into the woods, we walked and there she was in all her glory…the Awen Circle.  I have to say, a circle in the woods was just about as dreamy of a thing as I could experience.  I mean I am a lover of Stone Circles, having never met one I didn’t love…but a Stone Circle inside a Forest Temple is truly magical.  It held for me a deep mystery, like the memory of long ago forays into the forest to perform hidden magic under the moon, and the foreshadowing of community gathered in celebration.  I long to see her alight with a festival fire, and imagine I will someday.

spreading love-salicrow

PS-you can find out more about The Green Heart Farm here-https://www.greenheartfarm.com/

 

 

 

 

Wake up Calls…

I feel tired today.  I feel like I want to cry.  The tears welling up inside me cannot be pushed down or told to go away, for they are made of deep, lonely, heartbreaking things, filled with fear, confusion, and grief.  The emotions that fill me are not mine alone, but the coagulated smeg of a culture staring at its own poor decisions.

I don’t feel this way often, as for the most part, I am an optimist.  I believe I knew what I was getting into when I signed on for this ‘tour of duty’ or ‘life’ as it is more often put, but there are days when even my sunshiny viewpoint is obscured with ‘what if’s’ & ‘what the fucks’; times when I wonder what the point of it all is and whether we can change anything or are just here to watch the ship go down.

I know this is not the usual inspiring words you are expecting to hear from me, the ones that put you at ease and make you feel like things will turn out ok in the end.  But it is important to see all sides of the story, and in a sense feel all sides of it.  We can’t deny our fear for denying it is a fool’s game, it keeps us from seeing what we are truly up against.

We are living in changing times, we have reached a point where you have to be a complete idiot to not believe in Climate Change/Disruption.  I mean today 5′ of snow, hail & ice fell in Mexico…in July!  We see signs of it every day on the television, the internet and in our own worlds, and on a shared emotional wavelength we are all scared.

So what do we do?

In moments of my life when I feel afraid I hear my fathers voice speaking to me in my head.  He is usually saying one of two things…“Bravery is going forward in the face of fear”, or “You don’t want to go down like a punk”.  The first has a response saying “Having no fear makes you a fool”.  The second statement was my dad’s way of saying ‘we don’t give up!’  I think about these things often, and know that I chose my father well even if some of the lessons were less then pleasant.  He taught me what it meant to be a warrior, to be a person of strength, and how to stand tall even when the odds were against me.  After all, if you’re going to go down, go down knowing you did everything in your power to stay up.

We are not living without hope, for the thing about impending doom is that it creates genius!

Along with all the horrific things flashed through our news feeds each day there are other less noticeable things happening, things that are not getting as much attention as they should. The news channels don’t want to cover inspiring stories, because the advertisers won’t get as much compulsive spending out of viewers watching pieces on  how oyster farming is growing in popularity; due to the amount of carbon they pull from the water, or how they are extracting carbon from the air in Iceland and transforming it into Basalt (rock).  The truth is, fearful things unsettle us to the point that we seek comfort in whatever way we can, often through unhealthy choices such as drug use, excessive shopping, gambling, etc.  Fear is big business…

When we focus our lens on what we can do…reuse, reduce, recycle, conserve, grow, share, educate, pray, meditate, etc.  we stop feeling quite as hopeless.  On the days like today where I feel like I don’t want to look at the positive, I sit with it, acknowledge my feelings and then ask myself what I plan on doing with those fears.  I then remember my father’s stories of standing up with half his face blown off, fighting his way to a helicopter and safety.  I remember stories told by my grandmother of living through the depression; lying under piles of blankets with her children when there was hardly any food and not much for heat.  I remember moments in my own life when I thought I would lose my house during the housing market collapse, and I remember that in all of those moments there was nothing to do for any of us, then keep on doing our best to survive, have hope and thrive.

My husband is a stoic kind of guy, and his view is also comforting in its own way.  He often says ‘God doesn’t care about our comfort, he/she is more concerned with our character’.  This quote is another I repeat when I feel the weight by hard times.  I focus on the character of a person I want to be.  Who do I want to be remembered as?  If I were a fictional character in a book, how would I want to act, do, be in any given situation?  It helps me get out of feeling sorry for myself and makes me realize I am living in exciting times, times that will be hard no-doubt, but times when wonders can be made and our actions matter.  Seeing myself as a hero/heroine in my own story empowers me.

Do not give up hope, do not turn to vices that make your life harder.  Yes, it’s hard, but there are things we can do to help us regulate our emotions and thoughts far more efficiently than habits that create more problems.  This is the time to pick up all our old tricks; go back to our yoga mat, sit in meditation, walk in the woods, sing, dance, create sacred art, tell stories, create daily rituals that keep us aware in this time of change.  We must focus our minds, create networks of like-minded people, get to know our farmers, healers, builders, thinkers, and spiritual leaders.  We need to become the co-creators we were intended to be, for that is where our salvation truly lies.   We are powerful beyond our belief. If we were to focus collectively on healing ourselves and our planet, we would see miracles.  We need to become unified, not torn apart by our ‘differences’, for the truth of the matter is we all share one thing in common, we are Earthlings.  WE NEED TO WAKE UP!

Becoming a co-creator in one’s own life starts with focusing our mind.  We need to really think about what matters to us, what world we want to see, and then put ourselves into it whole-heartedly.  Quantum physics has proven that thought matters, that what we focus on we draw to us.  I like to put it this way…when we spend our time thinking about what we do not want to happen, it’s like we are standing at the lunch-counter of life ordering it.

Right now, most of us spend many hours a day with a low-level feeling of fear and anxiety, often fueled by the media.  Looking at it this way, it’s easy to see how we feel hopeless, defeated and doomed.  We are telling ourselves this every day, enforcing it with the help of media every time we turn on the television or look at our newsfeed.  We should not blind ourselves to the truth of our world, but we need to make sure the ‘truth’ we are viewing gives us the whole picture, not just the profitable one fueled by fear. We also have to stop using convenience as an excuse not to do our part.  If you’re not recycling, reducing, reusing because it’s too much work, you might want to think about how much work we will have if we don’t start doing our part.  This is the kind of procrastination we cannot afford.

I do not want to leave you with a feeling of doom or despair, I want you to think about where your emotions and feelings really lie.  I want you to ask yourself what you are doing to make it better; no matter how small of an act, it all adds up.  I want you to join me in helping others wake up.  I want you to cocreate hope with me.  I want you to remember that like me, you chose to come in at this time and be a co-creator in a time when the world really needs us.  After all…who wants to go down like a punk?

 

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The Power of Burning Stuff…

I finished my evening last night sitting in front of the open woodstove door watching wax burn.  It was the final step to a spell (energized intention/active prayer) I have been working on a month.  The wax was accompanied by scribbles of paper, birch bark, rose petals, lavender, and bits of moss; all remnants of the magical working I have been tending.

I love to burn things, I love hosting gathering around an open fire, the smell of woodsmoke on a chilly day, and most of all I love using fire as a magical ally.  Fire is the great consumer it takes what we offer it and breaks it down.  Energetically it incinerates that which is no longer needed and releases that which we are becoming to the air & earth through smoke and ash.

There are many ways to use the element of fire in our magical workings; the light of a candle can be used to illuminate that which we desire, divination can be practiced by the act of staring into flames, coals or smoke, and we can use fire as a visual focus for activating our will.  But my favorite way to use the power of this element is transformation by fire.  I have walked on fire as an act of personal transformation, and I regularly burn the leftover bits of my magical workings offering that which I no longer need as fuel for that which I am calling in.

All acts of magic in some way are acts of personal transformation, even if we are not doing magic for ourselves.  The act of performing powerful prayer/sacred manifestation changes us.  It opens our belief system to the idea that we are co-creators of the world we live in.   That our actions have power takes away from the idea that we are helplessly at the whim of a higher power who may or may not have plans for us.  Magic does not take away from our ability to believe in God/Goddess, it adds to it, for we see how amazing the world can be.  With every act of creative force we become closer to the Universe we are a part of.

In my own magical workings, Fire is not always the key ingredient, but it most certainly is one of them.  This last working of mine started at the Beltaine and ended at the New Moon (last night) following my birthday ( 5/29).  It had many magical acts that were connected to one another, and many of these left behind bits and baubles; paper used for writing sigils (magical writing & grids), the remains of candles used in ceremony, flower petals & resins left over from offerings and the likes.  I try whenever possible to burn the remnants of my magical working; not wanting to waste the potent energy they contain.

As I sat in front of the woodstove watching my offering of wax, bark, flowers, resin and magic transforming I was impressed with how long the fire burned.  In fact, I actually contemplated shutting the stove door and walking away for it to do its thing, but I know that honoring the work I had done was far too important for me to walk away.  I had to watch it burn.   There was apparently quite a bit of wax in the offering, so I sat for 10 minutes or more watching the fire dance about in my fireplace.  Staring into the fire, watching it kindle, I practiced the art of Pyromancy (divination/psychic viewing by fire) I knew by how long it burned and the nature of the working that the work I put in motion would be far reaching, and long lasting.

There are many ways you can use fire in your own transformation & magic.  One of my favorites, that I often recommend to clients is the Healing Fire.  Below is a how-to for those of you who want to try it out…

HEALING FIRE RITUAL-

What you will need…a notebook or stationary, pen, & fire source & a safe place to burn shit.  (a fireplace, firepit, candle and cauldron for burning bits).

Take the time to set up a beautiful altar for yourself, decorate it with sacred items, pictures of ancestors who support you, etc.  Taking the time to set your space adds to your magic, for true magic is the whole working.  You may want to play relaxing music in the background. It starts when the idea enters your mind, with every action taken along the way being part of the work at hand.  Make sure you are in a place where you will not be disturbed.  It is helpful in when we are learning to have an atmosphere that leans into the work at hand, the fewer distractions the better the outcome.

With our space set, light your fire (candle, bonfire, etc) and take a few deep breaths.  Imagine there is a pinprick of white light in the center of your chest/heart chakra.  With every inhale in you become more relaxed, with every exhale the white light at your chest expands until after a few breathes you are completely relaxed and can sense (see, feel, know) the circle of protection around you.  Call in your guides, ancestors and the deities you work with at this time.  It is now time focus on that which needs healing.

What part of your life is dysfunctional, taking away from your true essence.  Sit with it for a while, allow yourself to see it’s roots.  This will be easy for some people and difficult for others, know that you can repeat this working anytime you like.  However, magic is more potent if we put ourselves fully into it, so if your sitting on the sidelines of your life, hokey-poking around the working, it will be lacking in the energy needed to produce results.  If you’re going to do something do it, don’t pretend to do it.  Magic requires us to be vulnerable, at least with ourselves.

Allow your mind to look at where your pain or troublesome habits began.  Perhaps the beginning is connected to a certain person or event.  If so, pick up your paper and pen and begin to write.  If it’s a person, compose a letter (you are not sending it), stating everything you wish you could have said to the person…how much you loved them, how much you hated them, how they disappointed you, wounded you, and what they taught you.  For true healing, we must admit all feelings, including the good ones.  If we are writing about a traumatic event, compose your offering as if it is the most vulnerable diary entry you can muster.  Remember we are exposing that which wounds us, and holds us back from our true self.

When your letter/journal entry is complete…sit for a moment in front of the Fire.  Gather your attention on this moment, and read your letter/journal entry out loud.  You may want some tissue here, as you will most likely be crying by this point.  Do not hold back, go tantric with it…do a deep dive into the pain allowing yourself to witness that which has shaped you, knowing that you will use it again once more to shape yourself, this time for healing.  When you have read your truth, burn that bitch!  Knowing that you are offering up your pain to be transformed, inviting your true self to emerge on the other side of the flames.  Make sure to watch the flames as they transform your truth, paying attention to any thoughts that come through the images seen in the fire.

When you have finished your working, close your circle by thanking your ancestors, guides, and deities, and releasing your circle of power.  You can do this by imagining it dissipating or by pulling the white light back into your body, calling your protection back to the source.   If you like visual aids/reminders, take a bit of the ash and put it into a small container to keep on your altar as a reminder of the work you have begun.

I hope you enjoyed the read.  Thanks for following me folks, you can find out more about me and my work by checking out my website Salicrow.com.

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Birthday Drum Blessing

Yesterday was my 48th birthday, and I spent the majority of it the Betwixt & Between; in the magical space of shamanic trance. I dedicated my birthday this year (most years), to myself. Not to fancy meals and exotic outings, but to my personal well being, for I see birthdays as a day of soul-tending. A time when we step out of our everyday hub-bub to see how shiny and special we are.
This year my birthday did me the favors of falling on one of my days off. I always take Wednesdays (Odin’s day) off as my ‘Adventure day’. I spend most Wednesdays doing something that makes my heart sing. Most of the time that involves taking a romp in the woods somewhere, hanging out with some of my more spiritual friends, and doing some kind of energetic upkeep. The care of our ‘soul’ is as important (if not more) as our health and business affairs. When we take time to for personal upkeep we feel better, our lives seem more manageable and we generally look on life with a kinder lens.
My intentions for my birthday were set, as soon as I realized the next drum workshop @ the Grindstone was happening in May. My husband is the Crafter, and he had been waiting to make me a second drum for almost a year; as scheduling and last minute sign-ups had kept him out of the last couple classes. I really need a second drum as I use drums in my Healing work as well as my personal spiritual work. This means my one drum was having to be carried back and fourth to work and home. Having a second drum meant I could keep one at my office; specifically for my work with clients, and have a second for personal use. My birthday drum was complete (dried & ready for play) a few days before my birthday. Although, I did test it for sound when the drying was complete (they generally need a week to dry after crafting), I waited to bless it and sing it to life on my birthday.
My magical workings began early, as I prepared my indoor altar (the morning was wet and cold) smudged my space, and gathered my supplies. The friends I had invited to join me in my magical birthday venture showed up around 10:30 and we immediately stepped into magical time and space. I explained what my intentions for the working were, how I was not only blessing my drum but activating a spell I had been working on for almost a month. I invited them to add their own intentions; to share what they were looking to gain or manifest from our workings. (A cool thing about magic and wyrd space & time, is one can step into the magical wake of anothers working. I spoke about this in my blog EXCEPTIONAL MOMENTS OF SPIRIT https://salicrow.wordpress.com/2019/05/21/exceptional-moments-of-spirit/). When big magic is in the making, we can combine our efforts or work within the energy that has already been generated. Similar workings are easily fueled by the collective energy. Activating or awakening my drum was one part of my days work, the other was more personal but equally as important, and its nature was something that both of my friends could relate to as well.
As I said most of the working was done in the space in between, deep in trance and guided by spirit. From an outside perspective, the ritual was fairly simple. The altars were set, spell candles and incense had been lit, and we settled down to create a sonic chamber in my living room. After smudging my drum and blessing it with the smoke of my favorite herb, I began to sing with it. I say sing because I was singing, but also because I believe that drums have a spirit and therefore a voice in which to sing with. We went deep, real deep, in fact, the 3 of us had a hard time coming out of that space and needed to step outside for temporary grounding. The first part of the working had been Journey Work, we were seeking direction as well as connection and knowing. We all received plenty.
After coming up for air, taking a breather and offering tobacco to the Ancestors, we headed into the Fairy Wood to introduce my drum to the Spirits of the Land; the Fae Folk & the Genius Locus. My drum sounded as we walked into the forest, which was still damp from the rain of the evening before. The air was cooler than any birthday I had remembered (46 degrees on May 29th), and we were bundled in our layers. My sacred space in the forest is truly powerful. It is a large outcropping of White Quartz (snowy quartz/milky quartz/quartzite) that radiates a high-frequency energy. I have worked with this space for years, both in this world and in the dreamworld. Stepping into the space, I was aware how ‘Awake’ it had become, the space itself was humming and ready for action.
I cannot fully share all the magic that is afoot, but I can say the blessing of my drum was only a fraction of it, albeit a big fraction. I feel that the drum and the land and the personal magic I was weaving was all connected. We are stepping into powerful times of change, and synchronicity is abundant. When we become conscious we can experience the wonder and magic of life. I intend to do so more and more each day.
Turning 48 means I am working with the energy of 3 this year (4+8=12, 1=2=3), which is a number of creative force. I intend to use it wisely!
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PS-check out Turtle Drums/Dan Maxon if you’re looking to craft your own drum. It is a powerful experience (so I have heard, my husband made both of mine) and owning your own drum is a magical thing.

For the Love of Numbers…

I have never been good at math.  In fact, I got through High School math with teachers tutoring me, and the good grace of C’s.  I believed numbers and their equations to be the bane of my existence.  Then I discovered Numerology…and I was hooked. It was as if the whole process of working with numbers had been completely wrong until I approached them in this manner.  It was as if someone had turned a photo right-side up, and I could suddenly make sense of it.

Numerology is the esoteric study of numbers, in which numbers are seen for their vibrational value and how they influence over lives & future.

Numerology works with a method of breaking numbers down into single digits…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or into Master Numbers 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99.  To get to these basic & master units we need to add numbers together,  such as my birthdate…5/29/1971=5+2+9+1+9+7+1=34, the number is broken down once again, until it reaches a single or master unit.  34…3+4=7, which gives you the number associated with my birth.  The number associated with our birth is known as our Life Path Number, and it reveals the broader aspect of who we are.

My life path number is a 7, and 7 is a number of higher awareness, it is associated with people who are analytical, highly intuitive, often carrying a deep spiritual faith.  People with a Life Path of 7 are most often seekers of the truth & wisdom, and often searching for the answers to everything.  I find this entirely fitting, as I often say ‘when I die, my tombstone should read “Why?”‘.  Not why did I die?  But why? Why did this happen, why did that happen, what does this mean and that mean, and why?  I have an incredibly inquisitive brain, which has led me to explore the unseen world with vigor.  The negative or challenging side of having a 7 Life Path number is that those of us who fall into this category can be cynical and without faith have a high tendency toward seeking escape through work, drugs, and distraction.  I can attest to this personally, for when I lost faith in a higher power as a teenager, I found myself wandering down the dark path of I don’t give a fuck, with my faithful companion’s drugs & alcohol.  You can read about my personal journey in my book ‘Jump Girl, the initiation and art of a spirit speaker’…here’s a link https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926

Our ‘Life Path’ number is not the only important number in our personal Numerology, the letters of our name; both given & chosen, have numerological values and can be broken down as well and show us fascinating things about ourselves.  This knowledge helps us to better understand our underlying personalities, as well as the challenges and strengths that come naturally due to the numbers vibrating in our life.

The study of Numerology goes further to look at temporary number vibrations such as those associated with our phone numbers, street address, and the dates connected to weddings, business openings, project launching, travel, and more.  Once you start working with numbers in this way; if you’re like me, you will find yourself breaking down numbers randomly and constantly, and thinking about what that vibration says about the situation.

Many people are already fascinated with numbers and can’t help but notice how the Universe uses them to get our attention, such as the 11:11 phenomenon (11:11, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 & 5:55) with clocks. When numbers show up in this way, they are like an alarm clock going off.  They startle us a bit and make us question the why of the matter.  When we experience numbers in this fashion it is a good idea to make note of what you were thinking about, talking about or doing at the time you noticed the occurrence.  It’s also a good idea to look up the number as a Master number, for they are most definitely vibrating at a higher frequency.

There are many good books out there on Numerology and you can learn a lot from internet web-pages, but always remember to trust your own feeling on how that number is interpreted in your life. Intuition matters and each number-vibration has varied associations.  (Remember the #7 associated with my life path, would be a hard one to live with if I was not a person of faith.)  For those of you who want to dive deeper into Numerology and do better with a guide, make sure to check out my upcoming workshop ‘Introduction to Numerology’ @ the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center in Vermont.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2207640429549737/

Numerology is best pursued with a mindset on fun.  Allow yourself to explore what numbers have to say about you and the ones you love.  I am still exploring and still having fun with them.  They speak to me every day in multiple ways, and I have gone on to purposely use them…choosing the numbers I use for the many projects I am part of.  Happy numbering folks!

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