STORIES OF SPIRIT…Embracing the Darkness [the wheel of the year, hygge, and spirit honoring]

The first snow has settled on the forested hilltop, I call home, bringing with it feelings of slumber and deep knowing.  It calls to me to get comfortable; put on my sweater pants & neckwarmers, and begs me to go deep into my own being.  We, like all living things, are connected to the planet we live on, and her cycles have a great pull on our lives.  When we listen and flow with the current of nature we find balance and understanding.

I began acknowledging the effects of seasonal change on my life when I was in my early 20’s and started exploring Wicca and other Earth-based spiritual practices.  The rotation of the Wheel of the Year is a significant factor in most spiritual practices associated with nature, for such teachings recognize that we are part of our world, not separate from it.  This belief is a powerful one that makes us look at ourselves and the world around us differently.  It is a lens through which we can perceive that which is hidden, both in ourselves and in the environment.

The Wheel of the Year is a cycle of seasonal holidays observed by most pagans.  It consists of 4 quarter dates, marked by the Solstices & Equinoxes, and 4 cross-quarter dates that note the halfway points between. 

We are fast approaching on one of these markers on the Wheel of the Year-Samhain/Halloween.  Halloween which is known as Samhain in the Celtic traditions, Alfablot (sacrifice to the elves) in Old Norse, and Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead in Hispanic culture, and All Saints Day to the Catholics.  All of these celebrations take place within a period of 3 days; October 31st-November 2nd and they are all associated with honoring the dead (note-All Saints day is about honoring dead Saints in particular).  Coincidence?  I think not…

Until modern times people had to live in close relationship with the Earth, as we were more likely to have healthier livestock and fuller harvests if we knew a thing or two about the cycles of the planets.  This relationship also allowed us to refocus and renew our own spirits, for slowing down in winter gave us time to be crafty and cunning, to tell stories around the fire and to reconnect with our families.  These cycles were not limited to those who experienced the drastic seasonal changes of the North, for all places cycle…

Knowing the cycle nature takes in our area is vital to mental balance.  In the North, the darkness of Winter can be hard for many; Seasonal-affective disorder is a thing.  It is particularly hard if we create unreasonable goals for ourselves in the winter months.  This is not a call to full-on hibernation, it is instead a notice to be kind to yourself, to recognize that your body wants to move slower in the dark season.  To take it as an invitation to sit around the coffee shop and chat with friends on your day off, instead of tackling a major project.  It is a suggestion to pick up a handcraft such as knitting or crochet and become productive in a way that lets your mind wander and dream…for the Winter months are for dreaming and planning.  It is also a reminder that when we connect to the season we do not seek to avoid it.  The Norwegian people have this one down…they call it Hygge!

Hygge {Hue-gah}-The feeling of comfort and cozy, with friends or alone.  It is about embracing the unique aspects of the Winter.

For those of you wondering why the fuck I am talking about Winter when it isn’t even Halloween yet, don’t worry…I am getting there.  Halloween in Vermont very often comes with snow, those of us who live in the North are familiar with the need to incorporate Winter Jackets into our kids Halloween costumes.  (A few years ago, my granddaughter went as a Vermont Wonder Woman, which means she had a jacket under her outfit and a Winter hat instead of a circlet).  Therefore Hygge/embracing the Winter season is important to us now, for Winter is certain to embrace us.

Samhain/Halloween has changed a lot for me over the years.  I am still in love with costumes and the mirth associated with the season, but as my spiritual practices have evolved, my reverence for the Dead and the Otherworld has become paramount in my celebrations.  I take the time to remember my Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones and ancestors) at this time.  When I pull out my box of Halloween decorations, I find resting on top, pictures of my loved ones in Spirit.  I pull them out lovingly and give them a place of honor in my home.  My home becomes a place of memories as I go about my daily life.  I place most of the photos in my kitchen, as that is where my working altar is.  Here along the window sills, and upon my altar I place photos of the ones I love…a picture of Adam walking along the ocean, my father in his Marine dress uniform, the high school photo of my grandmother Eulalie, Grammy Brown when she was most likely my age, my grandfather sitting in the backyard, my friend Mike with his mouth wide open in laughter, my husbands grandparents whom I loved like my own (particularly Grammy Bickford), and my Aunt Sissy & I hugging the last time I saw her.

You can choose to live this way.  It is not a religious thing, it does not require you to say any vows or swear allegiance, it is simply a choice to be connected.  Something we could all use in these times of change.  Hell being more connected to our world, naturally makes us more compassionate and concerned with what’s going on, but it also gives us a sense of belonging…

Here is a how-to on embracing the season & honoring your Beloved Dead-

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What you will need- pictures of your Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones, ancestors), memorabilia-trinkets that help us remember, religious or spiritual items if you choose, any candle

*choose a space to display your photos and memorabilia-this can be one shelf or throughout your home, it does help to have them somewhat contained, so my suggestion is to keep it to one room.  I choose the kitchen, as it is where I keep my working altar.

*Keep the photos up as long as you like, but I recommend at least the 3 days before and after Samhain/Halloween.

*During the time you have the photos up, talk about your Beloved Dead, tell stories of them, sing their favorite songs, drink their favorite beverages, eat their favorite foods, REMEMBER THEM…this is the greatest honor we can give to our Spirits, the gift of remembrance.

*Remember the Hygge of the situation, embrace the dark season and the places in our memory it takes us.  Be comfortable while you remember and honor, cuddle up on your couch and watch an old Halloween special, remembering your childhood when your mother/father/grandparent sat with you as you sat fascinated by the magic of the season.

*Light a candle on your altar, or in the room, you have your photos set up whenever you are able.  This is a symbol to your Beloved Dead that you are calling out to them.

Remember that everyone has the ability to feel their Beloved Dead, like a candle flame in the darkness your Spirits, can use to find you.  Although the ways they communicate with you may be subtle…dreams, songs, birds, knowing, feeling, smelling, they are trying.  If you are seeking deep connection with your Dead I suggest reaching out to a Medium https://www.salicrow.com/, for we are more like Light Houses; giving off a much broader span of light and attracting more spirits, making communication easier.

Whether you choose to connect with your Beloved Dead this season or not, I highly suggest welcoming Hygge into your life.  Savor and enjoy every moment, the cold rainy days & the snowy blustery days as well.  Our environment stirs up emotion in us and helps us to better understand ourselves.  My other suggestion is to get yourself good winter gear.  Be warm, you will like it better!

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Stories of Spirit…Where has Sali been all summer? [expansion, growth & the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center]

The Veil between the worlds is thinning, and my spirit is longing for the deep introspection of the winter months. I am ready for cozy layers and deep conversations over hot cups of coffee, and I am ready to write again.  Many of you may have noticed that I have been absent from my weekly blogging this summer.  In fact, I have not had time to write for the last 4 months, as I have been driven by wild squirrels; revved up on caffeine.

I have spoken often of my relationship with Squirrel, and how I consider ‘Squirrel on Crack’ to be my dark totem.  The concept of ‘dark totem’ is one most people are surprised by, never having heard the term before.  There is a good chance I made up the terminology, but the role and effect are real.

A ‘Dark Totem’ is one in which we must be leary of the personality traits that we have in common.  In my case, I have a tendency to take on the not so pleasant aspects of Squirrel, the running to and fro…gathering, gathering, gathering, do, do, do.  I have to be careful how long I play with Squirrel energy as it will burn me out.  My analogy of ‘Squirrel on Crack’ is due to the fact that my squirrel runs faster than normal and then crashes hard like an overzealous party guest.  Working with a ‘dark totem’ animal requires constant vigilance, as what they bring to the table is helpful in the short run, but often destructive if engaged with for too long.  That being said, the Squirrel and I are getting ready to part ways, we need some time apart.

Last year I was sitting in my living room when a familiar voice popped into my mind.  The voice was my own, but it was not my mind simply chattering with itself, it was my voice speaking to me from the distant future.  {This is something I have done throughout my life, in fact, my sister Sandy and I started communicating with our adult selves in the mirror when we were 3-4 years old.}  The message I brought to myself was that my life would become significantly more intense in the year to come/this year-2018.  That the speed/fullness of my life would jump from 1-10 in the blink of an eye.  At the time of the telling, I believed that this was simply in reference to my book coming out and all that would entail.  In truth, the book was only half of it.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/

In May of this year, I approached my business partner Kim; whom I owned a small cafe & studio with, about renting another room in the building, noting that with my schedule, yoga and the workshops we were offering we were running out of space.  The next day, our landlady called us to say that the tanning salon next door would not be renewing their lease.  We took this as a sign that we were ready for more than another room.

On June 1st we began construction and our little cafe & studio began the journey of expansion…one that absorbed my summer and a good portion of the fall.  What was a small coffee shop with an upstairs studio space, that functioned as my office, a yoga studio, and workshop space, was transformed into a large espresso bar/cafe, retail shop and wellness center with 2 classrooms, and 5 practioner rooms.  All of this was going on while I was still carrying on my regular client hours, teaching occasional workshops and doing a bit of sacred travel.  It was a huge effort, made more enjoyable by the many hands that contributed….so there you have it, the where the fuck was Sali, why hasn’t she been writing question has been answered.

The Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center https://www.facebook.com/grindstonecafe/is now 90% complete, and I am now in the act of organizing my own work schedule.  Which brings me to point #2…I have brought on a SCHEDULING ASSISTANT!  After a summer of crazy, squirrel infused action, I decided it was time to really get organized and that I was not qualified to do so myself.  Those of you reaching out to me for appointments will notice that inquiries are now being signed HUGIN & MUNIN, not Spreading love-salicrow.  HUGIN & MUNIN is the working moniker of my scheduling assistant.  They are also the names of Odin’s Ravens Hugin-thought & Munin-memory. Please note that any messages you send me will stay confidential, as my assistant has worked in the medical field and is quite aware of HIPAA regulations.  We will be working to streamline scheduling and will be asking all inquiries be sent to Sali@salicrow.com (my scheduling email), or to my professional Facebook page Salicrow, Psychic Medium.  If you send a scheduling message to my private Sali Crow Facebook page, you will get a response sending you to my email or my professional page.

I thank you all for your patience and understanding as I go through this big time of change.  Please note-I am back to my regular writing routine and you should be hearing from me again weekly!

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Our world in Crisis [depression, anxiety, addiction & suicide]

One of the most noticeable changes I have experienced in my work as a Medium over the last 5 years, has been the increase in Spirits I am connecting with who have been responsible for their own passing.  This number includes suicides, overdoses, and death following reckless action; such as drinking and driving.

When I meet with individuals and families for Spirit Communication I do so with a blank slate; I do not ask questions ahead of time.  In truth, I do not want to know about my clients (both living & dead) before sitting down with them for communication.  This is one of the ways in which I keep sane; keeping my work from personal life.  If I wanted to, I could be interacting with Spirits constantly.  In fact, I have put more effort into controlling when and where they talk to me, then how to get them to talk to me.  This separation also makes the experience more solid for the recipients, for they know that I have not received information about them or their Beloved Dead prior to our scheduled appointment.

With this as practice, each guest living/dead comes into my space and shares their story through me.  Some Spirits speak directly to me, and I simply repeat the words they are using, others show me detailed images of their life and fill me with emotion.  Most Spirits communicate in a mixed combination of both.  Extroverted people are more likely to use words, while introverts are more likely to use imagery and emotion.

Over the last 5 years, I have found myself saying more and more often “Is your loved one responsible for their own passing?”.  I can always tell when a Spirit has passed due to their own actions, for they stand back a bit from me.  This is not done out of shame, but out of a desire to keep their emotional self in check.  Let me explain…

Imagine our emotions to have a setting like a volume dial on a stereo, that goes from 1-10.  Most people go through life with their emotions set at about 3-4 out of 10,  a person struggling with depression and/or anxiety is living with a volume dial set significantly higher; like 8 out of 10.  When we die our emotions are turned way down, to like a 2-3 out of 10.  This allows us to analytically review our life, helping us to see a clearer picture; to know how we were loved, and to see the truth of situations, that may have been clouded by emotion.

When a Spirit comes in contact with a Medium, the volume gets turned up, as they come into the vibration of the living through the energy provided by the Medium.  Mediums are like conduits, energy flows through them in such a way that it can be used by the Spirit world (both the dead & nature).  This extra energy is vital for communication to take place, however, it does make it a bit more tricky when the Spirit at hand has struggled emotionally.  I can generally gauge the health of a Spirit (how much healing has taken place for the soul after death) by how comfortable they are in my space, experiencing emotion.  Sometimes I must rely on my doorman/spirit guide ‘Adam’ to work as a translator; this is only necessary when the soul is still in a deep state of healing and coming in full contact with me & the emotional volume I carry is too difficult for them.

This understanding of emotional level; learned through the Spirit world, has helped me understand the true challenge people with depression, anxiety & addiction face.  They are often blinded to outside factors, as they cannot see past the emotional onslaught they are facing.  Their life from the outside has no say on what is going on in the inside.  Their life could look fantastic to others, filled with exciting vacations, financial stability and still be a living hell.  For the voices they repeat in their mind are often deafening, making it impossible for them to see how much they are loved, and the beauty the world has to offer them.

As a Psychic Medium and Intuitive Healer, I spend a lot of time thinking about depression, anxiety, addiction, and the likes.  In trying to figure out how to help people, I am often looking at the factors outside of “What happened to you?”  for the level of damage is not always a clear indicator.  Some people I meet have experienced truly mind-blowing trauma in their life, and find their way to healing with relative ease.  While others, whose damage would rate significantly lower on the trauma scale, are unable to escape their despair and self-loathing.  At this point, I am still observing, and by no means expect that I am going to come up with a miracle cure for depression, anxiety & addiction.  But one of the things I have observed is that most of the people who struggle the greatest are also highly empathic.

Empathy-Showing the ability to feel and understand others.

Empaths experience the world primarily through their Heart Chakra (one of the 7 major energy centers of the body).  The Heart Chakra is all about love, forgiveness, and healing.  When people think about being intuitive they have a tendency to focus on the Third Eye (center of psychic knowing, intuition, inspiration) & the Crown Chakra (center connected to god/goddess/higher power).  However, they are missing the most used sensing Chakra, the Heart.  We have all pain in our chest when we have been deeply hurt, in fact, we refer to such a feeling as ‘Heartbroken’.   This feeling is not just something we experience in personal settings, we can feel this sensation when watching a sad movie, or seeing a neglected animal.  Empaths have this receptor/the Heart Chakra set on high. It is picking up information from our environment constantly, and the translation is often one in which the situation becomes our own.  Empathic people often struggle with separating the emotions of those they encounter, with those of their own.

Another factor that ways high on my radar, is the fact that we are becoming more Intuitive as a people.  We are going through PSYCHIC EVOLUTION, as a species, we are becoming more receptive.  We have reached a point in which it is not just the people seeking expanded consciousness who are receiving it but so are many, many people who would never ask for it.  The thing about evolution is it kind of sucks…it’s not fun.  Evolution means we are being pushed out of what was normal, we have no idea what to do with the new stuff and must figure it out as we go.  Thankfully when it comes to Psychic Evolution, there are those of us out there who came in as fore-runners, people like myself who have a better grasp on whats happening in the Wyrd/connected to fate end of things.

This by no means is a conclusion, answer, solution…but it is something.  It does help us to get a better understanding of what is happening in our world, a clue into the ‘why’ of rising suicide  & addiction rates.  It is a factor, one that does not stand alone.  For we are also living in a world filled with high stress; environmental disasters, poor governing, greed, and dishonesty.  As people we are complex, there will always be many pieces to the puzzle.

In the work I do as a Medium, I try to help the living family and the Beloved Dead find peace after death.  This is incredibly important when death comes at the hands of self, for it leaves everyone struggling, the living and the dead.  Most of the struggle comes out of religious dogma, and a fear that the soul of our Beloved Dead is now suffering in some kind of hell for taking their own life.  Personally, I find this to be utter bullshit!  For a person to get to the point where they would rather take their own life, then face another day, they have already been in hell.  This is also true for those who die as a result of addiction.  For the addict is a person who spends every day battling themselves.

For those of you out there who have lost a family member or loved one to their own hands; be it suicide, addiction, or recklessness, here is a way for you to aid their soul in healing.

BELOVED DEAD HEALING ALTAR-

You will need- a small stand (window sill, top of dresser, nightstand, etc), pictures/mementos of your Beloved Dead, religious items/sacred items to you or them, and a candle (your choice)

*set up your altar to your visual liking, include photos of your Beloved Dead, special items of theirs, religious/spiritual items, and candle.

*every day at an appointed time (same time each day is best) sit in front of your Beloved Dead Healing Altar, light the candle, and spend 5 minutes talking to your loved one in Spirit, praying for them to find healing, and speaking of your love for them.

*end each session, by telling your Beloved Dead by pledging to them that you are working on healing your own wounds around their passing.  This is very important, as they are often watching over us and seeing how their actions had an effect on our lives.  When we heal ourselves, we help them to heal!

FOR THOSE OF YOU SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION, ADDICTION,  & ANXIETY- I recommend that you look into what it means to be an empath.  This is not a cure, nor will it do the work for you.  It is not meant to replace counseling or medication, it is simply another tool for the toolbelt, offering you  a way of understanding why your emotions are so high.  Please keep a lookout, I will be offering a class for Empaths in July and repeat them periodically throughout the year.

spreading love-salicrow

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/

 

I have never been known as someone who takes the slow road, but this year has me thankful for my dark-totem/Squirrel on Crack.  The fullness of my life has left me little time for blogging….my book ‘JUMP GIRL, the initiation and art of a spirit speaker’ https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/was released in February and on June 1st I stepped into a grand-expansion at my studio {the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center}.    Things are moving along with ease and flow, but sometimes getting a few extra moments to write are looked over for sitting in a zen-like haze on my couch.

Where the construction/expansion of the Cafe & Wellness Center connects me deeply connected to my community, JUMP GIRL’s release has me traveling all over the country this year; from book signings to literary festivals, workshops, psychic readings & spirit communication, I am on the go.  This movement has brought many songs to mind of late, but one that sums it up is ‘On the road again’ by Willey Nelson.  For the Irish Gypsy in me loves traveling… I have also found myself very conscious of the words I use inside my mind.  For a short while, I was repetitively saying “I am crazy busy”, whenever I was asked about my schedule.  Then I started thinking about quantum-physics and quickly changed my response to “my life is abundantly full’.

Quantum-physics has proven that thought matters, that we are indeed co-creators of our reality, and that what we put our thoughts into we manifest.  With that in mind, it was quite clear I needed to change my wording, as I had no desire what-so-ever to be ‘crazy busy’ or ‘crazy’ at all…Changing my the repetitive wording I used in my mind gave me a deep sense of well being, a feeling that I was solid and grounded in my growth, instead of feeling like I was zipping around without plan or thought.  The truth of the matter is there was a lot of planning and thought that has gone into me being in the place I am at this moment.  My book took over a year to write/edit/produce and the growth/design of the cafe/wellness center was something I did over 3 years ago (the benefit of being Psychic, sometimes I know something has to happen and plan ahead).  Even the high energy flow of this year was something I knew to expect before it’s arrival.

About this time last year, I was sitting on my couch when I heard a familiar voice in my head, that of my own.  I do not mean I was talking to myself as myself in this present moment.  Instead, I was hearing the voice of Salicrow in what I perceived to be about 2 years in the future/2019.  This was a bit unusual; not the visiting myself from the future or past, but that I was being visited by an incarnation of myself that was so close in time.  Usually, my visits are by my deep future self or past, with more than 10 years difference.  The visit from my near future present had me curious, as this had never happened before.  What would spur such an event?  My future-self spoke to me briefly, informing me that my life was going to go from 10-100 (speed/fullness) within the year.  I had taken her words to pertain to my book alone, but as most things Gemini there is always more…the more, in this case, being the sudden expansion of my wellness center.  Sali of the future assured me that it would all be good and that I could handle it.  but that I must learn to take downtime when it presents itself.  I believe I have heeded this information well, and am pretty good at checking out when I need to.

previous adventures with Lavender

I have learned many things this year so far, and have gained a few unexpected allies…Hummingbird & Lavender.  Hummingbird came into my life with a bold message.  Literally showing itself within a foot of my face, when I asked the Universe what I needed to be working on.  It’s message…to enjoy the rhythm and flow, that constant movement does not need to be tiring if one moves with the vibration of the world around them.  I am practicing this, listening to my body and mind and allowing myself to be carried by the momentum of my ever expanding life.  Lavender has shown up on my playing field in a huge way.  I am teaching at a Lavender farm in Montana in September, and have been invited to teach at another Lavender farm in NY.  My randomly generated computer background has been showing up as fields of Lavender for about 2 months now, and I have been given cards, and greetings carrying the image of Lavender at all turns of my path.  The teaching of Lavender is one of balance, and calming to the nervous system, as well as Psychic protection.  I believe it is showing up as an ally at this time to help people make a gentler transition to spiritual opening.  I am looking forward to working in the fields of lavender and seeing how its energy infuses my work.

Life is made up of the experiences we have and the way in which we interpret them.  I am a constant student of the Universe and I see the road ahead of me as teacher.  I look forward to where this year’s journeys will take me.  Thank you for your patience, I really do appreciate all my readers.  I promise to be more diligent in getting my thoughts to writing.

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

SACRED TRAVEL…Down to the South I Go [Little Rock]

When you have lived in the North your entire life there are preconceived notions of what you will experience in the South, the biggest being racism and conservative values.  I am pleased to announce that my short visit to Little Rock showed me a different view of both.  I traveled to Litle Rock, Arkansas as a guest presenter/author at the Little Rock Literary Festival.  I went alone, as a snaffoo on the part of the organizers left me without my hotel or flight information until the prices per ticket were over $800.  As much as my husband likes to travel with me, we both agreed that $800 could pay for 2 plane tickets to a place of our choosing, and a trip longer than 2 days.

As I flew over Arkansas, approaching my destination, I couldn’t help but notice how the city was surrounded by open fields, winding rivers and greenery…trees, parks, and nature were everywhere.  The Arkansas River runs between Little Rock & North Little Rock; twin cities that together are about the size of Burlington, VT.  In fact, there were definitely aspects of the city that reminded me of the Queen City.  I was greeted in the airport by a sweet woman, holding a sign with my name on it.  Her kindness and charm were delightful, and upon talking a few moments I found out that all the authors were picked up and dropped off by volunteers.; local folks, who like literacy and thought picking up a writer might be a fun time.

My literary duties began an hour after landing, with a meet & greet, dinner & drink thing, in which the public could come and meet authors.  This was my first time as such an event, in which no-one really knew each other and we all had to interact by reading name tags.   However, as you all know, I am quite social and did not lack abilities on the introduction level.  The interesting part came when I told people what my book was about.  Here is where I was reminded that I was not in my liberal, cozy corner of the universe.  Most people were interested, but there was about a third of the people who responded by stepping back a step or two.  Curiously enough, 1/2 of those who stepped back, thought of Mediums as bullshit, the other half that stepped back were doing so for religious reasons.

My response to their back-step depended on the reason they were doing so (the benefits of being Psychic).  For those that thought of Mediums as hokie (this group was primarily other writers)…I made sure to let them know that I had a book contract before I had a book written.  My way of saying…”Hey, I am the real deal”.  The second group, those with religious leanings on the conservative level (mostly local), I made sure to tell them of my family background; being Irish Gypsy & Blackfoot Indian.  With this information, the local conservatives visibly opened to the discussion.

Happily caffeinated Salicrow

Things that were difficult in the south…coffee & food allergies.  I experienced the same thing while visiting Florida a month ago.  Northerners are way ahead of the curb on the food allergy spectrum.  In fact, the writer’s party/meet and greet had a lot of lovely food…all of it made with wheat and the majority of it also containing dairy.  Seriously not even a veggie platter.  But what the lacked in food options they made up for in free drinks.  LOL, so needless to say, I drank my dinner that night (I am a serious light-weight so it wasn’t much).  And coffee…well I believe Northerners are almost cultish about good coffee.  We will  (I admit doing this) walk block after block in search of a decent cup of coffee.  

 

The real eye-opener came the following day when I met my moderator; the person who would be assisting my book-talk.  I met Russell in the author’s room half an hour before my talk.  He had read my book and was prepared to ask questions during the talk if needed.  Upon being introduced to him, I discovered that he was a Chiropractor and a leading member of the local Unity Christian Church.  He had stepped back from his work as a Chiropractor and was primarily working in ministry and counseling for his church community now.  This fact made my thoughts do a side-step, a Christian Minister in the South had been chosen as the perfect match for my work?  After a few moments of talking to him though I was delighted to hear that he practiced energy work, led meditation at his church, and that they believed that God consciousness resided within us all.  Holy Shit!  This was not the South I had prepared myself for.

When my book talk came about, I had a pretty full room & I was prepared to let it all hang out, as I always do.  I read from the early part of my book, speaking of my experience with Spirit in childhood, of communicating with myself and Spirits though mirrors, and I ended my discussion with speaking about ‘the November Incident’; my walking the line of crazy, spiritual opening.  It was generally well received, all of it…the only person who seemed put off by it was sitting in the back room with his wife, but he didn’t leave early, nor did he have anything rude to say.

I do not expect everyone to understand the path I walk or even believe in the experiences I have had, but respect and politeness are a lovely thing….and the South has that in accolades!

After my discussion, I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted.  I decided I needed to walk, and chose to walk the downtown area, check out shops and get some food.  After eating, I was in a small art gallery/store connected to the library system when I ran into an older lady who had come to my discussion, and waited patiently in line to have me sign her book.  Mary, a spritely 80-year-old was truly delightful.  After talking to me for a few moments in the store, and my talking about how much I loved nature, she said “Alright then, let’s go walk the river walk”, and like that, I was off on a journey with a complete stranger.

As we walked along the river, Mary told me tales of her city, and of her life.  She had lived in Little Rock for the majority of her life, and apparently, I was not the first stranger she had hooked up with before.  She was a retired school teacher, with a keen mind, a strong intuition and a great deal of kindness.  When I walked her back to the library she invited me to come stay with her the next time I came to Arkansas.

On my voyage along the river, I was again delighted to see that my view of racism was also not completely true.  Now I am not saying that there is no racism in Little Rock, what I am saying is I was surprised by the number of mixed race couples I saw.  In fact, there were almost as many couples of mixed race or same sex as there were heterosexual couples  of the same race.  I found myself thinking on this, and questioning if this was the result of the ‘Little Rock 9’ ‘https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/central-high-school-integration.  The Little Rock 9 in short, refers to 9 black students who enrolled in a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock in 1957.  There enrollment was due in part to the Supreme Court ruling school segregation illegal in 1954.  It is a tremendous story of bravery that you really should take the time to read (see link above).

After my time with Mary, I attended a panel discussion featuring cartoonist who wrote about important political and ethical issues.  I was there primarily to see Trina Robbins; a prolific feminist writer, who I had met at the Authors dinner party the night before.  I had found a natural bond with Trina (also a spitefully, delightful senior) when we realized we were both carrying Wonder Woman purses. (Trina was the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic).  The other panalist were also waving their liberal flags…Erin Nations, a transgender man who bravely writes the comic series Gumballs, which speaks on transgender issues, and MK Czerwiec a nurse, who writes comics for the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 is about her time spent working with HIV patients in the 90’s.     Way to go Little Rock, for bringing in writers (and cartoonist) who are rocking the real word!

After listening to the panelist I headed out to the river walk again, this time to do some work.  I made my way down to the Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands, where I did a bit of earth magic.  Singing/toning to the wildlife and water itself.  If your interested in seeing what I did, go check out my Facebook Live video on my page Sali Crow.  I delighted in seeing the abundance of turtles in the water (I saw at least 50), and the biggest bat-house I have ever seen.  I continued down the river, stopping periodically to sing to the Earth and place crystals here and there (I placed some in other metropolitan areas as well).

All in all, my trip south was a refreshing view of Americans.  Almost all of the local Arkansasians said the same thing “There is a strong current that runs below the surface of most Arkansasians”.  They are in general, or at least the folks I met, more open-minded than I ever imagined, and genuinely interested in meeting people.  The highlights I will keep securely in my mind are those of meeting Russel, and his open-hearted soul, and of Mary taking me on a journey without even blinking an eye.   Thanks for shedding some southern charm on this Northern girl.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

Stories of Spirit…Welcoming Death [the art of the Doula]

Last night at the end of my Sound Meditation class, it came to my awareness that a fellow Reiki Master, friend, and gentle healer had entered into Hospice.  She had fought the good fight with Cancer only to watch it return, this time with death as it’s companion.  The thought crossed my mind of heading straight to her house and catching a ride home later with a friend, but it had been a long day and I opted for riding home with my husband and making a quick dinner.

Waiting on dinner, I checked my Facebook messages and read “You should come sooner than later.  She seems to be holding on,  enjoying time spent with her boys, but her time is close.”

I put down my phone, packed my basket with oils, sage, my drum as well as snacks, water, and coffee.  When death calls, I never know if I will be going for a short visit or a long.  I ate quickly and got in my car, immediately tapping into my dying friend.  Before I was even out of my driveway, I was singing Spirit Song [song of the soul] and could feel the miles between us dissipate.  I was in duel reality…existing both in ordinary reality-driving my car, watching the road & the otherworlda psychic/shamanic state of existence.  In the otherworld, I was sharing space with my friend; as close as if I were sitting by her bedside.  In this state, I could see her life force and recognized that my decision to see her that evening was a good one.  I felt it as an honor and a duty, that death itself was asking me to come recognize such a beautiful soul as she transformed from body to spirit.  Her work as a healer needed to be acknowledged.

When I got to her house, I was touched by the way her family was already showing reverence.  The love in the house was palpable, and there was a somber reverence that spoke of how much they wanted to honor her in her passing.  We spoke for a few moments about creating sacred space when a loved one is passing, and soon they were walking around the house collecting photographs and special items to place on the altar in their mother/friends room.

Creating an Altar for the dying is a beautiful and thoughtful way of calling in the Ancestors to help with the transition between life and death.  I have given directions for creating an Ancestor Altar at the bottom of the article.

As her family gathered pictures and memories, I began to do Reiki on my friend and to sing gently to her.  My song was a continuation of the song I had already been singing to her during the 20-minute ride from my house to hers.  When singing the song of dying, the words are not important, in fact, I seldom sing with words at all.  The song of dying is sung with emotion and reverence for the person awaiting transition and for death itself.  As a Medium, Death is a friend of mine.  I spend much of my life between the veil, communicating with those who have transcended into death.  I have a great respect for death, and can honestly say that I love it.

By loving death, I do not mean that I love pain and suffering.  I mean that I love the act of transition.  Like birth, death is magical, it is more ‘real’ then any other experience we will have in our lives.  When we sit with death we cannot be anything but what we truly are.  We are vulnerable.

Singing to my friend, I began to loosen the strands of life that were sticky; the places she held tight to her body.  I sang and I soothed.  I could feel her life force & was aware that her death would be soon and did not believe she would live another day.  My song was joined by the soft murmurs of the others in the room.  Her children and friends joining in ‘spirit song’, guiding her soul across the veil.  As I held my tones out long, I felt her sliding on the vibration and her breath becoming slower and slower.

Then it was done, my time with her had come to pass.  She would not pass for hours still, but I felt that it was time for me to leave.  I knew she would be gone before long, but that her last hours were for deep quiet and her family alone.

I left her home at the same time as another friend, and we stopped to talk outside the house.  I spoke of how my need to visit; which had been so urgent, felt like administering last rights…kind of like “Hey there, all is well across the veil, safe travels to the Otherworld”.  In such moments, I connect deeply with my ancient self, my priestess self, the tribal shaman, volva-self.  I see this as the holiest of the work I do, for it is never something to plan on, but something that I must do when I feel it’s vibration.  When death asks me to pay a house call, I do so with great reverence for both the dying and the spirit of death alike.

We are changing the way we interact with death, we are remembering the old ways of honoring and reverence.  Families are interacting deeply with the presence of death through hospice, as well as with the art of home funerals and celebrations of life.  We are remembering the sacred and death is becoming a deeper act of healing.  Years of disassociation with death; death behind white curtains, and sterile environments, and funerals without connection to our ancestors put a serious hick-up in our ability to heal and understand death.  That is changing.  Death is an exceptional moment of Spirit.

My friend passed late this morning, and I am happy to know that her spirit is free and she is no longer burdened with a painful body.  I take heart in knowing that one of her dear friends washed and anointed her body with lavender, showing love and kindness in the ceremonial act of preparing her body for death.

Creating an Ancestor Altar for the Dying-

*You will need- a shelf (dresser, portable tray in the hospital, bookshelf, window sill), family photos of living & dead relatives, special treasures (wedding rings, holy items, crystals, etc).

Set the altar up where the dying and the people holding space can see it.  Even if your loved one is unconscious, set the altar up within their personal space.  Invite your ancestors to join you in the room, and to come aid in the passing of your loved one.

My hope is that ‘ancestor honoring’ become a regular part of death and dying.  We need to remember that we are connected on both sides of the veil.  Our Beloved Dead are waiting for us when we cross, and like our living loved ones sit by our side when we are dying, our loved ones in spirit do the same.  One saying goodbye, the other welcoming home.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks…peaceful travels to the spirit world for those who are crossing.

spreading love-salicrow

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Stories of Spirit…Betwixt & Between & the Shared Dream [the ever evolving story of growth]

April in Vermont exist in the Betwixt & Between; it is no longer technically Winter, but looking out one’s window it is hard to consider it Spring.  Snow and mud cover the landscape, the trees are bare with only the occasional buds starting to appear.  On the warm days, sap is running from the Maple Trees, and steam pours out of the local Sugar Houses.  There is a feeling in the air akin to waking from a dream, as people, animals, and spirit begin to emerge from the deep slumber of Winter.

This time of Betwixt & Between, when things are neither one or the other is a magical time when the dreamscape of the mind is rich with ideas.  People begin planning their gardens and dream of sitting with the sun upon their faces. It is a time when I feel the woods calling me the most.  A time when I can feel the Spirits of Nature and the Ancestors energetically humming in a kind of precognitive trance.  This rich state of becoming is fertile ground for planting one’s dreams/intentions.  It is not the same energy as New Years, where we boldly declare our declarations of change…it is instead a time of groundedness and planned growth, a time when we lay the pathways upon which we imagine ourselves guided toward the change we envision.

As a Medium, I am aware that many of my plans, particularly the big-business ones; the ones that are important to my soul’s path, are worked on by more than myself.  They are shared dreams, dreams in which more than one person, and often more than one Spirit are actively taking part in creating.  This April, I have begun weaving the pattern of growth and collectiveness with others in a grand and holistic way.  Working with a blueprint I created with Spirit over 3 years ago, with roots much older than that.

Last fall I stepped up from renting a studio space @ the Grindstone Cafe, in Lyndonville, VT to sharing ownership/management of it.  This happened naturally and organically, and within a few months the cafe was transforming to include a wellness component, and as it evolved the shelves began to fill up with crystals, and cards, lotions, and potions, geomancy tools and more.  The studio I rented became a shared space, with other practitioners, until it reached a point in which I was starting to schedule myself out of a workspace.  I approached my business partner and said that I thought we needed to talk to the landlord about the possibility of renting another room (the building is large and maze-like) and she agreed….the next day Spirit intervened, to assure us that we were on the right path.

The day after our discussion, before my partner could reach out to our landlord, she reached out to us, letting us know that the people who rented the space next door had decided not to renew their lease and that the space next door to our cafe would be available as of June 1st.  You would have to be blind to not see this as a sign from the Universe, especially when I put it in context with the fact that I had envisioned a wellness learning center over 15 years ago when my Spirits told me that it would be so.  At the time I was overwhelmed with the information they gave me and scrambled to imagine how the hell I was going to be able to afford a big brick building…’How the hell was I going to build Hogwarts? (the problem with interpreting the visions of others).

We decided to trust the path that the Universe was presenting to us, and I put out the idea of turning all the small rooms in the next door space (it is currently a tanning salon) into work rooms we could rent out to other holistic healers.  We never had to advertise, people who we felt would be natural fits to our vision just started filling the spaces.  In fact, we had all of our space filled before we ever did a walkthrough of the space next door, something that will make our growth both affordable and comfortable.  After all, one of the things everyone involved agrees upon is the importance of community…

This is an exciting time in so many ways.  For one, I have an outline already…as I had planned on opening a center like this 3 years ago.  I recognize the Wyrd of it, I see how connected to Fate it is.  It is one of the things I have come to recognize as normal when one has the mind of a Psychic.  Often I know things I am supposed to do, right down to the details years before I am actually supposed to do it.  It comes to me in the form of Awen (the spirit of creativity), often consuming my thoughts.  I have notebooks upon notebooks with detailed ideas and designs, my mind fantasizing about it whenever there is space to do so.  I recognize it as being more than a fantasy, I know what I am experiencing to be a connection with Creation and it comes to me in the form of a download.  The downfall is I can often get so wrapped up in the experience of download to the point where I cannot see the timeline.

This particular dream I have is not mine alone, as I said above it is being shared and created with a group of people all of whom have a deep love of community, and want to share in responsibility and celebration of this center together.

In brief…the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center (where I have my studio) will be growing this summer.  In June we will be opening the wall between our current location & the space next door to us.  We will be adding 5 new holistic practitioners to the services already offered by myself and Michele Wildflower of Wildflower ImmunoTherapy.  My current studio space will be emptied out making it even better for the Yoga classes we offer.  We will be extending both our indoor and outdoor seating and retail offerings (holistic and magical goods, hand-crafts & more).  The Cafe offerings will grow to include food (soups/sandwiches/salads),  and light medicinal tonics.  We are excited about this growth, and cannot wait to share it with you.

This blog article started with me wanting to talk about the power of co-creation, and manifestation in the time of dreaming that exists in the Betwixt & Between, it is still such an article.  We are powerful forces of creation, especially when we get out of way and start thinking from the perspective of  ‘What if?’ instead of getting stuck in the reasons why something cannot be.  Our minds and souls are deliciously alive and we are here to be co-creators of our story.  Ask yourself how the story you tell yourself serves you?  If it doesn’t, perhaps it is time to start telling a different story.  Quantum Physics has proven thought matters, it is important to see our dreams, thoughts, and ideas as powerful tools of manifestation, and to remember that is true whether we like the story we are telling or not.

spreading love-salicrow