Stories of Spirit…A Dragon’s Dance with Death [honoring Ivan McBeth]

sacredgraveI believe in the Sacredness of Death, I believe in the tremendous power it has to transform lives, I believe it is beautiful and raw; exposing us to the deepest parts of ourselves, the parts that are tender and juicy, filled with emotion and life.  My most sacred work, the work I am honored to participate in, is that of helping others Cross the Veil into Death.  I love to stand present in Death, to witness it’s power and to help others feel it’s beauty.  As a Medium, I know that we are far more then these bodies we live in.  We are eternal, grand and, and expansive.  This weekend, I was given the honor of working with my Druid Teacher & Friend, Ivan McBeth, as he made his grand exit from physical form to that of Spirit!

ivanwavingMy phone rang early Friday morning, 8:30 to be exact.  It was one of my Druid Sisters, calling to let me know that she had received a phone call from a member of her town; telling her that Ivan was dead.  The early call had already triggered me intuitively, that something was wrong, and the information in her call did not surprise me; for I had spent the last few weeks with Ivan, traveling around England and Wales, and taking photos and video of the Stone Circle he erected at Blissful Dragon Farm (Waterford, VT).  As my Druid Sister lived close to Ivan & his wife Fearn, she said she would run up to their home and find out the truth of the matter, and would call me shortly to let me know.  After ending the call with her, I promptly called me sister Sandy; telling her to take a shower and pack her bag, that Ivan had just passed.  I then hopped in the shower myself, and found Ivan with my mind…or perhaps he found me, for he was incredibly happy to be out of this body and exclaimed “Yippee!” loud and clear.  He contacted me 3 other times while I was getting ready to leave.  Twice showing me the picture of a grave covered in ivy (see below), a picture I had taken in Sancreed, Cornwall, UK.  He did not show me these images in my mind, but instead he pulled the picture up on my phone.  The picture was not selected in my photos, or even near the last of the photos taken, and I had not been using my phone; it simply popped up like someone had just sent me a text.  The last bit of contact Ivan gave me before I walked out my door, was through social media.  Our mutual friend Orion, commented on a picture I had taken of the two of them together (see above); in the picture Ivan was waving, when this picture and comment popped up on my Facebook screen, I could see clearly that he was waving good-bye.  With all this contact, I could feel Ivan spurring me on, wanting me to go to his home, his  land, and his love; his wife Fearn.

ivygraveBy the time we were within 15 miles of Dreamland; Ivan’s home, both Sandy and I could feel him.  By saying we could feel him, I mean that there was a precise point in which it felt like we had crossed into his energetic field.  His energetic field or aura, was so expanded; that it was filling a 15 mile radius.  I have found most Auras to be spherical, radiating out from a center point; which in this case would be Ivan’s body, so I am pretty sure he could have been felt for 15 miles in any direction of his home.  When we arrived at Dreamland, his wife was giving her love and tears to him and being consoled by the women of the community.  You see in true Ivan style, he went out with a flourish and a true lesson to teach; for they were hosting a magical weekend at Dreamland, one in which 30 guest were attending.  Most of the guest had arrived the night before, and were present as he passed.  There was a warm fire burning in the Stone Circle below the house, with people huddled together around it; beginning their process with the Spirit of Death.

northstoneI truly believe that Death is in itself a presence; a spirit and force, that effects all that it touches.  When Death comes into our lives, it’s touch and transforms us, something that it does every time it visits.  Each brush with Death holds it’s own mysteries and lessons, and I am so deeply fond of it.  I know that sounds strange, but when you live in a world that is filled with Spirits, Death is no longer an enemy to fear; but instead a great teacher.  Don’t get me wrong, I deeply mourn the absence of my friends and family when they leave physical form.  But sometimes, this transformation allows them to regain their power; power that may have been sapped by age and illness.  When I see those I love leave a life of pain, and slow loss of self; I rejoice for them, for I know that they will be happier and generally more helpful in the world of Spirit.  I experienced  this when my Father died, and when my dear friend Briga crossed the veil last year.  They had both reached a point in their physical existence in which Death was a comfort.

ivantor

Ivan @ Glastonbury Tor Photo Karen Maxon

Ivan was not a man who feared Death; he had faced it (literally) many times in his life, and it was a deep part of his Spiritual practice and teachings.  When I trained with him as a Druid, we spent an entire weekend exploring Death.  We thought about it, wrote about it, did journey work in which we explored our unavoidable end, as it approached…one year, one month, one day!  Later after the visionary work was done, we slept in graves we had dug with our own hands (ok, I got help…most people who know me, know I don’t do manual labor,  LOL).  Our graves were lightly lined with blankets and we were allowed light covering to endure the night outside.  We were placed in our graves by Ivan; who carried us as we lay limp.  This symbolic Death, and the night lying within the land, gave a deeper perspective of the gift that life is.  It was one of the most important teachings Ivan carried; that a close relationship with ones Death, helps us to appreciate the life we have, and allows us to dance through it fully alive.

 

Like all things ‘Ivan’, his death was not a small affair, in fact it was large and in charge.  He spent the last month of his life seeing the places he loved most dearly, building a final Stone Circle, and at last using his Death as a powerful teacher.  I was fortunate, and got to take part in many of these last adventures; and  was among the 21 pilgrims who traveled to England & Wales on a magical adventure to sacred spaces, just weeks before he passed; a trip Ivan created.

 

ivannavern

Ivan with the Bleeding Yew in Navern, Wales

Making merry

Making merry

friends old and dear

friends old and dear

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Upon returning to the States, Ivan didn’t miss a beat…he was off to build what would become his final Stone Circle, ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’ circle @ Blissful Dragon Farm.  I went down often in the building of the circle, taking photos and video footage; as Blissful Dragon Farm belongs to my sister Sandy and her friend Melissa.  I was shocked at how full of life and energy Ivan seemed when working on the circle.  I knew his health was failing, but seeing him do what he loved most, brought out the sparkle in his eye.  He was passionate, and driven, and spoke often about how he felt it would be his last circle.  In the world of Stone Circles, Ivan was a master…creating 28 circles in his life time, circles with precise alignments to stars, places, dates and times.  He was truly gifted in this, and I believe it above all things was his greatest offering to the world; as the temples he built will far outlive his  memory.  I like to think though, that for the person who seeks they will feel a bit of his essence, when sitting in the temples of his creation.

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon's Teeth stone circle

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon’s Teeth stone circle

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon's Teeth Farm

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon’s Teeth Farm

After leaving Blissful Dragon farm, Ivan headed home to a weekend of Druid training, and preparation for ‘Weaving Wild Wisdom’; a magical weekend, that turned into Ivan’s last teaching.  30 people gathered to experience a weekend of deep magic, what they didn’t know was how deep it truly would be.  I had not planned on attending the weekend, but kept being pulled to it.  Now I know why, for I was there in attendance, even if not in the way one might have imagined.

salisandysacredMy sister Sandy and I often consider ourselves servants of Death; for we are spontaneously called several times e a year, to stand witness and give aid to the act of dying.  In Ivan’s case, the death bit he did just fine and we were there instead to help prepare and honor his body.  I find this to be the holiest of holy work.  I cannot imagine anything so important as Death.  Cleaning and anointing the body of one who has passed, brings me through the veil of time; to all the times I have preformed this act, life time after life time.  I am simultaneously standing in the present and in the many doorways of time that I have done such things.  With Ivan there was the added gift of a community gathered to hold space, the participants of the weekend were truly standing in their wisdom and able to see the gift he offered up to them.  Some stood guard by his body; giving honor in the old ways of mourning, some kept the fires going and the incense burning, some made soup and offered comfort to those who cried, some shed tears to mourn the passing of a great man, and some ran about taking care of the necessities; such as building a coffin, obtaining an undertaker and other such practical bits.

My life was changed by this man, who I am honored to call a friend and mentor.  He taught me that fear was a gift which held deep power, when looked at head on.  He guided me as I walked on fire, carried me to my metaphorical grave, and introduced me to Stone Circles.  He was ever a magical child, and I have no doubt that he is dancing ecstatically with the Spirits that be.  I also know, having spoken to him more then once since his passing that he should be ready to work in 2 weeks (his words, not mine).  Hail and Farewell my friend!

 

2012 @ Dreamland...

2012 @ Dreamland…

All Hail, Ivan McBeth!

spreading love-salicrow

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Stories of Spirit…A Dragon’s Dance with Death [honoring Ivan McBeth]

  1. grahamegardner says:

    A poignant and darkly beautiful eulogy Sali. Thanks for being there for those of us who couldn’t.

  2. Simone says:

    Thank you for sharing your deep heartfelt experience with Ivan. You really touched me with your words and images like I was there.

  3. Thank you. This has helped me so much, your words and the pictures. I knew something magical was happening at Dreamland, but I had no idea of the depth of it. So fitting and so very beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Thank you Sali, thank you Ivan! I am honoured to glimpse what you witnessed, with what beauty and love he departed this physical body. So poignant full of deep magic as ever xxx

  5. Bill Nash says:

    This was my first very very unclose encounter with death (1 hour of CPR to start). What a profound experience, and you summed it up well here.

  6. debee007 says:

    Thank you Sali for sharing your brilliant words of wisdom… it has melted my sadness and warmed my heart. Lots of love to you, Ivan and Fearn!!! Awen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s