Stories of Spirit…When Death Comes Suddenly [the unexpected death]

Last week, I was sitting at the bar of the Publik House in East Burke, having my weekly cocktail and burger.  My husband and I try to get out for ‘date night’, weekly.  We are predictable.  We generally eat at the same place, sit at the bar, and I have a tendency to get the same thing (not because I am boring, but because my list of food allergies/intolerances  is quite extensive).

While we were eating, we got on the subject of death and dying, something that may not be common dinner conversation for most, but than again I’m not like most people.  I talk about death a lot!

The conversation was about the act of dying itself.  My husband was talking about how he believed he would eventually die from something like the flu, or some other weird illness.  As he took a drink of his beer, he went on to say that it was probably a better way to die then most…a bit of high-temperature, delirium, and a slow fade into death.  This led to a list of all the less then pleasant ways that people could pass, to which he added massive accident to the top of the list.

In theory, I could understand this belief, as often the bodies of people who die such a fashion, are dramatically damaged, and people who have lost loved ones in such a manner are often scarred by the memory of what happened to their loved ones body.  The belief many live with is that their loved one suffered horrendously.  But in fact, it is often not the case.

One of the things I have learned from the Dead, is that older Spirits; people who have incarnated many time, have a tendency to jump-ship at the moment of impact.  Their previous lifetimes of dying, having prepared them for how to leave the body quickly.  With their death imminent, they do not stick around for the pain, they choose instead to step outside their body, and experience their death from the perspective of the observer.

Time and time again, Spirits I have communicated with; who have passed tragically, will tell me how they stood beside their body, as emergency technicians tended to them.  Some speak of standing vigil with their body until someone found it.  Some speak of being in a coma, watching and waiting as their body went through the act of dying.  They stress the fact that they did not suffer, that they were ejected from their body almost instantaneously on impact, and often talk about the people who were around them; both medical personnel and loved ones.

Years ago, during the Ovate year of my Druid training, I explored my own death.  We did this by doing journey-work/guided meditation to first imagine we had a year to live, then a month, a day, and finally we were sitting at the moment of death.  We were looking to see how we would choose to experience death.  Later during the same weekend, we dug our own graves, and were placed ceremonially into the Earth…sleeping in our graves, we spent the night with whatever emotions came to call.  As powerful of an experience as this was, it was in many ways easy for me, as I have had a deep/personal relationship with death my whole life.

However, about a month or so after the death weekend (sleeping in my grave), I was pulling out of a busy intersection with my son.  He had been trying to listen to his music on the stereo, but for some reason nothing was coming out.  As we pulled out of the intersection, the radio came on, blaring music.  In that moment I was so shocked that my spirit stepped out of my body.  I hovered above myself for a brief moment, long enough to think…”Oh shit!  We were just hit by a car, I must be dead.”  I was not in distress, I simply believed that my death had come for me.  My next thought was “Well, that’s that, I hope Kaolin (my son) is OK”.

Seconds later, I realized I was not dead, and settled back nicely into my body.

That moment has stuck with me for years now, my mind going back to it over and over again, when I meet with families who have lost their loved ones due to tragic accidents.  I know now, that I too would step quickly out of my body, if faced with such tragedy.  Hell, I will most likely jump out of my body if there is too much discomfort, let alone immanent death.

I find that death is often misunderstood, and rightfully so.  We don’t get a rule book, or even much of a way of an agenda.  None of us know when or how we or the ones we love are going to pass.  Death can come for us at any moment.  I suppose that is why people can be so troubled by it.  When left to nothing but our imaginations, the stories we can come up with are vast, and generally a lot worse than reality.  We humans have been living and dying for a long, long time now, and we have learned a thing or two about it, even if we don’t seem to remember the process.  For those who have lost someone tragically, I hope these words can be of some comfort.  Knowing that the ones we love passed in peace, is something we all hope for.

spreading love-salicrow

Advertisements

Stories of Spirit…Turning Down the Volume [healing after death]

As a Medium, I meet a lot of people after they are dead, and in doing so I often get to experience the wisdom they have gleaned after crossing into the world of Spirit.  People/souls do not stop growing and learning when their body stops functioning.  Death is not only a place of rest, but a place of healing and growth.  In death we review the lessons we have learned in life, from the vantage point of the observer.  We not only see our actions played out for us to review, but are able to see how we effected the world around us.  We can shift perspective to bear witness to how those around us loved us, and why those who hurt us, did so.

The idea of spending the afterlife reviewing the events of this life, can be daunting to some people.  If our life is one of pain and struggle the last thing we would ask of Death, would be to watch our life over and over again.  But the universe is kind, and we are not sentenced to review the experience in it’s emotional fullness.

One of the gifts of Death, is that is that the volume level of our emotions is turned down significantly.  

Imagine your emotions could be adjusted, like the volume on a stereo.  One is so low, that you really need to be paying attention to feel at all.  While, ten is so loud that the only thing we can do is experience our emotions.  Most people go through life with their emotional volume set at about 4-5, allowing them to experience things through their emotions, while still focusing on other things.  Some however, have the volume set way above the comfort level; around 7-10, and are forced to go through life with their emotions taking front stage, every moment.   Unfortunately, the volume in which we experience emotions in life is not easily adjusted.

Traumatic events can jar the volume control of our emotions, leaving many of us to walk through life with a concert of emotions distracting us, and overwhelming us.

I hesitate before continuing my writing, wondering if my words could somehow make people see death as a cozy alternative to life.  That people who struggle with their own world; their living existence, may find the idea of their emotions being turned down, an inviting option.  In fact the idea that my words may be misinterpreted almost made me trash this blog article completely.  I am a firm believer that people do their best healing while still alive, and that we have come into this existence to experience and grow.  When we cut our life short, we are often required to experience similar events in our next life, so that our consciousness may expand.  

Death is a place of review.  With the volume turned down, we can experience things that may have escaped us in life.  We become aware of the why of situations.  If we had an abusive parent, we are able to see the situation from their perspective.  Witnessing their struggle, self-hatred, and the abuse that they experienced.  We get the back story on every moment that effected us in life.  With the emotions turned down, we can look at these moments with clarity.  The experience being more like watching a show on television, then living it out as our story.  This perspective often gives people a better understanding of themselves.  They know what they could have done differently, as well as the key moments that triggered damage in their psyche.  This adjusted view of ones life, is more noticeable when a soul has had a while in deaths domain.

Another interesting fact, that should be noted, is that coming in contact with a Medium turns the volume back up again temporarily.  The Medium makes the experience of communication, more real or life like, for the dead.  This is why it is a good idea to give the Spirit a bit of time for healing, if they have died traumatically or by their own actions.  A good Medium will use their guides to intervene, or stand between them and the dead, in these cases.  When I work with Spirits that have experienced trauma in death (from another or themselves), my doorman Adam is a necessity.  He often stands between me and the Spirit, they speak to him, and he passes the message onto me.  This is a simple way of keeping the volume level in tact, for Spirits who are still deeply in their healing process.

The time in between lives, is when our Spirit heals and recaps the lessons of our last life, as well as the lives we have experienced thus far.  In death we become all that we are.  Becoming whole; all that we are,  helps a soul to heal and become more.  For we can add the experiences of the life we just lived to the mix of that which we have already been.  In death we exist as our ‘higher self’, the self that is us with all of its parts.  Every life time lived adds to that which we are, our heartaches and sorrows are just as important as our achievements and loves.

The soul is a complex thing, one that is ever evolving.  We need to be patient with ourselves, and patient with those who suffer in ways that we cannot understand.  Recognizing that people can feel emotions at different degrees of volume, helps us to comprehend how the same situation can effect different people, in dissimilar ways, providing insight in regards to depression and anxiety.

How can we learn to dial down our emotional response while living?

This is a tricky one, and there is no one answer for everyone.  I am not a psychiatrist, and by no means am I suggesting you step out of the care of your counselor, if you have one.  I am simply trying to shed some light onto the subject of emotional volume, as shown to me by the Dead.

Mediation is helpful…  Learning how to center ourselves when the world around us is moving really fast, and our emotions are screaming at us is invaluable.  I prefer to use Sound in my meditation, often focusing on my own voice as I  ‘tone’.  Vocal Toning is the extension of vocal sounds, particularly focused on the sound of vowels, and harmonics.  It is pretty simple and requires no choir skills.  Vowel sounds are considered sacred in many cultures.  Prolonged vocal toning has a peaceful effect on both the energetic and physical body.  (For all you local folks, interested in learning Sound Mediation, I offer a weekly class on Tuesday nights at my studio in Lyndonville, VT).

Whether you feel drawn to sound healing/mediation, or simple breath exercises, mediation is something that works better with practice.  The more often we do it, the more easily we can slip into its gentle, peaceful embrace.

Mantras work...Mantras are simple statements, we repeat in order to create interpersonal change.  They work best if kept to 4-5 words.  When the stress of the world ways heavy on your brain, and your mind is spinning on its personal hamster wheel from hell, simply repeat your mantra 5 or 6 times.  Example…I am at peace with myself.  When you do, you will find your mind pauses, steps away from the hamster wheel for a moment.  The thoughts that haunt you will come back, but again go to your mantra, repeating it over and over again until your mind finds its quiet place.  The more often you handle your mind-fuck with the simple compassion of a mantra, the less often it will come around.

The biggest lesson I have learned from the Dead, is that life is worth living.  When we die, we miss the simple things of life…the taste of our favorite food, the smell of our favorite flowers, the color of the sky, the richness of textures we feel through touch, the embrace of our lovers and friends.  These are the things that come up, over and over again when I connect with the dead, even the ones who suffered in life.

spreading love-salicrow

Sacred Travel…Reflections of Self [California dreaming, part 2…Mount Shasta]

The road is a place of contemplation for me, in which I experience myself from outside the box of everyday reality.  Traveling brings me closer to the essence of ‘I am’, stripped raw of the trappings of comfort and routine.  In many ways travel is essential to my being, as I count on it for deeper understanding of self.  My ancestors were Travelers, Gypsies of the Irish kind…Tinkers, and Pikeys, they spent their lives traveling from one place to another in fancy wagon houses, selling their wares.

I often think about my great-great grandfather; who traveled from Ireland to the United States, leaving his wagon behind for a little house in the hills of Vermont.  I think of him, when I am traveling about the back roads, and highways, of my home and abroad.  I feel a kinship to him, and his kin, a feeling of likeness.  Although, I have lived in the same house for almost 20 years (my husbands doing), I need to go, be and explore, in order to feel whole.  Some of these travels are close by, and some are not.  But no matter the distance, I rely on the travel to show me who I am, and where I am going.

My trip to California was like most of my travels, a spiritual thing.  This journey was different then others in the fact that myself and my fellow travelers agreed that we would be open & guided by Spirit.  We did not allow for wrong turns to enter our mind space.  This did not mean we were never off the planned course, it simply meant a decision was made, that whatever direction we were taken was the right one.  There is something absolutely freeing about such travel, for one it means you avoid the whole pissed off, I’m late mentality.

We decided in the air, flying into L.A., that we would be heading North to Mount Shasta (10.5 hours north), something I do not regret in the least.  As we had arrived in Shasta when I last blogged, it is where I shall pick up.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta (Úytaahkoo or “White Mountain) is a well known Sacred destination.  At an elevation of 14,179 feet, it is an ear-popping drive through a mountain path of deep green.  I was in awe!  The terrain of the mountain path reminded me of the Lord of the Rings, it was magnificent and daunting at the same time, moving me both emotionally, and spiritually.  Driving up the winding mountain road, I knew that I was connecting with something powerful and not completely explainable.  Known for it’s powerful vortexes (spiraling Earth energy centers), and the lava flowing deep in it’s core, it is a force to be acknowledged.

The seclusion, lack of people, and energetic feel of lava running below the surface, were reminiscent of Iceland.  There was something primal about the place, as if the elements were somehow more alive, their presence making up for the lack of human energy.  I love such places!  I love how they expand my consciousness, demanding that I use all of my senses to properly see my surroundings.

We stayed in Shasta for 2 nights, not a whole lot of time, but long enough to know that I will go back someday in the near future.  Our home for the stay was a 1970’s style chalet-style Motel, called the Alpine Lodge.  It was a cute mini-apartment with 3 queen beds and a kitchenette.  the yellow and orange interior was highlighted by a wall mural of trees, which made myself and my traveling companions instantly fall in love.  We love the odd & unusual, and the fact that there was a fantastic coffee shop just across the street, capable of satiating my love of espresso.

On our first night in Shasta we decided we should introduce ourselves to the Spirits of the Place, and did so by journeying in our minds through drumming and vocal toning.  This was a powerful experience for us all, and we found ourselves connecting  individually to different aspects of the mountain.  My sister Sandy found herself within the hollow spaces of the mountain, deep inside one of the caves that open within the mountains peak.  She found herself remembering her previous journey there, almost 10 years ago.  My friend Missy found herself connecting to something that would not make sense until the following day, and I connected to energetic beings made of light.

Now, I understand the idea of ‘light beings’ may make some people feel uncomfortable, and send their mind searching for the safe bounds of known reality. Some may even begin questioning whether the person telling the story is sane,  or has suddenly drank the conspiracy theory Kool-aid.  But once again, I will remind you that you are reading the blog of a person who makes their living talking to the Dead, and frequently goes on about their experiences with Nature Spirits.  In the telling of this tale, I am as always deeply centered in my reality.

Connecting with extra-terrestrial/extra-dimensional beings is not an uncommon conversation, when discussing Mount Shasta.  Look it up on line, and you will find many, many, many tales of encounters with such beings.  The other thing you will find is stories of Big Foot, and unexplained beings in the woods.  You may want to believe that all of the people telling the tales are a bit looney, but then again, you may want to ask yourself whether you truly believe we are the only sentient beings in the Universe.

My experience as I said, is my reality, and I experienced a channeling with multiple (I believe 3) light beings.  This was something I did aloud, similarly to how I speak with the Spirits of the Dead.  My sister Sandy asked most of the questions, as I worked as translator for those choosing to make contact with us.  The message we received was around the importance of sound and light, in particularly when it came to healing the planet and land.  Now they were not suggesting that we just say fuck it, and be gluttonous pigs,  wasting precious resources, without a care in the world, because hey all we need to do is sing and spread some light around.  They were instead speaking of how sound, in particular, effects the living world.  This was something I immediately felt as truth, as I have been working as a Sound Healer for the last 15 years, and spend a whole lot of time singing the sacred songs of place.

They spoke of how they, like the beings of Nature were deeply concerned for our world and species in this time of great transition, how we needed to become more aware of the living world around us, and step fully into the sacredness of life.  The visitation was brief, lasting about 20 minutes, but in that time, I felt as if I had received a lot of information in a short period of time, like a computer downloading files, and that it would be quite some time, before I had fully acclimated the knowledge they shared.

The next day when we woke, it was obvious that Missy was not completely balanced.  Sandy and I noticed that she was off, when she came stumbling out of the bedroom, grunting and grumbling like a bear just out of hibernation.  We asked if she was OK, and she explained that she was not sure what was going on, but felt like she had been connecting to something all night long.

Just after doing some sound healing @ the Crystal Matrix shop in Shasta.

That morning after breakfast we headed into town, to check out a Crystal shop that had caught Sandy and Missy’s eye the night before, when they had gone searching for groceries.  The shop ‘The Crystal Matrix Gallery’ was filled with wonders, as it quickly became apparent that most of the crystals were awake, and many of them seemed to be sentient, or carrying a connection to other beings.  The shop owner had worked with Crystals for over 30 years, and was clearly making a living selling crystals because he had to, it was his life’s work.  By that I mean, he felt a love for the Crystals and the beings connected to them, he was a steward of the rock people, a keeper and handler of the mineral kind.

The Dragonstone

Within moments of being in the store, the first crystal of our journey had been found.  A double terminated amber colored, smokey quartz, with a whole lot of activity going on inside of it.  It was a powerful piece, and we all felt it was connected to the Earth Healing work we had been called to California to do.  The second piece was more personal, and explained the odd behavior and imbalance Missy had been displaying all morning.  It was a dark opaque stone, that fit comfortably in ones palm.  It was covered in markings that looked like ancient writing, only the markings had not been made by man.  The stone appeared to be a form of tektite (molten debris from meteorites), but there was definitely a presence connected to it.  It was said to be the thymus gland of a dragon.  Now here again, I know this sounds woo-woo, and hokey, but whether you believe it was the actual gland of a being, or simply a stone, it held tremendous presence, and a hefty price tag. 

My view on Dragons goes the same way as as all otherworldly beings.  There is something at the base of all the folk lore, it may not be as grand or magical as the stories have portrayed it, but life seldom is.  The other piece I would add here, is the mummified dinosaur found in Canada,pretty much in tact, certainly does resemble our fictitious imagery of dragons.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/

What was most remarkable was the way in which Missy and the stone connected to one another.  The spirit residing in the stone, and Missy’s aura both extended outward, as if reaching for one another.  No matter the price tag, it was obvious she would not be leaving the store without the stone.

We left the store, with both the amber-colored, smokey quartz, and the dragon stone, as well as a few smaller stones I felt compelled to purchase.  I was amazed at how many of the stones in this particular shop were connected to beings.  This does not mean the beings were trapped in the stones, simply that the stones were an access point for connection.  I have a handful of sentient stones in my possession, some of them holding the essence of the stone itself, and some holding connection to other beings; working like a walky-talky to the other world.

After our experience with the stones in the Crystal Matrix, we headed out for a day trip to Paradise, CA to visit our father’s best friend.  This was not an option, this was something my Dad had been actively working on, the entire trip so far.  It was important, as we had not had a chance to connect with Mark, since my fathers passing 4 years ago.  It was a healing time for him and us, as we spent the day reminsicing; telling stories of the wild and crazy antics of my father & his best friend/soul mate Mark.

The trip to Paradise was not particularly remarkable in a spiritual way, but the trip back most certainly was.  After leaving Marks home, and heading back to Shasta I noticed a Sun Dog in the sky.  A Sun Dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to the left and/or right of the Sun.  Sun Dogs are rare, and most often you see only bright spot, either to the left or right of the sun.  I have seen them before, and know that symbolically they are a sign that big change is near.  It is seen as a blessing or a sign that luck is with you in such times.  The Sun Dog we saw coming back from Paradise was remarkable in more than one way.  Firstly, it was a complete circle around the sun, with bright sun spots to the left, right, and above the sun, and a rainbow outline encompassing it.  Secondly, it was remarkable in the amount of time that it lasted.  We watched, filmed, and photographed the Sun Dog for 53 minutes.  It was breath taking, and energetically one could not help but feel as if we were being charged by it.  The experience was so phenomenal that we were soon pulling out our crystals; particularly the amber-colored, smokey quartz that had already made it obvious to us, that it was solar powered.

We arrived home (at the Alpine Lodge) late that evening, feeling as if we had been through some kind of attunement.  Both to the Crystals we had purchased, and the Sun Dog in the sky.  We remarked at the other amazing things we had seen on our way back to Shasta; such as the strange cloud formations over the mountain itself.

The next day we began our day, at the same coffee shop (Seven Sun’s Cafe), and then headed back to the Crystal Matrix for some Sound Healing.  We knew we needed to do sound work in Shasta, and also knew it would happen in multiple places.  The first; the crystal shop, was truly amazing.  The owner had an ancient singing bowl, that had been attuned to the energy of Sekemet (an Egyptian Goddess), and I was eager to combine my voice with its.  The toning there was amazing, as we were surrounded by high-energy crystals, at the base of the summit to Mount Shasta.  This experience was only the first of 3 major sound spots that day.

Water blessings for the new stones…lots of water Spirits in the headwaters of the Sacremento.

Annointing my third-eye, with the water of the Sacramento Headwaters.

The second stop, was the headwaters of the Upper Sacremento River, where the Undines (water Spirits) are remarkably present.  I sang to them, as I submerged stone after stone, into the icy waters.  The headwaters come from deep within Mount Shasta itself, each drop charged by the volcanic and vortex energy of the place.  The crystal clear water, travels from the glacial peaks, through underground lava tubes, before exiting into the light of day. The location of  headwaters is easily accessed, as it is part of a city park, that anyone can go to without charge.

The third stop, was the mountain itself.  We drove our car as far up the mountain road as we could…which was still quite a ways from the summit.  We stopped when the snow prohibited us from traveling any further, the road blocked by over 6 feet of snow.   At this point we turned around, and headed back a short distance; away from the crazy hikers/climbers, where we could sit with the silence of the mountain and sing the soul song of the land.

80 degrees, and 6 feet of snow, this is roads end for Mount Shasta until mid summer.

Elevation 6950′, as high as we could go in our sandals and flip flops.

This last stop, the one nearly to the top of the mountain, was humbling and awe inspiring.  When you sing the song of the land, you are not simply harmonizing…you are connecting/channeling the voice of the land itself, the Spirit of Place/Genius Locus, reverberates through you, filling you with the essence that is the place.  Mount Shasta is a powerful healer, one that I know will call me back, again & again; like Glastonbury Tor, and the Western Shores of Ireland, it holds a connection to my being.  In our brief meeting, we became family.  The Spirit of Place that is Shasta, is kindred to me…we belong!

I hope you enjoyed the read, that it pushed on the corners of your personal reality, and made you think on the world differently.  We are living in changing times, and many of the things we believed impossible are now proving us wrong.  I do not claim to know the secrets of the Universe, but I do believe there are wonders yet to be experienced in the greater world and in our own back yards.  When we approach the planet as a sentient being, and give ourselves over to the unknown, we expand our consciousness and become more.  Travel for me is a vessel of such change, but the magic of travel can come onto you whether you have traveled thousands of miles, or only a few blocks.

spreading love-salicrow