Stories of Spirit…Tea with Grandma (honoring the Dead)

Awhile back, I met with a family who’s matriarch was a fun, sassy, and organized gal, who also happened to be dead.  She did not let this stop her from being in charge, and took it upon herself to introduce most of the other Spirits who had come to the gathering.  Her living family was not at all surprised by this behavior, as she had been known as ‘Little Mother’ since she was a child.

The living family members who had brought me to the house, were laughing and enjoying themselves as stories were shared by their relatives in Spirit.  At one point, one of the guest became concerned that their laughter may be seen as disrespectful to their Beloved Dead and asked if this was so.  My answer was a resounding “No, not at all”.

When Spirits come to communicate with their living; through the aid of a Medium, they know that their time is limited, and they want to make the most of it.  Although it is natural to cry at such events, the Dead do not want us to remember them through tears alone.  Laughter is the heart-balm of life, and it is a great way of showing honor to those we love, who have crossed into Spirit.  When we open ourselves to the experience of Spirit Communication, we often find that it is in essence a visit with those we hold dear, and like all reunions it is filled with powerful emotions of all kinds.

Many years ago, my sister Sandy did a Psychic Reading for me; long before I started doing Mediumship professionally.  I was young and looking for direction with the various businesses I had at the time (clothing company, store, & bar).  My sister looked puzzled at first, then told me that I she didn’t see me doing any of it in 10 years, and that what she did see was unusual.  She said she saw me sitting around a kitchen table talking to the Dead, like some kind of tea party or something.

I was already working as a Psychic doing Readings for people out of my store, but at that point I was not interested in talking to the Dead for other people.  I saw it as something that I experienced for myself, something far too emotional for me to want to do it, for the public.  I saw Dead people, and chose to speak to them on occasion, but it was not yet part of my everyday life, and I was certainly not yet ready to share it with the world.

This memory came back to me, as I sat around the kitchen table, with the family of the Spirit who was nicknamed “Little Mother”, I thought of my sisters Reading.  I saw the living and the dead gathered around the table with me, and I realized that her prediction had come true, and that this was how it should be.  A gathering of people who love one another, laughing and crying, drinking tea and shooting the shit.  So what if some of the people were dead.  They were all there, fully present, enjoying each others company.  I felt a deep sense of purpose and gratitude for my life, knowing that this was what healing looked like.

When we loose someone we love dearly to death, the scarring is often overwhelming.  We can find ourselves trapped in the most painful of memories, and often unable to remember the laughter, joy, and silliness that made up the persons life.  We forget what is like to sit with them around the family table, how bossy they could be, or the weird behaviors that make them who they are.

Our Beloved Dead (family, friends, ancestors, and guides) want us to remember them for who they were, they want to be connected to us through laughter, and story telling, through songs they sang, slang they used, and recipes they made.  They miss being with us in the flesh, they miss family BBQ’s and goofy antics, they miss their favorite foods, and the smell of campfires, they miss the way they were when they were alive.  Those are the things they want us to remember them by.  They do not want to be remembered by their death alone.  They do not want to their story to be solely of cancer, car accident, old age, dementia, or heart attack.  Death is the ending of the story, it is not the story itself.

When we seek to connect with our Beloved Dead, when we find ourselves missing them, it is important to remember who they were in life.  To remember their story, who they were when they were truly living.  In this remembrance we give them honor.  We give life to their story, and we all begin to heal.

Here are a few simple ways to give honor to your Beloved Dead…

*tell stories of their life  *cook or eat their favorite foods, while thinking of them  *set up a family altar at important family gatherings, add pictures, and mementos that make you think of them  *sing their favorite songs  *visit their favorite places & spend time thinking of them  *talk to them out-loud (Spirits can see & hear us much better than we can them) 

Think of how you would like to be remembered, when you die.  Do you want your family and friends to remember you with tears alone?  Or do you want to be remembered for your life, for the things that truly make you-you?

When the only emotions we choose to embrace death with is sorrow, we loose so much of that which made the person we mourn special.  We need to open our hearts and truly remember them.

Me…I expect to be remembered by funky socks, coffee, and my adventurous spirit.  I would feel sad to think that my passing brought only tears.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks.  Now think of how you can honor and remember those you love who have passed.  How can you heal your heart, and connect more deeply with your Beloved Dead?

spreading love-salicrow

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Beltaine [celebrating with Spirits of Nature]

Today is Beltaine…a day when the Fairies walk among us.  A day that is Betwixt & Between, standing half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.  It is a powerful day, like Samhain/Halloween, when the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest.  A day when our Beloved Dead and the Spirits of Nature are strongly present in our world.

In my little corner of the Universe, the day is wet.   The sky has opened up, and the rain is coming down in buckets.  In many ways the nature of the day is contrary to what one would expect, of hope for on Beltaine.

Beltaine is one of the 8 holidays that make up the Celtic Wheel of the year.  It is a celebration of all that is fertile, and newly awoken; of passion, play, and wild abandonment.  Traditionally it is a time in which the land is blessed, in hopes of a bountiful harvest.  A time of flowered wreathes and brightly colored frocks, a time of revelry.  In modern times this blessing of fertility that is most potently known as the Maying, has expanded to include all of our creative endevours, that our way will be fruitful and sacred.  As the veil between the worlds is particularly thin during May Day (Beltaine), it is also a time in which we give thanks to the “others”, the unseen being who share this planet with us, the Fae Folk.  

Astronomers have proposed that solid matter makes up only 5% of the Universe.  That leaves 95% unaccounted for.  In my opinion, this is a good argument for believing in unseen beings…the Spirits of the Dead, and that of Nature alike.  Beyond opinion, I have personally had experiences with many of these beings, Ancestral Dead and Nature Beings alike.

Beltaine with some of my most loved Druid companions, a few years back.

I have celebrated Beltaine since I was in my early 20’s, when I found my way back to the holidays and connections of my Ancestors, and began living my life within the cycle of nature, known as the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  My Ancestors, that which I came from, have always lived close to the Earth, and in doing so given honor and thanks, to the Planet itself.  The 8 holidays that make up the Wheel, remind me of the changes my beloved Gaia is going through, and help me to stay in sync with her rhythms.   In doing so, I feel that my life is richer and more balanced.

Like most things in modern times the celebration of such holidays is done loosely around the date that they fall on.  As today is a Monday, my celebration today, will be simple and homey.  I have set out honey water for the Fae Folk on one of my outdoor altars, as an offering, and left out a glass to fill with rain water.  Traditionally the water collected on May Day would be dew, collected from leaves, under the early morning sun.  As the day is wet, with a heavy layer of fog, and intermittent downpours, I decided that I would collect the rain water instead.

Collecting dew (or rainwater) on May Day is an old Folk tradition, the water is said to bring luck, beauty and good health, particularly if one washes their face with it.  I myself will use my collected “May Rain”, by anointing my Third-eye, and Crown Chakras with it, as long as it last.

Mother Goose Rhyme about collecting Dew on May Day…

“The Fair Maid, who on the first of May, goes to the fields at the break of day, and washes of the dew of a Hawthorn tree, will ever after handsome be!”

Maypole

Another Beltaine tradition is the May Pole.  Dancing the May, is simply the act of weaving colored ribbons around a large pole.  It is simple and playful, but laden in old-school fertility magic.  The pole being very phallic like representing the God or masculine aspects of Nature, and the hole that it is planted in, representing the female/Yoni.  The dance was traditionally done as part of the blessing of the land, but it had personal effects as well, and often those seeking to become fertile in their personal lives would/do dance.  As I have said earlier, in modern times this fertility has expanded to include many aspects of creativity, but in the olden days it was mostly about the fertility of livestock, land and personal womb.

This year I will not be dancing the Pole, nor will I be attending a large May Day celebration.  Instead I will be boarding a plane this Friday and heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where my sister and I will be teaching a weekend intensive on Earth Magic.  And though I will miss the ribbons, and drums of the greater circle, I am delighted to be bringing the magic of nature, and the Fae Folks to those who are seeking it.  We will sit around a fire, and enter deeply into the space of Betwixt and Between, and we will seek communion with the beings of Nature, as we walk through the trails that surround Lake Michigan.

Here is a simple bit of goodness, for those of you seeking to connect with Nature and bring the blessings of fertility into your lives this the First of May.  If you cannot do this on May 1st, due to timing or lack of rain, do it the first day of May that you can.

Rainy day Beltaine altar. The stick inside the blue glass holds a branch of thorns from the Blackthorn tree @ Madron’s well, in Cornwall, UK. The golden glass holds the honey water, my offering to the Fae Folk.

You will need… 2 glasses (preferably the most sacred, or prettiest you have), honey,  a bit of hawthorn if you have it

*In one cup…add 2 tablespoons of honey to a 1/2 cup of warm water (this is your offering for the Fae Folk)

*Leave the second cup empty (this is for collecting rain water)

*Place your bit of Hawthorn in the empty cup, so that the rain water may run down it, into your glass

LEAVE THE GLASSES OUTSIDE on an altar, or upon a large rock, over night.  Give the glass time to fill with rain water.  The honey water left out for the Fae Folk will most likely still be there the following morning.  This is because they absorb the energy of the offering, not the actual physical material.  Dump the honey water, onto the ground, when you collect your May rain water the next day.

*Place your index finger and middle finger into the rain water and anoint your Heart (middle of the chest), Throat, Third Eye (between your eye brows/middle of the forehead), and your Crown (top of the head).  These four Chakras are connected to communication and Psychic Knowing.

Make sure to verbally thank the Spirits of Nature, and the Earth itself for this offering.

*place the remainder of the May water in a glass canning jar, or bottle, and label it.  Anoint your heart, throat, third eye, and crown, every morning as you start your day, until the bottle is empty.

This little spell is helpful for opening our consciousness to the unseen world, and giving the blessing of fertility to all of our creative endeavors.  Remember (before you get caught up in the word) that a spell, is simply a potent prayer.  It is intention with action.

I hope you have enjoyed the read Folks, and that you have a beautiful Beltaine, and a Spirited May!

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…the Sorrow of One [mourning alone]

As a Medium; I have encountered death in many, many ways.  My first brush with death occurred when I was 3 months old, and my father’s, mother passed.  This event, was something, that showed others in my family; particularly, Grammy Brown, that I was able to see/perceive Spirits.  Since that moment, death has been a constant companion of mine.  I have had many personal losses, and have stood witness/messenger, to countless numbers of others.  There is no ‘one-way’ to experience the loss of death, for it is a multi-faceted, and generally requires us to experience it’s power over and over again; sometimes through deep sadness, sometimes through rage, sometimes through an emptiness that would challenge the vastness of space.  One thing that remains constant when it comes to death is that we all mourn alone.

No matter how much we share love of someone with another, the feeling of loss created by death is a lonely thing.  It is something that demands privacy, taking up long hours, in our mind.  It is something that shows up when we are having a great time, reminding us that something is missing, often asking us “How can you be so happy, when your Beloved Dead is not here to join you?” It speaks loudest to us when we are feeling vulnerable, or doubting ourselves, telling us that we will never find happiness again, without our beloved.  The closer we were to the death, the harder and longer it sits with us.  When enough time has gone by, and others see that we should be done mourning, death requires us to hide our sorrow, “move-on” the outside world says, but death whispers quietly in our ears “stay, don’t forget how important they were to you”.

There is no easy answer here.  I cannot bestow words of wisdom upon you, that will take away your sorrow, like the brush of a magic wand.  But I can tell you that communication helps.  Not just Spirit Communication, although in truth communication with your Beloved Dead, is one of the most powerful healing tools I know of, as it gives us the proof that they are not truly gone, but simply existing in another realm.  But not everybody is open or has the ability to make connection with their dead, so that is why good old fashioned talking about it is helpful.  Friends, counselors, and support groups help us to make peace with the sorrow of our loss, even when the others we speak to cannot fully understand our pain.  The act of sharing it, helps us to move it from the hidden realms of our mind, into the light of day where it can be cared for.

This advice is particularly important for those who have experienced a deep loss, such as that of a lover, child, or parent.  When we loose the ones we hold most dear, their death will become a constant companion of ours.  It will attend us in our every day life, and go with us to special events.  It will come around heavily, laden with emotion on the anniversary dates of their loss, and their birthdays, and anniversaries.  It will show up, when a song comes on the radio, or a childhood toy reminds us of them, when the weather is just so, and when we wake slowly from a dream in which they have come to visit.  For those most heavily hit by the loss of a loved one, death will return again, and again, and again.

So what can we do in those overwhelming moments?  What can we do to ease our pain, and find peace?

First of all we must remember we are human, and innately flawed.  We need to be patient with ourselves, and practice the art of  ‘speaking vulnerably’, which simply means talking when you feel weak.  Not everyone can do this, in fact most people stop talking about their loss, thinking that others will perceive that they should be over it by now.  It is my belief that people are generally kind.  That if we tell them we are having a hard day, and that death is speaking very loudly to us today, that we are in a deep space of mourning, they will understand, and most often seek to give us support.  The problem is, that most of us do not do this when we are feeling vulnerable, instead we batten down the hatches and prepare to ride out the storm.  In doing so, we often act in ways that are not really pleasant to ourselves or others.  We may even find ourselves lashing out, again at ourselves and others, and when it is done, we feel like an asshole, but lack the means to explain our actions.

Secondly, I recommend setting up sacred space for our Beloved Dead.  A simple shelf can be turned into an altar or shrine, with just a few items and some attention.  Place a picture of your loved one, who has crossed over, on the shelf, as well as any mementos that remind you of them.  Light a candle, and sit with them for a bit.  Even if you do not sense them, know that they are beside you.  For as a Medium, I know that our loved ones in Spirit are reaching out, trying to help us heal…even when we perceive them as having moved on, there is a part of their essence that stays connected to the ones they love.

We all mourn alone, and some of us do that more truly then others…This is most true for people who pull themselves away from the world of the living, identifying their loss as the story of their life.  It is also true for those who have loved in secret, been the other woman/man, or who have had a relationship that was hidden from the real world.  The loss in these cases can be overwhelming, and again…my answer is talk about it.  Find a friend who understands, or a counselor/healer who gets you.  But do not suffer with your loss alone.

I hope you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it, as I believe it is a message that needs to be heard, again, and again, and again.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Healing the Spirit of the United States [sending love to the Genius Locus]

winterwonderwomanI do not Hate!  I do not hate those who’s opinions differ from mine, nor do I hate the ‘Haters’ of the world, for hate is a self destructive energy.  To hate another I need to extend my energy in a hostile manner.  To hate I must spend my time focused on that which I do not want in my life.

This does not mean I turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world, it simply means that I will not approach them with malice and spite.  No venom drips from my teeth, and no insult gains way on my tongue.  When those feeling rise to the surface of my mind, I breathe deep and remember that even the shadow has it’s purpose.

I went to the Women’s March of Unity in Montpelier, VT yesterday dressed as a Vermont Wonder Woman; hats, sweaters, and practical boots included.  I did this because I felt it was important to stand for love, justice, and equality.  I also felt it was important to represent America in my actions.

I believe patriotism matters, and I believe in the spirit of Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman represents ideals that I value, and has always been my favorite heroine.  She is strong, focused, and has great integrity.  She does not turn her eyes away from trouble, but faces it head on.  She carries herself with such balance, that she never mistakes justice for vengeance.  Nor is she unforgiving, and she is never mean.  Wonder Woman stands for justice, and believes in her country.

I believe patriotism matters…My father was a Vietnam Vet.  His service and dedication to his country, not only effected his life, but the lives of all he touched.  He was proud to be an American, even though the country he loved so much, showed him malice and hatred when he was most in need of comfort.  He faced his fellow Americans who thought him a baby killer, and he chose not to hate.  He did not Hate his country, he loved his country.  I will not say he never experienced anger, for he certainly did.  But he did not turn his back and hate the country he called home.

I was raised with a deep Patriotism.  One that carries with it an understanding that I will never have the same views as everyone in the country.  That we will disagree over and over, and over again.  But that these differences are not with my country itself.

As a Druid, I believe that all things have Spirit.  As a Psychic Medium, I am fortunate enough to communicate, see, and experience these spirits.  They are not exactly like the Spirits of the Dead, but they are real all the same.  Druids refer to the Spirit of Place as the Genius Locus.  It is the energy that encompasses a place, holding the essence of it’s being.  I remember this every time I stand in support.

I remember the Genius Locus of the United States.

When my father died he began pushing on me his strong Patriotic values, and he did this by utilizing my love of Wonder Woman.  He started with clothing.  He really loved wearing red, white & blue himself, and he wanted me to.  He would say this to me over and over again, and I finally gave in when he said “Wonder Woman loved red, white, and blue Sali”.  I added a bit of black, but I gave in.  He has been dead 4 years now, and my love of Wonder Woman clothes is still going strong.

It’s about more than a costume though.  I really believe we have to start supporting the Spirit of the United States, the Genius Locus of our country. We need to start sending love to the Spirit of America itself.  Not to their version of America, or our version of America, but to the Spirit of the country itself.  If we start sending love and healing to the Spirit of our country, perhaps what is best will naturally appear.

I do not say this in a sparkle, love & light, only good thoughts version of reality.  I say this with the strength and justice of Wonder Woman.  I mean really send out some healing love to the Spirit of our country.  Remind her that she was is growing, healing, and a creative force.  She can choose between love or hate.  Show her that we trust in her.  This is something we can do, no matter what side we believe we stand on.

We all want LOVE in our lives, safety, security, and justice.  We may have different ideas on how that is reached, but we all want it.  Growth requires trust, we need to trust in a higher power, and send as much love to the situation as we possibly can.

Genius Locus (the Spirit of place), is not limited to the country.  There are natural forces, and land spirits that watch over States, towns, waterways, and homes.  

Often when people are struggling to sell their homes, they come to me asking for advice.  I always tell them to communicate with the Spirit of the house directly.  To tell the Genius Locus how much you have appreciated it, listing the wonderful ways your home has supported you.  Then to explain that you must move on, and ask the Spirit for help finding the right people for it.  You can explain what you would like to see for the house.

This technique is truly helpful.  After all we all sense the energy of buildings and spaces.  Take a minute to think about it, and you recognize that you feel good in some places, and uncomfortable in others.  This is due to the energy that the space holds.

smudge2The United States could use a great big smudging.  We need to take a day and collectively get out our Sage bundles and smudge the fuck out of our country.  Clean off the goobers of hate, anger, and dysfunction.  Then we need to set up some intentional altars to hold space for the United States, and send it some serious love.

If you look at it from the terms of Quantum Theory; which has proven thought matters, then we need to look at the fact that we are generating more hate, and discourse if we approach this with anything but love.

I marched in the Women’s march yesterday, and was over joyed to see all the signs that talked about love, and support.  I was not as happy to see the ones that preached hate at one man.  Not because I agree with him, but because hate is still a powerful force, and it is one that is counter productive to change.  How can be anything other then what we hate, if we are preaching hate?

How can we be more?

We can be more by standing for LOVE!  We can be more by talking about the things in our country we love, the things we want to see flourish.  I am not asking for people to put their heads in the sand.  I am simply asking that we open our hearts and speak on the things we love, as much as the things we hate.

Yesterday, I felt tremendous LOVE.  I felt that people were energetically linking arms and hearts, spreading out a gigantic web of goodness over the country, and the world.  We were saying that we all matter.  That was powerful, and good.  We just need to remember that when we let hate slip into the mix, we taint ourselves, and our work.  We need to remain focused on that which we are seeking…a safe, loving, supportive world.  A world that is strong, and healthy, a world where are children, and our children’s, children can flourish.

Here is a simple way you can start making a difference…

candle-lightSet up a working altar dedicated to the United States.  Any flat surface will do, the top of a dresser, a shelf on a book case, etc. The key to  a working altar, is that everything placed on it is done so intentionally.  No loose change, receipts, and keys unless you have a reason other than laziness for it.

Place items on the altar that represent the America you love.  Pictures, postcards, souvenirs, family pictures, soil, rocks, religious items, etc.

Place a candle on your altar.  Every day find 5 minutes to work with your altar.  Simply light your candle, stand or sit in front of your altar, and tell the genius Locus of the United States what you love about her.  Allow yourself to deeply connect with the Spirit of the country, remembering that we are inside of her energy right this very minute.  We are connected.  Tell her your dreams for her, and your hopes, speak of her strengths, and share your support for the battles she is fighting.

Blow out your candle and go about your day.  Throughout the day when you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, or unsure of the state of our nation, remember the candle, and the work you are doing.  This takes your energy away from fear, refusing to fuel hatred and fear, and gives it to that which you are working to create…love, justice, and healing.

I also encourage you to start speaking out about the reasons you love your country.  Start sharing that in conversations with friends, colleagues, and strangers.  Where patriotic ensembles if you are so drawn, do not wait for the 4th of July.  We need to remember we achieve nothing if we forget that this country belongs to us, and we belong to her.  We need to stand in support, the United States as we want her to be…healthy, strong, and kind.

Our views on what makes America great may differ.  We may hear things, see things, and interpret things different than one another, but we all want to be love.  So does the Spirit of the United States.

Please know that I hate no one.  There is no one I hate.  I refuse to waste my energy on such things. Thanks for reading folks.

spreading love-salicrow