STORIES OF SPIRIT…The Solitary Samhain [Halloween alone with the spirits]

I woke up this morning with a feeling of loneliness.  As I perused through the images on my Facebook feed of ‘Witches High Tea’ and spiritual retreats, I felt a longing for the days of my past when I would be preparing with my coven or druid order for the upcoming Samhain/Halloween ceremony.

There is something beautiful about being part of a group, a deep sense of belonging and collaboration.  We humans, seek out such connections because it helps us identify ourselves.  We inspire, give support and challenge one another.  In many ways, we learn who we truly are when we interact with others.  Our similarities and differences of opinion and values help forge us into the individuals we are.  I love the idea of being part of something, but like most relationships, the people in them evolve, roles we take change and often we move on.  I suppose I am one of those that move on.  It’s not that I cannot commit, but more that my life often takes me on the winding road, with paths so narrow that I must often walk alone; part of the balance required if we are to truly know ourselves.

Loneliness is powerful, it has much to teach us about ourselves.  Many people try to avoid it at all cost choosing instead to fill their days with endless social media check-ins and the mindless chatter of superficial conversation.  Few people are comfortable with the thoughts that speak to them from the shadows of their mind.  We have become accustomed to identifying ourselves solely by the value that others place on us.  This is unfortunate for the shadow has much to offer us.  The path of one is also powerful.

I have no group to work my All Hallows magic with, I have groups I can join, and groups I can lead, but I have no group to which I currently belong, and yet I feel the call of my Ancestors, asking me to prepare for their holy night.  I am comfortable with my solitary position and accept the loneliness as fitting for embracing the veil of death.  I know that I have many friends who are waiting for me on the other side, reaching out for contact.  As a Medium, my days are filled with speaking to those who have passed on, to the Beloved Dead, but they are not mine, they are the loved ones of others, of the people who I help with my work.

I don’t know what Halloween will hold for me this year.  I wanted to do something fantastic, to go the extra mile in helping others have a truly spirited experience, so that they may walk away knowing what it feels like to cross the veil.  But there has been a hesitation, a delay.  I have not put out the announcement, and invited others to join me…instead I have paused, taken a deep breath and without intention chosen the solitary approach.  I feel that this year, I am being asked to go through the veil alone and that something/someone in that depth has need of me without the bonds of others. There is a teaching waiting for me in the shadow, and I must find my way there.

I feel regret for those of you who have become accustomed to joining me in the Betwixt & Between, crossing the veil at this time of year with my guidance and will indeed hold such space for you again in the future.  But for now I must follow the path of loneliness where it leads me.  I have prepared a Samhain Celebration for those of you who would like a little guidance in honoring your Beloved Dead this Halloween season.

ANCESTOR HONORING & the THINNING OF THE VEIL

You will need-

*Pictures and mementos of your loved ones

*A white Candle

*Offerings for your Beloved Dead (their favorite food, drink, smoke, flowers, perfume, etc)

Your altar should be a thing of beauty.  Choose your mementos wisely.  They do not need to be the most expensive, instead, they should hold sentimental value.  Prepare yourself for the ceremony as if you are going to a wedding, funeral, or church.  For you are having a very important date, and it is a sacred thing.

*Dim the lights in the room, light the candle on your altar.

*Imagine yourself surrounded by white light, that emanates out from your heart chakra (the center of your chest).  Take approximately 5 minutes to create sacred space.  With each breath out, the light around you is strengthened.  This white light is a protective bubble, allowing only the spirits of your Beloved Dead to be present.  With every inhale, call your loved ones to you with your mind.

*If you have offerings for you Beloved Dead (food/drink/smoke/perfume), speak to your dead of them, how you remember their favorites and have brought this offering for them.  Its ok to partake in the offerings, as long as you are doing so as an offering for your loved ones in Spirit.

*soften your gaze, allowing your eyes to focus on the light of the candle while allowing your peripheral vision to become enhanced. Wide angle vision is the same type of viewing we use to make pictures pop out in those 3d art pieces and the gaze that hunters use to keep their prey from feeling their eyes on them.

*Breathe deeply and stay relaxed.  Spend time with your concentration soft, allowing your loved ones to present themselves in whatever way that they may….scent, sight, hearing, touch.

*When you are finished close your circle, by thanking your Beloved Dead for being present and ask them to go in peace.  Blow out your candle, and leave your altar up for a day or two if you can.

*Take note of your dreams the following nights, as dreams are an easier place for spirits to make contact.

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

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SACRED TRAVEL…There be Giants in the North [the giant’s causeway]

I spoke earlier about my journey up Sleive Gullion; the most sacred mountain in Ireland, in my previous blog, now I will speak of my second experience with land sacred to Giants…the Giants Causeway.

When I take part in Sacred Travel, I am careful not to over-plan, as I am aware that the hidden gems lay in the hand of the locals.  That being said, there were two items on my list for Northern Ireland…Sleive Gullion & the Giants Causeway.

Traveling in early September is ideal for missing out on long lines at popular spots, that are considered national landmarks, as long as you are OK with a bit of unpredictable weather.  Me, I do just fine with such thing, and always remember to pack for any kind of weather…raincoat & thin parkas are advised.  There are benefits to traveling in September, such as kids going back to school, which means the crowds are a lot more manageable.

Having experienced this at Blarney Castle, where the normal wait to kiss the stone could be an hour & I was fourth in line, we decided to take our chances and drive straight to the causeway ourselves, skipping the tour bus option.

Where the first part of our travels had been by BusEireann, we were lucky enough to borrow a car from our host; the O’Hanlon family, in Dublin & the North.   (I will speak of them more in my next blog Welcomed as a Druid)   The drive from Mullagbawn; the place we called our home in the North, to the Giants Causeway was about 2.5 hours.  The path we drove was a beautiful one showing us both the mountainous countryside & the city of Belfast.

This journey showed subtle signs of ‘the Troubles’ (the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century), mostly in the form of flags.  It was easy to determine which side of the coin a community sat on, by whether they flew flags of the Republic or the Union Jack.

Like the wise-woman I am, I make it a point not to get involved in battles that have never been mine, and I never talk politics or religion with strangers…OK, well maybe religion/spirituality with strangers, but only when its business.  Generally I choose the path of love, and observation, often thinking of myself as similar to an anthropologist in such situations, I am there to watch and learn, not to judge.  I find this a good rule of life.

When we got to our destination we again were easily able to get into the park.  *I just want to state here that the parks are very reasonably priced, with the funds going to the upkeep and care of the national monuments*

Stepping out the door of the visitors center; into the park itself,  I was nearly overcome with emotion.  Like just about every sacred place I experience, I find myself with tears welling up in my eyes,and my body buzzing with energy.  Looking back on it I am filled with deep emotion, for the connection to Spirit in such places is overwhelming.

My husband humors me, and often teases me on how puppies and kittens seldom move me, but rocks and trees can bring me to tears.

The feeling I had at the Giants Causeway was one of remembrance.  It was a place known to my soul, the cliffs and ocean breeze, the stones with their hexagonal shape were familiar to me. I had been here before in another lifetime.  When moments like this come over me I find myself existing between the worlds, with timelines buffeting me like the waves of the sea.  I am both Salicrow, and more.  I am walking in the present and the past simultaneously.

We had received the hand held device; like all the other tourist, that were suppose to tell us something of the history, at various stops along the way.  But we soon found that to be a waste, as neither my husband nor myself cared much for the tutorial.  I for one, was there to experience the water, stone and nature beings that called the place home.

Even in the quiet season, there were still hundreds of people there, but I was able to find a space on the rocks that was not populated by others.  It helps that I was raised in the White Mountains, and joke about being part billy-goat, able to nimbly find my footing in rough terrain.

Finding my spot, I set out my offerings and opened myself to the Genius Locus/the Spirit of Place.  I sang my spirit song to the rock beings, the Giants of the Causeway, and to the ancestors of the land who had tread there long before the buses and multi-racial people populated it’s stones.   You can find some video footage of me singing there on my Facebook page, unfortunately I forgot my microphone at home, and the wind was pretty intense often drowning my voice out.  

The work that brought me to the Giants was that of welcoming them to the table, calling them forward to share their strength in these trying times.  For I often see myself as an ambassador to the Spirit realm, finding myself traveling about on tasks set before me by god/goddess/universe.   I do this work because I am a communicator, able to speak not only to the Spirits of the Dead, but to those of Nature.  As a Druid this is my role, one I was given by Spirit shortly before my graduation at Stone Hedge.

Laying on my back on a very large stone in the woods of Dreamland (the land in Vermont that I did my Druid training on), I was seeking my role as a Druid.  What was it I was meant to do?  How could I best serve the Earth, particularly in these trying times of climate change and over population?  The answer had come to me quickly…I was to be a communicator.  I often refer to myself as being similar to Deanna Troi in Star Trek, the Next Generation.  My work is that of understanding, and perceiving.  I come to the table without judgement, I do not expect other beings to have the same rules of engagement as myself, and I understand that sentience is not limited to the arrogance of human beings.

Look carefully for the face beside of me

Meeting with the Giants was a lot softer then one might expect.  They had known of my coming, as I had connected to others of their kind before in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and to cousins of theirs in Iceland.

I do not begin to understand what will happen at the table in which I believe all beings are being called to, I simply am there as the ambassador, giving the invitation to attend.

We are all going through these times of change.  It is not just our planet.  We alone cannot be the only players at the game, for surely by now we can see what a mess we have made of disconnecting ourselves from the spirit world, and the world of nature.  Many cultures still hold great value in the unseen world, Ireland being one of them.  Many of their people still hold a strong connection to the lore of the Fae beings, to the fairies, and giants, and dryads, and in other lands the belief in  trolls, huldafolk.  It is time for us to open our senses and perceive that we have the power to make great change, but only when we see that the world is much more vast then we could ever imagine, and there are many more beings living here then the ones we see with the our eyes.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks…I will keep them coming for the next couple of days, so keep checking back to see where my journey has taken me.  I will be back in the States on the 13th of September.

spreading love-salicrow

Sacred Travel…It’s all about the Underwear [packing for adventure]

I got a surprise yesterday, when I realized that the 29th of September was on Tuesday, not Wednesday.  For the last week or so, I have been telling myself that I was heading back to Ireland on Wednesday, the 29th.  With this in mind, I planned a leisurely lead-up to my departure…I was going to take it slow and easy.  Who was I trying to kid?

Hennaing my hair w/my fox hat on. Last minute self-care before Sacred Travel.

I have been running on squirrel power all day, getting things in order &  shuffling the the mild chaos, that seems to appear anytime I am getting ready for spiritual adventure.

The chaos is something we must all expect, if we are going to step out of our ordinary life, and into the world of the sacred.  It’s like breaking through a wall of bullshit, that’s designed to keep us on the worn path we call normal.

I find that if one relaxes into the chaos, it can be transformed into the stuff of magic, one that weaves a story that is truly worthy of the term sacred.

Spiritual Adventure…sacred travel is something that makes my heart sing.  It is exhilarating to flow in the slipstream of reality.  My mind feels expansive and fluid and my pulse races, as I deeply connect to the truth of my existence.  When I step out of ‘my ordinary’, I step big.  I experience reality as a multi-faceted thing, in which I dance back and forth between now & then…lifetimes happening at once.

Back to getting things organized…

This journey to Ireland is deeply connected to the Morrigan; a Celtic warrior goddess of death, magic and prophesy, whom I have had a close relationship with for decades.  In fact the she is the first goddess I ever worked with, and our relationship spans more then 20 years.  She is a raven/crow, triple goddess, and she is not exactly mild mannered.

The trip she has me on, is a bit unusual.  With my husband as my traveling companion, I will be traveling here and there, about Ireland and Northern Ireland primarily by bus.  My plan is to create a trip that people could do without having to rent a car/drive on the other side of the road, and to do it relatively inexpensively.  On our journey we will be staying in various accommodations…renting a room in someones home (airbnb), staying in a downtown hotel, a hostel, and at the home of a very generous friend a clients.  We will climb mountains, visit the sea, and sacred monoliths along the way.

Seeing how we will be doing a lot of our travel by bus, my goal was to get our packing down to one carry-on piece of luggage each.  Here are some of my tips for doing so…

*wear a nice pair of boots…the right boots can be worn while trekking through the countryside & out dancing

*pack enough underwear for the entire trip…no one wants to be washing their undies in the sink half way through the trip…*choose versatile clothing…particularly in dark colors, as they hide dirt better.  go for light weight pieces that can be layered*…*one or two super-cute pieces that can be worn to for going out at night*…*go light on the accessories…wear the same jewelry the whole trip, a couple of scarves*…*wear your jacket, choose a good windbreaker*

Well, I am off for the night, going to wash the henna out of my hair and get on with the evening.  I leave tomorrow for the land of my ancestors.

spreading love-salicrow

 

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…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

SACRED TRAVEL…Guided by Spirit [California Dreaming part 1. LA-Mount Shasta]

Sacred travel is not a predictable thing.  It by nature is fluid and spontaneous, led by the intuition and an openness to explore.  Unlike vacation, it does not come with perfect accommodations, gourmet meals and neatly arranged outings.  It is a thing of wonder!

A few months back, when winter was still fully in possession of the north, my sister Sandy and I began planning our spring travel.  Our plan was to teach Earth Magic in Milwaukee in the beginning of the month, and then spend the end of the month teaching about parallel lives/past lives in LA & Carlsbad.  As the plan emerged from the ether of our minds, we other magical bits starting presenting themselves, and our simple business/teaching trip soon turned into a grand adventure that would involve 2 weeks in California.  The first working, the second doing deep Earth Magic in Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert.  The second part of the trip was in fact the real work, and involved 13 friends and spiritual allies heading into the desert to do sound healing.

A few weeks before we were to head to California, the ‘work’ part of our trip began to fall away.  First the folks in LA seemed unable to host an event.  This at first bothered me, as they were the reason we were heading in that direction.  They had asked us to come, and only after tickets were bought and plans were made, realized that they could not make it happen.

Now in moments like this, it is easy to get discouraged, to be pissed and start doing a hissy-fit dance.  But it was clear by this point, that we needed to be there.  There was never any thought of not going, or of changing how long we would be there, simply an understanding that we had work to do on the west coast.  This same feeling came to the surface, when our second host, the one in Carlsbad told us days before we were flying out, that they had not been able to follow through on their end.

When we boarded the plane, we were still up in the air on where we were going when we got to California.  We decided, that we would decide while in the air where it was we were suppose to go.  We had place mat markers of where we needed to be, but none of those were relevant until  early next week.  Our first 4 days of the trip were open, and itching for Spiritual guidance.

By the time we landed in LA, we knew that we would not be heading south to Carlsbad, instead we would be taking an 10 hour drive north, to Mount Shasta.  This was not a random; close your eyes and point at any place on the map, kind of decision, but instead it was a knowing that we all experienced.  One that came in boldly.  For me, it was a feeling of calling that I experienced any time I looked at the in-flight map.  I would see the dot in the northern part of California, and the name Shasta, and I would feel drawn to it.

Mount Shasta is a holy mountain, one that holds the making of pilgrimage.  Known for it’s powerful vortex energy, it is a place of high earth energy, a place where one can go to heal themselves and to do direct healing toward the Earth.  (I will write more about Shasta in the next few days, after I have spent some time exploring here).

Getting to Shasta was an adventure of it’s own, as we; my traveling companions (my sister Sandy and our friend Missy), and I, are very open to intuitive travel, and following the path that Spirit presents us with.  This kind of travel is best done with a destination in mind, but a very loose idea on how long it will take you to get there, and a sense of wonderment.  Intuitive travel means there are no wrong turns, and every place you land is an opportunity to connect with Spirit.

Leaving LA was like escaping prison.  First of all, I must be completely honest…this city did nothing for me.  I felt an instant desire to leave it, yet the city itself is a powerful vortex of energy, that really doesn’t want you to leave.

Our first experience with wacky travel and leaving LA was connected to our GPS.  No matter what we typed into it, it wanted to take us back to the car rental shop.  So we tried using the GPS’s on our phones, and this happened again, and again.  We finally got ourselves out of the city, and the GPS’s to behave at least a little bit, and started heading up the coastal highway, believing that we would travel most of the way with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as our traveling guide.  That too proved incorrect.

 

After driving for hours, mostly along the coast, Missy who was driving suddenly said “I am not sure how this happened, but I do not believe we are on Route 1 anymore.” This did not alarm us, but instead made us ask “Well, where do you suppose we are, and where are we headed?”

Again our GPS’s were of no help.  In fact, they obviously had no idea where we were.  While accessing our GPS’s (more then one), we would often find that it believed us to be in other places on the continent…including Nebraska, Maryland, and the south western tip of Mexico.  We did not seem to be track-able.

When we finally got one of the GPS’s to acknowledge our actual location, we found we had gone inland.  We plotted a new course and continued forward, not wanting to turn around and come back the way we came.  This was not a disappointment.

Shortly after going through a bum-fuck town in California we found ourselves entering a canyon.  It was breath taking.  The road wove like a snake down and around the mountains, into the valley deep below.  It was a God moment, and exceptional moment of Spirit, when the universe took our breath away.

Sandy communing with the sun, above the Canyon.

Wild shrub Sage

We drove for hours after the canyon, so thankful for the beauty we had experienced.  We relished in the memory of the sound we had created when toning on the top of the canyon, as people drove by waving @ the crazy women singing and laughing, as they stood on the edge of the canyon on a tiny pull off.

That night we landed at a roadside hotel, thankful for hot showers and the gift of being alive.  We set up our altar, with a crystal grid and powerful bits that were sacred to us as individuals and as a traveling band of gypsies.  We gave thanks to our ancestors, particularly mine and Sandy’s dad, who was ecstatic to have us in California; a state he lived in for almost 30 years.

The next day/yesterday, we woke and set intentions…mine was to get to Mount Shasta that night, which we did.  In moments like these, I generally like to be behind the wheel.  So I drove the 10 hours or so North to get us there.

Mount Shasta

Well, I am off on adventure.  I will be sharing stories from the road via Facebook live, and blogging about our vortex adventures tomorrow morning, so stay tuned folks.  It’s a hell of a ride!

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Pina Coladas and Cheeseburgers [errand girl of the dead]

My Aunt Sheila died a couple of years ago.  In many ways, she was more like a big sister, as she was only 7 years older than me, and had to drag me along a lot when she was a teenager.   When she died, she started using a particular song to get my attention, whenever she needed to communicate with those she loved who were still alive, particularly her daughter Morgan.

Now Sheila and I did not have the same taste in music, and the song she chose is one that I do not particularly like, Rupert Holmes ‘Escape’, the 1980’s ‘Pina Colada’ song.  In short, she loved it, I hate it.

A few weeks ago, she began popping into my head with her favorite song, simply singing the chorus in my head “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain”.  By the time the first verse is done, I know it’s her and am generally begging her to stop singing it.  In truth, she is very clever.  Using a song I don’t like, grabs my attention, like being stung by a hornet.  I just want it to stop.

One night, after getting my full attention with her musical serenade, she told me she needed me to reach out to her daughter, and let her know how proud she was of her, and how she was watching over her.  This was not a surprising statement, and made me aware of the fact that her daughter was really mourning her, at this moment in time.  I reached out to my cousin, who is more of a niece, passing on my aunts message.  This seemed to be sufficent for the moment.

It was not!

Sheila is opportunistic, and spends a lot of her time, trying to figure out the best way to reach out to people.  Friends of hers have sent me videos and pictures with orbs in them, asking me if I think this could be Sheila.  My answer is always yes, as I know her to be a ‘pushy’ Spirit.  This is not a bad thing, simply a fact.  If she wants you to know she’s around, she will keep at it, until you do.

About a week after she was serenading me in the car, she took advantage of the fact that I was going to be driving through the same town her daughter lived in, on my way to the airport.  Normally, a trip to the airport would be a tight schedule, but our flight to Milwaukee (to teach Earth Magic) was an early morning one, so we planned to stay with friends in Boston, the night before.  Which meant more time to be maneuvered by Spirit.

It has always been my belief, that getting there is half the fun.  I love road trips, and the feeling of being slightly sleep deprived, and giddy.  I love spontaneous stops along the way, to observe the beauty of nature, or the weirdness of little towns.  Thankfully, so did my traveling companions, my sister Sandy and our ‘adopted’ sister Missy (who was driving Sandy and I to Boston).  With this in mind we gave ourselves over to the fact, that there would be stops along the way, and they would most likely be led by Spirit, and Bessy; the genius locus/spirit of place, that is Missy’s vehicle.

Bessy loves adventure, which means there is no straight shot to Boston, but instead a meandering road of wyrd opportunity.   The first stop was literally 5 minutes down the road, when we needed to stop for some wyrd car malfunction, only to see we were parked next to a huge head of Witches Broom growing on an old pine.  The pine’s roots were down in the ravine next to the curb of the road, and the broom was at easy picking level.  It was obvious that the plant wanted me to take a few sprigs with me to Wisconsin, so I snipped a few, thanked the tree, and jumped back in the car.

Witchs Broom is a deformity that can form on a Pine tree, in which a ball of branches forms.  Energetically it carries the properties of the Pine-cleansing, purifying, attracting abundance, as well as the symbolic energy of a witches broom…flying, astral travel, shifting ones reality.  It was a perfect bit to be added to the weekends intensive.

Soon I was back in the car and we were on our way.  We made it as far as the Basin, in the Franconia Notch, NH before stopping again, where we once again collected some bits for our travels; birch bark, a rock and a piece of wood that had been tossed around by the rivers current. By this point, my Dad (who is a Spirit) had joined us on our trip.  He loved adventure of any kind, and is pretty much guaranteed to be along on any trip we take.

The third stop on our trip was a simple one, a late lunch at 5 guys in Manchester, NH.  Something we thought would be a simple in and out.  But in fact it ended up starting me on an errand run, for the Spirits.  My aunt in particular.

While at 5 guys, they got my order wrong twice, which meant I ended up with 2 extra burgers.  We all laughed at how absurd this was; as there was only one other customer in the restaurant, and commented on how my dad must have wanted burgers too.  With this in mind, we wrapped up the other burgers, deciding we would leave them somewhere along the road as an offering for my dad.  We left my father’s burgers on a rock in an industrial park, surrounded by stones.  I know the crows will love the meat, and my dad loved the offering.

I speak about Spirit offerings often, and how the Dead love to be given offerings of their favorite foods, beverages, and libations.  When given an offering of this kind, the Spirit does not actually eat the food, or drink the beverage.  Instead they partake of the energy that the food carries, and the remembrance itself.

As we left the industrial park, with some flower blossoms, and bits we had collected, I checked in on Facebook, as I had been posting pictures of our journey so far.  Immediately, I saw that my niece/cousin had responded to my pictures, saying “Pit stop in Manchester?”.   I knew upon seeing her words, that it was all connected.  The extra burgers, the quick stop to drop off my dad’s burgers.  I wrote back to her…“Where are you?  We are in Manchester now”.

We were literally less then 3 miles from where she was volunteering at a local recovery center HOPE of New Hampshire.

Spirit, particularly that of my Dad and his sister Sheila, got us where we needed to be.  Morgan, was very close to her mother, and had really been feeling her loss heavily.  She needed to connect to family, and needed to hear from her mom in a big way.  It was a short visit, simple yet powerful, for the death of my aunt had sent her daughter (morgan) spiraling into drug addiction.  Something she has been fighting hard against for over a year now.

Sheila wanted Morgan to know how proud she was of her.  How she had taken her struggles and weaknesses and turned them into strength and purpose.  I too am truly proud of my cousin, and was so happy to see her in her element, doing what she does best.  She now works and volunteers in the field of recovery, and is working hard every day to help others as much as she helps herself.

I see this story as one that not only shows the power of Spirit to communicate with the ones they love, but also as a story of how we can carry our wounds in more then one way.  We can take that which has hurt us, and hold onto it as an excuse for why we will never be happy, or we can choose to see our hardships as lessons, meant to strengthen us and give us purpose.  Morgan has chosen the latter, she has taken her hardships and turned them into tools, into a foundation that can be built upon. For that I am very proud of her, and of her mother who has not stopped parenting, even though she is dead.

We all hold inside of us the ability to change our story.  We may not be able to change the hardships we have faced, or the wrongs done to us by ourselves or others, but we can change what that story does to us.  Each and every one of us is flawed, each and every one of us is also divine.  We were created, to be co-creators of our reality.  Do not let your troubles define you, instead let them be the fuel that makes you step more fully into all that you are capable of.  Remember we are made of Stardust!

spreading love-salicrow