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

 

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 Sound of Spirit [wind chimes in the corner]

It takes a lot of energy for a Spirit to audibly make noise, whether that noise be cupboards opening, floor boards creaking, or the sound of conversation in the distance.  As the Dead do not exist in the same realm/dimension as we do, they need a source of power from which to receive this energy.  Places in which Earth energy is high; where ley lines cross, are one way in which the Dead can get the energy needed to make their presence known.  Another is through the use of a Medium.

A Medium is a natural conduit for Spiritual energy, which means that Spirits can tap into their vibration, and use their residual energy to connect and communicate in this world.

A trained Medium, realizes they are in control of their energy, and often develops skills, that make it so they determine whether or not they allow their energy to be used.  This is a helpful when it comes to living a normal life.  Untrained Mediums often feel drained, and overwhelmed by the activity they experience when Spirits are around.  Being able to control the use of your energy creates boundaries, and puts the Medium in charge of when and where such contact takes place.

As someone who works regularly with the Spirit world; both that of the dead and that of nature, I prefer to be asked if my energy is going to be used.  I set aside time, and go into my working with intention.  This helps me to feel centered, and gives me the ability to tune-out unwanted visitors.  When working I want to be connected to Spirit and often allow my energy to be utilized, as long as it is not misused.  I have boundaries and time limits.  I treat the Spirits like all other sentient beings I encounter; with respect and compassion, and I expect them to treat me the same.

Toning in Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel, UK (photo credit-Dinysio)

When I open myself to Spirit, I am not doing so blindly.  I am doing so through trained methodology, one that is laden with protection, and guardianship.  The Spirits who make up my personal team, provide me with assurance I am safe, and eyes on the other side, as they are often able to see things I cannot.  There is a routine to the way I do things, a ceremonial repetition that gains strength every time I use it.  Like mantras and ritualistic prayers, my practices are infused with the energy of every time I have done so before, and every time I will do so in the future.  They are connected, each empowering the other through time and space.  This allows me to move more freely in my work, for I trust my team, and trust the work itself.

My rituals and connection to personal Spirits, grants me the freedom to be truly present and open whether I am teaching, doing a Psychic Reading, speaking to the Dead, or doing healing work.  I am open and connected in those moments, and often unusual things can happen.

One of the most remarkable things that has happened lately, involved audible sound and Spirit connection.

A few months ago, while teaching my weekly, sound meditation class, Spirit took the opportunity to emote loud and clear.  The weeks class was designed around Vocal Toning and emotion.  Toning is the use of ones voice for energetic balancing.   In short it is intuitive singing laden with intention.  If you have never experienced it before, check out the video I posted on my Facebook page  titled Salicrow, Earth Day  https://www.facebook.com/pg/salicrowpsychicmedium/videos/?ref=page_internal.

While working with our emotions and Toning, we explored how our voice sounded and vibrated differently when we held the emotions of sadness, anger, joy, and love.  At the end of the class we discussed how this felt to us, and spoke on which emotions resonated the strongest with us personally.  One of the men in the class had recently lost his wife, and was still strongly mourning her presence.  As he spoke of the emotions that effected him most, he was moved to tears.  At that moment there was the sound of wind chimes, loud and clear, from the corner of the room.  Now first of all, I have no wind chimes in my studio, nor do  I have anything that could remotely sound like chimes.  Secondly, there was no wind, stirring the room, as it was still quite cold out, and the windows were shut.  Most importantly, there was no one sitting in the area the sound came from, but we all experienced ‘hearing’ the chimes.

How does did that happen?  You may ask…

Simply put, the Spirit, the man’s wife, took advantage of the vast amount of energy we had been raising in our class, and the fact that there was a Medium in the room.  In that moment, when the energy was full, she pushed her self into the world of the living, choosing something that was very compatible with the work we were doing….Sound!

So the next time, you hear something unexplained, like a creaky floor with no one walking on it, or the sound of music coming from no where, make sure to acknowledge the sheer amount of will, and energy the Spirit is using to make contact.  In most cases those Spirits are our Beloved Dead; our ancestors, loved ones and friends, reaching out to let us know that they still stand with us, they still support us, and love us.

I appreciate your support, and hope you enjoyed the read.  Please feel free to pass it around to those who it may benefit.

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…Passing Angels [gifts from the dead]

labradoriteangelI am not particularly fond of Angels.  Not that I have anything against them, I am just not someone who collects them, or feels overly drawn to their energy.  No Angel wings, ornaments or halo’s for this Crow.  I am however aware of the significance such imagery plays in others understanding of the afterlife.  Angels are often used by both the living and the dead, to represent protection, and spiritual guidance.  They are used to bring comfort, and to remind us of the afterlife.

In my experience as a Medium,  Spirits will often talk about Angel ornaments and imagery, as something that connects them to their living.  When they bring it up, my living clients confirm that they have been collecting Angels since the death of their loved one, or that they often see images of angels when their loved ones are around.  By this statement, I mean they find themselves noticing Angel ornaments, and pictures wherever they go, and know that it is their Beloved Dead, trying to make contact with them.

Lakemorey2Every March, I spend a couple of long weekends, working the Ladies Retreats @ the Lake Morey Resort, in Fairlee, VT.  It is a good time filled with Ladies looking to refresh themselves, by stepping outside of their every day routine.  I am there doing Psychic Readings, Spirit Communication and teaching workshops.

The last three years, I have done Gallery Spirit Communication on Friday nights.  It’s an event that draws the majority of the guest, which is around 2 hundred people.  Gallery Readings are entertaining, and heartfelt, but there is no way I can get messages through for everyone.  A handful of people get messages, and the rest are there just for the experience.  These events are moving, and I usually walk away with a story or two to tell, of how Spirits go out of their way to make meaningful connections with the living.  This year my story came after…

I had just finished the Gallery, and was walking upstairs, making my way to my room.  People often stop me along the way, to ask me questions, and share personal stories of Spirit they have experienced.  This time  I was stopped by a group of women, who’s friend had lost a child.  She had hoped desperately that her daughter would come through at the Gallery, and when she didn’t her friends set about getting her an appointment for a personal session.

My appointments fill up quickly at these retreat, and management has made it clear that I need to pace when I put out my schedule.  I can list the available times for Thursday night and Friday morning, on Thursday afternoon, Friday evening appointments can go up Friday afternoon, and so on and so fourth.  This makes it so people who arrive later in the weekend, still get a chance at an appointment with me.  That being said, people are usually waiting at the board when I walk out to put up the next times.

I advised the ladies looking for a personal appointment for their friend to do the same.  They missed out on the Saturday appointments; as there were already people waiting behind me as I wrote the schedule on the board.  Not wanting to miss out, they took things to ‘elevensies’, guaranteeing they would get one of my last appointments on Sunday morning.  Instead of just waiting for me to come out to the board, they snagged the markers, so that I when I went to put up my next schedule, they were no where in sight.   They then walked up to me with the markers, saying they had held onto them so no one could sign up before them.   Now I am not sure that was actually fair, but I will give them one for effort and cunning.  They were determined to get an appointment for their friend, no matter what.  Just saying, those are some damn fine friends!

They all pitched in money to help pay for her private session, and when she came to the Parlor for her appointment on Sunday morning,  there were 6 of them in tow.  Now, I normally only allow 1 extra guest for Individual Spirit Communication sessions, but I agreed they could all join us, as long as they stayed quiet.  I also informed them, that this was a special accommodation I was making for them, and that it was not my normal practice, as holding space for many requires more energy from me than focusing on an individual.

A little while into the communication, the woman’s daughter began talking to me of angels.   The mother agreed that Angels were very important, and that she had collected Angels for her tree ever since the passing of her daughter.  While I was asking the mother if Angels were significant for her and her daughter, the Spirit girl walked behind me, and started getting into my bag.  She was showing me an Angel, saying there was an Angel in my bag, for her mother.

As she said this and kept pointing into my bag, I realized that there was indeed an Angel in my bag.  I had been given a small labradorite Angel, the day before, by another women at the retreat.  It had been gifted to me, along with a rose quartz heart, and  I had not opened the gift until that morning, shortly before seeing the woman who’s daughter had passed.

Now I am not really much of an Angel person, as I said earlier, so when I received it I understood that it would stay in my company, until it was meant to be handed on.  This is common for me and crystals to begin with.  Often they come and stay for a while, then move on when the time is right.  

I gave the labradorite Angel to the woman saying that her daughter wanted her to have it.  I then explained how Spirit has given me gifts before; sometimes I have had to buy them myself, and other times, they have been handed to me by strangers, but always I know they are gifts from those who no longer have the means to purchase such things themselves.  Gifts from Spirit are truly treasures, and are meant to be a reminder that they still care, and are still active in our lives.

After the women’s session was over, and she and her friends stepped outside the parlor, I heard one of her friends say to her “I hope you recognize the significance of the timing here”, she continued “Your daughter couldn’t come through on Friday night at the gallery, because Salicrow didn’t have the Angel to give you until Saturday”.  It was an ‘exceptional moment of Spirit‘, in which Spirit went out of their way to make a big impact.

Her words were a reminder to me as well, of the effort and planning that Spirit goes through to make meaningful connection, and of the Spirit network that exists in the unseen world.  Did she speak to the guide of the woman who held a gift for me, did she know that I would soon have an angel in my possession?  Personally I believe she did, I believe she planned her communication, to make the most impact on her mother and on the other family members who would hear the recording of the session.

I am constantly amazed at the efforts Spirits go through to make meaningful connections with the living.  Spirit gifts are among my favorites, for they give us something tangible to hold onto, something to connect with, to hold and to cherish.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks, I am back to the grind working on my book.  First draft is due to the publishers on April 1st, and it’s due to hit shelves February of 2018.  Good stuff in the making.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Convicted of Witchcraft [Alison Balfour died at the hands of men]

crowsaliToday’s tale is spun of truth, the actions being factual, the fiction comes only in the flavoring of the tale, and the expression of emotion shown.  The emotions were imagined by me, as I sat preparing my story for the Bardic telling.  I wrote this tale in the Fall of 2008, after reading of the real story of Alison Balfour, a woman convicted of witchcraft in 1594.  Her story touched me, and I remembered as my own.  I have told this story a few times before, speaking it aloud, as if the words were my own.

The last time I performed it, my father was there.  When I was done, he walked over and hugged me, saying “I am sorry that happened to you.”  I do not know that this story is truly mine, I do not know that I was Alison Balfour, but I have my suspicions.  One thing I do know, is that if I was not she, then we shared similar stories, for the writing of her tale was like remembering a dream, a very unpleasant dream.

I wrote & performed during the bardic year of my Druid training.  It is based on the historical details of a woman (Alison Balfour) who was convicted of Witchcraft in Scotland in 1594.  I share this story now, as we once again live in a time, when people are persecuted for their beliefs and their spiritual practices.  I am ever thankful to live in a time when I do not have to hide my abilities for fear of persecution, but I have not forgotten, and I do not turn a blind eye on the persecution of others.

And so the story begins…

As many of you know already, I stand before you a self confessed Witch.  Many moons and many faces I have worn since the days of the fire, but memories born in flame are hard to forget.

The Earl of Orkney, Patrick Stewart or “Black Patty” as he was so often called by the people of the land,  was a tyrant…a greedy, arrogant son of a bastard.  His father having been the illegitimate son of  King James the fifth.  He was a despised man, and it came as no surprise to me, that someone had tried to poison him.  The  word of importance here is ‘tried’.

The failed attempt at poisoning “Black Patty” was blamed on his brother John Stewart, the Master of Orkney.  As you could not come right out and blame a noblemen…and someone must be brought in for questioning in the affair, his servant, Thomas Paplay was brought in.   Now I do not blame poor Tom for what came next, as he was a simple man used as a pawn.

For 11 days Tom held out to their torture, even though they crushed his arms in “Caspies Claws”.  Then in his defeat he named me a Witch, and a conspirator in the poisoning of “Black Patty”.  It was no secret that I knew the ways of medicine, and as rumor had it….magic.  They came and dragged me from my home, away from my aged husband and children and commenced to working my confession out of me.

Henry Colville, the Parson of Orphir…that vile excuse for a man of God, was called upon to “question” me.  They had found a piece of wax in my home….wax , such a funny thing to bring about ones demise.  This wax had come from the home of Patrick Bellenden, the Lord of Stenness.  The Lady of Stenness was suffering terribly with stomach problems and I had agreed to work my charms on healing her.  Its funny how ones gifts often so appreciated can quickly becomes ones bane.  Henry refused to accept my answer, as he was convinced that I had used the wax to concoct a poison to kill “Black Patty”, and that Lord Bellenden was part of the ploy.

My torture or questioning, if you  like was carried out in the castle of Kirkwall.  They crushed my legs in “Caspies Claws” for  48 hours.  I reached out to my Gods and retreated inward…refusing to  confess to a crime I did not commit……..Then they brought in my family.

My husband was a great deal older then me, at 81 he had lived a long life.  I loved him dearly, but could not confess.  They placed him in the “Long Irons”,  and proceeded to crush him before my eyes….50 stones they laid upon his chest, 700lbs in terms you would understand now.  As he died before my eyes, my resolve began to crumble, but I heard his voice clear as day inside my head urging me to stand strong.

My son, came next.  A strong lad…just entering manhood, handsome and brave.  He stood before me and said “don’t do it ma…don’t let them condemn you for a crime that is not yours”.  Even now all these years later, life times passed I find myself drawn to tears as I think on his brave soul.  They placed his legs in “the boots”, drove the wedges in and crushed his feet with 57 strikes of a mallet.  57 times my heart cried out, begging the gods by all their names to stop this torture….to free my son from his earthly prison.  As he collapsed upon the floor, my life slipped colorlessly before my eyes. I thought I had endured all the pain a person could take….and then they brought in my wee lass.

7 years old and bright as a sunny day.  My daughter, my joy, the love of my womb…I could not believe that even the evilness of “Black Patty” could claim the life of one so innocent.  But there she was, her tiny fingers being placed into the piniwinkie…and I could take no more.  As they began to crush her finger I cried out my confession.  I confessed to consorting with the devil, to poisoning the Earl, and to many other atrocities’ too dark to repeat. Inside I begged the goddess above to forgive me for my lies, but I could take no more.  Darkness enveloped me and time took on a dimension unknown to those that have never truly suffered.

My confession earned me the punishment of execution…seeing how Witchcraft was considered a form of treason in Scotland, I would be burned at the stake.  As I was found guilty, the fee for services rendered…torture, execution and such would be deducted from my families estate.   The Gallows in Kirkwall was my final resting place on December the 15th, 1594.   As burning is a rather noisy way to dispose of a living body…strangulation was customary, prior to the stake.

As I stood awaiting my death…the darkness of my mind cleared, and I found my voice.  “I Alison Balfour, do stand here before you an innocent woman.  My confessions that of a mother seeking only to spare her children!”  The crowd went silent, and my soul was released from hell.

John Stewart, the Master of Orkney stood trial for seeking the aid of a Witch…for the destruction of his brother Patrick.  He was acquitted, as the evidence which lead to my death was thrown out of court, on the basis that it had been obtained under torture.

Henry Colville, the hand of my torture….got his due.  Traveling on the Earls business in the summer following my death, he was come upon by the Master of Orkney and 30 of his men.  They proceeded to unmercifully slay him…I will leave out the details for those of you weak in the tummy.

And…Black Patty, I have saved the best for last.  The son of a Bastard, the Tyrant of Orkney was beheaded in 1615 for treason to the crown.

May all those who have been persecuted find peace!

spreading love-salicrow