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!

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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!

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Stories of Spirit…Take me to Church [finding the sacred when our heart is hurting]

I am a person who yearns for personal connection to Spirit.  I cannot get enough of it, and often find myself basking in the euphoria of opening myself to god/goddess/source.  I do this wherever I go, and find that it keeps me balanced and deeply centered throughout my life.  This connections is something that is available to us all, and can take place wherever we are.  That being said, it is easier for people to recognize this feeling when they are in a place of beauty, and they are holding the energy of reverence.

I am not a religious person, but I am a highly spiritual one.  I do not go to church, and I do not actually care much for public ceremony.  Yet I crave the sanctity and solace that such places offer.  I love the feeling of sacred that settles onto me, whether I am sitting in a temple, or walking in the forest.  Trees, rivers, sea caves, and stone outcroppings remind me of the beauty and creativity, that exist in this world of ours.  They remind me that my life, and experiences are no more then a raindrop in the ocean of existence.  The woes that I carry and the achievements I celebrate are fleeting…the world will go on without me.

There is a lot of pain in the world right now; people are struggling and unsure.  We fear turning on the news, and brace ourselves for the atrocities we will see there.  We question our personal security, and push down the panic that rises up, when we think of what the future holds.  The pain being felt is not simply a personal thing, created by the obstacles of our lives, it is the accumulation of sorrow, being bounced around the world, like a super sonic, ping-pong ball.  As it moves, it picks up debris…the emotions of the masses, and adds that to its bounce every time it lands.

As I have said before,  I believe we are going through a Psychic Evolution.  Which simply means we, as a species are becoming more aware.  We are perceiving with more than our 5 basic senses, and due to this fact, our consciousness is expanding.  The trouble is, most of us don’t know what to do with it.  We know that we are more sensitive, that we seem to feel the emotions of others, and that a lot of unexplained wyrdness seems to be happening.  But we don’t know how to take care of ourselves in this time of transition.

First of all we need to stop being busy for the sake of being busy.  We need to stop eating up every moment of our day with things we need to do.  When did life become so complicated?  When did kids start needing to have activities every day of the week, in order to be happy?  And are they actually happy with all those obligations?  And what about you?  Are you happy?  Do you feel more connected and whole?

As I have said earlier, I am not really a religious person.  I don’t want someone else telling me how to experience the love of god/goddess/creator, I want to go seek it out myself.  But that being said, there is something truly powerful about setting aside time for ones Spiritual practice.  The whole “And on the 7th day he rested”, bit holds an important truth.  We need to rest, we need to recharge our spirit, and connect to the power of the universe.  Spiritual work is not goal oriented.  It is not about accomplishment, it’s not about badges, buttons, or more money.  It’s about feeling that life is worth living, and that we are part of something beautiful.  It fills you from the inside, and helps you stay afloat when the current of life seems overwhelming….which can be often, in a world where people are becoming more sentient.

As someone who’s job is considered Spiritual, it has been important for me to remember that my work is not my spiritual practice.  When I am doing Readings for others, speaking to Spirits for others, and teaching workshops on spiritual awareness, I am deeply connected and doing important work.  But it does not count as a spiritual experience for me…it is work, my life path.  It is important and I highly value it, but it is not enough to sustain my soul.  I need to take time for myself to recharge, and connect with the universe.  I need to head into the woods, stand in a stone circle, sing in a sea cave, hug a tree, tone in mediation, I need to step into the betwixt and between, where the only moment is now.

When we are hurting from the death of a loved one, stressed from the mountain of bills that are piling up on our desk, worried about a friend struggling from addiction, concerned about the environment and the looming feeling of war, we need to take moments outside of our every day life, where we can rest and reconnect with Spirit, in whatever way works best for us.  If you find solace in the pews of your church, love the smell of incense and the embrace of large crowds, gathered as one…then by all means, make a point of getting yourself there.  Don’ t  make excuses, don’t say your too busy, don’t put it off because it does nothing for your pocket.  Make time for it, as feeding your soul is essential to healthy living.

If you are not drawn to organized religion, step out your door into the world of nature.  Go to the park if you live urbanely, go to river, the sea, the mountain, your back yard…light a fire, burn some incense, sing as if no one is watching, breathe deep, and get busy letting time slip by.  Make it a regular outing, make it a commitment, recognize it’s value in your life.  Pay attention to how you feel during the experience and after.  How many days did you feel better after?  Do you find yourself reminiscing, fantasizing about the peace of the moment?

We cannot change the world by worrying, and we will not change our personal (at least not positively) world by eating up every waking moment with obligations.  We need to slow down, and take time to recharge, specially when we are struggling.  When our emotions are heavy, and we feel overwhelmed, we need to remember the power of Spirit.  I hope you enjoyed the read folks.

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STORIES OF SPIRIT…Transformation [dedication to ones self]

salicrowcavernI spent the last days of 2016 in quiet contemplation.  The period of time between the Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite, for it gives me the ability to quietly step into the shadows.   I enjoy this low media time, in which I only check my email and Facebook messages occasionally; knowing that people will understand if it takes me a bit longer to respond.  The step back from my regular routine makes me feel like I belong more to the Spirit of creation (Awen) then to the present moment of doing.

My New Years involved dinner with some of my oldest friends, buddies since elementary and high school years.  It was low key and perfect, as we had very little time for each other in 2016.  At the table we discussed what we believed our word to be for 2017.  I like the idea of one word or a phrase being a Mantra (a word or sound repeated to aid in concentration & meditation), and find it helps me to stay focused on my desired goal.

Last year I worked with surrender or the release of control.  This was a big one for me, as I have a type-A personality and really like to be in control.  By saying I chose to surrender, I am not saying that I chose to give up or give in.  My release of control was more of an act of faith, and the control I released was handed over to the power of the universe, god/goddess.  Which brought opportunity and flow into my life like never before.  By not micro managing my every action, I made room for unexpected blessings, and found that my intuition did not let me down.  I knew when I needed to act and when I needed to stay still.

As a Psychic one of the pitfalls we must avoid is looking so far into the future that you miss the small opportunities, that wait in the shadow of the big stuff.  It is easy to become so focused on the things you know must happen, that you can overlook what lies along the trail.

This year I have chosen the word dedication.  Dedication to my self, dedication to my path, dedication to my goals.  In many ways it can seem like the opposite end of the pendulum swing from surrender.  At my vantage point of spending a year working with surrender, I do not see it so.  In my experience surrender did not ask me to act against myself, instead it asked me to follow the trail that was being laid out in front of me.  It required that I have faith that a higher power did in fact have a plan for me, and that if I allowed myself the freedom of trust, I would be shown an easier way.

This aspect of surrender pairs itself nicely with dedication.  Dedication as I see from the perspective of what is to become, is the act of committing myself to my path.  I know that can seem redundant, as I  believe I have always been somewhat dedicated to my path.  But the dedication I am looking for involves focus, and setting of goals that are important.  In it lies the decision to do what needs doing, even if it is uncomfortable, untimely or boring.  Like dragging yourself to yoga class even when the weather is questionable or you would rather stay in bed another hour.  Or sitting down to write, when you would rather be playing.

I believe I needed to work with surrender before I could work with dedication.  For if I would have first worked with dedication, I would have had the tendency to be stiff, and over planned.  Now after a year of working with surrender, I understand that it is better to allow the river to carry me, then to fight the river.  I am after all here on this planet, at this time, for the adventure of life.  And as I am always saying the difference between adventure and vacation is that adventure often requires hardship.  We are sometimes hungry, tired and uncomfortable, but what a story it makes.  Vacation is relaxing, and comfortable, but the highlights seem to be missing.  I definitely choose adventure.

While some of us have manifested to have a vacation life, most of us are here to accomplish something.  The things we have come to do are not all grand on the global scale.  In fact most of us are unlikely to be known outside of our communities, let alone the world.  But that does not mean we have come in to laze around and drink mimosas.   We have work to do.

The work of self development and personal growth is potent and necessary when it comes to the well being of the soul.  When we put the time and effort into knowing ourselves, facing our demons, and pushing ourselves to be our best, we not only effect our lives but the very nature of our soul.  As a medium, I strongly believe in re-incarnation, and feel that the soul is continuously learning and growing, with each life time adding knowledge and experience to the whole.  This life time, no matter how limited it may seem, is valuable and important to the development of our soul.  We must decide who and what we want to be.  What is important to us and how much we are willing to invest in it.

Every year when New Years comes around people start thinking about the changes they want to make in their life.  Some of these changes are more difficult then others, and some of them are a bit far fetched and unreasonable.  That’s why I recommend that people really sit down and think about the change they are hoping for, and find a word or two that sums up that which we are seeking to alter.  The power of a mantra is that we can repeat it over and over and over again in our mind.  If we are choosing to loose weight in 2017, we could work with the words healthy and strong.  Whenever we are feeling weak, and want to devour an entire box of cookies, we can pull the mantra out and repeat our words 6 or 7 times until we no longer feel the overwhelming desire to turn into Cookie Monster.  The feeling of desire will come back, and when it does we pull out our words.  It helps if you take time to really think about your words, and what they mean to you.

My choice of dedication for this year, means I am putting my energy into remaining focused on my personal path.  That I will bring myself back to task when I get distracted, and that I will remember why I am doing so.  It does not mean, I will never have fun this year, or that everything needs to be planned out 6 months in advance.  It means that I am making a vow to myself to become the person I want to be.  From my vantage point, in the aftermath of surrender, I see it as a willingness to put that which is important to me in a place of honor.

New Years resolutions are meant to be a vehicle for transformation, but all too often  people forget that vehicles need fuel.  We must be clear in how we are going to fuel our transformation, what are the tools/fuel we will need along the path.  If you have always wanted to learn a foreign language, and this is the year, look into what you need to logically make it happen.  If you are not a good self learner then a teacher is necessary, if you like to do it yourself, audio recordings are the way to go.  Know what tools you need and know what words can be used to aid your development.  Remember the simpler we keep it the better.  When working with power words, I like to keep mine short and sweet.  There is much hidden meaning in the words, but in the time I need the power of the word, I know all that is hidden.  I know what that word means to me.

The need for dedication is strong with  me this year.  I need to be focused and continue to keep the flow that surrender gave to me in 2016.  I am looking forward to seeing how dedication transforms me in 2017.

Take this opportunity while the year is new, and everyone is focused on transformation, to really put in motion that which you desire to change in your life.  Be realistic, look into the support you need to achieve your goals, be forgiving as none of us are perfect, and choose a word or two to help you stay focused.  Put the words on your frig, your desk, in your mind and in your heart.  Know that you are more powerful than you imagine yourself to be, and you can make the changes you seek.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks.  2017 is just started and I am excited to see where its path leads.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…The Betwixt & Between [guidance from the ancestors]

familyalterAs a Medium, communication with the dead is a normal thing for me.  I spend many hours, every week in conversation with people who have crossed over.  Most of the time, I am helping the living find closure and re-connection after the death of a loved one.  I find this to be highly rewarding, and feel proud of the work that I do.  Occasionally, I am given the opportunity to take the communication a step further, out of the place of healing and into the place of growth.

This weekend, under the bright full moon my sister and I held our annual, ancestor honoring event ‘The Betwixt & Between’.   We have done it for many years and always look forward to it.  It has always been focused on honoring our Beloved Dead (family, friends, ancestors and guides), and includes direction for setting up an Ancestor altar, techniques for expanding your awareness; for personal experience with Spirit, and messages from the dead, passed on by me.  In the past the Dead we were reaching out to were coming forward to bring love and healing to their living, and it was in many ways like my Gallery Spirit communication.  This year we changed it up a bit.

Upon looking at the guest list, I was aware that the majority of people who were attending this year were people with a more advanced skill level in the area of spirit.  I saw this as an opportunity to do something extraordinary.  So instead of this being a time for people to hear from their dead grandmother; about how much she loved them and things they enjoyed doing together, it became a place of learning.  I wanted to model the traditional reasons why tribal society chose to communicate with their dead.  In most cases this was done for advice, particularly in times of great need.  People would gather in solemn respect for their Ancestors and humbly ask for direction.

21 of us gathered at Blissful Dragon Farm, in Waterford, VT.  When people arrived they were asked to walk the labyrinth to center themselves for the work at hand, and invited to tie a ribbon to the cloutie tree (prayer tree).  When the fire was ready, everyone walked through burning incense into Dragon’s Teeth Circle; the last stone circle created by Ivan McBeth this autumn, before his passing.  As each person was anointed with sacred oils, they were asked to find the stone that called to them, the place they were to set up their personal altars.

With the altars set, chairs were brought into the center of the circle close to the fire.  The stones and the family altars created a strong boundary around the participants.  By this time, people were starting to feel the energy of the space, and that of their ancestors gathering close.  We did spiritual journey work, so that everyone could reach out to their loved ones, and then showed them how the spirits were moving in on the mist.  The area inside the circle became thick with the closest ancestors and beloved dead, and the area outside the circle was filled with the many, many spirits that had shown up to hold space and be acknowledged.

The messages past were powerful.  I always feel honored, when I have the opportunity to speak for the Wisdom Keepers, who are in spirit.  Even though the messages were delivered to individuals, the wisdom was beneficial for all.  One of the first Spirits to speak was a recently departed mother.  She had made many mistakes in her life, and had a lot of struggle.  Her message was of forgiveness.  She spoke of the need for forgiveness in our world, and how often the best teachers are the ones that need the most forgiveness.  The ones who are unable to change.  I found this to be quite profound, as I have been a bit obsessed with the idea of Radical Forgiveness, lately.

Radical Forgiveness is the act of forgiving without expectation.  When it comes to forgiveness most people find themselves using the word but, a lot.  They say “I forgive you, but…”.  This is not true forgiveness.  True forgiveness comes with nothing attached, and we give it not only for the benefit of the one needing forgiveness, but for ourselves as well.  For through forgiveness, we can break the karmic chains that keep pulling us back to the same lesson over and over again.  Radical Forgiveness does not ask us to forget, or to give consent for the actions that caused the wrong, it simply asks us to let go, move on, and stop dwelling on the wrongs done.  When we hold onto such things we keep everyone involved, wound up tight in a knot of pain.

Another of the powerful bits of wisdom passed on from the Ancestors was around death itself.  The Spirit that came through was a representative of the wounded soldier.  He was a military man in life, and spoke of the healing needed when one has lived a life of war.  He said that sometimes when the body gets old, and the physical wounds endured in youth become overwhelming, all we can do is prepare for death.  He did not speak as poetically as I am speaking right now.  He was matter of fact, and to the point.  His lesson was not about giving up on life, but about facing your demons and preparing for your passage into spirit.  I found this to be a potent lesson, as my father had done just what he spoke of.  My dad was a Vietnam Vet, who spent the last 2 years of his life finding a deep spiritual practice.  He found forgiveness for himself, and a new purpose in those last years, and was ready when his time came to enter the spirit world.  Preparing for death, does not mean your death is around the corner, it means you will be ready when that time comes.  When someone has been to war, and seen and done things they regret, their soul needs to find peace.  If we do not do this in life, then that is what we will be facing when we cross over.

Two different spirits came through to talk about anger, and love.  They spoke from different perspectives on the need to let go of anger and how nothing good comes out of it.  Anger directed at another person, seldom changes them, instead it changes the one holding the anger.  We spend our days filled with this energy, and it transforms our view of life, showing us more that we can be angry with.  But again, how is that helpful, how many of you jump right up and do something for someone who is directing anger and hatred in your direction?  How do you feel when you hold such emotions?  Transforming anger into love is potent.  If you look at it from the terms of quantum theory/what we think, we create.  I know I want more love in my life and less anger.

ivandragonteethThere were many powerful messages passed, and I walked away feeling truly blessed by the experience.  The last to speak that night was my friend, Ivan McBeth, the Druid who built the stone circle we sat in.  He was so ecstatic to be there, and almost everyone present could see him clearly.  His energy was huge, and his message was sweet and beautiful.  He spoke of remembering how powerful we are.  He reminded everyone present that when we focus on the darkness we will find it in plenty, but when we focus on the light and the beautiful, kind things we are capable of, we can manifest that as well.

I believe we all chose to come in at this moment in time.  It certainly is a chaotic one, with many things to fear if we focus our lens that way.  But I also believe that this is a time of great change, which makes it a powerful time of healing.  I know I chose to be here, and that I will continue to choose to be present spreading love wherever I go.  I was deeply touched by the evenings events and thankful for the many spirits who stepped forward to share their knowledge and guidance with us.  I hope you enjoyed the read.

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Sacred Melancholy

October is my favorite month, with it’s early darkness and heavy mist.  The colors, the smells, the coolness of the air; all these things bring me to a place of remembrance.  Not the remembrance of old times, but the remembrance of people who have have passed from life, into the world of Spirit.  With the fullness of Autumns embrace, the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead grows thin, becoming sheer and transparent, allowing those who have even the slightest bit of sight to catch glimpses of the other world.

In my home, as in the homes of my family; the approach of Samhain/Halloween, is invitation to celebrate our Beloved Dead.  Photographs and memento’s that remind us of our family in Spirit come out, to be displayed with honor and thankfulness.  Remembering these people, who walked the path before me, gives me a sense of place, and fills me with a sacred melancholy.

Sacred Melancholy, is a deep sadness or feeling of loss.  It is a romantic feeling really, one that fills us with yearning and remembrance.  It is something to appreciate and immerse oneself in, for it holds great depths of knowing.  When we allow ourselves to connect with that feeling of loss, it is not the same as being depressed and suffering, but more a tender reminder of times past…like savoring the memory of a lovers goodbye kiss…there is a wonderment in the remembering itself.

doorwayWhen I place photos of my departed family out on display, I am consciously choosing to step into that powerful place of remembrance.  I am also inviting the Beloved Dead in the pictures to be present in my home.  I am asking them to infuse my space with their presence, to fill my memories with Spirit.  This is my invitation for them to cross the veil, and pay me a visit.

As a Medium, I am fortunate to have communication with the Spirits I love, often.  I do not need to wait for Holy days, such as Samhain/Halloween, to feel their presence, yet I still go through the effort of giving them honor at this time.  I do this because they appreciate being remembered.

We are living in a time of awakening, a time in which we are finding our way back to the ways practiced by our elders, ancestors and tribal communities, for they have merit.  We are remembering that we remain connected to our beloved ones, even after they have crossed into death.  Our minds and hearts are opening, and we are seeking space for visitation.  When we give them honor, they will come.

It is true, that some people are more adept at feeling them, seeing them, sensing them, but they come for all of us, and they are thankful.

familyalterHere is an easy, do it yourself way to give honor to your Ancestors-

*Find a shelf or stand in your home to use as an altar.  An altar is a space used for things we view as sacred (spiritual, devotional, deserving of special attention).

*Remember everything placed on your altar should be intentional…no junk mail, car keys, or gum wrappers, unless you are doing specific work with such items. Your dead grandpa’s car keys would be ok, if they were used to remember him.

*Decorate your altar with photographs, knick-knacks, and other items of remembrance, that represent your Beloved Dead.

*Place religious, or spiritual items on your altar if you like, to give blessings to your Ancestors.

* Place a candle (doesn’t matter what kind) on your altar, that you can light whenever you want to give extra acknowledgement to your loved ones.

*Place a special treat on the altar (coffee, tea, cigarette, chocolate) for them occasionally.  They will not actually eat it or smoke it, but will instead appreciate the energy of the offering you have given.  Make sure to clean it up at end of the day.

*Keep your Ancestor altar up through Samhain/Halloween.  You may keep it up longer if you like, some people choose to keep their up through the holiday season.

Remember, it is the judgement of emotions and sensations that make them uncomfortable.  Melancholy, and sacred sadness are not things to avoid.  We often rush the mourning process, telling ourselves that like all things modern, it should be efficient and productive.  Well that my friends is bullshit.  We need to understand that our emotions are complex things, and the feeling of loss created from the void of loosing someone we hold dear, is immense.  Some of us will mourn deeply, for a long period of time…some of us, will mourn in bits and spurts.  But to hold a place of deep memory for our Beloved Dead is a good thing.  Do not hold your memories to the moment of loss, but instead allow your mind to take you on the journey of knowing the ones you love, while they were alive and vital.  And remember, Spirits can see us and hear us much easier then we can see and hear them.  They are listening when we talk to them, do it often and you may just hear a reply.

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

ivantor

Ivan @ Glastonbury Tor Photo Karen Maxon

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

 

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

 

ivannavern

Ivan with the Bleeding Yew in Navern, Wales

Making merry

Making merry

friends old and dear

friends old and dear

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

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

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon's Teeth stone circle

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon’s Teeth stone circle

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon's Teeth Farm

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon’s Teeth Farm

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

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

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

 

2012 @ Dreamland...

2012 @ Dreamland…

All Hail, Ivan McBeth!

spreading love-salicrow