STORIES OF SPIRIT…Entering the Otherworld [connecting with our Beloved Dead on Halloween]

Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot) is tomorrow, October 31st.  It is a time of honoring our Beloved Dead; our friends, family, loved ones and ancestors who have crossed the Veil into the land of the dead, entering what is often referred to as the Otherworld by spiritual practitioners.

The Otherworld is a place of Spirit.  In many traditions, it is seen as a realm inhabited by not only our Dead but by the Fae Beings (fairies, trolls, elves and the like).  It is an ethereal place where the body is not as important, a place where the eternal soul is paramount.  In the Otherworld form is mutable, beings residing there are not stuck to one shape, one form, one incarnation of self.  It is a place of creation, where communication comes not only in the form of words but through imagery, sound, feeling, and knowing.

I have traveled to the Otherworld many times, starting as a child when I would visit Spirits on the other side of the mirror; although to be quite honest, that was more of a video conference of sorts.  At this time, I also visited the world of Spirit in my dreams, particularly those that were Lucid (Lucid Dreaming-to be conscious/awake inside your dream).  Over the years I have visited this realm over and over again, in my dreams, while journeying (active spiritual dreaming) & by slipping through the veil with my physical body.

My experience of entering the Otherworld became of great importance when I was 30, and had a hugely significant spiritual opening; which I refer to as the November Incident.  Those of you who have read my book JUMP GIRL, the initiation & art of a spirit speaker, can refer to the 2 chapters dedicated (and titled) to this experience for more details.  During the November Incident, my spirit guide Adam taught me rules of engagement while in the Otherworld.  We spent many hours playing games in my mind in which we would transform from one image of self to another.  In many ways, this was familiar to a video game or a Bugs Bunny cartoon, for we would often trap on another and then figure out how to escape.  He would turn into smoke and I would suck him up with a straw, only for him to turn into ants tickling my esophagus until I coughed him up and out.  I would become a lioness only to have him form a cage around me, to which I would become a crow and fly free of the cage.  We spent many hours this way, developing my ability to change form at will while in the world of Spirit.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/

Grammy Brown & my Dad ‘Richard’, two of my Beloved Dead.

The Veil thinning between the worlds does not just mean that Spirit is more likely to show up in our world, but it also means that those of us brave enough (or chosen) to venture may find ourselves in the Otherworld.   This is not a place one travels with their body, it is a journey we take with our spirit.  One that requires safeguarding, trust, and the ability to experience with an open mind.  We must put aside the idea that the only reality is the solid state of matter in which we live and the belief that what happens in our ‘mind’ has no effect on our physical reality.

Preparing for a Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot) visitation to the Spirit World-

For those of you who have never journeyed before I will give a brief logistical overview to make your voyage safer and more comfortable.

First, we must remember that we are in control of our body.  In short when it comes to this world, and our incarnation here in the physical, having a body means you have more power.  It means that the body you inhabit was assigned to you, this ownership means that Spirits can not inhabit your body unless you have asked them to, or allowed them in through the fearful belief that you are powerless.  One of the most important lessons I learned during the November Incident was that Spirits were no more important than the living.  Just because someone has died it does not make them more powerful.  Fear is what makes us powerless when we give over to fear we make ourselves vulnerable.  This is why I recommend only working with/seeking out your Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones and ancestors) when you are beginning your work with Spirit.  For all beginners, and as a safe practice that before doing any Spirit work we call in a friend or family member in Spirit, who we trust, asking them to be our doorman/guardian on the other side.  This is a simple practice that not only helps us to feel stronger, but also offers us the benefit of having someone familiar with the Otherworld looking out for us.  Whenever I do Spirit work, whether it be personal or for clients I always start with inviting my doorman/spirit guide Adam to join me. 

PREPARING TO JOURNEY-take time to set up an ancestor altar in the room you will use for your astral travel.  Place pictures and mementos of your loved ones in Spirit on the altar, as well as flowers, crystals, holy symbols and whatever else brings you joy and remembrance of them.  Incense and candles are fantastic for setting the atmosphere, and good incense is often created with sacred herbs and resins that help alter the mind slightly, allowing us to slip into a deeper state of relaxation.  Don’t forget to place their favorite food, drink, smoke, treats on the altar as well.  This is an offering the dead love!  Make a comfortable spot for yourself to sit or lie down.  Dim the lights and spend a few moments relaxing your body.  I prefer a simple breathing technique for this.  *Aside note-sometimes it’s helpful to be lead through a journey, especially for beginners.  If you would like to take this approach, I suggest recording yourself reading the below information so that you may listen to it.

family altar

Before beginning your journey, check and make sure your altar is to your liking, light a candle, and incense, and take a few moments creating sacred space.  The easiest way to do this is to imagine there is a dot of white light in the center of your chest, as you breathe that light spreads our around you until it fully encompasses the room you are in.  At this time, you may call in whatever guardian spirits and/or deities your work with.

*Circular breathing- with your spine straight, eyes closed, breathe deeply in through and out through your nose.  On the inhale count the length of your breath, as you slowly inhale.  Now exhale through your nose for the same count.  Do this for 5 full breaths.

*Relaxing your body-As you continue to breathe deeply; trying to keep to a rhythmic pace of equal time inhaling as exhaling.  Now bring your attention to your toes, and allow your consciousness to pull energy from your feet/the earth slowly up over the back of your body, all the way to the top of your crown, and then back down over the front of your body until it touches your toes/ground again, repeat this for 5 full cycles.

*At this point you should be deeply relaxed, and ready to begin your journey (this is the part you may want to record yourself reading)…

As your breathing becomes deeper and deeper, you find yourself standing at the edge of a forest.  As you look around your perception awaken, allowing you to observe your surrounding with whatever senses are strongest for you.  You continue your deep breathing, and remind yourself that every person experiences the world of Spirit differently, there is no right way or wrong way, only your way.  The woods around you is vibrant and teeming with life, pay close attention to what you perceive, taking in all the details you can.

Before you lies a path, leading deeper into the lush woodland.  There is a mist laying heavy along the forest floor, adding a feeling of mystery, and there seems to be a warm glow coming from a sun you cannot see.  Again your awareness is pulled to the details along the path, as you wind your way deeper and deeper into the green.  Pay close attention to any creature/animal/being that presents themselves to you.  Staying in the role of observer, remembering that now is not the time for analyzing what you see, it is a time to be present & aware.

As you make your way along the path, you see the remains of an ancient building ahead of you.  It is in ruins, the remains of what was, a place of betwixt and between, where memory lies heavy.  Allow yourself the time to take in the details of the remains that are before you.  As you walk around the site, you notice the mist has become thicker, making it hard to see the ground on which your feet trod.  As you make your way around the ruins, you notice a stairway leading into the ground.  There is a deep feeling of magic around the stairwell, a feeling of mystery and something that feels like the tickling of a memory.  This is a place you have been before, although you may not remember when or how.  There is a feeling of dreaming about you.

You step onto the top stair and remember to invite your spirit guide/doorman to join you.  You feel a familiar presence stand beside you, you may observe them in whatever manner comes to you, trusting your senses, and being careful not to make expectations.  You begin to descend the stairwell, as you place your foot on the step below, make note of what you see, what does the stair look like? what is it made of? what are you wearing upon your feet?  You descend the steps, counting as you go…9….8…..7…..6…..5….4….3….2….1…

At the bottom of the stairs you find a door, again it is familiar to you.  Make note of whatever details you can.  You open the door and before you is a room, with 2 chairs and a fireplace.  You take a deep breath in and out before entering the room, allowing yourself to feel calm and present.  In one of the chairs, someone is waiting for you.  You step into the room and make your way to the empty chair, making note of the details of the room as you cross it.  As you sit down in your chair you see/sense/know who it is sitting in the chair next to you.  They are one of your Beloved Dead, a loved one in Spirit come to visit with you on this All Hallows Eve.

Allow yourself to sit for a moment acclimating to your surroundings, permitting yourself to observe and emotionally connect with the Spirit that has come to visit.  In this time, in this space, you are completely protected.  Take a few breaths here, as you do not want to rush.  When you feel acclimated to the presence of your loved one, ask them if they have any messages for you. Take a few moments here, breathing deeply, and receiving whatever communication they wish to share, remembering that some Spirits communicate in words, some in images, some in a deep sense of knowing.  Whatever way your message comes through be thankful.

You now may share your own feelings/messages with your Beloved Dead, you may also at this time offer up to them the treats (food, drink, smoke) you placed on your altar, knowing that what you offer here in the Otherworld is also being offered on your altar in the world of the living.

As your time in the Otherworld comes to an end, your Beloved Dead presents you with an offering, a gift that they believe will help you on your spiritual path.  Make note of what they present to you, for it is an item you should seek out in the waking world.  As you accept your gift, give thanks.  You are beginning a relationship in spirit that will be a profound asset to your waking life.  The item they present you with will be a key to connecting with them in the future.

It is now time to return, you say your goodbyes and turn for the door.  As you walk across the room, once more take note of any details you perceive.  Upon opening the door you see/sense the familiar stairwell in front of you.  You take a deep breath in & out and begin your ascent to the surface.  1…2…3….4….5…6…7…8…9…

You are again standing in the misty ruins deep in the forest, the path leading home stretched out in front of you.  At this time, thank your guardian/doorman for accompanying you on your journey.  As you leave the ruins the mist begins to dissipate until the trail you are following comes to an end in the room, you inhabit in the waking world.  You see the altar you have set up for your ancestors and the familiar body that you call self, sitting and waiting for you.  You slip into your body and begin to become aware of the Waking World.

Begin by wiggling your fingers and toes, then move onto a soft slapping of your arms in legs, connecting fully with your physical body.  At this point say out loud, my work is complete, I am fully back in my physical form.  Do this for a couple of minutes, then pick up a journal and write down whatever you experienced.  Knowing that we all experience the Otherwold differently.  To complete your work (after journalling), pick up your candle, and walk counter-clockwise around your room, thanking all the spirits that came this night, those seen and unseen, reminding them that now is the time in which they must leave your space and return to their own.

So mote it be!

I hope you enjoyed the read and the journey.  The Otherworld is as real as ours, only different.  Visits from our Beloved Dead come in all shapes and forms, what we receive in a journey is ours, and may very well be like no others.  Some people are naturally proficient in journeying, while others struggle at first.  If you are a person who struggled, you may repeat this exercise daily for 3 days after Halloween.  Making a note each time in the journal of your progression.  We are all spiritual beings, and this is not foreign to us, only forgotten.  Our Ancestors have used the art of journeying to communicate with their Beloved Dead for time untold.  I wish you a magical Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot), may your Spirits bless you with a visit.

spreading love-Salicrow

salicrow.com

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Stories of Spirit…Welcoming Death [the art of the Doula]

Last night at the end of my Sound Meditation class, it came to my awareness that a fellow Reiki Master, friend, and gentle healer had entered into Hospice.  She had fought the good fight with Cancer only to watch it return, this time with death as it’s companion.  The thought crossed my mind of heading straight to her house and catching a ride home later with a friend, but it had been a long day and I opted for riding home with my husband and making a quick dinner.

Waiting on dinner, I checked my Facebook messages and read “You should come sooner than later.  She seems to be holding on,  enjoying time spent with her boys, but her time is close.”

I put down my phone, packed my basket with oils, sage, my drum as well as snacks, water, and coffee.  When death calls, I never know if I will be going for a short visit or a long.  I ate quickly and got in my car, immediately tapping into my dying friend.  Before I was even out of my driveway, I was singing Spirit Song [song of the soul] and could feel the miles between us dissipate.  I was in duel reality…existing both in ordinary reality-driving my car, watching the road & the otherworlda psychic/shamanic state of existence.  In the otherworld, I was sharing space with my friend; as close as if I were sitting by her bedside.  In this state, I could see her life force and recognized that my decision to see her that evening was a good one.  I felt it as an honor and a duty, that death itself was asking me to come recognize such a beautiful soul as she transformed from body to spirit.  Her work as a healer needed to be acknowledged.

When I got to her house, I was touched by the way her family was already showing reverence.  The love in the house was palpable, and there was a somber reverence that spoke of how much they wanted to honor her in her passing.  We spoke for a few moments about creating sacred space when a loved one is passing, and soon they were walking around the house collecting photographs and special items to place on the altar in their mother/friends room.

Creating an Altar for the dying is a beautiful and thoughtful way of calling in the Ancestors to help with the transition between life and death.  I have given directions for creating an Ancestor Altar at the bottom of the article.

As her family gathered pictures and memories, I began to do Reiki on my friend and to sing gently to her.  My song was a continuation of the song I had already been singing to her during the 20-minute ride from my house to hers.  When singing the song of dying, the words are not important, in fact, I seldom sing with words at all.  The song of dying is sung with emotion and reverence for the person awaiting transition and for death itself.  As a Medium, Death is a friend of mine.  I spend much of my life between the veil, communicating with those who have transcended into death.  I have a great respect for death, and can honestly say that I love it.

By loving death, I do not mean that I love pain and suffering.  I mean that I love the act of transition.  Like birth, death is magical, it is more ‘real’ then any other experience we will have in our lives.  When we sit with death we cannot be anything but what we truly are.  We are vulnerable.

Singing to my friend, I began to loosen the strands of life that were sticky; the places she held tight to her body.  I sang and I soothed.  I could feel her life force & was aware that her death would be soon and did not believe she would live another day.  My song was joined by the soft murmurs of the others in the room.  Her children and friends joining in ‘spirit song’, guiding her soul across the veil.  As I held my tones out long, I felt her sliding on the vibration and her breath becoming slower and slower.

Then it was done, my time with her had come to pass.  She would not pass for hours still, but I felt that it was time for me to leave.  I knew she would be gone before long, but that her last hours were for deep quiet and her family alone.

I left her home at the same time as another friend, and we stopped to talk outside the house.  I spoke of how my need to visit; which had been so urgent, felt like administering last rights…kind of like “Hey there, all is well across the veil, safe travels to the Otherworld”.  In such moments, I connect deeply with my ancient self, my priestess self, the tribal shaman, volva-self.  I see this as the holiest of the work I do, for it is never something to plan on, but something that I must do when I feel it’s vibration.  When death asks me to pay a house call, I do so with great reverence for both the dying and the spirit of death alike.

We are changing the way we interact with death, we are remembering the old ways of honoring and reverence.  Families are interacting deeply with the presence of death through hospice, as well as with the art of home funerals and celebrations of life.  We are remembering the sacred and death is becoming a deeper act of healing.  Years of disassociation with death; death behind white curtains, and sterile environments, and funerals without connection to our ancestors put a serious hick-up in our ability to heal and understand death.  That is changing.  Death is an exceptional moment of Spirit.

My friend passed late this morning, and I am happy to know that her spirit is free and she is no longer burdened with a painful body.  I take heart in knowing that one of her dear friends washed and anointed her body with lavender, showing love and kindness in the ceremonial act of preparing her body for death.

Creating an Ancestor Altar for the Dying-

*You will need- a shelf (dresser, portable tray in the hospital, bookshelf, window sill), family photos of living & dead relatives, special treasures (wedding rings, holy items, crystals, etc).

Set the altar up where the dying and the people holding space can see it.  Even if your loved one is unconscious, set the altar up within their personal space.  Invite your ancestors to join you in the room, and to come aid in the passing of your loved one.

My hope is that ‘ancestor honoring’ become a regular part of death and dying.  We need to remember that we are connected on both sides of the veil.  Our Beloved Dead are waiting for us when we cross, and like our living loved ones sit by our side when we are dying, our loved ones in spirit do the same.  One saying goodbye, the other welcoming home.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks…peaceful travels to the spirit world for those who are crossing.

spreading love-salicrow

salicrow.com

Stories of Spirit…Betwixt & Between & the Shared Dream [the ever evolving story of growth]

April in Vermont exist in the Betwixt & Between; it is no longer technically Winter, but looking out one’s window it is hard to consider it Spring.  Snow and mud cover the landscape, the trees are bare with only the occasional buds starting to appear.  On the warm days, sap is running from the Maple Trees, and steam pours out of the local Sugar Houses.  There is a feeling in the air akin to waking from a dream, as people, animals, and spirit begin to emerge from the deep slumber of Winter.

This time of Betwixt & Between, when things are neither one or the other is a magical time when the dreamscape of the mind is rich with ideas.  People begin planning their gardens and dream of sitting with the sun upon their faces. It is a time when I feel the woods calling me the most.  A time when I can feel the Spirits of Nature and the Ancestors energetically humming in a kind of precognitive trance.  This rich state of becoming is fertile ground for planting one’s dreams/intentions.  It is not the same energy as New Years, where we boldly declare our declarations of change…it is instead a time of groundedness and planned growth, a time when we lay the pathways upon which we imagine ourselves guided toward the change we envision.

As a Medium, I am aware that many of my plans, particularly the big-business ones; the ones that are important to my soul’s path, are worked on by more than myself.  They are shared dreams, dreams in which more than one person, and often more than one Spirit are actively taking part in creating.  This April, I have begun weaving the pattern of growth and collectiveness with others in a grand and holistic way.  Working with a blueprint I created with Spirit over 3 years ago, with roots much older than that.

Last fall I stepped up from renting a studio space @ the Grindstone Cafe, in Lyndonville, VT to sharing ownership/management of it.  This happened naturally and organically, and within a few months the cafe was transforming to include a wellness component, and as it evolved the shelves began to fill up with crystals, and cards, lotions, and potions, geomancy tools and more.  The studio I rented became a shared space, with other practitioners, until it reached a point in which I was starting to schedule myself out of a workspace.  I approached my business partner and said that I thought we needed to talk to the landlord about the possibility of renting another room (the building is large and maze-like) and she agreed….the next day Spirit intervened, to assure us that we were on the right path.

The day after our discussion, before my partner could reach out to our landlord, she reached out to us, letting us know that the people who rented the space next door had decided not to renew their lease and that the space next door to our cafe would be available as of June 1st.  You would have to be blind to not see this as a sign from the Universe, especially when I put it in context with the fact that I had envisioned a wellness learning center over 15 years ago when my Spirits told me that it would be so.  At the time I was overwhelmed with the information they gave me and scrambled to imagine how the hell I was going to be able to afford a big brick building…’How the hell was I going to build Hogwarts? (the problem with interpreting the visions of others).

We decided to trust the path that the Universe was presenting to us, and I put out the idea of turning all the small rooms in the next door space (it is currently a tanning salon) into work rooms we could rent out to other holistic healers.  We never had to advertise, people who we felt would be natural fits to our vision just started filling the spaces.  In fact, we had all of our space filled before we ever did a walkthrough of the space next door, something that will make our growth both affordable and comfortable.  After all, one of the things everyone involved agrees upon is the importance of community…

This is an exciting time in so many ways.  For one, I have an outline already…as I had planned on opening a center like this 3 years ago.  I recognize the Wyrd of it, I see how connected to Fate it is.  It is one of the things I have come to recognize as normal when one has the mind of a Psychic.  Often I know things I am supposed to do, right down to the details years before I am actually supposed to do it.  It comes to me in the form of Awen (the spirit of creativity), often consuming my thoughts.  I have notebooks upon notebooks with detailed ideas and designs, my mind fantasizing about it whenever there is space to do so.  I recognize it as being more than a fantasy, I know what I am experiencing to be a connection with Creation and it comes to me in the form of a download.  The downfall is I can often get so wrapped up in the experience of download to the point where I cannot see the timeline.

This particular dream I have is not mine alone, as I said above it is being shared and created with a group of people all of whom have a deep love of community, and want to share in responsibility and celebration of this center together.

In brief…the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center (where I have my studio) will be growing this summer.  In June we will be opening the wall between our current location & the space next door to us.  We will be adding 5 new holistic practitioners to the services already offered by myself and Michele Wildflower of Wildflower ImmunoTherapy.  My current studio space will be emptied out making it even better for the Yoga classes we offer.  We will be extending both our indoor and outdoor seating and retail offerings (holistic and magical goods, hand-crafts & more).  The Cafe offerings will grow to include food (soups/sandwiches/salads),  and light medicinal tonics.  We are excited about this growth, and cannot wait to share it with you.

This blog article started with me wanting to talk about the power of co-creation, and manifestation in the time of dreaming that exists in the Betwixt & Between, it is still such an article.  We are powerful forces of creation, especially when we get out of way and start thinking from the perspective of  ‘What if?’ instead of getting stuck in the reasons why something cannot be.  Our minds and souls are deliciously alive and we are here to be co-creators of our story.  Ask yourself how the story you tell yourself serves you?  If it doesn’t, perhaps it is time to start telling a different story.  Quantum Physics has proven thought matters, it is important to see our dreams, thoughts, and ideas as powerful tools of manifestation, and to remember that is true whether we like the story we are telling or not.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

Stories of Spirit…Things that go Boo in the Middle of the Night {adventures of the scooby-doo detective agency]

I spent last weekend at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont, doing Psychic Readings, Spirit Communication & workshops.  It’s a long weekend filled with work and play.  One of my highlights is playing in the Waterlot Ballroom in the dark of night.

I love the Waterlot Ballroom as there is a significant convergence of ley-lines that cross in the room creating a vortex of energy that is easy to work with and creates a lot of spirit activity.  Over the years my sister and I have taken groups of women there for extra events that are not on the schedule.  This year we decided to just go to the Waterlot with only the women who were there working with us.

We had just settled ourselves on the stage near the windows, the lighting was low; only one light to make it easy to get across the room if we wanted.  Holding Lemurian Crystals in our hands and listening to Norse music we were planning on doing Journeywork (trance dreaming) with a focus on our personal growth.  Shortly after the music started we heard the sound of the slightly intoxicated…a group giggling women, creeping down the hallway, in the search of ghosts.  The closer they got to the room, the more we had to hold ourselves back from laughing.  We were having a close encounter with the Scooby-Doo detective agency.  They were spooked, giggling, and egging each other on.   Suddenly, my sister looked over at me and said “I’m going to go turn the light out”, a look of mischief in her eyes.

She crept across the room trying to keep quiet as we all covered our mouths trying not to laugh.  Just as the Scooby-Doo detectives got close to the room the light went out.  This was quickly followed by a handful of screams, laughs, pushing, shoving and a clear announcement of  “I think I peed my pants”.  The women turned tail and hustled it down the hallway.   This alone was enough to become the highlight of my weekend.  We were all laughing so hard we too almost peed ourselves.  I could imagine a pig pile of bodies colliding in the hallways, legs moving but not going anywhere, and general chaos.

We settled back into our music and trance work, only to hear the same voices 10 minutes later.  They were braver than we expected, something that made me proud of the group of adventurers.  After all, they were truly just startled, not scared.  The spirits that reside at the Lake Morey Resort are not evil, scary or bad.  They are pretty laid back.  I have met an old man in the elevator, a young girl and a young man have visited my room multiple times over the years, then there is the young guy in his swim shorts who drowned in the lake years ago, a cat and a few other visitors…all of whom are pretty happy, friendly and generally well behaved.

When the ladies were in the hall just outside the ballroom I heard one of them say “Don’t try to scare us Paula!”.  I knew what group of ladies who were bravely stalking the ghost of the Waterlot, it was the Zumba Ladies from Connecticut.  Like me, they have been attending the weekend for years. I have read for most of them and even visited/done Seances for a few of them when I did my Gypsy Tour of Connecticut & Mass. a few years back.  Paula did not listen, she and one of her compatriots left the group and snuck into the ballroom from the other door and successfully managed to scare the crap out of their friends.  The whole time, me and my group of spiritual adventurers were over in the darkened corner of the stage, biding our time.  When they had recovered from their first scare, we were prepared to give them a second.

The lights came on, and we all shouted from our spot on the stage…chaos ensued, with yells, screams, laughing and great enthusiasm.  The Scooby-Doo detective agency had gone to the haunted Waterlot with the hopes of discovering ghost, but behind the illusion was a group of Witches grooving on the energetic vibes of the space.  The story could end there, but I would like to say that not only were they brave enough to go ghost hunting; even when lights went out, but they all enthusiastically joined us in our spiritual adventures, even when we told them that we were going to turn all the lights out.

With the lights out we began to chant and tone, something I am totally into.  I love the way sound can move people from regular reality into shamanic reality.  Our minds can get caught up in the sound and travel on it to places and spaces most never explore, except while asleep and dreaming.  The ladies laid out on the floor, holding the Lemurian crystals I had brought.  Not-coincidentally there were 8 crystals and 8 of them.  As they relaxed we rode the sound of our voices into the spaces betwixt & between.  When we finished, someone’s phone rang.  Not before, not during, but as soon as we finished.

The next day we laughed at breakfast with the Zumba Gals of the Scooby-Doo detective agency, I told them I was going to blog about it, and we all posed for a group picture (minus one Z-gal).  They shared their stories with us and told us it was the highlight of their weekend, as well as what the gist of the phone call that had come in at the end of the journey work.  Here is the phone call verbatim from one of the Zumba Ladies for your amusement…

Chant literally ends…
Ring ring (call from my 20 year old so ..after midnight)
Me (at a whisper) : dude what’s up I’m about to do a Seance’ with real freakin witches ..what do u need?
Spencer: What?
Me: dude you almost ruined the chant … what’s up????
Spencer: wait, witches? Where are you?
Me: yes real freakin ones!! I’m in a dark haunted basement …What’s up?
Spencer: Oh ok cool…ummm……Can you put some money on my card so I can buy some chicken nuggets I’m in the drive thru..
Me: WTF! Click (money added)

I hope this read helps you to remember not to take yourself too seriously, and that often things are not what you think they are.

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Divination, Symbolism, & Non-Ordinary Reality [viewing in light trance state]

I have lived my entire life with a view of the unknown, the hidden and the misunderstood.  As a child, I did not always know the difference between what I had been told and what I knew from elsewhere.  It was as if certain things just appeared in my mind as fact.  I just knew them and I didn’t bother trying to understand the how of it.  As I grew older, my mind became more inquisitive and I started to notice that not everyone saw things as I did; this realization didn’t occur until I was truly submerged in school, for in my home life my sister and my great grandmother ‘Grammy Brown’ also saw into the unseen world, they too existed in the betwixt & between.

In my study of the metaphysical, my brain eager to understand the experiences I had that were wyrd (connected to fate).  I discovered that in moments when knowing occurred or when I seemed to find the answer… I had stepped into the slip-stream, into the betwixt & between, the place of almost sleeping, when the subconscious mind is agile and fleet.

Another key to my understanding of Psychic ‘seeing’  was recognizing the relationship between symbols, and the subconscious mind.  My first scholastic voyage into symbolism came when I was in 7th grade and one of my parent’s friends gave me a book on dream interpretation.  I lapped it up like cream (or in my case a coconut-almond milk latte), my mind thirsty for more information like that.  I got it on a deep level and could link my own personal experiences with the playing cards Grammy Brown loved so much.  In fact many of my first Psychic lessons involved games of Memory and Rummy with her.  I thought she was cheating, letting me win, for often I had all the cards but a few.

My love of symbolism and of cards led me to the Tarot, which is still to this day my favorite divination tool.  I also picked up the Runes, and soon found myself Reading tea leafs, coffee grounds, the clouds and even the sand on a beach.  The key was to let myself slip into that space between, where the mind is fluid and to let the information present itself to me.  The more I knew of symbolism, the easier the communication was.  It was like becoming multi-lingual in a Psychic Seer kind of way.  I soon realized that I truly could read anything or nothing at all.  The symbolism could present itself to me in my mind as well as in the physical world.

When we are learning something, whether it be a musical instrument, the history of the State of Vermont, or to see into the unseen world, we need to practice, study and experiment.  We need to discover the way in which we learn best.  We need to trust our inner knowing and keeping a journal helps a lot.  Learn symbols, lots of them…and spend time with them non-scholastically as well.  Try placing a symbol on your bathroom mirror, where you can come in contact with it on a subliminal basis.  Choose a symbol that you want to activate in your life.  Choose to understand the symbol in a way that you really know it.  This is much like learning a part in a play, you need to memorize, feel and become the thing on a certain level, to truly get it.

The world is changing folks, we are living in exciting times.  Times when we can and should step into the strength of our being.  Start by allowing yourself to believe in the unseen world, when weird/wyrd events happen in your life, don’t turn first to the why it can’t be something.  Instead for a change allow yourself to sit with the thoughts of why it could be.

 

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANCESTOR HONORING & the THINNING OF THE VEIL

You will need-

*Pictures and mementos of your loved ones

*A white Candle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look carefully for the face beside of me

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow