Stories of Spirit…Celebrating the Harvest [Lughnasadh & the Warrior Bitches]

I love the company of men.  I find them as a general rule to be straight forward, outwardly competitive, and less likely to engage in drama.  That being said, there are times in which I truly crave the isolated company of my lady friends; the warrior bitches and sacred mamas, who have seen me covered in my own tears and snot.

For years now, I have found myself congregating with my wise-women, during the heat of summer; for powerful, soul-moving work.  Work that is not filled with deep planning and bullet point schedules, but is instead more of a wild-rumbus of magic, emotions, and intoxication.  We come together to let our hair down, (or plate it into viking braids), have late night conversations by the light of a campfire, and to engage in the wildness of magic…the kind that oozes from one’s soul, when we are truly in sync with the universe and the natural world.

When it comes to magic of manifestation, I am not one for large crowds, and find myself put off by the glut of retreat weekends offered up.  Not because I think they have no value, but more because I struggle to let down my guard when the numbers are high, and the people are not intimately connected.  As a Psychic I often find myself overwhelmed in large groups, and immediately switch into the role of teacher/facilitator/counselor, making such weekends feel less about myself, and more about others.  I feel the people who are holding back,  the ones who are trying to hard, and the ones who are just barely holding themselves together, and I step into the role of caretaker.  This takes away from my ability to focus on myself, and my personal work.

We must take time to know ourselves, and to cater to the needs of our soul.  Lughnasadh for me is such a time.

Lughnasadh is the first of 3 harvest holidays in the Celtic Wheel of the year.  (The Celtic Wheel of the Year consist of 8 holidays, equally spread out through the solar year) Celtic Wheel of the Year.  Lughnasadh on a personal level is a celebration of the abundance of life, and the hopes and wishes of what is still in store.  It is a time to step boldly into ones dreams, and reach for ones desires, while consciously being aware and thankful for all that we have received thus far.  It is time of high-magic and potent manifestation.

I want magic to be tangible, titillating, and filled with wild abandon.  I want to release myself to the Spirits of Nature, and be ridden by the bliss of an open Kundilini (complete chakra system).  I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that the person standing next to me has my back, knows the value of holding secrets that are not theirs, and is also willing to ride the rapids of their dreams.  I know it seems like a lot to ask, but it is not impossible.

It begins with intention, with the thoughts and desires to find and create such a community for oneself.  The feeling of trust is necessary, for how are we to speak of our desires, goals and dreams while they exist in the vulnerable place of becoming, if we do not trust those we work with.  Just like a newborn child, we must be careful who we entrust with the safety of that which we seek to manifest.  We do not need know them for years on end, but we must know in our soul that they are worthy of such a duty.

Finding deep friendships, and feeling secure enough to let your wyrd out, is invaluable.  In truth it does not require that participants should or shouldn’t be of the same sex as you.  It has nothing to do with that at all.  I just happen to like the feeling of empowerment that a group of ladies generate, when they come together as their bad-ass selves.  Specially since I am a person who prides myself on not-doing manual labor.  This is where I make the exception.  I put up my own tent, I carry my own shit, I do all the things I prefer to let my husband do, and I do it in style.

When we step outside of our every day self…the self who likes a soft bed, and appreciates cooking in a kitchen with running water, lights, and a nice stove, we invite ourselves to become more.  We are ignited by the flame of adventure, and find we are capable of more then we believe possible.  The chill of the air, the layers of clothing, the roots poking up lightly under our yoga mat/sleeping bag, are all reminders to not get ‘too comfortable’, to stay aware, and to open our mind to the unseen.

This years weekend was all that I needed, and hoped for.  The group has changed over the years, expanding and contracting to accommodate those who can and cannot make it.  But the work remains essentially the same.  We gather in hopes of fueling our dreams, and expanding our consciousness.  We gather to support one another, and to step intentionally further onto our paths.

As a Druid and priestess of the Earth, much of my time was spent hugging trees, melding into rocks, and traveling astrally into holes in the ground & openings in the rock.  I go into the forest to meet with the Fae Folk, the Spirits of Nature whom I consider friends and teachers.  This weekend gave me ample time to do so, as we explored path ways in the Notch (Crawford Notch) that I had never been on.  I found myself preparing for my trip to Northern Ireland, by meeting with stone beings/giants and reacquainting myself with those I had met before.

I know the idea of talking to Fairies, Trolls, and Giants can seem a bit far fetched.  But only if you are imagining with Hollywood eyes.  These beings exist in different dimensions then we do.  They vibrate on different frequencies, and one must be open to experience them.  Over the years my ability to do so has expanded, just as my ability to speak to the Dead has done so.  The longer I do it, the more places I wonder, the more magic I see present in the world, the more beings I come to know as friends.

I find this to be important, as we are living in changing times.  Times when the old ways of magic, and divination are returning.   Expansion of consciousness is not just happening to those who seek it, but to those who stumble onto it as well.  In truth it is far easier to assimilate to if we believe and accept.  Our struggle with the term ‘reality’ can cause many a problems for the masses.

In the light of dusk on the last night of our weekend, we found our way into a cave in the rocks.  It is a cave I have visited many times, one that has expanded physically over the years.  What once could hold only two people close together, now holds 5 comfortably.  Its expansion has been a thing of wonder to me, for it truly has grown both energetically and physically with use.  In the darkness, and light of a small fire we spoke that which we meant to manifest into becoming.  We connected to the nature beings that surrounded us, and opened ourselves into timelessness…we surrendered to the universe, got out of our way and became co-creators of our reality.

The rock walls around us vibrated, and pulsated with the energy generated by our voices and the solid beat of the drum.  We became one with the moment of becoming, and let go…knowing that we had just impregnated something fantastic.  We had seeded our dreams.  The days leading up to the moment in the cave, were as important as the moment itself.  For they were the building blocks, the invitations, and the call to arms necessary to step onto the path of the Spiritual Warrior.  It was an exceptional moment of Spirit, and we were ready.

I know that which I have planted, must be tended.  I cannot now forget it as it is still in need of tending.  But that being said, I have full faith that my work is potent, and that which I seek to create is beautiful, powerful, and filled with integrity.  I give thanks for the blessings of Lughnasahd, the first harvest.

LUGHNASAHD actually takes place on August 1st, so you have not missed the deadline.  For those of you looking to create something magical yourselves this harvest here is a quick do it yourself idea.

YOU WILL NEED- a small fire (candle, campfire, raging bonfire, etc), a piece of paper and pen, any sacred items you like (crystals, feathers, holy symbols, etc), your voice.

Start by creating fire, as you do so welcome in your ancestors  and imagine you are surrounded by a white light of protection. Sit comfortably in front of it and pick up your paper and pen.  Make a list of that which you are seeking to become.  If you are seeking self empowerment, examples may be…more confidence, find my voice, stand tall, value my intuition, etc.

With the list in hand, begin chanting your own name.  You can elongate the vowels and turn your toning into more of a sacred song, or keep it short and sweet, building momentum over time.  Hold onto your paper as you do so.  Gaze into the fire, and let yourself relax into its light.  Keep your vision soft, paying attention to that which appears in your peripheral vision.  Continue chanting your name for at least 10 minutes.  As you do so, imagine you are charging up the paper which you hold in your hands, charging up the dreams you hold.

When the energy feels full, stop…hold onto the energy and speak the words written on the paper aloud, with the force of fact.  Then burn the paper, letting the words and intention go to the universe, where they begin their becoming.

Thank your ancestors, and close your protective circle.

Know that you must continue to tend your dreams, in order to grow them.  Your magic is simply fertile ground, it aids in growth, but work is also necessary.  We must care for and nurture that which we aspire to.  We must believe in our dreams and work toward them, if we want to see them ripen.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks. Now go out and embrace your wild self, and make some magic!

 

spreading love-salicrow

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STORIES OF SPIRIT…Crying on the Couch

Owenegaut, the cave of the Morrigan.

Owenegaut, the cave of the Morrigan.

I sat on my couch in the early hours of the morning, and cried.  I cried for the state of our nation, I cried for the lies that are spoken, I cried for the hate mongering and xenophobia.  I cried for the Muslims, and I cried for the under-employed youth of our nation.  I cried for my friends who are Queer.  I cried for Black Mothers who fear for the lives of their children, and the Native American who fight for their lands.  I cried for the water in Flint Michigan, and all the waters of the world.  I cried for the living, and I cried for the dead.  I cried for those who have no dreams in sight, and for those whose dreams have been washed away in a haze of disdain.

I cried for the world, and the world cried with me.

There is a heaviness to our world right now, and many of us feel overwhelmed by the weigh of it.  We are emotionally exhausted, and many are living in a low level state of fear; wondering what is to come next, how far will this craziness go.  We know that the outside world is looking at our country like we have gone completely bat-shit crazy.  We keep hoping that we will wake up and this will all be a nightmare, and we can go back to life as normal.

Well we cannot go back to life as normal, nor could we stay in the sedated place of non-action we have existed in for the last few decades.  There is a sickness in our nation, and often as it is will illness, it must get worse before it gets better.  Like a body fighting off a virus we must rise to the occasion, utilize our antibodies and take action against that which is causing us harm.  This sickness is not something that came out of no where.  It has been there for a very long time, under the surface, running us down.  It was inevitable that we would come to a moment in time such as this, for a people who feel hopeless will often make rash decisions, and often those decisions will lead to crisis.

We are in a time of crisis.  But crisis is not all bad.  Crisis sheds light on that which we have kept festering in the dark.  Crisis brings opportunity.  Crisis demands action, pushing us off our fat rumps.  Crisis gathers our neighbors, friends, and community to our side.  It bolsters us, and melds us into a force of unity.

When a natural disaster hits an area, people come out in the masses, neighbor stands by neighbor, lending a hand where needed, getting the job done, without the regular bullshit of “I have things to do”.  There is nothing more important at that moment then the crisis at hand.

We are living in such times.  For some of us the storm has not hit close enough for us to get excited yet, to prepare ourselves for action.  But it is only a matter of time, before even the sheltered hermits among us, must descend from the forest to see what the fuck is going on.  Such times are meant for community to stand together, to unite as a force bigger then any one man or woman ever could be.

I do not ask you who you voted for, I do not ask you to march or to protest.  I ask you to consider your life, and the life of your neighbor, and your community, and to ask yourself “What do I stand for?”  I ask you to come together with your neighbors, and friends, and to start a discussion on that.  “How do we stay strong together in these times of struggle”.   “Will I wait until they are coming for someone I know?”  “Will I hide my head in the sand and say nothing, do nothing, while the country I love becomes less?”

I believe in America!  I believe in the people of America.  We are a nation that has been made stronger because we are a melting pot.  We are a like a good mutt, stronger and smarter for the mixing of our bloodlines.

My Ancestors knew persecution.  My great grandmother had to hide her Native blood as a child, for fear of being taken away to an Indian school.  My Irish relatives from my fathers side were Traveling People, or Gypsies.  They knew what it was like to be scorned and discriminated against.  I myself am a Psychic and a Witch.  We all know how I would have been treated a few centuries ago.

I am sure that each of us has a family story in which our Ancestors experienced persecution for one thing or another, from their nationality of origin, color of their skin, religion, sexual preference or simply their economic status.  If we take a moment to sit with ourselves, and connect with our Ancestors, we will see that this fight for equality, and justice is something that is personal to each and every one of us.  “There but for the grace of God, goes I”.

The first step to overcoming this calamity, that has beset our nation is to stop letting FEAR run the show.  Fear is the soul eater, it causes us to run scared, bury our heads in the sand, shove Ring-dings into our mouth, drink too much and pace endlessly in the loop of our mind.  It has no value, other then to let us know that something is not right.  It is an alarm, and like all alarms, once they have alerted us to the situation their job is done.

DO NOT FALL BACK ASLEEP!  Fear gave us the alarm, it alerted us to the fucked up situation that is around us.  Now we must take action, we must get moving, get organized, and come together.  I am not asking you to picket, I am not asking you to march.  I am asking you to become a supporter of your community.  It makes us feel good to help others, it takes our mind off of fear, and gives us purpose.  Look at the situation at hand and ask what you can do.  Whatever it is you choose to do, please, please, connect with your community.  This alone will help you to find your spot.

GET CENTERED…understand that mixed into this slurry of chaos is the fact that we are going through a Psychic Evolution.  We are changing as a species, becoming more attuned to the world around us.  We are becoming EMPATHIC as a people, developing the ability to sense the emotions of others.  This adds a lot to the mix, for it means that the fear, and anxiety we are feeling is not just ours.  It belongs to the guy sitting next to us on the bus, and the co-worker who is sucking down sugar like a feen; trying to feel something other then worry.  It belongs to our mother, our kids, our husband, and our friends.

Empathy is an interesting thing, for it works both ways.  Those of us, who are the most Empathic, are also the best at sending our emotions out.  In this way, the Empaths are broadcasting emotions out into the world.  The problem is most Empaths don’t know a thing about how to control it.  So we sit there absorbing the pain and suffering, and then we turn around and amplify those feelings, before sending them out like a wave around us.

What if we, the Empaths decided we were going to utilize this knowledge and choose what we were going to broadcast out?  What if we chose to send out Love instead of Hate, and Bravery instead of Fear.  After all they are simply opposite ends of a pendulum swing.

freyjalterJust for today, choose to be an ambassador of Love.  Whatever lands in your lap, whatever news you hear, whatever approach you take to the situations of your day, choose love.  Choose your words to support, and strengthen, not to degrade and breakdown.  Even when standing against apposing forces we can choose to do so with love.  We can choose to see that what we stand against is already broken, and that by embracing hate we are perpetuating that which we do not want.  Because hate destroys us from within.  It consumes us, torments us, and leaves us empty.  Love gives us hope, love supports us, strengthens us, and pushes us to be more.

Do not stick your head in the sand, stand bravely and with purpose, but do so with love and kindness.  Do not sink to the level of name calling and trash talking, that gets us no where.  Move with purpose, act with forethought, and find your center.  When we choose bravery and love, we are no longer victims, we are crusaders out to make a difference in whatever way we can.

Know that you do not walk alone in these hard times, our Ancestors are walking with us.  Not just our personal Ancestors, but the Ancestors of our country.  Those proud Americans who have fought for this country we call home.  I am proud to be an American, even if I am not proud of the state it is in at this moment.  I love this land, I love it’s people, I love my community, and my neighbors, and my sweet loving family.  I love you, and I believe in you.

Finding my words stops my tears, and my fears.  I too have moments when it feels overwhelming, and I want to go back to bed and wake up when it’s over.  But then I remember I was made for such times, I chose to come in at this moment and in this place.  So I will put on my mud boots, and get ready to clean some shit up.  I hope you decide to join me, I hope you decide to replace hate with love, and I hope you see just how powerful you are.

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I remember the Genius Locus of the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we be more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…I Stand! [love vs. hate, and the power of unity]

headstandenglandI feel the collective holding of breath, and hear the fear whispering in the hearts, of the people, of our country.

We are standing in a time of change.  In the Tarot such moments are often represented with the Death card, for they are the ending of a way life, the ending of way of being.  Such times change us as people, stirring our emotions and values into sludge.  Like the Tasmanian Devil, from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, this change leaves chaos in its wake.

Approaching the inauguration of the new President, we all wonder how are world will change.  Some of us believe it will improve, many of us believe there will be suffering of one kind or another.  The media pokes at us, like animals in a cage, prodding us on to more and more anger.  We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

As a person who spends a great deal of time looking into the future, and talking to those whose lives have passed, I believe the only thing we can do in such times is stand strong as a community.  When we are fearful, lost and confused, we must rely on the power and support of the tribe.  We need one another.  We need our family, and neighbors, and friends.  We need to remember that we are not all weak at the same time, that when some of us are at our weakest, others step into their strength.

I believe in equality!  I believe we all have a right to love, safety, and justice.

When facing fear, we have a choice on how we will do so.  We can hide, and cower, waiting for it all to go away.  We can fight, and bicker, creating discontent for ourselves and those around us.  Or, we can stand in peace, coming together to support our selves and others.

Standing in peace, does not mean we turn a blind eye.  Nor does it mean we stick our finger in the eye of anyone who has a different view then us.  It means we unite with our community, and together we maintain an upright position, one supported by the feet of many.

I stand!

I do not stand because I am a woman,  or because I have a different faith then the masses, or because someone I love is homosexual, or because I am friends with people of color.  I stand because of all of these things.  I stand because I believe in LOVE.  Not love that is limited by relationship, not sensual love, platonic love, love of country, or love of world.  But LOVE that is all of these things at once, love that is the essence of being.

After all what are we here for?  We are here to experience love.  Love of our families, friends, neighbors, work, art, hobbies, places, the list goes on.  We are all searching for LOVE!

People have written to me of late, telling me they feel out of control, that their lives are in chaos, that they cannot seem to find center.  This is all connected to the way in which we experience change.

When change seems difficult, and we see hardship approaching we clench up, and prepare for the worse.  Our minds distort the situation, blowing things out of proportion, until there are demons in the closet and monsters under the bed.  The amount of time that most people spend worrying about the possible ways that shit can hit the fan is phenomenal.  The funny thing is nothing good comes out of that fear, yet we do it anyways.

In times of crisis, we are given the opportunity to create.  We can choose to follow our fears, and create demons and monsters, or we can change our focus and choose to create heroes.  Creating heroes means we support and strengthen those who are standing, whether it be ourselves or others in our tribe.  If we cannot stand, we can give support to someone else who can.

When we stand, we do not stand alone.  We stand with the strength of our Ancestors.  They walk beside us, helping us to carry our burden. When we feel week, we can call on them for strength, and bravery.  When we feel alone and vulnerable, we can call on them for love & comfort.  They are there, standing quietly, holding space for us, co-creating with us the world that we want to manifest.

Love is more powerful than hate!

I am not afraid.  I know that we approach trying times, but I believe I am here, walking on this Earth, at this very moment, for a reason.  Therefore, I choose to stand bravely.  I will defend the rights of myself and others, with quiet strength.  I will not shout, and I will not bellow.  I will become the resistance in a world of hate.  I will show LOVE to those I meet.  In the words of Mahatma Gandi, I will be the change I want to see in the world.

I will be marching in Montpelier on Saturday, the 21st in the Women’s march for Unity.  If you are marching please let me know, so that we may be connected through spirit, standing together.   If you choose to send energy and strength to  those who march, but cannot make it yourself,  share your reply.  Simply saying “I stand”.

My labradorite 'booby stone'.

My labradorite ‘booby stone’.

For those of you who want to do more, find a crystal or friendly driveway rock, and mediate with it for 5 minutes.  Imagine that rock is connected to all rocks, and that your rock is seeking out the rock that I carry against my HEART CHAKRA .  As you connect with me, you connect to others.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Love in Darkness [the importance of community]

salicrowcavernFear is the eater of souls. It twist our thoughts and crams us down into the pit of despair, making us selfish and greedy.  It makes us think in terms of me and my, and screams at us to fend for ourselves because no one else is going to look out for us.  Fear isolates us, separating us from any who have different opinions then we do.  If we allow ourselves to give in to fear it will consume us, licking up every last drop of our blood and tears as a sacrificial offering, given freely without constraints.

Life is full of reasons to be fearful.  We are going through a time of immense change, on an individual level, as a nation, & as a species.  We are becoming more Empathic, not just some of us, but all of us.  Even those of us who appear to be sleeping on the job, are actually going through deep change, and expansion.  To be Empathic means we pick up on the emotions of others.  This is a scary evolutionary change.  Many can not tell the difference between the emotions they are picking up from others, and their own.  They often feel overwhelmed, and try to push their emotions down in whatever way they can…drugs, food, TV, shopping, etc.  But the changes that our world faces, and that which we experience as a species, are so intense that we cannot block them out completely.  We cannot stop feeling.  The more we try, the more the volume gets turned up, until we are unable to look away.

The recent election is one that truly could have no good outcome.  I believe the protesting in the street would have just as likely happened if the outcome had been different.  Some say we are a country divided, that we are at odds with one another.  I have a different spin on things.  I see that we are a species trying desperately to wake up.  When we keep hitting the snooze button, the buzzer has to get louder and louder until we respond.  We have had unrest in our country for quite some time now, and we are reaching the point where we can no longer sleep through the alarm.  These differences we see when we look around us, are coming from a place of fear.  They are coming from the belief that there is not enough to go around, that we must look out for ourselves and ourselves alone.  This causes fear, and fear is quick to tell us how different we are, and how much we hate that guy over there that is not like us.  This fear builds until we feel chaos all around us.

“Every act in life yields pairs of opposites in its results.” Joseph Cambell

There is a belief that chaos, and uncertainty are the breeding ground of great change.  That times of destruction are closely woven with times of rebirth.  We are living such times.  As a species this change we are going through, this expansion of Psychic Consciousness, is forcing us to feel.  It is also asking us to step up to the plate and do what we can.  I believe must all do what we feel in our heart is best, if that means protesting, then pick up your sign, if that means building a bunker in the woods…have at it.  But I believe the majority of us really truly want to love and be connected to our neighbors and communities.  I believe this chaotic soup we are brewing holds the potential for great change on a communal level.

The reality of it is, most of us are more alike then not.  When we take out the psychopaths and those with dangerous mental illness, we are actually quite similar.  We all want to feel safe.  We want shelter, warmth, and food in our bellies.  This basic need is something shared by each and everyone of us.  When those things are missing our panic, fear, and frenzy go on high, everything triggers us.  The other piece we humans are searching for is companionship; family, friends, community, tribe.  Some of us need a large community, some prefer a small, but we are all looking for people who get us, who appreciate us, and will care for us.  We want to feel loved.

I encourage you to get involved in your world, not the big world, not the seen on TV version of reality, but the real world that exist within 20 minutes of your home.  Within 20 minutes of our homes we find our regular world.  The world we exist in day to day.  Here we find our grocery store, our bank,  gas station, school, and all the shops and people we run into regularly.  I have found that even those who live in metropolitan areas, still have a tendency to frequent the same places.  We do this because we are seeking community.  We want to have connections, it is part of wiring as humans.  It is also believed that we have a finite number of people we can have genuine relationships with.  Anthropologist Robert Dunbar proposed that humans can only sustain 150 personal relationships.  This is why we seek out a smaller community, even when we live in high populations.

Most of us have a community we are engaging in, even if we do not see it as so.  Those of us who are close to our family know we have them, but we often forget the clerk at the bank who we always go to, the people we run into at the coffee house, the shop owners and counter workers we see on our daily run through life, and the co workers who we gossip with on break.  These people are part of our community as well.  If their house burnt down, or they were struggling with cancer, we would donate a few bucks, bake a casserole, or send out prayers for them.

It is our choice whether we will submit to fear or embrace love.  We are free to isolate ourselves from the world, stick our heads in the sand, scream & yell, allowing ourselves to ride our raw emotions as they surface.  We are also free to choose love, compassion, community and hope.  I choose the latter.  I choose to be a beacon of love and hope for the people I come in contact with.  I will not go down like a punk, I will not throw in the towel embracing anger and fear.  I am angry, I do feel it.  I feel the injustice of the world, the hatred, the dog eat dog mentality preached at us by mainstream media, and I CHOOSE LOVE!  My anger is there, but it does not rule me.

How do I find community?

There are a lot of people who are struggling with finding community, people who reading this are saying “that’s all fine and good, but what if you have no community?” My simple answer is VOLUNTEER.  Volunteering is a powerful thing.  It connects us to other people who are generous and kind, it also gives us an opportunity to give.  There is nothing as rewarding as the feeling of giving.  To see the appreciation on the faces of those you help, makes you feel rich.  Not rich in a bank account way, but rich in character.  You can choose what kind of group you want to work with, where you want to give of your time, but volunteering in ones community makes you aware of your value in that community.  Whether you are working at a community meal site, raising money for your kids hockey team, fighting fires on the volunteer fire department, or singing to the elderly in a choral group, your effort given freely will empower you.  It will also weave fine threads, connecting you to the people you touch and those who serve beside you.

Another way to connect with community is through spirituality.  Whether you like going to church, or your beliefs are more unique, connecting with others for spiritual practice is a powerful thing.  It reminds us that we are so much more then this one incarnation, this flesh and bone existence of hardship and joy.  We are infinite, we are powerful and we are co-creators of our reality.  I have always been a spiritual person.  I love to connect with people on a deep, personal level.  I also believe that I am here on this planet, at this time because I chose to be.  Which means I knew what I was coming in for.  When you own your existence, choosing to see it is a purposeful instead of haphazard, you begin to see the responsibility you have to being the best person you can be.  Connecting with others in spiritual practice, gives strength to this belief, and empowers us.

I want each and every one of you to take a moment and think about how you can choose to be a vessel of love in this time of darkness.  Do not focus on how different you are from your neighbor.  They may have chosen a different political candidate then you, they may harbor different fears then you, but at the bottom of it all we are all seeking the same thing; a feeling of security and love for ourselves and those we care about.  There will always be the haters, but hatred is a product of fear.  Let us shed love on that and see what happens.

When I was younger I faced a lot of people who were uncomfortable with my gifts.  I still do, but seem to have become a bit more immune to it.  I chose to educate instead of hate.  I chose to be active in my community, letting them see my kindness, dedication and moral character.  When they heard I was a Witch, a Psychic, someone who talked to the Dead, they remembered my kindness, activism and dedication to my community.  This shed light on the situation, allowing them to look at those things about me that scared them, differently.  I was not able to sway the opinion of all, there are those who I am sure prefer to hate me and demonize me.  But there are many who’s opinion was changed, they became educated.  They started to see that even though I did things different then they did, I had the same desires of love, security and community as they did.

I choose to be a light in this time of darkness, shining my love beam on any and all who can see it.  I choose to stand strong, help my neighbors, and remember we are all seeking the same thing.  When someone screams out in anger, I choose to look at why they are scared, and ask if there is a way I can help them feel secure.  We can not change everyone, some will choose to remain in hatred, fear and anger.  But love is contagious, kindness is a balm for the soul, and united we can make a difference.  Thanks for reading folks.  Now go out and shine some love into your communities.

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

Stories of Spirit…Walking Down Memory Lane [going home]

Whitefield-NH-Town-SquareYesterday I went on drive-about with my Mum & Sister down Memory Lane; visiting places, spaces & Spirits, from our past.  It was a Wyrd time, existing both now and then; for when we revisit places that shape us, we revisit the self we use to be.  As a Druid, I am a firm believer that every place has Spirit or Essence; a Genius Loci, that makes it what it is, and it in turn shapes us.

Genius Loci-protective Spirit of place, the essence or Spirit of Place

I grew up in Whitefield, NH; a town I always felt belonged in the story ‘the Outsiders’, or in an episode of ‘Twilight Zone’; where the people exist in a time-warp bubble, stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in the 1950’s.  In a romantic sense; it was a place where it felt good to be a little bit naughty.  A place where rules were meant to be bent, and the people had seen a thing or two.  Yet it retained a strange wholesomeness; in the fact that everybody knew everybody & as a general rule it was pretty safe.  Not to mention there were certainly enough colorful Spirits both living & dead to make it quite interesting.

mumsandysaliRevisiting ‘home’ happens every now and then for me.  I end up working in the area, and give myself enough time to do a bit of reminiscing & back road rambling.  But yesterday was different; for I returned with my Mum & my sister Sandy, turning the old memory files of the mine up to ‘elevensies’… as we were remembering together.  We hadn’t been there together in many years, and hadn’t lived there since I was 15.

I do love the adventure of revisiting though, as I am sentimental by nature.  I love things that hold essence, spirit and being. I love old letters, and the way scent can transport me back to precise moments in time; when things use to be.  I love how visiting the land of my Grammy Brown, can make me 4 years old sitting @ her kitchen table; eating mayonaise toast, drinking coffee milk and playing Psychic games.  I love how the streets of a place I use to walk, can whisper stories of my adventures there & I love how the light shining on a pool of water can remind me of all the summers I swam in the water there.  I sometimes wish I could slip through the seams of time, and spend just another hour, another day, listening to the sound of my Grandmother rocking away, telling stories of our Dead.  Or that I could be a little girl again, learning how to swim, on my fathers back in the rivers of Bretton Woods.

Grammybrowngrave2As part of our adventure in the North Woods, we had a picnic planned with my Father’s family (in Spirit), in the Whitefield graveyard.  Driving there I couldn’t help but think about all the time I spent in graveyards as a kid.  I like graveyards, in fact I would go as far as to say ” I love graveyards”.  I don’t spend much time there as an adult, as I now, tend to speak to the Dead from the comfort of living rooms and kitchens.  But, I do love the way stepping into a graveyard, immediately connects you to the sacred.  And how as a Medium, it becomes like a park filled with fascinating stories and beautiful souls.

Symbolically gravestones are a marker or dedication to the those that have crossed into Spirit.  They are intended as connecting points, places to remember and communicate with those we love in Spirit.

When we arrived at the graveyard, I was greeted by the voice of a Spirit other then my Grandmothers.  It had been so long since I had been there, that I forgot that this particular graveyard was also the resting place of another who was dear to me…a friend who will ever, have a place in my heart.  So after a promise to my grandparents that I would return in time for the picnic, I made my way over to my friend Mike’s…to sit and visit for awhile.

charlesdickens

Just like the Spirit of Place helps shape you, so do the people who walk the path with you.  It doesn’t matter how long we share the road, what matters is the adventures and conversations along the way.  Some people will simply have a stronger effect on our life then others, and some people will effect all who have the pleasure of knowing them; my friend Mike was one of those people, and he died way too young.

graveyardpicnicSitting with my own Dead yesterday; my family & friends, visiting them in the traditional way, people visit their Dead.  I felt very connected to the stories of my clients.  I felt the the loss, and the melancholy that graveyards radiate.  I felt the connection & loneliness of now, and the celebration of then.  And I was thankful…thankful that among those feelings, I also heard the voices and felt the emotions of my Beloved Dead.  I  felt grateful for the gifts that connect me with Spirit so deeply, and the traditions I was raised in; that help me honor & celebrate the Dead.  I found myself thankful; for the solace of graveyards & the Geni Loci/Spirits of Place that reside there. Thankful for the space to connect, mourn and celebrate those that we have loved and lost.

I understand, that to some feasting in the graveyard may seem strange.  But, Spirits love to talk about their favorite foods, libations and smoke… so I say, let us celebrate together.  If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it.  Pack a picnic, a candy bar, or your favorite tunes & head up to the graveyard to spend some quality time with your Dead.  They will appreciate it, and so will you.  The more often you do it, the easier it is to feel them there.

Well I hope you enjoyed the read Folks, I know I have been a bit quiet this summer…but truth be told, I have been hanging out with the Nature Spirits all summer, frolicking in the green spaces and dancing under the moon.  Not to worry, my Awen (spirit of creativity) is awake and words are coming back to me…more to come, indeed!

spreading love-salicrow