SACRED TRAVEL…Down to the South I Go [Little Rock]

When you have lived in the North your entire life there are preconceived notions of what you will experience in the South, the biggest being racism and conservative values.  I am pleased to announce that my short visit to Little Rock showed me a different view of both.  I traveled to Litle Rock, Arkansas as a guest presenter/author at the Little Rock Literary Festival.  I went alone, as a snaffoo on the part of the organizers left me without my hotel or flight information until the prices per ticket were over $800.  As much as my husband likes to travel with me, we both agreed that $800 could pay for 2 plane tickets to a place of our choosing, and a trip longer than 2 days.

As I flew over Arkansas, approaching my destination, I couldn’t help but notice how the city was surrounded by open fields, winding rivers and greenery…trees, parks, and nature were everywhere.  The Arkansas River runs between Little Rock & North Little Rock; twin cities that together are about the size of Burlington, VT.  In fact, there were definitely aspects of the city that reminded me of the Queen City.  I was greeted in the airport by a sweet woman, holding a sign with my name on it.  Her kindness and charm were delightful, and upon talking a few moments I found out that all the authors were picked up and dropped off by volunteers.; local folks, who like literacy and thought picking up a writer might be a fun time.

My literary duties began an hour after landing, with a meet & greet, dinner & drink thing, in which the public could come and meet authors.  This was my first time as such an event, in which no-one really knew each other and we all had to interact by reading name tags.   However, as you all know, I am quite social and did not lack abilities on the introduction level.  The interesting part came when I told people what my book was about.  Here is where I was reminded that I was not in my liberal, cozy corner of the universe.  Most people were interested, but there was about a third of the people who responded by stepping back a step or two.  Curiously enough, 1/2 of those who stepped back, thought of Mediums as bullshit, the other half that stepped back were doing so for religious reasons.

My response to their back-step depended on the reason they were doing so (the benefits of being Psychic).  For those that thought of Mediums as hokie (this group was primarily other writers)…I made sure to let them know that I had a book contract before I had a book written.  My way of saying…”Hey, I am the real deal”.  The second group, those with religious leanings on the conservative level (mostly local), I made sure to tell them of my family background; being Irish Gypsy & Blackfoot Indian.  With this information, the local conservatives visibly opened to the discussion.

Happily caffeinated Salicrow

Things that were difficult in the south…coffee & food allergies.  I experienced the same thing while visiting Florida a month ago.  Northerners are way ahead of the curb on the food allergy spectrum.  In fact, the writer’s party/meet and greet had a lot of lovely food…all of it made with wheat and the majority of it also containing dairy.  Seriously not even a veggie platter.  But what the lacked in food options they made up for in free drinks.  LOL, so needless to say, I drank my dinner that night (I am a serious light-weight so it wasn’t much).  And coffee…well I believe Northerners are almost cultish about good coffee.  We will  (I admit doing this) walk block after block in search of a decent cup of coffee.  

 

The real eye-opener came the following day when I met my moderator; the person who would be assisting my book-talk.  I met Russell in the author’s room half an hour before my talk.  He had read my book and was prepared to ask questions during the talk if needed.  Upon being introduced to him, I discovered that he was a Chiropractor and a leading member of the local Unity Christian Church.  He had stepped back from his work as a Chiropractor and was primarily working in ministry and counseling for his church community now.  This fact made my thoughts do a side-step, a Christian Minister in the South had been chosen as the perfect match for my work?  After a few moments of talking to him though I was delighted to hear that he practiced energy work, led meditation at his church, and that they believed that God consciousness resided within us all.  Holy Shit!  This was not the South I had prepared myself for.

When my book talk came about, I had a pretty full room & I was prepared to let it all hang out, as I always do.  I read from the early part of my book, speaking of my experience with Spirit in childhood, of communicating with myself and Spirits though mirrors, and I ended my discussion with speaking about ‘the November Incident’; my walking the line of crazy, spiritual opening.  It was generally well received, all of it…the only person who seemed put off by it was sitting in the back room with his wife, but he didn’t leave early, nor did he have anything rude to say.

I do not expect everyone to understand the path I walk or even believe in the experiences I have had, but respect and politeness are a lovely thing….and the South has that in accolades!

After my discussion, I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted.  I decided I needed to walk, and chose to walk the downtown area, check out shops and get some food.  After eating, I was in a small art gallery/store connected to the library system when I ran into an older lady who had come to my discussion, and waited patiently in line to have me sign her book.  Mary, a spritely 80-year-old was truly delightful.  After talking to me for a few moments in the store, and my talking about how much I loved nature, she said “Alright then, let’s go walk the river walk”, and like that, I was off on a journey with a complete stranger.

As we walked along the river, Mary told me tales of her city, and of her life.  She had lived in Little Rock for the majority of her life, and apparently, I was not the first stranger she had hooked up with before.  She was a retired school teacher, with a keen mind, a strong intuition and a great deal of kindness.  When I walked her back to the library she invited me to come stay with her the next time I came to Arkansas.

On my voyage along the river, I was again delighted to see that my view of racism was also not completely true.  Now I am not saying that there is no racism in Little Rock, what I am saying is I was surprised by the number of mixed race couples I saw.  In fact, there were almost as many couples of mixed race or same sex as there were heterosexual couples  of the same race.  I found myself thinking on this, and questioning if this was the result of the ‘Little Rock 9’ ‘https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/central-high-school-integration.  The Little Rock 9 in short, refers to 9 black students who enrolled in a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock in 1957.  There enrollment was due in part to the Supreme Court ruling school segregation illegal in 1954.  It is a tremendous story of bravery that you really should take the time to read (see link above).

After my time with Mary, I attended a panel discussion featuring cartoonist who wrote about important political and ethical issues.  I was there primarily to see Trina Robbins; a prolific feminist writer, who I had met at the Authors dinner party the night before.  I had found a natural bond with Trina (also a spitefully, delightful senior) when we realized we were both carrying Wonder Woman purses. (Trina was the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic).  The other panalist were also waving their liberal flags…Erin Nations, a transgender man who bravely writes the comic series Gumballs, which speaks on transgender issues, and MK Czerwiec a nurse, who writes comics for the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 is about her time spent working with HIV patients in the 90’s.     Way to go Little Rock, for bringing in writers (and cartoonist) who are rocking the real word!

After listening to the panelist I headed out to the river walk again, this time to do some work.  I made my way down to the Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands, where I did a bit of earth magic.  Singing/toning to the wildlife and water itself.  If your interested in seeing what I did, go check out my Facebook Live video on my page Sali Crow.  I delighted in seeing the abundance of turtles in the water (I saw at least 50), and the biggest bat-house I have ever seen.  I continued down the river, stopping periodically to sing to the Earth and place crystals here and there (I placed some in other metropolitan areas as well).

All in all, my trip south was a refreshing view of Americans.  Almost all of the local Arkansasians said the same thing “There is a strong current that runs below the surface of most Arkansasians”.  They are in general, or at least the folks I met, more open-minded than I ever imagined, and genuinely interested in meeting people.  The highlights I will keep securely in my mind are those of meeting Russel, and his open-hearted soul, and of Mary taking me on a journey without even blinking an eye.   Thanks for shedding some southern charm on this Northern girl.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

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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

 

Sacred Travel…Releasing Expectations [walking to the Calliagh Berra’s house]

Let me start by saying my legs are killing me.  Today we walked for 6 hours; up a mountain and back, with very little breaks.  My goal when I left the house this morning was to climb to the top of Sleive Gullion, and submerge myself in the lake of the Hag; the Calliagh Berra of Irish mythology.

When I left the house, I had expected we would drive to the beginning of the trail and climb from there.  But somehow my husband got the idea in his head that we would just walk from the house we are staying at in Mullagbane, Northern Ireland.  When he said this was the plan (he is the directions guy), I immediately questioned his logic, as I could see the mountain off in the distance.  I knew it would take us an hour just to get to the trail head.  But he was insistent that this was what we should do.

Sleive Gullion is considered the most sacred mountain in Ireland.  The name means Mountain of Cuchulain.  It is the heart of an ancient volcanic chain in Northern Ireland, which is truly breath taking.  The legend around Sleive Gullion speaks of a dispute between Finn Mac Cumhail (finn mccool); an irish hero, and the Hag/Calliagh Berra.

In the story, Finn Mc Cool (an Irish hero) dives into the Calliagh Berra’s lake seeking the love of a beautiful maiden.  When he enters the lake he ages rapidly, and his hair turns white.  The feeble Finn, comes out of the water to see the fair maiden is really an old hag.  After a bit of persuasion, Finn is able to convince the Calliagh to return his youth, but she leaves his hair white.

There are some good versions of the story out there, if you have a love of mythology, simply google The Calliagh Berra’s lake.

Like most stories there is a lot more to it, then the simple trickery of the hag.  Some stories tell of Finn’s hunting dog chasing a white stag (considered a magical creature) to the edge of the lake.  In short, he crossed the witch, and she was not pleased.  I like to point out that she returned his youth, when he threatened to empty her lake, drowning all of Ireland.  To me this shows she had great care for the land, and the people of it.

My work as a Druid, and Spiritual adventurer often takes me to such places, places that others may think twice about going to.  I do not fear the Hag, for I see her as the crone…the ancient one, the one who sits at the edge of death.  She has great wisdom, and demands respect, but her gifts are powerful and filled with wisdom.

When it became clear that I would be heading to Northern Ireland on this trip, I knew that I would climb the mountain.  I was also quite convinced that I would need to submerse myself in the water of the lake, facing my fears; not of white hair, but of muck.  I truly have a repulsion/fear of mucky water.

Leaving my house for my journey up the mountain, I still held this as my truth.  I wore my bathing suit under my clothes, packed a towel and change of clothes in my bag, and mentally prepared myself to face the muck.

We had already walked for about an hour by the time we reached the trails head. The path we took was an old road, probably used as a farm road at some point.  It wound back and forth, giving us great views of the surrounding countryside and other mountains that made up the Ring of Cuchulain.  It was not particularly steep, but there were ‘poop mines’ to avoid, as sheep and cows had traveled the road as well.

We reached a gated off area, with a step over next to the gate (a small built in ladder), and crossed into what was being used as a grazing land for his animals.  It was not really a field, being mostly filled with brush and ragged looking trees. This path was more narrow, and wound back and forth, here and there, but obviously looking like a well trod trail.  After crossing the ladder/gate, and walking for about 20 minutes through said poop mines, we came to a most peculiar barricade.

On our side it looked like a downed hawthorn tree, or a heavy stack of hawthorn brush, on the other side it was pallets roped together.  I believe the barricade was designed to keep his cows in, because even cows are not stupid enough to plow through a barricade of Hawthorn (thorn is even in the name).  But me…I love Hawthorn, in fact I have Hawthorn tattooed on my left shoulder.  It is a fairy tree, and a powerful protector.

The barrier was not a deterrent to me, just as the idea of visiting the hag was not scary to me.  If you are friends with such beings, you simply know to respect their customs.

Shortly after crossing the barrier the ground exploded in color…as the hillside was literally covered in Heather in various shades of purple.  It was deliciously intoxicating, in its vibrancy and I soon began adorning my hat.

The other thing I saw of notice when we got over the barricade, was that we were still in the foothills of the mountain. At this point, I realized that the trip to visit the Calliagh Berra for me at least was one I had to earn.  It was not an easy trek, or a quick check in.

We traveled on, and finally met up with the road…yes the road.  There is a road that leads almost to the top, from a few towns over.  Taking the road gives people the option of getting a fantastic view, and if so choosing…a climb of 30 minutes to the top.  Albeit that climb is a steep one.

Where we met the road, we still had a significant walk before the actual climb, but the road was significantly more pleasant then avoiding poop mines and climbing over Hawthorn barricades.

When we got to the parking lot; at the base of the climb, we met up with other travelers.  We told them they could go ahead of us, up the goat climb of the mountain, as we would be most likely walking slow, having traveled from Mullugbane.  They were actually shocked, and might have thought we were a bit nutty.  But such is the way of a spiritual adventurer…

The last bit of the climb was a rocky, goat trail, in which you really had to watch your footing.  Stones had been made into stairs, and I did not take a lot of pictures of this part, as I was too busy watching where I tread.

When we were nearly to the top, we saw the travelers we had met in the parking lot on their way down.  We spoke for a few minutes on their short stay at the top, and I told them I planned on going into the water.  At this point we were really cold, wearing sweaters and rain coats.  They explained that it would most certainly be brisk, but little else.

About 3 more minutes into the hike, and the weather completely changed. It went from being just cold to whipping winds, low visibility, and a cold mist that chilled you to the bone.  We had reached the cloud cover.  At this point, my husband and I decided that I would be a fucking idiot to try and go into the lake, specially seeing we had a 3 hour hike back to our lodging.

By the time we reached the top, there was no way I would even consider it.  The cloud cover was so thick, that we couldn’t even see the lake, until the very end of our stay there (after spending time in the Calliagh Berra’s house), when there was a brief break in the cloud cover.

In the Calliagh Berra’s house, I made offerings.  She wanted all of the flowers I had gathered on her mountain, as well as the crystals and feathers I had already planned to bring her.  I spent time inside her home toning & singing, offering up my voice and energy, in thanks for being able to stand in her energy.

You can watch the video of me singing on my Facebook page… Singing in Calliagh Berras house

After giving our offerings, and spending time in he wild energy, we began our descent down the mountain.  At this point my husband said “Well you couldn’t go in the lake, but you needed to make a sacrifice anyways.  You had to take the long road, door to door, from our door to hers”.

This is an important factor in Sacred Travel. We can set out with the grandest of intentions, our story laid out of what we plan to do, but in the end it is a journey shared between the one who travels and the gods.  It seldom goes according to plan, it is almost always trying, and in the end it is greatly rewarding.  Perhaps I never needed to go into the muck, I just had to set out with a dedication that I would, no matter how difficult it would be for me.  It was the dedication, the willingness that matters.

Our journey was long, it had a lot of aches and discomforts, but it was something I will now hold as as a deep treasure.

We will try to get to the lake again before we leave the North, but only if weather is permitting, and we will take the car as far to the top as we can.  If I never make it into the lake, I will still know that I have been tried by the Calliagh Berra and that I succeeded.

As for today, we are off to the Giant’s Causeway…more work to be done.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Opening to Spirit [expanding consciousness]

I was teaching a class on the energetic working of Runes, last Sunday, when I found myself saying “and then I open myself to Spirit”.  It is a statement I have made hundreds, if not thousands of times.  This time, I realized as I looked at the students sitting in front of me, that what I said was akin to explaining what sex feels like, to someone who has never had it.  To any who have had it, it is easily recognizable.  But to those who have never experienced it, it is a glittering Christmas present; topped with paper and ribbons, sitting beneath the tree.  It is magical, mysterious, and unknown.

Opening oneself to Spirit, simply put means getting out of the way, so that the will of the divine universe can move through you.  It is about connecting to the strands of fate, that weave the pattern of ones life.  It speaks of being receptive to that which is unseen, and unknown.  It demands trust, faith, and surrender.

We are living in an age where spiritualism has become a commodity, something that anyone should be able to achieve if they buy the right crystals, eat the right food, and mediate regularly.  So this should be simple right? 

In reality expanding consciousness, and becoming more spiritual is a personal path.  No two people will get there in exactly the same way.  No amount of crystals, oils or potions can do it for you.  These things are tools, meant to be of assistance; to enhance the experience, but they cannot and will not bring the experience to you alone.  Teachers, techniques, and traditions are also valuable, but only if one is willing and able to release the desire to control every minute faction of their life.  There must be a willingness to be fluid, and a belief that we are part of something greater.  A closed vessel cannot be filled.

Faith is a tricksome thing.  In truth, I do not believe it is something that can be taught.  To have faith one has to choose to believe.  Religion can be indoctrinated, but the feeling of connection to the divine, the world around you, and a true sense of ones part in it,  is not something that can be done without first deciding you believe it is possible. We  must first surrender our walls, releasing the barriers that keep us locked into a reality consisting solely of what is solid, tangible, and documented.  Faith is something we can choose, just as we are able to choose what our favorite color is, and whether we like the taste of onions.  It is not something that is assigned, we are not allotted as those who are and are not spiritual.  We are all spiritual beings, but not all of us accept this as reality.

Releasing oneself to Spirit requires us to have faith, to believe that we are worthy and capable of feeling connected to the divine universe.

I am not sure at what point in human history, we began questioning our right to be part of the whole.  I have never felt unconnected, it is something I have always known to be true.  I admit, I fancy myself an old soul, and know I have done much of this before.  But I am not talking about individuals questioning their worthiness to be whole, but whole cultures.

We are taught from an early age, that we are unworthy.  Says the television, magazines, advertisements, movies, and billboards.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson

Well that’s something to think on… Perhaps here is where the truth lies, we are afraid of our power, of how fantastic we truly are.  We are afraid to reach for our dreams and find ourselves gloriously, deliciously alive.  We are afraid that in truth we are co-creators of our world.  If that is so, if we are co-creators of our world, then by connecting to a higher power we are in fact surrendering to ourselves. We are giving over to the fate, that which was ours to begin with, this is what it means to be Wyrd (connected to Fate).

By opening to Spirit, we allow the strand of divine will that resides inside of us, to connect to the universal pattern, and it feels fantastic!  It has been described as Zen, for the body, mind and soul feel truly connected.  In such moments the chatter of the mind falls away.  The racing of the bodily functions seize to draw our attention, and we are at peace.  It feels in many ways like the state of consciousness we experience right before falling asleep, or after an orgasm.  In this state of mind & body wholeness, we are able to receive guidance, healing and often an expansion of consciousness.  Our mind is open to receiving information, allowing us to gain greater insight to ourselves, and the world we are part of.  This is where magic takes place.

 

This is part 1 of a blog series I am writing, I will be continuing this journey of the mind over the next few weeks.  I encourage you to share your opinions, questions and ponderings.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Sacred Travel…Reflections of Self [California dreaming, part 2…Mount Shasta]

The road is a place of contemplation for me, in which I experience myself from outside the box of everyday reality.  Traveling brings me closer to the essence of ‘I am’, stripped raw of the trappings of comfort and routine.  In many ways travel is essential to my being, as I count on it for deeper understanding of self.  My ancestors were Travelers, Gypsies of the Irish kind…Tinkers, and Pikeys, they spent their lives traveling from one place to another in fancy wagon houses, selling their wares.

I often think about my great-great grandfather; who traveled from Ireland to the United States, leaving his wagon behind for a little house in the hills of Vermont.  I think of him, when I am traveling about the back roads, and highways, of my home and abroad.  I feel a kinship to him, and his kin, a feeling of likeness.  Although, I have lived in the same house for almost 20 years (my husbands doing), I need to go, be and explore, in order to feel whole.  Some of these travels are close by, and some are not.  But no matter the distance, I rely on the travel to show me who I am, and where I am going.

My trip to California was like most of my travels, a spiritual thing.  This journey was different then others in the fact that myself and my fellow travelers agreed that we would be open & guided by Spirit.  We did not allow for wrong turns to enter our mind space.  This did not mean we were never off the planned course, it simply meant a decision was made, that whatever direction we were taken was the right one.  There is something absolutely freeing about such travel, for one it means you avoid the whole pissed off, I’m late mentality.

We decided in the air, flying into L.A., that we would be heading North to Mount Shasta (10.5 hours north), something I do not regret in the least.  As we had arrived in Shasta when I last blogged, it is where I shall pick up.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta (Úytaahkoo or “White Mountain) is a well known Sacred destination.  At an elevation of 14,179 feet, it is an ear-popping drive through a mountain path of deep green.  I was in awe!  The terrain of the mountain path reminded me of the Lord of the Rings, it was magnificent and daunting at the same time, moving me both emotionally, and spiritually.  Driving up the winding mountain road, I knew that I was connecting with something powerful and not completely explainable.  Known for it’s powerful vortexes (spiraling Earth energy centers), and the lava flowing deep in it’s core, it is a force to be acknowledged.

The seclusion, lack of people, and energetic feel of lava running below the surface, were reminiscent of Iceland.  There was something primal about the place, as if the elements were somehow more alive, their presence making up for the lack of human energy.  I love such places!  I love how they expand my consciousness, demanding that I use all of my senses to properly see my surroundings.

We stayed in Shasta for 2 nights, not a whole lot of time, but long enough to know that I will go back someday in the near future.  Our home for the stay was a 1970’s style chalet-style Motel, called the Alpine Lodge.  It was a cute mini-apartment with 3 queen beds and a kitchenette.  the yellow and orange interior was highlighted by a wall mural of trees, which made myself and my traveling companions instantly fall in love.  We love the odd & unusual, and the fact that there was a fantastic coffee shop just across the street, capable of satiating my love of espresso.

On our first night in Shasta we decided we should introduce ourselves to the Spirits of the Place, and did so by journeying in our minds through drumming and vocal toning.  This was a powerful experience for us all, and we found ourselves connecting  individually to different aspects of the mountain.  My sister Sandy found herself within the hollow spaces of the mountain, deep inside one of the caves that open within the mountains peak.  She found herself remembering her previous journey there, almost 10 years ago.  My friend Missy found herself connecting to something that would not make sense until the following day, and I connected to energetic beings made of light.

Now, I understand the idea of ‘light beings’ may make some people feel uncomfortable, and send their mind searching for the safe bounds of known reality. Some may even begin questioning whether the person telling the story is sane,  or has suddenly drank the conspiracy theory Kool-aid.  But once again, I will remind you that you are reading the blog of a person who makes their living talking to the Dead, and frequently goes on about their experiences with Nature Spirits.  In the telling of this tale, I am as always deeply centered in my reality.

Connecting with extra-terrestrial/extra-dimensional beings is not an uncommon conversation, when discussing Mount Shasta.  Look it up on line, and you will find many, many, many tales of encounters with such beings.  The other thing you will find is stories of Big Foot, and unexplained beings in the woods.  You may want to believe that all of the people telling the tales are a bit looney, but then again, you may want to ask yourself whether you truly believe we are the only sentient beings in the Universe.

My experience as I said, is my reality, and I experienced a channeling with multiple (I believe 3) light beings.  This was something I did aloud, similarly to how I speak with the Spirits of the Dead.  My sister Sandy asked most of the questions, as I worked as translator for those choosing to make contact with us.  The message we received was around the importance of sound and light, in particularly when it came to healing the planet and land.  Now they were not suggesting that we just say fuck it, and be gluttonous pigs,  wasting precious resources, without a care in the world, because hey all we need to do is sing and spread some light around.  They were instead speaking of how sound, in particular, effects the living world.  This was something I immediately felt as truth, as I have been working as a Sound Healer for the last 15 years, and spend a whole lot of time singing the sacred songs of place.

They spoke of how they, like the beings of Nature were deeply concerned for our world and species in this time of great transition, how we needed to become more aware of the living world around us, and step fully into the sacredness of life.  The visitation was brief, lasting about 20 minutes, but in that time, I felt as if I had received a lot of information in a short period of time, like a computer downloading files, and that it would be quite some time, before I had fully acclimated the knowledge they shared.

The next day when we woke, it was obvious that Missy was not completely balanced.  Sandy and I noticed that she was off, when she came stumbling out of the bedroom, grunting and grumbling like a bear just out of hibernation.  We asked if she was OK, and she explained that she was not sure what was going on, but felt like she had been connecting to something all night long.

Just after doing some sound healing @ the Crystal Matrix shop in Shasta.

That morning after breakfast we headed into town, to check out a Crystal shop that had caught Sandy and Missy’s eye the night before, when they had gone searching for groceries.  The shop ‘The Crystal Matrix Gallery’ was filled with wonders, as it quickly became apparent that most of the crystals were awake, and many of them seemed to be sentient, or carrying a connection to other beings.  The shop owner had worked with Crystals for over 30 years, and was clearly making a living selling crystals because he had to, it was his life’s work.  By that I mean, he felt a love for the Crystals and the beings connected to them, he was a steward of the rock people, a keeper and handler of the mineral kind.

The Dragonstone

Within moments of being in the store, the first crystal of our journey had been found.  A double terminated amber colored, smokey quartz, with a whole lot of activity going on inside of it.  It was a powerful piece, and we all felt it was connected to the Earth Healing work we had been called to California to do.  The second piece was more personal, and explained the odd behavior and imbalance Missy had been displaying all morning.  It was a dark opaque stone, that fit comfortably in ones palm.  It was covered in markings that looked like ancient writing, only the markings had not been made by man.  The stone appeared to be a form of tektite (molten debris from meteorites), but there was definitely a presence connected to it.  It was said to be the thymus gland of a dragon.  Now here again, I know this sounds woo-woo, and hokey, but whether you believe it was the actual gland of a being, or simply a stone, it held tremendous presence, and a hefty price tag. 

My view on Dragons goes the same way as as all otherworldly beings.  There is something at the base of all the folk lore, it may not be as grand or magical as the stories have portrayed it, but life seldom is.  The other piece I would add here, is the mummified dinosaur found in Canada,pretty much in tact, certainly does resemble our fictitious imagery of dragons.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/

What was most remarkable was the way in which Missy and the stone connected to one another.  The spirit residing in the stone, and Missy’s aura both extended outward, as if reaching for one another.  No matter the price tag, it was obvious she would not be leaving the store without the stone.

We left the store, with both the amber-colored, smokey quartz, and the dragon stone, as well as a few smaller stones I felt compelled to purchase.  I was amazed at how many of the stones in this particular shop were connected to beings.  This does not mean the beings were trapped in the stones, simply that the stones were an access point for connection.  I have a handful of sentient stones in my possession, some of them holding the essence of the stone itself, and some holding connection to other beings; working like a walky-talky to the other world.

After our experience with the stones in the Crystal Matrix, we headed out for a day trip to Paradise, CA to visit our father’s best friend.  This was not an option, this was something my Dad had been actively working on, the entire trip so far.  It was important, as we had not had a chance to connect with Mark, since my fathers passing 4 years ago.  It was a healing time for him and us, as we spent the day reminsicing; telling stories of the wild and crazy antics of my father & his best friend/soul mate Mark.

The trip to Paradise was not particularly remarkable in a spiritual way, but the trip back most certainly was.  After leaving Marks home, and heading back to Shasta I noticed a Sun Dog in the sky.  A Sun Dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to the left and/or right of the Sun.  Sun Dogs are rare, and most often you see only bright spot, either to the left or right of the sun.  I have seen them before, and know that symbolically they are a sign that big change is near.  It is seen as a blessing or a sign that luck is with you in such times.  The Sun Dog we saw coming back from Paradise was remarkable in more than one way.  Firstly, it was a complete circle around the sun, with bright sun spots to the left, right, and above the sun, and a rainbow outline encompassing it.  Secondly, it was remarkable in the amount of time that it lasted.  We watched, filmed, and photographed the Sun Dog for 53 minutes.  It was breath taking, and energetically one could not help but feel as if we were being charged by it.  The experience was so phenomenal that we were soon pulling out our crystals; particularly the amber-colored, smokey quartz that had already made it obvious to us, that it was solar powered.

We arrived home (at the Alpine Lodge) late that evening, feeling as if we had been through some kind of attunement.  Both to the Crystals we had purchased, and the Sun Dog in the sky.  We remarked at the other amazing things we had seen on our way back to Shasta; such as the strange cloud formations over the mountain itself.

The next day we began our day, at the same coffee shop (Seven Sun’s Cafe), and then headed back to the Crystal Matrix for some Sound Healing.  We knew we needed to do sound work in Shasta, and also knew it would happen in multiple places.  The first; the crystal shop, was truly amazing.  The owner had an ancient singing bowl, that had been attuned to the energy of Sekemet (an Egyptian Goddess), and I was eager to combine my voice with its.  The toning there was amazing, as we were surrounded by high-energy crystals, at the base of the summit to Mount Shasta.  This experience was only the first of 3 major sound spots that day.

Water blessings for the new stones…lots of water Spirits in the headwaters of the Sacremento.

Annointing my third-eye, with the water of the Sacramento Headwaters.

The second stop, was the headwaters of the Upper Sacremento River, where the Undines (water Spirits) are remarkably present.  I sang to them, as I submerged stone after stone, into the icy waters.  The headwaters come from deep within Mount Shasta itself, each drop charged by the volcanic and vortex energy of the place.  The crystal clear water, travels from the glacial peaks, through underground lava tubes, before exiting into the light of day. The location of  headwaters is easily accessed, as it is part of a city park, that anyone can go to without charge.

The third stop, was the mountain itself.  We drove our car as far up the mountain road as we could…which was still quite a ways from the summit.  We stopped when the snow prohibited us from traveling any further, the road blocked by over 6 feet of snow.   At this point we turned around, and headed back a short distance; away from the crazy hikers/climbers, where we could sit with the silence of the mountain and sing the soul song of the land.

80 degrees, and 6 feet of snow, this is roads end for Mount Shasta until mid summer.

Elevation 6950′, as high as we could go in our sandals and flip flops.

This last stop, the one nearly to the top of the mountain, was humbling and awe inspiring.  When you sing the song of the land, you are not simply harmonizing…you are connecting/channeling the voice of the land itself, the Spirit of Place/Genius Locus, reverberates through you, filling you with the essence that is the place.  Mount Shasta is a powerful healer, one that I know will call me back, again & again; like Glastonbury Tor, and the Western Shores of Ireland, it holds a connection to my being.  In our brief meeting, we became family.  The Spirit of Place that is Shasta, is kindred to me…we belong!

I hope you enjoyed the read, that it pushed on the corners of your personal reality, and made you think on the world differently.  We are living in changing times, and many of the things we believed impossible are now proving us wrong.  I do not claim to know the secrets of the Universe, but I do believe there are wonders yet to be experienced in the greater world and in our own back yards.  When we approach the planet as a sentient being, and give ourselves over to the unknown, we expand our consciousness and become more.  Travel for me is a vessel of such change, but the magic of travel can come onto you whether you have traveled thousands of miles, or only a few blocks.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Remember the coffee [offerings for the dead]

I woke up yesterday morning, excited at the prospect of heading into the woods.  Not just any wood, but one that I hold dear.  I was heading to the Middle Falls of the Ammonoosuc River, in Bretton Woods, NH.  I hadn’t been there since early winter, when the snow was new to the ground, and I was anxious to connect with the earth in one of the places I hold most sacred.  I was going to river for a quick photo shoot with my friend Stace; for the back cover of my book.  But, as it happens so often in my life, the Universe had other plans for me, other ways in which I could be of assistance to those in the world of Spirit.

I browsed through Facebook, as I sipped my morning coffee, and immediately connected with two posts from clients of mine who had crossed the border of relationship, to now be known as friends.  Both of them were posting about the long term sorrow, of loosing a child, each of them feeling that pain in it’s intensity, as the time of the children’s death was now.

I thought on how the loss of a child is the most painful of all deaths, as there is nothing that can compare to the grieving felt by those who have had to bury their children.  I do not say this lightly, I say this with the experience of a Medium with many years of practice, and interaction with both the dead, and those who morn them.  I do not say this to lessen in any way the loss felt by those who have lost husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers.  I say this for I see it as true.  This truth comes from the fact that we all believe our children will out live us, and that we hold a responsibility for their well being.  This truth is not just applicable if the child is under the age of 18.  If a 75 year old mother looses her 50 year old son, she will still hold a level of irrational responsibility, as if she could have somehow done something to change the outcome.

Upon reading the post from my friends, an commenting with love and support, I realized that one of the women, mentioned the very place I was heading to that day.  She did not specifically name it, but knowing her, it was clear to me what place she spoke of when she mentioned heading to the river in a couple of weeks with coffee and flowers for her daughter.  At that moment, Spirit poked me in the side, and I replied to her privately that I was going to the river that day, and I would bring her daughter coffee.  I asked her how her daughter liked her brew, and waited for her response, but none came.  She had left for work, and would not respond to my question until early that evening.

As I picked up my friend, and we began our drive east to the river,  I told her of my intention and how simple offerings were so powerful.  Often people who have passed into Spirit long for their favorite treats, and truly enjoy when we think of them while offering up such goodies.

The car ride was long, but we are dear friends, and the time flew by in a series of conversations, and laughter.  When I got to the town of Bretton Woods, and approached the turn that would take me onto the river road, I had totally forgotten that I was going to stop at the mini-mart to get a cup of coffee for my friends daughter.  She did not forget.

Just before the driveway to the mini-mart, I heard a voice clear in my head…”Don’t forget the coffee”.  I laughed, realizing, that she probably didn’t want me to give my coffee, up as an offering, as she didn’t strike me as the kind that would like an unsweetened latte, make with coconut-almond, milk.  So, I made a quick turn into the parking lot, and went in to get her offering.

 

coffee offering for the Beloved Dead

As I poured her coffee, I decided I would make her a generic style coffee, with sugar and cream.  I poured about a teaspoon of sugar in the cup of hot coffee, and went to place it back on the counter, when she spoke up again, “I need a lot more sugar than that”, and that she did.  I found myself making coffee candy.  I added about 3 more teaspoons of sugar to the coffee, as well as, a quick shot of marshmallow flavored coffee to the cup, and a whole lot of cream.

When I got to Middle falls, Stace and I trampsed the short distance into the woods to one of my favorite mossy spots, to take pictures.  I placed the hot, sweet, candy coffee on a moss covered rock, and set about giving my offerings to the Spirits of the land, before we got down to the business of pictures.

I laid out a crystal grid on the moss, in my favorite hidden glen.  It was amazing to me how such a place, has the ability to set itself aside from the vision of most people.  For their were paths all around the woods, trampled down by snow shoes, until they were like sidewalks through the forest.  But the glen I love so dearly, with its magical bits, and plethora of Nature Spirits, showed no sign of human traffic.  The pathway to my sacred space was covered in snow, untouched by the feet of humans.  I know that others had visited this space over the winter, but those others  like me; who were seekers of the sacred.  Even they had not been there in quite some time.

The spirits of the land were just waking up there, and there were signs that the inhabitants had enjoyed previous offerings as we found a bottle of fireball whisky, snuggled into the thick moss that covered the glen.  Something I was not at all surprised to see, as some of the heartier of nature spirits that inhabit the place, like their offerings to be a bit more brisk.

*Please note-I take it upon myself to clean such sacred spaces, and will be back in the spring to clean up the remains of offerings, and any debris that is left behind.

My offerings were not as spicy as fireball whiskey, but I did light a cigarette, and give it a few puffs, for my father, and for the spirits who enjoy the energy of tobacco.  As I am not a smoker, my dad had to be satisfied with the little bits he got, but in giving offerings, it is important to remember that more important then the actual offering, is the nature in which it is given.  What are you thinking when you give an offering to your Beloved Dead, or the Spirits of Nature, is far more important.

I then set about creating a crystal grid, my true offering to the land.  I had selected crystals that carry the vibration of peace, wisdom, and the removal of negative energy.  Helping to strengthen the land, and the Spirits that reside there, as they wake from their winter slumber.   My offerings given, we began our photo shoot; Stace trying to find balance in the snow to take the pictures, and me billy-goating up onto the moss covered rocks, so she could get the pictures she wanted.

Pictures done, we made our way to the river itself, where coffee was offered up to my friends daughter, my words making it clear that the coffee was from her mom.  After giving the coffee to the river, I sat with Stace and my dad (in spirit), and admired the power of nature, and the raw force of Spring.  It was a powerful visit, one in which I was happy to be the delivery-man, to the Spirit world.

When I got home from my adventure, I had a reply waiting for me on Facebook, and I had made the coffee, exactly how her daughter liked it, extra sweet, and extra creamy.  I had a brief conversation with her, and found out that the last cup of coffee Mom had bought her, had come from the same mini-mart.

I love being connected to Spirit,and am thankful for this life I live; that is so filled with magic and mystery.  Thanks for reading folks.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

 

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Passing Angels [gifts from the dead]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow