STORIES OF SPIRIT…Connecting to our Ancestors while the Veil is thin

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I love everything about it, except maybe leaf-mold which causes my allergies to flare up.  I love the temperature; which allows me to wear my favorite clothes (neckwarmers, knee-high socks, sweaters & fingerless gloves), I love the contrast of the dark gray lighting against the vividly colored maple trees, and the dramatic starkness that it brings to the Kingdom (Northeast Kingdom, Vermont) I live in.  But most of all, I love how thin the veil between the worlds of the living & the dead becomes.

As a Natural Medium, I am fortunate to have contact with my Beloved Dead whenever I wish.  I visit with my ancestors and guides often, enjoying both their wisdom and humor.   My many years of interacting with Spirits has made such things normal for me, and my years of personal study has provided me with the tools to turn my ability on and off as I wish….most of the time!

The months surrounding Samhain/Halloween ofter me the most exceptions to the rule, for the energetic boundary that separates the realities of spirit and being; living and dead, fae folk & human becomes less and less tangible.  I enjoy this time immensely, as it fills me with melancholy.  The season takes me back to a time when I was still exploring my relationship with the Otherworld; before I understood the strength of my own consciousness, before my major opening to spirit.

Otherworld- the world/worlds of spirit.

This photo was taken in Crawford Notch, NH in 2012.  I happened to catch a very large Nature Being.  You can find his head above the red leaves and his left shoulder just outside it.

Having grown up with natural psychic ability, and being from a generational line of mediums I was always able to sense spirit; see them, hear them, feel them, know when they were about.  But in the early years, it was scattered and cryptic, like some kind of sophisticated game I didn’t quite understand.  I was not the one steering the ship, instead, I was coasting down the river with a makeshift boat and no idea of what was around the next bend.  After many years of experience with the spirit world, I have learned to create boundaries, rules, and regulations that not only keep me safe but offer me the privacy and space required to live a normal life.   Now, Most of my communication is done through appointments in which I help clients connect with their Beloved Dead.  At these times I attune myself with the vibration of the Otherworld, focusing my lens so that I may connect with the Spirits I seek.  I look, listen and feel when and where I want to, and change the channel/look away when I do not.

When the veil between the world is thin, I am once again a magnet for spontaneous encounters with spirits.  I am occasionally startled when I catch them out of the corner of my eye or standing directly in front of me, but all and all I have acquainted it to being at a large festival; with lots of people about.   It can be a bit crowded and you may bump into someone from time to time, but it’s also a bit exciting.   In these unexpectedly times my heart races a bit and I am reminded that there is so much more out there than I see, let alone have control over.  So I let myself revel in the spookiness of the encounter and wrap the wyrd around me like a favorite shawl.

The truth is most of us crave this kind of spook, at least a little bit.  We want experiences that make us question what we know about reality, and how it affects us.  We want to catch a glimpse of the Otherworld; so that the possibility of the eternal soul may fill our minds.  We want to know, not just have faith that our spirit exists regardless of the body.  We seek for ourselves as much as we seek for those we have lost.

In these heightened times of spirit activity; when the veil is thin, I find myself thinking of the price we pay for being incarnate.  Don’t get me wrong, having a body has its perks, but all that lusciousness comes with a price.  We are blinded & deafened to the complexity of existence.  We are locked out from seeing all that we are, left to wonder and worry as we endure the hardships that are also part of being alive.  I wonder why it is most of us are unable to connect to the unseen world, what is the point of the disconnection?  Would we have simply been too lazy if we knew that that ‘life’ was eternal and that we were in a loop of experience?  Would we push ourselves as hard if we did not think somewhere in the recess of our mind that our time was limited?  We are living in times of deep change, in which the shadow lies deep upon our psyche, and with it, these questions become more paramount in my mind.

If you are seeking a connection to your Beloved Dead this Samhain season, I suggest you think deeply about the questions you would ask.   For seeking the council of our Ancestors is something we humans have done throughout the ages.  Times of betwixt & between when the veil is thinnest are ideal for this work.  Many cultures have seen these dark, in-between times as perfect for connecting to their kin and finding the guidance they seek.  Remember that the language of spirit is often symbolic and that we are all put out enough energetic light for our own Beloved Dead to find us.  Setting aside special time for communication when you are not disturbed is ideal, for it allows us to go deeper with our experience.

Here is a bit of something to use as a guideline for those of you seeking personal connection…

 

THINGS YOU WILL NEED-pictures and momentos that remind you of your Beloved Dead, candles (one or more), offerings for your Ancestors-their favorite foods, smoke, drink, as well as a notebook and pen.

*Set up an altar by decorating a small stand with your ancestorial offerings, candles, and photos.

*darken the room so that you are in dim light

*let your family/friends know that you are not to be disturbed

*When the altar is set, light your candles and take a few deep breaths., with each breath in imagine you are drawing in the light of the candle flame, filling your body with light, as you exhale imagine that light spreading around you like a luminous globe…surrounding you on all sides, as well as above and below.  This is your circle of protection.

*Call in your personal protective spirits, as well as deities (gods/goddess) that you work with.  Imagine them standing in your space as sentinels, keeping you safe and offering you strength.

SPEAK CLEARLY-asking that all spirits that enter your space do so with love and clarity.

When your space has been connected and created, invite your Beloved Dead to join you.  Taking a few minutes to allow for arrival, begin to use your peripheral vision to open your gaze.  This is easily done by looking down your nose slightly while allowing your viewing to expand to the sides of your vision.

When the room feels full (if you do not know how to recognize this feeling give about 10 minutes for arrival), begin by welcoming your spirits in truth.  Speak words of love to them, of how you have missed them and how you remember them.  After you have shared a few moments of love, speak your truth-telling your ancestors why you have invited them to your circle.  If seeking guidance ask of them the questions you would have direction on.  Know that answers often come in slowly, through imagery and thought.  Not everyone is sensitive enough to physically see or hear spirits.  But most of us will receive images in our mind, the key is not to talk ourselves out of what we are seeing.  When a thought comes in; no matter how cryptic, write it down in your journal.  It is important that during the experience your focus is on questioning and observing answers.  Digesting the symbolism is for after…

In the beginning, I suggest that you stay in this sacred space for at least an hour, as receiving information from the spirit world is not an easy task.  Know that you may feel a bit cold (so have a blanket near), and a bit hungry.  This is because, the spirits borrow our energy for connection.

When you have completed your communication session, thank your ancestors, deities, and guides.  Release your energetic circle by imagining the light returning to you, and through your breath to the candle.  Know that you have released all spirits and are safe.  Keep track of your thoughts and dreams over the next few weeks as often our messages come in many forms.  Once we have asked for guidance our ancestors will work to help us receive their answers in whatever way is best for us.

 

spreading love-

salicrow

 

 

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SACRED TRAVELS…I’m in Love with a Lake!

I woke up on the morning of July 14th from a ‘Crush-Dream’.  I was all warm and cozy in bed thinking how fantastic it was to be in love, how much I couldn’t wait to see my Beloved again, and then I realized I was dreaming about a lake.  In truth, it was not just any old lake, but the Great Mother herself; Lake Superior.

I must admit the stage had been set perfectly for me to meet the majestic queen of lakes, for I had traveled by car, plane, the kindness of a stranger & then caravan to get to her.  In short, there is no easy or quick way to travel from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan.  That being said it was worth it.

I have been traveling to the Mid-West (Wisconsin in particular) for the last 4 years, as a teacher and guide,  my teaching focused on the development of Psychic perception and expansion of consciousness. I have worked primarily with the same group of women, with additions and subtractions to the group as life demanded.  The Virmond Crows; as they call themselves (the name was chosen for the closeness in name of one of Milwaukee’s many parks ‘Virmond’ to my home state of Vermont) has grown to become kindred to me, they are my Mid-West Tribe and I look forward to my time with them each year.

Last year two of the women from the Virmond Crows spent some time in the sacred wild camping with my sister and me, while visiting Vermont; bonding in a way that can only take place through the use of a sacred container.  Sacred Container refers to time spent in deep connection, in which the group stays in contact with each other for the duration of the study; eating, sleeping, and playing together while exploring mystical studies.  This is my favorite way to learn & teach, for it takes us out of our everyday habits, rocks the boat of our subconscious programming and allows us to become more deeply ourselves.  After spending the weekend with us in New Hampshire, the visiting Virmond Crows said “We want that!”, and so our magical journey to the Upper Penisula and Lake Superior was birthed into being.

One of the Mid-West Tribe lives in the U.P. and became my host and partner on the ground.  When doing this kind of work, in which I must travel to teach my partner on the ground is of utmost importance, for they take care of the logistics with an eye that only a local can have.  She picked our location, arranged lodging and chose the places we would be working from.  I came with the teachings for the weekend set in my mind like a sailor on the water; strong and loose at the same time, ready to bend and bob when needed.

 

We arrived at ‘Black Harbor’ as the sun was setting, after spending most of  our day working with nature on the Black Harbor River.  We saved our introduction to Mother Superior/Lake Superior for dusk for the times of Betwixt & Between are particularly powerful when it comes to magical workings.

Dawn & Dusk are times of betwixt & between as they are neither day nor night, but somewhere in between.  Places and times in the Betwixt & Between hold the magic of becoming and carry a certain level of enchantment that even the novice can perceive.

Arriving at the lake the sky and water were ablaze with reds and oranges; the water reflecting both the sun and the iron in the sand of the supporting hills and embankments.  We had come to the lake to perform a water ceremony; an offering of thanks and an energetic blessing for the water and those who step into her embrace.  It was a magical experience from the start, the colors that welcomed us as we walked from the parking lot to the water were outstanding from the start, and only got better when we were blessed with seeing ‘the Green Flash’.

The Green Flash is caused by light refracting in the atmosphere, and it is hardly ever seen…It can be experienced by the lucky at sunrise and sunset when the light travels through more of the atmosphere.  For the viewer, the Green Flash is more like a green strobing line along the horizon.  It is such an amazing color; a technicolor sea-green strobe light that lasted for about 3 minutes.  I tried to take pictures, but could not do it justice…so I stood in awe capturing the image in my mind.

Driftwood @ Black Harbor/Lake Superior

The beach that we found ourself on was like something out of a hobo-beach dwellers dream.  It was covered in large pieces of driftwood, which had been deposited on the shore by the long hard winter of the following year.  The sky was starting to darken and the shore was alight with fires, and small make-shift shelters the locals had made for fun.  I felt like a child who had stepped into a magical park and allowed myself a few moments of fantasy; in which I imagined I would see Peter Pan and the Lost Boys camped out at one of the fires.  But soon I was back in focus, remembering that I was here to do magic that did not involve flying away into a fictitious world.  We were here to give our thanks and honor to the life-sustaining water of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior is known as ‘Gichi-Gami’-the big liquid or great sea to the Ojibwe/Chippewa who lived along her shore.  Lake Superior is the largest fresh-water lake in the world!

Although the beach was alight with fires, they were spaced far enough from one another that we were able to get a relatively private spot for our working without much effort, and the people who were there were respectful, seeming to understand that we were there for deep work with Spirit.  As the sky darkened we gathered wood and I easily started a fire (super easy when you are carrying charcoals to burn incense on…just saying). 

 

 

When darkness finally settled upon the water, we gathered close and began the evenings magic with a personal attunement to water; something I developed after a profound experience I had with water while visiting a spring on the side of Mount Shasta (more about that in the book I am working on).  The attunement process came to me partially through channeling and partially through my personal study of Structured Water.  Structured water is a molecular arrangement of water molecules that exists when water is near hydrophilic (water-loving) surfaces, such places are available in nature and in our bodies.  It is the belief that under ideal situations; which can be created, water is more viable and more easily programmed/blessed.  With the group circled around me, I opened their energetic bodies with sound and movement and first gave them the water blessing, that the waters in their own body may become energized.  This was a profound moment, in which I felt like we had stepped out of time and space, existing both in the present as well as in a timeless state of being that traveled through the sands of the beach connecting us to the past and future.  I love that liminal space, for it is perfect for magical workings.  We then gathered ourselves in sacred sovereignty and walked to the water where I shared the movements and words of the water blessing/attunement with the group.

Standing in a line along the shore, in water up to our knees we stirred the water with hand and wand creating spirals and infinity waves.  Our voices rang out in a shared song as we Toned the words of attunement.  The feeling of being between worlds was strong, as I heard the sound of Native women singing along with us in the Spirit world.  I soon found myself overcome with a knowing that I must go into the water after the blessing was done.  I needed to completely submerge myself in the dark waters of the lake.  The more I stirred, the more I sang the deeper the knowing sank in.  I did not have a choice in the matter.

Now, this was a bit of a dilemma for me as I was wearing leggings and a long-sleeved shirt.  I had not brought my bathing suit, as I was sure I would not go into the water for a swim until the following day.  Things I should point out-I am not one for skinny dipping.  I am not ashamed of my body, I simply am not much of a naked in public kind of gal.  But I had limited options…I could go into the water naked, or wear my undergarments, something that was at a disadvantage as I only had one bra with me on the trip.  So I stripped off my clothes and went into the water.

When my head was fully submerged I felt a great awakening come over me.  I found myself surrounded by what for lack of better words, an embrace.  It was not a physical holding, but an energetic cocoon of love.  It was so deep and all consuming that I felt like my paltry offering of a blessing had been but a peck on the cheek when compared to the level of love that was offered back to me.  I stayed in the water but for only a few minutes, the rocky floor of the lake feeling unstable beneath my feet in my altered state of mind.  I knew that I had been greeted by the Spirit of the Lake herself, and I knew I would be called back to her waters many times in my future life.

As we gathered our belongings and left the beach it was powerful to see how others had responded to our doings on the waterfront.  When walking by the large group of locals, we noticed that they all bowed their heads slightly when we walked by.  This to some seemed as it could be more of a ‘holy shit, don’t make eye-contact thing’, but in truth, I believe it was more of an acknowledgment that they had just witnessed something sacred.  Whether we share the same beliefs or differ in our faith, the sacred is recognizable to all.

My host Jamie and her daughter Nina.

I did return the next day, after waking from my crush-dream, I had no choice.  I needed to see my lover one more time before I departed her lands.  Returning in the daylight I collected rocks and driftwood (which I mailed home to myself).  I have always been a fan of nature given souvenirs, for they hold far more memory in them than some plastic trinket bought in a souvenir shop.  We lounged around the beach taking in the beauty of a space that is still seen as sacred.  In my personal thoughts I was already planning my next trip to Mother Superior/Lake Superior, knowing that I would be back.

Keep your eyes out for more information on Sacred Travels to Lake Superior by visiting my website http://Salicrow.com (be patient, stop by often, the site is going to be transforming in the next month or so/under construction).

I ended my trip to the Upper Penisula with a trip inland with my host & her daughter.  Where I got to take in the beauty of the many lakes and waterways that make up the U.P.  We repeated the water blessing at the little lake on my host property.  It was a powerful (and buggy) way to finish up my short stay.

Sacred travel can happen anywhere and everywhere.  It is more of a conscious switch of how you view the world and your place in it.  It requires the ability to take a step back from the hub-bub of our electronic world and choose a slower pace.  It is not a superpower, but something we all have innately inside of us.  We can all recognize the beauty of nature, connecting with it in a sacred way is to take it one step further and see that nature is also sentient.  The water, like the trees and the stones, is alive.  It has consciousness, and if you are patient enough to listen you will hear the love story that she is speaking to you.  I am thankful to be so blessed and love sharing this knowledge with others, I can feel my ancestors watching over me with pride when I do.

spreading love-salicrow

Virmond Crows in the U.P. (I love these ladies!)

 

Exceptional Moments of Spirit…

I was in Montpelier yesterday, having breakfast with a dear friend who is going through a tremendous opening & healing.  This was something she asked for; something she cultivated & strove for, as she peeled away layer upon layer of emotional debris that kept her from her truth.  Guided by a dedication to bettering herself & allowing her true light to shine, she stepped fully into her wyrd (connection with fate) and yesterday I got to experience a bit of it myself.

WYRD-connected to Fate

When we are going through profound moments of shift, the web of wyrd appears to vibrate around us,  synchronicities abound as the Universe and our personal Spirits seem to be doing everything in their power to ensure we get the message.  It is as if the weavers of fate are spinning the web directly around the recipient, and all who come close to the person get glimpses of what it’s like to dance with creation, it is true magic!  I have experienced these moments both as the person who the web is vibrating around and as a personal witness to someone else’s Wyrd.  Either way, it is awe inspiring.  Yesterday was no exception.

We met in Montpelier, a central location as we were both making unexpected time in our busy schedules.  Like all things connected to fate, it came together quickly and with ease.  When we are going through deep healing & opening often we can get what we need simply by putting it out to the Universe.  I find the straight forward approach to work well “I am in need of some balancing, grounding support, I need time for this, I need space for this”, and there seems to surface a minor reprieve from the deep work, a short hiatus to recollect our thoughts before diving in for more.

The synchronicities began for me as soon as the date was proposed.  My appointments shifted easily, the day opened for me and I was on my way.  I had experienced such things before, so I knew it should be an interesting day and I was not only eager to see my friend and hear her story so far, but to see what kind of magical bits sprung up throughout the day.  The first noticeable omen came in the form of numbers.  After eating a delicious breakfast while my friend told me her miraculous tale (she brought her’s home in a to-go box…too much to say for eating) we left to put money in the meters before we both ended up with tickets.  We walked to her car first, passed by it actually, so deep in conversation that we had walked past her car until it yelled at her.  By this I mean spirit spoke up through the distraction with a quick “hey, your car is back here”.  We turned around laughing as she explained how she was happy she was with me, as I would understand her saying that her car yelling at her.  As she added more money to the meter we were talking about the synchronicities that had been occurring in her life, with money added we couldn’t help but go ‘huh’, as the time on the meter now equaled 1:11.

Omen-an event of prophetic importance

Laughing about how the Universe works, we headed back the other direction to where my car was parked.  Deep in conversation, spirit reminded us once again, as I also walk past my car only to hear Adam say “your car is over there Sali”.  Crossing the street and putting money in the meter, again the time came out to 1:11.  Now the interesting thing is we may not have had those times appear if we had not walked by our vehicles.  The distraction was actually part of the magic, allowing us to arrive at the scene not once, but twice to receive a divine confirmation that wyrd stuff was taking place.  This number sequence persisted when we walked to the statehouse lawn and noticed that the building next to it boldly carried the address of 111, and again when my friend returned to her car with 11 minutes on the meter, and when I was thinking about our experience on my way home and noticed the clock read 1:11.

Numbers are my thing, or at least one of them.  I have worked with Numerology for most of my adult life and am always breaking down numbers, noticing master numbers and sequences as part of how I perceive psychic information.  Traditionally in numerology numbers are added together and broken down until they reach a single digit (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9).  The exception, however, is Master Numbers.  Master numbers are produced when the digit breaks down to a repetition of the same number 11, 22, 33, 44.  We can also witness these powerful energetic codes in the repetitive form of clocks…2:22, 11:11, 5:55 or as we did yesterday 1:11.  Master numbers hold more energetic impact than regular numbers, their lessons are bigger and they demand more attention.  Often when we see repetitive numbers such as our clock showing 4:44 it is the universe or our spirit team giving us a heads up to pay attention, that what we are thinking about or doing is very important.  The number itself must also be taken into consideration, for each number has a different energetic code. 

For those of you interested in the study of Numerology, keep an eye out for my workshop coming in June, and check out some of my other blogs around the subject like this one https://salicrow.wordpress.com/category/numerology/

The meaning of 1:11- 1:11 resonates at a high vibration, similar to 11 or an empowered 1.  It is a number that reminds us something big is starting; that we are connected with our purpose, and that we are working with personal karma.  Carrying the energy of beginnings, it has presented itself in our life to help us move into our new self, leaving behind that which holds us back.  It carries the power of stepping onto the path of one’s truth, and the ability to open psychic doors to our true self.

One of the other wyrd-anomalies that happened yesterday was a quick gift for me; a reminder that I too was swimming in the cosmic wake that surrounded my friend and her wyrd experience-I knew my friend and I  would only be able to spend a few hours together, and Montpelier is about an hour and a half drive for me, so on the way over, I started thinking about how I wanted to catch up with another friend from the area whom I missed dearly.  I started thinking I would drive out to her house after breakfast on the off chance I would get to see her as well.  These thoughts kept coming up on my drive until I was determined I would do my best to connect with her.  After breakfast, when I was scuttling about with my friend, putting money in meters and talking about the wyrd synchronicities that were popping up, we crossed paths with the other friend whom I had planned to go see… As we were talking away, a car came to a stop at the crosswalk along our path, and who should it be…but the very friend I had been thinking about on the ride over.  I was so excited to see her, for not only did it save me a trip out of my way (she was heading out of town), but it was a huge shout out to the powers of magical manifestation that take place when we are in such moments of karmic growth.  I told her I had been thinking about her the entire way over and that my intention had been “I just want to see her, even if it’s just for a minute”.  Wish granted!  

I love how magical life can be, and how clearly the universe is speaking to us when we gain the ability to listen.  It is not always flashy, ‘holy shit’ moments.  But the universe and our spirits are constantly reaching out to us.  I was honored to bear witness to my friend’s healing & growth and had a great time playing in the magical wake of her deep dive with fate.

Exceptional Moments of Spirit are those times when the world itself seems to be speaking to us as if we are the main character in a big play.  These times slow down, speed up, stand still and out of time and space.  For most people, these flashes of fate are triggered by deep emotional catalysts, like death, birth, reunions, and marriages.  For those on the spiritual path, they come more often and are usually connected to the moments in which we are actively growing as a soul.  It is important in such times to be kind to ourselves, take rest when it presents itself and surrounds ourselves by those that support us.  This is not a time for hanging out with the challenging aspects and people of our life, we need to make our circle small and strong in such times, remembering that we will reemerge a different person in many ways.  If you are going through such a time, get some body work…Reiki, massage, sound healing.  These all help to bring balance into our lives and help us let go of that which is holding us back.  My personal experience with such growth is documented in my book ‘JUMP GIRL, the initiation and art of a spirit speaker’, which a memoir of my life.  You can find it here https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926/

Thanks for reading folks, may your path be filled with magic, spiritual growth, and love…stay Wyrd!

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Wyrd-work [expanding consciousness through spirit communication]

Last weekend I was in Connecticut doing a Spirit Gallery at a local Elks Club; the event was a fundraiser for a local Republican Party.  When I got offered the job, I immediately responded yes, not because I identify as a Republican (I have respect for all), but because it fell into my ‘wyrd-work‘ category.  When these opportunities arise I am excited for the opportunity to sing to someone other than the choir.  I like to be challenged, to have people approach Spirit Communication with a healthy level of skepticism, and most of all to offer them a slice of faith when they see & hear things that they cannot explain.

Wyrd-connected to fate or personal destiny

Wyrd-work describes any job that is obviously outside the realm of the expected, that offers the potential to awaken the consciousness of another. It is the work that resonates with one’s soul path.  It is also the work that I imagine my accountant saying “What could Salicrow possibly be doing for these people?”.

Gallery Readings are a totally different beast than Seances and Individual Spirit Communication, as they are simultaneously a deep communication for the one receiving the message and entertainment for the crowd watching.  When looking out over the assemblage I see spirits standing with just about everyone (imagine at least twice as many ‘people’ in the room as those who paid for seating), I know that most of the people in the crowd are hopeful that they will be called upon, and that I will only be able to give that opportunity to a few.  

Every time I do Spirit Communication for a group of people I would classify as sitting in the Wyrd, I experience an expansion of my mind, as I watch my preconceived notions of who and what a group believes washed away before my eyes.  In truth, I think this could be said about most things…if we let go of what we think we know, we will find there is a lot to learn.  The biggest lesson I have learned from such experiences is that everyone mourns, and everyone wants to believe that the soul exists outside of the skin-suit we wear in this reality.  No matter our cultural, political or economic environment, we are all looking for a connection to something more than ourselves, and we all want to know our loved ones (and most importantly ourselves) continue to exist.  Death in many ways is a great equalizer.  It comes for all of us, it does not discriminate against race, age, sexual orientation or political/religious beliefs.  It does not care if we have lived our lives fully, or simply existed.  It cares not for the character of our soul and doesn’t care if we have other plans.  In short, death is a master we cannot ignore.  Nor can we ignore its trusty companion mourning.

I don’t know what I expected from the experience, but what I got were a group of people who cared deeply for their families and friends, and wanted above all else to have some kind of connection with their loved ones who have crossed into Spirit.  Stepping outside my comfort zone; working in places out of the ordinary for me, has taught me much about people.  We are more alike than we think, we all want happiness, security, love, and community in our lives, we all mourn our dead, and we all hope for something beyond this world…the problem comes when we look at our differences under the microscope.  When we focus on what tears us apart we will most certainly see plenty of things that can do so…but when we turn our lens to see what things we have in common, the world has more symbiotic flow & opportunity.

I give thanks to the Wyrd groups who have hired me, especially when I did not fit your image of normal.  I am thankful for your open minds and the opportunities you have given me to grow.  Thank you!

As always, thanks for reading folks.  Please share this article if you’re so moved, I am trying to change the world here…one little bit at a time.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

SACRED TRAVEL…Transforming the mind through personal journey, part 3

Sacred Travel is foremost a mindset.  It is something that happens within our being, regardless of our outer destination, for the true journey is a pilgrimage of the soul.

Many people go on vacation and walk away with stories of adventure, a bit of color and a feeling of rest…but that is far from being transformational.  While on the other hand there are those among us who go no further than their backyard and experience tremendous spiritual growth.

If you are looking to set up a Sacred Pilgrimage for yourself and are lacking in funds, start by setting a date.  Block out the days you wish to set aside for personal growth, and act as if you are going to be out of the State during that time.  You will not be answering phone calls unless they are emergencies.  You may even want to tell people that you know that you will be away, or better yet that you are taking a much-needed Staycation to recalibrate.  Simple answers, make it easier to not receive a thousand phone calls during your time of introspection.

Plan your journey ahead of time, choose a location in your home or abroad (if you are so fortunate).  When using our own space for the journey, we must make sure to set the stage.  Taking time to make it comfortable and inviting…Setting up an altar where we can place items sacred to us. When Packing it’s important to bring enough provisions so we do not need to leave our sacred space until finished.  Remember the more fully you can submerge yourself in the experience, the deeper into self you can go.  Make sure you have a journal and a few good writing pens on hand, perhaps even some art supplies; as not all who journal do so in words.

When we choose to engage in sacred travel without leaving our homestead, it is important to step away from our regular habits.  Disconnect from social media, television, computer, smartphones, and technological static.  *I make an exception here for my camera.  For me, taking pictures is part of my journaling.  I love to capture moments and items that are seeped in the divine.  That being said, if you do not have the willpower to resist picking up your phone every few moments then it’s best to use a real camera, not the one on your phone.

Once we have set out on our sacred adventure we should plan on staying in that mindset for the duration of the time allotted to the journey.  This is important, as most people are impatient and somehow think results/answers should come quickly like a flash of lightning.  When in fact, more often than not it takes much longer than you think and is far more subtle than hoped for. Learning the nuances of subtly is a spiritual art, it takes practice.  One of the tips I give to my students when practicing any type of trance work or meditation is to stay past the point of discomfort.  By this, I do not mean stay when we are in pain or about to wet ourselves, what I mean is…we all reach a point in which our mind starts saying “Is this it?”, “Am I doing anything, can I do anything?”, “What am I suppose to be doing?”.  I am not immune to this distraction. It still shows up from time to time… telling me I have better things to be doing.  I simply ignore it and keep on keeping on.  It is after this point when we have crossed the threshold of our wondering mind, that we begin to truly connect.

Sacred tools, like drums and rattles, scrying mirrors, tarot cards & runes are helpful tools to take on our journey.  But so is going for a walk in the woods, sitting by your favorite brook, listening to the sound of the trees, exploring art at a local museum, listening to Gregorian chants and Shamanic trance music.  This is an adventure…you may spend it how you wish, and with who you wish.  Most of my sacred travels are spent with like-minded spiritual seekers.

When I was younger and could not get away as easily, my sacred-sisters (women I practiced magic with) and I would go away for one weekend a year together.  Most often this was at someone’s parents camp.  We would work and play together or the weekend and walk away refreshed and ofter more clear of our personal path.

Now here is an important add-on…I know most of you are imagining Sacred Travel as a somber thing, filled with drumming and meditation, and that is true…but it is can also one filled with tasty libations, your favorite herbs, and laughter.  After all, it is a time of stepping out of our day to day life and let us be honest we all like to eat well and celebrate.

The biggest factor in Sacred Travel is that we are there with our senses open.  We need to savor every detail of the moment, allowing ourselves to fully be present instead of wandering around on auto-pilot like we often do in our everyday lives.  Sacred Travel is a time of fully being conscious.  It is a time of celebration and love for self and the amazing world we live in.

I personally go on a sacred journey just about every week. I began adding a weekly ‘adventure day’ almost 2 years ago; when my sister was struggling with illness.  As part of her process, we decided to dedicate every Wednesday to spiritual growth and experience.  Sometimes it is just us, sometimes others of our tribe join us.  Most often we go to the Ammounousuc River, a place seen as a spiritual treasure to both of us.  This practice has enhanced the quality of my life tremendously.  Between the small weekly journeys and the larger ones I manage to pull off each year, I have created a life in which stepping out of my everyday reality & into my deeper soul consciousness is easily accessed.

I hope you enjoyed the read & that it inspires you to seek out Spiritual Adventure of your own.  The world is an amazing place, whether our path takes us ‘just down the road a bit’ or around the world.  Open your eyes, your heart, your ears, your entire being to the marvels of self & the universe and you will not be disappointed.

spreading love-salicrow

ps-if you enjoy my writing, make sure to check out my book!

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

 

 

 

Sacred Travel…COSM, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors-part 2.

It’s funny how we are always in some kind of flux…growing, flowing, being molded by our surroundings.  It seems that no matter how far up our personal, evolutionary tree we climb there are still wounds to heal, lessons to learn, and potentials to explore.  That is what makes living so divine!  ************************************************************ I returned home from Florida, knowing that in a few short weeks I would be connecting with members of my Spirit Tribe; a group of Wyrd (connected to fate) Travelers I met (this life) while on a sacred pilgrimage to the United Kingdom.  Our meeting was something no doubt planned in the betwixt & between, for kinships formed throughout lifetimes are a kind of magic of their own. 

Knowing I would soon be spending time in deep transformational space, I recognized that my self-work was not done, in fact, I had just placed my foot upon the trail of transformation.  After all, I was seeking to change the tempo in which I lived my life, not an easy task.

Being dedicated to myself, I started speaking of the change I was seeking, using words that supported my goal.  Positive affirmations are a good way to support and direct growth and healing in our life.   After all most of our problems come out of the bad programming that runs on repeat inside of our heads; spewing out negative bullshit that wastes the potential of our minds.  Just imagine what life could look like if we spoke as many encouraging words to ourselves…

I walked away from obvious negative internal banter along time ago, but that does not mean my brain is always kind to me.  While I don’t bad-talk myself in the way that many people do, I run a to-do list that has the potential of being never-ending.  So I still have need of positive affirmations, mantras, and intentional thoughts.  This was how I spent the weeks between my travels, reinforcing the new setting I had chosen to live my life in; the one with purposeful movement and lots of Catnaps.

The trouble was I still could not see the direction I wanted to go in, the prey I wanted to stalk or the perhaps a better way of putting it was I had not yet received the scent of that which I sought.  I was pretty sure I would find it while on Sacred journey and I was anticipating the insight it would lend to me.

The drive to COSM was absolutely beautiful.  The first part of the journey was straight down the state of Vermont via I91; a quiet highway with little traffic and few sightings of civilization.  Then we headed west & south along the Taconic State Parkway to the Hudson River Valley of NY.

COSM-the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors is a sanctuary, a church of sorts dedicated to the visionary arts and creativity.  It is also a sacred womb of awakening, an intentional space filled with the mind ‘altaring’ art of Alex Grey and his wife Allison.  The permanent art collection at the sanctuary is known for integrating both scientific and spiritual truths.  In short, it is a place of transformation!

Visionary art; such as Alex & Allison Grey’s, is meant to trigger the subconscious, allowing us to step out of our analytical mind and into the deeper vastness of our souls knowing.  Spending time submerged in such art often works on the receiver long after they have walked away from the physical display.

My fellow Wyrd Travelers and I went to COSM with this in mind, we were looking for the full experience as well as a place we could step into our shared spiritual work without disturbance.  We received both, as the universe provided us with the opportunity to be the only guest staying @ Grey House (the Inn at COSM) for the duration of our visit.

In visiting the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors my personal goal was to receive with an open mind, allowing messages of direction to come to me, instead of my normal steady push for deep waters.  After all, I was working with Big Cat/Panther; I was not searching under every rock for my knowledge, instead, I was waiting around stealthily for it to appear.  Most of my time there was taken up with group work, primarily focused on helping others wake-up peacefully, in this time of Psychic Evolution. My individual work was more subtle…it involved meditating in the temple room in the early hours of the morning, and absorbing the energy of the place while I slept…where it infiltrated my dreams and seeped into my knowing.  I don’t recall a single ‘Ah-ha’ moment of self-awareness, yet I left understanding my future path more clearly and have continued to unfold subconscious wisdom in my dreams; both waking and sleeping.

Perhaps it was in walking the grounds, rich with Earth energy; intentionally harnessed through the works of Geomancy-the art of placing or arranging buildings or other sites auspiciously, walking the labyrinth or observing the many paintings & statues with their multitude of eyes, that triggered such introspection.  But I truly feel that I walked away with a deeper knowing of my path and a clearer understanding of how to get there.

I have used Sacred Travel as a vehicle for transformation for many years now.  There is something about stepping away from our mundane world, that allows us to look at our life differently.  I know I am fortunate enough to do so regularly, and for that I am thankful.  But this has not always been the case, I have not always had the luxury of time and money to make such things happen.

So…how do we submerse ourselves in Sacred Pilgrimage when we do not have the luxury of leaving our home, family & obligations?

I will be talking about just that in part 3 of this Sacred Travel log, which will be out on Friday, April 5th.  Thanks for following along on my adventures…

spreading love-salicrow

ps-A big fat, grey squirrel was very comfortable on the property.  I found it to be a cosmic joke, as I had been saying I needed to put the squirrel in a cage; in reference to my need to step away from squirrel as my active power animal.  By the end of the weekend at COSM I realized that my reference of ‘caging the squirrel’ was really a pretty shitty way to give thanks to an animal spirit that has helped me achieve a lot over the last few years, and that instead I needed to give thanks to it and wish it a safe journey.  So thank you, my friend, for all your fast-paced, zing.

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Embracing the Darkness [the wheel of the year, hygge, and spirit honoring]

The first snow has settled on the forested hilltop, I call home, bringing with it feelings of slumber and deep knowing.  It calls to me to get comfortable; put on my sweater pants & neckwarmers, and begs me to go deep into my own being.  We, like all living things, are connected to the planet we live on, and her cycles have a great pull on our lives.  When we listen and flow with the current of nature we find balance and understanding.

I began acknowledging the effects of seasonal change on my life when I was in my early 20’s and started exploring Wicca and other Earth-based spiritual practices.  The rotation of the Wheel of the Year is a significant factor in most spiritual practices associated with nature, for such teachings recognize that we are part of our world, not separate from it.  This belief is a powerful one that makes us look at ourselves and the world around us differently.  It is a lens through which we can perceive that which is hidden, both in ourselves and in the environment.

The Wheel of the Year is a cycle of seasonal holidays observed by most pagans.  It consists of 4 quarter dates, marked by the Solstices & Equinoxes, and 4 cross-quarter dates that note the halfway points between. 

We are fast approaching on one of these markers on the Wheel of the Year-Samhain/Halloween.  Halloween which is known as Samhain in the Celtic traditions, Alfablot (sacrifice to the elves) in Old Norse, and Día de Muertos/Day of the Dead in Hispanic culture, and All Saints Day to the Catholics.  All of these celebrations take place within a period of 3 days; October 31st-November 2nd and they are all associated with honoring the dead (note-All Saints day is about honoring dead Saints in particular).  Coincidence?  I think not…

Until modern times people had to live in close relationship with the Earth, as we were more likely to have healthier livestock and fuller harvests if we knew a thing or two about the cycles of the planets.  This relationship also allowed us to refocus and renew our own spirits, for slowing down in winter gave us time to be crafty and cunning, to tell stories around the fire and to reconnect with our families.  These cycles were not limited to those who experienced the drastic seasonal changes of the North, for all places cycle…

Knowing the cycle nature takes in our area is vital to mental balance.  In the North, the darkness of Winter can be hard for many; Seasonal-affective disorder is a thing.  It is particularly hard if we create unreasonable goals for ourselves in the winter months.  This is not a call to full-on hibernation, it is instead a notice to be kind to yourself, to recognize that your body wants to move slower in the dark season.  To take it as an invitation to sit around the coffee shop and chat with friends on your day off, instead of tackling a major project.  It is a suggestion to pick up a handcraft such as knitting or crochet and become productive in a way that lets your mind wander and dream…for the Winter months are for dreaming and planning.  It is also a reminder that when we connect to the season we do not seek to avoid it.  The Norwegian people have this one down…they call it Hygge!

Hygge {Hue-gah}-The feeling of comfort and cozy, with friends or alone.  It is about embracing the unique aspects of the Winter.

For those of you wondering why the fuck I am talking about Winter when it isn’t even Halloween yet, don’t worry…I am getting there.  Halloween in Vermont very often comes with snow, those of us who live in the North are familiar with the need to incorporate Winter Jackets into our kids Halloween costumes.  (A few years ago, my granddaughter went as a Vermont Wonder Woman, which means she had a jacket under her outfit and a Winter hat instead of a circlet).  Therefore Hygge/embracing the Winter season is important to us now, for Winter is certain to embrace us.

Samhain/Halloween has changed a lot for me over the years.  I am still in love with costumes and the mirth associated with the season, but as my spiritual practices have evolved, my reverence for the Dead and the Otherworld has become paramount in my celebrations.  I take the time to remember my Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones and ancestors) at this time.  When I pull out my box of Halloween decorations, I find resting on top, pictures of my loved ones in Spirit.  I pull them out lovingly and give them a place of honor in my home.  My home becomes a place of memories as I go about my daily life.  I place most of the photos in my kitchen, as that is where my working altar is.  Here along the window sills, and upon my altar I place photos of the ones I love…a picture of Adam walking along the ocean, my father in his Marine dress uniform, the high school photo of my grandmother Eulalie, Grammy Brown when she was most likely my age, my grandfather sitting in the backyard, my friend Mike with his mouth wide open in laughter, my husbands grandparents whom I loved like my own (particularly Grammy Bickford), and my Aunt Sissy & I hugging the last time I saw her.

You can choose to live this way.  It is not a religious thing, it does not require you to say any vows or swear allegiance, it is simply a choice to be connected.  Something we could all use in these times of change.  Hell being more connected to our world, naturally makes us more compassionate and concerned with what’s going on, but it also gives us a sense of belonging…

Here is a how-to on embracing the season & honoring your Beloved Dead-

***************************************************************************************************8

What you will need- pictures of your Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones, ancestors), memorabilia-trinkets that help us remember, religious or spiritual items if you choose, any candle

*choose a space to display your photos and memorabilia-this can be one shelf or throughout your home, it does help to have them somewhat contained, so my suggestion is to keep it to one room.  I choose the kitchen, as it is where I keep my working altar.

*Keep the photos up as long as you like, but I recommend at least the 3 days before and after Samhain/Halloween.

*During the time you have the photos up, talk about your Beloved Dead, tell stories of them, sing their favorite songs, drink their favorite beverages, eat their favorite foods, REMEMBER THEM…this is the greatest honor we can give to our Spirits, the gift of remembrance.

*Remember the Hygge of the situation, embrace the dark season and the places in our memory it takes us.  Be comfortable while you remember and honor, cuddle up on your couch and watch an old Halloween special, remembering your childhood when your mother/father/grandparent sat with you as you sat fascinated by the magic of the season.

*Light a candle on your altar, or in the room, you have your photos set up whenever you are able.  This is a symbol to your Beloved Dead that you are calling out to them.

Remember that everyone has the ability to feel their Beloved Dead, like a candle flame in the darkness your Spirits, can use to find you.  Although the ways they communicate with you may be subtle…dreams, songs, birds, knowing, feeling, smelling, they are trying.  If you are seeking deep connection with your Dead I suggest reaching out to a Medium https://www.salicrow.com/, for we are more like Light Houses; giving off a much broader span of light and attracting more spirits, making communication easier.

Whether you choose to connect with your Beloved Dead this season or not, I highly suggest welcoming Hygge into your life.  Savor and enjoy every moment, the cold rainy days & the snowy blustery days as well.  Our environment stirs up emotion in us and helps us to better understand ourselves.  My other suggestion is to get yourself good winter gear.  Be warm, you will like it better!