SACRED TRAVEL…Guided by Spirit [California Dreaming part 1. LA-Mount Shasta]

Sacred travel is not a predictable thing.  It by nature is fluid and spontaneous, led by the intuition and an openness to explore.  Unlike vacation, it does not come with perfect accommodations, gourmet meals and neatly arranged outings.  It is a thing of wonder!

A few months back, when winter was still fully in possession of the north, my sister Sandy and I began planning our spring travel.  Our plan was to teach Earth Magic in Milwaukee in the beginning of the month, and then spend the end of the month teaching about parallel lives/past lives in LA & Carlsbad.  As the plan emerged from the ether of our minds, we other magical bits starting presenting themselves, and our simple business/teaching trip soon turned into a grand adventure that would involve 2 weeks in California.  The first working, the second doing deep Earth Magic in Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert.  The second part of the trip was in fact the real work, and involved 13 friends and spiritual allies heading into the desert to do sound healing.

A few weeks before we were to head to California, the ‘work’ part of our trip began to fall away.  First the folks in LA seemed unable to host an event.  This at first bothered me, as they were the reason we were heading in that direction.  They had asked us to come, and only after tickets were bought and plans were made, realized that they could not make it happen.

Now in moments like this, it is easy to get discouraged, to be pissed and start doing a hissy-fit dance.  But it was clear by this point, that we needed to be there.  There was never any thought of not going, or of changing how long we would be there, simply an understanding that we had work to do on the west coast.  This same feeling came to the surface, when our second host, the one in Carlsbad told us days before we were flying out, that they had not been able to follow through on their end.

When we boarded the plane, we were still up in the air on where we were going when we got to California.  We decided, that we would decide while in the air where it was we were suppose to go.  We had place mat markers of where we needed to be, but none of those were relevant until  early next week.  Our first 4 days of the trip were open, and itching for Spiritual guidance.

By the time we landed in LA, we knew that we would not be heading south to Carlsbad, instead we would be taking an 10 hour drive north, to Mount Shasta.  This was not a random; close your eyes and point at any place on the map, kind of decision, but instead it was a knowing that we all experienced.  One that came in boldly.  For me, it was a feeling of calling that I experienced any time I looked at the in-flight map.  I would see the dot in the northern part of California, and the name Shasta, and I would feel drawn to it.

Mount Shasta is a holy mountain, one that holds the making of pilgrimage.  Known for it’s powerful vortex energy, it is a place of high earth energy, a place where one can go to heal themselves and to do direct healing toward the Earth.  (I will write more about Shasta in the next few days, after I have spent some time exploring here).

Getting to Shasta was an adventure of it’s own, as we; my traveling companions (my sister Sandy and our friend Missy), and I, are very open to intuitive travel, and following the path that Spirit presents us with.  This kind of travel is best done with a destination in mind, but a very loose idea on how long it will take you to get there, and a sense of wonderment.  Intuitive travel means there are no wrong turns, and every place you land is an opportunity to connect with Spirit.

Leaving LA was like escaping prison.  First of all, I must be completely honest…this city did nothing for me.  I felt an instant desire to leave it, yet the city itself is a powerful vortex of energy, that really doesn’t want you to leave.

Our first experience with wacky travel and leaving LA was connected to our GPS.  No matter what we typed into it, it wanted to take us back to the car rental shop.  So we tried using the GPS’s on our phones, and this happened again, and again.  We finally got ourselves out of the city, and the GPS’s to behave at least a little bit, and started heading up the coastal highway, believing that we would travel most of the way with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as our traveling guide.  That too proved incorrect.

 

After driving for hours, mostly along the coast, Missy who was driving suddenly said “I am not sure how this happened, but I do not believe we are on Route 1 anymore.” This did not alarm us, but instead made us ask “Well, where do you suppose we are, and where are we headed?”

Again our GPS’s were of no help.  In fact, they obviously had no idea where we were.  While accessing our GPS’s (more then one), we would often find that it believed us to be in other places on the continent…including Nebraska, Maryland, and the south western tip of Mexico.  We did not seem to be track-able.

When we finally got one of the GPS’s to acknowledge our actual location, we found we had gone inland.  We plotted a new course and continued forward, not wanting to turn around and come back the way we came.  This was not a disappointment.

Shortly after going through a bum-fuck town in California we found ourselves entering a canyon.  It was breath taking.  The road wove like a snake down and around the mountains, into the valley deep below.  It was a God moment, and exceptional moment of Spirit, when the universe took our breath away.

Sandy communing with the sun, above the Canyon.

Wild shrub Sage

We drove for hours after the canyon, so thankful for the beauty we had experienced.  We relished in the memory of the sound we had created when toning on the top of the canyon, as people drove by waving @ the crazy women singing and laughing, as they stood on the edge of the canyon on a tiny pull off.

That night we landed at a roadside hotel, thankful for hot showers and the gift of being alive.  We set up our altar, with a crystal grid and powerful bits that were sacred to us as individuals and as a traveling band of gypsies.  We gave thanks to our ancestors, particularly mine and Sandy’s dad, who was ecstatic to have us in California; a state he lived in for almost 30 years.

The next day/yesterday, we woke and set intentions…mine was to get to Mount Shasta that night, which we did.  In moments like these, I generally like to be behind the wheel.  So I drove the 10 hours or so North to get us there.

Mount Shasta

Well, I am off on adventure.  I will be sharing stories from the road via Facebook live, and blogging about our vortex adventures tomorrow morning, so stay tuned folks.  It’s a hell of a ride!

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Crying on the Couch

Owenegaut, the cave of the Morrigan.

Owenegaut, the cave of the Morrigan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Transformation [dedication to ones self]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Embracing the Dark [the power of winter]

windowview215Winter has settled on the Kingdom.  The fields and forest are covered in snow, and you can smell a hint of wood smoke in the air.  It’s time for wooly socks, neck warmers, sweaters and hats, and a hot cup of coffee close at hand.  It is also a time for reflection and dreaming.

mr-badgerI love Winter, something not everyone will say, but I do.  I love how it makes me spend time snuzzled down with blankets and paper, my mind a whir of possibilities.  I love reflecting on the events of the warm months, and planning for the year ahead.  I often relate myself to Mr. Badger, from the Wind and the Willows.  Because I am more about warm comforts and deep thoughts, then I am about playing in the snow.  I love Winter because it makes me slow down, and I need that.

There is something magical about living in a climate that changes seasonally.  It’s changes are chart-able, yet seldom predictable.  With the right clothing (and a love for dress up) these changes can be fun and adventurous.  When unprepared we can find it challenging and unpleasant.  I can’t help but see how the change of seasons is much like live itself.  When prepared it can be enjoyable and exciting, when caught off guard it can be overwhelming.

Winter is when I look more deeply into my own life.  I like to start my year with a personal Reading, looking deeply into my coming year, like reading a road map.  I know that it is only a map, and like all maps, it does not foresee delays, obstacles and detours.  But if I zoom in and think of my viewing more like a GPS, it can foretell more of the details, showing where rerouting me be advised.

The GPS vision is what happens when we meditate on the information received in a Psychic Reading.  When receiving a Psychic Reading we need to remember that it is the path before us, should we choose to stay on the map.  When we look deeper, when we question the information given, we can examine the bits closer; giving us the information needed to reroute.  This too is like Winter, for anyone living in an area that experiences snow, sleet, or slush, knows which roads to take when weather is bad.  How lucky we are to be given the dark months to look into ourselves, to examine what we have learned, and plot out what we want in our lives.  Specially, since such plotting is best done in warm pajamas, and dim lighting…perfect for the early winter evenings.

The darkness is our friend, and just as necessary as the light.  When we approach our own healing, and personal growth, we must remember this.  The light will only show us so much.  Like a flashlight on a dark winter evening, it will only illuminate a small area.  But if instead we learn to see in the dark, to let our eyes adjust we will be surprised by the gems hidden there.  The darkness holds many mysteries, us being one of them.  I mean really, how many of you actually know yourself?  Not just the outer layer you have molded to be seen in the light, but the real you.

Winter makes us think, our mind searches and searches for that which can be shaped into being.  It is the perfect time for crafting oneself.  Look into your dark bits, your awkward, wyrd, and un-glossed bits.  Really look at them, and ask yourself why it is you hide them.  Are they really so bad?  We all have darkness inside of us, whether it be a snarky sense of humor, a sense of entitlement, self loathing, or lying.  I am not saying to let yourself be a royal bitch, I am simply saying what good has hiding done to help you face those parts you don’t admire in yourself.

By taking our shadowy bits out to look at in Winters night, we can look at it without the bright light of the sun illuminating every imperfection.  It’s a good time to begin our work with shadow, for the darkness makes it seem more approachable.

I hope you enjoyed the read Folks, and that your new year is full of love, joy and adventure.

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I find community?

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

ivantor

Ivan @ Glastonbury Tor Photo Karen Maxon

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

 

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

 

ivannavern

Ivan with the Bleeding Yew in Navern, Wales

Making merry

Making merry

friends old and dear

friends old and dear

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

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

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon's Teeth stone circle

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon’s Teeth stone circle

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon's Teeth Farm

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon’s Teeth Farm

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

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

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

 

2012 @ Dreamland...

2012 @ Dreamland…

All Hail, Ivan McBeth!

spreading love-salicrow