Stories of Spirit…Turning Down the Volume [healing after death]

As a Medium, I meet a lot of people after they are dead, and in doing so I often get to experience the wisdom they have gleaned after crossing into the world of Spirit.  People/souls do not stop growing and learning when their body stops functioning.  Death is not only a place of rest, but a place of healing and growth.  In death we review the lessons we have learned in life, from the vantage point of the observer.  We not only see our actions played out for us to review, but are able to see how we effected the world around us.  We can shift perspective to bear witness to how those around us loved us, and why those who hurt us, did so.

The idea of spending the afterlife reviewing the events of this life, can be daunting to some people.  If our life is one of pain and struggle the last thing we would ask of Death, would be to watch our life over and over again.  But the universe is kind, and we are not sentenced to review the experience in it’s emotional fullness.

One of the gifts of Death, is that is that the volume level of our emotions is turned down significantly.  

Imagine your emotions could be adjusted, like the volume on a stereo.  One is so low, that you really need to be paying attention to feel at all.  While, ten is so loud that the only thing we can do is experience our emotions.  Most people go through life with their emotional volume set at about 4-5, allowing them to experience things through their emotions, while still focusing on other things.  Some however, have the volume set way above the comfort level; around 7-10, and are forced to go through life with their emotions taking front stage, every moment.   Unfortunately, the volume in which we experience emotions in life is not easily adjusted.

Traumatic events can jar the volume control of our emotions, leaving many of us to walk through life with a concert of emotions distracting us, and overwhelming us.

I hesitate before continuing my writing, wondering if my words could somehow make people see death as a cozy alternative to life.  That people who struggle with their own world; their living existence, may find the idea of their emotions being turned down, an inviting option.  In fact the idea that my words may be misinterpreted almost made me trash this blog article completely.  I am a firm believer that people do their best healing while still alive, and that we have come into this existence to experience and grow.  When we cut our life short, we are often required to experience similar events in our next life, so that our consciousness may expand.  

Death is a place of review.  With the volume turned down, we can experience things that may have escaped us in life.  We become aware of the why of situations.  If we had an abusive parent, we are able to see the situation from their perspective.  Witnessing their struggle, self-hatred, and the abuse that they experienced.  We get the back story on every moment that effected us in life.  With the emotions turned down, we can look at these moments with clarity.  The experience being more like watching a show on television, then living it out as our story.  This perspective often gives people a better understanding of themselves.  They know what they could have done differently, as well as the key moments that triggered damage in their psyche.  This adjusted view of ones life, is more noticeable when a soul has had a while in deaths domain.

Another interesting fact, that should be noted, is that coming in contact with a Medium turns the volume back up again temporarily.  The Medium makes the experience of communication, more real or life like, for the dead.  This is why it is a good idea to give the Spirit a bit of time for healing, if they have died traumatically or by their own actions.  A good Medium will use their guides to intervene, or stand between them and the dead, in these cases.  When I work with Spirits that have experienced trauma in death (from another or themselves), my doorman Adam is a necessity.  He often stands between me and the Spirit, they speak to him, and he passes the message onto me.  This is a simple way of keeping the volume level in tact, for Spirits who are still deeply in their healing process.

The time in between lives, is when our Spirit heals and recaps the lessons of our last life, as well as the lives we have experienced thus far.  In death we become all that we are.  Becoming whole; all that we are,  helps a soul to heal and become more.  For we can add the experiences of the life we just lived to the mix of that which we have already been.  In death we exist as our ‘higher self’, the self that is us with all of its parts.  Every life time lived adds to that which we are, our heartaches and sorrows are just as important as our achievements and loves.

The soul is a complex thing, one that is ever evolving.  We need to be patient with ourselves, and patient with those who suffer in ways that we cannot understand.  Recognizing that people can feel emotions at different degrees of volume, helps us to comprehend how the same situation can effect different people, in dissimilar ways, providing insight in regards to depression and anxiety.

How can we learn to dial down our emotional response while living?

This is a tricky one, and there is no one answer for everyone.  I am not a psychiatrist, and by no means am I suggesting you step out of the care of your counselor, if you have one.  I am simply trying to shed some light onto the subject of emotional volume, as shown to me by the Dead.

Mediation is helpful…  Learning how to center ourselves when the world around us is moving really fast, and our emotions are screaming at us is invaluable.  I prefer to use Sound in my meditation, often focusing on my own voice as I  ‘tone’.  Vocal Toning is the extension of vocal sounds, particularly focused on the sound of vowels, and harmonics.  It is pretty simple and requires no choir skills.  Vowel sounds are considered sacred in many cultures.  Prolonged vocal toning has a peaceful effect on both the energetic and physical body.  (For all you local folks, interested in learning Sound Mediation, I offer a weekly class on Tuesday nights at my studio in Lyndonville, VT).

Whether you feel drawn to sound healing/mediation, or simple breath exercises, mediation is something that works better with practice.  The more often we do it, the more easily we can slip into its gentle, peaceful embrace.

Mantras work...Mantras are simple statements, we repeat in order to create interpersonal change.  They work best if kept to 4-5 words.  When the stress of the world ways heavy on your brain, and your mind is spinning on its personal hamster wheel from hell, simply repeat your mantra 5 or 6 times.  Example…I am at peace with myself.  When you do, you will find your mind pauses, steps away from the hamster wheel for a moment.  The thoughts that haunt you will come back, but again go to your mantra, repeating it over and over again until your mind finds its quiet place.  The more often you handle your mind-fuck with the simple compassion of a mantra, the less often it will come around.

The biggest lesson I have learned from the Dead, is that life is worth living.  When we die, we miss the simple things of life…the taste of our favorite food, the smell of our favorite flowers, the color of the sky, the richness of textures we feel through touch, the embrace of our lovers and friends.  These are the things that come up, over and over again when I connect with the dead, even the ones who suffered in life.

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Pina Coladas and Cheeseburgers [errand girl of the dead]

My Aunt Sheila died a couple of years ago.  In many ways, she was more like a big sister, as she was only 7 years older than me, and had to drag me along a lot when she was a teenager.   When she died, she started using a particular song to get my attention, whenever she needed to communicate with those she loved who were still alive, particularly her daughter Morgan.

Now Sheila and I did not have the same taste in music, and the song she chose is one that I do not particularly like, Rupert Holmes ‘Escape’, the 1980’s ‘Pina Colada’ song.  In short, she loved it, I hate it.

A few weeks ago, she began popping into my head with her favorite song, simply singing the chorus in my head “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain”.  By the time the first verse is done, I know it’s her and am generally begging her to stop singing it.  In truth, she is very clever.  Using a song I don’t like, grabs my attention, like being stung by a hornet.  I just want it to stop.

One night, after getting my full attention with her musical serenade, she told me she needed me to reach out to her daughter, and let her know how proud she was of her, and how she was watching over her.  This was not a surprising statement, and made me aware of the fact that her daughter was really mourning her, at this moment in time.  I reached out to my cousin, who is more of a niece, passing on my aunts message.  This seemed to be sufficent for the moment.

It was not!

Sheila is opportunistic, and spends a lot of her time, trying to figure out the best way to reach out to people.  Friends of hers have sent me videos and pictures with orbs in them, asking me if I think this could be Sheila.  My answer is always yes, as I know her to be a ‘pushy’ Spirit.  This is not a bad thing, simply a fact.  If she wants you to know she’s around, she will keep at it, until you do.

About a week after she was serenading me in the car, she took advantage of the fact that I was going to be driving through the same town her daughter lived in, on my way to the airport.  Normally, a trip to the airport would be a tight schedule, but our flight to Milwaukee (to teach Earth Magic) was an early morning one, so we planned to stay with friends in Boston, the night before.  Which meant more time to be maneuvered by Spirit.

It has always been my belief, that getting there is half the fun.  I love road trips, and the feeling of being slightly sleep deprived, and giddy.  I love spontaneous stops along the way, to observe the beauty of nature, or the weirdness of little towns.  Thankfully, so did my traveling companions, my sister Sandy and our ‘adopted’ sister Missy (who was driving Sandy and I to Boston).  With this in mind we gave ourselves over to the fact, that there would be stops along the way, and they would most likely be led by Spirit, and Bessy; the genius locus/spirit of place, that is Missy’s vehicle.

Bessy loves adventure, which means there is no straight shot to Boston, but instead a meandering road of wyrd opportunity.   The first stop was literally 5 minutes down the road, when we needed to stop for some wyrd car malfunction, only to see we were parked next to a huge head of Witches Broom growing on an old pine.  The pine’s roots were down in the ravine next to the curb of the road, and the broom was at easy picking level.  It was obvious that the plant wanted me to take a few sprigs with me to Wisconsin, so I snipped a few, thanked the tree, and jumped back in the car.

Witchs Broom is a deformity that can form on a Pine tree, in which a ball of branches forms.  Energetically it carries the properties of the Pine-cleansing, purifying, attracting abundance, as well as the symbolic energy of a witches broom…flying, astral travel, shifting ones reality.  It was a perfect bit to be added to the weekends intensive.

Soon I was back in the car and we were on our way.  We made it as far as the Basin, in the Franconia Notch, NH before stopping again, where we once again collected some bits for our travels; birch bark, a rock and a piece of wood that had been tossed around by the rivers current. By this point, my Dad (who is a Spirit) had joined us on our trip.  He loved adventure of any kind, and is pretty much guaranteed to be along on any trip we take.

The third stop on our trip was a simple one, a late lunch at 5 guys in Manchester, NH.  Something we thought would be a simple in and out.  But in fact it ended up starting me on an errand run, for the Spirits.  My aunt in particular.

While at 5 guys, they got my order wrong twice, which meant I ended up with 2 extra burgers.  We all laughed at how absurd this was; as there was only one other customer in the restaurant, and commented on how my dad must have wanted burgers too.  With this in mind, we wrapped up the other burgers, deciding we would leave them somewhere along the road as an offering for my dad.  We left my father’s burgers on a rock in an industrial park, surrounded by stones.  I know the crows will love the meat, and my dad loved the offering.

I speak about Spirit offerings often, and how the Dead love to be given offerings of their favorite foods, beverages, and libations.  When given an offering of this kind, the Spirit does not actually eat the food, or drink the beverage.  Instead they partake of the energy that the food carries, and the remembrance itself.

As we left the industrial park, with some flower blossoms, and bits we had collected, I checked in on Facebook, as I had been posting pictures of our journey so far.  Immediately, I saw that my niece/cousin had responded to my pictures, saying “Pit stop in Manchester?”.   I knew upon seeing her words, that it was all connected.  The extra burgers, the quick stop to drop off my dad’s burgers.  I wrote back to her…“Where are you?  We are in Manchester now”.

We were literally less then 3 miles from where she was volunteering at a local recovery center HOPE of New Hampshire.

Spirit, particularly that of my Dad and his sister Sheila, got us where we needed to be.  Morgan, was very close to her mother, and had really been feeling her loss heavily.  She needed to connect to family, and needed to hear from her mom in a big way.  It was a short visit, simple yet powerful, for the death of my aunt had sent her daughter (morgan) spiraling into drug addiction.  Something she has been fighting hard against for over a year now.

Sheila wanted Morgan to know how proud she was of her.  How she had taken her struggles and weaknesses and turned them into strength and purpose.  I too am truly proud of my cousin, and was so happy to see her in her element, doing what she does best.  She now works and volunteers in the field of recovery, and is working hard every day to help others as much as she helps herself.

I see this story as one that not only shows the power of Spirit to communicate with the ones they love, but also as a story of how we can carry our wounds in more then one way.  We can take that which has hurt us, and hold onto it as an excuse for why we will never be happy, or we can choose to see our hardships as lessons, meant to strengthen us and give us purpose.  Morgan has chosen the latter, she has taken her hardships and turned them into tools, into a foundation that can be built upon. For that I am very proud of her, and of her mother who has not stopped parenting, even though she is dead.

We all hold inside of us the ability to change our story.  We may not be able to change the hardships we have faced, or the wrongs done to us by ourselves or others, but we can change what that story does to us.  Each and every one of us is flawed, each and every one of us is also divine.  We were created, to be co-creators of our reality.  Do not let your troubles define you, instead let them be the fuel that makes you step more fully into all that you are capable of.  Remember we are made of Stardust!

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…the Sorrow of One [mourning alone]

As a Medium; I have encountered death in many, many ways.  My first brush with death occurred when I was 3 months old, and my father’s, mother passed.  This event, was something, that showed others in my family; particularly, Grammy Brown, that I was able to see/perceive Spirits.  Since that moment, death has been a constant companion of mine.  I have had many personal losses, and have stood witness/messenger, to countless numbers of others.  There is no ‘one-way’ to experience the loss of death, for it is a multi-faceted, and generally requires us to experience it’s power over and over again; sometimes through deep sadness, sometimes through rage, sometimes through an emptiness that would challenge the vastness of space.  One thing that remains constant when it comes to death is that we all mourn alone.

No matter how much we share love of someone with another, the feeling of loss created by death is a lonely thing.  It is something that demands privacy, taking up long hours, in our mind.  It is something that shows up when we are having a great time, reminding us that something is missing, often asking us “How can you be so happy, when your Beloved Dead is not here to join you?” It speaks loudest to us when we are feeling vulnerable, or doubting ourselves, telling us that we will never find happiness again, without our beloved.  The closer we were to the death, the harder and longer it sits with us.  When enough time has gone by, and others see that we should be done mourning, death requires us to hide our sorrow, “move-on” the outside world says, but death whispers quietly in our ears “stay, don’t forget how important they were to you”.

There is no easy answer here.  I cannot bestow words of wisdom upon you, that will take away your sorrow, like the brush of a magic wand.  But I can tell you that communication helps.  Not just Spirit Communication, although in truth communication with your Beloved Dead, is one of the most powerful healing tools I know of, as it gives us the proof that they are not truly gone, but simply existing in another realm.  But not everybody is open or has the ability to make connection with their dead, so that is why good old fashioned talking about it is helpful.  Friends, counselors, and support groups help us to make peace with the sorrow of our loss, even when the others we speak to cannot fully understand our pain.  The act of sharing it, helps us to move it from the hidden realms of our mind, into the light of day where it can be cared for.

This advice is particularly important for those who have experienced a deep loss, such as that of a lover, child, or parent.  When we loose the ones we hold most dear, their death will become a constant companion of ours.  It will attend us in our every day life, and go with us to special events.  It will come around heavily, laden with emotion on the anniversary dates of their loss, and their birthdays, and anniversaries.  It will show up, when a song comes on the radio, or a childhood toy reminds us of them, when the weather is just so, and when we wake slowly from a dream in which they have come to visit.  For those most heavily hit by the loss of a loved one, death will return again, and again, and again.

So what can we do in those overwhelming moments?  What can we do to ease our pain, and find peace?

First of all we must remember we are human, and innately flawed.  We need to be patient with ourselves, and practice the art of  ‘speaking vulnerably’, which simply means talking when you feel weak.  Not everyone can do this, in fact most people stop talking about their loss, thinking that others will perceive that they should be over it by now.  It is my belief that people are generally kind.  That if we tell them we are having a hard day, and that death is speaking very loudly to us today, that we are in a deep space of mourning, they will understand, and most often seek to give us support.  The problem is, that most of us do not do this when we are feeling vulnerable, instead we batten down the hatches and prepare to ride out the storm.  In doing so, we often act in ways that are not really pleasant to ourselves or others.  We may even find ourselves lashing out, again at ourselves and others, and when it is done, we feel like an asshole, but lack the means to explain our actions.

Secondly, I recommend setting up sacred space for our Beloved Dead.  A simple shelf can be turned into an altar or shrine, with just a few items and some attention.  Place a picture of your loved one, who has crossed over, on the shelf, as well as any mementos that remind you of them.  Light a candle, and sit with them for a bit.  Even if you do not sense them, know that they are beside you.  For as a Medium, I know that our loved ones in Spirit are reaching out, trying to help us heal…even when we perceive them as having moved on, there is a part of their essence that stays connected to the ones they love.

We all mourn alone, and some of us do that more truly then others…This is most true for people who pull themselves away from the world of the living, identifying their loss as the story of their life.  It is also true for those who have loved in secret, been the other woman/man, or who have had a relationship that was hidden from the real world.  The loss in these cases can be overwhelming, and again…my answer is talk about it.  Find a friend who understands, or a counselor/healer who gets you.  But do not suffer with your loss alone.

I hope you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it, as I believe it is a message that needs to be heard, again, and again, and again.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Convicted of Witchcraft [Alison Balfour died at the hands of men]

crowsaliToday’s tale is spun of truth, the actions being factual, the fiction comes only in the flavoring of the tale, and the expression of emotion shown.  The emotions were imagined by me, as I sat preparing my story for the Bardic telling.  I wrote this tale in the Fall of 2008, after reading of the real story of Alison Balfour, a woman convicted of witchcraft in 1594.  Her story touched me, and I remembered as my own.  I have told this story a few times before, speaking it aloud, as if the words were my own.

The last time I performed it, my father was there.  When I was done, he walked over and hugged me, saying “I am sorry that happened to you.”  I do not know that this story is truly mine, I do not know that I was Alison Balfour, but I have my suspicions.  One thing I do know, is that if I was not she, then we shared similar stories, for the writing of her tale was like remembering a dream, a very unpleasant dream.

I wrote & performed during the bardic year of my Druid training.  It is based on the historical details of a woman (Alison Balfour) who was convicted of Witchcraft in Scotland in 1594.  I share this story now, as we once again live in a time, when people are persecuted for their beliefs and their spiritual practices.  I am ever thankful to live in a time when I do not have to hide my abilities for fear of persecution, but I have not forgotten, and I do not turn a blind eye on the persecution of others.

And so the story begins…

As many of you know already, I stand before you a self confessed Witch.  Many moons and many faces I have worn since the days of the fire, but memories born in flame are hard to forget.

The Earl of Orkney, Patrick Stewart or “Black Patty” as he was so often called by the people of the land,  was a tyrant…a greedy, arrogant son of a bastard.  His father having been the illegitimate son of  King James the fifth.  He was a despised man, and it came as no surprise to me, that someone had tried to poison him.  The  word of importance here is ‘tried’.

The failed attempt at poisoning “Black Patty” was blamed on his brother John Stewart, the Master of Orkney.  As you could not come right out and blame a noblemen…and someone must be brought in for questioning in the affair, his servant, Thomas Paplay was brought in.   Now I do not blame poor Tom for what came next, as he was a simple man used as a pawn.

For 11 days Tom held out to their torture, even though they crushed his arms in “Caspies Claws”.  Then in his defeat he named me a Witch, and a conspirator in the poisoning of “Black Patty”.  It was no secret that I knew the ways of medicine, and as rumor had it….magic.  They came and dragged me from my home, away from my aged husband and children and commenced to working my confession out of me.

Henry Colville, the Parson of Orphir…that vile excuse for a man of God, was called upon to “question” me.  They had found a piece of wax in my home….wax , such a funny thing to bring about ones demise.  This wax had come from the home of Patrick Bellenden, the Lord of Stenness.  The Lady of Stenness was suffering terribly with stomach problems and I had agreed to work my charms on healing her.  Its funny how ones gifts often so appreciated can quickly becomes ones bane.  Henry refused to accept my answer, as he was convinced that I had used the wax to concoct a poison to kill “Black Patty”, and that Lord Bellenden was part of the ploy.

My torture or questioning, if you  like was carried out in the castle of Kirkwall.  They crushed my legs in “Caspies Claws” for  48 hours.  I reached out to my Gods and retreated inward…refusing to  confess to a crime I did not commit……..Then they brought in my family.

My husband was a great deal older then me, at 81 he had lived a long life.  I loved him dearly, but could not confess.  They placed him in the “Long Irons”,  and proceeded to crush him before my eyes….50 stones they laid upon his chest, 700lbs in terms you would understand now.  As he died before my eyes, my resolve began to crumble, but I heard his voice clear as day inside my head urging me to stand strong.

My son, came next.  A strong lad…just entering manhood, handsome and brave.  He stood before me and said “don’t do it ma…don’t let them condemn you for a crime that is not yours”.  Even now all these years later, life times passed I find myself drawn to tears as I think on his brave soul.  They placed his legs in “the boots”, drove the wedges in and crushed his feet with 57 strikes of a mallet.  57 times my heart cried out, begging the gods by all their names to stop this torture….to free my son from his earthly prison.  As he collapsed upon the floor, my life slipped colorlessly before my eyes. I thought I had endured all the pain a person could take….and then they brought in my wee lass.

7 years old and bright as a sunny day.  My daughter, my joy, the love of my womb…I could not believe that even the evilness of “Black Patty” could claim the life of one so innocent.  But there she was, her tiny fingers being placed into the piniwinkie…and I could take no more.  As they began to crush her finger I cried out my confession.  I confessed to consorting with the devil, to poisoning the Earl, and to many other atrocities’ too dark to repeat. Inside I begged the goddess above to forgive me for my lies, but I could take no more.  Darkness enveloped me and time took on a dimension unknown to those that have never truly suffered.

My confession earned me the punishment of execution…seeing how Witchcraft was considered a form of treason in Scotland, I would be burned at the stake.  As I was found guilty, the fee for services rendered…torture, execution and such would be deducted from my families estate.   The Gallows in Kirkwall was my final resting place on December the 15th, 1594.   As burning is a rather noisy way to dispose of a living body…strangulation was customary, prior to the stake.

As I stood awaiting my death…the darkness of my mind cleared, and I found my voice.  “I Alison Balfour, do stand here before you an innocent woman.  My confessions that of a mother seeking only to spare her children!”  The crowd went silent, and my soul was released from hell.

John Stewart, the Master of Orkney stood trial for seeking the aid of a Witch…for the destruction of his brother Patrick.  He was acquitted, as the evidence which lead to my death was thrown out of court, on the basis that it had been obtained under torture.

Henry Colville, the hand of my torture….got his due.  Traveling on the Earls business in the summer following my death, he was come upon by the Master of Orkney and 30 of his men.  They proceeded to unmercifully slay him…I will leave out the details for those of you weak in the tummy.

And…Black Patty, I have saved the best for last.  The son of a Bastard, the Tyrant of Orkney was beheaded in 1615 for treason to the crown.

May all those who have been persecuted find peace!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I remember the Genius Locus of the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we be more?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow