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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Driftwood @ Black Harbor/Lake Superior

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

My host Jamie and her daughter Nina.

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

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

 

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For the Love of Numbers…

I have never been good at math.  In fact, I got through High School math with teachers tutoring me, and the good grace of C’s.  I believed numbers and their equations to be the bane of my existence.  Then I discovered Numerology…and I was hooked. It was as if the whole process of working with numbers had been completely wrong until I approached them in this manner.  It was as if someone had turned a photo right-side up, and I could suddenly make sense of it.

Numerology is the esoteric study of numbers, in which numbers are seen for their vibrational value and how they influence over lives & future.

Numerology works with a method of breaking numbers down into single digits…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or into Master Numbers 11, 22, 33, 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99.  To get to these basic & master units we need to add numbers together,  such as my birthdate…5/29/1971=5+2+9+1+9+7+1=34, the number is broken down once again, until it reaches a single or master unit.  34…3+4=7, which gives you the number associated with my birth.  The number associated with our birth is known as our Life Path Number, and it reveals the broader aspect of who we are.

My life path number is a 7, and 7 is a number of higher awareness, it is associated with people who are analytical, highly intuitive, often carrying a deep spiritual faith.  People with a Life Path of 7 are most often seekers of the truth & wisdom, and often searching for the answers to everything.  I find this entirely fitting, as I often say ‘when I die, my tombstone should read “Why?”‘.  Not why did I die?  But why? Why did this happen, why did that happen, what does this mean and that mean, and why?  I have an incredibly inquisitive brain, which has led me to explore the unseen world with vigor.  The negative or challenging side of having a 7 Life Path number is that those of us who fall into this category can be cynical and without faith have a high tendency toward seeking escape through work, drugs, and distraction.  I can attest to this personally, for when I lost faith in a higher power as a teenager, I found myself wandering down the dark path of I don’t give a fuck, with my faithful companion’s drugs & alcohol.  You can read about my personal journey in my book ‘Jump Girl, the initiation and art of a spirit speaker’…here’s a link https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/562306/jump-girl-by-salicrow/9781623171926

Our ‘Life Path’ number is not the only important number in our personal Numerology, the letters of our name; both given & chosen, have numerological values and can be broken down as well and show us fascinating things about ourselves.  This knowledge helps us to better understand our underlying personalities, as well as the challenges and strengths that come naturally due to the numbers vibrating in our life.

The study of Numerology goes further to look at temporary number vibrations such as those associated with our phone numbers, street address, and the dates connected to weddings, business openings, project launching, travel, and more.  Once you start working with numbers in this way; if you’re like me, you will find yourself breaking down numbers randomly and constantly, and thinking about what that vibration says about the situation.

Many people are already fascinated with numbers and can’t help but notice how the Universe uses them to get our attention, such as the 11:11 phenomenon (11:11, 1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 & 5:55) with clocks. When numbers show up in this way, they are like an alarm clock going off.  They startle us a bit and make us question the why of the matter.  When we experience numbers in this fashion it is a good idea to make note of what you were thinking about, talking about or doing at the time you noticed the occurrence.  It’s also a good idea to look up the number as a Master number, for they are most definitely vibrating at a higher frequency.

There are many good books out there on Numerology and you can learn a lot from internet web-pages, but always remember to trust your own feeling on how that number is interpreted in your life. Intuition matters and each number-vibration has varied associations.  (Remember the #7 associated with my life path, would be a hard one to live with if I was not a person of faith.)  For those of you who want to dive deeper into Numerology and do better with a guide, make sure to check out my upcoming workshop ‘Introduction to Numerology’ @ the Grindstone Cafe & Wellness Center in Vermont.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2207640429549737/

Numerology is best pursued with a mindset on fun.  Allow yourself to explore what numbers have to say about you and the ones you love.  I am still exploring and still having fun with them.  They speak to me every day in multiple ways, and I have gone on to purposely use them…choosing the numbers I use for the many projects I am part of.  Happy numbering folks!

spreading love-salicrow

Exceptional Moments of Spirit…

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

WYRD-connected to Fate

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

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

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

Omen-an event of prophetic importance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

It’s O.K. to be Pretty [embracing the feminine]

I was in my shop yesterday helping a woman find the face-cream she was looking for when she said to me “I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I care about my appearance.  I want to stay looking young as long as I can“.  I laughed and told her, “You do not have to be embarrassed because you care about looking good, I certainly do!”

While having this conversation; which evolved to embrace the other women sitting in my cafe/wellness center @ the time, we discussed how it has almost become taboo to say such things, that the popular belief is that those of us who like putting on make-up & dying our hair are really just a short clip away from a 1950’s housewife who makes sure her make-up is perfect before her husband gets home from the office.  Somehow in our pursuit of liberation, we have found another group of women to shame….’ those poor unfortunate souls, who are still trying too hard’.

I tried writing this article last night, but the words; which came quite freely on my way home from work, we’re not giving over as I sat in front of my computer.  I thought maybe this is not really worth writing.  Then the first thing I saw when opening Facebook this morning was a blurb on how women were ditching hair-dye and embracing their gray as the biggest power move ever.  Really…our biggest power move ever as women is to decide we are no longer going to hide our gray.  I think that’s bullshit…what about people like Hedy Lemar who was both an actress known for her great beauty and a brilliant scientist.  I am pretty sure her contributions to science were not deterred by her love of lipstick. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr

Now I do not believe this is being done purposely, I believe it is the unspoken shame delivered by all the articles talking about how powerful it is to let your hair go white, and how women should accept themselves how they are, that size, age, and appearance are unimportant, that real feminine power comes from stepping into the world as you are, without worrying how society wants you to look…unless that means you like to spend an hour every morning getting ready for the day, because then you’re somehow shallow, and repressed by the world of man.

Personally, I have never felt repressed by men.  I know I am fortunate in being able to make this statement, and by no means am I shaming anyone for the road their self-freedom takes them down.  I am simply saying, I was raised in a family with a strong matriarchy and have never had a relationship of any kind with a man or woman who made me feel I was less because I was female…and yet, I love to do my hair, enjoy choosing my outfit for the day, love make-up and jewelry and frankly love the act of ‘getting ready’.  The moments spent in the morning admiring my favorite muse in the mirror are playful, creative and in some way an expression of the art & magic that is uniquely me.  I do not have the time or skill to create great masterpieces of art, but I do have the time to put myself together smartly and depending on the day that can mean a lot of different things.

I think the real lesson of it all, is that we are often unaware of what is silently being communicated when we stand on our soapboxes or repeat the same statements over and over again.   Is there something being left out, that in its absence is communicating unintentional volumes?

When I was a kid my father used to compliment me and my sister Sandy in very different ways, always repeating the same kind of statement, which was different for each of us.  He told me regularly, that I was a pretty girl and that someday someone would take care of me.  Meanwhile, he told my sister that she was smart and could do anything she set her mind to.  Now neither of these things were inherently wrong or insulting.  In fact, they could be seen as complementary.  But the result of such specific and repeated compliments was that at some point in our young adult lives, my sister and I each had to deal with the vacant part of the statement…the part that was left out of the compliment.  If I was pretty, did that mean I was stupid, that some guy was going to have to take care of me?  What if I got fat, or didn’t look good, would I have no worth?  On the opposite side of the fence, my sister had to deal with the fact that she had been told that she was smart, and could do whatever she intended…but no statements of beauty.  Was she lotted for a life as a woman who had to do everything for herself?  These unsaid things were never intended to harm, nor did my dad think I was stupid or that my sister was ugly.  She is a beautiful woman, and I am an intelligent and capable woman who most certainly can take care of myself.  My father’s statements were not meant to cause absence, but they did.

We people are complex, we are always in some state of liberation, expansion, contraction, or breaking down.  There is so much to learn and expand as we grow as a species.  We need to stop shaming, passing judgment and assuming we know what someone is like because they say or do such and such.  Granted if their actions are hateful, well that’s a different story.  I have absolutely no tolerance for haters.  But there is a lot to be said about the old adage of not judging a book by its cover.  Not all women who spend hours getting ready in the morning are doing so for a man, in fact…I am willing to bet that most of the Divas out there are doing it for THEMSELVES!  So rock on with your beautiful selves ladies (& gents).  Put on the eyeliner, color your hair whatever fucking color you choose and allow yourself to explore who you are.  That being said…I do recommend using ethical cosmetic companies, you will feel better about it and you will most likely be healthier.

So for all you ‘Pretty, frilly, sparkly, juicy, girly-girls’ out there…keep on doing what you’re doing.  Your beauty (and however much time you put into it) is determined by the eye of the beholder…who is oneself.  If you feel good doing it, and it makes you feel more confident then all the power to you!

spreading love-salicrow

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Entering the Otherworld [connecting with our Beloved Dead on Halloween]

Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot) is tomorrow, October 31st.  It is a time of honoring our Beloved Dead; our friends, family, loved ones and ancestors who have crossed the Veil into the land of the dead, entering what is often referred to as the Otherworld by spiritual practitioners.

The Otherworld is a place of Spirit.  In many traditions, it is seen as a realm inhabited by not only our Dead but by the Fae Beings (fairies, trolls, elves and the like).  It is an ethereal place where the body is not as important, a place where the eternal soul is paramount.  In the Otherworld form is mutable, beings residing there are not stuck to one shape, one form, one incarnation of self.  It is a place of creation, where communication comes not only in the form of words but through imagery, sound, feeling, and knowing.

I have traveled to the Otherworld many times, starting as a child when I would visit Spirits on the other side of the mirror; although to be quite honest, that was more of a video conference of sorts.  At this time, I also visited the world of Spirit in my dreams, particularly those that were Lucid (Lucid Dreaming-to be conscious/awake inside your dream).  Over the years I have visited this realm over and over again, in my dreams, while journeying (active spiritual dreaming) & by slipping through the veil with my physical body.

My experience of entering the Otherworld became of great importance when I was 30, and had a hugely significant spiritual opening; which I refer to as the November Incident.  Those of you who have read my book JUMP GIRL, the initiation & art of a spirit speaker, can refer to the 2 chapters dedicated (and titled) to this experience for more details.  During the November Incident, my spirit guide Adam taught me rules of engagement while in the Otherworld.  We spent many hours playing games in my mind in which we would transform from one image of self to another.  In many ways, this was familiar to a video game or a Bugs Bunny cartoon, for we would often trap on another and then figure out how to escape.  He would turn into smoke and I would suck him up with a straw, only for him to turn into ants tickling my esophagus until I coughed him up and out.  I would become a lioness only to have him form a cage around me, to which I would become a crow and fly free of the cage.  We spent many hours this way, developing my ability to change form at will while in the world of Spirit.

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

Grammy Brown & my Dad ‘Richard’, two of my Beloved Dead.

The Veil thinning between the worlds does not just mean that Spirit is more likely to show up in our world, but it also means that those of us brave enough (or chosen) to venture may find ourselves in the Otherworld.   This is not a place one travels with their body, it is a journey we take with our spirit.  One that requires safeguarding, trust, and the ability to experience with an open mind.  We must put aside the idea that the only reality is the solid state of matter in which we live and the belief that what happens in our ‘mind’ has no effect on our physical reality.

Preparing for a Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot) visitation to the Spirit World-

For those of you who have never journeyed before I will give a brief logistical overview to make your voyage safer and more comfortable.

First, we must remember that we are in control of our body.  In short when it comes to this world, and our incarnation here in the physical, having a body means you have more power.  It means that the body you inhabit was assigned to you, this ownership means that Spirits can not inhabit your body unless you have asked them to, or allowed them in through the fearful belief that you are powerless.  One of the most important lessons I learned during the November Incident was that Spirits were no more important than the living.  Just because someone has died it does not make them more powerful.  Fear is what makes us powerless when we give over to fear we make ourselves vulnerable.  This is why I recommend only working with/seeking out your Beloved Dead (friends, family, loved ones and ancestors) when you are beginning your work with Spirit.  For all beginners, and as a safe practice that before doing any Spirit work we call in a friend or family member in Spirit, who we trust, asking them to be our doorman/guardian on the other side.  This is a simple practice that not only helps us to feel stronger, but also offers us the benefit of having someone familiar with the Otherworld looking out for us.  Whenever I do Spirit work, whether it be personal or for clients I always start with inviting my doorman/spirit guide Adam to join me. 

PREPARING TO JOURNEY-take time to set up an ancestor altar in the room you will use for your astral travel.  Place pictures and mementos of your loved ones in Spirit on the altar, as well as flowers, crystals, holy symbols and whatever else brings you joy and remembrance of them.  Incense and candles are fantastic for setting the atmosphere, and good incense is often created with sacred herbs and resins that help alter the mind slightly, allowing us to slip into a deeper state of relaxation.  Don’t forget to place their favorite food, drink, smoke, treats on the altar as well.  This is an offering the dead love!  Make a comfortable spot for yourself to sit or lie down.  Dim the lights and spend a few moments relaxing your body.  I prefer a simple breathing technique for this.  *Aside note-sometimes it’s helpful to be lead through a journey, especially for beginners.  If you would like to take this approach, I suggest recording yourself reading the below information so that you may listen to it.

family altar

Before beginning your journey, check and make sure your altar is to your liking, light a candle, and incense, and take a few moments creating sacred space.  The easiest way to do this is to imagine there is a dot of white light in the center of your chest, as you breathe that light spreads our around you until it fully encompasses the room you are in.  At this time, you may call in whatever guardian spirits and/or deities your work with.

*Circular breathing- with your spine straight, eyes closed, breathe deeply in through and out through your nose.  On the inhale count the length of your breath, as you slowly inhale.  Now exhale through your nose for the same count.  Do this for 5 full breaths.

*Relaxing your body-As you continue to breathe deeply; trying to keep to a rhythmic pace of equal time inhaling as exhaling.  Now bring your attention to your toes, and allow your consciousness to pull energy from your feet/the earth slowly up over the back of your body, all the way to the top of your crown, and then back down over the front of your body until it touches your toes/ground again, repeat this for 5 full cycles.

*At this point you should be deeply relaxed, and ready to begin your journey (this is the part you may want to record yourself reading)…

As your breathing becomes deeper and deeper, you find yourself standing at the edge of a forest.  As you look around your perception awaken, allowing you to observe your surrounding with whatever senses are strongest for you.  You continue your deep breathing, and remind yourself that every person experiences the world of Spirit differently, there is no right way or wrong way, only your way.  The woods around you is vibrant and teeming with life, pay close attention to what you perceive, taking in all the details you can.

Before you lies a path, leading deeper into the lush woodland.  There is a mist laying heavy along the forest floor, adding a feeling of mystery, and there seems to be a warm glow coming from a sun you cannot see.  Again your awareness is pulled to the details along the path, as you wind your way deeper and deeper into the green.  Pay close attention to any creature/animal/being that presents themselves to you.  Staying in the role of observer, remembering that now is not the time for analyzing what you see, it is a time to be present & aware.

As you make your way along the path, you see the remains of an ancient building ahead of you.  It is in ruins, the remains of what was, a place of betwixt and between, where memory lies heavy.  Allow yourself the time to take in the details of the remains that are before you.  As you walk around the site, you notice the mist has become thicker, making it hard to see the ground on which your feet trod.  As you make your way around the ruins, you notice a stairway leading into the ground.  There is a deep feeling of magic around the stairwell, a feeling of mystery and something that feels like the tickling of a memory.  This is a place you have been before, although you may not remember when or how.  There is a feeling of dreaming about you.

You step onto the top stair and remember to invite your spirit guide/doorman to join you.  You feel a familiar presence stand beside you, you may observe them in whatever manner comes to you, trusting your senses, and being careful not to make expectations.  You begin to descend the stairwell, as you place your foot on the step below, make note of what you see, what does the stair look like? what is it made of? what are you wearing upon your feet?  You descend the steps, counting as you go…9….8…..7…..6…..5….4….3….2….1…

At the bottom of the stairs you find a door, again it is familiar to you.  Make note of whatever details you can.  You open the door and before you is a room, with 2 chairs and a fireplace.  You take a deep breath in and out before entering the room, allowing yourself to feel calm and present.  In one of the chairs, someone is waiting for you.  You step into the room and make your way to the empty chair, making note of the details of the room as you cross it.  As you sit down in your chair you see/sense/know who it is sitting in the chair next to you.  They are one of your Beloved Dead, a loved one in Spirit come to visit with you on this All Hallows Eve.

Allow yourself to sit for a moment acclimating to your surroundings, permitting yourself to observe and emotionally connect with the Spirit that has come to visit.  In this time, in this space, you are completely protected.  Take a few breaths here, as you do not want to rush.  When you feel acclimated to the presence of your loved one, ask them if they have any messages for you. Take a few moments here, breathing deeply, and receiving whatever communication they wish to share, remembering that some Spirits communicate in words, some in images, some in a deep sense of knowing.  Whatever way your message comes through be thankful.

You now may share your own feelings/messages with your Beloved Dead, you may also at this time offer up to them the treats (food, drink, smoke) you placed on your altar, knowing that what you offer here in the Otherworld is also being offered on your altar in the world of the living.

As your time in the Otherworld comes to an end, your Beloved Dead presents you with an offering, a gift that they believe will help you on your spiritual path.  Make note of what they present to you, for it is an item you should seek out in the waking world.  As you accept your gift, give thanks.  You are beginning a relationship in spirit that will be a profound asset to your waking life.  The item they present you with will be a key to connecting with them in the future.

It is now time to return, you say your goodbyes and turn for the door.  As you walk across the room, once more take note of any details you perceive.  Upon opening the door you see/sense the familiar stairwell in front of you.  You take a deep breath in & out and begin your ascent to the surface.  1…2…3….4….5…6…7…8…9…

You are again standing in the misty ruins deep in the forest, the path leading home stretched out in front of you.  At this time, thank your guardian/doorman for accompanying you on your journey.  As you leave the ruins the mist begins to dissipate until the trail you are following comes to an end in the room, you inhabit in the waking world.  You see the altar you have set up for your ancestors and the familiar body that you call self, sitting and waiting for you.  You slip into your body and begin to become aware of the Waking World.

Begin by wiggling your fingers and toes, then move onto a soft slapping of your arms in legs, connecting fully with your physical body.  At this point say out loud, my work is complete, I am fully back in my physical form.  Do this for a couple of minutes, then pick up a journal and write down whatever you experienced.  Knowing that we all experience the Otherwold differently.  To complete your work (after journalling), pick up your candle, and walk counter-clockwise around your room, thanking all the spirits that came this night, those seen and unseen, reminding them that now is the time in which they must leave your space and return to their own.

So mote it be!

I hope you enjoyed the read and the journey.  The Otherworld is as real as ours, only different.  Visits from our Beloved Dead come in all shapes and forms, what we receive in a journey is ours, and may very well be like no others.  Some people are naturally proficient in journeying, while others struggle at first.  If you are a person who struggled, you may repeat this exercise daily for 3 days after Halloween.  Making a note each time in the journal of your progression.  We are all spiritual beings, and this is not foreign to us, only forgotten.  Our Ancestors have used the art of journeying to communicate with their Beloved Dead for time untold.  I wish you a magical Halloween (Samhain/Alfablot), may your Spirits bless you with a visit.

spreading love-Salicrow

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Stories of Spirit…The Power of Intention & Community Kindness

A couple of nights ago I reached a breaking point, in which I found myself sobbing uncontrollably like a toddler behind my steering wheel as I sat in my driveway, my emotions were so overpowering that my husband had to take my coat off me when I got in the house and hand me a cup of tea.  I was not crying out of despair, I was crying as an emotional release; letting go of all the backed up fear, and chaos that I had been wading through the last few weeks.  The catalyst for my emotional warble was receiving back to back hugs from 3 of the most solid people I know.

Many of you know that my sister and her family have been going through a lot…illness, surgeries, near death experiences, infections, ambulance rides to Dartmouth, and emergency surgeries.  While most of the acute issues have been experienced in the last month, the journey has been much longer than that.  Now that the water seems to be clearing and we can see the shore, I find that the heaviness of emotion; particularly fear, is too much to carry any longer.  It is no longer needed, yet it still must be released.

Being Psychic does not mean you never experience fear.  In fact, fear is something that can blind Psychic sight.   If the fear is strong enough a Psychic can actually generate false answers for themselves.  I did this once when I was much younger.  My husband; who is pretty good about communication and being on time, was suppose to meet me after work.  When he didn’t show up, I was surprised.  When he still wasn’t home by the time we were supposed to be meeting friends, I became alarmed.  The later he was, the more I became convinced something had happened to him.  When I looked at my cards, they quickly confirmed my fears, and by the time he rolled into the driveway I was running across the yard crying, as I had believed him dead on the side of the road somewhere. In reality, he had a beer with the people he was doing work for at the end of the day and had no cell reception.  Because of this experience, I learned how important it was to center myself before searching for psychic information.  But from time to time I need to be reminded.

When my sister called me to say that both she and her son were facing life-threatening situation her crying triggered me.  We are so deeply connected, that even though we have a year and a half between us, we consider ourselves twins.  After getting off the phone with her  I found myself floundering, in a quick and powerful spot of fear.  It wasn’t until my husband said to me “Have you looked at your cards?” that I even considered scrying.  Moments after being reminded I was able to calm and center and know that all would be well.  That being said my body still experienced an adrenaline dump, it had gone into fight or flight mode before I was able to center.  This type of energy does not simply dissipate, it requires a release.   When we do not release this emotional sludge it affects our health and well being.

Most people go through a crisis like a horse with blinders on; focusing on that which must be done, the goal at hand.  We deny ourselves the luxury of wading in our emotions for there is no room for them.  When the crisis is over it is not uncommon to find ourselves exhausted, and emotionally sensitive.  This is because our vessel is full.  We can not just go on with our lives, we must first release our burden and fears.  This must be done for true healing to begin.  Whether we are the one experiencing the trauma or the support for others going through it, the emotional heaviness of the situation must be addressed.  My release often comes in the form of tears.  In fact, whether I am happy, sad or angry tears are likely to show up.

This read is about community, intention, and kindness so I will spin you back up to my opening paragraph…The catalyst for my emotional warble was receiving back to back hugs from 3 of the most solid people I know.  

I had not had a day off in almost a month, that I was not in a hospital holding space for surgery, sitting with my sister as she recuperated or going with her to a doctors appointment.  The emotional roller coaster of the month had finally seemed to slow and I was looking forward to time off when my husband got sick.  As we run a cafe/wellness center someone had to take his shifts and that someone ended up being me.  After the second day of doing his job and my job, I was truly feeling beat.  At the end of the day, I hoped that no one would show up for my sound meditation class, as I really wanted to go home.

The first person to show up was a friend of mine who is solid as the earth and has blood that runs a bit gnomish.  I told her if it was just her and I that I was going to cancel, then another of my regulars came in; who lives on a family farm and is a solid, salt of the Earth kind of person.  I decided to cancel and the three of us just stood around talking for a moment, me giving them the update on my sisters family.  Then my farm-guy, plow-man neighbor came in, another solid, reliable, kind person.  When I explained we were closed and he walked over and gave me a hug.  Then came another from my salt of the Earth woman, and then finally from Gnomie.

I was OK, until about 5 minutes into my drive and then it hit me.  I think it was their solidness, that reminded me of all the love and support our family has received during this stressful time.  Their hugs represented all of the prayers, reiki, and love that people had shared.  I was overcome with how lucky I am to live in such a community, where people genuinely care about one another.  All too often we are shown the terrible things that human beings are capable of.  It is so refreshing to be reminded of the beauty and kindness that we are also capable of.

The power of intention is an amazing thing that can be used for good or bad.  It is also something made stronger by group belief.  The more people believing in an outcome, the more likely it will come to be.  With this in mind, I encourage you to start monitoring your thoughts.  What goes through your mind on a regular basis, are the things you are thinking about what you want to see come to pass or what you fear?  If your mind wanders toward fear, hate, and anger, redirect it.  Give it a different focus. Focus on the good you want to see in the world…make it so!

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Embracing the Stories of our Kin [the strength of ancestors and stories]

I woke up this morning thinking about Grammy Bickford, my husband’s grandmother.  Grammy was a tough old bird, with a whole lot of sass, and a deep well of love.  She was on my mind this morning as I was thinking of how hard this winter has been for many people…broken furnaces, car problems, emotional/mental exhaustion and brrr freakin’ cold.  I thought of Grammy like I do often in the winter, I thought of her stories of growing up in a logging camp, of snow blowing through the cracks in the walls and of walking to school with plastic bags around your socks to keep your feet dry.  I hear her voice telling stories of eating lard sandwiches and sharing a bed with her siblings for warmth.  She did not tell these stories with sorrow and pain.  She told them with laughter and a sense of victory, for she had overcome such battles.

When the world seems dark and filled with obstacles I think back on my ancestors and I am thankful for the coziness of my life.  Like Grammy Bickford, my own grandparents lived in a similar way.  I suppose it is why she instantly became kindred to my heart, she reminded me of my own grandmother, who was also a woman of great strength and love.  My life has always been one woven with the threads of my ancestors.  Their stories became my stories over time, and I found that by remembering their hardships and victories, I felt less alone when things were tough.  I knew that like them, I had within me the ability to find happiness and joy even when the world around me was challenging and filled with hardship.  I was more than my single vibration, I was part of a symphony.

I believe this year is going to be a powerful one of change and opportunity, but like all things, we must experience the good with the bad.  There will be hurdles to overcome and fucked up moments to navigate.  It is our mindset that truly determines our happiness in life.  Like Grammy Bickford and my grandmother, Grammy Brown, I choose to approach my obstacles with a bit of humor and an understanding that this too shall pass, that the moment I am in is simply a part of that which I am becoming.

In all of the grand stories of adventure, there are always hardships to endure, and obstacles to overcome.  Bilbo didn’t mosy off into the enchanted forest to frolick with singing elves.  He was not delivered on flying unicorn or magical chariot to the doors of dragon treasure.  He was not welcomed in by the dragon, given a pipe and welcomed to warm his feet by the fire.  He persevered, he endured; he laughed, he cried, he was dirty and hungry and yet what a fuckin story he had to tell in the end.  Life is about change, and change is never a straight shot to happy-ville.  It is a learning experience.  My husband likes to say “God does not care about your comfort, God cares about your character”.  I believe this to be true, for many of the most amazing people on this planet have become so while experiencing hardship.  Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela…there is a whole lot of struggle in those stories.  There is also a whole lot of beauty, kindness, and love.

I invite you to step into this year with the heart of an adventurer, viewing obstacles as an opportunity to become more.  When things do not go according to plan, look around and see what the universe is presenting to you.  What pieces of beauty and humor lie on your path while you are navigating the difficulties.  Who presents themselves to you as allies, what ancestors come forward in your mind and heart to share in your journey.  Remember, we can think thousands of thoughts at any given moment, what makes you think of them?  Perhaps it is because they are thinking of you.

Our story is woven together with the stories of those who came before us, and those who come after us.  Together our blood sings the story of our people.  The stories would be a hell of a lot more boring if everything always went according to plan, and we did nothing but sit around under a cabana with our feet in the sand drinking mimosas.  We need challenges to show us what we are capable of.  We need hurdles on the road so we can learn to problem solve, we need wild paths through the wilderness of life so we can learn to navigate the unknown.  We need magic and mystery, and we need companions so that the road seems less daunting.  Remember this when times are tough, look into the future and imagine with a grin, how you will tell the story of your adventures to those who follow.

We are co-creators of reality…how will you create your story?

spreading love-salicrow