STORIES OF SPIRIT…The Solitary Samhain [Halloween alone with the spirits]

I woke up this morning with a feeling of loneliness.  As I perused through the images on my Facebook feed of ‘Witches High Tea’ and spiritual retreats, I felt a longing for the days of my past when I would be preparing with my coven or druid order for the upcoming Samhain/Halloween ceremony.

There is something beautiful about being part of a group, a deep sense of belonging and collaboration.  We humans, seek out such connections because it helps us identify ourselves.  We inspire, give support and challenge one another.  In many ways, we learn who we truly are when we interact with others.  Our similarities and differences of opinion and values help forge us into the individuals we are.  I love the idea of being part of something, but like most relationships, the people in them evolve, roles we take change and often we move on.  I suppose I am one of those that move on.  It’s not that I cannot commit, but more that my life often takes me on the winding road, with paths so narrow that I must often walk alone; part of the balance required if we are to truly know ourselves.

Loneliness is powerful, it has much to teach us about ourselves.  Many people try to avoid it at all cost choosing instead to fill their days with endless social media check-ins and the mindless chatter of superficial conversation.  Few people are comfortable with the thoughts that speak to them from the shadows of their mind.  We have become accustomed to identifying ourselves solely by the value that others place on us.  This is unfortunate for the shadow has much to offer us.  The path of one is also powerful.

I have no group to work my All Hallows magic with, I have groups I can join, and groups I can lead, but I have no group to which I currently belong, and yet I feel the call of my Ancestors, asking me to prepare for their holy night.  I am comfortable with my solitary position and accept the loneliness as fitting for embracing the veil of death.  I know that I have many friends who are waiting for me on the other side, reaching out for contact.  As a Medium, my days are filled with speaking to those who have passed on, to the Beloved Dead, but they are not mine, they are the loved ones of others, of the people who I help with my work.

I don’t know what Halloween will hold for me this year.  I wanted to do something fantastic, to go the extra mile in helping others have a truly spirited experience, so that they may walk away knowing what it feels like to cross the veil.  But there has been a hesitation, a delay.  I have not put out the announcement, and invited others to join me…instead I have paused, taken a deep breath and without intention chosen the solitary approach.  I feel that this year, I am being asked to go through the veil alone and that something/someone in that depth has need of me without the bonds of others. There is a teaching waiting for me in the shadow, and I must find my way there.

I feel regret for those of you who have become accustomed to joining me in the Betwixt & Between, crossing the veil at this time of year with my guidance and will indeed hold such space for you again in the future.  But for now I must follow the path of loneliness where it leads me.  I have prepared a Samhain Celebration for those of you who would like a little guidance in honoring your Beloved Dead this Halloween season.

ANCESTOR HONORING & the THINNING OF THE VEIL

You will need-

*Pictures and mementos of your loved ones

*A white Candle

*Offerings for your Beloved Dead (their favorite food, drink, smoke, flowers, perfume, etc)

Your altar should be a thing of beauty.  Choose your mementos wisely.  They do not need to be the most expensive, instead, they should hold sentimental value.  Prepare yourself for the ceremony as if you are going to a wedding, funeral, or church.  For you are having a very important date, and it is a sacred thing.

*Dim the lights in the room, light the candle on your altar.

*Imagine yourself surrounded by white light, that emanates out from your heart chakra (the center of your chest).  Take approximately 5 minutes to create sacred space.  With each breath out, the light around you is strengthened.  This white light is a protective bubble, allowing only the spirits of your Beloved Dead to be present.  With every inhale, call your loved ones to you with your mind.

*If you have offerings for you Beloved Dead (food/drink/smoke/perfume), speak to your dead of them, how you remember their favorites and have brought this offering for them.  Its ok to partake in the offerings, as long as you are doing so as an offering for your loved ones in Spirit.

*soften your gaze, allowing your eyes to focus on the light of the candle while allowing your peripheral vision to become enhanced. Wide angle vision is the same type of viewing we use to make pictures pop out in those 3d art pieces and the gaze that hunters use to keep their prey from feeling their eyes on them.

*Breathe deeply and stay relaxed.  Spend time with your concentration soft, allowing your loved ones to present themselves in whatever way that they may….scent, sight, hearing, touch.

*When you are finished close your circle, by thanking your Beloved Dead for being present and ask them to go in peace.  Blow out your candle, and leave your altar up for a day or two if you can.

*Take note of your dreams the following nights, as dreams are an easier place for spirits to make contact.

 

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

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Sacred Travels…Fairy Trees, Rainbows and Stone Circles [The Piper Stones of County Wicklow]

There are alignments that happen in life in which you truly feel the presence of magic, even if you are unfamiliar with such things.  For most people the feeling is associated with awe, Druids would call it Awen.

Awen is the spirit of creativity, and Druids believe that for anything to manifest there must first be a moment in which thought is transformed into being.  We have all experienced it.  For some experiencing Awen is accompanied by goosebumps, for others there is a deep sense of knowing.  Like when you wish upon a star, and know that wish will come true.  It is a time of deep magic.

I experienced such a moment while visiting the Piper Stones in County Wicklow, Ireland.

We had traveled through the Wicklow Gap with our host, the O’Hanlons. The gap itself is quite stunning, with mountains covered in icy mist and winds that could easily knock you off balance.  It was a place of raw energy, that made me think of the difficulty early man endured…for I was wearing a long raincoat, an insulated under jacket, and high leather boots.  Early man had traveled through such terrain wearing nothing more then sandals, scraps of wool wrapped around their legs, and woolen cloaks.

The Piper Stones, also known as the Athgreany stone circle is not a tourist destination.   http://www.megalithicireland.com/Athgreany%20Stone%20Circle.html There is no monument center, or tour buses.  It is relatively unknown to anyone but locals, or those obsessed with such things who know how to Google search.  There is a small sign on the side of the road, next to a pull off, and a short walk through a field populated by sheep.

The circle is on the top of a small mound, overlooking the surrounding fields.  It consists of 14 granite stones, most standing upright but a few lying down.  There were originally 17 stones, but 3 are now missing.  In early days, farmers often re-purposed stones for use in stonewalls and the likes.  Along with the stones, there is a beautiful Hawthorn Cloutie tree https://salicrow.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/the-cloutie-tree/ present in the circle.

The Piper Stones was one of two stone circles I visited on this trip to Ireland.  As much as I love them, my visit was filled with other sacred spaces, such as the Giants Causeway, the Blarney Stone, Newgrange & Knowth.  So naturally getting to stand within the stones was powerful for me, as stone circles are often aligned to astronomical and earthly locations.  They were places of worship, particularly by those with a close relationship to the earth.

I placed my prayers among the Hawthorn cloutie tree, and opened myself to the energy there.  I gave offerings and sang songs of Spirit.  It was powerful, and I felt truly blessed.

photo credit-meagan o’hanlon

 

When as I stepped away from the Cloutie tree, I saw another Hawthorn down in the field and it called to me.  To say it called to me, means that I felt its presence from a distance.  I knew it wanted me to visit it as well, and I knew that in many ways it held deep personal magic for me.

As I approached the tree, I began to sing to it.  I noticed that plants grew at its base, plants that I knew to be sacred, known for their healing powers and magical potency…nettle and holly  surrounded the base of the tree.  I reached out to the touch the tree, feeling that my presence was welcome, and it communicated to me that I was allowed to harvest thorns from it.

Hawthorn is a magical tree, with a deep connection to the Fairy folk, it is said that one should never take anything from a fairy tree; particularly one standing in a field by itself, unless permission is given.  My advice here is “If you are unclear to whether permission is given or not, then it is not!”

In my case permission was not only given, but instructed.  I was allowed to take take 7 thorns for myself (the Hawthorn tattoo on my left shoulder has 7 thorns on it), 3 for my sister, and 8 for the magical family, I reconnected to in England last year.

I was deep in trance as I collected the thorns, singing and listening as I went.  I was completely in tune with the tree, knowing that I was taking part in a magical blessing and receiving a powerful gift.  After collecting the last thorn, I looked up from the tree and saw a rainbow before me, or the end of a rainbow more accurately.  Seeing this brought tears to my eyes and reinforced my belief that I was receiving a great blessing.

As I was down in the field near the Hawthorn tree, my husband and our host/friends were standing in the stone circle.  The rainbow was fantastic from where they stood.  They told me later they had tried to get me to turn around for the picture, but I was too deeply involved in my work to hear them.  I think the picture is better this way, as it shows the nature of what was really going on.

Small acts of magic happen all the time, but most of us miss them.  Sometimes though we are blessed with exceptional moments of spirit, that we simply cannot help but see for what they are.  My time in the Piper Stones was one of those moments.  I am sure to return there in the future.

An interesting fact about the circle is that when we arrived there was a local man rolling up a yoga mat.  He said he came there daily to meditate.  What a joy that must be.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks.  I will be back in the States on September 13th, ready for the Mabon season and my work with the Beloved Dead.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

Sacred Travel…Kissing Stones,Talking to Trees & the Psychic Opening [Blarney Castle]

I have said before, and I will say it again the difference between spiritual adventure and vacation comes down to comfort.  On vacation we are looking to relax, get a bit of pampering, and taste of the good life.  For those seeking spiritual adventure, the accommodations are often not as cushy, there is little time for pampering, and one can generally expect to be pushed out of their comfort zone.  I returned to Ireland, knowing as a spiritual adventurer, seeking a deep connection with the sacred, and in doing so I knew that I would be enveloped by the experience and most likely spit out a different person.

I did not expect the transformation to start so quickly.

I have been preparing for this trip for some time now, knowing that it would be deep, and powerful, after all I was returning to Ireland by the good graces of the Celtic goddess, the Morrighan.  The Morrighan is a Celtic warrior goddess of death, magic, prophesy.   When I say I have returned on her graces, I am not at all exaggerating.  For when I was here in 2013, I visited Owenygat, a hole in the ground cave, under an apple tree in County Roscommon.  It is a place sacred to the Morrighan, and my visit there was intentional.  After climbing into the wet, rocky cave I left offerings of my hair and rose petals, and asked that she work through me and then I began to cry for my love of her lands and country.  I then spoke of how I wanted to return one day, or more honestly, how I wanted to return again, and again.  Her answer was simple and to the point, ringing loud and clear in my mind…”And so you shall”.

As I began planning my return trip, I knew that she would be an intricate part of the voyage, and that my return meant doing her work.

Yesterday I went to Blarney Castle.  It is well known, and famous for the legend held around kissing the Blarney Stone.  It is said that any who kiss the stone will be granted with the gift of Blarney (speech filled with charm & wit).  To kiss the stone, one must climb to the top of the castle, lay down on a the stone ground covered by a mat (for traction & easy movement) and slowly do a back bend, over the edge of a drop that’s a straight shot to the ground many floors below.  The kiss must be placed on the bottom of the stone, which is kind of intimidating.  In olden times it was simply a hole, now there is a cast iron grate beneath the stone so no one falls to their demise.  That being said, it is still an adrenaline dump, and many people cannot do it.

In short, I kissed the stone…The long story though is much more involved.

First and foremost, Blarney Castle is much more then a castle with a stone to kiss.  It is a large expanse of land that holds a stone circle (the seven sisters stone circle), a dolman, a druids cave, forest sanctuary; that has trees from all over the world (with similar climates), a poisonous plant garden, waterfall, fern garden and much more.  It was truly a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it to anyone, for there is something for everyone there.

I stepped into the sacred as soon as I walked through the gate, for a few minutes walk into the park there is a crossing of rivers.  The crossing of rivers is a remarkable thing, as most often when rivers come together they converge.  At Blarney, one river goes under the other, staying as two separate water ways…it is a place of wishes, and I made a point of offering my American coin to the mass of glittering change that sparkled in the water at the rivers crossing.

As I meandered through the park, I sang to the land at the Seven Sisters stone circle, before heading into the forest…taking the path least traveled.  Where most people go first to the castle, my husband and I headed for the trees, and I was greatly thankful.

One of my most remarkable experiences happened with a ancient cedar tree.  Coming from Vermont, I am use to cedar trees being a couple of stories high, but this beauty was far bigger then that.  In fact a limb shooting off the side of it, was much bigger in circumference than any cedar I had ever seen.  I was in awe, as I could feel the energy coming off of the giant cedar, as I walked around behind it, in search of a foot hold to climb onto the limb.  When I got onto the limb, I almost fell off the other side, the energy of the tree setting me off balance with its intensity.  When I settled onto it; lying with my back against the limb, I took a deep breath, preparing for sacred song.  Then I clearly heard the tree speaking to me….

“You wait just a moment Witch, I have something for you”.

Now I have been spoken to by trees before, in fact, trees are quite social.  But this was a command.  The tree was putting me in my place, showing me that it also had something to offer.  It was deeply humbling, and I was overwhelmed as energy from the tree started coursing through my body, my kundalini (chakra system) lighting up.  It lasted but a few moments, but it is still working on me as I write this, over 24 hours later.

I did get a chance to sing to the tree, and instead of offering healing energy, I found myself singing out of thanks and honor.  It was obvious how well taken care of the tree was, and how self aware it was.

We eventually made our way out of the forest, and after a round about walk, we headed to the castle.  My husband is afraid of heights, and did not make it to the top.  He did not kiss the stone.  I went on alone, and was surprised at how easy it was to get there.  During tourist season (beginning of June-end of August), it can be an hours wait to get to the stone.  An hour of slow moving up steep, winding stone stairs, that have been worn down by time and usage.  I was able to walk to the top, and was 4th in line to kiss the stone, when I got there.  The people behind me were Americans, form Texas, and California.  I asked Kyle from Texas if he would take my picture, and he suggested a video.  One many of you have seen already on my Facebook page.

As I lay on my back, with an old Irishmen-attendant encouraging me to lower myself further and further down, I felt my intention deeply present.  My hands; gripping the cast iron bars, held my focus as I slid further and further down, until my face was close to the bottom of the stone.  I kissed the stone with meaning, knowing that for me, there was real magic to be had.  I did not kiss the stone as a gimmick, I kissed the stone with purpose…giving my voice over to the powers that be, that I may use my voice to help others wake up, and become more aware.  That my charm, and wit be a catalyst, nudging people to become truly conscious.

When I was lifted up from the stone, I felt a dump of adrenaline, my legs were wobbly, and my mind was keenly aware.  I had just added another notch in my magical day.  I had just put in motion something that would be carried out for the rest of my life.

The way in and out of the castle was specific, as the stairwells are very narrow.  That being said, I was at the bottom of the castle for a good 20 minutes before my husband, who was meandering around, exploring the castle to find his way out.  As I stood outside the castle entrance I heard the voice of the Morrighan speaking to me.  She is very direct and not particularly gentle.

Her words were powerful.  She told me that she had a gift for me, that she wanted to alter my prophetic ability, to enhance it.  She also told me that it would be hard, that I would have to accept the difficulty of such a gift.  I knew without words what she meant.  She meant that to have my gifts enhanced I would have to once again adjust to the emotions involved opening my awareness.  She then told me I had to repeat her verbatim.  I will not repeat the vow here, but in summery I had to agree that I accepted the good and bad of the gift I was given, knowing that my agreement would hold the power of sacred contract.

I agreed…

The effects were almost instantaneous, and I have spent most of today dealing with my emotions being through the roof, as my empathy and telepathy has been heightened.  I know that I will adjust, but for today I have been working through it, being gentle and patient with myself.

I do not know where this will lead, but I do know that this is just the lead up.  I have felt since the planning of this trip, that my real work takes place in Northern Ireland.  So for now, I am just preparing.  I still have 3-4 days before Northern Ireland.

I am humbled, and ever grateful for the work of the sacred in my life.  It is not always easy, but it is always worth it.  Thanks for reading folks.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Manifestation & Magic [opening to Spirit part 2]

Magic is simply science that has not yet been explained, it is a series that begins with thought and ends with result.  With that in mind, the magic I speak of now, is that of manifestation.  When we find in ourselves the ability to release control & connect deeply with the world around us, we begin to experience the possibilities available to us as co-creators of our lives.  We start to understand how our thoughts, particularly those repetitive, sticky-thoughts; the ones we repeat like mantras of doom, effect our experiences, and we begin to ponder how different life would be if instead of focusing on dreadful things, we focused on that which we desired.

Our brains are like a super-computers, and like computers they can get viruses that effect their programming.  These virus’s are not caught by cough, or sneeze or bodily contact, but by trauma, and repetition.  Trauma is  like blunt force, to the workings of the mind.  It gets in quick and stays for a long, long time, specially if it goes untreated.  Repetition refers to the things we hear and see, over and over again, most often by people we know well…parents, teachers, peers, siblings, friends, etc.  The words and actions of those we surround ourselves with can and often do, have an effect on us.

In my last blog https://salicrow.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/stories-of-spirit-opening-to-spirit-expanding-consciousness//, I spoke about the power of opening oneself to Spirit, and stepping into our role as co-creators.  The first step on this path, is to face that which holds us back; the stories and beliefs we tell about ourselves that are untrue and unkind, created by the words of others and painful experiences.  When approaching such things, it is helpful to remind oneself that we are Spiritual Warriors, doing battle against that which no longer serves us.  The Spiritual Warrior does not use swords, or spears to fight the battles before them…but instead uses love, and the inner strength found by connecting to Spirit.

To become a magic-user of the Co-creation kind, we must first start by looking at our wounding; something we all have.  This is not because the world is cruel, but because we learn and grow through our hardships.  In the same way that a sword is tempered through extreme heat and cold, we are forged through our life experiences.  This does not mean, that we should approve of cruelty, it simply means we can look at our wounding differently.  Instead of seeing it as something meant to break us, we can choose to engage our hardships as teachers.  In this manner we become Spiritual Warriors, keen on our souls path to healing.  We do not shy away from that which haunts us, we turn and look it in the face and see it for the phantom that it is.  For like a ghost, we are often haunted by our past.  In looking at our wounding, we begin to see what parts of our story no longer serve us.

Before we go any further, I want to make it clear that it is exceedingly difficult and unlikely to wish yourself into anything.  You cannot and will not simply step into the slip-stream of  spirit and make all of your life problems go away.  Like all endeavors in life, magic takes effort.  When my kids were little, I use to tell them that god/goddess does not help those who refuse to help themselves.  We can not simply lie around wishing our lives better.  In short, we must work on it…after all creation is pretty big business, as anyone who has children knows.   Sure the initial spark, the idea, the seed can happen without much thought.  But to bring something into existence, we must nurture it.

Magic is a combination of the will and the way.  We must have the will or the belief, that what we seek to manifest is possible.  If we begin our journey with nothing but doubt, we will unlikely get very far.  I look at it this way…  There are millions of possibilities that reality can have for a person, by putting my will into a particular thought my odds of that manifesting become higher.  It starts by believing that I we are part of the universe, and connected to creation itself, then we must invest in the reality that I wish to see as ours…this is where the will comes in.  The will is not something to be beaten into submission, it is something to be surrendered to.  It is in fact ‘opening to Spirit’, allowing the groovetastic energy of the universe to flow through us, giving us more energy to put into our dreams.  The way is the directing of the energy, the path in which you believe it is best supported.  This is where all those tools and techniques come in.

When we have found within us the ability to ‘open to Spirit’, we then can utilize the energy through the use of methods and tools.  For some this is best achieved through following the teachings of others.  Which is why yoga classes, meditation, and shamanic studies are so popular.  But for some, the way is something unique to them.  It may be a combination of teachings they have hodge-podged together, or something completely created from their imagination.

I once met a man who taught himself how to divine the future, buy using a series of random items.  In his pocket he carried a washer, a rock, a coin, and a paper clip (or something of the such).  Depending on what item he drew, he could gather information on questions that were dear to him.  He had grown up in a religious community, and had never been introduced to the idea of divination.  Yet he found his way there.  He was able to do this, because he believed he could.  He knew how to open himself to Spirit.

Which ever way you get there, whether it is through the teachings of others, and 100 tools, or through something unique to yourself with nothing to speak of in the way of tools, as long as you get there, it’s ok.

Do not spend your time fearing that you will stumble into darkness, that your efforts will lead you in the direction of danger.  If you approach Spirit with the belief that you are connecting with beauty, love and healing.  That is what you connect with.  If you approach opening to Spirit as something dark, and filled with demons waiting to overtake you…well my suggestion is don’t bother, for you will most certainly not have a good time of it.

This is not the belief of dreamers and mystics alone.  Quantum Physics has proven that thought matters.  That we directly influence the world around us with our beliefs.  Let us create the reality we want.  Let us believe in the possibility of awakening consciousness, for if we are truly awake and connected, we will empathically understand the need to care for the world we live in, and the people around us.  We will choose to be beacons of light, sharing love with ourselves and others.  We will seek to make the world better for us being in it.

spreading love-salicrow