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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

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

 

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STORIES OF SPIRIT…The Two Headed Monster [addiction, death & the after life]

My experience with addiction is one that goes back to my birth, as I grew up in an alcoholic household.  In the early days of my life, I hardly noticed the relationship between my father’s pain and his drinking, but when my Grammy Brown died the monster known as addiction took control.  It began stealing more and more of my father’s soul, sending him spiraling out of control until he eventually lost all that he loved most.   My father’s case was one of redemption, for in his loss he was able to find himself, and began the hard work of healing that was needed in order to sever the control Alcohol had over his life & eventually restore his family to him.

While my father’s story has a beautiful ending; filled with family reunions, healing, and soul growth, not all who dance with the devil are so lucky.  For fighting the fight of addiction is battled one day at a time.  My father had to fight that battle every time someone offered him a drink, without knowing that they were unconsciously speaking the words of his demon…tempting him with the elixir he had turned to over and over again when faced with his inner pain.

In my work as a Medium, I meet with families weekly who have lost someone they love to addiction.  These Spirits come forward hesitantly, and by their approach alone I know that they were partially responsible for their own passing.  I call it ‘partially responsible’, because they did not choose to die, yet it was not an accident.  They placed the needle in their arm, swallowed the pills or destroyed their liver/lives by their own hands.  Yet they were not alone in their minds, the substance they abused was there with them; like an evil twin, whispering in their ear “Fuck it, fuck it all!”

The families who come to me who have lost their sons, daughters, friends, mothers, fathers, partners, to addiction are often coming with fear and anger.  They fear for the souls of the ones they have lost, and they are mad as hell over the mayhem left in the wake of such passing.  They often do not know what to do with the wild, jumbled emotions they feel.  They miss their loved one, yet they remember the darkness that had swallowed them.  They often feel a sense of relief along with their anguish for the phone call saying their loved one had lost their battle had already come.  Now instead of fear, they sit in grief.

We are dealing with a battle of epic proportions.  One that affects us all, every single one of us has someone we love who is battling addiction.  Some of us do not even see it for what it is, until it rears up like a monster, unexpectedly setting the world around them into chaos.  The media gives us a picture of what ‘Addiction’ looks like…a super skinny, strung out person, usually with sunken eyes and a lot of tattoos.  This is not an accurate vision, and by accepting this image we allow the monster to hide in plain sight.  I have met with families who were completely blindsided when their loved one died of an overdose, or when they discovered that the overweight businessman was addicted to prescription pain medication, or that their super smart, popular child was living off amphetamines, or that their charismatic uncle was a bastard at home; due to the mood swings associated with his drinking.

I am not here to solve the problem of addiction, believe me, I would if I could.  Instead, I am here to provide a way of healing and growth for the families and friends left in its wake.

When I meet with families for Spirit Communication and addiction is a factor, I try to explain to the living family that they need to see their loved one as a dual personality.  In this way, they are free to mourn the beautiful, loving person they lost to the drug & be pissed as hell, at the addiction itself.  For truly that is the battle that goes on in the mind of an addict.  That beautiful, sensitive boy or deeply loving daughter still exists in there, but they are not alone.  They are battling the demon of addiction every day of their lives, and often the demon is too much for them to overcome.

Addiction feeds off of our self-loathing, and the deep wounds that lie within our being.  It is not something that starts with the ‘heavy hitters’, like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines.  In fact, it often starts before we have ever put a toxic substance to our mouth.  It starts with our pain, and our need to hide it.  When we realize this about ourselves and those we love, it is easier to see how someone could fall down this rabbit hole.

I recently had a mother come to me who had lost her adult son to an overdose.  Although she had known he was out of control, partying too hard and distancing himself from those who loved him & would see his pain, she was shocked to find out that he even did Heroin.  When in fact he had been doing it for 2 years.  When his Spirit came into the room during our Seance, (he was not the first guest) his mother who had appeared calm and reserved, did a 180, her anger turning her into a banshee.  She was so mad at him for what he had done, for how he had treated his life and for the mess he had left behind.  She was looking for someone else to blame, wanting him to tell her it was all someone else fault, she needed to believe that the boy she had loved so dearly had not done this to himself…yet he had.

In the time we sat together I tried to emphasize the fact that the boy/man she loved as her son was healing.  That his spirit was now having to review the actions that led up to his premature death.  I explained that when we die, our emotions are turned down, like the volume dial on a stereo, allowing us to review our life more analytically.  I also explained that he had to see how his decisions had affected not only his life but that of the ones he loved…that in death we continue to heal, and that when our family is unable to heal the dead our delayed in their own healing.

Turning sorrow into pain is a natural turn of events for many.  It often feels more empowering to be pissed and continue to hunt for the perpetrator of our pain then to sit with the heaviness of grief and mourning.  Yet, anger denies our healing.  It keeps us in a deep state of expectation, waiting for our revenge, to solve the problem, to get even.  In death, there is no getting even.  Our anger and venom will not bring back those we love.  Your son, daughter, husband, mother, friend does not need you to get even…they need you to heal and if you need a cause, to step up and try and make a difference in the world of addiction.  They need us to turn our wounds into tools of healing instead of weapons we use to beat ourselves with.  After all, this is how many ends up struggling with addiction, to begin with, they beat themselves over and over again for any and every flaw they see in their being.  The pain they struggle with becomes the vehicle that drives the addiction.

If you have lost someone to addiction, or love someone who is currently battling with addiction, remember they are not alone in their mind.  Remember that the support needed is that of understanding (with strong boundaries), and that in all cases of addiction there is something deeper under the surface that the addiction is feeding off of.  Like the demon it is, Addiction feeds off on the loathing, pain, and trauma carried by the addict and those that love them.

How can you help yourself and your Beloved Dead who has passed due to their own hands?  Start healing yourself.  Become educated about addiction, and remember the beautiful soul who lost their battle to it.

HEALING ALTAR FOR BELOVED DEAD LOST TO ADDICTION-

You will need- pictures & memorabilia of your loved one when they were happy & healthy, spiritual items of your choice, a white candle & a black candle, recommended stones-rose quartz & black tourmaline

*Set up your altar on a shelf, dresser, window sill, someplace you will come in contact with often. This should be appealing to your eye.

*The white candle represents love, light, and the healing you are calling in, the black candle represents the darkness you are releasing from your heart; the sorrow, anger, and rage you carry.  LIGHT both candles daily for 5 minutes, and spend time in front of your altar praying for and speaking to the one you have lost.  Speak your sorrow, and pain as well as your good wishes.  Remember you are not only healing yourself but helping them to heal and that requires truth.

*The Rose Quartz on the altar carries the vibration of love and healing and the Black Tourmaline is a great absorber of negativity, transmuting it.

This is a simple ritual you can perform daily, it will not only help you and your Beloved Dead to heal, but it will also help you to form a stronger relationship with spirit.  Remember we are all able to feel/sense our Beloved Dead, but often our emotions block us from doing so.  If you are in need of a direct connection, seek out the aid of a Medium, it is often one of the most healing things you can do for yourself and your loved one in Spirit.

spreading love-salicrow

Connecting you to your Beloved Dead… Salicrow.com

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

salicrow.com

Stories of Spirit…Welcoming Death [the art of the Doula]

Last night at the end of my Sound Meditation class, it came to my awareness that a fellow Reiki Master, friend, and gentle healer had entered into Hospice.  She had fought the good fight with Cancer only to watch it return, this time with death as it’s companion.  The thought crossed my mind of heading straight to her house and catching a ride home later with a friend, but it had been a long day and I opted for riding home with my husband and making a quick dinner.

Waiting on dinner, I checked my Facebook messages and read “You should come sooner than later.  She seems to be holding on,  enjoying time spent with her boys, but her time is close.”

I put down my phone, packed my basket with oils, sage, my drum as well as snacks, water, and coffee.  When death calls, I never know if I will be going for a short visit or a long.  I ate quickly and got in my car, immediately tapping into my dying friend.  Before I was even out of my driveway, I was singing Spirit Song [song of the soul] and could feel the miles between us dissipate.  I was in duel reality…existing both in ordinary reality-driving my car, watching the road & the otherworlda psychic/shamanic state of existence.  In the otherworld, I was sharing space with my friend; as close as if I were sitting by her bedside.  In this state, I could see her life force and recognized that my decision to see her that evening was a good one.  I felt it as an honor and a duty, that death itself was asking me to come recognize such a beautiful soul as she transformed from body to spirit.  Her work as a healer needed to be acknowledged.

When I got to her house, I was touched by the way her family was already showing reverence.  The love in the house was palpable, and there was a somber reverence that spoke of how much they wanted to honor her in her passing.  We spoke for a few moments about creating sacred space when a loved one is passing, and soon they were walking around the house collecting photographs and special items to place on the altar in their mother/friends room.

Creating an Altar for the dying is a beautiful and thoughtful way of calling in the Ancestors to help with the transition between life and death.  I have given directions for creating an Ancestor Altar at the bottom of the article.

As her family gathered pictures and memories, I began to do Reiki on my friend and to sing gently to her.  My song was a continuation of the song I had already been singing to her during the 20-minute ride from my house to hers.  When singing the song of dying, the words are not important, in fact, I seldom sing with words at all.  The song of dying is sung with emotion and reverence for the person awaiting transition and for death itself.  As a Medium, Death is a friend of mine.  I spend much of my life between the veil, communicating with those who have transcended into death.  I have a great respect for death, and can honestly say that I love it.

By loving death, I do not mean that I love pain and suffering.  I mean that I love the act of transition.  Like birth, death is magical, it is more ‘real’ then any other experience we will have in our lives.  When we sit with death we cannot be anything but what we truly are.  We are vulnerable.

Singing to my friend, I began to loosen the strands of life that were sticky; the places she held tight to her body.  I sang and I soothed.  I could feel her life force & was aware that her death would be soon and did not believe she would live another day.  My song was joined by the soft murmurs of the others in the room.  Her children and friends joining in ‘spirit song’, guiding her soul across the veil.  As I held my tones out long, I felt her sliding on the vibration and her breath becoming slower and slower.

Then it was done, my time with her had come to pass.  She would not pass for hours still, but I felt that it was time for me to leave.  I knew she would be gone before long, but that her last hours were for deep quiet and her family alone.

I left her home at the same time as another friend, and we stopped to talk outside the house.  I spoke of how my need to visit; which had been so urgent, felt like administering last rights…kind of like “Hey there, all is well across the veil, safe travels to the Otherworld”.  In such moments, I connect deeply with my ancient self, my priestess self, the tribal shaman, volva-self.  I see this as the holiest of the work I do, for it is never something to plan on, but something that I must do when I feel it’s vibration.  When death asks me to pay a house call, I do so with great reverence for both the dying and the spirit of death alike.

We are changing the way we interact with death, we are remembering the old ways of honoring and reverence.  Families are interacting deeply with the presence of death through hospice, as well as with the art of home funerals and celebrations of life.  We are remembering the sacred and death is becoming a deeper act of healing.  Years of disassociation with death; death behind white curtains, and sterile environments, and funerals without connection to our ancestors put a serious hick-up in our ability to heal and understand death.  That is changing.  Death is an exceptional moment of Spirit.

My friend passed late this morning, and I am happy to know that her spirit is free and she is no longer burdened with a painful body.  I take heart in knowing that one of her dear friends washed and anointed her body with lavender, showing love and kindness in the ceremonial act of preparing her body for death.

Creating an Ancestor Altar for the Dying-

*You will need- a shelf (dresser, portable tray in the hospital, bookshelf, window sill), family photos of living & dead relatives, special treasures (wedding rings, holy items, crystals, etc).

Set the altar up where the dying and the people holding space can see it.  Even if your loved one is unconscious, set the altar up within their personal space.  Invite your ancestors to join you in the room, and to come aid in the passing of your loved one.

My hope is that ‘ancestor honoring’ become a regular part of death and dying.  We need to remember that we are connected on both sides of the veil.  Our Beloved Dead are waiting for us when we cross, and like our living loved ones sit by our side when we are dying, our loved ones in spirit do the same.  One saying goodbye, the other welcoming home.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks…peaceful travels to the spirit world for those who are crossing.

spreading love-salicrow

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