SACRED TRAVEL…Transforming the mind through personal journey, part 3

Sacred Travel is foremost a mindset.  It is something that happens within our being, regardless of our outer destination, for the true journey is a pilgrimage of the soul.

Many people go on vacation and walk away with stories of adventure, a bit of color and a feeling of rest…but that is far from being transformational.  While on the other hand there are those among us who go no further than their backyard and experience tremendous spiritual growth.

If you are looking to set up a Sacred Pilgrimage for yourself and are lacking in funds, start by setting a date.  Block out the days you wish to set aside for personal growth, and act as if you are going to be out of the State during that time.  You will not be answering phone calls unless they are emergencies.  You may even want to tell people that you know that you will be away, or better yet that you are taking a much-needed Staycation to recalibrate.  Simple answers, make it easier to not receive a thousand phone calls during your time of introspection.

Plan your journey ahead of time, choose a location in your home or abroad (if you are so fortunate).  When using our own space for the journey, we must make sure to set the stage.  Taking time to make it comfortable and inviting…Setting up an altar where we can place items sacred to us. When Packing it’s important to bring enough provisions so we do not need to leave our sacred space until finished.  Remember the more fully you can submerge yourself in the experience, the deeper into self you can go.  Make sure you have a journal and a few good writing pens on hand, perhaps even some art supplies; as not all who journal do so in words.

When we choose to engage in sacred travel without leaving our homestead, it is important to step away from our regular habits.  Disconnect from social media, television, computer, smartphones, and technological static.  *I make an exception here for my camera.  For me, taking pictures is part of my journaling.  I love to capture moments and items that are seeped in the divine.  That being said, if you do not have the willpower to resist picking up your phone every few moments then it’s best to use a real camera, not the one on your phone.

Once we have set out on our sacred adventure we should plan on staying in that mindset for the duration of the time allotted to the journey.  This is important, as most people are impatient and somehow think results/answers should come quickly like a flash of lightning.  When in fact, more often than not it takes much longer than you think and is far more subtle than hoped for. Learning the nuances of subtly is a spiritual art, it takes practice.  One of the tips I give to my students when practicing any type of trance work or meditation is to stay past the point of discomfort.  By this, I do not mean stay when we are in pain or about to wet ourselves, what I mean is…we all reach a point in which our mind starts saying “Is this it?”, “Am I doing anything, can I do anything?”, “What am I suppose to be doing?”.  I am not immune to this distraction. It still shows up from time to time… telling me I have better things to be doing.  I simply ignore it and keep on keeping on.  It is after this point when we have crossed the threshold of our wondering mind, that we begin to truly connect.

Sacred tools, like drums and rattles, scrying mirrors, tarot cards & runes are helpful tools to take on our journey.  But so is going for a walk in the woods, sitting by your favorite brook, listening to the sound of the trees, exploring art at a local museum, listening to Gregorian chants and Shamanic trance music.  This is an adventure…you may spend it how you wish, and with who you wish.  Most of my sacred travels are spent with like-minded spiritual seekers.

When I was younger and could not get away as easily, my sacred-sisters (women I practiced magic with) and I would go away for one weekend a year together.  Most often this was at someone’s parents camp.  We would work and play together or the weekend and walk away refreshed and ofter more clear of our personal path.

Now here is an important add-on…I know most of you are imagining Sacred Travel as a somber thing, filled with drumming and meditation, and that is true…but it is can also one filled with tasty libations, your favorite herbs, and laughter.  After all, it is a time of stepping out of our day to day life and let us be honest we all like to eat well and celebrate.

The biggest factor in Sacred Travel is that we are there with our senses open.  We need to savor every detail of the moment, allowing ourselves to fully be present instead of wandering around on auto-pilot like we often do in our everyday lives.  Sacred Travel is a time of fully being conscious.  It is a time of celebration and love for self and the amazing world we live in.

I personally go on a sacred journey just about every week. I began adding a weekly ‘adventure day’ almost 2 years ago; when my sister was struggling with illness.  As part of her process, we decided to dedicate every Wednesday to spiritual growth and experience.  Sometimes it is just us, sometimes others of our tribe join us.  Most often we go to the Ammounousuc River, a place seen as a spiritual treasure to both of us.  This practice has enhanced the quality of my life tremendously.  Between the small weekly journeys and the larger ones I manage to pull off each year, I have created a life in which stepping out of my everyday reality & into my deeper soul consciousness is easily accessed.

I hope you enjoyed the read & that it inspires you to seek out Spiritual Adventure of your own.  The world is an amazing place, whether our path takes us ‘just down the road a bit’ or around the world.  Open your eyes, your heart, your ears, your entire being to the marvels of self & the universe and you will not be disappointed.

spreading love-salicrow

ps-if you enjoy my writing, make sure to check out my book!

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

 

 

 

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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.

 

Stories of Spirit…Love in a hateful world

I admit that sometimes I too am overwhelmed by the darkness that seems to be settling on our world.  At times it feels as if we are being pulled into a hateful ravine of ‘other’, in which society functions with the foremost thought being “Everyone who does not think exactly like me must be sinister, wrong & evil.”  This thought process has everyone walking on eggshells, expecting that at any moment they are going to say/do something that offends someone, or someone is going to say/do something that offends them.  Add to this an underlying fear from global climate change and the abyss can seem all-consuming.

In this time of global chaos, I chose every day to be a light in the darkness.  I center my mind and remember that I may not have a choice in how others/the larger world acts, but I do have a choice in how I personally present myself, and I chose LOVE along time ago.

My belief system is deeply rooted in the concept of ‘thought effects outcome‘; manifestation is in my blood.  I have been aware of my own ability to affect the world around me for a long time, and am quickly reminded of my ability when I let my thoughts go to anger & despair.  When I let myself sit in those feelings, the world around me does it’s best to prove to me how right I am; how fucked up and stupid human beings are and how there is no hope.  But you know what?  When I focus on love & abundance I see those things everywhere I go as well.  I prefer to live in a world in which happiness exists!

I believe none of us are here by chance, we are here at this moment in time, when the world is changing dramatically because we chose to be agents of change.  Each and every one of us is responsible for being the best version of self that we can at this moment of exponential growth.  Our consciousness is waking, evolving, and with that comes many aches and pains as growth is seldom easy.  We need to start acknowledging our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious.  It’s time to clean up our minds!

I am not saying that we must forgo drinking, smoking, and naughty (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) thoughts, I am saying we must clean up the continuous negative banter of our mind.  The outdated dogma that tells us we are eternally flawed and lacking in what is necessary for happiness, success, and love.

The first step to cleaning up one’s mind is to track its behavior… This is easiest done with the aid of a journal or notepad.  For a full day take note of any negative thought that crosses your mind, be thorough but quick, if we make it too tedious most of us won’t do it.  Simply, jot down the basic idea of the thought, was it directed at yourself or others, was it something you recognize as a frequent flyer?  Did it carry emotion with it, and if so what was the dominating emotion felt?

After spending a day critically looking at our thoughts, most of us are going to be awe-stricken by the sheer amount of negativity we express daily.  I know, as I have done this very thing, only mine was not done with a notepad it was done with the voice of ‘other/spirit’ keeping track of my pissy brain rants; the majority of which were directed at myself.  When I became aware of how much of my energy I was wasting or worse yet manifesting things I definitely did not want with, I was stunned and immediately could see how such things were affecting my life.

Our brains are like super-computers, and like computers they get viruses.  In the case of our mind, the viruses are often negative brain patterns, things we say over and over again, in the forms of self-abuse and entitlements.  If we examine these thoughts closely, following the strands of their being, we will find that the original seed of thought was not placed there by ourselves, but by others.  No child comes into this world believing they are ugly, stupid, or worthless, these thoughts are created by things outside our own belief.

When the thought demons we fight are not our own flogging, but a deeper fear, a fear of the darkness that is set on the planet, of climate change, political unrest, and world changes.  For these things, we must take comfort in the knowledge that we chose to come at this time of great change, and we must ask ourselves how we can be the best version of ourselves at this time.  For when we shine our light bright we do make a difference in the world.  It may be just a little one, but a lot of little lights can be brilliant.  Plus, who wants to go down like a punk?

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

SACRED TRAVEL…Down to the South I Go [Little Rock]

When you have lived in the North your entire life there are preconceived notions of what you will experience in the South, the biggest being racism and conservative values.  I am pleased to announce that my short visit to Little Rock showed me a different view of both.  I traveled to Litle Rock, Arkansas as a guest presenter/author at the Little Rock Literary Festival.  I went alone, as a snaffoo on the part of the organizers left me without my hotel or flight information until the prices per ticket were over $800.  As much as my husband likes to travel with me, we both agreed that $800 could pay for 2 plane tickets to a place of our choosing, and a trip longer than 2 days.

As I flew over Arkansas, approaching my destination, I couldn’t help but notice how the city was surrounded by open fields, winding rivers and greenery…trees, parks, and nature were everywhere.  The Arkansas River runs between Little Rock & North Little Rock; twin cities that together are about the size of Burlington, VT.  In fact, there were definitely aspects of the city that reminded me of the Queen City.  I was greeted in the airport by a sweet woman, holding a sign with my name on it.  Her kindness and charm were delightful, and upon talking a few moments I found out that all the authors were picked up and dropped off by volunteers.; local folks, who like literacy and thought picking up a writer might be a fun time.

My literary duties began an hour after landing, with a meet & greet, dinner & drink thing, in which the public could come and meet authors.  This was my first time as such an event, in which no-one really knew each other and we all had to interact by reading name tags.   However, as you all know, I am quite social and did not lack abilities on the introduction level.  The interesting part came when I told people what my book was about.  Here is where I was reminded that I was not in my liberal, cozy corner of the universe.  Most people were interested, but there was about a third of the people who responded by stepping back a step or two.  Curiously enough, 1/2 of those who stepped back, thought of Mediums as bullshit, the other half that stepped back were doing so for religious reasons.

My response to their back-step depended on the reason they were doing so (the benefits of being Psychic).  For those that thought of Mediums as hokie (this group was primarily other writers)…I made sure to let them know that I had a book contract before I had a book written.  My way of saying…”Hey, I am the real deal”.  The second group, those with religious leanings on the conservative level (mostly local), I made sure to tell them of my family background; being Irish Gypsy & Blackfoot Indian.  With this information, the local conservatives visibly opened to the discussion.

Happily caffeinated Salicrow

Things that were difficult in the south…coffee & food allergies.  I experienced the same thing while visiting Florida a month ago.  Northerners are way ahead of the curb on the food allergy spectrum.  In fact, the writer’s party/meet and greet had a lot of lovely food…all of it made with wheat and the majority of it also containing dairy.  Seriously not even a veggie platter.  But what the lacked in food options they made up for in free drinks.  LOL, so needless to say, I drank my dinner that night (I am a serious light-weight so it wasn’t much).  And coffee…well I believe Northerners are almost cultish about good coffee.  We will  (I admit doing this) walk block after block in search of a decent cup of coffee.  

 

The real eye-opener came the following day when I met my moderator; the person who would be assisting my book-talk.  I met Russell in the author’s room half an hour before my talk.  He had read my book and was prepared to ask questions during the talk if needed.  Upon being introduced to him, I discovered that he was a Chiropractor and a leading member of the local Unity Christian Church.  He had stepped back from his work as a Chiropractor and was primarily working in ministry and counseling for his church community now.  This fact made my thoughts do a side-step, a Christian Minister in the South had been chosen as the perfect match for my work?  After a few moments of talking to him though I was delighted to hear that he practiced energy work, led meditation at his church, and that they believed that God consciousness resided within us all.  Holy Shit!  This was not the South I had prepared myself for.

When my book talk came about, I had a pretty full room & I was prepared to let it all hang out, as I always do.  I read from the early part of my book, speaking of my experience with Spirit in childhood, of communicating with myself and Spirits though mirrors, and I ended my discussion with speaking about ‘the November Incident’; my walking the line of crazy, spiritual opening.  It was generally well received, all of it…the only person who seemed put off by it was sitting in the back room with his wife, but he didn’t leave early, nor did he have anything rude to say.

I do not expect everyone to understand the path I walk or even believe in the experiences I have had, but respect and politeness are a lovely thing….and the South has that in accolades!

After my discussion, I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted.  I decided I needed to walk, and chose to walk the downtown area, check out shops and get some food.  After eating, I was in a small art gallery/store connected to the library system when I ran into an older lady who had come to my discussion, and waited patiently in line to have me sign her book.  Mary, a spritely 80-year-old was truly delightful.  After talking to me for a few moments in the store, and my talking about how much I loved nature, she said “Alright then, let’s go walk the river walk”, and like that, I was off on a journey with a complete stranger.

As we walked along the river, Mary told me tales of her city, and of her life.  She had lived in Little Rock for the majority of her life, and apparently, I was not the first stranger she had hooked up with before.  She was a retired school teacher, with a keen mind, a strong intuition and a great deal of kindness.  When I walked her back to the library she invited me to come stay with her the next time I came to Arkansas.

On my voyage along the river, I was again delighted to see that my view of racism was also not completely true.  Now I am not saying that there is no racism in Little Rock, what I am saying is I was surprised by the number of mixed race couples I saw.  In fact, there were almost as many couples of mixed race or same sex as there were heterosexual couples  of the same race.  I found myself thinking on this, and questioning if this was the result of the ‘Little Rock 9’ ‘https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/central-high-school-integration.  The Little Rock 9 in short, refers to 9 black students who enrolled in a formerly all-white high school in Little Rock in 1957.  There enrollment was due in part to the Supreme Court ruling school segregation illegal in 1954.  It is a tremendous story of bravery that you really should take the time to read (see link above).

After my time with Mary, I attended a panel discussion featuring cartoonist who wrote about important political and ethical issues.  I was there primarily to see Trina Robbins; a prolific feminist writer, who I had met at the Authors dinner party the night before.  I had found a natural bond with Trina (also a spitefully, delightful senior) when we realized we were both carrying Wonder Woman purses. (Trina was the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic).  The other panalist were also waving their liberal flags…Erin Nations, a transgender man who bravely writes the comic series Gumballs, which speaks on transgender issues, and MK Czerwiec a nurse, who writes comics for the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 is about her time spent working with HIV patients in the 90’s.     Way to go Little Rock, for bringing in writers (and cartoonist) who are rocking the real word!

After listening to the panelist I headed out to the river walk again, this time to do some work.  I made my way down to the Clinton Presidential Park Wetlands, where I did a bit of earth magic.  Singing/toning to the wildlife and water itself.  If your interested in seeing what I did, go check out my Facebook Live video on my page Sali Crow.  I delighted in seeing the abundance of turtles in the water (I saw at least 50), and the biggest bat-house I have ever seen.  I continued down the river, stopping periodically to sing to the Earth and place crystals here and there (I placed some in other metropolitan areas as well).

All in all, my trip south was a refreshing view of Americans.  Almost all of the local Arkansasians said the same thing “There is a strong current that runs below the surface of most Arkansasians”.  They are in general, or at least the folks I met, more open-minded than I ever imagined, and genuinely interested in meeting people.  The highlights I will keep securely in my mind are those of meeting Russel, and his open-hearted soul, and of Mary taking me on a journey without even blinking an eye.   Thanks for shedding some southern charm on this Northern girl.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

 

Sacred Travel…Between the Worlds [Sound Healing & Deprivation Chambers]

While in Connecticut, I got the opportunity to try Float Therapy.  It was something I had been wanting to do for about a year, after first hearing of it while I was in Milwaukee.  Float Therapy is a sensory deprivation experience in which you float in an Epsom salt bath in a blackened room, wearing silicone earplugs.  In short, I loved it!  The experience, however, deserves a bit more explanation…

I was in Connecticut to do a Spirit Gallery and Book discussion for the CT state Tax Collectors, something I had been having fun talking about for the last few months.  After all, it was an unlikely thing that Tax Collectors would hire a Psychic Medium to be part of their annual conference, but such is my life…filled with the wyrd and unusual.  The time I spent with the Tax Collectors was truly beautiful.  They were an open-hearted group of people, eager to expand their understanding of the unseen world.  This alone was worth the trip!

I had planned to stay in Connecticut for an additional day, before taking a plane to Florida as I wanted time to work on the land & water in Long Island Sound, as Earth Healing is a passion of mine.  When I discovered that the resort (The Water’s Edge) was a beachfront property I knew I would need an extra day, so that I could spend time in the morning doing Geomancy (earth healing) & sacred singing to the Genius Locus/Spirit of Place that was Long Island Sound.

As I set up my crystal grid on the empty beach (the benefits of being there in March) I felt the land reaching out to me.  I recognized the ancient rhythm of the land, something seldom heard by the busy throngs of people that populate the sound.  I opened myself to spirit and sang from my soul. (You can find a Facebook live video of this on my personal page Sali Crow).  I was moved by the energy there and could sense the energetic vibration of the Native Americans who had once called this land their home.  I felt a deep sadness for the lack of awareness most people carry within them, which shifted as I remembered the room of Tax Collectors I had spoken to the night before.  Times are changing I heard in my mind, people are waking up, we can make a difference.

This experience would have been grand enough on its own to fill my need for Sacred Adventure, but I knew more lay ahead for me.  For I had booked appointments for myself and my husband for Float Therapy later in the day.  After are time on the beach we hopped in the car and set up the GPS, only to find that the spa we were heading to was not in the same town as us, but 2 hours away in the wrong direction.  I was totally bummed out.  I had thought I was in Westport, CT when in reality we were in West Brook, CT.  This geographical fuck-up, made my husband chuckle.  He told me he was sorry we wouldn’t be able to make the appointments, but that my ability to lose track of regular things; like what town we were in, was one of the things he loved about me.  He appreciated it as an interesting quirk that made all my Psychic abilities feel more balanced.  That even though I had all these amazing gifts, I still needed help with some of the more practical things in life.

To say I was disappointed was an understatement.  Instead of Float Therapy, I was heading to the pharmacy to pick up antihistamines for my Florida time (orange blossoms due me in).  After leaving the pharmacy we decided to take the rural routes to Hartford and see what we found along the way.  A few miles into the drive I just started googling Float Therapy in CT and found a place 20 minutes away on the road we were on.  Better yet we could get 1.5 hours for the same price as an hour in the first location.  When I called they had availability for the both of us as soon as we could get there.  I felt a deep connection to the sea and the sound again, and couldn’t help but think that the strands of Wyrd (fate) that made up my life, had woven me a better pattern; after all, I really wanted to do 1.5 hours not 1.

When we arrived at the spa we left our shoes at the door and were shown into private rooms which held a shower and a deprivation chamber.  The deprivation chamber was quite large.  The ceiling of it was large enough to stand in, and it’s length and width were big enough that you could stretch out without touching the walls.  The water itself was only about 10” deep and filled with Epsom salt & peroxide.

After showering you got into the chamber (naked), shut the door and settled yourself in the water.  The Epsom salt & peroxide in the water making it almost impossible to stay sitting up, and easy for you to float.  The water and air are body temperature, something that makes it easy to lose track of what part of your body is in water and what is not.  There are lights that are easy to find in the darkness that illuminates the tub and the ceiling above in a pleasant blue, for those who do not feel comfortable with complete deprivation of the senses.  I did turn them on at one point just to see what the experience was like with light.  It was still good, but I wanted the darkness and complete deprivation.

Within a few moments, I was losing track of my body and found that I would drift off and come back in a rhythmic pattern.  The longer I was in the water the further into my mind I would go, and the less connected to my body I felt.  The first time my body drifted over to one of the sides and my finger touched the tub wall, I was slightly startled, to be quickly back in my body…but only momentarily.  The word startled may be a bit much as it was more like stepping out of a dream for a few moments, before drifting off again.

The only sound I could hear was the sound of my breath, something I periodically engaged with.  There were a few moments of discomfort for me, as I am someone who can go so far into trance that I develop a form of sleep apnea and stop breathing for a short second.  I have done this periodically throughout my life, so I was not scared, I just returned to consciousness for a few moments and connected to my breath, until I drifted off again.  This is not told to scare you, but to let you know how deeply relaxing the experience is.  The trance apnea as I like to call it is not really that common, but something I have experienced my entire life.  It does not scare me, it is more of a reminder…”Hey Sali, you are still in your body remember it needs to breath”.

The feeling of floating in complete darkness at body temperature, while the only sound you hear is your own breathing is reminiscent of the womb, and the feeling of spaciousness & timelessness is truly remarkable.  I would highly recommend Float Therapy.  That being said, if you are claustrophobic, or not comfortable with your own mind, you may want to hesitate.  It is truly a sacred journey.

I had completely lost track of time, and new this was ok.  Music would gently startup for the last 5 minutes of the session to let you know it was time to get out and come back to reality.  Shortly before this time, I decided I wanted to play with the deprivation a bit, control what experience I had.  So I started to tone (sacred singing) at such a low volume that it would most likely sound like a murmur above the water.  But in the water and darkness with silicone earplugs in, the sound was experienced on a vibrational level throughout my whole body.  It moved through me and filled me with energy (something I carried throughout the entire day, to the point that my husband compared it to sleeping next to an active battery).  The other interesting thing about experiencing the sound of my toning in such a manner as I could see the vibrations in my mind’s eye as well as hear them and feel them.  It was interesting to see how some sounds that appeared solid when I tone normally, were actually more of a quick rhythmic pattern…with short pauses throughout the elongated sound.  This is something I want to explore more in depth and will be searching out Float Therapy closer to home.

After exiting the deprivation chamber, and showering off the Epsom salt mix, I felt deeply relaxed and energized at the same time.  However, I was ready for some espresso, to ground me solidly into form.

I write this from Florida, sitting in the quiet morning sunlight of my in-law’s house. My time here I short, filled with Seances, Readings and Book signings, but I am thankful for the 70+ degree weather, and the green I see out the window.  I will be searching out Float Therapy when I return back to Vermont.  Thanks for reading folks.

Spreading love-salicrow

 

 

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…There be Giants in the North [the giant’s causeway]

I spoke earlier about my journey up Sleive Gullion; the most sacred mountain in Ireland, in my previous blog, now I will speak of my second experience with land sacred to Giants…the Giants Causeway.

When I take part in Sacred Travel, I am careful not to over-plan, as I am aware that the hidden gems lay in the hand of the locals.  That being said, there were two items on my list for Northern Ireland…Sleive Gullion & the Giants Causeway.

Traveling in early September is ideal for missing out on long lines at popular spots, that are considered national landmarks, as long as you are OK with a bit of unpredictable weather.  Me, I do just fine with such thing, and always remember to pack for any kind of weather…raincoat & thin parkas are advised.  There are benefits to traveling in September, such as kids going back to school, which means the crowds are a lot more manageable.

Having experienced this at Blarney Castle, where the normal wait to kiss the stone could be an hour & I was fourth in line, we decided to take our chances and drive straight to the causeway ourselves, skipping the tour bus option.

Where the first part of our travels had been by BusEireann, we were lucky enough to borrow a car from our host; the O’Hanlon family, in Dublin & the North.   (I will speak of them more in my next blog Welcomed as a Druid)   The drive from Mullagbawn; the place we called our home in the North, to the Giants Causeway was about 2.5 hours.  The path we drove was a beautiful one showing us both the mountainous countryside & the city of Belfast.

This journey showed subtle signs of ‘the Troubles’ (the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century), mostly in the form of flags.  It was easy to determine which side of the coin a community sat on, by whether they flew flags of the Republic or the Union Jack.

Like the wise-woman I am, I make it a point not to get involved in battles that have never been mine, and I never talk politics or religion with strangers…OK, well maybe religion/spirituality with strangers, but only when its business.  Generally I choose the path of love, and observation, often thinking of myself as similar to an anthropologist in such situations, I am there to watch and learn, not to judge.  I find this a good rule of life.

When we got to our destination we again were easily able to get into the park.  *I just want to state here that the parks are very reasonably priced, with the funds going to the upkeep and care of the national monuments*

Stepping out the door of the visitors center; into the park itself,  I was nearly overcome with emotion.  Like just about every sacred place I experience, I find myself with tears welling up in my eyes,and my body buzzing with energy.  Looking back on it I am filled with deep emotion, for the connection to Spirit in such places is overwhelming.

My husband humors me, and often teases me on how puppies and kittens seldom move me, but rocks and trees can bring me to tears.

The feeling I had at the Giants Causeway was one of remembrance.  It was a place known to my soul, the cliffs and ocean breeze, the stones with their hexagonal shape were familiar to me. I had been here before in another lifetime.  When moments like this come over me I find myself existing between the worlds, with timelines buffeting me like the waves of the sea.  I am both Salicrow, and more.  I am walking in the present and the past simultaneously.

We had received the hand held device; like all the other tourist, that were suppose to tell us something of the history, at various stops along the way.  But we soon found that to be a waste, as neither my husband nor myself cared much for the tutorial.  I for one, was there to experience the water, stone and nature beings that called the place home.

Even in the quiet season, there were still hundreds of people there, but I was able to find a space on the rocks that was not populated by others.  It helps that I was raised in the White Mountains, and joke about being part billy-goat, able to nimbly find my footing in rough terrain.

Finding my spot, I set out my offerings and opened myself to the Genius Locus/the Spirit of Place.  I sang my spirit song to the rock beings, the Giants of the Causeway, and to the ancestors of the land who had tread there long before the buses and multi-racial people populated it’s stones.   You can find some video footage of me singing there on my Facebook page, unfortunately I forgot my microphone at home, and the wind was pretty intense often drowning my voice out.  

The work that brought me to the Giants was that of welcoming them to the table, calling them forward to share their strength in these trying times.  For I often see myself as an ambassador to the Spirit realm, finding myself traveling about on tasks set before me by god/goddess/universe.   I do this work because I am a communicator, able to speak not only to the Spirits of the Dead, but to those of Nature.  As a Druid this is my role, one I was given by Spirit shortly before my graduation at Stone Hedge.

Laying on my back on a very large stone in the woods of Dreamland (the land in Vermont that I did my Druid training on), I was seeking my role as a Druid.  What was it I was meant to do?  How could I best serve the Earth, particularly in these trying times of climate change and over population?  The answer had come to me quickly…I was to be a communicator.  I often refer to myself as being similar to Deanna Troi in Star Trek, the Next Generation.  My work is that of understanding, and perceiving.  I come to the table without judgement, I do not expect other beings to have the same rules of engagement as myself, and I understand that sentience is not limited to the arrogance of human beings.

Look carefully for the face beside of me

Meeting with the Giants was a lot softer then one might expect.  They had known of my coming, as I had connected to others of their kind before in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and to cousins of theirs in Iceland.

I do not begin to understand what will happen at the table in which I believe all beings are being called to, I simply am there as the ambassador, giving the invitation to attend.

We are all going through these times of change.  It is not just our planet.  We alone cannot be the only players at the game, for surely by now we can see what a mess we have made of disconnecting ourselves from the spirit world, and the world of nature.  Many cultures still hold great value in the unseen world, Ireland being one of them.  Many of their people still hold a strong connection to the lore of the Fae beings, to the fairies, and giants, and dryads, and in other lands the belief in  trolls, huldafolk.  It is time for us to open our senses and perceive that we have the power to make great change, but only when we see that the world is much more vast then we could ever imagine, and there are many more beings living here then the ones we see with the our eyes.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks…I will keep them coming for the next couple of days, so keep checking back to see where my journey has taken me.  I will be back in the States on the 13th of September.

spreading love-salicrow