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

 

 

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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

Sacred Travel…Releasing Expectations [walking to the Calliagh Berra’s house]

Let me start by saying my legs are killing me.  Today we walked for 6 hours; up a mountain and back, with very little breaks.  My goal when I left the house this morning was to climb to the top of Sleive Gullion, and submerge myself in the lake of the Hag; the Calliagh Berra of Irish mythology.

When I left the house, I had expected we would drive to the beginning of the trail and climb from there.  But somehow my husband got the idea in his head that we would just walk from the house we are staying at in Mullagbane, Northern Ireland.  When he said this was the plan (he is the directions guy), I immediately questioned his logic, as I could see the mountain off in the distance.  I knew it would take us an hour just to get to the trail head.  But he was insistent that this was what we should do.

Sleive Gullion is considered the most sacred mountain in Ireland.  The name means Mountain of Cuchulain.  It is the heart of an ancient volcanic chain in Northern Ireland, which is truly breath taking.  The legend around Sleive Gullion speaks of a dispute between Finn Mac Cumhail (finn mccool); an irish hero, and the Hag/Calliagh Berra.

In the story, Finn Mc Cool (an Irish hero) dives into the Calliagh Berra’s lake seeking the love of a beautiful maiden.  When he enters the lake he ages rapidly, and his hair turns white.  The feeble Finn, comes out of the water to see the fair maiden is really an old hag.  After a bit of persuasion, Finn is able to convince the Calliagh to return his youth, but she leaves his hair white.

There are some good versions of the story out there, if you have a love of mythology, simply google The Calliagh Berra’s lake.

Like most stories there is a lot more to it, then the simple trickery of the hag.  Some stories tell of Finn’s hunting dog chasing a white stag (considered a magical creature) to the edge of the lake.  In short, he crossed the witch, and she was not pleased.  I like to point out that she returned his youth, when he threatened to empty her lake, drowning all of Ireland.  To me this shows she had great care for the land, and the people of it.

My work as a Druid, and Spiritual adventurer often takes me to such places, places that others may think twice about going to.  I do not fear the Hag, for I see her as the crone…the ancient one, the one who sits at the edge of death.  She has great wisdom, and demands respect, but her gifts are powerful and filled with wisdom.

When it became clear that I would be heading to Northern Ireland on this trip, I knew that I would climb the mountain.  I was also quite convinced that I would need to submerse myself in the water of the lake, facing my fears; not of white hair, but of muck.  I truly have a repulsion/fear of mucky water.

Leaving my house for my journey up the mountain, I still held this as my truth.  I wore my bathing suit under my clothes, packed a towel and change of clothes in my bag, and mentally prepared myself to face the muck.

We had already walked for about an hour by the time we reached the trails head. The path we took was an old road, probably used as a farm road at some point.  It wound back and forth, giving us great views of the surrounding countryside and other mountains that made up the Ring of Cuchulain.  It was not particularly steep, but there were ‘poop mines’ to avoid, as sheep and cows had traveled the road as well.

We reached a gated off area, with a step over next to the gate (a small built in ladder), and crossed into what was being used as a grazing land for his animals.  It was not really a field, being mostly filled with brush and ragged looking trees. This path was more narrow, and wound back and forth, here and there, but obviously looking like a well trod trail.  After crossing the ladder/gate, and walking for about 20 minutes through said poop mines, we came to a most peculiar barricade.

On our side it looked like a downed hawthorn tree, or a heavy stack of hawthorn brush, on the other side it was pallets roped together.  I believe the barricade was designed to keep his cows in, because even cows are not stupid enough to plow through a barricade of Hawthorn (thorn is even in the name).  But me…I love Hawthorn, in fact I have Hawthorn tattooed on my left shoulder.  It is a fairy tree, and a powerful protector.

The barrier was not a deterrent to me, just as the idea of visiting the hag was not scary to me.  If you are friends with such beings, you simply know to respect their customs.

Shortly after crossing the barrier the ground exploded in color…as the hillside was literally covered in Heather in various shades of purple.  It was deliciously intoxicating, in its vibrancy and I soon began adorning my hat.

The other thing I saw of notice when we got over the barricade, was that we were still in the foothills of the mountain. At this point, I realized that the trip to visit the Calliagh Berra for me at least was one I had to earn.  It was not an easy trek, or a quick check in.

We traveled on, and finally met up with the road…yes the road.  There is a road that leads almost to the top, from a few towns over.  Taking the road gives people the option of getting a fantastic view, and if so choosing…a climb of 30 minutes to the top.  Albeit that climb is a steep one.

Where we met the road, we still had a significant walk before the actual climb, but the road was significantly more pleasant then avoiding poop mines and climbing over Hawthorn barricades.

When we got to the parking lot; at the base of the climb, we met up with other travelers.  We told them they could go ahead of us, up the goat climb of the mountain, as we would be most likely walking slow, having traveled from Mullugbane.  They were actually shocked, and might have thought we were a bit nutty.  But such is the way of a spiritual adventurer…

The last bit of the climb was a rocky, goat trail, in which you really had to watch your footing.  Stones had been made into stairs, and I did not take a lot of pictures of this part, as I was too busy watching where I tread.

When we were nearly to the top, we saw the travelers we had met in the parking lot on their way down.  We spoke for a few minutes on their short stay at the top, and I told them I planned on going into the water.  At this point we were really cold, wearing sweaters and rain coats.  They explained that it would most certainly be brisk, but little else.

About 3 more minutes into the hike, and the weather completely changed. It went from being just cold to whipping winds, low visibility, and a cold mist that chilled you to the bone.  We had reached the cloud cover.  At this point, my husband and I decided that I would be a fucking idiot to try and go into the lake, specially seeing we had a 3 hour hike back to our lodging.

By the time we reached the top, there was no way I would even consider it.  The cloud cover was so thick, that we couldn’t even see the lake, until the very end of our stay there (after spending time in the Calliagh Berra’s house), when there was a brief break in the cloud cover.

In the Calliagh Berra’s house, I made offerings.  She wanted all of the flowers I had gathered on her mountain, as well as the crystals and feathers I had already planned to bring her.  I spent time inside her home toning & singing, offering up my voice and energy, in thanks for being able to stand in her energy.

You can watch the video of me singing on my Facebook page… Singing in Calliagh Berras house

After giving our offerings, and spending time in he wild energy, we began our descent down the mountain.  At this point my husband said “Well you couldn’t go in the lake, but you needed to make a sacrifice anyways.  You had to take the long road, door to door, from our door to hers”.

This is an important factor in Sacred Travel. We can set out with the grandest of intentions, our story laid out of what we plan to do, but in the end it is a journey shared between the one who travels and the gods.  It seldom goes according to plan, it is almost always trying, and in the end it is greatly rewarding.  Perhaps I never needed to go into the muck, I just had to set out with a dedication that I would, no matter how difficult it would be for me.  It was the dedication, the willingness that matters.

Our journey was long, it had a lot of aches and discomforts, but it was something I will now hold as as a deep treasure.

We will try to get to the lake again before we leave the North, but only if weather is permitting, and we will take the car as far to the top as we can.  If I never make it into the lake, I will still know that I have been tried by the Calliagh Berra and that I succeeded.

As for today, we are off to the Giant’s Causeway…more work to be done.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Sacred Travel…It’s all about the Underwear [packing for adventure]

I got a surprise yesterday, when I realized that the 29th of September was on Tuesday, not Wednesday.  For the last week or so, I have been telling myself that I was heading back to Ireland on Wednesday, the 29th.  With this in mind, I planned a leisurely lead-up to my departure…I was going to take it slow and easy.  Who was I trying to kid?

Hennaing my hair w/my fox hat on. Last minute self-care before Sacred Travel.

I have been running on squirrel power all day, getting things in order &  shuffling the the mild chaos, that seems to appear anytime I am getting ready for spiritual adventure.

The chaos is something we must all expect, if we are going to step out of our ordinary life, and into the world of the sacred.  It’s like breaking through a wall of bullshit, that’s designed to keep us on the worn path we call normal.

I find that if one relaxes into the chaos, it can be transformed into the stuff of magic, one that weaves a story that is truly worthy of the term sacred.

Spiritual Adventure…sacred travel is something that makes my heart sing.  It is exhilarating to flow in the slipstream of reality.  My mind feels expansive and fluid and my pulse races, as I deeply connect to the truth of my existence.  When I step out of ‘my ordinary’, I step big.  I experience reality as a multi-faceted thing, in which I dance back and forth between now & then…lifetimes happening at once.

Back to getting things organized…

This journey to Ireland is deeply connected to the Morrigan; a Celtic warrior goddess of death, magic and prophesy, whom I have had a close relationship with for decades.  In fact the she is the first goddess I ever worked with, and our relationship spans more then 20 years.  She is a raven/crow, triple goddess, and she is not exactly mild mannered.

The trip she has me on, is a bit unusual.  With my husband as my traveling companion, I will be traveling here and there, about Ireland and Northern Ireland primarily by bus.  My plan is to create a trip that people could do without having to rent a car/drive on the other side of the road, and to do it relatively inexpensively.  On our journey we will be staying in various accommodations…renting a room in someones home (airbnb), staying in a downtown hotel, a hostel, and at the home of a very generous friend a clients.  We will climb mountains, visit the sea, and sacred monoliths along the way.

Seeing how we will be doing a lot of our travel by bus, my goal was to get our packing down to one carry-on piece of luggage each.  Here are some of my tips for doing so…

*wear a nice pair of boots…the right boots can be worn while trekking through the countryside & out dancing

*pack enough underwear for the entire trip…no one wants to be washing their undies in the sink half way through the trip…*choose versatile clothing…particularly in dark colors, as they hide dirt better.  go for light weight pieces that can be layered*…*one or two super-cute pieces that can be worn to for going out at night*…*go light on the accessories…wear the same jewelry the whole trip, a couple of scarves*…*wear your jacket, choose a good windbreaker*

Well, I am off for the night, going to wash the henna out of my hair and get on with the evening.  I leave tomorrow for the land of my ancestors.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Celebrating the Harvest [Lughnasadh & the Warrior Bitches]

I love the company of men.  I find them as a general rule to be straight forward, outwardly competitive, and less likely to engage in drama.  That being said, there are times in which I truly crave the isolated company of my lady friends; the warrior bitches and sacred mamas, who have seen me covered in my own tears and snot.

For years now, I have found myself congregating with my wise-women, during the heat of summer; for powerful, soul-moving work.  Work that is not filled with deep planning and bullet point schedules, but is instead more of a wild-rumbus of magic, emotions, and intoxication.  We come together to let our hair down, (or plate it into viking braids), have late night conversations by the light of a campfire, and to engage in the wildness of magic…the kind that oozes from one’s soul, when we are truly in sync with the universe and the natural world.

When it comes to magic of manifestation, I am not one for large crowds, and find myself put off by the glut of retreat weekends offered up.  Not because I think they have no value, but more because I struggle to let down my guard when the numbers are high, and the people are not intimately connected.  As a Psychic I often find myself overwhelmed in large groups, and immediately switch into the role of teacher/facilitator/counselor, making such weekends feel less about myself, and more about others.  I feel the people who are holding back,  the ones who are trying to hard, and the ones who are just barely holding themselves together, and I step into the role of caretaker.  This takes away from my ability to focus on myself, and my personal work.

We must take time to know ourselves, and to cater to the needs of our soul.  Lughnasadh for me is such a time.

Lughnasadh is the first of 3 harvest holidays in the Celtic Wheel of the year.  (The Celtic Wheel of the Year consist of 8 holidays, equally spread out through the solar year) Celtic Wheel of the Year.  Lughnasadh on a personal level is a celebration of the abundance of life, and the hopes and wishes of what is still in store.  It is a time to step boldly into ones dreams, and reach for ones desires, while consciously being aware and thankful for all that we have received thus far.  It is time of high-magic and potent manifestation.

I want magic to be tangible, titillating, and filled with wild abandon.  I want to release myself to the Spirits of Nature, and be ridden by the bliss of an open Kundilini (complete chakra system).  I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that the person standing next to me has my back, knows the value of holding secrets that are not theirs, and is also willing to ride the rapids of their dreams.  I know it seems like a lot to ask, but it is not impossible.

It begins with intention, with the thoughts and desires to find and create such a community for oneself.  The feeling of trust is necessary, for how are we to speak of our desires, goals and dreams while they exist in the vulnerable place of becoming, if we do not trust those we work with.  Just like a newborn child, we must be careful who we entrust with the safety of that which we seek to manifest.  We do not need know them for years on end, but we must know in our soul that they are worthy of such a duty.

Finding deep friendships, and feeling secure enough to let your wyrd out, is invaluable.  In truth it does not require that participants should or shouldn’t be of the same sex as you.  It has nothing to do with that at all.  I just happen to like the feeling of empowerment that a group of ladies generate, when they come together as their bad-ass selves.  Specially since I am a person who prides myself on not-doing manual labor.  This is where I make the exception.  I put up my own tent, I carry my own shit, I do all the things I prefer to let my husband do, and I do it in style.

When we step outside of our every day self…the self who likes a soft bed, and appreciates cooking in a kitchen with running water, lights, and a nice stove, we invite ourselves to become more.  We are ignited by the flame of adventure, and find we are capable of more then we believe possible.  The chill of the air, the layers of clothing, the roots poking up lightly under our yoga mat/sleeping bag, are all reminders to not get ‘too comfortable’, to stay aware, and to open our mind to the unseen.

This years weekend was all that I needed, and hoped for.  The group has changed over the years, expanding and contracting to accommodate those who can and cannot make it.  But the work remains essentially the same.  We gather in hopes of fueling our dreams, and expanding our consciousness.  We gather to support one another, and to step intentionally further onto our paths.

As a Druid and priestess of the Earth, much of my time was spent hugging trees, melding into rocks, and traveling astrally into holes in the ground & openings in the rock.  I go into the forest to meet with the Fae Folk, the Spirits of Nature whom I consider friends and teachers.  This weekend gave me ample time to do so, as we explored path ways in the Notch (Crawford Notch) that I had never been on.  I found myself preparing for my trip to Northern Ireland, by meeting with stone beings/giants and reacquainting myself with those I had met before.

I know the idea of talking to Fairies, Trolls, and Giants can seem a bit far fetched.  But only if you are imagining with Hollywood eyes.  These beings exist in different dimensions then we do.  They vibrate on different frequencies, and one must be open to experience them.  Over the years my ability to do so has expanded, just as my ability to speak to the Dead has done so.  The longer I do it, the more places I wonder, the more magic I see present in the world, the more beings I come to know as friends.

I find this to be important, as we are living in changing times.  Times when the old ways of magic, and divination are returning.   Expansion of consciousness is not just happening to those who seek it, but to those who stumble onto it as well.  In truth it is far easier to assimilate to if we believe and accept.  Our struggle with the term ‘reality’ can cause many a problems for the masses.

In the light of dusk on the last night of our weekend, we found our way into a cave in the rocks.  It is a cave I have visited many times, one that has expanded physically over the years.  What once could hold only two people close together, now holds 5 comfortably.  Its expansion has been a thing of wonder to me, for it truly has grown both energetically and physically with use.  In the darkness, and light of a small fire we spoke that which we meant to manifest into becoming.  We connected to the nature beings that surrounded us, and opened ourselves into timelessness…we surrendered to the universe, got out of our way and became co-creators of our reality.

The rock walls around us vibrated, and pulsated with the energy generated by our voices and the solid beat of the drum.  We became one with the moment of becoming, and let go…knowing that we had just impregnated something fantastic.  We had seeded our dreams.  The days leading up to the moment in the cave, were as important as the moment itself.  For they were the building blocks, the invitations, and the call to arms necessary to step onto the path of the Spiritual Warrior.  It was an exceptional moment of Spirit, and we were ready.

I know that which I have planted, must be tended.  I cannot now forget it as it is still in need of tending.  But that being said, I have full faith that my work is potent, and that which I seek to create is beautiful, powerful, and filled with integrity.  I give thanks for the blessings of Lughnasahd, the first harvest.

LUGHNASAHD actually takes place on August 1st, so you have not missed the deadline.  For those of you looking to create something magical yourselves this harvest here is a quick do it yourself idea.

YOU WILL NEED- a small fire (candle, campfire, raging bonfire, etc), a piece of paper and pen, any sacred items you like (crystals, feathers, holy symbols, etc), your voice.

Start by creating fire, as you do so welcome in your ancestors  and imagine you are surrounded by a white light of protection. Sit comfortably in front of it and pick up your paper and pen.  Make a list of that which you are seeking to become.  If you are seeking self empowerment, examples may be…more confidence, find my voice, stand tall, value my intuition, etc.

With the list in hand, begin chanting your own name.  You can elongate the vowels and turn your toning into more of a sacred song, or keep it short and sweet, building momentum over time.  Hold onto your paper as you do so.  Gaze into the fire, and let yourself relax into its light.  Keep your vision soft, paying attention to that which appears in your peripheral vision.  Continue chanting your name for at least 10 minutes.  As you do so, imagine you are charging up the paper which you hold in your hands, charging up the dreams you hold.

When the energy feels full, stop…hold onto the energy and speak the words written on the paper aloud, with the force of fact.  Then burn the paper, letting the words and intention go to the universe, where they begin their becoming.

Thank your ancestors, and close your protective circle.

Know that you must continue to tend your dreams, in order to grow them.  Your magic is simply fertile ground, it aids in growth, but work is also necessary.  We must care for and nurture that which we aspire to.  We must believe in our dreams and work toward them, if we want to see them ripen.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks. Now go out and embrace your wild self, and make some magic!

 

spreading love-salicrow

Sacred Travel…Reflections of Self [California dreaming, part 2…Mount Shasta]

The road is a place of contemplation for me, in which I experience myself from outside the box of everyday reality.  Traveling brings me closer to the essence of ‘I am’, stripped raw of the trappings of comfort and routine.  In many ways travel is essential to my being, as I count on it for deeper understanding of self.  My ancestors were Travelers, Gypsies of the Irish kind…Tinkers, and Pikeys, they spent their lives traveling from one place to another in fancy wagon houses, selling their wares.

I often think about my great-great grandfather; who traveled from Ireland to the United States, leaving his wagon behind for a little house in the hills of Vermont.  I think of him, when I am traveling about the back roads, and highways, of my home and abroad.  I feel a kinship to him, and his kin, a feeling of likeness.  Although, I have lived in the same house for almost 20 years (my husbands doing), I need to go, be and explore, in order to feel whole.  Some of these travels are close by, and some are not.  But no matter the distance, I rely on the travel to show me who I am, and where I am going.

My trip to California was like most of my travels, a spiritual thing.  This journey was different then others in the fact that myself and my fellow travelers agreed that we would be open & guided by Spirit.  We did not allow for wrong turns to enter our mind space.  This did not mean we were never off the planned course, it simply meant a decision was made, that whatever direction we were taken was the right one.  There is something absolutely freeing about such travel, for one it means you avoid the whole pissed off, I’m late mentality.

We decided in the air, flying into L.A., that we would be heading North to Mount Shasta (10.5 hours north), something I do not regret in the least.  As we had arrived in Shasta when I last blogged, it is where I shall pick up.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta (Úytaahkoo or “White Mountain) is a well known Sacred destination.  At an elevation of 14,179 feet, it is an ear-popping drive through a mountain path of deep green.  I was in awe!  The terrain of the mountain path reminded me of the Lord of the Rings, it was magnificent and daunting at the same time, moving me both emotionally, and spiritually.  Driving up the winding mountain road, I knew that I was connecting with something powerful and not completely explainable.  Known for it’s powerful vortexes (spiraling Earth energy centers), and the lava flowing deep in it’s core, it is a force to be acknowledged.

The seclusion, lack of people, and energetic feel of lava running below the surface, were reminiscent of Iceland.  There was something primal about the place, as if the elements were somehow more alive, their presence making up for the lack of human energy.  I love such places!  I love how they expand my consciousness, demanding that I use all of my senses to properly see my surroundings.

We stayed in Shasta for 2 nights, not a whole lot of time, but long enough to know that I will go back someday in the near future.  Our home for the stay was a 1970’s style chalet-style Motel, called the Alpine Lodge.  It was a cute mini-apartment with 3 queen beds and a kitchenette.  the yellow and orange interior was highlighted by a wall mural of trees, which made myself and my traveling companions instantly fall in love.  We love the odd & unusual, and the fact that there was a fantastic coffee shop just across the street, capable of satiating my love of espresso.

On our first night in Shasta we decided we should introduce ourselves to the Spirits of the Place, and did so by journeying in our minds through drumming and vocal toning.  This was a powerful experience for us all, and we found ourselves connecting  individually to different aspects of the mountain.  My sister Sandy found herself within the hollow spaces of the mountain, deep inside one of the caves that open within the mountains peak.  She found herself remembering her previous journey there, almost 10 years ago.  My friend Missy found herself connecting to something that would not make sense until the following day, and I connected to energetic beings made of light.

Now, I understand the idea of ‘light beings’ may make some people feel uncomfortable, and send their mind searching for the safe bounds of known reality. Some may even begin questioning whether the person telling the story is sane,  or has suddenly drank the conspiracy theory Kool-aid.  But once again, I will remind you that you are reading the blog of a person who makes their living talking to the Dead, and frequently goes on about their experiences with Nature Spirits.  In the telling of this tale, I am as always deeply centered in my reality.

Connecting with extra-terrestrial/extra-dimensional beings is not an uncommon conversation, when discussing Mount Shasta.  Look it up on line, and you will find many, many, many tales of encounters with such beings.  The other thing you will find is stories of Big Foot, and unexplained beings in the woods.  You may want to believe that all of the people telling the tales are a bit looney, but then again, you may want to ask yourself whether you truly believe we are the only sentient beings in the Universe.

My experience as I said, is my reality, and I experienced a channeling with multiple (I believe 3) light beings.  This was something I did aloud, similarly to how I speak with the Spirits of the Dead.  My sister Sandy asked most of the questions, as I worked as translator for those choosing to make contact with us.  The message we received was around the importance of sound and light, in particularly when it came to healing the planet and land.  Now they were not suggesting that we just say fuck it, and be gluttonous pigs,  wasting precious resources, without a care in the world, because hey all we need to do is sing and spread some light around.  They were instead speaking of how sound, in particular, effects the living world.  This was something I immediately felt as truth, as I have been working as a Sound Healer for the last 15 years, and spend a whole lot of time singing the sacred songs of place.

They spoke of how they, like the beings of Nature were deeply concerned for our world and species in this time of great transition, how we needed to become more aware of the living world around us, and step fully into the sacredness of life.  The visitation was brief, lasting about 20 minutes, but in that time, I felt as if I had received a lot of information in a short period of time, like a computer downloading files, and that it would be quite some time, before I had fully acclimated the knowledge they shared.

The next day when we woke, it was obvious that Missy was not completely balanced.  Sandy and I noticed that she was off, when she came stumbling out of the bedroom, grunting and grumbling like a bear just out of hibernation.  We asked if she was OK, and she explained that she was not sure what was going on, but felt like she had been connecting to something all night long.

Just after doing some sound healing @ the Crystal Matrix shop in Shasta.

That morning after breakfast we headed into town, to check out a Crystal shop that had caught Sandy and Missy’s eye the night before, when they had gone searching for groceries.  The shop ‘The Crystal Matrix Gallery’ was filled with wonders, as it quickly became apparent that most of the crystals were awake, and many of them seemed to be sentient, or carrying a connection to other beings.  The shop owner had worked with Crystals for over 30 years, and was clearly making a living selling crystals because he had to, it was his life’s work.  By that I mean, he felt a love for the Crystals and the beings connected to them, he was a steward of the rock people, a keeper and handler of the mineral kind.

The Dragonstone

Within moments of being in the store, the first crystal of our journey had been found.  A double terminated amber colored, smokey quartz, with a whole lot of activity going on inside of it.  It was a powerful piece, and we all felt it was connected to the Earth Healing work we had been called to California to do.  The second piece was more personal, and explained the odd behavior and imbalance Missy had been displaying all morning.  It was a dark opaque stone, that fit comfortably in ones palm.  It was covered in markings that looked like ancient writing, only the markings had not been made by man.  The stone appeared to be a form of tektite (molten debris from meteorites), but there was definitely a presence connected to it.  It was said to be the thymus gland of a dragon.  Now here again, I know this sounds woo-woo, and hokey, but whether you believe it was the actual gland of a being, or simply a stone, it held tremendous presence, and a hefty price tag. 

My view on Dragons goes the same way as as all otherworldly beings.  There is something at the base of all the folk lore, it may not be as grand or magical as the stories have portrayed it, but life seldom is.  The other piece I would add here, is the mummified dinosaur found in Canada,pretty much in tact, certainly does resemble our fictitious imagery of dragons.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/06/dinosaur-nodosaur-fossil-discovery/

What was most remarkable was the way in which Missy and the stone connected to one another.  The spirit residing in the stone, and Missy’s aura both extended outward, as if reaching for one another.  No matter the price tag, it was obvious she would not be leaving the store without the stone.

We left the store, with both the amber-colored, smokey quartz, and the dragon stone, as well as a few smaller stones I felt compelled to purchase.  I was amazed at how many of the stones in this particular shop were connected to beings.  This does not mean the beings were trapped in the stones, simply that the stones were an access point for connection.  I have a handful of sentient stones in my possession, some of them holding the essence of the stone itself, and some holding connection to other beings; working like a walky-talky to the other world.

After our experience with the stones in the Crystal Matrix, we headed out for a day trip to Paradise, CA to visit our father’s best friend.  This was not an option, this was something my Dad had been actively working on, the entire trip so far.  It was important, as we had not had a chance to connect with Mark, since my fathers passing 4 years ago.  It was a healing time for him and us, as we spent the day reminsicing; telling stories of the wild and crazy antics of my father & his best friend/soul mate Mark.

The trip to Paradise was not particularly remarkable in a spiritual way, but the trip back most certainly was.  After leaving Marks home, and heading back to Shasta I noticed a Sun Dog in the sky.  A Sun Dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to the left and/or right of the Sun.  Sun Dogs are rare, and most often you see only bright spot, either to the left or right of the sun.  I have seen them before, and know that symbolically they are a sign that big change is near.  It is seen as a blessing or a sign that luck is with you in such times.  The Sun Dog we saw coming back from Paradise was remarkable in more than one way.  Firstly, it was a complete circle around the sun, with bright sun spots to the left, right, and above the sun, and a rainbow outline encompassing it.  Secondly, it was remarkable in the amount of time that it lasted.  We watched, filmed, and photographed the Sun Dog for 53 minutes.  It was breath taking, and energetically one could not help but feel as if we were being charged by it.  The experience was so phenomenal that we were soon pulling out our crystals; particularly the amber-colored, smokey quartz that had already made it obvious to us, that it was solar powered.

We arrived home (at the Alpine Lodge) late that evening, feeling as if we had been through some kind of attunement.  Both to the Crystals we had purchased, and the Sun Dog in the sky.  We remarked at the other amazing things we had seen on our way back to Shasta; such as the strange cloud formations over the mountain itself.

The next day we began our day, at the same coffee shop (Seven Sun’s Cafe), and then headed back to the Crystal Matrix for some Sound Healing.  We knew we needed to do sound work in Shasta, and also knew it would happen in multiple places.  The first; the crystal shop, was truly amazing.  The owner had an ancient singing bowl, that had been attuned to the energy of Sekemet (an Egyptian Goddess), and I was eager to combine my voice with its.  The toning there was amazing, as we were surrounded by high-energy crystals, at the base of the summit to Mount Shasta.  This experience was only the first of 3 major sound spots that day.

Water blessings for the new stones…lots of water Spirits in the headwaters of the Sacremento.

Annointing my third-eye, with the water of the Sacramento Headwaters.

The second stop, was the headwaters of the Upper Sacremento River, where the Undines (water Spirits) are remarkably present.  I sang to them, as I submerged stone after stone, into the icy waters.  The headwaters come from deep within Mount Shasta itself, each drop charged by the volcanic and vortex energy of the place.  The crystal clear water, travels from the glacial peaks, through underground lava tubes, before exiting into the light of day. The location of  headwaters is easily accessed, as it is part of a city park, that anyone can go to without charge.

The third stop, was the mountain itself.  We drove our car as far up the mountain road as we could…which was still quite a ways from the summit.  We stopped when the snow prohibited us from traveling any further, the road blocked by over 6 feet of snow.   At this point we turned around, and headed back a short distance; away from the crazy hikers/climbers, where we could sit with the silence of the mountain and sing the soul song of the land.

80 degrees, and 6 feet of snow, this is roads end for Mount Shasta until mid summer.

Elevation 6950′, as high as we could go in our sandals and flip flops.

This last stop, the one nearly to the top of the mountain, was humbling and awe inspiring.  When you sing the song of the land, you are not simply harmonizing…you are connecting/channeling the voice of the land itself, the Spirit of Place/Genius Locus, reverberates through you, filling you with the essence that is the place.  Mount Shasta is a powerful healer, one that I know will call me back, again & again; like Glastonbury Tor, and the Western Shores of Ireland, it holds a connection to my being.  In our brief meeting, we became family.  The Spirit of Place that is Shasta, is kindred to me…we belong!

I hope you enjoyed the read, that it pushed on the corners of your personal reality, and made you think on the world differently.  We are living in changing times, and many of the things we believed impossible are now proving us wrong.  I do not claim to know the secrets of the Universe, but I do believe there are wonders yet to be experienced in the greater world and in our own back yards.  When we approach the planet as a sentient being, and give ourselves over to the unknown, we expand our consciousness and become more.  Travel for me is a vessel of such change, but the magic of travel can come onto you whether you have traveled thousands of miles, or only a few blocks.

spreading love-salicrow

SACRED TRAVEL…Guided by Spirit [California Dreaming part 1. LA-Mount Shasta]

Sacred travel is not a predictable thing.  It by nature is fluid and spontaneous, led by the intuition and an openness to explore.  Unlike vacation, it does not come with perfect accommodations, gourmet meals and neatly arranged outings.  It is a thing of wonder!

A few months back, when winter was still fully in possession of the north, my sister Sandy and I began planning our spring travel.  Our plan was to teach Earth Magic in Milwaukee in the beginning of the month, and then spend the end of the month teaching about parallel lives/past lives in LA & Carlsbad.  As the plan emerged from the ether of our minds, we other magical bits starting presenting themselves, and our simple business/teaching trip soon turned into a grand adventure that would involve 2 weeks in California.  The first working, the second doing deep Earth Magic in Joshua Tree, deep in the Mojave desert.  The second part of the trip was in fact the real work, and involved 13 friends and spiritual allies heading into the desert to do sound healing.

A few weeks before we were to head to California, the ‘work’ part of our trip began to fall away.  First the folks in LA seemed unable to host an event.  This at first bothered me, as they were the reason we were heading in that direction.  They had asked us to come, and only after tickets were bought and plans were made, realized that they could not make it happen.

Now in moments like this, it is easy to get discouraged, to be pissed and start doing a hissy-fit dance.  But it was clear by this point, that we needed to be there.  There was never any thought of not going, or of changing how long we would be there, simply an understanding that we had work to do on the west coast.  This same feeling came to the surface, when our second host, the one in Carlsbad told us days before we were flying out, that they had not been able to follow through on their end.

When we boarded the plane, we were still up in the air on where we were going when we got to California.  We decided, that we would decide while in the air where it was we were suppose to go.  We had place mat markers of where we needed to be, but none of those were relevant until  early next week.  Our first 4 days of the trip were open, and itching for Spiritual guidance.

By the time we landed in LA, we knew that we would not be heading south to Carlsbad, instead we would be taking an 10 hour drive north, to Mount Shasta.  This was not a random; close your eyes and point at any place on the map, kind of decision, but instead it was a knowing that we all experienced.  One that came in boldly.  For me, it was a feeling of calling that I experienced any time I looked at the in-flight map.  I would see the dot in the northern part of California, and the name Shasta, and I would feel drawn to it.

Mount Shasta is a holy mountain, one that holds the making of pilgrimage.  Known for it’s powerful vortex energy, it is a place of high earth energy, a place where one can go to heal themselves and to do direct healing toward the Earth.  (I will write more about Shasta in the next few days, after I have spent some time exploring here).

Getting to Shasta was an adventure of it’s own, as we; my traveling companions (my sister Sandy and our friend Missy), and I, are very open to intuitive travel, and following the path that Spirit presents us with.  This kind of travel is best done with a destination in mind, but a very loose idea on how long it will take you to get there, and a sense of wonderment.  Intuitive travel means there are no wrong turns, and every place you land is an opportunity to connect with Spirit.

Leaving LA was like escaping prison.  First of all, I must be completely honest…this city did nothing for me.  I felt an instant desire to leave it, yet the city itself is a powerful vortex of energy, that really doesn’t want you to leave.

Our first experience with wacky travel and leaving LA was connected to our GPS.  No matter what we typed into it, it wanted to take us back to the car rental shop.  So we tried using the GPS’s on our phones, and this happened again, and again.  We finally got ourselves out of the city, and the GPS’s to behave at least a little bit, and started heading up the coastal highway, believing that we would travel most of the way with the beautiful Pacific Ocean as our traveling guide.  That too proved incorrect.

 

After driving for hours, mostly along the coast, Missy who was driving suddenly said “I am not sure how this happened, but I do not believe we are on Route 1 anymore.” This did not alarm us, but instead made us ask “Well, where do you suppose we are, and where are we headed?”

Again our GPS’s were of no help.  In fact, they obviously had no idea where we were.  While accessing our GPS’s (more then one), we would often find that it believed us to be in other places on the continent…including Nebraska, Maryland, and the south western tip of Mexico.  We did not seem to be track-able.

When we finally got one of the GPS’s to acknowledge our actual location, we found we had gone inland.  We plotted a new course and continued forward, not wanting to turn around and come back the way we came.  This was not a disappointment.

Shortly after going through a bum-fuck town in California we found ourselves entering a canyon.  It was breath taking.  The road wove like a snake down and around the mountains, into the valley deep below.  It was a God moment, and exceptional moment of Spirit, when the universe took our breath away.

Sandy communing with the sun, above the Canyon.

Wild shrub Sage

We drove for hours after the canyon, so thankful for the beauty we had experienced.  We relished in the memory of the sound we had created when toning on the top of the canyon, as people drove by waving @ the crazy women singing and laughing, as they stood on the edge of the canyon on a tiny pull off.

That night we landed at a roadside hotel, thankful for hot showers and the gift of being alive.  We set up our altar, with a crystal grid and powerful bits that were sacred to us as individuals and as a traveling band of gypsies.  We gave thanks to our ancestors, particularly mine and Sandy’s dad, who was ecstatic to have us in California; a state he lived in for almost 30 years.

The next day/yesterday, we woke and set intentions…mine was to get to Mount Shasta that night, which we did.  In moments like these, I generally like to be behind the wheel.  So I drove the 10 hours or so North to get us there.

Mount Shasta

Well, I am off on adventure.  I will be sharing stories from the road via Facebook live, and blogging about our vortex adventures tomorrow morning, so stay tuned folks.  It’s a hell of a ride!

spreading love-salicrow