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

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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

 

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

STORIES OF SPIRIT…The Sound of Spirit [wind chimes in the corner]

It takes a lot of energy for a Spirit to audibly make noise, whether that noise be cupboards opening, floor boards creaking, or the sound of conversation in the distance.  As the Dead do not exist in the same realm/dimension as we do, they need a source of power from which to receive this energy.  Places in which Earth energy is high; where ley lines cross, are one way in which the Dead can get the energy needed to make their presence known.  Another is through the use of a Medium.

A Medium is a natural conduit for Spiritual energy, which means that Spirits can tap into their vibration, and use their residual energy to connect and communicate in this world.

A trained Medium, realizes they are in control of their energy, and often develops skills, that make it so they determine whether or not they allow their energy to be used.  This is a helpful when it comes to living a normal life.  Untrained Mediums often feel drained, and overwhelmed by the activity they experience when Spirits are around.  Being able to control the use of your energy creates boundaries, and puts the Medium in charge of when and where such contact takes place.

As someone who works regularly with the Spirit world; both that of the dead and that of nature, I prefer to be asked if my energy is going to be used.  I set aside time, and go into my working with intention.  This helps me to feel centered, and gives me the ability to tune-out unwanted visitors.  When working I want to be connected to Spirit and often allow my energy to be utilized, as long as it is not misused.  I have boundaries and time limits.  I treat the Spirits like all other sentient beings I encounter; with respect and compassion, and I expect them to treat me the same.

Toning in Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel, UK (photo credit-Dinysio)

When I open myself to Spirit, I am not doing so blindly.  I am doing so through trained methodology, one that is laden with protection, and guardianship.  The Spirits who make up my personal team, provide me with assurance I am safe, and eyes on the other side, as they are often able to see things I cannot.  There is a routine to the way I do things, a ceremonial repetition that gains strength every time I use it.  Like mantras and ritualistic prayers, my practices are infused with the energy of every time I have done so before, and every time I will do so in the future.  They are connected, each empowering the other through time and space.  This allows me to move more freely in my work, for I trust my team, and trust the work itself.

My rituals and connection to personal Spirits, grants me the freedom to be truly present and open whether I am teaching, doing a Psychic Reading, speaking to the Dead, or doing healing work.  I am open and connected in those moments, and often unusual things can happen.

One of the most remarkable things that has happened lately, involved audible sound and Spirit connection.

A few months ago, while teaching my weekly, sound meditation class, Spirit took the opportunity to emote loud and clear.  The weeks class was designed around Vocal Toning and emotion.  Toning is the use of ones voice for energetic balancing.   In short it is intuitive singing laden with intention.  If you have never experienced it before, check out the video I posted on my Facebook page  titled Salicrow, Earth Day  https://www.facebook.com/pg/salicrowpsychicmedium/videos/?ref=page_internal.

While working with our emotions and Toning, we explored how our voice sounded and vibrated differently when we held the emotions of sadness, anger, joy, and love.  At the end of the class we discussed how this felt to us, and spoke on which emotions resonated the strongest with us personally.  One of the men in the class had recently lost his wife, and was still strongly mourning her presence.  As he spoke of the emotions that effected him most, he was moved to tears.  At that moment there was the sound of wind chimes, loud and clear, from the corner of the room.  Now first of all, I have no wind chimes in my studio, nor do  I have anything that could remotely sound like chimes.  Secondly, there was no wind, stirring the room, as it was still quite cold out, and the windows were shut.  Most importantly, there was no one sitting in the area the sound came from, but we all experienced ‘hearing’ the chimes.

How does did that happen?  You may ask…

Simply put, the Spirit, the man’s wife, took advantage of the vast amount of energy we had been raising in our class, and the fact that there was a Medium in the room.  In that moment, when the energy was full, she pushed her self into the world of the living, choosing something that was very compatible with the work we were doing….Sound!

So the next time, you hear something unexplained, like a creaky floor with no one walking on it, or the sound of music coming from no where, make sure to acknowledge the sheer amount of will, and energy the Spirit is using to make contact.  In most cases those Spirits are our Beloved Dead; our ancestors, loved ones and friends, reaching out to let us know that they still stand with us, they still support us, and love us.

I appreciate your support, and hope you enjoyed the read.  Please feel free to pass it around to those who it may benefit.

spreading love-salicrow

 

 

Stories of Spirit…Take me to Church [finding the sacred when our heart is hurting]

I am a person who yearns for personal connection to Spirit.  I cannot get enough of it, and often find myself basking in the euphoria of opening myself to god/goddess/source.  I do this wherever I go, and find that it keeps me balanced and deeply centered throughout my life.  This connections is something that is available to us all, and can take place wherever we are.  That being said, it is easier for people to recognize this feeling when they are in a place of beauty, and they are holding the energy of reverence.

I am not a religious person, but I am a highly spiritual one.  I do not go to church, and I do not actually care much for public ceremony.  Yet I crave the sanctity and solace that such places offer.  I love the feeling of sacred that settles onto me, whether I am sitting in a temple, or walking in the forest.  Trees, rivers, sea caves, and stone outcroppings remind me of the beauty and creativity, that exist in this world of ours.  They remind me that my life, and experiences are no more then a raindrop in the ocean of existence.  The woes that I carry and the achievements I celebrate are fleeting…the world will go on without me.

There is a lot of pain in the world right now; people are struggling and unsure.  We fear turning on the news, and brace ourselves for the atrocities we will see there.  We question our personal security, and push down the panic that rises up, when we think of what the future holds.  The pain being felt is not simply a personal thing, created by the obstacles of our lives, it is the accumulation of sorrow, being bounced around the world, like a super sonic, ping-pong ball.  As it moves, it picks up debris…the emotions of the masses, and adds that to its bounce every time it lands.

As I have said before,  I believe we are going through a Psychic Evolution.  Which simply means we, as a species are becoming more aware.  We are perceiving with more than our 5 basic senses, and due to this fact, our consciousness is expanding.  The trouble is, most of us don’t know what to do with it.  We know that we are more sensitive, that we seem to feel the emotions of others, and that a lot of unexplained wyrdness seems to be happening.  But we don’t know how to take care of ourselves in this time of transition.

First of all we need to stop being busy for the sake of being busy.  We need to stop eating up every moment of our day with things we need to do.  When did life become so complicated?  When did kids start needing to have activities every day of the week, in order to be happy?  And are they actually happy with all those obligations?  And what about you?  Are you happy?  Do you feel more connected and whole?

As I have said earlier, I am not really a religious person.  I don’t want someone else telling me how to experience the love of god/goddess/creator, I want to go seek it out myself.  But that being said, there is something truly powerful about setting aside time for ones Spiritual practice.  The whole “And on the 7th day he rested”, bit holds an important truth.  We need to rest, we need to recharge our spirit, and connect to the power of the universe.  Spiritual work is not goal oriented.  It is not about accomplishment, it’s not about badges, buttons, or more money.  It’s about feeling that life is worth living, and that we are part of something beautiful.  It fills you from the inside, and helps you stay afloat when the current of life seems overwhelming….which can be often, in a world where people are becoming more sentient.

As someone who’s job is considered Spiritual, it has been important for me to remember that my work is not my spiritual practice.  When I am doing Readings for others, speaking to Spirits for others, and teaching workshops on spiritual awareness, I am deeply connected and doing important work.  But it does not count as a spiritual experience for me…it is work, my life path.  It is important and I highly value it, but it is not enough to sustain my soul.  I need to take time for myself to recharge, and connect with the universe.  I need to head into the woods, stand in a stone circle, sing in a sea cave, hug a tree, tone in mediation, I need to step into the betwixt and between, where the only moment is now.

When we are hurting from the death of a loved one, stressed from the mountain of bills that are piling up on our desk, worried about a friend struggling from addiction, concerned about the environment and the looming feeling of war, we need to take moments outside of our every day life, where we can rest and reconnect with Spirit, in whatever way works best for us.  If you find solace in the pews of your church, love the smell of incense and the embrace of large crowds, gathered as one…then by all means, make a point of getting yourself there.  Don’ t  make excuses, don’t say your too busy, don’t put it off because it does nothing for your pocket.  Make time for it, as feeding your soul is essential to healthy living.

If you are not drawn to organized religion, step out your door into the world of nature.  Go to the park if you live urbanely, go to river, the sea, the mountain, your back yard…light a fire, burn some incense, sing as if no one is watching, breathe deep, and get busy letting time slip by.  Make it a regular outing, make it a commitment, recognize it’s value in your life.  Pay attention to how you feel during the experience and after.  How many days did you feel better after?  Do you find yourself reminiscing, fantasizing about the peace of the moment?

We cannot change the world by worrying, and we will not change our personal (at least not positively) world by eating up every waking moment with obligations.  We need to slow down, and take time to recharge, specially when we are struggling.  When our emotions are heavy, and we feel overwhelmed, we need to remember the power of Spirit.  I hope you enjoyed the read folks.

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STORIES OF SPIRIT…Healing the Spirit of the United States [sending love to the Genius Locus]

winterwonderwomanI do not Hate!  I do not hate those who’s opinions differ from mine, nor do I hate the ‘Haters’ of the world, for hate is a self destructive energy.  To hate another I need to extend my energy in a hostile manner.  To hate I must spend my time focused on that which I do not want in my life.

This does not mean I turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world, it simply means that I will not approach them with malice and spite.  No venom drips from my teeth, and no insult gains way on my tongue.  When those feeling rise to the surface of my mind, I breathe deep and remember that even the shadow has it’s purpose.

I went to the Women’s March of Unity in Montpelier, VT yesterday dressed as a Vermont Wonder Woman; hats, sweaters, and practical boots included.  I did this because I felt it was important to stand for love, justice, and equality.  I also felt it was important to represent America in my actions.

I believe patriotism matters, and I believe in the spirit of Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman represents ideals that I value, and has always been my favorite heroine.  She is strong, focused, and has great integrity.  She does not turn her eyes away from trouble, but faces it head on.  She carries herself with such balance, that she never mistakes justice for vengeance.  Nor is she unforgiving, and she is never mean.  Wonder Woman stands for justice, and believes in her country.

I believe patriotism matters…My father was a Vietnam Vet.  His service and dedication to his country, not only effected his life, but the lives of all he touched.  He was proud to be an American, even though the country he loved so much, showed him malice and hatred when he was most in need of comfort.  He faced his fellow Americans who thought him a baby killer, and he chose not to hate.  He did not Hate his country, he loved his country.  I will not say he never experienced anger, for he certainly did.  But he did not turn his back and hate the country he called home.

I was raised with a deep Patriotism.  One that carries with it an understanding that I will never have the same views as everyone in the country.  That we will disagree over and over, and over again.  But that these differences are not with my country itself.

As a Druid, I believe that all things have Spirit.  As a Psychic Medium, I am fortunate enough to communicate, see, and experience these spirits.  They are not exactly like the Spirits of the Dead, but they are real all the same.  Druids refer to the Spirit of Place as the Genius Locus.  It is the energy that encompasses a place, holding the essence of it’s being.  I remember this every time I stand in support.

I remember the Genius Locus of the United States.

When my father died he began pushing on me his strong Patriotic values, and he did this by utilizing my love of Wonder Woman.  He started with clothing.  He really loved wearing red, white & blue himself, and he wanted me to.  He would say this to me over and over again, and I finally gave in when he said “Wonder Woman loved red, white, and blue Sali”.  I added a bit of black, but I gave in.  He has been dead 4 years now, and my love of Wonder Woman clothes is still going strong.

It’s about more than a costume though.  I really believe we have to start supporting the Spirit of the United States, the Genius Locus of our country. We need to start sending love to the Spirit of America itself.  Not to their version of America, or our version of America, but to the Spirit of the country itself.  If we start sending love and healing to the Spirit of our country, perhaps what is best will naturally appear.

I do not say this in a sparkle, love & light, only good thoughts version of reality.  I say this with the strength and justice of Wonder Woman.  I mean really send out some healing love to the Spirit of our country.  Remind her that she was is growing, healing, and a creative force.  She can choose between love or hate.  Show her that we trust in her.  This is something we can do, no matter what side we believe we stand on.

We all want LOVE in our lives, safety, security, and justice.  We may have different ideas on how that is reached, but we all want it.  Growth requires trust, we need to trust in a higher power, and send as much love to the situation as we possibly can.

Genius Locus (the Spirit of place), is not limited to the country.  There are natural forces, and land spirits that watch over States, towns, waterways, and homes.  

Often when people are struggling to sell their homes, they come to me asking for advice.  I always tell them to communicate with the Spirit of the house directly.  To tell the Genius Locus how much you have appreciated it, listing the wonderful ways your home has supported you.  Then to explain that you must move on, and ask the Spirit for help finding the right people for it.  You can explain what you would like to see for the house.

This technique is truly helpful.  After all we all sense the energy of buildings and spaces.  Take a minute to think about it, and you recognize that you feel good in some places, and uncomfortable in others.  This is due to the energy that the space holds.

smudge2The United States could use a great big smudging.  We need to take a day and collectively get out our Sage bundles and smudge the fuck out of our country.  Clean off the goobers of hate, anger, and dysfunction.  Then we need to set up some intentional altars to hold space for the United States, and send it some serious love.

If you look at it from the terms of Quantum Theory; which has proven thought matters, then we need to look at the fact that we are generating more hate, and discourse if we approach this with anything but love.

I marched in the Women’s march yesterday, and was over joyed to see all the signs that talked about love, and support.  I was not as happy to see the ones that preached hate at one man.  Not because I agree with him, but because hate is still a powerful force, and it is one that is counter productive to change.  How can be anything other then what we hate, if we are preaching hate?

How can we be more?

We can be more by standing for LOVE!  We can be more by talking about the things in our country we love, the things we want to see flourish.  I am not asking for people to put their heads in the sand.  I am simply asking that we open our hearts and speak on the things we love, as much as the things we hate.

Yesterday, I felt tremendous LOVE.  I felt that people were energetically linking arms and hearts, spreading out a gigantic web of goodness over the country, and the world.  We were saying that we all matter.  That was powerful, and good.  We just need to remember that when we let hate slip into the mix, we taint ourselves, and our work.  We need to remain focused on that which we are seeking…a safe, loving, supportive world.  A world that is strong, and healthy, a world where are children, and our children’s, children can flourish.

Here is a simple way you can start making a difference…

candle-lightSet up a working altar dedicated to the United States.  Any flat surface will do, the top of a dresser, a shelf on a book case, etc. The key to  a working altar, is that everything placed on it is done so intentionally.  No loose change, receipts, and keys unless you have a reason other than laziness for it.

Place items on the altar that represent the America you love.  Pictures, postcards, souvenirs, family pictures, soil, rocks, religious items, etc.

Place a candle on your altar.  Every day find 5 minutes to work with your altar.  Simply light your candle, stand or sit in front of your altar, and tell the genius Locus of the United States what you love about her.  Allow yourself to deeply connect with the Spirit of the country, remembering that we are inside of her energy right this very minute.  We are connected.  Tell her your dreams for her, and your hopes, speak of her strengths, and share your support for the battles she is fighting.

Blow out your candle and go about your day.  Throughout the day when you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, or unsure of the state of our nation, remember the candle, and the work you are doing.  This takes your energy away from fear, refusing to fuel hatred and fear, and gives it to that which you are working to create…love, justice, and healing.

I also encourage you to start speaking out about the reasons you love your country.  Start sharing that in conversations with friends, colleagues, and strangers.  Where patriotic ensembles if you are so drawn, do not wait for the 4th of July.  We need to remember we achieve nothing if we forget that this country belongs to us, and we belong to her.  We need to stand in support, the United States as we want her to be…healthy, strong, and kind.

Our views on what makes America great may differ.  We may hear things, see things, and interpret things different than one another, but we all want to be love.  So does the Spirit of the United States.

Please know that I hate no one.  There is no one I hate.  I refuse to waste my energy on such things. Thanks for reading folks.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…The Betwixt & Between [guidance from the ancestors]

familyalterAs a Medium, communication with the dead is a normal thing for me.  I spend many hours, every week in conversation with people who have crossed over.  Most of the time, I am helping the living find closure and re-connection after the death of a loved one.  I find this to be highly rewarding, and feel proud of the work that I do.  Occasionally, I am given the opportunity to take the communication a step further, out of the place of healing and into the place of growth.

This weekend, under the bright full moon my sister and I held our annual, ancestor honoring event ‘The Betwixt & Between’.   We have done it for many years and always look forward to it.  It has always been focused on honoring our Beloved Dead (family, friends, ancestors and guides), and includes direction for setting up an Ancestor altar, techniques for expanding your awareness; for personal experience with Spirit, and messages from the dead, passed on by me.  In the past the Dead we were reaching out to were coming forward to bring love and healing to their living, and it was in many ways like my Gallery Spirit communication.  This year we changed it up a bit.

Upon looking at the guest list, I was aware that the majority of people who were attending this year were people with a more advanced skill level in the area of spirit.  I saw this as an opportunity to do something extraordinary.  So instead of this being a time for people to hear from their dead grandmother; about how much she loved them and things they enjoyed doing together, it became a place of learning.  I wanted to model the traditional reasons why tribal society chose to communicate with their dead.  In most cases this was done for advice, particularly in times of great need.  People would gather in solemn respect for their Ancestors and humbly ask for direction.

21 of us gathered at Blissful Dragon Farm, in Waterford, VT.  When people arrived they were asked to walk the labyrinth to center themselves for the work at hand, and invited to tie a ribbon to the cloutie tree (prayer tree).  When the fire was ready, everyone walked through burning incense into Dragon’s Teeth Circle; the last stone circle created by Ivan McBeth this autumn, before his passing.  As each person was anointed with sacred oils, they were asked to find the stone that called to them, the place they were to set up their personal altars.

With the altars set, chairs were brought into the center of the circle close to the fire.  The stones and the family altars created a strong boundary around the participants.  By this time, people were starting to feel the energy of the space, and that of their ancestors gathering close.  We did spiritual journey work, so that everyone could reach out to their loved ones, and then showed them how the spirits were moving in on the mist.  The area inside the circle became thick with the closest ancestors and beloved dead, and the area outside the circle was filled with the many, many spirits that had shown up to hold space and be acknowledged.

The messages past were powerful.  I always feel honored, when I have the opportunity to speak for the Wisdom Keepers, who are in spirit.  Even though the messages were delivered to individuals, the wisdom was beneficial for all.  One of the first Spirits to speak was a recently departed mother.  She had made many mistakes in her life, and had a lot of struggle.  Her message was of forgiveness.  She spoke of the need for forgiveness in our world, and how often the best teachers are the ones that need the most forgiveness.  The ones who are unable to change.  I found this to be quite profound, as I have been a bit obsessed with the idea of Radical Forgiveness, lately.

Radical Forgiveness is the act of forgiving without expectation.  When it comes to forgiveness most people find themselves using the word but, a lot.  They say “I forgive you, but…”.  This is not true forgiveness.  True forgiveness comes with nothing attached, and we give it not only for the benefit of the one needing forgiveness, but for ourselves as well.  For through forgiveness, we can break the karmic chains that keep pulling us back to the same lesson over and over again.  Radical Forgiveness does not ask us to forget, or to give consent for the actions that caused the wrong, it simply asks us to let go, move on, and stop dwelling on the wrongs done.  When we hold onto such things we keep everyone involved, wound up tight in a knot of pain.

Another of the powerful bits of wisdom passed on from the Ancestors was around death itself.  The Spirit that came through was a representative of the wounded soldier.  He was a military man in life, and spoke of the healing needed when one has lived a life of war.  He said that sometimes when the body gets old, and the physical wounds endured in youth become overwhelming, all we can do is prepare for death.  He did not speak as poetically as I am speaking right now.  He was matter of fact, and to the point.  His lesson was not about giving up on life, but about facing your demons and preparing for your passage into spirit.  I found this to be a potent lesson, as my father had done just what he spoke of.  My dad was a Vietnam Vet, who spent the last 2 years of his life finding a deep spiritual practice.  He found forgiveness for himself, and a new purpose in those last years, and was ready when his time came to enter the spirit world.  Preparing for death, does not mean your death is around the corner, it means you will be ready when that time comes.  When someone has been to war, and seen and done things they regret, their soul needs to find peace.  If we do not do this in life, then that is what we will be facing when we cross over.

Two different spirits came through to talk about anger, and love.  They spoke from different perspectives on the need to let go of anger and how nothing good comes out of it.  Anger directed at another person, seldom changes them, instead it changes the one holding the anger.  We spend our days filled with this energy, and it transforms our view of life, showing us more that we can be angry with.  But again, how is that helpful, how many of you jump right up and do something for someone who is directing anger and hatred in your direction?  How do you feel when you hold such emotions?  Transforming anger into love is potent.  If you look at it from the terms of quantum theory/what we think, we create.  I know I want more love in my life and less anger.

ivandragonteethThere were many powerful messages passed, and I walked away feeling truly blessed by the experience.  The last to speak that night was my friend, Ivan McBeth, the Druid who built the stone circle we sat in.  He was so ecstatic to be there, and almost everyone present could see him clearly.  His energy was huge, and his message was sweet and beautiful.  He spoke of remembering how powerful we are.  He reminded everyone present that when we focus on the darkness we will find it in plenty, but when we focus on the light and the beautiful, kind things we are capable of, we can manifest that as well.

I believe we all chose to come in at this moment in time.  It certainly is a chaotic one, with many things to fear if we focus our lens that way.  But I also believe that this is a time of great change, which makes it a powerful time of healing.  I know I chose to be here, and that I will continue to choose to be present spreading love wherever I go.  I was deeply touched by the evenings events and thankful for the many spirits who stepped forward to share their knowledge and guidance with us.  I hope you enjoyed the read.

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