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

 

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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…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.

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…I Stand! [love vs. hate, and the power of unity]

headstandenglandI feel the collective holding of breath, and hear the fear whispering in the hearts, of the people, of our country.

We are standing in a time of change.  In the Tarot such moments are often represented with the Death card, for they are the ending of a way life, the ending of way of being.  Such times change us as people, stirring our emotions and values into sludge.  Like the Tasmanian Devil, from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, this change leaves chaos in its wake.

Approaching the inauguration of the new President, we all wonder how are world will change.  Some of us believe it will improve, many of us believe there will be suffering of one kind or another.  The media pokes at us, like animals in a cage, prodding us on to more and more anger.  We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.

As a person who spends a great deal of time looking into the future, and talking to those whose lives have passed, I believe the only thing we can do in such times is stand strong as a community.  When we are fearful, lost and confused, we must rely on the power and support of the tribe.  We need one another.  We need our family, and neighbors, and friends.  We need to remember that we are not all weak at the same time, that when some of us are at our weakest, others step into their strength.

I believe in equality!  I believe we all have a right to love, safety, and justice.

When facing fear, we have a choice on how we will do so.  We can hide, and cower, waiting for it all to go away.  We can fight, and bicker, creating discontent for ourselves and those around us.  Or, we can stand in peace, coming together to support our selves and others.

Standing in peace, does not mean we turn a blind eye.  Nor does it mean we stick our finger in the eye of anyone who has a different view then us.  It means we unite with our community, and together we maintain an upright position, one supported by the feet of many.

I stand!

I do not stand because I am a woman,  or because I have a different faith then the masses, or because someone I love is homosexual, or because I am friends with people of color.  I stand because of all of these things.  I stand because I believe in LOVE.  Not love that is limited by relationship, not sensual love, platonic love, love of country, or love of world.  But LOVE that is all of these things at once, love that is the essence of being.

After all what are we here for?  We are here to experience love.  Love of our families, friends, neighbors, work, art, hobbies, places, the list goes on.  We are all searching for LOVE!

People have written to me of late, telling me they feel out of control, that their lives are in chaos, that they cannot seem to find center.  This is all connected to the way in which we experience change.

When change seems difficult, and we see hardship approaching we clench up, and prepare for the worse.  Our minds distort the situation, blowing things out of proportion, until there are demons in the closet and monsters under the bed.  The amount of time that most people spend worrying about the possible ways that shit can hit the fan is phenomenal.  The funny thing is nothing good comes out of that fear, yet we do it anyways.

In times of crisis, we are given the opportunity to create.  We can choose to follow our fears, and create demons and monsters, or we can change our focus and choose to create heroes.  Creating heroes means we support and strengthen those who are standing, whether it be ourselves or others in our tribe.  If we cannot stand, we can give support to someone else who can.

When we stand, we do not stand alone.  We stand with the strength of our Ancestors.  They walk beside us, helping us to carry our burden. When we feel week, we can call on them for strength, and bravery.  When we feel alone and vulnerable, we can call on them for love & comfort.  They are there, standing quietly, holding space for us, co-creating with us the world that we want to manifest.

Love is more powerful than hate!

I am not afraid.  I know that we approach trying times, but I believe I am here, walking on this Earth, at this very moment, for a reason.  Therefore, I choose to stand bravely.  I will defend the rights of myself and others, with quiet strength.  I will not shout, and I will not bellow.  I will become the resistance in a world of hate.  I will show LOVE to those I meet.  In the words of Mahatma Gandi, I will be the change I want to see in the world.

I will be marching in Montpelier on Saturday, the 21st in the Women’s march for Unity.  If you are marching please let me know, so that we may be connected through spirit, standing together.   If you choose to send energy and strength to  those who march, but cannot make it yourself,  share your reply.  Simply saying “I stand”.

My labradorite 'booby stone'.

My labradorite ‘booby stone’.

For those of you who want to do more, find a crystal or friendly driveway rock, and mediate with it for 5 minutes.  Imagine that rock is connected to all rocks, and that your rock is seeking out the rock that I carry against my HEART CHAKRA .  As you connect with me, you connect to others.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…Faith in Dying [embracing death]

cave5Death is the inevitable piece of life that we must all face.  It is part of the natural ebb & flow, something we all can count on, for there is not one among us that will escape it’s embrace.  Death is not discriminating, it does not judge.  It comes for the rich, the poor, the old, the young, the kind and the cruel.  It holds the power to break apart lives and to bring lives together.  Culture, religion, and personal experience all have influence over how we face death.  For some Death is an old friend, to be embraced when he comes a calling.  For others Death is a fearsome thing, lurking in the shadows, waiting to steal us away from all that we love.

Faith is the key to a good death.  I am not talking about religious faith, although that can be helpful.    The Faith I speak of is to trust in the process of death itself.

frozen-bubblesFaith-complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

We all know that Death awaits us, we know that like all who have walked before us, and all who walk behind us, we will die.  It is the most predictable thing we will experience on our walk upon the Earth.  Yet many of us struggle when Death brushes up next to us, we fight the inevitable, bucking and screaming like wild banshees, saying this should not happen to me.

I am not suggesting that people throw in the towel whenever illness presents itself, nor am I saying we should stop striving for life, health, and more time.  I am saying that we as a people have to become comfortable with the concept of Death, we need to have faith in the process and accept that it is natural and sound.

betweentheveilI am thankful for the advantage my life as a Medium has given to me.  I do not need to rely on faith to ensure me that there is something more waiting for me, and those I love when our time of dying approaches.  I know because I see, feel, hear, and sense those who have passed into the world of Spirit.  I know that Death is just a passage into another way of being, and that the soul remains intact.  I know that we are reunited with those we love, that our Beloved Dead will be waiting to embrace us and welcome us home.

Many people struggle with Death, unable to find solace and comfort in the last hours of their life…but still they die.  Even if I didn’t know there was something more waiting for me on the other side, I believe I would still embrace the act of dying.  I would do this because the resistance of death leaves one in turmoil when our end days comes.  If there was nothing waiting for me, I would still want the last days I had to be ones of peace and solace, instead of resistance and pain.

I have never encountered a soul that was doomed to hell, nor a soul that was banished into oblivion, nor have I been told that someone was sent to either place.  What I have experienced, what I do know, is that we all must review our lives when we pass.  If we have done a lot of things we regret, the process of review is going to take us a lot longer.  This review shows us in detail the experiences of our life, as well as how our actions effected others.  We see how we were loved, even when we didn’t feel it, and how we influenced the lives of others.

Faith in dying, allows people with long term illness to explore some of their memories before hand.  Getting our affairs in order, does not just speak of bank accounts and insurance policies.  It means we look at the way we lived.  We give thanks, we make amends, we appreciate the beauty of the life we have lived, and we love deeply those who walk the path beside us.  Faith means we surrender to the circle of life we are part of.  When we die there is no need for disappear, we simply step through the doorway into another way of being.  By surrendering to the process, we find a deep level of peace.  We start to radiate wisdom and wholeness, which allows those we leave behind to heal faster, as they know we are OK.

When Spirits talk to me of their Death, they often tell me whether they were ready or not.  They speak of what helped them to find their faith.  Old souls have a tendency to do this naturally, without struggle they know Death will be just fine.  When my Grammy Brown died, she did so by choice.  I do not mean she committed suicide, I mean she chose to let go.

She had been ill for a long time, and she was at the point where my family could no longer take care of her at home.  She was determined that she would not go to a nursing home.  She did not fight the family, she simply said she would not go.  The night before she was to be transferred from the hospital to an assisted care home, she died.  She did this because she was ready, and she had faith in the afterlife.  She knew she would be fine, and she simply surrendered.

Many people linger in the act of dying, and they do so for various reasons.  Some stay for the family who struggle with their passing, some have unfinished business that rattles off through their minds.  Others linger because they are no longer in control of their facilities, such as people with Dementia, and Alzheimers.  But the majority of people who linger on in deep illness, are doing so out of fear.  They fear the unknown, worrying what awaits them when they leave their body.

We must find faith in the process that has been going on since the beginning.  Death is the most natural thing in life, and it happens to us all.  Whether you are facing your own Death as you read this, or have a loved one struggling with theirs, know that there is a choice in how we face it.  We can face our passing with dignity, strength, and courage, surrendering to that which will not be denied, and we can help those we love to do the same thing.

Ask these questions in the time of dying.  “What do you still need to accomplish?” “What unfinished work do you have?” “How can you feel complete?”.

I spend a fair amount of time counseling those who are in the process of dying, and one thing I know for sure is that it needs to be talked about.  Often when someone is dealing with terminal illness people avoid speaking of Death.  They do so out of fear, fear that Death will come quicker if he hears his name called, fear that the dying will be hurt by your questions, fear that you are giving up.  This has to be overcome.  We need to start speaking of Death and finding solace and faith in the fact that it is the most natural thing around.

Our culture is obsessed with youth and beauty, and has chosen to turn its face on anything old, fading, and unpleasant.  This obsession has made it harder for people to face Death, seeing it as something foreign and fearsome.  We need to remember the teachings of our Ancestors, the natural way in which Death has been experienced and held sacred throughout time.  We are living in a time of great change and we are the ones we have been waiting for.  We have the power to bring dignity and beauty back into dying, so that those who come after us will have no longer fear that which cannot be escaped.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks, and that this is helpful to all those facing Death.  Remember it is beautiful, sacred, and powerful.

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.

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…A Dragon’s Dance with Death [honoring Ivan McBeth]

sacredgraveI believe in the Sacredness of Death, I believe in the tremendous power it has to transform lives, I believe it is beautiful and raw; exposing us to the deepest parts of ourselves, the parts that are tender and juicy, filled with emotion and life.  My most sacred work, the work I am honored to participate in, is that of helping others Cross the Veil into Death.  I love to stand present in Death, to witness it’s power and to help others feel it’s beauty.  As a Medium, I know that we are far more then these bodies we live in.  We are eternal, grand and, and expansive.  This weekend, I was given the honor of working with my Druid Teacher & Friend, Ivan McBeth, as he made his grand exit from physical form to that of Spirit!

ivanwavingMy phone rang early Friday morning, 8:30 to be exact.  It was one of my Druid Sisters, calling to let me know that she had received a phone call from a member of her town; telling her that Ivan was dead.  The early call had already triggered me intuitively, that something was wrong, and the information in her call did not surprise me; for I had spent the last few weeks with Ivan, traveling around England and Wales, and taking photos and video of the Stone Circle he erected at Blissful Dragon Farm (Waterford, VT).  As my Druid Sister lived close to Ivan & his wife Fearn, she said she would run up to their home and find out the truth of the matter, and would call me shortly to let me know.  After ending the call with her, I promptly called me sister Sandy; telling her to take a shower and pack her bag, that Ivan had just passed.  I then hopped in the shower myself, and found Ivan with my mind…or perhaps he found me, for he was incredibly happy to be out of this body and exclaimed “Yippee!” loud and clear.  He contacted me 3 other times while I was getting ready to leave.  Twice showing me the picture of a grave covered in ivy (see below), a picture I had taken in Sancreed, Cornwall, UK.  He did not show me these images in my mind, but instead he pulled the picture up on my phone.  The picture was not selected in my photos, or even near the last of the photos taken, and I had not been using my phone; it simply popped up like someone had just sent me a text.  The last bit of contact Ivan gave me before I walked out my door, was through social media.  Our mutual friend Orion, commented on a picture I had taken of the two of them together (see above); in the picture Ivan was waving, when this picture and comment popped up on my Facebook screen, I could see clearly that he was waving good-bye.  With all this contact, I could feel Ivan spurring me on, wanting me to go to his home, his  land, and his love; his wife Fearn.

ivygraveBy the time we were within 15 miles of Dreamland; Ivan’s home, both Sandy and I could feel him.  By saying we could feel him, I mean that there was a precise point in which it felt like we had crossed into his energetic field.  His energetic field or aura, was so expanded; that it was filling a 15 mile radius.  I have found most Auras to be spherical, radiating out from a center point; which in this case would be Ivan’s body, so I am pretty sure he could have been felt for 15 miles in any direction of his home.  When we arrived at Dreamland, his wife was giving her love and tears to him and being consoled by the women of the community.  You see in true Ivan style, he went out with a flourish and a true lesson to teach; for they were hosting a magical weekend at Dreamland, one in which 30 guest were attending.  Most of the guest had arrived the night before, and were present as he passed.  There was a warm fire burning in the Stone Circle below the house, with people huddled together around it; beginning their process with the Spirit of Death.

northstoneI truly believe that Death is in itself a presence; a spirit and force, that effects all that it touches.  When Death comes into our lives, it’s touch and transforms us, something that it does every time it visits.  Each brush with Death holds it’s own mysteries and lessons, and I am so deeply fond of it.  I know that sounds strange, but when you live in a world that is filled with Spirits, Death is no longer an enemy to fear; but instead a great teacher.  Don’t get me wrong, I deeply mourn the absence of my friends and family when they leave physical form.  But sometimes, this transformation allows them to regain their power; power that may have been sapped by age and illness.  When I see those I love leave a life of pain, and slow loss of self; I rejoice for them, for I know that they will be happier and generally more helpful in the world of Spirit.  I experienced  this when my Father died, and when my dear friend Briga crossed the veil last year.  They had both reached a point in their physical existence in which Death was a comfort.

ivantor

Ivan @ Glastonbury Tor Photo Karen Maxon

Ivan was not a man who feared Death; he had faced it (literally) many times in his life, and it was a deep part of his Spiritual practice and teachings.  When I trained with him as a Druid, we spent an entire weekend exploring Death.  We thought about it, wrote about it, did journey work in which we explored our unavoidable end, as it approached…one year, one month, one day!  Later after the visionary work was done, we slept in graves we had dug with our own hands (ok, I got help…most people who know me, know I don’t do manual labor,  LOL).  Our graves were lightly lined with blankets and we were allowed light covering to endure the night outside.  We were placed in our graves by Ivan; who carried us as we lay limp.  This symbolic Death, and the night lying within the land, gave a deeper perspective of the gift that life is.  It was one of the most important teachings Ivan carried; that a close relationship with ones Death, helps us to appreciate the life we have, and allows us to dance through it fully alive.

 

Like all things ‘Ivan’, his death was not a small affair, in fact it was large and in charge.  He spent the last month of his life seeing the places he loved most dearly, building a final Stone Circle, and at last using his Death as a powerful teacher.  I was fortunate, and got to take part in many of these last adventures; and  was among the 21 pilgrims who traveled to England & Wales on a magical adventure to sacred spaces, just weeks before he passed; a trip Ivan created.

 

ivannavern

Ivan with the Bleeding Yew in Navern, Wales

Making merry

Making merry

friends old and dear

friends old and dear

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Druid friends @ Stanton Drew

Upon returning to the States, Ivan didn’t miss a beat…he was off to build what would become his final Stone Circle, ‘The Dragon’s Teeth’ circle @ Blissful Dragon Farm.  I went down often in the building of the circle, taking photos and video footage; as Blissful Dragon Farm belongs to my sister Sandy and her friend Melissa.  I was shocked at how full of life and energy Ivan seemed when working on the circle.  I knew his health was failing, but seeing him do what he loved most, brought out the sparkle in his eye.  He was passionate, and driven, and spoke often about how he felt it would be his last circle.  In the world of Stone Circles, Ivan was a master…creating 28 circles in his life time, circles with precise alignments to stars, places, dates and times.  He was truly gifted in this, and I believe it above all things was his greatest offering to the world; as the temples he built will far outlive his  memory.  I like to think though, that for the person who seeks they will feel a bit of his essence, when sitting in the temples of his creation.

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon's Teeth stone circle

Ivan at the blessing of Dragon’s Teeth stone circle

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon's Teeth Farm

North Stone & Altar, at Dragon’s Teeth Farm

After leaving Blissful Dragon farm, Ivan headed home to a weekend of Druid training, and preparation for ‘Weaving Wild Wisdom’; a magical weekend, that turned into Ivan’s last teaching.  30 people gathered to experience a weekend of deep magic, what they didn’t know was how deep it truly would be.  I had not planned on attending the weekend, but kept being pulled to it.  Now I know why, for I was there in attendance, even if not in the way one might have imagined.

salisandysacredMy sister Sandy and I often consider ourselves servants of Death; for we are spontaneously called several times e a year, to stand witness and give aid to the act of dying.  In Ivan’s case, the death bit he did just fine and we were there instead to help prepare and honor his body.  I find this to be the holiest of holy work.  I cannot imagine anything so important as Death.  Cleaning and anointing the body of one who has passed, brings me through the veil of time; to all the times I have preformed this act, life time after life time.  I am simultaneously standing in the present and in the many doorways of time that I have done such things.  With Ivan there was the added gift of a community gathered to hold space, the participants of the weekend were truly standing in their wisdom and able to see the gift he offered up to them.  Some stood guard by his body; giving honor in the old ways of mourning, some kept the fires going and the incense burning, some made soup and offered comfort to those who cried, some shed tears to mourn the passing of a great man, and some ran about taking care of the necessities; such as building a coffin, obtaining an undertaker and other such practical bits.

My life was changed by this man, who I am honored to call a friend and mentor.  He taught me that fear was a gift which held deep power, when looked at head on.  He guided me as I walked on fire, carried me to my metaphorical grave, and introduced me to Stone Circles.  He was ever a magical child, and I have no doubt that he is dancing ecstatically with the Spirits that be.  I also know, having spoken to him more then once since his passing that he should be ready to work in 2 weeks (his words, not mine).  Hail and Farewell my friend!

 

2012 @ Dreamland...

2012 @ Dreamland…

All Hail, Ivan McBeth!

spreading love-salicrow