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…Opening to Spirit [expanding consciousness]

I was teaching a class on the energetic working of Runes, last Sunday, when I found myself saying “and then I open myself to Spirit”.  It is a statement I have made hundreds, if not thousands of times.  This time, I realized as I looked at the students sitting in front of me, that what I said was akin to explaining what sex feels like, to someone who has never had it.  To any who have had it, it is easily recognizable.  But to those who have never experienced it, it is a glittering Christmas present; topped with paper and ribbons, sitting beneath the tree.  It is magical, mysterious, and unknown.

Opening oneself to Spirit, simply put means getting out of the way, so that the will of the divine universe can move through you.  It is about connecting to the strands of fate, that weave the pattern of ones life.  It speaks of being receptive to that which is unseen, and unknown.  It demands trust, faith, and surrender.

We are living in an age where spiritualism has become a commodity, something that anyone should be able to achieve if they buy the right crystals, eat the right food, and mediate regularly.  So this should be simple right? 

In reality expanding consciousness, and becoming more spiritual is a personal path.  No two people will get there in exactly the same way.  No amount of crystals, oils or potions can do it for you.  These things are tools, meant to be of assistance; to enhance the experience, but they cannot and will not bring the experience to you alone.  Teachers, techniques, and traditions are also valuable, but only if one is willing and able to release the desire to control every minute faction of their life.  There must be a willingness to be fluid, and a belief that we are part of something greater.  A closed vessel cannot be filled.

Faith is a tricksome thing.  In truth, I do not believe it is something that can be taught.  To have faith one has to choose to believe.  Religion can be indoctrinated, but the feeling of connection to the divine, the world around you, and a true sense of ones part in it,  is not something that can be done without first deciding you believe it is possible. We  must first surrender our walls, releasing the barriers that keep us locked into a reality consisting solely of what is solid, tangible, and documented.  Faith is something we can choose, just as we are able to choose what our favorite color is, and whether we like the taste of onions.  It is not something that is assigned, we are not allotted as those who are and are not spiritual.  We are all spiritual beings, but not all of us accept this as reality.

Releasing oneself to Spirit requires us to have faith, to believe that we are worthy and capable of feeling connected to the divine universe.

I am not sure at what point in human history, we began questioning our right to be part of the whole.  I have never felt unconnected, it is something I have always known to be true.  I admit, I fancy myself an old soul, and know I have done much of this before.  But I am not talking about individuals questioning their worthiness to be whole, but whole cultures.

We are taught from an early age, that we are unworthy.  Says the television, magazines, advertisements, movies, and billboards.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  Marianne Williamson

Well that’s something to think on… Perhaps here is where the truth lies, we are afraid of our power, of how fantastic we truly are.  We are afraid to reach for our dreams and find ourselves gloriously, deliciously alive.  We are afraid that in truth we are co-creators of our world.  If that is so, if we are co-creators of our world, then by connecting to a higher power we are in fact surrendering to ourselves. We are giving over to the fate, that which was ours to begin with, this is what it means to be Wyrd (connected to Fate).

By opening to Spirit, we allow the strand of divine will that resides inside of us, to connect to the universal pattern, and it feels fantastic!  It has been described as Zen, for the body, mind and soul feel truly connected.  In such moments the chatter of the mind falls away.  The racing of the bodily functions seize to draw our attention, and we are at peace.  It feels in many ways like the state of consciousness we experience right before falling asleep, or after an orgasm.  In this state of mind & body wholeness, we are able to receive guidance, healing and often an expansion of consciousness.  Our mind is open to receiving information, allowing us to gain greater insight to ourselves, and the world we are part of.  This is where magic takes place.

 

This is part 1 of a blog series I am writing, I will be continuing this journey of the mind over the next few weeks.  I encourage you to share your opinions, questions and ponderings.

spreading love-salicrow

 

Stories of Spirit…Turning Down the Volume [healing after death]

As a Medium, I meet a lot of people after they are dead, and in doing so I often get to experience the wisdom they have gleaned after crossing into the world of Spirit.  People/souls do not stop growing and learning when their body stops functioning.  Death is not only a place of rest, but a place of healing and growth.  In death we review the lessons we have learned in life, from the vantage point of the observer.  We not only see our actions played out for us to review, but are able to see how we effected the world around us.  We can shift perspective to bear witness to how those around us loved us, and why those who hurt us, did so.

The idea of spending the afterlife reviewing the events of this life, can be daunting to some people.  If our life is one of pain and struggle the last thing we would ask of Death, would be to watch our life over and over again.  But the universe is kind, and we are not sentenced to review the experience in it’s emotional fullness.

One of the gifts of Death, is that is that the volume level of our emotions is turned down significantly.  

Imagine your emotions could be adjusted, like the volume on a stereo.  One is so low, that you really need to be paying attention to feel at all.  While, ten is so loud that the only thing we can do is experience our emotions.  Most people go through life with their emotional volume set at about 4-5, allowing them to experience things through their emotions, while still focusing on other things.  Some however, have the volume set way above the comfort level; around 7-10, and are forced to go through life with their emotions taking front stage, every moment.   Unfortunately, the volume in which we experience emotions in life is not easily adjusted.

Traumatic events can jar the volume control of our emotions, leaving many of us to walk through life with a concert of emotions distracting us, and overwhelming us.

I hesitate before continuing my writing, wondering if my words could somehow make people see death as a cozy alternative to life.  That people who struggle with their own world; their living existence, may find the idea of their emotions being turned down, an inviting option.  In fact the idea that my words may be misinterpreted almost made me trash this blog article completely.  I am a firm believer that people do their best healing while still alive, and that we have come into this existence to experience and grow.  When we cut our life short, we are often required to experience similar events in our next life, so that our consciousness may expand.  

Death is a place of review.  With the volume turned down, we can experience things that may have escaped us in life.  We become aware of the why of situations.  If we had an abusive parent, we are able to see the situation from their perspective.  Witnessing their struggle, self-hatred, and the abuse that they experienced.  We get the back story on every moment that effected us in life.  With the emotions turned down, we can look at these moments with clarity.  The experience being more like watching a show on television, then living it out as our story.  This perspective often gives people a better understanding of themselves.  They know what they could have done differently, as well as the key moments that triggered damage in their psyche.  This adjusted view of ones life, is more noticeable when a soul has had a while in deaths domain.

Another interesting fact, that should be noted, is that coming in contact with a Medium turns the volume back up again temporarily.  The Medium makes the experience of communication, more real or life like, for the dead.  This is why it is a good idea to give the Spirit a bit of time for healing, if they have died traumatically or by their own actions.  A good Medium will use their guides to intervene, or stand between them and the dead, in these cases.  When I work with Spirits that have experienced trauma in death (from another or themselves), my doorman Adam is a necessity.  He often stands between me and the Spirit, they speak to him, and he passes the message onto me.  This is a simple way of keeping the volume level in tact, for Spirits who are still deeply in their healing process.

The time in between lives, is when our Spirit heals and recaps the lessons of our last life, as well as the lives we have experienced thus far.  In death we become all that we are.  Becoming whole; all that we are,  helps a soul to heal and become more.  For we can add the experiences of the life we just lived to the mix of that which we have already been.  In death we exist as our ‘higher self’, the self that is us with all of its parts.  Every life time lived adds to that which we are, our heartaches and sorrows are just as important as our achievements and loves.

The soul is a complex thing, one that is ever evolving.  We need to be patient with ourselves, and patient with those who suffer in ways that we cannot understand.  Recognizing that people can feel emotions at different degrees of volume, helps us to comprehend how the same situation can effect different people, in dissimilar ways, providing insight in regards to depression and anxiety.

How can we learn to dial down our emotional response while living?

This is a tricky one, and there is no one answer for everyone.  I am not a psychiatrist, and by no means am I suggesting you step out of the care of your counselor, if you have one.  I am simply trying to shed some light onto the subject of emotional volume, as shown to me by the Dead.

Mediation is helpful…  Learning how to center ourselves when the world around us is moving really fast, and our emotions are screaming at us is invaluable.  I prefer to use Sound in my meditation, often focusing on my own voice as I  ‘tone’.  Vocal Toning is the extension of vocal sounds, particularly focused on the sound of vowels, and harmonics.  It is pretty simple and requires no choir skills.  Vowel sounds are considered sacred in many cultures.  Prolonged vocal toning has a peaceful effect on both the energetic and physical body.  (For all you local folks, interested in learning Sound Mediation, I offer a weekly class on Tuesday nights at my studio in Lyndonville, VT).

Whether you feel drawn to sound healing/mediation, or simple breath exercises, mediation is something that works better with practice.  The more often we do it, the more easily we can slip into its gentle, peaceful embrace.

Mantras work...Mantras are simple statements, we repeat in order to create interpersonal change.  They work best if kept to 4-5 words.  When the stress of the world ways heavy on your brain, and your mind is spinning on its personal hamster wheel from hell, simply repeat your mantra 5 or 6 times.  Example…I am at peace with myself.  When you do, you will find your mind pauses, steps away from the hamster wheel for a moment.  The thoughts that haunt you will come back, but again go to your mantra, repeating it over and over again until your mind finds its quiet place.  The more often you handle your mind-fuck with the simple compassion of a mantra, the less often it will come around.

The biggest lesson I have learned from the Dead, is that life is worth living.  When we die, we miss the simple things of life…the taste of our favorite food, the smell of our favorite flowers, the color of the sky, the richness of textures we feel through touch, the embrace of our lovers and friends.  These are the things that come up, over and over again when I connect with the dead, even the ones who suffered in life.

spreading love-salicrow

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

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

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

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

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

Mount Shasta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dragonstone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Pina Coladas and Cheeseburgers [errand girl of the dead]

My Aunt Sheila died a couple of years ago.  In many ways, she was more like a big sister, as she was only 7 years older than me, and had to drag me along a lot when she was a teenager.   When she died, she started using a particular song to get my attention, whenever she needed to communicate with those she loved who were still alive, particularly her daughter Morgan.

Now Sheila and I did not have the same taste in music, and the song she chose is one that I do not particularly like, Rupert Holmes ‘Escape’, the 1980’s ‘Pina Colada’ song.  In short, she loved it, I hate it.

A few weeks ago, she began popping into my head with her favorite song, simply singing the chorus in my head “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain”.  By the time the first verse is done, I know it’s her and am generally begging her to stop singing it.  In truth, she is very clever.  Using a song I don’t like, grabs my attention, like being stung by a hornet.  I just want it to stop.

One night, after getting my full attention with her musical serenade, she told me she needed me to reach out to her daughter, and let her know how proud she was of her, and how she was watching over her.  This was not a surprising statement, and made me aware of the fact that her daughter was really mourning her, at this moment in time.  I reached out to my cousin, who is more of a niece, passing on my aunts message.  This seemed to be sufficent for the moment.

It was not!

Sheila is opportunistic, and spends a lot of her time, trying to figure out the best way to reach out to people.  Friends of hers have sent me videos and pictures with orbs in them, asking me if I think this could be Sheila.  My answer is always yes, as I know her to be a ‘pushy’ Spirit.  This is not a bad thing, simply a fact.  If she wants you to know she’s around, she will keep at it, until you do.

About a week after she was serenading me in the car, she took advantage of the fact that I was going to be driving through the same town her daughter lived in, on my way to the airport.  Normally, a trip to the airport would be a tight schedule, but our flight to Milwaukee (to teach Earth Magic) was an early morning one, so we planned to stay with friends in Boston, the night before.  Which meant more time to be maneuvered by Spirit.

It has always been my belief, that getting there is half the fun.  I love road trips, and the feeling of being slightly sleep deprived, and giddy.  I love spontaneous stops along the way, to observe the beauty of nature, or the weirdness of little towns.  Thankfully, so did my traveling companions, my sister Sandy and our ‘adopted’ sister Missy (who was driving Sandy and I to Boston).  With this in mind we gave ourselves over to the fact, that there would be stops along the way, and they would most likely be led by Spirit, and Bessy; the genius locus/spirit of place, that is Missy’s vehicle.

Bessy loves adventure, which means there is no straight shot to Boston, but instead a meandering road of wyrd opportunity.   The first stop was literally 5 minutes down the road, when we needed to stop for some wyrd car malfunction, only to see we were parked next to a huge head of Witches Broom growing on an old pine.  The pine’s roots were down in the ravine next to the curb of the road, and the broom was at easy picking level.  It was obvious that the plant wanted me to take a few sprigs with me to Wisconsin, so I snipped a few, thanked the tree, and jumped back in the car.

Witchs Broom is a deformity that can form on a Pine tree, in which a ball of branches forms.  Energetically it carries the properties of the Pine-cleansing, purifying, attracting abundance, as well as the symbolic energy of a witches broom…flying, astral travel, shifting ones reality.  It was a perfect bit to be added to the weekends intensive.

Soon I was back in the car and we were on our way.  We made it as far as the Basin, in the Franconia Notch, NH before stopping again, where we once again collected some bits for our travels; birch bark, a rock and a piece of wood that had been tossed around by the rivers current. By this point, my Dad (who is a Spirit) had joined us on our trip.  He loved adventure of any kind, and is pretty much guaranteed to be along on any trip we take.

The third stop on our trip was a simple one, a late lunch at 5 guys in Manchester, NH.  Something we thought would be a simple in and out.  But in fact it ended up starting me on an errand run, for the Spirits.  My aunt in particular.

While at 5 guys, they got my order wrong twice, which meant I ended up with 2 extra burgers.  We all laughed at how absurd this was; as there was only one other customer in the restaurant, and commented on how my dad must have wanted burgers too.  With this in mind, we wrapped up the other burgers, deciding we would leave them somewhere along the road as an offering for my dad.  We left my father’s burgers on a rock in an industrial park, surrounded by stones.  I know the crows will love the meat, and my dad loved the offering.

I speak about Spirit offerings often, and how the Dead love to be given offerings of their favorite foods, beverages, and libations.  When given an offering of this kind, the Spirit does not actually eat the food, or drink the beverage.  Instead they partake of the energy that the food carries, and the remembrance itself.

As we left the industrial park, with some flower blossoms, and bits we had collected, I checked in on Facebook, as I had been posting pictures of our journey so far.  Immediately, I saw that my niece/cousin had responded to my pictures, saying “Pit stop in Manchester?”.   I knew upon seeing her words, that it was all connected.  The extra burgers, the quick stop to drop off my dad’s burgers.  I wrote back to her…“Where are you?  We are in Manchester now”.

We were literally less then 3 miles from where she was volunteering at a local recovery center HOPE of New Hampshire.

Spirit, particularly that of my Dad and his sister Sheila, got us where we needed to be.  Morgan, was very close to her mother, and had really been feeling her loss heavily.  She needed to connect to family, and needed to hear from her mom in a big way.  It was a short visit, simple yet powerful, for the death of my aunt had sent her daughter (morgan) spiraling into drug addiction.  Something she has been fighting hard against for over a year now.

Sheila wanted Morgan to know how proud she was of her.  How she had taken her struggles and weaknesses and turned them into strength and purpose.  I too am truly proud of my cousin, and was so happy to see her in her element, doing what she does best.  She now works and volunteers in the field of recovery, and is working hard every day to help others as much as she helps herself.

I see this story as one that not only shows the power of Spirit to communicate with the ones they love, but also as a story of how we can carry our wounds in more then one way.  We can take that which has hurt us, and hold onto it as an excuse for why we will never be happy, or we can choose to see our hardships as lessons, meant to strengthen us and give us purpose.  Morgan has chosen the latter, she has taken her hardships and turned them into tools, into a foundation that can be built upon. For that I am very proud of her, and of her mother who has not stopped parenting, even though she is dead.

We all hold inside of us the ability to change our story.  We may not be able to change the hardships we have faced, or the wrongs done to us by ourselves or others, but we can change what that story does to us.  Each and every one of us is flawed, each and every one of us is also divine.  We were created, to be co-creators of our reality.  Do not let your troubles define you, instead let them be the fuel that makes you step more fully into all that you are capable of.  Remember we are made of Stardust!

spreading love-salicrow

 

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Beltaine [celebrating with Spirits of Nature]

Today is Beltaine…a day when the Fairies walk among us.  A day that is Betwixt & Between, standing half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.  It is a powerful day, like Samhain/Halloween, when the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest.  A day when our Beloved Dead and the Spirits of Nature are strongly present in our world.

In my little corner of the Universe, the day is wet.   The sky has opened up, and the rain is coming down in buckets.  In many ways the nature of the day is contrary to what one would expect, of hope for on Beltaine.

Beltaine is one of the 8 holidays that make up the Celtic Wheel of the year.  It is a celebration of all that is fertile, and newly awoken; of passion, play, and wild abandonment.  Traditionally it is a time in which the land is blessed, in hopes of a bountiful harvest.  A time of flowered wreathes and brightly colored frocks, a time of revelry.  In modern times this blessing of fertility that is most potently known as the Maying, has expanded to include all of our creative endevours, that our way will be fruitful and sacred.  As the veil between the worlds is particularly thin during May Day (Beltaine), it is also a time in which we give thanks to the “others”, the unseen being who share this planet with us, the Fae Folk.  

Astronomers have proposed that solid matter makes up only 5% of the Universe.  That leaves 95% unaccounted for.  In my opinion, this is a good argument for believing in unseen beings…the Spirits of the Dead, and that of Nature alike.  Beyond opinion, I have personally had experiences with many of these beings, Ancestral Dead and Nature Beings alike.

Beltaine with some of my most loved Druid companions, a few years back.

I have celebrated Beltaine since I was in my early 20’s, when I found my way back to the holidays and connections of my Ancestors, and began living my life within the cycle of nature, known as the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  My Ancestors, that which I came from, have always lived close to the Earth, and in doing so given honor and thanks, to the Planet itself.  The 8 holidays that make up the Wheel, remind me of the changes my beloved Gaia is going through, and help me to stay in sync with her rhythms.   In doing so, I feel that my life is richer and more balanced.

Like most things in modern times the celebration of such holidays is done loosely around the date that they fall on.  As today is a Monday, my celebration today, will be simple and homey.  I have set out honey water for the Fae Folk on one of my outdoor altars, as an offering, and left out a glass to fill with rain water.  Traditionally the water collected on May Day would be dew, collected from leaves, under the early morning sun.  As the day is wet, with a heavy layer of fog, and intermittent downpours, I decided that I would collect the rain water instead.

Collecting dew (or rainwater) on May Day is an old Folk tradition, the water is said to bring luck, beauty and good health, particularly if one washes their face with it.  I myself will use my collected “May Rain”, by anointing my Third-eye, and Crown Chakras with it, as long as it last.

Mother Goose Rhyme about collecting Dew on May Day…

“The Fair Maid, who on the first of May, goes to the fields at the break of day, and washes of the dew of a Hawthorn tree, will ever after handsome be!”

Maypole

Another Beltaine tradition is the May Pole.  Dancing the May, is simply the act of weaving colored ribbons around a large pole.  It is simple and playful, but laden in old-school fertility magic.  The pole being very phallic like representing the God or masculine aspects of Nature, and the hole that it is planted in, representing the female/Yoni.  The dance was traditionally done as part of the blessing of the land, but it had personal effects as well, and often those seeking to become fertile in their personal lives would/do dance.  As I have said earlier, in modern times this fertility has expanded to include many aspects of creativity, but in the olden days it was mostly about the fertility of livestock, land and personal womb.

This year I will not be dancing the Pole, nor will I be attending a large May Day celebration.  Instead I will be boarding a plane this Friday and heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where my sister and I will be teaching a weekend intensive on Earth Magic.  And though I will miss the ribbons, and drums of the greater circle, I am delighted to be bringing the magic of nature, and the Fae Folks to those who are seeking it.  We will sit around a fire, and enter deeply into the space of Betwixt and Between, and we will seek communion with the beings of Nature, as we walk through the trails that surround Lake Michigan.

Here is a simple bit of goodness, for those of you seeking to connect with Nature and bring the blessings of fertility into your lives this the First of May.  If you cannot do this on May 1st, due to timing or lack of rain, do it the first day of May that you can.

Rainy day Beltaine altar. The stick inside the blue glass holds a branch of thorns from the Blackthorn tree @ Madron’s well, in Cornwall, UK. The golden glass holds the honey water, my offering to the Fae Folk.

You will need… 2 glasses (preferably the most sacred, or prettiest you have), honey,  a bit of hawthorn if you have it

*In one cup…add 2 tablespoons of honey to a 1/2 cup of warm water (this is your offering for the Fae Folk)

*Leave the second cup empty (this is for collecting rain water)

*Place your bit of Hawthorn in the empty cup, so that the rain water may run down it, into your glass

LEAVE THE GLASSES OUTSIDE on an altar, or upon a large rock, over night.  Give the glass time to fill with rain water.  The honey water left out for the Fae Folk will most likely still be there the following morning.  This is because they absorb the energy of the offering, not the actual physical material.  Dump the honey water, onto the ground, when you collect your May rain water the next day.

*Place your index finger and middle finger into the rain water and anoint your Heart (middle of the chest), Throat, Third Eye (between your eye brows/middle of the forehead), and your Crown (top of the head).  These four Chakras are connected to communication and Psychic Knowing.

Make sure to verbally thank the Spirits of Nature, and the Earth itself for this offering.

*place the remainder of the May water in a glass canning jar, or bottle, and label it.  Anoint your heart, throat, third eye, and crown, every morning as you start your day, until the bottle is empty.

This little spell is helpful for opening our consciousness to the unseen world, and giving the blessing of fertility to all of our creative endeavors.  Remember (before you get caught up in the word) that a spell, is simply a potent prayer.  It is intention with action.

I hope you have enjoyed the read Folks, and that you have a beautiful Beltaine, and a Spirited May!

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Passing Angels [gifts from the dead]

labradoriteangelI am not particularly fond of Angels.  Not that I have anything against them, I am just not someone who collects them, or feels overly drawn to their energy.  No Angel wings, ornaments or halo’s for this Crow.  I am however aware of the significance such imagery plays in others understanding of the afterlife.  Angels are often used by both the living and the dead, to represent protection, and spiritual guidance.  They are used to bring comfort, and to remind us of the afterlife.

In my experience as a Medium,  Spirits will often talk about Angel ornaments and imagery, as something that connects them to their living.  When they bring it up, my living clients confirm that they have been collecting Angels since the death of their loved one, or that they often see images of angels when their loved ones are around.  By this statement, I mean they find themselves noticing Angel ornaments, and pictures wherever they go, and know that it is their Beloved Dead, trying to make contact with them.

Lakemorey2Every March, I spend a couple of long weekends, working the Ladies Retreats @ the Lake Morey Resort, in Fairlee, VT.  It is a good time filled with Ladies looking to refresh themselves, by stepping outside of their every day routine.  I am there doing Psychic Readings, Spirit Communication and teaching workshops.

The last three years, I have done Gallery Spirit Communication on Friday nights.  It’s an event that draws the majority of the guest, which is around 2 hundred people.  Gallery Readings are entertaining, and heartfelt, but there is no way I can get messages through for everyone.  A handful of people get messages, and the rest are there just for the experience.  These events are moving, and I usually walk away with a story or two to tell, of how Spirits go out of their way to make meaningful connections with the living.  This year my story came after…

I had just finished the Gallery, and was walking upstairs, making my way to my room.  People often stop me along the way, to ask me questions, and share personal stories of Spirit they have experienced.  This time  I was stopped by a group of women, who’s friend had lost a child.  She had hoped desperately that her daughter would come through at the Gallery, and when she didn’t her friends set about getting her an appointment for a personal session.

My appointments fill up quickly at these retreat, and management has made it clear that I need to pace when I put out my schedule.  I can list the available times for Thursday night and Friday morning, on Thursday afternoon, Friday evening appointments can go up Friday afternoon, and so on and so fourth.  This makes it so people who arrive later in the weekend, still get a chance at an appointment with me.  That being said, people are usually waiting at the board when I walk out to put up the next times.

I advised the ladies looking for a personal appointment for their friend to do the same.  They missed out on the Saturday appointments; as there were already people waiting behind me as I wrote the schedule on the board.  Not wanting to miss out, they took things to ‘elevensies’, guaranteeing they would get one of my last appointments on Sunday morning.  Instead of just waiting for me to come out to the board, they snagged the markers, so that I when I went to put up my next schedule, they were no where in sight.   They then walked up to me with the markers, saying they had held onto them so no one could sign up before them.   Now I am not sure that was actually fair, but I will give them one for effort and cunning.  They were determined to get an appointment for their friend, no matter what.  Just saying, those are some damn fine friends!

They all pitched in money to help pay for her private session, and when she came to the Parlor for her appointment on Sunday morning,  there were 6 of them in tow.  Now, I normally only allow 1 extra guest for Individual Spirit Communication sessions, but I agreed they could all join us, as long as they stayed quiet.  I also informed them, that this was a special accommodation I was making for them, and that it was not my normal practice, as holding space for many requires more energy from me than focusing on an individual.

A little while into the communication, the woman’s daughter began talking to me of angels.   The mother agreed that Angels were very important, and that she had collected Angels for her tree ever since the passing of her daughter.  While I was asking the mother if Angels were significant for her and her daughter, the Spirit girl walked behind me, and started getting into my bag.  She was showing me an Angel, saying there was an Angel in my bag, for her mother.

As she said this and kept pointing into my bag, I realized that there was indeed an Angel in my bag.  I had been given a small labradorite Angel, the day before, by another women at the retreat.  It had been gifted to me, along with a rose quartz heart, and  I had not opened the gift until that morning, shortly before seeing the woman who’s daughter had passed.

Now I am not really much of an Angel person, as I said earlier, so when I received it I understood that it would stay in my company, until it was meant to be handed on.  This is common for me and crystals to begin with.  Often they come and stay for a while, then move on when the time is right.  

I gave the labradorite Angel to the woman saying that her daughter wanted her to have it.  I then explained how Spirit has given me gifts before; sometimes I have had to buy them myself, and other times, they have been handed to me by strangers, but always I know they are gifts from those who no longer have the means to purchase such things themselves.  Gifts from Spirit are truly treasures, and are meant to be a reminder that they still care, and are still active in our lives.

After the women’s session was over, and she and her friends stepped outside the parlor, I heard one of her friends say to her “I hope you recognize the significance of the timing here”, she continued “Your daughter couldn’t come through on Friday night at the gallery, because Salicrow didn’t have the Angel to give you until Saturday”.  It was an ‘exceptional moment of Spirit‘, in which Spirit went out of their way to make a big impact.

Her words were a reminder to me as well, of the effort and planning that Spirit goes through to make meaningful connection, and of the Spirit network that exists in the unseen world.  Did she speak to the guide of the woman who held a gift for me, did she know that I would soon have an angel in my possession?  Personally I believe she did, I believe she planned her communication, to make the most impact on her mother and on the other family members who would hear the recording of the session.

I am constantly amazed at the efforts Spirits go through to make meaningful connections with the living.  Spirit gifts are among my favorites, for they give us something tangible to hold onto, something to connect with, to hold and to cherish.

I hope you enjoyed the read folks, I am back to the grind working on my book.  First draft is due to the publishers on April 1st, and it’s due to hit shelves February of 2018.  Good stuff in the making.

spreading love-salicrow