Stories of Spirit…Finding Balance in Thin Moments [betwixt & between]

raising the maypoleI feel like the last few weeks have gone by in a fog; with my brain slipping between this moment in time, and that of timeless eternity.  The fog has made it hard to focus, my story telling mind; so instead of pressing it…I have just chosen to exist, and take the downtime while it presents itself.  This is not entirely surprising as we are quickly approaching Beltaine (May 1st), a time when the Veil between the worlds is thinnest.  Like Halloween, Beltaine is a thin time; a time when the barrier between the worlds of the Living, Dead, and otherworldly beings (Fae Folk), is so thin that they overlap.   During thin times; people who normally do not experience Psychic phenomenon, often find themselves experiencing the unknown.  For those of us, who are Psychically sensitive, these thin moments can be a bit overwhelming.

Beltaine is one of the 8 Celtic holidays, that make up the Wheel of the Year.  Traditionally taking place on May 1st, Beltaine is an ancient fertility holiday in which people gather to bless the land.

Thin moments such as Beltaine; often take on a sort of timelessness, and are referred to as Betwixt & Between.  Betwixt & Between means neither here/nor there.  Dawn & Dusk are times of Betwixt & Between; for they are neither night, nor day….but stand in the space between.  Beltaine & Halloween are also such moments, for they are the pause, between Summer & Winter, and Winter & Summer.  Memories from this life, past lives and the memories held by the Spirit of place, often pop into our mind at these moments…for memory also exists in the Betwixt & Between.  All of this adds up`to the whirlwind feeling that often accompanies early Spring.

Collectively we humans spin through cycles together (I am sure any Astrologers among the Reading audience would agree).  These cycles are not only influenced by the planets and stars, but the shifting of our living planet.  These moments of pause or Betwixt & Between, are powerful moments Spiritually, but can often leave us feeling unbalanced.  Working regularly with the public, I have witnessed a higher level of chaos or imbalance this Spring then in years past.  I believe this is in part due to Psychic Evolution…that’s right Folks; I believe as a species, we humans are evolving right here/right now.

So what do we do about it?

Frankly, there is no putting it back in the box once it’s out. Once we start to open up Psychically, we cannot close our eyes and change our mind.  The only way out is forward.  By accepting the shift in consciousness, and the fact that it is happening on a species level scale; we can adapt & find a new balance.

crowsistersfaeFirst and foremost, I recommend a change of thinking.  I personally love moments of Betwixt & Between… I love the day-dreamy, Spirit filled, pause…as it gives me time for reflection; even if it is for brief moments.  The connection to the past is strong at this time, making it perfect for reflecting on the events of this life and moments that sneak into our consciousness, from past lives.  I have found many of my clients contacting me for Past Life Readings over the last few weeks; as their story pokes at them through the veil.  My personal belief on Past Lives; is more of a belief in parallel lives…embracing the thought of quantum theory.  I believe that we are living multiple lives simultaneously, and that we connect at the moments that lessons are shared.  By looking at this time when we are Betwixt & Between as an opportunity, we can connect with our soul more clearly.  It’s a good time for jotting things down in our journals, so that we can digest it later.

Part of Psychic Evolution is becoming more Empathic.  So make sure you take extra precautions to keep your emotions clean.  Check in with yourself regularly, if you mood has suddenly changed…do not assume it is your moodiness.  Instead look around and see where or who you think the heavy emotions are coming from.  Make time for Nature, it has the ability to soothe the frenzied beast, and remember…in the long run, this is a good thing.

spreading love-salicrow

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Stories of Spirit…Baby, it’s Cold Outside [appreciation for life’s goodness]

woodstoveI woke up early this morning to temps., way down in the double-digit, negatives.  That being said, my house was cozy & warm; thanks to good insulation & the beauty of a wood stove.   Getting dressed (in my many layers of warmth), and heading into town (in my reliable jeep w/it’s killer heater); I found myself thankful.  Thankful for these simple, but amazing luxuries; that I take for granted, most days.

As a Medium; I connect regularly, with peoples loved ones and ancestors.  I get to hear their stories, and catch glimpses of their lives. Often, the elders who have passed into Spirit, tell of the hardships and struggles they faced in life.  These stories are part of who they were, often creating the backbone and tenacity, that we loved so much about them.   These stories, remind me that not too-long  ago; winters in the North were a hell of a lot harder, and still are for some.

These stories of struggle, are my stories as well…for they are the stories of my Ancestors.  I come from simple Folk, with strong backbones & big hearts.  On my way into town, I found myself thinking of two of these Ancestors; Grammy Bickford (my husbands grandmother) & my Grammy Brown (my great-grandmother/who raised my father & his brothers).

Grammybickford2Grammy Bickford, grew up in a logging camp, in Berlin, NH.  I remember her stories of winter in the camp; of how their cabin had no insulation, and how snow blew through the clap boards on blustery nights.  How she would wake in the morning, with her blankets covered in snow…get up, make herself a lard sandwich, and put on an extra layer of socks before heading to school; as she did not own a pair of boots.

grammywithsaliGrammy Brown, ran away from an abusive husband, with two of her young children.  They squatted in an old abandoned house; spending most of the winter laying under piles of blankets.  They did this, because they only had fallen branches & old furniture for firewood, and hardly any food.  They were fortunate, when a neighbor lady saw smoke coming from the building & set about to rescue them.

We live in a world of plenty, yet their are still those among us who don’t live that much differently then my grandmothers.  In our own communities, there are those among us who struggle to keep their homes warm, their bellies full, and their families healthy.  I am so thankful, for all the bounty life has bestowed upon me, and I am thankful to be able to share that bounty with others.

On this cold, February morning…the day after we celebrate LOVE; I ask you to take a moment and think of all the good fortune, life has bestowed upon you.  I ask further, that you think how you can share your bounty, with those that are not so fortunate.  I think of my Grammy Brown’s savior; Mrs. Flowers, the neighbor lady.  She not only took my grandmother (great-grandmother technically) & her two son’s (one who was my grandfather), out of the cold.  But she went on to provide my grandmother with a job, and later a small piece of land.  Mrs. Flowers saved more then my grandparents…she created small abundance for my great-grandmother, my grandfather, and later my father, and eventually me.  That kindness, was like a stone thrown into a pond; creating ripples of love and wonderfulness.

No act of Kindness is truly wasted, and we have no idea how great the transformation from kindness can be.  So, whether you are sitting in your warm cozy home, sipping coffee, or bundled up in layers heading out to work.  Take a few moments to think on your abundance, and the simple ways you may transform the world.  Remember, we are co-creating our lives.  What do you want that life to look like.  For me, life is more beautiful when I share my bounty with the world around me.  So today, I’m going to go buy some cheap chocolate and drop it off at H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday).  Because we could all use a little sweetness in our lives.

spreading love-salicrow

STORIES OF SPIRIT…Dreaming of the Dead [spirit visitation through dreams]

Dreaming in the Elfgarden, Harfnarfjodur, Iceland

Dreaming in the Elfgarden, Harfnarfjodur, Iceland

One of the most common ways in which our Beloved Dead visit us, is through our dreams.  This is because we have no control over what our mind shows us while we are sleeping.  The truth is; the Spirits of our loved ones are often with us, trying to make contact.  But most of us have thick walls of doubt for them to get through; walls that do not exist in the dream world.  These walls, exist for most people; including myself.

I have always been visited by Spirits, but through my life the degree in which it happened has developed significantly.  In my youth, I knew when Spirits were present, often seeing/hearing/feeling them, but the actual ability to communicate without tools (Ouija boards/pendulums) was something that I did not have until I was 30 & experienced a major opening, that brought my walls down.  I refer to that opening as the November Incident, but that’s a tale for another day.

So, if I do a flash-back sequence to my youth here…we will see that Spirits often utilized my dreams as a way of contacting me…

Flashback...1998?

Flashback…1995

Dreams have always been a powerful thing for me.  I have been a lucid dreamer my whole life; which means I am conscious of the fact I am dreaming & often have the ability to take action, or change the outcome of my dream.  I have remembered many, many details of past lives from dreaming & most importantly for this read…I have been visited by the Beloved Dead, in my dreams.

When I was young and I received visitation from my Beloved Dead, at some point in the dream, I would realize they were dead.  This usually happened, by me noticing something odd about their physical appearance…like one of their eyes was black, or they were slightly off in their appearance.  The difference in their appearance, did not have anything to do with how they died; it was simply something that was just not right.  At that point, I would become Lucid (if I had not already been), and I would say “What are you doing here?  Aren’t you dead?”.  To which, they would generally reply “Yeah, but I am just going to hang out for awhile” or they would give me some personal message of support, or task they thought I should do.

Lucid Dream- A dream in which one is aware that they are dreaming.  Many of us have had the experience of waking from a dream and saying…’That was more then a dream.’.  Those dreams, the ones that stick to us, our often powerful messages.  Many of us, have also had the experience of being aware that we are dreaming…the dream is still going on, but it is more like we are watching a TV show in your mind.  The waking; conscious part of our mind, is watching the actions taking place in our dream.  Sometimes, it is more like a video game, and we are in the first person, but we are also a conscious spot behind the eyes of the experience.  These dreams are Lucid dreams.  For someone who has them on rare occasion, it is hard to manipulate anything in the dream.  We are simply there, conscious of the dream, & simultaneously unconsciously playing out the scenario, but with experience we can take action.  Many times, it is in our Lucid Dreams that we will run into a loved one who has died.  In the dream, we are not always aware that they are dead.  They may be talking to us, hanging out, visiting in some way; but we do not acknowledge that they cannot be there, that they no longer exist.  Most times, those visitations get written off as the mind dealing with sorrow.   But in reality, it truly is the Spirit of your loved one trying to make contact, trying to assure you that they are ok & are still connected to you.  I highly suggest that if you have had a dream where a loved one in Spirit shows up, that you write it down, instead of writing it off.  For many times; when I am passing messages at a Seance, that the Spirit mentions that they have been visiting the dreams of those they love.  We are just beginning to remember, how powerful and connected we all are.  Ancient cultures, took dreams much more seriously; they knew that a Spirit visitation in the Dream world was a powerful message.

I have been thinking a lot about dreams lately, and I ponder I will be writing more on the subject in the next week or so.  I hope you enjoyed the read Folks.

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Holiday…Approaching the Dark Night of the Soul [the Winter Solstice, part 1]

DSC02701It may seem a bit strange that I am writing about Internal Struggle when we are quickly approaching the most celebrated time of the year (Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza, Etc.).  But in reality there is a reason for all those lights….to keep out the dark.  The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year; something that created fear in ancient people.  Fear that the sun would not return, that the land would lay barren & that they may starve.  In modern times we too experience fear at the Solstice.  Fear that the challenges of our life will be too heavy, and that our plans will lie fallow; never stepping into being.  As we sit at the cusp of the year; just before the light returns, we experience darkness.

The Darkness of the Winter Solstice, is a time when we become reflective & nostalgic.  We look back at the year we are leaving; with an eye for detail, and the years of Christmas Past with the deep appreciation time offers.  When looking over that which is just leaving, we are critical.  However, when we look at our deep past there is much more appreciation, even for the hard times.  Distance of time, helps us to understand that necessary lessons are often painful, and that obstacles in our path often lead to the things we need most.   There is much to be said about the beauty of looking into the dark.  When we reflect with a lucid mind (conscious on a deep level), we can turn this powerful time to our advantage; embracing the lessons it has to offer.  When we look at what lurks in the shadows/ our fears…we begin to gain personal power.  The kind of power that is unobtrusive, like putting on a really good pair of shoes…it feels right!  Through such power, we become more fully ourselves.

I have grown to love this time of year, and not just for the festive cheer, but for the darkness as well.  I find that I look forward to the reflection.  To me there is a magic in this darkness.  Magic, like telling stories in the dark to your best friend…stories of what you have experienced, what you have learned & what you plan to do with that knowledge.  Look into the mirror, seek out your reflection in the darkness & welcome the lessons you have learned.  The light returns on December, 22nd this year & we quickly approach the New Year.  May you enter it a bit wiser, more compassionate and ready for the next adventure.  I hope you enjoyed the read folks…stay tuned for Part 2 of the Winter Solstice-Stepping into the Light.

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Stories of Spirit…the Sound of Music [Heartfelt Holiday Tales]

As a Medium, Death has been a constant companion of mine.  My experience has not been limited to the Spirit World (talking to the Dead), but also includes standing present in the face of Death itself.  I consider the moments that I walk hand & hand with Death to be among those I most treasure & my work as a Spiritual Midwife the most sacred.  Death is a teacher that shows us what really matters,  for it teaches the importance of supporting one another and the true value of LOVE.

evanneMy story today, is about my first experience as Death’s handmaiden…a treasured gift given to me by a special woman named Evanne.  She was was a teacher at my children’s elementary school, but I find that the word teacher does not fully illuminate all that she brought to our community.  In fact most people in the community remember her through music….Balkan Chorus to be exact.  Through Evanne’s guidance,  junior high girls from our tiny-hilltown (average student pop. k-8=42 kids) performed Balkan Music throughout the region & beyond…they produced CD’s, took the stage at Carnegie Hall on the Prairie Home Companion &  were featured in the movie ‘In the Bedroom’ starring Sissy Spacek.  Along with this magnificent gift of culture and worldliness, Evanne also taught a summer Humanities camp @ the school each year.  Which brings us to how she came into my life.

The summer Evanne found out she had cancer, she made the decision that she was unable to offer the Summer Humanities Camp.  As it turned out, I was the first parent she contacted to explain her decision.  To make a long story short…that phone call turned into a friendship & me taking her on as a Reiki client.  My work with Evanne was one of the greatest treasures I have ever been given.  Before Evanne, I was scared of Cancer; I had lost a dear friend to Cancer (way too young) & watched as my grandfather loose his life to it as well.  With Evanne, I was able to see the gift that a slow Death offers as well as the pain & fear.

Meeting weekly for Reiki, I was able to witness the introspection that the Long-Death offers.  It gives us time to look at our life, to reflect and to love…I saw that there was so much more to dying then the end.  There were moments of bliss, pools of emotion and truly amazing insight.  I saw how community members stepped forward to support Evanne in whatever way that they could; from opening their homes for her care, to fundraisers and children sending gifts of books, cards and silliness.

As the holidays approached and Evanne’s condition worsened, her Balkan Chorus girls arranged a benefit concert in her name.  The day before the concert her health took a deep, downward spiral.  I  was not scheduled to visit her on the day of her death, but after news of the rapid change in her health I headed over.  Walking into the home I was greeted by one of my neighbors (the community took turns watching over her), & could feel the heaviness of death.  My neighbor informed me that Evanne was a bit off & kept talking about how she needed chairs to be brought into the living room; around her bed.  She insisted that she was going to have a lot of company that day.  At first we thought she was confused and that she was preparing for all the visitors  who would be coming after the concert; which was the following day.  But as it turns out we were the ones who were confused…she knew exactly what she was talking about.

15 minutes after I walked into the home; Evanne began to die.  Her breathing took on a deep rattle & then she stopped breathing.  She did not have a DNR (do not resuscitate), so I immediately began doing CPR on her as my neighbor spoke to the emergency dispatcher.  Within moments of starting CPR, I felt Evanne’s Spirit separate from her body & I knew she was Dead.  That being said, I had to continue doing CPR until a medical professional arrived, which means I spent 15 minutes breathing life into a body that would not receive it.  This sounds horrid, but in fact it was a truly profound experience; as I could feel Evanne standing next to me as I attended her body.

The first medical professional to arrive was a local nurse, who immediately took over the situation.  Time slowed down & took on a stretched feel as I stood with my 2 neighbors & the Spirit of Evanne, around her body.  Then the strangest thing happened….As the Ambulance drove up,  neighbors and friends also started arriving.  Soon the house was filled with people who loved Evanne, all this happened before anyone but the EMT’s had been called.  Somehow/someway; like a radio signal from Spirit,  she called her loved ones to her.  As it turns out, she was right…she did need those chairs that day & her room was full.  As I left the house, I heard Evanne speak to me…”I’m so sorry you had to do that Sali”. (referring to the CPR).   I feel Evanne chose me as a companion for her death, as our friendship was developed around her dying.  She was constantly thanking me, but I truly felt like walking through Death with her was a gift to me as well.  In that moment; so many years ago, the fear of death was taken from me & replaced with a deep respect & gratitude.  I saw how Death removed suffering, and allowed a person to step fully into their Soul.  Standing present with her Spirit, I felt honored by the teachings Death had given me.

The concert went on as planned the following day; albeit with a different flair.  Girls & young ladies filled the stage, singing with the love they held for the amazing woman who gave them so much love & inspiration.  Evanne’s touch can still be felt in the little town of Newark; it’s heard in the voices of the Balkan Chorus (now led by former students of Evanne) &  seen in the yearly cultural events she started.  Most of all Evanne’s touch can be felt in the hearts of the people who were fortunate enough to know her.

Today, telling this tale…I cry.  I cry for my friend, I cry for the beautiful gift she shared with me & I cry for the beauty of Death in it’s many faces.  I hope you enjoyed the read Folks.  May your hearts be filled with Love!

spreading love-salicrow

Stories of Spirit…No Smoking in the House [a Halloween tale]

cigarettesA few years back I received a distressed call from a young mother who believed her house to be haunted.  They first started experiencing disturbances when they began renovating their old, colonial house in northern Vermont.  At first family members didn’t think much of it, calling it imagination as they caught movement out of the corner of their eyes.  Then their 10 year old son began sneaking cigarettes in his bedroom.  Or more appropriately put…they believed their son was smoking.  This went on for a few months, with their son repeatedly professing his innocence and the parents becoming more frustrated.  As their bedroom was directly across from his, they knew without a doubt that they were smelling smoke.  Finally one day while the mom was cleaning the living room, her preschool daughter said “Who is that man on the stairs?”.

After talking to her daughter, the mother then called me and asked me come take a look at their house.  On the phone I started with my regular line-up of questions.  “Do you have a teenager or anyone with a mental illness living in your home?”  & “Has there been any construction or renovation on your home lately?”  These two questions give me an idea of what is going on in the home before I even get there.  They are not be all/know all questions, but more a foundation to start with.

The first question “Do you have a teenager or anyone with a mental illness living in your home?” is an important one, because often what is perceived as Spiritual Activity is in fact Kinetic energy from an unbalanced human.  And yes…I did just compare teenagers to people with mental illness.  In both cases-teenagers & people with mental illness there is usually a high level of chemical and emotional turmoil.  Both groups of people also find it difficult to express themselves or to be understood.  This can create a lot of Kinetic Energy which may result in Poltergeist activity (physical disturbances; noises, moving objects, etc).  If the answer to my first question is “Yes”, then I have to consider that the house may not be haunted by a ghost, but by a living person.

I have personally experienced Poltergeist activity, including that which I myself created… On more then one occasion, under stress I have caused items in my house to fall off shelves & items to move.  One time in particular stands out to me… I had come home from work late and had forgotten to tell my family that I had clients coming in the early a.m., like most houses mine is lived in and was a bit of a mess.  I was frustrated with my family, but in truth it was my fault for not letting them know about my schedule.  Instead of asking for help I just got silently pissed.  Well sort of silent; in the sense that I didn’t say anything, but the energy I gave off was another matter.  I began to clean my house like some kind a mad woman, whirling about.  I do have to say it was amazing what I did in 30  minutes…but then as I stood doing my dishes, fuming with anger…I noticed things kept falling off the altar I have above my sink.  They were not placed there precariously, and it was not just one item.  So…I took a deep breathe, walked away from the dishes, out the door and screamed (the benefits of living in a very rural place).  After I calmed down, I came in and asked for help from my family.  This little bit was shared so you could see that displaying Kinetic Energy & creating Poltergeist activity is usually a sign that you feel bottled up and frustrated at not being heard.  It does not make you the real life star of a cult classic horror story.

The second question “Has there been any construction or renovation on your home lately?” is important because changes in our home can create a disturbance energetically for Spirits that may still be attached to it.  It is also the most common reason for sudden activity.  The Spirits; who for whatever reason are attached to the home, do not understand why things are changing & they start to get restless.  When a house ‘suddenly’ becomes haunted it means something has happened to stir things up.  Most of the time all that is needed in these cases is a bit of negotiating, which is what I did in the Smoking House.

The young mother had answered  ‘yes’ to question #2.  There had been a lot of recent renovation in their home, and ‘yes’ activity had been noticed after renovation had begun.  So I started by getting a grand tour of the place.  Something I always do first.  I walk through the house and pay attention to what I experience in each room…this is my way of ‘Reading’ the house.  I am looking for Spirits and any sign that they have been hanging out in particular places.  I come to all house clearings with a box of tools, ready for whatever awaits me…but in truth, 90% of the time I usually end up just talking to the Spirit; seeing what they need & then doing negotiations between the living tenants and the dead.

In my tour of the house, I was not at all surprised to find an old man sitting in the bedroom that belonged to the 10 year old boy…and the room reeked of cigarette smoke.  He was not the most pleasant of Spirits, nor was he a psychopath…merely an old-curmudgeon who had not found his way to the other side of the Veil.  I started by making sure he knew he was Dead.  Which he did.  Then I told him he couldn’t keep acting out the way he was & that he couldn’t keep smoking in the house.  He then told me as he sat smoking in the chair next to the bed, that they couldn’t make him leave and that it was his house.  He told me that it was his house and that he could smoke in it if he liked.  To which I replied, that they may not be able to…but I can & you technically are not longer the owner of this property.  It was remarkable the turn around in his willingness to cooperate.  In fact, he agreed to not smoking in the house and not purposely trying to startle the Living residence.  In part, the family agreed that he could stay on as long as he continued to follow the rules.  It has been my experience that in most cases of House Hauntings there is an amicable solution for all parties.   In the rare cases where the Spirits in the house are unwilling to negotiate-Spirit-eviction notices follow suit.

I  hope you enjoyed the read Folks, I will be sharing a bit of Spooky all week.  If your local or going to be in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont this weekend, check out my event on Facebook…Stories of Spirit-Tales for Halloween.  Tickets are available at the Grindstone Cafe in Lyndonville, VT

 

Sacred Travel…Shadows in the Mist [the woods surrounding Ossipee]

morningmistI went on a short adventure this week to the lake region of NH.  I went to spend time with some friends and encountered many Spirits along the way.

My sister Sandycrow &  I arrived in the woods of the Ossipee, NH area just as dusk was settling in.  Dusk and Dawn are powerful times of Spirit as they are Betwixt & Between, being neither Day nor Night.  As an added treat there was a heavy mist settling on the land, snuzzling close to the forest floor.  As we drove along the wooded road we could see a ridiculous amount of Spirits, by ridiculous I mean the forest was full.  They were Spirits of Native Americans, most of them Warriors.  They did not feel threatening, but watchful.  As we drove slowly through the forest we watched in Awe and felt the Woods.

When we arrived at our destination a fantastically cute Lake House that reminded both of us of houses we lived in during our childhood; 70’s Chalet style.  I kept expecting to see my Mum & Dad coming down the stairs in early 80’s attire; resembling ABBA.  This feeling was emphasized by the fact that Sandy had a few ABBA songs on her ipod, which kept playing.

Over the days spent @ the Lake we explored the woods as well as the water.  The woods; where we had seen the Spirits of the Natives who had once lived there was just up the road, so we had an opportunity to spend some quality time there.  We meditated, communed and gave offerings in the woods.  My preferred offering when visiting Sacred spaces is song.  I sing my Spirit Song wherever I go.  We also gathered wood from the area to use in our ceremonial fire that evening.  The fire we held  in honor of the Spirits who still kept watch on the land there.  It was a beautiful ceremony that left all feeling deeply connected to the Spirit of Place.

Well it’s been a crazy week around these parts and I am off to a Steampunk Festival tomorrow, so I will say goodnight.  I hope you enjoyed the read Folks.

spreading love-salicrow