This summer my sisters Sandycrow & Magpie (Corey Raynor) and I have decided to make weekly outings around Vermont to share with you what beauty and magic lie in the hills and mountains that make up what we call home! Along the way, we may venture into our neighbor's yards; with visits to New Hampshire and Maine making their mark on the map. I hope to share this journey with you, so you can check out some of these enchanted places for yourself, and that you may develop a new relationship with the land that surrounds your home. I encourage you to go on random adventures, stop in hole-in-the-wall towns, and find the waterfalls, caves, and healing centers of your neighborhood!
THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM-
I live in an enchanted Kingdom! Yes, and actual Kingdom, or at least so named. It's a little triangle of land (2027 sq. miles) bordering the Connecticut River to the East and the Canadian border to the North. Being the least populated area of the state it is filled with trees, lakes, rivers, and adventurous hearty folks! Over the last decade, the area has become known as a nature lovers' playground and development in the region has been based around mountain biking, hiking, and magic of one kind or another. While there are many articles in magazines and websites speaking about our great coffee, beer, and soon-to-be cannabis industry, the spiritual nature of our woods has been less spoken of, remaining a secret and sheltered in the wooded places of our state.
ROOTSTOCK RETREAT-Glover, VT
Our first jaunt about the Kingdom took us to Rootstock, the magical retreat center owned and operated by Beana Bern and her team of apprentices and magical land stewards! In truth, we based our adventures on visiting Beana, as I needed to check out the land in preparation for the EARTH MAGIC RETREAT I will be teaching there in September. Rootstock has a presence! Filled with gardens, forest paths, earth temples, and the soon-to-be-finished water spa (wood-fired hot tubs, rainwater bathing pools, and more) Rootstock is a place to reconnect with yourself, and experience the medicine of the natural world. Deeply elemental Rootstock holds its guest as they move through their journey toward knowing self! Holding monthly moon circles (for the ladies), and sun circles (for the fellas), deep medicine, and magical retreats, this sacred land is a true blessing to the kingdom.
EARTH MAGIC RETREAT w/Salicrow @ ROOTSTOCK
LANZER FRUIT FARM- Glover, VT
The next stop on our journey was The Lanzer Fruit Farm, where I picked up a couple of Current bushes for my fruit garden at Solstice Meadow. Along the way, being the wild-and-crazy folks that we are, we found three different colored hard hats at a roadside yard sale. Deciding it would be fun to show up at our friend Claire's (Lanzer) house wearing them for no reason whatsoever, we whipped our car around and purchased these beauties 3 for $1. Arriving at the fruit farm, we got a tour of the grounds, which produces hundreds of pounds (900lbs was their best year) of currents in over 25 varieties! Having visited the Celtic Isles multiple times, I am a huge fan of currents, and was surprised to find out that currents were outlawed in the United States in 1911 due to the fact that they could carry a fungus that was dangerous to the White Pine; so prized by the lumber industry. The ban has been lifted in many of the states, Vermont included!
The best part of the LANZER FRUIT FARM in my opinion, is that they are conscious of the energy they put into their land and fruit. Altars are nestled under apple trees, and the flower gardens speak of the tenderness shown by the stewards of the land. Magic can be tasted in every taste. Good news! The currents are in season, and PICK-YOUR-OWN happens at the end of July, so you didn't miss it!
STARDUST MEADOW (Village Deathcare), Craftsbury, VT
The next stop on our journey found us at the home of my friend, Death Doula & Author, Anne-Marie Keppel. Anne-Marie offers community death doula training, family support and ceremony. She was online facilitating a zoom class when we arrived, but we found her home to be an enchanting resting space along our journey. (As you can see my sisters do not hesitate to make themselves at home). Being that we are not particularly good at reading directions we wandered right out of Anne-Marie's backyard and onto the grounds of Sterling College; which are connected to the village homes via an inviting path... Much like entering a secret garden, we were enchanted!
You can visit STARDUST MEADOW and learn a great deal about the sacredness of Death & Dying this August at the VERMONT DEATH AND DYING SYMPOSIUM; where I will be performing a SPIRIT GALLERY! Details here-
VISITING MARGOT DAY, Craftsbury, VT
While in the charming town of Craftsbury we stopped for a delicious cup of refreshment, and a tour of her personal sacred sites. While Margot's land is not a public destination, her music is! Margot describes her music as Witchy Goth Rock. You can find her latest video here-
Not only did Margot make a fantastic cup of coffee, but the elemental magic of her space was also delightful. As a Water Witch, I was particularly moved by the many water altars she had on her land and the simplicity in which they were honored. Many people overthink things, imagining that altars must be elaborate and flashy, but Margot's simple and natural embrace of the energy of her land and water proved that sometimes simple is best! While I can't invite you to explore Margot's land, I can invite you to keep listening to her music and let you in on a secret-I'm in her upcoming video 'Kiss of the Witch'!
INDIGENOUS ROOTS INSTITUTE, Woodbury, VT
While Woodbury is technically just outside the Northeast Kingdom, we couldn't resist visiting our friend Sierra McFeeters. Indigenous Roots offers a two-year Shamanic Apprenticeship, as well as hosting Annies Cottage, which is available for death/dying, transitional, and medicine retreats. It's hard to put into a short paragraph or two all that Sierra has to offer. She has been a Reiki Master Teacher and Healing instructor for many years, and has educated and helped heal many, many folks!
One of the most remarkable things about Indigenous Roots is the use of space, with just over 3 acres Sierra has transformed her property into a place of deep healing, and magic. Making use of the backside of her property that sinks down into a deep ravine, she has utilized the space to create an ideal setting for going deep into one's self and the world of spirit. Sweat Lodges, drum circles, and more...
Thanks for coming along on the journey, and stay tuned for my next Sacred Travel Blog! Which features a Vermont publishing house (Inner Traditions, my publisher), a sacred garden, and some stops just south of the Kingdom in Windsor County, Vermont, and a bit from my favorite places Lake Willoughby and The Ammounousuc River!
Want to learn more about the magic of nature and how you can access it in your backyard? Check out my new book-
The Path of ELEMENTAL WITCHCRAFT
Barnes & Nobles-https://rb.gy/vqefn5
READINGS AND SPIRIT COMMUNICATION w/Salicrow
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