Spirit Speaker: A Medium’s Guide to Death and Dying, by Salicrow
Destiny Books, 9781644117286, 110 pages, April 2023
In her comprehensive book Spirit Speaker: A Medium’s Guide to Death and Dying, author and medium Salicrow combines what she has learned from over three decades of working with the dying with personal stories from her own family. Salicrow has been aware of her psychic abilities since childhood and was fortunate to grow up in a family that honored her gifts and provided training (She comes from both Irish Travelers and Blackfoot roots). In addition to helping people connect with their loved ones on the other side, she works as a Reiki master, a druid, and tarot and runes reader. Her work also includes leading women’s circles and retreats in her community in Vermont.
In this book, Salicrow shares her experiences with death and dying as a part of life. She takes out much of the mystery and fear and explains the dying process in a way that is both easy to understand and very compassionate. Perhaps because I lost all four of my grandparents within a four-year period when I was a young teenager, I have always been fascinated by death. I wrote my senior paper on a book called The American Way of Death and Dying by Jessica Mitford. Little did I know that I would learn how to talk to spirit people in my forties!
Although this is a short book, Salicrow packs it with everything you need to know about dying, death, and spirit communication. She begins with a discussion about ancestors and how to create an ancestor altar to foster communication with our beloved dead. Next, she discusses signs and symbols from special songs playing on the radio to visitation dreams to special smells that fill the room when a loved one is near.
As she begins to talk about the dying process, she introduces the concept of “The Gray,” which is a “time surrounding death, when the person is still living but cannot get better, and the time after passing when a spirit may be confused about what has just happened.”1 This term was new to me, but accurately describes this phase as a transition between living and dying.
The examples that Salicrow shares about loved ones and clients are descriptive and warm. She shares from her heart and you can feel the compassion as she highlights how to sit with the dead, honor the dead, and move on after a loss. One of the suggestions she had was to replace photos of the living with photos of deceased family members in the room of a dying person. She explains that in some cases, a person may be hanging on for family, not willing to let go and pass to the other realm. By seeing a few photos of departed loved ones, the dying person can look forward to crossing over and see the love and support waiting for them there.
Salicrow goes further and provides a meditation you can use with a dying person to help them cross over. It was quite detailed and would be easy to record and play for the person several times, as she suggested. She includes other tips for sitting with the dead in this book.
In the final sections, Salicrow discusses spirit communication and some practical steps the reader can take. She again highlights the use of “wide-angle vision” and an exercise that she referenced earlier in the book. Lastly, she describes how to make altars to the dead and how to honor those in spirit. She explains the concept of living with the dead in this section, which is one of my favorites from the book:
“I am a person who lives with my dead. They are woven into my daily life and hold just as much space in my heart and mind as the living. I am who I am because they came before me, teaching me with their kindness as well as with the wounds they inflicted. None of us is perfect; We are all growing, changing, and becoming. Just as we inevitably realize our parents did not have it all figured out, we, too, need to understand that our ancestors experienced their own tragedies, wounding, and growth. They are allies on our path to becoming, and by giving regular offerings, the relationship between us and our dead is strengthened. As we do so we heal ourselves and those who are part of our family line”2
I really enjoyed reading this book. Salicrow’s writing style is very conversational and bright, especially for a topic that some would consider morose. The book was well planned, easy to read, and included both a table of contents and a very specific index. I plan to create my own altar to my ancestors and will also enjoy teaching some of the concepts in this book to my women’s group and clients.
Spirit Speaker would be great for anyone to read, from a beginner who is new to concepts regarding spirit communication to those who have years of experience as a medium. This book would also be beneficial for anyone who is facing hospice care for a loved one or friend. I found it fascinating that she combined so much information in one book. It was as if she took all of the ideas I’ve picked up along my twenty year journey, books I’ve read, and experiences I’ve had and put these into one small volume about death, dying, and spirit communication. I’ll be getting additional copies of this book for clients and students in order to share the comprehensive information and personal journey of Salicrow and her way of living with the beloved dead.
PJ Spur is an author, intuitive, spiritual mentor, hypnotist and past life regressionist. She does Tarot card readings, past life readings, grief coaching, and relationship healing. Her book Navigating Grief with Grace is available on Amazon. She has hosted a weekly “Coffee & Cards” event with her Soul Compass Community for the past three years.