Wyrd 2014

My wyrd New Year’s resolution: Ecstasy and ease.

Sometimes, it is vital to do things the easy way. I work hard on my spirituality. That’s important. But we can get stuck in the idea that growth has to be all work, no play. The resulting experience sucks—I do not want to feel like God’s drone!—and does not always make for the most inner growth or power. So I constantly create fun modalities for inner change, for my students and myself.

Life and growth will not always be easy. When I’m counseling a trauma survivor, we may be in painful tears together. That is a good thing. Hard work, balanced by fun and ease, has been my ongoing approach.

Empowerment can be accomplished through joyful simplicities. Joy nurtures the spirit. For example, I receive commissions for fantasy portraits, which I paint in trance. They affirm the client’s wondrous essence, inner and outer beauty, and power. Below is one I did of myself. Scroll past it for the rest of the blog:

MddleManagment4ChaosGod2012WT

With the Divine, we can grow spiritually, and overcome obstacles, the easy way, sometimes. Heck, not just sometimes, but a lot of the time!

Recently, I asked one of my students to give me a spiritual challenge—whatever she felt I most needed to work on. Oddly enough, it was to do things the easy fun way. Huh? Me, who is already so good at that? I mean, I have a ball in my life. There is mega-laughter in the classes I teach. And my Gods have a great sense of humor, too—we have a blast together.

But you know what? My student was right. There’s always another level to reach toward. I’m forever wanting to achieve more for the community and in my private life. And I am not, right this second, referring to more fun and ease, but to what I want to accomplish overall.

After meditating on the assignment my student gave me, I realized that the progress I envisioned, for both my private life and what I want to accomplish as a community shaman, could only be achieved through a new devotion to fun and ease. Hah, what a great challenge—to have more fun than ever and go easier than ever!

2014 is my year of doing that.

With so many demands on our time and money, streamlining our lives and choosing pleasure may not seem possible. Nor may there seem time to get needed spiritual support. But here are three easy ways to do all that. There’s that word again—”easy!”

1) Ignore new year promotion-hype that sells you a lot of product, which is the same old stuff that never worked before. Stick with the tried-and-true. Sometimes, we blame the tools we have, instead of our use of them. If you’re not using a hammer, it’s not the hammer’s fault that the nail never gets driven in. Revisit one of your basic tools that has supported you in the past. Use it a little.

2) Ignore hyped up approaches that demand more time than any sane productive person has. Instead, take a moment. For example, keep your tarot deck or runes by your bed. When you wake up in the morning, pull one card or rune, as you’re scrambling out of bed to feed the kids. While you go about your morning routine, spend a few moments thinking about the card. I’m not suggesting you go into trance, sit in a lotus position, or have deep thoughts. I’m saying that, if you cannot do a lot, do not be discouraged and forsake all attempts—just do what you can. Giving a tarot card or rune some consideration, even for a few moments, can open us to Divine guidance, inner resolve, or peace, regarding the day ahead. It can really be a benefit.

3) When you finish reading this, keep heart open to fun, easy ways to: Grow, overcome life’s challenges, and have support for your life.

Here is a way to have all three. Enjoy a Spirit Portrait—it is a gentle, organic process of empowerment. And you give me a chance to fulfill my New Year’s resolution. I adore mirroring people’s wondrousness to them; it is truly some of the best fun. My spirit grows a bit with every painting. Together, we make a great 2014. . . . Wow, I love that idea! Providing joyful support, having a great time in the process, and our shared happiness? Yes! Info at http://www.outlawbunny.com/2012/03/16/fantasy-portrait/

May our fey-touched hearts enjoy 2014 to the max!

Bar1

Fantasy Faerie Portrait

I finished a fantasy portrait. I call it The Faerie Future.
TheFutureI was so happy with how this came out, I’ve been dying to post it.

It’s a painting of one of my caretakers. She’s been generous and kind to me, and this was a birthday present to her. I secretly waited till I had a chance to paint it. It was fun to surprise her with it.

SCrfDone4WOBHere is the photo I worked from. (If the style of her clothing looks familiar: She’s wearing a scarf and dress I hand-painted. (Ahem, my original designs.)

Usually people give me photos to work from when they hire me as their portraitist. But she kindly modeled my wearable art for a blog, and I used a photo from that session so that her portrait could be a surprise.

I was put on this planet to mirror back—and strengthen—the beauty and power I see in people. I do this as a shamanic guide, but I also do it through my spirit paintings, which I create while in trance. (So I guess my painting is another way of being a guide. Wow, there are so many ways that we can empower each other.)

When I see someone’s reaction to my painting of them, it is a gift to me. Portraying the unique spirit in someone makes me happy.

PortraitBotmBnr

Blessing This Site #3

The Generous Sun – Francesca De Grandis, 2012. In gratitude, I painted this fantasy portrait of Kathleen. We’ve been doing projects together since the 80s, and it is always a joy.

This post is to express gratitude for the banners on this site. First: gratitude to the amazing artist, Kathleen Marshall, who made all but two of the banners that go across the top of this site’s pages. She made 13, one to top each page. Her work is a blessing, do wander the site to see it! If you see a top banner, it is by her, except for two I did: One on the “My Other Site” page, and one to use when we need an additional banner here on out; to see the latter click here. I also have reason to be grateful for those two I made, and the ones I made for the sidebar, read on.

I want to share gratitude because I’ve felt in sync with wild Fey gods re the banners, and everything else to do with revitalizing this site. It seems like my Gods are blessing the site. Publically sharing a few banner moments I am grateful for feels like a way to keep the good juju going, so let me continue:

The painting I did for Kathleen to use for the banners constituted real improvement for me, and any improvement I make as an artist, spiritual being, or anything else is Goddess-given. I painted the piece as a magical touchstone for the site, wanting to create a landscape within the Fey realms. Was very surprised it actually looks the way parts of Faerie appear to me. I was mega-shocked I’d actually pulled it off—but, then, LOL, I’m such a novice-painter that I’m easily impressed with anything I do. “Ooh, I drew something that kind of looks like a face, wow, i can kinda draw a face.”

Another blessing was my equal surprise about the calligraphy I sent Kathleen for the banners (I did all the calligraphy). Aside from one or two lessons from mom, I’m self-taught. I’ve been calligraphing on and off since I was 14 and, with these banners, was finally happy with calligraphy I’ve done. I honestly didn’t like my calligraphy until now. (I am in my sixties. It just goes to show, persistence pays.)

Another blessing was getting to try digital art during the banner making process. Oh Goddess mine, I adore doing digital art, thank you for sending it my way. So all side banners (they are at the bottom for some browsers, and may not be on all pages yet) are my doing. The fantasy portrait of Kathleen is also done digitally. The digital art started me doing fantasy portraits, which I have luuuved painting!

Thank you for sharing a bit of my gratitude. That in itself is a profound blessing. Below, please add a verbal blessing if you want. Or make another sort of comment – hey, it will be a blessing in its own way. Love and peace, out.

Fluffy Bunny Pagan

digital painting & picture poem, Francesca De Grandis. For info about a limited first-edition print, click on the painting.

I had a ball making this look over-the-top cute, kept adding and adding pastels and flowers and pretty-pretty, and then adding some more. The text on the print reads, “I am a cute little bunny, hopping around safe in my pastel meadow and forest of pink flowers, happy bluebirds, and faerie tales. All of this is enclosed within an enormous eagle whose talons make skyscrapers look like sewing pins, and whose beak drips with the blood of potential threats to me and mine. And the eagle resides within a great darkness, an emptiness that is the Mother of all things, and She really loves bunnies. So go ahead, call me “a fluffy-bunny pagan.”

 To my knowledge, no one has ever called me a “fluffy-bunny pagan.” But I dislike the term, and made this painting in support of anyone who’s been wounded by any kind of sarcastic remark about their spiritual path by other pagans. There are enough attacks on pagans without us attacking each other.

 This is a digital painting, except for the photo of the wee rabbit in the lower right-hand corner. It was trance-painting; Spirit guides my digital brush, stroke by stroke. I am freed by this guidance.