Fey Jungle Gym

Faerie Geometry is a Jungle Gym
There is fun and a beauty in our cells and past earth’s atmosphere. There is fun and a beauty situated between the two.

Outer space is a Fey playground. Mine. Yours.
Emptiness is a jungle gym.
We can sow our magic in the rich loam
of stardrenched darkness.
Travel past the sky
to revel with stellar ancestors.

That same infinite amusement park resides in
every atom of my being
—and of your being.
Exact same infinite landscape.
I love Disneyland.
It is advertised as “the happiest place on earth.”
I suspect that’s because it was built to reflect
the other happiest place on earth: each atom of ourselves.
Go inside, play!

There is fun and a beauty in our days.
There is fun and a beauty in our cells and past earth’s atmosphere.
There is fun and a beauty situated between the two:
it is in our immediate environment, if we only look for it.
Walk through your home; look for stuff to do and enjoy.

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Samhain 2014

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Fellow Star-dusted Traveler,

Let us be together in this sacred time.

Join me in a Faerie Samhain ritual, Tuesday Oct 28, 2014, from 3 to 4:00 PM EST.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill). No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial a few minutes before 3:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Celebrate the Pagan New Year!

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Seen the Faerie Ritual Set? For Spells, Divination, Soul Journeying, and More. Check it out here: http://www.outlawbunny.com/2014/06/11/frs/

Upcoming Teleseminar

Update: This class has been rescheduled. I hope our starting it a few weeks later than intended, and moving it from Thursday to Friday, makes it possible for you to attend this extraordinary event, since it won’t occur again for three years.
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Sleep and Other Gods—Applied Pantheism; Life as a Fey-Druid

Nurture your ability to hear Nature’s music. Join its song to heal and empower self, Gaia, and the Tree of Life.

Safe and Powerful, digital painting, Francesca De Grandis. 2013

Safe and Powerful, digital painting, Francesca De Grandis. 2013

For decades, I’ve practiced what I’ve privately defined as Applied Pantheism or Faerie Taoism. I share these personal terms now, because I want to teach more of my Druidic material to fellow seekers.

My loving, protective Gods seem to arrange a flow whereby special people visit this site. So, though some people glibly choose pantheism to avoid inner growth or spiritual rigor, I think you’re like me—wanting the full pantheistic possibility. I created this curriculum for you.

The written word can’t describe oral tradition lessons. And the attempt makes the lessons sound shallow or easily gotten elsewhere. Or what you already know. Or it sounds like hype. Nevertheless, I’ll give a few examples of what we’ll address:
* Relaxed, easygoing interaction with plants, stones, and animals, for guidance, nurturance, company, and mutual aid
* Your innate—but possibly untapped or not completely used—ability to find soul nourishment in Fey realms
* The exact pantheist modalities you personally need for maximum inner transformation
* Courage to serve community joyfully (even when “haters gonna hate”).

This teleseminar is suitable to entry-level beginners and adepts.

Nuts and bolts:
* These are group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone from anywhere.
* The class meets seven consecutive Fridays, noon to 1:00 E.S.T., starting Friday April 11.
* Reserve Friday, May 30, same time, for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* Tuition is $250. Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.
* Register online at http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/specialevent.html
* Or pay by check or money order.
* Upon receipt of payment,
I email you event phone number, etc.
* Scholarship and work trade available. Refunds unavailable.
* Call me—814-337-2490—for more info or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan. Do not email me.
* Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation.

Want to be immersed in the immense love available through applied pantheism? Register now.

Serving with the Fullness of Your Being

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Dear Star-dusted Traveler,

Please join me in ritual, Friday Sept 6, 2013, from noon to 1:00 EST. The themes of the ritual will be: serving both humankind and the rest of the world tree; serving with the fullness of your being; as you are guided by Faerie wisdom, step-by-step.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill.) No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial a few minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Please attend. I want to support your giving your best over and over.

Mysticism and Non-Academic Scholarship

A mystic needn’t be an academic to be a scholar. Why is this idea important? Some people create a magical, fulfilling life based in a non-academically-shaped worldview. We also might want to teach from such an orientation. Our cosmology can be as carefully constructed and extensively developed as any scientific understanding, but many would crush our power by insisting there is only one intelligent way to see, to learn, to study.

Trust your observances made through mystical states, e.g., trance. Trust your non-ordinary modes of perception, like intuition.

I’m not suggesting you blindly believe and act on everything you think you’ve observed. For example, when you have an intuition or receive guidance from spirits, run it by a down-to-earth person who exists on the mundane plane. Non-academic perspectives are as subject to fault as academic insights.

But, luckily, I did not wait until a university validated each step of the many I needed to travel along my shamanic path. I’d have taken fewer steps, losing great joy and fulfillment, not only in my personal life but also because I would have taught less.

Academic validation does happen to me lots, and it feels nice. But relying on it as a way to tell myself or anyone else, “See, I know what I am doing” would undermine my belief in my style of scholarship. An example: Pics of subatomic particle tracks validated what I’d seen in trance for decades. But I’d validated it for myself already. Hence the painting below:ShamanicPhysics 2012-03

Training can be crucial. Just as a scientist studies his “craft,” so have I. I also spent years in trance, 24-7, researching as diligently as any scientist in a lab.

I’m not suggesting you trust yourself only if you do the full-time training or research I did. Mine was needed because of goals I had as a teacher and mystic. Otherworldly reality is innate in us all. Just as many linear-minded non-scientists trust their personal worldview, so should many mystics observe and assess their environments, drawing our own conclusions, instead of docilely following “experts.” I mention my full time commitment only to reinforce the extensive possibilities of mystical wisdom.

Insights I gain through altered states are building blocks of trainings I create. But I don’t carelessly throw something together in the name of Divine inspiration. I spend years developing a curriculum before teaching it.

My fastidiousness does not naysay the observations of someone without training. The psychic realm is as much a part of human heritage as ordinary daylight; we all have insights about it; and they are important contributions to community dialog. In fact, one of my goals as a teacher is to create tools that help people trust their insights and recover their innate mystical awareness, which has often been squelched.

Being a mystic does not deny your intellect. (And too many beautiful, astute, linear minds are used to invalidate somebody’s heartfelt, lyrical worldview.) I know amazingly left-right-brain integrated mystics.

It’s like being a musician. In my last year of college, I supposedly needed more units of logic-based classes to get my degree. But the college president felt that my thirty hours of music theory, which is mathematically based, obviated the need for further logic classes.

When I write a song, channel liturgy, or travel faerie realms for info, my intellect needn’t suppress my efforts. It can weave in and out of my emotive fanciful state, improving my effort. I also might go over what I have created to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, until I’m satisfied.

In various mystical states, there’s a dance between the two sides of the brain and the heart and soul. Each aspect of you comes forward, adding what it can. All of you weaves constantly, in such rapid-fire succession of ever-changing intertwinings that you might be totally unaware of this complex inner interaction.

At such times, we learn truths that others may deny. We plug into immense powers to control our own destiny. We become part of miracle. Even other pagans may try to invalidate these gains, Goddess bless them, instead of realizing that their approaches and ours can be different without either of us being wrong.

But the things we learn in such states set us free.

This has been a limited view on mystical scholarship. But the crux is: Let yourself be free.

Be a Goddess Training

Would you like to be personally led through the shamanic training program in my book Be a Goddess!? Keep reading.

Be a Goddess! was written for independent use, so a lot of people completed it on their own. But one size does not fit all. To honor that, I am facilitating a group. Honor your particular style!

This will not be oral tradition. Instead, we meet to: support you as you work through the book’s lesson plan; answer questions; and otherwise provide camaraderie and motivation.

Nuts and bolts:
* We meet in group phone meetings, for a total of 8 meetings, every other week. No computer or special equipment needed; just dial the phone to participate.
* In the drop-down menu below, register for the group that meets every other Sunday 4 to 5 pm EST, starting August 11 or the group meeting every other Tues noon to one, EST, starting Aug 13.
* Reserve Sun Nov 24, 4 pm or Tues Nov 26 noon—respectively—for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* You need the book with you at all meetings.
*Total enrollment cost is $250. You might also pay long-distance charges; it depends on your long-distance plan; charges appear on your phone bill. The area code for the event is a U.S. #.
* Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and event phone #, etc., emailed to you. If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call 814-337-2490. Do not email me; my disabilities do not allow me to spend enough time at the computer. No refunds.

BaGCertI made this document especially for the group. Click on it to see it larger and clearer. When you finish our eight meetings, I will email you this graphic, without the watermark on it. Fill in your name and the date to be proud of you.

Free bonus: A private online forum for our Be a Goddess! training group. Participation not required. (I will not take part. There’ll be plenty of time at our phone meetings to ask me questions. The forum allows you to talk freely between group meetings without the book’s author involved. I will, however, monitor the forum for technical problems or inappropriate behavior, so that the environment is safe and supportive.)

And any participant is welcome to phone me with questions a couple of times during the course of the lessons.

Do you want to finish this Faerie training and reap all its power? Scroll down to register, I probably won’t be able to do this group again for five years.


Choose one of the groups in the drop-down menu.



Connectivity, Ecstasy, Service

If we believe in the pantheist or Taoist principle of all things being connected, we walk our talk by serving all things. As an ecstatic, I find heart-rendering joy through service.

We are part of a great weave. Call it the World tree, the dance of life, the Tao—call it Fred. We can be codependent in this weave, or we can have boundaries but still be within it. We can fight it, or we can be fed by. And we can surrender to it.

Surrender can be just a fancy pompous word unless we are of service. There are other ways one must follow through on the notion of surrender for it to actually be surrender, but for now let’s focus on service.

But before we do, I need to add an aside: I am not suggesting we must perfectly attain any of the ideals I set forth here. I would be a hypocrite to suggest I have anywhere near attained these ideals myself. I do cleave to these ideals, and do my best to achieve them (though my best is often poor), and this is all my Gods ask of me.

Okay, back to service. We can serve the weave. My belief and experience is that, if we believe the Taoist or pantheist principle of all things being connected, we walk our talk by serving all things. Serving community, serving Gaia, serving all of life, serving family, serving one’s spiritual tradition(s) and spiritual teacher(s) and spiritual student(s), serving one’s Gods.

We must also serve self, self is part of the weave. Sometimes, we best serve by serving self alone. For example, when we are ill or need to build courage to serve others. Or when we simply need time alone to enjoy ourselves.

Ultimately, to be part of the weave, we serve in surrender. I often forget that. In other words, when my Gods ask me to do something, I often try to set about doing it my way instead of Theirs. But to really do that which my Gods ask me, I must also implement it the way They ask. (Oh, my, in this essay, surrender becomes service becomes surrender.)

When we serve, we align ourselves within the weave, we start flowing with it. We start being fed by it in ways that we cannot otherwise. There is healing and empowerment not otherwise available.

What’s more, we experience connectivity so sublime that it is orgasmic. Literally orgasmic. I have great orgasms because I am of service.

I painted this blessing  banner quite a while ago, but post it here bc it is in the spirit of my prayer.

I painted this blessing banner quite a while ago, but post it here bc it is in the spirit of my prayer.

Being of service is truly pagan, it’s not a wimpy trait, it is part of ecstasy. Not only ecstasy between the sheets but also an ecstatic way of life—being joyfully within the weave whether it’s with your family, your coworkers, a beautiful summer day, or the stars in the sky.

I am blessed to feel connected to every star in the universe and know the thrill of all starlight radiating around me, with me, through me. I know this weave because I am blessed to be of service.

My prayer: Gods, I know that serving is a blessing to me, because all things come from you—my breath, my ability to rise in the morning, my joy, my serving. Everything of me is from you. So do not let me think that my service to others makes me superior. Getting the chance to serve others makes me very very lucky! It is to you I must turn if I want to serve: I pray, please bless me with the power to serve—including the willingness to serve. And bless me with the humility to serve in surrender—when You set me a task, help me implement it the way You ask.

CnslingBotmBnr

The Next Lesson

The Next Lesson
Feb, 2012
I needed to inject some humor into a rough day, so it seemed a good time to share this allegory I wrote last year . . . Me, a trickster? Naw! :-)

A spiritual teacher had three students she taught for many years. After they finished this vigorous training, one went to a dance class. He found enlightenment in that first dance class, and thought, “Ah, this is much better than what I received from my spiritual teacher, this is the real thing.” Another of the three students started a garden. In that greenery she found God, within only a few days. She thought, “Wow, look how quickly Nature brought me to God. All those years with my spiritual teacher could not do that.” The third of the three seekers became a wealthy banker, and donated millions of dollars to alleviate homelessness. Years of serving this way was his path to enlightenment, because when we do service, God enters us to live within.

The teacher, upon hearing about her students, thought, “Yes, good, my lessons worked.”

FDG2013JCrop

Francesca, 2013

Then she did what she had done every day she had trained the three of them, though they had not known it: She walked out into her garden and danced with God, who lived there, in her garden, as well as in her spirit and heart and hearth. As always when they danced, trees in her garden grew money. People threatened by homelessness, or who already suffered from it, came from miles around, because they could pick that money at will, to pay for shelter and whatever else was needed to escape tragedy.

After the dance, the teacher said to God, “Now, I hope those three students are smart enough to come back to me for the next lesson.”

Bickering, Community Service, and Self-Awareness

Part two in a series on supporting newcomers (and oldtimers) in your spiritual community. May, 2013. Part one is on my other site, at http://www.outlawbunny.com/2011/06/14/welcoming-newbies/

A woman phoned me to inquire about my classes. That’s not unusual; I teach oral tradition style, so feel I should be available by phone if someone wants to ask about my work.

She immediately said that very few pagans are hard-working in their spiritual efforts. This is not unusual, either; I hear that sentiment plenty.

After addressing her community critique, I tried to move the conversation past it, but she kept returning to the issue. She is not someone for whom I’d be a good teacher.

It is only human to bond with someone new by denigrating others. But it is a tendency I try to avoid: While it feeds the ego of the two people bonding (they get to feel superior to everyone else in the world), it keeps them from getting any actual work done. I mean the sort of work that happens in my classes: for example, self-examination, self-care, nurturing of ability to serve community, and building shamanic skills. No, I am not the teacher for her.

Fool, tarot card, Francesca De Grandis, 12-03

The fool is about love. Fool, tarot card, Francesca De Grandis, 12-03

When first working as a spiritual counselor in an occult shop, I received a pretty big shock. I’d been guiding folks in a private practice, mostly by referral. Suddenly I was thrown onto the front lines. Someone would come to the shop to consult with me because their daughter had just died. Or their 14-year-old son had gotten somebody pregnant. Or their husband beat them.

I went home and threw out my lofty new age abstractions. I threw out my Celtic cross spread, at least for most of the shop appointments. (For those of you who don’t know the spread, it makes for a complex lengthy session.) A lot of these shop sessions were only ten minutes long. After that my boss pressed the buzzer: Time’s up!

I sat in my home and started coming up with very fast spreads that would tune me into the heart of the client’s issue(s) and the essence of the advice they needed. I compiled a list of community resources: contact information for women’s shelters, teen crisis counseling, etc. I honed my inner skills more than ever so that I’d sense a client’s needs stat.

I was a working minister.

Decades later now. As then, not all my work is with trauma survivors. Often, I help people with more “everyday” concerns,” as well as train folks in shamanism, other esoteric skills, creativity, and marketing. But I’m definitely always on the frontlines: in community, with a busy schedule of counseling and teaching.

I mention being a shop employee and my ensuing work because: I’ve rarely gotten involved in pagan debates; I am too busy! Mind you, I discuss my work with other front-line ministers who can help me polish my shamanic skills, not burn out, and otherwise address my work. But I do not want to be criticized because of theoretical issues that have little basis and are thrown on the table by angry people with no understanding of what I am really up against on the ministerial front lines.

When we’re busy looking at our own faults, polishing our own skills, taking care of ourselves, and serving community, we don’t have time to unnecessarily criticize people.

Criticism is appropriate sometimes. Each of us needs to be held accountable by community. And healthy debate is joyfully welcomed in my classes because fresh perspectives rise.

The sort of criticism that I’d like to see less of is the endless picayune bickering that seems to produce little. Hmm, well, it produces swollen egos, draws the limelight, hurts sincere seekers whether newbie or oldtimer, and silences timid souls. Important sidebar: It hurts the newbies not only because they feel rejected but also because it encourages them to behave in kind.

Even as an oldtimer, I can feel hurt and invalidated, when people get so riled up and so angry and bitter; and behind their words is the statement, “I am better than you, I am better than you, I am better than you.” And behind that statement is their primary one: “Go climb in a hole so that your sincere efforts don’t shame me any longer.” This can be devastating to newbies who are ardent seekers with hearts wide open!

Those kind of arguments and the comments of that person who phoned me are also tantamount to saying about the person being criticized, “You are the ‘other.’ You are ‘one of them,’ so you are not as worthy of love and respect. I do not have to treat you with caring and decency because you do not have the same vulnerabilities as me.”

Now, if this post ends now, my mental meandering amounts to me just being another superior jerk. But I am going somewhere productive (I hope):

It felt important to paint a recognizable picture of high-handed community strife and its outcome for three reasons:

1) If you avoid insane community debate, you still might be uber-critical of other pagans (or someone else) within the confines of your own mind. When I find myself doing that, it’s time for a good look at myself. Internal criticism (perhaps a running commentary on the superiority of others, lol) has the same impact on me as it would were I voicing it online. Same impact, dude! I might be avoiding looking at my own errors or avoiding responsibility, to either community or self.

Feeling superior is more comfortable than looking at my own faults. And superiority can, oddly enough, make me feel safer than self-care. And superiority is safer than getting out into the world to try to make a difference. You avoid the endless, high-handed criticism of I-know-better-than-everyone-else idlers who are likely to pursue you once you try to make a diff in the world.

2) Angry superiority is what many newcomers first see. Or we might meet newbies with a subtle version of the same thing. I want to make a practice of examining myself for this. For example, is my ego playing out in a more subtle manner? Goddess, when someone inquires about my work, keep me humble, welcoming, self-aware, and focused on love and service. Goddess, at all times, keep me humble, welcoming, self-aware, and focused on love and service.

3) If you are afraid of getting into the pagan community because of what you see, now you know i see it too. You are not alone. Please realize there are people who do not bicker. We aren’t as vocal because we’re busy living. If you ask the Universe to guide and inspire you, you will find us.

And, with us, you can work and dance and celebrate the Gods. Because we are pagan to the bone. Heathens, celebrating the stars, the earth, the seasons, ourselves, and each other.

You will find us. We are here. I am like you.

One Great Promise

PillowcaseStudyOn Pinterest, a photo of an open cottage door,
huge and solid oak,
is one . . . great . . . promise.

In my imagination, other singular promises emerge:

The tendril of hair escaping from a carefully groomed coif,
that one bit twirling down along the cheek
is an invitation, is life flirting with me;

The ivy that, in my childhood, came through
my bedroom window
and crept along the wall above my bed;

The moss growing on tombstones;

The rebellion in my heart—a consistent flower,
forever breaking through the civilized urban cement
that I too often adopt, mistaking it for morality;

The faerie road stretching before me—
I’ll find a bower along it that’s a gateway to another realm,
fellow travelers will delightfully mystify me,
I’ll meet challenges and dancing lights,
While gathering up gems and accomplishments;

The tumbled-down shining castle
where I will finally be safe
from betrayal, cruelty, and bone-wrenching disappointment.

Faerie tale images, all.

There is no place for them
except the open mind and heart
that wander from logical absurdities
to accept “once upon a time . . . ”
Then the adventure begins, it is your life,
the heart and mind are full.

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PiloCsStudyAfter writing the above poem, I’m impelled to say: Want to live in a myth of your choosing? Take my next class, whether or not its description mentions myth. For upcoming class announcements, sign up for my free e-newsletter. Adventures begin when someone is told, “Now is your chance” and goes for it.