Celebrating Our Familiars

Familiar
Once a kitten, cute and shy, but she changed: The familiar comes of age.

I painted the above piece last fall, joyful at my little kitten growing up and coming of age as a familiar.

I also wanted to share that immense happiness about my kitty with you, in the spirit of celebrating all our familiars. Creating a painting seemed a way to do that (but I had no chance to post it til now, LOL).

Animals are far more multifaceted than some people understand, but we who live with familiars know better. Let me share a story about that.

After I painted the piece, I wanted to make a Merry Yule greeting with my kitty in it, just for my personal use. (You might have seen my post of it to wish you Happy Yule 2013.) I thought I’d try to adapt the above already-finished picture. The result surprised me and was interesting: Though the adaptation changed only the cat’s environment and the text, and left the cat itself exactly as is, a completely different facet of her became obvious.

In the original, I see her depth, nobility, and new maturity. But put her in a different surrounding with different text? Check it out below.

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What a mischievous no-good girl! Such a naughty look in her eyes! None of that was apparent in the original version.

I’m not sharing the story to credit myself as an artist. My point is to credit the complexity of animals, and how you and I both see it in these two pictures, when a lot of people would not.

Here’s to our familiars, the wonderfully complex and mystical beings that are our companions, teachers, co-conspirators, comfort, partners in magic, and all around friends. I honestly do not know what I’d do without them. They play so many important roles for me. I am grateful to recognize their many facets.

EtsyBotmBnr4

Coven of the Dead

November 2013

These past two years, the need to grieve
a passing on has come three times.
And, though each passing wrenched my soul,
and I sore miss my precious friends,
in other ways they are here still,
beside me in a way that’s real.

I have a coven of the dead.
We circle still, inside my head.
Lady Jane is there with pride.
Her generous love is clear and bright.
The grin of Trickster Dawn is wide,
his loyal soul stands by my side.
And when Olivia knows it right,
she too attends e’re day or night.

We circle round inside my head,
in morning rites and before bed.
Death robs all beings, it won’t stop.
But love and light remain throughout.

The veil is thin and visits come,
the wheel of life is never done.
And when my dead have need for friends,
my love remains, again, again.

When last I leave the narrow world
from which most people never stray,
until they leave it at the end,
my friends will walk me through the veil,
and we will circle—still, still,
a coven of the dead.

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I do not know why my language became archaic in this poem, nor why I chose to singsong. But it felt right. Perhaps, it distanced me enough from my pain to, paradoxically, write about it honestly. In any case, admitting my heartache opened a great joy in that aching heart, as you can see. On another note: Special thanks to VZR and KT for their support to post such a personal piece.

CnslingBotmBnr2

Hiding, Healing, Power

Faerie art, Francesca De GrandisHiding, Healing, Power
Written and painted in March and/or early April, 2012.

I call the following piece a Faerie tale. That is accurate but not by most standards. The piece is part my thoughts, part my paintings, part my methods for empowerment (perhaps in less overt forms, such as asking you a question), mixed with little magical stories told through word and visuals. By my definition of shamanism, that is a faerie tale: The sum total helps you live in myth—live in myth generally speaking, and in the particular myths I’m creating here, and in your own unique myths that this piece can help you find and/or better dwell in.

I painted the illustrations brush stroke by stroke—digitally. I just paint on a computer screen instead of a canvas. And with that:

Hiding Fey Warrior In Training. Click on the painting to see it large and without blurring that occurs when WordPress shrinks a pic to fit the page.

Part One

This is a Faerie tale about healing and power. And about hiding. This story is for grown ups.

Sometimes we need to hide. There are many reasons. We might have to hide because we hurt. We find a safe, secret place to heal, or at least to be away from whatever might hurt us.

Do you ever hide? Do you need to tell someone why? Or is it better that no one knows you are hiding?

Sometimes we hide because it is fun.

Sometimes we hide to be alone with our thoughts.

Or with our “imaginary” friends.

Hiding, Faerie Healer in Training. Available as a limited first edition print. For more info, click on the picture.

When children have to repeatedly hide to protect themselves, it can injure their spirit in ways that haunt them into adulthood. But they’re doing the best they know how to keep themselves safe, and that is an act of power.
 
Hiding can also be an act of power when motivated instead by happy events and sweet wishes. We don’t always stay out of sight because of fear and pain; for example, you might simply tuck yourself away in a special place for a while, in order to flourish undisturbed. 

Some people hide to gain powers that only come where no one—without those powers—can see them. They work hard and often joyfully, secretly doing what the Cosmos asks of them. That is what this little Fey fellow is doing—he is a Faerie healer in training.

And perhaps he is also making himself safe from trouble; if you ask him sincerely, he might tell you. Or maybe he’ll just keep peeking out at you from his hiding place.

I’ll post part 2 in two weeks, here. I blog once a week, and am going to try alternating between this and the blog at my other site. Two blogs with two separate RRS feeds.

Please share the URL to my above story; here it is to copy and paste for Facebook or an email or whatever: http://stardrenched.com/2012/06/13/hiding-healing-power/    I want folks to know about my new Faerie tale and my refurbished site (the site you are on has been updated lately with a new look and all sorts of other new stuff). Thank you for your support. I cannot do without it, truly! Oh, wait…I am so 20th century! Unless you’re viewing this blog entry on my site’s home page, you can like my Faerie tale with the nifty Facebook button, right below, next to the Twitter button and the like. Duh!