DNA and Ancestral Ritual

DNA Science and magic meet. I won’t choose between mysticism and science. They can feed each other.

My ancestors are spiritually important to me. So I’m combining science and spirit in a deeply personal way: I ordered an AncestryDNA test kit.

A mystic, I travel through the blood in my veins, back through time, to discover the ancient ways my family once practiced. Today, the logical rational side of me does the same by spitting into a vial. This test tube becomes a chalice that arrived by mail, enclosed in plastic. Two supposedly disparate halves of me come together to feed my spirit.

I mailed my saliva, part of my sacred body, to scientists, who will analyze it to reveal my ethnic background. They’ll go back through many generations, the same way my meditations have. Their work will expand my otherworldly travels.

The lab analysis will determine where my ancestors hail from, based on a science my layperson’s mind can’t understand, no matter how much experts explain it.

Many scientists would be equally puzzled by my ability to uncover historical information by meditating on my blood. I have my expertise, they have theirs. I get to draw on both.

A relationship with my ancestors, in ritual and daily life, is pivotal to me. They lovingly support me. And I tend them. Trance journeys give me a strong intuitive sense of my ancestors. The DNA results can help me know whether my intuitions are correct.

It would be fine to trust my intuition without the DNA results. (Check out my blog about that: Mysticism and Non-Academic Scholarship.) But corroboration is useful.

Science can support my spirituality in other ways, too.

For one, I come from a European shamanic family tradition. Some of my family history has been lost. I’m hoping DNA will fill in gaps.

For example, I might see how major societal events impacted my family’s past generations to shape the family’s spirituality. That familial story could provide context to better understand my own path.

Luck allowed me to gather a staggering amount of anecdotal evidence about my ancestors. Information from relatives, and from strangers I don’t know but who have my last name, and from other sources, provided enormously convincing material, when looked at as a whole. I believe anecdotal evidence is part of folk culture and one source of the old wise ways. This fecund anecdotal evidence can be augmented with DNA science.

For example, the DNA test might help me gather more anecdotal evidence, if it leads to relatives I hadn’t learned about previously. They might know family history I don’t.

DNA results could also be a jumping off point for more ancestral rituals. I love the wisdom of ancient cultures, and appreciate reenactment whether based in textbooks’ history or intuited history. I revere native and ancestral spiritual practices. These leanings feed my desire for DNA info about my ancestral roots.

I can best explain another reason for wanting a test by telling you a personal story.

A friend of mine was part of a DNA study. Before continuing the story, let me be clear: I’m not part of any study. My test kit is from AncestryDNA. They’re not experimenting on me, and their tests results do not show an ancestral timeline such as you’ll read about in my friend’s tale. I checked out some companies, and AncestryDNA seems to give the most comprehensive results. If you’re interested, their kit is also easy to use.

Back to my story:

My friend phoned me one day, and exclaimed rapturously, “I got the DNA results. My family originated in Egypt!”

Then she added, “My later ancestors migrated to Greece. Guess where else my ancestors migrated to?”

I responded, “Mongolia?”

There was a long pause. Then she said, in a stunned voice, “That’s right! How did you know?”

“It was obvious. Your immense love for Egyptian religions motivated you to become an Egyptian scholar, devoted to reviving ancient Egyptian spiritual practices, which became part of your personal devotions. Later, you seriously worked with Greek Gods. Then, you channeled material that had no geographical basis, as far you knew, but later found out that the material resonated with documented Mongolian traditions.”

I continued, “Your family only told you about your Caucasian Irish lineage. But your earlier ancestors influenced your mystical life. Your spiritual quest this lifetime follows the migration of your ancestors, step by step!”

The point of my story: I want to know if my DNA matches my various spiritual leanings.

There can be valid reasons we’re drawn spiritually to cultures we were not raised in. Our DNA might be one of those reasons. I don’t hold with the idea that you should only use the spiritual tools of your obvious ancestors.

Mind you, I am not okaying co-option. I’m saying legitimate cross cultural shamanism exists.

That legitimacy is hard to come by. It would take a whole book to explain how to pull it off ethically and otherwise, so I won’t get into it here, except to say:

By “cross-cultural shamanism,” I don’t mean “core shamanism,” AKA the idea that shamanism is primarily the same in all cultures. I disagree with the modern standardization of shamanism.

My experience is that shamans individualize according to cultural differences, and way past that, individualizing family by family and person by person.

My personal definition of legitimate cross-cultural shamanism is an ethical, thoughtful blend of earth based mysticism as it manifests in various cultures.

Moving on:

I am a little worried. With adventure, comes fear of the unknown: am I going to like the DNA test results?

But mostly I’m excited about the DNA adventure I am embarking on.

And I feel gratitude for science and magic.

When the DNA results arrive, I’ll post them here, and share how it impacts my mystical journey.
********************
Note: I first posted this blog May 2015 at http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/a-faerie-haven.html and post it again here for those of you who tend to read me here.
********************
NewsPrpl

Faerie Lammas Ritual 2015

Lms2015

NewsPrpl

Please join me for a Third Road harvest celebration, Thursday July 30 at noon to 1:00 EST.

Let’s celebrate our harvests and manifest additional bounty.

Let’s honor ancestors, Gaia, and other Gods.

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 three to five minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

If you want to experience oral tradition, this ritual is an opportunity.

Mark your calendar.

Goddess Bless, Francesca De Grandis

Oral Tradition’s Importance

The society that murdered thousands of witches also hid the nature of oral tradition, burying even a hint of its immense power to remove our shackles.

OrlTradSqSm

I’m a dinosaur, but will not give up teaching oral tradition. Its power is needed.

The trend is online classes. There is also some good money to be made there for teachers. But I’m committed to oral tradition, so teaching online isn’t an option. It’s not oral tradition, at least not as I know it.

Mind you, I leave each person to their own definition, and I support each Pagan’s choice of teaching methods. I’m not here to debate what is or isn’t oral tradition, or what teaching method is best.

Instead, here I’m discussing my commitment to the indescribable experience of glory and power conveyed only through a certain style of teaching, whether you call it oral tradition or Francesca’s style or George. :-)

It’s interesting I used the words “indescribable experience.” The term oral tradition was originally used (in part) because there was no point in writing it down. No record could possibly convey it—it was indescribable.

The indescribable beauty and freedom of a lifestyle informed by oral tradition keeps me committed to it.

Beyond my students’ note-taking during classes, any record distorts—and might even corrupt—the original transmission. I don’t allow recordings of my oral transmissions. Nor do I provide transcriptions of them. Sometimes I ask people to refrain from taking notes.

Oral tradition can happen by phone (known as teleseminars). That is the medium I mostly use to teach. We transcend time and space to walk between the worlds together.

Past life memories tell me a communal knowledge of oral tradition was exterminated centuries ago: A society driven to murder thousands of witches also hid the nature of oral tradition, to bury even a hint of its immense power to free us from external and internal shackles. Thus, oral tradition is tangential to how our society as a whole represents it. It is not a discussion group, therapy group, or support group.

You know what? I don’t think I’ll call myself a dinosaur. I’m actually a gorgeous, powerful dragon. The gems in my dragon hoard are the treasures of oral tradition. I’ll keep sharing them, while my dragon tail encircles them and my students from those who would rob us of this heritage.

I don’t expect anyone to believe oral tradition provides benefits and beauty that cannot be received elsewhere, until they experience it firsthand. Something happens I can’t describe here—there’s that word “description” again—because it cannot be explained in writing, it must be experienced.

Technology’s seamless integration into our lives makes tech an extension of a person to some degree, but that does not turn online exchanges into legitimate oral tradition. I do not know a way to transmit oral teachings via vid chat, even if no record of it is kept. Once again, explaining that is beyond the limits of the written word.

No one can understand my underlying reasoning for my position unless they talk with me … talk, as in oral tradition.

Many people have been shocked or puzzled because I’m a best-selling author whose phone number is on her webpage. As hard as I am work writing books that transform lives—I’ll spend a decade writing a single book, because my standard is sky high—I work even harder on oral tradition, because my Gods told me to center there. As powerful as my books are—there are few better—my oral teachings are even more powerful. I love living in oral tradition.

So I put my phone number out there. 814.337.2490. For one thing, some people need a taste of oral tradition to know whether they want to work with me.

To enter oral tradition with you represents a willingness on both our parts to show up—take responsibly for the moment and be present in it. Then unparalleled magic fills us.

I’m blessed by students who take responsibility for their lives. Some live in the now so fully that they make a long-term commitment to learning my oral teachings, so we can moment after moment after moment create mind-boggling changes in our lives.

It’s hard to make that commitment. But even if they have insane schedules, relentless financial pressure, or other enormous, daily demands, they make time. Lo, their schedules become less crazy, the demands get fewer, the pressure relents, and they move into their dream lives. Oral tradition is about living life to the max.
NewsPrpl

Sacred Doubt

May I not let doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.

DoubtRecently, I was feeling shaky about my decisions in a couple of life’s arenas: I had doubts about how I approach relationship with my Gods. I was also doubting one of my financial decisions.

The doubts popped up during ritual. At first, I thought these distractions during rituals lessened the rites’ power. But I’m realizing that doubt is part of the spiritual process. Sometimes, it’s good to doubt. Sometimes, doubt adds to a ritual. (Yes, doubt during a rite can lessen its power. But I’m talking about something different here.)

I started thinking about the benefits of doubt. Doubt can lead us to change our minds for the better.

Doubt can also lead us through a process that, in the end, helps affirm our decisions and cleave to them better than ever.

Moving all the way across the country sometime soon, to return to California, is a huge decision and risk. For example, I’m giving up ownership of a three-bedroom rural home on 7/10 of an acre, with a $700 monthly mortgage payment (!) to rent at a much higher monthly cost. Eek! So I wrote a prayer about doubt. The prayer could also be used as an affirmation. I share it here in case you find it relevant to your own personal life.

If you use this prayer/affirmation, please tell me how it goes. I’d love to hear your experience, because it will be unique to you.

Sacred Doubt

May I accept my doubts.
May I recognize doubts as part of life.
May I understand doubts as sometimes part of a self empowerment process.

May I not run from doubts in myself.
May I not run from doubts in other people.

May I not let my doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.
May I not let other people’s doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.

Instead, may I remember that my doubts are a part of me
that might be need healing or empowerment.
May I give that part of myself love.
May I give that part of myself respect.
May self love and respect heal my doubts, if they need healing.*

May I allow my doubts to bless me,
with power or other gifts.

Though there are times it’s good to validate,
invalidate, or analyze my doubts,
may I take time for simple gentle awareness of them.

May this simple, relaxed observance
allow my cells’ innate wisdom
to guide my whole being, both body and spirit.

Note 1: I added the phrase “if they need healing,” because sometimes a doubt does not need healing. For example, a doubt can be a partial recognition of a truth we haven’t grasped yet. When we honor doubt, instead of trying to “heal” it, we allow space in our consciousness for the partially hidden truth to fully emerge.

Note 2: Here are instructions for the above-mentioned simple gentle awareness. Instead of watching your doubts with a sharp effortful focus that is a tiring strain, rest your attention on your doubts gently, the way your head rests on the pillow at night.

Use the comment field below to tell me your own thoughts about doubts. We all have different experiences. Perhaps yours are so different from mine that they will enlighten me. Or perhaps yours are fairly similar to mine, which would be helpful affirmation for me.

Blessed be, Francesca

FRS_Bar_6

On your life journey, you deserve the best tools. Click here to learn about the Faerie Ritual Set: http://www.outlawbunny.com/2014/06/11/frs/

Druid (Elven) Chant

Yule14BlackThis is a seasonal chant. It can be used not only for the Winter Solstice, but also for winter months subsequent to Yule.

If you recite it, please tell me what happens. Walking through falling snow, I channeled this poem. When the Goddess gave me a line, I chanted it immediately, while continuing my passage beneath a gray snowy sky. The experience was a gift from the Goddess, and doubly joyful when, reaching home, I managed to get a version of it in writing, because now I can share it with you, my fellow seeker (as well as use it again myself). Sharing our journeys blesses me utterly. So it would be wonderful to know your experience with this chant.

And, by the way, it works perfectly well without the snow storm, LOL. You do not need falling snow to use this chant.

Druid (Elven) Winter Solstice Chant
Francesca De Grandis, 2014

With the falling snow,
stars plummet to ground.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

I, elf, know my losses.
I, elf, know my losses.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

I, elf, know my pains.
I, elf, know my pains.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

I, elf, am not trapped by any sorrow.
I, elf, am not destined to mythic melancholy
or an inevitable tragedy of erroneous lore.

Yule25BlackAaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

Stars descend with the falling snow.
The chill and the heat bless me.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

All the power of the stars is mine.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

My powers are from the dark Mother Goddess.
My powers are from the blazing newborn King.
My powers are from the earth’s molten core.
My powers are from the fiery silver stars.
My powers are from the Dragon flame—all cauldron fires are mine.

By my powers, I easily manifest utter connection to my Gods.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

weebossideBy my powers, I easily manifest self.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest beauty.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest self-love.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest usefulness to others.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest peace.

Yule29BlackAaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest fun.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

By my powers, I easily manifest happiness.

By my powers, I easily manifest wealth.

By my powers, I easily manifest health.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

I easily manifest connection to all my self.

I easily manifest connection to all things.

I easily manifest integration within myself.

I easily manifest integration within the World Tree.

Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.
Aaahhhhhh, wooooooo.

I easily manifest Faerie.

Aaaaahhhhhhhh.
Wooooooooooo.
Aaaaahhhhhhhh.
Wooooooooooo.

Om.
Om.
Om.

purchsbanr2

Yule Ritual 2014

YuleInvite2014
FRS_Bar1
Fellow elves, unicorns, goddesses, gods, and other wondrous beings,

Join me in a winter Solstice ritual, Thursday December 18, 2014, from 6 to 7:00 PM EST.

Let’s celebrate the winter Solstice together—operative word “celebrate.” We are magic. We’ll transform our lives and ourselves through pure fun.

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 6:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Celebrate your Pagan heart!

Love, Francesca De Grandis
————-

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

Pagan Santa’s Elf

Being a Yule elf is part of my personal mythology. Do you have a personal myth this time of year? Please share it. When we share our imaginative lives, we make an even larger mythology spontaneously emerge, to enlarge all our joy, power, and creativity.

Besides, being one of Santa’s elves makes me so happy that I’m bursting at the seams! I have to share about it, or I’ll pop, like a balloon. Here goes:

Santa put me in a managerial position this year. I wasn’t sure what to think about that, at first. I mean, I was honored, but it’s not what I expected, and I did not like totally the idea.

But I’ve learned that, when Santa wants me to do something, there’s no point in resisting, because he always knows what I want, better than I might know it myself. So I knew the job would be good for me, in the long run.
HappySanta1Besides, I’ve worked as middle-management for chaos gods for years. I have the perfect skill set for managing wild elves and the crazy goings-on at the North Pole. Plus, I am not the only manager, the jobs are divvied up.

My particular job involves a lot of organization. I’ve been organizing the elf games (but not the reindeer games). This requires coming up with fun activities.

My elf friend Kathi Somers helped out. Her Yule gift to me this year was the Ravensberger game Funny Bunny. Yeah, it’s for ages four and up, but I’m not too proud to enjoy a silly preschoolers’ game. As the song says, “It’s a gift to be simple.” Simple things in life can be the best. And foolishness wakes up life’s magic.

My work is not just managerial, but also creative. I like that. Part of organizing the festivities has been coming up with holiday menus. Last year, I created a chocolate recipe I really liked. So I used it again this year. My personal formula for keeping spirits up during the Yule season: Chocolate lumps, not lumps of coal. Gluten and sugar-free.

I’ve also been responsible for decorating the Elfin communal spaces, to ensure the areas are cheerful, peaceful, and conducive to a happy winter. For example, the photo below:ByDoor1

And I painted one of my brother elves, then made the painting into a Yule ornament:Tomte

Oh, another thing: I get to be in charge of the Make-A-Wish-to-Pagan-Santa page again this year! I experience such joy doing it, because the wishes people make to Santa are beautiful! I am so lucky to convey them to Santa! Click here to make your wishes.

Share your imaginary life. Quite honestly, imaginary doesn’t mean that it’s not true. Happy holidays!CorsgWSntaButn

Divine Embrace

DivineEmbrace

CnslingBotmBnr2

Divine Embrace

Worship. It’s become a “bad” word. Years of oppression have turned the sweetness of worship into bitter chains. Centuries of censure replaced the ecstasy of divine embrace with a dogma of sadness. But I worship you, who reads this now.

I worship the trees. I worship snow as it falls on my face. I lift my face to the sky to worship it.

And I will not relinquish the joy of lifting my face and heart to worship my Gods.

I rededicate the word “worship.” I free it for anyone who should want it. No one gets to exclusively own it. I free it to be whatever each individual wants it to be. I free it for anyone who wants to give and receive the love and power that can occur in worship.

So mote it be.
————
Extraordinary people need extraordinary spiritual guides. Extraordinary people do not hesitate when they find a guide. http://www.outlawbunny.com/pastoral-counseling

Phoenix Resurrection

PhenxRsrctn
Phoenix Resurrection

I celebrate—here with community—my triumph over a long initiatory ordeal.

Hear my confident victory cry: 10+ years, flames tempered my steel and burned away dross. Til nothing remained except power, abundance, and beauty. Now, my story is victory and joy. I’m happier and more abundant than ever.

Humans are resilient. I overcame a 10+ year nightmare, one tragedy after another. Now, my story is victory and joy. On all fronts: Health, finances, delight, and more. For one thing—just one!—I should’ve died, but now have many good years ahead.

Here—hear—my victory cry: I did more than survive, I thrive again.

It has been quite some time, now, that I thrive again.

I thank my Gods, my community, and my stubbornness.

Victory: I was an excellent shamanic guide, but I used my extreme trials to become an even better guide, so that I can do the next works my Gods require. The foundation beneath my flight was firm, but now it is beyond strength—it is the Universe card, the Tao, the moment, the always.

A 10+ year initiatory bonfire, on which Gods stacked my old ways, til painful blaze reached sky, allowed Phoenix rebirth.

For a good long while now, that fire—transmuted—has been a nourishing Dragon fire within me, fueling my joy and Eagle flight. Some days, it quiets to a banked ember in my heart, warming my soul and loin.

Now my story is victory and joy. Doubt you can rise? You can fly! We humans can wrongly think we’ve lost ourselves. But Scorpio me was always Dragon, even when I couldn’t sense my fire.

I am Phoenix reborn. Flames laid waste the past, birthing warmth-driven foliage. Now, Phoenix relaxes—an easy flight in sacred meadow and passionate forest born from the Phoenix’s own rebirth.

I am Eagle soaring free, no longer pierced by arrow. I am Dragon holding up the sky.

Now, my story is victory and joy. I celebrate through gratefulness. Thank you.

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.
———————————-

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.