My Wonderful Students

My long-term shamanic students are the best people. It’s such a gift to have them as my fellow seekers.

I celebrate them today by introducing you to three of them and the remarkable work they do in their respective fields.

sarah_photoSarah Josey—see above photo—is a Clinical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Sacred Living instructor. She says she’s “passionate about helping people achieve health through natural means and supporting people on their life path towards overall wellness and happiness.”

Sarah started studying with me before entering her profession. I had the joy of watching this dynamic, young woman grow into her career. I try to empower my students, but it is up to them to take the ball and run with it. Sarah has definitely done that.

She owns an herbal apothecary in Fort Collins, CO, and also spends part of her year in Fairbanks, AK. Check out her work at SarahJosey.com.

I spend as much time as possible in trance because I love it, but I also believe my shamanic classes should create concrete results, improving all aspects of someone’s life. So it’s always a joy to work with someone who’s multifaceted. Kathy Crabbe, who is wrapping up a two-year shamanic training with me, is an artist, illustrator, writer, and soul reader, and lives in Southern California in an adobe style home she and her husband built.

Here’s Kathy:
kathy-crabbe-bio-pickAlong with her impressive list of talents is Kathy’s commitment to using her gifts in service to community.

Kathy blogs at kathycrabbe.com/blog

A spirit portrait I painted of Rommy Driks gives a sense of this writer who has studied with me for eight years:
starfirestargazermergedRommy says of her blog, “I create strange brews of urban myth and faerie tales, while grooving to good music and sipping better tea. Stop by and enjoy a cuppa and a story.”

That’s a modest self-description, considering her writing is truly original, exquisitely crafted, and conveys important ideas. I thoroughly relish her “strange brews.”

Check out Rommy’s work at http://kestrilsrhythmsandgroove.blogspot.com/

I am blessed to be surrounded by exceptional people.

PortraitBotmBnr

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

Myth, Body, Gaia, Faerie

A Seven-Week Teleseminar: imageShamanic rituals for Faerie shamans, bardic poets, visionary painters, cosmic clowns, spiritual outlaws, and other fey-touched adventurers. And for anyone who wants to become a fey adventurer.

This breakthrough mystical training will not happen again for three years.

I’m temporarily defining myth as an altered state, otherworldly realm, or mythic self-identification. Myth has a more complex, inclusive meaning during the actual teleseminar.

MYTH, BODY, GAIA, FAERIE is a seven-week process that experientially integrates living in MYTH, being in a physical BODY, experiencing GAIA on the embodied and mystical planes, and walking in otherworldly realms such as FAERIE. This weave
* unfolds rich experiences and ecstatic mysticism uniquely and innately available to you,
* then deepens those wonders more,
* then deepens them beyond more.

Such an extensive weave can hold many things, including practical needs. Our seven-week class helps starchildren improve our daily life (e.g. finances, love, home, and career).

This includes magic to
* manifest physical health by meeting the needs of your star-touched physiology,
* and heal your soul wounds.

imageWe’ll address loneliness, self-doubt, and other challenges star-wanderers can face when society, misunderstanding the mythological, judges our experiences as deluded, immature, or otherwise “wrong.”

Many mystics face emotional wounds and health problems that might lead one to metaphysical power. But other wounds can result from mystical exploration. Negative impacts from vigorous otherworldly journeys have been insufficiently addressed. My curriculums are exceptions; I channel material that heals the original soul wounds, supports flights into fantastic realms, and trains us to come back whole. Lessons will help
* Make mystical experiences safe. (Star-drenched!)
* Keep Fey-touched individuals safer in their mundane lives. (Stardust still falls on us when we walk on the earth!)

Myth, Body, Gaia, Faerie qualifies as one of the two electives needed before advanced training. If this class does not appeal, other qualifying electives will be coming up.

Enrollment limited. In-depth attention for each participant. Authentic connectivity.

Multi-leveled to meet any degree of experience and education. Accessible to beginners. No prerequisites. Powerful for advanced practitioners.

Faerie Ancestor who is a guardian to this site. Silk Painting, Outlaw Bunny

Faerie Ancestor who is a guardian to this site. Silk Painting, Outlaw Bunny

Nuts and Bolts:
* We meet by group phone call. No computer or other technology required. Just dial your phone.
* We meet seven consecutive Tuesdays, noon to 1 EST, starting April 15. RESERVE June 3, same time, for a makeup class in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
* Tuition: $250. You might pay long-distance charges, depending on your long-distance plan. If so, they appear on your phone bill. The event is a U.S. area code.
* Register here.
* If you’ve taken this class, you can repeat it, half-price. Paypal me $125, using outlawbunny@outlawbunny.com as the recipient; include your phone number and the name of the event.
* Upon receipt of payment, I email you event phone number, etc. No refunds.
* If you need more info, or want to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call me: 814.337.2490. There are ways to make this class happen for you.
* Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation.

Not the same ol’ rote self-help/mysticism/shamanism. Use your intuition and instinct about my ability to help you shine in your own path. My classes = soul-depth, pivotal movement, playtime.

The spiritual evolution we achieve together will give the rest of the cosmos power to do the same. Click here to register.

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Turning the Wheel

Turning the Wheel through Personal Myth
Santa, Squirrels, and More

Backstory: I live in faerie tales. This lifetime, I’ve never heard of turning the year wheel with one’s personal myth (in this context, I mean a myth of one’s own making or a myth not generally perceived as related to the year wheel). I remember it from past lives.

Below, you will not find a theoretical exposition on turning the year wheel with one’s personal myth. I prefer to live in my faerie tales, not in my (albeit fabulous) theories. So, I share a little piece of my myth here. You mystics are smart—you don’t need someone lecturing theory at you from on high; mystics usually learn more watching—and feeling—how people actually embody their theories. Equally important, when I talk about my adventures, some people join me in them—I long for shared escapades.

Telling my own myth is no suggestion that it is the best one for you, or the right way for you to turn the wheel. End of backstory.

I blog about Yule starting in September. It is not the crass commercialism of stores that promote Christmas items way too early. It’s actually the opposite; it rescues me from holiday madness.

In Autumn, squirrels gather nuts to store for the winter. In the same vein, I plan my dark months in Sept or Oct. (I have been planning my dark months in the autumn for decades, so cannot remember whether I made the practice up or was taught it.)

According to Chinese philosophy, unresolved issues are more likely to bubble up from the subconscious in the winter. Experience has taught me that, if I do not plan my dark months before they start, I lose my mooring, and easily sink into holiday frenzy, codependent gift-giving, etc.

Every September or October, I get in touch with what I truly want for the fall and winter this year. Eg, Do I need to focus on a major inner healing? If so, is there a theme I can use for the healing rituals? Do I want to decorate the house for the holidays? If so, a little or a lot? Which holidays do I want to celebrate? Do I have the time to cook for the holidays? And so on.

It’s not that I stick to these plans rigidly. But when I lose my center, the plans helps me regain it. Then I can make sane decisions.

An additional piece of my process is relevant to why I blog about Yule so early. As I said, I live in Faerie tales. They are often myths of my own creation. One is that I am a Yule elf. Come autumn, Santa’s elves are very busy planning what’s going to happen over the next few months.

This planning, including what I’ll craft the next few months to put in Santa’s bag, aka my Etsy shop, is part of my turning the wheel of my personal year. I am an artisan, not a manufacturer, so fall—at latest!—is when I need to start planning and making the handful of items I will add to my shop before Yule.

I blog from the heart. I start blogging and posting from the North Pole as early as September. I want to share my real life—the day-to-day of my myths.

I am also spared holiday madness because, being one of Santa’s elf, I instead can spend the dark time focusing on service: I focus on the joy of crafting goods in the North Pole’s elven workshop, high quality craftsmanship, purposeful creativity, and Yule elf tweets/blogs/posts that help people smile during holiday grumpiness. I also get true holiday joy from my absurdly happy Yule elf meditations and costumes. I am turning my personal year wheel, connecting with the season of Mama Earth.

(I mentioned being a Yule elf as a myth of my own creation. I do not have space in this post to thoroughly portray what I’ve created about Yule elves. Nor could a library of printed word hold it because 1) some things can only be conveyed in oral tradition and 2) some things are so integrated into one’s life that they become too extensive to thoroughly share in words alone. But a lot of what I created plays out in my meditations, which feels important to say because, when we take time to really sink into our mythic stories meditatively, we can live them the rest of the day.)

More of how my myth turns the wheel:

Most of the year, I am in my tinker’s wagon, traveling between the worlds. I am a shut-in but my wheelchair has wings, and so do I. Astrally-traveling shamanic guide and fey artisan.

When weather gets cold, I retreat to Santa’s warm, cozy workshop. I still counsel and teach, from my snug Arctic home.

Claus is in my pantheon. So I pray to him any month. One way I turn the wheel through myth is, the past few years, I’ve made my winter plans by writing a letter to Santa in September about what I want for the dark months.

Every year, I have new elven adventures. And my other myths grow a bit. All my faerie tales are more extensive than this post. And are deeply personal. But I risk posting bits online for two reasons.

Telling my myth is a fun way for this shut-in to share her wanderings.

I am dedicating to helping my students find and/or further evolve personal myths, and live them fully to connect with Mama Earth and Divinity. I posted today in hopes I might do that a bit for my dear site visitors. For one thing, I believe that speaking my life supports starry-eyed seekers to trust their own unique mythic being.

EtsyBotmBnrYule

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.

————————
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.

Brigid Ritual 2013

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My beloved Faeries, witches, wanderers, mythic beings, and other star-dusted travelers,

Please join me for a belated Brigid ritual on Weds., Feb 6, 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.

I hope you come! Expect heartfelt spirituality, silliness, and camaraderie as icy winds bear promises of Spring.

Inherent Magic & Fundie Paganism

Magic is a flow within the fabric of reality. Magic is also a state of being inherent in all living things. Magic is also living in myth, actually living it. And magic is love. Fundamentalist religion, including fundamentalist Wicca, squelches one’s magical being, squelches one’s love, and separates one from the larger flow of loving magic. If you judge others’ magic, your own may weaken.

*******
Beloved Fellow Seeker, Thank you for your spiritual journey, because I can’t grow spiritually alone.

I wrote a book, out of gratitude for you and love for you: “Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast: A Daily Reader for Busy Parents and Their Children . . . and for Any Way-Busy Person.”

Spiritual reading that fits into your day and supports travelers of any spiritual path.

Only available from the author. Buy it here: http://etsy.me/W5GJs4 Thank you again!

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!

Ta Da!

Announcing the renewal and relaunch, the cosmic—and cosmically comic—revitalization of this here ol’ website. Come one, come all, join the Chaos Circus. To explore the wonders, the fantastic, the massive changes I made to this site, use the newly-added, new-fangled nav bar above. Yup, we got modern conveniences to go along with the ancient mysteries you will find here.

Stardusted Traveler, come get your weary soul shined. Have your spirit refreshed by its own beauty, then shanghaied by its own magic.

Have your peculiar ways oohed and awed at—everyone here, including you, is the main attraction.

Sit in the front row to get a good view. I’ll sit with you. Or get in the circus ring: introduce yourself in the comment field.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the authentic, the original, the amazing and death-defying Francesca De Grandis. That translates Great Freedom, your purveyor of shamanic wonders and mystical madness. Curator of curiosities, middle management for the Chaos Gods, seer, guide, and utter fool.

I make up fancy phrases to describe myself, like bardic brat. They’re true as tar.

My mother was a fortuneteller, my father hit the road when he was 12, hard traveling. His mother was a “showgirl.” After the war, dad went down south and got into trouble. We don’t know what it was, but the story is “he hung out with hillbillies.” I do remember he loved folk music. This is all truth, it’s family history, told the first time on the web right now. I am an old woman, too old to hide those tales anymore.

That’s a bit of my tale, a bit of my myth—real and honest. Be your myth here. Dragons, Faeries, poets, and other inhabitants of the fantastic, please walk your myths alongside mine, I long for company on the spiritual path.

Tell me a bit of your story in the comment field. I welcome and invite you, praise you and incite you—Join the cosmic circus!

 On a more serious note, Terry Pratchett wrote “Things that try to look like things often do look more like things than things.” Ok, quoting Terry is hardly a way to convince most people that I even can be serious. But
I take my work as a shamanic guide and healer seriously, and I am good at it. And I have
fun. Walking an ecstatic path frees you from restrictive either/or rules. And building a convincing persona as Oh-Great-Shaman wouldn’t leave time to serve community. Can I hear a “So mote it be?”
Middle Management for Chaos Gods, Francesca De Grandis

Middle Management for Chaos Gods. Self-Portrait

Magic can be quiet, subtle. I am blessed that, amidst my loud joy and silliness, some people “see” me—just another flawed human whom, for some reason, the Divine uses as a shaman.

I’ll be blogging here, while I continue to blog at my other site . Two blogs with two separate RRS feeds.

As we prepped the relaunch, I started blogging here—just four blogs sharing my personal process renewing the site, and what we revamped. I hope you read them. And this blog has info that will help you find your way around.

Whether you travel with me only on the web, or move into oral tradition with me, whether you post here or I never know you visit, I’m grateful for your wild wyrd ways. Thank you so much for coming!

Please explore the site. I’d love it if you posted feedback. You will be dazzled by dancing Deities, heartfelt happenings, genuine living breathing paradox, and more.