Spinning Happy Magic

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I’m experiencing excitement and serenity simultaneously, from being so close to publication of my two volume Book of Shadows.

Self-publishing is difficult but gratifying. My sense of accomplishment has me almost dizzy, I’m happily spinning.

Spinning! Heh, once I sent galleys to the kind folks who are proofing them, I worked part-time over the course of a few days to restore my energy. I learned to spin yarn, to celebrate being so close to releasing the project.

SmBanr Spinning! Headlong. I spun and spun. Think of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, headfirst and shouting, “Whheeeeeeee, I love this!” She lands where the Red Queen is actually nice, the rabbit doesn’t run away but frolics alongside her on the weighted end of a drop spindle, and the caterpillar—who spins silk and blessings—teaches her the exact magic she needs.

My gratitude, happiness, and sense of accomplishment about the books flow through my day, twisting along the silk and wool fibers I spin. As is often the case with gratitude, mine turns a celebration about one part of my life—the upcoming books—into a celebration of life itself. I’m a witch who experiences a flow through all things, a flow connecting everything, as the cosmos spins. I twirl within the cosmos’ twirl. The cosmos is happy about my books.

They’re a two volume Third Road Book of Shadows, every page ornamented by my shamanic art. So mote it be!

Once I correct any mistakes the proofers catch, the books are done. Like most authors, I’ll be one of the proofers but needed a few days away from the pages, so I could see them with fresh eyes.

These books are like visits in magical, inspiring landscapes. I’m gratefully spinning my day because soon I get to share something I love dearly—some of my deeply personal otherworldly realms—with readers. I’m grateful for these Fey places that add beauty and enchantment to our lives.

Everything is connected, spinning together like fibers joining on a drop spindle, the value added to my dear reader’s life adds value to mine. We are all one.

Spinning in celebration of the books becomes spinning in celebration of life. Spinning gratitude becomes spinning magic to bless my day.

Doing the writing, art, layout, cover designs, and the enormous self-publishing process is a lot, but I’m always trying to pull off huge things. It works. My ownership of the process, spinning it all together, allowed me to create exactly what I wanted to share with my readers—my fellow seekers, fellow spinners of magic and happiness.

Been too busy with the books to make a webpage about them yet, but today had time to make small versions of the book-covers for you to see. Volume I’s cover is above and here is Volume II’s cover, but neither is as clear and sharp as the actual covers are, or this page would’ve taken forever for you to load:

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Once the set’s released, I want to figure out options for low income folks who can’t afford the set. This makes me happy, adds momentum to my spinning, to the cosmos’ spinning.

This Book of Shadows consists of two full-color PDFs. Current combined page count is 191 pages, but it might end up a bit more or less.

The book set costs $50 but right now presales are $43. (Update: the book set has been released, and is still $43. If you want more info on the books, their official page is up. Go here: http://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/ )

These Faerie books will be available only from their Faerie author … spinning it all together … spinning happiness from my heart to yours. Keep spinning, my fellow seeker.

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Fey Witch

This is excerpted from the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows, available here: http://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/

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ScrollBarHI am a fey witch. Magic is my heritage and my salvation. I will not be deprived of it. I will remain ever immersed in the magic that flows through the entire cosmos.

This subtle current dances about me all day, even in my sleeping hours, empowering me and making me whole. It heals me, delights me, and celebrates me. It relieves me of my pains, doubts, and flaws. It removes obstacles.

Oppressors deny magic, lest we use its ever available power to live wild and free, with direct access to Deity and the gifts Deity bestows, independent of dour religious institutions and oppressive societal hierarchies.

But magic is real and a Goddess-given right. I would go further to say magic is a living aspect of my Goddess. No one will rob me of my Goddess and Her power. I live in magic.

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In the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows set, the above prose-poem is ornamented with more detailed art than I could post here if I wanted this webpage to load in less than a decade.

But the graphic at the top of this post is part of the art in question. And I made the little graphic at the side especially for this post, because I love ya!

Did you enjoy the post? Get the book set here, available only from the author: http://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/

Use Your Magic

Here’s another picture-poem I wrote/painted:

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The border I painted for a previous picture poem (check it out here) was almost the right magic for the above picture-poem. I just needed to change the background color, and rotate the frame … and I might’ve tweaked a few other things, too … I forget, because it’s been a few weeks.

I’d written both poems around the same time, and consider them part of a larger whole. So I’d wanted almost identical borders.

I worked hard on the border, so it feels satisfying to find more than one appropriate use for it.

I was striving for the look of an old Book of Shadows page, with a personal and modern twist—something that evokes traditional witchcraft, but feels like it is here with me, in the now.

My beloved Faerie witch, stay tuned for one more meme that is part of this mini-series.

(The art work blurred a bit and what-not, when I made the file smaller so the webpage would appear quickly for you.)

Remember your magic. Use your magic. Revel in your magic. Blessed be.

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Meeting Lady Olivia Robertson

My dearest Olivia, Below is a post to honor and celebrate your birthday. The piece was written over a decade ago, but you may remember it, because you told me twice you wanted it as your memorial reading. A birthday is a much happier occasion, I am blessed to post this as a birthday offering.

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A treasured picture of my FOI initiation. Click on it to see it less blurred and large.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve been in touch—only once or twice in a decade—which saddens me. I wish my health had allowed otherwise. The multiple sclerosis (that’s what my illness probably is, we still don’t have a definitive diagnosis) ate up my life for years. It got so bad that it looked like I’d only a few months to live. Not to worry, now I’ve another 10 to 30 years left, because I made a deal with the Faerie queen. She needed some community work done, which I now do, and she keeps me going.

My health, though greatly improved, is nevertheless challenging: I use a wheelchair and require caretakers to perform many of my daily tasks, such as dish-washing.

But I am able to continue my work, and am still very happy in it, serving community with the shamanic skills that I was given for that purpose. And the relative improvement in my health has allowed me bit by bit to reconnect with some folks: I’m so grateful to be contacting you and re-sharing with you the piece you enjoyed.

With love, Francesca De Grandis

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Meeting Lady Olivia Robertson
Francesca De Grandis, September 2002

In the early ’90s, I was given a vision of Olivia. I saw her to be very similar to myself, what I would become. I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant; Olivia is one of the public priestesses I most admire and my admiration for her also extends to her simply as a mystic with an enormously inclusive and remarkably warm heart. Thus, to say I think we are alike might sound uppity. But in fact, it’s not that way. It’s just that, simply speaking, we are quite alike! Take that as you will.

So I went on a pilgrimage in Ireland to meet her. To her castle in Clonegal. And I wondered: Since I only had that one brief visit scheduled, how was I going to forge the connection that I was spiritually driven to make?

Waiting for her to arrive, I suddenly sensed a presence behind me. Knowing she had come into the room, I turned and there she stood, wearing bright green eye shadow and her bathrobe, the latter clearly—somehow I knew this—worn as a ritual robe. She had posed herself precisely, and her entire aspect proclaimed, “Aren’t I magnificent!?” And she was. She truly truly was. I knew that my vision had been real and correct.

We sat and chatted. Thinking that I had to grab her attention immediately, and somehow impress upon her that we had a reason to go further than a brief, amiable discussion, I took a risk: I told her who I was.

I said to her, “Olivia, I had to meet you. Because I’ve been told we are alike. I’ve been told that, like me, you are eccentric, a remarkable counselor, and an equally remarkable ritualist.”

She responded, “Why do think they call us eccentric?” And then she went on, answering her own question, “You know, they did this book. And, in it, so-and-so lay on an altar and such-and-such-other-person was leaping over a fire, and they called me eccentric! But you know why I think they call us that? It’s because we don’t do it for the money.”

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A treasured picture of my FOI initiation. Click on it to see it less blurred and large.

Oh, but I gulped at that point. Because of what I knew I had to say next. To tell her who I was. Only the truth, as always, would do. And I said, “But, Olivia, I do get paid for my services.” I didn’t tell her that I do far more free work than the work that I get paid for, because that wasn’t the point.

She looked at me, perhaps startled, and said, “Ah, I know why they call you eccentric. Because you are sincere. You believe the gods are real.”

She understood. And although we had scheduled a brief visit of an hour or two, she cordially allowed me to spend the rest of the weekend with her.

There are many things I could say about Olivia. Not only in regard to what happened between us that weekend and since then, but also about her work in the world. But for now I will say this: She embodies a gracious inclusiveness that I think is sorely lacking in almost every other spiritual leader and religious organization I have seen. She understands that each person’s path is beautifully valid and, therefore, welcomes everybody into the Fellowship of Isis, blessing each soul who appears before her, querying each person with delighted questions about their unique journey. And I will add this:

Years later, she came to dine with me in my home which, being oh-so-truly-humble, unlike myself, was a sharp contrast to her castle. And as we sat in my kitchen, breaking bread at my Formica table, I happened to tell her that I had spent seven years in Faerie; a time in which I was in trance 24 hours a day. And she asked a question that no one else had ever spoken, no one had had either the insight or forthrightness. She said, “Were you celibate during those years?”

She, again, understood; she is not only a profoundly loving person, though that would have been enough. She is far more. Often, when someone has a big heart like Olivia does, others assume that the good heartedness lacks depth. People tend to think that a person has to be one-dimensional—as if one can have a good heart or brilliance, creativity or amiability, cheerfulness or insight. No, people are much more complex and wonderful than that. And in Olivia’s case, the “more” is that she is also a true not to mention brilliant mystic, and a woman I suspect has made heart rendering sacrifices to serve the community.

At the time of this writing, I have not seen Olivia for maybe three years. And I will get to be with her again in a week. During her last few visits to the States, I had to be at different conferences than she was at. I hated it but, you see, to use the old, trite, but so apt expression, duty called. I am a priestess and must go where Goddess sends me.

So this chance to see her face again, to tell her how much she means to me once again, and to pay homage in any way I can is exciting. I do not use the word homage as a sycophant; for I, too, am one who can proclaim her own magnificence. I have no false humility. But in my struggle to be a community servant, in the day-to-day fierceness of battling for a better world, I, warrior, lift my sword in salute, paying homage to my comrades in arms. To those who walk beside me, believing in greatness, sacrificing far too much for the good fight—you know, there’s no other way to fight the good fight except to sacrifice far too much —, I say, “I could not continue this battle, this terribly difficult work, without you by my side. Even if I never see you, simply knowing that somewhere you are doing the work that needs to be done allows me to keep doing it myself.” And I look up to the spiritual servants, though I am one myself. Lady Olivia Robertson, one warrior and lady to another, blessings on your magnificent soul.”