Magic Is Sacred

GdsBlsRtl

My beloved witch,

The Goddess blesses your rituals. I wrote/painted the above picture-poem as the third and last meme in my mini-series about the sacredness and beauty of witchcraft.

The previous two memes are here and here.

(All three memes blurred a bit, because I shrunk the files so their webpages would appear quickly for you.)

I call them poems, though they could be viewed as prose. To me, they’re poems or prose-poems, both in that they are lyric and evoke magic.

I believe one of my jobs as a bard is to evoke magic. I’ve not seen that description of a bard in a historical text, but I know in my bones and past life memories that the Gods choose some bards to create ritual aka bardic poems.

My class lectures are sometimes lyric and other times straightahead prose, but on some level they are still my concept of bardic poetry.

Are you a bard who creates ritual? Or were you chosen to do bardic work other than ritual creation? We all are given such different jobs by the Faerie Queen.

I combine words with art to further the experience. Even when I first started teaching shamanism, class handouts sometimes had my calligraphy and artwork, though they were far more primitive than they are now. But I feel that extra effort added blessings.

I make memes like this not just for my site but also as Book of Shadow pages for myself and students (aka handouts). I’m fascinated with painting borders around my words to add magic for Book of Shadow pages. I even had to paint a border for the newsletter button below this post.

… Oh, if you wonder what the newsletter button has to do with Books of Shadows, bear with my following explanation, since at first it may seem to have no relation to the topic:

Ok, to me a Book of Shadows page points to your day and how you can live it magically. In the same vein, I teach oral tradition—which the written word cannot convey—and you only grasp oral tradition when you use its lessons by living magically in your day. So, in the final analysis, your day is your ultimate Book of Shadows, because it is your life that holds the most magic, not any text. Your life is the real ritual, not the words on any page.

And my newsletter is a doorway into that oral tradition, because it announces upcoming classes. So I can think of one of my newsletter buttons as the front cover to a Book of Shadows. So mote it be.

Since I view life as the ritual, it might seem contradictory that I work hard crafting my words and visually ornamenting them. But I want my pages to be really good pointers to the magic available in the world around us, so they can help me—and hopefully other people—see how to live a day magically. I believe that is why Goddess gave me gifts with words and art. Blessed be.

BoSNwsltrSm

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

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.

image

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

Fantasy Faerie Portrait

I finished a fantasy portrait. I call it The Faerie Future.
TheFutureI was so happy with how this came out, I’ve been dying to post it.

It’s a painting of one of my caretakers. She’s been generous and kind to me, and this was a birthday present to her. I secretly waited till I had a chance to paint it. It was fun to surprise her with it.

SCrfDone4WOBHere is the photo I worked from. (If the style of her clothing looks familiar: She’s wearing a scarf and dress I hand-painted. (Ahem, my original designs.)

Usually people give me photos to work from when they hire me as their portraitist. But she kindly modeled my wearable art for a blog, and I used a photo from that session so that her portrait could be a surprise.

I was put on this planet to mirror back—and strengthen—the beauty and power I see in people. I do this as a shamanic guide, but I also do it through my spirit paintings, which I create while in trance. (So I guess my painting is another way of being a guide. Wow, there are so many ways that we can empower each other.)

When I see someone’s reaction to my painting of them, it is a gift to me. Portraying the unique spirit in someone makes me happy.

PortraitBotmBnr

Your Heart is a Faerie Garden

Finis2ECropI give direct spiritual transmissions.  During a transmission, a lot of hard work on myself regarding my own spiritual growth might be required. As such, doing a transmission can cause me immense personal challenges.

The particular transmission I’m doing right now (it is a month long) is causing me more inner turmoil than usual. For example, some of my most basic premises—beliefs my whole life is built on—are being challenged. Though this provides opportunities to commit to my beliefs more strongly than ever, it is not easy, by any means.

As difficult a time as this is, it is a time of enormous excitement. My efforts to face the challenges are causing wonderful shifts. There has been a widening of my inner channels to allow greater experiences of joy, more passion than ever in my work as a shamanic guide, and increased ease about who I am and what I do.

I was already very joyful, comfy with myself, and ecstatic in my work as a guide, so these shifts are taking me to incredible heights. It is so wonderful for me that I want to share part of what is causing it: If you’re meeting a lot of inner challenges right now, I hope that you love those parts of yourself that are troublesome. Welcome them into a circle of love, welcome them into your loving heart. Because love heals all.

Do not reject any part of yourself. I’m not suggesting it is okay to act on the parts of you that want to be hurtful to yourself or to others. I am saying that those parts of you need love. Rejection does not heal us. Love heals all.

When all parts of us come into the circle of love, when all parts of you are embraced by you, the magic in you comes alive. Your rituals are more effective. And you are carried by the currents of magic that constitute the very core of life. Your heart blooms a Faerie garden.Finis1GCrop

Safe and Powerful

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

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

The Bear encompasses all with love. This painting is called Safe and Powerful. The Divine Parent takes care of me. Click on the pic to see it unblurred and larger.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
For limited edition prints that depict the Faerie realm and call magic forth, check out https://www.etsy.com/shop/outlawbunny

Altar Cloth: Pagan Joy

Exuberant Cascades!

Exuberant Cascades!

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

Detail of final piece: A Faerie Glimmer

This altarcloth is raucously pagan. For ecstatic worship, Solstice and other sun ceremonies, Beltane, sex Magic, or to add exuberance to any rite.

Click pics to see em full size and un-blurred.

You can skip process to get to Product and Purchase Info.

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Ironing the silk. Sunshine!

Three layers of dyeing: First I dyed white silk yellow with low-immersion dying. The color is absolutely radiant! The snowfall means no place outside to get pics in good light. The background color is not the honey that’s in some photos. It is a bright, unrepentant, primary yellow! Not for someone afraid of color. Celebration!

“Imperfections” from low-immersion dyeing are part of its charm. Heh, charm, that’s a pun.

InitialStrokes3

initial strokes of the second round of dye

Second layer is the basic design. This is actual hand painting.

More hand painting made the third layer: I went over some lines with Lumiere to make them pop. You can’t tell from the photos that, for example, many of the fire symbol’s orangey-red lines were done twice, once with the first paint, the second time with Lumiere, which would “talk” more on the yellow. Then came the Lumiere that has a lovely sort of glimmer, which the photos may not be showing. I also used Lumiere paint for detailing.

I applied four Lumiere paints. The red and purple Lumiere have a subtle sheen. “Bright gold” and “super sparkle” are more overt but still tasteful, not garish: Faerie glimmers.

Earth

Detail of Final Piece: the Element of Earth

Product and Purchase Info:$145, plus $4 S & H. 100% silk, 66 X 13.” I am 99% sure it is 12 mm Crepe de Chine. (It is new cloth, but I accidentally discarded its label.) OOAK, original design, painted freehand, initialed and dated by artist. Hand washable. If this item calls you, grab it. I’m almost constitutionally incapable of repeating my designs.I can only ship within the U.S.

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire

Finished piece: Right end is Water and Fire




Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

Finished piece: Left end is Air and Earth

My Personal Web Charm

My Personal Web Charm

I’ve been asked to paint a spiderweb on a few altar cloths. (She suggested it as a focal point, but I just had to tuck one into the star, lol.) Her request was lovely synchronicity because, unbeknownst to her, I’ve been creating intense spiderweb spells in recent months again, for my own use and various students. I’d even made spiderweb charms for myself and students. I’ve been wearing my charm everyday for months, dangling from the gold hoop in my right ear.

Center

Center

Fire& Water

Fire& Water

Do you want an altarcloth with the four elements and a Faerie Star?




Blessing This Site #3

The Generous Sun – Francesca De Grandis, 2012. In gratitude, I painted this fantasy portrait of Kathleen. We’ve been doing projects together since the 80s, and it is always a joy.

This post is to express gratitude for the banners on this site. First: gratitude to the amazing artist, Kathleen Marshall, who made all but two of the banners that go across the top of this site’s pages. She made 13, one to top each page. Her work is a blessing, do wander the site to see it! If you see a top banner, it is by her, except for two I did: One on the “My Other Site” page, and one to use when we need an additional banner here on out; to see the latter click here. I also have reason to be grateful for those two I made, and the ones I made for the sidebar, read on.

I want to share gratitude because I’ve felt in sync with wild Fey gods re the banners, and everything else to do with revitalizing this site. It seems like my Gods are blessing the site. Publically sharing a few banner moments I am grateful for feels like a way to keep the good juju going, so let me continue:

The painting I did for Kathleen to use for the banners constituted real improvement for me, and any improvement I make as an artist, spiritual being, or anything else is Goddess-given. I painted the piece as a magical touchstone for the site, wanting to create a landscape within the Fey realms. Was very surprised it actually looks the way parts of Faerie appear to me. I was mega-shocked I’d actually pulled it off—but, then, LOL, I’m such a novice-painter that I’m easily impressed with anything I do. “Ooh, I drew something that kind of looks like a face, wow, i can kinda draw a face.”

Another blessing was my equal surprise about the calligraphy I sent Kathleen for the banners (I did all the calligraphy). Aside from one or two lessons from mom, I’m self-taught. I’ve been calligraphing on and off since I was 14 and, with these banners, was finally happy with calligraphy I’ve done. I honestly didn’t like my calligraphy until now. (I am in my sixties. It just goes to show, persistence pays.)

Another blessing was getting to try digital art during the banner making process. Oh Goddess mine, I adore doing digital art, thank you for sending it my way. So all side banners (they are at the bottom for some browsers, and may not be on all pages yet) are my doing. The fantasy portrait of Kathleen is also done digitally. The digital art started me doing fantasy portraits, which I have luuuved painting!

Thank you for sharing a bit of my gratitude. That in itself is a profound blessing. Below, please add a verbal blessing if you want. Or make another sort of comment – hey, it will be a blessing in its own way. Love and peace, out.

Fluffy Bunny Pagan

digital painting & picture poem, Francesca De Grandis. For info about a limited first-edition print, click on the painting.

I had a ball making this look over-the-top cute, kept adding and adding pastels and flowers and pretty-pretty, and then adding some more. The text on the print reads, “I am a cute little bunny, hopping around safe in my pastel meadow and forest of pink flowers, happy bluebirds, and faerie tales. All of this is enclosed within an enormous eagle whose talons make skyscrapers look like sewing pins, and whose beak drips with the blood of potential threats to me and mine. And the eagle resides within a great darkness, an emptiness that is the Mother of all things, and She really loves bunnies. So go ahead, call me “a fluffy-bunny pagan.”

 To my knowledge, no one has ever called me a “fluffy-bunny pagan.” But I dislike the term, and made this painting in support of anyone who’s been wounded by any kind of sarcastic remark about their spiritual path by other pagans. There are enough attacks on pagans without us attacking each other.

 This is a digital painting, except for the photo of the wee rabbit in the lower right-hand corner. It was trance-painting; Spirit guides my digital brush, stroke by stroke. I am freed by this guidance.

Submerged in the Green God

Digital Painting, Picture Poem. Francesca De Grandis

To be fully within God, I must be full self and fully without self.

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