Baba Yaga’s Apprentice

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice:
A Faerie Tale Ritual

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If ever we needed ways to stay focused and whole, and experience some gentleness, this is the time.

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is my gentle enchantment that creates focus and wholeness. I believe this magic is all the more powerful and effective for its gentleness.

This storybook is for grown-ups . . . but the sort of adults who remain, or want to remain, childlike at heart.

This book’s format: PDF.
List price: $25
Price: $19.99

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The tale is my revisioning of Baba Yaga folklore.

As the book’s story proceeds, a ritual simultaneously unfolds for the reader.

Here’s one of the illustrations:SampleILLstrtn

Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is fun, easy reading.

Along with being a Faerie tale and a gentle ritual, this book is also a work of art for you. Trying to evoke the embellishments in old Faerie tale books and add a layer of enchantment to the magical foundation I’d spun with the text, I ornamented every page with my original full color art. Most of the art is my spin on Poland’s folk art.

I have felt immense mojo on the project; I wanted this spell to happen so much.

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From the preface:

“The spell is very easy to do. You don’t even have to “do” it. The sheer reading of the Faerie tale to oneself, just for fun, even silently, and enjoying my paintings, is all it takes for the spell to work.”

“The storybook’s magical current helps you:
* Focus on what’s important to you.
* Follow through on it.
* Stay centered in your power and your love.
* Protect your dear heart from being hurt or blocked.
* Feed your witchy soul.

“The ritual also supports you if you are introverted, empathic, exceptionally magical, or sensitive psychically.

“And when you are fearful or nervous, this is a good tale for you.”

The book is 7000 words and 46 pages.

Here’s another sample, a text frame I painted:
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This volume was created with my sincerest hope that the gentle love and hope with which the Muse infused the pages will sustain and empower you … over and over.

Available only from the author.

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Goddess Womb Dreamcatcher

GdsWmbDC1S The only lore I’ve read about dreamcatchers is specific to dreams and nightmares. I sensed a deeper layer about visions—and an even deeper layer about the Goddess. To convey everything I channeled, I crafted a poem and a sculpture. I call them both “Goddess Womb Dreamcatcher.”

The poem and sculpture also convey my thanksgiving to Goddess.

To make the sculpture, I felted wool into organic shapes like leaves, vines, flowers, and a feather. I attached the shapes to a V-shaped stick, so the Dreamcatcher would be reminiscent of a woman’s reproductive system.

The poem is below, but first a detail of the Dreamcatcher: the wool sculpted feather.

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Shout out to the folks at Living Felt, where I purchase my wool: they sell quality felting supplies, created without cruelty to sheep, and provide exceptional customer service.

OK, this is the poem, (prayer, affirmation, contemplation, story, brilliant insights, brilliant application of said insights, visualization, ritual, etc.,):

Goddess Womb Dreamcatcher

All visions spring from the Goddess’ belly.
They travel down
until they meet a feather,
then tumble from between Her legs,
onto my mind.

I give thanks.

My mind is a womb upside down, though my mind is right side up.
My womb is a mind upside down, though my womb is right side up.
I am whole if I live in paradox.

I give thanks.

All life is woven within Her womb.
She’s the spinner who spun Herself into being.
I offer the life and art I weave to Her.

I give thanks.

NesltrSqTShe is the dreamer and the dream.
There is no Dreamcatcher but Her.
I send Her my dreams as an offering.

I give thanks.

The Goddess protects me—
captures both nightmares and sweet dreams,
taking them into Herself,
then birthing only the beauty
into my waking day.

I give thanks.

Yes, She’s Nightmare as well
—cackling menace in my powerless hours,
which are both sleeping and waking.
Even in those times, She holds all creation
—including the whole of me—
as the weaving of life that’s safe in Her womb.

I give thanks.

She bestows on me Her complete Self:
all creation and all beyond creation.
My ideal: give Her no less of myself,
offer my entirety
to Her and Her dreams.

I give thanks.

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A River of Beauty and Joy

Digital art, Francesca De Grandis

World Tree Takes Care of Me, Francesca De Grandis.

Surrender means moment by moment trying to discern and live according to God’s will. Always asking. Doing what we think God wants of us right this minute, then the next. Okay, that is an ideal, impossible to achieve. But it is possible to strive for. (If you need to make substitutions where I have written ‘God,” I hope you do. For example: Goddess, or the Divine. I’ll also randomly rotate such words and phrase, as well as Divine genders.)

Will is a fancy word for desire. God’s desire is the current of events that She creates. (She is God, after all.) This current is a river of love and grace that carries me safely along. I am held in safety, beauty, and joy. I am transported toward yet more safety, beauty, and joy.

Detail, World Tree Takes Care of Me, Francesca De Grandis My God is kind. Trying to live according to the will of the Divine does not require suppressing the self. It means creating full self—including a healthy ego—while aligning that fullness of being with action after action based on surrender to His often gorgeous—and other times infuriating—desires. 

Walking any spiritual path—including that of an ecstatic—without surrender leads to spiritual addiction. There are many forms of spiritual addiction. (One is fundamentalism, and both pagan and New Age fundamentalism do exist.) Here, I want to focus on addiction to a false ego that masks tremendous fear. It is a spiritual epidemic. I have observed it in people in all walks of life, including major spiritual leaders whose lives it destroyed. 

One reason for this fear is that, no matter how competent one is on the mundane and mystical levels, and no matter how important it is to do everything one can to protect oneself amidst life’s myriad dangers, one’s efforts are a drop in the bucket. The world offers endless treasures, but it also holds constant threats, some of them terrifying.

However, the Divine can keep us safe, above all other protections. And, again, surrender to the Divine allows It to shelter us. Surrender puts us in the aforementioned flow of safety. As I said when kicking off these musings, attempting surrender moment by moment—living step by step as I walk along a path Divinity paves—makes life fuller, easier, and protected. 

Otherwise, the aforementioned false ego—and its underlying fear—gets stronger and stronger, compensating for a sense of helplessness in our huge, scary cosmos.

The false ego insists you must cheat and perpetrate other wrongs to survive in such a dangerous world, that you have no choice. The false ego prompts unnecessary attacks on people, insisting this is needed to stay safe. Those are only a few problems the false ego causes. But the net result is the same of all addictions. Life feels scarier and scarier as you become more and more contracted with fear. So you lose trust even in those most loyal to you, and you make worse and worse attacks until you are alone, terrified, and deluded.

I’ve oversimplified matters. For example, how does one know God’s will? (Answer: I can’t! I do my absolute best, but it is still a human endeavor, thus light years from perfect.) And how does one avoid becoming a pompous fool who thinks he knows better than everyone else? (Answer: The Divine might instruct us through friends who love us enough to tell us we’re being arrogant.) Does the idea that spiritual surrender creates protection imply that, if I get mugged, it is because I’m spiritually lacking? (Answer: No way would I blame anyone for tragedies that befall them. Life is constant paradox.) Even these three answers are oversimplifications. But I’ve touched on issues herein in hopes of nurturing dialog. Please discuss your thoughts with friends.

And, equally important, what does the Divine ask of you now, what is asked of you right this minute, now that you are done reading?

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Francesca De Grandis AKA Outlaw Bunny is middle management for Chaos Gods. A one-woman interfaith community, Francesca is a student of Taoism, hangs out with Goddesses, visits Christ, and has been told she’s Buddhist. She struggles spiritually because she’s a brat, but does her best. Her latest book, Share My Insanity: It Improves Everything, is trickster spirituality and divine madness.

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!