Different Spellings: Fairy, Faerie, Faery, Fey, Fay, Fae…
1) Does the Spelling—e.g., Fairy vs Faerie—Change the Meaning?
Some people use the various spellings to convey different meanings. The distinctions made shift from wee group to wee group, and continue to change from month to month, and thus might cause more confusion than they alleviate when voiced in a large public forum.
The main differentiation made is between the fairies who populate Victorian literature—darling, wee, cute, winged creatures—and the Faeries of ancient lore. (I’ll define the latter in a moment.) Individuals who voice this distinction often insist the Victorian darlings are inauthentic and a corruption of the “real” thing. I disagree.
The Fey Folk (Fae Folk, Fair Folk) take on many guises, and many a child, before losing their otherworldly site, has seen the Victorian version. I will not trample on a child’s vision.
Several of those children, grown, have told me how they suffered when they came to the Pagan community, hoping this’d be a place they’d finally be understood, only to have their visions invalidated, once more. How awful!
The boastful disdain, subtle or overt, for the Victorian fairy and people drawn to them makes me sad. It seems the naysayers want to garner attention, by showing they know an old spelling: Faerie. As if that made them superior to people who don’t use that spelling. These naysayers are authenticating and inflating themselves, by saying they are not someone else, as if the someone else is less than them.
The longer I live, the more I know most Fey Folk don’t give a hoot about your spelling. They do get annoyed by people who are snobby.
So I say: spell as you will. If you want to explain your view of the Fey, rock on! A specific spelling might not be the best way to explain. As I said, meanings of the various spellings constantly shift. Honor your own concept, share it if you feel like it, and walk away from anyone who turns down their nose at it. (Here’s a little humor about snobby magicians: https://stardrenched.com/2012/10/04/fluffy-bunny-pagan/)
2) Who are the Fey/Fae/Faerie/… of ancient lore?
Opinions vary. I believe they’re part of the Old Religion—shamanic culture that predates Christianity—and that there are at least the following four categories of Faeries (how I spell the word here doesn’t matter to me):
* ancient Fey Gods
* an ancient African tribe on the Dahomey coast, people with a tiny stature who migrated throughout the world, teaching their enchantments. That makes sense to me. Almost every culture has lore of a small, dark, magical people. And Africa has been the origin of so much of the world’s culture that it likely could also be an initial source of much magical culture.
* descendants of human women who mated with beings from the sky. The latter are considered Gods, angels, or aliens.
* any otherworldly creature, as opposed to just humanoid beings. All magical entities—e.g., dragons—are traditionally called Fey/Fae/Faerie/….
3) The Fairy Queen Honors Varying Visions of Her Kind
And She doesn’t care if you refer to Her as Faerie Queene, Faerie Queen, or Faery Queen.
A relationship with the Fair Folk is a human heritage. It does not belong to an exclusive elite who insists there’s only one type of relationship, or one way to view the Fae. That supposed elite tends to be obnoxious about the spelling. It’s a subtle way to tear down anyone else’s involvement with the Fey.
The older I get, the more I want to honor everyone’s relationship to the Fair Folk, whatever form it takes, as long as it is ethical, and with ethical Faeries. (This article Ethical (and Unethical) Fey Teachers talks about ethical and unethical Fairies: https://stardrenched.com/2012/05/30/ethical-and-unethical-fey-teachers/).
I’ve vowed lifetime after lifetime to continue to part the veil between the mundane and Faerie realms. I cannot do that work unless I honor the various relationships with—and mental pictures of—the Fair Folk. In that spirit, I celebrate folks’ preferred spelling(s).
Honoring everyone’s ideas of the Fey doesn’t imply that my particular relationship with them is milquetoast. My Fey life is amazing. It’s precious and special and crazy powerful and deep. I suspect many a person feels their particular version is amazing, precious, special, crazy powerful, and deep. That’s wonderful! Beautiful!
We can all have different amazing versions, and cleave to them without invalidating anyone else’s. Mine is so strongly a part of me that I feel secure enough to support those whose experiences are wildly divergent from mine. When we embrace our own experiences, we’re free to support other experiences without feeling they denigrates our own. When we honor other folks’ experiences, we are more able to embrace our own.
4) Lore, Linguistics, and Anthropology Have Special Magic
Language and anthropology fascinate me. The history, lore, and linguistics surrounding each spelling are important and beautiful. (I’m not going to get into them in this post, because they’re not core to the main thrust of this essay. Besides, many other writers could do much better jobs of explaining the cultural backgrounds of the various spellings than I could.)
If an individual finds freedom, joy, and magic in a spelling because of the meaning its cultural background suggests, that’s beautiful. I enjoy doing that myself. But it’s only one of the options I draw on (and not a main one). Were I to insist it is the only approach, and therefore you must cleave to it, my haughtiness would not be true freedom.
As a poet and mystic, I cannot let my use of language be restricted to cultural backgrounds of words.
5) Faerie Secrets Are Alive and Demand Freedom
Right now, using all the spellings works for me. I don’t want jargon that restricts me. I want words to free me. A dogmatic use of language obscures the paths to fairy secrets. Words cannot contain Faerie secrets, anyway. I want to use language to point me toward the Fey mysteries. To do so, I personally need all the spellings.
They each evoke a distinct Fae reality for me—or several—providing various powerful opportunities, various portals.
Additional portals appear because a spelling might evoke something different from one context to the next. So I won’t decide that one spelling shall always mean one specific thing, and another spelling shall always mean another specific thing, no matter how much the history of the words might denote otherwise. Otherworldly mysteries transcend logic or fixed definitions; there’s an ever shifting poetry to all this that I need to honor, the ever-changing poetry of life as it manifests moment to precious, unique moment. That which is alive is not fixed. I am not saying you must honor the poetry of this. I’m talking about what currently works for me.
Each spelling also has its own poetry and a melody. The poetry and song may shift from context to context because, as I said, mysteries are alive, and as such ever-shifting.
An abundance of spellings is an abundance of Fey opportunities. I won’t let any mortal bar me from Fey realms, for even a minute, by insisting something is legitimate and correct only if stifled in a constricted language box.
Call it Fae, fairy, or fantabulosis, capitalize the words or not, but Fey experiences and the fairies themselves run from those who try to confine them.
An example of how different spellings provide different portals:
In my 30s, I started using Faerie instead of Fairy because the former evoked the idea of mystery and majesty to me in a way the latter hadn’t. The language shift was affirming and freeing.
Eventually, restricting myself to that spelling felt less affirming and more naysaying, less freeing and more restricting. In fact, it felt like mystery and majesty were diminished by restricting myself to that spelling.
I continue to use Faerie. It invokes my past lives and other things I treasure. No spelling is ruled out.
Often, I’m using the various spellings as synonymous. If I labor over spelling decisions all the time, I’d make myself crazy, because, in my own way, I’d be trying to trap Faerie secrets in verbal boxes.
I need to choose my spelling carefully when it feels important, and the rest of the time just go with the flow, perhaps using my intuition as part of that.
I’m having a ball with all the spellings. So much magic is invoked. I love being a wordsmith, bard, and poet. I love how lore, culture, and my personal history impact meanings.
Another example of spellings as portals:
6) Faerie Tale or Fairytale?
The more typical spelling evokes a turning point in my life, and all the power thereof.
When I was in grade school, my teacher told a fairy tale about a generous little girl who kindly gave water to someone who was thirsty. As a reward for the child’s generosity, her water-ladle flew up into the sky and became the Big or Little Dipper, I can’t remember which.
I ran home to excitedly ask my mother if the story was true. Goddess bless Mom for answering, with a completely straight face, “Yes.” Mom was a Strega, and her reply nurtured my innocent trust in fairy tales and magic. This put joy in my heart, when I was desperately hoping for an alternative to the bleak view of life that reigned in my neighborhood.
Today, there’s no doubt in my mind that magic is real, as real as a kiss. There’s no doubt in my mind that Fey matters are real, including a-good-Faerie-appears-to-grant-your-wishes-with-a wave-of-their-wand. No doubt in my mind the universe is constantly doing a powerful spell for us to have love, abundance, etc.—our hearts’ desires. There is magic surrounding us and taking care of us.
The day I ran home to ask my mother about the reality of fairytales was a turning point. My life would’ve been horrifically lacking had Mom laughed at the joyful hope in my young heart—hope of magic and possibility. Instead, Mom’s response was an important contribution to my certainty of magic.
So I won’t give up the spellings fairytale, fairy tale, fairy tales, fairytales. They—not Faerie tales—call forth a specific certainty of magic. Faerie tales calls forth in me another type of certainty about magic. but what’s important to say here is:
Today, Fairy tales, Fairytales, etc., invoke the childlike wonder I felt at my mom’s remark, and a child’s utter belief in magic. The part of me that understands the very realness of magic as a fanciful reality, as opposed to, for example, magical realities being mere metaphors for psychological states, comes forward.
When that part of me awakens, opportunities abound:
My spells are powerful. I get to enjoy visits to the other world, where I am blessed with joy, peace, bliss, and power. The enchantment that fills the universe and surrounds me blesses me and carries me to my ideal situations, whether worldly or otherworldly. So mote it be!
Fairy witch, Francesca De Grandis, is the author of “Be a Goddess!” A teacher, guide, and healer, she offers long distance classes, rituals, private counseling, and healings. Her Goddess spirituality embraces practical magic spells. Raised in a European-based shamanic family tradition that includes both Italian sorcery and Celtic shamanism, Francesca’s witchcraft is a multicultural Faerie shamanism.
A Fairy Magic Day
Join me, Sept 19, for a daylong retreat, in the Faerie realm.
Find power, peace, and renewal.
Receive Divine guidance about your challenges and life path.
Get covered in stardust.
Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:
Spend a day being taken care of. I’ll take care of you the whole time. More important, we’ll do ceremonies in which the Great Mother Goddess takes care of you. When day ends, you’re more emotionally balanced, and the most powerful, serene you is more in control, to achieve your daily goals and long-term dreams.
The Great Mother Goddess in ancient Italy was Diana.
The first record of the Goddess instructing us, “All acts of love and pleasure are my rites” is Diana speaking. She wants us free, on all levels, including politically. In fact, there’s Italian lore that She gave magic to humankind so peasants could use spells to free themselves from the landowners’ tyranny. She will join us at our virtual retreat, blessing our rituals with Her Divine love, so we are more free than ever to be ourselves, and move into power and serenity. And She’ll provide whatever each of us needs at this particular time in our lives.
Goddess Diana is also the Faery Queen.
(The English spellings vary. E.g. Faerie Queene or Fairy Queen.) Yes, She wants us free, on all levels. She will be with us all day, providing what we need to be our magical, miraculous, Fey, grinning selves, and more easily return to that part of ourselves in the future.
Our magic day combines four shamanic approaches:
1) Rituals. We meet, eastern standard time:
11:15 AM to 12:15
1:15 pm to 1:45
2:45 to 3:45
5:30 to 6:30
8:00 to 8:30
Possibly 9:00 to 10:00: if I’m unexpectedly unavailable for one of our rituals, e.g., my phone line goes out, we’ll meet in the 9 PM slot.
Rituals will range from restful to ecstatic to transformative to ol’ fashioned witchy to solemn to silly.
I’ll use advanced magic to create major healing and empowerment ceremonies safe for beginners and substantive enough for adepts.
Enrollment is limited to 16 people, so we can perform ceremonies that can only occur in a small group, and so each participant can receive individualized attention if and when they want that support.
You’ll see there are breaks between meetings, so you’re not overwhelmed.
Please note: You’ll need about three minutes after each session to do a special grounding I’ll teach.
Whatever is going on in your life, I can intuitively address it.
My work tends to draw individuals who show up for life big-time. My intuitive readings are part of how I help them achieve big and keep at it, because I’m capable of reading about their specific concerns, no matter how sophisticated or unusual those concerns are.
3) Direct spiritual transmissions during the rituals.
What is a spiritual transmission?
I can only give a definition of my particular transmissions: I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. During our meetings, it adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, peace, a soul healing, physical health, joy for your wild heart, safety on the mundane and etheric planes, the spiritual strength to get back up after life’s knocked you down. The transmissions do not focus on one benefit only, but bless you as a whole being. They also add luck to anything you do to improve your life.
4) I’m available for one-on-one support by phone, for up to one hour, should you want to privately discuss a problem, or if you have a concern that would take too long to discuss during a group ceremony.
All these elements—rituals, transmissions, psychic reading, and private one-on-one support if desired—weave together to make a major enchantment, which will probably snowball long after our retreat ends, helping us continue to be serene, powerful, happy, and of maximum service.
Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:
Gentle magic is powerful:
Our retreat will be in a Faerie sanctuary where gentle magics abound. It is a place of peace, music, fun, transformation, and guidance from Fairy Gods.
Gentleness is not the same as milquetoast. We’ll have a gentle yet richly enchanted day, not despite the gentleness but because of it. Fairy secrets are not phrases boasted like passwords. Fairy secrets are the lightest touch of the Goddess’ breath on my forehead, followed by her kiss there, utterly transforming me and my life. Faerie secrets are living mysteries, experiences that gentleness can help happen, allowing ritual to bring us deep deep in, within a few minutes, so this virtual daylong retreat will be remarkably effective.
With nice big breaks, we can do four whole hours of ritual yet have an easy, gentle pace, so we don’t become overwhelmed, tired, or physically stiff from sitting on the phone too long.
During breaks, we can rest, stretch, eat, work out, run errands, or do whatever else we need to accomplish that day.
I cannot tell you how much I look forward to this megadose of magic—gently given us by a loving Goddess.
During crisis, mysticism can become a source of strength, renewal, and hope, or foster self-destructive escapism and denial. This post has an empowering ritual.
Please note: though this post discusses how to avoid denial and escapism, sometimes it is important to let them be. Trust yourself to make the right choice. Or, if unsure, ask for input from a trusted expert. For one thing, denial and escapism can be trauma symptoms that help you cope.
Some situations can feel like too much to bear, and I long for something bigger and more powerful than me to fix my problems. I turn to mysticism for the solution. It often works.
Sometimes, all doors seem shut, and I am desperate for a door to open somewhere, somehow. I turn to mysticism. It often works.
However, mysticism can be healthy or unhealthy. Personally speaking, my otherworldly endeavors must be very grounded in my real life, so I get my feet on the ground and remain down-to-earth. I will explain what I mean by that. … Well, a full explanation would take pages, but I can quickly explain enough for the purposes of this post.
Some of my rituals are not as mystical as other rites I perform. All magic is mystical, but there are varying degrees. Sometimes I do very mystical rituals; they might have highly lyrical liturgies and fanciful images, and create a very trancy, sparkly, buzzy experience. Other times, my rituals are less mystical, more direct, and more straightforward, e.g., they proceed in a rather mundane manner, directly dealing with my inner blocks, by necessitating I own up to a specific anger, fear, self-doubt, sense of powerlessness, or the like. I often deal with anger, trauma, fear, etc., in extremely mystical rituals, but that would be escapism were it the whole of how I handle inner turmoil.
The ritual below deals with unsettling emotions, self-defeating beliefs, and the like in quite a grounded manner, while also including more mystical ritual elements. The more grounded aspects of this little ceremony help keep it from feeding denial and escapism.
The Choice to Have Power: a Ritual for Magnificent Selfhood and Divine Support
This magical spell can help you experience spiritual renewal and fortitude, and feel longed for peace and hope. Other possible benefits are increased confidence and a substantial claiming (or reclaiming) of selfhood—who you are deep down, with all your strengths. The ritual also helps you tap into the Goddess’ immense power.
If, when doing this ceremony, you feel you are not doing a “good enough job,” not to worry. The sheer attempt is sufficient.
If unsure how to implement part of my instructions, you might explore whether that text is suitable for one of the three following approaches.
1. Do a visualization. For an example, let’s use the ritual’s paragraph “I choose to live in the reality of my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. I settle into that reality by letting my body sink into it. I sink into my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic.” Decide what physical sensations you might experience if you trusted that you had wisdom, balance, and magic, and then imagine your body feels that way.
2. To continue using the same example, you could recite that paragraph as a liturgy, slowly reciting it two or three times. That can be powerful.
3. Or read that paragraph aloud as if you were telling a Faerie tale, and try to go along with the mood of the tale.
Here’s the ritual:
Additional ritual instructions:
1) During the ceremony, if you don’t land smack dab in the center of your personal essence, at least momentarily, you likely moved radically toward it. Try doing the ritual once a day for five days, over the course of a week, to continue the energy’s positive direction.
2) If you feel performing the ritual once didn’t progress you toward your magnificent selfhood at all, it could’ve happened anyway—even to a large degree—without you feeling it yet.
3) If the ritual felt effective, or even fairly so, you might want to do the ritual twice more over the next week, to re-find, remain in, or move deeper into the reality of your most competent beautiful self who is living in the care of a loving Goddess.
4) Here are two reasons to work on only a single block in the ritual:
Sometimes, working on more than one not only diffuses a ritual’s energy but also turns the rite into escapism.
Also, focusing on a single block allows me to own up to it on a gut level, rather than just recognizing it with my mind. That gut recognition can make a big difference in whether I can move past that block or not.
I’d love to hear how this ritual goes for you.
… I want to time how long it takes to read and execute this ritual. … It took nine minutes, reading slowly. That nine minutes includes time I added for pauses in case someone needed to go over the instructions to better understand them. The timing also represents doing the rite as you read the post, as opposed to reading it all first then going back to do the ritual.
I timed for three reasons. I wanted to see if this is a ritual that easily fits into a busy schedule.
Brief ceremonies can be powerful.
I also wanted to see if I might use the ritual in the Virtual Pagan Monastery, an event held via group phone calls. The meetings are mini-retreats that last fifteen meetings, and I lead a ritual in each one. A nine-minute ritual leaves us time to open with the quick protection spell with which we always kick off meetings. We’d also have time should anyone need to jump in to ask a question about instructions as we were doing the rite. Perfect!
My third reason for timing is that I love my Virtual Pagan Monastery. It’s a chance to touch down a few times a week with other seekers and lead a rite to take care of ourselves. But some folks don’t enroll because they don’t realize that brief rites can be powerful. So now this little ceremony is here to prove otherwise.
Walk between the stars with me.
We’ll find a moment’s peace,
our spirits held secure by Gods
Who also cradle everything.
Then we’ll return to earth,
our hearts and strength renewed.
We’ll have the means to serve life well
and stay the course that day.
And when earth’s weight bears down on us,
we’ll walk the stars again.
And, once more, gain the help we need
to meet the hours ahead.
You might think of it as a Goddess temple, Druid grove, Faerie circle, Pagan monastery, or retreat to an otherworldly haven. It has been sanctuary, even in the hardest times.
If you’re unfamiliar with this long-distance experience:
Twice a week, I lead fifteen-minute-long ceremonies via group telephone calls. This continues for six weeks—ongoing spiritual sustenance that fits into a busy day.
During every ritual, I also give a direct spiritual transmission. You receive profound care, so are better able to meet the hours ahead and live fully.
To define my particular transmissions: I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. During our meetings, it adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, a soul healing, physical health, joy for your wild heart, safety on the mundane and etheric planes, the spiritual strength to get back up after life’s knocked you down. The transmissions do not focus on one benefit only, but bless you as a whole being. They also add luck to anything you do to improve your life.
The Virtual Pagan Monastery group meets twice a week for six weeks, starting May 12:
We’ll meet from 3:15 to 3:30, EST, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
To participate, simply dial the phone.
You’ll need about three minutes after each session to do a special grounding, which I’ll teach.
Reserve Tuesday June 23 and Friday June 26, the usual time, for makeup sessions in case I’m unavailable for planned sessions.
Total enrollment fee: $250. Your carrier might charge you for the call.
Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:
Limited enrollment. Upon receipt of payment, your seat is reserved. You receive event phone number, etc., by email. Refunds unavailable. Call me for more info or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan.
Explaining this event is hard because many people think Paganism lacks inward, contemplative aspects or inner adventures. For my outward efforts to be effective, powerful, and loving, I need the inner life.
My inner life is also a precious, exciting joy that fuels the passion for life in my more outward experiences. Please give yourself contemplative times and inner adventures. Visit the Virtual Pagan Monastery.
We all make choices about what’s best for us and what helps us best serve others. For most folks, that excludes a huge amount of time in ritual. (Actually, I believe anything we do is ritual, but I need to define ritual in the more usual way here.) My choice was an ongoing enormous amount of rituals, which required a solitary life, since I couldn’t found an in-person Pagan monastery. A description of my day is relevant to this event:
I rarely see anyone in person. My contacts are mostly between the stars, doing ritual with folks. Otherworldly time spent with students and other wonderful friends is an enormous nourishment and joy that feeds me like few things ever could, given my particular personality and spirit.
So much time alone allows me to, among other things, do devotional practices and channel shamanic rites I lead.
New terms are needed to depict spirituality that is liberating instead of oppressive. For example, devotional or contemplative activities needn’t be dour, overly formal, or anti-sex. So I made up the term ecstatic contemplative to describe folks like me. I also coined Pagan monasticism to hopefully expand the sense of the possible lifestyles.
Since few people have the time that I do for ritual, I had the idea of a virtual Pagan monastery providing mini-retreats for you. You needn’t be a monastic, or want to become one. Take advantage of my decades as a Pagan monastic; I’ll draw on my daily experiences to create fifteen-minute rituals for you.
Many folks have “inner monasteries”—places they visit and practices they have—to nourish themselves, ensure they cleave to their paths and their truths, and engage with the Divine. But a lot of these individuals tell me lack of time keeps them from going inward often enough, let alone coming up with a ritual for themselves on top of that. Each Pagan Monastery meeting has a ritual all prepared for you, I lead you through it, and the weekly schedule is easy.
You needn’t go it alone.
I usually only “open” the virtual monastery for visits in the early months of the year, but I feel it’s important right now. For one thing, some of us need our spirituality more than ever, and need empowerment more than ever, but it can be hard—if not near impossible—to spiritually tend to oneself at the present time, and the virtual monastery is a quick way to do it.
In ancient shamanic culture, sacred group meetings were part of the everyday, even during major upheaval. Tribes were normally busy taking care of business—hunting, weaving, etc., and all the more so during crisis. They didn’t try to shoulder on without group rites. The ones I’ll lead in the Virtual Pagan Monastery are heavy duty ceremonies.
This magic is so strong that fifteen minutes of it improves your life. For example, some of these brief rituals can, all on their own, land you smack dab in the reality of you, your truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. When you don’t arrive in the center of your personal essence during one of those rites, you likely move radically in that direction, so you stop holding your breath, exhale with enormous relief, and feel longed for peace. Plus the rites we’ll do add up to the substantial claiming or reclaiming of selfhood.
You emerge from each brief session prepared to make life more serene, fulfilling, and abundant. You’re more able to do whatever’s needed to achieve your goals and stay centered while you’re at it. This is support to be powerful.
Feedback: “Someone might think, ‘I won’t get much from 15 minutes.’ … But Francesca’s Pagan Monastery showed me how deep a 15-minute ritual can go. She knows how to do this.”
If you’re skeptical about these visits accomplishing what I say they can, and you suspect 15 minutes isn’t worth your time or money, you’re smart. The world is full of “spiritual” con-artists.
My claims aren’t hype. Few people can do what I do. If one of my services or books accomplished something nothing else had for you, that starts to give you the real picture.
Add that I trained from childhood as a shaman. Then, for decades, I’ve dedicated my life to developing shamanic skills and innovative ritual methodologies and to becoming a guide capable of addressing a lot of different life arenas.
So when I announce I excel at facilitating shamanic experiences and making fifteen minutes relevant and extraordinary, I’m talking truth. But don’t take my word. Trust what your gut tells you. It might say that, in fact, my methods have led to miracles.
All the rituals I perform combine to create my wholeness. Nevertheless, whatever I did ritually yesterday doesn’t fully cover what I require today. Over and over, I need to regain emotional balance, center into the reality of a caring Goddess, and experience spiritual renewal. This is even more true for me right now.
Consistent ritual is even more vital during difficult times. During crisis, enrolling in this event might be one of the most important steps you take. For one thing, it’ll help bring the most powerful you forward to face challenges and accomplish exactly what’s needed.
If you need to miss some sessions, enroll. Perfect attendance isn’t part of real life.
Please visit me in the Virtual Pagan Monastery. It is a beautiful place.
I want some fun. Do you?
Bardic circles are a long running tradition in the Third Road (the tradition I teach). But we haven’t had one since forever.
Here’s how we’ll do it:
* Bring a short song you’d like to sing or lead us in. It needn’t be “sacred.” All music is holy.
* Or tell us a story. A brief fairytale, anecdote from your personal life, or any other tale is perfect.
* Play your harmonica for us.
* Tell a dumb joke.
* Share some thoughts that’ve been running through your mind.
* Or bring any other offering. It’s all wonderful.
If you can’t think of something to share, come anyway. Your simple presence is a beautiful contribution.
Fun is pure magic. Fun aligns the spirit.
Our fun blesses the Old Gods, the earth, and our lives.
Even the attempt to enjoy ourselves opens us and our lives to new possibilities.
In situations that near broke my spirit, I learned to find whatever fun and humor I could possibly manage. It helped significantly in returning me to wholeness—e.g., spiritual resilience, physical well-being, and power.
Mayday is a Pagan celebration of joy, life, and all its potential. That makes it a perfect time for fun.
No experience needed.
This free ritual is a group phone call. (Your carrier might charge you for the phone call into the ceremony.)
Instructions for how to dial in to participate are in my next newsletter. Click the banner below to subscribe for free and receive other exclusive offers available only to my wonderful subscribers.
Thank you so much.
Diana’s CrossRoads During the Pandemic
Creating Spiritual, Physical, and Financial Wholeness in Crisis
I’m at double risk regarding Covid 19, being elderly and disabled by a chronic health problem. I’m also unable to receive medical care, due to corrupt bureaucrats.
So I understand that ethics and inner empowerment are possibly irrelevant luxuries for some folks when life gets really hard. But not for me. My spiritual wholeness and commitment to serving community during this crisis are tantamount.
After repeatedly conquering circumstances that easily kill people—e.g., poverty and life-threatening illness—I saw that, for me, my spirituality at such times was an essential tool for both surviving and the subsequent establishing of my happy, prosperous life.
At a ritual I led last week, we each found ourselves at a moral crossroads and made decisions about which route to take. In the months ahead, I think a lot of people, myself included, might face a lot of moral crossroads. Most of mine will likely be about the need to dedicate myself more than ever to relinquishing false ego, surrendering to my Gods, and serving Them and all Their children. At least that’s what came up for me during the ritual.
During the rite, I channeled the “script,” so it’s not written down. But I’m hoping to convey a bit of its sentiments in this post.
We each went to the otherworld and stood at the archetypal trivia with Goddess Diana. In Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, C.M.C. Green says the crossroads of Diana is not the cross-shaped junction made when two human-made roads cross, but is the Y-shaped trivia found in less tame environments and is created by animals’ travel. Green spoke of paths that connect to make the trivia as wild and dangerous, explaining that a human walking such trails might stumble upon a ferocious animal, and an animal traveling thusly through the forest might come upon a hunter. I couldn’t find the passage in the book again that discusses this; I hope I’m not misrepresenting Green’s work.
The day of the ritual, the roads’ deadly possibilities represented moral dangers to me.
Morality is not an abstract, for me. For one thing, when I do not make moral decisions, my good fortune diminishes. The diminishment isn’t always related to the decisions, per se. Poor ethical choices block me from blessings. Ethical choices increase not only my wholeness of spirit but also the wholeness of my finances, physical health, and every other part of me. For example, when I sink endlessly into worry about finances, income dwindles if not outright evaporates. It is only human to fret. But, at least in my particular case, living in that mindset is being self-involved, which isn’t a virtuous state.
I’m not implying poor ethical choices cause all misfortunes. I was talking about my own life. Plus, my good fortune is far from dependent upon my flawed, human efforts. My generous Gods have my back. But any of my problems not of my own making can be exacerbated by my poor choices.
I cannot speak for other people, but I am by nature a selfish stubborn person, who suffers from ego. I do not know if these propensities in me are greater than in anyone else, but they have caused me great suffering. I work hard doing everything I can to do away with these flaws, but, being human, will never reach that goal.
I recently hit a point where I felt I had to dedicate myself to my efforts to eradicate the aforementioned traits more than ever. More about that in a bit.
There are always opportunities for my selfishness and false ego to exert themselves. For example, it’s easy for me to condemn someone hoarding supplies during the outbreak. My reaction to hoarders is pure ego. Instead of climbing up on my high horse by harshly judging someone, I want to remember we are all flawed, and we’re all in a growth process, learning and growing, so there is no logic in judging.
It is easy to spot obvious immoralities, such as hoarding supplies during the pandemic. It is harder to spot subtler immoralities, such as condemning hoarders. Flaws can be sneaky, disguising themselves so that we don’t see them in ourselves.
The overinflated ego of judging others hurts me. Grandiosity can make me feel I am above the need to look at my own failures. Time spent in outrage is time I need to look at my own errors that day, cook myself a good meal, and otherwise be good to me. Plus the time I spend judging others is time needed for being of use to community.
Judging others also closes heart and mind, not only to the those judged but to everything. I want my heart and mind open to the Goddess’ guidance about ways I can support my community during the pandemic. I want to do everything I can as a shaman and human to help folks—myself included—stay on an even keel, stay whole, stay on top of things, and remain effective.
It’s impossible to walk on air like a saint. However, my past experiences of major crisis taught me how to keep returning to an even keel, keep returning to practices that build wholeness, and thus stay on top of things and be effective.
For me, listening to my Gods and staying close to Them is a priority. It helps me stay centered and strong, so I’m able to take good care of myself and be of maximum service. And I need Their constant guidance to be effective. They give me ideas about everything from the logistics of executing a mundane chore that seems beyond my limited physical capabilities, to the creation of specific shamanic events that’d serve folks well right now.
Important aside: My upcoming three week event is one such event: https://stardrenched.com/2020/03/16/upcoming-event-3/
Crisis and trauma are crossroads at which I grow—even if I can only do so quite slowly—or go down big time. The chances for selfishness and false ego to emerge quadruple. So, given that the societal traumas of the past year have impacted me, I’ve dedicated myself more than ever to pursuing surrender, service, and egolessness.
As an example, here’s one way the chances to stumble ethically increase: possibility of hardship can make one feel like one must do something wrong in order to survive. The expression It’s just business embodies that attitude. It excuses ill behavior by positioning the choice for morality in the face of survival threats as a new and different quandary, specific to one’s own situation, instead of as a core aspect of spiritual struggle since earliest human times. In fact, we might say that, in a way, (and only in a way), the dilemma of choosing one’s spiritual ideals over survival might be the essence of morality (or an essence). This is not to suggest that one should not fight for survival. Survival can be the moral choice.
I hope the above paragraph or anything else in this essay doesn’t sound preachy, judgmental, and black-and-white, as if 1) anything less than perfection makes you a complete failure, 2) we should shame ourselves for the least mistake, and 3) I alone know the correct steps in crisis, and thus am capable of making moral decisions for you. To the contrary, I believe that, under the pressure of crisis, people might need more than ever to be gentle with themselves and others: more than ever accept how imperfectly we act, more than ever esteem the littlest step we take toward our moral ideals, more than ever honor every act of kindness we make, and more than ever respect the need to take breaks from solving problems.
And I surely don’t know what anyone other than myself needs to do.
In any case, moving on: Many of us on spiritual paths can easily fall into focusing on spirituality as a tool only for personal gain. E.g., “If I meditate to be more serene, I’ll be more levelheaded. Then I’ll be able to earn a better living.” Though I think using spiritual tools to enrich one’s material life is healthy and important, and I teach that sort of application, it’s not healthy for me if it’s the whole picture. I need spirituality to also be a means by which I stay in shape to be of maximum service to the Gods and all Their children.
I have watched people who, when navigating hard times, cleaved to Spirit solely as a tool for their own sole betterment. It backfired, increasing their selfishness, false ego, and bitterness, and often causing them serious financial, romantic, and other problems. Some of those folks persisted endlessly along the same path, which turned them into horribly harmful people. It frightened me. I don’t want to be like that.
And, as I said, if my spirit is not in reasonable shape, neither are my finances or anything else.
Moreover, when I forget spiritual tools were gifted me both for my own personal betterment and to keep myself in shape to be useful, I find myself on an emotionally distressed hamster-wheel, with thoughts like, “I’ve got to improve myself. If I don’t, there’s going to be a disaster. If I don’t there’s going to be a disaster. A disaster. A disaster.”
Then, focusing on spiritual tools as a means to getting in shape to serve restores my balance, peace, common sense, joy in life, and trust that the Gods have my back.
I had three choices standing at the trivia. Going backwards didn’t seem a choice because you can never return to the past. But I could stay where I was. Sometimes that’s the moral stand. For example, I might need time to be with what I’m feeling, or to rest and gather the strength to move forward, or to choose which direction to take, or to plan my first steps along the road I choose. (Self-care is a virtue.) And sometimes I am just stuck. Moving forward is more than I can manage, and I can make a choice to accept that, and thereby surrender to life as it is, since I too, even when I’m stuck, am part of life.
My second option was the right hand pathway forward (I don’t know why it was to the right). On it, I could move forward into once again deepening my commitment to serving, surrendering to my Gods, and letting go of false ego.
The left-hand path was also a path to greater surrender, usefulness, and egolessness, with one difference—compassion for myself.
I realized, looking with my otherworldly eyes, the right-hand path at my particular crossroads included constantly chastising myself for not changing fast enough and for not being “better.”
That path also required I view each of my missteps, no matter how small, as proof that I’m a complete moral failure, and that my vigorous moral strivings are insincere. Forgetting that we all stumble a great deal, I’d live in fearful certainty that my smallest error would lead to moral, emotional, financial, or other disaster. The path also had me traveling along, all the while overlooking my improvements and all the good I do.
Whereas on the left path, I’d learn to walk toward my goals with compassion for myself. That self-care would consist of
* acknowledging that we grow bit by bit (with occasional, magnificent leaps and bounds)
* celebrating my progress
* being gentle with myself when I fall short
* admitting my errors without becoming fatalistic
* recognizing my dedication and the vigorousness of my efforts
* honoring my achievements—great and small
* seeing the good I do
* and enjoying the celebratory pleasure of being grateful to the Gods for giving me the ability to do the things in this list.
Two of many reasons I love my friend, Jenn Campus, is that she keeps surrendering to life and focusing on service. The day after the ritual, I happened to see an exquisitely worded Instagram post of hers (she had not been at my ritual): “We have yet to see the spring of this pandemic period. We are still in the brutal winter—wondering if our stores will see us through, wondering who will be standing with us on the other side of it…even if we will be one of the ones still standing. … In the words of Sophie Mainguy, a French ER Doctor: ‘We are not at war and we do not have to be at war. … The firm ambition of a service to life is enough. There is no enemy. There is another organism living in full migratory flow and we must stop so that our respective currents do not collide too much. We are at the pedestrian crossing and the light is red for us.’ ”
Jenn’s post is related to what we did at the ritual. I love my fellow seekers.
The doctor’s eloquent statement about remaining quarantined to avoid the coronavirus has meaning on the mystical plane, as I am sure the good physician knows. For me, that layer speaks of abiding by life however it manifests, which for my own practice is the same as surrendering to my Gods.
Surrender is not about forsaking all pleasure. Surrender helps me use the enormous amount of ethical magical and mundane power available to create the world I want, a world of joy, beauty, and abundance.
Surrender also helps me be of maximum service, whether I am providing shamanic services for my beloved clients, or dialoging with the vet as I try to understand her patient but nevertheless confusing dietary proposal for my ever sick kitty.
During the ritual yesterday, I felt Diana blessing the path I chose. I felt the power She gave me to do what I need as I begin along that path. I felt chills throughout my body from the starlight, moonlight, and sunlight with which Diana filled me.
I also knew Her amazing help that day wasn’t enough. I’d need Her continual help as I walked that path. I have to constantly rely on my Gods. I don’t remember the prayer I said about getting divine help along the road I’d chosen, but I wrote a comparable prayer. Here it is, should it be helpful to you:
Magna Mater, Great Mother of All, Bear Madonna,
and Our Good Father, Co-Creator of All,
Wild and kind horned Pater,
please give me the power and wisdom
needed on the path ahead,
each step today and in these coming months.
Help me affirm:
I have a healthy ego.
I release my false ego.
I acknowledge my limits.
I acknowledge my limitlessness.
I celebrate my inner and outer beauty.
I dedicate myself to joy, usefulness, and power. I give myself to My Divine Parents, that You may shape me and use me as You will. Your desires are also mine, deep within my cells, even if unknown to me for now. I can and do create the amazing loving, beautiful world I truly want. So mote it be.*
I will probably need to make that prayer a lot in the coming year.
The ritual described above was one of the free rites I lead once a month. I’d love it if you joined me in any of them. They and other upcoming events are announced in my newsletters. Subscribe for free here: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/
I love you, be safe.
* Attribution: I read spiritual literature of all kinds. As a shaman, I seek the core of reality, and it is found in disparate places. There’s an Alcoholics Anonymous prayer in which are the words God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
My prayer’s words I give myself to My Divine Parents, that You may shape me and use me as You will are an adaptation of the Alcoholics Anonymous words I quoted. Their sentiments, for me personally, are vital to me, absolutely vital to my spiritual, psychic, physical, and financial well-being, and every other imaginable aspect of my well-being.
Trauma, Shamanism, and Victory:
A Three-Week Shamanic Healing and Empowerment
Move from trauma to victory.
During or after crisis, the most basic emotional well-being can feel wobbly at best. Serenity and control of one’s life can feel completely unattainable.
In Trauma, Shamanism, and Victory, we will heal ourselves and our lives, and claim the prosperity, love, and other blessings the Universe sends us.
This course is suitable whether your crisis(es) is past or present.
Traumatizing situations range from current health dangers, to family dysfunction in childhood, to trauma in our DNA from ancestral misfortunes, to the loss of a loved one, to a terrifying societal norm, to economic loss, to portions of the media and social media tailored to emotionally batter us until we feel impotent and alone.
When devastated by misfortune, not everyone has the same trauma symptoms. But here are some rough sketches of what might occur. Most of these examples are extreme and might manifest more mildly:
* You function in a daze, mind clouded and emotionally numb. To avoid feeling helpless, you keep busy to the point of exhaustion.
* Confidence in your perceptions, decisions, and moral beliefs diminish. A belief that nothing can improve pervades your worldview.
* Exhaustion of body or spirit makes you feel unable to bear up under the smallest responsibility. The littlest challenge is overwhelming. You might need an hour—or day—to build up to performing a five-minute chore.
* A minimal stress causes panic and terror. It seems as if your spirit—your very essence—has been stolen. You feel without any purpose. Inner and outer power seem nonexistent.
* For self-protection, you withdrew emotionally. Isolated from the support needed to heal and find your power, your emotional devastation increases.
* You don’t go after what you want because you fear the pain and disappointment that might come if you don’t reach your goals will be unbearable. You reject offers of help you need to recover and triumph. No one seems trustworthy.
Whether your trauma (or traumas) is past or present, I reach out to you with my whole heart and soul to invite you into a safe space.
Join me in tribe. Enter a sacred circle. For three weeks, we’ll meet once a week, for a shamanic healing and empowerment circle.
Hope is not a lie. Here’s why:
War vets, incest survivors, and others can tell you my shamanic approach helped them move past suffering.
Thus, I have an extensive repertoire of shamanic tools for this event. These decades also polished my shamanic skills to a degree of thoroughness that can only happen over time.
3) I’m not coming to our meetings as an outsider, but as someone who used shamanism to overcome tragedy herself. I repeatedly survived situations that would’ve killed most people, and came out triumphant. This informs our process.
It also means I won’t look down at you, with supposed superiority. We meet as fellow travelers.
Trauma, Shamanism, and Victory (TSV) helps our innate powers emerge, so we can better overcome problems, heal, live fully, and inspire others.
TSV also helps unlock our magic, creativity, and warrior spirit.
An extremity of duress, even if past, can affect physical health, spiritual vigor, self-confidence, emotional well-being, and effectiveness. Reclaim them with me. With tribe, in sacred circle, in union with the cosmos, we can move on and claim our lives.
This three-week journey has three powerful aspects:
We’ll work in old-style oral tradition, which allows immense headway quickly. Enrollment is limited to 16 people, so we can perform ceremonies that can only occur in a small group, and so each participant can receive individualized attention if they want that support.
The rituals facilitate major transformation: energy will continue to shift in us after each rite, and probably snowball long after the three weeks end.
My transmissions are soul healings. They also bring additional serenity into your shamanic process, increase its power and safety, further your personal growth, and add luck when you do anything to improve your life.
One of each week’s transmissions will be during the group meetings.
I can’t say what “direct spiritual transmission” means for other practitioners. In my case: I was born a good luck charm, generating a beneficial field of energy. I don’t do anything to you; I don’t inject you with energy, rearrange your energy, or even dust off your aura, LOL. I simply give off a blessing energy during a transmission, much like burning incense gives off specific magical energies in a room.
My transmissions adapt to your needs, e.g., physical healing, or the spiritual strength to get back up after life’s knocked you down.
3) In addition to individualized attention during group ceremonies, I’m available for one-on-one support by phone, for up to one hour, should you want to privately discuss a problem, or if you have a concern that would take too long to discuss during a group ceremony.
You can divide the hour into two half-hour conversations. Our talks must occur during the span of the course or within a month after.
No experience needed for this event.
If you’re a shaman or other support for trauma survivors: a study showed that caring for folks in trauma can be traumatizing in itself. Join our circle, to receive the care you need.
Only a shyster or inept facilitator would promise to “fix everything” in a three-week ritual. Trying to do too much transformational work, all at once, can buffet the psyche, doing more harm than good.
Our journey can cause life-changing shifts for you. Many individuals who have gone on short journeys with me call the results miraculous. The brevity of TSV helps keep the process from being overwhelming.
A three-week process is long enough for my particular shamanic tools to foster substantial improvements in your well-being and circumstances.
When the three weeks end, you can continue making major positive changes, in a second Trauma, Shamanism, and Victory group.
After the first TSV group, there will be two weeks for participants, including me, to absorb the transformative work we accomplished.
Then a second three-week TSV journey begins—a different ceremony from the first one, utilizing different shamanic tools.
The first group meets Sundays, 3:00 to 4:00 pm EST, for three consecutive weeks, starting April 19. Reserve Sunday May 10, same time, for a makeup meeting, in case I’m unexpectedly unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
The second group meets Sundays, 3:00 to 4:00 pm EST, for three consecutive weeks, starting May 24. Reserve Sunday June 14, same time, for a makeup meeting, in case I’m unexpectedly unavailable for one of the planned sessions.
Enroll in both groups before midnight April 15 to save $100. Your total cost is $400.
Upon payment, your place is reserved. You receive course details—e.g., the phone number to dial to participate in meetings—by email. No refunds. To discuss payment plan, trade, scholarship, or semi-scholarship, or if you have other concerns about the event, call me.
We are not powerless under the brunt of society’s force. Crisis can affect every part of our lives, but together we can move past trauma to live more fully, with confidence, creativity, personal authority, wholeness, and joy. Don’t go it alone or with negligible support. Join tribe. Enroll now.
Chaos, Dragons, and the Magna Mater
The Bible lied when it said God spoke into the chaos—the darkness—to create the cosmos. No mere word created us or anything else. The chaos, which is often called darkness, is both darkness and light, and is the Great Mother Goddess—the Magna Mater. She, with Her fertile chaos body, gave birth to all existence.
Note my last sentence: She, with Her fertile chaos body, gave birth to all existence. Usually creation myths refer to the darkness and chaos as passive, not active participants in creation. I worded my sentence carefully. She, with Her fertile chaos body, gave birth to all existence. How different that is from the myth of Tiamat as the supposedly demonic dragon who was primordial chaos and killed by Marduk, who then divided her body to create the universe, part of her body making the heavens and part of her body making the earth.
The implications of that myth have led to one nightmare after another for humankind.
Affirmation: I will not be cleaved in two. I remain whole. I recognize the loving chaos and loving darkness within me. I refuse to bow to misrepresentations of them. I see within myself both my loving darkness and loving light. Each day, I know in myself the Dragon, Great Mother Goddess, the Magna Mater, Who loves all of existence and all humankind. I serve Her throughout my day by doing what I love and by lovingly serving all I encounter. With my fertile chaos dragon body, I can birth all existence; I have the power to manifest my heart’s desires.
No, no mere word created us. That was a lie so that we’d succumb to oppressors’ words and fear Her Divine chaos. The oppressors’ priests wanted to rip us from our own fertility and the magic to create our own worlds.
If there was a word, it was a poem, a chant, a magical spell, a cry of exultation, a cry of purest joy, a cry of purest love, from the Goddess and God, as They made love in the process of existence coming into being. No almighty God condescendingly divided light from darkness. No no no. The Magna Mater drew the light from Her own body. That light is Her Son Whom She loves. Unlike the God of the Bible, She does not distain Her other half.
Chaos still reigns today, beneficent, though we divide it into hours and moments, schedules and goals, as if the weave of life was like a weaving on a human’s loom—line after parallel line laid out precisely, everything organized in a linear manner like a grid. No, chaos—Goddess—weaves every which way, and yet the garment She weaves is a life that fits us more perfectly than the most carefully woven garment we ourselves could make, a life more beautiful than any we ourselves could weave.
Through generations and lifetimes, society’s weaving of lies and suppression have robbed witches of their immersion in and trust of chaos. From chaos, that dark matter where there is also light, comes our magic.
Dragons are descendants of the original chaos. My worldview helps reveal the hidden underpinnings of draconian magic.
An attribution regarding my remark “The Magna Mater drew the light from Her own body. That light is Her Son Whom She loves.” In the book, Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, the Goddess draws the light from Herself and sees it as Her brother, with whom She falls in love. It is a beautiful myth that you might want to read. I also need to give another reference: in that myth, the Goddess and God make love to create the cosmos, and it is a magical spell.
Dear reader, my above essay is excerpted from a course I teach called Dragon Magic. Unless something changes radically, the essay is also in the companion booklet for a divination deck I created. The deck has not been released yet. To be kept abreast of upcoming classes, Fey freebies, and other offerings, click the banner below: