The Virtual Pagan Monastery 2020

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.

I hope my above poem conveys, to at least some small degree, the power gained when visiting the Virtual Pagan Monastery.

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.


Traditional Shamanic Culture and Business

Rosmrta

Did you know ancient Celts had a goddess of marketing? Or that their shamans charged for many of their services, as did ancient Native American shamans? Did you know ancient Mesoamerican merchants traveled to find sacred goods?

Shamanic culture once brought the sacred into commerce, in a way we desperately need today for two reasons:

1) It will allow us fulfilling, loving, profitable work.

2) It can help stop the immense, worldwide suffering caused by callous business practices.

The division of sacred and profane in the marketplace strikes at the core of human rights, Faerie witchery, and happiness.

As a witch, I’m part of a long heritage of magic used as a tool to free people from oppression. As long as the marketplace is driven by profit to the point of callousness, instead of by an ethical focus on being of service, results will remain tragic.

So I developed innovative theories and methodologies that provide a missing piece of witchery—a shamanic approach to the marketplace. I teach it in my new book:

A Sacred Marketplace:
Sell without Selling Out or Burning Out.
Mysticism + Marketing = Sales.

ClickHereSmall

The book is two pronged in its benefits:

1) Many ethical, loving people have special gifts they want to bring into the marketplace but are stymied because they can’t figure out how to maneuver the insanity of our current business world.

These folks include artists, psychics, coaches, and others in alternative fields. Also included are people whose heartfelt dreams are less obviously special—e.g., you can make cosmetics in a loving way.

A Sacred Marketplace shows good people ethical ways to thrive in business. The book teaches

* easy, powerful, ethical marketing

* my personal philosophy of life, which is shamanic and spells out why it is moral to earn a living doing what we love and how doing so is vital to the well being of all Gaia’s children

* shamanic exercises to help you actually live that philosophy and develop personal traits for career success

2) The other benefit: if these good folks were in business, their sheer presence would help shift our business world into one where people matter more than profit. These loving practitioners would not have to do anything other than be present in the marketplace.

More talented good-hearted people in the world of commerce will—without these individuals even trying to do so—automatically transform the dominant business paradigm for society as a whole, from corporate, uncaring greed to loving concern for the individual.

I’m delighted I was able to create this book’s material. I am proud of my work in a way this society tries to squelch. Be proud of yours. Enter the marketplace with your special gifts and be prosperous. In the process, you’ll make a better life for everyone.

I care about you, so I beg you: do not wait. Great endeavors start when someone says, “I’ll do what I can.” If all you can manage is reading two minutes once a week, and you have no time to analyze what you read or to apply it, that’s a legitimate start. The book is Third Road shamanism, which means you absorb on a gut level, just by reading. Do it. Click here for A Sacred Marketplace: http://www.outlawbunny.com/2015/10/15/a-sacred-marketplace/

Traditional Witchcraft, Spirituality, and Ethics

FDG2016TphatCurrently, it is a prevalent opinion among Pagans that traditional witchcraft was strictly magical, lacking theology or moral aspects. While I can respect that theory, it is not congruent with my own experiences. I suspect whether traditional witchery had sacred or ethical aspects varied by locale or by family tradition.

I never argue with anybody’s experience, only their theory. Theory is ever-changing. I’d never want to invalidate anyone’s experience, including my own. I’ll share mine below.

My experiences lead to conclusions that differ from the aforementioned current popular Pagan position. I hope to add to the Pagan dialogue on the topic, and provide support for those who, like me, have an unpopular point of view.

Growing up in a family tradition, I learned magic and a mystical worldview con leche. Therefore magic and mysticism were a given, as much a part of life as the air I was breathing. In the process, a religious and ethical worldview was deeply ingrained in my cells.

Note I say “my cells,” not “my brain.” It took my entire childhood and adolescence to imbibe the tradition’s basics, because cellular lessons take time.

The understandings of the tradition were so deeply imbedded in our home life that much of the family tradition was taken for granted, not out and out spoken, but more implied and lived. This includes the theist or moral aspects.

In fact, calling it an understanding in the above paragraph is somewhat of a misnomer. It is not so much an understanding as a way of being.

In any case, a lifestyle with many of its important aspects being subtle or unspoken seems an earmark of many traditional witches I have met.

When I got older, I saw that this subtlety sometimes causes people who were viewing the family tradition from the outside to not see the tradition’s deep religious and ethical roots, only the more overt—and perhaps less core—trappings. When I participated in family traditions in Europe, I usually found deep religious and ethical roots in them.

Observers are not engaged in the family culture. They are standing outside it, watching. Only by being part of a shamanic family culture over a long period of time can one can really understand the culture. The notion that to watch something is to fully understand it is a fairly current concept of scholarship. As I said above, learning the traditional witchcraft of my family required an experiential, long term lesson.

It has become almost de rigeur to insist traditional craft never had sacred or principled aspects. This makes it important to me to write this post about my family tradition, because I feel I’m speaking up for my Gods, for my witch ancestors, and for others who feel as I do.

I do not like it when a theory ceases to be a theory and becomes a mandated belief—in other words, when someone is mouthing somebody else’s words to, consciously or not, invalidate other seekers. Unfortunately, the concept that traditional witchcraft had neither ethical nor theological base has become yet another Pagan rote declaration, usually said—or written—in an intimidating tone of I-know-better-than-you-so-whatever-you-think-is-stupid.

I can admire people who authentically believe other than I do. An informed and friendly exchange of ideas about traditional craft, spirituality, and ethics could be a lovely thing. Healthy debate is a wonderfully educational process for everyone involved. A supportive, respectful, and thoughtful exchange of ideas can do wonders.

But debate is not the same as trying to legitimize and define one’s path by invalidating someone else’s. That hurtfully invalidates a lot of newbies who already feel insecure about their belief system. This can crush a newcomer’s spirit.

Coming to our community, hoping to finally find fellowship, but instead encountering someone just as invalidating as mainstream society, can be doubly heartbreaking, because they thought they had finally entered a safe space. So they often never participate in our community again, and end up without support in their Pagan explorations.

People who need to squash others in order to validate their own power have less power than they think, and more mere bluster than they realize.

Thus, I felt impelled to write this post to support invalidated Pagans.

A last thought on traditional witches and ethics: perhaps in some cases, a lack of morality had less to do with any tradition and more to do with human nature. Some people just take anything, even that which is moral and sacred to begin with, strip it of those roots, and use it for their own selfish—or even evil—goals.

I hope this post is a useful contribution to Pagan dialogue about traditional craft.

If you want experiential lessons in traditional craft, I teach The Third Road, a tradition I channel, informed by the magic of my ancestors and my mom. (Channeling teachings is part of traditional craft.) I teach mostly via group phone calls—aka teleseminars. Here’s the link to subscribe to my newsletter, which tells you about upcoming classes: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Bless you.

DNA and Ancestral Ritual

DNA Science and magic meet. I won’t choose between mysticism and science. They can feed each other.

My ancestors are spiritually important to me. So I’m combining science and spirit in a deeply personal way: I ordered an AncestryDNA test kit.

A mystic, I travel through the blood in my veins, back through time, to discover the ancient ways my family once practiced. Today, the logical rational side of me does the same by spitting into a vial. This test tube becomes a chalice that arrived by mail, enclosed in plastic. Two supposedly disparate halves of me come together to feed my spirit.

I mailed my saliva, part of my sacred body, to scientists, who will analyze it to reveal my ethnic background. They’ll go back through many generations, the same way my meditations have. Their work will expand my otherworldly travels.

The lab analysis will determine where my ancestors hail from, based on a science my layperson’s mind can’t understand, no matter how much experts explain it.

Many scientists would be equally puzzled by my ability to uncover historical information by meditating on my blood. I have my expertise, they have theirs. I get to draw on both.

A relationship with my ancestors, in ritual and daily life, is pivotal to me. They lovingly support me. And I tend them. Trance journeys give me a strong intuitive sense of my ancestors. The DNA results can help me know whether my intuitions are correct.

It would be fine to trust my intuition without the DNA results. (Check out my blog about that: Mysticism and Non-Academic Scholarship.) But corroboration is useful.

Science can support my spirituality in other ways, too.

For one, I come from a European shamanic family tradition. Some of my family history has been lost. I’m hoping DNA will fill in gaps.

For example, I might see how major societal events impacted my family’s past generations to shape the family’s spirituality. That familial story could provide context to better understand my own path.

Luck allowed me to gather a staggering amount of anecdotal evidence about my ancestors. Information from relatives, and from strangers I don’t know but who have my last name, and from other sources, provided enormously convincing material, when looked at as a whole. I believe anecdotal evidence is part of folk culture and one source of the old wise ways. This fecund anecdotal evidence can be augmented with DNA science.

For example, the DNA test might help me gather more anecdotal evidence, if it leads to relatives I hadn’t learned about previously. They might know family history I don’t.

DNA results could also be a jumping off point for more ancestral rituals. I love the wisdom of ancient cultures, and appreciate reenactment whether based in textbooks’ history or intuited history. I revere native and ancestral spiritual practices. These leanings feed my desire for DNA info about my ancestral roots.

I can best explain another reason for wanting a test by telling you a personal story.

A friend of mine was part of a DNA study. Before continuing the story, let me be clear: I’m not part of any study. My test kit is from AncestryDNA. They’re not experimenting on me, and their tests results do not show an ancestral timeline such as you’ll read about in my friend’s tale. I checked out some companies, and AncestryDNA seems to give the most comprehensive results. If you’re interested, their kit is also easy to use.

Back to my story:

My friend phoned me one day, and exclaimed rapturously, “I got the DNA results. My family originated in Egypt!”

Then she added, “My later ancestors migrated to Greece. Guess where else my ancestors migrated to?”

I responded, “Mongolia?”

There was a long pause. Then she said, in a stunned voice, “That’s right! How did you know?”

“It was obvious. Your immense love for Egyptian religions motivated you to become an Egyptian scholar, devoted to reviving ancient Egyptian spiritual practices, which became part of your personal devotions. Later, you seriously worked with Greek Gods. Then, you channeled material that had no geographical basis, as far you knew, but later found out that the material resonated with documented Mongolian traditions.”

I continued, “Your family only told you about your Caucasian Irish lineage. But your earlier ancestors influenced your mystical life. Your spiritual quest this lifetime follows the migration of your ancestors, step by step!”

The point of my story: I want to know if my DNA matches my various spiritual leanings.

There can be valid reasons we’re drawn spiritually to cultures we were not raised in. Our DNA might be one of those reasons. I don’t hold with the idea that you should only use the spiritual tools of your obvious ancestors.

Mind you, I am not okaying co-option. I’m saying legitimate cross cultural shamanism exists.

That legitimacy is hard to come by. It would take a whole book to explain how to pull it off ethically and otherwise, so I won’t get into it here, except to say:

By “cross-cultural shamanism,” I don’t mean “core shamanism,” AKA the idea that shamanism is primarily the same in all cultures. I disagree with the modern standardization of shamanism.

My experience is that shamans individualize according to cultural differences, and way past that, individualizing family by family and person by person.

My personal definition of legitimate cross-cultural shamanism is an ethical, thoughtful blend of earth based mysticism as it manifests in various cultures.

Moving on:

I am a little worried. With adventure, comes fear of the unknown: am I going to like the DNA test results?

But mostly I’m excited about the DNA adventure I am embarking on.

And I feel gratitude for science and magic.

When the DNA results arrive, I’ll post them here, and share how it impacts my mystical journey.
********************
Note: I first posted this blog May 2015 at http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/a-faerie-haven.html and post it again here for those of you who tend to read me here.
********************
NewsPrpl

Sacred Doubt

May I not let doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.

DoubtRecently, I was feeling shaky about my decisions in a couple of life’s arenas: I had doubts about how I approach relationship with my Gods. I was also doubting one of my financial decisions.

The doubts popped up during ritual. At first, I thought these distractions during rituals lessened the rites’ power. But I’m realizing that doubt is part of the spiritual process. Sometimes, it’s good to doubt. Sometimes, doubt adds to a ritual. (Yes, doubt during a rite can lessen its power. But I’m talking about something different here.)

I started thinking about the benefits of doubt. Doubt can lead us to change our minds for the better.

Doubt can also lead us through a process that, in the end, helps affirm our decisions and cleave to them better than ever.

Moving all the way across the country sometime soon, to return to California, is a huge decision and risk. For example, I’m giving up ownership of a three-bedroom rural home on 7/10 of an acre, with a $700 monthly mortgage payment (!) to rent at a much higher monthly cost. Eek! So I wrote a prayer about doubt. The prayer could also be used as an affirmation. I share it here in case you find it relevant to your own personal life.

If you use this prayer/affirmation, please tell me how it goes. I’d love to hear your experience, because it will be unique to you.

Sacred Doubt

May I accept my doubts.
May I recognize doubts as part of life.
May I understand doubts as sometimes part of a self empowerment process.

May I not run from doubts in myself.
May I not run from doubts in other people.

May I not let my doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.
May I not let other people’s doubts drive me into fear-based decisions.

Instead, may I remember that my doubts are a part of me
that might be need healing or empowerment.
May I give that part of myself love.
May I give that part of myself respect.
May self love and respect heal my doubts, if they need healing.*

May I allow my doubts to bless me,
with power or other gifts.

Though there are times it’s good to validate,
invalidate, or analyze my doubts,
may I take time for simple gentle awareness of them.

May this simple, relaxed observance
allow my cells’ innate wisdom
to guide my whole being, both body and spirit.

Note 1: I added the phrase “if they need healing,” because sometimes a doubt does not need healing. For example, a doubt can be a partial recognition of a truth we haven’t grasped yet. When we honor doubt, instead of trying to “heal” it, we allow space in our consciousness for the partially hidden truth to fully emerge.

Note 2: Here are instructions for the above-mentioned simple gentle awareness. Instead of watching your doubts with a sharp effortful focus that is a tiring strain, rest your attention on your doubts gently, the way your head rests on the pillow at night.

Use the comment field below to tell me your own thoughts about doubts. We all have different experiences. Perhaps yours are so different from mine that they will enlighten me. Or perhaps yours are fairly similar to mine, which would be helpful affirmation for me.

Blessed be, Francesca

FRS_Bar_6

On your life journey, you deserve the best tools. Click here to learn about the Faerie Ritual Set: http://www.outlawbunny.com/2014/06/11/frs/