Maytime Portals to Faerie

Dangerous Faerie Realms in the Month of May

Reject Forbidden Portals and Still Frolic with the Fey Folk


ByPass Most May Portals, for Better Ways to Meet the Fey

Getting to know and interact with fairies is a joyful part of our human heritage from our ancestors. However, not all interactions are desirable. Some can be nasty and unsafe.

In the early days of May, portals can appear.

You might stumble across such an opening on Mayday, an ancient Pagan holiday also known as Beltane, or on other early May days.

Don’t go through it. This time of year, it is extremely likely to open to realms humans rarely survive, physically or spiritually.

Even highly skilled shamans (witches, druids, whatever) cannot endure what occurs beyond such gates.

What happens there is not necessarily evil, though it can be. It’s simply beyond human endurance.

Even Fey there who are good-willed will not treat a human with the kindness that other Fey might extend on this side of those gates or in other Fey realms.

The Fey folk of the particular realms I am warning against are oblivious of human needs, so there will be neither food nor drink suitable for humans.

These Fey, oblivious not only to human needs but also to human fragilities, will unwittingly kill a human by dragging them along on Fey escapades that either go at a speed lethal to a human or are otherwise impossible for a human to survive.

And those are only the dangers from kindly Fey there!

What I’ve said above about May gates and the worlds beyond them is traditional lore. Forgive me for not attributing source. I know I learned from a person, not from a book, but I can’t remember who. I do know the lore corroborates experience from past lives and my current one.

You Can Have Blessings, Joy, and Happiness from the Fey Folk

Despite my above cautions, we can meet the Fey folk and have amazingly beautiful, wild, thoroughly fulfilling encounters. Not all that is Fey is forbidden to humans. Quite the opposite. Many Fey love us and are safe. They will even protect us from nasty Faeries.

The Fairy Queen and King love humanity and want to bless all humans.

Who are the Fairy Queen and King?

All over the world, in culture after culture, lore tells of the Faerie Queene and King, by different names. In the lore—though sometimes you have to go far back to find it—these Old Fairy Gods are also known as the Great Mother of All and Her Cocreator, our Father. These two deities are our Divine Parents.

(If you noticed I spell fairy different ways in this blog, I’m basically using them all to mean the same thing, though that is an uncommon practice. Ditto related words—fae, fey, fay. I love all the variations. For more about that: https://stardrenched.com/2020/09/08/fairy-faerie-faery-fey-fay/)

How to Meet a Fairy and Be Blessed by the Old Fairy Gods

Easy ways to draw fairies are in my post about rose magic:

The post shows eight simple ways to use roses to attract fairies and other blessings.

The post also has a ritual for the Great Mother of All and Her Cocreator our Father to welcome you into Their care, protection, wild Mysteries, and more.

Here’s the Rose Magic post: https://stardrenched.com/2020/11/24/rose-magic/

2021 Fairy Witch Training

Fairy Witch Training

Fairy Witch Training aka Third Road Faerie Shamanism Training

FaerieRlmWetWPnk99 Third Road is the tradition I teach.

Classes are teleseminars—group meetings by phone. Just dial the phone to participate.

Training consists of four courses I’ve taught for almost two decades because they’re the core entry-level witch training and prerequisites for Third Road advanced shamanic training.

* Witchcraft, straight up * accessible to beginners * spells to manifest worldly goals * personal growth * increased intuition * power to serve your tribe *

Each course provides:
* down-to-earth applications of Pagan mysticism. This is mysticism grounded in practical spell-crafting—witch spirituality integrated with common sense; the combination improves your whole life
* experiences of the Goddess and God as living entities Who protect, bless, and utterly adore you
* the ancient Faery Faith’s transformative beauty
* empowerment to be of maximum service to your tribe
* solid magical techniques
* spells for worldly goals
* rites for personal growth
* increased intuition
* core Third Road teachings
* ancient Goddess spirituality: the Great Mother Goddess embraces men, male Gods, gender-bending, and beyond. She embraces all people. You won’t find a more motley crew than in my events. Truly inclusive.

Each person has unique magical and mundane talents. This training nurtures these passions: your particular shamanic and worldly skill sets are invoked and fostered. You attain rich selfhood and can serve tribe by expressing yourself.

Lessons don’t delineate a path we’re all supposed to walk (ick!) but instead support your particular path—your life, your needs, your spiritual and mundane journey.

Instead of a shamanic approach to which you’re expected to conform to be a “real” shaman (ick!), you’ll be in a shamanic journey designed to meet you exactly as who, where, and how you are.

The four courses weave into a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.

A teacher in probably the world’s largest Pagan tradition studied with me. She later said, “I wish my tradition had material as advanced as Francesca’s.” She was referring to my entry-level classes. This is witchcraft, straight up, and accessible to beginners.

The training is multi-leveled, suitable to all levels, and provides access to power at whatever level your spirit, life, and magic require. Adepts experience sufficient depth and challenges, but beginners are not overwhelmed or left to fall behind.

Don’t spin your wheels. In our very first meeting, you enter a circle of power. Expect immense progress in a fraction of the time you’ve spent elsewhere on typical lessons.

No prerequisites required except for one course—The Be a Goddess Master Class. That class’s description (below) explains further.

This eight-month shamanic journey has four powerful aspects:

1) 27 lessons. We meet via teleseminars—group phone calls. To participate, just dial your phone.

We’ll work in old-style oral tradition, allowing immense headway quickly. Enrollment is limited to 16 people, so we can perform ceremonies that can only happen in a small group, and so each participant can receive individualized attention, should they want that support.

I commit to my students. A shamanic journey is personal. Traditional shamanic lessons include individualized attention, which tailors the training to you.

2) Direct spiritual transmissions occur each meeting, deepen the rituals, make them safer, and foster experiential understanding of the course material.

The transmissions also enliven your cells, so your magic wakes to its next level of power as do your mundane strengths.

There are other benefits; the transmissions’ energies adapt to your needs, blessing your internal and external life.

I cannot imagine oral tradition without direct spiritual transmissions. They seem part and parcel.

(I’m not explaining what spiritual transmissions are here because the important thing is the benefits they’ll give you during the training. But if you want a definition, you can read mine here. Be apprised that my definition is not typical: https://outlawbunny.com/2020/11/19/what-is-a-spiritual-transmission/.)

3) One-on-one support by phone. I’m available should you need to privately discuss anything, or if something comes up for you during a group meeting and would take too long to discuss during that meeting.

Take the entire training or participate in a single course. Each course stands on its own, a training unto itself.

Below are the four courses, in the order they’ll be held. Their descriptions are flawed but will work once you’ve read this caveat:

Descriptions divide Fairy magic into categories, which isn’t true of Fey magic as I know it. When I cast a spell to shift a part of myself or my life, the magic is nonetheless all-encompassing. Fae magic is the living, loving presence of the Faery Queen and King. During a Fairy ceremony, these Gods not only achieve my goal(s) for the ceremony but, in Their enthusiastic love for me, bless my whole person and enchant my entire life.

Thus, while each course focuses overtly on certain benefits or approaches, other benefits come too. Additional approaches come into play, perhaps subtly. This style is integrative.

A description of a course focuses on its overt aspects, though each course, to a significant extent, provides all benefits the other courses do.

Also note, near its top, this post lists benefits each one of these courses offers. I don’t repeat all that in a course description.

Course One: Faerie Shamanism—an Ecstatic Path

Course One: Faerie Shamanism—an Ecstatic Path

Curriculum focuses on ecstatic ritual, Faerie wisdoms, theoretical basics of Faerie Shamanism, and some of its more complex aspects.

Course material also helps you discover or deepen your Fey magic: Faerie Shamanism expresses itself differently in each practitioner. I help you build that personal expression, while I also offer techniques for your magical toolbox.

You are on a unique journey. The Faerie Shamanism class steadies your feet.

You also:
* learn training practices and moral stances that increase pleasure
* Gain the material satisfactions of an ecstatic practitioner, without being snared by addictions or illusions
* Embrace wholeness in all your many facets.

Course Two: Holy Sweaty Joy—Ecstatic Spirituality and Sacred Sexuality

Holy Sweaty Joy—Ecstatic Spirituality & Sacred Sexuality

Witches are considered unholy by religious bigots because our religion teaches us to take life by the horns and use revelry to reach our life’s goals—goals of bounty, beauty, self-fulfillment, joy, service to our community, and more.

Claim these old revelry magics of the Faerie ecstatic path. Learn fun rites that do the job when all else fails. This is ritual that transforms you and your life.

Delight in Faery Faith rituals and mysteries:
* Reach your life goals—and heal your spirit—through both magical and worldly celebration.
* Imbue daily activities with confidence, passion, and vigor.
* Move past inner blocks to your inherent, sacred sensuality.
* Be a sex God(dess)!
* Affirm your unique, bewitching sexuality.
* Own your true self, so your authenticity shapes decisions.
* Own your joy.

Course Three: Gentle Heart, Palm Up—Peacefully Conquering Challenges

Gentle Heart, Palm Up—Peacefully Conquering Challenges

Overcoming challenges, great or small, mundane or spiritual, is a traditional path to gaining shamanic power.

This course offers shamanic tools to triumph over problems, whether an “everyday dilemma” or traumatizing devastation. These same tools build the magical strengths to manifest whatever your heart desires in any area of your life. Since the process outlined in this paragraph is a traditional means of gaining shamanic power, this course provides an aspect of core shamanism (as do all four courses).

As always, lessons are not theoretical. This class provides the experience of gaining mystic power to conquer your immediate problems and how that creates the exact magical strengths, methods, and mental shifts needed to overcome all life’s difficulties and fulfill your life goals.

The last thing any of us need is a class that’s too hard. Like most of my classes, this witchcraft is gentle, peaceful, and potent.

Gentle rituals can be more effective than obviously strong rites. Sometimes, only gentleness draws forth our wildness and helps us live free.

You’ll learn a witchy fluidity that makes you unstoppable. I jokingly coined the terms Faerie Taoism and Fae Chi Gung to explain this course: we relaxedly flow with nature’s patterns, so nothing can stop us.

Gentle Heart, Palm Up training saves you mega-time: move through roadblocks quickly and serenely, instead of wandering stymied and anxious. Conquer problems peacefully.

This material helped heal me and my life from the trauma of becoming crippled overnight in 2001 and the crises—e.g., financial problems—that can domino from major illness. I was so depleted that, when channeling these lessons, I was too ill to type or even hand-write them. I dictated them to someone. Then, because of these lessons, I rose like the Phoenix. At age 70, I’m healthier than I was in 2001, my finances recovered, and my spirit is whole.

Course Four: The Be a Goddess Master Class

Course Four: The Be a Goddess Master Class

This Witch Training provides the following benefits. If you’ve already received them, they reach the next level:
* Your inner guide becomes stronger.
* Your connection to the Old Gods deepens so Their blessings in your life increase, and you can revel in the blissful joy of Their company.
* You acquire magical and mundane abilities to meet any challenge or opportunity.
* Profound soul-healing comes—sometimes so easily you don’t notice it till later.
* You Honor and draw on the Deity within.
* Serving all our relations in the way your heart wants becomes possible.
* Fey-touched joy that makes life worth living ignites.

The magic in my book, Be a Goddess, has unpublished, more advanced facets. They meet you as you are now, in whatever circumstances you’re in now, that you may live the way you truly want. I’ll teach you that material.

The tools you already have from one of the prerequisites will gain deeper layers of power, which you can apply to your current situations.

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Feeling powerless? This class will change that.

Already feel plenty of power? Rock on! And if you’re not achieving everything you want, this course is the next step.

You also learn new techniques: I’ll teach you new tools and how to apply tools from the books—for whatever you need: prosperity, creativity, or anything else.

Prerequisite for The Be a Goddess Master Class

Complete one of the following to take the Master Class:
* first 12 lessons in my book, Be a Goddess!
* first 8 lessons in my book, Goddess Initiation
* one entry-level class in Third Road’s Mystic Rose branch (which I taught face-to-face in San Francisco)

I scheduled The Be a Goddess Master Class as the last of the four classes, to give you time to fulfill one of the prerequisites if you haven’t already.

If you start soon, there’s time to do the first 12 lessons in my book Be a Goddess!.

Been a long time since you did one of the prerequisites? It doesn’t matter. Don’t think you have to start again. You’ve done the work.

Don’t feel like you did it well enough? Doesn’t matter. You did the lessons. Learning witchcraft is a process. Give yourself a chance to move ahead with it, toward your life goals. You can always return to earlier work later to do it “better.”

Schedule

The eight month training has 27 lessons, all on Sundays, 6:00 to 7:00 pm, EST, starting April 25.

Each course is seven weeks except The Be a Goddess Master Class is six.

Course One, Faerie Shamanism—an Ecstatic Path—runs April 25 through June 6. Reserve 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday June 13, for a makeup class in the unlikely chance I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

Course Two: Holy Sweaty Joy—Ecstatic Spirituality and Sacred Sexuality—runs June 27 through August 8. Reserve 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday August 15 for a makeup class in the unlikely chance I can’t attend one of the planned sessions.

Course Three: Gentle Heart, Palm Up—Peacefully Conquering Challenges—is August 29 through October 10. Reserve 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday October 17 for a makeup class in the unlikely chance I can’t attend one of the planned sessions.

Course Four: The Be a Goddess Master Class meets October 31 through December 12, skipping November 28 for Thanksgiving. Reserve 6:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday December 19 for a makeup class in the unlikely chance I’m unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

There is a break after each course, so the schedule is not overwhelming. Plus chances are good we won’t need to use the make-up dates so will have them off too. We break on June 20, August 22, October 24, and November 28.

Enrollment

Full cost—for 27 classes, direct spiritual transmissions, handouts, and one-on-one private support should you desire—is $200 a month. Your carrier might charge you for the phone calls into the lessons.

If you’ve taken this training or one of its courses, repeat enrollment is half-price. Contact me, and I’ll invoice you through PayPal. To participate in a single course, contact me for invoice.

Enroll securely with PayPal. Use the Subscribe button below for automatic monthly payments of $200, for eight months.


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Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved. You receive course details—e.g., the phone number to dial for the meetings—by email. For more information or to discuss scholarship, semi-scholarship, trade, or a payment plan other than the subscription option on this page, phone me. No refunds. However, you can cancel your subscription after the two payments for the specific course you’re in.

There Is Only Now

If you want witch training with me, now is the time. It’s been between six and three years since I’ve taught some of these courses.

There is only now, and sky’s the limit. We’ll immediately dive into ultra-focused lessons between the worlds.

Please note: along with the four above prerequisites, participating in advanced training requires two electives. You might have already taken one without even knowing it. Here are some recent events that qualify (and there are plenty of other qualifying electives to choose from):
* One of the 2020 or 2021 daylong retreats
* Dragon Magic
* Magic For Business Success
* Laughing Vulva, Goddess Womb
* the breath healing course and the sound healing course combined qualify as one elective
* ditto combining both three-week Trauma, Shamanism, and Victory groups

Advanced training will start 2022 (if enough folks are interested) and not until well into the year, so there’s time for you to take electives. Sometimes, we can delay an elective if you haven’t done two before the advanced training begins.

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You can’t find these lessons elsewhere. I’m utterly grateful the Goddess whispered them to me because they’ve saved me over and over. More about my curriculum-creation process:

* When teaching orally, I’m ensconced within a family oral tradition I entered in infancy, learning magic con leche. I receive experiential wisdom-lessons not taught elsewhere.
* Raised in a European-based shamanic family tradition that includes both Italian sorcery and Celtic shamanism, I teach a multicultural Faerie shamanism.
* I thoughtfully, joyfully, carefully channel curriculums, constructing lessons over time. This tunes us into enormous, subtle powers. You won’t pay for a jumble of undigested white-bread ideas that an unprepared teacher declared, “Voila, genuine Pagan stuff!” 🙂 Instead, I committed my life to developing material for you.
* I received full-time, longterm shamanic training. It was not academic but an experiential training of skill sets. That focused study allowed me into the heart of reality, in trance 24-7, channeling lessons for seven years.
* For decades since, my Gods asked me to trance only part of the day, to ground me. Feet more on the ground than ever, I continue to explore our magical yet earthy cosmos and channel new earth-based mysticism material, because resting on my laurels would be no fun. I like fun.

Fairy witch, Francesca De Grandis, is the bestselling author of Be a Goddess! and Goddess Initiation. 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 with both La Vecchia Religione and Celtic shamanism in its lineage, Francesca’s witchcraft is a multicultural Faerie shamanism. La Vecchia Religione translates the Old Religion and refers to the practices of an Italian witch, also known as a Strega.

Upcoming Fairy Ritual

Ancestors, Past Lives, and Witch Power:

A Seven-Week Fairy Ceremony for Magical and Worldly Success

Our Heritage from Ancestors

My first ancestors spun threads of wisdom and power. Generation upon generation wove in more threads, until now thick ropes connect me to all powers and wisdoms.

In this seven-week rite, we become more connected to these ancestral cords by shifting our cells and awareness. Thus linked, our intuitions and hearts discover wisdoms and powers lost over the ages, e.g., hidden enchantments, obscure herbal medicines, extraordinary spiritual balance during the hardest times, the weave of mysticism and down-to-earth savvy, and other empowering choices suppressed by mainstream society.

We Are Magic

Our DNA is stardust; magic fills every cell of our bodies.

In our veins, ancestors’ blood flows, coursing back to the fiery explosion that bloomed into all existence. That creative force is the oldest, most powerful enchantment and is ours to use. It is within us. We can manifest anything. We will claim this power in our meetings.

Healing Ancestral Trauma and Living Our Innate Magic

Trauma suppresses stardust DNA. Ancestral trauma transforms the familial DNA, thwarting its magic. We will:

* Heal ancestral traumas—or call them ancestral wounds—which are sufferings of a family member or members that pass down to every generation, ad infinitum, until healed.

* Heal from centuries of stardust DNA being refuted and suppressed.

* Center into our stardust DNA. We’ll cast off confusion and doubt about our fey essence and insightful common sense. We’ll gain confident clarity about our innate magic and mundane skills.

If you choose to avoid some ancestors or don’t know who any of your ancestors are, you can still do this seven-week ceremony. I’ll show you how.

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We Will Strengthen Our Magic, Hearts, and Minds

The Old Gods promise freedom:
we have the right to
an enchanted, fulfilling life,
ease in our steps,
wildness in our hearts,
health in our bodies,
trust of our beautiful fey souls,
and confidence in our intellects.
This is a witch’s freedom.
Find it,
celebrate it,
live it: enroll to attend the Witch Power ceremony.


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More information about the event:

Working Directly with Ancestors

We will
* Invoke ancestors for guidance, empowerment, and healing
* Heal ancestors and be aligned with them. Aligning one’s energy with ancestors is a traditional shamanic practice that makes your witchcraft and mundane endeavors powerful and creates both physical and spiritual health.

Every Past Life Weaves with Ancestral Lineage

I experienced in my bones that the powers I knew in past lives and the traumas I suffered in them are woven into the threads of power and trauma that link me to ancestors. The seven weeks will:
* heal trauma from past lives
* restore us to wildness, enchantment, and beauty of past incarnations
* give us not only worldly and magical powers of our ancestors but also power we held in past lives

This ritual is suitable to both novices and adepts.

The last time I taught this was five years ago, so if you’re interested in it, grab the chance now. I don’t know if and when I’ll offer it again.

This event is a Faerie Druid rite and a prerequisite for advanced Third Road Druidic training.

These rituals are group meetings by phone. To participate, just dial the phone from anywhere.

We meet seven Sundays, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EST, starting February 7, 2021. Meetings are held consecutive weeks except we skip February 28. Reserve Sunday March 4, same time, for a makeup session in case I’m unavailable for one of the planned meetings.

Tuition: $400. Your service provider may charge you for the call. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.

Half price if you’ve taken this course before. It was previously called Witch Power, Ancestors, and Past Lives. The half-price option is in the drop-down menu below.

Enroll securely using PayPal:


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My phone number is 814-337-2490.Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved. Seating is limited. Event phone #, etc., is emailed to you. If you need more info, or want to discuss payment plan, scholarship, or trade, phone me. No refunds.

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The above photo is of my mom, may she rest in peace. Her witch blood flows in me, telling me I’m a Goddess. We’re each a God, descendant of the Faerie race. This ritual helps us access our Divine power.

The Old Ways can be fully embraced. They give us mystical and worldly strengths. My mom modeled for me a path of Goddess mysticism coupled with down-to-earth practical savviness. For example, she was an amazing businesswoman.

Enroll securely with PayPal:


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Vasilisa’s Doll

Vasilisa the Beautiful’s Doll:
A Magic Charm to Fix Problems

A necklace with a doll as the pendant

What is Vasilisa’s Doll?

In the Russian fairytale, Vasilisa the Beautiful, Vasilisa’s Mother is dying. On her deathbed, she gives a wooden doll to Vasilisa, explaining that when Vasilisa needs help, she is to feed the doll and ask for help, and her wish will be granted.

An Amulet for a Hero

Vasilisa’s story, which is one of overcoming trials, implies her doll is a talisman for heroes—individuals taking up a challenge. My gut concurs. By hero and challenge, I simply mean people who take responsibility for their life. Life’s journey is often a heroic quest.

If I take steps toward my goals, try to find steps, or seek the willingness to take them, Vasilisa’s doll will add her efforts to mine.

By contrast, asking the doll to do that which I can do for myself would be a waste of spell crafting. It doesn’t work. It would also amount to not taking responsibility for my life.

Ancestors, the Goddess, and Poppet Magic

I adore magic dolls. Whether you call them spirit dolls, poppets, totem dolls, totems, or guardian angel dolls, I find them tremendously charming, in both the magical and whimsical sense.

I believe many entities help wishes made to Vasilisa’s doll come true. Thus the doll offers powerful enchantments:

1. Given that Vasilisa’s Mother, on her deathbed, gave Vasilisa a doll to help overcome life’s challenges, I think the doll stands in for the mother. Requests to the doll reach the mother and other female ancestors.

2. I think the doll is a gatekeeper who carries wishes to the Magna Mater, Great Mother of all, and to all the wisher’s ancestors.

3. I intuit the doll is a magical being unto herself who grants wishes.

How to take Care of a Poppet

Wood dollA friend spoke to me about how seriously she takes being a poppet’s caretaker. She believes you don’t just tuck it in a drawer and forget about it. I have similar feelings: occasionally, poppets need company, as well as a tablespoon each of food and beverage.

It’s a nice idea to keep your dolls together, if you have more than one, so they can keep each other company.

I keep a few of my dolls in my bed. For one thing, it’s an easy way for them to have company since they’re hanging out with me while I’m sleeping. Sometimes I spend a minute with them before falling asleep.

A tablespoon of food and a tablespoon of beverage is probably plenty for all your poppets combined, a few times a year.

Having said all that, I admit to having neglected my totem dolls for long periods. They forgive me and continue to help me.

… Ooh, just had an idea. I tend to make offerings to my Gods, ancestors, and other spirit friends all at once, by putting out a wee bit of food and drink for them. I can include my poppet spirits in that group. That’s a way I can easily take care of them more often.

Making a Vasilisa doll

When a friend said she wanted a Vasilisa doll, I became obsessed with the idea and, after a lot of fun brainstorming, made two Vasilisa dolls. The photos in this post show the dolls.

I woodburned the design for the dolls. The pyrography (woodburning) goes all the way around the doll, so here are videos that show all sides.

The necklace with the doll as a pendant is for me:

The other doll—which can be a wall hanging—is for a friend:

The dolls are made from the wood of wild roses, which I harvested from my property in 2018, late summer or early fall. Then I let it cure for a year or two.

This is the wood after I harvested and cured it:

A lot of the wood was not usable. My experience is that when I cure wood, the ends tend to split so have to be cut away. The same might go for other portions of the wood. So, from those pieces, I managed to get only two small sticks:

The Hero’s Sacrifices

I consider cast away parts of the wood to be sacrifices to the Gods. That makes those two remaining sticks precious magic—the parts Gods have deemed suitable for me to craft.

In crafting, much might get tossed aside, all of it sacrifice in the name of the Muse, Who for me is the great Mother Goddess, Creator of All. Sometimes, I have a huge gorgeous stick that I have to throw out after curing it, none of it usable.

Vasilisa’s story is one of a hero overcoming challenges. Sacrifices are always made on the hero’s journey.

I love these dolls. The one that is a wall hanging was my first pyrography after a year away, and the lines are not as well executed and smooth as I would’ve liked. It was also the first time executing the design I’d created; the arms don’t quite match. While burning one arm, I couldn’t see the arm on the other side to check it. I thought about sanding the arms off and starting all over again, but their particular positions meant sanding would likely ruin the piece.

Ends up the arms of my friend who wants the doll are very different lengths. Wow. … Regardless, I reduced the wall hanging’s price because of the doll’s flaws. … I love her for her flaws. I love these dolls for many reasons, among them their spiritual beauty, winsomeness, huge spirits, and pretty ways. I’m delighted by my new friends.

Working on the first doll got me up to speed with my pyrography skills again and showed me how to refine my doll template. I’d spent weeks designing a template I can adapt for each doll. I corrected the template so it was easier to make the arms match next time. The time spent creating the original template and then spent changing it was not waste but sacrifice.

I restrung this wall hanging five times because I didn’t like the way it hung. I changed the beads a few times, finally ending up with no beads at all and a simple wax cotton cord, instead of woven cording. Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to see simplicity is the best design.

I rewove my necklace after finishing it, coming up with a second—completely new—design.

Repeated efforts until I find the right way are not wasted but are sacrifices that empower the hero’s journey. My dolls appreciate my effort and are all the more magical for it.

The videos of the dolls show them before they were restrung.

More about the Vasilisa’s Dolls I Made

It was wonderfully startling when, before I even finished sanding, I saw faces in the wood—spirits who were either in the wood or wanted to inhabit it. The faces were not appearing on the material plan, e.g., delineated by the grain of the wood. I’m thrilled by these dolls.

My necklace has a round Yew wood bead. It symbolizes the sacrifices along the journey. Sacrifices don’t have to be miserable. They can simply, for example, be part of the exploratory aspect of the creative process.

There is also a mother of pearl leaf, which I added as a symbol of the forests that house many a fairytale I love. The long bead, if memory serves, is bone. Bone represents eternal truths. There’s also a disc that is likely horn, to honor the wild, horned Goddess and God of the forest.

I wanted to add a bead from my mom’s jewelry, but it didn’t work out.

As always, I did lengthy ritual to bless these poppets with huge power.

A Surprise with the Vasilisa’s Dolls

After making both dolls, I told them, “Thank you for coming to me. I’m grateful one of you is my doll, to whom I can make a wish when I have a problem, and you will get me whatever I wish for. I’m grateful the other doll can do the same for someone else.”

They answered, without the confidence I’d expected, “Well, we’ll try.”

Surprised, I said to them, “Thank you. But you don’t sound very confident.”

They explained, “Francesca, we’re just sticks.”

I laughed, then said, “All the powers of the universe reside in every object in the universe. You have all power.”

They said, “Oh, yes! We’d forgotten. Thanks for reminding us.”

A few days later, they reminded me that I too have all power within. That doesn’t mean I should try to do everything on my own. One of the powers of the universe is the power of co-creation.

I should add that my wishes are not always granted, nor should they be. Sometimes the Gods have better plans for me.

Do You Want a Vasilisa’s Doll?

Wood dollIf you’d like me to make a Vasilisa’s doll for you or a loved one, I currently have the right size wood. At the time of this post, these are your costs:

A doll wall hanging is usually $98. There are some considerations, e.g., a larger doll might cost more. A necklace is usually $130. Shipping is additional and is $9 to a U.S. address.

Each doll is one of a kind—I channel woodburning details, then select beads that enhance it, magically and aesthetically, though there might not be beads on the wall hanging.

Email me or comment below if you’re interested. If you request a doll and then don’t like what I’ve made, no obligation to buy. I’m sure I can sell it elsewhere. The doll will go to their right home.

Rose Magic

Fairy Flower Magic: Rose Enchantments

Decorative frame of roses painted by Francesca De Grandis, around the words “Fairy Flower Magic: Rose Enchantments.”

Children, Magic, and Gardens

Children are wise in their innocence. They hear flowers sing, see garden fairies, and trust that magic is real. Children sing to the flowers, pile fallen petals and leaves to make wee beds for the Fae Folk, and leave cookies in the garden in case an otherworldly friend is hungry.

When I embrace this attitude, life is magical, and magic is in everything.

As our childhood is left behind, it can become harder to connect with magic. However, the magic of flowers is obvious to a lot of people, even after they reach adulthood. Gardens, potted plants, and cut flowers, for many a witch, have an easy-to-notice otherworldly energy.

The magic of roses, in particular, has been easily recognized worldwide for centuries. No surprise many mystical groups use a rose as one of their main symbols, if not their main one.

Roses, Italian Witchcraft, and Goddess Diana

Roses are important in many witchcraft traditions. Let’s look at one: la Vecchia Religione—the ancient shamanic witchcraft of Italy.

To explain rose’s relationship to the Strega (practitioner of ancient Italian witchcraft) as well as some of the powers of roses, I need to provide context.

La Vecchia Religione fosters joyful living, unlike religions that insist people be dour and view their existence as an uninterrupted burden.

In the old Italian religion, the Magna Mater—Great Mother Goddess, Creator of All—was known as Diana. Italian lore reveals Diana to also be the Queen of Fairies.

I call Her consort and Cocreator My Good Father, because He is true goodness, not the pretend goodness of another God many of us know too well. Nope, My Good Father is not a bully but instead protects me from those who are.

The Magic Powers in Roses

The rose is a symbol of:
* joy
* the ebullient joy we might take in loving the Magna Mater and My Good Father
* the ebullient joy They take in loving us and in using all Their powers to see that we become whole and happy.

The rose more than symbolizes everything in the above list. Rose also embodies it all.

In other words, a rose is not merely a symbol; its wee self is the living presence of any and all joys. Power in every petal! That living presence draws joy to us.

Roses also:
* attract the Fairy folk
* are sacred to the Magna Mater and hence to My Good Father
* draw Their blessings and protection
* add power to spells

Eight Simple Rose Magic Spells

These eight simple methods attract any or all the blessings in the above two lists:

* Strewn rose petals on an altar or all over the floor.

* Add rose petals to cookies, place one on the kitchen counter as an offering to the Fey, and eat one yourself. If you want to eat more because you enjoy cookies, no problem!

* Burn rose incense.

* Grow a rose bush.

* Carry a rose petal in your pocket.

* Put a rose on your altar.

* Put a picture of a rose on your altar or in your wallet. A rose or even rose petal is a powerful amulet. I find a depiction of a rose can have the same power.

* Wear a rose boutonniere.

Being Creative about Magic

If you want to be creative about how you bring rose energy into your life, here are some ways I bring it into mine, in hopes they inspire you to make up your own.

I spin yarn on a stick from a wild rose bush. (I tend to spin on a stick instead of a spindle.) This adds rose blessings to the yarn.

I harvested the sticks from my property in an environmentally sound manner. They are from invasive rose bushes that kill plants in their proximity. So my harvesting is blessed by the Faerie Queen.

Oh, I just had another idea: give someone a rose as a way to bring rose magic into my life. When we give something away, we gain the gift ourselves.

Rose Amulet Jewelry

I also like to make and wear rose-shaped pendants as amulets.

Elaborate or simple rose amulet jewelry—it’s all good.

I like both.

You could just put a string through a tiny picture of a rose and wear it around your neck. The Fey Folk will get the message. So will the rose’s magic, which will do its thing for you. Magic is alive and cognizant.

As to more elaborate approaches, the rose amulet necklace I just finished designing and making is an example. (I make ones more elaborate than this, too.)

The complexity I often enjoy when constructing a magical charm came into play with this necklace:

* My braiding is not simple. (The necklaces are not macramé, but I’m delighted some folks think my braiding looks like macramé.) It took a lot of time to work out the techniques needed for the look I wanted and then practice them until I could get them right.

* Dragon that I am, I’ve spent decades collecting pretties to make charms. My bead collection alone is mammoth. Now, when I make a necklace, the exact pieces I want are at hand to weave my magic. I mean, look at the wee bell-shaped flower beads braided in the necklace. Searching until I find that sort of thing, let alone in the color, glaze, and what not I want, takes a lot of time but is worth it for me.

If you’d like to buy this necklace, here’s more info:

* I don’t know what stone the carved stone rose is, but it might be stone from Russia and, given the quality of the carving, I suspect it would’ve been much pricier than my dragon collection skills allowed me to pay.

* The back of the stone is lovely. It is carved. There’s also a vulva-like fissure there, adding secret feminine mojo. No one will see it when you wear the necklace, but you’ll know it’s there. … I think it’s a fissure, not a crack. But if the pendant breaks anytime soon despite reasonable care, I’ll refund.

* If interested in purchase details, comment below or email me, and I’ll send you info. Once the necklace has been sold, I’ll update this post to say so.

* I titled the necklace Gentle Magic Is Powerful. When I design an amulet, I give it a name. The name describes at least part of the charm’s magic and, I believe, adds magic. The above necklace has all the rose enchantments I’ve mentioned, but I also wove in another magic, noted in the amulet’s name. When worn, the charm supports your gentle, powerful rites and also honors/supports your gentle powerful magical beingness.

* I’ve done a great deal of magic on the necklace. If you purchase it, no need to bless it further, unless you feel otherwise.

Blessing an Amulet to Give It Power

Blessing a rose amulet is optional. Roses are magic, end of sentence. However, if you want to add power, that’s great.

There are both simple and elaborate methods.

I performed elaborate blessing ceremonies on the above necklace. Those rites are beyond the confines of this post.

However, simple blessings work great. There is power in simplicity.

Simple Amulet Blessings

Here is a simple way to bless any talisman—not just a rose amulet: leave it outside overnight during a full moon and then, if you want, leave it in sunlight for a day. If you can’t leave the charm outside, put it on a windowsill.

Another simple method that is natural and organic: I think the many hours I spend finding perfect beads adds power to them, automatically. That mojo is incorporated into any talisman I make with them.

More about Roses and the Old Fairy Gods

Below are excerpts from a 2007 piece of writing, telling a story so personal that I barely shared it with anyone for a while.

I don’t know why I’m sharing it here but get a strong sense doing so is important. Perhaps, the story’s acutely personal nature provides a bit of insight into the Old Fairy Gods’ immense power—and how that links to roses—better than any abstract exposition might.

If memory serves, these excerpts are from a journal entry. I shared some of them in a newsletter years back. I tweaked them for clarity’s sake and the like:

“When I talk about shunning greatness, I’m referring to a very specific dilemma. I need to push everything far past what I’ve ever done. There is no escape anymore, except fully into Her will all the time and into the pleasure of Her embrace, not as escapism but as a simultaneous retreat from the world and utter integration with humankind’s plebeian existence. To fully find my Fey self in a new way. I run from that constantly. Makes me miserable. . . .

“Even though I resist, I bit by bit surrender. Or at least I hope that is the progression I am in. . . .

“ . . . As part of a book signing at a Border’s Books, I led a rite. . . . The moment I ended the ritual, the room filled with the scent of roses.

“A moment before, I had peripherally sensed, to my left, a female—wearing a rose scent—walking past me with a male. Then I realized they had not been on this plane—they were the Lord and Lady. I flipped out!

“I’m not, mind you, afraid of phenomena. I flipped because I felt like I’d been caught in my spiritual underwear. I was visible in the bookstore as a shaman, mystic, and guru (in the real sense of guru: not someone who is mindlessly obeyed, but someone who is plugged in and helps others get plugged in). I didn’t want that visibility. I thought people would start coming to my classes not for the message but for the bells and whistles. Or call me a fake who had put rose oil in the ventilation system. And look at what they did to Christ! I was upset!

“Here Goddess had given a gift, and I was flipped. (We are all such jerks!) . . .

“If the scent had happened in my living room or some obscure little metaphysical shop, I would have felt okay. But Borders is so mainstream I felt utterly exposed.

“Finally I accepted the gift.

“ . . . When someone moves toward my classes because they want a “piece of a celebrity,” they cannot help me create the scent of roses. They are looking for the wrong power, so see none, acquire none.

“ . . . Faeries are almost always invisible. So I guess it is okay. I adore the few individuals who see me. (I need to better accept that the rest parse me according to a bean-counting standard that reduces mystics and greatness to ashes, neuroses, and petty motives. Until I am accepting of these folks, my soul is soured by my haughty judgment of them, and I remain trashed by my false ego.)

“ . . . After my first bestseller, a marketing expert told me that few bestselling authors teach wee classes like I do, and that I should go on the circuit. But I’m just a shaman = small classes = big connection with a small number of people.

“… I’m just a Faerie. . . . I hide from the Faerie Queen’s love then, running toward Her, move through the mind-gate into Faerie. Then become confused, rejecting the stars in the heaven because I love my humanity as much as I adore my Fey blood. The stars. They always call. But so do the humans and plants and animals.

“. . . It’s my job to serve them. I am also drawn to them because I am human, and because I need every human, plant, and animal on this planet probably more than any one of them needs me.

“All of this happens together, in my home, where I am housebound with MS. Two examples: I teach beautiful people long distance. I travel the stars with my otherworldly wings.”

The Old Gods Welcome You: a Mystic Rose Ceremony

In this rite, Mother and Father, Who are the most loving Beings, welcome you into Their care, bestowing Their love, power, and protection, as well as fostering your magical power, otherworldly perception, and wisdom. The ritual can be done just once, or whenever you feel the need.

Place before you a rose of any color, a photograph of a rose, or a drawing of one, done by yourself or someone else. It does not matter if you draw “poorly.”

Then recite the following liturgy, which is called Divine Welcoming:

The Old Gods speak:

We welcome you, Our child.

With Us, there is safety.
With Us, you can take pride in yourself
and have honor.

With Us, pleasure is divorced from shame and hate.

Here, there is love.
Here, there is joy.
Here, there is safety.

We serve you, Our child,
and welcome you into Our Mysteries.

We welcome you into their beauty.
We welcome you into their joy.

Relax here with Us,
for you are safe, loved, and honored in Our care.

Additional Information

I initially channeled a more complex version of the above ritual, for my course, La Vecchia Religione. I streamlined that rite for this post so someone without any training could do it. It can be a lovely, important step for beginners.

Many adepts will find this simple version works well for them because the Gods are powerful.

To be apprised the next time I teach the La Vecchia Religione course, sign up for my newsletter by clicking the banner below.

Newsletter subscribers also often get first dibs on my talismanic jewelry.

Faerie Newsletter: Coming Events, Freebies, and Stardust

Winter’s Fairy Magic Secrets—A Daylong Retreat

Join me December 13, 2020, in the Faerie realm for Winter’s Fairy Magic Secrets—A Daylong Retreat

Join me December 13, 2020, in the Faerie realm for:

Winter’s Fairy Magic Secrets—A Daylong Retreat.

Fairy Gods Will Spin Winter’s Enchantments That Take Care of You.

Every season has its special magic. Winter months have a quiet, subtle, enormous power.

It will give us strength and peace.

The Yule season’s magic will center us and renew our spirits.

We’ll enter Winter’s loving Mysteries to receive Divine guidance about our challenges and life path.

A childlike trust in a magical universe draws miracles to you and is more easily gained during the Yule season. This trust is inherent is us—who are old souls and children of the Old Gods. In our day of Fairy magic, we’ll visit the Snow Queen and King, Whose unconditional love for us will spark our confidence in the magic around us and in us.

To participate, just dial the phone.

Enroll by December 9.

Enrollment: $225. Your carrier might charge you for the call.

Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:


Pls give yr phone number



It can be hard to take care of yourself. Spend a day being taken care of. 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.

Spend a day with Winter’s Fairy Secrets wrapped around you, freeing you, and enchanting your life to provide exactly what you need.

Fey enchantments will center you in your magical, miraculous, Fey, grinning self. After the retreat, you’ll more easily experience that part of you on a regular basis.

We’ll do rituals exclusive to my tradition. The dark months are my favorite time of year. For decades, I’ve spun a quantity of winter lore and rituals. I’ll draw on this body of work to create a blissful day.

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.

2) You receive a psychic reading about your life path, in a ritual that helps you follow through on the guidance you receive. So you can actually apply it to improve your life.

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.

You can divide the hour into two half-hour conversations. Our talks must occur within a month after the event.

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. (Heh, snowball, appropriate to the season.)

Total fee: $225. Your carrier might charge you for the call.

Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:


Pls give yr phone number



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 payment plan, trade, or scholarship.

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 the loving Winter Queen and King.

Honoring the Ancestors: The Man Who Raised Me

Photo of my beautiful young parents

Honoring the Ancestors: The Man Who Raised Me

Honoring ancestors has many aspects for me as a witch, and just as many for me as a human and individual. I want to touch on a few, before talking about my dad.

Ancestors Who Were Oppressors

Human nature being what it is, we all have ancestors who were horrible people, and some who were outright oppressors.

When I teach how to contact ancestors, do ritual with them, and live in alignment with the old ways of our forebearers, someone inevitably asks, “What should I do about awful ancestors? I don’t want any contact with them, let alone honor them.”

Whether the student deems those ancestors oppressors or terrible in other ways, the question is important.

The answer can’t be one-fits-all. Nor can I personally hang the problem all on one hook; I’ve had to approach it from a lot of different angles, including the following:

I myself have had to make peace with awful ancestors. For one thing, I don’t want hate in my heart. I can no longer bear the damage it does me.

For another, making peace helps me regain wisdom lost over the ages—herbal medicine, witchcraft, and other empowering choices suppressed by oppressors.

My very first ancestors at the beginning of human time (well, I believe the line from which I descended started long before that, but I won’t get into that here) started threads of wisdom and power that have spun forward in time. Every one of my ancestors has held and holds a piece of that thread. I don’t want my resentments to break the thread any further than has already happened. Even if an ancestor contributed to that breakage, I want to repair it.

Making peace doesn’t mean I ignore injustices ancestors have perpetrated, any more than I’d bury my head in the sand about living family members who are complete racists or otherwise awful.

But I find some peace in my heart, and that is how I honor ancestors whom I otherwise want nothing to do with, and thus repair threads that might’ve been damaged by them and my own hate. This is what I’ve learned through my own trial and error and what works for me.

What Is Ancestral trauma?

Ancestral trauma—or ancestral wound—is the suffering of a family member or members that then passes down to the next generation and the next, until it is healed. Though it’s passed down through behaviors and internalized oppression, as a shaman I also sense a maimed energy that each generation picks up. That energy also transforms the familial DNA. The behaviors and internalized oppression help create and maintain the energy. And vice versa.

Finding peace about awful people in my familial line is part of how I’ve healed the ancestral wound they passed down to me from the trauma they themselves caused to my other ancestors and that they themselves might have suffered. Carrying hate in my heart continues the legacy of hate and holds trauma securely in my DNA. Feeling hate is one thing. Holding onto that hate is another.

Ancestors if You’re Adopted

Another common question is how to deal with ancestors if you’re adopted. There are so many questions when it comes to that, including one relevant to this post: making peace with an abusive adoptive parent who has passed on, or with their ancestors.

A family member of any kind carries (or breaks) the thread of ancestral wisdom, power, and information. My theory is that, should that family member have adopted you, they hold a piece of the thread not only in their own bloodline, but surprisingly enough, hold a piece of the thread in your own bloodline. There’s not space here to go into that theory. But, if you’re like me, making peace with adoptive parents who’ve died could be important.

Awful ancestors are no small concern. There can be huge challenges, including endless questions. It takes time to deal with it all.

For example, it’s taken years to make peace with my father who has passed on. And I still experience some hate for him. I will continue to work on it.

Learning to align with my ancestors that I might live in the magic, beauty, wisdom, and power known by my forebearers has been an ongoing process. There’s been no single step then, voila, all done. But I take one step at a time, and that yields big results.

I’ve repeatedly needed to take different types of action.

For example. I’ve had to channel a lot of ritual to do this work. But now I have a body of rituals I can continue to use and also teach in my classes, and draw on for one-on-one shamanic counseling sessions. (Links to information about classes and counseling are below this essay.)

My first ancestors spun threads of wisdom and magic. Generation upon generation added more threads, until now thick ropes connect me back into the past, to my very first ancestors.

The answers that help me might not be the right ones for you. My experiences are not your experiences. But sharing our experiences can be healing. The following story about my father represents a bit of my journey making peace with him.

May 12, 2020:

Honoring the Ancestors: William Stafford

Dad, looking worn My father was always on the outside looking in. And he loved music beyond all reason.

He was a small-minded, violent man, who suffered a hard life.

I found his name in the census, which shows that, at seven years old, he disappeared from his mother’s household.

I found someone by his name in another household, that of a farming family. I suspect Bill had been sent out to work and live on a farm because there were too many mouths to feed in his own home. This is possibly corroborated by information one of my relatives has provided. In the census, Bill appears back with his mother a few years later.

Around the time he disappeared from home, his mom remarried. Did Bill’s stepfather not want him? Was this one of the first times Bill was on the outside looking in, face pressed up against the glass?

After a stint in the military during World War II, he returned from overseas and disappeared again. As a child, I was told that, during that period, he was in the south, “living with hillbillies, and ended up on a Georgia chain gang.”

My young father in uniform

Decades later, I asked him about it. All he’d tell me is that it wasn’t a chain gang. It was prison or jail, I can’t remember which, and he wouldn’t tell me why he was arrested.

After his time in the south, Dad came back to Boston—where we lived—and continued to be on the outside looking in.

He would pretend to be Irish, in a town that adored the Irish.

He would pretend to be a cop. In 1964, I was 14, and the Beatles were playing in Boston. The arena was a madhouse. When the concert was over, the crowd poured out into the lobby, and there was my dad, come to drive me home.

“How did you get in, Dad? Why did they let you in?”

He had convinced the security guards that he was a cop. Perhaps he’d flashed them a fake badge; I can no longer remember.

There was a police radio in his work room in the basement. My dad, the not-cop.

He chased fire engines. One time, he pursued one of those howling trucks, only to see it turn onto our street. He kept following. The truck stopped at our house.

Always on the outside looking in. A spectator to his own house on fire.

The man was as right wing, racist, sexist, -ist, -ist, -ist, as you can get. But when I was sixteen, I met a guitar-carrying hippie who didn’t have a place to stay. I brought him home. In retrospect, I don’t know why. Dad hated hippies.

But dad didn’t throw the kid out, didn’t care that he was a peace-loving hippy with long hair. The guy was carrying a guitar, and that’s all that mattered.

Or, maybe, Dad knew what it was like to not have a place to stay. Perhaps that’s what happened.

Bill loved folk music as much as he hated liberals. In those days, folk music was paired with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and revolution. Dad didn’t care.

I wonder if his appreciation of folk music came from his hillbilly friends.

Bill loved show tunes. This macho man raised me in a home where vinyl recordings of Broadway musicals constantly played in the background. I still know a lot of those lyrics by heart, and still happily belt them out to entertain myself.

Dad looking worn but happyWhen I was 14, I asked him and Mom if I could start going to folk music clubs. These were clubs for adults, and were not in my neighborhood. They were in downtown Boston and Cambridge.

Mom and Dad went to a club with me and decided I could go to them on my own.

Their attending the club with me was bizarre because they usually had very little to do with me. I was a feral kid who’d raised herself.

But there was Dad’s love of music again (and Mom’s huge-hearted ability to foster my wild dreams and artistic escapades).

Within months, I was playing some of those clubs myself as a musician.

When Bill died, I felt like someone hit me in the head with a 2 x 4. But only days later, I needed to be in the music studio. Before recording my album, there’d been 10 years of starts and stops. Recording were finally underway, due to circumstances that were temporary, the deadlines were incredibly tight, and I didn’t know how much longer Bruce Smith—my coproducer—would be available. It was now or never for this, my first, album.

It just so happened we were scheduled to record a song I’d written about Dad years back. When I arrived at the studio, I told Bruce that I’d probably break into tears at some point, and to give me five minutes to cry, and that then I’d be as professional as always. I also told him to not pull any punches when we were critiquing the mix; I didn’t want him being sensitive to my feelings; I wanted the best possible recording.

When recording the song, I thought of how Dad’s face was always pressed up against the glass, an outsider looking in. He would’ve loved to have been in that studio with me that day when I was recording a song about him, would’ve loved to have been on the same side of the recording booth’s glass walls.

The album was a bestseller. Dad would’ve loved that.

Mark Chimsky, who’s edited some of my books, asked me for a blurb today. I don’t usually give blurbs. The whole blurb thing is often just one big dishonest elitist scam, with people in power giving blurbs only to other people in power, and excluding most everyone else. But Mark is one of the most ethical, dear individuals I’ve ever met. He would’ve opened the window if he’d seen Dad’s nose pressed against the glass.

Later that day, I saw my blurb along with 19 others. The top blurb was from Johnny Cash. There was my name right below Johnny’s. I wanted to cry. The two names together would’ve meant a lot to Bill.

It doesn’t matter whose name is where. It’s all ego and illusion. Bill’s lack of self-worth drove him to construct a false ego, which he kept inflated by pretending to be Irish in the Boston of my youth, where Irish was a big deal—and an Irish cop at that, which was an even bigger deal—and by bragging about his teenage kid who played guitar.

He kept his false sense of self inflated by hating everyone who wasn’t … him. America was better than the rest of the world. Massachusetts was better than the rest of the country. Our neighborhood was better than all the other neighborhoods. Our family was better than all other families. And he was better than everyone else in the family.

He’d disappeared from the census, disappeared into prison, and disappeared into the recesses of his own self-doubt. So he bragged and hated.

I’m not saying his choice to brag and hate is the inevitable result of being made invisible and being shoved to the other side of the glass.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been made accountable for his hatred. I’m saying his choice is understandable.

I didn’t like Bill. He was an awful man, in ways there’s no point in giving details about here. A few years ago, when I found out that he wasn’t my biological father, it was a relief to know that we didn’t share DNA.

But I’ve come to understand that he was an intelligent, passionate, inventive fellow, and that he was shoved around and denied, denied, denied. (For one thing, he was a self-taught electronics engineer and resented that lack of college education kept his earnings low, despite many years in the electronics field.) I’ve come to compassion for this guy who helped make my childhood miserable.

No, I didn’t like Bill. But I’ve come to appreciate him.

… I guess in that sense I’ve come to like him. I appreciate his wandering restless spirit that led him to the south after he’d already been in Europe, long from home.

I appreciate his intelligence, vehemence, passion, and determination.

I’ve often wondered if he was one of the young boys who hopped trains during the depression, thrown out of the house because there wasn’t enough food. If so, that was a hard time, and he was a vagrant, wandering. I appreciate that he wandered away from his own soul, and the closest he could get to chasing after it was running after fire engines.

Wherever he thought the fire engines would bring him was an illusion, even when a fire truck brought him home to our house. And somehow, I’ve come to even like Bill for that.

I imagine somewhere, on the other side of the veil, Bill is wandering. I can’t imagine he’s been laid to rest. I can almost see him with my otherworldly eyes, see him waiting for reincarnation, needing another chance.

Dad looking worn but happyThough it’s geared to inflate his false ego, I’m happy today to tell his spirit, wherever he is, “Dad, look, look where my name is. Next to Johnny Cash’s.” And, “Dad, I never mentioned it before. My album with the song about you on it? It was a bestseller. And that book I told you I was writing, right before you died? Bestseller and dedicated to you.”

It doesn’t matter whose name is where. The prestige of a best seller doesn’t matter either. It’s all ego and illusion. But I’m happy to tell Dad where my name went today and to tell him the album and book gained recognition. Because illusions can be all someone has. Blessed be, William.

Additional Material

Honoring mothers: https://stardrenched.com/2017/09/18/ancestor-magic-mothers/

Mentioned above, the best editor ever: https://markchimskyeditorial.com

Newsletters to stay abreast of upcoming classes: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Spiritual counseling for ancestral trauma and other concerns: https://outlawbunny.com/pastoral-counseling/

Magic Cats: Goddess Bast, Fairy Kitties, and Feline Familiars

Painting of a magical cat by Francesca De Grandis

Magic Cats: Goddess Bast, Fairy Kitties, and Feline Familiars

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”—Robert A. Heinlein

Superstitions about Cats Being Evil Aren’t True

We all know the superstitions. A black cat crossing your path is bad luck. Cats will jump into your infant’s crib and steal their breath. Bah humbug.

I wouldn’t allow a cat into a crib, in case it accidentally smothers the baby. But a cat has no demonic agenda of stealing breath. Cats are God’s creatures.

They are held dear in culture after culture.

Most people know they were worshiped as deities by ancient Egyptians, but respect for felines is worldwide.

For example, there is an Italian myth, found in the book, Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, about a fairy cat who helped the Goddess Diana play a trick on Her brother. This resulted in all of creation coming into being, showing that kitty was one pretty special feline.

There’s also the ubiquitous Japanese sculpture of a cat with one paw raised. You’ve probably seen it in restaurants. That statue brings good luck.

Who Is the Goddess Bast?

Bast is an ancient Egyptian Goddess.

Often portrayed as having a human body and Lioness head, She was considered a fierce protector. Later, images of Her tended to be a house cat, with perhaps a sistrum (a rattle used in ritual) by Her side. The shift of Bast’s image from lion to domesticated feline accompanied Her becoming the patron Deity of women, children, and domestic cats.

In the ‘80s, I saw so many images of the house cat version of Bast having a gold, hoop earring piercing one of Her ears, that I assumed it was traditional. Then, I researched to see if the gold hoop is a modern addition, but couldn’t find the answer.

Bast loves perfume. This delights me since beautiful scents are part of my magic. Next time I use scent in a spell, maybe I’ll wear my Bast amulet and ask Her to bless the spell. I think perfumes would be a lovely offering to Her, too.

I personally do not believe She became any less fierce or effective a protector when She became domesticated. Humans no longer live wild in caves, but we remain fiercely protective as parents. And One of Her aspects is a loving parent.

Bast as a Fierce Protector Goddess

Bast has a ferocious side, which I turn to for protection.

While making three Bast amulets—photographs of them are throughout the remainder of this post —I was super aware of how well She protects me. Bast sometimes looks like a cute little kitty, but She’s fierce.

a magic cat amulet necklace

One of the many blessings from the entire feline kingdom is protection. Princess Beast, the cat who lives with me, looks like the sweetest, gentlest little ball of fluff, but she once reared up and attacked the postal carrier with such viciousness that the person scrambled out the door in fear.

When writing this post, I used voice recognition software. It translated my spoken words the feline kingdom as “God the lion kingdom.” That wild change cracked me up because my trickster Goddess sometimes guides me through incredibly funny voice recognition mishaps. I feel the particular synchronistic rewrite about cats affirms that in every cat resides mighty lion Deities, both male and female, lending us Their immense power, ferocity, and protection. And that Bast’s power is unquestionable, no matter how She is represented.

Bast Also Has a Gentle, Loving, Nurturing Aspect

In my experience (as opposed to any lore I’ve read), sometimes Bast turns into a cutie, an adorable kitten curled up around me with gentleness and love. Except that, being a God, the gentleness and love with which She surrounds me is immense beyond measure.

Words can’t convey what I experience when I visualize the universe being run by a Deity Who is as sweet, gentle, and softly furry as a kitten. All fear of any God or of a hostile universe leaves me. It is as if Princess Beast, who curls up on my lap, purring, affectionately licking my hand, has a larger version—an immense version that is God, curled up around me, and governing all things so lovingly that my material and spiritual needs are well taken care of.

That visualization is not the only time I’ve turned to Bast for help when I forgot that my Gods are loving, kind, and sweet, instead of judgmental, uncaring, and disdainful. Here’s another time:

I try to not chastise myself for my oh-so-human feelings of anger, but one day, I was actually hating the part of me that feels anger. I don’t want self-hate; it serves no good purpose. Hate for myself is not healing. In fact, self-hate hinders change.

After making the Bast talismans, which invoke Her into your life, She showed love for the part of me that’s angry. Her love transformed both my hate and anger. A God condemning me for my anger would not have helped me.

Another time, I was hot with anger at someone who’d seriously messed with me. Bast not only wrapped Herself tenderly and lovingly around me, so that I did not hate myself for my anger, She also told me I needn’t be pulled down by fear of my anger or of the person messing with me. That message helped me face my anger, be empowered by it, and release it, all of which in turn allowed me to take appropriate steps, on both the magical and mundane planes, to protect myself.

She also made it clear She would show Her other side should that person try to mess with me again. Picture a guest walking in my door, and Princess Beast instantaneously going from cuddling with me to leaping off my lap in order to prepare to slash out fiercely at the guest, should they be dangerous.

Witches and Cat Familiars

Witches keep cats or other animals as familiars (magical helpers).

My familiar, Princess Beast, hangs out with a poppet. (I made it probably in the ‘80s.)

I am such a cliche witch: I adore cats. Whether it’s the Goddess Bast, the fairy kitty in the aforementioned creation myth, or the black and white feline who’s been meowing at my door recently, then scrambling off as soon as I appear, I cannot resist a cat.

I find all cats to be Fey, and haven’t been without a cat familiar by my side for decades.

Familiars Are All So Different

Every cat has their own personality, magic, and lessons to give us. Every one of my familiars has come to me right when I needed its particular powers.

Teenie, my familiar of 17 years, may she rest in peace, was peaceful, loving, and noble. She tried to teach me these virtues. Ganesh, a high energy fellow who lived with us for a few years, embodied and taught me lessons in joyful chaos. Princess Beast is a comedienne, an utter Holy Fool who helps me be lighthearted and enjoy life more.

Teenie, 2013

Princess Beast as a silly kitten

Princess Beast constantly offers photo-ops, whereas Teenie usually hated having her picture taken. She tended to immediately change whatever darling, gorgeous, or otherwise noteworthy position she was in, if I grabbed the camera to capture the moment. She taught me to be in the moment instead of losing an experience by trying to document it.

Even as a kitten, Princess Beast loved surprising me with photo ops. Here she portrays a cat Goddess bigger than Gaia. Gaia statue by Oberon Zell-Ravenhearr

Bast Talismans / Kitty Faerie Charms

I made three talismans that invoke blessings from the Cat Goddess Bast and Faerie cats.

I make charms my own way. So I’m not suggesting you need to make them the way I describe below. I just like sharing my magical process.

I imbued the talismans with the feline magical energies described in this post, as well as the power to grant blessings you personally might expect from the sacred feline realms.

Two of the charms are necklaces. One is for me. (Mine is the one with the paler cord.) A friend will probably be buying the other one.

Two magic cat amulet necklaces

Here is what I strung on both necklaces:

I am 90% sure each pendant is carved from a single piece of ribbon jasper. Ditto the cat in the wall hanging, later in this post. I love how different colors emerge in a ribbon jasper carving, especially when a skilled artisan takes advantage of it.

I find ribbon jasper exudes happiness and contentment. This was not taught to me by a human but directly by the stone itself. Ditto its happy, grounded energy that helps keep my feet on the ground when I’m walking between the stars.

The carvings remind me of a Victorian cameo. I’m an old hippie who loves Victoriana, so it is inevitable some of my designs end up BoHo meets Queen Victoria.

Immediately above each pendant are three large beads. The smaller two are moss agate, a stone I find wondrously Fey; a stone that appears so mosslike seems a magical marvel to me. That Fey energy is a good match for these talismans. Could anything more Fey than a cat? They run into the room when you’re doing a ritual because they want to join in. They stalk invisible beings. And many a strega (traditional Italian witch) honors the fairy cat who figures prominently in the aforementioned creation myth.

Detail of a magic cat amulet necklaceThe largest of the three beads is a focal lampwork bead. I go to great lengths to acquire items that help make each of my talismans shines with both its own unique beauty and singular magic. I buy beads carefully, taking my time. The lampwork beads in these two talismans are two of 18 unique beads I commissioned from Jill at https://www.wyomingsilvers.net. (I’m not suggesting Jill is Pagan. I’ve no idea. I found her shop because I love lamp work glass.) I’ve acquired a number of pieces by this talented artisan.

Woven up each side of both necklaces are designer seed beads. They have a mottled appearance that goes perfectly with all the natural stone in the necklaces.

Woven with the seed beads are three larger, round beads on each side. They were destash so I don’t know what they are. I suspect they’re serpentine because their surface has the “waxiness” of that stone. I’m not a gem-identification expert.

Serpentine is one of my favorite stones.

Or perhaps the round beads are not serpentine but the same stone as the cat cameos: I carefully sorted through a few hundred of those round stones—I love fastidiously creating talismans—to find ones that best match the carving, and I was able to match some well enough that it made me wonder if they were the same stone.

Regardless, these beads have a lovely, smooth ancient energy—gentle and peaceful.

I’m really happy my friend and I will have sister necklaces.

I make one of a kind charms. Sometimes, when creating one to sell or gift, I make a somewhat similar one for myself while I’m at it. I don’t make them identical, mindlessly going about the work. Quite the opposite. For example, I sorted through my moss agate and lampwork beads to find the ones best suited to each pendant.

Sometimes my Gods make it quite clear I’m not to create the similar piece for myself: e.g., I won’t be able to make the one for me work aesthetically, or its cord gets hopelessly tangled.

The Third Bast / Fairy Cat Talisman Is a Wall Hanging

a magic cat amulet wall hanging

It is strung on waxed cotton cords. The large orangey barrel-shaped bead is copal. I seem to remember amber being sacred in ancient Egypt. I didn’t have any, and copal seemed a perfect substitute. The large, long faceted piece is probably bone. Bone represents the eternal. The idea of a cat’s nine lives represents the same thing to me.

Here’s a close-up of the two wee designer beads I selected to put right above the kitty. Tiny bits of loveliness hold magic:
Detail of a magic cat amulet wall hanging

When knotting the cords in this amulet, I tied in blessings. When adding beads, I added blessings.

Crafting amulets is an important part of my magic and witch spirituality. To read a bit more about my talisman-making journey, check this out: https://stardrenched.com/2018/08/31/making-talismans/

I don’t get a chance to create talismans to sell very often right now. When I do, my newsletter subscribers often will get first shot at purchasing them. Click below to subscribe.

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11-14-2020: A Fairy Magic Day

A Fairy Magic Day: Join me, November 14, for a daylong retreat, in the Faerie realm.

Spiritually refuel and center. Find power, peace, and renewal. Receive Divine guidance about your challenges and life path. Get covered in stardust. To participate, just dial the phone. Enroll by Nov 11.

Join me, November 14, for a daylong retreat, in the Faerie realm.

Spiritually refuel and center.
Find power, peace, and renewal.
Receive Divine guidance about your challenges and life path.
Get covered in stardust.

To participate, just dial the phone.

Enroll by November 11.

Enrollment: $225. Your carrier might charge you for the call.

Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:


Pls give yr phone number


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.

2) You receive a psychic reading about your life path, in a ritual that helps you follow through on the guidance you receive. So you can actually apply it to improve your life.

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.

You can divide the hour into two half-hour conversations. Our talks must occur within a month after the event.

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.

Total fee: $225. Your carrier might charge you for the call.

Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:


Pls give yr phone number


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 payment plan, trade, or scholarship.

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.

Fairy, Faerie, Faery, Fey, Fay, …

Fairy God, Francesca De Grandis, 2010. Painting of a foliate face with deer horns.

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.
Nordic Faerie I met in the ‘90s. She is over 5’ tall, and was my webmaster for a while.  Francesca De Grandis painting of blonde woman with wings and modern garb.

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.

Painted this picture of one of my ancestors in 2012. Francesca De Grandis painting of an African woman with pointed ears like an elf’s.

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 bestselling author of “Be a Goddess!” and Goddess Initiation. 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.

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