My Fey kin,
Announcing a two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows:
* consisting of two PDF ebooks,
* every page ornamented by my full color shamanic art.
This is easy traditional witchery with substance: Pagan liturgy, inspirational contemplations, prayer,
mystical musings, and other straightforward magics help you live free and create your destiny.
The books aren’t like my texts that require committing to a training. You can think of some of these Book of Shadows entries as relaxed strolls through Fey landscapes. Entries vary in length. Some are a few words, like a quick visit I hope makes you smile … or even giggle mischievously.
I believe these otherworldly moments, which access Third Road shamanism, add beauty, inspiration, and enchantment to the reader’s life.
This project is a deeply personal sharing—intimate glimpses into both my private Faerie journey and my day as a shamanic guide.
Total pages of the two PDFs is 191 pages. My original shamanic art blesses every page, so mote it be!
Book I is The Third Road: a Faerie Shaman’s Book of Shadows. Its magic overflows into Book II: Trickster, with more Third Road Book of Shadows entries, including my pivotal 4000 word essay about trickster energy.
Trickster is usually portrayed as a conniving deity or person who perpetuates cruel jokes for our own good. The essay details how this is an erroneous view that squelches freedom.
I have an unusual view of trickster. The essay introduces you to the Trickster who’s neither cruel nor conniving. In a kind manner, she opens the door to freedom and joy. This trickster energy betters my private Fey life and work as a shamanic guide in ways not generally considered the sacred clown’s role, even in modern Pagan culture.
You meet the innocent—and often Divine Feminine—Faerie Trickster from whom all powers and joys spring. Divine Feminine Trickster is explicitly discussed in the essay a tiny bit and is implied in all its words.
I share this previously unpublished Trickster material after so many years because it’s pivotal to the immensely effective magic and enchanted Fey qualities people experience in the Third Road tradition of witchcraft.
Below is a sample page. It is not crisp and clear like the actual e-books because this website blurs images. Ditto the books’ covers.
I set a low price for high value, because I want you able to acquire an enchanted treasure.
If you cannot afford the set: I’m exploring options for low-income folks. More about that in a newsletter.
I decided against selling my last few books on Amazon. This is challenging, but some texts need independence. I sell them directly to my beautiful readers and fulfill orders personally.
From my Fey heart to yours,
Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny
Trends change rapidly in the Pagan community. We often see “an indisputable fact” ricochet to its exact opposite within years. These “truths” cause immense discord. How can we navigate these treacherous waters without disavowing our own personal wisdoms? We all find our way of doing it. If I share mine, perhaps that might make finding yours easier.
So, a story:
Way back when, most American Pagans insisted traditional craft was nonexistent. People became downright nasty in their disdainful insistence there is no traditional witchcraft. Nowadays, many Pagans discuss traditional craft, what it is, how to do it, and where to learn it.
The party line back then was that anyone who claimed a traditional craft lineage was a liar. The person in question might be completely discredited.
To the best of my understanding back then: a big name Pagan dishonestly validated the material he taught by saying he’d gotten it from his grandmother, a traditional witch, but he lied about her being a witch.
People just decided, if he was lying, everybody else must be. Good grief!
Ok, let me continue this tale by adding how it affected me personally:
I was raised in a longstanding European-based shamanic family tradition. This was hardly a secret to some of the Pagans I knew. But, in case it’s useful context for the rest of my story, I didn’t have a best selling book yet, so the number of people who knew anything about me were far far fewer than later became the case.
You can imagine, amidst all the vitriol and possibility of being totally discredited, I was thoughtful about when to mention my traditional witchery to a Pagan. I wanted to avoid the near certainty of being branded liar in the larger Pagan community.
Close friends knew my family background, and I’d tell others when it was important. In fact, when the bestseller did come out, its back cover mentioned my mom was a Sicilian witch. To do otherwise would’ve insulted her and all my witch ancestors. But I also used discretion. For example, skirting my family history in casual conversation.
What I’m saying is: navigating the dangerous seas of trending “absolute truths” was challenging—for one thing, it can be frightening to buck popular opinion—but I found ways to maintain integrity while also guarding my emotional equilibrium. We can keeps our spirits whole. Here are two navigation skills that worked for me:
One is knowing it is vital to trust your own beliefs and respect the value of your own experiences, despite people who try to hit you over the head with trends to make you feel ignorant or otherwise not as “authentic” a Pagan as they are.
The second navigation skill is discretion. I want to practice discretion about whether to say something.
Nowadays, most people use the word discretion to mean holding silence. But discretion can also mean wisely considering the best course of action, judging each situation according to its specific circumstances. I’m using the latter definition here. So, in terms of our topic, discretion might lead one to speak—to good purpose—or to remain appropriately mum.
It’s vital to speak up for your beliefs when there’s good reason. Losing self-respect does not constitute successful navigation of treacherous waters.
As to choosing silence, let’s start with the example of avoiding arguments with people who aren’t going to listen.
Back when mentioning a family tradition might completely discredit you with many people, I was at a dinner party where someone who was constantly on power trips declared, in a high and mighty tone, that as a scholar she was devoted to naysaying the possibility of a family tradition. She did not know I came from one. I didn’t tell her. (A friend in the know did surreptitiously wink at me. That was lovely support.)
Most people who jump on trending absolutes will neither listen nor engage in a courteous, informative exchange of ideas, because they’ll rush to prop up wobbly egos with pseudo-knowledge. They’ll just try to browbeat you into feeling you’re wrong, though that may not be their conscious motivation, bless them. Wasting your time in a verbal entanglement amounts to letting someone’s pseudo-truth get the better of you. Your time is sacred.
Yet if she had been honestly interested, and merely misinformed about whether traditional witchcraft existed, I might have discussed my family.
Important aside: Though I avoided an argument at the dinner party, I admit my record’s not perfect with that sort of thing. Luckily, seeing how it depleted and upset me helps me not repeat the mistake any more. A hard won lesson, but one that frees me from other people’s opinionated insistences.
This blog is long but the following feels vital. Another example of discretion and silence:
(Please note, I’m going to use traditional witchery as an example in this essay again. That’s a coincidence. The examples have no relation. So don’t think you need to connect the dots between examples.)
More than once, a segment of the Pagan community inflated their position to one of dominance by stating “superior” pseudo-truths, and I could have deflated their posturing by disclosing a bit of traditional witchcraft’s sacred lore.
I stayed mute about the lore. I was blessed to have received it, so would not disclose it merely to prove a point to people who would not have viewed it as precious information but who would have pawed it.
They’d have greedily grabbed at it as mere words—exploited it as verbal fodder they could parrot to appear in-the-know and first string. (Heh, at least I got to feel smug about keeping my mouth shut. … Ok, I admit, feeling superior wasn’t good for me.)
Had I said anything authentic, nobody would have cared. The agenda on their table was to show how important and “wise” you were. That was not an agenda I wanted to be part of, even though telling them traditional material would’ve moved me to the top of the food chain. But climbing up would have actually, as the old expression goes, dragged me down to their level. … Goddess, I was tempted anyway. … Maybe smugness about my silence was my solace.
My story about being silent is relevant to discretion stopping fake truths from derailing your personal hard-won beliefs, in the following ways:
Opening my mouth would have been my ego reacting to theirs, as well as meeting their attempt to move up in a hierarchy with a similar attempt of my own. Both of those would have betrayed my personal belief in not living in ego or falling prey to power struggles.
It also would have wasted my time and life force, instead of me going about my merry business, living happily according to my own ecstatic truths.
Responding to someone’s power play with one of our own can be incredibly tempting, but also incredibly damaging to ourselves. Ego-driven magic and power-hungry grabs put someone on the slippery slope of chasing chimera more and more, less and less living joyously in the beautiful world the Goddess created for us.
Had I shared the lore for the purposes of my ego, I also would have debased that material. Reduced to mere words in order to feed my ego, the power of that beautiful material would’ve been lost to me, crumbled into dust like Faerie gold.
There’s one more way someone’s pseudo-truth would’ve gotten the better of me if I’d blabbed sacred knowledge for the sake of ego and dominance. I would’ve betrayed my following personal truth: I hold my religion sacred by only using it for honorable purposes. To do otherwise, I would truly have failed navigating the rocky seas of community-enforced pseudo-truths and sunk to the depths.
When magic and spirituality become tools to create unhealthy hierarchy—aka dominate others—they go sour. So does the spirit of the practitioner in question. His soiled shamanic path is handed down to his students, its very essence feeding their worst aspects, perhaps subtly but thoroughly. A nightmare for the community.
When magic and spirituality remain tools to serve, in respect for our differences, those tools become more powerful and capable. So do our spirits. Free of contentious opinions and excess verbiage, our innate magic fills each day, often silently. We become blessed by—and a blessing for—community.
I hope some of my above opinions are useful to you.
I teach traditional craft. My Gods bless me with wise students: They are wise in so many ways, but one is that we all respect each other. Honoring our differing views as assets allows each of us to uniquely contribute to the group’s magic and well-being. This in turn allows each of us to benefit from all the participants’ strengths.
If you’d like to join us, I teach mostly via group phone calls—aka teleseminars. Subscribe to my free newsletter, which tells you about upcoming classes: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm
Have a magical day.
Please join me for a May Day celebration, Tues, May 3, from 3:00 to 4:00 EST.
We’ll meet in a circle of love to enjoy Spring’s return and heal Mother Earth. I’ll also lead you through a spellcasting for one of your wishes to come true.
The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill). No experience needed.
To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before 3:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.
Sign up for my free newsletter—ideas, events, and other offerings: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm
This is excerpted from the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows, available here: https://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/
This subtle current dances about me all day, even in my sleeping hours, empowering me and making me whole. It heals me, delights me, and celebrates me. It relieves me of my pains, doubts, and flaws. It removes obstacles.
Oppressors deny magic, lest we use its ever available power to live wild and free, with direct access to Deity and the gifts Deity bestows, independent of dour religious institutions and oppressive societal hierarchies.
But magic is real and a Goddess-given right. I would go further to say magic is a living aspect of my Goddess. No one will rob me of my Goddess and Her power. I live in magic.
In the two-volume Third Road Book of Shadows set, the above prose-poem is ornamented with more detailed art than I could post here if I wanted this webpage to load in less than a decade.
But the graphic at the top of this post is part of the art in question. And I made the little graphic at the side especially for this post, because I love ya!
Did you enjoy the post? Get the book set here, available only from the author: https://stardrenched.com/2016/10/01/book-of-shadows/
Wakening Yourself and the Earth
Winter blahs? Or just need a boost any time of year? Let’s use every means possible to be awake and to wake the earth, so we can dance together and with Her, in celebration of our collective wild, honorable beauty.
My following 2007 article was originally published in Faerie Nation Mag.
Where I live, many people become depressed around February and March. There’s not a lot of light here in the winter, and the cold and snow keep folks indoors with cabin fever. Moreover, local economic problems that prevail all year round exacerbate any seasonal difficulties.
To combat our February/March ickiness, my friends and I decided to go out together. While we weren’t sure what we’d do, it didn’t matter. The important thing was that getting out of our houses would break the monotony.
When deciding what our outing would consist of, I also happened to be pondering the local population. A good number of exceptions aside, there seems to be a collective lack of self-worth, accompanied by a general sense that there’s no point in being a dreamer who strives for a better life.
Though economic hardship accounts for some of this, it seemed to me that there must be a hidden additional explanation. The area is filled with natural beauty and power that should be uplifting and motivating people. Why wasn’t it? Or, if it was, why wasn’t it doing so enough? Perhaps, in a town where Christian fundamentalism is the norm, an energy field had been created that squelched the earth’s joy? What if the spiritual power of the land was being repressed?
Mind you, I understand that many Christians feel a spiritual connection to the earth. I’m not implying they don’t. Just about everyone here gardens, which makes them appreciate nature and its gifts. I could add lots more about a real appreciation of the land here, felt by most residents. To some extent, folks are uplifted by the land here. So what I’m addressing here is fundamentalism. It is so stifling and uber-controlling that maybe it doesn’t just affect people’s spirits but also the spirit of the earth here, so that it can’t give everything it wants to give us.
Okay, maybe my words seem like crazy talk, but I decided that doing a ceremony to free the land here from its mystical chains was not only a great idea, it would also be a fun way to shake my friends and me out of our winter doldrums.
I started to write the ceremony below, to wake the land from any lethargy, stupor, and even oblivion that might have been forced on it. Before doing so, I happened to mention my idea to Faerie Nation Mag staff member Ade, and joked, “I’m writing a ritual to wake up the power spot here so that it can overthrow local patriarchy.” We laughed, but then it seemed I had accidentally summed up one of the logical outcomes of my ritual.
Here’s the rite I wrote, shared with you in the hope that if enough people use it, the hopelessness that comes from repressive mentalities everywhere can be better combated. Not that this ritual alone is sufficient. The problem must be attacked from many fronts. However, we who are mystics bring a very specific gift to the mix. In addition, the land is alive with abilities beyond muggle imaginings. Let’s draw on that potential.
In serving the earth, we wake ourselves up from any negativity that we’ve fallen prey to.
If you lead a friend or friends in the ritual, please read them the whole article for context, because it empowers—and is a chalice for—the rite. Also please attribute the article and ritual creation to me. Attribution heals Gaia and ancestors. Lack of attribution makes bad mojo. Blessed be.
Step 1. Find the (or a) major power spot in your immediate area. My friend, Kush, suggested finding out what the first building here was, that it was likely put on a power spot. So I called the town’s Visitor’s Bureau and asked what the first building was. I also asked what the first church was, since they are often on native sacred sites. A local historical society might also be a good place to call—that’s who the Visitor’s Bureau referred me to.
If you can’t find a “major power spot,” go to a place that resonates for you. Or just find a square foot of dirt somewhere and go stand on it for the rite. Or sit in your own living room! The earth is all one piece, and it is alive and aware. Wherever you do the ritual, the area you live in will, as a whole, hear you. We did the rite inside a local church.
Step 2. Once in your spot, say out loud or silently,
Spirit of the earth
we call to you
It is time. You can rise now,
break through the mind-numbing
rise up, wake up,
bring your joy and power up
to the surface of Gaia
and into the company of the earth’s other children—
we humans and other beings who live here.
No longer can brick and board and cement
laid heavily against your urges
Let this prayer give you the power
to be free again.
Let this prayer give you the power
to be free again.
Let this prayer give you the power
to be free again.
And help us, who live here, have
the power to live free ourselves,
the power to honor your needs,
the power to take care of you,
so that you and we live
in a cycle of keeping each other whole and happy,
back and forth, ‘round and ‘round, again and again.
We sing to you.
We sing to you
So be it, So be it, So be it. So be it.
Step 3. Leave two offerings: one of joy and pleasure, the other of food and drink. In other words, the first offering should be fun or beautiful—a handful of dried rose petals strewn on the ground, or a few flowers placed there. Or a sprig of sweet-smelling herbs, a pretty feather, rock, or bead, or whatever else is uplifting. We hung a strand of beads on a tree.
As for food and drink, leave at least one tablespoon of each, any edible and beverage that you feel is appropriate. If you can’t think of anything that seems right, choose randomly so that you at least leave something. This offering can be placed directly on the ground, or in a cup or other container.
Step 4. (Optional) Do something to wake up your own spirit. The first three steps should accomplish this on their own, but you may want to add more. It needn’t be large. Spritz yourself with perfume. Or hug someone. Even a cup of tea can kindle warmth in your soul. It’s wonderful to do big things, but if that’s not possible, better something than nothing.
You needn’t do this ceremony in winter, but instead just when you want to give yourself and the earth a renewal of the spirit. Please try the rite out. It might change you, your town, our world. Many acts are needed to free the human race of its terrible dilemmas and to save Gaia. Let’s use every means possible to be awake and to wake the earth, so that we can dance together and with Her, in celebration of our collective wild, honorable beauty.
By the way, just the act of creating the rite really helped my mood. Then actually doing the ritual with my friends made me feel even better. And we had a ball on our outing.
The road to Faerie is not civilized, but kinder.
I wrote the above line in the 80s, but recently someone asked why. Good question! Here’s my answer:
Indoctrinated with the idea that our wild aspects are always ruthless and to be feared, many people’s wild, beautiful power is crushed.
Breaking out of that oppression, they often go to the other extreme, allowing themselves any actions at all, even cruel or irresponsible ones, unaware they’re being hardhearted. They might honestly believe they’re doing no harm, insisting, “I’m just being me. If you don’t like it, you’re trying to oppress me. Not my problem, because I’m a free spirit.”
I wanted to create a maxim showing a third option, other than the two extremes of suppression or hardheartedness. So I coupled the ideas of wildness and kindness.
However, it’d take a whole book to fully explain why I wrote the maxim, since I was trying to express so many ideas in it. I use my skills as a poet to write lyrical aphorisms because they can contain endless concepts and levels in a few words and touch the heart rather than just the intellect.
However, I should share: on one level, the adage refers specifically to the path I walk with my students—the Third Road—and was written as part of a blessing for students entering into a deeper level of study with me.
I wanted the blessing ceremony to include the following thoughts: We’d long ago rejected the hardheartedness mentioned above. But our upcoming shamanic journey would release more of their —and my—wild power than even our previous work together had done. When gaining another degree of wildness, it’s easy to fall prey to foolishness previously discarded. We needed to continue to integrate our wild and civilized aspects. This would more than ever make us whole in ourselves and as a community. Otherwise, we more than ever risked becoming enormously fragmented in ourselves and alienated from fellow seekers. I preferred to express all those thoughts in words that could be carried through the training not just in the mind but also the heart: “The road to Faerie is not civilized, but kinder.”
Hmm … maybe putting all the stuff in the above paragraph into the ceremony would’ve made things clearer, LOL.
Always happy to answer a question! I can’t always explain my poetry, because sometimes poetry is the only way I can explain something. But I tried my best today.
Please join me for a Third Road harvest celebration, Thursday July 30 at noon to 1:00 EST.
Let’s celebrate our harvests and manifest additional bounty.
Let’s honor ancestors, Gaia, and other Gods.
The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill.) No experience needed.
To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.
If you want to experience oral tradition, this ritual is an opportunity.
Mark your calendar.
Goddess Bless, Francesca De Grandis
The society that murdered thousands of witches also hid the nature of oral tradition, burying even a hint of its immense power to remove our shackles.
I’m a dinosaur, but will not give up teaching oral tradition. Its power is needed.
The trend is online classes. There is also some good money to be made there for teachers. But I’m committed to oral tradition, so teaching online isn’t an option. It’s not oral tradition, at least not as I know it.
Mind you, I leave each person to their own definition, and I support each Pagan’s choice of teaching methods. I’m not here to debate what is or isn’t oral tradition, or what teaching method is best.
Instead, here I’m discussing my commitment to the indescribable experience of glory and power conveyed only through a certain style of teaching, whether you call it oral tradition or Francesca’s style or George. 🙂
It’s interesting I used the words “indescribable experience.” The term oral tradition was originally used (in part) because there was no point in writing it down. No record could possibly convey it—it was indescribable.
The indescribable beauty and freedom of a lifestyle informed by oral tradition keeps me committed to it.
Beyond my students’ note-taking during classes, any record distorts—and might even corrupt—the original transmission. I don’t allow recordings of my oral transmissions. Nor do I provide transcriptions of them. Sometimes I ask people to refrain from taking notes.
Oral tradition can happen by phone (known as teleseminars). That is the medium I mostly use to teach. We transcend time and space to walk between the worlds together.
Past life memories tell me a communal knowledge of oral tradition was exterminated centuries ago: A society driven to murder thousands of witches also hid the nature of oral tradition, to bury even a hint of its immense power to free us from external and internal shackles. Thus, oral tradition is tangential to how our society as a whole represents it. It is not a discussion group, therapy group, or support group.
You know what? I don’t think I’ll call myself a dinosaur. I’m actually a gorgeous, powerful dragon. The gems in my dragon hoard are the treasures of oral tradition. I’ll keep sharing them, while my dragon tail encircles them and my students from those who would rob us of this heritage.
I don’t expect anyone to believe oral tradition provides benefits and beauty that cannot be received elsewhere, until they experience it firsthand. Something happens I can’t describe here—there’s that word “description” again—because it cannot be explained in writing, it must be experienced.
Technology’s seamless integration into our lives makes tech an extension of a person to some degree, but that does not turn online exchanges into legitimate oral tradition. I do not know a way to transmit oral teachings via vid chat, even if no record of it is kept. Once again, explaining that is beyond the limits of the written word.
No one can understand my underlying reasoning for my position unless they talk with me … talk, as in oral tradition.
Many people have been shocked or puzzled because I’m a best-selling author whose phone number is on her webpage. As hard as I am work writing books that transform lives—I’ll spend a decade writing a single book, because my standard is sky high—I work even harder on oral tradition, because my Gods told me to center there. As powerful as my books are—there are few better—my oral teachings are even more powerful. I love living in oral tradition.
So I put my phone number out there. 814.337.2490. For one thing, some people need a taste of oral tradition to know whether they want to work with me.
To enter oral tradition with you represents a willingness on both our parts to show up—take responsibly for the moment and be present in it. Then unparalleled magic fills us.
I’m blessed by students who take responsibility for their lives. Some live in the now so fully that they make a long-term commitment to learning my oral teachings, so we can moment after moment after moment create mind-boggling changes in our lives.
It’s hard to make that commitment. But even if they have insane schedules, relentless financial pressure, or other enormous, daily demands, they make time. Lo, their schedules become less crazy, the demands get fewer, the pressure relents, and they move into their dream lives. Oral tradition is about living life to the max.
Join me in a winter Solstice ritual, Thursday December 18, 2014, from 6 to 7:00 PM EST.
Let’s celebrate the winter Solstice together—operative word “celebrate.” We are magic. We’ll transform our lives and ourselves through pure fun.
The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (Your usual long-distance charges apply, and appear on your phone bill). No experience needed.
To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial a few minutes before 6:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.
Celebrate your Pagan heart!
Love, Francesca De Grandis
Seen the Faerie Ritual Set? For Spells, Divination, Soul Journeying, and More. Check it out here: http://www.outlawbunny.com/2014/06/11/frs/