Mysticism in Times of Crisis

During crisis, mysticism can become a source of strength, renewal, and hope, or foster self-destructive escapism and denial. This post has an empowering ritual.

Please note: though this post discusses how to avoid denial and escapism, sometimes it is important to let them be. Trust yourself to make the right choice. Or, if unsure, ask for input from a trusted expert. For one thing, denial and escapism can be trauma symptoms that help you cope.

Some situations can feel like too much to bear, and I long for something bigger and more powerful than me to fix my problems. I turn to mysticism for the solution. It often works.

Sometimes, all doors seem shut, and I am desperate for a door to open somewhere, somehow. I turn to mysticism. It often works.

However, mysticism can be healthy or unhealthy. Personally speaking, my otherworldly endeavors must be very grounded in my real life, so I get my feet on the ground and remain down-to-earth. I will explain what I mean by that. … Well, a full explanation would take pages, but I can quickly explain enough for the purposes of this post.

Some of my rituals are not as mystical as other rites I perform. All magic is mystical, but there are varying degrees. Sometimes I do very mystical rituals; they might have highly lyrical liturgies and fanciful images, and create a very trancy, sparkly, buzzy experience. Other times, my rituals are less mystical, more direct, and more straightforward, e.g., they proceed in a rather mundane manner, directly dealing with my inner blocks, by necessitating I own up to a specific anger, fear, self-doubt, sense of powerlessness, or the like. I often deal with anger, trauma, fear, etc., in extremely mystical rituals, but that would be escapism were it the whole of how I handle inner turmoil.

The ritual below deals with unsettling emotions, self-defeating beliefs, and the like in quite a grounded manner, while also including more mystical ritual elements. The more grounded aspects of this little ceremony help keep it from feeding denial and escapism.

The Choice to Have Power: a Ritual for Magnificent Selfhood and Divine Support

This magical spell can help you experience spiritual renewal and fortitude, and feel longed for peace and hope. Other possible benefits are increased confidence and a substantial claiming (or reclaiming) of selfhood—who you are deep down, with all your strengths. The ritual also helps you tap into the Goddess’ immense power.

If, when doing this ceremony, you feel you are not doing a “good enough job,” not to worry. The sheer attempt is sufficient.

If unsure how to implement part of my instructions, you might explore whether that text is suitable for one of the three following approaches.

1. Do a visualization. For an example, let’s use the ritual’s paragraph “I choose to live in the reality of my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. I settle into that reality by letting my body sink into it. I sink into my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic.” Decide what physical sensations you might experience if you trusted that you had wisdom, balance, and magic, and then imagine your body feels that way.

2. To continue using the same example, you could recite that paragraph as a liturgy, slowly reciting it two or three times. That can be powerful.

3. Or read that paragraph aloud as if you were telling a Faerie tale, and try to go along with the mood of the tale.

Here’s the ritual:

I choose the reality in which a caring Goddess holds me close.

To implement that choice, I start by looking inward to find what inside me keeps me from living in that chosen reality.

For example, do I fear that no deity can be kind? Do I believe that choosing happiness is somehow deserting my loved ones if they remain unhappy? Is false pride keeping me from relying on something other than my own resources? Or is something else in me blocking me?

If there is more than one block, I choose only one to work with in this ritual today.

I center into the reality of that block by letting my body sink into it. I don’t analyze the block, try to change it, or do anything else to it. I sink into it.

I choose the reality in which a caring Goddess holds me close. I center into that reality by letting my body sink into it. I don’t analyze it or otherwise get overly cerebral about it. I sink into the caring Goddess Who is holding me close.

I choose to live in the reality of my true self, with its wisdom, balance, and magic.

So I look inward to find what inside me keeps me from living in that reality of marvelous selfhood. Do I think that optimistically trusting in myself is self-inflated? Do I fear I’ll be deserted if I live according to my own ideals? What’s blocking me?

If there’s more than one block, I choose only one to work with in this rite.

I center into the reality of that block by letting my body sink into it.

I choose to live in the reality of my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. I settle into that reality by letting my body sink into it. I sink into my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic.

So mote it be!

Additional ritual instructions:

1) During the ceremony, if you don’t land smack dab in the center of your personal essence, at least momentarily, you likely moved radically toward it. Try doing the ritual once a day for five days, over the course of a week, to continue the energy’s positive direction.

2) If you feel performing the ritual once didn’t progress you toward your magnificent selfhood at all, it could’ve happened anyway—even to a large degree—without you feeling it yet.

3) If the ritual felt effective, or even fairly so, you might want to do the ritual twice more over the next week, to re-find, remain in, or move deeper into the reality of your most competent beautiful self who is living in the care of a loving Goddess.

4) Here are two reasons to work on only a single block in the ritual:

Sometimes, working on more than one not only diffuses a ritual’s energy but also turns the rite into escapism.

Also, focusing on a single block allows me to own up to it on a gut level, rather than just recognizing it with my mind. That gut recognition can make a big difference in whether I can move past that block or not.

I’d love to hear how this ritual goes for you.

… I want to time how long it takes to read and execute this ritual. … It took nine minutes, reading slowly. That nine minutes includes time I added for pauses in case someone needed to go over the instructions to better understand them. The timing also represents doing the rite as you read the post, as opposed to reading it all first then going back to do the ritual.

I timed for three reasons. I wanted to see if this is a ritual that easily fits into a busy schedule.

Brief ceremonies can be powerful.

I also wanted to see if I might use the ritual in the Virtual Pagan Monastery, an event held via group phone calls. The meetings are mini-retreats that last fifteen meetings, and I lead a ritual in each one. A nine-minute ritual leaves us time to open with the quick protection spell with which we always kick off meetings. We’d also have time should anyone need to jump in to ask a question about instructions as we were doing the rite. Perfect!

My third reason for timing is that I love my Virtual Pagan Monastery. It’s a chance to touch down a few times a week with other seekers and lead a rite to take care of ourselves. But some folks don’t enroll because they don’t realize that brief rites can be powerful. So now this little ceremony is here to prove otherwise.

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The Virtual Pagan Monastery 2020

Walk between the stars with me.
We’ll find a moment’s peace,
our spirits held secure by Gods
Who also cradle everything.
Then we’ll return to earth,
our hearts and strength renewed.
We’ll have the means to serve life well
and stay the course that day.
And when earth’s weight bears down on us,
we’ll walk the stars again.
And, once more, gain the help we need
to meet the hours ahead.

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

You might think of it as a Goddess temple, Druid grove, Faerie circle, Pagan monastery, or retreat to an otherworldly haven. It has been sanctuary, even in the hardest times.

If you’re unfamiliar with this long-distance experience:

Twice a week, I lead fifteen-minute-long ceremonies via group telephone calls. This continues for six weeks—ongoing spiritual sustenance that fits into a busy day.

During every ritual, I also give a direct spiritual transmission. You receive profound care, so are better able to meet the hours ahead and live fully.

To define my particular transmissions: I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. During our meetings, it adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, a soul healing, physical health, joy for your wild heart, safety on the mundane and etheric planes, the spiritual strength to get back up after life’s knocked you down. The transmissions do not focus on one benefit only, but bless you as a whole being. They also add luck to anything you do to improve your life.

The Virtual Pagan Monastery group meets twice a week for six weeks, starting May 12:

We’ll meet from 3:15 to 3:30, EST, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

To participate, simply dial the phone.

You’ll need about three minutes after each session to do a special grounding, which I’ll teach.

Reserve Tuesday June 23 and Friday June 26, the usual time, for makeup sessions in case I’m unavailable for planned sessions.

Total enrollment fee: $250. Your carrier might charge you for the call.

Click the Pay Now button to enroll securely through PayPal:





Limited enrollment. Upon receipt of payment, your seat is reserved. You receive event phone number, etc., by email. Refunds unavailable. Call me for more info or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan.

Explaining this event is hard because many people think Paganism lacks inward, contemplative aspects or inner adventures. For my outward efforts to be effective, powerful, and loving, I need the inner life.

My inner life is also a precious, exciting joy that fuels the passion for life in my more outward experiences. Please give yourself contemplative times and inner adventures. Visit the Virtual Pagan Monastery.

We all make choices about what’s best for us and what helps us best serve others. For most folks, that excludes a huge amount of time in ritual. (Actually, I believe anything we do is ritual, but I need to define ritual in the more usual way here.) My choice was an ongoing enormous amount of rituals, which required a solitary life, since I couldn’t found an in-person Pagan monastery. A description of my day is relevant to this event:

I rarely see anyone in person. My contacts are mostly between the stars, doing ritual with folks. Otherworldly time spent with students and other wonderful friends is an enormous nourishment and joy that feeds me like few things ever could, given my particular personality and spirit.

So much time alone allows me to, among other things, do devotional practices and channel shamanic rites I lead.

New terms are needed to depict spirituality that is liberating instead of oppressive. For example, devotional or contemplative activities needn’t be dour, overly formal, or anti-sex. So I made up the term ecstatic contemplative to describe folks like me. I also coined Pagan monasticism to hopefully expand the sense of the possible lifestyles.

Since few people have the time that I do for ritual, I had the idea of a virtual Pagan monastery providing mini-retreats for you. You needn’t be a monastic, or want to become one. Take advantage of my decades as a Pagan monastic; I’ll draw on my daily experiences to create fifteen-minute rituals for you.

Many folks have “inner monasteries”—places they visit and practices they have—to nourish themselves, ensure they cleave to their paths and their truths, and engage with the Divine. But a lot of these individuals tell me lack of time keeps them from going inward often enough, let alone coming up with a ritual for themselves on top of that. Each Pagan Monastery meeting has a ritual all prepared for you, I lead you through it, and the weekly schedule is easy.

You needn’t go it alone.

I usually only “open” the virtual monastery for visits in the early months of the year, but I feel it’s important right now. For one thing, some of us need our spirituality more than ever, and need empowerment more than ever, but it can be hard—if not near impossible—to spiritually tend to oneself at the present time, and the virtual monastery is a quick way to do it.

In ancient shamanic culture, sacred group meetings were part of the everyday, even during major upheaval. Tribes were normally busy taking care of business—hunting, weaving, etc., and all the more so during crisis. They didn’t try to shoulder on without group rites. The ones I’ll lead in the Virtual Pagan Monastery are heavy duty ceremonies.

This magic is so strong that fifteen minutes of it improves your life. For example, some of these brief rituals can, all on their own, land you smack dab in the reality of you, your truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. When you don’t arrive in the center of your personal essence during one of those rites, you likely move radically in that direction, so you stop holding your breath, exhale with enormous relief, and feel longed for peace. Plus the rites we’ll do add up to the substantial claiming or reclaiming of selfhood.

You emerge from each brief session prepared to make life more serene, fulfilling, and abundant. You’re more able to do whatever’s needed to achieve your goals and stay centered while you’re at it. This is support to be powerful.

Feedback: “Someone might think, ‘I won’t get much from 15 minutes.’ … But Francesca’s Pagan Monastery showed me how deep a 15-minute ritual can go. She knows how to do this.”

If you’re skeptical about these visits accomplishing what I say they can, and you suspect 15 minutes isn’t worth your time or money, you’re smart. The world is full of “spiritual” con-artists.

My claims aren’t hype. Few people can do what I do. If one of my services or books accomplished something nothing else had for you, that starts to give you the real picture.

Add that I trained from childhood as a shaman. Then, for decades, I’ve dedicated my life to developing shamanic skills and innovative ritual methodologies and to becoming a guide capable of addressing a lot of different life arenas.

So when I announce I excel at facilitating shamanic experiences and making fifteen minutes relevant and extraordinary, I’m talking truth. But don’t take my word. Trust what your gut tells you. It might say that, in fact, my methods have led to miracles.

All the rituals I perform combine to create my wholeness. Nevertheless, whatever I did ritually yesterday doesn’t fully cover what I require today. Over and over, I need to regain emotional balance, center into the reality of a caring Goddess, and experience spiritual renewal. This is even more true for me right now.

Consistent ritual is even more vital during difficult times. During crisis, enrolling in this event might be one of the most important steps you take. For one thing, it’ll help bring the most powerful you forward to face challenges and accomplish exactly what’s needed.

If you need to miss some sessions, enroll. Perfect attendance isn’t part of real life.





Please visit me in the Virtual Pagan Monastery. It is a beautiful place.


Wakening Yourself and the Earth

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.

MyGodsAreArtists1SmMy 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.

MyGodsAreArtists2TinyWhen 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.

PastelSqStep 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,

Wake up
wake up!
Spirit of the earth
we call to you
It is time. You can rise now,
break through the mind-numbing
earth-crushing
desolation,
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
suppress you.
NesltrSqTLet 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.

Wake up,
wake up,
We sing to you.
We sing to you
in love
and fellowship,
in hope
and lunacy,
in gratitude
and freedom.
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.

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Phoenix Ritual

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Phoenix Ritual

Fellow Star-dusted Traveler,

Please join me for a ritual on Tuesday February 25, 2014, from 6 P.M. to 7:00 EST.

The theme will be renewal—like the Phoenix rising from the ashes.

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 6:00; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Please come: Let us all experience and celebrate our innate ability to be renewed each year with the coming Spring.
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