Urban Hedge Witch

Urban Hedge Witch: City Magic, Parking Lots as Mystic Thresholds, & Rose Mysteries

Urban Hedge Witch

City Magic, Parking Lots as Mystic Thresholds, & Rose Mysteries

Before I share what’s been going on lately, a few introductory thoughts:

What is a Hedge Witch?

In Britain, hedges between properties are considered liminal spaces—potent realms suited to magic spells. A Hedge Witch is a magical practitioner who takes advantage of such powerful spaces to do rites.

You can think of hedges not only as as thresholds between properties but also as thresholds between the mundane and mystic planes.

A Hedge Witch is a shaman who often walks between the worlds regardless of whether a physical hedge is nearby.

Liminal spaces also provide thresholds through which we can enter into a new life, such as a transition from poverty into financial well-being or from lack of self-esteem into self-confidence.

I Love and Hate the Term Hedge Witch

When I first heard the term Hedge Witch, I was delighted. It evokes magical green depths, mysterious going-ons, and fantastical activities. However, I hate the way the term is often used nowadays aka I am a Hedge Witch. I am not like other Witches. I’m better than other Witches.

When we define ourselves by our differences, ignoring our commonalities, we strangle ourselves with categories. Definitions like Hedge Witch, Fairy Witch, and Green Witch can be wonderful when they help us find and affirm who we are magically. But they tend currently to be used divisively and arrogantly, neither of which helps magic work well.

And—I’m only talking for myself—the divisions don’t make complete sense for me because I’m a Hedge Witch, Fairy Witch, Green Witch, Shamanic Witch, and other types of Witches. They are all part and parcel of Witchcraft as I know it. I cannot be one type without being the other types. In fact, in my case, shamanism and Witchcraft are synonymous, as they were traditionally in Europe.

Again, only speaking for my Witchcraft: I need phrases like Kitchen Witch, Hedge Witch, or Solitary Witch because they each invoke a special magic that I want. They are lyric—not definitive—terms. Were I to use them as strict categories, they become cages that trap my spirit and my magic.

What is an Urban Hedge Witch?

Urban Hedge Witch is a term I made up. In the spirit of what I’ve said above, I don’t want to give Urban Hedge Witch a definitive meaning. Rather than provide a glib category, I prefer to let you read this post.

End of introductory thoughts.

A Happiness and Prosperity Ritual Using Rose Petals

I am having the best time! A friend sent me boxes of fresh rose petals.

We were on the phone, and I told her I wanted to strewn petals throughout my new apartment and, still on the phone with her, I looked up how to buy fresh rose petals online. I was stunned by the cost. My friend generously offered to buy the petals.

I’m becoming an urban shaman again after almost two decades of living in the woods. The rose petals became part and parcel of my return to city magic.

The petals strewn all over the floor are just a third of what my friend sent!


That same third is swept up against the door, waiting to be used again in the ritual:

I decided not to dump all the petals on the floor. I loved the amount that I dumped.

I’ve been walking through it, sweeping it up as a ritual for happiness and prosperity. Later, I re-scattered the petals I swept up, strewn them all over the floor again, to finish the ritual. (I’m not giving complete details of the ritual I channeled because I want to move on with the post, but here’s lots of Rose Magic info: https://stardrenched.com/2020/11/24/rose-magic/.)

And then there’s a great big container that I dumped the rest of the petals in. I put my phone next to it for scale. So many petals!

The rose petals were part of returning to urban shamanism not only because I used them in a housewarming rite but also because they were a gift from a friend. Generosity is pure magic.

The Right to Love Life and Live My Dreams

I’ve been running my fingers through the container’s rose petals, loving the licentiousness of so many petals against my skin and how it gives me permission to love life and go for broke. I also crush them in my hands for the sheer visceral pleasure of organic matter in my palms when I’m no longer in the country but in the middle of the gray dusty city.

Ritual Is as Inherent to Living as Breathing Is

My new apartment is tiny. After I moved in, it was wall-to-wall boxes. It kind of still was after only a week and a half here, though it was much better already.

I almost asked my friend to wait, not send me petals until a lot of my boxes were unpacked. I thought gobs of strewn vegetation might be a big mess, what with the crowded space.

Then I realized I should relish the roses whenever they came, and if they arrived soon, they would be a beautiful tool to bless my unpacking and other nesting.

I try to practice what I preach, and I teach to not wait until the “right” time to do a ritual, for example not wait until you are focused, or until you know what you want to get out of the ritual. Ritual is part of life, as inherent to living as is breathing, it was as much a part of the first humans’ life as was hunting.

Thresholds Can Appear Any Time, Any Place

The time when I’m not fully unpacked is betwixt and between; it is a threshold, which makes it a liminal space, a realm in which all possibilities can come forward for my choosing.

This is a perfect opportunity for rose magic. Rose is a symbol of the deepest Mysteries. Sometimes, they are more easily touched when circumstances are new or uncertain.

Plus Mysteries transcend time and space, so are always available to us, whether we’re in the country, the city, the suburbs …

Thresholds can open anytime, anywhere. I can be a hedge Witch anywhere, anytime. Someday, perhaps I’ll open the wardrobe that peeks into Narnia. That door can appear if I watch for it, continue to believe in magic, and ever-acknowledge that life’s problems are constant opportunities for spiritual growth—thresholds, for example, from self-obsession to self-care, from fear-induced stagnation to self-expression, or from resentments to emotional freedom.

To play with rose petals when there was unpacking I might have been doing was gloriously foolish and magically potent.

For one thing, it distracted me from the studio being filled with boxes, and from my being knee-deep in the chaos of constantly figuring out this new dwelling’s basics—where is the light switch I need right now, how do I buzz the person in who is trying to deliver a package, oops there’s no longer a door to my right, a wall is there now. My focus instead shifted to the eternal, the joyful, the potential for all I want to be manifested.

I’m an urban shaman again, using the magic that’s here, and the rose petal ritual was part of my reentry into that.

Urban shamanism was crucial to me till I moved to the country 17 years ago. My book, Be a Goddess!, originally had a passage about city magic. It was taken out, right before the book went to press. We needed to cut page count, and the section wasn’t pivotal to the lessons in the book. But I hated to delete that section. Remembering how crucial it was is important because it affirms my connection to the song I hear from sidewalks.

Urban Hedge Witch at Goddess Diana’s TriVia—Three Roads

In the city, I tend to rent places on the margins between two parts of town. It happens without my trying. I simply find an apartment I like, and it’s betwixt and between.

Now I’m living on the exact border between Duboce Triangle and the Mission District. I am the urban equivalent of a Hedge Witch, a shaman dwelling in liminal city spaces, living at a threshold.

There are actually three realities that my building borders because the Castro is so near that, as soon as I go out, I’m walking alongside members of the LGBTQ+ community.

I am at my Goddess Diana’s archetypal trivia—three roads. (See Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia by C.M.C. Green for more information. Or click here: https://stardrenched.com/2020/03/25/dianas-crossroads-during-the-pandemic/ )

The junction of three roads in the wilderness, another liminal space.

All of San Francisco Is Betwixt and Between

The geological features beneath San Francisco are, for me, congruent with the definition of liminal spaces. The earth under the sidewalks enlivens them until they speak to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of serpentine stone—California’s State Rock—hides below this city. Serpentine, unassuming, yet rich with secrets.

When I first returned to San Francisco, I stayed at a friend’s place for a few months in a posh area—Nob Hill.

I opened my friend’s front door one day, prepared to walk down the steps to go on an errand. But two fellows sat on the front stoop, clearly setting up for a “transaction.” When they saw me, they immediately stood but instead of walking off as I expected, they ambled only a few feet away. Then one of these shady-looking fellows leaned against a car, while his companion relaxed nonchalantly against a tree. There, they continued to prepare for commerce.

This was not an unusual occurrence. All of San Francisco is liminal, betwixt and between.

Greed’s Heartless Threshold between Wealth and Poverty

San Francisco has a merciless border—a thin transparent line between wealth and a poverty reminiscent of my worst nightmares, ones that woke me up in terror and left a foreboding I could not blithely shake.

There’s no San Francisco street where you will not see someone unsheltered. It terrifies me: the American attitude of “I want it all so will ensure very little is left for anyone else” is starkly revealed in San Francisco, and that American greedy norm could easily catapult me into poverty, as it could anyone, even someone wealthy.

I am also petrified by the fact that, were I to take a financial spill, the threshold through which one might travel from poverty to financial well-being is often impermeable. So I try not to morbidly focus on it.

Instead, I strive to acknowledge the possibility of deprivation as an ongoing fact of life, and I choose to participate in life. I must view my enormous fear and the possibility of destitution as thresholds for spiritual growth. I must face this fear yet leave it behind me. None of this is easy for someone who has known deprivation. But I have no choice. Fear will destroy the song in my soul.

I must also remember magic removes barriers (though my fear would tell me otherwise and can be hard to shake off) and take life’s ever-present possibility of pauperization as a threshold in which magic abounds—enchantment that I can embrace as a tool to, among other things, manifest prosperity.

Magic is miracle, so I can let go of the self-defeating belief “The deck is stacked. Success is impossible” and replace it with “All goodness is possible. All thresholds into plenty are possible to traverse.”

My Home in the Hedges

All San Francisco residents are liminal dwellers, but this current apartment stands at so many crossroads and borders, more than I’ve already mentioned. For example, the range of incomes demonstrated by the homes on my one block is remarkably wide. And then there’s the large parking lot by my building.

The lot accommodates a few businesses—a Fed Ex, a pet supply store, and a law office. The lot is a beehive of wildly disparate activity all day, ranging from elderly individuals carrying packages (usually well-off elders, or so their vehicles would imply), to truck drivers who I suspect are long-haulers taking a break, to drug dealers, to teenagers whose cars blare loud tunes, to elegant young gay couples with their dogs.

Unsheltered individuals go to and from the parking lot, as they do throughout San Francisco, though the proprietor of one of the stores makes sure no one sets up camp there.

One day, I looked out to see a homeless man whack back all the overgrowth that had come through the lot’s back fence. I don’t know why he did that. Did the owner of the parking lot hire him? A huge pile of cut-down brush is there now, weeks later. I don’t think it’s all from that one incident. I’m surprised no one’s taken it to build shelter.

Another day, I looked out and, in the corner of the parking lot right below my kitchen window, a homeless man performed obsessive and compulsive movement patterns for about ten minutes. … Well, I’m not sure he did it the whole 10 minutes since I walked away from the window and returned only briefly to peek surreptitiously.

Last week, I happened to notice a woman in the same spot below my kitchen window. As I said, it is not only homeless people who come to that parking lot but San Francisco residents of all kinds, constantly. Beautifully dressed and sharply focused, she was exiting her car. Then she placed a small rug on the ground. After removing her shoes, she stepped on the rug and knelt for, perhaps, Islamic prayer. I backed away from the window, not wanting to disturb her worship. I returned to the window moments later to see her put her shoes back on, pick up her rug, get in her car, and drive away.

This week, a man appeared in the same spot, with his own car, prayer rug, and fulfillment of sacred obligations. Like the woman who had been praying, he appeared to be well-off.

That spot below my window is the parking lot’s most recessed corner, so has become a haven for city dwellers.

How could a parking lot not be a mystic threshold, with the constant comings and goings and potential for anything to occur?

My Home Is in My Heart

I think the Old Gods sent me to this apartment to grow spiritually, become more prosperous than ever, indulge in glorious Mysteries, hone my urban shamanism, and dwell in my full power during my elderly years (I turn 73 this fall).

I may not remain in this apartment for more than a year. It might be a transition. Yet another liminal space.

But my home is in my soul and in care from my Gods, including Gaia and Mother California.

I do not feel rooted into this apartment. I feel rooted into the land beneath it. This plot of earth loves me. As did stony Nob Hill when I briefly lived there.

My roots extend deep. My roots extend wide throughout the West Coast. Uprooting myself to move to Pennsylvania was awful and unsuccessful. I felt like my legs had been cut off, my roots still here. In my 18 years in Pennsylvania, there wasn’t a day I didn’t miss being here.

Children Understand Magic and Liminal Spaces

I grab a huge bunch of rose petals. It is a small amount compared to the exuberant quantity in the container. I drop the bunch back in, I repeat this—grab and drop, over and over, the feel of the petals in my hand, then I squeeze the red velvet as it heals my weary eyes, squeeze, drop, squeeze, drop, then press my face hard against the vegetative red.

One of my favorite childhood memories appears—my father clipped the hedges (oh my, hedges, I never made that connection until right this second) then put the clippings into a huge barrel, after which I found a long something, stick he had chopped from the hedge? Shovel? and I used it to stir the clippings, stir the leaves, pretending to be a Witch, one of my favorite childhood memories, my young heart delighted by the fancy.

The delight made child-me as big as a fairy tale.

All my rose play now and the memory remind my belly and soul that anything is possible; I have all the power I need to achieve what I want.

Taming the Wild? I won’t Let That Happen!

My father, who was a terrible man, burnt down my mother’s rosebushes. (Roses! Everything is connecting. Mom’s beautiful womanly magic in the backyard.)

When he cut the hedges, he must have been trying to tame them, sculpting them into typical bourgeois rectangles. I suspect my child self felt, deep down unbeknownst to herself, that she was rescuing that liminal space, freeing it to be wild again.

I have all the power I need to achieve what I want.

So mote it be! Thank you, thank you, my Gods, my California, and my friend who sent me rose petals!

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In the Goddess’ Care

Basking in Goddess Love

A Three-Month Immersion in the Presence of the Divine

The Goddess’ care of you will improve everything in your life, both mystic and mundane. Consistently experience Her love for you. Viscerally feel trust in love from the Divine so you relax as you go about your day. Reside in empowerment from the Fairy Gods.

What Is Basking in Goddess Love?

Basking in Goddess Love is a three-month immersion in the Presence of the Divine.

The event consists of half-hour rituals, three times a week, via teleseminar—group phone calls. No special technology; just dial your phone.

The whole time, every meeting, will be ritual, during which we simply spend time with Fairy Gods. (The word Gods includes male, female, and any other gender Deity.) In other words, our sole activity: to be in the presence of the Divine.

The exceptions will be a few preparatory steps, which I lead during the meetings. For example, we’ll set up protection to create a safe space for ritual or will center so you can focus on the rite. You’ll also need three minutes after each session to do a special grounding I’ll teach.

How Can a Half-Hour Just Being with Fairy Gods Help Me?

Simply being in Their company is to receive all blessings.

The rituals will be a chance to completely give yourself over to care from the Fey Gods.

When I spend a half-hour visiting my Gods, everything changes. No matter how much negativity or despair I feel, how many problems have piled up, or how much evil I see in the world, if I spend a half-hour with my Gods, I turn into a completely different person—the truest me. I become more centered and strong. Ideas and solutions I need come to me intuitively. A positive attitude is easier to sustain.

The energy around me shifts, too. My luck is better. Throughout the day, I’m more likely to feel my Gods by my side, the wind at my back, and my feet firmly on my path.

Trauma, Shamanism, Divinity

I want the world to be my talisman. I want the whole day to be my talisman. But how do I reach that talismanic reality when there’s so much horror and woundedness all around me in the world, every day?

Despite challenges, trauma, and the cruelty we see, the Great Mother Goddess—Magna Mater, known worldwide as the Fairy Queen—and other loving Gods can help us have the inner power to control our lives and make a better world.

Simple experiential awareness of Their presence helps heal trauma.

Repeatedly focusing on companionship with Them also brings us into a beautiful liminal space in which we shift into peace, prosperity, healing, power, and happiness.

Some of us need empowerment more than ever right now. Experiential awareness of the presence of the Old Gods provides it.

Consistent ritual is vital in 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.

Schedule

Basking in Goddess Love meets for three months, starting May 2.

Three times a week, I will lead half-hour-long ceremonies via group telephone calls.

To participate, simply dial the phone.

We’ll meet from 2:00 to 2:30, Eastern standard time—11:00 to 11:30, Pacific time—on Mondays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

Reserve Wednesday August 3 and Thursday August 4, the usual time, for makeup sessions in case I’m unavailable for planned sessions.

Enrollment is $250 a month for three months. Your carrier might charge you for the calls.

I’m charging far less than I would usually for the amount of work I’ll be doing, because you needn’t attend every ritual. You have the yummy option of coming to all of them, but you can miss meetings without wasting your money. Show up when you can, even if it’s only half of the meetings.

I won’t repeat information and rituals that you missed. If that leaves you unclear about something during a meeting you’re in, just do the best you can, going along for the ride. You receive huge benefits when you simply show up for rituals in which you feel a Divine presence. Plus the accumulative effect of the rituals’ loving energy is huge. More about the accumulative effect is below.

Click the Subscribe button to enroll securely through PayPal:


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Limited enrollment. Upon receipt of payment, your seat is reserved. You receive event phone number, etc., by email. Refunds unavailable. Call me if you want more information or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan. My number is below.

Basking in Goddess Love can be used as one of the two qualifying electives needed to participate in the advanced Fairy Witch Training .

Are You Thinking, “I’m Too Busy for These Rituals”?

When I’m not centered in my Gods’ love for me, I lose far more time than the three half-hours a week we’ll do ritual. Without that centering, I waste time on worry, obsession, time-robbing bad habits like too much social media, and ineffective solutions to problems so I am battling them endlessly.

In ancient shamanic culture, tribes were busy—hunting, weaving, etc.,—and all the more so during crisis. However, they didn’t try to shoulder on without group rites. Sacred group meetings were part of the everyday, even during major upheaval.

More Benefits from Being in the Presence of Fairy Gods

I find the Old Gods so beautiful that, when I am conscious of Them, as we will be during the rituals, Their beauty somehow reveals and affirms the full extent of my own inner and outer beauty. This is self-confidence to the max.

Experiencing Their beauty also centers me into my wisdom, gloriousness, and power. I also center into a flow of beneficial synchronicities.

Their beauty washes away my doubt and pain.

When I am aware of the presence of the Fairy Queen and the other kindly Fairy Gods, They are more able to lend me all Their powers.

They are more able to give me assistance, sustenance, magic, joy, and good luck.

How Do I Benefit from Repeatedly Spending a Half-Hour with Gods?

After visiting with Them on a regular basis for a while, you start to feel Them with you more consistently, not just during our rituals or on the days you attend them.

A half-hour with Pagan Gods three times a week snowballs into ongoing blessings, for example, you more consistently go about your life centered into your truest needs and wants, and you live in peace and love.

The sum of the whole becomes greater than its parts. This includes extensive healing. This three-month immersion is a soul-healing, which is greatly needed by some of us in these crazy times.

Healing includes recovering from ancestral traumas.

If You Know How to Visit Gods Without a Facilitator:

If you have the skills to visit Gods on your own, it might be hard for you to get around to doing that, unless you are part of a scheduled group.

And it can be hard—if not near impossible—to find time and willingness to spiritually tend to oneself on one’s own.

Honestly, part of why I’m leading this group is so that I have to show up three times a week to hang out with beautiful people and my sweet Gods. It’s amazing how much we humans can resist the very things that are best for us and that we love.

If lack of time keeps you from shamanic self-care, including creating or choosing rituals to take care of yourself, I have your back. I have rituals already prepared for you.

You needn’t go it alone.

What Will Our Visits with Gods Be Like?

To be in the company of the Fairy Queen and all our other good Fairy Gods is to be in Their hearts, Their care, Their magic, Their realm.

The Old Gods are miracle makers so a half-hour with Them can accomplish a lot.

For three months, we will be immersed in the source of all power.

Otherworldly time spent with Them is a nourishment and joy unlike almost anything else.

There will be various rituals. Here are some of them. We will:

* Visit the Goddess’ garden of bounty. She never kicked us out of the primordial garden. The Biblical story that we were thrust from the garden is a lie tailored to convince us we need to toil miserably for our nourishments. No! The Old Gods will welcome us into the garden and shower bounty on us.

* Also visit the Avalon isle and other Fey realms where Gods walk.

* Dwell in magic. The current of magic that flows through the universe is the living presence of the Gods and Their love for us. When we sink into that magical flow, it carries us to our dearest goals.

* Abide in Their Love for us, in the sense of settling into that love and experiencing its transformation of us and our lives.

* Revel in connectivity with the cosmos. That connectivity is union with the Gods.

* Worship the Gods, not in the usual sense of uplifting them while demeaning ourselves but in a mutual, empowering celebration of ourselves and Them.

* Nestle into the good luck that flows throughout existence. Good luck is the Fairy Gods’ care for us.

We Will Avoid Hard Spiritual Work, LOL

I am planning rites that are joyful and easy. Sometimes shamanism is hard. But not always.

Though this event nurtures inner growth, it is unlike many of my events. We will not pursue the usual vigorous disciplines I teach. For example, the focus on inner growth will not include examining oneself for behavior, feelings, and ideas that hurt oneself and others.

A mystical approach that does not include hard work can be escapism and function like a drug unless accompanied by the ongoing spiritual practices that I teach. But they are not part of this upcoming event because everything has its season.

There is a time to simply be in the presence of Deity. That is what we will do.

Catch a breath. Rest, recoup, regroup.

Relax. Let yourself have ongoing easy spiritual sustenance.

During every ritual, I also give a direct spiritual transmission.

To define my transmissions: I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. During our meetings, it adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, soul-healing, physical health, joy, 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 your efforts to improve your life.

Skepticism about Spirituality Is Healthy

Be Skeptical.

If you’re dubious about these rituals accomplishing what I’ve outlined, you’re smart. The world is full of “spiritual” con-artists.

My claims aren’t hype. If one of my services or books accomplished something for you that nothing else had, that begins to give you the real picture.

I trained from childhood as a shaman. I dedicated my life to developing shamanic skills and innovative ritual methodologies and to becoming a guide capable of addressing different life arenas at depth.

I can make a half-hour shamanic experience extraordinary.

Don’t take my word. Trust what your gut tells you. … Does it say my methods create miracles?

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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.

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Faerie Samhain Ceremony, 2020

Faerie Samhain Ceremony, 2020

Please join me in a Samhain Ceremony on Friday October 30, 3 pm to 4 pm, est.

No experience needed.

This free ritual is a group phone call (teleseminar). Just dial your phone to attend. No computer or other equipment needed. (Your carrier might charge you for the phone call into the ceremony.)

Instructions for how to dial in will be in an upcoming newsletter. Subscribe by Oct 21 to receive the relevant newsletter, by clicking the banner at the bottom of this post.

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What is Samhain?

Samhain is one of eight Witch holidays we celebrate in the Third Road, the Fey-touched tradition I teach. Many Pagans celebrate these holidays, (commonly known as Sabbats). Each of the eight marks a special seasonal magic. The corresponding ritual focuses on the power, beauty, and magic of that point in the year wheel.

Samhain is the ancient Festival from which Halloween evolved and is an easier time to commune with ancestors, that we may seek their guidance, honor their lives, and learn the Old Magics from them. Samhain is also the third of three autumn harvest festivals.

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What is a Faerie (Fairy, Faery, Fey, Fae, Fay) Samhain?

I can only answer that for my own tradition. This will include telling you a bit about the tradition, as context. (For info about the different spellings of Faerie, Fairy, etc, click here.)

Whereas some Samhain rites can be rather scary or even overwhelming, the Third Road is a path of gentleness and safety, coupled with a degree of power that many individuals erroneously believe can only be obtained through risky, volatile practices.

The Mysteries tantalize, hinting at forbidden things. An oppressive society forbids much that is good, wholesome, and powerful.

We need not go into unnecessary danger, thinking pursuit of Mystery requires leaving common sense or ethics behind. (If you’d like to read more about that, Ethical (and Unethical) Fey Teachers further discusses how to sate your beautifully ferocious hunger for luminous Fey-touched Mystery, without falling prey to evil Fey Folk—sadly, they do exist—and their human pawns.)

Fleur2The Third Road frees us from spiritual bondage, so the strictures of organized religion cannot keep us from joy, prosperity, and self-care.

The Third Road is a witch spirituality protected and guided by the Magna Mater—Great Mother Goddess Creator of all. Her consort and Cocreator, my Good Father, also is our guide and protector.

My Divine Parents respect each person as an individual.

You can expect a truly powerful yet gentle Samhain ritual, in which we walk between the stars, and you are tended to carefully, with respect for your individual needs, strengths, and vulnerabilities.

Since I created (and continue to create) the Third Road materials, my personal experiences inform the rituals. Here are two ways relevant to our upcoming Samhain ritual.

1) The Fey Folk honor joy and beauty. I try to follow suit by creating beautiful, happy rites. This doesn’t mean that we have to be unwounded and in a good mood to participate. Quite the opposite. Part of beauty is honoring people exactly where they are. Part of beauty is loving people exactly as they are. Part of beauty is focusing on healing. Part of happiness is being accepted when you’re not feeling very happy at all.

2) I personally experience Samhain as a point when Nature moves more resolutely into darkening weather as winter approaches. I feel the darker weather as a safe, nurturing, peaceful environment. These experiences help shape the Third Road Samhain rituals.

I’m calling tribe: “Come! Come!”

Come seek your ancestors’ wisdom. Celebrate Gaia’s bounty. Move into darkness knowing it as the Old Gods’ generous, loving care. Reject spiritual bondage. Join me for the loving magic of Faerie, that you may draw on its joy, power, and healing.

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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.


Faerie Beltane Ritual, 2020

I want some fun. Do you?

Please join me for a bardic circle to celebrate May Day, on Thursday April 30, from noon to 1:00 EST.

Bardic circles are a long running tradition in the Third Road (the tradition I teach). But we haven’t had one since forever.

Here’s how we’ll do it:

* Bring a short song you’d like to sing or lead us in. It needn’t be “sacred.” All music is holy.
* Or tell us a story. A brief fairytale, anecdote from your personal life, or any other tale is perfect.
* Play your harmonica for us.
* Tell a dumb joke.
* Share some thoughts that’ve been running through your mind.
* Or bring any other offering. It’s all wonderful.

If you can’t think of something to share, come anyway. Your simple presence is a beautiful contribution.

Fun is healing. Fun is empowering.

Fun is pure magic. Fun aligns the spirit.

Our fun blesses the Old Gods, the earth, and our lives.

Even the attempt to enjoy ourselves opens us and our lives to new possibilities.

In situations that near broke my spirit, I learned to find whatever fun and humor I could possibly manage. It helped significantly in returning me to wholeness—e.g., spiritual resilience, physical well-being, and power.

Mayday is a Pagan celebration of joy, life, and all its potential. That makes it a perfect time for fun.

No experience needed.

This free ritual is a group phone call. (Your carrier might charge you for the phone call into the ceremony.)

Instructions for how to dial in to participate are in my next newsletter. Click the banner below to subscribe for free and receive other exclusive offers available only to my wonderful subscribers.

Thank you so much.

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Diana’s CrossRoads During the Pandemic

Diana’s CrossRoads During the Pandemic
Creating Spiritual, Physical, and Financial Wholeness in Crisis

I’m at double risk regarding Covid 19, being elderly and disabled by a chronic health problem. I’m also unable to receive medical care, due to corrupt bureaucrats.

So I understand that ethics and inner empowerment are possibly irrelevant luxuries for some folks when life gets really hard. But not for me. My spiritual wholeness and commitment to serving community during this crisis are tantamount.

After repeatedly conquering circumstances that easily kill people—e.g., poverty and life-threatening illness—I saw that, for me, my spirituality at such times was an essential tool for both surviving and the subsequent establishing of my happy, prosperous life.

At a ritual I led last week, we each found ourselves at a moral crossroads and made decisions about which route to take. In the months ahead, I think a lot of people, myself included, might face a lot of moral crossroads. Most of mine will likely be about the need to dedicate myself more than ever to relinquishing false ego, surrendering to my Gods, and serving Them and all Their children. At least that’s what came up for me during the ritual.

During the rite, I channeled the “script,” so it’s not written down. But I’m hoping to convey a bit of its sentiments in this post.

We each went to the otherworld and stood at the archetypal trivia with Goddess Diana. In Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, C.M.C. Green says the crossroads of Diana is not the cross-shaped junction made when two human-made roads cross, but is the Y-shaped trivia found in less tame environments and is created by animals’ travel. Green spoke of paths that connect to make the trivia as wild and dangerous, explaining that a human walking such trails might stumble upon a ferocious animal, and an animal traveling thusly through the forest might come upon a hunter. I couldn’t find the passage in the book again that discusses this; I hope I’m not misrepresenting Green’s work.

The day of the ritual, the roads’ deadly possibilities represented moral dangers to me.

Morality is not an abstract, for me. For one thing, when I do not make moral decisions, my good fortune diminishes. The diminishment isn’t always related to the decisions, per se. Poor ethical choices block me from blessings. Ethical choices increase not only my wholeness of spirit but also the wholeness of my finances, physical health, and every other part of me. For example, when I sink endlessly into worry about finances, income dwindles if not outright evaporates. It is only human to fret. But, at least in my particular case, living in that mindset is being self-involved, which isn’t a virtuous state.

I’m not implying poor ethical choices cause all misfortunes. I was talking about my own life. Plus, my good fortune is far from dependent upon my flawed, human efforts. My generous Gods have my back. But any of my problems not of my own making can be exacerbated by my poor choices.

I cannot speak for other people, but I am by nature a selfish stubborn person, who suffers from ego. I do not know if these propensities in me are greater than in anyone else, but they have caused me great suffering. I work hard doing everything I can to do away with these flaws, but, being human, will never reach that goal.

I recently hit a point where I felt I had to dedicate myself to my efforts to eradicate the aforementioned traits more than ever. More about that in a bit.

There are always opportunities for my selfishness and false ego to exert themselves. For example, it’s easy for me to condemn someone hoarding supplies during the outbreak. My reaction to hoarders is pure ego. Instead of climbing up on my high horse by harshly judging someone, I want to remember we are all flawed, and we’re all in a growth process, learning and growing, so there is no logic in judging.

It is easy to spot obvious immoralities, such as hoarding supplies during the pandemic. It is harder to spot subtler immoralities, such as condemning hoarders. Flaws can be sneaky, disguising themselves so that we don’t see them in ourselves.

The overinflated ego of judging others hurts me. Grandiosity can make me feel I am above the need to look at my own failures. Time spent in outrage is time I need to look at my own errors that day, cook myself a good meal, and otherwise be good to me. Plus the time I spend judging others is time needed for being of use to community.

Judging others also closes heart and mind, not only to the those judged but to everything. I want my heart and mind open to the Goddess’ guidance about ways I can support my community during the pandemic. I want to do everything I can as a shaman and human to help folks—myself included—stay on an even keel, stay whole, stay on top of things, and remain effective.

It’s impossible to walk on air like a saint. However, my past experiences of major crisis taught me how to keep returning to an even keel, keep returning to practices that build wholeness, and thus stay on top of things and be effective.

For me, listening to my Gods and staying close to Them is a priority. It helps me stay centered and strong, so I’m able to take good care of myself and be of maximum service. And I need Their constant guidance to be effective. They give me ideas about everything from the logistics of executing a mundane chore that seems beyond my limited physical capabilities, to the creation of specific shamanic events that’d serve folks well right now.

Important aside: My upcoming three week event is one such event: https://stardrenched.com/2020/03/16/upcoming-event-3/

Crisis and trauma are crossroads at which I grow—even if I can only do so quite slowly—or go down big time. The chances for selfishness and false ego to emerge quadruple. So, given that the societal traumas of the past year have impacted me, I’ve dedicated myself more than ever to pursuing surrender, service, and egolessness.

As an example, here’s one way the chances to stumble ethically increase: possibility of hardship can make one feel like one must do something wrong in order to survive. The expression It’s just business embodies that attitude. It excuses ill behavior by positioning the choice for morality in the face of survival threats as a new and different quandary, specific to one’s own situation, instead of as a core aspect of spiritual struggle since earliest human times. In fact, we might say that, in a way, (and only in a way), the dilemma of choosing one’s spiritual ideals over survival might be the essence of morality (or an essence). This is not to suggest that one should not fight for survival. Survival can be the moral choice.

I hope the above paragraph or anything else in this essay doesn’t sound preachy, judgmental, and black-and-white, as if 1) anything less than perfection makes you a complete failure, 2) we should shame ourselves for the least mistake, and 3) I alone know the correct steps in crisis, and thus am capable of making moral decisions for you. To the contrary, I believe that, under the pressure of crisis, people might need more than ever to be gentle with themselves and others: more than ever accept how imperfectly we act, more than ever esteem the littlest step we take toward our moral ideals, more than ever honor every act of kindness we make, and more than ever respect the need to take breaks from solving problems.

And I surely don’t know what anyone other than myself needs to do.

In any case, moving on: Many of us on spiritual paths can easily fall into focusing on spirituality as a tool only for personal gain. E.g., “If I meditate to be more serene, I’ll be more levelheaded. Then I’ll be able to earn a better living.” Though I think using spiritual tools to enrich one’s material life is healthy and important, and I teach that sort of application, it’s not healthy for me if it’s the whole picture. I need spirituality to also be a means by which I stay in shape to be of maximum service to the Gods and all Their children.

I have watched people who, when navigating hard times, cleaved to Spirit solely as a tool for their own sole betterment. It backfired, increasing their selfishness, false ego, and bitterness, and often causing them serious financial, romantic, and other problems. Some of those folks persisted endlessly along the same path, which turned them into horribly harmful people. It frightened me. I don’t want to be like that.

And, as I said, if my spirit is not in reasonable shape, neither are my finances or anything else.

Moreover, when I forget spiritual tools were gifted me both for my own personal betterment and to keep myself in shape to be useful, I find myself on an emotionally distressed hamster-wheel, with thoughts like, “I’ve got to improve myself. If I don’t, there’s going to be a disaster. If I don’t there’s going to be a disaster. A disaster. A disaster.”

Then, focusing on spiritual tools as a means to getting in shape to serve restores my balance, peace, common sense, joy in life, and trust that the Gods have my back.

I had three choices standing at the trivia. Going backwards didn’t seem a choice because you can never return to the past. But I could stay where I was. Sometimes that’s the moral stand. For example, I might need time to be with what I’m feeling, or to rest and gather the strength to move forward, or to choose which direction to take, or to plan my first steps along the road I choose. (Self-care is a virtue.) And sometimes I am just stuck. Moving forward is more than I can manage, and I can make a choice to accept that, and thereby surrender to life as it is, since I too, even when I’m stuck, am part of life.

My second option was the right hand pathway forward (I don’t know why it was to the right). On it, I could move forward into once again deepening my commitment to serving, surrendering to my Gods, and letting go of false ego.

The left-hand path was also a path to greater surrender, usefulness, and egolessness, with one difference—compassion for myself.

I realized, looking with my otherworldly eyes, the right-hand path at my particular crossroads included constantly chastising myself for not changing fast enough and for not being “better.”

That path also required I view each of my missteps, no matter how small, as proof that I’m a complete moral failure, and that my vigorous moral strivings are insincere. Forgetting that we all stumble a great deal, I’d live in fearful certainty that my smallest error would lead to moral, emotional, financial, or other disaster. The path also had me traveling along, all the while overlooking my improvements and all the good I do.

Whereas on the left path, I’d learn to walk toward my goals with compassion for myself. That self-care would consist of
* acknowledging that we grow bit by bit (with occasional, magnificent leaps and bounds)
* celebrating my progress
* being gentle with myself when I fall short
* admitting my errors without becoming fatalistic
* recognizing my dedication and the vigorousness of my efforts
* honoring my achievements—great and small
* seeing the good I do
* and enjoying the celebratory pleasure of being grateful to the Gods for giving me the ability to do the things in this list.

Two of many reasons I love my friend, Jenn Campus, is that she keeps surrendering to life and focusing on service. The day after the ritual, I happened to see an exquisitely worded Instagram post of hers (she had not been at my ritual): “We have yet to see the spring of this pandemic period. We are still in the brutal winter—wondering if our stores will see us through, wondering who will be standing with us on the other side of it…even if we will be one of the ones still standing. … In the words of Sophie Mainguy, a French ER Doctor: ‘We are not at war and we do not have to be at war. … The firm ambition of a service to life is enough. There is no enemy. There is another organism living in full migratory flow and we must stop so that our respective currents do not collide too much. We are at the pedestrian crossing and the light is red for us.’ ”

Jenn’s post is related to what we did at the ritual. I love my fellow seekers.

The doctor’s eloquent statement about remaining quarantined to avoid the coronavirus has meaning on the mystical plane, as I am sure the good physician knows. For me, that layer speaks of abiding by life however it manifests, which for my own practice is the same as surrendering to my Gods.

Surrender to life is not about giving up or being a doormat. I will continue to stand up for my rights and the rights of others.

Surrender is not about forsaking all pleasure. Surrender helps me use the enormous amount of ethical magical and mundane power available to create the world I want, a world of joy, beauty, and abundance.

Surrender also helps me be of maximum service, whether I am providing shamanic services for my beloved clients, or dialoging with the vet as I try to understand her patient but nevertheless confusing dietary proposal for my ever sick kitty.

During the ritual yesterday, I felt Diana blessing the path I chose. I felt the power She gave me to do what I need as I begin along that path. I felt chills throughout my body from the starlight, moonlight, and sunlight with which Diana filled me.

I also knew Her amazing help that day wasn’t enough. I’d need Her continual help as I walked that path. I have to constantly rely on my Gods. I don’t remember the prayer I said about getting divine help along the road I’d chosen, but I wrote a comparable prayer. Here it is, should it be helpful to you:

Magna Mater, Great Mother of All, Bear Madonna,
and Our Good Father, Co-Creator of All,
Wild and kind horned Pater,
please give me the power and wisdom
needed on the path ahead,
each step today and in these coming months.

Help me affirm:
I have a healthy ego.
I release my false ego.
I acknowledge my limits.
I acknowledge my limitlessness.
I celebrate my inner and outer beauty.

I dedicate myself to joy, usefulness, and power. I give myself to My Divine Parents, that You may shape me and use me as You will. Your desires are also mine, deep within my cells, even if unknown to me for now. I can and do create the amazing loving, beautiful world I truly want. So mote it be.*

I will probably need to make that prayer a lot in the coming year.

The ritual described above was one of the free rites I lead once a month. I’d love it if you joined me in any of them. They and other upcoming events are announced in my newsletters. Subscribe for free here: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

I love you, be safe.

* Attribution: I read spiritual literature of all kinds. As a shaman, I seek the core of reality, and it is found in disparate places. There’s an Alcoholics Anonymous prayer in which are the words God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.

My prayer’s words I give myself to My Divine Parents, that You may shape me and use me as You will are an adaptation of the Alcoholics Anonymous words I quoted. Their sentiments, for me personally, are vital to me, absolutely vital to my spiritual, psychic, physical, and financial well-being, and every other imaginable aspect of my well-being.