A Pinch of Faerie Dust

Elder Flower Witchery

EldrCstrd

I’m an empty-my-cupboard-into-a-bowl-and-see-how-it-comes-out sort of cook.

OK, I don’t cook that randomly. But I do often look through my cupboard to see what’s there and experiment with it.

So today I’m making a custard of milk, eggs, bananas, raisins, lemon zest, grated nutmeg, and … a sprinkling of elderflower. What the heck!

I love elder flowers and hoped their sweet delicacy might perfectly complement the light flavor of custard and the richness of banana.

Also, adding them felt like adding a pinch of Faerie dust. Kitchen witchery!

(If I added anything else to the mixing bowl, I’ve already forgotten it, LOL.)

Above is a pic of the custard ready to go into the oven. Here’s hoping the custard tastes good. If not, it is fun to experiment. And it almost always creates a wonderful dish … or at least a good one … or at least a palatable one.

… Later: the custard was Fey ambrosia. I’m so glad I feel the freedom to experiment.

I might not ever be able to duplicate this dish, because I wasn’t writing down what I put in it, but to have tasted it just once is one of those things that makes life worth living. So glad I experiment!

… Oh, wait, I made a big bowl of this stuff. I’m going to get to taste it a couple of times. Thank you, Goddess!

BYABar4

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Green Bowl

GreenBowl

BYABar4

Inside my head, I screamed,
“Somebody pay attention to me!”
I looked down and saw
the barbecue sauce I was making
was beautiful in its green bowl.
Someone was listening.
But it was not me,
not until I demanded my due.

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I Suggest

ISuggest

BYABa3

Deep inside me, a voice screams, terrified.
I suggest she screams, “The Goddess loves me!”
We both feel better. The Goddess does too.

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Wyrd Witch

Wearing something weird wyrd in my hair makes my heart expand. This is what I’m wearing in my hair today:

WyrdFsnctr2B

I couldn’t get a good photo of it on me this morning. Hence photos of it on a manikin (in 2016, when I made the piece).

I sculpted the piece from wool, added Swarovski pearls and crystals, then attached a barrette.

WyrdFsnctr2

I love being weird/wyrd. It’s part of my magic. … Heh, I guess you could call me a “wyrd witch.”

BYABar4

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The Creative Jenn and Roberto Campus

DOY KS - Title Spread BasicMy friends Jenn and Roberto Campus are a husband and wife creative team, inspired by mythology, the Fantasy genre, and the Old Gods. Since they met, they’ve worked together on projects they are passionate about. They dream about living a life off the grid and working by natural light and candlelight. Check out their new project on Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ydalirpress/dreams-of-ydalir-the-illustrated-fantasy-novel-har.

I know Jenn well because she’s trained with me for years in shamanism. I’ve gotten to know Roberto since we are both painters. And I can tell you they pour immense love and caring into their work. So I’m delighted by their new project and wanted Jenn to tell you about it. Here’s our conversation:

Francesca: Your new project is a book called Dreams of Ýdalir. What is it all about?

Jenn: In a nutshell, it really stems from our devotion to our Gods and telling Their unknown and untold stories. Our underlying reason for doing so is to try to add beauty and richness to those stories as a way to facilitate the return of the Old Gods into the everyday lives of Their people. By writing the book, we have started to create a rich world where mythology and fantasy meet. This also led us to design an evolving line of products for Etsy that are inspired by the story and the mythology surrounding the story and its characters.

Francesca: So you have a Kickstarter for the book running right now. Tell me more about the story and who might want to read it.

Jenn: The year is 1794, Fawn is a seventeen-year-old orphaned girl, living in the Scottish lowlands. When she begins having strange dreams of a flame-haired woman named Elen who appears to be part human, part deer and Wuldor, a mysterious dark-haired woodsman gifts her with a magical deer mask that allows her to travel to other worlds. So she believes she has the resources to finally find her own fey-touched mother. As her relationship with these mythical beings deepens, she writes it all down in her journal. Through this coming of age tale, she is gifted with their divine stories and learns her true origins. Where Norse Mythology and Mists of Avalon meet, this is also the untold love story of the Gods, Ullr (Wuldor) and Elen of the Ways.

The book is getting attention from Fantasy fiction fans, Fantasy art fans, Norse mythology buffs, comic book readers, young adults, people who love strong female leads, Pagans, and a lot of other readers.

Francesca: What is your personal connection to the subject?

Jenn: This story has my heart and soul wrapped up in it. I am honored to have Wuldor (Ullr) and Elen of the Ways as my patron God and Goddess. Elen first came to me in the mid ’90s, and it literally took me 2 decades to understand that others also knew Her and worked with Her. She is a mysterious Goddess of the Wildwood, and Her story is heartbreaking and powerful. Then there is Wuldor who has wanted His story, this story told for the past several years. There is not much known about Him in “the literature” beyond that He is son of the Goddess Sif and the Stepson of the God Thor and that He is tied into hunting and winter sports. But He has an amazing story that I have been able to patch together to create a rich tapestry, and so the book also includes fundamental truths spoken by the Gods themselves to help us understand our own place in the cosmos.

Some other personal parts of the story is that I love journaling, and so creating a book that is also a young woman’s journal has made the writing much more intimate. I have been through many struggles that are similar to those of my heroine, Fawn, and that is why a lot of my heart and soul is in this book. I have even included a little of my family history by including some peripheral stories about my Scottish Clan, the Boyds. There is even a cameo of one of my favorite writers, Robert Burns!

Francesca: What is it like working on this project with Roberto, who is both your husband and the artist for the book?

Jenn: Roberto and I have been working together on projects for the past decade. He is the most talented artist I know and has listened to my stories about Wuldor and Elen for years, so he knows them intimately and has really brought them and the other characters in the book alive. He had a career creating illustrations for many famous publishers like Marvel and DC Comics, the Game of Thrones and War of Warcraft TCGs as well as Dungeons and Dragons and Gurps, so he has an immense passion for Fantasy.

We work so well together because we have complimentary skills and very similar interests. Every writer needs an amazing illustrator, and every illustrator longs for the stories behind their images to be told. We make a great team.

Francesca: Well, I always enjoy the work you too do. It is filled with heart and utterly without pretense. Thanks for giving me the chance to tell my website visitors about Dreams of Ýdalir.

Jenn: Thanks for telling them! Great to talk with you!

Click here to learn more about Dreams of Ýdalir: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ydalirpress/dreams-of-ydalir-the-illustrated-fantasy-novel-har

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Upcoming Event

Survive … and Thrive … in All Ways:
A Shamanic Empowerment

Starts May 1.

Worry, fear, and resignation are not the default.
Hope, confidence, and victory can be the norm.

ThriveWeb1

Are you facing immense challenges? Or want to improve an already great situation?

Want support to survive physically and spiritually, and to thrive every way possible?

Enroll in this two-month event to live abundantly and beautifully, spiritually and materially both. Receive two services combined for maximum mojo:

1) For two months, three days a week, I send you direct spiritual transmissions. They improve both your circumstances and abilities the exact ways you personally need to survive and thrive on all levels.

Your shamanic empowerment is unique to you: without you giving it a thought, the transmissions tailor themselves to you. Whether you require better skills, better luck, or a variety of improvements, the transmissions cultivate them.

You don’t have to do anything for the direct spiritual transmissions to work. I do the work for you.

2) Shamanic lessons: over the two months, receive seven lessons by email—teachings you can apply despite your busy day.

Five of the lessons strengthen your spirit, focus your energy, and create happiness. You receive instruction in shamanic wisdoms and simple, metaphysical practices. These lessons are brief, to the point, and effective. Use them at your own pace.

ThriveWeb2

These five lessons are digital Book of Shadows entries adorned by my witch art. Enjoy adding them to your personal Book of Shadows and expect lifelong value. Return to them when you want power and inspiration. You receive 12 pages of ornamented metaphysical tips! This post’s two large graphics are adapted from the paintings.

Many participants are shocked and delighted when a lesson addresses exactly what they need, without them having previously told me their situation.

You also receive two lessons—in the body of an email—on how to take maximum advantage of spiritual transmissions generally speaking.

However, check this out: if you use none of the email lessons, the transmissions still work—full tilt! The transmissions stand on their own! I usually charge the price of this event just for the transmissions alone, because they’re great.

But when I reach great, I want to go further. So I offer these lessons. Most people drawn to my work are also drawn to being proactive, so they enjoy the lessons. Rock on!

If you choose to use some or all of the lessons: All seven lessons weave with the spiritual transmissions, creating a shamanic empowerment that is greater than the sum of its parts. Example: the more the transmissions center you into power, the more the lessons work for you. Another example: when the two months end, your inner shifts caused by the spiritual transmissions remain part of you, which makes the lessons remain powerful.

Pay securely with PayPal. Which of the following options work for you?

1) Pay now using the Pay Now button below, and you’re taken care of. Total fee: $250. You don’t need a PayPal account.





2) Use the Subscribe button below to make two automatic monthly payments of $125. Easy! Payments appear on the credit card associated with your PayPal account.





Heart4Shamanism was never meant to be pie in the sky. Shamanism is down-to-earth. Ancient shamans focused on keeping the tribe safe physically and spiritually, making crops and hunts bountiful, and helping the tribe live in beauty. You are my tribe. As a community shaman, my happy focus is supporting you in all of life’s basics, from the ability to earn your living to having beautiful experiences. My tribe has many shamans in it, so if you’re one yourself, I want to support you. We’re all in this together. Choose hope. So mote it be!

Heart2

Magic is no substitute for medical care by a trained physician, psychiatric counseling, or other therapeutic treatments. Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation. My magic may not work for some individuals. Refunds unavailable.

For more info about this event, or to discuss scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade, call 814-337-2490.

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Love, Hope, and Beauty

Love, hope, and beauty—I try to fill life with these. That’s why I made this painting. Making art is making magic!

LHBGrn

BYABa3

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You Are Loved

URLoved

You are loved. I painted this in case you need a reminder. I also painted it as a reminder and affirmation for myself. Doing so was a lovely experience. Art is magic!

BYABa3

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We Are All Goddesses and Gods

It’s lovely how we sometimes affirm ourselves as deities accidentally … or perhaps it’s instinctive.

We are all goddesses, women and men both, and we each have a lot of different goddesses within us.

We are all male gods, too, and we each have a lot of different male divinities within us.

All humans are multifaceted. That is reflected in our sacred nature.

Whatever deity or deities you identify with, do affirm being divinity, because it is a beautiful and joyous and empowering reality.

I think sometimes we affirm ourselves as deity accidentally … or perhaps it’s instinctive. For example, I accidentally affirmed myself as the Goddess Baba Yaga recently. Here’s the story:

Middle of the night, I wanted a model for a painting of Baba Yaga. At 3:00 a.m., there’s not a lot of people you can call. So I looked through my photos and found this one of myself:

ForestHat1

A picture of me wearing a natural-looking hat I wear for warmth when walking in winter woods seemed a good springboard for a portrait of a Goddess who lives in the forest. (Bragging rights: I made the chapeau, including sculpting its feather out of wool.)

Here’s the painting:

BabaYaga

It’s not meant to be an accurate rendition of me. I just needed a jumping-off point.

Nevertheless, the painting process became a meditative self-empowerment. A lot of it was not on a cognitive level; to some extent, the affirmation of my godhood was a subconscious experience that surfaced to the cognitive level later. Getting to depict Baba Yaga using myself as a model was a remarkable and lovely journey, despite being “accidental” empowerment.

In fact, I first started identifying with Her years before I painted Her portrait, but the painting process really deepened the identification.

The Baba Yaga I identify with is not the Baba Yaga in most folk tales. I revisioned that lore. The portrait mirrors that.

Check out my revisioning of Baba Yaga, through her apprentice’s story in my book Baba Yaga’s Apprentice—A Faerie Tale Ritual. My painting of Baba Yaga is an illustration in the book. Click the banner below:

BYABa3

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Why Ebooks Are So Cheap

Why Many Authors Became Impoverished,
Why Ebooks Are So Cheap,
and Why Good Books Are Harder to Find:
A History

When e-books first started, many publishers tried to make poverty-level royalties the norm for e-books, by attempting to strong-arm authors into accepting dismal royalty rates.

Publishers’ tactics worked for several reasons. This was happening right after 9/11, when our economy had tanked. Though professional authors objected to the rates, many other writers hoping to become professionals accepted the royalties, erroneously thinking it was a steppingstone to better rates. They unknowingly helped make poverty-level royalties the norm. They hurt themselves and their fellow writers.

Or, they were folks who’d lost non-writing jobs due to the economy tanking and, desperate to feed the family, accepted subsistence pay as writers.

Francesca De Grandis, 2012

Francesca De Grandis, 2012

One consequence of the abysmal pay is that investigative journalism was squelched. Investigation, composition, and the rest of the labor that makes good journalism requires full-time work. You don’t have time for that if your nine-to-five is an entirely other job.

The same goes for in-depth development of material in any field of writing.

Some people still manage in-depth, informed writing. Since they’re one of the few who remain able to work full-time as a writer, or they work part-time over the years on one project, not as much solid material is published nowadays.

The plethora of information that started to flood the Internet around 2002 often buried the in-depth, excellent material, making it hard to find. This lowered sales for good books, making it all the harder to earn a living as a committed author.

Also, the publishing industry pushed hard to make most e-books cost only a few dollars. After 9/11, many consumers had little expendable money for books. Low prices did not hurt publishers and sellers, who worked in collusion to ensure it was the author who took the hit for the low prices, via bad royalty rates and other unfair deals. Professional authors plummeted into poverty.

The publishing industry in those days was like any other industry; there was a handful of people earning crazily high, and the rest were middle-class and poverty-level workers. As always, really high earners mostly remained untouched.

The publishing industry hid that most pro-writers were just getting by, trying to earn a living for their family and working 24-7 to do it.

The industry’s spreading the misconception that writers live high on the hog destroyed public sympathy for writers getting ripped off. Statistics show that today most professional writers live at poverty level.

Prior to e-books, best-selling authors might not break even on their books. Current e-book prices will definitely not let most writers break even on their books!

I may not break even, though I self-publish. But I do better than if I let a corporation stomp on me. And I have creative independence, so my books can truly serve the reader.

Support independent authors, not media corporations. It’s the only way to foster quality work and not miss out on important texts. Below is a link to my most recent book, completely independent of the corporate world. I self-published, do not sell this book on Amazon, and fulfill orders myself. I did not use a corporation that self-publishes books.

Most important, the book is high-quality work, giving you more value than twenty typical texts. It’s an important project instead of ones hastily thrown together. It truly helps you be happy, effective, and successful, instead of just a bunch of promo copy that says so.

You’re spared the cost of junk.

You’re spared junk that hurts your heart with disappointment and dead ends.

This is an authentic text that will live in your heart always, gently and lovingly empowering you. Buy it here: http://stardrenched.com/2017/02/28/baba-yagas-apprentice/

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