Authenticity with Strangers

Authentic connections can happen with strangers, if one is true to oneself. I recently encountered a beautiful soul. The experience brought home the importance of risking being yourself. Here’s the story.

Cindy commissioned a spirit portrait. Aside from a handful of online communications, she and I did not know each other yet.

I titled her portrait Heart of Stars. (I was thrilled when, channeling the painting, it turned into a picture-poem.) Here it is, followed by the rest of the story.

image

It was amazing getting to know this lovely spirit while channeling her soul portrait. Nevertheless, painting the piece was a little scary, because I was trying to portray a little bit of a soul—the soul of someone I do not know. I worried. What if my perception was wrong and she hated the painting?

But, whew, here’s Cindy’s response to her portrait:

“Oh Francesca, thank you thank you, the painting is how I see my secret self, you are totally amazing! I thought about what I could give you and this poem I wrote last year when I was staying in Gualala you might know it tiny town on northern ca coast

So many stars, I feel small
Then I remember connection with
Goddess, tears come to my eyes
Our Gods power is strong
The Mystery is always with us
Beauty is everything
Beauty is everywhere
Mother I give my life to you
I am special in your eyes
I am worthy Mother
For I am your reflection
I am your eyes, your hands, your heart
I wish to do your will
I want to live my life in unity with you
To live in motion with the word
And the word is you

Thank you again for the painting.
Love, Cindy”

Cindy’s words, filled with heart and beauty, and also touching on things dear to me, such as serving our gods, affirmed an important lesson: When I risk expressing what feels authentic to me, the cosmos responds with its own authenticity. The profound relationship between Cindy’s poem and her portrait, as well as the similarity in our worldviews, demonstrate beautiful connectivity, made possible because she and I both risked expressing ourselves.

Painting a spirit portrait is a great privilege, because I get to glimpse a person’s inner beauty. Everyone has immense inner light. But we may not see it unless we risk showing our own inner self (which, in my case, was painting Cindy’s portrait, because it was my heartfelt view of her).

Just be you. Authentic connections can happen with strangers. Then, as with Cindy and I, we are not strangers anymore.

PortraitBotmBnr

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music, Spirit, The Whole Thing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Constellation of Love

CnstlatnOfLuv

BotmBanrMorFNews
A Constellation of Love
Faerie Contemplation

You need not suffer alone, in your wanting to
be a light for the world.
Many of us shine
shoulder to shoulder with you.
Even if you never meet us.
We’re a constellation of stars.
Each stellar luminescence
brightens all other stars in the sky.
Despite storm and clouds,
our combined glow permeates Gaia.

No effort to love is alone.
All love is supported by immense love.

Stardusted traveler,
thank you for shining next to me.

————–

For more Fey sharing and Faerie announcements, sign up for my free newsletter. http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Posted in Community, Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Muse Loves Fools

MuseLovesFoolsMeme

BotmBevldNwslter

If you cannot view the above graphics:

The Muse Loves Fools:
Tips to Overcome Writer’s—or Another Creative—Block

Many people wait for inspiration before they start writing, and hence never express themselves (or not as much as they might wish). Just write—then inspiration will come.

The act of writing invokes the Muse, because writing requires the willingness to throw yourself into the void. Go into the empty spaces that She loves to fill.

(Or, if you prefer, the act of writing opens a channel inside you, through which your deepest thoughts and feelings can surface.)

Yes, sometimes Muse (our deep self) inspires us before we ever write—but not as much. Once you start to write, She blesses you even in the moments you’re not writing. She’ll visit you constantly with creative ideas and impulses, hound you night and day—because you are now in the void. You were brave, you were foolish, you made a commitment to start from nothing. The Muse loves brave, committed fools who risk juggling nothingness.

If you are creatively blocked not as a writer but in another way, adapt the above advice to the art form in question.

——————–
Sign up for my free newsletter—ideas, events, and other offerings: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birthing Goddess Talisman

This painting and essay tie together seemingly disparate topics—childbirth, honoring your creations, plagiarism, and Ostara, to name a few. I’d love your thoughts on this, truly.

Scroll past the pic for my thoughts on it.

Click on the picture to see an unblurred version.

Click on the picture to see an unblurred version.

Here is purchase info about this art piece: https://www.etsy.com/listing/179731379

I consider this the best of my 2013 paintings because of its insights and enormous talismanic power. It took til 2014 to post it because it brought up a lot for me. I needed time to write about it.

Birthing Goddess. Cosmic egg within Her womb. Milky Way spiraling through Her breasts. By Her very stance, you see She makes no apologies for Her raw primal power.

A client phoned when I was painting this piece. I hadn’t intended it to be a Birthing Goddess. When my client shared her situation, I put the painting away to help her, but also realized the painting needed to be a Birthing Goddess.

I have the best job ever—I am a shaman. The client who phoned was 40+ hours into labor. There was no medical problem, and she had fabulous midwives; things were just slow. So I did long-distance shamanic work for her, and things started moving along more. Life doesn’t get any better than this—supporting a powerful woman in the sacred miracle of life.

I had yet another astounding experience when I returned to painting. I love my life! The Goddess told me She wanted her legs portrayed as braced. Wow, of course She would brace them, to give birth as She stood! Then I realized I should not close off the bottom part, as is usually done with this Goddess figure. It should be left open, for ease of birth. I painted more, then realized the upraised arms of this archetype were a woman bracing herself during labor. So I painted braced arms. Then, shaping the last parts, I realized the part below the spiral was the opened birth passage—simultaneously both os and vulva. At which point, I had the extraordinary experience: I saw that this figure must have originally been a birthing symbol. It’s inherent in its shapes. And the primeval power of this flooded me, like stardust pouring through me.

BirthingGoddessDetail2Mind you, the image is inherently other things as well. (Hence my other paintings of this archetype.) A symbol of great depth touches reality’s core, which has many manifestations. For example, the figure is clearly a fertility symbol. But the figure makes such sense as a Birthing Goddess; I suspect that was its origin and, due to its accurate representation of a powerful woman birthing, it has the aforementioned depth and thus touches universal themes.

No wonder so many women love the symbol. Though I’ve never heard or read anyone call it a Birthing Goddess, that must be, at minimum, a subconscious reason for some of the love the symbol receives. Since doing the painting, I’ve researched re this archetype originally being a birthing image. No luck yet, but I will research more.

Given all the above, there are many ways this painting can be used:

To help ease childbirth and protect both mother and child during labor, place this painting on an altar or near a birthing woman.

We birth children, ideas, projects, and communities. Place the artwork on an altar as a focus during a birthing ritual for anything.

Display anywhere in your home as a house blessing.

To see this detail of the painting unblurred, click on it.

To see this detail of the painting unblurred, click on it.

An excellent Spring Equinox (Ostara) altar piece.

Use it as a focus for any other spells, prayers, or meditations you think suitable.

Divinity is beautiful. Display simply as straight-ahead decor to add beauty to any room.

This piece honors Goddess as source, which also makes it excellent on the altar for purposes of worship.

It is also a talisman for acknowledgment of self as source—it helps you honor what you create and provide.

In that vein, the painting is good as a focus for spells to combat plagiarism. In fact, if internet history is any indication, people will blog the same ideas that are in this post or imitate my visual interpretation. (I better use the painting myself for an anti-plagiarism spell.) Mind you, I know I can’t be the only one to have the realizations I’ve delineated above. And I know imitation is flattering. But, imitation without attribution is not “being inspired by someone else’s work;” it is stealing.

Stealing—whether through lack of acknowledging a source or use of material without permission—is a microcosm of betrayal of Goddess Womb as source and as inspiration. No surprise it happens more to women. Stealing the fruits of someone’s labor is part of our culture as a whole, but my heart especially hurts when Pagans plagiarize—it is heartbreakingly ironic.

Thieves creates bad mojo in their goods and services, which hurts people. It makes me want to cry.

But we can reside in Her love and protection. So mote it be.

I bless all my work. This original painting from my heart carries good mojo. This picture, visually and magically, has two aspects: One suits the whole year, and the other is specific to Spring. This helps give the painting its multiple uses as decor and a talisman. If you would like a copy, go to https://www.etsy.com/listing/179731379 Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music, Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Priest(ess) Prayer

Goddess, keep me mindful that a priest(ess) is a servant.

Untitled_artworkHelp me serve Your plan.

May I always know Your plan is best implemented by the means You ask, not by my short-sighted approaches or addiction to unremitting activity.

May I know that serving others is a vital way to love myself.

May I know that care of myself is a vital way to serve others.

May I do work I love as a way to serve.

May I remember: Serving mends those of my wounds that cannot be healed by anything else.

Untitled_artworkIn all exchanges, may I focus on bringing peace, compassion, and empowerment.

When bothered by difficult or even terrible people, may I remember that we are all in this human journey together, doing our best, no matter how poor that best might be.

If I start to match someone’s anger—so that I shift into their myth instead of my own—may I instead hold my own anger within me lovingly, to heal it and make it whole.

May I do the same when starting to match anyone’s other troubling traits.

Self-development can be an important goal of one’s spiritual practices. May it never waylay the equally important purpose: To be made immensely capable of serving.

Goddess, make me Your finely crafted tool, shaped precisely to the work You ask.

But keep me mindful that I’m not the ultimate tool, no matter how well you have honed me. Goddess, help me willingly, happily, and peacefully get out of Your way when You—and You alone—must act.

Let me remain mindful that, paradoxically, self-development is sometimes the same as being made most capable of serving.

I am a priest(ess)—Your servant.
I am a priest(ess)—servant to community.
I am a priest(ess)—servant to Gaia.
I am a priest(ess)—servant to World Tree.
I am a priest(ess)—servant to the Cosmos, its rhythms, and its Love.

I am a priest(ess).

The above 2013 poem, written for my own private devotionals as a priestess, lists some of my core principles regarding service. But I decided to share it here. A major proponent of inner wisdom, self as Deity, and maximum self-development, the courses I teach focus on attaining fullest self expression. But it is not the only focus: The greater the self becomes, the more one must humbly know one’s limits and live in surrender. This paradox is a crux of my teachings. In this seeming contradiction resides ecstatic priesthood. I fully address enlarging the self elsewhere; this prayer mostly focuses on aspects in the other side of the equation.

CnslingBotmBnr2

Posted in Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Priest(ess) Power

Priest(ess) Power: A Direct Spiritual Transmission, starting March 3, 2014

EglThumbnailYou have a special gift. You might express it as an artist, a healer, or something else. Or you might not express it yet.

Receive a spiritual transmission that empowers priesthood: It will help you find and/or strengthen
* your unique gift
* self-expression
* confidence in inner wisdom
*the power to do the work you love
* an experience of self as Deity
* and gut-knowledge that self-care is a vital way to serve others.

imageYour selfhood will grow! However, the above benefits are just part of what you receive. I will give a highly-sophisticated, month-long spiritual transmission that goes much further.

The greater the self becomes, the more one must live in humility and surrender. In this paradox, exists ecstatic priesthood. We can serve Cosmos, its Rhythms, and its Love. So the transmission, in seeming contradiction to the benefits stated so far, also helps you:
* Stay mindful that a priest(ess) is a servant.
* Serve Divine Plan.
* Remember that Divine Plan is best implemented by the means Divinity asks, not by our short-sighted approaches or addiction to unremitting activity.
* Experience how serving others is a vital way to love oneself.
* Learn how serving others mends your wounds that cannot be healed by anything else.
* Bring peace, compassion, and empowerment to all exchanges.

Self-development is an important part of my spiritual practice. I pray it never waylays an equally important purpose: To be made immensely capable of serving. (Self-development is often part of being made capable of serving. But that is already covered in the first list of benefits.) So this far-reaching transmission also helps us strive toward:
* becoming Divinity’s finely-crafted tool, shaped to the work Divinity asks,
* while staying mindful that we are not the ultimate tool, no matter how well we are honed,
* and happily getting out of Divinity’s way when She (He, It, Them, Fred, or Whatever-Else-You-Choose-To-Call-It)—and She alone—must act.

Those are big goals. You are capable of big shifts.

The transmission adapts to your specific needs. No experience needed. But adepts are deeply impacted—for example, the strongest previous headway is strengthened even further.

The transmission is a month-long: I will send you this spiritual transmission five days a week for four weeks, then three additional days on the fifth week, wrapping up on April 2.

Again, it starts March 3.

It is easy to receive this transmission. You do not have to attend an event or do any work. Just sign up for the transmission, and I do the work for you! Scroll down to sign up. Pay what you can honestly afford, whether that is low or high.


Sliding Scale
Please enter your phone number




Upon receipt of payment, I’ll send you email confirmation of registration. No refunds.

Francesca De Grandis, 2013

Francesca De Grandis, 2013

If you need more info or can’t afford payment, phone me. 814-337-2490. I do not discuss this work by email.

A shamanic treatment does not substitute for medical care by a physician, psychiatric counseling, or other therapeutic treatment. Participants are personally responsible for the consequences of their voluntary participation. This spiritual treatment is extraordinarily effective, but may not work for some individuals.

This spiritual empowerment is an act of self-love and love for others. Register now.

EagleBar

Posted in Classes, Books, and Other News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Magic Doors

Creative process clears the mind, so we can better understand our life and ourself.

Detail from My Door, Francesca De Drandis.

Detail from My Door, Francesca De Grandis.

I love faerie tales in which a magic door appears and opens to another world. I wanted to paint such a portal.

But the story’s been done so many times. I needed to portray something new—make sure the door was painted in a way that was true, and original.

I couldn’t get a grip on executing that, until I realized it had to be my own door—the one that I personally go through. Mind you, I did not fully understand what that meant, did not fully know what “my door” is. But just knowing it was mine was enough to start painting.

Besides, had I fully understood, there would’ve been no point in starting the painting, because there would have been no adventure.

There was still a surprise though, revealed well into the painting process. Little did I realize that my door was going to be the door to my home.

Let me be clear as to what I’m saying. Often, when a magic door appears in a story, the person who walks through it feels at home for the first time. They’re in another realm. They are finally in a world that makes sense. That is not what I’m referring to right this second (although the painting surely does refer to that). But right this second, I’m talking about realizing that the door I was painting was the door to the home where I already live and sleep and cook and write and paint.

This realization should’ve been self-evident, given my lifestyle, and who I am, but it’s amazing how oblivious we humans can be. And amazing how the creative process clears some of the oblivion—so I could better understand my door, my home, and myself. Heh, creativity too is a magic door.

Below is the painting. Scroll past it for the rest of the blog.

My Door, Francesca De Grandis. For info about purchasing this talismanic painting and using it ritually, click on the open doorway.

My Door, Francesca De Grandis. For info about purchasing this talismanic painting and using it ritually, click on the open doorway.

There was another theme to this piece and to my process: Spring beginning. Outside the door, the foliage on trees begins; and a potted plant has been put out onto the stoop after the long cold winter. I was exploring the transition between the hearth’s indoors mysteries and spring’s mystical burgeoning. I will display this painting on my altar when I celebrate Spring Equinox.

Exploring the beginning of Spring was part of meditating on a theme beyond the season: Thresholds and magic. A contemplation on a time of transition and embracing possibility. Again, the creative process became a door, in the sense of helping me see … well, see life’s doors, LOL.

Detail, My Door, Francesca De Grandis

Detail, My Door, Francesca De Grandis

My Door—this painting is dedicated to my students. They know why, probably. But to explain to someone who doesn’t know me: Even before I became a shut-in (due to disabilities), I taught almost all my classes in my home. Teaching in my home was crucial to me spiritually. Hundreds of people have sat in my living room, which has blessed me tremendously. Painting this picture allowed me to muse on years of joy, and to celebrate joy I still receive because I still teach in my home. Now I do it through group phone calls, or in one-on-one phone calls. But it is still us, in a personal visit, walking between stars together.

Also dedicated to one very special patron of my art. (And I say to her, “I bet you know why. If not, let me know.)” She is a patron of my (he)art.

For info about purchasing this talismanic painting and using it ritually, go to: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177459101/my-door-limited-first-edition-print.

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music, Community, Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Faerie Taoism

Faerie Taoism

image

If you can’t see the above graphics, here is their text:

Faerie Taoism

We’re born magic.
Born stardust.
Born touching
Divinity.

Be magic.
Be Stardust.
Touch Divinity.

It is effortless,
because
it is who you are.

It is effortless;
allow yourself to be
who you are.

It is effortless.
It is who you are.

——————

I’m thrilled! New magics in my shop—check it out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/outlawbunny

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music, Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free Ritual Jan, 2014

image

BotmBevldNwslter

If you cannot view the above graphics:

Fellow Stardusted Traveler,

Please join me for a ritual on Thursday, January 16, from noon to 1:00 EST.

One of my favorite quotes is “The last thing we learn is simplicity.”

Simplicity. The ritual will respond to the inner need to streamline our day, and let all dross fall away, so that we spend each day on our dearest goals.

We’ll create a 2014 that is peaceful and sincere, instead of being swayed by New Year promotional hype or other nonsense that appears in the coming year.

The event is a group phone call. Free and open to all. (You might pay long-distance charges, depending on your long-distance plan. If so, they appear on your phone bill. The event is a U.S. area code.).

No experience needed.

To participate, call 1-712-775-7000. When prompted, enter 1095248#. Dial three to five minutes before noon; it can take a bit to connect, and latecomers are not allowed.

Mark your calendar. Let’s start a great 2014 together.

In starlit fellowship, Francesca De Grandis

PS Sources contradict author of the above quote.

I hope you sign up for my newsletter because I am all about sharing the journey with fellow star-dusted travelers. Yes! Here is the link: http://www.outlawbunny.com/newsletter/

Posted in Classes, Books, and Other News, Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dark Is Still Deep

Happy new year! A blessing on our 2014: Music about post-Yule darkness and light.

The Dark Is Still Deep
Francesca De Grandis

The light returns.
My friends draw near,
my friend the deer,
my friend the air,
my friend the Bear,
my friends who care.

The dark is still deep.
The snow is still steep.
My soul will still sleep
in dreams of a God who sleeps
in dreams of me.

The Light returns.
My friends draw near,
my friends who care,
my friends who care,
my friends who care.

Written/recorded 2011. What I said about it then: “Day after solstice. I needed a new song to sing to God and self tonight, so had to write it. I look forward to when I have time to get into my recording studio, cause I want to build harmonies and instrumentation and, oh, I am jazzed. But tonight, I recorded with the app built into my iPhone. So forgive audio quality, but it’s that or nothing. The skull is so you have something to look at other than me desperately trying to read lyrics and melody while holding the camera. I love writing complex melodies but wrote a simple song tonight, bc I needed something to sing right away. Had the simplicity not worked, I would have stopped the project, knowing it was not meant to be. I am not saying I give up on difficult writing; I will take forever to get a song; but I wanted a song to use right away, and if I could not write something worth singing, I would have stopped the writing.”

image

Posted in Art, Writing, and Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment