Art + Writing = Magic

I’m often asked about my process as an artist. Ditto as a writer. So today I’ll discuss how they intertwined in one of my books, Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast.

Parents had told me about their hard time finding life tools for their kids to deal with our crazy world, e.g., school cliques, as well as an earth spirituality worldview that would also help their kids with such challenges. As part of this, the parents wanted simple relevant magics for their children.

So I decided to write a book to cover all that. But when choosing what sort of book to write, I try to make it as multifaceted as possible so that it is of maximum use. I spend a lot of time meditating on the best approach, as well as brainstorming with friends.

This led me to think about many parents being overly busy. I decided the book should be a 365: Parents could do just a tiny bit each day, which is a manageable way to teach earth-spirituality, life tools, and simple magics.

The next challenge was how to make this book concise but still deep and relevant. Coming up with life tools for children is no small undertaking.

FrontCoverMore meditation led me to remember that one of my creative blocks is not recognizing what I’ve already accomplished and instead thinking I have to start all over. I remembered I’d already spent years creating life tools and a grounded philosophy, and also endlessly boiling down those sophisticated concepts into short accessible phrases. I love ideas and words-smithing!

It may seem odd that all the work I’d done did not come to mind initially. But, like I said, forgetting what I’ve already done is a creative block I have.

Mind you, I still needed to do an immense amount of writing, but some rough material already existed.

From what I’ve written above, you can see an important part of my creative process is taking my time. That allows things to develop fully.

In fact, another step was that my really high ideals gave me a nagging feeling I could add even more value to the book.

Continued meditation and brainstorming with parents made me see another pivotal support my friends needed: I wanted the book’s daily entries to nurture their offspring while simultaneously giving daily spiritual nurture to the parents.

Yup, this book needed to be complex yet easy and accessible.

At which point I realized the text would be great for ANY way-busy person who wants magical, loving days. Hence the last part of the book’s title. Here is the full title:

Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast: A Daily Reader for Busy Parents and Their Children . . . and for Any Way-Busy Person.

(The daily entry is usually brief—often only a sentence or two. And hence the front cover’s tag line: “Spiritual reading that fits into your day.”)

Patiently allowing things to develop, so I could bit by bit develop a vision of the project (and following through by working my butt off, LOL) resulted in a book I can be proud of.

I should add that self-publishing the book allowed me to make it truly multifaceted. Though I have been blessed that major houses and other established houses have published some of my very complex books, they have rejected twice as many as they accepted. I even got a rejection letter that said, “This book is too multifaceted. We could never get our executives to market it.” (I framed the rejection.)

Next, let’s look at where visual art wove into Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast. I wanted this book’s visual sensibility to suggest an ancient text discovered in a forgotten attic (but with a modern revisioning), so the pages would convey magic not just through their words but through their looks.

I love mystical, archaic texts, with their differently sized and shaped black-and-white ornamentations. I didn’t want my book to have the modern look of all identical pages or pages whose graphics always fit the same space. I wanted the old-fashioned look of each page being different.

So I learned to do layout and painted ornamentation for almost every page, all my original art. The ornamentations are different shapes and sizes. For each to fit into its page and to give each page a different feel, I had to lay out most pages individually.

It was a lot of work but it felt really important. I’d taken enormous care with the book’s text, honing concepts and language for years, and felt the book’s visual aspect should mirror that, and add another dimension of care, love, and magic to the project.

Also, both the title Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast and a daily mystical reading imply that spirituality and magic are part of life, not separate. I wanted the visual look of the book to convey that integration, because some folks learn from images, not just from words. The integration of lessons that fit gently into your day, instead of lessons that propose an unrealistic amount of spiritual and magical progress, allow us to actually move ahead and make positive changes.

One of the great things about taking a lot of effort with a project is that you learn a lot. You always keep growing.

Having learned so much about layout and ornamentation from doing Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast, I’m self-publishing another book soon which I’ve been able to ornament far more elaborately and in full color. I am really jazzed about the magical power of its ornamentation.

Sprinkling Faerie Dust on Breakfast is for pagan family reading, UUs, and alternative thinkers.

Please let me know what you think about this post.

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Filigree Fantasy, Pt Two

This is blog part two on my new hobby: making fantasy jewelry from Victorian-styled and other vintage-style components.

Thank you for your supportive feedback on my first post about this. I feel encouraged to keep trying.

I was gonna make this stuff for me and a few friends only, but after your feedback, I might sell some eventually. Thanks muchly!

Today, I’m posting more of my initial designs—my beginner’s attempts—and sharing my creative process.

This is not a how-to. My designs are copyrighted.

Sharing my process may be more useful for you, to help you plan your own designs. You’ll love working with vintage-style components.

I’m sharing lots of my experiences today because I think, when we speak about our creative process, we help each other.

The piece in the first two pics is called Faerie Queen. The most recent I have a photo of, it’s also the first I feel is structurally sound, so I’m getting closer to making pieces to sell. (More below about needing to finesse some structural problems before I will sell this sort of jewelry.)

FaerieQueen2Unless noted otherwise, all the amazing metal components in these pics were purchased from Susan Street at Design your own pieces, with Susan’s great supplies.

Willie, note the vintage glass Japanese rose in the necklace. It is the one I’d said I would send you some of. It has a little hole in which I set a Swarovski rhinestone.

Willie, you sent me the green glass square!

(Willie Zuniga, bless her heart, surprised me with a gift of glass “gems,” gorgeous vintage buttons, and more. I’ve been busy coming up with ideas for this bounty.)

Constructing jewelry from metal components does not come naturally to me, the way fine-art freeform beadweaving does.

My learning disability makes this sort of work hard (but does not impact beadweaving), so it’s been a struggle making these pieces, technically speaking. You can imagine, therefore, that any praise thrilled me.

Most of the feedback is not here, since much of it happened in social media, so here is one example: Susan Street, a master at this sort of jewelry making, posted on her Facebook page, “Francesca tells me that she is a beginner. I would say that she was born for this. … beautiful work.”

Nope, not born for it, far from it, LOL. But soooo thrilled you think my work looks that way.

Bead weaving develops very different skills than needed for this work. (If I become adept at using metal components, I might combine the two approaches.)

VictorianCabHere’s an example of my beadweaving designs for comparison.

Creating new designs and figuring out technically how to implement them is taking lots of trial and error—I have to keep rethinking the construction. It’s been time-intensive.

But getting experience through experimenting suits me. As a hands-on learner, I figure out more about achieving the looks I want every time I attempt making a piece.

Do not let my challenges discourage you from trying your hand at using components—it would’ve been easy if I’d started by making simple items. I dived in at the deep end of the pool, wanting to wear elaborate pieces.

Start with simple stuff!

If you want a tutorial with simple earrings you can make, let me know.

The next piece, called Green Soul, gave me trouble. For one thing, it swings around to show its back. I do not mind, but don’t want that for my customers. (Yay, since then, I figured out how to create pieces that do not swing around.)


Since my personal learning style is hands-on and figuring things out as I go, I’d make a small purchase, to see how things went once I got my hands on the items. That would show me the right items to order next, to finish pieces I was working on.

Plus, experimenting helped me get clear enough to ask the right questions, about what supplies would suit the designs I was developing. Susan very kindly responds to technical questions, with detailed answers.

Sometimes simple stuff waylays me, eg not knowing what type jump ring would not be pulled apart by the heavy weight cabochon I wanted to use. (I’d never used jump rings with a cabochon. Instead, I’d weave the cabochon’s setting and bail out of seed beads, like in the above beadweaving. In fact, the cab in question is just like the one in the above beadweaving: quite heavy.) Susan promptly addressed my question about jump rings.

Though I’ve been copyrighting the designs, I didn’t initially envision myself selling this sort of jewelry. I was clearly fooling myself, LOL.

But thus far, each piece except Faerie Queen has a structural problem that I don’t mind for myself but would never foist off on a customer.

Nothing wrong with a high standard for what I sell.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m a beginner with this stuff. I started making this style jewelry less than three months ago. To some extent, I’m developing my own way of structurally putting these pieces together but, if my experience with fine art bead-weaving is an example, I’ll eventually design sound structures, then I can sell items.


The above piece is called Woven Safely with God, and kind of a started this whole journey. I love fluorite beads for metaphysical reasons, but wanted something fancier than the fluorite necklaces I’d been wearing. I also had a 40 x 30 fluorite cabachon that is not attractive. So I tucked it inside a filigree I’d folded, where it peeks out nicely.

A few structural problems I am learning to fix:

1) My initial pieces do not always hang right when worn. For example, the fleur-de-lis on Grande Dame (see it in the first blog) flips behind the pink glass sometimes. I do not mind fussing with it when I wear it, but a customer shouldn’t have to do that. And one of the other pieces twists in a way I can easily untwist but someone not as crafty would have trouble.

2) I am new to using glue the ways needed in this sort of jewelry making. And I just do not understand glue! I do not trust it!

The glue I have is used by artisans who sell high end jewelry, but my learning disability makes glue a mystery! I am going to wear some pieces I made a long time before I trust the way I use the glue will hold fast.

WovnSaflyWGod2Time and experiments will make a big diff, but it is frustrating. Eg, I spent a good many hours on what I thought was finally a salable structure. It did not work. Aargh.

Do not be deterred when frustrated. Share my new addiction for Susan’s ornate components.

I’ve spent hours exploring her inventory, to find more and more pieces to implement my fey visions.

I’ve also spent hours reading her free technical lessons as I play with supplies I ordered.

The lessons are filled with technical gems. Repeated reading helps me catch things I’d originally missed—I can be slow to understand mechanical and spacial stuff.

It was on her instructional site I got the idea to kinda hide the not-so-great fluorite cabochon. (I am committed to attributing source!)

The next piece is called “Ssshhh, Faerie Queen,” as in “Do not tell anyone its wearer is Queen of Faerie.”

The above bail is made from a piece Susan suggests folding in half as a bail. I did it a bit differently: After folding it in half, I rolled the back half into a tube, for a more secure bail.

I made the bail big so it could be used as a pendant or on a stick pin. The stick pin in the picture is not from Susan’s shop, but everything attached to the little bead hanging off the end of the stick pin is purchased from her.

I wrapped filigree around the green “gem.” I love how it glistens, peeking through the filigree. I learned how to filigree wrap from Susan’s lessons and from trial and error.

I had to solve many technical hurdles myself—such is the way of creating new designs and learning a craft. But Willie generously answered tech questions too.

SshhhFeyQueen2Willie even suggested a few filigrees that would wrap the way I needed for some of my designs. Willie, all these designs were made before your filigree wrapping tips in our recent conversations, so I should only improve from here.

Check out Willie’s gorgeous jewelry. She’s very generous: A substantial amount of earnings from her jewelry funds free jewelry classes for hospital patients

Thanks for sharing my creative journey. Let me know which of my experiences help you. Big hugs.



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Filigree Fantasy


I started a jewelry designing adventure in March, which I have to share.

I wanted to design elaborate fantasy necklaces for myself.

A Victoriana lover, I began working with Victorian-styled and other vintage-style components. This post has some of my initial designs using the components, even though they’re my beginner’s attempts. (These are not for my shop, I’m just having fun for now.)

I couldn’t get the photos I wanted of the above piece: you can’t see the pink pendant’s luscious color and sparkle peek through the fleur-de-lis. I call this necklace Grande Dame: it is quite a large piece; see the insert in the next picture. Some of the beads are probably Swarovski; I am unsure bc I upcycled them.


Unless noted otherwise, all the amazing metal components in these pics were purchased from Susan Street, at

One thing that drew me to vintage-style stampings and similar components is that people reshape them—or even cut them apart—to set stones, make bails, and adorn stones. I drew on those techniques in the design below. I call it Cowgirl Faerie Queen, LOL. I feel very special wearing it!


The bail of Cowgirl Faerie Queen is filigree I rolled into a large tube, so I can hang the piece as a pendant or necklace. I also wrapped a filigree around the main stones to set them. Then I cut apart a vintage-style pressing and wrapped the portions around the pendant for ornamentation. The stick pin in the picture is not from Susan’s shop, but everything attached to the little bead hanging off the end of the stick pin is purchased from her.

Making jewelry from the components is a blast! And wearing the pieces makes me feel otherworldly and very fancy. :-)

But designing and constructing the pieces is completely different from what I’m used to—fine art beadweaving. There’s been a real learning curve. A lot of experimentation was necessary. The following example of my beadweaving designs is for comparison.


My point is, its handful of medium size beads aside, this bracelet is lotsa tiny beads, woven together much like lace is made, with very thin thread. Beadweaving entails different skills and structural designs from those required in my new adventure, e.g., reshaping filigree in a way it becomes a secure stone setting.

The design below is called Gentle Soul. The enamel floral element is a sterling silver earring of my mom’s, the mate of which was lost. I was afraid to clip off its back, in case I wouldn’t be able to integrate it into a new piece, and would’ve ruined this beautiful old earring. But I am glad I clipped. I glued it to filigree I had rolled into a bail.


Gentle Soul has some tiny beads that I think are Swarovski. The red bead on the bottom is from a necklace I purchased decades ago. The wee blue bead below it is probably vintage east Indian. I wish the photo captured how the large blue stone glistens!

The next one is called Green Magic. This too has a bail made from a filigree wrapped into a tube, so I can wear it as a pin or a pendant. Willie, this is one of the stones you gifted me!


Willie, all these designs were made before you gave me filigree wrapping tips in our recent conversations. Equipped with your tips, I should get better at this.

Susan and Willie kindly answered technical questions, when I had a design concept but couldn’t figure out how to do certain techniques in order to execute my design.

If you want to design your own pieces, buy great supplies at Susan’s shop.

If you prefer purchasing finished pieces, look at Willie Zuniga’s beautiful jewelry. She’s a master at this sort of component building and has the most amazing aesthetic awareness. Her shop is

My new designs are not for sale, at least for now. But if you like my style of fantasy art, it is already in all sorts of things in my shop. Check out the Talismanic Art Bazaar.

I’ve more initial attempts. I’ll post their pics soon with details of my learning process, in case that’s useful to you. Thank you for sharing my fantasy adventure!

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A Ten-Day Shamanic Treatment to Heal Your Body

May 19, I start a ten-day ritual for the physical body. (I do five days ritual for you, take two days off, then do five more days.)

This shamanic treatment is a distance healing. No meeting required, not even by phone.

If you’re healthy, this ceremony builds maximum health, and you avoid illness.

This is probably the only 2014 group physical healing (as distinct from a group direct spiritual transmission, which empowers the spirit). If you care why, info is near the bottom of the post.

Would you like this ten-day healing ceremony done for you? Cost is sliding scale, $200 to $50. No refunds. If you can’t afford payment, phone by May 15. I only give free treatment to someone I speak with. 814.337.2490. To register, scroll down to choose payment you can honestly afford, give me your phone number. then click Pay Now. Easy! Upon receipt of payment, I’ll email you confirmation of receipt:

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If you have questions, or need more info, call me: 814-337-2490. I do not discuss healings by email.

My treatments may not work for some individuals. I can’t give guarantees. A shamanic treatment is not a 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.

Sigil to Bless and Empowers Physical Healing Rite #3, Francesca De Grandis. This is probably my only 2014 group physical healing: Very few people register for my group physical healings (as distinct from group direct spiritual transmissions, which way more folks sign up for, and which empower the spirit.)

Most people who want physical healing ask for it one-on-one, even though it’s more expensive.

It has been suggested that our country’s terrible health care system skews some people’s view of a group healing, so they cannot see it as a heartfelt offer, but reject it as second-class care?

Group healing is not second class. It hurts my heart that there is so much illness—both chronic and acute—and a general lack of maximum health. I offer group healings because not everyone can afford one-on-one sessions.

But my announcements already mentioned these are not second-rate healings. Maybe folks missed it because they scan posts instead of reading them?

Perhaps folks don’t know about the miraculous turnabouts? Here is feedback about my healing. 

Whatever the reason for lack of participation, I have to offer these once a year only, and turn my attention to where I can be of service.

And with that, back to this current healing.

You don’t have to show up at an event to take care of yourself right now. Just scroll down, designate the amount you will pay, fill in your phone number, and click Pay Now. Blessed be.

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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. Sometimes, when images come to me, they are accompanied by a new poem.) Here it is, followed by the rest of the story.


It was amazing getting to know this lovely spirit while channeling her soul portrait. Nevertheless, painting the piece and creating its words were 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 the portrait picture-poem, 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.


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A Constellation of Love


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.


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The Muse Loves Fools



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.

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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:

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 Thanks so much for reading!

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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.


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