Spirit Offering

SpiritOffering

I wove this small piece for a friend—for the magical child who lives within her and for the Faeries who live on her property. I wove sunset sand castles and other landscapes to explore.

My friend brought “Saori weaving” to my attention, explaining my philosophy of being oneself and ignoring rules that limit creativity make my weavings “Saori,” since Saori philosophy is the same as mine.

But there’s always plenty of room to grow. This weaving was another step along the path to freedom of self expression. It is only my sixth weaving, so clearly I need to grow technically, but this post is about non-technical aspects of my process.

My friend gifted me with spindles, with bits of her yarn remaining on the spindles. I’m sure this wall hanging is nothing compared to what she weaves, since she’s been at it way longer than newbie-moi, but her yarn wanted to return to her in a new guise. Making that happen was a way to thank her for her support of my spinning. The weaving used most of the yarn on the spindles.

Though this little piece is light-years from what a weaving can be, fulfilling my karma this lifetime requires a commitment to sending a lot of my visual art away, out into the world.

I have a different karma when it comes to my work as a shamanic guide this lifetime. That work, whether in a class, psychic reading, direct spiritual transmission, or book, must be polished, polished, then polished. For example, I studied poetry writing so that, when I channel during a class or one-on-one session, I have verbal skills honed to capture and speak the concepts and images the Goddess asks me to relay. But my visual art must be released into community regardless of how good I think it is or not.

(… Hm, the above paragraph does not take into account two things: 1) I and many others use our visual art to provide shamanic guidance. 2) I work hard at my visual arts. It is just that I work even harder as a shamanic guide. … Well, you get the drift of what the paragraph is saying.)

Part of this weaving’s theme is letting go of perfectionism, thereby letting my energy flow out into the community and universe. When we let go of perfectionism, Faeries come play with us.

My weaving friend praised the exuberance of my thick, uneven yarn. In the process, she mentioned she spins thin. I’m so ridiculously competitive that I took her words as a challenge, though she didn’t mean it that way, and I tried to spin thin with dark-green Corriedale wool. It was boring. That’ll teach me to do something other than my own style. I must be myself and let that self expression flow out to the universe. I added some of my thin green yarn to the weaving. (By the way, later I discovered I love spinning silk thin.)

This close-up has a quarter and a nickel in it, to give you a sense of the weaving’s small size:SpiritOffering2

The glass jewel is gorgeous, but I think the photo might make it look a little tacky. I wish the photo showed how the glass shimmers like a Faerie rainbow. It might be vintage Vitrail.

The glass piece continues the theme of being oneself. It and its setting were presents from my friend Willie Zuniga, who is a remarkable jeweler. Check out her shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MorningGloryDesigns. Willie tried to help me learn technical aspects of layering, wrapping, and gluing metal components with stones to make jewelry. I tried hard but, though I managed to make myself some jewelry I like, mostly I could not get the hang of the techniques.

Finally, I decided to use metal components and stones I adored in ways congruent with my technical inclinations, like in this weaving.

I also wove in locks I got locally, as well as fleece and locks from Tina at https://www.etsy.com/shop/HermanHillsFarm, plus something else of hers that I think is fleece and locks. Tina is a master at dyeing and blending wool, though she humbly insists otherwise. I wonder if Tina knows how much Faeries like to watch her at her work. She’s a woman being herself.

I received no remuneration in cash or goods for mentioning anyone’s products. I praise work and link to shops to honor/support fellow artisans who do awesome work.

BeFreeBannr

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Arachne’s Web of Life

I didn’t realize how soon spiritual lessons I learned from spinning yarn might need to be applied to a serious life challenge. But even when life tangles like yarn, Arachne’s web of life nurtures me.

I spin yarn on sticks:ScarfYarn

August 18: Interesting event for me last night, as a spiritual seeker and newbie spinner: I spent hours untangling a piece of yarn. The unknotting process varied from maddeningly aggravating to mystically graceful to hurting my back to figuring out ways to make untangling not stress my body. Spread through all those moments, life lessons came.

I’d finally spun a single length of yarn that was quite long. When I was setting the yarn, it became tangled. After I untangled it, which took quite a while, lo and behold it tangled again. I untangled it. It tangled a third time.

This was because I didn’t know how to properly fasten such a long length.

Where has my/your life tangled because I/you did not organize it better?

Great Mother Goddess and Arachne and all my other Gods, help me keep my life untangled.

I finally permanently unsnarled the yarn by wrapping each end onto something so the ends couldn’t retangle while I was unknotting the mess. (Yes, that’s an obvious solution. But I’d tried it early in the process, and the wrapped ends were too bulky to move through all the little knots I was undoing. I finally worked around that.)

I finished untangling by 6 AM. Have had wicked insomnia lately. After spending insomniac hours in a yarn labyrinth, I knew my yarn really well. Previously, I’d worried if my spinnings were strong enough. Well, in all that untangling and knotting and unknotting, my yarn did not break once. It was silk and maybe some bamboo, and it was solid solid solid.

I also got to see the beauty and nature of yarn in general and of mine in particular.

Has untangling one of my (your) life problems helped me (you) recognize the nature and beauty of my (your) life and realize my (your) strengths?

My Gods, show me the lessons in life’s tanglings.

The yarn may not be quite as “pretty” as before I pried at it for hours to get out knots. That too was a lesson because even if some unwound to return closer to being roving, it remained unbroken despite being stressed by the unknotting process. I’m going to let my spinnings just be what they are and stop worrying about someone else’s standards or aggravating my hands trying to remove slubs or other imperfections. Mind you, I was already going with the flow to a great degree but now I will do it more.

Where in my (your) life does perfectionism hurt me (you)?

My Gods, keep me from acts and thoughts that harm my body and spirit.

Below are all the yarns I set last night (still a bit wet), including the one that repeatedly tangled. Yes, there’s a short length of yarn wrapped around the vase. I had to cut a small piece off to get the tangles undone; the vase stood in for a niddy noddy as did the stick shuttle. There’s a quarter and a nickel in the picture for scale. Some of the yarn is quite fine which added to the likelihood of tangling and the difficulty of untangling. I’m so proud and happy as a new spinner to have made this yarn.ScarfYarn2

As a child, I had few art supplies and none of them were quality. The upside: I learned to create with whatever existed. A friend of mine says, “Francesca, you actually could make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

I eventually learned to buy myself supplies, and good ones at that, but I still forget to acquire supplies sometimes.

While untangling, I pondered the gads of spinning and weaving paraphernalia a generous friend has sent me. This reminded me to make sure I purchase whatever spinning and weaving supplies will help me be less limited by my disabilities, will help me not exacerbate injuries I have, and will just help me creatively!

This morning I bought three small PVC-pipe niddy noddies, which will stop yarn from tangling and just generally speaking make setting my yarn less stressful on my body. I can submerge these niddy noddies in water!

What do I/you need right now for self-care physically, spiritually, and creatively?

My Gods, show me what I need and how to get it.

Not having the tool I needed snowballed into other problems: while untangling, I walked across the kitchen to release my sore back and dropped the yarn on the floor exactly where the cat had deposited a gob of cat food. Back to the sink to rewash the yarn, which caused the second of the three tanglings.

Is there some way I—or you—do not take care of business—e.g., acquire tools needed to be creative, eat healthily, listen to our feelings—and it snowballs?

My Gods, help me take care of myself.

August 19: When up all night de-knotting, I’d hoped to remember the lessons it taught me. I guess they were given me at just the right time: today I received a major knotted quandary; due to cruel bureaucracy, in two weeks I’ll lose a resource that is pivotal to keeping me physically alive. I cannot physically survive without this resource, but only wealthy people have enough money to pay for it. I might be able to pay for a bit of it each month—I have to check my finances to see if tightening my belt will make it possible—but it would not be sufficient.

There are many huge knots to undo. Our medical system is tied in endless tangles—ranging from lack of qualified doctors where I live to corrupt personnel blocking medical care—that will make it hard to find a solution.

What spiritual and magical lessons have I/you learned recently that need to be remembered and applied?

I don’t know how all my insomniac night’s revelations are relevant to my crisis, because it only occurred hours ago. But I’ll explore the possibilities, suspecting Divine Synchronicity gave me lessons right when they’d be needed. I do know I don’t want untangling this crisis to hurt my body or keep me up till six a.m.

Great Mother Goddess and Arachne and all my other Gods, please help me always apply my shamanism when push comes to shove and show me how to apply it.

I pledge to you: right now, I release the panic that’s at the base of my spine because otherwise it will exacerbate Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, and my health will deteriorate.

Please give me the tools to feel the panic (which rises inevitably when one faces a life-and-death situation) but not live in it.

Please give me tools to stay serene both for my health and so I’m clearheaded about how to overcome the medical situation.

Help me untangle my thoughts, feelings, and the dilemma.

I’m grateful to be teaching shamanic classes, acting as a spiritual guide, and giving direct spiritual transmissions because lessons and blessings I convey come to me as well and are exactly what I need to stay sane and proactive right now, thank you.

Thank You for all you give me.

So mote it be!

BeFreeBannr

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Faerie Taoist Weaving

Discworld2

A generous friend sent me a bunch of her spindles to encourage my endeavors as a newbie spinner and weaver.

She kindly left a little bit of fibers she’d spun on each spindle. I took three of her yarns from the spindles to weave freeform around a rock, to gift her as a small thanks (heh, unintentional pun!) for her awesome support.

I love the rock—it’s the sort of precious, perfectly polished, perfectly round, and perfectly symmetrical stone you find on the beach. Came across it on a peaceful lake trip and thought it perfect for wet felting. But it is perfect plus for weaving around. When you enclose a stone in wool felt, the felting often hides some of the stone’s irregularities anyway. So this stone is better used more visibly so you can see its quiet perfection.

I saw stones with weavings on them that were simple, orderly, and serene. Zen. So I sat down to weave this piece with great hopes.

I am clearly not Zen.

I am Taoist. … But …

I’m what I’ve dubbed Faerie Taoist. And my inner Taoist monk is a trickster. Mad Hatter and Arachne joined forces for this piece.

Discworld1

I was going to call the piece Turtle Island. … then decided it would be more appropriate to call it Discworld. All hail, Terry Pratchett!

I hope my friend enjoys the wee, mad weaving. Oh, my goodness, you Terry Pratchett fans will see what I just accidentally did: you know, like “wee mad men?”

2016DestashConfusSm

BeFreeBannr

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Small Loom Weaving

This post is for a friend of mine, but I thought other folks might enjoy it.

Hey Kathleen, I just made a birthday present for you and Ken. Would you like it? It is little and cute. I think it’s magical.

K&KWev1OBSm

I spun all its yarn on a pencil, except maybe spun a bit on a drop spindle.

It’s somewhat become a ritual now, when I try a new art form, to send you one of the first—if not the very first of the—pieces I make. Have you noticed that?

I am so glad we share our art journeys with each other.

Since I’ve only been spinning a few weeks, and this is only my fourth weaving, I don’t know how durable it’ll be, but it’s going to hang on the wall, instead of being used as a dog chew, so I think it’ll be OK.

There are various fibers. I made the bottom yarn from my friend Jenn Campus’s gorgeous undyed Shetland roving. The predominant yarn is Romney wool spun with orange and yellow bamboo fibers. You saw a picture of that yarn earlier; it’s the stuff you didn’t want because it is so thick. Since I know you like those colors, I put it in the weaving. There’s also a bit of other homespun yarns I made; the green is probably Merino top. I also wove in some locks, including the purple fuzzy stuff.

The stick is from the oak tree in my backyard, which means something to my druid heart.

Here’s a picture of it with a quarter for scale.
K&KWev2OBSm

If you like it, I’ll enclose it with the yarn I spun for you.

If it’s easier for you, just respond by email or Facebook.

As you always say: smooches!

BeFreeBannr

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Author Postpartum

Been in sort of postpartum depression on the two-book set.

BoSCovrSmBoSCvrPt2Sm
It’s not been released yet, but galleys are with proofers. And an author’s work is never done: I’m working on marketing the set.

But since I sent off galleys a few weeks ago, I haven’t been working directly on the book by and large.

I’ll start proofing galleys myself in a few days but needed a break from looking at the pages, so I could proof with fresh eyes.

In some very deep ways, I’ve felt lost for two weeks. Didn’t know why. I’m starting to think it was because I was away from my baby aka this two-volume Book of Shadows set. I’ve never enjoyed working on any books so much. I’ve been in labor-of-love heaven, then suddenly they were gone!

I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. Maybe postpartum depression for authors is inevitable. But it passes. Today I woke up centered and happy like a kid—myself again.

Goddess, I cannot release these Third Road books into the care of my beloved readers yet, because I still have to proof galleys and then enter corrections all we proofers find. But I celebrate with You having released the texts to my fellow proofers with love and trust. I affirm my constant releasing of the project into your care—I am in peace and joy, so mote it be.

I mentioned marketing: am working on creating the books’ official webpage. For now, you can get a bit of info about the set in a post about my experience of a delirious—and delicious and magical—celebration of the project. When I first sent off the galleries, the postpartum blues had not hit yet: http://stardrenched.com/2016/08/05/spinning-happy-magic/ Also, preorder the book set at a reduced price: http://www.outlawbunny.com/special-price/

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Amazing People, Amazing Work

JennStoneCircle

This post celebrates wonderful individuals. My long-term students, past and present, are some of the best people in the world.

Let me introduce you to three of them from over the years, in honor of all the awesome individuals who’ve been longtime fellow seekers with me in the shamanic classes I teach.

The following three ladies do remarkable work, each in their respective fields. Along with getting to celebrate them, I’m really happy to have a chance to introduce you to their work.

Jenn Campus—see above photo—has been studying with me eight or nine years now. She had a best-selling cookbook this year, called Love in Every Bite. I’m so proud of my sister writer and just thrilled for her.

What a powerful, important message Jenn has in her book—love. I listened to her on a recent radio show, and she delivered that message so well I actually felt her caring around me, uplifting me.

Yep, I have the best students ever, because they’re making a better world for everyone.

Jenn says, “Through practicing “Whole-istic Eating,” which combines preparing and eating whole foods, healing herbs and spices, I’m convinced we can all individually take greater charge of our health; physically, mentally, and spiritually while becoming culinary wizards at the same time.”

Check out Jenn—the Yum Queen—at http://yumqueen.com.

I also want to introduce you to the painter Jenelle Leigh Campion. Jenelle has studied with me five years so far and is another of my students who’s a profoundly loving person. After getting off the phone with her recently, I realized being in the presence of her gentle love allowed me to be enveloped by the Goddess’ love and grace. I am grateful.

She’s retained childhood belief in love’s power. That’s a gift to everyone who encounters her and her art. Her paintings are filled with love and whimsy, you have to see them. This free spirit sells her art as a street vendor in New Orleans, or you can go to www.jenelleleighcampion.com

Yes, I’m gushing with praise. I mean every word of it. I’m very lucky the Gods send me the calibre of people who enroll in my classes, they give me a lot of joy.

Here’s one of Jenelle’s paintings:unicorn2

Jenelle says, “Making art is my ritual practice in which I cast magic onto a canvas to invoke the spirit of my heart. My creativity draws from my life as a healer and spiritual seeker … I document my investigation into the body as a sacred object and healing force.”

My dear friend Kathleen Marshall was one of my first initiates. I’ve known her since the 80s, and she’s one of the most gifted artists I personally know. There’s nothing she cannot do creatively. Needed a fairytale to heal me, she wrote it. Needed a logo for Faerie Nation, she drew it. Needed a ritual outfit for Parliament of World Religions, she designed and made it.

Kathleen, and I have fun trading her art for mine. … Hm, she is another remarkably loving woman. Wow, the Gods have surrounded me with loving people. Am blessed!

When conceiving of this post, I thought I’d only include folks with a currently active blog. Then I looked at Kathleen’s site and didn’t care whether she’d updated it recently, because its artwork is lovely and imbued with her spiritual beauty. You have to go see it! www.floraspond.com

I’ll feature more of my wonderful students in another post soon.

BeFreeBannr

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Upcoming Shamanic Event

I Have Your Back:
A Three-Month Direct Spiritual Transmission,

starting Sept 5, 2016

BearSquareSFor three months, you receive continual support: your whole being (body and soul) and circumstances receive constant blessings. I draw on Mother Bear to bless you in Her all-encompassing care.

The transmission shapes itself to your physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. On your life journey, you deserve quality support every step. Each leg of your journey is different. My transmissions adapts, moment to moment. For example, sometimes you need dramatic transformation, other times you need nurturing peace. It’s about your unique spiritual and physical essence as it manifests in the moment.

It is easy to receive this transmission. You don’t have to attend an event or do any work. Just sign up, and I do the work for you!

FeatherSquareSEven if you’re a shaman yourself, you deserve a constant ally who has your back.

No experience needed. But adepts are deeply impacted.

I send you this spiritual transmission five days a week, every week for three months! This is big, big, big—like the Great Mother Bear! Whether you’ve already made significant changes for the better, or are only beginning to improve your life, you’re capable of big shifts right now.

You have dreams,
and may have means,
but work I do
will help you too.
I give an extra boost that helps
you soar, survive,
then soar some more
despite huge flights you’ve had—or not—before.

Utter peace, compassion, and empowerment permeate every atom of existence—ready for you to receive.

Pay securely with PayPal.

Option 1) Choose three easy, automatic monthly payments of $150. Your total cost: $450. Payments appear on the credit card associated with your PayPal account. This option is available if you have a PayPal account. Use the Subscribe button.




Option 2) Pay all up front to save $100. Your total cost: $350. You do not need a PayPal account. Use the Pay Now button.




Either payment choice constitutes enormous savings. Take advantage of this special event. Imagine having shamanic support tailored to you throughout the week for three months!

Upon receipt of payment, I email you confirmation of registration.

Francesca De Grandis, 2013

Francesca De Grandis, 2013

If you need more info, can’t afford payment, or need reduced payment, phone me. 814.337.2490. I do not discuss this work by email. No refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Again, we start September 5.

A direct spiritual transmission 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.

Do this now. I can only accept twenty people into this empowerment process. Whatever’s bubbling up for you, no matter how many things, this shamanic work will meet, greet, and magic it all.

BearFeatherBar

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Macrame Net Amulet Necklaces

NetBag1Like many witches, I love stones and shells. They fill my home. I consider almost everything in my house an altar—even vertical surfaces. Myriad stones and shells bless and empower these altars.

I’m always looking for different ways to wear my stones and shells around my neck or hang them in my home. These bags are an easy method: I saw DIYs on making tiny net pouches you can add stones to and, when you want, remove the stones and put in different ones.

This is the same bag as in the photo above, but holding a shell:

NetBag2

I love these bags so much I made lots of them to wear or hang in my home. Below are some of them. You’ll see it’s easy to really change their appearance by adding dangles or using different color cord:

NetBag5NetBag4

These bags are perfect for knot magic. With so many knots, if you repeat or add an intention with each knot you tie, it adds up. I’ve not said specific intentions on the bags I made myself, just general blessings, because I want magically versatile bags.

If you want your bag to include additional magical elements along with your rock(s) and/or shell(s), you might tuck in a leaf. Use a large leaf so it doesn’t fall through the netting. Or add a pretty piece of cloth dabbed with essential oil, chosen for its specific magical properties.

The following bag does not want to allow me to remove the stones. I’d made the holes in the net too large for the stones I wanted in this bag. They fell out. So I wove more cord through the net, which holds everything securely and permanently.

NetBag7

Think of the possibilities: e.g., magical keychains, crystals hanging above your altar. For years, a huge coral chunk has hung on the wall by one of my doors, as a protection. The enormous coral was a gift from a merchant marine friend who found it decades ago. Hanging by a cord I gerry-rigged about 10 years ago, the coral easily falls out of its string casing if bumped. But now I can make a net bag for it. … Oh … my … I’m not sure I can stop making these bags … ever.

Below are links to some DIY blogs. I adapted their processes a bit for my purposes and encourage you to do the same. For one thing, I didn’t braid the cord you hang the bag around your neck with because… no way am I going to braid so much cord. I just tied a few knots along each bunch of strands.

I also tried for my aesthetics—I may be an old hippie, but I attempt adding a touch of elegance to it. I used waxed cotton cord, 1 mm a .5 mm. I prefer the look of the .5mm for such small weavings. The right color waxed cotton cords, perhaps combined with other color waxed cords, matched to the right bead, created the simple elegance I desired.

Some people add a slidable bead at the top of the bag. (See vid url below.) The bead can be slid down to close the bag so its contents don’t fall out, or slid up when you want to replace contents with new ones.

It was easier for me to add beads because the strands had a lot less girth, since I had not braided them together.

Here are net bags in which I put shells with air plants tucked into them. The sliding bead makes it really easy to get the plants out to soak them in water (which is how you water them).

NetBag8

Except for the bags in the last photo, I made all the others maybe two months ago, dunno. But a few days ago I spun yarn for the first time and want a bag macramed of yarn I made.

Not only might it be pretty but … Talk about magic! With all that spinning and knotting, I’ll only have to create one bag to generate enough hoodoo to take over the world.

Net Bag Necklace Tutorials:

http://sustainabilityinstyle.com/diy-gemstone-necklace/

http://www.instructables.com/id/Macrame-Interchangeable-Stone-Necklace/

I didn’t watch all of the following vid but, at 11:25, it shows how to add the bead if you’re having trouble: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fnH7FojQDC4

BeFreeBannr

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Forest Witch Hat

ForestHat3Forest Witch Hat … Feathers Made of Wool

I made a hat using my friend Jenn’s gorgeous undyed Shetland roving. I started the hat shape by needle felting then moved onto wet felting.

The hat will keep me warm while I walk in the woods this winter, enjoying the magic that’s present when few humans venture out into the cold.

Jenn sells the roving at a great price. Go to her Yum Queen Facebook page and message her for info: https://www.facebook.com/theyumqueen/

Here are more pics:ForestHat2ForestHat1

I sculpted four feathers from her wool, using other wools to draw lines to make the pieces look more feather-like. Jenn’s natural wool gives an earthy look. I also blended her wool with another color for the feathers’ “down.”

Three feathers are large. I put one on the hat and sent another to a friend. The third is waiting til I figure out who it belongs to.

The fourth feather is tiny. Note the quarter next to it in the photograph for scale. You can see I beaded the end of the “quill” with bone-colored seed beads. I attached the “feather” to a barrette so I can wear it in my hair.FeatherBarrette

BeFreeBannr

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Wet Felted Shetland Vessel

2016ShetlandVessel

Wet Felted Shetland Vessel
Wool: One of Nature’s Simple Magics

Wool roving has enchantments in it, being close to nature still. I feel the magical blessings the vessel holds.

I made this vessel for my altar, using my friend Jenn’s gorgeous undyed Shetland roving.

I bought it at a really great price. If you want some, go to her Yum Queen Facebook page and message her for info: https://www.facebook.com/theyumqueen/

Undyed roving has so much character that a simple felted project will be gorgeous.

I accented the vessel with natural white Lincoln locks. I’m finding a bit of curly locks added to vessels that are made from undyed fiber can make all the difference in making a vessel look wonderful.

Lincoln locks were perfect because they have the same matt quality (aka not shiny) as the Shetland. It was a real match, so they suited each other perfectly, giving an overall raw, earthy look.

For example, had I used white mohair locks, which are very shiny, I wouldn’t have liked it. Mind you, it’s a matter of taste as well as the look I want for a given project. On another vessel, I might enjoy the contrast between matt and shiny surfaces.

Or I might not need any accent at all. A simple hat I made from nothing but Jenn’s exact same Shetland roving is a perfectly adorable Faerie chapeau. Yup, every project is different.

Nature has such a variety of magical beauty to inspire us, delight us, and infuse us with Spirit.

BeFreeBannr

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