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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Upcoming Event: A Healthy Body

BlessingSummer2012-02Want to know how I survived illness, when I was months from death, a decade ago?

My shamanism saved me. A decade later, I still expect many joyful years.

A Healthy Body is a Seven-Week Intensive consisting of seven shamanic circles. These meetings include lessons I channeled to create my health, plus:
* an intuitive analysis of your health, with shamanic healing tips tailored to you
* individualized shamanic treatments of your body—every meeting! In other words, I give you healings.
*direct spiritual transmissions, every meeting, to strengthen your spirit so you can be proactive about your health. (If you don’t know what a direct spiritual transmission is, you could think of it as a blessing.) You also learn rituals to strengthen your spirit.

PinkDotStarts March 9, Thursday noon, EST.

Are you wondering how well my shamanism works for my clients? Here’s typical feedback from them:

“The first time in many years the pain from my herniated discs in my neck didn’t bother me. I became pain free from my chronic neck pain.”

“The treatment I received from you helped heal a gallbladder issue I’d had for years! I was told I’d need surgery, and was in pain, but not anymore!”

“I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. … Francesca really helped me to feel more energetic and enthusiastic and to be much more productive.”

Both complete novices and adepts report remarkable healing.

Enrollment is limited to ten people because this is an intensive. I work deeply with the group as a whole, and there’s also time for powerful work with each individual.

Circles are group meetings by phone: just dial the phone to participate.

SunnyDotThe group meets seven consecutive Thursdays, noon to 1:00 EST, starting Thurs March 9. Reserve Thurs April 27, same time, for a makeup circle, in case I am unavailable for one of the planned sessions.

SunnyDotTuition is $250. You might also pay long-distance charges; it depends on your long-distance plan; charges appear on your phone bill. The event’s area code is a U.S. #.

Use the PayPal button below to pay securely with PayPal.





Upon receipt of payment, your place is reserved, and you receive event phone number, etc., by email. No refunds. For more info, or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan, call me: 814-337-2490.

Is health important to you? If so, be the rare, proactive individual who takes action and reaps the rewards. Enroll now before all the seats are taken.

PinkDot

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Hearth Witchery: Spinning and Weaving

I spun wool yarn, then wove it into an amulet bag for me to wear. I also want to use it to make offerings.

Below is a pic of the bag with offerings of dried paperwhites and a dried artichoke—a floral and thistle offering.

AmuletBagSm

I made offering by hanging the bag on a Goddess statue on my altar. But I could give offering by just hanging the bag on a wall, if it felt right.

I’d spun/wove a basket and liked the way it looked, so made the amulet bag match the basket. Here it is used as a pencil holder, but it would also be a really homey container for other things:

2016SpunBasketSm
Handcrafted items bless a home and all who are within it. Hearth witchery!

BeFreeBannr

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Upcoming Event: Good Luck Triple-Whammy

Lucky3LuckBigSqDo you ever wish your luck was better?

Did you know witches can create good luck?

I will do that for you.

Throughout the universe is a flow of abundance, confidence, love, and life’s other goodies, including magical power, heart-healing, and whatever else you long for. Good luck is simply a matter of being nestled into that flow. I make that happen for you!LuckSqr I send you long-distance direct spiritual transmissions, three days a week, for two months, nestling you into luck’s flow.

Starts February 13. Thirteen is a lucky number.

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

LuckSqrGood luck is only useful if you take advantage of it. So, along with good luck, the blessing also boosts your ability to be proactive about reaching your goals. This transmission is a double whammy! You become more able to make both spiritual and mundane efforts on your own behalf.

Two months of mojo—that’s some powerful magic working for you.

Witchcraft has been suppressed because it frees and aids the rebels, the oppressed, and the wild ones. My entire life has been about using my magic for you.

The transmission is probably all you need to stay lucky for a while. But why take chances? LuckSqrGet a triple luck whammy: you also receive a full-color, digital, good luck charm. It is my original art, painted in trance, and I magically activate it especially for you. The charm helps ensure luck stays as long as possible.

Receive your digital amulet as a JPEG by email. (I retain full copyright of my art. Commercial use of the piece is available at additional cost.) I email you instructions on how to receive the charm’s blessing effortlessly.

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

LuckSmSq1) Pay now using the Pay Now button below, and you’re taken care of. Total fee: $260. You don’t need a PayPal account.




LuckSmSq2) Use the Subscribe button below to make two automatic monthly payments of $130. Easy! Payments appear on the credit card associated with your PayPal account.




Even if you’re a lucky person or powerful witch, do you need a boost? Please let me use my witchery for you. A spell for your good fortune will bubble bubble in my cauldron.

Magic 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. For more info, or to discuss scholarship, partial scholarship, or trade, call 814-337-2490. I do not discuss this work by email. This magic may not work for some individuals. I can’t give guarantees. Refunds unavailable.

Believe in magic? Tired of frustration, hesitation, and inner debate, instead of power? Buy now.

LuckBar

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Hearth Magic to Bless the New Year: Papercutting

hny20173I do papercutting to bless my home for the year ahead.

Sometimes I do it New Year’s Day. Sometimes I wait until the initial hubbub of the New Year has passed.

For a kitchen witch and anyone else who wants to do it, this magic is so easy that children can join in.

My ritual is simple and unadorned: I tend to make a new papercutting or two for my hutch every year at this time.

hny3Instead, you could put your cutting on your refrigerator, in a frame on the wall, or anywhere else.

You can cut symbols to represent your wishes, and color the paper cutting, but none of that’s necessary. The important things to me are: 1) a new paper cutting represents a fresh new start in the New Year, as if I’m letting go of any past debris, and 2) the simple bit of crafting can be considered a house blessing.

The paper in these photos is just plain ol’ letter-size copy paper. Use paper bags, newspaper, magazines, origami paper, or any other paper you have on hand.

For more about papercutting, check out my blog http://www.outlawbunny.com/2011/12/29/paper-cutting-shelf-paper-hearth-blessing/ … My goodness, I wrote that five years ago. Time flies!

Happy new year!

purchsbanr2

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Feeling Complete at Yule

2016simpleyulesmobI made a commitment to use what was on hand for the Yule season, instead of purchasing anything.

Nothing wrong with shopping, but this year I knew it’d make me lose my peace and center.

In contrast, creating a simple, homespun arrangement gave me peace and centered me. It does the same when I take a moment to look at it; just looking at it feels meditative.

I found pine cones on a walk. A friend could not cook her artichokes because they started to dry out. I let them finish drying.

Adding a bow to the pinecones and artichokes made the arrangement complete. I feel complete, too.

I wasn’t rigid about spending money for the holidays. I bought Paperwhite bulbs to force bloom indoors.

It felt right to buy them. They added to my being peaceful and centered, because I was buying them not to “have stuff”—I do not need more stuff—but to create an experience, an experience of floral scent filling my home midwinter, and of the oxygen inundation that occurs with winter bulbs indoors. Here are the paperwhites tucked behind my aloe plant:

paperwhitesI really wanted to get myself treats this winter. Using what I had in my home to make beautiful things created lovely treats.

I also made a donation to Standing Rock to help stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The best gift to give myself was that donation.

A few days ago, I opened the mail to a lovely surprise. My friend who’s also my Faerie Druidism student made—MADE—me a pendant: a silver branch with nine bells hanging.

I am so grateful for and delighted by this generous gift.

I also felt that not cluttering my consciousness with unnecessary shopping opened the way for something really special and unexpected to arrive at my door.

purchsbanr2

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Recipe: Yule Sweets

cocoalumpssm

If you saw a version of the following post a few years back on my SageWoman blog, I posted it here too, for folks who don’t follow the other blog:

Chocolate Lumps
Gluten and sugar-free dessert

Pagans do not have to worry about lumps of coal in our Yule stockings. But you can have chocolate lumps instead, yum!

My approach to the ecstatic path is down to earth and often quite simple. For example, last year I made a list of things to 1) keep my spirits up during the Yule season and 2) help create a happy season for other people.

Inventing a new chocolate recipe was on the list. … Well, the list didn’t just include inventing new chocolate yumminess. The real point was my consuming said yumminess. :-)

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will use the recipe again this year. Here it is:

This may not be to everybody’s taste. I don’t like my chocolate sweet, but I like it really dark and really chocolatey. This recipe has a lovely fruity undertone.

It makes about about a dozen chocolate lumps. All measurements are by weight.

In blender, blend 2 & 1/2 ounces pecans. Blend til most are ground well, but leave a little of them still in small bits. Put into bowl.

Add to blender 1 & 1/2 ounces each:
* frozen unsweetened orange juice concentrate
* water

Plus 1/2 ounce each:
* raisins
* dried coconut, shredded or flakes. It does not matter whether it is shredded or flakes, because it’s going into the blender. If you do not like coconut, dried apricots might make a good substitute. If you try apricots, let me know how it comes out. If you use apricots, I suggest you blend them on their own, til most are ground well, and a little are in small bits.

Blend until puréed.

Then put the blend into the bowl that has the pecans. (You’re going to need a spatula to get all that yumminess out of the blender.)

Add to the bowl 1/2 ounce unsweetened cocoa.

Mix all ingredients.

The mixture ended up too moist to roll into balls by hand. So I dusted a pretty little plate (on which I would serve this treat) with cocoa. Next, I used a spoon to put a lump of yumminess onto the plate, and then pushed it about with spoon and fingers until it was a dusted lump—not a lump of coal but of chocolate. I added more cocoa to the plate as needed.

Nobody’s going to care that these things are not perfectly shaped, because they taste heavenly, and the roughness makes them look beautiful.

Part of my commitment to walking an ecstatic path is to make positives out of negatives. So, when served, if these lumps get people’s fingers sticky, I’ll explain that if they lick the chocolate off their fingers, it will make their Pagan soul happy. :-)

Aside: Yes, I know the ecstatic path has serious, mystical aspects. Fact is, I am so comfortable with them that I can also be light-hearted about the path.

A light whimsical heart floats high and happy among the clouds. Eat these lumps = Be a happy fey-touched witch or other wondrous being. End of aside.

This is gooey goodness, so not for putting in Yule stockings. But while eating lumps, I was chatting on the phone, telling a friend how good the lumps taste. His response to my happy noises was “Organic orgasm!” An apt description.

purchsbanr2

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