Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Tue 6 Nov 01 15:23
Linda, do we still have an extra book we can give Pam? Hi, Pamela! Although I have not directly referred to "wild wisdom" I've been writing about it the whole time. For example, when we get in touch with our inner voice, when we move out of our heads into the glitter of magic, when we cleanse away our inner blocks to joy, -- all things I've discussed in this interview -- one of the by products is that we find our inner wisdom, and it is wild, a part of our cells and dna. It may only whisper to you at first, but bit by bit it shows itself. I imagine the dialogue is a bit confusing because the book we are talking about is not simple. Shamanism is holistic, there are lots of aspects to it and they all weave together in a complex pattern and touch everything in your life. When you do a rite to improve your sex life you gain better motivation to change an unhappy career, and a zillion other things are affected as well. So an on-line chat can't really connect the dots; the actual *experience* of doing the shamanic training is what shows the weave. Just as it is practice not theory that creates change in our lives, so it is through the practice that we understand the wisdom and power of shamanism. As to "home": I spoke earlier to Linda about Third Road supporting one to create one's own path. Third Road, whether taught in person or in Goddess Initiation, is a tradition of folks who might make up their own path. Too many spiritual teachers try to get you to eradicate the essential self. Goddess Initiation says "Here are some exercises to help you find, love and strengthen your most unique self." Ultimately the spiritual journey is not along anyone's else's path but your own, until the road brings you home to yourself. You ask how I connect the dots between the powers you speak of. But it seems you have connected the dots yourself. When I read your writing I see all the dots connected. Perhaps you might reread your post as an answer instead of a question? Your wild wisdom is clear in that post. You just need to see it as such? Because all those powers are totally connected, and that is what shamanism Third Road style is about. specifically Celtic spiritual tools: I would say your own common sense. Celts have a strong sense of down to earth spirituality. My job in Goddess Initiation was to teach that what you already know is right, what you already do is right, and how to know it deeper and do it better. And part of that is honoring your common sense, instead of leaving it to so-called experts or saying things like "Gee, I guess he isn't *really* being sexist, I must have been imagining it." I hope this helps. If not, let me know.
Pamela (pamela-bird) Tue 6 Nov 01 16:16
Francesca: I apologize. I realized that my second paragraph above was not phrased very well, and may have been confusing. What I *meant* was that I have been looking for "wild wisdom," and that I was *finding it* in your words here. That when you said, "A shaman is her/his own most important magical tool," that made *sense* to me, in that deep place. >we find our inner wisdom, and it is wild, a part of our cells and >dna Yes. That's the one. So, I think that I feel that it's *in* me, and that it's also *without* (outside/beyond) me, but my frustration is in the bridge that seems to be missing in between. From your post, I'm beginning to recognize this feeling as possible block(s) that I can work on. >Celts have a strong sense of down to earth spirituality. This was helpful, and made me smile. When I think about the Irish in my blood, it's always a combination of the magic and the dirt. I think the overall message I got from you is the message to "go Home," do down, go in. Don't look outside for the solution. For some reason, I'm feeling rebellious about this. Which is usually a key indicator that it's where I should go. Is this the shamanistic journey? To go in? I'm not very knowledgeable about shamanism, but I've been under the impression that the shamanistic journey was something of a journey *out*. Am I misunderstanding this?
Pamela (pamela-bird) Tue 6 Nov 01 16:20
Oops. >"go Home," _go_ down, go in...
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Tue 6 Nov 01 16:43
"the bridge that seems to be missing in between. From your post, I'm beginning to recognize this feeling as possible block(s) that I can work on." Exactly! The shamanic journey in part is finding those blocks and removing them ritually. >Is this the shamanistic journey? To go in? Yay!!!! You got it, see, you know the answers yourself. We go into the underworld of one's self to find the gold within, the gold of wisdom, the gold of magic, the gold of special talents in the mundane world. And to find within all that tarnishes the gold and remove it! >"go Home," _go_ down, go in... Great minds think alike: I wrote an invocation, part of which goes "Go down, Go down, Go down, Go down, Find your grief and find your bones, Go down, Go down, Go down, Go down, find your loved ones and find your home."
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 6 Nov 01 16:59
>Is this the shamanistic journey? To go in? I'm not very knowledgeable about shamanism, but I've been under the impression that the shamanistic journey was something of a journey *out*. <pamela-bird>, something Francesca said in <130.10> helped me on just that point. She said: >a shamans magic comes about in part because she (or he) is so tuned into the present that she can really use, affirm, celebrate and perhaps shift the unique energy that each moment offers. So it's both in and out, I guess. well, Francesca slipped, so let me ask about the "rebelliousness" <pamela-bird> mentions. She notes that, for her, feeling rebellious about doing something is an indicator that she *should* so it. Can you talk a little more about techniques for comprehending one's own intuition?
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 6 Nov 01 18:06
e-mail sent to pamela about getting a copy of the book. We have a few more. Anybody else - WELL members only, sorry - want one? If so, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with a snail-mail address and phone number that FedEx can deliver to.
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Tue 6 Nov 01 18:21
I think in GI (still not saying the word, Francesca!!), it is said that our intution is the voice of Goddess, whispering only to us. I look at my own intuition, which I know to be usually accurate and timely, as Goddess telling me a secret - something from Her to me - because She loves me and wants me to know cool things. Like who's on the other end of the phone line when it rings. No caller-ID here! Francesca, am I close?
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 7 Nov 01 00:40
> So it's both in and out, I guess. yes, and that is why something I said earlier is only a half truth: I said you can't learn shamanism by chatting on-line, you have to actually do the practices. But chatting can be a shamanic practice if you are tuned both into the self and into the outer moment we are all sharing. EG: As soon as Pam or Sherry or Linda or you or I ask a question that is motivated by our authentic self, we are on the shamanic path. And we risk that question here because we have also tuned into the essence of this outward moment and know "Hey, this is an awesome place; we can be real here." I mean, I have never met any of you but Bob, and here we all are talking about our real lives! You could stretch the point and say that if we ask a question just to be a smarty pants we are still on the journey: the universe is one big cosmic Dear Abby column writer (oh, I like this metaphor, I hope it works!) and will answer our smarty pants questions with hard knocks that tell us "You ain't gonna gain nothing with that bad, bad attitude!" And the universe will teach us that over and over until we ask a sincere question. <pamela-bird> mentions. She notes that, for her, feeling rebellious about doing something is an indicator that she *should* so it. Can you talk a little more about techniques for comprehending one's own intuition? I can't find P's reference to rebelliousness. But in any case, the Third Road is neither following the path that the authorities tell us to, nor going in the opposite direction in an act of rebellion. The Third Road is the independent path; it is taking an action that might be rebellion, or might be what authorities direct, or is tangential to either. As to intuition, Rip: As well as ritually cleansing oneself of ones blocks to intuition -- blocks like "oh, it's only something *I* intuit" or "people will laff at me if I trust my inner voice" -- one also needs to develop and properly apply imagination. That plays a key role. Our imagination keys us into mystery. So a lot of exercises that I give, though they are rites in and of themselves for great sex or prosperity or whatever, may also develop the imagination either through use of visualization or use of poetic liturgy.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 7 Nov 01 01:31
Okay, now onto Sherry's last post: Better than close! You are hitting the head right on the nail. And what interests me in your question is, once again, you have your own answer. Don;t get me wrong: I *do* teach things instead of just saying "you have your own answer." I teach ethics, and magic and ritual skills. Also, a vital part of shamanism is to bounce your opinions off a teacher as y'all are doing here. We need to honor our inner authority but we also need to not come to decisions in a vacuum. And I *do* answer questions a lot a lot a lota lot a lot a lota lot a lot a lota lot a lot a lot! But in this particular moment, this beautiful interview, which is so unlike other interviews I've done, everyone keeps over and over speaking their answer at the same time they are asking their question. Something is happening in this virtual room that needs to be noted. It is interesting being a spiritual teacher when in fact you all have the answers! I mean, I am used to teaching very advanced practitioners, so don't get me wrong. I am talking about the uniqueness of this particular group in this particular moment. Tomorrow or the next day, we will no longer have all the answers. So I ask, not as a rhetorical question, but as something I really hope one or several of you will answer, "Why would so many come together in this room to ask questions that have the answers in them?" One of the highlights of the book tour I just did was at a booksigning/lecture. A woman asked a question of me. I excused myself from the rest of the audience and went over to her and whispered "Would you be willing to have that question answered as part of a ritual?" She said okay. I then told the rest of the room what I had asked and that I had not wanted her to have to say yes or no in front of everyone. I then asked her to answer her own question in front of everyone. In one exquisite, poetic, authoritative sentence she gave the answer to the whole group! And, well, she NAILED it! I loved it! Hm, maybe my own question has its answer in it too! <Laff out loud!> My answer to my question: Perhaps we are here together to celebrate our questions, to celebrate our *ability* to question in this time when we are told to bow our heads and buy the party line. Perhaps we are here to cherish seeing our uniqueness mirrored and affirmed when we ask "Do you think I'm right?" Perhaps we are here because in this uncertain time of war it is great to venture a new opinion and see it affirmed! Okay, but I still would love answers from y'all if you feel like offering them. I don't know if I can say the next thing clearly but I'll try: I think the way I can best answer some of the questions I am being asked here, as well as some of the questions I intuit lurking, is to ask you to answer my question. Mind you, I'm going on intuition here. If my intuition is off, then no one will answer the question and we'll move onto the next thing! No problem! I would not usually do this in an interview so I'm going out on a limb here. Don't anyone hurt my feelings by yelling at me if the limb breaks! :-)
JaNell (goldennokomis) Wed 7 Nov 01 13:33
Sherry thrash way up at #2 said that "You state that shamanic training can be for anyone, including Christians (and I'm assuming other monotheists as well)." I know several Jewish people who are pagans, some shamanistic; they refer to themselves as "Jewitches" and "Juids". Actually, growing up in Appalachia, I heard many stories of non-Christian rituals being routinely practiced by Christians, such as setting the table and eating the meal backwards to tell the future... a lot of backwoods people, descended fron Celts, or Native Americans, have an odd mix of older pre-Christian and Christian beliefs and rituals. It seems to work for them. Shamanism doesn't seem diametrically opposed to Christianity to me.
Pamela (pamela-bird) Wed 7 Nov 01 13:51
<keta> said: >So it's both in and out, I guess. This made sense to me, with the imagery of the "flow" through a vessel, or a road. It goes both ways. And when it's blocked, nobody makes any progress. Or maybe not. I've had experiences where one direction seems more blocked than the other. Also: I was reading Rumi last night, and the interpreter (Coleman Barks) talked about the two mystical forces, sort of the infinite and the immediate: the moth is annihilated in the flame, and the flame becomes focused in the moth. And how the magic of Rumi was that he lived constantly in the moment of transition between the two, that they were *both* flowing through him simultaneously. As for rebelliousness and intuition: it's a flag for me. It's often the resistance I feel when something is pushing in me against a *new* way, a path not blazed yet, like petals that haven't realized they should open up yet. It's often the way I need to go because it's the way out of the old paths, paths that no longer work, but are easier to take because they're worn in. As for Francesca's question, as I understand it: I was looking for light. I saw something glimmering in your book's title, and followed it to this clearing, where you are standing in the center, next to a beautiful shining light. I looked for the light there, but you pointed back at me. When I looked down, I was glowing. But I think I had to come here to find it, nonetheless. Or maybe just to be able to see it. And I think you had to be here, first. There's something in the Circle of asking and receiving, and of me-and-you, that increases the power. That's the truest answer I know. -Pam "Love says... I am wind. You are an ember I ignite." -Rumi
Pamela (pamela-bird) Wed 7 Nov 01 14:02
(JaNell slipped.) Christianity and all the older established religions assimilated so much of the existing cultural mindsets and socio-religious practice that the lines are already blurred. There's so much common ground, just in the wrestling all religions do with our human experience. For instance, part of the reason the Celts accepted Christianity so readily was that there were already existing ideological cross-overs from older tribal migrations and interactions. Christ corresponded so closely with Mabon or Miach that they didn't really bother to distinguish between them. I think the same thing works in reverse, or in the present. Anyone looking to work meaningfully with training from different traditions can find lots of similarities to plug in to, I think. The challenge I see is just to keep your mind open enough to perceive them. I'm coming from the mindset that all paths lead ultimately to the same truths, though.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Wed 7 Nov 01 15:09
hello ms. de grandis et al... i have the book and am delighted to (1) have the book, and (2) be here. i'm a seeker and this book comes at a perfect time. looking forward to learning about everyone. it might be fun/useful/powerful to do the trainings in synch with others. is that happening? namaste!
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 7 Nov 01 16:36
I have to confess, all, I'm having a little bit of trouble reading this topic -- the posts are so long! It would certainly help me if they were broken up more. As interesting as all this is, I'm finding my eyes glaze over as I scroll down many of the posts. This is only the third one of these interviews that I'm following, but I didn't have that experience in the other two, and I think they had as many different things going on at once as this one does.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Wed 7 Nov 01 17:30
>So I ask, not as a rhetorical question, but as something I really hope one or several of you will answer, "Why would so many come together in this room to ask questions that have the answers in them?" Well, Joseph Campbell said that when the (celtic, yes?) knights of the round table set off to find the grail, and they had no idea where to look, each one "entered the forest at the point that seemed most dark, and where there appeared to be no path." I think that just taking that first step into the particular unknown that feels biggest and darkest in a strange way links you to answers. I don't know exactly how, but that has been my experience.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 7 Nov 01 19:09
Yup, JaNell, they are not diametrically opposed. Christ walked on water: That was *magic!* It was also pretty eccentric, yet some Christians say that Christ tells us to be so pseudo-humble that we have no self, no uniqueness. Christ and the Goddess both want us to celebrate who we are!
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 7 Nov 01 19:10
Pamela, I like what you say about rebelliousness. Rebelliousness has such an important place in the sacred scope of things. I have actually been writing about that for a new book in fact. And it sounds like you know one of the ways it is important. The point of Third Road is to use a tool - in this case rebelliousness - when it honors or shifts the specific moment we are meeting. When rebelliousness is a way of ignoring the energy of the moment, it leaves us powerless and is not a magical tool. Omigoddess, your parable of the light! Thank you! Exactly! The teacher points. But so many teachers point only to themselves, or to life suppressing dictates. Wow, I also love what you said because it honors the self, but does not invalidate the teacher. So many folks rebel in a useless way by saying there is no real teacher! And thanks for your historical perspective on all this. I am a terrible historian; being a mystic I offer a poetic history and a mystical viewpoint. History helps support the more nonlinear way we are talking, it supports things like your light analogy.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 7 Nov 01 19:12
jillma, Not happening as a group that I know of. Is anyone here doing this training in conjunction with anyone else here? Or interested in doing it with jillma? Rip, I am doing shorter posts! As to your answer to my question: I love you! Will you marry me when I grow up? (Which will probably be in my next lifetime but ...) We are taking risks here, the risk of asking personal questions, my risk of asking my question, and those are all steps into the dark, the darkness that is the loving healing empowering Mother greeting us and informing us as soon as we step forward into that darkness.
JaNell (goldennokomis) Wed 7 Nov 01 20:52
JaNell (goldennokomis) Wed 7 Nov 01 20:54
Pamela said "I'm coming from the mindset that all paths lead ultimately to the same truths, though." In the Bible, jesus says that "In my Father's House there are many mansions..." I always took that to mean that the path he was showing was not the only one. But I also figure that, being human, we can't perceive the entirety of "Truth", and if we ever did, we'd pop out of existance here and start over at another level... The example I use most often for my belief that all religions have a truth is, truth is like light refracted through a crystal; none of the religions see all of it, but they all see some of it, just like you can't really "see" white light, but you can see the colors that make up white light, and the colors are differant depending on the angle you're looking from...
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 7 Nov 01 23:53
<keta>, just a thought, but some of the practices that I am familiar with suggest that when one finds one's eyes glazing over at something - a form of going unconscious about it - then it's something that probably needs to have some particular attention paid to it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 7 Nov 01 23:53
E-mail from John Stephen Mathis: Francesca, I wonder if I might ask you a few questions concerning Third Road and other issues? First, can someone really learn the essence of it by reading through and doing the exercises in Goddess Initiation (or Be A Goddess for that matter - and is one better than the other)? Is there a need for personal contact with someone initiated into the tradition? Since there are those of us who can't afford to fly down to SF to study with you personally is this an effective way to seek initiation into the tradition. Also, I've read through your website a few times and wonder if you could briefly explain the difference between Third Road and other forms of the Craft (e.g. Phyllis Currot, Garderian, NECTW, Celtic, etc.). John Stephen Mathis
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 8 Nov 01 09:13
The issue is not whether the written Third Road material substitutes for the oral branch of the Third Road. Or vica versa! Scroll up to see that a core part of shamanism is honoring each thing for what it is. I said to my initiate, Scott Schulz, that both oral and written systems of The Third Road are sound magic, help you live the life of your dreams, and are Fey touched. He responded that they thus are one and the same. He touched on the real issue and helped me see it. Duh! The things I listed to Scott are not liturgically bound (AKA not determined by the outward form of words -- prayer and ritual are not the only factors that determine the inward essence.) Don't get me wrong, I know my poetry (prayers and other liturgy) is brilliant, I spend years developing it, it comes from my blood and sweat and bone, and it shifts the cells of those who use it. But the day someone says to one of my students, whether (s)he has studied with me face to face or through one of my books "Are you sure you are a legitimate Third Rood shaman?" I hope I am not there! Faerie magic is not liturgically determined nor is true shamanism. It is proven through an amused glimmer in the eye, a refusal to disavow the song of the wind, a belief that poetry is as real as bread, a belief that bread is as important as mystical vision, a belief that honor is false without feeding the poor. Christ and Gerald Gardner (an originator of contemporary Goddess Spirituality) both tried to teach *essence*: love, magic, power. But soon everyone was saying "You're not a proper Christian because you hang out with bad poeple" or "You're not casting circle correctly" AKA you are not a real Christian or Gardnerian. I know that will start in the Third Road community too: it is human nature and the tradition is practiced all over the world. But the Faerie Folk, who are the teachers of Celtic shamans, laff at that nonsense and then leave, taking their magic and lessons with them. Did that get to the heart of why you asked? As to difference between my traditions and others, I'm not an expert on other traditions. By only looking at what others do you do not truly understand it. One only understands by participation. I can talk about Taoism, because I practice it along with The Third Road. But I do not rigorously practice the traditions you ask about. However, there is an essay on my web site talking about the differences a bit, at http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/FT&3.html It is an old essay though, and quite honestly, my work has more and more influenced other traditions so some differences stated in that essay may no longer be true.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 8 Nov 01 12:06
Thanks all for the shorter posts -- it helps at least me with readability. Your comment, Francesca, "It is proven through an amused glimmer in the eye, a refusal to disavow the song of the wind," sums up what has come to be, for me, the measure of spirit and value. As far as the whole business of folks starting to say, "You're not a proper such-and-such because...," it reminds me of the evolution of Grateful Dead shows over the years. When I attended shows, back in the day, I never particularly liked to wear tie-dye. It was mostly street clothes for me, even though one of the best things about Dead shows was how there was hardly any passive audience to be found -- everyone brought part of the show. The thing was, somehow, it seemed that the more a particular "fashion" developed (or, you could say, a particular liturgy), the easier it was to loose the magical, equal, straight-across, just-being-together secret. I know that for many people, the fashion was important, because it helped them recognize and play with themselves and each other. And it really was the wonderful art we created together, the seeds that sprouted from the sparks flying off the magic. But still, more stuff, easier to loose the magic. But, here's the strange thing: as dominant as the fashions got, and as complex as the customs and rituals you could see being played out became, up until the very last show, there were always new people who "got it" -- the trappingsless essence, the, "It is proven through an amused glimmer in the eye, a refusal to disavow the song of the wind..."
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 8 Nov 01 12:54
Thinking about this more, I guess I'm often ambivalent about trappings, because they point and exclude at the same time. It's great to have the procession of Volkswagen busses on the freeway to let you know the Dead are in town, or to have various folks walking around wearing the funny clothing of this or that religion, or, here, to have the topic where everyone is gushing about goddesses... But on the other hand, there is so much truth and spirit in the folks that see those particular trappings and walk away, "Oh, that's not for me," and that has always made me sad. See, I want to set down the trappings and follow them, to say, "Oh really? And what *is* for you? What's your piece of the puzzle like?" I guess I like to travel between worlds. When I think of the people I've learned big spiritual lessons from, they're all skilled at doing that. Aha, now, after paragraphs of rambling, I have found my question: What is that trait, spiritually speaking -- the one who travels between worlds? How can someone embody that trait in a healthy way? What are some of the pitfalls? (and, of course, hee hee, is the answer contained somwhere above?)
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