Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 8 Nov 01 17:36
Rip, yes!!!! >so much truth and spirit in the folks that see those particular trappings and walk away And for that reason I write interfaith books as well as Goddess books (I just haven't had the former published yet.) >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 somewhere above?) I think that trait is a commitment to love, and to fun, and to mischief. The desire to celebrate life and serve others. It takes a certain amount of mischievousness to constantly shift from one aspect of your personality to another. (All these aspects are real and not a facile camouflage of a person with no core being.) We can embody that trait if we let go of superiority or smug judgement. As soon as we judge someone else, we cannot shift into a shared world with them in order to love them, celebrate them, laff with them, serve them. (Boy, some of this stuff I am writign is going into my new book!) A pitfall: I had a long road before I fully honored my multifaceted self. For years I just thought myself unable to focus on one thing. Now I bring all those assets together. A pitfall: inability to acknowledge the usefulness of consensus reality. In "Goddess Initiation" I talk a lot about how independent thinkers, mystics, people who create their own life styles, and the like, often can't come into consensus with others. I am guilty of this myself. An example I use in "Goddess Initiation": mystics often create their own personal sets of images, even their one language. Which is great until one of them says "Green" yet another hears "blue" and a fight ensues. Which is funny, because we create those private images and personal languages in order to find an "essence", then hotly defend them as *trappings.* Luckily, we humans have the capacity to laff at ourselves!
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 8 Nov 01 17:51
I am not sure my last paragraph was clear: let it instead read "Which is funny, because we create those private images and personal languages in order to find an "essence", then, in our anger, turn them into mere *trappings* by a hot-headed, paranoid defense of them. Funny! Luckily, we humans have the capacity to laff at ourselves! However, this hot headed defensiveness comes usually from being injured, from, for example, being mocked for or shunned for our eccentricities. I hope the tools in "GOddesss Initiation" help heal those soul wounds so that we can better come together with like minded cosmic wanderers.
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 8 Nov 01 18:07
E-mail from Stephen Mathis: Francesca, it got precisely to the heart of the issue. Having spent year in the christian world, including several years as a pastor, I know the deadening effect the theological purity has on spiritual growth. I'm drawn to the Craft because it goes far beyond the linear constraints of theolgical thinking, and causes me to dive deep. It's an understanding that does not easily fit within precisely determined categories. I think that's why Fairie Wicca is so compelling, there's a wildness about, utter freedom, but also discipline and responsibility. Stephen Mathis
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 8 Nov 01 19:18
>wildness about, utter freedom, but also discipline and responsibility. it sounds like you read the essay I mentioned a few posts ago that describes The Third Road :-) And since The Third Road is about embracing opposites, or about following a path tangential to opposites: then though I talk about form not ruling us, the exact opposites is also true. Form *must* rule us. We must honor form because it is part of the moment, part of physics, part of life. Eg without the form of skin and bone, the body falls apart and falls in a heap on the ground! Another eg: on the one hand we need the freedom to proudly think for ourselves and create our own reality. On the other hand, we need the automatic and ongoing practice of humbly listening to others' input -- this consistent practice is following form because we do it even when we don't feel like it. Without this form, we hurt ourselves and others because we hadn't created the built-in response to consider humbling, challenging input such as 'Hey, you were thoughtless to your son just now!"
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 9 Nov 01 15:34
Thank you, Francesca, that is very helpful! I now actually have your book and am reading it, and I agree that it "seems different" than a typical self-help book (as was discussed above, starting around <130.21>). For one thing, you're not selling me anything. You never bother to use your entertaining voice to try to convince me you've got something I really need, that I'm less of a person without. Or leading me to believe this will do the work for me. Or enticing me to do this instead of the work I might be doing. Instead, the tone is something like, "Ever tried this?" "oh, you liked that -- here's what else you can use it for." My analogy is that you're like a cook who comes over to visit, talks a lot, has a twinkle in her eye, looks around my kitchen, doesn't criticise, asks maybe, "what do you want to cook?" I don't have to believe you invented cooking, or that I am a worse cook than you for having invited you over. We just go to it, and, along the way, as you show me this'n'that, stuff happens, fun things get cooked, and I end up with a deeper relationship to food and maybe a few other things too.
Bob 'rab' Bickford (rab) Fri 9 Nov 01 15:51
BTW, anyone who wants to read Francesca's book would be very well advised to *NOT* accept the offer of a free one but instead just buy a copy from your favorite retailer (online or off). The WELL staff _supposedly_ sent one to me on October 24th but there's been no sign of it -- normal mail delivery every day since then except Sundays but no book. So save yourself some time -- and put a few pennies in this wonderful lady's pocket -- by buying the book. Francesca, how well do you think the book would be received by someone who knows very little about neo-pagan beliefs but is generally friendly to what s/he does know? I'm thinking about gifts to a few of my friends, who generally know that pagans and wiccans are good people and (for example) not interested in devils or demons or whatever the latest fundie-Christian propoganda says -- but who don't know details yet. Is this accessible to someone at that level?
JaNell, off topic (goldennokomis) Fri 9 Nov 01 17:36
OT, Bob, the same thing happened with the copy of American Gods; I got it about when the topic ended. If you're due a free copy of Francesca's book, go ahead and buy one, and if the other comes, gift someone.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 9 Nov 01 21:44
Rip, thank you for those kind words. <blush> Also: >For one thing, you're not selling me anything. That cracks me up. Laff out loud!!!!!!! I've been criticized for being a ceaseless self-promoter. But you get it, you get me. What I am selling is *you* to yourself. And I am very enthusiastic about it! People mistake that for self-promotion. I constantly let folks know about my services as a writer, shamanic counselor -- I counsel folks all over the world by phone -- and teacher, because I know these services really help folks, and I really really really want to help folks. But I *can't* help if folks don't know my services and books exist.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 9 Nov 01 21:57
Wow, my head is swelling since I've been doing this interview with y'all! Rab, bluntly: My first book, Be a Goddess!, (BaG) went into 12 printings in three years. Sales figures clearly show that non-pagans were reading it. Lots of them. I got mail all the time from BaG readers who had never read a book in the genre until they read mine. They write me that they didn't read this stuff but mine is "not scary" or "not flaky" or "down to earth" or "practical." Then I wrote Goddess Initiation,(GI) and used what I had learned writing BaG to make my material even *more* accessible to non-pagans. And I did my best to make the material accessible to novices and relevant to real people and their actual lives.
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 10 Nov 01 09:56
okay - i've been out of the loop for a few days, and will now go back and read all 40 or so responses (what prolific posters here!) and see where this discussion has been, and what direction it seems to want to follow.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Sat 10 Nov 01 10:23
it is kind of confusing to follow everything. is it possible to dedicate one or more threads to the discussion of issues within the book?
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 10 Nov 01 10:24
Francesca, I have-but-haven't-yet-read BaG. Is it divided into monthly exercises/lessons like GI? And why 13 months? Were there 13 lessons that needed imparting, or did it just work out that way, or is there some deeper reason transparent to this mortal?
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 10 Nov 01 10:25
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 10 Nov 01 10:31
I think I've been inspired to ask another question here... Francesca, who are you, really? :) How did you end up writing these books? (wow. actual *interview* like questions!)
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sat 10 Nov 01 12:22
> it is kind of confusing to follow everything. is it possible to dedicate one or more threads to the discussion of issues within the book? I aim to please. But help me figure out how to do so: In my mind everything we are talking about is related to the book even when I am not stating it as such. EG: If I am speaking my opinion about how to do shamanic training, that is how it would be done in the book since the book is a curriculum I created. However, since this is not working for you can you make specific concrete suggestions as to what we can change? Or maybe your suggestion of threads is such. What are thread?
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 10 Nov 01 12:26
I don't think threads will work in this context, FdG. Threads are like what we in the Well think of as Topics w/in a Conference. Our interview *is* a thread, as it is a topic w/in the Inkwell.vue conference.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sat 10 Nov 01 12:27
BaG, Sherry, was fifteen weeks. One lesson a week. !3 months is a good amount of time for profound transformation to occur in one's life and for a serious magical and spiritual training to actually take place. Ditto fifteen weeks. "profound transformation" in the sense of practical, real change in one's everyday life that makes one a happier, more fulfilled, more capable, more loving person.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sat 10 Nov 01 15:44
Oops, in an earlier post, I wrote "!3 months" meaning "13 months." I hit an exclamation point instead of a 1. Who am I? A spiritual brat who argues with God constantly but whom She nevertheless picked as a spiritual leader -- go figure; I never would have agreed to being a leader, it just happened somehow. I'm also a loner who created an international community without meaning to. I'm a spiritual outlaw, a lover of movies with martial arts and/or lotsa things exploding. I'm a walking good luck charm -- sit next to me and your life improves! I love Victoriana, am a fabulous cook, and am 5' 8" &3/4", cute, and love long strolls on the beach, watching the sunset, and romantic dinners, wait, this is not a personal ad! Its an interview! What was I doing?!! I write books because I have a gift for, as one of my students put it "Organizing the unorganizable. " Unorganizable in the sense of the material I write about, and the folks who will do what no ones else instructs them to, but who will for some reason do what I ask of them when they sit in my classes or read my books. I write books for the other spiritual brats who are trying to handle this complex life because I have a gift for complexity and know we need solid answers instead of glib nana. As a loner who has struggled to be "a part of" I have learned lessons about that so I share them in my books. The main thing though is that I am a healer, that is my goal in everything I do.
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Sat 10 Nov 01 19:44
huge transformations afoot...and i haven't even gotten much into the book. relationship with great promise seems to have ended...any good spells for healing/letting go and all that? i just went up on my roof and threw rose petals to the wind, petals given to me by her (as roses;)). hate these sad lessons.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sun 11 Nov 01 08:36
I am sorry that you are having to go thru sad lessons. I mean, I *know* we have to do that, and that we learn from them and get happy. But I am still sorry you are hurting. As to letting go, etc: Rose petals on roof: great! As to more transformational rites, not to worry: you're doing one! The book is one big transformational ritual. Deep yummy lasting transformation. The lessons one after another help you let go, heal and grow.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 11 Nov 01 12:41
Francesca, I would love to know what brought you to where you are now. How did you become a shaman? Was it your intention to seek that or did you simply arrive there on your way to somewhere else?
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Sun 11 Nov 01 15:00
Hi all, can't catch up now, so I don't know what I'm *not* responding to, but I have a new question: In the book, Francesca, you strongly encourage readers to do all the exercises in order, and at the pace you lay out -- i.e. over 13 months. I'm sure many a curious reader will browse, dip in, ignore or miss this suggestion. Can you talk a little about what the benefits of heeding your advice may be?
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sun 11 Nov 01 17:03
yeah. What (keta) said. Not that I would consider skipping around...
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sun 11 Nov 01 18:29
Linda, I was kidnapped by Faeries! I was a musician playing in major clubs, then all of a sudden I am a professional shaman instead. (Though my music, I discovered, is part of my spirituality, so I write music still, and record it, and have an album out of Goddess music, oh yeah, we talked about that in an earlier post, never mind.) I suspect a lot of people *fall* into shamanism. They may not even call it by that name but just be led into the underworld of their being, and emerge with magic in their hearts. Rip, Sherry, if you study ballet you do your plies for a while before you try to do leaps. Thus you leap well, leap uninjured, and fly high. Wheeee! I want my magical mystical athletes to be strong, powerful, safe and fly high! I also know that this series, done as given, will change the cells of your being til you're happier than ever before. And maybe happy for the very first time. Sound good? <--- Jeez, this sounds like a sales pitch, but you asked what the benefits are! :-)
(maf) Sun 11 Nov 01 23:16
Hey Francesca, how do shamans deal with it when they make mistakes, or do you ever make mistakes?
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