Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Mon 12 Nov 01 05:30
Hey, maf, thanks for coming. (maf and I go back quite a bit.) Since I know maf, I also know that that second part of his question is a joke. But just to set the record straight, I in fact never make misddakes. Nebber! Kidding aside: First of all, I try to admit it when I do something wrong. Only when we face our mistakes, at least in the privacy of our own hearts, are we in the position to change whatever it is we are doing that hurts ourselves or others. I also try to have a sense of humor about my human failings. Humor is an important part of shamanism. The shaman, if they are gonna stay sane, always has a fool in his/her life. For one thing, it keep human errors in perspective, instead of expecting ourselves to be "spiritual" -- AKA pompous. Humor helps us face our weaknesses without beating ourselves up for them. (I alternate between being shaman and fool! I am not the only one who does that.) Having a sense of humor about one's shortcomings does not mean it is okay to be irresponsible or that we needn't strive to do our best. The Goddess expects us to really try to achieve a high standard. But the key word is "try." She knows we are only human; when we do not live up to the standards toward which we are striving, She says "Hey, you tried! Good for you! I love you." She doesn't say "This is a spiritual game show. First one to make a mistake goes directly to Hell, do not pass go!" In a few minutes I'm going to the airport to fly to NY to be on Iyanla Vanzant's TV show. This is all very sudden (and wonderful. Omigoddess!!!!!) An intervieweeee is to check in at least once a day to answer questions. I've been checking in a zillion times a day, but hey, I'm compulsive and I love answering all your great questions! However, tomorrow I'll be back home late, at which time my next check-in will happen. I look forward to it! Do not talk among yourselves while I am out of the room, do you hear me! Oh, wait, this is not a restrictive suppressing spirituality I am teaching, I am supposed to teach folks how to do what's needed to be as joyous and free as possible. Okay, talk among yourselves while I'm gone!
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 12 Nov 01 15:42
Travel safely, Francesca. We expect a full report on your return! <waving goodbye. then turning back to everyone else> Well, shall we talk about her while she's gone? %^)
just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Tue 13 Nov 01 09:44
thanks francesca for your words re healing. i smudged my apartment this morning too.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Tue 13 Nov 01 16:24
Well, I've done this interesting thing with the book, and now I think that the timing, the order and pacing, is one of the most important and unique things about it. Of course, I'm someone who *hates* to do as I'm told...but, I'm tempted! See, I was curious, "If I work through this book in the order she suggests, and start soon, where will I be at, say Christmastime, or come next spring, or on my birthday?" So I drew a circle, divided it into twelve for the months, (with 13 outside of #1), listed the chapter titles in each slice, and charted the monthly tables of assignments around the outside. What my little diagram of the book suggests is, "Follow this pace and pattern because it all together has a lesson the parts by themselves don't have." I also noticed how much of the material (in different forms, but which I recognize as related), is out and about in the world *without* accompanying context -- just "here's this tool, use it for (fill in the blank)."
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Nov 01 17:14
I think this post belongs here: inkwell.vue.131: Hyphenation 13 inkwell.vue.131.43: just got a fistful of pink peppercorns (jillmaxi) Wed 14 Nov 01 12:11 another ritual today. i lit my candle and waved it before images of the guru as usual. then i usually put on my japa ring and recommit to my relationship with self/god...today i warmed the ring with the candle flame and slipped it on my finger...then held it over my heart. felt good.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Nov 01 17:14
Francesca, are you back yet? We want to hear all about Iyanla!
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 14 Nov 01 20:21
Y'all. I am sooooo sorry. I couldn't check in yesterday for the interview. The plane crash in NY Monday messed up scheduling so I had to stay there an extra day instead of flying home yesterday and there was no sane way to get access to a computer (Long story with which I won't bore you.). I feel terrible. But I just walked in the door, fed my cats, and now I can hang with y'all. I would be happy to extend the interview for two days -- two days to make up for the one I missed. That is, if that is desirable for you all, and it is not an inconvenience to Sherry, Linda, or anyone else. I like hanging out here! Okay, now I am going read your posts and respond within minutes.
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Wed 14 Nov 01 20:36
Francesca, I am glad scheduling was the only thing that was messed up. Welcome back.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 14 Nov 01 21:18
Okay, first of all, I want to know what the gossip was about me while I was gone!!!!! :-) The show was so much fun, Linda. It was respectful of the goddess movement, and spiritual and uplifting and I cried twice when it was being filmed, cried just because it was all so moving! Don't misunderstand, it was straight ahead commercial talk show TV, but sometimes that can be a venue for special moments. Iyanla was really nice and so was just about everyone else involved with the show. All the show's guests were authors and we all bonded pretty quickly in the makeup room -- I would like to think I had something to do with that! As soon as they started working on our hair and makeup I started talking to everyone in the room like a party hostess. It made it fun! Though I had an ulterior motive in so boldly getting the chat going : I was nervous about the show. I was afraid I would stumble over my own tongue on camera if I didn't get my lips flapping and practice moving those lips before I went on camera!!! It worked -- in minutes I was just chatting away with everyone and my nerves -- as well as my tongue -- were fine. There is a spiritual lesson in that: be friendly, your fears vanish. That may not seem very deep, but community building is an important part of spirituality. (I talk about it a lot in Goddess Initiation.) Through community we find support to work toward our personal goals. And it is in community that we can serve others. And people say some really pretty things about community building, but talk is cheap. Hm, here is an excerpt of my notes for a panel on community building that I was on a few months ago: "How do we take personal responsibility in the moment? In other words, community cannot be an abstract. We have to put a human face on it so that we are, in our daily lives, walking our talk. Recently, after a major Pagan conference, an attendee confided in me that I had been the only person at that conference who had said hello to her. I was stunned! This, at a religious conference." After I told the audience that story I added: "How do we take personal responsibility in the moment? Say hi to someone at this conference who cannot do you a favor!" I loved that the people on the panel whom I really respect because they are devoted community servants were soon talking about the power of simply saying "Hello." They weren't instead saying high sounding things. They knew from experience that it is often simple acts that make magic and service effective. One of the challenges of being a mystic in fact is getting lost in high sounding spiritual rhetoric and forgetting that simple unglamorous values -- like patience, tolerance, compassion -- are vital. This represents another dialectic I tried to instill in The Third Road tradition: the bells and whistles of mysticism that I so love and need for sanity, as well as the simple spiritual values and acts that I also need for sanity. Anyway, The authors bonded quickly and all really supported each other. And it was fun to have the hair and makeup done. I felt very glamorous; I haven't done much TV.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Wed 14 Nov 01 21:23
Hey, Sherry, thanks! >What my little diagram of the book suggests is, "Follow this pace and pattern because it all together has a lesson the parts by themselves don't have." Yup. Wow, I would love to see that diagram. I also noticed how much of the material (in different forms, but which I recognize as related), is out and about in the world *without* accompanying context -- just "here's this tool, use it for (fill in the blank)." Exactly!!!!!! what good for example, are positive affirmations, if all they do is help you suppress your rage? For affirmations to take hold at a gut level, you need to add context! Shamanism is about our relationship to everything around us. I had a teacher once that said we become the place (as in "site") that we are in. The book's program is about living shamanically on a daily basis. That is a complex thing, and needs a full out training. When body building you don't just work one set of your muscles. In the same vein, I tried to create a system that we can work for a spirituality that is rich with meaning, effectiveness, practicality, relevance, mythos and creativity. > another ritual today. i lit my candle and waved it before images of the guru It is great you have that sense of your own ritual. I have met so many people who have that, and I find it an amazing gift given each of us: That deep inside we know what we need to touch god, to touch the heart of our own being and that of other people. I think when we combine our inner wisdom with feedback from other people, we have a full circle of love and commitment and information thru which we create change in in our lives.
Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Nov 01 23:30
Welcome back. Glad you got home safely. You are welcome to stay and hang with us as long as you like. Sometimes this topic reads like you have a secret, private window into my life, and I find myself thinking, "Hey! That's *my* stuff! How do you know that??!" And thanks for the report on your experience of being on the show. Can't wait to see it. When does it air?
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 15 Nov 01 08:25
Linda, thanks! I'll stay longer. Cool! Let's make Sunday the last day of the interview? You know, doing this interview has given me a chance to explore other inkwell. vue topics. They are amazing! I have almost no time to be on-line when it is not work related, not to mention that an upper body injury limits my computer usage. So it was nice to make an exception and explore inkwell.vue a bit. I wish I had more time in the day, argh!!!!!!! I am flattered and relieved that my posts sometimes mirror Linda. Relieved in that I post this stuff then wonder "Omigoddess, hundreds of people can see this! When I wrote 'red' did it seem I meant 'green?' What if my remark about loving all people sounds like I am instead saying 'hate all people not exactly like me'?" I won't know air date until a week before. It airs different times in different locations. And if you go to www.iyanla.com you can find the air date and time for your city. In SF it airs 12:30 AM right after "Politically Incorrect," on ABC. But it is not ABC in every city.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Thu 15 Nov 01 17:07
And welcome back from this corner too. I've had a similar feeling to Linda at times, of, "how did she know that?" And that brings me to another question: You comment in the book that much of the material is not from you, but "the Goddess told me." I wonder if you could talk a little about what trance is all about. And more about intuition. And one more thing, that might be related -- I've done the first three exercises (week 1), and it is really clear to me now how much of the wisdom/information/understanding depends on getting more of what goes on in one's head to pass through one's body, both going in and coming out. (Example, in Kissed By A Star, the concept that very far away is connected to very near at hand becomes a body-knowing, not just a mind-knowing.) So, does trance or intuition have anything to do with this? The image I have is how the little crystal-radio kit I had as a kid was just a box-o-stuff until it was all put together just-so, and it started broadcasting the local airport control tower into my basement.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 15 Nov 01 18:40
It is so nice to get all these welcome homes from you! I am not just saying that. Coming home from the airport, a fellow disembarked from the shuttle and said to all the remaining passengers, myself included, "Welcome Home!" I was surprised at how nice it felt! I wouldn't think that would mean much coming from a stranger! And getting it from you, whom I already know, is also wonderful. Flying to NY I was saying to a stewardess that folks don't feel big enough to make a difference and that Goddess Initiation helps that change. Another stewardess lit up like a Yule tree and said "Yes, we are all sooo powerful." Then she told me that earlier that day someone going through security gate barked at a worker there "They should hire *intelligent* people to work these gates." One sentence. And the worker was reduced! I told the stewardess she was brilliant: hers was an example of how horribly easy it is to hurt someone badly. But it is also an example: of how much power we have; and that we can use it in one sentence. So, everybody, welcome home from wherever you've returned from, even if it is from another room, or another state of mind! (Maybe that helped *one* person, who knows!) I'll answer Rip's ideas in a second.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Thu 15 Nov 01 19:14
My trance, Rip: I almost hate to talk about it because then someone might feel that their mode of perception is invalid! No matter how hard I try to teach otherwise, some of my students and readers will still think they are doing it wrong because they do it their own way instead of mine. And it is hard to talk about in and of itself, but here goes. One of the first times, I was doing a tarot reading for a client. When the reading was over I came to. Up til that moment I had not known I had been in a trance. I had felt alert and aware of the mundane plane so did not realize I was also elsewhere. Hm, I might have already started formal trance work by then also, can't remember. Anyway, finally I spent seven years in a contemplative life, trancing 24 seven. Lots of it formal, lots of it not obvious to an outside observer. Done while grocery shopping, done all the time. Nowadays, Her words or other acts just come through me all the time, off and on sporadically throughout the mundane parts of the day. But when it happens I am not in trance a lot of the time. HM, I never realized that! Anyway, sometimes I don't even notice it is going on until a few minutes into it. An exception would be when I am in a formal appointment to counsel someone. Then I am in trance the whole time. Whoa, I just realized that lately even that situation sometimes does not feel very trancey yet I in fact am "channeling" Her words the entire session. On to something else: I love your mind, Rip. Earlier I posted about bringing one's unconscious mind into union with one's conscious mind. This is a precept taught me by my Faerie teacher. And it is a classical shamanic concept. Hawaiian Kahunas talk about it. One of the subtle, sometimes not so subtle, goals in my work is a training that eventually unites your body, mind, conscious, unconscious, heart, emotions, anger, love, fear, body, toes and wrinkles to let you be the whole you. What I just wrote in this paragraph didn't make much sense., but it is not something to talk about a lot anyway. Because it doesn't make logical sense. In fact, once a human is operating as a whole being, much of what they do is illogical. But effective! (As I said before, I am gonna save stuff I am writing here for my next book.) That is why my books so much stress a dialectic between supposed opposites: The Third Road. And when we have this union, intuition (I almost wrote initiation, but that is also correct) emerges. I am not sure I addressed your question and thoughts about intuition. Did I? Also, maybe it is this unity of self that is allowing my "channeling" to happen so much when I am not in trance. Besides, what is trance?
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Thu 15 Nov 01 19:38
uh-oh. She's asking *us* questions again. We're in trouble. For me, I never realize I've found trancestate until I'm doing something mundane and it's Not The Same. It doesn't happen often, but it's there. In the Kissed By A Star ritual, I have found it relatively easy to go into meditation. I attribute this to the Something Different about the path you teach. Uh, I'm supposed to be asking a question. It's late here back East... tomorrow!! Before you left-coasters are even awake!
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 16 Nov 01 10:50
It was basically a rhetorical question. But in a way I was also asking it of myself and thus I guess of all of us. Because the posts got me thinking about the definition of trance. Not the first time I found myself redefining that word. So if folks have answers, that is great, too. Shamanic trance is generally thought of as resulting from three hours of drumming. I think it can instead come from lotsa training. Until one can snap into trance in two seconds. Trance is a natural phenomenon, and Celtic shamanic training helps one come to one's natural state. As to Sherry's "Something Different" that let her go easily into meditation: I ain't saying nothing mooooooooore! (Except: Sherry is teacher's pet for the day! You go!) I should also add: In GI, I talk about certain inner blocks that result if your first experience of some shamanic truths is intellectual rather than experiential. One has to do the shamanic practices to really understand shamanism. Enough said.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 16 Nov 01 13:39
Oh, where do you talk about those blocks? What is most helpful to me about your answers about trance and intuition is the "ordinaryness" you convey. I probably don't mean ordinary exactly, but that's the best I can come up with right now -- just the illustration that one could go shopping, see a client, move in and out unawares, go on for seven years... Some quality of it actually being perhaps difficult to distinguish between states, instead of dramatically obvious. (for you, and not necessarally for everyone/anyone else!) It points me to where you introduce the exercise for "grounding" in the book, and you talk about taking care about inadvertantly staying in or drifting to a different "world" (state of awareness). Of the three first-week exercises, that one struck me as the most important.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 16 Nov 01 14:46
Rip, Start on page 143 (Totem Animal section) and read that and the next page. The funny thing is, about the ordinariness of the trance state, is that on the other end of the spectrum, it often has a lot of "bells and whistles" too. "Special effects" without which my life would be drab and unmotivated. And I have to make sure I get enough of those bells and whistles to nourish my Fey blood, but on the other hand not forsake the more grounded parts of my spirituality for those buzzy, deep, experiences that are so viscerally cosmic.
Rip Van Winkle (keta) Fri 16 Nov 01 15:26
Ah, I see. (excerpt from that section: "A book may tell you that you are an eagle and that eagles have great compassion. But if you learn both those lessons firsthand, before any book tells you, you may own that wisdom at a deeper level.") It occurs to me that you might only need one of those firsthand-first experiences to assist you in passing through that block. When I was growing up, there was an old willow tree in the back yard. What with one thing and another (details unimportant), a few years ago it died. The last year it was alive, I happened to be home and took a cutting from one of the feeble sprouts that were left around the base. Now that cutting is becoming quite a tree in my own back yard, and, one day, it may return to its original hillside. It wasn't until very recently that I realized that, in a sense, that tree had talked to the little kid in the yard, formed a connection with the only being around who seemed like it might help, and, well, here we are. But when I *did* realize that, it shifted my understanding of some of my memorable childhood dreams, shifted my understanding of myself, and, shortly thereafter, I "got" what Medicine Cards (the animal totem card deck by Jamie Sams) are all about.
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 16 Nov 01 18:22
I love that, keta.
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Fri 16 Nov 01 20:40
Ditto what Linda said. And some editors might hate Rip's post, might say "Can you explain that more clearly?" But spiritual community isn't about further explanation to me. It is about my using the vigor of Rip's experience to fuel my own explanation, and that can only come from my *own* experience. God, I am sounding more and more in this interview like I am on drugs: I have pursued this interview in a way very different from my usual wont. Instead of my usual interview snappy short little phrases that are both from the heart but very clear and easy for *anyone* to relate to, I have taken lotsa risks, as well as often responded with my personal experiences as a seeker. I have let my intuition guide me into, instead of just an interview, what I hope is a bit of a mini-shamanic journey for everyone here. Anyway, in doing all this, maybe I have been obscure, and made it harder for some people to respond with "Hey, what she is talking about will help me with the mundane things I am actually facing today, this very day." Thus maybe this interview has not portrayed how practical my books are, how they really help, for example, improve, in the most mundane sense, one's sex life, job satisfaction, parenting, etc.. But I still think what I've done here has worked. For example, I tried to make points about shamanism by telling my personal thoughts and tales. My point in saying all this is that learning shamanism, when it comes down to it, is done by sitting with a shaman. Somehow, you remarkable folks -- you remarkable remarkable folks -- have all created a situation whereby instead of the usual interview, we could sit together. We could *be* together as well as talk together. I like being with people -- it is what I crave -- with people in the cave by the fire in a circle sheltered from the lonely outside, our human warmth generating Goddess' heart heat to each other. Rip telling that story generates his/Goddess' heart heat to us as we sit in the cave. This has not been a interview. Its been a rite. Thank you for creating it with me. ***** Okay, so how do we finish a ritual? How do we end it, how do we ground after it?
Francesca De Grandis (zthirdrd) Sat 17 Nov 01 08:53
One way to ground after a rite is to wrap up loose ends. Some of this can be done by Q & A. Here are answers to questions no one has asked but might be thinking: Q: If the way to learn shamanism is by siting with a shaman, why do you write books? A: My comment about sitting was in context. Sitting as opposed to us gathered only to discuss theory. Being, doing, loving, as opposed to cocktail party chat. In the same sense , "Goddess Initiation" is a program, a training, you don't just read that book, you use it to be, do, love, as opposed to using it as fuel for cocktail party chat. Q: Why do you think that you are such a big deal that sitting with you is a lesson? A: because I know I am a big deal, and that you are too. As soon as you say "I'm a big deal to sit with" then I am no longer "the" shaman, I become one shaman sitting with you, who is also a shaman, and our sitting together teaches both of us. I have learned lots in this topic, because everyone is coming from their hearts and earnest desires. In that, you have all functioned as shamans, and I have been taught shamanic lessons.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 17 Nov 01 11:34
Francesca, would you elaborate a bit on the concept of each of us having both a god and a goddess within, and how you call on one or the other. How do you know when to call on which, or does the appropriate one automatically respond? I can see them now, turning to each other as they listen to what's on my mind. One sits back and relaxes and says to the other "It's for you!"
Sherry Thrash (izzie) Sat 17 Nov 01 17:37
Oh Linda! That's *exactly* what happens for me. In ritual work, or when contemplating a problem, or when seeking a little guidance, I run through, in my mind, the energies of various godforms. One of the images I carry will shine a little brighter than the rest and There Ya Go. Or, in meditation, I'll see an Animal which will immediately Mean Something of a godform for me. That's the one I pick. Oops. The question was for Francesca. Shutting up, now.
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