inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #76 of 123: 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!  
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #77 of 123: 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?  %^)
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #78 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #79 of 123: 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)." 
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #80 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #81 of 123: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 14 Nov 01 17:14
    

Francesca, are you back yet?  We want to hear all about Iyanla!
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #82 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #83 of 123: Sherry Thrash (izzie) Wed 14 Nov 01 20:36
    

Francesca, I am glad scheduling was the only thing that was messed up.
Welcome back.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #84 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #85 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #86 of 123: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #87 of 123: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #88 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #89 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #90 of 123: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #91 of 123: 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!
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #92 of 123: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #93 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #94 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #95 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #96 of 123: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 16 Nov 01 18:22
    

I love that, keta.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #97 of 123: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #98 of 123: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #99 of 123: 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!"
  
inkwell.vue.130 : Francesca De Grandis: Goddess Initiation
permalink #100 of 123: 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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