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Welcome to my site. I'm Francesca De Grandis. * classes * books * blog * Third Road Shamanic Wicca * stardrenched oral tradition
* Faerie mysticism * 
ol' fashion witchcraft * ol' fashion innovation * ecstatic paradox * Fey Druidism * I'm a non-theist pantheist
pagan serving Goddess. Mother and all my Gods, thank you.

Shamanic Training

Third Road Classes 

JoyWhat gives me joy is igniting the unique joy within someone else, the utter delight that lights them up like a happy Yule tree and is their special gift to the world. Each person has a unique talent or talents. Third Road nurtures these passions—you attain rich selfhood. Classes open up your shamanic and mundane gifts.

What gives me joy is my students. I get the coolest students in the whole world. I’m blessed to walk my spiritual path alongside them.
          I’m not flavor of the month anymore. Students who choose me are not fad seekers.
          The quality of the people who study Third Road says the most about my work.
          I’m in awe of my students. And a bit humbled by the honor of teaching these folks who want to: enjoy life to the max while working hard to be firmly entrenched in an ethical way of being; find joy and meaning no matter what; enjoy the career they were put on this planet for; pursue maximum self-expression; be of service to their family, friends, and the world at large; and make a difference to the people they touch. The majority of current Third Road students are national leaders in their field. Two examples: a celebrity chef; an innovator in paradigms for helping at risk youth.
          Even students who think themselves “newbiJoyes” quickly show themselves to be my peers. Hmm, everyone on the planet is a peer. But what I mean is: my newbies show a spiritual depth that makes them not newbies at all, even if they don’t know it. (Part of what I do as a teacher is to show someone how amazing they already are. I’m not right for anyone wanting a mentor whose attitude is “Study with me, I will reveal how to become as pompous and superior as I am.” LOL.)
          When a class has old and new students, my old-timers really welcome newcomers, instead of trying to cow them with supposed superior power. How cool is that?
          It seems right to have kicked off by saying a good deal about my students: You the participant, not me, are what my classes are for.

Where does all this begin? With beginners and adepts all together in my entry-level classes. Entry-level classes are multilayered, suitable for beginners and adepts.

New to Wicca
If you are new to paganism, shamanism, and the like, don’t be put off by my talk of amazing students. Get on my mailing list. When you receive a class announcement that says "no experience needed" or the like, trust it. Entry-level classes are totally accessible to beginners. Honest!

EldersElders, start at the beginning. Spiritual seekers on any path occasionally start ground up. For example, Fred Lamond—an effective magician, one of European Wicca’s most respected elders, and a student of Gerald Gardner—took entry-level lessons. He had the beginner’s mind to profit from them, and liked them so much he asked me to teach them in England.

Below the following banner is more info.

Stardusted, traveler, fantasy, myth, Fey, bard, lore, original, mind, stardrenched, emptiness, breath, ritual, pagan, stars

The Third Road tradition is Faerie shamanism. (For our purposes here, I use the following terms interchangeably: Third Road, Wicca, paganism, Goddess Spirituality, witchcraft, Faerie Tradition, Celtic shamanism, Third Road Shamanic Wicca, Faerie mysticism.)
         This ecstatic path is surprisingly down to earth. We must become mystics who apply our visions practically, so that we can fulfill ourselves and obligations to family, friends, community, and cosmos. Third Road lessons develop one's spiritual, psychic, and worldly potential.
          Third Road lessons include
psychic training; personal growth; the lyrical power of the Faerie Faith; a practical application of paganism to life's joys and challenges; becoming of maximum service; and solid magical technique, including spells for manifestation of material goals.

          This is integrated with tools for experiencing the love of the Old Gods in daily life. Non-theists are shown how to adapt this part of lessons so that it is relevant, empowering, and beautiful for them.
          Classes consist of lecture, ritual and discussion. Weekly ritual practices are assigned. If you desire, I directly address your specific issues.
          Material is taught experientially, not academically. The Old Religion is learned through applied theology, living in myth, ecstatic techniques, ethics, celebratory transformational ritual-experiences, and sexual wholeness.
          Ol' fashion witchcraft. Ol' fashion innovation. 

For notice of upcoming classes, each with a description of that particular class, prices, and the like, go here.

Teleseminars
Teleseminars (group meetings by phone): Third Road classes are group phone calls. No computer or special equipment needed. Just dial your phone to be with the group.
          It's not me lecturing at you for an hour, it's magical, it’s interactive, and you ask all the questions you need. A shaman walks with her students in the other world. We can get there on the phone. I use traditional Celtic teaching methods, including direct spiritual transmissions during classes.

 Once every year or two I do a face to face weekend, which is announced through my mailing list.

Entry LevelEntry Level Classes: An entry-level class is usually seven weeks long. There are many to choose from. They can be taken in any order. Each is a complete training unto itself. They often have a specific focus for those who desire only that particular class’s material. E.g., herbal magic, traditional healing used for gender empowerment, shamanic counseling, or sacred sexuality. These "sister" curriculums complement each other, adding up to a larger whole.
          Most classes are limited enrollment so students can receive individualized guidance about making lessons relevant to their present lives and strengthening the God(dess) within. Small groups also allow me to facilitate emotional and psychic safety—my tools for inner change can be deeply moving.

Core TrainingThe Core Third Road Training is 2 years long. Four entry-level classes are part of it: 1) Be a Goddess Master Class; 2) Gentle Heart, Palm Up; 3) Holy Sweaty Joy; and 4) The Ecstatic Path. They can be taken in any order, and are each offered only once a year. Some people do not take all four in one year, but spread them out over a longer period.
          Along with the above four prerequisites, a student is required to take two "electives" before the advanced training (AKA the second year of lessons). Advanced training is one year and of a piece.
          There are many electives to choose from. A class announcement will say whether that class qualifies as one of the two electives required before advanced training.

Advanced TrainingAdvanced Training is a yearlong supervised shamanic journey. Magical instruction and spiritual development are challenging—a big commitment, but it creates huge shifts in one’s mundane life, as well as the sweetest mystical fruits. Curriculum advances topics introduced in entry level courses. For example, students come to an even deeper trust of their inner voice. 
          Via focused exercise and repetition, students gain facility in the Magical Art much the way dancers or martial artists train to command their art.
          Students also learn and/or sharpen magical techniques most relevant to their own work and personalities. I develop individualized curriculum; one student might learn about pastoral counseling, another about animal totems. Personal attention is an integral part of Wiccan training. Private lessons are built into the class schedule.
          Advanced work includes many other things, and this page is long nuf as is! But my classes are oral tradition, most of which is best described within,...um, oral tradition. Call me!

Class Schedules: For notice of upcoming classes with prices, curriculum details, and the like, go here.

Your Unique Magic
In ancient times, each shaman had his or her own skill or skill sets. One might drum into the underworld, another might be an herbalist, another might be a drumming herbalist. Yet another shaman may have a totem animal, another shaman might pull illness out of patients. There is not space here to name the different forms. Nor would the entire sky be big enough to write them all.
          The essence of magic is expressed differently by each person. My goal in entry level and advanced classes is to help each individual discover the heart of mysticism and life as it manifests uniquely in that person, and facilitate its fullest expression in a safe process.
          Each person has their specific depths to explore. My curriculums are tailored to that. Students go deeper and deeper into the mysteries that draw them. For example, Margaret eventually became a master astrologer. One day, after working on her astrology with me for a half hour, she said it was the best astrology lesson she'd ever had. I am not an astrologer! Margaret travels the world getting awesome astrology lessons from top people in the field. Why would she still need me? I know how to uncover, affirm, and facilitate someone's personal power in ever deeper ways. Atypical paganism.

The 3rd Road Is an Initiatory Path. Initiation is not guaranteed upon completion of the core training, but almost all students have received it—some before the two years end, some a year or so after training. Some do not want it! Feel free to call me with questions about initiation.

After advanced training, some students continue lessons. Over the years, longtime Third Road initiates develop their own shamanic style and specialty to a master level. I respect Michael Harner's sincerity and contributions, but I do not hold with his modern idea of standardized shamanism. I do not describe the post-two-year-training on this site—it is a moot point until one has undergone the earlier training.

I love Wicca, so am heartbroken that it’s become one more organized religion with dominant sectors that insist on set beliefs and liturgies, invalidating thousands of sincere seekers. The word Wicca has come to represent an oppressive approach to many people. I don’t renege on my Wiccan teachings; I just call them pagan sometimes or explain that they’re teachings of my own devising, and I stand by them.
          Nowadays, calling Third Road Wicca confuses some folks about what I teach. I will use the word, though. The Goddess frees us from oppression: It is important for non-fundie Wiccan traditions to remain.
          My style of Wicca embodies the following philosophy and provides tools to implement it: We need no priest to tell us how to act. Anyone can talk directly to Deity; hierarchical dogma can be replaced with connectivity and personal revelation, through which one finds Goddess, self, and wholeness. I help non-theists who study with me adapt theist parts of Third Road.

Which Class to Start with 
Jump on the merry-go-round at any point. Choose an entry-level class that appeals to you. Its description might not say "pagan basics" or "introduction to faerie magic." I teach classes that improve your life. In the process, you learn the Third Road magical techniques and shamanic culture. Traditional training is contextual. I teach shamanic technical development as part of a larger whole. Shamanism is more than the techniques. For example, you are the primary shamanic tool, so we must work on who you are. Over the years, we deal with the whole of you and your life. My belief is I cannot train someone in a vacuum of pure technique and theory.

Faerie, Sshhh
All my classes are fey-touched, whether or not an individual class is described as such. I am fey in all I do, and my curriculum comes from my DNA. Also, traditional European shamanism as I know it is never far from Faerie realms.
          I am old-fashioned. The class material is not something you can get online, even though I have online tribe. I learned magic con leche, so our family tradition is a quiet subtle given, a powerful whispering magic inherent in all my thoughts, actions, and teachings.
          The entire Third Road curriculum is a single eon-long bardic poem. It is an enormous responsibility—and blessing—to channel a poetry of transformative earth spirituality. I strive diligently to stay a clear channel for a curriculum that is comprehensive, finely-tuned, effective, and safe.
          I am 62. My work still evolves, as it should. I let go of harmful and mediocre early influences. I hopefully let go of enough ego to be a better conduit of the Divine and more adept at increasing my students’ power instead of trying to impress them with my own. (I'm not reneging on any of my books. I stand by them 100%. I'm talking about my evolution within oral tradition.) 
          I've returned to other of my early influences, such as my family tradition, drawing on it more than ever.
          I still use some old material I taught, intertwined with the newer. The heart of my work remains: Fey-touched tools that transform people and their lives, spiritually and materially. And living in the heart of fey magic, while facilitating that for others, as I develop better methods to do so. 

MoneyMoney: Enrollment fee varies. Class announcements include cost. You might also pay long-distance charges, depending on your long-distance plan. If so, they appear on your phone bill. The events have a U.S. area code.
          People, who can, pay me. People, who cannot, don't. Scholarships and semi-scholarships are available.
If paying a lump sum all at once is a problem, call me about working out a payment plan. I am also open to trading for services or products.
          I am a traditional shaman: I charge for my services and took vows to not charge for certain lessons and services. Despite the current trend against charging at all, money plays a sacred role in traditional shamanic culture. Further discussion of paid shamanism is on my other site.  

Drugs: Shamanic perceptions that are transformative, joyous, and informative can be gained without drugs. It is a matter of training. Third Road is such a training. This is rarely mentioned in a class description. If you can't figure out from its description whether a specific upcoming class has this sort of material, feel free to call me: 814-337-2490.

What Third Road Is Not
Being mean, decadent, or haughty is not edgy, they are destructiveness disguised as freedom. Self-fulfillment and freedom can be gained through less flashy—but utterly ecstatic—methods. The environment of a Third Road class is a subtle route to joy. My students and I meet in the real, where love, empowerment, and personal freedom thrive.
          Freedom is not temporary release followed by an undisciplined, frantic search for the next escapist delusion. Liberty  and joy require work, commitment, and a teacher who is not "better than you."
          Self-love isn't justifying one's addictions, wrongdoings, and inertia. It's knowing one is worthwhile exactly as is, and nevertheless releasing inner blocks to happiness. I help you face those blocks.
          Healthy ego is not thinking you can do it all yourself, but knowing you are worthy of support, and reaching out to get it.
          Healthy ego is not criticizing others in a superior manner, it is going 100% for what you desire and believe in. The Third Road nurtures the ability to find and maintain unstoppable healthy egos.
          I do not bolster someone’s false ego if they feel insecure or lost. I help them experience their innate goodness 100%. That is one of many things I do to construct an unstoppable healthy ego.
          I do not develop curriculum that nurtures identification with a process rather than doing the process. Nor an identification of being something instead of being it. To live in a false-ego-state of a definition causes great damage to self and others.
          Many alternative spiritual systems are not substantive, they are simply polarizations against mainstream religion. Or they are thrown together quickly to be, voila, pagan. My teachings are deeply pagan, carefully constructed over time—this is what I do, what I have given my life to.
          I might spend years writing a seven-week curriculum that I only teach to ten people. If I'm teaching ten people, they deserve my highest standard. It's weird because, in our society, most people would spend this much time on a curriculum only if they were going to teach it to thousands of people. Weird, W-y-r-d.
          Devotion to excellence in the transitory is part of oral tradition. My best poems were in the moment, I have no record of them. Devotion only to documented events or to the ego feed of teaching many people results in arrogance, hierarchy, and pain for all involved.
          The immense work and painstaking process needed to raise your children or maintain your marriage or be great at your job, and so on, as well as your brilliance, generosity, and selflessness in these things—these invisible efforts are oral tradition. And are no less spiritual and devoted than a Catholic mass. This quiet excellence is what  Third Road nurtures.
           Third Road is neither trendy nor out of date.

 Oral Tradition
Oral Tradition: My classes are embedded within a long lineage of oath-bound oral tradition. Despite how long this page about classes is, the written word is incapable of representing what is taught orally.
          My oral trainings cannot be learned from a book.
          I’ve seen well-intended misinformation online about what is in my classes. Not surprising, because oral tradition is invisible. Plus, most folks know my work based on the small part of it that's published. If you want to know more about my material and whether it would be useful to you, give me a call—oral tradition!
          A marketing consultant told me very few national authors teach small groups. I’m now an international author, but oral tradition happens in small groups. I am not in this for the money.
          Some witches offer three easy steps to be lord of the universe, hehe. I go slowly, so sometimes students go other places to get "advanced material," thinking I do not have it. Or because I don’t hint of dark secrets that will make you superior to everyone else, LOL. (Anyone who brags about occult secrets has lost those secrets.) Or because they assume everything I teach and practice can be found in my published work. I live in my day, not in a book. Oral tradition cannot be conveyed in print.

Divinity: I live ecstatic paradox. Third Road is not an either/or paradigm.  My sense of divinity is an example: I'm a non-theist pantheist pagan serving Goddess. Mother and all my Gods, I thank you for my wonderful life.
          Some of my students believe in deity, some don't. Each to their own. I don't buy into trends, e.g., that a belief in Deity is oppressive to those who don't believe in Deity. By that measure, the only way to support others is to believe in nothing oneself. I can know something in my heart, and love that you know the opposite in your heart. Why not?

More Paradoxes
I work hard to help students find and trust the inner voice, develop strong wills, live according to their passions, and fulfill their dreams. Yet, we work equally hard to surrender to something bigger than ourselves. We also learn to balance healthy ego with authentic humility, our wonderful wills with gentle willingness, and self-fulfillment with the sacrifices entailed in being of service.
          This balance is not just a passing nod to humble willingness and service. They are worked on as vigorously as we work on inner voice, strong will, passion, self-fulfillment, and magical techniques—therefore, my teachings withstand the rigors of daily life and the crises that are part of living.
          Some spiritual teachers have a thin gloss of humble willingness and selflessness, a veneer hiding teachings that go no further than developing a sense of self or rebellion against mainstream religion.
          Developing sense of self is vital, I work hard to help my pupils do so. And it is good to rebel, I facilitate it. Then I assist people in healing further to be 100% empowered. Initial rebellion can be hard won and is wonderful freedom! To fully live your life and fully use your innate shamanic powers requires additional steps, which Third Road provides—steps that move you past mainstream nana, past frustrating rebellion, and into a…well, into a beautiful gratifying Third Road!
          The above are only a few examples of major paradoxes within Third Road lessons.

Shamanism Is Based in Relationship

I commit to my students. I am available by phone between classes, and after the semester ends, for questions or problems. Your concerns are not dealt with by e-mail, I don’t treat you as yet another e-mail that needs answering. Oral tradition necessitates that encounters be…yes, oral. (There are times when students e-mail me, e.g. they are not in the U.S.)
          We enjoy free rituals via group phone calls, for students and anyone else who wants to participate. These are announced on the Faerie Nation list.
          Students gain (or strengthen) heart-openness to deep relationship with Divinity, family, community, and cosmos. While nurturing the individual, classes also foster each person's weaving with society, nature, and universe. Again—relationship!
          Be in now with me. Be in union with all, through oral tradition earth-based mysticism: Get in on the ground level of the cosmos’ moment to moment.

For 18 years, Third Road was the hub of a pagan community in SF, California. Then, I was vision-driven to live quietly in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. Now I continue my work midst wildflowers, trees, and dryads. The community is world-wide, yet meets in small groups. A fey global-village. An uncomplicated intimate structure can be effective—I have taught innumerable students.

Am I Right for You?
Use your common sense, intuition, tarot cards, or hula hoop to decide the quality of my work. Think for yourself. For example, a reader-reviewer convincingly argued against things in one of my books. I never said those things in the book. Now many people think otherwise. Heck, had I not known better, the review would've convinced me the book is terrible, and its author (moi!) a shyster.
          Feel free to "read" whether 1) my motivation in offering classes is to be of service, 2) the cosmos has imbued me with Fey magic for the good of all, 3) enormous healing comes through me, though I am just another flawed human. 
          If we are not a fit, may you always have what you do need.

Questions?
Call (814) 337-2490 but do not e-mail me. Disabilities limit e-mail use, including just reading an email.
I’m happy to talk as long as you need, if you want further info, to talk about your particular goals and needs, or to discuss whether a particular upcoming class is right for you.
          I'm committed to oral tradition so, of course, I'm willing to talk with you. I'm not saying you're required to call before enrolling. I am saying I'm available.
          My life is about cosmic (and, egad, sometimes comic) connection. Need to "feel my vibe" to decide whether to take one of my classes? Call me. I’ve nothing to hide and am here to serve.

Class Schedules: For email notice of upcoming classes with prices, curriculum details, etc, go here.

 

My article What is Faerie Tradition? might be useful.

My essay about ethical fey teachers might be useful.  

My bio has more about oral tradition, other elements of my teaching, and what I bring to the table as a teacher. 

"There's the road to heaven, and there's the road to hell, and there? That's the road to Faerie."—Thomas, the Rhymer

 

Copyright 1992-2012 Francesca De Grandis. All rights reserved. No part of this publication—this web page and the site's other pages—may be reproduced in any manner without written permission. Copyright reverts to author.


This page was updated 6/27/2012

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