Francesca De Grandis AKA Outlaw
ran from the Fey Folk for a long time, but finally
underwent a rigorous seven-year shamanic training, earned a degree in
Studies at New College of California, and founded The Third Road
of Faerie spirituality. Her theology, ritual, and liturgy are taught
through oral tradition and written text.
distinction of becoming a full-time professional witch, possibly one of
five in the States at the time. Then, in the early 90s, the Goddess
told her to
also use media to teach witchcraft (meaning that, instead of paying her
through her services as a traditional shaman, she started to get paid a
writing about shamanism.) Her books Be
a Goddess!, Goddess Initiation,
a Teen Goddess! are
part of Third
a priestess-poet who
passes on her work orally, and as a published author, De Grandis has
pivotal influence in the literary and spiritual culture of both Goddess
earth spirituality. Many poems that De Grandis developed as her
teachings—rituals, liturgy, meditations, and lectures, all of which
presented as prose—have anonymously entered the oral and written
earth-centered and Goddess-centered spirituality. So have her
leaving the music
business and stand up comedy routines for a contemplative life, she
and humor are part of her spirituality. She indie-produced her
album of original songs, Pick the Apple
from the Tree, a classic cited by Sagewoman
as an album that every pagan should own.
the original, the amazing and death-defying purveyor of Crazy Sage
one, come all, join the Chaos Circus.
Outlaw Bunny started playing
folk music in Boston
clubs at age fourteen. She’s toured the U.S.
performing. She also creates
talismanic visual art, and has taught creative process to newbies and
pros in a
variety of artistic fields, for over two decades. She believes we’re
given the right support.
approaches. Her groundbreaking material draws imitators and starts
That’s not her intent. She doesn’t even stick around to cash in.
shaman.) She moves on to her next innovation. A lot of it happens
tradition, because it can only be
Sclerosis (or something. Still trying for diagnosis). Illness =
housebound. At least
physically. But I live in myth. Between the worlds. I live in Faerie.
influence on me
as a shaman and guide is the World Tree; I channel the better part of
shamanic family tradition, I’ve looked for material that resonated with
my study with Faerie shamans (which I discuss elsewhere, giving me
to dwell on other history). It also led to long-term on-the-job
was a gifted psychic who read tea leaves and playing cards), including
of years at Curios and Candles, an old-fashioned dusty musty occult
shop. It specialized
in Southern Spiritualism. (That is what some called it. Others called
it hoodoo or American
voodoo. I hope to blog about discrepancy in magical
verbiage. Please come back to read it.)
the best possible
shamanic training, so that I could help people as much as possible. I
of how, for medical students, thorough training includes interning in
I thought about how the modern world has no shamanic internships, but
job at this shop would provide one.
lines work had me
counseling everyone from art students to mothers of pregnant teens,
survivors to Christian ministers. (Congruent with Southern Spiritualism
terminology, we who worked there were not called psychics
or witches. The
sign in the shop window said "Spiritual Advisor." Similar practitioners
might call themselves root doctors.)
This job added to my working knowledge of folk magic.
“I have explored various
traditions and disciplines looking for the heart of magic and love, the
spirituality and human workings. It is found many places and many ways.
example, poetry that is not overtly spiritual still quietly echoes the
The Gods touch all poets. Yes, the core of reality is found many ways.
to lyric that is
overtly spiritual, training as a poet
has been pivotal for me; my personal magical style includes dialectic
down-to-earth witchery and head-in-the-clouds myth, rather than
perspectives. The Goddess gives me spontaneous lyric in the middle of
a class, poesy to target the specific needs of a student or the group
together and feel as one. The full-time long-term shamanic training I
devoting myself to fulltime work as a professional shaman, provided
in-depth study of several traditions, channeling new techniques and
and careful integration of all that into effective magic and a coherent
cosmology. My study was not academic but an experiential training of a
practitioner’s skill sets and their underlying reality.
material I teach was—and
continues to be—constructed over time. This is not a quickly thrown
bunch of notes, no jumble of things someone read from books. It is
curriculum. Being a guide is what I do, what I have given my life to.
“My search for the core is
matched by my ardent efforts to construct curriculums that help others
what is core to their own reality.
the Muse gives me poetry, but I
others experience mysticism and magic their own
way, through physics or cooking or whatever.
I do not adhere to the modern idea of a standardized shamanism. The
the cosmos are so specific in their innumerable details that a
supports each person having their own otherworldly style.
“I tend to get
students who are eclectic. I
teach in ways that support that. Other of my students focus on one
I teach in ways that support that. For one thing, identifying as a
specific sort of
pagan can help someone know the unique myth that he or she is. (But if
claims their lineage or style in an alienating way, announcing, 'I am
different, better than you, you less knowledgeable infant,' it is bad
Good Lord! Ego-feeding trends are innately didactic and fundamentalist,
limits mystical perception.)
has me using
the terms witch, shaman,
or priestess, and the like
synonymously a lot of the time. Ditto, magic,
mysticism, meditation, cooking,
“Be assured that this does
not imply a mandate, is not an ignorant insistence that my verbiage
anyone but moi. Language should be one's own, and mine results from and
reflects only my personal experience and path.
“If you want to angrily debate
this or anything else I do: Count me out. Constant explanations made to
attackers play into the attackers' hands, because it becomes an apology
mystical, which destroys the mystical. It also wastes precious time
serve God and community, and to dance between the stars.
“A sincere reason for
explanation or dialog is exciting, and I happily respond. Often, my
best conveyed through oral tradition; at such times, I’m available by
of how I do things could be
ripped apart by intellectual rhetoric,
proving my verbiage and approach imprecise and incorrect. For me, it is a precision, one worked out over many
years as a shaman—I am 62 now. It is a precision that fosters magic,
lyric, which is where I want to live. I'm very careful in my choice of
and in the development of paradigms. I urge angry debaters to apply
minds to constructing your own good
life. Attacks cannot change me or cheat students who are drawn to me,
the Faerie Queen and her army have my back. At her request, I teach the
luxurious wondrousness that is Her love and magic. She loves bards!
trainings cannot be
learned from a book. When I write books, I write books. When I teach
teach embedded within a long lineage of oath-bound oral
started in my infancy, learning magic con leche.
search for essence,
for core, and for my own myth, has taken me many places, in various
too many to tell on a website or even a book. It would take years to
the above is a good start. I hope to share more here in blogs
early life was
alternately escaping (so she thought) and chasing Faeries. The latter
Francesca to become a musician working in clubs. Until Faeries turned
'round and kidnapped her, to create a traditional spiritual healer. She
that, when she runs from the Fey, they catch her. After 25 years in San Francisco, Francesca ran to the Fey Folk—or perhaps was kidnapped
by them, again!—and relocated
from urban S.F. to live with trees and sylphs in northwestern rural Pennsylvania, one of the hidden
power spots in the U.S.
to teach her
various styles of earth-based mysticism through international
phone calls), Francesca also teaches curriculums about the spirit of
the art of spirit. Her down-to-earth spiritual
counseling is done by telephone for people
all over the world.
about classes on
her other site has more about her history’s impact on her teachings. At
top of that page, click on “The inner resources I bring to
her life in the
traditional spiritual healer, spiritual
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.
was updated 5/2/2012