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For some people, magic isn't something they do, it is what they are. This blog focuses less on theory and more on lyrical mysticism, applied spellcrafting, experiential awareness of Divinity, and related topics. A haven for you who long to become your myth and live your poem. Faerie tales do come true.

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Mysticism and Non-Academic Scholarship

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A mystic needn't be an academic to be a scholar. Why is this idea important? Some people create a magical, fulfilling life based in a non-academically-shaped worldview. We also might want to teach from such an orientation. Our cosmology can be as carefully constructed and extensively developed as any scientific understanding, but many would crush our power by insisting there is only one intelligent way to see, to learn, to study.

Trust your observances made through mystical states, e.g., trance. Trust your non-ordinary modes of perception, like intuition.

I’m not suggesting you blindly believe and act on everything you think you’ve observed. For example, when you have an intuition or receive guidance from spirits, run it by a down-to-earth person who exists on the mundane plane. Non-academic perspectives are as subject to fault as academic insights.

But, luckily, I did not wait until a university validated each step of the many I needed to travel along my shamanic path. I'd have taken fewer steps, losing great joy and fulfillment, not only in my personal life but also because I would have taught less.

Academic validation does happen to me lots, and it feels nice. But relying on it as a way to tell myself or anyone else, “See, I know what I am doing" would undermine my belief in my style of scholarship. An example: Pics of subatomic particle tracks validated what I'd seen in trance for decades. But I’d validated it for myself already. Hence the painting at the top of this post.

Training can be crucial. Just as a scientist studies his “craft,” so have I. I also spent years in trance, 24-7, researching as diligently as any scientist in a lab.

I’m not suggesting you trust yourself only if you do the full-time training or research I did. Mine was needed because of goals I had as a teacher and mystic. Otherworldly reality is innate in us all. Just as many linear-minded non-scientists trust their personal worldview, so should many mystics observe and assess their environments, drawing our own conclusions, instead of docilely following "experts." I mention my full time commitment only to reinforce the extensive possibilities of mystical wisdom.

Insights I gain through altered states are building blocks of trainings I create. But I don’t carelessly throw something together in the name of Divine inspiration. I spend years developing a curriculum before teaching it.

My fastidiousness does not naysay the observations of someone without training. The psychic realm is as much a part of human heritage as ordinary daylight; we all have insights about it; and they are important contributions to community dialog. In fact, one of my goals as a teacher is to create tools that help people trust their insights and recover their innate mystical awareness, which has often been squelched.

Being a mystic does not deny your intellect. (And too many beautiful, astute, linear minds are used to invalidate somebody's heartfelt, lyrical worldview.) I know amazingly left-right-brain integrated mystics.

It's like being a musician. In my last year of college, I supposedly needed more units of logic-based classes to get my degree. But the college president felt that my thirty hours of music theory, which is mathematically based, obviated the need for further logic classes.

When I write a song, channel liturgy, or travel faerie realms for info, my intellect needn't suppress my efforts. It can weave in and out of my emotive fanciful state, improving my effort. I also might go over what I have created to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, until I'm satisfied.

In various mystical states, there's a dance between the two sides of the brain and the heart and soul. Each aspect of you comes forward, adding what it can. All of you weaves constantly, in such rapid-fire succession of ever-changing intertwinings that you might be totally unaware of this complex inner interaction.

At such times, we learn truths that others may deny. We plug into immense powers to control our own destiny. We become part of miracle. Even other pagans may try to invalidate these gains, Goddess bless them, instead of realizing that their approaches and ours can be different without either of us being wrong.

But the things we learn in such states set us free.

This has been a limited view on mystical scholarship. But the crux is: Let yourself be free.

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Francesca De Grandis, AKA Outlaw Bunny, authored the classic text "Be a Goddess!" Founder of Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis explains, "I'm a non-theist, pantheist pagan serving Goddess. Mother and all my Gods, thank you." Ecstatic paradox. Bard, painter, spiritual innovator, Whedon fan, middle management for Chaos Gods, and busy elf, she also blogs, including on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com

Comments

  • Amoret BriarRose
    Amoret BriarRose Thursday, 11 July 2013

    Thank you for this post. As a Witch that is both highly logical/academic and highly intuitive/experiential, it's important for me to remember to honor all my parts.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Thursday, 11 July 2013

    Amoret, I am so glad to see your comment, TU! For one thing, it is awesome that you understand I am not knocking academia. I cannot tell you how many of my students are academics, who come to me to balance it out. As I just said elsewhere, "Thoughtful well-researched scholarship has unfortunately become synonymous with academia, which invalidates a huge body of carefully developed work." This idea is important to me bc I want to support people's whole being, exactly as you say!! And to support those whose approach to life is non-linear, they so often get slammed. And also, TU for being the very first to comment on my blogging here at SageWoman, cool!

  • R
    R Monday, 15 July 2013

    I love your blog!

    I think it is so important to be both, very right-brained and very left-brained.

    I love paradoxes. I am very scientific (I am planning to do my PhD and I spend a lot of time writing academic papers with impeccable logic), and I am passionately mystic (I believe, I pray, I talk to God, I trust my intuition and I read tea leaves - yay Francesca!!!).

    Actually, both realms aren't as different. Both take heaps of work, diligence and perseverance and both take others that help you see more clearly - "run your ideas by others", as Francesca puts it: in academia this is called "peer review". No scientific article, no matter how scientific, is published without that.

    Yes, I know many people who are too scientific to trust anything faintly woowoo - they deny themselves part of their soul. But I know even more people who are so into spirituality they think they can live without a head, with a heart only. Not much better! Maybe they live all their soul, but a brain is a very valuable tool.

    Great to have found Francesca and her students! Reasonable mystics, spiritual researchers!
    Five stars from me! :)

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    R, thank you for such a kind and well thought out comment. It is awesome support. It also is positive and inclusive, which might encourage some timid mystic to not be cowed by naysayers who make fun of her/him. I am so happy that I got to teach you tea leaf reading, it was fun, and I love you bunches. Thanks again.

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Monday, 15 July 2013

    Thank you for your words and the lovely truth of that dance we do between our right and left brains.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    Oops, so sorry, I mispelled yr name!

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    Lizanne, thanks for reading the post, am so glad u relate! And ain't it a fun dance?

  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    Thank you for this. Reading all the comments on Sam's blog on UPG has been eye-opening and very helpful for my own understanding and how I can both value personal life affirming experience and see how it fits within the community at large whether I share my specifics or not. :)

    PS - I have now subscribed to your blog as it is both firmly grounded and free to fly, which I deeply appreciate.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Thursday, 18 July 2013

    Oh, Christine, you sooo "get" me, I really believe in mysticism being grounded.

    After writing my post, i was glad to see Sam's, because I often feel like the lone wolf in my opinions. I am really happy his post supported you.

    Thanks for subscribing!!!

  • Chelo Alfonso
    Chelo Alfonso Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Dear Francesca:
    So glad to read your blog...makes my morning happy and glittery.
    I have both a logical mind and a strong sense of intuition though i do not(maybe i do?)'see'or 'hear'like other people report to do...nonetheless i am choosing to trust the intuition and of course listen to my practical counsel as well as that of others on occassion (wise, loving others that is)and it generally goes well. But i'm glad to say both parts of my brain are starting to have a loving trusting relationship...I (big I)will keep feeding it as much as possible and good teachers as well as reading Francesca from time to time will definitly help...Hope you have a week full of wonder! Big hug to you and belly rub to your kitty.
    I subscribe as this nourishes my good aul being sooo much!!!

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 24 July 2013

    Heya, loved yr comment! Thank you for posting and subscribing! Am so glad I helped start your day well. Yr post did the same for me. Take good care of you. Say hi to yr fab teacher for me!

  • thomas byrnes
    thomas byrnes Wednesday, 07 August 2013

    That is spot on . Every time in my life that I've allowed my intellect to over rule my inner voice desolation and ruin followed . Excellent piece . Many thanks and bright blessings , old friend .

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 07 August 2013

    Oh, Thomas, hi, thank you muchly muchly for reading this piece, I am so glad. And thank you for yr kind words!!! Take good care of you.

  • Rick
    Rick Saturday, 10 August 2013

    Francesa, do you ever find your visions contradicting science and if so, how do you handle the contradiction? I'm talking like a vision that is obviously wrong, like sun revolving around the earth wrong.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 11 August 2013

    Rick, that is such an interesting comment, thank you! As to an answer:

    To the best of my memory and understanding, my visions have not contradicted science. Sometimes my visions do seem to contradict each other, but on closer examination I see that is not the case. I come to see that the circumstance surrounding the respective visions—the variables, so to speak—minutely honed the particulars of the visions in question, giving me visions that are specific to their circumstances and, in fact, are compatible. I hope this answer addressed the heart of yr question, do let me know.

  • Rick
    Rick Sunday, 11 August 2013

    The convergence of modern physics and mysticism over the past 30 tears makes for exciting times, and opens up so many possibilities. Both scientists and mystics have much to learn - from eachother!

    I can see how case-specific visions can be contradictory, and that would not concern me. Thanks for writing such a great piece.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 11 August 2013

    Rick, yes, physics and metaphysics together rock! And thanks so much for yr supportive words!!

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