My shamanic mentor Francesca De Grandis, aka Outlaw Bunny, is the bestselling author of Be a Goddess!.
She teaches Faerie Shamanism through both text and oral tradition.
She also shares magic through her paintings, something we have in common and discuss a lot.
I love Francesca's approach, so thought you might like to know a bit about her new book Baba Yaga’s Apprentice—A Faerie Tale Ritual.
Above is the book's cover, with Francesca's art and calligraphy.
Baba Yaga’s Apprentice is available only from the author, at http://stardrenched.com/2017/02/28/baba-yagas-apprentice/
Here's a discussion I had with Francesca about the book:
Kathy: Your book is both a fairy tale and a ritual. How so?
Francesca: I've always felt storytelling is innately a ritual, or at least can be. So I set out intentionally to write a faerie tale for grown ups that is fun, easy reading, and automatically a magical spell. In other words, you don't have to “do” the spell. Just reading the Faerie tale for fun and enjoying its paintings is all it takes for the spell to work.
I pictured a book that someone can read over and over, like you would a bedtime story, so it keeps nurturing and empowering her or him.
Another reason I chose fairytale conventions to tell a story is because fairytales can help bring hope. It is so easy to lose hope, and I believe one of my jobs as a shaman and storyteller is to remedy that, uplifting the spirit. This book helps a reader regain or maintain hope—hope for themselves, hope for their loved ones, and hope for our world.
Kathy: In the old fairytales, Baba Yaga is portrayed as a nasty, mean-spirited old woman. That's not how you view her. Can you talk about that?
Francesca: The book is my revisioning of Baba Yaga. I perceive Her as a Goddess. I believe oppressors were threatened by Her womanly independence, freedom, power, and immense love, so they misrepresented Her as daemonic and cruel to hide Her from everyone She might help. I think they were also threatened by Her appearing to people in the guise of an elderly woman. Elders have accumulated a lifetime of wisdom about how to throw off shackles.
My storybook Baba Yaga’s Apprentice focuses on the adventures of an independent, dynamic woman who makes wagons—beautiful caravans!—for a living. In traditional lore, Baba Yaga has two amazing traveling homes. One is a hut on chicken legs. The other is a mortar and pestle with which She flies through the air. Don't you think that makes Her a perfect mentor for someone who builds caravans?
To share my revisioning of this amazing character from folklore, Baba Yaga's treatment of her wagon-making apprentice is portrayed as gentle and kind. I want as many people as possible to read the story so they meet this sweet, loving Deity and benefit from Her support and wisdom. She has been denied us too long, and will be denied us no more! So mote it be!
Kathy: What sort of folks might enjoy the book?
Francesca: I tried to create a universal tale in which anyone can find meaning and power. But a type of person who would enjoy the book? Interesting question. I'd say this book will draw unique individuals, people who view the world their own way, people who perhaps are not in sync with the way everybody else does things.
So this story is relevant to lots of different people. Here are a few: the book's magic supports you if you are exceptionally magical, sensitive psychically, empathic, or introverted. Or if you want to overcome perfectionist tendencies. But each person will find their own meaning and magic in the story because it's that sort of tale.
Thanks for sharing my work with your site visitors, Kathy. Like attracts like, so I'm sure they're beautiful people. And I'm thrilled to chat with you, as always.
Kathy: Thanks for being here, this was great!
Check out Francesca's Baba Yaga’s Apprentice—A Faerie Tale Ritual here: http://stardrenched.com/2017/02/28/baba-yagas-apprentice/