Archive for the ‘Feri’ Category

Red Rite

Of all the strange and terrible powers among which we move unknowingly, sex is the most potent. Conceived in the orgasm of birth, we burst forth in agony and ecstasy from the Center of Creation. Time and again we return to that fountain, lose ourselves in the fires of being, unite for a moment with the eternal force and return renewed and refreshed as from a miraculous sacrament. Then, at the last, our life closes in the orgasm of death. Sex, typified as love, is at the heart of every mystery, at the center of every secret. It is this splendid and subtle serpent that twines about the cross and coils in the heart of the mystic rose. -Jack Parsons

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I  am an initiate and abiding student of the Faery Tradition of witchcraft (also known as Feri), which was passed through Victor and Cora Anderson.  This tradition is a beautiful, and uniquely American, order of Old Craft.  There are many things I feel and believe about my practice of Faery witchcraft, and I do not speak much publicly about those.  However, I want to express a few things I feel are important, and make them available publicly in the event they prove helpful to someone seeking out this tradition.

1.  There is no ‘one’ way of practicing Faery.  There really aren’t any agreed upon ‘core’ beliefs or practices within the tradition.  The only fundamental and congruous element is the unique Faery Current.  However, having said that, each initiate has a very specific way of working and practicing, and anyone studying with an initiate will first learn their way of practice, just like the old apprentice model.

2.  The majority of Faery initiates teach for free, in a rather old school ‘in-person’ way, or at least more one-on-one. There are a handful of very public initiates who teach according to a large classroom model, some of whom teach via the internet and charge a fee. [Edit: There are, within the handful of more public initiates, those who teach fewer students, using various methods, and charge a fee.]  But most initiates within the tradition are more private, and take students as they meet them, or not at all.

3.  Since the fundamental thread of the tradition is built around a living current, in-person contact with an initiate is paramount.  My one and only advice to anyone interested in this tradition of witchcraft is to ASK, ask, ASK if an initiate lives anywhere near you and contact them directly, or indirectly (through an initiate willing to make introductions) if they are private.

4.  There are now Feri initiates located all over the world.  If you have heard of this wild, queer, androgynous, non-degree system of witchcraft, and are drawn to it, I suggest you ASK, ask, ASK until you find an initiate close enough to your location to visit in person, and contact them. [Edit: Since the majority of initiates are private, you won’t be able to find them doing a google search.  You will need to ask around.  You can even email a more public initiate and ask them to introduce you to an initiate living closer to your area.  We initiates have ways of contacting each other.]

Luminous : Æ

Luminous : Æ

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help, protect, and defend thy Brothers and Sisters of the Art

There is an ancient story that in days long ago Wytches met in secret.  That to come among them, you swore a fearsome Oath.  Your measure was taken, with cord Hallow and Mighty, upon your promise to “keep Secret” and “Protect” the Art and those who practiced it.

A dread Oath to swear.  For, if the oath be broken by a Witch, his or her cord was buried with curses, so that as it rotted the traitor would too.

How many of you have mused on that time, and imagined yourself called to betray the names of your coven or your neighbors?  Would you…under torture, speak their names?

Bessie Dunloptumblr_m5gzspxhAN1qatqtto1_400

Elizabeth Knap

Marigje Arriens

Johann Albrecht Adelgrief

Goodwife Bassett

Giovanna Bonanno

George Burroughs

Lasses Birgitta

Michée Chauderon

Nyzette Cheveron

Elizabeth Clarke

Helena Curtens

Jean Delvaux

Catherine Deshayes

Thomas Doughty

Anna Eriksdotter

Ann Glover


Perhaps we understand, all too well, what heinous physical cruelty these healers, midwives, cunning folk, and mystics endured.

                       Perhaps we hold mercy for those who screamed the names of others.

But in our day and age?

What is our modern equivalent?

A subpoena?

Would you “out” your brothers and sisters if a court demanded it?

What of MONEY?

Would you make known the secrets of the Art for payment?

What of prestige?

“I am High Muckety Muck Raven Claw” …. “I was told by the Goddess Spank Me that THIS is the only correct way”

I am a Witch heart-broken, enraged, and determined.  Someone has revealed.  Someone has made known.  Someone has not protected her brothers and sisters of the Art.

What would you do?

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Out of the West

North West, the storm doth brew

its Power is turned  for you to fuel

Rush out you Witch and face the hour

with your intent, to weave your bower


A winter storm rushes toward us.  I stand in the bracing wind to watch the clouds.  In the growing dark of a February night, I draw the shapes toward me.  

Tuathal round the stone I tread–opening the way for all I dread.

Come Wind, Come Storm, Come Mighty Power.

I  call you here upon the hour.

This Witch’s Will I do command–a blessing for the hearth and land.

What from my womb has walked the earth. I weave a spell of love and mirth.

Shining thread, that from my hand, doth weave and weft my own Fate’s strand

You Watchers, You Makers, You Guardians Three

the fox, the badger, the worker BEE

Out from my mouth a breath I FORCE

be Blessed, be SAFE, on your life’s course

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In my window seat, perched above the valley, I see scattered farm lights. I sit here in the dark, window open. A stillness so deep, there is only a whisper in the bare limbs of the trees. Barking. A farm dog scent of fox.

The Dark.

Porch light casts a yellow glow, making beautiful shadow forms poised in contemplative silence. My heart races out beyond the confines of my skin. Consciousness swirls kaleidoscope in awareness of that larger Mind which is unfathomably deep.

Do I dance?
do I Sing?

This holy moment is a breath for me to fill my lungs with. A black mouth of time for me to kiss, because there is no separation–only longing. How can I Be other than weep for the delight and ecstasy of it.

Where are You?
what is outside your window?

I dare you-in this moment….

close your eyes and hear

tell me what is there, in your place


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Current 93 feat….

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fairly faint

And the seasons change, change.
Spirit of a still cold night; vapors rise.
Moon, her half bucket pouring mists
upon my head – and feet, wet with dew.


Finger streaks across a sky, scattered
with stars, faint and faery; for none breathed
in that still moment. None. But the blade
of grass, where demons danced

– or were they angels
under Padraig’s crusty feet.


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Or, I should say one of my hypotheses. And again, if you are versed in Irish mythology, I would love your opinions and comment.

The stories I read recorded in the great Irish invasion and myth cycles seem to reflect a late bronze age – iron age society. A society settling into the Brehon Laws and caste system, with its powerful tribal chiefs, warriors, and elite. Deforestation began in earnest during this time. These are the people who built stone circles, erected standing stones, and began to dwell within earthen embankments known as Lios or forts. It was a society built around exposure, boasting, and extravagance.

It was not a society that reflected the values of the small groups that constructed the great Sídhe, and dwelt along the edge of the forests or in clearings; who built crannogs that hovered between sky, earth and water. This earlier mesolithic and early neolithic society seemed to possess a reverence for their surroundings. It has been noted in the literature that to assume they did not clear the great forests because they lacked the tools, imposes bias. There is speculation they were exposed to, and possibly possessed, the technology to clear land when needed. It just appears they chose not to.

Within paganism many take the heroes and gods of the Irish Myth cycle close to heart. Many also envision other-than-human persons, both seen and unseen, living within a cultural ethos reflected in the literary accounts of these myths.

When has the literati ever reflected on-the-ground practice?

Even if the literary sources accurately reflect the folk tradition and myth of their time, they are still reflecting the most recent “ancient” culture. These stories were written in the middle ages and seem to reflect the society of their iron age ancestors: those who lived ~1000 years before. They do not reflect the culture who built the Great Mounds. Certainly, the remembered folk narratives of “faeries” only reflect an 18th century (very modern) reflection of those most recent “ancient” cultures (medieval), who lived ~1000 years before.

Our stories change as our culture changes – they are not static.

I ask myself; do I want to espouse an iron age cultural narrative, or do I want to go deeper…. further…. Under ground to a more ancient past?


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I belong to two ecstatic neo-pagan traditions.   These two traditions of witchcraft, Feri and Reclaiming, consider themselves ecstatic rather than fertility based.  This means they do not focus on polarity or duality of gender.  [In fact,the extreme (odd) polarized conditions of ultra feminine and masculine (Mother and Father) deity are atypical conditions, present for very specific purposes (creating new life), that do not reflect the expression of most deity forms or humans (which are nearer the androgynous unity of the universe).]   Instead,  they actively encourage Otherness – in sexual expression, philosophical thinking, approach to magical work, and personal development.  What they focus on is an immediate and personal experience and expression of divinity; of Self as Divine.

Reclaiming’s ritual style is said to be (EIEIO) Ecstatic, Improvisational, Ensemble, Inspired, and Organic (Starhawk, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying).  In this context, ecstatic refers to free-form expression of an immediate and personal engagement: with divinity, with life, with spirit.  Reclaiming strives to be non-hierarchical and encourages shared power and equal participation.  This focus on equality, with an expectation of stepping into personal power, creates an atmosphere that fosters ecstatic experience.  Reclaiming rituals are not scripted, though some, like the Samhain Spiral Dance, are shared and recycled.  This freshness allows for ritual spontaneity which opens another pathway into ecstasy.  Another element is Reclaiming’s use of the possessory style called aspecting.  This tool allows for direct experience of god forms.

Since Reclaiming has its roots in Feri, you find much of this same flavor within the Feri Tradition, though with a bit more diversity; however, due to the very private nature of Feri as a tradition, I will make my comments brief.  There are some Feri lines which use scripted material while others do not, all are hierarchical (certain information is initiates only), some lines are more free-form and public while some are very secret, but all place emphasis on personal power and responsibility, direct and immediate experience of spirit, and all make regular use of possession as one of several tools for direct experience of god forms.

For me, it’s all about the directness and immediacy.  For me, the ecstatic…experiencing ecstasy…..is itself a tradition, and one that is the very essence of life and what it means to be alive.

It is a primal, personal expression.  The snap of twig and smell of crushed herb under foot.  The tingle of cold rain pattering bare flesh.  The sound of hawk soaring, feeling of eyes watching, taste of sweat on….. my…. lip.  Pouring  milk on the ground, liquid white, licking the spilled droplets from my fingers.  Succulent butter..pat, pat, smear….on stone, on lips, on hands.  Glossy.  To run through the field under the cold stars, to spin … breathing in the green fire of LIFE.  Into my very pores it seeps, infusing me with the quickness of life springing from itself.  I writhe; in the tall grass my body is caressed.  My Being expands and I no longer feel the edges of my skin.  Outward I venture until within me is all of the Universe…. like Her.  I drift, pregnant with possibility.

Union.  The ecstatic union of Self with self, of Self with Other.

28.  None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.

29. For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.

30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.

In an instant, from this expanse I am filled.  Thrust into my soft flesh the warm fire of the Gods.   Emanates, Imminent.  He sees…. through my eyes.  She touches….with my hands. They sing speaking words of animal wisdom…. with my lips.

I need no “high” priestess, for I am She who birthed all life from her womb.  I have witnessed the Great Mystery and kissed its mouth, though my legs would fall from under me.  I have stood tall and proud in the presence of the Powers.  I dared name myself….and Them.  I have strained with the sweat of blood to push a slipping, shiny Life into the World of Form.  I have wept alone in the bitter night of loneliness and suffering.  I have tasted the pain of death, the joy of orgasm, the warmth of community.  All of this and more is the ecstatic pulse that rushes through my veins.   To embrace Life, in all its shades and tastes, is the Charge. I can say it no better than my first Feri teacher, and I will close with his words…of ecstasy.  (blessings to you, Caradoc.  what is remembered lives)

So we celebrate the wheel of the year and the waxing and waning of the moon, the rhythms of night and day, the rhythms of sex and the breathing patterns of childbirth….The universe itself is dancing with and about us; that dance is the dance of our very nature, and that dance I accept wholeheartedly. In that joyous assent to life and death is the seasons’ round, the wheel of the year, the promise of the seed, the replanting of the oak; in that assent lies our dreams, our power, and our promise….We have this world and this life, and nothing else — at least nothing else that is certain, that we can feel and touch. The question, perhaps the only question that has ever been worth asking, is how best to live it.
The answer I have come to is play. Experiment. Do what feels good without regards to the tortuous rhetoric of long-dead saints like Origen, who said, “I believe because it is absurd,” and, to stem the sexual urges that made chastity a burden, severed his own genitals. Such men and women were probably psychotics living out their sick fantasies.
The answer, my friends, is to just say YES. Yes to the whole bloody, joyous, messy, painful business of birth and life and death, yes to the fragile and transitory exquisiteness of moonlight on water and flesh moving under your hands. Accept the whole journey from newborn babe to dead meat.
Did those last words give you pause? Good; they were meant to. Don’t flinch and turn your eyes away; look it square in the face: dead meat. We all have an appointment in Samarra someday. Undying spirit or not, your flesh and mine, my friend, and all the lovely flesh we have ever cherished, will one day in a span of time that will seem in retrospect the twinkling of an eye be transformed into piles of dead meat, with as likely as not some bozo dressed in white pumping formaldehyde into them in a grisly, meaningless attempt to provide some semblance of immortality by keeping them from rotting.
No one may stay the hand of change. We are impermanent, yes, but we are not illusion. We may be sparks burning as we fall through the night towards that final darkness, but for that span of time in which we fall burning, we are.
Rather than fearing death, let it be the light spur of urgency reminding you to live to the fullest, without holding back, to shine as brightly as you can against the dark. As a Chinese poet whose name I forget wrote, “This moment will not come twice; an inch of time is worth a foot of jade.”…there is benefit to be derived from the certainty that there is nothing in the end but rotting meat. It reminds us not to let life with its infinite possibilities pass us by while we watch passively from the sidelines hoping someone will want to dance with us.
But you may say, accept pleasure and you must accept pain. Yes, I nod sagely, smiling a crooked smile, that’s right. Very good; you’re paying attention. But reject pleasure and you will still have pain to endure; fight pain and you make it worse.
Pain only hurts; there are worse things. Things like fear and guilt, which paralyze the will and rob life of the joy and spontaneity of free-flow.
Pain hurts and pleasure pleases. Take them together. But fear and guilt, shame and restriction, these have no place, at least in my life. They are the false inheritance of systems of thought aimed at controlling us, aimed at making us good sheep ready to follow the Judas goat up the ramp to the slaughterhouse.
They are the tools of those who claim power over us, who hold power over us only because we give it to them, and whose real interest in us is limited to how much wool, meat, and tallow they can make from our lives. …
Fear and guilt and shame: they alienate us from ourselves, from our very nature and bodies, even from our dreams. Estranged from ourselves, we spend our lives searching for the approval of others, or for power, money, position to shelter us from their disapproval.
Driven by insecurity, by fear of ourselves planted at the very deepest levels of our being by the most well-meaning and loving parents and teachers (themselves victims of an ugly inheritance) we run, we hide, we learn to be good, productive, and uncomplaining citizens-as if the highest good to which we could aspire is to spend our brief precious flicker of time building better automobiles, scrubbing other peoples’ floors or praying on our knees to the God who taught us shame, the God who in the legends of his own faith drove us out of the garden for tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge lest we should be tempted to taste of the Tree of Life and become too much like him for his petulant comfort….The machine runs, as it has always run, on fear and guilt and shame, chewing up human lives and hopes and dreams and spitting out poisoned air and earth and water, always taking reality and giving us symbols in return. To the machine alone, I say No! with the resounding finality not of words but of the substance and pattern of my whole life.
My life is my life; I will not waste it knowingly, nor give it up to any other…. I have seen much of life, and of death, and of change, and I say if I had it all to do again, I would not only do more, but my regrets , such as they are (for they are not a thing I feed) are almost all for the chances not seized, the risks not taken, the pleasures refused.
Just say yes, did I say? Don’t just say it; shriek it with every fiber of your being. Roar it with your whole body so that its echoes will resound long after your voice has fallen silent. …Flinch from nothing; dare everything.

(excerpts from ‘Just say Yes!’, Gabriel Carrillo, 2000)

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I grew up in a nominally christian household. My family identified as christian, though religious attendance was restricted to easter and christmas. What I remember of the small instruction I received was a focus on listening to the still, small voice…of god.

Often this still, small voice was suppose to warn me of some sin I was about to commit, or how to say no to sin. Either way, the still, small voice was associated with guilt and shame.

It took me years to break free from this interior shame and hear the voice as my OWN. To free Her from the internal prison placed upon her by dominant culture, which in the west is shaped by a christian world view where the idea of sin plays a significant role. Now that I know the sound of my own intuitive voice, and realize just how weakened she was by the decades of shame and guilt, I strengthen her with nourishment; with Mana.

There are many ways to feed the souls with Mana, one of those avenues is to Listen, even in small things. If I am about to walk out the door and suddenly I have a feeling to reach for my umbrella, even though outside it may be bright and sunny, I reach for it. If I am leaving for a presentation or workshop and suddenly have the feeling to grab a pencil first, even if I take notes on my laptop, I stuff a pencil in my purse. Almost every time I pay attention to this feeling I discover that the item was needed, if not by me by someone else, or that the street I didn’t take ended up being flooded, etc.

After all, we know that young children left without emotional or physical interaction will wither and die.  So imagine the state of our malnourished intuitive Self after struggling to grow in our restrictive cultural landscape?  What ways do you feed your soul?

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