Faery – Anderson Feri – has radically affected my Craft perspectives; refined them, deepened them, affirmed them. I have been a self-aware spirit-worker for nearly ten years now, an affirmed priest (first to Persephone, then in the WildWood, then to Aphrodite, etc.) since 2004 and I was born to a father and mother who nourished me in this, even expected one day that this would be my fate, my vocation.
I am passionately involved in four traditions of Witchcraft – WildWood, Reclaiming, Anderean and Feri; I am an initiate of two (WildWood and Anderean Old Craft); a teacher of two (WildWood and Reclaiming); and a student of all four. I have been formally training in the Anderson Faery tradition of contemporary Witchcraft for two and a half years as of the closing of this month. I met my teacher in the Bay Area during my first US trip/tour over ten weeks in 2010 (from September-December). I made the choice to formally train in Faery because of a powerful spirit-flight/trance experience I had the night after meeting Storm Faerywolf – originator of the BlueRose Line of Faery, which I study in.
It is captured in essence, and little to no usage of ‘metaphor’ as commonly understood, in this short poem I wrote today for Victor Anderson, the original Grandmaster of the Faery Tradition as we know it today:
To Victor on your birthday,
Fiode (Gede Parma)
On that plane, beside the bay,
swept open, vast, beside the Tree,
the Faerie-Gate a’blazing bright,
In Darkness, blue, opened for Me.
From my body, Temple of Flesh,
seduced by Spirits and drawn by Daemon
to twisted tree worshipping Stars;
and Quaking of the Abyss was Mine.
She came down, Virgin of the Outer Dark,
and with Hir Blue Fire ablaze with Power,
into Mine Own Heart she placed the Flame,
Initiated, in that Hour.
I knew then – this Road meant for me,
this road with passion you declared;
I knew then that Cora’s buttered tea,
to you I would offer to be savoured.
Great and Mighty Dead, O Cunning Priest;
Swearer of Oaths and at the Gods;
O Blessed Way-Farer and Cora’s Prince,
Bless you Victor, and bless your God~
Apart from the specific assignments I am given by my Faery mentor there really is no real distinction between my Faery Craft practice and my other threads; of course they are distinct and distinguishable and completely in and of themselves, but the underlying and deeply resonant commonalities are far too profound for me to overlook. Where Feri begins and ends is no longer a question for me (not when I am alone with the Goddess); where WildWood ends and begins is an equally or even more so ludicrous question to me, a fun and also meaningful one perhaps! The dark fermentation, transmutation and alchemy of the entwining of these threads in and through me is the significant and soulful convergence. I have said it before, but I doubt that on my deathbed I will ‘identify’ as this or that; as Faery, WildWood, Reclaiming, Traditional, Witch, Pagan, Hindu, Spirit-Worker, Sorcerer, Mystic, Feminist, Queer, Vegan…I’m not sure, but I have a faint feeling that as I embark on ‘the next great adventure’ I will reflect on the simple things; on the love I felt surge and seethe between people and that I am privy to, on those delicious fragrant notes of dark, dark chocolate, the grind of especially delicious coffee, and the zest of summer white wine shared with dear beloveds. I imagine reflections on my mother, on my sister, on my father, on Bali, on Ireland, on California, on cats, on children, on precious love-making and the bizarre things too. Before I could be accused of indulging in some premature death-analysis, or morbidity, I bring this up because something a friend of mine (also a Faery student, and an initiated Witch and Ifa priest) said hit home for me on a profound level – rippled my Deep Well, as I am fond of saying.
My friend said to me that at the heart of the Craft is a simple prayer, is a simple undertaking – a potent and practised endeavour of bare-naked humility and the highest honour. He told me that everyday Cora Anderson, of beloved memory, and surely one of the Mighty Dead, prayed for the Black Heart of Innocence. I have often found Cora’s written word soothing, and at other times absurdly hilarious! I would love to have been in her breath-to-flesh presence while she, as Cora, was still present on this planet with us; however, that opportunity has passed. Cora wrote and believed that there are no secrets in Faery; though some would contest this and on the surface-level that may be factual truth. Various lines in fact hold different material in the Faery corpus to be secret and therefore to be withheld from initiates. For instance when I published my Gods of the Lemniscate hymn (not a teaching or theological understanding of all lines of Faery) on YouTube I was e-mailed by one woman, presumably a Faery initiate, who asked me why I would share that information publicly. In the line that I am working within, such Names are not considered secret and therefore there is no disrespect in my singing of Their Names and posting it publicly on YouTube. I was rightly reassured by my teacher, and I was aware of the much-publicised Faery split/divergence that was being propounded or reasserted at that time.
At the Heart of Faery for me lies the Kiss of the Goddess, and the Promise of Hir Law of Love – and that the Law is Mine too. This is the greatest responsibility and I wholeheartedly commit to it. I think about it, feel into it, am challenged by it and cherish it every day. I may be a skilled sorcerer; I may be a talented seer; I may be a terrible mathematician and a struggling fiction writer; and yet, at the Black Heart of My Innocence is the Perilous Quest of and for Love. Here at the Scorpion Gates of Black and Gold I can hear the sistrum shake in the desert and the night-jasmine bloom in seduction. Here at the Edge of Paradise, I can smell the honey-woven bee madness that intoxicates my soul! *For those who are wondering where this particular poetry emerges from, it is actually from WildWood lore, though EXTREMELY parallel with Faery I feel* This is the sweet soul of seduction that is a risk-filled bornless promise. Will I remember? Will I press into the Death-Door? Will I die before I die? I have, and have no doubt I will do so again. Will Memory tease me into a Sovereign Wholeness of Self-Possession? Will I arise and transform and dance through the Veil of Beloved Maya into an Embrace of the Virgin of the Outer Dark that knows no End.
Today is Victor’s birthday – the 21st of May – and though I am not formally, ritualistically initiated into Faery, I have felt like a Faery Witch since that moment by the Bay when Quakoralina ‘came down’ from the Bright and Dark Heavens and brought with Hir Blue Fire to place inside My Heart. I felt the Current pass at this moment, and yet I still wish for the potential of Faery Initiation in the future. I know that Victor cites one of his strongest, and perhaps one of his most formative, experiences to be the initiation he received/experienced in the woods in Oregon as a young boy. Today, many Faery Witches will be honouring your beloved and mighty memory Victor – bless us as we bless you~