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What is the F(a)eri(e) Tradition?

by Storm Faerywolf
copyright 1999

I sit in a circle of my own design, making call to the powers that surround and guard us. I
listen for their answer and from beyond the firelight it comes. Forces from the outer
darkness make themselves known to me; Dian na Glas, the Blue God, comes with
childlike vigor, dancing silken spirals, the music of the spheres alive in his footsteps. Mari,
full-breasted and powerful, complete and bountiful, emerges from within my cells, and
calls to me, asking that I walk with Her feet.
Through my breath, I commune. My fetch, pulsing, glowing, delicate and fierce, throbs with
power, its undulating rhythm lulling me into a place where I know power. The Blue God- no
longer separate from myself- flows like silver water from the depths of my GodSelf to
quench the thirst of my souls, bringing with His sweet nectar the drunkenness of the
Divine, and I dance. I dance in circles and rejoin the spinning of the universe with each
step. I am touched by the Gods, and my dance is theirs.

When I first heard of the F(a)eri(e) tradition of witchcraft, it was in the pages of
Starhawk’s book The Spiral Dance. I remember being almost entranced by the (brief)
description of the Blue God, the laughing god of love, as she described him, wondering
about his stories, his touch, and longing to look upon his face. For me there was a
connection. Although I couldn’t have known it then, I was touched by His power; this Deity
who dances in the springtime of the soul. It was this touch that eventually led me to find a
teacher and to study the wild road we call Feri.
When listening to the stories of others I find certain ideas that are commonly used to
describe personal experiences of the tradition. Of the tradition itself, it is often referred to
as a “Chaos” tradition, referring in part perhaps to our particular relationship to the Star
Goddess, the raging cosmos pregnant with possibility. Being a “left hand path” we
embrace the fullest spectrum of possibility; we bask in the sunlight of the body, and revel in
the darkness of the soul. The natural state of the soul unfettered by conditioning and
restraint is sometimes referred to as “The Black Heart of Innocence”, and is a phrase that
poetically evokes the raw-ness of pure experience, forming the basis of what may be
called the Feri perspective. Far from being a mental construct, this is a personal
relationship to the universe, a relationship which does not seek to contain or even
necessarily to define our experience with it. At its core it is simple. We open, and the
power flows through us, taking what form it will. It is a form of shamanism in the truest
sense of the word.
In a tradition that is inherently shamanic, practitioners draw inspiration from many sources.
Whether these are an established liturgy, the appearance of a certain plant or animal, a
ritual given by a teacher, or a song learned while in trance, they do not in and of
themselves define the practice as a whole. It is the experiential perspective relationship to

bringing only our wits with us into these uncharted territories of the spirit. we scratch and claw our way through ourselves. To do so requires that we invalidate the unique experiences that we have when mediating the Gods.them that is the unifying factor. When we call on our Gods. changing us forever. through his teaching and training of others who have carried the power outward to share with even more. then we cannot expect the outer forms to remain unchanged if we want the tradition to evolve and flourish. in one sense. the origin of our tradition. and it is this relationship with which we are most concerned. As seekers into the outer dark. then how can we be certain that we. the Feri Gods. that material which varies from the original (or current) teachings of Victor Anderson is not part of the actual tradition. or the dark power of the Arddu in the dead of winter’s night. Searching for avenues to power and healing for both ourselves and for the land. as seen in many branches of the modern Craft) reflects our relationship with them. are even practicing the same thing? It has been suggested. The Feri power when mediated into the world through each of us. we find ourselves most often vulnerable and alone. When we are initiated we are connected to the living current of energy that is unique to the tradition. our fears. allowing it to flow through us and into the world around us. powers that are very real and alive. and of course the individual practitioner themselves. To expect it to always conform to earlier forms/teachings is to deny its very real life-force. But what is the Feri tradition? How do we know when we are practicing Feri or we have moved into another realm? If Feri asserts personal experience over established liturgy. being confronted by our demons. By asserting that we must always use the same outer form constitutes a type of dogmatic thinking that is dangerous in a shamanic tradition. and join with them in spirit. Being the GrandMaster of Feri. in some circles. and they move through us. We know. its . in our bodies. allowing them to move through us. both psychological and spiritual. takes on other forms as deemed by the power. We become conscious channels. as a whole. and our true desires. Through preparation. Does this mean that material and insights created and used by other initiates of Feri should be viewed as being separate from the tradition itself? If we are practicing a tradition that is at its core an energetic relationship with the Feri power/Deities. Another distinguishing factor of our path is initiation through the passing and use of the Faerie current of power. Unlike most other branches of modern witchcraft Feri is not a safe tradition. the Deities. We are guided by those beings who are attached to this tradition: the Guardians. the joy of Nimue at the Summer Solstice. we are taught how to touch the source of the Faerie power. This is the true function of any priest/ess: to be a mediator of universal power. we have been changed even to our deepest levels. He is. and how to handle it once we have. Our view that the Gods are real (as opposed to being simply psychological constructs or metaphor. revealing it to be both personal and dynamic. being responsible for bringing it into the world at large. the initiatory lineage of each practitioner traces ultimately back to him.

we are left with only one thing that defines us as Feri: our relationship with the energetic current. . validate the path. and symbolism. It is these differences which. we are Feri because we are of Feri. invocation.ability to evolve as we each come to understand its beauty and simple complexity. It must. we have been remade into willing vessels of its’ power. not detract from it. I believe. By sharing our experience and perspectives with each other we become stronger for it. touch each of us differently. Without the outer forms of ritual. May we have the courage to always do so. by its deeply personal nature. It is this point that marks the validity of our tradition.