Feri FAQs, v. 8.3, 11/10
compiled and answered by veedub (valerie walker)
most recent updates in black
Walker, initiate of Starhawk (1976), initiate of Niklas Gander and Willow Moon
(2001), informal student of Cora Anderson (2001-2008); founder, DustBunny line]
This material has been processed through my personal filter, and reflects my
own take on the Feri Faith. If anyone should have major substantive
disagreements with any of this material, have alternate observations to make
any of the topics, or have suggestions for topics not covered here, feel free
to email me at email@example.com. This
is a work in progress, as is Feri itself. My sources include archives of
several Feri e-lists, personal conversations with a number of Feri elders
including Grandmaster Cora Anderson, the training materials developed by Niklas Gander and Willow Moon for NightHares, a great deal of Internet research, and
online discussions with Corvia Blackthorn and many other Feri initiates, students,
and friendly observers. Many thanks to all of you.
many thanks to the members of the firstname.lastname@example.org e-list (especially
happydog for his researches into Melek Taus) for helping me ask the questions
and discover clues to some of the answers. And a very grateful shout-out to Tony Spurlock (Brian Dragon) for his work on the directional goddesses, which answered a lot of questions which were still unresolved when this work was first published.
is the Feri tradition?
is a short article by Stephen Hewell which describes the trad, with a brief
history and a few links. [This article is no longer available.]
Korn's article for CoG is at http://www.cog.org/wicca/trads/faery.html. [This article is no longer available.]
Feris are part of the same initiatory lineage and share knowledge of certain
secret Names after initiation. ... I think we probably share an emphasis on
direct personal interaction with deities/spirits/powers and other realms of
being; an emphasis on the development of the Self; an emphasis on ecstasy and
the fluidly sexual nature of, well...everything! There's often a high level of
creativity and a love of things wild, beautiful, and poetic. I think there's a
shared willingness to face the darkness along with the light within ourselves
and our gods. Also a comfort-zone with Lucifer not found among most neo-Pagans
and Wiccans. --Corvia Blackthorn (CB), email
am told that this comfort-zone is not universal among Feris.--vw]
The Feri Tradition reveres the Goddess and the Divine Twins (who are Her son,
brother and lover) as the primary Creative forces. The Gods are seen
real spirit beings like ourselves, not merely aspects of our psyche.--Soul
For more of the Vicia point of view as represented by Soul Fire,
Corvia Blackthorn, and their associates, see their website at http://www.lilithslantern.com
is an ecstatic, rather than fertility tradition, emphasizing polytheism,
practical magic, self-development and theurgy. Strong emphasis is placed on
sensual experience and awareness, including sexual mysticism, which is not
limited to heterosexual expression. This is a mystery tradition of power,
mystery, danger, ecstasy, and direct communication with divinity --Anna
http://www.cog.org/wicca/trads/faery.html. [This article is no longer available.]
Anderson (1917-2001) is credited with being the main advocate of a Feri
approach, but I don't think he'd admit to being the creator, but rather the
transmitter of knowledge that he'd received himself. Victor was perpetuating
an approach, but was not dogmatic about specific lore he was taught.-- Niklas Gander (NG), phone conversation
has been much discussion about where Feri originated. Several versions of the
story have been circulated:
that Victor was initiated individually by an old woman of either Gypsy or
African stock. This happened in 1926 or 1927 when Victor was living in either
New Mexico, Ashland, Oregon or Bend, Oregon (accounts differ);
that Victor was initiated and given the Mysteries in 1929 by Harpy Coven in
Oregon, and that this coven was formed by migrants from Missouri, Mississippi,
of Victor's original teachers differ. Gwydion Pendderwen describes some of
Victor's teachers in the first (hardback) edition of Thorns of the Bloodrose: In the Oregon of
his youth were many strange and wonderful persons who became his teachers. An
Indian who barely spoke English, a band of gypsies who seemed never to grow
old, and the ever-present crone who lived in a decrepit hovel on the edge of
Anderson mentioned that Victor had a Hawaiian girlfriend when he was in his
early teens (to whom one of the poems in Thorns was dedicated), and
was presumably exposed to Huna at that time.
an open letter that Victor wrote to Llewellyn publishers over 10 years ago,
Victor Anderson stated [his spellings and punctuation are retained]:
courtesy of SF)
don't consider myself the founder of the "fairy" tradition, but I am a Grand
Master and a fairy chief. I am the founder of the chapter of my faith on the
West Coast of the United States....
was initiated in 1926, not 1932, by a priestess from Africa. The names of the
members of Harpy Coven were not to be made public. The name of our coven should
have revealed ... something of the nature of our religion and practice: Harpy
is a Greek word for a kind of feminine nature spirit that appears like a bird
with a woman's head and a woman's arms and hands for its legs and feet. The
name means "snatcher."...
worship of the Goddess was the very heart of our religion and magic. Lilith was
one of the names used in our ritual worship of the Lady. Her name is derived
from Lilitu, meaning a storm or tornado. We did not think of her as merely the
Goddess, but as God Herself.
worshipped the Consort of the Goddess. We did not worship him because it was
but because she brought him forth out of her divine lust. Our worship of him
was an act of love. Although the Goddess tells us that away from the sweet
influence of her love, he is the most terrible of all spirits, he is not the
fallen angel or "Satan" of Christianity or Islam. The name Setan (the vowels
pronounced as in Italian) is one of his names but has nothing to do with the
Christians' name of their fallen angel: It means soul fire. He is the same God
as Ja or El.
statement that "the coven was quite eclectic, mixing Huna with folk magic" is
for the following reasons: I am a Kahuna. This is a fact of my racial heritage,
personal experience and training. The word Kahuna means "the secret," and is
the same in the fairy tradition and the Polynesian religion and magic. Although
we were willing to learn new things, we already had a definite and coherent
body of knowledge and tradition of our own.
we were not mainly eclectic. The fairy tradition has much in common with Voudon
celebrations of the Sabat, moons and other rituals, and seasonal observations
were much the same as in other traditions. We were ritualistic and devotional,
and we were concerned with theology, worship and ethics. Our simple meal of
bread and wine occurred only after completing the work and worship in the
is not my purpose to lift up self righteous skirts and kick Satanist, but for
reasons I believe to be quite obvious I resent [being linked] with Satanism. I
could care less what a religion calls their God, so long as they adhere to
constructive and ethical beliefs and practices.
taught that that Feri was a religion/magical science dating back to a
primordial "small slender dark people" who came out of Africa many thousands of
years ago. These are the original "fairies" and they turn up in the legends of
many cultures under different names.
the history of Feri? What are some of the lineages?
Anderson started creating the Feri trad more-or-less as we know it in the
1940s. He began initiating people on an individual basis into the tradition
before the 1950's. According to Cora, Victor received a letter in 1960 [other
accounts say it was a phone call] from several witches in Italy, among them Leo
Martello, asking him to form a coven in California.
the 1950's and 60's, Victor's Craft "foster-son," Gwydion Pendderwen (Tom
deLong) worked with him, and helped to edit and publish Victor's book, Thorns
of the Blood Rose.
Gwydion emphasized Celtic origins almost exclusively in his own practice, with
a smattering of Voudoun; other teachers have emphasized the Hawaiian, the
African-diaspora, or even traced the lineage back to the Attacotti, who were
small dark possibly southern European settlers in Scotland thousands of years
later moved north to Annwfn (Witch-owned land in Mendocino county), and worked
psychedelic group shamanic and Voudon rituals. Gwydion produced a large number
of articles, rituals, poems, and songs before his death in 1982. There is a
line of Feri descended from Gwydion, known as Watchmaker. Not much is known
about this line, as its practitioners are quite reclusive.
The late Alison Harlow, initiated by Victor Anderson and Gwydion Pendderwen in the early 1970s, brought in a taste of Gardnerianism to her coven/lineage, Vanthi. She was made 3rd degree Gardnerian many years after her Feri initiation and training. Some descendants of Vanthi still teach as a coven. Other descendants teach as individuals. Some of the Vanthi line lore is quite different from the lines of Feri that descend from the Bloodrose line. --J'te, August 2008
Littlewolf met Victor and Cora in 1969 but didn't get initiated into Feri until
five years later; she, Gabriel Carillo, Tony Spurlock, and Stephen Hewell were the basis of
coven Silver Wheel, [later Korythalia, and finally Bloodrose]. Silver Wheel
was formed in the Winter of 1975-76, and ceased in 1980. ...Gabriel taught his
first classes under the name of Bloodrose.... (Stephen Hewell, email)
Gabriel's line became known as Bloodrose, and has many descendants who are
still teaching, as is Gabriel.
Coven was formed in the early 1970s.... The founding High Priestess,
had been initiated into the Faery tradition; but strands of many traditions,
learned both from personal contact with Witches and from books, added to the
archetypal materials which arose from dreams and group trancework, were woven
by the original Composters to form a web of unique design, unlike that of any
other group. --vw The rest of the story can be found here.
that the teachings on the compostcoven site range from Feri to purest
Eclectic, depending on the author.)
Compost Tradition lives on in the DustBunny group, my ongoing class, and in the
newly-formed coven of its Feri initiates, GoldenThread. Over the years, I had
passed the Faery Mysteries to several Composters, Willow Moon among them.
Willow (with his partner Niklas Gander) later adopted me into their NightHares
line, downline from BloodRose, while still considering my earlier initiation to
be valid. At first highly influenced by NightHares practice and lore, I have
gradually departed from their way of doing Feri, seeking a more streamlined
version of ritual practice. Under the influence of Cora Anderson, the people of
her Vicia line, and my own researches into Feri, I am developing a set of my
own teaching and devotional materials, and teach them both online and in person
to the DustBunnies group and its initiates. Thus the Feri stream in Compost
resurfaces as a Feri lineage.
Mandorla Coven, to which Corvia Blackthorn belongs, was founded by initiates of
Victor and Cora Anderson, and practices a form of Feri known
as Vicia. This line
uses material taught by the Andersons in the 1980s and '90s and differs
somewhat from the majority of Feri being taught today. They trace their lineage
directly to Victor and Cora. They tend to initiate first and teach afterward,
and are more improvisational and less scripted than Bloodrose-descended lines.
Their website and bookstore, through which works by Victor and Cora can be
ordered, is at http://www.lilithslantern.com.
Phoenix says, My primary
teachers are initiates of Victor and Cora. What I'm learning are initiatory
teachings from Victor and Cora, plus my teachers' personal experiences and
approaches. When asked what makes Vicia different from the other Feri
lineages, she said:
I'd say that we're more
improvisational and less scripted. Definitely more kitchenwitchy and less high
church in ritual than folks downline from Bloodrose..... We don't work with a closed
pantheon. If anything, I'd say the emphasis is probably on the Star Goddess and
the Twins (different from the Twins found in other branches)... We don't do
Empowerment/Quickening. Instead there's a single initiation that includes a
passing of power. We don't do the 'demon work' that originated with Bloodrose,
nor do we use their Lead pentacle. ... Initiation usually comes near the
beginning of training, rather than after many years of study. We don't charge
money for Feri training, just as the Andersons never did. On the other hand,
training is normally in a coven/apprenticeship setting--so there's a lot less
opportunity for folks to do it. We tend to be very reclusive.
and branching lines:
the breakaway lines which depart considerably from the mainstream of Feri are
Brian Dragon's Draconian Pictish-Elven Witchcraft at http://www.pictdom.org/
Brian (Tony Spurlock) says:
is meant to signify a subset or offshoot of the so-called Feri or Fairy
as adumbrated by Victor Anderson and represented by the late Gwydion
Starhawk (especially in the first book), and Francesca De Grandis, author of
the recent Be a Goddess. ... The "Pictish" element is meant to bring back to
the fore one central thread of the Tradition -- as taught by Victor -- .... I
refer to the legend that the Feri Tradition carries on and embodies the legacy
and lineage of the pre-Christian mystery cult of the Picts (the pre-Scottish
inhabitants of what is now Scotland).
breakaway line is the Third Road school, led and taught by Francesca Dubie/De
Grandis. The Third Road Tradition is regarded as a Feri-derived trad, as is
was formed in the 1970s by Starhawk, who had been initiated after a brief
course of study by Victor some years before. Starhawk had previously been one
of the founders of Compost Coven, which is my own tradition. She (with others)
formed Reclaiming as a collective with political action as a major focus. Many
of the Reclaiming people were not and are not Feri, but there is a Feri
initiation available for those in Reclaiming who wish to follow that path. Web
references to Reclaiming are numerous; their official site is at
other Pagan traditions seem most compatible with Feri?
don't seem to mix well?
Feris hold dual membership in both Feri and other religions such as Unitarian
Universalist, Buddhist, Vodoun, Hindu, Santeria, Subud, Ifa, and many others.
There are Feris who have no problem being both Feri and Gardnerian, Feri and
Eclectic, Feri and Sabbatic, Feri and Thelemic, and so on. Each individual Feri
is responsible for hir own path, since Feri is not merely a set of doctrines,
but a way of being. Traditions that don't mix well would be any tradition which
does not allow the practitioner the freedom to disagree. I suppose there are
Pagan trads like this, but the worst examples are generally found among the
fundamentalist branches of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions. However, there
is still some overlap possible even in these sects. For example, Cora's family
was quite Christian, but she was able to remain a sincere churchgoer and still be a vital
force in Feri, or "the Craft", as she calls it.
is it called Feri rather than Faery or Fairy?
to Corvia Blackthorn:
says the name Faerie became attached to the tradition "by accident." Later on,
Victor began using the spelling Feri in order to distinguish our tradition from
other groups using the terms fairy or faerie (R.J. Stewart, Kisma Stepanich,
etc.). Various other names were used over time--including Vicia and possibly
Pictish. FWIW, I've never heard either Victor or Cora using the word Feri in
casual conversation, it's always just "the Craft."
to Niklas Gander, Victor explained the word "Feri" as "Fe-Ri", meaning
"workers of the Fey (power)."
traditions called "Faery" or "Fairy" have no connection with Feri tradition?
Stepanich's "Celtic Faery Wicca"
J. Stewart's Faerie tradition
Wiccan traditions with the word Fairy or Faery in their coven names
is Feri different from other forms of the Craft?
Niklas Gander wrote an article for Witch Eyemagazine that summed it up pretty
neatly, at least from the point of view of the Bloodrose lines. Salient
points, with my comments:
A number of variously sexual gods as opposed to a divine male-female dyad.
Non-subscription to the Wiccan Rede and Law of Threefold Return; instead, individual
responsibility for the consequences of one's actions is accepted.
"the essence of Feri is not found in a shared liturgy as much as in a shared
approach to magic and the Craft" [although some lines are much more "high-church"
than others, with more set liturgy--vw].
Emphasis on spiritosexual ecstasy leading to personal development rather thanmale-female
sexual polarity leading to fertility or healing. [also, there is an emphasis
on bringing energy used in magickal workings back into the practitioner,rather
Oral tradition rather than dependent on a written tradition kept in a Book of Shadows.
[Each practitioner is expected to add hir own material, so a practitioner downline
from any particular teacher will have branched out into new directions.--vw]
Single initiation rather than two- or three-degree system. [This, however, has
been somewhat diluted in some lines by the addition of empowerment/quickening ceremonies
at the beginning of training. Different lines vary widely in the timenecessary
before an individual can be initiated, some lines initiating first and training
later, and other taking years to train before initiation.--vw].
"Feri initiations vary widely... as long as certain core lore is passed during
of initiation. In this way, rites of initiation are often tailored to the
view is available in which
Leah Samul interviewed Anna Korn and which appeared in the Compost NewsLetter.
Feri a Wiccan tradition?
does not subscribe to the Wiccan Rede, which is an important criterion for
inclusion under the Wiccan classification. The word "Wiccan" has become a
pejorative in recent years, mainly because of the proliferation of
"fluff-bunny" groups who are self-taught from such watered-down sources as the
Llewellyn books. However, these
groups do not comprise the entirety of Wicca: aside from eclectic/inclusive
groups such as Compost, there are many other traditions in the greater Craft
community which share beliefs, lore, and even practice with Feri, among them
1734 (Robert Cochrane), Church and School of Wicca (Gavin and Yvonne
Frost), sabbatic witchcraft (Andrew Chumbley), and others.
Feri tie to an ethnic heritage? Or focus on a specific cultural identity?
who saw Feri as a universal current and borrowed shamelessly from here, there
and everywhere, was in the habit of emphasizing the cultural connections of
each individual student, and having them "ask their ancestors." But he wasn't
hidebound about it; although he felt that Magick is in the blood, and one must
follow one's own genetic heritage, he was realistic enough to know that many
people either may not know much about their blood ancestors or may want nothing
to do with them; so he sensibly went with the student's individual leanings.
do Feris believe?
to an article by Anna Korn: The
Faery Tradition, in common with initiatory lineages of the Craft which practice
possession, is a mystery tradition of power, mystery, danger, ecstasy, and
direct communication with divinity. This is in contrast to traditions which
or psychotherapy through ritual. [The complete article is at
http://www.cog.org/wicca/trads/faery.html, and it answers many of the questions
asked here.--vw][This article is no longer available.]
is distinguished by some specific beliefs and practices; some of the core
concepts are the Black Heart of Innocence, the warrior ethic, the Three Souls
(derived from Huna), and the Feri deities. There are particular deities, who
are each regarded as discrete individuals who are not interchangeable with
similar deities from other pantheons; simultaneously, the Star Goddess, the
source of all, is all of these, and all of us. (Anna did say it's a mystery
deities do Feris worship?
lemniscate gods (not all lines)
Star Goddess is God Herself, the source of everything in the universe.
According to the largely bloodrose-influenced Faery Roads website at
Feri Roads, "In one sense, all the other
deities are but aspects or reflections of Her. And in one sense, She is not female,
but, rather, pansexual." Victor called her "the clitorophallic God
Herself." [This article is only available in archived form.]
is variously known as Quakoralina, Sugmad, Sugma'ad, Sugmati, Dryghtyn,
Drychtyn, The Great Infinite Darkness, The Black Virgin of the Outer Dark,
Mother Night, The Womb of the Universe. One of the prayers to the Star Goddess
is an inheritance from the Gardnerian tradition, originally written by Patricia
Crowther: "In the name of Dryghtyn, the Ancient Providence, Who was from the
beginning and is for eternity, Male and Female, the Original Source of all
things; all-knowing, all-pervading, all-powerful; changeless, eternal." This
adapted and added to by various Feri writers, but the fragment gives a sense of
the mighty power of the Great Goddess, reverence for whom is held in common by
almost all traditions of the Craft.
children/reflections/ other selves of the Star Goddess include the lemniscate
gods, so called because they are generally illustrated in the form of a
lemniscate (the figure eight on its side, Latin for "a pendant ribbon").
As they emerge from and return to the Star Goddess, Dian y Glas and Nimue, the
young forms of the gods, are at the bottom of the diagram above. Furthest out
from the center are the fertility deities, Krom and Mari; and returning to the
center are the Crone and Winter King, Anna and the Arddhu.
concept of the Divine Twins as consorts to the Star Goddess was very important
to Victor, and much of the confusion about the relationships among the Feri
deities is due to the attempt to superimpose a system based on the triple
goddess twinned with a triple god (the lemniscate) upon the twin nature of each
of the deities. So we have simultaneous descriptions of Krom, for example,
being twinned with his opposite number on the lemniscate, Mari, and also being
a set of twins himself, the Red God of the animal kingdom and the Green God of
the vegetal. Both are simultaneously true, which yet another example of Feri
Placement on the lemniscate is not precise,
either. Some would separate the Dian y Glas from Melek Taus, even though many
Feris conflate the two; Melek and his twin Lemba can be placed on the
lemniscate somewhere between the youthful Dian y Glas and the full-grown, adamantly
masculine Krom (who Victor declared "is the same person as the Holy Goddess
herself.") Each lobe of the lemniscate is actually a full life-cycle, from
birth through maturity to old age and death, and an infinity of gods and
goddesses can be placed along these paths. Willow told me that the
Nimue/Mari/Anna and Dian y Glas/Krom/Arddhu points are convenient "stopping
places" at which we can see the characteristics of the deity full-blown.
her book, Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition, Cora says: "In
most traditions of the present time the Goddess is pictured as having one
single consort. In what is now called Fairy Tradition She is known to have two
consorts. These divine Twins are exactly alike and can function as a pair or
both at once. They are both Her son and lover.... We could put it this way and
say the bright and dark Godhood are the two sides of a chess board with the
Divine Twins at play while Mother makes the rules."
Blue God/Melek Taus/Dian y Glas
firstborn of the goddess is the Blue God, also known as the Peacock Angel, Lord
of the Painted Fan, and by some as Melek Taus. The Blue God is regarded by some
lines of Feri as the particular patron deity of Feri. The Dian y Glas is
usually pictured as a young, blue-skinned, ithyphallic, yet somewhat
androgynous god with a serpent. A beautiful picture of the Blue God can be
found at Storm Faerywolf's website at
Melek Taus, the Blue God is the twin of Lemba, the Lord of the Green Flame, also
known as the Living Serpent. He is the main deity of the Yezidi people; an
excellent picture of him by Paul Rucker can be found at
http://www.paulruckerart.com/pages/about-melek.html. Comparing Storm Faerywolf's picture of the Dian
y Glas with the Rucker picture of Melek Taus will give some idea of the
difference between the two which words are inadequate to describe. There is a
wealth of information about Melek online, including:
[update 02/01/06... I'd love it if you included the detail of Krishna (in his
baby/flute-playing boy sense) also being very much Dian Y Glas:). He's
decorated with peacock feathers and this particular practitioner
(amongst several others) finds him her favourite depiction of the young
--Snowgrouse(:>) (Feri student), 02/01/06
Lucifer connected to the Blue God? What's the meaning of Lucifer in Feri
By happydog, via email:
connection with Lucifer and Melek Taus (who some see as the Blue God of Feri,
others not) seems to come from western views of Yezidism, which identifies
Melek Taus with Lucifer, according to alleged versions of the Yezidis' holy
texts, "Mishaf Resh" and "Al Yalvah." The following link leads to one partial
rendition of these texts: http://www.angelfire.com/md3/thelema/texts/vasti.html[update 02/01/06:This link is dead. try http://home.c2i.net/blinge/Essays/mishaf.html]
English translations of both the "Mishaf Resh" and the "Al Yalvah" (also known
as the Kitab al-Jilwah) are reportedly viewed with some dismay by modern Yezidi
groups. According to various authorities, these texts are regarded as at worst
fiction, and at best compilations of certain aspects of Yezidi belief, some
accurate and some not. These alleged holy texts may or may not also be
influenced by Islamic views of Yezidism...The above link is a transcription of
a book from the late 1800's, and the translation is of suspicious authority; I
offer it for reference *ONLY.*
Szandor LaVey had no compunction about identifying Melek Taus with
and in his "The Satanic Rituals" there is a chapter on an alleged Yezidi homage
to Satan, which has been called an outright fraud in scholarly articles in
Denge Ezidyan, the official (German language only, unfortunately) publication
of the Yezidi religion. However, LaVey's depiction of Yezidism as Satan worship
(therefore Luciferian in his view) has made the rounds and been highly accepted
in some circles, especially in the "left-hand-path" groups.
is also true that the Islamic peoples of the region are openly hostile toward
the extent of persecuting them in some cases. Some of their hostility has taken
the form of denigrating their religion by referring to Melek Taus as "Shaitan,"
or Satan, which is a forbidden word among the Yezidi. I am not sure, from my
research, if the word is forbidden because it is sacred, or if it is forbidden
because it is an insult to Melek Taus to compare MT to Satan. Sources have it
identification of Melek Taus with Lucifer is also questionable, because that
is drawn from texts of the 1800's, when the Yezidis were first discovered by
Western travelers. Their view was that MT = Lucifer = Satan, which may not be
Western travelers in the Middle East in that period were there either as
missionaries or as agents of the British Empire, and both were emphatically and
explicitly Christian. As a result they were trying to convert the Yezidis to
Christianity, and so it would be to their benefit to portray Melek Taus as
things here is the fact that Yezidism is an orally-transmitted, highly
religion and has been a "minority religion" in some of the least-travelled and
least-understood regions of the Middle East for quite some time.
a result there is a great deal of misinformation floating around about the
Yezidis. For example, one recent online source states that "Yezidis are not
reluctant to proselytize," and that they accept converts. However, in a news
article I have read, the reporter interviewed a Yezidi religious teacher who
stated definitively that the Yezidi do NOT proselytize and do NOT accept
converts. Add this to the fact that there are separate sects within Yezidism
itself and it makes misinformation a surety...
it seems, at least to me, that the identification of Melek Taus with Lucifer is
I'm not saying that it's invalid, I am simply saying that there is some
from the research that I have done, whether or not identifying Melek Taus with
Lucifer and/or Satan is accurate according to Yezidi teachings.
NG/WM, phone conversation
Also known as the Kymari or the Sun Maiden, she is the Maiden aspect of the
Triple Goddess. The Faery Roads website says: "because
of her youth, she is somewhat androgynous. Nonetheless, she still embodies the
energy which brings all into being, which in humans is sexual energy, a great
Passion. Imagine all the power of the Cosmos in the hands of a six-year-old..."
Victor regarded Nimue as the Black Heart of Innocence incarnate. As the
prepubescent girl, first emanation of the Star Goddess (cf. Starhawk's creation
story), Nimue is the Holy Child, embodiment of forbidden passion. She is the
protectress and avenger of abused and mistreated children everywhere, fierce,
wild, and innocent. Her priestesses wore two green snakes in their hair, and
she was accorded a sacrifice of four red pigs, four white pigs, and one black
pig, showing her connection to the love and death aspects of the Star Goddess.
Also known as Cernunnos, he is the Horned God with whom Witches in general are
familiar. "The Harvest Lord: He is the Spirit of Light and Heat, the ripeness
of Summer, and the fullness of Manhood. There is nothing androgynous about him.
He is often considered the consort of and parallel of the goddess Mari. At the
same time, He, too, is a reflection in a dark mirror of the Star Goddess." --Faery
The Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, and the closest form to the Goddess
familiar to mainstream Wicca, who mates with /mothers/slays the familiar Horned
God. A reflection/ subdivision of the Star Goddess, she can further subdivide
into different aspects: "Each of these primary deities show different aspects
to the devotee at different times, for example the fecund Green Mari or the
fierce protectress Red Mari, etc." --Niklas Gander
Victor Anderson, quoted by NG/WM
The Winter King: the male (though somewhat androgynous due to his age)
crone aspect of the God. The Arddhu (pronounced "ar-thee", Old Welsh for
"the Dark One," also sometimes spelled Atho) is the Opener of the Gates of Life
and Death, and thus is not to be invoked lightly. The Arddhu and the Ana are
the "natural gods of nature" according to Victor.
The Crone. "She represents old age or death, winter, the end of all
things, the waning moon, post-menstrual phases of women's lives. All
destruction that precedes regeneration through her cauldron of rebirth. Also
known as: Anu,
Ana, Annys, Anysa (Celtic), Black Ana of the Forbidden Mysteries, Cerridwen
(Welsh), Arianrhod of the Silver Wheel (Welsh), the Morrigu (Irish), Kali
The Ancient British Goddess,
[This article is no longer available.]
next great recorded arrival in the British Isles was that of the Tuatha de
Danann or the People of the Goddess Dana, Danu, Anu, Anu Dana, Ana or Amma. She
is the first of the three Fates, a Goddess of Rebirth. She is the Mother of all
the Gods and some say She is also Domnu, the Goddess of the Fomoire. Near
Killarney two mountains are still called the 'Paps' (breasts) or 'Paps of Anu'.
Her people were said to have arrived from the sky, landing on a mountain in
was masculinized in later Welsh myth to become Don and the stories of the
Tuatha de Danann are equated with the People of the Don in the parallel Welsh
mythological cycle of the Mabinogion. In Saxon tales Anu became Black Annis.
She was also Ana Our Mother, Morg-Ana the Virgin/Crone and Anna the Grand
Mother Goddess." Anna is the Cailleach, the Crone who becomes the Maiden once
more at Imbolc, completing the cycle of the year.
[update 02/01/06: The preceding link is dead. For online info on the Ana or Anna, try
believes Ana to be primarily the personification of an abstract quality --
"blessed" from the Semitic tongue - and sees the distribution of
place-names with the "Ana" element in them primarily as designations
for "Blessed Awa." Robert Graves says the name means
to Barbara Walker, editor of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, the name appears in a great many
cultures, some widely separated by time and/or space. Thus, there is Anna-Nin,
Nana or Inanna, Queen of Heaven in Sumeria (An means Heaven in Sumerian,
according to Graves), Anatha, (Syria), Anat (Canaan), Ana or Anah (Old
Testament), Di-Ana (Semitic) or Dinah (from the Syriac version of the Old
Testament, referring to the goddess of the Dinaite tribes in Sumeria), both
uses of "Di" referring to divinity or godhead, Anna (Pelasgian
Greek), Nanna (the incarnation of the Danish Goddess Freya as the mother-bride
of Baldur), Anu (early Danaan Goddess in Ireland), Ana or Anan, which Robert
Graves says are names for the Goddess Danu, who had two aspects, one nurturant,
the other maleficent, as which she was sometimes known as Morg-ana to the Irish
("Death Ana," one third of the triple Goddess known as The Morrigan,
("Great Queen"); Anna Perenna (Roman), Black Annis of Leicester to
medieval Christians, who lived on "Dane Hill" (Danaan?) and used to
devour children -- ending with St. Anne, mother of the virgin Mary, grandmother
of God. This long history seems to me too ubiquitous to be reduced to an
abstraction! It goes even further: Graves cites the view of a Mr. E.M. Parr
that Athene was another Anna namely, Ath-enna, which occurs in inverted form in
Libya as Anatha. Graves' verdict on the subject is "...if one needs a
single, simple, inclusive name for the Great Goddess, Anna is the best
Upcoming soon: my page on Anat/Tanit/Neith (currently in work). Apparently Anatha, as she is known in the Feri Candle chant, is another of those Great Goddesses once known in triple aspect as Maiden-Mother-Crone but subsequently relegated to strictly Crone status. Hekate underwent a similar process.
Guardians, also known as the Nephilim, the Watchtowers, the Korylan, or the
Grigori, are not so much deities as they are segments of the universe which
might include deities. They exist at one and the same time here on earth at the
periphery of the circle, and in the vast depths of space. To call them "means
to focus their energies in a particular place."--Niklas Gander
attribution of the elements and ritual tools to each direction is a subject of
much discussion. The consensus is that the elements take the directions which
seem right depending on where you are. Thus in California, Water would rightly
be in the West, and Fire in the South. On the East coast, Water would more
correctly be in the East. Not to mention the total reversals required in the
southern hemisphere! (There is an interesting article on directional attributions
by a Welsh Traditionalist, Mike Nichols, who gives reasons for putting Air in
the North, at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/rethink.html [This article is no longer available.]). Feri
tools are generally held to be Wand for Air and Knife for Fire, which is the
reverse of the way many people are used to regarding them. The slight
disconnect involved in using an unfamiliar attribution is interesting and
English names of the Guardians are:
Star Finder, who represents the power of Knowledge.
Shining Flame, who represents the power of Truth.
Water Maker, who represents the power of Love.
Black Mother, who represents the power of Wisdom.
Guardian of the Zenith (above) is Heaven Shiner, The Guardian of the Nadir
(below) is Fire in the Earth, and they represent the power of Pure
Guardian of the Center is regarded by Reclaiming as the same as the Guardian of
the Gates, but by other Feri lines as the Witch Hirself.
Guardian of the Gates is called when invoking the Mighty Dead.
preceding are now regarded as more-or-less public names; this was not always
so. Eldri Littlewolf tells me that these names were kept quite secret in the
early days of Feri, as was the Iron Pentacle.
The Elemental Goddesses: (These are regarded as the feminine aspect of each
Spiral Dance/FRW/WM and websites indicated
gives the name of the Eastern elemental goddess as Arida, which is also found
in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance.[This article is only available in archived form.]
gives this version of the name as one of the names of the full moon and also
invokes her for air. It was also a secret Gardnerian name for the Great
name closely resembles "Aradia," familiar as the title of Charles Leland's 1899
work, subtitled The Gospel of the Witches. Leland claims this to be a true
account of nineteenth-century Italian witchery, aka Stregheria or La Veccia
Religione (online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/aradia/index.htm.) Aradia
is the daughter of the goddess Diana by her brother Lucifer, who she seduced in
the form of a black cat. Doreen Valiente says about variants on this name in Where
"The Italian Aradia is evidently Herodias, and an Italian writer Pipernus
writing about the witch cult in 1647 conjectured that the name did not refer to
the character in the New Testament, but was much older. The nineteenth-century
American folklorist Charles Godfrey Leland agreed with this, and states his
belief that the name Herodias was originally a title of Lilith, the weird
Sumerian goddess of witchcraft and the Other World."
Serpent of Wisdom, http://www.songsouponsea.com/Promenade/IslandsE.html#Tanit
http://wald.heim.at/sherwood/530383/anat.html[This article is no longer available.]
Sumerian word for god is dingir, which became tengir, then tani. Tan means serpent.
Asherah was also identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna and the Babylonian
Ishtar, whose symbol was the eight-pointed star and crescent preserved by the
Sumerians as an old shamanistic symbol for the godhead. Ishtar became Astarte
to the Semitic Phoenicians, and later Tanith, the serpent goddess.
Tanith, Asherah's symbolic pole was represented as a pole with two serpents
twisted around it (the caduceus). In the Garden of Asherah, the Serpent of
Wisdom taught men how to become immortal like the gods (Aleim, one of the
Children of the Gods, which the Jews wrote as Elohim)."
to Leland's Aradia,
Tana was the old Etruscan name for Diana, which is still preserved in the
Romagna Toscana. The "Anat" form of this name was fused linguistically with
those of Astarte, Isis, Neith, and several other goddesses in ancient Egypt. According to Raphael Patai's The Hebrew Goddess, Anath was an importation from the Canaanites who was worshiped by the Jews in early times.
Curiously enough, the version "Anatanta" was found at at Tanis in Egypt, during
the period of Ramses II.
is the well-known Babylonian deep-sea serpent mother goddess thought to be the
daughter of Chaos. According to the Enuma Elish (c. 2000 BCE), Marduk slew the
sea goddess and cut her body in two. With one half he formed the sky, and with
the other he formed the earth. For more info on the Enuma Elish, see http://www.theologywebsite.com/etext/enuma/eintro.shtml.
Lunar Cycles and Goddess Energies, http://homestar.org/bryannan/moons.html
White Goddess. Beli "white," bellus "beautiful," bile "sacred tree."
Originally, every tree was hers, but above all she was known as a willow
goddess, and also of wells, springs, love, and the underworld. She was the
predecessor of Ishtar, and the sister/lover of Tammuz. She was later transmuted
into Beli/Zeus/Jupiter, the "supreme god of light," who became known as the
"father" to Arianrhod and all goddesses.
have been unable to find any references to Verr-Avna (but see Tony Spurlock's
More (and more accurate) Info on the Directional Goddesses:
From the Witch Eye
Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 15:28:49 -0800
From: "Dragon Morn, Rex
Subject: Re: Goddesses of the Directions
By way of warning, let me say that I'm going to proceed as if
thesethings can be discussed openly. I see no point in trying to
delicately edge around these Goddess names just on the possibility that
some ... might not be familiar with them. Therefore, I'll just run down my "take" on these names and the
whole institution of these names, that is, their place in Feri praxis
as I see it.
Firstly, -- and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone by this assessment -- these names and their use have been a small thing,
used only during the initiation. And, I think, it was just a
"Victor-ism". While it's always possible that they did this in the Harpy
Coven, I think it was added by Victor at a later time. I'm one of the
few people who has any particular qualification to speak on this, in that
I am the person who rendered the "cassette of initiation" into a written
form. It is my rendition that forms the basis of most Feri initiation
It was in 1977, not long after my own initiation, while I was
living at Caradoc's (Gabriel's) house in Berkeley, that Caradoc and
Steven (Hewell) succeeded in convincing Victor to put down everything
he could think of about the initiation onto audio cassette. This
resulted in a lengthy tape, I think 90 minutes. As you can imagine, Victor alone with a microphone and a 90 minute tape resulted in a meandering
exposition that went in and out of focus. At certain places Victor would
imagine himself in the midst of the ritual, giving imagined improptu
"lessons" or instruction to the imaginary initiate. Since I had recently
been initiated and since I was a scholar of Wicca (I had been able
to recite a standard Wicca initiation from memory for years), I was
eagerly and minutely studying the tape as soon as it came into the house,
and therefore it fell to me to transform the meandering tape into a
written initiation ceremony.
As is typical of this sort of ceremony, after the 'crisis' of
the Oaths and, in our case, the sequence that culminates in the passing
of the Names of the Goddess and God, there is presentation of the new
brother or sister to the four directions. But, because Feri has special
names and signs for the Lords of the Outer Spaces, this first
circumambulation becomes an extension of the passing of the Names: the
inititiate is still being given revelation of secret information. And,
because this first circuit is instructional (being shown how to make the
Signs, etc.), Victor felt the "proclamation" or "presentation" of the
new initiate to the four corners of the world had yet to take
place. Therefore he immediately adds a second circuit for the
Now, in Gardnerian type initiations, this presentation would be
to unnamed guardians, spirits, or Lords of the Watchtowers of the directions. Well, having just spent so much time teaching about our own peculiarly Feri Lords of the Outer Spaces, such a presentation
would be redundant and a cause of confusion as regards the zenith and
nadir. Hence the source of Victor's solution: Goddess names for the
four directions/elements, to be used in the Presentation of the new brother/sister of the Craft; also serving to remind the
initiate that this is a Goddess-worshipping cult, a subject that hadn't been
addressed for the last many minutes of the ceremony.
Arida: East/Air -- Why this name for Air? Although I risk
sounding silly, I should point out that the first three letters of this
name are exactly those used to spell A-I-R, which would not be true if
the name Aradia were used. Moving to the named Aradia, however, I think
I see a more satisfying clue. Most people, misguided by the the utterly irrelevant Biblical namesake mother of Salome, aren't aware that Aradia is just Leland's prefered ALTERNATE SPELLING of Herodias, the Italians (like the French) prefering not to pronounce initial 'h' or
Why should that be important to the present discussion? Because -- Salome's mother being irrelevant -- what is the single most important connection between Herodias and Witchcraft? It is that early
Catholic Church document denouncing those women, deluded by Satan, who
claim to FLY THROUGH THE AIR with Herodias!
Tana: South/Fire -- ... I'm unfamiliar with the legend of Tana
that connects her with fire. But the 'accident' of her name punning with the
Celtic words for fire is a happy one. If my guess that Tana is Etruscan is right, maybe it is
more than an accident of language. This reminds me of my researches into "Saint
Kentigern" as a Pictish remnant of the cult of Lugh in North Britain.
Kentigern's earliest miracles are all concerned with lightning and fire and his
mother's name is Thaney or Teniu or Tanuuetis, which name I suspect of being
based on Tan/Fire.
Heva Leviathan Tiamat: West/Water -- Contrary to what some
webpages say, the original tape had Victor saying this name as three. This is
typical of Victor's phase of studying Mesopotamian mythology and the
Pagan roots of the Bible (see also the Goddess Candle-lighting chant).
Tiamat was the primordial sea serpent of Sumer/Babylon's creation myth.
She was chaos and filled the pre-creation limitless sea of space. From
the remains of her carcass, all the rest of the universe was made,
reminiscent of Ymir, the Norse Frost Giant. Because of Victor's
fascination with astrophysics, he could expand at length on how
original mother serpent resembles the pre-Big Bang universe.
(which he pronounced with all short vowels, stress on the first
syllable. Thus: LEVee-ahthahn) is an Old Testament gigantic sea
as well. In Antiquity, it was widely thought that all solid
clumped toward the center of an enormous great sea that
everything. This sea was, in turn, personified by the idea of
serpent that filled it, sometimes called the World Serpent.
HEVA is just
a rendering of the Genesis spelling of the mother of mankind,
definite article is indicated by an attached 'h'. They did
Adam, yielding The Adam and The Eve: H-adam and H-eva. Heva
Hebrew for 'womb.' (H-adam is understood as meaning The Red, as
color of clay.) Thus, for West, Victor is saying "The great
womb of the sea, our mother." Heva Leviathan Tiamat.
Verr-Avna: North/Earth -- Corresponding to and resembling no
name I can
think of (nor Google), I think Victor got this name from his
travel, which he ardently practiced and from which I think many
more astonishing flat statements derived (though he usually
these as past life memories). He probably was taught this name
Goddess, or some goddess, perhaps Verr-Avna. It is likely that
considered it to be in the language of the small dark folk.
the complex called North/Earth in esoteric Witchcraft, Victor
perfectly aware that in the ancient world-conception Earth, as
the Sea, equates with infinity. That is why he also linked the
with the Well of Space when treating of the Lords of the Outer
The Earth, or the esoteric Earth, is infinite and black, like
because not only is unexplored wilderness (which is in the
infinite, but because we magaically travel underground/under
that is a limitless expanse.
Seventy-Two Bright Spirits: also known as the Shem-Ham-Forasch. Seventy-two is a
magickal number in many traditions, being the number of the so-called "Genii"
of the Mercury sphere. These beings are known in the original Hebrew Kabbalah
as the 72 Genii or "Names of God" or as the 72 lettered Name of God. For much
more on this, see Franz Bardon's online book "Buchman-Naga: Talismanic
Theomagic" at http://www.geocities.com/franzbardon/buchnaga_e.html[This article is no longer available.]; Dr. Joshua
DavidStone's lists of the 72 names at http://www.drjoshuadavidstone.com/compilednames.htm[This article is no longer available.]
and Jim Cornwell's excerpt from his The Alpha and the Omega at
The Names Of God
deities common to Feri and other traditions include Hekate, Cerridwen, Kali,
and many others, depending on the devotional practices and preferences of the
individual. One's personal deity is the deity that the individual practitioner
feels most drawn to contact/ pray to/ interact with/ aspect as part of Godself,
the interface between the human and the divine. In some other occult traditions
this is known as the Holy Guardian Angel.
and Gods of the Candle Chants: The candle chant is used in some lines as an invocation when
the candle for the Star Goddess is lit during the casting of a Feri circle
(actually, a sphere): "Ashtaroth, Ashtoreth, Belili, Belkoreth, Lilith-Alure,
Anatha, Tiamat!" These names have been explained to me as corresponding to the
concepts of Fertility, Beauty, Power, Darkness, Above/Below, and the Ultimate.
There is a corresponding chant for the god which goes: "Keraillos, Keranos,
Kernunnos, Krana, Kronos" and which apparently is composed of titles of the God
in different stages of his life-cycle. Not all lines use these candle chants.
Patai explains Ashtaroth as being the plural form of Ashtoreth, which was the Hebrew version of Astarte. For Anatha and Tiamat, see notes on the directional goddesses, above. The "Alure" title of Lilith-Alure is unexplained, and may be another Victorism.
are the basic Feri practices?
specifically Feri tools used to accomplish self-development work are:
Alignment of the Three Souls
Energy Work (Blue Fire in some lines)
Shadow Lover/Frevachi (Demon work in some lines, not used in all lines)
[Note: links are to my own open-source Compost Tradition practice and may not correspond at all with the praxtices of other lines of Feri.]
Thorn Coyle's website at http://www.thorncoyle.com/
CB, email, SF, personal conversations
are a trinity. We have a soul that stores the life-force and speaks in symbols
and through play. We have a soul that communicates through speech and
listening, through words and energy. We have a soul that is Divine, that is
ancestor and teacher.--Thorn Coyle
Feri, each of the three souls is thought to use a different type of energy.
(This is pretty much identical to traditional Huna teachings.) The
Fetch/Unihipili uses a basic form of energy called mana. In Sanskrit this
energy is referred to as prana, in Chinese it's called chi. Both Feri and Huna
agree that mana is the fundamental energy of life present in everything. Our
Fetch gathers mana from food, air, etc. to create and maintain our material
existence. The Talker/Uhane amplifies mana into mana-mana. Mana-mana is used to
create and maintain our conscious thought and ability to reason. The God-Self/
Aumakua uses an exponentially more powerful form of energy known as mana-loa. Through
practices like the Ha Prayer, we can gather up and send mana to our God-Self
through the Fetch. The God-Self then converts it into mana-loa and uses it to
create/heal/etc. on our behalf. In Huna it is said that the kahunas could
instantly heal major injuries and perform other miraculous feats through the
power of mana-loa. --Corvia Blackthorn
Pentacles of Feri: are a set of meditational devices which are characteristic
of, but not exclusively confined to, Feri. All pentacles below are listed in
order deosil from the top around the points, though they can all be worked
through the pentacle (i.e., Sex, Pride, Self, Power, Passion for the IP). There
are many different ways of running the Pentacles. Starhawk taught the roundways
method, but many Feris use the throughway method primarily.
good links to further study include: http://www.faerywolf.com/essay_ironpentacle.htm,
an article by Storm Faerywolf
The Iron Pentacle as a meditative tool, by Hilary Valentine of Reclaiming
Epistemology and the Pentacles of Feri, an article by Mike Rock. [This article is no longer available.]
Feri practitioners use the Iron Pentacle with the Self and Passion points at
the practitioner's right and the Power and Pride points at the left; others
reverse this with Power/Pride at the right and Self/Passion at the right.)
is some disagreement about the position and naming of several of the Pearl
Pentacle points. Some Feri place Wisdom at the left hand and Knowledge at the
left foot; and some place Power rather than Liberty at the right hand.)
(see footnotes for sources):
There is a great deal of variation in the attribution of elements to pentacle
points. The Bloodrose-derived lines follow Gabriel's lead in attributing the
element of Water to the Passion point and Fire to the Pride point on the Iron
Pentacle. Victor, however did not attribute elements to the pentacles or to the
and 3.: Gabriel's version of the Lead Pentacle is for dealing with imbalances,
while Victor's Lead Pentacle is for manifesting and healing.
According to Macha NightMare, this is the set of qualities which Sir Gawain had
on his (pentacle) shield, and which are the qualities of the true knight.
email communication from Reya Mellicker.
7., 8. From the Pagan Universalist site at
are many more Pentacles. One interesting one is the Amethyst Pentacle by Storm
Faerywolf and Chas Bogan, which appears in Witch Eye #7. This also names the
paths between the points as well as the points.
the use of Blue Fire in Feri.
years ago, Gabriel introduced a series of exercises for working with "Blue
Fire" into Feri. These exercises were based on prana yoga techniques. This form
of Blue Fire is synonymous with mana. So when someone of Bloodrose-derived
lineage talks about "Blue Fire," they are usually referring to prana/mana/chi.
The same is true of Reclaiming, as many Reclaiming folks have trained off-and-on
in Bloodrose-derived Feri. These groups have many excellent exercises for
perceiving and working with this energy.
however, used the term "Blue Fire" to refer to mana-loa, the "fire of the
gods." This is how the term is used in Cora's book (Fifty Years in the Feri
Tradition, pages 39- 40). The Bloodrose lineages usually recognize a mana-loa
type of energy as well, but refer to it as "White Fire" or sometimes
"Baraka"--an Arabic term of roughly similar meaning to mana-loa. (There
may be other terms in use as well.)
are many ways of raising energy; some specifically Feri methods are the
Ka-Ba-Za meditation of Nighthares and the Ladder of Hestia in my own practice,
in both of which the energy of each soul is envisioned while chanting; the Ha
Prayer, which sends energy to the Godself by way of the Fetch; energy
purifications such as the Kala rite, and others. The Pentacles are another
category of energy work.
This is a method using a cup of water for purifying energy and reclaiming
bound-up life force. Kala is Hawaiian for "to loosen, untie, free; to forgive,
pardon, excuse; to proclaim," and to be kala is to be pure, clean, focused, and
clear in intent.
Shadow Lover/Frevachi/Demon work
all lines of Feri practice demon work or frevachi. The concept was originated
by Gabriel Carrillo, and his descendants have become accustomed to using
several varieties of work with one's personal demons or with actual demonic
spirits. Rhea Shemazi has an excellent article on the subject in Witch Eye #5. The Feri
"toolbox" contains a number of techniques excellent for dealing with core
personal issues, or "complexes," as Victor used to call them.
does the training involve secrets and oaths?
of the secrets are unbreakable because they involve concepts and experiences
which are not expressible in words. A few are secret because Feri is a mystery
religion, and publishing them would destroy the mystery.
little is actually oathbound material, according to Cora Anderson: the Names of
the Feri deities and Guardians, and the inexpressible current of energy which
is passed from teacher to student at initiation. However, there has been a
tendency in recent years to regard more and more information as oathbound, at
least in some lines. And some material which was formerly quite secret, such as
the Iron Pentacle, is widely disseminated these days. Initiatory oaths are
optional, according to Cora Anderson. At the same time, she says that
initiation like getting married to the gods -- there's no taking it back. Once a
Feri initiate, always a Feri.
more of Cora's comments on this, see the question on GrandMastership below.
does it take to be a Feri?
Thorn Coyle's website
Black Heart of Innocence: "the innocent, sexual state found in the child before
her force was constrained and perverted, and in the animal still roaming in the
Warrior ethic: since Feris do not subscribe to the Wiccan Rede, they each have
to work out a code of ethics for themselves, one which takes personal
responsibility for every act and judges what is correct action by each
situation individually. A lot of discipline is necessary in order to overcome
the temptation to regard one's wants and needs as paramount, superceding those
of anyone else.
Ability to face one's own personal demons and come to terms with them
Ability to "cross over" into the Faerie realm
Ability to work with the Feri "current"
Psychological strength and flexibility
Initiation by a Feri initiate during which the Mysteries are passed
Ability to develop actual personal relationships with the Gods, up to and
occasionally including actual possession
Courage enough to go into the wild places of the heart
is a Grandmaster? Who can be a Grandmaster?
CA, Tests of a GrandMaster
Anderson, GrandMaster since Victor's death, stated the qualifications for
thus: Once an individual is brought into the Craft no mortal may take that
individual out. When an individual strays he must be brought gently back into
the fold. An initiation cannot be undone as it would be like divorcing oneself
from the Gods, and that is ridiculous. A disharmonious individual must be dealt
with as best as possible.
the very beginning of our practice in the Craft, there were very few
Yet arguments and dissension among us soon broke out. Victor created
GrandMaster position to settle important matters and maintain harmony within
the circle. The power of the GrandMaster is great, so is the responsibility.
One must prove these tests first and let their actions through time be the
final judge. There can be more than one GM, but it is not appropriate for every
coven to have their own. I pass on the tests and requirements for Grand
Mastership. As can beseen, these requirements are very difficult, as they
One must be an initiate for at least two years.
One must have command of the Black Wand by demonstrating mastery in the
of magic. Possession of the black wand does not make one a GM. It
a Master who possesses all the powers of sorcery and mastery in magic.
One must demonstrate astral travel. The candidate must be able to enter a
observe, keeping the rest of the circle unaware. Permission from the HP should
be given before any such test and an open circle should be chosen for the test
site. The HP gives a sign, significant enough to be seen, yet subtle so as not
the normal workings of a circle. The candidate must be able to relate this sign
to the circle.
One must be able to define the duties of a GrandMaster.
One must possess the Black Heart of Innocence.
One must have seeded at least six covens.
One must be trained in possession.
August 23, 2003, a new Black Wand/Grandmaster, Anaar, was inducted by Cora
Anderson in the presence of a few Feris. This is Anaar's message to the Feri
is my reluctant duty to inform the Feri community that Cora Anderson has
me the rite of passage into the Grandmastership. I use the term
"reluctant", for I am feeling reluctant, but this occasion is not without
some pleasure. I am proud that Cora has such faith in my abilities, it is an
achievement of a lifetime. I can only hope and do fervently pray that I am able
to live up to the Andersons' expectations. I am grateful to my friends for
their continuing support.
are many misconceptions about the Grandmastership which I would like to clear
up. These misconceptions have led many highly trained priests to give up their
personal power. Once it is given, it is far too painful and horrifying to
retrieve it. I do not and will not accept this. There is no priestly hierarchy
in Feri, and the Grandmaster holds no greater importance than any other respected
priest and elder. Here are the duties of the Grandmaster:
oversee the covens,
act as a mediator and settle tradition related disputes within a coven, and
be a keeper of Feri lore and secrets,
Grandmaster cannot put anyone out of a coven,
Grandmaster cannot undo an initiation,
Grandmaster cannot break a coven or cause it to break.
only right and privilege of the Grandmaster is that I am free to visit any
coven in the astral, not as a participant but as an observer so that I may
learn. Needless to say, this experiment will never be undertaken without the
express permission of the entire coven.
honorable members of the community have pressed me to join one of the many Feri
lists available in order to fulfill my duties; however, I must decline. I find
these lists to be toxic to my serenity and am therefore disinterested. Should a
conflict arise concerning Feri principles (and not Feri personalities) it is my
duty to mediate. I do say "mediate" and not "dictate." However, the principles
were set down long ago, at the dawn of man's consciousness, and I trust that I
have received them well. Despite our tradition of creativity (and on this point
I must be clear, creativity is inherent in Feri) these ancient core principles
leave little room for deviation. I am by nature a somewhat private person, but
I remain open to honest seekers of the faith. To that end, I may be indirectly
reached through my closest
friends, or directly through my web site. Please be careful in the subject
heading, if I do not recognize your address I will not even open the file. I
ask all who know how to reach me to understand my position and not give out my
personal information. Nothing pains me more than the realization that this may
cause some rift and indignation in the community.
is a large undertaking and I need some time to adjust. I am reminded that I am
still Cora's student. Given time, my feelings regarding my private nature may
change. I am leaving for Hawaii and will return the 6th of September. Hawaii
will give me the space and time to meditate on this matter.
you for your understanding and thanks to those who support my decision. Evohe!
is the wand system?
CA, personal conversations
wand system is a series of three grades: the white wand is granted at first
initiation (in some lines, on first meeting), the green after mastery of Feri
lore and practice (in some lines, at or just before initiation), and the black
wand on being recognized a true master of magick. Not all lines use the wand
system. The Black Lotus line has a different arrangement of wands and different
meanings for each:
taught some of his initiates in Black Lotus and Nostos covens a slight
variation on the wands. He gave the order as green first, and then white, and
finally black, and this is what we currently practice: Green for new, growing
things; white for the flowering or blooming stage; and black for true power and
wisdom that comes with maturity. In addition, the different wands represent
specialities. Green Wands, V taught Black Lotus, are healers and herbalists.
White Wands are poets and artist Witches. The Black Wand for Feri elders
trained in powerful sorcery: e.g. conscious astral travel, possession by the
lwa, and the death prayer.--Soul Fire
Cora explains the purpose of the black wand as being somewhat akin to the
institution of the Talking Stick. The wand-holder would raise it aloft, and
nobody could speak, thus stopping disputes in their tracks and enforcing
silence. The green wand could do this in hir own coven; the black wand had the
authority to do this in a gathering of several covens.