This weekend I spent my time recovering from jet lag and getting things sorted for the next quarter: changing out the altar, getting my daily practice sorted, etc. It would have been nice to seamlessly transition from tradition to tradition, but international travel and children will complicate things. And that’s ok! I’m realizing that there is no rush. Even though I’m devoting a mere three months to each tradition, I can always come back later. There is no perfection.
With that last thought in mind I want to comment on the resources I pulled together for this quarter (listed under Feri and Paganism/s). Firstly, I say ‘Paganism/s’ because while many traditions are lumped together as pagan, there is no monolithic Paganism. The term seems to refer to anything that isn’t monotheistic, has a nature based core, a fertility core, involves magic of the ‘dark’ variety, and/or worships a goddess. This is problematic at best. And yet, it’s a convenient catch-all term. But I think Paganisms, emphasis on plural, is a better way to describe things. There are many types of paganism. Feri isn’t fertility based, and while it has a plurality of gods, a strong case for it being monotheistic could be made. This section will likely grow. I haven’t added any books to the list yet!
My listing under Feri is deliberately modest. There is a ton of material available online – initiates’ websites offering teaching, lore, communities on various social media, art, and more. Much of this information is contested by various people. Some initiates dislike that any part of Feri is made public at all. In January of 2010 there was what seems to be an irreparable rift within the community, based on a disagreement of ethics and attitudes around public teaching. That’s all I will say about that as I was not personally involved nor affected by it. But I recognize that my writing publicly about a mystery tradition, and Feri specifically, might be problematic. I want to repeat that I am not an initiate, so what you read here is my own experience and what I’ve learned thus far. Please take what I say with a grain of salt, using your own judgment, experience and research to find out more if you’re interested.
Like the left-hand path of Tantra, many people believe that a mystery tradition should not be publicly discussed at all. Basic techniques alone could open up a person to powerful currents they are not prepared for! But some believe that these traditions are more important now than ever and must be carefully disseminated to those who would devote themselves to diligent practice, and how might people learn about these traditions if no one speaks of them? While I have no problems with money changing hands for basic teaching, I believe that initiation should never, ever cost anything and should be carefully considered, because it links the initiator and initiated in an intimate way and joins the initiates into a family.
I am going to be as open as I can be, while at the same time respecting the mystery part of this mystery tradition. Can I have it both ways? I think I can. But we’ll see.