October 10, 2011

There are many stereotypes of pagan ritual: witches gathering in a coven to call down the moon, or cast some dark spell involving eye of newt and a big ol’ cauldron; druids standing in groves chanting at trees; crazy bacchanalian rites involving too many candles, too much wine, and too little clothing, etc. All of those are about right, for some people. Friday night I did some ritual solitary-style. Here’s what went down. (Psst, it’s not very sensational.) I decided… Read more

October 7, 2011

With witchcraft’s negative reputation this is not an uncommon worry. Anyone who knows anything about paganism will know this is an unfounded concern. For me, though, as a mother of two small children, I do wonder about the children. After a quarter spent with Hinduism and seeing how bright, colorful and easy it was for my 3-year-old to find an ‘in’ I wonder where the ‘in’ is in Feri. So far my son has questioned me about what’s on the… Read more

October 3, 2011

Feri is…… Feri is a form of traditional witchcraft. That’s right – witchcraft. It’s an American-born, syncretic tradition, informed by Hoodoo, Voudoun, Huna, Wicca, Yoruba, Gwyddon (Welsh witchcraft), Appalachian folk tradition, and probably more that I just don’t know about. Victor Anderson saw himself as drawing on ancient commonalities, the current of the ‘small dark peoples of the earth.’ Feri is non-dual. There is no ultimate God and Goddess parity, except when there is. I cannot speak about the many… Read more

September 30, 2011

This quarter’s altar is really a three-in-one. I’m limited for altar space around here. While this doesn’t look cluttered, there’s a lot going on. From left to right: First, there’s my Israeli stoneware cup, or chalice, which I find I don’t really use very much. The blue votive holder is back. It’s really my Holy Mother candle votive. It was made by a friend as a going away present when we moved from the Bay Area. Flanking it are two… Read more

September 28, 2011

Navratri is a major Hindu celebration of the Shakti, or feminine, aspect of the Divine, celebrated over nine nights. I don’t understand Hindu astrology or calendar systems, but I’m sure it is no coincidence that it occurs close to the autumnal equinox and starts at the dark of the moon. Navratri celebrates Durga, who I see as the Dark Mother. The first three nights celebrate her fierce qualities, and focus on purification. The second three nights focus on her aspect… Read more

September 26, 2011

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… Read more

September 21, 2011

Today is all about change. This evening I leave the US to fly back to my current home in the UK. I said goodbye to Hinduism last night (bittersweet) and this morning I woke up enthusiastically embracing the Feri tradition.* A discussion of the ‘left hand paths’ is an appropriate segue between these two traditions. They might appear radically different, but you might be surprised. I was! Like all dualities, the split between left and right hand paths is a… Read more

September 19, 2011

My blessed time with Hinduism is coming to a close. On Wednesday I begin with a new tradition, as well as fly back to the United Kingdom after a frustrated month on a vacation that wasn’t much of one. This month isn’t how I wanted to close out my time with Hinduism. Hinduism is beautiful, rich, lovely, and challenging in ways I never expected. There were several things I wanted to do and experience that just didn’t happen: draw yantra,… Read more

September 12, 2011

My vacation stopped feeling like a vacation and has felt more like a holding pattern for at least the last week. My spiritual practice has suffered tremendously. As it goes, so do I. While I recognize in myself the fruits of my previous efforts -I am slower to anger, more compassionate, and more patient with the unexpected and the waiting – I am far more in thrall to my whims and moods. Oh what an inconsistent creature I am! I… Read more

September 8, 2011

My time with Hinduism is winding down. I feel a variety of emotions as I think of the quarters to come. Sad: Hinduism is so beautiful, so rich, and so surprisingly fulfilling that I am loath to move on. Grateful: I’ve learned so much. I feel joyfully changed from my experience so far. I feel like I am a better person, a more complete me. Excited: Feri is next and I look forward to getting back to that. Plus, there… Read more

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