June 12, 2011

Are You A Real Feri?

One of the more boring arguments in Feri is the argument that arises over whether or not one is in fact Feri.  Inevitably someone will charge that another is “not really Feri.”  Or at some point in any meeting of Feri folk, one will complain that someone said “I’m not Feri, how dare they?”

Indeed how dare we make judgments on another persons chosen path?  It’s really not up to me to decide whether or not you have actually chosen this path.  If you tell me that you are Feri, who am I to say “No, no you actually haven’t really chosen this path; because I don’t like you, I fear you, you creep me out, I’m mad at you, I disagree with your opinion.” 

I can authenticate your teacher, years of study and practice, or your initiation.  But I cannot absolutely authenticate your choice in a spiritual path.  That is yours to own, to keep precious and to follow.  Not I, nor anyone else, is capable of denying you your willfully chosen path.

But what we can do is decide whether or not an individual is living up to the principles and practices of their path.  Of course that means we have to really understand those principles and practices ourselves.  Not to mention continue to do that work to the best of our ability. 

This sort of thing reminds me of the reaction of, for an example, the Christian community when a proclaimed Christian murders a health care professional because God told him to.  Christians will come out in droves proclaiming this person is not a “real” Christian.  I beg to differ on that. 

If that individual claims to be a Christian, I have to take that individual on their word.  Not a good Christian to be sure, but a Christian nonetheless.  I might doubt this individual understands Christianity, and may even question their sanity.  But I won’t question their chosen (or ill-chosen) path. 

I won’t question who a person is, but I can question what a person does.  Action, not being.  Are you living up to the principles and practices of Feri?  Does your life reflect the work and discipline that’s required in this path?  Does your devotional practice give your life a sense of beauty and awe? 

There are many, far too many, in our communities who behave badly.  There are a number of us whose actions lie well outside the practice of being grounded self-possessed warriors.  Bad behavior, poor practice and anti-social tendencies do not mean you’re chosen path is not Feri.  It simply means you suck at practicing Feri.  

I don’t call that judgment. I call that assessment*.

* BTW, if you’re going to make that assessment, do the communities a favor by making that assessment privately, preferably to the person in question.  Public assessments are rarely necessary.  But if you find that it is, have someone check you first.  Believe me, I’ve been there.  It’s hardly worth it.


  1. AnonymousJune 12, 2011

    I think this is well worth being said and re-said. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they used to say.

    I think that there are people who are unclear on the principles of Feri, and the disciplines as well. That being said, I know (a) I am not perfect, and (b) even though I may disagree absolutely with everything they do and say, I am not going to dispute their initiation.

    If they can trace their heritage back to Victor and Cora through a straight line then I'm not going to argue if they're "Feri" or not. I wouldn't invalidate their initiation. I may dispute the use or misuse of the power that they get from being connected with the current via initiation, but not the initiation itself.

    That's all I got.

  2. Thanks! I think this is a great reality check!

    To comment a bit: I think moving forward as practitioners of energy with the concept of assessing vs placing judgment is incredibly important. Placing a judgment is an act of Talker, but in my opinion has nothing to do with the other two, as such it creates imbalance in the energy body, in our three souls.

    The imbalances create discontent and the next thing we know we are feeding fetch poison. To look at anyone who we do not understand and place a judgment on them, especially without having the facts, is simply a sloppy use of will.

    However, if we place an assessment on another than we have chosen to take in all the facts, all the actions, all the follow through into our assessment. Assessing is too an act of talker, however it allows for a much cleaner and clearer picture, also it does not limit the future but merely opens a dialogue for more exploration- if even at a distance. We are energy workers and that means that we must be engineers to the energy.

    Being an engineer requires assessment, exploration, re-assessment, and then development. This process must be done over and over again because that is what stimulates growth.

    We could argue about if placing judgment on another is kala or not, in my mind, to my god soul there is nothing clean about judgment.

  3. AnonymousJune 13, 2011

    Wow, Anaar ! That was quick lol. And I agree with you, who are we to say if a person is Feri or not, it is all about how we connect with the world around us -- and our connection to Victor and Cora Anderson. Its a sad reality that such pettiness has found its way into the Tradition, with people forming various cliques, and using the Tradition as more of a social scene rather then understanding the path for what it is and can be for those to come to it with honest hearts and seeking. I honestly feel that each individual who comes to the path knows in their heart who and what they are( or atleast are working towards this), and this state of being needs not to be proven to anyone. It is our work, our path. There have been times when people may act and do things that may seem opposed to the basic tenets of Feri/ Craft -- and may make others question their actions, but I dont think its fair to question an individuals spiritual path based on poor actions. People make mistakes, we are all humans working on mastering the Art that is life. Things can get messy when a leader/ Grandmaster of a Tribe/ Tradition passes away -- but I do believe that in time things will all work themselves out and balance and order will restore itself. If we all keep doing the work and following our passions, we shouldnt worry about the work of someone else -- but instead hope to lead through our own example and life.

  4. AnonymousJune 14, 2011

    Am I Feri? Well I'm a lot of things. I'm a seer, a hedge wizard, a kitchen witch, a hearth crafter, a scribe, an artist and a wannabe bard. I'm fey to be sure, but from what little I've learned so far there is a hill of material to master and one by-invitation-only doozy of a wedding to the Gods. Calling oneself Feri implies a degree mastery and intimacy with the tradition that I lack. So no, I don't consider myself Feri, but I sure do like what you west coast Feri witches are doing.

    BTW, thanks for the thought provoking blog.

  5. I've only heard this directed towards the occasional student, but your post seems to imply that it's being directed at initiates.

    The student thing opens up a whole other can of worms, particularly when some students approach initiates for training and act like the initiates owe them something. I'm sure that sense of entitlement isn't a new phenomenon, but it seems to have gotten particularly obnoxious about four or five years ago. Personally, I think the trad can use a break from all the attention it's been getting the last few years. There are some serious stresses that come to a trad and its priesthood when it suddently becomes 'cool' or 'in'. We can certainly do without a lot of the marketing garbage that's out there... thongs being just one example.

  6. I like the Buddhist take on 'discernment,' vs 'judgement.' (or at least a couple Buddhist teachers' take ;-) ). 'Judgement' is about separation, looking in on somebody from outside and making pronouncements. 'Discernment' (or assessment, I think in your usage)is from the inside; owning one's own perceptions and making choices from there; nothing is 'put on' anybody else.

  7. "But I cannot absolutely authenticate your choice in a spiritual path. That is yours to own, to keep precious and to follow. Not I, nor anyone else, is capable of denying you your willfully chosen path."

    Well said. I think the whole "You're not/you are" thing oversteps in significant ways that is much more about control than it is about definition.

  8. AnonymousJune 17, 2011

    Once again, good stuff here. And if the main points here are assessment vs. judgment or speaking vs. keeping quiet, I don't have anything to add that hasn't already been said.

    But I like exploring further. :-)

    Looking at things from another side - I can also understand ideas behind Anne Rice's statement indicating she considers herself dedicated to Christ, but she no longer considers herself a Christian. If words and names are used to communicate, what happens when the meaning becomes blurry? (I've had similar concerns over my own lifetime, both with Christianity and with Feri). Dunno what the answer is - just noting it could play in as well.

    As others here indicate, there's also the question "can a non-initiate be Feri, or connected with the current?" Anaar, if I'm reading your words correctly, I believe they indicate you consider it possible that Feri can be the chosen path of a non-initiate? (As I carefully sidestep speculating on the idea of "connection with the current". :-) )

    Or I could stir things up and see what happens. Though my list is different, as padraig-sioga says, I consider myself many things. And Feri is something I do believe I have some sort of connection with.

    So - Anaar asks "Are you living up to the principles and practices of Feri? Does your life reflect the work and discipline that’s required in this path? Does your devotional practice give your life a sense of beauty and awe?" I'm certainly not perfect, either. But if I resort to dualism and give a yes or no answer, my answer would have to be yes (within my own current abilities, of course.)

    You, of course, may have your own assessment, whether you share it with me or not. ;-)

  9. Okay, some good stuff is coming up here. When I wrote this post, I was thinking primarily of those within the tradition (initiates and students) who were making claims regarding who was actually Feri. I was not really addressing, or even thinking of, those who do not identify with the trad. As padraig-sioga said; she is Fey, but not Feri.

    I think it's important to remember that the label "Feri" as it stands is applied to an initiatory tradition. I think that to name oneself Feri, that self has to at least be a serious student working toward initiation. Can a non-initiate, one who is not even a serious student, connect with the current? I cannot say no, but I cannot say I have met such a person. Because you see, the current is passed during the initiation. The current is specific to the tradition, it is a specialized form of mana.

    There are a number of folks out there who regard me as imperious. I am willing to admit that with regard to certain things, I can be a bit arrogant. But I also think of myself as being quite democratic about many things. I am one to accept that students are Feri. I am one to accept that even without training, people can experience the current. But I do have a hard time reconciling an everyone is welcome brothers and sisters! approach to an initiatory tradition.

  10. AnonymousJune 23, 2011

    This last comment was very well put Anaar! :)

  11. AnonymousJuly 23, 2011

    You going to be posting again soon ? :)

    Hope all is well.

  12. AnonymousJune 28, 2012

    Its been such a long time since you have posted. Was wondering if you had any topics of interest that you could share with the community? What are your thoughts on the old craft saying, To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silent?