Come with me while I journey as an Initiate through the Feri Tradition of Witchcraft - a shamanic path of fey sorcery; a martial tradition of magic.

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Do Not Give Your Power Away

A well-known Feri maxim goes something like, "Do not give your power away to anyone or anything." While the interpretation of what "power" means in this context will be left to another blogpost, I would like to briefly talk about something that I have been unconsciously, insidiously giving my power away to. 

My iphone. 

Yes, the small bit of plastic and glass I am using to write this very post on, has been chipping away at my personal power and life energy for years now. If I'm ever bored, I whip out the phone and scroll through Facebook for ten minutes. I'll check out the latest lists on buzzfeed. I'll open grindr to see if there are any hot guys around. 

There's nothing inherently wrong with any of these, but when it starts to distract you from the things that matter (conversation, connection, intimacy, just sitting there watching the world go by!) then it has become a problem. 

My iphone has even affected my daily practice, or rather, has become part of it. The first thing I do when I wake up is not mediation or prayer. It is not connection to my divinity or to the Gods. is opening the apps on my phone, offering the sacrifice of time and attention to the spirits of the iphone (and man, those spirits are greedy). 

So, I have decided to get rid of all the social media apps on my phone for one week. One week with no Facebook, Twitter, buzzfeed, grindr, or internet. Of course, I can still access all of these on my laptop, but the effort that takes makes it much less likely. 

Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Simplicity of Practice

Daily spiritual practice does not have to be hard. It is not some grandiose thing we perform to impress the Gods. Daily devotional work does not have to take an hour of our morning (unless we want it to!). 

It is so easy to think that "more equals better" when it comes to our spiritual practice. More prayer, longer meditation, more candles, more chanting. We often imagine "true" spiritual practitioners to spend hours in meditation each morning, their chakras blindingly bright, burning dozens of incense sticks as they commune with the Gods. 

For most of us, this is just not possible. What I'm starting to embrace is the simplicity of practice. 

There are certain key features of my practice that I will always do (prayer, soul alignment, the Kala rite, sitting practice) but how I do that can be very complex with lots of prayers, actions and movement, or it can be gently distilled into an essence. Do I really need three prayers, four mudras and a sage smudge before my sitting practice? Or do I simply acknowledge the presence of my Godsoul, welcome her as an old friend, send him a kiss and sit in silence?

As time goes on, I believe I'm becoming more Buddhist in my Feri - I don't believe the outer forms of the practice matter as much as the inner alchemy. Of course, the physical actions do help get us into the right frame to do our devotion well, and there are certain liturgical items that really get the Feri juice flowing.  

But once that connection is made, once you have opened to the flow of practice, just keep it simple. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Elements of Practice - A Revision

Back in June I wrote a post entitled "Elements of Practice" in which I mapped out how I structure my daily practice according to the five elements. A lot of people said they enjoyed this post and gained something from it.

In the past few months of working with this model, I kept coming up with resistance regarding Water and Earth. Years of ritual have ingrained in my brain that we work from East to North via South and West, yet it felt more natural to me to do divination (which I placed in Water) after sitting practice, which I consider an Earth activity. 

This slight annoyance was only small, yet it affected the flow of my practice to such an extent that I wasn't gaining as much satisfaction and joy out of my daily devotions as I used to. 

So I decided to re-map. I actually think this is healthy - restructuring how we do things can keep us from falling into a dogma (even if I am dogmatic about moving from East clockwise!!). In my latest structure, the basic format is the same, but I have focused on three aspects of Spirit: above, below, and centre. I have also moved Kala and Ha prayer from the South into the West, where I believe drinking a cup of water sits more naturally. 

Anyway, below you will find a re-structured elemental practice. Please feel free to comment/critique as you are moved to do so! 


Centre - Connection to God HerSelf. This is the start of practice, where we actually are. I ground, centre, and circumference myself, pray to my Gods, and place on my initiation cord. I also make my daily offerings of flame, water, and incense here. 

Air - Prayerful intention. This is prayer that sets up what my practice is about. My daily prayer usually goes something like this: "Holy Mother, I sit before your shrine at the dawn of my day. May the work done here flow forth through my day and throughout my life. May I be a strong vessel for this current and may I be the best Witch and Feri priest possible. May I see You in all beings."

Fire - Pentacle work. Here I work with the fiery Iron Pentacle and watery Pearl. Sometimes I work with the Elemental Pentacle here too, as well as my Golden Pentacle, but not always. 

Water - Kala and Alignment. This was a bit of a "duh" moment for me. Of course Kala rests in water - we drink water as part of the rite! Also, the mana we use for soul alignment has a watery feel to it. 

North - Sitting Practice. This has remained the same. Sitting practice for me brings all the previous work together and holds it within and around the body as we sit with all of our parts. Although the Godsoul unites our parts in this practice, all of our selves are present here. 

Above - Divination. This is where I place my daily card pulling. I usually use the Rider Waite deck, but sometimes I mix it up with a rune or a card from Brian Froud's Faery oracle. 

Below - Desire and Drive. This is where I connect with my inner cauldron, which is the tool of Below in my line. I hold my cauldron against my belly and pray to know and follow my Desire. I wish to know what motivates me, and what I am heading towards. 

Centre - Connection to God HerSelf. Here I return to centre, which is God HerSelf. She is also circumference, if that speaks to you. I offer thanks for Her manifold blessings and ask my Gods and spirits to walk with me on my path.