Yesterday went by all too fast. We worked steadily on the various things that need to be done, in between customers and then we had some old friends come in that we see every 6 months or so when they travel through. We must have talked for 3 hours or more!
After our friends left we got back to work, keeping an eye on the clock. We closed right on time and headed to the business owners’ meeting where all kinds of things were discussed. It looks like we’re going to do the Midnight Madness even on July 3rd, trying to get folks to stay open or re-open after the fireworks for shopping.
Once the meeting was done we headed home. Tempus puttered for a bit while I worked on catching up on mail and then he headed out for the paper route. It was an “interesting” run last night, hail and pouring rain at best, and at one point when he was out rt 34, the rain was coming down as snow and piling up on the highway! He got home on time and without mishap.
…but with getting to sleep that late (I dozed more than slept while he was out, the hail kept waking me!)
we’re both pretty tired today. I tried to get this out, but gave up and took a nap first. It’s been quiet today, though. The weather seems to be keeping people home.
We have the Sabbat tonight. I have to get the script printed and we need to be ready, so I’m going to get to that, next.
Today’s feast is in honor of Morena or Marzanna, a Slavic Goddess of winter, darkness and mystery. The Marzanna is an effigy that is burned and/or drowned as a symbol of the ending of her time of triumph. She is often associated with Hecate and witchlore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzanna
Today’s plant is the trillium, specifically the varieties for our state of the Giant Purple Wakerobin, the Idaho Trillium and Round Leaf Trillium. These are one of the characteristic flowers of the Oregon spring forests, the flowers of spring called Wakerobin since in many places robins and trilliums appear at the same time. It is also called Birthroot and has been used medicinally to control bleeding. Tripartite petals and flower make this an unusual plant and since they grow widely separated in the undergrowth of forests, they’re striking when you come across them. – Feminine, Venus, Water – Carry the root to attract money and luck or –Masculine, Venus & Saturn, Earth – the other magicks of trillium are concerned with boundaries and lust. ….and they’re beautiful!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillium Yes, it’s odd to have two sets of correspondences for one plant, but that’s the way this one works!
The shop is open 11-6pm Thursday through Monday, although we’re there a lot later most nights. (Spring Hours) Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook or email at firstname.lastname@example.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/31 at 5:37am. Waxing Crescent – Keywords for the Crescent phase are: expansion, growth, struggle, opportunity. It is the time in a cycle that you gather the wisdom learned in the new phase and communicate your intention to move forward. Light a candle. Write or read an affirmation. LISTEN & ABSORB. Commit to your goal. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, energy and enthusiasm – Associated God/dess: Artemis & Apollo, Mayet/Djehuti, Freya/Frey. Phase ends at the Quarter on 3/24 at 8:35am.
The thickening Moon now works its way high through Taurus. The blue 10° scale is about the size of your fist held at arm’s length. In these scenes the Moon is always drawn three times its actual apparent size. The Moon joins the lineup of Betelgeuse, the Taurus horntips, and Capella.
Now that it’s spring, the signature fall-and-winter constellation Cassiopeia is retreating downward after dark. But for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes Cassiopeia is circumpolar, never going away completely. Look for it fairly low in the north-northwest these evenings. It’s still standing nearly on end.
Uranus and Neptune are behind the glare of the Sun.
Old Farmer’s Almanac Sky Map for March 2018 – https://www.almanac.com/sites/default/files/skymap_march2018.pdf
Goddess Month of Columbina runs from 3/20 – 4/17
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
©2018 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
F 23 High 4:59 AM 7.8 7:13 AM Set 1:28 AM 29
~ 23 Low 12:04 PM 0.3 7:32 PM Rise 11:17 AM
~ 23 High 6:32 PM 5.9
~ 23 Low 11:51 PM 3.0
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Abundance and success await me!
~ The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it. – Marcus Aurelius
~ We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. – Buddha
~ We can learn even from our enemies. – Ovid
~ We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people. – Arthur Schopenhauer
Again rejoicing Nature sees
Her robe assume its vernal hues,
Her leafy locks wave in the breeze,
All freshly steep’d in morning dews. – Robert Burns (1759–96)
This is an article that I was avoiding writing, but I have been asked to speak, and have chosen to acquiesce. For those who want some background on the Feri Tradition, I refer you to this excellent article.
Feri is a relatively small American Pagan tradition that has fostered such public figures as Gwydion Pendderwen, Starhawk, Francesca de Grandis, Sharon Knight, Anaar, Anne Hill, Vicki Burns—and numerous other dancers, poets, singers, authors, teachers, herbalists, and ritualists—all doing their own work in the world. I am pleased to count myself among them.
It is said of late that the Feri Tradition has been broken in two, being named by folks on one side of the divide as a split between the “Mystery tradition” (taking on the old spelling of Faery) and “public religion” (Feri). While there have been splits and factions for almost as long as the tradition has been active, while the spelling of the name changed over time, and scapegoating, shouting, and long silences have abounded, I never before felt such an energetic sundering. As I write this, I can feel the mighty gates closing on what was. What will emerge, I do not know. Perhaps nothing will change, and perhaps everything will. Such are the times we live in, and various are the pronouncements of our egos trying to figure things out.
In 2009, I wrote my ongoing students a letter telling them that I would no longer be teaching within the Feri Tradition. As part of that letter I said:
My work can no longer be held in even so porous, forgiving, and strong a container as Feri is. My roots remain in Feri, but they are also in Gurdjieff and Sufism. My influences are of the Craft, but they are also of Kabbalah, Buddhism, Hinduism, Thelema, and mysticism of all traditions. My primary influences are of course the changes in my own heart and soul from practice, my guides, my God Soul, and LVX.
At what point in an ecstatic, syncretic, Bardic tradition, does one’s own work cease to be of that tradition? My first book, Evolutionary Witchcraft, about my studies and teaching in the Feri Tradition, was already heavily influenced by Gurdjieff, Sufism, and mysticism. As a matter of fact, these other systems gave me the lens on Victor and Cora Anderson’s work that caused me to see ever more deeply into it. So why did I stop teaching Feri?
The answer is multivalent, of course, and we likely will understand the whole thing better ten or twenty years from now. There were, however, two main reasons. One was that working within a small container of initiates and within the container of a set tradition was causing me some discomfort; my work is ever evolving in its expression, though I feel the core of my work will always remain the same, centering on evolutionary practices of alignment and self-possession, true to my deep self and true even to the teachings of Victor and Cora. Yet it is also infused with the theory and practices set forth by G. I. Gurdjieff, and the whirling dance and poetry of Jalalludin Rumi, not to mention the mystic seeking of my childhood Catholic soul, and the strident calling of Thelema. My work needed to be free from some measure of “is this Feri or not?” in order to open the old into the new.
The second reason is that, as a public teacher of Feri, I felt I had stretched the tradition as far as was possible at the time. This was causing some of my brothers and sisters pain. Yet to not do my work, to curtail my vision and guidance because of their discomfort, would have been to deny the work of my God Soul, which is the spreading of light and liberation. So I decided it was cleaner to simply say: “I no longer teach Feri.” This caused bewilderment to some, though I had tried to prepare my students, and helped many others to breathe a sigh of relief.
If I am honest, there was also a third reason: many people who had come to me for initial training were continuing. I had expected that most of them would fall away, would take a few foundational tools to better their lives, and then return to other practices, traditions, and ways of worship. Many did, which frankly is what I did early on in my Feri training. I worked with a teacher for a year or so, then left. It was only years later that I circled back. But here I was with many, many dedicated students, working very hard, and yet, were all of them right for the giant wallop that is Feri initiation? No. Could I possibly take each of them through the gates even if I wanted to? No. And yet, ostensibly, I was teaching within an initiatory tradition. No matter how much I told people that the initial two-year class did not lead to initiation, there was still, within some, an expectation. We can blame culture, we can blame tradition, we can blame assumptions, we can blame my lack of foresight. That conversation—like every point I will mention in this essay—would take hours to unpack.
Part of the trouble is that Anderson Feri/Faery Tradition conflates four types of initiation, three as outlined by the late Isaac Bonewits:
Type One: Initiation as a recognition of a status already gained.
Type Two: Initiation as an ordeal of transformation.
Type Three: Initiation as a method for transferring spiritual knowledge and power.
And another, spoken of by John Michael Greer:
Type Four: Acceptance into the fold of the community or clan.
I wrote a whole article on initiation that I will not reprise here. I encourage you to go read it, but in summation, in my mind, there are as many varieties of initiation as there are human beings. The Mystery cannot be taught, and can never be bought or sold or spoken. The Mystery can only reveal itself in time.
There are Feri initiates who say that no matter how long someone has studied, no matter the rituals and devotions they offer, no matter their relationship to the Gods, unless they have initiation—this four-in-one rite—they are not Feri and never shall be. There are other initiates who disagree with this. I felt that tension in the tradition and decided that I had to change my approach or stretch things to a breaking point. Two years later, that break I feared is a reality.
There are so many strands woven into this broken fabric. There are those who would tell you that it is about secrets shared indiscriminately. And while there are things I still hold close, and that some initiates have shared which do indeed make me squirm when they are shown in bright light, I remind myself, “Cora herself said there were really only three secrets in the whole of the Craft.” There are others who say we may teach practices, but should not teach of our Gods. And yet I say, “Victor himself said that anyone may approach our Gods and Guardians. He also said that all Gods are Feri Gods, because Feri is the religion of the human race,” it is—in a poetic and metaphysically true fashion—as old as time itself. It beats in our blood. Who are we to deny anyone access? I could go on to write another essay on the power of the Gods and the reality of the Guardians and how they are their own entities, never to be held within the grasp of one tradition. And yet I also respect those who wish to hold things within a smaller container than those of us in the public eye are wont to do.
And then . . . there is still the merging of those four types of initiation, the power of which requires a very strong container indeed, which is why most of my initiates trained for many years before me, many years with me, and many years after me.
There are still others who say the split is about the charging of money for teaching, to which we can also say that Victor himself had no problem with the concept of charging the public for Craft services, or for teaching, as long as these people were not training toward the intimate act of initiation, and that regardless of what Victor or Cora said, did, or taught, each priest has her own autonomy and must choose how to walk this path. Yes, abuse can happen, but that is always the case.
Still others worry about forming a Feri priesthood separate from a Feri laity, or about commercialization, or . . . I cannot answer all of these concerns with the depth and respect that they warrant. That would require another book, and one likely written with the help of an anthropologist. The truth is that there is crossover between the sides of “mystery” and “openness” on almost every point.
All I can say is this: there has been regrettable behavior on both sides of the split, as well as heartfelt expression, poetry, pain, and hope. There are also many people who are not on any side at all, but who are, to paraphrase Rumi, “meeting in the field beyond right and wrong.” This split feels painful, and yet also, in a strange way, right. It is another sign of the times.
At core, I feel the sundering of the Feri Tradition is a reflection of the tension seen all over the world right now, which is the tension felt in ages of transition. It has been said that we are moving from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. Pisces wants to hold things close and in reclusion, within existing structures, striving for a beautiful purity. Aquarius wants to open up the windows of the Witch’s hut—or sometimes bust down the walls – and let in some fresh air, while figuring out how to build something new. While I have great sympathy for the Pisceans, and think that likely there will always be those needed to hold that polarity, my work is firmly on the side of the non-conforming Aquarians, even when we vehemently disagree. The world needs us. The world is in trouble. We must bring the souls of body, culture, and spirit back together, or we shall surely perish, whether alone or together. To do this requires stepping out of the nurturing cave, and into the light.
My work is clear, and is as it has always been: To spread the Promethean fire of liberation to those who can see it, feel it, touch it, and taste it. My mandate is to offer as many people as possible what small things I can pass on that will be of help in changing their relationships to their lives, their work, their Gods, and the cosmos. Simultaneously, I do and will train smaller and smaller groups of people in deeper and deeper expressions of the unfolding Mystery. Why will these groups grow smaller? They will self-select, because hard, daily work is required and most people are not ready or willing to put in that sort of effort and self-scrutiny, and maintaining continuous connection to the Mystery requires all of those, and more. Perhaps it is in this latter statement that those I am placing in the Piscean camp—and who would call themselves “the Mystery tradition”—share common ground with me.
The way I teach and practice is not for everyone, nor should it be. We live in a cosmos of great variety for a reason. Multiplicity is both a challenge and a blessing. In the end, I am Feri—though I no longer teach within the tradition—and also I am of this changing world. To those who need to retreat under the mound, you may do so, and I will strive to respect your choices. Meanwhile, you will find me standing out in the bracing winds of change. May the way be open!
Thorn Coyle is an internationally respected visionary and teacher of the magical and esoteric arts. The author of Kissing the Limitless and Evolutionary Witchcraft, she hosts the Elemental Castings podcast series, writes the weblog Know Thyself, and has produced several CDs of sacred music. Thorn’s spiritual direction and soul reading practices help people worldwide. Pagan, mystic, and activist, she is founder and head of Solar Cross Temple and Morningstar Mystery School and lives by the San Francisco Bay. For further information, please visit ThornCoyle.com.
Silliness – The Dalmatian
A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog.
The children fell to discussing the dog’s duties.
“They use him to keep crowds back,” said one youngster.
“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”
A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrant.”