If it wasn't for the fact that my Feri teacher was and is a wonderful and balanced person I seriously think I would have left a long time ago. When dealing with factions of the community I have seen such ugliness, and yet I knew what these tools did for me, and I saw how my own teacher embodied them. If nothing else this alone has given me hope that Feri tradition, when practiced correctly, can be a source of much power and growth.
I received the following email from my Feri teacher about this recent conflict and I am presenting it here in its entirety because I think it addresses quite nicely the issues that are at play here.
Perhaps you can hear me sighing, my heart heavy with a disappointment
that, by now, I should no longer experience, after all I've seen. Yet there it is.
Thank you for letting me in on this. It means a lot to me that you
include me when things come up--though I'm sorry they are such idiotic
things! I wanted to get back to you sooner, but first I needed to
think about this, and then the rain (I guess) knocked out our power.
But here I am now.
Your response to *****--who, by the way, has never met me and probably
does not even know my name--is rather hot, but, I think, justifiably
so. You are correct, I think, that the issue is not about payment, but
about imbalance and fundamentalism. I have only the quotes you
provided in your excerpt, but these strongly suggest to me that *****
is yet one more practitioner whose practice has plateaued out and
become the nucleus around which a new identity has formed. How often
have we seen this: "I'm Feri, I know more than you, my tradition is so
badass. I did the Iron Pentacle (back in the '70's) and corrected some
of my gross imbalances, and now I'm perfect." The reason Feri is
dangerous is because, _like magic in general_, it can provide deep
insight into the personality while simultaneously allowing the
formation of a new identity around these insights. It must be stated
again and again that attachment to personality is attachment to the
temporal, to the conditioned, and will act to prevent one from truly
knowing the Unknown, i.e. the Star Goddess. In my experience, Feri
teachers (in general) still hold to form in their practice (deities,
guardians, etc.) and cannot speak of the place of Silence and the
Unknown. Coincident with this, as both cause and consequence, is
attachment to personality, the adherence to an identity about who "I
So what you say about ***** does not surprise me, but does sadden me.
She theocratically enunciates a version of Feri that simply reflects
her own biases, but fails to see that her vision of Feri is a creation
of her personality. She then imposes it upon others, and, in true
fundamentalist fashion, condemns any who see things otherwise. So much
for openness and acceptance of difference.
I am also struck by her fallacious use of "abuse," as if paying for
classes, and not very much, at that! is the same as abuse the of
spiritual authority for purposes of personal sexual gratification. If
she honestly believes these are equivalent, then she seems to have
lost touch with consensus reality. The fact that she considers you and
I "abusers" is both staggering and laughable. I wonder if ***** is
aware that Gabriel, to whom she just gave a black wand, charged me for
classes! That must be the source of my abuse of you! There are issues
to be discussed regarding the question of money and teaching, but I
haven't seen anyone talking about them in a serious way, by which I
mean that it is not actually about money per se. Essentially, these
issues come down to the fact that money is a condition placed upon
teaching--but it is only one of many, and far less serious than the
questions of teacher-student sex or kicking out students who don't
You are taking the right attitude toward all this, I think. Namely:
don't waste time with bozos.
Move on to what's important. Much worthwhile discussion could come
from this, and I'm open to more.
Also, if you want to put any on this on your livejournal, go ahead.
You can use my name and email to, if you want. Fine by me, I have
loads of opinions.
Be well, Mitchell