Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Feri Camp Retrospect

I'm back from Feri Death Camp, and while it was a wonderful experience it almost killed me.

Well, sorta.

My first day there I tripped and twisted my ankle. It was very painful and it swelled up for a couple of days. I spent a lot of time hobbling around and being offered various pain killing concoctions, some of which in hindsight I should have taken, if nothing else but for their street value. ;)

The second full day there I started to get sick. This is in all likelihood because of the mold that was present in one of the rooms in the building that was set aside for the teachers. We decided that we couldn't sleep there, and so closed the door (which you had to walk past to get to the other rooms) and decided to use the other two for the four of us. anaar and I ended up sharing a bed which we decided would be the foundation for a good series of rumors about my sexuality. The second morning there I had completely (and I mean *completely*) lost my voice... barely a whisper could escape my lips. After making Kala my voice returned (if only to a frog-like state) and at least I was able to do my work. I had been stressing about it before then, musing that my voice was the only tool I had to offer; so I guess the Goddess decided to teach me a lesson, and one that I think I learned in full. The classes and meditations that I offered were well received and my voice was certainly nothing like what it normally is, teaching me that I have more than just that tool at my disposal.

My morning path was well attended, far more so than I was prepared for so I had to make some last minute adjustments to the final morning's ritual. But it all worked out. My path was about working with the spirits of the dead. Specifically about connecting to their realm, and then helping them cross over, the final class of which was more of a ritual involving Malek Ta'us and the Middle Eastern myth of how he extinguished the fires of Hell. We journeyed first into our personal hell (as put forward by my husband Chas' article for Witch Eye) and then we descended into the underworld dimension of Hell to help trapped souls cross over from that place. It was heavy work and there were more than a few tears shed, including my own.

The Saturday night ritual really affected me deeply. The only plan was that Karina would do a possession with Ana, and I would be possessed by the Arddu. While possessed, I/Arddu would walk the circle looking at the ritual participants and I got the distinct impression that he was examining them... looking closely not at their bodies, but at their energy fields. Some were taken from the circle and brought before Ana, presumably to hear her counsel. Others the Arddu spoke to directly, mostly about darkness and fear, of which he said were his food, inviting the participants to release it into him so that he was "fed". During all of this he/I began to dance, although I couldn't for the life of me tell you exactly what it was like. I felt exaggerated movements and various degrees of energy, which culminated in him addressing the entire circle, inviting them to release their fears into him. I remember seeing and feeling dark, smoke-like tendrils of power emanating from the participants and into my body (at which point the part of me that was still me uneasily trusted that the Arddu knew what he was doing with all of that power). We then moved over to Ana, who lifted her veil and received all that power into her, first with a breath and then sealed with a kiss. (Which I'm sure will elicit even more speculation about my sexuality!) I then collapsed at her feet, and I think she then addressed the circle. We then moved outward while she spoke and eventually moved into a dance in which the participants were asked to "dance the dance of their own death". Part spiral dance, part ecstatic madness, I remember being in the center of the circle, underneath the black veil and dancing clockwise, looking outward to see the firelight broken by shadowy figures moving counter-clockwise around us. This eventually morphed into a foot stomping, high energy dance that merged into a cone of power which I assume was the moment in which all that pain and fear was released and transformed. I don't know, actually. I was only the co-pilot, and for the most part I was simply relaxing, my feet up on the dashboard,  just letting the Arddu do his thing. I have only done possession with him a few times before, and this was definitely the strongest that I have experienced. It was one of those times that either tells you that magic is real, or that you are quite insane. Or both. Yes... probably both.

Michele (mrj15) hosted the ancestor ritual on Sunday night, which was amazing. While she has a casual style, she really has a command of the room. We called the ancestors to come and join with us and my grandmother came to visit, as did Victor. I thought it might sound a bit cheesy, but I introduced them and my grandmother was very fascinated with whatever Victor was saying. (I later heard that Karina (loveandpower) had a similar experience, so it sort of validated it a bit for me.)

As Michele already reported, she and I upheld the tradition began at the last Feri Camp by staying up all night the final night. We laughed so hard we nearly choked. And we had some intense conversations... about Feri... politics... the world. When we started on Britney and Anna Nicole we knew we had gone to far. It was fun... but also a bit of a horrorshow. ;)

I met so many wonderful and caring witches at this camp, both student's and Initiates. Karina's students were powerful, intelligent, and responsible, definitely a credit to the Craft.

In retrospect, I see that everything was as it should be. My injury and my illness were lessons in my own power, but also in how my ego steps in the way of my work (i.e. My ego was bruised because, dammit, I'm supposed to be a powerful teacher and how can I embody that power when I'm hobbled and froggy?) Definitely Kala fodder. It was a good lesson for me.

In other news, I decided on a name for my particular line of Feri: BlueRose. It's both a tip of the hat to my Bloodrose-derived origins, while moving outward into the realm of my own trance experiences, in which I have seen the blue rose as my own Holy Daemon (God Self). The blue rose is the ever unfolding mystery; the holy grail which we strive ever toward, but is just out of reach. It feels very faery to me.

So I'm home now... rested... but still exhausted because I am sick. Happy to be home, but also hopeful that I will get to see everyone again soon. Point me in the direction of the next camp!


firebirdgrrl said...

What an amazing time--I can't wait until I'm up to doing a Feri camp!

yezida said...

I never knew that you have an over abundance of juicy hotness was ever in question!

royalbananafish said...

I'm sad I couldn't attend Feri camp. Again. Perhaps next time.

hawthorn_hobbit said...

Mmm. Sounds interesting. At the time of our greatest weakness we find new a strength.

anatketani said...

And yes, you now have a fanclub. *grins*
Yeah, Karina told me that we were overheard declaring how "awesome" you were. *laughs* But it's true! Despite the hobbling and the froggy throat thing, you still managed to blow most of us away. And speaking as someone who was in the Saturday night ritual and holding the energy from the outside, your description of the events are pretty clear. I had conversations with almost everyone afterwards and they were all affected deeply by your possession work with the Arddu and Karina's with Ana. To quote a friend: "I simultaneously was scared shitless and totally turned on."
It was amazing and I am pleased and grateful that I got to work with you.

mrj15 said...

but also a bit of a horrorshow. ;)
Nooooooooo!!!!!!!! (running and screaming and puling my hair out)
Love Michele

mrj15 said...

PS - thanks for the kind words!

faerywolf said...

Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad to hear that the possession worked for others outside of myself! ;)
And I am pleased to have met you. I hope to have an opportunity to work with you again in the future.

southernpm said...

It sounds like a great and powerful experience.
I like Bluerose, I think that is quite appropriate.
The trance experience is something I'm sad I missed.

swansister said...

Your week sounds like my kind of magic and mystery.
I'm so glad you all had such an awesome time. And quite a few lessons as well it seems.
I love Feri!
I missed seeing you,

loveandpower said...

Thanks for your summary of the Camp. I am still too incoherent to write about it. The magic is still penetrating my cells and transforming them one by one.
Yes, Arddu. Dancing power beneath the Black Veil, crying out in ecstasy and the taking in of all that fear/power for transformation--bodies swirling in a mad Dark Spiral. Mmmmm. Deep and Deep, my Love.
The late night laughter--that over-the edge of the razor blade madness is a kind of healing and deep magic too. A taking in and purifying release of all the deep energy held, all the fears and cracked open places of everyone there. Someone (I can't recall who, just now) said that "At the height of laughter, the Universe is flung into a kaliedescope of possibility."
Wash twice. Rinse Once.
In Love and Power, Be Blessed my Brother.

faeribear said...

Hi Storm,
I'm so sorry to hear that you are still sick. I hope you feel better soon
*skritches yer back*
Thank you for sharing your side of Saturday's ritual. I can tell you that, from out here, it was breath-taking in every way. People that I've talked to are still trying to take it all in. Lots of them were inspired to poetry. It seems that where fears are taken, inspiration reigns in it's place.
I hope that I get the chance to work with you again some day,

ardaraith said...

What a wonderful camp. I am so sad I wasn't there, and question my commitment if I couldn't make it happen. But, I'll be gentle. I'm still learning.
Possession. In your experience with this, are you present? Are you seeing and feeling and bodily experiencing what is happening? Does the impulse to act come to you and you allow it expression?

heartssdesire said...

So would that be... Death Camp For Cutie?
*ducks to avoid being hit by flying tomatoes*
Ahem. I have always felt blue roses are very fey. I've had Faery experiences where something like a blue flowered thorn plant of some kind seems to grow up the edges of my field of vision and creep inward, and this seems to signal the shift of consciousness into the visionary state where the Faery doors open. Kinda like when you take LSD, and you know it's coming on because the patterns start taking over your field of vision.

appleinthedesrt said...

You guys really turned it up--

faerywolf said...

It's a really good question, and one that needs to be directly addressed in our community. I have some strong feelings about this work that may ruffle some feathers, and will be making a separate post about this either tonight or tomorrow which will be the seed for a future article for Witch Eye. Stay tuned!

ardaraith said...

I look forward to reading it!!
In my local community there is much conversation about, what in Reclaiming we call, aspecting. Its safety, its value. After having done several intense performances of ritual theatre where aspecting was part of the rehearsal process, I think it is a valuable tool for communing with and absorbing the energy of deity.
Anyway, I look forward to your perspective as a Feri initiate.

baalbuster said...

"Bluerose" is a beautiful name. Congrats! I hope your resting and taking time to heal. It sounds like Feri Camp was a great experience, one I may have to try some day.

anaar said...

It was an extremely powerful experience to sleep with you all weekend!
In case you're wondering, I never took sick.

faerywolf said...

I was just gonna write you to ask... right on! We're all sick now at my place... but I think we're on the mend. Lotsa chicken soup and Jell-o. ;)

dbananza said...

You and Anaar DID IT?!?!?!!!! That's HOT!!!! I'm gonna tell everybody! :D
seriously, that sounds like an incredible weekend, despite the achy breaky reminders of being in mortal, perishable bodies. i love working with the Grandparents because they are so Out There, and yet so accessible and (ultimately) kind.
i pray i will be able to go to this next year!

pixieblush47 said...

i wish you were not sick!

bellamagic said...

I -so- wish I could have been there! Wishes for speedy healing for you & yours...

kiramor said...

You know I have a tattoo of a blue rose, right? ;)

nightqueen13 said...

Triple WOW!!
Couldn't wait to get the news! How awesomely great everything sounds!
And, I have a feeling or two I was somehow in resonance with it, in spite of being physically far apart. I say that because I've been feeling quite sick for all this time (though it's not a real physical thing): it appears as if I had a big go by digging deep into my suffering, of late, and lots of heavy stuff is coming out during my Practice. Also, I've been getting closer to Ana and to the Arddu, and feeling quite close to the realm of Dead too.(More details in my next check-in). Meanwhile, have a warm, healing hug, and all my best getting-better wishes.
P.S.: Is it a coincidence that I've been in love with blue roses all my life, dreaming of them, seeing them in meditation, trying to grow them in me garden, and... yes, Blue Rose is another very frequent image my Godself manifests to me by ? I feel that's one more sign I've been sent to the right teacher and to the most right path for me, if I needed any.
I'm proud of belonging to the Blue Rose !
I just love you!!

morrigandaughtr said...

How amazing!
Best wishes for speedy healing to you.

dietrich said...

Thanks for I traverse my own painful path this weekend, I'm reminded of the lessons of camp and how they're still sinking into me...
Private check-in should reach you tomorrow.

ardaraith said...

and I find it interesting that you are naming your line Bluerose, since I have been drawn to work so heavily of late with the Rose. interesting. It is such a truth that the teacher passes so much to the student, energetically.

ardaraith said...

I wish I could have been there too! I'm sooooo jealous. ;)
maybe us Texas Feri could hold a private Samhain together. ??

femmahaze said...

I loved reading this.
Question: why do you say "the Arddu"? And not "the Anna"?

faerywolf said...

I was taught "the Arddu", because his name basically means, "The Dark One", or "The Royal Darkness". I suppose that, "Ana" (or "Anna") has already blurred into an actual name, although I'm sure that originally it was merely a title as well... most God names are actually titles. There are other names for her, and some might be more fitting as a title than others.

faerywolf said...

Thanks, baby... I'm getting better, though! The frog in my voice has almost been devoked! ;)

faerywolf said...

It *was* hot!
I had to turn the fan on...
I hope you can go next year... it would be great having you there!

faerywolf said...

Really? I didn't! How cool... I remember designing a tattoo for you, and one of the versions had a blue rose in the black heart... but then you went with a plain heart, with red and white roses on the sides, right?
I'm gonna have to get a blue rose tattoo now... I mean... it's like the law, right?

faerywolf said...

That made me laugh out loud!
And yes... very fey. And I can totally feel what you are describing. I guess that gives me away as a past psychedelics user, huh? ;)

pixieblush47 said...

thank you for your kind words and support. we ADORE you. <3 hope you're feeling better. xox

lillitu_shahar said...

sounds amazing. i cannot wait to *finally* get to Feri Camp.
i think your line name is lovely. i also see my godsoul as a blue rose. i wear a ring to that effect- as a way of remembering to align and breathe...