A couple of new websites have sprung up espousing the face of non-public Feri. While I do not agree with everything that they have said, I support the right of everyone to speak from their heart about what Feri is for them. I have put links to these sites on the links page at FeriTradition.com.
I do, however, wish to comment on one part of the statement posted at FaeryTradition.org:
"We dissociate and emphatically disconnect ourselves from the practice of those who seek to define the name “Feri” exclusively to themselves and from the public face they have created."
I want to make it clear that I do not seek to define Feri for anyone other than myself. I never have... while what I practice and teach is traditional for me, I recognize that other lines feel differently. This was actually one of the things that drew me to Feri in the first place; wild diversity and ecstatic practice. While some have sought to define what I do as being "not Feri", "disrespectful", "whorish", or worse, these are really just tools of the ego designed to drive further wedges in our extended family.
The division of public vs. mystery tradition is a false one. While I offer Feri training to the public this should not be assumed to mean that I do not honor the Mystery; even my long distance students enter into an intimate relationship with me in which we work with the exercises, lore, and the Gods & spirits in order to cultivate a deep relationship with them. This is not simply "reading a handout" or having a light chat... this is deep, personal work that is --first and foremost-- a way to help the individual cultivate their own divine authority and to evolve spiritually... and secondly as a means to see if they are even candidates for our priesthood. Those who have reported that I will never initiate those who take my long distance courses are sadly mistaken; while the training itself does not lead there, once the training is done all bets are off and if the person is a candidate --long distances or not-- we will find a way to make it happen. This might be a local initiate taking the role of initiator... this might mean the student coming out to visit me... or me visiting them.. who knows? I can't know from the beginning that everyone is going to go on to initiation... part of my classes are about finding that out along the way, but only PART. The main thrust of my classes is THE WORK, which is why I say that they do not lead to initiation. Let's just focus on the work and see where it takes you, shall we? Anything less invites a sort of "cookie cutter" approach to the work that I think is not helpful.
It's sad that some feel threatened by others who practice Feri differently than they do. For the record, I do not require nor expect (or even want!) others to practice Feri as I see it; Feri is a wild and tough thing and will survive the current nastiness and false divisions. These "splits" have occurred before and --wouldn't you know it?-- eventually they become meaningless. People who were once banished or reviled are invited to the parties... distinctions that once seemed integral are seen in a new light... Feri goes on, and will continue to do so as long as our hearts are in the right place.
"Feri is the power that rises from the earth and fills our bodies with wonder and magick. Feri has infused every single magical religion on the planet throughout time. It predates human consciousness and will exist after we are all gone. If every initiate were to die tomorrow, Feri would endure. Not through books or revealed practices.. but through the wind in the trees... the marrow in our bones... our life, our sex, our breath, our death. Feri is. Feri was. Feri will be. What that means for each of us is what we are here to find out. Certainly our experiences of Feri will differ. Some will do so radically. That's the beauty of it. That's what keeps it alive." --Storm Faerywolf, 2005.