Returning from the first ever inter-lineage Feri Camp I was struck by how far we have come as a community. It had often been said that it seemed an impossible task to get two Feri initiates in a room together at the same time, a trend that began to change back in ’99 with the production of Witch Eye. After that there were a couple of “All Feri” Samhain gatherings, which consisted of initiates and their students. But old habits die hard; almost as soon as the trend toward community began, it receded again and such gatherings were but a memory.
I had talked to a few people about trying to set something up, but it never really materialized, in part because everyone is busy… in part because the time wasn’t right… and a large part because I am lazy and a terrible organizer. 😉
Luckily someone put the idea into Thorn‘s head, and she decided to organize an event and make it a place where different lines could share different perspectives, a value that I have long supported and worked toward with my own efforts in producing Witch Eye. We spent four days at Diana’s Grove in Missouri, an amazing and beautiful place in which we shared stories, food, ritual, and magick. It was truly an historic event. Thorn, Anaar, Michele Jackson, and myself shared our Feri magick with a diverse group of really amazing people, most of which were Feri students, but there were even some who had no formal face-to-face Feri training at all. This last part was especially important as it reflects a new trend in Feri. By making some Feri tools available to a wider audience, it is our belief that we are helping to make the world a better place. When more people align their Three Souls and mediate their own Divinity, then nothing less than evolution is at hand. Admittedly there is some resistance to this idea within the Feri community, but there is also a lot of support.
I had an opportunity to meet many amazing people, both initiates and students alike. I was struck by how respectful everyone was, and how dedicated they were to the Work. It was also a great opportunity to get to know my fellow teachers a bit better (OK… a LOT better… we shared a really small cabin after all… we probably know more about each other now than we had expected.) 😉
I was really happy to be able to work closely with Anaar as we taught a course together based on a Feri view of Sex. For three days we shared ritual and energy and I think that we were both pleasantly surprised at just how well we worked together. It’s funny… we’ve been friends for a few years now, and we have intense and satisfying conversations about Feri, life, art, and everything in between. I’ve been over at her house, and she’s been to mine… but we had never actually worked together. With that hurdle now joyously behind us I am hopeful that we will be able to do more of it in the future.
I was really excited to be able to be a part of rituals led by the other teachers, as well, taking note of what seemed different from my own practice, and what seemed the same. It was a constant reminder that Feri is about the energy, and not necessarily about the form. Feri is too wild and changeable to stick to one form for too long. Michele led a simple, beautiful (and amazingly powerful) ritual to honor the ancestors and also taught using artistic process. Anaar led a rite around a mandala created by her and her students, focused on expressing the desire of our own Divinity. Thorn taught devotional dance. I taught some core-Feri exercises. It was a Feri smörgåsbord. I think that there was something there for everyone, regardless of level of experience.
We invoked. We meditated. We drummed. We danced. We sang. (On one occasion Thorn and some others started singing old Prince songs… let me tell you … you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Thorn sing “When Doves Cry” to the beat of a tribal drum around the bonfire. Or “Little Red Corvette”. Or “Darling Nikki”.) I figured it was time for me to leave when it later descended into show tunes and then finally “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”. Peace out! (I love you, Thorn!) 😉
It went so well that I’m fairly certain that we will do it again next year. (So stay tuned!)
In the end I made some amazing connections and I learned a lot. I was reminded how much I enjoy teaching larger groups and so am now thinking about how to start doing that again. I’m even thinking that some level of travel might be good for me… getting me out of the house for a few days every now and again. I put the intention out there and let’s see what the Goddess has to say about it.