Recently, as part of my Samhain meditation, I was reading some things written by my Oathmother, Eldri Littlewolf. This was posted to a journaling site we are both on, back in January, 2011. And it really bears repeating. Many of you who are reading this space now never saw it back then. Eldri is speaking here about the Split in the Tradition–described by another Initiate at the time as “the Sundering of Feri.” Eldri’s words are so earthy, potent, and resonant for me that I can think of no more apt and accurate expression of my personal feelings about where we are now in the Tradition.
There seems to be confusion–no doubt understandable, given the vagaries of google and how little known our history is to outsiders–about the differences between the old (some call it Wild) form of the Teaching, and the newer Tradition which others are promoting through various endeavors, venues, and activities. In the past we have seen Reclaiming and Third Road ™ take material from the old Teaching and craft it into something new. That process is happening again on several fronts, involving multiple projects set forth by several individuals. Meanwhile, some of us continue in the older way. As Eldri states so movingly, the Old Way isn’t better, it is just different. In some of what I have written here in the past year, I have tried not simply to state didactically just how one works and lives in the Old Ways, but to exemplify through more straightforward storytelling and poetry HOW IT FEELS.
I will note that we have attempted to return to the spelling Faery (preferred by my late Teacher), to distinguish ourselves from the “public” face of the Tradition with its web boutiques and Skype classes. But that doesn’t really work since various folks on that side (or sides) use Faery as well. Furthermore, on a personal note, my own Oathmother actually prefers Feri because that was how Victor, who was (and to some of us, STILL IS) the Grandmaster, requested us to spell it.
Further details can be found on the site http://andersonfaery.org. Click on the tab marked Principles for specifics of what we have agreed upon in common. This is I think what Eldri means when she says we have “a page” we can point to. Now, four years after the words below were written, “the page” is a fully-fledged site with essays, reflections and words from many Initiates, and other resources to explore. I am immensely pleased about this development.
It is worth noting again that those of us who hew to the Old Ways share many differences–differences of approach, method, belief, lore, and preference. What we hold in common is a commitment to honor the principles set forth and agreed upon back in 2011. For me personally, to honor these principles is to live by the Oath I swore and the Word I gave when I was made an anointed child of God Herself in the rites.
Long ago, all dogs were wolves. Now there are Many kinds of dogs—each with a thing they (to human eyes) Do well. The others are not ‘Wrong’, just not that breed…
English Springers, American Springers —Now judged to ‘Different Standards’ still springers. Still dogs.
Apples: some sweet, some tart, some store well, some with *Pink Flowers!*-
all apples. No one would take them for plums.
Feri; some public, some private—*Still Feri* just not the *Same kind* of Feri.
Different needs, from deep in our souls—All still changing, and growing, all Her children.
…We are still working out our ‘standards’ here.
To Stop kinstrife this Had to happen–It Did Happen, years ago. (That part is done.)
Nobody is ‘better’,’more Feri’,or ‘less Feri’: we are Different, and that is Good.
When tribes get too big, they often divide—bands go different Directions- (hunt different game)–sometimes they meet up and camp together, later, then go separate ways once more.
This is not war–only clan division.
Change happens, we are witches.
We choose our paths, sometimes they diverge, that does not make us, better, or worse, than those who have taken another path. But, we Cannot remain tied together, and still freely follow All Paths.
—Paths need walking, some are called to one, some to another.
We chose to cut the rope instead of *Endlessly Tugging* trying to make others follow One path, instead of the ones that call their feet.
Now we have fallen in a Heap—and some are hurt, and angry.
Hopefully we can get up, go our ways, agree to ‘report back’ our adventures, when next our paths may cross-
-or *Write* in civil words, and with respect, what we have found.
I hear a lot of loose talk about ‘evolution’. I don’t buy it.
We can Not know about that, we haven’t the time scale- Changes, sure, That we have Got.
No one in our tradition is Exactly the same–as each other, as we were when we were ‘brought in’—and, isn’t that kind-of the point?
Folks are taking offense where *None was intended* —and then not listening when we say,–that Is Not what we meant.
“Look, we had to move the work-bench, folks were jostling our elbows—“
Outsiders were Telling me what my tradition was… I get Tired of it.
I spent many years defending the honor of Wolves, (no, really, kids, they were Hated) or explaining that all ‘hippie chicks’ do not sleep with anything that moves…
That part is done,… but now I have to start all over with my religion…NO.
Now I can just say, “Sorry, you mean those other Feri, over there…”
I can point to a page that explains, with *No Name Calling*, what *I* am about.
I am private, and do not Owe my time to strangers, but feel like I ought to explain.
“I am not a ‘red delicious’ I am some other apple from that”
I bid you all,
Good Hunting!–Eldri Littlewolf, January 2011