Friday, December 5, 2014

Faerie Faith Origins

You may be wondering what The Faerie Faith is, and how I got involved in such a thing. 

How I got involved

I was introduced to paganism and witchcraft sometime in 1985, when I met Chris at an SCA event. Actually, it would be more correct to say that my friend D. met Chris and I happened to be there. She (Chris) said once, that at first she thought I was a regular jock, but by the end of the event she said I was an "Old Soul". Pretty cool. When D. told me that Chris was a Witch, I remember how I told him to stay away, that Witches were "Evil"! Ironic.

How I ended up in The Faerie Faith

I remember, when reading Drawing Down the Moon, that I really felt a connection to the Dianics. Only one problem - I'm a guy. and a straight guy, at that. 
So it was kismet that, through some of the same SCA friends, that I joined up with them and a teacher of the Faerie Faith, a Dianic tradition. We formed The Garden Club. It was one of the most influential 5 years of my life.

What is the Faerie Faith? 

The Faerie Faith is a Mystery School descended from The McFarland Dianics (More on that later) basing studies on The Huna System (The Secret Science), The Celtic Mystery Trees, and belief in the Faerie Folk, (including studying their Lessons.) For more info, a good place to start is Linda's Faerie Faith page. I'll also post a lot more on this very subject in a future blog.

Where did the Faerie Faith come from? 

It all started in 1970... Well, actually the timing is a bit unclear to me. I have heard from different sources various timelines. It started with Mark Roberts, seen here with my teacher, Epona: 

Mark was part of, or started, a couple different traditions in Texas, mainly Hyperborea, and the MacFarland Dianics. Mark shows up in the classic book, Drawing Down the Moon, and looking back on it, it was his writings on the Dianics that drew me to them. (It's amazing that I ended up learning from Epona.) 
I have heard, from a very reliable source, that Mark and his group were in contact with Thomas Maughan to start a Druidic group in Texas. (This may have been the start of Hyperborea.) We also know that Mark was, at one point, married to one of Gardner's New Forest coven High Priestesses. 
Mark left her, or they split up in some manner, and Mark met and later married Epona. With Epona, they started teaching The Faerie Faith. According to our lore, Mark had learned The Faerie Faith from Margaret Lumely-Brown, who gave him the Tenets (discussed in detail over here .) 
As mentioned above, he also supposedly studied with The Arch Druid, Thomas Maughan. We were also told that there are connections to old OBOD. (By 'old OBOD', I mean OBOD back before Phillip Carr-Gomm was the chosen chief.) 
Also, in speaking with Rhuddlwm Gawr of Dynion Mwyn, Mark had also spoken with, or learned from Rhuddlwm (in some shape or manner) about Welsh Witchcraft. 

When Epona and Mark broke up, Epona took The Faerie Faith and built on it, adding in The Huna work, and further developing the Tree mysteries. 
In the mid to late 80s, The Garden Club was started, and over a five year period, we studied The Faerie Faith as a mystery school, learning the mysteries as well as much practical and metaphysical lore and applications. 

Please sum up the Influences into The Faerie Faith

Mark's earlier work can be readily seen in the The Faerie Faith. 
The Faerie Faith is a Dianic system, often with reverence to one Feminine Deity. (However, many Goddesses and aspects of Goddesses are revered and show up in our lore.) This can be tied back to Mark's work with starting the MacFarland Dianics. 
The ritual framework reminds me of Gardnerian style rituals, with the Faerie Faith being a Witchcraft tradition. This could be related to Mark being a Gardarian high Priest (or at least being married to a Gardnerian at one point), or it could tie back further in the lore - it is hard to say. 
The Faerie Faith uses the Celtic Mystery trees as  framework for the Mysteries, the cycle of the year, and understanding of the energies of the year. This both ties back to Hyperboria, but also was further developed by Epona. 
Much of our lore of the celtic trees originated with Robert Graves' The White Goddess. It was later expanded upon, and clarified through much study. 
The problem here is that Graves' work on this, and much of the work on the celtic trees is not seen as 'authentic' and the idea that the celts themselves had a tree calendar has been discredited by many. 
However, we know that it works. Through our studies we see the reality in the poetry. (We'll look at that in much more detail over many blog posts.)

But, is The Faerie Faith a valid path?

A lot of effort has been put forth to discredit Mark and his claims. You can read much of it  And much doubt has been thrown on the validity of The Faerie Faith as a spiritual tradition. 

So, as a student of The Faerie Faith, I find it is extremely important to ask, How does this effect my path? 
Not, "Was it made up?", not "Is my path false?", not "Does that mean this is all invalid?" 
I must ask - How does this effect me? Here and Now.

Let me side track a minute (not really). Recently, I was listening to a conversation between the Chosen Chief of OBOD, Phillip Carr-Gomm, and The Grand Arch Druid, John Michael Greer. on the topic of Authenticity and Validity. (Excellent conversation - you can hear it here: Druidcast 68 .) Basically it boils down to this: Because a system is Authentic (really really old in most cases), doesn't mean it works. And a system that works doesn't have to be ancient. 
According to John Michael Greer, and I agree wholeheartedly, "...In fact, a tradition can be gray with the dust of centuries and completely useless. And in fact, a tradition that was made up over pizza last Thursday, can be a powerful valid system of spiritual development." 
So, I come back to my question - How does our lore about Mark effect my path? 
Well, I know that the system we use works. It works damn well. 
Does it matter if Mark "Made it up"? Nope. Something I like to tell my students, is that all religion is "Made up." Someone made it all up (or if you like, it was 'revealed to them') at some point in time. See my brief note on this here
Does it really matter if Gerald Gardner made it up, or Doreen Valiente, or Margaret Lumely-Brown? Does it really matter if it was instead Mark or Epona (or even me)? I find the answer to be no. 
It's nice to have those big names in the Lineage, but none of that makes it any more or less valid. 
But, what if Mark 'stole' the traditions? According to others, even the lessons of the Faerie Faith were taken from magazine articles. 
OK, so what? Does that mean they are any less valid? Any less moving? 
John Michael Greer talks about this in the above podcast. He says, and I love this comment, "Spiritual traditions always grow by theft. The oldest magical-spiritual tradition in the world is that of stealing anything that isn't nailed down and carrying a crow-bar for the things that are." 

In Conclusion 

So, we have The Faerie Faith. A Mystery Tradition that I find to be completely valid and transformational.
The lore is that the system came from the Great Arch Druid Thomas Maughan (as  mentioned above) and the successor to Dion Fortune, Margaret Lumely-Brown. That we have some connections to the old OBOD (More likely The Druid Order), and have a system of study based on the Celtic Mystery Trees. We could even have a direct line, from Epona to Mark to one of Mark's Ex's to Ol' Gerald.

All of this is some great history, and part of our own shared mythology and lore. 

It is important to look at this, and examine the validity of this path, but to keep an open mind.

And to those that would find fault in our wonderful lore, as an old friend once said, "Never let the Truth get in the way of a good story." 

Or to put it another way, when dealing with poetics, and much of religion is poetry, the truth is in the effect, and in the result, and not necessarily in the facts. 

Reading Lists

While I am still working on my own recommended reading list(s), I would like to share a few that are worth your perusal.

First is Linda's Faerie Faith reading list, which includes many of the books we encountered in The Garden Club. I find this list a very good one to start with:
Faerie Faith Reading List
This will keep you busy for a little while.

Personally, I've also found a more Druidic focus helpful. The reading list from ADF is a good place to start: ADF Dedicant Reading List

It's only fair to also include the somewhat more extensive (although as they say, out of date) list from OBOD: OBOD Library

Now, if you happen to be drawn to a more Celtic Christian path, as I have been in the past, Then I would suggest checking out this list from Ceile De: Ceile De Recommended Reading

Or, if you are looking for an exploration into Jungian Psychology or Mythology, I would recommend checking out Pacifica Institute. Here is a list of their reading lists : Pacifica Recommended Reading (might take a bit to load.)

Finally, because I feel that everyone is better off learning from mythology, I love Joseph Campbell's works. But, not only are his own writings exceptional (and in many of the above lists), but his own recommended reading list is available here : Joseph Campbell Recommended Reading

Do you have a go-to list when researching a topic? Do you have a set of books that you feel everyone should read? Share it! :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What is Huna or The Secret Science?

(These are the notes from my first Huna Class.) 

Origins of Huna

Early in the 20th century, Max Freedom Long became fascinated by stories of Miracles being performed by the native Kahunas. Especially fascinating was Fire-walking, where the natives would walk across burning lava without harm. He also was intrigued by other stories of the Kahuna - miraculous healing, seeing the future (and changing the future!), and even a "Death Prayer". 
This started his investigation into how they did these things. 
After several years of study, he stumbled upon a way to discover the how and why of these miracles. 
He traced it back to the language. 
Using his work with the language, and the work of Dr. Brigham, who studied the Kahuna for 40 years prior to meeting Max Freedom Long, he developed the Huna system.  
In the 80s, another important milestone in Huna work happened. This is when Serge Kahlil King started to produce his works on Huna. He move more toward Huna as a type of Shamanism, and incorporated extensive visualization work, as well as Shamanic concepts and practices to the System, including the four worlds, and the seven principles.
And finally, about 6 or 7 years ago, a student of his, Pohaku, did a marvelous pod-cast exploring this work, and bringing the ideas to a whole new audience. 

Where did the Kahuna come from? 

Max Freedom Long traced Huna ideas back to Egypt around 5000-6000 years ago. He also found Huna concepts and root words in ancient Greek. (He postulates that they may have originated in Atlantis, but take that as you may.) He found that Hawaiians came to the islands around 2000 years ago, or about the time of Christ, who he also felt was initiated into The Secret Science. As a matter of fact, he found a great many references to Huna teachings in the Gospels. 
There was a modern genetics study done, which indicates that they actually did arrive in Hawaii around 2200 years ago. “… Polynesians left S.E. Asia 11,500 years ago and departed from the Taiwan area 6000 years ago. They spent 3,800 years in Alaska/Canada before travelling South West to Hawai'i 2,200 years ago…”
 So, in essence, there was a great system of belief that was remarkable for its use or totems, and taboo magic. It was codified by the original Kahunas and recorded in a pre-polynesian language so that it would not be lost. We know it influenced Egypt, the middle east, and possibly many other cultures and their religions. 

Elements of Huna 

}The Three Selves
Low Self – Unahipili, Ku
Middle Self – Uhane, Lono
High self - Aumakua
}Aka Bodies
Aka Body
Aka Cords

Later Additions

}Seven Shamanic Principles
The World Is What You Think It Is.
There are no limits.
Energy Flows Where Attention Goes.
Now Is The Moment Of Power. 
To Love Is To Be Happy With (someone or something).
All Power Comes From Within. 
Effectiveness Is The Measure Of Truth.

}Four Levels of reality
Objective reality - physical world
Subjective / Psychic reality - everything is alive
Symbolic reality - when we look at the world as a dream / Dream world
Holistic level - everything is going to work out fine - everything is working out perfectly


}Max Freedom Long
The Secret Science behind Miracles
The Secret Science at Work
The Huna Code in Religions
}Serge Kahili King, Ph. D.
Urban Shaman
Mastering your Hidden Self
}Hank Wesselman, Ph.D.
The Bowl of Light
}MKFenn? : Genetic Evidence on the Origins of the Polynesians

Tenets of the Faerie Faith

Our tenets are these:

  • There should be a sensitivity, a belief in the Spiritual Reality behind what we refer to as Nature.
  • There should be a sincere love of Earth herself, and a desire to communicate with Her other children. 
  • There should be a belief in the individual life of this planet and a certainty that it permeates the whole world.
So, what do these mean to me? 
Let me pause a second and define Nature.
We have the macrocosm, the great uncharted unknown of space – star systems. Planets, galaxies, and all sorts of things out there in the greater universe. (I also see us having many universes existing simultaneously with this one we are focused on, truly making the world we live in a Multi-verse. But, I digress.) This is all part of Nature – this is all part of the Goddess – the great one we, as human beings cannot hope to understand.
We also have the microcosm. We have subatomic particles, waves, and wave-icles. We have string theory, and Higgs-Boson. We see so much happening down at these levels that touch on the profoundly spiritual. Things like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle – the idea that the observer impacts the results of the observation; and the idea of Quantum Entanglement where things that act on one object, affect an associated object. (And if these things are not the beginning of science seeing Magic, I don’t know what is.) But these are also all part of Nature.
And then we have the great visible universe. We have Nature as we interact with it every day. The trees, and the forest, the ocean and the mountains. The air, and water, fire and earth. All of these are also nature.
And within Nature, is the Goddess, the Great Lady. You can feel her touch when walking in the woods. You can see her act in the movement of a tree branch. You can feel her move with the waves of the ocean or the gusts of the wind. She is in all things and touches on all of us.

But, let me move on to the second tenet.

A sincere Love of Earth Herself. We see her in Nature, and we should love her, as a mother, and as the Goddess that she is.

I remember reading long ago an interesting idea. If we look at the history of man on this planet, for thousands of years we have been at the mercy of Nature. We have depended on her for livelihood, and we have been in fear of death at her hands, all at the same time. We have lived in this manner for thousands of years. Evolutionary Psychologists would say this is the state of Savannah Man. (Our last great evolutionary advancement.) But, we’ve won. In the past hundred years, Man has won the battle with nature. It’s over, we won. Now, we have to understand this, and we have to see the earth and we have to stop fighting her. We have to take our role as steward and consort and we have to nurture and protect nature. This is what I see as being a sincere love of the Earth, Herself.

And a desire to communicate with her other kindred…
Well, what other kindred are we referring to? On the one hand this is the plant and animal kingdoms. We have much to learn from our Tree mysteries, and from the great animal totems. This also touches on the work with the over-souls and the Nature spirits. We can see this also as the Faerie Kingdoms. We must work with these, her other kindred, and not against them.

Finally, the Tenets wrap up with a re-iteration, a grounding of our belief in the Gestalt. The individual life of Mother Earth, Gaia, Danu. This great mother that we all depend on.  But more than a belief, it is certainty that she is in all things, and thru all the world. From the most distant star to the smallest particle, from the ninth wave to the pinnacle of the Mount, she is there. And she is here, in our hearts.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What is the Faerie Faith?


The Faerie Faith Tradition is by definition, eclectic, pulling on Dianic Wicca, Druidry, Huna, Eastern and Western alternative medicine, Native American traditions, and a broad spectrum of energy methodologies. 
Throughout the teachings, there is a focus on personal development and a deep reverence for Nature and the Goddess. 
The ritual elements are derived from MacFarland Dianic Wicca while the Deep reverence for the Earth and her mysteries shows signs of Druidic influence. Not only does The Faerie Faith encompass this spirituality, but it also is a Mystery tradition focusing on personal development through a pervasive study of the Celtic Tree Mysteries.

These tenants define our practice, enhance our spirituality and guide our beliefs:

Tenets of the Faerie Faith

  • There should be a sensitivity, a belief, of the spiritual reality behind what we refer to as Nature.
  • There should be a sincere love of Earth Herself, and a desire to communicate with Her other children.
  • There should be a belief in the individual life of this planet, and a certainty that it permeates the whole world.

Spiritual Focus

The Faerie Faith Tradition is built on three equal areas of study and development: 

The Faerie Folk

With utmost respect and humility, we revere and seek communion with the Faerie Folk. We embrace the Spirits of Nature and what they have to teach us. We see the Faerie Realm as our version of the Imaginal Realms, and strive to work within that sphere.

We also see personal development as one of our paramount goals and work to better understand ourselves and each other through the teachings of the Good Neighbors (The Fairy Tales.) We use Jungian concepts and personal experience as methods to better understand these teachings.

The Celtic Tree Mysteries

The Celtic Tree mysteries provide the backbone of our teaching and the cycles for the sacred year. We are guided through each lunar and solar event and festival, learning the cycles of the year, the movement of the energies of the Earth and how to better prepare for the esoteric changes that occur around and within us as the year progresses.

The Mysteries of the Trees also teach us about ourselves and our environment. When truly understood, the Celtic Tree Mysteries also bring about profound personal change and a deepening of our spiritual core.

The Secret Science

In order to better understand ourselves, and the world around us, we use the basic methodology and common language found in the Huna System, or Secret Science. This system gives us the concepts and terminology to better understand and work with the magical world around us.

The Secret Science touches most, if not all, major spiritual traditions. As it builds on common themes (or perhaps is the basis for those common themes), it gives us an understanding of basic human spirituality.

We also use the Secret Science as a key to understanding The Faerie Teachings, the Tree Mysteries, and other myths and lore related to our beliefs.

Practical Focus

As part of the spiritual work of The Faerie Faith, we have an additional practical focus. 


Our studies touch on several healing modalities, including Herbology, Bach Flower remedies and other homeopathics, as well as several forms of Energy work. We also learn some basic acupressure points and first aid techniques. 


As part of the work, we work with students to have a better understanding of their own survival in various settings. We see that a person may be in situations, both in the wild and closer to home where a deeper understanding of the earth and her other children can directly impact our survival. 


As we see that this planet, and all of us creatures on her, work together to form a great community, we work to conserve in order to better the planet. When we see our environment as Our Great Mother, it is only right that we use our resources with understanding and discretion. 


The Faerie Faith is a Transformational System of belief and understanding that is highly personal, and encompasses both intellectual and experiential learning and development.