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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Feraferia

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


I've long admired Svetlana Butyrin (1934-2010), Lady of Feraferia: ace ritualist, pioneer visionary, who could treasure the most minute detail without losing sight of the overarching trajectory, and never feared to follow an idea to its logical conclusion.


The Colors of the Year


For instance: If Samhain has black and orange, and Yule red and green, she asked, what about the other holidays?

Here's her list.

Samhain: black and orange

Yule: red and green

Imbolc: electric blue and purple

Ostara: pink and blue

Beltane: hot pink and turquoise

Midsummer: chartreuse and gold

Lunasa: yellow and beige

Harvest Home: light orange and light brown


Agree or not, one has to admire the sheer daring of such an endeavor.

(Incidentally, lest you think this mere Martha Stewartry, let me hasten to add that we see here a deep, and deeply sophisticated, Goddess-God theologizing. Pagans see theology everywhere, color included.)


The Ostara Horror

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


A Feriferian Idyll


In the heat of the afternoon, Kouros lay in the leafy shade by the side of the forest pool.

Deep into its dark waters he gazed. There he beheld a Youth of shining beauty gazing back at him. Their eyes met.

Filled with wonder, Kouros stretched forth his hand. The Youth took it, and he drew him forth naked from the waters. They stood gazing, one upon another, admiring.

“How beautiful you are,” said Kouros.

“No more beautiful than you,” said the Kouros of the Pool.

“How sculpted your chest, how tender your nipples,” said Kouros.

“How broad your shoulders, how full your lips,” said the Other Kouros, and their lips joined.

Their bodies pressed together, strength to strength.

Through all that long Summer's afternoon, the grove rang with the sounds of their love play: the Dark Twin and the Light.

Listen well, my love, and you can hear them still.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Goddess Who Wasn't There

Ever since planting day, she's been there, back in the corner of the garden, up to her knees in the good, rich soil.

For the last seven months, every time I looked out, she's stood there looking back.

And now she's gone.

It was an amazing growing season, the longest on record.

But now it's over.

I cleared out the garden this weekend, and the little clay goddess came indoors to sleep on her bed of sweet sage in the storage cupboards, among the herbs, the dried beans, and the many-colored jars of summer goodness.

It's the Fallows, the Time Between: the no-more of Samhain and the not-yet of Yule. Fred Adams of Feraferia called this time Repose:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Anthony, you're really good. In fact, he's already in place: a forked stick with cross-arms, standing in his little cairn, watchin
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I saw a wooden carving of Frey in a book on Vikings, it left me with the notion that most of the early god figures were probably m
Father of Church of Aphrodite Founder Canonized by Russian Orthodox Church

Even by pagan standards, it's an incredible story.

On February 3, 2016, Dr. Yevgeny Botkin (1865-1918), personal physician to Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, 98 years after he was executed by the Bolsheviks along with the tsar, and the tsar's wife and children.

Known as “Righteous Passion-Bearer Yevgeny the Physician,” his son Gleb Botkin (1900-1969) was later to become the founder of the Long Island Church of Aphrodite, which in 1938 became America's first legally-recognized new pagan organization.

“It's better than worshiping Mary Baker Eddy [founder of Christian Science],” quipped the New York judge who granted legal recognition.

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The Man Who Loved the Goddess

In this season of the ancestors, I remember W[illiam] Holman Keith (1900-1993), the Baptist minister who fell in love with the Goddess and so became one of the pioneers of the New Paganism in the United States.

From the jacket of his book Divinity as the Eternal Feminine, the first (1960!) American book of self-consciously pagan theology:

W. Holman Keith, born June 11, 1900 at Vincennes, Indiana, began his “pilgrimage of faith,” to use his own words, with evangelical Christian Protestantism. After taking a BA degree at Franklin College...he went on to earn the degrees of Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Systematic Theology at Newton Theological Institution...and an MA in Theology at the University of Chicago. His subsequent career included two brief pastorates at Baptist churches in Massachusetts and New York. However, he writes, “I was progressively disillusioned in the two theological schools I attended,” and he subsequently abandoned his vocation as a minister. His search for faith “at last found its haven in a small chapel in West Hempstead, Long Island, New York, known as the Church of Aphrodite, of which the Rev. Gleb Botkin was the founder, and the priest of Aphrodite.

Presently, the author writes, “the challenge of this truth commands all my loyalties of mind, heart, and will.

And so it would be to the very end of his life.

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Icons of the Maiden Goddess

In 1956, a man had a blinding, overwhelming vision of the Goddess. “That's it, that's it,” he said to himself, over and over again. “She's it!” (Adler 232).

The truth of a vision is judged (among other things) by its impact on the visionary's life. In this case, said visionary spent the next 5 decades of his life working to create the holistic, Goddess-centric culture that sprouted organically from that first transcendent vision, a vision which inspired and shaped the emergent New American Paganisms.

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For many older Pagans, the personal roots of our practice lie within the ‘counterculture’ of the 60s and 70s. New spiritual winds were then blowing across the desiccated body of American religion, which for many of us had withered into beliefs rooted in fear and habit. On a mass level questions of right livelihood first began challenging the American Dream of more things and more money - and many of us accepted alternative visions to a greater or lesser degree. Across the country efforts to make real greater equality and respect between the sexes, affirmation of different cultures and ways of life, and enhanced love for the natural world, transforming many lives. Many were drawn to seeking and sometimes encountering the Divine Feminine.

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