When I was a small child, I used to take long walks on the beach. To get to the beach area (only a block from my house) I had to cross by a large wooded section. These woods were deep green, with lots of dark shadows, sunlight couldn't pass through easily. It was here that I first made contact with the Faerie. One day on my way to the beach, I saw a small man, about 18" high, dressed all in green with a beard and what I thought was a pipe in his mouth. I wasn't particularily afraid of him, but I watched him for a while, and then he dissappeared. I later found out that this apparition was called, by the Local Indians, a Nan-i push, which meant "little man of the trees" . The seem to take a particular tree or even a grove of trees and protect them. I never saw that little man again, but I've seen his cousins all over the place since then!
My Great Aunt Emma, had a similar type of being in her house. she called him her "little man". He would do all sorts of errends for her, even suprising my mother once by providing her with an ashtray, and floating it actross the room to her. This spirit, I later found out was called a brownie, and seemed to be attached to the family for generations.
I would also go to sleep at night and in the morning, feel as if I had no sleep at all, with the definate impressiion that I had been taken out of my bed, and went traveling with the Fae. This coincided with strange goings on around the house...objects moving at their own accord, strange visions of the Faerie people outside my bedroom window, direct mental communication with animals, and a strange remebrance of seeing an eye in a rock floating just below my ceiling, and speaking to me without words. I would also slip occasionally into an "other world" state where I felt as if I reall didn't belong in this reality.
This was to be my first introduction to Faerie Witchcraft.
In my High School years, I had dabbled in, and learned a great deal about other traditions, specifically Gardnerian, However I always returned to the Fae. I never felt very comfortable with Gardnerian Witchcraft, as it was too structured in it's rituals. I was searching for something with a bit of a wild flair, This is when I met a group in Philadelphia who taught me a way of thinking and feeling that was more akin to what I felt inside. They claimed that they were teaching a Tradition that was based on that taught by Gwydion Pendderwen...a form of the Feri Tradition..a claim I later found out was not entirely true...but it didn't matter...it felt right...
From the teachings that I gained in Philadelphia, from some of the Training I had from Grace Kememlek, ( a descendant of Sybil Leek), and indeed from the encounters I've had with the local Nature Spirits, I developed a system of beliefs that work for me...They are a bit more "wild" in nature than some of the other traditional Wiccan beliefs that I've come across, but they are right for me.
A lot of Witchcraft that is taught in the US, and infact most of the groups that I have encountered on the WWW, are heavily influenced by Gardnerian Wicca, and other traditions that are more oriented toward ritual structure, and less toward the ecstatic.
The Local Nature Spirits, and the Old Deities of Wales are the ones that have taught me the most, they have caused a major transformation in my mind, body and Spirit. Our version of the Faerie Tradition is constantly changing, as we add new members to our ranks...We all recieve different things from the Gods...and they change us. I have seen the Goddess in ritual, and also in a quiet garden at dusk...I've seen the Fae, and traveled with them to their realm, which is our realm.
Faerie Tradition is the wild power of the woodlands and of the Lords of the Outer Darkness. We tap into power that other traditions would just as soon leave alone, or not recognise at all. And this can be frightning to the student of our path. Indeed, our version of Faerie, practises "possesion" by the Gods during ritual, similar to the Gods of Santeria or Condomble, and we have our darker aspects, just as the Gods do...We are not ALL light and love...Yes, we love...and deeply...but there is a darker side to our nature also, as is in all of creation, and we recognise that darker side. We feel that there is a danger in Not recognising the darker aspects within yourself... That does not mean that we don't follow the basic tenets of the Wiccan Rede, for we do, although in a somewhat changed form. To be touched by Faerie is to be touched by the wilderness..." all that is wild and free"... and it is not a path to tread on lightly...but it IS a path where you can lightly tread!
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