Frederick McLaren Adams 1928 – 2008

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  August 15, 2008 — 3 Comments

Chas Clifton and Floralia report that Frederick Adams, co-founder of the Pagan tradition of Feraferia, passed away on August 9th. Adams, in addition to co-founding Feraferia, was also instrumental in organizing one of the first attempts at a pan-Pagan/occult organization, the Council of Themis.

“Feraferia emerged from a utopian California subculture of simple living, minimal clothing, and “natural” foods that predated the better-known 1960s counterculture by at least thirty years … Feraferia’s theology celebrated humans’ erotic union with nature, expressed through an annual ritual cycle … To Feraferia … the Maiden aspect was most important – Kore Soteria, the Holy Maiden Savioress. The unique characteristic separated Feraferia, Adams wrote, from other Pagan groups…”Chas Clifton, “Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca and Paganism in America”


Fred and Svetlana Adams in the mid-60s. Photo by Harold Moss.

While best known for his attempts at organizing the emerging Pagan community in America, Adams was also an accomplished artist and illustrator whose work appeared in several publications and other media.

“Of the many groups I have encountered, Feraferia is one of the most difficult to describe. Feraferia – the name is derived from Latin words meaning “wilderness festival” – is the most intricately formed of the Neo-Pagan religions in the United States … it is a jewel, an artistic creation, the private vision of one man, which sits like a beautiful crystal on a shelf, highly admired by mostly from afar.”Margot Adler, “Drawing Down the Moon”

While small, Feraferia managed to influence several Pagan traditions, and earn a place for itself as a vital part of our early history. Adams, along with fellow pioneers Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Isaac Bonewits, helped create uniquely American forms of modern Paganism quite different from numerically dominant Witchcraft traditions.

“The natural fountainhead of human endeavor is not reasonable utility but extravagant mythopoeia. The myths and dreams of Paradise, common to all peoples, predict future actualities for this Planet. Trans-cultural images of the glowing orchard of innocent love constellate from the Collective Unconscious an evolutional FIAT of Cosmos.”Frederick Adams, “Oracles of the Faerie Faith (The Faerie Manifesto)”, 1970

May he be united with his Goddess, and know peace.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Jo Carson

    Fred Adams was a friend, mentor and father figure for me for 38 years. He inspired two films I made, the short visionary documentary “A Dance for the Goddess” in 1976 and the feature length documentary “Dancing With Gaia”, which will be finished in October. The latter film, while it includes many speakers, incorporates most of Fred’s important insights and teachings on the crucial connection between earth energies, sacred sexuality and the return of the Goddess. He is at his peak in this film, enthusiastic and articulate. I have a trailer for “Dancing With Gaia” at http://gaiadancing.com/

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