Column – How Legit is Studying Magick Online?

Mat Auryn is our guest columnist this week. An initiate of Sacred Fires tradition, Mat lives in New England. Find him at his Patheos Pagan blog, For Puck’s Sake as well as his personal website. As someone who has studied with various traditions and taken many courses on magick over the years both in person and online, I’m constantly asked what the difference is and how it’s possible to learn magick online, especially when it comes to the idea of initiations. While there are a few differences between learning online and offline, it’s important to clear up some misconceptions about learning the craft from a teacher online.

Column: the Dance of the Arctic Fairy

For over a hundred years, from the middle of the 19th century to the postwar period, the indigenous Sámi minority of Norway was the target of an official policy of forced assimilation, essentially an attempt at ethnocide, which brought the Sámi language, way of life, and society to its knees. The painful process, very similar in many ways to the boarding school system of Canada, was however fiercely challenged by a new generation of young Sámi activists that ultimately brought the government to acknowledge the rights of the Sámi nation and the need for official representation. This liberation movement, which arose in the ’60s and ’70s, ultimately lead to a dynamic revival of Sámi culture that can still be experienced today: from summer arts festivals to academic representation and the spread of traditional crafts, contemporary Sámi culture, despite still facing numerous challenges, is more vigorous than ever before. In this teeming milieu of cultural development, numerous young Sámi figures have sprouted up in the past couple of years to showcase the intersection of their unique artistic vision and their traditional background. It is in this context that Elin Kåven, a singer, artist, and dancer from Karasjok in Arctic Norway has grown and developed her artistry, all the way from the frozen expanses of her hometown to the country’s most famed stages.

Victor Elon Anderson (1945 – 2013)

[The following obituary was submitted to The Wild Hunt by Feri Tradition initiate Onyx.]

Victor Elon Anderson, son of Victor and Cora Anderson, the modern founders of the Feri Tradition, crossed over peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, March 31, 2013. Elon was born on April 12, 1945, in Bend, Oregon. Shortly after his birth, Victor and Cora moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Elon spent most of his youth in Hayward, Calif. During junior high school he met Gwydion Pendderwen, whom he initially sparred with and then befriended.

When Schism Happens to Pagans

The Feri Tradition of Witchcraft (aka Anderson Feri), while a relatively small grouping within modern Paganism, has had an immense impact on our movement through its initiates. Starhawk is a Feri initiate, and many of the individuals that would form the nucleus of the Reclaiming tradition were also initiates. In turn, many of those Reclaiming/Feri initiates (Aline O’Brien, Anne Hill, Deborah Oak Cooper) would go on to hold prominent positions within our interconnected communities. Bard, activist, and Feri initiate Gwydion Pendderwen had a pivotal role in developing the idea of a “Pagan music” in the United States, and his shadow still looms large over many modern Pagan musicians. Over the years Feri initiates have played a role in several achievements and milestones within modern Paganism (the founding of COG, for instance), and in many instances have cross-pollinated with other Pagan traditions, creating new paths as a result.

Today, Feri is more visible than it has ever been.