Feraferia - A New Approach to the Dawning Maiden Age of Aquarius - Frederick M. C. Adams, 1970
Annotated by Jo Carson, 2016
Part One: This series of essays was originally published in Feraferia's newsletter over a series of six issues.
"Whether or not horticulture was the original basis for early civilizations is of secondary importance, but there is no doubt that it must become the basis for future ones if nature and her prodigal species are to survive..."
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Feraferia is a new polytheistic religion, or re-alignment, centered on the Goddess as Divine Daughter. Our goal is to restore harmony between the ecologically schizophrenic human psyche and Great Nature. We (founders Frederick Adams and Lady Svetlana) were inspired primarily by the sinuous Goddess-centered images of Minoan Crete and related Aegean practices. Those of Eleusis, enacted in honor of Demeter and her Daughter, Persephone, have been central to our vision. Pan-European Celtic and megalithic cultural streams have given Feraferia a deeper grounding in landscape connection and Faerie spirit.
Feraferia aspires to utopian culture. This vision can offer an alternative life style to the monstrous megapolitan existence that has diseased the whole world. The guiding archetype that provides us a skeletal framework for this new society is Paradise. Most cultures of the past and present have myths that speak of a primal age when humanity lived in a beautiful garden setting and maintained peaceful rapport with all plants and animals therein. In The Recovery of Culture, Henry Bailey Stevens provides evidence in favor of the frugivorous eating habits of early humans as opposed to the carnivorous and grain-based ones usually attributed to them by brain-washed anthropologists, who wish to rationalize and justify our "corn-cattle-battle" syndrome.
Whether or not horticulture was the original basis for early civilizations is of secondary importance, but there is no doubt that it must become the basis for future ones if nature and her prodigal species are to survive and thrive.
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Here is the strongly worded Part Two of Fred's essay explaining Feraferia...
The Great Mother represents procreation and fertility, but erotic freedom and beauty belong to the Daughter forms of the Goddess.
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Human evolution has been toward increasing paedomorphosis, (ever-increasing child-likeness in adulthood). Although this is our evolutionary path, animal-husbandry and its companion, agriculture, have perverted our fundamentally child-like nature and led to destructive abuse of this planet. It cannot be emphasized enough that this brutalization is propagated chiefly by males, who are the warriors, animal-slaughterers, and plunderers; this is true, despite that there are of course, exemplary men who do not choose those roles.
Patriarchal civilizations have depreciated feminine qualities and degraded women, who are more advanced paedomorphically, and they have totally usurped the realm of divinity. It is crucial to life on this planet that we restore the divine Feminine in her transformative aspect. The Great Mother represents procreation and fertility, but erotic freedom and beauty belong to the Daughter forms of the Goddess (Inanna, Astarte, Ariadne, Astrea, Aphrodite, Artemis, Clio, Circe, Calliope, Calypso, Persephone, Iris, Ceres, Bridgit, Rhiannon, Branwen, Eostre and Freya, among many others). Since we need to curtail population drastically and still encourage sensual exuberance, we must emphasize the sacred image of the young or maiden Goddess. Feraferia agrees with Wilhelm Reich that sexual repression is responsible to a great extent for our world malaise.
The forthcoming Aquarian age will, therefore, be the age of the divine Maiden savioress - Kore Soteira. Of course, the other three members of the Sacred Quaternio - Mother, Father, and Son, will be honored in ways appropriate to their archetypal character, and the requirements of the new age, which will try to achieve unity with nature, not through a return to primitive ways, but through creating beauty and different approaches to living.
My comment: Here's some context for Part II: Fred came of age during the brutality of World War II, and he wrote this essay during the early feminism of 1970, when many were analyzing gender roles for the first time. Influenced by these events, and his innate pacifism, Fred was searching for a way toward a more ideal, peaceful, egalitarian culture. This part of the essay has been offensive to some, especially since it does not describe the damage done to boys and men by social demands for toughness and 'manliness.' If folks have thoughts or comments about this complex subject, please chime in! - jc
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Here is Part Three of Fred's essay unfolding the mysteries of Feraferia; sure to offend some, I'm afraid, but worth reading!
Architecture, art, and artifacture should, therefore, reflect the inner dream world, which in turn reflects the region where we live.
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Feraferia incorporates other necessary cultural aspects into her utopian vision; a beautiful life in organic harmony with landscape is viable only if a community is small and lives in proximity to a central multi-purpose palace-temple type of complex, as inspired by those of ancient Crete. Palasation was the way of Kore culture then, and it will be for the future. These communities will flourish in temperate regions of earth, that are physically comfortable for humanity. We must realize that we are not an a-biomic creature, but that our material and psychic well being depends upon an environment suitable to our hairless body and sensitive skin. That is why space travel is such an aberration. It is a product of the presumptive brain, and denies the wholeness of the human psychosome and its surround.
Next, the consciousness of individuals can remain healthy only if there is positive interaction with the collective unconscious, which finds fruitful expression through surrealism. Architecture, art, and artifacture should, therefore, reflect the inner dream world, which in turn reflects the region where we live. Nothing should be constructed without prior intuitive probing and contemplation of the quality of this surround, for the duration of at least a year. Ancient man seems to have had this gift, which we have not only lost, but deny with our rampant construction of sterile and meaningless buildings. The feeling for land can only be found in a sacred society; as far as we know, the sickness of secularism is a modern manifestation - a result of patristic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. All of these are life-negative in that they deny awareness and honor of the Goddess, who alone, with her accompanying Gods, can restore the balance of this planet.
The evidence is overwhelming that the people who built megalithic monuments throughout the world and probably inspired the later, more elaborate structures such as the pyramids of Egypt and those of Teotihuacan, were guardians of a lost knowledge gained from what I call the "cosmothonic facility." It is quite likely that these people could detect currents that radiate in straight or flowing lines along the earth's surface, and channel their energies through the construction of giant Mounds and Henges built in alignment along these (often straight) tracks. In certain places, where circumstances seemed best suited to observe heavenly phenomena, they erected exceptional structures like Stonehenge and Avebury.
At auspicious seasonal peaks of the year, cosmic and earth forces were intensified by human energy through ritual observance, magical methods, and celebration. Just as energies are gathered through sexual excitation, genitally focused in orgasm, and then redistributed throughout the body, so these cosmothonic forces were redistributed to benefit not only the human element, but the entire biotic community.
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Part Four of Fred's visionary 1970 essay. "These conceptions are paradoxical, and so they shall remain, for mystery is of the essence of life." (FA)
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Through Feraferia, we are attempting to resurrect this lost sense (of earth in cosmos, see Part Three) and lay the foundation for a new ecologically responsive and cosmically attuned science of cosmothonia for the new age. Following Dane Rudyar, we are already developing systems that correlate geodetic points (energy hot spots on earth- jc) with their stellar and planetary equivalents. The metaphysical significance of the relationships of spatial forms to their corresponding feeling qualities will again be the subject matter of the poetics of sacred geometry and arithmantic harmonies. We will see the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm, and hear our reality resonating to the music of the spheres, as it did for the ancients.
It seems that in the age of Aries in the Western world, existence became resolved into a series of dualistic sets in which the separateness of things, to the exclusion of a shared commonality, became the "law" of reason and nature. As objects and situations were distinguished by contrariness the concept of nature became more and more abstract. Simultaneously, struggle over depleted grazing lands in the Near East allowed tough and strong tribal kings to imprint monotheistic images on the minds of those they dominated with their skills of conquest and political manipulation. Thus Jehovah became the "one and only God". Dualistic "either-or" distinctions became normatively categorized. This is good - that is bad.
In the Piscean age these notions combined in Christianity to construe our world as a veil of tears - as a fallen world of sin from which some individuals, who live according to certain canonical prescriptions, can escape after death to a bland heavenly abode. If they transgress these rules and do not repent, they are doomed to eternal suffering. Peoples of the East resolve this alienation of dualism, by obliteration of the self in union with Brahma or dissolution in Nirvana. With only these options, the world, both inner and outer, became more and more ugly. Externally, we have the awful poverty the East and the mess of the highly organized industrial West. Today the two uglinesses are merging and covering the entire planet. Bodily misery, despair, helplessness and spiritual agony are evident everywhere. Everything points to the fact that this fundamental dualistic assumption about the universe are wrong.
Feraferia maintains that the many and the one are ontologically equal, that the world order is not segmented into two exclusive parts, metaphysically or ethically; nor is this dualism escaped by a reductive monism; the world presents us with fluid gestalts, which we can choose to disintegrate at our own peril; that the polarity misconstrued in dualism is one of sexual differentiation, which strives to improve the qualitative gestalt of creation throughout all universes, and that this polarity is inherent in the fundament of being, which is essentially feminine.
This feminine, birth-giving ground of existence, the ultimate unknowable, we call Arretos Koura (the Nameless Bride). She maintains all beings in their individuality, and becomes the transcendent unique, where all uniquenesses coalesce without sacrificing their own uniqueness. To the intellect in isolation, these conceptions are paradoxical, and so they shall remain, for mystery is of the essence of life. We can experience it, but not comprehend its ever-spiraling nature.
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Part Five of Fred's essay focuses on wilderness and magic...
Feraferia believes that ritual magic and Faerie Enchantment should be employed to revitalize the body of earth.
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However, this paradisal milieu cannot be created if most of the planet is not returned to wilderness. The concept of wilderness in its philosophically positive sense was first developed in America by such men as Thoreau and Muir. Previous to their realization of the intrinsic value of wild nature and its preservation, wilderness included all places not inhabited by humans, and in most cases was actually threatening to humanity's well-being, both physically and psychically. Many ancient peoples and primitive ones, down to the present day, avoided uncultivated regions if they could, and protected themselves magically if necessity forced them to enter such places. But these people had respect for spirits dwelling in the wild, whereas our Puritan ancestors, who decided that the forests were the abode of the devil, proceeded to cut them down mercilessly. Their mercenary descendants continue this desecration for the all-mighty dollar and the criminal "mystique" of power.
Feraferia maintains that wilderness must flourish, not for the sake of humanity, but because it is inherently sacred. Prosaic and secular notions of conservation are insufficient, in the long run, if we are to restore and maintain harmony in the biosphere. Only if we are dedicated to the sweet Goddess can we transmute our desire for control and manipulation of nature into a desire for loving service to her creation.
Apart from the valuable work of re-forestation and protection of threatened species that conservation requires, Feraferia believes that ritual magic and Faerie Enchantment should be employed to revitalize the body of earth. The resurgence of ritual magic in medieval Europe was mostly for individual purposes - evocation of lesser spirits for private gain such as wealth, health, and power. In our times some groups interpret education and invocation in terms of psychology and self development. Gods or demons are symbolic representatives of one's own psyche, and magical methods are used to develop various aspects of oneself. Since Feraferia believes in the reality of the Gods, she promotes the idea that ritual magic should appeal primarily to the greater Divinities and Lesser Spirits to return to Earth for global re-sanctification of every strand of life. Expansion of inner awareness is valid only if it is linked with service to the Goddess and the whole biosphere.
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This is the conclusion of Fred's 1970 essay on returning soul to land, Faerie Flight, Wilder-charms, Landscape Dance, and Wilderness Celebration (Part Six):
...all the arts will help recapture the sympathies of the divinities and Great Nature herself for the project of recreating paradise on earth.
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Faerie enchantment uses a variety of poetic techniques that simultaneously bring the soul into contact with the spirit of place, and also reanimates those places that have spiritually wilted due to man's violations. Some of these techniques are Faerie Flight, whereby landscapes and their spirits are visited astrally; Biomic Charm offerings with found natural objects; Landscape Dance that mimics landforms and expresses their feeling tones, and Celebrations in wilderness areas to invigorate their native energies.
Frederick Adams has expressed the meaning of Feraferia in many ways: through surrealist and iconographic art; poetry and ritual drama; the creation of numerous systems of correspondences; through cosmothonic approaches to architecture and landscape (see Part Three); philosophical elaboration of Goddess ideology, and through the development of a new seasonal calendar that is responsive to natural and astronomical events. All these streams of actions and ideas have been imbued with devotion to the Divine Feminine, especially her manifestation as the passionate and compassionate Nymph.
We need more images of the Goddess and the Gods. We need to create Sacred Precincts (Temenoi) in the form of Temples, outdoor Shrines, and monumental alignments such as Stone Circles, Wood Henges, and Ley Lines. No religion in the past has ever existed without the sacred arts and sciences. If the new paganism is to transform the world, it must develop sophisticated expressions, rooted in reality, that fire the imagination. Such efforts need to stimulate enthusiasm, and widen and deepen devotion to the Goddess and the Gods. Creative expressions of devotion through all the arts will help recapture the sympathies of the divinities and Great Nature herself for the project of recreating paradise on earth.
Article and art © 1970 Fred Adams & Feraferia, Inc.