Jo demonstrates doing the Phytala
Feraferia traveled to Earth Spirit People's Festival on their land near Austin, TX to offer blessings, healings, and set up a henge in their Grotto. It was all part of The Maiden Awakens festival in honor of Beltaine; a bit early this year, but set up to catch the beautiful full moon weekend. We camped by the Reflecting Pool, close enough to the drum circle to easily take in nightly belly dancing around the fire. Acacia Thorndragon was the Festival Organizer and chief emcee; she is a fine and dedicated lover of the land. We enjoyed many a conversation with her on what it takes to keep a sanctuary like this going. And her daughter does provide excellent coffee!
At Feraferia's first event, we showed how to lay out a Faery Ring Henge so the stones would be in the right place to mark the eight directions. First Jo painted them with directional, planetary and alchemical symbols (for N, S, E, and W) to help keep everyone oriented. Here are four of the eight, using the symbols from Fred's Four Elements, Four Goddesses painting:
If you want to do this yourself, it turns out that a nice variety of inexpensive nail polishes worked great, since they dry quickly and stay on for a long time, with excellent coverage and brightness.
We also showed how mark the place of your Faerie Ring Henge on a map, then draw the eight sacred directions out around it in a series of rays. By looking at the places where each line goes, you can find sacred places to go and commune with. Once you have gotten to know the Faerie Folk in each of the directions (see Celebrate Wildness for more on this) you have a living connection with them so that later, when you call on the Faeries to join you in your circle to lend their energy, they will be far more likely to do it!
Once we set up the Faerie Ring Henge, we did a Kore Blessing Prayer and blessed the land, and showed people how to 'do the Phytala.' That is a symbol for Feraferia, which combines a flowering fruit tree, the sun, and the moon; 'doing the Phytala' is when we describe the shapes of it in the air with our bodies and hands. Jo is demonstrating it in the top picture. The next day, we created a henge near their Faerie Lounge, and did a Faerie Ring Ceremony similar to the one in Celebrate Wildness, and a prayer to reclaim the land for the Goddess, and to bless all present. We got a volunteer to be healed; we passed love from our hands to her by touching her, then we did a big group hug around her. Then we opened our mouths to do a vowel toning, which is a powerful way of sending healing. One of Feraferia's sacred names of the Goddess is" Awiya,"; when you say this you will notice that is formed by a series of open mouth vowels which moves from the back of the throat to the front of the mouth and then back again. Using her vowel name is useful for healing, raising energy, or general blessings.
The whole ceremony was sweet. Finally we thanked the Faerie Spirits and closed the Ring. Many thanks to all who came!
Blessing the land around the "Grotto"