by: Tommie StarChild 9/30/13

The archetypes of the Warrior and Healer are two interesting archetypes for modern men. The warrior is viewed as the strong heroic type, while the healer is often viewed as the more passive, caretaker type. For modern men, these two archetypes can become quite complicated. Modern western culture tends to praise one at the expense of the other. Men are to be the “strong silent type” not emotional “cry-babies.” Working hard and fighting to get yourself to the top is valued above all else, regardless of those stepped on while on the way up. As for non-heterosexual men, these cultural messages get internalized in such a way that it often creates internal conflicts. How do “I” identify with masculinity, based on cultural norms, while being true to myself? Masculinity is a bit more of an illusive topic. It can go in many different directions and be discussed ad nauseam for days, and possibly still not close out the discussion. This is why I would like to narrow the focus a bit, by looking at The Warrior and The Healer.

The Warrior:

What do we know about The Warrior? Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette are the authors of the book “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.” Moore says that ‘The characteristics of the Warrior in his fullness amount to a total way of life, what the samurai called a do (pronounced ‘do’). These characteristics constitute the Warrior Dharma, Ma’at, or Tao, a spiritual or psychological path through life.’ (Brett and Kate McKay; Oct. 23, 2011 [58 Comments in a Man’s Life, on Manhood. “The Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine: The Warrior”]; The Art of Manliness,; p. “The Four Archetypes of the Mature Masculine: The Warrior”).

What are these characteristics?

These characteristics are: Aggressive (not in the dominating, domineering, or violent sense, but rather vigorously energetic, initiative) also, Purpose, Mindful, Adaptable, Minimalist, Decisive, Skillful, Loyal, Disciplined, Emotionally Detached, and Creative Destroyer (destroying only to make room for growth).

This is often what is referenced when speaking about a “warrior tradition.” The warrior is a position of service to the community. It is a self-less act of putting one’s self in harms way in order to protect the whole. This can lead to Hero Worship, either by the warrior feeding his own ego, or by community feeding the ego of the warrior, resulting in the warrior viewing everything as his rival. “The Warrior is both our blessing and our bane in that it’s what allows us to stay separate and individual, secure in our own talents. Conversely, it’s also that part of us that makes us see all other men as potential rivals – a burden that can be difficult to control unless we have a good sense of who and what we are.” (Dagonet Dewr; 2007 [“Sacred Paths for Modern Men, a wake up call from your 12 archetypes”]; Chapter 5, p. 56).

I think Andy Sherrod describes it the best: “The Warrior is lurking within the souls of all males but violent males are not Warriors! A cheapened perversion of this archetype almost completely dominates the film industry. The Warrior’s true masculinity is based on self-control and moral courage and has nothing to do with rage and revenge. The Warrior’s obligation, recognized in almost every culture, is to deliberately and strategically plan and then take full responsibility for his actions. He demonstrates an ethical code of personal honor, noble restraint, and individual humility for his deeds.” (Andy Sherrod; 2012 [“Andy Sherrod’s Big Boy Book Blog” “Positive Male Archetypes”]; p. part 2 of 5;

The Healer:

Sherrod goes on to describe The Healer: “It may be difficult for boys to access the healing side of masculinity because popular culture depicts men as violent and destructive while women go behind patching up the mess. After all, isn’t healing a feminine pursuit?

What does the masculine Healer look like? First off, to become an effective Healer he must have already “walked the path” and that takes courage. You’ve met him; he was the boy who endured an abusive father and vowed to change that aspect of his family tree…and succeeded! He has forgiven and harbors no bitterness. Now he is equipped to teach others to do the same. Now he is a Healer.”(Andy Sherrod; 2012 [“Andy Sherrod’s Big Boy Book Blog” “Positive Male Archetypes”]; p. part 4 of 5;

Dewr says, “Due to some misplaced machismo, men don’t take care of themselves… As men we have ambiguous relationships at best with healing, nurturing, and accepting help from others… needing healing and nurturing is perceived as a weakness, and in the highly competitive and combative environment of male society, a weakness can be lethal.” (Dagonet Dewr; 2007 [“Sacred Paths for Modern Men, a wake up call from your 12 archetypes”]; Chapter 13, pp. 216-217).

What I found quite interesting while doing my research was how little there was written about The Healer archetype for men. It quickly went to the female archetype of healer and to a dysfunctional male archetype of healer (calling it “The Nightingale” the ‘you complete me’ archetype) as a needy codependent.

We can see in these descriptions that there is still a subtle underlying preference of one over the other. The warrior is still strong, and the healer is grown from learning through “woundedness.” The Healer is passive and nurturing, these things are judged as weaknesses, they can lead to dysfunction. We mirror this within our community by placing greater value on “straight acting, straight appearing” (which means Butch, not gay) as opposed to terms like fem, nelly, (which have a female overtone). This is patriarchy at its finest: Male = superior, desirable, Female = less-than, subject to. In non-heterosexual men this results in an internal conflict referred to as internalized homophobia.

Where do we go from here?

A warrior can learn or be trained to be The Warrior – classic examples are the Knight, martial artist, military, etc. To be The Healer, a man must journey inward, find his wounded place, touch it, nurture it and integrate it; this offers opportunity to learn from one’s self. It is to confront the Ego Self, and destroy it, to awaken to Authentic Self. This is not to say that The Warrior is any less authentic, just that this is the path of the healer. Warrior – external, Healer – internal.

The journey to grow in fullness the archetypes of Warrior and Healer is a lesson in demon work, the demon work revolving around transcending the confines of the “demon” egocentricity (the ego self or lesser-self). The path towards one’s spirit (soul) is through the emergence of the authentic self – becoming whom you have always been. I call this Death Work, resulting in the death of the ego-self. It is in fact the shattering of the mask of the false-self (the who-we-think-we-are) the ego-self. Fears are the bricks and attachment is the mortar we use to wall ourselves in, to construct the mask of the false-self. It takes a warrior to step through the fears, and a healer to nurture the spirit; only then can one embrace themselves fully, wholly.

How do we get from here to there?

I would like to propose that The Warrior and The Healer are but two sides of the same coin. They are not conflicting archetypes, or one to aspire to over the other, or in any other dualistic way of viewing. You see, to heal you must know how to wound/to bless you much know how to curse – where warrior ends, healer begins, and where healer ends warrior begins.

Lets look at this in a broader sense. In the void there was nothing, god Herself, existed within the void; She is the void. To know Herself, She looked into the curved black mirror of space and was so moved by Her beauty. In viewing Herself, god Herself came to know Herself, and in this process She gave birth. From nothing came knowing one’s self within the context of all that is – Ego was born. God Herself gave birth to the Divine Twins. We move from “I know not who I am” into “I define myself by that which is around me.”

God Herself, from Her orgasm sprang forth the Divine Twins known as the Red God and Green God – they are the creators of all things made of matter. They are Blood and Plant – they are Creation and Destruction. Blood is life giving, and plants destroy (roots cracking the very foundation). Yet life consumes life, blood eats plant – life giver becomes the destroyer, and the destroyer becomes the sustainer of life. They are divine lovers, ever intertwined in the lovers embrace. It is through their union worlds are born and worlds are destroyed. We delve into our blood to “know thyself” and bring about the destruction of the false god  (the ego-self) this brings about the Divine Child of Promise – what I call the Authentic Self. This is when your mouth and god’s mouth speak as one. When the 3 souls are in alignment and the divine self comes down upon you and you are “possessed by self,” or what Victor Anderson called Black Heart of Innocence; when your spirit and The Spirit merge.

The Warrior and Healer, the Red God and Green God, the Horned God and Green Man are divine lovers. It is a lover’s embrace of two men, with all the passions of men. It is our over-culture that has worked to portray these two as rivals, adversaries, one must die for the other to live. Even in Christianity, Christ and the devil are adversaries, locked in a timeless battle where Christ must die in order to ultimately bring about the destruction of Satan. The Divine Twins are better viewed within the context of the yin and yang, intertwining halves where one is contained within the other. Not the Oak King and Holly King, where one must defeat the other to bring about a turning of the wheel. Lovers were too powerful for the comfort of the over-culture during the onset of modern patriarchy. As patriarchy disassembled god Herself from ALL Powerful into delineated parts, so too, did they turn the Lovers into rivals, adversaries where one must defeat the other. Power of creation and destruction were feared, so they were subjugated.

As pagan men we may find this struggle all too familiar as the pagan community embraces the healer, yet even there, healer is thought to be female. The dominant culture often assumes that pagans are women. We bridge a gap between men and women; we walk the liminal space. We come into the larger pagan community and find the ability to accept Healer archetype but often still at the expense of Warrior. Paganism is often founded on a dualistic perspective, but it is not one or the other.

While meditating, praying, and listening to my faerie contacts and gods for the message they wanted me to bring through this topic, things began to shift into a particular direction. You see, the Red God and Green God are like the two outer tines of a trident – creation and destruction. But a trident has three tines. The center tine is Compassion and tempers creation and destruction.

When the Red God and Green God sexually embraced, a spark of their orgasm, the very embodiment of their orgasm was compassion. The result of their orgasm brings about the creation of all things made of matter within the universe. The collaboration of creation and destruction brought into being all things known and unknown in the universe and a spark from this brought into being compassion. The Horned God and Green Man, in divine passionate lust, compelled by desire, consume each other and a spark of this orgasm sprang forth bringing into being the Blue God – Dia-na-glas, the lover and teacher of mankind; the serpent at the bottom of the well, the Divine Child that is brought about by the integration of the Warrior and Healer into one. He is our god-self, high-self; divine self that kisses the breath of god Herself. He is what connects us to Universal Consciousness; He is the one that speaks on our behalf to all the gods. Compassion is the embodiment of the orgasm between men. As we come together in sexual union, we recreate this mythos. We stand in Power, not because we have power over, but because we are Power. The ego-self is locked in a death match between itself and self, the prize is our soul, or very spirit. As we embrace compassion we integrate self with self.

He revealed that this was not about the Warrior and Healer, but a pathway by which one my encounter the Divine Child. Dewr said, “…the Divine Child is powerful in his own right. He is the first archetype of drawing boundaries, of establishing the self that serves as the foundation for the great magickal advice “know thyself.” (Dagonet Dewr; 2007 [“Sacred Paths for Modern Men, a wake up call from your 12 archetypes”]; Chapter 13, pp. 216-217).

Dia-na-glas took over this project. He came to me in visions, dreams, and spoke to me. I could not get away. He wanted to bring His message forward. He said, “You must know Me, to know yourself, to know yourself, you must know Me. I exist in many forms. I am all over the world. I am the Great Serpent in the Well, I sit at the crossroads, I Am. I am the serpent at the bottom of the well that rises up, touches the flower, becoming the Dove, and descends as the winged serpent becoming the serpent in the well. I am the shape-shifter, shifting from ‘primal’ animal-like, to ‘divine’ human-like, from the Fetch to the High-Self, uniting the three Souls within mankind so that they may kiss the limitless breath of god Herself.” He went on, “The Tantric called me Kundalini, as I rise up I create Shakti, the sacred union of above and below from primal to the divine.”

It is the path of the Shaman, taken to the place of death, crossing over, and coming back. It is the warrior and healer seeing themselves as one. It is the hero, although he may be afraid, steps through the fears anyway, and meets at the great inner crossroads. The place where the false god (ego-self) battles with the all-seeing eyes of the Blue God, for Dia-na-glas is truth, the truth that destroys self-pity (a ploy used by the false god). This is the great act of compassion.

As Dia-na-glas spoke with me He began to reveal a mystery, a mystery about compassion. I have been working on understanding compassion on a deeper level. He showed me that compassion is swift and deadly, using truth to cut through fear. When one aligns with Him, it is a calling down of his spear of compassion that destroys the ego so that the soul may find liberation.

Art at top of page, By: Wonder (Randy Tooth); above image, By: Tommie StarChild


Category Archetypes, Dia-na-glas, Feri Tradition, Gay, Green God, Mystery Tradition, Red God, Warrior Healer, WItchcraft

By: Tommie StarChild 1/12/09

There is a coming together of Radical Faeries and Reclaiming witchcraft. Reclaiming was formed from a combination of anarchist politics, feminist spirituality and some of the tools and concepts from the Anderson Feri Tradition. Starhawk a well-known activist witch, having written many prominent books, and performed publicly, is a Feri initiate. She has shaped her practice of Feri with emphasis on community, and creating balance within the larger paradigm of mainstream society. She has utilized some of the Feri material in the tradition she co-founded, working to reclaim ones personal power and reclaiming ones power within society. Faery has often developed community through their rallying around social causes i.e. social/political activism playing a particularly large role in within the Radical Faeries.

I intend to take a look at the similarities and differences between Radical Faery and the Anderson Feri tradition. The objective here is to bring to light the bridge between these two pagan paths. This is a personal perspective, because as soon as someone tries to define Radical Faery, there is another Radical Faery that will have a completely differing of opinion. As too, in Anderson Feri, there are many lineages with priests that would have differing opinions as to what is the practice of Feri. For the sake of article, I wish to define the usage of the two spelling varieties of Faery, Feri will only refer to the tradition of Anderson Feri, and Faery will only refer to the movement of Radical Faery. I will look to traditional beliefs as well as personal experience.

Radical Faery grew as a movement from its auspicious first gathering in Arizona in 1979. This was a coming together of like-minded gay men with a belief in something different than the hetero-male dominated society. There was, also, recognition of a goddess based perception regarding the order and origins of life. At this time, Harry Hay (considered to be a father of Radical Faery) introduced his concept – subject-subject consciousness, in contrast to the hetero-male dominated subject-object consciousness. He held the belief that gay men had the innate ability to view the world through this consciousness; not all do, as they subscribe to the subject-object consciousness that dominates society.  Harry Hay spoke about loving ones partner as subject, just as self is subject, the couch is subject, and the stars are subject; none of which are objects. This is in contrast to what society teaches (i.e. that one loves their partner as object, the couch is object, and nature is object; and objects are things to be controlled).

Victor Anderson is considered the father of what is –today- knows as Feri; he “…was a blind poet and shaman who began teaching the Feri Tradition (then reportedly known variously as Vicia or simply “The Craft”) more or less in its modern form in the 1940s. He began initiating people into the tradition on an individual basis before the 1950s. According to Cora Anderson, Victor received a letter in 1960 from several witches in Italy, among them Leo Martello, asking him to form a coven in California. Victor taught openly for several decades before dying in 2001” (Kalessin; 2001; “Memorial for Victor H. Anderson”). Feri is based on the practice of communing with deity, working with multiple deities who play a major role it the religion. The Feri tradition has had a history of attracting individuals who are attracted by its androgynous nature, a belief that all gods exist with their either male of female (primary origin) as well as characteristics of the opposite gender. It is an oral, initiatory tradition, with an ecstatic practice, rather than a fertility based practice. “Strong emphasis is placed on sensual experience and awareness, including sexual mysticism, which is not limited to heterosexual expression” (Korn, Anna; 1988, 1995, 2000; “The Faery Tradition”).

Radical Faery is not limited to its original gay male manifestation. It is widely believed that you are Faery when you say you are. This means, it is open to individuals of all sexual persuasions, as well as, gender identity. “We are a network of faggot farmers, workers, artists, drag queens, political activists, witches, magicians, rural and urban dwellers who see gays and lesbians as a distinct and separate people, with our own culture, ways of being/becoming, and spirituality. We believe that, as a people, we have unique and necessary contributions to make, ones that we must make to help regain the lost balance of the larger human community here on the planet” (Cain, Joey; ”Who are the Radical Faeries”;

A common element between these two communities is their belief in the ecstatic expression of self. Both have recognized sexual expression to be sacred, and should be practiced often. There is an embracing of all sexual expressions as a means of connecting with some form of divinity. Through Feri, I have learned that all things start and stop with sex, and sex connects us with our god self. It was the Radical Faeries that taught me how to remove the attachment to the outcome of the sexual experience, freeing me up to love fully in the moment, and experience my god self. Neither belief systems remove love from sex, but do not exclusively link the two together in the form that our society teaches. One can love fully, without attachment. I have experiences an intimacy in both these communities that at least owes a part of its origin to this common perspective. In Faery this perspective is birthed out of the subject-subject consciousness, and in Feri it is rooted in the ecstatic expression of the religion.

Ritual plays a strong role in Feri, while in Faery; ritual is often practiced in a less formal manner. Yet, in the early days of Feri, there was much less formality, acts of magic can be done when one is in communion with their god self. This is achieved when all Three Souls are in alignment – a foundational belief in Feri. It is said that a person has Three Souls (or selves). The Talker is the self that interacts with the world around you, dealing with intellect, and language; the Fetch that is pre-verbal, primal, emotional, child-like; and the High Self that is our god self. I do not find such a belief within Faery, yet there is a common observation that a Faery moving within a space of magic seems to have an open line of communication between the three souls, expressed in their connection to the fae; there is a sense they are living within the Fetch.

It can be argued, that since Faeries exist in the in-between, and their sexual expression is not, innately, rooted in the objective of producing life, it too, is not a fertility-based movement. In contrast, Radical Faery is a movement of like-minded individuals (not a religion) who in their personal spiritual practice may utilize fertility based practices, even though reproductive fertility isn’t the objective. This use of fertility-based practices can be said to be paradoxical, and in many ways these fertility practices are used in a manner more consistent with ecstatic tradition, and this may well be one of the main bridges between Feri and Faery. Ecstatic sex is practiced within the context of subject-subject consciousness.

Feri does not have such a teaching, yet it has the practice of the Iron Pentacle. This pentacle is a symbolic, energetic tool that consists of the points – Sex, Pride, Self, Power, and Passion. When one has these points in balance in their personal and energetic life, they find power. Power comes from self, not drawn from an outside source. It can be said that when the Iron Pentacle is in balance, one views the world within subject-subject consciousness. I have learned in my practice, that my power comes from my purification of self (through use of the Iron Pentacle) as opposed to power obtained through power over.

Faery has a strong sense of community, as a result of their concept of existing within the greater community (society) with a role to play – the role of bringing balance. Sanctuaries were never an original concept within Radical Faery, as one must engage the greater community if you wish to bring balance. The dominant paradigm has brought war, conflict, control, and destruction, and the role of the Faery is to mediate between subject and object to bring balance. We, Faery, do not exist, as an island, outside of greater society, but rather, neither within or without, but as combination of something in between – walking between the worlds. I have learned (from the Radical Faeries) that I must find a way strike a balance, with one foot on one plane and one foot on the other plane. In this case these planes might be said to be subject and object. I have learned through Feri that I also walk with one foot on this plane and one foot on the other – one plane being the earth plane, and the other the astral plane.

The Feri tradition is an oral, initiatory religion, meaning it is taught from teacher to student, which may lead to initiation. There are no degrees, once initiated you are a priest of Feri. Feri community is primarily teacher and student, initiates with initiates, and students with students. Since a primary objective of this religion is to commune with deity, it is less focused on its role within the greater social structure. Also, being a priest based religion, it is not uncommon that is practiced more within a solitary craft. Initiates take pride in tracking their linage back to Victor. It was around Victor and Cora that the community coalesced. Since their passing, the initiates have worked to reform that which they coalesce around, becoming more a community of initiates. As noted earlier this religion does not have an edict that dictates its role within society at large.

When I first entered the Faery community I heard a whispering of “bringing Feri back to Faery.” This may have been a reference to bringing more focus to ritual. Ritual is an amazing force for developing community, and Faeries could use the application of some structure to strengthen its sense of community. Community is vital to both Feri and Faery for their preservation, relevance, and longevity. As new folk enter into each community, it is important that those who have walked the road before them, to teach the concepts that these two belief systems are founded in. Frivolity can be a powerful generator, yet when it lacks focus, or structure, the energy created is released in all directions and its purpose may be lost, and/or it misses its mark. Ecstatic energy can still be generated through the use of frivolity that has a design or structure. Fun is not sacrificed for efficacy, rather harnessed, confined through structure, to increases its strength, fine-tune its focus, and clearly define its intent. It might be said that Feri takes itself too seriously, and could learn from the Faeries how to apply frivolity within its rituals, to lighten up, while maintaining, and possibly growing the strength of its energy. Both utilize ecstatic energy and frivolity is a great mode to create ecstasy.

I was born Faery, and Feri provided the forum to reconnect me to my heritage, the fae. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without both. Studying and being initiated in Feri dramatically changed my life, as did that very first Faery gathering. I am therefore driven to create a sense of community here in San Diego, around the marriage of both Feri and Faery. There is an inseparable connection between the two in my psyche that influences every aspect of my daily life. There is strength derived in identifying the similarities, rather than the isolating effects that are the result of focusing on the differences. This has been the result in my life, as I walk a path between Feri and Faery.


Category Feri Tradition, Gay, Gay Spirituality, Radical Faerie, Uncategorized