I got up at my new regular time the other day–5:00 a.m. It’s my special quiet time where no one can find me because most people are sane and sleeping at that time. But that time of day is the best for writing….and for Skyping with friends in Australia! Mainly, Gede Parma!!!
Gede is a brilliant young Seer, Priest, Witch, and Writer from Brisbane, Australia. We met two years ago when he came to the United States for his first tour. He’s the author of Of Land, Sea, and Sky as well as Spirited, which I consider to be a great resource for young Pagans. Now, he’s coming back to promote his new book Ecstatic Witchcraft which is a fantastic take on approaching Witchcraft from a Shamanistic, primal approach. He also references some of the spiritual experiences he had in New York City. Some of the encounters he had with Spirits in Inwood Hill Park mirror the exact ones I had with my beloved a couple of winters ago. He will be teaching a full day workshop at the Gebo House in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 14th. When we spoke, he’d just finished eating cake.
What kind of cake was it?
Chocolate caaakkkee. A moist, mud cake. Vegan AND Gluten free.
Wow…..Now, first of all, please give us a description of the Wildwood Tradition of Witchcraft.
Let me just breathe for a moment (cake processing)…..the Wildwood Tradition is an emergent form of contemporary Witchcraft which focuses on ecstatic, the visionary, and the deep poetry of the cosmos. Our ways are more informed by our Four Divinities: Weaver, the Green Man, The Crescent Crowned Goddess, and the Cloaked God. Wildwood seek to restore the shamanic core of Traditional Witchcraft.
What might you say are the core differences between the way Witchcraft in the United States is practiced versus how it is practiced in Australia?
I saw a lot of difference in definition (of Witchcraft) in the States. The terms Wiccan and Witchcraft used interchangeably in the States, whereas in Australia, it’s very different. Wildwood is wild, raw, unrestrained, primal. I didn’t encounter that as much in the United States—it was much more clinical and clean. The practices of Novices of the Old Ways, the Reclaiming Tradition, and the Feri Tradition resonate with that sort of primal experience. Since my visit to the States, I was so inspired by the Feri Tradition that I became a student of the Blue Rose Line.
What are you coming to the States to do?
I am coming to the States to promote my new book, Ecstatic Witchcraft. I’ll be speaking, presenting, facilitating the Ecstatic Mysteries of Witchcraft, which excites me! I will be in San Diego, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Albuquerque, New Mexico, New York City, New Jersey, New England, Chicago, the Twin Cities, and Portland, OR.
What are you most excited about?
In the tour or in general?
First, in the tour.
I am most excited to meet other Witches and Pagan Mystics, sharing our love and reverence for The Great Mysteries, and hopefully making powerful and important change in this world and the broader world through acts of sacred transformation.
Now, in general.
Immediate, sensual, fleshy, messy, communion with Divinity. Finding a spark of God, Herself, in the myriad forms and meeting each spark with a sense of honor and awe and being able to empower others through our relationship with Divinity. And having sex is quite part of that. That excites me, too. (giggles)
What are some of the things that both the Australian and American Pagan Communities are doing well?
I think the Australian Communities are doing really well. As we are geographically away from the regions of the world that directly inspired Pagan revival, we have much more room to explore, to delve into the “whys’ we do certain customs and practices, that are considered traditional. We’ve had more of our work being place-aligned and placed-centered, and our relation to it including elements, directions, seasons, and the Gods. In the States, where there’s quite an oppressive systematic, over-culture, there’s such a vibrant counterculture within Paganism. The activism in American Paganism is quite enlightening.
Where could we learn from each other?
Being more relaxed between the boundaries between traditions and schools. Australians never ask “What is your tradition?” whereas Americans seem to ask that a lot.
You’re in Samhain season approaching Yule. We’re approaching Litha. Tell us what Samhain/Yule is like where you’re at?
The Wheel of the Year seems to be an Astronomically reality. No matter where you are, the Solstices and Equinoxes are happening. Basically to align the Wheel of the Year, we go into the spirit of Place and the seasonal shifts and work that in with Ancestral and Traditional practices. We work that through the different collection or weaving of strands. If the Oak and Holly resonate with you, you can include them, but do include sacred plants of the area. A lot of us work with Deities that have origins in very specific places of the world. How they traveled, we don’t know, but I do feel them. Wherever the people have brought them, they are there. If you resonate with those Gods, there they are. Pagans in this day and age have such a job to do in creating relationship with Deitiy, we’re spread all over the globe and we’re recreating, remembering, what we work with and it’s changing all of the time.
Tell us more about the Weaver, the Green Man, The Crescent Crowned Goddess, and the Cloaked God
Those four Deities, together, form something greater than sum of parts. They form the evolutionary cosmic consciousness of infinity. They represent perfect poetry for life. The Weaver and Green man we call the Old Ones, but they are not Gods. We do not give them names, but refer to them by their titles, understanding that they are deeper than we can ever understand. Crescent Crowned Goddess and Cloaked God have identities that are not made public—they represent a Traditional Inheritance of Witchcraft in many ways. In our Tradition, we look at the Dance between the Goddess and God what in Feri is called “The Divine Twins,” they create this Dynamic interplay of the cycles of the Mystery of Life: Life, Death, and Rebirth. We also have the Weaver and the Green Man as the Overlaying Presence. Boundaries between them are very nebulous. For instance, the Green Man is “The Face of the Weaver’s Mystery,” eliminating the Gender associations and polarity issues as it is about a continuity of ever-evolving Mystery. They represent a complete cosmology. Each person has their own relationship to many other Deities.
Aren’t my cats cute? (Cameo with Lilith and Matilda)
What plans does your community have in the next few weeks?
Lots of training. We are a training-heavy tradition. We run public ceremony for the Full moons and Equinoxes, Solstices, and Sabbats. I also have one long-distance Wildwood student and there a few more I am considering. Because they’re my family, I don’t accept money. I only take students if I know them.
Talk to us about the workshop “The Mysterious Craft” at Gebo House on July 14th!
I like this particular workshop because it’s very hands-on and technique-heavy. I lay out the platform for techniques that have worked time and time again. I pass them on and we practice them. We do partner work, we do group work, we look at different trance possession, Spirit Flight, Channeling, Trance Possession. Then we weave all of those three things together that I’ve worked through time and time again. Essentially, Hekate and Dionysus are the Patrons of that Mysterious Craft and we work with that Mythos very strongly and Subtely throughout the day. I’ve done that workshop a number of times now. Very interesting to do that in New York.
Anything else you are planning for the trip?
I’m going to relish the experience! I’m going to be completely present! I’m going to have my own wonderful journey throughout this tour. Oh my god! It just hit me. I’m actually going on an Ecstatic Witchcraft tour. It just hit me now. I really don’t live in the future, I live in the present. Bizarre. The last tour I had in the States, I had a life-changing experience. I met so many people that I just loved and I can’t wait to be with them again.
(Interview devolves into chaos as intoxicated, Australian Witches plunder the room and abscond Gede back to his party)
Gede will be teaching his full-day workshop “The Mysterious Craft” on Saturday, July 14 at The Gebo House (1267 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn) from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This full-day workshop looks at the mystery-obscured crafts of the Craft and how we may resurrect them, dust them off and make them shine once more. The workshop is broken into four segments – Spirit-flight (Astral-Travel), Channelling (Mediumship), Drawing Down the Gods (Trance-Possession) and a Ritual which weaves these abilities together into a sacred communion with the patrons of the workshop – Hekate and Dionysos. This workshop is for those who have committed to the Craft and wish to delve more deeply into its shamanic skill-sets. The culminating ritual involves becoming an oracle, flying in the spirit to the Temple of Hekate and witnessing Dionysos in possession. Gede will also have copies of his three books for sale – Spirited, By Land, Sky & Sea AND Ecstatic Witchcraft – and will personally sign any copies sold on the day.
To pre-register at the $90 price ($100 after 1st of July) please send payments to firstname.lastname@example.org