Anderson/Feri Tradition Material Cataloged at Valdosta State University

Victor Anderson, apparently wearing a lei (Wikimedia Commons).

Victor Anderson (1917–2001) and Cora Anderson (1915–2008) founded the Feri tradition of Witchcraft (which had multiple spellings). Since their passing, their papers and home library has been divided among several recipients: the Oakland, Calif., public library, the New Alexandrian Library, and some private purchasers.

A large number of their books, 171 to be exact, have been added to the growing Pagan archives at Valdosta State University in Georgia. Special-collections librarian Guy Frost has now cataloged them as the “Victor and Cora Anderson Library, 1921–1998.

The books chosen, Frost explains, were ones that were not already in the university’s “parent collection, New Age Movements, Occultism, and Spiritualism Research Library. A bibliography of the full library as well as the disposition of the items is planned. All titles in this collection have been cataloged separately.” He has also written a lengthy historical note on the Andersons and Feri.

The library also has a large collection of materials relating to Max Freedom Long, whose work was a big influence on the Feri/Faerie/Fairy tradition.

Coming next will be a large collection from Aquarian Tabernacle Church founder Pete Davis.

10 thoughts on “Anderson/Feri Tradition Material Cataloged at Valdosta State University

  1. Several years ago, I sent the Church a Super VHS tape, intended for editing, that I had shot for the beginning of a documentary series about witches and pagans in the Pacific Northwest. They never acknowledged getting it. I wonder WTF happened to it? It was a very fine tape, broadcast quality, that could be edited into a good, short documentary about the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, where I sent several time while practicing Wicca (1980-2000). Unfortunately it requires a Super VHS tape machine, and they’re quite rare now.

      1. Guy Frost

        If there is a backup tape, its certainly possible to digitize it. And we would be happy to do that

        1. Sorry, there was only one tape, and I sent it to the ATC in Index. Any reasonably competent video lab, like Alpha Labs in Seattle, ought to be able to digitize it. If you try to play the tape on a regular VHS machine, you won’t be able to watch it and it may damage the tape.

  2. If I were you, I would contact Guy Frost at Valdosta State. He might be getting your old tape. And if so, perhaps there is some media lab on campus that could transfer the footage to DVD or digitize it. Worth a try, anyway.

  3. Kalinysta

    “The library also has a large collection of materials relating to Max Freedom Long, whose work was a big influence on the Feri/Faerie/Fairy tradition.” Apparently the native Hawaiians consider Max Long’s work to be “cultural appropriation” and having nothing to do with real Hawaiian spirituality. That leads me to wonder if “Feri/Faerie/Fairy isn’t just a “New Age pagan” religion invented by the Andersons.

    I remember reading some of the Andersons’ works back in the 1970s and didn’t think they were pagan at all, but more New Age than anything else. Of course since then, I’m sure the belief system has mutated considerably. I’ve also read some of the more “modern” versions of this belief system which still, to me, seems both “New Agey” and sorta pagan. ::shrugs:: To each his own and whatever works. 🙂

    1. Influential is influential. If some native Hawaiians come long a generation or two later and play the “appropriation” card, that’s fine, but it does not change the intellectual history. As for the Pagan-ness of Feri, see my discussion in “Her Hidden Children” of the Gardnerian “magnet” — how Gardnerian Wicca influenced magickal currents that were not themselves part of that tradition but were shaped by its influence.

      1. Kalinysta

        I used to have a copy of that which, unfortunately, has now disappeared into a black hole somewhere. Ah, the perils of moving a household. Must be in the same place where the key to my back door is, as well as a few rings, and the TARDIS key that a friend made for me. 🙁

    2. Pitch313

      Victor enjoyed, in addition to Hawaiian influenced resources like Huna, access to and communication with traditional Hawaiian cultural people and lore. I sat on his couch while he played tapes of traditional Hawaiian music performed by (he said) musicians intent on preserving it.

      Because he knew that I, a Feri practitioner, was following a Hawaiian current incorporated in the Trad and would enjoy the music and the energy behind it.

      These musicians believed that Victor, a fellow musician and explorer of Hawaiian culture, respected that culture and people.

      Does something like this make Feri authentically, traditionally Hawaiian, free of all suspicions or accusations of cultural appropriation? Probably not.

      But it does suggest that (at least in my appreciation) Victor and Feri embraces more in regard to Hawaiian culture, lore, and practice than one interpretation of it.

      As for being PAGAN, Victor and Cora were about as PAGAN as anybody could get in the post-WWII San Francisco Bay Area–a locale and period full of all sorts of PAGANS of many stripes–without being mentioned in a Herb Caen column.

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