Ethical (and Unethical) Fey Teachers

Info about December 2020 update is at bottom of post.

Eagle with Iris in Great Darkness, OutlawBunny.

Ethical (and Unethical) Fey Teachers

Overview: Fey Folk can help us find freedom and joy. But there are evil Fairies, too—the Unseelie. They want to hurt humans. Some witch teachers work with the Unseelie. Honor your wild heart, but stay safe.

Fey Folk Can Help Us Find Freedom, Joy, and Magic

For hundreds of years, fairy glimmers in the woods have beckoned, reflecting our secret longings and illuminating our honest needs. Puritanical moralists insist the Fey are undeniably evil. However, we know better: the Good Folk can help free us from repressive religions and absurd social strictures. (Good Folk is another name for Fairies.) In addition, when we are barraged by a logic that denies magic and miracles, that fairy glimmer reassures us, telling us that mysticism is real and that the wondrous is possible.

But not all dwellers of the fairy realms are beneficent.

The Seelie Queen, Unseelie Queen, and Evil Magicians

For our purposes, this oversimplified definition of Seelie and Unseelie works well:

The Faery Queen (Fairy Queen, Faerie Queen…) is also known as the Seelie Queen and Her court known as the Seelie court. She and Her Seelie want to help us. They devote Themselves to that … when they are not off having a great time dancing, singing, and otherwise carrying on. … And even their joyful activities ring through the cosmos blessing us. However, there is an Unseelie Court–Fairies who are evil. The Unseelie Queen and her followers malevolently perpetuate great tragedy for humans.

And not all fey-touched magicians can be trusted, whether they call themselves Fey, Fay, Fae, Faerie, Feri, Fairy, or Faery.

Fulfill Your Longing and Stay Safe

Sate your hunger for luminous mystery and faerie mysticism, and for the fellowship thereof. However, it’s easy for that ferocious appetite, authentic and important though it is, to blind a person to the following: some individuals with immense glamour and fey power are pawns of the Unseelie Court. Perhaps this happens because power has made them so haughty that they are unwitting dupes for the forces of evil. Or perhaps they themselves become outright evil. Whatever the reason, it does happen.

Silence allows it to continue. I will not tolerate Fey practitioners who molest children, sexually harass students, disregard magical safety, and offer flashy curriculums that lack a moral compass strong enough to withstand the rigors of daily life. That lack of compass leaves many students frustrated and miserable for years because they’re working hard to grow without sufficient measures to guide them toward real spiritual progress. I’m available by phone if you’re concerned about yourself or a friend. I want to support newbies to the community—because they might be especially vulnerable—or anyone else who needs support.

Honor Your Wild Heart and Protect It

Francesca De Grandis, May 2012

While many cautions against the fey realms can be rightly interpreted as disguised attempts to suppress us, and to make us milquetoast, there are valid cautions. Dark mysteries needn’t be an excuse for a teacher to dominate. Wild hearts don’t mean that a teacher can ignore your sexual boundaries. Powerful magic needn’t lack caution. The quest for utter fulfillment needn’t lead to hollow longings or addiction.

There are dark mysteries that are wholesome, wildness that is authentic, satiation that is both attainable and ethical. Powerful magic can be safe. Fey fellowship, wild lovers, and powerful teachers can be both otherworldly and good. I hope you find them all.

If your Faerie heart resonates with what you read on this site, I invite you to my events. My newsletter will let you know about upcoming events, including free monthly Fey rituals via teleseminar or Zoom. Click the banner below to subscribe.

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Update: December 2020 I expanded on my above essay for clarity. I posted it on this site in 2012 and, before that, in 2008, to friends in a now defunct Yahoo forum. Sadly, the problems addressed by the post continue and happen to both newbies and longtime time witches. However, we can stop this. So mote it be!

29 thoughts on “Ethical (and Unethical) Fey Teachers

  1. I haven’t read many of your posts yet but greatly appreciated simply knowing that a place like Faerie Nation existed. I first happened across it on a day that I wanted to leave the physical nation and so felt very blessed by the discovery. Your above post is also helpful about an important topic without revealing any personal names. Thanks for writing about the topic. I recently read the book, Surviving Sexual Violence: A Guide to Recovery and Empowerment, by Thema Bryant-Davis (Editor) and it has a section on coping with abuse by mentors, unless I’m mixing it up with a different book that I read at a similar time. Abuse by a trusted mentor can be both hurtful and confusing. It was a library book so I can’t reread it at the moment to check but simply stating that abuse by a mentor is hurting someone on multiple levels is helpful. It causes some mistrust for similar programs and for people in general as well as for other mentors. Alice Miller discusses the harm that an abusive therapist or false guru can cause in her book Paths of Life; Seven Scenarios.

    I stopped posting or visiting social media sites much, because of being misunderstood and not knowing how to respond to negativity and false rumours. Innuendo is not a question that can be answered directly. Faerie Nation felt like a positive place to visit in the imagination or on the actual site, thanks again for writing and caring. Sometimes it takes some bravery to even check out library books.

    • Hi, jenny, Some people may not understand that just checking out a library book can take courage. I always explain that an act which seems a given to one person can feel monumental to someone else. So if it took bravery for you to post here, I commend you.

      Yes, many people on social media can be awful, pretending to give just an opinion, when instead they are attacking, through innuendo, invalidation, or bullying.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments and support. I really appreciate them!

  2. You are most welcome for the support. You of all people deserve it. I certainly think this is an area where a spotlight needs to be put. Surely there is something that can be done to at least raise awareness that people need to be skeptical about gossip, lies and slanderous statements – especially as it is so easy to see they are outright wrong.-to take pride in doing a minimum of due diligence before jumping into the mass and raising the pitchforks. And to understand and question their own lower natures make them want to assume the worst, to follow and believe the liars and the lies. They attack those who help, heal, and bring harmony, as you do. It’s a true virus of the mind and spirit, something that can’t be explained away or dealt with only in terms of ordinary reality. Perhaps they can be led to see that after those attacked have been vindicated, they will feel shame and horror (assuming they have the capacity to) about having been one of the people spreading false information, harming the truth-teller, and preventing people who need help from getting it. However I admit that some individuals do seem as though to act this way is simply a part of their nature. So to some extent a reverse virus of truth needs to be released spiritually and online.

    • Holly, thank you for kind praise!!

      Your remark about “doing a minimum of due diligence before jumping into the mass and raising the pitchforks” is important.

      Unfortunately, research often amounts to assuming something is true if a lot of sites say it. However, when one site says something, most other sites simply repeat it without researching whether it is true in the first place. So, as always, a lot of people saying something does not make it true.

      We must, to use your wonderful words, be “a reverse virus of truth … spiritually and online.” Bless you, my dear. Thanks again.

      Holly, you are always astute! I agree that it is an illness, I often think of it that way. I, like you, have noticed how people who are great healers are often slandered, which keeps those who need support from receiving it. That makes me nuts!

      As to no remorse in the aftermath, I know that one all too well. Sigh. Not to mention that real remorse would take the form of a public declaration, “what I said about so-and-so is untrue.”


  3. Good blog; it’s important to speak out on this. One of the most important things to work on is the well-being and protection of the most vulnerable members of a community/society. About the incorrect and misinformative comments about you and your blog: All that you have done Francesca, is speak the truth and bring light to the subject. It’s an area of your expertise. So what, you’re going to bury your head under a pillow about it?! It’s not even a controversial subject to any sane or minimally decent person. Is it upsetting, unsettling? Of course. Inherently so. Some things we need to be unsettled by. It’s like pain – our body is telling us something is wrong.
    I feel blessed, protected, healed and helped by the work you do on and offline and will vouch for your integrity, sincerity, and humility. You are not trying to puff yourself up in discussing this subject. It takes real humility and strength to speak out about abuse, especially as it may bring out our own vulnerabilites. Granted, we are all complicit in the broadest sense; however in the context of your work and the community your comments are needed. The truth ain’t always pretty, y’know?

    • Holly, thank you for so many kind words to me. They mean a lot to me.

      Thank you, also, for such a well thought out response. You always demonstrate how to speak from both the heart and intellect at the same time.

      Yes, I agree: In the larger sense, we are all complicit. Nothing happens in a society that, on some level, we have not all contributed to. This is not meant in a way to ever blame the victim. The sort of complicity we are discussing is a huge easily misunderstood topic. And it is not true on all levels.

      But there are many levels on which it is true.

      For example, there was a point in history when, if a villager murdered someone, the entire village atoned. At the point that stopped happening, the horror genre was born, introducting the concept of the monster, the “other.” (Forgive me if my history is not 100% precise, it is not my strong point, but you get my drift.) This was the same time that the concept of criminal became much stronger.

      That is an example of only one level of community culpability. There are also, for example, legislative and emotional levels.

      My above blog was a way I could take a stand instead of being complicit. Silence is sometimes complicity.

      About the above commenter who told the lies to which you refer: If someone would lie so obviously, when all anyone has to do is scroll up to see that I did not say what he attributes to me, it is a good bet he’s telling the same lie to other people elsewhere. He will say it in places I cannot defend myself. People will do anything to invalidate someone who stands up for people who have been hurt. I often see people who take a stand then get badly trashed for things they never said or did: The trash talk can really get shared again and again online.

      As I said above in one of my comments, I just could not stand the pain anymore of being trashed for speaking truth. I’m sick of people telling lies just to invalidate me.

      I am glad I finally reached out for support. Thank you again for giving it to me, my friend.

  4. Ah, wise words indeed. It is never ok to turn a blind eye, or think that someone else will deal with it. We must speak out, and if that invites cowardly trolls that use different names from one email address, then so be it. Perhaps if they read the post first they might just have something to say that makes sense? Your truth and ethics shine through all of your posts, dear Francesca, and I thank you for them all.

    • Old Kitchen Witch, thank you, thank you. Your comment, and your going the extra mile to post support here after also posting it on social media, nourishes me. As i said to you there, this has been a real lesson for me about not going it alone. I am happy i risked ending decades of isolation aka not asking for support around trolls. Bless you, I am glad we are getting to know each other online.

  5. Great post! I completely agree that these things shouldn’t live in the shadows any longer. The more light we shine in people who behave badly the less likely people are to behave badly. As for Celine and Joeseph if someone isn’t even smart enough to use two different (unverifiable) email addresses they aren’t worth the time it takes to read their stupidity. Blessing to you love 🙂

    • Sandi, thank you for all your kind words. One of the interesting things about this process with Celine and Joseph is that I usually do not respond to trolls. And I could have just deleted their posts. But this has been going on since the 80s—me not standing by while people are hurt, me lending a helping hand to the person being hurt, then me getting trashed for it. Celine and Joseph’s comments was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I just could not take the pain of being trashed anymore. I realized that deleting their comments was to hide both their wrongdoing and the cumulative pain this sort of thing has caused me. So today I finally reached out for support. So thank you again for accepting my extended hand and taking hold of it. Sandi, bless you.

  6. Criticism will always abound but if you speak in truth and love you may have faith in your words and teaching. *sending hugs to you*

    • Ayastigi, bless you. You are helping me stand strong. Your comment speaks a profound truth that I need to be reminded of today. Thank you for yr wisdom.

  7. dear Francesca, please don’t let people’s different opinions silence you !! 🙁 as far as I am concerned, we live in a world where you are entitled to an opinion. I read very carefully through the blog and could not find any mention of a name by you…. in any case- if a Person don’t like your blog why on earth even waste time to search for it and then even more time leaving a comment…. blogs are for friends to follow each other and for like-minded people sharing experiences. why rudely interrupt a conversation or discussion between friends ?!?

    • Ella, yr comments about friends blogging, and about trolling for things to trash, are so true. Bless you for your beautiful support. You are always kind and positive, I am blessed to know you. Thank you!!! Big hugs. Pls read my reply to kallan below bc its gratitude truly also applies to you.

  8. Well said, Francesca. After the recent incidents in New Orleans, Florida and West Virginia, it’s time for our Pagan leaders to stand up and be counted against these abusers. For too long, victims have been silenced and shamed by the perpetrators of these horrific crimes. I applaud you for taking your stand and offering your support. Brava!!

    P.S. I wouldn’t bother addressing internet trolls. The more you feed them.. well..

    • Kallan, I am in happy tears reading yr loving comment and the two others that just came in. For so long, I have been trashed for speaking out, and I just could not take it any more, I had to reach out for support. And support I am getting. Bless you, bless you. Thank you so much.

      • ALWAYS, my beloved friend and mentor. ALWAYS. You have my support, love, admiration and defense, if necessary. You will not be alone in standing up and speaking out. You have more friends than you realize. <3

        • Kallan, now you have me crying happy tears again, LOL. O my, what a lovely comment from you, thank you, my friend.

          PS: Kallan, I did not know you thought of me as your mentor and teacher. I feel very honored. ❤️

    • Jennifer, Thank you. Celine and Joseph are clearly the same person; they both have the same email address, and the comments are posted within minutes of each other.

      Thank you so much! Yeah, makes no sense. Yet because (s)he criticizes the blog for things that, in fact, I never said in it, some people will believe I said them bc they want to think badly of a strong woman. So thanks you for standing for truth. Pls read my reply to kallan below bc its gratitude also applies to you. Hugs.

  9. Why criticize other shamanic healers… The likes of Dr Michael Harner…stand strong in YOUR own beliefs ….it makes you sound weak and desperate …. Very poor behavior…

    • Celine (the commenter above) and Joseph both have the same email address. I guess you know your criticism is unfounded, so you want to appear as if more than one person thinks the same. I also suggest you read a blog before criticizing it. It discusses unethical behavior such as child molestation and sexual harassment. Why do you want that discussion silenced? Do you approve of child moleststion? I also suggest you not lie about a blog’s content. You lie when you say I criticize Michael Harner. I do not even mention him, He is a good teacher.

    • Celine and Joseph (the commenter below) both have the same email address. I guess you know your criticism is unfounded, so you want to appear as if more than one person thinks the same. I also suggest you read a blog before criticizing it. It discusses unethical behavior such as child molestation and sexual harassment. Why do you want that discussion silenced? Do you approve of child moleststion? I also suggest you not lie about a blog’s content. You lie when you say I criticize Michael Harner. I do not even mention him, He is a good teacher.

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