reetings, Quester! Welcome to the Celtic Order of the Féth Fíada (COFF) --- Mavens of the Mysteries, Oracles of the Unknown! If you've found us, then you're undoubtedly interested in learning more about the Celtic Otherworlds, as well as all those age-old Mysteries that form the foundations of Ceremonial Magick, Druidry, Shamanism, Wicca, and Witchcraft, just to mention few.
Here at COFF, we utilize the threads of Druidry, Celtic Shamanism and Witchcraft, Celtic Myth and Faery Lore, and the Arthurian and Avalon Mysteries to weave an intricate tapestry of knowledge, magick, and wisdom based on that of the ancient Celts:
Do not let it be forgotten that there is a native Mystery Tradition of our race which has its mature aspect in the sun-worship of the Druids and the beautiful fairy-lore of the Celts, its philosophical aspect in the traditions of alchemy and its spiritual aspect in the Hidden Church of the Holy Grail, the Church behind the Church, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Dion Fortune, Glastonbury: Avalon of the Heart)
Our Tradition of Celtic Mysticism is often characterized as Druidcraft, Druidic Wicca, or Druidic Witchcraft (even though Wicca and Witchcraft are not one and the same thing). It is sought by those who are drawn to all the various Celtic paths and who feel that each is strengthened and enriched by the others. Until now, however, if one wished to study all these traditions that have come to be called Celtic Mysticism, Druidcraft, Druidic Wicca, or Druidic Witchcraft, one was forced to enroll in several different Mystery Schools, and to attempt to integrate their knowledge and wisdom oneself, as Orders, Covens, Groves, Temples, Circles, and/or Mystery Schools that addressed them all did not appear to exist or, if they did, were little known and thus difficult to find. That significant lack was the driving force behind Arch Priestess Rhianwen Bendigaid's founding of COFF.
In some respects, these paths all have much in common. It is even possible, as various scholars have proposed, that Celtic Witchcraft actually has its roots in Druidry, born during the shadowy Dark Ages, when the Druids were forced underground by the conquering Romans, when King Arthur journeyed to the Otherworld, the mists of the Celtic Twilight fell behind him, and the Saxons rose to power. Yet, perhaps like the Tuatha Dé Danann, neither the Druids nor Arthur ever really disappeared at all....
I heard first a music as of bells going away, away into that wondrous underland whither, as legend relates, the Danaan gods withdrew; and then the heart of the hills was opened to me, and I knew there was no hill for those who were there, and they were unconscious of the ponderous mountain piled above the palaces of light, and the winds were sparkling and diamond clear, yet full of colour as an opal, as they glittered through the valley, and I knew the Golden Age was all about me, and it was we who had been blind to it but that it had never passed away from the world. [AE (George William Russell), The Candle of Vision]
Scattered to the Four Winds, the Druids simply undertook their teachings in secret, in the Pagan hills and countrysides, training the first of those who were to hand down their teachings over the centuries. When the Druids themselves had long evanesced into the mists of Time, fragments of their learning were preserved by those who were to become some of the earliest cunning men and wise women of Celtic Witchcraft.
You may have heard some people insist that there is no such thing as Celtic Shamanism or Celtic Witchcraft. But those who make such claims are clearly unfamiliar with the one-eyed Mug Ruith, for example, who wore a speckled-bird headpiece/mask and a dark-grey, hornless bull hide, and who flew through the air in his flying machine, Roth Rámach (Rowing Wheel); or with Morgan Le Fay, who, like the Welsh Goddess Ceridwen, was said to be a powerful sorceress, working both healing and hexing magick; or with the enchantress Nimuë, who bewitched the Druid Merlin, sealing him up forever, spellbound, in the trunk of a hawthorn tree or else in a dark cave, depending on who tells the tale.
Wherever possible, COFF is a Reconstructionist Tradition; that is to say that we search for the ancient ways in which we know our ancestors practiced their spiritual beliefs, and we embrace those within our Tradition. Where we are unable to determine those ways, we are a Revivalist Tradition, employing what we do know to develop thoughtful, appropriate means of keeping the essence of our ancestors' spiritual beliefs alive.
However, we are also a fluid Tradition, adapting and changing where needed to fit both our ever-growing body of lore and the times, as we believe our ancestors did, and would do now, because in all honesty, the stagnation of spiritual beliefs is the languishing of the spiritual Quest, as well:
The old lore is not meant to remain preserved in a glass case. It is meant to be used, changed, added to and improved. It only stays alive if each of us takes it, and uses it in our own way, with our own creative additions and insights, to help us live a life of depth and meaning, beauty and celebration, here and now – upon this earth, beneath this sky, beside this sea. (Philip Carr-Gomm, Druidcraft: The Magic of Wicca & Druidry)
What gives the Goddess tradition [of Witchcraft] validity is how it works for us now, in the moment, not whether or not someone else worshipped this particular image in the past....For a living tradition is not static or fixed. It changes and responds to changing needs and changing times. (Starhawk, The Spiral Dance)
Druidcraft, Druidry, and Wicca are ways of empowerment and of freedom --- not dogmatic religious systems, but new spiritualities, magical ones, that draw their inspiration from the ancient past, while offering ways of celebration and working that are constantly changing and evolving. (Philip Carr-Gomm, Druidcraft: The Magic of Wicca & Druidry)
Here at COFF, we don't just pay "lip service" to the Celts by calling ourselves a Celtic Order and Tradition --- and then teaching you absolutely nothing about the Celts or, even worse, teaching you complete and utter nonsense about them (do the so-called Celtic Tree Calendar and Celtic Lunar Astrology ring any bells, anyone?). Instead, COFF is the real deal, and we teach you the real thing.
ow, a word about words --- because words matter, and have a magick all their own, besides. You may be wondering why our Tradition is called the Celtic Order of the Féth Fíada. Why an Order? one might rightly inquire. Why not simply a Druid Grove or a Wiccan Coven? To answer that question, one must ask another: Exactly what, in fact, is an Order?
[E]arly 13c., 'body of persons living under a religious discipline,' from O.Fr. ordre (11c.), from earlier ordene, from L. ordinem (nom. ordo) 'row, rank, series, arrangement,' originally 'a row of threads in a loom,' from Italic root *ored(h)- 'to arrange, arrangement' (cf. ordiri 'to begin to weave,' e.g. in primordial), of unknown origin. (Douglas Harper, "Order," Online Etymology Dictionary)
In other words, the earliest known sense of the word "Order" was "to begin to weave rows of threads in a loom," and this is precisely the task that COFF has undertaken. Upon our own loom, we are weaving the rows of threads that we believe will fashion the Sea God Manannán mac Lir’s mystical cloak called Féth Fíada.
The compound féth fíada (pronounced "FEHth FEE-uh-duh") is Old Irish: féth (a magic mist, veil) + fíada (knower; a lord, master, possessor; a companion). Together, they refer to a magick mist that is also called the Ceo Druidechta (Druid's Fog or Veil). This mist or veil is invoked by its Knower's chanting of a charm, an incantation, or a spell that renders him or her both invisible and capable of shapeshifting, as well as protecting him or her from danger.
A priceless gift bestowed upon the Tuatha Dé Danann by Manannán, it hid their Faery mounds from the sight of all mortal eyes. In fact, in the tale of the Altram Tige Dá Medar [Nurturing or Fostering of the House of Two Methers (a communal or "friendship" drinking vessel for mead)], we are told that Manannán assigned each member of the Tuatha Dé Danann a sidhe (mound, Faery mound) in which to dwell, arranging them in the manner of Emain Ablach (perhaps Holy Mound or Jewel of the Apple Trees) or Tír Tairngire (Land of Promise), raising the Féth Fíada to conceal them from mortal men.
Conversely, the Féth Fíada was also needed by the Áes Sídhe (People of the Mound, Faeries) to find their way back home. So when Eithne, a handmaiden to Manannán’s daughter Curcog, lost hers, she could no longer return to Brug na Bóinne, the Faery mound of King Oengus, who was Curcog's foster father.
A Knower of the Magick Mist is one who has mastered this spell of invisibility and thus the art of draping himself or herself in the cloak of Manannán. In doing so, the Knower, too, just like the Faery Folk, will be able to see and enter the Hollow Hills, to pass beyond the veil of fog with which Manannán obscures and guards the evergreen Summerland --- the misted Isle of Avalon or Apples --- and to journey to its otherworldly shores, there to learn the secrets of its timeless hidden Mysteries, to drink from the Well of Knowledge, and to commune with the Gods and the Goddesses, who keep the Inspirational Elixir of the Bubbling Cauldron, the Eternal Flame of the Fiery Forge, the Eightfold Spokes of the Cosmic Wheel, and the Ethereal Threads of the Celestial Loom.
Those who dare to venture there do so at their own peril, for it is neither a swift Journey, nor an easy one. But if they accept the challenge, "those who realize their innate virtues on the quest return with supernatural powers, special knowledge or magic gifts." (Juliette Wood, The Celtic Book of Living and Dying)
o undertake the Quest to become such a master requires time and training. For this reason, COFF is an initiatory tradition, to each degree of which we devote at least a year and a day of study.
That was the ancient length of time, recorded by myth, required to produce the Goddess Ceridwen's Awen (Poetic Inspiration) from the Great Cauldron forged for her by the Blacksmith God Gofannon, as well as the traditional length of time, recorded by history, needed to create the alchemists' fabled Elixir of Life or Philosopher's Stone.
After successfully completing your First Degree, you will be given the opportunity to initiate into the Celtic Order of the Féth Fíada. Should you choose to do that, then after completing your Third Degree, you will be ordained a High Priest or High Priestess of our Order and Tradition.
OFF takes your Quest for enlightenment seriously. Because of that, we are not a "Wicca 101" school, where you may become stuck in the First Degree and never progress or receive any advance training. Instead, our course of study is both extremely comprehensive and greatly detailed. We don't just teach you the "hows," but also the "whys." We explain in depth where and when spiritual beliefs and traditions came into being; we trace the history of their development over the ages; and we examine their underlying mystical and theological bases.
Our carefully planned and prepared course of study will challenge you, enlighten you, inspire you, capture your imagination, and encourage you to think, to contemplate spiritual beliefs and traditions from many different perspectives, in order to reach a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of them.
In addition, we here at COFF realize that all people have different financial resources, and that they all grow and learn differently from one another, as well. That's why we have an easily affordable tuition and a "rolling" course of study, specifically tailored for the individual.
That means that you undertake your studies at our Mystery School at your own pace, beginning and ending each and every lesson of our core corriculum in your own time, rather than being compelled to start and finish with a class, tied to a rigid, pressing schedule that may not mesh with your own personal one.
So, although the collection of high-quality lessons for each of our degrees of initiation/elevation has been designed to be completed in the traditional time frame of a year and day, you may actually spend as much time as you desire and need beyond that to absorb and finish the work.
hen you enroll in our Mystery School, you will gain access not only to the lessons that make up our core curriculum, but also to a series of bonus extension classes, which cover a wide variety of arcane and esoteric subjects in detail, and which are included at no additional cost to you, the student.
Further, you will be assigned your own personal mentor, who will help you become acquainted with our Mystery School, advise you in your studies, and answer any questions you may have. That way, you will not be thrust into unfamiliar surroundings on your own, but will instead be provided with a friend and guide, as well as a safe, supportive online environment in which to grow, learn, and meet fellow students who share your interests and spiritual beliefs.
In addition to our core curriculum, extension classes, and mentoring program, our Mystery School also offers a caring, nurturing community via a series of online chat rooms and numerous different forums, so that you can network with our Leadership Councilors, Teachers, Moderators and Facilitators, and student body, as well as attend our many online rituals and special presentations, all of which help to broaden and enrich your learning experience here at COFF. We don't believe you'll find a better value anywhere.
We think of our Mystery School as a Magickal Realm, and we invite you to build your own spiritual home in it, an enchanted cottage in which to sojourn on your Quest for enlightenment as you travel the Path of the Wise.
Lay your cottage's cornerstone right now by clicking on this Enrollment link and completing our enrollment form. We look forward to welcoming you to the Celtic Order of the Féth Fíada and to having you become a valued member of our thriving community!
APs Rhianwen Bendigaid
Founder & Director of Studies
The Celtic Order of the Féth Fíada
P.S. That question at the top of this page: Whom doth the Grail serve? The answer is that it serves those who ask and seek. Join us!