Anderson, Victor

Victor Anderson (1917-2001) was the co-founder of the Feri (formerly Faery) Tradition of Witchcraft.

Victor H. Anderson was born on May 21, 1917, in Clayton, New Mexico. When he was a young child, his family moved to Bend, Oregon. An uncorrected condition or ailment left him nearly blind for life.

In Oregon, Anderson met and was initiated at about age nine into the Craft by Witches who called themselves faeries. He came upon a small, old woman sitting naked in the centre of a circle alongside brass bowls filled with herbs (see Magic Circle). She told him he was a Witch.

Instinctively, he took off his clothes and was sexually initiated. He experienced a vision, which he could see clearly despite his near blindness, in which he floated in black space, holding on to the woman (who became the Goddess), until he suddenly found himself in a junglelike setting under a vast sky filled with stars and a green moon.

Coming toward him was the Horned God, a beautiful and powerful man, yet effeminate, with an erect phallus. His head was horned, and from his head came a blue flame. After some communications with the deities, the vision vanished and Anderson returned to the present.

He sat in the circle with the old woman and was taught the ritual use of the herbs and teas in the brass bowls. She washed him in butter, oil and Salt. He dressed and returned home. Anderson worked in a coven; most of the coveners hailed from the American South and practiced a type of Witchcraft (there were no “traditions” then) that was not so much a religion but more a “devotional science,” a way of living that emphasized harmony with nature, Magic, celebration, music and ecstatic dancing.

They revered Pagan deities, which they called “The Old Gods” and “The Old Powers,” but did not have the developed theologies of more modern Craft traditions. In 1944, Anderson married a northern Alabama woman, Cora, who came from a family of Christians who practiced folk Magic.

The two had meetings on the astral plane for several years before meeting in the physical. In the 1950s the Andersons broke up a fistfight between their only son and a neighbour boy. The boy, who years later changed his name to Gwydion Pendderwen, became a good friend of the family and was initiated into Witchcraft by the Andersons.

The publication of Gerald B. Gardner's book, Witchcraft Today, inspired Anderson to form his own coven. He and Pendderwen cofounded and wrote most of the rituals for the Faery Tradition, named after the Faery Witches Anderson worked with as a child. After Pendderwen's meeting with Alexandrian-tradition Witches in England, he and Anderson incorporated material from the Alexandrian Book of Shadows into the Faery Tradition, later renamed Feri.

Anderson lived with his wife in the Bay Area of California. He authored a book of Craft poems, Thorns of the Blood Rose. Anderson initiated Starhawk into the Craft. He also was a Kahuna and a bokor shaman. He earned his living as a musician, playing the accordion and singing.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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