Gede Parma in Chicago for a two-day workshop: “Dancing with Deity—The Art of Sacred Possession”

It isn’t often that celebrated Reclaiming and Feri Tradition Witch, published author, and artist Gede Parma, who also uses the name Fio Aengus Santika, comes to the United States, but when they* do, it’s always a reason to celebrate! I have had the pleasure of sharing heart-centric ritual space in Traditional Witchcraft contexts with Fio during their last two Chicago visits in 2014 and 2017, respectively. They are a highly dynamic ritual facilitator and conductor of spirits. I’ve always left their workshops and delightful time spent socializing feeling elevated and transformed for the better afterwards.

In the true spirit of glorious synchronicity that punctuates my life and lets me know my Holy Powers are guiding me, about a month ago I began reading Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone’s book Lifting the Veil: A Witches’ Guide to Trance-Prophecy, Drawing Down the Moon, and Ecstatic Ritual (Acorn Guild Press, 2016). In the Introduction, they credit Fio with their help in experientially understanding the Wondrous Art of spirit possession.

Fio Santika

Fio Aengus Santika, aka Gede Parma. Photo courtesy of Fio and used with permission.

Within 24 hours of my starting to read the book, I shit you not(!), I receive a Facebook Messenger note from Fio, announcing that they plan on coming to Chicago for their 2019 autumnal U.S. tour and they’d like my help in finding a suitable venue to teach their “Art of Sacred Possession” two-day workshop! I immediately fired off a comprehensive list of locations I think would be ideal for such a powerful and emotionally intimate two-day event of intense sharing and Spirit work, with sites ranging from entire buildings owned by Pagan-friendly businesses and organizations that would gladly allow a weekend rental to private individuals’ (very close friends of mine) apartment-based temple spaces donated at low or no cost. Fio, who is in San Francisco as of the writing of this post, informed me that they are evaluating my list of choices and are seriously considering the apartment donations from my Pagan friends. So the location of the event is still TBD.

What I can tell you is that aside from taking place in Chicago, the “Dancing with Deity” workshop is going to be held on Saturday, October 12, and Sunday, October 13, as all-day events. Fio is offering a sliding scale of $130 to $200 and tickets can be purchased here.

Here is the description courtesy of the Facebook Event Fio created. An amendment I should point out is that the two spots for low-income registrants to attend for free have already been claimed:

Dancing with Deity: The Art of Sacred Possession

Gede Parma (Fio)

In our witchcraft and magic we dance and court the Divine in myriad forms and ways. We call, conjure and invoke spirit-beings. We connect and commune with our Ancestors. We journey entranced and discover Mystery. We also work to ready, strengthen and open our bodies as strong containers to carry the Gods and Spirits in what many traditions may call possession, drawing down the moon, being ridden, or aspecting.

To do this work we require our human willingness, presence and vulnerability – to truly meet the Divine Ones and let them touch us as we touch them. In this workshop we will deepen into and cultivate Sovereignty of Self and Self-Knowledge. We will court deep, devotional and ever more intimate relationships with the Divine. We will explore the sacred art, the grace, grit and compassion of tending and witnessing. We will learn the skills of negotiation, of setting and relaxing boundaries, of making contracts or pacts in which all participants in the sacred exchange are mutually benefited. We will explore coming back from potent and ecstatic states and the integration of experience in the here and now.

This path is considered to be intermediate-advanced work, we are open to people who have a well established personal practice and relationships with spirits, deities, and/or other mysterious ones. If you’re unsure if this workshop is for you, please contact us!

In recognition that financial circumstance often correlates to systems of privilege and oppression, two free spaces will be held for folks who are Indigenous, of Colour, Queer, Trans, single parents, or who are living with disability or mental illness. If you wish to take one of these spaces, simply e-mail and fill out the Google form ignoring the questions regarding deposits.

*Gede/Fio is nonbinary/genderqueer and uses the plural pronouns they, them, theirs.

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