Radical Soul
Radical Soul
Fio Gede Parma on Erotic Possibilities

Fio Gede Parma on Erotic Possibilities

Fio Gede Parma is a Balinese-Australian hereditary spirit-worker, seer, diviner, and initiated witch.

Fio has been a dedicated, passionate, and purposeful mentor of witches and spirit-workers for 15 years and serves with love in Wildwood, Reclaiming, and Anderson Feri Traditions.

They are the award-winning author of several books and anthologies including Ecstatic Witchcraft, Magic of the Iron Pentacle (with Jane Meredith), and Elements of Magic (with Jane Meredith). Fio has taught Witchcraft and Spirit-work in five continents.

We talked about magic, unlimited possibilities of being, erotic potential and how it's impacted by oppression, and more.

Follow Fio Gede Parma on Instagram @fiogedeparma

Follow Jera on Twitter: @thejerabrown or Instagram: @thejerabrown
Email: jera@jerabrown.com


Fio Gede Parma  00:00

Shadow only exists when there is light. And when there is something obstructing that light from knowing itself, and then it casts that shadow. And therefore shadow becomes what I think of as like a scrying mirror — an opportunity for the witch or the person to look into that scrying mirror and go: Who am I? You know, that primal question.

Jera Brown  00:22

That was Fio Gede Parma, my guest for this episode. And just to note before we get started, my nickname for this podcast is dogus interruptus. You will occasionally hear from Winnie and Murphy, and this was the latest episode that I recorded and my dogs were like toddlers up past their bedtime. So thank you for understanding that there are babies that want to be near me even when I'm recording things. And hopefully you will appreciate the cute occasional dogus interruptus.

Jera Brown  00:57

So I'm chatting with Fio Gede Parma who is a Balinese-Australian hereditary spirit-worker, seer, diviner, and initiated witch.  Fio has been a dedicated, passionate, and purposeful mentor of witches and spirit-workers for 15 years and serves with love in Wildwood, Reclaiming, and Anderson Feri Traditions.  They are the award-winning author of several books and anthologies including Ecstatic Witchcraft, Magic of the Iron Pentacle (with Jane Meredith), and Elements of Magic (with Jane Meredith). Fio has taught Witchcraft and Spirit-work in five continents. And  you're joining me from Australia, right?

Fio Gede Parma  01:37

Yeah, I live in the Gadigal indigenous country which is unceded, stolen land.

Jera Brown  01:43

Is your family still there? Are they back in Bali.

Fio Gede Parma  01:46

So I was born in Bali. My father lives in Bali, and his whole family lives in Bali, apart from me and my sister and my mom. And my mom is, you know, a white Australian of British and Irish and Scottish ancestry and she lives in or currently she lives in regional New South Wales nursing. And they're still married. And actually, she's about to try to get back to Bali.

Jera Brown  02:08

So what are your spiritual or religious roots? Where did you start?

Fio Gede Parma  02:15

Yeah, so I was raised thinking of myself as a Hindu. But many people don't know this. Many people do know this, that Bali is an island in the Indonesian archipelago, but also it's 90, I think now it's really 90%, Hindu, the kind of Hindus in came to Indonesia, I think it was in the nine hundreds or the or the, or the, or the 11th century, somewhere between there with several kind of waves of Indian empires, one of the most famous ones was the majapahit Empire. And so it used to be that there were Indian Hindu empires and societies kind of spread throughout the islands, especially Sumatra, and Java, and, and then into Bali, as well. From the, I believe, the 10th to the 11th centuries. So Hinduism came into Bali, where there already was, of course, indigenous cultures, so called animistic, cultures, Spirit working cultures, and Hinduism, is often very pluralistic and polytheistic, in many ways, and very mystical. So I guess it just kind of syncretized Well, I don't guess I have no idea. It's syncretized, over hundreds of years to form the very unique form of Hinduism that we call Balinese Hinduism, or a gamma terracotta, which means the teaching of the water, the sacred water, which is really important in Bali. So I was raised with that. But I was also raised with an understanding that I was part of a family that was involved in what the Western world would call spirit work. And my father would sometimes just say, Oh, it's magic. He would also say, use the word yoga, but in the more traditional sense, like so a lot of people obviously think Yoga means like Asana, or posture, or maybe pranayama, maybe breathwork. And it's in a class with someone teaching you over the period of an hour how to go through some sequence. But Yoga is, that's like the tiniest piece of what maybe yoga could be. So Yoga is really like an entire mystical, spiritual philosophy that incorporates magical rituals. So sometimes he would use that word for what we did. So I grew up that way. But I also grew up in Australia, and I would go back and forth to Bali. And when I was 11, I realized I was a witch. So very early on, I realized I was a witch. And that was on the backdrop of knowing that my grant my father's parents, my grandparents were very magically potent people who are very well respected as spirit workers in their communities. So I knew that to be true. And I did kind of feel this call to just keep following in that lineage. But what I was drawn to, because which is an English word, and in the in the so called West that often turns up in the form of magical your European magical witchcraft traditions, of which I'm all so deeply invested in because of course, I'm invested in all of my ancestry. And so I definitely practice to this day by syncretic form of traditional witchcraft that is deeply inspired and influenced and based in British and Irish folklore and yeah, western and southern European cosmologies as well.

Jera Brown  05:24

They're both gonna join me. So if you were to guide someone through your spiritual evolution, which I feel like you just did, but is there another pivotal moment that you'd often point out

Fio Gede Parma  11:52

Yeah, there are several pivotal moments because I'm also involved in traditions of witchcraft. So one can be just be a witch like several, like many people are just witches. And they never align with or study with or apprentice to a formal tradition or lineage. Like some people just saw witches and they just do their thing. But I happen to desire a lot of structure and also I desired kinship. So I knew I wanted to involve myself in traditions of witchcraft. And some people sometimes say that's like, Oh, it's like denomination of Christianity, but it's actually quite different because it's initiatory is although some Christianity Christian traditions are initiatory, but it's initiatory. And it's quite often quite small and very private, but all my initiations into those traditions at pivotal moments, and, but more than that, it's the meeting of the teachers who ended up being my initiators that were pivotal. One of the most pivotal things happened to me when I was 15, when I was doing a full moon ritual in my mother's kitchen, in the town I grew up in, and I was invoking this generic moon goddess, because at the time, I was working from a more open style, eclectic Wiccan II kind of framework, because that's what I had at the time. And I was invoking this generic moon goddess, unnamed moon goddess, and before my very eyes, the full moon rising through the kitchen window, moved visibly into the room. And this is one of the most intense experiences of my life, and all my skin just went like all my hair on my skin went on end. And I was faced with this luminous sculpture made of moonlight in the form of a woman. And it was deeply profound to Todd to speak about. And, and in that moment, at the height, and the peak of that moment, the name pacifically just fell out of my mouth without thinking without consciously knowing why I would say that, and waves and waves of emotion and broco for me, and it was like a reconnection with something that I had known many, many, many lifetimes, which I know now to be true. So that that happened when I was 15. And that set me on the path of working with the gods, because, you know, a witch doesn't have to do that. But I certainly have embraced working with the great spirits who we humans designate as gods. And one of the primary marriages that I have is tipa. Stephanie, so that that was a very pivotal initiatory moment for me.

Jera Brown  14:13

That's amazing. I feel like I've had similar regulatory moments when I started exploring Buddhism, you know, it just it there's moments when you realize that something that you're exploring just feels right or feels true. And I was thinking about something that you said in the podcast that you sent me about how wait now I'm I'm getting the podcast confused in the book of yours. I've been reading but you were talking about not everybody is a witch. So there's, I mean, you can call yourself a witch but it's a bit of a calling or that the it calls you correct?

Fio Gede Parma  14:50

Yeah, I mean, most most witches I know would say you're born a witch. And what we mean by that is not that you come from this established long line of [unclear] witches which is always hard to prove. Anyway. But um, and why would you want to and most people who do don't talk about it. One is just kind of born with that predisposition. And what I mean by that is sometimes I can meet, I meet a lot of people in my line of work, who are interested in magic and witchcraft. And sometimes I'll walk into a room and there'll be a bunch of people there. Many of them are already deeply established practicing, which is that there'll be someone very new, or maybe I'm walking down the street, or maybe they've come into a store that I've been reading it reading Tarot at, and I'm just hit by this overwhelming. Oh, that's a witch. And sometimes they don't even know that yet. And so, and this is not like, it's like a religious thing. It's not like, Oh, you are this or that. It's more of a phenomenal thing. I talk about witches and I think about witches as being quite integral to the collective soul or consciousness of the Earth and our solar system, and potentially even more because we all belong to the cosmos. But I think of witches as like either immune cells or phagocytes, which are like these devouring things that devour free radicals in the body of the earth. And that's, like I think of witches that way that that the more humans are incarnated on planet Earth, therefore the percentage, maybe the percentage of which is in proportion doesn't change. But um, more which has come about because the earth requires witches. And that's kind of just how a lot of a story it but it's also generally the experience that someone looks back through their life. And they're like, Oh, I should have been doing this the whole time. And I just didn't know. And so there are people who are witches who might never call themselves witches. And I wouldn't say you're a witch healer, which you have to be a witch, but I know there are witches. And they might never, they might never embrace it, but but they can make things happen. They can work with fate, and twist and bend, they can get the attention of spirits, they can divine, they can state something and that world changes around them. That's what I mean. And these are the things that are folkloric Lee historically connected to witchcraft all over the planet that so a witch can make something happen can change or bend or twist something can make something fruit or make make something with a can turn the baby in the womb or abort the fetus and get the attention of spirits can fly. That's a big one. That ecstatic/ static flight that takes us in communion, often quite erotic communion. Witchcraft is deeply erotic. And the way it was spoken about during the trial periods was very erotically. aAlot of those patriarchal Catholic and Protestant, repressed, suppressed, like sexualities projected onto the bodies of you know, women, people who assigned female at birth, that was a really intense heart of the fetishization of the body of the witch.

Jera Brown  17:45

that leads into the third question quite well, how do you define the erotic?

Fio Gede Parma  17:51

Yeah, so I I'm kind of in a place where I'm trying to adjust that because I have people who've come out in my life over the past several years as asexual and certainly I know that to be a thing, right. I personally don't know it in myself, but I know many people who are experiencing themselves identify as a as a sort asexual, and know that to be true. And I would never want to say to to any end to anyone who doesn't want this eye to who doesn't want to embrace this, but I would personally consider what I consider the erotic to embrace everyone, because the erotic the erotic is intimate, like so. So for me, I think of like I go back to being a witch and a spirit worker, when I am conjuring a spirit into the circle. If I'm if I'm traveling into the other world and meeting with a spirit, it often has this quality, or it regularly has this quality, not all the time, it regularly has this quality of deep, profound intimacy, where something changes, something is risked something, adjust something shifts, and usually that shift or adjustment or change reveals wisdom. So I feel that the erotic is the very like, the very presence of the Divine. And to me that's in and as all things. So when the divide is distilling herself themselves itself all self and expressing infinitely which it does all the time infinitely infinitely infinitely. That moment of being able to perceive that and receive that and kind of encompass it and being encompassed in it is erotic, that doesn't have to be sexual, or what humans are taught sexuality is, I think, of course, we could open that up but the erotic to me, I can't not think about the divine. I can't not think about profound intimacy that changes or that affirms like deep core worth, and that burns through illusion. That's it. That's a tricky word, right? But by illusion, I mean Like when I'm in my own way, or, or when I'm bound up in a story, and the story is no, I'm no I'm like I'm no longer writing the story. The story is writing me and it's dictating reality to me through a lens that I've forgotten is a lens like that. That's the realm of illusion. And usually the erotic can actually undo that.

Jera Brown  20:22

So many things. First of all, book recommendation, Asexual Erotics by Ella Pyrzbelo. The subtitle's, Intimate Readings of Compulsory Sexuality. So Ella is an academic. Last we talked, she was working at Northwestern. I'm not sure if she still is, but she draws from Audrey Lorde's definition of the erotic and so. So I asked her in an interview how, what the term erotic means to her. And she says, Audrey Lorde talks about the erotic in these really beautiful and playful ways that can potentially be about sexuality. But that can also be about other things as well, that make space for asexuality. And she was talking about how for Lorde, the erotic is this life energy that can be manifested a sex but doesn't have to be. It can be a lot of things. And I I found I guess this is tangent upon tangent. But I found one of Audrey Lorde's essays in Pleasure Activism. And the quote that has stuck with me and it's really defined my relationships is the erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire for having experienced the fullness of the steps of feeling and recognizing its power in honor and self respect. We can require no less of ourselves. I know that it's sort of a mouthful. But I don't know, like combining what you're saying with the like, for me, I think I'm turning to what, how does the erotic fit in with a sense of self integrity. And it feels like what you're saying is that the erotic gives you some of that integrity, in terms of how you commune with the divine, potentially through other people,

Fio Gede Parma  22:15

Potentially, yeah, and other people of all kinds, like treat people and bad people and people and rock people and stop. So and that that's very relevant, I think to a lot of people who are rediscovering the magical world, because the thing about magic is that it reveals to an enchanted landscape in which everything is talking to everything else, and that in which there are a multiplicity of conversations and connections all of the time. And so of course, in that there's a lot of navigation and negotiation and discernment, so as not to disrupt important conversations that might be happening between this being in this being in this constellation of consciousness and this constellation of consciousness. So in and there's a lot of work in, in witchcraft to align, purify ground, check in with space, and land and self and the different levels of self or the different the different souls that we talk about. So there's a lot of emphasis on that as a way to help orient in the erotic landscape in the enchanted landscape.

Jera Brown  23:23

Seems like it's a lot of learning how to listen, or be more aware. Does that feel true?

Fio Gede Parma  23:31

Yeah, I've often quipped that, you know, the prime skills and witchcraft are paying attention and taking notice. So definitely, that is absolutely required.

Jera Brown  23:41

I was trying to find in your book, going back to what you're talking about winning the important parts of witchcraft being a knowledge or awareness of infinite possibility. Was that the term you used? Or it was something like it?

Fio Gede Parma  23:53

Yeah. Oh, god, what did I say in that book? So I wrote that book, like over over 10 years ago, and it came out in 2012, and is currently actually out of print. That

Jera Brown  24:03

tell me how it's changed how your thoughts are changed, your

Fio Gede Parma  24:07

many of my thoughts haven't changed, but I would probably speak them differently now. But I think I said in that book, the worldview of infinite possibility, and I still mean that, like, when I walk through the world, I can't presume or assume that I know what's going on. Like it like my very meager limited understanding of like, I have several friends who are both witches and scientists, like big professional working scientists and researchers. And I think that's a marvelous interaction. And the there's a poetry and an art in science as well as a technicality and a methodology of course, but you know, science works in hypotheses and models. So what I often find is that really deeply committed science people are very mystical often, and there's an assumption that oh, I do not know. Like I've heard it said that one of the most scientific answers is 'I do not know,' 'I don't know.' Which is an answer, I often favor certain questions. I'm asked like, what happens after you die? And often I'll say, I don't know. And I don't really care. It's not what I'm concerned with. But other religious traditions might have, as you would know, have really complex eschatology or complex ways of thinking about death in the afterlife, or even the concept of an afterlife and what that means. So the idea of a worldview of infinite possibility is to cultivate within oneself the I don't know, anything could happen. And when, and when you're in that space, it's, it's true that I have witnessed perceived and experienced certain things that are not scientifically explainable. And I choose not to find like, sometimes I like I think, are Could it have been this? Could it have been this? Could it have been this, but also, it's important, like a lot of people, I hear people go, Oh, I wonder if it's this or this or this? And I'm like, Well, what if it's and this and this and this? Like what if it has multiple origins? I'm more interested in the end than the either or? Yeah, and that's what I'm that I think a lot of people witches and people who are interested or having just having mystical experiences, or intimate experiences, or a radically charged regulatory experiences, are beginning to realize that them that they're and our models or, or ideas or projections or assumptions about how the life systems are actually working might actually be deeply limited.

Jera Brown  26:33

Yeah. And I think, I think part of why I'm putting this together, when you're, when you're talking about what the erotic means to you, and you're you're talking about the the possibilities of magic that you've discovered for yourself, when I read something, when when I read starhawk, for example, like I can't go to sleep, I feel like all of a sudden, the world is a new thing, or it's different than I've imagined it to be. Or there's so much possibility in the renaming of things, of the deconstruction of my ideas of things. And I get excited about about the possibilities of what the world could be, what my life could be, what I'm missing. And I feel like there's also often those same feelings around what what sex could be, what our relationships could be, what our relationships with our body could be. There's sort of the similar sense of like, we followed, well, I'll just say I, I follow the scripts and using the word like bliss, like there's always the possibility of bliss, but it's how to get there. It's how to deconstruct an open oneself up to these new possibilities that are more connected to the divine connected to each other connected to our bodies. And it's both super exciting. And then it also feels tragic, in a way that it's so hard to see those possibilities realize,

Fio Gede Parma  28:00

yeah, that's the thing, right? Like, one of the things that I try to, I don't know what it is, is it qualifying? Is it contextualizing? The thing is, there are many very real systems of oppression that have very real impact on bodies. And to me, everything is a body — like that's the core of my mystery cosmology. Everything is body eating body, you know, merging with body devouring body, laying down with body opening body, like everything is body I don't think of this idea, this duality of spirit and body. It never made sense to me as a child. And when people talk like that physical material, authentic spiritual, I mean, what does that mean? Like, you know, there are very real impacts on systems of oppression. And sometimes I have been around or even friends with or acquaintances with people who hold to certain what I would call New Age ideologies. And often they are culturally decontextualized or culturally misappropriated, or they have no like, they're they're often very dualistic, you know, light versus darkness, and expansion versus contraction. Up versus down. Like I've met people who tell me they live only in their upper three chakras and things like that. Absurd, absurd things, you know, are people who say, Oh, don't wear a condom because you're wearing a condom because you're in a state of fear and that fear will lock you in a fear reality and like Wow, you really have no grasp of metaphysics at all. Like it's just really honestly quite gross to me. So there are there are these things that get in the way and these I don't know what to call them a level of deceptions, these insidiously manipulative deceptions, this kind of societal gaslighting around what we can expect to happen in our lives radically and sexually specifically, and spiritually although, to me, it's all one ... it is a kind of cultural amnesia or cultural gaslighting in which in which certain identities within that matrix so I actually take on the role and become quite consciously complicit in passing on certain messages to others, because they've readily internalized them because they, because that internalization, grants power and privilege, and then the conveyance of it grants even more power and privilege. So we, you know, often people like myself might make a dismissive quip. But you know, there's reality, like our says, half white men are perhaps the most privileged, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I have many friends who assist white men, and and their bodies are just as sacred, you know, and you enjoy it. And they are also divine. So I'm able to hold the paradox of the difference between bodies and identities, but also the intersecting reality of bodies and identities. Bodies merge with identities, identities much with bodies all of the time, and we're all just trying to express something that we're experiencing, perceiving, feeling, what I think is really interesting is like, I would definitely say, I'm a pluralist. Like, I think it's important to be able to understand and cultivate mutual respect different cultures, and different ways of life. And different disciplines have different commitments that all, either respect each other, or kind of support each other to exist. And so, you know, that can be hard in a world in which there are many forms of existing, that actually want to dominate and devour and destroy other forms of existing or that say, the other forms of existing are evil, or distracting, or devoid of value. And so that can be make it really hard for folks, especially if marginalized, experienced, who are being actively oppressed, to kind of feel legitimate, and yet the most audit and therefore, and yet, and with the most audacious people I know, are often those who have grown up in communities that are marginalized, or in identities that are actively oppressed. And so, because there has to, you have to be what you often have to be audacious, you often have to be defined, you often have to be angry. And that can be complex. And that can also unfortunately, block pleasure, that can make it hard for certain folks to experience pleasure and to embrace pleasure. So when I see my, my brown and black friends, and my and my, you know, beloved's of color, like fully just going with pleasure and joy, that is defiance in a way that's beautiful. It's an offering to oneself to one's ancestors, and one, one's cousins and descendants, you know, claim claim joy, claim pleasure, and, and just go for it.

Jera Brown  32:36

For sure. And so I think part of what you're saying is that there's so many things that can get in the way of all these possibilities. And yet, some of the things that get in the way of those possibilities are also it doesn't have to limit your liberation.

Fio Gede Parma  32:51

Yeah, it doesn't have to it often does. But But the thing is, like a lot of liberal, a lot of liberation, at least for me, happens inside like this. And obviously, then it has to happen. There's this part of the Fifth Sacred Thing, which is a novel by Starhawk, which you may have read, or others may have read. And if you haven't, it's really, really brilliant. I think it was written in the early 90s. But this is part where one of the key characters, one of the protagonists of the story, wakes into consciousness, and they realize that in prison, and then they're basically like enslaved in prison. And there's actually a lot of moments of for me, like, it was hard. Like, there were there were moments of sexuality, especially between a map people in that story that were really abrupt. And I was like, wait, what, and I guess it was very true to the story and true to what was trying to be conveyed and the story and the narrative, but there's this moment where I think his name is bird, but where this character is basically in a prison, and they are cleaning, and they realize they need to do this spell, in order to kind of set something into motion, and they're not quite sure what it is yet, but they need to, like Get the fuck out of this prison and get back to their beloved's. And so they take a bit of hair, a bit of semen, a bit of spit, like they take the tiniest fragments of what they know is sacred and powerful. And then the sunlight coming through the the bars and the like breathe, trying to breathe the wind and like trying to connect with the power of the elements and sweeping and sweeping and sweeping that scene. That vignette is so powerful because inside this horrific, very real prison, very real limits. This person is setting into motion and action that actually changes things and I i from my own experience, although I've never faced imprisonment, and I have friends who have so I can't speak to that. And I can't speak on the behalf. But I know stories from many people who have moved through very real limits with magic and magic. God magic. I don't I seek not to define it. I think starhawk has a definition in one of her books that I really enjoy. Magic is the art of empowering ourselves and others or something like that, or magic is the art of liberation — which it is. And to be able to move your consciousness like that and to avail yourself of various forms and signatures of consciousness that then affect the outward seeming world. That's a very real thing. I know it to be very real, I've devoted my life to teaching it. And I do think it's empowering. And I don't just think it's empowering to the you know, quote, unquote, self or whatever that inner authentic core is that I don't know what people mean when they say that, but that Prime mode of selfhood, that seeking to express that a yearning to connect and to be connected with, that can channel profound change. And so I didn't know that there are very real limits, and I, I seek to point them out and name them. Like one thing in witchcraft that I love is that we, that many traditions of witchcraft have this practice of demon work, which is similar. There's a similar practice in Tibetan Buddhism, I think it's called chod, where you basically name your demons, you have tea with your demons, you look at them, you also, basically, in the working of this, like, often these demons are broken fragments of ourselves that were trying to do a job, you know, because we were unsafe or insecure, or in a horrible situation, they were trying to keep us safe at one point, but we never, we never consciously acknowledged, thanked and release them from that task. And they keep doing this thing that now is actually getting in our way and sabotaging us and trying to keep us a particular size, or in a particular state where we'll be safe, small, perhaps, and we don't draw attention, which may be used to keep us safe. But now, it's getting in our way. So to name these things, and to be able to put them in an external locus and focus is to be able to work with them, and eventually, perhaps make them our lovers make them our co conspirators and maybe if we desire, reabsorb them, as well,

Jera Brown  36:51

it sounds a lot like Shadow Work, or is the type of Shadow Work?

Fio Gede Parma  36:54

Yeah, I would agree with that. But as I age, and I've, like I've taught multiple, like intensives and Shadow Work, I'm like, What do I mean when I say Shadow Work? So I tend to use the word demon demon dancing, or demon work, because I Well, I like more provocative words, and shadow. Like, I'm interested. What do you mean when you say that?

Jera Brown  37:14

Yeah, I guess I'm calling to mind the the union idea of those pieces of ourselves that we have a hard time embracing. And I think to me, part of what I love about it is, when I first discovered it, when I first started breaking down, this idea of light being good and dark being bad, it was through a fantasy series by ambition.

Fio Gede Parma  37:40

That a dog friends, yeah, I just want to acknowledge that.

Jera Brown  37:45

One of them is four months old, and one is 15 months old. So they're still super young. There was supposed to be a balance, and that the dark side of the shadow side of these characters held a lot of possibility and power and good and sexuality. And so I'm drawn to the idea of shadow working things of reclaiming things that folks have said is bad or evil, but just has not been loved.

Fio Gede Parma  38:13

For a long time. Yeah. And then potentially has become something that we would consider challenging or confronting an uncomfortable. Yeah, I yeah, that's how I understand what people mean when they say Shadow Work. What I mean, when I say that I'm not trained as a Jungian psychotherapist, I'm not trained as a union archetype list, but and I haven't read enough young, so maybe that's why I'm like, oh, what do I mean? Like it's a word that some witches use or some New Age practitioners use or some modern metaphysicians use? And and I'm like, Well, I know what I mean. When I say demon work. I know what I mean when I say that. So it's perhaps it's perhaps, um, I mean, shadow is an interesting term, isn't it? Like you can't have shadow without light. And you can't like specifically whereas you can have darkness without light. Like in witchcraft, cosmology, often it's the darkness that is proceeding all things. Even in Genesis like currently the book I'm writing I'm, I'm unpacking a lot of the mysticism in gnostic Christianity as it connects to traditional witchcraft because it does, but also this idea, like when when we looking at the translations of Genesis like these, what you know, and there's a lot of filters there. There's this one phrase that has always captured me and I didn't grow up. Like I remember I made myself read the Bible as a teenager because I was being actively bullied by Christians at school and I wanted to understand. So I read Genesis, and, and much of much of the book didn't finish entirely, but I would say I read like 90% of it. The, the spirit of you know, in the beginning, there, what is it? Maybe you would know, but there's this there's this passageway, God, the Spirit of God hovers upon the dark waters. And that, to me goes, I'm like, Oh, I know that because that's what we talk about. In witchcraft, we talk about darkness, and we talk about the primal black void. That is the raging chasm of space, which is the womb of God herself. That you know, you know, that's how we talk about it. sensuously delightfully, it appears, but it appears in Genesis that he sees the light and knows it's good. And he separates the light from the darkness. And there's this like, a lot of like, like, almost like architectural metaphor, whereas in witchcraft, creation stories, it's it's, um, quite a sexual, because a lot of sexual metaphor. And you know, I know, like several, like, key modern witchcraft theologians would say that when we say the goddess or we say god herself, because what we're valuing is life coming into being, we're valuing birthing, and we also understand the goddess like when we say the Goddess, we're not talking about a goddess, we're talking about ... which also exists within that infinite, but we're talking about a mystery that births, that destroys, that sustains, that changes. And we are that. Like, we are that. So that's super interesting to me, because shadow ... the reason I mentioned that is because shadow is different from that. And I think some people conflate shadow and darkness, but shadow only exists when there is light. And when there is something obstructing that light from knowing itself, and then it casts that shadow. And therefore shadow becomes what I think of as like a scrying mirror an opportunity for the witch or the person to look into that scrying mirror and go. Who am I? You know, that primal question?

Jera Brown  41:42

No, that's interesting. I think that's a pretty good place to start. What what are you working on? You're working on the book? Do you have other workshops and classes coming up to?

Fio Gede Parma  41:50

Yeah, like, Oh, look. I just ...  I often have a lot of feelings come up in me when people ask me what I'm doing, or when I asking myself what I'm doing. And that's because I kind of am always doing something and yeah, so it's kind of nonstop. Um, I'll say this. What I love: I love guiding people into their craft. I love teaching magical techniques. And watching people be like, Wow, my box is broken. Now I the world is full of fun and intensity and beauty and profound, holy dread. That is a delight to me. Um, so yeah, like if people are interested in what I'm teaching, I'm always teaching some something. Like I teach a lot in private lineages, which doesn't, you know, that's, that's probably my dearest form of teaching: guiding mentorship. But  I have some prerequisites. Usually for one-on-one mentorship, I need to have met you; I need to have been in some kind of ritual or magical space with you; and you need to have been practicing your ... whatever your thing is, for at least a year. That's my prerequisites. Although at the moment I'm open to working with small groups of people—like three or four people who they know each other, but I've met one of them. So there's that link of knowing and then they all know each other. Almost always I'm teaching like three or four long courses at the same time. So I'm about you know about to be teaching this Reclaiming class called Classical Rites of Passage over six weeks. I'm in the middle of a of an angelic magic six month course. I'm at the end of a nine month Foundations of Witchcraft and Spiritwork course that I'm teaching with my friend Lance. I'm about to teach a Dionysus intensive on queerness, mythos, and stasis over five hours in two weeks. Like I'm always teaching something.

Jera Brown  43:40

So both a lot of those upcoming events and the mentorship offerings and more can be found at fiogedeparma.com, and I'll have the link in the show notes. Well, thank you so much for your time.

Fio Gede Parma  43:59

And thank you for having me.

Radical Soul
Radical Soul
Formerly Left-Handed Journeys. Interviews with radical souls about their spiritual journeys, especially centering the stories of queer folks and sex workers.
This podcast is part of the larger Radical Soul brand which centers justice, strives to help others heal from religious trauma, and rejects white and Christian supremacy.
Want to be featured? Email jera@jerabrown.com.