The Black Heart of Innocence

This ecstatic state of being is something of a holy grail in Feri & Reclaiming tradition.

This sign was worn by young men and women during religious festivals in Dahomey in the days of the Songe empire. It is defined by this saying which comes from Africa. “How beautiful is the black lascivious purity in the hearts of children and wild animals.”

From Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson

The Black Heart of Innocence is source of our ability to make magic. It is a state of being where we are fully connected to our Fetch, the part of our soul that is sensual and pure. The Witches’ Pyramid – To Know, To Dare, To Will – describes the Black Heart state of being, and the fourth side of the pyramid, To Keep Silent, is a reminder that Talker must make way for Fetch in order to connect with the Godself and give magic room to be. When our souls are aligned, we are fully connected to reality and able to act from the truest part of our being. One of its effects is that you are fully present in the moment, able to act swiftly and precisely. It is a kind of extension of the notion of “perfect love and perfect trust” as a way of being. Forget fear and doubt, engage fully with the world and your life.

This natural state of the soul is sexual, because sex is the opening to life-force – desire that inspires action. Many Witchcraft traditions place an emphasis on the sacredness of sexuality, because our gods are sexual beings – the orgasm of the Star Goddess is what created the universe! In contrast to the patriarchal religions, Witches believe that sex is pure and beautiful. So too is black, the colour of the night, of the darkness before the dawn, of rebirth and creation Herself. So to have a the purity of the black night in one’s heart is to accept oneself as a sexual being, and to rejoice in it. It is a scrying mirror – shiny, curved, and black – which reveals all possibility.

This tool, this state, this energy is held in the shape of the heart because the heart is the pump for the life force. The heart feeds all parts of the body, as the life force feeds all of creation.

The creator of Feri, Victor Anderson, regarded the goddess Nimue as the Black Heart of Innocence incarnate. She is the prepubescent girl, first emanation of the Star Goddess, the Holy Child – embodiment of sacred passion. To be in the state of the Black Heart is to look at the world as through the eyes of a child – expressing our wild and sensual nature without inhibition.

Holy Nimue
Dark Darling of the Starry Magics
With you we laugh, cry, play, sing
And have our being
Holy Nimue
White One
lascivious keeper of the Black Heart
Untainted by shame, fear or guilt
In you we see our True Nature.

By Karina BlackHeart

The key to the Black Heart is that with the rite of Kala you can transform unhealthy energies into their purest form, so social restrictions are not required to sustain one’s ethics or morality. The Black Heart of Innocence burns with the blue fire of compassion, an energy that permeates all things and thus connects us to others as well as God Herself. Compassion is empathy and right action, understanding and truth.

To be in alignment with the Black Heart of Innocence is to stand in the centre of our power, aware and engaged, proudly wearing the crown of our Godself. That is why the direction of Centre is associated with the Black Heart – in that enchanted state, we are the nexus point of convergence between the worlds.

Achieving the Black Heart is a lifetime of work. It is an ecstatic state of being we can access to deepen our spiritual life. The more we practice the easier we can return to our centre, our true self. Cultivating the Black Heart of Innocence without getting lost in madness is an ongoing work.

Black Heart: An Original Pagan Song

Blue, blue, the heart of the flame
Blue, blue, ancestors calling me.
Orange, red, the heat of desire,
Oh life, She is kissing me!

Innocent, Wild, Black, Free!
Oh, pulse, entering into me.
Innocent, Wild, Black, Free!
All life, earth beating through me!

Dark, dark, the earth it pumps into me
Dark, dark, ancestors singing.
Deep, deep, surrendering up to power,
Oh life, She is kissing me!

Come to me now, lover and mystery
Come to me now, kiss me all over
Come to me now, desire spilling into me
Truth, life, sensual beauty

By T. Thorn Coyle


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I'm a 30-something cis-female pagan solitary Witch and Priestess living in Auckland, New Zealand. I've been studying and practicing modern pagan witchcraft since 1997, and my path has been inspired by the Reclaiming Tradition, Feri, Cunning Craft, Wicca, Druidry, the Religio Romana and the Church of All Worlds.

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