All posts by Albion Faeries

Faerie Poet Peever

I´m a Faery, ´fraid itś true, 
´cause Iḿ a Faery thru and thru.
Not the kind with curls and wings,
That hides in woodland dell and sings.
Although thatś not a bad idea,
As my Faery kind are L.G.B.T and queer.

We are faeries of the pagan kind,
Souls at heart and like of mind.
We do not worship a god above,
But praise both the moon and the goddess of love.
With praise to Baccus, god of mirth,
And the four elements, fire, water, air and earth.

Our faith is love, a love unfurled,
That traverse both known and unknown world.
We do not spell it FAI,
For that you may well wonder why?
But we spell it FAE, 
The way it always used to be.

We are radical, that we know,
Spiritually, we strive to grow.
We wear dresses and makeup too,
High heels and hair of a different hue.
At full moon we drum, we dance, 
We hug, we kiss and yes, romance.

As Faeries we have a serious side,
We do not run, we do not hide.
Our arms outstretched, fingers uncurled,
Our hearts reach out to all the world.
To end all war, hatred, hunger, fear,
We cry out loud. Please let them hear.

Peever (Don Pepper)

picture by California faerie Adam Christensen

Away with the Faeries

Blog by Rainbow:

Just over six months ago, my life took a rather bizarre turn. A rather bonkers, unexpected, yet utterly fabulous turn that I still don’t know whether I should try to embrace or recover from. In short, I attended my very first Radical Faerie gathering.

What on god’s green Earth is a Radical Faerie (I hear you ask)? I had come across the term “radical faerie” a few years previously when it was included in an online list of Pagan traditions as a sort of alternative path for gay men. That was all I knew. Until February this year, when I happened to bump into a group of Faeries in a tent in Brighton on my way home from church. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this chance encounter was probably one of the most significant events in my life so far.

In the tent I had some amazing conversations about magic and spirituality and all things queer. It turns out that the Radical Faeries aren’t just a group for gay men, and neither are they exclusively Pagan. They encompass and celebrate a whole spectrum of queerness and spiritual expression. Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask the question “how does one become a Faerie?”. The answer I got was the answer I wanted to hear: “darling, you are a faerie!”. And that was that.

They told me about a gathering they were planning to have the following month and invited me to join. So cut forward a few weeks and I’m in a broken-down car at a petrol station just outside of Manchester with a rucksack, a sleeping bag, and couple of Faeries trying to get to a castle in Northumberland. My life has always been a bit weird, but it was only going to get weirder…

When we eventually arrived at the castle and walked through the front door, I felt like Alice stepping into Wonderland for the first time. Faeries dressed in all kinds of outfits imaginable started to appear in the hallway to welcome us home with hugs and kisses. Growing up in the closet, I never imagined I would ever greet a man for the first time with such an intimate embrace. (How very European it would have seemed!). But this place was so far removed from the ordinary muggle world that for the first time in my life I didn’t feel judged, ashamed, or excluded.

Of course, I was slightly timid at first, but I didn’t feel scared. I’d been in queer environments before having worked in a gay night club for a number of years, but that said, this was something entirely different. The atmosphere in the castle was uplifting and liberating rather than bitchy and judgemental, and I really got a sense that anything could happen at any moment. My inner-child was jumping for joy with the excitement and freedom of it all. I remember looking over to another first-timer in the dining room on hearing an announcement that a “shadow-pit ritual” was about to commence, and laughing at the confusion and intrigue in both of our faces!

The shadow-pit ritual lead us down some stairs into a darkened room where we were invited to throw our worries and fears into the darkness. We then emerged into another room in which a drum circle was taking place. I sat in the middle of the room as the rhythm took me deeper down the rabbit hole and told me that this was my home. I was in a trance, and felt extremely curious and inspired by all the wonders around me.

Over the course of the week I learnt about the various traditions of Radical Faerie gatherings. The first I adopted was the hissing sound that Faeries make when they agree with or appreciate something that is being said. Sort of like a variation of “hear, hear!” that doesn’t make you sound like a twat. Another tradition is that everyone chips in with the cooking and cleaning, which gives gatherings a strong community vibe. One of my favourite traditions is the kNow Talent show, where anyone can perform anything, and you have no idea what you’re going to see next. But by far, the most important Radical Faerie tradition is the Heart Circle.

A heart circle is a sacred thing. It is a space held among Faeries in which everyone is given the opportunity to speak from the heart and be listened to without judgement. This is such an important thing for the queer community as we so often face judgement from outside as well as from within the community itself. As well as being able to share my feelings in heart circles, I also learnt a lot from listening to what others had to say. As one of the youngest faeries at the gathering, I truly felt the sense that I was inheriting a tradition and a culture from the elders and survivors of LGBTQ+ history. This idea never even crossed my mind during my time working at the gay bar, but I now feel connected to a global tribe of queer warriors.

So within the space of a week I was given a new tribe, a new community, a new identity, a new culture… I found a new way to express gender fluidity and a new way of looking at my relationships. I was given a new name (Rainbow) and a new path to follow. It was a bit overwhelming, and it opened up so many doors in my mind that had been closed for a long time which forced me to face my own demons. Settling back into the muggle world after the gathering was extremely difficult, and I had so many new things to deal with and ask myself. Finding the Faeries was everything I’d been looking for, but I had no idea where to go next. I felt lost, even though I had been found.

So this is where I’m at now. Trying to process everything and give myself time on my own to explore my mental health. I’ve met so many amazing people, and shared love, friendship, sex, pain, and confusion with other faeries. I dived straight into the deep end of Faerie life and, if I’m honest, I started to drown. I needed to slow down and learn to know and love myself again before continuing on the Faerie path. So thank you faeries for leading me here and allowing me to grow. I’ll see you again soon I’m sure. 🌈

Blessed be x

Photos by: www.mikekear.com

ALBION FAERIE YEAR 2018

Photo of the fireplace in Blue Room at Featherstone, by Sparkly Tom

The Albion Fae have had a bumper year…

The first Albion Faerie Gathering took place at Featherstone Castle at Imbolc 2006. We held one gathering there per year for 6 years, putting down the roots of community at these Winter hideaways in Northumberland. From 2012 the pace quickened – we started to gather at Paddington Farm in Glastonbury, to meet at Featherstone in the warmer climes of Spring and Autumn – and in Summer finally in 2017 when faeries from around the world came to our hearth for an inspirational Global Gathering. Connections formed at that time have continued to develop, with much cross fertilisation going on between the various Faerie communities of planet earth. One product of this creativity is our very own social media website – Faenet.org, the work for which has been mainly undertaken by Canaan and Albion faeries.

From one gathering per year for 6 years, in 2018 we are holding 6 gatherings in one year:

IMBOLC at Paddington, with our annual pilgrimage to the White Spring and Brigit Mound. Faerienizers were Blossom, Running Water, Bridge, Earth Song, Touch Me and Starbuck. 30 faeries attended.

MAGIC GATHERING in Gloucestershire, the second appearance of this focussed space for an intimate group facilitated by Earth Song and Qweaver

OSTARA at Featherstone, 80+ faeries welcoming the new season, our 5th Spring visit to Northumberland, the faerienizer team this year facilitated by Wolverine, with Zebedee, Touch Me, Hagbard, Samicee and more on the crew.

BELTANE Spring Love Awakening Gathering – A new gathering in May in Glastonbury coordinated by Bridge with a core team of Big Sister, Paradox, Running Water, Swallow & Taboo. The gathering of around 60 fae fused core faerie themes of love, heart sharing, sensuality, sexuality, practices, celebration, community, compassion, personal growth and most importantly co-creation. The intention was to create a journey and a container where our hearts could open more, where we could make Love, both within ourselves and for each other.

COMING HOME Healing Retreat at Unstone Grange, Derbyshire – another new gathering, with an experimental structure intended to enable us to go deeper in our paths as healers of self, other and the planetary soul. Included silent mornings and exploration of emotion and expression through our moon element energies. Initiated by Shokti who brought together a team of new faerinizers – Blaze, Unicorn, Lionboy, Paradox, Samicee and Sexual. 40 faeries attended.

and still to come..

SAMHAIN at Featherstone. This gathering was fully booked within two weeks of registrations open and currently has a waiting list in operation. Taz is heading up a team which includes Running Water, Samicee, Surprise and others

As well as gatherings this has been an expansive year for other faerie get-togethers, with 70+ people at each London Drum Circle. Lots of new people are constantly drawn to this space where we feed our souls through a full moon musical and frequently ecstatic work out. Faeries have also been meeting over in the east of the city, at the Faerie Sky Garden in Plaistow, scene of an amazing pre-Pride evening of fire and ritual that drew in dozens of fae-curious queers. London Faeries also meet for heart circles, held an Ewok Woman gathering, and faeries came from far afield to be part of the Music Gatherette, which focused on ways to foster confidence and encourage spontaneous music-making and singing at gatherings . This year has seen a developing strand of WeMoon circles, an intentional space initiated by Samicee Mother of Unicorns to act as doorway for Trans, Intersex and faeries of other marginalised orientations into faerie ways. Also, a group is now holding monthly open meetings to plan for permanent residential community space in London. (https://albionfaeries.org.uk/the-emerald-village-london-faerie-housing-community/ )

The Brighton clan held space for Faeries and friends away from the intensities of the town on Pride Day in August, and earlier in the year welcomed San Francisco Faerie Joey Cain in town for the festival screening of ‘Hope Along the Wind’, a documentary about the life of Harry Hay. There have been faerie meets in the West Country, the Nottingham clan held heart space in the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, and there was an impromptu alternative-imbolc weekend on the South Downs. Coming up in September is the first North West Heart Circle in Liverpool.

A year ago at the Great Circle/FaeGM we established a new administrative structure for the tribe. Out went the roles imposed on us by bank formalities (president/secretary/chair), to be replaced by three admin circles – Communications, Finance and Gatherings/Events. Together the faeries volunteering their energy to be part of these circles form a collective Stewards Circle. All circle meetings are advertised and anyone can attend. The Stewards Circle is meeting for a Tribal Moot on Saturday 29 September to review progress of the new structure.

The Global Gathering in 2017, hosted by the Albionfae at Featherstone Castle, opened up new connections for us with other communities around the world, which some of us have had the chance to deepen during the past year. There has been a rush of Albion Fae spending time at the French sanctuary, Folleterre, and a lot of cross fertilisation with the Canaan Faeries, plus many visitors passing our way from other communities, such as Fairyland in Australia and the North American sanctuaries. Tennessee Willy of the Short Mountain tribe has just spent a few months with us and reports how awestruck he is at the vitality in our collective spirit, to observe how open and keen we in the Albion Fae are to build deep and real connections with each other. Wherever we gather, the love truly flows.

But of course as a rapidly growing community we have growing pains. One of the many ways for us to positively evolve is when someone shines the spotlight on what they perceive as a difficult issue going on amongst us and we learn, over time, how to effectively respond compassionately to that issue. There is always the risk that such issues can quickly take centre stage and obscure the sight of the amazing, positive and beautiful things we are achieving – such as a healthy balance between celebration and self-exploration, and the real and lasting loving friendships that are being formed. But we are learning and evolving and increasing in awareness that we operate at different speeds, have different ways of communicating and do so with different priorities. Our tribal energy is ‘vital’: people’s lives are changing for the better because of us, we are becoming known as a healing force within the wider LGBTQ+ cosmos, creators of sanctuary, wherein heart connections and authentic communication lead the way. Our community is in its 13th magical year and its light is strong. bright and changing the world’s understanding of queer consciousness, magic and community.

*******

As we enter the Autumn season, the time of the Ancestors approaches.

As young a community as we are, we already have our own personal ancestors in spirit

Fairy Nuff, Barbarella, Beloved, El-Leo, Jon BlipClone, Woodchild and others who have briefly engaged with us on their journey

We are not in this journey alone

Another analogy to describe us is to see the Albion Faeries as a growing branch in the forest of Human Consciousness Development which traces its roots back to ancient times and through the more recent works of Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter, Harry Hay, John Burnside, Starhawk, Mitch Walker, Don Kilhefner and the developing boughs and branches of the Faerie Sanctuaries throughout the world.

The branch which is Albion grew from the Eurofaerie tree but also from Queer Pagan Camp, Edward Carpenter Community and most recently has found some rich nutrients from the amazingly rich melange that is Queer Spirit Festival.

We are a still new branch but we already have our own loved ones who left, perhaps prematurely…

We can reach out with love to those in spirit

and receive their love right back into our hearts and our circles,

following this guidance that Edward Carpenter left to be read at his funeral:

“Do not think too much of the dead husk of your friend, or mourn too much over it, but send your thoughts out towards the real soul or self which has escaped — to reach it. For so, surely you will cast a light of gladness upon his onward journey, and contribute your part towards the building of that kingdom of love which links our earth to heaven.”

Autumn is a rich time of natural magic, let’s spread our faerie love and blessings wherever we tread this season…..

This blog post was written by the Albion Stewards

 

(Almost) One month in Faerie Space

by Fire Jaguar

I came to Folleterre Radical Faerie Sanctuary for the Solstice
the year before I was intensive care
watching the suns rays creep across the floor to the bed I couldn’t leave
hooked up to a tube helping me breathe
for 24 hours
In folleterre I was welcomed home, home to the earth, to nature
I marked the solstice by watching the sun rise
As the sun entered my sign of cancer
I sang songs I made a year before in the sandpit, with my crystals and cried
I had an epiphany
I could heal from everything that ever happened to me
.
I vowed to myself, faeries, the lake and Pan that I would return
for as long as I could
I bravely asked for help
negotiated for time
couldn’t return for atleast 5 weeks
didn’t even want to leave…
lost in limbo
but before I knew it, it was time to return
.
I missed my initial flight
I got 3 days in a much smaller and more familiar sanctuary
a half way house
I arrived 3 days late
and immediately sang at a spontaneous cabaret, about how lost I was, and how it feels so good
to have found my tribe
dressed as Jesus Spice
It was nerve wracking
but really helped me arrive
.
I had made a beloved friend a Wand from the Ancestors tree while I was away
he had stayed
I got to put the Wand back in the very spot we found it in, as fallen wood, 5 weeks before
I love the magic we all create
We are so lucky to have Sanctuary, Off grid, Safe, Faerie Space
.
At the First Gathering, there were about 80 more people than the Solstice
I knew this would be intense
But being out in nature together
was very different, to my experience of being in the many roomed, crucible like Featherstone Castle
Morning Circles were long, but the experience was much more cohesive
the number of people  made every task seem rather threatening…
My focus was on entertaining myself by getting dressed up, enjoying the attention, compliments
showing off the parts of my body I actually like
 and heart circling
.
Blonde Ambition Spice
 Sex Book Madonna
 Joan Collins Spice
 Kylie Minogue, singing whilst doing yoga
 BDSM Barbie
Shamanic Spice
 Princess Leia Brigitte Bardot Spice
 Cruella DeVil Spice
 Spiritiual Barbie Spice
 Mama and Baby Winehouse
Show Girl Spice
some of the looks and names I created… I know there were many more…
always a little bit self conscious
unsure of my motivations
I talked to myself in the mirror about it one day and cried
It’s not easy being incarnate in a body sometimes
I don’t have to be an attention seeker, it is safe to approach people
sometimes an outfit felt like armour, or at least it put a distance between myself and others
I think I may have simply been too much in my head
Most of the times it brought on pure joy
.
Its amazing even in a very safe space
How much fear I often still felt
I had this constant desire to be held
it happened twice in almost 4 weeks
I avoided many opportunities for intimacy through fear
intimacy to me being authentic, revealing your most private and true at this moment self – thoughts, feelings, bodily self..
And I actually also did this a lot..
But it requires trust
The Sanctuary was a very different place for me in the final week once long term friends I have built that with had left
.
I got sick twice
both times when I was getting close to people I really liked
what was that about?
I felt like a contagious leper…
avoiding people when I needed hugs more than ever
not completely, the first time I felt so much better when I realised it wasn’t just me…
I heard afterwards,  50% of the gathering had it to!
The Shame I felt was totally disproportionate to the present situation
But I read in a book while I was there, and it was true for me, and these things take work to clear..
My first sexual encounters were totally entrenched in shame and fear
.
I was able to focus and feel grateful for what actually happened, instead of what I felt like I missed out on…
Lovely cuddles, kisses, wonderful hugs and beautiful conversations… people being there just at the right moment
Helping me be shoeless shamanic spice, when I was freaking out about performing without heels, so genuinely, lovingly supportive, and grateful for things I had done too…
I was able to share my shame at being so lazy, and why, and gently encouraged to do more…
I definitely felt better once I finally did some washing up!
I started cooking more too
.
 I thought about how we are Radical, its Radically different for me anyway to be in such a space, from 17-21 I only knew websites as the way to secretly connect with other queers
I was in an abusive relationship after that for five years where I didn’t connect in that way or any other
I spent one year of my life out and single, but my priority was healing, in a rather heteronormative spiritual community,
then I found the faeries, and a new lover, two years, feeling I was sortof  part of this tribe
Ended that relationship in January, and 8 months on there are people who feel like my chosen family
Allowed to “just be”
I love myself more, I love them, and I know they love me…
Real affection outside of a “relationship” is almost a totally new thing
.
Being in Sanctuary did bring me more physical healing that I desired to, not in the way I expected
as lazy as I was at times, I was still up on my feet so much more, rarely ever inside
Just walking up hill to meditation rock was a workout
swimming was wonderful
I eventually got so fed up with feeling crap I started stretching in the morning
I feel so much better I’m maintaining more activity
before I would just sit around at home thinking I can’t be bothered
Last night I had a totally enchanted experience, a regular occurence in Folleterre
Missing the lake, I walked to the nearby river, and swam down it, surrounded by tree’s on each side
It gives me tingles just thinking about it
Remembering the Lake, I had a mystical experience there too, to the sound of a flute
I was missing some of my friends, but then in my heart and  my minds eye, they were all there, dancing in the lake, or on the bank with me too!
.
Once I left, I could really appreciate where I had been..
People who aren’t faeries think I’ve just been on holiday… A holiday from the outside world I guess
Walking in the French town of Lure
I was checking out his muscled arm
I noticed his angry face…
I felt the fear, (so small, compared to the all consuming kind I’ve felt in the past)
I breathed through it (what an improvement)
But thought, shit, this isn’t safe (so much more aware of what’s happening)
I’m no longer in Faerie Space
.
Really i’m always in Faerie Space
I came back to london
I performed at a Queer Cabaret
I brought my ability to share deeply from the heart to the Glory’s stage
about how much I’ve grown, probably demonstrated more than anything by my Angelic outfit
One that’s been nurtured and appreciated even more in the last month, but finally recognised during the last 4 years
People were so grateful and touched
Take your broken Heart, and make it into Art, as Carrie Fisher once said
My hearts no longer broken though, just wide open

The Place of The Foreskin Within Sexological Bodywork…By Philippe Viney

Albion Faerie Philippe Viney is bringing his special understanding of the foreskin to the wisdom and practice of sexological bodywork:

Millions of years of evolution have fashioned and engineered the human foreskin to become a superbly and remarkably efficient ‘pleasure principle’ delivering apparatus. This is because evolution has maximised the strategies required to deliver a failsafe guarantee that the ejaculation mechanism will inevitably ensure sperm is released to fertilize the ovum and ensure the continuation of the human species. The foreskin’s other functions includes protection, lubrication, and connection. However over the course of documented human history, the practice of circumcision has cast a long, dark, insidious, persistent and enduring shadow which has plagued and continues to plague humanity to ensure that the foreskin has become the most maligned, vilified and misunderstood part of the human body.

Each individual human being has the inalienable right to an intact body, but this isn’t the case for all humans. Regular and routine interference with this inalienable right by circumcising and mutilating both male and female genitals interferes with evolution’s ‘pleasure principle’ and is an affront to civilized behaviour and must therefore be challenged. Circumcision, for reasons of religion, culture, financial profit, social pressures (the ‘herd’ mentality), misinformation, disinformation, ignorance and indifference continues to be the ‘thorn in the side’ of humanity. The barbaric reality and horrific tragedy of circumcision is that it’s perpetrated without consent mostly on new-borns, infants, toddlers and children without anaesthetic. This ultimately contravenes and violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and spiritual cost and repercussions to those violated humans (estimated to be more than one billion individuals) are frighteningly and horrendously unimaginable.

To redress the balance and to restore an element of sanity to this outrageous ‘globally psychotic behaviour’ it’s of vital importance that sound, sober and factual information be made available to elucidate all humans with the evolutionary ‘pleasure principle’ marvel that the foreskin is. As a civilized species we must acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with the bodies that we are born in and that we don’t need to ‘modify’ it because it is perfect the way it is when we enter into this world. We must therefore honour and take care of our own sacred bodies which we inhabit as the vehicles for our souls to travel in on this current journey on our blue planet. The embodied experience is the common ground that we all share with each other and is the hallmark of what it means to be human beings, alive and vital to the senses which include sexual pleasure and enjoyment. Our bodies are sensually pleasure-abled, erotic and sexual and it is of the utmost importance and significance that we value, respect and treasure every aspect of the ‘Intact’ sacredness of the bodies into which we are born into.

The field of human sexuality remains significantly un-researched due generally to the ‘sex taboo’ imposed largely on humanity and society by organised religions with such ‘loaded’ societal ‘moral’ terms as ‘decency’, ‘indecency’, ‘perversion’, ‘sin’, ‘punishment’, ‘sacrifice’…etc. To the detriment of those ‘brainwashed’ by religious dogma and practices which shackle them to their ‘fixed’ and ‘false’ beliefs, hope for deliverance from these chains is likely to be a distant and forlorn dream. Research into human sexuality is not generally at the forefront of funding by mainstream universities, thus this most important of topics progresses positively when certain driven individuals on a mission to make a difference manage to challenge the status quo and pursue to advance this field in holistic and liberating ways. Sexological Bodywork as devised and established from the blood, sweat and ‘pleasure principled’ tears of ‘The Body Electric’ founder, Joseph Kramer empowers individuals to be embodied beings by noticing and experiencing their physical, sensual, sexual and emotional awareness. The individual is encouraged to verbalise their sensual and sexual ‘yeses’ and ‘no’s’ and to be in control of what they want and what they don’t want, and if they don’t know what they want, they’re encouraged to try new things to test out to see if they like it or not.

So when the foreskin is connected to Sexological Bodywork, a new paradigm is created which has not been delivered before. As the average foreskin has definitively been researched by Canadian Dr John Taylor to be laden with 20,000 specialised nerve receptors designed to maximise pleasure ensuring ejaculation, the detrimental myths which have persisted over the ages about the foreskin must surely for once and for all be exploded, vaporised, annihilated and disintegrated. The principle of embodiment endorses noticing what’s going on within the senses and how these make us feel. Sexological Bodywork gives us permission to literally finally get to grips with the foreskin. It allows us to take it in hand, stretch it, pull it, caress it, shake it, insert a finger or two inside it, retract it or get somebody else to do it consensually and to notice what’s going on when these joyful, pleasure inducing acts are performed. We can then do it again with conscious breath and excite it with that array of bliss stimulant ways but this time with varying pressures and speed, to maximise and savour the enjoyment and ecstatic pleasure principle. Thusly Dr Taylor proposes that “it is a man’s foreskin that is analogous to the clitoris, not the glans or head as is widely believed.” And Dr Martin Novoa, (Bioethics Advisor at Doctors Opposing Circumcision) states that “The foreskin is not the candy wrapper – it’s the candy”.

On that tasty note, whether you are male or female, it is time to take the foreskin into account (if not already doing so) and place it on the ‘pleasure principle’ pedestal that nature and evolution always intended. It actually never deviated from that role but has silently endured the taunts, derision, abuse and battering from the vilification and ignorance from misguided elements of humanity. Sexological Bodywork reclaims and endorses its long neglected role and gives it the long overdue recognition that in the foreskin resides overwhelmingly ecstatic and enjoyably blissful sensations, the epitome of embodiment.

The Emerald Village – London Faerie Housing Community

Faeries have been meeting on the last Thursday of each month to discuss creating a permanent place for the community in London. This project was started by Blue-Star who I interviewed to help put together this blog outlining the plan so far. One of the major problems in creating a faerie sanctuary in England is the strict regulations around purchasing and building on any non-urban piece of land. So Blue Star is looking at polluted brownfield sites in the London area which will either be free or very low rent. There are also loans and grants available to groups being ecologically innovative by turning such sites into living space.

The land would be capped to prevent pollution and the houses would be modular buildings (see http://bit.ly/emvtour) that don’t require foundations. We would still be able to grow vegetables, herbs and other plants using raised beds possibly with assistance from similar gardening projects like the Nomadic community gardens in Shoreditch. Blue-Star is calling this prospective UK Faerie sanctuary “The Emerald Village”. It will house 12 to 20 faeries around a community centre where there will be joint cooking and group events. One possible site for this is “Meridian Water” in Enfield which will be available from late 2019 and could be leased for up to ten years. The community will even be able to continue beyond the long term lease on the land as all the housing owned by the community will be transportable.

Funding for projects like this is available from a number of groups; “CAF Venturesome” a charity foundation that gives soft loans for pre-development i.e. planning, architecture, legal experts and surveyors. There’s also the innovation fund from the Mayor of London for affordable rent projects in the city. The rent for the Emerald Village will be decided amongst the faeries living there and will be used for paying back loans and storing a cash reserve for projects like going off grid. There is also the Unity Trust Bank and the Ecological Building Society who fund off-grid projects like this.

To practice living as a community until the brownfield site is available the Emerald Village could have its first incarnation in an empty office block. There are possible buildings in Blackfriars and Oval. This would happen in collaboration with the National Lottery funded charity “Space Generators” set up by Blue Star and three other trustees. Space Generators would make other floors of the building available as workspaces, a community cafe and community meeting spaces, while the faeries would have a few floors to begin our first co-habitating Albion faerie community.

There are a few ways you can get involved in helping set up this Albion Faerie co-operative. There is an Emerald Village Facebook group for updates and discussion as well as information about monthly socials. There is also going to be a presentation about our prospective faerie co-op to a group called Radical Roots at their gathering in Oxford from the 9th to the 12th August 2018. Radical Roots are a support network for housing co-ops that provide training on running a co-op and a possible loan towards buying community assets like the modular houses that will make up the village.

Blog post by Astro and Blue Star

FIND THE EMERALD VILLAGE GROUP:

https://yellowbrickroad.org.uk/general-info/the-emerald-village/

on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2045744565713546

on Faenet:    https://faenet.org/community/pages/54-emeraldvillage

or write to iain@yellowbrickroad.org.uk 

 

Glamour and Beguilement: Faerie Magicks

I’ve recently been very interested by points raised and issues brought up in articles posted by Shokti and Cunty (thank you both for your contributions). While I don’t want to reply directly to either, they have brought up and shone a new light on some thoughts of mine that I’d like to share.

Something that seems to be very much in the forefront of faerie consciousness is consent, and how it is affected and potentially invalidated in situations where there is a power inbalance – whether that be because of a difference in age, in sexual or romantic experience, in relative health/wellbeing, in social capital/etc. In a rather emotionally challenging circle I attended fairly recently, a discussion on how intimately/emotionally involved it was acceptable to be with those who have approached you for support descended into a faerie being aggressively accused of effectively using their position in the community to sexually take advantage. I really don’t want to make comment or take a side based on a very limited perspective on an obviously very deep and complex interpersonal conflict, but it certainly highlighted to me that this is an issue that it would be healthy for the community to start examining together, in a unified, careful and heart centred way. I was therefore very gladdened to see Cunty open up – in what I read as a very careful, vulnerable and relatively non-violent way – about the specific objectification and allure of (particularly male perceived) youth as he sees it within faerie gatherings. Personally, what he said definitely made connections with many of my observations and understandings of contemporary faerie culture. From my memories of the spotlighting and collective adoration of a select number of glamorous 20-something gay boys at the couple gatherings I’ve been to, to younger fae talking about navigating the myriad attentions and overtures of relatively older fae, to the multitude of over 40s gay men’s sharings in heart circles about feeling passed over, ignored and left out during the more festive and sexually charged modes of gatherings, my personal impression is that many faeries from all sides of the power dynamic would agree with Cunty about its existence. When I first encountered this dynamic at Featherstone, my first reaction I’m not proud to admit was envy, for the attention and adoration I perceived the young guys in their drag and glad rags as being granted. The root of this, given some time to reflect, was obvious: I have always struggled with needing validation and attention to feel accepted or appreciated socially, in earlier more male presenting times I would have flaunted and flirted my youth and form to gain the social attention and validation of other gays, and I was sore to find in this community my gender nonconformity meant I wasn’t able to misuse that dynamic as I was used to doing in queer spaces. While I have in the past definitely found select desire fulfilment by taking advantage of this sensual objectification dynamic, in hindsight it was disingenuous and caused much unhappiness: mainly because I had no intention or desire to engage sexually with the majority of the people I inticed, and interactions ended with neither party ultimately getting what they sought after.

I was interested to see the strongly differing perspectives between Cunty and Shokti on how objectification (or celebration of form etc.) fitted into Harry Hay’s binary of Subject-Subject vs. Subject-Object interactions. Obviously for Cunty, his experiences of how younger male-perceived faeries were sought after and his role in it was distressing and felt demeaning to the objectified faeries, whereas others (seemingly including Shokti) experience it as something much less inherently malign, and as compatible with empowering, loving faerie interaction. I can only stress that all I am doing and can do is lay out my own limited personal perspective, in the hope it might strike a positive chord with others, but I would like to suggest that its more complicated than that, and wrapped up in the use and misuse of a peculiarly faerie talentset, which I would like to call Glamour.

***Content Warning: contains liberal Woo, including Woo terminology and ideology***

So, lets talk about Glamour! In faerie space, I think it would be misguided to imagine that every interaction is an honest, profound and direct expression of self from one heart to others. On the contrary, we have extraordinary freedom to play with situations, to channel external energies and power, to adopt guises and personae, to perform as conduits of magick and ritual, to act out salacious and outrageous roles and desires. When we do so, consciously or not, our manifestation of Other (whatever external to ourselves we are creating the idea of) represents a channelling of our energy in order to bring about a physical change in how we are experienced by those who we interact with . This I’m going to denote with the old scots word for witchery and magick, Glamour – simply put, I’m using glamour as a blanket term for energy that is used to alter how you are perceived, whether that’s in faerie space or the concrete world.

How is this relevant to our discussions of power dynamics, of objectification and desire, you may ask? Because glamour is the tool and magic we use (wittingly or not) to work towards obtaining the reaction we desire from others: whether that is simply to enrapture, enrage, outrage, entertain, arouse, relax; or to achieve a more complex goal altogether. It is undoubtedly powerful, and does have the power to (temporarily or permanently) alter people’s perceptions of what is real and what is not, of their boundaries, of their internal senses of what is safe and unsafe, right and wrong. I see this as present in our drag and performance, in our engagement of those we are enamoured of or desire, in how we present our workshops and ideas, even in our stories, narratives and words of wisdom. Glamour undoubtedly has the power, sadly, of causing situations which can potentially lead to energetic and psychological damage to those who are more susceptible to losing themselves to it, when it is used without care and attention. Whether that is someone who has the protective seal on their inner trauma untimely broken, someone who finds themselves drawn into a cycle of indulgence that leads to a substance abuse relapse, or someone looking for paternal guidance and companionship who finds themselves in the midst of something more carnal, the reality is that faerie space – despite its beautiful, enriching empowering potential – can at times generate risks and the possibility of danger also. I don’t necessarily think this is something we should be ashamed of or feel guilt for communally, we aren’t ultimately responsible for or can control others feelings and reactions to faerie space. However, that isn’t to say that working towards making space more loving and nourishing for all isn’t an admirable undertaking for all of us who feel called to do so.

So how can we work to being responsible and loving wielders of this power, especially given the liminal nature of Glamour, and why should we? I think to the latter question, there may not be a simple right answer but my two cents is that at the foundation of faerie space is a core bedrock of being a community of love, and that by each individually doing work towards maintenance of that equanimous love we share as a community, we hold the community together and ensure its stable continuity. I think that especially those who exist towards the centre of the web of faerie energies particularly – whether that’s just for one gathering by being an organiser, social focus point or energetic catalyst say, or those who more generally are tied in to the core of continued community – tend to pool the energy to project glamour, potentially more so than they give themselves credit for. I’ve felt this myself at gatherings, when some people enter a room the energy completely changes in anticipation of them, when some people talk their words hold the listeners in rapture, and their expressed ideas naturally become the listeners reality. From what I have seen, often this is used by these faeries in a really generous and conscientious way already – easing the anxieties of unsettled newcomers, bolstering the guidance of gatherings energies towards mucking in and interacting respectfully, offering support to the disenfranchised, and helping make heard the quieter more fragile voices. To my mind though, they are unavoidably in the position of holding sway over hearts and minds, and I think recognising that power dynamic and creating a conscious and supportive collective awareness might help us harmoniously flow together around these issues.

How to wield Glamour in a safer way is something I can only offer my limited set of ideas towards, but I hope these might serve as a starter to thinking about approaching Glamour more mindfully and conscientiously. I think its important to examine our motives in how we interact with others, and try and match the Glamour we wear or project with our heart’s intentions – if our desires are sexual then wearing that on our sleeve and weaving seduction into our advances  does honour to both the magick and the recipient. Further to that, checking-in in some manner and working responsively with the reactions our glamour elicits gives us the opportunity to ensure our energies have provoked what was intended and not something else unwanted, and gives us the opportunity to regather where our audience may have gone astray. As an example, I have heard of multiple instances where gender-bending manifestations have been mis-taken as looking to elicit sexual desire, which could lead to plenty discomfort for some of these manifesting fae if left unchecked. Moving towards a subject-empowering approach in our interactions can often help avoid situations where we impinge on others self-determination. This can involve ensuring we have their informed consent throughout interactions, we are being transparent about what we are doing, and self monitoring for mistakenly projecting your needs or traumas onto them, or false convictions of knowing what would be good for someone better then they themselves do. Upholding live consent doesn’t need to be something clunky and jarring that disturbs our energy flow in interaction, for one who is used to looking for it it can be achieved intuitively and as a beautiful enhancing element of their language of intimacy. Finally, being open-minded to our own limitations – as lovers, as healers, as magicians – and knowing when something has escalated beyond our control or comfort and it is safest to tap out is an important skill we should all bear in mind, and be open to the idea of. At the end of the day, it is the chaos in the nature of humans to make mistakes, to not always achieve what they set out to do, to be reliably unreliable – this isn’t something shameful or negative! It is how we respond to signs of failure, to accept it with grace and humility, and to learn from it which to me marks out the most enlightened amongst us.

********

I hope I have managed to set out my ideas on these power interplays that come into faerie space in a way that is constructive and has avoiding bringing up pain as much as possible. In faerie community one thing I particularly value is that with all the so many different faeries whom I have touched hearts with, I have not met anyone who does not in their own way have a loving relationship with the tribe as a whole, and isn’t seeking to have a more healthy and nourishing interrelationship with this community. I truly believe that we do all dynamically make our own uniquely positive contribution to the spaces we hold together, I hope that in understanding and respecting the complexities of our many differences we can all be enriched and grow together, to make ever more tolerant, loving and caring faerie space in the future.

Vessel

 

The Commodity of Youth in an Age of Austerity

I am complicit in a pattern of behaviours that is toxic to individual faeries and our community as a whole.

I am complicit because I have at times fallen deeply into the trap of comparing myself to others, objectifying certain members of my tribe and not speaking up when I witness the behaviours in those around me.

Within this piece I do not seek to shame or to judge, although many times I find these behaviours embarrassing or infuriating. Partly my reaction is on behalf of others, partly it presents a reflection of my own past conduct.

This is offered as a call for change. I know change is often difficult, costly or painful. Some will react with anger as they read my words, a few may nod in recognition, perhaps one or two may even find themselves reviewing their own gathering etiquette.

Whilst visiting the most recent gathering at Paddington Farm in Glastonbury, I found myself in a room surrounded by faeries, although I was present as a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence at the time. I often find the role of the outsider gives a perspective that is revelatory.

I saw and heard behaviour patterns I have seen time and time again in faerie space. The same issues were present 2 years ago when we had so much trauma and division. I had hoped we might learn and change but we didn’t seem to address one of the underlying problems.

Middle-aged cis white gay men, like me and including me, commoditise youth. Some of us (“not all” I hear the cry and respond “no but far too many”) base our own sense of worth and our social standing within the community by how young, pretty and new the faerie is that we are seen to be frolicking with.

Outrage! Of course. It is outrageous. It’s ridiculous that an intentional community who speaks so much of coming home, of tribe, of not being like the other, Grindr-loving queers, should recycle and promulgate such toxicity among ourselves.

Whatever happened to the idea of subject-subject consciousness? The notion that we sought to exist in kinship and harmony with each other? That we respected each other’s uniqueness and gifts as a queer person, not just their value as an object to elevate our status amongst others who similarly objectify them? Harry Hay spoke of the natural inclination of queer men to be not killers and fighters who “seemed to want to celebrate their Brothers rather than to compete with them”. When we read those words do we even recognise ourselves any more?

Sometimes I look across the room and I can almost hear the transaction in my head as an older faerie gently places his hand on the lower thigh of one 30 years his junior and in his inflections the dialogue flows “you’re obviously deeply spiritual”, a little too practiced.

Or the hidden revelations given by another when nobody is around to hear that their spirit guides told them they would have a lover matching the same description as a newly minted faerie almost 4 decades younger.

The use of woo as a tool for seduction of other members of our tribe distresses me. Its twisting to enable seduction and subjugation is abhorrent. The delight in sharing ideas and rituals, of empowering and raising each other instead becomes an area of mistrust and confusion.

Wisdom of astrology becomes a set of mystical edicts from those with hidden arcane knowledge, set up to entrap the unwary.

At times I find myself questioning if I judge too harshly, regardless of the faeries who share their experiences with me, or the evidence of my own senses.

I remember my own mistakes and missteps, the damage I have caused and will no doubt cause unwittingly in future.

I remind myself that what is acted out in this sacred space is a result of trauma. We don’t talk about how it feels to grow older. To survive those who never will. To become invisible in our bars and clubs. To feel increasingly isolated, afraid and somehow lacking.

This isn’t everyone’s experience of course. Some delight in the role of the silver daddy, of discovering new ways of expressing themselves.

Some find comfort in their accomplishments and in their wisdom.

But some are desperately scared of no longer being desireable. We use gatherings as dating pools rather than opportunities for our own growth and development, let alone connecting to other men in platonic loving ways.

I watch complex, fascinating, talented men ignore opportunities to connect and nurture their community as a whole because they are obsessed with pursuing significantly younger men. The skills and insights they have are cast aside in their ravenous pursuit of their physical ideal.

As I say, I am complicit. I am one of these men. Although I have never had sex with a younger faerie at a gathering (except one instance where I was already in a relationship with them) I have found myself competing and I hate it. The process demeans everyone involved. It reverts to subject-object unconsciousness. How could it not do damage?

And I too have applauded and cheered as the most pert and youthful have been paraded at an auction to the howls of older men. That plays into the same culture too.

So what can we do?

Maybe we be more open about how it feels to be present in inter-generational queer space. Maybe we have some personal boundaries in place or share an intent to focus on our own gifts and journey and hold ourselves accountable. Perhaps even invite others to hold us accountable too. Wouldn’t that be a big hit of vulnerability and trust right there?

The crux of subject-subject consciousness should be mutual support and equality of power. We are perfectly capable of this but it doesn’t always serve the ego. So maybe we could prioritise consciously spending as much time with older faeries and getting to know them. Cause let’s face it, we’re all older faeries to someone.

Reach out to each other rather than offering reach-arounds. And there are issue of consent and coersion, as well as personal responsibility regarding sexual health that should to be addressed too. But I fear there are few who do have read to this end now. Many who have dismissed it.

Maybe we could engage back into our core tools. Heart circles help us to practice listening to everyone regardless of youth or appearance. Maybe we could share our fears and be there as silent witnesses for each other.

I would argue that we have a responsibility to ourselves and each other, to nurture and protect our tribe. Even from ourselves.

Cunty.

A Faerie rises from the ashes of shame

Eleven years ago

I thought I was a disgusting filthy ho

I’d met much older man named Gunny, one cum in my mouth and the other gave me money.

It was meant to be for petrol, I bought cigarettes and set in motion events i will never forget.

I went home to self created sanctuary or prison, the one place in my life I felt I had known to be myself, years before, a mess now like my head

I returned home, woken up two hours later to find, the sanctuary was gone, burned down to the ground. My home was gone, although I still had somewhere to slept

I thought it was because I had mixed money and sex. I thought it was some sort of cruel punishment or hex

Had I used it for what I said, then my sanctuary and my cat wouldn’t be dead. Some small comfort when she raised her head some hours later…

I dared not tell a soul the truth of what I believed had happened… although I did in my secret double life of meeting men in the night…

Did he keep it to himself? Fuck no

“It’s weird that this man knows your sanctuary is dead” said this person masquerading as my friend, I just ignored them as fear and shame consumed my head

“This man says you sucked his cock”

I was powerless when they said “I have something to ask you”

summoned to confess all my sins, but, I lied as best as I could, whilst trying not to tremble with shock or die on the spot, I felt I had no choice but to deny it, but I couldn’t really hide it

I wanted to take my own life that night more than I ever have, but my dad tried it once and this was on the eve of my mothers birthday, I couldn’t do that to her ten years later…

I was so overwhelmed with shame.. wretched and wrong

Couldn’t admit to it

Having sex with a man

A man older than my own father

I hated myself

Hated my body

Hated what being overweight had done to it

This old man wanted me

He was local

I felt this powerful, consuming urge to go to him

I thought I was disgusting, in some way I thought he was disgusting too and was getting off on it

I also thought he wouldn’t mind a bit of loose skin

I thought I could trust him for some reason, maybe I was just desperate to tell someone how I felt. by the change of season I wanted to hang him for treason

Another reason I wanted to die

Was because I thought I automatically got hiv, from any unprotected anal sex, and the condom broke, and there was blood on me

Later that year

I met another queer, at work

Although I didn’t use that word then it just rhymes now… the only other queer in my real day time work life not my seedy secret night-time shameful lost everything but can’t stop doing it sex life…

He was “out and proud” told his coming out story, things about being gay, struggles in his life, unknowingly shared things that helped… just being himself inspired me, I only just finally told him

I left that job after only a month. Cold dark lonely winter ahead, I felt empowered meeting him but on my own I was shattered and splintered, I had this glimmer of hope though that maybe after all it was ok to be gay…

But it meant by attacking ego was also having a ball

After a messed up nocturnal winter, a new sanctuary with no real energy because it was visited by only me, I finally met a nice guy my age on-line, we actually spent time, taking about things, enjoying each others company, questioning our sexuality

I got a call from my old job, did I want a job? They didn’t realise I ever worked there before, I went back, or started again…

I could manage my fear and anxiety being around men as long as I had a sex binge every few weeks and got it all out of my system, I was happy to be reunited with my queer friend though, who I feel gave me permission, just by being himself to start my own becoming myself mission

He talked about therapy and training as a counsellor, I was always interested in this too, and I found a therapist

the therapy was good

Sex got better

The secrets remained

The double life got easier

Then I met my “saviour”

A rare Someone who wanted me to come back after the first meeting…

This wasn’t unheard of.. but staying over was, so was mixing drugs and sex…

My mind was on high alert, waiting to get found out and hurt…

Over time visits kept recurring, and I was realised I was no longer going to bed, with ideas that I would rather kill myself before coming out every day in my head

With the help of this relationship I did came out

The Thing was I didn’t know what I was coming out into.. a new relationship of controlling accusations, belittlements and lies, of joy and love sometimes too, growth outweighed by pain and destruction, some healing of shame, but way too many games, I had been treating myself so badly I didn’t even realise he was doing it most of the time

Unconscious drug taking, a new hell in the making, with some beautiful times thrown in too,

in rapid painful contrast like I’ve never knew

Five years it lasted, always promised it would get better, especially when we got a house! Well that did help our relationship feel valid, help me feel better about being gay, but for a four bedroom house, built in garage and garden, it felt squalid

Somehow even with all the promises it would get better, it got far worse when we got that house

I got co-erced for the millionth time into taking drugs, I basically ignored him though, I read my new book the highly sensitive person and listened to frozen by Madonna and

had a mystical experience, realised most of the reason for my suffering was the way I still talked to myself and critically the amount of time I spent criticising others, not to mention having finally discovered at the age of 26 I am highly sensitive not weak or shy, opened up to a new concept of spirituality, and found teachings online that spoke to me

He wasn’t about to stop being the way I finally realised I had been,

in fact he was much worse and watching him continue slating everyone he knew was intolerable. I realise now when I was in Thailand, even though I never set foot near a Temple, only an outdoor yoga place he tried to stop me doing to, I got a clear message “learn to meditate” I had done a bit, which had also helped my spiritual shift although I realised it had already been there in my immense creativity

My best friend had moved away from me a year before but was able to be with me by the phone after I-lost-count-how-many-times-but-not-the-final-escape, and my mum convincing me to call her after waking up on her sofa after running away on a night out once I got Laid into and told her he was being abusive

I talked it all through with my friend, all the way from Australia

I went back but she didn’t forget,

I say to her now, I’m writing part of my life story. Thank you for being there when I needed you when I left, and not forgetting about it and checking how I was doing, helping me find the courage and clarity to Leave and get my life going

I went back for a few weeks, in total despair one Saturday day whilst he snorted Coke and watched porn. My confidence in my ability to stand on my own two feet so knocked I vowed to leave but only after I saved up some money were my conditions to be free

I was dealing with lies I had believed like

“You can’t leave, you will have nothing without me”

“ You can’t go back to your parents they will ruin you”

“No one else will want you”

Thankfully the relationship with my mum had Improved to the point where I was willing to risk going to my parents anyway…

The final night, there was a physical fight, half assed pushing, with nothing half assed about the rage or desperate lies…

I

told him with

immense power,

grace

and

clarity

;

“Nothing, could be worse than staying here with you, this is as bad as it can get”

I’d managed to pack a bag with most of my clothes, I didn’t stay long enough to get anything else, jumping in my car as he shouted at me in the street

I stopped just down the road, screamed, sobbed, punched the steering wheel, cried like I have never cried in my life,

with relief that I finally listened to the inner voice that had been telling it it wasn’t right

for over four years, relief that I had left and the pain of realising just what I had been through, and screamed and sobbed some more, I didn’t have to lie to myself any more

I felt the full force of five years of denials come to the fore

I felt I had no one to turn to who would understand what had happened, my friends were his friends, others had no idea what had been going on and wouldn’t understand

I cried even more when I finally remembered the existence of my friend he had helped turn me against

I phoned her, she was free, helped me process what happened and affirm I would never go back

I did panic, thinking I had thrown something good away and try 6 months later but he was lying to me within hours and I was gone

I let him keep me away from other people, I left him keep me away from other gays, I only met one I met in five years, apart from his friends we took drugs with sometimes, I realised I had no gay friends of my own when this guy started working with me, and I couldn’t be friends with him either, because I immediately got told all I was interested in was fucking him, and reminded of my ex’s mantra, all gays are scum

He repeated this to me for the final time after I left but was still entangled in a house and mortgage, I said to him, I don’t believe you, I’m going to find out if it’s true,

& if it turns out all gays are scum, then that includes me and you

I never got the result of a test for hiv that I finally took years after the blood incident. I assumed negative when I got no result.

Years of smoking weed, snorting Coke and taking ecstasy and a dose of conspiracy

combined with constant headaches had me paranoid, I thought I was dying sometimes and couldn’t think of getting tested, where would I even say I was going to someone so controlling?!

I got a double dose of new life and freedom when I left him and got tested and it was negative. I found one I wasn’t dying after all and now I was free to live

That didn’t stop the Suicidal thoughts coming with all the fearful programming overwhelming me, I was heartbroken and thought maybe I had ruined my life by leaving him like he said I would

I had no control over my vast and impeccable memory of all the things that ever happened, haunting me daily. I wanted to forget, Gain control, feel sane

Building on the mystical experience I had and my opening to spiritual teachings, I was guided again to learn yoga, but found a five day life changing retreat instead

My painful broken heart was able to feel good again, radiating out love to myself primarily, a radical concept and feeling,

then for my best friend in Australia, radiating out love for strangers and even transmuting hatred and pain for people who had hurt me into love. It was called loving kindness meditation but I know recognise it as divine magic

A memory came back to me to be cleared when I was deep in meditation on the “someone who you dislike section” a friends partner said to me

“The disgusting thing about gays is that they look at there straight mates sexually, I think it is so wrong”

I thought at the time this was where I got this idea from, and forgave him. That helped, realising later on though, all he was doing was mirroring a belief I had about myself, feels like it is completely healed now

I felt guided by angels and still do. The synchronicities at that time revolved a lot around the number 14. I left him on the 14th November. I wanted to do something good in the world and started a three month volunteering period to help fund pure, magically life changing projects in India on the 14th too, helping some of the worse treated people in the world, inspired partly by patron Judi Dench saying

“The degradation of others, is also our degradation”

I wondered at times going out door knocking, what the fuck I was doing, had I just signed up for more abuse?

In some ways I had, but in temporary community, although there was an Element of people pleasing, I was celebrated for my honesty at how hurt I had been, congratulated for my courage and bravery, and able to share my artistic talents in a huge collage about the people we were helping, shrines that got grander and and grander every week, and cooking special meals and baking the odd cake to up morale, and every 14th up until the 14th July, my birthday, felt like a huge milestone

I was recognised for my innocence

Innocence without naivety

A Blessing of others perception of

I would later read in a book called gay spirituality, integrating this made me so happy. I wasn’t scum, there was nothing to hide, hate or despise, it’s not a punishment, it’s a gift

I probably didn’t fully yet believe that yet but

I read about the faeries in this book too

I missed two gatherings for more fund-raising and a month long silent retreat, finding my grounding, finding my feet

It was fucking painful to go almost another year, after my breakup, before finally connecting with my Faerie tribe of amazing queers

I felt the love right away, although scared it could just be projection, my heart opened wide after being found crying by the river, talking to someone about what I been through, never been understood clearer

The magic was real, I truly began to heal , no talent shows, a beautiful initiatory ritual of rebirth in drag for the first time since I hit puberty unable any longer, to ignore the funny looks,

finding all this after trusting what I had read in the book

So many beautiful loving connections, a sacred experience on mushrooms on the dance floor at Featherstone, eating from the earth, dancers all around expressing themselves freely, in a building made of the stones of the land, I felt how pure and innocent and divine we all are

So many beautiful and loving faeries, often injured like I was, maybe still am in many ways, although so healed compared to 11 years ago. So healed compared to 3 weeks ago!

Thanks so much to the tribal connections, love and affection, that is facilitated in our magic Faerie castle, our farm by the heart chakra in Avalon, and actual, real sanctuaries beyond Albion

Now when I have sex there is no shame, I feel it is all healed, and if more comes up, I’ll heal that too

There is another beautiful relationship that has just transitioned into friendship to thank more than anything for this

Sharing ourselves and raw divine ecstatic bliss, relishing in each other, praying, holy, recognising the sacred worship that sex can be, creating a loving exclusive container for exploring this with one another, but Ultimately I found the impossibility of sex with others, a block to connection.

I never thought it could happen

I actually believe the act of sex can be healing, even between men. Between anybody.

I had started thinking that the healing power between men was special.. I think all the different combinations available have their own unique healing frequencies, all as valid as as can be

I definitely didn’t get taught this growing up, all I got taught was that I have sex after getting married to a woman and have babies, and there’s loads of different kinds of sex, but all the other ones are wrong. Something like that. Well it ain’t fucking true, fuck you

Memories of unrequited love came back to me when in the pain of a present connection feeling broken by the arrival of an ex. I realised it was never an unrequited love, it was reciprocated and true. We were both just too afraid to act on our desires, and ended up treating each other Badly, what chance did we stand in a small town with no one to show us the way.

Shifts happened

“He doesn’t like me, nothing will ever happen” “he wouldn’t want to have sex with me”

“they will never find me attractive”

Old thoughts melt away.

I realise that this experience in the past made me feel even more undesirable than I already thought I was, that my thoughts of being undesirable contributed to nothing happening, and when someone came along much older than me, I was too ashamed to admit that I actually enjoyed having sex with them. I had sex with someone almost the same age last week, it helped that he was actually mature and awake and sexy In a really rugged, manly way, but I really don’t give a shit about age now or what anyone thinks, trying to anyway

I felt alone again coming home, but the illusion of separation didn’t last long, existing & new connections are now too strong

Community has become experimental for me, in words of a friend, but it is true for me too

it’s so wonderful to be

Part of this tribe

Changing my patterns of fear and isolation, realising I think

“ I must be alone, I need to be alone”

When I actually need to share with someone how I am feeling

I had glorious new sexual encounters, true intimacy, sex magic exploration, opening up to new ways of relating

I knew multiple partners in just a few weeks or even was nothing to be ashamed of

Sex is healing

Sex is divine

I got to know myself so much more, revealing

Myself so much more

Loving others so much more

Free and open to all kinds of connection, love and affection

I feel the most supported I have ever felt in my entire life, not just by my tribe but by all of life

Even my dad listened to me, shared his feelings, gave me advice, feels like for the first time since I was traumatised at 11 and managed since to forgive him,

feel grateful for him although trying,

but Changing his mind after seeing a picture of me and my sister,

to take his own life

Realised he decided to live for us instead

I’m learning to love and accept myself

My body too

I’ve released so much tension from it the last few years, specially the last few weeks

It looks and feels completely different

Thank you

It’s painful that a phase of one relationship had to end for this to happen, but I’m in the flow

I was judging myself for wanting to “give myself to the Faeries”

Having sexual fantasies and watching a lot of porn

Now I have and I feel reborn

All the Love

🦄Unicorn🦄

One Small Year

One small year. It’s been an eternity, it’s taken all of me to get here. Through this one small year.

I found myself in a music circle last night, feeling compelled to murder the above Shaun Colvin song as acknowledgement of the anniversary of my leaving last year’s Imbolc gathering and the changes in my life since then.

Immediately after last Imbolc I made the painful decision to break up for the final time with my ex-fiance. Faced with a flat that reeked of loss, a job I could hardly tolerate and a city full of memories, I hatched a plan to escape and relocate (with considerable help).

Now a full solar rotation later I am in a different country, a different job, I have less stress and I am a Novice within the Order of Perpetual Indulgence. My life is full of new people and renewed purpose.

I had plans to help facilitate the current Imbolc gathering at Paddington Farm alongside some of the team from last year. As the date grew close and discussions began it felt progressively more frustrated and at odds with the process, so I bowed out and encouraged another to take my place.

Instead I concentrated efforts on my new local community. Alongside my good friend and fellow Sister I helped at the Community Christmas Day Dinner and threw myself into manifesting in Bristol and Glastonbury, handing out condoms and lube, delivering a speech as part of the World AIDS Day or writing profanities in glitter onto shiny festive baubles.

Time passed as it does and one chance encounter led to a discussion with a local publican about putting on a queer cabaret night here in the heart of rural Somerset. The Ministry of Martha was born.

In the meantime I began to share some faerie processes and ideas among my fellow Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. They took well to hissing in circles, they wanted to hear of the magic of queer empowerment, asked about spirituality within the context of sexuality.

All this culminated this week in pulling together an astonishing event here, where Faeries, Sisters and locals mixed, laughed and played together and raised funds for each other including a new LGBTQ youth group in Glastonbury.

Our 5 Sisters were graciously welcomed to the gathering space just outside town and after a brief sleep we walked together to join the Imbolc celebrations at the White Spring and Chalice Well. Sisters and Faeries also ate together and talked a lot, found common ground and opened their hearts in circle.

It has felt like reuniting lost relative tribes this week. Sisters honour their origins that lie with Faeries and the fact that one of their founders, Sister Soami (aka Sister Missionary Position) is still living in Sanctuary space on Short Mountain.

We have much to teach each other and I am blessed to have seen the best in both organisations this week. Oddly enough I have felt more valued and able to contribute at a Faerie Gathering as a Sister than if I had stuck it out and been a Gathering Organiser.

There are challenges here still for me, whether those reveal themselves through discussions around conflict or flickers of jealousy at some of the beauty all around me. New faeries to meet, reminders of happy loving times with past lovers here, the heartache of missing those who have passed through the veil. Familiar rivalries, old behaviour patterns, recalling schisms past and feeling their repercussions still.

Also being on the farm only part of the time, just enough to host an auction and a midnight heart circle or help facilitate a workshop on being a Sister, has been disconcerting. But I think I have become a better Faerie by being a better Nun. Perhaps those in combination might help me be a better realisation of myself. Hell, at least I know by now where spare blankets and towels can be found.

Everything is different now and some of it is even making sense. Blessed Imbolc everyone. You are loved.

Cunty (Princess Cuntmuscle)/Novice Carmen Myanus