All posts by Albion Faeries

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

Embracing subject:SUBJECT consciousness – Shokti

Radical Faeries gather around the world, creating zones of heart based communication, where we can retune our bodies, minds and spirits to the rhythms of nature, where we support, nourish and love each other, and find healing, purpose and inspiration. We are groups of Queers discovering the spiritual power hidden in sexuality, and learning to live in a new paradigm of co-operation, creativity, expansive love, consensus and Oneness.

Embracing subject:SUBJECT consciousness we overcome the hurdles within ourselves that prevent us meeting each other with love. We practice active listening in our heart circles, listening without judgement or reaction, growing in compassion and presence as we do so. This heart presence then inspires all our other activities, from cooking and washing up, to transformational workshops and ceremonies, to dancing and lovemaking. We honour the holiness of sexuality in our Love Temples and the healing touch of nature’s spirits, ancestor souls and queer deities, gradually shifting our understanding of life from the divide-and-conquer, materialist paradigm towards the full embrace of the divine dance of consciousness, co-created, expressed and shared through love, light and laughter.

Joy is the gift of spirit that we receive and develop in ourselves and that we bring to the wider world. Joy is a powerful vibration similar to love, but a more constant one – unlike love it has no shadow side. Joy is simply joy, coming from the soul and enjoyed in the body, heart and mind, it is the vibration of who we are as living spirit, fearless and adventurous, expressive and accepting, knowing and trusting, vulnerable yet strong, loving and praying. It’s what arises in us once we get the falsehoods of the ego, the fears and judgements etc of the mind, out of the way, and let who we really are shine through.

The faerie drums call out to all who are ready to hear and feel – the times are changing and queers have an important role to play in this change. For centuries our queer light and power has been denied and repressed, but in a few decades our presence in the world has undergone an incredible, mind-blowing shift. Our journey to sexual, social and political liberation has advanced in some parts of the world, and our next journey – of spiritual discovery (or re-discovery of who we have always been) and mystical emergence, which has been getting underway for some decades already in faerie groves and tantric playgrounds (mostly hidden from or ignored by mainstream gay life) is reaching a new level. What we go through, in this rapid journey from darkness to light, is forming a template for humanity as whole. Because of our long standing exclusion from the rituals of the rest of society, the hunger in some of us for tribe, for liberation, is very strong, and is fuelling our growth. We are fulfilling our archetypal role as scouts of consciousness, and if we can consolidate, strengthen and develop our tribe of hearts we will be a beacon for the rest of the lgbtiq+ cosmos and the whole world.

Rad Fae communities are one of the key places that we Queers are exploring new ways of relating and communicating. We are circles of people exploring what it can be to live in the presence of love, with trust, respect and in safety, in the sacred connection of souls having a multi-dimensional experience. We are emerging as a global force, a tribe of hearts.

People come to faeries from all kinds of backgrounds and spiritual/religious experience. We are a melting pot of ideas, vibrations and potential. Whether we have spiritual beliefs/practices or not, in faerie community we can get a direct experience of love-in-action, of heightened frequencies, of deep intimacy (with each other and all creation (on a good day)), of life as a cosmic dance. In mystical language, it could be said we open the gates to the goddess – to the shakti presence in us and all creation – which the queer interplay of gender energies within us enable us to attune to and be aware of. This shakti presence uplifts, transforms and changes the game of life. Queers work and play with this magic all the time, in faerie space we get to turn the volume UP.

This is why it works – in the realm of the Goddess there is no search for enlightenment, only the experience that it is already here, connecting us, feeding us, enabling us, blessing us, encouraging us. When we are feeling free, bright and joyful we do not seek anything, we are experiencing ourselves in our natural state. The search for answers, the need to address our issues, the fear of the future, disappear and we live as love. Once open, this shakti gate just keeps on giving, and when our issues and fears resurface we will find new ways to address them. Faerie gatherings are held within sacred circles, where the unconditional love of the divine channelled through the elements that give us life meets our aspirational heart energies to reveal the way to healing, magic and splendour.

At some point we might find the abundance of emotion and experience overflows and overwhelms us. Then we may feel inclined to run away from faeries, and perhaps need to for a while – but where else in the world will we find such a pioneering, queer, eccentric and ecstatic tribe of playful, sexy, warrior souls? Faerie space is not perfect – it’s not designed to be a utopia escaping reality – it’s a transformational playground pointing the way to better quality of life experience, the like of which has never existed on planet earth before. The ride will not always be smooth, but there is no ride quite like it. For queers seeking deeper connection, both internally and externally, greater intimacy and meaning in life, Faerie space is providing a glimpse into what might be possible.

We don’t have to ‘become’ a faerie – to take on another label in any fierce or dogmatic fashion. In fact to do so would be so un-faerie. Faerie gives us the chance to embrace ultimate flexibility/fluidity, shapeshifters that we are – here is a space where queers who are called to explore the magical, mystical power within the human soul can gather with others and have the necessary, frequently ecstatic, fun to release it. Call it what we like, here we are scouts of consciousness taking and tackling the ‘essentialist’ route towards fulfilment of our queerness (ie exploring what makes us unique in the human panoply), as opposed to the ‘assimilationist’ path of the mainstream gay culture. We get to discover that we are witches, shamans, fools, that we are healers, artists and agents of transformation. For queers who already feel this or know this in themselves, and for all queers who have this in them, faerie space is a true homecoming – but not the end of the journey, it is a beginning.

***

Some humans are born with a sense of the numinous, the worlds beyond the physical, already built into their awareness, but many of us experience some kind of ‘revelation’ moment when the bigger picture of the creation opens up for us. This is often called an Awakening, and can come to us through all sorts of situations, both pleasant and unpleasant. It might be that we are ‘programmed’ to wake up to more levels of existence as we get older and ready to deal with what they bring to us. As the mainstream culture of our times does not recognise this process it is very common for the symptoms of awakening to be misunderstood and medicated away. It is possible that a lot of mental illness is due to this fundamental denial in the culture of our evolving, emerging, soul natures. Life conspires to bring us direct experiences of that nature, then leaving it in our hands as to when and how we adapt our lives to harmonise with it. If we are resistant we are to doing that, life will continue to try to push us into it, quite possibly through crises, illnesses etc.

Once we have seen the light, we need to find our own way to walk in it. Every part of us that is in darkness, in shadow, will be illuminated. The path of light, of conscious growth, means facing, embracing and healing the shadow in ourselves, and ultimately in all things.  It helps to remember we are on a path of healing – and not fall back into believing in pathological labels given to us by the materialist paradigm when things get tough.  Taking the time to focus and mark the seasonal shifts (equinoxes, solstices etc) and moon cycles can keep us on track, keep the deeper purpose high in our minds.  This can have very powerful effects, hastening our healing and evolution, especially when shared with others.

The religious paths of the Father, with their written treatises, rules and disciplines of yoga, meditation etc – and their promises of enlightenment and salvation (usually considered out of reach, at least in this lifetime) can provide us with vital tools to ground and centre ourselves in the changeable and challenging moments in community and in life in general.

The paths of the Mother Goddess are found in the cycles and rhythms and beings of nature, of the sun and moon, the planets and stars.  They stem from the fact that all this Creation around us is ONE DANCE constantly in a state of communion and communication. The power of the heavenly bodies and nature’s cycles is often revealed to us through direct experience of faerie ritual and community living. Through observing, honouring and studying the seasonal shifts, the moon cycles etc we discover that the shakti presence and wisdom is always there on offer to us, to help us open our minds and heal our souls. The ‘brainwashing’ we received from the rationalist, materialist school of thought that likely dominated our education makes many of us resistant to embrace the intuitive arts of astrology, tarot, kabbalah, shamanism etc, but these arts, that require the interplay of our left and right brains in order to be mastered, hold the keys to our souls. Whether we are actively ‘spiritual’ in a conventional sense or not, they can reveal the dance of spirit in matter, remind us that we are in fact That, release us from the cage of separation and existential angst that science may have dropped us in, however well meaning it’s efforts, and reveal to us just how magical, marvellous and divine our existence, both individually and collectively as a tribe of hearts, truly is.

Once awake we have to HEAL

in order to HEAL we have to FEEL

open our HEARTS and walk with COURAGE

distinguish between what is FALSE and what REAL

The Cosmos is calling us HOME

to CONSCIOUS LOVE-IN-ACTION

to the true nature of the HUMAN SOUL

AND TO THE QUEERS TO REMEMBER OUR ROLE

Faerie-breakups. A call to sisterhood.

Gather round darlings, Aunt Octopus wants a word.

 

My experience of being introduced to the faeries was through an ex-lover, now Sister/Brother. You might know them; their affection is expressed through playful gestures of invisible flea picking, nipple play and the deep bass and tone of contentment and connectedness; emulating the playful and healing libido of a small, cuddly and radical tribe of the forest – Bonobo.

 

It was a brave manoeuvre to invite me into the space that they had found such home in. I have many tentacles and take up space. It changed my life in only ways that the faeries can and in that spirit, I went on to subsequently nag my then current long term partner to attend – they became Wood Pigeon. Through that experience Wood Pigeon came to exude so much grace and confidence in their queerness that it was clear we were all on to something special. Some years later our lair / nest would grow a little more to accommodate another member – who would also find tribe through us. They became Magpie; a cheeky, playful and curious treasure-seeker. Their journey has been similarly expansive and transformative. They too found a home.

 

These days my lair is my own. The Wood Pigeon has flown and flies in many directions, building temporary nests along the way so as to not make heavy their global adventure of the heart. The Magpie too found a home near water, in an exotic and mischievous floating menagerie of love and constant playtime. They are happy and I’m happy for them. I keep less mirrors on the walls these days. My tentacles bask simultaneously in the light at the mouth of my cave, with some curled and drenched in the shadow. Sometimes I project out to the Jellyfish, undulating upwards all glitter, ruffles and appendages. But for now my heart is safe at home in myself. It’ll be a while until it ventures out again.

 

But enough of the poetry – real struggle, real words. The past year has been a challenge in both personal life and community – which are increasingly inseparable, and so be it. This last chapter has been a true test of my polyamory, my integrity, family and community. Over the last six months of being in various queer and faerie spaces, from the glorious temple of queer rites, to the fields of queer spirit, the racket of global gathering and the heart of Canaan Tribe, I’ve shared and resonated with many gorgeous and courageous creatures who share similar experiences. Some still caught up in the process; still shining but with characteristic wide eyes and hard jaws. Holding on.

 

To clarify, this piece is informed by my own process but also from inspiration. When I say ‘our’, I don’t mean to misrepresent anyone else’s voice or experience. I say it in hopeful solidarity. In essence, I’m trying to trace a common experience of breakups in community to understand potential collaborative solutions and more effective healing structures and spaces.

 

Faerie tribe is a torrent of play and connection of varying intensities – of everything from fleeting gazes and smiles over shared cigarettes, to deep heart connection and intimacy over lengthier periods of time. Sometimes we meet our lovers and partners in situ, sometimes we open the door to tribe for them, sometimes we are the ones invited into tribe through a relationship. It seems to me that the true radicalism of the faeries is how we practice our love and how we navigate our relationships in and out of community. It is not always easy; it is always beautiful but sometimes messy.

 

Nevertheless, as Tribe we hold space for ourselves and each other – for our individual and collective fire; our intensity, passions, anger, shame, fears, jealousies, attachments, perceived flaws and inadequacies. Objectively, we seem to find our way and do a pretty good job. In fact, we rock. But in our mish-mash of connections and intense faerie affairs there can be casualties too – inevitably, for whatever reason, faeries may need to breathe space into a connection with a significant other(s). Draw it to a close. Recalibrate and re-configure as a means of self-preservation, healing and renewal. Hearts break and there are heart aches. The question is, when love implodes, transitions and transforms in community, how does community hold us? Or does it hold us at all?

 

I think it’s fair to say that after a parting of faerie-ways a whole mess of feelings follows suit. My experience and those processes I have witnessed seem to speak to how post break up, community can seem a precarious place. A sense of tribe can quickly devolve into a conspiracy of discrete fractions and alliances where we may find ourselves having to survey upcoming gatherings and events to see where and what is safe for us. Particular faeries close to an ex-partner may become ripe for projection, our ‘storyboards’. In this sense, without support, it’s easy to see how one can quickly become a co-conspirator in their own fear and isolation.

 

Shame may be experienced through the exposure of a breakup in community – externalising self-judgement and blame for a connection gone awry onto the faces of tribe. Self-esteem, already at a low ebb through the often injurious ride of decoupling, remains depleted as we struggle to find footing in our usual store of magick and power – tribe-as-home. Drum circles become clashing symbols of memories and triggers echoing what has been lost. There may be a struggle to find the dance, rhythm and beat that was uniquely ours before our merger. And as the tribe shifts, fluctuates and grows, as it tends to do, the distance needed for healing can feed into a sense of being left behind – of not knowing where the point of re-connection or re-entry is.

 

How do we find our place again? Our community, being the glorious vanguard of sex-positivity, free-love and polyamory that it is, means that there’s always the potential for some sloppy faerie encounter lurking around the corner, involving your ex-partner and multiple other creatures, to twist into your belly what is lost and where you aren’t. To find solace beyond the smog of faerie breakup, we may even seek Tribe on the other side of the world; to cry in unfamiliar circles and be comforted by an impartial gaze. In worst case scenarios, these experiences can be unbearable and the escape can be very final, meaning complete detachment from community. This isn’t a sensational point, it happens. And for others, the inhibiting consequences of all of this, or perhaps of anticipating the mess that can come through relationship in community, is to rule out deeper intimacy with other faeries – to connect deeply on all other levels but the kind of sacred intimacy and sexuality that risks a bruised heart. But which forms also a vital part of our ritual and celebration together – of our love.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard other stories too. Positive stories. And beyond the challenge, I’m involved here and now in the co-creation of one myself. Many of us live to tell the tale of how beautiful tribe can be post-heartbreak, when a true sense of family arises from the ashes of what was before. Indeed, one morning in a queery field in Wiltshire, a dear former lover bound out of their sleeping space to unexpectedly fall onto two sleeping faeries who had arrived late in the night and took up residence in the porch of their tent. Both of us had shared deep connection with them in the past to go onto forge a chemistry and friendship of our own. In that moment, the love among the three of us was tangible. Later that day, that faerie would counsel me in the rawness of a current breakup to say: the struggle is real but worth it – in what other world do we have the chance to queer our relationships through pure alchemy into the most unexpected but steadfast and persistent arrangements of love and harmony. Real people. Real tribe.

 

But this story is also a shout out and an invitation. An invitation to consider as a community how we can support this fragile re-birth in a way that flows more gently and that holds people lovingly through the transition. What does real sisterhood around breakups look like in faerie community? How do we create alliances around both parties struggling with heartbreak and separation that are transparent, non-exclusive, reciprocative, communicative and well resourced? Which of us feels able to steward from the heart, to be visible, present and accessible as counsel to those faeries struggling with the fallout of heartbreak in community? What do these systems of support look like, where do they exist and how do they function? If heartache in community is part and parcel of the process – if it is something to learn from, grow from and in the end, to benefit from – how do we gather round to make that medicine easier to swallow? How do we integrate the inevitable ebb and flow of connection in faerie space in a way that allows those intimately involved in a shifting connection, and the whole community witness to it, to mine the gold beyond the pain?

 

This is call for solidarity, sharing and ideas. Let’s workshop, explore and create.

 

Thanks for all of those in Tribe for inspiring this piece through their heartache, vulnerability and sharing.

 

Love you.

 

Octopus X

 

Other stuff by Octopus:

Our Glorious Bodies. 

You have to be there to be transformed. 

Albion faerie authors


The creativity of the AlbionFae is flowing into print and electronic books…

Check us out!

 

QUEER DEITY, SACRED SLUT by Al Head

QUEER DEITY, SACRED SLUT’ invokes ancient and modern archetypal figures along with a revel of QUEER DEITIES. It explores themes of paganism, gender, sexuality, identity, healing and the ways we connect with each other and the earth.

Its magical, embodied and radical prose is woven with poems and songs to form a rich tapestry imbued with the author’s unique perspective.    http://www.alhead.co.uk/2.html

ebook available from: http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/al-head/queer-deity-sacred-slut-thoughts-in-process/ebook/product-23422958.html


ESSENCE: THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO VEGANISM by Edward Daniel

Packed with mouth-watering recipes, emotive poetry and themes on letting go of the past, this book is a highly personal, very readable result of a lifetime commitment to bring about change and understanding to the new paradigm we find ourselves in. This paradigm involves making spiritual choices from the heart.

This book offers a heart-centric way of living and invites the reader to be open to new ideas and ways of being. It is an exquisitely illustrated, evocative beginner’s guide to veganism and a passionate argument on why to go vegan. Edward breaks down barriers that lead to a new spiritual well being achieved through a wholesome, plant-based diet.  http://www.ethivegan.com/ethivegan-book-essence-the-beginners-guide-veganism/


I AM GOD: Seven Magickal Steps to Personal Divinity by Lilith

To be truly divine we must learn to be wild again – to un-domesticate ourselves. We need to let go of the fear, the self-hatred, and the ‘good’ behaviour that we’re driven to by the doctrine of monotheism.

This book takes you on a journey from your inner world to the outer cosmos, it offers a simple yet potent training for personal discovery and enlightenment.

Using story, magick, ritual, sacred-sex, meditation, journey, and the ecstatic state, it gives you the tools that will inspire your spiritual experience and awaken you to your deep inner wisdom.

http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/lilith/i-am-god-seven-magickal-steps-to-personal-divinity/paperback/product-20981367.html

ebook at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Am-God-Magickal-Personal-Divinity-ebook/dp/B013CGVBOC


THE MICE by Roger Mason

Starbuck’s critically acclaimed series of graphic novels:

‘This is smart science fiction’ SFX magazine
‘Multi-layered and thoughtful; a great read…’ Forbidden Planet
9/10 Comics International
‘There’s nothing else like it – 4/5 stars’ Sci Fi Now magazine

http://looksgoodonpaper.co.uk/comic-artist-roger-mason/mice-graphic-novel-by-roger-mason/


THE QUEER DIARY OF MORDRED VIENNA by Russell Christie

Christian, Daniel and Alan are drawn to San Francisco on the cusp of the digital age. They find work as erotic performers in the emporia of the city. Through outcaste and avant-garde connections at The Ashbury Theater, they meet the artist Mordred Vienna. Like them, she arrived from somewhere else. Now, she uses her body as her canvas and the focus of her installations. Together they make new performances as they move from the twilight world of the homosexual into the computer systems of Silicon Valley and on to Hollywood and mainstream success.

The Queer Diary of Mordred Vienna is a work of queer fiction. It uncovers a journey from obscurity to recognition, from exile to inclusion and mutual acknowledgement. Moving from the country to the city and from the margins to the center, the book plots an alternative history of LGBTQ liberation. Like life, it has erotic content.

Copies on sale at Gays the Word bookshop and from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Queer-Diary-Mordred-Vienna/dp/1508760977

ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAQ056I


AIDS SHAMAN: Queer Spirit Awakening by Shokti Lovestar

Take a journey with Shokti, AIDS survivor who awoke to the spiritual realms while sick in the 1990s. Poetry and prose to make you think about the role gay/queer people play in the human story, plus inspiration from queer ancestors, prophets and teachers.

Ebook and paperback available from http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shokti

Global gathering 2017

August 8-17th, 2017 – Saw the second Global Radical Faerie Gathering which took place at Featherstone Castle.

 120 faeries from more than 20 countries gathered to build and strengthen our global network. Albion, Euro, American and Canaan tribes were all well represented, and were joined by faerie pioneers from around the world, including delegates from China, Nigeria, Russia, Benin, Cameroon and Singapore.

In August 2017, thirty-eight years after its founding [of Rad Fae community], a sold-out, international Radical Faerie gathering was held in Great Britain with the stated goal of creating a global Radical Faerie community. Its aim is to have “queer people step up and claim our freedom and security and human rights, our meaningful and valuable place in society,” echoing the Gay Essentialist intent that originally motivated Hay and Kilhefner to call the Radical Faeries into being.   Don Kilhefner  https://www.laprogressive.com/gay-identity/

Here are words from some of those that attended:

Thanks to the Albion Faeries for hosting the Global Gathering and welcoming us into your world and culture. It was magical to make connections with people from around the world and hear their stories and political and cultural challenges and difficulties. It is an honour to be part of this ongoing multicultural dialogue. Bobby

As the sun sets on the first day back in muggle non faerie space, I think of the first thing said to me upon arrival at Featherstone, “Welcome home”. It took me aback a little, but within several hours I understood why we’d called it such. I have never felt so apart of a family, a tribe, a community as I have this week so thank you all for being apart of this experience. This is the start of a beautiful journey that I look forward to sharing with each and everyone of you.   Red

Really missing my time in the castle with all you beautiful faeries. Words can’t really describe how beautiful it was too be welcomed and witnessed with such lovingly open arms (and other body parts). Spirit gifted me a song at the gathering. A song that she’s only shared with me once before. A gift that resonates with me right now as powerful as the gift of getting to witness all you lovely beings. Thank you, yes you, for welcoming me into the sacred space that is the gathering we created and the cauldron we continue to stir our love and support in to.   Dirty D Extraordinaire

Exceptional and unique. Every individual, every shared moment, every bonded cluster… so many profound experiences shared at the Castle. Deep affection, pure love. I know no one who’s heart was not touched by the pink pulsing energy of all of us beautiful souls together. Waving the Faerie flag, knickers, dresses in the air.    Blue

Thank you all for your magic and presence. As I placed the final stones in this ‘circle’, I thought of us all, different shapes and sizes and colours, not made to fit any one way, but coming together harmoniously to make a thing of beauty. Sorry to the farmer that asked me to put them all back; it was too rainy on the last day to do so… Much love for all the comfort, challenges, support, and familiarity with you all. Many thanks to John for sharing his giant home with us, and to the land for holding us in it’s beautiful way.

‘Faerie Castle’
Castle strong,
You hold us tight!
Castle wise,
You know our might!
Castle old,
You’ve seen us grow!
Castle stay,
We’ve far to go!
Every moment in you
Is a moment of Truth!
Every movement in you
Is a dance of youth!
Every secret we’ve shared
Is a promise we’ve made!
Every touch, kiss and cuddle,
An emotional parade!
We’re bonded in story!
We’re bonded in song!
Sing out, sing proud,
Sing loud, hard, and long!
The castle is in us;
The castle is our hearts!
We build it together;
We make up its parts!
We hold one another
By our warm fire light!
We walk our own halls,
By day and by night!
We share what is in us;
We are sheltered in our love!
We keep coming together,
And see our castle
Rising
Above!                ~Earthflame

What a brilliant and amazing Gathering. Back in my own home again, tired and immensely happy, and proud of everyone at Global for what we created and achieved there and what will come of it in the years and decades ahead.

Thank you for receiving what I gave
Thank you for giving what I received
Thank you for the hugs and the compliments
Thank you for the laughter, the dancing and the drumming
Thank you for noticing when I was sad
Thank you for comforting me in my sadness
Thank you for the community and connection
Thank you for your love
Thank you for being who you are    Taz Spirit Warrior

When I first came out in the late 60s, I had no word for what I was. After Stonewall, many of us homosexuals flocked to the great urban settings and found anonymity and freedom to be more open as to who we were. I found my first tribe there and it was a time to explore, to come out, to figure out what it meant to be gay in the neighbourhoods we lived in, the workplace, the street, the underground, the world. I can still remember the unfamiliar heady feeling of freedom from just being gay. The community hadn’t evolved enuf yet to begin identifying into further distinctions (other than what what I would call the Top 5: Western, Leather, Military, Preppy, Drag.) For me, it was the onset of the AIDS epidemic that began to help me discern that we were a . . . “people” . . . and that we were about something. We know now that some of the support models for People with AIDS that were created in the early 80s have become the norm, as well as how medications are accessed, etc. At some point I began to consider and appreciate the power of what it means to be an ‘outsider’ in the larger mainstream world which increasingly included other homosexuals. My sense is that the outsiders/outlaws/edgewalkers need to be able to see each other and bind together (ala the castle) and, if the larger mainstream has enough insight, they should finds ways to appreciate and support (or at least live and let live) the outsider/other as well. The truth is that there are no insiders without the outsiders; their survival is directly linked to ours.   Ed Wolf

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Drawn as a response to the Global Gathering, this began as a visual representation of our spiral dance at the closing circle. Our collective creation, initiated by W’Fang, was a beautiful highlight of my magical faerie experience.  Moss  {PICTURE}

Restored. Connected. Overflowing… Such a fat and gorgeous week with you all and such an important personal milestone and mirror for me in community. Global tribe alive. See you all in a discrete corner of the world somewhere soon.    Octopus

I’ve been reflecting on why I feel so exhausted AND ecstatic after our gathering. Late last night I realised, the gathering was and is a personal and collective re-birth. A calling forth of ecstasy in a manner traditionally reserved for mystics who experienced the divine as lover. And so it is, when we meet one another from soul-love, we meet the divine. What a gift, and what a challenge when we can’t meet others in this way! I think this challenge is exhausting me – and I don’t think I’m alone in this experience….

“Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away”
For what is here now, but the pieces of a shattered vessel
Too burdened to carry further, released, fragrant again
Eager with spring’s sharp waters
Abounding with winter’s fertile song
Let us a sing a new song, and be glad   Qweaver, 28aug17

Positivity and energy abound. I truly, really have a Faemily who help me understand, be and flourish. I see in my mind”s eye and hear again the conversations, experiment, intimacy, challenge at The Global Gathering. Revelation, envy, laughter, fun. Powering through discomfort, a new confidence is developing in me. When there are cloudy days in the future, I will think about the GG, odd days when there were heavy clouds in the sky but know that the sun is hidden behind them and it will make an appearance when it is and I am ready.   Blue

Hi, some have asked for the words to the song we sang at closing…
“With each change we make
let it begin
With each step we take
let it begin
With each chain we break
let it begin
Every time we awake
let it begin”
Thanks to WFang for the memory, song and leading.  Kwai

My usual way of processing after a gathering includes making a play-list of tunes that resonate personally during and since.
I have made this one collaborative so that others with easy access to Spotify can add in too.
There are stories behind my choices, but I name no names !
https://open.spotify.com/user/miqhey/playlist/0saGn3BVJ8TdsVVndKnaTj   Miqxture

…had coffee with friends this morning and they asked me what did i enjoy most?
Impossible question… the answer took ten minutes and included morning coffee, sunshine in the car park, organised chaos and spontaneous choral works in the kitchen, the warm cosy chat friendly fires and the walks in the country with only the sheep and cows bearing witness to the explosions of colour and fashion, drums, laughter and late nights.
i talked about washing up pots and pans for 100 people, while singing and laughing like a small furry animal from snow white… flitting around the kitchen performing magic and feeding the faeries.
i talked about the workshops and the conversations, the leaning and the teaching and i talked about the strangers – who were just friends we hadn’t met yet.        Pink Dalek

Thank you to everyone for an amazing gathering. It renewed my faith in the radical faeries and in myself.   Astro

I ride the waves
Floating towards my home shore
Waves of calm
Waves roughly shaking me
Waves of love
Waves of tears
Waves of song
Waves of laughter
Waves of memories
Waves from the distance
Like Omar Sharif appearing in the desert mirage
You wave to me and I long for you
I ride the waves
Knowing you are always around
Riding your own waves
But always there for me
I’ll soon reach the soft sands of home
And sleep upon the sunny shore
The waves softly caressing the beach
Comforting me as I settle   Moss

It was my first time in a Castle! I felt so much welcomed these ten days … I made a new family I got so much love without any Greed or benefit just unconditional love ❤️ just got back in London seeing the concrete world through the coach window… Featherstone Castle and the tribe I feel like it was a dream.  Dark Angel

Thank you global faemily, and especially Albion faeries, for this healing empowering experience. We go forth with great visions into the future! Blessed be!   EZ

At the global faerie gathering it was delightful and refreshing to observe how the Euro, American and Israeli brothers happily refer to each other as She. I think the machismo of Anglo Saxon Britannia has affected Gay culture and produced a situation where many gay men have masked their femininity and so are perceived and perceive themselves as different to trans and non-binary folk. But living as a Radical Faerie I am living my whole Self, the She, He and also That.

By That I mean the divine spark of consciousness. The thing we all have in common. The awareness of I AM. In Faerie space we can explore who we are, female and male.. and also That something non-binary, mysterious and holy. That. My faerie mind describes That as the presence of Nature… a serene, wise yet wild, raw, vulnerable and utter powerful. From Nature we come to Nature we return. In Nature we heal and become Whole. Our whole holy Nature.

From all over the world we Faeries gathered at Featherstone.  Each tribe unique, each faerie unique, together we found our shared spirit in the meeting of passionate hearts, of lovers of life and liberation. Our nature affirmed, our global community strengthened, it happened at Featherstone.   Shokti

There is no beginning
There is no end
There is only the infinite passion of life. — Fellini

Autumn Prayer

We are the faerie spirit
that’s always lived within humanity
raw awareness in tune with nature’s dance
that sacrificed that divinity
that also lost its sanity
that became mortal, physical, solid
forgot how to shapeshift, astral travel
how to turn within to take flight
we became flesh, we learnt to die
we learnt about suffering, we learnt how to lie
but now humanity’s reached its tipping point
and amidst its madness a new age being born
remembering eternity, remembering you are me
remembering the elements, the mother, the spirit
surrendering to That and becoming This
Faerie Spirit born to flow free
born to liberate humanity
from polarities and dualities
Great Faerie Spirit-in-Action
flow through this tribe
liberate our minds from deathtraps
empower our hearts with courage
may we be who we, see who we, become who we are
may we reunite the earth and the heavenly stars
bring the power of rainbows into human eyes
as we reveal the faerie ‘neath the human disguise
we may appear at L as G, as B as T
but our queer spirit is part of eternity, is remembering infinity

Hanging with Harry Hay

Harry Hay (1912-2002) Here are some quotations and photos to assist communion with the spirit of Harry, gay activist and founder of the 1950s Mattachine Society and one of the three founding motherfathers of the Radical Faeries…. Harry was born in Worthing, UK, and lived his life in the USA.

harry8

Give yourself permission to enjoy being gay. You do have to give yourself permission. You have been told you may not. Give yourself permission to be free.

Throw off the ugly green frogskin of hetero-imitation to find the shining Faerie prince beneath

harry1

When we begin to love and respect Great Mother Nature’s gift to us of gayness, we’ll discover that the bondage of our childhood and adolescence in the trials and tribulations of neitherness was actually an apprenticeship for teaching her children new cutting edges of consciousness and social change. In stunning paradox, our neitherness is our talisman, our fairie wand, our gift we bring to the hetero world to….transform their pain into healings; …transform their tears to laughter: …transform their hand-me-downs to visions of loveliness.

harry-hay

harry_hayquote

harry13

Our beautiful lovely sexuality is the gateway to spirit. Under all organised religions of the past, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, there has been a separation of carnality, or shall we say of flesh or earth or sex, and spirituality. As far as I am concerned they are all the same thing, and what we need to do as faeries is to tie it all back together again.

harry4

The term ‘spiritual’ represents the accumulation of all experiential consciousness from the division of the first cells in the primeval slime, down through all evolution, to your latest insights of subject-subject consciousness just a minute ago. What else can we call this overwhelmingly magnificent inheritance—other than spiritual?

harry9

I was an older brother. So I had to do a lot of things first. My father was a self-made man, and he would beat me senseless. But he was a Scotsman, and stubborn. I’m his son, and I’m stubborn, too. I go on being stubborn.

harry10

We know how to live through their eyes. We can always play their games, but are we denying ourselves by doing this? If you’re going to carry the skin of conformity over you, you are going to suppress the beautiful prince or princess within you.

harry12

Confronted with the loving-sharing Consensus of subject-SUBJECT relationships all Authoritarianism must vanish. The Fairy Family Circle, co-joined in the shared vision of non-possessive love – which is the granting to any other and all others that total space wherein each may grow and soar to his own freely-selected, full potential – reaching out to one another subject-to-SUBJECT, becomes for the first time in history the true working model of a Sharing Consensus!

Subject–SUBJECT consciousness, a concept proposed by Harry Hay, believed by Hay to be gay people’s unique perspective on the world. Hay saw heterosexual society existing in a subject–object dynamic; where men, who had the culturally acceptable power, saw only themselves as subject and therefore higher than women, who were treated as objects and property. Hay extrapolated this interpersonal-sexual dynamic (male-power:female-subordinate) into a broader social context, believing that the subject-object relationship was the driving force behind most all of societies ills. Objectificiation served as a barrier, emotionally separating an individual (subject) from another individual by dehumanizing them, making them object.

When Hay looked at same-sex relationships, however, he saw a different dynamic at work. He believed that homosexual relationships were based on mutual respect and empathy for the other: a longing for a companion who was as equally valuable as the self. Hay termed this interpersonal—sexual dynamic “subject—SUBJECT” (which Hay capitalized for emphasis in all of his writings). He believed that this subject–SUBJECT way of viewing the world was gay people’s most valuable contribution to the greater society. By empathizing with all people, relating to each other as equal-to-equal, society would change drastically and social injustices would be eradicated.    Wikipedia

harry11

There are many ways to be a Radical Faerie

Some come for the SPIRIT

some come for the DRAG

some love to create FEASTS

all come for COMMUNITY

and to experience DIVERSITY

leading to UNITY

found in the HEART

LOVE is the FAERIE ART

No matter your body shape, size, design

The call to be a faerie is found inside

No matter your colour, gender or creed

A radical passion is all that you need.

There are many motivations behind people’s involvement in Radical Faerie space. Heart centred communication as a way of creating community is definitely a major one. As is the chance to honour nature and the spiritual side of life in ways of our own choosing and devising. Faeries are creating a queer mystical subculture, where we can drop the human façade and be the magical divine child at play in the universe, where we can recognise that all life is one (the faerie mantra is ‘subject-SUBJECT consciousness’), and discover the role that queer beings are called to play in that sacred unity.

For some faeries this journey is directly about exploring the inheritance we receive from the shamanic peoples of planet earth, which tribes were often served by gender-bending, cross-dressing, shape-shifting queer souls in spiritual roles. It is about reclaiming the link between homo-eroticism, gender variance and the sacred – an intimate link that once was in play around the whole world, from ancient Greek and Roman cults that worshipped deities such as Aphrodite, Artemis, Dionysus, Pan, Antinous… to Celtic pagan sorcery, native American two-spirit shamans, African magicians and Sufi poets. Monasteries in Christian and Buddhist cultures long served as sanctuaries for same sex loving individuals.

Radical Faerie spaces enable queers to deepen our experience of life – of love, sex and community. Bonds are strengthened through gatherings and ecstatic rituals that lead us into communion with nature and spirit. In community we care for each other, form bonds of love and compassion that are extended to all who come along – we are exploring the next territories of queer life, taking our gay liberation all the way from the sexual through the social and political into the spiritual realms, attempting to build a world where LOVE is the starting point.

The doors to Albion Faerie gatherings are open to all who feel called to be there. The first Radical Faeries were gay men but they soon discovered that Faerie space involves the transcendence of labels, of limited notions of gender and Self, that society.. and the mainstream lgbt+ community.. often impose on us. In Faerie space we can drop outdated limiting notions of who we are, and open mind and heart to a magical reality that humans have long lost touch with. Inside every human there exists an indigenous soul that remembers its innate connection to all of life. It is magical and eternal, it is the Faerie child inside.

Out of the mists of our long oppression

We bring love for ourselves and each other

And love for the gifts we bear

So heavy and so painful the fashioning of them,

So long the road given us to travel them. A separate people,

We bring a gift to celebrate each other,

‘Tis a gift to be gay!

Feel the pride of it!

(Radical Faerie founding spirit, Harry Hay)

Albion gathering history

At a political demo in London this summer I met a Radical Faerie from Atlanta, the city faerie clan in Georgia that currently has a reputation for being the most active and fertile group in the USA.  He told me that he had heard that the Albion Faeries are ‘very spiritual’.  By this I don’t think he meant that we go to church on time, or that we all line up dutifully for morning practice, nor even that we are super nice to each other (and compared to some of what I have seen in American sanctuaries, we actually are).  He may have been referring to the way we meet regularly to honour the moon cycles, and also to the way our gatherings are built to consciously get the most out of the energies of the seasonal festivals of the wheel of the year.  As I feel very fortunate to have discovered very early into my personal spiritual journey, our ultimate task while alive is to follow our spirit, not our given/chosen spiritual path.  Fortunate also to have discovered how the cycles of the Sun and Moon, and the rhythms of Nature, give us all we need to liberate the spirit, to heal and awaken the soul, if we become conscious of them.  Gatherings are a very effective way of discovering the gifts and subtleties of a season’s energy.

The Albion clan of the global Radical Faerie tribe are about to hold our 21st gathering since we first assembled at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland a decade ago at Imbolc 2006.

faegathEight times we gathered at the enchanted Featherstone, our Faerie Hogwarts, during the cold Winter months…. Twice over Christmas and SIX times at Imbolc.  These were thermal fashion, finding-divinity-through-the-duvet gatherings, with lots of cosiness around fires, intimate, slow heart circles held at sunset in the blue room (which most people attended) and freezing ballroom discos – divas dancing around the tall radiator heaters not their handbags.

The Imbolc gatherings were slow paced, cosy and for the most part mellow.  There was a lot of deep sharing and healing going on, also of course an element of high spirited partying, which for some occasionally seemed to become more central to the experience than the healing journey.  Whether related to that or not, we experienced a lot of physical sickness at the last few castle winter gatherings.  I suggest that if we do not attend effectively to the soul healing that spirit calls us together to address, it is easy for sickness to manifest in our bodies.

I also feel that the deep healing work that many of us did engage in for ourselves… and for the collective… during those deep and magical winter retreats (there was one stunning year that it snowed deeply before we arrived and didn’t melt until we left… we were outside doing naked photo shoots in glistening sunshine, we also built a snowhenge) was now done.  Spirit was pushing us out of our winter dream time space to explore new territories.  The conditions at Featherstone in February were proving too tough, but the wish to continue meeting to savour the sparkling energies of Imbolc, and each other as a respite from the dark winter period, was strong – so gatherings shifted to Paddington Farm in Glastonbury, where space is limited and we have to be cosy with each other.

Sometimes it is so exciting to escape the winter blues and arrive in faerie land it can be tempting to forget that the spirit at this time of year is asking us to light a small inner fire, not a conflagration… is inviting us to look within and heal, preparing ourselves for the busier time of year ahead.  Imbolc has an exciting energy of potential and promise, but it’s still winter.  The Featherstone winter gatherings gave us attendees a powerful experience of deep stillness – because the land holding us was itself so cold and still, while in Glastonbury the earth energy is much lighter and livelier.  It does not offer us the kind of deep winter spirit experience that many of us got to know in the Northumberland wilderness.

Imbolc is a time to come together for warmth and reassurance in the dark months of the year – the faeries of Albion have explored this season’s energy more than most other clans around the world.  Imbolc is also a much celebrated faerie festival in southern United States – an annual Brigit Ball is held in New Orleans, in a very different climate to our northern retreat.  So maybe that’s where the spirit of the British maiden goddess emigrated to after her people forgot about her here, somewhere much warmer!

In 2014 we gathered for the first Albion Spring Gathering, held over the Equinox shift from winter Pisces water to spring Aries fire energy, discovering powerful magic through consciously making that shift within ourselves in sync with the planet.  We returned to Featherstone for this and subsequent Spring gatherings, taking huge delight in the warmer temperatures both outside and within the castle, in the longer hours of daylight, the lambs in the fields and the bright Spring sunshine.

2014 was the year of our second Summer Solstice Gathering at Paddington Farm under the Tor, but the first year the magic really took off there for us.  Powerful workshops releasing shame from our lives prepared the ground for a ritual rise into blissful communion around our hot and sizzling Solstice fire in the woods.  Many a faerie’s deep rooted dreams of passion and play in nature were fulfilled that night, and our merry mystical dance with the woodland spirits has continued at the Solstice gatherings since. 2014 Solstice brought a glorious sunrise witnessed by many Fae up on the top of Glastonbury Tor.  We arrived there at dawn, a very merry band of kissing, cuddling queers livening up the atmosphere amongst the local hippies and characters of Avalon.

2015 the Albion Faeries filled in the last remaining gap in the seasonal calendar with our first Autumn gathering, Featherstone providing the most perfect setting for 9 days of Samhain sorcery and spooky delight.  Within a decade we have held gatherings in each of the four seasons of the year, this seeming to me like a very significant statement from our collective to the cosmos that we are not messing around, the Albion Faeries are a spiritual tribe and we mean business.

An issue that comes up for us, it seems every few years, is around substance use and abuse.  The issue seems to arise when we have become accustomed to a venue and start to take the magic for granted.  Or maybe we just get lazy about doing the work that opens the gates to it?

When we cosmic queers gather together and open the gates to the heart and spirit we are inviting the potent powers of the universe to come be part of the journey with us.  Those powers answer the call gladly when they feel the sincerity behind it, and they bring the possibility of profound awakening and transformation to our conclaves.  Having invited super powered cosmic guests to the feast it is silly to ignore them, and seek illusory transcendence through quick fixes.  Sometimes of course suitably blessed and prepared sacraments are part of the exploration of our faerie nature that we undertake.  As we are in community space and not a gay holiday camp it would seem vital. and natural that those using substances as part of their experience would aim to do so consciously, with awareness given to how their choices impact on others.

Our self-defined and self-declared community has grown rapidly in a decade. Is this the moment for us to take a collective breath and consider how, where, when and why… we do what we do.  Our last two gatherings at Paddington have led to some disturbance and, it seems, division, amongst us.  By contrast the last two Featherstone outings have been extremely well blessed on all counts.  It is noticeable to me that while the castle gatherings have had several faeries stepping forward to be part of the organising team, there has been a shortage of new energy in the Glastonbury team.  There even seems to be some element of ‘consumer’ culture seeping into Paddington.  I also think we have been sticking to a tried and tested formula in our gathering spaces and not really adapting fully yet to the differing energies of each season.  What works for a cosy Winter or lazy Lammas retreat may not be the best formula for the highly individuated energies of the Summer Solstice.  These high energy gatherings, which have become very large very quickly, could perhaps be held more ‘lightly’, with less expectation of a tightly bonded faerie unit than at other times of the year. They could be more like a faerie ‘festival’ than a conventional gathering.  It simply does not seem practical to expect large numbers of fae to achieve the type of bonding and intensity that we know so well when our numbers are so large and the space we are occupying is also used by other people, when we are so close to the attractions of Avalon and when the Sun energy is at its peak.  But a less formal faerie festival that embraces these factors as gifts might manifest a lovely energy.

2017 looks like being a different kind of year for the Albion Faeries.

Featherstone Castle has been booked for a Global Gathering in August, to which we will invite a number of activist queers from countries in Africa/Middle East/South America/Eastern Europe/Asia to come tell their stories and have an experience of the kind of compassionate community the Faeries create.  This gathering is being run in collaboration with the organisers of the first Global Gathering in California held two years ago. With a limit on the number of places the organising team is asking only faeries who feel passionate about the global rights of lgbtq people, and who wish to input into the creation of a global queer shamanic conscious community, to come along.

The castle has not been booked for a Spring gathering next year, Team Butterfly figuring that after 3 successful Spring events there a fallow year was appropriate.  Dates have been booked for October.

Imbolc at Paddington Farm is booked for us but as yet I believe there is no organising team for a Summer Solstice gathering.  I think we could consider also taking a year off from the Solstice gathering, giving time to reconsider how we gather in that space should we wish to continue using it.

This potentially would leave a huge gap between our Imbolc gathering and the August Global, and both of these two have restrictions on the numbers that can attend.  Could this space be an opportunity for new initiatives to manifest?  To perhaps try out smaller gatherings in new locations, perhaps built around themes that some people wish to explore?  I would also like to encourage as many Albion Fae as possible get off our little island and go experience the spirit at American and Euro Faerie sanctuaries, to make connections with other parts of the tribe and learn from how they do things.

The Albion Faeries are part of a global network of queer healers and agents of change and transformation.  There is surely something significant about the Radical Faerie spirit finding a home in the pagan homeland Albion, reaching here via the United States and European gatherings and sanctuaries.  We are exploring the crucial link between our sexuality, nature and consciousness, we are birthing the Age of Aquarius. We are also a crucial beacon for lost, confused and abused queers who are not finding their place in the soulless modern world, nor in the shallow end of gay life.  We offer a plunge into the radical depths of being, and a lot of fun while plunging.  It is well worth us taking stock of what we have achieved and plotting a way forward with consciousness, compassion and care. The Albion Faeries are a ‘very spiritual’ clan of queer magicians, a fact that needs to be properly honoured and understood as we enter our second decade of community building.

-Shokti

Some Observations on the Albion Faeries at the end of Summer 2016

This has been a busy and dramatic year so far for the Fae in Albion, even from my partial and occasional viewing but I have had a number of conversations over the months and yesterday even they crystallized for me in a long conversation with Shokti.  From this conversation several thoughts have emerged about where we are and some of the issues facing us as we move into the future.  I shall attempt here to summarise my current thinking, with the always present caveat that I may change my mind and adjust my opinions as new information and circumstances arise (or when the wind changes, I am a Queen and therefore will, because I can X)!

Is this a time for a taking stock of where the Albion Faeries are?  After the strife and challenges and achievements of this year some thought about how we move forward, in inclusivity, in safety, in numbers and activities could be of assistance to us.

In that last few years the number of events and gatherings held under the Faerie name here in Albion has multiplied and the numbers of Fae with them, thus it is increasingly difficult for all of us to know everyone, there are new faeries, faeries who have never been to the events we(I!?) have, old faeries who haven’t been for several years.  This is Wonderful!  And challenging!  Informal gossip networks that sufficed for information exchange and organising are creaking trying to include everyone, core values and practices can be diluted/lost in all the wonderful new opportunities and experiences offered by so many new Fae.  I do think however that some consciousness needs to be brought to this process, an awareness and thoughtfulness.  For instance, it is several years since I have been greeted on first arrival in a Faerie space with the words “welcome home” which was my first magical experience at my first Faerie gathering, I miss it; and I wonder how many have never had that experience?  Maybe I’m being old fogeyish, maybe not, but this and other practices might be usefully thought about before being abandoned all together – or after consideration revived?

As part of the growth in numbers and events the Faerie purse has grown to!  When I joined a set of accounts was circulating showing a balance of about £2,000 (I don’t remember the exact figure), comfortable but not earth shattering for a group of our then size and nature.  Most gatherings since then have (wonderfully) turned a profit and as far as I am aware the purse now stands at something over £10,000.  This is great, but now presents us with the challenge of what might/do we want to start doing with this.  How much do we need to keep in hand as a ‘rainy day fund’ against a financially disastrous gathering or event, what is over, what could we do with the surplus(es?).  Do we want to seriously start saving for The Land?  We are now at the stage where that looks like a possible target, not this year perhaps or next, but in a few years time perhaps.  Do we want to set up a system to support sending some fae to short Mountain or other US sanctuaries to learn and deepen our connection with our sister/cousins in America, bringing that new skills and knowledges home with them?  The very beautiful suggestion earlier from Shokti about funding some LGBTQI refugees to attend Queer Spirit started an excellent debate – I think the solution reached was perfect – but it leaves the question open about outreach to those who may have no way of making even travel costs, and may face cultural barriers to even finding out we exist.  Next year there is the World Gathering in August, an enormous opportunity, and challenge, happening here in Albion.  Will we provide seed money to this?  Will that be a loan or a grant, or dependant on how that gathering does financially?  I note here as well that the Faerie spirit has this year moved Arian Bloodwood to start offering workshops on ‘changing your relationship to money’ inspired by the Faerie Hammer.  They are amazing and well worth attending if you can, and if you can’t get to London trying to persuade Arian to come to you! (He doesn’t know I’m saying this, but will no doubt find out J…).

Finally, there is the matter of Faerie magic/heart space/spirit.  This is not an accidental or happenstance aspect of the Faeries.  It is a core part of what makes us faeries and not just another holiday camp for vaguely like minded alternative hippy types into booze, parties and sex. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not ALL we’re about and recently I think that our growth and changes have made that more difficult to create and maintain, again my thinking is that this needs a deliberateness and attention that it has maybe not always been receiving.  We have relied on “co-creation” to make sacred heart space happen.  I would offer that we need to be much more deliberate and considered around this to make our future developments easier to manage well.

-Minerva