All posts by Albion Faeries

Sacred Vulnerability by Cunty.

At Midsummer in that most magical place we gathered. Under azure skies of a week’s eternal summer we came together to speak words of empowerment, to engage in acts of healing and to find our once-dentorian voices yet again. We danced, massaged, opened our hearts and gave our darkest secrets to a circle of welcoming arms, then threw our shame into the fire.

 

Sacred Vulnerability is what I have seen and felt in a circle of Faeries. As the talisman passes into the hands of another of my brethern I can see his spirit move deeper into the room, I sense the rest of us draw a collective breathe as we make room for his shining heart, as we bear witness to the shamanic journey he undertakes into the Otherworld of his hidden truths and emotions. We challenge our own hearts to stay open and connected, ready to be moved and reminded of our own wounds and joys, shames and successes. It seems such a simple truth that only when we are all open-hearted can we manifest that transformative magic that is such an intrinsic aspect of Faerie space.

 

Outside of the circle, there are ripples and echoes of this Sacred Vulnerability. I see it by the campfire as one young faerie runs his hand on the back of the head of one who will weep such tears when they part days later, like a first love. I hear it in the voice of an older faerie who talks to me of his initial discomfort of being there, of how he is slowly learning how to open up again. I feel it rise in my own chest as I ask another of us to share my bed that final night of our gathering, choosing to step beyond my own deeply embedded fear of rejection.

 

In my mind I am reminded of the Sumerian tale of the Descent of Inanna. As she travels into the underworld there are seven gates and at each of these she must remove another item that represents her power and position, until she walks through that final gate naked and resplendent, simply and completely her own self and being.

 

This to me in Sacred Vulnerability. No hierarchy, no titles, no logos, no pretence, no shame, no connections, no ego. This is the Temple of our Collective Souls. They must be tended and worshipped, cared for and offered up. There will be times we will act as the priestesses of that place, guiding others with a measured and experienced hand. We may find ourselves paupers and pilgrims, seeking answers and solace there. Perhaps other times we merely sweep the floors or find ourselves the sacrifice on the altar.

 

When we act in service to our own Spirit, when we offer respite to another’s, when we find the courage to abandon the masks, to bring forward kindness for both Self and Other knowing they are not separate – we take a step closer to shedding that frog skin, to becoming our own Healers and Guides.

 

The real challenge is to embrace that role when we are in conflict with our community, our lovers and ourselves. To acknowledge that everyone, including us, has the right to belong without undergoing the burdensome task of fitting in.

 

These are the lessons I learned in those seven dazzling days of summer, that I carry with me and that have changed me irrevocably.

 

With Love

 

Cunty

Faeries Fire Solstice in Avalon by Dido / Bowerbird.

Hard by Paddington Farm,

Stands Paddington Wood.

Where deep within Ananga and his Faery friends from far,

Blissfully danced, pranced and vaguely stood.

What sounds were heard!

What scenes appeared!

Oh those flames did bond and purge!

I kisses a god that night.

And hidden in their secret bower,

All in fragrant flower,

The Satyrs of Paddington Wood,

Crouched silently and watched in wonder struck.

And turning to his shaggy mate one did whisper in a hush:

“For never yet did I behold mortals like to these,

Neither man nor woman.

I am awed as I look upon them”.

The Summer Solstice by Qweaver / Rainbow Childe.

In the nut-brown green womb
emerald of the woods, in the splash
of the grass, the weave of the wind,
the drum flames

to its heart-born rhythm lambs,
wild flowers, clouds dance, water
sheds its gifts, moon shapes her wisdom

how our eager limbs grew golden,
fused, lusted, roared, self-given,
all-given joy rose that night,
swept back the black with a rainbow dawn

lip to lip, elementals, butterfly children,
swell the chant, voices layered as air or earth,
eyes now diamonds larger than stars,

bodies as steel, as fire, fire and water, breath-bright,
breath-flight, breath-height potency,
hand to hand a surge of angels,
united, perfect, unashamed

Summer Solstice by BrotherSun

Love is loving.
Drums are drumming.
Guitars are playing,
As the fires burning.

Time went timeless,
Our energies grew,
We shed our skins,
And were born a new.

Hands were touching.
Skin caressing.
Magic flowed,
And lips were guessing.

The sun is rising,
The magics growing,
The moons reflecting,
Our souls are glowing.

So here we stand,
In time and space,
A new found joy,
Written upon our face.

Faerie Daisy reflects on the summer Solstice in Glastonbury, with the radical faeries.

AWESOME SOLSTICE.

We came together around the hearth bringing ourselves to each other. The drums sang together, no room for prima donnas; flutes played, the band struck up and the choir chanted, a constellation of voices weaving and rising. Pan was rampant around the sacred flames celebrating audaciously the horniness of life itself. As the energy rose, the leaves of the trees vibrated and danced and sang with us. All of life in and around that epicentre praised the joy of life and the coming solstice.
I left the circle to find water and found myself in moocow field, the young brown creatures were breathing it all in. Stars glittered and led me to water. It was then I heard the sounds of other tribes on the hills and in the surrounding valleys playing their drums. Each had a familiar sound within the complexities of their music. It was the sound of the Faerie drum/heartbeat, they’d incorporated it into their music. In that marvellous wonderful moment I realised that we had inserted ourselves into the whole of life. Nobody, no group nor tribe was in a position to accept us or allow us in, we quite simply inserted ourselves into LIfe. Back home where we belong. There is no going back.

Daisy xxx

Joie de Folleterre by Queaver – 15th August 2013.

A time for joy.
Tears ripen.

Nothing in the trees’ gaze contradicts the flowers
that dare declare they love. All the colours of music,
all the music of the forest, bright with wonder’s blessing.

Think of it as a merry-go-round,
a subaqueous garden.

Bones blur, outlines loosen, a little like trees, indistinct
in summer’s haze, splinters smoothed away.
Hands unfold, steady on another’s touch.
Around the flames of laughter,
the glow of conversation,
kisses tickle, settle,
rest, depart, rainbow-winged.
Settle again and again.

There is something like music that eases each
separate note into one swelling melody.

Wildly beautiful shapes, colours, swirl
and swoon in this lava lamp.

Somewhere bees get busy with tomorrow’s fruiting.
As your fingers coax rope into baskets I drop
my doubts inside. Your offering eyes ignite
my soul that’s been singing
to itself these years, by the far lake.

Yes, eyes meet here, shadows
steepen their lustre
into jewel-light that
bursts beyond words.

Words are clumsy messengers. Here the language is pretty
wraps, wigs, dresses sexpressively excessive.
Fireworks fixed in half motion. Star-beams caught
between silk and skin,
skin and skin.

With the night they sprawl shifting abruptly to dodge
the fire’s frisky smoke.

The days would be roaring and hungry,
gone in a few gulps, just flakes
to record the feast.

A time for sadness.
Dreams ripen. You snuggle in my heart.

A buoyant soul, unshackled and rising – Odanata on Summer Gathering 2013 @ Folleterre.

The way to Folleterre was scenic, light and full of promise. The approach greeted by a meandering stream carving out picturesque spaces for habitation and country-folk recreation in the humble valley place of Folleterre’s home. Pines postured green and tall in peaceful and watchful communion with other brothers and sisters of bark and leaf. The sun held the whole scene in a warmth you felt on the breath, in the chest. The pull up the mountain was a calling – a silken leash gently tugging on the fluttering hearts of a thousand butterflies in the stomach.

I can’t give you many words for my first glimpse of our Faerie haven. I jostled with the tension of a superficial desire to have my expectations fulfilled and the heartfelt attempt to breathe in the first moment of being there. To grasp it authentically, untainted by my prior lust for and dreams of Folleterre.

Nevertheless I had arrived – I was here now. Follettere held me whilst I gained some composure. The environment so strange yet so perfectly familiar. Faerie intention and detail etched into the most inconspicuous places. The pinecone tinsel up the shit tower, the wisps of an absent-minded doodle in the sand of a faerie-claimed beach and crochet-flowers adorning the branches of random trees down the way to the prairie.

And holding I would need. The bosom of Follettere took some nesting. The first task being unpacking my other-world baggage, inspecting the contents with care and sharing some of them round for knowing reflection in heart circle. Then, either making adjustments, scrapping entirely or re-crafting them with a new found, or better honed, loving faerie-artisanship. Of course there are a few bits wedged in the cognitive crevices of a worn luggage, undetectable to naked-faerie eye – but a gathering is a tonic for perspective. There will be other times for these, of that I’m sure.

The appropriate camp caveat of “you better WERQ” accompanied my initiation to Folleterre – a cyclical process of processing and learning and bonding and sharing. But what sweet soulful bounty and harvest did the perseverance yield – akin to bursting out, wild and running, from the dank and thorny thickets of a strange forest into a boundless meadow of wild flower harmony. Each murmur of summer life so present, so disarming.

And then the connections. Thrilling and physical, enriching and penetrative – a reaching out beyond the pre-conceived and anxious, without grasping, to merge with the welcome of another faerie soul. Faerie souls that taught me the boundless nature of love. It’s transcendental quality – the simple, divine antidote to the unfathomable, to the dark.

Anchored in the tired conceptions of how to love and how to be loved, a new way of being with one another in perfect sharing became the new horizon. A personal metamorphosis still unfolding. A flaking off of a tired rusty hue, stripped back by perfect flows of clarity – the buoyancy of the soul unshackled, and rising.

I re-enter the other place consolidated, holding onto perfect realisations, trying all the time with your love and support, to make them permanent manifestations.

Odanata x

A first gathering for faerie, Wood Pigeon.

Novice Faerie, Wood Pigeon, returns to Brighton after a weekend Faerie Gathering retreat camping in the middle of the Glastonbury countryside. He is a young man in his early thirties. He’s a little tired, but excited and also a bit emotional with that happy/sad feeling of someone recently parted from a found experience, which had long been sought.

Wood Pigeon

So how long have you been involved with the Faeries?

About 4 days!

How did you first hear about the Faeries and what was it that drew you towards the Faerie Movement?

My boyfriend’s ex boyfriend (Bonobo) went away with the faeries some time before Christmas last year.  My boyfriend passed on stories of all the adventures Bonobo had been having with the Faeries and he was keen to go himself.  We had both planned to travel up to the February 2013 Featherstone Castle gathering in Northumberland but I needed to save up the holiday to go on tour with my band so I didn’t go.  My boyfriend came back as Faerie Magnoose and he was like a different person. The way the experience shone through him and filled him with love, confidence, happiness and joy was incredible.  I had to go on the next faerie gathering and so organised to travel to Glastonbury Tor for the 2013 Summer Solstice weekend.

Can you describe what took place?

Well I was a little bit nervous about what was going to unfold as I’d never attended an event of this kind before.  But I had been told that there would be an opening and closing ceremony and everything that took place in between would be co-created, a result of what the faeries present wanted to do.  So we were greeted by a very lovely set of people who had organised the event and made me feel very welcome from the outset.  There was an opening circle and a practical circle where we were given a quick intro to the layout of the accommodation, camping areas, timings for food etc and then we all affirmed our names as a group in a triumphant chorus of faerie voices.  One of the lovely faeries present had taken on the role of Kitchen Mum and had already prepared a sumptuous feast for everyone (about 50 of us) which was wholesome, vegetarian and very welcome.  As the evening unfolded I felt a little unsure about where to place myself.  Magnoose already knew a lot of the faeries from the last gathering but I was new so I slipped into a an easier role of doing some dishes to keep myself busy.  However the banging of drums and lighting of a fire led us all around into another circle.- this time to open the four directions of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.  I guess this was a Pagan element to the gathering, which I really liked; deepening our connection to nature and to each other.  Some of the faeries danced round the fire, dressed in various costumes, drag, outdoor gear (there was a tendency to rain) and others sat supping cider and chatting amongst each other.   The first night was a lovely long night of making new connections, hearing other people’s stories, understanding their journeys, who they were and appreciating their unique faerie spirits.  One of the faeries performed a beautiful healing for me, which allowed something to move deep inside and present itself. It felt great to be able to drop life, let go, and immerse myself in a totally new and wonderful experience of human harmony.

The next morning after a long night I climbed up to the Tor to get some air and perspective on what was unfurling below me.  Walking alone to the top of this sacred, spiritual monument I already began to miss the energy of the gathering.  Sat atop in the rain with dark clouds swirling I understand what I had to learn this weekend was not a solo journey but one spent with this new family of queer spirited brothers and sisters. I descended and rejoined the group for breakfast.  Slightly fuzzy from the night before but excited about what the day would hold.

I spent time in the morning snuggled up in bed with two faeries that I was just beginning to get to know.  It wasn’t a sexual encounter but one of intimacy, warmth, friendliness, openness.  This was totally new to me as the only time I’d known guys to hop into bed together usually ended in sex.  But this was different.   It was nurturing, patient, fun.

The time soon came around for one of the most important events at a faerie gathering, a heart circle.  This is an opportunity for every faerie to introduce themselves to the group and share whatever they feel they want to.  Space is given for one person to talk at a time, without interruption and everyone listens and allows this person to reveal the thoughts closest to the heart.  I guess in a way it could be seen as some kind of group therapy session but it didn’t feel like it.  It was just an amazing opportunity to feel loved and supported by a group of people who barely know each other but who were totally there for each other.  It felt wonderful and sad, happiness intermingled with tears, as one by one the group spoke or passed on the opportunity and each took their turn.

Following this experience there was a closeness in the group that hadn’t been there before.  A new level of understanding, of being present, on a level which is sadly absent from today’s day to day reality.  I wanted to reach out and hold these men and women. To hug them and be there for them.  I also wanted them to be there for me, to hold me and support me. They were.  And it was an incredible feeling.  The power of loving a stranger, but knowing them so deeply at the same time is an ancient feeling.  It defies modernity.  It doesn’t make sense when placed into out culture of throwaway consumerism and rampant capitalism. This isn’t every man for himself, shallow and fleeting.  It’s almost tribal, magical, shamanic, healing.  It feels like the true spirit of human nature. Interconnected, loving, centred, intimate.  I said to one faerie that I came away feeling that there is some hope for humanity if this is an example of the kind of love that people are capable of expressing and receiving for each other.  It’s amazing that it stems from a community of queer people, from all over the world, who have suffered so much at the hands of others and continue to do so yet defy all the unhappiness, suffering and hatred with such love and openness.

So during the day there was an opportunity to attend some workshops put on by faeries.  This was wonderful as it gave people a chance to bring their, skills, talent and energy and share it with the group. I went to three of them.  The first was called “how to bring your faerie life into your ordinary life” .  It was a group of about 8 of us, led by a wonderful Australian who talked us through his experiences of wearing unusual clothes back home and how people responded to it.  It became clear that some faeries were not comfortable wearing drag, jewellery etc in normal day to day environments and we looked at the reasons for this and what affect that had on others.  I left the workshop feeling liberated.  I’ve never been into wearing drag really and must confess to having a rather dull wardrobe.  I had to question why I never looked upon women’s clothes, bags, jewellery, hats etc.  What drives me to the men’s section of a charity shop, to look across the racks of browns, blues and greys? Why steer clear of all the fun, brightly coloured adornments that celebrate a female body?  There is a stifling of the female spirit in men that I can now see is manufactured by the society we live in.  Other cultures have incredibly elaborate costumes for men and women but we are forced one way or the other.

The second workshop I went to was Kundalini Yoga.  It was another moment that brought the group together as so many of us attended and nurtured, explored, stretched and strengthened the energy within.  It was a delicious 90 minutes with everyone, a great way to create a group sense of closeness.  I think that’s why these gatherings work because they nurture the group spirit so beautifully through ritual, ceremony, dance, dress, fun, food and laughter.

The final evening workshop caught my eye as it was put on by a fellow masseuse.  It was essentially a tantric massage workshop, with faeries naked and massaging each other. There was an option for us to all be clothed but it seemed like an unnecessary obstacle to intimacy.   I felt totally relaxed, at home, safe and comfortable being unclothed within the group.   It was beautiful to be given instructions from an experienced masseuse on new positions for massage techniques, and exploration, whilst really connecting with the man or woman you were with.   I have a little experience working professionally in this field and it really helped me to make a connection with each person and to understand their bodies. It was lovely being massaged too.  The one thing that struck me as the workshop was unfolding was for me was that it wasn’t a carnal, sexual experience. It was tantric.  I’d never attended a tantric space before and absolutely loved it.  The session went on into personal exploration with different people, evolving into hugging and kissing, reassuring and cradling.  It was deeply moving, powerful, exciting, comforting, loving.  By then end of the night I was in a whole new space. A place I’d never been before.  Too often encounters with others are based on quick, furtive, sexual explosions that leave you with less than you came with.  This gave me more.  Filled me with warmth and energy and a longing for more.

The final day of the gathering was a time to hug, kiss, laugh, eat and rest before the journey home.  It was deeply touching to hear in a closing ceremonial circle everyone’s final words on the few days and feel all the positive loving energy that had been created together.  I felt close to so many members of the group even though we hadn’t had time to get to know everyone.

This whole experience gave me an insight into what it is like to live together with people, where you really care for and nurture each other, not just pay lip service to it.  I feel I’ve spent many years wanting to be a better person and now I’ve finally found a group of faeries that will allow me to be who I want to be.

 So what are your plans for your FaerieFuture?

Magnoose and I are planning on visiting the Faerie Sancturay in Folleterre, France this August for their summer gathering.  I can’t imagine how we’ll feel after 10 days of faerie love.  I think it’s going to be one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I can’t wait!

So do you think this gathering has changed you?

It’s funny but I’ve always wanted to wear a ring and for years have never been able to do it. I’d never found one to suit me but I suppose I’d never felt that comfortable with the idea of it.  But now I have one!  And a necklace!  I spent £2.80 and put them on and felt this incredible lightness across my heart.  It almost sang out when I laid some bright orange beads across my chest.  As if to say YES!  Thank you!  I am free!  To be a faerie!  To love others without the burden of a life not of my making, or of my wishing.  I wanted to sing and dance but London Road isn’t ideal so I carried on with my other errands.  I felt so nervous leaving the shop, with a ring on.  RIDICULOUS!  It’s just a butterfly ring, come on Wood Pigeon you can do it!  And do you know what? I now know I certainly can!

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