All posts by Shokti

Graveyard in lockdown

27th March 2020 Lock down conversations in a graveyard with the universe. By Grounded Spirit.

I look around at the hills and wonder what all those people are thinking in their homes right now. Some worry about finances, jobs, businesses, food, death others of sickness.

A true reflection about priorities and what actually matters now. Some need freedom, some security, others communication, connection or touch.

We come together this day to bring hope.

To tell you the stars still shine and the moon still rises and moves.

Humanity must listen to the song on the wind.

It is not an inconvenience it now blows, but a clear message.

Blow your doubts and memories out and away.

The time has come to go within

To see the truth of yourself

See what is within your heart

The heart that has been crying out to be heard

It’s message will be clear enough

Be still now my child, it is your time to awake

To open yourself to the other way of living

You have been living in fear, for too long

Now is the time to live in joy

Reclaim your history

Reclaim what has been taken and denied, from you for all these years

Listen to nature call

It calls you to take heed

To feed the soil

To protect the land

To clean the sea

To spread the message of love and light

Each child stands now naked before us

No longer able to hide behind money and greed

No longer in need of materialistic things

The bells have gone

The glitter dispensed of

You are empty of your dreams

This is the time of renewal

A time for peace

A time for love not war

Hear the birds

now how they sing

They sing of happiness and joy

The animals are not afraid

They don’t hide or leave

They trust, they know, they sense the change to come

Open your heart to what you already know

Feel the beat of the many hearts,

not just your own

You share with everyone

The same home

Breath the clean air

Drink the clean water

See the mountains alive with new vegetation

This is healing time

Meditation time

Slow time

Reset time

It is your time

All the sign posts have been blown away

The road is now clear

It won’t be the same

It can’t be the same

It shouldn’t be the same

Look in your hands

See what you hold most precious

It is not a figure on paper

or cash in your hand

It is love between people

It is safety together

It is holding and touching

Connecting and creating

Breath in the new life force

As you know you can

It is here to lift and sustain you

It is part of the plan

Replace that old fear and learning

With a fresh new approach

One less of surviving

Now set on living in hope

Sit and watch the wildlife

The flowers that grow

They all have a story

That you should know

They have been trying to tell you

For a very long time

But you were too busy

Rushing through life

We can help you

Like we used to do

When you used to sit close to the fire

And listened as we spoke

You heard the answers in the smoke

The visions came from the flames of the oak

Bond as you should

Care for your folks

Neighbours and others

Who may now feel broke

Lift up your heads

The healers within

Now is your time

To work with the ill

This is not about sickness or plague

This is about humanity and staying brave

Many will die

It is an awful truth

But think of the compassion

And message of hope

Dance if you want

It is OK to sing

Whatever sustains you

And awakens the new dream

Use your tears to water the plants

Let them grow from your sadness

So there is still hope

Search within yourself

Before others speak

Know your true destiny

Without their rope

Leave your coat on the hook

It is your time to sit and hear

You are loved very much

But you have lost your path

This is to remind you

What could come to pass

Now I will leave you with this flea in your ear

Remove the sadness and the fear

Sending hugs to all in need

But remember your destiny

The real one you need.

Love and blessings to all now

You are not forgotten

We do not know how

Sending love to your heart

And food to your bellies

Knowledge to your brain

And leaving you to discover.

RADICAL FAERIES IN AFRICA

global poster art by albionfaerie Hug Me

The third GLOBAL RADICAL FAERIE GATHERING is happening at a retreat centre near Cape Town in South Africa 15-24th February, 2020. Over 100 faeries from around the world will assemble at this first ever gathering in Africa, at which there will be larger numbers of African kin than at any previous faerie event.

A frontline of the GLOBAL battle for love and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people is in Africa. African Christians condemn homosexuality as an import from western culture, completely missing the irony that it is Christianity and homophobia that are the real foreign invaders. But perhaps there is some truth in the claim that ‘homosexuality’ as a concept did not exist in pre-Christian Africa because the African people were not as limited in their thinking as to define a person by their sexuality:

homosexuality is seen very differently that it is seen in the West, in part because all sexuality is spiritually based. Taken away from its spiritual context, it becomes a source of controversy, and can be exploited. In the village, you never see gatekeepers, or anybody for that matter, displaying their sexuality or commenting on the sexuality of others…

Gatekeepers hold keys to other dimensions. They maintain a certain alignment between the spirit world and the world of the village. Without them, the gates to the other world would be shut…

Most people in the West define themselves and others by sexual orientation. This way of looking at gatekeepers will kill the spirit of the gatekeeper. Gatekeepers in the village are able to do their job simply because of strong spiritual connection, and also their ability to direct their sexual energy not to other people but to spirit.”Sobonfu Some, Dagara Tribe quoted in ‘Spirit of Intimacy’

Sobonfu Some

Note the frequently recurring links between same sex love and spiritual power as the rich queer history of Africa emerges….

African history is replete with examples of both erotic and non-erotic same-sex relationships. For example, the ancient cave paintings of the San people near Guruve in Zimbabwe depict two men engaged in some form of ritual sex. During precolonial times, the “mudoko dako,” or effeminate males among the Langi of northern Uganda were treated as women and could marry men. In Buganda, one of the largest traditional kingdoms in Uganda, it was an open secret that Kabaka (king) Mwanga II, who ruled in the latter half of the 19th century, was gay.

220px-King_Mwanga_II_Buganda

The vocabulary used to describe same-sex relations in traditional languages, predating colonialism, is further proof of the existence of such relations in precolonial Africa. To name but a few, the Shangaan of southern Africa referred to same-sex relations as “inkotshane(male-wife); Basotho women in present-day Lesotho engage in socially sanctioned erotic relationships called “motsoalle” (special friend) and in the Wolof language, spoken in Senegal, homosexual men are known as “gor-digen(men-women).”

(Quoted from http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/4/homosexuality-africamuseveniugandanigeriaethiopia.html )

“The indigenous cultures of South and East Africa have a long history of homosexuality, transgender behavior, and even same-sex marriage between both men and women. In early seventeenth-century Luanda (the capital of Portuguese Angola), Catholic priests Gaspar Azevereduc and Antonius Sequerius documented third-gender natives known aschibados. The chibados dressed like women, spoke effeminately and married other men “to unite in wrongful lust with them.” More shocking to the priests was the fact that such marriages were honored and even prized among the tribesmen. In a similar record, Portuguese Jesuit Joao dos Santos wrote in 1625 that the chibados of southwestern Africa were “attyred like women, and behave themselves womanly, ashamed to be called men; are also married to men, and esteeme that unnaturale damnation an honor.” In his writings about seventeenth-century Angola, historian Antonio Cardonega mentioned that sodomy was “rampant among the people of Angola. They pursue their impudent and filthy practices dressed as women.” He also stated that the sodomites often served as powerful shamans, were highly esteemed among most Angolan tribes and commonly called “quimbanda. http://amarawilhelm.wixsite.com/around-the-world/part-8

quimbanda

Dagara: The words gay and lesbian do not exist in the village, but there is the word gatekeeper. Gatekeepers are people who live a life at the edge between the worlds – the world of the village and the world of spirit….Gatekeepers hold keys to other dimensions. They maintain a certain alignment between the spirit world and the world of the village. Without them, the gates to the other world would be shut.” Sobonfu Some, The Spirit of Intimacy (2000)

The gay person is looked at primarily as a “gatekeeper.The Earth is looked at, from my tribal perspective, as a very, very delicate machine or consciousness, with high vibrational points, which certain people must be guardians of in order for the tribe to keep its continuity with the gods and with the spirits… Any person who is at this link between this world and the other world experiences a state of vibrational consciousness which is far higher, and far different, from the one that a normal person would experience. This is what makes a gay person gay. This kind of function is…one that people are said to decide on prior to being born. You decide that you will be a gatekeeper before you are born…To then limit gay people to simple sexual orientation is really the worst harm that can be done to a person.” Malidoma Some http://www.menweb.org/somegay.htm

Azande: “the Azande tribe in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo in sub-Saharan Africa use their queerness to instill fear and respect in the eyes of their fellow tribespeople. Lesbian Azande women were notorious for being very open and proud of their queerness, wearing it like a badge of honor. This was because, to the Azande, the spiritual potency of women was seen as often more powerful than that of men. Already at a magical disadvantage, Azande men were particularly impotent to the power of queer Azande women. By having sex with each other, lesbians of the tribe were believed to be able to double their spiritual power, making their magical prowess the most powerful in all the tribe. To show off their spiritual might, Azande lesbians sometimes practiced their queer sexuality in public as a way to let everyone know now had 2x the power they once had.” (Tomas Prower https://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2696)

azande

In southeastern Africa, Bori cults—along with their crossdressing shamans and possession rituals—are still quite common among the Zulu. Shamans are known as inkosi ygbatfazi (“chief of the women”) while ordinary transgenders are called skesana and their masculine partners iqgenge. Zulu warriors traditionally asserted their manhood by substituting boys for women and in the 1890s, Zulu chief Nongoloza Mathebula ordered his bandit-warriors to abstain from women and take on boy-wives instead. After his capture, Nongoloza insisted that the practice had been a longstanding custom among South Africans. Indeed, homosexual marriage was documented among the Zulu, Tsonga and Mpondo migrant workers of South Africa at least since the early nineteenth century. Boy-wives were known by various names such as inkotshane (Zulu),nkhonsthana(Tsonga), tinkonkana (Mpondo)”

(Quoted from http://amarawilhelm.wixsite.com/around-the-world/part-8 )

“Apart from erotic same-sex desire, in precolonial Africa, several other activities were involved in same-sex (or what the colonialists branded “unnatural”) sexuality. For example, the Ndebele and Shona in Zimbabwe, the Azande in Sudan and Congo, the Nupe in Nigeria and the Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi all engaged in same-sex acts for spiritual rearmament — i.e., as a source of fresh power for their territories. It was also used for ritual purposes.”

(Quoted from africamuseveniugandanigeriaethiopia.html)

mugawe

The Meru tribes of Kenya have a religious leadership role known as mugawe, which involves priests wearing female clothing and hairstyles. In 1973, British ethnologist Rodney Needham noted that the mugawe were often homosexual and sometimes married to other men… In 1987, anthropologist Gill Shepherd reported that homosexuality was relatively common in Kenya, even among Muslims (both male and female). Most Kenyans initially discourage transgender behavior among their children but gradually come to accept it as an inherent part of the child’s spirit (roho) or nature (umbo). Shepherd observed third-gender men, known in Swahili as shoga, who served as passive male prostitutes and wore female clothing, makeup, and flowers at social events such as weddings, where they typically mingled with the “other” women. At more serious events such as funerals and prayer meetings, the shoga would stay with the men and wear men’s attire. Other Swahili terms for homosexual men include basha(dominant male), hanithi(young male partner) and mumemke (man-woman). Lesbians are known as msagaji or msago(“grinders”).”

(Quoted from http://amarawilhelm.wixsite.com/around-the-world/part-8 )

“The Konso of southern Ethiopia have no less than four words for effeminate men, one of which is sagoda and refers to men who never marry, are weak, or who wear skirts. In the mid-1960s, Canadian anthropologist Christopher Hallpike observed one Ethiopian Konso that lived by curing skins (a female occupation) and liked to play the passive role in homosexual relations. In 1957, American anthropologist Simon Messing found male transvestites among the Amhara tribes that were known as wandarwarad (male-female). They lived alone and were considered like brothers to the tribeswomen. The husbands of the women were not at all jealous of the close friendship between their wives and the wandarwarad. Messing reported that the wandarwarad were unusually sensitive and intense in their personal likings. He also found “mannish women” among the Amhara known as wandawande.”

(Quoted from http://amarawilhelm.wixsite.com/around-the-world/part-8 )

zande men

In the Sudan, traditional Zande culture is well known for its homosexual marriages, even into the 1970s, as reported by British anthropologist Edward Evans-Pritchard in 1971. Some Zande princes preferred men over women and could purchase a desired boy for the price of one spearhead. They would then become husbands to the young man, provide him with beautiful ornaments and address him as badiare (beloved).”http://amarawilhelm.wixsite.com/around-the-world/part-8

The white man exported his homophobia to the whole world, and now in the 21st century western queers are campaigning vigorously to reverse this situation. But of course once again this can feel to people in Africa and elsewhere like colonialism – the enlightened west telling the rest of the world what to do. Instead, we of the west should be going on bended knee to the peoples of Africa, apologising without end for the wanton destruction of ancient cultures, and for the spread of fear and hatred relating to sexuality.

Instead of telling Africa what to do we need to be learning from their history and their example. Just as with the example of the Two-Spirits of North America, and the ancient Goddess priest/esses of the Mediterranean world, the queer history of Africa points to an integral association of same-sex loving and transgender people with the sacred, magical, mysterious dimensions of spirit.

In this spirit, our intention at the Global Radical Faerie Gathering is to invoke healing and rejuvenation through the ancient philosophy and spirit of Ubuntu: “the universal bond of sharing that connects humanity.”

A NIGHT WITH THE ANCESTORS

The Albion Faerie Queer Spirit Drum Circle met for a post-Samhain full moon celebration of our friends the dead and all our spirit connections on Friday 15 November 2019 at the Wheatsheaf Hall in Vauxhall, London. The drumming was hot, the dancing ecstatic and the ritual energies powerful. Dozens of queer spirits combining their emotional-spiritual fields through dance and prayer connected us to the many levels of existence, enabling us to release old emotional loads and feeding us with positively charged energy.

A beautiful altar provided a focal point in the centre of the circle, this video gives a tour of it, with a great soundtrack of the quality drumming that was going on….

Making ceremony at the full moon and seasonal festivals helps to align us energetically with the natural rhythms of nature. Connecting through the rhythm of the drum, as a group we raise energy that can help us loosen blocked emotions, clear mental frequencies, and liberate the spirit. This can rebalance the inner world, it’s good for our mental health. We also come to catch up with friends and make new ones, which serves the same purpose!

We meet again for the next Full Moon in Harleyford Community Garden in Vauxhall on December 12th from 6 to 9pm

and for a WInter Solstice ceremony at the Wheatsheaf Hall on Saturday December 21st from 7 to 11pm .

For email announcements of Albion Faerie events sign up for the mailing list on the homepage of this website.

Equinox Full Moon Queer Spirit Celebration

Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, London SW8 2UP
Friday September 13th 2019, 7 – 11pm

The London Radical Faerie Drum Circle was at first known as the Queer Spirit Circle, offered from 2005 as a space for spiritually inclined LGBTQ+ people to find each other.  The Circle manifested in a former Victorian maternity hospital in Stockwell, which was then squatted by an artist’s collective, who held it as a creative community hub (now the space has been converted by Lambeth Council into luxury flats).

After the hospital the circle found a home in a private rooftop apartment in Old Street for some years, during which a core group of people nurtured its development, before arriving at its current venue, the atmospheric Wheatsheaf Hall in Vauxhall, on the 21st December 2012 with an ‘End of the World Party’ to celebrate the Mayan Calendar. We created a portal into a new paradigm, viewing this date as a significant marker on the way into the Age of Aquarius, and stepped or danced our way through it. The Circle was by this time becoming known as the Faerie Drum Circle, meeting mostly at full moons to raise energy, release emotion and build magical connections.

Since 2012 the Radical Faeries of Albion have attracted increasing numbers to our gatherings and circles. A rising tide of queer spirituality, free of religious bonds, reaching for the shamanic truth at the core of queer nature, has also given birth to three Queer Spirit Festivals –

500 pioneer queers came to Whittlebury Park in Northamptonshire at the Aquarius Full Moon this August to celebrate, explore, play, expand and rise in love. A vast range of spiritual flavours was on offer – from early morning yoga to late night trance from our awesome DJs, via shamanic journeys, holy chants, medicine wheels, creative pursuits, drumming, healing workshops, activism, inspired performances, sacred sexuality…..

Every part of the LGBTQ+ rainbow was present in good numbers. Radical Faeries have the history of being birthed by gay men, but Queer Spirit Festival has from the start been created by, and intended for, every section of our queer multiverse. This brings challenges, which we gladly rise to, creating a powerful culture of respect, consent, curiosity and openness that enables the love to flow freely around the field. Queer Spirit revels in the beauty that is diversity, and the unity that arises from honouring everyone’s uniqueness, from all being free to be ourselves, and to express our inner truths and our core loving nature.

The Faerie Trance Dance was my personal highlight of the festival this summer. 15 years of dedication to the Drum Circle was rewarded grandly as I merged into the powerful rhythms and ecstatic dancing with a hundred or more beautiful, wild, witchy, shamanic, magical, radical queers, who just seemed to slip through the gates instantly, becoming their spirit animals, once the beats began. The festival draws together various strands of queer shamanism, tantra and other forms of spirituality – in the trance dance all these energies became one melting pot of high vibrational spirit. The power of the dance was magnified by having the opportunity to collaborate with DK Green, whom I invited to cast the circle – he taking the ceremonial gatekeeper role that has historically been held by trans people in cultures across the world – and Andy Fowler, a teacher of world percussion who had been inspiring dozens of queers to discover the healing and uplifting power of the drum throughout the festival.

The London Drum Circle starts its Autumn run at the Full Moon in Pisces on Friday 13th September. Pisces is the mystic – its transcendent perspective is gained through compassion for all beings. As more of us recognise that all beings are one being, are us in other forms, deserving of love and kindness, and seek the company of others who also live in or aspire to that lighter vibration, we ask all who come to ensure the drum circle is a welcoming space of coming home. The Radical Faerie term recognising the unity of life is subject:SUBJECT consciousness – a term that honours that I am another YOU and YOU are another ME, a life-altering perspective change once embraced.

We will gather at the September Full Moon

    • to give thanks for our summer journeys as we approach the Equinox turning point into the Autumn
    • to celebrate the amazing manifestation of love and magic at Queer Spirit Festival
    • and to invoke blessings for the first ever LONDON TRANS PRIDE MARCH, which is happening in central London the next day.

 

Trans Pride March link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1187419778106248/

Drum Circle links:

There are lots of drums and percussion to play with, the drum circle is a free flow space in which you are welcome to drum, dance and socialise as you wish. We arrive from 7pm to set up, and it is recommended to arrive by 8pm for the circle casting. You are welcome to bring any instruments along, plus snacks/drinks to share, and if possible £5 donation towards costs. (The Hall Hire charges have gone up recently.) As with all faerie events, payment is not insisted on – NOTAFLOF applies: No-One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds.

Read more: https://albionfaeries.org.uk/healing-power-of-the-drum/

AUTUMN DRUM CIRCLE DATES:

Friday September 13th  Equinox Full Moon

Saturday October 12th  Aries Full Moon

Friday November 15th  Samhain Full Moon Ancestor Celebration

Thursday December 12th Gemini Full Moon

Saturday December 21st  Winter Solstice

 

Blog by Shokti

 

Poetry by Edward

Poem: I shall not stand by

And next time you care 
To belittle my beloved
I shall not be so 
Choice with my words
I shall not stand by
The frontlines
While you obliterate 
Those that mean
You no harm
I may be reserved
I may appear meagre
But when I aim my words
They shall go in for the 
Kill

Edward Daniel (c) 
(Dedicated to one of my beloved’s Rory – This poem is taken from my first poetry book out in 2020 – “Renaissance: My Beloveds”)
.
Coming Home: The Birds
You use and abuse
And then toss him aside
As your plaything
 
You have no emotions
You have no feelings
You merely take advantage
 
You used him as your rebound
You took account
Took account that he was besotted with you
 
And now you just run to him
When you want to get your rocks
When you want to let a little steam off
 
I see the facade
The facade you wear
And only now is he beginning to see
 
The birds are returning
They are returning
For it is time to come to roost
 
 
Edward Daniel ©

Healing Power of the Drum

“A new study published in PLoS scientifically validates what so many drum circle participants have already experienced first hand: group drumming produces significant changes in well-being, including improvements in depression, anxiety and social resilience.”http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/group-drumming-better-prozac-study-suggests

It was round a queer pagan fire in a field in Dorset in the year 1999 that I first experienced the expansive joy of group energy united by the drumbeat – a circle of people all revelling in the feeling of being in union, connected by rhythm and emotion and something bigger, knowing that each is having their own experience of this, would describe it in their own unique way, and this fact is perfectly wonderful.

Each human is ultimately a mystic having a relationship with their own inner divinity – and when mystics merge their energy fields, in harmony with nature’s elements,magic is the word for what happens.

Other words might include healing, revealing, seeing, knowing

Uniting the human individuality with the spirit of the drum, the rhythm, the group can loosen blocked emotional energy, clear the mental frequencies, and liberate the spirit. It can rebalance the inner world, it’s good for our mental health.

shokti

radical faeries of london samhain drum circle ancestor shrine

Allowing the energy to rise and fall

Listening is the key to tuning in

The mind naturally takes a back seat

as the heart and spirit move into the dance with the drum

The body revealed as ecstatic vehicle

of the lightbeing you are and always have been

Step into eternity

Allow the elements to restore and renew you

All life is One Dance, One Power, One Strength

Flowing through you, me, space, time and mind

In the rhythm we find our way home

Humans have always communed this way.

2017-12-02 – London, UK : Albion Faeries Drum Circle and Al Head Book Launch

Join the mailing list of the radical faeries of albion for news of drum circles in London and much more…. sign up on the homepage www.albionfaeries.org.uk

The Gates of SAMHAIN

Albion Fae Samhain Circle at Oscar Wilde Temple, Clapham SW4.  Photos by Mike Kear.

 

SAMHAIN: the pagan new year festival of death and rebirth, when the dead are honoured and our place in the cosmic whole remembered.  Across the world so many people feel the call to mark Samhain, whether in formal ceremony or the informal celebrations of Halloween.  More ancient than any religion, this festival has deep roots in our souls, and gives us the chance to connect to them.

The veils are thin, we remember the dead, we make fun of the darkness, we celebrate the shadows and the spooks, we just know this is the witches’ time of year.

The veils are thin and we may pass through them, recall once more the ancient ways

the dance of creation, the rhythm of seasons, the power of moons, the light of the soul

and how the Goddess, through the Wheel of the Year, shows us how to be whole.

 

 

 

 

 

In London Queer Rad Fae witches gathered on Samhain night 31st October 2018 at the Oscar Wilde Temple in Clapham to remember our kin, honour our kind, celebrate our power and invoke the hour of our magical return as healers, teachers and soul warriors of the human race, reuniting the worlds, lifting the veils

rediscovering the Way, reinventing it for today

inviting a renewed understanding and experience of the relationship between the living and the dead

samhain2

invoking health and balance mentally – emotionally – physically by honouring all parts of ourselves:  Samhain brings a time of endings as we release the summer and old beliefs that no longer serve our wellbeing, and a chance to prepare for the more inward journey of winter

to achieve this we remember the elementals and the spirit world….

Now comes the time of year when the cosmos is inviting us to enter into a deeper relationship with dimensions beyond the physical, to let our belief in our isolated individuality die and take a journey of communion and connection to the higher self and the collective consciousness. If we step through this portal, the Gate of Samhain, we will be ready for the rising fire of the centaur spirit Sagittarius and the journey through Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces months, taking us through to the Spring and giving meaning and depth to our experience of Winter.

blog by Shokti

Coming Home Healing Retreat Report

40 faeries gathered at the New Moon in Cancer for a week of healing retreat at Unstone Grange, a dedicated and beautiful ‘Centre for Personal and Creative Growth’ in Derbyshire, where we were lovingly welcomed by the centre’s smiling volunteers, the gentle and vibrant energies of the land and the baking July sunshine of Summer 2018.

There were no parties, no No Talent Shows, no auction. Instead there was a lot of tenderness, gentleness, sharing and SILENCE. Oh and we lived ‘inside out’ for a week – letting the element and energy of our moon selves take centre stage.

Each day we retreatants met in four groups according to the element of our moon signs. This produced small water and earth groups and large air and fire. We learnt that each moon group had its own way of processing emotionally. Earth moon people were laidback, didn’t feel the need to reveal much, and when emotions did come up didn’t necessarily feel the need to do much with them. Water moon people revelled in this chance to honour and explore emotional flow. Air moons talked a lot and took some time to find their focus, but became a faerie flock moving, singing and dancing as one as the days went by. Fire moons were the feisty ones, the group with shouting and arguing, walk outs and drama to the end. But also the fire people seemed to gain a lot from allowing the fire expression to happen. One fire moon faerie observed, “We all had our moments, got over them and moved forward. This was great as usually people hold onto things and keep grudges, I saw tempers flare, then become understanding and then friends, so wonderful and special.”

The retreat call invited us to gather for a time of “turning within together, a conscious journey into healing and transformation”, invoking “a supportive setting in which we practice letting go of the stimulating world of external objective intensity and wade into the cool deep waters of the inner being.” We got to be quiet together, to relax and enjoy some new moon calm space, and through doing so affirm the powerful and central healing qualities of our Albion Faerie tribe. We Albion Fae seem to have earned ourselves a reputation for knowing how to throw a good party, through this retreat space we affirmed that behind our sharing of good times lies a deep drive to embrace our nature as healers of the planet and the soul.

Photos by Loveable 

Here’s some feedback from participants:

” I felt more loved and more in family than I ever have in a group setting … exceptional love and harmony that I received in faeriespace. I feel that you all are something special and part of my life already.”

“Everyone involved should be mega proud – totally amazing! Reflecting on it, one of the things that really worked for me was the astrological theory underlying it – made it so much more coherent than your typical woo event and therefore I think more powerful in its magic.”

“… a wonderful experience. The Coming Home retreat at times was intense, even explosive, quiet, loud, but mainly fun and happy, with loads of laughter.”

“A week of connecting with magic, with the moon signs, with the heart, with the elements, with the land, with the fellow fairies…. I enjoyed the silence from the evening until lunch so much. The possibility to be „alone together“ felt natural and beautiful….. The connection beyond words is for me always stronger than the connection through words. And this quality was there.

“The significance of the moon sign to my life was a revelation for me. I knew about the influence of the the sun sign and the ascendant. But the moon sign was new to me…..The rituals we did were very powerful and connected me and everyone beautifully to the four elements and what they mean in life.

“Last not least the lovely grounds with old enchanted trees, readings at the pond, flowers, fruits, a hot outdoor bath tub, which hosted even three fairies at once (a bit of gymnastics needed there), a bliss pit to show and enhance joy and a shadow pit to bury unhelpful energies. And lovely food all week long, especially the marvellous breakfast treats created by sexual.”

A SECOND HEALING RETREAT AT UNSTONE GRANGE IS PLANNED FOR 25 FEBRUARY – 4 MARCH 2019

“The Commodity of Youth in an Age of Austerity by Cunty” : A Response

Radical Faerie tribal space is a cutting edge of queer consciousness, where the spirit of community, something often lamented as a lost utopia by the mainstream gay scene, is deeply dived into and explored. Queers are a section of humanity daring to declare our love after centuries of repression, we carry many wounds in our collective and individual psyche, and of course those come with us into our tribal adventures, and can manifest as unconscious behaviours. But it is through these adventures that those wounds get healed and behaviours, along with beliefs (about ourselves and the world) change.

Cunty has highlighted one of those behaviours in their recent blog post. The title hits me like a misthrown brick and i will admit triggered a place of tension within me before i even started reading the body of the text. Linking ‘commodity of youth’ and ‘age of austerity’ feels strange.  Youth can be a commodity in any age, and the British government’s imposition of austerity measures since 2010 has precious little connection to anything faeries do. In fact, albionfaerie space has experienced increasing abundance in the past eight years, with rapidly increasing numbers of people involved, many new gatherings emerging and increasing gender and racial diversity (we’ve always had good multi-generational attendance).

Cunty starts by naming the act of comparing oneself to others, or objectifying people in the community, as a ‘trap’. This might be coming from some sort of protestant mindset? How about you be more forgiving with yourself and others Princess? Comparing ourselves to others is a normal behaviour, so is objectification – these things go on all the time in the outside world, so we can hardly expect them to just fall away once we enter the faerie gates. But yes i agree it is important to be vigilant with one’s own mind, and throw out unhelpful thoughts that arise – such as thoughts of being lesser (or greater) than others, projections about what an other person ‘is like’, but it is not a sin to have these thoughts. They are part of the human experience, the point is to rise above them and gradually get in place a more holistic perspective. The ‘trap’ I suppose is to believe them.

Cunty points out that they do not seek to blame or judge, though the fact they feel they need to say this sets off my alarm bells. Possibly this claim is there to deflect from the fact that the article is dripping in blame and judgement. He singles out ‘middle-aged white cis gay men’ as the commodifiers of youth, but actually i think people of all ages, genders, races and sexualities do so. He says some of us base our self-worth on how many pretty young things we have around us. I can not agree with this, i have not seen this behaviour in faerie space ever.

Cunty asks what happened to the idea of subject:SUBJECT consciousness? I would prefer to hear a rallying call to explore what the fuck that means (because many are puzzled i know) rather than a judgement that others are not engaging it. When Cunty writes of observing an older faerie across the room putting his hand on a younger faerie’s knee please note Cunty is quite openly sharing the imagined projection from his own head, not what he hears, though the impression of the creepiness conveyed is what stays with the reader.

The use of woo as a tool of seduction is condemned, and probably rightly so, however this is not a technique exclusively used by older faeries. In fact the younger fae are in my observations much better at this! Even the sharing of astrological wisdom is apparently a ploy to ‘entrap the unwary’. Well i am happy to say i don’t see many ‘unwary’ faeries, quite the opposite – this is a tribal space for warriors. The applauding of sexy young faeries is criticised as feeding the abusive cultural energy we bring from the outside, but I believe I see applause and appreciation directed at all faeries of all ages.

I am not writing this response to deny that the behaviours described by Cunty ever happen. I just don’t much care for how Cunty is presenting their thoughts. While acknowledging that some older guys have stuff to learn about being in community with younger, let’s also acknowledge that everybody who comes to faerie space has things to learn, behaviours to appraise, attitudes to evolve.

I witness young guys jumping into lusty, passionate embraces with each other, only for one to realise they went too far too fast, pulling back, sometimes hurtfully. This particularly can happen when a guy (of any age) who has been a faerie for a short while wants to welcome a newbie into the fold, but then doesn’t want to follow through and deepen the friendship after the initial lust is expressed. What I will say in favour of older faeries is they usually will continue to offer unconditional love and seek to grow friendship to younger faeries after the initial connection is made, whether that connection expressed sexually or not.

Unfortunately, I believe I have seen older faeries ignoring each other, finding the younger faeries more interesting or appealing, and i have wished the older guys would be more playful with each other. I have also seen this wish come true.

And this: as an older, experienced faerie, who now enjoys many loving relationships with faeries of all ages, I believe I can help others realise that we can enjoy powerful states of loving, sometimes erotic, connection with others – but still remain integral within oneself, not lose our wholeness, our independence, not lose our balance through being in states of heightened love with others. But also acknowledging that sex and love open up our vulnerabilities, which then in turn make possible the deep magic we create.

But when it comes down to it, I am completely in accord with most of Cunty’s conclusions:

Intergenerational space: at the Ostara gathering this year we had an elders and youngers heart circle, was one of the highlights and shows how much there is to explore and discover here.

Spending time with older faeries: yes yes yes what a gift it is to have a queer community space where intergenerational friendship and relationships are possible.

Issues of consent and sexual health: these are responsibilities that each of us need to be real about, all have a need to step up to, and always have had. It’s important to state it.

Cunty appeals to us to get back to our core tool, the heart circle – where we listen to each other. I don’t agree: we have nothing to get back to, because we have never left it. Heart Circle is and always will be the engine of faerie space. At Ostara, heart circles formed the centre of the programme, for example. With such a large community now we don’t all get to sit and listen to each other as much as would be ideal. But at least we have blog pages to share what we need to get off our chests!

So I needed to get this off my chest. I do not object to Cunty bringing up this subject, but as i have described, i bristle at what i perceive as projections in the view expressed. But i do heartily agree with the conclusions, though instead of ‘arguing’ that we ‘have a responsibility to ourselves and each other, to nurture and protect our tribe’ I would prefer to celebrate that we have the opportunity to create such a space of magic, wonder and self-discovery, and to exercise the greatest compassion possible, for ourselves and each other, as we will all make mistakes during this transition from the mindsets of the outside world into the subjectivity of queer community.

Redefining the Sacred, from 2 Flutes Playing

ANDREW RAMER’s book TWO FLUTES PLAYING, written between 1980 and the early ’90s, is, in his words, “a book about Coming In, coming into yourself, coming in to love, and coming in to who we are as a people, ancient,timeless and renewing ourselves”

Faeries who have read it tend to love it and wish others knew what gems it contains, so here is an example to tempt you between the covers…..

Redefining the Sacred

There was a time when what is called “the sacred” was well-define. Certain places were sacred. Walls were built around them, incense burned, candles lit. And certain days were sacred. Not the day before or the day after. But this day, in a certain month, a special moon. And not everyone agreed as to what was sacred, but everyone’s rules were about distinctions. This is profane. But that, that is –sacred. This action is sacred, if you do it this way. But that act is definitely not sacred, and never will be. You’ll go directly to hell if you do that.

But the world is changing. Human consciousness is changing. And as life becomes more spiritually attuned, the barriers between sacred and not-sacred are changing… In place of rigid barriers there are fluid ones. And this will become more common, that the sacred will rise up from an ordinary conversation, or a table will become an altar for a sacramental meal that was a desk an hour before, and may be the setting for a game of cards an hour later.

When things change, people often cling to the old rules. And it does little good to tell them that in exchange for seven very sacred days in each calendar year, and ten half holy days, there will now be the possibility of every single day being sacred, if they attune themselves to that energy. No good saying that the temple, church, shrine, mosque may be converted into co-op apartments, but that every living room, bedroom, street, gym, bus terminal, has the capacity to become the centre of the entire universe, for a while, if everyone perceives it that way. People like distinctions. It is going to take a while for would-be priestesses and priests to discover the fluid rules of their transmuted vocations.

Gay people have a function in this time of transition, a vital and necessary spiritual function. The weaving together of vibrations that is now called gayness is not the average pattern on your world. It is not average, but it is important. To be gay is to have a different relationship to male and female. To be gay is have a different relationship to young and old. To be gay is to transcend other groups, political, social, ethnic, religious. And the experiences gained from all these differences are useful to the whole of the human community.

To be whole is to be balanced in one’s male and female energies, whether straight or gay, but gay people are more attuned to the non-manifest energy. To not have one’s sexuality connected to reproduction creates a different sense of inner child in gay people. One does not expect to lave the child behind in order to be parent to their children.

Gay people are born into all families, in all races, countries, classes, religions. In the old days, the experiences of gay people were important in keeping communication lines open. Men and women in relations with each other could find mediators in their gay kin, because of the different relation to gender gay folk have. Adults and children found that gay relatives could relate to them and help them bridge the gap between them. Communities depended upon gay runners, message bearers, scouts, who would travel to other communities and connect with gay folk there. Gay people were often the peace makers, because of their fluidity.

When gay people are not honoured in a society, and when they have forgotten their inherent skills, then the entire community suffers. Families lose their mediators, groups lack their connectors. It is time for gay folk to start remembering who they are, why they exist, what they can do in the world, for the world. There are generations of wounded gay people. Many are more out of touch with the other gender, inner and outer, more than straight people, who have the outer reflection to remind them of wholeness. And a people with no hcildren have become trapped in their inner child places, spoiled, hurt, sulking. So in place of the communications between communities gay people ought to create, there is only silent, furtive sex connecting them.

It is time for the gay community to heal itself. It is time for the gay community to assume the place in the human community that it was created for. It is time to come together in loving communities, for gay men to explore their inner femaleness so that they can help men and women communicate. It is time for gay men to own their capacity for youthfulness and their ability to be wise elders, so that they can once again sit with a child and be an adult who remembers being a child, so that they can talk to parents who thought they needed to forget their inner child in order to have children of their own. And it is time for gay people to start using, for planetary transformation, the global network that already exists, spreading information, love, advice, support, money, food, clothing.

The gay community can heal. It will not heal from focussing on combatting disease alone. A healing must include a spiritual element. And this is what has often been withheld from gay people. The religious communities of this planet have for the most part excluded, or at best ignored, their gay members. But religions is not necessarily spirituality. And it is through a spiritual connection, not a religious one, that the human community of this planet will find its healing.

What is spiritual, what is sacred, is being redefined. It is being redefined in a fluid way. Gay people, by their very nature, exist in a state of internal fluidity that will make us vital in this time of planetary challenge. As we enter the Age called Aquarius it is useful to remember that the constellation Aquarius represents the youth Ganymede, who Zeus took up to Mount Olympus to be cupbearer to the gods, and his own lover. Gay people have a share in this coming transformation. To the ancient Epyptians, the water carrier was the source of the Nile, pictured as a man with breasts. When Jesus was preparing for the Last Supper, it is recorded in Luke that he sent his disciples into the city to meet a man carrying a jar of water, in a culture where only women were supposed to carry water.

Let us carry the water of love again, the water of life. This is our role in the community of human beings. This is our share in he world’s redefining of the sacred. When we remember our own sacredness, we help to heal the world. We bring together families. We bring together countries. We use our fluid natures to make change. We remember what is sacred in us, and we rejoice in it again.