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.