Tag Archives: Radical faeries

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)

The power of faerie love – by Moss.

The power of faerie love,
Its energy fills me.
Charged with its light,
Charged with the gift of its magic,
I am an overflowing vessel of love.

The medicine of faerie love,
Its potency awes me.
Healed by its properties,
Healed with the potion of ancients,
I am healing with my heart.

The wimsy of faerie love,
Its freedom thrills me.
Warmed by its silliness,
Warmed by its total abandonment,
I am laughing with my heart.

The possibilities of faerie love,
Its waymarkers lead me.
Encouraged by its teachings,
Encouraged by realising my own potential,
I am journeying with its love.

The power of faerie love –
Energy, magic, humour and hope.
Enriched by these elements,
Enriched by the faerie gifts to me,
I am filled with the power to heal
And the chance to be truly free.

FAE by Brother Sun.

For every stick and stone

That was thrown

To break my bones,

I have used to build my tower

The one in which I stand

Free, Wild and Proud.

For I am not weak

Not any more

No longer can you cause me hurt

For I have wings and I shall soar.

For I am Fae, I am beyond your understanding

A body, a spirit, a soul

A warrior, a queer, a man

No longer under your control.

You tried to bury me

But I got up from the ground

Stronger than I ever was

While never making a sound.

For my gifts are great

I feel to my core

I feel the Earth below me

And then I feel some more.

You didn’t destroy me, even with all your intent

You made me more powerful, and that wasn’t what you meant.

For I am Fae

And that is all I need

You have failed

And I will succeed.

For every stick and stone

That was thrown

To break my bones

I have used to build my tower

The one in which I stand

Free, Wild and Proud.

Shokti’s Radical Faerie Fundamentals

images

Radical Faerie is a term adopted by some humans (often but by no means exclusively gay men) as a label to indicate we view ourselves as free and sacred beings of nature, seeking to live from the heart in tune with the natural forces, and that like nature is constantly exploring and growing, is both male and female, elemental and divine. Each Faerie will have their own unique definition of the term, no faerie seeks to speak for another, this offering is Shokti’s take on some fundamental faerie fae-osophy. I believe Faerie space offers sanctuary to those of us who wish to explore who and what we are from the root up, a sanctuary where the self-limiting, hierarchical and patriarchal concepts of materialist science and certain dictatorial religions do not reign. Instead Magic is on the throne, and Her reign gives us Freedom to be Who We Are.

Tucson 1979

The faerie fundamentals as seen by SHOKTI: Each human soul is a unique mixture of the primal energies of Creation. A soul has self-awareness, a quality which mystics of all faiths have declared is the essential nature of the Creator Consciousness – like the Source itself, we have self-knowledge, and the ability to create our own destiny. An interplay of pure consciousness (Shiva) and pure energy (Shakti), often depicted as an ecstatic, sexual union, brings the worlds into being. Souls combine the Shiva and Shakti nature of the Divine Creator Source within themselves, the fundamental truth is that at soul level we all both male and female energies, they flow together to create our being, while our personalities are also shaped by the interplay of the four elemental forces that are the building blocks of life.

Humans are the meeting point of nature and spirit. To live a healthy, balanced life we need to be well connected to both – modern life is crippled by disease and disaster because most people are connected to neither.

And yet healing and wholeness are our birthright as divine beings at home in the universe, and with some adjustments to our attitudes and outlooks can be ours. At any point we can choose to re-boot our lives and bring ourselves into harmony with the natural flow of the universe. We have to remember that we are not separate from nature or spirit, in fact we are constantly under the influence of energy flows which our ancient ancestors understood much better than we do today.

beltane-faeries

Four simple steps to healing:

Attuning to Nature

Opening to Spirit

Healing the Heart

Reprogramming the Mind

The route to all this is through the Body.

If we seek wholeness, peace and wisdom in our lives, we have to take the responsibility for our healing out of the hands of doctors and into our own bodies. It will help if we believe that it is possible to come into harmonic flow with life. We have probably been encouraged to believe in a random, purposeless existence for most of our lives. We will need to be prepared to learn some new things, which are in fact old things, the things our souls already know, but which we forgot.

Inside each of us exists a soul that has deep roots in the indigenous tribes of this planet, in rites and ceremonies that connect us deeply to the Earth, the Air, the Fire and Water…. Plus to the Spirit, the multidimensional consciousness that we are forever part of. Through our own intuition we can bring ourselves into alignment – but these energies are extremely powerful, and can unbalance us as well as help us. Therefore it is valuable to share our journey into healing with others who can support and reflect back to us what is going on.

Most of us have taken psychedelics, or worked with medicine plant helpers, to expand our awareness in some way. Drug use is so popular because humans love to experience the potential limitlessness and ecstatic feelings in their soul – though in a materialist, scientific era, soul is a word we rarely use. If we accept the reality of the soul, a question that then comes up of course is do we also have to accept the religious rules and concepts we were indoctrinated with as children?

tumblr_nk2xd3fdvo1rn2lrdo1_540

Only one way to find out – ask the soul. Step One. Go out in Nature. Attuning to Nature also involves taking notice of moon cycles, seasonal changes and astrological influences. Step Two. We can raise our vibrational frequency to talk to the Spirit. There are infinite ways to alter our vibrations. Eventually drugs become irrelevant – they can be useful to open up energy channels in us which we can then access through other means, eg dance, drumming, chanting, yoga, breathing techniques, sexual energy. Those channels exist in us, it’s just the modern world convinced most of us to tune them out.

Step Three. Healing the Heart involves sharing our stories, being heard without judgement in the warm embrace of fellow souls. Heart Circle is the most powerful heart healing tool I have ever come across. We can only do so much emotional healing alone, we can do so much with a special lover – but to fully heal our hearts we have to accept that humans are social creatures, we belong in community. Our hearts thrive when they are connected to many other hearts in openness, trust and joy. If we restrict our love to romantic illusions of partnership over all else, we will suffer. If we are held in the bosom of a loving community of friends we will survive all life throws at us, and grow through our challenges.

Step Four. The Mind has to give up. It doesn’t run the show. It isn’t designed to know everything – it is designed to ask questions, to analyse and consider. We keep our minds so full, and over stimulated in modern life – meditation helps us to calm the mind, enter into a passive mode within it, where we can, through stillness or trance, get access to its deeper levels, to the places shared with others in the collective consciousness. Through these levels we can even talk to plants, animals and spirit beings.

For this to be possible the mind has to be able to become clear and open, like a cloudless sky, and for that to happen we will need to reprogramme all beliefs and thought patterns that keep the dark clouds in our lives.

Coming to Healing involves coming home to the Body. Taking the body into nature – moving, stretching and opening the body to let in spirit – bringing the body into close physical contact with others (healing touch is part of healing the heart) – and even the reprogramming of the mind, the release of old beliefs and the affirmation of new, happens most effectively when the body is engaged too. Our bodies are temples of our spirit, containing a powerhouse of spiritual energy accessible through our sexuality. Sex is the fastest way to enlightenment, it has been said – if it is approached with awareness, love and surrender.

peacetomymind

The Earth’s journey round the Sun provides us with eight seasonal festival points when it becomes possible for us to leap onto the Path of Healing and Awakening. Spring Equinox is just round the corner as I write this – as Nature reawakens after the cold, inward Winter months, so can we. As we dedicate ourselves to our own healing – as we discover our own ability to heal – the energies of Nature and Spirit rush to assist us.

The elements offer us a way to know and explore who and what we really are. Other metaphysical systems, such as the chakras, the kabbalistic tree of life, the planet’s astrological maps are also very helfpul tools for us to deepen self-knowledge and come into harmony with life. These maps are around to help us maximise the experience the soul is having while on planet Earth.   But the greatest teacher of all is LOVE, and on that point probably every faerie will agree – love opens the gates to the soul, to subject-SUBJECT consciousness (the term invented by Rad Fae Grandfather Harry Hay). Faeries gather in tribal groupings because the LOVE draws us in, transforms and heals us, opens the way to fuller manifestation of the light and joy in our souls. We were born this way, born to awaken, born to seek deeper and higher than most folk, born to be planetary healers. The time is really NOW. We are birthing the Age of Aquarius.

IF YOU FEEL THE CALL, FIND US

Logical Family is Everything – Bright Eyes.

Faerie Gatherings are always transformative affairs but this one would teach me a most important lesson. This was my fourth Gathering within the Tribe and for reasons I couldn’t understand, I felt sad and heavy within half an hour of arriving at Paddington Farm. Old insecurities around ageing, isolation and loneliness began to re-surface and though surrounded by love, laughter and trustworthy friends, I felt totally isolated.

If I couldn’t feel happy here, where the hell could I feel happy? The sadness persisted for two days, along with an increasing sense of irritation growing towards a number of individuals that both worried me and saddened me further. One sentence sums up my experience so far:

“Welcome to the family!”

This may seem like a grim start to a blog extolling the joys of a Faerie Gathering but it’s not the negative it appears to be. Indeed, I learned some of my most important lessons through this gathering. No one can be happy all the time and just because I was unhappy didn’t mean I wasn’t in a powerful and healing space.

Lesson no.1: Some of this shit may be ‘them’ but a lot of it is very much ‘me’ so let’s call it quits. I began to see the people pressing all my negative buttons were also having their own buttons pushed for different reasons. I’m learning if my inner child hits out, then for the most part I’ll only be hitting another vulnerable child. It’s taught me that by and large, hugs are much preferable.

Lesson no.2: Reliance on friends. My wobbly start to the Gathering has only served to reveal the extraordinary depth of care that flows from certain Faerie hearts. I experienced the unconditional love of one of my tribal elders and his gentle, almost unshakeable wisdom helped me navigate through the minefield of my own feelings. I also discovered everyone needs a Faerie Godmother from time to time. Mine has proved to be more of an Angel Godmother in this instance and she carefully wove a safe protective space around me during my time of vulnerability.

Lesson no.3: Role reversal – even my towers of strength can have feet of clay. On several occasions, the very people who kept me afloat during my own crisis began to crumble for varying reasons of their own. Ironically, I found myself as their pillar of strength, giving the same love and support they had given me. Lesson learned? Neither my friends nor I need be perfect to be strong. Being weak for much of the time is inevitable and maybe it’s time I accepted that. My hope is we won’t all be weak at the same time and there will always be someone to lean on for the person who needs support the most.

Lesson no.4: Most families are dysfunctional – Get over it. Through the course of any gathering I generally botch my way through a variety of interpersonal issues. I don’t always get it right. I very often get it spectacularly wrong. As a community, we also grapple with important issues, sometimes with heated or frustrating debate. This gathering was no exception. My lesson learned? I’ll never agree with everyone and I’ll never see the world through their eyes. Nor will they see the world through mine. I may upset you and you may also upset me. What matters most is that I learn to forgive and learn to permit difference. I may even learn to be more sensitive, when I learn to respect your wishes, even if I don’t understand where you’re coming from.

Lesson no.5: If it all gets too confusing, just bloody well escape for a couple of hours! On the afternoon I hit rock bottom, my Angel Godmother suggested we go for a walk to clear our heads. This walk was probably the most important event of the Gathering for me, for by that stage I needed solitude and detachment to navigate through my own emotions. We walked up Glastonbury Tor and from that incredible vantage point I could see for miles around and also spot Paddington Farm, looking small and insignificant in the wider landscape. For whatever reason I felt lifted and changed by the time we returned and better still, I felt less isolated.

Having periods of struggle through a gathering makes you appreciate the magical times so much more. These special times with logical family and tribe have to be experienced first hand. They cannot be fully described. The joy of this particular family is that it’s always growing, for each gathering I attend brings new and special individuals into my life, as well as strengthening and re-affirming previously forged connections. The most potent magic however was to be found walking up the Tor and around the fires with the drums. Faeries come alive when there’s drumming and especially this time as we invoked Brigid on the eve of Imbolc, the first flowering of Spring.

I may have begun the Gathering with a heavy heart but I left with a grateful heart. Partings and goodbyes are always sad but I know the Logical Family is always there for me, even though we are scattered throughout these Isles and further. My heart yearns for when we next come together.

The Strange Gathering Habits of the Lesser-Spotted Liminal Faerie – Cunty

“I only ever see you between places, heading off somewhere” he said to me. “I don’t feel like I’ve had time to get to know you”. My first emotional response was guilt. Here was a wonderful new faerie whom I had somehow failed, by not being more available for him to connect with. But hold on. If this is non-judgemental space, why am I judging myself? And why is it incumbent upon me to facilitate that connection, if this is also co-created space? Why should I feel obliged to be present and correct for everyone else, who do I think is taking the fucking register here?

All these thoughts flashed through my mind but the words I felt best able to offer this most endearingly earnest of my kin were “If you see me passing by and you want to talk, just ask if we can get some time together.” Looking back it still seems the most Faerie of possible answers. It helps a newcomer to be aware that they are equally as responsible for their experiences at a gathering and it also serves to remind me I’m as entitled to my own way of being as anyone else. But perhaps it lacks some context.

You see, I am a liminal faerie. A will o’ the wisp. It’s rare to find me in the centre of big ritual or parties. Due to my bizarre and hilarious food allergies and intolerances, I usually have a separate kitchen and therefore aren’t around at communal mealtimes. I can experience social anxiety in large groups, so sometimes I’ll retreat from them. Yes, I’ve found myself leading workshops, hosting the auction or the odd heart circle before. The great swathes of time in which I find myself reverting to a solitary, more introspective state of being tend to be more natural for me.

It’s taken a number of years to find myself at peace with my liminal status. I’ve come to accept that this means sometimes I might miss out on some aspects of a gathering. Don’t get me wrong, I marvel in delight at those who dive into the throng, the supple social swimmers who glide through rivers of interaction while I barely paddle. But the benefits of my view from the sidelines have gradually become more apparent to me.

As with almost every gathering, while at Glastonbury for Imbolc I caught a cold. Kisses, hugs, puppy piles and dormitories spread colds like nothing else. As such, on the morning when everyone was getting up early to visit the wells of Glastonbury and mingle with the locals, I slept in. Hearing the yoo-hoo from bed, I could have grabbed the nearest frock and ran over to join them, but a shower was top priority to clear my overnight congestion and bring me close to humanity/faedom.

So I emerged a half hour later, foam-arisen like a hirsute Aphrodite, thinking myself alone on the farm. As it turned out, there was another whose joi de vivre was decidedly absent that morning. And so we passed an hour or two in cantankerous companionship, two grumpy old queens airing their issues, blessed by the knowledge that we had transformed our solitary experiences into a shared cathartic qvetching workshop, attendees:2.

The night before, I wasn’t feeling drawn toward the main Imbolc ritual. Instead I sorted laundry, read, was kind to myself in terms of energy. And as I was coming back from the laundry room, bumped into a faerie who was quietly leaving at that point. So I didn’t drum that night or sing and celebrate with the crowd. Instead I had the genuine honour of being the only person to be able to bid farewell to this thoughtful and enigmatic gentle man, to offer his last hug of his third gathering.

Where once I held a sense of shame, of lacking, in my moments of being on the edge of a faerie community, now I can start to find delight in these delicate little opportunities that such a position offers.

So in hindsight, if I could offer that new gathering faerie a more florid response, it would be this;

Come find me in the quiet spaces inbetween. Seek me out in the kitchen, when a boy has broken your heart. Look for me in the corridor, when you can’t find your room and are in just a towel. Discover me by the riverbank, when we’re both feeling disconnected. Here in the shadow, at twighlight, on the sidelines, this is where small gentle acts of connection and magic happen. In these moments we will see each other, share our hearts’ stories and find deeper understanding.

Cunty.

One Rising.

Is it love that warms

the air with laughter?

Greets farm mud in high

heels?

Softens solitary variations

into heart-sung union?

 

There is darkness

And it is moist, juicy with

seeds

Roaring

and wild

 

And the dray horse

up against his gate

smells joy

and remembers

hooves un-commanded

over hills

that never had to end

 

There is fear

every one of us feels it

for the urge of the drums

carries us to the edge

closer

than ever before

 

Blood roaring and wild

air roaring

and wild

Will we fall or fly?

 

She laughs, laughs

And it resounds

through cunt and cock

This is us

Circle of cunt and cock

and heart

full as the moon

 

One heart

One tribe

Rising

 

 

Qweaver, with love to fae kin

who shared Imbolc at the farm 2016

Fuck Shame by Wood Pigeon.

I will not be shamed

I will not be ashamed

Shame has no refuge in my soul

No dark corner to harbor

To embed and unravel into my beautiful life.

 

I am animal

I am spirit

I am queer

I am gay

I fuck men

I fancy twinks

I love rimming

Cuddle me

Hold me

I am not ashamed.

 

Stick your homophobia in a primark bag

Re-cycle it

Re-use it

Lose it

I don’t give a shit

It’s your shame. You carry it home.

 

My sex mirrors you, triggers you, brings fear up in you

Follow my lead

Ditch your shame too.

 

Come take your freedom back

Birth it

Love it

Let it ooze all juicy and sap rising

Full of surprising

Spontaneous, liberating, fuck you all

It’s my one shot on earth and let your shame ridden hatred fall

Fall

Fall.

 

Breathe.

 

 

Blessings on your heart walk,

Woodie Wood Pigeon X


Walking the Labyrinth by Cunty.

I see the path I am on, the behaviour I exhibit, the words I offer and receive. I feel the rush of elation with one step, the heavy burden of shame with the next.

This is achingly familiar, from the instinct to pull away to the vulnerability of being open-hearted and loving. The twists and turns of emotions at a Faerie gathering are dizzying and mercurial. I stumble on, trusting that the path will lead me to the centre as much as I trust in the process of the heart circle.

It feels as if I’m passing back a way I’ve already come and yet it is different, leading deeper into the Mystery. In between the stumbling I also feel myself about to leap in flight. It is exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure.

I have offered my id as a sacrifice to Dionysus/Aphrodite and I am Maenad, a raving one, destroying all in my path, invulnerable and prophesying as my bleeding soles take one more step, just one more, always one more. Every touch, kiss, embrace fuels me still, pushing me further on, although I have long forgotten the question I held as I began the journey.

This bone-shearing, raucous, playful, chaotic, whimsical pilgrimage of queerness, connection, vulnerability and resilience is all I can remember, all I can taste, and all I want or need.

The gnarled dance of one who doesn’t dance, equal parts Salome, Kate Bush and Baba Yaga, cannot stop of be undone. It is the search for sustenance like the root of a tree, a tendril burrowing deeper and further down into the earth, reaching out, reaching down, and reaching inward.

Were I to see from above, if I remembered such a place, I would see the shape of the labyrinth, leading me home to myself. With such perspective I might find comfort in correspondences;

Seven coils, laid out around the centre

Seven paths, inward and outward

Seven days, seven nights of the gathering

Seven chakras, from root to crown

Seven planetary bodies, seen with the human eye

Seven gates, as Inanna passed through to the Underworld

Seven seasons, as Buffy lived (and died twice) through

But thought and reason elude me, for I am lost in the movement, ever onwards, to the centre. One path to tread, unicursally leading me to the point where there is an ending of sorts. Almost as soon as the awareness of an ending creeps in, I find myself there. I stand in the heart of the labyrinth.

The diary that I have kept for this gathering is a mirror standing tall, implacable in its cold reflection. As my breathing stills and thought once again permeates my emotional being, I am presented with the manifestation of myself, my selves, my other.

It is the Minotaur, the bull-headed beast of raging need and mistrust. The creature imprisoned, fed on the sacrifice of youths’ bodies. Asterion, the shamed one. It takes everything I have to hold still, to look him in the eye, to not back down, to not turn and run.

With each word I read from my journal I note another detail of the monster. How he is “too intense” (how many times I have been told that!). How clumsy and unseemly he is. How territorial he has become, even in his solitude and how his insatiable desire and longing are too much for any mortal being to gaze upon.

Every confession of vulnerability I have recorded is another strike of Theseus’ cock-like club, each declaration of connection and love another stab of his phallic sword until the beast lies fallen. Broken and bleeding, sides heaving and sweat slicking his hair, his breathing ragged. How can I not love him now, as I love broken things or broken people I can heal and thus prove my worth to? I pull him to me and lament all the hurt, the misunderstanding, the senseless anger, the years lost now.

When this passes, as all things do, I look around and register the change in light, the transience of time and also the acceptance of what has been. The crumpled body has evaporated like a heavy dream, though streaks of blood and filth remain.

As I return to my other life, the life between gatherings, I find myself back in the coils of the labyrinth, this time moving outwards. I apply reason and consideration to the experiences I have undergone, to the changes that are wrought in me.

As my feet retread the pathway back out, I assimilate the loves and lessons into myself, into my rational and irrational mind. I make a point of being kind with myself, of allowing myself the chance to do a little better every time I make this journey. I return with messages to and from myself, from Spirit and from the Gods.

I wrap concepts into words, the way I would package fragile ornaments for a move. Placing each one with care where I can retrieve it later and still find it whole. I recall and honour those whom I shared the journey with, shared moments with and shared a bed with.

Soon enough I find myself stepping out from the labyrinth, back again into the other-realm. I do not look back over my shoulder. I honour the path, the coils, the centre and the lessons learned as I take a breath and take another step.

 

Glastonbury Summer Solstice 2015 depicted in art.

Click image for bigger version…

summer solstice art
‘I struggle to put words down after gatherings and am always in awe reading other peoples amazing prose, but somehow I hope this image gives some insight into the emerging energies I felt around the fire and in the trees on solstice night.’ – Snail.