AIDS SHAMAN

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http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shokti

Presenting my first book to the world… available now as ebook, print version coming…  my awakening to the spiritual realms began while sick with AIDS in the 1990s… Here is a collection of my poetry and prose to make you think about the role gay/queer people play in the human story, plus inspiration from queer ancestors, prophets and teachers.

Preview glimpse into the contents…..

HIV was the catalyst that led to my interest in spirituality: the threat of death led me to search for meaning in life. Given a positive diagnosis in 1990, by ’95 I was becoming symptomatic and was considered a PWA (Person With AIDS). I left my job, got my debts written off by telling the bank I was leaving the world, and turned my mind to the big question – why, I asked for the first time in my life, did I exist in the first place? I had held a firmly rational, materialist, atheistic view since the age of 12, but now, at 30, an understandably urgent need for spiritual answers arose in me. I plunged into a study of the worlds’ religions, into pagan magic and new age teachings, soon sensing a mystical core common to all. I began to open my mind and heart to the possibility of something more, to the possibility of a purpose behind our apparently random existence here on planet earth, to the idea of a beneficent divine presence giving rise to that existence.

 

All life’s crises hold an opportunity

nothing is ever only dark or light

HIV can awaken our spiritual sight.

Gays don’t like religion, thank goddess for that

we prefer to think for ourselves

and that’s where it’s at

we come out because we touch the truth inside

and that’s where we find our love and our pride

if we learn to listen to the soul, as we did as a child

all the answers we seek are there….

 

Calling to the Witch in every Queer

To the Priestess in every Lesbian

To the Shaman in every Gay barman

The Divine Mother in every Bear

The Abbot in every Faggot

The Deity in every Dyke

The Radical in every Faerie

It’s time for the QUEER PEOPLES OF PLANET EARTH TO COME HOME

 

,,,and the time must come
after all the parties
all the drugs
after the dying years
and a decade of decadence
the time comes, can only come
when the gay phoenix rises
after centuries of death
across the planet
the rainbow serpent
unicorn lion and bear
the return of the shamans
awakening everywhere…..

 

We’ve been hidden for so long in every race on earth

waiting for the globe to shrink so we can find each other

pathological said the shrinks

sinners said the church

we have to fight for equality

and in ourselves we have to search

for the answers to why we we’re here

for the secrets of being Queer.

This is the calling of the twenty first century queer: to learn to unite the sexual and the spiritual, and find the balancing, healing, role we play in the human family…. to remember, recover and renew our QUEER SPIRIT

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shokti

 

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Shokti’s Radical Faerie Fundamentals

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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.

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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?

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.

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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

http://www.folleterre.org

http://www.albionfaeries.org.uk

http://www.radfae.org

http://www.queerspirit.net

I also now blog at http://www.rainbowmessengerblog.wordpress.com

 

TRIBAL SPIRIT RISING

 

GLASTONBURY SUMMER SOLSTICE 2015

Gathering under the Tor, camping in the field, view of Avalon vale, drumming in the woods, buzz and chatter of the last week of Gemini month, new ideas birthed and big dreams too.

The albion faerie tribe celebrating the seasonal cycle, hitting our Solstice peak dancing all night round the faerie fire, drumming, chanting: erotic, sweaty, roasting night before joining the people of Avalon at the top of the Tor at daybreak, connecting queer magic to the rising pagan energies felt by all drawn to celebrate the earth’s natural holy moments, colouring in the rainbow, bringing back the knowledge of the goddess, of the elements, of the animal spirits, of the ancestors: of all the things humanity forgot in its greedy rush for wealth and constant gratification. Remembering we are Love.

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PAN GATHERING FOLLETERRE

July Full Moon in Capricorn IS the Pan Full Moon. The Cancer-Capricorn axis takes us into the balance between emotion and action, intuition and reason, between cardinal water and cardinal earth: two strong forces we need to bring together, within ourselves. Capricorn is the sign of the Sea-Goat: the legend is that Pan escaped Typhon, the king of monsters, by diving into the Nile but the lower half of his body turned into a fish. Pan’s energy rules the land at this time, Spring growth is over and nature wants to play, but underlying it all is the emotional water spirit of Cancer. Pan’s lust and play is all about expressing and releasing the powerful emotional energies within us. Pan’s sexual energies are strong, calling us to connect body, soul, mind and spirit and unite with each other, with nature, with the universe. To know our Oneness with all we have to face the dark forces within us, the primeval sexual, elemental powers that stalk through our collective subconscious. To make peace with Pan is to find the door to the magic of the elements, to experience them flooding through us, moving us, dancing us, feeding us, teaching us.

We live as a tribe of 16 faeries, all camped on the magical Folleterre Faerie Prairie with few trips to the community house. In that house food is prepared for us, the other occupants of the sanctuary generously supporting our spiritual efforts out in nature. We become one tribe as we journey together into the elemental forces of creation. First day in Air we walk in silence to meditation rock, where spirit moves us into a unified energy dance, and around the night time fire we call, sing and invoke to the spirit worlds to bless our endeavours to get closer to Pan. In Earth day we get closer to the land, and deepen into its peaceful embrace. In Water we share from the heart, swim together and cleanse with healing mud. We connect the elements within ourselves and journey into fire, enjoying the day of blazing Cancer sun energies and opening ourselves to ecstasy with night time fire ritual. Cancer energies are concerned with the home – this year in Folleterre it felt clear that HOME is PLANET EARTH, and Cancer month a great time to be out in nature experiencing that. We were at home, as one tribe, breathing and growing, moving into love and celebrating sexual expression. We were so blessed it was warm enough to be naked all night as well as all day. At our ritual the Capricorn full moon dominated the sky, her energies were deep and earthy. Our ritual provided the air and fire to balance the water sun and earth moon. Pan came.

Nature held us, and we held each other. The formalities and reserve of society fell away and we became simple faerie beings honouring the divine energies of nature, in a playful, caring, shared space.

“I’m injected with nature.
I look for the natural when I am out now. Remembering the beautiful moments on meditation rock: Green Leaf’s vision: naked people naked in nature. At peace.

My inner child, monkey, tiger, animal was called out to play.
Such lifeforce. such happiness.
The tribal experiences were wonderful. The repetition of playing, decorating, embracing, initiating each other with colours, mud, ashes every day again..gave it structure. Oneness. I loved it.” Pan Gatherer Trickster

This is how souls come home… opening to nature, opening to spirit, dropping the dramas, giving and receiving love, finding the divine peace inside.

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TRIBAL VISION FOLLETERRE

40 faeries old hands and new birds taking flight, young and old, pioneers of the cause, fellows who have joined since and spiritually awakened newbies ready to take the plunge into a gathering that proclaimed TRIBE from the start. With 20 years of Eurofaerie gatherings and 10 of sanctuary under our belts, we were ready to ask: What is a tribe? We shared our ideas from the first evening and became a single organic entity, each of its parts following its own star yet together forming an ever evolving constellation of bonding, dancing, loving and sharing. The Cancer Sun held us in an ocean of love, heart connections formed quickly and deepened. The sense of travelling and growing together was strong. The sense of mission, purpose and drive to nurture faerie space, so that more people might benefit from this experience of love and healing, was present, huge and vital.

We met under an Aquarius moon, providing us with the inner tools and outlooks to quickly form a tribal consciousness. Under the Pisces moon we danced deeply into the space of emotional connection. Mid week the Aries moon and a grey day with some rain pulled us back into ourselves and made us focus on what we each individually creating, brought us to the place of choice and action. Hearts shared in daily tribal circle space wove the individual energies into a single dance again. We rose to the call of the Aries fire and made ritual at the Ancestor Grove before a late night of dancing, singing and playing at the prairie fire. Taurus moon gave us two luscious sunshine days of relaxed, sensual energies. Time to enjoy the land, the wonderful food produced by the kitchen teams, and each other. Gemini Moon at the final weekend of the gathering brought us a huge shot of air energy which channelled into performance, party spirit, an over-wordy tribal circle (moon in gemini = everybody has at least two opinions they want to share lol), a huge house clean and a phenomenal closing circle where we held sacred healing space on the prairie at the end of the day with drums and chanting before feasting on delicious home cooked pizza, our first ever from the new kitchen stove, freshly installed just the day before.

We shared our heartfelt thoughts as the night drew in and hugged each other deep and long. We had over 9 days honoured all the elements of our nature – our earthiness, our intelligence, our emotions and our cosmic two-spirited sacredness. The gathering closed but thecircle stays open, the tribal energies continue to flow and flow.

AND SUMMER’S ONLY JUST BEGUN…..

GATHERINGS CONTINUE AT FOLLETERRE ALL SUMMER

www.folleterre.org

Faeries will also be found at QUINTASENSUAL FESTIVAL in the UK

25-30 August http://www.quintasensual.org/

stand by for news of a September Faerie weekend in Glastonbury

and for the CALL for FEATHERSTONE First Ever Samhain Albion Gathering 19-29 October

where we will get opportunities to look back over the year and prepare ourselves for the more inner focussed time of Winter.

Tribal Spirit Rising

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QUEER SPIRIT RISING 2015

In 2015 there are more ways on offer to be in queer community outside the commercial mainstream than ever before.  There are activities and gatherings on offer that can bring some perspective and balance to the intensities of our city lives, plus take us on journeys that will expand and enlighten our hearts and minds in the company of other fabulous queer beings.

It is over a decade since the first gathering in London of the Queer Spirit Circle and 10 years since the establishment across the Channel in France of the first European Radical Faerie Sanctuary, Folleterre, two spaces dedicated to offering room for spiritual and emotional conversation to develop in gay life. It is 9 years since the first Eurofaerie gathering in the UK at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland, from which the Albion Faerie Tribe was born.

During the past decade the Faeries and other groups exploring our queer relationship with spirit and nature have been offering activities away from the commercialism and hedonism of our city scenes. A common feature of these queer spiritual activities is the deep loving connection that develops amongst the participants. Freed from the pressures to conform to either hetero or gay societal norms, queer spirit spaces are where our natural being can safely express, emerge and evolve. There is more to being queer than who we have sex with, who we want to marry, whether we can serve in the military etc. We are on a search for who we are from the moment we have our first thoughts of being ‘different’. Coming Out is just one step on the journey. Finding ourselves goes all the way from our physical and sexual nature through to how we think, what we feel, what kinds of relationships we want, and our connection to Source, however we perceive that. Thinking for ourselves is what coming out teaches us to do.  But once out on the scence we can so easily we get caught up in chasing love or substance induced highs that numb our thoughts, dampen our emotions and restrict rather than uplift us, give us an illusion of connection rather than the real thing.  Drug use can be great of course, but we need to remind each other that chemicals are pointers to what lies inside us, and not a long term option.  Becoming more conscious is the ultimate goal of our time here on earth, and as 2015 gets under way, an astounding stream of queer-conscious events lies ahead… some single gender, many open to the whole lgbt spectrum, recognising that we are all a unique balance of male and female on the inside…. offering spaces for reflection, healing, creativity and sharing emotions, ideas and physicality.

Our city scenes are exciting, creative spaces (with of course a looming shadow of loneliness, need, greed, dependency and spread of disease). Queer Spirit spaces offer a chance to balance the intensities of gay life with time in wonderful places in nature and exploring activities such as meditation, yoga, tantra, sex magic, shamanism, body painting, performance, nature walks, fire rituals, drumming, trance dancing etc. Gradually queer pioneers are developing environments where we queers can nourish our souls as well as our arseholes. Sexual activity is never taboo in queer spirit spaces, unlike traditional spiritual retreats. In fact our sexuality is honoured and explored for the graceful gift from the universe that it is. In these gatherings we explore our own feelings about life, the universe and everything… nobody is telling anybody else what to believe. In my experience queer spiritual folk are able to meet each other with open minds and hearts, prepared to listen to and learn from each other, and have a lot of fun while we do it.

Albion Faerie Gatherings http://www.albionfaeries.org.uk

Featherstone Castle Spring Gathering Friday 20th to Monday 30th March

Summer Solstice Glastonbury Saturday 13th to Monday 22nd June

Featherstone Castle Autumn Gathering Monday 19 – Thursday 29 October

Folleterre Faerie Gatherings Www.folleterre.org

Gatherings from May to October celebrating 10 years of queer sanctuary in Europe, situated in northern France in the Vosges mountains, Folleterre welcomes queers of all genders and hosts a variety of themed and community events

Austria Faerie Gathering:August 15-25. http://www.eurofaeries.eu/austria

Edward Carpenter Community edwardcarpentercommunity.org.uk

Established in the 1980s, the ECC continues to offer retreats for men and have a full programme throughout the year.

Queer Pagan Camp http://www.queerpagancamp.org

First gathering in 1998, this elemental zone for queer witches, shamans, druids and magicians now happens a few times each year… Beltane Camp in May, Summer Camp and Samhain Camp, plus a gathering devoted to drumming. Separately, Cernunnos Camp offers space to explore a deep rooted ancient male archetype of divinity, the Horned One, out in the wilds with other courageous, nature loving queers.

Tantra

The UK has given birth to TWO radical ground breaking Tantra festivals in the last two years. One is Tantra4GayMen Festival in Wales, on its third outing, taking 50 men on a journey into expanded awareness and love, dates this year 5 to 9 September. Quintasensual Festival welcomes and celebrates all genders and sexualities, and was attended last year by 80 explorers of the link between our sexuality and spirit

http://www.tantra4gaymen.com/     

www.quintasensual.org/

Yoga holidays

There are at least two yoga holiday retreats for gay men on offer in Europe this year, the first in May in Andalucia, connected to the London Naked Yoga group.

http://www.fincalamaroma.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=82

And in October Yoga4men is offering a combined yoga and meditation retreat in Greece

http://yoga4men.com/residential-retreats/

Plus: Loving Men, The Quest for Gay Men, and out in nature groups such as Outdoor Lads……. there is a rapid spread going on of queer spaces where we can get to know each other, and ourselves, without the pressures that we are often under in our city lives, which can help us to find balance in a hectic age. In spaces of Queer Spirit our souls can find refreshment and recharge, we are safe to open our hearts, be who we really are, then the gifts within our gayness can be discovered.

In 2015 Queer Spirit is Rising.

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message of the rainbow spirit

Coming out as gay/lesbian/bi/trans is the start of a journey of self discovery. Learning to listen inside, think for ourselves, find our own truth and act on it goes further than our sexuality. It applies to every level of our lives – social, political, romantic and spiritual.

The soul in us is both male and female. By bending and breaking the conformity of gender stereotypes we are discovering the true nature of humanity.

Bliss calls us to open our hearts, open our minds and expand our souls. We are naturally programmed to seek the heights of joyful, often ecstatic, experience. We in the west were born into a pleasure denying culture, where our seeking for sexual pleasure was called bad. We have been busy turning this dark belief around for some decades, but we have not yet connected the fact that bliss is a spiritual state – of the soul in union with the spirit. When we chase highs and sexual connections we are experiencing the spirit within us reaching out for the thrill of union and merging that it sacrificed by being born into a human body. Mystics from every part of this world have been teaching this for millennia.

In gay people the urge to love, play, create and celebrate is stronger than the urge to fight and destroy. The aggressive side of humanity has ruled the roost for a long time. But perhaps we have evolved from bonobos as much as from warlike chimpanzees. We are a slice of humanity ready for a new way … and this was noticed in us by Walt Whitman and Edward Carpenter, more than a century ago when the prospect of our sexual, social and political liberation was still far off. Edward said our destiny will be to put love and relationships at centre of human life, removing money and business from that place, and to bring the divine soul into full incarnation by overcoming fears and taboos around the body. The state of the world at the moment shows it would help if we were to get a move on!

Spirituality can be a scary word for gay people. All it means though is to find out who we are, what we carry inside us and how we connect to the universe around us. Spirituality is not about rules and religions. It is about unlocking the joy within our own souls. Whitman advised not to argue concerning god – that’s not the point. The point is finding the love and divinity within ourselves and each other. How many of us know that the gender benders were the shamans and priests in the indigenous tribes.. the two spirit berdache of the native americans, but also found on every continent. This is remembered even today by the Maori in NZ and the Dagara people in west africa. For centuries in the west we have taken refuge in monasteries and churches, so avoiding war, business, marriage….. We queers are a slice of humanity with a profound spiritual energy, desperately trying to work out who we are in a society that is confused and misinformed about spirit, or denying it all together. The result is mental illness, hiv and other sexual infections, drug addiction and increasing levels of ‘consumerist’ attitudes towards each other.

HIV, addiction, mental breakdowns can all serve as awakeners to the soul within. Crisis can be a catalyst for transformation.. the message from this soul that walked that difficult path of illness and facing death is that CRISIS IS NOT NECESSARY FOR THIS PROCESS. We can grow and evolve through CHOICE, by pursuing spiritual knowledge and engaging in practices such as meditation, yoga, dance workshops, shamanism, reiki etc. At Radical Faerie gatherings, queer Tantra retreats, yoga holidays etc we are also creating our own spaces where the spiritual can be explored, on our own terms and in our own community.

Capitalist domination of the world may not only be destroying the ecological balance of the planet. It may be damaging our souls also. Are we treating each other more and more as commodities to be used and discarded? Do we inflict harm on ourselves because we do not feel how precious and sacred life is? By connecting to the sacred dimension of life we can rebalance our lives, find peace, can learn more about who we are and find ways to heal the wounds we have acquired on life’s adventure.

The RAINBOW represents the seven chakras and reminds us we have many facets to the wholeness of who we are… physical, sexual, social, emotional, creative, intuitive and spiritual:  We can come out in every single one.

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