The Rites of Queer Spirit

in the temples of the gods and goddesses of the ancient world, all around the Meditteranean, the women, queer men and the in-between/non-binary folk, practiced our sex rituals

the rites of Dionysis , when women went to forest orgeia with their transsexual god, were built into the Greek calendar…. when men started to join in the rites were moved to night time and things got even wilder


sometimes those rituals took place on the city streets, such as in ancient Rome during the Spring celebrations of the Great Mother Goddess, Cybele, when her long haired, crossdressing, publicly self-castrating priests brought their frenzied dance ceremonies to the people

in the forests of northern and eastern Europe we practised our sex rites, part of the craft of healing and community peace and protection, part of maintaining balance

they were finally stamped out during the witch trials of the 16-17th century, at the Europeans started exporting their homophobia to the rest of the world


erotic, ecstatic, drumming ceremonies were crushed in Africa and America and Asia – the white men were terrified of the power of these rituals, so they attacked the power of the shamans by naming their sexual practices and gender fluidity shameful.  they called the noble American Two-Spirits berdache, a word for the passive partner in buggery, and the word stuck until the end of the 20th century.  they wiped out so much cultural memory in Africa – of the

                       mwammi, mugawe, quimbanda, okule, agule

                                       jo apele, korre, londo, tubele, isangoma, yan daudu….*

– that today African politicians can claim homosexuality was a European import.  only the Dagara people remember the true spiritual nature of men who love men, women who love women, men who are also women, women who are also men, and people who are neither man nor woman.


throughout the Middle Ages ‘heretical’ Christian groups advocated free sexuality and the ability of the soul to find salvation/liberation in this life and become free from sin

occasionally in the medieval monasteries and convents same sex love flowered into bloom: with the 16th century Reformation protestantism and buggery acts put an end to that joy

though when the Jesuit explorers arrived in Japan they found that homosexual relations were rife in the buddhist monasteries – this was considered normal by the populace, who saw it as the monk’s privilege in return for their service to spirit

molly house

in the molly houses of 18th century England the queens kept the spirit alive

so did the royal courts of James I, William III, Queen Anne


19th century visionaries Edward Carpenter, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde understood that sexuality was holy, they claimed the inheritance of Socrates and Plato (Carpenter’s preferred name for queer folk was Uranian, after the Goddess Aphrodite Urania, patron of same-sex love and representing its divine nature).   they knew also that amongst the native americans and tribal peoples the world over, sodomy and sorcery/shamanism were as linked as they had once been in Europe

20th century brought men who desire men the political and social liberation to pursue our desires (but only after many of us were killed in nazi concentration camps, national hero Alan Turing in the UK chemically castrated, and vast numbers of men arrested, imprisoned for having pleasure).


21st century in 74 countries gay sex is still illegal, and men are still executed for it in some.  certain religions poisoned the minds of the world against us.  they will not acknowledge the sacredness of male love, its potential to take us into holy communion.  they do not acknowledge that ancient faiths the world over worshipped the phallus and the cunt as holy symbols.  it is up to us today to reclaim the power, proclaim the power and liberate homosexuality to be enjoyed without shame, fear or guilt… so that men might enjoy the drive for male sexual bonding and take it out of the gutter and into the heavens, where it came from, that women can love each other without fear or shame, and people with non-binary/trans/genderqueer souls can freely be themselves.


we are entering the Age of Aquarius:  the myth of Ganymede, the beautiful shepherd boy, who was whisked to heaven by Zeus flying by as an eagle, tells us this is the age of queer liberation, where all forms of love and sexuality will eventually be honoured as divine gifts, sexuality be remembered as a rite that opens the soul, giving glimpses into the great Mystery, and the unity of the human spirit be honoured once again, in all its forms.

We have been a SEPARATE PEOPLE…. Drifting together in a parallel existence, not always conscious of each other.. yet recognising one another by eyelock when we did meet… here and there as outcasts… Spirit people… in service to the Great Mother.. Shamans.. mimes and rhapsodes, poets and playwrights, healers and nurturers… VISIONARIES… REBELS”

Our beautiful lovely sexuality is the gateway to spirit. Under all organised religions of the past, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, there has been a separation of carnality, or shall we say of flesh or earth or sex, and spirituality. As far as I am concerned they are all the same thing, and what we need to do as faeries is to tie it all back together again.”

“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!”

quotes from Harry Hay, the first Radical Faerie – as a young man he read the books of Carpenter and met the Native American elders; he set up the first gay rights organisation in the USA and went on to be one of the men calling the Rad Fae community into being in the late 1970s.


*recommended reading on African queer shamans: Blossom of Bone by Randy P. Connor, chapter 2 ‘Ancestors’

Published by shokti

i am shokti, lovestar of the eurofaeries, aka marco queer magician of london town. i explore the links between our sexual-physical nature and our spirits, running gatherings, rituals and Queer Spirit Festival. i woke up to my part in the accelerating awakening of light love and awareness on planet earth during a shamanic death-and-rebirth process lasting from January 1995 to the year 2000, and offer here my insights and observations on the ongoing transformation of human consciousness, how to navigate the waves of change, and especially focusing on the role of queer people at this time.

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