excerpts from In The Temple of Father Earth and Mother Sky

In ‘Two Flutes Playing’ by Andrew Ramer

There was a time when the world was poised between the way things are now, and the way that they were then. The ice was gone. Towns and villages were being established. Men and women owned their differences and were still able to communicate with each other. The sacred places of the Mother still functioned, in groves and caves and on the tops of mountains….

the world was changing. The old ways were being forgotten. What made people different from each other was becoming more important than what connected them, and the need for connectors from any of the scouting tribes was becoming less and less honoured…

In those days, the ancient belief in God as Mother was being replaced by an awareness of God’s Father aspects, and women’s sacred powers were being questioned. So too, the old male sense of Earth was being replaced by a belief in female Earth, as a mother without limits. Men in all tribes were taking more and more power onto themselves, beginning to pillage the earth in the process. Now, we were a people known for our ability to contain both male and female energies in one body in a state of perfect balance. And as the distance between female and male continued to grow, it became more and more difficult for people to see us in our wholeness…

The chief of [our] elders at that time was a man named Kuniata. It was he who first dreamed about building a permanent temple and community in that place. In his dream he saw the first courtyard of the temple, and the walls, both inner and outer. It was he who marked out on the dirt the lines that became walls, the lines that became lodgings and healing rooms, the lines that became the inner shrine of the temple, where the men of our tribe gathered to pray, meditate, connect with each other, with the spirits of the ancestors of our tribe, and with the Oneness that connects us all.

They called it ‘Nas-mahay Tal-wah-hahn’ the Temple of Father Earth and Mother Sky. There, our priests were able to teach and share and preserve their ancient wisdom – for our tribe and for all the people. The memory of that first gay temple is still carried in the collective unconscious…. all the temples of our people that followed it were patterned by this first temple, in every part of the Western world, from Africa to Sweden, from Palestine to Spain…

We may think of these people as primitive, but their spiritual culture was as advanced as our material culture is today. They understood both the physical body and the subtle bodies. Through dreams they were able to connect across great distances with other elders of our tribe, just as we do by telephone. Their chosen work was to help the people remember love and loving in a time when humanity was beginning to explore physicality, power, separation and destruction….

In that time people still understood that healing energy and sexual energy are the same. So the raising of sexual energy was taught, the ways to use that energy to awaken healing and awareness in the physical body. Through different access patterns in the body, initiates could be opened up to other states of consciousness and other levels of inner wisdom. In sexual trance they travelled to other realms and met the earth ancestors of our tribe, the gay elders who became their teachers on other planes…

At moon festival and other sacred times, the men of our tribe who did not live in the temple came to be with the priests and novices who did. They came together there, to learn our ancient history, through stories, through music, through dance and through sacred touch. They came to bask in the power we had in our tribes, the power of love that the men and women loving tribes did not have, the power for every single member of our tribe to be the potential partner of every single other member. It was that power, that unity, that nurtured us, empowered us, made us holy and the reflection on Earth of the Greater Oneness that is the source of all that is and ever will be….

But the growing into strength of what we call the patriarchy began to intrude into the workings of that temple, and all the other temples that were built after it, both our temples and all the temples of women everywhere… the priests and leaders of the new gods were taking over people’s lives… in the West and in the East as well… the journey to wisdom through suffering became a global art form.

No longer did humanity move through the world in a sacred way. In turning our focus to the physical world, we as a species created a rift between our physical bodies and our energy bodies. Once, living in a body on the Earth was a source of sacredness. But disconnected from the spiritual energies that come to us through our subtle bodies, people no longer felt sacred all the time. Once, every relationship between two lovers, two men, two women, a woman and a man, was a source of sacredness, a channel to Divine energy. But in that time, humanity turned away from the doorway to sacredness that is love, and began to explore other realms of consciousness.

Over the centuries, as our focus on the physical world grew stronger, our collective ability to sense and move in the non-physical realms grew more restricted. Hoping to prevent a total separation between the two, the priests in our temples began to work in a new and more focussed way. Where they had once helped the people to keep their energies balanced, all that was left to them was to serve the people as conduits for Divine connection. So in rooms once used for all kinds of healing work, in temples all across the ancient world, men we now call sacred prostitutes began to appear…

For thousands and thousands of years, everyone had seen us a people, a people with specific gifts and powers. But in those days, for the first time in human history, others were starting to see our power as coming from our sexuality, and not as coming from our peoplehood and from our inner gifts. For the first time in history, they began to see our work as about sex, and not about consciousness scouting, healing and transformation…

As men and women drew apart, the universe itself was coming to be seen as divided between male and female – with nothing to connect them but the act of sex itself, on a personal and on a cosmic level. For the first time in history our tribe was divided. Those who found it easier to connect with their femaleness had no other role available except for that of serving in the temples; while those who found it easier to connect with their maleness were excluded, forced to join the tribe of all tribes, to marry and focus their love of other men into sexual connection only…

In that time, to echo in their bodies the mutilation that was happening to us as a people, and to echo in their bodies the unbalanced femaleness that was being imposed on them, our sacred priests began to be castrated, to dress in women’s garments, to offer in a fragmented way what little remained of our ancient powers…

… the word in the Bible that is translated as cultic prostitute is a word that means Holy One….

…We are the ones who still carry the knowledge that the body is holy, that sex is holy, that the only way we can heal the air, the water, the land, is by loving our own and each other’s bodes again, by loving the body of the planet we live on… by bringing love back to the places we live in – to our bodies and to the world.

In time, there were temples all around the Great Inner Sea, the Mediterranean, where men of our tribe, cut away from each other and from their own inner balance of genders, lived out the last of our powers, serving the Mother as sacred prostitutes. Alone, yet in holy service, we did what we remembered of our ancient work, in the best ways that we could. We were called Holy Ones. And yet, the holy power we had in those days was but a fragment of the powers we once had. For a thousand years, the last of our priests served in goddess temples. Then, the powers of the male gods and their priesthood grew. Villages became cities, and cities became nations with vast standing armies. Soon, the male gods would became a male God, and even the great temples we served in would be ‘cleansed’ of our presence. Prophets would rail against us. The people would come to hate and fear us. What little remained of our love and power would be branded as unnatural. The sacred groves of our temples would be cut down, our living altars, cut down. The goddesses we served would be debased, their priestesses forced into virginity, then excluded from sacred service all together.

As the patriarchal priesthood took over the world, there was no room for women, for men who were seen as women, no room for joy or pleasure or physical sacraments. But our energy is strong, too strong to be completely denied. And we who are born to draw in Earth and Sky for all the people, who chose to enter our tribe to express something of our inner balance in the world of form, took our ancient powers and transformed them once again. There had always been sacred dances, trance dances, sacred singers and choruses who helped to align and connect and heal the people. This had gone on in every tribe. But in the time when the old ways were being destroyed, when our scouting powers were gone, our shamanic powers gone, it was then that men of our tribe took one of our innate powers, our ancient flute player energies, and redefined them again.

No longer able to connect with each other, no longer able to serve in the temples to retune other men, we tapped into our ancient powers, and invented something new. In ancient Greece, in the service of a new god come from the East, where our people remembered more of our old power, a new god born from the body of his father, and connected to the earth as we had been, in the service of Dionysus, we invented something new out of our ancient powers. In the last of the groves, on the hillsides behind temples, there we created theatre. There, in a sacred way, in costumes and masks, we became goddesses and gods, heroes and heroines. We did this to preserve what is innate and true and holy in us in the best ways we could find. We did this for all the people, to align and connect and heal them. And we carried this gift to all of our people, so that they too, wherever they were, could make use of our sacred powers in the world again. For we are the people who can hold male and female equally in balance in our bodies. And we took that power, that balancing power, and we gave it back to all the people, in a new way. If we could not balance them as healers, if we could not balance them as lovers, we would balance them on stage. The earliest plays were not about ordinary men and women. They were about gods and heroes, because the actors were trained to channel the energies of those gods and heroes from the spirit realms. The last of our priests became writers, directors, stage master shamans, who taught other men of our tribe how to draw in those energies, and how to beam them out to the people who watched them, listened to them. This was as true in the East as in the West, that men of our tribe came together in this way to serve all the people.

This was in the time when women, except for the last of the priestesses and sacred prostitutes, were seen as nothing more than the possessions of their fathers and then husbands. So there were no female performers, and would not be for thousands of years. We, the men of our tribe, we carried that energy out into the world, in the only ways that the patriarchy would allow it. And so it was in that time, that the only way the men of our fragmented tribe could find each other, to do what remained of our sacred work, was in theatres, on stages. Our loving had to be kept secret. Our power had to be kept secret. Even on stage, who we were was a secret. And even in ancient Greece, often thought of as the home of homosexuality, we could only love each other in unequal relationships, where instead of being teacher-partners, one man became the other’s teacher. But still, we did our work, the work we were born to do. We built our theatres, we told the old stories in the best ways that we could, as female and male, with music and dancing, in honor of the god who was himself in balance. And if we were no longer powerful as a people, our work was.

Then as a species, we deepened further into our journey of exploration of physicality. We had no more room for joy, for pleasure. The male God demanded sacrifice and obedience. Even theatre was seen as debasing. Ancient stages were destroyed. The sacredness of our work, of what remained of our work, was once again denied. Our capacity to love was forbidden, considered evil. And this time, many of the men of our people, remembering their inner priesthood, but having forgotten any sense of our tribe, turned away from the ancient body sacraments all together, became celibate, joined new priesthoods—but still continued to teach and heal in the best ways they knew how. Here and there, someone remembered our ancient history, in stories, in fragments. Sometimes all that was remembered was that this god had loved a mortal man, in this or that place, a long, long time ago, be he Zeus or perhaps Jesus. But even those fragments were enough to feed us in the years of forgetting. For we took our last remaining power, we took our hunter energy, and we wandered out into the wilderness of the world, hunting for ourselves, hunting for each other. At times we went so far into the wilderness of plains and cities that we lost sight of who we were and why we were there.

Alone, each one of us thought himself to be the only one. For just as the world forgot, or tried to, that we exist, that we exist in a sacred way, with sacred powers meant to be used for all the people, we ourselves forgot who we are. All over the Western world, we were tortured and burned at the stake, with witches and others who struggled to live and to remember the old healing ways. This part of our history we know, have lived with. And when we met, if we met at all, the only thing left to us was sexual connection. Nameless, faceless, in fear, in shame, in bliss, we met each other, hungering for something of our ancient selves that sex alone could never satisfy, and never will. But some of our ancient wisdom remained in other places. When the people of Europe invaded the Americas, they found a proud and living tradition of men who remembered the balancing ways, men sometimes dressed in women’s garments, men who lived their lives in a sacred way, who were sexual with other men. This was too much for the European terror merchants, who transported their life-negating inquisitions to a world still new to them. And we live in the culture they brought with them. We are a part of that ‘civilization.’ And yet just beneath our asphalt streets, something of the old sacredness of the peoples of this continent remains for us to connect with. No, we did not go away. We could not. In a village, in a province, in a kingdom, in an empire, they could try to exterminate all of us—and in the next generation, their very own bodies would betray them—and give birth to us again, to us and to all the peoples of the scouting tribes. They could take away our history, destroy our sacred places, burn us, look on while disease took away our young men. But we are a part of this planet, woven into and out of its body. And, we will never go away.

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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