Gay Sex

There’s always been gay sex,

There’s always been men who loved men.

Anyone can have gay sex

But for some it is a calling.

For some this is an abomination

For those engaged in it, it’s Enthralling,

Ennobling, Liberating, Divine…

The ‘phobes have had it their way for too long,

Time for the ‘philes to have their time.

The definition homosexualIs so limiting it beggars belief,

But those victorian scientific minds

Didn’t care to find out

What the buggers themselves believed.

They didn’t read Whitman or Wilde,

Nor look at Solomon’s art,

Didn’t believe Edward Carpenter

When he foresaw for gay men a part

In the upliftment of human consciousness

To the highest heights of love.

Instead they labelled us sick

And found a label that would stick – Homosexuality was born –

A trait that can be traced

Back through the history of the human race,

Which process in fact reveals

Much that’s largely concealed:

In fact queers have featured largeIn humanity’s greatest hours.

Far from the lowest of the low

Our ancestors have helped humanity grow

In the arts, in wisdom and knowledge,

They were often found in theatres, temples, at college

Also often in the militaryIn deep bonding brotherhood

Queers throughout history

Have often served the greater good.

So may our remaining shackles crumble

And the world see Who We Are:

Nature’s children born with grace

Here to liberate the human race

From a millennium of propagand

Denigrating women, nature and nature’s men,

It’s time to restore the Goddess to her throne

And life on earth begin again.

This time may the template be love

And not judgement from above

May the divinity of the gay soul be set free

To enlighten the world with creativity.

May the joy of the queer spirit rise

And reveal to us our own disguise.

Love Attracts

‘Don’t look for a lover, BE one.’ Radical Faerie poet James Broughton

Love is what we are, the nature of our consciousness. If we understand this and live in this awareness, love will manifest in our lives.

‘Love of self for self is the creative force of the universe. Desire is the primal energy, and that energy is erotic: the attraction of love to beloved, of planet to star, the lust of electron for proton. Love is the glue that holds the world together.’ Starhawk

The way to find a lover? Attract Love by Being Loving. Be loving by meeting the world with compassion.

And be visible, show yourself, be findable.

Love attracts.

Seeking a lover is like hunting. Love doesn’t hunt. Desire hunts. Hunting is hot, hunting is horny, hunting is nature seeking pleasure, joy, experience, transcendence. Love is a Goddess offering us a way home, to ourselves.

If we feel we are lacking love we probably actually need to find what brings us joy. To focus on lack of love is to carry a low vibration which attracts experiences that likely affirm the negative feeling. So turn the mind to joy, remember that love is what we are, what gives us life, and that although currently not experiencing it, it is still there. Then turn to joy.

Love is the way home, and it is a tricky path that brings up shadow and pain, for love insists on transformation of everything within us that is not love.

Joy is the key to happiness. Follow your joy, what makes the heart sing, the body tingle, the emotions soar. Joy will make you radiant, joy will empower your ability to love. Joy makes us radiant. Joy casts no shadow of fear, joy will not stoke up old hurts. Joy is the feeling of being at home.

Finding joy in ourselves and meeting the world with love makes us eminently attractive.

Love attracts.

When Fucking Could Kill You

{dedicated to the spirit of DAVID STUART, much loved and respected campaigner promoting well-being and health in the LGBTQ+ community, who parted from his body, January 2022}

When I came out fucking could kill you

so condoms became our tool of protection,

though you often heard guys complaining

that the rubber ruined their erection.

When I came out AIDS stalked the land,

fear was written on the face of each gay man

that I saw out cruising, reflecting back to me

that yes we were scared, but we were happy to be free.

When I came out gay men were dying

from a big disease with a little name

and nowadays gay boys are still falling victim

to the after effects of centuries of imposed guilt and shame.

Guys seeking pleasure, love, connections

through crystal meth and viagra erections:

it can wear out the soul, leave a big gaping hole

in our happiness, our wholeness, our health…

For although we may think we are free,

gay men have not healed our history.

What we do was never an abomination

it was a pagan form of salvation.

In ancient temples queers were the holy ones,

people came for our erotic blessing

but religion limited us to sodomites

and psychology sees us simply as sexual.

The Christian Fathers hated all sexual acts

that did not lead to childbirth

they railed against the pagan orgies

I think they were jealous old men.

Gay love, once honoured in the ancient world

took to the shadows, hid in the monasteries,

became riddled with guilt, burdened by shame

but never went away, the eternal spirit of gay

is here to connect the worlds.

Nowadays proud bottoms galore

come knocking at my cyber door

so much booty in my inbox

no more afraid of a deadly pox.

Positive guys undetectable, negative guys on prep

the feast of homosexuality is underway once more

and all the lessons of the 80s-90s

pretty much being ignored.

Men go from house to house, from arse to arse, dick to dick

no time to check if any of those men made them sick,

When I came out fucking could kill you.

So I came to see the fuck as the prize,

now there are so many butts to behold:

how can I satisfy all these guys?

I certainly can’t give them all my healing touch,

don’t like to tell them I find it a bit much

that they want to be fucked by a stranger and receive his essence

directly inside them, I feel there’s a deeper agenda to be reached.

I think the gay scene needs to find a way for us to teach

each other that gay love can connect body, mind and heart

to the flow of eternity and the presence of the old gods,

that gay sex is a spiritual art.

Two men can unite and fill the world with light.

The longing to be filled is a longing for something more

than a penis can ever provide,

it’s a longing for union, with another, within ourselves,

to unlock the power that can take us to heaven

and lift the whole world out of the many hells

that people have driven themselves into.

Heaven and hell both are found in the mind;

we are the gatekeepers with keys to find

that unlock the door to the higher levels

of life, of mind, of love:

but to access the gates we need to claim our own worth,

then the memory will come:

it seems we know instinctively

the gates are somehow accessed through the bum,

but we don’t know what we’re looking for

in this consumer age so full of rage,

we were lied to by religion and blinded by science:

it’s left to us to find out and remember

where in the world we belong.

When I came out fucking could kill you

but I believe it could wake us up to who we have always been

if we do it with love and awareness,

if we heal from the hatred thrown at us

and learn our own history.

This poem is dedicated to the spirit of DAVID STUART, much loved and respected campaigner promoting well-being and health in the LGBTQ+ community, who parted from his body, January 2022:

“His empathy and kindness saved lives and inspired so many. He changed for the better, the landscape of sexual health, addiction and recovery for gay, bi and queer men in London. He spoke out to acknowledge and address chemsex addiction in the community, at a time when many others would not. He fought and campaigned for the community, championing PrEP, U=U and trans rights. He called out racism and stigma against HIV within the community. He encouraged gay men to be kinder to each other.” Simon Marks.

IT NEVER MEANT ABOMINATION

‘TOEVAH’, the word from the ancient old testament that gets translated as ‘abomination’ and that has been used to condemn (sometimes to death) gay men around the world for centuries, actually refers to the PAGAN PRACTICES of the many tribal peoples that surrounded the Hebrews 3000 years ago.

This is explained very clearly on the website religiondespatches.org

Does the Bible Really Call Homosexuality an “Abomination”? | Religion Dispatches

Written in 2010 by Jay Michaelson this article calls abomination “a mistranslation and a misconception, doing harm to LGBT people and religious people alike… a close reading of the term toevah suggests an entirely different meaning: something permitted to one group, and forbidden to another. Though there is (probably) no etymological relationship, toevah means taboo.”

Toevah appears 103 times in the Hebrew Bible and always implies a foreign cultic practice.

When you come into the land that YHVH your God gives you, do not learn to do the toevot of those nations. Do not find among you one who passes his son or daughter through the fire; or a magician; or a fortune teller, charmer, or witch… because all who do these things are toevah to YHVH and because of these toevot YHVH your God is driving them out before you.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Deuteronomy 12:31, 13:14, 17:4, 22:5, 27:15, and 32:16 identify idolatry, child sacrifice, cross-dressing, witchcraft, and other “foreign” practices as toevah. Leviticus, with its infamous declaration that a man having sex with another man is toevah, also reveals that the word refers to the practices of other tribes:

You shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit these toevot… because the people who were in the land before you did these toevot and made the land impure (tameh)” Leviticus 18:26-27

The Book of Kings refers to toevah nine times, while the prophet Ezekiel brings it up 39 times. In these references we learn again that gay sex is regarded the same way as idolatry, child sacrifice and prostitution – all cult practices among the pagan tribes.

The King James Version in of the Bible in English has 150 appearances of the word ‘abomination’, only 103 of which are translations of ‘toevah’. ‘Sheketz’ is a word that often also becomes abomination in the KJV, it is a word that similarly implies taboo or idolatrous practices.

To understand the context of the Biblical stance about homosexuality it is important to know some history: The Jewish people were a small group determined to carve out a distinct identity from the other tribes around, all of whom worshipped Goddesses with erotic rituals led by same sex loving and genderfluid priests, and this had been the case in the region for many thousands of years.

Historian Will Roscoe wrote in 1996: “At the time of the birth of Christ, cults of men devoted to a goddess flourished throughout the broad region extending from the Mediterranean to south Asia.” (quoted from Priests of the Goddess: Gender Transgression in Ancient Religion History of Religions, Vol. 35, No. 3)

This helps us to understand why Christianity ended up adopting this fierce Old Testament attitude – like Judaism it wished to break with the erotic religions of the past. It succeeded into turning toevah into something much more evil by twisting the original meaning into one that condemned outright a sexual act, and by implication all those whose preference it was to enjoy that kind of sex. This twist was to lead to the persecution and execution of vast numbers of gay men for many centuries to come, and still blights our lives today, especially in some African countries where Christian homophobia still reigns.

Religiously justified homophobia will not be gone until gay people remember for ourselves that we are nature’s priests, that our ancestors served as shamans in tribes and priests in temples, they led ecstatic rituals that kept people attuned to nature’s seasons and spiritual mysteries, they were healers, often using sex to bring people into their bodies and into communion with the gods. They brought people into direct contact with their souls, with the Goddess and the ancestors, whereas the Father religions set out to separate heaven and earth, and put their priestly intermediaries in between the two. This was a patriarchal power grab.

In order for the people to accept these new Christian priests it was necessary for the church to insist they not marry and remain celibate. The people were not going to accept married priests, they knew they were supposed to be gay! However, celibacy was hard to enforce in single sex monasteries, as evidenced by the number of penitentials issued during the first millennium attempting to control the behaviour of the clergy and monastic communities. This is not really surprising if we know that the pagan past in Europe was a very gay-positive one.

In the 4th century BCE Aristotle recorded that the Celtic peoples “openly approved” of gay relationships, and this was still the case into the Christian era: in the 2nd century CE, Sextus Empiricus wrote that among the Germanic people sodomy was“not looked upon as shameful but as a customary thing” and Bardaisan of Edessa wrote that “In the countries of the north — in the lands of the Germans and those of their neighbors, handsome [noble] young men assume the role of wives [women] towards other men, and they celebrate marriage feasts.” In the 4th century Eusebius of Caesarea, wrote that “Among the Gauls, the young men marry each other (gamountai) with complete freedom. In doing this, they do not incur any reproach or blame, since this is done according to custom amongst them.”

Now we are well into the first century of a new millennium, but still carrying many terrible wounds of the past ones – and the terrible lies about gay people. The actual abominations are those carried out by some Christian, and, in more recent times, some Islamic states against gay people, done in the name of their holy books. These people are stuck in the Dark Ages of the Mind and have not even understood the teachings of their own prophets.

Gay sex is a pagan rite because it connects the body (earth), mind (air), heart (water) and spirit (fire) of the participants to the erotic flow of life energy pulsating in all creation, from the atom to the elephant, tunes us into the conscious lifeforce and brings energy, empowerment, ecstasy and enlightenment. Gay sex is a spiritual act because it connects the lifeforce of two people, with no possibility of creating physical life. It instead creates powerful spiritual, psychic energy that can open consciousness and embolden and empower the heart. By covering sexuality and the body with sin, Christianity, the most effective and efficient totalitarian system yet devised by men (which it was), cut humanity off from the source creator energy, left us stumbling alone in a cold, heartless universe, at the mercy of a jealous, angry god. The question is, how did people fall for this for so long?

Some didn’t! The medieval period saw several rival groupings to institutional Christianity, heretical faiths and free spirits who had no issue with sexuality, including homosexuality. Other religions around the world did not develop the homophobic taboo, in fact in the Buddhist monasteries of China and Japan gay sex was considered utterly normal, even a privilege enjoyed by the monks. When the Jesuit Christian missionaries took offence at this, they were laughed at and even thrown out of temples for their rudeness.

Why has it taken so long for the lie of the ‘abomination’ to be revealed? One issue is that lesbian and gay Christians just don’t go into the realms of sex rituals dedicated to Goddesses and Horned Gods… but pagans today still do and it is only by doing that we discover… gay sex connects us to the otherworlds, if we do it right! And by right, I mean RITE!

GAY SEX IS TOEVAH… ie CULTIC WITCHCRAFT!!!!… Witchcraft and all pagan ritual is about shifting consciousness, altering perception, seeing deeper into life’s subtleties and working with invisible, subtle energies.. That’s what gay sex does too, and i believe it is true, from my experience during 35 years out on the gay scene, that, as Andrew Ramer records in Two Flutes Playing (1997): “All of our addictions, to chemicals and to behaviours, mask our ancient shaman powers.”

Desmond Tutu & Malidoma Some

The world lost two great African men in December, both spiritual leaders but from different traditions – one a Christian, the other an elder teaching traditional African wisdom – and both vocal supporters of LGBTQ people.

Homosexual activity remains illegal in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries; in a few, it is punishable by death. Many LGBTQ Africans are subject to stigma and abuse, facing unemployment, homelessness and estrangement from their families.

Some newspaper reports that were printed after the death of Desmond Tutu chose to focus on the fact that his ground-breaking work, which secured equal rights for South African queers in the 1996 constitution of the new republic and equal marriage a decade later, was not appreciated by other African Church leaders, nor governments. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe told a political rally in 2013: “Tutu should just step down because he supports gays, something that is evil.” It is a pity that African leaders do not seem to be aware of the work of Malidoma Some. He did not try to tell other Africans to simply accept gay people, he reminded us all that Africans would never have reduced a person to their sexuality, and that people who are now called gay were once respected in Africa for the essential qualities in their spirit, which they embody, bring and use for the benefit of the tribe. He called for ‘radical healing’ of queer people on a global level.

The wisdom of these two men can change the world’s understanding of being queer.

DESMOND TUTU October 7th, 1931 – December 26th, 2021

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – NOVEMBER 30: The Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the offices of The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during a visit with Prince Harry on the first day of his visit to South Africa on November 30, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Chris Radburn – WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Tutu was by far the most high-profile African, if not global, religious leader to support lesbian and gay rights. This added to his international reputation as a progressive thinker and activist, especially in the western world but meant that he was met with suspicion on the African continent itself. Theologically, he operated with from the conviction that every human being is created in the image of God and therefore is worthy of respect, which gave him a strong moral and political commitment to defending the human dignity and rights of all people.

He was outspoken in this, using strong religious language to express how he felt about how queers were treated under the South African regime:

“Apartheid’s most blasphemous aspect is … that it can make a child of God doubt that he is a child of God. For that reason alone, it deserves to be condemned as a heresy.”

Shortly after the end of apartheid in 1994, Tutu wrote that

If the church, after the victory over apartheid, is looking for a worthy moral crusade, then this is it: the fight against homophobia and heterosexism.

In 2013 he said:

“People took some part of us and used it to discriminate against us. In our case, it was our ethnicity; it’s precisely the same thing for sexual orientation. People are killed because they’re gay. I don’t think, “What do I want to do today? I want to speak up on gay rights.” No. It’s God catching me by my neck.”

In response to the taunt from Robert Mugabe, Tutu said:

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic Heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place…

“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”

MALIDOMA SOME January 30th 1956 – 9th December 2021

Malidoma Patrice Somé Phd., West African Elder, author and teacher from the Dagara people of Burkino Faso, came to the west to share the ancient wisdom and practices which have supported his people for thousands of years, travelling and teaching for 3 decades. His name means ‘to make friends with the stranger’.

Malidoma spoke and wrote about lesbians as witches and gay men as gatekeepers, whose role is to keep open the ecstatic gates to the Otherworlds – through the way we connect our sexual energy to spirit and the Earth itself. We once did this in the ancient pagan temples and rituals of Europe and the Middle East as well – the suppression of ritual and the ritual makers of indigenous, earth based, sex loving, religions has always been the Christian way of taking over control of society.

For more than thirty years, Elder Malidoma shared the Wisdom of his Ancestors and tribal Elders, the Dagara Cosmology, inviting the renewal of a deep and abiding relationship with all beings on Earth. Vital in this process, he taught that:

“There must be radical healing of the gatekeepers if our globe is to truly be healed.”

In 1993 Malidoma Some was interviewed by MenWeb, where he delivered a radical African understanding of gender and sexuality, a wisdom that can be found in other parts of the world also, but which was stamped out in the west many centuries ago.

In the interview he explained that:

“Among the Dagara people, gender has very little to do with anatomy. It is purely energetic. In that context, a male who is physically male can vibrate female energy, and vice versa. That is where the real gender is. Anatomic differences are simply there to determine who contributes what for the continuity of the tribe. It does not mean, necessarily, that there is a kind of line that divides people on that basis. And this is something that also touches on what has become known here as the “gay” or “homosexual” issue. Again, in the culture that I come from, this is not the issue. These people are looked on, essentially, as people. The whole notion of “gay” does not exist in the indigenous world. That does not mean that there are not people there who feel the way that certain people feel in this culture, that has led to them being referred to as “gay.”

“The reason why I’m saying there are no such people is because the gay person is very well integrated into the community, with the functions that delete this whole sexual differentiation of him or her. The gay person is looked at primarily as a “gatekeeper.” The Earth is looked at, from my tribal perspective, as a very, very delicate machine or consciousness, with high vibrational points, which certain people must be guardians of in order for the tribe to keep its continuity with the gods and with the spirits that dwell there. Spirits of this world and spirits of the other worlds. Any person who is at this link between this world and the other world experiences a state of vibrational consciousness which is far higher, and far different, from the one that a normal person would experience. This is what makes a gay person gay. This kind of function is not one that society votes for certain people to fulfill. It is one that people are said to decide on prior to being born. You decide that you will be a gatekeeper before you are born. And it is that decision that provides you with the equipment (Malidoma gestures by circling waist area with hands) that you bring into this world. So when you arrive here you begin to vibrate in a way that Elders can detect as meaning that you are connected with a gateway somewhere. Then they watch you grow, and they watch you act and react, and sooner or later they will follow you to the gateway that you are connected with.

“So to then limit gay people to simple sexual orientation is really the worst harm that can be done to a person. That all he or she is is a sexual person. And, personally, because of the fact that my knowledge of indigenous medicine, ritual, comes from gatekeepers, it’s hard for me to take this position that gay people are the negative breed of a society. No! In a society that is profoundly dysfunctional, what happens is that peoples’ life purposes are taken away, and what is left is this kind of sexual orientation which, in turn, is disturbing to the very society that created it.

“I think this is again victimization by a Christian establishment that is looking at a gay person as a disempowered person, a person who has lost his job from birth onward, and now society just wants to fire him out of life. This is not justice. It’s not justice. It is a terrible harm done to an energy that could save the world, that could save us. If, today, we are suffering from a gradual ecological waste, this is simply because the gatekeepers have been fired from their job. They have been fired! They have nothing to do! And because they have been fired, we accuse them for not doing anything. This is not fair!

“Why is it that, everywhere else in the world, gay people are a blessing, and in the modern world they are a curse? It is self-evident. The modern world was built by Christianity. They have taken the gods out of the earth sent them to heaven, wherever that is. And everyone who aspires to the gods must then negotiate with Christianity, so that the real priests and priestesses are out of a job. This is the worst thing that can happen to a culture that calls itself modern.

“…the thing about it is that humans are going to be begetting gatekeepers, no matter what. This is the chance that we’ve got. So maybe that means that sooner or later we’re going to wake up to the horror of our own errors, and we’re going to reconsecrate our chosen people so that they can do their priestly work as they should. Otherwise, I just don’t understand. I just don’t understand. My position about it is not so much that gays be just forgiven. That’s just tokenism. But that they serve as an example of the wrong, or the illness, that modernity has brought to us, and that we use that to begin working at healing ourselves and our society from the bottom up. That way, by the time we reach a certain level, all the gatekeepers are going to find their positions again. We cannot tell them where the gates are. They know. If we start to heal ourselves, they will remember. It will kick in. But as long as we continue in arrogance, in egotism, in God-knows-what form of violence on ourselves, no, there’s that veil of confusion that’s going to continue to prevail, and as a result it’s going to prevent great things from happening. That’s all I can say about that.”

READ MORE ABOUT THE DAGARA GATEKEEPERS: https://rainbowmessenger.blog/2018/06/23/gatekeepers-gays-in-the-dagara-tribe/

Gay Spirituality

Spirituality is about the search for the Self (while religion tends to put the emphasis on relationship with a God figure, spirituality honours the divine within us and all beings). Science gives us tools to explore and examine the outer universe, and spirituality offers tools to discover the riches and mysteries of the inner planes.

Coming Out is a profoundly spiritual statement. Going against the grain of society’s expectations is an extremely courageous thing to do. It may be getting easier to come out in certain parts of the world, but even in western societies coming out – becoming identifiable as one of the queer minority – is still fraught with stress and even danger. Coming out is a spiritual act because it is a statement of ‘I AM THAT’ – we look inside ourselves and eventually decide the feelings and desires we find there must be allowed freedom to be expressed.

This is just the start of our spiritual journey. Coming out is the result of deep inner questioning, a search within ourselves to find and accept who we are, usually in the face of huge pressure to conform to the hetero standards around us. The potential is in us to continue that questioning all the way through to the spiritual. We live at a time now when all the world’s spiritual systems are available to us – spirituality is no longer controlled by a religious elite, it is in the hands of the masses. To reject god and all spirituality because of the ignorance and hatred of certain Christian faiths is too simplistic. Spirituality is about exploring who we are, what it means to be alive, and how we interconnect with other people and all of creation. We are more than the body – we are beings of thought, of emotion and energy. Spirituality is about understanding how these parts of us affect each other, and learning to create the life that we wish to live.

COULD BEING GAY OPEN THE WAY TO A DIRECT AND INTIMATE EXPERIENCE OF SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS?

Many ancient cultures certainly thought so – the queer beings who stood somewhere between the gender polarities were often considered to have a sacred function – they were viewed as also standing between the worlds of spirit and matter, there to communicate the healing and wisdom of the spirit to the people.  The ‘berdache’ two-spirits of the Native American tribes, the ‘galli’ priests of Cybele in ancient Europe, and the shaman gatekeepers of the Dagara tribe in Africa are examples.

Outcasts of religion, gay people have the choice to find our own answers to questions of life, spirit and mystery.   Many – most – of us refuse the questions, and a large number of gay men prefer instead to indulge deeply the sensual passions of life, even until they kill us, or seriously fuck us up.  The Christian inheritance of the separation of the sexual from the spiritual, plus the growth of a spirit-denying atheistic culture, makes this possible.  But the drive in us for passionate, expansive, ecstatic experience could be understood as the spirit in us reaching, pushing, demanding to be known and felt.  Sexual exploration and drug taking are routes to connect and discover energy connection with others and within ourselves – whether approached as spiritual acts or indulgent pleasure, they are likely to teach us things. 

The modern gay movement has grown with few of us aware that our queer ancestors were often spiritual functionaries for tribal peoples around the world. Gradually this knowledge is becoming more available – eg there are active Two-Spirit groups in the United States, and at gay retreats and radical faerie gatherings around the world queers explore conscious community, connection to nature and the power of living a heart centred life. Modern gay life can seem very anti-spirit, anti-god, secular and hedonistic – but to sum it up this way is to miss the point. Religion was used to separate pleasure from God, but in ancient pagan, and all earth-based faiths, sexual pleasure was a holy rite in itself, it was through joy and bliss that people got to know the divine. The priests in those days who led these rites were queer, leading ceremonies in which the revellers would unite their souls with the deity – often Dionysus, or the Mother Goddess. Through pleasure, through sexual connection, through transcendent trips into ecstasy, we can find out who we are. The force of desire and need for pleasure are abundant evolutionary impulses. Within the framework of loving community and an open mind they can lead to awareness of mystical truths, revelations of divine grace and experience of tantric bliss.

We are a people born to love, born to create beauty and harmony, born to celebrate life itself.  The limitations of religions are clear to us – although we may not realise it, we are here creating a new world that appreciates how love, joy and light can be its guiding lights.  We are, if we free our minds and let our spirits soar, natural mystics – attuned to the dance of life itself, loving that dance, being that dance. 

Walt Whitman’s love of men inspired him to mystical poetic heights, which spoke loudly to some gay men at the end of the 19th century. Richard Bucke praises the nature mysticism of Whitman in his study of Cosmic Consciousness, published 1905, and describes his own awakening moment of spiritual merging with nature around him, inspired by an evening of reading poetry with male friends. The classic work on mysticism from that period, William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, regards Whitman as equal to Hindu sages in his visionary wisdom.

Walt Whitman

If a gay person is sensing the call of the spiritual I would encourage them to explore it through any means that appeals to them, follow the heart on this as anything else. I would advise to remember we come to earth to follow our spirit, not a spiritual path, and tell the story of how uptight men used religion to turn the sexual urge from a holy rite to a filthy, functional act, and that it is only us queers can bring it back to what it really is, a truly sinless celebration of being alive! In general, I would say don’t bother with religion, they care little for us – even if they accept us they are unlikely to encourage us to release the full power of our queer spirit, which for most of us includes an embrace of the body and sexuality, not its rejection. I would direct a queer seeker to pagan principles and shamanism.

Shamanism offers ways to connect the body, open the heart, clear the mind and raise the spirit. It offers healing and discovery – through the very things gay boys love to do so much: dancing, dressing up, undressing, taking substances, sex. All our chasing after bliss, after extremes of experience, or just the next fuck, then becomes part of bringing joyful, light vibrations to the planet (to replace the centuries of darkness and fear around sex) if we let in some understanding of the Source consciousness, perhaps even coming to see ourselves as the priests of the Goddess and the Horned God, banished for centuries in a world where straight men rule by force. Gay liberation has achieved masses on the social and political levels in a few decades, but spiritually we are a very confused people. Shamanism could provide the tools and understanding for a rapid spiritual awakening, happening like a wave of light illuminating the increasingly dark shadows lurking in parts of our queer utopia, sending out the message to gay people and to all people everywhere that SEX and LOVE and AWARENESS are three sexy, BEAUTIFUL things that all belong together.

Orgy!

“‘The old religion was polytheistic. Its most important deity was a goddess who was worshipped as the great mother. Its second major deity was the horned god, associated with animals and sexuality, including homosexuality. These and other deities were worshipped in the countryside at night with feasting, dancing, animal masquerades, transvestism, sex orgies, and the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Sensual acts were at the heart of the old religion, since theirs was a worldly religion of joy and celebration.”

“All the evidence indicates that nature people fucked for pleasure. Their purpose was to celebrate sex. Their orgies were acts of sexual worship to the power of sex they felt in themselves and in nature around them. Their religious feasts were characteristically joyous: dancing, feasting, fucking together. The Indians who have been observed in the Americas; the myths that have survived in Europe; the artifacts that exist from all over the world – all attest to the pleasure of what the celebrants were doing. George Scott has rightly observed “that, without exception, the worship of sex by all primitive [sic] races originated in the pleasure associated with coitus, and not in any clearly conceived notion that intercourse would produce children”.

“Hence it is a misrepresentation for industrialized academics to call such celebrations “fertility rites,” as they usually do. The orgies were not clumsy attempts to increase the gross national product by people who had a very rude understanding of economic laws. Nature people did, indeed, believe that through such acts their bodies would become stronger, the crops would grow taller, the sun would shine brighter, and the rains would come in profusion when needed. But they believed these things because they had a collective tribal feeling of the power of sex throbbing through the whole of nature; their experience of sex was so open, public, communal and intense that they felt it reverberate through the whole cosmos. In this, they were unlike modern industrialized people who practice sex … privately, in the dark, in isolation, and with guilt.”

Arthur Evans, Witchcraft and the Gay Counter-Culture (1978)

the party over

The orgies of the ancient Mediterranean world were sacred cermonies run by queers! They were ritual occasions of ecstatic worship held in honour of the Great Goddess and the dying God, aiming to bring connection with deities such as Cybele and Attis, Dionysus, Astarte, Orpheus, Pan, Aphrodite and Adonis.  The orgia aimed to break down barriers between the celebrants and the divinity through a state of mystic exaltation, which was achieved through music, dance, song, intoxication and sex. These deities all had gay oriented and transgender priesthoods, whose special duties included putting on these rituals, plus divination, chanting, holding ceremonies for the dead and sex rites with temple pilgrims:

Philostratus (end 2nd century CE), described rituals where the queer Gallae priests of Cybele embodied the deity Attis in order to have sex with worshippers who came to receive the essence and power of the God.  He said that “The tie between god and man cannot be thought of in closer or stronger terms, and they are joined by a feeling not only of lifelong gratitude but of personal love, which in its expression passes over into sensual terms.”  

“Throughout the ancient world, both male and female prostitution was associated with religion. Such was the case in the worship of Baal-Peor, Moloch and Astarte (Syria); Osiris and Isis (Egypt); Venus (Greece and Rome); Mithra (Persia); Myllita (Assyria); Alitta (Arabia); Dilephat (Chaldea); Salambo (Babylonia); and Diana Anaitis (Armenia)…

“The religious prostitute seems simply to be a historical extension of the practice of having ritual sex with the shaman, either male or female. In tribal societies (where cities, temples, and money are unknown), we have seen the common practice of ritual sex with the shaman, individually or in orgies. As early Mediterranean societies fell victim to urbanism and a money economy, the function of shaman in the countryside was transformed into that of priest in the temple, and money then entered in as a form of religious donation.” Arthur Evans, Witchcraft and the Gay Counter-Culture (1978)

Cybele

Paul of the New Testament railed against the orgies of the Cybele cult: “For even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males…”

Roman senator Firmicus Maternus wrote a polemic called ‘The Error of the Pagan Religions’ in 346, firmly associating pagan cults with sexual immorality and especially homosexuality. He complains that the effeminate priests or holy men: “can minister to her only when they have feminised their faces, rubbed smooth their skin, and disgraced their manly sex by donning women’s regalia. In their very temples we see scandalous performances, accompanied by the moaning of the throng: men letting themselves be handled as women, and flaunting with boastful ostentatiousness this ignominy of their impure and unchaste bodies…. Next, being thus divorced from the masculine, they get intoxicated with the music of flutes and invoke the goddess with an unholy spirit so they an ostensibly predict the future to fools.”

Dionysus

Dionysus, beloved across the ancient world as the bringer of ecstasy was also known as Bacchus among the Romans, who attempted to ban his orgiastic cult as early as 186 BCE because of the scandalous sexual stories about it and its potential as a place to hatch subversive political plots. This drove Dionysian rites underground, and made them very appealing to outcasts, slaves and queers. The authorities were always nervous of the popularity of the worship of Bacchus and the Goddess among the unruly masses, and these orgies could get very out of hand, some Gallae rites featuring plenty of sado-masochistic, blood letting transcendence alongside the shameless eroticism.

Christianity proved an effective weapon for the governing classes to bring the population under control from the 4th century onwards. Until then, Christianity was just one of many exotic new religious ideas competing with ancient pagan beliefs, and had no set formula – some forms of early Christianity embraced sexuality, even promoted gay sex over straight because sex between men and women traps more souls in the painful suffering of physical life! Once established as an official religion in the Roman Empire, the Church soon moved to get pagan worship banned – and gay sex made punishable by death. The queer priests of the Goddess were murdered and the temples destroyed. The state religion was used to change the minds of the people, who since ages past had considered sexuality, considered orgies, to be a natural part of the divine dance of creation. Gradually, over the centuries, the Church spread its dark view of sexuality, and the holy power of sexual magic – and of erotic queer priestcraft – was lost.

In 7th century Spain, Archbishop Isidore of Seville, who is praised as ‘the last scholar of the ancient world‘, recorded that the Latin equivalent of the orgy was the caerimoniae run by the colleges of male priests. So in fact our all our modern religious ‘ceremonies’ are the descendants of queer led orgiastic rites of the Great Mother. Drop that into your next chat with a proselytizing Christian!

The Triumph of Pan

It was through pleasure that people had always met the God and Goddess. The Christian Church set out to put a stop to this, but it had a fight on its hands as rival Christian formulations found immense and widespread popularity in the Middle Ages. ‘Heresies’ such as those of the Cathars, the Bogomils, the Knights Templar and the Free Spirits, considered sexuality to be natural and acceptable, including between men. This would be one of the levers the Church, working with the political state which envied the wealth of these groups, would pull to turn the populace against the heretics – leading to an explosion in anti-gay invective from Church writers from the 13th century onwards, such as Thomas Aquinas with his insistence that gay sex is ‘against nature’.

Not everyone was convinced by the Church’s attitude however. Some remembered that pleasure itself was once considered a way to the divine, and continued to practice that. In late December 1367 at his trial for holding heretical beliefs Free Spirit John Hartmann of Ossmanstedt said that a game of chess could reveal God equally as well as receiving the Eucharist sacrament from a priest, if one took more delight in it – because, he said, God is found in pleasure.

Over the centuries there were always men who accessed the memory of our sacred queer pagan past, and left traces in the culture for others to find. Men such as Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Shelley, Byron…

Edward Carpenter

The gay poets, writers and philosophers of the 19th century also made the connection. Edward Carpenter, English champion of gay people from that period, had a vision of the future of mankind:

“The meaning of the old religions will come back to him. On the high tops once more gathering he will celebrate with naked dances the glory of the human form and the great processions of the stars, or greet the bright horn of the young moon which now after a hundred centuries comes back laden with such wondrous associations – all the yearnings and the dreams and the wonderment of the generations of mankind – the worship of Astarte and of Diana, of Isis or the Virgin Mary; once more in sacred groves will he reunite the passion and the delight of human love with his deepest feelings of the sanctity and beauty of Nature; or in the open, standing uncovered to the Sun, will adore the emblem of the everlasting splendour which shines within”

Edward Carpenter, Civilisation: Its Cause and Cure

In the late 20th century gay run orgies returned – sex clubs and saunas opened, a big gay party began, and despite the setback and ravages of HIV, burns on strong. In ancient times orgies were often public occasion steeped in mysticism and magic, in the early 21st century the orgies often take place in guy’s homes, where the choice of sacrament taken to ease the flow of the occasion is not under the scrutiny of the prying eyes of the law. These modern orgies may (or may not) be lacking a sense of divine embrace, but they definitely have a powerful air of ritual about them, much pleasure is pursued and shifting of consciousness occurs.

We all know there’s plenty of tragedy in our gay sex underworld (disease, abuse, addiction, breakdowns, deaths…)… we have brought HIV under control, but to bring more light, love and simply JOY to this scene we gay men need to take care of our souls, and the time is key for us to remember and honour our spirit power and its purpose. The sex scene is important – it’s where we explore this vital part of our nature, a place we can liberate the entirely natural and even somewhat holy nature of gay sexuality from centuries of repression and imposed shame. Our gay sex games can be just as fuelled, filthy and fun when done with love and consciousness, it’s not doing it in the shadows that makes it good! Sexual energy is spiritual power, this the ancient pagans knew and this knowledge is ours to reclaim.

Gay writer and visionary Arthur Evans wrote in Witchcraft and the Gay Counter-Culture (1978): “We look forward to the revival of personal and sexual learning, as it was once practiced by Sappho and Socrates and the Native American Indians… We look forward to re-establishing our communication with nature and the Great Mother, to feeling the essential link between sex and the forces that hold the universe together…”

At Queer Spirit Festival, a 5 day outdoor festival in the UK attended by 500 people at its 2019 manifestation, the Sacred Sexuality Temple was a massive hit. The temple workshops, sex rites and play parties were all full to the brim. You wouldn’t know it by looking at most gay porn, apps or media, but many gays get that sex is a spiritual action as much as a physical one, and therefore worth doing with skill, openess and attention. Good sex takes you to God/Goddess. The gays of the 70s knew this, that’s why they named our big London temple of dance and cruising ‘Heaven’.

Festival attendee Naked Angel wrote about his experience of the festival and the Sacred Sexuality Temple: “I refer to it as my metamorphosis, because I changed from a dull caterpillar into a beautiful sexual butterfly. The festival completely changed my outlook on sex and sexuality and liberated me from the mindset that had held me back and repressed me for far too long. I suddenly saw that sex was not something to be hidden away but something sacred and joyful, something to be celebrated. illuminated – floodlit, even! I embraced my new-found sexual freedom wholeheartedly. I surprised myself by entering the Sacred Sexuality Temple, naked yet totally unconcerned, and happily accepted the invitation of two guys to engage in sexual intimacy with them. And I was unconcerned too when a group of guys entered the marquee, sat close by, and began to watch. Since then, my sex life has blossomed, I have enjoyed taking part in sex parties/orgies and I’ve explored many aspects of sex that I would have been afraid to try before; and I am keen to extend and deepen my experience in every way I can… Oh, and I fell in love at Queer Spirit too. The affair was hot and passionate, albeit all too brief, and it gave a huge boost to my self-confidence as a sexual being.

Flyer from the first Festival

In ecstatic pagan rituals the world over, genderbending queer shamanic souls have always led groups of people into shared communion with the spirit realms, facilitating a touch of bliss to help people remember their connection to the cosmic realm from which we come. In good gay clubs we do the same, but we have to remember that this power is not for us alone, it’s designed for the whole world, for to keep it to ourselves will surely bring more disease and destruction. Pleasure is holy and Love is an ever-expanding force, and despite the centuries of lies from religious sources, queers know that pleasure and love are the tickets that take us to heaven. When we rediscover the queer art of the sacred orgy, we develop also the ability to take others along on the ride!

Oh My Crone!

We call it a virus we call it disease

that’s bringing humanity to its knees

but really it’s time to wake up and realise…

the world we inhabit is run on lies.

One lie rules over all:

the lie that the human being is something small

in a universe so vast, in bodies that don’t last –

we are kept in fear, once by a God demanding obedience,

now by science, demanding compliance

with their paradigm of logic and dissection.

But the trouble is, science is blind

to the emotional/spiritual nature of connection.

The lie says we are all at war

with forces out to kill us,

frightening us so that we trust

the powers that be to take care of us.

The lie says our individuality is all we are,

born to die and returning never.

But the LIGHT says we we are all one, on this journey forever.

The light says we are only at war

with the shadows cast by our own brilliance,

that what seems to want to destroy us, can reveal to us who we are.

The light says we are vast, and can move on from the past

into a time of connection and healing

a time of mysteries revealed.

We are spirits in the material world.

Then we might call it the Goddess

that’s shaking up life on earth

Mother Nature herself interfering

to bring us to rebirth.

Oh my Crone!

Bring your grandchildren home!

They believe in death! Show them please your wealth!

They are afraid! They have forgotten! They do not know!

Open their minds Grandmother Spirit-being

Oh my Crone!

Bring your grandchildren home!

One Species, One Spirit

For some it comes as the greatest thrill

for others it’s a bitter pill –

it’s our belief in separation that makes us ill:

it’s high time humanity swallowed the fact

that the person we think we are is not where it’s at.

Life has a bigger purpose, but you are that too

and when humanity gets this, life will begin anew.

For we are each the incarnation

of the divine human soul, one species destined

to unite through the heart

when we stop seeing difference

and accept we are all part

of That same single divine beingness

destined forever

to explore through the unending cosmos,

we are the divine dream

life on earth is more than it seems.

This idea is nothing new

throughout the ages mystics have declared it as true:

You are another Me, and I am another You.

All life is Love’s creation

the eternal Self exploring sensation,

although separate in bodies,

there is no real separation.

The Eternal I AM became human

and we’re all busy playing a game

of hide and seek, of proud and meek

pretending our personalities are who we are,

thus we’ve driven ourselves insane.

The only way out is the way in –

to know ourselves as Who We Really Are

each one of us a shining star, shining the light of the Oneness.

THE I AM within us is the I AM of the Source

Humanity has to understand this to get back on course

in harmony with nature, guided by the light,

activating our capacity for second sight,

entering the level of cosmic consciousness

where all life is a dance:

this is not to lose our individuality,

this shift will only enhance

our participation in the unification

of a single human nation

attuned to its part in the divine Creation.

In the Bible it quotes Jesus as saying

I and the Father are One

but what he was actually saying

is the perennial wisdom taught in all ages

that the I in us is God.

The Second Coming happens in all

who are ready and open to the call

to live in full knowledge of being

as the child of Creation,

a daughter, a son, a SUN

here to shine the light we find inside our soul

and use it to help humanity be whole.

Born of Nature

Outside of Time and Space

They know the future of the Human Race:

a species so divided

we can’t see the light inside us,

obsessed with our individuality

we are slaves to duality:

driven by competition when cooperation would serve us better,

fearful of each other, we’ve forgotten all are sisters and brothers;

but the Shift of the Ages has begun –

our species destined to know itself as One

Great Soul incarnate, in multitude forms

united under the stars, Moon and Sun.

Born of Nature and here to grow through Joy and Love

and reconnect the worlds, below and above.

These times were long ago foreseen

by those with eyes to see in-between

the worlds to the singularity

were able to rise above the pull of earth’s gravity.

Some saw Revelation achieved through major distress

others saw Humanity eventually blessed

by powers divine as grace descends

and the era of war and unease, ends.

Born of Nature and here to grow through Joy and Love

and reconnect the worlds, below and above.

The 21st century calling us home

to the light inside and to peace of the soul,

the elevation of humanity’s consciousness

is the ultimate goal.

Mystics have spoken of Divine Love and Oneness

since people found words to speak:

they’ve always told us it’s within us

that we have to seek

to find liberation, fulfilment, union and bliss,

nothing outside of us can provide all this.

The inner journey is the reason for living,

we assist the way by loving and forgiving

at every step, we can choose what’s best:

by bringing joy to the world we are blessed.

As I recognise myself in you

We learn to create a life renewed.

Vibrational

It will be sensational

when we realise that life is vibrational,

that germs and viruses were all in the mind!

There’s a deeper reality to which we’ve been blind.

In the search for a material source

humanity got veered off course

into a belief system that separates, divides

that denies that existence is divine.

Science is our modern mythology

but science can not explain

what makes you you and me me.

When we reach the cosmic level of awareness

and realise the whole world is inside us,

that these bodies are focal points of consciousness and love

and our souls connect both below and above

to layers of being that we can explore

by turning inside ourselves and opening the door

to the multidimensional reality,

then we will sense the frequencies that cause

health or disease, make life better or worse,

then we will measure the vibrations and see

it’s through our own minds and hearts

that we become healthy, abundant and free.

Tell the Children

Tell the children there’s another story –

let them know they are born for glory

because although the times seem dark,

there are other ways:

instead of conflict, corruption and greed –

that infected the world and sowed the seeds

of its own destruction –

there’s the Way of Love and Compassion

the Way of Knowledge and Wisdom

the Way of Service and

the Way of Self Discovery.

Find the Awakened Ones, throughout the ages,

the mystics, crones, poets and sages

who walked the path and risked the wrath

of authorities ecclesiastical and secular.

Gnostics and Heretics, Shamans and Witches

the heritage of the ages is hidden, but with us.

There’s always been a second story

to the one told in the history books,

there’s always been those who found the glory

of human birth and undertook

to leave a trace for the future race

to find their way back to interconnection,

who discovered liberation through introspection.

In the modern world we are supposed to do what we’re told:

get the qualifications, the job, the mortgage –

it’s no longer important we increase the population

so sexuality’s been allowed out of the closet

no longer considered to be only for reproduction,

recreational sex is all the rage,

some are fucking and buggering to their heart’s content,

escaping the fact the world’s to hell bent.

Tell the children it doesn’t have to be like this

that inside them lie doors to heavenly bliss:

love is the doorway that reveals life’s mystery,

sex as an act of worship can show us how good that is.

Meeting the world from the heart of compassion

is the call in this age of confusion.

Meeting each other as equal manifestations

of the holy spirit in all beings

is the way to escape the world’s state of delusion.

Tell the children life is designed to be fun

and the time of healing the earth has just begun.

Darkness ruled the world for a time

but in the end LOVE IS ALL and ALL SHALL BE FINE.

Tell the children that they are the next Love Generation –

they are born with skills to heal humanity’s separation

and they will find they have allies in every generation:

This awakening been going on for some time.

But now the stars are becoming aligned:

The old world struggles and dies

the new world is born on the inside.

Time for Love

‘What is time?
Is it eternity
In heaven
Or just a hope for peace on earth?’

Billy Porter sings out from the heart, as a liberated queer elder who has “been there, done that, worn that dress” to the young people of today to let their hearts open and their soul’s joyful spirit emerge.

In his song ‘Time’ he shares this deep truth…

‘Time for change
Its time to care
It’s not too late
Don’t despair
Reach inside your heart

To find the joy and love
To share with all mankind
For all we know

All we have
Is time’

Since the 1960s the Generations of Love have been waking up to the spiritual reality of life on this planet. But during the past 5 decades the reactionary conservative forces in society have been fighting hard to hold onto the old structures of control, competition and capitalist greed. A science based, materialist, patriarchal culture has maintained dominance over the spiritual aspect of human nature – the urge for peace, for harmony, for love.

During those decades each generation has brought a new wave of awakeners to the divine power of love and the deeper energies moving through human consciousness. I was partially awoken during the early days of house music, when lsd and the inspirational lyrics of those inspired songs led me to open up my mystical inner vision. Then the prospect of dying with AIDS motivated me to search for answers and understanding of those visions, and of the reason for being alive in the first place. Now as the future of life on earth starts to look uncertain, it’s high time the awakeners to love took centre stage in the world’s affairs.

We are alive in the 21st century to create a heart -centred civilisation. The entire 20th century has been a battle on this planet: the forces of love and compassion versus the forces of hate and fear.

The KLF sang “What Time Is Love?” on the early 90s dance floors, now Billy Porter sings “Gotta let these children know what time it is” in his new song:

Video to Children now available: https://fb.watch/9UJKogrJeG/

‘Some people criticize the way you live
But don’t you apologize, or dare submit
Baby, the children’s where the future is
See a change starts today, better wipe those tears away.

I lived a whole lotta life, I ain’t new to this
Lotta lows, lotta highs, I stay true to this
Take my hand, join the ride
You know you’ll have it figured out in time (Yeah)

See, I know times are hard (You’ll get through it, baby)
I mean it from the heart
You’re not losing the fight
Love will make it alright
‘Cause I’ve been there, done that
Worn that dress, so you know mama knows it best, I
Gotta let these children know what time it is
Gotta let these children know what time it is.’

Billy Porter is a RAINBOW MESSENGER, bringing joy, colour, love and HOPE to the world. It’s what queer people do.

Police State UK

Is there a police state coming?

The powers that be are scared:

the walls they built are crumbling

as the people become more aware

of the corruption and greed

and the urgent need

to change the way we are living;

become more aware

of inequality and impending doom

the end of life as we know it

could be coming soon.

The government is cracking down:

take out your ID and your vaccine pass

if you want to go out on the town;

a new war on drugs is promised

and the healing weed remains forbidden;

the government giving itself the right

to lock up protesters it doesn’t like;

it turns away desperate migrants

and treats the population as worker ants,

surveilled by technological eyes:

we are no longer free.

The powers that be are scared

and totally unprepared

to navigate the way ahead

as the system shakes and people wake up,

so they are choosing to clamp down on us instead.

The alternative would be a way of liberty,

freeing the chains that prevent creativity,

a focus on art as well as science

to liberate the soul inside us.

The alternative would be to listen to the wisdom

of the crones and the sages,

of the mystics of all ages

and hasten the end of the Piscean dreamtime –

celebrate the awakening that has long been happening,

helping human hearts to open and human minds to heal;

celebrate the awakening that has long been happening

hidden from the view of the mainstream world.

Human minds have been controlled by academia and media,

science became the new faith:

we have trusted our leaders and worked for the cause

but now the world has to change, take a new course:

LIBERTY! NOT MORE CHAINS! Humanity set free

from its religious cages and its soul death by reason,

a return of the Goddess, an end to the mess

of a world in a turmoil and run by greed,

instead we could attend to our real human needs

for love, compassion, community and peace:

the controls of a fear based leadership MUST CEASE.

But they won’t cease yet.

Control will tighten

Times can get tough

Until enough are enlightened

and living from love.

A revolution will come

in human understanding,

our leaders need to listen and learn

and let the Divine in.

Visionary Love

At the close of the 1970s, a decade into the journey of Gay Liberation, some queers were probing deep into the roots of gay nature, seeking to uncover forgotten truths about who we are and the roles we fulfil in the human family. Dissatisfied with the conventional, assimilationist direction of the liberation movement, these queers pushed for a spiritual vision that could encompass the fullness, the magnificence, the spirit of queerness. This vision took solid form as the now global Radical Faerie movement, which stands as an example of queers gathering together in non-commercial spaces to build and explore heart-centred, love and compassion focussed community living that embraces caring for the earth, reaching for the stars and communes with the invisible realms of ancestors and spirit.

The vision also appears in some books written in the 1970s – that brief, glorious gay decade when, for those brave enough to face the virulent homophobia of the time and come out, gay men could party without fear of a deadly sexually transmitted disease. These books form a canon of queer sacred texts, that are very different from those produced by religions! Witchcraft and the Gay Counter Culture by Arthur Evans, The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions by Larry Kramer, Men Loving Men: A Gay Sex and Consciousness Book and Visionary Love by Mitch Walker could be said to be our four gospels.

In Visionary Love Gay shamanism is called “work in the mode of death, work with the dying, death of oneself.” Written in the 1970s as the HIV pandemic was brewing in the gay male community, this prescient vision was not really part of the conversation of the 1980s, when fighting for survival became the priority. HIV/AIDS kept the gay community focussed on the exterior struggle, but many of us who lived with AIDS and survived did so because we also took on the inner battle to liberate the Self. My own transformational journey took me over the Rainbow Bridge to a place of vision that completely changed my understanding of life. I died to my false sense of self, and my body survived, so that I might tell the tale. We are not who they say we are. It’s time we all knew it.

“Delightful communal Self realisation is the instantly real resurrection. Sorcerous faggot fighter is a menace to society, is a dangerous flaming phoenix, a glowingly rounded rebirth function, an extra-ordinary healing tool, a Rainbow-bridging eros-tool.”

Mitch felt motivated to write Visionary Love because:

“We gay men are at a key time in the evolution of our gay consciousness. We’ve been struggling to reach a great vision buried in us, which we first sensed only in the vaguest ways. … In the modern Gay Liberation Movement, the history of men’s struggles has been the history of groping towards our vision, sensing it in the values of androgyny, in revolution, in free sexuality. It has led us to Stonewall, to genderfuck, to the birth of a new gay culture.

“But during the past few years, it appeared that our movement ran out of steam; many militant groups faded, as did the brassy colourful rebels and our flagrant joyous celebrations. The seemed to be replaced by a new movement, the vocal gay Normals: fighting in the courts, the churches, the mental health professions, gaining advocate after advocate, victory after victory. It was as if the Homophile Movement for Equal Rights, taking new freedom from our radical flowering, thrust towards its goal of mainstream assimilation leading the mass of gays with them and deflowering our movement, the movement toward our vision.

“The Homophile Movement is a dead thing: dead to the gay vision, anti-magickal, counter-revolutionary. Its spokespeople and theorists shun the roots (the radical, source of nurturance and understanding) in favour of surface values: the social norm, success, integration, acceptance, assimilation. Its shallow reality suffocates the vision in us, co-opting gay people and vitiating the creativity and potential of the Gay Movement.”

Four decades later, in the West at least, gay people have achieved a degree of acceptance and equality that the activists probably never imagined, even marriage is open to us now in many countries. Our situation globally is far from great however, and religiously inspired homophobia continues to darken queer lives. In 11 countries the death penalty for gay sex is still in place. It seems the question of who we are, what we are, why we are as we are, is still not settled. Instead of bewailing assimilation, perhaps we can appreciate that from this stronger base of societal acceptance that it is now time, as a global queer community, to address the roots of our nature and the roots of religious homophobia.

These writers all saw gayness itself as a path to self-knowledge, and queer people as nature people, who, like all indigenous folk, “see life as essentially Spirit-full and essentially good“, and whose destiny is to fulfil the dream of mystics throughout time as we break down the barriers that separate people and “remember we were really SPIRIT all along… then we will assume our responsibilities and complete our tasks in the kosmic scheme of things.”

Visionary Love by Mitch Walker (1980)

I know there exists a gayness, something separate from, and alien to straight modes of being. I know that this gayness excites incredulity, opposition, fear, anger and violence. But I also know that gayness inspires strength, love and profound visions in those who are of it. I can feel these vision in my heart.

I look into my heart and hear messages from beyond, beyond that phoney who-I-thought-I-was, beyond straight society, beyond western culture, beyond time and space. I see an ancient, ancient wise being in my Self, I see new forms of evolving conscious beings, new forms of society, culture, reality. I feel the strong presence of a great wheel turning, the wheel of death/rebirth.

I see visions that the life-source is changing, so that whatever is not of this Changing but is old and prior to it will be cut off, will run out of life and drop into extinction. I see gayness as very much a part of, caused by, leading into and through this Changing. I see gayness as a door, a source, a spirit, a lover, a teacher, or rather as sourcing, enspiriting, loving, teaching. It spirits me away somewhere magickal, strange, profound. I meet teaching wierdness, opening/expanding/dropping me into lights. I feel ecstasy, wonder, delight. I feel SPIRIT.

The sense of gayness as a Spirit path is growing….We discover anarcho-sissydom, life-loving faggotry and more.

Our straight socio-cultural enculturations have blinded us. We must turn to the freer world of our imagination, fantasy, dreams, myths…. Let us build fairy mythologies – gay ways of thinking and doing – to realise and protect our loving soulful brotherhood, to reclaim our Selves, recreate our culture, regain our heritage, remember our fates as beings of Spirit, wisdom, power compassion, truthfulness, light.

This book is myth-building in action… Herein lie fairy tales for reference, example and support in combatting that straight dark maze of manly engulfment… I’m building thoughts of paths to places/lives which do not exist in any straight world, which are simply nowhere. I suppose we could cal this gay theology, philosophy, psychology, politics, physics. But my desire is not to recreate straight academia, but turn you on. My desire is life, not death, freedom, not slavery, for all of us, equally.

I hope we will grow, flow, coagulate, build these loving healing supportive friendships, networks, matricies, homes, communities and non-institutions so vital for our survival. Let’s make living crystal balls, magickal doorways, transformational half-way houses, transmutational fairy cyclotrons. Let’s cross the abyss on silvery wings to new worlds/lost hoes and re/e/emerge with the Great Spirit of all. Let’s have mass migrations.

As we depart from straight realms our thoughts, languages, lifestyles, environments will all change. Periods of confusion and disorientation are inevitable. But keep in mind that, as a gay person, the trip from straight to gay is a healing journey, a journey to wholeness, to health… The prison walls of straight space, straight time will crumble. There are multitudes of dimensions, realities and beings in existence, and much may seem unbelievably or even terribly fantastic at first.

We will change, we will transmute ourselves. Like Native Americans and most all nature peoples we will come to see life as essentially Spirit-full and essentially good. The sun, moon and earth feed us, and we will learn that we are each sun, moon, earth and all else. Then we will be entering our fate to become and be gay. SPIRIT – the intelligent power shaping and sustaining matter, space, time- will bless us, and we’ll remember we were really SPIRIT all along, and then we will assume our responsibilities and complete our tasks in the kosmic scheme of things.

May we be open.

May we be with Harmony and Inspiration.

May we dance and sing our questings, our sorrows and happiness, and taste ecstatic Joy.

May we be healed, and become Whole.

May we be Truth, Compassion and infinite SPIRIT.

A new age, a complete change in all current forms of society, a complete change in what it means to be human…. We gay people have been put in an important place on humanity’s path towards this goal. Edward Carpenter, the great gay visionary, was one of the first to notice this publicly when he wrote in 1919 that gay people “point to a further degree of evolution than usually attained, and a higher order of consciousness.” (Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk)

Being a crazy faggot is part of our radio-reception equipment for the signals across the Bridge. Our norole emptiness provides the tuner to receive the spirits. That’s why we’re called fairies, faerie being the name of the spirit-land in Celtic mythology.

All faggots are feminists, and militant ones at that. To cultivate your woman-energy, your feminism, is to increase your ability to see and walk through the great portal. In fact it’s essential.

“The commitment to ending male dominance as the fundamental psychological, political and cultural reality of earth-lived life is the fundamental revolutionary commitment.” Andrea Dworkin. The commitment of a gay man to ending male dominance within himself is a great and magickal Nightjourney of shamanistic trial and transmutation, a complete and thorough self-alteration, a great and living Round in growing, glowing consciousness, a double-helixed, evolutional Self dancing.

If cocks aren’t used as blunderbusses, they can become fine-tuning knobs on your spiritual tv set.

…have you ever been in love, had any lovers? Every lover contains a spirit. This spirit-being can be a potentially great ally for each of us in our quest. He can become your soul-guide, leading you into yourself.

Imagine that Visionary Love is first seeing, then recognising, and finally joining a vital, mythic, on-going struggle for the universe of free being, for the universe of your true gay being, for worldwide justice for all beings on all levels, a deeply revolutionary com/passionate karmic work with pattern and purpose involving evolution, consciousness, creatures of false and true self, of straightman’s societies and anarcho-communual Spirit utopias, forms of living zombie death and magickal spiralling kozmic ecstasy, reality-forms of a multi-level, multi-sexual political melodrama.

NEW AGE FAGGOT BECOMES SORCERER

At this time and place we have access to much wise knowledge. Sometimes we have to dig for it, sometimes it comes right at us, unbidden. This knowledge is available to aid you on your path. Much of it relates to spirit energies, to enhancing rapport in their realms. … All kinds of fairy tales cultural myths, religious objects such as statues and paintings, are highly symbolic. All spiritual and religious holidays, rituals, dances and orgies are methods to summon the energies. If you see them in this light, they can help you on your way.

This is a time of great transition, and there is much stress…. There is a great Event happening, something vast, right now as I write these words. You won’t read about it in the newspapers, although it’s present in almost every story. It is not political, economic, social or military, yet affects all these aspects of life.

This event is originating at a much deeper level… It includes and permeates our entire planet. It shakes me to our depths. It frightens me. Everyone and everything with eyes, ears and other senses can see, hear, feel and even taste it. It’s Here. It’s coming.

I see her coming. Awe fills me. She carries a scythe, with which she reaps worlds. She is a vast Being. She serves the Great Spirit, which is Herself, and so she strides between the stars towards our planet Earth. She has heard and seen and responded.

RAINBOW BRIDGE

The Rainbow Bridge connects Here (so-called material or mundane reality) with There (the meta reality). There is the hub/source of all realities, all wisdom/energy, also called LOKA, the kosmic starpoint. All things ‘spiritual’ originate There. The heart of gayness exists There. The gift of gayness lies in an increasing ability to see and enter on the Rainbow Bridge. I’ve called the heart and gift of gayness ROIKA. But due to anti-gayness gay men have been defused from ROIKA. Thus they can’t pick up messages coming from There. … Anti-gayness is the technique western society developed to keep gay men from actualising our ROIKA. When gay men actualise ROIKA they become a powerful threat to western society.

To realise ROIKA is to transform ourselves.

Crossing the rainbow bridge is tricky and needs caution

Gayness is the power/potential to cross the Rainbow Bridge, through the Androgyne Door called YAN. Those who do this transform themselves totally, become wise and powerful sorcerers helping others do the same. This is ROIKA, the faggot warrior’s path.

Imagine yourself in a womb-matrix, in a warm, protective, nurturant, free space, a place of renewal, of perfect healing, of soft, calm, quiet, floating, peace. And now imagine yourself as that matrix in which you float. Be gentle. Be strong. Be graceful. Be compassionate. Be she who birthed us all, to whom we all return, infinite warmth, infinite safety, infinite caring, infinite acceptance, infinite love. Be peace. Be silence. Be healing. Be all things, and be healing. Bless all he beings who exist, and send them your love. This is the way of Infinite Warmth, who judges not. She is unending unstoppable healing, gentle as water, yet she wears down mountains of pain, suffering and confusion. Peace, peace to all.

ON FAERIE:

“Fairies everywhere must begin to stand tall and beautiful in the sun. Fairies must begin to throw off the filthy green frog-skin of Hetero-imitation and discover the lovely Gay-Conscious notMAN shining underneath. Fairies must begin creating their new world…” Harry Hay

Let me tell you a story:

About types of beings generically called Fairies, about their characteristic consciousness, their strange awareness, called faerie. Faerie is a see-ing through polarity. In straight consciousness Bi-Polar Thought is king: male and female are opposites, win-or-lose is the game, reality and dream are separate, immutable and contradictory. But there are Fairies, who look on in gentle mocking laughter at such childishness, for they know that everyone is now ‘female’, now ‘male’, that no one ever wins when anybody loses, that reality and dream flip into each other at the flick of a glittering wand.

Fairies see polarities dancing, changing everywhere, constantly. So they know that any pole frozen by itself blocks the flow, becomes a dead weight, an illusion hiding true understanding. So they come to realise that every ‘objective’ thing is but a shadow.

Knowing this, the Fairies can’t take themselves too seriously, either, seeing as they are also an illusion. This creates a marvellous lightness! Fairies are truly blessed, truly free modes of being, for they can laugh at themselves in their deepest places, can transcend their ignorance from moment to moment, gliding out of each limit and restriction even as it manifests, emerging from hir own form like a butterfly or a moth.

This wonderful paradoxical freedom from form, this lightness, enable Fairies to fly. It grants them much deep wisdom.

Once someone came and told me this:

There is an essence, essence of an eternal, hidden, dark, shining, eerie secret: the simultaneous and continuous creation and annihilation of Form, which is the heartbeat of material existence, which is that beingness, that essential is-ness of all that exists there – trees, people, planets, space, time, matter, energy – all is which is Changing, an infinite Pattern, a total-living weave of beams and streams, eddies, swirls, bursts and flows of is-into-not-is, and not-is-into-is, out of and into an unnameable nothingness-One; that all shapes, forms, are bendings and corners of this flowing-is, this power/nothing, the true behind the false behind the true behind the false in a living, pulsing spiral of All-That-Is.

“And those blessed with faerie can gaze into this essence as it were a crystal ball, and it opens their gaze through swirling shapes and colors deeper and deeper until it becomes unfoldingness itself, and they can see through the earth and out to the stars and beyond, and melt into their gaze and become the point in their Eye and flow into the Crystal itself, passing to its Center, and so become themselves There which then too is Here and All and anything, and thereby they are One from the inside with the bendings and corners of realities, and so they are not yet static things but riders of lightbeams, weightless dancers along the edge – indeed they are the Dancing itself, purposeful, masterless, nothing-points of will; they are the flow, the wind, There at the Source.”

Many Fairies are agents of planet Earth. Their faerie-being gives them telepathic union with nature’s heart, such that they flow with her completely, loving her as they do themselves. In return she gives them her wisdom, her being-ness of and deeply loving respect for the joyful fulfilment of each living creature. Thereby these Fairies become living repositories of all nature, they become planet Earth itself.

In this way Fairies can become other planets as well, other times as well.

Almost all human cultures had myths and stories about faerie lands and astral (star-channelling) planes.

We have been deceived! Caught in a mythological tyranny, in a web of falseself perversions, in a maze of deceptional violence, in a world of twisted words, cut off at the roots by shadows, trapped within spells of the word-masters. We have forgotten. We became thought-slaves.

Visionary Love starts here, in the bowels of falseself bondage.. a book of uppity queer metathought-liberation, of sissy-frying world-slipping survival tactics, of epic reincarnational trueself recovery ploys, of strategic evolutional consciousness flowering fairy tale. We manifest a mutation in consciousness, for which we have been persecuted and exploited. It’s time to stop this stupidity. It’s time to enter our maturity. It’s time.

Darkness grows in falseself lands. This is not a coincidence. Those of us who live there live in a time-bomb, in a monstrously climaxing karmic behemoth, live in a violent dinosaurian genetic fate. Tyrannosaur Rex is a thrashing in ecstatic S&M pain, is the ultra-victim in a self-induced snuff movie involving the entire Earth, enacting his last act and ringing down the curtain on World 4.

Gay shamanism is work in such times, work in the mode of death, work with the dying, death of oneself. Delightful communal Self realisation is the instantly real resurrection. Sorcerous faggot fighter is a menace to society, is a dangerous flaming phoenix, a glowingly rounded rebirth function, an extra-ordinary healing tool, a Rainbow-bridging eros-tool. Gay realisation is sorely needed life-light now. Concentrated eros, focussed will, activated anger, celebrated magick, shared love, are tactics to guard and guide our questing, to trans-form vision, trans-port worlds trans-vest Self.

To be taken by loving Fairies is truly Self-transporting, truly not describable, true Self return, dis-adoptioning, un-orphanising, and real-istically dis-covering, non/sensically re-membering aerotically re-entering faerie family homes. Peace, equanimity, wholeness. Homosexual – gay – faggot – fairy – gone.

Build loving rings of Spirit, astral fairy brothers. Reclaim our heritage! Reunite our Selves.

Circles of light!

Centers of fire!

Spiralling wind!

Rainbow egg!

Let us create, conspire, organise and plot, spread, evolve, manifest our fates. Let us sing our songs, dance the Dance. Let us be/come Fairies!

Heretofore hidden Rainbow Lovers reach out to their seedling brothers and caress them into maturity, into their ageless soulful Rings. Self uncovers itSelf.

Gay spirit is profoundest love and knowing. A magnificent liberation is possible now for those who remember their true nature as reality-channeling as faerie Selves.

Think of Fairy as a symbol, representing or triggering experience of joyful freedom from the myth of One Highest, liberation of be-ings and conscious forms from the bondage of oneself, opening up to the kosmopolitan nature of Self-universe, to the multivarious unitary truth of the matter.

“Fairies must begin creating their new world through fashioning for themselves supportive Families of Conscious Choice, co-joined in the vision of LOVE (which is the granting to any and all others that total space wherein each may grow and soar to his own freely-selected full potential). Let us gather to find new ways to cherish one another, to reach towards spiritually-sustaining and emotionally-supportive Gay Family Collectives, within which we can explore, in the loving security of shared consensus, the bottomless depths and diversities of the newly-revealed subject-SUBJECT inheritances of the Gay Vision.” HARRY HAY

You run and tell that ol’ patriarch

we’re no longer blind to his ways

You run and tell him we’ve stolen all the keys

To the prison he has made.

There’s a gay spirit singing in our hearts

leading us through these troubled times

There’s a gay spirit moving round this land

Calling us to a time of open love.

Charlie Murphy.

End Times

These really are

the End Times.

Not because humanity

is going to be largely

wiped out, though

that may indeed be so…

These are the real

End Times

when the illusion finally cracks.

So desperately the architects

hold on to

the crumbling artifice of facts:

Science became the new belief system

Reason thought it had won over Love

but it couldn’t see, in its hubris

that humanity really is

supported by forces

from below and above.

Every shaman has known this

since the dawn of time

and every mystic who discovered it

always told those who would listen

that all manner of things would be fine.

We’re not what we believe

ourselves to be:

Dreams and delusions

underpin our society:

There’s a much deeper truth

that can no longer be constrained

humanity is not only one species,

we’re one mind, one spirit, one love

it’s time for us to wake up and live it

it’s through the heart we become it.

This won’t be such a huge shock

for those who live from love

but it will be a knock

to EVERYTHING WE BELIEVE:

for consciousness is what we are, blissful, eternal and free:

we simply need to understand that I am You and You are Me.

We might think that we’ve been deceived

by people in power who surely knew,

who suppressed the truth

and saw the rest of us as a resource to use.

Were we told what to believe

or was everyone deceived?

Have we all been lost in this dream together?

These are the End Times

the end of the delusion

when separation ends

and unity descends

upon the species like

angels from heaven.

A seismic SHOCK to the system:

the tears will flow

but the fighting will cease

and so will belief

in conflicting faiths

as the Source comes home

to its rightful place

as Who We Are:

One Species One Mind One Spirit One Love:

The shift is not so far

away at last

after the vast, dark, hideous journey

that was actually all of our own choosing

suddenly life will not seem so confusing…

at least for those who can make the leap…

We are living in a dream

and nothing is what it seems

but it seems we chose it

now we have to close it,

start dreaming another dream together

one that reconnects us all

and will last forever.

The End Times are here

there’s not much longer to pretend

that you are the personality you play:

you are something much more

ancient than that.

Sodomites in the Temple

There were SODOMITES in the temples

so the so-called Holy Bible says

but the sodomites were the real Holy Ones,

which is maybe why some straight Christians hate gays.

They were known as the Qedesh, the Anointed –

People went to see them to make offerings to the Gods,

seeking answers through divination or to receive a blessing

body to body, soul to soul

a visit to the temple helped people remember being part of the Whole

connected to the gods and spirits,

the guardians of our days on earth –

the Anointed Ones embodied the sacred

through the maleness and femaleness in their bodies,

but the Christians called the Qedesha ‘whores‘,

womanish-men‘, ‘ritual shrine prostitutes‘,

who indulged in all the ‘abominations of the heathens

that were very common back then

in the worship of the Goddess,

whose temples had stood for millennia

across the ancient world.

Gayness is a vibration

that communicates through love

Queerness is a frequency

connecting the worlds below to the worlds above.

Queer souls were often honoured

in pre-Christian times and in all parts of the globe

for the spirit they embodied

which set them out for special roles.

Third-gendered or homosexual,

inverts, intermediates or Uranians

Ganymedes or Gays, Queers or Queens:

We have always been around

whatever we are named

and we have always sought out pride in who we are

despite the imposed fear and shame.

Despite the dark religious times, in the monasteries we continued our service to the God

as had happened since ancient days;

in the universities we taught

continuing the Greek’s philosophers’ ways;

in the theatres we brought spirit to the people

as Dionysus had done for the ancients –

we manifested gaiety, laughter, we sought and celebrated pleasure

in which we found the keys to the soul’s true sacred treasure.

We filled royal courts and army ranks,

molly houses and brothels

and despite the laws, the sermons, the torture, the hangings, the burnings

and the exiles, fines, stocks, prisons and psychiatric wards,

Queer Love never went away –

for there will come a time

when queer love will change the way humans pray.

Queers are the people of Aquarius

Ganymede is our God, Love is our Goddess.

We are born to awaken to cosmic consciousness

once we are ready to transcend the little self

and become again the bearers and sharers

of the secrets of the soul’s divine wealth.

But in a world that’s blind to its cosmic destiny

it’s easy to get hooked on shortcuts to ecstasy

and damage our mental health.

The world wants to keep us obsessed with the exterior play

but we should remember there is also another way –

that of the mystic, the seeker, the fool

who trusts in the cosmos and sees life as a school

in which in order to grow, we have to question the rules.

Being queer was long seen as a sin

for which severe punishments were inflicted,

then was pathologised by science and medicine

the ‘homosexual’ was invented.

But Love is what drives our queer hearts

and sex is just sex in the end

except when it’s fuelled by love

then it’s here to help us transcend

our sense of isolation and fear:

there’s more than sexuality to being queer.

The One divides into the Many in order to experience the Many as the One.

Heterosexual attraction manifests the delight the Many experience in its variety.

Homosexual love witnesses to the One’s desire to return to Itself and
to experience the multiplicity of the Many
as a reflection of the Self of the One.”
Toby Johnson

COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS

The simple truth is, that there has lived on the earth, “appearing at intervals,” for thousands of years among ordinary men, the first faint beginnings of another race; walking the earth and breathing the air with us, but at the same time walking another earth and breathing another air of which we know little or nothing, but which is, all the same, our spiritual life, as its absence would be our spiritual death. This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth.” Richard Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness, published 1905.

Richard Maurice Bucke was born March 18, 1837, in Methwold, a village on the edge of the Norfolk fens, and lived most of his life in Canada. is In his book ‘Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind’ he described three stages in the development of consciousness: the ‘simple consciousness’ of animals, the ‘self-consciousness’ of the vast majority of humans (the development of reason, self awareness, imagination, etc.), and, achieved by some only, ‘cosmic consciousness’; a mystical state of being beyond ‘self consciousness’ that is the awaiting, next stage of human development.

In his work, the high praise that Bucke gives to to Walt Whitman’s book ‘Leaves of Grass’ (describing how it helped open his mind to the cosmic visionary experience) and his mention of “personal intercourse” with Edward Carpenter, which “assisted greatly in the broadening and clearing up of his speculations, in the extension and co-ordination of his thought” (he writes of himself in the 3rd person in the book), informs me that Bucke was a lover of men. Whitman and Carpenter were two of the key gay male voices that were daring to speak up about the nature of love between men at a time when heterosexual anthropologists and psychologists were analysing and pathologising it, continuing the religiously inspired tradition of homophobia despite claiming to be arbiters of ‘reason’ and ‘science’.

A few gay writers of the 19th century dared to speak up with awareness of the ages old pagan associations of same sex lovers and gender fluid people with priestcraft, shamanism and the divine realms, a view that had competed with the Abrahamic religion’s denial of us for 2000 years. In his classic 1902 study of mysticism, ‘Varieties of Religious Experience,’ William James has a high view of ‘Whitmanism’, seeing it as part of “the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition” on the same level as Hinduism, Neoplatonism, Sufism and Christian mysticism, paths that can lead us to “both become one with the Absolute and … become aware of our oneness.”

The modern movement of LGBT+ Liberation was born in a secular age when few people took seriously, or even took notice of, this spiritual association, but since the 1970s there have been gay writers and some groups reclaiming and exploring it. An ongoing process of decolonising gay history from its western viewpoint is revealing that not only was same sex love and gender fluidity accepted as entirely natural in societies across the world, from tribal groups in Africa and the Americas to the very sophisticated cultures of China and Japan, but that the association with the spiritual life of the community was ingrained everywhere also. As we in the west start to grapple with this ancient inheritance we will have an easier ride if we can dismantle the hypocritical mind-control and damage of Christian beliefs that still affect our society and learn from the mystics of every culture, who all point to a spiritual reality that is free of dogma and fixed definitions, where even deities are optional, to which entry is obtained through a personal union with one’s inner divine source.

English writer John Addington Symonds wrote that “…it is of the highest importance to obtain a correct conception of the steps whereby the Christian nations, separating themselves from ancient paganism, introduced a new and stringent morality into their opinion on this topic, and enforced their ethical views by legal prohibitions of a very formidable kind.” (A Problem in Modern Ethics, published 1896). ‘Ancient paganism’ only became legal to practise in Britain again from the 1950s, the decade before sex between men was partially decriminalised. This mirrors the enactment of the laws prohibiting both witchcraft and sex between men during the reign of Henry VIII, in years 1533 (Buggery Act) and 1542 (Witchcraft). Here we see the beginning of the separation of a very long standing link between gay men and magical practices.

In the ancient cultures of Europe and the Middle East, to put it simply, masculine gay men tended to go into the military and more feminine men were drawn to religious service in temples, where they performed rituals, divination and sacred sex work. For hundreds of years priests of the Goddess were particularly known for their gender fluidity. During the Middle Ages the Inquisition pursued gay men on the assumption they were heretics or pagans – the word Bugger is derived from the Bulgarian Bogomil heretics, as German Ketzer as a slang word for queer comes from the Cathars. At first the English Buggery Act was mainly used to attack and rob the wealth of the Roman Catholic monasteries, which had become safe havens for queer men (because, despite the official homophobia of the Church, it continued to be to spiritual service that many queer people have always been drawn), but from the 18th century became a lethal tool in an increasingly homophobic society, with the last English execution for sodomy – of James Pratt (age 30) and John Smith (age 40) – taking place in 1835. In France due to the Enlightenment philosophies behind the Napoleonic Revolution there was an end to legal sanctions against gay sex in parts of Europe from the 1790s, and it was perhaps in reaction to that development that the attitude in England, also in Germany and the USA, hardened.

After the battering of world wars, global depression and years of austerity, the politically motivated queer activists of the 1960s were no longer making an association of same sex love and gender fluidity with the sacred realms. And those queers who did feel a spiritual calling but sought its expression within established religious settings were not likely to dive into exploration of our queer pagan past, in fact they even bought into the Christian denigration of it.

Yet some did feel called to open doorways into that hidden spiritual history.

Arthur Evans brought men together in a ‘Fairy Circle’ in San Francisco in the 1970s to explore the queerness of the pagan age and produced a visionary work named ‘Witchcraft and the Gay Counter Culture’ in which he aspired to a time of “re-establishing women’s mysteries and men’s mysteries as the highest expression of collective Gay culture and sexuality. We look forward to regaining our ancient historical roles as medicine people, healers, prophets, shamans and sorcerers. We look forward to an endless and fathomless process of coming out – as gay people, as animals, as humans, as mysterious and powerful spirits that move through the life cycle of the cosmos….. Like butterflies we are emerging from the shells of our past restricted existence. We are re-discovering the ancient magic that was once the birth right of all human beings.”

Harry Hay, who was actively exploring the spirituality of his queer sexuality from a young age, was inspired by Native American tribal attitudes in his approach. He founded the first group campaigning for gay rights in the USA, the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and in the 60s pursued his vision in a ‘Circle of Loving Companions’. Hay was one of the men calling the first ever gathering of what is now a global phenomenon, the Radical Faeries. Centred in nature sanctuaries (the Rad Fae have permanent community spaces in America, Europe and Australia, and have also held gatherings in Thailand and South Africa), but also appearing in gay city scenes such as Portland, New York, London and Berlin, Radical Faeries are reclaiming and exploring the ancient connections between queerness and the spiritual, plus building strong heart centred community built on Harry Hay’s principle of subject:SUBJECT consciousness, an entirely mystical perspective that embraces the unity of the human spirit. Thousands of queers, mostly but not exclusively male-bodied, are now involved with faerie activities, attracted by the sensitive, compassionate approach to community creation.

As well as these more recent visionaries, the spiritual perspective on queer sexuality held by late Victorian gay men such as Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter, John Addington Symonds and Richard Bucke can also inform us today as we work out just what the essentially innate spirituality of same sex love and gender fluidity means for us in the 21st century global civilisation.

The mystical experience, testified to by visionaries from every culture, removes the sense of separation from God and the rest of Creation, and these men who loved men were having it.

Oscar Wilde was also open to this sense of spirit:

I am conscious.. that behind all this artistic beauty.. there is some spirit hidden of which the painted forms and shapes are but modes of manifestation, and it is with this spirit that I desire to become in harmony…. We have forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and the earth is Mother to us all… I feel sure that in elemental forces there is purification, and I want to go back to them and live in their presence…”

Richard Bucke praises Walt Whitman in his book as the “best, most perfect, example the world has so far had of the Cosmic Sense, first because he is the man in whom the new faculty has been, probably, most perfectly developed, and especially because he is, par excellence, the man who in modern times has written distinctly and at large from the point of view of Cosmic Consciousness, and who also has referred to its facts and phenomena more plainly and fully than any other writer either ancient or modern.”

Bucke cites as evidence of Whitman’s soul awakening these lines, quoted from the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass:

I believe in you my soul, . . . the other I am must not abase itself to you, And you must not be abased to the other. Loaf with me on the grass, . . . loose the stop from your throat, Not words, not music or rhyme I want, . . . not custom or lecture, not even the best, Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice. I mind how we lay in June, such a transparent summer morning; You settled your head athwart my hips and gently turned over upon me, And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart. And reached till you felt my beard, and reached till you held my feet. Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and joy and knowledge that pass all the art and argument of the earth; And I know that the hand of God is the elder hand of my own, And I know that the spirit of God is the eldest brother of my own, And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, . . . and the women my sisters and lovers, And that a kelson of creation is love.”

He summarised Whitman’s spiritual philosophy as an a appreciation “that the commonplace is the grandest of all things; that the exceptional in any line is no finer, better or more beautiful than the usual, and that what is really wanting is not that we should possess something we have not at present, but that our eyes should be opened to see and our hearts to feel what we all have.”

Love between men was central to Whitman’s consciousness and vision:

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,

I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,

I will make divine magnetic lands,

With the love of comrades,

With the life-long love of comrades.”

Edward Carpenter was also an acolyte of Whitman, and travelled to the USA to meet him. Bucke tells us that Carpenter’s own cosmic vision came in 1881 and was encapsulated in his book of poetry ‘Toward Democracy’:

The sun shines, as of old; the stars look down from heaven; the
moon, crescent, sails in the twilight; on bushy tops in the warm
nights, naked, with mad dance and song, the earth-children address
themselves to love;

Civilisation sinks and swims, but the old facts remain – the sun
smiles, knowing well its strength….

Tears and lamentations are no more. Life and death lie stretched
below me. I breathe the sweet aether blowing of the breath of God.

Deep as the universe is my life – and I know it; nothing can
dislodge the knowledge of it; nothing can destroy, nothing can
harm me.

Joy, joy arises – I arise. The sun darts overpowering piercing
rays of joy through me, the night radiates it from me.

I take wings through the night and pass through all the wildernesses
of the worlds, and the old dark holds of tears and death –
and return with laughter, laughter, laughter:

Sailing through the starlit spaces on outspread wings, we two –
0 laughter! laughter! Laughter!

Freedom! the deep breath! the word heard centuries and
centuries beforehand; the soul singing low and passionate to itself:
Joy! Joy!

Not as in a dream. The earth remains and daily life remains, and
the scrubbing of doorsteps, and the house and the care of the
house remains; but Joy fills it, fills the house full and swells to
the sky and reaches the stars: all Joy!

0 freed soul! soul that has completed its relation to the body!
0 soaring, happy beyond words, into other realms passing,
salutations to you, freed, redeemed soul!

If I am not level with the lowest I am nothing; and if I did not
know for a certainty that the craziest sot in the village is my equal,
and were not proud to have him walk with me as my friend, I
would not write another word – for in this is my strength.

Bucke writes that Carpenter: “As a direct result of the oncoming of the Cosmic Sense he practically resigned his social rank and became a laborer; that is to say, he procured a few acres of land not many miles from Dronfield, in Derbyshire, built upon it a small house and lived there with the family of a working man as one of themselves.” He also became partnered with George Merrill in 1891, their relationship lasting until Carpenter’s death in 1928.

Of all the gay visionaries of the 19th century Carpenter’s vision of gay love was perhaps the most developed and ambitious. He made studies of the spiritual roles played by what he termed ‘Intermediate Types’ in various cultures historically and formed a view that they would be crucial in helping society shift from a deadly money-focussed culture to a love-centred one that would overcome ages old prejudice about the body and sexuality. His way of describing human evolution into ‘cosmic consciousness’ was in terms of the divine coming fully into embodiment.

We are arriving at one of the most fruitful and important turning points in the history of the race. the Self is entering into relation with the Body. for, that the individual should conceive and know himself, not a toy and a chance-product of his own bodily heredity, but as identified and continuous with the Eternal Self of which his body is a manifestation, is indeed to begin a new life and to enter a hitherto undreamed world of possibilities….this transformation, whilst the greatest and most wonderful, is also of course the most difficult in Man’s evolution, for him to effect. it may roughly be said that the whole of the civilisation-period in Man’s history is the preparation for it.”

He also made a connection between people who embody masculine and feminine in themselves and the cosmic evolution:

This interaction in fact between the masculine and the feminine, this mutual illumination of logic and meditation, may not only raise and increase the power of each of these faculties, but it may give the mind a new quality, and a new power of perception corresponding to the blending of subject and object in consciousness. It may possibly lead to the development of that third order of perception which has been called the cosmic consciousness and which may also be termed divination.” Intermediate types among primitive folks , 1913

Carpenter often used the the term Uranian for queer people, taken from German campaigner Karl Ulrichs, who dared to speak up for equality for gay men in the German parliament as early as the 1860s. These men were making an association with the culture of ancient Greece, where for 1000 years men who loved men were deeply involved at all levels of society from politics, the military to art and religion, when many gods (such as Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus) had queer associations, and where love between men was hailed for its enlightening, spiritual qualities while love for women was considered something functional and down to earth. Pindar, a poet of the early Classical Greek Age rated second only to Sappho, who wrote many poems celebrating homoerotic desire, was attuned to cosmic consciousness, and shows us the Victorians were part of an ages old mystical tradition:

Lyric poet Pindar, (518-438 BCE):

“Creatures of a day! What is anyone?

What is anyone not? A dream of a shadow

Is our mortal being. But when there comes to men

A gleam of splendour given of heaven,

Then rests on them a light of glory

And blessed are their days.”

This history was of course largely forgotten, but survived in the monasteries of medieval Europe (where at the end of the 12th century for example the ‘Debate between Ganymede and Helen’ imitated Greek writing from Plutarch and Lucian that compared heterosexual and homosexual love. Helen accuses Ganymede’s love of being sterile, but he retorts that pleasure is enough. She thinks affection between the sexes is natural, but he says: “Opposites always disagree; the right way is like with like.” In another such dialogue between Ganymede and Hebe, Ganymede declares that the Gods do not judge gay sex, and that homosexual oral and anal sex have become popular in Heaven. These manuscripts were copied and widely distributed in monastic communities.)The Renaissance in Italy was a time when gay love burst forth again, inspired by the writing of ancient Greece, and fierce attempts to suppress it. There were gay artists and even gay popes. Benvenuto Cellini was called a sodomitaccio (big sodomite) by a rival sculptor in a public spat in 1545 – his quick-witted response was to declare “yet would to God that I understood so noble an art as you allude to: they say that Jove used it with Ganymede in paradise, and here upon this earth is is practised by some of the greatest emperors and kings.” (quoted in Homosexuality and Civilisation by Louis Crompton). The Elizabethan era in England also saw a flowering of queerness – in the 1590s gay playwright Christopher Marlowe was even able to write a drama about the medieval gay king Edward II. Shakespeare’s sonnets contain love paeans to a young man, in the poetic tradition of ‘Greek love’ that has persistently appeared throughout the ages. Interestingly, Richard Bucke went to great lengths in Cosmic Consciousness to argue that the ‘boy’ referred to was in fact the cosmic consciousness itself.

SONNET LIII

What is your substance, whereof are you made, That millions of strange shadows on you tend? Since every one hath, every one, one shade, And you, but one, can every shadow lend.

Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit Is poorly imitated after you;

On Helen’s cheek all art of beauty set, And you in Grecian tires are painted new:

Speak of the spring, and poison of the year; The one doth shadow of your beauty show,

The other as your bounty doth appear; And you in every blessed shape we know.

In all external grace you have some part, But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

What has been called ‘Greek love’ also survived in the Arabic Muslim culture, including the period of Arabic rule in Spain. For a thousand years homoerotic love poetry was written by Muslims – from Persia and Afghanistan to the Ottoman Turks, north Africa to Iberia, where in a tolerant medieval atmosphere (in sharp contrast to that under Christian rulers both pre- and post the Arab occupation) such poems were also penned by Jewish writers.

Oscar Wilde got the picture, writing in 1898: “to have altered my life would have been to have admitted that Uranian love is ignoble. I hold it to be noble – more noble than any other forms”.

John Addington Symonds knew that there was a battle underway with the “new school of anthropologists and psychological physicians” who “study sexual inversion partly on the lines of historical evolution, and partly from the point of view of disease. Mixing up atavism and heredity with nervous malady in the individual, they wish to substitute medical treatment for punishment, lifelong sequestration in asylums for terms of imprisonment differing in duration according to the offence.”

He wrote that: “Up to the present time the Urning has not been considered as a sport of nature in her attempt to differentiate the sexes. Ulrichs is the only European who has maintained this view in a long series of polemical and imperfectly scientific works. Yet facts brought daily beneath the notice of openeyed observers prove that Ulrichs is justified in his main contention. Society lies under the spell of ancient terrorism and coagulated errors. Science is either wilfully hypocritical or radically misinformed. Walt Whitman, in America, regards what he calls “manly love” as destined to be a leading virtue of democratic nations, and the source of a new chivalry.”

Symonds was a gay man who had his own glimpse of what Bucke termed ‘cosmic consciousness’, while under chloroform: “I seemed at first in a state of utter blankness; then came flashes of intense light, alternating with blankness and with a keen vision of what was going on in the room round me, but no sensation of touch. I thought that I was near death, when suddenly my soul became aware of God, who was manifestly dealing with me, handling me, so to speak, in an intense personal present reality. I felt Him streaming in like light upon me and heard Him saying in no language, but as hands touch hands and communicate sensations: ‘I led thee; I guided thee; you will never sin and weep and wail in madness any more; for now you have seen Me.’ My whole consciousness seemed brought into one point of absolute conviction; the independence of my mind from my body was proved by the phenomena of this acute sensibility to spiritual facts, this utter deadness of the senses. Life and death seemed mere names… I cannot describe the ecstasy I felt.”

Bucke’s own experience of cosmic consciousness led him to believe that an evolutionary leap for humanity was coming that would be so big it would seem we had given birth to a new species:

” Along with the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence–would make him almost a member of a new species. To this is added a state of moral exaltation, an indescribable feeling of elevation, elation, and joyousness, and a quickening of the moral sense, which is fully as striking and more important both to the individual and to the race than is the enhanced intellectual power. With these come, what may be called a sense of immortality, a consciousness of eternal life, not a conviction that he shall have this, but the consciousness that he has it already.”

He described what this would look like, envisaging a complete merging of the material and spiritual planes with no priestly intermediaries:

The human soul will be revolutionized. Religion will absolutely dominate the race. It will not depend on tradition. It will not be believed and disbelieved. It will not be a part of life, belonging to certain hours, times, occasions. It will not be in sacred books nor in the mouths of priests. It will not dwell in churches and meetings and forms and days. Its life will not be in prayers, hymns nor discourses. It will not depend on special revelations, on the words of gods who came down to teach, nor on any bible or bibles. It will have no mission to save men from their sins or to secure them entrance to heaven. It will not teach a future immortality nor future glories, for immortality and all glory will exist in the here and now. The evidence of immortality will live in every heart as sight in every eye. Doubt of God and of eternal life will be as impossible as is now doubt of existence; the evidence of each will be the same. Religion will govern every minute of every day of all life. Churches, priests, forms, creeds, prayers, all agents, all intermediaries between the individual man and God will be permanently replaced by direct unmistakable intercourse. Sin will no longer exist nor will salvation be desired. Men will not worry about death or a future, about the kingdom of heaven, about what may come with and after the cessation of the life of the present body. Each soul will feel and know itself to be immortal, will feel and know that the entire universe with all its good and with all its beauty is for it and belongs to it forever. The world peopled by men possessing cosmic consciousness will be as far removed from the world of today as this is from the world as it was before the advent of self consciousness.”

Bucke describes his awakening to cosmic consciousness thus:

“At the age of thirty he fell in with “Leaves of Grass,” and at once saw that it contained, in greater measure than any book so far found, what he had so long been looking for. He read the “Leaves” eagerly, even passionately, but for several years derived little from them. At last light broke and there was revealed to him (as far perhaps as such things can be revealed) at least some of the meanings. Then occurred that to which the foregoing is preface. It was in the early spring, at the beginning of his thirty-sixth year. He and two friends had spent the evening reading Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Browning, and especially Whitman. They parted at midnight, and he had a long drive in a hansom (it was in an English city). His mind, deeply under the influence of the ideas, images and emotions called up by the reading and talk of the evening, was calm and peaceful. He was in a state of quiet, almost passive enjoyment. All at once, without warning of any kind, he found himself wrapped around as it were by a flame-colored cloud. For an instant he thought of fire, some sudden conflagration in the great city; the next, he knew that the light was within himself. Directly afterwards came upon him a sense of exultation, of immense joyousness accompanied or immediately followed by an intellectual illumination quite impossible to describe. Into his brain streamed one momentary lightning-flash of the Brahmic Splendor which has ever since lightened his life; upon his heart fell one drop of Brahmic Bliss, leaving thenceforward for always an aftertaste of heaven. Among other things he did not come to believe, he saw and knew that the Cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence, that the soul of man is immortal, that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all, that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain. He claims that he learned more within the few seconds during which the illumination lasted than in previous months or even years of study, and that he learned much that no study could ever have taught. The illumination itself continued not more than a few moments, but its effects proved ineffaceable; it was impossible for him ever to forget what he at that time saw and knew; neither did he, or could he, ever doubt the truth of what was then presented to his mind.”

He stated that:

With illumination the fear of death which haunts so many men and women at times all their lives falls off like an old cloak–not, however, as a result of reasoning–it simply vanishes… The same may be said of the sense of sin. It is not that the person escapes from sin; but he no longer sees that there is any sin in the world from which to escape.”

Medieval Christian mystics said the same thing after their own illuminations. Entire counter-cultures to the Catholic Church were built on the belief in the possibility of entering a holy union with God, while alive, after which sin became irrelevant. The Church suppressed such teachings and destroyed the heretical groups who followed them, as it did same sex love, especially virulently from the 14th century onwards.

Bucke sites examples of great men in history whom he considered to have reached the state of cosmic consciousness, from the Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed to William Blake, Whitman and Carpenter, plus a number of men and women he thought had reached a ‘twilight stage’ of partial illumination. These included some whom he listed only by their initials, and short biographical details might incline us to think at least some of the people mentioned were queer. Clues come in references to liking solitude, being at home with trees, fellowship with animals, ardent spiritual devotion.

Quoted examples of their cosmic illuminations include:

“The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms–that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called for in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things. All crystallography is in one grain of sand, all animal life in one insect, all vegetable in a single bud. I was then about forty… My next was when I saw there was no boundary line between vegetable and animal life, and hence no beginning nor end to either…

“What I then saw dimly, or as ‘through a glass darkly,’ now shines all about me with a brightness exceeding that of the sun. In its light I see that love and justice cannot be limited by what, in the poverty of our ignorance, we call time and space. Hence all the thinking and all the teaching that has been done in the world, founded in our ideas of time and space, are blown away like chaff, or are consumed like ‘wood, hay and stubble.’” H.B.

“I went into the yard to the pump, and just as I got there it came–a shock, a flood of light, and along with, or immediately following, the shock and the subjective glow–like a great internal blaze–came the feeling of absolute harmony with the power that made all things and is in all things. All striving stopped–there was nothing to strive for–I was at peace.” W.H.W.

“Recognizing my own inner consciousness, the psyche, so clearly, death did not seem to me to affect the personality. In dissolution there was no bridgeless chasm, no unfathomable gulf of separation; the spirit did not immediately become inaccessible, leaping at a bound to an immeasurable distance.

“To me everything is supernatural. It is impossible to wrest the mind down to the same laws that rule pieces of timber.

“When I consider that I dwell this moment in the eternal Now that has ever been and will be, that I am in the midst of immortal things this moment, that there probably are souls as infinitely superior to mine as mine to a piece of timber–what, then, is a “miracle”?

“I feel on the margin of a life unknown, very near, almost touching it–on the verge of powers which, if I could grasp, would give me an immense breadth of existence. Sometimes a very ecstasy of exquisite enjoyment of the entire universe filled me. I want more ideas of soul-life. I am certain that there are more yet to be found. A great life–an entire civilization–lies just outside the pale of common thought.” Richard Jeffries

“In the month of February, 1890, just following my thirty-seventh birthday, Rev. J. E. L., of Canada, came to assist me in a series of special meetings in my church. My affection for him gained during his stay. He had been gone three days when, thinking of him far through the night–the gray of the morning was already in the heavens–the conviction came to me that in him I had met an incarnation of Christ. I stood a moment transfixed with the thought. Was that which I had held as a theory to be realized as a fact? My friend was forgotten in the vision of Christ, who had come to me, not from without, but through the gates which open inwardly. I knew him, was conscious of him in my own spirit, soul and body. Then with that unfolding consciousness there came a suffusion, as of a delicate cloud or haze, which searched the entire body, was more invasive than light, more penetrating than heat, more inreaching than electricity. It was as if I had been plunged into a bath of fluid more subtle and permeating than ether. Against the inflow and outflow of that enswathing essence the body was not as resistant as the air to a bird’s wing or a morning mist to the sunbeam. The rapture, the exaltation, the divinity of that moment passes knowledge. Then swiftly came the awe of the mysterious [p. 331] presence that filled me, and the consciousness of the whole creation, universe, went thrilling through me, not as a thought, a sensation, an emotion, but as the vital breath of God. This grew until I found myself rising and expanding into the Infinite, being diffused and lost therein, and the mind and body reeled.” M.C.L.

“As to my illumination: I was going to New York City one morning in January, 1897, on a train, to do some hospital work. I was reading Carpenter. It was a beautiful winter morning. I think I was near the Bay Bridge, or on it, when the Thought came. There was no particular sensation, except that something beautiful and great seemed to have happened me, which I could only describe in terms of light. Yet it was purely mental. But everything looked different to me. I went about the city that day calm, but glad and uplifted. The thing I remember most was a wonder how soon the sensation, or impression, would leave me. I was latently sceptical, and thought it a temporary inspiration, like that of a poem. But days, weeks, months, passed, and I found the shoot which had broken ground that winter morning was ever growing, strengthening and changing all the scenery of my life.” J William Lloyd

“The glory of this truth, the grandeur of this character, the supreme nobility, patience, wisdom and love of this life, thrilled me with ecstasy and awe [p. 353] unspeakable–filled me, possessed me. He lives, not in some distant heaven on a great white throne, but here and now; is not coming, but is here with us, loving, helping, living, cheering and inspiring the race to which he belongs, as wholly and as truly as the race belongs to him. Now, indeed, it is plain, that being lifted up he shall lift all men with him–has lifted, is lifting and must ever continue to lift out of the very essence of his transcendent humanity. Immortality is no longer an hypothesis of the theologian, a figment of the imagination, a dream of the poet.

“”This is the truth given age upon age to all men in all lands, and persistently misunderstood–the truth at last to be seen of all men in its fullness and purity. Man is to know himself, and with full command of his conditions and unlimited time for action, is not only to soar toward, but absolutely attain to heights of being and of beauty hitherto undreamed of, and bringing fairly within his realization a heaven on earth.” Paul Tyner

One of the women in Bucke’s list is quoted saying:

“In my experience the “subjective light” was not something seen–a sensation as distinct from an emotion–it was emotion itself–ecstasy. It was the gladness and rapture of love, so intensified that it became an ocean of living, palpitating light, the brightness of which outshone[**] the brightness of the sun. Its glow, warmth and tenderness filling the universe. That infinite ocean was the eternal love, the soul of nature and all one endless smile!

“The consciousness of completeness and permanence in myself is one with that of the completeness and permanence of nature. This feeling is quite distinct from any that I had before illumination and has sprung from that. I often ponder on it and wonder what has happened–what change can have taken place in me to so poise and individualize me. My feeling is as if I were as distinct and separate from all other beings and things as is the moon in space and at the same time indissolubly one with all nature. Out of this experience was born an unfaltering trust. Deep in the soul, below pain, below all the distraction of life, is a silence vast and grand–an infinite ocean of calm, which nothing can disturb; Nature’s own exceeding peace, which “passes understanding.” That which we seek with passionate longing, here and there, upward and outward, we find at last within ourselves. The kingdom within! The indwelling God! are words whose sublime meaning we never shall fathom.” C.M.C.

Bucke points out the:

…incompatibility between the socalled religions–in other words, the churches–and Cosmic Consciousness. The man who enters or is to enter the latter either never belonged to a church, as Walt Whitman, or leaves the church before illumination, as C. M. C. did, or immediately upon illumination… Churches are inevitable and doubtless indispensable on the plane of self consciousness, but are probably (in any shape) impossible on the Cosmic Conscious plane.”

Precursors in western thought to Bucke include early 18th century German philosophers Friedrich Schleiermacher, who described a three stage map of animal, sensual and higher consciousness, the part of us “that is capable of transcending animal instincts” – the “point of contact with God” – and George Hegel‘s concept of Geist, or Spirit. Since Bucke there have been at least two prominent prophets of cosmic consciousness in the 20th century – Teilhard de Chardin, who saw all life evolving to an ‘Omega Point’ of unification and Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo.

Born in 1872, Aurobindo was in his early life a fighter for liberation from the British Empire, but while in jail accused of plotting a bomb attack that killed two British women in 1908 he had spiritual experiences that changed his life. On his return to India he settled in Pondicherry and devoted his life to work for a greater freedom, for all humanity. He lived until 1950 and is probably the 20th century’s greatest mystic, producing epic works that detail his vision of the ‘supramental evolution’ as we grow into the ‘Supermind’.

“Man is shut up at present in his surface individual consciousness and knows the world only through his outward mind and senses and by interpreting their contacts with the world. By Yoga there can open in him a consciousness which becomes one with that of the world; he becomes directly aware of a universal Being, universal states, universal Force and Power, universal Mind, Life, Matter and lives in conscious relations with these things. He is then said to have cosmic consciousness”,

Only the illimitable Permanent
Is here. A Peace stupendous, featureless, still.
Replaces all, – what once was I, in It
A silent unnamed emptiness content
Either to fade in the Unknowable
Or thrill with the luminous seas of the Infinite.

(From Aurobindo’s poem Nirvana)

The vast universal suffering feel as thine:
Thou must bear the sorrow that thou claimst to heal;
The day-bringer must walk in darkest night.
He who would save the world must share its pain.
If he knows not grief, how shall he find grief’s cure?
If far he walks above mortality’s head,
How shall the mortal reach that too high path?
If one of theirs they see scale heaven’s peaks,
Men then can hope to learn that titan climb.
God must be born on earth and be as man
That man being human may grow even as God.

From Savitri

He, like Bucke, saw the arrival via evolution of a new kind of human:

I saw them cross the twilight of an age
The sun-eyed children of a marvelous dawn…
The massive barrier-breakers of the world..
The architects of immortality…
Bodies made beautiful by the Spirit’s light,
Carrying the magic word, the mystic fire,
Carrying the Dionysian cup of joy..

From Savitri

The reference to Dionysus takes us all the way back to mythologies and queerness – for Dionysus was one of the many queer deities of the ancient world. Embodying male and femaleness, he was celebrated for introducing ecstatic intoxication to humanity, which in ancient times was considered a blissful state of union with the spiritual realms, Dionysus was a hugely popular deity for many centuries across the ancient world. Even the Hebrews at the time of Jesus had coins with portraits of Dionysus on them.

As humanity struggles to come to terms with and face the challenges of the 21st century we can learn from the mystics of the ages and especially of recent times who brought that mystic vision out of the monasteries and into the hands of each and every human. On the internet today we can find no limit to the number of people discovering and declaring their discovery of, or belief in the reality of, cosmic consciousness. From a few lone voices the seed was spread. Note please that many of the voices of the cosmic vision are those of same sex lovers.

Edward Carpenter believed the Uranians would lead the conscious revolution, and teach the world about the true power of love to awaken the soul, but in order to do that we Uranians have to get conscious ourselves. Many gay people steer away from spiritual pursuits because of the legacy of religious hatred still manifesting in the world today, but probably do not know that the reason religion turned against us in the first place was because we were the ones who served in the pagan temples, because we naturally embodied the liberty of spirit through our very beings. In the temples of Asherah, mentioned in the Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, we were known as the Holy Ones – the Qedesha – which became ‘sodomites’ in the King James translation.

There is an integral link between genderfluidity, homosexuality and the sacred. In the late 19th century some men were experiencing this for themselves and daring to write about it, but they were competing with the harsh categorizations of anthropology and psychology. Only in the 1960s did law reform come in the UK, and it was only removed from the list of recognised psychological illnesses in the 1970s. Suddenly in the 1980s our fresh new community was struck by the biggest spiritual crisis ever – AIDS. All our recent gains seemed under threat. We had to fight for our survival on the basic level, and the deeper search for meaningful community and for the roots of our nature was not undertaken by many. But AIDS also woke some of us to a bigger spiritual reality. It is due to the spiritual search and mystical awakening to cosmic consciousness that I underwent in the mid 1990s that I have been researching and exploring the link between my sexuality and my spirit ever since.

My explorations have taken me into witchy Queer Pagan fires, cosy Edward Carpenter Community retreats and to Radical Faerie sanctuaries. In all these places I find people well aware of the gap between the world’s concept of us and the multidimensional reality of our queer, world-connecting nature. We are walkers between the worlds, which is why we are known for our love of substance use and ecstatic states. Like shamans and gay priests of old, we open gates to spiritual bliss through our bodies. This is why our parties are so good. We transcend mental barriers of shame and guilt, imposed notions of sin, of right and wrong, and so access more of the true divinity in human nature, our forgotten Oneness with all Creation.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“Heterosexual attraction manifests the delight
the Many experience in its variety.
Heterosexual union propagates the Many,
from Two making many more.

“Homosexual attraction manifests the delight
the One experiences in its Oneness.
Homosexual love witnesses to the One’s desire to return to Itself and
to experience the multiplicity of the Many
as a reflection of the Self of the One.”

Quote from Toby Johnson, author of Gay Spirituality, Gay Perspective and other works.

Selie Suffolk

I was born in what was once a faerie-filled land –

home to giants, dragons, druids and witches,

where Romans marched and Angles worshipped Thor –

the land of Suffolk contains ancient doors

to the Otherworld, the land of myth and powers divine

and those doors will once more open, at the appointed time.

As new houses are built on Suffolk’s pastures

ancestral remains are disturbed,

millennia old settlements and funeral sites

release their spirits amongst us.

The people here once followed the ways of the Sun and the Moon

they venerated rivers and trees, their ancestors and the Earth,

as they mined for flint then tin then copper and iron

they learnt mastery of earth and fire

but humanity still has to learn mastery of the air

– the element of mind –

in order to reach a higher

state of evolution.

A higher state is really a return

back to Source connection, to the Otherworld,

with an understanding

that we’ve been lost in a dream,

and with a vision

of where we can go from here.

10000 years this land has been loved

by people benefiting from its bounty

which is why in the Middle Ages

Suffolk was known as the Holy County.

Selie Suffolk suffered the pain of

Protestants closing monastic communities,

Catholics burning Protestants

and Protestants burning Witches.

Suffolk became an industrialised farmland

feeding the growing hungry capital.

.

The land fell asleep, as did the people

Selie became Silly

old ways discarded

the sacred rejected

the magical ways forgotten –

but only for a time,

nothing is lost forever –

the holy spirit of Suffolk

and the land everywhere

waits for humanity to get it together

to become more kind and more aware.

Then the faeries will return

the dragons, druids and witches

they never really went far away

they just got buried within us.

World AIDS Day 2021

Life on planet Earth is changing fast. Humanity and our planet are facing a crisis of apocalyptic proportions. As an AIDS survivor I know what that can feel like at times -as the encroaching dis-ease worsens and we scurry around for anything that might help, we may even find ourselves getting very angry at this horrifying road humans seem hell bent on pursuing. This could get very nasty and very scary – but it can also be a turning point in our civilisation, where we face the big questions of life head on.

AIDS triggered me to pursue the spiritual search – so intense was my longing for answers in the face of death that even in my darkest hours I became attuned to the love-presence of the divine within me – I went on to recover and to re-enter life as a transformed being, who now seeks to assist the growth of spiritual intelligence, compassion and liberation in the world. Like many who have a Near Death Experience (a slow motion one in my case, lasting a couple of years), I returned to life with a sense of purpose that previously had been absent.

AIDS brought me an Accelerated Individual Discovery of Self – looking at the crises rocking the world today it seems to me we are all being pushed to the edge of destruction, a place where we might finally face ourselves and heal our separation from the planet, from spirit and each other. We may be, one way or another, heading for an Accelerated Collective Discovery of Consciousness (ACDC) – the underlying unity of life will eventually demand to be known and will push us kicking and screaming to that point –

OR WE COULD LISTEN TO THE MYSTICAL VOICES THROUGHOUT TIME THAT LEFT THEIR TEACHINGS OF UNITY

AND TO THE EXPERIENCES OF AIDS, CANCER, NDE AND OTHER SURVIVORS

WHO ARE GETTING ACCELERATED UPGRADES IN AWARENESS, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING IN THIS LIFETIME

AND CUT THE FIGHTING, CUT THE GREED, CUT THE ABUSE, CUT THE ALIENATION, CUT THE DESTRUCTION

AND CHANGE LIFE ON EARTH RIGHT NOW.

MY BOOKS

Available at Lulu.com:

From AIDS to Eternity …offering a radical vision of the link between queer people and the spiritual dimensions, one that breaks down the barriers of both religious and rational thought to take you to a place of presence, discovery and remembrance: available as ebook or paperback…

+++ 3 books of my poetry, which also include visuals and inspiration from queer ancestors, teachers and prophets:

AIDS Shaman 1: Queer Spirit Awakening

AIDS Shaman 2: Through the Veils

AIDS Shaman 3: Dimensional Shift

Diagnosed HIV+ in 1990, aged 25, by 1995 I was preparing myself to die – and opening myself to a spiritual reality i had, since the age of 12, not believed in. A complete transformation of my being began, and since recovering from AIDS I have been exploring ritual magic and conscious community that connects both to the earth and to spirit with other queers in the global Radical Faerie community and as an organiser of Queer Spirit Festival in the UK.

HIV was for me a trigger to a deep awakening in my soul. AIDS was for me a ‘classical’ shamanic awakening – stripping away everything i believed, all my dreams and fears – until the raw, conscious, multidimensional soul was released. It is my belief that many gay men, lesbians and trans people are shaman souls, and that HIV is still today a call from the soul to question our assumptions about life and face, accept, our mortality – and find our home in eternity.

Carpenter’s Wisdom: Oneness

English philosopher, poet and mystic Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) had an enlightening ‘cosmic consciousness’ experience in 1881, aged 37. He wrote a book of poetry to capture the experience and it was published two years later as Towards Democracy, offering his vision of a socialist democratic society enlightened by cosmic consciousness.

I conceive a millennium on earth – a millennium not of riches,
nor of mechanical facilities, nor of intellectual facilities, nor
absolutely of immunity from disease, nor absolutely of immunity
from pain; but a time when men and women all over the earth
shall ascend and enter into relation with their bodies – shall attain
freedom and joy;

And the men and women of that time looking back with something
like envy to the life of to-day, that they too might have
borne a part in its travail and throes of birth.

I saw a Vision

I saw a vision of Earth’s multitudes going up and down over the
Earth – and I saw the great earth itself wheeling and careering
onward through space.

And behold! here and there to one among the multitude a
change came;

And to whomsoever it came continued onward apparently as
before, yet as from the larva springs the perfect image,

So (as it appeared to me) from that mortal form a new being,
long long long in preparation, glided silently up unobserved into
the breathless pure height of the sky.

So Thin a Veil

So thin a veil divides
Us from such joy, past words.
Walking in daily life the business of the hour, each detail seen to;
Yet carried, rapt away, on what sweet floods of other Being:
Swift streams of music flowing, light far back through all
Creation shining,
Loved faces looking-
Ah! from the true, the mortal self
So thin a veil divides!

If I am not level with the lowest I am nothing; and if I did not
know for a certainty that the craziest sot in the village is my equal,
and were not proud to have him walk with me as my friend, I
would not write another word – for in this is my strength.

The sun shines, as of old; the stars look down from heaven; the
moon, crescent, sails in the twilight; on bushy tops in the warm
nights, naked, with mad dance and song, the earth-children address
themselves to love;

Civilisation sinks and swims, but the old facts remain – the sun
smiles, knowing well its strength.

The little red stars appear once more on the hazel boughs,
shining among the catkins; over waste lands the pewit tumbles
and cries as at the first day; men with horses go out on the land
– they shout and chide and strive – and return again glad at
evening; the old earth breathes deep and rhythmically, night and
day, summer and winter, giving and concealing herself.

I arise out of the dewy night and shake my wings.

Tears and lamentations are no more. Life and death lie stretched
below me. I breathe the sweet aether blowing of the breath of God.

Deep as the universe is my life – and I know it; nothing can
dislodge the knowledge of it; nothing can destroy, nothing can
harm me.

Joy, joy arises – I arise. The sun darts overpowering piercing
rays of joy through me, the night radiates it from me.

I take wings through the night and pass through all the wildernesses
of the worlds, and the old dark holds of tears and death –
and return with laughter, laughter, laughter:

Sailing through the starlit spaces on outspread wings, we two –
0 laughter! laughter! Laughter!

Freedom! the deep breath! the word heard centuries and
centuries beforehand; the soul singing low and passionate to itself:
Joy! Joy!

Not as in a dream. The earth remains and daily life remains, and
the scrubbing of doorsteps, and the house and the care of the
house remains; but Joy fills it, fills the house full and swells to
the sky and reaches the stars: all Joy!

0 freed soul! soul that has completed its relation to the body!
0 soaring, happy beyond words, into other realms passing,
salutations to you, freed, redeemed soul!

Carpenter’s Wisdom: Transgender

English philosopher, poet and mystic Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) was the first gay pioneer to make a deep study of the role of what he termed ‘intermediate types’ in various traditional societies around the world and in ancient European history, as part of reclaiming the noble spirit of the ‘Uranians’: third-gendered people, in which he included transgendered and same-sex-love oriented individuals, from the fierce ravages of Christian prejudice.

O Child of Uranus

0 child of Uranus, wanderer down all times,
Darkling, from farthest ages of the Earth the same
Strange tender figure, full of grace and pity,
Yet outcast and misunderstood of men-

Thy Woman-soul within a Man’s form dwelling,
[Was Adam perchance like this, ere Eve from his side was
drawn?]
So gentle, gracious, dignified, complete,
With man’s strength to perform, and pride to suffer without sign,
And feminine sensitiveness to the last fibre of being;
Strange twice-born, having entrance to both worlds-
Loved, loved by either sex,
And free of all their lore!

I see thee where down all of Time thou comest;
And women break their alabaster caskets, kiss and anoint thy
feet, and bless the womb that bare thee,
While in thy bosom with thee, lip to lip,
Thy younger comrade lies.

Lord of the love which rules this changing world,
Passing all partial loves, this one complete – the Mother love
and sex emotion blended-
I see thee where for centuries thou hast walked,
Lonely, the world of men
Saving, redeeming, drawing all to thee,
Yet outcast, slandered, pointed of the mob,
Misjudged and crucified.

Dear Son of heaven – long suffering wanderer through the
wilderness of civilisation-
The day draws nigh when from these mists of ages
Thy form in glory clad shall reappear.

(From Towards Democracy, published 1883)

This interaction in fact between the masculine and the feminine, this mutual illumination of logic and meditation, may not only raise and increase the power of each of these faculties, but it may give the mind a new quality, and a new power of perception corresponding to the blending of subject and object in consciousness. It may possibly lead to the development of that third order of perception which has been called the cosmic consciousness and which may also be termed divination.”

(From Intermediate types among primitive folks , 1913)

Carpenter’s Wisdom: Love

English philosopher, poet and mystic Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) had an enlightening ‘cosmic consciousness’ experience in 1881, aged 37. “As a direct result of the oncoming of the Cosmic Sense he practically resigned his social rank and became a laborer; that is to say, he procured a few acres of land not many miles from Dronfield, in Derbyshire, built upon it a small house and lived there with the family of a working man as one of themselves. Dressing in the common corduroy of the country side, he took up his spade and worked steadily with the others. It seemed to him that the manners and habits of the rich were less noble than those of the poor; that the soul and life of the rich were less noble.” (These words written by someone who knew him – Richard Maurice Bucke in his 1905 study of spiritual awakening, Cosmic Consciousness).

Carpenter met the man who would become his partner for the rest of his life, George Merrill, in 1891. Carpenter’s deep belief and understanding of love is clear from his poetry which contains advice on love and relationship that would benefit the whole world, and which could influence the growth of the modern gay community in very positive ways were this incredible ancestor more widely known and honoured.

Here are four wisdom filled love poems from Carpenter’s mystical masterpiece ‘Towards Democracy’, written in 1881.

The Lake of Beauty

Let your mind be quiet, realising the beauty of the world, and
the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store.

All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all
that your Nature so specially fits you for – that or the counterpart
of it waits embedded in the great Whole, for you. It will surely
come to you.

Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time
will it come. All your crying and fever and reaching out of hands
will make no difference.

Therefore do not begin that game at all.

Do not recklessly spin the waters of your mind in this direction
and in that, lest you become like a spring lost and dissipated
in the desert.

But draw them together into a little compass, and hold them
still, so still;

And let them become clear, so clear – so limpid, so mirror-like;

At last the mountains and the sky shall glass themselves in
peaceful beauty,

And the antelope shall descend to drink, and to gaze at his
reflected image, and the lion to quench his thirst,

And Love himself shall come and bend over, and catch his own
likeness in you.

To Thine Own Self be True

Not by running out of yourself after it comes the love which
lasts a thousand years.

If to gain another’s love you are untrue to yourself then are
you also untrue to the person whose love you would gain.

Him or her whom you seek will you never find that way – and
what pleasure you have with them will haply only end in pain.

Remain steadfast, knowing that each prisoner has to endure in
patience till the season of his liberation; when the love comes
which is for you it will turn the lock easily and loose your chains –

Being no longer whirled about nor tormented by winds of
uncertainty, but part of the organic growth of God himself in
Time –

Another column in the temple of immensity,

Two voices added to the eternal choir.

All Night Long

All night long in love, in the darkness, passing through your lips,
my love –

Breathing the same breath, being folded in the same sleep,
losing sense of Me and Thee,

Into empyreal regions, beloved of the gods, united, we ascend
together.

Then in the morning on the high hill-side in the sun, looking
down upon the spires of the larches and Scotch firs,

Mortal, we tread again the earthy floor.

0 Earth, the floor of heaven –

0 Sun, shining aloft in the sky so pure –

0 children of the sun, ye flowers and streams, and little mortals
walking the earth for a time –

And we too gazing for a time, for a time, for a time, into each
other’s eyes.

When a Thousand Years Have Passed

Think not that the love thou enterest into to-day is for a few
months or years:

The little seed set now must lie quiet before it will germinate
and many alternations of sunshine and shower descend upon it
before it become even a small plant.

When a thousand years have passed, come thou again. And
behold! a mighty tree that no storms can shake.

Love does not end with this life or any number of lives; the
form that thou seekest lies hidden under wrapping after wrapping;

Nevertheless it shall at length appear – more wondrous far than
aught thou hast imagined.

Therefore leave time: do not like a child pull thy flower up by
the roots to see if it is growing;

Even though thou be old and near the grave there is plenty of
time.

Bring the Spirit Home

The BODY is HOLY

the HEART is DIVINE

the SOUL is ETERNAL

but the MIND is a CHILD.

.

The gift and task the Spirit gave to Humanity

to evolve the mind and illuminate the flesh

involves confusion and the chance of insanity

the risk of a great big mess.

.

For the mind is the child in us

it believes itself to be alone

we need to know and understand this gift

to bring the Spirit HOME.

.

AIDS was my Accelerated

Individual Discovery of Self

I faced my mortality

and found my ancient soul wealth.

In the transition to the Age of Aquarius

we need to grasp a bigger perspective

to nurture our mental health.

.

The Divine Self is on its journey

– We are all THAT –

Humanity WILL find its unity, ONENESS,

through choice or through crisis:

we each make that choice

we each have a voice

that adds to the confusion or the illumination –

we need to learn to use the mind as a tool of CREATION.

.

Every thought, every belief feeds into our subconscious

the body feels the vibrations and sends an emotional reaction

There are forces in the world that do not want us to think clearly –

the same forces that do not want us to act queerly –

Confusion suits the powers that be

But in our own minds and hearts we can become FREE.

.

We need an

ACCELERATED UNIVERSAL DISCOVERY OF SELF

The AWAKENING long foretold

The REMEMBRANCE of humanity’s place in the WHOLE

Our role to unite the worlds below and above

Through the light of the liberated mind and the POWER OF LOVE.

THAT LOVING AWARENESS IS YOU.

Trans and the Sacred

I met my inner feminine at the age of 30, at the same time as I was becoming sick with AIDS and waking up to the spiritual dimensions underlying life’s exterior dramas. Embracing the feminine aspect of my soul was part of the journey I have taken into mysticism as a way of perceiving the experience of life on earth. I never desired an exterior, bodily, gender transformation, instead saw the potential of the inner marriage of the genders within myself to bring me to greater understanding, wisdom and freedom. I sought from then on to develop both female and male aspects of my personal unique incarnation of the spiritual, non-binary Self that manifests in all beings.

When I met the Radical Faeries of Europe on the Dutch island of Terschelling in 2001 I walked into a scenario where gay men delighted to don feminine attire and sing Goddess chants. I knew I had found my tribe, come home after the 5 year long transformation that HIV led me into, preparing me for this new, magical, life. Through my own inner femaleness I had met the Divine Feminine and stepped into my soul purpose as a priest of the Goddess, of the Moon, of the Divine Mother. This is how I see the Radical Faeries – as a tribe of Goddess people, who communicate with Her and with ancestors, animals and elementals. We are that natural shamanic queer spirit that connects worlds and heals communities… that talks to the spirits of the weather… emerging from the undergrowth of western so-called civilisation, emerging in a culture that tried to explain away who we are in terms of gender and sexuality, that slaughtered so many of our kind over so many centuries that even WE forgot who we are.

In a post-colonial world, the historical experience in non western cultures of what the modern world calls trans, non-binary, gay and lesbian people is revealing to gay people in the west so much about who we really are, and the journey of emancipation and acceptance in society has gone far enough for us to get together and discover the magical, spiritual qualities in our souls for ourselves. And if we dive far enough back into the roots of western society we find queer shamanic souls playing the same sacred roles in pre-literate cultures and in the temples of the ancient civilisations, many myths from which show intimate, fundamental links between transgender people, same sex oriented love and the sacred.

In The Spirit Of Intimacy (published 2000), priestess of the Dagara Tribe of West Africa Sobonfu Some wrote:

The words gay and lesbian do not exist in the village, but there is the word gatekeeper. Gatekeepers are people who live a life at the edge between the worlds – the world of the village and the world of spirit.

What they do, they don’t like to communicate to anyone. It is their right to keep it to themselves. Everybody in the village respects that because without gatekeepers, there is no access to other worlds. Most people in the West define themselves and others by sexual orientation. This way of looking at gatekeepers will kill the spirit of the gatekeeper. Gatekeepers in the village are able to do their job simply because of strong spiritual connection, and also their ability to direct their sexual energy not to other people but to spirit.

The gatekeepers stand on the threshold of the gender line. They are mediators between the two genders. They make sure there is peace and balance between women and men. If the two genders are in conflict and the whole village is caught in it, the gatekeepers are the ones to bring peace. Gatekeepers do not take sides. They simply act as “the sword of truth and integrity.

Gays and lesbians in the West are often very spiritual, but they have been taken away from their connection with spirit. My feeling is that without that outlet or that role in the culture, they have to find other ways of defining themselves. This could be one of the reasons why they would want to get married or make themselves look as though they do not have a unique purpose.”

In classic binary terms:

Feminine power channels through emotion and spirit

Masculine power through body and mind.

Every living being requires both aspects to function.

Men have neglected their inner feminine

Women have been denied access to their inner masculine

and those who embody both male and femaleness in their bodies,

who once held holy roles in every corner of the earth,

have been long denied their right to be who they are

and in the West are still the most attacked and hated of all queer people.

BUT WHO INVENTED THE BINARY SYSTEM? The scientific minded West.

Other cultures, and older western ones, had more holistic views of human nature:

Gender is a spectrum. All forms of love are sacred.

Separation is an illusion. All life is One.

I’m a History graduate and more fascinated by it than ever these days. History – we must remember – has been seen thru a straight Christocentric gaze until recently. When straights defined Homosexuality they had no idea about who queer people really are. Edward Carpenter and others tried to tell them. John Addington Symonds is one of my favourites, he proposed getting to the root of religious homophobia, ie our role in pagan times, something the modern gay rights movement, born in a secular age, hasn’t addressed. Nor can gay Christians address it. Only we who live it can show the world who we are.

Transgendered people have long been robbed of their own spiritual history, not knowing that there were once times and places where ours was considered a spiritual path in and of itself… We are all sacred and it is time that the world knew it.” Raven Kaldera

#transawarenessweek

See this amazing video from Alok Vaid-Menon on trans awareness:

Watch | Facebook

https://www.alokvmenon.com/

Check out also the Youtube channel of Ashton Colby for “videos that dive deeper into narratives of gender transition that say it is so much more than physical changes!”

Female Mystics of Albion

The British Isles have given birth to female mystical voices for at least 1400 years… here are some i have come to love and respect so far… starting with THREE from the seventh century AD through to Doreen Valiente and Kate Bush in the 20th.  Their stories and voices deserve to be heard, their messages are clear, profound and simple.  They are the missing voices of ecstatic love modern culture badly needs.

For the woman is the crown of man, and the final manifestation of humanity.
She is the nearest to the throne of God, when she shall be revealed.
But the creation of woman is not yet complete: but it shall be complete in the time which is at hand.”
(Anna Kingsford)

ST MELANGELL c 640

Daughter of an Irish king, Melangell escaped the wedding plans her father had for her, taking refuge in Powys, central Wales, seeing no man for 15 years.  The legend says that Brochwel Yscythrog, Prince of Powys, was hare hunting and came across her shining in a state of radiant devotion in a thicket, the hares hiding under her dress and his dogs unable to approach, wailing at a distance.  He listened to her story and gave her that piece of land to open an abbey where she lived to an old age, offering healing and wisdom.  Melgangell is the patron saint of hares.

ST WINIFRED  7th century

Daughter of a Welsh chieftain, when Winifred decided to become a nun her suitor, Caradoc, was so upset he decapitated her.  Legend says her head rolled down a hill and where it landed a healing spring appeared.  The fortunate magical intervention of her maternal uncle Saint Bueno restored head to body and her to life, and also called down the intervention of heaven against Caradoc, who fell dead on the spot, with the ground opening to swallow him.  Winifred became a nun, then abbess for some years until called by God to seek a new resting place, setting off on a pilgrimage that included a visit to Rome.  In 1138 her relics were taken to Shrewsbury to be part of an elaborate shrine which was a major pilgrimage centre until destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII.

HILDA OF WHITBY 614-680

Described as ‘a ray of light in the dark ages’, Hilda was the daughter of the nephew of King Edwin of Northumbria.  Her father was murdered by poison and she was brought up in Edwin’s court.  The whole court underwent a mass baptism into Christianity at Easter 627.  HIlda founded and led a mixed gender monastic community in Whitby (then called Streanaeshalch – Whitby was the name the invading Danes would later give the place), at which the Venerable Bede tells us all virtues were practised, especially love, virtue and peace.  Men and women lived separately but worshipped together at the abbey.  Hilda was known as Mother, and her wisdom was sought out by both commoners and kings.  The nuns at Whitby reported seeing visions at the time of Hilda’s death.  The Danes destroyed all trace of the abbey when they invaded and monastic community would only be reestablished in Whitby after the Norman Conquest.

CHRISTINA OF MARKYATE 1096/8-1155

An Anchoress and head of a community of nuns, as a young girl Christina took a vow of chastity and dedicated her life to the church.  When her noble family forced her to marry she resisted consummating the deal and went on the run becoming an Anchoress, living in a tiny closet barricaded in by a tree trunk, spending her time in prayer and also offering spiritual guidance to those who came seeking it.  When her husband annulled the marriage she was able to come out into the world – a priory was founded for her in Markyate, which survived until the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII.  Christina was known for her ecstatic visions of the presence of God.

MARGERY KEMPE c. 1373-1478

Born King’s Lynn (then called Bishop’s Lynn), daughter of merchant, mayor and MP John Brunham, married John Kemp and had at least 14 children.  Marjery, like other medieval Catholic mystics, sought a greater intimacy with Christ…. She did not join a religious order, but lived her mysticism in the world, being prone to public displays of wailing, sobbing and writhing.  She dictated her mystical visions into what is considered the first autobiography – The Book Of Margery Kempe, including the stories of the ‘temptations to lechery’ she underwent, of her trial for heresy.  The book highlights the growing tension between institutional religion and public dissent.  Marjery is known to have visited the anchoress Julian of Norwich, who affirmed the validity of Margery’s visions and revelations.

JULIAN OF NORWICH  1342-1416

Serious illness around the age of 30 brought the lady Juliana joyfilled visions of Christ  which led her to dedicate her life as an Anchoress, living in a small hut near Norwich.  She wrote the first book in English known to have been written by a woman: ‘Revelations of Divine Love’ in which she describes seeing God holding a tiny thing in his hand, like a small brown nut, which seemed so fragile and insignificant that she wondered why it did not crumble before her eyes. She understood that the thing was the entire created universe, which is as nothing compared to its Creator, and she was told, “God made it, God loves it, God keeps it.”  She was troubled by the plight of souls who never got to hear the gospel, but was assured by spirit “that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” “Glad and merry and sweet is the blessed and lovely demeanour of our Lord towards our souls, for he saw us always living in love-longing, and he wants our souls to be gladly disposed toward him . . . by his grace he lifts up and will draw our outer disposition to our inward, and will make us all at unity with him.”

“I knew by the common teaching of Holy Church and by my own feeling that the blame for our sins clings to us continually while we are on this earth…How amazing it was then to see our Lord God showing us no more blame than if we were as clean and whole as the angels in heaven!… in spite of all our feelings of sorrow or well-being, God wants us to understand and know by faith that we are more truly in heaven than on earth.

MOTHER SHIPTON c.1488-1561

Soothsayer and prophetess, said to be born in a cave in Knaresborough to a very young mother who refused to name the father.  After two years living in the cave the Abbot of Beverley took pity and found a family to bring up the child, with mother going to a nunnery.  Ursula had severe physical deformities and spent a lot of time alone, making healing potions and developing her skills of prophecy, for which she became very well known.  Her prophecies appear to cover the internet, air travel, underwater vessels, and cinema/tv, but she saw a lot of violence and suffering too:

Around the world men’s thoughts will fly, quick as the twinkling of an eye.

When pictures seem alive with movements free, when boats like fishes swim beneath the sea. When men like birds shall scour the sky. Then half the world, deep drenched in blood shall die.

References to a dragon’s tail in the night sky (a nuclear weapon?), natural disasters that have the survivors running to the hills, make a for a frightening read, but she sees hope in the end (coming from the galaxy?):

And before the race is built anew, a silver serpent comes to view and spew out men of like unknown to mingle with the earth now grown cold from its heat and these men can enlighten the minds of future man to intermingle and show them how to live and love and thus endow. the children with the second sight. a natural thing so that they might grow graceful, humble and when they do the golden age will start anew.

QUEEN ELIZABETH I  1533-1603

“There is but one God, one Jesus Christ; all else is dispute over trifles.” Our virgin Queen was a mystic, preferring her private practice of communion with God over lectures and sermons.  It was her policy to rise above the division between Catholics and Protestants over whether the wafer eaten during Mass was literally (Catholic) or symbolically (Protestant) the body of Christ.  This, incredibly, is the central issue of Transubstantiation that led to so much war and destruction in Europe.  The new Book of Common Prayer in 1559 attempted to appease as many of her subjects as possible with the phrasing,

“The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life; Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving.”

Her moderate and tolerant attitude of course angered the extremists on both sides – the Catholics who were looking for a reason to stage a revolution, and the extreme Protestants who wished to establish a more puritanical regime.  But she had observed the horrors of the religious wars in Europe and her policy led to a more tolerant society with less religious tension.

Her reign was also saw a surging interest in all things metaphysical.  This was the Renaissance period, the time of new thinking, of the fusion of astrology, kabbalah, alchemy, of Nostradamus, John Dee, Francis Bacon, with new visions of the coming Golden Age forming left, right and centre.

In 1555 alchemist and magician John Dee was imprisoned for heresy, but four years later he cast the horoscope that was used to choose the date of Elizabeth’s coronation.  In the following years Dee developed a deep mystical practice with Edward Kelly, a medium who connected with spirit guides using a crystal ball.  They channelled works from the angelic realms, eg the Enochian alphabet and the Heptarchia Mystica.  Via the angel Uriel they foretold the death of the Queen of the Scots and the coming of the Spanish Armada.  Fear of their activities (which were suspected of having homoerotic elements) led to a mob burning down Dee’s library at Mortlake in 1583.  The men took their work to Krakow and Prague for some years, then in 1595 Dee became warden of Manchester College.  Kelly died the same year, but Dee lived on until 1608, a respected citizen in a golden age for mysticism in Britain.

ANNA KINGSFORD 1846-1888

English campaigner for women’s rights and vegetarianism, Anna Kingsford became the president of the London Theosophical Lodge in 1883.  She received insights in trance states and sleep, which were recorded and published posthumously by her friend Edward Maitland in the book Clothed With the Sun, a reference to Revelation. Anna is perhaps the spiritual mother of feminism and her vision is profound:

“For the woman is the crown of man, and the final manifestation of humanity.
She is the nearest to the throne of God, when she shall be revealed.
But the creation of woman is not yet complete: but it shall be complete in the time which is at hand.
All things are thine, O Mother of God: all things are thine, O Thou who risest from the sea; and Thou shalt have dominion over all the worlds.”

ANNIE BESANT 1847-1933

Theosophist, socialist, campaigner for women’s rights, Annie left her boring anglican vicar husband and set out to change the world, at first joining the secular society and nearly going to jail for advocating birth control.  In the 1890s she became a Theosophist, joining this philosophical movement created by Helena Blavatsky in 1875, and went to live in India.  She brought the young Krishnamurti to the world’s attention, believing him to be the next World Teacher sent by God, a claim he completely distanced himself from in 1929.“In a deep metaphysical sense, all that is conditioned is illusory. All phenomena are literally ‘appearances,’ the outer masks in which the One Reality shows itself forth in our changing universe. The more ‘material’ and solid the appearance, the further is it from reality, and therefore the more illusory it is.”“Sun-worship and pure forms of nature-worship were, in their day, noble religions, highly allegorical but full of profound truth and knowledge.”

EVELYN UNDERHILL 1875-1941 Born in Wolverhampton, Evelyn was a poet, novelist, pacifist and mystic, who wrote the classic study Mysticism (1911).  Early 20th century England saw an excitement about the advance of science and understanding that went hand in hand with the exploration of psychic phenomena and spirit.  Evelyn found Anglican Protestant religion too rigid in this environment and sought to meet life directly through the heart, to live life as a sacred journey.  She viewed the world’s mystics as the spiritual pioneers of humanity and her studies of greats such as Neoplatonist Plotinus and 14th century Flemish writer Ruysbroeck led her to draw a 5 stage map of the mystic path.  Stage 1 = Awakening of Self. 2=  Purgation of Self (as illusions are stripped away).  3 = Illumination.  4 = Dark Night of the Soul (the trial period, when the light once gained seems gone).  5 = Unitive Life (when love has conquered the darkness, a state bursting over with creative energies.)  For Evelyn, the true mystic is active in the world bringing this divine creative energy forward, not a reclusive dreaming lover of God, is in a passionate engagement with life, not studying with detachment. “In mysticism that love of truth which we saw as the beginning of all philosophy leaves the merely intellectual sphere, and takes on the assured aspect of a personal passion. Where the philosopher guesses and argues, the mystic lives and looks; and speaks, consequently, the disconcerting language of first-hand experience, not the neat dialectic of the schools. Hence whilst the Absolute of the metaphysicians remains a diagram —impersonal and unattainable—the Absolute of the mystics is lovable, attainable, alive.” “The business and method of mysticism is love.”“The individual is reminded that in him, no less than in the Archetypal Universe, real life must be born if real life is to be lived.”

ALICE BAILEY 1880 – 1949

The first writer to make major use of the term ‘New Age’, Alice was born in Manchester and spent most of her life in the USA.  She wrote many books on Theosophical subjects, saying that they were channelled from a Tibetan master source, Djwal Kuhl, in which she downplayed traditional devotional, inward gazing, spiritual practice in favour of service to humankind.  She predicted  that “the day is dawning when all religions will be regarded as emanating from one great spiritual source” and believed in a hierarchy of Master souls guiding our evolution.  Her books are classics of modern esoteric mysticism, they include ‘Initiation, Human and Solar’, ‘A Treatise on Cosmic Fire’ and ‘Discipleship in the New Age’.  She gave the world the much used and loved Great Invocation:

“From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ* return to Earth.

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.”

*Many religions believe in a World Teacher, a “Coming One”, knowing him under such names as the Lord Maitreya, the Imam Mahdi, the Kalki Avatar and the Bodhisattva. These terms are sometimes used in versions of the Great Invocation for people of specific faiths.

DION FORTUNE  1890-1946 Occultist, artist, psychologist and mystic, Dion was huge influence in the revival of the mystic arts in Britain.  She was born Mary Violet Firth in Llandudno, north Wales, joined the Theosophical movement and the Order of the Golden Dawn but was frustrated by their efforts so set up the Community (then Society) of the Inner Light, which still operates.  The Cosmic Doctrine is one of her famous written works.  During the second world war she insisted on remaining in blitz London, organising meditation groups to resist the attackers from the spiritual plane.

 ELSA GIDLOW 1898-1986 Born in Hull, Yorkshire, Elsa went on to live in Canada and the USA.  Her writing circle in 1918 created the first gay magazine in North America… Les Mouches Fantastiques.  From 1954 she lived in California. naming her ranch Druid Heights.  Among her companions there was philisopher Alan Watts, with whom she found the Society for Comparative Philiosophy, and her friends included Maya Angelou, James Broughton, Allen Ginsberg, Neil Young and Ram Dass.   She wrote poetry for 70 years, drawing on her own ecstatic experience of sexual passion with her lesbian lovers, and was a pioneer of sexual-spiritual freedom. Woman, so gentle in my armsLoving, you have opened to meFierce, my own dark heartAnd found therein and to me reflectedMy source of light…..Here on this bed, holding youSo human in your need (and knowing mine)Miraculous, the human veil is rent.Lover-beloved, WomanSmall and strong in my armsI know in youThe Goddesss, Mystery, fecund EmptinessFrom which all fullness comesAnd universes flower.””What if we smashed the mirrorsAnd saw our true face?What if we left the Sacred Books to the wormsAnd found our True Mind?What if we burned the wooden Buddhas?Gave the stone Buddhas back to the mountains?Dispersed the gurus with a great laughAnd discovered the path we had always been on?”

KATHLEEN RAINE 1908-2003  

"Kathleen Raine, who died aged 95, was a poet who believed in the sacred nature of all life, all true art and wisdom, and her own calling. She knew as a small child that poetry was her vocation.

"William Blake was her master, and she shared his belief that "one power alone makes a poet - imagination, the divine vision". As WB Yeats, her other great exemplar, put it, "poetry and religion are the same thing". To this vision she committed not only her poetry and erudition, but her whole life. She stood as a witness to spiritual values in a society that rejected them. 

"When asked how she wished people to remember her, Kathleen Raine said she would rather they didn't. Or that Blake's words be said of her: "That in time of trouble, I kept the divine vision". Better to be a sprat in that "true ocean", she believed, than a big fish in a literary rock pool."     Janet Watts Guardian 2003
There are but two alternatives. The first alternative is that of secular materialism – appealing to the authority of a science whose only reality is the measurable – “nothing is sacred” – and no bounds set to destructive exploitation. The second alternative – embraced in every tradition of wisdom – holds that man and nature alike are a manifestation of immeasurable spirit. If that is so, we are custodians of a world in which, in William Blake’s words, “everything that lives is holy” and our sacred trust.’  Kathleen Raine.

‘None is lost, not one, All are there, all That were or will be, none That is can cease. Dust, angels, particles, Number or song, We are they, and there The soul is gone. For through our sleep the bright River flows on.

Scent of the leaf, Scent of the lily, Scent of the may.

Whence and whither The memory-stirring Untellable, infinite Scent of the leaf? Everywhere nowhere Pole of the world

Immutable, stable, There the spindle Leaps in its circuit.

There sits the goddess Mother of number Duration and multitude. Setting her seal Upon all that grows. Scent of the rose.’

VERA STANLEY ALDER 1894-1984

“Vera Stanley Alder was a successful portrait painter who began to explore into the meaning of life and researched into what is known as ‘The Ancient Wisdom.’ This she defined as ‘the vast body of information dealing with the meaning and purpose of man himself and the constitution and evolution of the whole universe.’ She saw her task as one of simplifying and summarising this information in order for it to be more accessible.” (albion.org.uk) In her 1979 memoir she warns the spiritual quester ‘only through the resonance of his own integrity can he follow the golden thread of Truth to its ultimate fulfilment – and this is a hard but glorious pilgrimage.’

“This century has seen world war for the first time. It has seen a world civilisation threatened with self-destruction, not only through war but through the exploitation of all the kingdoms in nature. It has also seen the beginnings of international alignment and collaboration.

Let us avoid being misled by the apparent irresponsibility of the crowd with its absorption in crime films, dog racing and gambling, and its immorality and apathy! This side of human nature has always existed.

“What then is missing? An ideology which would produce full harmony, co-operation and growth in alignment with the laws and economy of nature!

“The age-old metaphysical conceptions of the Divine Plan for mankind shows us the story of the human spirit learning through a long series of incarnations upon earth all those lessons which will finally give him sovereignty over all the forces of growth, and knowledge as to how to work in with the pattern of creation – as a Group.

“World Unity is the goal towards which evolution is moving. When we can see the pattern of life as a whole, and understand how the spirit of give-and-take and of sharing is as necessary in the greater World-Body as it is between the cells of our own bodies, then we will unfailingly give our help in the right direction, and not be led into being anti-this or anti-that, or into harbouring destructive criticism against others – or even against ourselves. World progress depends gupon the time which it takes for you and me and all of us to realise our responsibility and do our bit towards bringing it about.”

OLIVIA ROBERTSON 1917-2013 Born in London, Olivia was co-founder and archpriestess of the Fellowship of Isis, which she ran from her Huntington Castle in Co. Colway, Ireland.  Immersed in psychic work from an early age, a series of visions beginning in her late 20s convinced her of the femininity of God – she said telling others about this was like “trying to explain colour to someone born blind or a symphony to someone who’s deaf”.  Visions of Egyptian Goddess Isis and Irish Dana “made me realise that patriarchy had taken over religion, once the domain of matriarchs… and patriarchy had led to wars, greed and exploitation of the earth.”   The Fellowship’s castle became a centre of Goddess worship and received many visitors: “Some religions preach poverty, obedience and chastity,” Olivia explained. “We believe in love and beauty and have no truck whatsoever with asceticism…The point about the Fellowship of Isis is that we don’t interfere with anybody’s religion, they have all got something to offer…. The only thing we don’t like is people being boiled alive or burned or having their heads chopped off, that type of thing.”  As high priestess of Isis Olivia travelled to temples around the world and in 1993 she walked alongside Chicago’s Roman Catholic Cardinal in the opening procession of the World Parliament of Religions as representative of neopagan faiths.

DOREEN VALIENTE 1922-1999

Doreen has been called the ‘Mother of modern Witchcraft’ because of the work whe did to develop Wiccan practice and to spread knowledge of it.  With Gerald Gardner she was key in the revival of paganism following the removal of the 400 year old ban on the craft in the 1950s.  Her work, the Charge of the Goddess, is very influential in magical circles, and deserves to be known by all:

“For I am the Soul of Nature, who giveth life to the universe; from me all things proceed, and unto me must all things return; and before my face, beloved of gods and mortals, thine inmost divine self shall be unfolded in the rapture of infinite joy.

“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

“And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.”  (From the Charge of the Goddess)

“The initiates of the ancient pagan Mysteries were taught to say ‘I am the child of earth and Starry Heaven and there is no part of me that is not of the Gods”. If we in our own day believe this, then we will not only see it as true of ourselves, but of other people also.” (Speech at Croydon Hall, 1997)

SISTER WENDY BECKETT born 1930

Born in South Africa and raised in Edinburgh, art historian Wendy leads a life of prayer in a Carmelite monastery in Norfolk.  She has written many spiritual works and is well known for her research into the expression of the sacred in art throughout the ages

“If we confuse ‘the sacred’ and ‘the solemn’, we are only allowing God to come to us from one direction.”

“This is the real power of joy, to make us certain that, beneath all grief, the most fundamental of realities is joy itself.”

“God never sends suffering. Never. It is never “God’s will” that we should suffer. God would like us not to suffer. But since the world brings suffering, and since God refuses to use His almighty power and treat us as foolish children, He aligns Himself with us, goes into Auschwitz with us, is devastated by 9/11 with us, and draws us with Him through it all into fulfillment. This is a high price to pay for our human freedom, but it is worth it. To be mere automatons for whom God arranges the world to cause us no suffering would mean we never have a self. We could not make choices.”

“We were created to be fully human – a lifetime effort – and using our minds intelligently and reverently is essential to full humanhood.”

DIANA COOPER born 1940

Born in the Himalayas as the first bombs were hitting London, Diana’s mystical life began aged 42 when divorce brought her to rock bottom.  Crying out to the universe for help a tall angel appeared and her journey of bringing to the world awareness of the angelic realms and of ascension began.  She has written 24 books and runs her own school, which includes teachings for children.  She teaches that we are no in a 20 year transition period post 2012, with the new Golden Age due to begin in 2032. http://www.dianacooper.com

KATE BUSH   born 1958

Kate’s work has all been magical, inspired and full of spirit.  Her 2014 concerts were called ‘Before the Dawn’.  She is a Mother Spirit of Albion.

“We raise our hats to the strange phenomena.
Soul-birds of a feather flock together.
We raise our hats to the hand a-moulding us.
Sure ’nuff, he has the answer,
He has the answer
He has the answer, be-duh-be-duh-be-duh-be-duh…
“Om mani padme,
Om mani padme,
Om mani padme hum”  (Strange Phenomena 1978)

The Ninth Wave B-side of the Hounds of Love album in 1985 tells the story of a young woman drowning at sea who goes on as a ghost to visit her lonely husband, then meet her future self in spirit and experience rebirth into a new human body,

“I am falling/ Like a stone/ Like a storm/ Being born again/ Into the sweet morning fog/I’ll kiss the ground/ I’ll tell my Mother/ I’ll tell my Father/ I’ll tell my loved one/ I’ll tell my Brothers/ How much I love them”.

In Lily (1993) she featured an invocation to the archangels and the voice of her psychic medium friend….

“Oh thou, who givest sustenance to the universe
From whom all things proceed
To whom all things return
Unveil to us the face of the true spiritual sun
Hidden by a disc of golden light
That we may know the truth
And do our whole duty
As we journey to thy sacred feet”

Her 2005 album Aeriel is a symphony of soothing mystical sounds, these lines from Nocturn….

“The stars are caught in our hair
The stars are on our fingers
A veil of diamond dust
Just reach up and touch it
The sky’s above our heads
The sea’s around our legs
In milky, silky water
We swim further and further
We dive down… We dive down

A diamond night, a diamond sea
And a diamond sky…

We dive deeper and deeper
We dive deeper and deeper
Could be we are here
Could be we are in a dream
It came up on the horizon
Rising and rising
In a sea of honey, a sky of honey
A sea of honey, a sky of honey

[The chorus:]
Look at the light, all the time it’s a changing
Look at the light, climbing up the aerial
Bright, white coming alive jumping off the aerial
All the time it’s a changing, like now…
All the time it’s a changing, like then again…
All the time it’s a changing
And all the dreamers are waking.”

12th Century Love Wisdom

12th century mystic Hadewijch of Antwerp is considered one of the creators of Dutch lyrical poetry. She is also one of the most enlightened mystics of the High Middle Ages. Her weaving together of love and reason reveals a wisdom not yet grasped by modern Western society, a template and understanding that could create a more holistic world.

Note that for Hadewijch Love is feminine. The Christian teaching that God Is Love hides the mystical understanding that the Presence of God-Love is the feminine aspect of the Divine, God as Mother – known in Sanskrit as Shakti… In Judaism as Shekhinah, Islam as Sakina (Rumi said that, “The eternal mystery of Allah’s uncreated Essence is the Divine Feminine.” , and hidden in Christianity as the Holy Spirit (presented in modern times as male or gender neutral, the word used in original biblical texts was feminine).

On Love :

However cheerless the season and little birds, The noble heart must not be sad, But ready to suffer for Love’s sake.

It must know and experience all: Sweetness and cruelty, Joy and pain, All that belongs to the service of Love…

The ways of Love are strange, As those who have followed them well know, For, unexpectedly, She withdraws Her consolation.

He whom Love touches Can enjoy no stability

And he will taste Many a nameless hour.

Sometimes burning and sometimes cold, Sometimes timid and sometimes bold, The whims of Love are manifold.

She reminds us all Of our great debt To Her lofty power Which draws us to Herself alone.

Sometimes gracious and sometimes cruel, Sometimes far and sometimes near He who grasps Her in faithful love Reaches jubilation.

Oh, how Love With one sole act Both strikes and embraces!

Sometimes humble, sometimes haughty, Sometimes hidden and sometimes revealed; To be finally overwhelmed by Love, Great adventures must be risked Before one can reach The place where is tasted The nature of Love.

Sometimes light, sometimes heavy, Sometimes somber and sometimes bright,

In freeing consolation, in stifling anguish, In taking and in giving,

Thus live the spirits Who wander here below, Along the paths of Love.

‘So that the soul should find her being in God, Hadewijch tells us to love Him with the love with which He loves Himself, in order to become one single being with Love, “one single spirit” (I Con 6:17), that is, “To become God with God”.

‘Union does not make the person disappear but, through divine action, instead of being dissimilar, God and the soul are equal in oneness… It is from God Himself that we receive our being, absorbed, but not destroyed, by divine light, as Hadewijch explains with a beautiful image: the soul can be compared to the moon which, receiving all its light from the sun, disappears from the sky at sunrise… The preparation for union involves a stripping of everything else. Hadewijch rarely uses the words naked (bloet) and intact (ongherijnleect) which, with Hadewijch II, are signs of a refusal of forms and images, but she employs much more often the word gheheel: whole, integral, referring rather to a reintegration of the powers—“the searching mind, the thirsting heart, the loving soul”—in the abyss of Love through the elimination of everything that is not Love. In spite of this negative ascetic phase, Hadewijch’s mysticism seems to us to be more a mysticism of plenitude than of void: “I have integrated all that was divided within me”… It consists of a widening of the soul to the dimensions of God. In Letter XXII, she refers to a hymn attributed to Hildebert of Lavardin who sings of the paradoxes of divine nature: “God is above everything without being raised up; below everything without being lowered, in everything without being circumscribed, outside everything and yet wholly comprised.” That is where proud souls are invited to enter and Hadewijch is only too anxious to accept. It is from a Trinitarian point of view that she comments on the plea contained in the Lord’s prayer: that His kingdom may come (within us). We ask the Father to let us participate in His “power and rich essence,” to make us love the Son with the Father and be the Son Himself.’

So we see that Hadewijch was not afraid of a bit of gender bending on the spiritual path. She was also a champion of diversity…

For Hadewijch God is “manifold in His unity and onefold in His multiplicity”.

Quoted from WOMEN MYSTICS IN Medieval Europe by Emilie Zum Brunn and Georgette Epiney-Burgard Translated from the French by Sheila Hughes (1989)

THE GAY PERSECUTION OF THE 520s

1500 years ago in the Byzantine Roman Empire the Emperor Justinian enacted a persecution against gay men that created a climate of fear which has echoed down the centuries to this very day. This pogrom of same sex lovers ended a millennium in which men who love men had been prominent in every aspect of community life, from politics and the military to philosophy, art and religion. Queer love, once hailed for its divine qualities, disappeared into the shadows.

The first attacks on queer people came as Christianity became established in the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Emperor Constantine granted toleration for Christianity in the Edict of Milan in 313, before the end of the century it was the official religion. Historian Eusebius praised Constantine for his suppression the effeminate pagan priests of the Goddess temples. Eusebius described a temple:

where men unworthy of the name forgot the dignity of their sex and propitiated the demon by the their effeminate conduct.”

The Emperor ordered the army sent in, “that this building with its contents should be utterly destroyed.” He went further, Eusebius recording that:

inasmuch as the Egyptians, especially those of Alexandria, had been accustomed to honour their river through a priesthood composed of effeminate men, a further law was passed commanding the extermination of the whole class as vicious, that no one might thenceforward be found tainted with the like impurity.”

The persecution stepped up under Constantine’s successors. Roman senator Firmicus Maternus wrote a polemic called ‘The Error of the Pagan Religions’ in 346 which firmly associated pagan cults with sexual immorality and especially homosexuality. He is particularly fired up about the effeminate priests or holy men, writing that those of a Carthaginian love goddess:

can minister to her only when they have feminised their faces, rubbed smooth their skin, and disgraced their manly sex by donning women’s regalia. In their very temples we see scandalous performances, accompanied by the moaning of the throng: men letting themselves be handled as women, and flaunting with boastful ostentatiousness this ignominy of their impure and unchaste bodies…. Next, being thus divorced from the masculine, they get intoxicated with the music of flutes and invoke the goddess with an unholy spirit so they an ostensibly predict the future to fools.”

A law passed in 342 orders ‘exquisite punishment’ for men who have sex with other men, and The Latin word used – nubit – translates as ‘marries’, but most historians agree the term was used in a wider sense. This prohibition was incorporated into the Theodosian Code of 438 and used by the Emperor Justinian in his virulent attack on gay men in the 520s.

The tide turned violently against paganism in the 380s when an imperial edict against sacrifices inspired what has been called ‘an orgy of destruction and spoliation’ when bands of monks and Christian fanatics destroyed temples and statues across the Empire. Thousands of years in which queers had served the holy life of the community came to an end, our ecstatic-erotic practices that opened the gateways to spiritual communion were wiped out.

More laws against gay sex followed. In 390 a law attacked “the poison of shameful effeminacy”, but focussed its attention on male brothels. In 438 this was expanded to call for all who engaged in gay sex to die “in avenging flames in the sight of the people.” The Code of Justinian, issued in 534, sealed the fate and set a legal climate regarding homosexuality that would influence Europe until the 18th century, and his violent actions in 528 against men who loved men established a climate of fear that would last longer. The Justinian Code expanded an old law from the time of Augustus against adultery to include the death penalty for ‘illicit sex with males’ (stuprum cum masculis).

Byzantine historian John Malalas (c 491-578) recorded the great persecution of men who loved men in the late 520s. Justinian issued laws that could be applied to past crimes, not simply ones that occurred after its creation. Note however that the Church did not support his actions, in fact the first victims were prominent men of the Church itself:

At that time, bishops of diverse provinces were prosecuted for the lustful act of sleeping with males. Among them were the bishops Isaiah of Rhodes, formerly the Nycteparchus of Constantinople, and Alexander of Diospolis in Thrace. After they were brought to Constantinople by an edict of the Emperor they were examined by the prefect of the city, stripped of their rank and punished. After he had suffered severe torture, Isaiah was sent into exile. Alexander, on the other hand, has his male organ cut off, and was place in a litter and exposed as a spectacle to the people. Shortly after, the emperor passed a law that the crime of sex with males should be punished by castration. And at that time many androkoitai (men who slept with men) were seized and their genitals were cut off. And a great fear ensued among those who suffered from the evil desire for males.” John Malalas

The Emperor’s court historian, Procopius, left us a ‘Secret History’ in which we read that Justinian:

…prohibited sodomy [paiderastein] by law, not examining closely into offences committed subsequently to the law but concerning himself only with those persons who long before had been caught by this malady. And the prosecution of these cases was carried out in reckless fashion, since the penalty was exacted without an accuser, for the word of a single man or boy, and even if it so happened, of a slave compelled against his will to give evidence against his owner, was considered definite proof. Those who were thus convicted had their privates removed and were paraded through the streets.”

Chronicler Theophanes, writing about 800 CE, said that:

Bishops Isaiah of Rhodes and Alexander of Diospolis in Thrace were deposed from office, as having been discovered to be lovers of boys, and were punished frightfully by the emperor, having their male organs cut off and being paraded through the streets….the emperor instituted harsh laws against the licentious and many were punished. And great fear and caution arose.”

Georgius Cedrenus, wrote in 1060 that : “Many citizens and senators and not a few of the high clergy were found guilty, were castrated and exposed naked in the forum and died miserably.”

1500 years ago the persecution of gay males, which began as attacks against the effeminate priests of the pagan religion expanded into a climate of fear for all men who had sex with men. This darkness intensified in the late Middle Ages and continues to blight the lives of all queer people around the world to this very day.

Sealing the deal, Justinian in 529 forbade non-Christians from teaching positions, and closed the ancient schools of Athens. Plato’s Academy, which had opened in 385 BCE, disappeared and a millennium of philosophical and religious qualities of same sex love disappeared from European discourse. The gay massacres and the clampdown on classical education brought the beginning of the medieval world.

SOURCE: Homosexuality and Civilisation, Louis Crompton 2006.

Free Spirits, Queer Souls

In Piscean oceans humanity has swum

unable to see the spiritual sun

above the water:

we’ve followed the Son

but forgotten the Daughter –

and life has become a feast of slaughter.

Victory became an exterior conquest

creating victims and enemies

and a drama that may never cease:

humanity lost track of the fact

that the true victories lie beneath

the surface, within ourselves

the only place true enemies are found.

All paths become One, the time of revelation has begun.

There are no End Times, that tale was spun

by men fearful of losing their place in the Sun,

by men who’d forgotten the Goddess unites all

with love, compassion, poetry and sex,

all elements of life are held in her loving breast.

The body stripped by religion of its holy raiment,

meant that people forgot what being gay meant!

The love of Ganymede and Zeus was seen as abuse,

Eros and Aphrodite were banished from the temple

of the Mother Church

and so began the search

of the same sex lovers to find each other,

so began the time of seeking for the ones who know

it’s not what you reap, it’s what you sow,

it’s not what you plant, it’s what you grow,

it’s not where you go, it’s what you do there,

it’s not whom you love, it’s how you love them.

In medieval times amongst the pagans, the heretics and free spirits

the queer spirit lovers could find themselves again

reflected in each other, remembering the way

that love in the body connects us to heaven –

whatever the preachers say.

In medieval times we were called Free Spirits, antinomian souls

who were burnt for believing that

women were equal to men

that pleasure is holy, not a sin

and that personal salvation directly through Christ

was a truly possible goal.

Inquisitions and Witch Hunters sought us out

unable to stand what we were about.

The end of authority, of rules and taboos

was not something acceptable in their views.

They had the power but we had the love

they lit the fires, but we listened

to the voices coming from above.

Beghards, Beguines and Bogomils,

Lollards, Cathars and Waldensians

killed for preaching that there is no sin for those

who have married with the Christ within,

for those who have recognised that God is the Source of All

surrendered their egos to follow God’s call.

We laughed at the idea of sexual taboos,

at the notion of bread and wine becoming Christ.

We hated the imagery of our Lord on the Cross

we refused to let the Church be our boss.

We were the ones hearing god full of kindness

reassuring us we were safe on this trip of life:

we even forgave our killers for their blindness

for we knew our souls would survive

their attacks against our love, our magic –

theirs were the lives that were truly tragic.

Without love, without pleasure

without liberty within

life becomes a forbidding trial

all joy ringfenced by sin.

Our faiths suppressed we moved to the next

stage of our manifestation:

Theatre called us, as it had Dionysus

through art and drama, the audience enthalled by us,

emotions were shared, wisdom was declared

and the world got a little bit lighter.

Still we were hunted, but our presence prevails

because you can’t destroy our spirit which avails

itself of gaiety even in gloom:

at courts and balls, in molly houses, bars and clubs

from the Renaissance to the time of AIDS

we’ve never stopped dancing even as we face our doom:

for we are the people of the moon

who know how to touch people’s hearts

with our stories and our arts

we know how to help hurting souls

with our healing crafts.

We’ve been put in the stocks

we’ve been hung, imprisoned

chemically castrated and made objects of derision,

but our spirit fights back, we never disappear

the eternal freedom loving spirit of queer.

The Aquarian Age is an Age of Light,

minds opened at last, the Goddess resurrected,

same sex love once more respected

as it was in ancient Celtic lands even more than in Greece –

that civilisation in which love of man for man

was raised to philosophical heights.

For the Celts passionate friendship was society’s glue

same sex love was seen as noble and true.

The Greeks saw man for man love as enlightening the mind and soul

but the Celts pursued another goal, all forms of love honoured, makes a people whole.

Pleasure is a Goddess – the Ancients knew

Pleasure dissolves the boundaries between Me and You.

Pleasure is a doorway to living deeply in the present

a vehicle for healing and revelation

a tool for our own personal salvation:

Pleasure is an Act of Creation.

Love connects all beings in a web of immortality

but love came under the yoke of religion and law:

ringfenced by morals, holy sexworkers named whores,

same-sex love was forbidden, named as immorality –

nature’s natural priests accused of depravity –

where love does not flow, spirit cannot go:

division and fear burst forth when love is met with NO.

Queer love connects the community

and opens the gates to eternity.

Queer Souls are Gatekeepers to the Aquarian Age.

Modern Day Sufis

In the early centuries of Islam, Christians and Zoroastrians in the community would run secret drinking dens, where muslim poets celebrated the love of Allah with colourful imagery of wine and beautiful young men. Hafiz, Abu Niwas, Rumi are among the poets who used intoxication and homoeroticism in their words to conjure the experience of heavenly embrace. Throughout history, acts of celebration, intoxication and revelry have served to feed human souls with the joy of connection, communion and intimacy, the antidote to the attitudes of religious madmen have always railed against such activity. Whenever the world rails and wails, the people in the Alehouse continue to laugh, love and dance.

THE WORLD IS FULL OF WAILING AND WEEPING

BUT IN THE ALEHOUSE PEOPLE ARE STILL DREAMING

THAT JOY AND PLEASURE CAN SAVE US ALL.

When will the wailing cease?

we wonder as we raise our toast

and the world once more respond

TO DIONYSUS’ CALL?

Why are people stuck in judgement?

Why are people stuck in hate?

THE PEOPLE IN THE ALEHOUSE

CAN IMAGINE A DIFFERENT A FATE.

ONLY JOY CAN SAVE THE WORLD

AND ONLY LOVE CAN GIVE BIRTH TO JOY:

Love connects all beings in a web of immortality

but same-sex love was forbidden, named as immorality –

where love does not flow, spirit cannot go:

division and fear burst forth when love is met with NO.

Pleasure is a Goddess – the Ancients knew

Pleasure dissolves the boundaries between Me and You.

GAY CELTS

In the 4th century BCE Greek philosopher Aristotle recorded that the Celtic peoples (“and a few others”) “openly approve of male love”.

SIX CENTURIES LATER, around 200 CE, Greek orator and author Athenaeus recorded the same thing in a play called ‘Savants at Dinner’. He places a selection of noble guests at a symposium at which they quote more than 1200 ancient authors, name a thousand Greek plays and philosophise on many subjects. In Book XIII we read “Altogether, many persons prefer liaisons with males to those with females.” He states that those cities in which male love is “zealously pursued” are rules by good laws (the Greeks had a millennium old tradition of celebrating male lovers who overthrew tyrant rulers and established fair laws). Some of those tyrants “even went as far as to set fire to the wrestling-schools, regarding them as counter-walls to their own citadels.” He lists the Cretans, Chalcidians, Medes, Tuscans, citizens of Massalis (modern Marseilles in France) and the Celts as being enthusiastically approving of male-male liaisons.

Historians have told us that the Classical Greek civilisation approved of homosexual relationships – in certain circumstances only – and that under the Roman Empire gay sex, while common, became a power game in which the passive partner was looked down on. These stances are getting a gradual reinterpretation, but for sure we do have quotations from several Greco-Roman writers expressing their shock at, in comparison to their own cultures, just how queer the goings on in the Celtic North were.

Greek philosopher Posidonius, 1st century BC, traveled into Gaul to investigate the truth of the stories told about the Celtic tribes, and put it very simply: “The Gaulish men prefer to have sex with each other.”

Diodorus Sicilus wrote in the 1st century CE, –

“Although they have good-looking women, they pay very little attention to them, but are really crazy about having sex with men. They are accustomed to sleeping on the ground on animal skins and roll around naked with male bed-mates on both sides. Heedless of their own dignity, they abandon without qualm the bloom of their bodies to others. And the most incredible thing is that they do not find this shameful. When they proposition someone, they consider it dishonourable if he doesn’t accept the offer!”

Sextus Empiricus wrote that among the Germanic people sodomy was “not looked upon as shameful but as a customary thing.”

Bardaisan of Edessa wrote (2nd century CE) that “In the countries of the north — in the lands of the Germans and those of their neighbors, handsome [noble] young men assume the role of wives [women] towards other men, and they celebrate marriage feasts.”

Eusebius of Caesarea, wrote that “Among the Gauls, the young men marry each other (gamountai) with complete freedom. In doing this, they do not incur any reproach or blame, since this is done according to custom amongst them.” (4th century CE)

Aristotle had coined a Greek term – synousia – to describe the ‘passionate friendship’ between Celtic men. The word suggests erotic passion. While there was marriage, friendship seems to have been the basis of loving connections between males, a friendship that was not bound by moral judgements about the body and sexual expression.

For 1000 years Greek civilisation raised the vision of male love to the highest philosophical heights it has yet reached on this planet. Yet these were also the years of rising patriarchal power and homophobia. In contrast to the Greeks, not far away in Canaan the efforts of the Hebrew priests to distinguish their tribe from the others around them produced the prohibitions of male-male sexuality (and on cross-dressing) in the Torah that continue to devastatingly affect the lives of gay people in the world to this very day.

Even in Greece the debate was on. Aristophanes speaks in Plato’s Symposium:

Those who love men and rejoice to lie with, be embraced by men, are also the finest bys and young men, being naturally the most manly. The people who accuse them of shamelessness lie; they do this not from shamelessness but from courage, manliness and virility, embracing what is like them.”

Plato himself, while seeing divine potential in male love, was opposed to the physical expression of that love. Yet even in the first centuries of Christian domination, when many Church Fathers were furiously railing against gay sex and gay people, there were strong voices presenting a different view. Plutarch’s ‘Dialogue on Love’ in the 2nd century makes a strong argument for the approval of love for both males and females – the play reveals how revered gay love still was at this time, and seems to argue that love of women can be brought up to the same level. 150 years later the dialogue ‘Affairs of the Heart’, by the satirist Lucian, is much less excited about the love of women, called “the more awkward cause” in the debate about which love is the best, and reveals that, as the new religious attitudes spread, non-Christian Greeks were holding on to their ancient attitudes.

The Celtic and Germanic people of northern Europe left us no written records, but archaeology has now revealed a prosperous, skilled, artistic culture that spanned the millennia of the Bronze Age. We know of warrior women among the Celts, and of softer, gentle Bardic men as well as fierce and powerful Druids (of both genders). History tells us these ancestors had no issue with male-male love, it was at least as respected and normalised as male-female. The Greeks elevated male love to a heavenly ideal, then ringfenced how that should be expressed (though we shouldn’t assume everyone saw it the same way), and looked on conjugal love as inferior. Perhaps the northern Europeans were more advanced in the sense of accepting that all love is natural and should be allowed its expression.

I conclude with one more quotation then a proposition:

Greek philosopher Ptolemy recorded in the 2nd century that Celtic men:

are without passion towards women and do not care much about the enjoyment of love in the union… with Men, on the other hand, are more excessive and more likely to be jealous. Those influenced in this way do not regard their behavior as immoral and do not become really unmanly and soft because they are not influenced in the passive sense, rather they keep their souls manly, sociable, loyal, family-friendly and well-disposed. ” – Ptolemy, Apotelesmatika 2.3.14

Homophobia is unnatural. It was invented to control people’s minds and souls. Same Sex love is completely natural and was once accepted as such in the very lands that went on to develop a vile, murderous attitude to gay people, then spread this evil around the world. But they never managed to get rid of us, and after long dark centuries of persecution we are slowly finding our way again, and finding out who we are.

The ancient people of northern Europe approved of same sex relationships.

Every gay European deserves to know this history. Let’s make sure they find out.

Gays and the Weather

Why do some Christians blame natural weather disasters on gay people?

This article gives a history of this 1500 year old habit, intended to amuse as much as horrify.

I then demonstrate why they are actually correct in their assumption that we affect the weather, but not in their interpretation of how. Yes you just read that.

THE BLAME-THE-GAYS GAME

The first recorded laws regarding same-sex liaisons that made the association between gay sex and natural disasters were enacted by the Roman Christian Emperor of Byzantian Rome Justinian in 534 CE. This law claimed that Jewish people and people who had sex with others of the same gender were undermining the very foundations of Roman society. This view was to darken European minds for one and a half millennia – and the great irony is that in fact it was a long series of same sex loving emperors who had brought the Empire to the point of its greatest expansion and established the ‘Pax Romana’ across the Meditteranean world and as far north as Britain, which enabled the Empire to thrive for centuries.

Justinian’s law code blamed same sex relations for ‘famines, earthquakes and pestilence.’ The punishment for the crime was death. But Justinian was Emperor of the eastern half of the Empire, the Roman civilisation in the west had already collapsed. Yet it was in the west that the law would reappear with a vengeance nearly a millennium later, and in the east it had little effect on the commonality of same sex activities. During the first millennium the Church authorities focussed their efforts on prohibiting homosexuality among their own clergy and monastics. It was from the 14th century that efforts to control the sex life of the general population were undertaken, via the Inquisition and laws enacted by states. (The Council of London in 1102 wanted to issue an edict against sodomy but Archbishop Anselm halted it. He stated that “This sin has hitherto been so public that hardly anyone is embarrassed by it.”)

The reference to bad weather appears again in law codes issued in the region of Castile, Spain, in 1265 (the Siete Partidas) and by the kings of Medina del Campo in 1497. The latter rails against this ‘nefarious crime against the natural order‘, which it also calls ‘unworthy of naming, destroyer of the natural order, punished by divine justice; through which nobility is lost and the heart becomes cowardly… abhorrence in the eyes of God‘, who is angered so much ‘as to deliver unto humankind pestilence and other torments on earth.’ They just cannot help themselves: ‘from this sin is born shame and insult toward the people and lands that consent to it; and it is deserving of greater punishments that can be given…’

From ancient times and throughout the medieval and early modern the phenomenon of gay sex causing natural disasters was considered to have begun with the Great Flood. This association was written down in the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charlemagne at the Council of Paris in 829, at which a Canon was published that declared:

‘Among all the other sins which the human race fatally committed at the beginning of creation, it is believed that, provoked to wrath especially by this sin (as certain teachers have maintained), [God] said: “I repent making man on the earth”. Therefore on this account, he utterly destroyed by a cataclysm [the Flood] the whole human race except for eight souls.

This belief fuelled various periods of persecution such as in the Netherlands in the 1730s when the country was threatened by rising sea levels. Sodom’s Sin and Punishment by Leonard Beel ascribed divine wrath at sodomy as the cause of an earthquake in 1692, and the loss of the town of Stavoren to the sea in 1657. In Portugal in 1446 during the reign of Afonso V an ordinance prescribed burning for sodomy with the justification that because of it “God set the Flood upon the earth.”

Let’s jump to the late 20th/early 21st centuries. We all know that hysterical accusations about gay people’s very existence setting off natural weather disasters still carries right on, even today in our apparently rational, educated, science based civilisation.

In May 1978 anti-gay campaigner Anita Bryant blamed gay behaviour for a drought affecting California. Despite her calling us ‘human garbage’ the weather gods clearly saw it differently, because one day after Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to the San Franscisco City Supervisor office, abundant rains arrived.

In 1998 televangelist Pat Robertson warned that flying rainbow flags on city lampposts during Disney Gay Day events would ‘bring about terrorist bombs… earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.’ He was already blaming-the-gays for the East African famines in the 1970s.

Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1300 people in 2005, was declared by religious leader Maurice Mills to be God’s revenge for Gay Pride. “The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival, which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people,” said Mr Mills… “Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.” Reported in the Belfast Telegraph.

Other hurricane disasters also bearing our stamp apparently included Andrew in 1992, Bonnie 1998, Isaac and Sandy in 2012. Of course we got blamed for the Japanese tsunami of 2011 too. (‘Jacobs: Blame Gays for Tsunami’ The Advocate.)

‘Kill the Gays’ pastor Kevin Swanson said in 2017 that the natural disasters hitting the USA were God’s judgements for turning ‘homosexuals into heroes.’

Judaism is not immune to this tendency…

Right-wing rabbi Noson Leiter of Torah Jews for Decency described Hurricane Sandy as ‘divine justice’ for the 2011 legalization of marriage for same-sex couples in the state of New York. He also claimed that ‘the Great Flood in the time of Noah was … triggered by the recognition of same-gender marriages.’

This kind of thing does not affect only the American mind:

Church ministers at a Climate Change conference at the University of the South Pacific in 2010 argued that climate chaos was attributable to homosexuals, giving the academics something to ponder.

In the UK a town councillor of the UKIP party blamed 2013-14’s storms and floods on the legalisation of gay marriage, blaming David Cameron: ‘It is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.’ An Australian Christian group at the same time was blaming gay marriage for bushfires.

In India, 2018, just days after the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality, a Tamil Nadu-based pastor in a court complex raised slogans against the landmark judgment, claiming that same-sex marriage would lead to natural calamities

THE ROLE OF GAY PEOPLE IN TRADITIONAL TRIBAL CULTURES

The first book published about the ritual roles undertaken by same sex loving and genderfluid people in ancient and modern cultures which kept a connection to the past was by English philosopher Edward Carpenter. ‘Intermediate Types Among Primitive Peoples’ in 1914.

He identifies a historical channelling of masculine homosexual energies into the military, giving examples of the Dorian Greeks and Japanese Samurai, and of feminine gay people ‘into the precincts of the Temples and the services (often sexual) of Religion – which, of course in primitive days, meant not only the religious life in our sense, but the dedication to such things as Magic, learning, poetry, music, prophecy, and other occupations not generally favoured by the normal man, the hunter and the warrior. There are also some considerations which go to show that this class of Intermediate did actually tend to develop faculties like divination, clairvoyance, ecstasy, and so forth, which are generally and quite naturally associated with religion.’

Carpenter remarked how ‘widespread the connection has been among the primitive peoples and civilisations’ of homosexuality and religion. In his book he writes about the Inuit shamans, the Native American berdache, the same phenomenon in the Pacific Islands, and links them to the priests of Apollo in ancient Greece and the moon goddesses of the Middle East and Europe, the Qedesha holy priests of the Old Testament (called sodomites or, nowadays, male shrine prostitutes in English Bible translations), and the Buddhist Bonzes monks of China and Japan. He quotes 19th century explorer Richard Burton who reported that same sex erotic practices had ‘been adopted by the priestly castes from Mesopotamia to Peru.’

It took a while before more gay writing on this subject appeared, and it’s taking even longer for queer people to have much awareness of this huge part of our collective history. ‘Witchcraft and the Gay Counter Culture’ Arthur Evans is a historic and inspired paean to our past in which he aspires to ‘…to regaining our ancient historical roles as medicine people, healers, prophets, shamans and sorcerers. We look forward to an endless and fathomless process of coming out – as gay people, as animals, as humans, as mysterious and powerful spirits that move through the life cycle of the cosmos….. Like butterflies we are emerging from the shells of our past restricted existence. We are re-discovering the ancient magic that was once the birth right of all human beings.’

Judith Grahn in Another Mother Tongue (1984) wrote that ‘The tribal attitude said, and continues to say, that Gay people are especially empowered because we are able to identify with both sexes and can see into more than one world at once, having the capacity to see from more than one point of view at a time.’

Blossom of Bone by Randy P Connor (1993) is the most thorough study of this subject. The book sets out to reclaim ‘the ancient link between homoeroticism, gender-variance and the sacred’. In Hermaphrodeities (2002) Raven Kaldera plainly states ‘Transgendered people have long been robbed of their own spiritual history, not knowing that there were once times and places where ours was considered a spiritual path in and of itself… We are all sacred and it is time that the world knew it.Thomas Prower more recently took a world tour of this priestcraft aspect of queer history in 2018.

THAT’S ENOUGH HISTORIANS NOW!

HERE’S THE JEWEL IN THIS MYSTERIOUS CROWN

A MODERN DAY SHAMANIC VOICE SPEAKS:

‘The words gay and lesbian do not exist in the village, but there is the word gatekeeper. Gatekeepers are people who live a life at the edge between the worlds – the world of the village and the world of spirit.

‘Most people in the West define themselves and others by sexual orientation. This way of looking at gatekeepers will kill the spirit of the gatekeeper. Gatekeepers in the village are able to do their job simply because of strong spiritual connection, and also their ability to direct their sexual energy not to other people but to spirit.

‘…there are two different kinds of gatekeeper.

‘The first group has the ability to guard a limited number of gates to the other world, specifically,those that correspond to the Dagara cosmology – water, earth, fire, minerals, and nature – because they vibrate the energies of those gates.

‘The second group of gatekeepers… has the responsibility of overseeing all the gates. They are in contact not only with the elemental gates but also with many others.’

Sobonfu Some

These are the words of Sobonfu Some of the Dagara Tribe of west Africa, who have never lost their memory of the original, sacred roles of genderfluid people and homo-erotic love, recorded in her book The Spirit of Intimacy (2000).

Sobonfu tells us:

Gatekeepers hold keys to other dimensions. They maintain a certain alignment between the spirit world and the world of the village. Without them, the gates to the other world would be shut.

On the other side of these gates lies the spirit world or other dimensions. Gatekeepers are in constant communication with beings who live there, who have the ability to teach us how to deal with ritual’.

Turning back 3000 years to an early Zoroastrian text we perhaps find a turning point recorded at which same-sex love started to be viewed as suspicious because of its magical associations with nature’s spirits, and thus the beginning of the loss of this wisdom in the western world.

The Vendidad is an early Zoroastrian text, dating back to around 800 BCE, that records conversations between the prophet and God, Ahura Mazda. It compares queer people with faery beings – Daeva is also often translated as demons, but note that, unlike in the dualistic minded west, in India devas were never split into good and evil categories. The text goes….

“Ahura Mazda answered: ‘The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is the man that is a Daeva; this one is the man that is a worshipper of the Daevas, that is a male paramour of the Daevas, that is a female paramour of the Daevas, that is a wife to the Daeva; this is the man that is as bad as a Daeva, that is in his whole being a Daeva; this is the man that is a Daeva before he dies, and becomes one of the unseen Daevas after death: so is he, whether he has lain with mankind as mankind, or as womankind.”

— Avesta, Vendidad, Fargard 8. Funerals and purification, unlawful sex, Section V (32) Unlawful lusts.

read more on this click here

MYTHOLOGICAL DEPICTIONS OF THE ELEMENTAL FORCES

When we look at the mythologies of the world there are of course many deities associated and involved with natural forces, and they are often queer. There are gods of thunder and rain, goddesses of the sun as well as gods, goddesses of the earth. Here i focus on just one past culture.

In ancient Greece the Sun’s fire was associated with the handsome Apollo, the most popular god of the culture. He was well known for his erotic dalliances with men, including the Macedonian Prince Hyakinthos. His relationship with Thracian singer Thamyris was said to be the first man on man relationship in history. Apollo also had a thing going with Hymen, the God of Marriage. Gay marriage is totally not a new thing.

The beautiful Hyakinthos met his death through a discus blown by an air god – Zephyrus of the west, one of the four seasonal Wind Gods. Zephyrus was depicted as a handsome, winged youth, and often appears in Greco-Roman mosaics carrying a basket of unripe fruit.

Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was born from the Ocean. She emerged from the sea-foam after the genitals of Uranus were castrated and thrown into the water. She became the Goddess of all things loving and sensual and appears in hermaphrodite version and as patron of same sex love (Aphrodite Urania) as well as procreative love (Dionea).

Poseidon, the God of the sea, was said in Greek poet Pindar’s First Olympian Ode to have shared ‘Aphrodite’s sweet gifts’ with Pelops, the king of Pisa. The king also got to visit Olympus and train to drive the divine chariot.

The Earth Goddess was known as Gaia. She was worshipped as part of the cult of Demeter and associated with Rhea, the Greek name for the oldest Mother Goddess who was known as Cybele in her most ancient shrines in Anatolia, and who became in 200 BC the Magna Mater of the Roman Empire. Cybele’s priests were the queer, loud and flamboyant Gallae, hated by Christians, but loved by the people because of the wild, frenzied celebratory rituals they brought to the whole Empire as they travelled around with the armies.

CONCLUSION

Some religious folk have been blaming-the-gays for natural weather disasters for 1500 years. They can not get over their obsession that we have something to do with balance and nature.

Before those accusations started, the cultures that they sprang from once associated same sex relationship with the gods, with nature, with the elemental forces of the climate, as have other traditional people around the planet.

Today some shamanic peoples remember things the west has long forgotten.

Sobonfu tells us gay people can talk to the spirit worlds, that some of us control the elemental gates.

The Greek myths tell us the elemental spirits were once considered themselves to be very queer indeed.

Sobonfu, and a global history most queer people have not paid attention to yet, tell us that what we limit to a sexual or gender ‘identity’ is in fact a spiritual force, a soul energy in the matrix of life, that is needed to bring balance in society and the world.

Perhaps queer people are response-able to create balance in the world. Souls that contain a balance of masculine and feminine spirit which opens up life experiences that are unavailable to those stuck in binary extremes. Those who have studied us with their rational, scientific minds, or judged us with their religious prejudice, have never been able to see this aspect of what we are in the world, because they do not have it in themselves.

Perhaps we are the ones who keep insular human minds connected to the Whole, through providing experiences that remind people of the mystery game of life and the magical reality we are deeply involved in. With our natural, ecstatic, spirit-lifting, life-balancing presence suppressed, life on earth has spun out of control.

It is absolutely not gay marriage or gay pride that creates climate chaos.

IT IS THE REJECTION AND SUPPRESSION OF GAY LOVE,

AND OF GENDER-FLUID PEOPLE.

HUMANS ARE NOT SEPARATE FROM NATURE

BUT CLOSED HEARTS ARE.

LOVE CONNECTS HUMANITY TO THE INTERCONNECTED WEB OF LIFE. IT IS THROUGH LOVE THAT WE KNOW, THROUGH FEELING, WHERE WE BELONG.

BUT ALL KINDS OF LOVE ARE NEEDED IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF LIFE.

ALL KINDS OF LOVE MUST BE ALLOWED, RESPECTED AND REJOICED IN FOR LOVE TO BRING OUR COLLECTIVE HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS BACK INTO BALANCE WITH THE NATURAL WORLD.

People believe their thoughts exist only inside their heads. They don’t – they transmit their chaos, their doubt, fear and negativity into nature’s energy fields. Energy follows thought. Empowered heart centred people emit strong good thoughts. The world needs a lot of them.

THERE IS NOTHING NATURAL ABOUT HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA.

THE MOST UNNATURAL THING HUMANITY CAN DO

IS TO STOP EACH OTHER LOVING WHOM WE LOVE

TO STOP LOVE FLOWING WHERE IT WANTS TO FLOW.

THE CLIMATE IS IN CHAOS BECAUSE THE CHAOTIC HUMAN MIND IS RUNNING THE SHOW

ONLY HUMAN HEARTS FILLED WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR ALL BEINGS

CAN RESTORE THE DIVINE PLAN FOR OUR SPECIES AND THE EARTH.

THE CLIMATE WILL FIND A NEW BALANCE

ONLY WHEN HUMANITY REACHES THE PLACE OF LOVE.

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” Teilhard de Chardin.

The HUMAN

What we are is not a body

What we are is not a mind

What we are is pure awareness:

conscious potential with bliss built in.

Everyone is female and male on the inside.

The exterior is just a shell,

the inner world is where we experience reality

and the inner marriage of Shakti and Shiva –

is the key to a life lived well.

It’s not where you go, it’s what you do there…

the world is split between those

who have learnt that sharing connection, love and joy is the goal

and those who can’t see that yet, who remain in their heads, issues, problems;

between those who see diversity and celebration,

and those who can only see difference and strangeness:

The latter group are in the majority, but the former have a lot more fun.

Church and State spent 1000 years

perfecting the art of mind control,

then brought us up in the 20th century

to do what we were told.

We were told life has no meaning

we were told to go to work

we’re told to be afraid, destruction lurks at every turn:

it seems we have been played

and now our planet burns.

Our minds are as polluted

as the rivers, air, land and seas.

A world of disconnect and dysfunction

created by just one species.

Like the mushrooms, humans are linked

by subterranean mitochondria:

our Underworld is our collective subconscious

an Ocean of hopes and dreams,

and like the magic shroom we have the gift within us

to open the doors to other worlds

and see that life is so much more interconnected

than on the outside it often seems.

For, what we are is not a body

What we are is not a mind

What we are is pure awareness:

conscious potential with bliss built in.

Warriors of the New Age

Warriors of the New Age

here to turn the collective page

here to birth a new paradigm.

Finding Oneness within ourselves

and together in collective fire –

to bring humanity home is the goal to which we aspire.

The external world dominates modern lives

it’s only on the outside we are encouraged to thrive:

but the inner being is the source of real wealth

the inner search the way to true health.

As the moon waxes from new to full

and wanes back down to darkness

our souls expand, contract, fill up and release

the watery waves of emotion never cease.

Our minds are steering the way through the waves

but the body’s wisdom is greater:

the physical form has it’s own reality

listening to it can restore our sanity.

The mind creates, every thought has a vibration

that attracts or repels, intakes or expels;

the mind has no answers, those exist in the soul,

mind analyses, and should seek for the goal

of it’s own annihilation as we come to find

a much older Self within, deeper than the mind,

the place of Oneness with All That Is –

the entrance to Bliss and the end of this global,

damnable journey of duality and suffering.

Salvation through pain became a religious obsession

at the same time as the Bearers of Joy were struck down:

the ecstatic priests/priestesses of the pagan gods,

who kept Life connected to worlds above and below,

who celebrated the body as the holy vessel,

born to bear light, ecstasy, love and joy –

the Holy Ones became the Queer and Feared –

our sacred sexuality turned into the devil’s sin

as greedy males came up with a plan

to overrun the earth, make her a resource,

and to dominate the souls of every woman and man

by dividing the world into sacred and profane

religion took over with its dark, bloodthirsty game.

Life is a Unity, there is no exclusion

in the Divine Kingdom here on Earth.

All is interdependent, dancing in Oneness

the only species seeing it differently – is us.

Warriors of the New Age are turning the page

embodying a paradigm where the body is holy,

sexuality is divine, ecstatic behaviours release the soul,

bringing humanity home – quickly – is our goal.

We see no differences to fear, only diversity, joyous and queer

life in all its riches, life’s rebirth comes near.

Oneness embodied in group dynamic rapidly changes the game.

Rainbow Warrior Spirits are born everywhere –

each generation brings a new brood;

forerunners of a divine multitude,

preparing for the Aquarian Age –

balancing the heights of technology and science

with the reclaimed wisdom of crone and sage.

Meeting in circles where love is the gateway

to union, light and bliss.

With reverence, rhythm, playfulness and passion

we dance, we sing, we kiss.

Energy flowing in every direction –

the goddess is honoured like this.

Her shakti flows amongst us

and out into the world –

changing vibrations through acts of elation.

Oneness embodied in group dynamic rapidly changes the game.

REACHING FOR OUR GAY ROOTS

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.