AIDS Shaman 2: LiveLaunch

Monday 28 October, 2030 GMT https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCLMTE-IGM_8s54NUJTcWZw?view=

Launching at the 2019 Scorpio New Moon

MONDAY OCTOBER 28TH, 2030 GMT. Queer Spirit Channel on YouTube.

My intention with AIDS Shaman 2: Through the Veils is threefold

  • To encourage more conversation about CONSCIOUSNESS, the thing that we all have in common, the thing that we are – also the thing that the collective belief system of the modern world – science – has so little to say about. Although quantum physics is revealing the same truths proposed by mystics since long ages past, there are some scientists who try to prove consciousness is a by product of the material evolution, ignoring the millennia of research into the deep, true nature of existence by the many proud and profound spiritual traditions of the world.
  • To expand awareness of the role that same sex erotic love and gender-variance has played in the spiritual life of the species – among shamanic tribal peoples, the ancient pagan faiths of the Middle East and Europe, and also in the sexually repressed father religions too – and so encourage conversation about the roles of queer people in the world today, as we stand up for our rights and grow to discover the power in our queer spirit.
  • To inspire more communion with the dead, our ancestors (who are so much closer than we think), to celebrate them, and through knowing them finding the strength to release our fears about dying and open to a bigger, brighter understanding of our own being and the joy of being alive.

My hope is to get people thinking, talking and growing.

The mysteries of consciousness are ours to explore:

we are each the inheritors of everything that has gone before.

ONCE UPON A TIME

all the worlds lived together

there was no separation between matter and spirit

humans talked daily to the dead

to the trees, the plants, the animals

and remembered to honour the faerie elementals

who kept nature in balance.

It was the Roman Emperor, not the Church

who eradicated reincarnation from the Christian worldview

male priests seized the spiritual power that had long belonged to the women, transgender and queer peoples,

male priests claimed to hold the keys to heaven:

instead of ecstatic rites that brought people in touch

with divine presence,

they went to church to hear the preacher

tell them God could only be known after death

and only if they obeyed the Church’s rules in life…

The biggest threat to the military industrial complex

is the people remembering that I am another You

and You are another Me:

Seeing through the lies, all the way to infinity.

.

Everything we think we know will change –

we can live multidimensionally

enter the dance of synchronicity

unravel the knots and blocks in our souls

make the remembrance of ONENESS our greatest goal

restore again the holy Whole

each one of us has a role.

HIV CAME TO US TO BE

THE END OF DISEASE

A GATEWAY TO ETERNITY

this is my message and I will say it over and over

THERE IS NO DEATH

THERE IS NO SEPARATION

the time has come to break down the old paradigms

and defeat the darkness that grips the world

the time has come to birth a new humanity

that puts love, cooperation and peace at the centre of the play

the world is gripped by darkness and fear

but the solution to all our woes has always been here

in our hearts.

The position that gay people take in society, the function we so often choose, is that of mediator between worlds….. In a tribal environment, this means shape shifting into wolves, birds, stones, wind and translating their wisdoms for the benefit of the people of the tribe… in the long patriarchal history that has gradually enveloped the world’s people, the gay function has been to make crossover journeys between gender-worlds, translating, identifying and bringing back the information ……..gay culture is always on the cusp of each intersecting world or way of life, on the path between one world and another.” JUDITH GRAHN

Sex can open the gates to heaven,

the multidimensional Self:

that’s part of what gay sex is actually for

in the grand scheme of creation –

it’s what we were honoured for

in pagan temples around the world,

the phallus was the symbol of God,

the body was holy in the age of the Goddess –

the temple of the spirit divine

and the task in the 21st century

is to renew this understanding for this time.

AIDS Shaman Books 1 and 2 are available in print and ebook versions from

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

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 the risk of confusion and insanity

the risk of a great big mess.

.

For the mind is the child in us

it believes itself 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 COLLECTIVE 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.

The Pagan Heart of the West – review

Randy P. Conner is my favourite historian. His queer and pagan eye on humanity’s past brings awareness and understanding that historians of the past, approaching the subject through the prejudices and assumptions of their time, simply did not access.

The topic of queer sexualities and the sacred in history was opened in the 1970s by Arthur Evans in his work ‘Witchcraft and the Gay Counter-Culture’. The 80s saw a new wave of gay historians re-interpreting the past, but there was nothing produced to compare with Randy P. Conner’s masterpiece, ‘Blossom of Bone’. First published in 1993, Blossom of Bone covers a broad sweep of human existence from phallic cave art to the loosely neo-pagan sex magic of the Radical Faerie community, teasing out the links between “homo-eroticism, gender-variance and the sacred” in just about every culture of the planet that we have records for. Despite its broad remit, Blossom of Bone is packed full of detailed information and fascinating history that keeps me picking it up again and again. It is my primary go-to resource book for queer spiritual history, and although a few other books on the subject have appeared, I can’t recommend and praise this one enough.

In his new 5 volume epic, ‘The Pagan Heart of the West’, Randy has set himself another far-reaching task – this time to challenge the historical orthodoxy of the past that took for granted that ancient pagan faiths were inevitably superseded by more sophisticated Abrahamic religions, and then eradicated entirely under Darwinian influenced scientific rationalism. His wish is to “view them in their own light and perhaps in the light of other ancient and indigenous sacred traditions.” He makes a very convincing case for the continuation of pagan beliefs, customs and practices long after the establishment of the Christian religion, as well as presenting a very useful picture of the gradual spread of Christian dominance in Europe, without assuming Christian (or secular) superiority.

Volume 1 ‘Deities and Kindred Beings’ contains an amazing cataloguing of divinities celebrated throughout the continent, recording their legends and how they were worshipped, how long that worship continued, and where it re-emerged. Through reading this volume, for example, I now have a heightened sense of the central place that tree worship in sacred groves took in indigenous European religion and the impact it had when Christians burnt the massive ancient trees, replacing them with their stone churches. Randy also succeeds in overcoming the usual western European bias of so much religious history – here we also read in detail about the traditions of the Slavic, Baltic, Romanian… peoples.

The first chapter of volume 1 contains a review of the historiography of the subject, revealing that, as with LGBTQ+ history, our pagan past is yet to be properly appreciated, as he calls out various highly regarded historians for the cultural lens they look through. It takes a pagan eye to see the historical strands in their true light – eg his chapter on the earth goddess and her male consorts help us to remember just how important, how central, and for how long, female divinity has been a part of our European past. The whole book just drips with tales of glorious divinities that I bet most of us have never heard of before, as well as revealing how ubiquitous was belief and trust in the Goddess, Pan and other deities, throughout the past two millennia, how slow Christianity was to take hold in some places, and how the pagan divinities and practices re-emerged, adapted and survived.

The chapter on ‘Veneration of Fairies, Elves and Kindred Beings’ suggests that the pagan deities transformed into fairy in the Middle Ages because of the persecution from the Christian authorities. Randy does accept that elemental beings were known before this time – eg he mentions 16th century Scottish witch Alison Peirsoun who seemingly connected fairy to ancient Egyptian teachings of Hermes Trismesgistus – but makes a strong case for the arrival of a fairy magical culture during the Middle Ages, possibly influenced by the Persian belief in the peri and the Hindu devas. I personally wonder why he takes this line, for it seems equally likely to me that interactions with the spirits of nature had been a normal part of indigenous European society perhaps for many millennia prior to the arrival of Christianity.

Randy is one of still very few historians who are changing our understanding of humanity’s spiritual past. I am also a student of queer and pagan history – one who has realised for example that the references in the Christian Bible to goddess worshipping, gender-bending, sodomising temple priests never get mentioned by modern LGBT Christian activists because they have not made their own connection to the goddess path, to the mysteries of sex magic and pagan communion with the spirit worlds. They judge the pagan past just as heterosexual Christians too, without realising that the virulent condemnation of same sex love and transexuality was directly linked to the suppression of ancient holy practices. I write about the Qedesha (condemned in the OT) and the Gallae priest/esses of Cybele (condemned by Paul in the New), because I have found myself to be one of their receivers of their inheritance – a modern gay man who has discovered that the feminine inside himself connects him to this ancient path of spiritual service, of the Goddess. I live the reality of the pagan calendar, the moon cycles and seasonal festivals, and I live the reality of ecstatic communion (eg through drumming, dance and also sexuality) with the spirit, so I have a perspective on that strand of queer spiritual history that is just not available to either Christian or secular queers.

Like Randy, I seek also to reclaim and explore the holy energies of our pagan past. This is a practical goal, not simply an academic one. It’s a lived experience in queer spirited spaces, such as Queer Spirit Festival in the UK and Radical Faerie sanctuaries around the world – books like The Pagan Heart of the West are essential tools on this journey, as we reconnect the human spirit to its ancestors and its beloved divinities, to the unity that underlies our diversity.

I am so excited to read the next four volumes!

The healer within

For centuries the Church brainwashed people to believe they were sinners waiting for punishment. Then science came along and convinced people to believe they are biological accidents. Psychology came along and pathologised mental and emotional states, dishing out labels and pills that keep people sick..

Yet older than all three, and still around waiting in the wings, is the wisdom tradition astrology, which not only teaches that we are cosmic starbeings on a journey of infinite, never-ending, discovery, it gives us the tools to navigate the energetic shifts and get the most out of life while we are here on planet earth, the ultimate mystery school of the outer Milky Way. Souls come from far off galaxies to take this ride.

Breaks my heart when i see FB posts about depression, anxiety, helplessness etc. There is another language we can use. There is a crucial connection between mind-body-emotion and spirit: It matters what we think, how we think – our thoughts feed our emotions and manifest in our bodies. That’s how the Church cut us off from the holy light in our souls – by believing we are the opposite. This paved the way for Science to reduce us to meaningless atoms. This opened the door for Psychology to analyse and dissect our minds, separating them out and making them feel very, very alone.

The military-industrial, capitalist machine does not want us to be aware of the heavenly cycles flowing through our souls, any more than the Church did.

As Sun moves into Libra, the Equinox point is a perfect moment to turn this around. Equinox offers shift. The Cosmos is always waiting for us to step into its embrace. This is nothing new, humans have had to struggle against the dominant culture to discover the truth for a long time. Difference now of course is there are so many more of us ready for it, we can find each other through the internet, and the stakes are much, much higher.

The healer is within.

AUTUMN EQUINOX 2019

The Pisces Full Moon on 14th September opened the equinoctial spirit, a whole 9 days before the balance point of the solar equinox, which falls on September 23rd this year. These 9 days are a gift from the universe, if we are able to receive it – we are in a portal of transition out of Summer and into the Libran start of the Autumn, in which we are being invited to slow down, rest, release and see where we are in life now. I’ve seen so many huge transformations in lots of people over recent years – the ride of life is at high intensity, for most people personally as well as for all of us collectively. Having studied the Path of spiritual evolution and awakening since the mid 1990s, I can see we are heading toward even bigger shifts in the coming years, so this is the ideal time to engage the solar Virgo spirit that we are moving through right now and educate ourselves on the bigger processes underway in human consciousness.

The equinox shift into Libra month can be a jolt to the system. It’s not only the weather that changes at this time, so do the vibrations of our inner fields. Equinox brings the shift from the external, joy-focussed activities of summer towards the more emotionally and internally focussed journey of the darker half of the year.

Elementally, the shift can be perceived as moving from summer fire to autumn water – we are entering a time when emotional connection moves to the centre of focus after a period of summer creativity and play. When we do not make a conscious shift in our inner attention the body reacts to force us there, for example we get struck down with colds and flu – and sure enough this will shift us into our feelings, and hopefully bring us loving support from those who love us. Nature is clever, and always pulling or pushing us along the Way when we don’t go willingly.

The Pisces Full Moon was I’m sure one of the most intense energies of the year for some people. Full moons are always emotional and Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, is able to feel every emotion going around. Without spiritual awareness of the cycles nature takes us through, we can be swept up in these waves and end up feeling battered on the post full moon shores.

Every full moon opens up a polarity in consciousness – invites us to pay attention to the state of play of that polarity in our own lives. Putting it simply, when the Sun is in Virgo and the Full Moon in Pisces we are being asked to find the balance between our physical and spiritual needs. This was a grounding full moon, since Virgo is an earth sign and Pisces water. Knowing this we can be prepared to make room to listen to what the body is asking/telling us, make way for the emotions in us to flow out and release. We can be aware that we are likely to be feeling very sensitive, as the piscean energy field is wide open, and aware of the danger of being over-analytical, over-critical, over-thinking (all virgoan hazards). Knowing that we are in an earth and water balance, it’s time to give the mind a back seat, let it become the observer, the witness of what is emerging.

Since April this year the teacher planet Saturn has been retrograde, taking us all through some big internal shifts, bringing the lessons and sometimes hard challenges. This phase ended on the 18th September and is adding to the possibility of finding some peace and calm right now. Saturn going direct gives us all the chance to move forwards, both with our projects and in our inner world.

Meditate. Study. Read. Write. Virgo Sun engages the mental fields at the same time as it invites us to take care of the body, to give it the sustenance and rest it needs at summer’s end. It matters how we use our minds, what we hold in them, what we give our attention to, how we view life, the stories we tell ourselves – the activity in our mind feeds directly into our subconscious, which then reaches out in the ether to attach to the things it is hearing. The subconscious does not filter out the negative/dark stuff, it just absorbs it all and attempts to manifest it, sending its efforts directly into our emotional field.

A largely missing point of understanding in the collective modern culture is that happiness or suffering are the result of the thoughts and beliefs we are harbouring. This is one of the points of the year when we can slow down enough to make improvements where needed in our thinking. Every thought leads to a feeling – the mind is a vehicle or tool for our consciousness just as much as the body, and it works much better when trained.

Autumn Equinox 2019: the world is on the brink of something huge, the next decade is going to be critical in deciding our future as a species, in deciding the future of our planet. Wake up world, there’s a big, big picture going on, and each of us holds a key to open up the understanding and awareness that is needed globally right now. Everybody has a part to play, for as we grow, our frequencies lighten and affect the world around us. Awakening is a game – perhaps a game of dominoes, when one person gets it, it triggers a chain reaction, spreading round the world, until a new dawn arrives.

When the Goddess Returns

WHEN THE GODDESS RETURNS

people will fall to their knees

begging forgiveness for all our destructive deeds.

– Isis-

Humanity forgot how to love the Earth as Mother

forgot how to treat all living things as sister and brother.

We take our Mother’s blood in the form of oil

we pollute and abuse her air, waters and soil

not knowing we’re her children

intimately connected to her rhythms

we continue to struggle, fight, create more schisms.

– Astarte –

The Sun rises every day illuminating Who We Are

the Moon guides us along the way

the Stars tell us we will go far

when we rediscover how to pray

learn how our thoughts and intentions create our experiences

that we are all one interconnected being.

– Diana –

The men of war killed Her priestesses and queer priests

shut down her temples, destroyed her groves and holy trees

until the populace no longer even believe

in the presence of Spirit, of the other planes

labelling those who communicate with them deluded or insane.

– Hecate –

Through the Goddess

we know our ONENESS

we feel our ancestors

and nature’s sprites.

Through her rhythms

we repair our souls.

– Demeter –

By attuning to the sun and moon cycles

we can escape the delusion and confusion

of a society built on separation

and give birth to our healing nation.

– Kali –

The people of the Goddess are coming:

We’re remembering that we lived before.

We’re remembering a time before war

when sexuality was sacred

and all forms of love were honoured.

– Inanna –

We have to die to who we thought we are

to become who we’ve always been.

The Soul is Trans

trans pride rainbow

In a small town pub in Suffolk I spoke to a lad about the inner feminine – he took great offence to the idea that he might have a feminine part to himself, almost to the point of aggression. What in heaven’s name are they teaching kids at school?

The Soul is Trans, we manifest as bodies through the interplay of various spiritual energies, male and female being a key polarity through which our physical forms and personalities find expression. This basic fact of our human existence was obvious to all the indigenous, ancient peoples of the planet and led to those people who manifested both masculinity and femininity strongly often regarded as special, holy beings.  The Hijras of India are a surviving remnant of what was once a vibrant queer spiritual/magical culture that manifested in some form on every continent.

The early modern European explorers found cross-dressing, gender-fluid shamans, witches and monks in every corner of the globe. This is how it once was in Europe and the Middle East too, until the rise of the monotheistic religions, with their all-powerful, male god. Assinnu, Kurgurru, Qedesha, Gallae are among our ancient names. As religion gradually became a tool of the political state, its teachings adapted to bring structure and discipline to society (mainly through fear, though calling it love), in contrast to the liberating, anarchic, sexualised rituals of the ancient Goddess – so those who sought the teachings of soul liberation joined mystery schools, covens and heretical sects in which over the centuries, magical wisdom was passed on.

Flower of Life with rainbow gradients

Kabbalists, Astrologers, Alchemists all found insights into the nature of reality through their practices, which are now openly available for us in the modern world if we seek them. But we are still emerging from the spirit-denying 20th century, still stuck in the domination of consumerism, fame and finance. Since the 1960’s there have been many who have made or are making the shift to a different way of being, one of compassion, seeking, healing and loving, but the mainstream culture is very slow to catch up.

trans symbol (2)

Trans people are emerging in the world in ever greater numbers quite probably because their souls have decided to to do their bit to hasten the evolution of the species, as we move beyond the materialist paradigm into a multi-dimensional reality, where we learn to unite the genders within in order to enter the higher dimensions of spirit, called the kingdom of heaven by Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas:

“When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom].” Jesus in The Gnostic Apostle Thomas:Chapter 24, Saying 22

kabbalah

Reincarnation featured in all the ancient worldviews, was pushed out of the Christian agenda to suit the Roman emperors, and of course is ridiculed by the scientifically minded cultural leaders of the modern secular world.  The mass cultural paradigm is stuck in a tragic ‘one lifetime’ paradigm, and the transcendental nature of the soul not generally discussed, it’s highly possible that a person who feels they ‘were born in the wrong body’ is remembering something of their previous incarnation.

….And since the mystical goal of realisation of the Self involves the unification and integration of the inner genders (and other aspects), it’s highly likely that many trans people are evolved souls who have come into their current body to attain that integration and gain higher understanding of consciousness.

Since the western culture does not teach trans people who they are, trans people will have to teach the culture.

In fact all the queer tribes – the lesbians, gay men, bi and non-binary folk are in the process of unpicking centuries of being hated and misunderstood, of being seen as evil, dirty, sick… as sinners, outcasts, or as criminals.  We all are on the path of redefining who we are, on our terms, in our own ways.  Radical Faeries have been doing this since 1979.  500 magical, bright and creative queers just gathered this summer for the third QUEER SPIRIT FESTIVAL in the UK, celebrating the emergence of queers as a healing tribe within the human whole. 

The call is building for a SECOND COMING OUT – this time reclaiming and proclaiming our magical nature, our soul nature, our holy queer spirit.

north american Trans Shaman RAVEN KALDERA:

“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.”

Marc Almond in Cambridge 7th May 2019

“I have lived each single moment, as a man of flesh and blood
with my soul and all my senses open wide
I have lived and tasted everything
that called out to be tried
I’m afraid of neither heaven nor of hell
Never caring if I had a soul to sell.”

Marc’s passionate rendition of Charles Aznavour’s song “I Have Lived” opened a two hour celebration of life, largely focussed, as Marc pointed out, on songs written by dead artists. He shared that with no new album to promote he was undertaking this mini-tour for the pure pleasure of making music. Many of us life-long Willing Sinner Gutter Heart Cell Mates are very grateful.

I was 16 years old when Marc first appeared on Top of the Pops in 1981, black clothes, bangles and eye liner, with Dave Ball equally mysterious and strange on the keyboards. I was soon swooning to The Girl with the Patent Leather Face, Memorabilia and the sublime Tainted Love 12” with my teenage girlfriends – the other boys around were not so keen. Non Stop Erotic Cabaret arrived, and via the sublime electro from Dave’s keyboards and Marc’s sensuous lyrics we teenagers had our eyes opened to a fascinating, hidden, underworld of sex, secrets and sleaze. Marc’s prolific output in the early 1980s – two Marc and the Mamba albums (that quickly became, and remained, my favourite records of all time) and Soft Cell’s Art of Falling Apart and This Last Night in Sodom – played a role in helping me find an identity and warned me against the horrors of conformity, of being ‘normal’ in a messed up, hypocritical, world.

Last Autumn I was at the 40 year party, One Last Night, Soft Cell’s concert at the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in Greenwich – a magnificent occasion and performance that affirmed Soft Cell’s role as musical pioneers, punk romantics, and critics of society’s shallowness. But while the show was amazing, my inner emotional journey at the O2 was limited by sitting high up in the balconies, not being able to dance and express myself. When I got home my friends in spirit complained that I had not invited them to join me in the O2, cutting myself from internal companions who wanted to enjoy the show with me and so not giving myself internal emotional space to expand into.

I decided not to make the same mistake this time. I smoked before I went in, and chatted to the homeless people begging outside the Corn Exchange. I found the empty upstairs bar, chatted to the lovely staff and said a prayer to the divine mother. I went to my seat on row H which – thrill of thrills – turned out to be the front row! Then I started inviting in my dead friends, who in turn were opening the gates to more spirits – I was soon feeling very warm inside, faces of long lost friends were appearing in my inner vision, I found I was giggling and excited.

Then Marc came on and delivered for us through song the spirit of Aznavour, the Yardbirds, Dusty Springfield, T-Rex, David Bowie, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Lou Reed and plenty of Scott Walker. Marc’s rendition of Walker’s Big Louise, which he recorded on the first Mambas album, lifted me into the arms of paradise. Marc sang Aznavour’s What Makes a Man a Man, taking me back to the epic finale of the Twelve Years of Tears concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1993. We also had a few living legends pop in – Cher (A Woman’s Story, one of Marc’s solo singles from the ’80s) , Mary Hopkins (Those Were the Days) and Lana del Rey’s Dark Paradise.

We were treated to a selection of some of Marc’s own fine cuts – that’s got to be the first time I’ve heard him sing Stories of Johnny since the ’80s – we got A Lover Spurned, Pearly Spencer, Say Hello…. plus a stripped down, acoustic version of Bedsitter that brought out the emotional reality of the song, nice to hear Marc acknowledge that it’s a really sad song! Yet there we all were in the 80s, gleefully singing it at the top of our voices, celebrating the misery of the lonely comedown! I’m sure on some level this did us a lot of good! I loved that Marc included the concluding Bedsitter line, ‘I’m waiting for something, I’m just passing time,’ for that is how I now can look back on my own bedsitter years in the late 1980s, when I was a gay caterpillar out in the big dangerous city hungrily feasting on the pleasures to be found. I was waiting for something though at the time I didn’t realise it was a wake up call.

My wake up call came through HIV – in the mid 90s I lived with full blown AIDS for 3 years. That was my cocoon period, when my internal understanding of who I am went through a complete transformation. I responded to the onset of AIDS by diving into a study of the world’s mystical traditions – and while my body was seemingly dying, my spirit came alive. I celebrated the darkness I was undergoing – just as indeed we have been able to celebrate the shadow side of life through Marc Almond’s music over four decades – for through that darkness I was finding golden seams of life’s true treasures. I found myself to be a channel, witch or ‘gatekeeper’ to the spirit worlds – then I discovered that queer shamans had played this role in nature-based pre-monotheistic religions the world over, that this was the case also in ancient Europe until our roles were taken over by the Christian Church, backed up by the armies of the state, from the 4th century Roman Empire onwards. I learnt that the Christians spent 1000+ years destroying the holy trees and sacred groves where the European peoples had worshipped for millennia, and eliminating any memory of the link between homoeroticism and gender non-comformity with nature and the spirit world.

This gay butterfly emerged from the AIDS cocoon and ever since my life has been dedicated to reclaiming this lost part of the queer soul, of our roles as channels and connectors of the worlds, and reclaiming the understanding that through intimacy with nature all humans can feel, intuit and know our place in the whole, rediscover our intrinsic oneness with all life – and with the dead too. The spirit world is not far from us, from a vibrational perspective, but unless we open our minds and hearts to it we will never be aware of it, will not experience it. One of the best ways to open our hearts to the dead, I’ve learnt over the years, is to celebrate them in song. Thanks Marc, you made a lot of living and a lot of dead people very happy that night.

For me, the heavens fully opened and the angelic love poured through the venue as Marc concluded the show with My Hand Over My Heart. I know a Marc show pretty much has to end with Tainted Love and Say Hell -, I have got used to that – so thanks Marc for slipping in your epic love song between the two, to help us Gutter Hearts not only look at but also truly touch the stars.

The Awkwardness of Aries

The Spring Equinox arrives, days start to be longer than nights, the temperatures rise, the relief of Winter ending washes over us – then about a week or so later we might find ourselves wondering what the fuck is going on? Why isn’t Spring bringing joy and happiness? Why does life feel so challenging – so awkward?

Nature is growing fast now, and so are we. Life will offer new experiences. Our roots are deepening, our blossom is appearing, we are starting to put on our leaves, ie our summer energy. But growth hurts, it means disturbing the soil, the ground we are occupying, and it means stretching and pulling ourselves in some new ways, which, if we haven’t got the right mental framework in place, is going to hurt.

The appropriate mind-set for the first month of the zodiac year is ‘I AM’.

Aries is an individualistic fire sign. It is a sign of leadership, but the first place we need to be in charge is within our own being. This is the moment of the year when the cosmos tells us to think for ourselves, to focus on ourselves, to follow our own nose, our own weird, our own path. Relationships can come under strain because most couples want to believe in the ‘WE’ more than they do in the ‘I’, and they perhaps fear giving their lover space to do ‘I’ for a while. But for individual and relationship health we need a bit of space this time of year, time to work out our own personal goals and work on our own personal issues.

Beltane is just round the corner – in Taurus month the Sun moves into earth element and we become fascinated with the body again. Aries month is about the individual spirit – who am I is the focus. In Taurus we start to focus on what we have and what we want, tune in more to physical reality of our existence, and on the pleasures of connecting physically with others, in celebration, in dance, in sex.

English poet T.S. Eliot said “April is the cruellest month” – and so it can seem, for at this time others may not meet our expectations and we may find ourselves needing to find plenty of self-reliance and self-determination. Changeable weather – rain, shine, warm, cold – mirrors the internal energy movements we inevitably go through. Aries is the awkward month of being who we are, pushed back into knowing ourselves as an independent entity after the cosmically attuned, collective consciousness, months of Aquarius and Pisces.

When Full Moon comes along, opposite Aries in the sign of balance and relationship, Libra – the bright moonlight illuminates how well we are doing on that axis of self and others. The Libra Full Moon reminds us we do not exist on our own, we exist in relationship with others, which demands things of us – such as compromise and surrender, things the Aries sun isn’t generally hot on. The key to navigating the full moon is to put service to others at the top of the agenda, realising that is how we also serve our own best interests.

So during Aries month the best thing to do is to embrace a new year of energy growth, to focus on one’s self, on health and well-being, on changing our thinking patterns to support that health and well-being, on our plans for the year ahead. Also to work on the balance between our self-focus and our relationships. And crucially, to see the Ram’s fire as the small flame within that it actually is at this time of the year. This is not the moment for gung-ho, uber-dynamic, action… this is the time for small steps and self-care, leading to improved self-awareness and a chance to move away from the awkwardness of Aries.

THE ELEMENTS OF HEALTH

For two decades I have walked the pagan path – learning about existence through the language and practice of the elements, seasons, sun, moon and stars. What I have learnt is this path brings those who walk it improved health, awareness, compassion, understanding and wisdom. Why isn’t everyone on it?

My generation, born in the 1960s, was brainwashed from a young age to believe that the purpose of life was to get good grades, good job, a heterosexual relationship and debt. Religion was sometimes in the picture, but losing the battle in our minds rapidly in the fight with scepticism. Spirituality – pagan magic – metaphysics and mysticism were mainly ignored and certainly ridiculed when they did pop up. I came out at 21, failed to fit into the work and debt model either, and aged 30, while apparently approaching death, I woke up to the idea that life is a mystery to be explored, understood and then enjoyed to the max, not something simply to take for granted, led by the proclamations of religion or science.

Every day I hear of people’s struggles with their mental health. Depression, anxiety, BPD, DID, ADD, ADHD… As someone who was given an acronym 30 years ago – HIV – I strongly urge people to disassociate from the label, it’s absolutely NOT who you are. And, having turned my life around from the deathbed of AIDS aged thirty-three to being now a fairly-fit-fifty-four, strong in mind and heart and spirit if not always in body, having walked the path that the planet, the solar system and nature herself gives us to study, I gotta say – folks: there is a different, less toxic and disempowering, way of understanding life than the story most of the world is running – another paradigm is possible, a more revealing and evolutionary way of knowing ourselves and our existence here is possible. The scientific heights reached in the 20th century are not the end of the story. AIDS made me turn my attention inwards – I could not be out and about, active in the world. On the inside I found the gateways to other worlds, and my survival is dedicated to bringing human existence into alignment with the other dimensions. The only thing holding us back is the bullshit most people have in their minds, ie the life-crippling paradigm we have been sold.

The New Age has had a huge impact of human relations, communications and individual personal growth over the past few decades. The Internet reveals just how many awakened and purposeful people there are out there, how many groups sincerely seeking to serve the well being of the planet. Ayahuasca ceremonies have become popular in recent years, when just a few years before the practitioners had to be very secretive. Astrology is now more widely understood and practised than at any time before in human history – youtube enables astrologers to have a voice that mainstream media still denies them. Brian Cox is still the darling of the thinking classes, and he never misses a chance to ridicule the study of the stars. I would love him to wake up to the mysteries of consciousness – please somebody slip him some lsd or persuade him to go talk to Grandmother spirit Ayahuasca.

The New Age, a label knocking around since the 1980s, is a medley of teachings and practices from all the world’s cultures, spread and srengthened by the Internet. Cultural appropriation means little to me as we are all citizens of a new global civilisation, able for the first time ever to learn from all that has gone before – this is an incredible new horizon.

Part of this cultural development is the reclamation of the pagan practices of Europe, which were largely wiped out by the all-consuming ‘christian’ political-military machine from the Roman Empire onwards. It took a thousand years for the christian culture to tighten its grip, with much bloodshed on the way, and it never really succeeded in fully wiping out the pagan heart of european culture, as laws attempting to stop ‘pagan’ practices, passed from the 16th century onwards, demonstrate. In 1542 it was made illegal to practice witchcraft in England, further acts followed and the 17th century saw the peak of witch trials and executions. In 1736 in a new ‘rational’ age Parliament passed an Act repealing the laws against witchcraft, but imposing fines or imprisonment on people who claimed to be able to use magical powers. The Vagrancy Act of 1824 made fortune-telling, spiritualism and astrology punishable offences. In 1951 the laws against magical practice were repealed and replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act, and it is only since then that the pagan roots of our British culture have been truly accessible to the British people.

So is it any surprise then that the core healing paradigm that celtic paganism offers us is hardly yet noticed by the British people in general. Wicca, a reclamation of pagan ways dreamt up in 1940s-50s England, is actually now a world religion, much more widely established and visible in the USA than in our own anglo-culture.

Currently the British nation is hell-bent on driving itself to a collective nervous breakdown. Centuries of perceived stability, strength and tradition are crumbling fast. The Brits are on a fast course towards a mass healing crisis par excellence. The Brits, as so often in history, on this tiny but intensely magically powerful island, may well be setting the pace for the world once more. For we who study the stars know that the Gods Saturn and Pluto are shaking up the ‘system’ good and proper – for the global political-military-industrial machine does not serve the well being of the planet, of people, of the animals. The political-military-industrial system serves death, it does not serve life, so it must die and be replaced by something new.

That something new is also something old. It is waiting in the wings.

IT IS THE PERENNIAL WISDOM.

Religion told us we are sinners, they lied

Science tells us we are simply biology, they lie

As Above So Below

We are multi-dimensional beings

who on earth can find health and well-being

through finding balance in our selves between

the BODY – EARTH

the MIND – AIR

the EMOTIONS – WATER

the SPIRIT – FIRE

we can know ourselves through our individual elemental mix

as shown in our astrological birth chart

know our connectedness with all beings through ceremony and meditation and plant medicine

come into internal harmony and balance through attuning to moon cycles and seasonal shifts

exploring who we are, what life is, how it all works

is a central, crucial part of being alive, at least for some of us

and for those struggling in darkness, it is the healing path, it is the solution

it is the missing part of our culture, the blindspot in the modern world

the pagan path is the path of the seasons, the moons and nature

and also of the goddess, of Pan, of ancestor spirits and the faerie underworld

it is a path of genderbending, shapeshifting and nature loving magic

of dropping the pretence of being normal, of being human

for inside everyone of us

is raw, animal, primal instinctual energy, pure soul

which we get to raise through our holy bodies, our open hearts

our free and enlightened minds

into ecstatic communion with the spirits of creation

of which there are so, so many

we simply forgot how to see them, to hear them, to speak to them

but they haven’t forgotten us

and when we get over our obsessions and delusions about gods and holy books and scriptures

and about economics and consumerism and the latest scandal and fashion

and return to the simplicity of pleasure, connection, presence, love

they will be right there

ready to help us bring peace and healing to our ailing planet home