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

Healing Power of the Drum

“A new study published in PLoS scientifically validates what so many drum circle participants have already experienced first hand: group drumming produces significant changes in well-being, including improvements in depression, anxiety and social resilience.” http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/group-drumming-better-prozac-study-suggests

It was round a queer pagan fire in a field in Dorset in the year 1999 that I first experienced the expansive joy of group energy united by the drumbeat – a circle of people all revelling in the feeling of being in union, connected by rhythm and emotion and something bigger, knowing that each is having their own experience of this, would describe it in their own unique way, and this fact is perfectly wonderful.

Each human is ultimately a mystic having a relationship with their own inner divinity – and when mystics merge their energy fields, in harmony with nature’s elements, magic is the word for what happens.

Other words might include healing, revealing, seeing, knowing

Uniting the human individuality with the spirit of the drum, the rhythm, the group can loosen blocked emotional energy, clear the mental frequencies, and liberate the spirit. It can rebalance the inner world, it’s good for our mental health.

samhain ancestor shrine at london radical faerie drum circle

Allowing the energy to rise and fall

Listening is the key to tuning in

The mind naturally takes a back seat

as the heart and spirit move into the dance with the drum

The body revealed as ecstatic vehicle

of the lightbeing you are and always have been

Step into eternity

Allow the elements to restore and renew you

All life is One Dance, One Power, One Strength

Flowing through you, me, space, time and mind

In the rhythm we find our way home

Humans have always communed this way.

2017-12-02 – London, UK : Albion Faeries Drum Circle and Al Head Book Launch

join the mailing list of the radical faeries of albion for news of drum circles in London and much more…. sign up at www.albionfaeries.org.uk

Reclaim the Magic

RECLAIM the magic of spiritualised same sex love

RECLAIM the magic of sacred transsexuality

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RECLAIM the magic of the drumbeat

of communal ecstatic dance

of bliss beyond boundaries of individuality

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RECLAIM the magic of open hearts and minds

of being gentle, being kind

RECLAIM the magic of the body as a temple of the soul

of the journey, the quest to be whole

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RECLAIM the magic of the fire circle

of water as a purifier

of fresh air and free thinking

of the earth as sacred

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RECLAIM the magic

of the seasons, the moon and the stars

RECLAIM magic

of genderfluidity, gendervariance, genderfuckery

RECLAIM the magic

of women’s radical power and spirit

RECLAIM the magic

of sacred brotherhood between men who love men

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RECLAIM THE MAGIC

of Presence

of Great Spirit

the Great Mother

RECLAIM THE MAGIC

of Her queer priest/priestesses

of Dionysian rites

Pan worship and sacred ceremony

in nature

with an army of lovers

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RECLAIM THE MAGIC

of the inner child

of inner marriage

of sexuality as a divine gift that reveals the soul

of the mystery of existence

RECLAIM THE MAGIC

of breaking away from the stifling norm

of being alive in human form

as the spring rises may we rise too out of deep slumber into the wonder of the soul

as the summer comes may we shine like the sun

as the autumn falls may we turn within with grace

as the winter lands may we heal in sacred space

www.queerspirit.net

Queer Spirit Festival. August 14-18, 201. Northamptonshire, UK

The Stars, Planets and Us

Astrology is a 5000 year old wisdom tradition that teaches us about the nature, purpose and direction of life on Earth. It gives us a set of tools which can be used to know ourselves, to heal, develop and find fulfilment during our earth-bound incarnations. It works because we live in a fractal universe of repeating patterns that can be understood – these patterns operate on mental, emotional, spiritual and physical dimensions.

It is usually stated that astrology developed in the Babylonian and Egyptian empires around 2-3000 years BCE (and independently at same time, or even earlier in India and China). Alexander the Great’s conquests brought the Greeks into contact with these older eastern cultures, and from the 4th century BCE astrology grew to be a respected science in Greece. From there it was imported into Roman culture, and as Rome collapsed the Islamic faith enthusiastically embraced the science of the stars. In Europe astrology entered a dark age until the 12/13th century, when Islamic texts were enthusiastically translated and astrology adopted as a medical tool. In the Renaissance astrology was riding high. By 1500 physicians across Europe were expected to calculate the position of the moon before undertaking medical procedures. Christianity disapproved of course, but only in regard to personal horoscopes and destiny – it was considered ok to use it for medical and other practical purposes, eg weather forecasts!

The development of astronomical observations of the heavens from the 16th century onwards and the rise of rationalism diminished the belief in astrology, but at the start of the 21st century the science of the stars is probably more widespread and popular than ever before. The vogue for sun-sign horoscopes that developed in the mid 20th century has given way to a much broader exploration, with vast numbers of astrologers broadcasting on YouTube. The internet has made astrology accessible to all, with birth charts easy to cast online, and an appreciation growing that daily horoscopes are just skimming the surface – one of the great tools astrology gives us is to know what energies are affecting the subtle emotional, mental, energetic frequencies underlying our experience every day.

Why this surge of astrological interest? Simply put – because it works. Monotheistic religion has been exposed as a control system put in place by the patriarchy, forcing people to obey a Father God. Astrology is one of the tools of the Mother Goddess, and was originally practised in her temples. The Goddess offers personal liberation through knowledge and experience, not salvation gained through faith in an external being. In the 21st century the lies of religion, and inadequacies of materialism, are prompting vast numbers of people to turn to the path of self-discovery, to seek wisdom and deep connection to the planet, spirit and other people. There is no better tool than astrology for anyone called to this path. There are no absolutes in astrology – it is a science but also an art, it requires knowledge but also intuition and interpretation. There is a lot to learn, but even knowledge of the basics can improve our quality of life.

The SUN takes 12 months to traverse the zodiac, beginning its journey at the Spring Equinox. Each month of the astrological year has a distinct energy, which we can tune into within ourselves, in order to explore and develop that aspect of our personality.

The MOON completes this 12 stage journey every month, spending 2.5 days in each sign, from which we can interpret underlying emotional energies affecting us all. A the moon journeys from new to full to dark phases, so do our energy bodies – the Moon influences our emotional and spiritual nature, its position in the birth chart tells us a lot about ‘who we are’ and therefore any horoscope reading simply based on the Sun sign is extremely limited.

MERCURY, VENUS AND MARS in the birth chart give us insight into key personality traits – Mercury is the archetype of communication, Venus of love and beauty, Mars of action. Awareness of their movements through the signs helps us to navigate the subtle energies affecting these areas of our lives.

JUPITER AND SATURN were once regarded as supremely important because of the powerful background energies that affect the whole world at once. Jupiter is seen as the expansive, beneficent energy of the zodiac, while Saturn imposes structure, order and limitation. Jupiter changes sign about every 13 months and Saturn about 3 years. Where they appear in our charts tells us about the presence of these energies in our lives.

URANUS, NEPTUNE, PLUTO were added into the astrological pantheon as they became known, with Uranus (discovered 1763) associated with freedom and revolution, Neptune (1846) with transcendence and mysticism, Pluto with primordial energy, death, rebirth and all that is hidden.

CHIRON, CERES, JUNO, VESTA, PALLAS ATHENA, ERIS are among the newer members of the astrological pantheon. Chiron (1977) is considered the archetype of the wounded healer, its position in our charts shows the shared wound of each generation. Feminine divine presence gets more recognition through these energies: Ceres (1801) was the Roman equivalent of the Greek earth goddess Demeter, like Vesta a sister to Jupiter; Juno (1804), Pallas Athena (1802) are named after Jupiter’s wife and daughter, Eris (2003) the sister of Mars and goddess of discord. Ceres teaches us about our mothering instincts and how to run in harmony with the universal flow; Juno is about soul mates and emotional commitment, marriage and beauty; Vesta a goddess of the hearth, brings focus and dedication; Pallas Athena is a weaver of patterns and gives warrior strength; Eris is an underworld goddess and rules over chaos and discord.

Another female divinity, LILITH is associated with the cosmic void, and is calculated as a position in space between the earth and moon. She is said to relate to the dark side and power of sexuality.

The Sun, Moon and planets journey through the sky from the fire sign Aries through a repeating four step pattern through to water sign Pisces. The pattern is FIRE-EARTH-AIR-WATER. In the first four signs (aries-taurus-gemini-cancer) we explore our individuality, in the next four (leo-virgo-libra-scorpio) we are taken on the journey of relationship, and in the last four (sagittarius-capricorn-aquarius-pisces) the focus shifts to the collective, and our individual place within it.

Emotionally, it is so very useful to know which energy the moon is traversing. Simply put, Fire Moons encourage our enthusiasm, impulsiveness and passions; Earth Moons bring grounding, calm, realism; Air moons are outgoing, social, intellectual and encourage our curiosity; Water Moons are emotional, moody, spiritual and inward pulling.

New Moon is a great time for launching new plans and ideas, because it heralds two weeks of expanding emotional and spiritual energy. At full moon there is an emotional peak, often requiring release in some form, and during waning moon an inward pull calls us to take more rest, more inner time. At dark moon we can purge and renew our energetic fields ready for a new month.

These energies affect us all the time. Becoming conscious of them enables us to navigate the subtle waves – eg to know when it’s good to act, and when good to step back. Consciousness itself is just like the breath, just like the cycle of day and night – there are times of expansion and then of contraction, of light then darkness. Knowing that our experience of life will flow on the same lines helps us to find acceptance. Having an idea through which elemental energies our inner archetypes are channelling into the world can assist to find peace with who we are, with our individuality and the moods we go through. The zodiac opens up awareness of the energies at play in the world, helping to come to peace with our part in the whole, and to make the most of it.

Your Sun is about yourself.
Your Moon is your heart.
Your Rising is how you look.
Your Mercury is the way you think.
Your Venus is how you love.
Your Mars is how you deal with life.
Your Jupiter is your luck.
Your Saturn is how you discipline yourself and your responsibilities.
Your Uranus is how unique you are.
Your Neptune is your imagination.
Your Pluto is your transformation.
Your Chiron is how you heal. 
Your Ceres is how you take care of yourself.
Your Pallas is your relationships.
Your Juno is beauty and Influences.
Your Vesta is your potential and your organization.
Your North Node is how you develop in your current life. 
Your South Node is how you developed in your past life.
Your Midheaven is your career, how others view you.
Your Lilith is your hidden emotions.


the end of time is carefully planned

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Unto Humanity returns the Tao

the ability to live in the here and now

all feet can walk upon the Way

all souls can learn anew to pray

we’ll unlock the past, reveal the design

and release the devils from the mind.

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QUEER SPIRIT is active in the world once more

calling us to know ourselves from the core

for the hour is coming, we must be prepared

gifts from goddess are made to be shared.

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I see my lives laid out behind me

the future becomes more clear

I dedicate myself to Truth

and say farewell to doubt and fear.

It’s time to spread the word, the Logos

to tame the serpents and the mind

to shine a light in religious circles

reveal secrets of the queerest kind.

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As student, apprentice, divine child, disciple

I make my way with spirit bible

and teachers here on earth incarnate

in lovers, friends and the wise

my being being guided, meeting the tasks

fulfilling all the All-Being asks

we deliver the Aquarian birth.

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In the rainbow tribe I see the kingdom

where knights awaken from beauty filled sleep

swords to be pulled from crystal skulls

a round table to be assembled:

we’ll decree that life shall never be dull

and fair legends we’ll resemble.

Warriors and wizards, a cosmic art

the world awaits our stand

we’ll train and work to play our part

the end of time is carefully planned.

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Some of the rainbow spirit are amongst the gay

the lesbian, trans and bisexuals,

some amongst the alternative fringe

but all appreciate the sacred and the sensual

some are homeless on the streets

our sins are worn out by their feet

and some are lost in mind-space,

having seen the void before a bridge could be built

they’ve become the vessel for our guilt.

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The sick to be healed, the angry to tame

the lonely to greet, but no-one to blame

this is the way things have worked out

we’ll change things quickly

once we get the score

the spirit is rising once more.

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I tend my garden, my home, with Zen

I care for my lovers and my good friends

we join with spirit to heal the earth

with angels and devils to make souls whole.

Then I retreat as monk, locked away, soft cell

simply witness the conflict of heaven and hell.

Channelling the energies that fly through the ether

when there’s a choice I take neither.

Pyramids, Temples, Cathedrals in the sky

whereto our spirits surely fly when we die

there among the saints and masters, in a circle of power

we prepare a mighty feast for a holy hour.

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AUTUMN ACCELERATION 1998/2018

Writing this in the Autumn of 2018, I am witnessing around me, amongst my friends and in the world, a striking and rapid acceleration of transformation and awakening.  I see people breaking through the outworn paradigms of separation and division, of power and control, of religion vs science etc, and opening to co-operation, co-creation, community and direct communion with the many levels of our existence.  I observe too how this produces intense crisis for some as well as epiphanies.

The parallels with my personal journey 20 years ago are striking home in me. In the course of 1998 my journey with HIV and AIDS turned the corner. After 7 years of preparing myself to leave the body, I now began to return to health, having gone on to the new protease inhibitor medications. My CD4 count had reached a low of 3, leading to gruelling experiences such as PCP (pneumonia) and KS (Karposi’s Sarcoma). I had sat for some time on the edge of life, with an expectation of the end, but now had to turn that expectation around. 9 months into taking the new meds I suddenly found myself entering a period of rapid internal change, opening up to spirit again as I had already done in 1995, when the shamanic aspects of my soul woke up. This time though I was not preparing for death, I was re-entering life.

The acceleration kicked off at the Connections Conference at ULU (University of London Union), an event put on London’s Gay Spiritual Group, and new gay charity Kairos. A couple of hundred queers met for a day of workshops and discussions. I took along a bag of mystic tricks – poetry that I’d written, mandalas, incense and set them up in a broom cupboard that had been set aside as a shrine room, but which nobody had bothered to do much in. After a day of fascinating meetings and workshops I went on to have a high energy, world-connecting interaction with a brother in that space. Our chakras opened and the light came in, we shared our stories and I learnt that he had just come out of hospital, having been sectioned for being too way out ‘mystical’. At the conference I experienced a powerful shamanic journey led by Daniel Stone (in which I saw myself in another life amongst Native Americans), a heated debate around the role of gurus and divine mothers (where I was struck by the hostility to gurus coming from the queer witches in the room – people I would go on to meet properly the following year at my first visit to Queer Pagan Camp), and met an ‘avatar’ soul, Dr Carl Shapley, an 80 year old American wizard, with whom in the following months I would go on to do much mystical channelling and energy work.

Shifting from a path toward death back into life, with a brand new outlook on the magical, mystery school that we inhabit, produced an incredible rush of excitement in me. After the conference I dived into mystical study and practice, creating ceremonies in my home in Stockwell to commune with other worlds. At this time I received chemotherapy as an experimental treatment for the Karposi’s Sarcoma, which had spread as purple lesions all over by body, plus internally too. I believe it was my gradually strengthening immune system that sorted the purple spots eventually – the main effect of the chemo seemed to be to set the molecules of my body on fire, and my mind as well as a result. I recall spending weeks ‘flying’ on my sofa, on a magic purple/white blanket that served as my portal to the other worlds, drawing my journeys in my notebooks as I went. I was often awake all night, deeply enjoying the quieter vibrations of the city, feeling that at 3-4 am the holiest energies were active and accessible. I spent many nights studying the Kabbalah, feeling the presence of discarnate entities guiding me, helping me create rituals that opened gates of energy. Sometimes Carl Shapley would join me, we would spend the night together in Kali’s cave, channel the words of the Ascended Masters, and enter into a glittering, hyper-aware zone that I remember he called ‘Crystal Consciousness’.

By November I was taking this magic out into the city, sometimes with Carl, and a witch friend from Earlsfield named Serena, whom I had met at a Full Moon ceremony in an old pub in Victoria. We three mystics met in Piccadilly Circus one night, with the spirit wild, high and open in us. I could feel the invisible energy pouring through me and sensed portals opening around Eros. London, as the mystical ‘Jerusalem’, was singing to me. I hung out with homeless people on the streets of Soho, shared conversations about Jesus and spirit, felt they had a role in anchoring the light into the planet. ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’. I went into a Jesus Army bus parked up near St Martin in the Fields, where my presence sparked an African lady to fall into trance and start screaming over and over ‘the blood of our lord Jesus Christ’. The Jesus soldiers soon ushered me out of the place, suspecting me of witchcraft…

Ah yes, the BLOOD. Her words struck home in me. The BLOOD. HIV in the blood had killed my friends, but it had given me life. The journey to death’s door had woken up the Soul in me, and the Soul was now teaching me who and what I am, and why I was here. The BLOOD had woken the Christ Consciousness in me – by which I mean mystical awareness of the interconnecting dance of life. I could now see the interplay of all life as one infinite, holy event – it was suddenly so OBVIOUS. How could anyone believe anything else? I felt that the gates to eternity must be about to open for the whole human race. There I was, awoken by spirit, meeting avatars, making ceremony in central London, and feeling part of a long history of magical work over centuries, preparing this city to be the receptacle for the divine light and the beacon to the world.

In January 1999 Carl invited me to a meeting at the House of Lords. Surely this was it. A spiritual meeting about changing life on earth, I thought. I had a poem in my pocket, but I wasn’t there to speak. I sat through a long and verbose meeting covering many topics, but it never quite reached the mystical moment of breakthrough I had imagined. I was soon walking home along the Thames to Stockwell, my head overloaded suddenly with confusion and loud angry voices. Getting home I smoked with my partner and something in me exploded. All the tension, all the pain, all the stress of the intense AIDS journey of the last 4 years overwhelmed me. What was I doing, going to the House of Lords thinking I was about to witness something akin to the Second Coming? I felt suddenly very wounded and very small. Suddenly aware of the enormity of the task ahead – in terms of the global shift in consciousness and to bring myself to a point of health and strength where I could even meet the energies of other people, and not be damaged – I felt myself dissolving into a non-physical realm, the room disappeared, and I panicked. Had I survived AIDS now to dissolve into nothingness? I fought to come back into my body, but I arrived back in pieces, shattered by this rush of experiences over the few months since I had stopped ‘dying’.

In 2018 I have friends going through mental and emotional challenges and breakdowns, I know lovely people who are sectioned because their transformation was getting out of control. Some of those people are aware they are on a magical path and have studied it deeply, others are less aware, less committed to such a concept. Whether consciously pursuing the path or not, we all may need help sometimes. In January 1999 the shock of coming back to life hit me so hard that I fell into the deepest hole possible…

Overstimulated by everything, with a myriad of voices screaming inside, I spent three months mostly in a darkened room, only getting up in that quietest time in the middle of the night, when I could hear and feel spirit, let their presence in to do energy work on my shattered mind and body. I sought and found help from spiritual healers and psychiatrists. One German psychiatrist seemed to grasp the transformation I had been through, advising me to do yoga and spend time with trees.  Having opened up this magical part of my soul, i now had to learn how to look after it, nurture it and protect it. The true healing of this breakdown came the following year, summer 2000, at my second visit to Queer Pagan Camp – here, in the company of 100 queer magical folk, the spirits of nature got through to me and showed that it is through nature, through living in tune and awareness of her cycles, seasons and shifts that I would be able to live, heal and thrive as a shamanic soul.

In 2018, twenty years on from that intensely mystical autumn, I still live in Stockwell and still make ceremonies in the city that connect matter and spirit. I still spend my time making connections with other queers – from all over the world – who are in some way called to raise their awareness, their vibration, their spirit. I still believe that humanity is ready for a quantum leap in understanding of our nature, but I now accept that these kind of leaps take decades to complete. So in service to spirit I create spaces in which awakening queers can find each other, practice and expand our magic, re-write the story of what queerness is, and play our role in the fulfilment of the divine plan for human consciousness.

www.queerspirit.net

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

https://rainbowmessengerblog.wordpress.com/

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REMEMBRANCE 11:11

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DEEP ACCEPTANCE

ETERNAL PEACE

As the people of the world remember the fallen

in Scorpio season when the veils are thin

the centenary of the end of the War to end all Wars

MAY REMEMBRANCE BRING ACCEPTANCE AND THE ROAD TO WORLD PEACE

November rains to wash away the pain

Scorpio rebirth, time to rise again

Sagittarius Jupiter and soon the Sun

time to set heights high

A NEW EPOCH HAS BEGUN

**

In remembrance we remember we are held by a greater love

we are the children of the earth

and also part of a cosmic dance

reflected patterns in the skies

in this dance it’s best to remember

there will always be lows and highs

in this dance it’s time to remember

the soul that you are never dies

**

We can ignore the cosmos

and stay fast asleep

but when we open our gates

we take the leap

from 3rd dimension through 4th to 5th

multi-dimensional human

god seeds evolving

we are all fragments of the divine mind

here to seek, here to find

**

Death’s door is revolving

we’ve been through it

a million times

liberation – pursue it

it’s pursuing you

the doorway to heaven is open

but you have to choose to walk through

as the amazing uniqueness that is you

**

The light comes in, the centaur’s flame

the dead are with us, they know the game

and if we have the courage to look within

we can remember

why we are here

we can evolve

beyond separation and fear

REMEMBRANCE 11:11. DEEP ACCEPTANCE. ETERNAL PEACE.

MAY THE MADNESS IN THE HUMAN MINDFIELD CEASE

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REINCARNATION COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THING

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“The soul has neither beginning nor end. [They] come into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of their previous lives”– Origen,183-253 A.D.

The two major Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Islam, deny the reality of reincarnation, but looking back at history we see this denial has more political than spiritual roots. Reincarnation was taken off the Christian agenda at a church council, called by the Roman Emperor Justinian in opposition to the wishes of the Pope (whom the emperor held prisoner at the time), in Constantinople in 553 AD, It did not serve the interests of the political state to have the populace believing in the transmigration of the soul (and in the 21st century it still doesn’t). Internet sources tie in the behind-the-scenes maneuverings Justinians’s wife Theodora, who had her sights on the goal of deification no less, in securing this denial of the teachings of Origen. We are still living with the destructive consequences of this twist in humanity’s tale.

The council was called to deal with a group known as the Origenists, who believed that after a series of incarnations a soul could achieve divine status, equal to Christ. Orthodox Christians could not accept this – at the council the belief in the pre-existence of the soul was condemned, and reincarnation disappeared from Christian teachings. Debate over reincarnation – metempsychosis was the Greek term used – had raged from the time of Origen, one of early Christianity’s greatest teachers, until this politically motivated move. Since then the Church has taught that a new soul is created with each birth, and it put great effort into dispensing with every heretical Christian group that saw things differently during subsequent centuries. The Cathars, Bogomils, Albigenses, Waldenses and other ‘Free Spirit’ groups which the Church wiped out, embraced reincarnation, and indeed these persecuted groups also saw all forms of sexuality as acceptable and believed the soul could reach divine status while in the body.

Islamic teachings encourage a linear view of life too, and it seems likely that was also inspired by the needs of the political rulers more than the spiritual seekers. Some of the early Islamic Caliphs wiped out the followers of reincarnation-believing faiths, such as Manichaeism in Mesopotamia and Persia (Iran/Iraq), but belief in it remained amongst the mystical Sufis, some Shia sects and in cultures in Asia which retained some of their pre-Islamic shamanistic cultural beliefs.

Note that the oldest of the Abrahamic religions has always accepted reincarnation as part of the great mystery. It forms part of the central understanding in Kabbalah, and orthodox Judaism also acknowledges it, without emphasising it. It really is about time that Christians and Muslims knew that they have been manipulated and controlled by this denial of the soul for a very long time, and that the motivation behind it was political.

And please note that all the other religions of the world include reincarnation as a given. When challenged on this by scientist Carl Sagan, the Dalai Lama replied, “If science can disprove reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism would abandon reincarnation… but it’s going to be mighty hard to disprove reincarnation.”

Make the population afraid of death and you have a subservient people, easily controlled. The Roman Empire oversaw the turning point in human evolution that led us into fearful, obedient servants to our self-appointed masters. We then became soldiers, workers – and most recently, consumers, doing what our leaders wish, ie maintaining their wealth and power. Science removes spirit all together from the picture, and instead of judgement after death sending us to heaven or hell, we are told a dark nothingness awaits us, an obliteration of our very essence of being. We are still being controlled, discouraged from seeking our own answers and manipulated into serving the economic system.

Yet surveys show over and over that a third or more of people of the western world do accept reincarnation as a fact, and consistently this is the case whether people have a religious belief or not. The soul in us knows that we come here to grow – and maybe eventually reach the point of realisation of our own divinity. The Kingdom of Heaven is within, said Jesus, and at this time of mass obsession with the external world, those that turn within will surely find what they seek.

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“I died as a mineral and became a plant,

I died as a plant and rose to animal,

I died as an animal and I was Man.

Why should i fear?  When was I less by dying?” – Rumi

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“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”   Revelation 21:4 King James Version