|In the early 1990's, I started seeing this specific kind of art around town. A combination of photography and computer "manipulated" art. It had a kind-of queer/psychedelic /counter-culture/back-to-nature/cosmic look to it and I (as well as many others) really gravitated to it. Little did I know that it was created by a guy I had seen around my gym for years, Stevee Postman. Once aware of each other, Stevee and I became close friends. I even had the honor of being used as a model for a card in the Tarot Deck he was creating. The card I was depicted in was #20 of the Major Arcana, Emergence.
During this same time, not only was I letting go of a lot of fear and guilt surrounding my religious beliefs, but I had a growing desire to encounter my spirituality, not just as a mental exercise or religious tradition but in my body and in the world around me. I sensed that Radical Faeries could help me in this process and as usual, circumstances seem to happen for a reason. Not only did Stevee's art give me insight to faeries, Stevee, a faerie himself, became mentor and hand-holder as I explored their world.
I am no expert on faeries, but I'll tell you what I know. Becoming visible around the 1970's, Radical Faeries are briefly described as gay hippies. They prefer a simple lifestyle that communes closely with the natural world. But their heritage is deeper than a few decades. Faeries have taken their direction from gay mystics throughout history - from ancient pagan and Greek rituals involving homosexuals to the gay medicine men of the native Americans. Faeries weave their spirituality with the threads of many diverse sources. That said, I know some faeries refuse any definition. Some see their roles as the constant contradictor.
Many feel so strongly about their way of life that they create communities or "sanctuaries" around the world. At these sanctuaries, they live off the land and by their convictions. I visit such communities once or twice a year - in Tennessee, New Mexico and Oregon - and always wish I could spend more time there. At different times of the year, faeries gather (usually at sanctuaries) to build friendships, create ritual and tradition, gain spiritual perspective, and learn from each other as well as the world around them. The most popular ritual is Beltaine, or May Pole Ritual taking place on the first of May.
As is the custom in other religious groups, many faeries take on a selected name of their own choosing - sometimes to describe their personality, sometimes just because they like the name. I felt involved enough to choose the name Weasel for myself because of my affinity toward ferrets and the like. I also chose the name because Weasel strikes an interesting balance between mischievousness (if not manipulative) and cute, cuddly and fun-loving. I find it a nice balance for my personality.
How the faerie movement has helped me most is in my integration process. If there's any group who finds the spiritual component to their sexuality, or uses their bodies to touch spirituality, it's the faeries. They have taught me to slow down and notice that my nature is a part of all nature. I have made special and lasting connections with people around the world. I have viewed the "big picture" a little less dimly. Some of their traditions I am not comfortable with. I suppose I am not a "radical" faerie, but a "fringe" faerie. But I am certainly a part of their gatherings because it is quickly evident to see a wide range of beliefs converging there. I think that is part of their beauty - chaos and all! For other websites by faeries go to my links page.
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