Magick-Making with Queer Spirit: an emerging Journey to Holism in Earth-Spirit Connection
Making magic, performing ceremony or creating healing space for psycho-spiritual development - whatever feels comfortable in your definition of the sacred transformative act - is an ever-evolving process. I explore in this blog entry how particularly the foundations for me: ethically, spiritually and in relation to identity and the marginal, are evolving. How sacred / healing / transformative spaces and acts need to become more fully inclusive and as a result - truly "whole"- celebrating wild diversity in all their forms and expressions, to the benefit of everyone. My focus here is queer-spiritedness, what this means from my experience (encompassing sexuality, gender identity and beyond), and what I am encountering out there.
I have been embracing the process, the journey, gently but consistently, removing fear or resistance or simply sitting with it - understanding its presence and in many cases, it's deeper wounding / history. Hiding becomes a normalised state when past trauma, abuse of one's differences and a need to simply survive socially / culturally has led to some need to remain cloaked and veiled. I spent a lot of time when growing up finding belonging and friendships in nature, in the wild, with spirit-companions who were free from repressive ways of living / being (imaginary friends apparently!), when the dominant human social worlds simply isolated and led me to depression in my emerging difference, particularly as a teenager when sexuality and gender roles became stifling, and running away into the forest with the mystical magical nature / tree / spirit beings that held no judgement - all that was just was - seemed the only safe place for my then un-wordable, inexpressible differences.
I could walk between worlds from an early age, but the internal compass I navigated with became less and less vivid, as schooling and the emerging harshness of social demands exhausted my reserves, or led me to question what I knew. it never died in me, but some severe suppression of that part of me, to much detriment, endured a while. I have come some distance to re-connect with this internal compass as Seer, I am now in the process of unveiling beyond my immediate social circle / comfort zone: to being and expressing the often unwordable.
I accept my perspectives are often still challenging for me to write or talk about in many public settings (this blog entry has taken many drafts!!), with a lifetime of seeing things very differently to the cultural norms I have tried to survive within, though I protected my ways of seeing / seer-ing though books and folklore and Tarot - kept the thread alive even when my spirit was quietened. Poetry, art, connecting through the web (online and beyond!) with other queer-spirited allies is helping me to find words and courage and passion for these intrinsic ways of seeing that have been with me lifelong. My heartfelt gratitude for this solidarity and community!
So, why am I now exploring this deeper - what is my catalyst? A personal psychological and spiritual journey that has recently emerged from being a solo-quest, to an outward-facing role of facilitation and holding in community (from writing a blog to ceremonial space-holding, has been quite a transition!). This outer-world engagement (still challenging and embryonic) has forced me to seriously look at this stuff and find ways to express myself in authenticity, and not gloss-over or use language that feels inauthentic to me. This broadens out even into my environmental mentoring work with young people in schools, I am growing this where I can, and seeing the challenges and how the dominant systems are quite a force to be reckoned with. This process in itself (particularly witnessing the current pressures on school children and the mainly state-school ethos that educates them) allows me to find self-forgiveness for my own hiding and withholding, and to understand why and how survival was imperative in these settings. Not only in the contexts of queerness, but the many intersectional forms of other-ness and difference that lives within cultural / societal edge-dwellers!
I am in search of like-minds / hearts, queer ancestral stories and myth, alongside the authenticity that the marginal amongst us deserve and need to reclaim. This has raised many questions for me, which mostly serve to fuel the way ahead and bring me into closer alignment with what resonates. The outer-world queering of spirituality begins so far with the queering of how I (and where I can influence this) others speak of nature and nature-based entities / beings - whether in myth, otherworld-states or out in the natural world before us in ordinary consciousness.
Gendering story, myth, nature and the spiritual in a consistently heterosexual, binary-gendered or energetically-dualistic culture is not fitting for a whole, authentic and truly representative experience of all realities, for all beings.
This is the truth I hold, and I am heart-warmed to be increasingly being drawn to others who feel similar, including those dear to me in my home and community. Even if I am still working out how to manifest this outwardly! Practical examples here from my experience: I have always felt some discomfort with terms like Mother Earth / Father Sky (also because this is a Native American reference that to them no doubt holds a sacred meaning I cannot access - but is no less powerful to them, and could be perceived as culturally appropriative) and in the binary-gendering of elementals / the physical Earth or spirit-beings; which I perceive as energetic in existence - as I believe all beings to be, in line with the queer-spirited nature shamanic practice offers. Walking-between-worlds gives a heart-opening, welcoming acceptance of all differences of experience, regardless of specific human culture. For my experience, this has been a comforting and validating healing process.
Any kind of cultural binary feels limiting and shuts off the unique flowing nature of their experience of sentience / presence. I have encountered an intense discomfort with the Wheel of the Year stories or pagan narratives that emphasise the sacred masculine & sacred feminine binary. The heteronormative, cis-gendering of fertility and the direct connection of this with female-bodied wombs and male-bodied phallus and all the (often subtle but still present!) magickal symbolism this inspires. I do not discredit or un-revere these stories and their meanings to those who do find resonance here and identify this way, but I discredit the sole-use of these stories and their language and pervasion in Earth-Spirit connection, community spaces and myth-making. In ritual and ceremony, words and intentions send-out the vibrations of manifestation, as Sandra Ingerman beautifully writes in her new book:
Think of the vibration of our thoughts and words spinning together just like a spinner spins fiber, and then the fibres weave together to create the fabric of reality we now live in. The vibrations of our thoughts and words create strong, resonant waves throughout the universe that change the course of our lives and that of the planet. Your view of yourself, others, and the world is made of thoughts that weave together to create the fabric of your life. Everything in the universe is seen as energy that can manifest into form over time through our intention. And using ceremony is a powerful tool to create and transform the world of form.
From: The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for invoking the Sacred in Everyday life by Sandra Ingerman
The diversity of human and non-human experience is many shades of wild. Neo-pagan and Celtic ancestral stories are often closely related to the old agricultural calendar that the Wheel follows (with a Germanic-Celtic-Anglo Saxon blending), times when childbirth and fertility were issues of survival and risk, which holds less sway now on the modern ways of birthing, farming, health and living. I am convinced however, that wider spectrums of experience were celebrated and embodied in myth, story and practice. Reverence of Elderhood, shapeshifters and tricksters and Rites of Passage show this, alongside death and rebirth as integral to these stories - so surely the liminal would have myriad guises and representations in myth? Were these edited-out by manuscript writers of Christian patriarchal leanings? Were these traditions, customs and myths buried with the bones of ancestors who now reside in spirit, enlightened and ready to bring us the lost? Do we simply need to look closer, to track the breadcrumbs left in the forest of story, to re-weave and revere what exists in the vibrant forest-edges of folklore?
Of course, some mythological digging-around and healthy queer-connection / speculation (!) can reveal seeds of this in potentially queer-leaning and virgin beings (the virgin concept was of a different origin-meaning than the medieval-contemporary understanding of virginal: a devotion of body & being to spirit or land, not necessarily an absence of sexual practice - which was also a sacred act). God/esses of the Wild Hunt of European Forests (Pan / Horned deities and elementals, Artemis or aspects of Brigid / Brigantia) are some of the examples that have sparked curiosity. I am in the process of researching this and excited to discover the books: Queer Magic: Lgbt+ Spirituality and Culture from Around the World by Tomás Prower and also Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries by Lee Harrington (Editor), Tai Fenix Kulystin (Editor).
Stories and language enable us to understand how not only our food, safety / survival, and medicine are seasonally nurtured in the northern hemisphere (as in the focus of older tales) from a social, spiritual and practical connection to land and seasonality - but also to see ourselves in the stories and in the land that we reside within. To see our souls laid bare, our human and spiritual trials explored and validated. To honour our transitional year through a lens that fits our experience, our diverse bodies, our unique creative life-force and that allows for difference and celebrates this.
This can feel a little overwhelming, I admit, however I am open to research, connection, collaboration / community (re)building, potential play with Wheels & Myths. What is called for is an alchemical blending of the ancestral, the wild and the authentic experience encompassing the new world we are creating, as an old limiting, once-dominant culture falls apart (the Piscean Age moving into the Aquarian, 3d consciousness shifting to 5d..etc - there are many expressions of these cataclysmic shifts unfolding globally and politically too, that ultimately serve to purge us of the psyco-spiritual-cultural deadwood and open us to a higher frequency of heart-centred living / loving). Clearly, this isn't going to be painless, but varied activism and spiritual-nourishment keeps the warrior-spirit grounded.
A second post on some seed-sowing, queer spiritual inspirations and offerings I am musing over is in progress (and is likely to become an on-going thread here)...Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to share your stories and experiences with me on Instagram or contact me if this sparks your ideas for collaboration or discussion!
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