This is a copy of the original blog which can be found at gwydionblackrose.com/sacred-sexuality-queer-spirit-festival
Last week I had the privilege to be part of the second Queer Spirit Festival in the UK. It took place in the same location as last year which is sort of close to Glastonbury and Stonehenge. It’s a beautiful location which already felt familiar to some degree because of me having already connected with it at the festival last year. Yet it was also new.
The first workshop that I joined this year was about connecting more deeply to the land and the landscape. Becoming more fully aware of the stories of the land and the beings we share this place with. Not only led this experience to some really beautiful discoveries of ripe blackberries, caterpillars and a deer it also taught me a lot about us being there and the way this land is being developed back from a golf course into a forest.
The influence that human beings have had on this land and still do became clear to me. How they interrupted the natural growing cycles or are trying now to skip the state of wild meadow in favor of bringing back trees. Things I wouldn’t even have recognized without my (basic) knowledge of permaculture and ecology. Things the land was telling me that I picked up intuitively but that were also informed and filtered by mental knowledge and careful physical observation. Bringing all of my human parts together was stripping away more and more layers of what meaning I had given to the place and revealed more and more the actual place before my eyes. A conscious awareness of the physical which I plan to bring more fully to all future interactions between my self and nature. Not just engaging with the energies and spirits, but also this physical plane which is a pleasure to the senses.
In a lot of ways this year’s Queer Spirit Festival was about becoming more aware for me. More aware of the land, of the struggled of transgender people, of my own non-binary gender identity, of the ways we hide our wounds from each other or sometimes try to suppress conflict to maintain a superficial peace which isn’t really there.
I think that a lot of my interactions and learning experiencing have been the most raw, empowering and challenging for me in the Sacred Sexuality Temple. This is basically a (more or less) big tent which is dedicated to the exploration of sacred sexuality and intimacy during the whole camp/festival. A place were workshops around touch, sensual play and physical discovery take place and that is also dedicated as a place to have sex with each other in a consensual and fun way throughout the night.
The people tending the Sacred Sexuality Temple this year really did an awesome job of creating and maintaining a sacred and safe atmosphere. An energy which made me feel secure enough to get naked and share more of my most intimate and hidden sexual aspects with others. Witnessing others do the same. Sharing space and sometimes sharing touch.
One of the things I found most beautiful and inspiring was that the tent was open for the whole LGBT+ rainbow and people of all body types and sexualities were invited to play and re-discover themselves. This made the whole experience and energy really different from your typical gay darkroom atmosphere. Something which I also saw repel people (read: some cis gay men) who wanted to have more disconnected, superficial sex there, but clearly sensed that something different was offered and expected there. Not just because of the very clear consent policy.
I’m incredible thankful to the trans* and female-presenting people for joining in and claiming that space. It made a lot of difference. I think it’s important that gender and body diversity keeps getting emphasized there next year as well. That kind of healing needs to be available especially to those who do not currently have enough safe spaces to explore their sexuality. While many gay cis men already have multiple more or less liberating spaces to explore their sexuality with some sense of liberty and acceptance this is not yet true for most trans* people and women in general. Which is a reality which I like to see acknowledged.
I do not want to get too much into my specific experiences in that Temple right now. They involved plants and tree bark, blindfolds and meditations, touch and deep attunement. All of which showed me not only more ways to bring playfulness and fun back into my sexual practice. It also planted firmly into me some more seeds about what true intimacy and sacred sexuality could be like. Intimacy, connection and playfulness that I actually want in my daily life. Something most digitally acquired One-Night-Stands are not fit or willing to get into yet. Something that I will look for now with more precision.
I’m really grateful to the organizers and also the participants for creating and maintaining a space for all of that to happen. Queer Spirit Festival is a truly diverse place in terms of what is offered and who joins in. A place were true consent and inclusion are taught and practiced to the best of everyone’s abilities. Something I’m sure will continue to blossom and grow.
I hope that there will be another QS festival next year. It’s such a unique, inspiring and nourishing place for LGBTQ+ people from all kinds of backgrounds. It deserved to be tended and grown because of the promise and healing it offers not just for queer people, but the world(s).
Currently they do need some more money to cover the costs for this year’s festival. If you feel inspired to donate to the vision you can do so at the Queer Spirit website. I also recommend that you follow them on Facebook. If you feel the queer spirit rising within you then I definitely recommend you join us next time! It will be cosmic.