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Thank you to everyone for creating a wonderful space for all! 

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I had an amazing time at queer spirit. Would definitely return! 

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There is not a moment I would not was such a wonderful time... thank you all

Born of Earth,
by Shokti

At Queer Spirit Festival we celebrate the creative gifts, healing skills and cosmic magic of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Trans People.

We affirm that we are all Born of Earth and Born to Love!

"We know ourselves to be made from this earth.
We know this earth is made from our bodies.
For we see ourselves. And we are nature.
We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature.
Nature weeping. Nature speaking of nature to nature.”
Susan Griffin Woman and Nature

"All I'm saying is simply this. That all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be...This is the interrelated structure of reality"
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - written while in Birmingham Jail.

The Land is calling! The Trees are calling! Love is calling! Queer Spirit is calling!

It’s time to reclaim queer nature from the lies that have been told about it. There is a spiritual evolution going on on planet earth and queers have a crucial role to play in it. Historically, in nature-honouring, pagan cultures, queer nature had spiritual associations, none came up with the idea that the creator made something ‘in error’, something ‘against nature’. Instead, gender-fluid and same-sex loving people were seen as having specific roles in the community and were often regarded as bearers of spiritual powers, even as holy children of the Earth Spirit.

Most peoples of the world had no big hang ups about different kinds of sex until the Christian Europeans came along. Temples in India showed all kinds of sex acts in their stone carvings, just as had been the case in ancient Middle Eastern lands. In Japan and China homosexuality was seen as a privilege enjoyed particularly in the monasteries, and the locals laughed when the Jesuits suggested it was sinful. In Angola, Quimbanda was the name given to men who dressed as women and had sex with each other – they were held in esteem by the tribes-folk as wizards – the Dagara people of Burkino Faso consider queer people to be 'gatekeepers' to the spirit world … In cultures the world over, it was long recognised that tribe members who carried both male and female spirit in themselves were in touch with the invisible realms and were honoured for that. The Two Spirits of the native Americans are the most famous example. Each tribe had its own special name for the shamans – The Navaho called them the nadle, the Oglala call them Winkte, Absaroke of Montana used Bo-te, which means not-man, not-woman. Zuni say Ko’thlama……. Sources as late as the 1930s from the Navaho tribe reported that the nadle (a term that could apply to men and women shamans) were sacred and that without them the tribe would perish.

Quoted in Reclaiming Two-Spirits by Gregory D Smithers (published 2022), a Crow elder said, "We don't waste people the way white society does. Every person has their gift."

In fact it was once the same in pre-Christian Europe and the Middle East too. The powerful Earth Mother Goddesses of the ancient world – Demeter, Rhea, Inanna, Cybele, Isis, Artemis, Astarte etc - were served by both women and queer men: even the Old Testament tells of the Qedesha priests of Asherah, the local name for the Goddess in Canaan, (whom the Hebrew women used to worship by erecting phallic poles). Qedesha means 'Holy men anointed to the service of the Goddess', but this was translated in the King James English Bible as 'sodomites' and is usually rendered as 'male shrine prostitutes' in modern versions. An earlier English translation by Lollard heretic John Wycliffe translated Qedesha as 'womanish-men'.

Church Father Augustine of Hippo (354-430) said of the Gallae, the very loud, queer and flamboyant, gender-variant priests of the Great Mother Goddess Cybele, whose worship dated back millennia and was the official 'religion' of the Rome and its empire from around 200 BCE until the 4th century CE:

They are the sons of the earth. The Earth is their mother” - but he also complained virulently about their habits, calling them “castrated perverts….. madmen…. foully unmanned and corrupted.”

The Gallae were one of many groups of homosexually inclined and gender-variant priesthoods that served the Goddesses of the pre-Christian world. Historian Will Roscoe has written that: “At the time of the birth of Christ, cults of men devoted to a goddess flourished throughout the broad region extending from the Mediterranean to south Asia... These roles share the traits of devotion to a goddess, gender transgression and homosexuality, ecstatic ritual techniques (for healing, in the case of galli and Mesopotamian priests, and fertility, in the case of hijra), and actual (or symbolic] castration. Most, at, some point in their history, were based in temples and, therefore, part of the religious-economic administration of their respective city-states.”

Roman sophist Philostratus (end 2nd century CE), describing Gallae rituals where the priests embodied the deity Attis in order to have sex with worshippers who came to receive the essence and power of the God. He said that:

The tie between god and man cannot be thought of in closer or stronger terms, and they are joined by a feeling not only of lifelong gratitude but of personal love, which in its expression passes over into sensual terms.”

Some Christians really hated the goddess priests. Firmicus Maternus, who lived in the reign of Constantine (4th century – the first emperor to convert to Christianity), wrote of the priests:

They wear effeminately nursed hair, and dress in soft clothes. They can barely hold their heads up on their limp necks. Then, having made themselves alien to masculinity, swept up by playing flutes, they call their Goddess to fill them with an unholy spirit so as to seemingly predict the future to idle men. What sort of monstrous and unnatural thing is this?”

In their very temples can be seen deplorable mockery before a moaning crowd, men taking the part of women, revealing with boastful ostentation this ignominy of impure and unchaste bodies. They broadcast their crimes and confess with superlative delight the stain of their polluted bodies.”

The effeminacy of priests was so deeply embedded in the collective consciousness that Christianity insisted its priests be celibate (and continue to wear frocks), for the public would not readily accept married priests. “The Mother of the Gods also admits effeminates, and the Goddess would not judge so, if by nature unmanliness were a trivial thing,” wrote Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus in the 2nd century. Castration was common among the Goddess priesthoods and was popular too among the early Christians. Homosexuality had been part of religious life for so long that some Gnostic Christians favoured it over procreative sex: historian Randy P. Connor quotes 4th century Cypriot bishop Epiphanus on one of these Gnostic sects – “Those among them who are called Levites… do not have intercourse with women, but with each other. And it is these who are actually distinguished and honoured among them.”

Gradually the spiritual associations of queerness and the sacred was pushed out of people's awareness, although it would of course continue to arise in monastic settings throughout the Christian centuries. In England, Henry VIII used the Buggery Act of 1533 as justification to close the monasteries – author Robert Burton wrote in 'Anatomy of Melancholy' in 1621, that Henry “inspected the cloisters of … priests and votaries, and found among them so great a number of debauchees, catamites, boy-things, pederasts, sodomites, Ganymedes etc, that in every one of them you may be certain of a new Gomorrah.”

Once expelled from religion, many queers channelled their spirit into culture and creativity – into theatre, poetry and literature and, from the 17th century, into gay social subcultures such as the Molly Houses.

Malidoma Patrice SomeMalidoma Some and Sobonfu Some, two wisdom teachers sent to the West by the elders of the Dagara tribe of West Africa, have shared their indigenous understanding of queerness in their teachings – which is that sexuality and spirituality are intimately interwoven.

“Among the Dagara people, gender has very little to do with anatomy. It is purely energetic. In that context, a male who is physically male can vibrate female energy, and vice versa. That is where the real gender is.... The gay person is looked at primarily as a "gatekeeper." The Earth is looked at, from my tribal perspective, as a very, very delicate machine or consciousness, with high vibrational points, which certain people must be guardians of in order for the tribe to keep its continuity with the gods and with the spirits that dwell there. Spirits of this world and spirits of the other worlds. Any person who is at this link between this world and the other world experiences a state of vibrational consciousness which is far higher, and far different, from the one that a normal person would experience. This is what makes a gay person gay.

“ then limit gay people to simple sexual orientation is really the worst harm that can be done to a person. That all he or she is is a sexual person. And, personally, because of the fact that my knowledge of indigenous medicine, ritual, comes from gatekeepers, it’s hard for me to take this position that gay people are the negative breed of a society. No! In a society that is profoundly dysfunctional, what happens is that peoples’ life purposes are taken away, and what is left is this kind of sexual orientation which, in turn, is disturbing to the very society that created it.

“I think this is again victimization by a Christian establishment that is looking at a gay person as a disempowered person, a person who has lost his job from birth onward, and now society just wants to fire him out of life. This is not justice. It’s not justice. It is a terrible harm done to an energy that could save the world, that could save us. If, today, we are suffering from a gradual ecological waste, this is simply because the gatekeepers have been fired from their job. They have been fired! They have nothing to do! And because they have been fired, we accuse them for not doing anything. This is not fair!”

The tribal attitude said, and continues to say, that Gay people are especially empowered because we are able to identify with both sexes and can see into more than one world at once, having the capacity to see from more than one point of view at a time.” Judith Grahn, Another Mother Tongue 1984

Spiritual liberation is the missing element in the modern journey of lgbtq+ people around the world. Coming out about our sexuality or gender identity results from our need to be true to ourselves, we listen to our souls and from the soul comes the courage to be who we are. Coming Out is a profoundly spiritual statement. Going against the grain of society’s expectations is an extremely courageous thing to do. Coming out is a spiritual act because it is a statement of ‘I AM THAT’ — we look inside ourselves and eventually decide the feelings and desires we find there must be allowed freedom to be expressed.

This is just the start of our spiritual journey. Coming out is the result of deep inner questioning, a search within ourselves to find and accept who we are, usually in the face of huge pressure to conform to the hetero standards around us. The potential is in us to continue that questioning all the way through to the spiritual level. We live at a time now when all the world’s spiritual systems are available to us — spirituality is no longer controlled by a religious elite, it is in the hands of the masses. To reject god and all spirituality because of the ignorance and hatred of certain Christian faiths is too simplistic. Spirituality is about exploring who we are, what it means to be alive, and how we interconnect with other people and all of creation. As queer people, our right and ability to be who we are has been seriously blocked for a very long time by religious, legal and social attitudes – but this is changing and the mission to liberate, express and grow into who we really are, into our fullness, light and power is on!

Born of EarthWe are more than the body — we are beings of thought, of emotion and energy. Spirituality is about understanding how these parts of us affect each other, learning to create the life that we wish to live, and becoming a positive, loving, force in the world.

QUEER SPIRIT FESTIVAL is a place where HUNDREDS of questing queers gather in the embrace of nature to affirm, explore and celebrate our spirituality, build community and connect to the cosmos!

We know we are BORN OF EARTH, we know we belong here, we are earth spirits come to be part of the healing the world!

We're Here!  We're Queer!  We're Cosmic!

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