Thursday, 3 May 2018

We are STARDUST!


A friend just recently back from a meditation retreat in India was reflecting with me on the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything….
We got to talking about death and suffering and the extent to which the unarticulated fear of death and chronic, painful terminal illness can loom over us, limiting how we might live our lives in the fullest possible way.
My friend asked me ‘Do you believe that all that you are disappears when you die?’
My answer: ’I don’t know-nobody knows!’
That, for me is what makes it such an interesting journey to be on. It’s a journey I’ve been on from the moment my germinal ovum kissed one microscopically small tadpole of a sperm cell. Death and dying are the YIN to the YANG of life and living.

I told my friend I was ready for death. Cultivating a fascination for my creeping decrepitude and decay was becoming my Next Big Project. He wondered how I had reached this contented level of equanimity towards a subject that most are programmed to avoid like the plague.
On reflection it’s probably something to do with how I have come to feel about the questions ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What happens to ‘who I am’ in death?’

So who am I? Apart from being a big old queer!

My presence is indisputably in existence on a number of parallel levels:

The scientist/materialist would say I am the sum total of all the atoms and molecules which make up the compounds, water, salts, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, cell walls and DNA of my body and all the electrostatic and electromagnetic forces around and between them. In death every atom of this aspect of my presence is available for re-purposing elsewhere: Stardust to Stardust!
The zoologist would say that I am a mammalian creature who has a survival instinct; hardwired to breathe, keep warm, drink, piss, eat, shit and f*ck.
The magician would say that I am a magickal creature, invested with my very own sovereign power to purposefully manifest. To energise thoughts and ideas, to authentically articulate and express emotions and to cultivate nature in all its aspects.
As a Faerie, my presence is about acknowledging the full spectrum of my emotional life and giving this permission to take up space. I’m acknowledging my fears and developing a fierceness in my determination to become who I am purposed to be. Feeling relief as I connect to nature. Allowing myself to feel anger, awe, joy, love compassion and intuition.
As a thinker, I have a presence which shows up as my thoughts, ideas, values and beliefs. Some believe this presence is who they are!

I’m certain that all of these aspects of who I am will have an impact beyond the date of my death. Just as the presences of all my queer ancestors have impacted on my own sense of purpose.

Beyond this, who knows what lives on. Soul? Nature Spirit? …..Back to the Garden?



I’ll know when it happens!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Hope Along the Wind: A Film About the Sussex Man who Started Two Queer Revolutions in the USA!


Gay Socrates talks to Harry Hay's friend and carer Joey Cain about Hay, the man, and the movie made about his life, coming to the Brighton Fringe next month.
Harry Hay (1912-2002) was born in Worthing. As an adult he became a gay activist in the US and founded the first Gay Liberation movement (The Mattachine Society) in 1950. He then went on to co-found the Radical Faeries.
'Hope Along the Wind...' is a lovely movie which sets this unlikely story in its historic context and captures rare interview footage of this iconic character in his later years.

Joey Cain knew Harry in person and was one of the devoted band of 'Loving Companions' who tended to the care of Harry and his partner in their closing years. For the 100th anniversary of Harry’s birth in 2012, he curated a major exhibition about his life and times in San Francisco and co-organized a conference about Harry in New York City.
Joey is flying from his home in San Francisco to present a screening of this movie as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival next month. 

GS: Who was Harry Hay to you?
JC: Harry was a dear friend, political comrade and gay visionary the likes of which we probably won’t see again. Without his tenacity, deep thinking and integrity, the LGBT revolution, at least as far as the USA goes, would have been a much longer time coming. He traversed many worlds, as Gay people often do.
A Communist activist and great music lover who was a trained baritone, he read long and deep in history and anthropology to find the hidden history of our People.
GS: Why are you bringing Harry Hay's story to the Brighton Fringe?
JC: Harry was born in Worthing, his birth house still stands, and we thought it would be a lovely idea to “bring Harry back” to this part of England, where he started out. This whole area is so rich in Queer history what with Edward Carpenter being born in Brighton, Oscar Wilde writing “The Importance of being Ernest” practically around the corner from where Harry was born. And that’s just scratching the surface.
GS: Why do you think conceiving of the Radical Faeries was important to Harry?
JC: Harry always said that the Radical Fairies was the realization of the dream he had when he started The Mattachine Society in 1950. The essence lies in the 3 questions he posed to be answered by both groups: Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? For Harry, the Fairies were about answering those questions and acting on the answers.

'Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay' is showing at the Fabrica Gallery, Tuesday May 8 7.30pm 

Tickets: https://www.brightonfringe.org/whats-on/harry-hay-founder-of-the-radical-faeries-124999/

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Radical Faeries: Why Are We Here?


There are times in the history of our humanity when, suddenly, unexpectedly, and dramatically, human consciousness shifts. When this happens, historians are usually curious about how these changes came about. Who did what to whom, and when?
The development of an LGBTQI+ liberation movement is one such event. We all know there was a time, back in the dark ages, when queerness didn’t even seem to have a consciousness of itself. And then there was a time when queers were vilified and persecuted- even killed and eugenicised. And then came the time when one queer said ‘No!”

There is a scientifically recognised phenomenon known as ‘morphic resonance’ (discovered by biologist Professor Rupert Sheldrake) whereby, a puzzle or dilemma solved by one living creature is immediately more likely, and more rapidly, to be solved by another, regardless of geographical proximity. Maybe it is by this little understood process that historic shifts of consciousness occur. However, in terms of queer liberation, there must have been that moment when, not only did one particular queer say “No! This is not acceptable” but then went on to say “And this is how we’ll go about changing it...”

It is quite possible that the name of that queer was Harry Hay. He was one of the founders of the first gay liberation movement organisations in the U.S.- the Mattachine Society. The story of how that small group brought hope and then ultimately tangible human rights equality to a growing number of nations across the world is told in a short, gripping movie biopic ‘Hope Along the Wind’ coming to the Brighton Fringe Festival in May.

Interestingly, Harry Hay’s involvement at the inception of the LGBTQI+ liberation movement was not the end of the story. After the movement’s historic successful legal challenge of a cottaging charge, the movement was flooded with ‘assimilationists’ (who believed ‘we’re just like straights apart from our sexualities’). He stepped away from the movement believing steadfastly that having sexualities was one of the few things that queers did have in common with the mainstream. He believed that queerness gave us a unique window through which we are able to view society and that we then favourably influence society through our own individual cultural engagements.
He threw himself into research constantly asking his famous three questions:  “Who are we?’ , ‘Where do we come from?’ and ‘Why are we here?’

Following his discovery of a resonance with the Native American identity of Berdache or ‘Two Spirit’, he began to see queers as a tribe of magical spiritual creatures with a unique role to play in the development of human consciousness. 

As Faeries, we locate our own unique purpose by celebrating our wild and mysterious natures together in community......

‘Hope Along the Wind: The Life of Harry Hay’ is showing at the Fabrica Gallery, 40 Duke Street, BN11AG 

TUESDAY May8 at 7.30pm. Tickets £8 & £6: 



Come along and say hello to the Brighton Faeries!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Epiphany as Magical Radical Politico-Spiritual Direct Action



I’ve had a few major Epiphanies during my life so far.

That dawning realisation at a time of crisis. The seeing of the truth of something unproven. That sudden recognition of purpose…

There’s always a numinous sense of ‘Higher Power’. An alliance of self with ethereal.

My first Epiphany was when I could see no other way than to be true to myself and my sexuality when I (finally) came out at the age of 20. I was depressed, hopeless and in despair at the time, and, 'coming out' was this profoundly religious resolution for what had become a totally fucked up unhappy life. And thus was created a reality receptive to my starved appetite for sexual encounters with men.

Subsequently, taking ‘coming-out’ to it’s logical political conclusion I became one of the Stonewall supporters pushing for assimilation (accept us please because we’re just the same as you apart from our sexuality) and basic equality rights. At the time I never imagined that there would ever be rights for LGBTQ+ers to adopt children or to marry in my lifetime. The very fact of this immense socio-political shift in the course of just a few years, for me, is testament to the existence of Magick: the art of changing consciousness at will by the setting of intention (against all odds!)

I’ve had other sizeable Epiphanies but my most recent one- around 10 years ago- happened after I had cornered myself into a heteronormative assimilationist lifestyle. Ostensibly monogamous and middle class, locked into a busy professional career, partnered to a lover who had become asexual and was suffering from chronic fatigue. I was thoroughly miserable! Once again the Epiphany came to the rescue. 

Thankfully my openness to that leap of imagination, into something unestablished, unproven, messy and chaotic- my spirituality- allowed The Faerie Tribe to enter into my life and in this way I entered into the Faerie Tribe.

On reflection, whenever the chips have been down and there has been nowhere else to turn, suddenly from out of the blue comes this unfolding of what hadn’t been there before: the offering of a future “Warp” to what is seemingly the meaningless ‘Weft’ of my life until now. And there it is again: the glimmering promise of future purpose!

As an Intersectional Radical Faerie I’m beginning to realise that my queer politico-spiritual purpose is to remain as open as I can be to this very act of Epiphanizing: to keep re-imagining an inclusive future. It isn’t present just yet, but it will become that future allowing our uniquenesses to keep eroding at the intersectionalities of heterosexism, gender binary-ism, ageism, classism, racism and ableism.


Faeries can find the ways for our diverse tribe to keep growing, flourishing and thriving together in harmonious and mutually supportive ways! So Mote It Be!

Monday, 25 December 2017

A Dream from the Margins of an Intersectionality


1

.... i'm present at a Faerie gathering.....
.... wandering around feeling like i don't belong....
.... some folk going off somewhere and i jokingly trying to find out what they're up to....
.... young Faerie quietly tells me that my questioning is 'overly-intrusive' and where they are going will be unknowable to me....
.... refers me back to a time when folk were meditating in a workshop and i was (unforgivably) using my mobile phone to call people....
.... i know that at the time i must have been 'in the spirit' of the workshop but can't exactly recall what she is referring to....
.... i know that what i'm being accused of is something i would not normally do....
.... i try to talk with her about it to help me remember what had actually happened....
.... she shuts me down and refuses to discuss it any further....
.... i'm preoccupied by the sense of being unjustly accused....
.... it's a familiar feeling and i adopt my usual position of welcoming this 'shadow' into my experience....
.... but there's a smouldering sense of wanting to become an outspoken 'shadow' in this gathering....

2

.... a familiar Faerie comes over to me, sits down and rests her legs across mine....
.... she recalls the time last night when i sucked her cock and she came in my mouth....
.... i joyfully remember the sweet taste of her semen as she spurted her ecstasy into my mouth....
.... (she had been wearing a Santa Claus hat with red flashing fairy-lights and in the darkness of the bushes we had been transported to a psychedelic red-light disco of sensation)....
.... but she was crest-fallen and told me that someone had approached her to say that they had witnessed it all and that ejaculation at gatherings was 'offensive' to them.... 
.... she wanted to check with me that there was indeed a rule that we had broken....
.... i told her that i hadn't been to a gathering for a while but this certainly wasn't a rule i was aware of....
.... again that smouldering sense of being called -or rather confronted- to take this on....

3

.... i 'm reminded of the rules at naturist gatherings where nudity is acceptable but there is the rule to carry a towel around to sit on-reminding us all of the need to protect the community from the dangers of bottom contamination!....
.... i say to her 'don't worry - it's probably something to do with some Faeries' phobia of bodily fluids'.... 
.... i'm overheard and suddenly realise i have become 'That Shadow Faerie' for daring to speak out this authentic speculation....
.... this means for some or many, i have now become 'Other'....
.... i, for them, am the enemy within our co-constructed utopian family....
.... i walk away from the gathering with that 'not-belonging-feeling' again....
.... walking past shops now.... there's a second-hand furniture shop and i leap and bounce off one of the chairs- i realise immediately i shouldn't have done it.....
.... the shopkeeper sees what i did and raises an eyebrow but doesn't remonstrate with me....

4

.... i find myself now in familiar surroundings- i used to live in this neighbourhood years ago....
.... i'm trying to walk up a hill but finding that, in spite of enormous effort, i'm hardly moving forward at all.....
.... there's someone behind me and i invite them to pass rather than try to keep ahead of them....
.... i look down at my feet and see that they are floating above the pavement....
.... i remember once again that i can fly but i'm now carrying books and a bunch of bananas and don't want to fly with these encumbrances....
.... so i slip them into the suitcase i'm wheeling behind me....
.... i'm now in a hotel corridor and aware that because of the suit case i must appear to be one of the guest here but i haven't paid for a room....
.... i take the case downstairs to the reception area....
.... wanting get away but having to continue to offload things into my suitcase....
.... the receptionist is confused by my behaviour but assumes i'm there to check out....
.... i'm still taking things out of my pockets and slipping them into the case....
.... i'm holding a wallet containing my valuables- it's in the form of a tiny handbag....
.... i decide to hold on to this and slip it into my inside pocket....
.... i try to recall where my laptop is and remember that it is safe back at the gathering....

5

.... but now the reception area is becoming crowded with scores of folk checking out....
.... i look for my suitcase but it is now lost in a sea of similar looking suitcases....
.... hotel porters are busy loading the luggage into the coaches waiting outside....
.... i approach them and ask if they have seen a large black suitcase
.... only to see that all the loaded suitcases are large and black but don't quite look like mine....
.... i'm desperate to convey that the case was in the reception area just two minutes ago....
.... surely it cant be that far away....
.... they point to a massive container-load of suitcases and say that if it was in the reception area it would now have been removed to this container ready for loading onto the coaches....
.... there's a part of me that isn't really bothered- I still have my valuables and laptop so what is there to worry about.....
.... but then they start to speculate about an employee who was recently fired from his job....
.... it wasn't clear what his job had been but there had been some sort of incident and a number of the hotel guests had complained about him....
.... 'it's probably him getting his revenge.... he'll have stolen it thinking you was one of the complainants'....
6


.... 'he's going to track you down- I'd be careful if I was you sir!'.....




Friday, 27 October 2017

Ten Commandments to live by for 2018



Taking stock after a very full and exerting year, much of which was spent in and around Faerie Gatherings, I’m starting to formulate some useful principles to live by for the rest of my life!
I am a little saddened that it has taken me the best part of sixty years to arrive at, what now seem to be, these fairly self evident truths. 
As queer mammalian creatures with our crazy-mixed-up vicariously motivated parents and teachers, and our fears and hungers and drives, we bounce ourselves into relationships, social circles, lifestyles, careers and patterns-of-being which often serve us less well than they might. 
Well, that’s what happened for me and it has taken a lifetime as an over-busy professional and 2 whole years of ‘doing-nothing’ post-retirement for the mists of conditioning and self deception to finally begin to clear.
So here are the personal 10 Commandments I will endeavour to live by, if not for the rest of my life, then at least for the next 12 months or so…..

1 Thou shalt become ever fiercer in thine honesty regarding personal integrity
This involves locating what I am feeling in my heart and being brave enough to bear witness to it regardless of how this revelation might be viewed by others as shameful, undesirable, unlikeable, unenlightened, - whatever!

2 Thou shalt stop apologising for whom thou art

3 Thou shalt stop seeking the approval of others

4 Thou shalt start to accept that being disliked for thine authenticity is the integral and undeniable flip-side of being liked for thine authenticity

5 Thou shalt stop using the words GOOD and BAD
These words are a root source for Duality and are Black Magick spells which establish the fault-lines of Divisiveness. I need to continue to recognise them as lazy signifiers of a privileged value system and always worth opening to scrutiny.

6 Thou shalt find a different way of saying “I hate it when…”
Hatred can so easily find its way into consciousness even via this ostensibly playful invocation.

7 Thou shalt avoid opinionated people
Keep remembering that they are desperately attempting to impose some order onto the gloriously, implacably, chaotic nature of life, the universe and everything. Attempting to challenge opinionatedness just cements it in place. Simply knowing what I know should be enough. Chaos will prevail.

8 Thou shalt stop being drawn to positions of ‘leadership’ 
They are a mirage. I am only able to lead myself. Just find some space and see what happens by being in it. And then endeavour to stop seeing what happens and simply ‘be’ in it.

9 Thou shalt keep identifying what brings thee joy and keep engaging with it on a regular basis

10 Thou shalt recognise when what thou art engaged with has become joyless and, no matter how worthy-seeming the project, thou must let it go. And let it go as quickly as possible!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hate Crime in Brighton- Maybe we need to get out more?


I’m still recovering from a summer of Faerie Gatherings!

Faerie-space is where I’ve been able to allow my spiritual queerness to be fully present, affirmed and celebrated. Over the years I’ve really benefitted from the opportunity to be quiet in nature. Here I've revealed to others my most shameful aspects. And here I’ve found love and acceptance not in spite of my perceived shortcomings but because of them!

I decided therefore, to offer myself in service to this fabulous, anarchic gang of consciousness developers. So I put myself forward to facilitate three consecutive gatherings during July and August.

First of all was Faerie Sex Magick at Folleterre, the Euro-Faerie Sanctuary in France. Thirteen brave Faeries together with 3 facilitators and a cook came together for an week of intensive heart circles exploring our barriers to intimacy. Our objective: to reach a point where all of us could agree that we had developed a deep enough emotional understanding of each other to safely enter into an erotic space together. This was my sixth workshop and, as always, there was much to learn from this very unique form of emotional skinny dipping!

Exposed to an angry participant I was opened up to my extreme avoidance of unpredictable anger and violence. Though my father is dead and gone, the wounding he inflicted on me with his aggressive volatility, was still very much alive in me as a pattern of pretending I didn’t need anger as part of my emotional life. I realise now that depriving myself and others of this vibrant aspect of my self-expression gives an indistinct and unreal feel of ‘who I am’ making if difficult for others to fully engage emotionally with me. So now I’m tuning-in to, and expressing my anger as it arises. What a refreshing change!

My next two gatherings were the Global closely followed by the Afterglow Gathering.

The Global Gatherings are a controversial development for the Faeries in that rather than making a call to Sanctuary for established Faeries, there is an active intention to reach out to activists in those parts of the world where there is no Faerie culture, raising funds to assist with air travel and subsistence, and shifting the focus away from inner/interpersonal healing towards outer and inter-continental healing.

For whatever reason the LGBTI+ human rights position in UK is now very privileged compared with many countries across the globe.

And, sure, there’s hate crime in Brighton but it’s nothing compared with the hate cultures I’ve been hearing about from activists in Chechnya, Uganda, Pakistan, Benin, Singapore, and Beijing.

Prior to my encounter with the Faeries I was an assimilationist, desperate to prove to anyone that I was just quite ordinary apart from my sexuality. Now as a Faerie I know that I am quite extra-ordinary because of my sexuality.

I’m feeling my anger rising against queer hatred and I’m recognising it as a valuable element of my Faerie-Superpowers! 


Watch out hate-crime-bitches. We're coming for you!!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Unconditional Giving as a Symptom of Approval Seeking


I’ve got a bit of an obsession with Bindweed at the moment!

Over the past 17 years it has mutated, from being a rather pretty climbing vine with lovely white trumpet-like flowers in the corner of our little back garden, into a rapidly growing, infiltrating, triffid strangling all my lovely plants and shrubs, and suffocating them out of light and life.

This summer I’ve  spent hours at a time in that garden unravelling the binding growth from fragile stems and branches. Each time the compost heap ends up with five or six armfuls of the stuff yet within a few weeks it has grown back again with a vengeance.

I’ve had a series of friends recently who were just like that Bindweed in my garden. People who at first seemed exotic and alluring from afar. People who claimed themselves unjustly judged. People for whom my intuition was screaming ‘Beware-they’re dangerous’ (and I disregarded the warnings because I wanted to prove my programming wrong). People who hinted that they were weak and fragile and in need of some support. To these people, metaphorically speaking, I invited them to grow up into the trellis-work of my life.

As the years have gone by, the weight of their vegetation and the suffocation of their foliage have taken their toll on me, draining me of my creative energy and vitality.

I’m sure I’m not the only one this has happened to. Until fairly recently I was a prize people pleaser; a total sucker for validation from wherever I could find it. I got pleasure from sensing  gratitude from others for the gifts of attention, touch, love, money, food, and rounds of drinks I would bestow on them. I was happy to offer myself as a resource and allowed myself to be used by others as and when they pleased.

Unfortunately this approach attracted individuals who were happy to accept my gifts and took the resources I allowed them to access. But rather than this resulting in a natural Yin-Yang balance of giving a receiving, I eventually began to feel drained, depleted and used.

I came to recognise that the fertile soil of my generosity was simply cultivating fields and fields of Bindweed-like users and takers.

I felt a bit sad when I abandoned my approach of unconditional beneficence but, with the help of the Faeries, as I grew to love myself and came to honour the queerness of my own true nature, I no longer felt the need of approval from others, at any cost, to shore up my confidence. I began to recognise that there was nothing ‘enlightened’ about what I was doing. I was simply taking my own natural power to continue becoming my truest authentic self and just pissing it up the wall!

I could easily spray a weedkiller on the Bindweed in my garden but, for now, I’m enjoying the hours and hours I’m spending meditating on the delicate balance of give and take in human relationships!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bears and My Reflections on My Reflections on My Reflection

I have a fear of Bears because they have, in one way or another, got me into the realm of body judging!
When I was a Twink in the ‘body fascist’ phase of my life, I used to think that Bears were just a bunch of guys with hairy backs who had lost the Battle of the Bulge and had found a way to reassure each other that the fight hadn’t been worth fighting in the first place.
Now in my twilight years, having hung around with The Faeries for the past 8 years, and having conscientiously and consciously challenged my socially programmed preference for the Body Beautiful, I am just about able to summon up some compassionate forgiveness for the opinionated brat that I was!
However, when someone I meet says they are a Bear, I kind of fear that my Faerie identity will be judged as too girly, not-manly-enough, not-hairy-enough, not fat enough (with the wrong sort of fat), not socially-locally-connected enough, not interested enough in raising money for charity.
Since I don’t actually know any Bears, I know these are simply my own personal projections onto a group of people who don’t deserve to be feared in this way.
Take the American Black Bear for instance. It seems like it’s reputation for being a dangerous killer is a whole lot of nonsense cooked up in the paranoia of the US collective sub-conscious. In reality they are beautiful, sweet and gentle creatures who are simply trying to get by, just like anyone else.
Anyway, the Bear theme for this month got me thinking about my body and how I judge it (and how I fear it is judged by others). It reminded me that a few years ago, in a fit of self-improvement, I did an exercise aimed at flushing out my subconscious negative body self-talk. I stood in front of a mirror- naked- and wrote down all the words that sprang to mind to describe what I saw. Then by the side of each word I wrote down its opposite. This is what emerged:

My Reflections on My Reflections on My Reflection

Here is a Body, Vulnerable and Exposed…..Shameless
Sacred Holy, Totally Acceptable and Divine, Spiritually Balanced
Slim and Trim, Surprisingly Youthful, Young and Vital

Cuddly and Curvaceous, Smooth and Furry, Muscled
Beautifully Androgynous, Masculine Enough, Dinky Genitals- Perfectly Formed

Beautiful, Amazing, Hairy and Handsome
Strong, Adapting, Dynamic, Evolving, Growing
Wonderful Changing Regenerating Miraculous!

Attractive, Sexually Magnetic, Tasty
In Surprisingly Good Nick, A Great Oak, A Well-Looked-After Vintage Car
Hello!

You are Smouldering, Sensual and Sensuous
Feeling, Touching, Tasting, Smelling
The Silent Witness and Guide 
Where Ethereal and Material Clash

The Vessel, The Instrument, The Tool
Transient, Transitory and Transitional
Indispensable Now- Yet Ultimately Disposable

Body! Talk To Me! Show Me How You Feel!


It’s an interesting exercise- try it and see what happens!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

10 Steps Towards Emotional Intimacy: The Faerie Heart Circle Ritual




1 Find at least one other person you feel able to confide in and who would be able to confide in you. (If you don’t know anyone you need to find a new set of friends- or start up a Meet-up Group!)

2 Find a special object- call it a Talisman- to hold and pass around the circle.

3 Designate a date and time and set aside at least 2 hours free of disturbance.

4 Turn all your devices off and prepare to communicate the truth of what is going on for you right now. In the Flesh. No edits. The raw, honest authentic truth! 

5 Pick up the talisman and say ‘In this Heart Circle I will have the opportunity to share but only when I hold the Talisman. Do you agree to do this too?’

6 Wait for all present to say- Yes I agree! (if they don’t, then send them home and find another group!)

7 Light a candle and pass the Talisman and this text to the left. The next person says ‘At the beginning of my sharing I will say my name and it will be repeated back by the circle as an affirmation of mutual support. Do you agree to do this too?’

8 This person lights a candle then passes the Talisman and this text to the left and so on.

9 These statements are said, asking for agreement, by other participants or if there are just 2 or three of you they are shared between you:

  • I will speak from the heart about what is alive and true for me right now.
  • I will own my statements by using ‘I’ and ‘my’ rather than ‘you’ or ‘we’. 
  • I promise to listen with empathy and to have a compassionate awareness of any judgement as it arises within me. 
  • During the circle, I may hear something that resonates with me. I will not directly comment on, or offer any advice to others. However it may affect my subsequent sharing.
  • I may say nothing when the talisman comes to me but I will allow myself time to be present with my feelings before passing it on. 
  • I will allow others personal space to be fully with their own experience- in tears or laughter. Comfort or hugs may be non-verbally offered and accepted when the sharing has finished. 
  • I will look after my emotional and physical needs and if I have to leave the room I will do so at the end of a share.  
  • If I would like to talk about something said in the circle with that person afterwards, I may ask  but I accept that the answer could be no. 
  • I promise to keep everything in this heart circle CONFIDENTIAL. 
10 Now take the talisman and share from the heart for as long as it takes then pass it on. When all has been said hold hands. Take 3 deep breaths then blow the candles out. Enjoy!