2019 GSV Fall Conference: Spiritually Sourced Activism

2019 Fall Conference Picture

Spiritually Sourced Activism


September 19 – 22, 2019


The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC


2019 Fall Rates
Beloved Tribe:

This year we are celebrating Gay Spirit Visions’ 30th anniversary … time for a great celebration! Never before has the organization been as relevant as it is today.

We are living in unusually challenging times. Our society is experiencing an unprecedented spiritual malaise. It manifests in the outer crust of everyday political discourse but has its roots at a much deeper level. GSV’s 2019 Fall Conference will be a series of conversations on our society’s deeper spiritual misalignment and how we, as spiritually awakened gay men, can respond in a spiritually sourced way downloading guidance from higher realms.

For centuries humans have faced challenging social and political scenarios. Some of them chose to tune in to a higher frequency, a higher intelligence, and responded to those scenarios from a spiritual perspective. They have left us a rich legacy. Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, the Vietnamese monk Thích Nh?t H?nh, and our own Martin Luther King Jr. faced deplorable circumstances and had every reason to become hateful and vindictive. They didn’t. They opened up, tuned in, and downloaded inspiration for guidance as to how to move forward and respond to the darkness with light.

Our conference will NOT be a conversation on bipartisan politics. It will not be a conversation about individual politicians. Nor will it be a discussion of the outer crust and everyday discourse we read about in the media.

The conference will explore ways of invoking and tuning in to spiritual inspiration, guidance, and solutions that empower us to create a world that is fair, inclusive, caring, and respectful of the earth and all sentient beings. We will explore how present social and political conditions can be seen as a call, a very loud call, for deeper healing, personal healing, and collective healing. Call it inspired activism, sacred activism, or any other name, it is activism emanating from a spiritual source.

So let us have conversations on reaching out to spirit, opening to spirit, and receiving from spirit, so that we may move forward as empowered creators of a better world. Let’s share ideas, let’s cross-pollinate thought, and enrich each other’s understanding of the loving community we are.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade, American anthropologist.

RAYMOND L. RIGOGLIOSO – KEYNOTE SPEAKER


Raymond L. Rigoglioso is the founder and executive director of Gay Men of Wisdom. He is the author of the book Gay Men and The New Way Forward. In his book, Ray assists the reader in realizing how he serves and heals humanity and frees and enriches the human spirit. Former GSV keynote speakers Toby Johnson, Will Roscoe, Jon Stasio, and Mark Thompson have offered positive reviews of Gay Men and The New Way Forward.

Ray is a certified Life Coach through the International Coach Federation. His professional background includes more than two decades as a writer and editor for non-profit organizations in New York City and Boston. He co-founded the Danbury Area Gay and Lesbian Youth Group where he facilitated groups. After graduating from the New School in 1991, Ray went on to work at New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Ray’s work and vision are more relevant and urgent now than ever before.

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT INFORMATION


PRESENTATIONS


Please send proposals for workshops, panel discussions, or any other format to khamillus@aol.com. All presentations should support the conference theme.

SILENT AUCTION


As part of GSV’s ongoing effort to financially support brothers who would like to attend our gatherings, the Financial Assistance Committee organizes silent auctions to benefit GSV’s Raven Wolfdancer Financial Assistance Fund. More information concerning the silent auction will be included in future conference announcements.

FRIDAY EVENING DANCE EVENT


GSV brother Kevin “Baby Bull” Biacsi will be our Friday evening dance event DJ. Kevin requests that you send to him the titles of your top two favorite songs that you would like to be included in Friday evening’s dance event. Please e-mail your request directly to Kevin at kevinjbiacsi@gmail.com.

THE PARADE OF BEAUTIES


Take it to the runway! Bring on your splashy and creative attire, dazzling costumes, high voltage drag, and anything else you’d like to wear (or not wear)! And bring on the make-up!

VARIETY SHOW


Be a star. There’s no business like show business and at GSV’s variety show you are guaranteed to glow. Have no fear about appearing onstage, this is the audience from heaven!

Cami Delgado
Convener – GSV 2019 Fall Conference

Watch for future e-mails and posts about the 2019 Fall Conference. In the meantime, register now!

GSV 2019 Spring Retreat: Awaken Our Magick

Awaken Our Magick


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat

April 12 – 14, 2019


The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat
Loving members of my ever-extending family,

The time is nigh to awaken with the opening of the green world all around us. We humans often think we live by our own rules, but it is usually nature which holds final sway. Every spring is a time to shoot out of the insulating casings we’ve built around ourselves to survive harsh times with our delicate petals of infinite colors to attract the next step of our life’s journey.

The natural die-back of the winter is coming to a close. We have made our necessary sacrifices, and into that void, we thrust our being with the beating hearts of all our ancestors, our brothers and sisters of the natural world, and all our future realities, spun from our favorite dreams and woven into a growing community with our intentions, desires, experiences, and joys. I offer this spring retreat to you as an opportunity to build yourself a gossamer web of connections between past and future, self and other, heaven and earth, and space and form, built upon acceptance, understanding, and appreciation.

The world is such that we are interdependent beings, reliant on one another, whether we want to be or not. What kind of world can we create when we consciously come together? What limitations are left in life when we open our hearts to loving all beings? What do we want our lives, our words, and our worlds to become? Is it possible to separate the you from the understanding I have of myself? What part of nature exists independent of everything else? What can possibly live in a vacuum?

Coming together is not just a fun and fanciful idea. It is actually impossible NOT to do. You choose not to come together with one being, and that forces you to come together with something else. When we consciously come together and share our thoughts, hopes, fears, and desires, we can reach much farther than we could ever go by ourselves. Alternately, when we view ourselves as independent, suddenly all our resources are scarce, everyone is an Other, and if I cannot do it myself, it cannot be done. These are all lies. You know this to be true.

So set the old beliefs aside. Come and explore with us what life could be like, if only a taste, a sweet possibility, a temptation of another way to live. Or come and dive deep into our swiftly spiritual waters, if wading is not enough to quench your thirst. We all carry a bucket of beliefs with us wherever we go and if we pool these waters together, we begin to see that anything is possible.

There is always more room in this mountain lagoon for your beliefs. Let’s dissolve the destructive and limiting beliefs, take their component parts and rebuild our inner world with grace and kindness. Let’s share our truths, our theories, our experiences, and our techniques, and knit our worlds together tighter and stronger. There is love in this labor that yearns for release. Why not share it with those who are sure to cherish it?

You are welcome here. You will always be welcome here. You are felt in your absence, even if you have not yet walked these paths. Come as you are. Come with all of yourself. There is no need to be anything more or anything less that exactly who you are, in all your shame, glory, courage, or lack thereof. Generations of wisdom run through your veins, whether you know it or not. Like buds in spring, open yourself to the truth that you are already everything you need to be. For yourself, for us, for the world.

This is a liminal event. Yes, it exists in a specific place and time, but really, it’s where and when it’s not taking place that’s important: your daily life. Yes, it’s both real and very temporary. We cannot live in this space. It’s an infinite space, where anything can become anything else, so long as you believe that it can. This is something for you to use to break out of the winter cocoon of your spirit (regardless of how long you’ve been sleeping) and reenter your everyday reenergized.

Yes, change can be scary, but it can also be fun. And yes, change can be hard, but it can be so rewarding. Come and explore the possibility of what your magicks bring to community. We’ll be here for you, and you’ll be here for us, and isn’t this give and receive in the same act really something sublime?

If you are interested in helping out with the retreat in any way during, before, or after the retreat, which is a great opportunity to really inject your magicky goodness into this and meet other people, consider reaching out to me directly at J.L.Buchanan@gmail.com or at council@gayspiritvisions.org for more information in ways to be of assistance. Fire us an email too, if you have any other questions, comments, or concerns.

Remember, we do offer financial assistance, if finances are an obstacle. And most of us are happy to carpool. Please do not hesitate to lean on us. Why else are we here but to rely on one another?

With love, light, and the indomitable spirit of play,
Jason Lloyd Buchanan, Convener
GSV Spring Retreat, 2019

Register for the 2019 Spring Retreat

GSV Spring Retreat: Awaken Our Magick

Awaken Our Magick


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat

April 12 – 14, 2019


The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat
Most exalted siblings,

The Spring Conference approaches and the liminal window it promises shudders in the winds of your coming change. Will you be here with us when we open this window and usher in our wildest dreams? We can do more together. Add your voice to ours and let the universe hear what you have to say.

If not here, where? If not now, when?

Spring is the perfect time to clean out our skeletons and take stock of what we’re left with after winter has finished whitening our world. The crocuses bloom, the daffodils creep, and the lilies of the valley pop along with the spring beauties while the song of the spring peepers trail close behind. It is time to shed our snow-stiffened snake skins and burn ourselves back to life with phoenix fire.

Here at The Mountain, I offer a space and a place for you to warm yourself with like-minded magicians of all walks of life. To swap mental seeds for your inner garden and explore what you may have been too nervous to try alone or in the past. You are more powerful than you know. You can do this and anything after. We are creating an opportunity for you to stand in your power, unafraid of your own God-self, supported by all of us who follow a similar path.

Maybe you’re unsure of what you have to offer. Come anyway. Your openness is a gift as good as, if not better than, any expertise you may or may not claim to have, but we often know more than we think we do. Even a small thing we pick up along the way has the power to change another person’s world. One of the tricks of magick is that you have to believe you’re fully capable of changing the world. If you feel you’re not there, come anyway. We’ll believe in you for you. The universe loves to play.

And play we shall.

Intermixed with weekend workshops will be free-form exploration in solo or spontaneous groupwork through the establishment of designated and open play spaces throughout the conference for various fields of spirituality, such as connecting to spirits, creating rituals of your own, sharing healing touch with others, and discussing concepts in a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Wherever you are, you will find both mentors and seekers in whatever flavor you come: non-theist, poly-theist, mono-theist, medium, healer, psychic, shaman, spiritualist, practitioner, priest, dreamer, channeler, alchemist, mage, meditator, wizard, witch, writer, whatever. There is a place for you here.

We still have space for more workshops. Show your brothers what you can do; show them how to do it for themselves. Please contact J.L.Buchanan@gmail.com directly or council@gayspiritvisions.org with requests and further questions.

Looking forward to magicking with you,
Jason Lloyd Buchanan, Convener
GSV Spring Retreat, 2019

Register for the 2019 Spring Retreat

GSV 2019 Spring Retreat: Awaken Our Magick

Awaken Our Magick


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat

April 12 – 14, 2019


The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC


GSV 2019 Spring Retreat
Beloved Siblings,

Magick is defined as the science and art of causing change in conformity to one’s will.

Maybe this turns you off, but I want to magick with everyone, everywhere, all the time. You may not know it, but every single one of you magicks, and every single one of you magicks in a deliciously unique way.

When I say “you magick,” what I mean is “you think, speak, and act in ways that manifest your world.” The shadow side of this is that, in reality, you can never not manifest your world. You either do it consciously through intention, or unconsciously through reaction.

Our dominant society often indoctrinates us into a cold (minus 457.87 degrees Fahrenheit) and unfeeling (without consciousness and absolutely objective) universe of material limitations, which distracts us from our own limitless possibilities. As salve, we are often taught that “everything happens for a reason” and “there is a bigger plan for you.” But neither of these partial truths give us back our power to define our own universes and become what we desire to be, so let me offer this to you as a reminder: There is no power in the universe that can stop you. So long as you have your will, you will find a way.

As convener, I request your presence this spring at The Mountain to “Awaken Our Magick” as a community. Together, we are going to create a space for all your magicks to be present, heard, and shared with others. Whether your magick takes the form of basic intentionality, ceremony and ritual, trance and other altered states, energy manipulation, psychic intuition, spirit communication, or any other form you have dreamt up, you are welcome here. Advanced practitioners, complete neophytes, and everyone left of, right of, or in between, are welcome here.

Raise your freak flag, gather your talismans, and prepare yourself for explorations into the invisible fabric of reality that underlies this one. Hand in hand, let’s cross the veil, and feel the omnipresence of love and light on the other side (safe, sane, and consensual practice, of course). No dying necessary.

Now calling for workshop leaders for the aforementioned topics and anything else that your intuition and your spirits tell you needs to be at our spring retreat. Please contact J.L.Buchanan@gmail.com directly or Council@GaySpiritVisions.org with requests and further questions.

So mote it be,
Jason Lloyd Buchanan, Convener
GSV Spring Retreat, 2019

Register for the 2019 Spring Retreat

GSV 2019: State of the Tribe update

Sweet GSV siblings,

A new year is upon us, and I wanted to give you an update on what’s happening with Gay Spirit Visions.

January gets its name from Janus, the Greek god who had one face looking forward and another on the back of his head looking backward. It’s an appropriately named month as January, with its post-holiday lull, is a fine time to reflect on the past, reassess, and to reengage with the future.

That is at least as true for organizations like Gay Spirit Visions as it is for individuals, and with that in mind, your GSV Council wanted to give you an update on what our amazing community did in 2018 and what we are looking forward to this year. We feel that it’s important that our community know what’s going on with this organization we hold so close to our hearts, and we hope to make this State of the Tribe letter an annual update so that the members of our magical GSV family, widely scattered as they are, are kept apprised of our efforts on their behalf.

2019 is going to be an amazing year for us. Not only is 2019 going to be the 30th anniversary of Gay Spirit Visions, it will also be the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that launched the modern gay rights movement! The glamorous Cami Delgado will be the Convener of Fall Conference XXX, and we are expecting it to be magical!!!

Looking Back at 2018


In 2018 The Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions worked with Conveners to put on three events: the Winter Meditation “Bringing Darkness to the Light,” convened by Andy Foskey; the Spring Retreat “Embodying Community: Our Big Spring Thing,” co-convened by the GSV Council; and the Fall Conference, “Insatiable Curiosity,” convened by Randy Taylor. Attendance for these events was 164 magical, open-hearted men who came from around the country (and the world!) to be a part of the GSV community.

The Gay Spirit Visions Communities


I like to think of GSV as a movement as much as an organization. Gay men everywhere have a hunger for spiritual connection and the warm community we offer, and that movement has taken, or is taking, shape in communities around the country.

Atlanta, the GSV Mothership, has found itself in a state of flux in recent years. Randall Cumbaa will be hosting a GSV Heart Circle on January 26th, and information about that event can be found on the GSV Facebook page or by contacting Randall. GSV potlucks are happening in the Atlanta area randomly several times a year, and we are always looking for men who would like to host. Also, Randy Taylor has proposed a GSV book group to read Gay Men and the New Way Forward by Ray Riglioso, who is slated to be our keynote speaker at the Fall Conference.

Asheville has a large and vital (if unofficial) GSV community that maintains a close orbit around house parties and monthly massage events at the lovely home of Mahan-Kalpa.

Chicago’s branch of GSV is now in its eighth year. It has hosted a potluck every month since its founding in the fall of 2011. Seven Chicago men attended the Fall Conference in 2018. At various times GSV-C has offered a coffeeklatch as well as a book group, and we currently plan on having a booth at Chicago’s Pagan Pride Fair in September.

The Business of 2018


Last year was a busy year for your council as we worked on preserving our past, refining our processes, and preparing for the future. •2018 saw a huge push to build and refine the GSV archives housed at Georgia State University. The history of GSV is being established and preserved in the form of photographs, video interviews, and ephemera from past conferences. This collection is open to all members of GSV as well as scholars wanting to document the history of our community.
•In June the council finalized a set of bylaws for GSV, which can be found here. (GSV Bylaws)
•Starting with the Fall Conference, the council introduced tiered pricing, which allows you to pay for exactly the housing option you want at our events held up on The Mountain. While the initial announcement of this change was met with concern, the feedback received after the Fall Conference was quite positive, and we will be using the tiered pricing system going forward.
•At the November face-to-face meeting, the council voted to change to how we handle our council fires at the Spring and Fall events. Going forward, the council fire will be allowed to go out at the end of each night, and it will be rebuilt by the Firekeeper every evening at dusk, thereby reducing our carbon footprint and allowing the Firekeeper the luxury of sleeping through the night and not having to get up at 3:00 a.m. to stoke the fire. We will also be obtaining a new urn for the ashes that we gather at the end of the Spring and Fall conferences.
•After noticing that first-time attendees to the Fall Conference were paying for the extra day – and falling through the cracks — the council decided to call that extra day before the Fall Conference an Alumni and Planning Day to clarify what it is and who is most likely to benefit from it.
•Spearheaded by Randall, the council is working on a Policies and Procedures Manual that we expect to finalize at our June face-to-face council meeting.
•After noting a clear pattern of bad corporate behavior by Wells-Fargo, the council voted to move GSV’s funds to a smaller and more ethical financial institution.

Council Changes


The Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions is tasked with bringing the community together for up to three wonderful gatherings a year. The council is not a static thing; its ways are not mysterious, and it is not separate from the community it serves. The council is a living entity comprising members of the community from around the country who love this tribe of men and want to take it to ever greater degrees of success. The council gathers, it works, it plays, it pulses like a loving heart.

And, like any living thing, it changes.

Council Departures


Three of our long-serving council members — Wendell “Fairy Frog Power Princess” Johnson, Doug “Kaptain Krunch” Emerson, and Tony James – reached the conclusion of their three-year terms and rolled off council at the end of December.

Our thanks flow to these extraordinary men for their loving service to our community. They went above and beyond the call of duty for GSV. They were on the council during a particularly challenging period in GSV’s history, and they stayed focused, maintained organizational cohesion, and ensured that GSV is able to continue its mission into the future.

Wendell was not just GSV’s long-term Treasurer, he has also been the tireless champion of the silent auction that funds our financial assistance efforts. Wendell was a mindful and responsible steward of GSV’s funds, and he left the accounts and the scholarship fund in excellent shape for his successors.

Doug has been a diligent member of the Altared Spaces Working Circle and a devoted overseer and defender of GSV’s Facebook page.

Tony James is, and has long been, a HUGE part of GSV’s organizational memory, and his years of diligent service to our tribe — on council and off — have been a truly gracious gift to our community.

The greater GSV community may or may not know how much these men have done for our tribe, but we on the council certainly do, and we are aglow with gratitude.

Incoming!


With departures there come new arrivals. The council met in Asheville in November to vote on new members and to elect new officers. We start this year off by welcoming three intrepid new champions onto the GSV council: Jonny “Mothra” Gray, Mackie Obando, and Randy Taylor.

Jonny “Mothra” Gray began attending GSV at the Fall Conference in 2016. He has attended the Fall Conference and Winter Retreat since then. He has volunteered extensively with the Shauna Pleas Boutique, and he has also helped with sound for the talent show. In the fall of 2017 he took his Faerie name, “Mothra.” In the mundane world, Jonny is a professor of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University. He is also the host of the community radio (WDBX) show and podcast, “Isn’t It Queer.”

Mackie Obando was born in Lima, Perú and moved to Atlanta in 1996, just in time for the Olympics. He works in the hospitality field, where he enjoys getting to know a variety of cultures.His first experience with GSV was the 2015 Spring Retreat, and he has attended several conferences since. Being in the Parade of Beauties and the Talent Show are his favorite aspects of the GSV experience, followed by the small group experience, which he feels to be enrichment for the soul. Music, singing, dance, and musical theater are few of Mackie’s many passions.

Randy Taylor graduated to GSV from being a Radical Faery. He has been involved with GSV from its inception, and it was he who designed GSV’s iconic dancing men images for one of the early flyers. His spiritual journey has included Christianity, Paganism, Shamanism, Buddhism, Science of Mind, Steampunk, agnosticism, Laconneau, Trance Postures, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. His current practice includes sacred geometry, TM, playfulness, curiosity, and Yoga. His life is a synthesis of all he has experienced so far, and he brings this experience to his service with GSV. He remains a bit of a steampunk Faery, and his drag is costumes. He is semi-retired and lives in East Atlanta, where he recently celebrated a one year anniversary with his partner Cal Gough. Randy was the Convener of the 2018 Fall Conference “Insatiable Curiosity.”

After the changes mentioned above, The Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions for 2019 consists of Kraig “Nightshade” Blackwelder, Bill Harris, Randall Cumbaa, Mahan-Kalpa Khalsa, Bruce “Dandylion” Tidwell, Jason Buchanan, Jonny “Mothra” Gray, Mackie Obando, and Randy Taylor.

The officers are Kraig “Nightshade” Blackwelder (Presiding Elder), Bill Harris (Treasurer), and Jason Buchanan (Secretary).

Note that you can always find a current roster of who’s on council by going to the
participatory leadership page of the GSV website.

Working Circles: Come Play With Us!


The primary purpose of the Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions council is to ensure that GSV produces conferences for this community. Without the support and hard work of our dedicated Working Circles, the GSV council would be powerless to put on the amazing events that we have now been doing for 30 YEARS.

Volunteering with the GSV Working Circles is a fantastic way to build community, to meet new friends, to help create GSV magic, and to ensure the continuation of our magnificent, open-hearted tribe. The Liaisons are the coordinators of their respective Working Circles, and we encourage you to reach out to them if you feel called to dive into GSV for more than the occasional conference. Being on a GSV Working Circle is one of the best ways to keep that GSV magic going all year long!

The current Liaisons for the Working Circles are:

Doug “Kaptain Krunch” Emerson for Altared Spaces
Randall Cumbaa for Archives, Culture, and Traditions
Ralph Fruchtman for Communications
Dev “Trio” Devereaux for Entertainment
Greg “Puck” Fields for Financial Assistance
Michael “Cherry Penetrada” Gilchrist for Gender Freedom and Expression
Neil Burns for Music & Movement
Scotty “Banana Spider” Simons for Rituals & Fire and The Firekeeper is Ken “Fire Bear” Berman
Mahan-Kalpa Khalsa for Sacred Touch
Bill Harris for Small Groups, and
Ted Gulick for Welcome & Hospitality

Facing Forward: Plunging into 2019


GSV is very much a living community, and we are ever looking forward to our next opportunity to gather. We have a Winter Meditation coming up in less than two weeks, a Heart Circle in Atlanta on January 26th, and two other conferences currently in the planning process.

The dates for our conferences in 2019 are: •Winter Meditation: January 18 – 20
•Spring Retreat: April 12 – 14
•Fall Conference: September 19 – 22

Feed the Kitty!


If you would like to contribute to GSV, but find yourself with more money than spare time, donations can be made on the GSV website or by mailing a check to GSV, PO Box 339, Decatur GA 30031. GSV is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to GSV are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Community Is You


Native Americans had a saying, “The strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.” So it is with Gay Spirit Visions. All that we do is the result of the magic of community and teamwork. You are warmly invited to communicate with the council, to send us feedback, to ask us for what you need from GSV, to tell us of your sweet dreams of community and how our conferences might make those dreams come true. You can reach us at
Council@GaySpiritVisions.org We try to respond to emails within a week.

Thank you for being a member of our amazing community. We hope you like where we’re going.

Warm hugs to all of my GSV siblings! I look forward to seeing you up on The Mountain or wherever our paths may cross.

Nightshade, Presiding Elder
On behalf of the Council of Trusted Elders of Gay Spirit Visions: Bill Harris, Randall Cumbaa, Mahan-Kalpa Kalsa, Dandylion, Jason Buchanan, Randy Taylor, Jonny Gray, and Mackie Obando.

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