Queer Spirits is a series of events, workshops, screenings and exhibition organised by Joseph Winsborrow focusing on themes of queer identity, sexual intimacy, and underlying magic within contemporary life.
SPELL CASTING WITH INTENT
Celebrate the last full moon of the lunar calendar by learning the basics of spell casting with Lex Keightley, Wingshan Smith, and Joseph Winsborrow.
Let us celebrating the last full moon of this lunar cycle - a time to embrace the positivity of the future and acknowledge what we have learnt from the past.
In this workshop experience the fundamentals of spell casting and start to understand the use of herbs, flowers, incantations, colours, and stones. Lex will show you how to create your own witch bottle using various ingredients, as well as teach you their symbolism and how they will manifest themselves into your magic. To follow, Wingshan and Joseph will guide you through spell casting and how to use intention to shape your magic, with an opportunity to craft and cast your own spell in the Chaos Magic space.
A GUIDED EXPLORATION WITH LIGHT BODIES
7pm - 10pm
We are joined by Hawthorn Blossom (Marc Block) for an evening to discuss Radical Faeries and their spiritual influences, followed by a guided meditative exercise of energy and intention.
The Radical Faeries are a loosely affiliated group spanning the globe, inspired by counter culture practices of queer consciousness and secular spirituality. Having its roots in the 1970s amongst gay men, the identity has grown and expanded to a larger LGTBQ+ movement, challenging patriarchal aspects of contemporary queer life, while celebrating community, love, and environmentalism. Inspired by aspects of Paganism, Wicca, and New Age Spirituality, the rituals and queer magic practiced by Radical Faeries promote love and energy for the universe, as well as connectivity to the environment.
Local Faerie Hawthorn Blossom joins us at Chaos Magic for an informal discussion on the Radical Faerie movement, their rituals, and Faeries within the UK community. The discussion will be followed by a guided exploration of a meditative ritual exploring our light bodies.
BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND EMPTINESS
7pm - 10pm
An Introduction to the Practice of Zen (or “How Not to Know Stuff”)
We are joined by Dr. Rich Goodson (Ji Do); queer poet, artist, college lecturer, and practitioner of Zen Buddhism. Rich is a member of the Kwan Um School of Zen, which was founded by the Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn. Seung Sahn describes Zen in the following way:
"There is no path, or way, to come and go on. You attain your true self directly, completely, but you do it without any kind of map. It is not dependent on the sutras. It is not dependent on Buddha. It is not dependent on time or space, name or form, or speech or words. It does not even depend on Zen!"
Zen, then, is an iconoclastic, austere and purely experiential style of Buddhism which scorns words and all kinds of 'knowing' and 'knowledge'. Despite this, Rich will attempt - in words - to give a brief introduction to this non-path path. He will introduce participants to some basic practices of Zen, including 'zazen' or sitting meditation, so that they too can attain their true selves.
A monk once asked Zen Master Unmon: 'What is Buddha?'
Unmon replied: "Dry shit on a stick."
MAGICAL CUNNING AND TRANSFORMATIONS
6pm - late
Film Screenings and Open Discussion
Join us at Chaos Magic for evening of mystery, transformation, and deep thought. Screening a series of animated films from the former Soviet Union, we aim to reevaluate the films’ themes with a queer lens through an open discussion on magic and identity.
Daughter of the Sun (1963)
The Little Mermaid (1968)
Vasilisa the Beautiful (1977)
The Khalif-Stork (1981)
Looking at these classic fairy- and folk- tales, how do their themes of magic, cunning, and transformation relate to today’s sense of queerness in identity? Following each film, we will discuss the ideas and themes shown within their narratives and unique art styles in an attempt to unearth a historical magic we can use in our contemporary lives.
These events takes place within the Queer Spirits programme at Chaos Magic, which culminates with a new collaborative exhibition from Richard John Jones and Sebastian Sochan - “Fittings” - opening on 21st February 2019.