If it weren't for the burning incense and the shrine built to honor the Roman goddess Juno (for whom the month of June is named), the potluck dinner I attended on a recent Monday night could have belonged to almost any local GLBT group. But I was there to get a dose of what it is the D.C. chapter of the Radical Faeries does. By luck I picked the right weekly meeting, because this group who celebrate queer spirituality as an earth-based religion usually meet for a simple discussion and potluck. On this night, however, the gathered members engaged in a post-dinner ritual to honor Juno.
Still, I'm not sure if I completely understand what it means to be a Radical Faerie, even after talking to group members at length, but one thing is clear: The Radical Faeries promote the fluidity of being what you want to be and believing that everything is connected with the earth and the sun.
As we held hands in a circle before the candlelight ritual, a member asked each of us to feel the heat rising from the center of the earth, through our veins, our bones, cracking out of our skulls and pouring onto us. It was about feeling a connection to everything around us, and celebrating the beginning of summer. We then watched as three people lit candles for Juno, and raised our cups of wine in a toast, celebrating her role as ''a maiden, a mother and a crone.''
I walked away from the gathering feeling inspired to broaden my own agnostic view of the world by searching for spiritual answers a little more than I normally do. For more information about the D.C. Radical Faeries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.