Wild Men Rising engage in a set of practices to nurture the three souls and bring them into friendly alignment. We are affiliated with the radical faeries, a long-running autonomous movement of queer men that spans the globe. Harry Hay founded both the radical faeries and the Mattachine Society. The Mattachine Society was one of the first gay rights organizations in the United States.
The Three Souls
The three souls are the namer, fetch and holy daemon.
What is the soul?
Around every flower is the sweet fragrance of scented air. This field of fragrance is the flower’s soul. The soul is not just inside the flower. The flower lives inside its soul. We also live inside our soul. Imagine going on a favorite hike along trails, up cliffs, down to the river, to the far mountains, to the setting sun, beyond the wisps of cloud turning pink in the west. This is the stuff of soul and it carries us. The soul is not in our body, our body is in the soul. Our soul is air, fire, water, earth, mist, flowers, and southerly wind. This is the field of power around us that we call soul.1
What is the namer?
As the energy that flows into our senses is processed into thought, it constructs our understanding of the world. The namer is the analytical, logical, naming, verbal and self-aware part of ourself wrapped around a sense of self or ego. Wild Men Rising practice presence, heart-centered community and solidarity to work skillfully with the namer. In the practice of presence, we develop the ability to be with whatever arises in the senses instead of being caught up in the thinking mind and losing the immediacy of lived experience. In the practice of heart-centered community, we develop the ability to be with others without offering advice or judging. In the practice of solidarity, we use direct action and mutual aid to help others and the natural world find safety and justice in a world named around greed and the accumulation of profit for the few. Presence, heart-centered community and solidarity prepare the ground for the fetch and holy daemon.
What is the fetch?
The fetch is rooted in the physical body and driven by primal need: the emotional, sexual, imaginative, innocent, intimate, playful, pre-verbal, and animal part of ourselves. Wild Men Rising practice wilderness and wildness to work skillfully with the fetch. In the practice of wilderness, we discover ourselves in the inherent wildness of the natural world. In practice of wildness, we free our desires, feelings, dreams, visions, playfulness, and hunches, and take our place within the inherent wildness of the natural world. The fetch, not the namer, is the part of ourselves that opens up space for the holy daemon.
What is the holy daemon?
The holy daemon is the part of our soul structure that links us to being and interbeing with others and the natural world. The discovery of being is not necessarily a belief in the transcendent, a function of the namer, but a journey through the fetch to the vast frontiers of being concealed by the thinking mind. Wild Men Rising practice wilderness and thin places to work skillfully with the holy daemon. In the practice of wilderness, we align with the natural rhythm of life forces like the full moon, new moon, and solstices. Within the beams of the natural rhythm of life forces, we use the power of ritual to create thin places where being can pierce the veil.
Why do the souls need to come into alignment?
Sometimes the namer suppresses the fetch or doubts the holy daemon. Sometimes the holy daemon wants to use the namer to construct meaning out of an experience of being. Sometimes the fetch is seen as incompatible with the holy daemon. We play together in a way that heals the fractures and allows us to fully live inside our soul—air, fire, water, earth, mist, flowers, and southerly wind.
Living in your soul.
Wild Men Rising seeks to…
- pursue diversity as an ethical stand in itself
- raise all people to leadership in our circles
- engage in an ethic of care instead of an ethic of control
- respect boundaries but nurture vulnerability
- practice the craft
- practice collective craft to sustain individual craft
- offer our life together freely
1 Adapted from Yearning for the Wind: Celtic Reflections on Nature and the Soul by Tom Cowan, pgs. 4-5
2 Emotional Intimacy by Robert Masters, p. 283