Toronto
2 min

Soul survivor

Making room for spirituality

SPARKS. M Homer Mann foresaw the Queer Psychic Fair. Credit: R Kelly Clipperton

“There’s a blue aura around your heart – actually royal blue. That’s beautiful, but there are red sparks coming out of it.” That, according to clairvoyant/healer/empath Homer Mann, is not such a good thing.



“Let’s talk about some of your anger towards certain males in your life.” After informing him that we could be here all day if we go down that road, he decides to concentrate on my “programming” or relationship patterns. A few minutes and a few insights later, I say to myself, “Hey, this guy’s actually pretty good.”



I’m at the Q-Age: Queer Spiritual Network Psychic Fair at the old Quaker Meeting Hall of the National Ballet School. Q-Age, according to its mission statement, tries to provide “a respectful, safe and friendly setting for queer (positive) individuals to network and exchange spiritual ideas.” Members give and attend lectures on everything from Buddhism to native spirituality. There is no particular agenda, no charismatic leader and no creed that members must follow.



But why queer spirituality? A soul is a soul is a soul. So does it matter whether you talk about it with straights or other queers?



Membership manager Paul Moriarty seems to think so. “Mainstream religions already have something in place in the queer community (like Keshet Shalom for Jews and MCC for Christians). But there is no queer new age network in place.”



An astrologer who has also been given readings by many other psychics, Moriarty adds, “When you get a reading from a straight psychic, there are different cultural assumptions, especially regarding romance. When I read for straights [women], they share intimate details. I’m not judgemental.”



When Moriarty first joined Q-Age, he expected some polarisation according to gender: “I anticipated a goddess focus from the women. But there was an even interest from both fags and dykes.”



Q-Age founder Ralph Hamelmann is a second generation psychic (his mother, Sylvia Hynes, is quite famous in Newfoundland). Feeling the need to be involved in the gay community, Hamelmann wasn’t attracted to activism per se. “I was in a spiritual place in life. But everything was Christian. I wanted something queer. I’ve been to other spiritual groups that followed a dogma. I told myself I have to do this. This group comes from a different place than most groups. They’ve used spirituality as a way of working through their baggage, not as an escape.”



The proof, they say, is in the pudding. With long, black hair and super-pale skin, Jillian Stelling is the embodiment of Goth chic. She also regularly attends psychic fairs, “like the big one at the exhibition.”



Asking her for a comparison between this fair and others, she is quick to exclaim, “What a difference! This feels like a bunch of friends getting together.”



Straight-identified herself, she says, “A lot of gay people are intuitive and sensitive. They pick up on options. When you go to straight psychics and ask a romance question, they always assume it’s heterosexual.”



Today, Stelling has solicited the services of Roseina, who communicates with spirits using tarot, numerology and astrology. And she couldn’t be happier with her reading: “She came up with names and everything. She was very, very accurate.”



And Stelling was comfortable. “Gay people are more accepting of people who are different because they are different themselves.”



With the psychics donating all monies from the fair to Q-Age’s maintenance, there isn’t the same anxious hustling edge I’ve felt at other fairs. As well, unlike similar events I’ve attended, there are no psychic Liberace types in flowing capes who claim to be visitors from other galaxies. In fact, the atmosphere is quietly upbeat – more Quaker than quack.



Now if I can only get my red sparks under control.



Q-Age: Queer Spiritual Network can be found at www.come.to/q-age; for info about workshops, call (416) 925-9872.