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    2018 Sex & Relationship Horoscopes With Renee Sills

    2018 Sex & Relationship Horoscopes With Renee Sills

    All art via Virgil Finlay Astrological Illustration 

    I think we could all stand a little more light and joy as this year comes to a close. I decided to reach out to someone whose work I’ve admired since meeting her a few years ago. Renee Sills is a Portland-based performance artist, the co-founder of Sola School of Contemplative Arts, a yoga, somatics and social justice school, and the founder of Embodied Astrology. You could spend hours digging around on her websites but suffice to say, she’s a total badass.


    She shared some insight into her work as an astrologer, including horoscopes for our 2018 sexuality and relationships, included below in her interview.


    We're all familiar with astrology, but I've learned from you that there are many ways to practice. How do you define astrology? And how would someone ideally use what astrology teaches us?


    Astrology is a creative interpretation of astronomical data that works through symbolism and metaphor as well as observational analysis. Astronomy and astrology come from the same root, and together they are the oldest science, and one of the oldest practices for finding meaning and spiritual purpose. In the 17th century during the Age of Reason science and spiritually split. Astrology then became the domain of the occult and astronomy became the domain of science. That said, astrology is incredibly complex and is based in observational practice and peer review.


    For tens of thousands of years astrologers have tracked how the human response and experience correspond with cycles and seasons of light: yearly, seasonal, daily. We also consider the effects of planetary light and gravitational pull. Light and gravity affect our bodies, and our bodies are where our experiences happen. So there’s the basic premise of how astrology works.


    Most astrologers are also wonderful storytellers and mythologists. If you study the discovery of planets you’ll find that their names correspond to developments of popular consciousness at the time of their discovery. Part of how we make meaning from the planetary placements is in understanding how archetype and collective consciousness work through our clients.


    People use astrology to find meaning in their lives and to contextualize that meaning within the greater culture and evolutionary circumstance. It can be very accurate and predictive, so people also use it for timing of specific events, navigating their relationships, making career plans, and so on.



    How is your astrology practice different than the weekly horoscopes people might read? Does it connect with your art and/or bodywork and movement practice?


    I take a distinctly feminist stance. A lot of popular astrology is based on heteronormative and patriarchal assumptions of how people live and what their values are. I assume my readers are intersectional, queer (to some extent,) and critical thinkers.


    Because of my background as a somatics educator (bodywork and movement studies), and being someone who is very interested in healing, my horoscopes tend toward physical and embodied descriptions, as well as physical, mental and emotional sensations.


    I also tend to focus more on psychological and spiritual aspects than most popular mainstream astrology or horoscope columns. Even the yoga classes I teach are also immersive experiences that blend astrology and art.


    There is a significant movement of queer and feminist astrologers right now so I’m definitely not alone, but I think I’m pretty unique in that I blend a developed, participatory art practice, and somatic and movement practice into the astrology I offer.


    Where else can people learn about your work?


    I post blogs twice a month at the new and full moons. Starting next year I will actually be offering a weekly subscriber horoscopes for the first time! Each one will include horoscopes for all 12 signs, a podcast, and a somatic meditation. All of that can be found on my Embodied Astrology site.


    I also have several upcoming workshops including Let’s Talk About Sexual Healing: Friday, January 12th, 2018 6-9pm. Participants will learn about conventional and non-conventional approaches to adult sexual education. I offer sliding scale at most of my workshops, including this one, and you can register online!

     

     

     

    Can you give us some insights into our sexuality and relationships for 2018?


    Aquarius

    If you have any aspirations for making a business out of what turns you on, 2018 will be the year to do it.


    Pisces

    Sex and desire is the place from which all knowledge is born. The more you pursue your own desire, the more your mind will expand this year.


    Aries

    Heal the ancestral patterns that are holding you back. Particularly those that deal with abuse or abandonment. You can start with your parents or the people that raised you, and reach backwards from there.


    Taurus

    This will be the year that dissolves whatever mental blocks have been preventing you from receiving what you want from your relationships.


    Gemini

    Pay attention to the erotic and sensual nature of your daily life. This will propel you forward on your path and dissolve the barriers that might keep you from being recognized for all that you give.


    Cancer

    Giving yourself fully to your passion. Expressing yourself authentically. Getting out of the boxes you find yourself in. These will be the keys to complete and total positive transformation and empowerment of your relationships.


    Leo

    Admitting what you want and demanding it are two different things. This year you’ll begin to master the sensitivities and complexities required for sharing all types of space: physical, financial, and psychic.


    Virgo

    The easiest way to say what you feel is to pause... and feel what you’re going to say before speaking. This is the year of authentic expression for you, and that includes in the bedroom.


    Libra

    This year, money is sexy. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.


    Scorpio

    Your sign is essentially known as relating to sex, death and money. This year you’ll have many chances to learn from those three things. Remember that all three are gateways to power and also to sacredness.


    Sagittarius

    This is the year for you to explore the invisible and the unknown. You might consider blindfolds, or restraints.


    Capricorn

    Desire and friendship can teach you a lot about how sexy you are. This in turn will expand your sense of future possibilities, goals or aspirations.

     

     

    Renee’s work as an artist spans expanded therapeutic practices, astrology, pedagogy, entrepreneurship, ritual, online forums, soundscape, video, dance, and writing. She regularly presents in small workshops and intimate gatherings, as well as online. Visit her Embodied Astrology website to learn more about her private practice. There you can read her blog, listen to podcasts, book private or multi-person readings, or enroll in one of her workshops.

    Written by Erica Meryl Thomas

    Portland Featured: Airick Redwolf of Blow Pony

    Portland Featured: Airick Redwolf of Blow Pony

    All photos and flyer courtesy of Airick Redwolf

    We talked with the Airick Redwolf, the organizer of Portland, Oregon’s popular queer event, Blow Pony. Redwolf’s intention in founding and sustaining Blow Pony is to create an “event series inclusive to the entire community”. Read on for our conversation with Redwolf, and don’t miss out on their annual “CHRIST-MESS” party, happening this Saturday, December 23rd.

    Clone-a-Willy: What was the initial catalyst to begin Blow Pony?


    Airick Redwolf: Growing up in Colorado with roots in the punk, industrial and death rock subcultures, I started (at a young age) to come in terms with who I was/am as an individual and started to sexual liberate myself. I noticed when I came to age that there wasn't a place for the Queer underdogs/outcast among our TLGBQ community bars/spaces. When I moved to the PNW I didn't care for most the music being played in the Gay clubs and they were at the time very male dominated. I wanted to create a safer space for a wider range of folk in our communities, a place where Trans and Queer artist could have a stage to explore and do their thing!


    Clone-a-Willy: Can you name a few of the clubs that were around when you were first here?


    Redwolf: I'm assuming you mean in Denver Colorado? Club LA, Club Max, Rock Island, Ground Zero and PoGo's (Basically what ground zero turned into.)


    Clone-a-Willy: How have the punk, industrial and death rock subcultures in Colorado specifically shaped your sexual liberation and generally, the person you are now? Was it a supportive community?


    Redwolf: Well I'm an older member of what was TOPY (The Temple of Psychic Youth). I'd say the network of individuals I found along with the Punk scene of the late 80's early 90's helped lay bricks for who I am this day. Though to be honest, within even the Punk scene there was a shit ton of homophobia. I found a lot of people exploring sexual liberation within TOPY/Psychic TV/ Throbbing Gristle.


    Clone-a-Willy: Aside from being male dominated and wanting to create a safe place for more folks, what other aspects did you want to improve upon these existing spaces?


    Redwolf: The ability for one to express themselves, to somehow erase or smooth out the hyper masculine tone, and to reach further musically.


    Clone-a-Willy: How has the event evolved since the beginning?


    Redwolf: The numbers in attendance have gone beyond what any of us would have ever thought possible, we have a bit more of a budget to bring international Artist in and also still book local or maybe not so in the spotlight talent. We've kept our radical visibility, without selling ourselves out. We've never accepted sponsorships (we've had offers from a few big corps so they could sell their product to our attendees and splash their name all over our space and bodies).


    Clone-a-Willy: How has the event evolved since leaving Euphoria?


    Redwolf: Leaving Rotture, Branx, Euphoria (whatever they call themselves?) was explosive for our survival. While I do miss the dirty feel of being in a warehouse, none of us miss the toxic relationship we should have ended ages ago with the owner of that space. Watching someone make thousands on one night and not ever be one bit thankful or appreciate the work you done is hella bad on oneself.


    Clone-a-Willy: Where are the parties hosted now?


    Redwolf: Currently we're at the Bossanova Ballroom in Portland Oregon and occasionally at TRADE in Denver Colorado.

    Clone-a-Willy: How long do you think you'll be able to sustain Blow Pony without corporate sponsorship?


    Redwolf: Oh, I would end the event before I would take any money from a corporation!


    Clone-a-Willy: How important is it to keep the parties sponsor-free?


    Redwolf: Personally I think it's really important to ask ourselves as TLGBQ people, what do these corporations do for us?! Sure they appear when they wanna sell us their product, but where are they when the shit hits the fan and politicians attack our bit of freedom? Where are they the rest of the year when it's not gay pride and they look to gain millions from us?! and do they promote our community the rest of the year in their adverts? I feel sometimes people become to complacent and feel powerless, when in fact we hold a lot of power, we just need to use it!


    Clone-a-Willy: Can you talk on some of the guest collaborators who have been involved with Blow Pony and how you chose them?


    Redwolf: Well, first we always book Trans, Queer, Bi identifying people. The act/art needs to somehow fit within the night. While I do search out people, we also have a number of people hitting us up to perform. Some of those artist are a good fit and some are not.

    Clone-a-Willy: What have been your favorite parts of cultivating events for the queer community so far?

     

    Redwolf: I've enjoyed learning. I've enjoyed it when people reach out and thank us for having a space for them when they couldn't find one in the past, that is something I understand. After living through so much shame, hate, and bullying, having that place where you feel like a star, a person, a human, someone who's appreciated and you can finally let your hair down, it means so much to our survival as a culture and a people! I also love seeing what the crowd brings each month! So exciting!!!


    Clone-a-Willy: Can you name your favorite local and international artists that you've had featured in a party?


    Redwolf: It might be a bit long? RAJA GEMINI, LESLIE  and the LYS, KIZMET, TT the Artist, Dae Burger, Zebra Katz, Jackie Hell, Cucci Binaca, Angelica D'Vil, Man UP (drag king troupe), Katey Red, SSION, and HI Fashion to name a "few". lol


    Clone-a-Willy: Upcoming events/projects?


    Redwolf: Until my Friend Gen (from Psychic TV/Throbbing Gristle) was diagnosed with Leukemia, I was planning to do a 2-3 day TLGBQ festival (Queer Mutiny Fest NW) with workshops. I really wanted Gen to speak (which may still happen when they get better). So for now it's on the stove at a slow cook. Other than that we have our monthly events. Our 11yr anniversary is coming up in March 2018, the artist we're in negotiations with for that event is amazing, and we hope to have Leslie and the Lys come out of hiding sometime soon!  


    More on Blow Pony:

    http://blowpony.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/blowpony/

    Interview: Rev Phil of Bike Smut

    Interview: Rev Phil of Bike Smut

    Photo by Rev Phil

    Bike Smut is a film festival composed of short erotic films made by inspired cyclists from all over the world. We talked with founder and curator Rev Phil, who has been a significant member of the Portland bicycle community for over ten years.

    Phil created Bike Smut in 2007, and consequently encouraged the local community of sex-positive bikers to make short films about bikes and sex in hoping to “spread a message of joy and liberation through sexuality and cycling”.

    Clone-a-Willy: Can you talk on the beginning of Bike Smut? What was the catapult?

    Rev Phil: In the beginning there was sex, and it was good. Then there was mobility and it was also good. Then the two were combined and it was really, really good. In this way there has never been a time when mobility and sex were not combined. We have always been more likely to survive by being faster than our peers; eat or be eaten, fuck or be fucked! But we in developed countries no longer live in a culture of scarcity. The challenge to our health and happiness has changed:


    "How do I maintain my health?"

    "How do I slow down the runaway train of capitalism?"  

    "How do I hook-up with that hottie who looks bored?"


    The answer is for all three is "Put the fun between your legs."


    The foundation for a radical, sex-positive, human-powered festival of art has been laid by the absence of anything making space for our bodies and minds to explore at their own pace, in their desired direction. Half of all commercials are selling car culture and nearly every commercial is using sex to sell it. The freedom to explore how we move and/or how we fuck have been reduced to the most sanitized, commercialized transactions leaving us with insurmountable debt, environmental devastation, and a xenophobic stance towards sexual differences.


    How we each express our mobility and sexuality are individualistic ideas. Here is an experiment: try to change your gait. The way you walk, the way you dance, your body's natural reactions are all a part of you that most of us rarely think about. Same with your sexuality. If you are fortunate you feel comfortable exploring what sex means to you, although most of us fear that sort of change and vulnerability. Bike Smut makes space for us to see how some have chosen to explore these ideas and how powerful or silly they can be, which makes it easier for us to claim the same bikesexual freedoms.


    At the initial screening of Bike Smut in 2007 (called, "The Pornography of the Bicycle") we had a line around the block, twice! It was the single largest attendance in the history of Portland's Clinton Street Theater and it was spectacular. Since then I have just tried to live up to the standards that come with better sex and better mobility. Thankfully I have had many excellent people helping me guide Bike Smut along the way.

     

    Photo by Amy Darling

    Clone-a-Willy: Is your focus the same as it was in the beginning? If not, what has changed?


    Phil: My focus? I suppose I am still trying to make it work so... survival? At first I just asked everyone who would listen to make a short film. That hasn't changed although the movies come from further afield. Last year we only three of the 10 movies were made in the United States. I push the filmmakers to challenge themselves a bit more. I suppose the biggest change came between the first and third year. I came from a bike background and was ignorant of lots of sexual issues. I just wanted to get my community to make some great art. But there was another fold. More difficult than getting bikers to challenge their thoughts about sex has been getting the sex community to challenge its ideas about transportation. Either way, both are deeply ingrained.

     

    Photo by Rev Phil

     

    Clone-a-Willy: Out of all of the individual films you've experienced through this project, which have stood out to you and why?


    Phil: Oh no you don't. These films are like my children. Every Time another comes along I am full of emotions and sometimes conflicting feelings. I can't pick a favorite. Personally, I really love it when there is a plot. Porno and short films both can afford to ignore the rules of narrative structure, but when the characters are put through a challenge and their reward is great sex, the audience really can connect with them, because they fucking earned it! On the other hand the ones that are most important are ones that push us to examine and challenge our beliefs. I was worried that the wheelchair porn would annoy the audience because all the sex was done inside a car, but folks just reveled in it.

    Clone-a-Willy: Your website claims the festival is now in its "9th and final year". Why is the project coming to an end?


    Phil: After 9 years of inspiring human-powered, sex-positive cinema Bike Smut is ready to change gears. We have never made DVDs or sell the movies online; the only way to see Bike Smut is when it plays live for an audience. This keeps our filmmakers safe and builds a community atmosphere and creates an opportunity for discussion within each community about important issues surrounding mobility and sexuality.


    We never expected Bike Smut would have come this far. 500+ screenings in 25 counties. While touring with The Pony Express I traveled almost exclusively by bicycle, going 10,000 miles around North America and Europe with a laptop, projector, cables, and everything I needed to live on the road for a year. Since then Bike Smut has been inducted as the centerpiece at the world's largest sex museum. We don’t want it to stop but change is inevitable. Traveling the world satisfying bikesexuals has provided immense joy and liberation; meanwhile our being transient for a decade has its price. We can’t physically be in all places we want all at once. This brings us to ask; how do we…


    - set the stage for exuberant performances

    - maintain artists anonymity

    - provide a safe space to challenge taboos

    - maintain the integrity of our ideas


    … without being present? These are difficult challenges even when we are present in your towns working with local activists.


    Our patriarchal, capitalist system demands growth or death. We prefer revolution. The future of Bike Smut is still unknown. Help us write the next chapter.


    You can find more Bike Smut via:

    Facebook

    Tumblr

    Twitter

    Clone-A-Willy Visits Berlin's Porn Film Festival - 2017

    Clone-A-Willy Visits Berlin's Porn Film Festival - 2017

    For the last twelve years, Berlin becomes a haven for both adult filmmakers and those who are ready to consume it for one full week. “Germany’s most unusual film festival” is indeed, the Porn Film Festival. The festival hosted around 150 screenings (to view the whole catalog, go here), workshops, lectures, panels, performances, and exhibitions. We ran around as much as physically possible and attended the eye-opening “DIY Digital Gender Workshop” with TECNOLOGÍAS MASTURBATORIAS.


    The idea behind this film festival is to question and ultimately, abandon conventional ideas of morality, sexuality, gender norms, and shame. The festival allows “anything and everything that offers pleasure”. This year’s short film competition, a PFF tradition, was judged by Ingo Cando (behind the Queer multi-layered Wotever World, Queer Art & Culture and Wotever DIY Film Festival), John Badalu (one of the founders of the controversial Q! Film Festival in Indonesia, Festival Delegate and Programmer for Berlinale, Shanghai International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and QCinema Film Festival) and Yavuz Kurtulmus (son of Turkish/ Macedonian immigrants to Austria, founded MiGaY, started TRANSITION Queer Minorities Film Festival Vienna).


    Twenty-five feature films in the festival were competing for best feature, chosen by an international jury including: Frédéric Jaeger (chief editor of magazine critic.de, writer for Berliner Zeitung, Spiegel Online, taz, Der Freitag, Die Presse, Kolik, chairman of the board of the German Film Critics’ Association), Jenni Zylka (writes for daily newspapers and magazines, works as a radio host, member of the Berlinale screening committee, moderates for other film festivals), and Petra dos Santos (designs leather fetish accessories).

    Lina Bembe. Photo: Owen Gray

    This year’s performers in focus were Bishop Black (a British performer with a background in movement and performance art who started working within the porn industry 9 years ago and involved within the queer feminist porn scene) and Lina Bembe (a Mexican performer and model based in Berlin with experience in the  European alt-porn scene, ranging from feminist amateur to queer post-porn narratives and occasionally engages in non-explicit films about feminism and sexuality).

    Bishop Black. Photo: Owen Gray

    Our favorites:


    GIRLS PLEASURE TRIP PORN SHORTS

    Two groups, two trips and a whole lotta lust. Locations include abandoned houses and experiences are not limited to, learning how to roll the dice. These shorts were fun-spirited and ideal to watch in a public setting.


    THE FEMINISTING OF TENTACLE PORN - LO-FI CHERRY

    DIY porn filmmaker Lo-Fi Cherry features female bodied tentacle monsters. Lo-Fi Cherry’s films ask questions like, which orgasms lead to something physical? This is future porn, where the masculine is strange and the feminine is a sexual predator.


    YO EXHIBICIONISTA - JORDI SOLER

    Spanish dancer and performer Jordi Soler screens his playful and amatuer debut for gay sex and gay porn with “Yo Exhibicionista”, the first film in a planned trilogy.


    Plan your next year at their official website.

    Creating Your Own Traditions With Chosen Family

    Creating Your Own Traditions With Chosen Family

    Winter holiday season has long been a difficult time of year for many LGBTQ folks, people who aren’t close to or don’t have a family, or anyone whose families aren’t accepting of them for whatever reason. Closed-minded, disapproving, and plain-old ignorant relatives can be enough to make you want to stay home, even if you do have family to visit. For some, it’s just more fun, less stressful and easier than traveling. Younger adults in America have become increasingly less religious, many are dispersed from their families and less interested in celebrating the problematic history of holidays like Thanksgiving. As we build lives for ourselves outside of the traditions of our parents, we have to gather community through the relationships we’ve chosen, in the places we live, with traditions we create. Whether it’s Friendsgiving, Queermas, Festivus, we still love gathering to cook and share food, joy, and time together.


    My house has been a weekly gathering space for my queer and chosen family every Sunday for years now. So, naturally I love to host holiday feasts for these cherished friends. Here are some of their stories.


    “I never liked Thanksgiving until I started going to yours. Holiday meals were a mandatory family event growing up. You had to sit at the table, you had to listen to adults discuss ‘important issues,’ you had to eat your string beans. I was totally unprepared that becoming an adult means I’ve found a chosen family. I want to sit at the table with them, and it’s one of the only times of the year I enjoy discussing important cultural issues.” -Jeff S.


    “I go to a cabin in Maine with my second mom/unrelated aunt for Thanksgiving every year. Five years strong.” - Kate H.


    “I try to have close, mostly queer, people who don't have blood family near them (be they estranged or no). We wear onesies and play games.” -Brenna K.


    “I did friend holidays even when I lived in the same town as my mom. I used to do Christmas eve with a bunch of my gay friends at their house. They would host every year. It was so awesome and warm and welcoming at their house. Then the next day at my mom’s it never quite had that family feeling to me because it was just the two of us. Once I’d had that experience I started seeking out the same thing when I moved to Oregon. It was just a bunch of us snowboarders on Mt. Hood that I hosted at my place. It was huge, like 30 crusty snowboard folks. But it turned out that a lot of us could make really great food. Then we started mixing holidays… Thankentines Day, Easter Giving or Zombie Easter. We would mess with stuff because we thought it was funny.” -Wendi A.


    Do you have an untraditional holiday celebration? Share yours with us in the comments!

    Written by Erica Meryl Thomas

     

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