About the Brotherhood of Arcadia
The Brotherhood of Arcadia (BOA) is a spiritual organization created from the fusion of Hellenist and Pagan beliefs and practices with an emphasis on queer and sexuality positive beliefs, practices, and deities. We believe that Hellenism and Paganism are living spiritual practices that can change and grow.
BOA is not strictly purist or reconstructionist and strict purists and strict reconstructionists will likely only get frustrated by our format. BOA uses ancient Greek gods, religion, culture, and symbolism as a starting place for a modern queer men’s spiritual practice but does not stop there. We encourage an eclectic mix of Pagan, Hellenist, Shamanistic, and other traditions overlaid with a modern Queer sensibility.
BOA membership is open to men-who-love-men regardless of whatever personal labels one chooses, and who are also over the age of 18. No one – male, female, trans, straight, or anyone else – who feels called to join will be turned away. One may only seek membership through the sponsorship of an existing member. In this way, we hope to avoid the modern dilemma of passive social media lurkers (and naked selfie pic posters) while encouraging real world engagement. To this effect, new memberships will be accepted at our annual Arcadia Gathering held in the East coast / mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Annual initiations will also take place at this event. BOA is highly individualistic. Members of BOA may be Pagan (regardless of path), Hellenist, or simply open-minded seekers. The information imparted here serves as a guideline for personal and group practice but is not meant to be dogma.
One of the main charges of BOA will be to host an annual East Coast / Mid-Atlantic gathering for gay and bi Pagan men. The first gathering is expected to take place at a Central Virginia campground in early October 2019. For additional details and updates, please visit: http://www.olympuscampgroundresort.com/index.php/events/arcadia
In addition to workshops, activities, and rituals of general interest to gay and bi Pagan men, the Arcadia Gathering will host pop-up events (initially in Virginia) for folks who are interested in joining BOA or helping to plan our annual gathering.
The Five Pillars of Arcadia
The five pillars form the shape of a pentagram.
- Sacred Sexuality
First and foremost, the Arcadian Brotherhood is about brotherhood. These are close bonds of friendship, trust, and loyalty among a group of men-who-love-men.
Service is giving back to the Brotherhood and to our communities. Service can take on the form of volunteering, advocacy, or activism, among other things. The key idea is to give back in some way or another and not just to take.
Magick is the idea of using natural forces around us to bring about change in the world. These natural forces include deities, nature spirits, ancestors, ascended masters, spirit guides, and our own intent. Magick includes mysticism and mystery.
This is the concept that all forms of love and sexuality are sacred so long as they are consensual.
Arete is an ancient Greek term referring to excellence and the fulfilling of one’s potential. The term is associated with effectiveness, knowledge, and athletic prowess. Arete involves excellence of the mind, body, and soul. Arete is an ineffable and intangible quality like “mojo” or the French “je ne sais quoi.”
Three Magickal Imperatives
- Guard the Four Gates of the World.
- Re-enchant the LGBTQ community and the world at large.
- Restore sacredness to the sexuality of men-who-love-men.
Guard the Four Gates:
In many ancient mythologies and traditions, it was the magickal people, the shamans, the priests, and others who not only served as intermediaries between the gods (and other spirits) and mankind, they also protected the world, renewed the annual cycles of nature, and kept the forces of chaos and darkness at bay. LGBTQ folks (by whatever names they were called in those times and cultures) were often the magickal people, shamans, and priests. In some cultures, this was because we were the in-between people who lived between genders. Some folks believe that LGBTQ folks are naturally magickal or have higher vibrational frequencies.
Renewing natural cycles and guarding the gates of the world often involved holding rituals at certain times of the year. Pagans often equate this to something called the Eight-fold year. Ancient Greeks had their own seasonal calendar honoring specific deities. Many ancient cultures viewed the Solstices and Equinoxes as “gates” of the year and it is on these times that our imperative to guard the gates is focused. These astronomical gates of the year are times when the veils between this world and the next are particularly thin. Both benevolent and malevolent entities can use these gates as portals to enter our world. We believe we have an imperative to guard the gates at these times through the use of ritual in an effort to keep these malevolent forces from entering our world while encouraging the benevolent forces to bless our world.
Re-enchant the LGBTQ Community and the World:
At one time, the world was a magickal, enchanted place. In that enchanted world, LGBTQ folks were especially magickal – we were shamans, priests, faeries, witches, and even mythical warriors and heroes. The world has lost much of its magick and LGBTQ folks have become disenfranchised from our magickal and sacred selves.
Our imperative to re-enchant the LGBTQ community and the world involves many things. It can be raising awareness of Paganism, Hellenism, and other sacred and magickal paths within the LGBTQ community.
There are many ways this can be done, and creative license is especially encouraged. Some standard ways can include holding workshops, classes, and rituals. Creative ways can include creating herms (piles of stones dedicated to Hermes), shrines, and other sacred and magickal expressions in unexpected places like public parks. This could include leaving “Easter eggs” with inspirational or magickal messages about town, and in LGBTQ and Pagan spaces. I won’t even mention the many magickal uses for glitter.
Restore sacredness to the sexuality of men-who-love-men:
We live in a Christianized culture where expressions of sexuality, especially same sex sexuality, is considered sinful, shameful, sick, perverted, and you can probably think of many other negative descriptions. In our society, the only “valid” expressions of sexuality are often viewed to be within a committed, monogamous couple, and generally heterosexual at that. We have a millennium of baggage surrounding the concept of enjoying our sexuality, and surrounding homosexuality, bisexuality, gender-bending, masturbation, sex outside of marriage, sex outside the confines of monogamy, and many other expressions of sexuality.
For many, LGBTQ folks especially, this has led to shame and guilt surrounding our sexuality. This shame and guilt often also plays out in dynamics within our community – whether in unhealthy sexual relationships and dating habits; the way we relate to other demographics in our community such young and old; bear and twink; and so on; or even in the way factions of our community try to shape our “gay agenda” to be accommodating, “normal”, and sexless to the heterosexual society at large.
We believe it our imperative to show that there are other ways to view sexuality where homosexuality and other alternative sexualities are seen as positive acts of love and pleasure, and also that these expressions of sexuality are sacred and magickal.
Arcadia Members Private Facebook Group -- Only available to active members. Please ask.
The name of the organization, our gathering, and other information imparted here is copyrighted and trademarked. We will consider legal action against anyone who copies or posts this information out of context and without linking back to the original site; or any person or group who uses our name without permission and affiliation to our Brotherhood.
We do encourage including our organization in directories, link pages, and so forth so long as there is a link back to our original page. We also encourage individuals to live by and promote the Five Pillars and the Three Imperatives regardless of whether they have the opportunity to become members or not. Again, we ask that you link back to this original page to ensure we receive due credit for our ideas.
To protect our intellectual property, we will only place general statements of belief on this page. Constitutions, membership manuals, rituals, lesson plans, and other proprietary materials are only available to active members. We hate to be this way, but the group founder has had problems with groups being ripped off and copied in the past. The ironic part of this is that in most cases he would have freely given permission provided the perpetrators had sought actual affiliation with those other groups rather than appropriating those materials as their own.