R.I.P.: Crazy Owl

August 14, 2011

A mailing from Short Mountain Sanctuary, the Radical Faerie enclave back in the hills of Tennessee, informs me of the passing of Charles Emerson Hall, aka Crazy Owl, whom I met briefly at the first Gay Spirit Visions conference in North Carolina in 1990 (see below) and perhaps one or two other occasions when I was communing regularly with the faeries.

left to right: Steve Greer, Franklin Abbott, Andrew Ramer, Ron Lambe, John Burnside, Harry Hay, Crazy Owl

This unsigned remembrance from the Short Mountain Goatzette offers a peek into a realm that I treasure, even if I encounter it seldom in my life these days:

“Crazy Owl, boyish beauty and land lover, passed away on April the 4th of this year. His body was laid to rest in the green hillside of the Barefoot Farmer in whom he found companionship and kin.

“Crazy Owl began his healing work in psychotherapy in Massachusetts, yet his work in statistics caused him to radically shift his priorities to the land. Crazy Owl returned to his childhood love of the land, entymology, botany, and bare bottomed hiking among his many passions, taking on a bold quest of learning traditional Chinese medical approach and integrating that wisdom into the world growing around him. Fostering communities near Atlanta and carrying this tradition on wild Missionary Delight tours, the wisdom of this walker of the wild brought hope and healing with mischief while finding welcome in many communities. His pilgrimages to Serpent Mound evoked the spirit of community and tribe while demonstrating that he had found a sustainable path in reconciliation with his whiteness and privilege.

“Many stewards receiving this letter come to Short Mountain for the herbal wisdom walks that the barred Owl facilitated at gatherings. Perhaps the statistician kept a record of the many lives he touched yet surely the number is great. The stories that live on in remembrance of Crazy Owl continue to inspire all those seeking a radical way of life.

“The body loving, sex positive liberation movement generated by Crazy Owl is remembered in his written legacy, including an illustrated book. Coming Out by Chuck Hall is a piece on the subject of coming out, expanding its definition to include body love, sharing love, self love and self acceptance.

“Those with access to the net interested to find out more about this fascinating man can visit his website: http://crazyowlsperch.com.”

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