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Teaching the Flag: A Judeo-Pagan, Radical Faerie Prayer for Pride.

The following prayer/liturgical reading is by local artist, educator, former United staff member, and 2020 alum Max Yeshaye Brumberg-Kraus. It is inspired by Gilbert Baker's original rainbow flag design for Pride. As an artist-theologian, Brumberg-Kraus holds multiple religious belonging including the gay pagan movement of the Radical Faeries, Judaism, and interfaith queer/trans theologies. If this is a prayer that speaks to you or your community, the author is happy for you to use it, with attribution. 


"All human beings need symbols. All human beings use symbols, and we need a symbol the way other countries, movements, peoples need a symbol to identify us, to show solidarity with each other, and to proclaim our presence."– Gilbert Baker, designer of the original rainbow Pride Flag.

One asks, what is the meaning of Pink?

We answer: Pink is sex, loving the other, Eros, two-sexed Protogonos, the egg, the ebb of philia and flow of neikos, the double helix of Netzah and Hod, the generative force bridging all opposites and revealing that opposites are illusory.

One asks, what is the meaning of Red?

We answer: Red is life. Red is Gaia shaping ha adam out of her side, lifeblood and the fight to sustain it, Innana love-in-action crying for freedom, judging of the death-dealing cult of sexual and spiritual repression. It is Gevurah and Din.

One asks, what is the meaning of Orange?

We answer: Orange is healing, it is the Balm of Gilead which Sheba gifted Solomon, it is Aesclepius and his rod, it Yesod and Yggdrasil, the channel for life's stream, the tree's long body, and the phallic symbol of rejuvenation.

One asks, what is the meaning of Yellow?

We answer: Yellow is Sun. It is David’s harp and Apollo’s countenance, Shamash and generous Chesed, the heat that stirs the flow of sap, the mango in the monkey's palm who jumped from earth to the sky and back. Yellow is above, separate but reachable, holy but humanistic, our sustenance from above.

One asks, what is the meaning of Green?

We answer: Green is nature, terrible and beautiful. Demeter of harvests and famines; Snake Skirted Coatlique pregnant with our gods; lightning-eyed Pan/Cernunnos, howling in the mountain; half-beast Enkidu ambivalent toward society; twice-born Dionysus, who gifts wisdom and madness equally from the wine-dripping tip of this thyrsus, and Binah the womb of deep discernment. Green is the many and monstrous rejecting the unnatural uniformity of straight society, the yoni yielding pandemonium, the internal, insight beyond rigid morality, our sustenance from below. Green will devour us, if we cannot love this planet and protect it.

One asks, what is the meaning of Turquoise?

We answer: Turquoise is magic and art, the caduceus and the paintbrush, theatre and theory, lavish drag and priestly robes, Thoth and the Abyssinian muses, thrice-great Hokhma, realm of inspiration, queer myth-makers speaking our existence across time and space, secret knowledge passed mouth to ear, record to record, heart to heart.

One asks, what is the meaning of Blue?

We answer: Blue is serenity, the foot and the mouth, She Who Is sovereign in her body and in the land, matter constantly dancing, transubstantial and transgender, fully present: Shekhina.

One asks, what is the meaning of Purple?

We answer. Purple is spirit. They are beautiful, they are sacred books, they are the bed of myth whence we all rise, symbols, and the dove. They are the breath which flows between all colors, all shapes, all worlds.

One asks, what holds the colors line by line? What binds them all together?

We answer: When purple seems to end, we circle back to the majesty of all the colors, where all and none become indistinguishable, for the nothingness that is everything, the ever-present invisible. A queer connectivity threads the universe, that part of cosmos which loves, heals, transforms, and take pride in itself. Pride is the memory of Keter, that hiddenmost crown, which was the first to stir in all that is holy. It is the dream of the world and what the world can be. That is what holds the colors and binds them all together. Communion and disintegration, diversity and unity, held in balance by a conscious cosmos who beams with pride: Ehyeh asher ehyeh– I am!

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