Illustrated with art from Living on the Earth. Lisa is a skillful interviewer!
I am happy to say that I’ve now watched Agnes Varda’s joyously surrealist film about her uncle, my artist mentor, Jean “Yanco” Varda, many times. I also linked it to the page in my online store for the blue on blue t-shirt I designed with the Living on the Earth houseboat pages, which arose from my years living at Gate Five, Sausalito. I made a black and white version of the t-shirt as well, with the movie link there too. Here’s where I found these pages online:
“The important thing for voters to know is that they cannot navigate away from the ballot once it’s begun. They’ll want to have gone through all the entries in the voter’s guide beforehand. Voters must make a choice in every category, even if it’s ‘none-of-the-above’.”
Here’s where to download the voter’s guide!
I present for your consideration, Being of the Sun, an un-guide for curating your own path to higher consciousness, originally published in 1973, and re-released last October 2021 by Echo Point Books & Media.
In between then and now, Being of the Sun has done yeoman duty, providing ideas for ceremonies in the wild, chants, drone music and music theory, amusing craft projects, healing practices and freedom from dogmatic concepts to wiccans, pagans, Druids and unnameable other free-spirited beings for decades.
I am Alicia Bay Laurel, the author/illustrator/designer of the best-selling early sustainable living classic, Living on the Earth, which is newly in print in its 50th anniversary, 5th English language edition. I’ve created other illustrated books, fine art, and commissioned illustrations, as well as producing/designing/performing/touring eight albums of original and historic music.
I collaborated in 1972-1973 on the text and the music in Being of the Sun with composer, musician, author and philosopher Ramon Sender Barayón, a friend since 1969. I illustrated, designed and hand-lettered Being of the Sun myself.
You can hear me and Ramón improvising our ecstatic music in the soundtrack of the book trailer for our book, Being of the Sun:
I’ve submitted Being of the Sun as an “iconic” book, because it is, in fact, iconic – it’s not just previously published, but a book that has already moved thousands of people around the world to insist on spiritual creativity, freedom of consciousness, and oneness with nature, over the past 49 years.
Here is the history of the book and reader comments:
Here is the book’s page in my store, Indigo With Stars:
Ramón and I also made a recording of the music from the book. He recorded us on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1973. In 2013, I obtained a digital copy of the tape, took it to a recording studio, and had it remastered into a CD.
“Your work still inspires and brings joy to so many!”
Alastair Gordon Author, Architecture Critic Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design New York, New York
“Beautiful Extraordinary Book!”
Brigitte Mars Herbalist, Professor, Author, Plant Expert, Natural Food Chef
“Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramón Sender Barayón share their vision of yoga, healing, sun songs, moon songs, meditation, ceremonies, communes, solitudes, and more in a how-to format connecting us back to our inner child, naked & free!
“May the holy words found in this book heal the world at a time when we need them most!”
Tracy Conti and Stephen McCarty Solar Return Shop Echo Park, Los Angeles, California
“We don’t own or keep much in our lives, but this is one of the most treasured. This book came into our lives and gave us such joy. Wonderful images and genuine words of love and care for the planet and each other. Gratitude each day for the arrival of the Morning Star, bringer of life and joy to each and every living being on this planet.”
Podcast: November 2021 interview of Alicia Bay Laurel by herbalist/skateboarding goddess/millennial bohemian Bianca Scott, broadcast on Spotify.
Writes Bianca: “Alicia Bay Laurel, a pure child of the revolution. We seek the truth as we discuss Alicia’s journey of peace, love, freedom, poltergeists, acid and spirituality. We share our thoughts surrounding The Cockette’s pink velvet cock and balls of sexual anarchy to the power Media has over innocent human beings. For the first time on LifeFlux, I drank tea picked out by my guest. Who would have thought ginger tastes so good in hot water? It was a dream come true to speak with such a bright soul who’s book, Living on the Earth, gave light to my journey just a few years ago. Purchase Alicia Bay Laurel’s handwritten and illustrated, award-winning books and music CDs at aliciabaylaurel.com. If you are human, these books are meant for you. Cheers!”
Artist Jessica King created and hosted the Zoom launch party for Living on the Earth – The Musical, and the book, Being of the Sun, on the autumnal equinox, September 22, 2021.
A diverse group of Alicia Bay Laurel’s friends joined the party and shared their stories. Alicia opened the event by singing the autumn equinox chant from Being of the Sun, accompanying herself on a zither. Here is Jessica’s film of the whole gathering!
The woman in the cover photo is California digital graphic designer and fine artist Karen Tsugawa, who coached Alicia over Zoom , and collaborated with her in creating the digital page layouts of the new editions of Living on the Earth and Being of the Sun, as well as the two book trailers, among other digital design projects.
In this recently recorded one-hour podcast, I am interviewed by Alex of “Natural Born Alchemist” about the book, Being of the Sun, which I co-wrote with composer/philosopher Ramon Sender Barayon, and the historic and cultural movements that surrounded its birth.
Today I received a link to a recently completed video of a 20 minute interview with me about my time living on hippie communes, conducted by Kip Baldwin of S.O.U.L Documentaries, and recorded at the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Academic Conference in downtown San Francisco in the last week of July, 2017.
Loved this interview, Alicia! You are always so observant and articulate, it’s such a pleasure to hear our experience at Wheeler’s Ranch encapsulated so accurately. It was all about taking the cement out of our lives, with the abrasion of man-made accoutrements removed … no street lights, no sidewalks, no lawns, no rules… and we found a natural order was already in place, buried by Man’s heavy footprint. We could see at night by moonlight, we could sense a gathering, and it grew on its own, which is the way I remember sweat lodges… mostly on full moons… ( Helene dancing) and more… friendships still bonded today… though some important clairvoyants have moved on… would love to see you…
Sally French Fine Artist Kalaheo, Hawaii ___________________________________________________________
I wanted you to know that your S.O.U.L. interview brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy, not sadness. Incredible that you are still able to tell the story. And the interviewer really didn’t get it, in my opinion! Blew me away that your cousin was married to John Fahey as he has always been one of my favorite guitar players and most people don’t even know about him.
Barbara Light Lacey Singer-songwriter and Author Dallas, Texas
I like having a container for the stories surrounding the movie, “Living on the Earth – The Musical.”
Here is the page where I have posted the professional reviews, the history of the live performance, the story of how the movie came to be made, where my performance costume came from, my other videos on Vimeo, and where to find my and Ramon’s books and music.
My dear friend, celebrated director/screenwriter SJ Chiro, who, right now, is launching her latest masterpiece, “East of the Mountains,” just took the time to review my first, and most likely, only, movie, “Living on the Earth – The Musical.”
Here is what she wrote:
I watched Alicia Bay Laurel’s one woman show, “Living on Earth – The Musical,” with rapt attention. The 1-hour-47-minute running time flew by.
As a child of her contemporaries, growing up on one of the communes on which Alicia herself lived in her early years, I listened as she unwrapped her history, a history I had never known. Tales of when she was a girl. The experiences which shaped her, including a fraught relationship with her mother.
As children, we only know what we experience of people in the present. I saw adults who had already made the decision to break with their straight, uptight parents and go back to the land, living simply and illegally, eating brown rice and vegetables communally, and walking down long dirt roads with bare feet. This was their present, but how did they get here? And now that they were here, what did living on the land mean to them? What were they eschewing? Why had they created a new paradigm?
Alicia tells the answers to these questions, and more, as she sings and plays her guitar in the style that brought me back to my childhood, her mellow voice, sometimes soothing, sometimes full of energy. I saw a portrait of a strong-willed and clever independent teenager who lit out for San Francisco and eventually made her way North to Sonoma County.
Always energetic and creative, Alicia decided to make a book illustrating Life on the Land. She called it Living on the Earth and it was surprisingly a huge success. As a young woman she was suddenly famous, and had money. A lot more money than most of the people around her. Alicia doesn’t shy away from honestly recounting how this imbalance caused some problems and resentments among her peers, but the show keeps on truckin’.
Soon Alicia is in Hawaii and other locales. The stories keep coming. At one point, she is joined on stage by her great long-time friend and collaborator Ramón Sender Barayón. How beautiful to see two artists who have known each other for so many years, respect each other’s company and make music together.
Some of Alicia’s rawness may shock, some inspire laughter, some elicit “Wow!”s from the audience. That is the glory of the unvarnished truth of a lifetime, and we are so lucky to get to hear all this from the master artist Alicia Bay Laurel.