Vote for Being of the Sun in the 2022 COVR Awards Contest

Please vote for Being of the Sun in the “iconic book” section of the Coalition for Visionary Resources contest. The ballot is at: https://covr.org/covr-awards-public-voting/ Deadline is April 24th.

Note from Tracee Dunblazier, the president of COVR:

“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!

Author’s statement:

Behold:

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.

https://indigowithstars.com/…/songs-from-being-of-the-sun

“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.”

Neil and Ness
Getting high on nature


Natural Born Alchemist podcast interviews Alicia Bay Laurel about Being of the Sun

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.

Listen to the podcast here.

The first new English edition of Being of the Sun since 1973, and its trippy book trailer

A 5-minute video synopsis of Ramón Sender Barayón’s and Alicia Bay Laurel’s celebration of freedom to choose one’s own spiritual path, with suggestions of practices and projects that have given them joy, including immersion in nature, making music on homemade instruments, and celebrating cycles of light.

Echo Point Books & Media, of Brattleboro, Vermont, expects to release the book in July 2021. Pre-ordering the book is available here.

In 1973, Ramón recorded himself and Alicia performing some of the songs, chants, drone pieces and improvisations in the book. In 2013, Alicia had these archival tapes remastered to create an album, Songs from Being of the Sun.

The original 1973 Harper & Row edition of Being of the Sun is available here.

The Soshisha, Ltd. Japanese language edition is available here.

History and reader comments about Being of the Sun here.

The colors of the cover and interior color illustrations for the 2021 edition are from scans Alicia made in 2019 of the original color artwork she created in 1972, which are more vibrant than the color pallettes used by publishers of other editions.

Cover art from Being of the Sun in the ancient village of Milinicos, Castilla-La Mancha, España

04-01-19-Spain-Milinicos-Antonio's mural of BoTS cover art

Juan Antonio Martínez Sarrión, who had translated, relettered and published (in 2017) Living on the Earth as Viviendo en la Tierra, was translating and relettering Ser Del Sol, a Spanish edition of Being of the Sun, with the idea of also publishing it through his company, Kachina Ediciones, when he painted the cover art on an old, traditionally styled house in the ancient Moorish village of Milinicos, in the mountains near the city of Albacete, in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha.


A panorama of Milinicos, with the mural of the Being of the Sun cover.

Tokyo Fashion T-shirt printed with Being of the Sun page as fundraiser for 2011 Fukushima Triple Disaster Charity

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-gray.jpg

Tokyo fashion designer Aya Noguchi and I had been collaborating for five years when the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meldown disaster struck on March 11, 2011. We agreed to collaborate on a garment to raise money for the refugees now stranded in emergency shelters, both of us donating all of whatever we gained from this project.

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-detail.jpg

The jersey shirts are half cotton, half lyocell, a wood pulp fabric, also known as tencel. Aya intentionally made a diagonal hem at the bottom, and blended illustrations and text from Being of the Sun with a newer drawing of a bird from a notebook of drawings she commissioned from me in 2009. She added applique daisies to the finished shirts after silk-screening on the art.

Aya's fundraising t-shirt-black.jpg

I Meet Yoshimoto Banana

September 29, 2009

I come to Kurkku’s complex in Haragyuku for an interview by Switch Magazine, that will be a conversation between me and Japan’s beloved novelist Yoshimoto Banana (last name first is customary here, and her first name is pronounced BAH-nah-nah.)

In spring 2008, Kurkku hosted the first of what became four art shows of the original drawings and page layouts of Living on the Earth. I was delighted to hear that Banana-san had purchased my self-portrait that appears on the epilogue page of the book. She’s 15 years younger than I am, and the book was a favorite of her childhood. So, she said, she felt almost in a dream to purchase this drawing she had gazed upon so long ago.

Fujii-san, a rock and roll producer who is a friend of Banana-san’s and a friend of Keisuke Era’s (he’s the director at Kurkku) offered to introduce me and Banana-san, and Switch Magazine offered to document this event. So, here we are: Takeshi Fujii, Yoshimoto Banana, me, Miho Kawaguchi (writing for Switch), Kaori Miyagi (translating for me) and Kengo Tarumi (taking photos for Switch).

OMG! We showed up wearing the SAME EXACT T-SHIRT! It’s the Being of the Sun illustration licensed by Aya Noguchi (fashion designer and owner of Bed and Balcony) last year for her summer line.

But that wasn’t the only coincidence. After the interview was over, Banana went out to the street and there stood our dear friend in common – Sandii Manumele, vocalist extraordinaire and hula teacher of hundreds of Tokyo students, including Banana. Sandii rushed upstairs to see me and we had a happy group hug.

I had last seen Sandii at a huge rock concert memorial for Donto in Okinawa City in 2006. She danced and sang in the show, and I sang one of my songs, too. We became instant friends.

Sandii choreographed the hula for Donto’s classic song “Nami,” which women all over Japan love to dance. I just recorded “Nami” on my recent CD, Beyond Living, both in the original Japanese lyrics, and also in a Hawaiian and English translation. I was happy to present both Sandii and Banana with signed copies of my new CD.

Here‘s Banana-san’s blog about the same meeting (in Japanese).

In Which My Drawings are Featured in a Coffee Table Architecture Book

spaced out-cover

I neglected to write to you last spring about the publication of Alastair Gordon’s SPACED OUT, Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties (2008, Rizzoli). A gorgeous coffee table architecture book about the wiggy shelters my friends built back in the day, for us, it’s more like a family album. It’s an absolutely fun read/look.

“If you don’t have recourse to memory or the spaces themselves, Alastair Gordon’s crucial new book, Spaced Out, will bring you closer to a time when architecture was expanding its horizons…Architects today have a lot to learn from these hippies.”– Metropolis Magazine (6/18/08)

I was thrilled to have my work included in the book, and curious to see which drawings Alastair would choose include. This color page is from Being of the Sun (Harper & Row, 1973), which I co-wrote with Ramón Sender Barayón and illustrated and designed myself. The illustrations on the facing page are from my first book, Living on the Earth (Bookworks, 1970, Random House 1971 and 2000, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2003, Echo Point Books and Media, 2021).

Alastair wrote about Living on the Earth with a waggish smile in his voice.

I was honored to be in the august company of environmental-activist designers like the folks at Drop City, an early Colorado artists’ commune, whose geodesic domes made of sheet metal recycled from roofs of cars at the wrecking yard became their signature visual.

I met Paolo Soleri, the architect who designed and was building Arcosanti, back in the 1960s when he did a fundraising talk and slide show at my mom’s house in L.A. As a result, I wrote about Arcosanti in Living on the Earth.

Here’s an interior photo of Soleri’s semi-subterranean home and studio, Cosanti, in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I made a pilgrimage to both of Soleri’s architectural wonders in November 2000, during my epic 8 month book tour for the 30th anniversary edition of Living on the Earth and the release of my first CD, Music From Living on the Earth.

Physicist confirms what we wrote in Being of the Sun in 1972

“Saintly Throng in the Form of a Rose” by Gustav Dore

Ramon Sender, co-author of Being of the Sun and dedicated enlightenment wonk, just sent me links to a favorite sun worship website and to a website regarding the work of Nassim Haramein, a physicist from Switzerland. The writing below is by Wayne Purdin.

The word “sol” has many meanings, and they’re all interconnected. It can mean our sun. Add a “u” for “you” and it’s your soul or your inner sol or sun. Add an “o” for “one” and you get solo, which means alone or “all one.” “We are one in the sun” isn’t just a fanciful New-Age expression; it is the key to the New Age. Thru unity all problems are dis-sol-ved creating a sol-ution. In astrophysics, sol means singularity. Nassim Haramein is probably the most brilliant physicist since Einstein. He has found that every living thing from a microbe to a sun has a singularity or black hole that not only takes in light but transmits equal amounts of light to its sphere of influence. One aspect of light is information, so singularities take in and transmit information. Our sun has a singularity in its core. As all singularities are “connected” our Sun receives information from the Central Sun of our galaxy, which the Mayans called “Hunab Ku.” The Hunab Ku recieves its information from the Great Central Sun of the universe. Our sun then transmits this information or wisdom to the solar system. We can absorb this information through our eyes, including the third eye, or pineal/pituitary gland complex, when we sungaze. Sungazing pioneer, Gene Savoy, calls this aspect of sunlight the “information or intelligence factor” or “IF.” He writes in Project X: the Search for the Secrets of Immortality, “This energy [from the sun and beyond] has inherent IF potential. It is cosmic information coming into our mind and consciousness directly from the source – the cosmos where it all began… The first cause in the creation of the world was the ‘word,’ or the logos, which emerged from the mouth of God. The philosophers have always taught that this ‘word’ is the true nutrient of the spiritual part of man.”

Page 2, of Being of the Sun: “Vision Quest”

Being of the Sun – its history and reader comments

Cover image of Sun and Earth kissing in a cosmic rainbow dance.

Book trailer for the new English language edition, published in October 2021:
I made this video in collaboration with digital designer Karen Tsugawa, displaying many illustrated pages from the book.  The sound track is a recording made in 1973 by Ramón, of us performing together an improvised piece titled “Everything is Flowing,”  track 9 from our album, Songs from Being of the Sun. Ramón is playing his signature pentatonically tuned zither, and I am playing an open-tuned guitar.  I suggest watching it at full screen with headphones!


You can obtain a new copy of Being of the Sun here!

In the above photo, taken in 2004, I visited Ramon Sender Barayon and his wife, Judith Levy Sender, in Noe Valley, San Francisco. Ramón and I each signed each of our remaining copies of our book, Being of the Sun, saved over countless moves since 1973, when it was published by Harper & Row, Publishers.

Interview of Alicia Bay Laurel on “Natural Born Alchemist” podcast about Being of the Sun:
https://www.naturalbornalchemist.com/episodes/2021/11/29/episode-297-being-of-the-sun

October 1, 2021 – the first new English edition of Being of the Sun since its first edition was published in 1973 by Harper & Row, published by Echo Point Books & Media, is released, at last! 

On May 1, 2020 Ramón Sender Barayón and I signed a contract for the first English edition since 1973 of our book, Being of the Sun, with Echo Point Books & Media, a small publisher based in Brattleboro, Vermont. 

On December 31, 2018: El Mundo, one of the most esteemed journals in Spain, published an article about Ramón Sender Barayon, and the documentary film about his life and work written and directed by Luis Olano.

In the early ‘70’s, while living in on a mountain farm near Popayán, Colombia, Ramon and I wrote Being of the Sun, released as a companion volume to Living on the Earth. The book’s central premise is that each person can find his or her own to way to a dialogue with the Divine, without middlemen, hierarchy, or externally imposed rules of living, while borrowing practices from many traditions to enhance this dialogue. We then offered, as an example, various practices that we found useful, especially practices honoring nature and its cycles, the vibrations of music, and the life-giving light of the sun.

buy Being of the Sun

Ramon’s unique contributions stem from his practices of meditation on sunlight and his background as an avant-garde composer and musician. He was, along with Mort Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros and Terry Riley, one of the composers who formed the San Francisco Tape Music Center in the early 1960’s, and collaborated with audio engineer Don Buchla and Mort Subotnick in the invention of first synthesizer built on the West Coast, the Buchla Box (which was contemporary with the Moog, built on the East Coast).


My illustrations in Being of the Sun are far more lush, imaginative and colorful than those in Living on the Earth, and I bravely offered a drawing of a beautiful young woman defecating into a hole in the earth.

Twenty-seven years after its publication, I recorded three of the songs from Being of the Sun on my first CD, Music From Living on the Earth.  In 2013, Ramón and I released Songs from Being of the Sun, a CD remastered from Ramón’s 1973 reel-to-reel tape of the two of us performing songs, chants and improvisations from our book, just before it was published.  In 2015, I recorded three more of my songs first published in Being of the Sun on my seventh CD, More Songs From Living on the Earth, and, in 2018, on my eighth CD, Alicia Bay Laurel: Live In Japan, I perform a medley of the four chants for the solstices and equinoxes.  

If you scroll down, you’ll find a chart I made for the new edition of Being of the Sun, showing the pages on which the songs, chants and improvisations appear, and the locations of existing recordings of them.

Being of the Sun was initially not well received; in 1973, Rolling Stone declared it “the worst gift book of the year.” However, in the intervening years, it became a cult classic, often referenced on Pagan/Wiccan websites, the illustrations pirated into various alternative journals.  People spiritually attuned to nature, for example, practitioners of Shinto, love this book.  The Japanese translation of this book has been in print from 1974 to 1980, and from 2007 to the present.   And some visionaries, like author/journalist/professor of design Alastair Gordon, saw the magic in it right away: “I still cherish the original editions I have of these magical works… Being of the Sun should be required reading for all earthlings. I truly love your spirit and vision…”

BOTS Japan Cover-90 dpi
Aya Noguchi clothes with BOTS drawings 2015

Since then, I’ve been licensing the illustrations to fashion designers in Japan.  The Hayashi Sisters did a write-up in Japan Vogue Online, published May 25, 2015, about the Salon de Balcony summer fashion line (photo above), which includes clothing and accessories printed with illustrations from Being of the Sun.

Here is the synopsis/review on Amazon dot com:

“A do-it-yourself spirituality and music book, Being of the Sun (Harper and Row, 1973), is the sequel to Alicia Bay Laurel’s classic, best-selling guide, Living on the Earth (Random House 1971 and 2000.) Co-written with author, avant-garde composer and solar yogi Ramón Sender Barayón, Being of the Sun provides a guide to creating one’s own religion, and also offers a compendium of spiritual practices the authors found valuable. Similar to  Living On The Earth, Being of the Sun is entirely handwritten in Alicia’s flowing cursive script and illustrated on every page with her line drawings, a shining example of her immensely influential original book design. However, unlike the simple brown lines and cover of Alicia’s first book, Being of the Sun’s design features purple ink throughout, a colorful cover, plus eight full color illustrations within. Ramón created sheet music of the original spiritual songs and chants he and Alicia wrote for the book. Being of the Sun offers a window on hippie life in the early 70’s, and remains a cult classic among nature-worshippers to this day.”
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Ser del Sol cover

Here is the cover for the upcoming Spanish edition, which will have the original colors that I used – unlike the Harper & Row and Soshisha editions, which changed the color pallette to suit the aesthetics of the publishers.
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In 2013, Indigo With Stars, Inc. released “Songs from Being of the Sun,” a remastered version on CD of an archival reel-to-reel recording made by Ramón Sender Barayon in 1973, of me and Ramón performing some of the sacred nature chants we created for Being of the Sun, just before it was published.  It’s available as a physical CD here. 

SFBOTS Cover for Flickr


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5 star review on CD Baby of “Songs from Being of the Sun” by Gordon Kennedy, author of Children of the Sun, an astonishing book that reveals the 19th century European roots of the hippie movement in the USA:

“In The Sunshine Of Your Love”

“Being of the Sun is an enchanted Solar Mass of relaxing, charming, seductive sounds. If I could pop into the book version like a superflex Gumby, this musical soundtrack would rejuvenate me – and I can’t wait to meet all of the colorful sun children. I visualized Gods-dog and even she sports a nice tan.

“Inside my sauna, the harmonies feed my inner sweat glands with radiant waves of helio-therapy. I surrender.”

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Being of the Sun-back cover

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Here are some reviews the book, Being of the Sun, from Amazon.com, as of February 2014:

BOTS reviews on Amazon

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Gregory Sams sungazing behind his copy of BOTS 2017

Our friend, organic food product pioneer and philosopher Gregory Sams, author of a wonderful solar praise and scientific information book called Sun of gOd, received a copy in April 2017, and posted:

“Being of the Sun” was written 25 years before Sun of gOd. This beautiful book by Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramon Sender taps into the same spirit. Inspirational! All lovingly hand-written and illustrated.

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Here is a quilted fan letter from fiber artist Tomoko Yamada, which she sent to me in 2008:

Tomoko Yamada's quilted fanletter 2007

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Tigger Wheel was a child living at Wheeler Ranch commune while I was writing Living on the Earth.  We’ve stayed in touch all these years; now she and her husband are retired special ed teachers in Texas.  She sent me this a few years back:

BOTS fan letter from Tigger Wheel


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Another letter to me and to Ramon Sender Barayon from deLIGHTful Gregory Sams:

“After an initial delightful rush into it, I have now finally got to the end of your incredible testament, Being of the Sun. Sorry it took so long, but maybe I was waiting for the Summer to kick in. I’m just amazed at how tuned in you two lovers were, and to what a depth, all those years ago! Thinking that perhaps those sacraments and the light of our Sun gave a helpful and loving hand. It is at once a beautiful spiritual work of art and a practical guide to living a good life – a fitting accolade to the true light of all our lives.

“I was thinking, going through it, that there were so many pages I wanted to post-it note that it would be silly to do so. And then I see the hand-written index at the back. Astounding! The book covers so very much, even how to hand-make your own musical instruments and wind chimes. Got me wondering if you ever assembled that drone orchestra.  Loved your words on food and your expression of the consciousness that pervades all. You both really deserved to retire on that book but hey, you’re happy and Sun still blesses us.  I’m really happy to know that a copy of my book is in your hands. They are so different in approach, yet complement each other so well.”

Gregory Sams
Cultural Change Agent, Organic Food Pioneer
Author of Sun of gOd
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VIVIENDO EN LA TIERRA & SER DEL SOL

“Living On The Earth” (Viviendo en la Tierra) es una guía o manual para la vida sostenible, comunal y alternativa creada por Alicia Bay Laurel en el rancho-comuna Wheeler, en el norte de California, a finales de los años sesenta. Fue un éxito de ventas a principios de la década siguiente, y sin ser un libro de cocina, fue incluido en un prestigioso recopilatorio como uno de los 100 libros de cocina más influyentes de la historia de los EEUU. Está traducido al japonés y desde que el año pasado Kachina Ediciones se lanzara a editarlo en español, manteniendo los dibujos originales, podemos tener esta verdadera obra de arte en nuestra biblioteca. Pocos años después de su publicación, Alicia viajó con Ramon Sender a Colombia para investigar a fondo los cultos solares y en 1973 publicaron juntos otra maravilla: “Being Of The Sun” (Ser del Sol), una especie de manual para crear tu propia religión y vivir de una forma más consciente con la naturaleza. Está construido como un diario, e incluye las partituras y los cánticos asociados a diferentes rituales. No tuvo el mismo éxito que su predecesor, y la revista Rolling Stone llegó a catalogarlo como “el peor regalo que puedes hacer estas navidades”. A nosotros nos parece sin embargo, además de una obra de arte, un documento histórico de gran valor. Muy recientemente hemos conocido la fantástica noticia de que Kachina Ediciones se va a encargar de su edición en español para el próximo verano.

Luis Olano
Writer and Director of the documentary, “Sender Barayon: A Trip into the Light”
December 2018
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その黄色の本は(たぶん ボロボロになった)今見つからない。その次にでた「太陽とともに生きる」だけ今、手元ある。
ローレルの葉っぱが好きで この名前をつけたことも書いてあった。

真理をいつもとなりでささやいてくれた本だった。

一緒に行かないかしら

That Yellow book [“living on the earth’] I can’t find it now.
The next, “being with the sun” is now on hand.
I liked Laurel’s leaf, and it was written that I put this name on it.

It was a book that was always whispered and whispered to the truth.

I wonder if I’m going to go with you

Ai Kaga

friend I met in Totsuka, listening to the sea

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Singer-songwriter Keiko Ao Aqua Jimbo and her best friend, Sen, love Being of the Sun!

Keiko Ao Jinbo w Sen and BOTS 2018

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Certain books influenced me profoundly as a young teenager. I remember pouring over The Last Whole Earth Catalog and planning a theoretical venture into the wilderness. When I was thirteen, my brother gave me a book called “Being of the Sun”. I studied that book for months and began a process of developing my own traditions as a result. I don’t know what happened to my original copy, but a few years ago, I found a new one. Here are a couple of pages:

BOTS-Four Liberating Elemental Yogas

Suzie Hall Rosse
Alliance For Sustainable Communities – Lehigh Valley and Morning Star Center
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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That book was my bible as a teenager!
I colored in it and hung out with it in a sacred space I set up in my room to do my yoga…oh, that’s right! That’s where I learned many yoga poses too!

At the time, I didn’t really know anyone who shared that world with me…it was a window into my dreams for my life and really stimulated my imagination and added magic and warmth, color and joy to my days and nights….

Surma Karen Ollice
Paia, Maui, Hawaii

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I will introduce you to the book that touched the heart.
This is my forever Bible.

In the light of the sun that lives us,
Feeling the wind and nature
To live comfortably and live,
For us now
That’s exactly what I need.

The author of this book
Live by Alicia Bay Laurel
How to live primitive
Yoga, mantra and breathing
It’s new when you look at it!
It is also the magic of the scales from the eyes,
It is also my life of the past.

Alicia Bay Laurel 💛
I felt you’re really magical of using all of nature 🌈🌲💖!

One words about ‘’Mekarauroko’’ ,
the scale from the eye is a Japanese Proverb,

To see the light ,
to be awakened to the truth,
to have the scales fall from one’s eyes
are the meetings .

Thank you for blowing your wonderful wind into my life!

Ako Usugi
Yoga Instructor
Owner of Natural Style Yoga salon ナチュラルスタイルヨガサロン
Kaga, Japan
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The peacenik holy book.

Nancy Taylor
Holistic chiropractor
Charlottesville, Virginia
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I read your book, Being of the Sun, and I got inspired by the life you wrote about in this book.  These days, I spend more time in nature, and it brings me much calm and peace in my mind.

Lei Aloha
Smile Communicator
Izumo, Shimane, Japan
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I have my old copy. It has been such a beautiful influence in my life.  Alicia Bay Laurel,  I am truly beholden to you for your countless gifts, books that changed my life, set me on my path, and were friends to me when no one else understood. Treasured with all my heart.

Thank you.

Beth Owls Daughter
Teacher, Writer, Seer, and Dream-whisperer
https://www.owlsdaughter.com

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Alicia Bay Laurel:  So thrilled to see the harvest goddess smiling in your winter solstice altar, dear Hecate Doe!

Hecate Doe: Alicia Bay Laurel, you already know I love me some toilet paper roll Goddesses! You should have seen my Mabon one dancing on my altar, and my Imbolc one was quite cheeky ! I’ve made various Yule ones for 50 years (ack) but this is the first year I’m diligently making one for each Sabbat.  Although I design and change up the skirt and blouse on each one over the years, the original inspiration came from your beautiful book.

Alicia Bay Laurel:  Wow, I am very honored that a page from Being of the Sun has become so deeply woven into your spiritual life, dear Hecate Doe!

Hecate Doe:  Alicia Bay Laurel… and then some. Because it was before scanners, my books are all cut up, the pieces carefully guarded. My 50-year-old son was thrilled to hear that I’ve “met” you; he still remembers the words to [the song] “Receiver Believer” and can play Winter Solstice chant on the old recorder.   For the last 50 years, we’ve always sung and played “Receiver Believer” every Yule!

hecate-does-solstice-advent-altar-90-dpi
harvest goddess paper doll-90 dpi

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Here are the two pages from the new edition of Being of the Sun that give the locations of the existing recordings of the music in the book.  All of these recordings are available from our online shop (there’s a link in the horizontal menu bar at the top of each page of this website).

Ramón Sender Barayón and Alicia Bay Laurel perform together on November 13, 2016 at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, California, as part of Alicia’s song and story show, Living on the Earth: The Musical. Alicia’s clothing is printed with the pages of her book.
Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramón Sender Barayón making music together in 1973.

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Dear Alicia,

Just thinking about you this morning as I was going through an old box of books I used for research on SPACED OUT and came across these two beauties…I’d completely forgotten about them!

Your work still inspires and brings joyto so many… (moi meme)

Much Love, Health and Beatitude for 2021

Alastair Gordon
Author, Architecture Critic, Visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design
New York, New York

Dear Alastair,

Thank you for this loving message, which brings me joy.  And beatitude!

I have great respect for you and your work, and am thrilled to have had my work be part of it.

Last year, I finished the layout for the first new English language edition of Being of the Sun since 1973.  I thought of you while I was restoring the color drawing that you used in your great book, Spaced Out

Wishing you and Barbara every blessing,

Alicia
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Being of the Sun was so amazingly influential for me. I saw a copy in the Lafayette CA library when I was 14 in the ’80s, checked it out and based a large part of my life on it. My approach to spirituality was influenced by your book.

Neil R. Rasmussen
Los Angeles, California

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Beautiful Extraordinary Book!

Brigitte Mars
Herbalist, Professor, Author, Plant Expert, Natural Food Chef
https://brigittemars.com/

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Intended to be a companion volume to Living on the Earth, this book goes deep into a communal way of life in 1973.

Alicia Bay Laurel and Ramon Sender 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

Front cover and two interior color illustrations from the 2021 Echo Point Books edition of Being of the Sun.

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Hecate Doe’s lively Winter Solstice altar, including one of her Being of the Sun paper dolls. Here is the gorgeous prayer she wrote for the occasion:

Spirits of the Center, I come to you on this magickal HolyDay as I light this candle, reaching out, opening to, absorbing the blending of the joy, inspiration, and harmony of the East, the life force, passion, and healing transformation of the South, the intuitive wisdom, magick, and peace of the West, and the grounding, fertility, and nurturance of the North, as I release my suffering, my bonds, my regrets, and my fears to bring me into deep connection with the primal Truth and Divinity of my Higher Self in the year to come and always. Blessed Be, so mote it be.


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I finished reading Being of the Sun, and I loved it.
It’s beautiful, and I can’t wait to see my dad read it to my [future] children one day.
It will be a lovely bed time book.

Bianca Scott
Herbalist and Writer
Tigard, Oregon
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Natural foods pioneer and author Gregory Sam’s foreword to the 2021 English language edition of Being of the Sun.

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Meg Henschel colored some of the drawings in Being of the Sun.
She posted these on Facebook in 2016.

Illustrations from Being of the Sun colored by Meg Henschel.

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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.

Neil and Ness
Getting high on nature

Being of the Sun, basking in the sun

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Dear Alicia,

My name is Alix, from Amsterdam. Currently I am on the island of Ibiza, in Spain.

Yesterday, I had the most perfect, aligned, beautiful ceremony with the mushroom. It told me to step in to the light, for I am a light being. It told me to always search for the Sun. 

Then this morning I stumbled upon a vendor with retro books. The first one I was drawn to was your book Being of the Sun. I hope that you feel, as much as I do, how your time capsule found the right place at exactly the right time.

Thank you for your wisdom, for I will hand it over to my unborn children.

With love and sunshine, also to Ramón

Alix 

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Being of the Sun found me at my local used book store the other day. It was the first book I noticed, and grabbed it . Being of the Sun speaks to my soul! I’m so grateful it found me. I want to thank you personally from my soul to yours.

It is almost everything I already believe in, and soo much more. I didn’t realize that it was the sequel to Living on the Earth, which I actually just went in search for and ordered along with the new edition of Being of the Sun, because I want to be able to color it, but didn’t want to ruin the original. I’m so happy that your book had found me, and grateful for being, and to get the chance to thank you for inspiring me and soo many others.

Its like you said in your book, the human race is awakening, and the universe listens to everything that we say feel or think. I’ve recently been awakening over the past few years, which has been a blessing, yet difficult at the same time, just because of the world we live in. I find soo much comfort in your books and I’m soo happy that you decided to write and publish them.

I hope that your books continue to find their way to more beautiful souls in search of their own spirituality, just like me 🌞

Stephanie Rose Gracon
Avon Lake, Ohio

Stephanie Rose Gracon with her 1973 first edition of Being of the Sun
Dedication page from Being of the Sun, photo by Stephanie Rose Gracon

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The Interview in Hachi Hachi Magazine


So here’s the magazine interview with me that Takashi Kikuchi wrote for 88 (pronounced “hachi hachi” in Japanese) Magazine, a permaculture journal printed with soy inks on recycled paper. Kikuchi-san is the editor, and he was assisted by Maki Ozawa, who interpreted for us. They flew over to Ohshima (island) to interview me, and they also interviewed me at Koki Aso’s house in Hayama, since he and Kikuchi-san are friends. Every one of the 88 covers is a work of art. I recycled the cover of a May 2005 issue into the shoe box shrine I made at Doshi Camp in Yamanashi Prefecture at the Kurkku weekend workshop.


Page one of the November 2006 issue. This photo of me was taken in the forest in Ohshima, on the path to the ancient style rice straw hut. The way the embroidery on the dress echoes the curve of the ferns is a tribute to the superb designer’s eye of the photographer. His name is Hiroshi.


Page two. Behind the writing is an illustration from Living on the Earth of a girl awakening at dawn at her mountain encampment to the sound of a bird calling. She sits up nude in her sleeping bag, wherein her lover still snores. It’s got to be one of the most evocative drawings in the book.


Page three. Now here’s a wink from the Universe. In 2002, when Mana Koike and Sachiho Kojima came to Hawaii Island and recorded a CD of Tara songs onwhich I sang backup, Mana came to visit me at my home, and I gifted her with a Japanese language edition of Being of the Sun. The book had been out of print since the 1970’s, and Mana thought she might want to re-publish it herself. I was thrilled with her offer, but not counting on it, either. When Kikuchi-san and his crew came with me to Mana’s house in Ohshima, Mana showed him her copy of Being of the Sun, and he had Hiroshi, the photographer, take this picture of it next to the Japanese edition of Living on the Earth. Not long after the magazine came out, I received an email from Soshisha, Ltd., which had published both books in the 1970’s and still publishes Living on the Earth, to discuss publishing Being of the Sun again.


Page four. Again, the graphic designer for the article has chosen one of the other most evocative drawings from Living on the Earth – the title page image of a young man and woman dancing on a hilltop under a moonlit sky while a dog dances beside them. I’m looking very serious in the photo at Koki’s house. I’m probably discussing politics. I wish I could read the article! I wanted to get it translated for my blog, but, mercy, it’s 5 to 15 cents per character, which adds up to hundreds of dollars! Kikuchi-san (“Kick” is his screen name) sweetly featured my new jazz CD, What Living’s All About in a sidebar, with its cover art that echoes the image of ecstatic dancing in nature by moonlight.