Shrine of the Sacred Fool

Not everything we do at Gaia Community is "Serious Business". It's also important to know when to laugh at yourself, or let your hair down (or get drunk and shave your hair off), or otherwise blow off steam. We hope you'll find some enjoyment here on our little nook to the sacred 'nyuk'.

What is the Sacred Fool?

The FoolThe Trickster, the Prankster, the Jester and the Muse.

The Sacred Fool keeps us humble by revealing our limitations, and shows that anything is possible when you let go of expectations.

The Fool teaches us the healing power of laughter.

The Fool inspires us to share our joy and sadness so that others may laugh and learn and grow.

The Fool is never what you expect, reminding us to see the world with new eyes.

The Fool provides relief from pain and stress with an indulgence in the silly, the frivolous, and the funny.

The FoolAnd the Fool stings us out of complacence and stagnation, returning us to the path of growth with a blush on our face and a sting in our pride.

This is our online holiday, our carnival, our reminder to Never Take Ourselves Too Seriously.

Check back from time to time for updates and additions -- we're always growing and changing!

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*i.e. read bootleg copies of their articles, once, years ago.

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Kemetic Unorthodox Rat Screw (K.U.R.S.)

History of the Game

Kemetic Unorthodox Rat Screw is based on the popular card game 'Egyptian Rat Fuck' (or Rat Screw, depending on the age and temperament of the players). ERF, in turn, is loosely based on the game of 'War'.

Object of the Game

The object of each of these games, which may be played by as few as two and as many as can fit around the table or game space, is for one player to collect all of the cards into their hand. Once this occurs and all special effects and decrees have been resolved, the game is over.

Traditional ERF Rules

ERF is played by dealing all the cards to the players; it is not necessary that each player start with an exactly equal number of cards in their hand. Players may not look at their hands at any time! In addition, cards are played by flipping them outward from your hand, instead of toward you, so that you do not see the card being played significantly before anyone else (it is recommended that you flip it as quickly as possible to minimize the difference).

Play begins by the player to the left of the dealer laying their top card down, face-up, in the center of the table to start the stack. If this card is a number card (2-10), then play passes to the next player, as long as only number cards are laid down. Once a face card is played, the next player has a challenge before them. A challenge presents that player with a fixed number of chances to lay down another face card, depending on what face card was played:

The challenged player lays down one card at a time, face-up, on the stack until they either 1) lay down a face card or 2) run out of chances. If they succeed in playing a face card, then the Challenge extends to the next player in line, with the new face card determining how many chances they get. If at any time a player runs out of chances (or cards) without playing a face card, the player who last played a face card gets the entire stack. They should turn these cards face-down and place them at the bottom of their hand without shuffling, and then flip the top card from their hand into the center to start a new stack. Play continues to the left as usual.

Rat fucking: Whenever two cards of the same value are played on top of each other (two 8's for example, or two Kings), any player may try to slap the stack. The player who reaches the stack first gets to claim the entire stack; they have just rat-fucked whatever was already in play, whether it was a challenge or just the regular cycle of play. They then continue play as if they had taken the stack from a challenge, and lay the next card down. (Note: Because of the enthusiasm generated by this part of the game, it is strongly recommended that sharp and/or protruding rings and fingernails be treated with care. Rings can be removed, or another hand used; if you draw blood during a rat-fuck, you will automatically be unsuccessful!)

If a player runs out of cards during play, but before one player has collected the entire deck, they no longer get turns in the usual cycle of play, and are not subject to challenges. However, they may slap in at any time and, if successful in rat-fucking the other players, become an active participant again; this may even result in them staging a comeback and winning the game!


K.U.R.S. adds to the complexity, and hopefully the fun, of ERF by using a 78-card Tarot deck instead of the usual 52-card deck. Each of the cards in the Major Arcana has a special effect which will be detailed below. Note: Because Tarot decks vary in description and card text, feel free to use the Roman numeral system to decide what a card means, or devise an alternate effect for non-standard cards.

The only other equipment needed is a flat surface to place the stack on, and at least one appendage for rat-fucking with (hands are most common).

(Different) Rules of the Game

K.U.R.S. requires at least three players to be played effectively; otherwise the Death card, for example, will have the effect of ending the game suddenly. Alternatively it may be removed from play before a two-player game.

Because Tarot decks have different 'face cards' than a standard deck, the chances to match each face card are different:

Play begins with the player to the dealer's left, though this may change at some point of the game due
to cards being played. Number cards (Ace-Ten) are played exactly the same as in ERF; face cards also result in the same type of challenge being issued, with the above-noted differences.

Major Arcana cards do not count as face cards for the purpose of either issuing or meeting a challenge, unless the card's action specifically states otherwise. Each card has a special action as described below, although alternate actions may be substituted if these do not match the deck you are playing with:

  1. The Fool: Lift up the top 5 cards of your hand2 and look at them. Without changing the order, return them to the top of your hand.
  2. The Magician: All male players must give you a card1, 2.
  3. The High Priestess: All female players must give you a card1, 2.
  4. The Empress: Give each player two cards.1
  5. The Emperor: Make a decree. For the rest of the game, you may fine 1, 2 someone a card if they do not follow your decree. Examples include 'You must refer to me as 'Your Highness', or 'When you win a stack, you must thank the person by name.' Be careful to avoid decrees that can result in game loops or impossible winning conditions, or give you an unfair game advantage when followed. Each time this card is played a new decree must be instituted; one decree may however supercede another. It is your decision whether to collect a fine on someone (including yourself) when you become aware of them breaking a decree, but you must do so in a timely manner.
  6. The Heirophant: Tithe each player for two cards1, 2.
  7. The Lovers: Steal a kiss (and a card1, 2) from the player of your choice. If they refuse, they must give a card1, 2 to everyone.
  8. Strength: If you lay this card down during a challenge4, you automatically win the entire stack and the challenge ends.
  9. The Chariot: You may choose to trade hands with a player of your choice.
  10. The Hermit: Each player must give you the top three cards from their hand2. You may look at these cards, in order to decide how many and which cards each player should get, and in which order. You may not keep any for yourself, and the other players should return any cards received to the top of their hand.
  11. Justice: If three or more are playing4, you must rule from the bench that two other players switch hands.
  12. The Hanged Man: Pass out one card to each player3; then take the stack (if any) as if you had won a challenge.
  13. Death: Deal out your entire hand to the other players1; your turn is over. Remove this card from play after use.
  14. Temperance: Deal out a card to each player3; then each player gives you a card from their hand1.
  15. The Devil: You must tell of an 'original sin' that you have committed. Each player who has not committed that same sin (or will not admit to it) must give you a
    card1, 2. Each time this card is played by any player, a different sin must be revealed.
  16. Wheel of Fortune: Change the direction of play. This takes effect when your turn is done, but does not affect the person who benefits from a failed challenge. For example, if play was moving to the right and you fail a challenge after playing this card, the player to your left still takes the stack, and then play moves to their left.
  17. The Tower: Take the top half of your hand, approximately, and flip it over on top of the stack3. The card shown is now to be considered the card you played; this does not take up an additional chance in a challenge.
  18. The Star: Sing a song that has the word 'star' in it. If you cannot think of any or are unwilling, you must give two cards to each player1. Each time this card is played by any player, a different song must be sung.
  19. The Moon: Briefly expose a covered body part of your choice to your fellow players. If you are unwilling, give each player a card1. Each time this card is played by the same player, a different part must be uncovered. Be careful of ages and observers!
  20. The Sun: If playing between sunrise and sunset, you must bestow one card on each player1, 2; otherwise you get a card from each player1, 2.
  21. Judgement: Remove this card from play after use; Take up all hands and the stack (but not Death) and deal them out evenly to all players.
  22. The World: Each player gives their hand to the player to their left2.


  1. Unless otherwise specified, a card received from another player comes off of the top of their hand and is placed on the bottom of your hand.
  2. Players without cards are not required to find/steal/draw one if it is required of them, although if they receive a card during that action and are then asked to give one up, they must do so as normal.
  3. Conversely, if a card requires the player to give up cards to gain a secondary effect, but they do not have a sufficient number in their hand, then they cannot continue and their turn is over. The exception here is Temperance; they receive cards back from players that they shared with.
  4. Cards that have conditions but no alternative have no effect if the conditions are not met.

Optional Rules & Suggestions

Finally, remember to have fun, and if you don't like a rule, change it! (If you feel strongly about it, you may want to let us know why you changed it, so that we can incorporate it into future revisions). For any comments, questions, or criticisms, you may contact us here.


A collection of limericks written by our members and friends, both past and present. Non-kid-safe ones have been marked appropriately.

Have one you'd like to add? Send it to us at!

Behold the famed Gaia Community!

Behold the famed Gaia Community;
To guilt they have gained an immunity.
Instead of a creed,
They have only one Rede:
"Harm none, and have fun with impunity!"

— Barbara

Fire Hazards

A star-eyed young priestess named Bloewydd
Loved FX and dresses that flowed.
With candles and sparks,
And glow-in-the-darks...
Who knew that some fabrics explode?

— Carey

Never Invoke Anything Bigger Than Your Head

There once was a priestess named Maeven
Who pissed off a Trickster named Raven
With spells made to bind
But now she will find
From karma there is no safe haven!

— Carey

The Joys of Moving

It's lovely to have a home sweet home
So many rooms in which to roam...
Catch the puppy, damn he's peeing
there's my cellphone, oh it's ringing
If only I could just find the phone!

— Caroline

There once was a whimsical Faery

There once was a whimsical Faery
Who loved to dance and be merry
She leaps, spins, and darts
Among drums and fiery sparks
But if you try to stop her .... be wary!

— Leslie

There once was a witch from Khartoum (PG-13)

There once was a witch from Khartoum
Who smeared flying salve on her broom
And in between races
She stuck it in places
You wouldn't have thought there'd be room.

— Kimberly

Today we have Gaia Ritual Teams (PG)

Today we have Gaia Ritual Teams,
In costume with portents and dreams.
They look to ones at the top,
Even make us do the Bunny Hop.
But so far, dammit, no whipping cream.

— Bat

Very Large Fish (New Member Sunday, February 2002)

Hi, I'm Carey. This is all my fault.

My ritual team began planning our upcoming ritual like usual-- via frantic emails and phone calls ("Did you know it was February already?! Crap!"). I was in a somewhat Erisian mood that day or something, and I wanted to do a Discordian ritual at Gaia. You know, shake things up a little. Kick people out of their comfort zones. Generally act like lunatics. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

We had a lot of elements to incorporate into this ritual. It was a New Member Sunday, meaning that some, if not all, of the ritual had to focus on welcoming the new members into the community as they sign the membership book. But we also needed to make sure that the other people attending would not be bored to tears, and that the ritual would be active, inspiring, and transformative for everyone. Plus incorporate Gaia Community's values of "caring for the earth and each other." Plus reaffirm and renew our vitality in the midst of the late winter slump. You know, the usual. The title we were given was "Reconciliation" -- nicely generic, we could go anywhere with it.

Inspiration struck. We could do a Sacred Theater style ritual. Here's the Concept:

Discordia is left off the invitation list of an Olympian party. She starts a catfight between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, and they have a mortal man mediate the argument to see which of them deserves the Golden Apple.

You know, Paris, Trojan War... same story, modern setting. Since it's modern, the goddesses all reflect their modern archetypes. Hera looks like a hostile takeover on the hoof. Athena looks like Queen of the Hackers. Aphrodite looks, well, yummy. And Discordia...

In every generation, there is an underground counter-culture, devoted to playing by their own rules, having some semi-self-destructive fun, and generally pissing off the establishment. The bohemians of the 1920s... the beatniks in the 40's... the hippies in the 60's... the punks in the 80's... and now, the ravers.

We wrote the ritual. We made revisions. We passed out parts to facilitating priestesses. We planned every prop, every action, every part. We warned the new members of their part. We teased the community with tidbits of information. Everything was planned.

Which was probably the first mistake. Never invite Discordia into a ritual and expect to stay in control for long.

The day of the ritual, I geared myself up in "Discordia Drag"... Black leather pants, tight torn shirt with Erisian sigils, electric blue eye makeup,
dark blue lipstick, and glittery sparkles. I loaded up the car with the props, and then remembered that I was supposed to have golden delicious apples for everyone for the post-ritual munchies. Well, that's what Price Chopper is for, right? So I strolled right in, in full costume and makeup, drawing many stares. A couple of people actually crashed their grocery carts as I passed. Woot. I picked out twenty-three golden apples, paid, and motored off to Gaia.

I walked merrily in, bearing props, and was met by a slightly stressed priestess. "Hera and Paris have food poisoning and can't come today! I can stand in for Hera if you give me a script, but who can play the part of Paris?"

We have just lost cabin pressure.

We look around. There is one male in the room: David, one of the new members, who showed up early to bring a boombox. We swoop in for the kill.
"Hey David, do you want to be Steve today?"
"Steve is sick, we need someone to play his part. Here's what you need to do..."
We filled him in on the first half of the ritual, not quite getting to the making-a-decision-between-the-three-goddesses part. We accosted the KidSpace teacher of the day and explained the kids' part in the ritual. We put together the altar in the southwest corner of the circle (why the
Hel not? It's Discordian!). Twenty-three golden apples, a stuffed blue penguin, a Salvador Dali-esque backwards-running clock, a carved wooden cat with a parasol, all on an electric blue altar cloth.

Those of us playing goddesses got together to touch base and run through the script. People started filtering into the circle, so we took our places. Athena had brought a sparkly black tophat, which made my outfit complete. Well, that and the Very Large Fish.

Some people began to drum on doumbeks and ashikos and folks began to dance in the circle, which has become an informal gathering tradition for our rituals. I walked out of the shadows, costumed, made up, and carrying a four-and-a-half foot velvet catfish under one arm. I signaled the drummers to wind down, set the fish down in an empty part of the circle ("Stay." ::pat pat::), and bowed to the gathered circle with a flourish of the tophat.

"Welcome to Gaia Community, an Earth-Based Unitarian Universalist Congregation!" I rattled off the standard welcome and introductions, then launched into the ritual.
"The children today will help us invoke the elements. Come on out here!" Four smiling kids scampered to the center, waiting for their cue. They had all been told that when I said "Go!", they were to sing a song. They were all given different songs, although none of them know that.
The kids started to sing, got about two words into their songs, and all stopped and started giggling (just as I'd planned).
"Perfect! Thanks!"
"That was just right. Thank you for your help." Perplexed and giggling, the kids sat down again.

"Today I am Discordia, the goddess who turns things topsy-turvy to see what they're really made of. So today's ritual might be a little different than what you're used to."
"Some say I'm crazy, but I know some of the mysteries, too. There's an old story about how I started the Trojan War - you might have heard it."

"Old Zeus and his buddies up on Olympus were afraid I'd be too much fun for their party, so they had the nerve to leave me off their invitation list. So I made the women in his life - his wife Hera, his daughter Athena, and his sometimes-mistress Aphrodite - get into a catfight that got so ugly they had to stop their party and get a mortal to mediate the argument and try to reach a reconciliation. That mortal, a shepherd named Paris, made his choice, and the rest, as you say, is history."

"But what if that argument were here and now? What if these conflicting desires were in YOUR life? What if it were YOU, or another member of this community, just like Paris, in a way, living a simple, mortal life, following the ways of the Earth Mother, Gaia, what if YOU were faced with the choice and the opportunity?
"Zeus is throwing another party, and I've been left off the list again, so why don't we crash their party? Shh I'll hide you so they won't see you. Oh, I won't be rude, after all, I always remember to bring a gift" I pulled a sparkling golden apple from the belly of the Fish and laughed.

Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite walked in, talking and gossiping...

Discordia: "Hello, ladies! Lovely decade for a party, isn't it"
The goddesses stopped and looked shocked/worried/pissed.
Hera: "What do you want?"
Aphrodite: "Oh, no you always cause trouble."
Athena: "What will it take for you to leave?"
Discordia: "Oh, don't be so suspicious. I just wanted to give you a present. Pretty shining golden ball, who's the fairest one of all?"
Hera: "That's one of the golden apples of immortality. How did you get that?"
Athena: "We went through this last time, with you saying we had to decide which of us deserved the apple most, that it should only go to the fairest of us."
Aphrodite: "That's right, and Paris decided it was ME. So hand it over, Discordia."
Hera: "Hold on a minute sister. We saw how you cheated your way through that one. It started a colossal war! Obviously, it should go to someone with more integrity than you. Someone like me."
Athena:"Oh, and you're the pillar of integrity around here? With the coming of the internet, my gifts of intelligence and innovation are becoming highly prized among mankind. Your days of feudalistic greed are over."
Hera: "Men desire wealth and power now more than ever, and I can give it to them. The apple should be mine."
Athena: "Two words, ladies: Bill Gates. The apple should be mine."
Aphrodite: "Ha! Your internet is being used to create shrines to me! Porn sites, dating services, fashion and beauty sites, and hundreds of shrines to my special haven of beauty and glamour and sex: HOLLYWOOD. The apple should be mine."
Discordia: "Some things will never change." (the bickering swiftly went downhill; Discordia stopped them before they became violent)
Discordia: "Ladies! We could always settle this the old-fashioned way."
Hera: "An arena battle?"
Discordia: "Get a mortal to choose."
Aphrodite: "Oh, and where are we going to find one of them around here?"
Discordia snapped her fingers and the goddesses started and looked around at the circle.
Hera: "You tricked us."
Aphrodite: "How did you DO that?"
Athena: "How long have they been watching us?"
Discordia: "Aphrodite, since you won last time, you get to pick the mortal this time."
Aphrodite bounced and clapped her hands, or something equally girlish.
Athena: "Is that such a good idea?"
Discordia: "Trust me."
Hera: "I hate it when she says that."
Aphrodite began to check out the men in the circle, seemingly unaware of the women. She picked David.
Aphrodite: "I want this one."
Hera: "I'm sure you do."
Discordia: "So, mortal, it's up to you to hear the case of each goddess and choose which of them deserves this," (handed him the apple)
"the golden apple of immortality. Can you feel its power? It can make a mortal become one of the gods, and it can make a god nearly unstoppable. Aphrodite won last time. She is the goddess of love. Have you ever been in love?"
David: "Yes."
Discordia: "Have you ever tried to STOP being in love?"
David: "I think I see what you mean."
Hera: "Listen, I can give you riches beyond your wildest dreams, I can make you powerful. People will respect you, listen to you fear you. I can give you kingdoms, countries. Do you like Costa Rica?"
Athena: "Don't waste your time with her. Nowadays, the people who have knowledge have power. I can open your minds to new realms of possibility. Nothing you desire to know will be beyond your reach. You could hack through the internet, create genetic code the way painters create masterpieces, you could win the Nobel Prize, take mankind into space"
Aphrodite: "Athena, you're such a geek." (she started trying to seduce David) "I know what men want. Just think of it. You could have any woman in the world. I can do that. Two if you're Pagan. You could have the most beautiful woman in the world and have her be completely yours."
Discordia pulled him away from Aphrodite.
Discordia: "Maybe the kids should get out of here before she does something kinky. Go now in peace..." (the kids and teachers went off to KidSpace for their own special activity)

The three goddesses each took a turn trying to seduce David with power, intelligence, sex...
Discordia: "Remember, last time somebody gave her the apple, he ended up losing his family, and starting a war that tore his country apart. Maybe you'd better take a walk, clear your head of that perfume. Every choice you make, every action you take will have results, repercussions, consequences and rewards. But you have to commit to something, and stick with it for better or for worse, or else you'll never grow." (she looked to the rest of the circle) "Why don't you all join him, stretch your legs a bit, think about what you would do. These goddesses are notoriously fickle. If they change their minds, it could be one of you making the decision. Better think about it a bit. Walk the circle with your friend here."
The lights dim a bit and Discordia began to play a drum, softly. The three goddesses took positions along the outside of the circle, with Discordia in the center, and the attendees walked in a circle, listening. The voices of the goddesses rose and fell, weaving in and out, trying to seduce the mortals with their gifts and offers of power - Hera, physical power, wealth, and political influence; Athena, intellectual power, innovation, and talent; and Aphrodite, emotional power, beauty, glamour, sex, and love. Discordia in the center talked about the golden apple, of immortality, magick, and spiritual power. And questions. Every once in a while, the same questions came up, from different voices, at different times, sometimes echoed by the other goddesses. "What would you choose? What do you want? What do you need? Do you need our gifts? If you could have anything..."
This went on for maybe 10 minutes, but it felt like more, in a good way.

Discordia: "It's time to choose, mortal. Go back to your seat and make your judgement."
Discordia makes everyone in the circle say "I choose" before she gets to David and makes him make his commitment.
Discordia explained how this all ties into New Member Sunday.
Aphrodite read Gaia's Mission Covenant Statement.
Athena read the UU Principles and Purposes.
Hera called the new members to sign the book.
The kids walked in, wearing decorated signs saying "I'm a Chicken" Except one sign said "I'm a Gorilla" (damn the luck, we couldn't find roller skates) and one said "I'm a kid in a sign".
Discordia: "And now we must all participate in one of the most sacred Discordian traditions. We must all do the chicken dance to a Danish accordion orchestra!" (she started the tape; yes, it really was a Danish accordion orchestra)
Dancing, laughter, polka, celebration! At one point an attendee was dancing with the Very Large Fish on her head like a hat...

Closing -- Discordia solemnly said, "And they moved into the prince's castle and lived happily ever after. The End." ...and walked out. With the Very Large Fish.

The End(?)