Stowe, John R. (1956– )
John R. Stowe, a spiritual teacher, cofounder of Gay Spirit
Visions, and founder of EarthFriends, was born in 1956. He
lived a closeted gay existence until 1979, when he began a quest
to discover what it meant to live as an aware, spirituallyengaged
gay man. As with many gay men, much of that struggle
meant dealing with negative self images acquired from growing
up in a world that does not accept homosexuality as a legitimate
option amid the myriad options from which people can
choose.
After coming out, he found employment as a bodyworker
masseur and pursued his spiritual and self-understanding
quest through a spectrum of alternative spiritual options from
the gay-informed Christianity of Episcopal priest Malcolm
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Stowe, John R.
1499
Boyd to channeller Andrew Ramer. He eventually decided that
people have the right to their own spiritual path and that personal
spirituality begins in listening to the inner self. He found
bodywork as one tool that assisted the exploration of the inner
self, but also found help in Jungian reflections on archetypes.
He soon emerged as a spiritual teacher serving the gay community
primarily in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.
In 1990, Stowe joined with a small group of friends who had
pursued similar spiritual journeys, including Ramer, to found
Gay Spirit Visions. The primary program of Gay Spirit Visions
is an annual conference where gay men gather to explore alternative
spiritual options. The work of the group, which Stowe
has described as mutual mentoring, provided the atmosphere
for him to develop his focus on the archetypes that led to his
book, Gay Spirit Warrior (1999). Gay Spirit Warrior was written
to assist men begin an inner journey and start to experience the
reality of the self, both positive and negative. Stowe views archetypes
as universal characters that reside in the human consciousness.
Each person carries the archetypes developed to a
greater or lesser strength. By looking at each archetype successively,
and assessing how each manifests in its particularity, one
can come to new levels of self-understanding.
In 1984, Stowe had discovered flower essences, substances
distilled from flowers and other plants by a particular method
first discovered by Edward Bach, a British physician. Since
Bach’s death in the 1930s, the number of flowers processed in
the manner he discovered has greatly expanded, especially
after the formation of the Flower Essence Society in 1979.
Stowe began to make his own flower essences from flowers
found in the Southeastern United States and use them in his
bodywork sessions. In the mid-1980s he founded EarthFriends
to manufacture and sell the essences he had developed. One
line of products, Exploring Gayspirit Oils, is marketed primarily
to gay men.
Sources
Nichols, Jack. ‘‘Interview with John R. Stowe.’’ Gay Today
(October 1999).
Stowe, John R. Gay Spirit Warrior. Findhorn Press, 1999.

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