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A Brief History

A (Brief) Story Telling of the Alliance... 
as told by Rev. Luke A Shootingstar
Author's note:  Although this may seem like a long story, it is actually a very brief look into our development.  If any buddy reads this and you think you should also be mentioned in this story telling, please know there is also the much more complete "Elysium Book of Ages," already many volumes; we welcome your contributions to tell a more complete herstory and history of our Journey together in that form. 
What you see here are just some of the very most influential milestones and contributions to our development of culture and tradition over the course of the last few decades.

our planet earth

This movement has survived many evolutions of ebb and flow,
since it officially began in 1994. The inspiration of the Alliance grew,
in the tradition of Great Legacies, out of brainstormings in 1991 of an idea
by the name of Brothers and Sisters in Babylon, a festival and community with
supportive infrastructure associated with it.  However, not until 1993 did
it begin to come together more solidly with clarity of vision through
the valuable aid of an ally by the name of David Christensen. 
He was a master Tarot card reader, and exceptionally
talented in art.  He sketched the central figure in
the poster used for our very first event in 1994
produced as the Circles of Light Alliance. 
First Circle
He said, many years later, he always saw me as
the figure within the circle, dressed as the Fool,
represented by the “0” card of the Tarot deck--
an archetypal presence which fosters trust
in sustained love and hope for the world.
So, this alliance started shortly after
the first event in early 1994 called,
"the Circles of Light Celebration,"
which was an offshoot of the idea
for Brothers and Sisters. It was
a festival on the Spring Equinox
through which I hoped we could
explore a co-creative reality, free from
the "thought forms" that seed potential for
violence, war, and oppression which arise from
greed and the other 7 deadly sins.  In this Vision,
we wished to explore alternatives to competitive sports,
mind games, and the relations paradigm based on opposition--
us and them divisions, so popular in 1st World colonist culture. 
All we had was merely a guiding glimpse at that time into HOW
we might accomplish this Mission to realize paradise on Earth…
starting with promotion of a more peaceful paradigm.  I chose
to entertain the notion it is possible that "poisonous seeds”
in the Garden, metaphorically speaking, are not part of
“human nature” actually, but rather impressed upon us
by influence of culture from peer/parent conditioning.
Through research and learning from isolated cultures
untouched by the influence of 1st World perspectives,
instead of dismissing them as "savage," we can relearn
more sustainable ways of wellness from other cultures.
Our belief is this is not as much achieving a new state
as much as returning to a state of being we once knew;
it can happen for us as individuals and planetary bodies.
Therefore, we call this Path a Journey of ReDiscovery
and, in other contexts, it is an Odyssey of Lifetimes.
Shortly after the Celebration, we Core Allies continued
as the body we refer to as, "The Circles of Light Alliance,"
it was composed of a core of 5-6 people initially. First Core
went out to the world in many directions shortly after this 
and the movement went underground, sub-consciousness,
hibernating, and gestating...evolving for a time when
we would see a green light for action or hear
a trumpet in our inner ears, as Ones again...
I moved my focus inward and journeyed to the Amazon
rainforest jungle to learn administration at our family lodge for
eco-tourism called Yacumama where, in 1996, I initiated writing
on a book which illuminates the individual path (complimentary to
the group path) of existing as a Circle of Light; I called the book
Ki Shunindo, which, loosely translated from Japanese,
means, "The Way of the Guardian of Life Force," 
modeled after the Jedi path in Star Wars.

Alliance Star

The year 1998 was a renaissance for the Alliance.  We had
many spectacular events as tribe that summer and new life
came into our circles.  Directly after, I moved to Santa Fe,
New Mexico, in pursuit of a vision I saw in waking dreams ...
there the Alliance expanded, and those allies are still with us.
In the early years of the Y2K decade more celebrations happened
in Eugene, Oregon, after my permanent return from Santa Fe.
Intimate gatherings were enjoyed by the circle of friends
involved with the MacPhearson Clan. Food, music jams,
and plenty of hackey-sack was enjoyed heartily.
This may be a great time here to mention
the inspirational influence this Way of passing time
contributed to the culture of our growing alliance.
I was introduced to hackey-sack in 1990 or 91 (at about
the same time Brothers and Sisters in Babylon's philosophy
was beginning to be dreamed up.)  I was so pleased to find
a splendidly cooperative activity, perhaps it got me thinking
of many rich metaphors for application in our daily lives. 
Truly, much of the relating dynamics of the alliance were
discovered through long hours of kicking the sack with
many friends and acquaintances in Sacred Circles
...A time for inner focus and active meditation,
a compliment to martial arts, dance, many opportunities
to meet people and socialize, sharing peer support;
a benefit of exercise for health--it is all this. 
Having shared as much, it is obvious that
I took this art to a whole new level...
a word we know as transcendence.

Initiating Ripples of Wellness

In the latter part of the 1990’s a discomfort arose
from a persistent feeling that the name of the Alliance
was not correct to serve as a vehicle for a publicly visible
organization to win appeal with many diverse communities.
After several years of contemplation, I finally rested upon
the name Global Community Designs to be known as publicly.
This epic milestone accured in the early summer of 2001.
I have often marveled at the peculiar similarity in destiny
of timing with the classic film, "2001, A Space Odyssey."
As far as the topic of alternative societies is concerned,
be they public or more private, there are similarities between
the Circles of Light Alliance and other societies that have existed.
In general though, it seems many began as noble paths and were
inexorably infiltrated or co-opted into losing their sight of
the Way.  A strong tradition will have safe-guards, well-
thought out and strategic, to help ensure the tradition lasts,
to eventually be considered a Legacy. Although some may be
considered faithful (to a founding vision) we are not connected
to any of these, having our own individual identity.  We are more
visible as a welcoming society than some obscure and secretive ones.
The unofficial stance is we appreciate visionary ideals of similar societies.
The Alliance was founded upon a Dream and spiritual theme: to make our lives,
while mortals, like prism/mirrors for amplifying soul light and offer support
and protection to each other within a mystic sanctuary. These movements
are connected to us only by the common thread of a Legacy of Light
represented by a tremendous tree with a great myriad of branches.
So, 'twas in 2003, the Elysian Dream was born of the same inspiration
which gave rise to the Alliance--"whenever two or more gather" in Grace,
they create spaces of peace (Circles of Light), uplifting everything within
and around themselves. I realized long ago "circles of light" are essential
to the great Mission of the Meek…which is to realize paradise on Earth.
But what is paradise, really? with our subjective interpretations aside...
The philosophical soul searching led me to the strong union of peace work,
wellness support, keeping sanctuary, and living sustainably upon the Earth
(permaculture) which is the defining vision and identity of the Alliance.
This is what guided me to my discovering, in 2003, a word, Elysium--
which means "paradise" in Greek. This word suits our needs because
it separates us from the dogmatic baggage now associated with
Utopia, “Eden,” and “Heaven,” "Nirvana, Valhalla, Xanadu," etc...
So many words for eternally archetypal space are found in
cultures, myths, religions, and philosophies of the world.
Aye, we learn much from studying the evolution of such
similar movements, AND, we also wish to not be viewed as
just a subsidiary of any of these traditions at the same time.
It is said there is really no new idea ever, though I often wonder...
The Fleet of FriendShips formed shortly after establishing Elysium--
gathering around the founding FlagShip known as, "The Elysian Dream."
I chose the word "fleet" because it, too, brings to mind a group, akin to
an alliance.  Specifically, it is implied in this name, and our Legacy, that
we are linked to other bodies of ships in Earth’s history and possibly
even also connected in a much larger galactic community design.

9th Annual Celebration

So another branch was created on the family tree
of the Alliance in late 2003 to become an additional
appealing vehicle for our endeavors in medieval recreation
(SCA) events and the renaissance faires arena
(which the MacPhearson clan is a group of):
Elysium and its Fleet of FriendShips…
a similar idea, yes, but now circles
took on a complimentary dimension
of ships with crews, and these ships
represent groups very involved today.
In the beginning the ships of the Fleet
were physically manifest with crews, riggings,
but these limitations no longer apply; our FriendShips
have evolved to now also be representative and metaphorical.
One more thing on this: in the last 13 years, we have been exploring
the introduction of safe harbors, or "LightHouses," to offer
to our Fleet personnel...And again, we present sanctuary
with intention to magnify soul light as prism/mirrors...
The evolution in understanding of what defines a FriendShip
in the Fleet was prompted through complicated history with
navigating the terrain of vast common ground by constantly
negotiating the needs and politics of multiple affiliations.
This era in 2002-03 AD is when we realized the need for
skilled diplomats within our organization as tribal liaisons.
It was at this time Ambassadør ShizLAN joined our ranks
as the primary representative for our circles of excellence,
to facilitate sustainable peace between our various interests.
In 2005, these gifted us with the Grace Accord, which has
become the primary unifying instrument in our society.
And now, without further ado, I will tell you the story of
what came of the 2nd co-founding ship in the Elysian Fleet,
"the Gypsy Rose."  It was through experiences such as this
I discovered what defines "sacred space," and the need
to have astute and discerning figures at the gates because,
not all who wish to travel with us for a while in the Odyssey
share our virtues in loyalty to allegiances and to Grace.
As you may know, well, people can surprise all of us...
even the seasoned liaisons among us once in a while,
as is the moral of this tragic, and beautiful story:
My father wrote a song near the time of my mortal birth
called, "Prairie Rose," and in its honor I chose to bequeath
a similar name with its essence to the second ship of the Fleet.
I changed it slightly, for relevancy in the Fleet, to the Gypsy Rose,
outfitted the ship with a description, a set of 3 masts of hardwoods,
and was determined to erect it at local SCA events (an alternate society,
the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is also relatively visible
to the public eye, and important to know about in my humble opinion).
Because it was beyond my capacity to captain two ships, I started
my search for a worthy captain for this 2nd co-founding ship.
This was in the early Elysian era of 2004-2005 when I was
expanding my influence beyond the MacPhearson Clan
of Headhunters and sought to make a presence for
the fledgling nation of Elysia, unique to anything else.
The Gypsy Rose was to be styled after the Spanish galleons
of the old Mediterranean region, crewed by all female warriors
for the defense of our sanctuary—male members of the crew
would be "cabin boys" for the most part.  The captain I found
was a strong-willed lady among our collective of allied houses,
clans, ships, and related endeavors including a wildly successful
kissing auction (which was always a very central venue at events).
We had only just debuted the ship at a couple events when she,
“Mistress Deb,” shortly after this, set her sights on alliance
with a more well-established, older fleet; thought to move up
in the world, as I regard it for this chapter of the Book of Ages,
we refer to in parts of "Herstory."  The Castillian Fleet was fond of
Mistress Deb and so welcomed the Gypsy Rose as part of their fleet
with no reservations.  This was all well and prosperous except for
her forsaking allegiance to the Elysian Fleet—and claiming that
the whole idea was hers all along. Though...I did get my masts back,
and valuable learning about vested interests and securing claim to
what is commonly referred to as “intellectual property.”  It is in
this vein of evolution that the Grace Accord has evolved over
the ages of our hertory and history.  Considering the vast
amount of time and energy already invested in the Alliance
and its later brain-children over the many years, I could
afford to remain naïve no longer.  Welcome to Real Life.
We have many laws for countries of the world for many reasons,
most of them valid and very important, surely.  However, I choose
to not guide Elysia that route too--would rather keep it simple,
preferring a condensed instrument in the Grace Accord.
Let us hope that it serves us well to sustain the peace
for many ages to come; it is a living and evolving document.
In communities of medieval recreation my character names are:
Lorrin of Arr, Lukas MacPhearson, Lorrin Navarre, or simply "Arr."
This chapter concludes (for the Book of Ages) with my ship becoming
a burnt offering, which ran aground upon the rocks on my birthday
in 2006...And, in that, the Elysian Dream was transmuted, reborn,
into a higher manifestation--like a Phoenix rising from the ashes…
This was right before I first encountered the EarthLight Project.
Coincedence? as I have come to know it, most times in order to
receive the greater blessing of becoming, a sacrifice is necessary
to shed skins of comfort and familiarity, to become as the Phoenix.
Soul, the Elysian Dream became a LightHouse thereafter; for it was
upon the rocks of the island of Elysia that the flagship crashed.
Now the Elysian Dream stands with vigilant lamp upon the shores
of the Kingdom of the Isle of Paradise, as reads the Book of Ages,
guiding our FriendShips to a mystic sanctuary, very similar to Avalon.
The Isle of ATA
Zen Alejandro and I met in person at the beginning of 2007,
associating together at first within the Storytellers Guild
of the EarthLight Project which, at that time, was
fiscally sponsored by City Repair Project in Portland, OR.
He traveled from Puerto Rico after having noticed my presence
in an early social networking platform called recall
there was a fetching lass in the picture attracting him too,
but that has all become ancient history now.  The Fleet
really picked up speed at this point for this movement,
became focused, magnified even, within the petals
of EarthLight pavilions via the City Repair Project.
I first found out about it at the end of 2006
in my travels between Eugene and Portland, Oregon,
associating the Elysian Dream tea house with events
in the electronic music dance community, and my work
with natural building practices, intentional community,
eco-village creation, etc...naturally led me to City Repair.
Fiscally sponsored by the City Repair Project, EarthLight was
the ultimate of all of that and more—a mobile meta-village dreamed
by a core of visionaries at Burning Man.  It was to be supramassive,
a structure 300 feet across, 100' high at the apex, and composed
of 9 allied "petals," all stretch fabric. Yes, MASSIVE is totally
an understatement. It was intended to be "light" weight (as in
readily mobile) so it could also be deployed to offer crisis relief
in areas hit by disasters; this was the era of Hurricane Katrina.
The other applications of the word "light" are significant as well:
our operations have light impact upon the ecosystems we influence
and through arts and entertainment we shine an inspiring brilliance.
The pavilion was intended to travel in a circuit connecting events
and intentional communities to offer hospitality, nourishment,
information, entertainment, etc...It was incredulously ambitious
and quickly fell apart when we found out the PVC-based fabric
is very highly toxic, unsustainable, and socially irresponsible.
The first era EarthLight Project crew scattered after that
but I vowed the vision would remain alive in the hearts
and in the minds of Global Community Designs--until
the vision would no longer be so ahead of its time
and a less impactful material could be identified...
This alliance of interdependently autonomous groups
is connected through the commonality of sharing
a general mission of realizing paradise on Earth.
What we intend of this is to involve other people
and organizations to associate with us either as
internal allies (those being domestic circles) or
external allies we frequently collaborate with.
It became clear to us we needed to have our feet
firmly in both worlds in order to do This; to liaison
with grassroots sovereign communities and systems
of worldly government alike.  Most of us have now
accepted this as a necessity.  However, the piece
missing was the nexus point for it all to meet within
common ground.  We chose December 21st, 2012, to be
the date to incorporate as a non-profit organization,
actually a Non-Governmental Organization, with
a legal structure as a Mutual Benefit Society.
I could not have done it without Katsura Balanza,
who came aboard in late 2011 and quickly rose
to become a central leader to carry us forward
in taking that huge step of bringing this haven
for mystics, meek, and the misunderstood
to become established more so "in the world." 
This date was very much intentional because it
represents a turning point on so many levels for
paradigms that have lasted for 26,000 years
according to the Mayan Calendar. 
As far as tracking cycles in our Journey around
this central sun, the time-keeping custom of Eysia
considers after this turning point we emerged
into the next age of a New Earth.
We represents the number of solar cycles
after the incorporation of GCD in the world,
followed by the letters AR (which stand for
"After Regenesis").  For example, 2019 in
the Gregorian Calendar is 7 AR for Elysia.
The presence and concept of this society is
very similar to the world of medieval recreation
that has developed over the years around the SCA,
the Society for Creative Anachronism, referenced earlier.
This is a very simple way of understanding Elysia and
the purpose of Global Community Designs as
a haven for supporting the graceful ways
of life that peace work, wellness, mysticism,
and sustainability represent for our planet Earth.
The last portion of this brief history is how =ACE= fits into
the timeline to bring us back in full circle and tie it all together. 
At the beginning of the New Era of Elysia it came to my attention
that not everybuddy embraces identity as groups united in a Fleet.
So, radiating like satellites around the founding Core Council of Elysia,
other domestic community organizations have since grown.  This has
become another overlapping level to the nexus point which brings
our global community together upon a solid common ground
fortifying our society upon a foundation of limestone,
as the age-old parable suggests is very wise.
The name is a full circle, representing the best of
our Journey from the Circles of Light Alliance into
the nation of Elysia.  Although the first definition
for =ACE= was "Allied Circles of Elysium," the first
evolution beyond identity as a Fleet of FriendShips,
in this age, the simple acronym has become a banner
to accommodate more diversity in interpretations
and definitions to serve us to expand our capacity
for inclusion; so another good example is:
Allied Communities of Earth.
The current official definition of =ACE= is
The Alliance for Collaborative Excellence.
Currently the =ACE= Core Council
includes representatives of
our domestic Allied Circles:
-- MUSE Media Arts and indiGenious,
(production team of creative arts to inspire
and assist people to find their true Calling)
-- Armada Talent Alliance (ATA),
(a network of craft and service people with
a green marketplace and eco-travel agency)
-- Ripples of Wellness Action Network
(providing residential, employment,
and wellness support opportunities)
-- The EarthLight Project
(peace work, LightHouse sanctuaries,
event production, and permaculture design)
-- Global Star Alliance
Stay tuned for more information about our
newest addition to Domestic Allied Circles of GCD:
A collective of producers, artists, and celebrities for
building "an alternative World Health Organization."
I hope to see a circle of Valkyries serving as protectors
of our blessed Elysium someday, too--all female Guardians,
like the role which the Gypsy Rose was intended to serve in
because the circle of our sanctuary needs safe keepers…
And, of course, a circle of graceful men for those of us
who embody or seek a progressively "wholistic" grasp of how
to “be a man” in a New Earth culture that is Designed in Grace.

The Flag of Elysia

The banner did not come from my hands, I merely restored it,
for this is based upon an ancient belief we can have paradise on Earth.
I am one of many allied Emissaries that promote this Dream.
Our intent is to rally people together providing cohesion
to the global movement...Now it is much bigger than I
can get around to manage by myself, even in 500 years,
therefore working together with others as allies is truly
of the essence.  Part of the exquisitie recipe for success
we are engineering, through our Global Community Designs
within these Allied Communities, is a revolv-olution of faith
and effort united in our HeartMind--crafted by hands of
the best and brightest women and men among us…
I only have enough energy to liaison with precious few who
in turn diplomatically liaison within their own circles...for:
"Omnipresence is a tall order, made possible for US
through working (and playing) together…as Allies."
I hope you see the picture now…I rest my fingers,
though please know your supportive interest
and effort in this Design is appreciated!!!
We salute you!
 Yours, very truly,
"...who are we being as we go back out into the world?
And you know, I have a definition of success. For me,
it's very simple. It's not about wealth and fame and power.
It's about how many shining eyes I have around me."

~ Benjamin Zander

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