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Byron Shire
March 24, 2023

Byron environmentalist dies

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Christopher Keyes, a Byron Bay environmentalist and member of Starseed Gardens, died in mysterious circumstances over the night of 24-25 December. A coroner’s report is awaited.

There will be a memorial for Chris at the Lotus Teahouse at Starseed Gardens this coming Sunday afternoon.

His friend Daniel Schreiber has penned the following memorial for Chris.

On December 24, we got together with a few close friends at our rainforest retreat space, sharing food, playing music, and general rejuvenation and relaxation, avoiding the Byron frenzy over the silly season.

During the night, Chris went missing. The following two days were spent searching the surrounding forest with emergency services crew. With no idea as to his whereabouts, we concluded a likely walkabout, or some form of self-initiatory process. We finally found and recovered his body from the bottom of the fish pond near the house.

Chris is a medicine man, he walks it, talks it, breathes it in every moment of his life and death. It is a mystery to us all how this may have occurred as the circumstances leading up to this shocking event are unknown. There were no indicators to alert us to a possible concern during this rainy dark-moon evening.

It was poignant that his posture, when recovered, resembled that of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of agriculture, flowers, music, song, poetry and dance.

Tlamatinime taught in the Calmecac, ‘Flowers and chants are the most elevated things that exist on the earth so as to enter into the ambits of the truth.’

This, along with his pensive demeanor, suggested a conscious departure. We await the confirmation of his cause of death with the coroner’s report as there were puncture wounds that looked like a snake bite, and both a brown and black snake have been seen around the pond on the previous day by police while searching for Chris.

We know that the mystery surrounding Chris’s death has left us all in shock and it is only natural to seek answers.

It is too soon to speculate on events surrounding the causes; however, it is important that we honour and celebrate the life of our beautiful and brave brother on his neverending healing and awakening path.

We would like to bring the community together in sharing our love for Chris and the beautiful legacy he has left behind in his art, the food forest he helped plant, the dreams he helped seed and the love he has shared.

We love and miss him and will update everyone with details of his funeral, which is expected to be in about two weeks.

In the meantime, we are holding a ‘Sunday arvo tea grooves’ in honour of Chris on Sunday January 8 at the Lotus Tea House at Starseed Gardens, Byron Bay. Corn and tea all round. Donation on entry, proceeds will go to planting a memorial garden for Chris.

Thank you to everyone for the tremendous love and support. We feel that this shocking tragedy has been made all the more graceful with your help. Keep your candles alight, sing your prayers and send your blessings as Chris passes through the Bardos.

It is wise to remember that the more baggage we have the harder it is to travel. Let’s hope we can sever our attachments and reduce his baggage so he can continue to travel at light speed.

In loving care, Roxy, Dan and all of Starseed.

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