If you ever watched 10 Things I Hate About You and thought, "Damn... Heath Ledger," followed by, "Huh, I wish that guy playing the high school villain would explain to me the healing powers of crystals," well today's your day: former teen heartthrob Andrew Keegan is an honest-to-goodness religious leader.
Keegan, making headlines for the first time since the 90's, calls his new religion Full Circle. It is headquartered in Venice Beach in an old Hare Krishna church. This is the most logical aspect of the entire endeavor.
What happens each week is never quite the same. Keegan emphasizes that he wants the experience to feel "organic." The first time I went, we homed in on our deepest altruistic intentions and then threw them (metaphorically, but still with an overhand-pitch motion) into the center of the room, where a mirror covered with various quartzes and candles lay face up on the floor, so as to reflect our love all over the world. We held hands and, with a small squeeze, passed our "soul medicine" to one another. The woman next to me started sobbing quietly. A muscular young man in yoga pants loose enough to hide a small toddler in each leg played a homemade didgeridoo for the circle and then explained how the Earth regularly sends us invertebrate emissaries. "If a mosquito bites you, that mosquito was meant to bite you," he explained. "If a fly lands on your arm, it's there as a messenger." Later, we spread out on the floor with pillows and blankets and meditated as a "sound alchemist" walked around playing various carved-wood instruments over our bodies. Some people spooned
From the ages of 14 to 17, Keegan was showing off his naked torso for magazines like Tiger Beat, the prepubescent Playboyfor adolescent girls who cover their walls in celebrity centerfolds. He shared many a Bop-magazine cover with Jonathan Taylor Thomas. "Some of these images still make me cringe," Keegan says. "Maybe one day I'll make a friend at Google and they can all be taken off the internet."
Like many religious converts, Keegan's spiritual transformation came after a traumatic experience. The actor said he was first awakened on March 11, 2011, when he and two friends were attacked by what he describes as gang members in Venice Beach. One of them pulled a gun on his manager, and after a full-on brawl, Keegan had to go to the hospital for stitches. "The significance of this occurrence is that it happened at the same time the tsunami hit Japan," Keegan said. He then related this incident to a series of odd events, which he believes play a large role in how "synchronicity" brought him to realize his true calling.
"I had a moment where I was looking at a street lamp and it exploded. That was a weird coincidence," he said. "At a ceremony, a heart-shaped rose quartz crystal was on the altar, and synchronistically, this whole thing happened. It's a long story, but basically the crystal jumped off the altar and skipped on camera. That was weird."
"That was weird," says Andrew Keegan.