Column: Queer Practitioner Round-Up

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For the most part, the Pagan community prides itself on being a haven for multiple perspectives. Collectively, we are a hodge-podge of beliefs and practices, in some cases divorced entirely from their mother-cultures. While this sword is most definitely double-edged, it has provided fertile ground in which new ideas and perspectives can flourish, giving voice to many different traditions and groups, and a sizable number of those voices are also queer.

This month I wanted to highlight the voices of some of my fellow queer magical practitioners, who may or may not be writing directly about queer-specific experiences, but who have contributed to a larger discussion of magic and spirituality. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’m sure I have missed some realty important people who deserve to be on this list. To that I will say please share some favorites in the comments and let’s each do our part to help raise up some queer voices when we need them the most.

New York City Pagan Pride at Pride (photo: Gary Suto)

New York City Pagan Pride at Pride [courtesy Gary Suto]

Brianne Raven Wolf identifies as a transwoman and writes for the Between Two Worlds blog, on The Agora at Patheos Pagan where she explores trans issues and her personal journey of magic, transition, and her devotion to Hekate.

Cassandra Snow is a professional teacher and tarot reader in the Minneapolis area. She is the author of Queering the Tarot which seeks to decolonize the much beloved oracle and presents each of the cards in a way that is affirming to queer identity. Her upcoming book Queering Your Craft: Witchcraft From the Margins is highly anticipated.

 

 

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I stay loving this hat.

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Chiron Armand is a spirit-initiated shaman who is also initiated in Haitian Vodou and Brazilian Quimbanda as well as being a trained root doctor in Southern Conjure tradition. He is the founder of Impact Shamanism, as well as the author of Deliverance!: Hoodoo Spells of Uncrossing, Healing, and Protection and Clearing Spaces: Inspirational Techniques to Heal Your Home. I have had the pleasure of working with him in both queer and non-queer spaces and have always found his perspectives to be insightful.

Christopher Penczak was one of the first queer witches with whom I communicated back in the early days of the internet. I had already read his book, City Magick, when he reached out to me asking to include my website on a resource list for his then upcoming title, Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe. Besides being an award-winning author of over 30 books on magic and spirituality (and that was just how many I could find that are currently available for sale) he is a knowledgeable teacher and mentor as well as a founding member of the Temple of Witchcraft. He is also a grounded, well-adjusted person and good personal friend. Queer witches would do well by familiarizing themselves with his work.

David Salisbury is a witch as well as an activist. He has worked on several political projects to help protect and ensure queer rights in the US. He is High Priest of the Firefly House and the author of several books, including Witchcraft Activism, The Deep Heart of Witchcraft, and A Mystic Guide to Cleansing and Clearing.

 

Krysta Venora identifies as an Afro-Indigenous nonbinary queer and was recently featured in a Refinery29 article, Why Queer People Love Witchcraft. They are the founder of Pink Opal Magic, which is their vehicle for offering heart-centered spirit readings to the public.

Mat Auryn is a practitioner of magic and witchcraft and is also a tarot and psychic reader. In addition to writing a successful blog he is the author of the breakout bestseller Psychic Witch which has instantly become the “must have” book on the subject of magical psychic development. He is also a prolific user of social media and I aspire to his level of internet marketing skills one day.

Michelle Belanger is most well-known for her work on TV’s Paranormal State, she has authored several books ranging in subjects from paranormal hauntings, to vampires, to magic, to fantasy, and even erotica. Of these she is probably best known for her Psychic Vampire Codex. She has appeared on CNN, A&E, Fox News, Reelz, and the History Channel. She’s also really cool in person.

Michael Thomas Ford is the author of over seventy-five books, focused primarily on gay-themed literature. Of particular interest to our list is The Path of the Green Man, which explores the intersection of gay men and Wiccan practice.

Misha Magdalene describes themselves as a “multi-classed, multi-geek, multi-queer witch with a degree in gender studies and a slightly odd sense of humor.” The author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice, they are an initiate of various different magical traditions and works to confront and transform the inherent gender-biases found there.

 

Orion Foxwood (Photo: Tony Mierzwicki)

Orion Foxwood [courtesy Tony Mierzwicki]

Orion Foxwood, my “brother-from-another-Faery-mother” has written on both Southern Folk Magic and witchcraft from his perspective as a practitioner of Faery Seership. His work is highly respected and anyone who has not had the pleasure of seeing him live is truly missing out. He is charming, funny, and a treasure-trove of magical lore.

Tomás Prower has been mentioned in my column before, specifically for his book Queer Magic in which he explores the effects of colonialism and revisionist history upon traditional cultures in regard to non-heterosexual practices. He is also the author of Morbid Magic and La Santa Muerte.

As much as I would love to also discuss the work of Devin Hunter and Chas Bogan, I feel that it’s a little too close to narcissism, since they are also my life-partners. So, suffice to say, check out their work because I think they have important perspectives as well.

Representation matters, and each of these people offer the world an opportunity to become connected more deeply to the soul of the world; each affirming the beauty of difference and acting like a beacon to those who may not yet possess the ability to see their own unique beauty. By knowing that there are others out there who, like us, embrace the magic of the world without sacrificing who we truly are, we can share in each other’s strengths, making our community stronger and more diverse.

There are many other wonderful queer practitioners out there, and I am sure I am missing some truly fabulous ones. Who are some of our community’s favorite queer magical voices out there today? Who do readers of TWH feel offer up a much-needed perspective in these uncertain times? Share them in the comments and let’s raise up some of those voices who are often silenced.


The Wild Hunt always welcomes submissions for our weekend section. Please send queries or completed pieces to eric@wildhunt.org.
The views and opinions expressed by our diverse panel of columnists and guest writers represent the many diverging perspectives held within the global Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities, but do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wild Hunt Inc. or its management.