Column: Spotlight on Queer Pagan Creatives

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This month, while it seems like the world is falling faster and faster into a political dumpster fire, why not take a moment to stop doom-scrolling and focus our attention on something positive? (Don’t worry; the doom and gloom will still be there when we’re done.)

One of the things that I absolutely love about our Pagan community is the sheer wealth of queer creatives and important voices in our midst. For a community that has traditionally had to hide and be quiet, we have embraced the need for visibility as a tool of our liberation, as well as the liberation of others.

The Paganism toward which I was initially drawn was a force of equality and empowerment, allowing the individual a space to connect directly with the divine, without the need for some other spiritual authority. It has been a hallmark of our traditions that we recognize the divinity in all things, and as such, the work toward equality for all becomes a divine calling for many of us.

With this in mind, in no particular order, here are some brief introductions to a few of my current favorite queer Pagan and Witchy creative voices who I think offer the world some tools for making the world a better place in one way or another:

Enfys Book [Niall Sheehan]

  • Enfys J. Book is the author of Queer Qabala and the host of the 4 Quick Q’s podcast in which they ask authors questions based on the roll of a 20-sided die. I read their book. I blurbed their book. I recommend their book. And I was on their show, too, and they were supercool. Totally smart, totally kind, and totally the kind of occultist we want stepping into the forefront as we move into the future.
  • Kristoffer Hughes is Chief of the Anglesey Druid Order, and a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. He is an author, teacher, and guest speaker at Pagan conferences, camps, and festivals throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and North America. He is the author of several books, including The Book of Celtic Magic, From the Cauldron Born, and Cerridwen: Celtic Goddess of Inspiration, he is also the man behind the wig of Welsh language television Drag Queen, Maggi Noggi. And he’s just delightful in person, too.
  • Mhara Starling is an internet personality with nearly 130K followers on TikTok where she animatedly explains bits of Welsh folklore and magical practice. (Her more serious persona is reserved for her YouTube channel which boasts over 5,000 followers at the time of this writing. The author of Welsh Witchcraft, Mhara is an open trans woman as well as being a wealth of knowledge about Welsh folklore and customs. And she is very approachable and willing to share her knowledge in a kind and enthusiastic way. It’s people like her that give me hope for the next generation of Pagans and Witches.
  • Christopher Penczak is the author of over 40 books on a myriad of occult, magical, and spiritual subjects including Gay Witchcraft, City Magick, The Plant Spirit Familiar, and the amazingly popular Temple of Witchcraft series. He, along with his two partners, Steve Kenson and Adam Sartwell, founded the Temple of Witchcraft, a church, school, and tradition of Witchcraft, based in Salem, New Hampshire. In addition to being personal friends of mine for many years, they are all three also very talented and dedicated individuals who provide a much-needed service to the Witchcraft and Pagan communities. (And did I mention that Steve is a complete nerd? No really! He’s so good at it he’s like, professional.)
  • Durgadas Allon Duriel is an astrologer, a psychotherapist, a mystic, and writer, author of The Little Work and the forthcoming Worthy As You Are. He is as compassionate as he is insightful and makes it his living to help share the tools of healing with his clients and now the world. Follow his Twitter for spiritual takes and advice from someone who actually does the work.

Mortellus [courtesy]

  • Mortellus is a Witch, necromancer, a mortician, and a Third Degree Gardnerian High Priestex. Author of Do I Have to Wear Black?, a book focused on customs and rituals around death and dying (something that is so important we actually address) and the forthcoming The Bones Fall in a Spiral. Mortellus not only writes about a powerful topic that is rarely touched upon in modern Paganism, but they also have been vocal in raising awareness about how women and others with a uterus are being brutalized by the current anti-abortion forces in the US. They have been upfront with their personal story of being denied pain-relieving medication for their chronic condition on the grounds that it could be conceivably used to induce abortion and they are “viably fertile”, meaning just because they have the potential to conceive, the law will now prevent them from making other choices about their health and body.
  • Tomás Prower is a licensed mortician and the author of the books Queer Magic, La Santa Muerte, Morbid Magic, and his most recent, Warrior Magic. I used to see him back in the days of PantheaCon, usually dressed to the nines and serving up some quiet dandy realness. Today you can find him in Palm Springs, California where he is the Director of Communications for the LGBTQ Center of the Coachella Valley.
  • At the risk of reigniting our fake online duel, I am compelled to include Thumper Forge on this list. His blog, Fivefold Law over at Patheos Pagan is an insightful (and delightful) look at various social subjects affecting Pagandom and the queer experience. His tongue-in-cheek style makes for an enjoyable (and accessible) read; I am always interested to read what he has to say (but don’t tell him that or else he’ll just be insufferable.)

 

Photo of Michelle Belanger [M. Belanger]

  • Michelle Belanger (him/her/them) is an occult expert, teacher, presenter, author of over thirty books on the paranormal, and one of the most interesting people I have met. Want an example? As they recently stated on Twitter, when they were just twenty-one, they “wrote the primary sacred text of a spiritual system which continues to influence beliefs & practices around the globe”. They are also quite public about being intersex, using their voice and platform to advocate for others in the queer community. Mainstream audiences might know them from the A&E television show Paranormal State, or the Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell where they were featured as a psychic medium and occult expert. Or perhaps from their classic books The Psychic Vampire Codex or The Dictionary of Demons.
  • Joe Phillips is the artist behind the Witch Boys series in which he would draw his followers as sexy witches and warlocks, has had an impressive career working for many different comic book titles, including Wonder Woman. His art is fun, sexy, and affirms the queer spirit and I’m always excited when he shares new stuff. His Divine Diversity Tarot was a beautiful contribution to a community starving for a spirituality that is inclusive of all races, sexualities, genders, and bodies.
  • Allan Spiers and Jeff Cullen, the bodybuilding queer magical duo who brought us such sinful delights as the Sabbath Tarot and a plethora of beautiful (and sexy!) statuary that adorns many a queer Pagan’s altar or temple space (my own included!). I’ve written about some of their work before, but it seems one or both of them are always coming out some something new to tempt the masses.
  • Matthew Venus is the force behind Spiritus Aracanum, once a stylish online and festival-vending presence, now a full-blown brick-and-mortar store in Salem, Massachusetts. I have been a fan of his art and style for many years, and his work has been popular at the festivals I have attended. I am so happy that he now has a storefront from which to offer the world his high quality wares and services. Definitely check out his work, which carries a darker, ‘traditional witchcraft’ and rootwork aesthetic.

Finally, before I sign off I am contractually obligated to make a brief mention of my beloved husbands, the rest of “House Fourlocks,” if for no other reason than they are [intensifying adjective omitted by editor] awesome. (Also, I have to live with them so it behooves me to make them happy).

  • Chas Bogan has been brightening up the parlors of occult collectors since he started his studio, Carnivalia, almost twenty years ago, selling artisan talking boards. Now he makes all sorts of wacky and cool, often divination-inspired goodies.
  • Next up is Devin Hunter, the host of the Modern Witch Podcast and author of the bestselling Witch Power series, who is currently awaiting the release of his 6th book even as he works on his 7th.
  • And last but not least is Mat Auryn, the breakaway powerhouse behind the bestselling blockbuster Psychic Witch and the forthcoming Mastering Magick, is working on several projects at once as is befitting his Piscean nature.

I am fortunate to live with such talented, creative occultists to keep me fed and inspired. I am a lucky warlock.

Who are some of your favorite queer creatives and voices?


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