Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe

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Christopher Penczak: Gay Witchcraft

ISBN - Look for similar items by category:. Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe. Prices and offers may vary in store. Kobo ebook. When Christopher Penczak was introduced to Witchcraft, he found a spiritual path that hononred and embraced his homosexuality. Penczak has gathered all he's learned in his studies of Wicca from a homocentric perspective and created Gay Witchcraft , the first complete book of theory and spiritual practices of witchcraft for the gay community.

Central to the practice of Witchcraft is the Divine Couple and sex magick. Penczak's writing on this central mystery masterfully informs its true meaning and practice. Gay Witchcraft will make it much easier for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people interested in practicing any form of witchcraft. The book explores the history of Paganism and offers a compendium of spells, meditations, and affirmations that will enrich both the novice and the experienced practitioner seeking out new views of myth, ritual, and healing for the Gay community.

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I found a sense of belonging, not necessarily to a larger group, a physical community, but a belonging in my own spirit, and an understanding that people like me had a rich spiritual tradition. I was surprised to learn that the kids in public school didn't have such things. I took them for granted. Mythic symbolism, statues, crosses, incense, and candles became a part of my life.

I had a strong respect for the Catholic faith, but I later realized it was not so much the faith, but the ritual—a time for personal connection. Not until high school did I consciously acknowledge being gay. I couldn't understand it myself, but I knew I felt different about the boys in my class. When religion class turned into morality class—where we discussed such topics as suicide, abortion, and homosexuality—in a single moment, the world came crashing down around me, and I confirmed all my feelings about not fitting into the whole.

I intensely believed in something, but it no longer believed in me, or so I was told. The words love the sinner, hate the sin rang hollow for me, since I still felt hated, yet had not done anything at all. That class created a schism between me and traditional Christian faiths. I went through a period of atheism, which in reality was more like a period of anger with Spirit, for some perceived betrayal from the emissaries of the Church. I later considered myself agnostic, believing in some form of Spirit, but felt that no one could define or interact with it.

Spirituality was abstract, not anything personal. I drew closer to science for answers to my questions, and to art for my personal expression. Fortunately, science and art could not answer the questions I had about life. In the past, I experienced seeing a ghost and I had an out-of-body episode, though I didn't know what these phenomena were at the time. I didn't find any answers, so I kept looking, without much luck. I didn't let go of much of my anger, though. I held on because I didn't have anything to take its place.

Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak | Waterstones

Then witchcraft opened a new world for me. An old friend of the family slowly introduced me to Wicca, the modern religion of witchcraft. The foundations were in ritual, the cycles of nature, ancient Goddess reverence, psychic awareness, and personal development.

Witchcraft embraced ancient philosophies and practices from all around the world. So many beliefs fit my own. I never believed in the Christian devil, the source of evil. Contrary to popular belief, witches do not worship the devil. They believe it to be a construct of various organizations to control other people, a target of blame, and a scapegoat.

Witches believe in self-responsibility, since all you do comes back to you. Many authors of the neo-witchcraft movement cite a greater acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people because of our ancient ties. Several ancient cultures honored such people—my people—for their unique energies and perspective.

A few modern groups, or covens, are exclusively gay or lesbian, though parts of the Wiccan community are as homophobic as the mainstream community is. I was afraid to trust Spirit again. As I studied the craft, with my friend and her teacher, I had some amazing personal experiences. My first spell—what others call intentions or prayers—produced remarkable results. Through training, I had experiences with psychic magical abilities.

The point of such work is not for the sake of accumulating power, but empowerment. Witchcraft gives a personal experience to what modern science, through quantum physics, is telling us; everything is connected. Everything is one. What one person does affects the whole. An experience with psychic healing opened my eyes to a completely new reality. We are connected. As my studies deepened, I had to swallow a bitter pill.

Magick modern mystics often spell it with a k to differentiate their arts from a stage magician's sleights of hand and, in fact, any form of mysticism, requires an inner harmony and unity. An aspiring witch must work to shed fear, anger, guilt, and hate, while gathering the qualities of love, self-esteem, and acceptance. Though I had found witchcraft, I held on to my anger at the world because I was different. To continue, to learn the mysteries of magick, I had to let go of my safety blanket of anger. Through the practice of the craft, deep self-introspection, and some healing counsel, I did, and my life changed completely.

I then knew I was in control of my life, and always had been. The anger was no one's fault but my own—simply my reaction to others. When you honor the sacred within you, when you find the witch's Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, what others do does not matter. Spirit is not a commodity that others can give or deny you.

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All things are Spirit. Spirituality is simply acknowledging Spirit in your daily, personal life. Witchcraft is one path of spirituality, the one that brought me home and continues to show me new paths to follow. One such path is teaching. As I never expected to be living life as a witch, I never expected to be teaching witchcraft.

The whole process seemed to happen by accident, but I now know there are no accidents. Things happened in exactly the right way to guide me to this path. And as a teacher, I encountered many people with whom I could empathize. Those who felt disenfranchised from mainstream faiths, continually searching for their path, often found their way to Wicca. Quite a few of these folks were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, coming from feelings and experiences very similar to mine, now feeling the sense of coming home again.


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Modern witchcraft offers quite a bit to the gay community. I found a sense of belonging, not necessarily to a larger group, a physical community, but a belonging in my own spirit, and an understanding that people like me have a rich spiritual tradition. All I had to do was reclaim it for myself.

GAY WITCHCRAFT: Empowering the Tribe

Rather than simply tolerating my kind, these ancient traditions celebrated our existence. Embracing those who are different is a way to learn. As cultures interacted, through trade or warfare, the mythologies and rituals assimilated each other. The Greco-Roman mythologies mingled with those of the Celts.

The spiritual traditions of old are keys to creating the new. Empowerment is the great gift the craft has given me, a gift I continue to use and honor. Each practitioner of witchcraft is not simply a member of the faith, but his or her own priest or priestess. We need no intermediary. One thing I'm extremely grateful for was my mother's personal twists on Catholicism. I received the usual sacraments—Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation—but she never sent me to First Confession because she didn't believe you had to go to a man to have God forgive you for your sins.

You could simply speak to God. It was that simple. When I questioned Catholicism, her opinions on how the Church could be mistaken about confession made me wonder if they had gotten some other things wrong too, like their views on homosexuality. That was a lifeline for me, hoping against hope that someone had pieced together a tradition closer to the truth. I found witchcraft answered those questions for me, and, strangely enough, it became home for my mother as well. We practiced together in our first few covens and still celebrate the holidays and do magick together.

The mother and son mythos is strong in the craft, and in my life, too. Through this book, I hope to share with you the sense of belonging, reclaiming, celebration, and empowerment I feel through my practice. Don't simply read it, but experiment with it. Try the meditations and exercises if you feel called to do them.

This work is not the final word on witchcraft for gay practitioners, but a cornerstone for others to build upon—as others have made a way for me—for a solitary practice, for partners, and for the growing community of gay witches, pagans, and seekers. I don't intend Gay Witchcraft to be a historical document or scholarly argument. I'm sure many strict reconstructionist and conservative historians would debate the material, as many historical books on the ancient practice of witchcraft have been debated.

Due to many of our historical and cultural biases, all of our resources are suspect, for both arguments.

Gay Witchcraft Empowering the Tribe

I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything. I believe that if you really want to know the truth, you should ask the source. If you want to know about gay deities, find a way to ask them directly. Regardless of the provable facts, modern witchcraft and its gay practitioners are here, and we are not going anywhere.

I present myth and story as folk history, as it was taught and passed to me from many sources. Rather than a thesis, it is a manual of exploration. It represents the experiences I've had, and bits of wisdom that my sisters and brothers have shared with me.


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I use gay as a common word to denote those pursuing same-sex relationships and identities. Many people dislike the term gay. They feel it is a limited label, connected to a lifestyle, political agenda, segregated community, or fashion trend. For many, sexual orientation is no more important than your favorite flavor of ice cream. Such people are trying to downplay the differences between us. In truth, we are different from most of the world. We have a different blend of energies and many need to recognize their differences as gifts and blessings. We have different experiences because of it. When I was first introduced to the word gay, men and women, bisexuals and transgenders used it as a common umbrella term.

If you don't identify with the word, replace it with the words you like or no word at all. To me, claiming words such as gay, lesbian, and queer as something healthy is as important as reclaiming the word witch. Call it something new. That's even more reason to reclaim it. We must correct the misinformation of the past. We can say the same for the word gay. Although gay originally was used to mean happy, and then used as a derogatory term, it refers to a group of people who were considered holy by much of the ancient world, like those who were considered witches the word witch has also been used derogatorily.

Both words are a part of our culture and identity.