cover image GAY WITCHCRAFT: Empowering the Tribe

GAY WITCHCRAFT: Empowering the Tribe

Christopher Penczak, . . Weiser, $19.95 (265pp) ISBN 978-1-57863-281-7

Witchcraft has plenty to offer the homosexual community, according to Penczak (City Magick), a self-proclaimed gay shaman. Not only does it have a strong history of tolerance for homosexuality; it actually has a rich tradition of homosexual involvement and esteem. After finding shame and persecution in the Catholic Church, Penczak fled to the Wicca community, where he found "a sense of belonging... to my own spirit." This is one of the only books on the market that delves into the fascinating historical roots of gay witchcraft while also providing homosexual-specific advice on spells and rituals. One of Penczak's strengths is his broad-reaching wisdom when it comes to love and sexuality. Most of his guidance could be relevant to practitioners of all sexual orientations. What witch isn't interested in knowing a few spells and potions for creating more trusting, loving, passionate and spiritually nurturing relationships? Who wouldn't love to soak in a "healing heart" bath with pinches of lavender, rose petals, catnip and rosemary? Yet Penczak also stays true to his niche—often returning to particular sexual and romantic concerns unique to the gay and lesbian community. It's only when he occasionally gets into anatomically detailed discussions about men loving men (in the tantra sexuality section) that he excludes lesbian readers. Overall, Penczak fulfills his promise—finally offering homosexual readers a sensitive and sexually appropriate manual for the study and practice of witchcraft. (June)